A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,
ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:
FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE, BY SEA AND LAND, FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT TIME.
BY ROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN.
ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS AND CHARTS.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH: AND T. CADELL, LONDON. MDCCCXXIV.
CONTENTS OF VOL. XV.
PART III.—BOOK II.
[Continuing An Account of a Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World, performed in his Majesty's ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5: Written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution.]
CHAP. IV.—Continued.—From leaving New Zealand to our return to England,
SECT. III. 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,
IV. Observations, geographical and nautical, with an Account of the Islands near Staten Land, and the Animals found in them,
V. Proceedings after leaving Staten Island, with an Account of the Discovery of the Isle of Georgia, and a Description of it,
VI. Proceedings after leaving the Isle of Georgia, with an Account of the Discovery of Sandwich Land; with some Reasons for there being Land about the South Pole,
VII. Heads of what has been done in the Voyage; with some Conjectures concerning the Formation of Ice-Islands; and an Account of our Proceedings till our Arrival at the Cape of Good Hope,
VIII. Captain Furneaux's Narrative of his Proceedings, in the Adventure, from the Time he was separated from the Resolution, to his Arrival in England; including Lieutenant Burney's Report concerning the Boat's Crew who were murdered by the Inhabitants of Queen Charlotte's Sound,
SECT. IX. Transactions at the Cape of Good Hope; with an Account of some Discoveries made by the French; and the Arrival of the Ship at St Helena,
X. Passage from St Helena to the Western Islands, with a Description of the Island of Ascension and Fernando Noronha,
XI. Arrival of the Ship at the Island of Fayal, a Description of the Place, and the Return of the Resolution to England,
A Vocabulary of the Language of the Society Isles,
BOOK III. A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by the Command of his Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere; to determine the Position and Extent of the West Side of North America, its Distance from Asia, and the Practicability of a Northern Passage to Europe. Performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in his Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery, in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, & 1780,
CHAP. I. Transactions from the Beginning of the Voyage till our Departure from New Zealand,
SECT. I. Various Preparations for the Voyage. Omai's Behaviour on embarking. Observations for determining the Longitude of Sheerness, and the North Foreland. Passage of the Resolution from Deptford to Plymouth. Employments there. Complements of the Crews of both Ships, and Names of the Officers. Observations to fix the Longitude of Plymouth. Departure of the Resolution,
II. Passage of the Resolution to Teneriffe. Reception there. Description of Santa Cruz Road. Refreshments to be met with. Observations for fixing the Longitude of Teneriffe. Some Account of the Island. Botanical Observations. Cities of Santa Cruz and Laguna, Agriculture. Air and Climate. Commerce. Inhabitants,
III. Departure from Teneriffe. Danger of the Ship near Bonavista. Isle of Mayo. Port Praya. Precautions against the Rain and sultry Weather in the Neighbourhood of the Equator. Position of the Coast of Brazil. Arrival at the Cape of Good Hope. Transactions there. Junction of the Discovery. Mr Anderson's Journey up the Country. Astronomical Observations. Nautical Remarks on the Passage from England to the Cape, with regard to the Currents and the Variation,
SECT. IV. The two Ships leave the Cape of Good Hope. Two Islands, named Prince Edward's, seen, and their Appearance described. Kerguelen's Land visited. Arrival in Christmas Harbour. Occurrences there. Description of it,
V. Departure from Christmas Harbour. Range along the Coast, to discover its Position and Extent. Several Promontories and Bays, and a Peninsula, described and named. Danger from Shoals, Another Harbour and a Sound. Mr Anderson's Observations on the Natural Productions, Animals, Soil, &c. of Kerguelen's Land,
VI. Passage from Kerguelen's to Van Diemen's Land. Arrival in Adventure Bay. Incidents there. Interviews with the Natives. Their Persons and Dress described. Account of their Behaviour. Table of the Longitude, Latitude, and Variation. Mr Anderson's Observations on the Natural, Productions of the Country, on the Inhabitants, and their Language,
VII. The Passage from Van Diemen's Land to New Zealand. Employments in Queen Charlotte's Sound. Transactions with the Natives there. Intelligence about the Massacre of the Adventure's Boat's Crew. Account of the Chief who headed the Party on that Occasion. Of the two young Men who embark to attend Omai. Various Remarks on the Inhabitants. Astronomical and Nautical Observations,
VIII. Mr Anderson's Remarks on the Country near Queen Charlotte's Sound. The Soil. Climate. Weather. Winds. Trees. Plants. Birds. Fish. Other Animals. Of the Inhabitants. Description of their Persons. Their Dress. Ornaments. Habitations. Boats. Food and Cookery. Arts. Weapons. Cruelty to Prisoners. Various Customs. Specimen of their Language,
CHAP. II From leaving New Zealand to our Arrival at Otaheite, or the Society Islands,
Sect. I. Prosecution of the Voyage. Behaviour of the two New Zealanders on board. Unfavourable Winds. An Island called Mangeea discovered. The Coast of it examined. Transactions with the Natives. An Account of their Persons, Dress, and Canoes. Description of the Island. A Specimen of the Language. Disposition of the Inhabitants,
II. The Discovery of an Island called Wateeoo. Its Coasts examined.—Visits from the Natives on board the Ships. Mess, Gore, Burney, and Anderson, with Omai, sent on Shore. Mr Anderson's Narrative of their Reception. Omai's Expedient to prevent their being detained. His meeting with some of his Countrymen, and their distressful Voyage. Farther Account of Wateeoo, and of its Inhabitants,
III. Wenooa-ette, or Otokootaia, visited. Account of that Island, and of its Produce. Hervey's Island, or Terougge mou Attooa, found to be inhabited. Transactions with the Natives. Their Persons, Dress, Language, Canoes. Fruitless Attempt to land there. Reason for bearing away for the Friendly Islands. Palmerston's Island touched at. Description of the two Places where the Boats landed. Refreshments obtained there. Conjectures on the Formation of such low Islands. Arrival at the Friendly Islands,
