Resolution and Adventure Sail South
On 17 August, Forster “observed a Meteor descending towards NW & moving down to the Horizon: it was very bright & had a bluish light, but its duration was momentaneous & the motion quick”. The next day, Charles Clerke, Second Lieutenant in Resolution, wrote, “Brew’d some Beer with the essence of malt, which we have onboard – it has several times fermented and blew the Bungs out – more than once the Head of the Cask out, by which accidents a considerable quantity of it has been lost, which is rather unfortunate, as it makes a most agreeable and I believe a very salutary drink”.
On 20 August, Gilbert wrote, “Henry Smock, one of the carpenters crew, being at work over the ships side upon a grating, slip’t overboard unperceived & was drown’d”.
Two days later, Gilbert wrote, “Punish’d Rich’d Waterfield with 6 lashes for insolence to the Boatswain & disobeying his order”. Richard Waterfield was a marine. The Boatswain was James Gray.
Although George Forster did not write a journal during the voyage, he published one based on his father’s journal, and his own recollections. In it we are reminded that James Cook once sailed to Norway (in 1749), while working for John Walker at Whitby. George wrote on 22 August, “Captain Cook very obligingly communicated to me... Being on board a ship between Norway and England, he met with a violent storm, during which a flight of several hundred birds overed the whole rigging of the ship. Among numbers of small birds, he observed several hawks, which lived very luxuriously by preying on those poor defenceless creatures”.
The next day, Clerke wrote, “Made the People spread their Bedding fore & aft the Decks to air”. The following day, he wrote, “Distill’d water with Doctor Irwin’s machine”. He meant Irving’s machine. Gilbert wrote, “Distilled fresh water from the sea water, got three gallons per hour, made use of two gallons of coals per hour”.
On 25 August, Furneaux wrote, “Departed this life Mr Jno James Lambrecht Midshipman”. Lambrecht had died “of a Fever he caught at St Jago by bathing and making too free with the water in the heat of the day”. John Rayside, the stowaway, was appointed as a sailor in his place. Four days later, Furneaux “Punished Donald Stewart (marine) with a dozen lashes for Fighting and Contempt to his Officers”.
On 28 August, Gilbert wrote, “Erwins Machine generally made us of from 4 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon distilling fresh water”. He meant Irving’s machine.
On 31 August, Isaac Smith, a master’s mate in Resolution, wrote, “Sent the Boat on board the Adventure with the Astronomer to Compare the Watches”.
On 1 September, Cooper wrote, “Employ’d great Guns & Small Arms”. Forster explained a bit more. “The Ships Company were mustered according to a Quarterbill, & every one’s business in case of an Engagement was fixed & in consequence part of them were exercised in managing the great Guns & others in handling the small Arms”. The Quarter Bill was a list of men stating to which part of the ship they should go when a battle was likely. For Resolution the main places were the Main Deck, Forecastle, Quarter Deck, Foretopsail braces, Magazine, Helm, Lightroom, and Cockpit.
The next day, John Davall Burr, a Master’s mate in Resolution, wrote, “Punish’d Ricd Baldy, Marine with six Lashes for taking fresh water out of the Hold”.
On 5 September, Forster wrote, “A boat was hoisted out, & Mr Wales the astronomer & the Master went out in it. They tried the current in the following manner. As it is pretty calm or at least very little wind, the boat is fixed by letting down the Carpenters Iron pitch-pot with a line of 85 fathom, & this is as good as an Anchor: then a Board in the shape of a log but a great deal larger, is thrown out & the line eased from the reel as long as it will run in half a minute: which was in this case ½ of a knot, the Current setting North. The Astronomer Mr Wales had also a thermometer in a glass tube, & this in a wooden case with valves above & below, tied to the pitch pot, when it was let down & the result of this Experiment was as follows: In the open air the Thermometer stood at 75½ degrees, at the Surface of the water, when plunged into it, the mercury was at 74, & at 85 fathom depth it stood at 66”. Cook commented, “By this experiment it appears the Sea Water was 8° colder at the depth of 70 fathoms than it was at the Surface”.
On 7 September, Cooper wrote, “The Adventure made the Sigl for a sail in the NE. She was a Brig standing to the Westwd”.
James Burney, a sailor in Resolution, wrote on the same day, “2 of the Men by way of Fun made an house of Office [i.e. toilet] of a pair of Breeches belonging to our Armourer which he finding out complaind of the Fact being fully provd the Aggressors were obligd between them to buy the Breeches, each paying an equal Share. They then tossd up which should keep them & Winner was orderd on the Spot to try how his new purchase fitted; which, after many wry faces, he did, to the no small diversion of the Spectators, many Jokes, or what were meant as Such being made on the Occasion”.
The next day, noted Pickersgill, “we cross’d the equinoctial Line being then in Longitude 10° 22' W. of Greenwich; here according to the usual Custom of seamen we brought the ship too and duck’d a great number of the seamen who never before had been a cross, and refused to pay the accustomed fine, this cerimony was perform’d by hoisting the Person to be Duck’d by a rope to the yard arm and then letting go the rope lett him plung[e] into the sea, this repeated three times he is taken in and is free of the Line; after which a tub of punch is made and they all get merry over the forfits.” Bayly recorded that “Capt Furneaux did not chose to let it be carried into execution on board the Adventure for fear of an Accident, though I confess I did not see any great danger in it”.
On 10 September, Furneaux wrote, “Departed this life Mr Samuel Kempe, Midshipman”. According to Bayly, Kempe, “departed this life of a Putrid fever which he contracted at St Jago, he recovered so far as to be able to walk about but for want of taking proper care of himself catched cold & had a relapse”. Arthur Kempe, a cousin, was a lieutenant in the ship.
The next day, Cooper wrote, “Punish’d Richard Lee Seaman & Frank Taylor Marine 1 dzn las for Insolence & disrespect to the offr of the watch”.
On 14 September, Furneaux wrote, “At ½ past 9 am The Resolution sent her boat onboard to compare the Watches and Lunar Observations; the latter agreed within 10 Miles, the former one Degree... At ½ past 11 the Boat returned. Made sail”. According to Cook, “Captn Furneaux dine[d] with me to day”.
The next day, the ships passed, without seeing, the island of Ascension. Two days later, Furneaux “Served Sour Krout to the Ship’s Company”.
On 24 September, Cooper wrote, “Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn”. Three days later, “Hoisted the Cutter out, & sent her on board the Adventure with Mr Wales to Compare the Watches”.
On 27 September, wrote Bayly, “Capt Furx Mr Falkener & my Self went on Board the Resolution to dinner & spent the afternoon on board, & Lieutena[n]t Charls Clark dined on board the Adventure, returning on board our respective ships in the evenin after spending the afternoon very agreeable”. John Richard Falconar was a sailor.
The next day, Furneaux wrote, “saw a sail to the westward, the Resolution brought to in order to speak to her”. According to Cooper, “The Adventure made the Sigl for a Sail to the SW, standing to the SE”. A few hours later, “we intended speaking to the Snow [a two-masted vessel] to the Westward. Shorten’d sail for her to come up with us & hoisted our Colours”. Later on, “The Snow astern hoisted Portuguese Colours, being little wind we made sail again”.