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CHAPTER XXIV.

They depart from the English Gulf in guest of the Straits of Magellan which they cannot find. They return home by an unknown way, never navigated before.


SUNDAY, November 6th. This morning we had lost the sight of land, so that we could see it no more. All the last night, and this day, we were under our two courses and sprit-sail. The weather this day was hazy. My reckoning was a S.W. half S. way, and by it twenty-one leagues. We had now an indifferently high sea, and a fresh wind at N.N.W.

November 7th. Last night was both rainy and foggy, but in the morning it cleared up. The wind for the most part was at W. and W.N.W. But at noon it came about at W.S.W. Our reckoning was a S.W. by S. way, and by it twenty leagues. We found by observation lat. 52 03'. We now steered away S.S.E., the wind being at that time at W.S.W. In the evening of this day I found a variation of the needle to N.E. to the number of 15 or better. I was still troubled with the gripes as I had been before.

November 8th. Last night was fair. About midnight the wind came to N.N.W. At the break of day, we all were persuaded that we had seen land, but at noon we saw that it was none, but only a cloud. The wind was now at N. My reckoning was a S.E. half E. way, and thirty-two leagues and one third. We had an observation that gave us 53 27' S. The whole day was very fine and warm, and we saw great numbers of fowls and seals.

November 9th. Yesterday in the evening the weather was cloudy. Hereupon we lay by under a main course. After midnight we sailed East, and E. by N., with a fresh wind at W.N.W. and not any great sea. The day itself was cloudy, and toward noon we had some rain. So at two in the afternoon we lay by under a main course, the wind being fresh at N.W. I reckoned an E.N.E. way, and thereby twenty-eight leagues.

Thursday, November 10th. All last night we lay under a main course, with a mere fret of wind at N.W. and N.N.W. Day being come, the wind rather increased; insomuch that about noon our sail blew to pieces. Hereupon we were forced to lower the yard, and unbend the sail, lying for a little while under a mizzen. But that also soon gave way: so that all the rest of this day we lay a hull in very dark weather, foggy and windy, with a huge sea, which oftentimes rolled over us. In the afternoon it seemed to abate for some space of time; but soon after it blew worse than before, which compelled us to lower our foreyard.

November 10th. All last night we had furious windy and tempestuous weather, from the points of N.W. and N.N.W., together with seas higher and higher. In the evening we set our mizzen. At which time the sun appeared very watery; but the wind now abated by degrees and the seas also.

November 12th. This morning little wind was stirring, but only some rain fell. About ten it cleared up, by observation, lat. 55 25'. The sea was now much fallen, and a fresh wind sprung up at W. and W.S.W. We experienced also a very great current to the S.W. In the afternoon of this day we set our sails again, resolving now unanimously to make for the Straits of St. Vincent, otherwise called the Straits of Fernando de Magellan. We had a fresh wind at W.N.W., our course being S.S.E. under our spritsail, foresail, and foretopsail. This day we saw many fishes, or rather fowls, who had heads like Muscovy ducks, as also two feet like them.

They had two fins like the fore-fins of turtles: white breasts and bellies, their beak and eyes being red. They are full of feathers on their bodies, and their hinder parts are like those of a seal, wherewith they cut the water. The Spaniard calls these fowls paxaros ninos. They weigh most commonly about six or seven pounds, being about one foot, a little more or less, in length. Our commander, Captain Sharp, had so much dexterity as to strike two of them. In the evening we set also our mainsail; the wind now coming to S. of W.

Sunday, November 13th. All last night we had a fresh wind between S.W. and W.N.W. with sometimes mists of small rain. In the evening we enjoyed a fine leading gale at W.N.W. together with both clear and wholesome weather. We made a S.E. way, and by it forty-two leagues and two thirds. This day an observation gave us lat. 56 55' S. We still experienced a great S.W. current. In the afternoon of this day we steered E.S.E. and in the evening had whiffling winds.

