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1765: rocky island bearing S. E. by E. distant about five
January. miles: here we brought to, and having founded, we had forty fathom water, with a bottom of white sand. This island is about three leagues distant from the land we were coafting, which here forms a very deep bay, and bears E. by N. of the other island on which we had seen the long tufts of grass : we saw the sea breaking at a good distance from the shore, and during the, night stood off and on. The next morning at three o'clock we made fail, and stood in for the land to look for a harbour. At fix, the east end of the rocky island bore W. S. W. diftant about three miles, and our soundings then were fixteen fathom, with rocky ground, but when we got within the island we had twenty fathem, with fine white sand. The coast from this rocky island lies E. by S. distant about seven or eight leagues, where there are two low islands, which make the eastermoft land in fight. At eight o'clock we saw an opening, which had the appearance of an harbour, bearing E. S. E. and being between two and three leagues, distant. Upon this discovery we brought to, and sent a boat from each of the ships to examine the opening; but it beginning to blow very hard soon after, and the weather growing thick, with heavy rain, we were obliged to stand out to sea with both the ships, and it was not without great difficulty that we cleared the two rocky islands which were to the eastward of us. We had now a great sea, and I began to be under much concern lest we should be blown off, and our people in the boats left behind : however, about three in the afternoon, the weather clearing up, I tacked and stood in again, and presently after had the satisfaction to see one of the boats, though it was a long way to leeward of us. I immediately bore down to her, and found her to be the Tamar's boat, with Mr. Hindman, the Second Lieutenant, on board, who having been on shore in the opening, had ventured off, notwithstanding the great sea and bad weather, to inform me that he had found a fine harbour: we immediately stood in for it, and found it equally beyond his report and our expectations : the entrance is about a mile over, and every part of it is perfeály safe, the depth of water; close to the shore, being from ten to seven fathom. We found this harbour to consist of two little bays
on the starboard fide, where ships may anchor in great safety, and in each of which there is a fine rivulet of fresh water.
Soon after we entered an harbour of much greater extent, which I called Port EGMONT, in honour of the earl, who was then First Lord of the Admiralty ; and I think it is one of the fineft harbours in the world. The mouth of it is S. E. diftant seven leagues from the low rocky island, which is a good mark to know it by: within the island, and at the diftance of about two miles from the shore, there is between seventeen and eighteen fathom water; and about three leagues to the westward of the harbour, there is a remarkable white sandy beach, off which a ship may anchor till there is an opportunity to run in. In standing in for this fandy beach, the two low rocky islands, which we found it difficult to clear when the weather obliged us to stand off, appear to the eastward, and Port Egmont is about sixteen leagues from the north end of these islands. We moored in ten fathom, with fine holding ground. The northermost point of the western shore was distant two miles and an half, the watering-place on that fhore bore W. N. W.; W. and was distant half a mile, and the islands on the east fide bore E. by S. and were distant four miles. The whole navy of England might ride here in perfect fecurity from all winds. Soon after the fhip came to an anchor, the other boat which had remained on shore when Mr. Hindman put off, çame on board. In the southermost part of the harbour there are several islands, but there is no passage out for a ship ; I went, however through in my boat, about, seven leagues distant from where the ship lay, and entered a large found, which is too much exposed to a westerly wind for ships to lie in it fafely; and the master of the Tamar, who had been round in her boat, and entered this found from without, reported that many shoals lay off it, so that if the harbour was ever so good, it would not be prudent to attempt getting in. In every part Port Egmont there is fresh water in the greatest plenty, and geese, ducks, snipes, and other birds are so numerous that our people grew tired of them : it was a common thing for a boat to bring off fixty or seventy fine gees, without expending a single charge of powder and
Thot, for the men knocked down as many as they pleased 1765. with stones : wood, however, is wanting here, except
January a little that is found a-drift along the shore, which I imagined came from the Streight of Magellan. Among other refreshments, which are in the higheft degree falutary to those who have contracted fcorbutic disorders, during a long voyage, here are wild celery and wood forrel, in the greatest abundance ; nor is there any want of muscles, clams, cockles, and limpets : the seals and penguins are innumerable, so that it is impossible to walk on the beach without first driving them away: and the coast abounds with sea lions, many of which are of an enormous size. We found this animál very formidable ; I was once attacked by one of them very unexpectedly, and it was with the utmost difficulty that I could disengage myself from him : at other times we had many battles with them, and it has sometimes afforded a dozen of us an hour's work to dispatch one of them; I had with me a