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o'clock i it runs but little, yet flows very much by the D '76+
On the 26th, at eight o'clock in the morning, wewedn. s6. weighed with the wind at E. N. E. and steered S. S. E. for Port Famine. At noon, St. Anne's Point, which is the northermost point of that port, bore S. by E. i E. distant three leagues. Along this shore, at the distance of two or three miles, we had very deep water; but within a mile had ground with twenty-five or thirty fathom. From St. Anne's Point a reef of rocks runs out S. E. by E. about two miles; and at the distance of two cables length from this reef the water will suddenly shoal from sixty-five to thirty-five and twenty fathom. The Point itself is very steep, so that there is no founding till it is approached very near, and great care must be taken in standing into Port Famine, especially if the .ship is as far southward as Sedger river; for the water will shoal at once from thirty to twenty, fifteen and twelve fathom; and at about two cables length farther in, at more than a mile from the shore, there is but nine seet water, when the tide is out. By hauling close round St. Anne's Point, soundings will soon be got; and as the water shoals very fast, it is not fase to go farther in, when there is no more than seven fathom; the streight here is not more than four leagues wide.
The next day at noon, having had little wind, andThurs. 27. calms, we anchored in Port Famine, close to the shore, and found our situation very fase and convenient: we had shelter from all winds except the S. E. which seldom blows, and if a ship should be driven ashore in the bottom of the bay, she could receive no damage; for it is all fine soft ground. We found drift wood here sufficient to have surnished a thoufand fail, so that we had no need to take the trouble of cutting green. The water of Sedger river is excellent, but the boats cannot get in till about two hours flood, because at low water it is verv shallow for about three quarters of a mile. I went up it about four miles in my boat, and the fallen trees then rendered it impossible to go farther: I found it indeed, not only difficult but dangerous to get up thus far. The stream is very rapid, and many stumps of trees lie hidden under it: one of these
1764- ^"made its way through the bottom of my boat, and in December. an jn^ant me was sull of water. We got on shore as well as we could ; and afterwards, with great difficulty, hauled her up upon the side of the river: here we contrived to stop the hole in her bottom, so as that we made a shift to get her down to the river's mouth, where she was soon properly repaired by the carpenter. On each side of this river there are the finest trees I ever faw, and I make no doubt but that they would supply the British navy with the best masts in the world. Some of them are of a great height, and more than eight seet in diameter, which is proportionably more than eight yards in circumserence; so that four men, joining hand in hand, could not compass them: among others, we found the pepper tree, or winter's bark in great plenty. Among these woods, notwith. standing the coldness of the climate, there are innumerable parrots, and other birds of the most beautisul plumage. I shot every day geese and ducks enough to serve my own table and several others, and every body on board might have done the fame: we had indeed .great plenty of fresh provisions of all kinds; for we caught as much fish every day as served the companies of both ships. As I was much on shore here, I tracked many wild beasts in the fand, but never faw one; we also found many huts or wigwams, but never met with an Indian. The country between this Port and Cape Forward, which is distant about four leagues, is extremely fine; the soil appears to be very good, and there are no less than three pretty large rivers, besides several brooks.
