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. 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, etc. 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.
A VOYAGE TOWARDS THE SOUTH POLE, AND ROUND THE WORLD.
FROM LEAVING NEW ZEALAND TO OUR RETURN TO ENGLAND.
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.
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*, 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.
[It is not to be supposed that I could known at this time, that the Adventure had made the passage before me.]
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.
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.
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.
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, etc.
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, etc. 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.
[* See Pernety's Journal, p.244 and p.213.]
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.
Range from Christmas Sound, round Cape Horn, through Strait Le Maire, and round Staten Land; with an Account of the Discovery of a Harbour in that Island, and a Description of the Coasts.
At four o'clock in the morning on the 28th, we began to unmoor, and at eight weighed, and stood out to sea, with a light breeze at N.W., which afterwards freshened, and was attended with rain. At noon, the east point of the sound (Point Nativity) bore N. 1/2 W., distant one and a half leagues, and St Ildefonzo Isles S.E. 1/2 S., distant seven leagues. The coast seemed to trend in the direction of E. by S.; but the weather being very hazy, nothing appeared distinct.
We continued to steer S.E. by E. and E.S.E.; with a fresh breeze at W.N.W., till four o'clock p.m., when we hauled to the south, in order to have a nearer view of St Ildefonzo Isles. At this time we were abreast of an inlet, which lies E.S.E, about seven leagues from the sound; but it must be observed that there are some isles without this distinction. At the west point of the inlet are two high peaked hills, and below them, to the east, two round hills, or isles, which lie in the direction of N.E. and S.W. of each other. An island, or what appeared to be an island, lay in the entrance; and another but smaller inlet appeared to the west of this: Indeed the coast appeared indented and broken as usual.
At half past five o'clock, the weather clearing up, gave us a good sight of Ildefonzo Isles. They are a group of islands and rocks above water, situated about six leagues from the main, and in the latitude of 55 deg. 53' S., longitude 69 deg. 41' W.
We now resumed our course to the east, and, at sun-set, the most advanced land bore S.E. by E. 3/4 E.; and a point, which I judged to be the west point of Nassau Bay, discovered by the Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral Hermite in 1624, bore N. 80 deg. E., six leagues distant. In some charts this point is called False Cape Horn, as being the southern point of Terra del Fuego. It is situated in latitude 55 deg. 39' S. From the inlet above-mentioned to this false cape, the direction of the coast is nearly east, half a point south, distant fourteen or fifteen leagues.
At ten o'clock, having shortened sail, we spent the night in making short boards under the top-sails, and at three next morning made sail, and steered S.E. by S., with a fresh breeze at W.S.W., the weather somewhat hazy. At this time the west entrance to Nassau Bay extended from N. by E. to N.E. 1/2 E., and the south side of Hermite's Isles, E. by S. At four, Cape Horn, for which we now steered, bore E. by S. It is known, at a distance, by a high round hill over it. A point to the W.N.W. shews a surface not unlike this; but their situations alone will always distinguish the one from the other.
At half past seven, we passed this famous cape, and entered the southern Atlantic ocean. It is the very same point of land I took for the cape, when I passed it in 1769, which at that time I was doubtful of. It is the most southern extremity on a group of islands of unequal extent, lying before Nassau Bay, known by the name of Hermite Islands, and is situated in the latitude of 55 deg. 58', and in the longitude of 68 deg. 13' W.; according to the observations made of it in 1769. But the observations which we had in Christmas Sound, and reduced to the cape by the watch, and others which we had afterwards, and reduced back to it by the same means, place it in 67 deg. 19'. It is most probable that a mean between the two, viz. 67 deg. 46', will be nearest the truth. On the N.W. side of the cape are two peaked rocks, like sugar-loaves: They lie N.W. by N., and S.E. by S., by compass, of each other. Some other straggling low rocks lie west of the cape, and one south of it; but they are all near the shore. From Christmas Sound to Cape Horn the course is E.S.E 1/4 E., distant thirty-one leagues. In the direction of E.N.E., three leagues from Cape Horn, is a rocky point, which I called Mistaken Cape, and is the southern point of the easternmost of Hermite Isles. Between these two capes there seemed to be a passage directly into Nassau Bay; some small isles were seen in the passage; and the coast, on the west side, had the appearance of forming good bays or harbours. In some charts, Cape Horn is laid down as belonging to a small island. This was neither confirmed, nor can it be contradicted by us; for several breakers appeared on the coast, both to the east and west of it; and the hazy weather rendered every object indistinct. The summits of some of the hills were rocky, but the sides and vallies seemed covered with a green turf, and wooded in tufts.
