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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14
by Robert Kerr
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About day-break on the 26th, the wind having shifted to S.S.W., we stretched to S.E. for the hill before mentioned. It belonged to an island which at noon extended from S. 16 deg. E. to S. 7 deg. W., distant six leagues. Latitude observed 22 deg. 16' S. In the p.m. the wind freshened, and veering to S.S.E., we stretched to the east, till two a.m., on the 27th, when we tacked and stood to S.W., with hopes of weathering the island; but we fell about two miles short of our expectations, and had to tack about a mile from the east side of the island, the extremes bearing from N.W. by N. to S.W., the hill W., and some low isles, lying off the S.E. point, S. by W. These seemed to be connected with the large island by breakers. We sounded when in stays, but had no ground with a line of eighty fathoms. The skirts of this island were covered with the elevations more than once mentioned. They had much the appearance of tall pines, which occasioned my giving that name to the island. The round hill, which is on the S.W. side, is of such a height as to be seen fourteen or sixteen leagues. The island is about a mile in circuit, and situated in latitude 22 deg. 38' S., longitude 167 deg. 40' E. Having made two attempts to weather the Isle of Pines before sun-set, with no better success, than before, this determined me to stretch off till midnight. This day at noon the thermometer was at 68 deg. 3/4 which is lower than it had been since the 27th of February.

Having tacked at midnight, assisted by the currents and a fresh gale at E. S.E. and S.E., next morning at day-break we found ourselves several leagues to windward of the Isle of Pines, and bore away large, round the S.E. and S. sides. The coast from the S.E., round by the S. to the W., was strewed with sand-banks, breakers, and small low isles, most of which were covered with the same lofty trees that ornamented the borders of the greater one. We continued to range the outside of these small isles and breakers, at three-fourths of a league distance, and as we passed one, raised another, so that they seemed to form a chain extending to the isles which lie off the foreland. At noon we observed, in latitude 22 deg. 44' 36" S. the Isle of Pines extending from N by E 1/2 E. to E. by N.; and Cape Coronation N. 32 deg. 30' W distant seventeen leagues. In the afternoon, with a fine gale at east, we steered N.W. by W., along the outside of the shoals, with a view of falling in with the land a little to S.W. of the foreland. At two o'clock p.m. two low islets were seen bearing W. by S., and as they were connected by breakers, which seemed to join those on our starboard, this discovery made it necessary to haul off S.W., in order to get clear of them all. At three, more breakers appeared, extending from the low isles towards the S.E. We now hauled out close to the wind, and, in an hour and a half, were almost on board the breakers, and obliged to tack. From the mast-head they were seen to extend as far as E.S.E., and the smoothness of the sea made it probable that they extended to the north of east, and that we were in a manner surrounded by them. At this time the hill on the Isle of Pines bore N. 71 1/2 E., the foreland N. 1/4 W., and the most advanced point of land on the S.W. coast bore N.W., distant fifteen or sixteen leagues. This direction of the S.W. coast, which was rather within the parallel of the N.E., assured us that this land extended no farther to the S.W. After making a short trip to N.N.E., we stood again to the south, in expectation of having a better view of the shoals before sun-set. We gained nothing by this but the prospect of a sea strewed with shoals, which we could not clear but by returning in the track by which we came. We tacked nearly in the same place where we had tacked before, and on sounding found a bottom of fine sand. But anchoring in a strong gale, with a chain of breakers to leeward, being the last resource, I rather chose to spend the night in making short boards over that space we had, in some measure, made ourselves acquainted with in the day: And thus it was spent, but under the terrible apprehension, every moment, of falling on some of the many dangers which surrounded us.

Day-light shewed that our fears were not ill-founded, and that we had been in the most imminent danger; having had breakers continually under our lee, and at a very little distance from us. We owed our safety to the interposition of Providence, a good look-out, and the very brisk manner in which the ship was managed; for, as we were standing to the north, the people on the lee-gangway and forecastle saw breakers under the lee-bow, which we escaped by quickly tacking the ship.

I was now almost tired of a coast which I could no longer explore, but at the risk of losing the ship, and ruining the whole voyage. I was, however, determined not to leave it, till I knew what trees those were which had been the subject of our speculation; especially as they appeared to be of a sort useful to shipping, and had not been seen any where but in the southern part of this land. With this view, after making a trip to the south, to weather the shoals under our lee, we stood to the north, in hopes of finding anchorage under some of the islets on which these trees grow. We were stopped by eight o'clock by the shoals which lie extended between the Isle of Pines and Queen Charlotte's Foreland; and found soundings off them in fifty-five, forty, and thirty-six fathoms, a fine sandy bottom. The nearer we came to these shoals, the more we saw of them, and we were not able to say if there was any passage between the two lands.

Being now but a few miles to windward of the low isles lying off the Foreland, mentioned on the 25th and 26th, I bore down to the one next to us. As we drew near it, I perceived that it was unconnected with the neighbouring shoals, and that it is probable we might get to an anchor under its lee or west side. We therefore stood on, being conducted by an officer at the mast-head; and after hauling round the point of the reef which surrounds the isle, we attempted to ply to windward, in order to get nearer the shore. Another reef to the north confined us to a narrow channel, through which ran a current against us, that rendered this attempt fruitless; so that we were obliged to anchor in thirty-nine fathoms water, the bottom fine coral sand; the isle bearing W. by N. one mile distant. As soon as this was done, we hoisted out a boat, in which I went on ashore, accompanied by the botanists. We found the tall trees to be a kind of spruce pine, very proper for spars, of which we were in want. After making this discovery, I hastened on board in order to have more time after dinner, when I landed again with two boats, accompanied by several of the officers and gentlemen, having with us the carpenter and some of his crew, to cut down such trees as were wanting. While this was doing I took the bearings of several lands round. The hill on the Isle of Pines bore S. 59 30' E; the low point of Queen Charlotte's Foreland N. 14 deg. 30' W.; the high land over it, seen over two low isles, N. 20 deg. W.; and the most advanced point of land to the west, bore west, half a point south, distant six or seven leagues. We had, from several bearings, ascertained the true direction of the coast from the foreland to this point, which I shall distinguish by the name of Prince of Wales's Foreland. It is situated in the latitude of 22 deg. 29' S., longitude 166 deg. 57' E., is of considerable height, and, when it first appears above the horizon, looks like an island. From this cape, the coast trended nearly N.W. This was rather too northerly a direction to join that part which we saw from the hills of Balade. But as it was very high land which opened off the cape in that direction, it is very probable that lower land, which we could not see, opened sooner; or else the coast more to the N.W. takes a more westerly direction, in the same manner as the N.E. coast. Be this as it may, we pretty well know the extent of the land, by having it confined within certain limits. However, I still entertained hopes of seeing more of it, but was disappointed.

The little isle upon which we landed, is a mere sandbank, not exceeding three-fourths of a mile in circuit, and on it, besides these pines, grew the Etoa-tree of Otaheite, and a variety of other trees, shrubs, and plants. These gave sufficient employment to our botanists, all the time we stayed upon it, and occasioned my calling it Botany Isle. On it were several water-snakes, some pigeons, and doves, seemingly different from any we had seen. One of the officers shot a hawk, which proved to be of the very same sort as our English fishing-hawks. Several fire-places, branches, and leaves very little decayed, remains of turtle, &c. shewed that people had lately been on the isle. The hull of a canoe, precisely of the same shape as those we had seen at Balade, lay wrecked in the sand. We were now no longer at a loss to know of what trees they make their canoes, as they can be no other than these pines. On this little isle were some which measured twenty inches diameter, and between sixty and seventy feet in length, and would have done very well for a foremast to the Resolution, had one been wanting. Since trees of this size are to be found on so small a spot, it is reasonable to expect to find some much larger on the main, and larger isles; and, if appearances did not deceive us, we can assert it.

If I except New Zealand, I, at this time, knew of no island in the South Pacific Ocean, where a ship could supply herself with a mast or yard, were she ever so much distressed for want of one. Thus far the discovery is or may be valuable. My carpenter, who was a mast-maker as well as a ship- wright, two trades he learnt in Deptford-yard, was of opinion that these trees would make exceedingly good masts. The wood is white, close-grained, tough, and light. Turpentine had exuded out of most of the trees, and the sun had inspissated it into a rosin, which was found sticking to the trunks, and lying about the roots. These trees shoot out their branches like all other pines; with this difference, that the branches of these are much smaller and shorter; so that the knots become nothing when the tree is wrought for use. I took notice, that the largest of them had the smallest and shortest branches, and were crowned, as it were, at the top, by a spreading branch like a bush. This was what led some on board into the extravagant notion of their being basaltes: Indeed no one could think of finding such trees here. The seeds are produced in cones; but we could find none that had any in them, or that were in a proper state for vegetation or botanical examination. Besides these, there was another tree or shrub of the spruce-fir kind, but it was very small. We also found on the isle a sort of scurvy-grass, and a plant, called by us Lamb's Quarters, which, when boiled, eat like spinnage.

Having got ten or twelve small spars to make studding-sail booms, boat- masts, &c., and night approaching, we returned with them on board.

The purpose for which I anchored under this isle being answered, I was now to consider what was next to be done. We had from the top-mast-head taken a view of the sea around us, and observed the whole, to the west, to be strewed with small islets, sand-banks, and breakers, to the utmost extent of our horizon. They seemed indeed not to be all connected, and to be divided by winding channels. But when I considered that the extent of this S.W. coast was already pretty well determined, the great risk attending a more accurate survey, and the time it would require to accomplish it, on account of the many dangers we should have to encounter, I determined not to hazard the ship down to leeward, where we might be so hemmed in as to find it difficult to return, and by that means lose the proper season for getting to the south. I now wished to have had the little vessel set up, the frame of which we had on board. I had some thoughts of doing this, when we were last at Otaheite, but found it could not be executed, without neglecting the caulking and other necessary repairs of the ship, or staying longer there than the route I had in view would admit. It was now too late to begin setting her up, and then to use her in exploring this coast; and in our voyage to the south, she could be of no service. These reasons induced me to try to get without the shoals; that is, to the southward of them.[2]

Next morning at day-break, we got under sail with a light breeze at E. by N. We had to make some trips to weather the shoals to leeward of Botany Isle; but when this was done the breeze began to fail; and at three p.m. it fell calm. The swell, assisted by the current, set us fast to S.W. towards the breakers, which were yet in sight in that direction. Thus we continued till ten o'clock, at which time a breeze springing up at N.N.W. we steered E.S.E.; the contrary course we had come in; not daring to steer farther south till daylight.

