Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/186

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
156
Geography of Tierra del Fuego.
 

between the River Plate and the Strait of Magalhaens[1] is known, as well as the north-eastern side of Tierra del Fuego, were coasted by Malespina; and the charts resulting therefrom not only vie with any contemporaneous production for accuracy and detail, but are even now quite sufficient for the general purposes of navigation.

The Strait of Magalhaens has been explored by several navigators; but, among the numerous plans of it that are extant, those of Sir John Narborough and Cordova are the most correct. The first is particularly noticed in the late Admiral Burney's very useful work, and the result of the last has been published in the Spanish language, and is entitled 'Ultime Viage al Estrecho de Magallanes.' A second voyage was also made by Cordova to the Strait, the proceedings of which form an appendix to the above work. It is furnished with a good general chart of the coast, another of the Strait, and many plans of the anchorages within it. Byron, Wallis, Carteret, and Bougainville had already made considerable additions to Narborough's plan, from which a chart had been compiled that answered all the purposes of general geographical information, and might even have been sufficient for its navigation: for the latter purpose. however, Cordova's chart was much superior, but being published in Spain only, and its existence little known in England, I found great difficulty in procuring a copy before I sailed for my own use.

The southern coast of Tierra del Fuego between Cape Good Success, the southern limit of the Strait le Maire, and Cape Pillar at the Strait of Magalhaens's western end, were very little known. Captain Cook's voyage affords several useful notices of the coast between Cape Deseado and Christmas Sound, and the Dutch fleet under Hermite partially explored the neighbourhood of Cape Horn: a confused chart of this coast, however, was the best that could be put together; and although Weddel has more recently published a good account of the harbours and anchorages near Cape Horn and New Year's Sound, yet little available benefit was derived from it, because these different navigators having confined their examinations to small portions of the coast, it was difficult to connect their respective plans, even on so small a scale as that of the general chart.

The western coast of South America, which is very intricate, extending from Cape Victory (the north-west entrance of the

 


  1. There has existed much difference of opinion as to the correct mode of spelling this name. The French and English usually write it Magellan, and the Spaniards Magallànes; but by the Portuguese, and he was a native of Portugal, it is universally written Magalhaes. Admiral Burney and Mr. Dalrymple spell it Magalhanes, which mode I have elsewhere adopted, but I have convinced myself of the propriety of following the Portuguese orthography for a name which to this day is very common both in Portugal and Brazil,