From Cape Horn we steered E. by N. 1/2 N., which direction carried us without the rocks that lie off Mistaken Cape. These rocks are white with the dung of fowls, and vast numbers were seen about them. After passing them we steered N.E. 1/2 E. and N.E., for Strait Le Maire, with a view of looking into Success Bay, to see if there were any traces of the Adventure having been there. At eight o'clock in the evening, drawing near the strait, we shortened sail, and hauled the wind. At this time the Sugar-loaf on Terra del Fuego bore N. 33 deg. W.; the point of Success Bay, just open of the cape of the same name, bearing N. 20 deg. E.; and Staten Land, extending from N. 53 deg. E. to 67 deg. E. Soon after the wind died away, and we had light airs and calms by turns till near noon the next day, during which time we were driven by the current over to Staten Land.
The calm being succeeded by a light breeze at N.N.W., we stood over for Success Bay, assisted by the currents, which set to the north. Before this we had hoisted our colours, and fired two guns; and soon after saw a smoke rise out of the woods, above the south point of the bay, which I judged was made by the natives, as it was at the place where they resided when I was here in 1769. As soon as we got off the bay, I sent Lieutenant Pickersgill to see if any traces remained of the Adventure having been there lately; and in the mean time we stood on and off with the ship. At two o'clock, the current turned and set to the south; and Mr Pickersgill informed me, when he returned, that it was falling water on shore, which was contrary to what I had observed when I was here before, for I thought then that the flood came from the north. Mr Pickersgill saw not the least signs of any ship having been there lately. I had inscribed our ship's name on a card, which he nailed to a tree at the place where the Endeavour watered. This was done with a view of giving Captain Furneaux some information, in case he should be behind us and put in here.
On Mr Pickersgill's landing he was courteously received by several of the natives, who were clothed in guanicoe and seal skins, and had on their arms bracelets, made of silver wire, and wrought not unlike the hilt of a sword, being no doubt the manufacture of some Europeans. They were the same kind of people we had seen in Christmas Sound, and, like them, repeated the word pechera on every occasion. One man spoke much to Mr Pickersgill, pointing first to the ship and then to the bay, as if he wanted her to come in. Mr Pickersgill said the bay was full of whales and seals; and we had observed the same in the strait, especially on the Terra del Fuego side, where the whales, in particular, are exceedingly numerous.
As soon as the boat was hoisted in, which, was not till near six o'clock, we made sail to the east, with a fine breeze at north. For since we had explored the south coast of Terra del Fuego, I resolved to do the same by Staten Land, which I believed to have been as little known as the former. At nine o'clock the wind freshening, and veering to N.W., we tacked, and stood to S.W., in order to spend the night; which proved none of the best, being stormy and hazy, with rain.
Next morning, at three o'clock, we bore up for the east end of Staten Land, which, at half past four, bore S. 60 deg. E., the west end S. 2 deg. E., and the land of Terra del Fuego S. 40 deg. W. Soon after I had taken these bearings, the land was again obscured in a thick haze, and we were obliged to make way, as it were, in the dark; for it was but now and then we got a sight of the coast. As we advanced to the east, we perceived several islands, of unequal extent, lying off the land. There seemed to be a clear passage between the easternmost, and the one next to it, to the west. I would gladly have gone through this passage, and anchored under one of the islands, to have waited for better weather, for on sounding we found only twenty-nine fathoms water; but when I considered that this was running to leeward in the dark, I chose to keep without the islands, and accordingly hauled off to the north. At eight o'clock we were abreast of the most eastern isle, distant from it about two miles, and had the same depth of water as before. I now shortened sail to the three top-sails, to wait for clear weather; for the fog was so thick that we could see no other land than this island. After waiting an hour, and the weather not clearing, we bore up and hauled round the east end of the island, for the sake of smooth water and anchorage, if it should be necessary. In hauling round, we found a strong race of a current, like unto broken water; but we had no less than nineteen fathoms. We also saw on the island abundance of seals and birds. This was a temptation too great for people in our situation to withstand, to whom fresh provisions of any kind were acceptable; and determined me to anchor, in order that we might taste of what we now only saw at a distance. At length, after making a few boards, fishing, as it were, for the best ground, we anchored in twenty-one fathoms water, a stony bottom, about a mile from the island, which extended from N. 18 deg. E. to N. 55 deg. 1/2 W.; and soon after, the weather clearing up, we saw Cape St John, or the east end of Staten Land, bearing S. 76 deg. E., distant four leagues. We were sheltered from the south wind by Staten Land, and from the north wind by the island; the other isles lay to the west, and secured us from that wind; but beside being open to the N.E. and E., we also lay exposed to the N.N.W. winds. This might have been avoided by anchoring more to the west, but I made choice of my situation for two reasons; first, to be near the island we intended to land upon, and, secondly, to be able to get to sea with any wind.
