Anson's Voyage Round the World eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about Anson's Voyage Round the World.
to inspire.  These joyous ideas were heightened by the brightness of the sky and the serenity of the weather, which was indeed most remarkably pleasing; for though the winter was now advancing apace, yet the morning of this day, in its brilliancy and mildness, gave place to none we had seen since our departure from England.  Thus animated by these delusions, we traversed these memorable Straits, ignorant of the dreadful calamities that were then impending, and just ready to break upon us; ignorant that the time drew near when the squadron would be separated never to unite again, and that this day of our passage was the last cheerful day that the greatest part of us would ever live to enjoy.

(Note.  The Equator is the zero (0 degrees) of latitude.  The latitude becomes higher as one proceeds to the poles (90 degrees).)


We had scarcely reached the southern extremity of the straits of le Maire, when our flattering hopes were instantly lost in the apprehensions of immediate destruction.  For before the sternmost ships of the squadron were clear of the Straits, the serenity of the sky was suddenly changed, and gave us all the presages of an impending storm; and immediately the wind shifted to the southward, and blew in such violent squalls that we were obliged to hand our topsails and reef our mainsail.  The tide, too, which had hitherto favoured us, now turned against us and drove us to the eastward with prodigious rapidity, so that we were in great anxiety for the Wager and the Anna pink, the two sternmost vessels, fearing they would be dashed to pieces against the shore of Staten Land.  Nor were our apprehensions without foundation, for it was with the utmost difficulty they escaped.  And now the whole squadron, instead of pursuing their intended course to the south-west, were driven to the eastward by the united force of the storm and of the currents; so that next day in the morning we found ourselves near seven leagues to the eastward of Staten Land.  The violence of the current, which had set us with so much precipitation to the eastward, together with the force and constancy of the westerly winds, soon taught us to consider the doubling of Cape Horn as an enterprise that might prove too mighty for our efforts, though some amongst us had lately treated the difficulties which former voyagers were said to have met with in this undertaking as little better than chimerical, and had supposed them to arise rather from timidity and unskilfulness than from the real embarrassments of the winds and seas.  But we were severely convinced that these censures were rash and ill-grounded, for the distresses with which we struggled during the three succeeding months will not easily be paralleled in the relation of any former naval expedition.

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Anson's Voyage Round the World from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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