1763 – James Cook



The ISLANDS of St Peters which lies about 6 or 7 Leagues from the nearest part of Newfoundland is very Barren and Mountainous what wood is upon it consists of short small Firs of very little use and difficult to come at. The Ifland is as subject to Fogs as any part in Newfoundland yes if we may credit the late Planters it is very convienient for catching and curing of Codfish there being good fishing ground all around the Ifland, they seldom get lefs than three Hundred Quentata and upwards to a boat in a Summer which in general is reckoned a good Voyage but then it must be observed that they not only had ST Peters, Langley and Miquelong to fish at but all the adjacent Coast of Newfoundland, and as the fish left one Place they followed them to another.
The Road of St Peters is a very bad place for Ships to lay in and fit only for the Summer time, it is but small and the Bottom is everywhere Rocky, the harbour will not admit vefsels of above ten feet draught nor is it capable of holding many of these, they lay sheltred from the weather but the bottom is as much the same as in the Road in every respect this is perhaps one of the worst Harbours about Newfoundland.

LANGLY is an Ifland of no great value, all the upland being very barren, Swampey and full of Ponds, there is indeed a good deal of weed upon it which consists chiefly of Firs, some of which are 10 or 12 Inches diameter and of a proportionable length large enough for building of Fish Stages flakes…here is likewise great plenty of Black Spruce for Brewing of Beer and some Birch but it is very scarce, down by the the Sound hills near the Langly house is some meadow and Pasture land, where formerly there was a Dairy kept, this Ifland is not a place for Carrying on any Fifhery was there even good fishing ground about it as there is no Harbour, Creek or Cove in the whole Ifland where you can secure a Boat, It is about four years since dame Nature made this a Separate Ifland, before that time it joined to Dunn, but even then it was distinguished by the Name it now bears.

THE ISLAND of MIQUELON, is by much the greatest Part Mountainous and Barren yet with respect to its Soil and Produce it exceeds the other Iflands; that part to the Southward of Dunn Harbour and about the Sand Hills is of a rich sandy soil, and produceth great plenty of good grafs sufficient to maintain several hundred head of Cattle, there is also to be found in several other parts of the Ifland beach peas, beach grafs, and some English grafs; the wood here is of much the same Nature as that on Langly. Nothing drawing more than 5 or 6 feet of water can enter the Harbour of Dunn not Even at high water; as there is always a surf upon the the barr, and is never attempted with anything larger than a fishing Shallo.
The Road of Miquelong tho’ open to the Easterly wind is yet a good Road, where a large Fleet might rendevous wood and water, the only winds that can make s. here is from NE to ESE the force of which must certainly be greatly broke, in rolling over the shoal ground with .. fi…. cured the fish in this road which they get about this Ifland, but of late years it hath not been much practiced, the French talk of making a Harbour of the pond A by cutting a chanel t…the beach which may be practicable.
Green Ifland and the rocks about it, is said to be a good place to fish at but cannot be serviceable for anything else, as there is neither wood nor water on the Ifland or landing place for a boat. Note the tides flow full and change at St Peters, Road of Miquelong and all along the shoar of these Iflands NW and SE and rises and falls upon a perpendicular, Spring Tides 7 feet, Necp Tides four, in the Harbour of Dunn S by E and N by W and rises and falls about 4 feet.

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