IV. Intercourse with the Natives of Komango, and other Islands. Arrival at Annamooka. Transactions there. Feenou, a principal Chief, from Tongataboo, comes on a Visit. The Manner of his Reception in the Island, and on board. Instances of the pilfering Disposition of the Natives. Some Account of Annamooka. The Passage from it to Hepaee,
V. Arrival of the Ships at Hepaee, and friendly Reception there. Presents and Solemnities on the Occasion. Single Combats with Clubs. Wrestling and Boxing Matches. Female Combatants. Marines exercised. A Dance performed by Men. Fireworks exhibited. The Night-entertainments of Singing and Dancing particularly described,
SECT. VI. Description of Lefooga. Its cultivated State. Its Extent. Transactions there. A female Oculist. Singular Expedients for shaving off the Hair. The Ships change their Station. A remarkable Mount and Stone. Description of Hoolaiva. Account of Poulaho, King of the Friendly Islands. Respectful Manner in which he is treated by his People. Departure from the Hepaee Islands. Some Account of Kotoo. Return of the Ships to Annamooka. Poulaho and Feenou meet Arrival at Tongataboo,
VII. Friendly Reception at Tongataboo. Manner of distributing a baked Hog and Kava to Poulaho's Attendants. The Observatory, &c. erected. The Village where the Chiefs reside, and the adjoining Country, described. Interviews with Mareewagee, and Toobou, and the King's Son. A grand Haiva, or Entertainment of Songs and Dances, given by Mareewagee. Exhibition of Fireworks. Manner of Wrestling and Boxing. Distribution of the Cattle. Thefts committed by the Natives. Poulaho, and the other Chiefs, confined on that Account. Poulaho's Present and Haiva,
VIII. Some of the Officers plundered by the Natives. A fishing Party. A Visit to Poulaho. A Fiatooka described. Observations on the Country Entertainments at Poulaho's House. His Mourning Ceremony. Of the Kava Plant, and the Manner of preparing the Liquor. Account of Onevy, a little Island. One of the Natives wounded by a Sentinel. Messrs King and Anderson visit the King's Brother. Their Entertainment. Another Mourning Ceremony. Manner of passing the Night. Remarks on the Country they passed through. Preparations made for Sailing. An Eclipse of the Sun, imperfectly observed. Mr Anderson's Account of the Island, and its Productions,
SECT. IX. A grand Solemnity, called Natche, in Honour of the King's Son, performed. The Procession and other Ceremonies, during the first Day, described. The Manner of passing the Night at the King's House. Continuation of the Solemnity the next Day; Conjectures about the Nature of it. Departure from Tongataboo, and the Arrival at Eooa. Account of that Island, and Transactions there,
X. Advantages derived from visiting the Friendly Islands. Best Articles for Traffic. Refreshments that may be procured. The Number of the Islands, and their Names. Keppel's and Boscawen's Islands belong to them. Account of Vavaoo, of Hamao, of Feejee. Voyages of the Natives in their Canoes. Difficulty of procuring exact Information. Persons of the Inhabitants of both Sexes. Their Colour. Diseases. Their general Character. Manner of wearing their Hair. Of puncturing their Bodies. Their Clothing and Ornaments. Personal Cleanliness,
XI. Employments of the Women at the Friendly Islands. Of the Men. Agriculture. Construction of their Houses. Their working Tools. Cordage and fishing Implements. Musical Instruments. Weapons. Food and Cookery. Amusements. Marriage. Mourning Ceremonies for the Dead. Their Divinities. Notions about the Soul, and a future State. Their Places of Worship. Government. Manner of paying Obeisance to the King. Account of the Royal Family. Remarks on their Language, and Specimen of it. Nautical and other Observations,
A Vocabulary of the Language of the Friendly Isles,
A Vocabulary of the Language of Atooi, one of the Sandwich Islands,
A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS.
PART III. BOOK II. (CONTINUED.)
[An Account of a Voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World, performed in his Majesty's ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5: Written by James Cook, Commander of the Resolution.]
FROM LEAVING NEW ZEALAND TO OUR RETURN TO ENGLAND.
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.
[Footnote 1: True Cape Horn, distinguishable at a distance by a round hill of considerable height, is the south point of Hermite's Isles, a cluster which separates the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. False Cape Horn lies nine miles to the north-east and is the west point of Nassau Bay, where James Hermite cast anchor. Vide vol. x. page 197.—E.]
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.
[Footnote 2: "Not less than thirty large whales, and some hundreds of seals, played in the water about us. The whales went chiefly in couples, from whence we supposed this to be the season when the sexes meet. Whenever they spouted up the water, or, as the sailors term it, were seen blowing to windward, the whole ship was infested with a most detestable, rank, and poisonous stench, which went off in the space of two or three minutes. Sometimes these huge animals lay on their backs, and with their long pectoral fins beat the surface of the sea, which always caused a great noise, equal to the explosion of a swivel. This kind of play has doubtless given rise to the mariner's story of a fight between the thrasher and the whale, of which the former is said to leap out of the water in order to fall heavily on the latter. Here we had an opportunity of observing the same exercise many times repeated, and discovered that all the belly and under side of the fins and tail are of a white colour, whereas the rest are black. As we happened to be only sixty yards from one of these animals, we perceived a number of longitudinal furrows, or wrinkles, on its belly, from whence we concluded it was the species by Linnaeus named balaena boops. Besides flapping their fins in the water, these unwieldy animals, of forty feet in length, and not less than ten feet in diameter, sometimes fairly leaped into the air, and dropped down again with a heavy fall, which made the water foam all round them. The prodigious quantity of power required to raise such a vast creature out of the water is astonishing; and their peculiar economy cannot but give room to many reflections."—G.F.]
