|Information about the text on this page|
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
Narrative & Route of the Voyage
|I||Causes for sending the Expedition|
|II||From Callao to the Gulf of Trinidad|
|III||Arrival at the Gulf of Trinidad|
|V||Second Voyage of Discovery|
|VI||Third Voyage of Discovery|
|VII||Voyage to the Strait of Magellan|
|VIII||In the Strait of Magellan|
|IX||Voyage to Spain|
|A||Letter from the Viceroy of Peru|
|What Happened to the Royal Fleet|
|Report Touching the Captains & Ships|
Narrative by Sarmiento de Gambóa
|II||Villainy of Diego Flores|
|III||Desertion of Diego Flores|
|IV||Settlements in the Straits|
|V||Captivity of Sarmiento|
|What Happend in the Settlements|
Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa was one of the most eminent Spanish scientific navigators of the sixteenth century. His admirable work up the Gulf of Trinidad and in the Straits of Magellan is well known to English naval surveyors; but his reports have never been translated. The present volume contains translations of his narrative which was published at the end of the last century, and of his important reports which first saw the light In 1866.* Some account of the surveys of Sarmiento and of his unfortunate attempt to establish a colony in the Straits of Magellan is given in Burney's Voyages.† But the Admiral's authorities were confined to the published narratives, to Argensola, and to the story of Lopez Vaz in Hakluyt.§ He was unacquainted with the reports of Sarmiento himself, which have recently been brought to light.
* In the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos, tom. v. Madrid, 1866.
§ Lopez Vaz: “The Historie of Lopez Vaz a Portugall.”
To discover the birth and parentage of the great navigator it has been necessary to have recourse to an ominous authority, namely, a deposition preserved in the Records of the Inquisition.* From this document it appears that his father was Bartolomè Sarmiento, a native of Pontevedra in Galicia, who married a Biscayan lady of Bilbao, named Gamboa. Pedro himself was born at Alcala de Henares in about 1532, but he was brought up in his father's home at Pontevedra, a place near the sea on the western coast of Galicia. The country round Pontevedra is watered by many streams, is well wooded, and enjoys an equable climate. The small port of Bayona is within a few miles of the town, and here it was that Alonzo Martin Pinzon found refuge when returning as second in command, in the first voyage of Columbus. Having passed his boyhood in the pleasant environs of Pontevedra, Pedro Sarmiento entered the military service of Spain at the early age of eighteen. He served in the wars of Europe from 1550 to 1555, and then crossed the ocean to the Indies, to seek his fortune. He appears to have been two years in Mexico and Guatemala, whence he proceeded to Peru in 1557.
* Historia del Tribunal del Santo Officio de la Inquisicion en Chile, por Don Jose Toribio Medina (2 tom., Santiago, 1890, 8vo), I, cap. xiii, p. 310.
During seven years he devoted himself to a study of the history of the Incas, and he probably made several voyages along the coast. When he arrived, the Marquis of Cañete was Viceroy of Peru, who induced the Inca Sayri Tupac to come to terms and reside in the valley of Yucay under Spanish jurisdiction. But when Sayri Tupac died in 1560, his brothers again became independent in the fastnesses of Vilcabamba. The Marquis himself died in 1561, and from 1561 to 1564 the Conde de Nieva was Viceroy. Sarmiento appears to have been on intimate terms with the new Viceroy and his household, and probably held some office in the viceregal court. This came to an end after the mysterious murder of the Conde de Nieva in a street of Lima, on February 20th, 1564; and the persecutions of the Inquisition appeared to have commenced with the arrival of the new Governor of Peru, Lope Garcia de Castro, in the autumn of the same year. Sarmiento was persecuted by the Holy Office for having been reported to have said that he knew how to make a certain ink with which, if a woman was written to, she would love the person who wrote the letter, though before she might have disliked him. His defence was that a female servant of the Conde de Nieva, named Payba, was talking nonsense about love affairs, and that he had told her that he had heard about such ink in Spain, but that he believed it to be a lie. There was also another equally absurd accusation about two rings engraved with Chaldean characters, which were suspected of having been made by astrological art. Sarmiento, in his defence, said he had shown the rings to his confessor, who said there was no harm in them.
The sentence was that he should hear mass in the cathedral at Lima, stripped naked, with a candle in his hand, and that he should be perpetually banished from the Indies. Until his departure he was to be kept in the Monastery of San Domingo at Lima, without any books, fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, and reciting seven penitential psalms. Sarmiento appealed to the Pope, and obtained a commutation of the banishment, with license to reside at Cuzco and other parts of Peru until 1567. It was years before he was free from annoyance and persecution, and it was due to the great value of his services that he was protected by the Government from the intolerable tyranny of the Inquisition.
It may, I think, be gathered from this persecution that Sarmiento was of an imaginative turn of mind, fond of investigating any unusual phenomena, and of satisfying his curiosity touching all that was strange or occult. His subsequent history proves him to have been a good mathematician, and a man gifted with the inventive faculty. The history and antiquities of the Incas had a fascination for him and, during the first ten years of the residence in Peru, he travelled over the country, and collected much information which had escaped the attention of his predecessors. It was Sarmiento who first announced that the Inca Tupac Yupanqui had made an expedition by sea to the westward, and had discovered two islands called Nina-chumpi and Hahua-chumpi. He believed that he had obtained information from the Incas which would enable him to fix their positions approximately, and he seems to have thought that they would constitute a valuable possession, worthy of being added to the Spanish dominions.*
* Miguel Cavello Balboa, in his Miscelanea Austral, also mentions the voyage of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, which, he says, lasted more than a year. He discovered the two islands of Hahua-chumpi and Nina-chumpi and returned with many black prisoners, much gold and silver, and a throne made of copper and skins of an animal like a horse. He started from the coast of Manta, north of Guayaquil, so that the two islands may have been two of the Galapagos, “Nina-chumpi” would mean Fire Island, and “Hahua-chumpi” Outer Island. There were volcanic eruptions on Narborough Island of the Galapagos group in 1814 and 1825.—See Las Is las de Galapagos y otras mos poniente, por Marcos Jimenes de la Espada.
In the year 1567 Sarmiento made a proposal for the discovery of these distant western islands to the Licentiate Castro, then Governor of Peru. In one of his memorials to Philip II he represented that he knew of many islands in the South Sea which were undiscovered until his time, and that he offered to undertake the enterprise with the approval of the Governor of Peru. Lope Garcia de Castro took him into the royal service, offering the command of the expedition and the whole government of the fleet to him. But Sarmiento insisted that it should be entrusted to a young nephew of Garcia de Castro named Alvaro de Mendaña; with the object of inducing the Governor to further the equipment and despatch with greater zeal. He, however, stipulated that he should have the conduct of the discovery and navigation, and that no course should be altered without his consent.* He was appointed captain of Mendaña's ship, the Capitana, named “Los Reyes”; the pilot being Juan Enriquez, and the treasurer Gomez Catoira. On board the other ship, Almiranta, named “Todos Santos”, was the Camp Master Pedro de Ortega, and the Chief Pilot Hernando Gallego. The two ships sailed from Callao on Wednesday, the 19th of November 1567.
* Memorial of Sarmiento to Philip II, dated Cuzco, March 4th, 1572, in the Tres Relaciones de Antiquedades Peruanas publicadas el Ministro de Fomento, p. xix.
Sarmiento intended to steer W.S.W. until he reached the 23rd parallel, and this course was persevered in until the 28th of November. On that day the Chief Pilot, Hernando Gallego, altered the course without consulting Sarmiento, and in defiance of the instructions; and in this proceeding he was supported by Mendaña.* It appears to have been their intention to abandon the discovery and make for the Philippine Islands. Sarmiento made a strong protest, but to no purpose. Mendaña and the Chief Pilot persisted in their more northerly course for forty days, in spite of the constant remonstrances of Sarmiento, who was supported by Pedro de Ortega, the Camp Master. Sarmiento urged that the lands of which he was in search were to the south. No land being sighted after so many days Mendaña became alarmed, and requested Sarmiento to resume charge of the navigation. He ordered a W.S.W. course to be shaped, but by this time the ships were in 5° S. and too far to the westward to retrace their steps to the position he wished to reach. He, however, said that land would be sighted on the next day, and this proved true. An island was discovered which received the name of “Nombre de Jesus.”. Then the “Candelaria” rocks were sighted on the 1st of February 1568, and on the 7th the great island was discovered, called “Atoglu” by the natives, and by the Spaniards “Santa Isabel de Estrella.” Herrera says that it was first seen from the masthead by a boy named Trejo. The ships were anchored in a bay named “Estrella,” possession was taken, and a brigantine, which had been taken out in pieces, was put together. Sarmiento then conducted a reconnoitring expedition inland, but met with hostility from the natives; while Ortega examined the coast on board the brigantine and discovered several other islands. He gave one of them the name of “Guadalcanal,” after his own native place near Seville.
* Breve relacion que se ha recogtdo de los papeles que se hallaron en esta ciudad de La Plata, cerca del viaje y descubrimienio de las islas del Poniente de la Mar de Sur, que comunmente Hainan de Salomon—Coleccion de Muñoz, tom. xxxvii; Documentos Ineditos, v, Cuaderno iii, p. 210.
In May the expedition left Santa Isabel, and, after sighting Malaita, Galera, Florida, and Cesarga, anchored off Guadalcanal. On the 19th and 22nd Sarmiento accompanied Mendaña and Ortega in excursions into the interior, ascending a mountain, and enjoying a magnificent view. Afterwards a boat's crew was massacred by the natives, and Sarmiento was obliged to make severe reprisals. In August the expedition removed to the island of San Cristobal, where they remained for forty days, refitting and taking in supplies, and here the brigantine was abandoned. The whole group was named the Solomon Islands.
Sarmiento now desired to return by way of the islands discovered by the Inca, and submitted a report on September 4th, 1568. But Mendaña insisted upon steering east, and, when all the pilots remonstrated, he shaped a course for Mexico. On the 23rd of January 1569, they reached the port of Santiago de Colima, refitted at Realejo, and returned to Callao on September 11th. During the voyage there had been many disagreements, and Mendaña intended to bring charges against Sarmiento when he arrived at Lima. As little justice could be expected from the uncle in adjudicating on his nephew's conduct, Sarmiento considered it to be the wisest course to leave the ship at Realejo, and wait at Guatemala until the Licentiate Lope Garcia de Castro was relieved of his command.* Taking the whole of the conflicting evidence, and comparing the various statements, it is clear that there was much incapacity and mismanagement, and that the expedition was saved from disaster on more than one occasion, and especially on the voyage home, through the seamanlike skill and scientific guidance of Pedro Sarmiento.
* There are several narratives of the first voyage of Mendaña, when the Solomon Islands were discovered. A full account, which was used by Burney, is contained in Book v of the Hechos de Don Garcia Huriado de Mendoza, 4e Marques de Cañete por D. Christoval Suarez de Figueroa (Madrid, 1614). This work was reprinted at Santiago de Chile in 1864, in the Coleccion de Historiadores de Chile. Herrera gives a short notice. The narrative in the Documentos Ineditos is from a manuscript found at La Plata. The Report of Mendaña himself at Simancas only takes us down to May 1568, the rest being lost. There is a copy in the Muñoz Collection tom. xxxvii. The pilot Gallego wrote a journal, and the manuscript is in the British Museum. Another copy is in the possession of Lord Amherst of Hackney. Full extracts from it are given in Mr. Guppy's work. There is also a very interesting manuscript narrative of the voyage by the Treasurer Catoira, in the British Museum, but it has never been printed.
In November 1569, Lope Garcia de Castro had been relieved by Don Francisco de Toledo, brother of the Count of Oropesa, who came' out to Peru with the restored title of Viceroy, which had been in abeyance since the murder of the Count of NIeva. He was a man advanced In years, devoted heart and soul to his public duties, energetic and resolute, but narrow-minded and unscrupulous. On hearing of his arrival Pedro Sarmiento returned to Peru, and he appears to have been at once restored to favour and taken back into the service by the new Viceroy. Sarmiento was confronted with Mendaña, both before the Viceroy and before the Royal Audience, and his explanation of his proceedings during the voyage was held to be completely satisfactory. Toledo then invited him to attend him in a visitation of all the provinces of Peru. His colleagues were the Jesuit historian Acosta, the Judge Matienza, and the accomplished lawyer Polo de Ondegardo. It was the belief of the shrewd but narrow-minded Toledo that there could be no security for Spanish rule while the natives retained a feeling of love and veneration for their ancient sovereigns. He resolved to get the last of the Incas, named Tupac Amaru, into his clutches, and soon after his arrival at Cuzco in 1571, he organized an expedition to penetrate into Vilcabamba with this object.
Hernando de Arbieto was the general of this force, with Pedro Sarmiento as “Alferez General.” It was little more than a pursuit. The young Inca Tupac Amaru, with a few followers, fled down a mountain path with dense forest on one side and a precipice on the other. He was closely followed, and Sarmiento himself captured the ill-fated boy, who was brought in triumph to Cuzco. The Viceroy then committed a judicial murder which was alike a wicked crime and a gross blunder. The youthful sovereign, Tupac Amaru, was executed in the great square of Cuzco in October 1571; in spite of the protests of the most influential Spaniards, both lay and clerical, and of the outraged feelings of the people.
Pedro Sarmiento was aiding and abetting in this cruel and atrocious crime. He was unrelenting and felt no remorse; for nine years afterwards he advised the King to continue the persecution of the surviving members of the Inca family.* From that time his good fortune departed. His great ability and loyalty obtained for him important posts, but in spite of skill and patience, of extraordinary resolution and dogged determination, his ill-luck never left him to the day of his death. The curse stuck to him—retribution for the murder of the last of the Incas.§
* “I left in Lima the eldest son of Titu Cusi Yupanqui, named Quispi Titu. He is in the house of a half caste, his cousin Francisco de Ampuero. I advise that the King should order these Incas to be brought to Spain, or somewhere away from the people of Peru. The people always retain the memory of the Incas in their hearts, and adore every one of Inca lineage.” —Report, 15th April 1581 Thomar. Papeles Historicos del Exmo Señor Conde de Valencia de Don Juan.
§ A decade later Markham indirectly contradicts himself in the Hakluyt Society's 1907 edition of Sarmiento's History of the Incas with an account of the Inca's capture and execution written by eye-witness Captain Baltasar de Ocampo, who states that the Inca was captured by a Captain Martin Garcia Oñez de Loyola. There is no record of Sarmiento's name in the list of men who participated in that capture, nor of being witness to the execution.
After the execution the Viceroy Toledo employed Sarmiento, as “the most able man on this subject that I have found in the country,” to prepare a map and to compile a history of the Incas for transmission to the King. His object was to show that the Incas had originally usurped the country from the former possessors, and that consequently it was just to depose their descendants. With a letter dated in the valley of Yucay, on March 1st, 1572, Toledo sent home this history, together with a genealogy and a map prepared by Sarmiento on four cloths. The bearer of this important despatch was Geronimo Pacheco. The cloths are fully described in the covering letter. Their historical truth and accuracy were certified by thirty-seven experts of the principal Ayllus or lineages of the Inca family, and by the Spaniards Polo de Ondegardo,* Alonso de Mesa,† Mancio Serra de Leguisamo,‡ Juan de Pancorvo^ and Pedro Alonso Carrasco,|| most of them among the early conquerors. The notary Navamue says that on the four cloths were written and painted the figures of the Incas and their wives, with their Ayllus or lineages. On the first cloth was depicted the fable of Tambo Toco, and of the creation by Vira-cocha. On the second was a map, with the positions of the towns, executed by Pedro Sarmiento.
* The accomplished lawyer and statesman who came to Peru with the President Gasca. He was Corregidor of Charcas, and afterwards of Cuzco, and studied the laws and administration of the Incas with minute care. He wrote several invaluable reports.
† Alonso de Mesa was one of the first conquerors, and owned a house in the square of Our Lady at Cuzco, near that of Garcilasso de la Vega. His son was at court in 1600, and the Inca family sent him a petition to be delivered to the King.
‡ This is the conqueror who is said to have gambled away the golden sun of the temple at Cuzco in one night. He is more honourably known as a defender of the cause of the natives. He married an Inca princess.
^ Juan de Pancorvo was one of the first conquerors who occupied a house at Cuzco with his friend and comrade Alonzo de Marchena.
|| Another of the earliest conquerors to whom a house at Cuzco was granted in 1557.
The history of the Incas, which accompanied the cloths, was long supposed to have been lost. But the original document has recently been discovered in the library of the University of Gottingen. The binding was of red silk, with a coat of arms the size of a page, signed “el Capitã Sarmi de Gãboa.” Under the red silk there was another binding of green leather. This was probably the copy sent to the King. The document formed part of the celebrated library of Abraham Gronow, which was sold in 1785. It consists of eight leaves of introduction and 138 of text. Pages 4 to 8 contain the dedication to the King, written at Cuzco and signed by Sarmiento on March 4th, 1572, in which the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo is belauded, and the claim of Philip II to the title of King of Peru is set forth.
The second page contains the title, surrounded by an ornamental border. “Segunda Parte de la historia general llamada yndica, le qual por mandado del Exmo Francisco de Toledo, Gobernador y Capitan General de los reynos del Peru y Major-domo de la Casa Real de Castilla, compuso el Capitan Pedro Sarmiento.*
* The work contains accounts of the early possessors of Peru and their chiefs, of the first settlers at Cuzco, of the fabulous origin of the Incas, of their march to Cuzco, of the mixture of fable with history, of the entrance of Manco Capac into the valley of Cuzco and his disputes with the Alcabizas over the arable lands, of the succeeding Incas, of the war with the Chancas, of the rebuilding of Cuzco by Pachacutec, of the conquests of Pachacutec, of the Mitimaes, of the Colla war, of the reign of Tupac Yupanqui, of his building the fortress of Cuzco, of the reign of Huayna Capac, of the civil war between Huascar and Atahualpa, of the coming of the Spaniards. He places the duration of the Inca dynasty from 565 to 1533.
At the beginning of the history the author says that it will be divided into three parts, the first containing the natural history, the second a narrative of the tyranny of the Incas down to the death of Huascar. The first and third parts never appear to have been written. But the second part, now at Gottingen, contains the history of the Incas. Its discovery is very important, and all students of American history will look forward to the publication of the text with great interest.
In the following year the persecution of the Inquisition was resumed. A trumpery charge was brought against Sarmiento respecting some astronomical rings, doubtless for purposes connected with navigation. The ignorant dolts thought they had to do with necromancy. One false witness deposed that Sarmiento had been publicly flogged at Puebla de los Angeles, in Mexico, for having made a graven image. In November 1573 he presented a pamphlet of twelve leaves, in the Holy Office, to show that the astronomical rings were not superstitious, but that they were practically useful. After long delay the sentence of the Inquisition was that Sarmiento was a dangerous man and that he must fulfil his former sentence of banishment. But at that time he was serving under the Viceroy, in an arduous campaign against the Chiriguanos, in the dense forests to the eastward of the Andes. On their return, the Holy Office was informed that Sarmiento was a valuable public servant, and that he could not be spared. The irritating persecution of the Inquisitors was, however, continued. Sarmiento was next accused of having shown the lines on the palm of his hand to an old woman, and told her that they would cause him to kill two people in Peru. He was found guilty, imprisoned in November 1575, and again sentenced to be banished. But once more the Viceroy Toledo interfered, ordered his release, and placed him under special protection. Sarmiento continued to be a captain in the King's service, in high favour with the Viceroy, and was in that position when Francis Drake arrived at Callao in February 1579.
Sarmiento was employed in the unsuccessful chase of Drake as far as Panama, and when the Viceroy resolved to send ships to the Straits of Magellan to intercept Drake on his return, and to fortify the passage with a view to preventing the entry of any pirates who might attempt to follow Drake into the South Sea, Sarmiento was appointed to the command of the expedition. Toledo was not a man to entrust such a service to any one from motives of friendship or personal predilection. He was cold and unsympathetic, and was devoted wholly to the good of the service. He must, therefore, have formed a very high opinion of the capacity of Sarmiento, and of his special fitness. Undoubtedly he was right. Sarmiento was a thorough seaman, possessing all the scientific knowledge of his time. Long accustomed to the command of men, he knew how to treat them, how to win their confidence, and how to get good work from them. He had forethought and presence of mind. Above all he was endowed with that indomitable perseverance which deserves, if it does not always command, success. He was very superstitious, but his strong religious beliefs inspired his own acts, and tended to fill his followers with like enthusiasm. He was a true-hearted, loyal man.
The original copy of the narrative and route journal of the voyage through Magellan's Strait, written by Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, addressed to the King and legally certified by a notary, is in the Royal Library of Madrid. Argensola, in his history of the Moluccas, gives an abstract of it, extending to considerable length.* The journal was edited by Don Bernardo Yriarte, and published at Madrid in 1768. The Editor made diligent search for Sarmiento's charts, but without success. He thought it possible that they might be in the “Casa de Contratacion” at Seville, or in the depository of the Franciscan Convent at Cadiz, but they were not to be found. The Journal is now translated for the first time. “"Narrative and Route of the voyage and discovery to the Strait of the Mother of God, formerly called of Magellan, by the Captain Don Pedro Sarmiento y [sic, de] Gamboa.”§ Sarmiento was the first to survey and give a detailed description of the Strait. Magellan was in the Strait from October 21st to November 27th, 1520, but the historians of his voyage give no detailed descriptions. The fleet of Garcia de Loaysa and Sebastian del Cano entered the Strait on April 8th and left it on May 26th, 1526.† Simon de Alcazava‡ entered the Strait in January 1535, but his ships never got through. He was murdered by his crew. In 1557 Juan Ladrilleros was sent from Chile to examine the approaches to the Strait from the Pacific side, and discovered the island of Chiloe and the Chonos Archipelago, but did not enter the Strait.^
* Lib. IV, pp. 109-136.
§ Naval historian James Burney had this to say about Sarmiento's “Strait of the Mother of God:”
It would perhaps be regarding this piece of vanity with too much severity, to suppose that it proceeded from a wish to detract from the reputation of Magalhanes; but it appears with peculiar ill grace in Sarmiento … . Posterity, however, has not countenanced the injustice designed against Magalhanes, and the Strait continues, and will probably long continue, to be distinguished by his name.
† The narrative of the expedition under Garcia Jofre de Loaysa was written by Andres de Urdaneta, one of his captains. It is in the Coleccion de Muñoz, tom. xxxvi, and was published in the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos (Madrid, 1866), tom. v, cuaderno i, pp. 5-67. Burney gives an account of the expedition gathered from notices in Gomara, Herrera, and Galvano.
‡ The story of the voyage of Alcazava was told by the notary Alonso Vehedor. It is in the Coleccion de Muñoz, tom. xxxvi, and was published in 1866 in the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos, tom. v, cuaderno ii, pp. 97-117. There is another account by Juan de Mori, one of the officers.
|| The account of the voyage of Ladrilleros is in the life of the Marquis of Cafiate, by Figueroa.
Francis Drake entered the Strait on August 20th, 1578, and cleared it in seventeen days, passing out into the Pacific on the 6th of September.
Thus Magellan, Loaysa, Alcazava, and Drake, were the predecessors of Sarmiento, but the historians of none of these voyages have given an account of the Strait to be compared for a moment with that of the accomplished Spanish surveyor. Sarmiento discovered and explored, in three perilous boat voyages, the intricate channels leading from the Gulf of Trinidad. He described his voyage through the Strait in great detail, and in a most interesting narrative. His work has received the high praise of modern English surveyors from FitzRoy to Nares, and Sarmiento consequently takes a foremost rank among the navigators of the sixteenth century.
When Sarmiento arrived in Spain, his representations, and those of the Viceroy Toledo, led to the equipment of a large fleet to fortify the Strait and to form settlements, with which object a number of colonists were embarked with their families. The command of the fleet was entrusted to a most incompetent officer named Diego Flores de Valdes, while Sarmiento was to be the Governor and Captain-General of the forts and settlements in the Strait. This arrangement led to disaster and ruin. For Sarmiento had no power until the Strait was reached, and could only advise and protest.
The second document in the present volume is a Report by Sarmiento, written from Rio de Janeiro on June 1st, 1583, the original of which is preserved in the Coleccion de Juan Bautista Muñoz. It gives some account of the equipment of the fleet, and is particularly interesting because it describes the system for the supply of charts, and the details of an observation for an eclipse of the sun, to ascertain the longitude of Lima.
The third document contains an enumeration of the names of the ships and officers of the fleet of Diego Flores and Pedro Sarmiento.*
* From the Navarrete MSS., copied from the Archives of the Indies.
The narrative of the voyage, of the disgraceful conduct of Diego Flores, of Sarmiento's inexhaustible patience and determination, of the final establishment of two settlements in the Straits of Magellan, and of the subsequent misfortunes and adventures of Sarmiento, is contained in the fourth document, which is a detailed report by that deserving but unlucky officer himself.* This is the history of a great calamity: the story of a resolute and loyal man battling against insuperable difficulties and, though succumbing in the end, yet continuing the brave struggle against fate to the last gasp. But there was a curse on the executioner of the last of the Incas.
* MS. Coleccion de Muñoz, tom. xxxvii, copied from the original document at Simancas. Published in the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos, tom. v, cuadernos, iii, iv and v.
Sarmiento sent home another detailed Report, from Pernambuco, dated 18th of September 1584, which is preserved but still remains in manuscript.* I have a copy of the Pernambuco Report, which I have collated with the translated Report in this volume, noting any additional information or discrepancies.
* Navarrete MSS., copied from the original in the Archives of the Indies.
The fifth and last of the documents forming the present volume is the Deposition of Tomé Hernandez, one of the survivors of the settlers in the Straits of Magellan, who was taken on board by Cavendish in January 1587, and escaped near Valparaiso. The Deposition was taken many years afterwards at Lima, by order of the Prince of Esquilache, the Viceroy of Peru.* It is a harrowing tale.
* Published at the end of the volume containing the Journal of Sarmiento, in 1768. It was obtained by the Editor from the collection of the Mariscal de Campo Don Eugenio de Alvarado.
When Tomé Hernandez was embarked by Cavendish, the other survivors of the settlers landed by Sarmiento were abandoned to their fate. There were fifteen men and three women. The Delight of Bristol, commanded by Captain Andrew Merick, entered the Straits of Magellan in December 1589, and found one Spaniard at Port Famine. He said he had been there six years, and that he was the sole survivor out of 400 settlers landed in 1582. Captain Merick took the wretched man on board, but he died on the passage home, and his name is not given.
It is not quite certain what became of Pedro Sarmiento, after his return to Spain from captivity. He wrote a letter to Philip II, entreating him to send succour to the abandoned settlers in the Straits, dated November 21st, 1591. He then appears to have gone out to the Philippine Islands by way of Mexico. The Governor of the Philippines, Don Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, sent an expedition to conquer Tidore, under the command of Captain Pedro Sarmiento and of Juan Ronquillo, nephew of the Governor. The landing was opposed, but the defenders were repulsed, and Sarmiento formed an entrenched camp and planted his artillery. But a pestilence broke out, the enterprise was abandoned, and they returned to Manilla. Argensola says that Pedro Sarmiento was living at Manilla when he wrote, in 1608.* He probably died there soon after- wards, as he was then a very old man.†
* Conquista de las Islas Malucas, por el licenciado Bartolomè Leonardo de Argensola (Madrid, 1609), lib. v, pp. 167-169. See also Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, por el Doctor Antonio de Morga (Mexico, 1609), translation, Hakluyt Society, 1868, ch. iv, p. 28.
† I am not quite satisfied that this Pedro Sarmiento of Manilla was the great navigator. The invasion of Tidore under Ronquillo appears to have taken place before Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, who was in Spain in the autumn of 1591, could possibly have reached Manilla. There was another Pedro Sarmiento who died at Potosi in 1610, but he certainly could not have been the great navigator.
Argensola says that, besides his History of the Incas, the Narrative of his Voyage, and his numerous Reports, Sarmiento wrote a Treatise on Navigation, a Notice of the Stars, and Treatises on fortification and on the founding of artillery.
I have received copies of several manuscript reports by Sarmiento, from Spain, which have been useful in editing the documents composing the present volume, and in writing this introduction. One relates to the affairs of Peru and to the treatment of the surviving Incas; another is a report on the kind of vessels most suitable for navigating the Straits of Magellan; two more are pitiful letters to the Secretary Idiaquez and to the King, from the prison of Mont Marsan; another contains statements respecting the amount of the ransom. There are several other documents of less importance, relating to the expeditions of Sarmiento.
I owe more than I can express in words to my friend Don Marcos Jimenes de la Espada of Madrid, for his kind and ever ready assistance. He not only sent me a list of the manuscripts relating to the affairs of Sarmiento, and arranged for the transcription of those that I required, but he himself carefully collated the copies wjth the originals, and even himself made a copy of one of the most important documents. He also gave me various useful references. To Professors Meyer and Pretschmann of Gottingen my best thanks are due for informing me of the existence of the History of the Incas by Sarmiento, and especially to Professor Pretschmann for furnishing me with a full abstract of its contents. I trust that he will soon be in a position to print the text. Last, but not least, I owe thanks to my friend Dr. Coppinger, the distinguished Arctic officer and naturalist, for helping me to identify plants mentioned by Sarmiento as growing on the shores of the Straits of Magellan.
After Don Francisco de Toledo,* Viceroy of Peru, sent two ships, with more than 200 men, in pursuit of the pirate Francisco Draquez,† which arrived at Panama without finding more than a report of his proceedings, and returned to Lima (of which your Majesty will have notice), considering the importance to the security of all the Indies on the South Sea, for the service of God our Lord, the increase and preservation of His Holy Church which your Majesty holds and maintains in these parts, and that which it is hoped will be established, and not to leave anything unexplored for the service of your Majesty and your subjects; as well as because there was the public fame and fear of the two English ships, consorts of Francisco Draquez, which remained behind on the coasts of Chile and Arica,‡ and which had carried their arms into those ports, so that the people did not know what to do, ceasing their business, because the merchants feared to risk their goods, and the sailors to navigate; and it being the public fame that Francisco would return by the Strait, as he now knew where it was; for all these reasons, and to prepare for future events, he determined to send to and discover the Strait of Magellan, which it was held to be almost impossible to discover by the way of the South Sea, owing to the innumerable openings and channels which there are before arriving at it, where many discoverers had been lost who had been sent by the Governors of Peru and Chili. Although persons had been there who entered by the North Sea, they never succeeded. Some were lost, and others returned, so tossed about by storms and uncertain of what could be discovered, that there was a general dread of that navigation.
* Don Francisco de Toledo, a younger brother of the fourth Count of Oropesa, succeeded the Governor Lope Garcia de Castro in the government of Peru, in 1569, with the title of Viceroy. He was a man of great energy and resolution, devoted heart and soul to his pubHc duties, but narrow-minded and unsympathetic. His cruel execution of the young Inca Tupac Amaru, at Cuzco, in 1571, is a foul blot on his character. But he regulated the administration, and his Libro de Tasas was the text-book for the guidance of future Viceroys. He ruled Peru for thirteen years, returning to Spain in 1581. He died in 1584.
† Sir Francis Drake. He was at Callao on February 15th, 1579.
‡ Of these two ships, the Elizabeth went back into the strait and returned home; and the Marigold foundered at sea.
The object was to dispel this fear once for all, and that the Strait might be explored and properly surveyed and examined throughout to ascertain the best plan for closing it and so guarding those kingdoms against an enemy, a matter which concerns his Majesty's service more than is generally understood, no less than his kingdoms and estates, and the bodies and souls of their inhabitants.
This having been well considered in council with the Royal Audience of Lima, the Royal officers, and persons of great experience in the government of things pertaining both to sea and land, it was resolved that two ships should be sent to the above said Strait of Magellan. Within ten days of the vessels returning from Panama the Viceroy began to make preparations. Although he was unwell, he went personally to the port, which is two leagues from the city, went on board the ships and, with lanthorns and officers, examined them down to their keels. From among them he selected the two strongest, newest, and best sailers and purchased them for your Majesty.
He ordered the captain, Pedro Sarmiento, to undertake the responsibility of this voyage of discovery with the title of Superior Captain of both ships; and Pedro Sarmiento,* to serve His Majesty, accepted it, notwithstanding many things which might have made him decline. But as his habit always was to risk his life in the service of his King and natural Lord, it was not for him to turn back nor excuse himself, for fear of death nor of the dangers that were notorious, nor because it was a service from which all others turned away. Rather, he offered himself the more willingly to the service of God and of your Majesty, so that if his deeds should equal his will your Majesty will be certainly well served.
* Sarmiento writes of himself in the third person.
As soon as they bought the ships, the business of equipment was put in hand, as well the carpenters and blacksmith's work, the supply of ropes, sails, and provisions, as all other needful things. There were assisting in the port for the despatch of the ships Don Francisco Henrique de Lara,* His Majesty's agent, and a Knight of the Habit of Santiago, and Pedro Sarmiento, who went to and fro from the city to the port superintending the fitting out and the entry of men, and arranging for the pay of the sailors and for assistance from the soldiers. This was a very troublesome business, for as the enterprise was one of great danger and little profit, no one wished to embark in it, and many ran away and hid themselves. At last the necessary number was got together—112 in all, half sailors and half soldiers. As the summer was passing, and there was no time to lose, the Viceroy came to the port a second time, and personally superintended all the preparations until they were completed. The work of the marine department was usually executed by the Licentiate Recalde, Judge of the Royal Audience of Lima, who carried out the orders of the Viceroy with much diligence. The Treasurer and Accountant in Lima superintended the business of wages, outfit and victualling, as directed by the Viceroy. With this diligence the ships were got ready sooner than it was thought possible.
* See note further on.§
§ Chances are, editor Markham's obscure reference is to a footnote following the “Notification and Oath” section below, in which de Lara is identified. His middle name seems to be Manrique, not Henrique as seen above.
The squadron being ready for sea, the Viceroy named the large ship Nuestra Señora de Esperanza, to which Pedro Sarmiento was appointed as captain; and the smaller one, San Francisco, which was made Almiranta. Juan de Villalobos was appointed Admiral.* In order to take leave of them his Excellency ordered to appear before him on Friday, the 9th of October 1579, the Captain-Superior, Admiral, and the other officers and soldiers who were then present in the city. He spoke to them affably and seriously, not concealing the great difficulty of the undertaking on which they were employed, at the same time putting before them the rewards and recognition they would receive, and charging them to work for the service of God our Lord, and of his Majesty, and for the honour and reputation of Spain. After this he delivered the banner to the Capitan-Mayor, who handed it to the Alferez, Juan Gutierrez de Guevara. They all kissed his Excellency's hand, who dismissed them with his blessing.
* The Spaniards made the title of Almirante peculiar to sea-commanders in the time of Alfonso X (1252-1284), and it afterwards became, with them, the title of the second in command of a fleet. Edward I, the brother-in-law of Alfonso IX, introduced the title of Admiral into England, but as that of the commander-in-chief at sea. Eventually the Almirante became the chief commander in Spain also.
On Saturday the Capitan-Mayor* went on board, followed by the other officers, soldiers, and sailors who were in the city. On the same day, in the port and in presence of the Licentiate Judge Recalde and the Royal officers, the Secretary, Alvaro Ruiz de Navamuel,† read the instructions of the Viceroy to the Capitan-Mayor, Admiral, and Pilots, which were as follows. I insert them here because the Viceroy ordered that I should submit them to the Royal person of his Majesty and to his Royal Council of the Indies.
* Sarmiento. “Captain-Superior,” also called “Capitan-Mayor” or “Chief Captain.”
† Alvaro Ruiz de Navamuel y de los Rios was the son of Francisco de los Rios and of his wife Ines de Navamuel, and was born at Aguilar de Campo. He was Secretary to the government of Peru under five Viceroys, from 1569 to 1596. The Viceroy Toledo was a witness to the marriage of his brother Francisco with Juana Aliaga, a daughter of one of the first conquerors of Peru. Afterwards Don Alvaro's daughter married her cousin Don Geronimo Aliaga, from whom descended the Counts of Luringancho. Don Alvaro Ruiz de Navamuel died on June 27th, 1613. He wrote a history of the administration of Don Francisco de Toledo while he was Viceroy of Peru, dated Dec. 1578, previous to the departure of the expedition of Sarmiento.
Instructions of the Viceroy.
“For the honour and glory of God, and of the Virgin Mary His Mother and our Lady, whom you Captain Pedro Sarmiento are to take for Advocate and Patron of the ships and crews under your orders, for this discovery and enterprise in the Strait of Magellan, with which you have been entrusted by reason of the experience which you have acquired in your own person in undertakings and operations of war both by sea and land during the ten years that I have been in this kingdom; and that you may, by your labours and diligence, further the service of His Majesty the King our Lord and safeguard these realms so that they may not be occupied by the enemies of our Holy Catholic Faith as they would desire, thus placing in peril what has been gained.
“As you have seen, two ships have been armed and equipped for this service, the one named the Nuestra Señora de Esperanza which goes as Capitana in which you, the said Pedro Sarmiento sail as Captain, and the other named San Francisco in which Juan de Villalobos goes as Admiral. It, therefore, is convenient to the service of God our Lord and of the royal Majesty, as well as to the success of the voyage, that the said Admiral, Pilots, officers, sailors and soldiers of the said ships, Capitana and Almiranta should obey you the said Pedro Sarmiento as Captain of the said squadron. It is thus provided and ordered in conformity with the titles of the said officers, which you and the said Admiral bear, on pain of what is incurred by those who disobey their captains, and this is given as an instruction to the said Juan de Villalobos, Admiral. And you shall communicate with him the orders contained in these Instructions, forming your decisions as most in accordance with them, so that all shall perform their respective duties with the fidelity that binds them, in a business of such importance. Besides what is contained in the rules, you shall observe the following Instructions, on pain of what is incurred by those who do not obey the orders given them in the name of his Majesty our Lord the King.
“First you are directed and ordered to take particular care that you and the people under your orders shall behave yourselves, during the voyage, as becomes Christians in the service of our Lord, for the duty on which you are employed makes it important that you should be specially particular on this point and that you should punish whoever acts in a contrary way as the offence may deserve.
“There will be delivered over to your charge the two ships now ready in this port, the Capitana named Nuestra Señora de Esperanza and the Almiranta named San Francisco, supplied and furnished with double stores, and with provisions and munitions, and artillery and arquebuses from the royal arsenal, which will be delivered to you with a memorial of the whole by the Royal Officers of this city. You are to give a similar list to the masters of the said ships whose duty it will be to serve them out; and you are to notify this my Instruction to the pilots, that they may know and not be in ignorance of what is directed and ordered to be done.
“Having set forth with the good fortune that God may grant, from this port, you shall take the route you have, and which we have arranged, without touching on the coast of the kingdom of Chile, but making for 54 or 55, according as you shall find it most convenient for reaching the mouth of the strait. You shall give the route to the said Admiral, pilot, master and officers of the said ship San Francisco that they may navigate so as to follow you, and the lantern is always to be shown by both ships by night. You shall communicate whenever it is possible, assigning a rendezvous in case you are separated by a storm, so as to return to or to wait one for the other, and, in conformity with the weather and what is possible, you shall thus follow your route.
“In the course of your navigation, you are to understand that all that occurs, as well the courses by which you steer, as the lands that you sight and discover, is to be written in a book that you are to take for that purpose, as well yourself as the said Admiral in the other ship, and also you are to make a chart. This you are to do, in your own person and on board your own ship, in the presence of Juan Desquibel and Francisco de Trejo, Notaries, who have been appointed to the said ships. Besides this you are to give orders to the said Admiral, pilot, master, and other persons of the said Almiranta that they do the same; and what may be thus written is to be read in public on board the said ships every day. This is to be recorded by the notary of each ship, that it may appear in what manner this order is obeyed, and what authority has been given to it. If any of those on board the said ships should consider that the truth has not been kept to, or that any circumstance ought to be set down or noticed, what they say is to be noted, that all may be recorded, and they shall sign their names to it, jointly with the chaplains who go in each of the ships, the notary witnessing the signatures.
“Throughout the voyage you are to take care, as well yourself in the one ship, as the said Admiral in the Almiranta, to shape your courses, and to watch and note carefully the routes, and currents and tides that you encounter, and the winds as they blow during the course of your voyage; as well as the reefs, rocks, islands, lands, rivers, harbours, anchorages, and bays that you may meet with. These are to be recorded in each ship, in the books which you are ordered to take for this purpose; and on the charts which you and the other pilots are instructed to make, consulting and comparing that of one ship with that of the other, communicating for that purpose as often as you can, and as the weather will permit. You are to understand that, when it is possible, you are to set up high crosses at points selected by you, as beacons for those who may afterwards be passing; and where no names are given, you shall record the positions in the said books and in the charts.
“When you are in the latitude of the entrance to the Strait, you shall be much more careful to observe all the features of land and sea that you may find, noting the conveniences for settlements, and if there are any signs of people having been there before, without omitting to enter every detail. You are diligently to make yourself acquainted with all the mouths leading from the sea into the Strait; you are to measure them and give them names, surveying alike their width and their depth, and explaining in which of them there are the greatest conveniences for fortifying.
“Having done this, you are to enter the said Strait by the mouth that appears to you most convenient, and you are to proceed, in company with the other ship, Almiranta without leaving or parting from each other, so that what one sees the other may see, and that both may bear testimony to all that may happen. Throughout the extent of the Strait to where you come out you are not to desist from writing the same descriptive details, and you are to take special care to note whether on one or the other coast there is any settlement, and what people are living in it, with all the details that you are able to obtain, noted down with the utmost clearness and precision.
“Wherever you may see fit to stop and go on shore, you are to take possession, in the name of His Majesty, of all the lands and provinces and ports you will have reached, performing the necessary acts and solemnities which are to be testified in public form by the notaries you take with you.