November r4th. Both last night and this morning we had cloudy weather. About eight it cleared up. My reckoning was a S.E. by E. way, and by it thirty-two leagues. Our observation gave us lat. 57 50' S. This day we could perceive land, and at noon were due W. from it. In the evening we stood E. by S.

November 15th. All the past night was very cloudy. We judged now that we should be close in with the land we had seen the day before, but the morning being come we could see none. In the night much snow fell, and in the day we had great sleets thereof, the weather being very cold and cloudy. I reckoned an E.S.E. way, and hereby twenty-nine leagues and two thirds, moreover, that our lat. was 58 25' S. The wind was now so fresh at N., that we were forced to lie under our two courses and spritsail.

November 16th. Most of this time we had still rain and snow, but now no night at all, though the weather was dark. The wind was various, but from midnight before this day the wind was at S.E. and S.S.E. We now lay E.N.E. I reckoned a N.E. by E. way, and twenty-three leagues. About four in the afternoon two of our fore shrouds bolts broke, but were presently mended. This afternoon also we saw a very large whale. In the evening we handed in our foretop sail, and lay under our pair of courses and sprit sail, the evening being very clear.

November 17th. In the past night there was a very hard frost. At four this morning we saw two or three islands of ice at the distance of two or three leagues to the S. of us. Soon after this, we saw several others, the biggest of them being at least two leagues round. By observation, lat. 58' 23' S. We had now a vehement current to the S. At noon I saw many others of these islands of ice afore-mentioned, of which some were so long that we could scarce see the end of them, and extended about ten or twelve fathom above water. The weather in the meanwhile was very clear, and the wind cold.1 I found variation of the needle eighteen degrees to the N.E.

November 18th. All last night was very fair. I must call it night; for otherwise it was not dark at all. The sea was very smooth, and the wind at N. and N.N.W. I reckoned a N.E. by N. way, and by the same twenty-two leagues. At ten it grew dead calm, which held all the afternoon of this day. But at night we had a wind again at N. and N. by E.

November 19th. This day was cloudy with snow, and a frosty night preceding it. The wind now was so fresh at N. that we were forced to take in our topsails, and lie all day under our courses and spritsail. We made by an E.S.E. way eighteen leagues and two thirds.

November 20th. We had a cloudy night, together with mizzling rain and snow. This morning fell so great a fog, that we could' not see from stem to stern of our ship. From ten o'clock last night we had also calm, and very cold weather. But what was worse than all this, we were now kept to a very short allowance of our sorry victuals, our provisions growing very scanty with us. About ten this morning we had a very small breeze at N. Several of our men were not able to endure the cold, so fierce it was, whereby they were forced to lie and keep themselves as close as they could. We made an E. way, and by the same sixteen leagues. This day at noon I reckoned myself to be E. from the gulf, whence we last departed, two hundred and five leagues and two thirds.

Monday, November 21st. Last evening we caught a small and white land fowl, and saw two or three more; and also this morning. This sight afforded us good hopes we were not far distant from some coast or other, yet none could we see in all this long and tedious voyage. In the night past we had a calm, and all this morning a great fog with much snow and rain. We reckoned an E. by N. way, and ten leagues. At one in the afternoon we had a fresh gale that sprang up at E., and at E. by N.

November 22nd. Most part of this day was calm. In the meanwhile we could observe our ship to drive E. My reckoning was an E.N.E. way, and thereby thirteen leagues and one third. At one in the afternoon we had a small gale at W.S.W., our course being N.N.E. and N.E. by N.

November 23rd. This clay we had a gale at N.W. and freshening still more and more; so that we were forced to take in our topsails and spritsail. The wind was not a settled gale, but often varied from point to point. At noon it came at N.E. and our course was then N.N.W. By a N. way we reckoned sixteen leagues.

November 24th. Both last night and this morning was foggy weather, with some calms between-times. But at eight in the morning the sun broke out, though notwithstanding the day was not clear. By a N.N.E. way we reckoned fifteen leagues. This morning the wind came about to E., and by noon it was again at N.E. We had a clear evening and a fresh gale.

