« ZurückWeiter »
stood, above an hundred eagerlv offered to visit the ship; but I did not chuse to indulge more than eight of the number. They jumped into the boats with the joy and alacrity of children going to a fair, and having no intention of mischief against us, had not the least lii/ptcion that we intended any mischief against them. They sung several of their country songs while they were in the boat, and when they came on board did not express either the' curiosity or wonder which the mnitiplicity of objects to them equally strange and stupendous, that at once presented themselves, might be supposed to excite. I took them down into the cabin, where they looked about them with an- unaccountable indifference, till one of them happened to cast his eyes upon a looking-glass: this however excited no more astonishment than the prodigies which offer themselves to our imagination in a dream, when we converse with the dead, sly in the air, and walk upon the sea, without reflecting that the laws of nature are violated; b«t it afforded them infinite diversion: they advanced, retreated, and played a thousand tricks before it, laughingviolentfy, and talking with great emphasis to each other. 1 gave them some beef, pork, biscuit, and other articles of the ship's provisions: they eat, indiscriminately, whatever was offered to them, but they would drink nothing but water. From the cabin I carried them all over the ship, but they looked at nothing with much attention, except the animals which we had on board as live stock: they examined the hogs and sheep with some curiosity, and were exceedingly delighted with the Guinea hens and turkies: they did not seem to desire any thing that they saw except our apparel, and only one of them, an old man, asked for that: we gratified him with a pair of ihoes and buckles, and to each of the others I gave a canvas-bag, in which 1 put some needles ready threaded, a few slips of cloth, a knife, a pair of scissars, some twine, a few bead5, a comb, and a looking-glass, with some new lix-pences and halfpence, through which a hole had been drilled, that was fitted with a ribband to hang found the neck. We offered them some leaves of tobacco, rolltd up into what are called segars, and they frnoaked a little, but did not seem fond of it. 1 shewed
them them the great guns, but they did not appear to have i?66any notion of their use. After I had carried them J ', through the ship, I ordered the marines to be drawn * up, and go through part of their exercise. When the first volley was fired, they were "struck with astonishment and terror; the old man, in particular, threw himself down upon the deck, pointed to the muskets, and then striking his breast with his hand, lay some time motionless, with his eyes shut: by this we supposed he intended to shew us that he was not unacquainted with fire-arms, and their fatal effect. The rest seeing our people merry, and finding themselves unhurt, soon resumed their chearsulness and good humour, and heard the second and third volley fired without much emotion; but the old man continued prostrate upon the deck some time, and never recovered his spirits till the firing was over. About noon, the tide being out, I acquainted them by signs that the ship was proceeding farther, and that they must go on shore: this I soon perceived they were very unwilling to do; all however, except the old man and one more, were got into the boat without much difficulty; but these stopped at the gangway, where the old man turned about, and went, aft to the companion ladder, where he stood some 'time without speaking a word; he then uttered what we supposed to be a prayer; for he many times lifted up his hands and his eyes to the heavens,and spoke in a manner and tone very different from what we had observed in their converfation: his oraison seemed to be rather sung than faid, so that we found it impossible to distinguish one word from another. When I again intimated that it was proper for him to go into the boat, he pointed to the sun, and then moving his hand round to the west, he paused, looked in my face, laughed, and pointed to the shore: by this it was easy to understand that he wished to stay on board till sun-set, and I took no little pains to convince him that we could not stay so long upon that part of the coast, before he could be prevailed upon to go into the boat; at length however he went over the ship's side with his companion, and when the boat put off they all began to sing, and continued their merriment till they got onshore. When they landed, great
1766. numbers of those on shore pressed eagerly to get into
t ,_. the boat; but the officer on board, having positive
orders to bring none of them off, prevented them,
though not without great difficulty, and apparently to
their extreme mortification and difappointment.
When the boat returned on board, I sent her off again with the Master, to sound the shoal that runs off from the point: he found it about three miles broad from north to south, and that to avoid it, it was necessary to keep four miles off the Cape, in twelve or thirteen fathom water.
The Passage through the Streight of Magellan, with some farther Account of the Patagonians, and a Description of the Coajl on each fide, and its Inhabitants.
Wednes. 17- A BOUT one o'clock, on Wednesday the 17th XX. of December, I made the signal and weighed', ordering the Swallow to go a-head, and the store-ship to bring up the rear. The wind was right against us, and blew fresh, so that we were obliged to turn into the Streight of Magellan with the flood-tide, between Cape Virgin Mary and the Sandy Point that resembles Dungeness. When we got a-breast of this point, we stood close into the shore, where we faw two guanicoes, and many of the natives on horseback, who seemed to be in pursuit of them: when the horsemen came near, they ran up the country at a great rate, and were pursued by the hunters, with their flings in their hands ready for the cast; but neither of them was taken while they were within the reach of our sight.