“When you fall in with any settlement of Indians, after having made friends by giving them such things as you carry for the purpose—scissors, combs, knives, fish-hooks, coloured buttons, mirrors, bells, glass beads and other articles of that kind, you shall arrange to take some Indians for interpreters from that place to any other which seems most convenient. You are to treat them well, and by means of the said languages, or in the best way you can, you are to converse with the natives, and hold discourses and conversations with them, so as to learn their customs, character, and manner of life, with particulars of their religion and of the idols they worship; also you are to collect particulars respecting their sacrifices and religious ceremonies, and to ascertain whether the people have among them any doctrine, any kind of learning, and how they are governed, if they have kings, if so, whether they succeed by election or by right of blood, or whether the government is republican, what rents and taxes they give and pay, and what persons and things are those which they most esteem. What products have they in their land, what things do they bring from other parts, which they hold in estimation. Ascertain whether there are metals in the land and of what kinds; whether there are spices or any kind of aromatic drugs. For this inquiry you are to take some specimens of spices, such as pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and others, to show the people and find out whether they know them. You shall also inform yourself whether there are any kinds of stones or precious things such as have value in our country. You are to inquire about the animals, wild or domestic, and concerning the quality of plants and trees, whether wild or cultivated; also touching the supplies of provisions to be had, and such as are profitable you shall obtain for your voyage. You shall take nothing from the Indians against their wills, but only by barter, or when given voluntarily. In this manner you are to inform yourself and give an account of all the things you possibly can, without being detained or hampered, or allowing so much time to pass as to hinder the principal objects of the voyage.
“Having arrived in the North Sea, you shall take steps to join company with the other ship, if you should have been unavoidably separated, for the purpose of exploring the entrances to the Strait on that side, and ascertaining the conveniences for fortifying and forming a settlement there; and you shall do this either personally or by employing those in your ship. This is to be done with the same care and diligence as you are ordered to use in examining the other entrances to the said Strait. If there should be time for one of the ships to return, it shall be that which you shall select, and she is to return by one of the entrances, not being the one by which you have come out, but one of the others of those that it is understood that there are in the said Strait. For it will be of little use to discover one if another is left for the pirates. She is to have the information which you have been ordered to collect, and which shall be most useful to enable the said ship to return to this land and port where we are.
“In the event of there being no time* to return, you are to arrange that the said ship which you shall have selected, with the despatches you carry for the Governor and Municipality of the Rio de la Plata,† shall coast along thither to winter, and wait for the proper season; and you are to decide when and how she is to proceed, and by which of the mouths she is to return to this kingdom, and to the port of this city, to report to me, or to the Governor then in office, and to this Royal Audience, all that has been seen in going and returning, all that has happened, the weather and winds that were encountered. Those who shall come shall here be remunerated and rewarded in accordance with the orders that may be given by His Majesty, and in conformity with what will be so justly the due of men who have made so momentous and important a voyage. With this ship you are to send two records in duplicate of all your proceedings up to that time. One is to be prepared in order that the Governor or Municipality of the Rio de la Plata may send it to me, or to this Royal audience, by land, by way of Tucuman, the other that is may be sent in the said ship. But, in order that there may be no failure in this, under whatever circumstances, you in your ship, and the said Admiral in the other, or whichever of you, in the event of your being separated, and not arriving together, or arriving together, or in whatever other manner you arrive, you are to send these despatches by one of the soldiers on board, so that intelligence may reach me of what has happened, by way of the Rio de la Plata and the province of Tucuman, closed and sealed. Besides this, you are to leave another despatch with the said Governor of Rio de la Plata, so that he may send it to His Majesty by whatever opportunity may offer, in addition to the one which you carry. Thus, in conformity with these orders, with the object that there may be no detention of the ship which has to take the news to His Majesty, on board each ship there are to be four copies of the narrative written during the voyage for the following purpose. One is to remain on board each ship. One is to be left with the Government of Rio de la Plata to be sent to His Majesty. One to be delivered to the same Government to be sent to me by way of Tucuman. The fourth is to be conveyed by the soldier whom you may select to send with it. But if it should appear to you that there may be delay you should send it with the brigantine‡ that she may bring it as desired. For all this is of great importance, so as to provide for every doubtful contingency.
* I.e.,no time before winter sets in.
† See Appendix A.
‡ Sarmiento took with him all the materials for the construction of a brigantine if such a course should be found advisable; and it is to this brigantine that the Viceroy refers in his Instructions.
“Having given the above orders to the ship you may have selected to return, you are to comply with the following order yourself: Prosecute your voyage for the kingdoms of Spain, making direct for the port of San Lucar, or any other on that coast that you may make with most convenience.
“When you arrive at that or another port you are to take the said narratives, relations, and descriptions that you are to make during the voyage, not only up to the time of leaving the Strait, but also touching the navigation of the said North Sea, because throughout your voyage you are to take your notes, looking out for and recording very carefully the special matters enumerated in another paragraph of these instructions, entering them in the said book and chart, and reading them in pubHc every day that what passes may be better recorded, and that the truth may be established, the notary certifying, and all who can write adding their signatures, as it is laid down.
“With this Narrative, and with the Despatch you are to take with you for His Majesty, you will go before his royal person and supreme Royal Council of the Indies, to give an account of the execution and accomplishment of your instructions, and to present the said relations, informations, and descriptions, authenticated in the manner laid down, in order that His Majesty may order and provide for all that will be most for his service in the security of that Strait before it can be occupied by the pirates who now know of it. From here notice will have been given to His Majesty of the despatch of the two ships and of the object of their voyage, that he may expect the report which you will bring, and be in a position to provide for everything.
“In order that the work which is ordered to be done and recorded may be better executed as regards a knowledge and description of the land and sea, you and the Admiral and pilots, each one in his own ship, are to take altitudes as well of the sun as of stars in all the places that you can where they are visible, communicating and comparing between yourselves whenever it is possible, as a matter of great importance.
“If, in the course of your voyage, when off the coasts in the South Sea, or in the Strait, or on the other side in the North Sea, you should fall in with any English or other piratical ships, or should find any settlement of them in any of those parts, or should receive certain intelligence that they are in some island, take pains to get the most accurate information possible, as regards their numbers, their resources, and the munitions of war they possess, and of the time when they arrived and made their settlement, and give me notice in the way laid down. You will do this as time and occasion prompts you, without in any way ceasing from carrying out the object of your voyage, or turning from the prosecution of the ends which you are sent to attain. But if you should encounter or receive news of the ship in which Francisco Draquez, the English Pirate, sails, who has entered into this sea and coast of the South, and committed the robberies and injuries that are known to you, you are to endeavour to take, kill or destroy him, fighting with him at whatever risk; for you have with you a sufficient force, munitions, and arms, to be able to take him according to the force he carries, or can carry.
“This you shall do with great diligence and without losing any opportunity, for you know how important it is for the service of God our Lord, and of his Majesty, and for the good of these realms, that that pirate should be captured and punished. Our Lord God, in whose service it is done, will give you force to do it. If he is captured, you and your officers and soldiers shall be very well recompensed from the plunder that they have secured, and other rewards shall be conferred on you, all which I promise in the name of his Royal Majesty. If you should meet with or hear of other piratical ships, or of his consorts, in conformity with what has been said above, you may attack, or do what seems most advisable, always having trust in God our Lord, who will give you force against your enemies, and that should encourage you. And these orders should be specially impressed upon the Admiral, officers and men of your ships, that they may comply with them, and give their help in accordance with the orders that have been given.
“As I am given to understand that the weather is often bad along the coast of the Strait, you are to take notice that if, for this or any other reason, the Capitana should be lost or should be parted from the Almiranta you are not on this account to desist from prosecuting the voyage, and the same order applies to the other ship, with the caution, diligence and care that is to be expected from your zeal and ability. You are to take evidence respecting the weather, and the circumstances, whether unavoidable or otherwise, under which the ship was left, parted company, or was lost, with the regard for truth and fidelity that is expected from you, in order that, at a fit time, those who were culpable may be punished as such neglect and disobedience may deserve; which, however, we neither believe, nor is it just that it should be assumed of men of the Spanish nation, so famed for their great deeds.
“In the event of parting company and of only one ship entering the Strait, you are to take notice that, after leaving the said beacons already mentioned, she is to proceed to Spain and give an account of everything to His Majesty, and to the said Royal Council, for from thence must come the remedy and precaution of closing and impeding the passage through the said Strait, by the pirates.
“In the said event of the parting company of the ships, as both ships go with the same object, which is to discover the said Strait in obedience to orders, and to come out into the North Sea; in order to make known which ship is ahead, and one ship having sailed for Spain to prevent the other from doing so also, instead of returning in accordance with the instructions, you are to arrange with the admiral, pilots, and master of the other ship, that certain signs shall be left that they will know and understand, if possible in writing, and placed where the vessel that is astern will see them; and these should be left in as many places as possible, that there may be no confusion in the arrangements from want of information.
“All which you the said Captain and Admiral, each one as in duty bound, will do and carry out with the prudence and care that is expected from you, and that a business so useful to the service of our Lord God and of His Majesty requires of you. For this I order that there shall be delivered to each of you a copy of these Instructions signed by my hand, and attested by Albaro Ruiz de Navamuel, Secretary to the Government of these realms, who will read them to you and to the officers of war and pilots, that all may understand what they have to comply with, and observe in the said voyage and discovery. You the said Captain and Admiral shall observe and comply with the said Instructions, on pain of falling into evil case, and of incurring the other punishments due to those who do not obey the orders and instructions given in the name of His Majesty the King, our Lord. Dated in the city of the Kings on the 9th day of the month of October 1579.
“"Don Francisco de Toledo.
“By command of His Excellency
“Albaro Ruiz de Navamuel.”
“Notification and Oath.
“In the port and [sic, of?] Callao of the city of the Kings of the realms and provinces of Peru, on the l0th day of October 1579, in presence of the illustrious Lords, the Licentiate Recalde, Judge of the Royal Audience and Chancellery which has its seat in the city of the Kings, and Don Francisco Manrique de Lara,* Domingo de Garro, and Pedro de Vega, Royal officers of His Majesty, who are in the said port for the despatch of the squadron which his Excellency sends to the Strait of Magellan. I, Albaro Ruiz de Navamuel, Secretary to the said Royal Audience and to the Government of these realms, have notified these Instructions to the Captain Pedro Sarmiento, Superior Captain of the said squadron, to Juan de Villalobos Admiral, to Hernando Lomero, chief Pilot, to Hernan Alonso and Anton Pablos, Pilots of the said squadron, and it was read word for word as it is written. By order of the Licentiate Recalde, the said Captain-Superior, Admiral, and Pilots swore by God our Lord, and by the sign of the Cross, in the prescribed form, that they would serve his Majesty in the said voyage and discovery on board the two ships of the squadron which are entrusted to them, with all fidelity as good and loyal vassals, and that, in the said voyage and discovery, they will observe the said Instructions as they are bound to do, and as his Excellency commands, as to which I give my faith.
“Albaro Ruiz de Navamuel.”
* A cousin of the Viceroy Count of Nieva 1560-64. It was in consequence of an intrigue with the sister-in-law of Don Francisco Manrique de Lara that the Viceroy was put to death in the street at midnight by order of the jealous husband Rodrigo Manrique de Lara. The affair was hushed up.
Immediately afterwards, by order of the Viceroy, the Captain-Superior, Admiral, and Pilots, discussed before the above named, the place and position where they were to wait, and to proceed to seek and find each other, if by any accident or by stress of weather one ship should part company from the other. They agreed that in the mouth of the Strait, on the side of the South Sea to the west, they should go to seek and wait. As it was now late at night, nothing more was done, nor could we embark for that reason, and also for want of some of the people who had not yet come down from the city.
On the next day, being Sunday, the 11th of October, the Captain-Superior and officers, and many others, confessed and took the sacrament. Afterwards, the Captain-Superior and Admiral did homage, and solemnly pledged their fidelity to the service of your Majesty, in the hands of the Factor, Don Francisco Manrique de Lara, and before the Secretary, Albaro Ruiz de Navamuel. Then the Captain Major took the banner, and went on board with it at two in the afternoon of the said day; and after him all the rest of the people embarked, who were engaged to go in his company on this voyage. In order that the Admiral, Chief Pilot, and crew of the Almiranta might know what they had to do so as to proceed in company, and where they would find us if we were separated, and for other reasons, I issued the following Orders and Instructions:—
“Orders of the Captain-Superior, Pedro Sarmiento, for the Admiral, Juan de Villalobos, and the Crew of the Ship ‘Almiranta.’
“I, the Captain Pedro Sarmiento, Captain-Superior of the squadron of his Majesty for the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, bearing in mind that one of the things which the most excellent Lord Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy, Governor, and Captain-General of these realms and provinces of Peru gave in charge to me and to the Admiral of the said squadron in his Instructions is that we should keep together and in company, and that the Almiranta should show her lanthorn so as not to separate or go apart, seeing that this is of great importance to the service of God our Lord and of his Majesty, as well for the said discovery and the good success of the voyage, as that, if God our Lord should be served by our falling in with this squadron under Captain Francisco, the English pirate, with His grace and favour, we should be able to encounter and take him. Also in the meeting that his Excellency caused to be held before the illustrious Lords the Licentiate Recalde, Judge of the Royal Audience in the city of the Kings, and the Royal officers of his Majesty, by me and by the pilots of the said squadron, it was agreed and determined that if, by an accident, or by stress of weather, the two ships should part company, which is to be prevented by all possible means, the one ship is to wait for the other at the mouth of the Strait for fifteen days, and both are to make the best of their way to the said entrance.
“I, therefore, in order that the above instructions may be carried out, command and charge the Admiral of the said squadron, who goes in the Almiranta named San Francisco and Hernando Lomero, the Pilot of the said ship, and Chief-Pilot of the said squadron, that if, by reason of some storm or bad weather, they should be driven from company with the Capitana, on board of which I go, they are to continue their voyage by shaping a course for the mouth of the said Strait of Magellan, by the route along which God may carry them, obeying and complying with what his Excellency has ordered in his instructions. Having arrived at the mouth of the said Strait, which opens on this South Sea, they are to watch and wait in the said mouth for me and for the Capitana for the said fifteen days, keeping a look out for signals, and taking care to send the boat, in the day time, to examine the gulf and the Strait, so as to find me. For it may be that the said Almiranta may not be able to see the Capitana being at sea outside. The same orders apply to me, if I should arrive first at the entrance to the said Strait. If, by chance, the ship should not arrive within the fifteen days, and that space of time being passed, they are to cut great crosses on the trees, and raise others on the rocks, and within the Strait, at such points as the other of the two ships will have to pass. They are to make buoys of light poles with marks, and on them they are to nail crosses, with written reports of all that has happened, and of what is intended to be done, with the route and course it is determined to take in conformity with the instructions of his Excellency, and with the information that shall have become known, in order that the people of one ship may profit by the knowledge acquired by the people of the other.
Item.—I order the said Admiral, Juan de Villalobos, that he shall enforce, among the people of the Almiranta, Strict Christian and military discipline, and that he shall do his best to prohibit and prevent the use of oaths and blasphemies by which our Lord God is offended; that he shall cause prayers to be said morning and evening beseeching our Lord to guide us, and to grant good success to the business so conducive to His service.
Item.—He is to prohibit gambling, especially for arms and clothes, assuring all that he who wins arms and clothes does not win that which he can take, for in that case soldiers would be left naked and disarmed, and would not be able to do their work, going in great dishonour and contempt, and endangering their lives from the cold and from other hardships.
Item.—Those on board the said Almiranta shall avoid contentions and disputes, that they may continue in concord, as friends of one nation. If, by chance, the contrary should happen, which God forbid, the punishment according to military law is to be proceeded with briefly and summarily as the case may require, without questions nor reply beyond what is necessary for the proper verification of the circumstances. If it should happen that the infliction of punishment is necessary, it is better to chastise with the sword than with hard words, because from the former course amendment and much good follows, and the men feel less aggrieved.
Item.—Every night before dark, as well as in the morning, when it is possible to come nearer, the Almiranta is to come within hail of the Capitana and the Capitana will do the same when it is needful to communicate the name of the saint who is to be had in memory for their information.
Item.—If the Almiranta is in need of assistance, she is to fire a gun, and if the help is needed for any persons she is to fire two guns; and the same will be done by me, that she may give me help, if necessary.
Item.—They shall always follow thelanthorn by night, and the banner of the Capitana by day. If the Capitana^ on board of which ship I go, alters the course from that which she had previously shaped, she will give notice by showing two lights on that side to which the new course is directed, in order that the Almiranta may better know and follow the said direction.
Item.—All which I charge and order the said Admiral to do and perform in conformity with the Instructions of his Excellency on pain of such penalties as befal [sic, befall] those who do to the contrary. Dated in the port and [of] Callao of the city of the Kings the 11th day of October 1579.
“Before me, Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.
“The People of the Squadron.”
There embarked on board the Capitana:—
The Superior Captain and General of the Squadron—Pedro Sarmiento.
Vicar and Preacher of the Fleet—Father Friar Antonio Guadramiro, of the Order of the blessed St. Francis,
a venerable person who had also been in the voyage to Panama on a similar service for his Majesty.
The Ensign—Juan Gutierrez de Guevara.*
Pilots of the “Capitana”"—Anton Pablos, Hernando Alonso.†
Purser in charge of provisions—Juan de Sagasti.‡
Royal Notary—Juan de Esquivel.
Boatswain—Pedro de Hojeda.
* Executed by Sarmiento for treason, towards the end of the voyage.
† Sent back to Peru with despatches, from the Cape Verde Islands.
‡ Disrated in the Gulf of Trinidad, and beached at the Cape Verde Islands.
The names of these are given because they were officers, who, with the sailors and soldiers, made fifty-four men on board the Capitana. On board the Almiranta there embarked:—
The Admirali>—Juan de Villalobos.
Vicar and Preacher—Father Fray Christoval de Merida (Franciscan).
Chief Pilot and Pilot of the ship—Hernando Lamero.
Notary—Francisco de Trexo.
With these, and the soldiers and sailors, there were fifty-four persons more or less; and altogether the expedition numbered 108 souls in the two ships, besides a few servants.*
* Indians and half-castes.
Each ship carried two pieces of artillery of medium size, and 40 arquebuses, with powder, lead, lard, pikes, leather morions, and cotton and blanket for “escaupiles”* which are a kind of breastplates made as armour to protect the body. All these things were supplied from the royal arsenal.
* Armour of quilted cotton stuffed with cotton-wool, to keep off arrows. This armour was in use by the Aztecs before the conquest of Mexico.
These provisions and arrangements having been made we set sail and departed from the port of Callao, which is in 12° 25'* on the 11th of October 1579, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, in the name of the most holy Trinity, three persons and one only God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That same night we came to off the island of the port,† which is two leagues to the west of Callao. We anchored there because it was necessary to make the Capitana secure, and to finish putting her in order. For there had been neglect in stowing her ballast, and she could not carry her sails. That night the crews had no sleep, because all were at work, some bringing ballast from the island, others finishing the setting up of shrouds and reeving of running rigging, which there was no time to complete in port. On Monday, being the morning of the 12th, with a fair northerly breeze, we left the island, and shaped a southerly course, passing between the island and the point of the port, which has very seldom been done.‡ Beginning by standing out to sea, we then tacked and stood in towards the land. On this tack we sailed under a Morro called Solar,^ in the valley of Surco, two leagues from the island, and three from Callao.
* 12° 3' 45" S. 77° 6' 10" W. of Greenwich.
† San Lorenzo.
‡ The Boqueron Passage.
^ The Morro Solar, above Chorrillos.
On Tuesday the thirteenth of October, when we began to stand out to sea, we presently found that the bows of the Capitana were opening in many parts, owing to several seams not having been caulked. The haste in despatching the expedition did not give time for the overseers to see to everything. By reason of this defect, large quantities of water were shipped, coming aft as far as the main mast, where it was up to our knees. The sailors suffered much from the fatigue of continually working the pumps, and from the work of throwing gear overboard to lighten the ship. The danger from the state of the bows was such that any press of sail would have opened them altogether: and the gripe streaks* was gaping, while all the bows and stem were without fastenings. In order not to return to Lima, great efforts were made to reach Pisco, about 30 leagues to the south, to effect repairs. With the help of God we entered the port of Pisco† on the 17th of October, and presently the crew was set to work. Some went on shore to finish the sails, others were told off to the rigging, and carpenters and caulkers were employed to strengthen and repair the bows. This work was well done, and they were properly fortified. Four sailors were taken on board here, receiving the same wages as had been paid to the others at Lima. One was a caulker who received the advantage of a wage and a half, amounting to 37 dollars a month. I sent to Paraca for a boat load of salt, a distance of two leagues. In this port we took some provisions on board in which we were deficient. Pedro Sarmiento paid for many of these things himself, and for others on credit. At the request of officers and men two hundred jars of the wine of the country were purchased, at 4½ dollars, amounting altogether to 900 dollars. These were divided between the two ships, a hundred for the Capitana and a hundred for the Almiranta, and in each ship they were equally divided among the men. All together, and each man for himself, undertook to pay for it, and gave bills to the owners to enable them to recover the money at Lima from their pay.
* Corbaton de la gorja. This is the timber next to the gripe, which connects the stem with the keel, or perhaps the garboard streak.
† 13° 44' S.
Having executed the repairs we made sail, with renewed joy, on Wednesday,* the 21st of October, at one in the afternoon, and all that day we were beating out of the bay, which is large, without having enough wind to enable us to make headway. On Thursday there was a calm during the whole day, and night came on when we were off the island of Sangallan, which is in 14° S.† Two hours after dark a breeze sprang up from the S.W., and we put to sea, continuing all night until noon on Friday, when we had made 12 leagues by dead reckoning. From noon of Friday the 23rd until night we steered S.W. 6 leagues. On this day the arms and ammunition were served out, and all the following night we steered S.W., a little southerly, making 8 leagues by estimation. Saturday the course was S.W. 4 leagues, and another 6 leagues until dark, by dead reckoning.
* Should be Tuesday.
† 13° 5' S,
On this day Pedro Sarmiento ordered the Admiral Juan de Villalobos not to pass ahead of the Capitana, but to follow the lanthorn by night, and the flag by day, on pain of displeasure, for such were the orders for the service of his Majesty. He had clearly begun to show a desire to part company with the Capitana, in defiance of the orders of the Viceroy and of his superior officer.
During the next night until Sunday morning there was a fresh wind, the course being from S.W. to S.S.W., and distance 10 leagues. At noon on Sunday, October 25th, I took the altitude in 16° 55' S., 60 leagues from Pisco and 70 from Ocona. From Sunday at noon until night the course was S.W. 6 leagues, and until Monday morning S.S.W. 10 leagues. The wind then fell, and her head was all round the compass. On this day, at noon, I took the altitude in 17° 55', 87 leagues from Pisco, with Tambo 107 leagues to the east. This day the weather was clear. Hitherto it had been very thick and hazy. At this time the weather is here moderate, more inclined to heat than cold, the winds blowing from S.E., generally light, with a smooth sea and clear sky.
From Monday until Tuesday, at noon, the course was S.W. and S.S.W., the wind light and veering about from S.E. to S.S.E. We shaped a course S.W., because this day we came up with the Almiranta. We made 15 leagues, and at eight in the morning we had the first shower of rain from the S.S.E., which left us with a fresh breeze, and before it we steered S.W. After the shower the wind returned to E.S.E., leaving us to steer S.S.W. These showers consist of very small drizzling rain, and bring a fresh breeze; the temperature being rather warm than cold, but very pleasant; sky, sea, and wind agreeable. This day the altitude was taken. Pedro Sarmiento gave 19° 22' as the result, Anton Pablos 19° 50', Hernando Alonso 19° 5'; so that we had gone, since Monday, 28 leagues. The waters go with the wind in our favour to the south. I found myself this day with the river Juan Diaz 140 leagues to the east.* In this sea we saw few fish, and some white gannets. Today I asked the pilot of the Almiranta for his position, and he replied that he had not taken the sun, having [not?] had an opportunity of doing so. Pedro Sarmiento† reprehended him for his neglect, and ordered him never to omit observing the sun every day when the weather was sufficiently clear.
* Then follows: “Abre en esta region el cielo de las diez del dia adelante.” I cannot see the meaning of this sentence. [Markham apparently leaves it to his readers to do the translation.]
† Sarmiento generally writes in the third, but sometimes in the first person [as noted at the top of this page].
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the 28th of October, at noon, our course was S. W., a little S., 30 leagues. We took the altitude this day in 21°, and observed that the current ran S.W. in our favour. This day we returned special thanks to our Lord God for the fine weather we had experienced, and offered certain alms to the house of our Lady of “La Rabida”§ in Spain. On every feast day the Vicar gave us a sermon, which consoled us much by its good doctrine. We found ourselves this day 160 leagues from Pisagua,* 154 leagues from Pisco, and 168 leagues from Lima.
§ Franciscan convent of la Rábida, near Palos de la Frontera.
* 19° 27' S.
From Wednesday until Thursday, the 29th of October, with a S.E. wind blowing fresh, we steered S.W., a little S. and S.S.W. roughly, making an average of S.W. by S. about 30 leagues. From Thursday at noon until night for six hours S.W. to S., the rest of the night it was blowing so hard that we had to take in the headsails, and with the mainsail at half-mast ran for 12 leagues S.W. to S.S.W. In the morning of Friday the wind blew still harder, and we took off the bonnet of the foresail, steering S.W. until noon of Friday the 30th, and making good 10 leagues. From Friday to Saturday at noon, S.W. to S. and S.S.W. 20 leagues.
From Saturday until noon of Sunday, the 1st of November, half the time the course was S.W. by S., and the other half S.S.W. 30 leagues. This day I took the altitude in about 26° 20'; and adding up our runs since the 28th, when we were in 21°, they amount to 11423 leagues. The difference between the observed position and the dead reckonings was 513 leagues. This day we found ourselves 180 leagues east from Copayapo,* and 150 leagues west of the meridian of Lima; that city being distant 285 leagues N.E.§ We passed 18 leagues west of the “Desventuradas” islands, which are in 25° 20'. In the year 1574, when the pilot Juan Fernandez was on a voyage to Chile, he discovered them by accident a second time, for they had not been seen since Magellen discovered them in 1520.† They are now called San Felix and San Ambrosio. They are small, uninhabited, and without water. They are frequented by many birds and seals, and there are quantities of fish.
* 27° 20' S.
§ As written, Sarmiento's locations would place the ship near Asuncion, Paraguay, which is unlikely, to say the least. The sentence should probably be re-edited as “This day we found ourselves 180 leagues east west from Copayapo, and 150 leagues west of the meridian of Lima; that city being distant 285 leagues N.E. N by E ½ E. In any case, his “…150 leagues west of the meridian of Lima”contradicts his statement that Lima was 285 leagues distant. If that distance is correct, this Google Earth Image shows that they were about 75 leagues from the meridian of Lima.
† Argensola also says that San Felix and San Ambrosio were discovered by the pilot Juan Fernandez in 1574, after having been seen by Magellan in 1520. Sarmiento and Argensola are quite wrong in supposing that San Ambrosio and San Felix were the Desventuradas of Magellan. On Jan. 24th, 1521, Magellan discovered a small uninhabited island, which he named San Pablo, according to the pilot Alvo, in 16° 15' S. On Feb. 4th he came to another small island, similar in all respects to the former, named Tiburon. The two collectively, although 200 leagues apart, were named Las Desventuradas. They cannot now be identified. The latest guess, made by Meiniche, and accepted by Peschel, is that S. Pablo is Puka-puka in the Tuamotu Archipelago (lat. 14° 45' S., long. 138° 48' W.), and that Tiburon is Flint Island in the Manihiki group (lat. 11° 20' S. long. 151° 48' W.); but there are no sufficient data in the accounts of the voyage, and this is little more than a guess.
The navigators in these parts do not place reliance on the dials* made in Spain, France, Flanders, and parts further north for fixing the sun with the ordinary astrolabe, neither in the compass cards, because when you shall mark the north point, you will think that it is noon, but it will already have passed more than a point. Therefore you should take notice that when you would take the sun you should wait with astrolabe in hand, until you see it rise by the lower sight, which is below the upper part; and this is the most perfect and exact dial for all parts for the meridian of altitude.† The reason is that the compasses have the needles changed nearly a point from the fleur-de-lys, having respect to those which make to north-east or north-west.
* Relox. He probably refers to the Relox Solar which was placed on the meridian by being suspended over the north and south line of the compass, while the altitude was observed by means of sight vanes when the sun appeared in a line with them.
† This instruction, for taking the meridian altitude, to wait until the sun has reached its greatest altitude, independent of compass bearing, is quite accurate.
It is desirable that there should be one rule for all the world, for they would thus be certain, and not, as some teach it, more or less so. They say that in the meridian of Corvo it neither turns to north-east nor north-west; but the truth is that this rule is false, according to the experience I have acquired in many very different parts of the world—east, west, north and south—over more than 180 degrees of longitude and more than l00 degrees of latitude, having crossed the equator at different points many times. The dials which are not made general are only correct for that altitude for which they are made, or a little more or less, although some think that all dials serve well at noon. Both are very notable and dangerous errors, and it is desirable that they should be made known and corrected. But if the needles should be corrected now the new error would be greater than the former one, for now the lands are laid down according to these needles with their directions changed; so that, in seeking for the coast, these needles must necessarily be used; for if it is sought to find the coasts with good and correct needles they will not be found. Consequently it would be necessary to lay down the coasts afresh; and this error of uncertainty must be endured to avoid a greater one, until order is taken to make the corrections.*
* In this passage Sarmiento does not seem to deny that there is variation of the compass, but rather suggests that all charts should be drawn on the true meridian, as they now are. He refers to a system of shifting the north point on the compass card to allow for variation, and rightly states that the dial will only then be correct in the latitude for which such correction was made, which is quite right.
From Sunday to noon on Monday, the 2nd of November, we steered S.S.W. 42 leagues. I, Anton Pablos, and Hernando Alonso took the sun this day in 28° 37', with Guasco distant 178 leagues, Lima 325 N.E. From Monday to noon of Tuesday, the 3rd of November, we steered S.W. 26 leagues. I took the sun in 29° 40', with the river of Coquimbo* 190 leagues, and Lima 355. From Tuesday to noon on Wednesday, the 4th of November, our course was S.W. to S.S.W. 24 leagues. On this Tuesday the Capitana came down with sheets eased off on the Almiranta, and she did the same on Wednesday, because the Almiranta proceeded very carelessly, falling off to leeward, and taking no pains to keep station according to orders. At last we overtook her, suspecting that she was running away or trying to part company. But it was not then desirable to act with severity, and on coming up with her, Pedro Sarmiento asked the chief pilot for his position. He replied that the day before, which was Tuesday, he had made it 29° 15'. This day it began to blow from the N.E., and we steered S.W. The Captain-Superior consulted with the pilots respecting the route they should take, for it was now blowing fresh. Lamero, of the Almiranta, advised a south course because thus the high latitudes would be reached more quickly; not considering that in this way land would not be reached in 70°. Pedro Sarmiento, Anton Pablos, and Hernando Alonso agreed that the course should be S.S.E., for even then the land would with difficulty be reached in 45° or 50°, even with good navigation. To steer a south course would be to lose the summer and our lives, and not to perform the service on which we were sent. This night, therefore, we steered a quarter east of south until noon on Thursday: and as we had made more easting up to the previous noon, I steered south. This day I took the altitude in 33° 11', and found that in the last 24 hours we had run 62 leagues, being 410 leagues from Lima N.N.E.
* 29° 53' S.
This was a fine day, with little wind and a clear sky, and we kept on to the east of south. We took the altitude this day in 30° 20'.
From Thursday to Friday we kept on with a course east of south, and took the altitude in 33° 42'. We made little progress as it was calm, Anton Pablos' result was 33° 54 and Hernando Alonso's 33° 40', 10 leagues; with the river Maypu at 170 leagues, and Lima at 418 leagues distance, being 140 from the Lima meridian. For the last day it was more than usually warm and calm, so that we made little progress.
From Friday to Saturday, the 7th of November, the course was south 14 leagues. This day I took the altitude in 34° 30'; with Cobas 150 leagues, and Lima 440 by our track, but taking a line N.E. to the point where we stopped at the island of Lima it would be 420 leagues. In these days there were calms and great heat until noon; but on Saturday, a little before noon, it began to blow from the N.E., and we proceeded before it. From Saturday to Sunday, the 8th of November, at noon, for eighteen hours, our course was S. by E. 25 leagues, and for six hours S.S.E., 6 leagues by dead reckoning. This day the sun was not taken. At seven in the morning the N.E. wind died away, and showers came from the S.W., which lasted for more than two hours, followed by a wind which took us S.W. and S.E., and we went again to east of south. After an hour a breeze came from N.E., and we proceeded on the same course. This day we communicated with the Almiranta, and the Chief Pilot, Hernando Lamero, said that we should steer south. Pedro Sarmiento answered that he should not alter his decision. To steer south would be to make a landfall in too high a latitude for the service they had to perform. The Capitana would do that which was for the service of our Lord God and his Majesty, and he, with the Almiranta, was to keep station, following the banner of the Capitana by day and the lanthorn by night. Lamero replied that we should come to a land that was undiscovered, and Pedro Sarmiento said that he would not go anywhere but to do what the Viceroy, in the name of his Majesty, had ordered, which was to discover the Strait of Magellan, and to take as much advantage of the time as possible, so as not to lose the summer season. If we passed to a higher latitude than the mouth of the strait is in, we should have to make northing which we could not do so as to reach the strait until the south winds blew, which is not until the end of April, and then it would be winter, and the year would be lost, when by good fortune we might avoid this. Besides we should thus have to go over the ground twice, and run the risk of more pirates arriving and settling in the strait, preventing us from passing to give notice to his Majesty in Spain, and also from returning to Peru to inform the Viceroy. Such events would be most harmful and pernicious. This was so evident that, by a S.E. and S.S.E. course, I desired to discover land to the north of the strait, in a position convenient for taking advantage of the north winds at a time when there were no others. I said that this was my belief and intention, as well as that of the other pilots of the Capitana, Hernando Alonso and Anton Pablos, the latter an expert pilot of much credit in the navigation of these coasts, especially Chile. But Hernando Lamero persevered in his erroneous view, so the Captain-Superior ordered him to follow the Capitana by day and night, on pain of being deprived of his appointment, and of one being sent to the Almiranta who would obey orders. He ordered the Admiral to keep station, and not to lose sight of the Capitana by day or night, on pain of death.
This was the reason that the Almiranta did not part company, although those on board intended to do so that night, according to the testimony of the Father Vicar, Friar Antonio Guadramiro, who heard it from Friar Christoval de Merida, his opposite number on board the Almiranta. He said that the Almiranta would have gone that next night, if Pedro Sarmiento had not imposed the penalty, for to that effect the pilot and others had conversed.
From Sunday to Monday, the 8th of November, at noon, with a wind from N. to N.E., we steered to the east of south. I took the altitude in 37° 56', which made 58 leagues since I took the observation on Saturday, with the port of Carnaro, at a distance of 100 leagues, and Lima 500 leagues S.S.W. [sic, N. ¾ .E.?]; Hernando Alonso's result was 37° 45'. From Monday to Tuesday, the l0th, at noon, we steered the same course, and at dawn of Tuesday it blew so hard from the north that we took in the mizen and the top-sails, hauled down the bonnets, and proceeded under the courses at half-mast. As we were running, such great masses of water were shipped by the Capitana that, if it had not been for the deck, we should have run great risk of foundering, for in addition to the heavy seas, much water got in through the planks, which were very thin. We reckoned the dis- tance run at 30 leagues. It rained so hard that the sailors had to change their clothes three or four times. All this day, and particularly at night, the Almiranta, without keeping station, was ahead in defiance of orders, and of the orders of the Viceroy, although a light was shown, and other signals were made by day and night. But on coming up with her, I dissembled, because it was more convenient for the service of his Majesty that the work should be done, than that his conduct should be noticed.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the nth of November, at noon, we ran before a northerly gale, which obliged us to proceed without top-sails and bonnets,* and with the courses lowered to half-mast. As the ship rolled so heavily that the bows and sides were under water, they lowered the top-masts. In doing so, the fore top-mast of the Capitana was carried away. From Monday at noon to Wednesday at noon we made 82 leagues. I took the altitude by three astrolabes in 42° 30'. Anton Pablos had the same result, and Hernando Alonso just 43°. We found ourselves this day 573 leagues from Lima, with the land which is between Osorno and Chiloe at a distance of 70 leagues.
* Additional sails laced to the leeches of the courses, and serving the purpose of lower studding sails.
From Wednesday at noon until night it blew hard from the north, veering to N.W. and W.N.W., and such was its fury that we were obliged to take in the main sail, and to make preventer back stays for the masts, and false nettings for the rigging. We continued to run before the wind under the fore sail, lowered almost to the deck, as ships should be handled to fly from the tempests of sea and wind. In these six hours, until dark, we made 8 leagues S.E., and, during the night, 12 leagues S.E. by S. On Thursday morning the wind changed to S.W., and we made 8 leagues S.E. In the forenoon we got up the main topmast, and set the mainsail, and mizen, which we took in at two in the afternoon, because the ship laboured under them. From Wednesday to Thursday at noon, we made 30 leagues by dead reckoning on the same course.
From Thursday, at noon, with S.W. and S.S.W. winds, we steered S.E. and S.S.E., making 6 leagues in 6 hours; and all night S.E. by S., 14 leagues, and until Friday, at noon, S. by E., 8 leagues. On that day we had another storm, with much sea, and the wind west. It was very cold. We ran east of south, with the courses lowered near the deck,* sailing on a bowline, because we found ourselves near the land, and we had need of caution.
* “Con medias tiestas.”
From Friday to Saturday, the 14th of November, we made 23 leagues, 6 on a S.E. course, and the rest S.S.E. It began to be very cold, and the drops of water that fell were round and large like very cold hail. This night the wind moderated a little. It is noteworthy that in this place, in leaving the north, the wind presently shifted to the west, and blew with great fury, raising a high sea. Thence it veered to the S.W. with much drizzling rain, going down at night, and blowing cold and hard by day. During three days we had not seen the sun at a time when we could take it. By our dead reckoning we made ourselves today in about 46°.
From Saturday to Sunday, the 15th, we steered S.E., 6 leagues, and all night south, 15 leagues; and until noon the same course, 8 leagues by dead reckoning. At noon I took the sun in 48°; so that since Wednesday, the 11th, we had made 115 leagues on a course E.S.E. Lima 690 leagues. From Sunday to Monday, the 16th of November, we had such a gale from S.W. to W.S.W., that we were obliged to run almost under bare poles; and at night, as we were near the land, we did not show more than two reefs of the courses. We steered S.E., S.S.E., and south 15 leagues.
From Monday to Tuesday, the 17th of November, it blew hard from W. and S.W., so that we went under little sail. At night, as the General considered they were near land, in agreement with the opinions of the pilots on board the Capitana, he warned the pilot of the Almiranta that he should steer S.S.E. with only the foresail, and that from midnight onwards we should steer S.E. This was done.
At dawn of Tuesday, the 17th of November 1579, in the name of the most Holy Trinity, we came in sight of high land at a distance of ten leagues to the S.E. We made directly for it, to examine it and fix its position, and at noon, being near the land, we took the altitude in 49° 30', the result of Hernando Alonso's observation being 49° 9'. In coming near the land we discovered a great bay or opening which went far into the land towards the snowy mountains. On the southern side there was high land, ending in a mountain with three peaks. Pedro Sarmiento named this opening “the Gulf of the Most Holy Trinity,” and the high land with the mountain of three peaks was named the “Cabo de Tres Puntos.” This land is bare, and the land near the sea shore is much broken, with many rocks above water, and the high land has many white, grey, and black patches. To the north of this “Cabo de Tres Puntos,” at a distance of six leagues, is the land on the other side of the entrance to the gulf, consisting of a high-rounded bluff, the land falling away to a plain inland to the north, with many islets off the shore. This land looks like an island from outside. It was named “Cabo Primero.”;* It has this appearance approaching from the N.E.
* A translation from the beginning of the chapter is given in the Voyage of the Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 159; [sic, pp. 158-159] but the month is given as March instead of November.
The land to the south, which is the “Cabo de Tres Puntos,” seen from the sea, forms a peak.^
* Corno vernal.
The mouth or entrance of this “Gulf of the Most Holy Trinity” is six leagues across from the “Cabo Primero” to the “Cabo de Tres Puntos,” and the coast of the open sea, runs north and south a quarter to N.E. and S.W., so far as we could make out. The channel of this Trinity Gulf runs N.W. and S.E., so far as we could determine at first sight. “Cabo Primero” and “Cabo de Tres Puntos” bear north and south of each other, tending slightly to N.E. and S.W.*
* The Alert made out that across the entrance of Trinidad Channel the depth was 30 fathoms, while a mile inside it increased to 200 and 300 fathoms. This showed the existence of a sort of bar, representing the terminal moraine of a huge glacier which originally gouged out the channel.—Coppinger,§ p. 66.
§ The above footnote refers to Chapter III (“Explorations in the Trindad Channel”) in R. W. Coppinger's Cruise of the “Alert.” Markham acknowledges him in his Introduction above, but does not mention his book.
Being now near the land, the Capitana and Almiranta closed, and consulted over what should be done. It was unanimously resolved to enter into this bay to examine the land. The General, seeing that they were in a good position for discovering the Strait, and that this bay, according to his sketch which he had with him, might lead to the sea by another opening near the Strait, gave orders for the squadron to make for it. Thus we entered at two in the afternoon, with the lead going. Although we went inside the channel for three or four leagues, we did not find bottom with many fathoms until we went near the land, when we sounded in thirty fathoms. Here we anchored the first time, five leagues within the bay; and smartly as we let go the anchor it took the ground in many more fathoms than those we had found by sounding, and the bottom was dirty. The Almiranta anchored near the shore, and presently drifted out without finding bottom, for it is there rocky, and she therefore made sail. The Capitana did the same for a similar reason. As it was night, the coast was unknown, and the weather bad, we again stood in for the shore where we had anchored the first time, and, sounding rather closer in shore than before, we anchored in twenty fathoms. All the bottom of this anchorage is rocky, and the shore steep and rocky. Soon afterwards the Almiranta anchored more in shore.
Next day, being Wednesday, the 18th of November, Pedro Sarmiento, not considering that this port was good or safe, because it is exposed from the north and north-east, which are the most harmful quarters here, got into a boat with Anton Pablos, and went in search of a harbour to the south-east. They went on all day, sounding in the bays and creeks, and found a tolerable port. When they returned to the ships to bring them there the Chief Pilot was not on board, having also gone in search of a port without leaving word in what direction, so they did not shift their berths on that day.
