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.
88 deg.  E.; and the isle of Apee from S. 83 deg.  E. to S. 43 deg.  E. We stood for this last isle, which we reached by midnight, and then brought-to till day-break on the 24th, when we made sail to the S.E., with a view of plying up to the eastward on the south side of Apee.  At sun-rise we discovered several more islands, extending from the S.E. point of Apee to the south as far as S.E. by S. The nearest to us we reached by ten o’clock, and not being able to weather it, we tacked a mile from its shore in fourteen fathoms water.  This island is about four leagues in circuit, is remarkable by having three high peaked hills upon it, by which it has obtained that name.  In the p.m. the wind veering more to the north, we resumed our course to the east; and having weathered Threehills, stood for the group of small isles which lie off the S.E. point of Apee.  These I called Shepherd’s Isles, in honour of my worthy friend Dr Shepherd, Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge.  Having a fine breeze, I had thoughts of going through between them; but the channels being narrow, and seeing broken water in the one we were steering for, I gave up the design, and bore up, in order to go without, or to the south of them.  Before this could be accomplished, it fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of the current, close to the isles, where we could find no soundings with a line of an hundred and eighty fathoms.  We had now land or islands in every direction, and were not able to count the number which lay round us.  The mountain on Paoon was seen over the east end of Apee, bearing N.N.W. at eight o’clock.  A breeze at S.E. relieved us from the anxiety the calm had occasioned; and we spent the night in making short boards.

The night before we came out of Port Sandwich, two reddish fish, about the size of large bream, and not unlike them, were caught with hook and line.  On these fish most of the officers, and some of the petty officers, dined the next day.  The night following, every one who had eaten of them was seized with violent pains in the head and bones, attended with a scorching heat all over the skin, and numbness in the joints.  There remained no doubt that this was occasioned by the fish being of a poisonous nature, and having communicated its bad effects to all who partook of them, even to the hogs and dogs.  One of the former died about sixteen hours after; it was not long before one of the latter shared the same fate; and it was a week or ten days before all the gentlemen recovered.  These must have been the same sort of fish mentioned by Quiros,[1] under the name of pargos, which poisoned the crews of his ships, so that it was some time before they recovered; and we should, doubtless, have been in the same situation, had more of them been eaten.

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