ITS ORIGINAL NATIVES DESCRIBED.
The original natives of this island are Indians, they are of a middle stature, straight-bodied, slender-limbed, long-visaged; their hair black and lank; their skins very swarthy. They are very dexterous and nimble, but withal lazy in the high degree. They are said to be dull in everything but treachery and barbarity. Their houses are but low and mean, their clothing only a small cloth about their middle; but some of them for ornament have frontlets of mother-of-pearl, or thin pieces of silver or gold, made of an oval form of the breadth of a crown-piece, curiously notched round the edges; five of these placed one by another a little above the eyebrows making a sufficient guard and ornament for their forehead. They are so thin and placed on their foreheads so artificially that they seem reverted thereon: and indeed the pearl-oyster shells make a more splendid show than either silver or gold. Others of them have palmetto-caps made in divers forms.
As to their marriages they take as many wives as they can maintain; and sometimes they sell their children to purchase more wives. I enquired about their religion and was told they had none. Their common subsistence is by Indian corn, which every man plants for himself. They take but little pains to clear their land for in the dry time they set fire to the withered grass and shrubs, and that burns them out a plantation for the next wet season. What other grain they have beside Indian corn I know not. Their plantations are very mean; for they delight most in hunting; and here are wild buffaloes and hogs enough, though very shy because of their so frequent hunting.
They have a few boats and some fishermen. Their arms are lances, thick round short truncheons and targets; with these they hunt and kill their game and their enemies too; for this island is now divided into many kingdoms, and all of different languages; though in their customs and manner of living, as well as shape and colour, they seem to be of one stock.
THE PORTUGUESE AND DUTCH SETTLEMENTS.
The chiefest kingdoms are Kupang, Amabia, Lortribie, Pobumbie, Namquimal; the island also of Anamabao, or Anabao, is a kingdom. Each of these has a sultan who is supreme in his province and kingdom, and has under him several rajas and other inferior officers. The sultans for the most part are enemies to each other, which enmities are fomented and kept up by the Dutch, whose fort and factory is in the kingdom of Kupang; and therefore the bay near which they are settled, is commonly called Kupang Bay. They have only as much ground as they can keep within reach of their guns; yet this whole kingdom is at peace with them; and they freely trade together; as also with the islanders on Anabao, who are in amity as well with the natives of Kupang as with the Dutch residing there; but they are implacable enemies to those of Amabie, who are their next neighbours, and in amity with the Portuguese: as are also the kingdoms of Pobumbie, Namquimal and Lortribie. It is very probable that these 2 European settlements on this island are the greatest occasion of their continued wars. The Portuguese vaunt highly of their strength here and that they are able at pleasure to rout the Dutch, if they had authority so to do from the king of Portugal; and they have written to the viceroy of Goa about it: and though their request is not yet granted, yet (as they say) they live in expectation of it. These have no forts but depend on their alliance with the natives: and indeed they are already so mixed that it is hard to distinguish whether they are Portuguese or Indians. Their language is Portuguese; and the religion they have is Romish. They seem in words to acknowledge the king of Portugal for their sovereign; yet they will not accept of any officers sent by him. They speak indifferently the Malayan and their own native languages, as well as Portuguese; and the chiefest officers that I saw were of this sort; neither did I see above 3 or 4 white men among them; and of these 2 were priests. Of this mixed breed there are some thousands; of whom some have small arms of their own, and know how to use them. The chiefest person (as I before said) is called Captain More or Maior: he is a white man, sent hither by the viceroy of Goa, and seems to have great command here. I did not see him; for he seldom comes down. His residence is at a place called Porta Nova; which the people at Laphao told me was a great way off; but I could not get any more particular account. Some told me that he is most commonly in the mountains, with an army of Indians, to guard the passes between them and the Kupangayans, especially in the dry times. The next man to him is Alexis Mendosa: he is a right Indian, speaks very good Portuguese, and is of the Romish religion. He lives 5 or 6 miles from the sea, and is called the lieutenant. (This is he whom I called governor, when at Laphao.) He commands next to Captain More, and has under him another at this fort (at the seaside) if it may be so-called. He also is called lieutenant and is an Indian Portuguese.
Besides this mongrel breed of Indians and Portuguese here are also some Chinamen, merchants from Macao: they bring hither coarse rice, gold, tea, iron-work, porcelain, and silk both wrought and raw: they get in exchange pure gold as it is here gathered, beeswax, sandalwood, coir, etc. It is said there are about 20 small China vessels come hither every year from Macao; and commonly one vessel a year from Goa, which brings European commodities and calicos, muslins, etc. Here are likewise some small barks belonging to this place, that trade to Batavia, and bring from thence both European and Indian goods and rice. The vessels generally come here in March and stay till September.
The Dutch as I before said are settled in the kingdom of Kupang, where they have a small neat stone fort. It seems to be pretty strong; yet, as I was informed, had been taken by a French pirate about 2 years ago: the Dutch were used very barbarously, and ever since are very jealous of any strangers that come this way; which I myself experienced. These depend more on their own strength than on the natives their friends; having good guns, powder, and shot enough on all occasions, and soldiers sufficient to manage the business here, all well disciplined and in good order; which is a thing the Portuguese their neighbours are altogether destitute of, they having no European soldiers, few arms, less ammunition, and their fort consisting of no more than 6 bad guns planted against the sea, whose touch-holes (as was before observed) are so enlarged by time that a great part of the strength of the powder flies away there; and, having soldiers in pay, the natives on all occasions are hired; and their government now is so loose that they will admit of no more officers from Portugal or Goa. They have also little or no supply of arms or ammunition from thence, but buy it as often as they can of the Dutch, Chinese, etc., so that upon the whole it seems improbable that they should ever attempt to drive out the Dutch for fear of loosing themselves, notwithstanding their bosomed prowess and alliance with the natives: and indeed, as far as I could hear, they have business enough to keep their own present territories from the incursions of the Kupangayans; who are friends to the Dutch, and whom doubtless the Dutch have ways enough to preserve in their friendship; besides that they have an inveterate malice to their neighbours, insomuch that they kill all they meet, and bring away their heads in triumph. The great men of Kupang stick the heads of those they have killed on poles; and set them on the tops of their houses; and these they esteem above all their other riches. The inferior sort bring the heads of those they kill into houses made for that purpose; of which there was one at the Indian village near the fort Concordia, almost full of heads, as I was told. I know not what encouragement they have for their inhumanity.
