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.

At five o’clock in the morning, we made sail, and soon after saw another island.  At ten o’clock, the weather being tempestuous, with much rain, we saw a long reef, with breakers on each side of the island, and therefore brought the ship to, with her head off the shore.  To this island, which lies in latitude 19 deg.18’S., longitude, by observation, 140 deg.36’W., I gave the name of Cumberland Island, in honour of his royal highness the Duke.  It lies low, and is about the same size as Queen Charlotte’s Island.  We found the variation, of the needle here to be 7 deg.10’E.  As I had no hope of finding any refreshment here, I stood on to the westward.

At day-break, on Saturday the 13th, we saw another small low island, in the N.N.W. right to windward.  It had the appearance of small flat keys.  This place I called Prince William Henry’s Island, in honour of his majesty’s third son.  It lies in latitude 19 deg.S., longitude, by observation, 141 deg.6’ W. I made no stay here, hoping that to the westward I should find higher land, where the ship might come to an anchor, and such refreshments as we wanted be procured.

Soon after day-light, on the 17th, we saw land bearing W. by N. and making in a small round hummock.  At noon, when it bore N. 64 deg.  W. distant about five leagues, its appearance greatly resembled the Mewstone in Plymouth Sound, but it seemed to be much larger.  We found the ship this day twenty miles to the northward of her reckoning, which I imputed to a great S.W. swell.

At five in the evening, this island bore N.W. distant about eight miles.  I then hauled the wind, and stood on and off all night.  At ten, we saw a light upon the shore, which, though the island was small, proved that it was inhabited, and gave us hopes that we should find anchorage near it.  We observed with great pleasure, that the land was very high, and covered with cocoa-trees; a sure sign that there was water.

The next morning, I sent Lieutenant Furneaux to the shore, with the boats manned and armed, and all kinds of trinkets, to establish a traffic with the natives, for such refreshment as the place would afford.  I gave him orders also to find, if possible, an anchoring-place for the ship.  While we were getting out the boats, several canoes put off from the island, but as soon as the people on board saw them make towards the shore, they put back.  At noon, the boats returned, and brought with them a pig and a cock, with a few plantains and cocoa-nuts.  Mr Furneaux reported, that he had seen at least an hundred of the inhabitants, and believed there were many more upon the island; but that, having been all round it, he could find no anchorage, nor scarcely a landing-place for the boat.  When he reached the shore, he came to a grappling, and threw a warp to the Indians upon the beach, who caught it and held it fast.  He then began to converse with them by signs, and observed that they had no weapon among them, but that some of them had white

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