On 1st April, 1779 Captain Charles Clerke in the Resolution and John Gore in the Discovery (previously first lieutenant on the Resolution) were sailing northward from the Hawaiian Islands to Kamchatka.
The next day Clerke recorded "we have now a fine Gale for our Northern business which I hope will last some time." The winds pushed the ships along but also stretched the deteriorating sails beyond their limits. On 3rd "set the Fore Topmast studding sail and split it". Next day: "reev'd new Main Topsail Sheets, the old being stranded". Next day: "bent another Top Gallt Sail… & fix'd one new Mizn Topsail sheet." On 7th: "unbent the Main Top Gallt Sail to repair and bent another." Next day: "clean'd the Ship well below and air'd Her with fire… Sailmakers repairing sails".
On 9th "Carpenters painting the Boats, the People exercising Small Arms." Next day "open'd a Cask of Bread, Contents 336 lb, 151 lb of which was so bad as to be wholly unfit for use; this as matters now stand is a most unfortunate stroke." Next day "we are now crossing the Track generally made by the Spanish Galions in their rout from the Manille's to Acapulco."
On 13th John Rickman, second lieutenant on the Discovery, wrote "as we now began to approach the higher northern latitudes, the flannel jackets, that had been stored up while we were among the Tropical islands, were again brought into use".
The same day, George Gilbert, midshipman on the Resolution, described a leak "on the starboard bow we did not perceive it before the hatch that covers the passage into the coal hole was burst open from the place being full of water. We instantly scuttled the bulk heads forewards to bring it to the pumps, with which and constant bailing with buckets for two or three days, we kept it under, and the gale fortunately then abated, and the leak ceased. During this we were greatly alarmed at our situation; as being at least three weeks sail from the nearest land; and even that was the coast of Japan where we could not hope for the smallest assistance, but might rather expect to be cut off or made slaves by those people."
On 16th Rickman wrote "the Resolution's boat came on board, and Capt. Gore and our 1st Lieutenant went to visit Capt. Clarke, who continued very ill." The First Lieutenant was James Burney.
Clerke commented, on 19th, "On the 1st April by Log the Therr in the shade stood at 82½ & at 4 this morning it was at 29½ so that within the 19 days we have sunk it 53º. This as matters go in general can by no means be call'd cold Weather but the tumbling so hastily from ye territories of the Sun into those of Frost & Snow of which we now have abundance gives us confounded chilly sensations."
Three days later "we were in the latitude of London" wrote Rickman. "In the evening the Resolution made the signal to tack ship, and we never afterwards saw her till our arrival at our destined harbour." According to Clerke "the Discovery fir'd a Gun as a fog sigl which was answer'd… At 6 the fog in some measure clearing we saw the Land making in various Hills totally cover'd with Snow… fir'd sigl Guns to the Discovery every hour."
On 25th Clerke saw land "making with appearance of an Inlet which by our Account we suppose to be the Mouth of ye Bay Awatscha". Avacha Bay lies on the south-east side of the Kamchatka Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Bering Sea. The next day he "wore and stood off for the Night during which we had a very heavy snow & severe Frost, with fresh Gales & squally Wear. The poor fellows after broiling as they have lately done several Months on the Torrid Zone are now miserably pinch'd with the Cold. The Doctors list increases every day, several of them are frost bit; they are at an abundant allowance of Provision & appear however in good spirits… I was sitting in my Cabin between 10 & 11 when a gentleman who was there went to the Time-Keeper to see shat O'clock it was and to his great surprize found it stop'd, he immediately acquainted me with it & I sent for Mr King to consult what was best done. We wound it up and found it was no neglect of that kind had occasion'd this disaster for it was gone down only 4 Turns, its usual rotation in 24 hours being between 5 and 6; however it still continued silent and left us altogether at a loss to account for it." James King was the first lieutenant on the Resolution.
The following day Clerke "stood towards the shore" and next day "we were working to windward in hopes of fetching the Bay in the Evening, but we were disappointed." The same day the Discovery "made 17 inches in 3 hours", according to Rickman. "A man was sent up to the masthead to look for the Resolution, but without succeeding."
Arrival at Petropavlosk
It was not until 29th that Clerke could record "we run up the Bay as far as we could for Ice, which stop'd us at ½ past 7 when we came too with the Small Bower in 6¼ fathoms… I concluded there must be some Russians here at any rate I sent Lieut King attended by Mr Webber who understands the German Language to pay my compliments to the Governor and open some communication between us."
