Cruising off Guadeloupe on the morning of February 1, 1800, Thomas Truxtun sighted the French frigate La Vengeance and began pursuit. Poor winds delayed action until dusk. Gun crews worked by the light of battle lanterns and flashes of gunfire. The ships fought broadside to broadside for 5 hours. Finally the guns stood silent, but before Truxtun could take charge of his prize, his own mainmast collapsed and he watched helplessly as La Vengeance drifted away.