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

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.

SECTION II.

Passage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Desire; with some Description of that Place.

On Monday the 22d, being now once more at sea, I called all hands upon deck, and informed them, that I was not, as they imagined, bound immediately to the East Indies, but upon certain discoveries, which it was thought might be of great importance to our country; in consideration of which, the lords commissioners of the Admiralty had been pleased to promise them double pay, and several other advantages, if during the voyage they should behave to my satisfaction.  They all expressed the greatest joy imaginable upon the occasion, and assured me, that there was no danger or difficulty that they would not with the utmost cheerfulness undergo in the service of their country, nor any order that I could give them which they would not implicitly and zealously obey.[11]

[Footnote 11:  “We had all the reason possible to believe that we were bound to the East Indies, and that we should now steer to the Cape of Good Hope, the scheme being so well concerted by our commodore, as even to deceive Lord Clive, who pressed him with great importunity to allow him to take his passage in the Dolphin, we being in much greater readiness for sea than the Kent; but to this the commodore could not consent; but flattered his lordship with the hopes of his taking him on board on their meeting at the Cape.”]

We continued our course till Monday the 20th, having frequently hard gales with sudden gusts, which obliged us to strike our top-gallant-masts, and get up our stumps; but this day it blew a storm, with a terrible sea, and the ship laboured so much, that, to ease her, I ordered the two foremost and two aftermost guns to be thrown overboard:  The gale continued with nearly equal violence all the rest of the day, and all night, so that we were obliged to lie-to under a double-reefed main-sail; but in the morning, it being more moderate, and veering from N.W. to S. by W. we made sail again, and stood to the westward.  We were now in latitude 35 deg.50’S. and found the weather as cold as it is at the same season in England, although the month of November here is a spring month, answering to our May, and we were near twenty degrees neater the Line:  To us, who within little more than a week had suffered intolerable heat, this change was most severely felt:  And the men who, supposing they were to continue in a hot climate during the whole voyage, had contrived to sell not only all their warm clothes, but their bedding, at the different ports where we had touched, now applied in great distress for slops, and were all furnished for the climate.

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