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but they la cather senerally
south-east : we were then steering S. W. and I fent 1764; officers to the mast-head to look out upon the weather beam, and they called out that they 'faw land also a Mond. 12. great way to the windward. I immediately brought to, and founded ; we had ftill fifty-two fathom, but I thought that we were embayed, and rather wished than hoped that we should get clear before night. We made fail and steered E. S. E. the land still having the same appearance, and the hills looking blue, as they generally do at a little distance in dark rainy weather; and now many of the people said that they faw the sea break upon the sandy beaches ; but having steered out for about an hour, what we had taken for land, vanished all at once, and to our great astonishment appeared to have been a fog-bank. Though I had been almost continually at sea for seven-and-twenty years, I had never seen such a deception before ; others however have been equally deceived; for the master of a ship, not long since, made oath, that he had feen an island between the west end of Ireland and Newfoundland, and even distinguished the trees that grew upon it. Yet it is certain that no such island exists, at least it could never be found, though several ships were afterwards sent out on purpose to feek it. And I am sure, that if the weather had not cleared up soon enough for us to see what we had taken for land disappear, every man on board would freely have made oathi, that land had been discovered in this situation. Our latitude this day was 43° 46' S. longitude 600 5' W. and the variation 19° 30'E.
The next day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the Tues. 13, weather being extremely fine, the wind shifted at once to the S. W. and began to blow fresh, the sky at the same time becoming black to windward: in a few minutes all the people that were upon the deck were alarmed with a sudden and unufual noise, like the breaking of the sea upon the shore. I ordered the topsails to be handed immediately; but before it could be done, I saw the sea approaching at some distance, in vaft billows covered with foam; I called to the people to haul up the forefail, and let go the main sheet in. stantly ; for I was persuaded that if we had any fail out when thegust reached us, we should either be over
ail, andd that if weither be overet,
.. !764. set, or lose all our mafts. It reached us however before Novemb.
is we could raise the main tack, and laid us upon our
beam ends: the main tack was then cut, for it was become impossible to cast it off; and the main sheet struck down the first Lieutenant, bruised him dreadfully, and beat out three of his teeth: the main topsail, which was not quite handed, was split to pieces. If this squall, which came on with less warning and more violence than any I had ever seen, had taken us in the night, I think the ship must have been lost. When it came on we observed several hundreds of birds flying before it, which expressed their terror by loud Thrieks; it lasted about twenty minutes, and then gradually subsided. The Tamar split her main-fail, but as she was to leeward of us, she had more time to prepare. In a short time it began to blow very hard
again, so that we reefed our main-fail, and lay to unWedn. 14. der it all night. As morning approached, the gale be
came more moderate, but we had still a great fea, and the wind shifting to S. by W: we stood to the westward under our courses. Soon after it was light, the sea appeared as red as blood, being covered with a small shell-fish of that colour, somewhat resembling our cray-fish, but less, of which we took up great quan
tities in baskets. Thurs. 15.. At half an hour past four in the morning of Thurs
day the 15th of November, we saw land, which had
though the rest of the ship's company were in good 764
Novemb. health. Our latitude was 45° 21' S. longitude 630 m 2' W. the variation 199 41' E.
The next day I shaped my course by the chart in Frid. 16, the account of Lord Anson's voyage, for Cape Blanco. In the evening it blew extremely hard at S. W. by S, so that we brought to for the night under our mainfail. In the morning we made fail again, but we had Satur. 17. a great sea ; and although it was now almost midsummer in these parts, the weather was, in every respect, much worse than it is in the Bay of Biscay at the depth of winter. About six in the evening, having carried all the sail I could, we made land, bearing about S. S. W. which, as we had good observation of the sun, we knew to be Cape Blanco; but it now began to blow with more violence then ever, and the storm continued all night, with a sea that was continually breaking over us, so that the ship laboured very much. At four in the morning, we founded and had forty Sund. 18. fathom, with rocky ground ; having stood off in the night, we now wore and stood in again, the storm still continued with hail and snow : and about six o'clock we saw the land again, bearing S. W. by W. The ship was now so light, that, in a gale of wind the drove bodily to leeward; so that I was very solicitous to get into Port Desire, that I might put her hold in order, and take in sufficient ballast, to avoid the danger of being caught upon a lee shore in her present trim. We steered in for the land with the wind at N. E. and in the evening brought to ; but the wind coming to the Mond. 19. westward, we were driven off in the night. At seven the next morning, we stood in again, steering S. W. by S. by the compass, and soon perceived the sea to break right a-head of us ; we immediately founded, and shoaled our water from thirteen to seven fathom, foon after deepening it again from seventeen to fortytwo; so that we went over the end of a shoal, which a little farther to the northward might have been fatal to us. Cape Blanco at this time bore W. S. W. 1S. distant four leagues: but we were still at a loss for Port Desire, il being impossible that any description should be more confused than that which Sir John Narborough has given of this harbour. I stood into a bay to
1764., the southward of the Cape, as he directs, but could Novemb.