November 25th. All last night we had a fresh wind at E. and E.N.E., insomuch, that at eight in the morning we took in our topsails. But at noon the wind was not so fresh as it had been before. I reckoned a N.N.W. half W. way, and by the same twenty leagues.

November 26th. Last night the wind was not altogether so fresh as before; but this morning it was again very high. The weather was both dark and cloudy, and brought now and then rain and snow. We made a N.N.E. way, and hereby thirty leagues. The wind all along E. by S. and E.S.E. In the evening we had fair weather again. We experienced for the last ten days a great Western sea, and saw in the same time several seals.

Sunday, November 27th. All the past night we enjoyed a fresh gale and clear weather. I reckoned thirty-six leagues by a N.E. by N. way. By observation, lat. 52 48' S. And I judged myself to be E. from the gulf two hundred and eighty-five leagues. In the evening of this day we had a very exact sight of the sun, and found above 30 variation of the needle: whence ought to be concluded that it is very difficult to direct a course of navigation in these parts. For in the space of only twenty-five leagues sailing we have experienced eight or nine degrees difference of variation, by a good Dutch azimuth compass.

November 28th. All last night we had a fresh wind at E.S.E. Towards morning we had but little wind, all the day being hazy weather. This day we saw a whole flight of land fowls, of which sort we killed one before, as was mentioned above. This sight gave us occasion I believe that, neither then nor at this present, were we far distant from land, and yet we descried none in the residue of this whole voyage. We made by a N.N.E. way thirty-three leagues. Yesterday in the evening we set a new spritsail, and about three this morning we also set our main sail. At one in the afternoon the wind came about N.E. and N.N.E. which in the evening blew very fresh, with cloudy weather.

November 29th. The night proved very cloudy, and the wind blew very fresh at E.N.E. and N.E. by E. This morning it was at E., with both snow and hail. Towards noon the weather cleared up, and we found by an observation taken lat. 49' 45' S. Our reckoning was a N. way, and thirty leagues. This day we had a short E. sea, and withal a very cold evening. I took the sun, and hereby I found variation 26 30' to the N. E. This night the wind came about W. and W.N.W., continuing so all the night.

November 30th. This day the wind was N. and N.N.E., with some clouds hovering in the sky. At this time we had already almost four hours of night. The morning of this day was very fair and clear. Hereupon, to give myself satisfaction in the point, fearing the truth of Spanish books, I worked the true amplitude of the sun, and found his variation to be 26 25' to the N.E., being very conformable to what I had both read and experimented before. Hereabouts also we experienced a current to N. Moreover, this day we saw much rock-weed, which renewed our hopes once more of seeing land. We reckoned a N.E. way, and by the same twenty-two leagues. By an observation made we found lat. 48 53' S. This day also we saw several of those fowl-fish afore described called paxaros-ninos, and these of a larger size than any we had seen before. In the afternoon the wind came about at N.N.E. whereby we stood N.W. by W., with a fresh gale and smooth water. The weather now began to grow warmer than hitherto, and the evening of this day was clear.

Tuesday, December 1st. The latter part of last night was very cloudy, and also sometimes rainy. About midnight we had a furious and violent tornado, forcing us in a moment to hand in our topsails. At five in the morning we set them again, and at eleven we had another tornado, forcing us to hand our topsails the second time. We made a N.N.E. two thirds E. way, and thereby thirteen leagues and two thirds. The afternoon of this stormy day proved very fair, and the wind came to W.S.W., our course being N.E. by N. In the evening the wind freshened, with cloudy weather.

