We Were, However, Not Without Hopes Of Getting Round The Western
Point Of The Reef And Into The Bay, Till About Two O'clock In The
Afternoon, When We Came Before An Opening Or Break In The Reef, Through
Which I Hoped To Get With The Ships.
But on sending to examine it, I found
there was not a sufficient depth of water; though it caused
Such an in-
draught of the tide of flood through it, as was very near proving fatal to
the Resolution; for as soon as the ships got into the stream, they were
carried with great impetuosity towards the reef. The moment I perceived
this, I ordered one of the warping machines, which we had in readiness, to
be carried out with about four hundred fathoms of rope; but it had not the
least effect. The horrors of shipwreck now stared us in the face. We were
not more than two cables length from the breakers; and yet we could find no
bottom to anchor, the only probable means we had left to save the ships.
We, however, dropt an anchor; but, before it took hold, and brought us up,
the ship was in less than three fathom water, and struck at every fall of
the sea, which broke close under our stem in a dreadful surf, and
threatened us every moment with shipwreck. The Adventure, very luckily,
brought up close upon our bow without striking.
We presently carried out two kedge-anchors, with hawsers to each; these
found ground a little without the bower, but in what depth we never knew.
By heaving upon them, and cutting away the bower-anchor, we got the ship a-
float, where we lay some time in the greatest anxiety, expecting every
minute that either the kedges would come home, or the hawsers be cut in two
by the rocks.
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