After dinner we hoisted out three boats, and landed with a large party of men; some to kill seals, others to catch or kill birds, fish, or what came in our way. To find the former it mattered not where we landed, for the whole shore was covered with them; and by the noise they made one would have thought the island was stocked with cows and calves. On landing we found they were a different animal from seals, but in shape and motion exactly resembling them. We called them lions, on account of the great resemblance the male has to that beast. Here were also the same kind of seals which we found in New Zealand, generally known by the name of sea-bears; at least we gave them that name.
They were, in general, so tame, or rather stupid, as to suffer us to come near enough to knock them down with sticks; but the large ones we shot, not thinking it safe to approach them. We also found on the island abundance of penguins and shags; and the latter had young ones almost fledged, and just to our taste. Here were geese and ducks, but not many; birds of prey, and a few small birds. In the evening we returned on board, our boats well laden with one thing or other.
Next day, being January the 1st, 1775, finding that nothing was wanting but a good harbour to make this a tolerable place for ships to refresh at, whom chance or design, might bring hither, I sent Mr Gilbert over to Staten Land in the cutter to look for one. Appearances promised success in a place opposite the ship. I also sent two other boats for the lions, etc. we had killed the preceding day; and soon after I went myself, and observed the sun's meridian altitude at the N.E. end of the island, which gave the latitude 54 deg. 40' 5" S. After shooting a few geese, some other birds, and plentifully supplying ourselves with young shags, we returned on board, laden with sea-lions, sea-bears, etc. The old lions and bears were killed chiefly for the sake of their blubber, or fat, to make oil of; for, except their haslets, which were tolerable, the flesh was too rank to be eaten with any degree of relish. But the young cubs were very palateable, and even the flesh of some of the old lionesses was not much amiss, but that of the old males was abominable. In the afternoon I sent some people on shore to skin and cut off the fat of those which yet remained dead on shore, for we had already more carcases on board than necessary; and I went myself, in another boat, to collect birds. About ten o'clock Mr Gilbert returned from Staten Land, where he found a good port, situated three leagues to the westward of Cape St John, and in the direction of north, a little easterly, from the N.E. end of the eastern island. It may be known by some small islands lying in the entrance. The channel, which is on the east side of these islands, is half a mile broad. The course is in S.W. by S., turning gradually to W. by S. and W. The harbour lies nearly in this last direction; is almost two miles in length; in some places near a mile broad; and hath in it from fifty to ten fathoms water, a bottom of mud and sand. Its shores are covered with wood fit for fuel; and in it are several streams of fresh water. On the islands were sea-lions, etc. and such an innumerable quantity of gulls as to darken the air when disturbed, and almost to suffocate our people with their dung. This they seemed to void in a way of defence, and it stunk worse than assafoetida, or what is commonly called devil's dung. Our people saw several geese, ducks, and race-horses, which is also a kind of duck. The day on which this port was discovered occasioned my calling it New-Year's Harbour. It would be more convenient for ships bound to the west, or round Cape Horn, if its situation would permit them to put to sea with an easterly and northerly wind. This inconvenience, however, is of little consequence, since these winds are never known to be of long duration. The southerly and westerly are the prevailing winds, so that a ship never can be detained long in this port.
As we could not sail in the morning of the 2d for want of wind, I sent a party of men on shore to the island, on the same duty as before. Towards noon we got a fresh breeze at west; but it came too late, and I resolved to wait till the next morning, when, at four o'clock, we weighed, with a fresh gale at N.W. by W., and stood for Cape St John, which, at half past six, bore N. by E., distant four or five miles. This cape, being the eastern point of Staten Land, a description of it is unnecessary. It may, however, not be amiss to say, that it is a rock of a considerable height, situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 46' S., longitude 63 deg. 47' W., with a rocky islet lying close under the north part of it. To the westward of the cape, about five or six miles, is an inlet, which seemed to divide the land, that is, to communicate with the sea to the south; and between this inlet and the cape is a bay, but I cannot say of what depth. In sailing round the cape we met with a very strong current from the south: It made a race which looked like breakers; and it was as much as we could do, with a strong gale, to make head against it.