When we got about two leagues to the west of Dungeness, and were standing off shore, we sell in with a shoal upon which we had but seven fathom water at half flood: this obliged us to make short tacks, and keep continually heaving the lead. At half an hour after eight in the evening, we anchored about three miles from the shore, in 20 fathom, with a muddy bottom: Cape Virgin Mary then bearing
N. E. N. E. by i E. Point Possession W. i S. at the distance ^"^
r i r i December.
or about fave leagues. ._ .
About half an hour after we had cast anchor, the natives made several large fires a-breast of the ship, and at break of day we saw about tour hundred of them encamped in a fine green valley, between two hills, with their horses feeding beside them. About six o'clock in the morning, the tide being done, we got Tb.«r«. »•• again under sail: its course here is from east ;o west: it rises and falls thirty feet, and its strength is equal to about three knots an hour. About noon there being little wind, and the ebb running with great force, the Swallow, who was a-head,- made ihe signal and came to an anchor ; upon which I did the same, and so did the store-ship, that was a-stern.
As we saw great numbers of the natives on horseback a-breast os the ship, and as Captain Cacteret informed me that this was the place where Commodore Byron had the conference with the tail men, I sent the Lieutenants of the Swallow and the store-ship to the shore, but with orders not to land, as the ships were at too great a distance to protect them. When these gentlemen returned, they told me that the boat having lain upon her oars very near the beach, the natives came down in great numbers, whom they knew to be the fame persons they had seen the day before, with many others, particularly women and children; that when they perceived our people had no design to land, they seemed to be greatly disappointed, and those who had been on board the ship waded off to the boat, making signs for it to advance, and pronouncing the words they had been taught, " Englishmen, come on shore," very loud, many times; that when they found they could not get the people to land, they would fain have got into the boat, and that it was with great difficulty they were prevented. That they presented them with some bread, tobacco, and a few toys, pointing at the fame time to some guanicoes and ostriches, and making signs that they wanted them as provisions, but that they could not make themselves understood; that finding they could obtain no refreshment, they rowed along the shore in fearch of fresh water; but that seeing no appearance of a rivulet, they returned on board.
1766- At six o'clock the next morning we weighed, the
^——^ Swallow being still a-head, and at noon we anchored
Friday 19. in Possession bay, having twelve fathom with a clean sandy bottom. Point Possession at this time bore East, distant three leagues ; the Asses Ears west, and the entrance of the Narrows S. W. i W. the bottom of the bay, which was the nearest land to the ship, was distant about three miles. We saw a great number of Indians upon the Poinf, and at night large fires on the Terra del Fuego shore.
Monday 21. From this time, to the 22d, we had strong gales and heavy seas, so that we got on but slowly; and we now anchored in 18 fathom, with a muddy bottom. The Asses Ears bore N. W. by W. \ W. Point Possession N. E. by E. one the point of the Narrows, on the south side, S. S. W. distant between three and four leagues. In this situation, our longitude, by observation, was 700 20' W. latitude 520 30' S: The tide here sets S. E. by S. and N. E. by N. at the rate of about three knots an hour; the water rises four and twenty feet, and at this time it was high water at four in the morning.
Tuefd. 23. In the morning of the 23d, we.made fail, turning to windward, but the tide was so strong, that the Swallow was set one way, the Dolphin another, and the storeship a third : there was a fresh breeze, but not one of the vessels would answer her helm. We had various soundings, arid saw the rippling in the middle ground: in these circumstances, sometimes backing, sometimes filling, we entered the first Narrows. About six o'clock in the evening, the tide being done, we anchored on the south-shore, in 40 fathom, with a sandy bottom; the Swallow anchored on the north-shore, and the store-ship not a cable's length from a sand bank, about two miles to the eastward. T-he streight here is only three miles wide, and at midnight, the tide being slack, we weighed and towed the ship through. A breeze sprung up soon asterwatds, which continued till
Weda. 24. seven in the morning, and then died away. We steered from the first Narrows to the second S. W. and had 19 fathom, with a muddy bottom. At eight we anchored two leagues from the shore, in 24 fathom, Cape Gregory bearing W. | N. and Sweepstakes Foreland -—^ * S. W.