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A voyage to the South Atlantic and round Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean, for the purpose of extending… Colnett, James, 1755?-1806 1798

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undertaken: and performed
  C O N T M iN T S.
I   to   4
¥x- 18
Paffage of the Rattler from England to Rio Janeiro      i   -    y-
Attempt to difcover Ifie Grand; and Pajfage Round-
Cape Horn        _...- 8-18
Remarks on the Navigation round Cape Horn - 19   - 20
Route'frimt Cape Horn to making the Coqjl of Chili,
and the IJles St. Fetix ana St. Anibrofe   - 21-37
Route .of the Rattler from the IJles Saint Felix and
Saint Anibrofe, to the Coajl of Peru       - 38-46"
The Galapagoe IJles -        -        -        » 47-61
ht\        Hi Fa£m
Parage from the Galapagoe IJles, to IJle Cocas 6z
Route from Ifle Cocas, to the Coqft of Mexico; and
IJles Santo Bertfij and, Rocka Pa/,tido,_from
. thence to the Coajl of California, and account of
our cruize in the Gulf of California, with our.
return to Socoro after fearching for Isle St.
Thomas        - ~        75
The Rattler quits the Ifle of Socoro for the Coajl of
Mexico : fame account of our tranfaSlions there,
and while we lay at anchor before the I/land of
Quibo, in the Gulf of Panama, to our arrival
at the IJles of the Galapagoes, on and near the
Equator -        -        -        -        - 133
The Rattler leaves the Galapagoe IJles and Coajl of
Peru, for the Isles Saint Felix and Saint
Ambrofe, on the Coqft of Chili : from thence Jhe
rounds Cape Horn, on her Pajfage to Isle Saint
Helena, in the Atlantic Ocean        -        - 161
From Isle Saint Helena to England    -        -        177
to 74
- 176
- *79
F. R. S. &c. &c &c
J.N dedicating to you the
voyage, which is the fubject. of the following pages, my gratification would
indeed be fincere, (did the work porTefs
an importance which might fully claim
your regard:) humble,   however,   as it's
pretenfions are, the opportunity, it gives,
muft ferve to teftify my fincere refpe6t,
my lafting gratitude, for your favors;
and I repofe with fome fecurity, on an
extenfion, of that protection, towards
this volume, which has fo often been
the encouragement, of my profeffional
The difficulties which navigators have
experienced, in traverfing the South Seas
and Pacific Ocean, have evidently, from
the "commencement of your connection
with the Admiralty, excited your particular confideration: and it is certain, in
all the changes to which that Board has
been fubject., that the explorer of remote
feas, has found in you, a zealous advocate
to reprefent his claims to thofe, with
whom it remained, to beftow the reward
due to his endeavours and merits.
As far as I am individually concerned,
it is with fincerity I aver, that in all fitu-
ations of trial and difficulty on unknown
and unfriendly coafls, I have found an
unceafing consolation in the hope that I
pofTefTed your good opinion; and that in
the end, my fervices would obtain,
through the channel of your faithful
explanation, a liberal requital.
If any diflinct. praife can confer an
honor on your name, (beyond what it
bears for the general ability, zeal  and
iiltegrity, which have been invariably
manifefted, during the extenfive period
of your official fervices), it is mofl af-
furedly due for your public, as well as
privati acts of friendfhip to thofe, who
like me, have embarked for the purpofe
of enlarging the bounds of Navigation
and Commerce; and I feel a decided conviction, that every follower of the able
Captain Cook, will give a cordial affent
to this tribute.
I am,
Your truly obliged
| J to
and moft obedient
humble Servant,
No. 17, Miliman Stmt, Ba
'J Re*
IT will not, I prefume, be confidered as altogether unneceflary or uninterefting, if I offer to
the public attention a fummary account of my
voyages previous to that which is the fubject of
this volume.
I had been already engaged in various commercial undertakings on the North-Weft coaft of
America, during a period of feven years: But I
never ceafed to blend the zeal of my naval cha-
racier with the fpirit of commercial enterprize,
a and
and accordingly fearched the coaft from   36'  to
60° North; the inland part of which was before
little known to European navigators.    I alfo fur-
veyed feveral bays,   harbours and creeks,   and dif-
covered many confiderable kdets,   particularly between 509 and 53? North, which were fuppofedto
communicate   with  Hudfon's   Bay*.    I  likewife-
made  two  voyages  to China,   but,  on  my   return from the   firft of them, was unfortunately
captured by the Spaniards at Nootka-Sound, and
fent a  prifoner to the port of St.   Bias in the-
Gulph of California.    From   thence   I was permitted to   go   to   Mexico,   to make my appeal
to  the Viceroy;   a  journey,    including  ix^y   return to St.  Bias,  of eighteen hundred miles.    But
after being detained as a prifoner thirteen months*
and having  loft  four of my five veflels,   with
moft  of my  Officers and half the  crew,   who
had become the victims of difeafe,  I was at length
* Thefe inlets "have fince been more particularly examined by Capt. Van~
couyer of the Royal Navy, by order of the Board of Admiralty.
indebted for my liberty to the fpirited conduct
of the Court of Great-Britain, as foon as it was
officially informed of the infult offered to her colours, of the. piracy committed on her fifflerchants*
and the cruelty exercifed towards her fubje6ts.
I now returned to Nootka, in the only veflel
which remained to me; and, after fuffering incredible hardfhips from a want of provifions, and
the fhip getting feveral times on ifeore, I procured
another valuable cargo of furs and proceeded to
China. A prohibition, however, of the fale of
thefe articles, having taken place at that port
during my abfence, I did not remain there, but,
in a fhort time, fet fail, and, at the requeft of
thofe gentlemen who were joint agents with
me, coafted for a market to the Weft fide of
Japan, and Eaft fide of Corea; a coaft which
had never before been vifited by an European
veffel. Here an encouraging profpect of a new
and valuable commerce for my country unfolded
a % itfelf
itfelf before me; when, in a typhoon, in the
Latitude of 3s9 North, on the coaft of Corea,
I was fo unfortunate as to lofe my rudder, which
obliged me to put back into the port of Chufan
in the Northern parts of China, where my lots
was repaired, as well as could be contrived, without the profeflional aid of a carpenter. At this
place, I was, by no means, well treated by the
Chinefe: indeed, to prevent the being plundered
of our cargo, and to fave Ousfelyes from the ill-
ufage which we might perfonally fuffer, if we
fhould fall into their hands, we cut from our
anchor, and, baffling the purfuit of thirty-fix
armed junks, returned to Canton *. Here I. was
threatened with ftill greater, evils,, fer being
obliged from the wretched ftate of the fhip, which
was almoft a wreck, to pafs the Bocca Tigris*
without flopping to obtain the neceflary paflport,
* I communicated the track of this voyage to Mr. Arrowfmith,  Geographer*
and it may be feen in his chart of the Pacific Ocean which will be foon publiihed*
the Chinefe made this act of neceffity on my party
an official pretext on theirs to feize the veflel
and cargo; and having contrived by flratagem, to
get me out of her,, detained me as a prifoner in
Canton during five days: But when the various
unfortunate circumftances which had befallen me
were explained* and the truth of them duly
attefted, before the judicial' Mandarins, I wa& ordered to be enlarged, while my veffel was fent for
me, at the expence of the Chinefe Government,
to Macao to be fold, and myfelf and cargo, by
the lame fuperior interpofition,. put on board
the Eaft-India Company's fhip, General Coote,-
bound for England. On my arrival there, the
India Company purchafed my cargo for nine
thoufand feven hundred and fixty pounds fterling.
A full account of this voyage and the circumftances
connected with it, together with the charts and
drawings made to illuftrate it, were left in England when I proceeded on my laft voyage; a narrative of which, as well as of that I made to Japan
and Corea, will hereafter, I truft,  be communicated to the public
In a fhort time after my arrival in England, an
application was made to me by different merchants
to undertake another voyage to the countries I
had lately vifited, on a falary of fix hundred
pounds per ann. and the reimbursement of all my
expences, which were the conditions of my former voyages, or to go on my own terms.
So long an abfence from my country as a
period of feven years, had occafioned a very
confiderable change in my fituation. During that
interval, death had deprived me of my neareft relations ; many of thofe friends alfo whom I left in
England, when I departed from it, and whom I
hoped to fee again on my return to it, were now
no more; fo that few or no objects were left to
check or interrupt the honeft ambition I had never
ceafed to  poflefs of rifing in the  Royal Navy,
which was my original and favourite profeflioru
I  had  ferved  on  the  Quarter-deck  of a man
of war from the year 1769, and performed the fe-
eond circumnavigating voyage with Capt- Cooke
as a midfhipman,  on board the Refolution: I had
alfo enjoyed for fixteen years the rank of a lieutenant.    I accordingly addrefied a letter to the
Right Honourable the Lords Commiflioners of the
Admiralty, in which, after fetting forth my fervi-
ees and fituation, I requefted their Lordfhips, if
the  profeffional  exertions  of  my  paft  lifo  did
not  appear,   in their opinion,   to merit  profeffional promotion, or if they had no employment to
offer me in order to obtain it, that they would be
pleafed to grant me  permifllon to re-engage in
my commercial purfuits.    Captain Marfhall, one
of the Commiflioners of the Victualling Office,,
under  whofe  command  I  had   the  honour  to
ferve,  during feveral years, in the rank of firft
lieutenant, fupported me in this application, which
was effectually forwarded by Mr. Stephens; who*
was uninfluenced by any claim in my favour,
but fuch as my fervices, whatever they might
have been, fuggefted to the juflice and gene-
jofity of his character.
In confequence of this application, I was informed that the Board of Admiralty had nominated
me to undertake a voyage, planned in confequence
of a memorial from merchants of the City of
London, concerned in the South Sea Fifheries,
to the Board of Trade; for the purpofe of
difcovering fuch parts for the South Whale Fifhers
who voyage round Cape Horn, as might afford
them the neceflary advantages of refreftiment
and fecurity to refit.
This memorial ftated the calamitous fituation of
the fhip's crews employed in this trade, from the
fcurvy and other difeafes, incident to thofe who
are obliged to keep the feas, from the want of that
relief and refreftiment, which is afforded by intermediate harbours.
The Spaniards, it is true, had, of late, admitted
fhips into their ports for the purpofe of refitting ;
but, from the lateft accounts received before I
failed from England, this permiflion was fo re-
flridted as to amount almoft to a prohibition, in
which it was continually expected to end. It
became therefore an object of great importance to
obtain fuch a fituation as our commerce required,
independant of the Spaniards; as it would, in a
great meafure, leffen their jealoufy, and, at the'
fame time, accomplifh the fanguine wifhes of
our merchants, j^r Impelled by thefe views and-
interefts, thofe gentlemen made a propofal to
Government to carry out an Officer in one of their
fhips, in order to difcover fuch a fituation, for a
gratuity of 500/. flerling. , This propofal was
accordingly accepted, and Meflrs. Enderby and
Sons, merchants of great property as well as
commercial character in London, and who
poflefled the largeft concern in this branch of
thfe Whale Fifhery,   were pleafed to exprefs their
b fatis-
fatisfadfion at' my being named to conduct the
intended voyage.
There being at this time, no private vefiefrtl&L
the Thames for fale, which was properly conflicted for the purpofes of this exped&icbb, a
prbpofition was made to the Lords Comm4ffidiieEsi
of the Admiralty to lend one of his Majeifty.'s.
fmall flaps of war for the ferviee>, to be returned
i£Tihe fame ftate, at. the cconclufion of the enter-
prize. This plan was favoured with tfeeir Lord-
flfips approbation; and feveral veffels being
pltopofed and examined with this- view,, the
RattFerflbop of three hundred and fevent^-fc*^
■fens burthen, was felected, then laying at his-
Majefly's yaid at Woolwich, for ctfnfi'dSrable
repairs. It was,- however, found, on more
mature con-fideration, that the alterations neceflary
to be made for1 the- whaling1 trade, would render
her unfit for his Majefly's fuftire ferviee. An
offer was therefore made to the Lords* of $ti&
fjydmiralty to ptsrchafe the faid floop; and their
Lordfhips thought proper to favour it with their
acquiesfcence'; a. proof of their indulgent attention
to any propofal that may tend to advance the
interests or extend the limits of the Britifh commerce, and fifheries An official order was
accordingly, given for the delivery of, the floop,
on the purchafe-money being paid, according to
her valuation; and, on the following day, fhe
was received from the Officers of the King's
yard, a®d tranfpprted to Mr. Perry's desk/ at
Blackball, in order to be repaired and fitted for
the particular fervie© in which fhe was to be
Of this veffel I Was appointed fole Commander,
^hich, however, was a mere complirrtentary
Stomuti&tion, as no pecuniary advantage" whatever
<S#as- attached to it; exclufive of what I might
derive from the fubfequ4nt generofity of Goyerro-
ment.    A whaling mafter and a crew, confifling
b 2, of
of twenty-five perfons, men and boys, were alio
appointed; and with the advice and alfiftance of
my kinfman Mr. Binmer, firft afliftant furveyor
of the Navy, who had fuperintended the original
conftruction of the floop, fuch alterations were
made, as, without diminifhing her fbength,. or
leffening her powers of failing, were perfectly
adapted to the commercial undertaking in which
fhe was about to be employed: fo.that fhe was
equipped and ready to leave the river by the
eleventh day of November, 179a. Every nautical inftrument, neceflary for determining the
longitude and making other ufeful obfervationss,
were alfo put on boards- and I purchafed of
Meflis. Enderby's one half of the fhip, which muft
at once have checked any apprehenfion on their
part, that their private concern would be interrupted or receive any detriment from the
attention I might pay to fuch inflructions as
were communicated to me by Mr.  Stephens..
Meflrs. Enderby and Sons had fitted out the
fhip: but neverthelefs, I fpared no expence in
providing myfelf with aH things which my experience of long voyages, as well as my knowledge
of the feas, I was preparing once more to traverfej
fuggefted to. me as. neceflary for preferving the
health of thofe who were to fail with me. I alfo
purchafed the various voyages of former navigators,
and fuch books on the fubjects of natural hiflory,
as might affifl me in my purfuits, and enable me
to furnifh inftruction in thofe branches of fcience
connected with my own;- and which remote navigation might tend to advance. In fliort, I determined to fpare no exertion in fulfilihg every object
©f the voyage, which had been entrufted to my>
care  and dire<tion..
As my inftructions were not ready by the
eleventh of November, the fhip was ordered round
to Portfmouth, to wait for me. But while I was-
in daily expectation of receiving my difpatches, the-
in _—-—!
fc£*fcr~ ■
-unexpected and alarming conduct of the French
Nation, demanded the whole attention of Government, and occafiojned an unavoidable fufpenfion
of my final inftra£tions. At this delayv however^
the fbip's company, who engaged in the voyage
on proportionable fhares of the profdfe irefulting
from it, began to exprefs their diflatisfadtionj
while the owners of different properties in the
South Seas, particularly Meffrs. Eaderby's, Meffrs.
Champion and Meflis. Methers, being anxipus to
eonvey early intelligence to their veflels, of the
fituation of our dorneftic affairs, and the change
that appeared to- be -taking place in Europe, ear*
nefHy and anxioufly recommended me to proceed
on the voyage, without any other inftructionsthan
.fuch ;as .had been verbally communicated to me,
.and the maps with which Mr. Stephens had been
fo kind as to furnifh me. It was, ijoweser,
thought neceflary that previous to my departure*
I fhould apply for the ufual letter of leave of
abfence, which 1 immediately obtained.
After fcliis long detention, and the great sixpences
which accompanied it, I ffiould not have been
adduced to undertake fueB a voyage, for the mere
cafual advantages which the fifhery might produce*
idK}L had not receivedrthe ftrongeft aflttr'&fices from
the beghming,. that, if I executed the comffliffion
afiigned me by the Board of AdtriSsalty, I fhoutel'
not fail of particular promotion; and that in any
gejieaf&l promotion which might tak@ place, during,
my abfence, Ifhould not be forgotte'ffi.' ■'
Though my former voyages were prm^pally
miMertaken with the views of commerciaJadvantage,.
I wa^i n&ver inattentive to the advancement 6§
na^Btiesifoieisbe': my obfervation was always £wake
to ev?®y5oMeet Which rmght iffiflirwffe myfeJf asfd*
^n^bfe me to i^Jiruc% others'; and I^eSnffefffl^
soaAitted my thoughts to' pape¥'al mey arofe 181
my mind from the appearance of things abound! me,
©r the circumftances, whatever they might be,.
kfc^Meh-I happened to-be involved.    I cannot be
fuppofed to poflefs any claim to literary qualifications, which are only to be obtained in the calm
of life, while fo many of my years have been paft
^siid the winds and waves, in various climes and
diflant oceans. Neverthelefs, I poflefs the hope
that my work may contain fome portion of profef-
fional utility, or I fhould not have prefumed to
prefent it to Mr. Stephens, as a teftimony, humble
as it may be, of my gratitude for his condefcending
kindnefs to me.
The owners, Meffrs. Enderby and Sons, being
perfectly acquainted with the intention and bafis
of the plan on whieh the voyage was to be
conducted, made out their orders in a manner
altogether comformable to the views of Government; and as a proof of their confidence, furnifhed,
me with full powers to act. as I fhould think;
heft for our common intereft.
I accord-
rr*k acconeutogly joined the  fhip   on the  2c2pfch of
December,  179a, but was unfortunately detained
by contrary winds.    During this accidental delays
a bounty of five pounds was offered for feameri
to enter into his Majefty's fervice, which proved
too great a temptation for all my crew to wiiht
ftand, as it afforded a favourable opportunity  to
thofe. who felt no   compunction at robbing theiri
employers of the advancesgwen them to perform a
long  voyage,   to  fhelter  themfelves   under   the
proclamation.    I employed every poflible precast*
tion to pnevent the defection of any of my people;
neverthelefs, three of them contrived to make theid
efcape:   and I could   not obtain   any to  fupply
their place, but by paying a bounty equal to that
of the Royal Navy.    On this condition I procured
three men, natives of the Ifle of Wight.
The firft day of January, 1793, at length
arrived, and by this delay, we loft the profpect
of obtaining  the premium given by the Britifh
c Govern-
Government to whalers failing round Cape Horn,
without clearing out again, for which I received!
the owners inftrudtions: but the collector at Cowes
informed me, that it could not be allowed.
On the fecond day of January, in the afternoon,
the weather promifing to be fair, and the .wind-
inclining to the North, I dropped down to
Yarmouth Roads. We had a thick fog and
Southerly wind all night, and during the next day
and following night, there was an heavy gale to
the South, with drizzling rain. At noon on the
fourth, the wind flrifted to the Northward and
brought clear weather, with which we failed. .
JL HE flant of wind with which we fet fail continued to be fair 1793
no longer than midnight, and we were obliged to ply to windward until the feventh of January at noon; when, being clofe January
in with the Start, and threatened with a gale of wind from
the Southward, we bore up and anchored in Torbay for the
night. The wind at day-light mifting to the North North
Weft, we weighed and flood out of the bay. This fpirt carried us as far as the Eddyftone Light-houfe, when it again
fbifted to the Southward and blew frelh. We had now to
beat off a lee-fhore,_ and, by the' prefs of fail which we were
obliged to carry, in order to accomplifh that object, and to
get ten leagues to the Southward and Weftward of the
Lizard, we had three feet water in the hold from a leak in
A the
the trunks that were funk to the hawfe for the cables, ire
confequence of a fpar-decfc being fixed: to jam the fore-caftle
and quarter-deck, and bringing the cables on the upper deck..
At this time the gale had fo increafed, as to reduce our fails
to the three ftorm ftay-fails; and, at times, during the-
twenty-four hours it lafted, we could not cany all of them,,
from the rain, hail, fnow and blowing Weather which we had.
experienced more or lefs every day, fince we failed: white-
our crew confuted of no more than feventeen, officers and
feamen, with three landmen and five boys, to work a fhip that,
in his Majefty's fervice, had a complement of 130 men ::
and all the alteration I had made was cutting four feet off
the lower yards, two feet off the top-fail yards, and
reducing the fails in proportion. Thus weak, handed, we-
were all obliged to be on deck, when there was an extra
duty, which our fituation and the ftate of the fhip often
required. The crew alio, at this time, began to grow weary,
and, in addition to our other exertions, it was neceflary to.
keep the pump in continual employment. We were, however, greatly indebted to the marine barometer, as it warned'
me againft making fail when there was an appearance only of
moderate, and to fhorten fail on the approach of foul and
January 13. tempeftuous, weather.. At length, however, on the thirteenth
at noon, when we were within a few leagues of the Lizard,
the wind fhifting to the North Weft, and from thence to-
the North Eaft, a ftrong wind and great fwell carried us to     l7PS-
Madeira in fix days;   on one  of which alone we had fair
weather.    On the twentieth I had run that diftance by two January ao.
of Arnold's time-pieces and account: it alfb blew a ftrong
gale, very variable, with dark cloudy Weather and heavy rain.
I had not made any obfervation this day to be relied on,
but fuch as pointed out to me the Ifle was not far diftant,
and that it became abfoliffely neceflary for me to afcertain
our true fituation before night.    I depende'&"on the qualities
of the fhip for clearing  the land if caught on a lee-fhore,
and accordingly fhortened fail to clofe-reefed main-top-fail
and fore-fail.' We then hove too and houfed our boats: but
we had no fboner bore up,  than, haff*a mile on the lea-
beami  we   defefied the   Deferters Rocks :   and as  it   w£&-
impofflble to weather them on the tack we were then on,
we wore and ftretched out between Portd'Sancto and the B&ft"
end of Madeira; while it blew {o heavysat Intervals, that the
fhip lurched threfS-'ftreaks of the rn%in-ddek under water:  at
the fame time, file made a better way through  the water
than we could expecr.*8r would gehe¥4Hyr bfe believed.    When >' .
the  gale  had   ceafed, 1cftlrHSV"lig£t   winds,   and   baffling
weather, prevented our cleafiag^'the Weft end of Madeira^*
until the evening of the twenty-fecond of January. *z,
My   prefent   intention   was   to   pafs    in   fight   to   the -
Weftward of the Canaries;   and at noon, on the twenty-      29.
A 3 ninth
ninth inftant, had the weather not been fb dark and clouded;
we ought^fey our obiewatiijBs,. to have feen fome of them.
At four in the afternoon we got fight of the Ifland Ferro,
diftant about five or fix leagues, ^font hence I was perfuaded
to get in the Longitude of zi° Weft, in the Latitude of the
Ifle of Sal one of the Cape de Verds, and run down in that
parallel for the Ifle with an expectation of catching whale.
This was not merely a curious inclaa&tion, but a fenfe of duty,
which infpired the wifh to begin my acquaintance 'grith that
bufmefs, at as early a period of the voyage as poflible. Dark,
hazy and cloudy weather accompanied us all the way from
the Canaries, and our rigging was covered with duft of the
colour of brown fand, as if it had been laying on fhore. We
ran the diftance by watch and reckoning to a few rnjles, but
the continuance of hazy weather prevented our. feeing it: and
as it blew ftrong with a heavy fea, it was the whaling matter's
opinion, with fuch weather we could do nothing with fifh, if
•wje, fell in with them : I accordingly bore up, and run down
the lee-fide of Bonavifta. Light winds prevented our
Feb. 10. croffing the Equator until the tenth -.flf Feb^ugiy, at midnight, in Ijjongitude 34/ 30' Weft of Greenwichj^ajnd. all the-
fifh we had as ygt caught, were a fhark and a porpoife.
Jn the Latitude of 1 o9 South, and Longitude 25' Weft, we
loft the South Eaft trade wind, which had accompanied us
from 49 North:   when a wind from the North Eaft fell in     J793-
with us, and continued until we reached the Latitude 21 •
30', and Longitude 36° Weft.    At this time we had changeable weather,    with  lightening,    heavy rain,   and a fweU
from the South Weft.    The wind then fhifted to the Southward and  Eaftward,   and blew in that direction until the
twenty-third of February,   when,    at midnight,   we   made   Feb. 23
Cape Frio;   but calms and light winds prevented our getting
into  Rio   Janeiro,    until   the   twenty-fourth.      We  there       2*~
found   Governor  Phillips  on  his   homeward bound paflage
from Botany Bay, in  the Atlantic Tranfport; and, on the
following day, a South Whaler came in to flop a leak.
The rigging of the Rattler was in fuch a ftate as to require
confiderable repairs: the new work alfb wanted caulking; and
that no further time might be loft, the feafbn being already
far advanced for doubling Cape Horn, I hired natives to
fupply me with water, as well- as a- couple of caulkers to
affift our carpenter in caulking the fhip and flopping our leak,
which was under the hawfe-pieces. At length, all our repairs being compleated, and our flock of provifions, including
two live bullocks, being got on board, by the fifth of Marct 5.
March, we fet fail with the Mediator, the whaler already
mentioned. We parted, however, with her, on getting
out of the harbour, and pafled, between the Rafor and
Round Ifles, to the Sea.
Governor Phillips failed the day before me, and was fo
kind, among other civilities, as to be the bearer of a table
of the rate of the time-keepers to Phillip Stephens, Efq.
■as well as of letters to the owners and my friends. On
my return from taking leave of him, and at the diftance of
about two cables length of his fhip, I ftruck With an harpoon the largeft turtle I ever faw: it weighed at leaft five
hundred weight. Governor Phillips, on obferving our exertions on the occafion, immediately fent a boat to our affift-
.ance, and I requefted his acceptance of the prize.
On the arrival of a fhip off Santa-Cruz at the mouth
of Rio Janeiro, the Patrimorc or harbour mafter comes on
board, takes charge of the veflel, carries her into the harbour
and moors her in a good birth. Sometimes the mate is
firft taken out, as was the ceremony with me, to undergo
an examination; but the captain is not fuffered to leave the
fhip without orders; neither will any fupplies be admitted
until a vifit has been made by the officers of police, to enquire
into the health of the crew, from whence you come, whither
you are bound, what is the particular object, of your voyage,
and the time you with to flay. The mates are then taken
,on fhore to be examined, when their declaration with that;
.of the commanding officer, is laid before the Viceroy whofe
official  pcrmiffion  muft be given before  any  commercial
' intercourfe
Intercourse can take place between the fhip and the fhorc:     W'
the   captain   and   officers   muft   alfo   fign   a   declaration,
acknowledging that they and their crew confider thcmfclves
as amenable to the laws of the country, while they remain
in it.
The land-breeze, at this place, commences in the evening, and generally continues until the morning;. the length of
time it blows, as well as its flrength, depends on the different
feafons of the year;. and all veflels leaving this port muft
take the advantage of the land or leading wind, the mouth of
the harbour being too narrow to turn out. We had no'
fboner left the harbour, than the Patrimore took his leave
of us. It may be proper, however, to remark, in this place,,
that the commanders of merchant veflels are required to-
give one day's notice, previous to their failing from this poft-
'793- ON leaving Rio Janeiro, I flood away to the Southward and
Eaflward to fearch for the Ifland Grand, which is faid to
lay in the Latitude of 45? South, and was the firft
object recommended to me by the Board of Admiralty. On
March 17. the feventeenth of March, at noon, Latitude by obfer-
vation 39° 33' South; Longitude by the mean of
chronometers 34? 31' Weft; and by account, 34° ztf;
variation, 9° Eaft. The fea appeared of a pale green, and
we faw many birds, fome of which were faid by feveral of
my people, to be of thofe kinds which are fuppofed to indicate
the vicinity of land; fuch as fand-larks, and a large fpecies
of curlew; but neither of the latter kinds of birds were
feen by me. From noon of the feventeenth, until fix in the
evening, the wind blew from the South, South Eaft, and we
flood away to the Southward and Weftward: it then became
calm and continued fo till midnight; when it blew from
the North Weft, being, at this time, in the fituation which
I had often heard my old commander, Captain Cook, mention, as the pofition of the Ifle of Grand: I accordingly entertained great expectations of feeing it; more efpeciafly as the
birds appeared in great numbers during the whole of the
day. In the evening we flood away to the Southward, in
which direction I continued my courfe for the night. At
day-light, on the eighteenth, the furface of the water was March i*.
covered with feathers; and frequently in the forenoon we
paned feveral birch twigs, as well as quantities of drift-wood
and fea-weed. Thefe appearances continued until noon of
the fame day, when our obfervation was in Latitude 40? 1 %
South: Longitude by obfervation of Sun and Moon^
3S° 34' Weft; and by mean of chronometers 34? 8'. At this1
time the appearance of the foa had changed to a dirty green;
which could not be the effect of tixe fky, as it was very clear;
thofe tokens of land induced me to heave to and try for
■foundings .w^b, a# hundred and fifty fathoms of line, but
got no bottom, we had no fooner got the lead in, when to,
our great aftonifhment, at three or four miles diftance from
us, the whole horizon was covered with birds of the blue
peterel kind. At the fame time black whales were feen
ipouting in every direction, and the boats purfued  one  to
B harp ooja
i?93- harpoon it, but without fuccefs. Indeed, we were not yery
folicitous to kill black whales, and willingly gave up the
chafe at this time, to make all the fail we could, and to
exert our utmoft efforts in order, if poflible, to difcover the
land before night; which every one on board had poflefled
themfelves with*- the idea of feeing, although at fuch a
confiderable diftance from the Latitude in which it was
fuppofed to lay.
Ehiring this afternoon we paffed feveral fields of fpawn,
which caufed the water to wear the appearance of barely
covering the furface of a bank. At fun-fet we could fee as far
as*twelve or fourteen leagues; but did not percei% any '
other flgns of land than the great .flight of birds which
continued to accompany us, and they were fo numerous at
times, that had they all been on -the wing together, and
above us, inftead of rifing in alternate flocks and fkiniming
Mler the whales, the atmofphere muft have been altogether
darkened by them. And the number Of whales in fight
prefented a fair opportunity bf making a profitable voyage in
the article of black oil; but my predominant object was to
fulfil the particular fervices recommended to me by the
Lords of the Admiralty; and in one point I had at this
moment, the moft flattering hopes of Succeeding.
