A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 653 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 06.
the whole country with the judgment of a person well instructed in geography and hydrography, as is apparent in the relation of his voyages; which contain an exact and extended description of the coasts, harbours, straits, bays, capes, rivers, and islands which he visited, both in his voyages on the river St Lawrence, and in his excursions by land into the interior of Canada.  To this day navigators use most of the names which he affixed to the various parts which he explored with indefatigable industry.”  In the present edition, the only freedom used is reducing the antiquated language of Hakluyt to the modern standard.——­Ed.

[Footnote 23:  Hakluyt, III. 250.]

[Footnote 24:  Bibl.  Univ. des Voy.  VI. 15.]

SECTION I.

The first Voyage of Jacques Cartier to Newfoundland and Canada, in 1534.

The Chevalier de Mouy lord of Meylleraye and vice-admiral of France, having administered the oaths of fidelity to the king, and of obedience to M. Cartier, to the captains, masters, and mariners of the ships employed in this expedition, we left the port of St Maloes on the 20th of April 1534, with two ships of 60 tons, and having sixty-one chosen men.  Having prosperous weather, we reached Newfoundland on the 10th of May, making Cape Bonavista, in lat. 48 deg. 30’ N[25].  Owing to the great quantities of ice on the coast, we were obliged to go into port St Catherine [26], which is about five leagues S.S.E. from the harbour of Cape Bonavista, in which we remained ten days waiting fair weather, and employed ourselves in repairing and fitting out our boats.

[Footnote 25:  In our most recent maps Cape Bonavista is laid down in lat. 48 deg. 58’ N.—­E.]

[Footnote 26:  Named in English charts Catalina Harbour, in lat. 48 deg. 44’ N.—­E.]

On the 21st of May we set sail with the wind at west, steering N. and by E. from Cape Bonavista till we came to the Isle of Birds, which we found environed by ice, but broken and cracked in many places.  Notwithstanding the ice, our two boats went to the island to take in some birds, which are there in such incredible numbers that no one would believe unless he had seen them.  The island is only a league in circuit, and so swarms with birds as if they had been strewed on purpose; yet an hundred times as many are to be seen hovering all around.  Some of these are black and white, as large as jays, and having beaks like crows, which lie always on the sea, as they cannot fly to any height on account of the smallness of their wings, which are not larger than the half of ones hand; yet they fly with wonderful swiftness close to the water.  We named these birds Aporath, and found them very fat.  In less than half an hour we filled two boats with them; so that, besides what we eat fresh, each of our ships salted five or six barrels of them to aid our sea stock.  Besides these, there is another and smaller kind, which hovers

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