21st and 22nd May 1771
[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
21st. Little wind, with some heavy showers of rain. At 2 p.m. had some Observations of the Sun and Moon, which gave the Longitude 24 degrees 50 minutes West, 2 degrees 28 minutes West of Account. In the morning it was Calm, and the Ships, being near one another, several of them had their Boats out to tow. We Observed the Portland to carry out a long Warp. I, being desirous to see the Machine they made use of, we hoisted out a Boat, and Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself went on board her, where we was show'd it. It was made of Canvas, in every respect like an Umbrello; its Circumference, if extended to a Circle, was 24 feet, tho' this was a Small one of the Sort; yet Captain Elliot told me that it would hold as much as 150 Men could haul. I was so well satisfied of the Utility of this Machine that I would not have delayed a moment in having one Made had not our Forge been render'd Useless by the loss of some of its parts. Winds Variable; course North 31 degrees West; distance 35 miles; latitude 6 degrees 8 minutes North, longitude 25 degrees 8 minutes West.
22nd. Variable, unsettled weather, with rain. About 9 o'clock in the A.M. the Portland shorten'd Sail for the Sternmost Ships to come up. As we imagin'd, this gave us an Opportunity to get a Head of the Fleet, after which we made such sail as was necessary to keep in Company. Wind Variable; course North-North-West 3/4 West; distance 58 miles; latitude 6 degrees 58 minutes North, longitude 25 degrees 38 minutes West.
Posted by Arborfield at 20:36