14th & 15th April 1833

Coast of Patagonia
In the middle of the day, a Sail was seen a long way off in the SW. — We immediately made chace & soon found to our joy it was the Schooner. — Mr Chaffers came on board & reported that the Schooner had made good weather of it; but that the gales had been very heavy. — The Captain altered his plans & ordered Mr Chaffers to proceed directly on to Maldonado in the Rio Plata, & there wait our arrival. Whilst we were beating up to our station at the mouth of the Rio Negro; a small Schooner was seen beating down to us. — Every one immediately declared, they knew by the cut of her sails, that she was Wickham's. It turned out differently; she was a trading vessel to Rio Negro & brought news of our little Schooners. They were all well a week since & were then ready to sail to the South to the Bay of St Joseph. They had suffered one loss in Williams, the marine, who fell overboard in the river & was drowned. As the distance at present is under 100 miles, the Captain determined to run down & pay the Schooners a visit. Mr Wickham will go in the Beagle to Maldonado & Mr Stokes will remain in command. — This arrangement has materially affected me as the Captain has offered that one of the little Schooners, should take me up to the Rio Negro, after staying a few days in the Bay of St Joseph. — For the sake of the geology this is of the highest interest to me; otherwise the passage in so small a vessel will be sufficiently uncomfortable. —

No comments: