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.
became necessary to tack and bear up to the south, to look for a passage that way.  At noon the southernmost island bore S.W., distant four miles.  North of this isle were three others, all connected by breakers, which we were not sure did not join to those we had seen in the morning, as some were observed in the intermediate space.  Some islands were also seen to the west of those four; but Rotterdam was not yet in sight.  Latitude 20 deg. 23’ S. longitude 174 deg. 6’ W. During the whole afternoon, we had little wind; so that at sunset, the southernmost isle bore W.N.W., distant five miles; and some breakers, we had seen to the south, bore now S.S.W. 1/2 W. Soon after it fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of a great easterly swell; which, however, happened to have no great effect upon the ship.  The calm continued till four o’clock the next morning, when it was succeeded by a breeze from the south.  At day-light, perceiving a likelihood of a passage between the islands to the north and the breakers to the south, we stretched in west, and soon after saw more islands, both to the S.W. and N.W., but the passage seemed open and clear.  Upon drawing near the islands, we sounded, and found forty-five and forty fathoms, a clear sandy bottom.  I was now quite easy, since it was in our power to anchor, in case of a calm; or to spend the night, if we found no passage.  Towards noon some canoes came off to us from one of the isles, having two or three people in each; who advanced boldly alongside, and exchanged some cocoa-nuts, and shaddocks, for small nails.  They pointed out to us Anamocka, or Rotterdam; an advantage we derived from knowing the proper names.  They likewise gave us the names of some of the other isles, and invited us much to go to theirs, which they called Cornango.  The breeze freshening, we left them astern, and steered for Anamocka; meeting with a clear passage, in which we found unequal sounding, from forty to nine fathoms, depending, I believe, in a great measure, on our distance from the islands which form it.

As we drew near the south end of Rotterdam, or Anamocka, we were met by a number of canoes, laden with fruit and roots; but as I did not shorten sail, we had but little traffic with them.  The people in one canoe enquired for me by name; a proof that these people have an intercourse with those of Amsterdam.  They importuned us much to go towards their coast, letting us know, as we understood them, that we might anchor there.  This was on the S.W. side of the island, where the coast seemed to be sheltered from the S. and S.E. winds; but as the day was far spent, I could not attempt to go in there, as it would have been necessary to have sent first a boat to examine it.  I therefore stood for the north side of the island, where we anchored about three-fourths of a mile from shore; the extremes of it bearing south, 88 deg.  E. to S.W.; a cove with a sandy beach at the bottom of it S. 50 deg.  E.


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