THE MALAYAN LANGUAGE GENERALLY SPOKEN HERE.
The Dutch have always 2 sloops belonging to their fort; in these they go about the island and trade with the natives and, as far as I could learn, they trade indifferently with them all. For though the inland people are at war with each other, yet those by the seaside seem to be little concerned; and, generally speaking the Malayan language, are very sociable and easily induced to trade with those that speak that language; which the Dutch here always learn; besides, being well acquainted with the treachery of these people, they go well armed among them, and are very vigilant never to give them an opportunity to hurt them; and it is very probable that they supply them with such goods as the Portuguese cannot.
LORANTUCA ON THE ISLAND ENDE.
The Malayan language, as I have before said, is generally spoken amongst all the islands hereabouts. The greater the trade is the more this language is spoken: in some it is become their only language; in others it is but little spoken, and that by the seaside only. With this language the Mahomedan religion did spread itself, and was got hither before any European Christians came: but now, though the language is still used, the Mahomedan religion falls, wherever the Portuguese or Dutch are settled; unless they be very weak, as at Solor and Ende, where the chief language is Malayan, and the religion Mahomedanism; though the Dutch are settled at Solor, and the Portuguese at the east end of the island Ende, at a place called Lorantuca; which, as I was informed, is a large town, has a pretty strong fort and safe harbour. The chief man there (as at Timor) is called Captain More, and is as absolute as the other. These 2 principal men are enemies to each other; and by their letters and messages to Goa inveigh bitterly against each other; and are ready to do all the ill offices they can; yet neither of them much regards the viceroy of Goa, as I was informed.
Lorantuca is said to be more populous than any town on Timor; the island Ende affording greater plenty of all manner of fruit, and being much better supplied with all necessaries than Laphao; especially with sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, etc. But it is very dangerous getting into this harbour because of the violent tides between the islands Ende and Solor. In the middle channel between Timor and the range of islands to the northward of it, whereof Ende and Solor are 2, there runs a constant current all the year to the westward; though near either shore there are tides indeed; but the tide of flood, which sets west, running 8 or 9 hours, and the ebb not exceeding 3 or 4 hours, the tide in some places rises 9 or 10 foot on a spring.
THE SEASONS, WINDS, AND WEATHER AT TIMOR.
The seasons of the year here at Timor are much the same as in other places in south latitude. The fair weather begins in April or May and continues to October, then the tornadoes begin to come, but no violent bad weather till the middle of December. Then there are violent west or north-west winds, with rain, till towards the middle of February. In May the southerly winds set in and blow very strong on the north side of the island, but fair. There is great difference of winds on the 2 sides of the island: for the southerly winds are but very faint on the south side, and very hard on the north side; and the bad weather on the south side comes in very violent in October, which on the north side comes not till December. You have very good sea and land breezes, when the weather is fair; and may run indifferently to the east or west, as your business lies. We found from September to December the winds veering all round the compass gradually in 24 hours time; but such a constant western current that it is much harder getting to the east than west at or near spring tides: which I have more than once made trial of. For weighing from Babao at 6 o'clock in the morning on the 12 instant we kept plying under the shore till the 20th, meeting with such a western current that we gained very little. We had land and seabreezes; but so faint that we could hardly stem the current; and when it was calm between the breezes we drove a-stern faster than ever we sailed ahead.
PLYING ON THE NEW GUINEA COAST.
DEPARTURE FROM TIMOR.
On the 12th of December 1699 we sailed from Babao, coasting along the island Timor to the eastward towards New Guinea. It was the 20th before we got as far as Laphao, which is but forty leagues. We saw black clouds in the north-west and expected the wind from that quarter above a month sooner.
THE ISLANDS OMBA AND FETTER.
That afternoon we saw the opening between the islands Omba and Fetter, but feared to pass through in the night. At two o'clock in the morning it fell calm; and continued so till noon, in which time we drove with the current back again south-west six or seven leagues.
On the 22nd, steering to the eastward to get through between Omba and Fetter, we met a very strong tide against us, so that we, although we had a very fresh gale, yet made way very slowly; yet before night got through. By a good observation we found that the south-east point of Omba lies in latitude 8 degrees 25 minutes. In my charts it is laid down in 8 degrees 10 minutes. My true course from Babao is east 25 degrees north, distance one hundred and eighty-three miles. We sounded several times when near Omba, but had no ground. On the north-east point of Omba we saw four or five men, and a little further three pretty houses on a low point, but did not go ashore.
At five this afternoon we had a tornado which yielded much rain, thunder and lightning; yet we had but little wind. The 24th in the morning we caught a large shark, which gave all the ship's company a plentiful meal.
A BURNING ISLAND.
The 27th we saw the burning island, it lies in latitude 6 degrees 36 minutes south; it is high and but small. It runs from the sea a little sloping towards the top; which is divided in the middle into two peaks, between which issued out much smoke: I have not seen more from any volcano. I saw no trees; but the north side appeared green, and the rest looked very barren.
THEIR MISSING THE TURTLE ISLES.
Having passed the burning island I shaped my course for two islands called Turtle Isles which lie north-east by east a little easterly, and distant about fifty leagues from the burning isle. I, fearing the wind might veer to the eastward of the north, steered 20 leagues north-east, then north-east by east. On the 28th we saw two small low islands called Luca Paros, to the north of us. At noon I accounted myself 20 leagues short of the Turtle Isles.
The next morning, being in the latitude of the Turtle Islands, we looked out sharp for them but saw no appearance of any island till 11 o'clock; when we saw an island at a great distance. At first we supposed it might be one of the Turtle Isles: but it was not laid down true, neither in latitude nor longitude from the burning isle, nor from the Luca Paros, which last I took to be a great help to guide me, they being laid down very well from the burning isle, and that likewise in true latitude and distance from Omba: so that I could not tell what to think of the island now in sight; we having had fair weather, so that we could not pass by the Turtle Isles without seeing them; and this in sight was much too far off for them. We found variation 1 degree 2 minutes east. In the afternoon I steered north-east by east for the islands that we saw. At 2 o'clock I went and looked over the fore-yard, and saw 2 islands at much greater distance than the Turtle Islands are laid down in my charts; one of them was a very high peaked mountain, cleft at top, and much like the burning island that we passed by, but bigger and higher; the other was a pretty long high flat island. Now I was certain that these were not the Turtle Islands, and that they could be no other than the Banda Isles; yet we steered in to make them plainer. At 3 o'clock we discovered another small flat island to the north-west of the others, and saw a great deal of smoke rise from the top of the high island; at 4 we saw other small islands, by which I was now assured that these were the Banda Isles there. At 5 I altered my course and steered east, and at 8 east-south-east; because I would not be seen by the inhabitants of those islands in the morning.