King "got upon the Ice, where we found the least distance to the Shore, Mr Webber & two of the Men accompanied me. Mr Bligh took the Pinnace & Cutter back, (leaving the jolly boat for us) to assist bringing the ship in… We found it not only bad, but dangerous waling on the Ice: the heaviest of our part sunk knee deep into the Snow… before I could stop myself [the ice] broke & in I fell, a man that was a little way behind with a boat hook, threw it to me, which by laying it across the loose pieces it sustaind my weight, & I got upon firm Ice again. We continued our march towards the Ostrog [village] with great circumspection".
As they got nearer "we perceived marching towards us a body of armd men… The Russian party was headed by a decent looking personage, with a Cane in his hand… I deliverd to him Ismyloffs letters, & told him as well as I could that we were English, & had got them from Oonalaska". On 23rd October 1778 whilst the ships had been anchored at Unalaska Island the main Russian person there, Erasim Gregorioff Sin Ismyloff, had given Captain Cook some letters to the Commander of this village and to the Governor of Kamchatka..
"We were conduct'd to this gentlemans house" continued King. "The Secretary came, Ismyloffs letter was open'd, the other sent off by a special messenger to Bolchoireeka." Major Behm, the governor, resided in the town of Bol'sheretsk which lay on the western coast of the peninsula. Sergeant Surgutski was the Russian in charge of the village.
"We found no one that could talk any other Language than Russian, & had therefore a difficult matter to get intelligence, the sum was that nothing was to be procur'd at this place but that every thing was in plenty at Bolchoireeka". They returned to the ship. "No boys could be more pleas'd than we were in being carryed down to the boat by Dogs. We had all a separate Carriage, & so polite were the Natives that one Sledge carried the boat hook. These sledges are so light, & their construction so well Contrived, that they went over places which it would have been impossible for us to Walk."
Clerke "sent away Mr Blygh to sound about this part of the Bay… Mr Blygh return'd having foud the best place the Ice at present will allow us, on the NE shore off the Harbour of St Peter & St Paul or as these People generally call it Petra Pauluski". The next day he got "the Carpenters making a floating stage to go to work upon the Leaks."
K1 is repaired
According to a note signed by Clerke and King on 29th "The ship being in the harbour of St Peter & St Pauls without any motion & the day remarkably fine, & no fire in the Cabbin; we thought it the best time to permit Benj: Lyon a seaman on board, who had served his time to Richd Gibbs of Plumptrie holborn watchmaker & who had appeared to us sufficiently knowing in his business from having repaired & cleaned watches during the voyage to look into the Time keeper, not finding any of the work broke, he took the cock & balance off & cleaned both the holes & Pivot, which he found very foul & the inside of the teeth rather dirty, he also took the Dyal plate off & found a piece of dirt between two teeth of the wheel that carries the second hand, which he thinks to be the principal cause of its stopping, he afterwards put the work together putting the least Oil possible in the Cock & foot holes, when the watch appeared to go free & well".
The next day the Discovery, wrote David Samwell its surgeon, "stood into the Bay where we found the Resolution at anchor".
William Bayly, astronomer on the Discovery, described the scene "The entrance of the Harbour is bould & bluff but moderately high. The land immediately round the bay is low & covered with wood... at the North side of the entrance stands 3 rocks nearly of equal height like 3 towers - a little to the NE on a bluff point the Russians have built a watch Tower on which is a flag staff or pole - behind which the land riseth very high in general & particularly there are two very high mountains, the most northerly of which is a volcano, a large column of smoake ascending from the SW side of its peake or Summit but very near it".
On 1st May Philip Woodfield, carpenter's mate on Discovery, was lent to the Resolution "for repairing the ship", although the next day on his ship, according to Samwell, they were still "employed in mooring the Ship near the Resolution." The next day William Taylor, midshipman on the Resolution, wrote "carpenters repairing the Bends which wanted it exceedingly the Sheathing full of Holes & the Seams scarce any Oakum in them." Clerke "punish'd Jno Davis Quarter Master with 12 lashes for Mutiny and neglect of duty."