At three o'clock next morning, the wind veered to S.W., blew hard, and in squalls, attended with rain, which made it necessary to proceed with our courses up and top-sails on the cap, till day-break, when the hill on the Isle of Pines bore north; and our distance from the shore in that direction was about four leagues. We had now a very strong wind at S.S.W. attended by a great sea; so that we had reason to rejoice at having got clear of the shoals before this gale overtook us. Though every thing conspired to make me think this was the westerly monsoon, it can hardly be comprehended under that name, for several reasons; first, because it was near a month too soon for these winds; secondly, because we know not if they reach this place at all; and lastly, because it is very common for westerly winds to blow within the tropics. However, I never found them to blow so hard before, or so far southerly. Be these things as they may, we had now no other choice but to stretch to S.E., which we accordingly did with our starboard tacks aboard; and at noon we were out of sight of land.

The gale continued with very little alteration till noon next day; at which time we observed in latitude 23 deg. 18', longitude made from the Isle of Pines 1 deg. 54' E. In the afternoon we had little wind from the south, and a great swell from the same direction: And many boobies, tropic, and men-of-war birds were seen. At eleven o'clock a fresh breeze sprung up at W. by S., with which we stood to the south. At this time we were in the latitude of 23 deg. 18', longitude 169 deg. 49' E., and about forty-two leagues south of the Hebrides.

At eight o'clock in the morning, on the third, the wind veered to S.W. and blew a strong gale by squalls, attended with rain. I now gave over all thought of returning to the land we had left. Indeed, when I considered the vast ocean we had to explore to the south; the state and condition of the ship, already in want of some necessary stores; that summer was approaching fast, and that any considerable accident might detain us in this sea another year; I did not think it advisable to attempt to regain the land.

Thus I was obliged, as it were by necessity, for the first time, to leave a coast I had discovered, before it was fully explored.—I called it New Caledonia; and, if we except New Zealand, it is perhaps the largest island in the South Pacific Ocean. For it extends from the latitude of 19 deg. 37', to 22 deg. 30', S., and from the longitude of 163 deg. 37' to 167 deg. 14' E. It lies nearly N.W. 1/2 W., and S.E. 1 E., and is about eighty-seven leagues long in that direction; but its breadth is not considerable, not any where exceeding ten leagues. It is a country full of hills and valleys; of various extent both for height and depth. To judge of the whole by the parts we were on, from these hills spring vast numbers of little rivulets, which greatly contribute to fertilize the plains, and to supply all the wants of the inhabitants. The summits of most of the hills seem to be barren; though some few are cloathed with wood; as are all the plains and valleys. By reason of these hills, many parts of the coast, when at a distance from it, appeared indented, or to have great inlets between the hills; but, when we came near the shore, we always found such places shut up with low land, and also observed low land to lie along the coast between the seashore and the foot of the hills. As this was the case in all such parts as we came near enough to see, it is reasonable to suppose that the whole coast is so. I am likewise of opinion, that the whole, or greatest part, is surrounded by reefs or shoals, which render the access to it very dangerous, but at the same time guard the coast from the violence of the wind and sea; make it abound with fish, secure an easy and safe navigation along it, for canoes, &c.; and, most likely, form some good harbours for shipping. Most, if not every part of the coast, is inhabited, the Isle of Pines not excepted; for we saw either smoke by day, or fires by night, wherever we came. In the extent which I have given to this island, is included the broken or unconnected lands to the N.W. That they may be connected; I shall not pretend to deny; we were, however, of opinion that they were isles, and that New Caledonia terminated more to S.E.; though this at most is but a well-founded conjecture.

But whether these lands be separate isles, or connected with New Caledonia, it is by no means certain that we saw their termination to the west. I think we did not; as the shoals did not end with the land we saw, but kept their N.W. direction farther than Bougainville's track in the latitude of 15 deg. or 15 deg. 1/2. Nay, it seems not improbable, that a chain of isles, sand- banks, and reefs, may extend to the west, as far as the coast of New South Wales. The eastern extent of the isles and shoals off that coast, between the latitude of 15 deg. and 23', were not known. The resemblance of the two countries; Bougainville's meeting with the shoal of Diana above sixty leagues from the coast; and the signs he had of land to the S.E.; all tend to increase the probability. I must confess that it is carrying probability and conjecture a little too far, to say what may lie in a space of two hundred leagues; but it is in some measure necessary, were it only to put some future navigator on his guard.

Mr Wales determined the longitude of that part of New Caledonia we explored, by ninety-six sets of observations, which were reduced to one another by our trusty guide the watch. I found the variation of the compass to be 10 deg. 24' E. This is the mean variation given by the three azimuth compasses we had on board, which would differ from each other a degree and a half, and sometimes more. I did not observe any difference in the variation between the N.W. and S.E. parts of this land, except when we were at anchor before Balade, where it was less than 10 deg.; but this I did not regard, as I found such an uniformity out at sea; and it is there where navigators want to know the variation. While we were on the N.E. coast, I thought the currents set to S.E. and W. or N.W. on the other side; but they are by no means considerable, and may, as probably, be channels of tides, as regular currents. In the narrow channels which divide the shoals, and those which communicate with the sea, the tides run strong; but their rise and fall are inconsiderable, not exceeding three feet and a half. The time of high-water, at the full and change, at Balade, is about six o'clock; but at Botany Isle we judged it would happen about ten or eleven o'clock.

[1] Mr G.F. very plainly avows his conviction that they were trees, which on a prodigious tall stem had short and slender branches, not discernible at a distance. Captain Cook, it is very evident, uses the language of banter, not quite consistent with either the dignity of his own character, or the respect due to even the mistaken opinion of men of science.—E.

[2] "We were becalmed in the evening among the reefs, which surrounded us on all sides, and made our situation dangerous, on account of the tides and currents, as well as for want of anchoring-ground, having sounded in vain with a line of 150 fathoms. At half past seven o'clock we saw a ball of fire to the northward, in size and splendour resembling the sun, though somewhat paler. It burst a few moments after, and left behind it several bright sparks, of which the largest, of an oblong shape, moved quickly out of our horizon, whilst a kind of bluish flame followed, and marked its course. Some heard a hissing noise, which accompanied the swift descent of this meteor. Our shipmates expected a fresh gale after its appearance; having frequently observed the same to ensue upon similar occasions. And in fact, whatever may be the relation between this phenomenon, and the motion of the atmosphere, or whether it was accident, their predictions were verified the same night, when a brisk gale sprung up, which settled at south."—G.F.

If the opinion of some philosophers as to the origin of these fire- balls, be correct, viz. that they are produced by the combination of animal or vegetable products suspended in the atmosphere, it is easy to understand, how, the equilibrium of the atmosphere being destroyed by the condensation, if one may so call it, of a large part of its constituent principles, those meteors should be followed by considerable gales or storms. Perhaps, indeed, this opinion best explains all the circumstances of this phenomenon, and especially the occurrence so constantly observed of such agitation. The subject, however, is still involved in a good deal of difficulty, from which a long and very accurate course of examination is requisite to deliver it. Much has been effected in this respect, since the publication of Forster's work; and there is no reason to doubt, that the application of an improved chemistry to a careful comparison of all the authentic relations of such phenomena, will issue in a satisfactory solution.—E.



SECTION XI.

Sequel of the Passage from New Caledonia to New Zealand, with an Account of the Discovery of Norfolk Island; and the Incidents that happened while the Ship lay in Queen Charlotte's Sound.

The wind continuing at S.W., W.S.W., and W., blowing a fresh gale, and now and then squalls, with showers of rain, we steered to S.S.E, without meeting with any remarkable occurrence till near noon on the 6th, when it fell calm. At this time we were in the latitude of 27 deg. 50' S., longitude 171 deg. 43' E. The calm continued till noon the next day, during which time we observed the variation to be 10 deg. 33' E. I now ordered the carpenters to work to caulk the decks. As we had neither pitch, tar, nor rosin, left to pay the seams, this was done with varnish of pine, and afterwards covered with coral sand, which made a cement far exceeding my expectation. In the afternoon, we had a boat in the water, and shot two albatrosses, which were geese to us. We had seen one of this kind of birds the day before, which was the first we observed since we had been within the tropic. On the 7th, at one p.m. a breeze sprung up at south; soon after it veered to, and fixed at S.E. by S., and blew a gentle gale, attended with pleasant weather.

We stretched to W.S.W., and next day at noon were in the latitude of 28 deg. 25', longitude 170 deg. 26' E. In the evening, Mr Cooper haying struck a porpoise with a harpoon, it was necessary to bring-to, and have two boats out, before we could kill it, and get it on board. It was six feet long; a female of that kind, which naturalists call dolphin of the ancients, and which differs from the other kind of porpoise in the head and jaw, having them long and pointed. This had eighty-eight teeth in each jaw. The haslet and lean flesh were to us a feast. The latter was a little liverish, but had not the least fishy taste. It was eaten roasted, broiled, and fried, first soaking it in warm water. Indeed, little art was wanting to make any thing fresh, palatable to those who had been living so long on salt meat.[1]

We continued to stretch to W.S.W. till the 10th, when at day-break we discovered land, bearing S.W., which on a nearer approach we found to be an island of good height, and five leagues in circuit. I named it Norfolk Isle, in honour of the noble family of Howard. It is situated in the latitude of 29 deg. 2' 30" S. and longitude 168 deg. 16' E. The latter was determined by lunar observations made on this, the preceding, and following days; and the former by a good observation at noon, when we were about three miles from the isle. Soon after we discovered the isle, we sounded in twenty-two fathoms on a bank of coral sand; after this we continued to sound, and found not less than twenty-two; or more than twenty-four fathoms (except near the shore), and the same bottom mixed with broken shells. After dinner a party of us embarked in two boats, and landed on the island, without any difficulty, behind some large rocks, which lined part of the coast on the N.E. side.

