This much may suffice respecting the eastern coast of Patagonia. The western coast is of less extent; and, by reason of the Andes which skirt it, and stretch quite down to the sea side, the shore is very rocky and dangerous. As I shall hereafter have occasion to take farther notice of that coast, I shall not enlarge any farther respecting it in this place, but shall conclude this account with a short description of the harbour of St Julian, the general form of which may be conceived from the annexed sketch. It must however be noticed, that the bar there marked at the entrance has many holes in it, and is often shifting. The tide flows here N. and S. and at full and change rises four fathoms. On our first arrival, an officer was sent on shore to the salt pond marked D. in the sketch, in order to procure a quantity of salt for the use of the squadron; for Sir John Narborough had observed, when he was here, that the salt was very white and good, and that in February there was enough to have loaded a thousand ships. But our officer returned with a sample which was very bad, and said that even of this very little was to be had: I suppose the weather had been more rainy this year than ordinary, and had destroyed the salt, or prevented its fermentation.
Departure from the Bay of St Julian, and Passage from thence to the Straits of Le Maire.
The Tryal being nearly refitted, which was our principal occupation at this bay, and sole occasion of our stay, the commodore thought it necessary to fix the plan of his first operations, as we were now directly bound for the South Seas and the enemy’s coasts; and therefore, on the 24th February, a signal was made for all captains, and a council of war was held on board the Centurion. There were present on this occasion the Honourable Edward Legg, Captain Matthew Mitchell, the Honourable George Murray, Captain David Cheap, and Colonel Mordaunt Cracherode, commander of the land-forces. At this council, it was proposed by Commodore Anson, that their first attempt, after arriving in the South Seas, should be against the town and harbour of Baldivia, the principal frontier place in the south of Chili, informing them, as an inducement for this enterprize, that it formed part of his majesty’s instructions to endeavour to secure some port in the South Seas where the ships of the squadron might be careened and refitted. The council readily and unanimously agreed to this proposal; and, in consequence of this resolution, new instructions were issued to the captains, by which, though still directed, in case of separation, to make the best of their way to the island of Socoro, they were only to cruize off that island for ten days; from whence, if not then joined by the commodore, they were to proceed off Baldivia, making the land between the latitudes of 40 deg. and 40 deg. 30’ S. and taking care to keep to the southward of the port. If not there