Towards the evening, the barometer fell, and the weather began to be cloudy: but I continued ftanding to the Southward
with a frefh breeze till midnight, when we hove to and
founded; but did not find ground, with one hundred and
feventy fathom? of line. The gale was increafing every hour
with an heavy fea; and, by day4ight, we could only carry clofe-
reefed top-fails and fore-fail. The weather was dark and hazy,
the fea aflitaied a deep lead-colour, many birds and whales
remained with us, and we paffed large quantities of fea-
weed. At noon we were in the Latitude of 4,3° 3'
South, and Longitude 35s 38' Weft. Here we founded,
but found no bottom: neverthelefs, every chrcumftance
ftrengthened our conjectures that we were nearing the land*
which induced me to proceed on my courfe, although it con«
Janued to blow hard from Weft North Weft. At midnight
we hove to, and founded with one hundred and feventy
fathoms of Kne, but found no bottom. At day-light we
founded again with two hundred fathoms of line, and were
equally unfuccefsful. We now made fail, and at noon our
Latitude was 449 51'; Longitude by obfervation, 34? 59';
and by mean of chronometers sz9 53' 30" Weft.
The "birds leflened greatly, in numbers, and wi£fc, them our
hopes of finding the land which was the object of our
fearch.    I continued, however, to cruize about  for feveral
B 3 fucceffive
x793-     fucceffive days near  this Longitude,   but   faw nothing to.
encourage any further endeavours.
The feafon was now far advanced for doubling Cape' Horny
and it appeared to me, that the moft rational courfe I could:
take, would be to run down Weft to the main land of
Patagonia, in the Latitude in which the Ifle of Grand is.
placed; as we were now to the Eaftward of Mr. Dalrymple's
pofition of it*: fo that if it was. not found-kft that Latitude, I
" Extraft from Mr, D.vlr ympleI. -''
* In-the Latitude of 45° South,.mere is a vety large, pleafant ifland, difcovered by
Ant. La-Roche,, a native of England, in his paffage from the South Seas, in the
year 1675. The Spanifli author who gives the abftraft of La Rpche.'s voyage,-,.
printed according to him, in 1678, fays, "-That La Roche,.leaving the land,,
(difcovered" by Mm ih "55? South, and: which was fince feen- by the Leon, ihi
1756,) and foiling- one- whole day to the North Weft, the wind came fo violently at
South, that he flood Northjbr. three days more, tijliffiejf were got-into 46? South,
•when thinking themfelves then fecure, they relate, that directing their courfe for.
the Eahia de Todos Santos, ih Brazil,, they found, in 45? South, a very large,
pleafant ifland, wirli a good port towards the Eaftern:part;. in which th'ey found
wood, water, and. fiih, they.faw no people, notwithftanding they flayed there fix.
days." The fize of this ifland is not mentioned in the Spanifli abftraft; but the
expreflion, Muy Grand-, very large, and the expectation of finding, inhabitants,.
feemed to indicate that it is of great extent..
The existence of -this ifland, and, in fome meafnre its extent, is confirmed,
by other authorities: for Halley, near- this Longitude, in about 43- South fays,,
"the colour, of the fea was changed to pale green j. and in 45? South he faw
abundance of fmall fea-fow] anibeds of weeds."   Funnel, in his paffage, into
might, on my return, fearch for it in the Latitudes of 40* i793-
and 4I?, having ftrong reafon to believe, that there is land in
or near thofe Latitudes, but to the Eaftward of the Longitude
which I croffed; as otherwife, 1 am- at a lofs to account for
fuch a- quantity of birch twigs, fea-weed> drift-wood and
birds as were feen in that, fituation. Some of thefe birds
appeared to be quite young, from the difficulty with which
they feemed. to. ufe their wings; though that circum*-
fiance, it is pofEble, might have proceeded from their being
gorged! with fea blubber, with which the. furface of the. water
was covered'..
From the land difcoveredby Monfieur La Roche, in Latitude 55? South, which I touched at with Captain Cook, in
the year 1771, who named it Georgia, I am difpofed to-
believe, that the Ifle of Grand alfo exifts, and that my not
heing able to.find it, arofe from, an error in.copying the Latitude.
the South Sea, alfo mentions figns of land from about 40° South, near this Longitude. The Naffau fleet, 1624, had alfo figns of land here, fo as to think them-
felves near the Southern continent.
Thefe teftimonies and the Leon, in ij$6, finding the other, land mentioned by
La Roche, leave very little reafon to doubt his veracity: and, if there is fuch an
ifland, the middle of the ocean, in 45? South Latitude, it cannot fail
of being a very temperate and pleafant country, in a fituation very favourable
for carrying on the whale fifliery and others, and alfo for the prosecution of any.
commerce, which may be found in the countries to the South.
x793~ tude given by La Roche: nor can I doubt, from the quantity
of whales I perceived near its fuppofed fituation, that it
would prove a much greater acqaifition than the Ifland
Georgia, to which many profitable voyages had been made
for feal fkins alone.
This route, however, will be of fome advantage to Britifhv
navigators; even if no land fhould be difcovered .according to
our expectations, as it will tend to undeceive the mafters and
owners of whalers, who have entertained an opinion that the
black whale was never to be found in bodies, fo far to
the Eaftward: for, if half the whalers belonging to London had been with me, they might have filled their veflels
with oil.
March 13. The autumnal equinoctial gale came on us the twenty-
third of March, and held upwards of four days, with fre~
quent claps of thunder, accompanied by lightening, hail and
rain. It blew as bard as I ever remember, and, for feveral
hours, we could not venture to fhew any f^J» At the fame
time a whirlwind or typhoon arofe to windward, from
whence in one of the fqualls, two balls of fire, about the
fize of cricket balls, fell on board. One of them, ftruck the
anchor which was houfed on the fore-caftle, and burfting into
particles, ftruck the chief mate and one of the- feamen, who
fell down in excruciating tortures. On examining them feveral holes appeared to have been burned in their cloaths which
were of flannel: and in various parts of their bodies there
were fmall wounds, as if made with an hot iron of the fize
of afixpenny piece. I immediately ordered'fome of the crew
to perform the operation of the Otaheiteans, called Roro
mee *, which caufed a confiderable abatement of their pains',
but feveral days, elapfed before they were perfectly recovered.
The other ball ftruck the funnel of the caboofe, made an explo-
fion equal to that of a fwivel gun, and burned feveral holes in
thfe-mizen-flay-fail and main-fail which were handed. At the
height of it the barometer was 389. The alarm which We
may be fuppofed to have experienced during the whirlwind,
was not allayed by the noife of the birds, who, not confider-
ing the fhip to be a place of fafety, as is the cafe in common gales, appeared, by the violence of their fhrieks and the
irregularity of their flight, to be fenfible of the danger: for
as the fquall approached them numbers plunged into the
fea, to avoid it; while thofe who could not efcape its influence, were whirled in a fpiral manner out of fight in an
inftant. It very fortunately reached us only within two
cables length of each beam, and fo pafled a-head of the
fhip  to the North.      From  our firft feeing,   to our lofing
* Roro mee.   It confifts in grafping the fleflvy parts of the body,   legs,   and
arms, and working it with the fingers.
J793-     flght of it, was- about half an hour.    In this gal
I  loft
the   greateft  part  of my  live  flock,   together with all the
•vegetables that hung at the ftern of the fhip.
April 8. On the eighth day of April, in Latitude 509, we ftruck
foundings off the North Weft end of Falkland's Iflands.
The •whole way I fawplenty of black whales; and two days
before ftriking foundings, we perceived a fhoal of fpermaceti
whales, apparently bound round Cape Horn ; but our boats
being all houfed and well fecured for doubling the Cape, we
did not purfue them. In this courfe I ran directly over the
fituations in Which the Ifle of Grand is placed in all the
charts, without difcovering any appearance of land. On the
o. ifeith, in the afternoon, we ftruck foundings in fixty-five
fathoms off the Weft end of Falkland's Iflands; but the
violence of the wind and the thick weather prevented me
from making an accurate obfervation. The fhallownefs of
the bottom induced me to believe, that I was not fo far to
the Weft as the watch gave me. When by my calculation
I • was to the South of Falkland's Ifles, I flood away
for Cape Saint John, Staten Land. The winds were
variable North Weft, South, South Eaft, Eaft, and North
Eaft. The greateft depth at which I found bottom*
was ninety fathoms; and then no bottom at one hundred
and fifty  fathoms.
Emk LjTrml
On the eleventh at midnight when I fuppofed myfelf off
Cape Saint John, we founded and ftruck ground at ninety
fathoms, frnall dark ftones. In this depth of water I did
not cbniider myfelf as far to the Eaftward of the Cape as I
wifhed, for which reafon, I hauled on a wind, and beat to
windward, with the wind at North Eaft and Eaft North
Eaft, till feven o'clock in the morning, when having no
foundings at one hundred and fifty fathoms, I bore up for
Cape Horn. On the twelfth at noon, the wind drew round
to the South, South Eaft, as the preceding night indicated,
by the cold being fo fevere, that fome of the crew were froft
bitten for feveral hours, and the fhip and rigging covered
with fnow and ice. After this, the wind inclined to the
Weft of South, Which was foon fucceeded by moderate
weather and fmooth water; this was alfo of fhort duration,
for it changed gradually round, until it got to the Eaft,
and at midnight on the thirteenth, it fhifted fiiddenly in a
fquall of rain to the South, and brought me on a lee-fhore.
At day-light we faw the Ifles of Diego Ramieres, bearing
North by Eaft, three or four leagues; and I make them by
obfervations corrected, in Longitude 68° 58' Weft; and in
Latitude 56° 30' South. They appeared to lay in an Eaft
and Weft direction. The Weftern Ifle, which is the higheft,
is furrounded with fmall iflets j and the circumference of the
C whole
April it.
 whole may be nine or ten miles. With the affiftance of
telefcopes, it appeared to be entirely barren, though it may
be an afylum for foals; there being many about us at this-
time, as well as white crows.. Thefe birds refemble in fize
and figure, the dun crow, which I have frequently foen in
Hampfhire, in the winter feafon, and is probably a bird of
paffage. We daily faw thefe crows, from the Latitude of the
Falkland Iflands, until we had doubled Cape Horn. They
all appeared to come from the Eaftward and Southward^ perhaps from Sandwich land, and to be bound to the main land
of America. Several of them were caught, but could not be
preferred alive. It may be remarked, that I never faw any
of thefe birds at Cape Horn in my former voyages.
X HAVE doubled Cape Horn in different feafons; but
were I to make another voyage to this part of the globe, and
could command my time, I would moil certainly prefer the
beginning of winter, or even winter itfelf, with moon-light
nights; for, in that feafon, the winds begin to vary to the
Eaflward; as I found them, and as Captain, now Admiral,
Macbride, obferved at the Falkland Ifles. Another error,
which, in my opinion, the commanders of veflels bound
round Cape Horn commit, is, by keeping between the Falkland
Ifles and the main, and through the Straits Le Maire; which
not only lengthens the diftance, but fubjects them to an
heavy, irregular fea, occafioncd by the rapidity of the current
and tides in that channel, which may be avoided, by paffing to
the Eaflward. At the fame time, I would recommend them
to ke.ep near the coaft of Staten Land, and Terra del Fuego,
becaufe the winds are more variable, in with the fhore, than
at a long offing.
If it fhould be obferved, that a want of wood and water
may render it neceffary for veffels to flop in the Straits Le
Maire, I fhall anfwer, that there is plenty of water at the
Falkland Ifles;   and Staten Ifland, not only abounds in both,
C 3 but
,79j, but poflefles feveral excellent harbours. I firft vifited this place
with Captain Cook, in the year 1774; and, on my outward-
bound paffage to the North Weft coaft of America, in the year
1786, as commander of the merchant fhip, Prince of Wales*,
I wooded and watered there, and left a party to kill foals. For
my own part, I do not perceive the neceflity, according to the
opinion of different navigators, of going to 60° South. I never
would myfelf exceed £j° 30', to give the Ifle of Diego Ramieres
a good birth, or, if winds and weather would permit, make
it, for a frefh departure, had I not taken one at Cape Saint
John, Staten Land, or the Eaft end of Falkland Ifles. Staten
Land is well fituated as a place of rendezvous both for men of
war and merchant fhips ; while the harbours on the North
and South fides, which are divided by a fmall neck, . would
anfwer the purpofe of fhips bound out, or home. But the
North fide offers the heft place for an eftablifhment,. if it fhould
ever be in the view of our government to form one, theref ..
* To the owner of this ffiip I- was firft introduced by one of the moil eminent
merchants of the City of London.
f If the navigation round Cape Horn fliould ever become common, fuch, a
place we muft poffefs; and' agreeable to the laft convention with Spain, *we are
entitled to keep poffeffion of it, and. apply it to any purpofe of peace or war.
Great advantages might arife from fuch a fettlement, from whence the black whale
fifheries might be carried on to the South Pole, in the opinion of all the North
Greenland fifhermen, with whom, I have converted on the fubjeft. Befides, it
is one of the eafieft land-falls a failor can make. In order to render* this
place a defenfible, and protecting fettlement, many experienced men, lieutenants,
in his Majefty's navy, might be found, at very little extra expence to government,
to live in a fituation, which would be far preferable to many ftations in Norway,
that I have feen. The officer placed there, fbould be invefted with full powers to regulate all nfhers, fifhing in thofe parts, or navigating round Cape
Horn, that ftop at the port.
We doubled Cape Horn on the I of April,, the day three April 11
months on which we departed from England, after having flopped at Rio Janeiro, during the fpace of tenjdays; and proceeding from thence, four hundred leagues to theEaftward, in fearch
of the Ifland of Grand. On making Diego Ramieres Ifles, we
ftretched well into theWeftwardof them,, with the wind at
South, SouthWeft; and, at midnight, tacked to the Southward
and Eaflward. During, the following five days, we had the
wind from Weft, and SouthWeft, and moftly with an.heavy
gale, and a tremendous fea, and as bad weather as could be
produced by hail, rain, frofl and fhow, which drove us as far
to the Southward as 59°, and back to the Eaft as 69°. We
neverthelefs ftrove well againft it, and the crew being in good.
health and fpirits, we made fail, if it became moderate, only
for half an hour; and, at length, fairly beat round the land
of Terra del Fuego, No fooner had we attained this object,
than we had fine weather, wi&U Southerly wind ; which pro-
mifed favourably, to my prefent intention of examining Wager
Ifland, on the Weft coaft of Patagonia, which we faw on
April 28.  £he twenty-eighth, at midnight.
Wager Ifle is high and rugged, and may be feen at the
diftance of fourteen or fifteen leagues.    It is about five or fix
leagues in length,   and lays,   by compafs, nearly in a North
and South direction, with many iflets off both North and
South ends.    I place the body of it in Latitude 46' 30', and
Longitude y6° Weft.     On the weftern fide,   where nothirig
grows but a fmall quantity of green mofs,   it wears a very
barren appearance,  and the diftant hills, bearing Eaft 25'
North,   I believe, were mountains on the main land, covered
with fnow.  Capt. Cheap, who commanded the Wager, one of
Lord Anfon's fquadron, has given a full defcription of this ifland,
where he was unfortunately eaft away*. My defign in making
it, was to obtain fome knowledge of Anna Pink Bay and Harbour, but the coaft was fo forbidding, and the weather of
fuch a dark, hazy, and wintry afpeel, as to difcourage me from
perfeyenng in it.    Befides, having doubled Cape Horn at the
precife time of the year when Lord Anfon went round it,
^nd being-at Wager Ifle, within a fortnight of the time, when
* In the year 1741.
Captain Cheap was fhipwrecked there, I was difeouraged
from paying any further attention to it. The inlet, which
was the object of my fearch, is not a mile wide; a fpace,
which can be defcried, but on a very near approach. The
Anna Pink did not fee it, until; fhe was within a mile or two
of the rocks and breakers, among which it lies; and although
they may fhew themfelves, the depth of water is fo great in
the bay, that when found, no whaler will' attempt to make-
it, becaufo he cannot truft to his anchors. I tried for founding feveral times off Wager Ifle, but got no bottom; neithep
was the colour of the water fo much changed here, as the
day before we made the land.
By the Anna Pinks fiippofed Latitude of that place, and.
my own obfervations, I have no doubt, as was conjectured, at.
the time, that the crew of the Wager heard the Anna Pinks,
guns; and that fhe lay under the main to the Eaft of Wager
Ifland*. If the defign propofed by Captain Cheap had been
adopted, of coafting in the boats, it is more than probable
that it would have fucceeded ;. and the well-known
diftrefles of that officer and his crew would then have been
avoided. The many efcapes and voyages which, from
fhipwreck, views of gain, and other caufes, have been
made   and   performed   in  boats   within  thefe   few  years,.
* The Anaa Pink was a vi&oaller belonging to Lord Anforfs-fijoadron,
driven into this port in diftrefs.
 Voyage to the south seas.
t193. are, Iprefume, pretty generally known. My long-boat, which
was not more than twenty-eight feet in the keel,' coafted
it in the depth of winter and in a tempeftuous clime, from
38° North to 509 North; and part of the fame courfe back to
rejoin me. The greateft part of the cargoes of fhips voyaging
to the North Weft Coaft of America, have been collected in
boats. The long-boat of the fhips I commanded in my firft
voyage thither, coafted from 6o° North, many leagues to the
Southward, as well as in various bays and inlets which the fhip
could notfiater; whereby a more particular knowledge of that
country has been obtained, as will appear on the publication
of Capt. Vancouver's voyage. The known fpirit ofenterprife
and fpeculation, poflefled by the Britifh merchants, and which
is not equalled, by thofe of any other nation, wul again Ihew
itfelf, when a peace takes place; and the inland countries in
the Southern parts of America, including the Eaft and Weft
coafts of Patagonia, Straits of Magellan, and Terra Del Fuego,
will, I doubt not, be traverfed and explored, from the information of Mr. Falkner, who refided near forty years in
that country, and publifhed an account of his travels in
1774. He remarks, that the Eaftern coafts abound with
oftfiches, whofe feathers are known to be fo valuable, befides
otters, "hares, rabbits, and other animals, yielding fur. He
likewife mentions the articles of trade neceflary for the
Indians, and defcribes the Weftern fide as abounding alfo
with oftriches,   as well as hares of an extraordinary fize,
and black rabbits; whofe fur is fuperior to that of the beaver.     1793.
The otters and hares I have feen, and their ikins would be a
valuable article of commerce in China.
He further declares, as his decided opinion, that it would
prove very difadvantageous to the Spaniards, if the Englifh
were to form any fettlement to the South of Brazil; there being
feveral rivers, which communicate with the Weftern fide of
America; and he gives a particular defcription of the bay St.
Fondo, and river Colorado.
This idea, however, had not awakened the attention of any
court, till difputes arofe about Nootka Sound, in which I unfortunately, had fo great a fliare*.   I cannot pafs over in filence the
* Mr. Thomas Falkner was the fon of a furgeon of eminence at Manchef-
ter, and was brought up in his father's profeffion, for which he always manifefted
the moft promiiing difpofitions. To complete his profeflional lludies, he was fent
to London to attend Saint Thomas's Hofpital; and, happening to lodge inTooley-
ftreet, on the Surry bank of the Thames, he made an acquaintance with the mailer
of a fhip, employed in the Guinea trade, who perfuaded the young furgeon to
accompany him in his next voyage in his profeflional capacity. On his return to
England, he engaged to go in the fame fituation on board a merchant fhip to
Cadiz, from whence he continued his voyage to Buenos Ayres, a Spanifti fettlement
on the River La Plata. Here he fell lick, and was in fo dangerous a ftate when
bis fhip was ready to depart, as not to be in a condition to be carried on board:
fo flie failed without him. The Jefuits, of which there was a college at
Buenos Ayres, nurfed him during his illnefs with the greateft care and kinde/t
D affiduity j
very Angular circumftance, that while the Spaniards were
negotiating with Great-Britain, for arranging the difference
between them, in an amicable manner, they actually fettled
every port in the Atlantic, as far South as the Straits of Magellan;
sfliduityj and perceiving the very great advantage which they would derive,
in their millions, from pollening a brother who was fo well ikilled in medicine and furgery, fpared no pains to win his affection and fecure his confidence. In
fhort, they fo worked upon his mind, as to perfuade him to enter into their college and finally to become one of their order. He now entered upon his
miniftry among the Indians, who inhabit the vaft track of country between the
River La Plata and the Straits of Magellan. His Ikill in the cure of difeafes,
and, in performing chirurgical operations, together with- his knowledge of
mechanics, rendered his million fuccefsful beyond- example. In this country Jot;
remained near forty years, and was among the pcrfons appointed by the
Spaniih. Government, to make a furvey of the coafts between the Brazils and
the Terra del Fuego, Falkland's Iflands, &c. When the fociety of Jefnits-
was diffolved, he was fent back to Spain, and after an abfence of near forty years*
arrived in Ms native country. Soon after his return to England, he became
domeftic chaplain to Robert Berkeley, Efq. of Spetchley, near Worcefter, a
Roman Catholic gentleman of diftinguifhed knowledge, moft refpectable character, and large fortune. There he wrcte the account of Patagonia, which,
has been quoted in this volume, and was afterwards publMhed with a map corrected from, that of IXAnville, according to his own observations. Mr Falkner
poffelTed a very acute mind, a gen era! knowledge and moft retentive memory.
Of his medical experience and practice, I have heard phyficians of eminence
fpeak in the higheft terms of commendation. His manners, as may be fuppofed,
from the tenor of his life, were at once lingular and inorfenfive; and he retained
fomewhat of his Indian habits to the laft. He died, as I have been informed*
about the year 1781.
gellan; and attempted it at New Year's Harbour, Staten Land.
At that place I left a factory in my firft voyage, in 1786; but the
. fhip which was fent to carry them fupplies being eaft away,
they quitted it in boats. Another body of Englifh merchants,
engaged in a fimilar eftabhfhment, and was there, when the
Spaniards arrived, which induced the latter to abandon their
defign, and, by a violent gale from the Eaflward on the night
after their arrival, their fhip was either wrecked or driven'
to fea between the New Year's Ifles.
This was not the only political manoeuvre of the Spaniards;
for they intimated to Lord Saint Helens, as his Lordfhip
informed me, that their fettlements in the Californias, extended a long way to the North of Port St. Francifco.    This
circumftance, I reprefented to his Lordfhip to be altogether
untrue, as my long-boat had coafted from Saint Francifco to
Nootka, and faw no fettlements.    I have no doubt, never-
thelefs, of its being their defign to fettle the intermediate
fpace,   as well as the Sandwich Ifles, for which they had
made every preparation, at the  time  I   was  releafed from
their naval port of Saint Bias, in the Gulph of California.
Indeed, while I was on my prefent voyage, they fettled the
Port of Sir Francis Drake, where I wooded and watered, in
my preceding voyage.     But it is probable that Captain Vancouver, whofe voyages are now preparing for publication, will
give a more particular account of this fettlement.
D z \i
If fuch an enterprize has not commenced, the period,
however, cannot be diftant, when a commercial fearch after
furs, feals and whales, will lead adventurers to traverfe the
Coafts of Terra del Fuego and Patagonia, for them. The
whales and feals are grown fhy, and become fcarce in other
parts where they have been hitherto taken, fo that new haunts
muft be refbrted to, in order to- keep up the ■fpirit of our fifhr-
eries; and thofe coafts will probably employ, fifty or fixty fail
of merchant fhips, as they abound not only with black, whales
and feals, but the fea elephant, and the fea lion.
The Southernmoft fettlement of the Spaniards, known on
the Weftern fide, is Brewers, or Englifh Harbour, in Latitude 44° 20' South*. To the South of it, is a great archipelago,
and many deep inlets, which perhaps, are unknown to the
As from the circumftances already mentioned, I had given,
up all fearch after Anna. Pink Bay, I was, from the fame caufe*
induced to relinquifh my defign of looking into Brewers Harbour, and did not make land again, till we were in the Latitude 38° 39', when we faw the Ifle Mocha..
In 409 South, we faw fpermaceti whales* but did not take'
any till the firft of May,, when we. made the Ifle, the fea being
* This Harbour is named from Mr. Henry Brewer, who commanded a fquadron
of Dutch fhips in 1642) belonging to the Dutch Weft-India Company on an
expedition to the coaft of Chili,, who found, in this port refrelhments of every
kind, and alfo fecure and good anchorage.
 .L'^YOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 20.
then covered with them: but of fix which we killed, and of     179$.
four fecured along fide, the weather proved fo, bad, that we
could only fave the bodies of two fifh, and one head.
We beat to windward off Mocha for feveral days, during
sshich time we faw a great number of whales, but killed
no more than two, of which we faved one. Several of
my people getting hurt in.flinching them*, and others break?
ing oufc'iin boils:from the bad ftate o£ the weather, I was
obliged to purfue my voyage ; but, by ordering the fick two
oranges every, day each perfon, with a large glafs of lime
juice and water every morning, they foon recovered, as welj
as thofe alfo who were hurt in.whaling.
I place Mocha Ifle in Latitude 38° z\., and Longitude
j5° 00'. It is of an height to be fcen at the diftance of fifteen
or fixteen leagues, in clear weather, and on approaching it, its
fummit appears rugged. It is about three or four leagues in
length, laying in a. North and South, direction by compafs. The
Northexnipart of the ifland defcends gradually into a low, fandy
point, or long tongue of land, on which is 'a rock or crofs, that
has thefemblance of a fail. The South point, at the diftance
3&re_were, appeared to end in a more abrupt manner, and there
* This exgreffion is ufed for taking off the fat from the nth.
 30 VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   8E*S.
*393- extends from it, for a confiderable diftance, a range of fmall
rugged rocks, fome of them on a level 'With the water; while
others rofe boldly from it, fo that it was a matter of fome doubt
with me, whether they compofed an actual part of the ifland.
Breakers alfo run off from it a great way to the Weftward, at
leaft three leagues. There is a bare, white fpot on one part
of the ifland, having the appearance, at an offing, of eight or
nine miles, as if not belonging to it. From the great number
of feals, which I faw off this Ifland, I fhould fuppofe that it
muft abound with them. The main land of Chili, within the
ifle, is of a moderate height, and as it appeared to me, about
fix or feven leagues diftant.
The only account I have been .able to obtain of this Ifland is
from Mr. Wafer's voyage, who was there, with Capt. Davisj in
the year 1686, at which time, they lay there during thefpace
of eight days. He relates, that they wooded, watered and
ftored themfelves with frefh provifions, particularly the
guanaco*.   In fhort, he gives a very interefting account of the
Extract from Mr. Wafer,
* The ifland afforded.both water and frefh provifion for our men. The land is
very low and flat, and upon the fea coaft fandy; but the-middle ground is good
mould, and produces maize, wheat and barley, with variety of fruits, &c.
Here were feveral houfes, belonging to the Spanifh Indians, which were very
well ftored with dunghill fowl. They have here alfo feveral horfes: but that
jA'hich is moft worthy of note, is a fort of fheep they have, which the inhabitants
 ' VO.YAQ'E   TO   THE   SW£H   9£A$.
necenaries which they procured. He fays the land is
low and flat; but he muft certainly ipeak only of the Eaft
fide, or North and South points: If whales, are as plentiful in
the offing in theifine ieafon, as at the time when I was-there,
call Camera de Terra. This creature is about four feet and an half high at the back,
and a very {lately beaft. Thefe fheep are fo tame, that we frequently ivfed to
bridle one of them, upon whofe back two of the luftieft men would ride a*l dfxc£
round the ifland, to drive- the reft to the fold. His ordinary pace is either an
amble or a good hand-gallop 5 nor does he care for going any other pace, during-
the time his rider is upon his back. His niouth. is like that or aihare;. and the
hair-lip above opens as well as the marri*lipsV wf*en he bites the grafs> whien-*rJe
does very near. His* head' is much like an antelope, ftn* t&ey had no borhs> wh-cn
we were theret yet we found very large bonis,, much twifted,. in- the form of z
fnail-fbell, which we fuppofed they had flied; there laid many of themfcattered
upon the fandy bays. His ears referable thofe of an afs-, his neck iroall, and
refenrolinj^'a1 cataeis*. He carries his head bending, and1 very ifetfeiy, like a
fwan ; is foil chefteddike a horfe, and^ has his loins much like a well fhaped greyhound. His buttocks refemble- thofe of a full grown deer,, arid he has much fuch
a tail. He is cloven-footed like a fheep, but, on the in fide of each foot has a large
claw, Hg^er than ones finger, but iharp,. and refembling thofe of an eagle. Thefe
claws fla rid about two inches above fhe-'efivin'on of tfie hoof j and they ferve* fiini
in climbing rocks',- holding faff, by whatever they hear againft. His fleih eats as
like mutton as can be: he bears? wool of twelve or fourteen inches long upon the
belly; but itis ihorter on the back* fhaggy, and a little inclining to a curl. It is an
irtnocent and* very ferviceablebeaft, fit for any drudgery. Of thefe we killed forty-
three j out of the maw of one of which I tooli thirteen Bezoar frones, of which
fome were ragged^ and of feveral fortes;: fome long, rcsfembling coral; fbme>'
rounJ, and fome oval; but all green when-taken out of the maw: yet by long
keeping they turned of an alh colour.
 it is an excellent whaling ground; and the Ifle itfelfVeiy convenient for the purpofes of refrefhment. For although Mr.
