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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

On Whitsunday, the 16th of May 1535, by command of our captain, Jacques Cartier, and by common consent, we confessed our sins and received the holy sacrament in the cathedral of St Maloes; after which, having all presented ourselves in the Quire, we received the blessing of the lord bishop, being in his robes.  On Wednesday following, the 19th of that month, we set sail with a favourable gale.  Our squadron consisted of three ships.  The great Hermina of an hundred to an hundred and twenty tons, of which Jacques Cartier was captain and general of the expedition, Thomas Frosmont chief master, accompanied by Claudius de Pont Briand, son to the lord of Montceuell cupbearer to the Dauphin, Charles de Pomeraies, John Powlet, and other gentlemen.  In the second ship of sixty tons, called the Little Hermina, Mace Salobert and William Marie were captains under the orders of our general.  The third ship of forty tons, called the Hermerillon, was commanded by William Britton and James Maingare.  The day after we set sail, the prosperous gale was changed into storms and contrary winds, with darksome fogs, in which we suffered exceedingly till the 25th of June, when our three ships lost sight of each other, and never rejoined again till after our arrival at Newfoundland.  We in the generals ship continued to be tossed about by contrary winds till the 7th of July, when we made the island of Birds[39], 14 leagues from the main of Newfoundland.  This island is so full of birds that our ships might have been loaded with them, and the quantity taken away not missed.  We took away two boat loads, to increase our sea stores.  The Isle of Birds is in lat. 49 deg. 40’ N.

[Footnote 39:  Already supposed to be that now called Funk Island, in lat. 50 deg.  N.—­E.]

We left this island with a fair wind on the eighth of July, and came to the harbour of White Sands, or Blanc Sablon, in the Grand Bay or Baye des Chateaux, where the rendezvous of the squadron had been appointed.  We remained here till the 26th of July, when both of the other ships joined us, and we then laid in a stock of wood and water for enabling us to proceed on our voyage.  Every thing being in readiness, we set sail from the White Sands early in the morning of the 29th, and sailing along the northern coast, which runs from S.W. to N.E. we passed by two islands, lying farther out than the others, which we named St Williams Islands, being twenty leagues or more from the port called Brest.  All the coast from the Bay of Castles to that place, lies E. and W.—­N.E. and S.W. off which there are sundry small islands, the whole being stony and barren, without soil or trees, except in a few narrow vallies.  Next day, we sailed twelve leagues and a half westwards, in search of other islands, among which there is a great bay towards the north, all full of islands and great creeks, among which there seemed to be many good harbours.  We named these the Islands of St Martha, off which,

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