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NOVEMBER 1768

1768 November 1.

A shoal of small fish were today under our stern who attended the ship for some time; she had however too much way through the water for our instruments so we could not take any of them.

1768 November 2.

This day was quite void of Events, the wind however was very fair and we now approachd the place where we were next to refresh ourselves apace.

1768 November 3.

This morn the sun was immediately over our heads notwiths[t]anding which the Thermometer was no higher than 77. Since we left the calms under the line the weather has grown cooler by gradual degrees, now we reckon it quite moderate after having felt the heat of 83 so lately.

This Even I for the first time (for other people had seen them much before) observd two Light spots in the heavens apearing much like the milky way, one the largest and brightest Bore S. by E. the other about South.

1768 November 4.

Still as we got more to the westward the wind became more favourable, today it was almost aft and has been all along creeping to the northward.

1768 November 5.

The thermometer kept still gradualy falling as the wind got more to the northward, which appears odd as the North wind should now be the warm wind; we were not yet however enough to the Southward to find much alteration. Wind this morn was North-east, at noon North by west, between this place and mid channel it has changd from South by East. The Trade being to the Northward upon this coast has been observd long ago, tho I question whether our navigators are sufficiently apprisd of it. Piso in his Natural history of the Brasils says that the winds along shore are constantly to the Northward from October to March and to the southward from March to October. Dampier also who certainly had as much experience as most men says the same thing, advising ships outward bound to keep to the westward where they are almost certain to find the Trade more Eastward than in mid channel, where it sometimes is due South or within 1/2 a point of it as we ourselves experienced.

1768 November 6.

Today light winds and very pleasant weather, the Thermometer was never above 76. Towards evening the colour of the water was observd to change upon which we sounded and found ground at 32 fathom; the lead was cast three times between 6 and 10 without finding a foot difference in the depth or quality of the bottom, which was incrusted with coral; we supposd this to be the tail of a great shoal laid down in all our charts by the name of Albrolhos, on which Ld Anson struck soundings in his outward bound passage.

1768 November 7.

This morn at four no ground with 100 Fathoms of Line. About noon long ranges of a yellowish colour appeard upon the sea, many of them very large, one (the largest) might be a mile in lengh and 3 or 400 yards wide. The seamen in general affirmd roundly that they were the spawn of fishes and that they had often seen the same appearance before; upon taking up some of the water so coloured we found it to be causd by innumerable small atoms, each pointed at the end and of a yellowish colour, none of them above a quarter of a line in lengh; in the microscope they appeard to be fasciculi of small fibres interwove one within the other, not unlike the nidi of some Phryganeas which we call caddices. What they were or for what purposes designd we could not even guess, nor so much as distinguish whether their substance was animal or vegetable.

1768 November 8.

At day break today we made the Land which Provd to be the Continent of S. America in Lat. 21.16; about ten we saw a fishing boat who told us that the countrey we saw belongd to the Captainship of Espirito Santo.

Doctor Solander and myself went on board this boat in which were 11 men (9 of whom were blacks) who all fishd with lines. We bought of them the cheif part of their cargo consisting of Dolphins, two kinds of large Pelagick Scombers, Sea Bream and the fish calld in the West Indies Welshman, for which they made us pay 19 shillings and Sixpence. We had taken Spanish silver with us which we imagind was the currency of the Continent, we were therefore not a little surprizd that they askd us for English shillings and preferrd two which we by accident had to the Pistereens, tho they after some words took them also. The Business of these people seemd to be going a good distance from land and catching large fish, which they salted in bulk in a place in the middle of their boat made for that purpose; in this place was about 2 Quintals of fish laid in salt which they offerd to sale for 16 shillings, and would doubtless have taken half the money had we been inclind to buy them, but fresh provisions was all we wanted and the fresh fish they had which we bought servd the whole ships company.

Their provision for the Sea consisted of a cask of water and a bag of the flour of Cassada which they call Farinha de Pao or wooden flour, a very proper name for it which indeed tastes more like powderd chipps than any thing else.

