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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.

“And first, with respect to its water.  I must own, that before I had seen this spot, I did not conceive that the absence of running water, of which it is entirely destitute, could have been so well replaced by any other means, as it is in this island; for though there are no streams, yet the water of the wells and springs, which are to be met with every where near the surface, is extremely good; and in the midst of the island there are two or three considerable pieces of excellent water, whose edges are as neat and even, as if they had been basons purposely made for the decoration of the place.  It must, however, be confessed, that with regard to the beauty of the prospects, the want of rills and streams is a very great defect, not to be compensated either by large pieces of standing water, or by the neighbourhood of the sea, though that; by reason of the smallness of the island, generally makes a part of every extensive view.”

“As to the residence upon the island, the principal inconvenience attending it is the vast numbers of musquitoes, and various other species of flies, together with an insect called a tick, which, though principally attached to the cattle, would yet frequently fasten upon our limbs and bodies, and if not perceived and removed in time, would bury its head under the skin, and raise a painful inflammation.  We found here, too, centipedes and scorpions, which we supposed were venomous, but none of us ever received any injury from them.”]

While we lay here, I sent the Tamar to examine the island of Saypan, Which is much larger than Tinian, rises higher, and, in my opinion, has a much pleasanter appearance.  She anchored to the leeward of it, at the distance of a mile from the shore, and in about ten fathom water, with much the same kind of ground as we had in the road of Tinian.

Her people landed upon a fine sandy beach which is six or seven miles long, and walked up into the woods, where they saw many trees which were fit for top-masts.

They saw no fowls, nor any tracks of cattle; but of hogs and guanicoes there was plenty.  They found no fresh water near the beach, but saw a large pond inland, which they did not examine.  They saw large heaps of pearl oyster-shells thrown up together, and other signs of people having been there not long before:  Possibly the Spaniards may go thither at some season of the years, and carry on a pearl fishery.  They also saw many of those, square pyramidal pillars which are to be found at Tinian, and which are particularly described in the account of Lord Anson’s voyage.

On Monday the 30th of September, having now been here nine weeks, and our sick being pretty well recovered, I ordered, the tents to be struck, and with the forge and oven carried back to the ship; I also laid in about two thousand cocoa-nuts, which I had experienced to be so powerful a remedy for the scurvy, and the next day I weighed, hoping, that before we should get the length of the Bashe Island, the N.E. monsoon would be set in.  I stood along the shore to take in the beef-hunters; but we had very little wind this day and the next till the evening, when it came to the westward and blew fresh:  I then stood to the northward till the morning of the 3d, when we made Anatacan, an island that is remarkably high, and the same that was first fallen in with by Lord Anson.

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