When this obstacle was removed, and all things ready for sailing, it happened on the afternoon of the 11th of October that one of the Gloucester's men being upon a hill, saw the Centurion at a distance. She was soon visible to all, and the next day cast anchor in the road. On the 14th, a sudden gust of wind drove her to sea a second time, but in about five days, they returned again to anchor. On the 20th of October, they set fire to the bark and proa, hoisted in their boats, and got under sail, steering away towards the south end of the island of Macao.
About midnight, on the 5th of November, they made the mainland of China, and on the morning of the 9th, a Chinese pilot came on board, and told them that he would carry the ship into Macao for thirty dollars, which being paid him they proceeded, and on the 12th entered the harbor of Macao. On the 6th of April the Centurion again stood out to sea. On the last day of May they came in sight of Cape Espiritu Santo, where they continued to cruize till the 20th of June, when about sunrise the great Manilla ship came in sight, having the standard of Spain flying at the top-gallantmast head, and to the commodore's surprise, bore down upon him. The engagement soon began, and lasted an hour and a half, when the galleon struck to the Centurion, after having sixty-seven men killed and eightyfour wounded. The Centurion had only two men killed and seventeen wounded. The prize carried five hundred men and thirty-six guns, and her cargo was worth £400,000 sterling. It is impossible to describe the transports on board, when, after all their reiterated disappointments, they at length saw their wishes accomplished. But their joy was very near being suddenly damped by a very alarming accident; for no sooner had the galleon struck, than one of the lieutenants coming to Mr. Anson, whispered him, that the Centurion was dangerously on fire near the powder-room. The commodore received this shocking intelligence without any apparent emotion, and taking care not to alarm his people, gave the necessary orders for extinguishing the fire, which was done, though its first appearance threatened the ship with destruction.
On the 14th, the Centurion cast anchor off Bocca Tigris, forming the mouth of that river: and having got under sail on the 16th of October, 1743, came to anchor in the straits of Sunda on the 3d of January, and continued there till the 8th, taking in wood and water, when she weighed and stood for the Cape of Good Hope, where, on the 11th of March, she came to anchor in Table Bay. Mr. Anson continued here till the 3d of April, 1744, when he put to sea, and on the 19th of the month, was in sight of St. Helena, but did not touch at it.
On the 12th of June they got in sight of the Lizard, and on the evening of the 15th to their great joy, came safe to anchor at Spithead. On his arrival Mr. Anson learned, that under cover of a thick fog, he had run through a French fleet, which was at that time cruizing in the chops of the channel.