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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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21 - 23 September 1768

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James Cook
Joseph Banks
Parkinson


Madeira to Rio de Janeiro


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CHAP. II. The Passage from Madeira to Rio de Janeiro, with some Account of the Country, and the Incidents that happened there.

ON the 21st of September we saw the islands called the Salvages, to the north of the Canaries; when the principal of these bore S. W. at the distance of about 5 leagues we found the variation of the compass by an azimuth to be 17° 50’. I make these islands to lie in latitude 30° 11’ North, and distant 58 leagues from Funchiale in Madeira, in the direction of S. 16E.

On Friday the 23d we saw the Peak of Teneriffe bearing W. by S. ½ S. and found the variation of the compass to be from 17° 22’ to 16° 30’. The height of this mountain, from which I took a new departure, has been determined by Dr. Heberden, who has been upon it, to be 15,396 feet, which is but 148 yards less than three miles, reckoning the mile at 1760 yards. Its appearance at sunset was very striking; when the sun was below the horizon, and the rest of the island appeared of a deep black, the mountain still reflected his rays, and glowed with a warmth of colour which no painting can express. There is no eruption of visible fire from it, but a heat issues from the chinks near the top, too strong to be borne by the hand when it is held near them. We had received from Dr. Heberden, among other favours, some salt which he collected on the top of the mountain, where it is found in large quantities, and which he supposes to be the true natrum or nitrum of the ancients: he gave us also some native sulphur exceedingly pure, which he had likewise found upon the surface in great plenty.


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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 12 - 13, 2004
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