Wafer, on his return, found that the Spaniards had deftroyed
all the produce of the Ifland, of which they could poflefs
themfelves, to prevent its affording relief to the Buccaneers;
fb long a period has fince elapfed, that it is no wild conjecture to fuppofe, it may now have regained its former
We ltept the land of Chili in fight, from the matt-head
or deck, until we reached the Latitude of zb° zd; in which
parallel, the Iflands of Saint Felix and Saint Anibrofe, were
fuppofed to lie, but at the diftance of one hundred and fifty
leagues from the main.    When I firft fitted out, my intention
was to vifit the Ifles Juan Fernandes, and Mafa Fuero: but,
before I left England, Europe was in fuch an unfettled ftate,
as to induce me to confider a rupture between Great Britain
and Spain, as no improbable event, when the cruizers, of the
latter nation, would certainly be ftationed off thefe- iflands:
befides, I had every reafon to believe, that, at the Saint Felix,:
and Saint Ambrofe Ifles, I fhould find refrefhments equal to,
thofe which Mafa Fuero is known to afford.   Befides, having
learned, at Bio Janeiro, that Lieutenant Mofs, of the royal
navy,  whofe nautical abilities are known 'and approved,   had
been lately fealing at Mafa Fuero, and taken great pains to
afcertain their fituation, I conceived it unnecefTary, for me to
^go there for that purpofe only.
All  the  way to  the Latitude of Saint Felix and Saint     1793-
Ambrofe, and alfo running down the Longitude to thofe ifles,
we never faw a fingle fpermaceti whale, except a flinched
one, the day before we quitted fight of the main; but there
were a great number of feals along the whole coaft.
On the twentieth day of May, at day-light, we faw one of the May 20.
Ifles of Saint Felix and Saint Ambrofe; and foon after the other.
By four in the afternoon, we were within fix or feven miles of
the Eafternmoft; when, accompanied by the whaling matter,
I made an attempt to land, as well as to find an anchoring
ground. The ifle proved to be a rugged, perpendicular, barren
rock, fixty or feventy fathoms in height; and, in its craggy
breaks and fhelvihgs, feals had found a refting place. There
was, indeed, an appearance of verdure on its fummit, which
induced me to conjecture, that it is, by fome means or other,
fupplied with moifture. But night coming on, and it beginning
to fniffle and rain, with the wind far to the North, and no place
to fhelter the boat, or where we could land, on the North fide,
we returned on board. It was a fqually night) with fhowers of
rain; and, on the twenty-firft, at day-light, as much wind blew ar.
from Weft North Weft, as would admit of double reefed
top-fails, with vcty heavy fhowers, which continued the
whole of the forenoon; fo that&wie were obliged to pafsto the
Southlyvgra' of the Eafecnriofififle, which prefents the fame
inhofpitable afpect as that of the North fide. At noon, the
rain ceafed,   and the  wind became   variable  with   cloudy
E weather
 X J
weather and much fea. By fun-fet, we got we'll up with"'the
Weftern ifle, and being moon-light, I font the chief mate, in
one of the boats, to fifh during the night, as well as to take
foundings round the ifle for the beft anchoring place; and in
the morning to make an attempt to land. At noon, on the following day, he returned with plenty of fifh of the fpecies of cod
and bream, weighing, from four to fix pounds each; and informed me he had taken foundings round the ifle, and that
the only bay was on the South fide$ but that he could not fifed
any bottom except clofe to the fhore, which was at eighteen
fathoms depth and rocky: That he had alfo founded, on the
North fide, round the ifle, to eight fathoms, within half a mile <if
the fhore, and found a fandy bottom; but beyond that, could find
no ground, at thirty fathoms; and, that the late gale had occa-
fioned fo great a furf as to Tender it impoSible to land. He
added, that the ifland appeared to be covered with feals. I
had by this time furrounded the ifle, with the fhip, and frequently tried for foundings, but no bottom could be found,
with one hundred and feventy fathoms of line, at the diftance
of from four to fix miles from the fhore.
The whaling mafter- and fecond mate attempted to land in
the evening, the fwell having confiderably abated; but they
could not accomplifh their defign.. They fee out again, at four
May si.   o'clock the next morning, twenty-fecond, with a fimilar defign;
and, having.with great ri&and difficulty effected a landing,
they trsverfed the ifle, which produced nothing but a plant, j(6t;
femblihg the common nettle, of a fait tafte and djiagreeable
odor. They oould find no frefh water, and the foil was
mere fand, from one to fix inches deep on a folid rock, and
wafhed into furrows, as it appeared, by heavy raii% No
land-bird, quadruped, orevenirafect, except flies, were feen
on the ifland; but great numbers of bwdfc-tiefta, containing
addled eggs* nor was <£bfere any kind of fhell-fifh;. On
the ifland, wereothe remains:of feals and a quantityiof (decayed
feai*&iiiipi fuppofed to have been left: tfifcrte-by Mr. Ellis,
(who vifitcd this place jn the year 1791,) and probably, from'
the difficulty of taking-<ihem avBJtyviit
Of the danger, of getting from-thismflarid, we had a very
melancholy expcrieiBSe;. as our people were upfet feveraljfimesi
before they got from the furf, and one of oiir beft feamen,
was unfortunately MiBedj having his hack broken, by t&e jolly-
boat faffing, upon him: a
The only landing plaice, is on a fandy bdach on the Norffa
fide of the ifle; and tite" tide ebbed on it, while -they!
were on fhore, between; fix and feven feet, and; the ebb and
flood runs to the Northward artdoEaftwaaaij At the time'
they landed, whichwasr atfueiii the mornmg^itiwsts near
E'3 high
high water, and when they got off, at two o'clock, P.M., it was
low water. Neither, ofthefe ifles is more, than five or fix miles in
circumference, and they are diftant from each other four leagues
and an half. The Eafternmoft ifle, appearing to beinaccefnble,
can never be of much ufe, except as a place for catching fifh or
taking feals: But the other ifle, might be made to anfwer^ as a
place of rendezvous in war or peace. It contains a fpace, where
tents might be pitched, and the fick, accommodated, if the
want of wood, water and vegetables, eoulilry any means, be
furmounted. As to the firft, an hull or two, of a prize, would
afford a fufiicient fiipply; and as for the fecond, a ftill, might
be provided, to diftil falt-water; and a fmall quantity of foil,,
would be fufiicient, to raife fallad. herbs..
A whaler, indeed, neverrivrahtSTVood or water; ofthe*Ikt—
ter, fhe has always a very large quantity; becaufe, all her
empty cafks, which fhe carries out for oil, are filled with
water, by way of bailaft; and as it is to be hoped, that the
fifheries will not be difcontinued, fhe might always leave her
furplus quantity here, by ftarting it into a tank. A few buts
of earth,, might alfo be brought, and feveral kinds of final!
herbs, be raifed. Should this retreat be discovered, by the-
capture of any veffel, it is fo fituated, that a fmall'
force would be enabled to defend it againft a large one. In
the winterfeafon, however, I cannot fuppofe, that any cruize^,
 voyage to the south seas.
as the prevailing winds- are Northerly and tempeftuous, will
attempt to anchor on a lee-fhore; but, during the fummer,
when the winds are changeable, moderate and Southerly, I
have no doubt, but fhips might remain here in perfect:
When South of the Weftern ifle, the whole has the
appearance of a double-headed fhot; but the Eaftern hummock is feparated from it, by a very narrow reef, which divides
it, as it were, into two ifles; the loweft land, commencing:
from the reef, and joining the hummock, to the Weft. There
is alfo a remarkable fmall rock off the North Weft end,
which,, in moft points of view, fhews itfelf, like a fhip under
fail. Thefe ifles I place by obfervation corrected of Sun, Moon,
Stars, and chronometer, between the Latitude of z6° 19', and
z6° 13'; and Longitude,  79° 4', and 79° z6' Weft.
 voyage to the south seas.
route   of   the   rattler   from   the   isles   saint
felix and sa-int ambrose, to the coast
JNXR. Dalrymple conjectures, that, to the Weft of the Ifles
Saint Felix and Saint Ambrofe, there are others, of the fame
name, which were called Saint Felix and Ambrofe Rocks.
To afcertain the truth of this opinion, I ran as far to the
Weftward, as 84?, when feeing neither land, birds or feals,
to juftify a belief that any fuch ifles exifted near this fituation,
I hauled on a wind for the coaft of Peru, intending to make
it, in Latitude ij° South; but, the wind hanging to the Eaflward, I did not get on the fifhing ground, until I was in the
Latitude of 15? 30'.
There was now fo large an extent of coaft, in every part
ofcwhkii, I might meet with thofe Britifh fhips, employed in
iperrnaceti whaling,"to whom, I was inftrucfed, to commum- j^.
cate, the circumftances and fituation of Europe, when I
quitted it, that I did not think it neceflary to beat again to
the Southward. I was indeed, perfuaded, that the greateft
body of fifhermen was to the Northward; as they would find
the beft feafon there, and might then return with the Sun,
without being liable to the uncertainty of getting fifh to the
Southward, in the winter feafon^ from whence, if they were
not fuccefsful, they would be obliged to proceed to the
Northward, and thus have two winters to encounter-
On the third of June, P. M. we were, within fix or feven june _
leagues of the Ifle Lobas or Seals, near the port of Pifco, where
we faw great numbers of that animal, and we had even fallen
in with them, as far as fifty or fixty leagues from the land. Mr,.
Frefier fays, that this ifle is only one league and an half from
the main land; but to me, it appeared to be twice that diftance.
He alfo adds, that the channel, between it, and the main land, is
dangerous; but that, to the Northward of the ifles, there is a
fmooth flat bank of fand, which rofnis a creek, where the
fea is fo ftill, that a fhip can anchor there, in eight fathoms
water, and might careen in fafety. This ifland is of a moderate
height, but, from the beft obfervations I could make, in hazy
weather, its coaft appeared to be altogether barren to the
Weftward.    This place offers a good port for whalers, Or hv
time of war, for veflels of fmall force, to lay at, in order to
watch an enemy; the land, being of fufiicient height, to
afford fecurityand concealment.
I continued my route along the coaft to the Northward,
running under an eafy fail, or ftanding off and on in the day,
and laying to at night. I never diftanced the land, more than
fourteen or fifteen leagues, and was fometimes as near it, as
two or three leagues. I cruized feveral days off Lima, at a fmall
diftance from the Ifle Saint Lawrence, which forms the
road of Callo*. 1 kept near this fituation, in hopes of meeting
fome veflel, which might afford me information, whether any
Englifh fifhermen were in the road, and without any appre-
henfion, of being known by fhe Spaniards, as the fuperior failing
of my fhip, always left it to my own option, to fpeak with
whom I pleafed.
June 6.
i On the fixth of June, at fun-fet, I faw the dangerous rocks
and fhoals of Ormigas, appearing like a fail, and laying nearly
Eaft and Weft of Ifle Saint Lawrence.    At noon our Latitude
obferved was 11? 48', the Ifle Saint Lawrence Eaft, 8o? North,
and the rocks of Ormigas, North z8° Weft, at the diftance
of feven or eight miles.    Thefe rocks are very dangerous; the
loftieft part being little higher than the hull of a fmall fhip;
and the fea breaks, for feveral leagues, around, and off, them.
They are  quite  barren,   and  I  obferved  with my  glafs,
two crofles erected on them,   which in a fhort time difap-
* In 1624, the Dutch fortified themfelves at this iile, when they were making
preparations to attack Lima.
peared, I concluded, therefore, that they were placed by l793-
fiflietmen, who are faid to refort here from Lima, as fignals,
to engage in fome kind of contraband trade : but I had taken
the neceflary precautions, at the outfit of my veflel, that
no commodities fhould be put on board which could promote
fuch a defign, being determined, to adhere ftriclly to the articles, entered into by the courts of Great-Britain and Spain,
reflecting veflels, voyaging round Cape Horn. I accordingly
fhewed no colours, and as I kept my courfe, the. fifhermen, I
prefume, removed their flgnals.
On the eleventh day of June, at noon, I had got up the June n.
main, as high as the Ifles Lobas le Mar*. I accordingly flood
clofe in, within a mile or two of the fhore, and then bore up
for the ifle, which we foon made, and got well in with it
before it was quite dark, and then brought to, with our head
to the Southward.
'This ifle, by my log, is fixteen leagues from the main,
which, is a much greater diftance, than is laid down, in moft of
the charts. My expectation was enlivened, in common with
every one on board, by the opinion, that we fhould fee fome
of our countrymen in the morning ; and when we bore up at
* This ifle was formerly the refort of the Buccaneers, but there is no frefh
water on it.
 »793- of day, a confiderable quantity of tar was feen floating on the
furface of the water; a circumftance, which ftrengthened our
hope, that we fhould find a veflel refitting there.
I had fome intention of anchoring here myfelf, and haying:
hove to, off the South Weft part of the ifle, I fent the chief
mate to found for a dangerous rock under water, over which,
the feag feldom or never breaks. It lays fomearhere, in the
middle, of the roads, and feveral whalers had ftruck on it; but
I had not been able to procure the bearings of it. There was-
but little wind throughout the day, and the fhip fet confider-
ably to the Northward, and Weftward, which opened the bay
to us, when we. were greatly difappointed, at not perceiving;
any fhip at anchor, hack. However, before the boat returned
ka. the evening, we few a fail ftanding down on us, and- it
beingiazy, as it generally is on this coaft, the boat; bad at
one time miftaken her for the Rattler.
The chief mate, returned on. board by feven. in. the
evening, and informed me, that he had not. been able to
difcover the rock, or to .catch any thing, but one turtle; but
from the frefh. carcafles. of feals which he had feen, he very
reafonably fuppofed, thatc a-veflel could not have leftithe
ifland more than four or five days.
The fail, already mentioned, kept Handing towards us,
and, as night advanced, fhewed a light; at eight, being
within a couple of miles of Us, the whal ing-maftcr fet out
to board her, but, difcovering on a near approach, that fhe
was a Spanifh veflel, he thought it right to return ; I
hauled on a wind for the night, as did the Spaniard, with a
view of continuing together till moraing; but the thick
weather, which was not difperfed on the return of day,
prevented us from feeing each other again; nor did We
perceive the land till ten A. M. when We found ourfelves fet,
during fhe nigfet> within a few leagues of the Hies of Lobas
le Terra, Which, in certain pofitiorisy beai fuch a refemblance.
to eaiek other, that it was difficult to diftingjtfiffa any
difference between them: while, from the uncertainty of
the currents- on this coaft, it might have been as naturally
conjectured, that the current had fet us as much one way
as the other. As I had no inducement to beat back again,
nor any probability of accorSphflsing it, without taking a
great offing, I continued on nay courfe, but never failed to
confult with; the whaling-mafter, before I fhifted my ground.
The Ifle Lobas le Mar, is divided into two parts, by a
fmall channel, which will only admit the paffage of boats,
and where the tide is very rapid.
 June ifj.
J793- The Ifle Lobas le Terra, appears, towards the Eaftern point,
to be much broken into fmall hillocks, while the land, or
main near it, is low and vifihle, only on a near approach.
During the fhort time I remained off thefe ifles, the
weather was fo hazy, as to prevent my making any accurate
obfervations concerning them.
On the fixteenth of June, I reached Cape Blanco, the
South Cape of the Gulf of Guiaquil, which is level land, of
a moderate height, and, by feveral obfervations taken off
it, I make it in Latitude 4° 8' South, and Longitude
8z° zd Weft. Off this cape, there is a ftrong, wefterly
current, making out of the Gulf of Guiaquil; and afterwards,
in croffing the gulf, I was in twenty-four hours, fet forty
miles to the Weftward.
On the nineteenth, I faw Point Saint Helena and Ifle
Plata, where Admiral Sir Francis Drake divided his plunder..
By feveral obfervations taken off the ifle, I place it in
Latitude i9 16' South, and Longitude 8z° 42' Weft; and
Point Saint Helena in Latitude 2? d South, and Longitude
8z° zd Weft.
The winds had now began to Weftern on me, and knowing
it, to be an object of the board of Admiralty, that I fhould
vifit the Gallipagoes Ifles, it became me to exert my beft
endeavours to do fo, before I got further to the Northward; when, if the wind fhould Weftern more upon us,
which it frequently does in this Latitude, I fhould not
have been able-to fetch them.
On the feme day I took my departure from Cape Saint
Helena for Gallipagoes Ifles, for the reafons already mentioned,
the wind wefting on us; but, at thirty leagues diftance
from the coaft, it returned to the South Eaft quarter, and
continued there, till we made the ifles. On the fecond day,
after we had left the coaft, we fell in with a large flinched
whale, which could not have been killed, more than three
days. On the twenty-fourth, at four A. M., we made one June 24,.
of the Gallipagoe Ifles, bearing Weft by North, fix or feven
In the courfe of our paffage, we fell in frequently with
flreams of current, at leaft a mile in breadth, and of which
there was no apparent termination. They frequently, changed
the fhip's courfe, againft her helm, half the compafs, although
running, at the rate of three miles and an half an hour.    I
■  '-
 never experienced a 'fimilar current, but on the coaft of
Norway. The froth, sad boil, of thefe ftreams, appear, at a
very fmall d-iftance, fike heavy breakers-; we founded in
feveral of tfeem, and found no bottom with two hundred
fathoms, of Use. I alfo tried the rate, and courfe of the
ftrearn, which was, South Weft by Weft, two miles and an
half an hour, Thefe ftreams are very partial, and we
avoided them, whenever it was in our power. Birds, fifh,
turtles, feals, fun-fifh and other marine animals kept con-
ftantly on the edge of them, and they were often feen, to
contain large beds of cream-coloured blubber, of the fame
kind as thofe of a red hue, which, are obfervable on the
coaft of Peru, The only feals, we few, were in herds fifhing,
or in their paffage, between the Gallipagoes, and the main,
I do no.t affirm it as^ja. fa#, but as we faw no feals in my
route back, and as the; few, we killed thers„ were with young,
I am difpofed to conjecture, that the herds of them, juft
mentioned, were on their paffage to whelp.
AT day-break, 24th Juneithe land borefiom Weft'to" South,
to Weft 10? North by compafs, having the appearance of two
ifles. It was my firft defign, to get round the Southernmoft
land, which was vifiblc, and I accordingly hauled on a wind,
but.was induced, to alter my intentions, from a miftakcn
opinion, that I was- further South than, it afterwards
appeared. I was led into this error, from having a North
Eaft current, during the two preceding days, fetting at the
rate of from twenty to thirty miles in the twenty-fodB
hours. On rounding the North Eaft point, which we paffed
at noon, the Latitude from obfervation was 40' South, the
Eaft point bearing South Eaft;. and South-Weft point South'^
3$- Weft. The foundings were/ninety fathoms, and th»
diftance, from the neareft land, eight or nine miles. The land,
Juue 24.
I79J- towards the Eaft, was covered with fmall trees or bufhcs
without leaves, and very few fpots of verdure were vifible
to us; a few feals were feen on the fhore. The land rifes
at fhort intervening diftances in fmall hills or hillocks, of
very lingular forms, which, when obferved through a glafs,
and at no great diftance from the fhore, have the appearance
of habitations, while the prickly pear-trees, and the torch
thiftles, look like their owners, ftanding around them. In
other parts, the hills rife fo fudden on the low land, that,
having a fmall offing, they appear to be fo many feparate
iflands. About four miles off the North Eaft end, there is a
fmall iflet, which is connected by a reef with the main ifle :
it is covered with feals, and the breakers reach fome diftance
from the -fhore. The higheft land, at this part of the ifle,
is of a very moderate height, defcending gradually to the
fhore, which confifts, alternately of rocks, and fend: fome, of
the rocky parts, being much infulated, they form winding
inlets, of two or three miles in depth, and from one to two
cables in breadth.
At the diftance of two or three miles, to the Weftward
of the iflet, I hove to, and fent the chief mate on fhore to found
and land. At eight, P. M. he returned with green turtle and
tortoifes, turtle doves and guanas; but they faw no efculent
vegetable, nor found any water that was fufficiently palatable 1793.
to drink. He run four miles along the coaft, at three quarters
of a mile from the fhore, without getting any foundings; at
that length, found bottom at ten fathoms. This was near the
diftance we had fallen to leeward, from the time the boat had
left us. I had founded, feveral times, with the deep fea lead, at
four or five miles from fhore, and got no bottom, with one
hundred and fifty fathoms of line. We flood off and on during
the night, the wind being between the South and South Eaft.
At break of day, we difcovered, that the current had taken a
different direction, and had fet us confiderably to the Northward and Weftward, and we could not fetch our fituation of
the preceding night. At noon, we were by obfervation, in
latitude 37* South.
I now thought it prudent to come to an anchor, in
order to refeefh die people, and to determine the fituation of
the ifle. As we drew' in with the fhore, I kept the deep fea
lead going, and at the diftance, of about five or fix miles, we
obtained foundings, from thirty-eight, to thirty-fix fathoms,
which continued to diminifh, till we were within a mile of
the fhoVe, when we got into nineteen fathoms water, fine
fend bottom, and near the center of the ifle; in which depth
we came to anchor.
The land forms a kind of bay, the extremes of which bore,
from South 43° Weft, an high bluff; to Eaft 34° North, a low
point; there is a diftant high rock, off the South Weft point,
Weft 33^ South, which lays off the Eaft part of a deep commodious bay. South by Eaft of us, was a fmall bay, formed
by two rocky points ; in the Eaft part of which, was one of
thofe fmall creeks, already mentioned. I founded round the
fhip with two boats, as well as between us, and the fhore :
here we found a good bottom, the foundings increafing or
decreafing, as we diftanced or neared the land.
Two boats now landed abreaft of the fhip, and the crews
dividing, took the feparate courfes of Eaft and Weft, in fearch
of water and vegetables : a third boat I font off to the large
bay, which is diftinguifhed by the high rock, on a fimilar
purfuit, but they all returned in the evening, without having
attained the objects of their fearch. The boat from the
Weft, had found an uncommon kind of fend ; we fuppofed
it, from its weight, to contain fome kind of ore, and which
we afterwards found, to be fmall topazes.
This ifle is of a moderate height, the- higheft parts being
to the Weftward. All the North fide defcends gradually
to the fea, forming low points. Many parts are well wooded,
but as it was winter, there was no appearance of verdure,
but from the evergreen trees and plants, fuch as the box
and the prickly pear, with the torch thiftle, and the
mangrove. The middle of the ifle is low land, and at a
very fmall diftance has the appearance of being divided into
two parts, particularly on the South fide. On the Weftern
part of the bay, in which we anchored, the land is barren and
rocky; in fome parts, it has the appearance of being covered
with cinders; and in others, with a kind of iron clinker,
in flakes of feveral feet in circumference, and from one
to three inches thick: in pafling over them, they found
like plates of iron : the earth is alfo frequently rent in cracks,
that run irregularly from Eaft to Weft, and are many
fathoms deep: there were alfo large caves, and on the tops
of every hill, which we afcended, was the mouth of a
pit, whofe depth muft be immenfe, from the length of
time, during which, a ftone, that was thrown into it, was
heard. Many of the cavities on the fides of the hills, as
well as on the level ground, contained water, but of fuch a
brackifh tafte, as to render it unfit to be drank. In moft of
them, there were confiderable flocks of teals, which were by
no means fhy, and were eafijy caught: they are of the
■fame kind as thofe known in England,   j
1 ■
This ifland contains no great number, or variety, of land
birds,   and  thofe  I faw,   were   not remarkable   for  their
G 2 novelty
 novelty or beauty: they were the fly-catcher and creeper,
like thofe of New Zealand; a bird, refembling the fmall
mockingbird, of the feme ifland; a black hawk, fomewhat:
larger than our fparrow hawks, and a bird of the fize and
fhape of our black-bird. Ringdoves, of a dufky plumage,
were feen in the greateft number : they feldom approached
the fea till fun-fet, when they took their flight to the
Weftward, and at fun-rife returned to the Eaflward; fo
that if there is any water on the ifle;, I fhould fuppofe it
would be found in that part. Befides, it is the higheft land,
and a fmall quantity of' water, lodged in the hollow of a
rock, would fupply thefe birds for a confiderable time. My
fecond vifit, to thefe ifles confirmed, my fuppofition, as
fmall oozings, were then found, at the foot of two or three
hills, which may be occafioned by pools of rain water collected
on the tops of them, as is frequently feen on the North Weft
coaft of America. An officer and party, whom I fent to travel
inland, faw many fpots, which had very lately contained
frefh water, and about which, the land tortoifes appeared
to be pining in great numbers. Several of them, were
feen within land, as well as on the fea coaft, which, if
they had been in flefh, would have weighed three hundred
weight, but were now fcarcely one third of their full
I was
I was very much perplexed, .to form  a fetisfactory conjecture,' how the fmall birds, which appeared to remain in one
fpot,   fuppoTJted themfelves without water;   but the party
on their  return informed me,   that,   having exhaufted all
their water, and repofing beneath a prickly pear-tree, alnsuaft
choaked with thirft, they obferved an old bird in the act of
fiipplyirag three young ones with  drink,   by fqueezing the
berry of a tree into their mouths.    It was about the fize of
a pea, and contained a watery juice, of an  acid, but not
luipleafant, tafte.    The bark of the tree, produces a confider-
able  quantity of moifture, and,  on  being eaten, allays  the-
thirft.    In dry feafons, the land tortoife is feen to gnaw and
fuck it.    The leaf-of this tree,   is like that of the bay tree,
the fruit grows like cherries, whilft the juice of the bark
dies the fflefh a deep purple, and emits a grateful odor:  a
quality in common with the greater part of the trees and
plants in this ifland; though it is foon loft, when the branches
are feparated frosn the trunks,  or fteaas.    The leaves of thefe
trees alfo  abforfo -the copious dews, which fall during the
night, but in larger quantities at the full and change of the
moon;   the birds then pierce them with their bills,  for the
moifture they retain, and which, I believe, they alfo procure
from the various plants and ever-greens.    But when the dews
fail hi the fummer feafon, thoufands of thefe creatures perifh;
for, <xa our return hither, we found -great numbers dead in
their nefls, and fome of them almoft fledged. It may, however, be remarked, that this curious inftinclive mode, of
finding a fubftitute for water, is not peculiar, to the birds of
this ifland; as nature has provided them with a fimilar
refource in the fountain tree, that flourifhes on the Ifle Ferro,
one of the Canaries; and feveral other trees and canes, which,
Churchill tells us in his voyages, are to .be found, on the
mountains of the Phillipine Iflands.
There is no tree, in this ifland, which meafures more than
twelve inches in circumference, except the prickly pear, fome
of which were three feet in the girth, and fifty feet in height.
The torch thiftle, which was the next in height, contains a
-liquid in its heart, which the birds drank, when it was cut
down. They fometimes, even extracted it from the young
trees, by piercing the trunks with their bills.
We fearched with great diligence for the mineral mountain, mentioned by Dampier, but were not fo fortunate as to
difcover it; unlefs it be that, from which the heavy fend or
fmall topazes were collected, and of which, I ordered a barrel
:to be filled, and brought it away.
I -The great rock, bearing from our anchoring place, South
43? Weft, makes the Eaft point of a large bay, in which, I
anchored, at our return. The winds that prevailed,' while I
lay here, were from South, South Eaft, to South, South
Weft, always moderate' weather, but the tide runs very
ftrong, particularly the flood, which comes from the Eaflward : fo that we were never wind rode; the ebb returns
the fame way, but not fo ftrong; it is high water here, at the
full and change of the moon, at half paft three, and its rife
twelve or thirteen feet. I place this ifle between Latitude
45' South, and I9 5' South, and Longitude 89° 34', and it
bears from Cape St. Helena, Weft 59 North, by compafs,. one
hundred and thirty-five leagues. It lays in. a North Eaft and
South Weft direction; and its greateft extent is thirteen,
leagues in length, and ten miles in breadth..
The various kinds of fea-birds, which I had feen on the
Coaft of Peru, we found here, but not in equal abundance..
There were alfo flamingos, fea-pies,. plovers, and fand-larks :
The latter, were of the fame kind, as thofe of New Zealand.
No quadruped was feen on this ifland, and the greateft part
of its inhabitants appeared to be of the reptile kind, as land
tortoifes, lizards, and fpiders. We faw alfo dead fnakes,
which probably perifhed in the dry feafon. There were,
befides, feveral fpecies of infects, as ants, moths, and
common flies, in great numbers; as well as grafs-hoppers,
and crickets.
On the fhore were fea guanas and turtles; the latter,
were of that kind, which bears a variegated fhell. The
guanas are. fmall, and of a footy black, which, if poflible,
heightens their native uglinefs *. Indeed, fo difgufting is their
appearance, that no one on board could be prevailed on, to
take them as food. I found the turtles, however, far
fuperior to any I had before tafted. Their food, as well as
that of the land tortoife, confifts principally, of the bark and
leaves of trees, particularly of the mangrove, which makes
them very fat; though, in rainy feafohs, when vegetation
is more general, their food may be of a more promifcuous
nature. The green turtles are extremely fat, and -would
produce a large quantity of oil. Their fhell is alfo very-
beautiful ; and if that fhould be an article of any value, a
fmall veflel, might make a very profitable voyage, to this
place. The land tortoife, was poor at this feafon, but
made excellent broth. Their eggs are as large, and their
fhell as hard, as thofe of a goofe, and form a perfect globe.
Their nefts, are thrown up in a circular form, and never
contain more than three eggs, which are heated by the Sun,
# The fea guana is a non defcript: it is lefs than the land guana and nrfierf"
Ugtief, they go to fea in herds, a fifhing, and fun fhemfelves, on the rocks, Jilst-
feals, and may be called alligators, in miniature.
a& hole, being fo contrived, as to admit its rays through its     1793-
daily courfe.    The fhell is perfectly fmooth, and when highly
polifhed, receives a beautiful and brilliant black.
