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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 19th I received my sailing orders, with directions to take the Swallow sloop, and the Prince Frederick store-ship, under my command:  And this day I took on board, among other things, three thousand weight of portable soup, and a bale of cork jackets.  Every part of the ship was filled with stores and necessaries of various kinds, even to the steerage and state-room, which were allotted to the slops and portable soup.  The surgeon offered to purchase an extraordinary quantity of medicines, and medical necessaries, which, as the ship’s company might become sickly, he said would in that case be of great service, if room could be found to stow them in; I therefore gave him leave to put them into my cabin, the only place in the ship where they could be received, as they consisted of three large boxes.

On the 22d, at four o’clock in the morning, I weighed and made sail in company with the Swallow and Prince Frederick, and had soon the mortification to find that the Swallow was a very bad sailer.

We proceeded in our voyage, without any remarkable incident, till Sunday the 7th of September, when, about eight o’clock in the morning, we saw the island of Porto Santo, bearing west; and about noon, saw the east end of the island of Madeira.

About five o’clock we ran between this end of the island and the Deserters.  On the side next the Deserters is a low flat island, and near it a needle rock; the side next to Madeira is full of broken rocks, and for that reason it is not safe to come within less than two miles of it.

At six in the evening we anchored in Madeira road, about two-thirds of a mile from the shore, in twenty-four fathom, with a muddy bottom:  About eight the Swallow and Prince Frederick also came to an anchor; and I sent an officer on shore to the governor, to let him know that I would salute him, if he would return an equal number of guns, which he promised to do; the next morning, therefore, at six o’clock, I saluted him with thirteen guns, and he returned thirteen as he had promised.

Having taken in a proper quantity of water at this place, with four pipes and ten puncheons of wine, some fresh beef, and a large quantity of onions, we weighed anchor on the 12th, and continued our voyage.

At six-o’clock in the morning of Tuesday the 16th, we saw the island of Palma, and found the ship fifteen miles to the southward of her reckoning.  As we were sailing along this island, at the rate of no less than eight miles an hour, with the wind at east, it died away at once; so that within less than two minutes the ship had no motion, though we were at least four leagues distant from the shore.  Palma lies in lat. 28 deg. 40’ N. long. 17 deg. 48’ W.

On the 20th we tried the current, and found it set S.W. by W. one mile an hour.  This day we saw two herons flying to the eastward, and a great number of bonnettos about the ship, of which we caught eight.

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