Here the Commodore continued till the beginning of April, highly delighted with the place, which by its extraordinary accommodations, the healthiness of its air, and the picturesque appearance of the country, all enlivened by the addition of a civilised colony, was not disgraced in an imaginary comparison with the valleys of Juan Fernandez and the lawns of Tinian. During his stay he entered about forty new men, and having by the 3rd of April, 1744, completed his water and provision, he on that day weighed and put to sea. The 19th of the same month they saw the island of St. Helena, which, however, they did not touch at, but stood on their way; and on the 10th of June, being then in soundings, they spoke with an English ship from Amsterdam bound for Philadelphia, whence they received the first intelligence of a French war. The 12th they got sight of the Lizard, and the 15th, in the evening, to their infinite joy, they came safe to an anchor at Spithead. But that the signal perils which had so often threatened them in the preceding part of the enterprise might pursue them to the very last, Mr. Anson learned on his arrival that there was a French fleet of considerable force cruising in the chops of the Channel, which, by the account of their position, he found the Centurion had run through and had been all the time concealed by a fog. Thus was this expedition finished, when it had lasted three years and nine months, after having, by its event, strongly evinced this important truth: That though prudence, intrepidity, and perseverance united are not exempted from the blows of adverse fortune, yet in a long series of transactions they usually rise superior to its power, and in the end rarely fail of proving successful.
Bower anchors (the best bower and the small bower). The anchors carried at the bows of a vessel.
The sheet anchor (= shoot anchor). An anchor to be shot out or lowered in case of a great danger, carried abaft the forerigging; formerly the largest anchor.
Bag-wig. See Wig.
Barge. See Boats.
Bilging. To bilge = to be stove in, or suffer serious injury in the bilge, which is the bottom part of a ship’s hull.
Barge. The second boat of a man-of-war; a long narrow boat, generally with not less than ten oars, for the use of the chief officers.
Cutter. A boat belonging to a ship of war, shorter and in proportion broader than the barge or pinnace, fitted for rowing and sailing, and used for carrying light stores, passengers, etc.
Longboat. The principal boat of the old man-of-war. Now replaced by steam launches.
Pinnace. A boat for the accommodation of the inferior officers of a man-of-war, resembling the barge.
Yawl. A small boat used for much the same purposes as the cutter.
Bow-chasers. See Chasers.