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.
course for Quibo, and, on the 22d in the morning, saw the island of Plata bearing east, distant four leagues.  One of our prizes, which was ordered to stand close in, both to discover if there were any ships between that island and the continent, and likewise to look out for a stream of fresh water reported to be there, returned without having seen any ship, or finding any water.  At three in the afternoon point Manta bore S.E. by E. seven miles distant; and there being a town of the same name in the neighbourhood, Captain Mitchell took this opportunity of sending away several of his prisoners from the Gloucester in the Spanish launch.  The boats were now daily employed in distributing provisions on board the Tryal and other prizes, to complete their stock for six months; and, that the Centurion might be the better prepared to give the Manilla ship (one of which we were told was of immense size) a warm reception, the carpenters were ordered to fix eight stocks in the main and fore-tops for the mounting of swivel guns.

On the 25th we had a sight of the island of Gallo, bearing E.S.E. 1/2 E. four leagues distant; from hence we crossed the bay of Panama with a N.W. course, hoping that this would have carried us in a direct line to the island of Quibo.  But we afterwards found that wrought to have stood more to the westward, for the winds in a short time began to incline to that quarter, and made it difficult for us to gain the island.  And now, after passing the equinoctial on the 22d, leaving the neighbourhood of the Cordilleras, and standing more and more towards the isthmus, where the communication of the atmosphere to the eastward and the westward was no longer interrupted, we found, in a few days, an extraordinary alteration in the climate.  Instead of uniform temperature, we had, for several days together, close and sultry weather, resembling what we had met with between the tropics on the eastern side of America.  We had besides frequent calms and heavy rains, which we at first ascribed to the neighbourhood of the line, where this kind of weather is found to prevail; but, observing that it attended us to the latitude of seven degrees north, we were induced to believe that the stormy season, or, as the Spaniards call it, the Vandevals, was not yet over; though many positively assert, that it begins in June, and is ended November.

On the 27th Captain Mitchel’s largest prize being cleared, was scuttled, and set on fire, and as the remaining five ships were all good sailers, so we never occasioned any delay to each other.  Being now in a rainy climate, which we had been long disused to, we found it necessary to caulk the decks and sides of the Centurion, to prevent the rain-water from running into her.

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