It has been before mentioned, that we set up a copper oven on shore, to bake bread for the sick: But it happened that the greatest part of the flour, for the use of the squadron, was on board the Anna pink. It should also have been mentioned, that the Tryal sloop informed us, on her arrival, that she had fallen in with our victualler, on the 9th of May, not far from the coast of Chili, and had kept company with her for four days, when they were parted in a gale of wind. This gave us some room to hope that she was safe, and might rejoin us: But, all June and July having passed without any news of her, we gave her over for lost; and the commodore, at the end of July, ordered all the ships on a short allowance of bread. Neither was it in bread alone that we feared a deficiency: For, since our arrival at Juan Fernandez, it was discovered that our former purser had neglected to take on board large quantities of several kinds of provisions, which the commodore had expressly ordered him to receive; so that the supposed loss of our victualler was, on all accounts, a most mortifying circumstance.
About noon on Thursday the 16th of August, after we had given over all hopes of the Anna pink, a sail was espied in the northern quarter, on which a gun was immediately fired from the Centurion, to call off the people from the shore, who readily obeyed the summons, by repairing to the beach, where the boats waited to fetch them on board. Being now prepared for the reception of the ship in view, whether friend or enemy, we had various speculations respecting her, many supposing at first, that it was the Tryal sloop returning from the examination of Masefuero. As she drew nearer, this opinion was confuted, by observing that she had three masts, when other conjectures were eagerly canvassed; some judging the vessel in sight to be the Severn and others the Pearl, while several affirmed that she did not belong to our squadron. But, about three in the afternoon, all speculations were ended by the unanimous persuasion that it was our victualler, the Anna pink. And, though, this ship had fallen in with the island to the northward like the Gloucester, she yet had the good fortune to come to anchor in the bay at five in the afternoon. Her arrival gave us all the utmost satisfaction, as the ship’s companies were immediately restored to their full allowance of bread, and we were now relieved from the apprehensions of our provisions falling short before we could reach some friendly port,—a calamity, in these seas, of all others the most irretrievable. This was the last ship that joined us; and, as the dangers she encountered, and the good fortune she afterwards experienced, are worthy of a separate narration, I shall refer them, together with a short account of the other missing ships, to the ensuing section.
Short Account of what befell the Anna Pink before she rejoined; with an Account of the Loss of the Wager, and the putting back of the Severn and Pearl.