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.
[Footnote 3: The resemblance had been noticed by earlier voyagers, and procured for these animals the same name. This is mentioned by Mr G.F., who refers to Francis Petty in Hackluyt's collection, Sir Richard Hawkins, Sir John Nasborough and Labbe, in Des Brosses' Nav. aux Terres Australes. The description which the same gentleman has given of these remarkable creatures is too interesting (though Cook's account afterwards given might suffice) to be omitted. "The old males were, in general, very fat, and measured from ten to twelve feet in length; the females were more slender, and from six to eight feet long. The weight of the largest male amounts to 1200 or 1500 lb., for one of a middle size weighed 550 lb. after the skin, entrails, and blubber were taken off. The head of the male has really some resemblance to a lion's head, and the colour is likewise very nearly the same, being only a darker hue of tawny. The long shaggy hair on the neck and throat of the male, beginning at the back of the head, bears a strong resemblance to a mane; and is hard and coarse to the touch; all the rest of the body is covered with short hairs, which lie very close to the skin, and form a smooth glossy coat. The lioness is perfectly smooth all over the body; but both sexes are formed alike with regard to the feet, or rather fins. Those fins, which originate near the breast, are large flat pieces of a black coriaceous membrane, which have only some small indistinct vestiges of nails on their middle. The hinder fins are rather more like feet, being black membranes divided into five long toes, with a thin thong, or membrane, projecting far beyond the nails, which are very small. With these nails, however, we have seen them scratch all parts of their body. The tail is excessively short, and hid between the hind feet or fins, which grow close together. The whole hind quarters are very round, being covered with an amazing quantity of fat. The noise which all the animals of this kind made together was various, and sometimes stunned our ears. The old males snort and roar like mad bulls or lions; the females bleat exactly like calves, and the young cubs like lambs. Of the young we saw great numbers on the beaches; and one of the females being knocked down with a club, littered in the same instant. The sea-lions live together in numerous herds. The oldest and fattest males lie apart, each having chosen a large stone, which none of the rest dares approach without engaging in a furious battle. We have often seen them seize each other with a degree of rage which is not to be described; and many of them had deep gashes on their backs, which they had received in the wars. The younger active sea-lions, with all the females and the cubs, lie together. They commonly waited the approach of our people, but as soon as some of the herd were killed, the rest took flight with great precipitation, some females carrying off a cub in their mouths, whilst many were so terrified as to leave them behind. When left to themselves, they were often seen caressing each other in the most tender manner, and their snouts often met together, as if they were kissing. They come ashore on these uninhabited spots to breed; they do not, however, breed during their stay on shore, which sometimes lasts several weeks, but grow lean, and swallow a considerable quantity of stones to keep their stomach distended. We were surprised to find the stomachs of many of these animals entirely empty, and of others filled with ten or a dozen round heavy stones, each of the size of two fists."—Professor Steller's description of these animals, which he found at Bering's Isle, near Kamtchatka, corresponds perfectly with that now given, and is referred to by Mr G.F. Pernetty, Bougainville, and others also speak of them as met with in their voyages.—E.]
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.
[Footnote 4: "Having made some havock among the sea-lions, we walked upon the summit of the island, which was nearly level, but covered with innumerable little mounds of earth, on each of which grew a large tuft of grass (dactylis glomerata). The intervals between these tufts were very muddy and dirty, which obliged us to leap from one tuft to another. We soon discovered that another kind of seals occupied this part of the island, and caused the mud by coming out of the sea. These were no other than the sea-bears which we had already seen at Dusky Bay, but which were here infinitely more numerous, and grown to a much larger size, equalling that assigned to them by Steller. They are, however, far inferior to the sea-lions, the males being never above eight or nine feet long, and thick in proportion. Their hair is dark-brown, minutely sprinkled with grey, and much longer on the whole body than that of the sea-lion, but does not form a mane. The general outline of the body, and the shape of the fins, are exactly the same. They were more fierce towards us, and their females commonly died in defence of their young. We observed on another occasion, that these two species, though sometimes encamped on the same beach, always kept at a great distance asunder, and had no communication. A strong rank stench is common to them, as well as to all other seals; a circumstance as well known to the ancients, as their inactivity and drowsiness whilst they lie on shore—
Web-footed seals forsake the whitening waves, And sleep in herds, exhaling nauseous stench. HOMER.
Great numbers of a species of vultures, commonly called carrion crows by the sailors (vultur aura), were seen upon this island, and probably feed on young seal-cubs, which either die in the birth, or which they take an opportunity to seize upon. Besides them we also found a new species of hawks, and several geese of the sort which had so well furnished out our Christmas entertainment. Here we likewise saw a few penguins, of a species which we had not met with before, some large petrels of the size of albatrosses, being the same species which the Spaniards name que-branta-huessos, or the bone-breakers, and some shags."—G.F.]
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, &c. 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, &c. 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, &c. 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.
[Footnote 5: "The largest of the New-Year's Islands, as we called them, and which we now left, is about six leagues in circuit, and that under which we lay at anchor, between three and four leagues. They are excellent places of refreshment for a ship's crew bound on expeditions like ours; for though the flesh of sea-lions and penguins is not the most palateable food, yet it is infinitely more salubrious than salt meat; and by searching the different islands, it is not improbable that a sufficient quantity of celery and scurvy-grass might be found to supply the whole crew, especially as we saw both the species on our excursions. Our seamen lived several days on young shags and penguins, of which they found the former extremely palateable, comparing them to young pullets. They likewise roasted several little cubs of seals, but there was a degree of softness in the meat which made it disgustful. The flesh of young, but full-grown sea-bears, was greatly preferable, and tasted like coarse and bad beef; but that of the old sea-lions and bears was so rank and offensive, that we could not touch it."—G.F.]
