27th Dec 1831

[The plaque on the wall at Devil's Point, opposite Barn Pool]

Devonport to the Channel
I am now on the 5th of Jan.y writing the memoranda of my misery for the last week. A beautiful day, accompanied by the long wished for E wind. Weighed anchor at 11 oclock and with difficulty tacked out. The Commissioner Capt Ross sailed with us in his Yatch.
The Capt Sullivan and myself took a farewell luncheon on mutton chops and champagne, which may I hope excuse the total absence of sentiment which I experienced on leaving England.
We joined the Beagle about 2 oclock outside the Breakwater, and immediately with every sail filled by a light breeze we scudded away at the rate of 7 or 8 knots an hour.
I was not sick that evening but went to bed early.

Notes on the departure of HMS Beagle
Length: 27.5 metres (90 feet 4 inches)
Width: 7.5 metres (24 feet 6 inches)
Burden: 235 tons
Draugth: 3.8 metres (12 feet 6inches)

Beagle had two masts originally, but had a third added when converted for exploration. She carried 10 guns as a ship-of-war but this was reduced to 6 when converted. The total cost of refitting for exploration for the first voyage was £5,913. She would have carried a complement of 120 men as a ship-of-war; however, a total of 66 sailed on the Darwin voyage (the Beagle’s second voyage of exploration).

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