We had little wind all night: and in the morning as soon as it was light we saw another high peaked island: at 8 it bore south-south-east half east, distance 8 leagues. And this I knew to be Bird Isle. It is laid down in our charts in latitude 5 degrees 9 minutes south, which is too far southerly by 27 miles according to our observation; and the like error in laying down the Turtle Islands might be the occasion of our missing them.
At night I shortened sail for fear of coming too nigh some islands that stretch away bending like a half moon from Ceram towards Timor, and which in my course I must of necessity pass through. The next morning betimes I saw them; and found them to be at a farther distance from Bird Island than I expected. In the afternoon it fell quite calm; and when we had a little wind it was so unconstant, flying from one point to another, that I could not without difficulty get through the islands where I designed: besides I found a current setting to the southward; so that it was betwixt 5 and 6 in the evening before I passed through the islands; and then just weathered little Waiela, whereas I thought to have been 2 or 3 leagues more northerly. We saw the day before, betwixt 2 and 3, a spout but a small distance from us. It fell down out of a black cloud that yielded great store of rain, thunder, and lightning: this cloud hovered to the southward of us for the space of three hours, and then drew to the westward a great pace; at which time it was that we saw the spout, which hung fast to the cloud till it broke; and then the cloud whirled about to the south-east, then to east-north-east; where, meeting with an island, it spent itself and so dispersed; and immediately we had a little of the tail of it, having had none before. Afterward we saw a smoke on the island Kosiway, which continued all night.
THEY DESCRY THE COAST OF NEW GUINEA.
On New Year's Day we first descried the land of New Guinea, which appeared to be high land; and the next day we saw several high islands on the coast of New Guinea, and ran in with the mainland. The shore here lies along east-south-east and west-north-west. It is high even land, very well clothed with tall flourishing trees, which appeared very green and gave us a very pleasant prospect. We ran to the westward of four mountainous islands; and in the night had a small tornado, which brought with it some rain and a fair wind. We had fair weather for a long time; only when near any land we had some tornadoes; but off at sea commonly clear weather; though if in sight of land we usually saw many black clouds hovering about it.
THEY ANCHOR ON THE COAST OF NEW GUINEA.
On the 5th and 6th of January we plied to get in with the land; designing to anchor, fill water, and spend a little time in searching the country, till after the change of the moon; for I found a strong current setting against us. We anchored in 38 fathom water, good oazie ground. We had an island of a league long without us, about 3 miles distant; and we rode from the main about a mile. The easternmost point of land seen bore east by south half south, distance 3 leagues: and the westernmost west-south-west half south, distance 2 leagues. So soon as we anchored we sent the pinnace to look for water, and try if they could catch any fish. Afterwards we sent the yawl another way to see for water. Before night the pinnace brought on board several sorts of fruits that they found in the woods, such as I never saw before.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE PLACE, AND OF A STRANGE FOWL FOUND THERE.
One of my men killed a stately land-fowl, as big as the largest dunghill-cock. It was of a sky-colour; only in the middle of the wings was a white spot, about which were some reddish spots: on the crown it had a large bunch of long feathers, which appeared very pretty. His bill was like a pigeon's; he had strong legs and feet, like dunghill-fowls; only the claws were reddish. His crop was full of small berries. It lays an egg as big as a large hen's egg; for our men climbed the tree where it nested and brought off one egg. They found water; and reported that the trees were large, tall and very thick; and that they saw no sign of people. At night the yawl came aboard and brought a wooden fishgig, very ingeniously made; the matter of it was a small cane; they found it by a small barbecue, where they also saw a shattered canoe.
GREAT QUANTITIES OF MACKEREL.
The next morning I sent the boatswain ashore a-fishing and at one haul he caught 352 mackerels and about 20 other fishes; which I caused to be equally divided among all my company. I sent also the gunner and chief mate to search about if they could find convenient anchoring nearer a watering-place: by night they brought word that they had found a fine stream of good water, where the boat could come close to and it was very easy to be filled; and that the ship might anchor as near to it as I pleased: so I went thither. The next morning therefore we anchored in 25 fathom water, soft oazie ground, about a mile from the river: we got on board 3 tun of water that night; and caught 2 or 3 pike-fish, in shape much like a parracota, but with a longer snout, something resembling a gar, yet not so long. The next day I sent the boat again for water and before night all my casks were full.
A WHITE ISLAND.
Having filled here about 15 tuns of water, seeing we could catch but little fish, and had no other refreshments, I intended to sail next day; but finding that we wanted wood I sent to cut some; and going ashore to hasten it, at some distance from the place where our men were, I found a small cove where I saw two barbecues, which appeared not to be above 2 months standing: the spars were cut with some sharp instrument; so that, if done by the natives, it seems that they have iron. On the 10th, a little after 12 o'clock, we weighed and stood over to the north side of the bay; and at 1 o'clock stood out with the wind at north and north-north-west. At 4 we passed out by a White Island, which I so named from its many white cliffs, having no name in our charts. It is about a league long, pretty high, and very woody: it is about 5 miles from the main, only at the west end it reaches within 3 miles of it. At some distance off at sea the west point appears like a cape land; the north side trends away north-north-west, and the east side east-south-east. This island lies in latitude 3 degrees 4 minutes south; and the meridian distance from Babao, 500 and 12 miles east. After we were out to sea we plied to get to the northward; but met with such a strong current against us that we got but little. For if the wind favoured us in the night, that we got 3 or 4 leagues; we lost it again and were driven as far astern next morning, so that we plied here several days.
The 14th, being past a point of land that we had been 3 days getting about, we found little or no current; so that, having the wind at north-west by west and west-north-west, we stood to the northward, and had several soundings: at 3 o'clock, 38 fathom; the nearest part of New Guinea being about 3 leagues distance: at 4, 37; at 5, 36; at 6, 36; at 8, 33 fathom; then the cape was about 4 leagues distant; so that as we ran off we found our water shallower. We had then some islands to the westward of us, at about four leagues distance.
