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 10:  There was no inducement to offer a single remark on the discoveries mentioned in this section, and the one that follows, or to give any additional observations from the works hitherto used.  It is utterly improbable that any human being could be benefited by the most perfect information that might be afforded, respecting these desolate regions.  Mr G.F. it is true, hazards a speculation, that if the northern ocean should ever be cleared of whales, by our annual fisheries, this part of the southern hemisphere might be visited for the sake of procuring these animals so abundant in it.  But as besides this proviso, he thinks it necessary that Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego should be inhabited and civilized like Scotland and Sweden, there will evidently be time enough some centuries hence, to investigate minutely the geography and natural history of Georgia and its kindred neighbours.—­E.]


_ Proceedings after leaving the Isle of Georgia, with an Account of the Discovery of Sandwich Land; with some Reasons for there being Land about the South Pole_.

On the 25th, we steered E.S.E., with a fresh gale at N.N.E., attended with foggy weather, till towards the evening, when the sky becoming clear, we found the variation to be 9 deg. 26’ E., being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 16’ S., longitude 32 deg. 9’ W.

Having continued to steer E.S.E., with a fine gale at N.N.W., till day-light next morning, on seeing no land to the east, I gave orders to steer south, being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 33’ S., longitude 31 deg. 10’ W. The weather continued clear, and gave us an opportunity to observe several distances of the sun and moon for the correcting our longitude, which at noon was 31 deg. 4’ W., the latitude observed 57 deg. 38’ S. We continued to steer to the south till the 27th, at noon, at which time we were in the latitude of 59 deg. 46’ S., and had so thick a fog that we could not see a ship’s length.  It being no longer safe to sail before the wind, as we were to expect soon to fall in with ice, I therefore hauled to the east, having a gentle breeze at N.N.E.  Soon after the fog clearing away, we resumed our course to the south till four o’clock, when it returned again as thick as ever, and made it necessary for us to haul upon a wind.

I now reckoned we were in latitude 60 deg.  S., and farther I did not intend to go, unless I observed some certain signs of soon meeting with land.  For it would not have been prudent in me to have spent my time in penetrating to the south, when it was at least as probable that a large tract of land might be found near Cape Circumcision.  Besides, I was tired of these high southern latitudes, where nothing was to be found but ice and thick fogs.  We had now a long hollow swell from the west, a strong indication that there was no land in that direction; so that I think I may venture to assert that the extensive coast, laid down in Mr Dalrymple’s chart of the ocean between Africa and America, and the Gulph of St Sebastian, do not exist.

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