A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 665 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 02.

Next morning, to clear up all doubts, I sent ten men to land on the island, well armed with guns and cross-bows, whom I ordered to go to the top of some mountains within sight, and to look from thence, not only for people, but for more islands.  These men executed my commands, but found no appearance of any inhabitants.  They found, however, an incredible number of pigeons, which were so tame, being strangers to man, that they readily allowed themselves to be caught, and our people brought great numbers of them to the caravels.  But, what was of much more importance, they brought intelligence of having discovered three other islands; one of which being to leeward, towards the north, could not be seen from the ships, while the other two lay to the south, all within sight of each other.  These men likewise noticed something resembling islands towards the west, but at so great a distance that they could not be clearly distinguished, neither did I think proper to sail in that direction, lest I should lose time in visiting uninhabited islands, like this at which we had touched.  The fame of my discovery of these four islands, brought other navigators afterwards to explore this group; who round them to be ten in number, both large and small included, and altogether uninhabited, except by pigeons and other birds, and having a fine fishery[3].

Leaving the first island, we came in sight of the other two, and searched for an anchoring place near one of them, which was full of trees.  Discovering the mouth of a river, and being in want of water, we came to anchor, and sent our boats on shore to supply our wants.  Some of our people went a little way up the river, where they found some small lakes containing remarkably fine white salt, of which they brought large quantities to the ships, laying in what store was thought necessary, as we did likewise of water.  We found here great numbers of tortoises, or turtle, the shells of which were larger than a target.  The sailors cooked these into different dishes, as they had done before in the gulf of Arguin, where these animals are found in plenty, but not so large as here.  Out of curiosity I eat some of the flesh of these tortoises, which seemed very good, having a good smell and taste, and was not inferior to veal.  We salted a great number of them, which proved a valuable addition to our stock of provisions during the voyage.  We caught likewise a prodigious quantity of fish, both off the mouth of the river and in the stream; and, though we knew not the kinds, they were large and well-flavoured.  The mouth of this river is a good arrow-shot across, and it is deep enough to admit a vessel of 150 tons.  We remained two days in this place for refreshments, taking in a good stock of tortoises and fish, and large quantities of pigeons, which we killed without number.  To the first island at which we anchored we gave the name of Bona Vista, as being the first we got sight of; and to this other, which seemed the largest

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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