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it were not for the severity of the cold in winter, this country might, in my opinion, be made, by cultivation, one of the finest in the world. I had set up a small tent at the bottom of this bay, close to a little rivulet, and just at the skirts of a wood, soon after the ship came to an anchor, where three men were employed in washing: They slept on shore; but soon after sunset were awakened out of their first sleep by the roaring of some wild beasts, which the darkness of the night, and the solitariness of their situation in this pathless desert, rendered horrid beyond imagination : the tone was hollow, and deep, so that the beasts, of whatever kind, were certainly large, and the poor fellows perceived that they drew nearer and nearer, as the sound every minute becaine more loud. From this time sleep was renounced for the night, a large fire was immediately kindled, and a constant blaze kept up: This prevented the beasts from invading the tent; but they continued to prowl round it at a little distance, with incessant howlings, till the day broke, and then, to the great comfort of the affrighted sailors, they disappeared.
At this place, not far from where the ship lay, there is a hill that has been cleared of wood, and we supposed this to be the spot where the Spaniards formerly had a settleinent.' One of the men, as he was passing over this hill, perceived that, in a particular part, the ground returned the sound of his foot, as if it was hollow : He therefore repassed it several times, and finding the effect still the same, he conceived a strong notion that something was buried there; when he came on board, he related what he had remarked to me, and I went myself to the spot, with a small party, furnished with spades and pickaxes, and saw the spot opened to a considerable depth, but we found nothing, nor did there appear to be any hollow or vault as was expected. As we were , returning through the woods, we found two very large skulls, which, by the teeth, appeared to have belonged to some beasts of prey, bat of what kind we could not guess.ppt
Having continued here till Friday the 4th of January, and completed the wood and water of both ships, for which purpose l'had entered the streight, I deterinined to steer back again in search of Falkland's Islands,
7 See some account of this settlement in the Voyage of Captain Wallis, Section i.
The Course back from Port Famine to Falkland's Islands,
with some Account of the Country.
We weighed anchor at four o'clock in the morning, and worked to windward out of the harbour: The wind continued contrary at N.N.E. till about one o'clock the next day, when it shifted to W.S.W. and blew a fresh gale. We steered N.W. by N. four leagues, and then three leagues north, between Elizabeth and Bartholomew Islands: We then steered from the islands N. by E. three leagues, to the second narrow; and steered through N.E.JE. continuing the same course from the second narrow to the first, which was a run of eight leagues. As the wind still continued to blow fresby we steered through the first narrow against the flood, in the direction of N.N.E., but about ten o'clock at night, the wind dying away, the flood set us back again into the entrance of the first narrow, where we were obliged to anchor, in forty, fathom,, within two cables' length of the shore, The tide flows here, at the full and change of the moon, about two o'clock, and runs full six knots an hour,
At one o'clock the next morning, we weighed, with a light northerly breeze; and about three, we passed the first narrow a second time. Having now seen the ship safe through, and being quite exhausted with fatigue, as I bad been upon the deck all the preceding day, and all night, I went into my cabin to get some rest. I lay down, and soon fell asleep; but in less than half an bour, I was awakened by the beating of the ship upon a bank: I instantly started up, and ran upon the deck, where I soon found that we had grounded upon a hard sand. It was happy for us, that at this time it was stark calm; and I immediately ordered out the boats to carry an anchor astern, where the water was deepest : The anchor took the ground, but before we could work the capstern, in order to heave the ship off to it, she went off, by the mere rising of the tide. It happened fortunately to be just low water when she went aground, and there was fifteen feet forward, and șix fathom a very little way astern. The master told me, that at the
last cast of the lead, before we were aground, he had thirteen fathom; so that the water shoaled at once no less than sixty-three feet
This bank, which has not been mentioned by any navigator who has passed the streight, is extremely dangerous ; especially as it lies directly in the fair way between Cape Virgin Mary and the first narrow, and just in the middle between the south and north shores. It is more than two leagues long, and full as broad; in many places also it is very steep. When we were upon it, Point Possession bore N.E. distant three leagues, and the entrance of the narrow S.W, distant two leagues. I afterwards saw many parts of it dry, and the sea breaking very high over other parts of it, where the water was shallow. A ship that should ground upon this shoal in a gale of wind, would probably be very soon beaten to pieces.
About six o'clock in the morning, we anchored in fifteen fathom, the shoal bearing N.N.W.W. at the distance of about half a mile. At noon, we weighed with a light breeze at N.E. and worked with the ebb tide till two; but finding the water shoal, we anchored again in six fathom and a half, at about the distance of half a mile from the south side of the shoal; the Asses' Ears then bearing N.W. by W. distant four leagues, and the south point of the entrance of the first Narrow W.S.W. distant about three leagues. At this time the opening of the narrow was shut in, and upon sending out the boats to sound, they discovered a channel between the shoal and the south shore of the streight, The Tamar in the mean time, as she was endeavouring to come near us, was very near going on shore, having once got into three fathoun, but soon after came to an anchor in the channel between the shoal and the north shore.