THEY ANCHOR AT AN ISLAND CALLED BY THE INHABITANTS PULO SABUDA. A DESCRIPTION OF IT AND ITS INHABITANTS AND PRODUCT.
A little after noon we saw smokes on the islands to the west of us; and, having a fine gale of wind, I steered away for them: at 7 o'clock in the evening we anchored in 35 fathom, about two leagues from an island, good soft oazie ground. We lay still all night, and saw fires ashore. In the morning we weighed again, and ran farther in, thinking to have shallower water; but we ran within a mile of the shore, and came to in 38 fathom, good soft holding ground. While we were under sail 2 canoes came off within call of us: they spoke to us, but we did not understand their language, nor signs. We waved to them to come aboard, and I called to them in the Malayan language to do the same; but they would not; yet they came so nigh us that we could show them such things as we had to truck with them; yet neither would this entice them to come aboard; but they made signs for us to come ashore, and away they went. Then I went after them in my pinnace, carrying with me knives, beads, glasses, hatchets, etc. When we came near the shore I called to them in the Malayan language: I saw but 2 men at first, the rest lying in ambush behind the bushes; but as soon as I threw ashore some knives and other toys they came out, flung down their weapons, and came into the water by the boat's side, making signs of friendship by pouring water on their heads with one hand which they dipped into the sea. The next day in the afternoon several other canoes came aboard and brought many roots and fruits, which we purchased.
This island has no name in our charts but the natives call it Pulo Sabuda. It is about 3 leagues long and 2 miles wide, more or less. It is of a good height so as to be seen 11 or 12 leagues. It is very rocky; yet above the rocks there is good yellow and black mould; not deep yet producing plenty of good tall trees, and bearing any fruits or roots which the inhabitants plant. I do not know all its produce; but what we saw were plantains, coconuts, pineapples, oranges, papaws, potatoes, and other large roots. Here are also another sort of wild jacas, about the bigness of a man's two fists, full of stones or kernels, which eat pleasant enough when roasted. The libby-tree grows here in the swampy valleys, of which they make sago cakes: I did not see them make any but was told by the inhabitants that it was made of the pith of the tree in the same manner I have described in my Voyage round the World. They showed me the tree whereof it was made, and I bought about 40 of the cakes. I bought also 3 or 4 nutmegs in their shell, which did not seem to have been long gathered; but, whether they be the growth of this island or not, the natives would not tell whence they had them, and seemed to prize them very much. What beasts the island affords I know not: but here are both sea- and land-fowl. Of the first boobies and men-of-war-birds are the chief; some galdens, and small milk-white crab-catchers. The land-fowls are pigeons, about the bigness of mountain-pigeons in Jamaica; and crows about the bigness of those in England, and much like them; but the inner part of their feathers are white, and the outside black; so that they appear all black, unless you extend the feathers. Here are large sky-coloured birds, such as we lately killed on New Guinea; and many other small birds unknown to us. Here are likewise abundance of bats, as big as young coneys; their necks, head, ears and noses, like foxes; their hair rough; that about their necks is of a whitish yellow, that on their heads and shoulders black; their wings are 4 foot over from tip to tip: they smell like foxes. The fish are bass, rock-fish, and a sort of fish like mullet, old-wives, whip-rays, and some other sorts that I know not, but no great plenty of any; for it is deep water till within less than a mile of the shore; then there is a bank of coral rocks within which you have shoal water, white clean sand: so there is no good fishing with the seine.
This island lies in latitude 2 degrees 43 minutes south and meridian distance from Port Babao on the island Timor 486 miles. Besides this island here are 9 or 10 other small islands, as they are laid down in the charts.
The inhabitants of this island are a sort of very tawny Indians, with long black hair; who in their manners differ but little from the Mindanayans, and others of these eastern islands. These seem to be the chief; for besides them we saw also shock curl-pated New Guinea negroes; many of which are slaves to the others, but I think not all. They are very poor, wear no clothes, but have a clout about their middle, made of the rinds of the tops of palmetto-trees; but the women had a sort of calico cloths. Their chief ornaments are blue and yellow beads, worn about their wrists. The men arm themselves with bows and arrows, lances, broad swords like those of Mindanao; their lances are pointed with bone.
THE INDIANS' MANNER OF FISHING THERE.
They strike fish very ingeniously with wooden fishgigs, and have a very ingenious way of making the fish rise: for they have a piece of wood, curiously carved and painted much like a dolphin (and perhaps other figures) these they let down into the water by a line with a small weight to sink it; when they think it low enough they haul the line into their boats very fast, and the fish rise up after this figure; and they stand ready to strike them when they are near the surface of the water. But their chief livelihood is from their plantations. Yet they have large boats, and go over to New Guinea where they get slaves, fine parrots, etc., which they carry to Goram and exchange for calicos. One boat came from thence a little before I arrived here; of whom I bought some parrots; and would have bought a slave but they would not barter for anything but calicos, which I had not. Their houses on this side were very small, and seemed only to be for necessity; but on the other side of the island we saw good large houses. Their proas are narrow with outlagers on each side, like other Malayans. I cannot tell of what religion these are; but I think they are not Mahomedans, by their drinking brandy out of the same cup with us without any scruple. At this island we continued till the 20th instant, having laid in store of such roots and fruits as the island afforded.
On the 20th at half hour after 6 in the morning I weighed and, standing out, we saw a large boat full of men lying at the north point of the island. As we passed by they rowed towards their habitations, where we supposed they had withdrawn themselves for fear of us (though we gave them no cause of terror) or for some differences among themselves.
We stood to the northward till 7 in the evening; then saw a rippling; and, the water being discoloured, we sounded, and had but 22 fathom. I went about and stood to the westward till 2 next morning, then tacked again and had these several soundings: at 8 in the evening, 22; at 10, 25; at 11, 27; at 12, 28 fathom; at 2 in the morning 26; at 4, 24; at 6, 23; at 8, 28; at 12, 22.
ARRIVAL AT MABO, THE NORTH-WEST CAPE OF NEW GUINEA. A DESCRIPTION OF IT.
We passed by many small islands and among many dangerous shoals without any remarkable occurrence till the 4th of February, when we got within 3 leagues of the north-west cape of New Guinea, called by the Dutch Cape Mabo. Off this cape there lies a small woody island, and many islands of different sizes to the north and north-east of it. This part of New Guinea is high land, adorned with tall trees that appeared very green and flourishing. The cape itself is not very high, but ends in a low sharp point; and on either side there appears another such point at equal distances, which makes it resemble a diamond. This only appears when you are abreast of the middle point; and then you have no ground within 3 leagues of the shore.
