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.
the rocks.  The land round this bay and harbour is all high, and as the current sets continually into it, I doubt not but it has another communication with the sea to the south of Cape Deseada.  The master said he went up it four miles in a boat, and could not then be above four miles from the Western Ocean, yet he still saw a wide entrance to the S.W.  The landing is every where good, there is plenty of wood and water, and mussels and wild geese in abundance.

From the north shore of the western end of the Streight of Magellan, which lies in about latitude 52 deg.1/2 S. to latitude 48 deg., the land which is the western coast of Patagonia runs nearly north and south, and consists wholly of broken islands, among which are those that Sharp has laid by the name of the Duke of York’s Islands; he has indeed placed them at a considerable distance from the coast, but if there had been many islands in that situation, it is impossible but that the Dolphin, the Tamar, or the Swallow, must have seen them, as we ran near their supposed meridian, and so did the Dolphin and the Tamar the last voyage.  Till we came into this latitude, we had tolerable weather, and little or no current in any direction, but when we came to the northward of 48 deg., we found a current setting strongly to the north, so that probably we then opened the great bay, which is said to be ninety leagues deep.  We found here a vast swell from the N.W. and the winds generally blew from the same quarter; yet we were set every day twelve or fifteen miles to the northward of our account.

On Wednesday the 15th, at about four o’clock in the morning, after surmounting many dangers and difficulties, we once more got abreast of Cape Pillar, with a light breeze at S.E. and a great swell.  Between five and six o’clock, just as we opened Cape Deseada, the wind suddenly shifted to S. and S. by W. and blew so hard that it was with great difficulty we could carry the reefed top-sails:  The sudden changing of the wind, and its excessive violence, produced a sea so dreadfully hollow, that great quantities of water were thrown in upon our deck, so that we were in the utmost danger of foundering; yet we did not dare to shorten sail, it being necessary to carry all we could spread, in order to weather the rocky islands, which Sir John Narborough has called the Islands of Direction, for we could not now run back again into the Streight, without falling down among the broken land, and incurring the dangers of the northern shore, which was to leeward; towards this broken land, however, and lee-shore, the ship settled very fast, notwithstanding our utmost efforts:  In this pressing emergency we were obliged to stave all the water-casks upon the deck, and between decks, to clear the vessel, and to make her carry better sail, and at length, happily escaped the danger which threatened us.  After we got clear of those islands, and drew off from the Streight’s mouth and the land, we found the sea run more regularly from the S.W.

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