Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.
we expected every day to be relieved, by falling in with the eastern trade-wind:  But as our hopes were so long baffled, and our patience quite exhausted, we began at length to despair of succeeding in the great purpose we had in view, that of intercepting the Manilla galleon; and this produced a general dejection amongst us, as we had at first considered this project as almost infallible, and had indulged ourselves in the most boundless hopes of the advantages we should thence receive.  However, our despondency was at last somewhat alleviated, by a favourable change of the wind; for, on the 9th of January, a gale for the first time sprang up from the N.E., and on this we took the Carmelo in tow, as the Gloucester did the Carmin, making all the sail we could to improve the advantage, for we still suspected that it was only a temporary gale, which would not last long; but the next day we had the satisfaction to find, that the wind did not only continue in the same quarter, but blew with so much briskness and steadiness, that we now no longer doubted of its being the true trade-wind.  And as we advanced apace towards our station, our hopes began to revive, and our despair by degrees gave place to pleasing prejudices:  For though the customary season of the arrival of the galleon at Acapulco was already elapsed, yet we were unreasonable enough to flatter ourselves, that some accidental delay might lengthen her passage beyond its usual limits.

When we got into the trade-wind, we found no alteration in it till the 17th of January, when we were advanced to the latitude of 12 deg.50’, but on that day it shifted to the westward of the north:  This change we imputed to our having haled up too soon, though we then esteemed ourselves full seventy leagues from the coast, which plainly shows, that the trade-wind doth not take place, but at a considerable distance from the continent.  After this, the wind was not so favourable to us as it had been:  However, we still continued to advance, and, on the 26th of January, being then to the northward of Acapulco, we tacked and stood to the eastward, with a view of making the land.

In the preceding fortnight we caught some turtle on the surface of the water, and several dolphins, bonitos, and albicores.  One day, as one of the sail-makers mates was fishing from the end of the gib-boom, he lost his hold, and dropped into the sea; and the ship, which was then going at the rate of six or seven knots, went directly over him:  But as we had the Carmelo in tow, we instantly called out to the people on board her, who threw him over several ends of ropes, one of which he fortunately caught hold of, and twisting it round his arm, was hauled into the ship, without having received any other injury than a wrench in his arm, of which he soon recovered.

Follow Us on Facebook