We steered along the coast, but owing to thick weather did not reach Valdivia till the night of the 8th.
Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
AT daylight on the 5th of February the Beagle sailed from Chilóe, and passed along the coast of southern Chile, towards the port of Valdivia. This is a bold and high tract of land, without a danger for shipping to avoid; but, at the same time, without a safe anchorage between the ports above-mentioned. Soundings extend some miles into the offing, though the water is deep. At two miles westward of this shore we usually found about forty fathoms water; at three miles about sixty, and at five miles from seventy to eighty or ninety fathoms, with a soft, sandy, or muddy bottom.
Whenever, as in this case, we were obliged to carry on the survey without landing, our observations for latitude — often those for time also — were made at the opposite points of the horizon, as well as in the usual manner, when land did not intervene, and the mean results taken as the most correct. In this way, it is probable that errors occasioned by refraction were in a considerable degree avoided.