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.

On the south-west point of the island there is a remarkable rock with a hole in it, which is a good mark to come to an anchor on the western side, where there is the best bank of any about the place.  About a mile and a half to the northward of this hole, there is a low point of land, and from this point runs the reef that has been just mentioned, in the direction of W. by S. to the distance of about three quarters of a mile, where the sea continually breaks upon it.  To anchor, run in till the hole in the rock is shut in, about a cable’s length upon this low point of land, then bearing S. by E. 1/2 E. and anchor in twenty and twenty-two fathom, fine black sand and shells:  There is anchorage also at several places on the other sides of the island, particularly off the north point, in fourteen and fifteen fathom, with fine sand.

There is plenty of wood and water all round the island, but they are not to be procured without much difficulty.  A great quantity of stones, and large fragments of the rock, have fallen from the high land all round the island, and upon these there breaks such a surf that a boat cannot safely come within a cable’s length of the shore; there is therefore no landing here but by swimming from the boat, and then mooring her without the rocks, nor is there any method of getting off the wood and water but by hauling them to the boat with ropes:  There are, however, many places where it would be very easy to make a commodious landing by building a wharf, which it would be worth while even for a single ship to do if she was to continue any time at the island.

This part of Masafuero is a very good place for refreshment, especially in the summer season:  The goats have been mentioned already, and there is all round the island such plenty of fish, that a boat may, with three hooks and lines, catch as much as will serve an hundred people:  Among others we caught excellent coal-fish, cavallies, cod, hallibut, and cray-fish.  We took a king-fisher that weighed eighty-seven pounds, and was five feet and a half long, and the sharks were so ravenous, that when we were sounding one of them swallowed the lead, by which we hauled him above water, but as he then disgorged it, we lost him.  The seals were so numerous, that I verily think if many thousands of them were killed in a night, they would not be missed in the morning:  We were obliged to kill great numbers of them, as, when we walked the shore, they were continually running against us, making at the same time a most horrible noise.  These animals yield excellent train oil, and their hearts and plucks are very good eating, being in taste something like those of a hog, and their skins are covered with the finest fur I ever saw of the kind.  There are many birds here, and among others some very large hawks.  Of the pintado birds, our people, as I have before observed, caught no less than seven hundred in one night.  We had not much opportunity to examine the place for vegetable productions, but we saw several leaves of the mountain cabbage, which is a proof that the tree grows here.

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