Their method of drinking out of their cask of water was truely primitive and pleasd me much. The cask was large, as broad as the boat and exactly fitted a place in the Ballast made for it, they consequently could not get at the bottom of it to put in a tap by which the water might be drawn out. To remedy this dificulty they made use of a cane about three feet long hollow and open at each end; this the man who wanted to drink desired his neighbour to fill for him, which he did by putting it into the cask, and laying the palm of his hand over the uppermost hole hinderd the water from running out of the other, to which the drinker applyd his mouth and the other taking off his hand lett the liquor run into the drinkers mouth till he was satisfied.

Soon after we came on board a Sphynx was taken which provd to be quite a new one, and a small bird also who was the Tanagra Jacarini of Linn; it seemd however from Linnaeus description as well as Edwards's and Brissons that neither of them had seen the Bird which was in reality a Loxia nitens.

The fish Brought on board provd to be Scomber anxia and Falcatus, Coryphoena Hipparis Sparus pagrus and Sciaena rubens; the second and last not being before describd we calld them by these names.

Afternoon the wind came about South and South by East and it soon came on to blow fresh which we were not at all accustomd to, so we Boarded it along shore without gaining much.

1768 November 9.

This morn wind continued South and South by west but is more moderate, but still more sea than we should chuse were we directors of the winds and waves.

We however stood in with the land till we found ourselves in a large bay the shores of which were very flat; in the middle of this bay were some large hills which lay far inland and made the prospect very remarkable, as expressd in the view. At this time we were by guess within five miles of the shore and our water had decreasd gradualy till we had less than five fathom; it was about four in the Evening so our Captain thought proper to put about and stand off to sea; in the Evening the wind freshend a little but was not near so troublesome as last night.

1768 November 10.

Wind more moderate this morn; we stood in with the land and made it nearly in the same place as we left it last night, our soundings being from 15 to 10 fathoms.

After dinner the wind came more to the Eastward and freshend, and little peices of Seaweed now came floating by the ship which we took and it provd to be Sargaso fucus natans, which is generaly supposd to increase upon the surface of the sea in the same manner as duck weed Lemna does on fresh water without having any root; this however plainly shewd that it had been rooted in the Coral rock on the bottom, as two specimens particularly had large lumps of the coral still adhering to their bottoms. Among the weed we got were some few animals but scarcely worth mentioning, one Balistes but quite a fry so young that it was impossible to referr it to its species; a worm also was in it which provd to be Neireis pelagica.

In the course of this night we ran over a small bank on which the water suddenly shoald to 7 fathom and kept thereabouts for some time, it however deepend gradualy.

1768 November 11.

Light breezes to day, the wind much more fair than it has been so that we began to get to the Southward. The Thermometer today was no more than 72, so that we felt cold or cool at least, tho we could [not] prevail on ourselves to shut the cabbin windows as we are soon to come into much warmer weather.

Just before dark the Land was seen ahead which we supposed to be an Island off Cape Frio so we hoped to be the lengh of Cape Frio by tomorrow morn.

1768 November 12.

This morn we were abreast of the land which proved as we thought last night to be the Island just without Cape Frio, which is calld in some maps the Isle of Frio; the wind was fair and we passd it with a pleasant Breeze hoping tomorrow to get into the harbour. About noon we saw the hill calld Sugar Loaf which is just by the harbours mouth, but it was a long way off yet so there were no hopes of reaching it this night.

The shore from Cape Frio to this place has been one uninterruptd beach of the whitest Colour I ever saw which they tell me is a white sand.

This Evening wind still continued fair but very little, we now saw the Sugar Loaf very plain but could not tonight reach it, so shortend sail; we had seen for some time a small vessel under the land which seemd to steer into the harbour as well as we.

The Land all along this Coast has been exceedingly high inland except in the bay mentiond on the 7th: the mountains seen now about Rio Janeiro were immensely high so that some of our people compared them with the Pike of Tenerife, tho I do not myself think they deserve a comparison so much higher is the Pike. Notwithstanding the hills are high and begin to rise near the shore the beach is sandy and appears to be of a firm sand.

