15th April 1771
[At Anchor, Table Bay]
None of the Ships in the Offing are yet arrived. Desirous as we must be of hearing news from England, I detemmin'd not to wait the arrival of these Ships, but took the advantage of a breeze of wind from the West-South-West; weigh'd and stood out of the Bay, saluted with 13 Guns, which Complement was return'd both by the Castle and Dutch Commodore. The Europa Saluted us as we passed her, which we return'd. This Ship was to have sail'd with or before us, but not liking the opportunity she lay fast. At 5 in the Evening anchor'd under Penguin or Robin Island in 10 fathoms water, the Island extending from West-North-West to South-South-West, distant 1 1/2 or 2 miles.
In the Morning saw a Ship standing into Table Bay, under English Colours, which we took to be an Indiaman; at Noon Latitude observed 33 degrees 49 minutes South; Cape Town South 20 degrees East, distant 7 miles. As we could not Sail in the Morning for want of wind, I sent a Boat to the Island for a few Trifling Articles we had forgot to take in at the Cape, but the people on shore would not permit her to land, so that she return'd as she went, and I gave myself no further Trouble at it. Mr. Banks, who was in the Boat, was of opinion that it was owing to a mistake made respecting the rank of the Officer commanding the Boat; be this as it may, it seems probable that the Dutch do not admit of Strangers landing upon this Island least they should carry off some of those people which, for certain crimes, they Banish here for Life, as we were told was done by a Danish Ship a few years ago. But they might have a better reason for refusing our Boat to land, for it is not improbable but what there might be some English Seamen upon this Island whom they had sent from the Cape while we lay there, well knowing that if they came in my way I should take them on board; and this, I am told, is frequently done when any of His Majesty's Ships are in the Bay, for it is well known that the Dutch East India Ships are mostly mann'd by Foreigners.
Posted by Arborfield at 15:49