Letter received by Banks from WilliamBligh, 24 May 1788 (Series 46.22) - No. 0004

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Portable Soup made rich with Krout [Kraut] boiled in it & every other day Pease with a mixture of the former articles.  Instead of their full allowance of Salt Meat they had half flour, so that they lived as well or better than any set of Men that ever went to sea, besides this they had as much Vinegar & Mustard as they could use, and their allowance of water, which is scarce to be named so, was, three quarts a day to each Man with all these advantages and keeping them clean in their Persons & bedding is what I attribute their great good health to.- The Rheumatick complaints I could not keep off, and after all my endeavors.  I believe that complaint would have laid up most of them up in the course of another week.

My passage to this place from the time of my bearing away seems to have indicated I only got away in time, for we have been running with a constant Gale of wind ever since. - 

I must now Sir by leave to point out to you my dispatch in my equipment & readyness in Sailing from England.-

On the 20 Aug. I recd my Commisn on the 3d Sept the Ship was got out of Dock & masts shortened - On the 9th October I was ready stored & victualled for 18 Months & a Pilot on board to take me down the River. - On the 15 following I recd orders to proceed to Spithead, where from constant bad weather I did not arrive untill the 4th November under the command of Lord Hood. - I remained at Spithead with fair winds untill the 24 which was 20 Days when His Lordship gave me my final orders dated the 20th. four days before.

From this time unto the 23d Dec.r when I sailed it was impossible to get down Channel altho I made two attempts. 

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