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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.

On the 21st of June, 1764, I sailed from the Downs, with his majesty’s ship the Dolphin, and the Tamar frigate, under my command.  In coming down the river, the Dolphin got a-ground; I therefore put into Plymouth, where she was docked, but did not appear to have received any damage.[7] At this place, having changed some of our men, and paid the people two months wages in advance, I hoisted the broad pendant, and sailed again on the 3d of July; on the 4th we were off the Lizard, and made the best of our way with a fine breeze, but had the mortification to find the Tamar a very heavy sailer.  In the night of Friday the 6th, the officer of the first watch saw either a ship on fire, or an extraordinary phenomenon which greatly resembled it, at some distance:  It continued to blaze for about half an hour, and then disappeared.  In the evening of July the 12th, we saw the rocks near the island of Madeira, which our people call the Deserters, from Desertes, a name which has been given them from their barren and desolate appearance:  The next day we stood in for the road of Funchiale, where, about three o’clock in the afternoon, we came to an anchor.  In the morning of the 14th, I waited upon the governor, who received me with great politeness, and saluted me with eleven guns, which I returned from the ship.  The next day, he returned my visit at the house of the consul, upon which I saluted him with eleven guns, which he returned from the fort.  I found here his majesty’s ship the Crown, and the Ferret sloop, who also saluted the broad pendant.

[Footnote 7:  In a well-drawn-up account of this voyage, published 1767, by an officer of the Dolphin, it is said that “her bottom was sheathed with copper, as were likewise the braces and pintles for the use of the rudder, which was the first experiment of the kind that had ever been made on any vessel.”  This work will be referred to occasionally, and is certainly deserving of that notice.—­E.]

Having completed our water, and procured all the refreshment I was able for the companies of both the ships, every man having twenty pounds weight of onions for his sea-stock, we weighed anchor on Thursday the 19th, and proceeded on our voyage.  On the 21st, we made the island of Palma, one of the Canaries, and soon after examining our water, we found it would be necessary to touch at one of the Cape de Verd islands for a fresh supply.  During the whole of our course from the Lizard, we observed that no fish followed the ship, which I judged to be owing to her being sheathed with copper.  By the 26th, our water was become foul, and stunk intolerably, but we purified it with a machine, which had been put on board for that purpose:  It was a kind of ventilator, by which air was forced through the water in a continual stream, as long as it was necessary.

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