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15 March 1771
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15 March 1771

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1771

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15 March 1771

FRIDAY the 15th. Strong gales at SE all the after noon and most part of the night tho in the Evening it fell a little moderate, which gave the Indimans boat an opportunity to come on board us with a compliment of a Basket of fruit &ca. She was the Admiral Pocock Captain Riddell homeward bound from [Bombay]. In the Morning we got under sail & stood into the Road having variable light airs mostly from the sea. A Dutch Boat from the shore came on board in which was the Master Attendant and some other Gentlemen; the former directed us to a proper birth where about 10 oClock we anchord in 7 fathom water a Owsey bottom, the Lyons Tail or West point of the Bay bore WNW, and the Castle sw distant 11/2 Miles. I now sent a petty officer ashore to know if they would Answer our salute but before he returnd we saluted, which was immidiatly returnd by the same number of Guns. After this I waited my self upon the Governor who was pleased to tell me that I should have every thing I wanted that the place afforded. My first care was to provide a proper place a Shore for the r[e]seption of the Sick, for which purpose I order'd the Surgeon to look out for a house where they could be Lodged and diated; this he soon found and agree'd with the people of the house for two Shillings a Day per Man, which I found was the Customary price and method of proceeding and I afterwards gave the Surgeon an order to superintend the whole.

Few Remarks have happend sence we left JavaFriday the 15th Strong gales at SE all the after noon and most part of the night tho in the Evening it fell a little moderate which gave the Indimans boat an opportunity to come on board us with a compliment of a Basket of fruit &Ca She was the Admiral Pocock Captain Riddell homeward bound from [Bombay.]    

In the Morning we got under sail & stood into the Road having variable light airs mostly from the sea - A Dutch Boat from the shore came on board in which was the Master Attendant and some other Gentlemen   the former directed us to a proper birth where about 10 oClock we anchord in 7 fathom water a Owsey bottom, the Lyons Tail or West point of the Bay bore WNW, and the Castle SW distant 11/2 Miles — I now sent a petty officer ashore to know if they would Answer our salute but before he returnd we saluted, which was immidiatly returnd by the same number of Guns. After this I waited my self upon the Governor _____ _ _ _ _ _ _ ______ _who was pleased to till me that I should have every thing that I wanted that the place afforded. My first care was to provide a proper place a Shore for the r[e]seption of the Sick  for which purpose I order'd the Surgeon to look out for a house where they could be Lodged and diated, this he soon found and agree'd with the people of the house for two Shillings a Day per Man which I found was the Customary price and method of proceeding and I afterwards gave the Surgeon an order to superintend the whole —

Few ^Remarks occurences have happend sence we left Java head that can be of real much use to the Navigator or any other person into whose hand this Journal may fall,  Such however as have occurd I shall now insert. After our leaving Java head we were a 11 Days before we got the general SE Trade wind in which time we did not advance above 5° to the South and 3° to the West, having all the time Variable light Airs of Wind interrupted by frequent Calms, the weather all the time hot and sultry and the Airs unwholsome, occasioned most probably by the vast Vapours brought into these Latitudes by the Easterly Trade wind and Westerly Monsoon both of which blow at this season time of the Year in those ^this seas and the Easterly winds prevail as far as 12° or 10° South and the westerly winds as far as the 6° or 8° — between them the winds are variable and I beleive always more or less unwholsome, but to us it was remarkable from the fatal concequences that attended it; for what ever might be the cause of first bringing on the flux among our people this unwholsome air had a great share in it & increased it to that degree that a man was no sooner taken with it than he look'd upon himself as a dead man, such was the despondency that reign'd among the sick at this time, nor could it be by any means prevented when every man saw that Medicine however skilfully administred had not the least Effect. I shall mention what effect only the imagery approach of this disorder had upon one man. he had long tended upon the Sick and injoy'd a tolerable good state of hilth. one morning coming upon deck he found himself a little griped and immidiatly began to stamp with his feet and exclaim, I have got the Gripes, I have got the Gripes: I shall die, I shall die, in this manner he continued untill he threw himself into a fit and was carried off the deck in a manner dead, however he soon recover'd and ^did very well —

We had no sooner got into the SE Trade wind then we felt its happy effects, tho we lost several men after but they were such as were brought so low and week that there was hardly a possibility of their recovering and yet some of them linger'd out ^in a state of suspence a month after who in all probabillity would not have lived 24 hours before this change happen'd — those that were not so far gone remaind in the same state for some time and at last began to recover, some few however were seiz'd with the disorder after we got into the Trade wind but they had it but slitely and soon got over it. It is worth remarking that of all those who had it in its last stage only one man live'd who is now in a fair way of recovering and I think Mr Banks was the only one that was cure'd at the first Attack'd that had it to a great degree, or indeed attall before we got into the S.E. Trade, for it was before that time that his cure was happily effected —

