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.
calm, and a current driving us toward the shore, we found it necessary to anchor in twelve fathoms water, about two miles from the coast.  Over the western extreme is an elevated peaked hill, situated in latitude 65 deg. 36’, and in longitude 192 deg. 18’.  A breeze at N.E. springing up at eight o’clock, we weighed, and stood to the S.E., in hopes of finding a passage between the coast on which we had anchored on the 6th in the evening, and this N.W. land.  But we soon got into seven fathoms water, and discovered low land connecting the two coasts, and the high land behind it.

Being now satisfied that the whole was a continued coast, I tacked, and stood away for its N.W. part, and came to an anchor under it in seventeen fathoms water.  The weather at this time was very thick with rain; but at four next morning it cleared up, so that we could see the land about us.  A high steep rock or island bore W. by S.; another island to the N. of it; and much larger, bore W. by N.; the peaked hill above mentioned S.E. by E.; and the point under it, S., 32 deg.  E. Under this hill lies some low land, stretching out towards the N.W., the extreme point of which bore N.E. by E., about three miles distant.  Over and beyond it some high land was seen, supposed to be a continuation of the continent.

This point of land, which I named Cape Prince of Wales, is the more remarkable, by being the western extremity of all America hitherto known.  It is situated in the latitude of 65 deg. 45’, and in the longitude of 191 deg. 45’.  The observations by which both were determined, though made in sight of it, were liable to some small error, on account of the haziness of the weather.  We thought we saw some people upon the coast; and probably we were not mistaken, as some elevations, like stages, and others like huts, were seen at the same place.  We saw the same things on the continent within Sledge Island, and on some other parts of the coast.

It was calm till eight o’clock in the morning, when a faint breeze at north springing up, we weighed.  But we had scarcely got our sails set, when it began to blow and rain very hard, with misty weather.  The wind and current being in contrary directions, raised such a sea that it frequently broke into the ship.  We had a few minutes sunshine at noon; and from the observation then obtained, we fixed the above-mentioned latitude.

Having plied to windward till two in the afternoon, with little effect, I bore up for the island we had seen to the westward, proposing to come to an anchor under it till the gale should cease.  But on getting to this land, we found it composed of two small islands, each not above three or four leagues in circuit, and consequently they could afford us little shelter.  Instead of anchoring, therefore, we continued to stretch to the westward; and at eight o’clock, land was seen in that direction, extending from N.N.W. to W. by S., the nearest part six leagues distant.  I stood on till ten, and then made a board to the eastward, in order to spend the night.

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