Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific.
ordinarily keep upon the rocks.  We also saw several foxes of the species called Virginia fox:  they were shy and yet fierce, barking like dogs and then flying precipitately.  Penguins are also numerous on the Falkland Isles.  These birds have a fine plumage, and resemble the loon:  but they do not fly, having only little stumps of wings which they use to help themselves in waddling along.  The rocks were covered with them.  It being their sitting season we found them on their nests, from which they would not stir.  They are not wild or timid:  far from flying at our approach, they attacked us with their bill, which is very sharp, and with their short wings.  The flesh of the penguin is black and leathery, with a strong fishy taste, and one must be very hungry to make up one’s mind to eat it.  We got a great quantity of eggs by dislodging them from their nests.

As the French and English had both attempted to form establishments on these rocks, we endeavored to find some vestige of them; the tracks which we met everywhere made us hope to find goats also:  but all our researches were vain:  all that we discovered was an old fishing cabin, constructed of whale bone, and some seal-skin moccasins; for these rocks offer not a single tree to the view, and are frequented solely by the vessels which pursue the whale fishery in the southern seas.  We found, however, two head-boards with inscriptions in English, marking the spot where two men had been interred:  as the letters were nearly obliterated, we carved new ones on fresh pieces of board procured from the ship.  This pious attention to two dead men nearly proved fatal to a greater number of the living; for all the casks having been filled and sent on board, the captain gave orders to re-embark, and without troubling himself to inquire if this order had been executed or not, caused the anchor to be weighed on the morning of the 11th, while I and some of my companions were engaged in erecting the inscriptions of which I have spoken, others were cutting grass for the hogs, and Messrs M’Dougall and D. Stuart had gone to the south side of the isle to look for game.  The roaring of the sea against the rock-bound shore prevented them from hearing the gun, and they did not rejoin us till the vessel was already at sea.  We then lost no time, but pushed off, being eight in number, with our little boat, only twenty feet keel.  We rowed with all our might, but gained nothing upon the vessel.  We were losing sight of the islands at last, and our case seemed desperate.  While we paused, and were debating what course to pursue, as we had no compass, we observed the ship tacking and standing toward us.  In fine after rowing for three hours and a half, in an excited state of feeling not easily described, we succeeded in regaining the vessel, and were taken on board at about three o’clock P.M.

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Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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