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Tuesday's Bay, at the western entrance of the streight, and had been twice driven back ten or twelve leagues by such storms as we had now just experienced. When the season is so far advanced as it was when we attempted the passage of this streight, it is a most difficult and dangerous undertaking, as it blows a hurricane incessantly night and day, and the rain is as violent and constant as the wind, with such fogs as often render it impossible to discover any object at the distance of twice the ship's length. This day our best bower cable being quite rubbed to pieces, we cut it into junk, and bent a new one, which we rounded with old rigging, eight fathom from the anchor.
In the afternoon of the day following, the Tamar parted a new best bower cable, it being cut by the rock, and drove over to the east side of the bay, where she was brought up at a very little distance from some rocks, against which she must otherwise have been dashed to pieces.
At seven o'clock in the morning of the 29th, we weighed, and found our small bower-cable very much rubbed by the foul ground, so that we were obliged to cut no less than sixand-twenty fathom of it off, and bend it again. In about half an hour, the Tamar, being very near the rocks, and not being able to purchase her anchor, made signals of dis
I was therefore obliged to stand into the bay again, and having anchored, I sent hawsers on board the Tamar, and heaved her up while she purchased her anchor, after which we heaved her to windward, and at noon, being got into a proper birth, she anchored again. We continued in our station all night, and the next morning a gale came on at W.N.W. which was still more violent than any that had preceded it; the water was torn up all around us, and carried much higher than the mast heads, a dreadful sea at the same time rolling in; so that, knowing the ground to be foul, we were in constant apprehension of parting our cables, in which case we must have been almost instantly dashed to aloms against the rocks that were just to leeward of us, and upon which the sea broke with inconceivable fury, and a noise not less loud than thunder. We lowered all the main and fore-yards, let go the small bower, veered a cable and a half on the best bower, and having bènt the sheet-cable, stood by the anchor all the rest of the day, and till midnight, the sea often breaking half way up our main shrouds. About one in the morning, the weather became somewhat more moderate, but continued to be very dark, rainy, and tempestuous, till midnight, when the wind shifted to the S.W. and soon afterwards it became comparatively calm and clear.
The next morning, which was the first of April, we had a stark calm, with now and then some light airs from the eastward ; but the weather was again thick with hard rain, and we'found a current setting strongly to the eastward. At four o'clock we got up the lower yards, unbent the sheet-cable, and weighed the small bower, at eight we weighed the best bower, and found the cable very much rubbed in scveral places, which we considered as a great misfortune, it being a fine new cable, which never had been wet before. At eleven, we hove short on the stream-anchor; but soon after, it being calm, and a thick fog.coming on with hard rain, we veered away the stream-cable, and with a warp to the Tamar, heaved the ship upon the bank again, and let go the small bower in two-and-twenty fathom.
At six in the evening, we had strong gales at W.N.W. with violent squalls and much rain, and continued in our station till the morning of the 3d, when I sent the Tamar's boat, with an officer from each ship, to the westwärd, in search of anchoring-places on the south shore; and at the same time I sent my own cutter with an officer to seek anchoring-places on the north shore.
The cutter returned the next morning, at six o'clock, having been about five leagues to the westward upon the north shore, and found two anchoring-places. The officer reported, that having been on shore, he had fallen in with some Indians, who had with them a canoe of a construction very different from any that they had seen in the strait before: This vessel consisted of planks sewed together, but all the others were nothing more than the bark of large trees, tied together at the ends, and kept open by short pieces of wood, which were thrust in transversely between the two sides, like the boats which children make of a beanshell. The people, he said, were the nearest to brutes in their manner and appearance of any he had seen: They were, like some which we had met with before, quite naked, notwithstanding the severity of the weather, except part of a seal-skin which was thrown over their shoulders; and they eat their food, which was such as no other animal but
a hog a bog would touch, without any dressing : They had with -them a large piece of whale blubber, wbich stunk intolerably, and one of thein tore it to pieces with his teeth, and gave it about to the rest, who devoured it with the voracity of a wild beast. They did not, however, look upon what they saw in the possession of our people with indifference; for while one of them was asleep, they cut off the binder part of his jacket with a sharp flint which they use, as a knife...
About eight o'clock, we made sail, and found little or no current. At noon, Cape Upright bore W.S.W. distant three leagues; and at six in the evening, we anchored in the bay, on the southern shore, which lies about a league to the eastward of the cape, and had fifteen fathom water.