We found it uninhabited, and were undoubtedly the first that ever set foot on it. We observed many trees and plants common at New Zealand; and, in particular, the flax-plant, which is rather more luxuriant here than in any part of that country; but the chief produce is a sort of spruce-pine, which grows in great abundance, and to a large size, many of the trees being as thick, breast high, as two men could fathom, and exceedingly straight and tall. This pine is a sort between that which grows in New Zealand, and that in New Caledonia; the foliage differing something from both, and the wood not so heavy as the former, nor so light and close-grained as the latter. It is a good deal like the Quebec pine. For about two hundred yards from the shore, the ground is covered so thick with shrubs and plants, as hardly to be penetrated farther inland. The woods were perfectly clear and free from underwood, and the soil seemed rich and deep.

We found the same kind of pigeons, parrots, and parroquets as in New Zealand, rails, and some small birds. The sea-fowl are, white boobies, gulls, tern, &c. which breed undisturbed on the shores, and in the cliffs of the rocks.

On the isle is fresh water; and cabbage-palm, wood-sorrel, sow-thistle, and samphire, abounding in some places on the shore, we brought on board as much of each sort as the time we had to gather them would admit. These cabbage-trees or palms were not thicker than a man's leg, and from ten to twenty feet high. They are of the same genus with the cocoa-nut tree; like it they have large pinnated leaves, and are the same as the second sort found in the northern parts of New South Wales. The cabbage is, properly speaking, the bud of the tree; each tree producing but one cabbage, which is at the crown, where the leaves spring out, and is inclosed in the stem. The cutting off the cabbage effectually destroys the tree; so that no more than one can be had from the same stem. The cocoa-nut tree, and some others of the palm kind, produce cabbage as well as these. This vegetable is not only wholesome, but exceedingly palatable, and proved the most agreeable repast we had for some time.

The coast does not want fish. While we were on shore, the people in the boats caught some which were excellent. I judged that it was high water at the full and change, about one o'clock; and that the tide rises and falls upon a perpendicular about four or five feet.

The approach of night brought us all on board, when we hoisted in the boats, and stretched to E.N.E. (with the wind at S.E.) till midnight, when we tacked, and spent the remainder of the night making short boards.

Next morning at sun-rise, we made sail, stretching to S.S.W., and weathered the island; on the south side of which lie two isles, that serve as roosting and breeding-places for birds. On this, as also on the S.E. side, is a sandy beach; whereas most of the other shores are bounded by rocky cliffs, which have twenty and eighteen fathoms water close to them: At least so we found it on the N.E. side, and with good anchorage. A bank of coral sand, mixed with shells, on which we found from nineteen to thirty- five or forty fathoms water, surrounds the isle, and extends, especially to the south, seven leagues off. The morning we discovered the island, the variation was found to be 13 deg. 9' E.; but I think this observation gave too much, as others which we had, both before and after, gave 2 deg. less.[2]

After leaving Norfolk Isle, I steered for New Zealand, my intention being to touch at Queen Charlotte's Sound, to refresh my crew, and put the ship in a condition to encounter the southern latitudes.

On the 17th, at day-break, we saw Mount Egmont, which was covered with everlasting snow, bearing S.E. 1/2 E. Our distance from the shore was about eight leagues, and, on sounding, we found seventy fathoms water, a muddy bottom. The wind soon fixed in the western board, and blew a fresh gale, with which we steered S.S.E. for Queen Charlotte's Sound, with a view of falling in with Cape Stephens. At noon Cape Egmont bore E.N.E. distant three or four leagues; and though the mount was hid in the clouds, we judged it to be in the same direction as the Cape; latitude observed 39 deg. 24'. The wind increased in such a manner as to oblige us to close-reef our top-sails, and strike top-gallant yards. At last we could bear no more sail than the two courses, and two close-reefed top-sails; and under them we stretched for Cape Stephens, which we made at eleven o'clock at night.

At midnight we tacked and made a trip to the north till three o'clock next morning, when we bore away for the sound. At nine we hauled round Point Jackson through a sea which looked terrible, occasioned by a rapid tide, and a high wind; but as we knew the coast, it did not alarm us. At eleven o'clock we anchored before Ship Cove; the strong flurries from off the land not permitting us to get in.

In the afternoon, as we could not move the ship, I went into the Cove, with the seine, to try to catch some fish. The first thing I did after landing, was to look for the bottle I left hid when last there, in which was the memorandum. It was taken away, but by whom it did not appear. Two hauls with the seine producing only four small fish, we, in some measure, made up for this deficiency, by shooting several birds, which the flowers in the garden had drawn thither, as also some old shags, and by robbing the nests of some young ones.

Being little wind next morning, we weighed and warped the ship into the Cove, and there moored with the two bowers. We unbent the sails to repair them; several having been split, and otherwise damaged in the late gale. The main and fore courses, already worn to the very utmost, were condemned as useless. I ordered the top-masts to be struck and unrigged, in order to fix to them moveable chocks or knees, for want of which the trestle-trees were continually breaking; the forge to be set up, to make bolts and repair our iron-work; and tents to be erected on shore for the reception of a guard, coopers, sail-makers, &c. I likewise gave orders that vegetables (of which there were plenty) should be boiled every morning with oatmeal and portable broth for breakfast, and with pease and broth every day for dinner for the whole crew, over and above their usual allowance of salt meat.

In the afternoon, as Mr Wales was setting up his observatory, he discovered that several trees, which were standing when we last sailed from this place, had been cut down with saws and axes; and a few days after, the place where an observatory, clock, &c. had been set up, was also found, in a spot different from that where Mr Wales had placed his. It was, therefore, now no longer to be doubted, that the Adventure had been in this cove after we had left it.

Next day, wind southerly; hazy clouded weather. Every body went to work at their respective employments, one of which was to caulk the ship's sides, a thing much wanted. The seams were paid with putty, made with cook's fat and chalk; the gunner happening to have a quantity of the latter on board.

The 21st, wind southerly, with continual rains.

The weather being fair in the afternoon of the 22d, accompanied by the botanists, I visited our gardens on Motuara, which we found almost in a state of nature, having been wholly neglected by the inhabitants. Nevertheless, many articles were in a flourishing condition, and shewed how well they liked the soil in which they were planted. None of the natives having yet made their appearance, we made a fire on the point of the island, in hopes, if they saw the smoke, they might be induced to come to us.

Nothing remarkable happened till the 24th, when, in the morning, two canoes were seen coming down the sound; but as soon as they perceived the ship, they retired behind a point on the west side. After breakfast I went in a boat to look for them; and as we proceeded along the shore, we shot several birds. The report of the muskets gave notice of our approach, and the natives discovered themselves in Shag Cove by hallooing to us; but as we drew near to their habitations, they all fled to the woods, except two or three men, who stood on a rising ground near the shore, with their arms in their hands. The moment we landed, they knew us. Joy then took place of fear; and the rest of the natives hurried out of the woods, and embraced us over and over again; leaping and skipping about like madmen, but I observed that they would not suffer some women, whom we saw at a distance, to come near us. After we had made them presents of hatchets, knives, and what else we had with us, they gave us in return a large quantity of fish, which they had just caught. There were only a few amongst them whose faces we could recognise, and on our asking why they were afraid of us, and enquiring for some of our old acquaintances by name, they talked much about killing, which was so variously understood by us, that we could gather nothing from it, so that, after a short stay, we took leave, and went on board.[3]

Next morning early, our friends, according to a promise they had made us the preceding evening, paying us a visit, brought with them a quantity of fine fish, which they exchanged for Otaheitean cloth, &c. and then returned to their habitations.

On the 26th, we got into the after-hold four boat-load of shingle ballast, and struck down six guns, keeping only six on deck. Our good friends the natives, having brought us a plentiful supply of fish, afterwards went on shore to the tents, and informed our people there, that a ship like ours had been lately lost in the strait; that some of the people got on shore; and that the natives stole their clothes, &c. for which several were shot; and afterwards, when they could fire no longer, the natives having got the better, killed them with their patapatoos, and eat them, but that they themselves had no hand in the affair, which, they said, happened at Vanna Aroa, near Terrawhitte, on the other side of the strait. One man said it was two moons ago: But another contradicted him, and counted on his fingers about twenty or thirty days. They described by actions how the ship was beat to pieces by going up and down against the rocks, till at last it was all scattered abroad.

The next day some others told the same story, or nearly to the same purport, and pointed over the east bay, which is on the east side of the sound, as to the place where it happened. These stories making me very uneasy about the Adventure, I desired Mr Wales, and those on shore, to let me know if any of the natives should mention it again, or to send them to me; for I had not heard any thing from them myself. When Mr Wales came on board to dinner he found the very people who had told him the story on shore, and pointed them out to me. I enquired about the affair, and endeavoured to come at the truth by every method I could think of. All I could get from them was, "Caurey," (no); and they not only denied every syllable of what they had said on shore, but seemed wholly ignorant of the matter; so that I began to think our people had misunderstood them, and that the story referred to some of their own people and boats.[4]

On the 28th, fresh gales westerly, and fair weather. We rigged and fitted the top-masts. Having gone on a shooting-party to West Bay, we went to the place where I left the hogs and fowls; but saw no vestiges of them, nor of any body having been there since. In our return, having visited the natives, we got some fish in exchange for trifles which we gave them. As we were coming away, Mr Forster thought be heard the squeaking of a pig in the woods, close by their habitations; probably they may have those I left with them when last here. In the evening we got on board, with about a dozen and a half of wild fowl, shags, and sea-pies. The sportsmen who had been out in the woods near the ship were more successful among the small birds.

