Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.

When I had hoisted the boats in, I ran down four miles to leeward, where we lay till the morning; and then, finding that the current had set us out of sight of the island, I made sail.  The officers did me the honour to call this island after my name. Wallis’s Island lies in latitude 13 deg. 18’ S. longitude 177 deg.  W.

As the latitudes and longitudes of all these islands are accurately laid down, and plans of them delivered in to the Admiralty, it will be easy for any ship, that shall hereafter navigate these seas, to find any of them, either to refresh or to make farther discoveries of their produce.

I thought it very remarkable, that although we found no kind of metal in any of these islands, yet, the inhabitants of all of them, the moment they got a piece of iron in their possession, began to sharpen it, but made no such attempt on brass or copper.

We continued to steer N. westerly, and many birds were from time to time seen about the ship, till the 28th, when her longitude being, by observation, 187 deg.24’W. we crossed the Line into north latitude.  Among the birds that came about the ship, one which we caught exactly resembled a dove in size, shape, and colour.  It had red legs, and was web-footed.  We also saw several plantain leaves and cocoa-nuts pass by the ship.

On Saturday the 29th, about two o’clock in the afternoon, being in latitude 2 deg.50’N. longitude 188 deg.W. we crossed a great rippling, which stretched from the N.E. to the S.W. as far as the eye could reach from the mast-head.  We sounded, but had no bottom with a line of two hundred fathoms.

On Thursday the 3d of September, at five o’clock in the morning, we saw land bearing E.N.E. distant about five miles:  In about half an hour we saw more land in the N. W. and at six, saw in the N.E. an Indian proa, such as is described in the account of Lord Anson’s voyage.  Perceiving that she stood towards us, we hoisted Spanish colours; but when she came within about two miles of us, she tacked, and stood from us to the N.N.W. and in a short time was out of sight.

At eight o’clock, the islands which I judged to be two of the Piscadores, bore from S.W. by W. to W. and to windward, from N. by E. to N.E. and had the appearance of small flat keys.  They were distant about three leagues; but many others, much farther off, were in sight.  The latitude of one of those islands is 11 deg.N. longitude 192 deg.30’ W.; and the other 11 deg.20’N., longitude 192 deg.58’W.

On the 7th, we saw a curlieu and a pewit, and on the 9th we caught a land-bird, very much resembling a starling.

On the 17th, we saw two gannets, and judged the island of Tinian to bear west, at about one-and-thirty leagues distance; our latitude being 15 deg.N., and our longitude 212 deg. 30’W.  At six o’clock the next morning, we saw the island of Saypan, bearing W. by N. distant about ten leagues.  In the afternoon, we saw Tinian, and made sail for the road; where, at nine o’clock in the morning, of Saturday the 19th, we came to an anchor in two-and-twenty fathom, sandy ground, at about a mile distant from the shore, and half a mile from the reef.

Follow Us on Facebook