5th December 1768

Rio de Janeiro
First part, little wind and Cloudy; Middle, Thunder, Lightning and Rain; latter, little wind at South-West and fair. At 4 a.m. Weighed and tow'd down the Bay (being Calm) with an intent to go to Sea, but having 2 Shott fired at us from Santa Cruze Fort was obliged to come to an Anchor and to send a Boat to the Fort to know the Reason of their firing, who it seems had no orders to let us pass, without which no Ship can go to Sea. This surprized me not a little, as I had but this very morning received a very Polite Letter from the Vice-Roy (in answer to one I had wrote some days ago), wherein he wishes me a good voyage. I immediately dispatched a petty Officer to the Vice-Roy to know the reason why we was not permitted to pass the Fort; the Boat very soon return'd with an order to the Captain of the Fort to let us pass, which Order had been wrote some Days Ago, but either by Design or neglect had not been sent. At 11 weighed in order to put to Sea, but before we could heave up the Anchor, it got hold of a Rock, where it held fast in spite of all our endeavours to Clear it until the Sea Breeze set in.

Joseph Banks Journal
This Morn early a dead calm, we attemptd to tow down with our boats and came near abreast of Santa Cruz their cheif Fortification, when to our great surprize the Fort fird two shot at us one of which went just over our Mast: we immediately brought to and sent ashore to enquire the reason, were told that no order had come down to allow us to pass without which no ship was ever sufferd to go below that fort. We were now obligd to send to town to know the reason of such extraordinary behavior, the Answer came back about 11 that it was a mistake, for the Brigadier had forgot to send the letter which had been wrote some days: it was however sent by the boat and we had leave to proceed. We now began to weigh our anchor which had been droppd in foul ground when we were fird at, but it was hung so fast in a rock that it could not be got out while the Land breeze blew, which today continued almost till four in the Even; as soon as the Sea breeze came we filld our sails and carrying the ship over the anchor tripd it but were obligd to sail back almost as far as we had towd the ship in the Morn.

This day and yesterday the air was crowded in an uncommon manner with Butterflies cheifly of one sort, of which we took as many as we pleasd on board the ship, their quantity was so large that at some times I may say many thousands were in view at once in almost any direction you could look, the greatest part of them much above our mast heads.

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