A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15.

[Footnote 5:  “The largest of the New-Year’s Islands, as we called them, and which we now left, is about six leagues in circuit, and that under which we lay at anchor, between three and four leagues.  They are excellent places of refreshment for a ship’s crew bound on expeditions like ours; for though the flesh of sea-lions and penguins is not the most palateable food, yet it is infinitely more salubrious than salt meat; and by searching the different islands, it is not improbable that a sufficient quantity of celery and scurvy-grass might be found to supply the whole crew, especially as we saw both the species on our excursions.  Our seamen lived several days on young shags and penguins, of which they found the former extremely palateable, comparing them to young pullets.  They likewise roasted several little cubs of seals, but there was a degree of softness in the meat which made it disgustful.  The flesh of young, but full-grown sea-bears, was greatly preferable, and tasted like coarse and bad beef; but that of the old sea-lions and bears was so rank and offensive, that we could not touch it.”—­G.F.]

As we could not sail in the morning of the 2d for want of wind, I sent a party of men on shore to the island, on the same duty as before.  Towards noon we got a fresh breeze at west; but it came too late, and I resolved to wait till the next morning, when, at four o’clock, we weighed, with a fresh gale at N.W. by W., and stood for Cape St John, which, at half past six, bore N. by E., distant four or five miles.  This cape, being the eastern point of Staten Land, a description of it is unnecessary.  It may, however, not be amiss to say, that it is a rock of a considerable height, situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 46’ S., longitude 63 deg. 47’ W., with a rocky islet lying close under the north part of it.  To the westward of the cape, about five or six miles, is an inlet, which seemed to divide the land, that is, to communicate with the sea to the south; and between this inlet and the cape is a bay, but I cannot say of what depth.  In sailing round the cape we met with a very strong current from the south:  It made a race which looked like breakers; and it was as much as we could do, with a strong gale, to make head against it.[6]

[Footnote 6:  Captain Krusenstern, as has been noticed in vol. 12, page 413, verified Cook’s longitude of Cape St John, having found it to agree exactly with that pointed out by the watches on board his consort the Neva, which differed but a few minutes from those in his own vessel.—­E.]

After getting round the cape, I hauled up along the south coast, and as soon as we had brought the wind to blow off the land, it came upon us in such heavy squalls as obliged us to double-reef our top-sails.  It afterwards fell, by little and little, and at noon ended in a calm.  At this time Cape St John bore N. 20 deg.  E., distant three and a half leagues; Cape St Bartholomew, or the S.W. point of Staten Land,

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