In the Course of this Evening we aproachd very near the Land and found it very cold, to our feelings at least; the Thermometer at ten O'Clock stood at 68 1/4 which gave us hopes that the countrey would be cooler than we should expect from the accounts of travellers, especially Mr Biron who says that no business is done here from 10 till 2 on account of the intense heat.

1768 November 13.

This Morn the Harbour of Rio Janeiro was right ahead about 2 leagues off but it being quite Calm we made our aproaches very slowly. The sea was inconceveably full of small vermes which we took without the least dificulty; they were almost all new except Beroe labiata, Medusa radiata, fimbriata and Chrystallina, Dagysa []. Soon after that a fishing boat Came a board and sold us three Scombers which proved to be new and were calld Salmoneus; his baites were Clupea Chinensis of which we also procurd specimens.

As soon as we came well into the River the Captn sent Mr Hicks his first Leutenant with a midshipman to get a pilot and stood up the river expecting him down very soon. He did not nor did the boat till we were on the point of dropping an anchor just under the town; the boat then came without either of our officers, in exchange for whom came a Subaltern Portugese who seemd to have no kind of Business with us; the Cockswain brought word from the Leutenant that he was detaind on shore till the Captain should go off. Soon after we came to an anchor a ten Oard boat came alongside the ship with 12 or 14 soldiers in it who rowed round us without taking any notice of us or saying a word; a quarter of an hour after came a boat in which was a Disembargador and a Colonel of a Portugese rejument who askd us many questions which at first seemd to discourage our stay, as telling us that the Governor would furnish us with any quantity of water in two days. In the conclusion however he was immensely civil telling us that the Governor would give us every assistance in his power; that the Leutenant had not been confind but on account of the Practica had not been allowd to go on shore, he should now however be sent on board immediately; that the Captain was welcome to go on shore now but he wishd the rest of the crew might remain on board till the Paper they drew up had been delivered.

1768 November 14.

This morn Captn Cooke went ashore, Dr Solander and myself impatiently waiting for his return which he promisd should be the moment he had spoke with the viceroy, who would no doubt tell him that the practica paper had been deliverd and we were all at liberty to come ashore when we pleasd. About twelve he came on board with a Portugese officer in his boat who had been put there by order of the viceroy, out of a compliment as he termd it, and an English gentleman Mr Forster by name a Leutenant in the Portugese service. The Captn told us that we could not be allowd to have a house or sleep ashore, so the Viceroy had told him, but Mr Forster told us that he had given orders that no person but the Captn and such common sailors as were requird to be upon duty should be permitted to go ashore, and that we the passengers were probably particularly objected to. We however in the Evening dress'd ourselves and attempted to go ashore under pretence of a visit to the Viceroy, but were stopd by the Guard boat whose officer told us that he had particular orders, which he could not transgress, to Lett no officer or Passenger except the Captain pass the boat; after much conversation to no purpose we were obligd to return on board and the Captn went ashore to remonstrate to the viceroy about it, but could get no answer but that it was the King of Portugals orders and consequently must be.

1768 November 15.

This morn the Captn went again ashore and told the viceroy that it was nescessary to give the ship a heel, in which case it would be almost impossible for the gentlemen who were passengers to stay on board her; the viceroy as I suppose misunderstood him, and supposing that he wanted to have the ship hove down said that if the ship was reported by one of his carpenters ( who should be sent on board) to want such repairs he would give her all nescessaries for so doing; in that case the Gentlemen should have a house ashore, but gave him to understand that a centinel would be put at the door with orders not to let us stir out or any one come in on any pretence whatever.

1768 November 16.

The Captn went ashore again and remonstrated particularly against the Centinel that was put in his boat whenever he landed or came aboard, which he was told was a compliment but now found to be a guard. He received no satisfactory answers or rather none at all but that it is the King of Portugals orders.

1768 November 17.

Tird with waiting and remonstrating only in words, both the Captn and myself sent ashore written memorials (of which mine is subjoind as well as another with the answers) which complain of his excellency the viceroys behaviour to us as a Kings ship as almost a breach of treaty.

