Malta (2)

In Sight of Malta – Arrive at Malta – Great number of Russians

Friday 12th – wind fresh and fair. Weather pleasant but very hazy, insomuch so that we could not make out Malta till within a few miles of it, and [when] we came in view of the Island, we could not see the entrance to the Harbour, which was involved in a thick mist. At length [the report] of some cannon directed us to the true spot, where we found that we had [been] considerably to windward of it, and had thus lengthened our distance. At half past three we came to anchor in the Coradine Harbour and almost immediately afterwards M.r Geach whom I accompanied, went ashore with the Mail. We saw that since our departure 9 or 10 Russian ships of war had arrived from Aegina and Poros in our absence & that their presence had created a great stir in the Port. They were all in Quarantine, so that when we reached the Parlatorio, we found a very motley crowd of men and officers standing there. These were not allowed to touch or even approach us and it was laughable to see two set of persons both under Quarantine forbidden to have any intercourse. While we were engaged with the Mail two Russian Naval Officers of high rank came in, and as we were about to depart, one of the Guardianos told them to stand aside, while he himself as cautiously avoided in coming into contact with either party. The two Admirals laughed heartily at the precaution taken while we could not help joining them the circumstance was so ludicrous.

Saturday 13th Feb.ry – weather cloudy but pleasant – wind variable – went of shore [4] but saw nothing new.

Sunday 14th – fine weather, remained on board all day. I may observe that we had this time no guardianos on board to watch our motions but only a small boat, at some distance from us, which, had we been so inclined, we could easily [have] eluded. The Guardianos were all employed with the Russians.

Read on … 3 Weeks at Sea