A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10.
They then saw other land bearing east from the former, which likewise was high and rugged.  According to estimation, these two lands lay about eight leagues asunder, and they guessed there might be a good passage between them, because of a brisk current which ran to the southward in the direction of that opening.  At noon they made their latitude 54 deg. 46’,[106] and stood towards the before-mentioned opening, but were delayed by a calm.  At this place they saw a prodigious multitude of penguins, and such numbers of whales that they had to proceed with much caution, being afraid they might injure their ship by running against them.

[Footnote 106:  They were here obviously approaching the Straits of Le Maire, discovered on the present occasion, the northern opening of which is in lat. 54 deg. 40’ S. the southern in 55 deg.  S. and the longitude 65 deg. 15’ W. from Greenwich.—­E.]

In the forenoon of the 25th they got close in with the eastern land, and upon its north side, which stretched E.S.E. as far as the eye could carry.  This they named States Land, and to that which lay westward of the opening they gave the name of Maurice Land.[107] The land on both sides seemed entirely bare of trees and shrubs, but had abundance of good roads and sandy bays, with great store of fish, porpoises, penguins and other birds.  Having a north wind at their entrance into this passage, they directed their course S.S.W. and going at a brisk rate, they were at noon in lat. 55 deg. 36’ S. and then held a S.W. course with a brisk gale.  The land on the south side of the passage or Straits of Le Maire, and west side, to which they gave the name of Maurice Land, [being the east side of the Terra del Fuego] appeared to run W.S.W. and S.W. as far as they could see, and was all a very rugged, uneven, and rocky coast.  In the evening, having the wind at S.W. they steered S. meeting with prodigious large waves, rolling along before the wind; and, from the depth of the water to leeward, which appeared by very evident signs, they were fully convinced that they had the great South Sea open before them, into which they had now almost made their way by a new passage of their own discovering.

[Footnote 107:  The former of these names is still retained, but not the latter; the land on the west of the Straits of Le Maire being Terra del Fuego; and the cape at the N.W. of the straits mouths is now called Cape St Vincent, while the S.W. point is named Cape St Diego.—­E.]

At this place the sea-mews were larger than swans, their wings when extended measuring six feet from tip to tip.  These often alighted on the ship, and were so tame as to allow themselves to be taken by hand, without even attempting to escape.  The 26th at noon they made their latitude 57 deg.  S. where they were assailed by a brisk storm at W.S.W. the sea running very high, and of a blue colour.  They still held their course to the southwards, but

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