3rd February 1833

Beagle Channel
Miserable weather: we proceeded by the outside coast to the Southern entrance or arm of the Beagle Ch. & thus commenced our return.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
We got to the open sea at the south side of Darwin Sound, and entered the south-west arm of the Beagle Channel rather too late, for it had become so dark we could distinguish no place fit to receive us; however, after much scrutiny and anxious sounding, to ascertain if our boats could approach without danger of being stove, we were guided by the sound of a cascade to a sheltered cove, where the beach was smooth. Excepting for the novelty and excitement of exploring unknown places, however uninteresting they may be, there was little in this trip worthy of general notice, considering how much has already been said of these unprofitable regions. Even to a professed naturalist, there was scarcely anything to repay the time and trouble, as it was impossible to delay long enough in any one place to give time for more than a most cursory examination.

I need hardly say that the survey of such places as were visited in this hasty manner is little more than an eye-sketch, corrected by frequent bearings, occasional latitudes by sun, moon, or stars, and meridian distances, measured by two chronometers, which were always kept in a large box and treated very carefully. To have attempted more, to have hoped for such an accurate delineation of these shores, at present almost useless to civilized man, as is absolutely necessary where shipping may resort, would have been wrong, while so many other objects demanded immediate attention.

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