Next day, being Thursday, the weather was bad, and such a gale was blowing from the north that it was impossible to get under weigh, for the ships would have been dashed to pieces on the rocks before they would have had time to make sail; nor could we have gone even if that danger had not existed. Such was the force of the wind and sea that constant watch was kept over the cables, and the blows of the waves broke the stock of an anchor against the rocks at the bottom, and chafed through the stout cable of the other anchor. Thus we were left adrift, and the ship Capitana began to drive down on the rocks of the coast, which were little more than a cable from us. Let those who have been in the same predicament judge what we felt. But not for this did the pilots and crew lose heart. On the contrary, with great courage, calling upon God and his most Blessed Mother, they let go another anchor with the utmost diligence, which reached the bottom and held, and the ship swung round. Thus the ship was saved; and undoubtedly it was the miraculous act of the most sacred Mother of God. In this position we remained during that day and until the following Friday.
The wind and sea did not moderate, and to remain where we were was to risk certain destruction. Yet we could not go to sea, while to cast off the cable was not to be thought of, for we were lost if we did any of these three things. We desired to go from here to the port that had been sounded, as mentioned above. As less dangerous and risky, Pedro Sarmiento sent the pilot, Hernando Alonso, in a boat to sound a passage between an islet and the mainland, to find out whether there was bottom, and whether the ships could venture to pass that way to the port. He went and found five fathoms, and thence he made a signal five times with a white flag he had taken with him, remaining there with the boat, for he could not return. Knowing that this passage was navigable, we determined to pass through it. Therefore in the name of the most sacred Queen of the Angels we cast off the cables by hand, at the same time hoisting the foresail. In an instant the Mother of God carried us through the passage, almost touching the rocks on either side, and we reached the port which had been surveyed, where we anchored, and remained in marvellous tranquility and safety—at least so it then seemed. It was a wonderful thing to see the turns made by the ship among the reefs and windings of that channel, insomuch that a well trained horse could not have done so well. She went like lightning, so that if she had touched anything she must have gone to pieces. We thought it better to run this risk, which gave us some hope of safety, than to remain obstinately and idly in that anchorage, where it was certain, if we took no step, we must all have perished that afternoon, without a man escaping.
As soon as the Capitana was anchored, the boat returned from her to the Almiranta, and she was piloted by the same passage to this port, where she was anchored closer in shore, through the signal mercy which God showed in giving us this refuge by the intercession of his most glorious Mother. We named the port “Nuestra Señora del Rosario,” and the other “Peligroso,” although the sailors called it “Cache-diablo.”*
* Cache means “a box on the ear.” This is the Wolsey Sound of the Admiralty Chart. In the Alert a succession of fierce squalls (williwaws) from various quarters was experienced in this anchorage, so that the ship kept swinging to and fro, and circling round her anchors. At last one of the cables parted; and the Alert aided by steam, managed to ride out the gale with the other cable. It was not considered to be an anchorage that could be recommended.—Coppinger, p. 68.
On the following Sunday, November the 22nd, the General Pedro Sarmiento, with most of the people, went on shore, and when Pedro Sarmiento hoisted a great cross all worshipped it with much devotion, and sang "“Te Deum Laudamus” in loud voices, on their knees. With great joy they gave thanks to God, knowing the mercies we had all received at His divine hands. This done, the Captain-Superior, Pedro Sarmiento, rose to his feet, and drawing a sword which hung to his belt, he exclaimed, in a loud voice, in the presence of all, that “they were all witnesses how, in the name of the sacred Catholic and royal Majesty of the King, Don Philip our Lord, King of Castille and its dependencies, and in the name of his heirs and successors, he took possession of that land for ever.” In testimony of this, and that those present might keep it in memory, he cut trees, branches, and herbs with the sword he held in his hand, and moved stones, with which he made a heap in token of possession. As similar acts of taking possession have been fully recorded, and as the Viceroy particularly ordered that possession should be taken in the places where we landed, Pedro Sarmiento made the following statement before the Notary:
“In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one only true God, who is Maker and Creator of all things, without whom no good things can be commenced, made, or preserved; and as the good beginning of whatever thing must be in God and for God; and in his name should be commenced for his honour and glory; in his most holy name be it known to all who may see this present testimony, instrument, and letter of possession how, this day, which is Sunday, the 22nd of November 1579, this royal fleet of the most powerful, most renowned, and most catholic Lord Don Philip, King of Spain and its dependencies, our Lord, having arrived, which sailed from the city of Kings in Peru by order of the most excellent Lord, Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy, Governor, and Captain-General of the kingdoms and provinces of Peru, for the discovery of the Strait called Magellan, of which there came as Captain-Superior the General Pedro Sarmiento to this land, now first discovered by the said Captain-Superior. Being anchored in this port, newly named “Nuestra Señora del Rosario,” in the bay also newly named “The Most Holy Trinity,” and the said General having landed with the greater part of the land and sea forces of the fleet, and the chaplains, he took a cross on shore, which was devoutly worshipped by all the people on their knees, and the chaplains sang the ‘Te Deum Laudamus.’ Then, in a loud voice, he said that in the name of his Majesty the King Philip II, our Lord, King of Castille, Leon, and their dependencies, who may God our Lord preserve for many years, with increase of greater states and kingdoms for the service of God, and the well-being and prosperity of his vassals; and in the name of the very powerful Lords the Kings, his heirs and successors in the time to come, as his Captain-Superior and General of this the said fleet, and by virtue of the order and instructions which, in the royal name, the Lord Viceroy of Peru gave him, he took and takes, seized and seizes, possession of this land where he has now landed, and which he discovered, for ever and ever in the said royal name, and in that of the royal crown of Castille and Leon as their own, to whom it really belongs by virtue of the Grant and Bull of the most holy father Alexander VI, Supreme Roman Pontiff, given motû proprio to the very high and catholic Lords Don Fernando V, and Dona Isabel his wife, Kings of Castille and Leon of glorious memory, and to their heirs and successors, being half the world, that is to say, 180 degrees of longitude, as more largely is set forth in the said Bull given at Rome on the 4th of May 1493, in virtue of which these lands fall and are included within the demarcation and meridian of partition of the 180 degrees of longitude belonging to the said royal crown of Castille and Leon, and as being within the line, he takes and took possession of these the said lands and districts, seas, rivers, anchorages, ports, bays, gulfs, and archipelagos of the said port of ‘Rosario,’ where at present this fleet is anchored.
Thus he, as depicted, placed and places them in the power and possession and dominion of the said royal crown of Castille and Leon as its own property; as it is. In sign of possession he drew the sword that he wore at his girdle, and with it cut trees, branches, and herbs, and moved stones, and walked over the land and on the shore without any contradiction whatever; desiring that those present should be witnesses, and that I, the undersigned Notary, should give public testimony. Then incontinently taking a great cross on his back, with the troops of the fleet in order of battle, and armed with arquebuses and other weapons, they carried the cross in procession, the monks Friar Antonio Guadramiro, Vicar, and his companion singing a litany, and everyone answering in the responses. The procession being finished, the General planted the cross on a high rock, and made a heap of stones at the foot of it, as a memorial and sign of the possession of all these lands and seas and their bounds, with the continuous and contiguous discoveries; and he gave the name of “Nuestra Señora del Rosario” to this port. As soon as the cross was set up they worshipped it a second time, and all offered up prayers, beseeching and supplicating our Lord Jesus Christ that he would be served by this act being for his holy service, and that our holy Catholic Faith would be aided and increased by the word of the holy evangel being preached and sown among barbarous nations that, until now, had been astray from the true knowledge and doctrine whereby they may be guarded and delivered from the deceit and dangers of the devil, and from the blindness in which they now live, that their souls may be saved. Then the monks sang in praise of the cross the hymn ‘Vexilla Regis.’ Before it, at an altar which had been set up, the Vicar, who was the first to say it in this land, said mass to the honour and glory of our Lord God Almighty, and for the extirpation of the devil and all idolatry. He preached on this subject, and several confessed and took the sacrament. When the service was over, the General, as a more lasting sign and memorial of possession, caused a great tree to be felled, and from it to be made a large and very lofty cross, on which he put the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ—i. n. r. i.—and at the foot of the cross he put philippus secundus rex hispaniarum. Of all which I, Juan Desqùíbel, Royal Notary of this fleet on board the ship Capitana, give my faith and true testimony.
“Juan Desqūíbel,§ Royal Notary.”
§ The notary's name is alternately spelled Desquibel, Desqùíbel, Desqūíbel and de Esquivel. Correct spelling in unknown.
After all this, Pedro Sarmiento took the altitude at noon, on shore, with three astrolabes, in 50°. Then the General, the Ensign, the Serjeant-Major, and three soldiers went up to the top of a very rugged mountain, more than tw^o leagues of ascent, which was so rugged and craggy that the rocks cut the soles of their alpargatas* and shoes like razors, and often we went along the tops of the trees, from branch to branch, like monkeys. We ascended this mountain to get a view of the direction of the channel of this gulf, and also to ascertain whether we were on an island or on main land, for Pedro Sarmiento held it to be an island; also to see whether there was a clear passage by that channel, by which the ships could be taken into the strait, so that it might not be necessary to take them out again into the open sea, where there was such continuous bad weather. Having climbed to the summit, through much labour and the risk of falling over precipices a thousand times, they made out numerous channels and creeks, rivers, and ports, so that it seemed as if all the land we had reached was broken in pieces; and we supposed it to be an archipelago. We counted as many as 85 islands, large and small, and saw that the channel was very large, wide, open, and clear, almost making out the channel coming out into the sea near the strait.
* Shoes made of hemp, much used in the Basque provinces.
As Pedro Sarmiento could not make all this out with certainty, he determined to go with the boat to explore and survey. He could not start on Monday, the 23rd, because there was a gale blowing, and it was the same on Tuesday. On this day there was a consultation between the General and officers of the fleet, and it was resolved that this should be done for the security of the fleet, as well as to find the strait and to select a port known to be safe, whither the ships could be taken and anchored. On this same day Pedro Sarmiento ordered the carpenters to go and cut wood for joists and knees for the Capitana and Almiranta, and to repair the damage we had received during the recent gales. This was done. On the day of taking possession, and today, they found signs of inhabitants, such as footsteps, darts, oars, and small nets, but no people had been seen up to this time.
In the name of God our Lord, and of his mother St. Mary, our Lady, Pedro Sarmiento set out in the boat of the Almiranta, taking with him Anton Pablos, Pilot of the Capitana, and Hernando Lamero, Chief Pilot of the Almiranta, besides ten armed soldiers with arquebuses, shields, and swords, and provisions for four days. He left the port of “Nuestra Señora del Rosario” on Wednesday, the 25th of November 1579, at ten o'clock, to discover the channels, so as not to put the ships in danger, to find a safe harbour for them, and to discover the strait.
Leaving the reefs of the port of Rosario, we kept on the right-hand side in passing up the gulf, which may be described as follows. From the port of Rosario there is a point, which we called “Candelaria”* three-quarters of a league bearing a little north of east, and at half the distance there is a bay which enters into the land in a south-easterly direction. At the entrance there are twenty-three islets, which make two large channels,† and although there are others, they are of no importance. From the point of “Candelaria” the coast turns a little south of east for about 500 paces, and at the cape a large port is formed, with the entrance facing north. Here there are twenty fathoms, with a clean bottom, and the port turns to the S.W. quarter. The land is pointed and high, and there is a high hill to the south in front of the point. We named the place “Puerto del Morro.” From the point or anchorage of the “Morro” the coast turns E.S.E. for a third of a league to a hill called “Morro Gordo,, then S.E. for a sixth of a league, and S.E. by S. two leagues to a peaked mountain called “Pan de Azucar,”‡ half way there being an opening to S.S.W.
* The Admiralty Chart has C. Candelaria 5½ miles from Port Rosario.
† Lamero Sound, of the chart, with Hernando Island and several islets at the entrance, Lat. 50° S., north end of Hernando Island,
‡ On the chart in 50° 4' 40" S. Hill above it 880 feet high,
From the “Pan de Azucar” the coast turns to the south for half a league, as far as a rounded hill, and another bay opens to S.W. It was named the “S.W. Bay.”* At the entrance it has twenty-two fathoms depth, bottom pebbly. There is anchorage near a round islet on the N.W. side, which is covered with trees. It is necessary to let out three or four fathoms of cable; and at the entrance there is an inlet of smooth sea, where a ship may be secured with four cables, the bows on land. In this place Pedro Sarmiento sent Lamero up a high mountain to examine the channel, and from this height he saw a great number of channels, and of large and small islands. Anton Pablos guided us to the little bay, where, as it was now night, we slept, and called the place “The Dormitory of Anton Pablos.” Here possession was taken in the name of his Majesty, and a cross was cut on a tree. We found the lodging places and food of people of the country. From this point the coast turns S.S.E. for a league to a high and bare hill, when the entrance to “S.W. Bay” is on with that of the last bay, N. by E.
* “Ancon del Sudueste” on the chart.
We left the little bay on Thursday, the 26th of November, and proceeded to examine the main channel. At half a league east there are some islets, and the channel runs S.E. We sounded in the middle, and got no bottom with 120 fathoms. In the channel between the islands there were 40 fathoms sandy bottom, and quite close to the islets 15 fathoms. The bottom is not clean. To the east, at half a league, still among the islets, there were 15 fathoms, gravel. You may anchor, in case of necessity, off a small islet, which is the one most to the eastward. From the high land there runs a shoal N. and S. Three points of rocks appear above the water, and in the channel, two cables from the reef of rocks, there are four fathoms of water north and south from the reef. The way out is east and west, and in the channel to leeward or to the south, in mid channel, there are twelve fathoms, rocky bottom.
A league to the east, in the middle of the main channel, there is an islet which we called the island of “En-medio.”* It is in line with the entrance to the gulf of Trinidad, which appears clearly from here N.W. by W. This islet has a bank above water a cable's length S.W., and there are eight fathoms between it and the island. In passing between them a vessel should keep nearer the islet than the bank.
* Lat. 50° 5' 30". Called Medio Island on the chart.
From this bank there runs a shoal north and south, covered with weed, and under shelter of the isle, a cable's length N.W., there are fifteen fathoms, grey sand, and black and white mud.
From this island of “En-medio” the main land on the right is distant three quarters of a league, S.S.W. to a point “Delgado,” so named because it was so.* Having reached this point, we closed in the mouth by which we had entered from the open sea, and discovered another gulf, being a continuation of the main channel, running S.E., and in it we discovered a row of islands running N.W. by W. From point “Delgado” to another point the bearing is N.E. by N. one league.
* “Delgado” is thin, fine.
In this part there is a round island in the middle of the channel, and west of it are four more. In the centre of the channel there are forty fathoms, pebbles, gravel, and shells. Here we saw birds in flocks, which up to this time we had not seen. Arrived at the reefs, there were twenty-four fathoms gravel. In this distance there are two high hills, and to the south-east of the southernmost a small bay or creek. Here the shore can be approached without fear, because there is nothing but what can be seen. I sounded, the first time, in ten fathoms at half a cable from the shore, and a cable further on there were thirty fathoms S.S.E. from the high hill: bottom pebbly. Made fast to the shore, as the depth increased rapidly.
Beyond this point there is another three leagues to the S.W. by W. It was named “Punta del Brazo-Ancho,”* and to clear it a W.S.W. course should be steered. In this distance there are two large mouths of channels, and although there are soundings at fifty, thirty, and twenty fathoms, the bottom is foul. To the south of the “Punta del Brazo-Ancho,” and near it, there are fifteen fathoms with a good bottom, and a cable and a half further on thirty-four fathoms: pebbles. It is an anchorage, although rocky, of great depth.
* In 50° 8' 50" on the chart.
From the “Punta del Brazo-Ancho” another point was in sight which we named “Galeotilla,”* from its shape, bearing S.W. by S. four leagues. From the “Galeotilla” point there is another in sight, which we called “Hocico de Caiman,”† three leagues on the same bearing. A league from “Hocico de Caiman” to the S.W. there is good anchoring ground in twelve fathoms: sand. To the north of it there is a port with fair bottom at fourteen, twelve, eight, and seven fathoms. This port has a reef near the land, on which the sea breaks. Beyond “Hocico de Caiman” we discovered another point, half a league S.W., and to the N.W. of it there is a port which has a beach of brown sand, good sandy bottom, and a depth of seven, eight, and nine fathoms. Its entrance is from the N.E., between a hilly islet and the mainland on the right hand, by four fathoms of shallow sea. But a large ship should not go in that way, because the channel is narrow, and a shoal extends far out from the hilly islet. Within, it is sheltered from all winds. Here we passed the night of Friday, the 27th of November. We gave it the name of “Puerto Bermejo de la Concepcion de Nuestra Señora.” From this port appeared a bit of the open sea.
* Not on the chart.
† On the chart in 50° 25' S.
On the same afternoon that we landed the captain took possession, for your Majesty, your heirs and successors, and placed a high cross on a tree. Presently he went inland with the pilot Lamero and two soldiers, and ascended a high hill to examine the channel and make out the routes in all directions, and the bays ahead, for he did this as often as it was possible, which was a great advantage to us for our progress onwards, and for an accurate description of the country. From this height Pedro Sarmiento could make out the whole of the main or, as he called it, the Mother Channel, which took a turn to the S.W. for six leagues, where it opened on the main sea. This we saw and considered certain, and it gave us joy, for we had feared greatly that we were embayed; and on this subject there had been some difference amongst dull people on board the Almiranta. Another arm took a turn to the W.N.W., which seemed to divide the land where we were.*
* “West Channel” of the chart.
Pedro Sarmiento alone certified that it was the sea that appeared, for neither the pilot nor the men were sure about it. Having noted everything, we returned to the sleeping place, wet through and tired by the bit of forest, which was very dense, that we had to pass both going and coming. On this beach we found many fresh footsteps of people, and two daggers or harpoons of bone, with their prey on the points. This port has a large spring of very good water which here falls into the sea. The place for coming in and going out for ships is not that already mentioned, but to the east. Here there is a channel of seven fathoms, and the course is more towards the island, for if the side of the main land is taken there is little water—less than three fathoms—but further out it is deep enough—twenty fathoms.
On the next Saturday, the 28th of November, we left the “Puerto Bermejo,” and, following the land on the right hand as we had done up to this time, we presently, in coming out, discovered a small point which is near the port, three leagues S.W. We gave it the name of “Punta de la Anunciada;”* and half-way there is a channel turning W.N.W., with a mouth a league and a half in width. We called it “El Brazo del Oeste,”† because it has more westing in its direction than any other quarter. It appeared to cut through the land and reach the sea by that quarter. We crossed the entrance of this channel, and arrived at the “Punta de la Anunciada,” and there we took bearings of the coast and bays within sight.
* In 50° 30' S. on the chart. Only dotted lines in this part on the Admiralty Chart.
† “West Channel” of the chart.
As our provisions were coming to an end, and it was dangerous to leave the ships for long with only one boat between them, which could not be utilised by both in the event of the necessity arising at the same time in both ships, we did not proceed further. We turned back, with the intention of removing the ships from a port which was not good, and taking them to that secure harbour of the “Concepcion de Nuestra Señora,” which we had discovered, so that we could more readily proceed with the discoveries. In a country where so much bad weather prevailed, and where the ports were unknown, it was not desirable to take the ships out of one port without having first discovered another whither to take them by a route that had been previously sounded and surveyed, when this is possible.
The whole of this land, so far as we could judge, is rough and mountainous* near the sea, and the heights bare, with craggy rocks, and in some places mud and spongy patches of grass. We recognised some trees like those of Spain, such as cypress, fir, holly, myrtle, evergreen, oak, and among herbs, celery and water cress. All these trees are green and damp, yet they bear well, for they are resinous, especially the fir and cypress.† The mass of the land that we saw, near the sea, did not appear good, for it had no earth mould.‡ But, owing to the excessive humidity, there is such thick and close growing moss on the rocks, that it is sufficient for the trees to germinate in it, to enable them to grow and form forests. These masses of moss are spongy, so that in stepping on them, feet and legs sink down, and in some places up to the waist. One man went in up to the armpits, and for this reason it is most laborious work to traverse these forests; as well as because they are excessively dense, so much so that, in some places, we were forced to make our way along the branches and tops of the trees. We were able to sustain ourselves there owing to the extreme thickness and interlacing of the vegetation, and we found this less laborious than making our way on the ground. But both these ways were exhausting, though we had to adopt them to avoid precipices.
* Composed of coarse-grained syenite, intersected with dykes of greenstone. About Port Rosario there is an outcrop of limestone of a pale blue colour.—Coppinger, p. 47.
† The trees are the evergreen and antarctic beeches (Fagus betuloides and antarctica), Winter's bark (Drimys Winteri) and cypress (Libocedrus tetragonus). There are several beautiful flowering shrubs and creepers, such as the Lapageria rosea, and numerous ferns, including several beautiful species of the genus Hymenophyllum.—Coppinger, p. 46.
‡ A dense network of interlacing roots forms the soil on which the trees take root.
The marine birds seen by us were black ducks, called by others sea crows; others grey, both large and small, gulls, and rabios dejuncos.* These birds are so called because they have a single, very long, and slender feather in the tail, which, when they fly, resembles a thin stick or wand. Hence the Spaniards gave them this name when they discovered the Indies. We also saw rabi-horcados, which are like kites, and have the tail parted. The grease of this bird has medicinal qualities. There were a kind of ducks, grey and black, without feathers, and which cannot fly,† but they run on foot. In the water they cannot rise but by their feet, using their pinions as oars. They thus go through the water with great velocity, and they leave a track like that of a boat when propelled by oars. Their velocity is so great that a good boat under sail, with a fair wind, cannot overtake them. In the woods there are small black birds like thrushes, warblers, great owls, kestrels, and sparrow hawks. These we saw. No doubt there were other things to observe, but as our time was short we did not see them. There should be tapirs (antas) and deer; we did not see any, only the footprints and large bones.
* Skuas. Coppinger mentions, among the birds, steamer ducks (Tachyeres cinereics), kelp geese (Bernicla antarctica), oyster catchers (Hçmatopus leucopus), ashy-headed brent geese (Chloefaga folio-cephala).
§ Actually, the description is of the steamer duck, as noted by a footnote in Cunningham's Notes on the Natural History ….
Of fish we saw red prawns—a good fish—cockle shells, and an immense quantity of other shells. In those which are on the rocks, out of the water, there are many very small pearls. Some of them are grey, but others white. In some places we found so many pearls in the shells that we regretted we could not eat the molluscs, for it would have been like eating gravel. For while we were on this service we cared much more for food than for riches. Very often we were in want of food, and in order to extend our discoveries from one point to another, we had to make four days' provisions last us for ten days. Then we had to eke them out by eating shell fish, and even the pearls did not stop us. Here we realised of what little value are riches not consisting of food, when one is hungry, and how useless. We reflected how much wiser the ancients were, who considered that riches consisted of tame flocks and cultivated fields, for which reason many strange people made their way to Spain.
In this season it rains very much, and the winds are very tempestuous from North, N.W., and West. When the storms begin to veer from north, there is hail, with intense cold, but the north wind is more temperate. When it rains all the woods are a perfect sea, and the beaches are rivers pouring into the sea.*
* The peaks and ridges of the broken-up range of mountains of which the islands and coast are formed, intercept the moisture-laden clouds, which are continually being wafted from seaward by the prevailing westerly winds, frequent and long continued downpours being the result. The annual rainfall is 149.6 inches. The mean annual temperature 49°, and the extremes 36° to 60°—Coppinger.
On the same day, Saturday, the 28th of November, that we arrived at “Punta de la Anunciada,” we returned to pass the night at “Puerto Bermejo;” and this day Anton Pablos climbed the high hill, for even yet he was incredulous that it was sea that was in sight, although it certainly was.
On the next day, being Sunday, we left “Puerto Bermejo” for the ships in “Puerto del Rosario,” and as we were now run out of provisions, and we could not proceed under sail as we did in going, the wind being contrary, the sailors set to with a will, and pulled so well that we did in three days the same distance as we had done under sail in the same time. All suffered great hardships, for besides having little to eat there were storms of wind and heavy seas every day, and they were constantly wet through. They had to let their clothes dry on their backs, for they had no changes, as there was only room in the boat for the men and the provisions. They also suffered much from the cold, which stiffened them, and the only remedy was to work at the oars with great force and fury. He who did not row hard suffered the most. Under these circumstances it pleased our Lord God that we should arrive at “Rosario” on Tuesday, the 1st of December, 1579, having, in going and coming, covered more than seventy leagues, while discovering and surveying ports, channels, bays, roadsteads, rocks and reefs, and giving them names, besides observing by dead reckoning and by altitudes. The whole of which the General regularly described in writing and by depicting in public, in presence of those who were with him, namely, Hernando Lamero and Anton Pablos, pilots.
This time we did not navigate along the eastern coast, but we saw it clearly enough to take bearings on it, so as to plot it down on the chart; and our observations respecting it were as follows:—
From near the “Punta de la Galeotilla,” on the east coast, an entrance opens to the S.E. four leagues, the bay being a league across. We called it the channel of “San Andres.”* From the channel “San Andres” the coast turns to the north for two leagues, as far as another channel which runs into the lane N.E.; and near it to the west, in the main channel, there is a small islet. From the “Punta del Brazo Ancho” tending S.E. by S., there is a channel which we called “Abra de tres Cerros,” because there are some large hills at its entrance. From the same “Punta del Brazo Ancho” to the E.N.E., two leagues and a half, is the “Brazo Ancho.” The mouth is three leagues across, and it runs into the land N.E. towards a great snowy mountain on the mainland. From the “Brazo Ancho” the coast turns N.W., forming many islands with channels between them, which we could not count.
* “Andrew Sound” of the Admiralty Chart, in 50° 20' S.
It must be understood that although in going we kept along the west coast, following the right hand, it is not all one continuous coast, but broken and indented throughout. Each channel forms a great number of islands, and the land is all broken into pieces. On the other side the formation is the same as far as the snowy mountains, which are visible all along the main channel from “Rosario.” Pedro Sarmiento therefore named the land the “Archipelago of the Viceroy Don Francisco de Toledo,” because it was by his order that this fleet was equipped and sent to discover these lands.
Having returned to the port of “Rosario,” we gave an account to our companions who had remained there on board the ships, of the goodness of the channel, and how it led to the open sea, and of the excellent harbour we had discovered. Many were rejoiced, because, from all the previous talk, they had lost confidence—above all, the Admiral, and even more the Sergeant-Major, Pascual Suarez. He it was who made the others cowardly on this subject, saying that we were embayed, and that it was not possible but that we should be lost. Our arrival quieted them, and rejoiced those who wished to go on. For those who wanted to return said that the General had deceived them in order to induce them to proceed with the voyage; and that if he wanted to be drowned they were not so desperate, and preferred to return to Chile.
On Wednesday, the 2nd of December, Pedro Sarmiento sent the Pilot Hernando Alonso, with both the boats equipped for creeping, to seek and recover the lost anchors in the “Puerto Primero.” It had not been possible to do this before, because it required both boats. Although he worked until noon he was unable to find them. This is the reason why we did not proceed to “Puerto Bermejo” on Wednesday. On Thursday, the 3rd, before dawn, there was such a gale from the north and north-east that we expected to founder at our anchors. Although the port is good, the gusts over the land and those which were caused by and came through the narrow channel, were most furious. The Almiranta parted one of her hawsers, which were fast on shore. She was drifting, and the stern walk over the poop was actually on a plumb line with the rocks, when God miraculously saved her. The anchor that was dragging was brought up, and the boat of the Capitana was promptly sent with an anchor and two cables, by which the Almiranta was again secured and saved from that danger. As the fury of the gale continued, the Admiral was afraid to remain on board the ship, and went on shore with some soldiers, where he set up a hut, and remained in it all that day and night. On Friday, as the wind did not moderate, but rather increased, the Almiranta lost another cable which was chafed by a rock, the bottom being foul. Her danger was seen from the Capitana, and Pedro Sarmiento went on board the Almiranta, taking with him the Pilot Hernando Alonso and some sailors, who helped to secure the ship, and anchor her safely, with the help of God. Understanding what the Admiral had done, Pedro Sarmiento sent the boat for him and for the soldiers who were with him. He was reprimanded with moderation, as it was not a fitting time to do more. He made no excuse, except his little confidence, and the soldiers put the blame on him, saying that he had taken them with him. Having seen that the ship was safe, Pedro Sarmiento returned to the Capitana.
On Saturday, the 5th of December, it rained all day, so that all the woods experienced a universal deluge, and the darkness was such that it was impossible to leave the port that day. Sunday, the 6th, dawned with clearer and better weather. We, therefore, weighed and made sail, but owing to squalls of wind we could not leave the port, and had to anchor again to effect repairs. Thus we could not start that day, as it grew late, and we came to near the reefs, so as to depart at the first appearance of fine weather: but in this country there is no certainty as to what a single hour may bring with it. Hence it is necessary to take advantage on the instant, on pain of doing nothing and remaining always isolated, or being lost, which is much the same thing.
On Monday, the 7th of the month, it dawned with fine weather, and the Captain gave orders to weigh and make sail. The Almiranta went out first, as she was nearer the entrance, and the Capitana followed. We shaped a course S.E. in the line of the channel. At ten o'clock the weather was clear, and Pedro Sarmiento was all day in the castle of the poop with the compass, marking out and verifying the chart he had made in the first discovery. As we were sailing in mid channel, with clear weather, and he was at a slight elevation, he was well able to verify both shores, and the islands, rocks, reefs, and entrances to channels. He added some things of which he could not make quite sure during the boat voyage, owing to hazy weather and showers. Thus he fixed correctly all he was able to see. For the island “En-medio” the General took the altitude in 50° 20', he being between the entrance of “Brazo Ancho” and that island. Thence we began to shape a course for the “Brazo del Sudueste,” which we named “Brazo de la Concepcion,”, because we passed it on the eve of that feast. At vespers we came to an anchor at the mouth of the “Puerto Bermejo,” on the south side, but as the bottom was uneven the anchors did not hold, but owing to the diligence of the pilots and sailors, the ship was towed inside the harbour. The Almiranta, in entering, touched on a bank of sand and suffered two bumps, but they did no damage, and she was towed off. Glory to God who preserved her! On that same night the wind was from the north, although there was not much of it, for it rained heavily, which took much of the force out of the wind.
On Tuesday, the 8th of December, the feast of the Conception of our Lady, the most holy Mother of God, it dawned with such foul weather over land and sea, and with such a tempest of rain and north wind, that it was not possible to attend to anything connected with navigation, for we were confined to the ship, and the only result of attempting to work would be to meet an evil death without any advantage whatever.
Having arrived in this port, it was resolved to set out on another exploring expedition with the boat, and among other things we had to do was the work of putting the brigantine together, which had been brought out in pieces on board the Capitana. The timbers were brought out on the beach, the props and supports were fixed, the forge was set up, and huts were erected. Guards of soldiers were placed, that they might be with their officers. All things being thus arranged, Pedro Sarmiento determined to set out on his voyage of discovery, leaving the Admiral in his place to look after the ships and the people, and to finish building the brigantine.
In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Pedro Sarmiento set out in the Capitana's boat, named the “Santiago,” with Anton Pablos, Pilot of the Capitana, and Lamero, the Chief Pilot of the Almiranta, fourteen men with arquebuses, swords, and shields, with provisions for eight days. They started at eight o'clock in the morning, on Friday, the 11th of December 1579, to discover the sea at the entrance of the strait.
From “Puerto Bermejo” we went to the “Punta de la Anunciada,” so named during the former boat voyage. From thence they discovered another point, a quarter of a league S.W., from which the coast turns a little west of S.W. for two leagues, to a point we named “Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia.”§ There is, off the point and near the land, a small pinnacle rock. In this distance of two leagues there are two small bays. From “Anunciada” we discovered a cape running out into the sea, on the left hand to S.W. by S. which we named “Cabo de Santiago.”
§ “Our Lady of the Cliff of France,” so-named after a mountain in Spain.
Continuing our voyage we passed a little to leeward of the “Punta de la Anunciada,” and thence crossed the opening and gulf of “La Concepcion” under sail, steering south. In this opening, two leagues S.E. of “Anunciada,” there is a small island, and, beyond it, a group of seven little islets, the whole covering a space of a league and a half For two-thirds of the distance we steered south, and for a third S.E., arriving at a bay which we called “Arrecifes,” there being many reefs. It is three leagues from “Anunciada.” From this bay the coast turns to S.W. by S. 300 paces to a small point, whence we discovered an islet, which we named “San Buenaventura,” S.S.W. one and a half leagues; another small islet N. by E. half a league was called “Isla de Lobos”, because we saw some very large seals there. Between the two there is a bank, on which the sea breaks. “Isla de Lobos” bears from the “Cabo de Santiago” south-westerly four leagues. Near it there are eight fathoms, bottom stony with much weed. The land between “Ancon de Arrecifes” and the island of “San Buenaventura” forms a great bay for a league and a half to a point and anchorage which we named “San Francisco.” Here we landed as it was late. Being settled down, a soldier fired a shot at some birds, and at the report, some Indians, who were in a wood on the other side of the bay, uttered loud shouts. At the first cry we thought it was the seals, until we saw them naked, with red bodies which, as we afterwards saw, they anoint with a red earth. We got into the boat and went to where these people stood. Some were in a thicket among some densely growing trees, and among them an old man, with a cap of seal skin, who spoke to and gave orders to the others. On the coast near the sea, among some rocks, there were fifteen youths quite naked. Approaching them with signs of peace, they signed [signaled?] to us with loud voices and much earnestness, with their arms pointed to where we had left the ships. When we got nearer to the rocks they made signs that they would approach, and that we should give them something of what we had with us. They came, and we gave them what we had. Sarmiento presented two cloths and a handkerchief, having nothing else about him. The pilots and soldiers also, gave them some trifles, with which they were content. We gave them wine, and they spit it out after they had tasted it. We also gave them some biscuit, which they ate, but they were not made confident by all this.*
* Coppinger considers the natives of the Gulf of Trinidad to be the most primitive among all the varieties of the human species. They are closely allied to, but different from, the Fuegians. They lead a wandering life, constantly shifting in their canoes from place to place. For the greater part of the year they live almost entirely on mussels and limpets, with occasionally a seal or small otter. The height of the men averages 5 ft. 1 in., and the women are shorter, complexion an ochry coffee colour, eyes dark and close together, hair long, black, and coarse. Upper extremities and trunk are well-developed, but the legs very poorly developed. The men are almost entirely naked, sometimes wearing a square piece of seal skin hanging from the neck. Their canoes are constructed of five planks, one forming the bottom, the other four, 11 ft. wide, the sides, laced together by the flexible stem of a creeping plant. The seams are stuffed with bark. They have two kinds of spears, one for fishing the other for sealing, and each party is provided with an iron axe. Their huts are like small haycocks, 10 ft. by 12 ft., and 6 ft. high.
As we were on a wild coast, and in danger of losing the boat, we returned to our first encampment, and told them by signs that they should come there. Having arrived at the camp, Sarmiento posted two sentries for security, and to catch one of the natives for an interpreter. Owing to this forethought one of them was secured, and Sarmiento presently embraced, and flattered him. Taking a few things from one and another, he was dressed and put in the boat. Then we all embarked and departed when it was still night. We went to stop at three islets in the form of a triangle, a league from the point where we first saw these people, whence we named it “Punta de la Gente.” The islands bear S.S.W. from the point. We called them “La Dormida,” because we went there to stop and pass the night. The land between “Punta de la Gente” and the islands of “La Dormida” forms a great bay, and is a wild coast and much exposed. We did not land on the islands, because we arrived in the dead of night, but slept in the boat.
On Saturday, the 12th of December, we left these islets of “Le [sic, La] Dormida,” which are near the main land. From them we saw a high mountain to the S.S.E. three leagues, which we called “La Silla,” because it forms a great saddle on the top. In this distance there is a large channel full of small islands, reefs, and banks. The day broke clear, and the sun rose S.E., the sun being on the tropic of Capricorn, and ourselves in 51°. We made sail to a light N.N.E. breeze. The islets of “La Dormida” bear from Cape “Santiago” east and west, and that cape from the “Silla” N.W. and S.E. 6 leagues.
Half a league to the N.W. of the “Silla” there is an islet which we called " Isla de Pajaros,” because there were many birds on it, and between it and the “Silla” there are 17 very small islets. From the “Silla” we discovered an island which contains a high bluff all of stone, which we named the “Roca Partida,” S.W. by S. 2½ leagues. It bears from the “Isla de Pajaros” south-westerly. To the S.W. by S. of the “Silla,” 1 league, there are many rocks on which the sea breaks. We reached the “Roca Partida” at noon, and thence descried a bluff to S.W. by S. of the rock, 6 leagues, which we named “Santa Lucia.”*
* The outer face terminates with a perpendicular precipice.—Adventure and Beagle i, 157.
To the W.S.W. of the “Roca Partida” 2 leagues, there are two rocks, and beyond them a cluster of small rocks and breakers. The sea washes over them, and the breakers form an arch which surrounds the island from W. to N.E. Within there is a space full of rocks a wash. We landed for dinner on this island at noon, and took the sun on shore in 51° 10'. Cape “Santiago” bears N.N.W. from this island. On the north side of the island there is fresh water, and good timber for oars. On the east side it has a tolerable sized port. Large ships cannot enter because the whole island is surrounded by reefs. Four cables from the shore there are 7 fathoms with stony bottoms.
From this island we steered first to the east, then S.W. in search of the cape of Santa Lucia, the sea being covered with rocks, reefs, and islets. Two leagues before reaching the cape, a little more or less, a channel enters into the land for one league S.S.W. We called it the channel of “San Blas,” and at its mouth there are many high islets to S.E., East, and N.W. Being under sail in the midst of these reefs, the wind began to freshen in squalls, so that we were obliged to abandon the course leading to Cape Santa Lucia and run before it, entering the channel of San Blas. We were rejoiced at this, believing that we had found shelter whence, without danger, we should be able to run out into the main channel again. But a squall came down and carried away the mast, sending it into the water, with the sail. Having got them back into the boat, we proceeded up the channel with oars. When we believed we should come out into the sea, we found that we were embayed, after having gone a league and a half. This caused us much annoyance, because the wind was foul for going back under sail, and it is most difficult to pull against wind and sea, and seemed to us impossible to human force. In order quite to undeceive ourselves, or else to see whether there was no way out, for we could not quite discern everything from the boat, we went on shore. Pedro Sarmiento, the Pilots, and some others, climbed up a very high mountain, overtopping all its neighbours, and from the top we could see the open sea, but that there was no outlet from the bay. A channel did not unite with the bay by a distance of less than a stone's throw from the S.W. We received much affliction from this discovery, but we commended ourselves to God, and took possession for his Majesty, placing a small cross on the summit, calling it the mount of “Santa Cruz.” We went down to where we had left the boat and our other companions, and passed the night there.
On Sunday, the 13th of December, in the morning, we returned to the outer channel, and in coming out we encountered such a squall that we were forced to make fast to some rocks, solely to shelter ourselves from the fury of the wind, without being able to land. On the morning of Monday, the 14th, we attempted to go out to sea and continue our course, but when we came from under the shelter of the rocks we were nearly lost, owing to the force of the wind and the heavy sea. We were obliged to return to the shelter of the rocks whence we had come. At dawn the Indian, whom we had captured, fled. Sending to search for him from rock to rock, the guard from whom he had fled, found him, and taking hold of the shirt that had been put on him, he slipped out of it, left it in the hands of the guard, jumped into the water, and went off. This day there was a great storm, and we could not leave our shelter. At noon the sun came out, and we took the altitude in 51° 15'. We called the sheltering rock the “Island where the Indian escaped.”
On Tuesday, in the afternoon, the sea appeared to have become a little less rough in one of the channels, and it seemed better for us to return to the ships than to proceed, because we had consumed all the provisions, and to gain anything we must get clear of these rocks. In coming out into the open from between these rocks, we met with a heavy sea, and it was blowing hard, so that if we had gone we should have been swamped by the waves. We were, therefore, forced to go back, and with extreme difficulty we regained the shelter of some other rocks where we remained until the storm abated. These rocks were very rugged, with sharp peaks, so that there was not a place to plant the feet, and to get a light we had to get into a cavity where all was most filthy mud.
On Wednesday, the 16th of December, we set out from those rocks to go to the Roca Partida; and, arriving among the reefs, such a storm arose, that we thought we must have perished. We were forced to run before it, and God was served by our running into a shelter behind some very sharp rocks, in escaping from the seas. These rocks were like hedge-hogs, so that our shoes were soon in pieces, the rocks cutting like razors. Here we remained, in hopes that this universal tempest of wind from W. and W.S.W., with rain and frozen hail, would abate a little. We here took the altitude in 51° 15'. The gale continued all Thursday, and we could not come out.
On Friday, the 18th, there appeared to be some improvement towards the north, and we went out to sea in the boat, to proceed under the lee of the rocks so as to reach the Roca Partida. It, however, again blew so hard from the N.W., and raised such a sea, that we could not proceed, so to save ourselves from being swamped we again ran before it until we were clear of the rocks, which are numerous and very dangerous, and, what is worse, the sea-weed which is raised among them, would not fail to come out and destroy the boat if perchance she entered some bed of sea-weed. It is to be noted that in sighting a bed of weed here it must be avoided, because it is shallow, and no trust must be placed in seeing the sea going down in all directions, because the same sea-weed, although it be very shallow where it grows, brings the sea down so that the waves are not so high where it is; thus it is very dangerous. A sharp look out should be kept. In coming out from among the rocks we shaped a course to the east, taking the seas by the stern, to escape from death. Being about half a league from the dangers, we were dashing from sea to sea in the direction of the Roca Partida. The muscular sailors forced her on by the strength of their arms, rushing from one headland to another until God was served, this day, before dark, by our reaching the bay of the Roca Partida. Nevertheless we made our way by tacks, so that we went over double the ground, and with the Creed in our mouths.
This port of Roca Partida is a bay, with a sandy beach. It is not, however, a port for ships, only for boats and brigantines. It is at a distance of a league and a half from the eastern side. There is a little swamp, and much good fuel, and at a point of the beach, under the parted rock, there is a large cave in a fissure. Here there is shelter for a large number of people. We found considerable evidence of the presence of natives, and an entire skeleton of a man or woman.* There is on the beach a heavy surf. We remained here two days and two nights owing to the continuous bad weather. As we were now in want of food, we set out, in spite of the weather, on Sunday, the 20th of December, and wishing to round the island so as to be under its lee, we came to the reefs on the north-east side of it, and encountered a heavy sea and strong wind, with a current which broke the water in all directions. Again, to save ourselves, we had to run before it, flying away from a large bay which appeared in the land to E.N.E., as near as we could make it, so as not to return to the island. Night was approaching, and the mist was so thick that we lost sight of the land. We were thus navigating blindfold, until coming near the land we could see the loom of the coast, but it did not look like land, and as we saw the sea rising in all directions we had great fear that we should be lost. There was no part of the land that was accessible, and we could not keep out at sea, so that there was danger of death under any circumstances.
