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MARCH 1771

1771 March 1.

Light winds and variable all day.

1771 March 2.

Winds and weather much as yesterday. At night a Bank of Clouds were seen to the Wrd which had very much the appearance of Land.

1771 March 3.

Wind at SW with dirty foggy weather. In the evening some of the people thought that they saw Land but that opinion was rejected almost without examination, as the journals in the ship which had been kept by the Log were still above a hundred leagues and those which had been corrected by Observations of the sun and moon full 40. The night was cheifly calms and light breezes with fog and mist.

1771 March 4.

Day broke and shewd us at its earliest dawn how fortunate we had been in the Calms of last night: what was then supposd to be land provd realy so and not above 5 miles from us, so that another hour would have infallibly have carried us upon it. But fortunate as we might think ourselves to be yet unshipwreckd we were still in extreme danger, the wind blew right upon the shore and with it a heavy sea ran which broke mountains high on the rocks with which it was every where lind, so that tho some in the ship thought it possible the major part did not hope to be able to get off. Our anchors and cables were accordingly prepard but the sea ran too high to allow us a hope of the Cables holding should we be drove to the Necessity of making use of them, and should we be drove ashore the Breakers gave us as little hope of saving even our lives: at last however after 4 hours spent in the vicissitudes of hope and fear we found that we got gradualy off and before night were out of Danger. The land from whence we so narrowly escapd is part of the Terra de Natal, laying between the rivers Sangue and Formis about 20 Leagues to the southward of the Bay of Natal. The shore seemd every where steep and rocky but the hills inland rose in gradual slopes spotted here and there with woods, and where it was not lookd Green and pleasant.

1771 March 5.

For this day or two we have thought it rather colder than we should chuse; at noon today the Thermometer in the shade was at 70. Land today in sight and no more.

1771 March 6.

Foul wind and cloudy weather all day.

1771 March 7.

Fair wind accompanied with clear weather. Over the land however, at least in that direction, hung clouds and appearances of rain as indeed was generaly the case. For these some days past the seamen have found the ship to be Drove hither and thither by currents in a manner totaly unacountable to them.

1771 March 8.

Calmish. Many Birds were observd such as Albatrosses, black and grey Shearwaters cheifly setting upon the water. The surface was pretty thickly strewd with the substance that I have before often mentiond under the name of Sea Saw dust; the sea water likewise emitted a strong smell like that of Seaweeds rotting on the shore.

1771 March 9.

Struck soundings today on the Cape Bank, the Water on it appeard thick and muddy; many Birds especialy Gannetts were seen about the ship. In the Night especialy the fore part of it a very heavy dew fell.

1771 March 10.

In the morn the Water was clear and blue very unlike the muddy complexion it had yesterday. At 10 the Land was seen which provd to be to the Eastward of Cape Das Aguillas: it appeard low and sandy near the shore with high land rising behind it inland resembling very some parts of New Holland. In the Evening Cape das Aguilas was not more than 6 Leagues off so that we doubted not at all of being round it before morn, at night fall however the wind came right ahead and threatned a gale.

1771 March 11.

All last night the wind was foul, the Current however assisted us a little. In the morn the water was clear but we saw Gannetts and Albatr[o]sses; soon after the wind favourd and we got round Cabo das Aguillas when we had the water again very thick and foul with many birds about the ship. At night were abreast of the high land between Cabo das Aguillas and Cabo Falzo; the water was as full of shining insects as we have seen it in the Voyage. In the day several fires were seen ashore.

1771 March 12.

In the morn saw Cape Falso and soon after the Cape of Good Hope off which we observd a rock not laid down in the Charts; the breeze was fresh and fair, it carried us as far as Table Bay off which we anchord. In coming along shore we saw several smoaks upon the next hill before the Lions rump, and when at an anchor fires upon the side and near the top of the Table mountain. In the Bay were several ships, 4 French, 2 Danes, 1 English viz. the Admiral Pocoke Indiaman, and several Dutch.

1771 March 13.

Wind so fresh at SE that we could not attempt to go ashore; no boat indeed in the whole Harbour attempted to Stir—the Dutch Commodore Hauld down his broad Pennant a signal for all Boats belonging to him to keep on board. Jno Thomas died.

1771 March 14.

In the Morn moderate so that the Ship was got under way and steerd into the Harbour to her proper birth. A Dutch boat came on board to enquire from whence we came, and brought with her a Surgeon who examind our Sick and then gave leave for them and us to come ashore, which we accordingly did at Dinner time.

1771 March 16.

Captn Riddle Saild this day for England.

1771 March 17.

Dr Solander who had been on board the Indiaman last night was this Morn taken violently ill with a fever and pain in his Bowels. A Countrey Physician was immediately sent for, who declard on hearing his Case that it was the common consequence of Batavia fevers, that the Dr would be much worse and would for some time suffer very much by his Bowel complaint, but upon the whole he declard that there was no danger. I could not however help being a good deal alarmd in my own opinion.

1771 March 18.

The Houghton Indiaman Captn Smith came into the road.

1771 March 30.

The Duke of Gloucester Indiaman Captn Lauder came into the Road.

1771 March 31.

Dr Solander after having been confind to his Bed or chamber ever since the 17 of this month with an irregularly intermitting fever and violent pains in his bowels, which alarmd me very much at several different times, this day came down stairs for the first time, very much emaciated by his tedious Illness.

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