We Could Not Weather Them, It Became Necessary To Tack And Bear Up To The
South, To Look For A Passage That Way.
At noon the southernmost island bore
S.W., distant four miles.
North of this isle were three others, all
connected by breakers, which we were not sure did not join to those we had
seen in the morning, as some were observed in the intermediate space. Some
islands were also seen to the west of those four; but Rotterdam was not yet
in sight. Latitude 20 deg. 23' S. longitude 174 deg. 6' W. During the whole
afternoon, we had little wind; so that at sunset, the southernmost isle
bore W.N.W., distant five miles; and some breakers, we had seen to the
south, bore now S.S.W. 1/2 W. Soon after it fell calm, and we were left to
the mercy of a great easterly swell; which, however, happened to have no
great effect upon the ship. The calm continued till four o'clock the next
morning, when it was succeeded by a breeze from the south. At day-light,
perceiving a likelihood of a passage between the islands to the north and
the breakers to the south, we stretched in west, and soon after saw more
islands, both to the S.W. and N.W., but the passage seemed open and clear.
Upon drawing near the islands, we sounded, and found forty-five and forty
fathoms, a clear sandy bottom. I was now quite easy, since it was in our
power to anchor, in case of a calm; or to spend the night, if we found no
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