The next morning, about eight o'clock, we weighed, with little wind at W.S.W. and steered about half a mile S.E. by E. when, having deepened our water to thirteen fathom, we steered between the E. and E.N.E, along the south side of the shoal, at the distance of about seven miles from the south shore, keeping two boats at some distance, one on each bow, to sound. The depth of water was very irregular, varying continually between nine and fifteen fathom; and upon hauling nearer to the shoal, we had very soon no more than seven thom: The boats went over a bank, up
on which they had six fathom and a half; it being then low water, but within the bank, they had thirteen fathom. At noon, we were to the eastward of the shoal, and as we hauled over to the north shore, we soon deepened our water to twenty fathom, Point Possession at this time bore N.N.W distant between four and five leagues, the Asses' Ears W.N.W. distant six leagues, and Cape Virgin Mary N.E. E. distant about seven leagues. Froin this situation we steered N.E. by E. for the south end of the spit which runs to the southward of the Cape, and had no soundings with five and twenty fathom. At four in the afternoon, Cape Virgin Mary bore N.E. and the south end of the spit N.É. by E. distant three leagues. At eight the next morning, the Cape bore N. by W. distant two leagues. Our latitude was 51° 50', and our soundings were eleven and twelve fathom, We now brought-to for the Tamar, who had come through the north channel, and was some leagues astern of ns, and while we were waiting for her coming up, the officer of the watch informed me that the head of the main-mast was sprung: I immediately went up to look at it myself, and found it split almost in a straight line perpendicularly for a considerable length, but I could not discover exactly how far the fissure went, for the cheeks that were upon the mast. We imagined this to have happened in the very hard gale that had overtaken us some time before; but as it was of more importance to contrive how to repair the damage, than discover how it happened, we immediately put on a strong fish, and woolded it so well, that we had reason to hope the mast would be as serviceable as ever. Cape Virgin Mary now bore S. 62° W. distant twenty-one leagues, and our latitude was 51° 50' S. longitude 69° 56' W., the variation 20° E.
On the 9th, having sailed S. 67° E. our latitude was 52* 8' S. our longitude 68° 31' W. and Cape Virgin Mary bore S. 83° W. distant thirty-three leagues.
On the 10th, there having been little wind for the last twenty-four hours, between the north and east, with thick foggy weather, our course was N. 18° W. for thirty-nive miles. Our latitude was 51° 31' $. longitude 68° 44 W.; variation 20° E. and Cape Virgin Mary bore S. 60° W. distant thirty-three leagues.
On the 11th, we had strong gales at S.W. with a great sea : Our course was N. 87° £. for ninety-nine miles. Oui
not seen till it is approached near, consists of high, craggy,
latitude was 51° 24' S. longitude 66° 10' W. Cape Virgin Mary bore S. 79° 8' W. distant sixty-five leagues, and Cape Fair-weather W.2° S. distant seventy leagues ; the variation was now 199 E. About seven in the evening, I thought I saw land a-head of us, but the Tamar being some leagues astern, I wore ship, and made an easy sail off: The next morning, at break of day, I stood in again, the wind having shifted in the night to N.W. and about four o'clock I recovered sight of the land a-head, which had the appearance of three islands : fimagined they might be the islands of Sebald de Wert, but intending to stand between them, I found that the land which had appeared to be separated, was joined by some very low ground, which formed a deep bay. As soon as I had made this discovery, I tacked and stood out again, and at the same time saw land a great way to the southward, which I made no doubt was the same that is mentioned in the charts by the name of the New Islands. As I was hauling out of this bay, I saw a long, low shoal of rocks, stretching out for more than 'a league to the northward of us, and another of the same kind lying between that and what we had taken for the northermost of De Wert's Íslands." This land, except the low part, which is
barren rocks, which in appearance very much resemble Staten Land. When 'I had got so near as to discover the low land, I was quite embayed, and if it had blown hard at S.W. so great a sea must have rolled in here as would have rendered it almost impossible to claw off the shore; all ships, therefore, that may hereafter navigate these parts, should avoid falling in with it. The seals and birds here are innumerable; we saw also many whales spouting about us, several of which were of an enormous size. Our latitúde "now was 510-27' S. longitude 63° 54' W.; the variation was 28° 30' E. - In the evening we brought-to, and at day-break the next morning, stood in for the north part of the island by the coast of which we had been embayed : When we had got about four 'iniles to the eastward, it fell calm, and rained with great violence, during which there arosé such aswell as I never remember to have seen: It came from the westward, and ran so quick and so high, that I expected every moment it would break : It set us very fast towards the shore, which is as dangerous as any in the world, and I could see the surge breaking at some distance