previous
next

August 1787

August. 2nd. Spoke a portuguese Brig bound to Rio Janeiro.

3rd. at 3 PM. saw Cape Frio, W.t pr Compass 12 leagues; The NE winds which had favoured since the 29th. Ul.t did not fail us until we got under the Land to the W.t ward of Cape Frio which we did by midnight, when it became light & variable & as usual in these Climates alternately inclining from the Land & sea. By the preceding Meridian Observation we make the Cape in 23°:00's.o & by the Timekeeper 41°:44′W. The Cape as we take it is the outer point of the Island making in a saddle & which lies to the S.o ward a short distance off the p.t on the Mainland which the portuguese call the Cape, the Coast to the N.o ward lies NNW & round Cape Frio it lays nearly E.t & W.t more than 20 leagues to Rio Janeiro, the land bold all the way, but view facsimile

the bottom is not all clear in many parts near the shore; It is recommended to keep to the S.o ward till you are past a large bight formed by the Cape Island & the land to the NW, into which there is often so strong a set as to make it dangerous, At Noon Lat.de observed 23°:14's.o Cape Frio NEbE1/2 E 12 leagues; W.t ern Extreme W3/4N, about 5 leagues from the Land abreast of us & saw the Land about the Harbour distinctly.

4th. In the evening Light airs from the land, we lay too all the night endeavoring as the wind varied to keep her head to the W.twd. we had from 42 to 47f.m water, oaze with shells & one cast 47f.m fine sand, very black, our distance from the shore as near as we could estimate was 4 leagues; At Noon. Latitude Obs. 23°:17's.o Sugar Loaf at the entrance of Rio Janeiro NWbW1/2W pr Compass 8 or 9 leagues.

Sunday. 5th. The False Sugar Loaf WNW1/2W 4 or 5 leagues, had 36f.m sand & shells, Brot too for the night about 5 miles from the land, sounded every hour 34, 33, 34f.m sand & shells, At day light found that we had drifted considerably to the E.t ward & scarce any in shore to the N.o ward, from which the soundings appear to run regular from the shore. Monday 6th. At 9 PM Anchored with the Convoy about 5 mile without the entrance of Rio Janeiro in 13f.m water, found the sounding regular, when anchored, the Island Raze SbW1/2W. Sugar Loaf NW1/2N. the 2 payas in one NEbE & Corkavado w1/2s by Compass. The Harbour is easily found when the land is sufficiently clear view facsimile

to see the making of it: As you sail to the W.t ward you will see a Sugar Loaf hill sloping to the W.t ward & trenching away to the E.t ward, this piece of land lies a small distance to the E.t ward of the entrance; the land to the W.t ward is very remarkable & that near the W.t ern extremity is a very high overhanging Mountain (called Corkavada) & is about 2 leagues to the W.t ward of the entrance: If the weather is clear you will see, lying without it, Rodondo an Island round at top & may be seen a great distance in clear weather, It is SbW 7 Miles from the entrance of Rio Janeiro.

We pass'd Cape Frio at the distance of 6 Miles & steerd wbs by Compass, run 12 leagues & shorten'd Sail, this course rather carried us off the shore than in with it: when you have run this distance or before, you will see two Islands (Maricas) off which the ground is foul & very unsafe to Anchor near, these Islands are the first you meet with on the Coast between Cape Frio & Rio Janeiro, some of the land you pass has much the appearance of an Island, but is not. As you proceed to the W. t ward & after seeing Rodondo, you will see another Island close to it (Raze) which altho' not seen so soon as Rodondo it lays to the E.t ward of it. It is generally recommen.d to steer for those Islands, particularly if going in with Rio Janeiro after dark; By preserving sight of one of them you may Anchor in a good Road within those Islands in view facsimile

in 13f.m clear sandy bottom, bringing Raze S.o or SbW of you & not more than 2 Miles from it, you will then be about 5 miles from the Harbour & in a situation that will enable you in case of bad weather coming on, to lead out to sea if the wind should be such as would not admit of running for the Harbour which lies from Raze N1/2E 6 or 7 miles. There are several Islands lying without the Harbour between all of which are passages & between Raze & Rodondo a very good one of 2 miles steep too on both sides; & between Rodondo & a rock just off it is a passage for small Vessels: There is also a passage between Paya & Maya Islands on the E.t side the Bay & usually left on the starboard hand; the Sugar loaf is just on the opening between these Islands when bearing NWbW1/2W or WNW & if under a necessity a Ship may with safety run right thro' in for the Sugar Loaf; but unless press'd it would be imprudent.

As you generally have Sea & Land breezes, the best Pilotage is to run well in with Rodondo & Raze & having open'd the Harbour steer for it. You have good Anchoring ground & regular soundings within the Island Raze.

