Contents

Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<
1813 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 184

which was the British gun-brig Daring, Lieutenant William R. Pascoe. The latter, when at a great distance, taking the Rubis for an English frigate, sent his master in a boat to board her. On approaching near, the boat discovered her mistake and endeavoured to make off, but was captured. The Daring was now aware of her perilous situation, and crowded sail for Tamara, followed by the Rubis ; whom the lightness of the breeze delayed so much, that the brig succeeded in running on shore and her crew in setting her on fire. The two French frigates, at 6 p.m., came to an anchor in the road of Isle de Los. Here Captain Bouvet learnt, that Sierra-Leone was the rendezvous of two British frigates and several sloops of war ; that one of the former had recently quitted the coast, and that the remaining frigate, reported to him as larger and stronger than either of his own, still lay at anchor in the river.

In the course of six days, the French commodore refitted his ships, and supplied them with water and provisions for six months. Having also sent to Sierra-Leone to exchange the few prisoners in his possession, consisting, besides the boat's crew of the Daring, of the master and crew of a merchantman he had taken, Captain Bouvet, on the 4th, weighed and made sail with his two frigates. At 4 p.m. the Aréthuse who was ahead, struck on a coral bank, but forcing all sail, got off immediately, with no greater damage than the loss of her rudder. The two frigates then reanchored, but driving in a gale of wind, were obliged, at 3 a.m. on the 5th, to get under sail ; the Aréthuse contriving a temporary rudder while her own was repairing.

At daylight, when the gale had abated, the Aréthuse found herself lying becalmed within four leagues north-east of the island of Tamara ; and Captain Bouvet was surprised to discover his consort still among the islands, covered with signals, which the distance precluded him from making out, but which were judged to be of melancholy presage. At 8 a.m. the Aréthuse anchored in 12 fathoms. At 11 a.m. the Rubis was observed to fire several guns, and at noon to have the signal flying, that the pumps were insufficient to free her. Captain Bouvet immediately sent his longboat with two pumps ; but at 2 a.m. on the 6th the officer returned, with information that the Rubis had struck on the rocks, and that her crew were removing to the Portuguese ship. At daylight, by which time she had repaired and reshipped her rudder, the Aréthuse discovered a large ship to windward. This was the British 38-gun frigate Amelia, Captain the Honourable Frederick Paul Irby, from Sierra-Leone.

It was at 3 h. 30 m. p.m. on the 29th of January, that Lieutenant Pascoe and a part of his crew joined the Amelia, then moored off Free-Town, Sierra-Leone, bringing information, that he had left " three French frigates " at anchor in Isle de Los road. The Amelia began immediately to bend sails and clear

^ back to top ^