Seeing breakers to the S.S.W., which I was desirous of knowing the extent
of before night, I left Turtle Isle, and stood for them. At two o'clock we
found they were occasioned by a coral bank, of about four or five leagues
in circuit. By the bearing we had taken, we knew these to be the same
breakers we had seen the preceding evening. Hardly any part of this bank or
reef is above water at the reflux of the waves. The heads of some of the
rocks are to be seen near the edge of the reef, where it is the shoalest;
for in the middle is deep water. In short, this bank wants only a few
little islets to make it exactly like one of the half-drowned isles so
often mentioned. It lies S.W. from Turtle Island, about five or six miles,
and the channel between it and the reef of that isle is three miles over.
Seeing no more shoals or islands, and thinking there might be turtle on
this bank, two boats were properly equipped and sent thither; but returned
without having seen one.
The boats were now hoisted in, and we made sail to the west, with a brisk
gale at east, which continued till the 9th, when we had for a few hours, a
breeze at N.W., attended with squalls of rain. This was succeeded by a
steady fresh gale at S.E., with which we steered N.W., being at this time
in the latitude of 20 deg.
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