On 4th a Russian merchant "whose Name is Vaselee Poselskoy Falasish and another person called Jachan Daniel Pote arrived here from Bolscheretskoy" wrote Samwell. "They delivered a Letter to Captn Clerke written in the German Language by Major Behm… There were several Germans on board the Ships and we gained every intelligence we wished from J. D. Pote who was a German and in the Service of Major Behm. We understood that Ismiloff in his Letters had represented us as Traders and Hollanders". Heinrich Zimmerman, a German seaman on the Discovery, wrote that one man "was a native Prussian… I can hardly express the feelings of ourselves and [them] when we saw in one another our own home people". According to King, Pote "having a Cockade in his hat, his hair well powere'd, & a decent plain dress on, we concluded him to be a Governor's secretary, he talk'd German a Language Mr Webber understands. The letter was merely complimentary, & inviting Captn Clerke & his Officers to Bolchoireeka".
After considering the matter Clerke, the next day, decided "to order Mr King my first Lieut who is acquainted with the french Language and Mr Webber who is perfectly conversant with the German to prepare themselves to go". They "set out in our boats early in the Morning" of the 7th, wrote King. "Our party consist'd of Captn Gore, Mr Webber, myself, Messrs Port & Fallasuch with two Cossacks". They transferred to "more commodious boats to carry us up the river, or rather one boat, built & shap'd like a norway Yaul, the others were Canoes for our baggage… By the Assistance of good fire & good Punch we pass'd a very Pleasant Night… although the ground felt dry enough, yet no sooner was the fire light'd than it was surrounded by a Puddle… We saw no other but fine white small loaf sugar, which they said came from England."
The next day they transferred to sledges. "As the baggage was lashing on upon the Sledges, the dog kept up a horrible howling, which increased when they were yok'd; their Noise was bearable enough & indeed curious, but the very offensive smell on emptying themselves was intolerable. I mention these two trifling things, as they always happen on setting out". They arrived at the "Metropolis of Kamchatka" on 12th and were quickly seen by the Governor. "I observd my Companions as awkward as myself in making our first Salutations, bowing & scrapings being marks of good breeding that we had been now for 2½ years totally unaccustom'd to. I was truly sorry… to find he had forgot his French… Mr Webber had therefore the Singular Satisfaction of conversing with him… Captn Gore acquaint'd the Major with the Object of our Voyage, to procure flour & bullocks for the Ships Companys".
The next day King noted, Clerke "had sent by me a set of prints & Maps of the last Voyage, & which he told me to present to the Major in his Name… he was highly pleas'd with the Present… After dining at his house, upn a dinner that would have been calld elegant in any place, we employ'd the afternoon in seeing the town & Country".
"The Country for many miles is a low swamp… The Major has made the ground on which the Town stands an Island… the Major says his garden is the only piece of ground cultivat'd. We saw I suppose 20 or 30 Milch Cows, & the Major had 6 stout horses… The houses are all after one fashion, that it built of Logs & thatch'd… All the Buildings are built stragling."
The next day "The Major & Captn [Schmalov] sent to our house 4 bags of Tobacco weighing near 100 Pounds each, which they beged they might be indulg'd to give to our Sailors. At the desire of the Sailors, who rather than go without Tobacco were willing to pay any price we had told Fallasuch that we should want some… they sent for the Captn & Officers 20 loaves of fine Sugar, & as many pounds of Tea. To Captn Clerke, Mr Behm gave a present of Fresh Butter, honey, Figs, Rice, & some other odd trifles".
On the 15th "That we might see as much as we could of their Customs & fashions, the Major in the Evening gave an invitation to I believe the whole Village, all the Ladies appear'd & very splendidly dress'd in the Russian taste." Mrs Behm "& her Husband are from Riga in Livonia. She had left two daughters at Petersburgh, & since leaving that place had had a boy & girl". They set off on the return journey the next day with "3 Merchants, carrying things to sell to the Sailors".
Activities in Avacha Bay
On 8th May, wrote Samwell, "a boat was sent to
Paratoonka, the Village where the Priest whose Name is Romaan Feodorowitz Vereshagin resides, he entertained the Midhsipman & the Boats Crew very kindly & gave them some Milk for Captn Clerke, who is now very ill of a Consumption which he has been troubled with ever since he left England. Both Ships employed in wooding and watering… Some of the Gent. Of both Ships make Excursions daily about the Bay to shoot Ducks & find tolerable good Sport."
On 11th "Mr Baily the Astronomer erected his Observatory on shore having obtained Permission from the Russians who seem now perfectly satisfied as to our amicable Intentions. The Master of the Sloop lying in this Harbour whose Name is Demetra Polootoff dined on board the Discovery". The next day "Captn Clerke went on shore for the first time & was received by a guard of Souldiers & treated with much Respect. In the afternoon the Serjeant accompanied him on board to dinner which is the first time of his venturing off to either Ship."
