By the time of our arrival at Juan Fernandez, the letters found on board our prize were more minutely examined, and it appeared from them, and from the examination of our prisoners, that several other merchant-ships were bound from Callao to Valparaiso. Whereupon, the commodore dispatched the Tryal sloop, the very next morning, to cruise off the port of Valparaiso, reinforcing her crew with ten men from the Centurion. The commodore resolved also, on the above intelligence, to employ the ships under his command in separate cruises, as by this means he might increase the chance of taking prizes, and should run less risk of being discovered, and alarming the coast. The spirits of our people were now greatly raised, and their despondency dissipated, by this earnest of success, so that they forgot all their past distresses, resumed their wonted alacrity, and laboured incessantly in completing our water, receiving our lumber, and preparing to leave the island.
These necessary occupations took us up four or five days, with all our industry and exertions; and in this interval, the commodore directed the guns of the Anna pink, being four six-pounders and four four-pounders, with two swivels, to be mounted in the Carmelo, our prize. He sent also on board the Gloucester, six Spanish passengers and twenty-three captured seamen, to assist in navigating that ship, and directed Captain Mitchell to leave the island as soon as possible, the service demanding the utmost despatch, giving him orders to proceed to the latitude of 5 deg. S. and there to cruise off the high-land of Payta, at such distance from shore as should prevent his being discovered. He was to continue on this station till joined by the Centurion; which was to be whenever it should be known that the viceroy had fitted out the ships of war at Callao, or on the commodore receiving any other intelligence that should make it necessary to divide our strength. These orders being delivered to Captain Mitchell of the Gloucester, and all our business completed, we weighed anchor in the Centurion, on Saturday the 19th of September, in company with our prize the Carmelo, and got out of the bay, taking our last leave of Juan Fernandez, and steering to the eastward, with the intention of joining the Tryal sloop, on her station off Valparaiso, leaving the Gloucester still at anchor.
Our Cruise, from leaving Juan Fernandez, to the taking of Payta.