We few but few feals on the beach, either of the hairy or
furry fpecies. This circumftance, however, might be
occafioned, by its not being the fcafon for whelping; as thofe,
which were killed by us, had fome time to go with young;
but a few hundreds of them, might at any time be
collected without difficulty, and form, no inconfiderable
addition, to the profits of a voyage.
Dampier mentions, that there is plenty of felt to be obtained
here, at this feafon, but I could not find any; though that
article does not appear to be abfolutely neceflary; as the
flrins will be more profitable, by drying and cleaning them,
and then taking them to a China market; as I managed
with the otter-fkins, which I collected in a former voyage.
The rocks are covered with crabs, and there are alfo a few
fmall wilks and winkles. A large quantity of dead fhells, of
various kinds, were wafhed upon the beach; all of which
were familiar to me; among the reft, were the fhells of
large cray-fifh,   but we  never caught any of them alive.
H On
On feveral parts of the fhore, there was drift-wood, of a
larger fize, than any of the trees, that grow on the ifland :
alfo bamboos and wild fugar canes, with a few fmall cocoa
nuts at full growth, though not larger than a pigeon's egg.
We obferved alfo, fome burnt wood, but that might have
drifted from the continent, been thrown over-board frc-m-'
a fhip, or fired by lightening on the fpot.
The deep-water fifh, were of every kind, that is ufuaH^-
found, in the tropical Latitudes, except  fpermaceti whale,
and of them we faw none,   but  fharks   were   in   great
The dip of the needle I found?here to be at 849, and the
variation of the compafs 8? 10'. The thermometer- was
never higher thas*- 73?> an<^ m *ke morning, evening and
night, it was below fummer heat in England. I consider it
as one of the moft delightful- clirnates under heaven, although''
fituated, within a few miles of the Equator. The barometer
generally ftood at 29-8-4. The evening, night, and morning,
were always clouded; and during the nights, there generaHy-
fell, as heavy dews, as off the main.
Every one Was charmed with the place; but, as all
•apprehehfions of the fourvy or any other difeafe was at an
«nd, and we had got a latge provifion of turtle On board,
.tine anxiety of my people, to commence the fifhery, in
which, they all had a proportionate intereft, began to fhew
itfelf; nor was I difpofed to cheek their fpirits, or delay
their; being well afiured, that they would be overjoyed to return hither, at no very diftant period, when
I fhould have an opportunity to vifit the reft of thefe iflands.
On the tjwenty-eighth of June We weighed anchor, and June 28.
felled round the Eaft point, with a view of bea&ing a fmall
diftance to the Southward, in order to determine the
jsartiemlaf ifle, we had viSted, according to the defcriptibn
of the Buccaneers and the Spanifh map, but my endeavours
were not fuccefsful. While we were at anchor, it was
fuppofed, that we few laddin the North Weft, at the diftance
of fourteen or fifteen leagues; but this was by no means
afcertained; though, according to Dampier, moft of the
ifles ought to have been in fight of us, by allowing the
difference of a few miles of Latitude between us and him.
■ On the firft of July, we faw a fmall ifle which I beat up   July 1.
to; and, taking obfervations within a few miles of it, place
Hj it
J793- it in Latitude i9 24' South, and Longitude 899 47' Weft.
It bears, from the Eaft point of the ifle, before which we
had anchored, South, diftance five leagues, and lays in the
direction of North, North Weft, and South, South Eaft,
and may be fourteen miles in extent. The fide we few,
refembles the Eaft point of the large ifle, but is enlivened
-with an higher degree of verdure: we alfo few a greater
number of feals, off this, than off the other ifland. I do
not hefitate to confider it, as the Southerhmoft and Eaftern-
moft of the Galapagoe Ifles. In the accounts of Wood,
Rogers and others, the Spaniards are feid to be-acquainted
with an ifland in the Latitude of I9 16' South, which
has plenty of water on it. This may be true during a
rainy feafon, or for fome time after it; but I am not? in
the habit of giving an implicit faith to Spanifh accounts.
As I could not trace thefe ifles, by any accounts or maps
in my pofleflion, I named one Chatham Ifle, and the othec
Hood's Ifland, after the Lords Chatham and Hood.
r*ROM the Southernmoft Galapagoe Ifle, we flood over-
again for the main, keeping, between the Latitude of z°
South, and the Equator, and had a ftrong Eafterly current
conftantly againft us : but it was not fo perceptible, as on
our paffege from the main, although we fell in with feveral
beds of cream-coloured" blubber r we did' not, however, fee.
{q many fmall fifh, birds, or feals; of the latter, we only
few two, and they were not at any confiderable diftance
from either ifle or main. Porpoifes and black fifh were con-
tinuallyaround us, with a few albecores and bonettas.
The winds were much the feme, as on my paffage to
the Galapagoes, blowing fteadily from between the South
and Eaflward, after twenty-four hours fail from the ifles;
 July ip.
and, when within the feme diftance from the main land,
they inclined to the Weftward : the weather was generally
cloudy, and fometimes accompanied with an heavy, South
Weft fwell, and at the change and full of the moon,
with a drizzling  rain.
On the tenth of July, P, M« we few the Ifle of Plata,
bearing Eaft North Eaft, nine or ten leagues, and, on the
following day, in the morning, we faw fpermaceti whales,
but did not get up with them until the afternoon, the Ifle
Plata hearing Eaft by South, at the diftance of five or fix
leagues. One of them was ftruck, but the boat was accidentally ftove to pieces, and we beat off for feyefal
days,   but never got another view of them.
The Ifle Plata* had been a favourite place of refort to the
Buccaneers, it being moft conveniently fituated to watch the
Plata fleets to and from Lima ; but all traders, either to or
from the coaft of Mexico, or between Panama and the coaft
of Peru, make the land a little to the Northward of it. If
we may believe the Buccaneers, this ifland has plenty of
water and turtle, and abounded with goats, till the Spaniards
deflroyed them. The watering and anchoring places are
faid to be on the Eaftern fide, in a fmall fendy bay, half a
mile from the fhore, in eighteen or twenty fathoms water.
*   So named by the Spaniards, from Admiral Sir Francis Drake dividing his
plunder at it.
It is of a moderate height, and of a verdant fhaggy appearance, from the large bufhes or low trees that cover it. Its
length is from fix to feven miles ; and the Weftern fide is an
entire cliff of an inacceflible appearance. A few fmall iflets
appear off the South end of it.
In a war with Spain this ifland would form an excellent
ftation, as well as a place to look out and accommodate the
fick, as it lies four leagues from the neareft main land,
which is Cape Lorenzo. A fhip gettmg,in there, when it was
dark, would not be difcovered, if her foil&'Were handed, the
land being much higher than her matt head; unlefs the
people onboard betrayed her fituation by fome act of indifere-
• tion, as making too much firef,.the.£baoke of-which might dif-
cover them. It is true that a veflel might efoape by keeping
an offing; but in fo fine a climate as this, the long boats
might form a chain to the Galapagoes, which is as far Weft
as> aajj fhips are known to pafs.
We continued a very affiduous fearch up the coaft for
whales, carrying an eafy. fail by day, and laying too at night,
with an hourly expectation that we fhould fall in with them ;
but no whales fhewed themfelves, except fome of the.
humpbacked fpecies, -
July 16.
On 'the fixteenth, at noon, off Cape Paflado, the, land
being invifible from the hazy weather, we were, by obfervation, in fifty-feven miles South. On the fame day, we
gave chace to, and came up with, a Spanifh fnow, from
Acapuleo to Lima, from whom we procured fome frefh
beef, and two cocks; for which we returned a few bottles
of wine and porter, with fome fweet-meats, the mafter
being fick.
j8. On  the  eighteenth,   fhe  weather  became  clouded and
threatening, and I was every hour expecting to fall in with the
heavy rains, which happen on the coaft of Mexico, from November to July. The air -alfo became hot and fultry, and
' we had frequent fhowers of rain. The thermometer now
rofeto8o-9, and we may %>e feid to have-felt, at every pore,
that we had left the moft deGghtftd climate 5n the world, to
encounter the parching airs of the torrid zone *. The feals
and birds, which are inhabitants of the frigid zone, but which
I have feen as far South, as 709, appearing to be delighted on
the coaft of Peru, as ffinftinct had forbidden them to venture
no farther, now left us.
At this time it became neceflary to determine, what
route we fhould take, whether we fhould return to the
Southward,   or proceed to the  Northward;   but,   as the
* On the coaft of Peru it never rains.
whaling mafter and mates were in favour of a Northern
Latitude, it was fbon refolved to take our departure from
Cape Paffado; which, from feveral obfervations, I place in
Latitude ten miles South, and Longitude 829 Weft.
I now flood acrofs the gulf, and, on the twentieth of July *<>•
July, fell in with the Ifle Malpelo; I had no defcription
of this place, and I was not induced from its name, which
fignifies bald head, to expect any advantage from it. I
calculated its Latitude to be 49 20' North, and its Longitude
809 45' Weft, diftant from Cape Paffado eighty-fix leagues.
It is a barren, and high, perpendicular rock, which may be
feen, in clear weather, at the diftance of twenty leagues.
A fmall quantity of green mofs, and a few dwarf bufhes-,
which grow in-iitsj cracks or gullies, afford the bniy verdure
that it poffeffes: It is furrounded with iflets, and the whole
may extend about nine or ten miles from North to South.
The center, of this,afland, bears a refemblance, in feveral
■points of view, to thecrown of an head; and its being barren,
accounts naturally enough for the name, which'the'Spaniards,
have bellowed upon it. Had I feen any feals off this place,
I fhould have confidered it as a good fituation for them.
1793. The Ifland of Malpelo, can be of no ufe, but as a place of
rendezvous; it is furrounded, as it were, by a ftrong current,
having much the appearance of breakers, which, fetting
into the gulf and being accompanied by light winds, with
thick and hazy weather, I did not think it deferving of any
further attention. We tried the current and found it to fet
North Eaft by Eaft, by compafs two miles and an half in.
the hour.
From the Ifland Malpelo, we flretched away, to the
Weflward for Ifle Cocas, which We made on the twenty-fifth
July 25. at midnight. The whole of the paffage thither, we had
threatening, fqually and fhowery- weather, with inceffant
and heavy rain, and, at intervals, thunder and lightning-
we had a fhort, irregular head fea, with Winds from South,
South Weft, to Weft South Weft. Porpoifes accompanied
us in great numbers ; and as we approached the Ifle Cocas>
there appeared large flights of boobies, egg-birds, and man
of war hawks. We alfo few a fin-back whale, and two
grampufes, With innumerable bonettas, dolphins, and
At  break  of day,    the  weather  was  thick   and -rainy;,
and,   though the land was covered by  the fog,    we dif-
■earned feveral iflands that lay around it. When we had
got, within four or five miles of the North Eaft end, I
lent a boat away with the chief mate, to fearch for an
anchoring place; though, at times, I could not fee the.
jib-boom end, fo thick and frequent were the fhowers.
At noon, the boat returned, having been in a bay near the
North end of theafle,. which was fmall, and open to the North
Eaft, with great depth of water, within three quarters of
a mile of the fhore. As this defcription did not anfwer
to that of Mr. Wafer's bay, I flood in to examine it,
as I could not have ventured to anchor in deep water,
with a crippled windlafs that occupied two hours, in a
flart calm, to heave in nineteen fathoms of cable: befides,
the tide, which I found afterwards fetting on both points
of the bay, was fo ftrong, that if the boats had not been
very ready, the fhip muft have gone on fhore; and, if
in fuch a fituation, there had been an anchor to heave
up, it muft have been cut away. I therefore ordered
the boats to examine more to the Weftward, and they
accordingly difcovered Mr. Wafer's harbour*.    The land of
I 2 this
Extract from Mr. Wafer's Voyage, Wfeorwas at Anchor in this Bay, in 1685.
* Some or other of our men went on fhore every day; and, one: day among the
refti! being minded to make themfelvcs very merry, they went on fliore, and cut
down a great many cocoa.trees, from which they gathered the fruit,   and drew
this ifland is high, but that, on the Weft fide, is the
higheft and prefents itfelf in the form of a round hill.
The Eaftern fide appears to be much broken, the land
Hoping in moft parts, abruptly 'to' the fea, but in others,
prefenting bold and perpendicular cliffs. There are alfo-
many furroundihg iflets whofe tops are generally covered
with trees; but the foil neverthelefs is fhallow, and the
lower part is, as if it were a ring of white barren rock,,
down to the furface of the  fea.
The main ifland does not appear to poffefs a fpot, where-
trees can grow, that is not covered with them, or fome
kind of bufhy plant, which when blended with the barrenefe
of intervening rocks, produces a picturefque effect; while
the flreams, that pour down from, their various fountains
to the fea, greatly heighten the beauty of the foene.
It is Otaheite on a fmall fcale, but without the advantage
of its climate,   or  the  hofpitality of its  inhabitants.
about twenty gallons of. the milk: then they all fat down, and drank healths to
the King, Queen, &c. They drank an.exceflive quantity, yet it.did-not end in
drunkennels; but, however, that fort of liquor, had fo chilled and benumbed
their nerves, that they could neither go nor ftand: nor could they return on
board the.fhip, without the help of thofe; who -faad.not been.partakers in the
frolic; nor did they recover it under four or five days timexo
Here are two anchoring places at this ifland ; one,
a fmall bay, near the North point of the ifle; but the
anchorage is in deep water, within three-quarters of
a mile of the fhore, from whence the bottom deepens
almoft immediately, to no foundings at fixty fathoms.
It is alfo entirely open to the Northerly wind; but as
Captain Vancouver anchored here after I left it, a more
exact defcflption may be expected from the promifed
publication of his voyage. I found the prevailing wind
to be to the Southward and Weftward; but, it often
varied; and I had it frequently blowing ftrong from North
Eaft and North. The other bay, or harbour, is three
miles to the Weftward and Southward of the North point,
and is eafily known by a fmall rugged,, barren rock,
about the fize of a large boat, bearing Weft of the body
of the bay, about five or. fix miles: The bay alfo lies
Eaft and Weft; its greateft depth is not two miles, nor
is it one in breadth: but I would not venture into it,
in a veflel of more than two hundred tons. Its anchorage is from feven to fifty fathoms, and is nearly fheltered fromi
all winds; this bay is alfo preferable to the one at the
North point, becaufe the fhore of the firft is fteep; while
that, of the latter,   confifts.of a beautiful .valley  and fandy
 beach, where cocoa trees appear in greater numbers, than I
have feen jnlany other place. There is alfo a rivulet of water
eighteen or twenty feet ia breadth, which is fupplied from a
hafon, one mile diftartt within land, in which our crew, to
avoid the fharks, -went and bathed. Although this'-bay is fo
sQnall, it is very convenient, and as fecure, as die anchoring
places generally are, which are not entirely flickered. Its
principal inconvenience arifes from the conflant rains; as out
of the four days we were beating off it, it rained during three
of them, in the offing, and fometimes with heavy ftorms of
lightning and thunder. Thofe, who were on fhore, experienced an equal continuance of the wet weather ; and fo thick
was the rain, that, for eight hours together, we have not
been able to fee twice the length of the fhip : but this- may
not be the-cafe at all feafons. The woollen clothes of thofe
Who went on Thore, which, had been particularly moift from
perfpiration, and were hung on the to dry, were
foon fly-blown, in the different parts that had ftuck neareft
to the hody, and covered with maggots. Should a veflel touch
here to recover her fick, or to water, or to wait any time, fire
would remove theflies; and, as no tent would be fufficient to
keep out the water, I would recommend the erection of an
houfe, wood being in great plenty, and at hand, with cocoa
tree. leaves in abundance,   to  thatch it.    I faw no plant,
bufh,   or tree,   but fuch as are quite familiar to my eye;     1793.
they chiefly  confifted of the  mangrove,    the  cocoa  nut,,
and cotton tree.-
Fifh were in great abundance, but would not take the
bait, which we attributed to the great number of fharks
Off this ifland. Some of them followed the boat until
the water left them almoft dry: thofe we caught, were
full of fquid and cray-fifh, as were the porpoifes which
wc ftruck. Thefe were innumerable, and we took them,
whenever we pleafed. Eels are plentyi and very large:
we caught feveral of them among the rocks, as well as
fome toad fifh. Shell*-fifh, were fcarce, though we collected very laTge limpets, of a new kind, and a few dead
conches. The latter were feen in-great numbers on the
beach, and moflly inhabited by the Diogenes crab. Common land crabs were in great plenty, and fea-birds of
every kind, common to tropical Latitudes, in the Atlantic, Were in great abundance here; particularly the Saint
Helena pigfcon, and white-headed- noddy. They all perched
en trees, like land-birds; and, at a fmall diftance, gave
the tree on which they fat, the appearance of being
covered with white bloflbms.    Of the land-birds, we. few
179S- -fome, which refenibled the thrufh and blackbird, in fhSpej
colour, and fize, with a few herons and a variety of
fmaller birds.
The tide muft be an object' of "particular attention, in
-anchdrihg -at, or failing from, this place: it ebbs and
flows from fixteen to eighteen feet, perpendicular, and,
from the obfervations made by myfelf and the officers in
the boats, it flows feven, and ebbs five hours; the ebb
fetting to the Eaflward, and the flood to the Weftward:
but the flood runs not near fo ftrong, as the ebb, which
runs at the rate of four or five knots' -an hour. The
time of Weighing and anchoring muft alfo be attended
to, as both fets are right on the points of the bay; and,
if its rife and falls are regular, it will be high water at
full and change, at four, A. M.
The rats, which are numerous, c in this ifland, exactly
refemble the common rat in England, and were, probably, left here by the Buccaneers. As we found their
nefts in the top of moft of the trees which we cut down. I
am difpofed to conjecture, tMt this is a very -humid fpot,
at -all- times and feafons.
I was
I was much difappointed, at not being able to procure
turtles; for we few but two, and they efcaped us. That
there fhould be fo few turtles here, muft be owing - to
the great number of fharks that infeft the coaft, or the
chilling rains, which deftroy the eggs, When laid on the
fhore, which, in itfelf, is very favourable to their becoming
productive. There is as fine and foft a beach, as I ever
few, and there are few veflels, but might lay a-ground on
it, and repair and clean their bottoms. Whoever may,
hereafter, wilh to anchor in this bay, will do well, to
come round the South and Weft points of the ifle, and
hug the South point of the bay, clofe on board, and when in
the bay,   to  moor head and flern.
We were much wearied, during the four days, we
pafTed off this ifland, and prepared to quit it. We therefore
took on board, two thoufand cocoa nuts; and, in return,
left on fhore, in the North bay, a boar, and fow, with
a male and female goat. In the other bay, we fowed
garden feeds, of every kind, for the benefit and comfort of thofe who might come after us. I alfo left
a bottle tied to a tree, containing a letter. Over it, I
ordered a board, with a fuitable infoription, which Captain
Vancouver thought proper to remove, when he anchored at
,$hislifle,   fome time after me.    The letter gave  only an
K. account
-53. ;account of my arrival and departure. Having made
the neceflary arrangements, we fet fail for the Northward.
Ifle Cocas lays in a North Eaft and South Weft direction;
its greateft length does not exceed twelve miles, nor breadth,
four, miles.
It may be proper to remark, in this place, that, in;
all parts of the Eaft Indies, a vinegar is made of the-
milk of the cocoa nut, equal to our ftrong white wine-
vinegar. I am unacquainted with the particular procefs,.
but am difpofed to think it at once fhort and Ample..
The old cocoa nut left in water for two hours, and theru
ftrained, produces a liquid, in colour and tafte, little inferior,,
if not equal, to fkim milk, which removed all fcorbutic
complaints from among the crew, and preferred them ins
health,   for many  months..
JL HE Ifle Cocas, was the fartheft point to the Northward,
to which it was recommended to me, by the Board of'
Admiralty, to extend my refearches; but an anxiety- and
emulation to afcertain every part, and defcribe the whole
furface of the feas, where the fifhery could be extended,
would have enlarged the circle of my voyage, if my flock
of prdvifions and flores had been fufiicient for fuch a defign:
I was therefore obliged to check my intentions, having, for
the reafbns above-mentioned, time only to examine as far
as 249 o' North, on the coaft and gulf of California, down
the coaft of Mexico to Ifles Socoro, Santo Berto and Rocka
Partido, and off the North Weft point of the gulf of
K z * This
*793- This  was an undertaking that  few, who  had raftered
as I had done, from the yellow fever, in the prifons of New
Spain, as well as from all the horrors of a rainy feafon on
that coaft, would have encountered; but I was perfuaded,
within myfelf, that there muft be plenty of fpermaceti
whales on this coaft; and it was very evident, that if
fuccefsful in killing them in the rainy feafon, it muft be
much more eafily done in the dry feafon. At all events, I
was determined to make the experiment.
On leaving the Ifle Cocas, we flood away to the Weftward
and Northward, in the hope of, avoiding the rain in fome
degree, by keeping at a fmall diftance from the land.
Auguft i. On the firft of Auguft we were in Latitude by obfervation
9° z, and Longitude corrected go9 o' Weft. We bettered
our weather greatly; but the .heat was almoft intolerable;,
the thermometer Handing at 869, and the barometer at
29-7-8; the wind now began to vary to the Eaflward,
On the third of Auguft our Latitude was 9° 30' and
Longitude corrected 89° 44'. The bad weather returned
and continued with frequent tornados and heavy rain.
H©n the feventh of Auguft, we few the famous burning A„^'2#
mountain of Guata-mala. From that time, to our crofling
the gulf of Tecoantepeak, and reaching point Angels in
Latitude 169 and Longitude ioo9, there was, for nine day?,
littlebr no ceffation of calms, and the change that followed was
a feries of tornados, torrents of rain and tremendous thunder
and lightning^ more violent than any I ever heard or faw on
the coaft of Guinea, or off the capes of Virginia in North
Americas, If there was any difference, in the fervid feverity
of the feafon, during the twenty-four hours, it was in favor
of the day; for in the night the lightning and thunder
were! moft violent. From fun-fetttiH fun-rife, the heavens
were one entire flame, which was heightened, by the
frequent explofions of the burning mountains- This awful
and alarming flate. of the weather, was accompanied with
an almoft infufferable heat, and a fuffocating, fulphureous-
air. From the light airs, calms and variable currents, we
had little hopes to fhift our fituation.. Thus furrounded,
as we were, with thefe oppreflive circumftances, and divided
only by a few leagues acrofs the main, from the bay of
Honduras, it was impoffible to firpprefs an occafional wifh..
that we were there. A traveller that had vifited Peru .or,
its eoafts, (where the dews of bounteous Heaven fupply every
call of rain, and where thunder and lightning are.feldom rpj$
J?93- never known, and nature refts in perfect tranquility), would
when here, naturally remark, that Providence had bleffed
tihe coafts of Peru, by exempting that country from all convul-
fions to be dreaded from the aerial elements, and doubly be-
ffcowed them as a curfe on this; unlefs they are to be confidered
as a blefling, to imprefs the untutored Indian inhabitanr, " by
feeing God in clouds and hearing him in the winds", with a
due idea of his Almighty power. It is alfo to be hoped, that
a native and refident in Peru, feels, fometimes, ideas of gratitude and thankfulnes towards his maker, for his goodnefe. We
founded frequently, in the gulf, at twelve or thirteen leagues
diftance from the fhore, and found no bottom with one hundred and. fifty fathoms of line: but when in Latitude 14' 57',
and at ten or eleven leagues diftant, we got bottom, at one
hundred and five -fathoms,  -which was muddy.
Auguft 19. On the nineteenth of Auguft, When two papps over point
Angels, bore North Eaft, and our Latitude was 169 13' North,
We few a large body of fpermaceti whales, and though the
fpirits of my people, were in fome degree depreffed, by reflecting on the immenfe body of water over which we had failed,
the little fuccefs which we had hitherto experienced, and
our being at leaft a feven months voyage from England, tfiey
were now elated, with all the eagerneft of fenguine expectation.    The boats accordingly gave chace, and foon came up
With the whales, though they were running faft to the 1793
Southward, and appeared to be larger than any that had
been feen by thofe* in purfuit of them. There being light
airs, and calms alternately, the fhip followed but flowly:
the fifhers ftruck feveral whales, but were not io fortunate
as to kill any of therru
The people in the boats, had now been away feven hours^
and were fo far diftant, that the fhips top-fails, to them, were:
in the horizon ;■ the day alfo was far advanced, and purfuing
the whales, in the direction they were running, would be ftiH'
increafing their diftance, without a flattering- hope, offavingr
the fifh, if they killed them ; feveral water-fpouts were vifible:
in the horizon, accompanied by diftant thunder and lightning,.
with a threatning fky ; all thefe circumftances- combined,
obliged them,, for felf-prefervation, reluctantly to give up
the chace, and by the time they reached the fhip, from the
vaft quantity of water they had drank, and.the exceffiveheat
of the weather, (which was in no fmall degree increafed by
the fatigue undergone,, and difappointment occafioned by
their fruitlefs exertions) the whole of my crew were feized with.
a fevere ficknefs, and one of them-was fo cramped, that he
would certainly have expired, if he had notalmoft inftantly, on.
his return, been water. Another broke out.
int a violent rafh, from head to foot, which, by his plunging.
iJ93- in! that ftate into the fea, was thrown into his head, and
deprived him of his fight for feveral days; I was very
apprehenfive, that he would never recover it, but by placing
him in warm water, frequently, in the courfe of the day, the
«afh returned to his thighs and legs, and by degrees, his
iight was reftored.
The hope of more favorable weather, and of better
fuccefs, in our commercial objects, induced me to remain
cruifing here fixteen days"; during which period, we few
Whales,, three different times, and killed three of them. One
was a fmall one, mcafuring ig.feet, which srelioifted on board,
and of which I made a drawing ; its heart was cooked in a
fea-pye, and afforded an excellent meal. Thefe whales were
very poor, having" fcarce blubber enough, to float them on the
fiirface of-the water, and when flinched, their carcafes funk
like a ftone. They yielded altogether but fifteen barrels
of oil.
The weather remained unpleafant, there being fcarcdy any
interval for the better, for twenty hours, with a ftrong Southerly current of half a mile an hour. The whole crew had been*
more or lefs, affected by the yellow fever, from which-hqrrid
<uforder, I was, however* fo fortunate, as to recover .them, by
adopting the method that I few practifed by the natives of
Spanifh America, when I was a prifoner among them. On
the firft fymptoms appearing, the fore-part of the head
was immediately fhaved, and the temples, and pole, wafhed
with vinegar and water. The whole body, was then
immerfed in warm water, to give a free courfe to perfpiration;
fome opening medicine was afterward adminiftered, and
&/txy four hours, a dofe of ten grains of James's powders.
If the patient was thirfty, the drink was weak white Wine
and water, and a flice of bread to fetisfy an inclination to
eat. An increafing appetite was gratified by a fmall quantity
of foup, made from the mucilagenous parts of the turtle,
with a little vinegar in it. I alfo gave the fick, fweetmeats
and other articles from my private flock, whenever they
exprefled a diftant wifh for any, which- I could
fupply them with. By this mode of treatment, the whole
crew improved in their health, except the carpenter, who,
though a very flout, robuft man, was, at one time, in fiich
a flate of delirium, and fo much reduced, that I gave
him over; but he at length recovered.
As the yellow fever feldom attacks any one twice, while
he remains near the fame place, my apprehenfions were
nSW confined to the fcurvy and other incidental  diforders;
L but
but they, were fufiicient to quicken my anxiety, to find a
place for refrefhment, whenever it might be wanted. For
though my crew were at ptefent in good health and fpirits,
I had learned by my former expeditions, that there is no
circumftance which operates more favourably on the temper
and difpofition of failors in long voyages, (whenever they
are attacked with thofe difeafes to whkh;. they are fo
fubject and of courfe moft frequently dread) than the
certainty of a port or harbour to which they may be taken j
experience having alfo taught them, that the fmell of the
fhore and change of fea diet, in general, remove the greateft
part of their complaints*.
We brought plenty of cocoa nuts from Ifles Cocos, and
there was never wanting a frefh meal of turtle; for they
* I do not pretend to any other medical knowledge, but fuch. as I may have
acquired, by fome little reading on medical fubject.?, and the attention I was.
obligated to pay to the difeafes and complaints of feamen, in the various voyages-
I have made, as it frequently became a nice point to judge, whether a man
neglected his duty from idlenefs or ftcknefe. I alfo paid particular attention
to the practice of the different Indian- nations, when an opportunity was afforded
me, and from the circumftance of having no furgeon on board, it became a
duty in me, to make part of my ftudy, fuch an important fubject., as the health -
of my crew; and I was fo fortunate as to fucceed in the applications I ufed, as-
to reftore health through means, which the fuggeftionsof the moment only-dictated
to me,
were in rach numbers floating on the ftrrface of the watef>     »7M-
as to be taken whenever they were required.    To this food,
we may be faid to owe the prefervation of our healths, and
the crew, in general,- grew fet upon it.
Other voyagers have alledged, that living on turtle, caufes
the flux, fcurvy and fever ; I can raft account forfuch a confequence, by its not being fiifficiently boiled, or cooked*' in
unclean utenfils ; and, fecondly, every man who has experienced a long voyage, is Well informed, that a fudderi cnange
of food, and particularly from an ordinary fea or felt tlfet;
to an entirely frefh one, will produce the flux, ficknefs of
ftomach and other complaints. My method, to prevent fuch
effects, was to allow the crew as much vinegar as they
could ufe, and fiiperintend myfelf the preparation of the
feamen's meal. I ufed to tafte the broth, in order to know if
it was properly done, that it contained a fufficient quantity of
pearl barley, and was duly feafoned by boiling with' it felt beef
or pork. I alfo ordered that the proportion of the felt
meats cooked with the turtle, fhould be previoufly towed
and frefhened, and when the crew were tired of foup,
I gave them flour to make their turtle-meat into pies,
and, at other times, fet pork to chop up with it,
and make faufeges. But in moft of their mefTes, I
L 2 took
c H!§?t     took care that fo powerful-an antifeptic,  as four crout, fhould
September.  ' • —■"■■ r
not be forgotten;
For the reafons akeady mentioned, I determined to ftretch
off to the Weftward, to fearch for Ifle Socoro, Santo Berto,.
and Bocka Partida, but, although I thought it right to-leave
the coaft for the prefent, I did not give up my opinion, that
a whaling voyage might be made in the dry feafon, which
would probably commence within lefs thaiytwo months;.
at the expiration of which time, I was determined to return. Nothing, indeed, would have deterred me from- it,
at prefent, if we hadpoflefled fufficient wind to fhift our
fituation, and keep the run of the fifh, or clear weather, to
afcertain the true Latitude and diftance, from the land,
at which,   we fell ua, with them..