The next day Clerke remarked "The Snow now getting off the sides of the lower Hills they spout out most abundantly with wild sellery, Garlick & Nettles which being boil'd with Wheat & Portable Soup makes the People a most salutary and comfortable Breakfast with which they are supply'd every Morning… the Cooper repairing his Casks & the Sailmakers the Sails."
On 15th William Ellis, Surgeon's second mate on the Resolution, wrote "a party was sent to haul the seine; they brought on board near fifty trout, and upwards of three hundred flat fish… In the afternoon, the butchers were sent on shore to kill a small bullock, which the captain had procured for our Sunday's dinner." It was "the first we had tasted since our departure from the Cape of Good Hope in December 1776, being two years and five months." Also on Sunday, noted Samwell, "Some hands were sent on shore to gather nettle Tops & tap the Birch Trees. They staid on shore all day and in the Evening a Boat was sent to bring them off, but was not able to find them and so they were left on shore all night, however they kindled a good fire and passed the night comfortably and the next morning came on board."
The same night "departed this life Alexander McIntosh one of the Carpenter's Mates" on the Resolution, wrote Clerke, "who had been long ill of a bilious Disorder". Samwell added on 17th he "was carried to the Mouth of the Harbour and buried in the Sea."
On 18th continued Samwell "Several of our people who were sent to gather greens eat a quantity of a species of Hemlock which made them all very sick, but with the Assistance of a Puke & plenty of Warm water they soon recovered." The next day "Employed in cleaning the Ship, mounting some of our great Guns & Swivels and puttg every thing in the best trim against the Arrival of the Major".
The Visit of Major Behm
Behm, Schmalov, Gore, King, Webber and the others arrived at Petropavlovsk late on 21st. The next morning King "left the Major for an hour to go & acquaint C: Clerke with my proceedings; & was very sorry that notwithstanding, yet in the fortnight we had been gone, he was much alter'd for the worse; instead of getting better, as might have been hoped, from the Milk & Vegetable diet he had liv'd on."
"This Morning", wrote Samwell, "both Ships hoisted St George's Ensign, the Pinnace was sent from the Resolution to bring the Major on board and about 10 o'Clock he waited upon Captn Clerke; he was received by a Guard of Marines and saluted with 13 Guns." According to Ellis, Behm "was near six feet high, rather corpulent, and was very polite and affable in his address. He wore his uniform, which was dark green, with plain gold buttons, a scarlet waistcoat trimmed with broad gold lace, and a gold laced hat with a white cockade. After breakfast he was shewed the different cabins and births of the ship, and seemed much pleased to find them so neat and convenient: he expresses his surprise at seeing such a number of men so perfectly healthy after so long a voyage, and remarked that we must certainly have taken every precaution in the world to prevent the scurvy, which in all their ships makes terrible havock among the men."
On 23rd, wrote Samwell, "the Major dined with Captn Gore on board the Discovery and was received with the same military Honours as the day before. He sat for his picture to Mr Webber who took a very good likeness of him." The next day the tobacco was shared out "3 lbs to every man that used Tobacco and one pound to each of those that did not", wrote James Burney, first lieutenant on the Discovery.
Two days later, wrote Ellis, "the major set off for Bolschaia-reeka, attended by Mr. King and Mr. Webber, who were to accompany him part of the way. As he proposed leaving this part of the world in the course of a month (having at his own request, and by permission of the empress [of Russia], resigned the government to captain Wasilowitz Ismylof [Schmalov]) and to return to Petersburg, captain Clerke thought it a very convenient opportunity of sending dispatches, &c. to the Admiralty."
According to King "C Clerke told him that he would send by him, to be deliver'd to our embassador, some papers relating to our proceedings hitherto. It was also settled that a smaller pacquet should be sent by an express, & which the Major said if he was fortunate in his Passage to Okotzk, would reach Petersburgh by december, & that he himself should be there in Febr or March. Capt Clerke, judging with what safety accounts of our discoveries could be trust'd to a man of the Majors private & publick Character, & that we had a very hazardous part of the Voyage yet to go thro, determin'd to send by him the Journal of our late Commander, with his own from his death to this time, & a Chart. Mr Bailey & myself were also desir'd to write a general account & heads of our [astronomical] proceedings; by which should any misfortune attend us, the Admiralty would have a detaild account of I imagine the principal part of our discoveries; for from all we can gather from the Majors pilots here, they think it impracticable ever to push farther N than we have done".
