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abreast of this place to Whannow, where it ended, prior to the ship having been anchored in Bayley's Bay.
AL 6 A.M. Mr. Russell sailed accompanied by M. Chaigneau, while I proceeded with the other two boats to search the reef from this part of it round to the southward and eastward, till I should come abreast of Denimah. Many minutes had not elapsed after weighing when Bushart, who happened to be in my boat, began to recount his adventures on the preceding night, and among other things stated that it was customary in this island for all unmarried men to sleep in the town-hall of their respective villages, where a good fire and smoke are kept up all night to drive away the musquitos. Some of the natives, he also said, informed Rathea that they had several large pieces of iron lying on the reef abreast of the village, which they intended to bring in this morning to sell me; adding, that the two canoes I had seen sail were despatched for that
purpose. I was much surprised at this information, and displeased with my informant for not having communicated it to me before Mr. Russell and I had separated. I regarded it also as extraordinary, that people who place such a value upon iron would suffer it to lie neglected on the reef, where they incurred the risk of losing it to the first who might pass that way and dis
cover it. But to lose no time in idle speculation, I made signal to Mr. Russell to lie to for me, whom having rejoined, I acquainted with the circumstance, directing him to follow the canoes without delay and watch their motions. I then resumed my route along the coast till 8 o'clock, when I perceived two natives on the beach, who notwithstanding the “pelting of the pitiless storm,” the rain falling in torrents, stood there beckoning us to approach. My arms and ammunition being quite drenched with rain and spray off the sea, which ran very high, I deemed it prudent to await the coming up of the other boat that was considerably astern, in company with whom I stood in for the shore. I found this place had not before been visited by our boats, in consequence of the houses being at a little distance in the woods, which pre. vented them from being seen on passing. The village consisted of three houses, seven men, as many women, and perhaps ten or twelve children. In one of their dwellings was a lively fire of dry wood, round which the villagers flocked on account of the chilliness occasioned by the wind and rain.
I purchased from these people the undermen. tioned articles, viz.
i brass sheave for a frigate's topmast, 124 inches in diameter.—1 piece of iron bolt bent into a shark-hook; and 1 piece of blue glass tube, which was transversely fixed through the cartilage of a man's nose, 3 inches long, and shaped exactly like that procured yesterday.
After concluding my bargains, we boiled the tea-kettle upon the villagers' fire, breakfasted, and resumed our voyage. The rain still poured down in floods, and the land was sometimes imperceptible at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the boats, being enveloped in thick clouds. It was during such weather as this, I suppose, that the unfortunate French navigator got on the reefs off this island.
This being the weather side of the island, I had many more dangers and difficulties to encounter than the boats under Mr. Russell, which were under the lee of the land in smooth water; and to add to the danger, my boat proved so leaky as to keep one man continually employed in baling her out, which circumstance, added to the badness of the weather, induced me to defer for the present an examination of this part of the reef, and to make the best of my way for the ship. I steered along the coast where the water was smoothest, and about 10 o'clock came abreast of a beautiful bay running inland three miles; and as the water here was exceedingly smooth, I stood up it about two or three miles, which I found to be clear of all dangers and completely landlocked, with from twenty to thirty fathoms water over a bottom of blue mud.
Rathea pointed out to me two small freshwater rivers at the head of this bay. The one to the westward I named Frazer's River, after Mr.
S. Fraser, for some time acting chief secretary to government; and the other Greenlaw's river, after the assistant secretary and judge advocate to the Marine Board at Calcutta. The bay itself I named George Swinton's Bay, after Mr. George Swinton, secretary to government in the political department. To this gentleman I feel a particular pleasure in rendering this grateful acknowledgment, for the active part he took in promoting the objects of this expedition. The west cape of Swinton's Bay I have called Cape Sergeant, after Mr. Henry Sergeant, member of the Marine Board. To the east cape of this delightful bay I have given the appellation of King Charles the Tenth's Cape, in honour of his Most Christian Majesty.
Between sailing and pulling I reached Denimah about 1 or 2 P.M., where the natives eagerly waited on the reefs to receive us, notwithstanding it rained heavily; and I would certainly have landed to refresh my people, but the surf ran so high on the coral reef fronting the shore, as to render it dangerous to make such an attempt.
From hence I passed along to the eastern part of the island. At the distance of about one mile and a-half from Denimah I observed the land indented by a small bay, in which, no doubt, good anchorage could be obtained : to this bay I gave the name of Trotter's Bay, as a
mark of my respect. Shortly after I rounded the east cape of Mannicolo, which I distinguished by the name of Cape Wilson, after Mr. Horace Hayman Wilson, assay-master at Calcutta, and secretary to the Asiatic Society.
Here our danger was increased, as there were no reefs on the weather side to break the violence of the sea, which rolled mountains high through Birch's Passage, and frequently broke into the boats, and threatened every moment to
It was a short sea, and ran so high as to prevent us from seeing our consort-boat, although not fifty fathoms distant; and notwithstanding we were not more than a mile from the land, it was invisible for intervals of a quarter and half an hour at a time, from the thick weather. Our situation at this critical juncture was truly dangerous, and only to be conceived by those who experienced it. I expected every moment to see the boat filled with the waves, which incessantly broke in upon us, and seemed to mock our exertions to keep the boat afloat. I cheered up my men, and kept the boat's head to the sea until we got Research's Head to bear west, when I kept her before the sea, and managed to steer her tolerably well with a whaleboat steer-oar twenty-four feet long. It is impossible that any other description of boat than a whale-boat could have survived in such a tempestuous sea. Having now got her before the