A Voyage to the South Sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 274 pages of information about A Voyage to the South Sea.

At eight o’clock in the evening we once more launched into the open ocean.  Miserable as our situation was in every respect I was secretly surprised to see that it did not appear to affect anyone so strongly as myself; on the contrary it seemed as if they had embarked on a voyage to Timor in a vessel sufficiently calculated for safety and convenience.  So much confidence gave me great pleasure and I may venture to assert that to this cause our preservation is chiefly to be attributed.

I encouraged everyone with hopes that eight or ten days would bring us to a land of safety; and, after praying to God for a continuance of his most gracious protection, I served an allowance of water for supper and directed our course to the west-south-west to counteract the southerly winds in case they should blow strong.

We had been just six days on the coast of New Holland in the course of which we found oysters, a few clams, some birds, and water.  But perhaps a benefit nearly equal to this we received by having been relieved from the fatigue of being constantly in the boat and enjoying good rest at night.  These advantages certainly preserved our lives and, small as the supply was, I am very sensible how much it alleviated our distresses.  By this time nature must have sunk under the extremes of hunger and fatigue.  Some would have ceased to struggle for a life that only promised wretchedness and misery; and others, though possessed of more bodily strength, must soon have followed their unfortunate companions.  Even in our present situation we were most deplorable objects; but the hopes of a speedy relief kept up our spirits.  For my own part, incredible as it may appear, I felt neither extreme hunger nor thirst.  My allowance contented me, knowing that I could have no more.

Thursday 4.

I served one 25th of a pound of bread and an allowance of water for breakfast and the same for dinner with an addition of six oysters to each person.  At noon latitude observed 10 degrees 48 minutes south; course since yesterday noon south 81 degrees west, distance 111 miles; longitude by account from Shoal Cape 1 degree 45 minutes west.  A strong tradewind at east-south-east with fair weather.

This day we saw a number of water-snakes that were ringed yellow and black, and towards noon we passed a great deal of rock-weed.  Though the weather was fair we were constantly shipping water, which kept two men always employed to bale the boat.

Friday 5.

At noon I observed in latitude 10 degrees 45 minutes south; our course since yesterday west one quarter north, 108 miles; longitude made 3 degrees 35 minutes west.  Six oysters were, as yesterday, served to each man, in addition to the usual allowance of bread and water.

In the evening a few boobies came about us, one of which I caught with my hand.  The blood was divided among three of the men who were weakest, but the bird I ordered to be kept for our dinner the next day.  Served a quarter of a pint of water for supper, and to some who were most in need half a pint.  In the course of the night, being constantly wet with the sea, we suffered much cold and shiverings.

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A Voyage to the South Sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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