A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

We were sore beaten to and fro in these raging seas, and had many more storms than are here expressed, sometimes for a whole month together, so that our men began to fall sick, and the wind was so scant that we could fetch no port on the coast of Africa, which was the nearest land.  Committing ourselves therefore into the hands of God, we made sail for the island of St Helena, knowing that we were to the westwards of the Cape of Good Hope, especially by the height we were now in to the northward.  While in this course our main-yard fell down, and drove one of our men into the sea, where he was drowned; this being the last of our misfortunes.  The 5th June, we passed the tropic of Capricorn, and in the morning of the 16th we got sight of St Helena to our great joy.  We bore close along shore, to get to the best part of the road, where we came to anchor in twelve fathoms water, right over against a chapel which the Portuguese had built there long since.

When we went ashore, we found by many writings, that the Portuguese caraks had departed from thence only eight days before our arrival.  In this island there are excellent refreshments to be had, especially water and wild goats; but the latter are hard to be got at, unless good means are followed.  For this purpose the general selected four stout active men, the best marksmen among our people, who were directed to go into the middle of the island, each of these, having four men to attend him, and to carry the goats he killed to an appointed place, whence every day twenty men went to bring them to the ships.  By this plan there was no hooting or hallooing about the island to scare the goats, and the ships were plentifully supplied to the satisfaction of all.  While we remained here, we refitted our ships as well as we could, and overhauled our temporary rudder, securing it so effectually that we had good hope it might last us home.  All our sick men recovered their health, through the abundance of goats and hogs we procured for their refreshment.  Indeed all of us stood in great need of fresh provisions, having seen no laud in three months, but being continually beaten about at sea.

We departed from St Helena on the 5th July, steering N.W. and passed the island of Ascension, in lat. 8 deg.  S. on the 13th.  No ships touch at this island, for it is altogether barren and without water; only that it abounds with fish all around in deep water, where there is ill riding for ships.  Holding our course still N.W. with the wind at E. and S.E. till the 19th of that month, we then passed the equator, and on the 24th were in lat. 6 deg.  N. at which time we judged ourselves to be 150 leagues from the coast of Guinea.  We then steered N. by W. and N. till the 29th, when we got sight of the island of Fuego, one of the Cape Verds, where we were becalmed five days, striving to pass to the eastwards of this island but could not, for the wind changed to the N.E. so that we had to steer W.N.W.  We

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