There were many ports near this,   into which I wifhed!
to have entered,   particularly the famous one of Guatalco>
where  Sir   Francis   Drake,    got   a   bufhel   of money,    out
ofonehoufe, in 1579; and, in 1587, Sir Thomas Cavendifh,
poflefled  himfelf of great  riches:   but being naturally led
to  believe,    that  the  above  circumftances   would  not  be
forgot by the natives,   and  my  ill  treatment  at  Nootka,
and St. Bias, being alfo frefh in my memory, I though it
moft prudent  to  give  up,   for the  prefent,   all  ideas  of
going into any harbour on the  Spanifh coaft.
On the ninth ©f September,   in Latitude   i79 r^^^p^lberg.
Longitude   1029  32,    we   met with, as  irregular  a  fwell
as I ever  few,   off Cape  HSrn,   accompanied with  very
changeable  weather,     faint   lightning  round; the  compafs,''-
freajjient   ftfeweipr of -rain,     and*; figjhfc' variable" <winds,'
blowing  North  Weft by Weft,    round  the   compafo,'   to
Eaft South   Eaft,   and coAtinaalfy fhifting^ till  the  17th of      1%.
September, at:midnight^ when, in a .heavy fquall of wind"'
frp$B: -fide' North  vVfeflf by Weft,3irtHfere fell as; gifeat a torrent-, of rain,     as I Ifead  feen,   wMngifemendous  thunder
and lightnings  whjshh I concluded was  the forerunner of
the equinoctial gale:   on the  17th at noon,   our  Latitude*
was   j|Sji  27'   North,    SriJngJStude,   1099  o'  Wcft^ldtber-
momcter 309,   barometer  29  6  4 ;   at this tirSe'blowing^
a ftrong  breeze,   and  unfettled weather;   wh&ftj   by  the
eighteenth,    at  noon,   had  increafed   to- a perfect  ftorm,       r8-
from  the  Weft  North Weft,    with  a   very   heavy  fea,
tljatf we could fhew  little   or  no   fail,    till   eigh?ffr,#c]ock
the fame' evening;   when the   weSather moderated,   thun-
d^y-jjjghjgnsg, and  rain   ceafed,   and the'qwind fettkoVJin**
the Weftern qnarter.
At  day-break,   on  tlie  twentieth,   w^CtaW  the   Ifland      2°~
ofjpSocoro:   a number  of thofe birds that^geVSf4ll^§f9H6Wij
h$& 1 the •
 °*6" V.OYl-GE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
*2»- the fgejshuaeetii a*bales,I as well as others, of a different
ftfeies, .'accompanied? rriji At rfivfe o'clock "at*1 the even-
ingp-nvhen We were withinrrS&fcfen-or ei^bt miles'SSP Ai*1
fhore, it behtgo a rnocm»light night, ; I fent the chief
mate to fifh, foundries an anchoring place, and, if pofli-
ble, to land, inhoriier to (ftfeWer, What thislnifland produced. Wfe flood 6fi!r&nd off:idroring^ithei' whole night,
aftd/ at break of day,*B found ithat the current had fet
us -considerably to the-< Sbuthward and Weftward. In the
moaning, we paffed great quantities of pumice ftone, and
the fea was covered with final! fhrimps, the common
food of the black whale. .[•§$?. being calm, or light winds
all night, and'the firft part of the day, we did not get
in with the fhore, J till; £wd o'clock in the afternoon.
We founded within five miles of it, but:fo>und no bottom, ■
with one hundred and fifty, ifethoms of lin*. ii
In the evening, the boat returned; when the mate informed
me, that he hid 'founded off ther-lee-fide of the ifle, and
■could not find 4«place of fefety fonthe fhip to lay in, or a
landing for the boat, except in a fmall cove, near'the South
point. They had caught a fufficient quantity of fifh for all
hands, confuting of a kind of cod, fhapperftandfilver-fifh; and
they Dftfjght have taken more, but the fharks, :whieh were very;
numerous,   ran away with the hooks.    On the ifland they
had gathered a large quantity of beans, known, I believe, W3*
by the name of the Spanifh broom: they alfo brought
with them a confiderable number of pricxly pears. As
foon as it was light, I fent the boat, with cocoa nuts
and garden feeds of every kind, which I caufed to be
fown in the fmall cove, at the South point, and ftooWwitfl.
the fhip off and on till they returned. In the afternoon,
being within three or four miles of the cove, we got
bottom, at forty-eight fathoms, fine fend. I then fent
a boat, to found between us and the land, as well as
to the Weftward, when bottom was found at ten fathoms
depth, at half a mile from the fhore, to fifty fathoms,
at three   or four miles  diftance.
By ten the next day, I had coafted the South and Weft
parts of the ifle, and founded frequently,, particularly in*'
a fmall bayV at the North Weft, where we fotmnt
good bottom, but it was expofed to the North Weft,
winds, which are reprefented to be the prevailing onesr
though I found the winds, in general, Eafterly. The
nnfettled weather we had lately experienced, Was1 fufficient
to prevent my anchoring at this feafon, • although in wSBs
the ifle, unlefs in a more fecurely fheltered bay, then:
I had as yet  difcovcred.
 We   faw(nlfle  Santo Berto  from the  Weft end  of ShL
Having rnade Socoro and
§anto Berto, by the Spanifh manufcript chart, which I
procured, whije a prifoner at St. Bias, and got a
fufficient ftore of beans and prickly pegrs; I ftreched away
tajjearch for Rocka Partida and St. Thomas's, by trjf
feme chart. Two of the crew werg affected with a
idolent- BWSy1? an<^ vomiting, frona,*ea$ijig too much of
the> fruits jjuft men^ened. It lafted twenty-rfpur hours,
and, in thej^end, proved beneficial to them. Indeed,
we we?e_all - in perfect health, except, the fecond mate,
who had a lamenefk0and contra<9jon in one of his knees»
and had been in an ailingjftate, ever fince w£ left Rio
On the .twentwfourth, at nine, A- M. we few Rocka
Partida..,.on out weather bow, Jivhjj/sh Ijad the appearance
of a fail. By^foiji o'clock^ .Tge^wjrked; up with it, and
found it a dangerpuajbarren rctpk^ laying North, North
W«fl, and Southg-^MnthjjEaft, by compafs. Its greateft
length** is fifty or fixty fathomsj^and its breadth, about
twenty-five or.durty L.bofch ends are fifteen or twenty fethonK
iajheight. The jNqrth. Wfeft end is forked; the South
and Eaft end, is like a ragged hay-cock. The two heigh,t§are
feparated  by   a   ragged  faddle,   that rifes  about  three   or
four fathoms from the furface of the fea, and is nearly
perpendicular. On founding all around, at a boats length,
we had thirty-five fathoms; and, at half a mile diftance,
fifty fathoms; and then no bottom, with an hundred
fathoms of line. It fhews itfelf, on every bearing of
the compafs, from a fmall to a great diftance, like a fail
under a jury-maft. This rock is fituated in Latitude
19° 4' 30", and Longitude, by obfervation of Sun and Moon,
and chronometer, corrected, in9 6' 30", bearing from the
SouthWeft end of Ifle Socoro, Weft 159 North, by compafs;
diftant forty-eight miles: the variation, 7° Eaft. I leave the
further defcrip tions of Ifles Socoro and Santo Berto, to my return and anchoring at the firft mentioned ifle, when I had a
better opportunity, and more time to make remarks.
At Rocka Partida was a prodigious quantity of fifh, but we
caught only few, as the fharks deftroyed our hooks and lines, and,
no one on board, but myfelf, had ever before feen them fo ravenous. One of our men reaching over the gun-whale of the
boat, a fhark of eighteen or twenty feet in length, rofe out of
the water to feize his hand, a circumftance not uncommon at
the Sandwich Ifles, where I have feen a large fhark take hold of
an outrigger of a canoe, and endeavour to overfet it. This was
in feme degree the cafe with our boat; a number of them con-
tmuany fmihg the fleering oar, it became of no ufe, fo that we!
were obliged to lay it in. . The inhabitants of the rock were
M as
*793-     as- many man-of-war hawks as could find a lefidrig.'ipra-ec,
and a   few  feals.
Having found the Ifles Socoro, Santo Berto, and
Rocka Partida, by rhy* manufcript chart, I had every
reafonable expectation of feeing alfo the Ifle St. Thomas,
which was difeovered by a Spaniard, Diego Hurtado,
in the year 1533, and by him placed in Latitude 2i9
30'; and it was vifited afterwards by Gaeten Beftrad, in
the year 1542, who places it fifteen miles more to the
Northward, than Hurtado; and by all the information I had
collected, it lay a fmall diftance to the Weftward and Northward of Socoro.
I fhaped my courfe for the fituation in which it was
placed in my chart; but when I had run the diftance,
I did not perceive any thing like land, nor any figns of
my being near it, except the birds and feals which we
frequently few. I did not, however, entertain the leaft
doubt of its exiftence, but concluded that I had miffed
it by failing two much in a right line from Rocka Partida.
The weather being too unfavourable for me to return to the
coaft of Mexico, I difcontinued my fearch, for the prefent, after the Ifle St. Thomas; and, from the quantity
of whales frequenting the coaft of California, as mentioned
by Mr. Dairymple, in his hiftory of that country, as. well as
from the number feen by myfelf in my preceding voyage,
and the information I received from the Spaniards, while I 1793,
I refided among them, I was determined to make a trial of
fifhing there, till the fair weather came on to the Southward;
which might reafonably be expected to begin at Cape Cori-
' entes, the latter end of October, or beginning of November.
In my route to the coaft, I endeavoured to make Clipperton's
Me from the beft accounts I poflefled; but they differed Co
widely i» Latitude, that I was at a lofs where to look for it;
and, as it was not in my defign to come this way when I failed
from England, I had left behind me my manufcript chart of
the feas, &c. laying North of Ifle Socoro, with all the information I had receivei»frorh the Spaniards concerning them.
From the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth, we beat to se„, 19-j0.
the Northward, in fhort tacks, with the hope of deferying
Clipperton's Ifle; we few frequently man-of-war hawks, and at
times a few folitary feals. As we had fome expectation of feeing
land, every cloud that rofe in the horizon was declared, by the
feamen, to be the object in fearch : but as I could not be per-
fuaded it was, I did not think proper to purfue the Various
momentary opinions which frequently were flatted,
On the fourth of October, in Latitude 239 15', we Oftober 4.
made the coaft of California. The winds from the time
of ous>-le&ving Socoro, blew from North North Eaft,
to Nojrth North Weft, wefting as we made the land of
California, with very pleafant weather, but fometimes cloudy.
Oft our paffage we faw a few turtles,   with killers,    por-
M z poifes,
l/93-     polfe^"<ind  bla^kufifrrt'  the  latter were innumerable as we
approached^'titfc c-fahdt'
Odober it. We crurzca off this coaft till the twelfth, feeirig only the
kind of fifh already mentioned, with the addition of fome
fin-back and hump-back whales; fo tHat we had no
inducement to remain there, after we had afcertained
that the fpeeieS-of whale on this coaft is of no value.
Our cruizing ground was between the Latatiades 239 and zy,
and Longitude 1129 and 113°, off a remarkable mountain near Cape St. Lazarus; to which I have given
the feme name: I make it to be in Latitude z$° 15',
and Longitude 1,1 z° zd. To the South of it, is very low land,
till within a few leagues of Cape St. Lucas, which makes,
the South point of California, when the land rifes to fuch an
eminence, as to be feen at the diftance of twenty leagues: but
the Cape itfelf- is of a very moderate height. Though the
weather was fair and pleafant, it was fo hazy while we
were on this low and dangerous coaft, as to require a
continual employment of the lead. We frequently got
foundings with feventy fathoms of line at the diftance- of
nine leagues from the fhore.
I am ready to  confefs,    that  I was  deceived  refpect-
ing   the   fpecies   of   whale   which  I   faw   when   I   was
on the coaft before; and at. thisi time thei fadnpHDack
j»hale was fo much larger than generally believed, j and
fpouted in a manner fo different from their^«nual mode
of throwirfgt.-up the water, that the moft' experienced
fifhjermen I had .on beard . believed thejp. to: be black
whale, and pmrfued them as fuohjoo and Ib teery much
doubt whether that fpecies of whale, A which the Spaniards call the fmall whale, is any zpfflnar ^Baran^Macktafifh*
This opinion haras confirmed by a whal&n£-vyi*hifwhTim'
I fell in company fome time aft&t: He had come down
the coaft. of California, and boafted of the numher of
fpermaceti whales riawhich he had feen. I was very
much aftonifhed that, provided as he wds for the purpofe, he had not even attempted to kilk one of them.
But he foqn fetisfied my doubts on the fubject: for
-bjdhg.with me on board the Rattler/land, feeing a fhoal of black
fifh, he irrfifted that they were fpermacetif whales. While
I thus difcovered his ignorance, I had reafon to be: ifetisfied
with myfelf, in having been able to afcertain, from the deck'
of my -fitipj^the difference between thefSsdwo fpecies :o'f
whale, but this I muft acknowledge^ >thab.blackffifhbkit their
feeding and mode of fpouting, refemble the fpermiceti
whale nearer than any other'fifhnhitherto knbwno ruO
Voftt.  Oib "io   lrnrV,'fb\v    crh    oi   Kkig»-fl   :rsai  03 ■ Oirfni
%!9$- On-.thattwclfth at noon,   Cape St.   Lucas,   the North
CJape to the gulf of California, bore North twelve or
thirteen leagues!' I make this cape by the mean ©f a
number of observations, of Sun, Moon, and Stars, in
Isatitude 329 4g), and Longitude iiroS. The fea, at this
time, was; almoft covered with- 'tarrflesy and other, tropical
fifh. At four, A. M. we faw a large fpermaceti whale,
which we ftruck and got: feft : but night coming on, the
irons drew, and ifiwwas loft. We cruized between the
Cape Corientes, the South cape of the gulf of California, and
the nokthernmdft'jof Maria Ifles, till the feventh of November, and few great numbers of fpermaceti whales, fome
of them the largeft we: had ever feen, but we may be
tralyl 4aid to be unfortunate, as we only killed two of them.
Two cr£ ffae crew, who complained of fome fcorbutic
Not. i. fymptoms, ah,;the firft of November^ were now growing, worfed and, as feveral others were apprehenfive of
being attacked by-this terrible diforder, it became neceflary
for me to repair to fome port, where a proper attention, might be paid to the invalid part of nay. people.
Our cruizing was generally at the diftance of from
three to feven leagues to the Weftward of the Ifles
Tres   Marias,    the   largeft   of   which   has been faid to
have a good road, and to afford varj^is-articles of refrefh---
ment: but the Freneht: navigator, MonfieurJ.tSauYage.. le
Muet, who vifited thefb.x.tfiea in thisc month, in the yea*
i$4i, mentions, that his crew grew worfe while he
remained there.
The healthy feafon, which was now only beginning
at St. Bias, fituated in the mouth of the river St. jago,
at little more than twenty leases from them, mighfc
not extendi to thofe ifles fo early as- November; and,
in the bad feafon, at that place, it is not uncommon for fix or feven of the natives to die in the courfe
of a day, out of the fmall number of five or fix hundred inhabitants. Befides, I could not help leg^gijx^,
with many a mfelatfefaoly thought, to the fete of
my crew, in my former voyage, when we were captured by the Spaniards at Nootka, carried to St. Bias,
and treated with the greateft inhumanity. -JJmWjas determined, therefore, not to rifk a fecond capture and imprilon-
ment by the Spaniards, which would not have been
improbable, if we had anchored at the Tres Marias: the
launches from the royal dock at St. Blas>:w frequently
vifiting thefe ifles, in order to get flax and lignum vitaeJ
nor have I the leaft doubt    of  their attempting it,    if
I79i- they had found me there in fo capital a fhip as ItheJlattleirJ
and in fo defencelesfs&Eftate as fhethe'niwas, armed with only
two threc-poundcrs, and half a dozen old irrufquetBiti   .
If* The
* As there have been various rattreprefentattbns of the real. ftate and
pjogrefs:of the.tranfa&ions between Don Martinez, ...commander of certain
fhips in the fervice of his moft Catholic Majefty at Noptka Sound, and
feveral trading veflels belonging to fubjects of Great Britain, which threatened fo
produce a rupture between the two courts; and, as thofe mi freprefenta tions
may: be hereafter repeated, I ilia 11 beg: leave to givft a "fair and correft, ftate-.
ment of thofe t ran factions, fo far as I was unfortunately, involved in them: the
reft of that unpleafanl bufinefs is detailed at large, and accompanied by authentic
documents, in the Appendix to the voyage of Captain Mears, publiflied in London,
It is unnecefiary upon this'occafiori, -to have- recouffe to any occurrences in that
unfortunate voyage, prior to,the time when I appeared off Nootka, viz. the third
day of Jul}', .1789.   At .nine in the evening, when it was almolt dark, we hailed
a  boat; and, the perfons in  it .defiring rto come.on board, -their requeft was
immediately granted.     It proved to be a Spanifh  launch,   with Don Eltevan
Martinez,  commodore of fome Spanish mips ofwar, then lying in Friendly Cove***;
we were vilited at the fame time by another Spaniili  launch,    and   the boat
of an. American ftiip.,    I had  no fooner received Don Martinez_ in my cabin,_
than he prefented me_a letter fronx Mr.  Hudfon,   commander of the Princefs.
Royal Sloop,   which was under my orders.   The commodore then informed
mer'Jtnat. the veflels: under* *his - command" were in   great dift'feJCs,    from  the
vran'jEiipf provisions and .other..-neceffaries-   and requefted-me, in a very urgent
manner,   to go* into port,  jn order to  afford him-the neceflary- fupplies. .   I
hefitated,   however,   to  comply with this demand,   as I entertained very reasonable doubts,   of the propriety of putting myfelf  under the  command of
The Tres Marias,     or  the  iflands,    fo named  by  the     ?J9&-
Spaniards,   off which we had been cruizing,   are four in
number,   if the Ifle Saint  John is inpluded, which is not
two Spanifh men of war. The Spaniard obferVrng -my uhwillingnefs to
'comply with Iris requeft, allured me, on his word and -honor, in the name,
of the King of Spain, whofe fenant he was, and of the ^Viceroy of
Mexico, whofe nephew he declared himfelf to be, that, if V 'would go into
port ami relieve his wants, I mould be at liberty to fail whenever 1
jdeafed. He alfo added,, that his bufinefs- at Nootka was for no other
purpofe, than merely to prevent the Ruffians from fettling on that part of
the coaft,. and that it formed: a leading principle of his interactions, as it was
lis private inclination, to pay all becoming refpeft and attention to every
other nation. I am ready to acknowledge that the ftory of his diurefles,.
and the letter of Mr. Hudfon, which appeared to be deferving of credit,
had -very confiderable weight with me: befides, I was an officer in his
Britannic Majefty's fervice; and might be, in fome degree, influenced by a
profeflional fympathy. I therefore fuffered myfelf to be perfuaded to enter
the harbour; and, as it was a calm, to let the Spanifh. boats afiift in towing
Khe Argonaut into Friendly Cove; where we arrived by twelve at night and
found an American fhip called the Columbia, riding at anchor, commanded by
Mr. Keridric, and a floop of the fame nation, called the Waihuigton, commanded by Mr. Gray; with two Spanifh fhips of war, called the Princefla,
and Don Carlos. The next morning, after I had ordered fome provifionj
and ftores for the relief of Don ^Martinez to be got ready, I went to break-
fall witjh-'i&m, in confequenee of his invitation. After breakfaft he accompanied me on board- my fhip, the Argonaut; I gave him a lift of the
articles I intended to fend him, with which he appeared highly pleafed. 1
then informed him it was xay -intention to go to fea in the courfe of th«
day:  he replied, he would fend his launch to afiift me out of the harbour,
N and
?9$' more, than fix miles diftant from the Northernmo:ft. There
arc alfo many fmall rocks, whofe heads juft rife above
the  water.    All thefe iflands are covered^with wood,   and
and that I might, on the return of the boat, fend him the promifed fupply.
The launch not coming fo early as I wifhed, I fent one of the mates for
her, but inftead of bringing me the boat, I received an order from Don
Martinez, to come on board his fhip and bring, with me my. papers. This
order appeared ftrange, but I complied, with it, and went on board the
Princefla. On my coming into his cabin, he faid he wifhed to fee my
papers: on my prefenting them to him, he juft glanced his eyes over them*
and although he did not underftand a word of the language in which they
were written, declared they were forged, and threw them dlfdainfully on
the table, faying at the fame time, I fhould not fail until he pleafed. On
my making fome remonftrances at his breach of faith, and his forgetfulnefs
of that word and honour which he had pledged to me, he arofe in an
apparent anger,   and went out.
I now faw, but too late, the duplicity of this Spaniard, and was con-
verfing with the interpreter on the fubjeft, when having my back towards
the cabin door, I by chance eaft my eyes on a looking-glafs, and faw an
armed party ruining in behind me. I inftantly put my hand to my hanger,
but before I had time to place myfelf in a poiiure of defence, a
violent blow brought me to the ground. I was then ordered into the flocks,
and jelofely confined; after which, they feized my fhip and cargo, imprifoned
my officers, and put my men in irons. They fent their boats likewife to fea
and feized the floop Princefs Royal, and brought her into port, for trading
on   the coaft.
It may not be amifs to obferye, that the Spaniards confider it contrary to
Treaty, and are extremely jealous, if any European power trades in thofe
feas, but this cannot juftify Don Martinez, who, not content with fecuring
me   and   my   people,   carried   me   from    fhip   to   fhip,    lite   a   criminal,
-    t
lay between the Latitude of 5i? 15' and z%- and Longitude     1-7.93•
10j° Weft.    The center ifle  is the largeft; the Northern-
moft,  which is  named   Saint  John,   is  low  and  tabling.
rove a halter to the yard-arm, and frequently threatened me with inftant
death, by hanging me -as a pirate. This treatment, at length, nearly coft
me my life : and threw me into fo violent a fever, that I was delirious for feveral
days : After recovering, I was fent in my own iriK> prifoner to St. Bias a
Spanifli port in the Gulf of California, On my paffage thither, I was
confined in the.MateVCabin, (a place not fix feet fquare)- for two and thirty
days, with a fcanty fhpply of miserable provisions, and a fhort allowance of
water. The .Ilritifh^part of my Ship's company, with, two officers, were
confined in the fail room with their feet in irons, and kept in a Slate too
Shocking to relate,, and which, decency forbids me to defcribe. In going into-
the harbour, the Spaniards ran the fh.ip.aground and damaged her bottom..
On landing, few of my people had any change of clothes, for the Spaniards-
had broke ppen their cheSts and plundered them; however, when, under- the care
of the Governor of St. Bias, we were better treated, being permitted to
walk about the town, in charge of a guard of foldiers, and allowed Sufficient
provifions. About this time the Princefs Royal and crew arrived, and Shared
the fame fate. Soon after, under a promife that our detention could
not be long, they perfuaded. us to heave down and repair the Argonaut,
new copper her bottom, and fit new rigging. The idea of releafe Stimulated us to work on the fhip. with great alacrity, fo much fo, that our
exertions threw feveral into fevers; and on the veffel being nearly ready, the.
Governor threw off the maSk, informing us fhe was to be employed for
their ufe, and laughed again at our credulity. This treatment, added to little
thefts committed on us with impunity,, worked on the minds of the Sickly part of
the crew, feveral of whom took it to heart and died, and one destroyed himfelf in
defpair. Not being Catholics, we were ordered to inter them on the
fea-beech.   After we had buried them, the Native Creoles dug up the bodies of one.
Na or
: 1 vm bns »moi ogaiu ibdi to «•. .   :'-.i*bas3t3f<r-:
x793* but of the moft pleafant appearance. The others arc
of great height, and may be feen at the diftance of fix-
f££n or eighteen' leagues.    The Northernmoft is diftant frbltf
-or two, and left them to be devoured by the dogs and vultures. On
.the fame day the Spaniards failed with our veffels, we were removed to
^Dspeak, a place fixty miles up the country : here we were allowed great liberty,
and -better treatment; arid more particularly fo on the arrrival of Don Bodega
■Quadra, Who was commander of his Catholic Majesty's 1 quad ron, on did Coaft of
California. To this officer I am greatly indebted for his kind attention, and
obtaining permifTion for me to go to Mexico, to claim redrefs for our pall treatment. On my arrival at Mexico, and during my residence there, I was treated by
the Viceroy, Don Rivella Gigcda, with great politenefs and humanity, and
indeed by all ranks of people in that City, This Viceroy, in the moft handfome
manner, gave me an order to take poilcfhon of my vcilel, and a paflport directed
to all claries of his fubjecrs, to render me every fervice I Stood in need of whilst in
his government- and fuch was his noble and generous treatment during my
continuance of fome months in Mexico and his fubfequent eorrefpondence, that X
am bound to acknowledge my lafttng gratitude to hitu. I alio understood the
.conduct: of Martinez had, upon its being investigated, occasioned him very Severe
dilgrace. On .my return to St. Bias, I found the Spaniards were unloading my
veifcl, which had been laden with corn ; and during my abfence, they had fent
her to Acapulco for guns and broke her back? fhe was not ^only hogged, bilt other-
wife greatly damaged, and they had alfo made ufe of every part of the Stores, cargo
.and provisions ufeful to them. For thefe they made out an account on a partial
valuation of their own, and with an affected difplay of liberality, calculated and
allowed-wages to my people, which they counterbalanced by charging them with
maintenance, travelling expences, medical a Hi it a nee, &c. &c. and alfo for an
allowance of eight months Stores and provisions, in which tvere included our beef
,cnd pork, which we were obliged to fait before we put to fea under a vertical fun.
After all, our departure was retarded, by their infifting I fhould Sign a paper,
<exprejfing xaj complete and entire Satisfaction of their ufage to me and my people.
Cape   St.   Lucas,    which is the North Cape of the Gulf    iTM
of California,    fixty-five leagues;    and  the   fouthernmoft
is   diftant   from Cape Corientes, which is the South Cape
As the fever began again to make its appearance among fome of my crew, and the
reft being extremely clamorous to depart, I was obliged, however, reluctantly, to
fubmit. At length after thirteen months captivity, we obtained permifEon
to fail, with orders to go to Nootka, and take poflcflion of the Princefs Royal,
wjiofe crew I had with me, although the Spaniards muft have well known it waa,
impoflible for me to have fallen in with her there, as appeared by the orders which
the Spaniih commander had on board, when I met with him by accident fome
time afterwards at the Sandwich lues. Thus on the approach of winter, in a
miferable veflel, badly equipped, and worfe victualled, we failed from St. Bias,
altogether in fuch a fituation, that from the numberlefs accidents we fuffered in
confequence of our bad outfit, my arrival-at Macao appeared almoft miraculous.
On my arrival at China, the refident agent D. Beal, Efq. who bad taken no fmall
degree of pains to inform himfejf of every particular concerning my capture, paid
fuch of the crew as furvived the wages due to them, and requeued me once more
to embark in the fame concern, on a voyage to Japan and Corea. I readily con-
fenced, and he fitted me out at a great expence, and in his inftru&ions to me, dated
Canton, July 25, 1791,
He fays — " After the mortifications and difappointments you have already experienced, from the capture of your veffels by the Spaniards, it may be an additional circumftance of regret, fhould difappointment and ill-fortune ftill purfue
you: you muft, however, confole yourfelf, by reflecting that no imputation refts
againft your character or conduct, for the violence and depredations committed by
the'Spaniards". This language from fo refpectable a character, was truly pleafing,
and as an additional probf-of his confidence, he^iirit fiiff'brdther with me as fuper-
cargo. But afterwards how great was my furprize, on bearing Mr.Mears had taken
an advantage of my abfence, and published in England an account of me fo contrary
ija3,*s of that Gulf, fixteen leagues. Between thefe ifles, and
about half-way to the main, are other fmall ifles, called
the  Ifabellas,   m Inch are remarkable for appearing,   in all
to'truth I   In his' appendix to his voyage, fpeakmg of the fever and" delirium with
which I was afflicted whilft in the hands of the Spaniards, lie bad" ftated on Mr.
Duffin's ill-founded authority, that the delirium attending that fever was a family
infirmity, and after wounding the feelings of all connected with me published-'
the following by way of apology and reparation :
January i, 1791.
" It is with particular fatisfaction that I poflefs the opportunity of contradicting'
the mif-mformation of Mr. Duffin, relative to Captain Col net t's ill nefs, in his letter
to me from Nootka Sound, published in my memorial to the Houfe of Commons,
No. 9, and in the appendix to my voyages, No. 13 : Mr. DufHn there mentions, but
I am Sure very innocently, that Mr. Colnctt's infanity is fuppofed to be a family
diforder; it therefore becomes my duty to declare, from the beft authorities, that
fuch a report is diftant of any foundation whatever."
