These necessary regulations established, and the repairs of the Tryal sloop completed, the squadron weighed from Port St Julians on Friday the 27th February, 1741, at seven in the morning, and stood to sea. The Gloucester found such difficulty in endeavouring to purchase her anchor, that she was left a great way astern, so that we fired several guns in the night as signals for her to make more sail: But she did not rejoin us till next morning, when we learnt that she had been obliged to cut her cable, leaving her best bower anchor behind. At ten in the morning of the 28th, Wood’s Mount, the high land over Port St Julian, bore from us N. by W. distant ten leagues, and we had fifty-two fathoms water. Standing now to the southward, we had great expectations of falling in with the Spanish squadron under Pizarro; as, during our stay at Port St Julian, there had generally been hard gales between W.N.W. and S.W. so that we had reason to conclude that squadron, had gained no ground upon us in that interval. Indeed, it was the prospect of meeting them that had occasioned our commodore to be so very solicitous to prevent the separation of our ships; for, had he been solely intent on getting round Cape Horn in the shortest time, the most proper method for this purpose would have been, to order each ship to make the best of her way to the rendezvous, without waiting for the rest.
From the time of leaving Port St Julian to the 4th March, we had little wind with thick hazy weather and some rain, and our soundings were generally from forty to fifty fathoms, with a bottom of black and gray sand, sometimes mixed with pebble stones. On the 4th March we were in sight of Cape Virgin Mary, and not more than six or seven leagues distant, the northern boundary of the eastern entrance of the Straits of Magellan, in lat 52 deg. 21’ S. long. 71 deg. 44’ W. from London. It seemed a low flat land, ending in a point. Off this cape the depth