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that the wind would spring up from its usual quarter, and that the best which could happen to us would be to be driven many leagues up the streight again. Contrary, however, to all expectation, a fine steady gale sprung up at S. E. to which I spread all the sail that it was possible for the ship to bear, and ran off from this frightful and desolate coast at the rate of nine miles an hour; so that by eight o'clock in the evening we had left it twenty leagues behind us. And now, to make the ship as stiff as possible, I knocked down our after bulk-head, and got two of the boats under the half-deck; I also placed my twelve-oared culter un, der the boom ; so that we had nothing upon the skids but the joliy-boal; and the alteration which this made in the vessel is inconceivable : For the weight of the boats upon the skids made her crank, and in a great sea they were also in danger of being lost.
It is probable, that whoever shall read this account of the difficulties and dangers which attended our passage through the Streight of Magellan, will conclude, that it ought never to be attempted again; but that all ships which shall hereafter sail a western course from Europe into the South Seas ought to go round Cape Horn. I, however, who have been twice round Cape Horn, am of a different opinion. I think that at a proper season of the year, not only a single vessel, but a large squadron might pass the streight in less than three weeks; and I think, to take the proper season, they should be at the eastern entrance some time in the month of December, One great advantage of this passage, is the
Bougainville gives the same advice as to preferring the passage through the streights, from the month of September till the end of March, but at all other periods he recommends to go round Cape Horn. He was 52 days in going the whole length of the streights, reckoning from Cape Virgin Mary to Cape Pillar, a distance of 342 miles, and he says that 36 hours of fair wind were sufficient to carry him from Port Gallant to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Wallis, we shall see, did not realize this opinion, or the hopes formed on it-he was almost four months in getting through the streights, although he attempted the passage at the very time recommended by Byron. On the other hand, Captain Krusenstern doubled the cape in four weeks only, after his leaving St Catharine's Island, which the reader will observe is considerably northward of the river La Plata, a voyage,” says he, “ which perhaps was never made in a shorter time.' In weathering the cape, he took the advice of Cook, not to approach the land nearer than 30 or 36 miles, by wbich means he avoided the strong currents which, according to our great navigator's assertion, scem to lose all their force at that distance.-E.
facility with which fish is almost every where to be procured, with wild celery, scurvy-grass, berries, and many other vegetables in great abundance; for to this I impute the healthiness of my ship's company, not a single man being affected with the șcurvy in the slightest degree, nor upon the sick list for any other disorder, notwithstanding the hardship and labour which they endured in the passage, which cost' us seven weeks and two days, as we entered the streight on Sunday the 17th of February, and quitted it on Tuesday the 9th of April. Wood and water are also to be procured almost at every anchoring-place beyond Freshwater Bay. Our sufferings I impute wholly to our passing the streight just as the sun approached the equinox, when, in this high latitude, the worst weather was to be expected ; and indeed the weather we had was dreadful beyond all description.
The Run from the Western Entrance of the Streight of Magel
lan to the Islands of Disappointment. Having cleared the streight, we pursued our course to the westward, till Friday, April the 26th, when we discovered the island of Massafuero, bearing W. N. W. W:distant about sixteen leagues; but as to the northward it was hazy, the island of Don Juan Fernandez was not in sight. During this run, the variation had gradually decreased from 22° to 9° 36'. E.
We bore away for Masafuero,3 and at sun-set, being within about seven leagues of it, we brought-to, and afterwards kept the wind all night. At day-break the next day, we bore away again for the island, at the same time sending an officer, with
a boat from each ship, to sound the eastern side of it. About noon, the middle of the island bore W. distant about three miles, and as I saw the boats run along the shore, without being able to land any where for the surf, I
3 “ The commodore thought it more advisable to touch at this island than at Juan Fernandez; it being rather more secure than the latter, from any discoveries which the Spaniards might make of our designs; in consequence of which our voyage, and all our farther discoveries, might have been prevented.”
bore down to the north part of the island, off which a reef runs for the distance of about two miles, and lay by for them. This island is very high, and the greater part of it is covered with wood; but towards the north end, where I lay, some spots seemed to bave been cleared, upon which great numbers of goats were feeding, and they had a green and pleasant appearance. When the boals returned, the officer informed me that he had found a bank, on the east side of the island nearest to the south point, at a considerable distance from the shore, where we might anchor, and opposite to which there was a fine fall of fresh water; but near the north point, he said, he could find no anchorage. The boats brought off a great quantity of very fine fish, which they had caught with hook and line near the shore and as soon as we had taken them on board, which was late in the afternoon, we made sail, and worked to windward in the night.
