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This letter describes Matkin's first impression of Bermuda, and provides a bit of history. In it he also discusses the now strange-sounding possibility of another English war with America.

At 2pm on the 3rd of April the Bermuda islands hove in sight, the land being wonderfully low for islands in the middle of the ocean, and looks very bleak and bare from the distance, but when we arrived in close it had a better appearance. ...The Bermuda islands all belong to Great Britain and are about 300 in number, but the whole lot are no larger than S. Thomas. Bermuda itself is the largest, and Hamilton the chief town is bult on it, the whole population is about 12,000 and the greater portion are colored people. The islands were discovered in 1527 by Bermudez a Spaniard, who named them after himself. In 1609, Admiral Sir George Somersw was wrecked on the islands and founded the Colony; and they have belonged to the British ever since. There is a fine fortified Dockyard, on one of the islands and an immsense iron floating dock, for the convenience of re-fitting the fleet stationed in North American waters, without sending them home. This immense dock was built at Woolwich, and towed across the Atlantic a few years ago, by four of our larges Ironclads. This place would be of great importance as a rendezvous for the Fleet &c, in case of a war with America; it is 5 days sail from New York, and 800 miles from the nearest land, Cape Hatteras (North Carolina, MP) in North America.

Matkin continues from Bermuda, describing the military presence on the islands, and revealing that Challenger herself is sometimes called upon to deliver the English mail.

The Governor of the island is Major General Lefroy, and there are plenty of soldiers here for its protection. The climate is not nearly so warm as at S. Thomas, but we are able to bathe every evening. The greater portion of our North American Fleet is here, including the "Royal Alfred" flag ship of Admiral Fanshawe, for whom we brought a heavy mail from S. Thomas.


The Bermuda Government House at Hamilton
Their head station is Halifax, but they generally winter here. The Governor with a party of Ladies & Officers are at present on board, lunching.

While in Bermuda, another strange tragedy would befall Challenger, one that would have even stranger repercussions later in the trip.