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The river in a few minutes became a sheet of foam; the wind ceased in about half an hour, but the terral was over for the night, so we pulled towards the shore to find an anchoring place.
The light terral was carrying us pleasantly round the spit, when a small black cloud which lay near the rising moon suddenly spread over the sky to the northward; the land breeze then ceased, and furious blasts began to blow across the river. We regained, with great difficulty, the shelter of the point.
We left Aveyros in the evening of the 21st, and sailed gently down with the soft land-breeze, keeping about a mile from the eastern shore. It was a brilliant moonlit night, and the men worked cheerfully at the oars when the wind was slack, the terral wafting from the forest a pleasant perfume like that of mignonette.
The terral began at six o'clock in the evening, and we sailed with it past the long line of rock-bound coast near Itapuama. At ten o'clock a furious blast of wind came from a cleft between the hills, catching us with the sails close-hauled, and throwing the canoe nearly on its beam-ends, when we were about a mile from the shore.
At length, that is in about ten minutes from the time we were called, we were all at stations a gun was fired, and we weighed, and then stood out to sea, running along about four knots, with the land wind right aft. Having made an offing of three miles or so, we outran the terral, and got becalmed in the belt of smooth water between it and the sea breeze.
The terral, or land wind, which is usually strongest towards morning, moaned loudly on the hillside, and came rushing past with a melancholy sough, through the brushwood that surrounded the hut, shaking off the heavy dew from the palm and cocoa nut trees, like large drops of rain.
The terral failed us at midnight when we were near an espera, called Marai, the mouth of a shallow creek. September 26th. I did not like the prospect of spending the whole dreary day at Marai, where it was impossible to ramble ashore, the forest being utterly impervious, and the land still partly under water.
Canoes, in descending, only travel at night, when the terral, or light land-breeze, blows off the eastern shore. In the daytime a strong wind rages from down river, against which it is impossible to contend as there is no current, and the swell raised by its sweeping over scores of miles of shallow water is dangerous to small vessels.
It was now good daylight, and the terral gradually died away, and left us rolling gunwale under, as we rose and fell on the long seas, with our sails flapping, bulkheads creaking and screaming, and mainboom jig jigging, as if it would have torn every thing to pieces.
The terral, or land wind, overpowered by the recent squall, once more resumed its sway and piped up strongly, bringing off to us the warm, fragrant odour of land and vegetation.