Cadiz (2)

Reach Cadiz – No Quarantine boat comes up

Sunday 8th March – on coming upon deck I found, that we were again in the open sea, and out of sight of land. During the night the breeze had carried us rapidly thro’ the Straits, notwithstanding the strength of the current and we are now proceeding, at the rate of 8 knots, with a wind which would have been quite against us, if we had been still at Gibraltar – how fortunate we have been! The forenoon was squally and the sea very high, notwithstanding which we reached Cadiz at 10 minutes to one oClock P.M. From what we had heard at Gibraltar we understood, that we would be admitted to pratique at once – but we had been deceived. A boat came from the Consul, and we had orders not to land the mail, till the Quarantine boat came alongside of us. We waited and waited, but no Quarantine boat made its appearance. Meanwhile one or two shore boats came off, & the persons in them made no scruple of receiving letters, and of coming into close contact with us. Nay more we had taken a pilot on board, at a good distance from our anchorage and he went at once ashore, without being put into Quarantine. No yellow flag was hoisted nor any ‘guardianos’ or guards put on board of us to prevent us from going on shore. Strange conduct this you will say – being a mixture of extreme and censurable carelessness, combined with a puerile strictness.

In this state of uncertainty, we spent the whole day – and yet no Quarantine boat came.

Quarantine boat come off

Monday 9th March – no orders or intelligence having been received from the shore the Captain resolved to set sail at 1 oClock, even without landing the Mail. To give notice of this his intention a gun was fired – the Blue Peter hoisted, and a gentleman, who came alongside, was requested to inform the Consul. At 10 oClock A.M. the cumbrous and unwieldy Quarantine boat came off, and made the same apology, of the violence of the wind, and the heavy swell of the sea, for not coming yesterday. Numerous questions were put to the Capt.n from which we learned, that not having been admitted to full pratique at Malta, we would be held under the same restrictions here. However the Capt.n was told, that he might go ashore with the mail, and that perhaps the British Consul would procure him liberty to go ashore. This permission you perceive did not extend to any other, and, therefore we were forced to wait in order to see if the same indulgence would finally be allowed to us – and this we could not ascertain, before our gig should return again. It did not come off, till it came with the captain & Mail at 4 oClock, at which time it was too late to think of going ashore, as after sunset there is neither egress out of, nor ingress into the City. The whole day was spent on deck, looking at the City thro’ a glass. I am even more pleased with it, than when we were last here. It looks magnificent from the Bay, & has this peculiarity, that altho’ it is a commercial city, the sea side is not crowded with the mean-looking and dirty warehouses, as is the case in almost all other ports – but there is presented to the view a fine range of elegant & lofty private buildings, intermixed with public & religious edifices, which contribute much to the ornament of the Town.

Captain comes on board with mail at Cadiz

By the time the captain came on board, all was ready for weighing – but the orders were countermanded, as we could not leave port, without a pilot, and the pilot would not undertake to go, with us, till to morrow morning at 6 oClock, when the gate would be opened. The weather during yesterday and today has been as bad as possible, with squalls, torrents of rain, and all the other agremens usually met with – & we had only occasional glimpses of the Sun. The wind too, shifted different times, and to day is as foul as could be feared.

Tuesday 10th March – at 6 oClock A.M. we bid adieu to Cadiz, and set sail for England ho!  With a breeze nearly favourable. During the whole day we had frequent squalls, accompanied with heavy rain, while the sea dashed over our sides with great fury. Course N.78 º W. Distance 28 miles. Latitude 36 º 38’N. Longitude 6º 52’W.  At 8 oClock P.M. I was on deck and was witness to one of those sudden and tremendous squalls, so frequent at night. The instant before, we were sailing with a fine steady breeze, and the moon was shining brightly over our heads – when in the twinkling of an eye, the wind took us with such violence, as threatened nearly to bend our foremast. Luckily we had foreseen the likelihood of such an occurrence, and were in a great measure prepared for it, by furling up the fore and main sail. All was now bustle and activity – order was issued after order by the clear loud voice of the Capt.n, who, cool himself, directed every thing necessary to be done with precision and distinctness. In the midst of our operations, the moon withdrew her light – we appeared to be entering the bosom of a mass of Clouds dark as pitch, except when their surface was fearfully illuminated by the brightest and most awful flashes of lightning, which I have ever beheld. The effect, indeed, was instantaneous, and impressive – and it at once brought before my mind a picture of what the ancients represented as the entrance to their infernal regions.

