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.
of Mauritius; one called the north-west harbour, in somewhat less than 20 deg.  S. the other called the south-east harbour, in 28 deg. 15’ S. All kinds of refreshments are to be had there, as fish, turtles, and manatis, in great abundance.[183] It has an infinite number and variety of fowls.  Hogs and goats, only newly introduced, are in some reasonable number, and are fast increasing.  The island is healthy, and between 30 and 40 leagues in circumference.  The variation there is 21 deg. westwards.  They came from Bantam in May, were a month in getting to the Mauritius, had remained there four months and a half, and had been six weeks from thence, seventeen days of which with contrary winds.

[Footnote 183:  The Lamantin, Trichechus Manatas Australis, Southern Manati, or Fish-tailed Walrus of naturalists.  This singular amphibious animal, or rather aquatic quadruped, inhabits the southern seas of Africa and America, especially near the mouths of rivers, pasturing on aquatic plants, and browsing on the grass which grows close to the water.  It varies in size from eight to seventeen feet long, and from 500 to 800 pounds weight, and the flesh is said to be good eating.—­E.]

The 22d of December we were in lat. 85 deg. 28’ S. within seven leagues of Cape Aguillas,[184] which shews like two islands from where we were, being to the S.E. of it.  Coming more athwart, it resembled three isles, two bays, N.E. and N.W. making three conspicuous, low, and seemingly round points.  We had ground in the evening in 77 fathoms upon ooze, being about five leagues south from shore, and, as I guess, nearly to the westwards of the shoalest part of the bank.  When bound homewards on this coast, and finding no weather for observation, either for latitude or variation, we may boldly and safely keep in sixty fathoms with shelly ground, and when finding ooze we are very near Cape Aguillas.  When losing ground with 120 fathoms line, we may be sure of having passed the cape, providing we be within the latitude of 36 deg.  S. The 23d we steered all night W. by N. and W.N.W. with afresh easterly gale, seeing the land all along about eight or ten leagues from us, all high land.  About noon we were near the Cape of Good Hope, to which we sailed in seventeen hours from Cape Aguillas.  Being within three leagues of the sugarloaf, we stood off and on all night.  The 28th I received by the Dutch boat from the island, six sheep, the fattest I ever saw, the tail of one being twenty-eight inches broad, and weighing thirty-five pounds.  I got a main-top-sail of the Dutch, of which we were in extreme want, and gave them a note on our company to receive twelve pounds twelve shillings for the same.  For the fat sheep we got on Penguin island, we left lean in their room.  The Dutch here behaved to us in a very honest and Christian-like manner.  I left a note here of my arrival and the state of my company, as others had done before me.  All the time we remained at the Cape, from the 23d December, 1609, to the 10th January, 1610, the wind was westerly and southerly; whereas the two former times of my being here, at the same season, it blew storms at east.

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