Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.
by such heavy rain, that the obscurity was nearly as great as before.  The ship continued her course with the wind upon the starboard tack, until half-past one in the afternoon, when, from the reckoning, they supposed Cape Frio to be about thirty-eight miles distant, lying north 36 deg. east.  From the hour of their departure from Rio Janeiro, till the time of which we speak, neither sun, moon, nor stars had been visible.  On account of the cross sea, which appeared to impede the progress of the vessel, and the lightness of the wind, her course was kept east by north until two o’clock, when it was changed to E.N.E.  At four o’clock P.M. it was calculated that they had run about nineteen miles, and that they must be nearly abreast of Cape Frio, and about twenty-four miles distant from it.  The weather clearing up at that time, they discovered a large ship, with all sail set, standing in shore, and no land being visible, they concluded that they were still further from land than they had reckoned, and therefore they changed their course again to N.E. by E. At five o’clock the people were mustered at quarters, and then a looming of land was seen to the N.N.W., which, according to their calculation, was the direction Cape Frio would bear; and there being no land near it that could have the same appearance, the reckoning was considered correct, and a prudent proportion of sail was made, regard being had to the state of the weather, and the course they were steering.  Between six and seven o’clock P.M. the rain again began to fall; the fog returned, and became gradually so thick, that it was impossible to see the length of the ship.

At eight P.M. the watch was mustered, and the men placed at their stations to keep a vigilant look-out, while the officer of the watch went forward himself to see that the sails were well trimmed, and that every one was on the alert.  At half-past eight, when the captain had retired to his cabin, and was waiting for the usual evening report from the master, a midshipman entered with the startling intelligence that land had been seen close ahead, the ship at the time going at the rate of eight or nine miles an hour.

Captain Burgess was on deck in a moment; he ordered the helm to be put ‘hard a-port,’ and was told it had been done.  The next instant the jib-booms and bowsprit were heard to crash; the captain hastened to the gangway, and was just in time to see the foremast go.  Scarcely had he called to the men to stand clear, when all the three masts fell aft, one after the other, covering the deck with masts, yards, sails, and rigging, and in their fall killing some and dreadfully mangling others.  Within a few feet of the ship rose a stupendous black rock, against which the surf was raging violently.  The rock was so perpendicular, that both the fore and main yardarms were (before they fell) scraping against the granite cliff.  The hull, however, did not appear to come in contact with the rock; but, as if

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Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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