On the 29th and 30th nothing remarkable happened, except that in the evening of the latter all the natives left us.

The 31st being a fine pleasant day, our botanists went over to Long Island, where one of the party saw a large black boar. As it was described to me, I thought it might be one of those which Captain Furneaux left behind, and had been brought over to this isle by those who had it in keeping. Since they did not destroy those hogs when first in their possession, we cannot suppose they will do it now; so that there is little fear but that this country will in time be stocked with these animals, both in a wild and domestic state.

Next day we were visited by a number of strangers who came up from the sound, and brought with them but little fish. Their chief commodity was green stone or talc, an article which never came to a bad market; and some of the largest pieces of it I had ever seen were got this day.

On the 2d I went over to the east side of the sound, and, without meeting any thing remarkable, returned on board in the evening, when I learnt that the same people who visited us the preceding day, had been on board most of this, with their usual article of trade.

On the 3d, Mr Pickersgill met with some of the natives, who related to him the story of a ship being lost, and the people being killed; but added, with great earnestness, it was not done by them.

On the 4th, fine pleasant weather. Most of the natives now retired up the sound. Indeed, I had taken every gentle method, to oblige them to be gone, for since these newcomers had been with us, our old friends had disappeared, and we had been without fish. Having gone over to Long Island, to look for the hog which had been seen there, I found it to be one of the sows left by Captain Furneaux; the same that was in the possession of the natives when we were last here. From the supposition of its being a boar, I had carried over a sow to leave with him; but on seeing my mistake, brought her back, as the leaving her there would answer no end.

Early in the morning of the 5th, our old friends made us a visit, and brought a seasonable supply of fish. At the same time I embarked in the pinnace, with Messrs Forsters and Sparrman, in order to proceed up the sound. I was desirous of finding the termination of it; or rather of seeing if I could find any passage out to sea by the S.E., as I suspected from some discoveries I had made when first here. In our way up, we met with some fishers, of whom we made the necessary enquiry; and they all agreed that there was no passage to the sea by the head of the sound. As we proceeded, we, some time after, met a canoe conducted by four men coming down the sound. These confirmed what the others had said, in regard to there being no passage to the sea the way we were going; but gave us to understand that there was one to the east, in the very place where I expected to find it. I now laid aside the scheme of going to the head of the sound, and proceeded to this arm, which is on the S.E. side, about four or five leagues above the isle of Motuara.

A little within the entrance on the S.E. side, at a place called Kotieghenooee, we found a large settlement of the natives., The chief, whose name was Tringo-boohee, and his people, whom we found to be some of those who had lately been on board the ship, received us with great courtesy. They seemed to be pretty numerous both here and in the neighbourhood. Our stay with them was short, as the information they gave us encouraged us to pursue the object we had in view.[5] Accordingly, we proceeded down the arm E.N.E. and E. by N., leaving several fine coves on both sides, and at last found it to open into the strait by a channel about a mile wide, in which ran out a strong tide; having also observed one setting down the arm, all the time we had been in it. It was now about four o'clock in the afternoon, and in less than an hour after, this tide ceased, and was succeeded by the flood, which came in with equal strength.

The outlet lies S.E. by E. and N.W. by W. and nearly in the direction of E.S.E. and W.N.W. from Cape Terrawhitte. We found thirteen fathoms water a little within the entrance, clear ground. It seemed to me that a leading wind was necessary to go in and out of this passage, on account of the rapidity of the tides. I, however, had but little time to make observations of this nature, as night was at hand, and I had resolved to return on board. On that account I omitted visiting a large hippa, or strong- hold, built on an elevation on the north side, and about a mile or two within the entrance, The inhabitants of it, by signs, invited us to go to them; but, without paying any regard to them, we proceeded directly for the ship, which we reached by ten o'clock, bringing with us some fish we had got from the natives, and a few birds we had shot. Amongst the latter were some of the same kinds of ducks we found in Dusky Bay, and we have reason to believe that they are all to be met with here. For the natives knew them all by the drawings, and had a particular name for each.

On the 6th, wind at N.E., gloomy weather with rain. Our old friends having taken up their abode near us, one of them, whose name was Pedero, (a man of some note,) made me a present of a staff of honour, such as the chiefs generally carry. In return, I dressed him in a suit of old clothes, of which he was not a little proud. He had a fine person, and a good presence, and nothing but his colour distinguished him from an European. Having got him, and another, into a communicative mood, we began to enquire of them if the Adventure had been there during my absence; and they gave us to understand, in a manner which admitted of no doubt, that, soon after we were gone, she arrived; that she staid between ten and twenty days, and had been gone ten months. They likewise asserted that neither she, nor any other ship, had been stranded on the coast, as had been reported. This assertion, and the manner in which they related the coming and going of the Adventure, made me easy about her; but did not wholly set aside our suspicions of a disaster having happened to some other strangers. Besides what has been already related, we had been told that a ship had lately been here, and was gone to a place called Terato, which is on the north side of the strait. Whether this story related to the former or no, I cannot say. Whenever I questioned the natives about it, they always denied all knowledge of it, and for some time past, had avoided mentioning it. It was but a few days before, that one man received a box on the ear for naming it to some of our people.

After breakfast I took a number of hands over to Long Island, in order to catch the sow, to put her to the boar and remove her to some other place; but we returned without seeing her. Some of the natives had been there not long before us, as their fires were yet burning; and they had undoubtedly taken her away. Pedero dined with us, eat of every thing at table, and drank more wine than any one of us, without being in the least affected by it.

The 7th, fresh gales at N.E. with continual rain.

The 8th, fore-part rain, remainder fair weather. We put two pigs, a boar, and a sow, on shore, in the cove next without Cannibal Cove; so that it is hardly possible all the methods I have taken to stock this country with these animals should fail. We had also reason to believe that some of the cocks and hens which I left here still existed, although we had not seen any of them; for an hen's egg was, some days before, found in the woods almost new laid.

On the 9th, wind westerly or N.W., squally with rain. In the morning we unmoored, and shifted our birth farther out of the cove, for the more ready getting to sea the next morning; for at present the caulkers had not finished the sides, and till this work was done we could not sail. Our friends having brought us a very large and seasonable supply of fish, I bestowed on Pedero a present of an empty oil-jar, which made him as happy as a prince. Soon after, he and his party left the cove, and retired to their proper place of abode, with all the treasure they had received from us. I believe that they gave away many of the things they, at different times, got from us, to their friends and neighbours, or else parted with them to purchase peace of their more powerful enemies; for we never saw any of our presents after they were once in their possession: And every time we visited them they were as much in want of hatchets, nails, &c. to all appearance, as if they never had had any among them.

I am satisfied that the people in this sound, who are, upon the whole, pretty numerous, are under no regular form of government, or so united as to form one body politic. The head of each tribe, or family, seems to be respected; and that respect may, on some occasions, command obedience; but I doubt if any amongst them have either a right or power to enforce it. The day we were with Tringo-boohee, the people came from all parts to see us, which he endeavoured to prevent. But though he went so far as to throw stones at some, I observed that very few paid any regard either to his words or actions; and yet this man was spoken of as a chief of some note. I have, before, made some remarks on the evils attending these people for want of union among themselves; and the more I was acquainted with them, the more I found it to be so. Notwithstanding they are cannibals, they are naturally of a good disposition, and have not a little humanity.

In the afternoon a party of us went ashore into one of the coves, where were two families of the natives variously employed; some sleeping, some making mats, others roasting fish and fir roots, and one girl, I observed, was heating of stones. Curious to know what they were for, I remained near her. As soon as the stones were made hot, she took them out of the fire, and gave them to an old woman, who was sitting in the hut. She placed them in a heap, laid over them a handful of green celery, and over that a coarse mat, and then squatted herself down, on her heels, on the top of all; thus making a kind of Dutch warming-pan, on which she sat as close as a hare on her seat. I should hardly have mentioned this operation, if I had thought it had no other view than to warm the old woman's backside. I rather suppose it was intended to cure some disorder she might have on her, which the steams arising from the green celery might be a specific for. I was led to think so by there being hardly any celery in the place, we having gathered it long before; and grass, of which there was great plenty, would have kept the stones from burning the mat full as well, if that had been all that was meant. Besides, the woman looked to me sickly, and not in a good state of health.

Mr Wales, from time to time, communicated to me the observations he had made in this Sound for determining the longitude, the mean results of which give 174 deg. 25' 7" 1/2 east, for the bottom of Ship Cove, where the observations were made; and the latitude of it is 41 deg. 5' 50" 1/2 south. In my chart, constituted in my former voyage, this place is laid down in 184 deg. 54' 30" west, equal to 175 deg. 5' 30" east. The error of the chart is therefore 0 deg. 40' 0", and nearly equal to what was found at Dusky Bay; by which it appears that the whole of Tavai-poenamoo is laid down 40' too far east in the said chart, as well as in the journal of the voyage. But the error in Eaheino-mauwe, is not more than half a degree, or thirty minutes; because the distance between. Queen Charlotte's Sound and Cape Palliser has been found to be greater by 10' of longitude than it is laid down in the chart. I mention these errors, not from a fear that they will affect either navigation or geography, but because I have no doubt of their existence; for, from the multitude of observations which Mr Wales took, the situation of few parts of the world is better ascertained than Queen Charlotte's Sound. Indeed, I might, with equal truth, say the same of all the other places where we made any stay; for Mr Wales, whose abilities are equal to his assiduity, lost no one observation that could possibly be obtained. Even the situation of those islands, which we passed without touching at them, is, by means of Kendal's watch, determined with almost equal accuracy. The error of the watch from Otaheite to this place was only 43' 39" 1/2 in longitude, reckoning at the rate it was found to go at, at that island and at Tanna; but by reckoning at the rate it was going when last at Queen Charlotte's Sound, and from the time of our leaving it, to our return to it again, which was near a year, the error was 19' 31", 25 in time, or 4 deg. 52' 48" 1/4 in longitude. This error cannot be thought great, if we consider the length of time, and that we had gone over a space equal to upwards of three-fourths of the equatorial circumference of the earth, and through all the climates and latitudes from 9 deg. to 71 deg.. Mr Wales found its rate of going here to be that of gaining 12",576, on mean time, per day.

