It was our morning watch; when, soon after the
day began to break, a man on the forecastle called
Out, "Land ho!"
I had never heard the cry before, and did not know what it meant,
(and few would suspect what the words were, when hearing the strange
sound for the first time,) but I soon found, by the direction of
all eyes, that there was land stretching along our weather beam.
We immediately took in studding-sails and hauled our wind, running in
for the land. This was done to determine our longitude; for by the
captain's chronometer we were in 25º W., but by his observations we
were much farther, and he had been for some time in doubt whether
it was his chronometer or his sextant which was out of order.
This land-fall settled the matter, and the former instrument was
condemned, and becoming still worse, was never afterwards used.
As we ran in towards the coast, we found that we were directly off
the port of Pernambuco, and could see with the telescope the roofs
of the houses, and one large church, and the town of Olinda. We ran
along by the mouth of the harbor, and saw a full-rigged brig going in.
At two, P.M., we again kept off before the wind, leaving the land on
our quarter, and at sun-down, it was out of sight. It was here that
I first saw one of those singular things called catamarans.
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