A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.

About one o’clock, on Wednesday the 17th of December, I made the signal and weighed, ordering the Swallow to go a-head, and the store-ship to bring up the rear.  The wind was right against us, and blew fresh; so that we were obliged to turn into the Streight of Magellan with the flood-tide, between Cape Virgin Mary and the Sandy Point that resembles Dungeness.  When we got a-breast of this Point, we stood close into the shore, where we saw two guanicoes, and many of the natives on horseback, who seemed to be in pursuit of them:  When the horsemen came near, they ran up the country at a great rate, and were pursued by the hunters, with their slings in their hands ready for the cast; but neither of them was taken while they were within the reach of our sight.

When we got about two leagues to the west of Dungeness, and were standing off shore, we fell in with a shoal upon which we had but seven fathom water at half flood; This obliged us to make short tacks, and keep continually heaving the lead.  At half an hour after eight in the evening, we anchored about three miles from the shore, in 20 fathom, with a muddy bottom:  Cape Virgin Mary then bearing N.E. by E. 1/2 E.; Point Possession W. 1/2 S. at the distance of about five leagues.

About half an hour after we had cast anchor, the natives made several large fires a-breast of the ship, and at break of day we saw about four hundred of them encamped in a fine green valley, between two hills, with their horses feeding beside them.  About six o’clock in the morning, the tide being done, we got again under sail:  Its course here is from east to west; it rises and falls thirty feet, and its strength is equal to about three knots an hour.  About noon there being little wind, and the ebb running with great force, the Swallow, which was a-head, made the signal and came to an anchor; upon which I did the same, and so did the store-ship that was a-stern.

As we saw great numbers of the natives on horseback a-breast of the ship, and as Captain Carteret informed me that this was the place where Commodore Byron had the conference with the tall men, I sent the lieutenants of the Swallow and the store-ship to the shore, but with orders not to land, as the ships were at too great a distance to protect them.  When these gentlemen returned, they told me, that the boat having lain upon her oars very near the beach, the natives came down in great numbers; whom they knew to be the same persons they had seen the day before, with many others, particularly women and children; that when they perceived our people had no design to land, they seemed to be greatly disappointed, and those who had been on board the ship waded off to the boat, making signs for it to advance, and pronouncing the words they had been taught, “Englishmen come on shore,” very loud, many times; that when they found they could not get the people to land, they would fain have got into the boat, and that it was with great difficulty

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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