The mean result of all the observations he made for ascertaining the variation of the compass and the dip of the south end of the needle, the three several times we had been here, gave 14 deg. 9' 1/5 east for the former; and 64 deg. 36" 2/3 for the latter. He also found, from very accurate observations, that the time of high-water preceded the moon's southing, on the full and change days, by three hours; and that the greatest rise and fall of the water was five feet ten inches, and a half; but there were evident tokens on the beach, of its having risen two feet higher than ever it did in the course of his experiments.

[1] According to Mr G.F. the sufferings of the crew, for want of proper nourishment, were exceedingly distressing, and some of the officers who had made several voyages round the world acknowledged, that they had never before so thoroughly loathed a salt diet. It was owing, he says, to their having such an excellent preservative as sour-krout on board, that the scurvy did not at this time make any considerable progress among them; but their situation was indeed wretched enough, without the horrors of that disease.—E.

[2] "Several large broken rocks project into the sea from the island, on all sides. A heap of large stones formed a kind of beach, beyond which the shore rose very steep, and in some parts perpendicular. The rocks of this island consisted of the common yellowish clayey stone, which we found at New Zealand; and in some places we met with small bits of porous reddish lava, which seemed to be decaying, but made us suspect this island to have had a volcano. The vegetables which we found upon it, throve with great luxuriance in a rich stratum of black mould, accumulated during ages past, from decaying trees and plants. The greatest number of species we met with were well known to us, as belonging to the flora of New Zealand, but this appeared with all the advantages which a milder climate, and an exuberant soil could give them, and they were united with the productions of New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides. Altogether this little deserted spot was very pleasing, and were it larger would be unexceptionable for an European settlement."—G.F.

Notwithstanding the diminutive size of this island, the advantages it presented, especially as to the cultivation of the flax-plant, were sufficient to induce the British government to erect a settlement on it, which was effected by a detachment from Port Jackson under the command of Lieutenant King in 1788. The reader who desires particular information respecting its progress, will be amply supplied with it in Collins's account of New South Wales. It may perhaps be sufficient to inform him, that though in 1790 the colony consisted of 498 persons, and in 1796, of 889, and though very great expence and pains were employed to ensure its prosperity, yet every year's experience proved that the expectations entertained of its importance and benefits were vastly over-rated, and in consequence it was at last abandoned. In the opinion of Collins, Van Diemen's island presents in every respect a more advantageous spot for a settlement.—E.

[3] "They continued from time to time to ask if we were displeased with them, and seemed to be very apprehensive that our present protestations of friendship were not quite sincere. We suspected from this circumstance, that a fatal misunderstanding had happened between the natives and the crew of some European ship, and we naturally thought of our consort the Adventure."—G.F.

[4] The natives were repeatedly questioned, and in every conversation we discovered some additional circumstances, by which the fact was more clearly established. At last, however, observing that our enquiries on this subject were frequently repeated, they resolved to give us no further trouble, and by threats stopped short one of their own brethren, who had been prevailed upon to speak once more on the subject. Captain Cook being very desirous of obtaining some certainty concerning the fate of the Adventure, called Peeterre and another native into the cabin, both of whom denied that any harm had been done to the Europeans. We made two pieces of paper, to represent the two ships, and drew the figure of the sound on a larger piece; then drawing the two ships into the sound, and out of it again, as often as they had touched at and left it, including our last departure, we stopped a while, and at last proceeded to bring our ship in again: But the natives interrupted us, and taking up the paper which represented the Adventure, they brought it into the harbour, and drew it out again, counting on their fingers how many moons she had been gone. This circumstance gave us two-fold pleasure, since, at the same time that we were persuaded our consort had safely sailed from hence, we had to admire the sagacity of the natives. Still, however, there was something mysterious in the former accounts, which intimated that some Europeans were killed; and we continued to doubt whether we had rightly understood this part of their conversation, till we received more certain intelligence at our return to the Cape of Good Hope."— G.F.

[5] The reader will think the following incident and remark worthy of being preserved; "After staying here about a quarter of an hour, Captain Cook re-embarked with us, which was the more advisable, as many of the natives, who arrived last, brought their arms, and the whole crowd now amounted to two hundred and upwards, a much greater number than we had suspected the sound to contain, or had ever seen together. We had already put off, when a sailor acquainted the captain, that he had bought a bundle of fish from one of the natives, for which he had not paid him. Captain Cook took the last nail which was left, and calling to the native, threw it on the beach at his feet. The savage being offended, or thinking himself attacked, picked up a stone, and threw it into the boat with great force, but luckily without hitting any one of us. We now called to him again, and pointed to the nail which we had thrown towards him. As soon as he had seen it, and picked it up, he laughed at his own petulance, and seemed highly pleased with our conduct towards him. This circumstance, with a little rashness on our part, might have become very fatal to us, or might at least have involved us in a dangerous quarrel. If we had resented the affront of being pelted with a stone, the whole body would have joined in the cause of their countryman, and we must have fallen an easy prey to their numbers, being at the distance of five or six leagues from the ship, without any hopes of assistance."—G.F.



CHAPTER IV.

FROM LEAVING NEW ZEALAND TO OUR RETURN TO ENGLAND.

SECTION I.

The Run from New Zealand to Terra del Fuego, with the Range from Cape Deseada to Christmas Sound, and Description of that Part of the Coast.

At day-break on the 10th, with a fine breeze at W.N.W., we weighed and stood out of the Sound; and, after getting round the Two Brothers, steered for Cape Campbell, which is at the S.W. entrance of the Strait, all sails set, with a fine breeze at north. At four in the afternoon, we passed the Cape, at the distance of four or five leagues, and then steered S.S.E. 1/2 E. with the wind at N.W., a gentle gale, and cloudy weather.

Next morning the wind veered round by the west to south, and forced us more to the east than I intended. At seven o'clock in the evening, the snowy mountains bore W. by S., and Cape Palliser N. 1/2 W., distant sixteen or seventeen leagues; from which cape I, for the third time, took my departure. After a few hours calm, a breeze springing up at north, we steered S. by E. all sails set, with a view of getting into the latitude of 54 deg. or 55 deg.; my intention being to cross this vast ocean nearly in these parallels, and so as to pass over those parts which were left unexplored the preceding summer.

In the morning of the 12th, the wind increased to a fine gale: At noon we observed in latitude 43 deg. 13' 30" S., longitude 176 deg. 41' E.; an extraordinary fish of the whale kind was seen, which some called a sea monster. I did not see it myself. In the afternoon, our old companions the pintado peterels began to appear.[1]

On the 13th, in the morning, the wind veered to W.S.W. At seven, seeing the appearance of land to S.W., we hauled up towards it, and soon found it to be a fog-bank. Afterwards we steered S.E. by S., and soon after saw a seal. At noon, latitude, by account, 44 deg. 25', longitude 177 deg. 31' E. Foggy weather, which continued all the afternoon. At six in the evening, the wind veered to N.E. by N., and increased to a fresh gale, attended with thick hazy weather; course steered S.E. 1/4 S.

On the 14th, a.m. saw another seal. At noon, latitude 45 deg. 54', longitude 179 deg. 29' E.

On the 15th, a.m. the wind veered to the westward; the fog cleared away, but the weather continued cloudy. At noon, latitude 47 deg. 30', longitude 178 deg. 19' W.; for, having passed the meridian of 180 deg. E., I now reckon my longitude west of the first meridian, viz. Greenwich. In the evening heard penguins, and the next morning saw some sea or rock weed. At noon a fresh gale from the west and fine weather. Latitude observed 49 deg. 33', longitude 175 deg. 31' W.

Next morning fresh gales and hazy weather; saw a seal and several pieces of weed. At noon, latitude 51 deg. 12', longitude 173 deg. 17' W. The wind veered to the N. and N.E. by N., blew a strong gale by squalls, which split an old topgallant sail, and obliged us to double-reef the top-sails; but in the evening the wind moderated, and veered to W.N.W., when we loosed a reef out of each top-sail; and found the variation of the compass to be 9 deg. 52' E., being then in the latitude 51 deg. 47', longitude 172 deg. 21' W., and the next morning, the 18th, in the latitude of 52 deg. 25', longitude 170 deg. 45' W., it was 10 deg. 26' E. Towards noon, had moderate but cloudy weather, and a great swell from the west: Some penguins and pieces of sea-weed seen.

On the 19th, steered E.S.E, with a very fresh gale at north, hazy dirty weather. At noon, latitude 53 deg. 43', longitude 166 deg. 15' W.

On the 20th, steered E. by S., with a moderate breeze at north, attended with thick hazy weather. At noon, latitude 54 deg. 8', longitude 162 deg. 18' W.

On the 21st, winds mostly from the N.E., a fresh gale attended with thick, hazy, dirty weather. Course S.E. by S.; latitude, at noon, 55 deg. 31', longitude 160 deg. 29'; abundance of blue peterels and some penguins seen.

Fresh gales at N.W. by N. and N. by W., and hazy till towards noon of the 22d, when the weather cleared up, and we observed in latitude 55 deg. 48' S., longitude 156 deg. 56' W. In the afternoon had a few hours calm; after that, the wind came at S.S.E. and S.E. by S. a light breeze, with which we steered east northerly. In the night the aurora australis was visible, but very faint, and no ways remarkable.

