"Whatever was a British naval ship doing in such a place?"
They thought there was a British ship coming in, but of course that wouldn't be happening now.
Unlikely, since there were so few British ships in the area.
The British ship lay like a rock in the sea.
Only four men from the two British ships were wounded.
A few days later, they are picked up by a British ship.
"But you have just said she was a British ship."
In late afternoon on the 27th, the leading British ship closed with her.
New orders would have taken almost two years to get back to the British ships.
The attack forced the British ships to break off and turn back west.