Billeder på siden
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

and 54° 57' S. ; and between 38° 13' and 35° 34' west longitude. It extends S.E. by E. and N.W. by W., and is thirty-one leagues long in that direction; and its greatest breadth is about ten leagues. It seems to abound with bays and harbours, the N.E. coast especially; but the vast quantity of ice must render them inaccessible the greatest part of the year; or, at least, it must be dangerous lying in them, on account of the breaking up of the ice cliffs.

It is remarkable that we did not see a river, or stream of fresh water, on the whole coast. I think it highly probable that there are no perennial springs in the country, and that the interior parts, as being much elevated, never enjoy heat enough to melt the snow in such quantities as to produce a river, or stream, of water. The coast alone receives warmth sufficient to melt the snow, and this only on the N.E. side; for the other, besides being exposed to the cold south winds, is, in a great degree, deprived of the sun's rays, by the uncommon height of the mountains.

It was from a persuasion that the sea-coast of a land situated in the latitude of 54°, could not, in the very height of summer, be wholly covered with snow, that I supposed Bouvet's discovery to be large islands of ice. But after I had seen this land, I no longer hesitated about the existence of Cape Circumcision ; nor did I doubt that I should find more land than I should have time to explore. With these ideas I quitted this coast, and directed my course to the E.S.E. for the land we had seen the preceding day.

The wind was very variable till noon, when it fixed at N.N.E., and blew a gentle gale; but it increased in such a manner, that, before three o'clock, we were reduced to our two courses, and obliged to strike top-gallant yards. We were very fortunate in getting clear of the land, before this gale overtook us; it being hard to say what might have been the consequence had it come on while we were on the north coast. This storm was of short duration ; for, at eight o'clock it began to abate; and at midnight it was little wind. We then took the opportunity to sound, but found no bottom with a line of an hundred and eighty fathoms.

Next day the storm was succeeded by a thick fog, attended with rain ; the wind veered to N.W., and, at five in the morning, it fell calm, which continued till eight; and then we got a breeze southerly, with which we stood to the east

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

till three in the afternoon. The weather then coming somewhat clear, we made sail, and steered north in search of land; but, at half-past six, we were again involved in a thick mist, which made it necessary to haul the wind, and spend the night in making short boards.

We had variable light airs next to a calm, and thick foggy weather, till half-past seven o'clock in the evening of the 22d, when we got a fine breeze at north, and the weather was so clear that we could see two or three leagues round us. We seized the opportunity, and steered to west; judging we were to the east of the land. After running ten miles to the west, the weather again became foggy, and we hauled the wind, and spent the night under top-sails.

Next morning at six o'clock, the fog clearing away, so that we could see three or four miles, I took the opportunity to steer again to the west, with the wind at east, a fresli breeze; but two hours after, a thick fog once more obliged us to haul the wind to the south. At eleven o'clock, a short interval of clear weather gave us view of three or four rocky islets extending from S.E. to E.N.E., two or three miles distant; bụt we did not see the Sugar-Loaf Peak beforementioned. Indeed, two or three miles was the extent of our horizon.

We were well assured that this was the land we had seen before, which we had now been quite round, and therefore it could be no more than a few detached rocks, receptacles for birds, of which we now saw vast numbers, especially shags, who gave us notice of the vicinity of land before we saw it. These rocks lie in the latitude of 55° S., and S. 75% E., distant twelve leagues from Cooper's Isle.

The interval of clear weather was of very short duration, before we had as thick a fog as ever, attended with rain, on which we tacked in sixty fathoms water, and stood to the north. Thus we spent our time, involved in a continual thick mist; and, for aught we knew, surrounded by dangerous rocks. The shags and soundings were our best pilots; for after we had stood a few miles to the north, we got out of soundings, and saw no more shags. The succeeding day and night we spent in making short boards; and at eight o'clock on the 24th, judging ourselves not far from the rocks by some straggling shags which came about us, we sounded in sixty fathoms water, the bottom stones and broken shells. "Soon after, we saw the rocks bearing S.S.W. W., four miles distant, but still we did not see the


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

peak. It was, no doubt, beyond our horizon, which was limited to a short distance; and, indeed, we had but a transient sight of the other rocks, before they were again lost in the fog.

With a light air of wind at north, and a great swell from N.E., we were able to clear the rocks to the west; and, at four in the p. m., judging ourselves to be three or four leagues east and west of them, I steered south, being quite tired with cruizing about them in a thick fog; nor was it worth my while to spend any more time in waiting for clear weather, only for the sake of having a good sight of a few straggling rocks. At seven o'clock, we had at intervals a clear sky to the west, which gave us a sight of the mountains of the isle of Georgia, bearing W.N.W., about eight leagues distant. At eight o'clock we steered S.E. by S., and at ten S.E. by E., with a fresh breeze at north, attended with a very thick fog; but we were, in some measure, acquainted with the sea over which we were running. The rocks above-mentioned obtained the name of Clerke's Rocks, after my second officer, he being the first who saw them."


