A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
are often esteemed the boundary between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and as we presumed that we had nothing now before us but an open sea, till we should arrive on the opulent coasts where all our hopes and wishes centered, we could not help flattering ourselves that the greatest difficulty of our voyage was now at an end, and that our most sanguine dreams were on the point of being realized.  We indulged ourselves, therefore, in the romantic imaginations which the fancied possession of the gold of Chili and silver of Peru might readily be conceived to inspire.  These joyous ideas were considerably heightened, by the brightness of the sky and serenity of the weather, which indeed were both most remarkably delightful:  For, though the antarctic winter was now advancing with hasty strides, the morning of this day, in mildness and even brilliancy, gave place to none that we had seen since our departure from England.  Thus, animated by these flattering delusions, we passed those memorable straits, ignorant of the dreadful calamities then impending, and ready to burst upon us; ignorant that the moment was fast approaching when our squadron was to be separated, never again to unite; and that this day of our passage was the last cheerful day that the greatest part of us was ever to enjoy in this world.


Course from the Straits of Le Maire to Cape Noir.

We had scarcely reached the southern extremity of the Straits of Le Maire, when our flattering hopes were almost instantly changed to the apprehension of immediate destruction.  Even before the sternmost ships of the squadron were clear of the straits, the serenity of the sky was suddenly obscured, and we observed all the presages of an impending storm.  The wind presently shifted to the southward, and blew in such violent squalls that we had to hand our top-sails and reef our main-sail; while the tide, which had hitherto favoured us, turned furiously adverse, and drove us to the eastward with prodigious rapidity, so that we were in great anxiety for the Wager and Anna pink, the two sternmost vessels, fearing they might be dashed to pieces upon the shore of Staten Land; nor were our apprehensions without foundation, as they weathered that coast with the utmost difficulty.  Instead of pursuing our intended course to the S.W. the whole squadron was now drifted to the eastward, by the united force of the storm and current; so that next morning we found ourselves nearly seven leagues eastward of the straits, which then bore from us N.W.

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