After getting round the cape, I hauled up along the south coast, and as soon as we had brought the wind to blow off the land, it came upon us in such heavy squalls as obliged us to double-reef our top-sails. It afterwards fell, by little and little, and at noon ended in a calm. At this time Cape St John bore N. 20 deg. E., distant three and a half leagues; Cape St Bartholomew, or the S.W. point of Staten Land, S. 83 deg. W.; two high detached rocks N. 80 deg. W.; and the place where the land seemed to be divided, which had the same appearance on this side, bore N. 15 deg. W. three leagues distant. Latitude observed 54 deg. 56'. In this situation we sounded, but had no bottom with a line of 120 fathoms. The calm was of very short duration, a breeze presently springing up at N.W.; but it was too faint to make head against the current, and we drove with it back to the N.N.E. At four o'clock the wind veered, at once, to S. by E., and blew in squalls attended with rain. Two hours after, the squalls and rain subsided, and the wind returning back to the west, blew a gentle gale. All this time the current set us to the north, so that, at eight o'clock, Cape St John bore W.N.W., distant about seven leagues. I now gave over plying, and steered S.E., with a resolution to leave the land; judging it to be sufficiently explored to answer the most general purposes of navigation and geography.
Observations, geographical and nautical, with an Account of the Islands near Staten Land, and the Animals found in them.
The annexed chart will very accurately shew the direction, extent, and position of the coast, along which I have sailed, either in this or my former voyage. The latitudes have been determined by the sun's meridian altitude, which we were so fortunate as to obtain every day, except the one we sailed from Christmas Sound, which was of no consequence, as its latitude was known before. The longitudes have been settled by lunar observations, as is already mentioned. I have taken 67 deg. 46' for the longitude of Cape Horn. From this meridian the longitudes of all the other parts are deduced by the watch, by which the extent of the whole mast be determined to a few miles; and whatever errors there may be in longitude, must be general. But I think it highly probable that the longitude is determined to within a quarter of a degree. Thus the extent of Terra del Fuego from east to west, and consequently that of the straits of Magalhaens, will be found less than most navigators have made it.
In order to illustrate this and to shew the situations of the neighbouring lands, and, by this means, make the chart of more general use, I have extended it down to 47 deg. of latitude. But I am only answerable for the accuracy of such parts as I have explored myself. In laying down the rest I had recourse to the following authorities.
The longitude of Cape Virgin Mary, which is the most essential point, as it determines the length of the straits of Magalhaens, is deduced from Lord Anson, who made 2 deg. 30' difference of longitude between it and the Strait Le Maire. Now as the latter lies in 65 deg. 22', Cape Virgin-Mary must lie in: 67 deg. 52', which is the longitude I have assigned to it, and which, I have reason to think, cannot be far from the truth.
The strait of Magalhaens, and the east coast of Patagonia, are laid down from the observations made by the late English and French navigators.
The position of the west coast of America, from Cape Victory northward, I have taken from the discoveries of Sarmiento, a Spanish navigator, communicated to me by Mr Stuart, F.R.S.
Falkland Islands are copied from a sketch taken from Captain M'Bride, who circumnavigated them some years ago in his majesty's ship Jason; and their distance from the main is agreeable to the run of the Dolphin, under the command of Commodore Byron, from Cape Virgin Mary to Port Egmont, and from Port Egmont to Port Desire, both of which runs were made in a few days; consequently no material errors could happen.
The S.W. coast of Terra del Fuego, with respect to inlets, islands, etc. may be compared to the coast of Norway; for I doubt if there be an extent of three leagues where there is not an inlet or harbour which will receive and shelter the largest shipping. The worst is, that till these inlets are better known, one has, as it were, to fish for anchorage. There are several lurking rocks on the coast, but happily none of them lie far from land, the approach to which may be known by sounding, supposing the weather so obscure that you cannot see it. For to judge of the whole by the parts we have sounded, it is more than probable that there are soundings all along the coast, and for several leagues out to sea. Upon the whole, this is by no means the dangerous coast it has been represented.
