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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Streight of Magellan to Port Famine


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Streight of Magellan to Port Famine (continued)

desart, rendered horrid beyond imagination: the tone was hollow and deep, so that the beasts, of whatever kind, were certainly large, and the poor fellows perceived that they drew nearer and nearer, as the sound every minute became more loud. From this time sleep was renounced for the night, a large fire was immediately kindled, and a constant blaze kept up: this prevented the beasts from invading the tent; but they continued to prowl round it at a little distance, with incessant howlings, till the day broke, and then, to the great comfort of the affrighted sailors, they disappeared.

At this place, not far from where the ship lay, there is a hill that has been cleared of wood, and we supposed this to be the spot where the Spaniards formerly had a settlement*. One of the men, as he was passing over this hill, perceived that, in a particular part, the ground returned the sound of his foot, as if it was hollow: he therefore repassed it several times, and finding the effect still the same, he conceived a strong notion that something was buried there; when he came on board, he related what he had remarked to me, and I went myself to the spot, with a small party, furnished with spades and pickaxes, and saw the spot opened to a considerable depth, but we found nothing, nor did there appear to be any hollow or vault as was expected. As we were returning through the woods, we found two very large skulls, which, by the teeth, appeared to have belonged to some beasts of prey, but of what kind we could not guess.

Having continued here till Friday the 4th of January, and completed the wood and water of both ships, for which purpose I had entered the Streight, I determined to steer back again in search of Falkland’s Islands.

* See some account of this settlement in the Voyage of Captain Wallis, chap. iii. p. 411.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 40, 2004
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