December 2nd. Last night we experienced a very furious whirlwind, which, notwithstanding, it pleased God, did pass about the length of our ship, to W. of us. However, we handed in our topsails, and hauled up our lowsails, in the brails. After the whirlwind came a fresh storm of large hail stones, in the night, and several tornados; but, God be thanked, they all came large of our ship. We now made great way under a forecourse and spritsail. At four o'clock this morning our foresail split, whereby we were forced to lower our foreyard. At half an hour aften ten we hoisted it again with a furious S.W. wind. We made a N.E. by E. way, and by the same forty-seven leagues and a half. By observation we now had lat. 46 54' S. We reefed our foresail in consequence of the violence of the wind. But in the evening this rather increased, and we had a very great sea. Our standing rigging, through the fury of this gale, gave way in several places, but was soon mended again.

December 3rd. The wind all last night was very fresh, with several flaws both of wind and rain at S.W. and S.W. by S. We enjoyed now very warm weather. This morning we set our foretop sail. Our reckoning gave us a N.E. half E. way and forty-five leagues. We found lat. by observation 45 28' S. This day at noon a large shoal of young porpoises came about our ship, and played up and down.

December 4th. All last night we had a fresh gale at W.S.W. The night was clear, only that now and then we had a small cloud affording some rain. In the morning from four o'clock till eight it rained; but then it cleared up again, with a S.W. wind and a very smooth sea. We made by a N.E. one quarter N. way, thirty-nine leagues. By observation we found lat. 44 of S. At noon the wind came to S.S.W., our course then being N.N.E. This day we agreed among ourselves, having the consent of our commander, to share the eight chests of money, which as yet were remaining unshared. Yesterday in the evening we let out the reef of our foresail, and hoisted up our foreyard. This evening I found variation 17 N.E.

Monday, December 5th. All last night a clear night, and this a fair day, with a fresh wind at S.S.W. We reckoned a N.E. 5 N. way, and by the same forty-two leagues. An observation gave us lat. 42 29' S. This afternoon we shared of the chests above-mentioned three hundred pieces of eight each man. I now reckoned myself to be E from my departure four hundred and seventy-one leagues and one third. At night again we shared twenty-two pieces-of-eight more to each.

December 6th. We had a clear starlight night the last, and a fair morning this day, with a fresh gale at S.W. At noon we took in our foretop sail. We reckoned a N.E. half N. way, and hereby fifty leagues and two thirds. An observation taken afforded us 40 31' S. This evening was cloudy.

December 7th. The night was both windy and cloudy. At one in the morning we took in our topsails, and at three handed our spritsail, and so we scudded away before the wind, which now was very fresh at West. This morning a gust of wind came and tore our mainsail into a hundred pieces, which made us put away before the wind, till we could provide for that accident. My reckoning was a N.E. three quarters E. way, and by the same thirty-three leagues. By observation we found lat. 39 37' S. We had now a great sea, and a fresh wind. At three in the afternoon we set another foresail, the first being blown to pieces. Moreover, at the same time, we furled our spritsail. At five the wind came at W.S.W. with very bad weather. This day our worthy commander, Captain Sharp, had very certain intelligence given him, that on Christmas Day, which was now at hand, the company, or at least a great part thereof, had a design to shoot him; he having appointed that day some time since to be merry. Hereupon he made us share the wine amongst us, being persuaded they would scarce attempt any such thing in their sobriety. The wine we shared fell out to three jars to each mess. That night the wind increased.

December 8th. Last night was both cloudy and windy, the wind often varying between N.W. and S.W. This morning it varied between W. and N.W. by W. About noon this day we brought a new mainsail to the yard, but did not set it then, because there blew too much wind. I reckoned a N.E. half N. way, and by the same thirty leagues. By observation, lat. 38 29' S. In the afternoon we had one or two squalls of wind and rain; but the violence of both fell astern of us. In the evening it blew again very hard. I observed this day the rising and setting of the sun, and found the exact variation to be 12 15' N.E.

December 9th. The night was starry, but withal very windy. About the break of day the wind came to N.W., and at seven we set our foretop sail, and stood N.N.E. with not much wind. We made since our last reckoning a N.E. quarter E. way, and twenty-nine leagues. We found by observation lat. 37 30 S. The sea was much fallen, but our ship now began to complain of several leaks, through our tedious and long voyage. This afternoon we hoisted up our mainyard and set up backstays and main swifter, whose ring-bolt gave way but was mended. In the evening of this day we had but little wind.

