Being come to an anchor in this Bay of St. Julian, principally with a view of refitting the Trial, the carpenters were immediately employed in that business, and continued so during our whole stay at the place. Here the Commodore, too, in order to ease the expedition of all unnecessary expense, held a consultation with his captains about unloading and discharging the Anna pink;* but they represented to him that they were so far from being in a condition of taking any part of her loading on board that they had still great quantities of provisions in the way of their guns between decks, and that their ships were withal so very deep that they were not fit for action without being cleared. This put the Commodore under the necessity of retaining the pink in the service; and as it was apprehended we should certainly meet with the Spanish squadron in passing the Cape, Mr. Anson thought it advisable to give orders to the captains to put all their provisions which were in the way of their guns on board the Anna pink, and to remount such of their guns as had formerly for the ease of their ships been ordered into the hold.
(Note. The Industry pink had been unloaded and discharged on November 19th.)
A COUNCIL OF WAR.
The Trial being nearly refitted, which was our principal occupation at this Bay of ST. Julian, and the sole occasion of our stay, the Commodore thought it necessary, as we were now directly bound for the South Seas and the enemy’s coasts, to regulate the plan of his future operations. And therefore, on the 24th of February, a signal was made for all captains, and a council of war was held on board the Centurion. At this council Mr. Anson proposed that their first attempt, after their arrival in the South Seas, should be the attack of the town and harbour of Baldivia, the principal frontier place of the district of Chile. To this proposition made by the Commodore the council unanimously and readily agreed; and in consequence of this resolution instructions were given to the captains of the squadron, by which they were directed in case of separation to make the best of their way to the island of Nuestra Senora del Socoro, and to cruise off that island ten days; from whence, if not joined by the Commodore, they were to proceed and cruise off the harbour of Baldivia, making the land between the latitudes of 40 degrees and 40 degrees 30 minutes, and taking care to keep to the southward of the port; and if in fourteen days they were not joined by the rest of the squadron, they were then to quit this station, and to direct their course to the island of Juan Fernandez, after which they were to regulate their further proceedings by their former orders. And as separation of the squadron might prove of the utmost prejudice to His Majesty’s service, each captain was ordered to give it in charge to the respective officers of the watch not to keep their ship at a greater distance from the Centurion than two miles, as they would answer it at their peril; and if any captain should find his ship beyond the distance specified, he was to acquaint the Commodore with the name of the officer who had thus neglected his duty.