10th March 1833

East Falkland Island
In the evening it blew a tremendous gale of wind. I should never have imagined it possible for such a sea to get up in so few minutes. The Barometer had given most excellent warning that something uncommon was coming: in the middle of the day it looked like a clear; but at dinner the Captain said the glass says we have not had the worst: about an hour afterwards it reached us in all its fury: The French Brig let go four anchors; the English schooner drove; & a little more would have added another wreck. At night our Yawl was swamped at her moorings; she did not sink, but was towed on shore & emptied, some of her gear & sails are lost.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
... at six in the evening of a stormy day, the wind increased suddenly from the strength of a fresh gale to that of a hurricane, and in a few minutes the Beagle brought both anchors ahead, and was pitching her forecastle into the sea. Topgallant-masts were on deck, and yards braced sharp up all day; but we were obliged to let go a third anchor, and even then had some anxiety for the result. Till this squall came, the water had been smooth, though of course covered with white crests ('horses'); but it was then changed into a short sea, such as I should have been slow to believe wind could have raised in that confined cove. The yawl, an excellent sea-boat, and quite light, was swamped at her moorings; but I think that the chief cause of her filling was a quantity of kelp which drifted athwart hawse and hindered her rising easily to the sea.

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