Staten Land lies near E. by N. and W. by S., and is ten leagues long in that direction, and no where above three or four leagues broad. The coast is rocky, much indented, and seemed to form several bays or inlets. It shews a surface of craggy hills which spire up to a vast height, especially near the west end. Except the craggy summits of the hills, the greatest part was covered with trees and shrubs, or some sort of herbage, and there was little or no snow on it. The currents between Cape Deseada and Cape Horn set from west to east, that is, in the same direction as the coast; but they are by no means considerable. To the east of the cape their strength is much increased, and their direction is N.E. towards Staten Land. They are rapid in Strait Le Maire and along the south coast of Staten Land, and set like a torrent round Cape St John; where they take a N.W. direction, and continue to run very strong both within and without New Year's Isles. While we lay at anchor within this island, I observed that the current was strongest during the flood; and that on the ebb its strength was so much impaired, that the ship would sometimes ride head to the wind when it was at W. and W.N.W. This is only to be understood of the place where the ship lay at anchor, for at the very time we had a strong current setting to the westward, Mr Gilbert found one of equal strength near the coast of Staten Land setting to the eastward, though probably this was an eddy current or tide.
If the tides are regulated by the moon, it is high-water by the shore at this place on the days of the new and full moon, about four o'clock. The perpendicular rise and fall is very inconsiderable, not exceeding four feet at most. In Christmas Sound it is high-water at half past two o'clock on the days of the full and change, and Mr Wales observed it to rise and fall on a perpendicular three feet six inches; but this was during the neap tides, consequently the spring tides must rise higher. To give such an account of the tides and currents on these coasts as navigators might depend on, would require a multitude of observations, and in different places, the making of which would be a work of time. I confess myself unprovided with materials for such a task; and believe that the less I say on this subject the fewer mistakes I shall make. But I think I have been able to observe, that in Strait Le Maire the southerly tide or current, be it flood or ebb, begins to act on the days of new and full moon about four o'clock, which remark may be of use to ships who pass the strait.
Were I bound round Cape Horn to the west, and not in want of wood or water, or any other thing that might make it necessary to put into port, I would not come near the land at all. For by keeping out at sea you avoid the currents, which, I am satisfied, lose their force at ten or twelve leagues from land; and at a greater distance, there is none.
During the time we were upon the coast we had more calms than storms, and the winds so variable, that I question if a passage might not have been made from east to west in as short a time as from west to east; nor did we experience any cold weather. The mercury in the thermometer at noon was never below 46 deg.; and while we lay in Christmas Sound it was generally above temperate. At this place the variation was 23 deg. 30' E.; a few leagues to the S. W. of Strait Le Maire it was 24 deg.; and at anchor, within New Year's Isles, it was 24 deg. 20' E.
These isles are, in general, so unlike Staten Land, especially the one on which we landed, that it deserves a particular description. It shews a surface of equal height, and elevated about thirty or forty feet above the sea, from which it is defended by a rocky coast. The inner part of the isle is covered with a sort of sword-grass, very green, and of a great length. It grows on little hillocks of two or three feet in diameter, and as many or more in height, in large tufts, which seemed to be composed of the roots of the plant matted together. Among these hillocks are a vast number of paths made by sea-bears and penguins, by which they retire into the centre of the isle. It is, nevertheless, exceedingly bad travelling; for these paths are so dirty that one is sometimes up to the knees in mire. Besides this plant, there are a few other grasses, a kind of heath, and some celery. The whole surface is moist and wet, and on the coast are several small streams of water. The sword-grass, as I call it, seems to be the same that grows in Falkland Isles, described by Bougainville as a kind of gladiolus, or rather a species of gramen* and named by Pernety corn-flags.
[See English translation of Bougainville, p.51.]
The animals found on this little spot are sea-lions, sea-bears, a variety of oceanic, and some land-birds. The sea-lion is pretty well described by Pernety, though those we saw here have not such fore-feet or fins as that he has given a plate of, but such fins as that which he calls the sea-wolf. Nor did we see any of the size he speaks of; the largest not being more than twelve or fourteen feet in length, and perhaps eight or ten in circumference. They are not of that kind described under the same name by Lord Anson; but, for aught I know, these would more properly deserve that appellation: The long hair, with which the back of the head, the neck and shoulders, are covered, giving them greatly the air and appearance of a lion. The other part of the body is covered with short hair, little longer than that of a cow or a horse, and the whole is a dark-brown. The female is not half so big as the male, and is covered with a short hair of an ash or light-dun colour. They live, as it were, in herds, on the rocks, and near the sea-shore. As this was the time for engendering as well as bringing forth their young, we have seen a male with twenty or thirty females about him, and always very attentive to keep them all to himself, and beating off every other male who attempted to come into his flock. Others again had a less number; some no more than one or two; and here and there we have seen one lying growling in a retired, place, alone, and suffering neither males nor females to approach him: We judged these were old and superannuated.
