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.

The wind being northerly when we first made the island, we kept plying to windward all that day, and the ensuing night, in order to get in with the land; and, while wearing ship in the middle watch, we had a melancholy instance of the almost incredible debility of our people; for the lieutenant could muster no more than two quarter-masters and six foremast men capable of working; so that, without the assistance of the officers, servants, and boys, it might have been impossible for us to have reached the island after we got sight of it; and even with their assistance, we were two hours in trimming the sails; to so wretched a condition were we reduced, in a sixty-gun ship, which had passed the Straits of Le Maire only three months before with between four and five hundred men, most of them then in health and vigour.

In the afternoon of the 10th, we got under the lee of the island, and kept ranging along its coast at the distance of about two miles, in order to look out for the proper anchorage, which was described to be in a bay on its north side.  Being now so near the shore, we could perceive that the broken craggy precipices, which had appeared so very unpromising from a distance, were far from barren, being in most places covered by woods; and that there were every where the finest vallies interspersed between them, cloathed with a most beautiful verdure, and watered by numerous streams and cascades, every valley of any extent being provided with its own rill; and we afterwards found that the water was constantly clear, and not inferior to any we had ever met with.  The aspect of a country thus beautifully diversified would at any time have been extremely delightful; but, in our distressed situation, languishing as we were for the land and its vegetable productions, an indication constantly attending every stage of the sea-scurvy, it is scarcely credible with what eagerness and transport we viewed the shore, and with how much impatience we longed for the greens and other refreshments which were in sight.  We were particularly anxious for the water, as we had been confined to a very sparing allowance for a considerable time, and had then only five tons remaining on board.  Those only who have endured a long series of thirst, and who can readily recall the desire and agitation which even the ideas alone of springs and brooks have at that time raised in their minds, can judge of the emotion with which we viewed a large cascade of the purest water, which poured into the sea at a short distance from the ship, from a rock near a hundred feet high.  Even those of the sick who were not in the very last stage of the distemper, though they had been long confined to their hammocks, exerted their small remains of strength, and crawled up to the deck, to feast their eyes with this reviving prospect.

Project Gutenberg
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook