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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.
despight of the storm, which blew upon the beam:  And now the sea broke most surprisingly all round us, and a large tumbling swell threatened to poop us; the long-boat, which was at this time moored a-stern, was on a sudden canted so high, that it broke the transom of the commodore’s gallery, whose cabin was on the quarter-deck, and would doubtless have risen as high as the tafferel, had it not been for this stroke which stove the boat all to pieces; but the poor boat-keeper, though extremely bruised, was saved almost by miracle.  About eight the tide slackened, but the wind did not abate; so that at eleven, the best bower-cable, by which alone we rode, parted.  Our sheet-anchor, which was the only one we had left, was instantly cut from the bow; but before it could reach the bottom, we were driven from twenty-two into thirty-five fathom; and after we had veered away one whole cable, and two-thirds of another, we could not find ground with sixty fathom of line:  This was a plain indication, that the anchor lay near the edge of the bank, and could not hold us.  In this pressing danger, Mr Sanmarez, our first lieutenant, who now commanded on board, ordered several guns to be fired, and lights to be shown, as a signal to the commodore of our distress; and in a short time after, it being then about one o’clock, and the night excessively dark, a strong gust, attended with rain and lightning, drove us off the bank, and forced us out to sea, leaving behind us, on the island, Mr Anson, with many more of our officers, and great part of our crew, amounting in the whole to an hundred and thirteen persons.  Thus were we all, both at sea and on shore, reduced to the utmost despair by this catastrophe, those on shore conceiving they had no means left them ever to leave the island, and we on board utterly unprepared to struggle with the fury of the seas and winds we were now exposed to, and expecting each moment, to be our last.

SECTION XXVI.

Transactions at Tinian after the Departure of the Centurion.

The storm, which drove the Centurion to sea, blew with too much turbulence to permit either the commodore or any of the people on shore bearing the guns, which she fired as signals of distress; and the frequent glare of the lightning had prevented the explosions from being observed:  So that, when at day-break, it was perceived from the shore that the ship was missing, there was the utmost consternation amongst them:  For much the greatest part of them immediately concluded that she, was lost, and entreated the commodore that the boat might be sent round the island to look for the wreck; and those who believed her safe, had scarcely any expectation that she would ever be able to make the island again:  For the wind continued to blow strong at east, and they knew how poorly she was manned and provided for struggling with so tempestuous a gale.  And if the Centurion was lost, or should

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