The squall or hurricane soon passed away, but left a strong wind, which compelled us to deviate from our proper course.

Wednesday 11th March – fine day – wind partly against and partly favourable Sea high. Course S.70º W. Distance 52. Latit.e 36 º 20’N. Longit.e 7º 52’W. Chronometer 7º 57’ 15”W.

Thursday 12th March – morning & forenoon very rainy, with nearly a calm – fine afternoon with a favourable breeze. Abreast of Cape S.t Vincent at ½ past 5 P.M. Course N.W. Latitude 36 º 57’N. Longitude 8º 40’W.

Friday 13th March – beautiful day with fine and favourable breezes, which continued strong till evening, and then greatly subsided. Course N.38º W. Distance 111. Latitude 38 º 22’N. Longit.e 10º 17’W. Chronometer 10º 10’ 45”W.

Saturday 14th March – weather cloudy, but fair – breeze fresh and favourable. Course N.12º E. Distance 124. Latitude 40 º 34’N. Longitude 10º 53’W. Chronometer 10º 41’ 15”W.

Sunday 15th March – beautiful day breeze favourable. Course N.15º E. Distance 159. Latitude 43 º 12’N. Longitude 9º 57’W. Chronometer 10º 10’ 30”W.

Monday 16th March – dull cloudy weather – wind not very favourable. Course N.15º E. Distance 143. Latitude 45 º 30’N. Longitude 9º 7’W. Chronometer 9º 30’ W. Towards evening it fell a dead calm

Tuesday 17th March – very fine weather – favourable breeze. Course N.6º E. Distance 60. Latitude 46 º 20’N. Longitude 9º 0’W. Chronometer 9º 18’ 45” W.

Wednesday 18th March – very cloudy weather – wind perfectly favourable and carrying us at a rate of 9 knots an hour. Course N.34º E. Distance 179. Latitude 48 º 49’N. Longit: 6º 38’W. Chronometer 7º 23’ W.

We were all in expectation of getting into Falmouth Harbour about 12 oClock at night. In consequence of the height of the waves, and the dark cloudy sky it was found impossible to descry the lighthouse on the Lizard point & therefore our Capt.n resolved to lay to until morning, or until it should be seen.

Thursday 19th March – this morning we found ourselves in a sad predicament. During the night we had got unknowingly into Mounts Bay, immediately to the Westward of the Lizard Point, and into which the wind was blowing directly towards the land, so that we could not weather the point, till after a long time. At ½ past 5 we came to anchor in Falmouth Harbour, and we had expected to be allowed to land immediately. But in this we were mistaken, as some difficulty occurred with respect to the Bill of health. It seems that Capt.n Snell, had delivered at Cadiz, upon demand, the Clean Bill of health, with which he had been furnished at Gibraltar – and had received in release one from the practique office at Cadiz. This he considered to be perfectly sufficient and satisfactory, till he was undeceived by the officer at Falmouth who scrupled to admit us to practique, without a stronger sanction than his own. He went on shore again and left us to the pleasant reflection, that we might probably be put into Quarantine for five days. At 8 oClock he returned, and brought with him old Doctor Fox of Falmouth – before whom we were obliged to perform the ceremony of shewing our faces by the light of a lantern. Having satisfied his curiosity, he was pleased to admit us, to practique – for which we gave him many thanks.

End of Mediterranean Voyage.


At Gibraltar, on our homeward voyage, we received on board Mrs. Grant, lady of Major Grant, of the Royal Artillery and sister in law to Capt.n Bull of the Packet service. She was returning to her native Truro, where her father practiced as a Surgeon, for the …  [ends]