In the afternoon we passed by the cape and stood over for the islands. Before it was dark we were got within a league of the westermost; but had no ground with 50 fathom of line. However, fearing to stand nearer in the dark, we tacked and stood to the east, and plied all night. The next morning we were got 5 or 6 leagues to the eastward of that island; and, having the wind easterly, we stood in to the northward among the islands, sounded, and had no ground. Then I sent in my boat to sound, and they had ground with 50 fathom near a mile from the shore. We tacked before the boat came aboard again for fear of a shoal that was about a mile to the east of that island the boat went to; from whence also a shoal point stretched out itself till it met the other: they brought with them such a cockle as I have mentioned in my Voyage round the World, found near Celebes; and they saw many more, some bigger than that which they brought aboard, as they said; and for this reason I named it Cockle Island. I sent them to sound again, ordering them to fire a musket if they found good anchoring; we were then standing to the southward, with a fine breeze. As soon as they fired I tacked and stood in: they told me they had 50 fathom when they fired. I tacked again, and made all the sail I could to get out, being near some rocky islands and shoals to leeward of us. The breeze increased, and I thought we were out of danger; but, having a shoal just by us, and the wind falling again, I ordered the boat to tow us, and by their help we got clear from it. We had a strong tide setting to the westward.
COCKLES OF SEVENTY-EIGHT POUND WEIGHT.
At 1 o'clock, being past the shoal and finding the tide setting to the westward, I anchored in 35 fathom, coarse sand with small coral and shells. Being nearest to Cockle Island I immediately sent both the boats thither; one to cut wood, and the other to fish. At 4 in the afternoon, having a small breeze at south-south-west, I made a sign for my boats to come aboard. They brought some wood and a few small cockles, none of them exceeding 10 pound weight; whereas the shell of the great one weighed 78 pound; but it was now high-water and therefore they could get no bigger. They also brought on board some pigeons, of which we found plenty on all the islands where we touched in these seas. Also in many places we saw many large bats, but killed none, except those I mentioned at Pulo Sabuda. As our boats came aboard we weighed and made sail, steering east-south-east as long as the wind held; in the morning we found we had got 4 or 5 leagues to the east of the place where we weighed. We stood to and fro till 11; and, finding that we lost ground, anchored in 42 fathom, coarse gravelly sand with some coral. This morning we thought we saw a sail.
In the afternoon I went ashore on a small woody island about 2 leagues from us. Here I found the greatest number of pigeons that ever I saw either in the east or West Indies, and small cockles in the sea round the island in such quantities that we might have laden the boat in an hour's time: these were not above 10 or 12 pound weight. We cut some wood and brought off cockles enough for all the ship's company; but having no small shot we could kill no pigeons. I returned about 4 o'clock; and then my gunner and both mates went thither, and in less than three-quarters of an hour they killed and brought off 10 pigeons. Here is a tide: the flood sets west and the ebb east; but the latter is very faint and but of small continuance. And so we found it ever since we came from Timor.
THE WIND HEREABOUTS.
The winds we found easterly, between north-east and east-south-east; so that, if these continue, it is impossible to beat farther to the eastward on this coast against wind and current. These easterly winds increased from the time we were in the latitude of about 2 degrees south; and as we drew nigher the Line they hung more easterly. And now, being to the north of the continent of New Guinea where the coast lies east and west, I find the tradewind here at east; which yet in higher latitudes is usually at north-north-west and north-west; and so I did expect them here, it being to the south of the Line.
AN EMPTY COCKLESHELL WEIGHING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT POUND.
The 7th in the morning I sent my boat ashore on Pigeon Island and stayed till noon. In the afternoon my men returned, brought 22 pigeons, and many cockles, some very large, some small: they also brought one empty shell that weighed 258 pound.
KING WILLIAM'S ISLAND. A DESCRIPTION OF IT.
At 4 o'clock we weighed, having a small westerly wind and a tide with us; at 7 in the evening we anchored in 42 fathom, near King William's Island, where I went ashore the next morning, drank His Majesty's health, and honoured it with his name. It is about 2 leagues and a half in length, very high, and extraordinarily well clothed with woods. The trees are of divers sorts, most unknown to us, but all very green and flourishing; many of them had flowers, some white, some purple, others yellow; all which smelt very fragrantly. The trees are generally tall and straight-bodied, and may be fit for any uses. I saw one of a clean body, without knot or limb, 60 are 70 foot high by estimation. It was 3 of my fathoms about, and kept its bigness without any sensible decrease even to the top. The mould of the island is black but not deep; it being very rocky. On the sides and top of the island are many palmetto-trees whose heads we could discern over all the other trees, but their bodies we could not see.
About 1 in the afternoon we weighed and stood to the eastward, between the main and King William's Island; leaving the island on our larboard side and sounding till we were past the island; and then we had no ground. Here we found the flood setting east by north, and the ebb west by south. There were shoals and small islands between us and the main, which caused the tide to set very inconstantly, and make many whirlings in the water; yet we did not find the tide to set strong any way, nor the water to rise much.
PLYING ON THE COAST OF NEW GUINEA.
On the 9th, being to the eastward of King William's Island, we plied all day between the main and other islands, having easterly winds and fair weather till 7 the next morning. Then we had very hard rain till 8 and saw many shoals of fish. We lay becalmed off a pretty deep bay on New Guinea, about 12 or 14 leagues wide and 7 or 8 leagues deep, having low land near its bottom, but high land without. The eastermost part of New Guinea seen bore east by south, distant 12 leagues: Cape Mabo west-south-west half south, distant 7 leagues.
At 1 in the afternoon it began to rain and continued till 6 in the evening; so that, having but little wind and most calms, we lay still off the forementioned bay, having King William's Island still in sight, though distant by judgment 15 or 16 leagues west. We saw many shoals of small fish, some sharks, and 7 or 8 dolphins; but caught none. In the afternoon, being about 4 leagues from the shore, we saw an opening in the land which seemed to afford good harbour: in the evening we saw a large fire there; and I intended to go in (if winds and weather would permit) to get some acquaintance with the natives.
