Contents

Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<
1813 Amelia and Aréthuse 185

for action, and in the evening was joined by the Hawk merchant schooner, with some more of the Daring's men. On the morning of the 30th the Amelia's launch-carronade was put on board the Hawk, and Lieutenant Pascoe, having volunteered, was despatched in her to reconnoitre the French ships.

On the 2d of February, at noon, Lieutenant Pascoe returned, with intelligence of the names of the two French frigates and their prize ; and also of Captain Bouvet's intention to proceed immediately to sea, to intercept the British homeward-bound trade. On the 3d, at 8 a.m., the cartel-cutter, noticed as having been despatched by Captain Bouvet, arrived with prisoners, including the crew of the Daring's boat : and at 10 h. 30 m. the Amelia, with a debilitated crew, for whose recovery she was about to proceed to England, got under way, and made sail, against a west-south-west wind, for the Isles de Los, in the hope of falling in with some British cruiser that might render the match more equal, and prevent the two French frigates from molesting several merchant vessels that were daily expected at Sierra-Leone.

On the 5th, at 8 a.m., the Amelia got a sight of Isle de Los; and at 8 p.m., when standing to the north-east, and then distant three leagues west-north-west of Tamara, she observed a strange sail in the north-east, or right ahead, making night-signals. Supposing this vessel to be one of the French frigates, the Amelia tacked to the westward, the wind now blowing fresh from the north-west. On the 6th, at daylight, the Amelia again tacked to the north-east, and at 9 a.m. spoke the Princess-Charlotte government-schooner from Sierra-Leone, the vessel that had been making signals the preceding night. At 9 h. 30 m. a.m. the French ships were observed in the north-east, at anchor off the north end of Tamara : one, the Aréthuse, considerably to the northward of the other, who appeared to be unloading the prize, but was really removing into the latter her own crew. At 10 a.m. Captain Irby despatched the Princess-Charlotte to Sierra-Leone, with directions for any British ship of war that might arrive there to repair immediately to him. The Amelia then bore away for Tamara to reconnoitre the enemy.

At 2 h. 30 m. p.m. the two French frigates were observed to interchange signals ; and at 3 h. 20 m. the Aréthuse weighed and made sail on the starboard tack, with a moderate breeze at south-south-west. The Amelia thereupon shortened sail, and hauled to the wind on the same tack as the Aréthuse. In a few minutes the latter tacked to the westward, to avoid a shoal, and the Amelia did the same. At 6 p.m. the Aréthuse bore from the Amelia north-north-east distant six miles; at which time the Rubis, as supposed, but probably the Serra, was observed to have her topsails hoisted. At 6 h. 30 m. p.m. the north end of Tamara bore from the Amelia east-south-east distant five leagues. At 8 p.m. the Amelia lost sight of the Aréthuse; and at 8 h. 30 m., in order to keep off shore during the night, Captain

^ back to top ^