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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

In order to illustrate this and to shew the situations of the neighbouring lands, and, by this means, make the chart of more general use, I have extended it down to 47 deg. of latitude.  But I am only answerable for the accuracy of such parts as I have explored myself.  In laying down the rest I had recourse to the following authorities.

The longitude of Cape Virgin Mary, which is the most essential point, as it determines the length of the straits of Magalhaens, is deduced from Lord Anson, who made 2 deg. 30’ difference of longitude between it and the Strait Le Maire.  Now as the latter lies in 65 deg. 22’, Cape Virgin-Mary must lie in:  67 deg. 52’, which is the longitude I have assigned to it, and which, I have reason to think, cannot be far from the truth.

The strait of Magalhaens, and the east coast of Patagonia, are laid down from the observations made by the late English and French navigators.

The position of the west coast of America, from Cape Victory northward, I have taken from the discoveries of Sarmiento, a Spanish navigator, communicated to me by Mr Stuart, F.R.S.

Falkland Islands are copied from a sketch taken from Captain M’Bride, who circumnavigated them some years ago in his majesty’s ship Jason; and their distance from the main is agreeable to the run of the Dolphin, under the command of Commodore Byron, from Cape Virgin Mary to Port Egmont, and from Port Egmont to Port Desire, both of which runs were made in a few days; consequently no material errors could happen.

The S.W. coast of Terra del Fuego, with respect to inlets, islands, &c. may be compared to the coast of Norway; for I doubt if there be an extent of three leagues where there is not an inlet or harbour which will receive and shelter the largest shipping.  The worst is, that till these inlets are better known, one has, as it were, to fish for anchorage.  There are several lurking rocks on the coast, but happily none of them lie far from land, the approach to which may be known by sounding, supposing the weather so obscure that you cannot see it.  For to judge of the whole by the parts we have sounded, it is more than probable that there are soundings all along the coast, and for several leagues out to sea.  Upon the whole, this is by no means the dangerous coast it has been represented.

Staten Land lies near E. by N. and W. by S., and is ten leagues long in that direction, and no where above three or four leagues broad.  The coast is rocky, much indented, and seemed to form several bays or inlets.  It shews a surface of craggy hills which spire up to a vast height, especially near the west end.  Except the craggy summits of the hills, the greatest part was covered with trees and shrubs, or some sort of herbage, and there was little or no snow on it.  The currents between Cape Deseada and Cape Horn set from west to east, that is, in the same direction as the coast; but they are by no means

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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