December 10th. The night was very clear, but till ten o'clock this forenoon we had no wind. Then a small breeze sprang up at N. and N. by E. We made an E.N.E. one third N. way, and hereby twenty-one leagues. An observation gave us lat. 37 01 S. In the afternoon of this day our chief surgeon cut off the foot of a negro boy, which was perished with cold. Now it was like to be bad weather again. Hereupon we furled our topsails, and lay under a pair of courses. But in the evening we lay under a foresail and mizzen, with misty weather.

Sunday, December 11th. All last night we had a fresh wind at N. and sometimes at N.N.W. The weather was very cloudy with drizzling rain. We made an E. way, and thereby twenty-five leagues. This day brought a great sea. About ten in the morning one of our main shrouds gave way. In the evening fell some small rain.

December 12th. All last night we had misty rain and but little wind; yea, in the morning a perfect calm. At noon came up a small gale at E.S.E. and S.E., bringing with it cloudy weather. We reckoned a N.E. by E. way, and by the same eighteen leagues. Yesterday died the negro boy whose leg was cut off by our surgeon, as was mentioned the day before. This afternoon also died another negro, somewhat bigger than the former, named Chepillo. The boy's name was Beafero. All this evening but small wind.

December 13th. All night the wind was at E.S.E., our course being N.N.E. At three in the morning it came about at S.S.W. and at nine at E. by N. I reckoned a N.E. by N. way, and fifteen leagues. The weather was hazy. In the afternoon the wind was at N.E. our course being N.N.W. We enjoyed now a very smooth sea, and saw multitudes of grampuses, whales and porpoises every day as we sailed along.

December 14th. Last evening was cloudy, as also the night foggy. Hereupon we took in our topsails. At half an hour after three this morning, we stood N.E. the wind being then at N.N.W. At five we put out our topsails again. At seven of the morning we saw a turtle floating upon the sea. We reckoned a N.N.E. way. This day's observation afforded us 34 32' S. At this time we had very hot weather, and great dews in the night. My whole easting I reckoned to be now six hundred and seventy-seven leagues and one third.

December 15th. Last night was fine with a great dew. The wind in the interim was between N. and N.W. I reckoned a N.E. half E. way, and by the same thirty-one leagues. We had an observation that gave us lat. 33 46' S. At noon the wind came about at N.N.W. our course being N.E. We had this day a very clear evening, and at the same time a fresh wind.

December 16th. We had a fair night and wind at N.N.W. and N.W. by N. This morning I took the sun at its rising, and found N.E. variation 20 30. My reckoning was a N.N.E. way, and thirty-six leagues and one third. By observation I found lat. 32 09' S. At noon this day the wind came about to N.W.

December 17th. Most part of last night the wind was at N.W. as before. But towards morning a fine and easy gale sprang up at W.N.W. This morning we saw several dolphins playing upon the sea, which made us hope they would at last befriend us and suddenly show us some land or other. We reckoned a N.E. by N. one third N. way, and by the same twenty-five leagues. An observation gave us lat. 31 04'. A fair evening.

December 18th. We had a clear night, together with a smooth gale at N.W., which this morning was at W. by S. We had now a smooth sea for several days past. Our reckoning was twenty-five leagues, by a N.E. by N. way. By observation we perceived lat. 29 48' S.

December 19th. A clear night and a fresh breeze at S.S.W. and S.W. by E., lasting until nine in the morning. Then sprang up a wind at S.E. by E. I reckoned this day a N.N.E. half E. way, and upon the same thirty leagues. By observation, lat. 28 29' S. The day was very fair, and a smooth sea, with weather that was very hot. My whole Basting I reckoned now to be seven hundred and sixty leagues. This evening I found variation 02 50' N. E.


1 It is impossible to ascertain precisely when they doubled the Horn, but probably about this date.


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