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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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provisions that we had shipped at our own expense; he sought to spoil our collections, in particular living animals; and practiced all sorts of deceptions. We had the disgust of watching the death of two of our Indian servants as a result of his actions, and we both got sick as well. Happy though our trip was, in other ways, the impressions the trip still awakens are no less painful. After 20 days of travel, we had not yet seen land, being the height of the parallels of Florida, heading north; After 55 days, we passed the latitude of the Acres Islands, and on the seventy-seventh day we had the chance to see the first mountain in Europe.

Our trip could have been much faster, if there were not two bad sailboats in between the other boats, which we often waited for. Moreover, it was a favored trip for a long time; in the tropics we had many lulls, and when, out of that region of eternal peace, we headed north, we met some violent gusts. At the latitude of 24 ° north and 32 ° west west of Paris, we touched the floating algae region, the Sargasos beacon.

Large accumulation of the very branched brown grass floated for a few days along the ship. As is well known, the extraordinary assemblage of sargaso, which is found at this latitude, is attributed to some rocks of the sea, in the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes to reefs of the high seas. Some Portuguese sailors have assured me that seaweed (Sargassum bacciferum and S. natans, Agardh.)

Sargassum bacciferum

grows remarkably in tufts at 24 ° north latitude and 28 ° west longitude from Paris, whence it is torn out, not only by storms. and by the gulf stream, as well as by the whales that revolve around the seaweed to feed themselves.

It was well known to us that the sea was teeming with American privateers, and the commander relied heavily on his ship's armaments. How great was the fright and disorientation aboard, when, at the height of the Azores, a suspicious ship approached us. It was a large, very well-equipped schooner that carried a revolving cannon and a large A on its overhanging sail as if it were from Artigas. It followed us, watching us for two days; However, the captain did not think himself strong enough to attack our entire convoy.

Typical pirate ship of the 19th C

It was on 21 August that, with unspeakable emotion, we caught sight of the shores of Europe. According to information from a Spanish vessel, which, with a cannon shot, was forced to approach, we were six leagues from Cabo de Roca.

Cabo de Roca

Soon after, a warship signaled us; it was the Portuguese frigate, who had registered us, accompanied us for some time, and then, informing us

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