Proceedings after leaving the Isle of Georgia, with an Account

of the Discovery of Sandwich Land; with some Reasons for there being Land about the South Pole.

On the 25th, we steered E.S.E., with a fresh gale at N.N.E., attended with foggy weather, till towards the even


* There was no inducement to offer a single remark on the discoveries mentioned in this section, and the one that follows, or to give any additional observations from the works hitherto used. It is utterly improba. ble that any human being could be benefited by the most perfect information that might be afforded, respecting these desolate regions. Mr G. F. it is true, hazards a speculation, that if the northern ocean should ever be cleared of whales, by our annual fisheries, this part of the southern hemisphere might be visited for the sake of procuring these animals so abundant in it. But as besides this proviso, he thinks it necessary that Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego should be inhabited and civilized like Scotland and Sweden, there will evidently be time enough some centuries hence, to investigate minutely the geography and natural history of Georgia and its kindred neighbours.--E.

ing, when the sky becoming clear, we found the variation to be go 26' E., being at this time in the latitude of 56° 16' S., longitude 32° 9' W.

Having continued to steer E.S.E., with a fine gale at N.N.W., till day-light next morning, on seeing no land to the east, I gave orders to steer south, being at this time in the latitude of 56° 33' S., longitude 31° 10' W. The weather continued clear, and gave us an opportunity to observe several distances of the sun and moon for the correcting our longitude, which at noon was 31° 4' W., the latitude observed 57° 38' S. We continued to steer to the south till the 27th, at noon, at which time we were in the latitude of 59° 46' S., and had so thick a fog that we could not see a ship’s length. It being no longer safe to sail before the wind, as we were to expect soon to fall in with ice, I therefore hauled to the east, having a gentle breeze at N.N.E. Soon after the fog clearing away, we resumed our course to the south till four o'clock, when it returned again as thick as ever, and made it necessary for us to haul upon a wind.

I now reckoned we were in latitude 60° S., and farther I did not intend to go, unless I observed some certain signs of soon meeting with land. For it would not have been prudent in me to have spent my time in penetrating to the south, when it was at least as probable that a large tract of land might be found near Cape Circumcision. Besides, I was tired of these, high southern latitudes, where nothing was to be found but ice and thick fogs. We had now a long hollow swell from the west, a strong indication that there was no land in that direction; so that I think I may venture to assert that the extensive coast, laid down in Mr Dalrymple's chart of the ocean between Africa and America, and the Gulph of St Sebastian, do not exist.

At seven o'clock in the evening, the fog receding from us a little, gave us a sight of an ice island, several penguins and some snow peterels; we sounded, but found no ground at one hundred and forty fathoms. The fog soon returning, we spent the night in making boards over that space which we had, in some degree, made ourselves acquainted with in the day.

At eight in the morning of the 28th, we stood to the east, with a gentle gale at north; the weather began to clear up; and we found the sea strewed with large and small ice; several penguins, snow peterels, and other birds were seen,


and some whales. Soon after we had sun-shine, but the air was cold; the mercury in the thermometer stood generally at thirty-five, but at noon it was 37°; the latitude by observation was 60° 4' S., longitude 29° 23' W.

We continued to stand to the east till half-past two o'clock, p. m., when we fell in, all at once, with a vast number of large ice-islands, and a sea strewed with loose ice. The weather too was become thick and hazy, attended with drizzling rain and sleet, which made it the more dangerous to stand in among the ice. For this reason we tacked and stood back to the west, with the wind at north. The iceislands, which at this time surrounded us, were nearly all of equal height, and shewed a flat even surface; but they were of various extent, some being two or three miles in circuit. The loose ice was what had broken from these isles.

Next morning, the wind falling and veering to S.W., we steered N.E.; but this course was soon intercepted by numerous ice-islands; and, having but very little wind, we were obliged to steer such courses as carried us the clearest of them; so that we hardly made any advance, one way or other, during the whole day. Abundance of whales and penguins were about us all the time; and the weather fair, but dark and gloomy.

At midnight the wind began to freshen at N.N.E., with which we stood to the N.W., till six in the morning of the 30th, when the wind veering to N.N.W., we tacked and stood to N.E., and soon after sailed through a good deal of loose ice, and passed two large islands. Except a short interval of clear weather about nine o'clock, it was continually foggy, with either sleet or snow. At noon we were, by our reckoning, in the latitude of 59° 30' S., longitude 29° 24' W.

Continuing to stand to N.e. with a fresh breeze at N.N.W., at two o'clock, we passed one of the largest iceislands we had seen in the voyage, and some time after passed two others, which were much smaller. Weather still foggy, with sleet: And the wind continued at N. by W., with which we stood to N.E., over a sea strewed with ice.

At half an hour past six next morning, as we were standing N.N.E. with the wind at west, the fog very fortunately clearing away a little, we discovered land ahead, three or four miles distant. On this we hauled the wind to the north; but finding we could not weather the land on this


« ForrigeFortsæt »