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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 787 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.

The next morning being calm, we rowed out, but as soon as clear of the island, we found a great swell from the westward; we rowed to the bottom of a very large bay which was to the northward of us, the land very low, and we were in hopes of finding some inlet through, but did not, so kept along shore to the westward.  This part, which I take to be above fifty leagues from Wager Island, is the very bottom of the large bay it lies in.  Here was the only passage to be found, which, if we could by any means have got information of it, would have saved us much fruitless labour.  Of this passage I shall have occasion to say more hereafter.

Having at this time an off-shore wind, we kept the wind close on board till we came to a head-land:  it was near night before we got abreast of the head-land, and opening it discovered a very large bay to the northward, and another head-land to the westward, at a great distance.  We endeavoured to cut short our passage to it by crossing, which is very seldom to be effected in these overgrown seas by boats; and this we experienced now, for the wind springing up, and beginning to blow fresh, we were obliged to put back towards the first head-land, into a small cove, just big enough to shelter the two boats.  Here an accident happened that alarmed us much.  After securing our boats, we climbed up a rock scarcely large enough to contain our numbers:  having nothing to eat, we betook ourselves to our usual receipt for hunger, which was going to sleep.  We accordingly made a fire, and stowed ourselves round it as well as we could, but two of our men being incommoded for want of room, went a little way from us into a small nook, over which a great cliff hung, and served them for a canopy.

In the middle of the night we were awakened with a terrible rambling, which we apprehended to be nothing less than the shock of an earthquake, which we had before experienced in these parts; and this conjecture we had reason to think not ill founded, upon hearing hollow groans and cries as of men half swallowed up.  We immediately got up, and ran to the place from whence the cries came, and then we were put out of all doubt as to the opinion we had formed of this accident, for here we found the two men almost buried under loose stones and earth; but upon a little farther enquiry, we were undeceived as to the cause we had imputed this noise to, which we found to be occasioned by the sudden giving way of the impending cliff, which fell a little beyond our people, carrying trees and rocks with it and loose earth, the latter of which fell in part on our men, whom we with some pains rescued from their uneasy situation, from which they escaped with some bruises.

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