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.

At eight in the evening, the island of St Hermogenes extended from S. 1/2 E. to S.S.E. 1/4 E., and the rocks that lie on the N. side of it bore S.E., three miles distant.  In this situation, we had forty fathoms water over a bottom of sand and shells.  Soon after, on putting over hooks and lines, we caught several halibut.

At midnight, being past the rocks, we bore up to the southward, and, at noon, St Hermogenes bore N., four leagues distant.  At this time, the southernmost point of the main land, within or to the westward of St Hermogenes, lay N. 1/2 W., distant five leagues.  This promontory, which is situated in the latitude of 58 deg. 15’, and in the longitude of 207 deg. 24’, was named, after the day, Cape Whitsunday.  A large bay, which lies to the W. of it, obtained the name of Whitsuntide Bay.  The land on the E. side of this bay, of which Cape Whitsunday is the most southern point, and Point Banks the northern one, is, in all respects, like the island of St Hermogenes, seemingly destitute of wood, and partly free from snow.  It was supposed to be covered with a mossy substance, that gave it a brownish cast.  There were some reasons to think it was an island.  If this be so, the last-mentioned bay is only the strait or passage that separates it from the main land.[1]

[Footnote 1:  Such seems to be the opinion of Arrowsmith, as indicated by his map of America, 1804.  That map, however, is far from being minute or satisfactory as to this part of the voyage.  The chart of the Russian and English discoveries, which Mr Coxe has inserted in his work so often alluded to, is perhaps a better guide.  But indeed both are faulty.  The reader need not be informed that the geography of this region is still very imperfect.—­E.]

Between one and two in the afternoon, the wind, which had been at N.E., shifted at once to the southward.  It was unsettled till six, when it fixed at S., which was the very direction of our course, so that we were obliged to ply up the coast.  The weather was gloomy, and the air dry, but cold.  We stood to the eastward till midnight, then tacked, and stood in for the land; and, between seven and eight in the morning of the 8th, we were within four miles of it, and not more than half a league from some sunken rocks, which bore W.S.W.  In this situation we tacked in thirty-five fathoms water, the island of St Hermogenes bearing N. 20 deg.  E., and the southernmost land in sight, S.

In standing in for this coast, we crossed the mouth of Whitsuntide Bay, and saw land all round the bottom of it, so that either the land is connected, or else the points lock in, one behind another.  I am more inclined to think, that the former is the case, and that the land, east of the bay, is a part of the continent.  Some small islands lie on the west of the bay.  The sea-coast to the southward of it is rather low, with projecting rocky points, between which are small bays or inlets.  There was no

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