On Thursday the 18th of September, 1740, sailed from St Hellens his majesty’s ship Centurion, Commodore Anson, with the Gloucester, Pearl, Severn, Wager, and Tryal, and two store-ships; this squadron was designed round Cape-Horn into the South Seas, to distress the Spaniards in those parts. The ships were all in prime order, all lately rebuilt. The men were elevated with hopes of growing immensely rich, and in a few years of returning to Old England loaden with the wealth of their enemies.
Saturday, the 20th, the Ram-head bearing N. by W., distant four leagues, the commodore hoisted his pendant, and was saluted by every ship in the squadron, with thirteen guns each. This day joined company with us his majesty’s ships Dragon, Winchester, South-Sea-Castle, and Rye-Galley, with a large convoy of merchant ships.
Thursday, the 25th, we parted company with the Winchester and the South-Sea-Castle, with their convoys, bound for America.
On Monday, we parted company with the Streights and Turkey convoys.
Friday, October the 3d, at eight in the morning, we saw two brigantines to the south-east; the commodore gave a signal to chace, at nine fired two shots to bring ’em to, at ten spoke with the chace, being two brigs from Lisbon, bound for New York.
Sunday, the 26th, about five in the morning, the Severn shewed lights, and fired several guns a-head; soon after we saw the land bearing W. by S, and at noon the east end of Madeira bore north, distant five leagues.
Wednesday, we moored in Fonchiale road, so called from a city of that name, which is the metropolis of the island of Madeira; here we employed most of our time in getting aboard water, and stowing our dry provisions between decks.
Tuesday, November the 4th, Captain Kidd our commander was removed on board the Pearl, and the Honourable Captain Murray succeeded him in the Wager. Captain Norris of the Gloucester having obtained leave to return to England, on account of his ill state of health, occasioned the above removals.
While we lay at Madeira, we were informed of ten sail of ships cruising off and on, to the westward, these ships were judged to be French, and had been seen every day for a week before our arrival: The commodore sent out a privateer sloop, but she returned the day following, without seeing ’em, so that we can give no account of ’em.
On Wednesday, the 5th, we sailed, from Madeira. On the 2Oth the Industry store-ship parted company, and on Friday the 28th, by account, we crossed the equinoctial.
On the 17th of December, we saw the island of St Catharine, at noon, the northmost land in sight bore W.N.W., and the southmost S.W. by W. Variation per amplitude 12; 57 easterly.
On the 18th, the north end of the island of St Catharine bore N.W. by W., distant seven leagues, and the island of Gaul bore N.W., distant six leagues.