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.
[Footnote 6: Captain Krusenstern, as has been noticed in vol. 12, page 413, verified Cook's longitude of Cape St John, having found it to agree exactly with that pointed out by the watches on board his consort the Neva, which differed but a few minutes from those in his own vessel.—E.]
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.
[Footnote 7: The very intelligent officer mentioned in the preceding note, seems to have been very materially benefited by the observations of Captain Cook, in navigating this quarter, and does not hesitate to avow his obligations. An instance of this is recorded in our account of Byron's voyage, vol. 12, p. 74, which refers to a passage in the next section as to the currents losing their force at ten or twelve leagues from land.—E.]
Observations, geographical and nautical, with an Account of the Islands near Staten Land, and the Animals found in them.
[Footnote 8: It has been thought advisable to retain this section verbatim, although the references it makes to Captain Cook's chart can scarcely be understood without that accompaniment, and several observations of another sort which it contains, are given elsewhere. In justice to the memory of Cook, it was resolved to preserve the whole of his relation, at the risk of a very trivial repetition, which the reader, it is believed, will be little disposed to resent.—E.]
The 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, &c. 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.
[Footnote 9: 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.
I judged that the tide rises about four or five feet, and that it is high water on the full and change days about eleven o'clock.
The head of the bay, as well as two places on each side, was terminated by perpendicular ice-cliffs of considerable height. Pieces were continually breaking off, and floating out to sea; and a great fall happened while we were in the bay, which made a noise like cannon.
The inner parts of the country were not less savage and horrible. The wild rocks raised their lofty summits till they were lost in the clouds, and the valleys lay covered with everlasting snow. Not a tree was to be seen, nor a shrub even big enough to make a toothpick. The only vegetation we met with was a coarse strong-bladed grass growing in tufts, wild burnet, and a plant like moss, which sprung from the rocks.
Seals, or sea-bears, were pretty numerous. They were smaller than those at Staten Land: Perhaps the most of those we saw were females, for the shores swarmed with young cubs. We saw none of that sort which we call lions; but there were some of those which the writer of Lord Anson's voyage describes under that name; at least they appeared to us to be of the same sort; and are, in my opinion, very improperly called lions, for I could not see any grounds for the comparison.
Here were several flocks of penguins, the largest I ever saw; some which we brought on board weighed from twenty-nine to thirty-eight pounds. It appears by Bougainville's account of the animals of Falkland Islands, that this penguin is there; and I think it is very well described by him under the name of first class of penguins. The oceanic birds were albatrosses, common gulls, and that sort which I call Port Egmont hens, terns, shags, divers, the new white bird, and a small bird like those of the Cape of Good Hope, called yellow birds; which, having shot two, we found most delicious food.
All the land birds we saw consisted of a few small larks, nor did we meet with any quadrupeds. Mr Forster indeed observed some dung, which he judged to come from a fox, or some such animal. The lands, or rather rocks, bordering on the sea-coast, were not covered with snow like the inland parts; but all the vegetation we could see on the clear places was the grass above-mentioned. The rocks seemed to contain iron. Having made the above observations, we set out for the ship, and got on board a little after twelve o'clock, with a quantity of seals and penguins, an acceptable present to the crew.
It must not, however, be understood that we were in want of provisions: we had yet plenty of every kind; and since we had been on this coast, I had ordered, in addition to the common allowance, wheat to be boiled every morning for breakfast; but any kind of fresh meat was preferred by most on board to salt. For my own part, I was now, for the first time, heartily tired of salt meat of every kind; and though the flesh of the penguins could scarcely vie with bullock's liver, its being fresh was sufficient to make it go down. I called the bay we had been in, Possession Bay. It is situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 5' S., longitude 37 deg. 18' W., and eleven leagues to the east of Cape North. A few miles to the west of Possession Bay, between it and Cape Buller, lies the Bay of Isles, so named on account of several small isles lying in and before it.
As soon as the boat was hoisted in, we made sail along the coast to the east, with a fine breeze at W.S.W. From Cape Buller the direction of the coast is S. 72 deg. 30' E., for the space of eleven or twelve leagues, to a projecting point, which obtained the name of Cape Saunders. Beyond this cape is a pretty large bay, which I named Cumberland Bay. In several parts in the bottom of it, as also in some others of less extent, lying between Cape Saunders and Possession Bay, were vast tracks of frozen snow, or ice, not yet broken loose. At eight o'clock, being just past Cumberland Bay, and falling little wind, we hauled off the coast, from which we were distant about four miles, and found one hundred and ten fathoms water.
We had variable light airs and calms till six o'clock the next morning, when the wind fixed at north, and blew a gentle breeze; but it lasted no longer than ten o'clock, when it fell almost to a calm. At noon, observed in latitude 54 deg. 30' S., being then about two or three leagues from the coast, which extended from N. 59 deg. W. to S. 13 deg. W. The land in this last direction was an isle, which seemed to be the extremity of the coast to the east. The nearest land to us being a projecting point which terminated in a round hillock, was, on account of the day, named Cape Charlotte. On the west side of Cape Charlotte lies a bay which obtained the name of Royal Bay, and the west point of it was named Cape George. It is the east point of Cumberland Bay, and lies in the direction of S.E. by E. from Cape Saunders, distant seven leagues. Cape George and Cape Charlotte lie in the direction of S. 37 deg. E. and N. 37 deg. W., distant six leagues from each other. The isle above-mentioned, which was called Cooper's Isle, after my first lieutenant, lies in the direction of S. by E., distant eight leagues from Cape Charlotte. The coast between them forms a large bay, to which I gave the name of Sandwich. The wind being variable all the afternoon we advanced but little; in the night it fixed at S. and S.S.W., and blew a gentle gale, attended with showers of snow.
