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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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DA CAPO PRESS / NEW YORK Published 1968
N. Israel / Keizersgracht 539 /Amsterdam C
Da Capo Press
• a division of Plenum Publishing Corporation-
227 West 17th Street / New York 10011
Printed in The Netherlands T*
1798.  CONTENTS.
Dedication        •        ----.- i   to   4
Introduction     -.----- I-  18
Paffage of the Rattler from England to Rio Janeiro     1-7
Attempt to difcover Ifte Grand; and Paffage Round
Cape Horn        ----- 8   - 18
Remarks on the Navigation round Cape Horn - 19-20
Route from Cape Horn to making the Coaft of Chili,
and the IJles St. Felix ana St. Ambrofe   - 51-37
Route of the Rattler from the IJles Saint Felix and
Saint Ambrofe, to the Coaft of Peru       - 38-46
The Galapagoe IJles -        -        -        - 47-61
Paffage iy CONTENTS.
Pajfagefrom the Galapagoe IJles, to IJle Cocas 6z to 74
Route from IJle Cocas, to the Coaft of Mexico; and
IJles Santo Berto, and Rocka Partido, from
thence to the Coaft of California, and account of
our cruize in the Gulf of California, with our
return to Socoro after fearching for Isle St.
Thomas        - - - - 75 - 121
The Rattler quits the IJle of Socoro for the Coaft of
Mexico ■: fome account of our tranfaclions there,
and while we lay at anchor before the IJland of
Quibo, in the Gulf of Panama, to our arrival
at the IJles of the Galapagoes, on and near the
Equator -        -        -        -        - izz - 160
The Rattler leaves the Galapagoe IJles and Coaft of
Peru, for the Isles Saint Felix and Saint
Ambrofe, on the Coaft of Chili: from thence Jhe
rounds Cape Horn, on her Pqffage to Isle Saint
Helena, in the Atlantic Ocean - - 161 - 176
From Isle Saint Helena to England    -        -        J 77 - 179
—!  ^^^ /Kipril J7S8 J
F. R. S. &c. &c. &c
IN dedicating to you the
voyage, which is the fiibje6t of the following pages, my gratification would
indeed be fincere, (did the work poflefs
an importance which might fully claim
your regard:) humble,   however,   as it's
pretenfions are, the opportunity, it gives,
mull ferve to teftify my fincere refpe6t,
my lafling gratitude, for your favors;
and I repofe wdth 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 connexion
with the Admiralty, excited your particular confideration: and it is certain, in
all the changes to which that Board has
been fubjecft, that the explorer of remote
feas, has found in you, a zealous advocate
to reprefent his claims to thofe, with
whom it remained, to beflow the reward
due to his endeavours and merits.
As far as I am individually concerned,
it is with fmcerity 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
poiTefled your good opinion; and that in
the end, my fervices would obtain,
through the channel of your faithful
explanation, a liberal requital.
If any diftinft praife can confer an
honor on your name, (beyond what it
bears for the general ability, zeal  and
integrity, VI DEDICATION.
integrity, which have been invariably
manifefted, during the extenfive period
of your official fervices), it is molt af-
furedly due for your public, as well as
private a£ts of friend/hip to thofe, who
like me, have embarked for the purpofe
of enlarging the bounds of Navigation
and Commerce; and I feel a decided con-
vi6tion, that every follower of the able
Captain Cook, will give a cordial aflent
to this tribute.
I am,
Your truly obliged
and moft obedient
humble Servant,
No. 17, Mi/tman Street, Bedford Row.
IT will not, I prefume, be confidered as altogether unneceflary or uninterefting, if I offer to
{he 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 character with the fpirit of commercial enterprize,
and accordingly fearched the coaft from 36* to
609 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 inlets, particularly between so9 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 my return to St. Bias, of eighteen hundred miles. But
after being detained as a prifoner thirteen months,
and having loft four of my five veffels, 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. Vancouver of the Royal Navy, by order of the Board of Admiralty. INTRODUCTION. 1U
indebted for my liberty to the fpirited conduit
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 merchants,
and the cruelty exercifed towards her fubjedls.
I now returned to Nootka, in the only veffel
which remained to me; and, after fuffering incredible hardfhips from a want of provifions, and
the fhip getting feveral times on fhore, 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 iv INTRODUCTION,
itfelf before me; when, in a typhoon, in the
Latitude of 389 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 lofs
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 ourfelves from the ill—
ufage which we might perfonally fuffer, if we
ftiould 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, for 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 publiflie& INTRODUCTION. V
the Chinefe made this act of neceffity on my part,
an official pretext on theirs to feize the veflel
and cargo; and having contrived by ftratagem, 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 was 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 reimburfement 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  poffefs of rifing in the  Royal Navy,
which was my original and favourite profeffion.
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 addreffed a letter to the
Right Honourable the Lords Commiffioners of the
Admiralty, in which, after fetting forth my fervi-
ees and fituation, I requefted their Lordfhips, if
the profeffional exertions of my paft life 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 permiffion to re-engage in
my commercial purfuits. Captain Marfhall, one
of the Commiffioners 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 juftice and gene-
rofity 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 refrefhment
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 refrefhment, 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 permiffion was fo re-
ftricted 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, leflen their jealoufy, and, at the
fame time, accomplifh the fanguine wifhes of
our merchants. 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/. fterling. This propofal was
accordingly accepted, and Meffrs, Enderby and
Sons, merchants of great property as well as
commercial character in London, and who
poffefled the largeft concern in this branch of
the Whale Fifhery,  were pleafed to exprefs their
b fatis- -.    --'-        -- ■
fatisfaction at  my  being named to conduct the
intended voyage
There being at this time, no private veffel in
the Thames for fale, which was properly con-
ftructed for the purpofes of this expedition, a
propofition was made to the Lords Commiffioners
of the Admiralty to lend one of his Majefty's
fmall fhips of war for the fervice, to be returned
in the fame ftate, at the conclufion of the enter-
prize • This plan was favoured with their Lord-
fhips approbation; and feveral veffels being
propofed and examined with this view, the
Rattler floop of three hundred and feventy-four
tons burthen, was felected, then laying at his
Majefty's yard at Woolwich,, for confiderable
repairs. It was, however, found, on more
mature confideration, that the alterations neceflary
to be made for the whaling trade, would render
her unfit for his Majefty's future fervice. An
offer was therefore made  to the Lords   of the
Admiralty to purchafe the faid floop; and their
Lordfhips thought proper to favour it with their
acquiefcence ; a proof of their indulgent attention
to any propofal that may tend to advance the
interefts 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, and tranfported to Mr. Perry's dock, at
Blackwall, in order to be repaired and fitted for
the particular fervice in which fhe was to be
Of this veffel I was appointed fole Commander,
which, however, was a mere complimentary
nomination, as no pecuniary advantage whatever
was attached to it; exclufive of what I might
derive from the fubfequent generofity of Government. A whaling mafter and a crew, confifting
of twent)vfivre perfons, men and boys, were alfo
appointed; and with the advice and affiftance of
my kinfman Mr. Binmer, firft affiftant furveyor
of the Navy, who had fuperintended the original
conftruction of the floop, fuch alterations were
made, as, without diminifhing her ftrength, or
leflening her powers of failing, were perfectly
adapted to the commercial undertaking in which
fhe was about to be employed: fb that fhe was
equipped and ready to leave the river by the
eleventh day of November, 17912. Every nautical inftrument, neceffary for determining the
longitude and making other ufeful obfervations,
were alfo put on board; and I purchafed of
Meffrs. 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 inftructions as
were communicated to me by Mr. Stephens.
Meffrs. Enderby and Sons had fitted out the
fhip: but neverthelefs, I fpared no expence in
providing myfelf with all things which my experience of long voyages, as well as my knowledge
of the feas, I was preparing once more to traverfe,
fuggefted to me as neceffary 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 hiftory,
as might affift 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 fhort, I determined to. fpare no exertion in fulfiling every object
of the voyage, which had been entrufted to my
care and direction.
As my inftructions were not ready by the
eleventh of November, the fhip was ordered round
to Portsmouth, to wait for me. But while I was
in daily expectation of receiving my difpatches, the
unexpected XiV INTRODUCTION.
unexpected and alarming conduct of the French
Nation, demanded the whole attention of Government, and occafioned an unavoidable fufpenfion
of my final inftructions. At this delay, however,
the fhip's company, who engaged in the voyage
on proportionable fhares of the profits refulting
from it, began to exprefs their diflatisfaction;
while the owners of different properties in the
South Seas, particularly Meffrs. Enderby's, Meffrs,
Champion and Meffrs. Methers, being anxious to
convey early intelligence to their veffels, of the
fituation of our domeftic affairs, and the change
that appeared to be taking place in Europe, ear-
neftly and anxioufly recommended me to proceed
on the voyage, without any other inftructions than
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, however,
thought neceffary that, previous to my departure,
I fhould apply for the ufual letter of leave of
abfence, which I immediately obtained.
After I
After this long detention, and the great expences
which accompanied it, I fhould not have been
induced to undertake fuch a voyage, for the mere
cafual advantages which the fifhery might produce,
if I had not received the ftrongeft affurances from
the beginning, that, if I executed the commiffion
affigned me by the Board of Admiralty, I fhould
not fail of particular promotion; and that in any
general promotion which might take place, during
my abfence, I fhould not be forgotten.
Though my former voyages were principally
undertaken with the views of commercial advantage,
I was never inattentive to the advancement of
nautical fcience:. my obfervation was always awake
to every object which might inftruct myfelf and
enable me to inftruct others; and I conftantly
committed my thoughts to paper as they arofe in
my mind from the appearance of things around me,
or the circumftances, whatever they might be,
in which I happened to be involved.    I cannot be
fuppofed *^0pi i-i immmmmmmmmmmm
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
amid the winds and waves, in various climes and
diftant 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, Meflrs. Enderby and Sons, being
perfectly acquainted with the intention and bafis
of the plan on which the voyage was to be
conducted, made out their orders in a manner
altogether comformable to the views of Governments and as a proof of their confidence, furnifhed
me with full powers to act as I fhould think
beft for our common intereft.
I accord-
"  -      ~*.+**«m*- 1
I accordingly joined the fhip on the 214th of
December, 179a, but was unfortunately detained
by contrary winds. During this accidental delay,
a bounty of five pounds was offered for feamefl
to enter into his Majefty's fervice, which proved
too great a temptation for all my crew to with-
ftand, as it afforded a favourable opportunity to
thofe who felt no compunction at robbing their
employers of the advance given them to perform a
long voyage, to fhelter themfelves under the
proclamation. I employed every poflible precaution to prevent the defection of any of my people;
nevertlielefs, three of them contrived to make their
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
Government to whalers failing round Cape Horn,
without clearing out again, for which I received
the owners inftructions: 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 fhifted to the Northward and
brought clear weather, with which we failed*.
CHAR A        N
L      ANT      1     f
A    S
I    f
i     ft^f  CHAPTER I.
J. HE flant of wind with which we fet fail continued to be fair V9S'
no longer than midnight, and we were obliged to ply to windward until the feventh of January at noon; when, being cloie January 7.
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 fhifting to the North North
Weil, we weighed and flood out of the bay. This fpirt carried us as far as the Eddyflone Light-houfe, when it again
fhifted to the Southward and blew frefh. 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
l793- the trunks that were funk to the hawfe for the cables, m
confequence of a ipar-deck beiag fixed to join the fore-'eaftle
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 florm ftay-fatls; and, at times, during the
twenty-four hours it lafted, we could not carry all of them>,
from the rain, hail, fnow and blowing weather which we had
experienced more or leffc every day, fince we failed: while
our crew eonfifled 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 at complement of 130 men:
and all the alteration I had made was cutting four feet or?
the lower yards* two feet off t&e toprfarl, 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 flate of ihe ihip oftex*,
required. The crew alfo, at this time, began to grow weary,
and, in addition to our other exertions, it was fieceflkry to
keep the pump in continual employment. We were, however, greatly indebted to the marine barometer, as It warned
me againfl 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 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 3>
the North Eaft, a ftrong wind and great fwell carried us to *79$- .
Madeira in {ix 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 alfo 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 abfolutely necevTary for me to afcertain
our true fituation before night. I depended 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-fai!
and fore-fail. We then hove too and houfed our boats: but
we had no fooner bore up, than, half a mile on the lea-
beam, we defcried the Deferters Rocks : and as it was
impoflible to weather them on the tack we were then on,
we wore and ftretched out between Porto Sancto and the Eaft
end of Madeira; while it blew fo heavy at intervals, that the
fhip lurched three ftreaks of the main-deck under water: at
the fame time, fhe made a better way through the water
than we could expect or would generally be believed. When
the gale had ceafed, calms, light winds, and baffling
weather, prevented our clearing the Weft end of Madeira*,
until the evening of the twenty-fecond of January. zz.
My   prefent   intention   was   to   pafs   in   fight   to   the
Weftward of the Canaries;  and at noon, on the twenty-      29.
1793. ninth inftant, had the weather not been fo dark and clouded,
we ought, by our obfervations, to have feen fome of them.
At four in the afternoon we got fight of the I (land Ferro,
diftant about five or {ix leagues. From 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 inclination, but a fenfe of duty,
which infpired the wifh to begin my acquaintance with that
bufinefs, at as early a period of the voyage as poffible. Dark,
hazy and cloudy weather accompanied us all the way from
the Canaries, and our rigging was covered with dull: of the
colour of brown fand, as if it had been laying on more. We
ran the diftance by watch and reckoning to a few miles, but
the continuance of hazy weather prevented our feeing it: and
as it blew ftrong with a heavy fea, it was the whaling mailer's
opinion, with fuch weather we could do nothing with fifh, if
we fell in with them : I accordingly bore up, and run down
the  lee-fide   of   Bonavifta.     Light  winds  prevented  our
Feb. 10. crofting the Equator until the tenth of February, at midnight, in Longitude z£ 30' Weft of Greenwich, and all the
fifh we had as yet caught, were a fhark and a porpoife.
In the Latitude of 19/ South, and Longitude zg Weft, we
loft the South Eaft trade wind, which had accompanied us
from 4? North :   when a wind from the North Eaft fell in     *793- *
with us, and continued until  we reached the Latitude 219
30', and Longitude 36° Weft.    At this time we had changeable weather,    with   lightening,    heavy rain,   and a fwell
from the South Weft.    The wind then fhifted to the Souths
ward .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      s4-
found  Governor Phillips  on  his  homeward bound paffage
from Botany Bay, in  the Atlantic Tranfport; and, on the
following day, a South Whaler came flop a leak..