* The natives appear to dispose of their dead by depositing them in caves.—Coppinger, p. 54.
Thus, proceeding before the wind, we were benighted near the land. We went in the direction of the coast, commending ourselves to our Lady of Guadalupe and, with her Divine Majesty as our guide, we entered a bay sheltered from all winds, in the dark, where we remained that night well content. Believing every moment that we should be swamped, we found ourselves restored to life. We called this bay “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,” for the above reason. To her be offered infinite thanks!
On Monday morning Pedro Sarmiento sent two men up different hills to see whether a channel which ran east from this bay, and another which ran north, continued onwards. One of them brought back a report that one of the channels went very far into the land, and that he had seen a canoe coming, with Indians in it. In consequence of this news, and to avoid the fury and dangers of the sea, as well as to seek out a good route for the ships, we went up that channel where it was reported that a canoe had been seen. In leaving the bay of Guadalupe it divided into two branches, the larger one turning east, and the other N.E. By this we proceeded, and at half a league from the entrance we found the canoe, with four or five Indians. We went towards them, but when they saw us they pulled to the shore, left the canoe, and fled into the woods. We took the canoe, and putting Hernando Lamero and four men into it, sent it ahead of the boat to a point where we had seen more Indians. Arriving there we found nothing but a low round hut, made of sticks fixed in the ground, and covered with the bark of trees and seal skins. Two sailors went on shore and found nothing in the hut but baskets, shells, small nets, and weapons like fizgigs, for harpooning, as well as some lumps of red earth, with which all these Indians anoint their bodies. Having received the pilot again who had been in the canoe, and had gone some distance inland with one man to reconnoitre, and the other men, we left the canoe for the Indians, and continued to pull up the channel to the N.E. until night, for three leagues, for we had been delayed a good deal with the canoe. We went up the channel with some anxiety, for at every turn we expected to find that we were embayed.
On Tuesday morning we followed the channel, which, from the sleeping-place turned S.W. one league, and half a league more brought us to the sea, at a league from the bay of Guadalupe. At the entrance we saw another channel going north. We went up it for a league, and found that the hill called “Silla” was an island. We went on north, and passing the island of Silla there was a bay full of rocks and islands. We called this island “San Martin de Pasage.” In this league and a half we were delayed from before noon until night-fall, owing to the strong adverse currents we met with, and a north wind right ahead.
The eastern coast is inaccessible, with high rocky land, and at intervals there are openings. The bay we had to cross, which begins at Concepcion, is all surrounded and shut in with islets and reefs. We arrived at the back of the land where we had taken the Indian who escaped from us, and found that it was an island. We named it the island of “San Francisco” and, within the channel, between it and the land to the east, there are six islets and rocks at the mouth. We passed the night at this island of San Francisco.
On Wednesday, the 23rd, we left the island of San Francisco>. Here are many coves and anchoring places which are suitable for brigantines and boats, but at the entrances there are large beds of sea-weed. The coast on the other side has three bays in a row. The channel continues in a northerly direction for a breadth of about a league. The broken land on the east side trends north for two leagues, and then turns E.N.E. to the narrow part further on. Thence it turns a league north, with some islands and rounded rocks off it. The coast of the island of San Francisco trends north until it comes to a place where there are reefs, at the end of the group of islets, the channel between them being a quarter of a league wide. We called the extreme point of the island of San Francisco the point of “Santa Clara,” and the channel along which we had come “Santa Clara.” The other point of the island was named “Arrecifes.”
From the point of Arrecifes the coast of the broken land trends a little S.S.E., and then S.E., and between it and the mountains of the main land there appeared to be a channel. We saw the entrance, wide and clear, trending east. Between the two points of Santa Clara and Arrecifes, the channel of Santa Clara unites with that of Concepcion. Further north, a quarter of a league, another point runs out with a rock on it. Between this Point of Farallon and Point Santa Clara, a channel makes Santa Clara into an island, and thence the coast trends S.W., and there are many islands extending to the Bay of Arrecifes, where we dined when we set out from Anunciada and Port Bermejo.
On Thursday, the 24th of December, we left Point Santa Clara on the island of San Francisco, although it was blowing from the north, and crossed the bay of Concepcion. The waters ran to the N.E. with the flood tide, and we went along the coast to leeward of Concepcion, arriving very early at Port Bermejo with the help of the current. We were now without a mouthful of food, having, by serving it out with great moderation, made eight days' provisions last for thirteen days. The morning we arrived the food had come to an end, but we could have made it last three days more if we had not been so near the ships, although we could not have had a good meal. Glory to our Lord God that all had been accomplished and supplied through his most sacred grace.
We found the brigantine completely put together, one side planked, pitched, and caulked, and the other nearly finished. We found that, while the General was absent on his voyage of discovery, some Indians had come to a hill overlooking Port Bermejo. The Spaniards went after them and captured one, taking him to the Almiranta, but he escaped.
On Friday, the 25th of December, being Christmas Day, no work was done on the brigantine on account of the solemnity of the festival; and also because it rained so hard that it would have greatly hindered those who had to work outside the shed, the wind being north. On Saturday, the 26th, there was a cold and freezing S.W. wind, with a clear sky. In this region the north winds bring a mild climate and much rain, but they blow most furiously, and the same may be said of the N.E. winds. From the N.W. and S.W. the winds are very cold, and the west winds are the most tempestuous of all, but they last a shorter time than any others, and soon bring fair weather. Thus we have it, from our known experience, that when there are N. and N.W. winds which turn to west, the force will soon be spent, and a clear sky will follow, though with much cold.
As we had not been able to find a good harbour nor a secure passage for the ships, Pedro Sarmiento, with the concurrence of the Admiral and Pilots, resolved to go again to try the channel on the east side, which seemed to turn towards the snowy mountains of the main land, for he held for certain that there was a channel which came out on the other side of the cape of San Lucia. If so, a good passage out might be found, which was needful for taking the ships out safely while the brigantine was being finished.
Pedro Sarmiento set out on Tuesday, the 29th of December 1579, with Anton Pablos and Hernando Lamero, Pilots, and twelve men, in the boat “Nuestra Señora de Guia” with provisions for ten days. They left Port Bermejo to discover the channel, which appeared to turn S.E. from Port Bermejo, and ascertain whether there was a channel and port by which the ships might be taken through safely, without having to return to the high sea.
We made sail before a W.S.W. wind, steering S.E. by E. for 2 leagues, as far as an island which extends a league N.N.E. and S.S.W. It was named “Los Innocentes,” because we left it the day after their feast, and followed the channel S.E. another 4 leagues to a point on the east coast to the east of the inlet of La Concepcion. Behind this point, which we named the point of “San Juan,” to the north, the coast forms a creek, where we made fast and slept there, stationing a good guard, as we always did.
To the S.S.E. of the island of Los Innocentes there is a large entrance to a channel which, in our belief, is the one which leads from the bay of Guadalupe, as before said.
To the north-east of the Innocents there is a large channel, where we stopped and remained that night, and which we believed to be the one which comes from the bay and channel of San Andres. A league to the N.E. of the point of San Juan there is the mouth of a channel, which should be the channel of San Andres coming from Concepcion. In this bay, where we passed the night, there is great depth.
On Wednesday, the 30th of December, we left the bay under sail, steering S.E., and having proceeded for a league and a half across a wide bay, we entered a narrow of 300 paces in width. In this strait there is a point, behind which there is a bay where there are 20 fathoms, sandy bottom, and a cable nearer the island it is stony. The bay is sheltered from the sea and from all winds. We called it the port of “Ochavario.”*
* In 50° 41' S. on the Admiralty Chart.
From the strait the channel begins to widen by little and little towards the S.S.E. for two leagues to an island which we called the “Island of Two Channels,” because here the channel divides into two branches. That on the right runs for 3 leagues S. by W. to a point we called “San Estevan,” and that on the left goes S.S.E. for a league to a point we named “San Antonio.” Between the strait and the Island of Two Channels the coast forms a bay, full of low wooded islets.
Proceeding down the channel to S.S.E. for half a league, another channel opens to the east, with an islet in the middle, beyond which it divides into two: one going east towards the snowy mountains and the other north, which is, I think, the one which branches off from the Brazo Ancho of the channel of Concepcion. South of the islet there is another large island, and to the east of it these two branches reunite to S.S.E., which was our course. About a league from the point of the Island of Two Channels the island is divided in two, and a channel is formed, which connects that of San Estevan with that to the S.W. At the east point in the channel, a cable from the island, there are 15 fathoms rocky bottom, and a little further forty fathoms. Here a ship could be alongside with yards braced up. From point San Antonio the coast turns S.S.W.
East and west with the point of San Antonio* there is an islet forming a little creek, where there are 20 fathoms, with clean sandy bottom, half a cable from the land, a little further out, stony, and then 40 to 50 fathoms, clean bottom. At the point of the islet there is a rock and abed of sea-weeds, and close to the rock 8 fathoms, a half cable further there being 12 fathoms, then 20 fathoms. East of a stream of fresh water, which descends from a hill inland, and a little more than a cable's length from the land, there are 25 fathoms, clean bottom. There is anchorage to the south of the island, which we called “El Surgidero,” and on opening the channel from the north, two cables from the island, there are 50 fathoms—mud.
* In 50° 54' S. on the Admiralty Chart.
A league and a half from the point of San Antonio the coast trends S.S.E., and in this part, on the east coast, which is on the left hand, there is a large bay, with much depth at the entrance. Near the sea-weed there are 6 fathoms, and within 7, 8, and 9, sand and ooze. It is entered by the west, and has an outlet to the south. It is surrounded by sandy beaches and sea-weed. In the south channel there are 10 fathoms—gravel. We called this bay “Bahia Buena,” or “Puerto Bueno,”* it being both the one and the other.
* In 51° S. on the chart.
From the Bahia Buena, on the left hand coast, we discovered a point half a league to the S.S.E., which we named “Punta Delgada” because it is low, with beaches and a low coast. From this point, on the same side, another appears, which we called “San Marcos,”* S.S.E. one league.
* In 51° 4' S. on the chart.
The opposite coast is parallel, and is higher, with some snow on the mountains, while the eastern side is lower, and is indented with more bays. Before arriving at the point of San Marcos there is a mouth opening from the Gran Brazo, and a bay, where we took the altitude. Sarmiento and Anton Pablos made it 51°, and Lamero 51° 15'. We called the place “Caleta del Altura.”
Beyond the point of San Marcos there is a point three leagues to the south, which we named “San Lucas,” and on the opposite side of the channel, a league N.N.W., there is a large bay with a beach. It appeared to be an anchorage, but we did not go nearer to it. To W.N.W. there is another opening on the right-hand coast, where the channel of San Estevan joins, and this opening communicates with the bay of Monte de Trigo, and thence continues as the Channel of the Archipelago.
A league and a half more to the south there is another point, which we named “San Mateo,” and from that point to the south another point is seen, one league and a half to the south. We called it “San Vicente.” Between the two points a great arm of the sea opens, and to S.E. of it there is a long point. To the west of it a channel enters the main channel. From the point of San Vicente,* a low point came in sight to south, which we named “San Pablo,”† and between them are two bays. On this day, Wednesday, we had a north wind, while the currents were against the wind during the greater part of the day. To the south there was another low point, two leagues distant, called “San Baltasar,” and between the two points there is a bay on the main land, full of wooded islets and rocks. The coast consists of bluff heights of grey rock, bare from half way up. Here, too, there was a bay which we called “San Melchior,” where we passed Wednesday night.
* In 51° 31', and nearly 74° W. on the chart.
† In 51° 33' S. on the chart.
Thursday was the 31st of December. We left the bay under sail and, half a league further on, we came to a point which we named “San Gaspar,” where there are two islets in the middle of the channel. From this point the left-hand in coast continues to trend south for 400 paces, and there takes a turn, changing its direction. We named this angle “Point Gracias á Dios,” and opposite to it, on the right-hand side of the channel, there are two inlets which appeared to be ports. The channel is here barely a quarter of a league across. Off this point there are 30 fathoms, clean bottom, at half a cable from the shore, and at a cable there is no bottom. From the point the channel turns S.S.E., a quarter southerly.
From Gracias á Dios another point is discovered, 300 paces on the same bearing, which was named “San Bernabé,” and at a league's distance another point projects, named “San Bartolomé.” From Gracias á Dios to this place the distance is a league. To the S.W. by W., on the right-hand side, there is a bay like an arm of the sea, and beyond it, on the same bearing, rather a large black-looking island, north and south, in the middle of which there is a hill which we called “Pan de Azucar.” Here the channel is scarcely half a league across.
From the Point of San Bernabé another point came in sight on the same bearing, on the left-hand coast, which we called “San Benito,” and between them there is a bay, curving like a bow, with an inlet in the centre, leading up to the snowy mountains, which appeared very high and with many peaks. One of the peaks looked like a six-pointed crown, and another to the south resembled the hand of Judas open, and seen from behind. There was much snow. The upper snow was white, and the lower was blue, like verdigrease. Where there was no snow the mountains were black. This is the mountain chain of the main land, but all the rest of the land to the westward, whither we have been going to explore, is archipelago, and land broken into pieces.
A little before arriving at the point of San Benito, on the right-hand side, between three small beaches the length of the boat, at a cable from the shore, there are 40 fathoms—sandy bottom; and two boat's lengths nearer the shore 25 fathoms—clean ground, with shells. Close to the rocks there are 3 fathoms, and in front of a beach, more to the S.W., two boat's lengths from the shore, there are 12 fathoms—shells. Within the same bay near the rocks, 7 fathoms clean ground, so that a ship could lie close to the beach. Among the beds of sea-weed in the middle of the bay, there are 5 fathoms—stony ground. Between the central beach and the last, half a cable from the shore, there are 10 fathoms—clean bottom; and in front of the third beach, 16 fathoms.
At this point of San Benito the channel becomes a narrow strait, with four islets and rocks in it, and a bed of sea-weed. Three of the islets are near the point to the east, and the other on the west side. The main channel is between the three and the one nearer to the three islets, where there is a wider space, without sea-weed. The channel here has 6, 7, 8, and 10 fathoms—clean bottom. It might be used as a port, keeping clear of the sea-weed, where there is little depth, especially where there are thick places on the west side. Here there is a rock amongst the sea-weed, the sides only appearing, which are awash. From these reefs among the beds of sea-weed the channel follows the same direction for 2 leagues, where a long low point runs out on the right-hand side, which we called “Santa Catalina,” having an islet to the east of it and a bank to the south. Here the channel unites which comes from the sea-weed reefs near the snowy mountains, and a channel is formed over 4 leagues in width. From point Santa Catalina, a bay, in the manner of a channel, turns S.W., and looks as if it parted the land, and it is true that it does part it.
Half a league to the N.E. of point Santa Catalina there is an islet, and to the south of it a reef above water, and between this islet and the point the channel is deep and navigable. Round the point, close to it on the S.W., there are some little bays suitable for brigantines and boats.
Three leagues beyond, to the E.S.E., a point runs out with high land. We went there to pass the night. On this day there were great changes in the weather. It began clear with a very hot sun; presently it clouded over, with a northerly breeze, and afterwards it fell calm. At noon the wind began to blow from the south and raised a sea. We found the currents sometimes south and at others north, according to winds and tides. The part of the channel we traversed, from the bays near Santa Catalina to the hill where we passed the night, has a length of four leagues. We called it the “Hill of the New Year,”* because we arrived there on New Year's eve. On the day of the circumcision of Jesus Christ, we set up two crosses on the point of the hill, and Pedro Sarmiento took possession for his Majesty, in presence of the Pilots Anton Pablos and Hernando Lamero, and the rest of the boat's crew.
* In 52° 8' S. on the chart.
The multitude of islands and broken lands continues to this point, where we came on the snow mountains of the main land which come down to the sea here.* It is to be noted that there is a better channel between the snowy mountains of the main land and the islets that are between Santa Catalina and the reefs of the sea-weed beds. It is true that we did not pass down this channel, but we saw both ends of it where they unite with the channel down which we went. The front of this hill of the New Year, on the north side looking towards the snowy mountains, runs east and west from point to point about half a league. Here the inlets and beaches of pebbles form a curve. From the place where we set up the crosses, N.W. about two cables, there is a small islet, and the channel between it and the main land is deep and clean, suitable for the passage of ships.
* On the chart they have been named “Cordillera of Sarmiento” (snow capped), from 51° 34' to 52° 10' S., long. 73° 30' W.
At the S.E. of this beach of the crosses, at a distance of two leagues, there runs out into the channel the snow-topped chain of the main land. Near the sea there was a white patch on it like snow, which is a waterfall making foam, and there are many such about here. From the middle of the snow upwards there is a great patch of very blue snow, resembling turquoise.
This hill of the New Year, from the east, curves round to S.E. and S.S.E. for a league as far as the first ravine, down which a river descends from the summit, and east of this river a large opening appears about two leagues off. We went there, and found it to be a bay without any outlet,* which ends with a turn to the north a league further on. As we were embayed, we went back by the way we came, and were much annoyed. This gulf has four islets which form channels, and the bay, westward from the islets, forms beaches of sand for more than a league and a half, as far as the high hill of the New Year. Here there is a beach curving round to the hill, whither we went this same day, which was Friday, the 1st of January 1580. We passed the sleeping place at a distance, and went to a bay westward by the hill, which we also found to be without an outlet. Here we passed the night. It is a beach, with a low land behind, flat, and liable to be overflowed. In this bay there are eighteen deep inlets. On this coast there is much sea-weed, and where it is met with the water is shallow. It should be avoided whenever it is seen.
* Ensenada sin salida, p. 142 [sic, p. 143] of Spanish edition. On the Admiralty Chart [by J. Gardner: The Strait of Magalhaens] there is Ancon [sic, Ancón] sin salida in 52° 14' S., and 73° 20' W. “The mountain of Año nuevo cannot be mistaken; indeed the whole of the coast is so well described by the ancient mariner (Sarmiento) that we have little difficulty in determining the greater number of places he visited. In all cases we have, of course, preserved his names.”—(Voyage of Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 262.) The Ensenada sin salida was found, by Captain King's surveyors, to extend so far into the interior, that the most minute investigation of the numerous sounds and channels was made, in the perfect conviction of finding a communication with Skyring Water. But after a patient, minute, and laborious survey, Lieut. Skyring was obliged to give up the search and return. The farthest bay was called Obstruction Sound, and the whole labyrinth of channels forms one of the most remarkable geographical features in this part of South America.—R. G. S. J., i, p. 164.
On Saturday, the 2nd of January, we left this bay and went to another, which was a little more than a league to the west, also low land, except the point between them. Here Sarmiento sent two men up a very high mountain to report whether the sea was in sight or the channel on the other side to the west, but they could not see anything. We entered this bay, and left it to go to another near it, and saw that they were all without outlets. Pedro Sarmiento and Hernando Lamero, the Chief Pilot of the Almiranta^ then climbed up a very high mountain to survey land and sea. Towards the west, over the land, they saw a wide and straight arm of the sea running N.N.W.—S.S.E. We called this mountain the “Mountain of Prayer,” because here we commended ourselves to God and set up a cross, and Pedro Sarmiento took possession for his Majesty. Climbing up still higher they discovered a bay, which forms the aforesaid arm, and counted in it thirty-three islands, large and small. All round there were many bays and channels, apparently narrow. After the bay, where we left the boat, the mountains form an inlet where an arm of the sea unites with another on this side, so that a boat could pass; the distance between them being about an arquebus shot. Anton Pablos passed from one to the other while we were ascending the mountain.
On this day, Saturday, there was a north wind, and such a dense fog, that we who were on the mountain, though close together, could not see each other, and we found each other by taking a bearing with a compass. In all these days we experienced heavy rains and great cold, and at night it gave us much trouble to make a fire, and to warm ourselves we got into the fire and burnt our clothes and shoes without feeling it, for in no other way could we have continued to live. The sailors suffered more especially, for the poor fellows arrived wet and tired with rowing, and without the means of changing their clothes; for the boat, being small, there was no room for spare clothing, and very little for the provisions. For we always had to be very careful in serving them out, and this time more so than ever, endeavouring to eke them out with shell fish and sea-weed. Often we could not find any, as when we came to a rough coast, which they do not frequent except in sheltered places; and on those days when we were in the open sea we could not collect these shells although they were there. All this night there was much rain, and it was very cold, because the wind was west.
On Wednesday, the 3rd of January, we departed from this bay of the “Prayer.” It blew from the west very cold, turning to N.W., and raising such a sea that, after we had gone about a league, by the exertion of tremendous force and much labour on the part of the sailors who were pulling, we were obliged to run before it, to seek some shelter, that we might not be swamped and perish. We ran in behind a reef which just gave the shelter of the rocks until the first fury of the blast should be expended. We called them the “Peñas de Altura.”§ But we were unable to leave this shelter during the whole day, for the storm was such that even very large ships could not have faced it. Here we waited a day and a night.
§ Rocks of Height.
On Monday, the 4th of January, the sea had gone down a great deal, although there were still violent storms from the W. and W.S.W. Nevertheless we set out, keeping close to the west coast, crossing the bays and openings from point to point, sometimes having the current with us, and sometimes against us. The labour of the sailors who pulled the oars was tremendous, and even as it was we often lost as much as we gained. We, however, with the favour of God, made seven leagues that day. It did not rain except in the morning, the drizzling showers coming with the cold W. and W.S.W. squalls.
On Tuesday, the 5th, we left the place where we had passed the night, and pulled, with much difficulty, by the north channel, entering another which turned to the west, between which and the Punta Larga there is an archipelego of many small islands as far as the point a league to the west, and between the two points there is a great bay, between which and the Punta Larga are many low-wooded islands. From this West Point* to another at a distance which we called “Punta de Mas al Oeste,”† the distance is one league. This day was fine, with wind from N.W. to W.S.W., but as a rule the wind blows in the direction of the channels, so that although it was one wind, there appears to be a different one at the mouth of each channel, blowing in the direction of the channel.
* In 51° 32' S. on the chart.
† In 51° 35' S. on the chart, at the north end of an island twenty-four miles long, called Piazzi Island on the chart, between Sarmiento Channel, E, and Smyth Channel, W.—See Voyage of Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 260.
From the West Point we discovered a curve in land and sea which we called “Archipelago,” strewn with many little islets and rocks, which we judged to be ten leagues across. From this point a cape is in sight at a great distance to the west, which is the land continuous with the Cape of Santa Lucia, that we discovered from the open sea on our second boat voyage.
This Archipelago is in a circular bay, and from the West Point the coast trends for two leagues W.S.W., at the end of which distance there is the mouth of the channel* which we discovered from the Mountain of Prayer. From this West Point we navigated to the east† for three leagues, through the midst of the Archipelago, when we reached some little islets, where we passed the night among some rocks. There were many seals which did nothing all night but bellow like calves. We, therefore, named the place “Islas de Lobos.”‡
* Entrance to Smyth's Channel?
‡ In 51° 34' to 51° 27' S. on the chart, a chain of islets ten miles long S.W. to N.E.
On Wednesday, the 6th of January, we left the Islas de Lobos and went for three leagues to a group of numerous small and large islands, to the north of which, near the outermost by which we passed, there is a reef surrounded by beds of sea-weed. When this sea-weed is seen, fly from it! From this point the “Hand of Judas” and the snowy mountain chain to the E.S.E. are in sight. Beyond the last of these islets there is a bluff greyish cape, to which we gave the name of “Nuestra Señora de la Victoria.”* It is black, but has many patches striped with white on the side facing the archipelago, with thick woods lower down, the upper part being bare. To one who passes from the archipelago by this route the cape appears to be the last land towards the open sea in that direction. When in mid-channel Cape Victoria is on with another cape on the other side, which we named the cape of “Nuestra Señora de las Virtudes,”† N.E. and S.W. 5 leagues; and from the last island of the archipelago to Cape Victoria a league and a half.
* In 51° 37' S. on the chart, and 74° 52' W. long., about 2,ico feet high.
† In 51° 31' S. The channel between these two capes is called Nelson Strait on the chart.
From the island with the reef and bed of sea-weed we steered W.N.W. two leagues to a bay on the coast, and here we landed; because we had now opened the reach leading to the open sea, and saw the capes on either side, forming the entrance to the channel. Pedro Sarmiento, Hernando Lamero, and Anton Pablos, then went up a high mountain by a very bad road, being in danger of falling down precipices. From the top we took the bearings of all the capes and bays we could discern from that position. We named the mountain “San Jusepe,” and from it we had a round of angles with the compass.
The Cape Victoria is N. by W. (S. by E.?) from the mountain of San Jusepe, distant two leagues, nothing that we observed between; and another cape beyond, bearing from San Jusepe, N.W. by N. (S.E. by E.?) was named “Santa Isabel.”* The land of Cape Victoria is an island, there being a channel between it and Cape Santa Isabel, with many islets and reefs in the middle.
* In 51° 50' S. on the chart.
From the mountain of San Jusepe, the cape continuous with that of Santa Lucia, which we discovered during our second boat voyage, was W.S.W. 4 leagues. Between this cape and that of Santa Lucia there are two great bays, which contain many islets and reefs.*
* In 51° 30' S. on the chart, and 75° 23' W.
Having made this survey, we went down the mountain by so rugged a descent that we were in danger of falling over a precipice at every step; but God delivered us from this danger as He had done from many others. To Him be infinite thanks. Amen! As it was late before we got down to the bay, and we were wet through, we passed the night there. Here the pilots agreed that the chart plotted by Pedro Sarmiento, and his descriptions, were correct in every particular. On Thursday, the 7th, we left the bay of San Jusepe, and, in a great storm, we rowed towards the north east for six leagues, between islands and the main land, against wind and current, and with many showers of rain. We stopped for the night in a bay W.S.W. of the Cape of Las Virtudes.
On Friday, the 8th, we left this bay, and rowed round the Cape Las Virtudes with a strong north wind, heavy sea, great cold, and much rain. With great difficulty we got round, and found two large bays full of islets and rocks and broken land. Having rounded the point, we discovered another point two leagues to the N.E. by N., and between one point and the other there is a great bay with many islands. All the land is broken up with channels, and in every channel there is a different wind, generally blowing hard. It is a coast nearly all rocky, and the water deep with foul bottom. Here the direction of the channel, at mid-channel, is N.E. and S.W. This day it blew so hard from the north, with a heavy sea, rain, hail, and cold, that it was impossible to go forward, and to go back would be to lose much.
In order not to lose what it had cost us so much labour to gain, we determined to proceed with a reefed sail, and thus we went on an E.N.E. course for three leagues. We were then obliged to haul down the sail, and we began to row round a point, so as to find shelter from the storm and contrary current. With great strength of arm the good and valiant sailors stemmed the current and doubled a cape which a galley would have found it hard work to get round. As the gale continued to increase in force we were obliged to take refuge in a bay for the night.
On Saturday, the 9th, we departed from this place, which we called “Monte de Trigo”* because there was a hill overhanging it, which looked like a heap of corn. Before starting, we took the bearing of the channel of San Estevan,† which is the one we had left on the right hand at the Island of Two Channels. We then doubled the first point, which is a league from the bay, and which we named “San Bias.” The Cape of Mercedes bears N.W. and S.E. from it. From the point of San Bias the channel and coast continue to another point, N. and S. one league, which we named “San Luis.” Here the width of the channel is one league, and it has some islets more over on the east coast. From Cape San Luis the coast trends to N.W. and S.W.
* Voyage of Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 264.
† On the chart in long. 74° 20' W., lat. 50° 50' to 51° 25' S.
About half a league N. by E. of Cape San Luis there is a high, rounded hill, with a patch of snow on the S.E. side which had the figure of an animal with four legs, as if it was browsing, and a fox's tail. For this reason we called the hill “Morro de la Zorra.“* On the coast in front of it there is a bay with soundings in 30, 20, 15, and 10 fathoms—stony bottom. It is sheltered from north and south, and at the back, which in this part is towards the west. This day was so fine that we determined to proceed for a bit under sail. It blew from S. to S.W. and W., with cold rain showers and some hail. We reached an encampment three leagues to the south of the Island of Two Channels. During the night it rained and blew furiously from the north well into Sunday morning. We had met with many currents which had sometimes detained us, especially in rounding the points, while others helped us, according to the ebb and flow of the tide.
* Captain Fitz Roy's surveyors sought for some mark by which to recognise the “Monte de la Zorra.” In the white part of the cliff they fancied some resemblance to an animal.—Voyage of the Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 265 [sic, pp. 264-265] (August 1829).
On Sunday, the 12th [sic, 10th, in 1580] of January, in spite of the rainy weather, we set out with the men at the oars, for the rain beats down the sea. Presently it began to blow from N. and N.E., with much cold and rain, the current being against us. This was severe work for the sailors who pulled, even breaking their oars, without advancing a hand's breadth. It was hard to lose what had cost us so many drops of blood to gain, for by not being able to reach a port we were often in danger of being drowned. Besides this, we now had no provisions left, for the ten days were passed for which we had taken rations, and some of us now felt very weak and feeble. We could not even find shellfish, as they only thrive where there is shelter. Add to all this that the whole coast is steep to, and no soundings. In spite of all these drawbacks and hardships we that day reached some islets, and on one of them we saw two otters, one very fat, so that it could not get away.
Monday, the 11th of the month, began with fair weather. We started from the sleeping place and made for the strait, a little after noon sighting Concepcion and Bermejo. We wanted to reach the island of Los Innocentes* with calm weather, but as it was still distant it would be late. As the tide and wind served we made sail, but suddenly it blew from the S.W. and W.S.W., and the sea rose so that a large ship would have sought a harbour, if there was one. But we, although we wished to take shelter, could not do so without peril of our lives, and to reach the island was impossible. We therefore commended ourselves to God, and, confident in his pity, we ventured to cross the gulf of Concepcion to the other side, the pilots watching the seas, sometimes luffing up, at others easing off the sheets and running, while the sailors bailed out the water which the waves poured into the little boat, which was safeguarded by our Lady of Guidance, whose name had been given to it. By her favour we arrived, before dark, in a bay which is N.E. of Hocico de Caiman. At sunset the sailors, after eating a meagre mouthful, determined to go that night to the ships, the distance being scarcely a mile. Taking the oars they reached Hocico de Caiman, and in doubling the point we encountered such wind and sea that it was impossible to proceed. As the night was now advanced, we went back to shelter round the point, where, feeling our way like the blind, we found a sheltering heap of stones, where we made a fire and passed the night.
* On the chart in 50° 32' S. and 74° 51' W.
Tuesday, the 12th of the month, we departed in fair weather, as there generally is at early morning, and arrived, God helping, at the port of Bermejo, where we found our companions in good health. They had completed the brigantine, all having worked very well at it. We rejoiced, one party with another, because the one thought that something had happened to the other. As the weather had been so bad, those in the ships feared that some heavy sea might have swamped the boat, and they were thinking of going in search of us as they ought. But there was a difficulty because the Admiral and some of those on board the Almiranta said that they would go, while Hernando Alonso, the Pilot, said “No!” that he would go. For he understood that those of the Almiranta had no other intention than to go out in the brigantine to any place they chose, whence to return in two days and say that the General was lost, and go back to Chile. This would have been an evil thing, injurious to the service of God our Lord and of your Majesty. Having arrived this day, their wicked intention did not take effect.
It is worthy of notice by those who may come this way, that their ships ought to be well supplied with anchors and cables, for they are very necessary in this country; seeing that the sea is very deep, and that there are many squalls of wind and very heavy gales, as well as cross currents. For each channel throughout this archipelago has its current. In this third boat voyage we suffered very great hardships, the chief trouble being that we did not find secure harbours nor clear channels through which to take the ship. We, however, achieved much in discovering the outlet to the sea by the south of Cape Santa Lucia.* But Pedro Sarmiento held for certain that, by the other outlet, we should have come out in the strait, which was what we sought.†
* Now called Nelson Strait on the chart.
† That is before he reached the “Ensenada sin salida,” which destroyed his hopes.
Pedro Sarmiento, having returned to the ships with the pilots and his other connpanions, he visited the bread rooms and provision holds of the ships, for it had been reported to him that there had been disorder in his absence. Especially the Admiral had ordered the rations of bread for the soldiers to be increased. It had been 10 ounces, and he caused it to be increased to 1 pound for those who remained in the ship, without considering the future, or showing respect for the misery that Sarmiento and his companions were enduring in the boat.
It was known, from what transpired afterwards, that the sole object of Juan de Villalobos was to consume and make an end of the provisions quickly, so that we might be obliged to return to Chile, with the excuse that they returned for want of food, and that they could not go on without it. Thus he sought to make friends at the cost of the lives of those who were away working, that they might help in his evil schemes, as it afterwards became known. Pedro Sarmiento, learning that there had been undue consumption of provisions on board the Almiranta, inspected her, and put right what was amiss. He entrusted the keys, which the dispenser and storekeeper had kept, to one single person, namely the Chief Pilot, that the distribution might be made under his hand, and that he might have charge of the keys in serving out the rations. On board the Capitana he disrated the Purser, Juan de Sagasti,* for seditious conduct, and for not taking proper care of the provisions, and appointed another more diligent and faithful dispenser† in his place. He then ordered a return to the former scale of rations. For it is much more worthy that they should say “Here such an one suffered hunger but did his duty to God and the King,” than that they should say, “he consumed the victuals in a disorderly way, and did not perform the duty on which he was sent.”
* His pay was stopped, and he was finally turned adrift at Santiago (Cape Verdes) on the way home.
† This appears to have been a sailor named Angel Baltolo, who is called “Dispensero” in the list given in the Act of Possession at the river San Juan. He could not write, for he is not among those who signed at the end of the voyage, although he is in the list of those who came home.
There were seditious murmurs against this reform, which afterwards reached a dangerous point. But, finally, it was enforced, for it concerned the good and safety of all. Sarmiento was always determined to die or do his duty with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ and his most blessed mother St. Mary. With this object, seeing the length of the road that lay before him, he made the best arrangements possible according to the understanding which God had given him, turning a deaf ear to foolish words.
In this port Pedro Sarmiento made a meridian line on the ground, and regulated the compasses, greasing and repairing them, for in the bad and moist weather they had received much injury. It is a notice for all, that those which were well greased never turned east or west of N., beyond that half point that the steel in fluctuating varies from the fleur-de-lys. It is the belief of men with little experience that there is north-easting and north-westing when the needle is well greased and adjusted. If any defect is found in the needle which makes it seem to turn in that way, the secret is not that, and can be remedied. It is not from that supposed cause, but it is learned by habitual experience.*
* In other words, Sarmiento did not believe in the variation of the compass, but held that when the needle deviated from the north point, it was due to some mechanical and remediable cause.
Burney, however, gives reasons for the conclusion that there was no variation at Puerto Bermejo in the time of Sarmiento. Sir John Narborough found it to be 14° E. in 1670, in this neighbourhood, increasing 1° in eleven years. There would be no variation in 1516, and only 4° in 1579; which would be too small an error for Sarmiento to detect with his rough instruments. It would seem that he was led to doubt the existence of variation by having found no variation in this locality.
It was said above that when Sarmiento arrived at Puerto Bermejo for the first time he took possession for his Majesty, but it was forgotten to relate that afterwards he went through the ceremony again before the Notary, when the fleet was anchored here, whose testimony is as follows:—
“Possession of the Puerto Bermejo.
“On the 27th day of the month of December, being the day of St. John the Evangelist, of this present year 1579, the illustrious Lord General Pedro Sarmiento, this royal fleet being anchored in the Puerto Bermejo de la Concepcion de Nuestra Señora, in presence of me the undersigned Notary and the usual witnesses, said:—That although on the 26th of the month of last November, having come on a boat voyage of discovery with the pilots Anton Pablos and Hernando Lamero, with other persons, he had taken and took possession of this port and district; yet as at that time there was no Notary present who could testify to it, and as now there is, he said: that he took and takes, seized and seizes real and valid possession of this the said port, to which he had given and gives the name of Puerto Bermejo de la Concepcion de Nuestra Señora, and of all its territories, channels, gulfs, ports, and bays, and navigable waters, and places, and puts them under the dominion, lordship, and proprietorship of the very Catholic and very Powerful Lord Don Philip II, King of Castille and Leon and their dependencies, and of his heirs and successors, as a thing which belongs to them, which really and truly is their own, being within and included in the demarcation of the 180° which is within their rights of discovery and conquest according to the Bull of the Most Holy Father Pope Alexander VI as in it is more fully set forth. The said possession was taken without opposition from the natives of the said land, nor from any others. In sign of possession he set up a great wooden cross on the reef of rocks of the said Puerto Bermejo, and made a great heap of stones at the foot of it, in which all present gave their help. Of which he asked all present that they would be witnesses; and that I, the said Notary, would bear testimony pubhcly in the accustomed form, so as to guard the regal rights, that this port is in 50° 30' latitude, S. of the equator. There were present as witnesses the Admiral Juan de Villalobos, the Father Vicar Friar Antonio Guadamiro, the Ensign Juan Gutierrez de Guevara, and the Sergeant Major Pascual Suarez. To all which I give faithful and true testimony, dated as above. Pedro Sarmiento before me—Juan Desquibel—Royal Notary.”
As there was nothing to detain us, the brigantine being completed, and it was necessary to decide by which route the ships could be taken with most safety and the strait discovered with most certainty, Pedro Sarmiento called together the Admiral and Pilots to consider the matter, to whom he made the following address:—
“In this port of ‘Bermejo de la Concepcion,’ on Sunday, the 17th of January 1580, the illustrious Lord Pedro Sarmiento, General of this fleet of the Strait of Magellan, caused to assemble on board this ship, the Capitana, the Chief Pilot Hernando Lamero, and the pilots of this ship, the Capitana, Anton Pablos and Hernando Alonso, in presence of me, the undersigned Notary, and being present assisting at it, the said Lord General and the Admiral Juan de Villalobos, he submitted to them that, as they well knew, he had set out three times in boats, to discover the coasts and channels of this region of land and sea, from the port of Rosario, which is in 50° as far as 52° S., to seek for a safe passage, and ports by which these two ships of his Majesty might be taken with the least risk possible, in order to discover the Strait, on which service they were sent by the most excellent Lord Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy of Peru; and that the said Pilots Hernando Lamero and Anton Pablos, pilots of the said ships, had seen and known by the use of their own eyes the advantages and disadvantages of the routes by the channels and archipelago, or by the open sea; as prudent persons they are charged to state their opinions, before God and on their consciences, which route of the two appeared to them the best for taking the ships in search of the said strait, and on what day it would be good to set out from here, for it would be put into execution in conformity with what appeared to them best.—Pedro Sarmiento.”
“Reply of the Chief Pilot.
“Presently the said Hernando Lamero answered and said as follows in reply to what the Lord General had asked:—‘That your worship has been on three voyages of discovery, and has seen the channels and the risks there may be by one route or the other; likewise he is a cosmographer, has been two months among that archipelago and those channels, and has seen and become experienced respecting them in that time; and during eight or ten days in that port his worship has seen the differences there are in the weather, freezing and blowing from the S.W.: and by what his worship has said it appears that summer is approaching in this region, and that this season begins to prevail: which appears to me to be certain, from what we have seen from the time we came here until now of the differences in the weather there have been. I therefore say, and give it as my opinion, by virtue of what the General has ordered, and of what God has given me to understand, and on my conscience for the security of the people and of the fleet of his Majesty: that the brigantine should leave this port in search of the strait, and, having seen the opening of the said strait in 52° 30', and seen some port within it, and noted the bearings, should come back to this port for the ships, and that the ships should then proceed by the open sea, and not by the archipelagos and channels because of the great diversity of channels and the rarity of anchorages in the channels which the General went to explore. If this should not appear good to your worship by reason of the waste of time or the objection to going far from the ships, or for any other reason, your worship might order the fleet to sail tomorrow, being Monday, if the weather should serve for it, or on the first day that the weather serves by that channel which we know to be open to N.E.—S.E. near the Cape of Santiago, and go in search of the strait with the ships and brigantine trying the channels, the weather being favourable—that is, the channel in 52° 30', and the weather not allowing it, to seek the channel in about 54°, and this was said as his opinion and signed with his name—Fernando Gallegos Lamero.”
“Reply of Anton Pablos.
“And then the said Anton Pablos, pilot of this ship Capitana^ incontinently spoke. He gave it as his opinion that the ships ought to go by the channel for greater security, moving from port to port until they reached the strait, working on the experience of the weather that had been acquired from the first arrival until today. This showed that there is great diversity of weather, so that the sun could be very seldom taken, and little coast could be examined during the second exploring voyage, with very dirty weather, many reefs, no ports, and the coast shut in by fogs. The strait must be searched for as a thing not yet seen by the eyes. Yet as the sun cannot be observed very often there would be much risk for the ships, as on the first night of changing winds and mists there would be danger of losing the brigantine and all on board. Owing to these dangers it was his opinion, before God, and on his conscience, that we should go by the channel discovered to turn to the right; and so he signed his name—Anton Pablos Corzo.”
“Reply and Opinion of Hernando Alonzo, Pilot.
“Next, Hernando Alonso, Pilot of the ship Capitana, spoke as follows: that he had not seen the coasts and channels discovered during the boat voyages, but from what he had heard his opinion was that it would be good for the safety of the ships if we went by the channel turning to the left to the good port which is said to be there. Thence the brigantine might be sent to discover the said strait as far as 52° 30', where it is said to be, and if it is not found within the 52° 30' the ships should proceed to search for it further on. When found by the brigantine, the ships should be brought to the mouth of the strait. But, above all, he would subject his opinion to that of the Lord General, as a man who had seen and gained experience of the country; and he signed—Hernando Alonso—before me, Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.”
Having seen these opinions, Pedro Sarmiento considered that there were few ports in the channels, that if the weather was not favourable and moderate there would be danger from the cross currents and other obstacles, and that the ships should not be left at the mercy of people who were little disposed for hard work, and who might commit the folly of returning to Chile. He, therefore, resolved to proceed by the open sea. It is true that storms and dangers were to be feared, and with much reason. The sea in this region is the most stormy, and has the most violent winds that can be imagined, of all the seas that are navigated in the world. If by chance there is one fine day, presently there follow another and others, and eight or ten days more of stormy weather. At no time is there any certainty of good weather for more than the hour when it chances to be present.