The 19th was wholly spent in plying, the wind continuing at S. and S.S.W., clear pleasant weather, but cold. At sunrise a new land was seen, bearing S.E. 1/2 E. It first appeared in a single hill, like a sugar-loaf; some time after other detached pieces appeared above the horizon near the hill. At noon, observed in the latitude 54 deg. 42' 30" S., Cape Charlotte bearing N. 38 deg. W., distant four leagues; and Cooper's Isle S. 31 deg. W. In this situation a lurking rock, which lies off Sandwich Bay, five miles from the land, bore W. 1/2 N., distant one mile, and near this rock were several breakers. In the afternoon we had a prospect of a ridge of mountains behind Sandwich Bay, whose lofty and icy summits were elevated high above the clouds. The wind continued at S.S.W. till six o'clock, when it fell to a calm. At this time Cape Charlotte bore N. 31 deg. W., and Cooper's Island W.S.W. In this situation we found the variation, by the azimuths, to be 11 deg. 39', and by the amplitude, 11 deg. 12' E. At ten o'clock, a light breeze springing up at north, we steered to the south till twelve, and then brought-to for the night.
At two o'clock in the morning of the 20th we made sail to S.W. round Cooper's Island. It is a rock of considerable height, about five miles in circuit, and one mile from the main. At this isle the main coast takes a S.W. direction for the space of four or five leagues to a point, which I called Cape Disappointment. Off that are three small isles, the southernmost of which is green, low, and flat, and lies one league from the cape.
As we advanced to S.W. land opened, off this point, in the direction of N. 60 deg. W., and nine leagues beyond it. It proved an island quite detached from the main, and obtained the name of Pickersgill Island, after my third officer. Soon after a point of the main, beyond this island, came in sight, in the direction of N. 55 deg. W., which exactly united the coast at the very point we had seen, and taken the bearing of, the day we first came in with it, and proved to a demonstration that this land, which we had taken for part of a great continent, was no more than an island of seventy leagues in circuit.
Who would have thought that an island of no greater extent than this, situated between the latitude of 54 deg. and 55 deg., should, in the very height of summer, be in a manner wholly covered, many fathoms deep, with frozen snow, but more especially the S.W. coast? The very sides and craggy summits of the lofty mountains were cased with snow and ice; but the quantity which lay in the valleys is incredible; and at the bottom of the bays the coast was terminated by a wall of ice of considerable height. It can hardly be doubted that a great deal of ice is formed here in the water, which in the spring is broken off, and dispersed over the sea; but this island cannot produce the ten-thousandth part of what we saw; so that either there must be more land, or the ice is formed without it. These reflections led me to think that the land we had seen the preceding day might belong to an extensive track, and I still had hopes of discovering a continent. I must confess the disappointment I now met with did not affect me much; for, to judge of the bulk by the sample, it would not be worth the discovery.
I called this island the isle of Georgia, in honour of his majesty. It is situated, between the latitudes of 53 deg. 57' and 54 deg. 57' S.; and between 38 deg. 13' and 35 deg. 34' west longitude. It extends S.E. by E. and N.W. by W., and is thirty-one leagues long in that direction; and its greatest breadth is about ten leagues. It seems to abound with bays and harbours, the N.E. coast especially; but the vast quantity of ice must render them inaccessible the greatest part of the year; or, at least, it must be dangerous lying in them, on account of the breaking up of the ice cliffs.
It is remarkable that we did not see a river, or stream of fresh water, on the whole coast. I think it highly probable that there are no perennial springs in the country; and that the interior parts, as being much elevated, never enjoy heat enough to melt the snow in such quantities as to produce a river, or stream, of water. The coast alone receives warmth sufficient to melt the snow, and this only on the N.E. side; for the other, besides being exposed to the cold south winds, is, in a great degree, deprived of the sun's rays, by the uncommon height of the mountains.
It was from a persuasion that the sea-coast of a land situated in the latitude of 54 deg., could not, in the very height of summer, be wholly covered with snow, that I supposed Bouvet's discovery to be large islands of ice. But after I had seen this land, I no longer hesitated about the existence of Cape Circumcision; nor did I doubt that I should find more land than I should have time to explore. With these ideas I quitted this coast, and directed my course to the E.S.E. for the land we had seen the preceding day.
The wind was very variable till noon, when it fixed at N.N.E., and blew a gentle gale; but it increased in such a manner, that, before three o'clock, we were reduced to our two courses, and obliged to strike top-gallant yards. We were very fortunate in getting clear of the land, before this gale overtook us; it being hard to say what might have been the consequence had it come on while we were on the north coast. This storm was of short duration; for, at eight o'clock it began to abate; and at midnight it was little wind. We then took the opportunity to sound, but found no bottom with a line of an hundred and eighty fathoms.
Next day the storm was succeeded by a thick fog, attended with rain; the wind veered to N.W., and, at five in the morning, it fell calm, which continued till eight; and then we got a breeze southerly, with which we stood to the east till three in the afternoon. The weather then coming somewhat clear, we made sail, and steered north in search of land; but, at half-past six, we were again involved in a thick mist, which made it necessary to haul the wind, and spend the night in making short boards.
We had variable light airs next to a calm, and thick foggy weather, till half-past seven o'clock in the evening of the 22d, when we got a fine breeze at north, and the weather was so clear that we could see two or three leagues round us. We seized the opportunity, and steered to west; judging we were to the east of the land. After running ten miles to the west, the weather again became foggy, and we hauled the wind, and spent the night under top-sails.
