A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 661 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.
    the authority of a Lieutenant Chwostoff, who heard of it from the
    Japanese, when he visited the northern coast of Jesso in 1806 and
    1807.  But as no particulars are mentioned, and as, indeed, the thing
    is somewhat unlikely, one may be allowed to call in question the truth
    of the report.  The Russians then, like, the Spaniards, Portugueze,
    English, and Americans, have utterly failed in establishing any
    commercial intercourse with Japan; and the Dutch alone, of any of the
    European nations, have continued, by virtue of their bowing
    propensities
, &c., to profit by a direct connection with it.—­E.

SECTION VIII.

Plan of our future Proceedings.—­Course to the Southward, alone the Coast of Kamtschatka.—­Cape Lopatka.—­Pass the Islands Shoomska and Paramousir.—­ Driven to the Eastward of the Kuriles.—­Singular Situation with respect to the pretended Discoveries of former Navigators.—­Fruitless Attempts to reach the Islands North of Japan.—­Geographical Conclusions.—­View of the Coast of Japan.—­Run along the East Side.—­Pass two Japanese Vessels.—­ Driven off the Coast by contrary Winds.—­Extraordinary Effect of Currents.—­Steer for the Bashees.—­Pass large Quantities of Pumice Stone.—­ Discover Sulphur Island.—­Pass the Pratas.—­Isles of Lema, and Ladrone Island.—­Chinese Pilot taken on board the Resolution.—­Journals of the Officers and Men secured.[92]

Our instructions from the Board of Admiralty having left a discretionary power with the commanding-officer of the expedition, in case of failure in the search of a passage from the Pacific into the Atlantic Ocean, to return to England, by whatever route he should think best for the farther improvement of geography, Captain Gore demanded of the principal officers their sentiments, in writing, respecting the manner in which these orders might most effectually be obeyed.  The result of our opinions, which he had the satisfaction to find unanimous, and entirely coinciding with his own, was, that the condition of the ships, of the sails, and cordage, made it unsafe to attempt, at so advanced a season of the year, to navigate the sea between Japan and Asia; which would otherwise have afforded the largest field for discovery; that it was therefore adviseable to keep to the eastward of that island, and in our way thither to run along the Kuriles, and examine more particularly the islands that lie nearest the northern coast of Japan, which are represented as of a considerable size, and independent of the Russian and Japanese governments.  Should we be so fortunate as to find in these any safe and commodious harbours, we conceived they might be of importance, either as places of shelter for any future navigators, who may be employed in exploring the seas, or as the means of opening a commercial intercourse among the neighbouring dominions of the two empires.  Our next object was to survey the coast of the Japanese Islands, and afterward to make the coast of China, as far to the northward as we were able, and run along it to Macao.

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