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.

[Footnote 4:  Only 67 deg. 40’ W. from Greenwich.—­E.]

[Footnote 5:  The Straits of Le Maire are in long. 65 deg. 30’ W. so that the difference is 2 deg. 10’.]

[Footnote 6:  Some farther critical observations on the geographical positions, as laid down by Frezier, Sir John Narborough, and Dr Halley, are here omitted, as tending to no use or information; these things having been since ascertained with much more accuracy.—­E.]

SECTION X.

Course from Cape Noir to the Island of Juan Fernandez.

After the mortifying disappointment of falling in with the coast of Terra del Fuego, at Cape Noir, when we reckoned ourselves ten degrees to the westward of it, as formerly mentioned to have happened on the 14th of April, we stood away to the S.W. till the 22d of that month, when we were in upwards of 60 deg.  S. and, by our reckoning, 6 deg. westwards of Cape Noir.  In this run, we had a series of as favourable weather as could well be expected in that part of the world, even in a better season of the year; so that this interval, setting aside our disquietudes on various accounts, was by far the most eligible of any we had enjoyed since passing the Straits of Le Maire.  This moderate weather continued, with little variation, till the evening of the 24th, when the wind began to blow fresh, and soon increased to a prodigious storm.  About midnight, the weather being very thick, we lost sight of the other ships of the squadron, which had hitherto kept us company, notwithstanding the violence of the preceding storms.  Neither was this our sole misfortune, for next morning, while endeavouring to hand the top-sails, the clew-lines and bunt-lines broke, and the sheets being half flown, every seam in the top-sails was soon split from top to bottom.  The main top-sail shook so violently in the wind, that it carried away the top lanthorn, and even endangered the head of the mast.  At length, however, some of the boldest of our men ventured upon the yard, and cut the sail away close to the reefs, with the utmost hazard of their lives.  At the same time, the fore top-sail beat about the yard with so much fury, that it was soon blown to pieces.  The main-sail also blew loose, which obliged us to lower down the yard to secure the sail; and the fore-yard also being lowered, we lay-to under a mizen.  In this storm, besides the loss of our top-sails, we had much of our rigging broken, and lost a main studding-sail boom out of the chains.

The weather became more moderate on the 25th at noon, which enabled us to sway up our yards, and to repair our shattered rigging in the best manner we could; but still we had no sight of the rest of our squadron, neither did any of them rejoin us till after our arrival at Juan Fernandez; nor, as we afterwards learnt, did any two of them continue in company together.  This total, and almost instantaneous separation was

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