Next morning at six o'clock, the fog clearing away, so that we could see three or four miles, I took the opportunity to steer again to the west, with the wind at east, a fresh breeze; but two hours after, a thick fog once more obliged us to haul the wind to the south. At eleven o'clock, a short interval of clear weather gave us view of three or four rocky islets extending from S.E. to E.N.E., two or three miles distant; but we did not see the Sugar-Loaf Peak beforementioned. Indeed, two or three miles was the extent of our horizon.
We were well assured that this was the land we had seen before, which we had now been quite round; and therefore it could be no more than a few detached rocks, receptacles for birds, of which we now saw vast numbers, especially shags, who gave us notice of the vicinity of land before we saw it. These rocks lie in the latitude of 55 deg. S., and S. 75 deg. E., distant twelve leagues from Cooper's Isle.
The interval of clear weather was of very short duration, before we had as thick a fog as ever, attended with rain, on which we tacked in sixty fathoms water, and stood to the north. Thus we spent our time, involved in a continual thick mist; and, for aught we knew, surrounded by dangerous rocks. The shags and soundings were our best pilots; for after we had stood a few miles to the north, we got out of soundings, and saw no more shags. The succeeding day and night we spent in making short boards; and at eight o'clock on the 24th, judging ourselves not far from the rocks by some straggling shags which came about us, we sounded in sixty fathoms water, the bottom stones and broken shells. Soon after, we saw the rocks bearing S.S.W. 1/2 W., four miles distant, but still we did not see the peak. It was, no doubt, beyond our horizon, which was limited to a short distance; and, indeed, we had but a transient sight of the other rocks, before they were again lost in the fog.
With a light air of wind at north, and a great swell from N.E., we were able to clear the rocks to the west; and, at four in the p.m., judging ourselves to be three or four leagues east and west of them, I steered south, being quite tired with cruizing about them in a thick fog; nor was it worth my while to spend any more time in waiting for clear weather, only for the sake of having a good sight of a few straggling rocks. At seven o'clock, we had at intervals a clear sky to the west, which gave us a sight of the mountains of the isle of Georgia, bearing W.N.W., about eight leagues distant. At eight o'clock we steered S.E. by S., and at ten S.E. by E., with a fresh breeze at north, attended with a very thick fog; but we were, in some measure, acquainted with the sea over which we were running. The rocks above-mentioned obtained the name of Clerke's Rocks, after my second officer, he being the first who saw them.
[Footnote 10: There was no inducement to offer a single remark on the discoveries mentioned in this section, and the one that follows, or to give any additional observations from the works hitherto used. It is utterly improbable that any human being could be benefited by the most perfect information that might be afforded, respecting these desolate regions. Mr G.F. it is true, hazards a speculation, that if the northern ocean should ever be cleared of whales, by our annual fisheries, this part of the southern hemisphere might be visited for the sake of procuring these animals so abundant in it. But as besides this proviso, he thinks it necessary that Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego should be inhabited and civilized like Scotland and Sweden, there will evidently be time enough some centuries hence, to investigate minutely the geography and natural history of Georgia and its kindred neighbours.—E.]
Proceedings after leaving the Isle of Georgia, with an Account of the Discovery of Sandwich Land; with some Reasons for there being Land about the South Pole.
On the 25th, we steered E.S.E., with a fresh gale at N.N.E., attended with foggy weather, till towards the evening, when the sky becoming clear, we found the variation to be 9 deg. 26' E., being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 16' S., longitude 32 deg. 9' W.
Having continued to steer E.S.E., with a fine gale at N.N.W., till day-light next morning, on seeing no land to the east, I gave orders to steer south, being at this time in the latitude of 56 deg. 33' S., longitude 31 deg. 10' W. The weather continued clear, and gave us an opportunity to observe several distances of the sun and moon for the correcting our longitude, which at noon was 31 deg. 4' W., the latitude observed 57 deg. 38' S. We continued to steer to the south till the 27th, at noon, at which time we were in the latitude of 59 deg. 46' S., and had so thick a fog that we could not see a ship's length. It being no longer safe to sail before the wind, as we were to expect soon to fall in with ice, I therefore hauled to the east, having a gentle breeze at N.N.E. Soon after the fog clearing away, we resumed our course to the south till four o'clock, when it returned again as thick as ever, and made it necessary for us to haul upon a wind.
I now reckoned we were in latitude 60 deg. S., and farther I did not intend to go, unless I observed some certain signs of soon meeting with land. For it would not have been prudent in me to have spent my time in penetrating to the south, when it was at least as probable that a large tract of land might be found near Cape Circumcision. Besides, I was tired of these high southern latitudes, where nothing was to be found but ice and thick fogs. We had now a long hollow swell from the west, a strong indication that there was no land in that direction; so that I think I may venture to assert that the extensive coast, laid down in Mr Dalrymple's chart of the ocean between Africa and America, and the Gulph of St Sebastian, do not exist.
At seven o'clock in the evening, the fog receding from us a little, gave us a sight of an ice island, several penguins and some snow peterels; we sounded, but found no ground at one hundred and forty fathoms. The fog soon returning, we spent the night in making boards over that space which we had, in some degree, made ourselves acquainted with in the day.
At eight in the morning of the 28th, we stood to the east, with a gentle gale at north; the weather began to clear up; and we found the sea strewed with large and small ice; several penguins, snow peterels, and other birds were seen, and some whales. Soon after we had sun-shine, but the air was cold; the mercury in the thermometer stood generally at thirty-five, but at noon it was 37 deg.; the latitude by observation was 60 deg. 4' S., longitude 29 deg. 23' W.
We continued to stand to the east till half-past two o'clock, p.m., when we fell in, all at once, with a vast number of large ice-islands, and a sea strewed with loose ice. The weather too was become thick and hazy, attended with drizzling rain and sleet, which made it the more dangerous to stand in among the ice. For this reason we tacked and stood back to the west, with the wind at north. The ice-islands, which at this time surrounded us, were nearly all of equal height, and shewed a flat even surface; but they were of various extent, some being two or three miles in circuit. The loose ice was what had broken from these isles.
