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them the great guns, but they did not appear to have 1766.

December any notion of their use. After I had carried them through the ship, I ordered the marines to be drawn up, and go through part of their exercise. When the first volley was fired, they were struck with astonithment and terror ; the old

man,

in particular, threw himself down upon the deck, pointed to the muskets, and then striking his breast with his hand, lay some time motionless, with his eyes shut: by this we supposed he intended to shew us that he was not unacquainted with fire-arms, and their fatal effect. The rest seeing our people merry, and finding themselves unhurt, soon resumed their chearfulness and good humour, and heard the second and third volley fired without much emotion ; but the old man continued prostrate upon the deck some time, and never recovered his spirits till the firing was over.

About noon, the tide being out, I acquainted them by signs that the ship was proceeding farther, and that they must go on shore: this I soon perceived they were very unwilling to do ; all however, except the old man and one more, were got into the boat without much difficulty ; but these stopped at the gangway, where the old man turned about, and went aft to the companion ladder, where he stood some time without speaking a word; he then uttered what we supposed to be a prayer; for he many times lifted up his hands and his eyes to the heavens, and spoke in a manner and tone very

different from what we had observed in their conversation : his oraison seemed to be rather sung than said, so that we found it impossible to distinguish one word from another. When I again intimated that it was proper him to go into the boat, he pointed to the sun, and then moving his hand round to the west, he paused, looked in my face, laughed, and pointed to the shore : by this it was easy to understand that he wished to stay on board till sun-set, and I took no little pains to convince him that we could not stay so long upon that part of the coast, before he could be prevailed upon to go into the boat ; at length however he went over the ship's side with his companion, and when the boat put off they all began to sing, and continued their merriment till they got on shore. When they landed, great

numbers

for

1766. December.

numbers of those on shore pressed eagerly to get into the boat ; but the officer on board, having positive orders to bring none of them off, prevented them, though not without great difficulty, and apparently to their extreme mortification and disappointment.

When the boat returned on board, I sent her off again with the Master, to found the shoal that runs off from the point : he found it about three miles broad from north to south, and that to avoid it, it was necessary to keep four miles off the Cape, in twelve or thirteen fathom water.

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The Pasage through the Streight of Magellan, with some farther Account of the Patagonians, and a Defcription of the Coast on each side, and its Inhabitants.

Wednes. 17.

A

BOUT one o'clock, on Wednesday the 17th

of December, I made the signal and weighed, ordering the Swallow to go a-head, and the store-ship to bring up the rear. The wind was right against us, and blew fresh, so that we were obliged to turn into the Streight of Magellan with the flood-tide, between Cape Virgin Mary and the Sandy Point that resembles Dungeness. When we got a-breast of this point, we stood close into the shore, where we saw two guanicoes, and many of the natives on horseback, who seemed to be in pursuit of them : when the horsemen came near, they ran up the country at a great rate, and were pursued by the hunters, with their slings in their hands ready for the caft; but neither of them was taken while they were within the reach of our sight.

When we got about two leagues to the west of Dungeness, and were standing off shore, we fell in with a shoal upon which we had but seven fathom water at half flood: this obliged us to make short tacks, and keep continually heaving the lead. At half an hour after eight in the evening, we anchored about three miles from the shore, in 20 fathom, with a muddy bottom: Cape Virgin Mary then bearing

N. E.

N. E. by E. Point Possession W. S. at the dittarce 1766.

December. of about five leagues.

About half an hour after we had cast anchor, the natives made several large fires a-breast of the thip, and at break of day we saw about four hundred of them encamped in a fine green valley, between iwo hills, with their horses feeding beside them. About fix o'clock in the morning, the tide being done, we got Thursd. 18. again under fail : its course here is from east io weit : it rises and falls thirty feet, and its Strength is equal to about three knots an hour. About noon there being little wind, and the ebb running with great force, the Swallow, who was a-head, made the fignal and came to an anchor ; upon which I did the same, and so did the store-ship, that was a-stern.

