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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.

In standing in for an opening, which appeared on the east side of York Minster, we had forty, thirty-seven, fifty, and sixty fathoms water, a bottom of small stones and shells.  When we had the last soundings, we were nearly in the middle between the two points that form the entrance to the inlet, which we observed to branch into two arms, both of them lying in nearly north, and disjoined by an high rocky point.  We stood for the eastern branch as being clear of islets; and after passing a black rocky one, lying without the point just mentioned, we sounded, and found no bottom with a line of an hundred and seventy fathoms.  This was altogether unexpected, and a circumstance that would not have been regarded if the breeze had continued; but at this time it fell calm, so that it was not possible to extricate ourselves from this disagreeable situation.  Two boats were hoisted out, and sent a-head to tow; but they would have availed little, had not a breeze sprung up about eight o’clock at S.W., which put it in my power either to stand out to sea, or up the inlet.  Prudence seemed to point out the former, but the desire of finding a good port, and of learning something of the country, getting the better of every other consideration, I resolved to stand in; and, as night was approaching, our safety depended on getting to an anchor.  With this view we continued to sound, but always had an unfathomable depth.

Hauling up under the east side of the land which divided the two arms, and seeing a small cove ahead, I sent a boat to sound; and we kept as near the shore as the flurries from the land would permit, in order to be able to get into this place, if there should be anchorage.  The boat soon returned, and informed us that there was thirty and twenty-five fathoms water, a full cable’s length from the shore; here we anchored in thirty fathoms, the bottom sand and broken shells; and carried out a kedge and hawser to steady the ship for the night.

[1] Mr. G.F. describes this whale as being about twelve yards long, having an oblong blunt head, on which there were two longitudinal furrows, and as many upright ridges.  It had small eyes, two semi-lunar apertures, from whence it occasionally spouted the water, and it was mottled all over with white spots.  It had two large fins behind the head, but none on the back.  In his opinion this extraordinary creature was entirely unknown before.—­E.

    [2] It is not to be supposed that I could know at this time, that the
    Adventure had made the passage before me.

SECTION II.

Transactions in Christmas Sound, with an Account of the Country and its Inhabitants.

The morning of the 21st was calm and pleasant.  After breakfast I set out with two boats to look for a more secure station.  We no sooner got round, or above the point, under which the ship lay, than we found a cove in which was anchorage in thirty, twenty, and fifteen fathoms, the bottom stones and sand.  At the head of the cove was a stony beach, a valley covered with wood, and a stream of fresh water, so that there was every thing we could expect to find in such a place, or rather more; for we shot three geese out of four that we saw, and caught some young ones, which we afterwards let go.

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