Sarmiento came to his decision on the above grounds, but chiefly because there were those on board the Almiranta, especially the Admiral himself and Pascual Suarez the Serjeant-Major, who really wanted to return to Chile, under cover of a statement that they had scarcely any cables or anchors, and that what they had were chafed and injured, besides running short of provisions; while, by wintering in Chile, they could be re-victualled, so as to return to prosecute the discoveries the next summer. Although Sarmiento suspected all this, he was unable to prove it. Besides this, Lamero and the Admiral, at different times, suggested to Pedro Sarmiento that one ship should be left in Puerto Bermejo, while the other went to the strait. Sarmiento replied that he would do what his Excellency had ordered and what would be best, which was that both should proceed in company, so that one should see the other, and so that they might help each other, especially that if an enemy was encountered they might have greater force with which to resist and attack him; also if one ship was in danger, or if anything happened to one that the other might go on to Spain: for all which reasons it was necessary for the two ships to keep company. From what the Admiral said, Sarmiento suspected that he intended to desert with the rest of the people in his ship and abandon the discovery. He, therefore, thought that it would be the best course, to avoid greater evils, to go to sea with the ships, although he foresaw the bad weather.
So we departed from Puerto Bermejo with the two ships and the brigantine, on Thursday, the 21st of January 1580. The Pilot Hernando Alonso, six seamen, and a soldier, went in the brigantine. We started with a N.W. wind, which is a furious and persistent one; but to go out it is necessary to have a N., N.W., or West wind, and these are so furious that whenever any one of them blows there is a storm.
We went down the channel to the S.W. as far as the point of Santiago, and as we should then be in the open sea, where there are usually gales of wind, we gave a tow rope to the brigantine so as not to lose her, and thus she followed astern of the Capitana. Presently the Capitana began to luff,* standing out to avoid the reefs of the Roca Partida, which are numerous and run far out to sea, and to double the cape of Santa Lucia, where Pedro Sarmiento had ordered the Admiral to wait, so that we might join company in that bay. Late in the afternoon the wind began to blow from the W.N.W. and N.W. with such fury, and raised such a sea, that it was fearful to behold. We could not hold our own in spite of all our efforts, and expected every moment to be our last. The Almiranta began to make for the land, where she could not fail to be in danger from the rocks on that coast, contrary to the orders from the Captain-Superior, while she might perfectly have followed the motions of the Capitana by going on the other tack and standing out to sea, which was the safest course. At nightfall it blew still more furiously, and the Capitana was careful to show a light for the Almiranta that she might follow and not be lost sight of, the Almiranta answering with another light, which was seen astern from time to time, and seemed to indicate that she was making for cape Santiago or for Puerto Bermejo.† On board the Capitana they went in great anxiety and danger, calling on God our Lord, on His most blessed Mother, and on the Saints, that they would intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ, so that He might have mercy upon us.
* Ir a orza.
† Lopez Vaz says that the Almiranta went south as far as 58°, being a degree further than Sir Francis Drake went. She then abandoned her consort, and made the best of her way back to Callao.§ Argensola tells a tale of treachery perpetrated by the people of the Almiranta on the natives, at the island of Mocha, off the coast of Chile.—Argensola, p. 120.
§ Vaz, p. 269: “ …the other ship [the Almiranta] runne more into the Sea, and came into fiftie eight degrees.” Vaz says nothing about Drake, or that the Almiranta abandoned Sarmiento and returned to Callao. See Vaz, p. 269.
The wind still increased, and the little sail we had shown on the foremast had been blown to pieces, so that we had no small sail for running, and showed no sail on the fore-mast. The seas came in on one side and washed out on the other, making clean sweeps from stern to bow, so that there was nothing that had not been under water.
As the brigantine was small, and the ship gave many great lurches at each blow from the sea, she was in the greatest danger, and those on board cried out for help from the ship, so that it gave us great grief to hear their shouts and sorrowful words, especially when the darkness precluded our giving help, without the risk of being lost ourselves. We tried to encourage them from the ship, saying that it would soon be daylight, when we would take them on board the ship. As soon as it was day the ship was hove to, and the sail shortened under circumstances of great danger, in order to succour the people in the brigantine. By working the windlass to which the tow rope was made fast, the brigantine was brought up alongside, when the heavy seas dashed her against the ship's side so that we feared we should founder from the blows. For a moment we thought this had happened, for a sailor came up from below saying that we were stove in, and that the pump would not suck, because the water was stopped somewhere in the bread-room. At first this was believed, and caused much alarm among many, until the state of affairs was examined, and it turned out not to be so. Then all recovered their presence of mind, commending themselves to our Lady of Guadalupe. We registered a vow to make a present of wax to her holy house. Then we began to throw ropes, planks, and floats to the people in the brigantine, for them to make themselves fast and be hauled on board the ship. But as the sea was very high, and the rolling of the ship threatened to swamp the brigantine (for in this there was greater danger than from the waves) none of them could get hold of the ropes or floats. Those on board the ship shouted to them, and told them to commend themselves to God who would save them. This they did. One of the sailors, named Pedro Jorge, jumped overboard and got hold of the ship's rudder. In throwing him a rope from the poop cabin, he made a false attempt, the end slipped from him, and he was drowned. Of the others, some made fast round their head, the rest round their waists, and all, half dead, were at length hauled on board, saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be infinite thanks. Some came on board much bruised by the blows they had received.
Hernando Alonso escaped by a miracle. He was under the keel of the brigantine, and God preserved him through His mercy. This was on the morning of Friday, and all that day the wind; continued to increase, sometimes from the north, at others frorn the west, which raised such a sea that she could not rise to the waves. We were thus in still greater danger because being near the land, we could not run before it, which is what we are accustomed to, in flying from a tempest on our beam. But if we had now run before it, we should have been on shore in a very short time, where we should have been lost. We dared not keep close to the wind so as to keep off the shore, as the ship was not very safe when the seas were on her beam. So we went with very little sail, going free so as to keep her under control. In all this Anton Pablos worked like a very good pilot, and a very careful and vigilant man, without resting day or night. But besides the hard work there was the wet and the great cold, from which the sailors suffered very much, and it almost came to a point when they would succumb. But God showed us His favour, and made them stout men and true, and hard workers, attending to what the pilot ordered with alacrity. The storm lasted all Friday and during the night, after which God, in His most sacred mercy, appeased the wind, and we sighted land to the eastward on Saturday morning, the 23rd of January, at a distance of less than three leagues. It was a place where there were many rocks and reefs, so that, if God had not given us light, it would have been impossible to escape. Approaching the land, we found it to be an island, and called it “Santa Ines,” because we sailed from Puerto Bermejo on her day. It then fell calm, which caused us alarm, because we were very near the land, and the swell coming from the W.S.W. which the storm had left, threatened to send us on the rocks. We commended ourselves to the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and the most glorious Mother of God, who suddenly through her mercy sent us a fair wind, light and clear, with which we were taken out of danger, and enabled to double the cape of the island of Santa Ines. We called it the Cape of “Espiritu Santo,” in memory of the mercy shown to us. As soon as we were within the cape and island of Santa Ines, Pedro Sarmiento recognised that we were 18 leagues to the north* of the Cape of Santa Lucia, which we had discovered in the second and third boat voyages, and the N.E.-S.E. channel of the archipelago, discovered during the third voyage.
* Should be south? Cape S. Lucia, 51° 31' 30" S.; Cape Espiritu Santo, 52° 42' S.; a difference of latitude of 72 miles, or just 18 of Sarmiento's leagues. Cape Espiritu Santo is the Cape Pillar of modern charts. Pigafetta says that Magellan named it Cape Deseado. The Admiralty Chart has both Cape Pillar and Cape Deseado, two miles apart. Fuller, Cavendish's Pilot, gives 53° 10' S. as the latitude of Cape Deseado.
In rounding Cape Espiritu Santo there clearly appeared a wide channel leading S.E. As we were anxious to find a place to anchor, we chose the first bay we saw, about two leagues within the channel, where we anchored in 15 fathoms. We called this the Bay of Mercy,* seeing that our Lord God had saved us from such dangers as we had passed through during the storm. That night we were like deaf men in the fine weather, but it did not last long, for on Sunday morning there arose such a gale of wind, with a corresponding sea, that the sea would assuredly have swallowed us up, if we had been outside. Presently we began to drag our anchors. In order to get more shelter from the land, we wanted to warp the ship in, but the work of laying out the hawsers was such that the force of the sailors and the voices of those who gave the orders were quite exhausted by the cold and wet, and the bruises they received. The gale was such that for eight days the ship remained in this position, never once abating to enable us to warp into shelter, so that here, more than out at sea, we looked upon our destruction as certain. Yet by the favour of the most holy Mother of God we were enabled to warp in close to the land, and there was fine weather at the end of the eight days, being the 30th of January.
* Five miles within Cape Pillar, on the Admiralty chart. 52° 46' 30" S., 74° 27' W.
On Sunday, the 31st of January, Pedro Sarmiento, with the pilot Anton Pablos, set out in a boat, and went to the mountain at half a league's distance from the Bay of Mercy. They climbed to the top, whence they saw and took the bearings of a large channel running S.E., with many large islands, islets, and rocks from E. to N.E. Sarmiento took possession, and returned to the ship. This Bay of Mercy is in 52° 30' S.,* and has good holding ground of white clay, so that it was only with great labour that we could start the anchors out of the ground in this port. There are many beds of sea-weed, and three islets together to the north, which help in giving shelter, if the vessel is anchored well in. There is a cove to the west-ward, whence come squalls which raise the sea, and send out what look like clouds of smoke.
* 52° 46' 30", on the chart, 74° 37' W.
This Sunday there was an eclipse of the moon. Sarmiento observed it, and the night was clear. The moon appeared to the east in its contact with the sun, and when it came out, it was round and quite clear of the eclipse, although we could see the redness and black colour in the heavens when it began to appear on the eastern horizon, and to come clear of the eclipse. To a certain extent it was possible to judge of the point when the eclipse ended, though not with such precision as if it had been seen clearly and exactly: and if credit may be given to the observation, we may deduce from it that the meridian of this port is to the west of that of Lima. The amount of the difference I will mention further on.*
* In his book on navigation, which never saw the light.
On Monday, the 1st of February 1580, Pedro Sarmiento went into the boat with Anton Pablos and some sailors to discover a channel and harbour, and they were surveying until noon for three leagues to the S.E., where the coast of this island makes a curve to the S. We then entered a bay, and went up a high mountain with compass and chart, whence we took a round of angles, seeing many bays. Pedro Sarmiento, from that height, saw the channel for upwards of ten leagues S.E. Thence, after taking possession, we returned to the ship, and on our way back we found many beds of sea-weed which had come to the surface during the fine weather. We sounded, and found that some of them were dangerous. In short, under any circumstances, whenever beds of sea-weed are seen, they should be avoided. Some may have six, others ten fathoms, others much less under them. Even when they are not so shallow as to make the ship touch, there is great danger of the rudder being entangled. Indeed, some of the branches are so strong that they might unship the rudder, if the ship was going before a fresh breeze. Therefore avoid them, like any other danger.
When we returned to the ship, we found that one of the soldiers, named Bonilla, had attempted to raise a serious mutiny. The General had him arrested, and he was punished in a way most conducive to the service of his Majesty.* It was then stated how the Almiranta had responded to the light shown at midnight.
* Not with death, for Christoval Bonilla, a soldier, is in the list of those on board, in the Act of Possession at the river San Juan. He is not in the final list: so he probably formed one of the crew of the little vessel Concepcion, sent by Sarmiento from Santiago (Cape Verde) to Nombre de Dios, with news for the Viceroy of Peru.
Lopez Vaz says that there was a mutiny, “whereupon, hanging one, Sarmiento proceeded on his voyage for Spain” (Hakluyt, vol. ii). But he is clearly mistaken. No one was hanged on this occasion.§
§ Vaz, p. 269: “Pedro Sarmiento entred the Straits, where his men were in a mutinie, and would have returned to Lima, but he hanged one of them, and so went on [with] his Voyage for Spaine.” See Vaz, p. 269.
In all this time that we had been in this Bay of Mercy the Almiranta never came, nor had we any news or sign of her. All the work and trouble passed through in this place, and which has been described, and much more that has not been mentioned, were suffered, not so much for ourselves but in order to wait for the Almiranta in accordance with the orders which Pedro Sarmiento had given to the Admiral, that whoever should arrive first at the entrance to the strait was to wait fifteen days for the other, and if she did not arrive, to exercise his own judgment. Some said that she had struck on the rocks of the Roca Partida, because she was seen making for them under full sail. Others declared that it had been arranged maliciously and in concert that they should part company and lose sight of the Capitana; and this was affirmed by the greater number. More credit was given to this opinion, after hearing what those who were in the brigantine had to say, and after the views of some others had been considered. From this evidence, what was gathered is that the Admiral, Juan de Villalobos, intended to return to Chile and Lima, and concerted this sedition jointly with Pascual Suarez, the Sergeant-Major, and others of the ship Almiranta. The Admiral said that if Pedro Sarmiento wanted to be drowned, he did not wish to be drowned, but to live and to return to Chile. On going to sea, each one could go where he pleased, he said, which clearly explained what had since happened. Pascual Suarez had said that he would make Pedro Sarmiento return to Chile by letting him understand that he could there fill up with provisions anew, and go back to the discovery. But that when they were off the coast of Chile they would make a requisition to the General not to touch there, so as not to waste more of his Majesty's revenue, and that thus they would get back to Lima. Lamero, the pilot, had said, with reference to returning, that he would ask Pedro Sarmiento for the forge, and that with it they would go to where there are negroes and mulattos, and make themselves very prosperous. Others said, “Where could you go with that object, unless to China?” and he answered, “Yes, thither.” It is certain that these people acquitted themselves badly of the duty by which they were bound to our Lord God, and to his Majesty, who is their natural sovereign, Lord and King, as well as to their Viceroy, and to Pedro Sarmiento, their captain, who had shown them friendship, and done much for them.
It can only be said that their desertion was a very great evil. Of the rest our Lord God and your Majesty will judge, to whom it is incumbent to relate these things.
Seeing that the Almiranta did not come, and that the Bay of Mercy was not a safe port, having been there ten days, it appeared desirable to go with the ship to another port which we had discovered three leagues further up the strait, and which seemed a better port, and there we could complete the fifteen days in accordance with the orders. This was determined because the Captain Pedro Sarmiento was perfectly convinced that this was the strait of which they were in search; although the rest did not share this conviction, but were very doubtful and incredulous. If some agreed with Sarmiento when he encouraged them to believe that this was the strait, it was only in his presence, but afterwards each man spoke what was in his heart. Respecting this, rigour was not desirable, but rather toleration, for the poor fellows, both soldiers and sailors, had gone through much hardship and suffering.
On the 2nd of February, which was the feast of our Lady of La Calendaria [sic, Candelaria] we got under weigh, and, in getting up one of the anchors, we carried away the cable. We made sail from the Port of Mercy to follow the channel S.E., and it came on to blow so hard from the north that we had to take in the main sail. As the day advanced it blew harder, and we got the boat inboard. At last, a little after noon, we reached the port which we had discovered the day before, and which the Captain-Superior named “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.” In coming to, the anchor fouled, and we let go another, which also fouled. In that instant the wind began to blow so furiously that two strands of the larger and lesser cables parted. In order that it might not carry away altogether, the pilot, Anton Pablos, slacked it off by hand, and buoyed it. The ship remained holding by a small hawser, of which two strands went, and only two remained sound, each one of the thickness of a man's thumb. These, with the help of the most sacred Virgin Mother of God, our Lady of Guadalupe, held the ship, so that it did not go broadside on to the rocks, in which case we should have been lost, a very large cable not having been able to hold us, which before and afterwards had held us in very heavy gales. We all looked upon it as a miracle that God and His most blessed Mother dealt thus with their sinful servants, who called upon them from their hearts, and saved them. We give them infinite thanks for ever, Amen. We held this event to be so important, that we kept the small cable to be offered in the temple of the most serene Queen of the Angels, that he who sees it may praise her for the mercies shown to the creatures of his most precious son, the true God our Lord. Finally, we secured the ship more in shore, at the cost of much labour on the part of the sailors and soldiers, who on all occasions worked together admirably, as was desirable.
On Wednesday, the 3rd of February, some Indians natives of the land, arrived, and cried out to us from a high hill above the port. We replied in the same way, and made signs, calling them. They set up a white flag, and we hoisted another. They then came down to the coast and we went to where they were. Pedro Sarmiento sent the ensign, and the Pilot Hernando Alonso, with only four men, that they might not take to flight on seeing many people. To those who went he gave chaquiras, or glass beads, bells, combs, earrings and rugs for them, so as to form friendship with them. Our people went, but the Indians did not dare to come to the boat. So one of our people came out of the boat alone, and he gave them the things that had been brought for them. They came to him when they saw that he was alone, and little by little they ventured near. Then the Ensign and Hernando Alonso landed and gave them more of the things that had been brought out for barter, showing them what each thing was used for, by signs. They were much delighted with them, and presently they showed to our people some little banners of linen, fastened to staves. These were narrow strips of Rouen,* Angeo,† and Hollands cloth;‡ from which we supposed that they had communicated with people from Europe who had passed this way. Soon they themselves gave us to understand, without having asked them, by signs that could not be mistaken, that towards the S.E. there had come, or had been, two ships with bearded people like us, and armed and dressed as we were. From this, and from the linen, we believed them, and suspected that the ships they spoke of must be those of the English who entered this way, in the previous year, under Francisco Draquez.^ With this, and having made signs that they would return and bring us refreshments on another day, they went away. Our people returned to the ship, and gave an account of what had happened with the Indians to Pedro Sarmiento. He had seen it from the ship, which was near the shore, and judged it to be well done.
* Ruan, a coarse kind of blanket.
† Coarse linen cloth made in Anjou, and called angeo.
‡ Coarse linen or hempen cloth for linings.
^ Sir Francis Drake's ships were the Pelican, afterwards called the Golden Hind; Elizabeth; Marigold; Swan, a fly-boat of 50 tons; and a pinnace of 15 tons, called the Christopher. Sailing from Plymouth on November 15th, 1577, Drake entered the Strait with the Pelican, Elizabeth, and Marigold, on August 24th, 1578, and sailed out into the Pacific on September 6th. It is recorded, in the narrative, that natives of mean stature were met with in a canoe, in the western part of the Strait. But Nuno de Silva, who was with Drake, says that no other natives were seen besides those in the canoe.
On the same day, in the afternoon, Pedro Sarmiento landed, and formally took possession of the land, of which the following testimony was taken:—
“On the island now newly named ‘Santa Ines,’ this ship Capitana, having anchored in this port newly called ‘Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria,’ because the arrival was on her festival: the illustrious Lord Pedro Sarmiento, General of this fleet, landed and took possession of this port, land, and its districts, without opposition from the natives, for the most Catholic and very powerful Lord Don Philip II, King of Spain and the Indies and their dependencies, our Lord and natural King, whom God preserve for many years, and for his royal crown, heirs and successors: in token of which possession he planted a cross which those who were present worshipped, being present as witnesses the Father Friar, Antonio Guadramiro, Vicar of this fleet, and Hernando Alonso, Pilot of this ship Capitana^ and Geronimo de Arce del Arroya, one of the soldiers, and Pedro de Bahamonde, in presence of me the undersigned Notary, touching which I give faith and true testimony, that in all time and in all parts faith may be kept for the just right of the very high and very powerful and catholic Lord the King of Castile and Leon; and the said Possession he took as a thing that belongs by right to the royal crown of the said Lords Kings, insomuch as it falls within their jurisdiction and boundary; of all which I give faith, as the saying is, the date of the letter of possession being the 3rd of February 1580. Pedro Sarmiento: before me, Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.”
“Further, I, Juan de Esquivel undersigned, give faith and testimony that on the said day, month, and year above stated, native Indians appeared in this port, on a mountain adjacent to the said port, and by shouts and signs sought from the people of this Capitana according to what was understood, that they should come there, as they wanted to communicate with them. And Pedro Sarmiento, General, sent the Ensign Juan Gutierrez de Guevara and five soldier mariners in the boat, that they might speak with them and give them some presents. These went and spoke with them in a friendly way, and gave them what they brought; and according to what was understood from the signs they made, they gave us to understand that they had seen two other ships with people who had beards and daggers like the said Ensign. To this credit was given because they had with them certain narrow strips of linen, of Rouen, with hemming and back stitching according to our use, which they could not have got in any other way but from the people and ships they had seen in the strait. Which said linen I, the said Notary, saw and held in my hands, and I hereby give faith and testimony respecting it. Date as above. Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.”
This day it was fair weather, and in the night it blew hard. On Friday, the 5th of February, the dawn came with fair weather, and with wind from the W. and S.W.—a clear day, but with some hail. At noon the Indians came as they had promised, and Pedro Sarmiento sent the Ensign and Hernando Alonso on shore with six men and some things for bartering with them, with instructions to take some one, if possible, from whom to learn the language, and to inform us of the things relating to the country, and of what they knew respecting the two ships they had seen. Our people went, and as the Indians were not inclined to approach, the same signs were made to them as before. When our people saw that they did not wish to come nearer, nor to come to the ship to give us news, six of our men were sent to them, and each two of ours seized one of the Indians, so that we caught three. They kicked and struggled to get away, but did not succeed, although they are very strong. Our men did not wish to hurt them, although they received several blows from the Indians in their attempts to get free. They were brought on board the ship, where the General treated them very lovingly, giving them food. They ate and drank, and were so well regaled that they lost their fear and anger, and laughed. Asking them, by signs, about what they had said the day before, and showing them the strips of linen, they pointed out a bay where those had been who gave them these things. They said the strangers were bearded, and had two ships like ours; that they carried arrows and partesans, one showing a wound, and another two wounds that they had received in fighting with them.*
* There is no mention of any encounter with the natives in the narratives of Drake's voyage. The English only saw one canoe of natives. Argensola adds that the natives told Sarmiento that they killed many English, and captured a woman and a boy, who lived with them (Conquista de las Islas Molucas, p. 121). This is all false: the natives must have been entirely misunderstood.
In this port Pedro Sarmiento was more disturbed in spirit than in all his former work, because he saw all his people so tired and exhausted by so many hardships that they were all downhearted about the discovery of the strait, being now, as in fact they were, within it. As the cables we had left were small and chafed, and cut to pieces, it seemed, judging of the weather we had experienced hitherto, as if we should soon be without anchors or cables if we went on. In their talk among themselves they said that Pedro Sarmientowas was taking them to drown them, and that he did not know where he was, and that it would be better to return to Chile for repairs. But no one dared to say anything to Pedro Sarmiento, although he knew very well what was going on, and looked about for a remedy. Things presently came to such a pass that the Pilots Anton Pablos and Hernando Alonso came into the cabin and said to Pedro Sarmiento that “they seemed to have done more than all the discoverers of the world in having reached so far; that the Almiranta had gone back, and that we were alone. If some danger overtook us we should have no remedy, and must perish where no one would ever know what became of us; that we have neither anchors, cables, nor cordage, and that the weather was so bad, as we had experienced, that it was impossible to go forward without expecting the destruction of us all at any moment. He thought, therefore, we ought to return to Chile, and so report to the Viceroy.”
Anton Pablos said this in the name of both; and I suspected that all had asked them so to speak. All they said was certainly true, and all the men in the world would have feared the same if they had seen it. But Pedro Sarmiento had come to a determination, based on the reliance he had on God and on His most glorious Mother, to persevere until he had finally completed the discovery or laid down his life. He replied to Anton Pablos that “although they had done much in reaching that point, all would be nothing if we should return from there; that he was astounded that they, being men of such valiant determination, should fail when they were most needed; that they should consider the favours God had shown them, and hope that He would not now abandon us, but that He would show still more. He added, that he spoke thus to them as a friend, and desired that no one would treat further of the matter.” On this Hernando Alonso said to the General that “he saw clearly that what Anton Pablos had said was right, and that to persevere in going forward would be to tempt God.” Not wishing longer to dissimulate, Sarmiento was minded to punish these words severely, but reflecting that the man spoke them simply and with a full heart, and solely from fear of being drowned, he merely replied: “I do not wish, nor do I design, to tempt God, but to rely on His mercifulness, while we do all that is possible with all our force, on our part. What Alonso had said was equivalent to doubting, but he would not discuss the matter further; and he would heavily punish any one who did so;” concluding with these words: “I have no more to say, except that presently we shall make sail.” He did not proceed with more rigour at that time, for many reasons. This was on Friday at night, and therefore we could not make sail at once.
Next morning being Saturday, by the mercy of our Lord God, it dawned with fair weather and we left the port, having waited the fifteen days which the General had named in his order to the Admiral that the ship which should have arrived first at the mouth of the strait should wait, and, the time having passed, should continue the voyage to Spain, the other not coming, in conformity with the order of the Viceroy of Peru. Having left this port of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, we followed the channel for about a league S.E. by E., and on this course the natives made signs that in a bay we were passing the bearded people had been, whom we took to be the English of the preceding year; and they were urgent that we should go there in the ship. We came near, and saw nothing but a bay to S.E., and three leagues further on there was the entrance to a clear port. Two leagues more S.E. and we saw a port to W., and further on a bay to S. Here the natives told us we should stop, for it was the place where the bearded men had taken in water. We entered this port at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The tide flows here to the N.W. towards the South Sea, and more in the ebb than in the flood; so that with fresh breeze we stemmed the tide with difficulty. This port was named “Santa Monica.”* Its soundings are 20 and 22 fathoms, good sandy bottom; and it is sheltered from all winds. The strait here has a width of three leagues, the reach extending from this port N.E. to an island which was named “Santa Ana”† which is the termination of the bay of San Geronimo.†
* In 53° 1' S., 73° 52' W. on the Admiralty Chart
† These names have not been preserved.
On Sunday [sic, Saturday in 1580], the 6th of February, we left this port of Santa Monica in the name of the most Holy Trinity, and with an E.N.E. wind and smooth sea we navigated the strait, keeping more on the right hand, which trends E.S.E. for about three leagues to the point which we named “San lldefonso.”* In the middle of this distance the coast forms a curving bay, and many creeks and inlets, where there appeared to be harbours. But we did not examine them, so as not to lose time. All this island is bare and rocky. The natives told us that the first bay was called Puchachailgua in their language, and the second was Cuaviguilgua.† Here it was, the natives said, that the bearded men fought with them, and they showed us the wounds they had received. The third bay, called Alguilgua‡ by the natives, is large and turns to the south. On the opposite coast, on the left hand to the N.E. the native name is Xaultegua.^ Today the day was fine and the sun clear. We observed the sun in 50° S. The bay called Xaultegua is in that latitude. From tliat bay of Xaultegua an entrance and arm of the sea goes inland to the roots of the snowy range of the main land. Two leagues to S.E. of the position where we took the sun's altitudp, we anchored in a port which we called “Puerto Angosto:”|| soundings in 22 fathoms, clean bottom, a cable from the shore. On the same afternoon the General went up a hill with Anton Pablos and two other men, to examine the strait. They discovered a long reach to the S.E. by E. The sun was clear and warm, with light winds from W.N.W., the current against us. We saw many other creeks and bays both to windward and to leeward. It was very hot at the top of the hill, where they set up a cross, and Pedro Sarmiento took possession for his Majesty, in token of which he and Anton Pablos made a great heap of stones, on which the cross was fixed.
* This name has not been retained.
† Sarmiento set an excellent example in retaining native names when he could ascertain them. Argensola mentions this with approbation:—“No mudo Sarmiento los nombres antiguos a las tierras, cuando los pudo saber.”
‡ In 53° 4' 30" S., and 73° 44' W. on the Admiralty Chart.
^ This name is preserved on the Admiralty Chart, for a great bay 25 miles long by 10 broad. The extreme northern shore oi Xaultegua Bay is in 53° S. It was examined by Fitz Roy, who says that Sarmiento describes it very correctly.—Voyages of Adventure and Beagle, i, p. 155 (n.)
|| In 53° 13' S.—73° 21' W., on the Admiralty Chart.
Another cross was set up on the top of another mountain by a man named Francisco Hernandez, who had been sent to explore.
During this night, at one o'clock, to the S.S. E. we saw a circular, red, meteor-like flame, in shape of a dagger, which rose and ascended in the heavens. Over a high mountain it became prolonged and appeared like a lance, turning to a crescent shape, between red and white.
On Monday, the 8th of February, at dawn, it was calm, and presently freshened from the W.N.W. with clear and fair weather, in which we made sail from Puerto Angosto in the name of the most holy Trinity, and sailed down the strait on a course S.E. by S. After three quarters of a league we discovered a bay on the right hand, with a large island at the entrance, called by the natives Capitloilgua, and the coast Caycayxixaisgua. There was much snow, and many snow-clad peaks. Here the strait is a league and a half wide.
Having sailed three leagues S.E. by E. along the right hand coast, we came to a great bay which enters more than two leagues W.S.W., and has an island at the entrance. We called it “Abra”* because we could not see that it was closed in, and N.E. of it, on the left hand coast, there is another Port and Playa Prada, where there is also a sheltering island. We named it “Playa Prada.”† Within the Abra the land was low, with rocks appearing above the water. Half a league further on there is a bay on the right hand, and to the E.N.E. of this bay, on the opposite side, there is a bay forming a port, called by the natives Pelepelgua, and the bay itself Exequil.
* In 53° 22' S.—73° 4' 30" W. on the Admiralty Chart.
† In 53° 18' S.—73° 3' W. on the Admiralty Chart.
Beyond this bay, a league to S.E. by E., there is a great bay which runs inland for two leagues to the south to the base of some snowy mountains. We called it the bay of “Mucha-Nieve.”* Here the coast turns to E.S.E. a league and a half. Both sides, to right and left, trend as far as a point which runs out from the east coast, and turns to south. Owing to this point it appeared, from a distance of a league, that the two sides joined.† This was the cause of much sadness and distrust among many on board the ship, believing that there was no way out. In this distance of a league and a half the coast makes a great curve on the right hand, and from thence there is a large opening to the south. As we proceeded the point opened, and we found ourselves in a narrow port formed by it,‡ being less than a league from land to land. From this point another appears E. by N., and in front of it, on the opposite coast, there is another. Before reaching them it again appears that the two sides close in. Between these points, within this distance of one league, both coasts form two large bays; and in the one on the left hand there is an opening forming a channel which runs in towards the snowy range of the main land. At this opening the channel comes out, which commences in the bay of Xaultegua, by Puerto Angosto. The land between this channel running in towards the snowy mountains and that which we were navigating, is an island, called by the natives Cayrayxayiisgua. It is all rocky and bare, without vegetation. Having passed this opening, the current was with us. In these narrow places we met with several changes in the currents, and it was necessary to go with some care in watching them, so that we might not be turned round. Having passed this island, the main land begins to consist of plains near the sea, or valleys divided by low hills.
* “Snow Sound” of the Admiralty Chart. Entrance in 53° 31' S., 72° 42' W.
† The view is blocked by Carlos III Island, in the middle of the channel.
‡ The narrow channel between Carlos III Island and the south shore.
From these points the strait trends S.E. by E. for a league and a half on the right, and two leagues on the left hand. On the left there are beaches and some beds of sea-weed which come out a long way. On the right it is the same for a league and a half, and then S.E. and S.S.E. for two leagues. At the S.E. by E. of this point there are four small islets in mid channel, in the space of three leagues, on an E.S.E. line.* Between the first and second are four rocks, two on each side. This day we anchored to the east of the first island in 14 fathoms, good bottom, a cable's length from the shore.
* Charles Islands of the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 46' 30" to 53° 45' S., 72° 4' 30" W.
Presently we saw smoke on the other coast, and the natives we took with us began to weep. So far as we could understand them, they wept because they feared that the people who made the smoke would kill them. They signified to us that they were great men who fought much, and that they had arrows. We consoled them, assuring them that we would defend them, and kill the other men. They advised that we should go there at night and capture or kill them. After anchoring, Pedro Sarmiento landed on the island with Anton Pablos, the chief Pilot, and some soldiers, to take bearings in the strait. It continues S.E. by E., and is very wide. We then turned to look at the smoke of the “great people” whose land is called, in their language, Tinquichisgua, and we took bearings of a channel to the N.W. This first island on which we landed is about two leagues round, and there are plenty of small fruits like black grapes, and of myrtles—food for birds. Between the island and the land to the west the strait is half a league wide. On this island Pedro Sarmiento set up a cross, and took possession for his Majesty, calling it the “Island of the Cross.”* Here we got ready the artillery and arquebuses, to be prepared both against pirates and natives, and there was always an armed guard kept.
* This name has not been retained.
Here we saw whales, many seals, and “bufeos.” We also saw large pieces of snow floating on the sea, which come from the snowy islands three leagues to the south of this Island of the Cross. The storms of wind displace the snow, carry it down, and send it into the sea.
On Tuesday, the 9th of February, it was fine weather. We left that island and, with a westerly wind, made sail for the channel between this Island of the Cross and the coast on the left hand or north side. Presently it fell calm, and the current was against us. At two the water began to be slack, and we went on, the boat towing the ship. Having arrived off the third island, which is the largest, we heard men's voices, and canoes with men in them, crossing from one island to the other. I sent Hernando Alonso the Pilot, and Juan Gutierrez with armed men in the boat, to see what people were there. They pulled into a good harbour in the island, where they saw a village and “the great people” who had sunk the canoes. They had taken to the woods with their arms, and from the trees they called to our people to come on shore, our men calling to them to come to the sea. The islanders were concealed with bows and arrows ready to kill our people when they landed. Seeing this, our men fired some shots from their arquebuses, when some women began to cry loudly, and the soldiers ceased firing. Meanwhile the ship kept standing off and on at the mouth of the harbour, waiting for the boat; and when Sarmiento heard the firing, he stood for the harbour, and got a gun ready. The boats soon afterwards came back towing a canoe, and reported what had taken place; and that they had seen many people, a good harbour, and a pleasant land. We called it “Isla de Gente.” Here we took the altitude in 53° 40' S.* This island has another near it, to S.E., which shelters the harbour, and is the last of these islands.
* 53° 43' S.
A league and a half to the east of these islands there is a bay which we called “La Playa,” because it has a large beach. This bay is in the same latitude, and to the S.S.W., on the southern coast, three leagues further on, there is another great bay, which we called “San Simon.”* Thence the coast trends east for three leagues to a point called by the natives “Tinquichisgua,”† and then to S.W. there is a great bay, where there is a very high mountain with a sharp peak in front of a snowy range. This mountain is that which the old narratives call the “Bell of Roldan.”‡§ All this bay of the Bell^ is surrounded by lofty snow-clad mountains; and the three leagues of land from the bay of San Simon to the point of Tinquichisgua is all broken ground, consisting of a lofty, snow-covered chain. Here are the Snowy Islands mentioned in the old narratives, and not the four in the middle of the strait.
* Simon Bay of the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 52' S., 72° W.
† On the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 52' S., 71° 51' W.
‡ Roldan was the gunner on board Magellan's ship. Herrera says, that the name was given after him. On the “Roldan's Bell” is in 53° 58' 30" 8.-71° 46' W. The height, 2,780 feet.
§ Subsequently re-named “Mount Sarmiento” by Phillip Parker King (Narrative …, i, p. 27).
^ “Bell Bay” of the Admiralty Chart.
From the bay of San Simon an arm of the sea turns S.E. Here the strait has a width of three leagues, and the north coast has a finer appearance, with slopes and plains near the sea, valleys, and rivers. The south coast is all rocky, with snow islands to San Simon. All the natives that have been seen hitherto have been on the south side. From the beach, in 53° 40' S., the coast trends for a quarter of a quarter of a league S.W. to a point we named “San Julian,”* and beyond it a river falls into the sea, on a beach which trends for a league N.N.E. and then E. On all this beach the land is low near the sea, and there is a valley through which the river flows, which seems to be sheltered. At least now, at the hour when I am writing, it is warm, like summer, and calm. Yet it is evident, from the cold water, that it is near the snowy mountains, and we are still in a sea in 53° 40' S. where, during many months, we have not been accustomed to see the sun. Today there was little current until sunset, either during the ebb or flood, and the warmth and calmness were remarkable. We were only able to make about three leagues, most of it by towing with the boat, before we anchored.
* This name has not been preserved.
This day the sun bore W. by S. at 6h. 4m., so that today, being the 4th of February, the day had I3h. 16m., and the night had l0h. 24m., in this Rio Honda, in 53° 40' S., in the strait now newly named by the General Pedro Sarmiento, “The Strait of the Mother of God,”§ the sun being in 29° 57' of Aquarius.
This day we made little progress, owing to calms and currents. We made good four leagues, most of the day and all night the boat towing. We could never get near the shore, or to a point where we could find any bottom. On Wednesday, the l0th of February, it dawned with a clear sky, and no wind, and as we had not anchored we had not to get under weigh. The boat towed until a light breeze began to blow from S.E., which lasted a short time, and then there was a calm again. In this way, at one time being towed, at another sailing with a light breeze, we went on, sometimes gaining and sometimes losing ground. Today we took the altitude in 53° 45' S. A little after noon the S.E. wind began, and we crossed over to the south side, where we saw two great channels, and several bays and ports, with much sea-weed near the coast. The wind fell, and it was by towing that we reached the south coast, and anchored in an unsheltered roadstead, but near a stream of fresh water. Here Pedro Sarmiento went on shore with Anton Pablos and some soldiers armed with arquebuses, and climbed up a mountain to explore and survey. While we were on the summit we saw the wind freshening from the north, so we hurried down and went on board. While we were getting up the anchor to make sail and shift berth to the shelter of a point ahead, the wind fell, and we let go again. We remained that night, keeping a very careful look out. It freshened up at one time, but presently the wind fell again. The strait is here four leagues wide. We called this place the “Bay of Fresh Water.”* The land appeared to be good, but we did not see habitations.
* “Freshwater Cove” of the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 54' 30" S., 71°45' W.
On Thursday, the 11th of February, we made sail in the name of the most Holy Trinity, and followed the coast on the right hand for two leagues, to a point we named “San Bernabe.”* Half a league from the Bay of Fresh Water there is a broad opening to the south, running inland for five leagues, and then making branches on either side. It has a large island, and two rocks at the entrance. We called it the “Bay of San Pedro,”† nearly half a league wide. Thence the coast curves round, with a large creek in the middle. North of Cape San Bernabe, on the opposite coast, where the mountain chain is in sight, a great valley is seen inland, which we named “Gran Valle.” Here the strait is two leagues in width. From the Cape of San Bernabe the coast trends S.S.E., and a bay runs south for three leagues, with an arm to the S.W., and in the distance a snowy range of mountains appears. The bay was named “San Fernando.” Here the width of the strait is three leagues.‡
* This name has not been preserved.
† In 53° 37' 30" S., 71° 37' W., on the Admiralty Chart.
‡ Here he passed Cape Froward in 53° 54' 15" S., the most southern point of South America. But the name was given by Cavendish. Fuller, who was pilot with Cavendish, makes Cape Froward in latitude 54° 15' S.
From the point of San Fernando, three leagues to N.E., which is the trend of the strait, there is a pofnt we named “Santa Agueda,”* forming a lofty and bluff hill, with a ravine between it and the snowy mountains in rear.
* The name has not been preserved; but Fitz Roy identifies Sarmiento's Morro de Santa Agueda with Cape Froward. He adds: “Any name given by this excellent old navigator is too classical and valuable to be omitted: therefore, while the extremity itself may retain the name of Cape Froward, the mountain by which it is formed may be allowed to keep his distinction” (i, p. 145).
From the point of San Bernabe the southern coast turns E.S.E. for six leagues towards a mountain range much covered with snow, and before it there is a high peaked hill like a vernal; and in the midst of this vernal and of a hill like a sugar loaf, there is a three-pointed hill. This vernal or sugar loaf has the shape of a bell. On one side of the hill there is an opening, and on the other another opening. From this point and hill of Santa Agueda the northern coast turns N. by E. to a point one league further on, which we named “Santa Brigida.”* It is a fine and low point, and in the intervening league there are many sandy beaches. This stretch of land is mountainous, the point of Santa Brigida is all with beaches, from the sugar loaf of the channels to this point. They bear, one from the other, N.W., S.E. six leagues. From this bay on the right hand, where are the sugar loaf and the vernal, two larger channels run south, named by us “Madalena” and “San Gabriel;”† and to the west of the point of Santa Brigida there is a great bay with sandy beaches. There is a river, and in the middle of the bay a rock. We called it “the bay of Santa Brigida and Santa Agueda,” for both points are near, though it is more sheltered by the former. The river forms a large valley between two ranges of hills turning N.N.W., and then, as it seemed, N.E. We called it the “River of the Great Valley.” The point of Santa Brigida is a small island somewhat prolonged, and on the south side it seems cut short, with some trees standing by themselves on the upper part.
* The name has not been preserved.§ This point must be very near Cape Froward.
§ Punta Santa Brígida is in the current National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency database. Possibly the name fell out of use prior to publication of the Hakluyt edition, but was revived later on. Sarmiento's description above is confusing: at first he seems to describe a point on the mainland near Nassau Island. But he concludes with “The point of Santa Brigida is [on?, near?] a small island somewhat prolonged.” A NASA Image shows island location, detail view shows possible locations of Point Santa Brigida.
† Magdalen Sound and Gabriel Channel of the Admiralty Chart. In 54° S., and 71° W.
From the point of Santa Brigida there is another low point E.N.E., which we named “San Isidro”* which forms a pinnacle rock† at the end. Between these two points there are two great bays. From the point of San Isidro on the south side, there are two mountains, and between them a deep valley E.S.E. and W.N.W. Here the strait is four leagues wide, and we met with a confusion of currents caused by the meeting of the tides. From the point of San Isidro to a high hill on the other side the width is four leagues. We called this hill “Morro de Lomas,” and from it, following the coast E.N.E., the land becomes low with rolling hills, commencing at this hill, and in the low land a great bay is formed.‡ Here the strait is eight leagues across.
* On the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 47' 30" S., 70° 58' W.
† Mogote. Hunters give the name Mogote to the horns of deer between the time they first appear until they are a hand's breadth long. Metaphorically, the term was applied, by sailors, to points of rock jutting above the surface of the sea. From Mogote comes the adjective Amogotado which is used by Sarmiento. The editor of the Spanish edition also mentions that the word is used, in the same sense, by Don Francisco de Seixas y Lovera in his work entitled Descripcion Geografica y Derrotero de la Region Austral Magallanica.
‡ Lomas Bay of the Admiralty Chart.
