Some apology may perhaps be needed for the publication of this little volume, at a time when other interests have somewhat withdrawn public attention from the affairs of the Gold Coast; but the vast, and almost unknown African continent, must no doubt always form a subject of interest for those who believe that in the development of its resources a wide field remains yet to be opened up. To them, these pages of a Sailor's Journal may perchance record some interesting facts, before unknown. It was not, however, as a field of Scientific research that the West Coast of Africa had a special interest for Captain Dyer. For on that coast, in the year 1851, he lost an elder brother - a Sub-Lieutenant (then called, a "Mate"), of H.M.S. Niger, under the command of Captain (now Rear-Admiral) Sir Leopold Heath. Captain Dyer's brother was killed whilst gallantly leading his boat's crew in an attack on Lagos. The two brothers were in the same ship, and on the death of the elder, the Admiralty promoted Hugh Dyer on account of his brother's service.
In revisiting that region Captain Dyer felt that any account of it which he could give to his friends at home would have peculiar interest also for them.