At seven o'clock in the morning, we anchored with the small bower, on the bank which the boats had discovered, in twenty-four fathom, with black sandy ground. The extreme points bore from S. to N. W. and the fall of water bore S. S. W. distant about a mile from the ship's station. This part of the island lies north and south, and is about four miles long: The soundings are very regular, from twenty to fifteen fathom, within two cables' length of the shore. Soon after we were come to an anchor, I sent out the boats to endeavour to get some wood and water, but as I observed the shore to be rocky, and a surf to break with great violence upon it, I ordered all the men to put on cork-jackets, which had been sent with us to be made use of upon such occasions. By the help of these jackets, which not only assisted the men in swimming, but prevented their being bruised against the rocks, we got off a considerable quantity of water and wood, which, without such assistance, we could not have done : There was, however, another species of danger here, against which cork-jackets afforded no defence, for the sea abounded with sharks of an enormous size, which, when they saw a man in the water, would dart into the very surf to seize him: Our people, however, happily escaped them, though they were many times very near : One of them, which was upwards of twenty feet long, came close to one of the boats that was watering, and having sei. zed a large seal, instantly devoured it at one mouthful; and
I myself saw another of nearly the same size do the same thing under the ship’s stern. Our people killed and sent off several of the goats, which we thought as good as the best venison in England; and I observed, that one of them appeared to have been caught and marked, its right ear being slit in a manner that could not have happened by accident. We had also fish in such plenty, that one boat would, with hooks and lines, catch, in a few hours, as much as would serve a large ship's company two days : They were of various sorts, all excellent in their kind, and many of them weighed from twenty to thirty pounds.
This evening, the surf running very high, the gunner and one of the seamen who were on shore with the waterers, were afraid to venture off, and the boat therefore, when she came on board the last time, left them behind her.
The next day we found a more convenient watering-place about a mile and a half to the northward of the ship, and about the middle-way between the north and south points of the island, there being at this place less surf than where the boats first went on shore. The tide here set twelve hours to the northward, and twelve to the southward, which we found
very convenient, for as the wind was southerly, with a great swell, the boats could not otherwise have got on board with their water. We got off ten tons of water from the new watering-place this day, and in the afternoon I sent a boat to fetch off the gunner and seaman, who had been left on shore at the old watering-place the night before; but the surf was still so great, that the seaman, who could not swim, was afraid to venture : He was therefore again left behind, and the gunner stayed with him.
As soon as this was reported to me, I sent another boat to inform them, that as, by the appearances of the weather, there was reason to believe it would soon blow hard, I was afraid I migbt be driven off the bank in the night, the consequence of which would be that they must be left behind upon the island. When the boat came to the surf, the people on board delivered my message, upon which the gunner swam through the surf, and got on board her ; but the seaman, though he had a cork-jacket on, said he was sure he should be drowned if he attempted to get off to the boat, and that, chusing rather to die a natural death, he was de termined at all events to remain upon the island : He then took an affectionate leave of the people, wishing them all happiness, and the people on board returned his good wishes. One of the midshipmen, however, just as the boat was about to return, took the end of a rope in his hand, jumped into the sea, and swam through the surf to the beach, where poor John still continued ruminating upon his situation, in a dejected attitude, and with a most disconsolate length of countenance. The midshipman began to expostulate with him upon the strange resolution he had taken, and in the mean time having made a running knot in his rope, he dexterously contrived to throw it round his body, calling out to his companions in the boat, who had hold of the other end of it; to haul away; they instantly took the hint, and the poor seceder was very sooni dragged through the surf into the boat: He had, however, swallowed so great a quantity of water that he was to all appearance dead, but, being held up by the heels, he soon recovered his speech and motion, and was perfectly well the next day. In the evening I removed Captain Mouat from the Tamar, and appointed him captain of the Dolphin under me; Mr Cumming, my first lieutenant, I appointed captain of the Tamar, taking Mr Carteret, her first lieutenant, on board in his room, and gave Mr Kendal, one of the mates of the Dolphin, a commission as second lieutenant of the Tamar.
4 The other account says the same of two of the goats caught here, and conjectures, as no traces of inhabitants were then to be discovered in the island, that "some solitary Selkirk had dwelt there, who, like his name: sake at Juan Fernandez, when he caught more than he wanted, marked them and let them go." Captain Carteret gives some particulars respecting this island, to which the reader is referred.-E.
On the Soth, at seven o'clock in the morning, we weighi ed, and steered, to the northward, along the east and northeast side of the island, but could find no anchoring-place; we bore away, therefore, with a fresh gale at S.E. and hazy weather, and at noon, the middle of the island was distant eight leagues, in the direction of S.S.E. I continued to steer N. 3° W. the next day, and at noon on the 2d of May I changed my course, and steered W. intending, if possible, to make the land, which is called Davis's Land in the charts, and is laid down in latitude 27° 30 S. and about 500 leagues west of Copiapo in Chili; but on the 9th, finding little prospect of getting to the westward, in the latitude which I at first proposed, being then in latitude 26° 46' S. longitude 94° 45' W. and having a great run to make, I de