« ZurückWeiter »
1765. more than the bark of large trees tied together at the t ^p'|[' ends, and kept open by short pieces of wood, which were thrust in transversely between the two sides, like the boats which children make of a bean shell. The .people, he said, were the nearest to brutes in their manner and appearance of any he had seen: they were like some which he had met with before, quite naked, notwithstanding the severity of the weather, except • part of a seal-skin which was thrown over their shoulders ; and they eat their food, which was such as no other animal but a hog would touch, without any dressing: they had with them a large piece of whale blubber, which stunk intolerably, and one of them tore it to pieces with his teeth, and gave it about to the rest, who devoured it with the voracity of a wild beast. They did not however look upon what they saw in the possession of our people with indifference ; for while one of them was asleep, they cut off the hinder part of his jacket with a sharp slint which they use as a knife. About eight o'clock, we made fail, and found little or no current. At noon, Cape Upright bore W. S. W. distant three leagues; and at six in the evening, we anchored in the bay, on the southern shore, which lies about a league to the eastward of the Cape, and had fifteen fathom water.
While we were lying here, and taking in wood and water, seven or eight Indians in a canoe came round the western point of the bay, and having landed opposite to the ship, made a fire. We invited them to come on board by all the signs we could devise, but without success; I therefore took the jolly boat, and went on shore to them. I introduced myself by making them presents of several trisles, with which they seemed to be much gratified, and we became very intimate in a few minutes: aster we had spent some time together, I sent away my people, in the boat for some bread, and remained on shore with them alone. When the boat returned with the bread, I divided it among them, and I remarked with equal pleasure and surprise, that if a bit of the biscuit happened to fall, not one of them offered to touch it till I gave my consent. In the mean time some of my people were cutting a little grass for
two or three sheep which I had still left on board, and *7$4. at length the Indians, perceiving what they were do- . Ap » ing, ran immediately, and tearing up all the weeds, ^^^^^^ they could get, carried them to the boat, which in a very short time was filled almost up to her gunwale. I was much gratified by this token of their good-will, and I could perceive that they were pleased with the pleasure that I expressed upon the occasion: they had indeed taken such a fancy to us, that when I returned on board the boat, they all got into their canoe, and followed me. When we came near the ship, however, they stopped, and gazed at her as if held in surprize by a mixture of astonishment and terror ; but at last, though not without some difficulty, I prevailed upon sour or five of them to venture on board. As soon as they entered the ship I made them several presents, and in a very little time they appeared to be persectly at ease. As I was very desirous to entertain them, one of the midshipmen played upon the violin, and some of my people danced; at this they were so much delighted, and so impatient to shew their gratitude, that one of them went over the ship's side into the canoe, and setched up a seal skin bag of red paint, and immediately smeared the fidler's- face all ovef with it: he was very desirous to pay me the fame compliment, which however I thought fit to decline; but he made many very vigorous efforts to get the better of my modesty, and it was not without some difficulty that I desended myself from receiving the honour he designed me in my own desoight. After having diverted and entertained them several hours, I intimated that it would be proper for them to go on shore; but their attachment was such, that it was by no means an easy matter to get them out of the ship. Their canoe waa not of bark, but of planks sewed together.
On Sunday the 7 th, at six o'clock in the morning, Sunday _ we weighed, with a moderate breeze at E. N. E. and sine weather. At seven, we were a-breast of Cape Upright: and at noon, it bore E. S. E. distant four leagues: soon after we tried the current, and found it set to the eastward at the rate of a knot and an half an hour. At three it sell calm, and the current driving us to the eastward very fast, we dropped an anchor,
Voi. I. F which
1765. -which before it took the ground was in one hundred Aprl1' and twenty fathom.
This day, and not before, the Tamar's boat returned from the westward: she had been within two or three leagues of Cape Pillar, and had found several very good anchoring-places on the south shore.
Monday 8. At one o'clock the next morning, having a fresh gale at west, we weighed, notwithstanding the weather was thick, and made fail ; at eleven it blew very hard, with violent rain and a great sea, and as we perceived that we rather lost than gained ground, we stood in for a bay on the south shore, about sour leagues to the westward of Cape Upright, and anchored in twenty fathom: the ground was not good, but in other respects this was one of the best harbours that we had met with in the Streight, for it was impossible that any wind should hurt us. There being less wind in the afternoon, and it inclining a little towards the south, we unmoored at two, and at four, the wind having then come round to the S. S. E. and being a moderate breeze, we weighed and steered to the westward: we made about two leagues and an half, but night then coming on, we anchored, not without great difficulty, i n a very good bay on the south shore in twenty fathom. As very violent gusts came from the land, we were very near being driven off before we could let go an anchor, and if we had not at last succeeded we must have passed a dreadsul night in the Streight; for it blew a hurricane from the time we came to an anchor till the morning, with violent rain, which was sometimes intermingled with snow.
