Extract from HMS Seahorse captain’s log for 19-20 February 1775 recording Nelson’s first naval action
Catalogue reference: ADM 51/883 part 3
Bearings & Dist[anc]e at Noon.
Remarks at Sea.
Calm. S S E.
S[outh] 33° E[ast] 26° Leagues.
Mod[erate] and hazy w[eathe]r interspersed with Light Breezes and Calm & hazy W[eathe]r at ½ past Noon wore ship, at ½ past 2 PM in S[eamen] G[unners] Royals, Sailmakers finished the Middle Stay Sail, at 5 Saw the Land from N[orth] b[y] E[ast] to East 3 or 4 Leag[ues] at 6 the Dodley a Country Ship in Company, at 9 Shortened Sail and came too with the Stream Anchor in 13 fathoms Water, Muddy Ground and veered to half a Cable, at 5 am weighed and made sail, at 7 Saw Two Sail standing towards us, which we imagined to be Bombay Cruizers, at ½ past 7 they hauled their Wind to the Southward and stood after the Dodley, and hoisted Hadir Aly’s Colours, we immediately Tacked and stood after them, at 8 fired several shot to bring one of them too, thinking her to be a Marratta, at 9 One of the Ketches sent her Boat on board us and told us they belonged to Hadir Aly, but as the Ketch did not bring too, nor Shorten Sail, and several other Vessels heaving in sight, which we imagined to be Consorts, we kept firing Round and Grape shot at her until Noon, Broke 6 Panes Glass in chace
S[outh] to N[orth] N[orth] E[ast]
W[est] N[orth] S[outh] W[est]
N[orth] 4° E[ast] 15 Leagues.
Moderate and hazy Weather, sometimes Calm and Clear Weather. At ½ past Noon the Ketch brought too and struck her Colours. we hoisted out the Cutter, and sent her with an officer on board, who found her to be one of Hadir Aly’s Armed Cruizers, at ½ past 2 PM hoisted the Cutter in and made Sail – Upon examining the Shot Racks, and the Grape shot which were hung under the Quarter Deck, we found that we had fired at the above Vessel Fifty Seven Round shot 9 Pounders, Fifteen Grape shot 9 Pounders, Two double headed hammered shot 9 Pounders Twenty five Round shot 3 pounders, and Two Grape Shot 3 pounders,