A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 756 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03.
to throw obstacles in its way before setting out.  This obliged the Pinto to lie to, and the admiral made up to the caravel, though he could not give any aid, on purpose to encourage the men.  Martin Alonso Pinzon being an experienced seaman, soon fastened the rudder in such a manner with ropes as enabled her to continue the voyage:  But on the Tuesday following, it broke loose again through the violence of the waves, and the whole of the small squadron was forced to lie to.  This early misfortune might have discouraged a superstitious person, more especially considering the refractory conduct of M.A.  Pinzon afterwards.  The rudder was again made fast as well as they could; and, continuing their voyage, they discovered the Canaries about day-break of the 11th of August.  After endeavouring for two days to reach Gran Canaria, and always baffled by contrary winds, Martin Alonso was left with orders to proceed to land as soon as he could, to endeavour to procure another ship, and the admiral went with the other two to Gomera with the same view.  Not finding any vessel for his purpose, he returned to Gran Canaria, where he got a new rudder for the Pinta, and had her sails changed from latine or triangular, into square, that she might labour less, and be able more safely to keep up with the others.  Leaving Gran Canaria on the afternoon of the 1st September, he returned to Gomera, where he took in a supply of flesh, and wood and water, with great haste in the course of four days; as he had heard of some Portuguese caravels cruising in those parts to intercept him, the king of Portugal being much concerned to learn that Columbus had agreed with their Catholic majesties, by which he had missed the opportunity of aggrandizing his own crown.

On Thursday the 6th of September, Columbus took his final departure from Gomera, standing to the westwards in quest of his proposed discovery, and made but little way for want of wind:  Yet they lost sight of land next day, when many bewailed their state with sighs and tears, believing they were never more to see land; but Columbus did all in his power to raise their hopes, by the promise of success, and of acquiring wealth.  That day they ran eighteen leagues, while the admiral gave out they had only advanced fifteen; thinking it prudent to reckon the voyage short, on purpose to lessen the apprehensions of the seamen.  On the 11th of September, being 150 leagues to the westwards of Ferro, they saw a mast floating on the sea, that seemed to have been drifted by the current, which a little farther on, they found setting very rapidly to the northwards.  On the 14th September, being 50 leagues more to the west, the admiral, about night-fall, perceived the needle to vary a point westwards, and somewhat more early next morning.  This variation had never been observed before, and therefore astonished the admiral greatly; and still more so, three days after, when he had advanced 100 leagues farther to the westwards, on finding the needle to vary two points

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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