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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.
behind which is a small cove, very smooth, deep, and convenient enough for careening a ship; we here hauled up and fitted our prize, which we named the Beginning.  The highest part of the island of Lobos, as seen from the road, did not seem much higher than the top-mast head of a large ship.  The soil is a hungry white clayish earth, mixed with sand and rocks; and there is no fresh water, nor any green thing to be seen on either of the islands.  They are frequented by many vultures or carrion crows, and looked so like turkeys that one of our officers was rejoiced at the sight, expecting to fare sumptuously, and would not wait till the boat could put him ashore, but leapt into the water with his gun, and let fly at a parcel of them; but, when he came to take up his game, it stunk most abominably, and made us merry at his expence.  The other birds here are pelicans, penguins, boobies, gulls, and one resembling teal, which nestle in holes under ground.  Our men got great numbers of these birds, which they said were good meat after being skinned.

We found abundance of bulrushes and empty jars, which the Spanish fishers had left on shore; for all over this western coast of America, they use earthen jars instead of casks, for containing oil, wine, and all other liquids.  There are here abundance of sea-lions and seals, the latter being much larger than those we saw at Juan Fernandez, but their fur not so fine.  Our people killed several of these, on purpose to eat their livers; but a Spaniard on board died suddenly after eating them, and I forbade their use, and we learnt also from our prisoners that the old seals are very unwholesome.  The wind commonly blows here fresh from the south, veering to the east, and coming over the land to where we lay, brought with it a most noisome smell from the seals on shore, which gave me a violent headach, and offended every one else extremely.  We found nothing so offensive at Juan Fernandez.

Our prisoners told as, that the widow of the late viceroy of Peru was soon expected to embark in a Spanish man of war of thirty-six guns for Acapulco, with her family and riches; on which voyage she would either stop at Payta for refreshments, or pass in sight of that place, as is customary.  They said also that about eight months before, a ship had passed Payta for Acapulco, loaded with flour and liquors, and having 200,000 dollars on board.  Also, that they had left signior Morel at Payta, in a ship laden with dry goods, who was expected to sail shortly for Lima; and that a stout French-built ship richly laden, and having a bishop on board, was shortly expected at Payta.  This is the common place for refreshments, and is frequented by most ships from Lima or other parts to windward, on their way to Panama or other ports on the western coast of Mexico.  On this information, we determined to spend as much time as possible cruising off Payta, so as not to discover that we were in these seas lest we should thereby hinder our other designs.

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