23rd July 1835

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal
Scarcely four months had elapsed since that tremendous earthquake, which destroyed so many towns in Chile, had altered the movements of the Pacific Ocean upon all the extent of coast which reaches from latitude forty-five to the parallel of twenty-five. Even in July, the land about Concepcion was scarcely considered to be at rest, and recovered, as it was said, from those awful convulsions. Can it then be considered improbable that the currents of that sea should have taken unusual directions, and betrayed even cautious seamen, such as Captain Seymour and Mr. Macdonald (the master) were well known to be. So much care and judgment had always been shown in conducting the Challenger, and she had visited so many places in the Atlantic, in the Pacific, and among the South Sea Islands, that of all the King's ships at that time in commission, those who sailed in her (unconnected even with her management) thought her one of the last that would end a voyage disastrously. The surprising manner in which the hull of the Challenger held together, and so long resisted heavy shocks, reflects infinite credit upon her architect (Hayes), and upon the dockyard where she was built.

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