While we lay here, I went one day to Cape Forward, and when I set out I intended to have gone farther; but the weather became so bad, with heavy rain, that we were glad to stop there, and make a great fire to dry our cloaths, which were wet through. From the place where we stopped, the Indians had been gone so lately, that the v/ood, which lay half burnt, where they had made their fire, was still warm; and soon after our fire was kindled, we perceived that another was kindled directly opposite to it, on the Terra del Fnego shore; probably as a signal, which, if we had been Indian1;, we should have understood. After we
were were dried and refreshed at our fire, the rain having '764abated, I walked cross the Cape, to see how the Streight eccm' ran, which I found to be about W. N. W. The hills, as far as I could see, were of an immense height, very craggy, and covered with snow quite from the summit to the base. I made also another excursion along the shore to the northward, and found the country for many miles exceedingly pleafant, the ground being, in many places, covered with flowers, which were not inserior to those that are commonly found in our gardens, either in beauty or fragrance; and if it were not for the severity of the cold in winter, this country might, in my opinion, be made, by cultivation, one of the finest in the world. I had set up a small tent at the bottom of this bay, close to a little rivulet, and just at the skirts of a wood, soon after the ship came to an anchor, where three . men were employed in washing: they slept on shore; but, soon after sunset, were awakened out of their, first sleep by the roaring of some wild beasts, which the darkness of the night, and the solitariness of their situation in this pathless defart, rendered horrid beyond imagination: the tone was hollow and deep, so that the beasts, of whatever kind, were certainly large, and the poor sellows perceived that they drew nearer and nearer, as the found every minute became more loud. From this time steep was renounced for the night, a large fire was immediately kindled, and a constant blaze kept up: this prevented the beasts from invading the tents; but they continued to prowl round it at a little distance, with incessant howlings, till the day broke, and then, to the great comfort of the affrighted failors, they difappeared. At this place, not far from where the ship lay, there is a hill that has been cleared of wood, and we supposed this to be the spot where the Spaniards formerly had a settlement .* One os the men, as he was pasting over this hill, perceived that, in a particular part, the ground returned the found of his foot, as if it was hollow: he therefore "repassed it several times, and finding the effect still the
same, he conceived a strong notion that something was buried there; when he came on board, he related what he had remarked to me, and I went myself to the spot, with a small party, furnished with spades and pickaxes, and saw the spot opened to a considerable depth, but we found nothing, nor did there appear to be any hollow or vault as was expected. As we were returning through the woods, we found two verylarge skulls, which, by the teeth, appeared to have belonged to some beasts of prey, but of what kind we could not guess.
Having contiriued here till Friday the 4th of January, and completed the wood and water of both ships, for which purpose I had entered theStreight, I determined to steer back again in search of Falkland's Islands.
The Course back from Port Famine to Falkland's Islands, with some Account of the Country.
E weighed anchor at four o'clock in the morning, and worked to windward out of the harbour: the wind continued contrary at N. N. E. till about one o'clock the next day, when it shifted toW. S. W. and blew a fresh gale. We steered N. W. byN. four leagues, and then three leagues north, between Elizabeth and Bartholomew islands: we then steered from the islands N. by E. three leagues, to the fecond Narrow; and steered through N. E. i E. continuing the same course from the second Narrow to the first, which was a run of eight leagues. As the wind still continued to blow fresh, we steered through the first Narrow against the slood, in the direction of N. N. E. but about ten o'clock at night, the wind dying away, the slood set us back again into the entrance of the first Narrow, where we were obliged to anchor, in forty fathom, within two cables length of the shore. The tide slows here, at the full and change of the moon, about two o'clock, and runs full six knots an hour.
At one o'clock the next morning, we weighed, with a light northerly breeze; and about three, we passed
the the first Narrow a second time. Having now seen the' '76S' . ship fase through, and being quite exhausted with fa- r^-^^j tigue, as I had been upon the deck all the preceding day, and all night, I went into my cabin to get some rest. I lay down, and soon sell asleep -, but in less than half an hour, I was awakened by the beating of the ship upon a bank: I instantly started up, and ran upon the deck, where I soon found that we had grounded upon a hard fand. It was happy for us, that at this time it was stark calm; and I immediately ordered out the boats to carry an anchor a-stern, where the water was deepest: the anchor took the ground, but before we could work the capstern, in order to heave the ship off to it, she went off, by the mere rising of the tide. It happened fortunately to be just low water when she went a-ground, and there was fifteen feet forward, and six fathom a very little way a-stern. The Master told me, that at the last cast of the lead, before we were a-ground, he had thirteen fathom ; so that the water shoaled at once no less than sixty-three seet. This bank, which has n«t been mentioned by any nrvigator who has passed the Streight, is extremely dangerous; especially as it lies directly in the fair way between Cape Virgin Mary and the first Narrow, and just in the middle between the south and north shores. It is more than two leagues long, and full as broad; in many places also it is very steep. When we were upon it, Point Possession bore N. E. distant three leagues; and the entrance of the Narrow S. W. distant two leagues. I afterwards faw many parts of it dry, and the sea breaking very high over other parts of it, where the water was shallow. A ship that should ground upon this shoal in a gale of wind, would probably be very soon beaten to pieces.
About six o'clock in the morning, we anchored in fifteen fathom, the shoal bearing N. N. W. £ W. at the distance of about half a mile. At noon, we weighed with a light breeze at N. E.. and worked with the ebb tide till two, but finding the water shoal, we anchored again in six fathom and an half, at about the distance of half a mile from the south side of the shoal. The Asses Ears then bearing N. W by W. distant four leagues, and the south point of the entrance of the first Narrow W. S. W. distant about Vol. I. D three