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.
keeping the land of Terra del Fuego in sight:  If this is done, it may be missed, however accurately the appearance of the coast of Staten Land may have been exhibited; and if this is not done, it cannot be missed, though the appearance of that coast be not known.  The entrance of the streight should not be attempted but with a fair wind and moderate weather, and upon the very beginning of the tide of flood, which happens here, at the full and change of the moon, about one or two o’clock; it is also best to keep as near to the Terra del Fuego shore as the winds will admit.  By attending to these particulars, a ship may be got quite through the streight in one tide; or, at least, to the southward of Success Bay, into which it will be more prudent to put, if the wind should be southerly, than to attempt the weathering of Staten Land with a lee wind and a current, which may endanger her being driven on that island.

The streight itself, which is bounded on the west by Terra del Fuego, and on the east by the west end of Staten Land, is about five leagues long, and as many broad.  The Bay of Good Success lies about the middle of it, on the Terra del Fuego side, and is discovered immediately upon entering the streight from the northward; and the south head of it may be distinguished by a mark on the land, that has the appearance of a broad road, leading up from the sea into the country:  At the entrance it is half a league wide, and runs in westward about two miles and a half.  There is good anchorage in every part of it, in from ten to seven fathom, clear ground; and it affords plenty of exceeding good wood and water.  The tides flow in the bay, at the full and change of the moon, about four or five o’clock, and rise about five or six feet perpendicular.  But the flood runs two or three hours longer in the streight than in the bay; and the ebb, or northerly current, runs with near double the strength of the flood.

In the appearance of Staten Land, we did not discover the wildness and horror that is ascribed to it in the account of Lord Anson’s voyage.  On the north side are the appearances of bays or harbours; and the land when we saw it, was neither destitute of wood nor verdure, nor covered with snow.  The island seems to be about twelve leagues in length and five broad.

On the west side of the Cape of Good Success, which forms the S.W. entrance of the streight, lies Valentine’s Bay, of which we only saw the entrance; from this bay the land trends away to the W.S.W. for twenty or thirty leagues; it appears to be high and mountainous, and forms several bays and inlets.

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