Monday 6: At day light, an officer was sent into the Harbour to the Viceroy to inform him who we were & the occasion of our calling at this Port: at 11. he returned, the Viceroy very readily consented to our being supplied with every necessary for the use of the Convoy & Convicts &c....

view facsimile

Tuesday. 7th. At 1 PM. the sea breeze set in, weigh'd & stood in for the Harbour, the Master of the Port came on board. It being little wind we did not get off the E.t p.t of the entrance on which stands Santa Cruz Fort till past 5, we saluted that Fort with 13 Guns which was immediately returned with an equal number, at 7. Came too in 17f.m with the Supply & Convoy off the City of S.t Sebastians.

As you steer in for the Harbour, the water shoals gradually to 7 & 6f.m just without & nearly opposite the East p.t of the entrance when it deepens suddenly to 18 & 20 & keeps from 20, 18 to 16 as you Sail up to S.t Sebastians: Ships generally go higher up & haul round the Island of Cobras which lies just off the NE end of the Town; is well Fortified & has Stores Houses on it for the use of heavying down & refitting Ships. If necessity should require it a Ship may pass between the Sugar Loaf & the Island that lays just without it (Catumduba) as likewise to the W.t ward of Square Island which lies on the entrance & is a Fortified Rock, this Channel is very narrow having a reef runnning from the Wt point of the Island & all foundl ground; It is most adviseable in all cases when it can be done to use the direct passage from the Island Raze into the Harbor, for safety, propriety & expedition

Wednesday 8th. Captain Phillip accompanied by the Officers of the Squadron & Garrison paid respects to the Viceroy, they were view facsimile

receiv'd with much kindness. The Viceroy contrary to the usual custom, order'd that all the English Officers might be permitted to go wherever they thought proper without being subject to those restrictions complained of by Cap.n Cook in his first voyage & others who have visited Rio Janeiro.

9th: Capn Phillip & Mr Dawes went to look at a room which had been granted for the purpose of making the necessary Observations for the Timekeeper &c., but it not being thought proper for the purpose, Capn Phillip obtained leave from the Viceroy to make use of an Island (Enradas) lying to the NE of the Town, which spot being approved, a Tent was erected on the 11th & on the 12th the Instruments landed & fixed under the direction of M.r Dawes.

The 13th the Timekeeper was sent to the Tent & all boats belonging to the Transports strictly forbid landing on that Island.

17th: The Portuguese Astronomers who are employed determining the situation of the principal places along the Coast & in the Country visited our Observatory.

      
Town of S.t Sebastian by them is in 22°:54′:13".S.o 43°:19′W.t. 
" " " " " Our Timekeeper. 22:54:10 42:44 
" " " " " [sun] & [moon] on b.d Sirius 43:46 WB. 
Cape Frio by them ... 22:56:00  41:44 
D.o the S.o point of the Cape Island by us   23: 0: 0   41:44 Timekeeper 
" " " " " " [sun] & [moon] Sirius  42:40 WB. 

21st: Being the Birth day of the Prince of Brazil, the Portuguese view facsimile

Flag was hoisted on board the Sirius. On this day it is the custom for all the Military to pay respects to the Viceroy & a general salute from all the Forts; Cap.n Phillip with the English Officers paid the compliment of observing this custom & by a Royal Salute from the Sirius when their Forts saluted. The very kind behaviour of the Vicveroy & the great attention we received from the Officers in general, was quite sufficient to make every English Officer in that Port, rejoice at having an opportunity of shewing respect to him & them. The Guard Boat attended our Squadron, apparently as matter of form, the Transports boats were even permitted to land in any part of the Harbour or Bay without being followed or in the smallest degree restricted by them. Water is well supplied & brought to the wharf fronting the Palace in pipes & led though spouts to the boat from which you fill with a hose: Fresh Beef & every refreshment to be found in the climate we were here supplied with, the yams I think exceed those of any other country I have ever seen, Oranges astonishingly plenty & so very cheap that the people in the Guard boat would frequently amuse themselves with throwing some hundreds to the Convicts in the different Transports from their Boat.

The Health of the Convicts which was very little impaired during this part of the voyage was soon perfectly establish'd by being amply provided with fresh Provisions, Vegetables & very view facsimile

frequently fruit was given them, 14 only died since leaving England the greater part of which was embarked in the River & such objects as could not have been supposed would have lived, had they remained in England.

We have proofs already of the great neglect in fitting the Ship, Decks & upper works so leaky as to make it necessary to employ Caulkers on board, the skirting boards over the Copper were so badly secured as to have been washed off on both sides; while the Ship was on the heel to fix other skirting boards, we took the opportunity of driving 2 bolts & 2 spike nails of the white composition 12 inches below the wale & laid them over with Copper, to try if the copper would make any impression on this Composition.

31st. M.r Morton, Master of the Sirius was Invalided, having receiv'd a hurt on the passage from Teneriffe which render'd him for a time incapable of duty, this was a real loss to the ship He being an attentive, active & experienced man & well qualified for the station. M.r Seally & Mr Rotton two of the Master's Mates were also invalided their Health being in so bad a state as to make it necessary & there being an English Ship bound to London they had a good opportunity of returning to England. Mr Kelty a Master in the Navy & serving as mate on board one of the Store Ships was appointed Master of the Sirius.

previous
next