(Note. La Concepcion in Chili, about 270 miles south of Valparaiso.)
The whole of this intelligence was as favourable as we in our reduced circumstances could wish for; and now we were fully satisfied as to the broken jars, ashes, and fish-bones which we had observed at our first landing at Juan Fernandez, these things being doubtless the relics of the cruisers stationed off that port. Having thus satisfied ourselves in the material articles, and having got on board the Centurion most of the prisoners and all the silver, we, at eight in the same evening, made sail to the northward, in company with our prize, and at six the next morning discovered the island of Juan Fernandez, where the next day both we and our prize came to an anchor. And here I cannot omit one remarkable incident which occurred when the prize and her crew came into the bay where the rest of the squadron lay. The Spaniards in the Carmelo had been sufficiently informed of the distresses we had gone through, and were greatly surprised that we had ever surmounted them; but when they saw the Trial sloop at anchor they were still more astonished, and it was with great difficulty they were prevailed on to believe that she came from England with the rest of the squadron, they at first insisting that it was impossible such a bauble as that could pass round Cape Horn when the best ships of Spain were obliged to put back.
By the time we arrived at Juan Fernandez the letters found on board our prize were more minutely examined; and it appearing from them and from the accounts of our prisoners that several other merchantmen were bound from Callao to Valparaiso, Mr. Anson despatched the Trial sloop the very next morning to cruise off the last-mentioned port, reinforcing her with ten hands from on board his own ship. Mr. Anson likewise resolved, on the intelligence recited above, to separate the ships under his command and employ them in distinct cruises, as he thought that by this means we should not only increase our chance for prizes, but that we should likewise run less risk of alarming the coast and of being discovered.
THE LAST LEAVE OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.