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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Masasuero to Queen Charlotte's Island


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Masasuero to Queen Charlotte's Island (continued)

Upon examining the account that is given by Wafer, who was Surgeon on board Captain Daviss ship, I think it is probable that these two islands are the land that Davis fell in with in his way to the southward from the Gallapago islands, and that the land laid down in all the sea charts under the name of Daviss Land, has no existence, notwithstanding what is said in the account of Roggewein S voyage, which was made in 1722, of land that they called Eastern Island, which some have imagined to be a confirmation of Daviss discovery, and the same land to which his name has been given.

It is manifest from Wafers narrative, that little credit is due to the account kept on board Daviss ship, except with respect to the latitude, for he acknowledges that they had like to have perished by their making an allowance for the variation of the needle westward, instead of eastward: he tells us also that they steered S. by E. ½ E. from the Gallapagos, till they made land in latitude 27° 20 S. but it is evident that such a course would carry them not to the westward but to the eastward of the Gallapagos, and set them at about the distance of two hundred leagues from Capiapo, and not five hundred leagues as he has alleged, for the variation here is not more than half a point to the eastward now, and it must have been still less then, it having been increasing to the eastward on all this coast. The course that Davis steered therefore, if the distance between the islands of St. Ambrose and St. Felix, and the Gallapagos, as laid down in all our sea charts, is right, must have brought him within fight of St. Ambrose and St. Felix, when he had run the distance he mentions. The truth is, that if there had been any such place as Daviss Land in the situation which has been allotted to it in our sea charts, I must have sailed over it, or at least have seen it, as will appear in the course of this narrative.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 558 - 559, 2004
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