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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.
yards were locked in the branches of the trees; and, about 100 yards from our stern, was a fine stream of freshwater.  Thus situated, we began to clear places in the woods, in order to set up the astronomer’s observatory, the forge to repair our iron-work, tents for the sail-makers and coopers to repair the sails and casks in; to land our empty casks, to fill water, and to cut down wood for fuel; all of which were absolutely necessary occupations.  We also began to brew beer from the branches or leaves of a tree, which much resembles the American black-spruce.  From the knowledge I had of this tree, and the similarity it bore to the spruce, I judged that, with the addition of inspissated juice of wort and molasses, it would make a very wholesome beer, and supply the want of vegetables, which this place did not afford; and the event proved that I was not mistaken.

Now I have mentioned the inspissated juice of wort, it will not be amiss, in this place, to inform the reader, that I had made several trials of it since I left the Cape of Good Hope, and found it to answer in a cold climate, beyond all expectation.  The juice, diluted in warm water, in the proportion of twelve parts water to one part juice, made a very good and well-tasted small-beer.  Some juice which I had of Mr Pelham’s own preparing, would bear sixteen parts water.  By making use of warm-water, (which I think ought always to be done,) and keeping it in a warm place, if the weather be cold, no difficulty will be found in fermenting it.  A little grounds of either small or strong-beer, will answer as well as yeast.

The few sheep and goats we had left were not likely to fare quite so well as ourselves; there being no grass here, but what was coarse and harsh.  It was, however not so bad, but that we expected they would devour it with great greediness, and were the more surprised to find that they would not taste it; nor did they seem over-fond of the leaves of more tender plants.  Upon examination, we found their teeth loose; and that many of them had every other symptom of an inveterate sea-scurvy.  Out of four ewes and two rams which I brought from the Cape, with an intent to put ashore in this country, I had only been able to preserve one of each; and even these were in so bad a state, that it was doubtful if they could recover, notwithstanding all the care possible had been taken of them.

Some of the officers, on the 28th, went up the bay in a small boat on a shooting party; but, discovering inhabitants, they returned before noon, to acquaint me therewith; for hitherto we had not seen the least vestige of any.  They had but just got aboard, when a canoe appeared off a point about a mile from us, and soon after, returned behind the point out of sight, probably owing to a shower of rain which then fell; for it was no sooner over, than the canoe again appeared, and came within musket-shot of the ship.  There were in it seven or eight people.  They remained

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