The rigging of the Rattler was in fuch a ftate as to require
confiderable repairs: the new work alfo wanted caulking; and
that no further time might be loft, the feafon being already
far advanced for doubling Cape Horn, I hired natives to
fupply me with water, as well as a couple of caulkers to
aflift 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 provisions, including
two live bullocks, being got on board, by the fifth of March $.
March, we fet fail with the Mediator, the whaler already
mentioned. We parted, however, with her, on getting
out of the harbour, and patted, between the Rafor and
Round Ifles, to the Sea._
ifts. 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 Patrimore or harbour mafter comes on
board, takes charge of the veffel, carries her into the harbour
and moors her in a good birth. Sometimes the mate is
£rft taken out, as was the ceremony with me, to undergo
an examination; but the captain is not fufFered to leave the
fliip 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 arc bound, what is the particular object of your voyage,
and the time you wifh 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 whoife
official permiffion muft be given before any commercial
mtercourfe can take place between the fhip and the fhore:     *793«v
the   captain   and   officers   muft   alfo   fign   a   declaration,
acknowledging that they and their crew confider themfelves
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 ftrength, 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
fooner 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 vefiels are required to
give one day's notice, previous to their failing from this port.
*793* ON leaving Rio Janeiro, I flood away to the Southward and
Eaftward to fearch for fhe 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/ zi Weft; and by account, 34° 25';
variation, 0/ 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 1193-*
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 efpecially 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 j8,
covered with feathers; and frequently in the forenoon we
paffed 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 409 1 z
South: Longitude by obfervation of Sun and Moon,
35° 34' VVeft; and by mean of chronometers 349 8'. At this
time the appearance of the fea had changed to a dirty green;
which could not be the effect of the fky, as it was very clear:
thofe tokens of land induced me to heave to and try for
foundings with an 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 fcen
fpouting in every direction, and the boats  purfued  one  to
1793- harpoon it, but without fuccefs. Indeed, we were not very
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 poffefTed
themfelves with the idea of feeing, although at fuck a
confiderable diftance from the Latitude in which it was
fuppofed to lay.
During this afternoon we pafled feveral fields of fpawny
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 perceive any
other figns of land than the great night of birds which
continued ta 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 fkimming
after the whales, the atmofphere muft have been altogether,
darkened by them. And the number of whales in fight
prefented a fair opportunity of 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 fucGeeding.
Towards the evening, the barometer fell, and the weather be- *J93 •
gan to be cloudy: but I continued flanding 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 fathoms of line. The gale was increafing every hour
with an heavy fea; and, by day-light, we could only carry clofe-
reefed top-fails and fore-fail. The weather was dark and hazy,
the fea affumed 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 439 3'
South, and Longitude 35^ 38' Weft. Here we founded,
but found no bottom: neverthelefs, every circumftance
ftrengthened our conjectures that we were nearing the land,
which induced me to proceed on my courfe, although it continued to blow hard from Weft North Weft. At midnight
we hove to, and founded with one hundred and feventy
fathoms of line, 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 330 53' 30" Weft.
The birds leffened greatly in numbers, and with them our
hopes  of finding the land which was the object   of   our
fearch.    I continued, however, to cruize about  for feveral
B z fucceffivc 13 VOYAGE TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
*793-     fucceflive days near  this Longitude,   but   faw nothing to
encourage any further endeavours.
The feafbn was now far advanced for doubling Cape Horn,
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 Eaft ward of Mr. Dalrymple's
pofition of it*: fo that if it was not found, in that Latitude, I
Extract from Mr. Dalrym?le.
* Ia-tfce Latitude of 45° South,, there is a very large, pleafant ifland,.difcovered by
Ant.. La Roche, a native of England* in. his gaffage from the South Seas, in the
year 1675. The Spanifh author who gives the abftract of La Roche's voyage,
printed according to him, in 1678, fays, " That La Roche, leaving the land,
(difcovered by him in. 55? South, and which was fince feen- by the Leon, in
17 j6i) and failing one whole day to the North Weft, the wind came fo violently at
South, that he flood Northibr three days more, till they were got. into 46? South,
when thinking themfelves then fecure, they relate, that directing their courfe for
the Bahia de Todos Santos, in Brazil,, they found, in 45° South, a very large,,
pleafant iflandr, with a good port towards the Eaftern part}, in which they found
wood, water and fiih,, they. faw. no people, notwithstanding they flayed there fix
days." The fize of this- not mentioned in the Spanifh abftract; but the
expreflion, Muy Grand, very large, and the expectation of finding inhabitants,
feemed to indicate that it is of great extent..
The exiftence of this ifland, and,, in fome meafure its extent, is confirmed
by other authorities: for Halley, near this Longitude, in about43? South fays,
" the colour of the fea was changed to pale green, and in 45? South he faw
abundance of fmall fea-fowl and beds of weeds."   Funnel, in bis paffage, into
might, on my return, fearch for it in the Latitudes of 409 H93- *
and 419, having ftrong reafon to believe, that there is land in
or near thofe Latitudes, but to the Eaftward of the Longitude
which I crofted; as otherwife, I 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-
ftance, it is poflible, might have proceeded from their being
gorged with fea blubber, with which the furface of the water
was covered.
From the land difcovered by Monfieur La Roche, in Lati^-
tude 559 South, which I. touched at with Captain Cook, in
the year  it^l,   who named it Georgia,   I am difpofed   to ^77 5
believe, that the Ifle of Grand alfo exifts, and that my not
being able to find it, arofe from an error in copying the Latitude
the South Sea, alfo mentions figus of land from about 40° South, near this Longitude. The Naflau fleet, 1624, had alfo figns of land here, fo as to think them-
felves near the Southern continent..
Thefe teftimonies and the Leon, in 1756, finding the other land mentioned by
La Roche, leave very little reafon to doubt his veracity: and, if there is fuch an
ifland, fituated in the middle of the ocean, in 45° South Latitude, it cannot fail
of being a very temperate and pleafant country, ia a fituation very favourable
for carrying on the whale fifhery and others, and alfo for the profecution of any
commerce,, which may be found in the countries to the South. 14 VOTAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
1795- 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 acquifition than the Ifland
Georgia, to which many profitable voyages had been made
for feal fkins alone.
This route, however, will be of fbme advantage to Britifh
navigators; even if no land fhould be difcovered according to
our expectations, as it will tend to undeceive the mailers and
owners of whalers, who have entertained an opinion that the
black whale was never to be found in bodies, fb far to
the Eaftward: for, if half the whalers belonging to London had been with me, they might have filled their veffels
with oiL
March 33. 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 hard as I ever remember, and, for feveral
hours, we could not venture to fhew any fail. 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 VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 1$
fell down in excruciating tortures. On examining them feve- *7S3»
ral 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 a fixpenny 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
the mizen-ftay-fail and main-fail which were handed. At the
height of it the barometer was zS°. 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 paffed a-head of the
fhip  to the North.     From  our firft feeing,   to our lofing
*  Roro mee.   It confifts in grafping the flefhy parts of the body,   legs,   and
arms, and working it with the fingers.. t6 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
*793' fign^ °f *S was about half an hour. In this gale, I loft
the greateft part of my live flock, together with all the
vegetables that hung at the flern 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 faw plenty 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
a. ninth, 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.
On the eleventh at midnight when I fuppofed myfelf off    1793-
April 11.
Cape Saint John, we founded and ftruck ground at ninety
fathoms, fmall dark flones. In this depth of water I did
not confider myfelf as far to the Eaftward of the Cape as I
wiftied, 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 fb 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 fbon 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 l3*
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 6S° 58' Weft; and in
Latitude $6° 30' South. They appeared to lay in an Eaft;
and Weft direction. The Weftern Ifle, which is the higheft,
is furrounded with fmall iflets; and the circumference of the
1793. whole may be nine or ten miles. With the aftiftance of
telefcopes, it appeared to be entirely barren, though it may
be an afylum for feals; 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 feen 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
preferved alive. It may be remarked, that I never faw any
of thefe birds at Cape Horn in my former voyages.
•m^"*w''^ VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS* 19
1 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 rnoft 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
Eaftward; as I found them, and as Captain, now Admiral,
Macbride, obferved at the Falkland Ifles. Another error,
which, in my opinion, the commanders of veffels bound
round Gape 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, occafioned by the rapidity of the current
and tides in that channel, which may be avoided, by paffing to
the Eaftward, At the fame time, I would recommend them
to keep 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 2 but
but poffefles 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, feals. For
my own part, I do not perceive the neceftity, according' to the
opinion of different navigators, of going to 60° South. I never
would myfelf exceed gj° 30', to give the lUe of Diego Ramieres
a good birth, or, if winds and weather would permit, make
it, for a frelh 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-belt place for an eftablifhment, if it fhould
ever be in the view of our government to form one there f.
* To the owner of this fhip I was firft introduced by one of the moft eminent
merchants of the City of London.
f If the- navigation xound Cape Horn fhould ever become commonj fuch a
place we muft poflefs; and agreeable to the laft convention with Spain, we are
entitled to keep pofleffion 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 haye converfed.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 prote&ing 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, fhould be invefted with full powers to regulate all fifhers, fifhing in thofe parts, or navigating round Cape.
Horn, that flop at the port.
W E doubled Cape Horn on the nth of April, the day three April iu
months on which we departed from England, after having flopped at Rio Janeiro, during the fpace of ten days; and proceeding from thence, four hundred leagues to the Eaftward, in fearch
of the Ifland of Grand. On making Diego Ramieres Ifles, we
ftretched well into the Weftward of them, with the wind at
South, SouthWeft; and, at midnight, tacked to the Southward
and Eaftward. During the following five days, we had the
wind from Weft, and South Weft, and moftly with an heavy
gale, and a tremendous fea, and as bad weather as could be
produced by hail, rain, froft and fhow, which drove us as far
to the Southward as 509, and back to the Eaft as 6or. We
neverthelefs ftrove well againft it, and the crew being in good
*793' 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, with a 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 38,  the twenty-eighth, at midnight.
Wager Ifle is high and rugged, and may be {ten 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 jGr Weft. On the weftern fide, where nothing
grows but a fmall quantity of green mofs, it wears a very
barren appearance, and the diftant hills, bearing Eaft z$
North, I believe, were mountains on the main land, covered
with fnow, Capt, Cheap, who commanded the Wager, one of
LordAnfon's fquadron, has given a full defcription of this ifland,
where he was unfortunately call away*, My defign in making
it, was to obtain fome knowledge of Anna Pink Bay and Har*
bour, but the coaft was fo forbidding, and the weather of
fuch a dark, hazy, and wintry afpe$, as to difcourage me from
perfevering in it, JBefides, having doubled Cape Horn at the
precife time of the year when Lord Anfon went round it,
and being at Wager Ifle, within a fortnight of the time, when
# In the year J 741,
Captain Cheap was fhipwrecked there, I was difcouraged 1793.
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, becaufe he cannot truft to his anchors. I tried for founding feveral times off Wager Ifle, but got no bottom; neither
was the colour of the water fo much changed here, as the
day before we made the land.
By the Anna Pinks fuppofed 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
diftreffes 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 Anna Pink was a vi&ualler belonging to Lord Anfon's fquadron, and
driven into this port in diftrefs. 54 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
l793* 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
3S0 North to 50" 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 not enter; 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 of enterprife
and /peculation, poffeffed by the Britifh merchants, and which
is not equalled, by thofe of any other nation, will again fhew
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
oftrichcs, whofe feathers are known to be fo valuable, befides
otters, hares, rabbits, and other animals, yielding for. He
likewjfe mentions the articles of trade neceffary for the
Indians, and defcribes the Weftern fide as abounding alio
with oftriches,   as well as hares of an extraordinary fize,
and black rabbits; whofe fur is fuperior to that of the beaver.     179.5v
The otters and hares I have feen, and their fkins 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 arofo about Nootka Sound, in which I unfortunately, had fo great a fhare*.   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 mod promifing difpofitions. To complete his profeflional fludies, he was fent
to London to attend Saint Thomas's Hofpitalj and, happening to lodge in Tooley-
ftreet, on the Surry bank of the Thames, he made an acquaintance with the mafter
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 Spanifh fettlement
on the River La Plata. Here he fell fick, and was in fo dangerous a ftate when
Jus fhip was ready to depart, as not to be in a condition to be carried on board:
fo flje failed without him. The Jefuits, of which there was a college at
Buenos Ayres, nurfed him during his illnefs with the greateft care and kindeft
i.793'     very fingular 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;
affiduityj and perceiving the very great advantage which they would derive,
in their miffions, from poflefling a brother who was fo well fkilled in medicine and furgery, fparedno pains to win his affection and fecure his confidence. Li
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 fkill in the cure of difeafes,
and in performing chirurgical operations, together with his knowledge of
mechanics, rendered his miifion fuccefsful beyond example. In this country he
remained near forty years, and was among the perfons appointed by the
Spanifh Government, to make a furvey of the coafts between the Brazils and
the Terra del Fuego, Falkland's Iflands, &c. When the fociety of Jefuits
was diflblved, he was fent back to Spain, and after an abfence of near forty years,
arrived in his 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 wrote the account of Patagonia, which
has been quoted in this volume, and was afterwards publifhed with a map corrected from that of D-'Anville, according to- his own obfervations. Mr Falkner
pofiefled a very acute mind, a general knowledge and moft retentive memory.
Of his medical experience and pra&ice, 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 fingular and inoffenfive: and he retained
fomewhat of his Indian habits to the laft. He died, as I have been informed.,
about the year 1781.
mj^ssssm t —_. M,.1TrrmTfm - VOYAGE  TO   THE  SOUTH   SEAS. 2J
gellan; and attempted it at New Year's Harbour, Staten Land. $0£
At that place I left a factory in my firft voyage, in 1786; but the
fhip Which was font to carry them fupplies being cafl away,
they quitted it in boats. Another body of Englifh merchants,
engaged in a fimilar eflablifhment, and was there, when the
Spaniards arrived, which induced the latter to abandon their
defign, and, by a violent gale from the Eaftward 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.
17&3. 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 fcaree in other
parts where they have been hitherto taken, fo that new haunts
muft be reforted to, in order to keep up the fpirit of our fifh-
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 449 zd 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 3S0 39, when we faw the Ifle Mocha.
In 409 South-, we faw fpermaceti whales, but did not take
May 1.    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 164a, belonging to the Dutch Weft-India Company on an
expedition to the coaft of Chili,, who found in this port refrefhments of every
kind, and alfo fecure and good anchorage. VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS. SO,
then covered with them: but of fix which we killed, and of    1793.v
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
which 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 breaking out in boils from the bad flate of 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 well
as thofe alfo who were hurt in whaling.
