The Passage from Cape Monday, in the Streight of Magellan, into the South Seas; with some general Remarks on the Navigation of that Strait.
AT eight the next morning we weighed, and soon after we made sail opened the South Sea, from which such a swell rolled in upon us as I have seldom seen. At four o’clock in the afternoon, we anchored in a very good bay, with a deep sound at the bottom of it, by which it may be known, about a league to the eastward of Cape Upright, in fourteen fathom. The extreme point of the bay bore from N.W. to N.E. by E. and Cape Upright W.N.W. about a cable’s length to the eastward of a low island which makes the bay.
At three o’clock in the morning of the 24th, I sent a boat with an officer from each ship, to look for anchoring-places to the westward; but at four in the afternoon, they returned without having been able to get round Cape Upright.
The next morning I sent the boats again to the westward, and about six in the evening they returned, having been about four leagues, and found two anchoring-places, but neither of them were very good. We made sail, however, about eight in the forenoon of the next day, and at three, Cape Upright bore E.S.E. distant about three leagues, a remarkable cape on the north shore at the same time bearing N.E. distant four or five miles. This cape, which is very lofty and steep, lies N.N.W. by compass from Cape Upright, at the distance of about three leagues. The south shore in this place had a very bad appearance, many sunken rocks lying about it to a considerable distance, upon which the sea breaks very high. At four the weather became very thick, and in less than half an hour we saw the south shore at the distance of about a mile, but could get no anchoring-place; we therefore tacked, and stood over to the north shore. At half an hour after six, I made the Tamar signal to come under our stern, and ordered her to keep a-head of us all night, and to show lights, and fire a gun every time she changed her tack. At seven it cleared up for a moment just to show us the north shore, bearing W. by N. We tacked immediately, and at eight the wind shifted from N.N.W. to W.N.W. and blew with great violence. Our situation was now very alarming; the storm increased every minute, the weather was extremely thick, the rain seemed to threaten another deluge, we had a long dark night before us, we were in a narrow channel, and surrounded on every side by rocks and breakers. We attempted to clue up the mizen top-sail, but before this service could be done it was blown all to rags: We then brought-to, with the main and fore-topsail close-reefed, and upon the cap, keeping the ship’s head to the southwest; but there being a prodigious sea, it broke over us so often that the whole deck was almost continually under water. At nine, by an accidental breaking of the fog, we saw the high cape on the north shore that has been