Next morning, the wind falling and veering to S.W., we steered N.E.; but this coarse was soon intercepted by numerous ice-islands; and, having but very little wind, we were obliged to steer such courses as carried us the clearest of them; so that we hardly made any advance, one way or other, during the whole day. Abundance of whales and penguins were about us all the time; and the weather fair, but dark and gloomy.
At midnight the wind began to freshen at N.N.E., with which we stood to the N.W., till six in the morning of the 30th, when the wind veering to N.N.W., we tacked and stood to N.E., and soon after sailed through a good deal of loose ice, and passed two large islands. Except a short interval of clear weather about nine o'clock, it was continually foggy, with either sleet or snow. At noon we were, by our reckoning, in the latitude of 59 deg. 3O' S., longitude 29 deg. 24' W.
Continuing to stand to N.E. with a fresh breeze at N.N.W., at two o'clock, we passed one of the largest ice-islands we had seen in the voyage, and some time after passed two others, which were much smaller; Weather still foggy, with sleet: And the wind continued at N. by W., with which we stood to N.E., over a sea strewed with ice.
At half an hour past six next morning, as we were standing N.N.E. with the wind at west, the fog very fortunately clearing away a little, we discovered land ahead, three or four miles distant. On this we hauled the wind to the north; but finding we could not weather the land on this tack, we soon after tacked in one hundred and seventy-five fathoms water, three miles from the shore, and about half a league from some breakers. The weather then cleared up a little more, and gave us a tolerably good sight of the land. That which we had fallen in with proved three rocky islets of considerable height. The outermost terminated in a lofty peak like a sugar-loaf, and obtained the name of Freezeland Peak, after the man who first discovered it. Latitude 59 deg. S., longitude 27 deg. W. Behind this peak, that is to the east of it, appeared an elevated coast, whose lofty snow-clad summits were seen above the clouds. It extended from N. by E. to E.S.E., and I called it Cape Bristol, in honour of the noble family of Hervey. At the same time another elevated coast appeared in sight, bearing S.W. by S., and at noon it extended from S.E. to S.S.W., from four to eight leagues distant; at this time the observed latitude was 59 deg. 13' 30" S., longitude 27 deg. 45' W. I called this land Southern Thule, because it is the most southern land that has ever yet been discovered. It shews a surface of vast height, and is every where covered with snow. Some thought they saw land in the space between Thule and Cape Bristol. It is more than probable that these two lands are connected, and that this space is a deep bay, which I called Forster's Bay.
At one o'clock, finding that we could not weather Thule, we tacked and stood to the north, and at four, Freezeland Peak bore east, distant three or four leagues. Soon after, it fell little wind, and we were left to the mercy of a great westerly swell, which set right upon the shore. We sounded, but a line of two hundred fathoms found no bottom.
At eight o'clock, the weather, which had been very hazy, clearing up, we saw Cape Bristol bearing E.S.E., and terminating in a point to the north, beyond which we could see no land. This discovery relieved us from the fear of being carried by the swell on the most horrible coast in the world, and we continued to stand to the north all night, with a light breeze at west.
On the 1st of February, at four o'clock in the morning, we got sight of a new coast, which at six o'clock bore N. 60 deg. east. It proved a high promontory, which I named Cape Montagu, situated in latitude 58 deg. 27' S., longitude 26 deg. 44' west, and seven or eight leagues to the north of Cape Bristol. We saw land from space to space between them, which made me conclude that the whole was connected. I was sorry I could not determine this with greater certainty; but prudence would not permit me to venture near a coast, subject to thick fogs, on which there was no anchorage; where every port was blocked or filled up with ice; and the whole country, from the summits of the mountains, down to the very brink of the cliffs which terminate the coast, covered, many fathoms thick, with everlasting snow. The cliffs alone was all which was to be seen like land.
Several large ice-islands lay upon the coast; one of which attracted my notice. It had a flat surface, was of considerable extent both in height and circuit, and had perpendicular sides, on which the waves of the sea had made no impression; by which I judged that it had not been long from land, and that it might lately have come out of some bay on the coast, where it had been formed.
At noon we were east and west of the northern part of Cape Montagu, distant about five leagues, and Freezeland Peak bore S. 16 deg. east, distant twelve leagues; latitude observed 58 deg. 25' S. In the morning the variation was 10 deg. 11' east. At two in the afternoon, as we were standing to the north, with a light breeze at S.W., we saw land bearing N. 25' east, distant fourteen leagues. Cape Montagu bore at this time, S. 66 deg. east; at eight it bore S. 40 deg. east; Cape Bristol, S. by E.; the new land extending from N. 40 deg. to 52 deg. east; and we thought we saw land still more to the east, and beyond it.
Continuing to steer to the north all night, at six o'clock the next morning a new land was seen bearing N. 12 deg. east, about ten leagues distant. It appeared in two hummocks just peeping above the horizon; but we soon after lost sight of them; and having got the wind at N.N.E. a fresh breeze, we stood for the northernmost land we had seen the day before, which at this time bore E.S.E. We fetched in with it by ten o'clock, but could not weather it, and were obliged to tack three miles from the coast, which extended from E. by S. to S.E., and had much the appearance of being an island of about eight or ten leagues circuit. It shews a surface of considerable height, whose summit was lost in the clouds, and, like all the neighbouring lands, covered with a sheet of snow and ice, except in a projecting point on the north side, and two hills seen over this point, which probably might be two islands. These only were clear of snow, and seemed covered with a green turf. Some large ice islands lay to the N.E., and some others to the south.