As we saw great numbers of the natives on horseback a-breast of the ship, and as Captain Carteret informed me that this was the place where Commodore Byron had the conference with the tail men, I sent the Lieutenants of the Swallow and the store-ship to the shore, but with orders not to land, as the ships were at too great a distance to protect them. When these gentlemen returned, they told me that the boat having lain upon her oars very near the beach, the natives came down in great numbers, whom they knew to be the same persons they had seen the day before, with many others, particularly women and children; that when they perceived our people had no design to land, they seemed to be greatly disappointed, and those who had been on board the ship waded off to the boat, making signs for it to advance, and pronouncing the words they had been taught, “ Englishmen, come on shore,” very loud, many times ; that when they found they could not get the people to land, they would fain have got into the boat, and that it was with great difficulty they were prevented. That they presented thern with some bread, tobacco, and a few toys, pointing at the same time to some guanicoes and ostriches, and making signs that they wanted them as provisions, but that they could not make themselves understood; that finding they could obtain no refreshment, they rowed along the shore in search of fresh water; but that seeing no appearance of a rivulet, they returned on board.

At

1766.

At six o'clock the next morning we weighed, the December.

Swallow being still a-head, and at noon we anchored Friday 19. in Possession bay, having twelve fathom with a clean

sandy bottom. Point Possession at this time bore East, distant three leagues ; the Asses Ears west, and the entrance of the Narrows S. W. Į W. the bottom of the bay, which was the nearest land to the ship, was diftant about three miles. We faw a great number of Indians upon the Point, and at night large fires on the

Terra del Fuego shore. Monday 22. From this time, to the 22d, we had strong gales

and heavy seas, so that we got on but slowly; and we now anchored in 18 fathom, with a muddy bottom. 'The Asses Ears bore N. W. by W. { W. Point Possession N. E. by E. one the point of the Narrows, on the south side, S. S. W. diftant between three and four leagues. In this situation, our longitude, by servation, was 70° 20' W. latitude 52° 30' S: The tide here sets S. E. by S. and N. E. by N. at the rate of about three knots an hour ; the water rises four and twenty feet, and at this time it was high water at four in the morning.

In the morning of the 23d, we made fail, turning to windward, but the tide was so strong, that the Swallow was set one way, the Dolphin another, and the storeship a third : there was a fresh breeze, but not one of the vessels would answer her helm. We had various soundings, and saw the rippling in the middle ground: in these circumstances, sometimes backing, sometimes filling, we entered the first Narrows. About six o'clock in the evening, the tide being done, we anchored on the south-fhore, in 40 fathom, with a sandy bottom; the Swallow anchored on the north-shore, and the store-fhip not a cable's length from a fand bank, about two miles to the eastward. The streight here is only three miles wide, and at midnight, the tide being slack, we weighed and towed the ship through. A

breeze sprung up soon afterwatds, which continued till Wedn. 24. seven in the morning, and then died away. We steered

from the first Narrows to the second S. W. and had 19 fathom, with a muddy bottom. At eight we anchored two leagues from the shore, in 24 fathom, Cape Gregory bearing W. I N. and Sweepstakes Foreland

S. W.

Tuesd. 23.

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S. W. W. The tide here ran seven knots an hour, 1766.

December. and such böres sometimes came down, with immense quantities of weeds, that we expected every moment to be adrift.

The next day, being Christmas day, we failed Thursd. 25. through the second Narrows. In turning through this part of the Streight we had twelve fathom within half a mile of the shore on each side, and in the middle 17 fathom, 22 fathom, and no ground. At five o'clock in the evening, the ship suddenly shoaled from 17 fathom to 5, St. Bartholomew's Island then bearing S. W. distant between three and four miles, and Elizabeth Island S. S. W. Ż W. distant five or six. miles. About half an hour after eight o'clock, the weather being rainy and tempestuous, we anchored under Elizabeth Island in 24 fathom, with hard gravelly ground. Upon this island we found great quantities of celery, which, by the dire&tion of the surgeon, was given to the people, with bojled wheat and portable soup, for breakfast every morning. Some of the officers who went a-shore with their guns, saw two small dogs, and several places where fires had been recently made, with many fresh shells of muscles and limpets lying about them : they saw also several wigwams or huts, consisting of young trees, which, being sharpened at one end, and thrust into the ground in a circular form, the other ends were brought to meet, and fastened together at the top; but they saw none of the natives.

From this place we faw many high mountains, bearing from S. to W. S. W. several parts of the summits were covered with snow, though it was the midst of summer in this part of the world : they were clothed with wood about three parts of their height, and above with herbage, except where the snow was not yet melted. This was the first place where we had seen wood in all South America.

At two o'clock in the morning of the 26th, we Friday 26. weighed, and having a fair wind, were a-breast of the north end of Elizabeth's Island at three : at half an hour after five, being about midway between Elizabeth's Island and St. George's Island, we suddenly shoaled our water from 17 fathom to fix: we struck the ground once, but the next cast had no bottom with 20 Vol. I,

K

fathom.

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