Since the 4th instant that we passed Cape Mabo to the 12th we had small easterly winds and calms, so that we anchored several times; where I made my men cut wood, that we might have a good stock when a westerly wind should present; and so we plied to the eastward, as winds and currents would permit; having not got in all above 30 leagues to the eastward of Cape Mabo. But on the 12th, at 4 in the afternoon, a small gale sprang up at north-east by north with rain: at 5 it shuffled about to north-west, from thence to the south-west, and continued between those 2 points a pretty brisk gale; so that we made sail and steered away north-east, till the 13th in the morning, to get about the Cape of Good Hope. When it was day we steered north-east half east, then north-east by east till 7 o'clock; and being then 7 or 8 leagues off shore we steered away east; the shore trending east by south. We had very much rain all night, so that we could not carry much sail; yet we had a very steady gale. At 8 this morning the weather cleared up and the wind decreased to a fine top-gallant gale, and settled at west by south. We had more rain these 3 days past than all the voyage in so short time. We were now about 6 leagues from the land of New Guinea, which appeared very high; and we saw 2 headlands, about 20 leagues asunder; the one to the east, and the other to the west, which last is called the Cape of Good Hope. We found variation east 4 degrees.
FAULT OF THE CHARTS.
The 15th in the morning between 12 and 2 o'clock it blew a very brisk gale at north-west and looked very black in the south-west. At 2 it flew about at once to the south-south-west and rained very hard. The wind settled some time at west-south-west, and we steered east-north-east till 3 in the morning: then, the wind and rain abating, we steered east half north for fear of coming near the land. Presently after, it being a little clear, the man at the bowsprit-end called out, "Land on our starboard bow." We looked out and saw it plain. I presently sounded and had but 10 fathom soft ground. The master, being somewhat scared, came running in haste with this news, and said it was best to anchor: I told him no, but sound again; then we had 12 fathom; the next cast, 13 and a half; the 4th, 17 fathom; and then no ground with 50 fathom line. However we kept off the island and did not go so fast but that we could see any other danger before we came nigh it. For here might have been more islands not laid down in my charts besides this. For I searched all the charts I had, if perchance I might find any island in the one which was not in the others; but I could find none near us. When it was day we were about 5 leagues off the land we saw; but, I believe, not above 5 mile, or at most 2 leagues, off it when we first saw it in the night.
This is a small island but pretty high; I named it Providence. About 5 leagues to the southward of this there is another island which is called William Schouten's Island and laid down in our charts: it is a high island and about 20 leagues long.
It was by mere Providence that we missed the small island. For had not the wind come to west-south-west and blown hard, so that we steered east-north-east, we had been upon it by our course that we steered before, if we could not have seen it. This morning we saw many great trees and logs swim by us; which it is probable came out of some great rivers on the main.
THEY CROSS THE LINE.
On the 16th we crossed the Line, and found variation 6 degrees 26 minutes east. The 18th by my observation at noon we found that we had had a current setting to the southward, and probably that drew us in so nigh Schouten's Island. For this 24 hours we steered east by north with a large wind, yet made but an east by south half south course; though the variation was not above 7 degrees east.
The 21st we had a current setting to the northward, which is against the true trade monsoon, it being now near the full moon. I did expect it here, as in all other places. We had variation 8 degrees 45 minutes east. The 22nd we found but little current; if any, it set to the southward.
A SNAKE PURSUED BY FISH.
On the 23rd in the afternoon we saw 2 snakes; and the next morning another, passing by us, which was furiously assaulted by 2 fishes that had kept us company 5 or 6 days. They were shaped like mackerel and were about that bigness and length, and of a yellow-greenish colour. The snake swam away from them very fast, keeping his head above water; the fish snapped at his tail; but when he turned himself that fish would withdraw, and another would snap; so that by turns they kept him employed; yet he still defended himself and swam away a great pace till they were out of sight.
The 25th betimes in the morning we saw an island to the southward of us at about 15 leagues distance. We steered away for it, supposing it to be that which the Dutch call Wishart's Island; but, finding it otherwise, I called it Matthias; it being that saint's day. This island is about 9 or 10 leagues long, mountainous and woody, with many savannahs, and some spots of land which seemed to be cleared.
At 8 in the evening we lay by, intending, if I could, to anchor under Matthias Isle. But the next morning, seeing another island about 7 or 8 leagues to the eastward of it, we steered away for it; at noon we came up fair with its south-west end, intending to run along by it and anchor on the south-east side: but the tornadoes came in so thick and hard that I could not venture in. This island is pretty low and plain, and clothed with wood; the trees were very green, and appeared to be large and tall, as thick as they could stand one by another. It is about 2 or 3 leagues long, and at the south-west point there is another small low woody island about a mile round, and about a mile from the other. Between them there runs a reef of rocks which joins them. (The biggest I named Squally Island.)
THE MAIN OF NEW GUINEA.
Seeing we could not anchor here I stood away to the southward to make the main. But, having many hard squalls and tornadoes, we were often forced to hand all our sails and steer more easterly to go before it. On the 26th at 4 o'clock it cleared up to a hard sky, and a brisk settled gale; then we made as much sail as we could. At 5 it cleared up over the land and we saw, as we thought, Cape Solomaswer bearing south-south-east distance 10 leagues. We had many great logs and trees swimming by us all this afternoon, and much grass; we steered in south-south-east till 6, then the wind slackened and we stood off till 7, having little wind; then we lay by till 10, at which time we made sail and steered away east all night. The next morning, as soon as it was light, we made all the sail we could, and steered away east-south-east, as the land lay; being fair in sight of it, and not above 7 leagues distance. We passed by many small low woody islands which lay between us and the main, not laid down in our charts. We found variation 9 degrees 50 minutes east.
The 28th we had many violent tornadoes, wind, rain, and some spouts; and in the tornadoes the wind shifted. In the night we had fair weather, but more lightning than we had seen at any time this voyage. This morning we left a large high island on our larboard side, called in the Dutch charts Wishart's Isle, about 6 leagues from the main; and, seeing many smokes upon the main, I therefore steered towards it.
NEW BRITAIN DISCOVERED.
THE MAINLAND OF NEW GUINEA. ITS INHABITANTS. SLINGERS BAY.
