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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 664 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 10.
changed at night to the N.W. in which direction they saw very high land.  At noon of the 27th they were in 56 deg. 51’ S. the weather being very cold, with hail and rain, and the wind at W. and W. by S. The 28th they had great billows rolling from the west, and were at noon in 56 deg. 48’ S. The 29th having the wind at N.E. they steered S.W. and came in sight of two islands W.S.W. of their course, beset all round with cliffs.  They got to these islands at noon, giving the name of Barnevelt’s Islands, and found their latitude to be 57 deg.  S.[108] “Being unable to sail above them, they held their course to the north; and taking a N.W. course in the evening from Barnevelt’s islands, they saw land N.W. and N.N.W. from them, being the lofty mountainous land covered with snow, which lies to the south of the straits of Magellan, [called Terra del Fuego,] and which ends in a sharp point, to which they gave the name of Cape Horn, which is in lat. 57 deg. 48’ S."[109]

[Footnote 108:  Only 56 deg., so that by some inaccuracy of instruments or calculation, the observations of the latitude, in this voyage, seem all considerably too high.—­E.]

[Footnote 109:  The course in the text within inverted commas, from Barnevelt’s islands to Cape Horn, is evidently erroneously stated.  It ought to have run thus.  “Being unable to pass to the north of these islands, they held their course S.W. seeing land on the N.W. and N.N.W. of their course, which ended in a sharp point, which they named Cape Horn.”—­Cape Horn is in lat. 56 deg. 15’ S. and long. 67 deg. 45’ W. from Greenwich.—­E.]

They now held their course westwards, being assisted by a strong current in that direction; yet had the wind from the north, and had heavy billows meeting them from the west.  The 30th, the current and billows as before, they were fully assured of having the way open into the South Sea, and this day at noon they made their latitude 57 deg. 34’ S. The 31st sailing west, with the wind at north, their latitude at noon was 58 deg.  S. But the wind changing to W. and W.S.W. they passed Cape Horn, losing sight of land altogether, still meeting huge billows rolling from the west with a blue sea, which made them believe they were in the main South Sea.  February 1st, they had a storm at S.W. and sailed N.W. and W.N.W.  The 2d, having the wind at W. they sailed southwards, and came into the lat. of 57 deg. 58’ S. The 3d they made their latitude 59 deg. 25’ S. with a strong wind at W. but saw no signs of any land to the South.

SECTION II.

Continuation of the Voyage, from Cape Horn to the Island of Java.

Altering their course to the northwards, they plainly discerned the western mouth of the Straits of Magellan, bearing east from them, on the 12th February; and being now quite sure of their new and happy discovery, they returned thanks to the Almighty for their good fortune over a cup of wine, which was handed three times round the company.  To this new-found passage or straits, leading from the Atlantic into the Pacific, they gave the name of the Straits of Le Maire, though that honour ought justly to have been given to Schouten, by whose excellent conduct these straits were discovered.

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