« ZurückWeiter »
had no damaged our anchat our hould no
reefcd topsails after we left the Streight of Le Maire. 1769. The Dolphin in her last voyage, which she performed to at the same season of the year with ours, was three months in getting through the Streight of Magellan, exclusive of the time that she lay in Port Famine; and I am persuaded, from the winds we had, that if we had come by that passage, we should not at this time have been in these seas ; that our people would have been fatigued, and our anchors, cables, fails and rigging much damaged ; neither of which inconveniences we had now suffered. But fupposing it more eligible to go round the Cape, than thro' the Streight of Magellan; it may still be questioned, whether it is better to go through the Streight of Le Maire, or stand to the eastward, and go round Stạten Land. The advice given in the account of Lord Anson's voyage is, į. That all ships bound to the South Seas, instead of « palling through the Streight of Le Maire, should - constantly pass to the eastward of Staten Land, and “ should be invariably bent on running to the south“ ward as far as the latitude of 61 or 62 degrees, lies 66 fore they endeavour to stand to the westward.” But án' my opinion, different circumstances may at one time render it eligible to pass through the Streight, and to keep to the eastward of Stalen Land at another. If the land is fallen in with to the westward of the Streight, and the wind is favourable for going through, I think it would be very injudicious to lose time by going round Staten 'Land, as I am confident that, by attending to the direciions which I have given, the Streight may be passed with the utmost safety and con. venience : but if, on the contrary, the land is fallen in with to the eastward of the Streight, and the wind should prove tempestuous or unfavourable, I think it would be best to go round Staten Land; but I cannot in any cafe concur in recommending the running into the latitude of 61 or 62, before any endeavour is made to stand to the westward. We found neither the current nor the storms which the running so far to the southward is supposed necessary to avoid ; and indeed, as the winds almost constantly blow.from that.quarter, it is scarcely possible to pursue the advice. The navigator has no choice but to stand to the southward,
1769. close upon a wind, and by keeping upon that tack, he February
, will not only make fouthing, but wefting ; and, if the wind varies towards the north of the west, his westing will be considerable. It will, indeed, be highly proper to make sure of a westing sufficient to double all the lands, before an attempt is made to stand to the northward, and to this every man's own prudence will of neceflity direct him.
We now began to have strong gales and heavy seas, with irregular intervals of calm and fine weather.
CHA P. VII.
The Sequel of the Passage from Cape Horn to the newly
discovered Isands in the South Seas, with a Description of their Figure and Appearance ; fome Account of the Inhabitants, and several Incidents that happened during the Course, and at the ship's Arrival among them,
N the first of March, we were in latitude 380 44
S. and longitude 110° 33' W. both by observation and by the log. This agreement, after a run of 660 leagues, was thought to be very extraordinary ; and is a demonstration, that after we left the land of Cape Horn we had no current that affected the ship. It renders it also highly probable, that we had been near no land of any considerable extent; for currents are always found when land is not remote, and sometimes, particularly on the east side of the continent in the North Sea, when land has been distant 100 leagues.
Many birds, as usual, were constantly about the ship, so that Mr. Banks killed no less than sixty-two in one day ; and what is more remarkable, he caught two forest flies, both of them of the fame species, but different from any that have hitherto been described ; these probably belonged to the birds, and came with them from the land, which we judged to be at a great distance. Mr. Banks also, about this time, found a large cuttle-fish, which had just been killed by the birds, floating in a mangled condition upon the water : it was very different from the cuttle-fishes that are found in the European leas ; for its arms, instead of suckers, were furnished with a double row of very sharp talons, 1709.
March. which resembled those of a cat, and, like them, were retractable into a sheath of skin, from which they might be thrust at pleasure. Of this cuttle-fish we made one of the best soups we had ever tasted.
The albatrosses now began to leave us, and after the 8th there was not one to be seen. We continued our Wednes. 8. course without any memorable event till the 24th, when Friday 24. some of the people who were upon the watch in the night, reported that they saw a log of wood pass by the ship; and that the sea, which was rather rough, became suddenly as smooth as a mill-pond. It was a general opinion, that there was land to the windward; but I did not think myself at liberty to search for what I was not sure to find; though I judged we were not far from the islands that were discovered by Quiros in 1605. Qur latitude was 22o u' S. and longitude 127° 55' W.
