All day we have been sailing within two or three miles off the coast. For 40 miles it has been one single line of sandy hillocks, without any break or change. The country within is uninhabited, & ships never frequent this track, so that it is the most desolate place I have ever visited. At sunset, before anchoring, we came rather suddenly on a bank, & were obliged instantly to put the ship up to the wind. This fine weather is of the greatest importance to the surveying & as long as it lasts, sailing slowly along the coast is sufficient for all purposes.
The weather continues most beautiful: a bank of clouds in the SW frightened us in the morning but now at night we are at an anchor in a calm. No people have such cause anxiously to watch the state of weather as Surveyors. Their very duty leads them into the places which all other ships avoid & their safety depends on being prepared for the worst. Every night we reef our top-sails so as to lose no time if a breeze should force us to move. Yesterday morning getting up the anchor & securing it & setting all sail only took us five minutes. We have not made much progress during the day; for we have tacked all the time parallel to the coast.