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considerable distance from the coast, but if there had been many islands in that situation, it is impossible but that the Dolphin, the Tamar, or the Swallow, must have seen them, as we ran near their supposed meridian, and so did the Dolphin and the Tamar the last voyage. Till we came into this latitude, we had tolerable weather, and little or no current in any direction, but when we came to the northward of 48°, we found a current setting strongly to the north, so that probably we then opened the great bay, which is said to be ninety leagues deep. We found here a vast swell from the N.W. and the winds generally blew from the same quarter; yet we were set every day twelve or fifteen miles to the northward of our account.
On Wednesday the 15th, at about four o'clock in the morning, after surmounting many dangers and difficulties, we once more got abreast of Cape Pillar, with a light breeze at S.E. and a great swell. Between five and six o'clock, just as we opened Cape Deseada, the wind suddenly shifted to S. and S. by W. and blew so hard that it was with great difficulty we could carry the reefed top-sails : The sudden changing of the wind, and its excessive violence, produced a sea so dreadfully hollow, that great quantities of water were thrown in upon our deck, so that we were in the utmost danger of foundering; yet we did not dare to shorten sail, it being necessary to carry all we could spread, in order to weather the rocky islands, which Sir John Narborough has called the Islands of Direction, for we could not now run back again into the Streight, without falling down among the broken land, and incurring the dangers of the northern shore, which was to leeward ; towards this broken land, however, and lee-shore, the ship settled very fast, notwithstanding our utmost efforts : In this pressing emergency we were obliged to stave all the water-casks upon the deck, and between decks, to clear the vessel, and to make her
better sail, and at length, happily escaped the danger which threatened us. After we got clear of those islands, and drew off from the Streight's mouth and the land, we found the sea run more regularly from the S.W. and the wind soon after coming from S.S.W.'to S.S.E. we had by noon got a pretty good offing, about dine leagues from Cape Victory, which is on the north shore. Thus we cleared the western entrance of the Streight, which, in my opinion, is too dangerous for navigation; a deliverance which happen
ed in the very crisis of our fate, for almost immediately afterwards, the wind came again to the S.W., and if it had continued in that quarter, our destruction would have been inevitable.
T'he Passage from Cape Pillar, at the Western Entrance of
the Streight of Magellan, to Masafuero; with some Account of that Island.
I took my departure from Cape Pillar, which I make to lie in the latitude of 52° 45' s., and in the longitude 750 10 W. of the meridian of London, and as soon as I got clear of the streight, steered to the northward along the coast of Chili. Upon examining what quantity of fresh water we had now on board, I found that it amounted only to between four and five and twenty tons, which I thought not sufficient for so long a voyage as was probably before us; I therefore hauled to the northward, intending to make the island of Juan Fernandes, or Masafuero, that we might increase our stock before we sailed to the westward.
In the middle of the night of the 16th, we had the wind first to the S.S.E. and then to the S.E. with which we kept away N.W. and N.N.W. in high spirits, hoping that in a short time we should be in a more temperate climate: We had the misfortune, however, very soon to find ourselves disappointed, for on the 18th, the wind came to the N.N.W. and blew directly from the point upon which we were steering. We had now got about a hundred leagues froin the streight's mouth; our latitude was 48° 39' S., and we were, by account, 4° 33' W. of Cape Pillar; but from this time, till the 8th of May, the wind continued unfavourable, and blew a continued storm, with sudden gusts still more violent, and much rain and hail, or rather fragments of half-melted ice : At intervals also we had thunder and lightning, more dreadful than all the past, and a sea which frequently laid the whole vessel under water.
From the tiine of our clearing the streight, and during our passage along this coast, we saw a great number of sea-birds, particularly albatrosses, gannets, sheerwaters, and a thick lumpish bird, about as big as a large pigeon, which
the sailors call a Cape-of-Good-Hope hen : They are of a dark-brown or blackish colour, and are therefore sometimes called the black gull: We saw also a great many pintado birds, of nearly the same size, which are prettily spotted with black and white, and constantly on the wing, though they frequently appear as if they were walking upon the water, like the peterels, to which sailors have given the name of Mother Carey's chickens; and we saw also many of these.
