On the 12th of December we were relieved from the perplexity we had suffered, by the separation of the Gloucester; for on that day she joined us, and informed us, that in tacking to the southward on our first arrival, she had sprung her fore-top-mast, which had disabled her from working to windward, and prevented her from joining us sooner. We now scuttled and sunk the Jesu Nazareno, the prize we took last, and having the greatest impatience to get into a proper station for the galleon, stood altogether to the westward, and notwithstanding the impediments we met with, left the island of Quibo in about nine days after our first coming in sight of it.
From Quibo to the Coast of Mexico.
On the 12th of December we left Quibo, and the same day the commodore delivered fresh instructions to the captains of the men of war, and the commanders of our prizes, appointing them the rendezvouses they were to make, and the courses they were to steer in case of a separation. And first, they were directed to use all possible dispatch in getting to the northward of the harbour of Acapulco, where they were to endeavour to fall in with the land, between the latitudes of 18 and 19 deg.; from thence, they were to beat up the coast at eight or ten leagues distance from the shore, till they came a-breast of Cape Corientes, in the latitude of 20 deg.20’. When they arrived there, they were to continue cruising on that station till the 14th of February; and then they were to proceed to the middle island of the Tres Marias, in the latitude of 21 deg.25’, bearing from Cape Corientes N.W. by N., twenty-five leagues distant. And if at this island they did not meet the commodore, they were there to recruit their wood and water, and then to make the best of their way to the island of Macao, on the coast of China. These orders being distributed, we had little doubt of arriving soon upon our intended station; as we expected, upon the increasing our offing from Quibo, to fall in with the regular trade-wind. But, to our extreme vexation, we were baffled for near a month, either with tempestuous weather from the western quarter, or with dead calms and heavy rains, attended with a sultry air; so that it was the 25th of December before we got a sight of the island of Cocos, which by our reckoning was only a hundred leagues from the continent; and we had the mortification to make so little way, that we did not lose sight of it again in five days. This island we found to be in the latitude of 5 deg.20’ north. It has a high hummock towards the western part, which descends gradually, and at last terminates in a low point to the eastward. From the island of Cocos we stood W. by N., and were till the 9th of January in running an hundred leagues more. We had at first flattered ourselves, that the uncertain weather and western gales we met with were owing to the neighbourhood of the continent, from which, as we got more distant,