On the 23d, in the latitude of 55 deg. 46' S., longitude 156 deg. 13' W., the variation was 9 deg. 42' E. We had a calm from ten in the morning till six in the evening, when a breeze sprung up at west; at first it blew a gentle gale, but afterwards freshened. Our course was now E. 1/2 N.

On the 24th, a fresh breeze at N.W. by W. and N. by W. At noon, in latitude 55 deg. 38' S., longitude 153 deg. 37' W., foggy in the night, but next day had a fine gale at N.W., attended with clear pleasant weather; course steered E. by N. In the evening, being in the latitude of 55 deg. 8' S., longitude 148 deg. 10' W., the variation, by the mean of two compasses, was 6 deg. 35' E.

Having a steady fresh gale at N.N.W. on the 26th and 27th, we steered east; and at noon on the latter were in latitude 55 deg. 6' S., longitude 138 deg. 56' W.

I now gave up all hopes of finding any more land in this ocean, and came to a resolution to steer directly for the west entrance of the Straits of Magalhaeus, with a view of coasting the out, or south side of Terra del Fuego round Cape Horn to the strait Le Maire. As the world has but a very imperfect knowledge of this shore, I thought the coasting of it would be of more advantage, both to navigation and to geography, than any thing I could expect to find in a higher latitude. In the afternoon of this day, the wind blew in squalls, and carried away the main top-gallant mast.

A very strong gale northerly, with hazy rainy weather, on the 28th, obliged us to double-reef the fore and main top-sail to hand the mizen top-sail, and get down the fore top-gallant yard. In the morning, the bolt rope of the main top-sail broke, and occasioned the sail to be split. I have observed that the ropes to all our sails, the square sails especially, are not of a size and strength sufficient to wear out the canvass. At noon, latitude 55 deg. 20' S., longitude 134 deg. 16' W., a great swell from N.W.: Albatrosses and blue peterels seen.

Next day towards noon, the wind abating, we loosed all the reefs out of the top-sails, rigged another top-gallant mast, and got the yards across. P.M. little wind, and hazy weather; at midnight calm, that continued till noon the next day, when a breeze sprung up at east, with which we stretched to the northward. At this time we were in the latitude 55 deg. 32' S., longitude 128 deg. 45' W.; some albatrosses and peterels seen. At eight, p.m., the wind veering to N.E., we tacked and stood to E.S.E.

On the 1st of December, thick hazy weather, with drizzling rain, and a moderate breeze of wind, which, at three o'clock p.m. fell to a calm; at this time in latitude 55 deg. 41' S., longitude 127 deg. 5' W. After four hours calm, the fog cleared away, and we got a wind at S.E. with which we stood N.E.

Next day, a fresh breeze at S.E. and hazy foggy weather, except a few hours in the morning, when we found the variation to be 1 deg. 28' E. Latitude 55 deg. 17', longitude 125 deg. 41' W. The variation after this was supposed to increase; for on the 4th, in the morning, being in latitude 53 deg. 31', longitude 121 deg. 31' W., it was 3 deg. 16' E.; in the evening, in latitude 53 deg. 13', longitude 119 deg. 46' W., it was 3 deg. 28' E.; and on the 5th, at six o'clock in the evening, in latitude 53 deg. 8', longitude 115 deg. 58' W., it was 4 deg. 1' E.

For more than twenty-four hours, having had a fine gale at south, this enabled us to steer east, with very little deviation to the north; and the wind now altering to S.W. and blowing a steady fresh breeze, we continued to steer east, inclining a little to south.

On the 6th, had some snow-showers. In the evening, being in latitude 53 deg. 13', longitude 111 deg. 12', the variation was 4 deg. 58' E.; and the next morning, being in latitude 58 deg. 16', longitude 109 deg. 33', it was 5 deg. 1' E.

The wind was now at west, a fine pleasant gale, sometimes with showers of rain. Nothing remarkable happened, till the 9th, at noon, when being in the latitude of 53 deg. 37', longitude 103 deg. 44' W., the wind veered to N.E., and afterwards came insensibly round to the south, by the E. and S.E., attended with cloudy hazy weather, and some showers of rain.

On the 10th, a little before noon, latitude 54 deg., longitude 102 deg. 7' west, passed a small bed of sea-weed. In the afternoon the wind veered to S.W., blew a fresh gale, attended with dark cloudy weather. We steered east half a point north; and the next day, at six in the evening, being in latitude 53 deg. 35', longitude 95 deg. 52' west, the variation was 9 deg. 58' east. Many and various sorts of albatrosses about the ship.

On the 12th, the wind veered to the west, N.W.; and in the evening to north; and, at last, left us to a calm; that continued till midnight, when we got a breeze at south; which, soon after, veering to, and fixing at, west, we steered east; and on the 14th, in the morning, found the variation to be 13 deg. 25' east, latitude 53 deg. 25', longitude 87 deg. 53' west; and in the afternoon, being in the same latitude, and the longitude of 86 deg. 2' west, it was 15 deg. 3' east, and increased in such a manner, that on the 15th, in the latitude of 53 deg. 30', longitude 82 deg. 23' west, it was 17 deg. east; and the next evening, in the latitude of 53 deg. 25', longitude 78 deg. 40', it was 17 deg. 38' east. About this time, we saw a penguin and a piece of weed; and the next morning, a seal and some diving peterels. For the three last days, the wind had been at west, a steady fresh gale, attended, now and then, with showers of rain or hail.

At six in the morning of the 17th, being nearly in the same latitude as above, and in the longitude of 77 deg. 10' west, the variation was 18 deg. 33' east; and in the afternoon it was 21 deg. 38, being at that time in latitude 53 deg. 16' S., longitude 75 deg. 9' west. In the morning, as well as in the afternoon, I took some observations to determine the longitude by the watch; and the results, reduced to noon, gave 76 deg. 18' 30" west. At the same time, the longitude, by my reckoning, was 76 deg. 17' west. But I have reason to think, that we were about half a degree more to the west than either the one or the other; our latitude, at the same time, was 53 deg. 21' S.

We steered E. by N. and E. 1/2 N. all this day, under all the sail we could carry, with a fine fresh gale at N.W. by W. in expectation of seeing the land before night; but not making it till ten o'clock, we took in the studding-sails, top-gallant sails, and a reef in each top-sail, and steered E.N.E., in order to make sure of falling in with Cape Deseada.

Two hours after, we made the land, extending from N.E. by N. to E. by S. about six leagues distant. On this discovery, we wore and brought-to, with the ship's head to the south; and having sounded, found seventy-five fathoms water, the bottom stone and shells. The land now before us could be no other than the west coast of Terra del Fuego, and near the west entrance to the Straits of Magalhaens.

As this was the first run that had been made directly across this ocean, in a high southern latitude,[2] I have been a little particular in noting every circumstance that appeared in the least material: and, after all, I must observe, that I never made a passage any where of such length, or even much shorter, where so few interesting circumstances occurred. For, if I except the variation of the compass, I know of nothing else worth notice. The weather had been neither unusually stormy nor cold. Before we arrived in the latitude of 50 deg., the mercury in the thermometer fell gradually from sixty to fifty; and after we arrived in the latitude of 55 deg., it was generally between forty-seven and forty-five; once or twice it fell to forty-three. These observations were made at noon.

I have now done with the southern Pacific Ocean; and flatter myself that no one will think that I have left it unexplored; or that more could have been done, in one voyage, towards obtaining that end, than has been done in this.

Soon after we left New Zealand, Mr Wales contrived, and fixed up, an instrument, which very accurately measured the angle the ship rolled, when sailing large and in a great sea; and that in which she lay down, when sailing upon a wind. The greatest angle he observed her to roll was 38 deg.. This was on the 6th of this month, when the sea was not unusually high; so that it cannot be reckoned the greatest roll she had made. The most he observed her to heel or lie down, when sailing upon a wind, was 18 deg.; and this was under double-reefed top-sails and courses.

On the 18th, at three in the morning, we sounded again, and found one hundred and ten fathoms, the same bottom as before. We now made sail with a fresh gale at N.W., and steered S.E. by E. along the coast. It extended from Cape Deseada, which bore north 7 deg. east, to E S.E.; a pretty high ragged isle, which lies near a league from the main, and S., 18 deg. E. six leagues E. from Cape Deseada, bore N. 49 deg. E. distant four leagues; and it obtained the name of Landfall. At four o'clock, we were north and south of the high land of Cape Deseada, distant about nine leagues; so that we saw none of the low rocks said to lie off it. The latitude of this Cape is about 53 deg. S., longitude 74 deg. 40' west.

Continuing to range the coast, at about two leagues distance, at eleven o'clock we passed a projecting point, which I called Cape Gloucester. It shews a round surface of considerable height, and has much the appearance of being an island. It lies S.S.E. 1/2 E. distant seventeen leagues from the isle of Landfall. The coast between them forms two bays, strewed with rocky islets, rocks, and breakers. The coast appeared very broken with many inlets; or rather it seemed to be composed of a number of islands. The land is very mountainous, rocky, and barren, spotted here and there with tufts of wood, and patches of snow. At noon Cape Gloucester bore north, distant eight miles, and the most advanced point of land to the S.E., which we judged to be Cape Noir, bore S.E. by S., distant seven or eight leagues. Latitude observed 54 deg. 13' S. Longitude, made from Cape Deseada, 54' E. From Cape Gloucester, off which lies a small rocky island, the direction of the coast is nearly S.E.; but to Cape Noir, for which we steered, the course is S.S.E., distant about ten leagues.

At three o'clock we passed Cape Noir, which is a steep rock of considerable height, and the S.W. point of a large island that seemed to lie detached, a league, or a league and a half, from the main land. The land of the cape, when at a distance from it, appeared to be an island disjoined from the other; but, on a nearer approach, we found it connected by a low neck of land. At the point of the cape are two rocks; the one peaked like a sugar- loaf, the other not so high, and shewing a rounder surface; and S. by E., two leagues from the cape, are two other rocky islets. This cape is situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 30' S., longitude 73 deg. 33' W.

