A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.
themselves up to drunkenness, or had continually indulged themselves in hovering over the fire.  Though these had the external appearance of being strong and healthy, they were least able to endure the hardships they had now to suffer, and two or three of them used to die in a day.  This mortality prevailed for ten days, from the 19th to the 29th of December.  On the 29th the last remainder of the wine was served out, and every one resigned himself to meet death, which seemed at hand.  Some of the people, urged by raging thirst, drank sea water, which evidently hastened their dissolution.  Others had recourse to their own urine, and this nauseous beverage, joined to the precaution of eating as little salt provision as possible, contributed most of all to the preservation of their lives.

For the space of five days they continued in this dreadful situation, sailing all the time to the north-eastward.  At length on the 4th of January, one of the people who sat in the bow of the boat, descried somewhat to leeward which he conceived to be the shadow of land, and immediately informed the crew of his discovery in an anxious voice.  All eyes were now eagerly directed to this object, and as day broke they saw with extreme joy that it really was the land.  The sight of this welcome object inspired them with fresh vigour, and they now plied their oars in order to arrive the sooner at the shore; but on account of its great distance, as well as the shortness of the day, which was only two hours long, they were unable to accomplish this desire.  Besides, they were now so weak as to be unable to make use of their oars for any length of time; and as night soon overtook them, and was of long continuance, it seemed to men in their forlorn state as if it would never end.  When the next day broke, they could no longer discern the land which they had seen the day before; but they discovered another mountainous country very near them and to leeward.  That they might not lose the way to this during the ensuing night, they took its bearings by the compass, and hoisting sail with a fair wind they reached it about four o’clock in the evening.  On approaching the shore, they observed that it was surrounded by many shallows, as they distinctly heard the sea breaking over these; but they gave themselves up to the guidance of providence, and at one time the boat grounded on a shoal, but a vast wave came and floated them over, and at the same time carried them safely to land upon a shelving rock, which was now their great security, as the spot was encompassed on every side with rugged projecting rocks, and they could not possibly have got on shore in any other place.  Here therefore they ran their boat on shore; and those who were on the bows leaped directly on the coast, which they found entirely covered with snow, which they swallowed in immense quantities, filling their parched and burning stomachs and bowels.  They likewise filled a kettle and pitcher for those who

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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