The point of San Isidro is in 54°.* Thence the coast trends north to a long point which we named “Santa Ana;”† and near point San Isidro there is a sandy beach forming a bay. Here we saw some natives, and they called out to us from the shore. Hence we named the place “Playa de los Voces.”‡ The bay sweeps round to point Santa Ana, and we anchored in the middle of the bay, two leagues from the point, in seven fathoms, good bottom, as it is all over the bay, at least wherever we took soundings. We here took in wood and water, and when our people were on shore, the natives, who had shouted to us, came to them, embraced them, and began to treat them as friends. Pedro Sarmiento, seeing this from the ship, sent on shore some beads, combs, bells, biscuits and meat. The natives were seated with the Ensign and Fernando Alonso and the other Christians, ten in number, holding friendly communication by signs, and they gave us to understand that they were contented with our friendship and with what we had given them, but that they wanted to go away to sleep and they would return tomorrow. Leaving us, to all appearance, as our very good friends, they went to their huts. The bay was named the “Bay of the Natives”^ and the river that was there, “San Juan.” At this river we took the altitude in 50° 40' S.||
* 53° 47' 30" S.
† Sta. Ana Point of the Admiralty Chart, the northern end of Port Famine in 53° 39' S., 70° 55' 30" W.
‡ Voces Bay of the Admiralty Chart, in 53° 41' 30" S. and 70° 58' W.
^ The Port Famine of Cavendish.
|| Correct. Fuller has 50° 50' S. The two observations may have been taken at positions some miles apart.
From this port and river of San Juan there appears a bay and mouth of a channel between two masses of land to E.N.E. eight leagues, and the southern point of this bay we named “San Valentin,” the northern point “Punta del Boqueron;”* the opening being half a league across. The land of the cape of San Valentin is continuous with that of the hill and bay of Lomas, whence it gradually gets lower, until at San Valentin it is nearly level with the sea. The earth that slopes down on this land to the shores of the strait is white like white sand. It looks a good land and pleasant to the sight. On the north side there are fine valleys and rivers of good water, excellent timber, and safe ports and anchorages. This day we had a light west wind until l0, that is, while the ebb tide lasted, and afterwards it blew fresh from the south during all the time that the tide was flowing. The currents correspond with the tides.
* Capes Valentyn and Boqueron of the Admiralty Chart: the former in 53° 34' N., 70° 32' W.; the latter in 53° 28' N., 17° 15' W.
From this port, and from the strait, a snowy volcano is seen to the south, which forms a saddle between two peaks at the summit,* and to the north of the volcano appear a sugar loaf and vernal. When he who may be entering the strait from the side of the North Sea to come out in the South Sea, sights this volcano and mountains, he will see them as they are depicted in the drawing,§§ and a channel between them which looks larger than the strait, so that it might deceive and lead to an error in the course taken. It should, therefore, be noticed that a course should not be taken by the channel between the mountains, but, as soon as these three mountains are in sight, a channel will be seen to the right N.W. by W., which is the right channel, to which a ship must shape her course, leaving those three mountains on the left hand. He who is coming from the South Sea must leave them on the right hand.
* It was very properly named Mount Sarmiento by Admiral Fitz Roy.§ The chart places it in 54° 27' 30" S. and 70° 52' W., with a height of 7,330 feet. When clear the peak may be seen from Elizabeth Island, 96 miles to the north. Fitz Roy gives the height at 6,800 feet. He says that Sarmiento's description of it is excellent (i, p. 27).
§ Actually so-named by Phillip Parker King (Narrative …, i, p. 27).
§§ Sarmiento's “the drawing” suggests he may have made a sketch of the area described here. However, the Hakluyt editor offers no explanation, and no such drawing is known to exist.
On Friday, the 12th of February, our people went on shore to finish laying in a stock of wood and fuel, and to cut wood for strengthening the ship, of which she was much in need for so long a voyage as we had before us. While this work was proceeding on shore, Pedro Sarmiento went away in the boat to explore, accompanied by the Father Vicar and Anton Pablos, the Pilot of the Capitana, and seven sailors. They went to the point of Santa Ana, which is two leagues and a half from the river. At a league and a half from the river a point of sand runs out very low, and thence a bank extends half a league, and more than a league along the coast. Between the point and that of Santa Ana there is a great bay. All along this coast there is a great quantity of wood thrown up on the parts facing the south, which shows that it must be stormy in winter, for the north wind comes here over the land. We arrived at the point of Santa Ana and went up to a high table land, where there were large glades and spaces of very good pasture for sheep; and we saw two deer, very fat and large. An arquebusier shot one, and the other that escaped had large horns. Here we took a round of angles and examined the land and the strait.
From this point of Santa Ana, the bay of San Valentin bears E.N.E. six leagues, and from Santa Ana the coast trends N.N.E. to a point ten leagues off, which I named “San Antonio de Padua.”* Between, there are five bays, and from the point forming the fourth bay a shoal about a league in length runs out S.E. Sarmiento and Anton Pablos took the altitude on shore in 53° 30' S., and planted a large cross on the point, the General, Pedro Sarmiento, taking solemn possession for his Majesty. The cross was set up on a great heap of stones, within which was placed a letter in a jar lined with pitch and filled with powdered charcoal, to make it incorruptible. On the pole of the cross was written, in letters cut out, “A letter at the foot” In this letter notice was given to all nations and peoples that this land belonged to his Majesty, having been taken possession of for the crown of Castille and Leon, so that ignorance could not be pretended; and that in his Majesty's name, the strait had received the name of “the Strait of the Mother of God,” whom Pedro Sarmiento had adopted as his advocate in this voyage. The letter also ordered the Admiral, on the chance of his arriving here, that he was to return to Peru to report to his Excellency, having thus obtained knowledge of what had happened, and respecting the proceedings of the Capitana, while Pedro Sarmiento would go on. This letter was signed by Pedro Sarmiento, the Father Vicar, and the Pilot Anton Pablos. We returned to the ship, and found that the bank had been much more exposed during the ebb tide; so that we were obliged to go out to sea, with some labour for the rowers, to pass clear of it. The grass was set ablaze by the fire that was made to melt the pitch, as we afterwards found. At this time the natives had come to where our people were getting wood and water, with their women and children. They were busy conversing, when they saw the smoke of fire rising from the hill which was burning, on which they went away and could not be induced to stay, as they believed that the smoke was raised by the giants who made war upon them, and were more powerful than they were. They brought, as presents, a piece of stinking seal flesh, sea birds, fish, red fruit like cherries, and pieces of stone, streaked and coloured with ores of silver and gold. When they were asked its use, they answered by signs that it was for making fire. Presently one of them took some feathers they had with them, which served as tinder, and with it and the stone produced fire. It appeared to me to be the ore of gold and silver from a mine, as it is like the Curi-quiso de Porco† in Peru. When we made the fire on that point it was answered by many other smokes on the other island in front, which we called “San Pablo.”‡
* This name has not been preserved. It is probably the same as Punta Arenas.
† Ccuri is the Quichua for gold; quiso, a flint stone. Porco, a place where there are silver mines in Upper Peru.
‡ This name for the large island terminating at Cape Valentyn has not been preserved.
The point of Santa Ana bears from the river of San Juan N.E. by N. two leagues and a half
On Saturday, the 13th, mass was said on shore. The forge was landed, and the fastenings were made, that were necessary for knee timbers and joists. The bows were strengthened with lashings and knee timbers.
Here, at this river of San Juan, Pedro Sarmiento took possession and raised a great heap of stones on which he set up a lofty cross, which could be seen from all parts of this reach of the strait; and he there deposited the following letter:—
“Possession of the river of San Juan and of The Strait of the Mother of God.
“In the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one only true God Almighty who created heaven and earth out of nothing, in whom I believe, and in whom all true Christians ought to believe firmly; and of the most holy, ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, our advocate, and more especially the advocate of this fleet. Be it known to all living beings, peoples, and nations in the whole world, as well faithful as infidel, that today, being Thursday, the 12th of February 1580, having arrived in this bay, now newly called ‘Bahia de la Gente,’ and the ship named Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, which is Capitana of the fleet that the most excellent Lord Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy Governor and Captain General of the Kingdoms and Provinces of Peru, despatched from the city of the Kings of Peru for the discovery of the Strait on the 11th of October 1579, being anchored off this watering place and river of San Juan of Possession; and having parted company with the ship Almiranta named San Francisco before reaching the mouth of the Strait, this said Capitana entered the Strait alone and discovered it. On board the ship Capitana Pedro Sarmiento came as Captain Superior and General of the Fleet for the most Christian Lord King Don Philip our natural Lord and King, whom God preserve for many years with increase of his estates and kingdoms for the spread and defence of the holy Roman Catholic Church our Mother. He, having taken possession of many different parts of the archipelago of this Strait, also took possession in this river, called San Juan of Possession, which is in 53° 40' S., today being Saturday, the 13th of February, and yesterday the 12th he took possession of the point of Santa Ana which is in 53° 30' S.
This is notified in the present writing and instrument that it may be notorious to all, and that no nation, barbarous or civilized, Catholic or not Catholic, faithful or infidel, may pretend ignorance now or at any future time, nor shall have the audacity, without special and express permission from the very powerful Lord King of Castille and Leon, his heirs and successors, to enter, settle, or establish themselves in the regions and lands of this Strait vulgarly called of Magellan for commercial or any other purposes, in the belief that they are unoccupied lands having no Lord or King to whom they properly belong; for, as already notified, they are the property of the very powerful and very Catholic Lord Don Philip II, most meritorious King of the Spains with their dependencies and of the Indies, and of the navigation and discovery of half the world, being 180° of longitude, in conformity with the donation and concession of the most happy Supreme Roman Pontiff Alexander VI. According to the concession and donation of the Bull propria motû despatched, these the said lands fall within and are included in the demarcation and limits defined in the said Bull, in which his Holiness prohibits every one in general to dare to come, by any way, to these parts without express permission from the Lords Kings of Castille in these formal words:— ‘And we inhibit whatever persons of whatever dignity, even if it be royal or imperial state rank order or condition, on pain of excommunition latɶ sententicæ which they will eo ipso incur if they act to the contrary, from presuming to grant licences or any other privilege without your special permission of yourself or your heirs and successors, to go to the islands or continents discovered or that may be discovered to the west and south of a line drawn and laid down from the Arctic to the Antarctic Pole, namely such lands and islands as have been or may be found towards India or towards whatever part, the said line being distant from whatever of the islands vulgarly called the Azores or Cape Verde, 100 leagues towards the west as remains said, notwithstanding constitutions, Apostolic ordinances or others whatever.’ And at the end of the said Bull it is said that to no man shall it be lawful to break nor with audacious temerity to go against this letter of our grant, requirement, donation, assignment, constitution, deputation, decree, order, inhibition, and will. If any one should presume to try, let him know that he will incur the indignation of the omnipotent God, and of the blessed St. Peter and St. Paul. Given in Rome at St. Peter's, the 4th day of May of the incarnation 1493 years, in the first year of our Pontificate.
“The possession taken, is taken here in all the Strait and Archipelago by both seas of the South and North, for the said King, my Lord, of Castille and Leon, discovered at his cost, and by his command and order.
“I, the said Pedro Sarmiento, Captain Superior of this the said fleet, on the part of his Majesty the King, my Lord, order the Admiral Juan de Villalobos, and the Chief Pilot Hernando Lamero, and the Serjeant Major Pascual Suarez, and all the officers, soldiers, and sailors of the said ship Almiranta named San Francisco, that if they should come or arrive here, or see this cross and letter, they are incontinently to return to Peru, to the city of the Kings, and give an account to the most excellent Lord Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy of Peru, and to the Lords Judges of the Royal Audience of the said city of the Kings, bringing to them this letter jointly with the report of what had happened up to the arrival at this river of San Juan of Possession; and they shall report how this ship Capitana, the Nuestra Señora de Esperanza, arrived, with the favour of God, at this river, having discovered the Strait, and passed into the North Sea to proceed to Spain, and give an account to his Majesty, as his Excellency ordered in his Instructions; also that all the people who left Lima are alive, glory be to God, besides four others who were in the brigantine and who belonged to the Almiranta. The names of those on board are as follows:
|Captain Superior||Pedro Sarmiento||Sailors||Pero Pablo.|
|Vicar of the Fleet||Friar Antonio Guadramiro.||Angel Baltolo.|||
|Ensign||Juan Gutierrez de Guevara.*||Domingo Baxaneta.|
|Chief Pilot||Anton Pablos.||Juan Antonio Corzo.|
|Pilot (his companion)||Hernando Alonso.†||Sancho de Larréa.|
|Royal Notary||Juan de Esquivel.||Diego Perez.//|
|Purser||Juan de Sagasti.‡||Francisco Hernandez.|
|Boatswain||Pedro de Hojeda.||Pero Marquez.|
|Gunner||Baltasar Rodriguez.||Ximon de Abreu.|
|Caulker||Pedro Lopez.^||Luis Gonzalez.|
|Master-at-Arms||Caspar Antonio.||Gaspar Gomez.|
|Carpenter||Mase Agustin.||Francisco Perez Rocha.|
|Soldiers||Alvaro de Torres.||Francisco de Urbea.|
|Francisco Garces de Espinosa.||Mateo Andres.|
|Pedro de Aranda.||Jacome Ricalde.|
|Geronimo del Arroyo.||Manuel Perez.|
|Gabriel de Solis.||Pedro de Villabustre.|
|Antonio del Castillo.||Peralvarez.|
|Christoval de Bonilla.||Pero Gonzalez.|
|Andres de Orduña.|
|Pedro de la Rosa.|
|Pedro de Bahamonde.|
|Francisco de Mazuelas.|
* Executed for mutiny, 19th June 1580.
† Sent with despatches to Nombre de Dios in a small vessel from Cape Verde, 20th June 1580.
‡ Beached at Santiago for neglect of duty and mutiny, 19th June I 1580.
^ Shipped at Pisco.
// A Portuguese. [His name is listed twice in Hakluyt edition, presumably in error.]
“There is one missing, Pedro Jorge, who was drowned in the storm on the day after we departed from Puerto Bermejo. The rest, being Negros, Mulattos, and Indians taken as servants, are well, and the ship is repaired.
“This is my order to the said Admiral, and to the rest of those on board the Almiranta, to be complied with and observed in the said manner because it is for the good of his Majesty's service, and in execution of the order from the said most excellent Lord Viceroy. They are to take the narrative of the voyage and discovery they may have drawn up, with the three accounts which I give of the three discoveries I made in the three boat voyages in the archipelago, with this letter, leaving in this same place an authorized copy. For it will be of great importance for the rights of the King our Lord, in the time to come. Thus his Excellency may know how his orders have been carried out, and provide for what may be most conducive to his Majesty's service, which is to be complied with by the said Admiral Juan de Villalobos and the rest of those on board the said Almiranta, on pain of falling into evil case, and suffering the penalties due to those who disobey their captains who in the name of their Lord and natural King give orders touching his service,
“Item.—I make known to all that to make this voyage and discovery I took for my advocate and patron the most serene Lady our Queen of the Angels, holy St. Mary Mother of God, always Virgin, in conformity with the Instructions of his Excellency. In consequence of which, and of the miracles which our Lord God has worked for us in this voyage and discovery, and in the dangers which we encountered, through her intercession, I have given the name of the Strait of the Mother of God, to what was formerly known as the Strait of Magellan, and I hope that his Majesty being, as he is, so devoted to the Mother of God, will confirm this name in his writings and provisions, seeing that I gave it in his royal name, because she is Patron and Advocate of these regions and parts, intercessor with her most precious son Jesus Christ our Lord for him, and that He may, of his most blessed majesty, have mercy on these natives, and send his holy evangelist that their souls may be saved. From it will result high honour and glory to Kings of Spain who were his ministers, both in this world and the next, and to the Spanish nation, which will execute the work, there will be no less honour, profit, and increase.
“This cross was set up on the 12th of this the said month, and this letter in triplicate deposited, mass having been said on the same day in the said port of the river of San Juan of Possession; and signed by name and hand—
Captain-Superior and General of his Majesty.
“In faith of which I, the Royal Notary of this Fleet, wrote this letter, and passed it before me and here made my sign = in testimony of its truth.
“Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.
The days that we were in this port of the River of Possession were warm, with a fresh south wind from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon, when it fell calm, and was calm all night. The nights were very fine, with clear sky the stars shining brightly, and the air healthful. Here paroquets and catalines, another species of paroquets, with half the head of a red colour, were seen. Silgueritos and other singing birds were heard, whose song is a sign of fair weather. The footmarks of tigers and lions were seen. This day we embarked the forge, and the rest of the wood and water, being Saturday, the 13th of the month.
On Sunday, the 14th of February, we left this river of San Juan of the Possession in fair weather, and shaped a course for the island of San Pablo and Cape of San Valentin, but before we were off the cape of Santa Ana, it fell calm, and we were at the mercy of the currents, sometimes gaining ground, sometimes losing. So we remained without anchoring, because we could not get near the shore owing to having been becalmed in mid channel. Nearly all night we were towing, so as not to lose too much ground.
It dawned calm on Monday, and at seven a light air came from the west, before which we reached a point whence San Pablo bore east. This day we took the altitude in 53° 30' S. At noon it was again calm, and today and yesterday it was as hot as it is at Lima in Lent, and in Spain in July.
At nine o'clock in the morning of Tuesday, the 16th of February, it began to blow from the south, and the wind continued to freshen as the day advanced. We went before it N.E., coming to a low coast, consisting of ravines and bare ground, on the southern side. Half a league from land we sounded in ten fathoms, and for fear of running on some bank we stood out to sea again (I should say into mid channel). At two in the afternoon we ran before the wind, following the coast N.N.E. and N.E. to a point six leagues from the island of San Pablo to the N.N.E. In the middle of this distance the coast sweeps round and forms a bay with a low stretch of land without grass, which at this season is burnt up. In this bay we took the altitude in 53° 10'.
Having passed the point to which we gave the name of “Gente Grande,” another came in sight five leagues N.N.E. Beyond the point of Gente Grande the land forms a bay* to the east with an inlet, and as it was late we anchored in the opening, in twelve fathoms, good bottom. Here the water flows more than at any other place where we had yet been in this Strait of Madre de Dios. In anchoring we saw some people, who shouted to us. In order to see who they were, and to secure a native of this province as an interpreter, Pedro Sarmiento sent the Ensign and Hernando Alonso, with some arquebusiers, in the boat. As soon as they reached the shore the natives of that province, who belonged to the race of great people, began to shout and jump about with their arms up in the air, and without weapons, having left them in a place near at hand. The Ensign made the same signs of peace, and the giants came to the beach near the boat. Then the Ensign jumped on shore with four men. But they made signs that he should leave his lance, and turned back to the place where they had left their bows and arrows. On seeing this the Ensign left the lance and showed them the things he had brought for barter. The giants saw them, but turned back, though with hesitation. When our people saw the natives going away they got ready to attack them. Ten men, who had got out of the boat, attacked one of the natives and were scarcely able to hold him. The others attacked our men from where they had left their bows and arrows, and returned so quickly shooting the arrows that our men were obliged to return to the boat, and quickly shoved off amidst a flight of arrows. They were helped up, while the natives kept on discharging their arrows. Our purser was wounded in the eye, and while the boat's crew were getting up the side two arquebuses were dropped into the sea. Thus they returned to the ship, bringing the captured native with them. Although we offered things to the captive (which he willingly took) he could not be re-assured. He would eat nothing all that day and night. His limbs were very large.†
* Genta [sic, Gente] Grande Bay of the Admiralty Chart, in 52° 57' S. 70° 19' W.
† This Patagonian was brought to Spain, and presented to Philip II at Badajos. Fitz Roy says that Sarmiento is the only person on record who has communicated with the natives in the neighbourhood of Cape Monmouth.
The country is plain and without hills, and well peopled with these natives, so far as we could then see. Our men who went on shore found the ground burrowed with rabbit holes, the rabbits being like those in Castille, and the natives wore cloaks of the skins of vicuñas, the same as those of Peru, called in the native language neuxo, and leather sandals. There seemed to be land here, with a good climate, suitable for a settlement. The natives are feared by those nearer the South Sea, and, being a valiant race, they possess the best land we have hitherto seen. It has the general appearance of the land of the Collao,* well fitted for raising flocks. There are low hills with valleys between them, where we saw much smoke, a sign of places where the natives are living, and, therefore, probably with the best climate.
* In Southern Peru.
On Ash Wednesday, the 17th of February, Pedro Sarmiento sent the Pilot, Hernando Alonso, to find out whether there was shelter behind an islet which is in the middle of the bay of Gente Grande, for we had a wind from the north. Not finding good anchoring ground he returned to the ship. When the tide began to go out, we got under weigh and made sail to continue our voyage, making some progress while the tide was with us, for there was little wind, and at times calm, that which there was being N.N.W. and N. But while in mid-channel it fell calm, and the tide was flowing, so we were forced to send the boat ahead to tow. But the current was too strong, we could not hold our own, and we drifted back some distance. We could not anchor, so that we were in this state until the tide turned and a breeze sprang up from N.W. It was then night, and we were forced to search for bottom, and anchored in 15 fathoms, about a league further on than the place whence we started in the morning. This day we could not make out a clear channel. To many on board it looked ahead like a closed bay, and there were differences of opinion over this. Some thought we should go back to a bay astern. Others fancied that these currents ebbing* back could only be owing to a bay without outlet. All night we were trying with the lead line whether the tide ebbed or flowed. We found that it ebbed when the current flowed towards what we thought to be a closed bay, which gave us hope that there must be an outlet in that direction, though it appeared to be a closed bay. But the experiment of the tides, and the sight of a mountain range of greater height behind the lower land, with a valley between E.N.E. and W.S.W., gave us a lesson to leave nothing without trying, so that we might have nothing to complain of or repent afterwards.
* “Jusente” (Fortuguese, Juzante), means the tide going down. It is derived from the old Castillian word “juso” or “yuso,” meaning the same as “abaixo.” On the Cantabrian coast they still use the words “Montante” “Jusente” for flow and ebb.
The following Thursday, the 18th of February, Pedro Sarmiento went away in a boat with Anton Pablos, the Chief Pilot, and eight men, proceeding, with the current, under sail towards the north. They came to a high hill, with a ravine, two and a half leagues from the ship, and three and a half from the bay. Thence we discovered the channel trending E.N.E. Pedro Sarmiento gave the name of “San Vicente”* to this hill and ravine, which forms one end of the bay of Gente Grande. From this cape of San Vincente, another hill and cape is seen to the north, a league E. This is the narrowest part we had seen since entering the strait. We called the cape “Nuestra Señora de Gracia.”† At these two capes fortresses could be built to defend the entrance from both sides.
* Cape St. Vincent of the Admiralty Chart, in 52° 47' 45" S., 70° 26' W. The south side of the entrance to the “Second Narrow” from the west.
† Gracia Point of the chart, being the north entrance to the “Second Narrows” from the west.
From the cape of San Vicente we went onwards in the boat for a league, the coast trending E.N.E., and having beaches all along. Leaving a guard in the boat, we went on shore without arms, and climbed up the ravine to the highest hill in the neighbourhood to get a view. Here we laid down the channel, capes, and coast line as well as was possible, by means of our eyes and of two compasses. In this way Pedro Sarmiento and Anton Pablos set down what they saw there. The name of the hill and ravine whence they made their survey was Barranca de San Simon, and thence appears a point on the opposite coast N.N.E.—S.S.W. four leagues, which was called the point of “San Gregorio.”* another low point runs out, which was called “Nuestra Señora de la Valle.”† Thence we saw a very large opening of the sea bearing E.N.E. Over the land on the south coast we had an extensive vi:ew of a country, with pastures like those of Castille, scattered over with shrubs of a fine colour, like the wild thyme of Castille, and with holes like rat holes. The land is hilly. Having noted everything we went back to the boat; whence we saw the natives making great clouds of smoke on both sides of the strait. Without further delay we made sail on the boat and returned to the ship with the flood tide, for it was beginning to blow from the north. We took the altitude here in 53° 3' S. today, at three in the afternoon, the tide was neither flowing to the sea nor up the strait; and as it began to ebb, we made sail to ascertain whether we could proceed by the narrow part at cape Nuestra Señora de Gracia. The wind began to change from W. to N.W., and the currents to check our way, so that we made little progress. Being in the bay, steering to get clear of it and into the channel, the side winds and eddies, coming down from the hills, baffled us so that we drifted towards some rocks, and though the seas took us, the people believed they were eddies from the currents and, therefore, were not alarmed. But coming nearer we found six fathoms, and at the next cast of the lead it gave five, presently four and a half, and each time there was less depth. Although we came to the side for clearing the bay, the wind failed, so that the current carried us towards the rocks, no eddy appearing. Seeing that we were in great danger, we commended ourselves to our Lady of the Valley, and Pedro Sarmiento promised to go a pilgrimage and make offerings to her sacred house at Seville, beseeching her to deliver us from this peril. Suddenly the Queen of the Angels, Mother of God and of Mercy, sent us a fresh breeze, with which the ship went out against the current.‡ The reefs of rocks extend for a league E. and W. to within three leagues of the cape of San Vicente. Half of them are N. and S. of that cape, the rest from the E. to S.E. and W. He who comes this way, must take notice that he must not approach these without the lead over the side, because in fine weather all looks smooth, and often the sea is as high as the land, so that the coast is not seen until the ship is very near, for the look-out man thinks it is all sea until the ship is on shore. In navigating, attention should be paid to the tides, and the anchors should be quickly raised. In all these parts bottom is to be found, from San Juan of Possession, even in mid-channel, and the greatest depth does not exceed 50 fathoms. The land should not be approached closely without taking soundings and having a boat ahead.
* Cape Gregory of the chart being the north side of the entrance to the “Second Narrow,” coming from the east, in 52° 40' S., 70° 12' W.
† This name has not been preserved. §
§ See Punta Valle footnote, below.
‡ “Lee Bay” of the chart.
Having escaped this danger of the rocks, we went on with a fresh westerly wind on the starboard tack. As night was coming on, and it was slack tide, we anchored in mid-channel, in 15 fathoms, between the small islands, bearing N.E. and S.W. a league from each other. We named the S.W. one “Madalena,” and the N.E. one “Santa Marta.”* The Madalena is round, and half a league in circumference. Santa Marta runs N.W.—S.W. for half a league, and on the S.E. side has a low point which extends far out as a bank.
* Sta. Marta and Sta. Magdalena Islands of the chart, in mid-channel, east of Elizabeth Island. The former in 52° 51' 30", the latter in 52° 55' 30" S., 70° 34' W.
Between these two islands comes a point of the main land, rather high, named San Silvestre, and between it and the islands there is a great channel. The main land, which is between points San Antonio de Padua and San Silvestre,* forms a great bay of low land, which we called the bay of “Santa Catalina;”† and between the points of San Silvestre and Nuestra Señora de Gracia the mainland forms another very large bay W. S.W. We called it the bay of “San Bartholome.”‡ At the entrance of this bay there is a shoal, which raises the sea in it. Be careful of it. At night it fell calm, the wind which had been fresh from the west died away, and we anchored. It was calm all night.
* Point San Antonio de Padua appears to be Punta Arenas; and San Silvestre is a point on Elizabeth Island. Neither of these names have been preserved.
† Catalina Bay, on the Admiralty Chart, is placed north of Sandy Point.
‡ This name has not been preserved.
On Friday morning, the 19th of February, at the turn of the tide, we made sail with wind from the east, sending the boat ahead under sail to sound, with the Pilot Hernando Alonso and a boat's crew in her. We were always in from 25 to 30 fathoms, sometimes a little more or less, and at 9 in the forenoon, coming near the narrow place, it fell calm. We recalled the boat to come and tow the ship, which she did for a good long time until we reached the narrow place. Here there is great danger from currents when there is no wind. Being at the entrance it began to freshen from the east, and we left off towing. As the tide had ceased to run out, we made for the north coast, for the bay which Sarmiento named “Santa Susana.” There we anchored in eight fathoms low water, good bottom, half a league from the land. All the land in these narrows has bottom in 30 and 40 fathoms, stone, but the coasts and ravines, and the beaches are lime. With the flood tide the wind freshened from the east, moderate and warm, with a little rain. This wind seldom blows. On the coast, on the side of the South Sea from the Gulf of Trinidad, it is the north wind which is warm and moist, and rain comes with it. Here this occurs with the east wind; although there it is always stormy, and here it comes with fair weather. From the ravine of San Simon onward, the coast trends E.S.E. It is a low narrow point which we named San Isidro.* Points Nuestra Señora de Gracia and San Gregorio bear E.N.E. and W.S.W. from each other.
* San Isidro Point, on the Admiralty Chart, is on the south side of the entrance to the “Second Narrow” coming from the east; in 52° 45' S., 70° 7' W.
On Saturday, the 20th of February, we shifted berth to get closer inshore on the north side, because we were in the full force of the currents and tides where we were anchored. We anchored in eight fathoms, a league west of point San Gregorio. Believing that we were well berthed we were joyful, when the instant we sounded we found ourselves in three fathoms of water, the tide ebbing, which made us anxious; but, by the great diligence of pilots, sailors, and soldiers, she was towed out towards the channel until the depth was 15 fathoms. Here we let go two anchors, and here we thought ourselves really safe, though the place was dangerous owing to the currents.
For this reason, that is, to fly from the impetus and fury of the currents in the middle of the strait, Pedro Sarmiento went in the boat to discover whether there was a port on the other side of the point of San Gregorio, taking with him the Father Vicar, Hernando Alonso, seven arquebusiers, and eight sailors, good men by sea and land. We went to the shore, landed, and, forming the men in order, marched to the upper part of the ravine, to the highest point of the cape, where we could make out the sea at the other side of the point of San Gregorio. Pedro Sarmiento took a round of angles of the points and bays which were in sight, and planted a small cross on the highest land, there not being wood enough for a larger one, the land being bare, without woods or clumps of trees. He took possession of all that land for his Majesty, and ratified the act.
This point of San Gregorio is peopled by natives. As we saw that the wind was beginning to blow fresh from the west, from which quarter it is accustomed to blow furiously, Sarmiento did not wish to stay any longer, but to return to the ship, that no risks might be run. In returning we saw a long hill running N.W.—S.E., between which and the point of San Gregorio there are some low plains like valleys, in the manner of fields, some green and others fallow, also a lake of fresh water; and by the appearance of the land we judged that there were no rivers here, but small lakes and springs from which the natives drink. We came to this conclusion because in making holes in the earth flowing water is soon reached.
Having got into the boat, we made for the ship, sounding as we went. It is to be noticed that the whole bay, which extends, as I said, from the bay of San Gregorio and point of Nuestra Señora de Gracia by land, is shallow, with but two to three fathoms. A ship entering here cannot approach near the coast without risk. She should rather come to in mid-channel, or at least should not anchor in less than twelve fathoms, for being in eight, it will give three or less at low water, and at a distance of two boats' lengths will be left dry. We had scarcely got back to the ship with the boat, when it began to blow furiously from the west, and as the tide was rising against the wind, there was much sea. As we had had experience of the fury of this wind we desired to move but could not, owing to the strength of the current and wind which turned the ship different ways. We, therefore, waited until the tide was slack, and then brought the cables to the capstan. The capstan turned so easily that every one feared that the cables had parted and the anchors were lost, which caused us the greatest anxiety and fear of danger. But, persevering with a good heart, some at one piece of work, some at another, and Pedro Sarmiento taking bearings of the land to see if we should clear the point, he knew when the ship was over the anchors. Looking down at the cables he knew that the ship held by them, and that it was the current rushing under her stern that made the capstan go round so easily, the cables being in bights. He told this to the men in a loud voice, which consoled them greatly, as they now knew that the ship was fast. At length, with great labour for the men, the ship receiving heavy blows from the sea so that the topmast was taken out of her, God was served that the anchors should be raised without carrying away the cables. In casting, the current turned the ship and she was drifting on the rocks, when a sail was filled by the wind and she went ahead to weather the point of San Gregorio. Beyond it we found a good bay, which we had seen when we went on shore to survey. We stood into this bay until the cape of San Vicente was shut in by that of San Gregorio, when we anchored in 20 fathoms, pebbles and lime in small pieces.*
* “Gregory Bay” of the Admiralty Chart.
On Sunday, the 21st of February, the dawn was clear and fine, but after sunrise the east wind began to blow, and as the sun rose, so the force of the wind increased. In the morning some natives appeared on the beach, who shouted to us and lighted fires. We answered with a white flag in token of peace; and Pedro Sarmiento intended to have sent on shore with some presents for them, when the wind increased so much that it was not thought advisable to send a boat at that time. Today, all three of us took the altitude in 52° 31' S., in which latitude is the point and bay of San Gregorio.* From that point another [point] is in sight, bearing E.N.E. five leagues, being the one already named Nuestra Señora del Valle§ on the north coast, and between the two the coast curves round in a great bay, which was named the bay of the “Eleven Thousand Virgins.”† From point San Gregorio another point appears on the south coast, which we named “San Isidro,” S.E.—N.W. four leagues. Until noon it was cold, with a clear and serene sky, and in the afternoon it was more overcast and less cold. In this bay neither the flood tide nor the ebb tide run with such force. From the point of Nuestra Señora de Gracia to that of Nuestra Señora del Valle, a chain of hills extends about a league inland, not very high nor very low, and bare. Its length is more than eight leagues, and it gradually sinks down until it ends in the point of Nuestra Señora del Valle.
[1 Spanish league = 4.1507 international miles (Source: Conversion Center website)]
* 52° 40' S.
† This name has not been preserved. [It has, however, been preserved at the Cape of the same name.]
§ Named “Nuestra Señora de la Valle” above [emphasis added]. In the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency database, the coordinates for Punta Valle are 52°34'00" S, 70°03'00" W, which places it midway between the modern Bahías Gregorio & Santiago [red bullet on the map below]. However, this contradicts several points in Sarmiento's description in the paragraph above:
Google Earth view of places mentioned in text. Sarmiento's bay is now Bahías Gregorio & Santiago. His San Isidro appears to be approximately E.S.E. ¾ E, some 12+ miles from the modern Punta San Isidro. Assuming Sarmiento's observations were correct, the modern Puntas Valle & San Isidro are not in the locations he gave.
On the same Sunday, the wind and sea having gone down, natives again appeared on the beach shouting and waving. In order to see what they wanted, and to learn something of that land, Pedro Sarmiento went on shore in the boat with eighteen men. On arriving, only four natives showed themselves, with bows and arrows, making signs of peace, and saying, Axijtate, which means “Brothers.” We jumped on shore, and the natives took up a position on a hillock, giving us to understand by signs that one was to come without arms. Sarmiento sent one unarmed with presents of beads, bells, and combs, which he gave them. Presently they said that he must go down, which he did. Then the Ensign went up alone, the General sending more gifts by him, which they received. But all this did not give them confidence. Seeing this, the General ordered the Ensign to come down, which he did. As they could not be reassured, either by gifts or caresses, Sarmiento determined to leave them, and to ascend the side of a ravine at a different part from where the natives were, so as not to alarm them, his object being merely to explore the hill and examine the channels. Forming his men in order, he went up the ravine by a slope. Before he could reach the top, the four armed natives came, and without any provocation, and after having received the gifts, they began to shoot many arrows at the General, who was in front, and at the Ensign and Chief Pilot who were with him. They shot five or six arrows with great force and swiftness. One struck the General between the eyes, and another on the right side, which was defended by the skin of a tapir. The rest were received on his shield. The Pilot was struck in the body and arms, and on his shield, and a soldier named Pedro de Aranda was hit in the eye. When he felt that he was wounded, he said, “They have killed me!” The Ensign, when he heard him, told him to turn back. The General, crying “Forward!” rushed down on the four Indians, who fled with such speed that, quickly as we reached the hillock which was close to, they were already so far off that no arquebus could reach them. Forming the troops again, we continued the ascent of the hill to get a view of the country inland. We discovered some rolling hills between two hills, very pleasant to look upon, and covered with beautiful verdure like cultivated land. We could make out a number of shapes like houses, which we supposed to be the huts of those people. We did not go on because it was not desirable to leave the ship weak handed, and all hands are required when the fury of the tempest bursts, for which it is always necessary to be prepared, although this land has better weather than those we had passed. We returned for this reason, and on the way back we found two cloaks of sheep skin, with their wool like those of Peru, and some sandals. As the natives ran for their lives they must have thrown them away. We returned to the ship, where the wounded man was cured. That night it was fine at intervals, and there were squalls every now and then.
On Monday, the 22nd of February, it began to blow from N.N.E. at dawn with much force, changing to N. and then to N.W., which wind blew until eleven in the forenoon. At that hour it veered to W., then to S.W., and after a little it went down, when we got under way to proceed with our discovery. As the west wind continued and we had not room to run before it, because we were near the land, and as we were not certain of the direction the channel would take, also because it is necessary to anchor early each evening, we crossed to the other side, to the southern coast, to a bay six leagues N.N.W. of point San Gregorio. Arriving early, we anchored behind a point which had been already named San Isidro, in a little bay, surrounded by low land and sandy beaches, in ten fathoms, a quarter of a league from the land. As soon as we had come to, we sounded and found ourselves in seven fathoms. We were in ignorance how far the sea would recede, and we feared that, as near low land the tide usually went out further, we might be left dry. So we weighed again and stood out with the wind blowing over the land from the S.W., anchoring again in 15 fathoms. Presently it began to blow very hard, and we dragged the anchor as the holding ground was bad, so we weighed once more and anchored a third time in nine fathoms, sandy bottom; at low water the depth being six fathoms. At night the wind went down a little, though there were occasional squalls from the S.W. and W.S.W., with great cold, for those winds here bring the greatest cold. Still this region is warmer and has a better climate than those we had passed. Moreover, it is pleasant to look upon, is capable of sustaining a large population, and wild and tame flocks, and would yield grain. According to Felipe, the big native, the land yields cotton, which is the best proof of a mild climate, and cinnamon they call cabca.*
* Probably Winter's bark.
Here the sky is very clear, and the stars shine very bright, and are good for taking observations. The star Crucero is very serviceable, being 30 degrees from the Antarctic Pole; and we used it for taking the height of the Pole, as we used the North Star in the northern hemisphere, although with a different computation. As this Crucero does not serve all the year round, but only for some months, Pedro Sarmiento took great pains to seek out another pole star nearer the Pole, with a shorter calculation, which would be more general and constant. As it is diligence that makes research bear fruit, God was served that he should make this discovery and verification. Thus during many clear nights, with great care, he adjusted the stars of Crucero and its pointers, and two or three pole stars of very small circumference, with the favour of God, which will be very useful to the curious navigators who may wish to profit by it during the portion of the year when the Crucero cannot be used, which is the greater part of it.
He made use of this observation for the honour and glory of God, and others of this kind for certain verifications of latitude and longitude will be described elsewhere, in another part which will be the proper place. Now it does not seem appropriate to mix astronomy with descriptions of routes and itineraries.
At dawn on Tuesday, the 23rd of February, it was very cold and blew furiously from the west. As the land was low it did not protect or shelter us at all, and, that we might not carry away the only good cable we had left, although it was chafed in many places, yet it was our only help and salvation after God, it seemed best to our Chief Pilot and to Hernando Alonso that we should make sail and run before it, both with and against the tide. This we did, and continued to follow our strait, leaving a bay on the right which entered into the land more than six leagues. It was named the bay of “San Felipe,”* beyond the point of San Isidro. We continued a N.N.E. course, thus crossing the strait to discover a narrow inlet that appeared ahead. We entered a bay on the north coast, named the bay of Santiago,† which bears N.—S., with San Felipe, and being well advanced that we might discover the narrow part, we sounded in 20 fathoms. Suddenly we got eight fathoms, and we had scarcely hauled the lead out of the water, and thrown it again with the greatest speed, when we got three fathoms. A sailor who was in the boat towing astern, thinking that the ship had touched (as he said), put a pole, two fathoms and a half long, into the water, and, before he had finished the whole length, reached bottom at two fathoms. This ship drew three fathoms, or very little less. We were all in mortal confusion, as those usually are who expect to be drowned and lost, by sea or land, and when there is no hope but in heaven. Remembering this, we commended ourselves to our Lady of Hope, the Mother of God, our Advocate, whose name this ship has, and her blessed Son miraculously saved us through her intercession. I give infinite thanks to my God and Lord, and to the most precious Mother, the Virgin Mary, who has shown us so many mercies in this discovery, liberating us in moments of death and from infinite dangers! Presently the ship was in 18 fathoms and more, the wind blowing furiously from the west. Under part of the foresail we entered the narrow, which is better than half a league across, with cliffs on either side, and three leagues long.‡ It bears E.N.E. and W.S.W. Here the current is very strong, and there is more than 50 fathoms of depth, sand and lime. On the north side there is a lime beach.
* “"Philip Bay” of the Admiralty Chart, east of Isidro Point.
† “St. Jago Bay” on the Admiralty Chart, in 52° 33' S., 69° 53' W.
‡ Here it was proposed to establish the fortress. (Note by the Spanish Editor.)
This narrow was named by Pedro Sarmiento the narrow of “Nuestra Señora de Esperanza,”* to whom we had commended ourselves in our danger. At the mouth, at the end of these three leagues, there is a narrow point on the north side which was named the “Punta Delgada,”† and to S.E. of it there is a bed of seaweed at the end of the point, at the entrance of the narrow on the north side. It was named “Barranca,” and the other opposite to it, on the south side, scarcely half a league across, was named “Punta Baja.”‡ From the latter point the south coast trends E.N.E. for five and a half leagues, as far as a very low point which was named Anegada.^
* Called “First Narrows” on the chart.
† “Delgada Point” on the Admiralty Chart.
‡ Points Barranca and Baja are on the west and east sides of the “First Narrow” coming from the west, on the Admiralty Chart.
^ Anagada Point is on the east side of the entrance to the “First Narrow,” coming from the east, on the Admiralty Chart.
Points Anegada and Delgada bear from each other E.N.E.—W.S.W. three leagues. North of Anegada Point and joined to it there is a reef of seaweed which extends out to sea the distance of an arquebus shot, N. and S. On reaching Point Delgada, where the strait now has a width of a league, it blew so hard from the west that we sought shelter, as well because of the danger to the ship, as because we saw a risk of losing the boat and a sailor in it who was steering it, and was in much danger. So, as we passed Point Delgada, we discovered a large bay on the north side, which I named “Nuestra Señora del Remedio.”* When we wished to enter it we saw an islet and a reef of rocks, with many beds of seaweed. We, therefore, did not dare to go in, but stood on to another point, 10 leagues from Punta Baja, E.N.E.—W.S.W., which the Captain named the “Point of Consolation,”† the space between being a curved bay with low hills inland. Before reaching this point, being in 20 fathoms, it shoaled to four fathoms half a league from the shore, which once more put us in a state of anxiety, and again the Mother of God consoled us by delivering us from the danger. Hence the name of “Consolation” was given to the point. It is three leagues from Punta Anegada, N.N.E.—S.S.W., with the channel between them.
