[Footnote 19: Captain Clerke departed this life in the thirty-eighth year of his age. He was brought up to the navy from his earliest youth, and had been in several actions during the war which began in 1756. In the action between the Bellona and the Courageux, being stationed in the mizen-top, he was carried over-board with the mast; but was taken up without having received any hurt. He was a midshipman in the Dolphin, commanded by Captain Byron, in her voyage round the world: after which he served on the American station. In 1768, he made his second voyage round the world, in the Endeavour, as master's mate: and, in consequence of the death of Mr. Hicks, which happened on the 23rd of May, 1771, he returned home a lieutenant. His third circumnavigation of the globe was in the Resolution, of which he was appointed the second lieutenant; and he continued in that situation till his return in 1775; soon after which he was promoted to the rank of master and commander. In what capacity he sailed with Captain Cook in this last expedition, need not be added. The consumption, of which Captain Clerke died, had evidently commenced before he left England, and he lingered under it during the whole voyage. Though his very gradual decay had long made him a melancholy object to his friends, nevertheless, they derived some consolation from the equanimity with which he bore his disorder, from the constant flow of good spirits maintained by him to his latest hour, and from his submitting to his fate with cheerful resignation. 'It was, however, impossible,' says Mr. King, 'not to feel a more than common degree of compassion for a person, whose life had been a continued scene of those difficulties and hardships, to which a seaman's occupation is subject, and under which he at last sunk.'
King's Voyage, p. 280, 281.]
On the 24th, the vessels anchored in the harbour of St Peter, and St. Paul, where the gentlemen on board were received by their Russian friends, with the same cordiality as before. Captain Gore, upon whom the command of the expedition now devolved, removed himself to the Resolution, and appointed Mr. King to the command of the Discovery. He sent off an express to the commander at Bolcheretsk, in which he requested to have sixteen head of black cattle. The eruption of the volcano, which had taken place at the time of the late departure of the vessels from Awatska, had done no damage, notwithstanding stones had fallen at the ostrog of the size of a goose's egg.
Attempts were now made to repair, as far as was practicable, the damage the Discovery had sustained in the ice, and in removing the sheathing, eight feet of a plank in the wale were found to be so very rotten as to make it necessary to shift it. The carpenters were sent on shore in search of a tree large enough for the purpose: luckily they found a birch, which was the only one of sufficient size in the whole neighbourhood of the bay. The crews were employed in various necessary occupations: amongst which, four men were set apart to haul the seine for salmon, which were caught in great abundance, and of excellent quality. After supplying the immediate wants of both ships, they salted down near a hogshead a day. The seahorse blubber, with which they had stored themselves, during their expedition to the north, was boiled down for oil, now become a necessary article, their candles having been long since all used.
The body of Captain Clerke was interred on Sunday the 29th, with all the solemnity and honours they could bestow, under a tree, in the valley on the north side of the harbour; a spot, which the priest of Paratounea said, would be, as near as he could guess, in the centre of the new church intended to be erected.
On the 3rd of September, arrived an ensign from Bolcheretsk, with a letter from Captain Shmalelf, the present commander, who promised the cattle required and that he would himself pay them a visit immediately on the arrival of a sloop, which was daily expected from Okotzk.
On the morning of the 10th, a Russian galliot, from Okotzk, was towed into the harbour. She had been thirty-five days on her passage, and had been seen from the lighthouse a fortnight before, beating up towards the mouth of the bay. There were fifty soldiers in her, with their wives and children, and several other passengers; a sub-lieutenant, who came in her, now took the command of the garrison, and from some cause or other, which the English could not learn, their old friend, the serjeant, the late commander of the place, fell into disgrace, and was no longer suffered to sit down in the company of his own officers.
From the galliot, our navigators got a small quantity of pitch, tar, cordage, and twine, and a hundred and forty skins of flour, containing 13,782 lbs. English.