Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/80

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�6 On the Vi9?a called the Airkiss' required to keep so much heavy rope in proper tension, the hanv- sers near the middle. of the line were buoyed s at intervals, with empty water-casks. Every part of the suspected ground was run and sounded over in open daylight, through the different phases of the moon, at all �imes of tide, and under every variety of wind and weather. Great pains were taken to explore it during the spring tides, when it might be expected to be uncovered; and, in short, the utmcet diligence was exerted to bring this examination to a successful termination. This search, however, like those which preceded it, has failed to produce the rock; and though it is not presumed to assert that it has no existence, yet it is hoped that a reference to the chart will justiO the statement that it cannot occupy any of the situations there asmgned to it. During the month of June, many of the mast-bead men and others were momentarily deceived by the blowing of whales, which at that time were numerous; and in August a small black object, a little aboqe the surface of the sea, was productive of similar hope and d. isa]?pointment. It was first seen from the Leveret, and on examination proved to be the trunk of a very !arg6 tree, with its roots projecting two or three feet out of the water. They were covered ?vith weeds, barnacles, and other marine productions; and presenting a rounded top, abrupt on one side, and sloping on the other, corresponded very minutely with the description of the sup- posed rock given by Mr. Carrol. That fish sometimes give rise to reports of this nature, and that even experienced persons in nautical affairs may be deceived by them, is very certain, as the following anecdote, on unquestionable authority, will show :w A frigate was one day running into the Rio de In Plata, with her studding-sails set, when the look-out man at the mast-head reported breakers on the bow. The captain believing such a danger could not have escaped the notice of the Spaniards, and having also a tolerable chart of the river, suspected it must be some floating object, and ordered the ship to he steered directly for it. The officers were on the alert; glasses were frequently directed to the spot; and all concurred in representing it a rock'a little above water. .Anxious looks were directed to the captain, whom they now considered unnecessarily running into danger; but that officer kept carefully watching his approach, and as the studding-sail boom was just over it, the cetaceous monster (for such it was) hastily made off, and rising again to blow, finally disappeared. It was observed to have an excrescence on its back, covered with shell-fish. The sea broke gently on its weather aide, and appeared becalmed to leeward; and so perfectly did it resemble a rock, that had _the vessel passed at a d?tance without Dig,tiz?d by Google