18th September 1835

Again we moved our Anchorage & again after dinner took a long walk. — We ascended the broken remains of a low but broad crater. The Volcano had been sub-marine — the strata which dipped away on all sides were composed of hard Sandstones composed of Volcanic dust. A few leagues to the North a broken country was studded with small black cones; the ancient chimneys for the subterranean melted fluids. — The hunting party brought back 15 Tortoises: most of them very heavy & large.

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal
Weighed and stood alongshore until noon, when we anchored close to a low rugged point, near the north-east end of the island: employed two boats in examining the shore, and landed a party to look for terrapin: Mr. Darwin and Mr. Stokes went to the top of a neighbouring hill. Throughout this day it blew so fresh a breeze, that double-reefed topsails were as much as could be carried: but I think this strength of wind only prevailed under the lee of the island, where the wind rushed down in squalls, after having been intercepted and checked by the high land. All the hills appear to have been the craters of volcanoes: some are of sandy mud, others are lava. There is plenty of wood hereabouts, though stunted and dry. On no part of this shore is there a chance of finding water; all is stony, without any soil which could either collect or carry it off.

Our party brought eighteen terrapin on board. In size they were not remarkable, none exceeding eighty pounds. This animal appears to be well defended by nature; but, in truth, it is rather helpless, and easily injured. The shell is slight, and becomes weaker (in proportion to the animal's size), as the tortoise grows older.

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