A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.

At four o’clock the next morning, being in the latitude of 62 deg. 10’ south, longitude 172 deg. west, we saw the first ice island, 11 deg. 1/2 farther south than the first ice we saw the preceding year after leaving the Cape of Good Hope.  At the time we saw this ice, we also saw an antarctic peterel, some grey albatrosses, and our old companions pintadoes and blue peterels.  The wind kept veering from S.W. by the N.W. to N.N.E. for the most part a fresh gale, attended with a thick haze and snow; on which account we steered to the S.E. and E., keeping the wind always on the beam, that it might be in our power to return back nearly on the same track, should our course have been interrupted by any danger whatever.  For some days we had a great sea from the N.W. and S.W., so that it is not probable there can be any land near, between these two points.

We fell in with several large islands on the 14th, and about noon, with a quantity of loose ice, through which we sailed.  Latitude 64 deg. 55’ south, longitude 163 deg. 20’ west.  Grey albatrosses, blue peterels, pintadoes, and fulmers, were seen.  As we advanced to the S.E. by E. with a fresh gale at west, we found the number of ice islands increase fast upon us.  Between noon and eight in the evening we saw but two; but before four o’clock in the morning of the 15th, we had passed seventeen, besides a quantity of loose ice which we ran through.  At six o’clock, we were obliged to haul to the N.E., in order to clear an immense field that lay to the south and S. E. The ice, in most part of it, lay close packed together; in other places, there appeared partitions in the field, and a clear sea beyond it.  However, I did not think it safe to venture through, as the wind would not permit us to return the same way that we must go in.  Besides, as it blew strong, and the weather at times was exceedingly foggy, it was the more necessary for us to get clear of this loose ice, which is rather more dangerous than the great islands.  It was not such ice as is usually found in bays or rivers and near shore; but such as breaks off from the islands, and may not improperly be called parings of the large pieces, or the rubbish or fragments which fall off when the great islands break loose from the place where they are formed.[3]

We had not stood long to the N.E. before we found ourselves embayed by the ice, and were obliged to tack and stretch to the S.W., having the field, or loose ice, to the south, and many huge islands to the north.  After standing two hours on this tack, the wind very luckily veering to the westward, we tacked, stretched to the north, and soon got clear of the loose ice; but not before we had received several hard knocks from the larger pieces, which, with all our care, we could not avoid.  After clearing one danger we still had another to encounter; the weather remained foggy, and many large islands lay in our way; so that we had to luff for one, and bear up for another.  One we were very near falling aboard

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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