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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
of supporting us through the various difficulties and dangers, which we could not but look for in this new and arduous undertaking.  Added to all this, we were sore discouraged by the diminution in the strength of the squadron; for, three days before this, we had lost sight of the Severn and Pearl in the morning, and, though we spread our ships, and beat about for them for some time, we never saw them more; whence we apprehended that they also had fallen in with this land in the night, and being less favoured by the wind and the moon, might have perished by running on shore.  Full of these desponding thoughts and gloomy presages, we stood away to the S.W. prepared, by our late disappointment, how large an allowance soever we made in our westing for the drift of the current from the westward, that we might still find it insufficient upon a second trial.

[Footnote 1:  Cape Noir, is a small island off the western coast of Terra del Fuego, is in lat. 54 deg. 28’ S. long, 78 deg. 40’ W.—­E.]

SECTION IX.

Observations and Directions for facilitating the Passage of future Navigators round Cape Horn.

The improper season of the year in which we attempted to double Cape Horn, and to which is to be imputed the before-recited disappointment, in falling in with Terra del Fuego, when we reckoned ourselves above an hundred leagues to the westward of that coast, and consequently well advanced into the Pacific Ocean, to which we were necessitated by our too late departure from England, was the fatal source of all the misfortunes we afterwards experienced.  For, from hence proceeded the separation of our ships, the destruction of so many of our people, the ruin of our project against Baldivia, and of all our other views on the Spanish settlements, and the reduction of our squadron, from the formidable condition in which it passed the Straits of Le Maire, to a couple of shattered half-manned cruizers and a sloop, so exceedingly disabled that, in many climates, they scarcely durst have put to sea.  To prevent, therefore, as much as in me lies, the recurrence of similar calamities to all ships bound hereafter to the South Seas, I think it my duty to insert in this place such observations and directions, as either my own experience and reflection, or the conversation of the most skilful navigators on board the squadron, could furnish me with, as to the most eligible manner of doubling Cape Horn, whether in regard to the season of the year, the course proper to be steered, or the places of refreshment both on the eastern and western sides of South America.

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