The mainland at this place is high and mountainous, adorned with tall flourishing trees; the sides of the hills had many large plantations and patches of cleared land; which, together with the smokes we saw, were certain signs of its being well inhabited; and I was desirous to have some commerce with the inhabitants. Being nigh the shore we saw first one proa; a little after, 2 or 3 more; and at last a great many boats came from all the adjacent bays. When they were 46 in number they approached so near us that we could see each other's signs, and hear each other speak; though we could not understand them, nor they us. They made signs for us to go in towards the shore, pointing that way; it was squally weather, which at first made me cautious of going too near; but, the weather beginning to look pretty well, I endeavoured to get into a bay ahead of us, which we could have got into well enough at first; but while we lay by we were driven so far to leeward that now it was more difficult to get in. The natives lay in their proas round us; to whom I showed beads, knives, glasses, to allure them to come nearer; but they would come so nigh as to receive anything from us. Therefore I threw out some things to them, namely a knife fastened to a piece of board, and a glass bottle corked up with some beads in it, which they took up and seemed well pleased. They often struck their left breast with their right hand, and as often held up a black truncheon over their heads, which we thought was a token of friendship; wherefore we did the like. And when we stood in towards their shore they seemed to rejoice; but when we stood off they frowned, yet kept us company in their proas, still pointing to the shore. About 5 o'clock we got within the mouth of the bay and sounded several times, but had no ground though within a mile of the shore. The basin of this bay was above 2 miles within us, into which we might have gone; but, as I was not assured of anchorage there, so I thought it not prudence to run in at this time; it being near night and seeing a black tornado rising in the west, which I most feared: besides we had near 200 men in proas close by us. And the bays on the shore were lined with men from one end to the other, where there could not be less than 3 or 400 more. What weapons they had we know not, nor yet their design. Therefore I had, at their first coming near us, got up all our small arms, and made several put on cartouch boxes to prevent treachery. At last I resolved to go out again: which, when the natives in their proas perceived, they began to fling stones at us as fast as they could, being provided with engines for that purpose (wherefore I named this place Slingers Bay). But at the firing of one gun they were all amazed, drew off and flung no more stones. They got together as if consulting what to do; for they did not make in towards the shore, but lay still, though some of them were killed or wounded; and many of them had paid for their boldness, but that it was unwilling to cut off any of them; which, if I had done, I could not hope afterwards to bring them to treat with me.
The next day we sailed close by an island where we saw many smokes, and men in the bays; out of which came 2 canoes, taking much pains to overtake us, but they could not, though we went with an easy sail; and I could not now stay for them. As I passed by the south-east point I sounded several times within a mile of the sandy bays, but had no ground: about 3 leagues to the northward of the south-east point we opened a large deep bay, secured from west-north-west and south-west winds. There were 2 other islands that lay to the north-east of it which secured the bay from north-east winds; one was but small, yet woody; the other was a league long, inhabited and full of coconut-trees. I endeavoured to get into this bay; but there came such flaws off from the high land over it that I could not; besides we had many hard squalls which deterred me from it; and, night coming on, I would not run any hazard, but bore away to the small inhabited island to see if we could get anchoring on the east side of it. When we came there we found the island so narrow that there could be no shelter; therefore I tacked and stood towards the greater island again: and, being more than midway between both, I lay by, designing to endeavour for anchorage next morning. Between 7 and 8 at night we spied a canoe close by us; and, seeing no more, suffered her to come aboard. She had 3 men in her who brought off 5 coconuts, for which I gave each of them a knife and a string of beads to encourage them to come off again in the morning: but before these went away we saw 2 more canoes coming; therefore we stood away to the northward from them and then lay by again till day. We saw no more boats this night; neither designed to suffer any to come aboard in the dark.
By nine o'clock the next morning we were got within a league of the great island, but were kept off by violent gusts of wind. These squalls gave us warning of their approach by the clouds which hung over the mountains, and afterwards descended to the foot of them; and then it is we expect them speedily.
GERRIT DENNIS ISLE DESCRIBED.
On the 3rd of March, being about 5 leagues to leeward of the great island, we saw the mainland ahead; and another great high island to leeward of us, distance about 7 leagues; which we bore away for. It is called in the Dutch charts Gerrit Denis Isle. It is about 14 or 15 leagues round; high and mountainous, and very woody: some trees appeared very large and tall; and the bays by the seaside are well stored with coconut-trees; where we also saw some small houses. The sides of the mountains are thick set with plantations; and the mould in the new cleared land seemed to be of a brown-reddish colour. This island is of no regular figure, but is full of points shooting forth into the sea; between which are many sandy bays, full of coconut-trees. The middle of the isle lies in 3 degrees 10 minutes south latitude.
It is very populous; the natives are very black, strong, and well-limbed people; having great round heads, their hair naturally curled and short, which they shave into several forms, and dye it also of divers colours, namely red, white and yellow. They have broad round faces with great bottle noses, yet agreeable enough, till they disfigure them by painting, and by wearing great things through their noses as big as a man's thumb and about four inches long; these are run clear through both nostrils, one end coming out by one cheek-bone, and the other end against the other; and their noses so stretched that only a small slip of them appears about the ornament. They have also great holes in their ears, wherein they wear such stuff as in their noses.
They are very dexterous active fellows in their proas, which are very ingeniously built. They are narrow and long with outlagers on one side; the head and stern higher than the rest, and carved into many devices, namely some fowl, fish, or a man's head, painted or carved: and though it is but rudely done, yet the resemblance appears plainly, and shows an ingenious fancy. But with what instruments they make their proas or carved work I know not; for they seem to be utterly ignorant of iron. They have very neat paddles with which they manage their proas dexterously and make great way through the water. Their weapons are chiefly lances, swords and slings, and some bows and arrows: they have also wooden fishgigs for striking fish. Those that came to assault us in Slingers Bay on the main are in all respects like these; and I believe these are alike treacherous. Their speech is clear and distinct; the words they used most when near us were "vacousee allamais," and then they pointed to the shore. Their signs of friendship are either a great truncheon, or bough of a tree full of leaves put on their heads; often striking their heads with their hands.
ANTHONY CAVE'S ISLAND.
The next day, having a fresh gale of wind, we got under a high island, about 4 or 5 leagues round, very woody, and full of plantations upon the sides of the hills; and in the bays by the waterside are abundance of coconut-trees. It lies in the latitude of 3 degrees 25 minutes south, and meridian distance from Cape Mabo 1316 miles. On the south-east part of it or 3 or 4 other small woody islands; one high and peaked, the other low and flat; all bedecked with coconut-trees and other wood. On the north there is another island of an indifferent height, and of a somewhat larger circumference than the great high island last mentioned. We passed between this and the high island. The high island is called in the Dutch charts Anthony Cave's Island. As for the flat low island and the other small one, it is probable they were never seen by the Dutch; nor the islands to the north of Gerrit Dennis Island.
