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.
It abounds with small streams and brooks, the banks of which are covered with wholesome giants; and the waters which run down from the mountains, though not in the least disagreeable to the taste, or injurious to health, are so impregnated with some mineral particles, that they never corrupt.  On the east side of the bay in which the Dutch ships anchored, there are three mountains, the middlemost of which resembles the Table Mountains at the Cape of Good Hope.  Behind these there are many other mountains which rise to a prodigious height, and are generally covered by very thick mist, especially in the mornings and evenings, whence I am apt to suspect that these mountains may contain rich mines.  To give a just idea of the island in few words, it resembles in all respects the country at the Cape of Good Hope.

This author also mentions the sea-lions and seals of other writers, and adds, that there are sea-cows also of enormous size, some weighing near half a ton.  He also mentions the abundance and excellence of the fish, of which the Dutch cured many thousands during their short stay, which proved extraordinarily good, and were of great service during the rest of the voyage.  He mentions goats also on the island in abundance, but says the Dutch were unable to catch them, and at a loss how to get at their bodies when shot; but they were frightened from this sport by an unlucky accident which happened to the steward of one of the ships, soon after their arrival, who, rambling one evening in the mountains, fell suddenly from the top of a rock and was dashed to pieces.  They found here the remains of a wreck, supposed by them to have been of a Spanish ship; but it was more probably the vestiges of the Speedwell, lost a year before, and from which, by diving, some of the sailors recovered several pieces of silver plate.

Having attentively considered the advantageous situation and many conveniences of this island, Roggewein conceived the design of settling on it, as the most proper place that could be thought of for ships bound, as he was, for the Terra Australis, or southern islands, and was the more encouraged in this design by considering the fertility of the island, which could not fail to afford sufficient subsistence for six hundred families at least.  He postponed this, however, as also the settlement of Belgia Australis, or Falkland islands, till his proposed return, owing to which they never were settled.  A settlement at the latter might have afforded a proper place for ships to careen and refit at, and to procure wood and water, after the long voyage from Europe, before entering the Straits of Magellan, and Juan Fernandez would have afforded every convenience for repairing any injuries that might have been sustained in passing through these straits, or going round Cape Horn.  Whatever nation may revive and prosecute this plan, will certainly acquire in a few years as rich and profitable a commerce as is now possessed by the Spaniards with Mexico and Peru, or the Portuguese with Brazil.[6]

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