12th February 1833

Beagle Channel
The Captain, in his boat, paid the Fuegians a visit, & has brought back a very prosperous account of them. Very few of the things belonging to Jemmy, York or Fuegia had been stolen & the conduct of the natives was quite peaceable. If the garden succeeds, this little settlement may be yet the means of producing great good & altering the habits of the truly savage inhabitants.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
I set out to examine the western part of Ponsonby Sound and revisit WoollÓ¯a. In my absence one party was to go westward, overland, to look at the outer coast between False Cape and Cape Weddell, and another was to examine and make a plan of the bay or harbour in which the Beagle lay. In 1830, Mr. Stokes had laid down its shores with accuracy on a small scale, but there was not then time to take many soundings; and as I conceived that Orange Bay and this harbour were likely to be useful ports, it was worth making a particular plan of each.

With one boat I crossed Tekeenica Sound, and explored the western part of Ponsonby Sound. Natives were seen here and there, but we had little intercourse with them. Some curious effects of volcanic action were observed, besides masses of conglomerate, such as I had not noticed in any other part of Tierra del Fuego. On one islet I was placed in an awkward predicament for half an hour; it was a very steep, precipitous hill, which I had ascended by climbing or creeping through ravines and among trees; but, wishing to return to the boat's crew, after taking a few angles and bearings from its summit, I could find no place by which it appeared possible to descend. The ravine up which I crawled was hidden by wood, and night was at hand. I went to and fro, like a dog on a wall, unable to descend, till one of the boat's crew who was wandering about heard me call, and, ascending at the only accessible place, showed me where to plunge into the wood with a prospect of emerging again in a proper direction. This night we had dry beautiful weather, the leaves and sticks on the ground crackling under our feet as we walked, while at the ship, only sixty miles distant, rain poured down incessantly.

1 comment:

Richard Edwards said...

Happy Birthday, Charles!