In the evening of the same day, the Hyena left us for England, which afforded an early opportunity of writing to our friends, and easing their apprehensions by a communication of the favourable accounts it was in our power to send them.
From this time to the day of our making the land, little occurred worthy of remark. I cannot, however, help noticing the propriety of employing the marines on a service which requires activity and exertion at sea, in preference to other troops. Had a regiment recruited since the war been sent out, sea-sickness would have incapacitated half the men from performing the duties immediately and indispensably necessary; whereas the marines, from being accustomed to serve on board ship, accommodated themselves with ease to every exigency, and surmounted every difficulty.
At daybreak, on the morning of the 30th of May we saw the rocks named the Deserters, which lie off the south-east end of Madeira; and found the south-east extremity of the most southerly of them, to be in the latitude of 32 deg 28 min north, longitude 16 deg 17 1/2 min west of Greenwich. The following day we saw the Salvages, a cluster of rocks which are placed between the Madeiras and Canary Islands, and determined the latitude of the middle of the Great Salvage to be 30 deg 12 min north, and the longitude of its eastern side to be 15 deg 39 min west. It is no less extraordinary than unpardonable, that in some very modern charts of the Atlantic, published in London, the Salvages are totally omitted.
We made the island of Teneriffe on the 3d of June, and in the evening anchored in the road of Santa Cruz, after an excellent passage of three weeks from the day we left England.
From the Fleet’s Arrival at Teneriffe, to its Departure for Rio de Janeiro, in the Brazils.
There is little to please a traveller at Teneriffe. He has heard wonders of its celebrated Peak, but he may remain for weeks together at the town of Santa Cruz without having a glimpse of it, and when its cloud-topped head emerges, the chance is, that he feels disappointed, for, from the point of view in which he sees it, the neighbouring mountains lessen its effect very considerably. Excepting the Peak, the eye receives little pleasure from the general face of the country, which is sterile and uninviting to the last degree. The town, however, from its cheerful white appearance, contrasted with the dreary brownness of the back ground, makes not an unpleasing coup d’oeil. It is neither irregular in its plan, nor despicable in its style of building; and the churches and religious houses are numerous, sumptuous, and highly ornamented.