The sea-bears are not so large, by far, as the lions, but rather larger than a common seal. They have none of that long hair which distinguishes the lion. Theirs is all of an equal length, and finer than that of the lion, something like an otter's, and the general colour is that of an iron-grey. This is the kind which the French call sea-wolfs, and the English seals; they are, however, different from the seals we have in Europe and North America. The lions may, too, without any great impropriety, be called over-grown seals; for they are all of the same species. It was not at all dangerous to go among them, for they either fled or lay still. The only danger was in going between them and the sea; for if they took fright at any thing, they would come down in such numbers, that, if you could not get out of their way, you would be run over. Sometimes, when we came suddenly upon them, or waked them out of their sleep, (for they are a sluggish sleepy animal), they would raise up their heads; snort and snarl, and look as fierce as if they meant to devour us; but as we advanced upon them they always run away, so that they are downright bullies.
The penguin is an amphibious bird, so well known to most people, that I shall only observe, they are here in prodigious numbers, so that we could knock down as many as we pleased with a stick. I cannot say they are good eating. I have indeed made several good meals of them, but it was for want of better victuals. They either do not breed here, or else this was not the season; for we saw neither eggs nor young ones.
Shags breed here in vast numbers; and we carried on board not a few, as they are very good eating. They take certain spots to themselves, and build their nests near the edge of the cliffs on little hillocks, which are either those of the sword-grass, or else they are made by the shags building on them from year to year. There is another sort rather smaller than these, which breed in the cliffs of rocks.
The geese are of the same sort we found in Christmas Sound; we saw but few, and some had young ones. Mr Forster shot one which was different from these, being larger, with a grey plumage, and black feet. The others make a noise exactly like a duck. Here were ducks, but not many; and several of that sort which we called race-horses. We shot some, and found them to weigh twenty-nine or thirty pounds; those who eat of them said they were very good.
The oceanic birds were gulls, terns, Port Egmont hens, and a large brown bird, of the size of an albatross, which Pernety calls quebrantahuessas. We called them Mother Carey's geese, and found them pretty good eating; The land-birds were eagles, or hawks, bald-headed vultures, or what our seamen called turkey-buzzards, thrushes, and a few other small birds.
Our naturalists found two new species of birds. The one is about the size of a pigeon, the plumage as white as milk. They feed along-shore, probably on shell-fish and carrion, for they have a very disagreeable smell. When we first saw these birds we thought they were the snow-peterel, but the moment they were in our possession the mistake was discovered; for they resemble them in nothing but size and colour. These are not webb-footed. The other sort is a species of curlews nearly as big as a heron. It has a variegated plumage, the principal colours whereof are light-grey, and a long crooked bill.
I had almost forgot to mention that there are sea-pies, or what we called, when in New Zealand, curlews; but we only saw a few straggling pairs. It may not be amiss to observe, that the shags are the same bird which Bougainville calls saw-bills; but he is mistaken in saying that the quebrantahuessas are their enemies; for this bird is of the peterel tribe, feeds wholly on fish, and is to be found in all the high southern latitudes.
It is amazing to see how the different animals which inhabit this little spot are mutually reconciled. They seem to have entered into a league not to disturb each other's tranquillity. The sea-lions occupy most of the sea-coast; the sea-bears take up their abode in the isle; the shags have post in the highest cliffs; the penguins fix their quarters where there is the most easy communication to and from the sea; and the other birds choose more retired places. We have seen all these animals mix together, like domestic cattle and poultry in a farm-yard, without one attempting to molest the other. Nay, I have often observed the eagles and vultures sitting on the hillocks among the shags, without the latter, either young or old, being disturbed at their presence. It may be asked how these birds of prey live? I suppose on the carcases of seals and birds which die by various causes; and probably not few, as they are so numerous.
This very imperfect account is written more with a view to assist my own memory than to give information to others. I am neither a botanist nor a naturalist; and have not words to describe the productions of nature, either in the one branch of knowledge or the other.
Proceedings after leaving Staten Island, with an Account of the Discovery of the Isle of Georgia, and a Description of it.
