The Adventure rejoined us, after having examined the East side of this part of the Straits.
The weather has during the greater part of the time been very foggy & cold; but we were in high luck in having two clear days for observations. On one of these the view of Sarmiento was most imposing: I have not ceased to wonder, in the scenery of Tierra del Fuego, at the apparent little elevation of mountains really very high. — I believe it is owing to a cause which one would be last to suspect, it is the sea washing their base & the whole mountain being in view. I recollect in Ponsonby Sound, after having seen a mountain down the Beagle Channel, I had another view of it across many ridges, one behind the other. — This immediately made one aware of its distance, & with its distance it was curious how its apparent height rose. The Fuegians twice came & plagued us. — As there were many instruments, clothese &c & men on shore, the Captain thought it necessary to frighten them away. — The one time, we fired a great gun, when they were a long way off; it was very amusing to see through a glass their bold defiance, for as the shot splashed up the water, they picked up stones in return & threw them towards the ship which was then about a mile & a half off. — This not being sufficient, a boat was sent with orders to fire musket balls wide of them. — The Fuegians hid themselves behind the trees, but for every discharge of a musket they fired an arrow. These fell short of the boat; & the officer pointing to them & laughing made the Fuegians frantic with rage (as they well might be at so unprovoked an attack); they shook their very mantles with passion. — At last seeing the balls strike & cut the trees, they ran away; their final decampement was effected by the boat pretending to go in chase of their canoes & women. Another party having entered the bay was easily driven to a little creek to the north of it: the next day two boats were sent to drive them still further; it was admirable to see the determination with which four or five men came forward to defend themselves against three times that number.