On my return to England in 179a, part of the money produced by the fale of
the furs, mentioned in my introduction, was placed in one of the firfl banking
houfes in London, in the names of Meffrs. Mears and Etches, to pay the amount
afcertained at that time which was due to the heirs or aQigns of fuch of the feamen
as died on the voyage. If there are any monies remaining due to their
reprefentatives, &c. for lots of clothes and private property not yet fettled,
I am not accountable.
The moft particular papers relating to the tranfacxion at Nootka, being loft in
his Majefty's frigate the Iluflar which I had the honour to command in December,.
1796, I have here given as circumstantial a detail as I can remember,
long a period as nine years pa ft.
filiations, when at a fmall diftance, like (hips under fail.
That part of the gulph, which lies between the Tres
Marias and the main, forms a deep bay of fifteen or
twenty leagues, and affords a good and fafe anchorage,
having regular foundings from the fhore, and at the diftance
of four or five miles, five fathom; but whether the
foundings extend to the Tres Marias, 1 have had no opportunity to inform myfelf: but when the Ifabellas bore North,
half Eaft, diftant five miles, I had good anchorage in twenty
fathom water,   muddy bottom.
The native Indians have a large eftablifhment in this
bay, known, in moft of the charts, by the name of
Mazatlan, but pronounced by the .Creole Spaniards, Mauf-
kelta town. It is remarkable for the great quantity of
large fifh, not unlike falmon in fize and fhape, which,
during the fummer feafon, are taken in the mouth of a fmall
river near it: but previous to the capture of the veffels
under my command, the inhabitants were unacquainted
with a proper method of faking them. In this ufeful
fciencc they were inftruclied by fome of my crew, who
had   been    employed    in    the   Newfoundland   fifheries*.
* The falting  of this  fiih proved,    however,    a very unpleafant circum-
ijafl.ce to us,   as it occalioned our being employed to fait beef and pork  for
a fleet,
*fc93- Sjeveral other fhallow rivers empty themfclves into this
bay, the principal of which is called Saint Jago, on
i^hofe Southern fide, at the diftance of two or thiee. miles
from the mouth, is fituated the town of Saint Bias,,
that contaras the grand "arfefial and' dock-yard of the province of Mexico, and is the chief depot for all the *ricb.esi
collected in the Californias. The'principal ftore-houfes and
treafury are built on a fmall mount, that rifes-tin the:
middle of the marfh which joins the dock-yard, and is
about two miles from it. The face of the mount towards-
the fea Is a perpendicular rock of one hundred fathom,
and preterits a very formidable, appearance; but, on the
land fide, gradually finks in feveral places- to the plain.
In the rainy feafon, when I was there, the marfh; was fo-
oyerflowed, as to render it a matter of difficulty t»
pafs on foot to the dock-yard. There are not even at foring
tides,   more  than ten  ox  twelve  feet water on  the  bar,.
a fleet, then fitting out in tile faring, at Saint Bias;- with which t}ie Spaniards were fo well fatisned, that they took for themfslves all the European
fait proviiions they found on board the veflels which they had captured; as
having no doubt, but we could fait our- own provinons when we fhould
be releafed, which happened at the time the Sun was vertical.} in confequence
of which, though we did contrive, by cutting the meat in fmall pieces, to
make it take the fait, yet, when we got out to fea, it was totally fpoiled,
and we were threatened with famine.
 vWaoe  TO   THE   SOUTH' SEWS:
at the entrance of the river; and the frigates belonging
to the ftation in the Gulf of California, though they
are capable of carrying fifty guns, are conftructcd fo, as to
pafs over the bar, and to protecr. the fettlements on the
gulf, from the attacks of the native Indians; who are
continually at war with the Spaniards, particularly on the
Eaft fide, which is faid to contain the richeft mines of
gold, that have been yet difcovered; befides feveral of
The deepeft water at the entrance of this river is clofe
along fide the North point: where, on a gentle afcent,
there is an irregular batterer *bf fourteen or fifteen pieces
of cannon, of different bores, which they fetched from
Acapulco,   in  one of my veflels.
If I am correct, in my recollection, for I have loft
all the minutes I made on the fubjecl:, it is high water
on the bar of the river, at full and change, at ten o'clock,
and the  tide flows  only  eight  or ten  feet*.
* tThe fhore in the bay is low; but the in-land mountains are very lpftjyjjj
one of them which, has the moft lingular appearance, is called Tepeak,
and may be feen at the diftance of thirty leagues. Here, myfelf and thofe
of my officers and crew who lurvived the yellow fever at SK'-Blas, palled'
the fix latter months of our captivity.
When the marine ftores, &c.. were brought by the
way of Europe and Vera Cruz, a diftance of eighteen
hundred miles, on the backs of mules, Acapulco was the
grand dock-yard; but f|nce thefe fupplj^ for the navy
have been procured at a far cheaper rate by the way
of China and Manilla, the naval arfenal has , been removed tp Saint Bias; before I left that pkice, the Viceroy of Mexico was fo alarmed, leaft the Court of Great-
Britain fhould revenge the infult offered her. by the
capture of my veflels, that, fearful of trailing to his
flat-floored veflels, &c. &c he had ordered two heavy frigates-
of a fharp conftru&ipn, to be built in the valley of Banderra,
■which Is fituated a few leagues to the Eaft of Cape Corientes*
for the better protection of the arfenaL
As I conceived it would be an act. of the greateft imprudence
to anchor even near a Spanifh port, I detewnined' to return to.
the Ifle Socoro, in order to recover the health of the crew..
Nov. u. We made the ifle on the twelfth day of November, and by
the evening got well up with the North end; the Ifle Santo>
Berto being only eight leagues diftance, and' my not having had opportunity te-. afcertain whether k afforded a
better aricfaeriflg place than Socoro, determined me to examine it. We lay too all night for day-break, to make fail, and'
by noon, got within three or fowr miles of the South end of
Saritb Berto, when our Latitude by obfervation was 199 15', ^93
and Longitude corrected, 1095 54'. At this point, the
ifland had a barmen appearance, with little or no vegetation.
It lay in a North Eaft, and South Weft direction, is
about fix milesoih .length, and two or three in breadth,
with a few rocks juft appearing above water off different parts of it. Its furface is uneven, and its appearance romantic; and, at the diftance of nine or ten miles,
has the femblance of two feparate ifles. We faw fome
foals there, and a great mimber of men-of-war hawks
on the bluff", at the SouXih end. On the Weft fide, is
a fmall bay, but, as it difappoinited my expectations, I
did not land, or try for foundings in it. As the hurricane
month and unfottled weather were not <as yet over, and I
knew of no focure anchoring place at Socoro, where I
could with fafety: overs-haul my rigging, and break up the
hold, which we flood in great need of, -prepondering at the
fame time in my mind, that the Ifle St. 35hbraa&?sdid actually
exift, and was not far diftant: Iftretched away, to'/the Weftward in foarch of it, till vSreyaaade 7° weftihg,' andjriached the
Longitude 1189 Weft, in Latitude so° 30'. I admimftered to
the crew who were afflicted withthe fairvy, twerftyfjdrops of
elixir of vitriol, and half a pint of wine, three times a day, with
fome preferred fruits, frefh bread, and pickles, from my own
O 3 ftores,
ftores, and they .began to mend. In our courfe, land birds
frequently flew on board, particularly fmall grey owls, about
the fize of a black-bird; we were vifited alfo by large
horned owls; and brown hawks, as well as fome of the
fize of our fparrow-hawks. They did not, however, come in
fuch numbers as when we were off" the Tres Marias and
the Coaft of California. From the above circumftances
we were difoofed to believe, we were in- the vicinity of
land: But I was more particularly encouraged in my-hopes
of feeing land, when, in Latitude zo° z§, and Longitude 113° 27'Weft, having fallen in with five or fix wild
ducks, the whaling matter purfued them for fome time
in the boat; but, though they were not fhy, he was
not fo fortunate as to kill one of them. Having joined
the track of my former voyage in the Argonaut from
St. Bias, which ftretched 4? 30' more to the Weftward in
the fame Latitude, I gave up the idea of the ifland,
which was the object of my immediate fearch, laying to
the Weftward of me; and not falling in with it on my
return to Socoro, I cannot account for its fituation, unlefs^
according to the opinion of fome modern hydrographers„
it fhould  be  the Ifland Socoro  itfelfi.
On the twenty-fourth  day of November,   at day-light,     *7$S*'J
J J Nov. 24
we faw  Rocka Partida,   and  pafled to the  Northward of
it.    At noon,   on the fame day,   Socoro bore Eaft by South,
diftant, feven or eight leagues.
On the following day, at noon, we got within a few
miles of the South Weft end of that ifland: Latitude,
by obfervation, 18*49' North. The boats were now hoifted
out to fearch for an anchoring birth; and a fmall bay
foon after appeared, which was formed by the South Weft
and South terminations of the ifle, wherein foundings were
obtained, at twenty-five fathom, with a fandy bottomv
We accordingly fhortened fail, and came to anchor, at
about the diftance of two miles from the neareft part
of the fhore; the extremes of the ifland bearing from,-
Weft North Weft to Eaft South Eaft; two fmall fandy.
beaches bearing from North by Eaft, to North North;
Chi the twcnty-fixth, A. M., I permitted the greateft
part of the crew to go on fhore, at a fmall cove, which
was the only good landing place; and alfo put two men
on fhore abreaft the fhip, to look for water. In the evening
they all returned> With a confiderable ftore of prickly pears,,
beans  and fifh;   the latter were of the fnapper kind,   and
*793-     weighed from four to eight pounds.     Thofe of the ci&w.
who had perceived any fymptoms of the fcurvy   laid them-
felves for fome time,    in the frefh earth,   and derixed con-
fiderable benefit from it: thofe who advanced up the country,-
faw many trees laying in  a decayed ftate  on the ground,
which appeared to be of a much larger fize than any that
were Handing;   but   they  faw no   fpring or pool of frefh
water,   and were not encouraged   to  continue their foarch
for it,   as the   furface   of   the   ground  was covered  with;
a fine loofe cinder, that rendered the walking over it laborious
and difficult; and it was the lefs neceflary to undergo further
fatigue, as We had plenty of water onboard; and I was, at this
time, in fuch a ftate of health, as rendered me  incapable of
attending upon any inland  expedition.    In the North Eaft;
part of the ifland, where the ground was more firm, we after-,
wards found fmall quantities of water,   lodged in the cavities/
of rocks;   but, as that muft have been fupplied by fhowers,
fuch refources muft not only be infufficient,   but uncertain.
I have, however,   no doubt,   but that on the North    Eaft
bay, wells might be made, that would produce plenty of good
water; atleaft, the foil is fuch, as to encourage fuch an expectation : but a very heavy gale drove us to fea, before I wa£ fiiffi-
cgintly  recovered to  make  the  experimejjil}.     The garden
feeds  which  had  been  fo-wtxithese,    on  our  former vifit,
were i
were not  come up,   and   the   cocoa  nuts,    though  they     1793.
were  in  a growing ftate   when   We   planted   them,   had
decayed in the earth.
When we firft came too, off this bay, the wind was
light to the Eaflward; but, at day-light, it blew ftrong
from the North Weft, and Weft North Weft, and continued
fo till eight in the evening of the twentje-fevcnth, when it Nov. 37.
became calm. During the whole of this day, the crew
were fiiffered to go on fhore; and, on its proving calm,
we fhortened in the cable: but at midnight, by fome
unaccountable accident, the anchor tripped; however,
the fhip moft fortunately did not drive on fhore, if fhe
had, would inevitably have been loft, as rocks extend for
fome diftance off both points of the bay, and the light
airs, Which at intervals had blown, were moftly along,
the land. Not a perfon on board had the leaft fuf-
-;f>icion of what had happened till two o'clock in the
morning. '-
It was a fihgular <sifcumftance, that having been reftlefs-
during the whole of the night, I quitted my bed at this hour,
and wdfit wpon deck} when I mentioned to the officer
«f   the    watch,    my   fufpicion    of   the    fhip's    driving,
from the found of the furf changing alternately on the
joints of the bay. I therefore ordered the deep fea-lead
to be thrown overboard, and getting no bottom at forty
fathom, my conjectures were inftantly confirmed. We
aiaw. wore away fifty fathom of cable, but not bringing
*rp, -and a Kght breeze blowing, at the fame time, off
the land, we backed off fhore, with the yards and mizen-
top-fail. I can account for this accident in no other way,
then from the too great length of the buoy rope, which,
by the blowing of the variable light winds and the fhips
iwinging, had catched in her heel and weighed the anchor,
.winch, with- our crippled windlafs, employed us five hours
to heave up.
Nov. 28. I now determined to have a tent pitched on fhore and land
the fickly part of my crew, together with the fecond mate, who
-ffcill continued to be in an infirm ftate, and beat off with the
fliip, rill they fhould be recovered. At noon, they were all got
on fhore, and I left them the jolly-boat, to enable them to catch
fifh; a diet at once both falutary and refrefhing to perfons
in their fituation. In the afternoon, we flood in with
the North Eaft point, and kept the lead going, when
we found regular foundings at five or fix miles, and from
.thirty-eight to ten fathom, at one mile and an half from
ihore; at the fame time we were fheltered from the North
Eaft, to Weft by South.    I now made a ftretch off,   bent
my beft bower, unftowed the other anchors, tacked and flood
in,   and came to in ten fathom water.     The North  Eaft
point bearing North, 45° Eaft ;   the higheft mount North,
33"   45' Weft;    the bottom   of   the  bay North,   56'  15'
Weft ;     the   Eaflern   point  forming  the entrance  to the
Cove, Weft;   and the South point,   Weft by  South.    In
this fituation we lay two days and a night, all hands on
fhore   during  the   day,   except one  boat's crew:    on  the
the   third day,    the current began  to  run  to  the  North
Eaft,   at   the   rate   of two  and  an  half,   or  three miles
an  hour,    from  which  caufe,    we  lay   uneafy   at   fingle
anchor.     I  was unwilling to moor  with  my  bowers,   as
our windlafs was in fuch a ftate as to render the heaving up
an anchor a matter of great toil and delay;   nor had we
any boat to carry out a kedge fufficiently heavy to fleady
the fhip.
Although the weather did not prefent the moft promifing
appearance, and the winds Eafterly, yet, as the current
run to the windward, I entertained hopes of a long continuance of fine weather, which I always found at the
Sandwich Ifles, when the Northerly current run there.
I was,  however,  miftaken ;   for in  the  night  of the firft
P of
Dec. i.
of December, the barometer fell fuddenly from 30-1
to 29-5-5, the winds hourly varied from Eaft to South,
with fqualls, heavy fhowers of rain, "continual lightning,
and diftant thunder; which being on the approach of the
new moon, fuch an alteration in the weather might be
an expected event: but as the barometer had never deceived
me, I was not fatisfied with its fudden change, and at the
fame time entertaining doubts of the cable being injured, as
the fhip had broke her fhear frequently during the night, I
became very anxious for the dawn of day, to purchafo the anchor. At day-light, all round the horizon, and particularly
from the South, threatjened an inflant hurricane, which
left me not a moment to hefitate for the fafety of the fhip,
and with only eight hands on board, including myfelf, we
rove a purchafe, weighed the anchor, and went to fea. As I
conjectured, we found the cable fo rubbed and worn as obliged
us to cut off twenty fathoms from it.
As foon as the fun had crofled the meridian, the heavy
fqualls, and frequent fhowers of rain commenced, which continued to inereafe till the change of the moon, at two o'clock
in the morning, when it blew fo ftrong as to reduce us to
clofe-reefed top-fails; and as the gale frefhened fo quick
on us, we had not ftrength enough on board to fhorten,
any more fail,   we were therefore obliged to carry it.    We
 during the gale,   to accompany them.
had how an heavy foa, torrents br^fain, accompanied with *793-
thunder and lightning, and winds from every point of the
compafs, though principally from Eaft to South Eaft, which
..blew right into the roads we had left; and it is more
than probable, from the ftate of our cable, and not laying more than a mile and an half from the fhore, that,
if we had attempted to ride out the gale, the fhip would
have been .loft. It was, indeed, one of the worft nights
I   had experienced   fince   I   left   Cape Horn.
On the third day of December, we got in with'* the 0eCi 3
fhore again, and obfferving the jolly-boat alone, I felt the
fevereft anxiety reflecting the other boat and crew. We
hove too, with the head off fhore, and the whaling mafter
was difpatched withTi"every one on board, except myfelf, to
afcertain what had become of them. Fortunately no accident
had happened, except the wetting they had undergone
from the violence of the rain, and the whale-boat which
I had miffed, with fome folicitude, had been taken by them
on a fifhing party, in order to bring a fupply of fifh on board
the. fhip. I allowed the fick crew one day more to
be on  fhore,   and changed the party which  was on board
During the  whole
P 3 niffht
night the weather was fhowery, with occafional lightning. The winds were well to the Eaflward, and next
day fo much fo, that I was obliged to carry a prefs of
fail, to weather the North Eaft points of the ifland,
and could not therefore take the people from off the fhore.
Dec. 4. On the fourth, at day-break, the winds inclining to the
Northward, we run down off the cove, and got our tent
and all hands on board by noon, anchors flowed, cables
unbent, and made fail to the North Eaft, for the Coaft
of Mexico, with the crew in perfect health, except the
focond mate; who, though he was much recovered, was
ftill in a weakly and fickly condition. It may not be unnecef-
fkry for me to remark, that thofe of the crew who had'
any eruption on them of a fcorbutic kind, I recommended
them to bruife the prickly pear, and to apply the fame
in manner of a poultice, from which they not only found
great relief, but it fpeedily recovered them, and much fooner
then would have   generally been  credited.
Socoro, in the Spanifh language, means fupply ; but during
our flay at that ifland, we were' not fo fortunate as to
difcover any great affinity between the name, and character of the place. To this and the adjacent ifles, I have given
the name of Rivella Gigeda, after the viceroy of Mexico, as
the only return of gratitude as yet in my power, for the many     ''P-3'
acts of kindnefs and civility I received from him.
From a variety of obfervations of Sun, Moon, and
Stars, I determine the Ifle of'Socoro to be in Latitude
189 48' North, Longitude no? 10' Weft, and bearing
firom Cape Corientes Weft, zz° South, diftant ninety
leagues. It lays in a Weft North Weft, and Eaft South
Eaft direction; its greateft extent is eight leagues, and
it is about three leagues in breadth. It may be faid to
confift of one mountain, which may be feen at the dif-
tance of twenty leagues, and falls in gradual defcent at
all points on the South fide. It is in a great meafure
covered with brufh-wood, intermixed with the low prickly
pear-trees, and occafionally fhaded with other trees of a larger
■ growth. Some few fpots of the foil are black and barren, as
if fire had lately ifiued near it; and the top of the high land
at a diftance, has the appearance of there having been formerly
a volcano: the furface is of a whitifh colour, like that of the
pumice ftone, which was found on the fhore. But though
this may denote the exiftence of former eruption, I did
not perceive either fire or fmoke to iflue from any
part of the ifland. It muft, however, be acknowledged,
that Socoro is an excellent place of refort for a veflel
•with a fcorhutie crew, or to refit if engaged in a- cruize
againft the Spaniards off the Coaft of Mexico, or employed in the  whaling fervice.
l793- The vegetables we found   and confidered as wholefbrrle
efculents, were beans and the molie tree, from whofe
leaves was made a very wholefbme tea, of an aromatic fmell and pleafant tafle: but " it is much fnaal-
ler than that defcribed by Mr. Falkner, though it was
from his defcription of its leaf and fruit that I discovered it. The prickly pear, which is a very Sovereign
antifcorbutic, grows here alfo in great exuberance: it is
of two kinds, white and red; but the former is confidered as the moft efficacious, and furnifhed us with the
means of producing many wholefome, as well as palatable, pies and puddings. The animal food which we procured here, confifted of crows, owls, doves, black-birds,
thrufhes, fparrows, finches, and humming birds; befides
water fowl — fuch as teal, fand larks, and various other
iea birds, in great numbers. The fifh we took were
land-crabs, fea-crabs, craw-fifh, colche with femicircular
xnouths, limpits, oyfters, and other fhell-fifh *. To thefe
may be added cod, rays, eels, and all thole that are
■ufually taken in tropical latitudes. The only novelty
I found among the deep water fifh, was one which bore
•fome  refemblance  to  the parrot fifh,   with  a large hump
* Of the fpecies unknown before were the Large Toothed Ncviie, the BjbS'dl
Green Turbo, and the Buccinuyn I>cntex.
tq{ fat on the back part of its head. Of turtle, we -faw '79S-
only two, and caught neither of them. But with all
this abundance of fifh, it is a matter of fome difficulty
to obtain them, from the number and fize of the fharks,
who very frequently feized the whole of our prey, before
we could draw them out of the water. Of quadrupeds,
there were none yifible to us: but of infects and reptiles,
.there were great numbers—fuch as fpiders, flies, mufqiap-
tos, grafs-hoppers, crickets, and butterflies; with foor-
pions, lizards, and fnakes. But the dearth of frefh water is
the moft uncomfortable and difcouraging circumftance belonging to tbieifland, though I am very much difpofod to believe that an ifle of this extent, and whofe fumrnit is continually covered with clouds, muft have running ftreams on
it: at the fame time, the large flights of teal which
are frequently feen coming from the interior parts of the
ifland, ftrengthened my conjecture that it contains' lakes
pools, or fprings, though it was not our good fortune to
difcover thernv'r *
The feafons of the year being confidered, I think the
firfeft anehorage from June to December is, between the
South and South Weft points, oppofite to two white
coral beeches, which: are the firft two in fueceffion from
the South point  of the  ifland towards the  Weft.    It  is
the place where we firft anchored, and remarkable from
the pinnacle rocks which lay clofe off the Weft point of the
bay. I prefer this place in the bad feafon, as the wind fel-
dom blows more than two points to the Southward of the
Eaft. In the good feafon, however, that is, from the latter
end of December till the beginning of June, I prefer the South
.Eaft bay, being better anchorage and nearer to the cove,
which was the only good landing place we difcoveted, and is
«afily known, being a ftony beech at the firft inlet in the fhore
to the Eaflward of the South point: all other part of the
coaft on the South fide of the ifland is iron bound, which
makes it extremely .difficult, if not impoffible to land, except
in very fine weather.
According to the accounts given of the winds in
rifts Latitude by former navigators, the South Eaft bay
would at all times afford a focure anchorage ; but I found
it otherwife : though fuch a change might be owing to
the feafons falling later now than formerly, or in one
year later than another. The Buccaneers aflert, and
Lord Anfon confirms their aflertion, that at the time
he was cruizing for the Galeon, there was no reafon to
apprehend danger on the Coaft of Mexico, from the middle
©f Octobe*  till May.    But  my journal will  fhew,   from
what we experienced, the beginning or middle of January
is full early to expect good weather, for cruifing, or fifhing.
To the Southward of Cape Corientes, and to the Northward of it Cape St. Lucas, the lightning, thunder and
heavy rains had not fubfided the beginning of November;
and had not my crew been rather in a ftate of convalefcence,
-J would have returned to the Northward for better weather.
The Spaniards' themfelves never leave the Port of Saint Bias
for Acapulco, till the latter end of November, when the
North winds fet in and blow fteadily.
December 6. -*-T was the fixth day of December, when we loft fight
S. of Socoro; and on the eighth in the afternoon, we made
Moro Corona on the Coaft of Mexico; we had pleafant
weather and the winds were between the North Weft and
the North Eaft. I entertained a ftrong defire to fee Paflion
Ble before I made the coaft, as it might have been of
future advantage to fifhers and cruizers; but my bread
was become fo bad as to be no longer in a ftate to be
eaten, which made every  perfon on board anxious to get
to the Southward and reach the Galipagoe Ifles where we *793-
might refit for England; unlefs we fhould fall in with
fome European Veflel that would fupply us with the
neceflaries which we fo much wanted; or from being made
acquainted with the ftate of Europe, might venture into
fome Spanifh port.
In our paffage to the Coaft, which we made in Latitude
199 28', we pafled great quantities of herring, turtle,
porpoifes, black-fifh, devil-fifh, and fin-back whale, but
the number of birds appeared to be greatly diminifhed fince
we left the coaft: for at that time there were innumerable
flocks of boobies, which were fo tame, as not only to perch
on the different parts of the fhip, but even on our boats
and the oars while they were actually employed in rowing.
When the appearance of the weather foretold a fquall, or
on the approach of night, the turtle generally afforded a place
of reft for one of thefe birds on his back; and though this
curious perch was ufually an object of conteft, the turtle
appears to be perfectly at eafe and unmoved on the occafion*.
The victorious bird generally eafed the turtle of the fucking
fifh and maggots that adhere to and troubled him. We now
faw dolphins and porpoifes in abundance, and took many of
the latter, which we mixed with fait pork, and made excellent
Q z faufages,
793- faufages, indeed they became our ordinary food. Sea fnakes
were alfo in great plenty, and many of the crew made
a pleafant and nutritious meal of them.
We kept along the fhore, under an eafy fail, during the
day and at night lay to. The winds were generally light
and very variable, and we did not get off Acapulco till the
Dec. 19. nineteenth of December, the moon having then pafled its
full near three days, and the fun approaching to its greateft
Southern declination. As we had not lately experienced
any changeable or bad weather, we entertained the pleafing
hopes that the unfavourable -feafon was nearly pafled, but at
fun-fet the blackeft clouds I ever faw, gathered around us, and
the fucceeding night produced rain, with thunder, lightning,
and heavy fqualls of wind from all points of the compafs,
but chiefly from South to Eaft. The rain continued to
pour, in never-ceafing torrents, throughout the following
20 day; but on the winds inclining to the North of Eaft the rain
began to abate, and towards the evening it fell only in heavy
fhowers, and faint lightning continued to gleam through the
21. night; but it was not till ten o'clock A. M. on the twenty-
firft, that the fhowers became moderate and we got fight
of land: as we were within nine or ten leagues of it,
with dark and unpromifing weather, we made fail off" fhore
with an Eafterly wind ; when, from the general bad ftate of
my fails, I ordered the top-fails to be furled, and lay to under
ftay-fails. On the twenty-fecond of December the weather
became moderate, with fettled North Eafterly winds and
frequent fhowers, which continued without any variation to
the end of this year. I fhall not, however, omit to mention
that, after the example of my firft commander and patron
Captain Cooke, I did not fuffer our Chriftmas, the grand
feftival of the chriftian world, to pafs by without a fincere,
though imperfect celebration of it.
We had how an alternate fucceffion of calms and light
Winds, which blew from the North Weft quarter, and at.
times thunder and lightening. We proceeded down the
coaft under top-fails during the day, and lay to at night.
When we faw any fpouting fifh, we flood off and on
to afcertain their -clafs, but of thefe there were very few,
which proved to be hump-back and fin-back whale, black -
fifh and porpoifes, but there were great numbers of albicores,
bonnettas, dolphins and turtle, and of the two latter we
caught as many as were neceflary for our confumption.
On the thirty-firft of December our Latitude was 145 53'       -x
and we had pafled over the ground where we had reafon to
expect the greateft fuccefs in fifhing, but had been driven off by
bad •
a794- bad weather, without killing more than two or three whales;
and as we did not now perceive the fmalleft trace of there
being any fifh of the fpermaceti kind, and haying every reafon
to believe, from the obfervations I had made, that their return
like many other fea. animals are periodical, under thefo
doubtful circumftances it would have maaifefted an unpardonable degree of imprudence to have remained longer on
this ftation with no more than" fix months prqvificTi, fuch as
it was at two thirds allowance, and at fuch an immenfe
diftance from any of our own fettlements. We continued
for thefe reafons to pafs under an eafy fail along fhore, flattering ourfelves, at the fame time, that we fhould either fall
in with fpermaceti whale, or meet with fome veflel,, w-ho.
could afford us the affiftance which we wanted. We now
put the Rattler in the beft pofture of defence our fituatioa
would admit, as we were determined to fpeak to the
firft fhip we met, and if fhe fhould prove an enemy, to
truft either to our ftrength or fuperiorifcy of failing, the
latter we had great faith in.
jaBuary i. On January the firft in Latitude 149 36' we had a .heavy
gale of wind from the North Eaft quarter, which occafioned
a prodigious fea, and. the fhip to labour more than when fhe
was off Cape Hona^ fo/ much, fo, that? I was, under fome
apprehenfion that we fhould lofe our main mail.    On the
fecond the weather moderated, but became very changeable
and foggy, with alternate calms and light winds. The
night was moift with heavy dews, the colour of the fea
frequently changed and there was much broken and white
water. I kept the deep fea-lcad conftantly employed, but
found no bottom at one hundred and fifty fathom, in Latitude
13° 33 North. The winds weftered on us and were fuc-
ceeded by light and changeable breezes till we got into the
Latitude iz° 48', when we fell in with innumerable flights
of thofe birds which are known to follow whale, and of
which we had not feen fuch numbers fince we were
fearching for the Ifle Grande in the Atlantic Ocean.
