« FöregåendeFortsätt »
trying to get it into the boat.” In the evening each person had an ounce of the damaged bread, and a quarter of a pint of water for supper.
Lieutenant Bligh observes, “ It will readily be supposed our lodgings were very miserable, and confined for want of room;" but he endeavoured to remedy the latter defect by putting themselves at watch and watch; so that one half always sat up, while the other lay down on the boat's bottom, or upon a chest, but with nothing to cover them except the heavens. Their limbs, he says, were dreadfully cramped, for they could not stretch them out; and the nights were so cold, and they were so constantly wet, that after a few hours' sleep, they were scarcely able to move. At dawn of day on the 7th, being very wet and cold, he says, “I served a spoonful of rum and a morsel of bread for breakfast."
In the course of this day they passed close to some rocky isles, from which two large sailingcanoes came swiftly after them, but in the afternoon gave over the chase. They were of the same construction as those of the Friendly Islands, and th land seen for the last two days was supposed to be the Fejee Islands. But being constantly wet, Bligh says,
“ It is with the utmost difficulty I can open a book to write, and I feel truly sensible I can do no more than point out where these lands are to be found, and give some iüea of their extent.” Heavy rain came on in the afternoon, when every person in he boat did his utmost to catrh some water, and hus succeeded in increasing their stock to thirtypur gallons, besides quenching their thirst for the frst time they had been able to do so since they had bien at sea : but it seems an attendant consequence of the heavy rain caused them
to pass the night very mserably; for being extremely wet, and having no dr things to shift or cover themselves, they experiaced cold and shiverings scarcely to be conceived. In the 8th, the allowance issued was an ounce and a half of pork, a tea-spoonful of rum, half a pint of cocoanut milk, and an ounce of bread. The rum, though so small in quantity, is stated to have been of the greatest service. In the afternoon they were employed in cleaning out the boat, which occupied them until sunset before they got every thing dry and in order. “ Hitherto,” Bligh says, “I had issued the allowance by guess, but I now made a pair of scales with two cocoanut shells; and having acci. dentally some pistol-balls in the boat, twenty-five of which weighed one pound, or sixteen ounces, 1 adopted one of these balls as the proportion of weight that each person should receive of bread at the times I served it. I also amused all hands with describing the situations of New-Guinea and NewHolland, and gave them every information in my power, that in case any accident should happen to me, those who survived might have some idea of what they were about, and be able to find their way to Timor, which at present they knew nothing of more than the name, and some not even that. At night I served a quarter of a pint of water and half an ounce of bread for supper.
On the morning of the 9th, a quarter of a pint of cocoanut milk and some of the decayed bread were served for breakfast; and for dinner, the kernels of four cocoanuts, with the remainder of the rotten bread, which, he says, was eatable only by such dis tressed people as themselves. A storm of thunde and lightning gave them about twenty gallons o’ water. “ Being miserably wet and cold, I served the people a tea-spoonful of rum each, to enabe them to bear with their distressing situation. Tie weather continued extremely bad, and the wind ncreased; we spent a very miserable night, without sleep, except such as could be got in the midstof rain.
The following day, the 10th, brought no reief, except that of its light. The sea broke over the
noat so much, that two men were kept constantly bailing; and it was necessary to keep the boat before the waves for fear of its filling. The allowance now served regularly to each person was twenty-fifth part of a pound of bread and a quarter of a pint of water, at eight in the morning, at noon, and at sunset. To-day was added about half an ounce of pork for dinner, which, though any moderate person would have considered only as mouthful, was divided into three or four.
The morning of the 11th did not improve. daybreak I served to every person a tea-spoonful of rum, our limbs being so much cramped that we could scarcely move them. Our situation was now extremely dangerous, the sea frequently running over our stern, which kept us bailing with all our strength. At noon the sun appeared, which gave us as much pleasure as is felt when it shows itself on a winter's day in England.
“In the evening of the 12th it still rained hard, and we again experienced a dreadful night. At length the day came, and showed a miserable set of beings, full of wants, without any thing to relieve them. Some complained of great pain in their bowels, and every one of having almost lost the use of his limbs. The little sleep we got was in no way refreshing, as we were constantly covered with the sea and rain. The weather continuing, and no sun affording the least prospect of getting our clothes dried, I recommended to every one to strip and vring them through the sea-water, by which means they received a warmth that, while wet with rain. water, they could not have." The shipping of seas and constant bailing continued ; and though the men were shivering with wet and cold, the commander was under the necessity of informing them, that he could no longer afford them the comfort they had derived from the tea-spoonful of rum.
On the 13th and 14th the stormy weather and
heavy sea continued unabated, and on these days they saw distant land, and passed several islands. The sight of these islands, it may well be supposed, served only to increase the misery of their situation. They were as men very little better than starving with plenty in their view; yet, to attempt procuring any relief was considered to be attended with so much danger, that the prolongation of life, even in the midst of misery, was thought preferable, while there remained hopes of being able to surmount their hardships.
The whole day and night of the 15th were still rainy; the latter was dark, not a star to be seen by which the steerage could be directed, and the sea was continually breaking over the boat. On the next day, the 16th, was issued for dinner an ounce of salt pork, in addition to their miserable allowance of one twenty-fifth part of a pound of bread. The night was again truly horrible, with storms of thunder, lightning, and rain; not a star visible, so that the steerage was quite uncertain.
On the morning of the 17th, at dawn of day, “] found,” says the commander, “every person complaining, and some of them solicited extra allowance, which I positively refused. Our situation was miserable ; always wet, and suffering extreme cold in the night, without the least shelter from the weather. The little rum we had was of the greatest service: when our nights were particularly distressing, I generally served a tea-spoonful or two t) each person, and it was always joyful tidings when they heard of my intentions. The night was agan a dark and dismal one, the sea constantly breaking over us, and nothing but the wind and waves to direct our steerage. It was my intention, if possible, to make the coast of New-Holland to the southward of Endeavour Straits, being sensible that it was necessary to preserve such a situatia as would make a southerly wind a fair one; thut we
might range along the reefs till an opening should be found into smooth water, and we the sooner be able to pick up some refreshments.”
On the 18th the rain abated, when, at their commander's recommendation, they all stripped and wrung their clothes through the sea-water, from which, as usual, they derived much warmth and refreshment; but every one complained of violent pains in their bones. At night the heavy rain recommenced, with severe lightning, which obliged them to keep bailing without intermission. The same weather continued through the 19th and 20th; the rain constant at times a deluge—the men aiways bailing; the commander, too, found it necessary to issue for dinner only half an ounce of pork.
At dawn of day, Lieutenant Bligh states, that some of his people seemed half-dead; that their appearances were horrible; " and I could look,” says he, no way, but I caught the eye of some one in distress. Extreme hunger was now too evident, but no one suffered from thirst, nor had we much inclination to drink, that desire perhaps being satisfied through the skin. The little sleep we got was in the midst of water, and we constantly awoke with severe cramps and pains in our bones. At noon the sun broke out and revived every one.
“During the whole of the afternoon of the 21st we were so covered with rain and salt water, that we could scarcely see. We suffered extreme cold, and every one dreaded the approach of night. Sleep, though we longed for it, afforded no comfort; for my own part, I almost lived without it. On the 32d our situation was extremely calamitous. We were obliged to take the course of the sea, running right before it, and watching with the utmost care, as the least error in the helm would in moment have been our destruction. It continued through ne day to blow hard, and the foam of the sea kept running over our stern and quarters.