A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 687 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 13.
which he found many houses that for some reason had been deserted by their inhabitants.  The poles appeared to be about sixteen feet high; they were placed in two rows, with a space of about six feet between them, and the poles in each row were about ten feet distant from each other.  The lane between them was covered by sticks, that were set up sloping towards each other from the top of the poles on each side, like the roof of a house.  This rail-work, with a ditch that was parallel to it, was carried about a hundred yards down the hill in a kind of curve; but for what purpose we could not guess.

The Indians, at the watering-place, at our request, entertained us with their war-song, in which the women joined, with the most horrid distortions of countenance, rolling their eyes, thrusting out their tongues, and often heaving loud and deep sighs; though all was done in very good time.

On the 28th, we went ashore upon an island that lies to the left hand of the entrance of the bay, where we saw the largest canoe that we had yet met with:  She was sixty-eight feet and a half long, five broad, and three feet six high; she had a sharp bottom, consisting of three trunks of trees hollowed, of which that in the middle was the longest:  The side-planks were sixty-two feet long in one piece, and were not despicably carved in bas relief; the head also was adorned with carving still more richly.  Upon this island there was a larger house than any we had yet seen; but it seemed unfinished and was full of chips.  The wood work was squared so even and smooth, that we made no doubt of their having among them very sharp tools.  The sides of the posts were carved in a masterly style, though after their whimsical taste, which seems to prefer spiral lines and distorted faces:  As these carved posts appeared to have been brought from some other place, such work is probably of great value among them.

At four o’clock in the morning of the 29th, having got on board our wood and water, and a large supply of excellent celery, with which the country abounds, and which proved a powerful antiscorbutic, I unmoored and put to sea.

This bay is called by the natives Tolaga; it is moderately large, and has from seven to thirteen fathom, with a clean sandy bottom and good anchorage; and is sheltered from all winds except the north-east.  It lies in latitude 38 deg. 22’ S. and four leagues and a half to the north of Gable-end Foreland.  On the south point lies a small but high island, so near the main as not to be distinguished from it.  Close to the north end of the island, at the entrance into the bay, are two high rocks; one is round like a corn-stack, but the other is long, and perforated in several places, so that the openings appear like the arches of a bridge.  Within these rocks is the cove where we cut wood, and filled our water-casks.  Off the north point of the bay is a pretty high rocky island; and about a mile without it, are some rocks and breakers.  The variation of the compass here is 14 deg. 31’ E., and the tide flows at the full and change of the moon, about six o’clock, and rises and falls perpendicularly from five to six feet:  Whether the flood comes from the southward or the northward I have not been able to determine.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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