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1 May, 1771


On 1 May, 1771, James Cook wrote “At 6 in the AM Saw the Island of St Helena bearing West distant 8 or 9 Leagues. At Noon Anchord in the Road before James Fort in 24 fathom water. Found riding here His Majestys Ship Portland, Swallow Sloop and 12 sail of Indiamen. At our first seeing this fleet in the Road we took it for granted that it was a war, but in this we were soon agreeably deceived. The Europa Indiaman Anchor'd here a little before us, she [had] saild from the Cape two days after us and brings an account the French Ship we saw standing into Table Bay was a French Man of War of 64 Guns bound to India and that there were 2 more on their passage... In the PM Moor'd with the Kedge Anchor”.

The Kedge anchor is a light anchor.


Joseph Banks wrote “In the Morn at daybreak saw the Island of St Helena about six Leagues ahead; consequently before noon arrivd in the Road where we found his Majesties ship Portland Capt Elliot, sent out to convoy home the India men on account of the likeleyhood of a breach with Spain, also his Majesties sloop Swallow [not the one that had sailed around the world] which had the day before brought word of the Pacifick measures adopted by that court, also 12 Sail of Indiamen”.

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