It is to be wish'd for the Good of ^all Seamen and Mankind in General that some preventative was found out ^against this disease and put in practice in climates where this disease ^it is common   for it is impossible to Victual and water a ship in those climates but what some one Article or a nother according to different peoples opinions must have been the means of bringing on the flux. We was were inclinable to lay it to the Water we took in at Princes Island and the Turtle we got their on which we lived for several days, but there seems to be no reason for this when we consider that all the Ships from Batavia this year ^suffered by the same disorder as ^much as we have done and many of them arrived at this place in a far worse state, and yet not one of these Ships took in any water at Princes Island, the same may be said of the Harcourt Indiman Capt Paul who saild, from Batavia, soon after our arrival, directly for the Coast of Sumatra, we afterwards heard that she in a very short time lost by sickness above twenty Men,  indeed this seems to have been a year of General sickness over most parts of India   the Ships from Bengall and Madrass bring melancholy accounts of the havock mad[e] there by the United force of sickness and famine -

Some few days after we left Java, we saw for 3 or 4 evenings succeeding one another Boobies fly about the Ship, now as these birds are known to roost every night on land they seem'd to indicate that some Island was in our neighbourhood, probabily it might be the Island Selam which Island I find differently laid down in different Charts, in both ^in name and situation-

The Variation of the Compass off the west Coast of Java is about 3° West, which variation continues without any sincible difference in the common Track of Ships to the Longitude of 288° West, Latitude 22° 0' So After this it begins to increase a pace in so much that in the Longd of 295°- Latd 23° the Variation was 10°..20' Wt   In 7° more of Longde and one of Latde it increased 2° in the same space farther to the West it increase'd 5°. In the Latitude of 28° and Longitude 314° it was 24°..20', in the Latitude of 29° and Longitude of 317° it was 26°.10' and continued to be much the same for the space of 10° farther to the west, but in the Lat. of 34° Longd 333°   we observed it twice to be 281/4° West and this was the greatest Variation we observ'd for in the Latitude of 351/2°, Longd 337° it was 24° - and continued decreasing so, that off Cape Laguillas it was 22°.30' and in Table Bay it was 20°..30' West —

From what I have observed of the Currents it doth not appear that they are attall considerable untill you draw near the Meridian of Madagascar for after we had made 52° of Longitude from Java head, we found by observation our error in Longitude was only 2° and it was the same when we had made only 19°    this Error might partly be owing ^to a Current seting to the Westward, or what I thought most lik[e]ly, that we did not make sufficient allowence for the ^set of the Sea before when we run, and lastly the Assumed Longitude of Java head might be wrong, if any error lays there it arises from the Imperfection of the Charts I made use of in reducing the Longitude from Batavia to the above mentioned head for it cannot be doubted but the Longitude of Batavia is well determined. After we had pass'd the Longitude of 307° we began to find the effects of the Westerly Currents.  for in three days our error in Longitude was 1°..5', its Velocity kept increasing as we got to the Westward in so much that for five days successivily after we had made the land we were drove ^to the SW or SWBW by the Currents not less then 20 leags a Day and this continued untill we were within 60 or 70 Leagues of the Cape we then found the current to set some times one way and some times another but mostly to the westward —

After the Boobies above mentioned left us we Saw no more birds till we got nearly abreast of Madagascar where in the Latitude of 273/4° we saw an A[l]batross, after that time we saw of these birds every day and in greater numbers together with several other sorts, one sort about as big as a Duck of a very dark brown Colour with a Yallowish bill, the number of these birds increasd upon us as we approach'd the shore   as soon as we got into Soundings we saw Gannets which we continued to see as a long as we were on the bank which stretches off from that Cape Lagulas 40 Leagues and Extends a long shore to the Eastward from Cape Falso according to some Charts 160 Leagues; the extent of this Bank is not well known however it is usefull in directing Shipping when to haul in to make the land — head that can be of much use to the Navigator or any other person into whose hand this Journal may fall, Such however as have occurd I shall now insert. After our leaving Java head we were a 11 Days before we got the general SE Trade wind in which time we did not advance above 5 to the South and 3 to the West, having all the time Variable light Airs of Wind interrupted by frequent Calms; the weather all the time hot and sultry and the Airs unwholsome, occasioned most probably by the vast Vapours brought into these Latitudes by the Easterly Trade wind and Westerly Monsoon, both of which blow at this time of the Year in this sea; the Easterly wind prevail[s] as far as 12 or 10 South and the westerly winds as far as 6 or 8. Between them the winds are variable and I beleive always more or less unwholsome, but to us it was remarkable from the fatal concequences that attended it; for what ever might be the cause of first bringing on, the flux among our people, this unwholsome air had a great share in it & increased it to that degree that a man was no sooner taken with it than he look'd upon himself as dead, such was the despondency that reign'd among the sick at this time, nor could it be by any means prevented when every man saw that Medicine however skilfully administred had not the least Effect. I shall mention what effect only the imagery approach of this disorder had upon one man. He had long tended upon the Sick and injoy'd a tolerable good state of hilth: one morning coming upon deck he found himself a little griped and immidiatly began to stamp with his feet and exclaim I have got the Gripes, I have got the Gripes,I shall die, I shall die!in this manner he continued untill he threw himself into a fit and was carried off the deck in a manner dead, however he soon recover'd and did very well.

