14th November 1770

[Heaving down at Batavia]
Employ'd clearing the Ship of the Carreening gear, her bottom being now thoroughly repair'd, and very much to my satisfaction. In justice to the Officers and Workmen of this Yard, I must say that I do not believe that there is a Marine Yard in the World where work is done with more alertness than here, or where there are better conveniences for heaving Ships down both in point of safety and despatch. Here they heave down by 2 masts, which is not now Practised by the English; but I hold it to be much safer and more expeditious than by heaving down by one mast; a man must not only be strongly bigotted to his own customs, but in some measure divested of reason, that will not allow this, after seeing with how much ease and safety the Dutch at Onrust heave down their largest ships.

Joseph Banks Journal
This day we had the agreable news of the repairs of the ship being compleatly finishd and that she was returnd again to Coopers Island, where she provd to be no longer at all leaky. When examind she had provd much worse than any body expected, her main plank being in many places so cut by the rocks that not more than one eighth of an inch in thickness remaind, and here the worm had got in and made terrible havock; her false keel intirely gone, and her main keel much wound'd.

These damages were now however intirely repaird, and very well too in the opinion of Every body who saw the Duch artificers do their work. This completion of our repairs gave us hopes that our stay here would be of no very long duration, as we had now nothing to do but to get on board our stores and provisions; but our hopes were not a little dampd by the accounts we every day had from the ship, where the people were so sickly that not above 13 or 14 were able to stand to their work.

Dr Solander grew better tho by very slow degrees; myself soon had a return of my ague which now became quotidian, the Captain also was taken ill on board and of course we sent his servant to him, soon after which both Mr Sporing and our seaman were seizd with intermittents, so that we were again reduc'd to the melancholy necessity of depending intirely upon the Malays for nursing us, all of whoom were often sick together.

No comments:

Post a Comment