1768 November 18.

Answers to our memorials came on board in which the Captn is told that he has no reason to complain, as such usage as he has receivd has been constantly the custom of the Ports of Brasil and that the Viceroy himself servd an English ship just in the same manner at Bahia; as for me I am told that as I have not brought proper credentials from the Court of Lisbon it is impossible that I can be permitted to land.

1768 November 19.

Both the Captn and myself sent answers to his excellencys memorials this morn by the Leutenant, who had orders not to suffer a guard to be put into his boat but if the Guard boat insisted upon it to return on board. The boat let him pass, but the viceroy as soon as he heard that he had come ashore without a guard orderd Centinels to be put into the boat, and on the Leutenant refusing to go on board unless the Centinels are taken out, orderd the boats crew to be taken into custody, the boat detaind and the leutenant to be sent on board in a guard boat under care of an officer. When he came on board he reported what he has seen, that the men in our pinnace made not the least resistance, notwithstanding which the soldiers who took them into custody behavd with great indecency, striking them many times and thrusting them out of the boat. The same guard boat also brought back the letters unopend.

This Evening it blew very hard at about South, Puffs coming off about three minutes distant from each other, which seldom lasted above half a minute but in that time were as violent as I ever saw.

At this time Our long boat came on board with 4 cask of rum in her, she with difficulty fetchd the ship and soon after by some mismanagemen[t] which I cannot account for broke adrift, carrying with her my small boat which was made fast to her; we had now no boat on board but a small 4 oard yawl, which was immediately sent after her and took her in tow, but notwithstanding all that could be done by the people who rowd in the long boat and those who towd in the yawl she was very soon out of sight, and we were under the greatest uneasiness well knowing that she drove directly upon the reef of Rocks which Runns out from the point of Ilhoa das Ferreiras, just to Leward of where we lay. After remaining in this situation till two in the morning our people cam[e] onboard and told us that the Long boat was sunk, but that they had left her riding to her grapling tho full of water; as for my boat they had in returning to the ship faln in with a reef of rocks, in which dangerous situation they had been obligd to cut her adrift: this was poor comfort tho we were glad to find the people safe, yet the Loss of our long boat which we much feard was perhaps the greatest misfortune that could happen to people who were going as we were upon discoverys.

I should have mentiond that on the detainder of our boats crew a petty officer was sent ashore with the memorials and a letter from the Captn demanding the Boat and men, who was sufferd quietly to go ashore on taking a soldier out of the guard boat; the only answer he got was verbal that the affair could not be settled as yet.

1768 November 20.

This morn the yawl, now the only boat we had, was sent ashore to ask assistance: they returnd about nine and brought with her our boat and crew that had been detaind, as well as another of the Viceroys which had orders to assist us in searching for our boats.

The people who came in the Pinnace declard that they never made the least resistance but said that the soldiers struck them often, that they were confind in a loathsome dungeon where their companions were cheifly Blacks who were chaind, but the Cockswain purchasd a better apartment for seven petacks (about as many shilling English).

Our situation this whole day was better imagind than describd: the Shore boat came onboard at noon that the people might have their victuals but brought no news of the Longboat. Tird with expectation I confess I had almost given over all hopes of ever seeing her again, when Just at dark night the pinnace came bringing with her both the boats and all their contents: we now immediately passd from our disagreable though[t]s to a situation as truly happy, and concluded with defying the Viceroy and all that he could do to us.

1768 November 21.

Letters came from the Viceroy to both the Captn and myself, in which he told me very politely that it is not in his power to permit to go ashore; in the captns he raises some doubts of our ship being a Kings ship, so I who could ground my pretensions to going ashore on no other Foundation thought it best to drop them, hoping that by and by when things were more quiet I might have an opportunity of smugling myself ashore.

1768 November 22.

This morn I sent my servants ashore at day break who stayd till dark night and brought off many plants and insects.

1768 November 23.

The viceroys answer to the Captns last memorial came on board in which the Captn is accusd of smugling, which made us all angry but our venting our spleen against the Viceroy will be of very little service to us.

1768 November 24.

My servants went ashore again and brought off many plants &c.

1768 November 25.

This morn Dr Solander went into the town as surgeon of the Ship, to visit a friar who had desird that the surgeon might be sent to him; he receivd civilities from the people rather more than he could expect.