We had no sooner got into the SE Trade wind then we felt its happy effects, tho we lost several men after, but they were such as were brought so low and week that there was hardly a possibility of their recovering, and yet some of them linger'd out in a state of suspence a month after who in all probabillity would not have lived 24 hours before this change happen'd. Those that were not so far gone remaind in the same state for some time and at last began to recover; some few however were seiz'd with the disorder after we got into the Trade wind but they had it but slitely and soon got over it. It is worth remarking that of all those who had it in its last stage only one man live'd who is now in a fair way of recovering, and I think Mr Banks was the only one that was cure'd at the first Attack'd that had it to a great degree, or indeed attall before we got into the SE Trade, for it was before that time that his cure was happily effected.

It is to be wish'd for the Good of all Seamen and Mankind in General that some preventative was found out against this disease and put in practice in climates where it is common; for it is impossible to Victual and water a ship in those climates but what some one Article or a nother, according to different peoples opinions, must have been the means of bringing on the flux. We were inclinable to lay it to the Water we took in at Princes Island and the Turtle we got their, on which we lived for several days, but there seems to be no reason for this when we consider that all the Ships from Batavia this year suffered by the same disorder as much as we have done, and many of them arrived at this place in a far worse state, and yet not one of these Ships took in any water at Princes Island; the same may be said of the Harcourt Indiman Capt Paul who saild from Batavia soon after our arrival, directly for the Coast of Sumatrawe afterwards heard that she in a very short time lost by sickness above twenty Men. Indeed this seems to have been a year of General sickness over most parts of India, the Ships from Bengall and Madrass bring melancholy accounts of the havock mad[e] there by the United force of sickness and famine.

Some few days after we left Java we saw for 3 or 4 evenings succeeding one another Boobies fly about the Ship, now as these birds are known to roost every night on land they seem'd to indicate that some Island was in our neighbourhood, probabily it might be the Island Selam which Island I find differently laid down in different Charts, both in name and situation. The Variation of the Compass off the west Coast of Java is about 3 West, which variation continues without any sincible difference in the common Track of Ships to the Longitude of 288 West, Latitude 220' s. After this it begins to increase a pace in so much that in the Longd of 295, Latd 23, the Variation was 1020' w. In 7 more of Longde and one of Latde it increased 2, in the same space farther to the West it increase'd 5. In the Latitude of 28 and Longitude 314 it was 2420', in the Latitude of 29 and Longitude of 317 it was 2610' and continued to be much the same for the space of 10 farther to the west. But in the Lat. of 34, Longd 333 we observed it twice to be 281/4 West, and this was the greatest Variation we observ'd for in the Latitude of 351/2, Longd 337, it was 24 and continued decreasing, so that off Cape Laguillas it was 2230' and in Table Bay it was 2030' West.

From what I have observed of the Currents it doth not appear that they are attall considerable untill you draw near the Meridian of Madagascar; for after we had made 52 of Longitude from Java head, we found by observation our error in Longitude was only 2, and it was the same when we had made only 19, this Error might partly be owing to a Current seting to the Westward or what I thought most lik[e]ly, that we did not make sufficient allowence for the set of the Sea before when we run, and lastly the Assumed Longitude of Java head might be wrong: if any error lays there it arises from the Imperfection of the Charts I made use of in reducing the Longitude from Batavia to the above mentioned head, for it cannot be doubted but the Longitude of Batavia is well determined. After we had pass'd the Longitude of 307 we began to find the effects of the Westerly Currents, for in three days our error in Longitude was 15'. Its Velocity kept increasing as we got to the Westward, in so much that for five days successivily after we had made the land we were drove to the sw or SWBW by the Currents not less then 20 leagues a Day, and this continued untill we were within 60 or 70 Leagues of the Cape, we then found the current to set some times one way and some times another but mostly to the westward.

After the Boobies above mentioned left us we Saw no more birds till we got nearly abreast of Madagascar where in the Latitude of 273/4 We saw an A[l]batross: after that time we saw of these birds every day and in greater number together with several other sorts, one sort about as big as a Duck of a very dark brown Colour with a Yallowish bill, the number of these birds increasd upon us as we approach'd the shore. As soon as we got into Soundings we saw Gannets, which we continued to see as long as we were on the bank which stretches off from Cape Lagulas 40 Leagues, and Extends a long shore to the Eastward from Cape False, according to some Charts 160 Leagues; the extent of this Bank is not well known however it is usefull in directing Shipping when to haul in to make the land.


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