[Footnote 33: Bougainville gives the same advice as to preferring the passage through the streights, from the month of September till the end of March, but at all other periods he recommends to go round Cape Horn. He was 52 days in going the whole length of the streights, reckoning from Cape Virgin Mary to Cape Pillar, a distance of 342 miles, and he says that 36 hours of fair wind were sufficient to carry him from Port Gallant to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Wallis, we shall see, did not realize this opinion, or the hopes formed on it—he was almost four months in getting through the streights, although he attempted the passage at the very time recommended by Byron. On the other hand, Captain Krusenstern doubled the cape in four weeks only, after his leaving St Catharine’s Island, which the reader will observe is considerably northward of the river La Plata, “a voyage,” says he, “which perhaps was never made in a shorter time.” In weathering the cape, he took the advice of Cook, not to approach the land nearer than 30 or 36 miles, by which means he avoided the strong currents which, according to our great navigator’s assertion, seem to lose all their force at that distance.—E.]
The Run from the Western Entrance of the Streight of Magellan to the Islands of Disappointment.
Having cleared the streight, we pursued our course to the westward, till Friday, April the 26th, when we discovered the island of Massafuero, bearing W.N.W.1/2 W. distant about sixteen leagues; but as to the northward it was hazy, the island of Don Juan Fernandez was not in sight. During this run, the variation had gradually decreased from 22 deg. to 9 deg. 36’. E.