While we were lying here, and taking in wood and water, seven or eight Indians in a canoe came round the wesiern point of the bay, and having landed opposite to the ship, made a fire. We invited them to come on board by all the signs we could devise, but without success; I therefore took the jolly-boat, and went on shore to them. I introduced myself by making them presents of several trifles, with which they seemed to be much gratified, and we became very intimate in a few minutes : After we had spent some time together, I sent away my people, in the boat, for some bread, and remained on shore with them alone. When the boat returned with the bread, I divided it among them, and I remarked with equal pleasure and surprise, that if a bit of the biscuit happened to fall, not one of them offered to touch it till. I gave my consent. In the mean time some of my people were cutting a little grass for two or three sheep which I had still left on board, and at length the Indians perceiving what they were doing, ran immediately, and tearing up all the weeds they could get, carried them to the boat, which in a very short time was filled almost up to her gunwale. I was much gratified by this token of their good-will, and I could perceive that they were pleased with the pleasure that I expressed upon the occasion : They had indeed taken such a fancy to us, that when I returned on board the boat, they all got into their canoe, and followed me. When we came near the ship, however, they stopped, and gazed at her as if held in surprise by a mixture of astonishment and terror; but at last,
though though not without some difficulty, I prevailed upon four or five of them to venture on board. As soon as they entered the ship I made them several presents, and in a very little time they appeared to be perfectly at ease.
As I was very desirous to entertain them, one of the midshipmen played upon the violin, and some of my people danced ; at ihis they were so much delighted, and so impatient to show their gratitude, that one of them went over the ship's side into the canoe, and fetched up a seal-skin bag of red paint, and immediately smeared the fiddler's face all over with it: He was very desirous to pay me the same compliment, which, however, I thought fit to decline; but he made many very vigorous efforts to get the better of my modesty, and it was not without some difficulty that I defended myself from receiving the honour he designed me in my own despight. After having diverted and entertained them several hours, I intimated to them that it would be proper for them to go on shore ; but their attachment was such, that it was by no means an easy matter to get them out of the ship. Their canoe was not of bark, but of planks sewed together.
On Sunday the 7th, at six o'clock in the morning, we weighed, with a moderate breeze at E.N.E. and fine weather. At seven, we were abreast of Cape Upright; and at noon, it bore E.S.E. distant four leagues: Soon after we tried the current, and found it set to the eastward at the rate of a kuot and a half an hour. At three it fell calm, and the current driving us to the eastward very fast, we dropped an anchor, which before it took the ground was in one hundred and twenty fathom.
This day, and not before, the Tamar’s boat returned from the westward : She had been within two or three leagues of Cape Pillar, and had found several very good anchoringplaces on the south shore.
At one o'clock the next morning, having a fresh gale at west, we weighed, notwithstanding the weather was thick, and made sail; at eleven it blew very hard, with violent rain and a great sea, and as we perceived that we rather lost than gained ground, we stood in for a bay on the south shore, about four leagues to the westward of Cape Upright, and anchored in twenty fathom : The ground was not good, but in other respects this was one of the best harbours that we had met ith in the streight, for it was impossible that any wind should hurt us. There being less wind in the afternoon, and it inclining a little towards the south, we unmoored at two, and at four, the wind having then come round to the S.S.E. and being a moderate breeze, we weighed and steered to the westward : We made about two leagues and a half, but night then coming on, we anchored, not without great difficulty, in a very good bay on the south shore in twenty fathom. As very violent gusts came from the land, we were very near being driven off before we could let go an anchor, and if we had not at last succeeded we must have passed a dreadful night in the strait; for it blew a hurricane from the time we came to an anchor till the morning, with violent rain, which was sometimes intermingled with snow.
At six o'clock, the wind being still fresh and squally at S.S.E. we weighed and steered W. by N. along the south shore. At eleven, we were abreast of Cape Pillar, which by compass is about fourteen leagues W. N. from Cape Upright: Cape Pillar may be known by a large gap upon the top, and when it bears W.S.W. an island appears off it which has an appearance somewhat like a hay-stack, and about which lie several rocks. The strait to the eastward of the cape is between seven and eight leagues over; the land on each side is of a moderate height, but it is lowest on the north shore, the south shore being much the boldest, though both are craggy and broken. Westminster Island is nearer to the north than the south shore; and, by the compass, lies N.E. from Cape Pillar. The land on the north shore, near the west end of the strait, makes in many islands and rocks, upon which the sea breaks in a tremendous manner. The land about Cape Victory is distant from Cape Pillar about ten or eleven leagues, in the direction of N. W. by N. From the cape westward, the coast trends S. S. W., W. to Cape Deseada, a low point, off which lie innumerable rocks and breakers. About four leagues W. S. W. from Cape Deseada, lie some dangerous rocks, called by Sir John Narborough the Judges, upon which a mountainous surf always breaks with inconceivable fury. Four small islands, called the Islands of Direction, are distant from Cape Pillar about eight leagues, in the direction of N. W. by W. When we were off this cape it was stark calm; but I never saw such a swell as rolled in here, nor such a surge as broke on each shore. I expected every moment