In the evening of Monday the 27th, which was very dark, as we were standing to the westward 'under our courses, and a close-reefed top-sail, the wind, in a hard squall, suddenly shifted, and took the vessel right a-head; the violent jerk with which the sails were instantly thrown a-back, was very near carrying the masts away by the board, and oversetting the ship; the sails being at this time extremely wet, and the gale in the highest degree violent, they clung so fast to the masts and rigging, that it was scarcely possible to get them either up or down; yet by the dexterous activity of our people, we got the mainsail up, clewed up the main top-sail, and got the ship's head round without receiving much damage. The violence of the wind continued several hours, but before morning it veered again to the N.W. and continued in that quarter till the afternoon of the 29th, when it died away, and we had a dead calm for six hours. During this time we had a high sea, which ran in great confusion from all quarters, and broke against the ship in a strange manner, making her roll with so violent and sudden a motion, that I expected every moment to lose our masts. The wind afterwards sprung up at W.S.W. which was fair, and we carried all the sail we could set to make the most of it. It blew very hard in this direction, with heavy rain for a few hours, but by noon on the 30th, it returned to its usual quarter the N.W., and was so violent as to bring us again under our courses, there being at the same time a prodigious swell, which frequently broke over us. At five o'clock the next morning, as we were lying to under the reefed main-sail and balanced mizen, a vast sea broke over the quarter where the ship's oars were lashed, and carried away six of them, with the weather-cloth; it also broke the mizen-gaff close where the sail was reesed, and the iron-strap of one of the main dead eyes, laying the whole vessel for
some time under water: We were however fortunate enough to haul up the main-sail without splitting, though it blew a hurricane, and a deluge of rain, or rather of halfmelted ice, at the same time poured down upon us. The wind soon after shifted again from N.W. to S.W. and for about an hour blew, if possible, stronger than ever. This wind made the ship come up with her head right against the vast sea which the north-west wind had raised, and at every pitch which she made against it, the end of the bowsprit was under water, and the surge broke over the forecastle as far aft as the main-mast, in the same manner as it would have broke over a rock, so that there was the greatest reason to apprehend she would founder. With all her defects she was indeed a good sea-boat, and if she had not, it would have been impossible for her to have outlived this storm, in which, as well as on several other occasions, we experienced the benefit of the bulk-heads which we had fixed on the fore-part of the half-deck, and to the after-part of the fore-castle.
Notwithstanding this wind was fair, we durst not venture to put the ship before it, for if in wearing, any of these enormous seas had broken on her side, it would inevitably have carried away all before it. After some time, however, it became more moderate, and we then got up our yards and made sail, steering N. by W.; and now the men having been up all night, and being wet to the skin, I ordered every one of them a dram.
By the next morning, the 2d of May, the wind came again to the N.W. and N.N.W. but by this time we had got down the broken mizen-gaff, repaired it as well as we could, got it up again in its place, and bent the sail to it; but we now most sensibly felt the want of a forge and iron.
On the 3d, at day-break, we found the rudder-chain broken, and upon this occasion we again most feelingly regretted the want of a forge; we made, however, the best shift we could, and the next day, the weather being more moderate, though the wind was still contrary, we repaired our rigging, and the carpenters fixed a new dead eye where the old one had been broken; the sail-maker also was busy in mending the sails that had been split.
On the 5th, we were again brought under bur courses by a hurricane from the N. by W. and N.N.W. and the ship was tossed about with such violence that we had nowcom
mand of her. During this storm, two of our chain-plates were broken, and we continued toiling in a confused hollow sea till inidnight, when a light gale sprung up at N.W. which soon blew very hard ; but at two in the morning, we were again taken right a-head by a sudden and violent squall at west, which at once threw all our sails aback, and before we could get the ship round, was very near carrying all by the board. With this gale we stood north, and in the forenoon the carpenters fixed new chain-plates to the main shrouds, and one to the fore shrouds, in the place of those which had been broken in the squall during the night. This was another occasion on which it was impossible not to regret the want of a forge and iron.
The gale continued in this direction till eight in the morning of the 7th, when it returned to the N.W. with unsettled weather. On the 8th, it came to south, and this was a fine day, the first we had seen after our leaving the Streight of Magellan. Our latitude at noon was 36° 39'S. and we were about five degrees to the westward of Cape Pillar. The next day we made the island of Masafuero, and on the 10th, the island of Juan Fernandes : In the af ternoon we got close to the eastermost part of it, and soon after hauled round the north end, and opened Cumberland Bay. As I did not know that the Spaniards had fortified this island, I was greatly surprised to see a considerable number of men about the beach, with a house and four pieces of cannon near the water-side, and a fort about three hundred yards farther from the sea, just upon the rising of the hill, with Spanish colours flying on the top of it. This fort, which is faced with stone, has eighteen or twenty embrasures, and within it a long house, which I supposed to be barracks for the garrison : Five-and-twenty or thirty houses of different kinds are scattered round it, and we saw much cattle feeding on the brow of the hills, which seemed to be cultivated, as many spots were divided by enclosures from each other; we saw also two large boats lying on the beach. The gusts of wind which came right out of this bay, prevented my going so near as I intended, for they were so violent as to oblige us many times to let fly our top-sail sheets, though the sails were close reefed ; and I think it is impossible to work a ship into this bay when the wind blows hard from the southward. As we stood cross the bay to the westward, one of the boats put off from the