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17 May 1792

At noon on the 17th we were in latitude 16°26′30″ and longitude 1°14′00″, Balingasay Point bearing S17°E, the church and town of Bolinao S69°E, and the islet of that name N83°E.

The wind, which had been variable and dropping since ten o’clock, settled in the north in the late afternoon. As we were a reasonable distance from Bolinao Harbour, we made for it and were able to reach the anchorage by nightfall. Shortly afterwards I went to the town of the same name, which lies a quarter of a league from the anchorage, with the intention of chartering three paraos, which at dawn were to be positioned at the end of the reefs which form the entrance channel.

Immediately after day break we went ashore and measured bases on the southern and western beaches, the first being 997 English feet in length and the second 738. Having completed the plan of the harbour and taken a few soundings in it, we set sail between ten and eleven o’clock on the 18th with the wind settled in the north. At noon our latitude was 16°26′20″ and longitude 1°9′20″ Cape Bolinao bore east, the town of that name south, and Balingasay Point S22°W. In this position we began measuring bases and at half past one we were able to take hour angles on the meridian of Bolinao Island. After this observation had been completed we were well placed to make for the port of Sual, which we regarded as the final point of our survey, while a fresh NE wind led us to hope that we would arrive there by the end of the afternoon. These hopes, however, were dashed by the fearsome aspect which the weather took on at half past five, when the horizon in the second and third quadrants became so overcast that, although we were close to shore, we could not see the land. By then we had already fixed the position of Calamitian Island and considered our survey at an end, so that our only object was to attempt to reach the anchorage while the wind was still in the NW. However, it soon swung to SE when it began to rain heavily, followed by thunder and lightning. Shortly afterwards the wind veered to SW, with equally threatening appearances. We immediately tacked out to sea and, when half way along the channel leading to the gulf, hove to on the port tack, in a moderate gale from that quarter which then shifted to the west with several strong gusts. The wind then veered to the fourth quadrant, when a dreadful scene met our eyes. The fact that the Moon was in the last day of its cycle and the variability of the weather during the preceding days, led us to suspect that the new monsoon was beginning with a typhoon. In this unpleasant situation we were prepared as much for ill fortune as for good. However, the wind began to slacken at midnight and, at one o’clock, after a heavy downpour and violent thunderclaps, accompanied by lightning which left us dazzled for a considerable time, the night became tranquil. The wind, although feeble, was now settled in the east and with this and the help of the oars, we were able to reach Calamitian Island at nine in the morning, from where, tacking with the wind in the SW, we were able to make the long-desired port of Sual.

At 10 o’clock we landed and, although a thin drizzle was falling, we nevertheless measured a base of 530 English feet on the SW beach of the port after which we made our way to Mangas Point. Here we took bearings to the Monastery of Santo Domingo in the town of San Isidro, where we intended to rate the pocket chronometer.

Constant rain, generally with winds from the third quadrant, prevented us from measuring bases near the river to fix some of the points which we had not yet been able to link with other surveys; the rain also obscured the Sun. These conditions continued from the 19th until the 22nd when the sky cleared, although the wind remained in the same quarter. We were then able to take hour angles and make a reliable observation of latitude. Shortly after noon the rain began again, so for the time being we abandoned our idea of going out to measure a base. On the 23rd the day dawned clear and, after taking hour angles, we went over to the SE beach of the Ayno River, where we measured a base of 1,497 feet. Having completed this and taking bearings from both ends, we measured another base of 1,264 feet on the NW beach, enabling us to tie other points into our survey. We returned to the monastery at three o’clock in the afternoon very tired after all our labours, as was only natural. In addition we were both now suffering from a high fever. This caused us to fall into a sleep, or state of lethargy, so deep that neither hunger nor the tender and careful attentions of the missionary father could wake us until one o’clock the following morning. My feelings may be imagined when I saw that the time to wind the pocket chronometer had passed and it had stopped.

This might have rendered useless all our previous work, if we had not correlated its results with more exact calculations, and if we had not always preferred these to the rate assigned to the chronometer here, and the longitude determined on our return to that observed on departure from the capital, which would probably be inaccurate because of the effects on its movement of both of the difficult and uncomfortable overland voyages. For this reason and the fact that there was now nothing we could do to rate the chronometer, we decided to return to Manila. We set out on the morning of the 24th, without omitting to note the bearing of Mount Arayat, now obscured, by means of the alignment that the Dominican fathers had established from their monastery to the Tribunal de los Mestizos using two crossed poles on the courthouse. Its bearing should have been S34°E which, having been corrected on our return, in the presence of the fathers, could not be far from the truth.

At four o’clock in the afternoon, with the instruments secured, we set out once again, choosing to travel overland through the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan, finally reaching Manila on the afternoon of the 30th,
with the legitimate satisfaction of having fully carried out our instructions, even though at the cost of
considerable damage to our health.