very fine mastiff dog, and a bite of one of these creatures almost tore him to pieces. Nor were these the only dangerous animals that we found here ; for the Master having been sent out one day to sound the coast upon the south shore, reported, at his return, that four creatures of great Fierceress, resembling wolves, ran up to their bellies in the water to attack the people in his boat, and that as they happened to have no fire-arms with them, they had immediately put the boat off into deep water. The next morning after this happened, I went upon the southern shore myself, where we found one of the largest sea lions I had ever seen : as the boat's crew were now well armed, they immediately engaged him, and during the contest one of the other animals was seen running towards us: he was fired at before he came up, and was presently killed, though I afterwards wished that we had endeavoured to take him alive, which, if we had been aware of his attack, I dare say might easily have been done. When any of these creatures got sight of our people, though at ever so great a distance, they ran direály at them; and no less than five of them were killed this day. They were always called wolves by the ship's company, but except in their size, and the shape of the tail, I think they bore a greater
resemblance to a fox. They are as big as a middle sized mastiff, and their fangs are remarkably long and sharp. There are great numbers of them upon this coast, though it is no? perhaps easy to guess how they first came hither, for these islands are at least one hun. dred leagues distant from the main : they burrow in the ground like a fox, and we have frequently seen pieces of seal which they have mangled, and the skins of penguins, lie scattered about the mouth of their holes. To get rid of these creatures, our people set fire to the grass, so that the country was in a blaze as far as the eye could reach, for several days, and we could see them running in great numbers to seek other quarters. I dug holes in many places, about two feet deep, to examine the soil, which I found first a black mould, and then a light clay, While we lay here, we set up the armourer's forge on shore, and completed a great deal of iron work that was much wanted. Our people had every morning an excellent breakfast made of portable soup, and wild celery, thickened with Oat meal: neither was our attention confined wholly to ourselves, for the Surgeon of the Tamar surrounded a piece of ground near the watering place with a fence of turf, and planted it with many esculent vegetables as a garden, for the benefit of those who might hereafter come to this place. Of this harbour, and all the neighbouring islands, I took possession for his Majesty King George the Third of Great Britain, by the name of FALKLAND'S ISLANDS, and there is I think little reason to doubt that they are the same land to which Cowley gave the name of Pepys' Island,
In the printed account of Cowley's voyage, he says, ” We held our course S. W. till wecame into the lati“ tude of forty-seven degrees, where we saw land, the “ fame being an island, not before known, laying to “ the westward of us : it was not inhabited, and I
gave it the name of PEPYS' ISLAND. We found
it a very commodious place for ships to water at, and “ take in wood, and it has a very good harbour, where
a thousand fail of ships may Safely ride. Here is great " plenty of fowls, and, we judge, abundance of fish, “ by reason of the grounds being nothing but rocks 1765. « and sands."
Jau vary. To this account there is annexed a representation of Pepy's Island, in which names are given to several points and head-lands, and the harbour is called Admiralty-bay ; yet it appears that Cowley had only a diftant view of it; for he immediately adds, “The wind “ being so extraordinary high that we could not get “ into it to water, we stood to the southward, thaping
our course S. S. W. till we came into the latitude of 53;" and though he says that “ it was commodious
to take in wood,” and it is known that there is no wood on Falkland's Islands, Pepys' Island and Falkland's Islands may notwithstanding be the same; for upon Falkland's Islands there are immense quantities of flags with narrow leaves, reeds and rushes which grow in clusters, so as to form bushes about three feet high, and then shoot about six or seven feet higher : these at a distance have greatly the appearance of wood, and were taken for wood by the French, who landed there, in the year 1764, as appears by Pernetty's account of their voyage. It has been suggested that the latitude of Pepys' Iland might, in the M. S. froni which the account of Cowley's voyage was printed, be expressed in figures, which, if ill made, might equally resemble forty-seven, and fifty-one ; and therefore as there is no island in these seas in latitude fortyseven, and as Falkland's Islands lie nearly in fifty-one, that fifty-one might reasonably be concluded to be the number for which the figures were intended to stand: recourse therefore was had to the British Musæum, and a manuscript journal of Cowley's was there found. In this manuscript no mention is made of an island not before known, to which he gave the name of Pepys' Hand, but land is mentioned in latitude fortyseven degrees, forty minutes, expressed in words at length, which exaâly answers to the description of what is called Pepys' Island in the printed account, and which here, he says, he supposed to be the islands of Sebald de Wert. This part of the manuscript is in the following words : January 1683. This " month wee were in the latitude of forty-seaven degrees and forty minnetts, where wee espied an island