After passing the two islets, we steered E.S.E., crossing the great bay of St Barbara. We but just saw the land in the bottom of it, which could not be less than seven or eight leagues from us. There was a space, lying in the direction of E.N.E. from Cape Noir, where no land was to be seen: this may be the channel of St Barbara, which opens into the straits of Magalhaens, as mentioned by Frezier. We found the cape to agree very well with his description, which shews that he laid down the channel from good memoirs. At ten o'clock, drawing near the S.E. point of the bay, which, lies nearly in the direction of S. 60 deg. E. from Cape Noir, eighteen leagues distant, we shortened sail, and spent the night standing off and on.

At two o'clock in the morning of the 19th, having made sail, we steered S.E. by E. along the coast, and soon passed the S.E. point of the bay of St Barbara, which I called Cape Desolation, because near it commenced the most desolate and barren country I ever saw. It is situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 55' S., longitude 72 deg. 12' W. About four leagues to the east of this cape is a deep inlet, at the entrance of which lies a pretty large island, and some others of less note. Nearly in this situation some charts place a channel leading into the straits of Magalhaens, under the name of straits of Jelouzel. At ten o'clock, being about a league and a half from the land, we sounded, and found sixty fathoms water, a bottom of small stones and shells.

The wind, which had been fresh at N. by W., began to abate, and at noon it fell calm, when we observed in latitude 55 deg. 20' S., longitude made from Cape Deseada 3 deg. 24' E. In this situation we were about three leagues from the nearest shore, which was that of an island. This I named Gilbert Isle, after my master. It is nearly of the same height with the rest of the coast, and shews a surface composed of several peaked rocks unequally high. A little to the S.E. of it are some smaller islands, and, without them, breakers.

I have before observed that this is the most desolate coast I ever saw. It seems entirely composed of rocky mountains without the least appearance of vegetation. These mountains terminate in horrible precipices, whose craggy summits spire up to a vast height, so that hardly any thing in nature can appear with a more barren and savage aspect than the whole of this country. The inland mountains were covered with snow, but those on the sea-coast were not. We judged the former to belong to the main of Terra del Fuego, and the latter to be islands, so ranged as apparently to form a coast.

After three hours calm we got a breeze at S.E. by E., and having made a short trip to south, stood in for the land; the most advanced point of which, that we had in sight, bore east, distant ten leagues. This is a lofty promontory, lying E.S.E, nineteen leagues from Gilbert isle, and situated in latitude 55 deg. 26' S, longitude 70 deg. 25' W. Viewed from the situation we now were in, it terminated in two high towers; and, within them, a hill shaped like a sugar-loaf. This wild rock, therefore, obtained the name of York Minster. Two leagues to the westward of this head appeared a large inlet, the west point of which we fetched in with by nine o'clock, when we tacked in forty-one fathoms water, half a league from the shore; to the westward of this inlet was another, with several islands lying in the entrance.

During the night between the 19th and 20th we had little wind easterly, which in the morning veered to N.E. and N.N.E., but it was too faint to be of use; and at ten we had a calm, when we observed the ship to drive from off the shore out to sea. We had made the same observation the day before. This must have been occasioned by a current; and the melting of the snow increasing, the inland waters will cause a stream to run out of most of these inlets. At noon we observed in latitude 55 deg. 39' 30" S., York Minster then bearing N. 15 deg. E., distant five leagues; and Round-hill, just peeping above the horizon, which we judged to belong to the isles of St Ildefonso, E. 25 deg. S., ten or eleven leagues distant. At ten o'clock, a breeze springing up at E. by S., I took this opportunity to stand in for the land, being desirous of going into one of the many ports which seemed open to receive us, in order to take a view of the country, and to recruit our stock of wood and water.

In standing in for an opening, which appeared on the east side of York Minster, we had forty, thirty-seven, fifty, and sixty fathoms water, a bottom of small stones and shells. When we had the last soundings, we were nearly in the middle between the two points that form the entrance to the inlet, which we observed to branch into two arms, both of them lying in nearly north, and disjoined by an high rocky point. We stood for the eastern branch as being clear of islets; and after passing a black rocky one, lying without the point just mentioned, we sounded, and found no bottom with a line of an hundred and seventy fathoms. This was altogether unexpected, and a circumstance that would not have been regarded if the breeze had continued; but at this time it fell calm, so that it was not possible to extricate ourselves from this disagreeable situation. Two boats were hoisted out, and sent a-head to tow; but they would have availed little, had not a breeze sprung up about eight o'clock at S.W., which put it in my power either to stand out to sea, or up the inlet. Prudence seemed to point out the former, but the desire of finding a good port, and of learning something of the country, getting the better of every other consideration, I resolved to stand in; and, as night was approaching, our safety depended on getting to an anchor. With this view we continued to sound, but always had an unfathomable depth.

Hauling up under the east side of the land which divided the two arms, and seeing a small cove ahead, I sent a boat to sound; and we kept as near the shore as the flurries from the land would permit, in order to be able to get into this place, if there should be anchorage. The boat soon returned, and informed us that there was thirty and twenty-five fathoms water, a full cable's length from the shore; here we anchored in thirty fathoms, the bottom sand and broken shells; and carried out a kedge and hawser to steady the ship for the night.

[1] Mr. G.F. describes this whale as being about twelve yards long, having an oblong blunt head, on which there were two longitudinal furrows, and as many upright ridges. It had small eyes, two semi-lunar apertures, from whence it occasionally spouted the water, and it was mottled all over with white spots. It had two large fins behind the head, but none on the back. In his opinion this extraordinary creature was entirely unknown before.—E.

[2] It is not to be supposed that I could know at this time, that the Adventure had made the passage before me.



SECTION II.

Transactions in Christmas Sound, with an Account of the Country and its Inhabitants.

The morning of the 21st was calm and pleasant. After breakfast I set out with two boats to look for a more secure station. We no sooner got round, or above the point, under which the ship lay, than we found a cove in which was anchorage in thirty, twenty, and fifteen fathoms, the bottom stones and sand. At the head of the cove was a stony beach, a valley covered with wood, and a stream of fresh water, so that there was every thing we could expect to find in such a place, or rather more; for we shot three geese out of four that we saw, and caught some young ones, which we afterwards let go.

After discovering and sounding this cove, I sent Lieutenant Clerke, who commanded the other boat, on board, with orders to remove the ship into this place, while I proceeded farther up the inlet. I presently saw that the land we were under, which disjoined the two arms, as mentioned before, was an island, at the north end of which the two channels united. After this I hastened on board, and found every thing in readiness to weigh, which was accordingly done, and all the boats sent ahead to tow the ship round the point. But at that moment a light breeze came in from the sea too scant to fill our sails, so that we were obliged to drop the anchor again, for fear of falling upon the point, and to carry out a kedge to windward. That being done, we hove up the anchor, warped up to, and weighed the kedge, and proceeding round the point under our stay-sails; there anchored with the best bower in twenty fathoms; and moored with the other bower, which lay to the north, in thirteen fathoms. In this position we were shut in from the sea by the point above-mentioned, which was in one with the extremity of the inlet to the east. Some islets, off the next point above us, covered us from the N.W., from which quarter the wind had the greatest fetch, and our distance from the shore was about one-third of a mile.

Thus situated we went to work, to clear a place to fill water, to cut wood, and to set up a tent for the reception of a guard, which was thought necessary, as we had already discovered that, barren as this country is, it was not without people, though we had not yet seen any. Mr Wales also got his observatory and instruments on shore; but it was with the greatest difficulty he could find a place of sufficient stability, and clear of the mountains, which every where surrounded us, to set them up in; and at last he was obliged to content himself with the top of a rock not more than nine feet over.

Next day I sent Lieutenants Clerke and Pickersgill, accompanied by some of the other officers, to examine and draw a sketch of the channel on the other side of the island; and I went myself in another boat, accompanied by the botanists, to survey the northern parts of the sound. In my way I landed on the point of a low isle covered with herbage, part of which had been lately burnt: We likewise saw a hut, signs sufficient that people were in the neighbourhood. After I had taken the necessary bearings, we proceeded round the east end of Burnt Island, and over to what we judged to be the main of Terra del Fuego, where we found a very fine harbour encompassed by steep rocks of vast height, down which ran many limpid streams of water; and at the foot of the rocks some tufts of trees, fit for little else but fuel.[1]

This harbour, which I shall distinguish by the name of the Devil's Bason, is divided, as it were, into two, an inner. and an outer one; and the communication between them is by a narrow channel five fathoms deep. In the outer bason I found thirteen and seventeen fathoms water, and in the inner seventeen and twenty-three. This last is as secure a place as can be, but nothing can be more gloomy. The vast height of the savage rocks which encompass it, deprived great part of it, even on this day, of the meridian sun. The outer harbour is not quite free from this inconvenience, but far more so than the other; it is also rather more commodious, and equally safe. It lies in the direction of north, a mile and a half distant from the east end of Burnt Island. I likewise found a good anchoring-place a little to the west of this harbour, before a stream of water, that comes out of a lake or large reservoir, which is continually supplied by a cascade falling into it.

Leaving this place, we proceeded along the shore to the westward, and found other harbours which I had not time to look into. In all of them is fresh water, and wood for fuel; but, except these little tufts of bushes, the whole country is a barren rock, doomed by nature to everlasting sterility. The low islands, and even some of the higher, which lie scattered up and down the sound, are indeed mostly covered with shrubs and herbage, the soil a black rotten turf, evidently composed, by length of time, of decayed vegetables.