Behm was "saluted with 13 Guns & cheers from ye People for his extraordinary civillity's & unbounded generosity" wrote Henry Roberts, master's mate on the Resolution. Samwell added "As some return for the Civilities of Major Behm and the Zeal he shewed in supplying the Ships with what lay in his Power the Captns & Officers of both Ships made him a Present of Rum & Wine, 4 Quadrants and a spying Glass & several articles from the different Islands we had visited in the South Sea; with the latter he was much pleased & intended to present them to the Empress. Nor must it be forgot that the Resolution's Ship's Company voluntarily proposed to Captn Clerke that their Grog should be stopped for a certain time in order to collect a Quantity which they intended as a present to the Major, in return for the Tobacco they had received from him; this the Captn would by no means admit of, but expressed his Approbation of this Testimony they gave of their Gratitude. Captn Clerke made a present of a Sword to the Major's Son and of a spying Glass to the Major himself."
Also this day, wrote Samwell, "Two Midshipmen were sent to survey the Bay, a Chart of which Captn Clerke promised to send the Major… and the Major gave each Captain a general Letter directed to the Russians, containing Orders to supply us with whatever lay in their Power should we be drove by Accident upon any part of the Coast and stand in need of Assistance."
On 28th Burney recorded "The Ships Companies were put to full allowance of bread, having been at ⅔ds since the 30th of November 1776. Biscuit and Flower now served alternately 1 lb pr day. A much larger proportion of provisions remaining in our Ship than in the Resolution, She was supplied from us with 2 Hogsheads of Brandy and 7 Puncheons of Biscuit."
On 1st June Philip Woodfield, carpenter's mate on Discovery, returned from loan to Resolution. The 4th "Being his Majesty's Birthday it was kept on board the Ships with every demonstration of Joy, each of them fired 21 Guns upon the Occasion", wrote Samwell. Rickman added "The Ship's were dressed with streamers and with the colours of all nations; and a flag was displayed at the tents. The Russian gentlemen were sumptuously entertained on board; and the common men were served with double allowance of meat and liquor, and, being permitted to divert themselves on shore, many of them made parties and traversed the woods in pursuit of game".
Two days later "20 head of Cattle this day arriv'd", wrote King, from "near a hundred mile from this place in a direct line; they had been 17 Days in driving them down. We began & continued to serve fresh beef every day." Samwell added that also "two Horses [arrived] for Captn Clerke to ride on Account of his Health during our Stay here… This Afternoon two Launches were sent to Paratoonka for Hay for a Milch Cow which Captn Clerke intends to carry to Sea with him for the Benefit for his Health."
Two days later, continued Samwell, "the Point of an Indian Spear near 4 inches in length came out from under the Eye of Jackson, the Marine who was wounded in the Skirmish at the Island of Owhyhee in which Captn Cook was killed; the Man had supposed all along that the blow he had received on his Eye had been with a Stone & no one had any Conception of it's being a Spear till the point came out of the Wound to day of itself. He has lost the Sight of that Eye by it."
Leaving Avacha Bay
On 11th "The Ships being ready for Sea we intended to have sailed to day but were detained by the Wind; a boat was sent to the Mouth of the Harbour to see how it blew out & returned in the afternoon with an Account of it's being against us. The Priest dined on board the Discovery and in the afternoon took his leave of us, as did J. D. Pote, Major Behm's Servant. Captn Clerke made him a present of a Watch for the Services he had rendered us as an Interpreter, & many other things were given him by the Officers."
John Ledyard, corporal of marines on the Resolution, summarised the next few days. "On the 12th of June having received our supplies on board, repaired our ships, wooded and watered, we unmoored and waited a wind. On the 13th finding no wind, towed to the mouth of the bay and came to. On the 14th it was calm all day, and in the afternoon we had a slight shock of an earthquake."
"The next day", wrote Ellis, "the whole bay appeared as if in a fog, occasioned by the vast quantity of smoke and ashes from the volcano. The ship was in some places covered near an inch deep with them." According to Samwell "The Burning Mountain to the Northd of the Harbour of St Peter & Paul called Awachinsky… has emitted Smoke more of less all the time we have been here".