On the 25th, about noon, one of the marines, a Satur. 25. young fellow about twenty, was placed as centry at the cabin door; while he was upon this duty, one of my fervants was at the same place preparing to cut a piece of seal-skin into tobacco-pouches : he had promised one to several of the men, but had refused one to this young fellow, though he had asked him several times; upon which he jocularly threatened to steal one, if it should be in his power. It happened that the servant being called hastily away, gave the skin in charge to the centinel, without regarding what had passed between them. The centinel immediately secured a piece of the skin, which the other milling at his return, grew angry; but after fome altercation, contented himself with taking it away, declaring, that, for fo trilling an affair, he would not complain of him to the officers. But it happened that one of his fellow-soldiers, over-hearing the dispute, came to the knowledge of what had happened, and told it to the rest ; who, taking it into their heads to stand up for the honour of their corps, reproached the offender with great bitterness, and reviled him in the most opprobrious terms; they exaggerated his offence into a crime of the deepeit dye; they said it was a theft hy a centry when he was upon duty, and of a thing that had been committed to his trutt; they declared it a disgrace to associate with him ; and the Serjeant, in
1769. particular, said that, if the person from whom the skin March.
had been stolen would not complain, he would complain himself; for that his honour would suffer if the offender was not punished. From the scoffs and reproaches of these men of honour, the poor young fellow retired to his hammock in an agony of confusion and shame. The Serjeant soon after went to him, and or dered him to follow him to the deck ; he obeyed without reply; but it being in the dusk of the evening, he flipped from the Serjeant and went forward : he was seen by fome of the people, who thought he was gone to the head; but a search being made for him afterwards, it was found that he had thrown himself overboard; and I was then first made acquainted with the theft and its circumstances.
The loss of this man was the more regretted, as he was remarkably quiet and industrious, and as the very action that put an end to his life was a proof of an ingenuous mind; for to such only disgrace is insupportable. . On Tuesday the 4th of April, about ten o'clock in
the morning, Mr. Banks's servant, Peter Briscoe, disLagoonInand.
covered land, bearing fouth, at the distance of about three or four leagues. I immediately hauled up for it, and found it to be an island of an oval form, with a lagoon in the middle, which occupied much the larger part of it; the border of land which circumscribes the lagoon is in many places very low and narrow, particularly on the south side, where it contists principally of a beach or reef of rocks : it has the same appearance also in three places on the north side ; so that the firm land being disjoined, the whole looks like many islands covered with wood. On the west end of the island is a large tree, or clump of trees, that in appearance resembles a tower; and about the middle are two cocoanut trees, which rise above all the rest, and, as we came near to the island, appeared like a flag. We approached it on the north side, and though we came within a mile, we found no bottom with i žo fathoms of line, nor did there appear to be any anchorage about it. The whole is covered with trees of different verdure, but we could diftinguish none, even with our glafles, except cocoa-nuts and palm-nuts. We saw se
to this spot, which
we gave the alle here
veral of the natives upon the shore, and counted four 1769. and twenty. They appeared to be tall, and to have,
April. heads remarkably large ; perhaps they had something wound round them which we could not distinguish; they were of a copper colour, and had long black hair. Eleven of them walked along the beach a-breast of the ship, with poles or pikes in their hands, which reached twice as high as themselves ; while they walked on the beach they seemed to be naked ; but soon after they retired, which they did as soon as the ship had passed the island, and covered themselves with something that made them appear of a light colour. Their habitations were under some clumps of palm-nut trees, which at a distance appeared like high ground; and to us, who for a long time had seen nothing but water and sky, except the dreary hills of Terra del Fuego, these groves seemed a terrestrial paradise. To this spot, which lies in latitude 18° 47' S. and longitude 139° 28' W. we gave the name of LAGOON-ISLAND. The variation of the needle here is 20 54' E.
About one o'clock we made fail to the westward, and about half an hour after three we faw land again to the N. W. We got up with it at sun-set, and it proved to be a low woody island, of a circular form, and not much above a mile in compass. We discovered no inhabitants, nor could we distinguish any cocoa-nut trees, though we were within half a mile of the shore. The land, however, was covered with verdure of many hues. It lies in latitude 180 35' S. and longitude 139° 48' W. and is distant from Lagoon-Island, in the direction of N. 62 W. about seven leagues. We called it THRUMB-CAP. I discovered, by the appearance Thrumbo of the shore, that at this place it was low-water; and Cap. I had discovered at Lagoon-Island, that it was either high-water, or that the sea neither ebbed nor flowed : I infer, therefore, that a S. by E. or South moon makes high water.
We went on with a fine trade-wind and pleasant weather, and on the 5th, about three in the afternoon, Wednes. 5. we discovered land to the westward. It proved to be a low island, of much greater extent than either of those Bow Island. that we had seen before, being about ten or twelve