* This name has not been preserved.
† This name has not been preserved. It appears to be the Cape Possession of the Admiralty Chart.
When we arrived at this Point of Consolation we took the altitude in 52° 30' S.,* and from it another low point was in sight on the north side, bearing E.N.E. four leagues. I named it the cape of the “Virgin Mary,”† the coast between being straight, with high cliffs. From Point Anegada the south shore trends to the south, and forms a great bay which extends and widens the mouth of the strait to more than ten leagues. All we could make out was a coast N. and S. with the cape of the Virgin Mary 10 leagues. I called the cape of the land “Nombre de Jesus”‡ and the bay between it and Anegada was named “Lomas,”^ because a hill extends along this bay, with higher land than on the north side.
* Cape Possession is in 52° 18' S.
† Named Cape Virgins by Magellan:§ which name is preserved on the Admiralty Chart, in 52° 20' S., 68° 21' W.
§ According to Antonio Pigafetta's account, “We found … a strait which we called the Cape of the Eleven Thousand Virgins” [emphases added]. See Cape of the 11,000 Virgins on the Placenames page for more details.
‡ This name has not been preserved. It is the “Catherine Point” of the Admiralty Chart, on the south side of the entrance to the Strait.
^ This name is retained on the Admiralty Chart, between Anegada and Catherine Points.
As we saw no more land to the east, and we feared we might come upon some lone coast, as we had done before, which would be very perilous without light, the Chief Pilot shortened sail, only leaving enough to give her steerage way, navigating so as to make little progress, only part of the distance we had made out from the mast head. In the first watch God was served that the wind and sea should go down. We then got the boat on board, with the sailor who was in it, with the favour of the Mother of God. At about 9 at night we began to steer E.N.E. in 20 or 22 fathoms, and after two hours we got 7½ fathoms, three leagues S.E. from the cape of the Virgin Mary. We bore away to the right hand to S. and S.S.W. seeking greater depth, when it increased to 40 fathoms and more. We then steered S.E. and soon got only 13 fathoms, so turned S.W. and deepened to 22. Thus we continued, in the greatest anxiety, all night. The Pilots, Anton Pablos and Hernando Alonso did nothing but sound all night, and at dawn their hands, and those of the sailors who assisted them, were quite benumbed, from heaving and hauling in the lead out of the cold water. All this night the wind was light from W. and W.S.W., and it was fair weather.
It dawned clear on Wednesday, the 24th of February, but afterwards it clouded over. This day we came out of the strait of Madre de Dios. From this point the ship Almiranta should have returned, if she had not parted company before. But until she reached this point she had not complied with the orders of the Viceroy, besides having gone against the service of God and of his Majesty, as well as against his plighted word and many oaths, orders, and instructions, he showed little friendship and less charity to his companions, and did great harm, which might have been worse; for much was left undone which might have been done if the Almiranta had kept company with the Capitana. In the first place, if both ships were together there would not be so much danger if an enemy was encountered; and if one should be in danger, in the perils we had to face, she could have received help from the people of the other ship. When we went on shore we might have had a larger force, while the needful number would remain on board to guard against storms and enemies, and we could then have made ourselves better acquainted with the secrets of the land. It is necessary that, in such cases, misconduct should not be passed over, because this would excuse similar neglect of duty, whence would result great evils and losses.
The strait of Madre de Dios, from cape Espiritu Santo to that of Virgen Maria, is 110 leagues from the South Sea to the North Sea;* and further on I will state my opinion on the more important matters with reference to carrying out the intentions of the Viceroy, and on what relates to the principal object of the voyage.†
* Fuller, Cavendish's pilot, gives 105 leagues as the length of the Strait.
† This must have formed the subject of a separate confidential report.
This Wednesday, that we came out of the strait, it blew very hard from the north, and for an hour from the east, at which time we were six leagues from the cape of the Virgin Mary, and we remained with the cape N.W. Here we took soundings in 12 fathoms—sand; and to get more clear of these shallow places, we made more sail, steering N.E. for two leagues. Here we sounded in 13 fathoms, being W.N.W. from the cape eight leagues. Half a league further we got four fathoms, and returning eastward for half a league we found 49 fathoms. We then continued E.N.E. a league an hour, and the Chief Pilot sounded in 70 fathoms. All the soundings were fine brown sand.
He who should come here, must take great care that he always has the lead in the chains, for it is very dangerous navigation, with many rocks and banks under water. All would be well if those who formerly passed this way had been diligent to make sailing directions, and to give notices with good figures and correct descriptions. But the notices they gave, which up to the present time have been made generally known, are misleading and mischievous, and would cause danger to a thousand fleets if trust was put in them, and will take away all confidence among very zealous and trusty discoverers, if something better is not provided. Praised be God our Lord and his blessed Mother St. Mary, who guided and directed, and suffered us to go forward without delivering our souls to the wiles of the Devil who sought our destruction, that this voyage might not have a good end. I trust in the Divine Majesty that it will result in good to His service, by planting His Holy Catholic Church in these lands, that the blind Gentiles may be instructed in the Holy Catholic faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that their souls may be saved.
He who would enter this strait of Madre de Dios by the mouth on the side of the North Sea, should not approach near to the cape of the Virgin Mary, because there is shallow water as far out as two leagues. From 20 fathoms to the south, the channel has 50 and 40 fathoms. The approach should be made very carefully, and he should not go near the land on the right hand, that is, the north side, without the lead always in the chains, and with every precaution.
Being now in the open ocean, in 70 fathoms, the cape of the Virgin Mary bore east [sic, west] nine leagues,§ which is low land with grey cliffs near the sea, and the same hills inland as were seen from the point of Nuestra Señora del Valle. In the name of the most Holy Trinity we began to shape a course N.E. by E., with a fresh N.W. breeze, and the fore-sail reefed, for the weather was threatening, and the ship carried two girdlings on the masts and false nettings for the rigging. The main yard was lowered and placed fore and aft, and top masts struck, owing to the great lurches made by the ship in the heavy seas. Having steered this course for a league, we sounded in 53 fathoms—sand, and following the same course for about half an hour, measured by the glass, we sounded again in 70 fathoms—red sand. After another three hours, when we had gone three leagues, there was fine sand in 70 fathoms, and all night we went on under foresail and mizen, with a fair breeze from N.E. At dawn there were 75 fathoms—sand. From Wednesday morning to Thursday, at seven in the morning, we sailed N.E. by E., fifteen leagues by dead reckoning. From Thursday morning, the 25th of February, we steered N.W., and at noon we took the altitude in 51° 20' S. Here we saw some large whales. From Thursday to Friday, the 26th, we steered N.E., and at noon took the altitude in 50° 37' S., being 46 leagues from the mouth of the strait. Up to this time there was fine weather, neither heat nor cold to speak of, light wind and smooth sea.
§ Six leagues in original Spanish edition: “á este tiempo estábamos seis leguas del Cabo de la Virgen-Maria.”
From Friday, at noon, we went before the wind under all sail for four hours S.W., and two hours S.W. by W. and N.E. by N. until Saturday, the 27th, at noon, when we took the sun in 49° 3' S., altogether 31 leagues N.E. by E. From Saturday noon to Sunday at noon, the 28th of the month, with wind S.W., we steered eighteen hours to N.E. and six E. by N. The whole course N.E. by E. 34 leagues. We took the altitude in 48° S.
From Sunday, the 28th, with wind N.N.E., we went three leagues E., and at three in the afternoon we tacked and went N.W. six leagues, then N.W. by W. The wind freshened, with a heavy sea, which we feared might drive us on the land. So the pilots ordered sail to be shortened, and hove to. On the following Monday, at ten in the fore-noon, they set the foresail and mizen, and we made a course W.N.W., with pleasant weather; for in these southern regions the north and north-west winds are moist but not cold. We went on this course, four leagues. The wind then changed with much fury, raising a great sea. We furled the main and mizen sails, proceeding under the fore sail. There was such a sea that there were four men at the helm, two above and two below, who were unable to keep her on her course. All night we were at prayers, while both pilots were at the helm, ordering and working splendidly. The seas were very heavy, which poured into the ship. We kept the same course until Tuesday, the 1st of March, having gone 30 leagues by two in the afternoon. From that hour we steered N.E. by E., with the same gale blowing, until Wednesday. On that day we took the sun in 45° 40' S., Anton Pablos making it 45° 10' S., so that we had made 70 leagues since Sunday.
From Wednesday to Thursday, N.E., with the same wind and sea. Pedro Sarmiento took the sun in 44" 6' S., Anton Pablos and Hernando Alonso in 43° 50' S. We made 36 leagues. This day we hoisted another yard of the fore-sail, as the wind had gone down a little, the sea in proportion, but we were always favoured by fortune.
From Thursday at noon it began to blow much harder from the S.W., and the sea rose much more than ever. In the afternoon it blew very hard in squalls, with showers of rain and snow. These swept over us furiously, leaving short intervals of fair weather, and then blowing harder than ever. It was such that we lowered the foresail down on deck, and remained all night in a storm of wind and sleet until next morning. It then blew more furiously still, so the Chief Pilot took in the foresail, and set another of only five cloths and of less drop, so as to be under more snug canvas. In this way, and with such weather, we went on until noon of Friday, steering N.E. by N. We took the altitude, Pedro Sarmiento and Hernando Alonso, in 43° 22' S., and Anton Pablos in 42° 52' S. The course N.E. by E., distance 18 leagues.
From Friday at noon both wind and sea went down a little, and we set the topsail on the mainmast. At two at night we took it in and set the mainsail, steering all night N.E. by E. On Saturday, at dawn, it blew furiously from N.W., and we prepared for a storm, taking in the mainsail, and leaving only the foresail to run. We made good 30 leagues by dead reckoning from Friday to Saturday.
From Saturday until Sunday, the 6th of March, we had this storm from N.W. and W.N.W. until five in the afternoon. It then went down, and the wind changed to S.W. That night we set the mainsail and steered N.E. until noon, when we took the sun in 41° S. Anton Pablos making it 40° 34' S. Run from noon of Friday, 54 leagues.
From Sunday at noon it fell calm with warm weather, and at sunset the wind was N.E. to N.N.E. We steered all night N.W. by W., eight leagues, and from Monday to Tuesday morning, the 7th of March, N.W., four leagues. Then N.W. by W. one league. This day was very cloudy, so that we could not take the sun. From one o'clock the wind was north, and we steered W.N.W. six leagues until six in the evening. At this hour the wind was N.W. and we steered N.E. by N. until midnight. In the morning watch her course was N.E. At noon on Tuesday, the 8th of March, we took the sun in 39° 46' according to Sarmiento and Anton Pablos, while Hernando Alonso made it 39° 48' S.
Tuesday at noon to Wednesday, the 9th, we steered N.E. with a fresh southerly breeze. Pedro Sarmiento took the altitude in 38° 30' S., Anton Pablos making it 38°, and Hernando Alonso 38° 12' S. The day was clear and the night serene. Distance made good 34 leagues. From Wednesday at noon we navigated until 6 in the evening with the wind abaft the beam. Then the wind changed to N.W. and N.N.W. blowing fresh, and we steered N.E. until the l0th of March. We took the sun in 37°. It was clear with a warm wind.
From noon on Thursday to noon on Friday, the 11th, we were on the port tack with the same N.W. to N.E. wind, eight leagues. The wind blew fresh, and all night and until noon on Friday, wind N.E. The Captain and Hernando Alonso then took the sun in 35° 36' S. and Anton Pablos in 36° S.
From Friday at noon we steered N.E. until 3 o'clock, with fair weather and N.W. wind. At 3, a shower came from S.W. and brought the wind aft, but very little of it, and sometimes calm. In this way we went on until noon on Saturday, the 12th, when we took the altitude in 35° 12' S. There were 12 leagues for the day's run.
From Saturday until Sunday, the 13th of March, we had the same fair weather with wind from N.E., and at night a squall with rain came from the south and took us aback, Afterwards we steered N.E. by N. with a fresh breeze—35 leagues made good. No sights this day.
It now began to be warm, with hot winds from all quarters, and the sea water was so warm that it seemed as if it had been heated by a fire, or at least by a very hot sun. On Sunday morning the wind changed to S.E., and we steered the same course as before with a fresh wind, which turned to S. during the night: returning to S.S.W. on Monday. We continued to steer N.E. by N. We calculated our distance made good at 36 leagues, not having taken sights.
From noon of Monday, the 14th of March, it blew from E.S.E. and we steered N.E. by N. until Tuesday, the 15th of that month, sometimes a little one way, sometimes a little on the other. I and Anton Pablos took the altitude in 32° 40' S., which makes 90 leagues since Saturday. From noon on Tuesday we steered N.E. with wind from E.S.E., which freshened a good deal at night and made us take in the top sail; and on Wednesday morning the fore and main bonnets were taken off her. We went on under reefed foresail. At noon on Wednesday I took the altitude in 29° 20': Anton Pablos making it 29° 30'. We made 29 leagues. This day, as the sun descended from the meridian towards the west, so the wind increased from E.S.E., causing some disturbance, but without raising much sea, as the winds were warm and light. Yet with all its goodness we had to caulk in the quarters of the bridge, as good big seas were coming in. But as we were habituated to much worse storms, we did not look upon this as one.
From noon of Wednesday, the 16th, to Thursday, the 17th, our course was N.E. and N.N.E., with the same wind. We took the altitude in 27° 15' S. and made good 28 leagues. From Thursday to Friday, with much more wind from the same direction, and more sea, we proceeded under reefed courses, sometimes N.E. by N., at others N.N.E., and, owing to the heavy blows received from the sea on the starboard side, we went off to N. by E. to avoid them. At noon on Friday we took the altitude in 26° 30' S., having made 22 leagues. This day the sky became clear. From Friday at noon we steered N.N.E. with an E. and S.E. wind, until night: when suddenly a squall came upon us from the E. with such fury that, in spite of much haste to shorten sail, the foresail was split. The rain did not last long and was warm, but we made no more sail that night. On Saturday it was 11 before the sail was repaired, when we set it and continued the same N.N.E. course.
From Saturday, the 20th, at noon, we went until 10 at night 12 leagues on a course E.N.E., with the courses down. At 10 we had a squall from E.S.E. which made us shorten sail and heave to, and so we remained until Sunday, hoping for fine weather. It blew very hard from E. and E.N.E. with showers of rain, and the sea got up so that we were in great confusion, with much trouble from sea and wind, hove-to with her head N. and N.N.E. The wind went down and changed to S.E. at noon on Monday. As we feared that we were near the land, we turned her head to S. and S.S.E., because in this way we increased our distance. Seeing ourselves harassed by such bad weather, we prayed to our Lord God and to His most blessed Mother St. Mary our Lady, that we might be given fair weather; and Sarmiento made a special alm to our Lady of “La Antigua” at Seville. We further commended ourselves to the advocacy of our Lady of Consolation, and promised a pilgrimage on the part of the Father Vicar, Friar Antonio Guadramiro, and gave an offering for a flagellation at her holy house. We also promised another alm for a flagellation at the chapel of the Sacred Body, the Advocate in Seville for those at sea. Very soon afterwards it pleased God that the wind and sea should go down, and we made sail to double reefs, and steered S.S.E. and E., and at times more southerly until night, making five leagues S.S.E. All night we continued the same course until morning—eight leagues. Then the wind began to blow from S.E., and we began to navigate on the other tack, N.E. by E. to E.N.E., until noon, the wind falling nearly calm. We took the sun at noon in 25° 30', S., making our dead reckoning four leagues behind our position by observation.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the 23rd of March, we had fine weather and a S.E. breeze, but rather overcast after dark, when the wind began to blow fresh from S.S.E. This night I took the star Crucero in 25°. On Wednesday morning the wind was S.E., and we shaped our course E.N.E. to clear the shoal of Abrohlo, on the coast of Brazil.* At noon the altitude was taken in 24° 30'. All this day there were rain showers, answering to the impression caused by the dark clouds, and among them not very dense black clouds. On all this coast the east winds are side winds, and east and west winds are warm and moist. The S.E. wind is not so warm as the E.S.E., and when the wind turns more south it is colder, because it comes from a region more remote from the torrid zone over which the sun travels.
* The Abrohlos are in 17° 57' S., 38° 41' W.
From Wednesday to Thursday, the 24th of March, we navigated with the same winds with showers of rain. We steered E.N.E. and E. This night I took the star Crucero in 24° 15', S., and on Thursday the altitude of the sun gave 23° 53', course N.E. by E., 27 leagues. From Thursday to Friday, the 25th, we steered N.E. by N., with wind S.E., and there were some showers at night, coming down like mist or drizzling rain, for there is seldom heavy rain in this climate. At least, that was our experience. In the middle of the night we saw a rainbow, which philosophers call the bow of Iris. It was white, in counter-position to the moon which was setting, and reciprocating its rays, which, for antiperistasis, were in the opposite clouds. This is so curious a phenomenon that I have never seen it before, nor heard nor read of any other person having seen it, except in the narrative of Alberico Bespucio.* He says that he saw something Hke it in 1501. We took the sun in 23°, having crossed the tropic of Capricorn.
* [Amerigo Vespucci] See p. 50 of the translation of the Letters of Vespucci (Hakluyt Society Series).
From Friday to noon on Saturday, the 26th of March, we steered N.W. and N. with a N.E. wind until night, and afterwards E.N.E., the wind having shifted. We took the sun in 23° S. according to me, while the result of Anton Pablos was 22° 20' S., and of Hernando Alonso 22° 30' S.
After noon of Saturday there was fair weather, and we sailed N.E by E. until Sunday at noon, when the General made the latitude 22° 45' S., Anton Pablos 22° 30' S.; being 24 leagues made good. Thiat day we should have sighted the coast of Brazil in conformity with our observations and dead reckoning; but there were currents taking us east. From the previous day we began to experience great heat and calms.
From Sunday to Monday at noon we had a calm, and current S.E. At night light airs from N.W. and we steered N.E. by E.: but they died away towards morning. We made little progress. Monday at noon we took the altitude in 22° 25'. The heat was great in these days. We made six leagues E.N.E. That night I took the star Crucero in 22° S. All night it was fine, but we made scarcely any way, such as it was being N.E.—N.N.E.—N.—N.N.W., for the cards were never fixed in one place, and so we went on until noon on Tuesday, with calms and great heat. Calm all day. The altitude was taken in 22°. Tonight the moon appeared with two great circles, one red which encircled it, and the other dark green which encircled the red one. The moon appeared very red, held to be a sign that wind was approaching. It was calm until 4 on Wednesday afternoon, and then a breeze sprang up from S.E. We steered N.E. and N.N.E., the wind veering to E., light, with a smooth sea. So we went all night N.E. and N.E. by E. I took the star Crucero and the Pole Star in 21° 47' S. At noon our result was 21°30'S.
Our perplexity was very great, for many times we expected to make the land, and yet we never saw it. Although we knew our position as regarded latitude, we were ignorant of our longitude. Sarmiento knew how to find it, but he had no instrument for the observation. Necessity is the mother of invention, and Sarmiento made a kind of cross-staff with which to observe for longitude. With this instrument, with God's help, on the 31st of March, the General took the degrees of longitude, by the full of the moon and the rising of the sun, and found we were 18° W. of the meridian of Seville.* From this it clearly appeared that the current had taken us to the east more than 220 leagues. Sarmiento informed the pilots of this, but as it is a study which they had not learnt, they did not believe it, and said it was impossible.
* This cross-staff must have been constructed to enable Sarmiento to observe an unusually large angle; so as to take the sun's lunar distance. The method of finding the longitude by lunar distance was first suggested by Werner in 1522. But this is the first time that it is recorded that a lunar observation for finding the longitude was taken at sea. The next recorded lunar observation was by Baffin.—See Baffin's Voyages (Hakluyt Society).
From Thursday to noon on Friday, the 1st of April, 1580, we steered N.E. by E., N.E. by N., and N.N.E. before changeable winds. That night I took the Pole Star in 21°. Glory and honour be to God! and I give infinite thanks that, by His assistance, I found this star, as well as the longitude, all coming from His hand. Navigators may take advantage of these two rules and derive profit and recreation from them, giving thanks to our Lord God. I took the altitude in 20° 33' S. and we made 23 leagues N.E.
From Friday at noon, sometimes with light airs, at others with a fresh E.S.E. breeze, we went to N.E. and N.N.E. until noon of Saturday, when we took the altitude in 19° 40' S., being 24 leagues N.N.E., not counting the current. In the night an exhalation ran across the sky, thick, like a sceptre, and went into pieces. It came from E.S.E.—the colour blue and white. It was in the first watch, and denoted wind from that quarter, which came at dawn.
From Saturday to Sunday, the 3rd of April, with an E. and E.S.E wind, we steered N.E. by N. and N.E., clear, with two or three showers. This day Sarmiento took the altitude in 17° 20 S. We had now doubled the shoals and banks of the Abrohlos, according to our latitude, and we must have been more than 200 leagues to the eastward of them. These Abrohlos, on the coast of Brazil, are reported to run 40 leagues out to sea.
From Monday to noon on Tuesday, the 5th of April, we went N.N.E. and N. by E., with an easterly wind. We took the altitude in 15° 57' S., Hernando Alonso making it 15° 40' S. From Tuesday to Wednesday at noon our course with N.N.E., with a fresh breeze; allowing something because I suspected the current was taking us E.N.E. We took the altitude in 14°. From Wednesday to Thursday, at noon, we went N.N.E. with an easterly wind, taking the altitude in 12° S. From Thursday to Friday, the 8th of April, we went N.N.E., with the same wind. We took the altitude in 9° 32' S., making good 45 leagues. From Friday to Saturday we steered the same course with the same wind. I took the altitude in 7° 12' S., Anton Pablos making it f 42' S.; by my calculation we made good 46 leagues.
From Saturday at noon, with the same fresh S.E. breeze and smooth sea, we steered E.N.E., and at five in the afternoon we came in sight of a lofty island bearing E.S.E., eight leagues. When he saw it, Pedro Sarmiento said that it was the island of Ascension, which is on the route to India. He knew this from the observation he had taken yesterday, and by the dead reckoning, with his observed longitude, before mentioned, as a departure. In order to reach it he braced up and hauled out the bowlines; but night came on before we could arrive, so we steered N.E. by E. during the first watch, and from midnight altered course to S. On Sunday, at two in the afternoon, we anchored off the island of Ascension.
On Sunday, at two in the afternoon, we anchored, as has been said, in front of the port, and sandy beaches to the N.W. This day we could not go on shore to find a secure berth. On Monday morning, Pedro Sarmiento sent men on shore to look for water, who did not find any. Hernando Alonso, who had been on shore, sent some small pigs, and some turtles which were so large that it required the boat's tackles to hoist them in. There were many crosses, which we afterwards found had been set up by Portuguese who were shipwrecked on the way from India. As they died the survivors set up crosses, and finally they all died. Some crosses were also set up by Portuguese on their way to India, for we found a board nailed on a cross with this inscription in large letters:—don joan de castel-rodrigo, capitaon mor, chegou aqui con 5 naosda india en 13 de mayo 1576. The inscription was put back in the place where it was found, and with it was set up another board as a memorial of the arrival there of the first ship from Peru, which passed through the strait from the South Sea to the North Sea in the service of his Majesty, sent by the Viceroy, and with a statement of the object. We could not find water, although we were informed afterwards, at the island of Santiago, that there is water on the south side of the island. There is much fish here, and we killed a quantity, salting them down for our provisions. We also killed many sharks, because they interfered with our catching the small fish. Here there are also many birds, of which we took some. They are so greedy that they will take anything: some are boatswain birds, and rabihorcados, as they are called. They even made a dash at the hat that the Ensign was wearing on his head; and to take a letter he had in his hand they came back, again seizing the hat. He held it while the birds pulled at it. It ended with their carrying off the letter, and there was a great fight over it in the air. Near the land there were such shoals of fish that the men killed them with knives out of the boat. It is a dry and hot land, but with great abundance of very large tortoises. Here we took the altitude in 7° 30' S., in which latitude is this island of Ascension.* The port is on the N.N.W. side, and we afterwards ascertained that there is another better port on the south side, where there is water.
* Ascension is in 7° 55' 56" S.
It is well worthy of notice that the observation which the General Pedro Sarmiento took for longitude was shown to have been correct, as well as the calculation he made. For by the reckoning at the hour we sighted the island of Ascension, we judged ourselves to be only 70 leagues from Pernambuco, and we were thus 400 leagues to the east of our supposed position, as calculated by the latitude only. The currents deceived us to the extent of 340 leagues, which was proved by the observation for longitude. The experience given us by the island was the proof of this, though with a slight error as I shall explain presently.*
* Or rather—in another place. He does not revert to the subject in this journal.
When we were navigating along the coast of Paraguay and San Vicente, by dead reckoning, we were looking out for the land, but never sighted it. We laid the blame on the charts being false, and badly drawn and painted. This was our belief until the observation for longitude was taken. Although this is so in some instances, it was not the case on the present occasion, beyond an error of two degrees of longitude, for Pedro Sarmiento examined them with much care, as a matter which concerned him nearly to ascertain. It is a matter of great importance to know this rule for finding the longitude, in long and doubtful voyages of discovery—y quan poco se dan por ello, por no trabajar un poco mas de lo ordinario. Some day, with the help of our Lord God, I will set forth this rule in such a way as will enable those to make use of it who desire to do so; and at the end I will add some notable directions for this navigation. Being satisfied respecting this observation and rule for finding the longitude, Pedro Sarmiento wished to try it in fixing the position of this island, so as to test the one observation with the other. So, on the 12th of April, he took the longitude at 6 h. 12 m. in the morning and, after having worked it out, he found that the island of Ascension was 3° W. of the meridian of Cadiz,* which is further to the east than it is placed on the Portuguese charts by a whole degree, equal to 17½ leagues. So that the position of this island has to be corrected both for latitude and longitude, with reference to the charts of the Portuguese. It is more to the east by a degree, and its latitude has to be reduced by half a degree;† for it is in 7° 30', and they place it in 8° S. Otherwise their chart is well drawn, so far as we could judge.
* 14° 23' 50" W. of Greenwich, and 8° 6' 13" W. of Cadiz.
† Sarmiento's longitude is nearer the truth, but the Portuguese latitude is correct.
While we were here we mended the sails and repaired the masts, yards and rigging, for all had been much knocked about during the storms and bad weather. Although they had often been repaired, no human power could renovate the injury done by wear and tear of all kinds. We did the best that was possible, and at two o'clock in the morning of Monday, the 11th of April, with the favour of our Lord God, in His most holy name, we made sail from this little island, and shaped a course N.N.E. until Tuesday, the 12th. That night I observed the star Crucero in 5° 45', S. From Tuesday to Wednesday we continued the same course. At noon we took the sun in 4° 21', S., being 56 leagues made good since leaving Ascension.
From Wednesday to noon on Thursday, the 14th of March, we went on the same course with fine weather, and the same on Friday, when we took the altitude in 1° 25', S., 42 leagues made good since Wednesday. From Friday to Saturday we steered north, with wind from S.E. I took the sun and found we were 2' S. of the equator, having made 20 leagues. From Saturday to Sunday at noon, with the same wind and the same course, we made 17 leagues. I took the altitude in 1° N. Glory to God Almighty! Today it is 52 days since we left the strait of Madre de Dios and entered the North Sea, and now we are on the north side of the equator, and one day after another we diminish the altitude.
From Sunday to Monday, the 18th of April, with the same wind, we made 18 leagues, by dead reckoning: for this day was cloudy and we could not take the sun. Here we verified what we had noticed several times before respecting the quality of the wind from the Antarctic Pole, that is, from the south and S.W. or S.E., that it is cold and dry, with a clear sky and a bright sun, and that rain ceases.
The northerly winds, on the contrary, are warm and humid, bringing overcast skies and rain. But north of the equator there is a change. The south winds are damp and warm, with clouds and rain, while the cold and dryness come from the north and disperse the rain clouds. This is of much importance for those who write repertories, for they generally write of one pole as if it was for the world in general. It should be noted respecting the plagues and diseases of the world, as well as touching winds, climates, and other qualities, that the active and passive rules are not of general application, but according to the various regions. On this subject I could give fuller reasons and rules, and write much more at large on what I have noted and observed during many years, in many and varied regions: but this is not the place. If God should be served by it, I will do so at some future time for the benefit of my friends.
From Monday to Tuesday, the 19th of April, we steered north for six hours with a fair S.S.E. wind; and continued until sunset. At 10 in the night there was heavy rain and we collected some water, which was a great comfort, for the heat was excessive, and the water we had was getting very low, and the rations very precious. During the night we shortened sail, and in the morning went on again N.N.E. At noon we were in 2° 40' N.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the 20th of April, we steered N.N.W. with rain showers and light winds, every now and then the wind freshening up, until Wednesday afternoon when some heavy rain caused a calm. The light airs from the south took us north until 9 at night; when I took the star Crucero in 4° 30' N. On Thursday the same weather continued until Saturday with terrible heat. On Sunday at noon we took the sun in 5° 50' N. At 10 o'clock on Tuesday a squall of rain came upon us, with so much wind, and so suddenly, that we were caught with all sail set. We carried away the mizen yard, and had much trouble in getting in the sails. The Portuguese call these sudden squalls. They are heavy, dangerous, and terrible in their effects unless a very good look out is kept. Many ships have been thus endangered, and to escape from them the ships which used to take this route to India have given it up. With all this trouble we also got some good, for we were able to collect water, a supply without which we should have been in evil case. Here some of the people began to fall sick, for this region is very prejudicial to health. After the squall and rain had passed over, and the yard had been fished, we made sail, and shaped a course to the north, sometimes on a bowline and at others with the wind aft. At noon, on the 27th of April, we took the altitude, Sarmiento and Hernando Alonso, in 7° 15' N. We had made good since Monday 25 leagues.
From Wednesday to Thursday, the 28th of April, we went north, but on Thursday the wind changed to N.N.W. and we steered N.E. and N.E. by E. I took the sun in 8° 30' N., Hernando Alonso in 8° 10' N. We made good 22 leagues. This day, as by the reckoning we ought to be near land, and the sea seemed to be deep, we sounded at 2 in the afternoon, and got 15 fathoms—sandy bottom—being 15 leagues from the shore. After standing on for an hour we sounded again in 14 fathoms and land came in sight, and sounding once more we got 15 fathoms. There is here a great quantity of fish. Steering N.E. by N. and N.N.E. we saw the land of Sierra Leone on the coast of Guinea, in Africa, ten leagues to the east, the ship being then in 22 fathoms.
Sierra Leone is a famous land in Guinea for the trade in gold and slaves. The Portuguese ships were accustomed to touch here on the voyage to India; but owing to the sickness causing many deaths, the country being unhealthy, as well as to escape the storms, this route was abandoned, and one was adopted leading outside the Cape Verde Islands.
Soon afterwards we sighted another land, not so high, which was the islets named “the Idols.”* All night we were sounding in 8, l0, 20, 22 fathoms—sand; and towards dawn we encountered a squall to which we shortened sail, again setting the main and foresails when it had passed. Our course was N. and N.N.E., and then tacked to keep clear of the reefs near the shore S.E. At dawn we were ten leagues from the land, in sight of a high chain of mountains, forming high peaks—continuous with the Sierra Leona. All this coast has a depth of 10 fathoms or more; the sea outside 15, 8, 10, 22, and in places 28 fathoms. Continuing to shape a course W.N.W., on Friday, the 29th of April, I took the sun in 9° 12' N. Land was in sight, distant 12 leagues.
* Ilhas dos Idolos, north of Sierra Leone.
From Friday to Saturday, the 30th of April, we proceeded with the same winds between W.N.W and W., with fine weather generally, but occasional squalls which obliged us to shorten sail to the sprit-sail and a reefed fore-sail. We made a N.W. course 20 leagues until Saturday at noon. In this part there are currents to the south. The shoal waters of Guinea come out more than 15 leagues into the sea here, and in other places more than 20 leagues.
From Saturday to Sunday, the 1st of May, our course was N.W. At 8 in the evening I took the north star for the first time this voyage, in 9° 48' N. It blew N.N.W. on Sunday morning and we steered west, and E.N.E. until noon. I took the sun in 10° S. Anton Fablos and Hernando Alonso the same. Went on W.N.W. a little westerly.
From Sunday to Monday, the 2nd of May, there was the same fair weather, with calms and light northerly airs, until midnight, the ship all round the compass, then a breeze from N.W. Latitude at noon 10° 13' N. Here we judged that the waters of the Rio Grande of Guinea had taken us to the westward, and we saw many signs of the current of the river N.E. and S.W. We made 10 leagues. From Monday, at noon, we sailed N. for five hours, and sounded in 22 fathoms—rocky bottom. By this we understood that we were near the shoals of cape Nuño Diego; and the islands they call of the “Bixagoos,”* who are valiant negroes, great archers, and very dexterous, shooting a mortal poison, which makes those who are hit by it die of rabies. At this hour we touched and went with little wind W.S.W., to get clear of the shoals, for although there was shoal water, we could not see land, which made us think there was great danger. This we afterwards found to be the case. We stood out for three hours, and then turned towards the land, N.E. all night, always getting into shoaler water down to 7½ fathoms. Then we sighted rather high land. At six in the morning we tacked and stood S.W., when we got 12 fathoms, so again stood in for the land N.E. On Tuesday, the 3rd, at noon, we took the altitude, and all three observers had 10° 48' N. as the result. We made good since yesterday 14 leagues, and now six leagues from the land in 11 fathoms of water.
* The Bissagos Islands at the mouth of the Rio Grande.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the 4th of May, we had fine weather, with calms and light winds. Latitude 11° 12' N. At noon we saw the appearance of breakers at a distance of a league, and tacked to avoid them, going S. and S.S.E. until midnight, 24 fathoms of depth. At this hour, steering W.N.W., a squall came down upon us, with much wind and rain, catching us again with all sail set. God helping, with great diligence we got the sails off her, though the fore and main courses were blown to pieces. After it passed we were becalmed until morning, when there was a breeze from the north, and we steered W.N.W. At noon, on the 5th of May, we took the altitude in 10° 30' N., being at that time in 13 fathoms.
From Thursday to Friday, the 6th of May, we found ourselves on the shoals, and steered S.S.W. and S.W. to get out of them. Latitude 9° N.; losing 28 leagues in our flight from the shoals, and the current being south. There were calms until midnight, and then some winds from S. W., so we steered N.W. until Saturday, when the wind fell. Latitude 10° 30' N. On the 11th the latitude was 10° 53' N., according to the Pilots.
Many things made us anxious and tired during these days. The most frequent were the calms, the great heat, and the sudden squalls; which were the cause of much sickness. Some suffered from fevers, which is a pestilence that carries people off very rapidly in this land of Guinea. Others suffered from eruptions and tumours; others from contractions of the nerves in legs, arms, and in the teeth. Especially a disease broke out which was contagious, and emitting an insufferably bad odour. It swells the gums, forms abscesses, and many die of it, while he who does not die suffers terribly. Besides all this there was the want of water, and the fearful heat which burnt the deck, melted the pitch, and opened the seams between the boards, which was the reason why the ship made more water than she had ever done before. I believe that if God had not succoured us by sending us some rain showers, which enabled us to collect some water, we should have suffered from the great danger in which thirst would have placed us. As we had no means of curing the sick, the belief that they would never recover was general among them.* God alone supported us miraculously. May His name be praised for ever and ever! Amen.
* None died, however, as appears from a comparison of the list of men made in the Strait of Magellan, with the list made at the end of the voyage, allowing for eight men forming the crew of the Concepcion.
When we wanted to increase our latitude to reach the Cape Verde Islands, where we intended to refit, with the aid of the light wind which, by good fortune, sprang up, we presently found ourselves among such shoals and breakers that, to escape drowning, we stood out to sea, and thus lost what we had gained, which was what vexed us more than anything; but in all the God of Heaven and Earth, our Lord, gave us consolation.
On this same Sunday, after noon, with a fresh W.N.W. breeze, we steered N. and N.E. for three hours. Then the wind came to W. (a very rare occurrence in these latitudes), and we altered the course to N.N.E., and afterwards to N. At night it again shifted, and we steered N.N.W. until noon on the 9th of May, when Pedro Sarmiento took the altitude in 11° 50' N., Anton Pablos the same, and Hernando Alonso 11° 40' N. We made good 17 leagues.
From Monday to Tuesday, the l0th of May, we had calms, and the flood tide going to the Rio Grande of Guinea, off which river we were, drifted us towards the land until we were in 10 fathoms of water. Mindful of the great danger of these low lands, we dropped an anchor until the tide ceased to flow, intending to make sail again with the ebb, for we must necessarily get out to sea. As soon as the tide turned we got under weigh and steered N.W. by N., sounding all through the night. We were in much anxiety, for we had no sooner found ourselves in eight or ten fathoms than we got a sounding in six and less, and thus we were all night among banks and currents. When we heard a noise, like the rushing of a river, we sounded, and got very little depth. We passed many of those banks which the Portuguese call Alfaques.* This is a most dangerous coast for large ships, which should not be allowed to take this route without a special pilot for the coast of Guinea, on pain of running the risk of being lost at any moment, and of going through the fatigue of incessant sounding, and of taking many directions to get out of these banks. Steering S.E. we got 20 fathoms, presently we tacked and stood to N.W. and W.N.W. This day I took the altitude in 11° 51' N., when we were in 30 fathoms. We had made good 16 leagues.
* A shelf of ridge of sand in the sea.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the 11th of May, we steered W.N.W. with fine weather, changing the course during the day according to the depth, and at noon we were in 12° 16' N. From Wednesday to Thursday, after many tacks, we again found ourselves in 14 fathoms: so we stood out to sea W.N.W. and N. At this point we got no bottom in 40 fathoms, which gave us great content. Glory to God! On the 13th of May, at noon, we all three took the altitude in 12° 48' N. Our corrected course up to the 17th of May, at noon, was W.N.W. We took the altitude in 14° 20' N. The current was against us, taking us to the S. On the 20th of May it fell calm, and afterwards there was a light wind from N. We took the altitude in 15° 30' N.
On Sunday, the 22nd of May, we were near the land and hove to, and on the 23rd steered S. before the wind without sighting it. But we came in sight of two sail which at first we thought were Portuguese on the way to Guinea. Presently we stood for them, to speak them, and, examining them attentively, we made out that one was a ship and the other a launch, standing towards us in pursuit. We then suspected that they were pirates and that they were working to get to windward of us. When we recognized their character we were near and, by the favour of God, this ship Nuestra Señora de Esperanza got to windward, and when we found ourselves at a distance of a cannon shot, we were all ready, each man at his station, without any one appearing, except he who moved from one part to another. Thus we proceeded one against the other, the launch going ahead to reconnoitre. When she was within a stone's throw to leeward, Pedro Sarmiento ordered the Chief Pilot to make signs to her with a flag for two objects. The first signal was one of peace, because we saw the arms of Portugal in the banner of the large ship. If they were pirates they would understand that we called them to come on board, as people we despised. The reply was to show us a naked sword and to fire a musket shot. We answered with another shot and she passed on. The ship passed us closer than the launch, and, without speaking each other, she strove to get the weather gage. She and our ship manoeuvred to fall upon each other, and thus we continued until after noon. The pirates sailed well, especially the ship. She was handsome and recently equipped, with very good sails—two large bonnets on her main sail. Our ship had her bottom covered with weed and barnacles, from the long voyage, which greatly impeded her way. Thus we closed a little with the pirate, though not to windward, but when we sighted them they were several points to windward.
The launch was ahead of the ship, but when the wind freshened she had to shorten sail and so fell astern, and we came up with her—though she was some way to leeward. At this time we tacked and stood north, in sight of the port of the city of Santiago of Cape Verde. The French ship had a crew of 85 men as we afterwards learnt, besides 25 in the launch. She carried seven large pieces of artillery and many arquebuses; while we only had two pieces and 17 arquebuses, with a crew of 54 men, many of them sick. When the pirate came up under our quarter, we fired a piece, and presently she replied with another. Neither the one nor the other did any damage. The Frenchman seconded this with a discharge of arquebuses, and this ship replied with better effect, for the powder of Peru excells all other powders hitherto known. They made many holes in our sails, and we could not see what happened on board the pirate, except that we saw some who were on deck go below. Then the pirate fired other pieces and volleys from the muskets and arquebuses, so that our mizen was torn to pieces. This ship then fired another cannon, and volleys with regularity, from which it is believed they received damage. Upon this the enemy fired all her cannons at our Capitana, but God was served that no one should be hurt, although the shot passed between us. One passed so as to touch the point of Sarmiento's beard, as he was passing fore and aft giving orders, and seeing to the supply of ammunition. Those who were in the bows of our ship fired certain arquebus shots at those who were in the bows of the Frenchman, and it is believed with effect, for they were seen to disperse, and some went below. While they were firing volleys and we were not idle, the enemy sounded a bugle, and Sarmiento replied with a drum, and hoisted the signal of your Majesty. With this, and the striking of a bell, they were seized with such alarm that at once they went before the wind and made off with greater diligence than when they had come on. We did not chase them, as it would have been time lost, for those ships run before the wind much better than we could; besides night was coming on, and I did not carry a commission. For these and many other good and sufficient reasons, we continued on our voyage.
The people of this ship of your Majesty's behaved very well, so much so that if they had arrived at close quarters, although the others were more numerous, they would not have gained in the transaction, so far as we could judge from what we saw of them, above all with the favour of our Lord God.
