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H. M. S. PHOENIX
 

The resourceful bluejackets first entrenched themselves and saved what arms they could find in the ship, for this was no friendly and hospitable coast. They were on Spanish soil, and it was not their desire to be marched off to the dungeons of Havana as prisoners of war. Tents and huts were speedily contrived, provisions rafted from the wreck, fires built, fish caught, and the camp was a going concern in two or three days. Archer proposed that the handy carpenters mend one of the boats and that he pick a crew to sail to Jamaica and find rescue. This was promptly done and he says:

 

In two days she was ready and I embarked with four volunteers and a fortnight's provisions, hoisted English colors as we put off from the shore and received three cheers from the lads left behind, having not the least doubt that, with God's assistance, we should come and bring them all off. Had a very squally night and a very leaky boat so as to keep two buckets constantly baling. Steered her myself the whole night by the stars and in the morning saw the coast of Jamaica distant twelve leagues. At eight in the evening arrived at Montego Bay.

 

This dashing lieutenant was not one to let the grass grow under his feet, and he sent a messenger to the British admiral, another to the man-of-war, Porcupine, and hustled off to find vessels on his own account. All the frigates of the station were at sea, but Archer commandeered three fishing craft and a