Page:Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World in the Years 1791–95, volume 1.djvu/271

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212
A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY


1792, April.

From hence, as we proceeded to the north, the coafl began to incrcafe regularly in height, and the inland country, behind the low land bor- dering on the(ea fhore, acquired a confiderable degree of elevation. The fhores we pafTed this morning, differed in fome rel'pefts from thofe we had hitherto fecn. They were compofcd of low cliffs rifing perpendicu- larly from a beach of fand or fmall ftones ; had many detached rocks of various romantic forms lying at the diftance of about a mile, with regu- lar foundings, between 16 and 19 fathoms, foft fandy bottom. Noon brought us in fight of land, which was confidered to be that named by Mr. Barclay, Deftruftion ifland; bearing by compafs from n. 14W. to N. 17W.; the fouthernmoft land in fight, s. 53 e. ; the northernmoft N.36W.; and the neareff fhore N.65E. at the diftance of about 4 miles ; in this fituation our oblerved latitude was 47" 30', longitude 235" 49', and the variation of the compafs 18° caftwardly.

In the afternoon the wind we had been fo happily favored with died away, and was fucceeded by calms and light variable breezes. These, with a current or tide fetting rapidly in fhore, obliged us to anchor in 21 fathoms, on a bottom of foft fand and mud: the coafl, which now formed a ftrait and compa^ fhore, bore by compafs from n. 30 w. to s. 49 E. ; the neareft part of the main land, eaft, about five miles ; Deflruction ifland, being the neareft fhore, n. 5 e. to n. 5 w. about a league diftant ; and fome breakers extending from its north point N. 8 w.

This ifland is fituated in latitude 47' 37' ; longitude 235° 49' ; and is, by far, the largeft detached land yet obferved on the coafl. It is about a league in circuit, low, and nearly flat on the top, prefenting a very barren afpefl, and producing only one or two dwarf trees at each end. A canoe or two were feen paddling near th' ifland. It was a fa6l not lefs Angular than worthy obfervation. that, on the whole extenfive coaft of New Albion, and more particularly in the vicinity of thofe fertile and delightful fhores we had lately paffed, we had not, excepting to the fouthward of cape Orford and at this place, feen any inhabitants, or met with any circumftances, that in the moft diftant manner indicated a probability of the country being inhabited.

The ferenity of the weather, although very pleafant, was rendered exceffively