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.

The wind continued easterly for two days, and blew a moderate gale, which brought us into the latitude of 39 deg. 4’, and 2 deg. of longitude west of the Cape, thermometer 52-1/2[1] The wind now came to W. and S.W.; and on the 29th fixed at W.N.W., and increased to a storm, which continued, with some few intervals of moderate weather, till the 6th of December, when we were in the latitude of 48 deg. 41’ S., and longitude 18 deg. 24’ E. This gale, which was attended with rain and hail, blew at times with such violence that we could carry no sails; by which means we were driven far to the eastward of our intended course, and no hopes were left me of reaching Cape Circumcision.  But the greatest misfortune that attended us, was the loss of great part of our live stock, which we had brought from the Cape, and which consisted of sheep, hogs, and geese.  Indeed this sudden transition from warm, mild weather, to extreme cold and wet, made every man in the ship feel its effects.  For by this time the mercury in the thermometer had fallen to 38; whereas at the Cape it was generally at 67 and upwards.  I now made some addition to the people’s allowance of spirit, by giving them a dram whenever I thought it necessary, and ordered Captain Furneaux to do the same.  The night proved clear and serene, and the only one that was so since we left the Cape; and the next morning the rising sun gave us such flattering hopes of a fine day, that we were induced to let all the reefs out of the top-sails, and to get top-gallant yards across, in order to make the most of a fresh gale at north.  Our hopes, however, soon vanished; for before eight o’clock, the serenity of the sky was changed into a thick haze, accompanied with rain.  The gale increasing obliged us to hand the main-sail, close-reef our top-sails, and to strike top-gallant yards.  The barometer at this time was unusually low, which foreboded an approaching storm, and this happened accordingly.  For, by one o’clock p. m. the wind, which was at N.W., blew with such strength as obliged us to take in all our sails, to strike top-gallant-masts, and to get the spritsail-yard in.  And I thought proper to wear, and lie-to, under a mizzen-stay-sail, with the ships’ heads to the N.E. as they would bow the sea, which ran prodigiously high, better on this tack.

At eight o’clock next morning, being the 8th, we wore, and lay on the other tack; the gale was a little abated, but the sea ran too high to make sail, any more than the fore-top-mast-stay-sail.  In the evening, being in the latitude of 49 deg. 40 S., and 1-1/2 deg.  E. of the Cape, we saw two penguins and some sea or rock-weed, which occasioned us to sound, without finding ground at 100 fathoms.  At eight p. m. we wore, and lay with our heads to the N.E. till three in the morning of the 9th, then wore again to the southward, the wind blowing in squalls attended with showers of snow.  At eight, being something more moderate, I made the Adventure signal to make sail; and soon after made sail ourselves under the courses and close-reefed top-sails.  In the evening, took in the top-sails and main-sail, and brought-to under fore-sail and mizzen; thermometer at 36 deg..  The wind still at N.W. blew a fresh gale, accompanied with a very high sea.  In the night had a pretty smart frost with snow.[2]

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