Diary of the navigation undertaken in 1781
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ISBN paperback: 9788498167825
Basilio Villarino (1741-1785) was an official of the Spanish Crown, assigned at the end of the 18th century to reconnaissance expeditions in northern Patagonia.
It arrived in the Rio de la Plata in 1773 in the frigate Perpetua, under the command of Captain Bustillos. His long journey through Argentine Patagonia began in 1778, with the exploration of the Colorado, Negro, Deseado and Limay rivers, among others.
In 1779 he was part of the expedition of Francisco de Viedma, who founded Carmen de Patagones, and in 1782 he traveled along the banks of the Collon Cura and Negro rivers, up to the confluence of the latter with the Limay and Neuquen rivers.
After the discovery of Choele Choel Island in 1783, he gave up his voyage of exploration due to the hostility of the Indians. He died in January 1785 at the hands of the Indians of Cacique Negro, in the expedition to the Sierra de la Ventana. This diary records Villarino’s observations during his travels.
Diary of the navigation that Don Basilio Villarino, second pilot of the Royal Navy, will make with the two vessels of his command, the brigantine Nuestra Señora de Carmen and Ánimas, and the barge San Francisco de Asís, from the Río Negro, to reconnoiter the coast, the Bahía de Todos los Santos, Islas del Buen Suceso and other adjacent islands, search for the drainage of the Colorado River, and penetrate its entrance, by order of the Superintendent Commissioner of these establishments, Mr. Francisco de Viedma.
April 12, 1781
At half past eight in the morning I threw away the last piece of cam, and set sail for the establishment with the aforementioned vessels, and the wind N bonancible. At half past four in the afternoon I arrived at the mouth of the Rio Negro, towing the brigantine with the boat and the chalupa, for being calm; in which place I gave bottom, to wait time on purpose to undertake my navigation, which I could not get until the 4th of May, in which interval of time I had place to register the bar (which I had not had before) as to satisfaction I registered it in the days that the weather allowed it; and not without much utility, for I discovered on the N side a channel, better than that hitherto practiced by navigators to this river on the S side.
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