I place Mocha Ifle in Latitude 38° 24', and Longitude
759 oo'. It is of an height to be feen. 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
Northern part of the iflanddefcends gradually into a low, fandy
point, or long tongue of land, on which is a rock or crofs, that
has the femblance of a fail.. The South point, at the diftance
we were, appeared to end in a more abrupt manner, and there
* This expreffion is ufed for taking off the fat from the fifh>
-	 3°
i793' 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 fevea 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. Davis, 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 j 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
which is moft worthy of note, is a fort of fheep they have, which the inhabitants
call VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 31
neceffaries   which   they   procured.      He   fays   the  land  is     J793-v
low and flat; but he muft certainly fpeak only of the Eaft
fide, or North and South points: If whales are as plentiful in
the offing in the fine feafon, as at the time when I was there,
call Cornera de Terra^ This creature is about four feet and an half high at the back,
and a very ftately beaft. Thefe fheep are fo tame, that we frequently ufed to
bridle one of them, upon whofe back two of the luftieft men would ride at once
round the ifland, to drive the reft to the fold. His ordinary pace is either an
amble or a good hand-gallop ; nor does he care for going any other pace, during
the time his rider is upon his back. His mouth is like that of a harej and the
hair-lip above opens as well as the mr*in-lips, when he bites the grafs, which he
does very near. His head is much like an antelope, but they had no horns when
we were there j yet we found very large horns, much twifted,. in the form of a
fnail-fhell, which we fuppofed they had fhedj there laid, many of them fcattered
upon the fandy bays. His ears refemble thofe of an afs> his neck fmall, and
refembling a camels. He carries his head bending, and very ftately, like a
fwan; is full chefted like a. horfe, and has his loins much like a well fhaped greyhound. His buttocks refemble thofe of a full grown deer, and he has much fuch
a tail. He is cloven-footed like a fheep, but, on the infide of each foot has a large
claw, bigger than ones finger, but fharp,,and refembling thofe of an eagle. Thefe
claws ftand about two inches above the divifion of the hoof; and they ferve him
in climbing rocks, holding faft, by whatever they bear againft. His flefh eats as-
like mutton as can be: he bears wool of twelve or fourteen inches long upon the
belly j but it is fhorter on the back, fhaggy, and a little inclining to a curl. It is an.
innocent and very ferviceable beaft, fit for any drudgery. Of thefe we killed forty-
three ; out of the maw of one of which I took thirteen Bezoar ftones, of which
fome were ragged, and of feveral forms; fome long, refembling coral; fome-
round, and fome oval; but all green when taken out of the maw: yet by long;
keeping they turned of an afh colour. £3 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
1793- it is an excellent whaling ground; and the Ifle itfelf verycon^
venient 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;
fo long a period has fince elapfed, that it is no wild conjecture to fuppofe, it may now have regained its former
We kept the land of Chili in fight, from the maft-head
or deck, until we reached the Latitude of z6° zd; in which
parallel, the Iflands of Saint Felix and Saint Ambrofe, 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 flate,
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 mould 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 unneceffary, for me to
go there for that purpofe only.
All  the  way to  the Latitude of Saint Felix and Saint      17 93-
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 mafter,
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 fhelvings, feals had found a retting 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 ai.
from Weft North Weft, as would admit of double reefed
top-fails, with very heavy fhowers, which continued the
whole of the forenoon; fo that we were obliged to pafs to the
Southward of the Eafternmoft ifle, which prefents the fame
inhofpitable afpect as that of the North fide. At noon, the
rain ceafed,   and the  wind became   variable  with  cloudy
1793- weather and much fea. By fun-fet, we got well 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 find
any bottom except clofo 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 of
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 render it impoflible 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 rnafter and fecond mate attempted to land in
the evening* the fwell having confiderably abated, but they
could not accomplifh their defign. They fet out again, at four
May aa.   o'clock the next morning, twenty-fecond, with a fimilar defign;
and, having with great rifk and difficulty effected a landing, l793>*
they traverfed the ifle, which produced nothing but a plant, refembling the common nettle, of a fait tafle and difagreeable
odor. They could 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 rains. No
land-bird, quadruped, or even infeft, except flies, were feen
on the ifland; but great numbers of birds-nefls, containing
addled eggs: nor was there any kind of fliell-fifh. On
the ifland, were the remains of feals and a quantity of decayed
feal-fkins, fuppofed to have been left there by Mr. Ellis,
(who vifited this place in the year 1 y91,) and probably, from
the difficulty of taking them away.
Of the danger, of getting from this ifland, we had a very
melancholy experience; as our people were upfet feveral times,
before they got from the furf, and one of our belt feamen,
was unfortunately killed, having his back broken, by the jolly-
boat falling, upon him.
The only landing place, is on a fandy beach on the North
fide of the ifle; and the tide ebbed on it, while they
were on fhore, between fix and feven feet, and the ebb and
flood runs to the Northward and Eaftward. At the time
they landed, which was at fix in the morning, it was near
il93' high water, and when they got off, at two o'clock, P. M., it was
low water. Neither, of thefe 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 be inacceffible,
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, could by any means, be
furmounted. As to the firft, an hull or two,, of a prize, would
afford a fufficient fupply; and as for the fecond, aftill> might
be provided, to diftil fait-water; and a fmall quantity of foil*,
would be fufficient, to raife fallad herbs.
A whaler, indeed, never wants wood or water; of the latter, 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 ballaft; and as it is to be hoped, that the
fifheries will not be difcontinued, fhe might always leave her>
fiirplus quantity here, by ftarting it into a tank. A few buts
of earth, might alfo be brought, and feveral kinds of fmall
herbs, be raifed. Should this retreat be difcovered, 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 winter feafon, however, I cannot fuppofe, that any cruizer*
as voyage to the south seas. 37
as the prevailing winds are Northerly and tempeftuous, will     j^.
attempt to anchor on a lee-fhore;  but, during the rummer,
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,  yo° 4, and yo° z6' Weft.
1793. jVjJR.. 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
Weflward, as 84/, when feeing neither land, birds or feals,
to juftify a belief that any fuch ifles exifled near this fituation,
I hauled on a wind for the coaft of Peru, intending to make
it, in Latitude iy° South; but, the wind hanging to the Eaftward, I did not get on the fifhing ground, until I was in the
Latitude of 159 30'.
There was now fo large an extent of coaft, in every part
of which, I might meet with thofe Britifh fhips, employed in
fpermaceti 79
26 5
1* L A    1
\      ;
._   \     1  VOYAGE   TO THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 39
fpermaceti whaling, to whom, I was instructed, to communi- lt.^t
cate, the circumftances and fituation of Europe, when I
quitted it, that I did not think it neceffary 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 befl 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 j^ne „
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 forms a creek, where the.
fea is fo flill, 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 befl obfervations I could make, in hazy
weather, its coaft appeared to be altogether barren to the
Weflward.    This place offers a good port for whalers, or in
i793> time of war, for veffels of fmall force, to lay at, in order to
watch an enemy ; the land, being of fufficient height, to
afford fecurity and 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 diflanced 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*. I kept near this fituation, in hopes of meeting
fome veffel, which might afford me information, whether any
Englifh fifhermen were in the road, and without any appre-
henfion, of being known by the Spaniards, as the fuperior failing
of my fhip, always left it to my own option, to fpeak with
whom I pleafed.
June 6.       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 119 48', the Ifle Saint Lawrence Eaft, 8o? North,
and the rocks of Ormigas, North 28° 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;
end the fea breaks, for feveral leagues, around, and off, them.
They are  quite barren,   and  I  obferved with my glafs^
two croffes erected on them,   which in a fhort time difap-
* In 1624, the Dutch fortified tbemfelves at this ifle, when they were making
preparations to attack Lima. VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS, 41
peared, I concluded, therefore, that they were placed by 1793-
fifhermen, who are faid to refort here from Lima, as fignals,
to engage in fome kind of contraband trade : but I had taken
the neceffary precautions, at the outfit of my veffel, that
no commodities fhould be put on board which could promote
fuch a defign, being determined, to adhere ftrictly to the articles, entered into by the courts of Great-Britain and Spain,
refpecting veffels, voyaging round Cape Horn. I accordingly
fhewed no colours, and as I kept my courfe, the fifhermen, I
prefume, removed their fignals.
On the eleventh day of June, at noon, I had got up the June 11,
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 fhe Buccaneers, but there is no frefh
water on it.
170J- of day, a confiderable quantity of tar was feen floating on the
furface of the water; a circumflance, which ftrengthened our
hope, that we fhould find a veffel refitting there.
I had fome intention of anchoring here myfelf, and having
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 feas feldom or never breaks. It lays fomewhere, 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 in it, However, before the boat returned
in the evening, we faw a fail ftanding down on us, and it
being hazy, as it generally is on this coaft, the boat had at
one time miftaken her for the Rattler..
The chief mate returned on board by feven m the
evening, and informed me, that he had not been able to
ififcover the rock, or to catch any thing but one turtle; but
from the frefh carcaffes of feals which he had feen, he very
reafonably fuppofed, that a veffel could not have left the
ifland more than four or n\c days..
The fail, already mentioned, kept flanding towards us, j^.
and, as night advanced, fhewed a light; at eight, being
within a couple of miles of us, the whaling-mafter fet out
to board her, but, difcovering on a near approach, that fhe
was a Spanifh veffel, 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 morning; 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,
& vring the night, within a few leagues of the Ifles of Lobas
ie Terra, which, in certain pofitions, bear fuch a refemblance
to each other, that it was difficult to diflinguifh 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 accomplifhing it, without taking a
great offing, I continued on my 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.
*793- 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 vifible, 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.
June 16. 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
8s9 zd Weft. Off this cape, there is a ftrong, wefterly
current, making out of the Gulf of Guiaquil; and afterwards,
in crofting the gulf, I was in twenty-four hours, fet forty
miles to  the Weftward.
*9- On the nineteenth,   I faw Point Saint Helena and file-
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 8s9 42' Weft; and
Point Saint Helena in Latitude z° d South, and Longitude
Sz° zd Weft.
The winds had now began to Weftern on me> and knowing 1793 •
it, to be an object of the board of Admiralty, that I fhould
vifit the Gallipagoes Ifles, it became me to exert my befl
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 fame day I took my departure from Cape Saint
Helena for Gallipagoes Ifles, for the reafons already mentioned,
the wind wefling 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 foil in frequently with
ftreams 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
1793» never experienced a fimilar current, bnt on the coaft of
Norway. The froth, and boil, of thefe ftreams, appear, at a
very fmall diftance, like heavy breakers; we founded in
feveral of them, and found no bottom with two hundred
fathoms of line. I alfo tried the rate, and courfe of the
ftrean% 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-
ft:antly 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 faw, were in herds fifhing,
or in their paffage, between the Gallipagoes, and the main.
1 do not affirm it as a fact, but as we faw no feals in my
Toute back, und as the few, we killed there, were with young,
I am difpofed to conjecture, that the herds of them, juft
fl&cntioned, were on their paffage to whelp.
AT day-break, 24thJune, the land bore from Weft 1 o9 South,
to Weft 1 o9 North by compafs, having the appearance of two
ifles. It was my firft defign, to get round the Southernmoft
land, which was vifible, and I accordingly hauled on a wind,
but was induced, to alter my intentions,, from a. miftaken
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-four
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,
35° Weft. The foundings were ninety fathoms, and the
diftance, from the neareftland,. eight or nine miles. The land,
June 24. 48 VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
1793' 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 fingular 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, andfand: 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 font the chief mate on fhore to found
and land. At eight, P.M. he returned with green turtle and
fcortoifes, turtle doves and guanas; but they faw no efculent
vegetable, VOYAGE  TO  THE   SOUTH  SEAS, 49
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 3J' South.
I now thought it prudent to come to an anchor, in
order to refrefh the 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 fhore, when we got into nineteen fathoms water, fine
fand bottom, and near the center of the ifle; in which depth
we came to anchor.
1793; The land forms a kind of bay, the extremes of which bore,
from South 439 Weft, an high bluff; to Eaft 349 North, a low
point; there is a diftant high rock, off the South Weft pointy
Weft 330 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. 1 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 fent 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 fand; 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 Weflward. 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 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 5*
but from the evergreen trees and plants, fuch as the box l793-
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 paffing 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 flone, 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 tafle, as to render it unfit to be drank. In moft of
them, there were considerable flocks of teals, which were by
no means fhy, and were eafily caught: they are of the
fame kind as thofe known in England.
This ifland contains no great number, or variety, of land
birds,   and  thofe  I faw,   were   not  remarkable   for  their
^793- novelty or beauty: they were the fly-catcher and creeper,,
like thofe of New Zealand; a bird, refembling the fmall
mocking bird, of the fame ifland; a black hawk, fomewhat
larger than our tparrow 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
Weflward, and at fun-rife returned to the Eaftward; 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 very much perplexed, to form a fatisfactory conjee- 1793*
ture, how the fmall birds, which appeared to remain in one
fpot, fupported themfelves without water; but the party
on their return informed me, that, having exhaufted all
their water, and repofing beneath a prickly pear-tree, almoft
choaked with thirft, they obferved an old bird in the act of
fupplying 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
unpleafant, 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 flefh 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 from the trunks, or ftems. The leaves of thefe
trees alfo abforb 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 bilk, for the
moifture they retain, and which, I believe, they alfo procure
from the various plants and ever-greens. But when the dews
fail in the fummer feafon, thoufands of thefe creatines perifh;
for* on our return hither, we found great numbers dead iix
j]9£, their nefts, and fome of them almoft fledged. It may, however, be remarked, that this curious inftinctive mode, of
finding a fubftitute for water, is not peculiar, to the birds of
this ifland; as nature has provided them with a fimilar
refoiirce 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 meafiires 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 fand or
fmall topazes were collected, and of which, I ordered a barrel
to be filled, and brought it away.
The great rock, bearing from our anchoring place, South
43° Weft, makes the Eaft point of a large bay, in which, I
anchored, VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS, 55
anchored, at our return. The winds that prevailed, while I 1.793.
lay here, were from South, South I£aft, to South, South-
Weft, always moderate weather, but the tide runs very
ftrong, particularly the flood, which comes from the Eaftward : 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 8o9 24', 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-piev 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 kinck as land
tortoifes, lizards, and fpiders. We faw alfo dead fhakes,
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.
179.5. 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 poffible,
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
firperior to any I had before tailed. Their food, as well as
that of the land tortoife, confifls principally, of the bark and
leaves of trees, particularly of the mangrove, which makes
them very fat; though, in rainy feafons, 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 veffel, 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 much
uglier, they go to fea in herds, a fifhing, and fun themfelves, on the rocks, like
feals, and may be called alligators, in miniature. VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS, 5/
an 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 faw but few feals on the beach, either of the hairy or
furry fpecics.' This circumftance, however, might be
occafioned, by its not being the feafon 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 fait to be obtained
here, at this feafon, but I could not find any; though that
article does not appear to be abfolutely neceffary; as the
fkins 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.
