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.

[Footnote 205:  Lat. 32 deg. 33’ N. long. 17 deg. 5’ W. from Greenwich.—­E.]

On the 22d October we caught four fish; a shark, a dolphin, a jelly-fish, and an old-wife.  The shark and dolphin are well known, and need not be described in this place.  The Jelly-fish was about fourteen inches long and two inches deep, having sharp teeth, a sparkling eye, and long extended mouth.  It has a prodigiously high fin on its back, of a slimy substance, except that its rays, which are thirty-two in number, are firm and stiff.  It has also one small fin under the throat, of the same slimy substance with the large one on its back.  The greater part of the body is of a silver colour, with numerous small dark spots and circular bands, all the rest of its substance being a green jelly-like substance, whence the name.  The Old-wife is about two feet long and nine inches high in the back, having a small mouth, a large eye, and a large broad fin beginning at the hinder part of the head, and reaching to the tail.  It has also a large broad fin on each side near the gills, and a pretty large one under the belly.  The body is deep blue, and the fins a very light blue, tipt with yellow.  The head has many spots, and the body is regularly streaked longways.

We passed the equator on the 2d November, about forty-five leagues west from the meridian of St Jago.  On the 8th, in lat. 10 deg. 20’ S. we saw three small islands on the coast of Brazil, called the islands of St Ann, not above a stone’s throw from each other, and very full of wood, as is the whole coast of Brazil.  These islands are about four miles from the main, and are much troubled with southerly winds, which blow in gusts, so that ships ought here to lay their best anchor to the south, and all little enough sometimes for their safety.  They produce nothing except wood, and are frequented by vast flocks of sea fowl, called boobies by our sailors.  The booby is about the size of a duck, some entirely white and others grey, having feet like a duck, and subsist mostly on flying-fishes, which they catch while in the air.  I have made many a meal on these birds, but it was for want of other victuals, for they taste very fishy, and are apt to make one sick, if not previously well salted.  They are so silly, when weary of flying, that they will light upon your hand, if held out to them.

We anchored at the island of Le Grand, in lat, 23 deg. 30’ S.[206] on the 24th of November.  This is a very woody island, on which are several good springs of water.  It is about nine miles in circuit, and three miles from the main, the woods being infested with many savage animals, which make a most hideous noise in the night.  It produces sugar, rum, and several kinds of fruits, but all very dear, on account of supplying the town of St Paul with necessaries. St Paul is 300 miles inland from Le Grand; but by the vast high mountains which are between, it is reckoned a distance of sixty days journey. 

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