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.

I continued to steer to the west till the 6th, at four in the afternoon, at which time, being in the latitude of 9 deg. 20’, longitude 138 deg. 14’ W., we discovered an island, bearing west by south, distant about nine leagues.  Two hours after we saw another, bearing S.W. by S., which appeared more extensive than the former.  I hauled up for this island, and ran under an easy sail all night, having squally unsettled rainy weather, which is not very uncommon in this sea, when near high land.  At six o’clock the next morning, the first island bore N.W., the second S.W. 1/2 W., and a third W. I gave orders to steer for the separation between the two last; and soon after, a fourth was seen, still more to the west.  By this time, we were well assured that these were the Marquesas, discovered by Mendana in 1595.  The first isle was a new discovery, which I named Hood’s Island, after the young gentleman who first saw it, the second was that of Saint Pedro, the third La Dominica, and the fourth St Christina.  We ranged the S.E..coast of La Dominica, without seeing the least signs of anchorage, till we came to the channel that divides it from St Christina, through which we passed, hauled over for the last-mentioned island, and ran along the coast to the S.W. in search of Mendana’s Port.  We passed several coves in which there seemed to be anchorage; but a great surf broke on all the shores.  Some canoes put off from these places, and followed us down the coast.

At length, having come before the port we were in search of, we attempted to turn into it, the wind being right out; but as it blew in violent squalls from this high land, one of these took us just after we had put in stays, payed the ship off again, and before she wore round, she was within a few yards of being driven against the rocks to leeward.  This obliged us to stand out to sea, and to make a stretch to windward; after which we stood in again, and without attempting to turn, anchored in the entrance of the bay in thirty-four fathoms water, a fine sandy bottom.  This was no sooner done, than about thirty or forty of the natives came off to us in ten or twelve canoes; but it required some address to get them alongside.  At last a hatchet, and some spike-nails, induced the people in one canoe to come under the quarter-gallery; after which, all the others put alongside, and having exchanged some breadfruit and fish for small nails, &c. retired ashore, the sun being already set.  We observed a heap of stones on the bow of each canoe, and every man to have a sling tied round his hand.

Very early next morning, the natives visited us again in much greater numbers than before; bringing with them bread-fruit, plantains, and one pig, all of which they exchanged for nails, &c.  But in this traffic they would frequently keep our goods, and make no return, till at last I was obliged to fire a musket-ball over one man who had several times served us in this manner; after which they dealt more fairly; and soon

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