January zl
On the fixteenth we faw a fail to the Southward between
us and the fhore, and ftanding to the Northward and Weftward. At noon, being in Latitude I2? 14' 15" North, we
hove too to fpeak to her, our foundings were fixty fathoms,
the volcano of Guatamala bearing North Eaft by North,
diftant ten or eleven leagues. The veflel neared us conflder-
ably by one o'clock, and difplayed Spanifh colours: •when it
proved calm I fent the boat with the whaling mailer to board
her, which he accordingly did, and returned with two
fheep, fix fowls, twelve tongues, feveral pumpkins and
two bags of bread. The fupercargo, who accompanied this
prefent, brought an excufe from the mafter of the veflel,
•SftwePT"   I        i»*mmmwm
i>94- for his making fail from us, which he attributed to the
variable winds and his great anxiety to get to Acapulco, to
which place he was bound from Lima. From this perfon
I learned that Louis the Sixteenth King of France, had been
beheaded by his own fubjects, that the two Nations of
Great Britain and France were engaged in war, and that
there were on the Coaft of Peru, a French privateer, two
fnows and a fohooner, which had already captured feveral
veflels. I font the Spanifh fopercargo back to his fhip, with
a quantity of wine, rum, porter and cheefe, which, far
exceeded in value the prefent I had received, but it was
impoffible by any argument I could employ to procure any
addition to it. The whaling mafter who was twice on board
the Spanifh veflel, might, on the firft vifit have had his boat
filled with whatever he had demanded; but on his fecond
appearance, the Spanifh Commander had recovered his fpirits
but loft his liberality, for he would not part with any thing
more. From his general converfation, and the manner in
which he ftated the probability of our being taken by the
French cruizers as we went down the coaft, we had fome
reafon to believe that Great Britain was at war with Spain^
as  well  as France.
We foon parted company with the Spanifh  trader, and
flood to the South, diftarieing the land, at the fame time,
from twelve to fifteen leagues.     The fea  was continually     *794-
varying in its colour, but we could not obtain any foundings.
On the twenty-third of January at noon, our Latitude January 23.
was 89 49' 51" North, Cape Blanco bearing North 3° Eaft.
Our flock of water was now very much reduced, and the
greater part of that which remained, was, from its having
been kept in oily .cafks, become fo naufeous as to produce
ficknefs inftead of allaying thirft: I therefore made fail for
the Ifland of Quibo, in order to obtain a frefh fupply of fuch
a material article, on which our future health depended.
Our winds fince we loft fight of Guatimala, were between
the South Eaft, and North Eaft; and would at times vary
for a few hours to the Weftern Quarter.
On   the   twenty-fixth  we had   moderate  breezes   from       2&
North Weft to South Weft, our Latitude was 7° 54' North.
On the twenty-feventh, being  in the vicinity  of the Ifle       ij.
Mentuofa, between Cape Dulce and Quibo, we fell in with
feveral fpermaceti whales, of which we killed four, and afterwards were fo unfortunate   as to  lofe   one along-fide.    The
fight of thefe whales prolonged our cruize until the eighth February 8.
of February, in the hope of getting more of them, but we
only added four to thofe we had already taken.    The winds
R on
WS*     on this cruize were very variable, but rathe; more SrJ'lrK
weftern than the eaftern quarter.
Between Cape Dvilsce and the South' end of Qvabdi are
the Ifles Zedzones, Mentuofa and' Quiaaras. The Zedzones
eo'afifl; of fmall barren rocks. Mentuofa rifes to a confider-
a-ble height, and is five on fix. miles in circumference, its
fummit isi covered walift teees, the greater part are thofe
which: bear the cocoa hut, which gives fe a very pleaferrt
appearance, but iflefcs: astd breakers extend off its Eaft and
Weft ends to the diftance of three or feu* miles. The
bottom is rocky on the South fide, as is the fhore near the
fea. There is a/beach of fand behind fome little creeks that
runs in between the rocks, which makes a fafe landing for
boats. Here* we went on fhore, and got a quantity of
cocoa nuts with a fojWrbird^. The Spaniards as Indians had
been lately here, to fifh on the reef for pearlsv and had left
great heaps of oyfter fhells. It may not, therefore, be improper to fugge/l to thofe- who may hereafterfind it convenient
to land in this ifland, to be prepared to defend; themfelves,
in cafe they fhould be attacked by any of Sis; occafional
THfitors. There were a great plenty of parrots, doves and-
guanos, and it is probable that other refrefhments might1
he obtained o£. which, we. are ignorant    At. all events,   it
may be ufefiii to whalers or cruizers, by offering a place
where there fick may be landed, and cocoa nuts procured^
whofe milk Will' fupply the want of water. This ifland,
according to my obfervations, lies in Latitude 7° 15'North,
and Longitude 82? 40' Weft. The quicaras confift of two
ifles: the larger one is about fix' or feven miles, and the
lefler about two or three miles, in length; they lay North
and South of each other, with but a fmall fpace between
them ; and diftant from the South end of Quibo, about
twelve miles. The leaft of thefe ifles is entirely covered
with cocoa trees; and the larger one bears an equal appearance of leafy verdure, but very few of the trees which
produce it are of the cocoa kind.
The whole of my fhip's company longed fo much to get
fome good water to their bad bread, and our fuccefs in
fifhing had fallen fo fhort of our expectations, that I was
induced to quit the whaling fooner, than I fhould otherwife
have done : therefore on the eighth day of February at Noon, February 8.
we rounded the South end of Quibo, the Latitude by obfervation being 7° 19' 25" North, foundings thirty-eight fathom.
The South point of Quibo bearing South 42s Weft, the
North Eaft point bearing North 45? Weft, and Cape Mariato
bearing Eaft 4? 30' South. We had light airs and pleafant
R 2 weather
weather, during the greater part of the afternoon, the winds
were at South Eaft by Eaft, and we fleered North, North
Weft with all fail fet to get to an anchor before night, keeping the lead conftantly going, and during a run of eleven
miles, our foundings were from thirty to thirty-fix fathoms,,
and on drawing near to the North Eaft point of Quibo,
fhoaled quick to ten fathom and an half, in which bottom
we came to anchor; the North end of Quibo bearing North.
Weft by North ; and the South end, South Eaft by South.
The boats We're immediately fentto difcover the wateringplace.
It was calm through thenight and the early part of the
morning, when we weighed anchor on the flood tide, to.
tow to a more convenient fituation, but finding the water
fhoal to four fathom, and the bottom very vifible, it was
difeovered that we were nearly furrounded by a reef which,
extended four or five miles from the fhore. By the active
conduct of the boats crew an anchor was carried out, and we
warped off into ten fathom; a breeze then fpringing up from
the Eaft, we made fail, and ran along the edge of the reef,
founding foven, eight, nine and ten fathoms, at the- diftance
of a mile and half from the fhore. We foon after came to
anchor and moored in the bay of Port de Dames in nineteen
fathoms: the North point of the bay in a line with the North
point of Ifle Sebacco, bore North North Eaft, the watering
place North 44? Weft; and South point Ifle Quibo South 32^
Eaft. Latitude by obfervation 7° 27', and Longitude 829 10'.
We lay here till the feventeenth of February, and got
on board forty-three tons of water, with fome fire wood.
But of other refrefhments we obtained little, though we had
parties conftantly employed in trying both the water and.
the land for frefh provifions. After all, two or three monkies,
and a few doves, were all we got from the ifland; and its
furrounding water afforded us only alligators, crabs, cockles,
clams, periwinkles, oyfters and a few other fhell fifh unknown,
to us*. Several deer were feen among the thickets on the
fhore, as well as wolves, and the feet of fome animals, which
were fuppofed to be tygers, had left their impreffion on the
fands. But the animals, were all of them fo fhy, that they
kept beyond the reach of our fire-arms, and it was equally difficult to take the turtle which were feen in great abundance.
That the birds and monkies were quickly alarmed, may be
readily accounted for, from the numbers of hawks and large
vultures who feed upon them; as in the maws of fome of the
latter which we killed, young monkies were found. The
wolves and tygers may be fuppofed to keep the lefs offenfive
quadrupeds in a fimilar ftate of agitation; and the fifh, as
well as the turtle, may be harrafled into an equal alarm by
the alligators, fharks, fea-fnakes, &c. all of which, particularly the firft of them, feem to fwarm on and about the
furrounding fhores.
* Viz. The green Trochus, the black Buccinum, Buccinum Morus Patula, and
Subula, together with the Strombo, Tuberen, Latus and Fatalla, not before well
known to collectors in  conchology.
J794- From one of them I had a very fortunate e&ape.    As I
was walking along the fea coaft, with a gun, and very
attentive to the woods, in expectation of feeing fome kind
of fowl or game proceed from the thickets, fuddenly my
danger was difcovered, of having pafled over a large alligator,
laying afleep under a ledge of the rock, and appeared to be
a part of it; and being in a deep hollow I could not have
efcaped, if a little boy, the nephew of Captain M&rfhall,
who accompanied me, had not alarmed me with his out-cry.
I had juft time enough to put a ball in my gun, thp noife
having roufed the hideous animal, and he was in the act
of fpringing at me when I difcharged my peice at him,
its contents entering befide his eye, and lodging in his
brain, inftantly killed him; it was then taken on board, where
part of him was eaten. In the flomachs of feveral of the
fiiakes which We took, there were fifh in an undigefted ftate,
and of a fize that credulity itfelf would almoft refufe to
believe. Thefe voracious animals, appear to have greatly
leflened the quantity of fifh on the fhores of this ifland,
which afforded fuch an abundant fupply of delicious and
falutary food to former navigators. The woods alfo abound
with fnakes of different kinds, the largeft we faw were the
hooded fnakes. As I was fetting on a bank at the fide of
a rivulet, one of the fmaller bit me by the left knee, which
caufed it to fwell to that degree, that I had a doubt for fome     J^fr
ftee1 whether it would not coft me my-life..
Ir'J'hc vegetables and frufe we obtained on-rasS ifland were
but few. There were fome cocoa trees in the bottom of
the hay; and we found beans growing near the fpof, Wher#
the Spanifh pearl fifhers or Indians had rended"; '-and from
whence, as we conjectured from the ftate of their fi*e^pk4fces£.
they were but lately removed. The miftol and the chanmer
tree, mentioned5 by>K&. Falkner, were feen in great plenty, rftrt!
the fruit produced a naufea and ficknefs foon after it was
fwallbwed. The officer, whom P fent to the Northward,
informed me, that the huts remained1 which are mentioned
in the voyage of Lord Anfon,-and confidered that bay as
the moft convenient for any fhip that might be obliged
to remain-at this ifland to refit..
Quibo is'lSte moft commodious place fbr-'gruizersj ef any*B
had feen in thefe feas; as all parts of it fumiffr plenty of wood1
and water. The rivulet from whence we colledred?bur flock,
was about twelve feet in breadth, and we migfif have got
timber for any purpofe for which it covrHf-have been wanted'.
There are trees of the cedar kind a fufficient fize to form
mails for ar fhip of the firft rate, and of the quality which the
Spaniards in their dock yards ufe for every purpofe of fhip
building, making mails, &c. A veflel may lay fo near the
fhore as to haul off its water; but the time of anchoring
muft be confidered, as the flats run off a long way, and it
is poffible to be deceived in the diftance. The high water,
by my calculation is at half paft three o'clock; at full and
change the flood comes from the North and returns' the fame
way, flowing feyen hours and ebbing five, and the perpendicular rife of the tide two fathoms. I found feveral betel
nuts which appeared to have been wafhed on the fhore by the
tide, but I did not fee any of the plants that bear them,
growing on the fhore, though feveral of my people, after we
had left the place, mentioned their having feen many of them.
It would not be advifeable for men of war and armed
veflels, acting upon the defenfive or offenfive, to anchor
far in, as the wind throughout the day, blows frefh from
the Eaflward, and right on fhore, fo that an enemy would
have a very great advantage over fhips in fuch a fituation.
There is good anchorage throughout the bay; at five or fix
miles diftance,, thirty-three and thirty-five fathom, with a
mud bottom, and firm holding ground.
The -moft commanding look out is the top of Quicara,
we faw it over Quibo (which is low and flat) while we
lay at anchor; and is, I prefume, the remarkable mountain
which Lord Anfon miftook for part of Quibo as mentioned
in his voyage. Indeed, a good look out on the top of
this ifland may be neceflary for many obvious reafons, as
it commands - the whole coaft and bay. We intended going
to fea the feventeenth at day-light, but the difficulty we had February
in purchafing the anchor from the good quality of the bottom,
delayed us until the fea breeze fet in, fo that we could not
fail till the eighteenth. We faw while here one fail,
and fhe was fleering to the South, between Quibo and
the main. On leaving Quibo, we cruized between the
Ifle Quicara, and Cape Mariatto, till the laft day of February;
during which time, we killed feven whales; fix of which
we got along fide, and loft one by breaking a drift .in the
night. We afterwards faw another, but it was fo blafted
as to be of no ufe. As the Sun now drew near the equator,
and long calms were to be expected, it became neceflary
for us to reach the Galipagoe .Ifles before they Icommenced;
where we propofed, (as the whaling bufinefs had failed,)
to procure fait, for the purpofe of faking feal-fkiris>
at the Iflands of Saint Felix, and Saint Ambrofe, in
Latitude z6° 15' South.
The different navigators of thefe feas have given fuch
various accounts of the paffage from hence to the
Galipagoes, that it became a matter of fome perplexity,
to determine which route to be preferred. While we
were cruifing between the South end of Quibo and Cape
Mariatto, the winds were' Eght and moftly Southerly,
They fomctimes. blew a ftrong gale through the night,.
fcu£ generaJJy a ftiff breeze from North by Eafi, to'Noith
\y Weft: but in the day we had pleafant weather.
As I could depend on the failing of the Rattler, I determined
March 1: on my route the firft of Marcfc. arid fleered away to. the»
Southward in a. direA- Hae for the. ifles.
On the: fourth day °fttte feme moatn, being- in Latitude:
49 North, the. winds varied between the. South Eaft and-:
Smith Weft points, and ad intervals blew from the Weftwafd;;
but when they returned to the Nbrthwardy they, were- v«y
light and of fhort duration* At ^hip period an innumerable
flight of birdsaccompanied u«* and we had turtles in great
plenty, but they foon grew fbqrce^ though we- continued to
take bonnettas, dolphins, porpoifesiand bkck-fifh- in great
abundance. The weather then changed to rain with
thunder and lightning; and  we  every day  remarked  our
pafling through ftrong rippliags and veins of currents, all of    *?94?
whicho run to the Weft till we made the ifles.
On the twelfth, at break of day, we faw Chatham Ifle* March «.
and, by fun-fet came to an anchor in Stephen's bay, near
the South Weft point of the ifle in twenty-eight fathom
water; the two points of the bay bearing North Eaft and
South Weft, and the Kicker rock, bearing Weft, North
Weft, at the diftance of two miles. We attempted to get
into this,- hay to.the Weftward of the rock, but as there was
little wind, with a current running right out, and no
foundings to be got, with fifty fathom of-jljtte, till within three
quarters of a mile of the fhore, and then a rocky bottom,
we hauled out to the North, and went in to the Eaflward
of the! Kicker rock, there being regular foundings between
it assd the bluff, which formed ike Eaftern point of the
hay: the greateft dep$* between them thirty, fathoms*' but
the deepeft water is near the rock.
We lay ak this bay tiH,>the feventeenth of March,
employed in fearohing for fait, procuring a flock of
turtles, and recovering feveral of the crew, who Were
afflicted  with boils, they were foon reftored by the fruit
S z of
1794- of the molie tree, wild mint tea, and a diet of turtle and
teal foup, &e. Our boats traverfed all the lee-fide of the
ifle for fait, but without any fuccefs; though they difcovered
feveral rills of frefh water. One of them proceeded from a
bluff which forms the Eaft point of the bay, and others were
feen at the bluff at the Eaflern part of the ifle. The latter
were not examined, as the party did not land there; and the
former was no more than fufiicient to fill a ten gallon cag
in a quarter of an hour. As thefe high bluffs are at the
extremity of the low land, the rills muft proceed from fome
bafon or lake on the interior high grounds. One of thefe
I afterwards found on a hill which I afcended, from whence
the water was entirely drained. On the coaft of America,
in the dry feafon, I have feen a long fucceffion of lagoons of
this kind, without the fmalleft drain on the beach below.
The head of Stephen's bay poflefles the convenience of a fmall
interior cove4 with three fathom water, that will hold four or
five fail, and where they -would be fheltered from all'winds.'
Alfo a fine fandy beach beneath the rocks,, on which
a veflel may be hauled on fhore, or heave down if occafion
fhould require it; and great abundance of" turtles, mullet;
and other fiih might be caught in a feine. The turtles
pafs over the rocks, at high water, into, fait lagoons
to feed.   The land is fo low in this part of the ifland, as^.
at a fmall diftance, to give it the appearance of being
divided by a channel of the fea. Near the Weft part of the
ifle in a fmall bay was a part of the wreck of a fhip, that
appeared to have been but lately eaft away, as a whole wale
plank was found undecayed. On fome of the fmall ifles in
this bay, were the largeft prickly pear-trees I had ever fecru
After weighing from Stephen's bay, It was with great difficulty we cleared it by night, from the light, variable winds
and torrents of rain. When we had got well out, we hove to
for day-light, and then made fail for an ifle which bore from
our anchoring birth, Weft by South, to Weft by North. By
noon of the next day, we faw many more ifles and iflets to
the North and Weftward of us: and at fun-fet, we faw
breakers a long way to the Northward and Weftward of
Lord Hood's ifle. Our Latitude at Noon was o° 31 51"
South. We now fhortened fail and floods on and off for
the night. The next day we found ourfelves fet confiderably
to the Southward and Weftward; and in fight of Charles
Ifle, fo named by the Buccaneers. At noon our Latitude March 20.
was 19 28' 13" South; the extremes of Charles Ifle bearing
from Weft 6° North, to Weft 20? North. In the early
part of the evening we got clofe in with the South end of
the ifland: we then fhortened fail, and flood off and on-
during the night, with the defign of going on fhore in the
morning. This ifle is of a moderate' height, prefenfs a
pleafant afpect, and is fiirrounded with fmall rflets, the two
largeft of which I named after the admirals Sir Alan Gardner
and Caldwell. There are feveral fandy beaches on it, and
st great number of feals were feen off it. At day-light the
current had fet us fo confiderably to the Southward and
Weftward, as to have loft fight of the ifland, though'we
plyed to Windward all the forenoon we gained but little.
We got fight, however, of Albemarle Ifle, and two
fmaller ones which lie between it and Charles Ifle. I take
thlfcm to be-tfae Crofihran and Brattles Ifles of the Buccaneers.
March jo. At noon ortthe twentieth,, our Latitude was r- sag' South :
the extremes of Charles Ifle bearing from Eaft i4? Norths
%& Eaft -S49 North; and Albemarle ifle from North 45?
Weft, to North ia? Weft;, with a frnall flat ifle between
them. We faw' fevteral fpermaoeti whales, and gave chafe
with boats and fhip -but could not come up with them.
We beat off" here for forty hours, and loft ground confiderably- frsom- the cwsrent running fo ftrong to the Weftward.
si. At noon on the tweDnty-firft* our Latitude was l? %t£ South,
Albemarle Ifle bearing from North 2 or Eaft, to North ai*
We^ftt and Penry Ifthmus*. North g Weft. By foiw o'clock
an-the aftesnoon, we got wiashin two miles of the South
and Eaft end of Albemarle Ifle, when we tried for founding
with one hundred fathom of line but found no bottom.
The following day,, as foon as it was hght, we bore up to
round the South and Weft end of Albemarle Ifle, called, by
the Buccaneers, Chriftopher's Point Within a few miles of
it, the Latitude was, by obfervation, o9 55' 14" S©»th.
The extremities of Albemagle Me, bearing from- Eaft
229 South, to North io9 Eaft; and of Narfeo$ough Ifle from
$focth, to North 209 Weft.
A large bay opened to  osas view, whieh was foemed by March 23.
the South and Weft points of Albemarle Jflev and the Eaft;
'past, of -Narborough Ifle, having  reeeircdi oiiigiiirally from,
the Biaccaneers, the name o£ Elizabeth Bay.    As k is \etyr
capacious, we conjectured that we fhould find good anchorage;
I    therefore   accompanied   the   chief   mate     to   examine
it,   but we  could find no  bottom for two leagues at the
diftance of a mile or a mile and an half from the fhore,. with
one hundred and  fifttp fathom of line.     The inhofgitable
appearance of this place was fetch a»<I: had never before feen,
nor had 1 ever- beheld fuch wild clutters of> hfiihbcfesj in fuch
ftrange- irregulai? fhapes and fownss. as  the fhore pr-efented,
except on. the fields of ice near the-South Pole.    The bafe
appeared to be one entire clinker to a. considerable diftance
the water-fide, and the little verdure that was vifible
l low,
was on the tops of the hills, which were crowned witl
fhaggy bufhes, that gradually diminifhed in quantity as
they hung down the declivities; and were fometimes divided
by veins of an hard, black, fhining earth, which, at a fmall
diftance, had the appearance of ftreamlets of water. The
ftorm peterels accompanied us in great numbers : but the
wind coming right out with a current or tide, that was
fo rapid, as to be attended with fome degree of danger,
we gave up our defign of reaching the head of the bay,
particularly as night was approaching, and darknefs would
have overtaken us. When I returned on board, I found
the fhip laying between two winds, and becalmed within
half a mile of the fhore, where no bottom could be obtained'
with one hundred and fifty fathom of line. In this fituation
we were near an hour, with flaws of wind all round the
compafs, and heavy fhowers. At laft, we caught a Southerly
wind and made fail to the Weftward, and when clear of
the fhore, hove to for the night. The weather was dark-
and gloomy, with heavy dews and a ftrong foutherly
cyrrent; fo that at day-light we were fet nearly as far
to the South as we were on the preceding noon. At
noon our Latitude was o9 35' 6" South: the extremities
a£ .land bearing from North   iz° Eaft, to Eaft 37° South.
In the evening.we got well up withi the South end of
Narborough \ Ifle, and flood along to the North Weftward,
by the Weft fhore. The current or tide had now;'
changed its courfe, and fet, from the Weft and South,
to the Northward, directly on that ifle, and the night
proving calm, with fome difficulty we cleared it; for we
could not find any bottom at the diftance of half a mile
from the fhore, with one hundred and fifty fathom of line.
At the return of day the weather was dark and cloudy,
with lightning in the South Eaft. At noon I obferved on
the Equator, the extreme points of Narborough Ifle, bearing .
from South 219 Eaft, to South £29 Eaft. The North Weft
Cape of Albemarle Ifle, (which I have named Cape
Berkeley, from the honourable Captain Berkeley), bearing
Eaft 49 North, North end Eaft 2/9 North. The North
point of land in fight, bearing Eaft 36° North, and the
Bodondo Rock North 59 Eaft, at the diftance of five or
fix leagues.
I fent away a boat in the forenoon to found a large bay,
formed by the North end of Narborough Ifle and Berkeley
point, (which I  have  named Banks's  Bay   in   honour  of,
Sir Jofeph Banks),   or under  Berkeley point, in order to
difcover a place of anchorage: the boat,_ however, did not
x794v get into the bay; but rowed under the North point o§
Albemarle Ifle, where the. party landed, and returned in
the- evening. They found this part of the Ifle equally/:
inhofpitabla as the Southern* part of it: but had procured a
few,- rock^codj with fome- hump-back turtles^ and faw a
confiderablb number of feals.
Narborough    Ifle    is    tile    higtieft    land    among    the
o o o
€c^lipagoe' Hlandsj lying- near the center-' of Albemarle
Hie; which almoft furrounds it, in the form of two-
crefcents, andj making-two bays. The apparent point? of
diwifion- of thefe iflands, is fo low on Both, that I
am in doubt whether they are feperated. Qto the-
next morning we faw; fpermaeetiv whales, we kUledr
feven and- got thehv along-fide; Rock Rodondo bearing Eaft
2Sp- South, the' Northernmoft land bearing Eafr i6*South,.
and the South Weftr land'- bearing South 28° Eafh. Tne-
weather was hazy, and the Latitude by obfervatiorr.
April 8. 00° Z7' 13" North. Here we cruifed till the eighth of
April, and- few fpermaceti- whales- in» great numbers; but
©sly- killed* five-,, of which we feeured1 fbun The current.
ran fo-flsong to the Weftward, and the winds were fo light;,
that afifer? lftying^toi to-feeure the whales and'cut them up,,
we were feven: days fit returning to the ground'from whence
we drifted. In the winter feafon, when the winds are more
frefh, thefe difficulties might not occur, otherwife, it would
be impoffible for any veflel, which was not a very prime
■ifailer, to whale here with fuccefs; though at -a certain feafon
any quantity of fperrii oil might be procured. The
oldeft whare*-fi{hers, with whom I have converted, as
well as thofe on board my fhip, uniformly declared
that they had never feen fpermaceti whales in a ftate of
copulation, or fquid their principal food in fhoals before;
but both thefe objects were Very common off thefe ifles, and
we frequently killed the latter, of four or five feet in lengflh,
with the granes. Young fpermaceti whales were alfo fetea
in great numbers, which were not larger than a fmall
pbrpoife. I am difpofed to believe that we were now at
the general rendezvous of the fpermaceti whales from the
coafts of Mexico, Peru, and the Gulf of Panama, who
come here to calve: as among thofe we killed, there Was
but one bull-whale. The fituation I recommend to all
.cruizers, is between the South end of Narborough Ifle and
the Rock Rodondo: though great care muft be taken, not
to go to the North of the latter; for there the curiefnt
fets at the rate of four and five miles an hour due North.
Narborough Ifle falls gradually down to a point at the
North, South, and Eaft ends, and may be equal in produce
to any of the   neighbouring ifles;   but of this I  can only
T z con-
J?94-     conjecture,   as I  did not myfelf examine it;   nor does it
appear that the Buccaneers ever landed upon it.
The Rodondo is an high barren rock, about a quarter
of a mile in circumference, and is vifible as far as eight
or nine leagues, has foundings round it at the diftance of
a quarter of a mile thirty fathom. Here our boats caught
rock-cod in great abundance. I frequently obferved the
whales leave thefe ifles and go to the Weftward, and in a few
days, return with augmented numbers. I have alfo feen.
the whales coming, as it were, from the main, and paffing
along from the dawn of day to night, in one extended Khe,.
as if they were in hafle to "Seatch the Galipagoes. It is very
much to be regretted that thefe ifles have to this period?
been fo little known but only to the Spaniards.
Though we met with fo ftrong a current, it did not-
difliearten us, as we found, by keeping between the North
point of Narborough Ifle, and North point of Albemarle Ifle,
and not going to the Northward of the Jatter-,- that we were
able to maintain our ground; and the- hope which now
poflefled us of making a very fuccefsful voyage, difperfed every
complaint of bad bread and fhort allowance, which were
no  longer confidered  either with regret or impatience.
' We recovered the fifhing ground after having been
driven off during four days, and found as great plenty
of whales as when we left it. We now faw a fhip
in fhore, who failed well, and was heavy mettled as
we conjectured from the report of a gun. I difcovered
with the telefcope that fhe was French built, and
from the intelligence communicated by the Spaniard
we fell in with off the Gulf of Guatamala, on the Coaft of
Mexico, we had every-'reafon to believe that fhe was one
of the French fhips which he mentioned as being in thefe
feas. We kept ftanding in with the fhore to reconnoitre
her, having great confidence in the failing of our own
veflel. During the evening, night and morning, we had
alternately heavy fogs> 'jfight winds and calms. At nine
A. M. the weather became clear. I now flood towards
the fail, ,but the nearer I approached the more I fufpe&ed her
to be an enemy. I then ftretched away to the Southward;
when fhe carried, every thing after us, and getting a
ftrong. Northerly breeze, which fhe brought up- with
her, over-reached us very fail. We made all the fail; we
could from her, (our Latitude at noon o9 19' 52" North,)
but I entertained little or no hope of efcaping-: we-fhere-
fore cut down the item, in order to get out two three-
pounders, which, were all the great guns we had, and put
April 8..
-1794- eurfelves in the befipofture of defence in our power. Finding
at four o'clock in "the .afternoon that fhe flail gained ground
upon us, hut would not be able to get up with us till it was
dark, we all -agreed to a man, to heave to, and if fhe
proved an enemy, to board her; as fuch a defperate
■ proceeding •would be altogether unexpected, we thought it
would afford fome of us a better chance of efcaping, than by
a more regular engagement. As to myfelf, death, -in
almoft any fhape would have been far preferable than falling
again into the hands of the Spaniards. By fun-fer, however
the fhip joined us, and proved, after all our alarm and
preparations, to be the Butterworth of London, Mr. Sharp,
from a trading voyage on the North Weft Coaft of America;
and lately from California. We were right in our conjectures
concerning her appearance, as fhe was taken from the French
in the laft war. She had been fearching for water in
thefe ifles but had found none; and was bound" to the
Marquifes for it, with only feven butts on board; a
route of near eight hundred leagues, when there were fo
many places within two days fail, where fhe might have found
it Mr. Sharp had fixty tons of fait in bulk, for the purpofe
of fairing lkins; and on the coaft of California, he had
procured an hundred tons of oil from the fea lion and fea
elephant; and he added, that he alfo might have procured
H »
ten thoufand  tons of oil  from the fame' animals,  if he     *79*
had  poflefled a fufiicient number o£ catfks to  have  coup
tained it.
I recommended him to proceed to James's Ifle, and
offered him a copy of a -chart which I had rdcei-ved froir*
Mg'j.Stephens, which would direct Him- to the: watering:
place, deferibed by the Buccaneers,, whofe inforrriation I
had no reafon to doubt: but if he had no faith iir> it, he
might go to Ifle Cocas or Quibo, where I had- procured
plenty; but no perfuafion of mine, however, hadjany weighs
as: His pinhcipal object appeared to be that I fhould
accompany him. Ini addition to my other inktlinStions to
render him every feuvlce in my power, the. fevseral acts-.o£
ability I had receiteedifiDm'j Mr. Perry of Blackwall, one
06 his owners, had* the greateft weight with me; andf.
urfderftandingrhis intention was alfo to continue' in company
trjj ouir arrival) fix England, I undertook to fliew him the
way into port
hi confequence ofiligfrtf winds, thick weatfher and ftrong
Narthetily currents, we; were driven.' as far North; as! i9 5',
and'. faw~; Culpepper's Ifle, which rifes to a confiderable
height, though it is- of fmall' extent; hut the weather was
1  1
*794-     fo  hazy,1 and we were at fuch a diftance,   that I am not
qualified to giveaallforther account of it.