1793- 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 from
a fhip, or fired by lightening on the fpot..
The deep-water fifh, were of every kind, that is ufually
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 84% and the
variation of the compafs 89 10'. The thermometer was
never higher than 73%, and in the morning, evening and
night, it was below fummer heat in England. I confider it
as one of the moft delightful climates under heaven, although
fituated, within a few miles of the Equator. The barometer
generally flood at 39-8-4. The evening, night, and morning,
were always clouded; and during the nights, there generally
fell, as heavy dews, as off the main.
Every one was charmed with the place; but, as all I793«
apprehenfions of the fcurvy or any other difeafe was at an
end, and we had got a large provifion of turtle on board,
the 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 check their fpirits, or delay
their wifhes; being well affured, 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 twenty-eighth of June we weighed anchor, and June 28,
failed round the Eaft point, with a view of beating a fmall
diftance to the Southward, in order to determine the
particular ifle, we had vifited, according to the defoription
of the Buccaneers and the Spanifh map, but my endeavours
were not fuccefsful. While we were at anchor, it was
fuppofed, that we faw land in 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
Uz it
*793- it in Latitude i9 24' South, and Longitude 89° 4/ 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 faw,
refembles the Eaft point of the large ifle, but is enlivened
with an higher degree of verdure: we alfo faw a greater
number of feals, off this, than oft" the other ifland. I do
not hefitate to confider it, as the Southernmoft and Eafternmoft of the Galapagoe Ifles. In the accounts of Wood,
Rogers and others, the Spaniards are faid 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 poffeffion, I named one Chatham Ifle, and the other
Hood's Ifland, after the Lords Chatham and Hood..
JrROM the Southernmoft Galapagoe Ifle, we flood over
again for the main, keeping between the. Latitude of 2r-
South, and the Equator, and had a. ftrong Eafterly current
constantly againft us : but it was not fo perceptible, as on
our paffage from the main, although we fell in with feveral
beds of cream-coloured blubber: we did not, however, fee
fo many fmall fifh, birds, or feals; of the latter, we only
faw two, and they were not at any confiderable diftance-
from either ifle or main. Porpoifes and black fifh were con*-
tinually around us, with a few albecores and bonettas..
The winds were much the fame, as on my paffage to
the Galapagoes, blowing fleadily from between the South
and Eaftward, after twenty-four hours fail from the ifles;
1793- and, when within the fame diftance from the main land,
they inclined to the Weft ward : the weather was generally
cloudy, and fometimes accompanied wTith an heavy, South
Weft fwell, and at the change and full of the moon,
with a drizzling rain.
July io. On the tenth of July, P. M., we faw 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 bearing 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 feveral
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
deftroyed them. The watering and anchoring places are
faid to be on the Eaftern fide, in a fmall fandy 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. VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 63
It is of a moderate height, and of a verdant fhaggy appear-     J^3'
ance, 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 inacceffible 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 getting in there, when it was
dark, would not be difcovered, if her fails were handed, the
land being much higher than her maft head; unlefs the
people on board betrayed her fituation by fome act of indifcre-
tion, as making too much fire, the fmoke of which might dif-
cover them. It is true that a veffel might efeape 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 any 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.
—- 6~4 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
Iu\93i6 ®n t^ie fkteenth, at noon, off Cape Paffado, 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.
i$. On  the  eighteenth,   the  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
rofe to 8o9, and we may be faid to have felt, at every pore,
that we had left the moft delightful climate in 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 if inftinct had forbidden them to venture
no farther, now left us.
At this time it became neceffary 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. VOYAGE TO  THE SOUTH  SEAS. f%
wnalntg mafter and mates were in favour of a Northern     *79a«
Latitude* it was foon refolved to take our departure from
Cape Paffado; which, from feveral obfervations, I place in
Latitude ten miles South, and Longitude Sz° Weft.
I now flood acrofs the gulf, and, on the twentieth of July a».
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 zd North, and its Longitude
8o9 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 its cracks or gullies, afford the only verdure
that it poffeffes: It is furrounded with iflets, and the whole
may extend about nine or ten miles from North to Souths
The center, of this ifland, bears a refemblance, in feveral
points of view, to the crown 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 ftretched away, to the
Weftward 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 faw 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-
cerned feveral iflands that lay around it. When we had x795«
got within four or five miles of the North Eaft end, I
font 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 the ifle, 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 z this
Extract, from Mr. Wafer's Voyage, who was at Anchor in this Bay, in 1685.
* Some or other of our men went on fhore every day j and, one day among the
reft, being minded to make themfelves very merry, they went on fhore, 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
floping in moft parts, abruptly to the fea, but in others,
prefenting bold and perpendicular cliffs. There are alfo
many furrounding 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 barrenefs
of intervening rocks, produces a picturefque effect; while
the ftreams, that pour down from their various fountains
to the fea, greatly heighten the beauty of the fcene.
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 exceffive quantity, yet it did not end in
drunkennefs j 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 had not been partakers in the
frolic; nor did they recover it under four or five days time. VOYAGE  TO THE  SOUTH   SEAS* 69
Here are two anchoring places at this ifland; one, 1793.
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 defcription 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 Rve 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 veffel of more than two hundred tons. Its anchorage is from feven to fifty fathoms, and is nearly fheltered from
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
x793* beach, where cocoa trees appear in greater numbers, than I
Iiave feen in any other place. There is alfo a rivulet of water
eighteen or twenty feet in breadth, which is fupplied from a
bafoh, one mile diftant within land, in which our crew, to
avoid the fharks, went and bathed. Although this bay is fo
fmall, it is very convenient, and as fecure, as the anchoring
places generally are, which are not entirely fheltered. Its
principal inconvenience arifes from the conftant 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 florms 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 fhore, which, had been particularly moift from
perfpiration, and were hung on the bufhes to dry, were
foon fly-blown, in the different parts that had ftuck neareft
to the body, and covered with maggots. Should a veffel 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  confuted  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
we ftruck. Thefe were innumerable, and we took them,
whenever we pleafed. Eels are plenty, 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 large limpets, of a new kind, and a few dead
conches. The latter were feen in great numbers on the
beach, and moftly 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 pigeon, and white-headed noddy They all perched
on trees, like land-birds; and, at a fmall diftance, gave
the tree on which they fat, the appearance of being
covered with, white bloffoms.    Of the land-birds, we faw
*793' fome, which refemjbled the thrufh and blackbird, in fhape,
colour, and fize, with a few herons and a variety :of
fmaller birds.
The tide muft be an object of particular attention, in
anchoring 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 Eaftward, 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, 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, that this is a very humid fpot,
at all times and feafons.
I was much difappointed, at not being able to procure *793«
turtles; for we faw 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
faw, and there are few veffels, but might lay a-ground on
it, and repair and clean their bottoms. Whoever may,
hereafter, wifh to anchor in this bay, wrill 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 ftern.
We were much wearied, during the four days, we
paffed 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 th^ 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 infcription, w7hich Captain
Vancouver thought proper to remove, when he anchored at
this ifle,   fome time after me.    The letter  gave  only an
I7pj, account of my arrival and departure. Having made
the neceffary 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 then
ftrained, produces a. liquid, in colour and tafte, little inferior,
if not equal, to fkim milk, which removed all feorbutic
complaints from among the crew, and preferved them in
health,   for many  months..
1 HE Ifle Cocas, was the fartheft point to the Northward, JJ93,
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 provifions and ftores had been fufficient for fuch a defign:
I was therefore obliged to check my intentions, having, for
the reafons above-mentioned, time only to examine as far
as 349 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
1793* This  was an  undertaking that  few,  who  had  fuffered
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 900 o' Well. We bettered
our weather greatly; but the heat was almoft intolerable;.
the thermometer Handing at 86", and the barometer at
29-7-8; the wind now began to vary to the Eaftward,
On the third of Auguft our Latitude was 0/ 3d and
Longitude corrected 809 44'. The bad weather returned
and continued with frequent tornados and heavy rain.
On the feventh of Auguft, we faw the famous burning j^^\
mountain of Guata-mala. From that time, to our crofting,
the gulf of Tecoantepeak, and reaching point Angels in
Latitude 169 and Longitude ioo9, there was, for nine days,
little or 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 Nortli
America. 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-fet till fun-rife, the heavens
were one entire flame, which was heightened, by the
frequent explofions of the burning mountains. This awful
and alarming ftate. 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 oppreffive circumftances, and divided
only by a few leagues, acrofs the main, from the bay of
Honduras, it was impoflible to fupprefs an occafional wifh
that we were there. A traveller that had vifited Peru or
its coafts, (where the dews of bounteous Heaven fiipply every
call of rain, and where thunder and lightning are feldom or
l793- never known, and nature refts in perfect tranquility), would
when here, naturally remark, that Providence had blefied
the coafts of Peru, by exempting that country from all convul-
fions to be dreaded from the aerial elements, and doubly be-
ftowed 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 goodnefs. 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 149 $j',
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 faw 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, they
were now elated, with all the eagernefs of fanguine expectation.    The boats accordingly gave chace, and fbon 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 fo fortunate
as to kill any of them.
The people in the boats, had now been away feven hours,
and were fo far diftant, that the fhips top-fails, to them, were
ra the horizon; the day alfo was far advanced, and purfuing
the whales, in the direction they were running, would be ftill
increafing their diftance, without a flattering hope, of faving
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
vafl quantity of water they had drank, and the exceffive heat
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 not almoft inftantly, on
his return, been immerged in warm water. Another broke out
in. a violent rafh. from head to foot, which, by his plunging
i793' 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
rafh returned to his thighs and legs, and by degrees, his
fight 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 faw
whales, three different times, and killed three of them. One
was a fmall one, meafuring 15 feet, which we hoifted 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
furface of the water, and when flinched, their carcafes funk
like a flone. They yielded altogether but fifteen barrels
of oil.
The weather remained unpleafant, there being fcarcely 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 horrid
diforder, I was, however, fo fortunate, as to recover them, by
adopting. VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 8l
adopting the method that I faw practifed by the natives of *793»
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 perforation;
fome opening medicine was afterward adfniniftered, and
every 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 fatisfy 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
expreffed 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 fuch
a ftate 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
now confined to the fcurvy and other incidental diforders;
*793* but they were fufficient to quicken my anxiety, to find a
place for refrefhment, whenever it might be wanted. For
though my crew were at prefent 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 which they are fc*
fubject and of courfe moft frequently dread) than the
certainty of a port or harbour to which they may be taken ;
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 fubje&s, 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 ficknefs. 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 j and I was fo fortunate as to fuceeed in the applications I ufed, as
to reftore health through means, which the fuggeftions of the moment only dictated
to me. VOYAGE TO  TEE   SOUTH   SEAS. 8$
were in fuch numbers floating on the furface of the water,     J793-
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 fat upon it.
Other voyagers have alledged, that living on turtle, caufes
the flux, fcurvy and fever ; I can firft account for fuch a confequence, by its not being fufficiently boiled, or cooked in
unclean utenfils; and, fecondly, every man who has experienced a long voyage, is well informed, that a fudden change
of food, and particularly from an ordinary fea or fait diet,
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 fuperintend myfelf the preparation of the
feamen's meal. I ufed to tafle 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 fait beef
or pork. I alfo ordered that the proportion of the fait
meats cooked with the turtle, fhouTd 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, fat pork to chop up with it,
and make faufages. But in moft of their meffes, I
L z took
*?93'     took care that fo powerful an antifeptic,  asfourcrout, fliould
not be forgotten.
For the reafbns already mentioned, I determined to ftretch
off to the Weftward, to fearch for Ifle Socoro, Santo Berto,.
and Rocka 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 leis than two months;
at the expiration of which time, I was determined to return. Nothing, indeed, would have deterred me from it,
at prefent, if we had poffeffed fufficient wrind 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   in w^ith  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,
poffeffed   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.
September 9.
On the ninth of September,   in Latitude  179 16',   and_
Longitude ioz° 32, we met with as irregular a fwell
as I ever faw, off Cape Horn, accompanied with very
changeable weather, faint lightning round the compafs,
frequent fhowers of rain, and light variable winds,
blowing North Weft by Weft, round the compafs, to
Eaft South Eaft, and continually fhifting till the 17th of
September, at midnight; when, in a heavy fquall of wind
from the North Weft by Weft, there fell as great a torrent of rain, as I had feen, with tremendous thunder
and lightning, which I concluded was the forerunner of
the equinoctial gale: on the 17th at noon, our Latitude
was i8? zf North, Longitude, 1099 o' Weft"; thermometer 309, barometer 29 6 4 ;. at this time blowing
a ftrong breeze, and unfettled weather, which, by the
eighteenth, at noon, had increafed. to a- perfect ftorm,
from the Weft North Weft, with a very heavy fea,
that we could fhew little or no fail, till eight o'clock
the fame evening; when the weather moderated, thunder, lightning, and rain ceafed, and the wind fettled in,
the Weftern quarter..
At  day-break,   on  the  twentieth,   we  faw   the   Ifland
of Socoro:   a number  of thofe birds that generally follow
i793« the fpermaceti whales, as well as others, of a different
fpecies, accompanied us. At five o'clock in the evening, when we were within feven or eight miles of the
fhore, it being a moon-light night, I fent the chief
mate to fifh, found for an anchoring place, and, if pofli-
ble, to land, in order to difcover wtiat this ifland produced. We flood on and off during the whole night,
and, at break of day, found that the current had fet
us confiderably to the Southward and Weftward. In the
morning, we paffed great quantities of pumice flone, and
the fea was covered with fmall fhrimps, the common
food of the black whale. It being calm, or light winds
all night, and the firft part of the day, we did not get
in with the fhore, till two o'clock in the afternoon.
We founded within five miles of it, but found no bottom,
with one hundred and fifty fathoms of line.
In the evening, the boat returned, when the mate informed
me, that he had founded off the lee-fide of the ifle, and
could not find a place of fafety for the 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, confifting of a kind of cod, fnapper, and filver-fifh; and
they might have taken more, but the fharks, which were very
numerous,   ran away with the hooks.    On the ifland they
had gathered a large quantity of beans, known, I believe, x^3«
by the name of the Spanifh broom: they alfo brought
with them a confiderable number of prickly pears. As
fbon 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 flood with
the fhip off and on till they returned. In the afternoon,
being within three or f©ur miles of the cove, we got
bottom, at forty-eight fathoms, fine fand. 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 ir*
a fmall bay, at the North Weft, where we found
good bottom, but it was expofed to the North Weft
winds, which are reprefented to be the prevailing ones:
though I found the winds, in general, Eafterly.. The
unfettled weather we had lately experienced, was fiifneient
to prevent my anchoring at this feafon, although in with
the ifle, unlefs in a more fecurely fheltered bay, then
I had as yet  difcovered.
