Abbildungen der Seite

ly found than by their bearings. During our stay in this

shot a tyger cat, a small but very fierce animal; for, though it was much wounded, it maintained a very sharp contest with my dog for a considerable time before it was killed.

On the 29th, we completed our ballast, which the strength of the tide, and the constant gales of wind, rendered a very difficult and laborious task; we also got on board another tun' of water. On the morning of the 30th, the weather was so bad that we could not send a boat on shore ; but employed all hands on board in setting up the rigging. It grew more moderate however about poon, and I then sent a boat to procure more water. The two men who first came up to the well found there a large tyger lying upon the ground; having gazed at each other some time, the men, who had no fire-arms, seeing the beast treat them with as much contemptuous neglect as the lion did the knight of La Mancha, began to throw stones at him: Of this insult, however, he did not deign to take the least notice, but continued stretched upon the ground in great tranquillity till the rest of the party came up, and then he very leisurely rose and walked away.

On the first of December, our cutter being thoroughly repaired, we took her on board, but the weather was so bad that we could not get off any water: The next day, we struck the tents which had been set ap at the wateringplace, and got all ready for sea. The two wells from which we got our water bear about S.S.E. of the Steeple rock, from which they are distant about two miles and a half; but I fixed a mark near them, that they might be still more easi

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

harbour, we sounded every part of it with great care, as bigh as a ship could go and found that there is no danger but what

may be seen at low water; so that now fresh water is found, though at some distance from the beach, it would be a very convenient place for ships to touch at, if it were not for the rapidity of the tide. The country about the bay

abounds 1. Oli saray 4 ! On the south shore the rocks are not so numerous as on the north side ; and there are more hills and deep vallies ; but they are covered only by high grass and a few small shrubs. Hence this is but a bad place to touch at, by any ship that is under the necessity of wooding and watering. Our commodore, in order to clear the ground of the overgrown grass, which grew in some places in great quantities, and also to improve the soil, which appeared to be of a barren sandy nature, gave orders for the grass to be set on fire in different places, which was no sooner done, than the flames ran so fast, that in less than half an hour they spread several miles round,"

abounds with guanicoes, and a great variety of wild fowl, particularly ducks, geese, widgeon, and sea-pies, besides many others for which we have no name. Here is also such plenty of excellent mussels, that a boat may be loaded with them every time it is low water. Wood indeed is searce; however in some parts of this coast there are bushes, which in a case of necessity might produce a tolerable supply of fuel.

On Wednesday the 5th of December, I unmoored, in order to get out, but the best bower came up foul, and before we could heave short upon the small bower, the tide of ebb made strong; for at this place slack water scarcely continues ten minutes; : so that we were obliged to wait till it should be low water. Between five and six in the evening, we weighed, and steered out E.N.E. with a fresh galę at N.N.W,

[ocr errors][merged small]

Course from Port Desire, in search of Pepys' Island, and af

terwards to the Coast of Patagonia, with a Description of the * Inhabitants. ???

As soon as we were out of the bay, we steered for Pepys' Island, which is said to lie in latitude 47° S. Our latitude was now 47° 22' S. longitude 65° 49' W.; Port Desire bore S. 66° W. distant twenty-three leagues; and Pepys' Island, according to Halley's chart, E. N. distant thirty-four leagues. The variation here was 19° E. ,á

We continued our course the next day with a pleasant gale and fine weather, so that we began to think that this part of the world was not wholly without a summer. On the 7th, I found myself much farther to the northward than I expected, and therefore supposed the ship’s way had been influenced by a current. I had now made eighty degrees easting, which is the distance from the main at which Pepys' Island is placed in Halley's chart, but unhappily we have no certain account of the place. The only person who pretends to have seen it, is Cowley,' the account of whose voyDritto; bid?

age an, ' For an account of bis voyage, and of his supposed discovery, see vol. x. page 217. It seems impossible to reconcile the veracity of his narration with the non-existence of the island here spoken of, which is not now al

age is now before me; and all he says of its situation is, that it lies in latitude 47° S.; for he says nothing of its longitude: He says, indeed, that it has a fine harbour; but he adds, that the wind blew so hard he could not get into it, and that he therefore stood away to the southward. At this time I also was steering southward; for the weather being extremely fine, I could see very far to the northward of the situation in which it is laid down. As I