find no such place; I therefore stood along the shore to the southward, the wind blowing off the land very hard, and saw several large columns of smoke rising in many places, but no tree or bush, the country resembling in appearance the barren downs of England. We observed also that the water was frequently very fhallow at the distance of seven or eight miles from the shore, , for we had many times not more than ten fathom.
We continued to stand along the shore all day as
near as possible, and in the evening we saw an Island Tues. 20. at the distance of about six leagues; in the morning we
stood in for it, and found that it corresponded with Narborough's description of Penguin Island. As Port Desire is said to lie about three leagues north west of this Island, I sent the boat to look for it, and when she returned, having found it, I stood in for the land. There were thousands of seals and penguins about the ship, and near Penguin island several smaller islands, or rather rocks. In the evening, we saw a remarkable rock, rising from the water like a steeple, on the south side of the entrance of Port Desire; this rock is an excellent mark to know the harbour, which it would otherwise be difficult to find. At night, there being
little wind, we anchored at the distance of four or five Wed. 2?. miles from the shore ; and in the morning, with a
breeze from the land, we turned up the harbour's mouth; we found it very narrow, with many rocks and shoals about it, and the most rapid tide I had ever known. I came to an anchor off the harbour in nine fathom, the entrance of the river being open, and bearing W. S. W. Penguin island S. E. ; Ē. diftant about three leagues; the Steeple rock S. W. by W. the northermost land N. N. W. and two rocks, which are covered at half tide, and lie at the southermost extremity of a reef which runs from the fame land, N. E. by N. I mention all these bearings particularly, because I think it may be of importance to future navigators, especially as the descriptions that have been given of this place, by the few who have already visited it, are extremely defective. The wind blew very hard the greater part of this day, and there ran an ugly fea where we were stationed, yet I ordered out two boats
to found the harbour, and attended in my own boat 1764. myself. We found it very narrow for near two miles, Novamo. with a tide running at the rate ofeight miles an hour: we found also many rocks and shoals, but all the dan, ger shows itself above water. When we came to the Thore, I landed, and walked a little way into the country, which as far as I could see was all downs, without a single tree or thrub. We saw the dung of many beasts, and had a glimpse of four, which ran away as soon as we came in sight, so that we could not certainly determine what they were ; but we believed them to be guanicoes, many of which we afterwards saw come down to the water side; they resemble our deer, but are much larger, the height of some being not less than thirteen hands; they are very shy, and very swift. After I returned to my boat, I went farther up the harbour, and landed upon an island that was covered with seals, of which we killed above fifty, and among them many that were larger than a bullock, having before half loaded our boat with different kinds of birds, of which, and seals, there are enough to supply the navy of England. Among the birds one was very remarkable : the head resembled that of an eagle, except that it had a large comb upon it; round the neck there was a white ruff, exa&ly resembling a lady's tippet, the feathers on the back were as black as jet, and as bright as the finest polish could render that mineral: the legs were remarkably strong and large, the talons were like those of an eagle, except that they were not so sharp, and the wings, when they were extended, measured, from point to point, . no less than twelve feet.
The Tamar worked into the harbour with the tide of flood, but I kept my station with the Dolphin till I should have a leading wind ; and the wind shifting to the eastward, I weighed about five o'clock in the afternoon, intending to go up with the evening flood: before I could get under fail, however, the wind shifted again to N. W. by N. and it being low water, the Thip lying but just within the harbour, and there being no tide to assist us, we were obliged to anchor near the south shore. The wind came off the land in very hard flaws, and in a short time, our anchor coming home,