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 rowed all day, and an hour or two of the night, towing the raft after us, before we got to land:  and, being all that day without drink, every man dispersed in search of water, but it was long before any was found.  At length one of the pilots, by digging among a tuft of weeds, found water, to our great comfort.  As there are many fine bays in this island, I think abundance of fresh water might be got by digging for it.  Bermuda is all divided into broken islets; the largest, upon which I was, might be about four or five miles long, by two and a half miles over, all covered with wood, as cedar and other kinds, but cedar is the most abundant.

It pleased God, before our ship broke to pieces, that we saved our carpenter’s tools, otherwise we must have remained on the island.  With these tools we went immediately to work, cutting down trees, of which we built a small bark of about eighteen tons, almost entirely fastened with trunnels, having very few nails.  As for tackle, we made a trip to our ship in the boat, before she split, cutting down her shrouds, and some of her sails and other tackle, by which means we rigged our bark.  Instead of pitch, we made some lime, which we mixed with oil of tortoises; and as soon as the carpenters had caulked a seam, I and another, with small sticks, plastered the mortar into the seams, and being fine dry warm weather, in the month of April, it became dry, and as hard as stone, as soon as laid on.  Being very hot and dry weather, we were afraid our water might fail us, and made therefore the more haste to get away.  Before our departure, we built two great wooden chests, well caulked, which we stowed on each side of our mast, into which we put our provision of water, together with thirteen live sea-tortoises for our food during the voyage, which we proposed for Newfoundland.

There are hogs in the south part of Bermuda; but they were so lean, owing to the barrenness of the island, that we could not eat them.  It yielded us, however, abundance of fowl, fish, and tortoises.  To the eastwards this island has very good harbours, so that a ship of 200 tons might ride in them, perfectly land-locked, and with enough of water.  This island also has as good pearl-fishing as any in the West Indies; but is subject to foul weather, as thunder, lightning, and rain.  In April and part of May, however, when we were there, the weather was hot, and quite fair.

On the 11th of May it pleased God that we got clear of this island, to the no small joy of us all, after we had lived in it for five months.  The 20th of that month we fell in with the land near Cape Breton, where we ran into a fresh water river, of which there are many on this coast, and took in wood, water, and ballast.  Here the people of the country came to us, being cloathed in furs, with the hair side inwards, and brought with them sundry sorts of furs to sell, together with great quantities of wild ducks; and as some of our company had saved a few small beads,

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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