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.
not then that there were any others which we could reach.  In the evening the boat came back, and the crew informed us that there was no place for a ship to anchor, the bottom being every where foul ground, and all, except one small spot, not less than fifty fathom in depth; that on that spot there was thirty fathom, though not above half a mile from the shore; and that the bank was steep, and could not be depended on:  They farther told us, that they had landed on the island, but with some difficulty, on account of the greatness of the swell; that they found the ground was every where covered with a kind of cane, or rush; but that they met with no water, and did not believe the place to be inhabited; though the soil was good, and abounded with groves of cocoa-nut trees.

This account of the impossibility of anchoring at this island, occasioned a general melancholy on board; for we considered it as little less than the prelude to our destruction; and our despondency was increased by a disappointment we met with the succeeding night; for, as we were plying under top-sails, with an intention of getting nearer to the island, and of sending our boat on shore to load with cocoa-nuts for the refreshment of our sick, the wind proved squally, and blew so strong off shore, as to drive us so far to the southward, that we dared not to send off our boat.  And now the only possible circumstance, that could secure the few that remained alive from perishing, was the accidental falling in with some other of the Ladrone islands, better prepared for our accommodation; and as our knowledge of these islands was extremely imperfect, we were to trust entirely to chance for our guidance; only as they are all of them usually laid down near the same meridian, and we had conceived those we had already seen to be part of them, we concluded to stand to the southward, as the most probable means of falling in with the next.  Thus, with the most gloomy persuasion of our approaching destruction, we stood from the island of Anatacon, having all of us the strongest apprehensions (and those not ill founded) either of dying of the scurvy, or of perishing with the ship, which, for want of hands to work her pumps, might in a short time be expected to founder.


Our Arrival at Tinian, and an Account of the Island, and of our Proceedings there, till the Centurion drove out to Sea.

It was the 26th of August, 1742, in the morning, when we lost sight of Anatacan.  The next morning we discovered three other islands to the eastward, which were from ten to fourteen leagues from us.  These were, as we afterwards learnt, the islands of Saypan, Tinian, and Aguigan.  We immediately steered towards Tinian, which was the middlemost of the three, but had so much of calms and light airs, that though we were helped forwards by the currents, yet next day, at day-break, we were at least five leagues distant

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