Thursday, April 11

Figueira da Foz - Mondego Bay

and on the 21st of September, in company with three other vessels 
containing detachments of other regiments, we left the Tagus with a fair wind. 
The object of sending us round by sea was to save time and fatigue to our men, and to disembark nearer to our army. 
The wind however proved most unfavourable, and we were seven days at sea, performing a distance of twenty leagues. 

 We landed on the 28th at Buarcos, near Figueiras, 

a small fishing-village on the north side of the bay ; 
we reached the shore from our transport in uncouth Portuguese boats and in a tremendous surf. One of our men, Chissel by name, 
was lost in the operation of landing ; the boat was overcrowded, 
and the poor fellow sat on the gunnel ; a rolling ground- swell 
sea struck us as we neared the beach and pitched him overboard. 
He was a swimmer, but the weight of his knapsack sank him, to rise no more. 

The next morning (29th) five hundred of us, detachments of different regiments, 
amongst whom were some of 
the 95th Rifles under Captain Beckwith*, had three days' 
rations served out, and we left Figueiras to march to Montemor-o-Velho, a small pretty village in the Val de Mondego. 

The river Mondego rises in the mountains of the Serra d'Estrella, 
near Guarda, takes its course through the province of Beira, 
and waters a most lovely valley, to which it gives its name after passing the towns of Celerico and Coimbra, 
it debouches into the sea at Figueiras. 
Before the rains set in, it is fordable almost everywhere. 

 * This Officer, after serving with great credit to himself through the Peninsular campaigns, reached the rank of Colonel, and is a C.B. He lost his leg at Waterloo.
leaves from a diary e-book