Having left the land in the evening of the 3d, as before mentioned, we saw it again next morning, at three o'clock, bearing west. Wind continued to blow a steady fresh breeze till six p.m., when it shifted in a heavy squall to S.W., which came so suddenly upon us, that we had not time to take in the sails, and was the occasion of carrying away a top-gallant mast, a studding-sail boom, and a fore studding-sail. The squall ended in a heavy shower of rain, but the wind remained at S.W. Our course was S.E., with a view of discovering that extensive coast laid down by Mr Dalrymple in his chart, in which is the gulph of St Sebastian. I designed to make the western point of that gulph, in order to have all the other parts before me. Indeed I had some doubt of the existence of such a coast; and this appeared to me the best route for clearing it up, and for exploring the southern part of this ocean.
On the 5th, fresh gales, and wet and cloudy weather. At noon observed in 57 deg. 9', latitude made from Cape St John, 5 deg. 2' E. At six o'clock p.m., being in the latitude 57 deg. 21', and in longitude 57 deg. 45' W., the variation was 21 deg. 28' E.
At eight o'clock in the evening of the 6th, being then in the latitude of 58 deg. 9' S., longitude 53 deg. 14' W., we close-reefed our top-sails, and hauled to the north, with a very strong gale at west, attended with a thick haze and sleet. The situation just mentioned is nearly the same that Mr Dalrymple assigns for the S.W. point of the gulph of St Sebastian. But as we saw neither land, nor signs of land, I was the more doubtful of its existence, and was fearful that, by keeping to the south, I might miss the land said to be discovered by La Roche in 1675, and by the ship Lion in 1756, which Mr Dalrymple places in 54 deg. 30' latitude, and 45 deg. of longitude; but on looking over D'Anville's chart, I found it laid down 9 deg. or 10 deg. more to the west; this difference of situation being to me a sign of the uncertainty of both accounts, determined me to get into the parallel as soon as possible, and was the reason of my hauling to the north at this time.
Towards the morning of the 7th the gale abated, the weather cleared up, and the wind veered to the W.S.W., where it continued till midnight, after which it veered to N.W. Being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 4' S., longitude 53 deg. 36' W., we sounded, but found no bottom with a line of one hundred and thirty fathoms. I still kept the wind on the larboard-tack, having a gentle breeze and pleasant weather. On the 8th, at noon, a bed of sea-weed passed the ship. In the afternoon, in latitude 55 deg. 4', longitude 51 deg. 43' W., the variation was 20 deg. 4' E.
On the 9th, wind at N.E., attended with thick hazy weather; saw a seal, and a piece of sea-weed. At noon, latitude 55 deg. 12' S., longitude 50 deg. 15' W., the wind and weather continuing the same till towards midnight, when the latter cleared up, and the former veered to west, and blew a gentle gale. We continued to ply till two o'clock the next morning, when we bore away east, and at eight E.N.E.; at noon, observed in latitude 54 deg. 35' S., longitude 47 deg. 56' W., a great many albatrosses and blue peterels about the ship. I now steered east, and the next morning, in the latitude of 54 deg. 38', longitude 45 deg. 10' W., the variation was 19 deg. 25' E. In the afternoon saw several penguins, and some pieces of weed.
Having spent the night lying-to, on the 12th, at day-break, we bore away, and steered east northerly, with a fine fresh breeze at W.S.W.; at noon observed in latitude 54 deg. 28' S., longitude in 42 deg. 8' W.; that is, near 3 deg. E. of the situation in which Mr Dalrymple places the N.E. point of the gulph of St Sebastian; but we had no other signs of land than seeing a seal and a few penguins; on the contrary, we had a swell from E.S.E., which would hardly have been, if any extensive track of land lay in that direction. In the evening the gale abated, and at midnight it fell calm.
The calm, attended by a thick fog, continued till six next morning, when we got a wind at east, but the fog still prevailed. We stood to the south till noon, when, being in the latitude of 55 deg. 7', we tacked and stretched to the north with a fresh breeze at E. by S. and E.S.E., cloudy weather; saw several penguins and a snow-peterel, which we looked on to be signs of the vicinity of ice. The air too was much colder than we had felt it since we left New Zealand. In the afternoon the wind veered to the S.E., and in the night to S.S.E., and blew fresh, with which we stood to the N.E.
