Between Streight Le Maire and Cape Horn we found a current setting, generally very strong, to the N.E. when we were in with the shore; but lost it when we were at the distance of fifteen or twenty leagues.
On the 26th of January, we took our departure from Cape Horn, which lies in latitude 55 deg. 53’ S. longitude 68 deg. 13’ W. The farthest southern latitude that we made was 60 deg. 10’, our longitude was then 74 deg. 30’ W.; and we found the variation of the compass, by the mean of eighteen azimuths, to be 27 deg. 9’ E. As the weather was frequently calm, Mr Banks went out in a small boat to shoot birds, among which were some albatrosses and sheer-waters. The albatrosses were observed to be larger than those which had been taken northward of the streight; one of them measured ten feet two inches from the tip of one wing to that of the other, when they were extended: The sheer-water, on the contrary, is less, and darker coloured on the back. The albatrosses we skinned, and having soaked them in salt water till the morning, we parboiled them, then throwing away the liquor, stewed them in a very little fresh water till they were tender, and had them served up with savoury sauce; thus dressed, the dish was universally commended, and we eat of it very heartily even when there was fresh pork upon the table.
From a variety of observations which were made with great care, it appeared probable in the highest degree, that, from the time of our leaving the land to the 13th of February, when we were in latitude 49 deg. 32’, and longitude 90 deg. 37’, we had no current to the west.
At this time we had advanced about 12 deg. to the westward, and 3 and 1/2 to the northward of the Streight of Magellan: Having been just three and thirty days in coming round the land of Terra del Fuego, or Cape Horn, from the east entrance of the streight to this situation. And though the doubling of Cape Horn is so much dreaded, that, in the general opinion, it is more eligible to pass through the Streight of Magellan, we were not once brought under our close reefed top sails after we left the Streight of Le Maire. The Dolphin in her last voyage, which she performed at the same season of the year with ours, was three months in getting through the Streight of Magellan, exclusive of the time that she lay in Port Famine; and I am persuaded, from the winds we had, that if we had come by that passage, we should not at this time have been in these seas; that our people would have been fatigued, and our anchors, cables, sails, and rigging much damaged; neither of which inconveniences we had now suffered. But supposing it more eligible to go round the cape, than through the Streight of Magellan, it may still be questioned, whether it is better to go through the Streight of Le Maire, or stand to the eastward, and go round to Staten Land. The advice given in the account of Lord Anson’s voyage is, “That all ships bound to the South Seas, instead of passing through the Streight of Le