Beginning, by Mr King, at 0 32 50 | Mr Bligh, at 0 33 25 > Mean long. 186 deg. 57-1/2’. Myself, at 0 33 35 |
End, by Mr King at 1 44 56 | Mean long. 186 deg. 28-1/2’. Mr Bligh at 1 44 6 > Time keep. 186 deg. 58-1/2’. Myself, at 1 44 56 |
The latitude and longitude are those of the ship, at 8^h 56^m a.m., being the time when the sun’s altitude was taken for finding the apparent time. At the beginning of the eclipse, the moon was in the zenith, so that it was found most convenient to make use of the sextants, and to make the observations by the reflected image, which was brought down to a convenient altitude. The same was done at the end, except by Mr King, who observed with a night telescope. Although the greatest difference between our several observations is no more than fifty seconds, it, nevertheless, appeared to me that two observers might differ more than double that time, in both the beginning and end. And, though the times are noted to seconds, no such accuracy was pretended to. The odd seconds set down above, arose by reducing the time, as given by the watch, to apparent time.
I continued to stretch to the E.S.E., with the wind at N.E. and N., without meeting with any thing worthy of note, till seven o’clock in the evening of the 29th, when we had a sudden and very heavy squall of wind from the N. At this time we were under single reefed topsails, courses, and stay-sails. Two of the latter were blown to pieces, and it was with difficulty that we saved the other sails. After this squall, we observed several lights moving about on board the Discovery, by which we concluded, that something had given way; and, the next morning, we saw that her main-top-mast had been lost. Both wind and weather continued very unsettled till noon, this day, when the latter cleared up, and the former settled in the N.W. quarter. At this time, we were in the latitude of 28 deg. 6’ S., and our longitude was 198 deg. 23’ E. Here we saw some pintado birds, being the first since we left the land.
On the 31st, at noon, Captain Clerke made a signal to speak with me. By the return of the boat which I sent on board his ship, he informed me, that the head of the main-mast had been just discovered to be sprung, in such a manner as to render the rigging of another top-mast very dangerous; and that, therefore, he must rig something lighter in its place. He also informed me, that he had lost his main-top-gallant-yard, and that he neither had another, nor a spar to make one, on board. The Resolution’s sprit-sail top-sail yard which I sent him, supplied this want. The next day, he got up a jury top-mast, on which he set a mizen-top-sail, and this enabled him to keep way with the Resolution.