A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 658 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.

The Discovery being at some distance a-stern, I brought-to till she came up, and then bore away, steering north-west; in which direction I supposed the coast to lie.  The wind was at south-east, blew very hard, and in squalls, with thick hazy weather.  At half-past one in the afternoon, it blew a perfect hurricane; so that I judged it highly dangerous to run any longer before it, and therefore brought the ships to, with their heads to the southward, under the foresails and mizen-stay-sails.  At this time the Resolution sprung a leak, which, at first, alarmed us not a little.  It was found to be under the starboard buttock; where, from the bread-room, we could both hear and see the water rush in; and, as we then thought, two feet under water.  But in this we were happily mistaken; for it was afterward found to be even with the water-line, if not above it, when the ship was upright.  It was no sooner discovered, than the fish-room was found to be full of water, and the casks in it afloat; but this was, in a great measure, owing to the water not finding its way to the pumps through the coals that lay in the bottom of the room.  For, after the water was baled out, which employed us till midnight, and had found its way directly from the leak to the pumps, it appeared that one pump kept it under, which gave us no small satisfaction.  In the evening, the wind veered to the south, and its fury, in some degree, ceased.  On this we set the main-sail, and two topsails close-reefed, and stretched to the westward.  But at eleven o’clock the gale again increased, and obliged us to take in the topsails, till five o’clock the next morning, when the storm began to abate, so that we could bear to set them again.

The weather now began to clear up, and being able to see several leagues round us, I steered more to the northward.  At noon, the latitude, by observation, was 50 deg. 1’; longitude 229 deg. 26’.[1] I now steered N.W. by N., with a fresh gale at S.S.E. and fair weather.  But at nine in the evening, it began again to blow hard, and in squalls, with rain.  With such weather, and the wind between S.S.E. and S.W.  I continued the same course till the 30th, at four in the morning, when I steered N. by W. in order to make the land.  I regretted very much indeed that I could not do it sooner; for this obvious reason, that we were now passing the place where geographers[2] have placed the pretended strait of Admiral de Fonte.  For my own part, I give no credit to such vague and improbable stories, that carry their own confutation along with them.  Nevertheless, I was very desirous of keeping the American coast aboard, in order to clear up this point beyond dispute.  But it would have been highly imprudent in me to have engaged with the land in weather so exceedingly tempestuous, or to have lost the advantage of a fair wind by waiting for better weather.  This same day, at noon, we were in the latitude of 53 deg. 22’, and in the longitude of 225 deg. 14’.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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