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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.

As Mr Banks was again gleaning the country for his Natural History on the 26th, he had the good fortune to take an animal of the Opossum tribe:  It was a female, and with, it he took two young ones:  It was found much to resemble the remarkable animal of the kind which Mons. de Buffon has described in his Natural History by the name of Phalanger, but it was not the same.  Mons. Buffon supposes this tribe to be peculiar to America, but in this he is certainly mistaken; and probably, as Pallas has observed in his Zoology, the Phalanger itself is a native of the East Indies, as the animal which was caught by Mr Banks resembled it in the extraordinary conformation of the feet, in which it differs from animals of every other tribe.

On the 27th, Mr Gore shot a kangaroo, which, with the skin, entrails, and head, weighed eighty-four pounds.  Upon examination, however, we found that this animal was not at its full growth, the innermost grinders not being yet formed.  We dressed it for dinner the next day; but to our great disappointment, we found it had a much worse flavour than that we had eaten before.

The wind continued in the same quarter, and with the same violence, till five o’clock in the morning of the 29th, when it fell calm; soon after a light breeze sprung up from the land, and it being about two hours ebb, I sent a boat to see what water was upon the bar; in the mean time we got the anchor up, and made all ready to put to sea.  But when the boat came back, the officer reported that there was only thirteen feet water upon the bar, which was six inches less than the ship drew.  We were therefore obliged to come to, and the sea breeze setting in again about eight o’clock; we gave up all hope of sailing that day.

We had fresh gales at S.E., with hazy weather and rain, till two in the morning of the 31st, when the weather being something more moderate, I had thoughts of trying to warp the ship out of the harbour; but upon going out myself first in the boat, I found it still blow too fresh for the attempt.  During all this time the pinnace and yawl continued to ply the net and hook with tolerable success; sometimes taking a turtle, and frequently bringing in from two to three hundred-weight of fish.

On the 1st of August, the carpenter examined the pumps, and to our great mortification, found them all in a state of decay, owing, as he said, to the sap’s being left in the wood; one of them was so rotten, as, when hoisted up, to drop to pieces, and the rest were little better; so that our chief trust was now in the soundness of our vessel, which happily did not admit more than one inch of water in an hour.

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