The convicts, for whose disposal this speculation was undertaken, consisted of 565 men and 192 women; and every necessary arrangement having been made by the naval and military commanders, which seemed best calculated to ensure a fortunate termination to the voyage, on Sunday, the 13th of May 1787, the little fleet, which had previously collected at the Mother Bank, sailed with a leading wind through the Needle Passage, accompanied by the honourable Captain De Courcy, in the Hyæna frigate.
As this ship was to proceed with the fleet only to a certain latitude, she soon quitted it, and this band of adventurers were left to pursue their way to the Island of Teneriffe, which port they shortly after reached. The ships were immediately moored, the masters taking the precaution of buoying their cables with empty casks, to prevent their being injured by rocks or foul ground; an inconvenience which had been frequently experienced by navigators in this road.
His Excellency the Marquis de Branceforte, the governor of the island, politely offering Captain Phillip whatever assistance he might need, and that was in his power to furnish, the provisioning and watering of the fleet was soon completed, and at the end of a week it again put to sea.
Nothing remarkable occurred during their stay here, except the desertion of John Powers, one of the convicts, who was however, by the activity of the master of the transport in which he had embarked (a penalty of forty pounds being the forfeiture on his entire escape) and a party of marines, soon recovered, and sent on board his ship, with directions for his being heavily ironed.
While light airs detained the fleet between the Islands of Teneriffe and the Grand Canary, they had a fine view of the celebrated Peak of Teneriffe, lifting its venerable and majestic head above the neighbouring hills, many of which were of considerable height, and perhaps rather diminished the grandeur of the Peak itself, the altitude of which was understood to be 15,396 feet, only 148 yards short of three miles.