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passage with a strong stream running to the westward, and found it about a quarter of a mile broad, with every appearance of deep water.'
Friday, May the 29th. They entered a fine sandy bay, and soon found oysters on the rocks, and plenty of fresh water. Among the few things which had been thrown into the boat and saved, was a piece of brimstone and a tinder-box, so that I secured fire for the future. One of my people bad been so provident as to bring away with hin a copper pot : it was by being in possession of this article that I was enabled to make a proper use of the supply we found, for, 'with a mixture of bread and a little pork, I made a stew that might have been relished by people of more delicate appetites, of which each person received a full pint.
The general coinplaints of disease among us, were a dizziness in the head, great weakness of the joints, and violent tenesmus, most of us having had no evacuation by stool since we left the ship. I had constantly a severe pain at my stomach; but none of our complaints were alarming; on the contrary, every one retained marks of strength, that, with a mind possessed of any fortitude, could bear more fatigue than I hoped we had to undergo in our voyage to Timor.'
The traces of animals and men were discovered on the island. Its latitude was found to be 12 deg. 39 min. S. Having got a quantity of oysters and nearly sixty gallons of water, Mr. Bligh sailed on the 31st of May. He again landed on the first of June, when Mr. Nelson grew very ill, with weakness, loss of sight, and giddiness; but, on receiving a glass of wine, he recovered a little. After touching at several islands, he reached the termination of the rocks and shoals of New Holland, and then again launched into the open ocean with great confidence.
After sailing for a few days in very rough weather, Mr. Bligh says, “I now remarked that Mr. Ledward, the surgeon, and Lawrence Lebogue, an old hardy seaman, were giving way very fast. I could only assist them by a tea-spoonful or two of wine, which I had carefully saved, expecting such a melancholy necessity. Among most of the others I observed
more than a common inclination to sleep, which seemed to indicate that nature was almost exhausted. For my own part, a great share of spirits, with the hopes of being able to accomplish the voyage, seemed to be my principal support; but the boatswain very innocently told me, that he really thought I looked worse than any one in the boat. The simplicity with which he uttered such an opinion diverted me, and I had good humour enough to return him a better compliment.
* At three in the morning, with an excess of joy, we discovered Timor bearing from W. S. W. to W. N. W., and I hauled on a wind to the N. N. E. till day-light, when the land bore from S. W. by S. about two leagues to N. E. by N. seven leagues. It is not possible for me to describe the pleasure which the blessing of the sight of land diffused among us. It appeared scarce credible, that in an open boat, and so poorly provided, that we should have been able to reach the coast of Timor in forty-one days after leaving Tofoa, having in that time run, by our log, a distance of 3618 miles, and that, notwithstanding our extreme distress, no one should have perished in the voyage.'
They coasted the island for two days in search of the European settlement; captain Bligh opposing every proposition to land, lest the natives perceiving their helpless condition, should fall upon them. At last they procured a native pilot to carry them to Coupang. “At night,' says captain Bligh, 'I came to a grapnel, and for the first time I issued double allowance of bread and a little wine to each person. At one o'clock in the morning, after the most happy and sweet sleep that ever men had, we weighed, and continued to keep the east shore on board, in very smooth water; when at last I found we were again open to the sea, the whole of the land to the westward, that we had passed, being an island, which the pilot called Pulo Samow. The northern entrance of this channel is about a mile and a half or two miles wide, and I had no ground at ten fathoms.
* Hearing the report of two cannon that were fired, gave new life to every one; and soon after we discovered two
square-rigged vessels and a cutter at anchor to the eastward. I endeavoured to work to windward, but we were obliged to take to our oars again, having lost ground on each tack. We kept close to the shore, and continued rowing till four o'clock, when I brought to a grapnel, and gave another allowance of bread and wine to all hands. As soon as we had rested a little, we weighed again, and rowed till near day-light, when I came to a grapnel, off a small fort and town, which the pilot told me was Coupang.
Among the things which the boatswain had thrown into the boat before we left the ship, was a bundle of signal flags that had been made for the boats to show the depth of water in sounding ; with these I had, in the course of the passage, made a small jack, which I now hoisted in the main shrouds, for I did not choose to land without leave.
“Soon after day-break a soldier hailed me to land, which I instantly did, among a crowd of Indians, and was agreeably surprised to meet with an English sailor, who belonged to one of the vessels in the road. His captain, he told me, was the second person in the town; I therefore desired to be conducted to him, as I was informed the governor was ill, and could not then be spoken with.
• Captain Spikerman received me with great humanity. I informed him of our miserable situation ; and requested that care might be taken of those who were with me, without delay. On which he gave directions for their immediate reception at his bwn house, and went himself to the governor, to know at what time I could be permitted to see him ; which was fixed to be at eleven o clock.
I now desired every one to come on shore, which was as much as some of them could do, being scarce able to walk: they, however, got at last to the house, and found tea with bread and butter provided for their breakfast.
• The abilities of a painter, perhaps, could never have been displayed to more advantage than in the delineation of the two groups of figures, which at this time presented themselves, An indifferent spectator would have been at a loss which most to admire; the eyes of famine sparkling at immediate relief,
or the horror of their preservers at the sight of so many spectres, whose ghastly countenances, if the cause had been unknown, would rather have excited terror than pity. Our bodies were nothing but skin and bones, our limbs were full of sores, and we were clothed in rags; in this condition, with the tears of joy and gratitude flowing down our cheeks, the people of Timor beheld us with a mixture of horror, surprise, and pity.'
The governor, Mr. William Adrian Van Este, though extremely ill, directed that every assistance should be given to the distressed strangers; who were all lodged in one house. The surgeon also dressed their sores, and the cleansing of their persons was not neglected. Thus, with only five days' provision, and exposed to sixteen days' heavy rain ; did this handful of British seamen sail above 3600 miles, in an open boat, without the loss of one single individual by disease.
After resting above two weeks, evident signs of returning health appeared, and Mr. Bligh purchased a small schooner, with which he sailed for Batavia on the 20th of August, and which he reached on the 26th of September. On the 16th of the following month, he embarked in the Vlydt packet, and on the 14th of March, 1790, was landed at Portsmouth.
THE NORTH POLE,
CAPTAIN PHIPPS, ,
GOVERNMENT having determined to send an expedition
towards the North Pole, to examine whether any passage existed into the South Seas, the Raceborse bomb with a complement of ninety men, under captain Phipps, and the Carcass, with eighty men, under captain Lutwidge, were equipped for this service. They sailed on the 2d of June, and keeping as nearly as possible on a meridional line, reached latitude 78 on the 29th. “Here,' says captain Phipps, the coast appeared to be neither habitable nor accessible; it was formed by high, barren, black rocks, without the least marks of vegetation ; in many places bare and pointed, in other parts covered with snow, appearing even above the clouds: the vallies between the high cliffs were filled with snow ice. This prospect would have suggested the idea of perpetual winter, had not the mildness of the weather, the smooth water, bright sunshine, and constant daylight, given a cheerfulness and novelty to the whole of this striking and romantic scene.'
On the 6th of July, they were nearly in latitude 80 deg. N., and 9 deg. 43 min. E., and were impeded by great quantities of ice. Here most of the old discoverers had been stopped. The service now became very fatiguing. But on the