1768 November 26.

I myself went ashore this morn before day break and stayd till dark night; while I was ashore I met several of the inhabitants who were very civil to me, taking me to their houses where I bought of them stock for the ship tolerably cheap, a porker midlingly fat for 11 shill, a muscovy duck something under two shils &c.

The countrey where I saw it abounded with vast variety of Plants and animals, mostly such as have not been describd by our naturalists as so few have had an opportunity of coming here; indeed no one that I know of even tolerably curious has been here since Marcgrave and Piso about the year 1640, so it is easy to guess the state in which the nat hist of such a countrey must be.

To give a Cataloge of what I found would be a trouble very little to the purpose, as every particular is mentiond in the general catalogues of this place. I cannot however help mentioning some which struck me the most and consequently gave me particular pleasure: these were cheifly the parasitick plants especialy renealmias, for I was not fortunate enough to see one epidendron, and the different species of Bromelia, many not before describd had I been fortunate enough to see fructifications which I did of very Few. B. Karratas I saw here growing on the decayd trunk of a tree 50 feet high at least, which it had so intirely coverd that the whole seemd to be a tree of Karratas. The growth of the [] also pleasd me much tho I had before got a very good Idea of it from Rumphius, who has a very good figure of the tree in his Herb:Amboin. Tab: Add to these the whole Contrey Coverd with the Beatifull blossom of Malpigias, Bannisterias, Pasifloras, not to Forget Poinciana and Mimosa sensitiva and a beatifull species of Clutia of which I saw great plenty, in short the wildest Spotts here were varied with a greater quantity of Flowers as well as more beatifull ones than our best devisd gardens, a sight infinitely pleasing to the Eye for a short time tho no doubt it would soon tire with the continuance of it.

The birds of many species especialy the smaller ones sat in great abundance on the bough's, many of them coverd with most Elegant plumage. I shot Loxia Brasiliensis and saw several specimens of them. In sects also were here in great abundance, many species very fine but much more Nimble than our Europaeans especialy the Butterflies, which almost all flew near the topps of the trees and were very difficult to come at except when the sea breeze flew fresh, which kept them low down among the trees where they might be taken. Humming birds I also saw of one species but could not shoot them.

The banks of the Sea and more remarkably all the Edges of small brooks were coverd with innumerable quantities of small Crabbs, cancer vocans Linn, one hand of which is very large. Among these were many both whose hands were remarkably small and of equal size: these my black servant told me were females of the others, and indeed all I examind, which were many, provd to be females tho whether realy of the same species with vocans I cannot determine on so short an acquaintance.

I saw but little cu[l]tivation and that seemd to be taken but little pains with; grass land was the cheif on which were many Lean cattle feeding and lean they might well be, for almost all the species of grass which I observd here were creepers, and consequently so close to the ground that tho there might be upon them a sufficient bite for horses or sheep yet how horned cattle could live at all was all that appeard extraordinary to me.

I also saw their gardens or small patches in which they cultivate many sorts of European garden stuff as Cabbage, peas, beans, kidney beans, turnips, white raddishes, pumkins, &c. but all much inferior to ours except perhaps the last; here also they grow water melons and pine apples the only Fruits which I have seen them cultivate. The water melons are very good but the Pines much inferior to those I have tasted in Europe; hardly one I have yet had could have been reckond among the midling sort, many were worse than I have seen sent from table in England where nobody would Eat them, tho in general they are very sweet they have not the least flavour; but more of their Fruits by and by.

In these gardens grow also Yamms and Mandihoca or Cassada which supplys the place of Bread here, for as our Europaean bread corn will not grow here all the Flour they have is brought from Portugal at a large expence, too great for even the midling people to purchase much more the inferior ones.

1768 November 27.

This morn when the Boats returnd from watering they brought word that they heard it said in the town that people were sent out in search of some of our people who were ashore without leave: this we concluded meant either Dr Solander or myself which made it nescessary for us to go no more ashore while we stayd.

1768 November 28-30.

These three days nothing material hapned, Every thing went on as usual only we if possible increasd our haste to be gone from this place.

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