1795. We  faw  Ifle  Santo Berto   from the  Weft end  of thig
ifle, bearing North zo° Eaft, Having made Socoro and
Santo Berto, by the Spanifh manufcript chart, which I
procured, while a prifoner at St. Bias, and got a
fufficient flore of beans and prickly pears; I ftreched away
to fearch for Rocka Partida and St. Thomas's, by the
fame chart. Two of the crew were affected with a
violent purging and vomiting, from eating too much of
the fruits juft mentioned. It lafted twenty-four hours,
and, in the end, proved beneficial to them. Indeed,
we were all in perfect health, except the fecond mate,
who had a lamenefs and contraction in one of his knees*
and had been in an ailing ftate, ever fince we left Rio
Sept. 24. On the twenty-fourth, at nine, A. M. we faw Rocka
Partida, on our weather bow, which had the appearance
of a fail. J^y four o'clock, we worked up with it, and
found it a dangerous barren rock, laying North, North
Weft, and South, South Eaft, by compafs. Its greateft
length, is fifty or fixty fathoms: and its breadth, about
twenty-five or thirty: both ends are fifteen or twenty fathoms
in height. The North Weft end is forked; the South
and Eaft end, is like a ragged hay-cock. The two heights are
feparated  by  a  ragged  faddle,   that rifes  about three  or
four VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 89
four fathoms from the furface of the fea, and is nearly I793*
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, 1119 6' 30", bearing from the
South Weft end of Ifle Socoro, Weft 159 North, by compafs;
diftant forty-eight miles: the variation, y° Eaft. I leave the
further defcriptions 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 fliark 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 fome degree the cafe with our boat; a number of them continually feizing 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
' "-   ----------- — 0/0 VOrAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
*793>    w many man-of-war hawks as could find a refting place,
and a  few  feals.
Having found the Ifles Socoro, Santo Berto, and
Rocka Partida, by my manufcript chart, I had every
reafonable expectation of feeing alfo the Ifle St. Thomas,
which was difcovered by a Spaniard, Diego Hurtado,
in the year 1533, and by him placed in Latitude 319
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 ftgns of
my being near it, except the birds and feals which we
frequently faw. I did not, however, entertain the leall
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. Dalrymple, 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
Ifle from the befl accounts I poflefied; but they differed fo
widely in 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 received from the Spaniards concerning them.
From the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth, we beat to gep. 29-30.
the Northward, in fhort tacks, with the hope of defcrying
Clipperton's Ifle; we faw 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 flarted,
On the fourth of October, in Latitude Z39 15', we Oftober 4,
made the coaft of California. The winds from the time
of our leaving Socoro, blew from North North Eaft,
to North North Weft, welling as we made the land of
California, with very pleafant weather, but fometimes cloudy.
On our paffage we faw a few turtles, with killers, por-
*793'     poifes, and  black-fifli:   the latter were innumerable as we
approached  the land.
Odober 12. \yc cruized off this coaft till the twelfth, feeing 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 fpecies of whale on this coaft is of no value.
Our cruizing ground was between the Latitudes 239 and z^°,
and Longitude 1129 and 1139, off a remarkable mountain near Cape St. Lazarus; to which I have given
the fame name: I make it to be in Latitude zg° 15',
and Longitude 112° 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 this time the hump-back 1793.
whale was fo much larger than generally believed, and
fpouted in a manner fo different from their ufual mode
of throwing up the water, that the moft experienced
fifhermen I had on board believed them to be black
whale, and purfued them as fuch; and I very much
doubt whether that fpecies of whale, which the Spaniards call the fmall whale, is any other than black fifh.
This opinion was confirmed by a whaler, with whom
I fell in company fome time after. He had come down
the coaft of California, and boafted of the number of
fpermaceti whales which he had feen. I was very
much aftonifhed that, provided as he was for the* purpofe, he had not even attempted to kill one of them.
But he foon fatisfied my doubts on the fubject: for
being with me on board the Rattler, and feeing a.fhoal of black
fifh, he infilled that they were fpermaceti whales. While
I thus difcovered his ignorance, I had reafon to be fatisfied
with myfelf, in having been able to afcertain, from the deck
of my fhip, the difference between thefe two fpecies of
whale, but this I muft acknowledge, that black fifh, in their
feeding and mode of fpouting, refemble the fpermaceti
whale nearer than any other fifh hitherto Jknown.
«793- On the twelfth at noon,   Cape St.   Lucas,   the North
Cape to the gulf of California, bore North twelve or
thirteen leagues. J make this cape by the mean of a
number of obfervations, of Sun, Moon, and Stars, in
Latitude zz° 45', and Longitude no9. The fea, at this
time, was almoft covered with turtles, and other tropical
lilh. At four, A. M. we faw a large fpermaceti whale,
which we ftruck and got faft : but night coming on, the
irons drew, and it was loft. We cruized between the
Cape Corientes, the South cape of the gulf of California, and
the northernmoft of Maria Ifles, till the feventh of November, and faw great numbers of fpermaceti whales, fome
of them the largeft we had ever feen, but we may be
truly faid to t>e unfortunate, as we only killed two of them.
Two of the crew, who complained of fome fcorbutic
Nov. 1. fymptoms, on the firft of November, were now growing worfe; and, as feveral others were apprehenfive of
being attacked by this terrible diforder, it became neceffary
for me to repair to fome port, where a proper attention might  be paid to  the  invalid part of my  people.
Our cruizing was generally at the diftance of from
three to feven leagues to the Weftward of the Ifles
Ties   Marias,    the   largeft   of   which   has been  faid  to
have VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 95
have a good road,  and to afford various articles of retrefh-     x793*
ment:    but   the  French navigator,   Monfieur  Sauvage  le
Muet,   who vifited thefe ifles in this month,   in the year
7741,   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 leagues from them, might
not extend 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 recurring,
with many a melancholy thought, to the fate 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* I was 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. Bias, frequently
vifiting thefe ifles, in order to get flax and lignum vitae-
nor have I the leaft doubt    of their attempting it,,    if
l793' they had found me there in fo capital a fhip as the Rattler,
and in fo defencelefs a flate as fhe then was, armed with only
two three-pounders, and half a dozen old mufquets *.
* As there have been various milreprefentations of the real ftate and
progrefs of the tranfactions between Don Martinez, commander of certain
mips in the Service of his moft Catholic Majefty at Nootka Sound, and
feveral trading veffels belonging to fubje&s of Great Britain, which threatened to
produce a rupture between the two courts; and, as thofe mifreprefentations
may be hereafter repeated, I fhall beg leave to give a fair and correct ftate-
ment of thofe tranfactions, fo far as I was unfortunately, involved in them: the
reft of that unpleafaht bufinefs is detailed at large, and accompanied by authentic
documents, in the Appendix to the voyage of Captain Mears, published in London,
It is unneceffary upon this occafion, to have recourfe to any circumftances in that
unfortunate voyage, prior to the time when I appeared off Nootka, viz. the third
day of July, 1789. At nine in the evening, when it was almoft dark, we hailed
a boat; and the perfons in it defiring to come on board, their requeft was
immediately granted. It proved to be a Spanifh launch, with Don Eftevan
Martinez, commodore of fome Spanifh fhips of war, then lying in Friendly Cove«
we were vifited at the fame time by another Spanifh launch, and the boat
of an American fhip. I had no fooner received Don Martinez in my cabin,
than he prefented me a letter from Mr. Hudfon, commander of the Princefs
Royal Sloop, which was under my orders. The commodore then informed
me, that the veffels under his command were in great diftrefs, from the
want of provifions and other neceffariesj and requefted me, in a very urgent
manner, to go into port, in order to afford him the neceffary 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     1793-
Spaniards,   off which we had been cruizing,   are  four in
number,   if the Ifle Saint  John is  included,  which is not
two Spanifh men of war. The Spaniard obferving my unwillingnefs to
comply with his requeft, affured me, on his word and honor, in the name
of the King of Spain, whofe fervant he was, and of the Viceroy of
Mexico, whofe nephew he declared himfelf to be,, that, if I would go into
port and relieve his wants, I fhould be at liberty to fail whenever I
pleafed. 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 inftructions, as it was-
his private inclination, to pay all becoming refpect. and attention to every
other nation. I am ready to acknowledge that the ftory of his JSiftreffes,,
and the letter of Mr. Hudfon, which appeared to be deferring 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 affift in towing,
the 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. Kendric, and a floop of the fame nation, called the Wafhington, commanded by Mr. Gray; with two Spanifh fhips of war, called, the Princeffa^
and Don Carlos. The next morning, ufter I had ordered fome provifions
and ftores for the relief of Don Martinez to be got ready, I went to break-
tfaft with him, in confequence 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. I
then informed him it was my intention to go to fea in the courfe of the
day: he replied, he would fend his launch to affift me out of. the harbour,
J793. more than fix miles diftant from the Northernmoft. There
are alfo many fmall rocks, whofe heads juft rife above
the water.    All thefe iflands are covered with wTood,   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 inflead 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
Princeffa. 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 difdainfully 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 converting with the interpreter on the fubject., when having my back towards
fhe cabin door, I by chance eaft my eyes on a looking-glafs, and faw an
armed party rufhing in behind me. I inftantly put my hand to my hanger,
but before I had time to place myfelf in a pofture of defence, a
violent blow brought me to the ground. I was then ordered into the ftocks,
and clofely 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 obferve, 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,    like   a   criminal,
rove VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS, 99
lay between the Latitude of zi° 15  and zz° and Longitude     1793.
1079 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 j After recovering, I was fent in my own fhip prifoner to St. Bias a
Spanifh port in the Gulf of California. On my paffage thither, I was
confined in the Mate's-Cabin, (a place not fix feet fquare) for two and thirty,
days, with a fcanty fupply of miferable provifions, and a fhort allowance of
water. The Britifh part of my fhip's company, with two officers, were
confined in the fail room with their feet in irons,, and kept in a ftate too>
fhocking tON relate, and which- decency forbids me to defcribe. In going into-
the harbour, the Spaniards ran the fhip aground and damaged, her bottom-
On landing, few of ray people had any change of clothes, for the Spaniards
had broke open their chefts 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 fufficient
provifions. About this time the Princefs Royal, and crew arrived, and fhared
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 ftimu-
Jated 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 mafk, 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 fickly part of.
the crew, feveral of whom took, it to heart and died, and one deftroyed himfelf in
defpair. Not being Catholics, we were ordered to inter them on the.
fcarbeech. After we had buried them, the Native Creoles dug un the bodies of one
N2 or
i793« but of the moft pleafant appearance. The others are
of great height, and may be feen at the diftance of fix-
teen or eighteen leagues.    The Northernmoft is diftant from
or two, and left them to be devoured oy the dogs and vultures". On
the fame day the Spaniards failed with our veffels, we were removed to
Tepeak, a place fixty miles up the country : here we were allowed great liberty,
and better treatment; and more particularly fo on the arrrival of Don Bodega
Qiuadra, who was commander of his Catholic Majefty's fquadron, on the Coaft of
California. To this officer I am greatly indebted for his kind attention, and
obtaining permifiion for me to go to Mexico, to claim redrefs for our paft treatment. On my arrival at Mexico, and during my refidence there, I was treated by
the Viceroy, Don Rivella Gigeda, 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 poffeffion of my veffel, and a paffport directed
to all claffes of his fubjects, to render me every fervice I ftood in need of whilft in
his government: and fuch was his noble and generous treatment during my
continuance of fome months in Mexico and his fubfequent correfpondence, that I
am bound to acknowledge my lafting gratitude to him. I alfo underftood the
conduct of Martinez had, upon its being inveftigated, occafioned him very fevere
difgrace. On my return to St. Bias, I found the Spaniards were unloading my
veffel, 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, but other-
wife greatly damaged, and they had alfo made ufe of every part of the ftores, cargo
and provifions 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 affiftance, &c. &c. and alfo for an
allowance of eight months ftores and provifions, in vulich were included our beef
And pork, which we were obliged to fait before we put to fea under a vertical fun.
After all, our departure was retarded, by their infifHng I fhould fign a paper,
expreffing my complete and entire fatisfaction of their ufage to me and my people.
Cape   St.   Lucas,    which is the North Cape of the Gulf     K93-
of  California,     frxty-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 permiffion
to fail, with orders to go to Nootka, and take poffefiion of the Princefs Royal,
whofe crew I had with me, although the Spaniards muft have well known it was
impoffible for me to have fallen in with her there, as appeared by the orders which
the Spanifh commander had on board, when I met with him by accident fome
time afterwards at the Sandwich Ifles. Thus on the approach of winter, in a
miferable veffel, badly equipped, and worfe victualled, we failed from St. Bias,
altogether in fuch a fituation, that from the numberlefs accidents we jTuffered 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 had taken no fmall
degree of pains to inform himfelf of every particular concerning my capture, paid
fuch of the crew as furvived the wages due to them, and requefted me once more
to embark in the fame concern, on a voyage to Japan and Corea. I readily con-
fented, 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 pleating,
and as an additional proof of his confidence, he fent his brother with me as fuper-
cargo. But afterwards how great was my furprize, on hearing Mr. Mea'rshad taken
an advantage of my abfence, and publifhed in England an account of me fo contrary
j793* of that Gulf, fixteen leagues. Between thefe ifles, and
about half-way to the main, are other fmall ifles, called
the  Ifabellas,   which are remarkable for appearing,   in all
to truth ! In his appendix to his voyage, fpeaking of the fever and delirium witb
which I was afflicted whilft in the hands of the Spaniards, he had 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 publifhed
the following by way of apology and reparation:
January i, 1791.
" It is with particular fatisfaction that I poffefs the opportunity of contradicting
the mif-information of Mr. Duffin, relative to Captain Colnett's illnefs, in his letter
to me from Nootka Sound, publifhed in my memorial to the Houfe of Commons,
No. 9, and in the appendix to my voyages, No. 13 : Mr. Duffin there mentions, but
I am fure very innocently, that Mr. Colnett'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 1792, part of the money produced by the fale of
the furs, mentioned in my introduction,, was placed in one of the firft 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 affignsof fuch of the feamen
as died on the voyage. If there are any monies remaining due to their
representatives, &c. for lofs of. clothes and private property not yet fettled,
I am not accountable.
The moft particular papers relating to the tranfaction at Nootka, being loft in
his Majefty's frigate the Huffar which I had the honour to command in December,
1796, I have here given as circumftantial a detail as- I can remember, from fo>
long a period as nine years paft. VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. IO3
fituations, when at a fmall diftance, like fhips under fail. l793-
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, I 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 jn 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 fliape, 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
fcience they were inftrucfed by fome of my crew, who
had    been    employed    in    the   Newfoundland   fifheries*.
