Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/88

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62
On the Columbretes.

have done, I know not. Suffice it, that the fact wars against the French encyclopaedists, and others, who have asserted this island to remain desert and uninhabited—'à cause de la quantite extraordinaire de serpens qui s'y trouvent;' and where, then, are we to look for the Ophiusa of the ancients, but in the Columbretes?


VI.— Account of the Island of Deception, one of the New Shetland Isles. Extracted from the private Journal of Lieutenant Kendal, R.N., embarked on board his Majesty's sloop Chanticleer, Captain Forster, on a scientific voyage; and communicated by John Barrow, Esq., F.R.S. Read 24th January, 1831.

['The New Shetland Isles are a cluster recently discovered, or, more correctly speaking, re-discovered, by Mr. Smith, a master in the Royal Navy. Direk Gheritz, who commanded one of five ships which sailed from Rotterdam in 1598, to make a western passage to India, was separated from his companions off Cape Horn, and carried, by tempestuous weather, as far as latitude 64° S., where he discovered a high country, with mountains covered with snow, resembling the coast of Norway; and there can be no doubt that this was the group of islands in question. They seem to be a continuation of the Cordillera of the Andes, and Archipelago of Tierra del Fuego; being, for the most part, precisely of the same formation with the latter—their strata even inclining the same way. But the particular island here described is completely volcanic; and its circular crater bears a very striking resemblance to that of the Island of Amsterdam, or, as it is called by some, St. Paul, in the mid-ocean between the Cape of Good Hope and Australia.

The shape of both, too, is so llke that of the lagoons which are met with in nine-tenths of the numerous low coral islands that are scattered over the intra-troplcal portions of the Pacific, as to give a colour to an opinion I was led to form many years ago, that these extraordinary fabrics, the creation of minute marine worms, are for the most part based on the edges of sub-marine volcanic craters, rising sufficiently near the surface to allow these creatures the requisite light and heat to carry on their wonderful operations, creating perpetually new islands. And this consideration may perhape give additional interest to the paper immediately following that here subjoined; which, as minutely describing one of these coralline formations, is thus, in degree, connected with the two preceding it.—John Barrow.]

5th January, 1829.—The partial clearing of the fog brought to view the desolate lands of Shetland. The first that was descried was the mountainous island, the westernmost of the group, called, after its discoverer, Smith's Island; and a more dreary aspect of rugged barrenness I never beheld. It rises abruptly from the water'a edge, and in the centre towers to the height of between