Tuesday 9. At fix o'clock, the wind being still fresh and squally at S. Si E. we weighed and steered W. by N along the south shore." At eleven, we were abreast of Cape Pillar, which by the compass is about fourteen leagues W. i N. from Cape Upright. Cape Pillar may be known by a large gap upon the top, and when it bears W. S. W. an island appears off it which has an appearance somewhat like a hay-stack, and about which lie several rocks. The Streight to the eastward of the Cape is between seven and eight leagues over: the land on each side is of a moderate height, but it is lowest on the north, shore, the south shore being irruch
. . the the boldest, though both are craggy and broken. West- »76.5minster Island is nearer to the north than the south shore; and by the compass, lies N. E. from Cape Pillar. The land on the north shore, near the west end of the Streight, makes in many islands and rocks, upon which the sea breaks in a tremendous manner. The land about Cape Victory is distant from Cape Pillar about ten or eleven leagues, in the direction of N. W. by N. From the Cape westward, the coast. tends S. S. W. J. W. to Cape Deseada, a low point, off which lie innumerable roeks and breakers. About four leagues W. S. W. from Cape Deseada lie some dangerous rocks, called by Sir John Narborough the Judges, upon which a mountainous surf always breaks with inconceivable fury. Four small islands, called the Islands of Direction, are distant from Cape Pillar about eight leagues, in the direction of N. W. by W. When we were off this Cape it was statk calm ; but I never saw such a swell as rolled in here, nor such a. surge as broke on each shore. I expected every moment that the wind would spring up from its usual quarter, and that the best which could happen to us would be to be driven many leagues up the Streight again. Contrary, however to all expectation, a fine steady gale sprung up at Si E. to which I spread all the sail that it was possible for the ship to bear, and ran off from this frightful and desolate coast at the rate of nine miles an hour; so that by eight o'clock in the evening we had left it twenty leagues behind us. And now to make the ship as stiff as possible, I knocked down our aster bulk-head, and got two of the boats under the half-deck ; I also placed my twelve-oarcd cutter under the boom; so that we had nothing upon the skids but the jolly boat; and the alteration which this made in the vessel is inconceivable; for the weight of the boats upon the skids made her crank, and in a great sea they were also in danger of being lost.
It is probable, that whoever shall read this account of the difficulties and dangers which attended our passage through the Streight os Magellan, will conclude, that it ought never to be attempted again; but that all ships which shall hereaster sail a western course from Europe into the South Seas ought to go round Cape F 2 Horn.
'765" Horn. I, however, who have been twice round Cape ^Tl^j Horn, am of a difserent opinion. I think that at a proper season of the year, not only a single vessel, but a large squadron might pass the Streight in less than three weeks; and I think, to take the proper season, they should be at the eastern entrance some time in the month os December. One great advantage of this passage, is the facility with which fish is almost every where to be procured, with wild celery, scurvy-grass, berries, and many other vegetables in great abundance; for to this I impute the healthiness of my ship's company, not a single man being affected with the scurvy in the slightest degree, nor upon the sick list for any other disorder, notwithstanding the hardship and labour which they endured in the passage, which cost us seven weeks and two days, as we entered the Streight on Sunday the i 7th of February, and quitted it on Tuesday the 9th of April. Wood and water are also to be procured almost at every anchoring-place beyond Fresh Water Bay. Our sufferings I imputed wholly to our passing the Streightjust as the sun approached the equinox, when in this high latitude, the worst weather was to be expected: and indeed the weather we had was dreadsul beyond all description.
The Run from the Western Entrance of the Streight of
A V I N G cleared the Streight, we pursued our course to the westward, as appears by the fiuijy i6. track in the chart, till Friday, April the 26th, when we discovered the island of Mafasuero bearing W. N. W. ^ W. distant about sixteen leagues; but as to the northward it was hazy, the island of Don Juan Fernandes, was not in sight. During this run the variation had gradually decreased from 22° to 90 36' E. We bore away for Mafasuero, and at sun-set, being within about seven leagues of it, we brought to, and Saturd. 17. afterwards kept the wind all night. At day-break the next day, we bore away again for the island, at the fame time sending an officer, with a boat from each