A relation of a voyage made in the years 1695, 1696, 1697
Made in the Years 1695, 1696, 1697. on the Coasts of Africa, Streights of Magellan, Brasil, Cayenna, and the Antilles, by a Squadron of French Men of War, under the Command of M. de Gennes.
By the Sieur Froger, Voluntier-Engineer on board the English Falcon.
Illustrated with divers strange Figures, drawn to the Life.
Printed for M. Gillyflower in Westminster-Hall; W. Freeman, M. Wotton in Fleet-street; J. Walthoe in the Temple; and R. Parker in Cornhill. 1698.
PUBLISHED FOR M. Gillyflower
PUBLISHED FOR W. Freeman
PUBLISHED FOR M. Wotton
PUBLISHED FOR J. Walthoe
PUBLISHED FOR R. Parker
On the 24th. we set sail, and at Noon came up again with our Vessels, which we left at St. George's Island, and which had cast Anchor within two Leagues of Famine Bay: We took in there very good fresh Water, but not without some difficulty, by reason that the Coast was full of Rocks. Savages of the Streight of Magellan.In that place we had the first sight of the Savages, of whom about Eight or Ten on the Sea-shore were making certain Bark-Canoos, which they did not abandon, but entreated us by Signs not to meddle with them. Among these Savages was a robust old Woman, who appear'd to be Aged about 80 Years, and who seem'd in a manner to Command 'em. They were arm'd with Slings, Bows and Arrows, and were attended with 5 or 6 little Dogs, which apparently serv'd 'em for Hunting: Their Arrows were pointed
[Page 75] with a sharp Flint-Stone very artificially cut, in form of a Serpent's Tongue: They also made fit large pieces of Flint to cut Wood, not having the use or knowledge of Iron.
These Savages are robust, and of a tall Stature, their Complexion being of an Olive-Colour: Their Hair is black, long, and cut above their Head in form of a Crown. They usually paint their Faces, Arms, and several other parts of their Body, with a white Tincture. Notwithstanding the excessive Cold, they always go naked; except that their Shoulders are cover'd with the Skins of Sea-Dogs and Sea-Wolves. They are destitute of Religion, and free from all manner of Care. They have no settled Habitation, but rove up and down, sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. Their Hutts are made only of a Semi-Circle of Branches, which they set up, and let one into another, to shelter themselves from the Wind. These are the famous Patagons whom some Authors avouch to be eight or ten Foot high, and of whom they tell so many strange Tales, even making them swallow whole Pails full of Wine: However they appear'd to us to be very sober; [Page 76] and the tallest among them was not above six Foot high.
Cape Froward.On the 25th. we prepar'd to set Sail, but had scarce pass'd Cape Froward, when we found the Winds variable and contrary; insomuch that not being able to cast Anchor, we were oblig'd to pass the Cape in the Night.
Cape Holland.On the 26th. at break of Day, the Fury of the Winds being somewhat allay'd, we set Sail again. At two aclock in the Afternoon we doubl'd Cape Froward and Cape Holland at ten at Night, but with terrible Blasts of Wind that came from between two Mountains, and for the most part surpriz'd us in the midst of a great Calm. At Midnight there arose a high Wind, which oblig'd us to stand in for some Port; and the first Anchorage that we could meet with, was two Leagues above Cape Froward, in a spacious and very convenient Bay, where we continu'd till the 3d. of the next Month, to take in Wood and fresh Water, in a River which there falls into the Sea, and where the Shallops ride at flowing Water. In a little Island situated in the middle of this River, we met with a dead Body half rotten, and cover'd with about a Foot
[Page 77] of Earth, but we cou'd not distinguish whether it were the Corps of an European or of a Savage, only the Skins of Sea-Wolves, which we found hard by, induc'd us to believe that he was a Native of the Country. This Bay is not mark'd in the Charts; therefore we called it the French BayThe FrenchBay, and River de Gennes., and impos'd on the River the Name of Monsieur de Gennes.
March 3. 1696On the 3d. of March we put out to Sea, with a favourable Gale; but we had scarce doubl'd Cape Froward, when the Winds veer'd after their usual manner, with Blasts that came by Fits, and fell foul on our Vessel when we were least aware of it. We pass'd the Cape in the Night, the Winds blew f [...]h, and we were oblig'd to stand in two Leagues above the French Bay, which we were not able to make.
Famine-Bay.On the 5th. we discover'd Famine-Bay, so call'd, because the Inhabitants of a new Colony of Spaniards were there miserably starv'd to death, which Colony was settl'd by Philip II. King of Spain, who endeavour'd by that means to hinder the Passage of Foreigners to the Southern Sea. This Bay is large, having a firm bottom, so that 40 Ships [Page 78] may conveniently ride at Anchor therein. There are spacious Plains round about, which may be sown with divers sorts of Grains. There is also great plenty of Game; and 'tis probable that the Spaniards might find more in those Parts, if it were not destroy'd by the Savages.
On the 6th. we weigh'd Anchor, and doubl'd the Capes Froward and Holland, where we felt, as at other times, very furious Blasts of Wind; but the next Day at Noon, we cast Anchor two Leagues below Port Gallant.
On the 8th. a high Wind arose, which drove the Sun of Africa from her Anchor, and forc'd her to stand in for the French Bay.
On the 9th. at Noon, the Winds were as favourable as could be wish'd for; yet we could not take the Advantage, by reason that we were oblig'd to wait for the Sun of Africa, which did not appear till the next Morning at break of Day: Then we prepar'd to set Sail, but the Winds immediately veer'd, and became contrary, with a great deal of Hail and Rains so that we were oblig'd to cast Anchor a League below Port Gallant.
The Winds continu'd contrary to us, till the 20th. Instant, being very sharp, and there fell abundance of Rain, Hail, and Snow, with which the Mountains are cover'd during the whole Year. We took in fresh Water and Wood, and saw a great number of Whales.
The Rode of Port Gallant.On the 20th. we set sail with a favourable Wind, but it soon return'd to its wonted Career, and we could only make the Road of Port Galant, where we continu'd fifteen Days longer, with cold Winds, a great deal of Rain and Snow. This Road is large, and shelter'd from the Eastern Winds. The Situation of the Harbour is pleasant and very commodious, two small Rivers falling into it. There are also to be seen the finest Shells in the World, with variety of Fowl, viz. Larks, Thrushes, Ducks, and abundance of Sea-Pies. We often heard the Cries of the Savages in the Mountains, but could not see them.