Fryday 28th Very fine Breeze all night from the North at 2 this morning ran through between the East End of Madeira & the Deserto’s, got up at 4 this morning was then aBreast of the Brazen Head 4 or 5 miles from Shore fell little Wind, got the Boat out and sent her ahead to tow us in, at 9 came to an Anchor in Funchal Road 32 fathom water. The Brazen head EbS. The Westermost Point of the Bay West of the Looe Rock NWbN about one mile from Shore, handed the sails and sent the Madeira Bag on shore by the Doctor.
Found riding here a French East Indiaman outward bound taking in Wines, she was from Marseilles bound to Pondicherry, was called the Duke de Duras Cap.t Blanchard, about 500 Tons and mounted 10 Guns & 50 men. There was also here a French Brig Wheat loaded from Marseilles, but could not sell her cargo and was going to return again, and a Portuguese Snow belonging to the Island bound for the Brazils.
About 10 o’Clock being Calm a large Fish such as I never saw before came playing about the Ship, the Sailors call it the Devil Fish, and if that old Gentleman is so ugly as he is represented, I think this Fish very well deserves the name for in my life I never saw any thing more ugly it was, we endeavour’d to take it and one of the Sailors struck it with the Grains and played it about for some Time but finding himself wounded he went to the Bottom and soon disengaged himself from the Iron, I should have liked much to have seen it on shore or upon Deck, it’s Body seemed much of the Skate kind, but much larger than any of that Species of Fish I ever saw, I suppose it could not be less than 10 feet over its Form was so very odd that could not distinguish the Head from the Tail, and all round seemed as if indented its Motion in swimming appears also very odd very odd, these indented parts seemed to flap like Wings, it sunk down and raised itself again very quick, its Colour was quite Black on the Back, but underneath appeared very white, there were 8 or 10 Pilot Fish continually about him and three or 4 Sucking Fish, these latter sort seemed as if they teased him, for as soon as ever one of them got under him he immed.y came to the Top of the Water. I fancy this Fish must be very strong as he towed the Boat which was not small at a great rate. It is not common on this Coast but at Charles Town S:o Carolina they have great Plenty of them and there have been instances of their oversetting Boats, I have also heard that they will jump a very considerable Height out of the water. Some Fishermen came alongside with diff.t Sorts of Fish and Hawkes Bill Turtles.
At 12 o’Clock went on Shore and visited most of the principal Houses belonging to the Factory, dined with the Agent, M.r Bray & a Portuguese were the only Company. Drank Tea w.th M.rs Smith. went off in the Evening at Sun sett, though many Entreaties to stay on Shore, preferred my own Bed to where could sleep, without being tormented w:th Bugs or Fleas, with which theirs abound, without they are very careful to keep them clean. This being the Eve of S.t Peter by the Time got on board Ship most of the Churches and many Principal places in town were illuminated you cannot conceive what a pretty Effect it has from the water, but the Hill above and at each side of the Town was still prettier as you cou’d see it as well as if ‘ twas Day, and I dare say there were not less than 500 Bonfires and Illuminations surely S.t Peter must be a great Favourite with them to consume so much oyle in Honor of him, their Illuminations are all on the outsides of their Houses, they have little earthen pans made on purpose for this use.
Saturday 29th, Light Breezes from the Southward at 9 Even:g a Land Breeze. Early this morning an English Brig anchored here, she came from Waterford, out 23 Days and bound to different Islands in the West Indies was very leaky, this was one of the Vessels we saw on our passage out, as the Carpenter of her, (one Pascoe of Falmouth) informed me he saw us.
Dined this Day with M.r Murray the Consul, or I may say rather with his partner M.r Lauchlin as the Consuls House is not yet ready to receive him, the Company present were M.r and M.rs Lauchlin, M.r and M.rs Murry, Miss Ferguson, M.r Bell, Pringle and another young Gentleman belonging to the House. The Captain of the French Indiaman and one of his Officers, a M.r Cole and M.r Mason, these two Gentlemen are waiting here to go out in an English East Indiaman, after Tea we all took a walk to the Loo were there had been a great number of Person’s gathered together in Honor of S.t Peter, there were still a great many but the greatest part of them were gone to their Homes, all the poor people were bedizend out in their bettermost best, many of them cut very droll Figures, every Body upon this Day I believe becomes a Fisherman or at least goes out upon the Water as the Boats seemed stuck full with Men Women and Children, their Boats are all covered with Green Branches so that you can scarce see the Hulls of some of them & it has a pretty appearance. The place where this Marine Show is exhibited is by Nature formed allmost into a Pier, by the Cliff on one Side of the Loo Rock a Peninsula on the other, this Rock is one of the most craggy romantick looking Places as ever I beheld, and every part of it is stuck full of People to see the Fun going on and hear y.e greatest Blackguarding that can be imagined, to be sure S.t Peter must be highly delighted, poor ignorant deluded People, every Shop and Store shut up, no Business going on they give the Preferince of this & every Saints’ day to a Sunday as they say that S.t Peter has but one Day in the year but God Almighty one every week, what a Religion, how is it possible that their Priests many of whom must be sensible men can teach them so much Blasphemy & Superstition, went on board this Evening at the Ringing of the Ave Maria Bell. if you stay beyond that Time you are obliged to get a License from the Governor and liable to be insulted by the Guards and Soldiers the most despicable Beings in Nature, great Illuminations this Even:g again for S:t Peter.
Sunday 30th Light Airs of Wind very fine Weather, as yesterday all Day the Wind Southerly and at Night off the Land, wrote several Letters yesterday and this Day which I deliv:d to M.r Bell to be forwarded by first Opportunity for England, went on Shore at 12 o’Clock. this Morning arrived here the Ship London, Lee, for Barbados – 28 days from the Downs, also the Ship Minerva, Love, for the Grenades, sailed about the same Time from the River as the London did – a Swedish Snow from Viana in Portugal came in also this morning by her an Opportunity I hope will offer of forwarding my Letters for England.
Dined with M.r Smith. The Company M.r & M.rs Smith, M.r Taylor, Gaylard and Bray, after drinking Tea, went to the Agents & took off my Letters & proceeded directly on board, the Honors paid to S.t Peter not yet ended, the Citadel & Forts which are in the parish of S.t Peters saluted him with a number of Guns each & a procession attended with Drums Trumpets & French Horns paraded the Streets of that Parish. This Day a young man of some Distinction was ordain’d into Holy Orders & performed Mass for the first Time, it is customary upon these Occasions for to make a Feast & get their Friends & Acquaintance about them, most of the Factory dined with him upon the Occasion at his Fathers House about a Mile or two out in the Country, Cannon were firing the Whole Day & at Night there was the prettiest Illumination I ever saw, the House was upon the Top of a Hill which rose with a gradual ascent, the Illumination was in the Shape of a Triangle, where the House stood was one continual Blaze of Fire very steady from that Point the Lamps began to spread and I dare say the last Row must have been 50 yards long at least, some thousands of these little earthen Pans must have been used upon this occasion & I suppose £20 or £30 – worth of Oyle, you cannot conceive what a pretty Effect it had from the Water and I looked at it for some hours with Pleasure, at 9 o’Clock this evening got under sail with a light Breeze of Wind off the Shore.
Before I begin my Sea Journal I will endeavour to give my dear M.rs Lawrance some Account of Madeira.