1809 - Boats of Hazard and Pelorus at Sainte-Marie


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1809 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 184

great violence, and there was every appearance of a gale, the Dutch captain did not like to anchor on a lee shore. The Zephyr accordingly, came to the wind and stood out towards the Diana. Lieutenant Kempthorne, with the view of drawing the Dutch brig beyond the reach of the fort, now practised every means to retard the Diana's sailing, so as to allow the Zephyr gradually to overtake her. However, when about nine miles from the fort, the Dutch brig wore and stood in again ; and, deception being no longer available, the Diana wore and stood after her.

At 4 h. 30 m., just as the Zephyr had got within four miles of Monado fort, the land-breeze, which was unusually early, came off, and, taking the brig aback, compelled her to fill on the larboard tack. At the same time the Diana, still feeling the influence of the sea-breeze, came rapidly up, till she got within half gun-shot of her opponent's lee beam, when the British brig also filled on the larboard tack, with the land wind. The Diana immediately opened her fire, and the Zephyr returned it. In about 20 minutes, in order to get nearer to the fort, the latter wore round on the starboard tack. The Diana followed the manoeuvre, and the two brigs renewed the engagement on the starboard tack. After the action had continued in this way about 40 minutes, the Zephyr, who had just had her gaff and main topgallant-mast shot away, encouraged by the appearance of five gun-boats sweeping off to her assistance, ran down within pistol-shot on the weather beam of her opponent. Having shortly afterwards had both maintopsail sheets shot away, the Zephyr dropped nearly along side of the Diana ; whose crew were preparing to board, when, at about 5 h. 40 m. p.m., the Dutch brig hauled down her colours. The Diana instantly took her prize in tow ; and, wearing, stood towards the gun-boats, who were then sweeping down in line upon her weather beam, and closing fast. After receiving a few shot, however, from the Diana, the Dutch gun-boats put about and left the British brig in undisturbed possession her prize.

Notwithstanding that this action had lasted altogether one hour and 10 minutes, the Diana sustained no damage of the least consequence, and had not a man of her crew hurt. The Zephyr, on the other hand, was tolerably cut up in masts and rigging, and had her first lieutenant and four men killed, and seven or eight men wounded. For the judgment, as well as gallantry, he had displayed, from his first descrying this Dutch brig to the moment at which he secured her as his prize, Lieutenant Kempthorne was promoted to the rank of commander.

On the 17th of October, at daylight, the British 18-gun ship sloop Hazard, Captain Hugh Cameron, and 18-gun brig-sloop Pelorus, Captain Thomas Huskisson, cruising off Pointe-à-Pitre, island of Guadaloupe, observed a privateer-schooner moored under the battery of Sainte-Marie. Captain Cameron immediately despatched the boats, under the orders of Lieutenant James

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