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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 768 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.

At two in the afternoon, the wind veered to the S.W., and S.W. by S., which reduced us to the necessity of plying.  I first stretched over to within two miles of the eastern, shore, and tacked in fifty-three fathoms water.  In standing back to Montagu Island, we discovered a ledge of rocks, some above, and others under water, lying three miles to the north of the northern point of Green Islands.  Afterward, some others were seen in the middle of the channel farther out than the islands.  These rocks made unsafe plying in the night (though not very dark); and, for that reason, we spent it standing off and on, under Montagu Island; for the depth of water was too great to come to an anchor.

At day-break, the next morning, the wind came more favourable, and we steered for the channel between Montagu Island and the Green Islands, which is between two and three leagues broad, and from thirty-four to seventeen fathoms deep.  We had but little wind all the day, and, at eight o’clock in the evening, it was a dead calm, when we anchored in twenty-one fathoms water, over a muddy bottom, about two miles from the shore of Montagu’s Island.  The calm continued till ten o’clock the next morning, when, it was succeeded by a small breeze from the north, with which we weighed; and, by six o’clock in the evening, we were again in the open sea, and found the coast trending west by south, as far as the eye could reach.


The Inlet called Prince William’s Sound.—­Its Extent.—­Persons of the Inhabitants described.—­Their Dress.—­Incision of the Under-lip.—­Various other Ornaments.—­Their Boats.—­Weapons, fishing, and hunting Instruments.—­Utensils.—­Tools.—­Uses Iron is applied to.—­Food.—­Language, and a Specimen of it.—­Animals.—­Birds.—­Fish.—­Iron and Beads, whence received.

To the inlet, which we had now left, I gave the name of Prince William’s Sound.  To judge of this Sound from what we saw of it, it occupies, at least, a degree and a half of latitude, and two of longitude, exclusive of the arms or branches, the extent of which is not known.

The natives, who came to make us several visits while we were in the Sound, were generally not above the common height, though many of them were under it.  They were square, or strongly-chested, and the most disproportioned part of their body seemed to be their heads, which were very large, with thick, short necks, and large, broad or spreading faces, which, upon the whole, were flat.  Their eyes, though not small, scarcely bore a proportion to the size of their faces; and their noses had full, round points, hooked, or turned up at the tip.  Their teeth were broad, white, equal in size, and evenly set.  Their hair was black, thick, straight, and strong, and their beards, in general, thin, or wanting; but the hairs about the lips of those who have them, were stiff or bristly, and frequently of a brown colour.  And several of the elderly men had even large and thick, but straight beards.

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