9th and 10th May 1771
[St. Helena to England]
9th. Ditto Weather. In the Evening found the Variation to be 11 degrees 42 minutes West. Wind South-East by South; course North-West; distance 118 miles; latitude 9 degrees 16 minutes, longitude 13 degrees 17 minutes West.
10th. At 6 in the A.M. saw the Island of Ascention bearing North-North-West, distant 7 Leagues. Made the Signal to speak with the Portland, and soon after Captain Elliott himself came on board, to whom I deliver'd a Letter for the Admiralty, and a Box containing the Ship's Common Log Books, and some of the Officers' Journals, etc. I did this because it seem'd probable that the Portland would get home before us, as we sail much heavier than any of the Fleet.* (* The Portland and the India fleet got home three days before the Endeavour.)
At Noon the Island of Ascention bore East by South, distant 4 or 5 Leagues. By our Observations it lies in the Latitude of 7 degrees 54 minutes South, and Longitude of 14 degrees 18 minutes West. A North-West by North course by Compass, or North-West a little Westerly by the Globe from St. Helena, will bring you directly to this Island. Wind Ditto; course North-West; distance 120 miles; latitude 7 degrees 51 minutes South, longitude 14 degrees 32 minutes West.
10th. This day we saw the Island of Ascencion which is tolerably high Land; Our Captn however did not chuse to anchor unwilling to give the fleet so much start of him. Those who have been ashore upon this Island say that it is little more than a heap of Cinders, the remains of a Volcano which burnt even since the discovery of the Indies. Osbeck who was ashore upon it found only 5 species of plants but I am much inclind to beleive that there are others which escapd his notice, as he certainly was not on the side of the Island where the French land, in which place I have been informd is a pretty wide plain coverd with herbage among which grows Cactus Opuntia, a plant not seen by that gentleman.
Posted by Arborfield at 19:51