Skip to main content

Rio to Monte Video

Wednesday 17 - last night at 12, after a long calm, a fresh & favourable breeze sprung up – made Cape Frio this morning which shewed that Arnold’s Chronometer (on which we had no dependence) was near the mark by 10 miles whilst Goffe’s, which has been all the go with us was out more than two degrees.[4] Very thick hazy weather, all day with drizzling rain. We soon lost sight of Cape Frio & with fresh & favourable breeze steered our course for the entrance to Rio. Had the wind held on with equal strength, we should have gained our point & by 4 oClock P.M. to be safe at anchor. But unfortunately the wind failed us & the heavy swell setting us in, we found ourselves on a sudden quite close to a lee shore & still moving in. The danger would not have been great, even if we had bumped ashore as there was a fine sandy beach before us – but the Master endeavouring to take advantage of the little breeze that was up tacked to get away, & as we made very slow progress we soon came opposite a rocky island which would have soon knocked our bottom to pieces, if we had parted our anchor which it was at once the intention of the Master to have dropped. But thanks to divine Providence, we were not reduced to this necessity but favoured by the wind we soon left our dangerous position & awaited for a stronger breeze. The entrance to Rio was now astern, when the haze cleared up exposed to our view, being distant about 10 or 12 miles.

Towards evening the wind again fell away light, whilst the heavy swell hove us in & we were soon likely to be under the necessity of letting go the anchor at all risks with this additional disadvantage to our situation from what it was in the morning, that now every thing was enveloped in patchy darkness & we could not descry the dangers we dreaded. Just as the Master was considering the propriety of coming to anchor (& the anchorage being rocky he was doubtful of the success of such a measure) fortunately for us, a breeze light and wavering blew off the shore & bore us slowly from our perilous position. Thick hazy weather.

Thursday 18th Oct.r - very wet drizzling forenoon – cloudy but fair in the afternoon, calms & light variable airs all day – Pretty close in shore, altho’ we at length got off again with a moderate breeze, but at night we were bothered about Cape Frio, near to which we have shifted. Strong current & light breezes very uneasy at being so near so dangerous a neighbourhood, remembering the recent fate of the Thetis frigate, [5] nothing to be seen but gloomy looks & nothing heard but the words of despondency. Left the decks at eleven & it was long ere I fell asleep.

Friday 19th - during last night we had several smart and favourable breezes which carried us away from Cape Frio & in the morning we were near the entrance to Rio & the Cape still plainly in sight. Calms during the day or very light airs. At 7 P.M. very near the light house on Round Island.

Saturday 20th - at 10 this morning came to anchor in Rio Harbour - Waited hour after hour for the visit from the health boat & fired a gun or two to hasten their motions, but the rascals were too lazy to come before 4 oClock. As soon as we [were] admitted to pratique I went on shore with the Mail, & afterwards walked out to the Admirals, returning on board at 7 P.M.

Sunday 21st Oct.r - spent the day on shore with my old friend Da Gama, who had come to Town from his house in the country only the night before our arrival. Sorry to say that I drank too much & was obliged to sleep on shore.

Monday 22nd - came off very early this morning, much fagged. Confined myself to the vessel all day but went on shore in the afternoon. Saw nothing new or worthy of remark. Every thing here in staus quo antea.

Tuesday 23rd - by break of day prepared to get under weigh in Company with his Majesty’s Packet Melville.[6] The wind being very scant, we were towed out by boats sent to our assistance from the Warspite.[7] Outside the harbour by 10 - then got a fresh & favourable breeze & away we went on our course rejoicing. By the bye, I forgot to mention that we landed a steerage passenger named Ridge at Rio, of whom I know nothing more, not having conversed or interested myself much about him.

Wednesday 24th - beautiful weather - fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 25th Oct.r - rainy morning – fine day – less breeze, still favourable.

Friday 26th – pleasant weather – foul wind. Very cool since leaving Rio.

Sat.y 27th – very fine weather. Moderate & favourable breeze.

Sunday 28th – fresh and favourable breeze, cloudy weather with much rain.

Monday 29th – wet with moderate and favourable breeze in forenoon – dry with foul wind in afternoon – very squally at night.

Tuesday 30th – fine weather – very cold, a gale of wind & foul.

Wednesday 31st – very fine weather – cold foul wind.

Thursday 1st November – very fine weather. Moderate & nearly favourable breeze all day – very light at night.

Friday 2nd – very fine weather – Moderate & favourable breeze.

Saturday 3rd - variable weather with rain. At 3 P.M. came to anchor off Monte Video & went immediately with the Master on shore. Our orders were that we should remain 12 hours at this port but the Consul M.r Hood said that as there was no necessity for this, we might start as soon as we pleased - at which declaration I was mightily pleased. Accordingly as soon as we communicated this intelligence to the Captain he took the Consul at his word & with a fresh & favouring breeze, we soon got under weigh, our Master engaging to take the ship without employing, as is the case in 8 instances out of 10, the assistance of a pilot.