Tuesday, January 26, 2010
January 26, 1820
January 26, 1820 - Last night Capt. B. chose to lie by rather than proceed lest falling into the "straits" of Le Maire he should be becalmed in the night and drifted ashore. We are now in the "Straits" of L.M. - Del Fuigo on our right and Staten Land on the left, on both of which among their towering rocks, we can discover banks of snow now in the midsummer. We have a little hail today. The mercury in our thermometer stands at 58 f . We entered the strait early in the morning with a fair wind which, however, subsided at 10 A.M. before we had quite passed through and we were carried back by the current 19 or 20 miles. During this recess we were much interested by discovering two men kindling a fire on the beach. Our attention was first attracted by the rising smoke; then by the help of our glasses, the men could be very distinctly seen. But whether they were natives of the Island about their ordinary business, or endeavoring to attract our notice, or whether they were ship-wrecked mariners making the usual signal of distress, and imploring our aid, we could not tell. Of what name or nation soever they may be, they have awakened our compassion, and were it in our power we would gladly extend to them the hand of kindness and the voice of consolation, and affectionately tell them that a Savior lives in heaven all powerful and gracious, who died for them, and who is ready to afford his aid, and if they will obey him, to give them eternal life and receive them from these tempest beaten shores to the peaceful mansions of heavenly rest.