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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
period.  At all events, the track of Diaz was far beyond the usual adventure of any former navigator, as he must have run a course of from seven to ten degrees of latitude, and at least between two or three degrees of longitude, in utterly unknown seas, without sight of land.  The first land seen by Diaz is said to have been forty leagues to the eastward of the cape, where he came in sight of a bay on the coast, which he called Angra de los Vaqueros, or bay of herdsmen, from observing a number of cows grazing on the land.  The distance of forty Portuguese leagues, would lead us to what is now called Struys bay, immediately east of Cabo das Agullias, which latter is in lat. 34 deg. 50’ S. and long. 20 deg. 16’ E. from Greenwich.  From this place Diaz continued his voyage eastwards, to a small island or rock in the bay, which is now called Zwartkops or Algoa, in long. 27 deg.  E. on which rocky islet he placed a stone cross or pillar, as a memorial of his progress, and named it, on that account, Santa Cruz, or El Pennol de la Cruz.  In his progress to this place from the Angra de los Vaqueros, he had set some Negroes on shore in different places, who had been brought from Portugal for this purpose, and who were well clothed, that they might be respected by the natives.  These Negroes were likewise provided with small assortments of toys for bartering with the natives, and were especially charged to make inquiry as to the situation and distance of the dominions of Prester John.  Of the fate of these Negroes we are nowhere informed, but may be well assured they would receive no intelligence respecting the subject of their inquiry, from the ignorant Hottentots and Caffres of Southern Africa.

It would appear that Diaz was still unconscious that he had reached and overpassed the extreme southern point of Africa, although now nearly nine degrees to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, and at least one degree back towards the north of his most southern range; but he may have supposed himself in a deep bite or bay of the coast, similar to the well-known gulf of Guinea.  Under this impression, that he had not accomplished the grand object of his enterprize, he was anxious to continue his voyage still farther towards the east:  But, as the provisions on board his two caravels were nearly exhausted, and the victualling tender under the command of his brother was missing, the crews of the caravels became exceedingly urgent to return, lest they might perish with famine.  With some difficulty he prevailed on the people to continue their course about twenty-five leagues farther on, as he felt exceedingly mortified at the idea of returning to his sovereign without accomplishing the discovery on which he was sent.  They accordingly reached the mouth of a river, which was discovered by Juan Infante, and was called from him, Rio del Infante, now known by the name of Great-Fish River, in about lat. 33 deg.27’ N. long. 28 deg.20’E.  The coast still trended towards the eastwards, with a slight inclination towards the north; so that, in an eastern course of about thirteen degrees, they had neared the north about six degrees, though still unsatisfied of having absolutely cleared the southern point of Africa.

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