A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

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.
Maire, should constantly pass to the eastward, of Staten Land, and should be invariably bent on running to the southward as far as the latitude of 61 or 62 degrees, before they endeavour to stand to the westward.”  But, in my opinion, different circumstances may at one time render it eligible to pass through the streight, and to keep to the eastward of Staten Land at another.  If the land is fallen in with to the westward of the streight, and the wind is favourable for going through, I think it would be very injudicious to lose time by going round Staten Land, as I am confident that, by attending to the directions which I have given, the streight may be passed with the utmost safety and convenience:  But if, on the contrary, the land is fallen in with to the eastward of the streight, and the wind should prove tempestuous or unfavourable, I think it would be best to go round Staten Land.  But I cannot in any case concur in recommending the running into the latitude of 61 or 62, before any endeavour is made to stand to the westward.  We found neither the current nor the storms which the running so far to the southward is supposed necessary to avoid; and indeed, as the winds almost constantly blow from that quarter, it is scarcely possible to pursue the advice.  The navigator has no choice but to stand to the southward, close upon a wind, and by keeping upon that tack, he will not only make southing, but westing; and, if the wind varies towards the north or the west, his westing will be considerable.  It will indeed be highly proper to make sure of a westing sufficient to double all the lands, before an attempt is made to stand to the northward, and to this every man’s own prudence will of necessity direct him.[83]

We now began to have strong gales and heavy seas, with irregular intervals of calm and fine weather.

[Footnote 83:  Captain Krusenstern gave the preference to weathering the island:  “Although,” says he, “the wind was very favourable for us to have passed through Streight Le Maire, I thought it better to sail round Staten Land, the violent currents in the streight being often very dangerous to shipping, as the experience of many navigators has shewn; and the advantages, on the contrary, but very trifling, since, the only wind which will carry you through it, soon brings you back the short distance to the westward, which you lose by steering an easterly course round Cape John.”—­E.]

SECTION VII.

The Sequel of the Passage from Cape Horn to the newly discovered Islands in the South Seas, with a Description of their Figure and Appearance; some Account of the Inhabitants, and several Incidents that happened during the Course, and at the Ship’s Arrival among them.

On the 1st of March, we were in latitude 38 deg. 44’ S. and longitude 110 deg. 33’ W. both by observation and by the log.  This agreement, after a run of 660 leagues, was thought to be very extraordinary; and is a demonstration, that after we left the land of Cape Horn we had no current that affected the ship.  It renders it also highly probable, that we had been near no land of any considerable extent; for currents are always found when land is not remote, and sometimes, particularly on the east side of the continent in the North Sea, when land has been distant one hundred leagues.

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