After passing the wall of water the current did not change or flow backward any more but continued to sweep them steadily forward.
It obeyed very well, for the current was more sluggish now, and soon they had reached the bank and landed safely.
About four o'clock in the evening, being then within a league of the island, I found the point of the rocks which occasioned this disaster stretching out, as is described before, to the southward, and casting off the current more southerly, had, of course, made another eddy to the north; and this I found very strong, but not directly setting the way my course lay, which was due west, but almost full north.
As to the east side of the island, which I had gone round, I knew well enough there was no venturing that way; my very heart would shrink, and my very blood run chill, but to think of it; and as to the other side of the island, I did not know how it might be there; but supposing the current ran with the same force against the shore at the east as it passed by it on the other, I might run the same risk of being driven down the stream, and carried by the island, as I had been before of being carried away from it: so with these thoughts, I contented myself to be without any boat, though it had been the product of so many months' labour to make it, and of so many more to get it into the sea.
She's setting off in a two-knot current. This gentleman is the Honorable McCoy, Chief Magistrate and Governor of Pitcairn Island.
The wind freshened, and the Pyrenees, despite the foulness of her bottom, won half a dozen miles away from the westerly current. At daylight, with Pitcairn three miles to windward, Captain Davenport made out two canoes coming off to him.
This bit of a blow kicked that westerly current ahead faster than you imagine."
"This cursed current plays the devil with a navigator."
"This very current was partly responsible for that name."
And she's a good ship, too," he added regretfully, after altering the course, this time making more allowance than ever for the westerly current.
'mcCoy was noncommittal, though he said that in the Paumotus there was no reason why it should not be an easterly current. A few minutes later a squall robbed the Pyrenees temporarily of all her wind, and she was left rolling heavily in the trough.
"An easterly current instead of a westerly," said Captain "Davenport, glaring accusingly at McCoy, as if to cast the blame for it upon him.