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Isrand Staten Land taken from the Point B. in the Chart

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CH A P. III.

The Passage from Rio de Janeiro to the Entrance of the
Streight of Le Maire, with a Description of some of

the Inhabitants of Terra del Fuego.

ON

December.

N the gth of December, we observed the sea to be co- 1768.

vered with broad streaks of a yellowish colour, several of them a mile long, and three or four hundred yards wide: Friday 9, fome of the water thus coloured was taken up, and found to be full of innumerable atoms pointed at the end, of a yellowish colour, and none more than a quarter of a line, or the fortieth part of an inch long: in the microscope they appeared to be Fasciculi of small fibres interwoven with each: other, not unlike the nidus of some of the Phyganeas, called Caddices; but whether they were animal or vegetable substances, whence they came, or for what they were designed, neither Mr. Banks nor Dr. Solander could guess. The same appearance had been observed before, when we first discovered the continent of South America.

On the 11th we hooked a shark, and while we were play- Sunday it. ing it under the cabbin window, it threw out, and drew in again several times what appeared to be its ftomach: ic proved to be a female, and upon being opened fix young ones were taken out of it; five of them were alive and swam briskly in a tub of water, but the fixth appeared to have been dead some time.

Nothing remarkable happened till the 30th, except that Friday, 30.we prepared for the bad weather, which we were shortly to expect, by bending a new suit of fails ; but on this day we

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1768. December.

Friday 30.

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ran a course of one hundred and sixty miles by the log, through innumerable land insects of various kinds, some upon the wing, and more upon the water, many of which were alive; they appeared to be exactly the same with the Carabi, the Grylli, the Phalane, Aranea, and other flies that are seen in England, though at this time we could not be less than thirty leagues from land; and some of these insects, particularly the Grylli and Aranea, never voluntarily leave it at a greater distance than twenty yards. We judged ourfelves to be now nearly opposite to Baye sans fond, where Mr. Dalrymple supposes there is a passage quite through the continent of America; and we thought from the insects that there might be at least a very large river, and that it had overflowed its banks.

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On the 3d of January, 1769, being in latitude 47° 17S. and longitude 61° 29' 45' W. we were all looking out for Pepys' island, and for some time an appearance was seen in the east which so much resembled land, that we bore away for it; and it was more than two hours and an half before we were convinced that it was nothing but what sailors call a Fogbank.

The people now beginning to complain of cold, each of them received what is called a Magellanic jacket, and a pair of trowsers. The jacket is made of a thick woollen-stuff, called Fearnought, which is provided by the government. We saw, from time to time, a great number of penguins, albatrosses, and sheer waters, feals, whales, and porpoises: and on the uth, having passed Falkland's islands, we discovered the coast of Terra del Fuego, at the distance of about four leagues, extending from the W. to S. E. by S. We had here five and thirty fathom, the ground soft, small slate ftones. As we ranged along the shore to the S. E. at the distance of

Wednes. 11.

two

Wednes. 11.

Enter the

two or three leagues, we perceived smoke in several places, 1769.

January which was inade by the natives, probably as a signal, for they did not continue it after we had passed by. This day we discovered that the ship had got near a degree of longi. tude to the westward of the log, which, in this latitude, is 35 minutes of a degree on the equator: probably there is a small current setting to the westward, which

may

be caused by the westerly current coming round Cape Horn, and through the Streight of Le Maire, and the indraught of the Streight of Magellan *.

Having continued to range the coast, on the 14th we en- Saturday 144 tered the Streight of Le Maire; but the tide turning against Streight of: us, drove us out with great violence, and raised such a fea Le Maire.. off Cape St. Diego, that the waves had exactly the same appearance as they would have had if they had broke over a ledge of rocks; and when the ship was in this torrent, she

; frequently pitched, so that the bowsprit was under water. About noon, we got under the land between Cape St. Diego and Cape St. Vincent, where I intended to have anchored; but finding the ground' every where hard and rocky, and shallowing from thirty to twelve fathoms, I sent the Master to examine a little cove which lay at a small distance to the eastward of Cape St. Vincent. When he returned, he reported, that there was anchorage in four fathom, and a good bota. tom, close to the eastward of the first bluff point, on the east: of Cape St. Vincent, at the very entrance of the cove, to which I gave the name of VINCENT's Bay: before this an

* The celebrated navigator who discovered this Streight was a native of Portugal, and his name, in the language of his country, was Fernando de Magalhaens; the Spaniards call him Hernando Magalhanes, and the French Magellan, which is the ortho. graphy that has been generally adopted : a Gentleman, the fifth in descent from this great adventurer, is now living in or near London, and communicated the true name: of bis ancestor to Ms. Banks, with a request that it might be insested in this work.

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