Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/192

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160 Geogra?. ?/ o f Tierra dd Fuego ing to the south-west, and probably communicating with the Fallos Channel. On the eastern shore the openings were found to be either narrow inlets or abrupfiy terminatiug sounds. On both sides of the channel the coast is hilly, but not very high, and in many places there is much low and generally thickly wooded !and. This character distinguishes the Mesier from all other channels. The trees here are nearly of the same description as those which are found in all parts between Cape Tros Montes and the Strait of Magalhaens. Of these the most common are an evergreen beech (Fagus betuloides), a birch-like beech (Fagus antarctica), the Winter's bark (H/'mterana aromatics*), and a tree with all the appearance and habit of a cypress, of which the Indians make their spears; and among others there is one, the wood of which being extremely hard and weighty, answers better than the rest for fuel; the sealers call it ' the red wood,' from i?s colour. From the great quantity of timber which grows here it would be naturally supposed probable that spars for masts could be easily obtained, or at least woods useful for less important purposes; but, although many trees were found that were sufficiently large at the base, they grew to no great height; and, in consequence of the moisture of the climate, and the crowded state of the forests preventing the admission of the sun's rays, the wood generally proved to be de- cayed in the heart; besides being very subject, even after a long seasoning, to warp and split when exposed to a dry air. Ten miles beyond White-Kelp Cove, which is fifty miles within the entrance, the character of the Mesier Channel changes entirely; the shore on either side being formed of mountainous and preci- pitous ridges rising abruptly from the water. After this, at Halt Bay, twenty-three miles beyond White-Kelp Cove, the channel narrows for a considerable distance, and in three particular places is not more than four hundred yards wide. This part of the channel is called in the chart the English Narrows. It is long and intricate, with many islands strewed throughout; and preserves its tortuous and frequently narrow course to its junction with the ' Wide Channel,' in which the breadth increases to two miles and a half;' and then, running thirty-four miles with a direct and un- impeded course, falls into the Concepcion Strait as above stated. At the point where the Mesier and the Wide Channels unite, a deep sound extends to the N.N.E. for forty-six miles. It was named Sir George Eyre's Sound. An extensive glacier sloping into the sea from the summit of a range of high snowy mountains, that are visible from many parts of the Mesier Channel, terminates

  • Living plants of the above ?eea, and other vegetable productions frmn the

Strait of Magathaens, weFe introduced into England upon the return of the expe- dition, and have since thrlven exceedingly well, Dig,tiz?d by Google