C/MSG Harley Leadingham
February 27, 2015
The HMS Beagle Departed from Plymouth Harbor on December 27th, 1831 with Captain FitzRoy, a calm easterly wind, and a slight drizzle. Young Charles Darwin almost immediately became seasick, and began to have second thoughts about the voyage in which he was about to undergo.
The Beagle’s first port-of-call (its first stop) was near Madeira Island in January 4th, 1832. However, due to a westerly squall, the ship was unable to make port. Darwin, who was unable to leave his cabin due to severe seasickness, took very little notice of the situation.
Two days later the Beagle arrived at the port of Santa Cruz at Tenerife Island (where Darwin had formally planned to visit with his friend Ramsay). Just as they released anchor, a small boat from the Health Office came out to meet the Beagle and an officer informed Capt. FitzRoy that they were prevented from going ashore due to a cholera outbreak in England. The crew of the Beagle would have to wait out a quarantine period of twelve days.
Two days later, on January 6th, the Beagle arrived at Tenerife Island in the port of Santa Cruz. It was here that Darwin had planned to meet his friend Ramsay. However, a small boat from the Health Office came out to meet the Beagle just as it dropped anchor, and an officer informed Capt. FitzRoy that there had been a cholera outbreak in England, and that they would be unable to visit shore until the quarantine period of 12 days had been completed.
Capt. FitzRoy, eager that no time would be lost on their primary mission, gave orders for the ship to proceed to the Cape Verde Islands. Darwin was devastated at missing the chance to see the island of his dreams, and watched Tenerife fade off into the horizon.
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at the Cape Verde Islands on 16 January and anchored at Porto Praya, on the island of Santiago (spelled St. Jago, in Darwin's narrative). Darwin went ashore with two officers and...