CHAPTER 13. 1772 TO 1774. SECOND VOYAGE.
Saying goodbye to his family on 21st June, Cook, accompanied by Mr. Wales, left London for Sheerness, and the next day dropped down to the Nore. The Resolution was now drawing only fifteen feet ten inches of water instead of seventeen, a very satisfactory improvement. She was given a good trial on a wind, and was found "to answer exceeding well." On 3rd July they arrived at Plymouth, having been boarded the day before by Lord Sandwich and Captain Pallisser, who were on a tour of inspection, and Cook had the pleasure of giving them a satisfactory account of his ship: "I had not one fault to allege."
On arrival at Plymouth, Cook found that orders had been given to the stores that he was to be supplied with whatever he thought necessary, but the only things required were larger coppers for the distilling apparatus, the ones they had on board having proved far too small. The officers and crew were paid up to 28th May, and the petty officers and men also received two months' advance to enable them to provide necessaries and extras for the voyage. Cook remarks:
"The payment of six months' wages to the officers, and crews of these two sloops, being nearly all they had due, was an indulgence never before granted to any of His Majesty's Ships."
Cook now received his final orders, which he had assisted to draw up - in fact, "nothing was inserted that I did not fully comprehend and approve of." He was to call at Madeira for a supply of wine; to sail for the Cape of Good Hope and there refresh his men; then to look for Cape Circumcision, placed by M. Bouvet in 54 degrees South, 11 degrees 20 minutes East, to determine if it formed part of a continent, and if so to explore it, following the coast and endeavouring to get as near to the South Pole as he could without endangering his ships or crews. Should Cape Circumcision prove to be an island, or should he be unable to find it, he was to proceed as far south as he thought there was a probability of meeting with land, and then steering east, circumnavigate the world in as high a latitude as he could. In case of meeting with land he was to explore as far as time would permit. When the season rendered it unsafe to remain in high latitudes he was to retire to the north to refit and recruit, and at a proper season to return to the south. In any unforeseen circumstances he was to use his own discretion, and if the Resolution should be lost, he was to prosecute his voyage in the Adventure. A copy of these orders was given to Captain Furneaux, and in case of separation the following rendezvous were named: Madeira, Port Praya in the island of St. Iago, the Cape of Good Hope, and New Zealand.
FORSTER SAVES SHIP!
The Forsters evidently were far from pleasant travelling companions, and at one time or another seem to have quarrelled with every one on board the ship. At the very first the father was dissatisfied with the accommodation allotted to him, and offered Mr. Cooper 100 pounds to turn out of his cabin; when this offer was declined, he tried to force Mr. Gilbert, the Master, to give up his, threatening if he refused he should be reported to the king and turned out of the Navy; this threat appears to have been a favourite one, and soon became a by-word with the seamen, who, according to Mr. Wales, would use it to each other on every possible occasion. But, according to his own account, Mr. Forster was able to save the expedition from a very great disaster on 12th July. He says he came on deck and noticed the ship was adrift from her moorings; neither the officer of the watch nor the look-out had seen it till he called attention, and then, after a scene of the greatest confusion, the ship was fortunately brought up within a few feet of the rocks. On the other hand, the Master's log admits the Resolution got adrift, but before Mr. Forster reached the deck the fact had been reported to the Captain, all hands turned up, the jib and forestay sail set, and the ship quietly dropped down into the Sound and anchored, never having been in the slightest danger. The only other one to notice the affair was Midshipman Willis, who simply states, "dropped from the Buoy and anchored in the Sound."
Having received the private signals of the East India Company's Navy, and letters of introduction from the Prince of Orange to all the principal officers of the Dutch East India Company, instructing them to afford every assistance that might be required, Cook hoisted the signal to the Adventure to weigh anchor at 5 A.M. on 13th July, and with a north-west breeze the two ships sailed for Madeira. When well out in the Channel the Resolution's crew was mustered, and it was found that, owing to a mistake of the clerk, there was one man more than the complement, so John Coghlan was entered on the Supernumerary List for Wages and Victuals.
On the 23rd they were able to relieve a small French boat, from Ferrol to Corunna, which had been blown far off her course, and had been short of water for a fortnight. The day following they fell in with three Spanish men-o'-war; Cook says: "The sternmost hoisted English colours and fired a gun to leeward, and soon after hoisted his own proper colours, and spoke with the Adventure." It appears she enquired who they were, and where they were going, and finally wished them a good voyage. This account did not satisfy Mr. Forster, who waxes eloquent and describes the event as "a scene so humiliating to the masters of the sea." He must have formed a strange opinion of Cook if he thought for a moment he was one to put up silently with anything humiliating to the British flag. Marra, in his Journal, points out that the build and rig of the ships were unusual for men-o'-war, and that when the Spaniards found they had stopped king's ships, they "made a proper apology, and very politely took leave, wishing them a good voyage."
THE FIRST LOSS.