The people of the city of Santiago looked on at our fight with the pirates, and thought we were French, and that the skirmish was a bird-call to bring out the Portuguese to our help thinking we were Portuguese, when they would have been taken by the pirates, and for this cause they were looking on. When the thieves had been put to flight a large caravel of Algarve, arrived from Portugal, came out to us and told us that our assailant was a pirate who had committed robberies off Cape Blanco, on the coast of Africa, and had plundered four other ships. He carried 85 men in the ship, and 25 in the launch, and had a Portuguese pilot on board. At the island of Mayo, near Santiago, he had sunk an armed caravel belonging to the fleet which went to colonise Paraiba, where the English formed a settlement in past years and collected the Tapuya Indians there. Finally we arrived and anchored in the port of Santiago of Cape Verde, on Monday night, the second day of Easter, being the 23rd of May 1580. Before we anchored boats came from the town to ascertain what ship we were, and whence we came. When they were told that we came from Peru, by the Strait of Magellan, they were silent from incredulity. Without wishing to come on board, they went back with the news that we were a very ill-looking lot, that some of us wore long hair (alluding to the natives of Peru and Chile we had on board), and that our faces were so forbidding that they would bring us nothing. In truth, the powder and sweat of the encounter a little before, had not left us very good looking; for we had been too sparing of water to look beautiful. After we had anchored, the Governor, Caspar de Andrade, sent the Judge of Health to visit us and to see whether we came from any place where there was plague, for in that case we should not have been allowed to land, which was a poor consolation for our necessities and for the sick who were so sorely in need of help. On the back of this examination, they came again to test us, and decide whether we were Spaniards or pirates in disguise, for most of them were of the latter opinion. They went so far as to say that even if we were Spaniards and not pirates, they must then be even more cautious, because we might have been sent secretly by your Majesty to get possession of the city and island by treachery. When they were at length satisfied, the whole town came to see us and to hear about our voyage, declaring it to be astounding and miraculous, and saying that they took it for impossible. This day we sent the sick on shore to be cured, for many of them were suffering severely from the diseases of Guinea. The Portuguese said that they looked upon it as a greater miracle that we escaped the Alfaques and banks of Guinea, than the storms of the Strait.
On Wednesday morning Pedro Sarmiento went on shore with all the ship's company, in procession and bare foot, with some images and crosses in our hands. We went to the church of our Lady of the Rosary, where we confessed, heard mass sung, and took the sacrament, giving to the officials the alms we had vowed, and more. We gave thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and to His most precious Mother, for having rescued us from many hardships, and brought us to a Christian land. We also gave the alms for the house of our Lady of the Rosary, and for the poor. What we brought for masses we gave to him who would say them for us, and for the souls in purgatory. Having done this we went to visit the Governor, who was ill, and the Bishop. By all we were lovingly received.
Presently we began to clean the ship, to caulk and grease, mend the sails, cordage and spars, and boat, which was all in pieces; also to water the ship, and to clean the water-jars, as if we were just setting out on a voyage. This was necessary, seeing that we arrived in such a condition and in want of everything. Things were so dear that the money that Sarmiento had did not suffice. He was obliged to borrow, and that being insufficient, he was forced to sell even nails to make up the sum required. The water cost us as much as if it had been wine, and from one point of view even more, counting the jars which the negro water-carriers stole from us, besides their pay. Although these are very minute details, yet I am desirous of giving an exact account of everything.
Among the urgent business which was included in the objects of the voyage, the Viceroy's instructions desired that information should be collected touching the proceedings of the English, as well of those who passed into the South Sea with Francisco Draquez, as of others who, according to news which had reached Peru, had settled in Brazil or Paraguay. Pedro Sarmiento made enquiries, and learnt what will be stated further on, from an Algarve Pilot belonging to the vessel which came out to receive us, when we had finished the encounter with the Frenchman. The substance of what he said on oath was as follows:—
On the 15th of December 1579, between Ayamonte and Tavila, this man conversed with two principal English merchants respecting the affairs of the Indies, and of the English who had passed into the South Sea. The Englishmen said that Francisco Draquez, who committed the robberies in the South Sea, was now in England, having arrived there with two ships, very richly laden, last September, having a cargo of plate and valuable things. He made a great present to the Queen of England, who was pleased, and made much of him. Presently the same Captain Francisco got ready five ships to proceed to the Strait and search for those which had been lost there, and then pass onward. They took provisions for three years, and the same Captain Francisco remained to get eight more ships ready. The above five ships left England in December 1579. They further said that 15 days before the Master of the same fleet of Captain Francisco left Ayamonte with a ship laden with oil and wine, for provisions for the same fleet of Captain Francisco, which he did with much diligence, and in a very short time. Those who thus conversed with the said witness appeared to be men of great credit, and they talked to him in this way because, understanding he was a Portuguese, he would not repeat it to Spaniards, and that, therefore, there was no reason to be cautious with him. He swore this before the Royal Notary, and the document remains in my possession.
I also learnt from the same man that when he was robbed by the Frenchmen who fought with his ship, he heard the same Frenchmen say that, after robbing one or two ships laden with negroes off Cape Verde, they went to Margarita, and thence to Yaguana, on the north side of the island of San Domingo, and that it was then not four months since English ships had come to Yaguana laden with hides and sugar, and that they had seized the Governor of Puerto Rico, but did him no further harm because he was ransomed, but they killed Captain Barbudo, who had put the English to death in Margarita. The English carry Portuguese Pilots.
From Pilots and Captains of Brazil, who had recently come from Brazil and returned there, I got very sure intelligence that a great number of English, eight years ago, entered the bay of Paraiba, near Rio de Janeiro, which is in 21° 20' S., and settled there. They were some time among the Tapuya Indians, natives of that land, and they have a generation of women of the land. Three years ago the Portuguese, who settled in Rio de Janeiro, went against these English and killed a number of them, those who escaped taking refuge with the natives in the interior. It is believed that the natives have killed and eaten them, for the Indians in those parts are great feeders on human flesh, and have public butchers' shops of it.
Besides this, other Englishmen settled in a bay to the north of Pernambuco, which is the first in Brazil, and were settled in a bay called “Grande,” the native name of which is Paraiba, whence it had not hitherto been possible to drive them. For this object a fleet of four vessels, two large galleons and two caravels, was fitted out in Portugal with many married and unmarried settlers to colonise Paraiba, which is in 5° 30' S., and to drive out the English. This Portuguese fleet, before arriving at the Cape Verde Islands, was scattered by a storm. The large galleon arrived at the port of Santiago with 400 men on board, and went on to Brazil. The other ship arrived after her, and 13 days before we came to Santiago. One of the caravels went to the island of Mayo, where the French pirate sank her, and killed the Pilot and Master. This was what I learnt here respecting the English who were reported in Peru to have settled in Brazil.
Having got this intelligence, I determined to comply with what the Viceroy ordered in his instructions, to give him notice of all that had occurred in this voyage and discovery up to this point. It was not possible to do this by way of Paraguay or Brazil on account of the currents which carried us to the eastward. Thus was God served that we should come here to be enabled to send intelligence of what was known here, but which could not possibly be known there. With this object I bought a moderate sized vessel for 330 ducats, and provided her with all that was necessary, as well men as provisions, that she might go to Nombre de Dios, and that thence the news might be conveyed to Panama and Peru, in obedience to orders received. While we were making these arrangements, the French pirates, with whom this ship had fought, came within three or four leagues of this fort, so that no vessel dared to go out for fear of the Frenchmen: the people of this ship always being ready with their arms, day and night.
In the morning of Saturday, the 4th of June, the French ship and launch passed at a distance of less than a cannon shot from this port of Santiago, with another vessel ahead of them. Every one believed that the ship in front must be one which departed two days before for Brazil, and which had been taken and robbed by the Frenchmen. Pedro Sarmiento sent to say to the Governor, and his Serjeant-Major, Francisco de Andrada, that such a state of things must be remedied. The Governor, all the citizens, and the Bishop, sent to entreat Pedro Sarmiento that, for the love of God, he being the vassal of a King so powerful as his Majesty, and the uncle of their King, that he would protect them, as they had no other protector at that moment, and avenge them of so great an affront as to allow the pirate to steal that Portuguese ship before their eyes. They would give us all the men and artillery we wanted, and a Spanish ship, well fitted, which was there taking in negroes.
Pedro Sarmiento, for these and other weighty reasons, and principally for the honour of his Majesty, resolved to comply, for as they sought the favour from the servants and vassals of his Majesty, we could not deny them. Moreover, the Governor, thinking that I should wish him to keep his word, presently sent on board his Lieutenant and Serjeant-Major, Francisco de Andrada, with 70 arquebusiers and other arms, including three good pieces of artillery. Another Portuguese, named Manuel Diaz, with as many men, went on board the Spanish ship. Sarmiento also got the other vessel ready which he had bought to send to Nombre de Dios, arming her with two falcons, and some arquebusiers under the command of the Serjeant-Major, Hernando Alonso. Then Pedro Sarmiento went out with the Nuestra Señora de Esperanza and the smaller vessel, ordering the Spanish ship to follow him promptly, in pursuit of the Frenchman.
In two hours we were less than two cannon shots from the enemy, but our Spanish ship did not appear. The French had now come up with the ship ahead, which we supposed to be a Portuguese he had captured, but which turned out to be another French ship, and a large one. All being united, they bore down upon us, with the launch between the two ships. They tried to get to windward, but our ship sailed best and kept the weather gage of them while nearing them, but delaying a little to allow time for the Spanish ship, which was late in sailing, to come up. The Frenchman sent his launch to within a little more than a cannon shot of our ship, and then she stood back to her consorts. We believed that this was done to reconnoitre. Suspecting this, and seeing that the Spanish ship was coming near, we ran down on the Frenchmen. When the launch spoke them they turned, and all three fled before the wind. We went in chase, and if night had not come on soon after, we believed that we should have overhauled them, because one of them did not sail well. But the night was very dark, and we hove to, waiting for the other ship, our consort. Thus we did not pursue the chase, and the pirates were enabled to get far away. We, however, continued to follow them, although they succeeded in deluding us as to their route. Suspecting what they had done, we also altered course, but we did not see them during the night. In the morning they were in sight, though at some distance, off the island of Fuego to the westward. But our consort, the Spanish ship, was out of sight. Fearing that some disaster might have happened, or that she might have fallen in with some other piratical ship, and suspecting, from what we had seen, that the pirates were eager to take a prize, for it was well known that they were looking out for them, we turned to search for our consort, for it was no longer of any avail to follow the French ships when they were at such a distance. The weather was bad, the wind contrary, the Portuguese numerous and without provisions so that they had to be supplied from the ship's stores while on board. In fine, we went in search of the Spanish ship, and, when in sight of the port, we discovered her coming from the east, by which we knew that she had been carried to the S.E. in the dark. The belief was that she had done this to avoid coming to close quarters, and having to fight. We went into port, and the Portuguese disembarked. But the Governor ordered that the other ship should not come into port that night, owing to what she had done, and she stood off and on.
Next morning the French ships appeared off the port again to the south, and very near it. At this the Governor and all the people were much afflicted, fearing that if the pirate saw the Spanish ship outside alone she would come down upon her and capture her, just as she had taken another prize outside the port. The Governor, therefore, sent to Pedro Sarmiento to request that he would order the Spanish ship to come into port and anchor. Sarmiento sent the small vessel with this order. As the Governor, who was ill in bed, knew that the Frenchmen were approaching, fearful of the harm and damage that might ensue, he wrote the following letter to Pedro Sarmiento, in Portuguese:—
“Illustrious Lord,—How much it touches the Spanish reputation that this thief should be pursued and taken, your Lordship understands better than any one, and that your reputation and mine are at stake. I am thus frank because these things affect my honor; but I feel secure under the protection of your Lordship, and of Francisco d'Andrada, his soldiers and companions. For the love of our Lord, on whom we fix our hope. Apart from the insult, I fear great injury from this thief, as many laden ships will be coming from Guinea, and others from India, I, therefore, beseech your Lordship's aid for the service of his Majesty. Whatever you require on shore, I have ordered to be supplied to you according to your Lordship's orders; and another ship. May our Lord guard the illustrious person of your Lordship and increase your estate. Under my hand, your servant,
“Caspar de Anprada,"
I thought it well to insert this letter, because it shows to what straits they were reduced in that city, and how little the Governor could do, if this ship and these vassals of your Majesty had not given assistance, with the aid of God our Lord. Seeing this, and also that it behoved me to make the route clear for our passage, Sarmiento consoled the Governor and the town, and hurried his preparations to go out. Taking the Portuguese that were ready, and with two more large pieces, fire bombs, and good gunners, we slipped the cables and went to sea, where we met the Spanish ship coming into port in obedience to the order that had been sent to her. She was ordered to turn and follow in the wake of the Capitana. We then set out in search of the thieves, who presently took to flight. We pursued them until dark, when we lost sight of them. We then stationed ourselves in the passage of the island of Mayo, which is their meeting-place, to come down upon them if they should pass. All night we had no sleep, all stood to their arms until morning, but the thieves did not appear. We waited until daylight, and searched for them from point to point of the island, towards Fuego. Seeing that they had fled, we returned to the port of Santiago. With all this, the only courtesy shown to us by the people was to sell us what we wanted at double its value; and they even talked about impeding the departure of the small vessel, with the news, to Nombre de Dios, and they fraudulently took from us some things that we had sold to them. But I concealed my feelings, for it was not a time for anything else, nor was it desirable that they should suppose us to be as selfish as they were themselves.
This island of Santiago is 18 leagues long, and 8 wide at the widest part, which is to the south. On this side it has two settlements. This city of Santiago de la Ribera, which was founded 110 years ago, has a bad situation and a worse port; but the place was selected on account of the supply of water. It contains a few more than 450 houses of stone, the best being that of the Bishop, who is named Bartolomé Leyton. There are three forts commanding the anchorage, each with ten good bronze pieces of artillery, and good gunners. They told us that there were 20,000 negroes in the island, and a considerable trade with them. The custom house officers said that the customs were worth more than 100,000 ducats to the King annually. The other settlement is called “Playa,” at a distance of four leagues. The island does not produce wheat, but they raise cattle and sheep. There is little water in the higher parts, except in the ravines, where there are some sugar mills; and maize cultivation, which they call “millo,” besides fruits. Besides this island, there are nine others near it without any settlements, but cotton, maize, and fruit plantations. The names of the islands are Fuego, Brava, Mayo, Sal, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Lucia, San Nicholas, and Buena Vista, all within a space of 60 leagues.
Being ready, we left this port on Sunday, the 19th of June, in the afternoon, with our small vessel in company, besides two caravels on their way to Portugal. On this same day justice was done on the Ensign, who was strangled as a traitor to the royal crown of your Majesty, and as a seditious man who dishonoured the royal banner, and because he sought to impede this discovery which, by order of your Majesty, and in your Royal service, was made and undertaken. In like manner two men were discharged and put on shore this day. One was a native of the Indies of your Majesty, who was landed as a mutineer, and he did not receive a more severe punishment because the evidence against him was insufficient. The other was the purser, from whom Pedro Sarmiento had taken the charge of the provisions, because he had wasted them, and he had been punished and deprived of his pay. He was now discharged from the fleet, and left on the island of Santiago of Cape Verde, as well for this offence, as because he stirred the people to discontent and mutiny.
In leaving this port we went west as far as the channel between the islands of Fuego and Santiago. Here one of the Portuguese vessels parted company at night. Thence we steered about N.W. to clear the island of San Antonio. Through this channel we went under very easy sail to keep company with the caravel, which made much water, and to be ready to help her both in this respect and in case of meeting with pirates. Sailing in this way, Pedro Sarmiento proceeded to despatch the small vessel, which was named Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion. On Tuesday, the 23rd of June, at 9 in the forenoon, he despatched her, under the command of Hernando Alonso, Pilot of this Capitana, and Serjeant-Major, with seven or eight men,* in charge of the despatches which the Viceroy ordered to be sent to him in his Instructions: that is to say, the narrative of the voyage of discovery signed by all those on board who knew how to write, and attested by the Royal Notary of this ship; also reports respecting what was known of the proceedings of the English, that a better look-out might be kept for them, in Peru and Chile than had hitherto been the case. These despatches were addressed to the Viceroy and the Auditors of the Royal Audience. So the little vessel shaped her course to the west,† while we steered N.W., being now clear of the pirates. Pedro Sarmiento had kept the little vessel in company during these days on account of them. This day Sarmiento took the altitude in i8°, the Chief Pilot getting the same result. We had made good 60 leagues.
* These are the men not in the list made at the end of the voyage:—
|The Gunner||Baltasar Rodriguez.|
|Soldiers||Alvaro de Torres.|
|Christoval de Bonilla.|
|Francisco de Mazuelas.|
|Sailors||Juan Antonio Corzo.|
|Sancho de Larrda.|
|They may be assumed to have formed the crew of the Concepcion.|
† Alonso fulfilled his mission, and delivered the despatches into the hands of the Viceroy of Peru. Acosta conversed with Alonso, and saw the account of the Strait.—See the Hakluyt Society's edition of Acosta, i, p. 143.
From Thursday, at noon, with a N.E. wind, we steered N.W. until Friday at noon, and that night the foresail was split right down. We continued to steer N.W. until Sunday, the 3rd of July, when we were in 31° 38' N. It then fell calm, afterwards the wind sprung up, and on Thursday, the 7th, we were in 35° 10' N.
On Tuesday, the 12th of July, we saw the island of Corvo, passing it on the north side. It is in 40° N. We then steered S.E., and on Thursday sighted the island of Graciosa, a small island, but fertile and well peopled. We passed the night between it and the island of St. George. We saw much fire on the latter island, and, from the information we received afterwards at the island of Terceira, the reason was as follows:—
On the 1st of June of this year 1580, the following testimony was given by the Auditor Freibes, in the town of Velas, in the island of St. George, touching this fire. On the above day, on the said island, there was a great earthquake, and in the afternoon three mouths of fire broke out, from which streams of fire flowed down into the sea. This continued until seven mouths had opened, and one of the streams of fire flowed round a hermitage of our Lady. Nine men went to take away some bee-hives at a distance of a cross bow shot from the principal mouth. When they got there another mouth opened and burnt them, so that only two were left half-burnt. It rained cinders, so that the whole land was raised a hand's breadth. The testimony adds:——
“I certify that what is said of this fire in St. George is true.
“Francisco de Freite, Auditor.”
Touching this, they say that the voices of devils and other frightful things were distinctly heard, and finally the island covered them, according to what they say.
Continuing our route, on the 18th of July, we arrived at the city of Angla, in the island of Terceira, which is the principal island of the Azores. Glory to Almighty God!
On Monday, the 19th of July, a ship arrived at this port from the town of Pernambuco in Brazil, and on Tuesday another from the Bahia de Todos Santos, the seat of government in Brazil. When Pedro Sarmiento enquired whether there were any English in those parts he received the following information:—
In November 1579, five white men, with fifteen Indians, departed from the settlement of Tiñares, fifteen leagues from Bahia, to go to Isleos, another Portuguese settlement, by land. Walking along the beach, they came suddenly upon a launch containing ten Englishmen at the “Rio de las Cuentas.” Seven of them were repairing their sails on shore. On seeing the English the travellers ran away, and the English followed them. But understanding who they were, the Portuguese turned, and shot down five with arrows, and came to the launch. They captured two Englishmen who took refuge in the bush. Those in the launch cut the hawsers and left two large bombards. The travellers said that they did not wish to fight, and that if the English would come on shore they should be supplied with provisions, and with what they needed. They answered that they did not wish to do so, and made a show of arquebuses, cross-bows and pikes. At this time the tide suited, and they crossed the bar and departed. Thence they went to another river, which is six leagues from the Rio de las Cuentas, towards Bahia. On an island in front of Camamu, called “Chiepe,” another Portuguese caravel came upon the English launch by chance, not knowing it was there. It put to sea with three Englishmen, for the rest were found on the island, dead of the arrow wounds received at Las Cuentas. Three or four leagues further on a Portuguese boat, going from Isleos to Bahia, came upon the surviving three Englishmen on the beach, very sick and miserable, and the launch was lost, the end of her being unknown. The five English prisoners from this launch, on being interrogated, said:—
That they belonged to an English fleet of ten ships, which was fitted out in England by a great Lord, and that in it they went to the Strait of Magellan and then they returned and cruised along the coast to settle in a port which seemed to offer the greatest advantages.* With this end, their Capitana, which they said was of 900 tons, carried, in addition to the ship's company, 500 men at arms, 400 soldiers, and 100 officers trained to all the mechanical arts. They were well satisfied, because the wages were paid every month. This fleet anchored off an island of the land of Carijos, which we call “Caribes,” where a great storm arose. The fleet put to sea, and the Capitana, not being able to get under weigh as quickly as was necessary, was driven on shore, and all were lost except the said men in the launch, for they were on shore, getting water. After the loss of the ship Capitana, the launch coasted along to Puerto Seguro, where they were also chased, but, being a better sailer, she escaped from the boats which followed her, and she went on, to come to an end near Bahia, as has been said.
* No expeditions appear to have sailed from England for the Straits of Magellan between the return of Drake in 1580, and the departure of Cavendish in 1586. Fenton was on the Brazilian coast in 1583, but the above particulars do not apply to any occurrence during his expedition, besides an earlier date is referred to. It is, therefore, difficult to conjecture what this English expedition can have been, which is mentioned in the text.
One of the five Englishmen who escaped was a young man of thirty years, very clever and a great mathematician. He stated, in the prison, that those who weathered the storm were to return to the ports of Brazil with a large fleet, and, among other particulars, he stated as the truth that, at a place called “Cananea” (which is a small island), there was a padron or mark with the arms of your Majesty, and the commander of the English ordered it to be removed, and another to be set up with the arms of England, as a sign of possession of those lands which extend to Paraguay. These arms may have been set up by Cabeza de Vaca,* or by the Adelantado Juan Ortiz de Zarate,† now six years ago, in Santa Catalina, near Cananea, when your Majesty sent him out as Governor of Paraguay and Rio de la Plata. It is not stated whether they were removed, still it was suspected to be true that the arms of your Majesty were taken down, and replaced by those of England.
* Alvar Nuñnez Cabeza de Vaca, after his return from Florida, received command of an expedition to the Rio de la Plata in 1540. He arrived at Cananea, on the coast of the province of San Paulo in Brazil, in March 1541. Thence he went to the island of Santa Catalina, and disembarked his troops.
† Juan Ortiz de Zarate went out as Governor of Buenos Ayres in 1565 until 1581.
Besides this, the Captain of the Portuguese settlement of Rio de Janeiro sent three Englishmen to Bahia whom he had captured at Cape Frio, belonging to the nine ships which escaped the storm. Three of the ships together were found at Cape Frio which had come to the Cape in search of the other six, which they expected to find there, having been separated by the storm. The Captain of Rio de Janeiro received notice of the arrival of these three ships, and sent four canoes with people to find out about them. They came suddenly on an English launch at an island. On seeing the canoes the Englishmen retreated. They could not do so with sufficient celerity so that all should escape, and thus these three Englishmen were captured. On seeing the canoes and people coming by land, the ships made sail. From these three Englishmen, who were taken, it was known that the three ships went to seek for Cape Frio because they thought the other six missing ships would be there, and not finding them they were to go in search to Paraiba of Pernambuco. They did not arrive, for in Bahia they had certain intelligence, on the 15th of May, that no French or English ships had been at Paraiba. The account given by these three Englishmen, brought from Rio de Janeiro to Bahia, agreed with that of the other five belonging to the launch that was lost in Tiñare.
The arrival of the Englishmen in Brazil was in last November 1579, which was the time when Pedro Sarmiento and his companions arrived at the archipelagos in search of the Strait. The time, as regards one expedition and the other, agrees well with what the natives told us in the Strait. He who gave me this intelligence respecting Brazil is one of the principal people there, and at the end of his discourse he said the following words, which I put here, as something may be made of them in the time to come:—
“The Governors of these times give false justice in Brazil, and are occupied in their own special and tyrannical interests these three years, and show no respect for what is of so much importance to their King and also to the majesty of King Philip, which is to enquire, find out, and report, with ardent loyalty and diligence, this important intelligence.”
As my present endeavour was to enquire touching these proceedings in all parts and from all people, I learnt in this city of Angla, from the mouth of the Corregidor, and generally from common rumour, that on the 2nd of November 1579, a large English ship came on the coast, and was lost near a village called “Gualua,” two leagues from the city of Angla on the island of Terceira, which ship had seven or eight men on board when she was lost. Two and a negro escaped. The negro is now a prisoner in this city, the others were put to death. They raised from the bottom of the sea five very large pieces of artillery of iron, which the ship carried, but they had not been able to get the rest. Those they obtained were of such size as to be suitable for a fort on shore, for it was known that they went to form a settlement in the Indies, and they had 300 soldiers on board. It is said that they carried treasure, which was thrown overboard when they saw they must be lost, that it might not be suspected that they were pirates. The prisoners said they had been on the coast of Guinea a long time with other ships, and that all the people had died of sickness, except those who were on board when she was lost. The general suspicion, which I believe to be probable from what is known, is that this ship is one of those which escaped from the storm already mentioned, and those who give most credit to this belief are the Portuguese from Brazil, who gave me the above information, for they say that they went in search of the nine or ten ships which were fitted out by a great Lord of England.
In this port of Angla there were two small English vessels, and speaking with the master of one of them, who is Hispanicized, and is married in the island, about Francisco Draquez, the pirate, Pedro Sarmiento was told that the master left Bristol three months before, and that he had no news of Francisco having departed thence. I asked him concerning what had previously been said by the EngHshmen at Ayamonte, and he said that it was true, and that where he had been there was the news that certain armed ships were being fitted out at Plymouth or London, but he did not know their destination. This is a corroboration of what the pilot told me. While I was in this port, the Bishop of these islands gave me his testimony respecting a miracle, which is as follows:—
A caravel was sailing from the island of San Miguel to that of San Jorge, on the 15th of June 1580, being ten leagues from the latter island, about half-an-hour before sunset, when the men on board saw, on the face of the sun, a large crucifix, and at the foot of the crucifix there appeared a calvario, as it is usually painted; and they saw two figures, one on the right side and one on the left; that on the right-hand dressed in white and that on the left dressed, as it seemed, half red and half black. And the crucifix was rising up and continued to be visible until the sun set. All who saw it were much terrified, bewailing their sins, and thinking that the end of the world had come. This was taken down by the Auditor Freites, of San Jorge, from all who were on board the caravel, and sent to the Bishop, and this was the substance of it. Laus Deo omnipotenti qui mirabilia fecit in cɶlo et in terra!
When we were in this port there arrived five large ships from India, four from Goa and Cochin, and one from Malacca; the four were laden with spices, drugs, porcelain, and the clothing of the land, and the other came without any cargo, not having been able to get one. The Capitana was said to be of 1,200 tons and the other of 1,300 tons. They said that this one carried 8,000 quintals of spices. Asking for news touching the Spaniards of the Philippines, they said that in the previous year a brother of the King of Burneo, or Burney, which is a great and rich island, came to Manilla and treated with the Spaniards who were there for your Majesty, that they should go to Burneo and drive out the King, his brother, and put him in his brother's place, and that he would be tributary to your Majesty. The Spaniards went, with a great force, to Burneo and took the kingdom. The King fled to the mountains, and the Spaniards set up his brother in his place, whom they brought with them. They found much wealth, and particularly more than 600 pieces of artillery, and with that they returned to Manilla in the Luzones. After some months a Portuguese captain, who came from Moluco, passed by Burneo, and hearing what had happened, and that the first King was wandering in the mountains, he went there and restored him once more, putting to flight the one whom the Spaniards had set up as King. I relate this just as it was told to me, but it is to be believed that the vassals of your Majesty who are in those islands, if they did this, must have acted in a political and justifiable way, as your Majesty orders and desires. Your Majesty will have better intelligence of these proceedings by way of New Spain. Yet I relate what comes to my knowledge, for Princes should be faithfully informed of all that happens, so that if any measure may be necessary, it may be provided for in furtherance of their service.
On Wednesday morning a small caravel, with the banner of Portugal on the poop, arrived at this port and city of Angla, bearing a letter from Don Antonio to the Corregidor, in which, although I did not see it, it was declared and ordered that the Corregidor should proclaim him as King,* and that any one who contradicted was to be killed.
* On the death of King Henry (the Cardinal) of Portugal, Philip II was his nephew and next heir. The only other competitor was Antonio, Prior of Crato, another nephew, but not legitimate. Antonio was defeated by the Duke of Alva at Oporto, and fled. Philip then became undisputed sovereign of Portugal. The Azores were in favour of Don Antonio, and he was proclaimed King at Terceira, but all resistance soon ceased.
At this time Pedro Sarmiento and the Vicar, Friar Antonio Guadramiro, were with the Corregidor, persuading him to be in obedience to the Church, for the Bishop held Don Antonio to be excommunicated. But the Corregidor persisted in humiliating himself, and maintained that he was not excommunicated, and, by a word inadvertently spoken as to the coming of the caravel, by a notary, it appeared that things against us might be considered. Dissimulating as much as possible, I concluded the interview, and embarked with all the people who were then on shore. News then came by a caravel that the Governors had pronounced for your Majesty, that the camp of your Majesty was then near Setubal, and that the coast from Cape St. Vincent to the mouth of the Tagus was for your Majesty; while only Lisbon, Santarem, and Setubal had declared for Don Antonio. Some, in this place, showed a desire for your Majesty, and others were on the opposite side, as is the manner of the vulgar herd. But the nobles and gentlemen, in our presence, with great willingness declared themselves for your Majesty.
The people, however, began to show hostility, and we were presently surrounded by boats. The ships from India were told to defend the entrance to the port, and to fire upon us if we attempted to depart. It was publicly said that we should be attacked and killed, for your Majesty had entered Portugal with your camp. They wanted to take our papers and the narrative of the voyage, declaring that the Strait fell within the demarcation of Portugal, and that this discovery would be most injurious to Portugal: so they would keep no more terms with us, but would take us and kill us. We, therefore, lived like those who momentarily expect to be executed through the bhnd fury of the mob, but with our weapons in our hands, and our matches lighted at all hours.
Although the majority in the city and on board the ships said all this, no one dared to be the first. As those in this ship of your Majesty had acted well to all in that city, there were some who befriended us, and apprised us of what passed. Especially a gentleman, named Juan de Betancor, warned Pedro Sarmiento that the Pilots of the ships from India were jealous and indignant at his discovery, and talked of sinking our ship, and getting our journals into their hands to take advantage of them, for that they should not reach the presence of your Majesty. Then Pedro Sarmiento treated with certain Spanish sailors who were on board the ships from India, that they should keep him informed of what was done. Thus he had news from the ships every now and then under colour of going to see the savages; and although each told a different story I understood that the commander of the ships was luke-warm, not declaring himself on either side, but only working to furnish his ships with more men and artillery. They said that he would take the guns of the English ship that was lost, because, in the letter of Don Antonio, he was ordered to do so, and to work to windward, as he would find ships on the coast and would be able to enter Lisbon securely.
Finally they rose for Don Antonio. For this the Corregidor was excommunicated as a participant. The officials of the Chamber went to him and required absolution for this act, protesting that in doing it they should be absolved. Assembled in session, the Corregidor submitted the substance of the letter, and some were perplexed. The Corregidor and a few others were much frightened, saying that it was treason and rebellion to name him as King, or in my opinion as Tyrant: so said some Portuguese, and women offered vows and masses that your Majesty might reign.
Finally they raised a banner and proclaimed Don Antonio through the streets. The commander of the fleet from India was not present at this business, remaining on board his ship. His name is Saldanha, and he is the son of a Spaniard. Having done this, the Portuguese on shore treated us very shamefully, even threatening to sink our ship. Juan de Betancor came at night to warn Sarmiento of this, coming in a boat in rear of all the ships and with muffled oars. We were all night with lighted matches, in consequence, being determined to die for God and your Majesty. As I said before, no one dared to be first, as usually happens on such occasions; and also there were some reasonable men who kept back the others.
While this was going on, a fleet of twenty-two ships arrived from New Spain. The night before its arrival, when it was reported from the look out, all in the city were under arms, believing it to be a fleet sent by your Majesty to take the island. They detained our boat on shore, which had gone for water, and also detained a shallop from the fleet which had been sent for provisions. Some of our people swam off to the ship and reported what had happened. At dawn several shallops came in from the fleet to buy fresh provisions, and Pedro Sarmiento kept them at the ship, warning them of what was going on. He sent on shore a Portuguese of our company to get news, and he found that when the people ascertained that it was only a fleet from the Indies they quieted down, so the boats went on shore. These people sell their fruits, and harvests, and wood to the ships of your Majesty that come here, having gold and silver, and they are solely sustained by this trafiic.
We weighed and made sail to join the fleet, and Pedro Sarmiento went on board the Capitana from New Spain, to inform the General of what had happened in the town of Angla and in Spain; and of the service that he could do your Majesty, in taking the ships of India, or some of them, especially that which was richly laden with spices, gold and precious stones. He contented himself by saying that he had no commission to do so. Pedro Sarmiento replied that the caravel that had come from Portugal was to depart that same night with news of what had happened, and that a Portuguese fleet would then come to convoy the ships from India, by which means Don Antonio and his followers would be succoured with money and men. But if we should stop the caravel and allow no notice to reach the tyrant, your Majesty would have the first news, and would take such steps as would be best for your service. The General and all the officers agreed to this, and it was settled that it should be done.
With this determination, and without more delay, we made sail for the island of San Miguel. On Monday, being now in sight of San Miguel, the Capitana of New Spain hoisted a flag on the mast, and we all went on board her to see what counsel would be taken. It was only to say that we should return to Terceira to take in water. Although many ships represented that they had enough water on board, the Pilot Major insisted that they should go there, saying that if they were delayed thirty or forty days it would not signify. What absurdity! Pedro Sarmiento, talking with Don Bartolomé de Villavicencio, said that he did not wish to anchor, because this was not a time for running into ports. He wished to go and give information to his Majesty and to serve him, and to report what so nearly concerned his honour and his crown. The Chief Pilot of Spain answered to this that no ship would anchor. The Chief Pilot of this ship Capitana of his Majesty made all sail and went out of the fleet, with a strong feeling of annoyance on the part of General Sarmiento at seeing the want of energy in these proceedings: that for the sake of getting four raddishes and two pounds of grapes, they should neglect what was of so much importance. Sailing towards Terceira, they saw the despatch boat or caravel come out. Pedro Sarmiento was watching to see what the General of New Spain would do to carry out the preconcerted arrangement. When he saw that nothing was done, Pedro Sarmiento ordered chase to be made, but by this time the caravel was distant. Finally, this Capitana alone made chase very late. Seeing that she was pursued, the caravel ran in shore, and the Capitana followed her close in, near the settlement of La Playa, when night came on. This prevented us from taking her. If Don Bartolomé would only have sent one of the shallops he had in the fleet, she would undoubtedly have been captured, for the shallop could have gone in shore nearer than the caravel; which this ship could not have done without danger of being lost. By not taking her we lost two days of advantage, when even an hour may be of consequence on such occasions; while by going back we lost the time until Wednesday, the 3rd of August, with the going and coming, and with the calms which occur among these islands. When the fleet returned to port, the ships from India had already sailed, except the one from Malacca, which was hauled in, under the guns of the fortress. In returning, the fleet passed another despatch boat bound for Portugal, with her flag flying, yet the General allowed her to pass without even asking the cause of her diligence; so that he had let two caravels with news proceed to Lisbon. On Wednesday, the 3rd of August, the fleet made sail for Spain, and on Monday, the 15th, by the mercy of God, we sighted the coast six leagues to the north of Cape St. Vincent. Laus Deo.
All this was read publicly before all on board this ship Capitana^ whose names were as follows;—.
|The Father Vicar||Friar Antonio Guadramiro.*||Sailors||Diego Perez de Albor.*|
|The Chief Pilot||Anton Pablos.*||Diego Perez de Villanueva.|
|The Royal Notary||Juan de Esquivel.*||Pedro Alvarez.|
|The Boatswain||Pedro de Hojeda.*||Francisco Perez.*|
|Master-at-Arms||Gaspar Antonio.*||Francisco de Urbéa.*|
|Master Carpenter||Augustin.*||Simon de Abréo.|
|Soldiers||Pedro de Aranda.*||Pedro de Villalustre.|
|Geronimo de Arroyo*||Manuel Perez.|
|Francisco Garces de Espinosa.||Matéo Andres.|
|Andres de Orduña.*||Pedro Marquez.|
|Antonia del Castillo.*||Pedro Gonzalez.|
|The Caulker||Pedro Lopez.||Soldiers||Pedro de Bahamonde.*|
|Sailors||Francisco Hernandez.||Francisco Tellez.*|
|Angel Bartolo.||Pedro de Isasiga.|
|Domingo Vayeneta||Gabriel de Solis.*|
|Pedro Pablo.||Pedro de la Rosa.|
|Jacome Ricardo (Ricalde?).*|
All those, above written, were asked if the contents of this narrative were true, or whether there was anything to be contradicted, and all replied that the contents were true, without their knowing anything that could or ought to be contradicted. This was true, and those who knew how to sign, have signed it with their names. Also I, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, Captain-Superior of this ship and fleet of his Majesty, swear to God, on this cross ┼ and on the Holy Evangelists, that all that is contained in this narrative and route is true, that things passed in effect as here stated, without anything in excess of the truth. To certify to the truth, and that all parts may receive faith and credit, I signed my name, and dated it on board this ship Capitana, named the Nuestra Señora de Esperanza, on Wednesday, the 17th day of August, 1580.
“Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa.
Anton Pablos (Pilot),
Friar Antonio Guadramiro (Chaplain).
Pedro de Hojeda (Boatswain).
Gaspar Antonio (Master-at-Arms).
Francisco Garces de Espinosa.
Pedro de Aranda.
Geronimo Garzes del Arroyo.
Francisco de Gorvea.
Antonio del Castillo.
Augustin Gabriel de Solis.
Pedro de Bahamonde.
Andres de Orduña (Acting Notary).
“and I, Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary of this fleet and ship Capitana of His Majesty, bear faith and truthful testimony that I was present in all this voyage of discovery of the Strait of Madre de Dios, formerly called of Magellan; and I saw it, and on those occasions when I was not present I know it from certain information of persons who were, and by the solemn oath of the Lord Pedro Sarmiento, Captain-Superior of this fleet, who went on the three boat exploring expeditions. I was present when the narrative was read, word for word, publicly before all the people of this said ship, according as the very excellent Lord Don Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy of Peru, ordered in his Instructions. It having been read and understood, all the above-named witnesses declared to be true all that is contained in this narrative, and that they could not contradict anything, and that as such they gave it and approved it, that his Majesty may be informed by it of all that happened in this voyage of discovery. I know all the witnesses above named, and saw them sign their names, those in the ship who know how to sign; and I saw that this narrative was written on eighty-five leaves, counting this on which I sign my name. Of all which I give my faith: dated in this ship Capitana, named Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza the 17th of August, 1580, and in testimony of its truth I give my sign manual,
“Juan de Esquivel, Royal Notary.
“And I, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, Captain-Superior of the royal fleet of his Majesty, that went for the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, declare to all those who may see these presents, that Juan de Esquivel, who has signed this narrative and route, is the Royal Notary of this said ship Capitana^ and that entire credit is to be given to the writings and acts that pass or have passed before him, as such Royal Notary of this said fleet and ship Capitana. And that this may be valid, I have given this certificate, signed with my name and dated upon this ship Capitana^ on the 17th day of the month of August, 1580.
“Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa.”
(Referred to in Article XI of the Instructions.)
* Taken from the original minute among the manuscripts of Don Eugenio de Alvarado.
A ship of English pirates passed by the Strait of Magellan into the South Sea, and arrived in the port of Santiago, of the Province of Chile, on the 4th of December of the past year 1578, robbed a ship of a quantity of gold that was in that port, and did other harm in other ports of this coast. On the 13th of February she arrived at the port of this city, being quite off its guard respecting any such strange occurrence. For having been so long in giving me notice from those provinces of Chile, nothing was done. The Governor was engaged in the war in Aranco, and neither the officers nor the municipality cared to buy a vessel and bring me the news; whereby many losses and expenses might have been avoided which have fallen on his Majesty and on private persons, especially as regards a ship from which a large quantity of silver was stolen, going from this city to Tierra Firme. Much diligence was used to take this pirate, and two ships were sent in search of him. But as the sea is so wide, and he had run with all speed, it was not possible to catch him.
The thing that is most felt is that he will bring back intelligence of everything here, and that there is now facility for them to enter any day, by that door of the Strait, which has now been examined and made known to them.
In the year 1577 English pirates crossed from the North to the South Sea, by the forests of Tierra Firme, with the aid of the fugitive negroes who inhabit those parts. But the captain and troops that I sent from here captured them all, so that of those who had been in the forests not one remained, so that others might not be able to undertake to do the like. Notwithstanding, his Majesty, in his great zeal for Christianity, has fortified and garrisoned the passage with galleys in the sea, and settlements of soldiers by land, so that the passage that way is well defended.
With regard to this part of the Strait it is necessary to provide a prompt remedy, and this, in a matter which is not known nor understood, will be difficult. We have decided to send two strong ships, well victualled, with good pilots and sailors, to make this discovery in this part of the South Sea. They are to examine and look out for the place where, with greatest convenience, some settlement or fortress may be established, with artillery. They are to occupy the entrance before any pirate can do so; and they are to find out whether in any part of the South Sea, or in the Strait itself, or outside in the North Sea, there is any settlement of the English, and in what part, and in what number, that such order may be taken as will be most conducive to his Majesty's service. Of these two ships, one is to return with the report of all that has been seen and has happened, after they have come out into the North Sea, and seen the entrances of the Strait, for it will be fruitless to provide a remedy for one, if the enemy can enter by the others. As it is possible that, by reason of the winter, this arrangement may not be practicable, and it may be necessary to winter somewhere, it is ordered that this is to be done either in the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, or in some port on the coast which is well sheltered.
In whatever district in the Government of Paraguay they may be, his Majesty will be well served, and I shall be particularly obliged for what may be done for the captain and soldiers, and for the good accommodation and treatment of their persons, and for what may be given for the necessary repair of materials they brought with them, that may be worn out. If the other ship should touch, which is to proceed to Spain, what is proper for it should be done. For if the captain and soldiers are not given all possible assistance, that they may secure the object for which they were sent, the expenses incurred by his Majesty will be fruitless.
The despatches which the captain or captains of the said ships may give into your charge for me or for this Royal Audience, are to be sent to me by way of Tucuman with all the speed possible, with a proper and trustworthy person, who will be ordered to expect the reward for his labours here, and you are to advise his Majesty of your proceedings in this matter. With the messenger you will give me information of what you know respecting the ship or ships of the English, and whether they touched at any of the ports of those coasts, and how many; also whether this ship, or others, have gone to Spain and when; and whether you have news that the English have made any settlement on shore and where, and what number of people, and at what time they were in this part.