* The falting of this fifh proved, however, a very unpleafant circumftance to us,   as it occalioned our being employed to fait beef and pork for
a fleet, 104 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
V93' Several other fhallow rivers empty themfelves into this
bay, the principal of which is called Saint Jago, on
whofe Southern fide, at the diftance of two or three miles
from the mouth, is fituated the town of Saint Bias,
that contains the grand arfenal and dock-yard of the province of Mexico, and is the chief depot for all the riches
collected in the Californias. The principal ftore-houfes and
treafury are built on a fmall mount, that rifes in the
middle of the marfh which j'oins 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 prefents 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
overflowed, as to render it a matter of difficulty to
pafs on foot to the dock-yard. There are not even at fpring
tides,   more than ten or  twelve  feet  water on  the  bar^
a fleet, then fitting out in the fpring, at Saint Bias; with which the Spaniards were fo well fatisfied, that they took for themfelves all the European
fait provifions they found on board the veffels. which they had captured; as
having no doubt, but we could fait our own provifions 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 fpoile4*
and we were threatened with famine, VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 105
at the entrance of the river, and the frigates belonging 1793-
to the ftation in the Gulf of California, though they
are capable of carrying fifty guns, are conflructed fo, as to
pafs over the bar, and to protect 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 battery of fourteen or fifteen pieces
of cannon, of different bores, which they fetched from
Acapulco,   in  one of my veffels.
If I am correct in my recollection, for I have loft
all the minutes I made on the fubject, 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*.
* The fhore in the bay is low ; but the in-land mountains are very lofty j
one of them which has the moft fingular appearance, is called Tepeak,
and may be feen at the diftance of thirty leagues. Here, myfelf and thofe
of my officers and crew who furvived the yellow fever at St. Bias, paffcd
the fix latter months of our captivity.
1793* 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 fince thefe fupplies for the navy
have been procured at a far cheaper rate by the way
of China and Manilla, the naval arfenal has been removed to Saint Bias; before I left that place, the Viceroy of Mexico was fo alarmed, leaft the Court of Great-
Britain fhould revenge the infult offered her by the
capture of my veffels, that, fearful of trufting to his
flat-floored veffels, &c. &c. he had ordered two heavy frigates
of a fharp construction, to be built in the valley ofBanderra,
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 determined to return to
the Ifle Socoro, in order to recover the health of the crew.
Nov. 12. 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 to afcertain whether it afforded a
better anchoring 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 four miles of the South end of
Santo Berto, when our Latitude by obfervation was 19* 15', x^3-
and Longitude corrected, 1099 54'. At this point, the
ifland had a barren appearance, with little or no vegetation.
It lay in a North Eaft, and South Weft direction, is
about fix miles in 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
feals there, and a great number of men-of-war hawks
on the bluff, at the South end. On the Weft fide, is
a fmall bay, but, as it difappointed my expectations, I
did not land, or try for foundings in it. As the hurricane
month and unfettled weather were not as yet over, and I
knew of no fecure anchoring place at Socoro, where I
could with fafety over-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. Thomas's did actually
exift, and was not far diftant: I ftretched away to the Weftward in fearch of it, till we made y° wefting, and reached the
Longitude 118* Weft, in Latitude 20° 30. I adminiftered to
the crew who were afflicted with the fcurvy, twenty drops of
elixir of vitriol, and half a pint of wine, three times a day, with
fome preferved fruits, frefh bread, and pickles, from my own
O z ftores, I08 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS..
*"93- 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 difpofed 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 1139 zf Weft, having fallen in with five or fix wild
ducks, the whaling mafter 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  itfelf.
On the twenty-fourth day of November,   at day-light,     1793*
a 4 jo        Nov. 24;,
we faw Rocka Partida, and pafled to the Northward of
it. At noon, on the fame day, Socoro bore Eaft by Southv
diftant, feven or eight leagues.
On the following day, at noon, we got within a few 25-.
miles of the South Weft end of that ifland: Latitude,
by obfervation, 189 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 bottom.
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,
On the twenty-fixth, A. M., I permitted the greateft atf.
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
weighed. HO VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
*793* weighed from four to eight pounds. Thofe of the crew
who had perceived any fymptoms of the fcurvy laid themfelves for fome' time, in the frefh earth, and derived considerable 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 flanding; but they faw no fpring or pool of frefh
water, and were not encouraged to continue their fearch
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 neceffary 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 afterwards found fmall quantities of water, lodged in the cavities
of rocks; but, as that muft have been fupplied by fhowers,
fiich 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; at leaft, the foil is fuch, as to encourage fuch an expectation : but a very heavy gale drove us to fea, before I was fuffi-
ciently recovered to make the experiment. The garden
feeds which had been fown here,    on our former vifit,
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 Eaftward; 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 twenty-feventh, when it Nov. 27.
became calm. During the whole of this day, the crew
were fuffered 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-
picion of what had happened till two o'clock in the
It was a fingular circumftance, that having been refllefs
during the whole of the night, I quitted my bed at this hour,
and went upon deck, when I mentioned to the officer
of   the    watch,    my    fufpicion    of   the    fhip's    driving,
*793- from the found of the furf changing alternately on the
points 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
now wore away fifty fathom of cable, but not bringing
up, and a light breeze blowing, at the fame time, oft*
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 fhip's
Swinging, had catched in her heel and weighed the anchor,
which, 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
ftill continued to be in an infirm ftate, and beat off with the
fhip, till 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
fhore; at the fame time we were fheltered from the North
Eaft, to Weft by South.    I now made a ftretch off,   bent     1793.
my befl bower, unftowed the other anchors, tacked and flood
in,   and came to in ten fathom water.     The North Eaft
point bearing North, 4.50 Eaft ;   the higheft mount North,
33"   45' Weft;    the bottom  of   the  bay North,   56^  15'
Weft ;    the   Eaftern   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
more   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   unealy   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 fteady
the  fhip.
/-lthough 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
i795. of December, the barometer fell fuddenly from 30-1
to Z9-$-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 purchafe the anchor. At day-light, all round the horizon, and particularly
from the South, threatened an inftant 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 croffed the meridian, the heavy
fqualls, and frequent fhowers of rain commenced, which continued to increafe 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
had now an heavy fea, torrents of rain, 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 jj>cc. 3.
fhore again, and obferving the jolly-boat alone, I felt the
fevereft anxiety refpecting the other boat and crew. We
hove too, with the fhore, and the whaling matter
was difpatched with 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 gale,   to accompany them.    During the whole
*793> night the weather was fhowery, with occafional lightning. The winds were well to the Eaftward, 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
fecond mate; who, though he was much recovered, was
ftill in a weakly and fickly condition. It may not be unnecef-
fary 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
difeover 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     l793*
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 no9 10' Weft, and bearing
from 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 iflued 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 frrroke to iffue from any
part of the ifland. It muft, however, be acknowledged,
that Socoro is an excellent place of refort for a veffel
•with a fcorbutic crew, or to refit if engaged in a cruize
againft the Spaniards off the Coaft of Mexico, or employed in the  whaling fervice.
*793' The vegetables we found  and confidered as wholefome
efculents, were beans and the molie tree, from whofe
leaves was made a very wholefome tea, of an aromatic fmell and pleafant tafle: but it is much fmal-
ler than that defcribed by Mr. Falkner, though it was
from his defcription of its leaf and fruit that I difcovered it. The prickly pear, which is a very fovereign
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
fea birds, in great numbers. The fifh we took were
land-crabs, fea-crabs, craw-fifb, colche with femicircular
mouths, limpits, oyfters, and other fhell-fifh*. To thefe
may be added cod, rays, eels, and all thofe that are
ufually taken in tropical latitudes. The only novelty
I found among the deep water fifi% was one which bore
fome  refemblance to the parrot fifh,   with a large hump
* Of the fpecies unknown before were the Large Toothed Nevite, the Bibbed
Green Turbo, and the Buccinum Dentex, VOYAGE  TO THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 11$
of fat on the back part of its head. Of turtle, we faw *793*
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 vifible to us: but of infects and reptiles,
there were great numbers—fiich as fpiders, flies, mufqui-
tos, grafs-hoppers, crickets, and butterflies; with fcor-
pions, lizards, and fnakes. Bat the dearth of frefh water is
the moft uncomfortable and difcouraging circumftance belonging to this ifland, though I am very much difpofed to believe that an ifle of this extent, and whofe fummit 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 them.
The feafons of the year being confidered, I think the
fafeft anchorage from June to December is, between the
South and South Weft points, oppofite to two white
coral beeches, which are the firft two in fucceffion from
the South*point of the ifland towards the Weft.   It is-
l793' the place where we firft anchored, and remarkable from
the pinnacle rocks which lay clofe oft" 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 difcovered, and is
eafily known, being a ftony beech at the firft inlet in the fhore
to the Eaftward 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
this Latitude by former navigators, the South Eaft bay
would at all times afford a fecure 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 affert, and
Lord Anfon confirms their affertion, that at the time
he was cruizing for the Galeon, there was no reafon to
apprehend danger on the ( oaft of Mexico, from the middle
of October till May,    But  my journal will  fhew,   from
what we experienced, the beginning or middle of January 1793.
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,
I 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
8. 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 Paffion
Ifle 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   m
6  VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 12$
to the Southward and reach the Galipagoe Ifles where we *793-
might refit for England; unlefs we fhould fall in with
fome European Veffel that would fiipply 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
19° z8', 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 tooerch
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, 134 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
^S- 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 paffed its
full near three days, and the fun approaching to its greateft
Southern declination. As we had not lately experienced
any changeable or bac weather, we entertained the pleafing
hopes that the unfavourable feafon was nearly paffed, 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
20t 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
a,i. 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     x7p5;
my fails, I ordered the top-fails to be furled, and lay to under
ftay-fails.    On the twenty-fecond of December the weather   Dec. 22.
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       26.
feftival of the chriftian world, to pafs by without a fincere,
though imperfect celebration of it.
We had now an alternate fucceffion of calms and light
winds, which blew from the North Weft quarter* and at
times thunder and lightening. We proceeded dowm the
coaft under top-fails during the day, and lay to at night. 28.
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 many as were neceffary for our confumption.
On the thirty-firft of December our Latitude was 149 53'      3I.
and we had paffed over the ground where we had reafon to
expect the greateft fuccefs in fifhing, but had been driven off by
*794' 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 having every reafon
to believe, from the obfervations I had made, that their return
like many other fea animals are periodical, under thefe
doubtful circumftances it would have manifefted an unpardonable degree of imprudence to have remained longer on
this ftation with no more than fix months provifion, 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 veffel, who
could afford us the affiftance which we wanted. We now
put the Rattler in the befl pofture of defence our fituation
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 fuperiority of failing, the
latter we had great faith in.
January i. On January the firft in Latitude 14° 3d 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 Horn, fo much fo, that I was under fome
apprehenfion that we fhould lofe our main maft.    On the
fecond *794-
January 2.
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-lead 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 12° 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.
On the fixteenth we faw a fail to the Southward between
us and the fhore, and flanding to the Northward and Weftward. At noon, being in Latitude 12° 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 veffel neared us confider-
ably by one o'clock, and difplayed Spanifh colours: when it
proved calm I fent the boat with the whaling mafter to board
her, which he accordingly did, and returned with two
fheep, fix fowk, twelve tongues, feveral pumpkins and
two bags of bread. The fupercargo, who accompanied this
prefent, brought an excufe from the mafter of the veffel,
for 128 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
1794. 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 wTere on the Coaft of Peru, a French privateer, two
fnows and a fchooner, which had already captured feveral
veffels. I fent the Spanifh fupercargo 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 veffel, 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 cohverfation, 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, distancing the land, at the fame time,
from VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 129
from twelve to fifteen leagues.     The fea  was continually     J794«
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       a&
North Weft to South Weft, our Latitude was y° 54' North.
On the twenty-feventh, being  in the vicinity  of the Ifle       27.
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
1794*     on this cruize were very variable, but rather more in the
weftern than the eaftern quarter.
Between Cape Dulce and the South end of Quibo, are
the Ifles Zedzones, Mentuofa and Quicaras. The Zedzones
confift of fmall barren rocks. Mentuofa rifes to a confider-
able height, and is ftve or Hx miles in circumference, its
fummit is covered! with trees, the greater part are thofe
which bear the cocoa nut, which gives it a very pleafant
appearance, but iflets and breakers extend off its Eaft and
Weft ends to the diftance of three or four 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 few birds. The Spaniards or Indians had
been lately here, to fifh on the reef for pearls, and had left
great heaps of oyfter fhells. It may not, therefore, be improper to fuggeft to thofe who may hereafter find it convenient
to land in this ifland, to be prepared to defend themfelves,
in cafe they fhould be attacked by any of its occafional
vifitors. There were a great plenty of parrots, doves and
guanos, and it is probable that other refrefhments might
be obtained of which we are ignorant.    At all events,   it
may be ufeful to whalers or cruizers, by offering a place 1794.
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 y° 15' North,
and Longitude 829 40' Weft. The quicaras confift of two
ifles: the larger one is about fix or feven miles, and the
leffer 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 y°- 19' 35" North, foundings thirty-eight fathom.
The South point of Quibo bearing South 4Z0 Weft, the
North Eaft point bearing North 459 Weft, and Cape Mariato
bearing Eaft 49 30' South. We had light airs and pleafant
R z weather w
J794» 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 constantly 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 were immediately fent to difcover the watering place.
It was calm through the night 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
difcovered 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 lpringing up from
the Eaft, we made fail, and ran along the edge of the reef,
founding feven, 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 449 Weft; and South point Ifle Quibo South 32?
Eaft. Latitude by obfervation y° zy'x and Longitude 829 ioA.
We lay here till the feventeenth of February, and got     1794-
February 17;
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 harraffed 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 Patalla, not before well,
known to collectors in conchology. *34 VOYAGE TO   THE  SOUTH   SEAS.
*79*» From one of them I had a very fortunate efcape.    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 paffed over a large alligator,
laying afleep under a ledge of the rock, and appeared to be
3, part of it; and being in a deep hollow I could not have
efcaped, if a little boy, the nephew of Captain Marfhall,
who accompanied me, had not alarmed me with his out-cry.
I had juft time enough to put a ball in my gun, the 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 ftomachs of feveral of the
ihakes which we took, there were fifh in an undigefted ftate,
and of a fize that credulity itfelf would almoft refine to
believe. Thefe voracious animals, appear to have greatly
leffened 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 fiaakes of different kinds, the largeft we faw were the
hooded fhakes. As I was fotting on a bank at the fide of
a rivulet, one of the fmaller bit me by the left knee, which
caufed VOYAGE  TO   THE  SOUTH   SEAS. #Jg
caufed it to fwell to that degree, that I had a doubt for fome     *794'
time whether it would not coll me my life.