Though our fhips were excellent failers, we were fifteen
flays in getting into James's Bay; they alternately had the
advantage of each other; but the Rattler was entirely out
of trim; the fore-hold being filled with oil. The Butter-
worth had fo far got the advantage to windward, as, at
onetime, to be within a few miles of the anchoring ground;'
and we could only fee her top-gallant fails; .-fhe bore up
to join us again, with only three butts of water on board.
At this time we were clofe under Abington Ifle, which
is very fmall, and was ■well known to the Buccaneers; and,
according to my obfervation, is in Latitude o9 33' North, and
LongiMude oo9 45'. It is. high towards the South end, which
has a very pleafant appearance, and where is the only bay or
anchoring place in the ifland. The North end is low,
barren, and one entire clinker, with breakers ftretcbing out
to a confiderable diftance. I fent a party in the boat to
round it, where they caught plenty of fmall fifh with
their hook and line. They alfo landed on the ifland and
found both tortoifes and turtles. This day we alfo faw
Bindloes Ifle, which is a fmall, rugged fpot, laying to
the   Southward   and   Eaflward   of   Abington    Ifle,     and
about the mid-way between it and James's  Ifle.
On the twenty-fourth, in the very early part of the
afternoon, we came to an anchor at the North end of
James's Ifle, a little to the South of Frefh-water bay, where
the Butterworth followed us; Albany Ifle bearing North
349 Weft; bottom of the bay Eaft 17° South ; South point
of James's Ifle, on with Cowley's enchanted Ifle, and South
part of Albemarle Ifle South 249 Weft: North point of
Albemarle Ifle Weft 259 North.
As foon as the fhip was fecured, I fet out with Mr. Sharp
to fearch for water in Frefh-water bay, where the Buccaneers
had formerly fupplied themfelves, but the fiirf prevented us
from landing. We rowed clofe to the beach, but faw not
the leaft figns of any fpring or rivulet. Boats were difpatched
from both the veffels to different parts of the fhore; and
my chief mate was fent away to the South for a night and
a day. On the following morning at dawn of day, the
whalingrmafter was ordered to land if the furf was fallen,
and fearch Frefh-water bay. He accomplifhed getting
on fhore, but found no water; and in the evening, the
chief mate returned with the fame account of his unfuccefsful
errand. For my own part, I never gave up my opinion
that there was plenty of water in the ifle; but as neither
of my boats  were in  a condition   to encounter the  leaft
U bad
I    -
I?94-     bad weather,   I deferred taking a furvey of  the  ifle   till
they were repaired.
Though we font the But-terWorth daily fupplies of water,
I did not forefee the confequence of our generofity.; for from
fhat moment, the commander never gaveJ&imfelf the leaft
concern to look for any; but employed his crew^in-cutoing a
very large quantity of wood, and ftocking;b!ffnfelf with land
tortoife privately, from a fpot which we agreed fhould remain
facred, till rwe- were ready for failing, and then fhare our
itock together. Indeed I not only fupplicd Mr. Sharp with
Water, but may be faid1 alfo to have added todris food; bfor
•he'did not know-that the tortoife *Was an wholefome eatable
till I informed   him  of it.
As I had at this-time many reafontfrt© doubt his continuing
long in company ifith me, and in cafe of feparation Mthe
Rattler had no boat belonging to her calculated to bring water
any diftance, it awakened my precaution-to prowde for any
witforefeen'accident fhould it befall us reflecting thatneceflary
article. I determined 3herefore, to fupply him-monthly
throughout our voyage, and the information of*lris arrangement produced a better effect than I expected, as it
ftimula'ted   him   to  fearch   for  water,   which   he   found
'within  two miles of his fhip.
tU After anchoring and his prefent wants being accommodated,
he varied fo in his future plans, to his former ones
propofed, that I could not comprehend he had any fixed
one at all; and his conduct in general not correfponding to
my ideas or expectations, I had only to lament, that after
putting myfelf to fo great an inconvenience, there was fo
little probability that it would be attended with any
advantage to his employers. Finding my advice of no farther
ufc  I failed without him.
As foou as a boat was repaired, I fet out to fUrvey
the South Eaft part of this and Albemarle. Me. On reaching
the South point of Jant&Ss's Ifle, I got fight of three other
ifles which I had not feen before, nor can I trace them
in the Buccamieers accounts, no more than the ifle which
we faw to WeftwarcU when at anchor in Stephens's bay,
Chatham Ifle. Thefe thiee ifles now feen, I named after the
admirals Barrington, Duncan, and Jarvis. The two
Northernmoft, which are neareft to James's Ifle, are the
ihigheft, and prefented the moft agreeable appearance, being
covered with trees. The Southernmoft, which I named
Barrington Ifle, is the largeft and was the greateft
■diftance from me, it is of a moderate height, and
■rifes in hummocks;   the   South   end  is  low,   running  on
U 2 a parallel
a parallel with the water's edge. We did not land on
either of them. In~rhis expedition we -faw great numbers of
penguins, and three or four hundred feals. There were
alfo fmall birds, with a red breaft, fuch as I have feen.
at the New Hebrides;*and others refembling the Java fparrow,
infhape and fi2e, but of a black plumage ; the male was the
darkefl, and had a very delightful note. At every place
where we landed on the Weftern fide, we might have walked
for miles, through long grafs and beneath groves of trees.
It only wanted a ftream' to compofe a very charming
landfcape. This ifle appears to have been a favourite refort
of the Buccaneers, as we not only found feats, which
had been made by them of earth and ftone, but a confiderable number of broken jars feattered about, and fome
entirely whole, in which the Peruvian wine and liquors
of that country are preferved. We alfo found fome old
daggers, nails and other implements. This place is, in every
refpect, calculated for refrefhment or relief for crews after
a long and tedious voyage, as it abounds with wood,
and good anchorage, for any number of fhips, and
fheltered from all winds by Albemarle Ifle. The watering-
place of the Buccaneers was entirely dried up, and there was
only found a fmall rivulet between two hills running into the
fea; theNorthernmoft of the hill formstheSouth point of Frefh-
„ujii . ;:™*WSi
Water bay. Though there is a great plenty of wood, that
which is near the fhore, is not large enough for any purpofe,
but to ufe as fire-wood. In the mountains the trees may be
of a larger fize, as they grow to the fummit of them. I do
not think that the watering-place which we faw, is the only
one on the ifland; and I have no doubt, if wells were dug
any where beneath the hills, that it would be found in great
plenty : they muft be made, however, at fome diftance from
the fandy beach, as within a few yards behind them, is a
large lagoon of fait water, from three to eight feet in depth,
which rifes and falls with the tide; and in a few hours a
channel might be cut into it. The woods abound with
tortoifes, doves, and guanas, and the lagoons with teal. The
earth produces wild mint, forrel, and a plant refembling
the cloth-tree of Otaheite and the Sandwich Ifles, whofe
leaves are an excellent fubftitute for the China tea, and was
indeed preferred to it by my people as well as myfelf. There
are many other kinds of trees, particularly the moli-tree,
mentioned by Mr. Falkner, and the algarrooa, but that
which abounds, in a fuperior degree, is the cotton tree.
There-is great plenty of every kind of fifh that inhabit the
tropical Latitudes; mullet, devil-fifh, and green turtle were
in great abundance. But all the luxuries of the fea, yielded
to that which the ifland afforded us in the land tortoife,
1794-- v^hach in whatever way it was drefled, was confidered by
all of us as the moft delicious food we had ever tafled.
The fat of thefe animals when melted down, was equal
to frefh butter; thofe which weighed from thirty to forty
pounds, were the beft, attd yielded two quarts of fat: fome
of the largeft, when flanding on their feet, meafured near
a yard from the lower part of the neck. As they advance
in age their fhell becomes proportionably thin, and I have
feen them in fuch a ftate, th&t'a pebble would fhatter them.'
I falted feveral of the middle fize, with fome of the eggs,
Which are quite round, and as big as thofe of a goofe, and
brought them to England. The moft extraordinary animal
in this ifland is the fea guana, which, indeed abounds in
all thefe ifles. We did not fee the land guana in any -
of the ifles but James's, and it differs from that which
I have feen on the coaft of Guinea, in having a kind of
comb  on  the  back  of its neck.
Thefe ifles deferve the attention of the Britifh navigators
beyond any unfettled fituation: but the preference muft
be given to James's Me, as it is the only one we
found frrrfifcient frefh water at to fupply a final! fhip.
But Chatham Ifle being one of the Seuthemmoft, I recommend to be the firft made, in order to afcertain the -fhips true
fituation, in which you may be otherwife miftaken, from
the uncertain and ftrong currents, as well as the thick
weather which is fo prevalent there. As it ftands by itfelf
there is no danger, and in Stephens s-bay, thirty or forty fail
may ride in fafety, befides thofe which might go into the
cove. Veflels bound round Cape Horn to any part North
of the ^Equator, or whalers on their voyage to the North
or South Pacific Oeean, or the Gulf of Panama, will -find
thefe i iflands very convenient places for refitting and
refrefhment. 'They would alfo in future ferve as a place
of rendezvous for Britifh fifhing fhips, as they are contiguous to the beft fifhing grounds.
Slay 13.
V-lN the thirteenth of May, having over-hauled the
rigging, caulked, wooded, &c. we fet fail with the intention
to cruize for feven days off Rock Rodondo, and then to
proceed to the Ifles Saint Felix and Saint Ambrofe, on the
coaft of Chili. We accordingly hove to for the night, off
the North end of Albemarle Ifle, and at break of day,
faw feveral fpermaceti whales, of which we killed two.
The winds had fet in from the Southward and Eaflward,
with a ftrong Northerly current; fo that all our endeavours
were in vain to get to the Weftward and round to the
South, without wafting as much time as we had before '794-
done, to get to the Eaflward, when we wanted to reach
James's Ifle. From the South the current fet from three
to four miles an hour, due North, and we had in general,
thick, foggy weather. We frequently faw whales; and on
the 16th of May, got fight of Wenam's Ifle, bearing Weft May 16.
North Weft, feven or eight Leagues. It is fmall, but of confiderable height, like Culpepper's Ifle, and I make it in
Latitue i9 21' North, and Longitude 919 46' Weft. The
time of our propofed cruize off thefe ifles was expired, and
the winds obliged me to ftand away to the Eaflward and
Northward, with the ftrong current fetting againft me, to
the Weftward and Northward; fo that I was fifteen days
making Cape Blanco, the South Cape of the Gulf of
Guiaquil, a diftance we had run before in four days. Half
way over we fell in with a body of fpermaceti whales, we
got up - with them, though not without fome difficult)-,
and killed three, but were fo unfortunate as to have two
boats flove in the ftruggle.
Within Cape Blanco, we faw a fail crouding. every
thing from us, which induced us to conjecture that it
was no longer peace between Great Britain and Spain.
But this  veflel   was  too   far up  the Gulf,   as well as in
X too
J794- too fhallow water for us to foHow her. On the following
June $. morning, being the fifth of June, we got a fteady wind
from the South Weft, but as we diftaneed the fhore and
Southerd our Latitude, it hauled to the South Eaft,
enereafing daily in ftrength, with an heavy fea. The weather
was fometimes fquafly, with frequent fhowers of rain; arid
when we got into Latitude 17° South, and Longitude go9
Weft, the wind hauled well to the Eaft.
19. €Jh the 19th of June, when we were in Latitude 24% and
Longitude 90° 30', an heavy gale of wind blew from the
Nortfiwardl From the time of our leaving Cape Blanco
the fhip   had   made-  water,   which   now began   to  gain
.21. on us: and; m' thr afternoon of the twenty-firft, in a
violent fsjuall of wind' and rain, our fair weather- top-fails
and' courfes were* blown to pieces, and! having neither
canvas- or twine to repair them, we were under the
neceflity of bending our beft and only fuit
At night, being In the fuppofed fituation of Saint Felix
and Saint Ambrofe Ifles by different navigators; we hove to,
till day-light, and- then fcud'cred" ml night and again hove
to, as- we did, on the fucceeding night, at which time the
weather moderated.    Having now run down both to the
Eaft and Weft in the fuppofed Xatitude of thefe ifles,
I am convinced that there are no other near this fituation
than thofe I vifited in my outward-bound paffage; and
where I was at this time determined to land a party for the
purpofe of fairing and drying feal-fkins; intending then
to proceed to the Eaflward as far as Eafter Ifle, to
fearch for ifles mentioned in the following extract of a letter
in the pofleffion of Philip Stephens, Efq., and of whofe
exiftence I entertain not the leaft doubt, as in their defcrip-
tion they differ much from Eafter Ifle, which I vifited
with Captain Cook, there not being a tree on it.
if5th September, 1775.
■" The Achilles left CaHoa the feventh of April, and arrived
at Cadiz the tenth, by which we learn that the frigate
Le Lievre (the Hare) had difcovfered five iflands in the
South fea, in about 2/9 of South Latitude; that one of
them was confiderafely large, and inhabited by Indians
fomewhat tractable, and governed by a chief. They have
hatchets and other utenfils, which they fay the Englifh left
there   three months  before the Lievre arrived there."
27th "September, 177,3.
" The tenth   Inftant  came  into  Cadiz,   the   merchant
■fhip  Achilles, which  left Calloa off Lima, the feventh of
X 2 April
1794. April laft, This veflel brought news to the court of the
difcovery, and the taking pofleffion, in the name of the
King, :of feveral fmall iflands in the South feas, to 2/9 of
Latitude South of Lima. There is one ifland rather large,
and has an excellent harbour. This ifland they have called
Saint Charles; and the difcovery was made by the King's,
frigate the Eagle, which the Viceroy of Peru fent upon
that expedition. They fay that thefe iflands are inhabited
by favage Indians, but that they were very woll difpofed;.
and that the country abounded with wood, fowls, hogs,,
and certain roots of which they made bread, perhaps.
" It would appear that the court means to make ufe
of this difcovery; and that they mean to build forts
thereon, and to eftablifh a communication between thefe:
iflands, and the continent of South America.. It is probable
that the famous Mr. Hudfon had difcovered thefe ifles in
his voyage round the world, and that the largeft of them
are called Davis's land. What renders this- conjecture more
probable is, that they found the interior inhabitants
poflefled of hatchets, fpades and hoes."
Roggewein's account of an hie in this Latitude, differs
fo much from Eafter Ifle, that I cannot fuppofe it to be
the fame. Mr. Wafer, who was furgeon with Captain
Davis, in 1685, and after whom land in this Latitude
is named, differs very widely from Roggewein's account,
and alfo Captain Cook.
If I had not found thefe ifles, the potatoes which I
entertained the hopes of procuring at Eafter Ifle, would
have enabled me to lengthen my voyage, and to double
Cape  Horn in  the fummer feafon.
On the twenty-fecond at noon, we made the Ifles Saint
Ambrofe and Saint Felix, and prepared every thing for
landing. During the laft twenty-four hours, the wind had
hauled to the Southward, and we had to beat up againft
It. Throughout the night it blew very ftrong in fqualls,
while the fhip laboured very much, and the leak encreafed
fo as to keep both pumps employed. By the quantity
of water perceived in the hold, we fufpected that it
rufhcd in forward, and that part of the wooding ends
were ftarted.
June 234.
?7?4- On  the North fide of the Wefternmoft ifle,   at half a
mile diftance from the fhqre, there was fafe anchorage, with
a foutherly wind, which now blew: hut as we had fo
lately experienced an heavy Northerly gale, which is the prevailing wind in winter, and blows directly into the anchoring
birth, the general opinion was to make fail back to the
Northward, to get into better weather or in with the main
land, and endeavour to flop the leak.—In fhort, any fituation
however inconvenient, or even dangerous, was preferred by
the whole crew, to the putting into a Spanifh port, and
trufting to the tender mercies we might find there. It
becomes an a<ft of juftice in me to declare that, in every
awkward and unpleafant circumftance, in which we fome-
times found ourfelves, every perfon on board, from the
whaling-mafter to the loweft feamean, manifefted a perfect
confidence in me, and paid an implicit obedience to
my opinion.—But the fuperftition of a feaman's mind is not
eafily fubdued, and it was with fome difficulty that I could
preferve an hen who. had, been hatched and bred on board,
and who at this time was accompanied by a finall brood
of chickens, from being deftroyed, in order to quit the ill
omen that had been occafioned by the unexpected crowing
of the animal during the preceeding night
On the twenty-third, Latitude 269 o', the weather moderated fo much as to afford an"- bpportunity of exarhining the
leak, when we found the lower cheek of the head loofened,
and the wafh-boards of the ftarboard cheek, entirely Wafned
aWay; the oakum worked out of the wooden finds,
fo as to admit an arm-full to be fluffed in by hand, and
no one was yet convinced but that the plank had ftarfca
from the Item. We made our utmoft exertions to get every
thing aft, in order to raife the leak above Water: and here,
to add to our difappointmerit!, if became nec'dffery, for want
of food to fuftain them, to kill our fmall fto'ck of pigs which
had been referved to regale us on our homeward paffage round
Cape" Horn'.
June 23;
By the twenty-feventh we had te&rried again to the
Northward as far as 189 South, when we fini'fned caulking
and leading over the leak, the only method we had of
fecuring it, having neither pitch, tar, or rofin ori hoard,
our marine ftores being all expended. Our bread was not
fit to eat, and our other pfovifioris fo fhort, that owing to
its bad qualities we could fcarce exift on' it: thus' fituated, we
propofed as our laft trial in thefe feas, to continue on to
the Northward till  we made the land, in hopes to fall iri
 ,■] It
*?94-     with fome European veflel to obtain fupplies to enable us
to wait for a more favourable period to round Cape Horn.
June 29,
How far I may be right in my conjecture muft be
decided by future trials, but I am very much difpofed to
believe, that the tar we had on board was of a bad quality,
and deftroyed not only the copper but iron, and was, in
fome degree, the caufe of our leak : for the copper, wherever
it was paid with it, was become as thin as paper, and.
the copper-headed nails, as well as thofe of iron, had
received confiderable injury.
On the twenty-ninth we reached as far Northward as
169 50' South, and made the coaft of Peru ; on the thirtieth
at noon we were within a few miles of the fhore, and
not feeing any fhips, we conceived our opinion of a war
with Spain was confirmed, and the only rational alternative
left us, was to brave all the difficulties that we experienced
and was further threatened with; and force ourfelves
as foon as poffible out of them, by lofing no time in
getting round the Cape into the Atlantic; this being
determined we took our departure for England. As we
flretched to the Southward, the wind hung more to the
Eaflward of South, than on the former part of our voyage.
When we were in Latitude 24°, a very. lingular circumftance happened, which as it fpread fome alarm among
my people, and awakened their fuperftitious apprehenfi§ns>
I fhall beg leave to mention. About eight o'clock ;$n the
evening an animal rofe along-fide thefferip, and uttered fuch
fhrieks and tones of lamentation fo like thbfe produced by
the female human voice, when expreffing the deepeft diftref^,,
as to occafion no finall degree of alarm among thofe who
firft heard it. Thefe cries continued for upwards of three
hours, and fcemed to enoreafe as the fhip failed from it:
I conjectured it to be a female feal that had loft its cub,
or a cub that had loft its dam; but I never heard any
noife whatever that approached fo near thofe founds which
proceed from the organs of utterance in the human fpecies.
The crew confidered this as another evil omen, and the
difficulties of our fituation were fufiicient, without the
additional inconvenience of thefe accidental events, to caufe
any temporary depreffion of thofe fpirits which were fo
neceflary to meet the diftreffes we might be obliged to
As we failed up the coaft of Chili and Peru, from the
Latitude 389 South, we never had occafion to reef from
the ftrength of the wind; while the barometer, from that
Y Latitude,
'794-     Latitude, flood moftly at 29-9,   and the thermometer   at
6b, rifing gradually till in the Latitude of i9 30' South,   till
it reached 72;   but in the evening,  it was generally below"
fummer heat in England.    Along the whole of this coaft, the
dews were very heavy during the night: and in proportion as
they 'were heavier, the fucceeding day was more or lefs clear.
At the full and change of the moon we perceived no dew,
which appeared to be fupplied by an heavy drizzling rain and.-
nfifty weather.    The   morning;  evening,   and night, were
always cloudy,    but  the middle of the   day was   generally-
clear,   fo  that  I feldom  enjoyed   a   diftjnct  view  of the
Cordileras ■ des Andes.    The  miftinefs of the'early part of-
the day, proceeded from the  fun rifing behind ■ the Andes,'
arid the clearnefs of the  noon was occafioned by the fun,
which had then over-topped the mountains; but I am yet
to learn  the   caufe of the hazinefs of the evening.
The currents on this coaft are very irregular. I tried them
feveral times, and found that they fet as often one way
as the other, and generally from half a mile to two miles
an hour. The fet, may at all times be difcovered by
ohferving the direction of large beds of fmall blubber, with
which  this  coaft  abounds,   and  from whence the   water
"'"^■iSffliiBiB^ <un
derives a colour like that of blood ; I have fometimes been     1794-
engaged for an  whole day in paffing through the various
fets  of them.
The fifh, common to this coaft, are dolphins, and all
•thofe which inhabit tropical Latitudes; and in calm nights,
there are feen large flioals of fmall fifh which have the
appearance of breakers. Of turtle, we faw none till we were
North of Lima, they were of that kind called the loggerhead, and North of the Equator we found the hump-backed
fpecies on the furface of the water in great numbers. We
frequently took out of the feals and porpoifes large quantities
of fquid, which is the food of the fpermaceti whales, and
at times we faw many devil-fifh and fun-fifh, the latter
of which proved an agreeable and wholefome addition
to   our   daily   fare.
All the birds which are ufualry feen at fea in fimilar
Latitudes are to be found on this coaft. There are alfo
the Port Egmont hen and albatrcfs, which are generally
fuppofed to be the conftant inhabitants of colder
Y 2
 £73 voyag1-t& The south seas.
*794- ^We fomerAmes pafled great numbers of fmall birds, lying
Head on the Water; a circumftance for which I am not able
to affign a probable conjecture. The greateft number of
pelicans appeared off'Lobas le Mar, and if that place fhould
be th%ir -cSnftant relbrt, they Will, Htb. f^-hlck Weather, determine the 1?ic$ftHyTibf< rafc'Mand.
I tried for foundings, in many parts of -tJifc'cbaft, at the
diftance of five^and'tix leagues from the flio'r-e-, hut could
not obtain any bottom with one hundred and fifty
"fathoms of Khe. In thi^k' Weather, howe'Ver, when you
draw near land, large quantities ofrffea^Weed. will appear,
and birds, in great numbers,' mtrftg on the Water. Se'SSs
ate ho certain criterion for being near the lho?^ as I have
-often feen them, at-fSe diftance of^n^hiffldred and fifty
leagues from land, fleeping in great numbers on the furface
of the water, with the tail and one fin out of it, fo as to
offer the appeararrce of a crooked billet. On any part of
'the coaft 'of Chili, or Peru, a fealing voyage might be made
With great profpe<?t of fuccefs, as well as at the Ifles of
TSaint Fefix and Saint Ambrofe.
In our paffage down the coaft of Chili, we had South
Eaft and  Eafterly winds,   with variable,-   but in  general
pleafant weather, accompanied with occafional fhowers.
In Latitude 339 South, the wind Southerd on us and the
next day veered to the Weft, and continued moftly between
the Weft and North till we got mto 479 South. It
would fometimes blow, for a few hours, between the Weft
■and South Weft, but never continued. In the Latitudes
of 489 and 499, the winds were light for forty-eight
hours in the South Eaft quarter, with a iftrong Southerly
On the twenty-fixth of July, in Latitude 489 South, the ru]y 26,
coaft- of Chili prefoirted to us a range xjf high mountains
covered with fnow. We had now frequent fhowers of rain,
hail and fnow, and, on the firft of Auguft, doubled Gape Auguft i.
Horn at the diftance of fifteen Leagues. During the a&holejof
the paffage, the weather iwas not, by many degrees, fo bad
as we had apprehended, and was much better than that
we had experienced when we came from Europe.
When we had rounded the Cape, and had 'advanced to
the North, the weather improved every hour. In the
Latitude 499, the wind blew for twenty-four hours in the
South Eaft quarter, with delightful weather. Our fpirits
as   may   be   fuppofed,   were   greatly  cheared  by   fuch   -a
T/94-     favourable paffage, and were in a ftate to be enlivened by the
fea-birds who flew twittering around us.
During the fucceeding twenty-four hours, the winds
varied from North Weft to North Eaft, and became at laft
very changeable. The paft hour we were hurried along by a
ftrong gale, and the next at reft in a dead calm. At noon
our Latitude was 47° 30', Longitude 489 40', with a very
heavy irregular fea, in which the fhip greatly laboured:
This lafted, however, but for a few moments, when an
heavy gale from the South Weft forang up, which was
accompanied  with rain, hail and  fnow.
Under reefed fore-fail, and clofe-reefed main-top-fail, alii
the fail we could carry, we fhaped our courfe, on the
neareft angle, to Saint Helena, but before midnight, the
fea rofe to a prodigious height, broke on board of us, and
ftove in the dead lights, filled the after part of the fhip
with water, rendered ufelefs a chronometer, a fextant, and;
deftroyed charts and drawings that I had been fev.en months
employed in completing: alfo damaged every thing in the
cabin. We foon, however, fixed and fccured temporary
dead lights, and pumped out the water, but fome of the
mifchief done was irreparable.
When" we were at our greateft Southern Latitude, the      «794-
thermometer flood at 42-5, and the barometer was never
lower than 28-8-0.    In the laft gale, the thermometer flood
at 38-5, and   barometer 28-7-6,   which   was   the   loweft
point to which it funk during the voyage.
Between the Latitude 539 and 409 South, and Longitude 59° and 389 Weft, we faw large bodies of fea-
weed, and great numbers of birds: and on the
eleventh of Auguft, ' we crofled near the fuppofed Auguft 11.
fituation of the Ifle Grande. At this time my veflel was
almoft a wreck, very fhort of provifions, and what
remained in a very bad ftate, to which may be added an
hurricane of wind and the winter feafon: circumftances
that, I truft, will be a fufiicient excufe for my not
renewing my fearch of it as I had intended.
The wind remained in the South Weft quarter, during five
days, at which period our Latitude was 359 45', and Longitude
319 22' Weft, when we had light and variable winds. On
the eighteenth of Auguft, at noon, the Latitude being
33° 41', the wind fettled in the North Eaft quarter, and
blew a frefh breeze for four days, but on the fucceeding
four, it varied round the compafs, with frequent rain.    By
•--.-^-•^0=^—>1 -^
*794-     the   laft   day   of   Auguft,   in   Latitude    109,   the   wind
Auguft 31. •; . .
inclined to, and continued in,   the  Eaft and  South Eaft
Sept. 1. On the firft of September, at Noon, we made the Ifland
of Saint Helena, after a paffage of one month from Cape
Horn, At this time I had no more than two of my crew,
who were afflicted by the Scurvy, and the feme number
beginning to complain, which was not fo much owing to
the length of the Voyage as to their own want of care and
cleanlinefs after getting out of the South Seas and never
fluffing their wet clothes. The difeafe feized them in a
manner very different from any appearance of this difbrder
Which I had yet feen: they were principally affected in
their hips firft, and then down their legs. We had one
man indeed, who was literally panic-ftruck by the
appearance and cries of the feal in the Pacific Ocean;
if we had remained twenty^four hours at fea, he would
not  have recovered.
AT ten in the morning of the fecond of September,. Sep'- a
we anchored in James's Bay, Saint Helena, and found
riding there, an outward-bound Eaft-Indiaman, and an
American brig, from the Cape of Good Hope to Bofton. I
waited on the Governor who received me with great
politenefs, and gave me a general invitation to his houfe.
The fame civility I alfo received from the Lieutenant
Governor, and was offered a fupply of every thing I
wanted from the Company's Stores. I now became
acquainted with the war between Great Britain and France j
but it was very uncertain when a convoy would arrive, I
determined therefore, as my veflel was a very fine failer,
to make my ftay here as fhort as poffible; and accordingly,
Z by
Sept. 1
by  the   thirteenth,   the   Governor   having   made   up   his
packet, we failed for England in perfect health.
On the twenty-third of September, being in Latitude
49 38' 9" North, and Longitude Z3° ZZ Weft, the wind
varied to the Weftward; and on the twenty-eighth, in
Latitude 249 22' North, and Longitude 249 3 Weft, it
got to the Northward of Weft, and continued to be variable
between the North Eaft and North, North Weft to South
Weft. From this time we had very changeable, fqually
O&ober n. and thick weather till we made laiad. On the eleventh of
October, the head of our mizen-maft was gone; and on
*$• the fifteenth, in a fquall, the head of the main-maft fprung.
On approaching the Weftern ifles we houfed the boats,
knocked down the try works, and frefh painted the fhip
in order to aflume as much as poffible the appearance of
a man of war. We few feveral fail, between this arrangement and our making land, but did our utmoft to avoid
Nov. 1. On the firft of November, we made the Eddyftone
Light-houfe, and after reaching as high as we could, we
hove to Dartmouth and fent the letters on fhore. In the
courfe of the night we reached Portland; and flood off and
on for day-light, when we ran up and anchored in Cowes     1794
road, Ifle of Wight.
This' voyage occupied twenty-two months, and after
doubling Cape Horn we met only with one Englifh and
two Spanifh fhips in the Pacific Ocean; nor did we touch
at any known port but the Rio Janeiro in going out, and
Saint Helena on our return home. It is -not the leaft of
my fatisfactions to mention, that except the lofs of one man
by an unforefeen accident, the whole of the crew confifting
only of twenty-five men and boys, were preferved during
this long, fatiguing and perilous voyage.


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