I had an opportunity to verify what we had observed at sea, that the sea- coast is composed of a number of large and small islands, and that the numerous inlets are formed by the junction of several channels; at least so it is here. On one of these low islands we found several huts, which had lately been inhabited; and near them was a good deal of celery, with which we loaded our boat, and returned on board at seven o'clock in the evening. In this expedition we met with little game; one duck, three or four shags, and about that number of rails or sea-pies, being all we got. The other boat returned on board some hours before, having found two harbours on the west side of the other channel; the one large, and the other small, but both of them safe and commodious; though, by the sketch Mr Pickersgill had taken of them, the access to both appeared rather intricate.[2]

I was now told of a melancholy accident which had befallen one of our marines. He had not been seen since eleven or twelve o'clock the preceding night. It was supposed that he had fallen overboard, out of the head, where he had been last seen, and was drowned.

Having fine pleasant weather on the 23d, I sent Lieutenant Pickersgill in the cutter to explore the east side of the sound, and went myself in the pinnace to the west side, with an intent to go round the island, under which we were at anchor (and which I shall distinguish by the name of Shag Island), in order to view the passage leading to the harbours Mr Pickersgill had discovered the day before, on which I made the following observations. In coming from sea, leave all the rocks and islands, lying off and within York Minster, on your larboard side; and the black rock, which lies off the south end of Shag Island, on your starboard; and when abreast of the south end of that island, haul over for the west shore, taking care to avoid the beds of weeds you will see before you, as they always grow on rocks; some of which I have found twelve fathoms under water; but it is always best to keep clear of them. The entrance to the large harbour, or Port Clerke, is just to the north of some low rocks lying off a point on Shag Island. This harbour lies in W. by S., a mile and a half, and hath in it from twelve to twenty-four fathoms depth, wood and fresh water. About a mile without, or to the southward of Port Clerke, is, or seemed to be, another which I did not examine. It is formed by a large island which covers it from the south and east winds. Without this island, that is, between it and York Minster, the sea seemed strewed with islets, rocks, and breakers. In proceeding round the south end of Shag Island, we observed the shags to breed in vast numbers in the cliffs of the rock. Some of the old ones we shot, but could not come at the young ones, which are by far the best eating. On the east side of the island we saw some geese; and having with difficulty landed, we killed three, which, at this time, was a valuable acquisition.

About seven, in the evening, we got on board, where Mr Pickersgill had arrived but just before. He informed me that the land opposite to our station was an island, which he had been round; that on another, more to the north, be found many terns eggs; and that without the great island, between it and the east-head, lay a cove in which were many geese; one only of which he got, beside some young goslings.

This information of Mr Pickersgill's induced me to make up two shooting parties next day; Mr Pickersgill and his associates going in the cutter, and myself and the botanists in the pinnace. Mr Pickersgill went by the N.E. side of the large island above-mentioned, which obtained the name of Goose Island; and I went by the S.W. side. As soon as we got under the island we found plenty of shags in the cliffs, but, without staying to spend our time and shot upon these, we proceeded on, and presently found sport enough, for in the south side of the island were abundance of geese. It happened to be the moulting season; and most of them were on shore for that purpose, and could not fly. There being a great surf, we found great difficulty in landing, and very bad climbing over the rocks when we were landed; so that hundreds of the geese escaped us, some into the sea, and others up into the island. We, however, by one means or other, got sixty- two, with which we returned on board all heartily tired; but the acquisition we had made overbalanced every other consideration, and we sat down with a good appetite to supper on part of what the preceding day had produced. Mr Pickersgill and his associates had got on board some time before us with fourteen geese; so that I was able to make distribution to the whole crew, which was the more acceptable on account of the approaching festival. For had not Providence thus singularly provided for us, our Christmas cheer must have been salt beef and pork.

I now learnt that a number of the natives, in nine canoes, had been alongside the ship, and some on board. Little address was required to persuade them to either; for they seemed to be well enough acquainted with Europeans, and had, amongst them, some of their knives.

The next morning, the 25th, they made us another visit. I found them to be of the same nation I had formerly seen in Success Bay, and the same which M. de Bougainville distinguishes by the name of Pecheras; a word which these had, on every occasion, in their mouths. They are a little, ugly, half-starved, beardless race. I saw not a tall person amongst them. They are almost naked; their clothing was a seal-skin; some had two or three sewed together, so as to make a cloak which reached to the knees; but the most of them had only one skin, hardly large enough to cover their shoulders, and all their lower parts were quite naked. The women, I was told, cover their nakedness with the flap of a seal-skin, but in other respects are clothed like the men. They, as well as the children, remained in the canoes. I saw two young children at the breast entirely naked; thus they are inured from their infancy to cold and hardships. They had with them bows and arrows, and darts, or rather harpoons, made of bone, and fitted to a staff. I suppose they were intended to kill seals and fish; they may also kill whales with them, as the Esquimaux do. I know not if they resemble them in their love of train-oil; but they and every thing they had smelt most intolerably of it. I ordered them some biscuit, but did not observe them so fond of it as I had been told. They were much better pleased when I gave them some medals, knives, &c.[3]

The women and children, as before observed, remained in their canoes. These were made of bark; and in each was a fire, over which the poor creatures huddled themselves. I cannot suppose that they carry a fire in their canoes for this purpose only, but rather that it may be always ready to remove ashore wherever they land; for let their method of obtaining fire be what it may, they cannot be always sure of finding dry fuel that will kindle from a spark. They likewise carry in their canoes large seal hides, which I judged were to shelter them when at sea, and to serve as covering to their huts on shore, and occasionally to be used for sails.

They all retired before dinner, and did not wait to partake of our Christmas cheer. Indeed I believe no one invited them, and for good reasons; for their dirty persons, and the stench they carried about them, were enough to spoil the appetite of any European; and that would have been a real disappointment, as we had not experienced such fare for some time. Roast and boiled geese, goose-pye, &c. was a treat little known to us; and we had yet some Madeira wine left, which was the only article of our provision that was mended by keeping. So that our friends in England did not, perhaps, celebrate Christmas more cheerfully than we did.

On the 26th, little wind next to a calm, and fair weather, except in the morning, when we had some showers of rain. In the evening, when it was cold, the natives made us another visit; and it being distressing to see them stand trembling and naked on the deck, I could not do less than give them some baize and old canvas to cover themselves.

Having already completed our water, on the 27th I ordered the wood, tent, and observatory to be got on board; and, as this was work for the day, a party of us went in two boats to shoot geese, the weather being fine and pleasant. We proceeded round by the south side of Goose Island, and picked up in all thirty-one. On the east side of the island, to the north of the east point, is good anchorage, in seventeen fathoms water, where it is entirely land-locked. This is a good place for ships to lie in that are bound to the west. On the north side of this isle I observed three fine coves, in which were both wood and water; but it being near night, I had no time to sound them, though I doubt not there is anchorage. The way to come at them is by the west end of the island.

When I returned on board I found every thing got off the shore, and the launch in; so that we now only waited for a wind to put to sea. The festival, which we celebrated at this place, occasioned my giving it the name of Christmas Sound. The entrance, which is three leagues wide, is situated in the latitude of 55 deg. 27' S., longitude 70 deg. 16' W.; and in the direction of N. 37 deg. W. from St Ildefonso Isles, distant ten leagues. These isles are the best landmark for finding the sound. York Minster, which is the only remarkable land about it, will hardly be known by a stranger, from any description that can be given of it, because it alters its appearance according to the different situations it is viewed from. Besides the black rock, which lies off the end of Shag Island, there is another about midway between this and the east shore. A copious description of this sound is unnecessary, as few would be benefited by it. Anchorage, tufts of wood, and fresh-water, will be found in all the coves and harbours. I would advise no one to anchor very near the shore for the sake of having a moderate depth of water, because there I generally found a rocky bottom.

The refreshments to be got here are precarious, as they consist chiefly of wild fowl, and may probably never be found in such plenty as to supply the crew of a ship; and fish, so far as we can judge, are scarce. Indeed the plenty of wild-fowl made us pay less attention to fishing. Here are, however, plenty of muscles, not very large, but well tasted; and very good celery is to be met with on several of the low islets, and where the natives have their habitations. The wild-fowl are geese, ducks, sea-pies, shags, and that kind of gull so often mentioned in this journal under the name of Port Egmont hen. Here is a kind of duck, called by our people race- horses, on account of the great swiftness with which they run on the water; for they cannot fly, the wings being too short to support the body in the air. This bird is at the Falkland Islands, as appears by Pernety's Journal. The geese too are there, and seem to be very well described under the name of bustards. They are much smaller than our English tame geese, but eat as well as any I ever tasted. They have short black bills and yellow feet. The gander is all white; the female is spotted black and white, or grey, with a large white spot on each wing. Besides the bird above-mentioned, here are several other aquatic, and some land ones; but of the latter not many.

From the knowledge which the inhabitants seem to have of Europeans, we may suppose that they do not live here continually, but retire to the north during the winter. I have often wondered that these people do not clothe themselves better, since Nature has certainly provided materials. They might line their seal-skin cloaks with the skins and feathers of aquatic birds; they might make their cloaks larger, and employ the same skins for other parts of clothing, for I cannot suppose they are scarce with them. They were ready enough to part with those they had to our people, which they hardly would have done, had they not known where to have got more. In short, of all the nations I have seen, the Pecheras are the most wretched. They are doomed to live in one of the most inhospitable climates in the world, without having sagacity enough to provide themselves with such conveniences as may render life in some measure more comfortable.

Barren as this country is, it abounds with a variety of unknown plants, and gave sufficient employment to Mr Forster and his party. The tree, which produceth the winter's bark; is found here in the woods, as is the holy- leaved barberry; and some other sorts, which I know not, but I believe are common in the straits of Magalhaens. We found plenty of a berry, which we called the cranberry, because they are nearly of the same colour, size, and shape. It grows on a bushy plant, has a bitterish taste, rather insipid; but may he eaten either raw or in tarts, and is used as food by the natives.[4]

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