The vegetables and fruits we obtained on this ifland were
but few. There were fome cocoa trees in the bottom of
the bay; and we found beans growing near the fpot, where
the Spanifh pearl fifhers or Indians had refided; and from
whence, as we conjectured from the ftate of their fire-places,
they were but lately removed. The miftol and the chanmer
tree, mentioned by Mr. Falkner, were feen in great plenty, but
the fruit produced a naufea and ficknefs foon after it was
fwallowed* The officer, whom I fent to the Northward,
informed me, that the huts remained 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 thk ifland to refit.
Quibo is the moft commodious place for cruizers, of any I
had feen in thefe feas; as all parts of it fumifh plenty of wood
and water- The rivulet from whence we collected our flocks
was about twelve feet in breadth, and we might have got
timber for any purpofe for which it could have been wanted.
There are trees of the cedar kind a fufficient fize to form
mails for a fhip-of the firft rate, and of the quality which the
Spaniards I36 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
r;94« Spaniards in their dock yards ufe for every purpofe of fhip
building, making mafts, &c. A veffel 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 feven 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
veffels, acting upon the defenfive or offenfive, to anchor
far in, as the wind throughout the day, blows frefh from
the Eaftward, 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 £ye 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     1794.
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 neceffary 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 17.
in purchafmg 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,       i8»
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;       28.
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 neceffary
for us to reach the Galipagoe Ifles before they commenced;
where we propofed, (as the  whaling  bufinefs  had  failed,)
to   procure   fait,   for   the   purpofe   of   faking   feal-fkins
at the   Iflands   of   Saint  Felix,   and  Saint Ambrofe,   in
Latitude z6° 15' South.
1794* 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 light and moftly Southerly.
They fometimes blew a ftrong gale through the night,
but generally a ftiff breeze from North by I£aft, to North
by Weft: but in the day we had pleafant weather.
As I could depend on the failing of the Rattler, I determined
March u on my route the fuzft of March, and fleered away to the
Southward in a direct line for the ifles..
4. On the fourth day of the fame month, being in Latitude
4* North, the winds varied between the South Eaft and
South Weft points, and at intervals blew from the Weftward;
but when they returned to the Northward,, they were very
light and of fhort duration. At this period an innumerable
flight of birds accompanied us, and we had turtles in great
plenty, but they foon grew fcarce; though we continued to
take bonnettas, dolphins, porpoifes and black-fifh in great
abundance. The weather then changed to rain with
thunder and lightning;, and we  every day remarked  our
palling through ftrong ripplings and veins of currents, all of    J794«
which run to the Weft till we made the ifles.
On the twelfth, at break of day, we faw Chatham Ifle, March it.
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 bay 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 line, 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 Eaftward
of the Kicker rock, there being regular foundings between
it and the bluff, which formed the Eaftern point of the
bay: the greateft depth between them thirty fathoms, but
the deepeft water is near the rock.
We  lay in   this   bay   till the   feventeenth  of   March,      *?*
employed   in   fearching   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
*794« of the molie tree, wild mint tea, and a diet of turtle and
teal foup, &c. 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 Eaftern part of the ifle. The latter
were not examined, as the party did not land there; and the
former was no more than fufficient 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 poffefles the convenience of a fmall
interior cove, with three fathom water, that will hold four or
£ve fail, and where they would be fheltered from all winds*
Alfo a fine fandy beach beneath the rocks, on which,
a veffel may be hauled on fhore, or heave down if occafion
fhould require it; and great abundance of turtles, mullet,
and other fifh 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 x794*
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 feen.
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^i'^i"
South. We now fhortened fail and flood 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 2c*
was 19 28' 13" South; the extremes of Charles Ifle bearing
from Weft 69 North, to Weft zo.° 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 145 voyage to the south seas.
I794« during the night, with the defign of going on fhore in the
morning. This ifle is of a moderate height, prefents a
pleafant afpect, and is furrounded with fmall iflets, the two
largeft of which I named, after the admirals Sir Alan Gardner
and Caldwell. There are feveral fandy beaches on it, and
a 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
them to be the Croffman and Brattles Ifles of the Buccaneers.
March 20. At noon on the twentieth, our Latitude was i9 zg South:
the extremes of Charles Ifle bearing from Eaft 149 North,
to Eaft Z4° North; and Albemarle ifle from North 459
Weft, to North io9 Weft; with a fmall flat ifle between
them. We faw feveral fpermaceti 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 from the current running fo ftrong to the Weftward.
al» At noon on the twenty-firft, our Latitude was i9 19' South,
Albemarle Ifle bearing from North z0° Eaft, to North 319
Weft; and Perry Ifthmus, North 59 Weft. By four o'clock
in the afternoon, we got within two miles of the South
and Eaft end of Albemarle Ifle, when we tried for founding i794-
with one hundred fathom of line but found no bottom.
The following day, as foon as it was light, 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 g$ 14" South.
The extremities of Albemarle Ifle, bearing from Eaft
ZZ°' South, to North io9 Eaft; and of Narborough Ifle from
North, to North zo° Weft.
A large bay opened to our view, which was formed by March 23.
the South and Weft points of Albemarle Ifle, and the Eaft
part of Narborough Ifle, having received originally from
the Buccaneers the name of Elizabeth Bay. As it is very
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 fifty fathom of line. The mhofpitabk
appearance of this place was fuch as I had never before feen,
nor had I ever beheld fuch wild clufters of hillocks, in fuch
ftrange irregular fhapes and forms, as the fhore prefented,
except on the fields of ice near the South Pole. The bafe
appeared to be one entire clinker to a confiderable diftance
from 144 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
I794« fr0m the water-fide, and the little verdure that was vilible
was on the tops of the hills, which were crowned with low,
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
current; 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 3$' 6" South: the extremities
of land bearing from North   iz° Eaft, to Eaft 3y° South,
In the evening we got well up with the South end of x^4'
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 zi° Eaft, to South 5s9 Eaft. The North Weft
Cape of Albemarle Ifle, (which I have name*d Cape
Berkeley, from the honourable Captain Berkeley), bearing
Eaft 49 North, North end Eaft zy° North. The North
point of land in fight, bearing Eaft 36° North, and the
Rodondo 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
*794- get into the bay; but rowed under the North point of
Albemarle Ifle, where the party landed, and returned in
the evening. They found this part of the Ifle equally
inhofpitable as the Southern part of it: but had procured a
few rock-cod, with fome hump-back turtles, and faw a
conftderable number of feals.
Narborough Ifle is the higheft land among the
Galipagoe Iflands, lying near the center of Albemarle
Ifle, which almoft fiirrounds it, in the form of two
cjrefcents, and making two bays. The apparent point of
divifion of thefe iflands, is fo low on both, that I
am in doubt whether they are feperated. On the
next morning we faw fpermaceti whales, we killed
feven and got them along fide; Rock Rodondo bearing Eaft
ZZ* South, the Northemmoft land bearing Eaft 189 South,
and the South Weft land bearing South 28° Eaft. The
weather was hazy, and the Latitude by obfervation
April 8. oo9 zf 13 North. Here we cruifed till the eighth of
April, and faw fpermaceti whales in great numbers, but
only killed five, of which we fecured four. The current
ran fo ftrong to the Weftward, and the winds were fo light,
that after laying to, to fecure the whales and cut them up,
we were feven days in returning to the ground from whence
we drifted. In the winter feafon, when the winds arc more 1794.
frefh, thefe difficulties might not occur, otherwife, it would
be impoffible for any veffel, which was not a very prime
failer, to whale here with fuccefs; though at a certain feafon
any quantity of fperm oil might be procured. The
oldeft whale-fifhers, with whom I have converfed, 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 length,
with the granes. Young fpermaceti whales were alfo feen
in great numbers, which were not larger than a fmall
porpoife. 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 current
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
1794.     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 line,
as if they were in hafle to reach 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
difhearten us, as we found by keeping between the North
point of Narborough Ifle, and North point of Albemarle Ifle,
and not going ta the Northward of the latter, that we were
able to maintain our ground; and the hope which now
poffeffed 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     1754-
° . & AprilS.
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 Handing in with the fhore to reconnoitre
her, having great confidence in the failing of our own
veffel. During the evening, night and morning^ we had
alternately heavy fogs, light 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 fufpected 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 faft. We made all the fail we 9,
could from her, (our Latitude at noon o9 19 $2" North,)
but I entertained little or no hope of efcaping: we therefore cut down the flern, in order to get out two three-
pounders, which were all the great guns we had, and put
" _  <!.'..-**** *i<»
*794- ourfelvcs in the beftpofture of defence in our power. Finding
at four o'clock in the afternoon that fhe ftili" gained ground
upon us, but 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 aflford 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-fet, however
the fhip joined as, and proved, after all our alarm and
preparations, to be the Butterwrorth 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 faking fkins; and on the coaft of California, he had
procured an hundred tons of oil from the fea Hon and fea
elephant; and he added, that he alfo might have procured
ten  thoufand  tons  of oil  from  the  fame  animals,  if he     1^94"
had  poffeffed a fufficient number of cafks  to  have   contained it.
I recommended him to proceed to James's Ifle, and
offered him a copy of a chart, which. I had received from
Mr. Stephens, which would direct him to the watering
place, defcribed by the Buccaneers, whofe information I
had no reafon to doubt: but if he had no faith in it, he
might go to Ifle Cocas or Quibo, where I had procured
plenty; but no perfuafion of mine, however, had any weight,
as his principal object appeared to be that I fhould
accompany him. In addition to my other inclinations to
render him every fervice in my power, the feveral acts of
civility I had received from Mr. Perry of Blackwall, one
of his owners, had the greateft weight with me; and
underftanding his intention was alfo to continue in company
to our arrival in England, I undertook to fhew him the
way  into port.
In confequence of light winds, thick weather and ftrong
Northerly currents, we were driven as far North as i9 3',
and faw Culpepper's Ifle, which rifes to a confiderable
height, though it is of fmall extent; but the weather was
*794-     fo hazy, and we were at fuch a diftance,   that I am not
qualified to give a further account of it.
Though our fhips were excellent failers, we were fifteen
days 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
one time, 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 knowm to the Buccaneers; and,
according to my obfervation, is in Latitude o9 33 North, and
Longitude 909 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 ftretching 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   Eaftward   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 I794-
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 i y° South; South point
of James's Ifle, on with Cowley's enchanted Ifle, and South
part of Albemarle Ifle South 24° Weft: North point of
Albemarle Ifle Weft z$° 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 furf prevented us
from landing. We rowed clofe to the beach, but *faw not
the leaftfigns 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
whaling-mafter 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 154 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
J794-     bad weather,   I deferred taking a furvey of  the  ifle   till
they were repaired.
Though we fent the Butterworth daily fupplies of water,
I did not forefee the confequence of our generofity ; for from
that moment, the commander never gave himfelf the leaft
concern to look for any; but employed his crew in cutting a
very large quantity of wood, and flocking himfelf with land
tortoife privately, from a fpot which we agreed fhould remain
facred, till we were ready for failing, and then fhare our
flock together. Indeed I not only fupplied Mr. Sharp with
water, but may be faid alfo to have added to his food; for
he did not know that the tortoife was an wholefome eatable
till I informed  him of it.
As I had at this time many reafons to doubt his continuing
long in company with me, and in cafe of feparation the
Rattler had no boat belonging to her calculated to bring water
any diftance, it awakened my precaution to provide for any
unforefeen accident fhould it befall us reflecting that neceffary
article. I determined therefore, to fupply him monthly
throughout our voyage, and the information of this arrangement produced a better effect than I expected, as it
ftimulated   him   to  fearch   for water,   which   he   found
within  two miles of his fhip.
After VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. t$$
After anchoring and his prefent wants being accommodated, 1794
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 corresponding 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
ufe I failed without him.
As foon as a boat was repaired, I fet out to furvey
the South Eaft part of this and Albemarle Ifle. On reaching
the South point of James's Ifle, I got fight of three other
ifles which I had not feen before, nor can I trace them
in the Buccaneers accounts, no more than the ifle which
we faw to Weftward, when at anchor in Stephens's bay,
Chatham Ifle. Thefe three ifles now feen, I named after the
admirals Barrington, Duncan, and Jarvis. The two *
Northernmoft, which are neareft to James's Ifle, are the
higheft, 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 z a parallel l$6 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
*794- a parallel with the water's edge. We did not land on
either of them. In this 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,
in fhape and fize, but of a black plumage ; the male was the
darkeft, 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 con-
fiderable number of broken jars fcattered 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
flieltered 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 forms the South point of Frefh-
water bay.    Though there is a great plenty of wood, that     x794»
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,
*7$4« ^hich in whatever way it was drefTed, was confidered by
all of us as the moft delicious food we had ever tafted.
The fat of thefe animals when melted down, was equal
to frefh butter; thofe which weighed from thirty to forty
pounds, were the beft, and yielded two quarts of fat: fome
of the largeft, when {landing 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, that a pebble would {hatter 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
v ue given to James's Ifle, as it is the only one we
found funicrent frelh water at to fupply a fmall fhip.
But Chatham Ifle being one of the Southernmost, I recommend to be the firft made, in order to afcertain the fhips true
fituation VOYAGE  TO THE  SOUTH   SEAS. 159
fituation, in which you may be otherwife miftaken, from *794»
the uncertain and ftrong currents, as well as the thick
weather which is fo prevalent there. As it flands 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. Veffels bound round Cape Horn to any part North
of the Equator, or whalers on their voyage to the North
or South Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf of Panama, will find
thefe iflands very convenient places for refitting and
refrefhment. They would alfo in future ferve as a place
pf rendezvous for Britifh fifhing fhips, as they are contiguous to the befl fifhing grounds.
May9^. v^N 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 Eaftward,
with a ftrong Northerly current; fo that all our endeavours
were in vain to get to the Weftward and round to the
South, VOYAGE  TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. l6l
South, without wafting as much time as we had before *794«
done, to get to the Eaftward, 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 wThales; and on
the 16th of May, got fight of Wenam's Ifle, bearing Weft May i6.
North Weft, feven or eight Leagues. It is fmall, but of con-
fiderable height, like Culpepper's Ifle> and I make it in
Latitue i9 zi North, and Longitude 919 46'Weft. The
time of our propofed cruize off thefe ifles was expired, and
the winds obliged me to fland away to the Eaftward 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 difficulty,
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  Spam.
But this  veffel  was  too   far up the Gulf,   as well as in
X too tSz
too fhallow water
- for
us to follow her.