As I supposed it must lie to the eastward of us, if indeed it had any existence, I made the Tamar signal to spread early in the afternoon; and as the weather continued to be very clear, we could see, between us, at least twenty leagues. We steered S.E. by the compass, and at night brought-to, being, by my ac count, in latitude 47° 18's. The next morning it blew very hard at N.W. by N. and I still thought the island might lie to the eastward; I therefore intended to stand about thirty leagues that way, and if I found no island, to return into the latitude of 47° again. But a hard gale coming on, with a great sea, I brought to about six o'clock in the evening under the main-sail, and at six o'clock the next morning, the wind being at W.S.W. we made sail again under our courses to the northward. I now judged myself to be about sixteen leagues to the eastward of the track I had run before : Port Desire bore S. 80° 53' W. distant ninety-four leagues ; and in this situation I saw a great quantity of rock-weed, and many birds. We continued to stand to the northward the next day under our courses, with a hard gale from S.W. to N.W. and a great sea. At night, being in latitude 46° 50'S. I wore ship, and stood in to the westward again, our ships having spread every day as far as they could be seen by each other: And on the 11th at noon, being now certain that there could be no such island as is mentioned by Cowley, and laid down by Halley under the name of Pepys’ Island, I resolved to stand in for the main, and take in wood and water, of which both ships were in great want, at the first convenient place I could find, especially as the season was advancing very fast, and we had no time to lose. From this time we continued to haul in for the land as the winds would permit, and kept a look-out


lowed to hold a place in our maps. But the reader will be better able to form a correct opinion on this subject, after he has read the 5th Section, where the discovery of Cowley is pretty fully discussed


for the islands of Sebald de Wert," which, by all the charts we had on board, could not be far from our track: A great number of birds were every day about the ship, and large whales were continually swimming by her. The weather in general was fine, but very cold, and we all agreed, notwithstanding the hope we had once formed, that the only difference between the middle of summer here, and the middle of winter in England, lies in the length of the days. On Saturday the 15th, being in latitude 50° 33' S. longitude 66° 59' W. we were overtaken about six in the evening by the hardest gale at S.W. that I was ever in, with a sea still higher than any I had seen in going round Cape Horn with Lord Anson: I expected every moment that it would fill us, our ship being much too deep-waisted for such a voye age: It would have been safest to put before it under our bare poles, but our stock of fresb water was not sufficient, and I was afraid of being driven so far off the land as not to be able to recover it before the whole was exhausted ; we therefore lay-to under a balanced mizen, and shipped many heavy seas, though we found our skreen bulk-heads of infinite service.

The storm continued with unabated violence the whole night, but about eight in the morning began to subside. At ten, we made sail under our courses, and continued to steer for the land till Tuesday the 18th, when, at four in the morning, we saw it from the mast-head. Our latitude was now 51° 8' S. our longitude 71° 4' W, and Cape Virgin Mary, the north entrance of the Streights of Magellan, bore S. 19° 50' W. distant nineteen leagues. As we had little or no wind, we could not get in with the land this day; the next morning, however, it being northerly, I stood in to a deep bay, at the bottom of which there appeared to be a harbour, but I found it barred, the sea breaking quite from one side of it to the other; and at low water I could perceive that it was rocky, and almost all dry : The water was shoal at a good distance from it, and I was in six fathom before I stood out again. In this place there seemed to be plenty of fish, and we saw many porpoises swimming after


2 These may

be considered the same as what are now called Falkland's Islands, the name said to have been given them by Captain Strong, in 1639; but they had been frequently seen before that period, as by Sir Ricbard Hawkins in 1594, and Davis in 1592. They have various other names, and are pretty well known.-E.

them, that were as white as snow, with black spots ; a very uncommon and beautiful sight. The land here has the same appearance as about Port Desire, all downs, without a single tree.

At break of day, on the 20th, we were off Cape Fairweather, which bore about west at the distance of four leagues, and we had here but thirteen fathom water, so that it appears necessary to give that cape a good birth. From this place I ran close on shore to Cape Virgin Mary, but I found the coast to lie S. S. E. very different from Sir John Narborough's description, and a long spit of sand running to the southward of the cape for above a league : In the evening I worked up close to this spit of sand; having seen many guanicoes feeding in the vallies as we went along, and a great smoke all the afternoon, about four or five leagues up the strait, upon the north shore."

the north shore. At this place I came to an anchor in fifteen fathom water, but the Tamar was so far to leeward, that she could not fetch the anchoring ground, and therefore kept under way all night.

The next morning, at day-break, I got again under sail, and seeing the same smoke that I had observed the day before, I stood in for it, and anchored about two miles from the shore. This is the place where the crew of the Wager, as they were passing the strait in their boat, after the loss of the vessel, saw a number of horsemen, who waved what appeared to be white handkerchiefs, inviting them to come on shore, which they were very desirous to have done, but it blew so hard that they were obliged to stand out to sea. - Bulkeley, the gunner of the Wager, who has pubJished some account of her voyage, says, that they were in doubt whether these people were Europeans who had been shipwrecked upon the coast, or native inhabitants of the country about the river Gallagoes. Just as we came to an anchor, I saw with my glass exactly what was seen by the people in the Wager, a number of horsemen riding backward and forward, directly abreast of the ship, and waving somewhat white, as an invitation for us to come on shore. As I was very desirous to know what these people were, I ordered out my twelve-oared boat, and went towards the beach,


[ocr errors]

5" At eight we discovered a good deal of smoke issuing from different quarters, and on our nearer approach, could plainly perceive a number of people on horseback.”

« ZurückWeiter »