At nine o'clock the next morning we saw an island of ice, as we then thought, but at noon were doubtful whether it was ice or land. At this time it bore E. 3/4 S., distant thirteen leagues; our latitude was 53 deg. 56' 1/2, longitude 39 deg. 24' W.; several penguins, small divers, a snow-peterel, and a vast number of blue peterels about the ship. We had but little wind all the morning, and at two p.m. it fell calm. It was now no longer doubted that it was land, and not ice, which we had in sight. It was, however, in a manner wholly covered with snow. We were farther confirmed in our judgement of its being land, by finding soundings at one hundred and seventy-five fathoms, a muddy bottom. The land at this time bore E. by S., about twelve leagues distant. At six o'clock the calm was succeeded by a breeze at N.E., with which we stood to S.E. At first it blew a gentle gale; but afterwards increased so as to bring us under double-reefed top-sails, and was attended with snow and sleet.
We continued to stand to the S.E. till seven in the morning on the 15th, when the wind veering to the S.E., we tacked and stood to the north. A little before we tacked, we saw the land bearing E. by N. At noon the mercury in the thermometer was at 35 deg. 1/4. The wind blew in squalls, attended with snow and sleet, and we had a great sea to encounter. At a lee-lurch which the ship took, Mr Wales observed her to lie down 42 deg.. At half past four p.m. we took in the top-sails, got down top-gallant yards, wore the ship, and stood to the S.W., under two courses. At midnight the storm abated, so that we could carry the top-sails double-reefed.
At four in the morning of the 16th we wore and stood to the east, with the wind at S.S.E., a moderate breeze, and fair; at eight o'clock saw the land extending from E. by N. to N.E. by N.; loosed a reef out of each top-sail, got top-gallant yards across, and set the sails. At noon observed in latitude 54 deg. 25' 1/2, longitude 38 deg. 18' W. In this situation we had one hundred and ten fathoms water; and the land extended from N. 1/2 W. to E., eight leagues distant. The northern extreme was the same that we first discovered, and it proved to be an island, which obtained the name of Willis's Island, after the person who first saw it.
At this time we had a great swell from the south, an indication that no land was near us in that direction; nevertheless the vast quantity of snow on that in sight induced us to think it was extensive, and I chose to begin with exploring the northern coast. With this view we bore up for Willis's Island, all sails set, having a fine gale at S.S.W. As we advanced to the north, we perceived another isle lying east of Willis's, and between it and the main. Seeing there was a clear passage between the two isles, we steered for it, and at five o'clock, being in the middle of it, we found it about two miles broad.
Willis's Isle is an high rock of no great extent, near to which are some rocky islets. It is situated in the latitude of 54 deg. S., longitude 38 deg. 23' W. The other isle, which obtained the name of Bird Isle, on account of the vast number that were upon it, is not so high, but of greater extent, and is close to the N.E. point of the main land, which I called Cape North.
The S.E. coast of this land, as far as we saw it, lies in the direction of S. 50 deg. E., and N. 50 deg. W. It seemed to form several bays or inlets; and we observed huge masses of snow, or ice, in the bottoms of them, especially in one which lies ten miles to the S.S.E. of Bird Isle.
After getting through the passage, we found the north coast trended E. by N., for about nine miles; and then east and east-southerly to Cape Buller, which is eleven miles more. We ranged the coast, at one league distance, till near ten o'clock, when we brought-to for the night, and on sounding found fifty fathoms, a muddy bottom.
At two o'clock in the morning of the 17th we made sail in for the land, with a fine breeze at S.W.; at four, Willis's Isle bore W. by S., distant thirty-two miles; Cape Buller, to the west of which lie some rocky islets, bore S.W. by W.; and the most advanced point of land to the east, S. 63 deg. E. We now steered along shore, at the distance of four or five miles, till seven o'clock, when, seeing the appearance of an inlet, we hauled in for it. As soon as we drew near the shore, having hoisted out a boat, I embarked in it, accompanied by Mr Forster and his party, with a view of reconnoitring the bay before we ventured in with the ship. When we put off from her, which was about four miles from the shore, we had forty fathoms water. I continued to sound as I went farther in, but found no bottom with a line of thirty-four fathoms, which was the length of that I had in the boat, and which also proved too short to sound the bay, so far as I went up it. I observed it to lie in S.W. by S. about two leagues, about two miles broad, well sheltered from all winds; and I judged there might be good anchorage before some sandy beaches which are on each side, and likewise near a low flat isle, towards the head of the bay. As I had come to a resolution not to bring the ship in, I did not think it worth my while to go and examine these places; for it did not seem probable that any one would ever be benefited by the discovery. I landed at three different places, displayed our colours, and took possession of the country in his majesty's name, under a discharge of small arms.