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.
cravat, and the next moment snatched it from his neck, and ran away with it.  Our adventurer, therefore, to prevent his being stripped by piece-meal, made the best of his way back again to the boat:  Still, however, we were upon good terms, and several of the Indians swam off to our people, some of them bringing a cocoa-nut, and others a little fresh water in a cocoa-nut shell.  But the principal object of our boats was to obtain some pearls; and the men, to assist them in explaining their meaning, had taken with them some of the pearl oyster-shells which they had found in great numbers upon the coast; but all their endeavours were ineffectual, for they could not, even with this assistance, at all make themselves understood.  It is indeed probable that we should have succeeded better, if an intercourse of any kind could have been established between us, but it was our misfortune that no anchorage could be found for the ships.  As all Indians are fond of beads, it can scarcely be supposed that the pearls, which the oysters at this place contained, were overlooked by the natives, and it is more than probable that if we could have continued here a few weeks, we might have obtained some of great value in exchange for nails, hatchets, and billhooks, upon which the natives, with more reason, set a much higher value.  We observed, that in the lake, or lagoon, there were two or three very large vessels, one of which had two masts, and some cordage aloft to support them.

To these two islands, I gave the name of King George’s Islands, in honour of his majesty.  That which we last visited, lies in latitude 14 deg.41’S., longitude 149 deg.15’W; the variation of the compass here was 5 deg.E.


The Run from King George’s Islands to the Islands of Saypan, Tinian, and Aguigan; with an Account of several Islands that were discovered in that Track.

We pursued our course to the westward the same day, and the next, about three o’clock in the afternoon, we saw land again, bearing S.S.W. distant about six leagues.  We immediately stood for it, and found it to be a low and very narrow island, lying east and west:  we ran along the south side of it, which had a green and pleasant appearance, but a dreadful surf breaks upon every part of it, with foul ground at some distance, and many rocks and small islands scattered at about three leagues from the shore.  We found it about twenty leagues in length, and it appeared to abound with inhabitants, though we could only get a transient glance of them as we passed along.  To this place I gave the name of the Prince of Wales’s Island. It lies in latitude 15 deg.S. and the westermost end of it in longitude 151 deg.53’ W. It is distant from King George’s Islands about eight-and-forty leagues, in the direction of S.80 W. the variation here was 5 deg.30’E.

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