On the following
June 5.
of June,   we
a fteady wind
from the South Weft, but as we diftanced the fhore and
Southerd our Latitude, it hauled to the South Eaft,
encreafing daily in ftrength, with an heavy fea. The weather,
was fometimes fqually, with frequent fhowers of rain; and
when we got inta Latitude 179 South, and Longitude 909
Weft, the wind hauled well to the Eaft.
,9. On the 19th of June, when we were in Latitude 240, and
Longitude 909 30', an heavy gale of wind blew from the
Northward. From the time of our leaving Cape Blanco
the fhip   had   made   water,   which   now began   to  gain
21. oh us: and in the afternoon of the tWenty-firft, in a
violent fquall of wind and rain, our fair weather top-fails
arid courfes were blown to pieces, and having neither
canvas or twine to impair them, we were under the
necefiity of bending our  befl and only fuit.
At night, being in the fuppofed fituation of Saint Felix
arid Saint Ambrofe Ifles by different navigators, we hove to
till day-light, and then fcudded till 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 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. t 6j
Eaft and Weft in the fuppofed Latitude of thefe ifles, *794*
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 faking and drying feal-fkins; intending then
to proceed to the Eaftward as far as Eafter Ifle, to
fearch for ifles mentioned in the following extract of a letter
in the poffeffion 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.
16th September, 1773.
" The Achilles left Calloa the feventh of April, and arrived
at Cadiz the tenth, by which we learn that the frigate
Le Lievre (the Hare) had difeovered five iflands in the
South fea, in about zy° of South Latitude; that one of
them was confiderably 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, 1775.
" The tenth   inftant   came   into  Cadiz,   the   merchant
fhip  Achilles, which  left Calloa off Lima, the feventh of
X: z April
_ ___: ___ : —- 164 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
1794. April laft, This veffel brought news to the court of the
difcovery, and the taking poffeffion, in the name of the
King, of feveral fmall iflands in the South feas, to zy° 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 well difpofed;
and that the country abounded with wood, fowls, hogs*
and certain roots of which they made bread, perhaps-
iS 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 mora
probable is, that they found the interior inhabitants
poffeffed of hatchets, fpades and hoes."
Roggewein's VOYAGE  TO  THE   SOUTH  SEAS. l$$
Roggewein's account of an ifle in this Latitude, differs x794«
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 Junea2i-
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
rufhed in forward, and that part of the wooding ends-
were flarted.
—- r
* 794- On the North fide of the Wefternmoft ifle,   at half a
mile diftance from the fhore, there was fafe anchorage, with
a foutherly wind, which now blew: but 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 fliort, 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 act of juftice in me to declare that, in everv
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 fmall 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 z6° o', the weather mode-     *794-
June aerated fo much as to afford an opportunity of examining the
leak, when we found the lower cheek of the head loofened,
and the wafh-boards of the flarboard cheek, entirely wafhed
away;   the  oakum  worked    out   of   the   wooden   ends,
fo as to admit an  arm-full to be fluffed in by hand, and
no one was yet convinced but that the plank had flarted
from the flem.    We made our utmoft exertions to get every
thing aft, in order to raife the leak above water: and here,
to add to our difappointment, it became neceffary, for want
of food to fuftain them, to kill our fmall flock of pigs which
had been referved to regale us on our homeward paffage round
Cape Horn.
By the twenty-feventh we had returned again to the
Northward as far as 189 South, when we finifhed caulking
and leading over the leak, the only method we had of
fecuring it, having neither pitch, tar, or rofin on board,
our marine ftores being all expended. Our bread was not
fit to eat, and our other provifions 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 wTe made the land, in hopes to fall in:
with fW
J794*    -with fome European veffel to obtain fupplies to enable us
to wTait for a more favourable period to round Cape Horn.
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.
June 29. On the twenty-ninth we reached as far Northward as
3°- 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
ftretched to the Southward, the wind hung more to the
Eaftward of South, than on the former part of our voyage.
When we were in Latitude Z49, a very fingular circum- *794-
ftance happened, which as it fpread fome alarm among
my people, and awakened their fuperftitious apprehenfions,
I fhall beg leave to mention. About eight o'clock in the
evening an animal rofe along-fide the fhip, and uttered fuch
fhrieks and tones of lamentation fo like thofe produced by
the female human voice, when expreffing the deepeft diftrefs,
as to occafion no fmall degree of alarm among thofe who
firft heard it. Thefe cries continued for upwards of three
hours, and feemed to encreafe 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 fufficient, without the
additional inconvenience of thefe accidental events, to caufe
any temporary depreflion of thofe fpirits which were fo<
neceffary to. meet the diftrelfes we might be obliged to:
As we failed up the coaft of Chili  and. Peru,   from the
Latitude 3s9   South,  we  never had occafion to reef from
the ftrcngth of the  wind; while the barometer, from that
Y Latitude,.
M^ LW^*w*s^w~ ■*•+**■». ****>. __ I70 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
J794* Latitude, flood moftly at 29-9, and the thermometer at
60, rifing gradually till in the Latitude of i9 30' South, till
it reached yz; 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
mifty weather. The morning, evening,- and night, were
always cloudy, but the middle of the day was generally
clear, fo that I feldom enjoyed a diftinct view of the
Cordileras des Andes. The miftinefs of the early part of
the day, proceeded from the fun rifing behind the Andes,
and 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
obferving the direction of large beds of fmall blubber, with
which  this  coaft abounds,   and  from  whence the   water
derives VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS. I/I
derives a colour like that of blood ; I have fometimes been     i794-
engaged for an  whole  day in pafling 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 fhoals 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-fifli, the latter
of which proved an agreeable and wholefome addition
to    our   daily   fare.
All the birds which are ufually feen at fea in fimilar
Latitudes are to be found on this coaft. There are alfo
the Port Egmont hen and albatrofs, which are generally
fuppofed to be the conftant inhabitants of colder
*794* We fometimes pafled great numbers of fmall birds, lying
dead 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 their conllant refort, they will, in thick weather, determine the vicinity of the ifland.
I tried for foundings, in many parts of the coaft, at the
diftance of five and fix leagues from the fhore, but could
not obtain any bottom with one hundred and fifty
fathoms of line. In thick weather, however, when you
draw near land, large quantities of fea-weed will appear,
and birds, in great numbers, fitting on the water. Seals
are no certain criterion for being near the fhore; as I have
often feen them, at the diftance of an hundred 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 appearance of a crooked billet. On any part of
the coaft of Chili, or Peru, a fealing voyage might be made
with great profpect of fuccefs, as well as at the Ifles of
Saint Felix and Saint Ambrofe.
In our paffage down the coaft of Chili, we had South
Eaft and  Eafterly winds,   with  variable,   but in  general
pleafant VOYAGE TO  THE   SOUTH   SEAS. 173
pleafant weather, accompanied with occafional fhowers. 1794.
In Latitude 330 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 into 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 ftrong Southerly
On the twenty-fixth of July, in Latitude 489 South, the juty 26.
coaft of Chili prefented to us a range of high mountains
covered with fnow. We had now frequent fhowers of rain,
hail and fnow, and, on the firft of Auguft, doubled Cape Auguft 1,
Horn at the diftance of fifteen Leagues. During the whole of
the paffage, the weather was 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 409, 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
- - 174 VOYAGE   TO   THE   SOUTH   SEAS.
I794-     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 479 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 fprang up, which was
accompanied  with rain, hail and  fnow.
Under reefed fore-fail, and clofe-reefed main-top-fail, all
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 feven months
employed in completing : alfo damaged every thing in the
cabin, We foon, however, fixed and fecured 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     i794«
thermometer flood at 43-5, 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 £3° and 409 South, and Longitude 599 and 389 Weft, we faw large bodies of fea-
weed, and great numbers of birds: and on the
eleventh of Auguft, we croffed near the fuppofed Auguft n.
fituation of the Ifle Grande. At this time my veffel 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 fufficient 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 3$° 45', and Longitude
319 zz Weft, when we had light and variable winds. On
the eighteenth of Auguft, at noon, the Latitude being xg.
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
1. T»-»jr£g»g*w&r;i ■j^^'^fe^^. Ij6 VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEAS.
i794«     the   laft   day   of   Auguft,   in   Latitude    io9,   the   wind
Auguft 31.  . J . .
inclined to, and continued in,   the  Eaft and  South Eaft
Sept x. 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 fame 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
fhifting their wet clothes. The difeafe feized them in a
manner very different from any appearance of this diforder
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
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;
but it was very uncertain when a convoy would arrive, I
determined therefore, as my veffel was a very fine failer,
to make my flay here as fhort as poffible; and accordingly,
Z by
Sep?4!?, ty   the   thirteenth,   the   Governor   having   made   up   his
packet, we failed for England in perfect health.
23. On the twenty'third of September,   being in Latitude
49 38' 9    North, and Longitude  Z30 ZZ  Weft,   the wind
*8. varied to the Weftward; and on the twenty-eighth, in
Latitude 249 zz' 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
Oftober u.and thick weather till we made land. On the eleventh of
October,  the  head of our mizen-maft was gone; and on
t$' 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 affume as much as poffible the appearance of
a man of war. We faw 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 oft"and VOYAGE  TO THE  SOUTH   SEAS. 179
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.
" gajftfaawsarj^yss'^  >
-   —
dJ  Q
■ ■■
	  CC/ s  %s
il!,:yiiiiiiiiMHM|iiMi ""WITHtlHW
£) -re Rocks
Aamt^ 12° io E.
nBnmnBnaimmiimtmHm •   ' iMiipiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiror'" —laimniin
I   S   L  A ^T »   §
— hv -
$/. QlJrf/wr.J ( o///e/f
of tlie
Royal Natt.
26 5
J2ti<yrtved by TJ'oot.
tk .ikuii— hu HMmwiiBWimrz: i1 JiacKir.::.: 1
LounitiuU    TVesf' frfta.     GREENWICH.
nXTfflWW iwi;iiinimimni|njpnm—-    nini|i'|]iin]inniiii|ii mm 'MfliBmiiamullL.
London. Btihli&hed January lfrijt)S, b\ AArrowfinitlL,Charies Street, Sohe>Square-
., ....  Londiw./}/M>£/v/./w,7/-i' if'i.jgS, l>v tehixwitieaafi^ChaNes Street, Soho Squat \sm^^.Jftihlished January l^ljt) 8, by AJ^rvowsaxiih. .Charles Stt-eet, SohoSquare. ^cufcgyi&iffifr^^iiliB^^I^'
A. Jlie Bay we left our Hogs L- Goats ui
and Sowed every land of* Garden seeds
R. Warers Bay just opening
Chatham Bay m the me of Co cas. dish or 4 mius
A. The E. .Point [he core our Tent mis tliii i
R. The S Point the Me
S.E. Part of the Isle of SO € OR A* taker? atb disffrvM shore If miles
D IE G O  11 AM Ell E Z , 5 or 6 Leagues PHYSETER, or  SPERMACETI   WHALE.
^/?/iavi   /// )/r///f", /?<>///  twr AYf/tYr   tw /At*  ( f}f&i/ {vCl/t^tr*
August t/9^- and hoisted xa on Deck.
J 1_4_
Scale of Feet.
A. Part of the Head containing ligtad Oil, which is coveted with a black membrane. J$.Thc Spout-hole which runs horizontally alow the
lettsule, and is also seperated by die same kind of membrane. The part between the two double lines, is corerd with Fat ofconsider-
able thicknefs, like that of a hog, these parts make one third of the quantity' of Oil the Fish produces, of which the liquid is about otie
third. A3.FartofmeHead'which of large Whales being too bulky and ponderous to be hoisted on board, is suspended in tactics and the
frontpaiT cut off as described tints,//and the Oil bailed out mdi backets; but in small IVhales, the head is divided at the double line belowC.C.
and hoisted upon deck. MWTfhere the tackles are toggled or hook d. 1) TInhere the tacklesare nrsthooked,wluehis called raising, a ~~
peice, being thus steadied in the tackles the head is divided at the lowest double litie andwore astern tillthefish ifflinched, which is
done by seperating the Fat from theJSodv with long handled Iron Spades, as die iVhale is hove round by die tackles the Fat peels
off, and ifanv Sea is on die rising of the Ship considerably expedites the business.^^ Y*,+4 large lump of Fat. Y.A. smaller.'^—*,
when the Fish is flinched, or peeled to E. itwiMno longer cant m thetackles, if therefore act through at the first double Une and also
at G. the Tail being of no value , TLThe Far, which is remarkably small in proportion to the body, as if afsotheFye from which a
hollow or concave line runs to the forepart of the head die Fyes being prominent enables them to pursue their Trey in a direct one,
and by inclining the head a little either to the ru/ht or left to see their enemy astern, they have only one row of Teetfi,which are
in the lower Jaw with sockets in the igtper one to receive them, die number depends on the age of the Fifh, the lower Jaw is a solid
Bone that narrows nearly to a point and closes under the upper, when theyspout, diey throw the water forwards and 7iot upwards like
other Whales except when they ate enraged, they also s/foutmore reqular and stay longer under water the larger the Fifh the more
frequently din spout and continue longer umler water. The Ttul is horizontal with which lie docs much mischief i/i defending him -
self. Their Food, from all the obsen/ations I have had an oppertunity of making, has been die Sepia or middle (itttle Fifh.	
This species of the Whale, is remarkable for its attachment and for atsisting each otfier when struck with a harpoon: and more mis*
chief is done by thefoo/e Fish ,dian those the boats me fast to, and the) frequently bite the lines vi two which die struck Fifh is fastwith^
The Ambergreasc is generally discoverd bvprobing die intestines with a long Pole, when the Fish is cut in two at E.  — —	 VIEW of the N.W.end ^JAME $9S ISIiANB, one of the Galapagos taken atz.
A   Albanie Isle.
T,   TlielT.Wipoiitf round which is a small Bay which! take
fortiv one die Buccaneers caMil ti-esli water'Hay in which
were many ut'their■Traces such as old Jars ice. also ground
cleared away either as a Platform for Guns or to Laid Stores te
but die water since dim has taken a different course icftdls
down between two hills at C kriuis over a little di/t of locks
huv the Sea.
D    Wliere we wooded Schauta -ay of ash
E    A small beach wliere die Buccaneers lias Ibeleive made dieir
general\ landing Tlace khave ruu
hereyvu nuiy walk rer miles in aDdwhtiidl (trove.
~E     Cowleys end united Isle.
G   Tart of Albemarle Isle.
one of the Galapagos taAen at I in Stephens's Bay.
CHATHAM    iSLE^w   of the  Cralapagos taken at Z.1? ?niles  dist London. Published Ja/iaary rP'ijgfi. fry A Arrowihiith, diaries Street, Soho Square


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