Nathaniel Portlock, master's mate on the Discovery, wrote "At 4 oclock A light Breeze from the Northward brought a vast Column of Ashes which the mountain had hove forth it fell so fast on our decks that in About 2 hours it was ¼ of an Inch thick and so very disagreeable that there was no walking the decks without a danger of being choak'd by it towards 9 or 10 OClock the noise from the mountain had Increased very much, and threw forth smoak fire Ashes and small stones the stones in general about the size of a large pea and came in such Quick showers that I suppose from the time they began to fall till the Eruption was over which was About 9 At night there had not fell less than 2 or 3 hundredweight a Quantity of which was saved by many people on board as a Curiositie and the remainder hove overboard - the fire Appear'd through the clouds of smoak and ashes to be like very smart flashes of Lightning and very near which together with the horrid noise from the mountain and the Gloominess of the Evening made a most Awfull appearance indeed the distance we suppos'd ourselves from the mountain was About 8 or 9 Leagues."
On 16th King wrote "It has been mentioned that the Timekeeper was found to be losing gradually from 5 to 9 seconds p.day… from comparisons with the Lunar observations during the Passage, it seems that it lost still more, but its stopping on the 26 April will not permit us to ascertain its correct error at that time; but by comparing the Longitudes given by it & of Mr Bailys Timekeeper before ours stop'd, & knowing the error here of Mr Bailys one might come pretty near the truth".
At two in the morning "taking the advantage of a breeze from the N. W. we got up our anchors, made sail, and stood out to sea" wrote Ellis. The next day Clerke noted "These 24 Hours we have been using all our Endeavours to get an Offing which have been a good deal impeded by the unsettled state of the Winds & Weather. In the Evening hoisted in the Boats". Next day "we clearly perceiv'd by our bearings the ship to be drove 6 or 8 Miles to the Soward which I suppose the effect of the Ebb making strong out of the Bay." Next day "having a good breeze I stood to Sea till 2 when being a safe distance from the Land haul'd to the Noward & run alongshore as the Russians have laid it down in their Charts… At 8 took a reef in ye Topsails, the Weather during the Night very hazy & in the Morning ye Haze increas'd to a thick Fog, however I continued to run along ye Coast that I might look at it whenever circumstances should be more favourable." `
Sailing North to the Arctic
On 19th Samwell noted "Our fresh beef being expended, Salt Pork was served to the Ship's Company." Next day "the Resolution made the Kromotskoy Nos in a thick fog, on which she immediately hauled off to the Eastward and fired three Guns as a Signal for the Discovery, when she put her Helm a port & stood after her; they lost sight of each other in the Fog but kept together by firing a Gun every ½ hour till… they came in Sight of each other again… The Horizon has been hazy in some degree all day, which has prevented us from seeing Bering's Island which lies not far distance from our Track."
On 21st "At Noon", wrote Clerke, "the Weather being tolerably clear I haul'd more in for the Land with some expectations… of seeing it in the Evening but there still continued a haze to the Nowards which I believe prevented us, however at daylight which was at 2 AM we had a very good sight of it extending from NWBN to WNW distant 10 Lgs in what the Russian call the Kamtschatka Noss".
The next day "We examined the Casks of bread", wrote Samwell, "some of which we found damaged, which made us serve out bread to the people instead of flower which they had before." The next day Clerke recorded "little Winds & Calms with mostly Cloudy Weather, but fortunately towards the Evening the Clouds so far dispers'd as to enable us to catch a few sights at the ‚ & � : these Observations are now of much more consequence than heretofore to us, as we cannot put that confidence in the performance of our Time Keeper." Next day "The Carpenters repairing the large Cutter."
On 25th Samwell found "the Weather continuing so thick that we could hardly see the Ships Length… being fearful of standing any further to the NNE in this fog we hauled off the Coast and stood East." The next day he continued "Our present Navigation upon an unknown Coast and surrounded by perpetually thick fogs is far from beig an agreeable one as the Danger we run is very great. We only carry our topsails but with the fresh Breeze we have from the Southward we go at the rate of 4 and 5 Knots an Hour."
The next day Clerke found "at Noon very suddenly the fog clear'd away… as we can now see about us haul'd to ye Nowd for ye Land. On 29th "it fell Calm… I took this opportunity to send onboard the Discovery to compare our TimeKeeper with Mr Baily's" Next day "we saw the Tops of some of the highest Hills on this part of the Main".
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 42, volume 27, number 2 (2004).