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.
this is the chief use for which they kill the animals; for the sea and the rivers seem to supply them with their principal articles of food.  It would, probably, be much otherwise, were they once habituated to a constant trade with foreigners.  This intercourse would increase their wants, by introducing them to an acquaintance with new luxuries; and, in order to be enabled to purchase these, they would be more assiduous in procuring skins, which they would soon discover to be the commodity most sought for; and a plentiful supply of which, I make no doubt, would be had in the country.

It will appear, from what has been said occasionally of the tide, that it is considerable in this river, and contributes very much to facilitate the navigation of it.  It is high-water in the stream, on the days of the new and full moon, between two and three o’clock; and the tide rises, upon a perpendicular, between three and four fathoms.  The reason of the tide’s being greater here than at other parts of this coast, is easily accounted for.  The mouth of the river being situated in a corner of the coast, the flood that comes from the ocean is forced into it by both shores, and by that means swells the tide to a great height.

The variation of the compass was 25 deg. 40’ E.


Discoveries after leaving Cook’s River.—­Island of St Hermogenes.—­Cape Whitsunday.—­Cape Greville.—­Cape Barnabas.—­Two-headed Point.—­Trinity Island.—­Beering’s Foggy Island.—­A beautiful Bird described.—­Kodiak and the Schumagin Islands.—­A Russian Letter brought on Board by a Native.—­Conjectures about it.—­Rock Point.—­Halibut Island.—­A Volcano Mountain.—­Providential Escape.—­Arrival of the Ships at Oonalaschka.—­Intercourse with the Natives there.—­Another Russian Letter.—­Samganoodha Harbour described.

As soon as the ebb tide made in our favour, we weighed, and, with a light breeze, between W.S.W., and S.S.W., plied down the river, till the flood obliged us to anchor again.  At length, about one o’clock next morning, a fresh breeze sprung up at W., with which we got under sail, and, at eight, passed the Barren Islands, and stretched away for Cape St Hermogenes.  At noon, this cape bore S.S.E., eight leagues distant; and the passage between the island of that name, and the main land, bore S. For this passage I steered, intending to go through it.  But soon after the wind failed us, and we had baffling light airs from the eastward, so that I gave up my design of carrying the ships between the island and the main.

At this time we saw several columns of smoke on the coast of the continent, to the northward of the passage; and, most probably, they were meant as signals to attract us thither.  Here the land forms a bay, or perhaps a harbour, off the N.W. point of which lies a low, rocky island.  There are also some other islands of the same appearance, scattered along the coast, between this place and Point Banks.

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