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.
throwing out smoke and flames; yet seems to be reasonably commodious.  On the south of Fuego there is a very sweet and pleasant island, called by the Portuguese Ilha Brava, the brave or fine island.  This is cloathed with evergreen trees, and has many streams of fresh water which run into the sea, and are easily accessible; but it has no convenient road for ships, the sea being every where too deep for anchorage.  It is alledged that the summit of Fuego is not higher in the air, than are the roots of Brava low in the sea.

Leaving these islands, and approaching the line, they were sometimes becalmed for a long time together, and at other times vexed with tempests.  At all times, when the weather would permit, they had plenty of dolphins, bonitos and flying-fish; several of the last dropping in their flight on the decks, unable to rise again, because their finny wings wanted moisture.  Taking their departure from the Cape de Verd islands, they sailed 54 days without seeing land; and at length, on the 5th April, 1578, got sight of the coast of Brazil, in lat. 33 deg.  S. The barbarous people on shore, discovering the ships, began to practice their accustomed ceremonies to raise a storm for destroying their ships, making great fires, and offering sacrifices to the devil.[23] The 7th April they had thunder, lightning, and rain, during which storm they lost sight of the Christopher, but found her again on the 11th; and the place where all the ships met together, which had been dispersed in search of her, was named Cape Joy, at which place the ships took in a supply of fresh water.  The country here was pleasant and fertile, with a sweet and temperate climate; but the only inhabitants seen were some herds of deer, though some footsteps of men, apparently of great stature, were noticed on the ground.  Having weighed anchor, and sailed a little farther along the coast, they came to a small and safe harbour, formed between a rock and the main, the rock breaking the force of the sea.  On this rock they killed some sea-wolves, a species of seals, which they found wholesome food, though not pleasant.

[Footnote 23:  This idea is uncharitable and absurd, as the navigators could not know any thing of the motives of these fires, and much less about the alleged sacrifices.  The fires might have been friendly signals, inviting them on shore.—­E.]

Going next to lat. 36 deg.  S. they sailed up the Rio Plata, and came into 53 and 54 fathoms, fresh water, with which they filled their water casks; but finding no convenient harbour, went again to sea on the 27th of April.  Sailing still onwards, they came to a good bay, having several islands, one of which was well stocked with seals and the others with sea fowl, so that they had no want of provisions, together with plenty of water.  The admiral being ashore on one of these islands, the natives came about him, dancing and skipping in a friendly manner, and willingly bartered any thing they had for toys; but they had

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