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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.
in the evening, and to point directly north next morning.  On the night of Saturday the 15th September, being then near 300 leagues west from Ferro, they saw a flame of fire drop into the sea, four or five leagues S.W. from the ships, the weather being then calm, the sea smooth, and the current setting to the N.E.  The people in the Ninna said they had seen some water-wagtails on the day before, at which they much admired, considering that these birds never go above fifteen or twenty leagues from land.  On the next day, they were still more surprised at seeing some spots of green and yellow weeds on the surface of the sea, which seemed newly broken off from some island or rock.  On Monday the 17th, they saw much more, and many concluded they were near land, more especially as a live grasshopper was seen on the weeds.  Others of the companies alleged these weeds might come from banks or rocks under water, and the people, beginning to be afraid, muttered against the prosecution of the voyage.  They now perceived that the water was not more than half as salt as usual, and that night they saw many tunny fishes, which followed so near the ships that a man belonging to the Ninna killed one with a harpoon.  In the morning the air was temperate and delightful, like the April weather of Andalusia.  When about 360 leagues westwards of Ferro, another water-wagtail was seen; and on Tuesday the 18th September, Martin Alonso Pinzon, being before in the Pinta which was an excellent sailer, lay to for the admiral, and reported that he had seen a numerous flock of birds flying westwards, from which he had hopes of discovering land that night, at about fifteen leagues to the northwards, and even fancied he had seen it:  But the admiral did not credit this, and would not lose time by deviating from his course in search of the supposed land, though all the people were much inclined to have made the attempt.  That night the wind freshened, when they had sailed eleven days always before the wind to the west, without ever having to handle a sail.  During the whole course, the admiral constantly noted down every circumstance; as the winds, the fishes, birds, and other tokens of land, and continually kept a good look out, frequently trying for soundings.

[1] This is about L.260.—­Churchill

Equal to about L.2600 of our present money in effective value:  But is difficult to conceive how the eighth part of this small armament should require so large a sum, which would extend the total amount to L.2080 of solid money, equal in efficacy to L.20,800 in our times:  and, besides the crown had advanced L.520, equally to L.5200, as its contribution for seven eighths.—­E

SECTION V.

Continuation of the Voyage; the signs of approaching land; the people mutiny, and the Admiral endeavours to appease them.

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