[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.]
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.