We stood off till noon, and then tacked for the land again, in order to see whether it was an island or no. The weather was now become very hazy, which soon turning to a thick fog, put a stop to discovery, and made it unsafe to stand for the shore; so that after having run the same distance in, as we had run off, we tacked and stood to N.W., for the land we had seen in the morning, which was yet at a considerable distance. Thus we were obliged to leave the other, under the supposition of its being an island, which I named Saunders, after my honourable friend Sir Charles. It is situated in the latitude of 57 deg. 49' south longitude, 26 deg. 44' west; and north, distant thirteen leagues, from Cape Montagu.
At six o'clock in the evening, the wind shifting to the west, we tacked, and stood to the north; and at eight the fog clearing away, gave us a sight of Saunders's Isle, extending from S.E. by S. to E.S.E. We were still in doubt if it was an island; for, at this time, land was seen bearing E. by S., which might or might not be connected with it; it might also be the same that we had seen the preceding evening. But, be this as it may, it was now necessary to take a view of the land to the north, before we proceeded any farther to the east. With this intention, we stood to the north, having a light breeze at W. by S., which at two o'clock in the morning of the 3d, was succeeded by a calm that continued till eight, when we got the wind at E. by S. attended by hazy weather. At this time we saw the land we were looking for, and which proved to be two isles. The day on which they were discovered, was the occasion of calling them Candlemas Isles; latitude 57 deg. 11' S., longitude 27 deg. 6' W. They were of no great extent, but of considerable height, and were covered with snow. A small rock was seen between them, and perhaps there may be more; for the weather was so hazy that we soon lost sight of the islands, and did not see them again till noon, at which time they bore west, distant three or four leagues.
As the wind kept veering to the south, we were obliged to stand to the N.E., in which route we met with several large ice islands, loose ice, and many penguins; and at midnight, came at once into water uncommonly white, which alarmed the officer of the watch so much, that he tacked the ship instantly. Some thought it was a float of ice; others that it was shallow water; but, as it proved neither, probably it was a shoal of fish.
We stood to the south till two o'clock next morning, when we resumed our course to the east with a faint breeze at S.S.E. which having ended in a calm, at six, I took the opportunity of putting a boat in the water to try if there were any current; and the trial proved there was none. Some whales were playing about us, and abundance of penguins: a few of the latter were shot, and they proved to be of the same sort that we had seen among the ice before, and different both from those on Staten Land, and from those at the isle of Georgia. It is remarkable, that we had not seen a seal since we left that coast. At noon we were in latitude of 56 deg. 44' S., longitude 25 deg. 33' W. At this time we got a breeze at east, with which we stood to the south, with a view of gaining the coast we had left; but at eight o'clock the wind shifted to the south, and made it necessary to tack and stand to the east; in which course we met with several ice-islands and some loose ice; the weather continuing hazy with snow and rain.
No penguins were seen on the 5th, which made me conjecture that we were leaving the land behind us, and that we had already seen its northern extremity. At noon we were in the latitude of 57 deg. 8' S., longitude 23 deg. 34' west, which was 3 deg. of longitude to the east of Saunders's Isle. In the afternoon the wind shifted to the west; this enabled us to stretch to the south, and to get into the latitude of the land, that, if it took an east direction, we might again fall in with it.
We continued to steer to the south and S.E. till next day at noon, at which time we were in the latitude of 58 deg. 15' S., longitude 21 deg. 34' west, and seeing neither land nor signs of any, I concluded that what we had seen, which I named Sandwich Land, was either a group of islands, or else a point of the continent. For I firmly believe that there is a tract of land near the Pole which is the source of most of the ice that is spread over this vast southern ocean. I also think it probable that it extends farthest to the north opposite the southern Atlantic and Indian oceans; because ice was always found by us farther to the north in these oceans than any where else, which I judge could not be, if there were not land to the south; I mean a land of considerable extent. For if we suppose that no such land exists, and that ice may be formed without it, it will follow of course that the cold ought to be every where nearly equal round the Pole, as far as 70 deg. or 60' of latitude, or so far as to be beyond the influence of any of the known continents; consequently we ought to see ice every where under the same parallel, or near it; and yet the contrary has been, found. Very few ships have met with ice going round Cape Horn: And we saw but little below the sixtieth degree of latitude, in the Southern Pacific Ocean. Whereas in this ocean, between the meridian of 40 deg. west and 50 deg. or 60 deg. east, we found ice as far north as 51 deg.. Bouvet met with, some in 48 deg., and others have seen it in a much lower latitude. It is true, however, that the greatest part of this southern continent (supposing there is one), must lie within the polar circle, where the sea is so pestered with ice, that the land is thereby inaccessible. The risque one runs in exploring a coast, in these unknown and icy seas, is so very great, that I can be bold enough to say that no man will ever venture farther than I have done; and that the lands which may lie to the south will never be explored. Thick fogs, snow storms, intense cold, and every other thing that can render navigation dangerous, must be encountered, and these difficulties are greatly heightened by the inexpressibly horrid aspect of the country; a country doomed by nature never once to feel the warmth of the sun's rays, but to lie buried in everlasting snow and ice. The ports which may be on the coast, are, in a manner, wholly filled up with frozen snow of vast thickness; but if any should be so far open as to invite a ship into it, she would run a risque of being fixed there for ever, or of coming out in an ice island. The islands and floats on the coast, the great falls from the ice-cliffs in the port, or a heavy snow-storm attended with a sharp frost, would be equally fatal.
After such an explanation as this, the reader must not expect to find me much farther to the south. It was, however, not for want of inclination, but for other reasons. It would have been rashness in me to have risqued all that had been done during the voyage, in discovering and exploring a coast, which, when discovered and explored, would have answered no end whatever, or have been of the least use, either to navigation or geography, or indeed to any other science. Bouvet's discovery was yet before us, the existence of which was to be cleared up; and, besides all this, we were not now in a condition to undertake great things; nor indeed was there time, had we been ever so well provided.