As soon as we came near Cave's Island some canoes came about us and made signs for us to come ashore, as all the rest had done before; probably thinking we could run the ship aground anywhere, as they did their proas; for we saw neither sail nor anchor among any of them, though most eastern Indians have both. These had proas made of one tree, well dug, with outlagers on one side: they were but small yet well shaped. We endeavoured to anchor but found no ground within a mile of the shore: we kept close along the north side, still sounding till we came to the north-east end, but found no ground; the canoes still accompanying us; and the bays were covered with men going along as we sailed: many of them strove to swim off to us but we left them astern. Being at the north-east point we found a strong current setting to the north-west; so that though we had steered to keep under the high island, yet we were driven towards the flat one. At this time 3 of the natives came aboard: I gave each of them a knife, a looking-glass, and a string of beads. I showed them pumpkins and coconut-shells, and made signs to them to bring some aboard, and had presently 3 coconuts out of one of the canoes. I showed them nutmegs, and by their signs I guessed they had some on the island. I also showed them some gold-dust, which they seemed to know, and called out "manneel, manneel," and pointed towards the land. A while after these men were gone 2 or 3 canoes came from the flat island, and by signs invited us to their island; at which the others seemed displeased, and used very menacing gestures and (I believe) speeches to each other. Night coming on we stood off to sea; and, having but little wind all night, were driven away to the north-west. We saw many great fires on the flat island. These last men that came off to us were all black, as those we had seen before with frizzled hair: they were very tall, lusty, well-shaped men; they wear great things in their noses, and paint as the others, but not much; they make the same signs of friendship, and their language seems to be one: but the others had proas, and these canoes. On the sides of some of these we saw the figures of several fish neatly cut; and these last were not so shy as the others.
TREES FULL OF WORMS FOUND IN THE SEA.
Steering away from Cave's Island south-south-east we found a strong current against us, which set only in some places in streams; and in them we saw many trees and logs of wood which drove by us. We had but little wood aboard; wherefore I hoisted out the pinnace and sent her to take up some of this driftwood. In a little time she came aboard with a great tree in a tow, which we could hardly hoist in with all our tackles. We cut up the tree and split it for firewood. It was much worm-eaten and had in it some live worms above an inch long, and about the bigness of a goose-quill, and having their heads crusted over with a thin shell.
ST. JOHN'S ISLAND.
After this we passed by an island called by the Dutch St. John's Island, leaving it to the north of us. It is about 9 or 10 leagues round and very well adorned with lofty trees. We saw many plantations on the sides of the hills, and abundance of coconut-trees about them; as also thick groves on the bays by the seaside. As we came near it 3 canoes came off to us but would not come aboard. They were such as we had seen about the other islands: they spoke the same language, and made the same signs of peace; and their canoes were such as at Cave's Island.
THE MAINLAND OF NEW GUINEA.
We stood along by St. John's Island till we came almost to the south-east point; and then, seeing no more islands to the eastward of us, nor any likelihood of anchoring under this, I steered away for the main of New Guinea; we being now (as I supposed) to the east of it, on this north side. My design of seeing these islands as I passed along was to get wood and water, but could find no anchor-ground, and therefore could not do as I purposed. Besides, these islands are all so populous that I dared not send my boat ashore unless I could have anchored pretty nigh. Wherefore I rather chose to prosecute my design on the main, the season of the year being now at hand; for I judged the westerly winds were nigh spent.
On the 8th of March we saw some smokes on the main, being distant from it 4 or 5 leagues. It is very high, woody land, with some spots of savannah. About 10 in the morning 6 or 7 canoes came off to us: most of them had no more than one man in them; they were all black, with short curled hair; having the same ornaments in their noses, and their heads so shaved and painted, and speaking the same words, as the inhabitants of Cave's Island before mentioned.
THE COAST DESCRIBED.
There was a headland to the southward of us beyond which, seeing no land, I supposed that from thence the land trends away more westerly. This headland lies in the latitude of 5 degrees 2 minutes south, and meridian distance from Cape Mabo 1290 miles. In the night we lay by for fear of over-shooting this headland. Between which and Cape St. Maries the land is high, mountainous and woody; having many points of land shooting out into the sea, which make so many fine bays. The coast lies north-north-east and south-south-west.
The 9th in the morning a huge black man came off to us in a canoe but would not come aboard. He made the same signs of friendship to us as the rest we had met with; yet seemed to differ in his language, not using any of those words which the others did. We saw neither smokes nor plantations near this headland. We found here variation 1 degree east.
CAPE AND BAY ST. GEORGE.
In the afternoon, as we plied near the shore, 3 canoes came off to us; one had 4 men in her, the others 2 apiece. That with the 4 men came pretty nigh us, and showed us a coconut and water in a bamboo, making signs that there was enough ashore where they lived; they pointed to the place where they would have us go, and so went away. We saw a small round pretty high island, about a league to the north of this headland, within which there was a large deep bay, whither the canoes went; and we strove to get thither before night, but could not; wherefore we stood off, and saw land to the westward of this headland, bearing west by south half south, distance about 10 leagues; and, as we thought, still more land bearing south-west by south, distance 12 or 14 leagues: but, being clouded, it disappeared and we thought we had been deceived. Before night we opened the headland fair and I named it Cape St. George. The land from hence trends away west-north-west about 10 leagues, which is as far as we could see it; and the land that we saw to the westward of it in the evening, which bore west by south half south, was another point about 10 leagues from Cape St. George; between which there runs in a deep bay for 20 leagues or more. We saw some high land in spots like islands down in that bay at a great distance; but whether they are islands or the main closing there we know not. The next morning we saw other land to the south-east of the westermost point, which till then was clouded; it was very high land, and the same that we saw the day before, that disappeared in a cloud. This Cape St. George lies in the latitude of 5 degrees 5 minutes south; and meridian distance from Cape Mabo 1290 miles. The island off this cape I called St. George's Isle; and the bay between it and the west point I named St. George's Bay. Note: no Dutch charts go so far as this cape, by 10 leagues. On the 10th in the evening we got within a league of the westermost land seen, which is pretty high and very woody, but no appearance of anchoring. I stood off again, designing (if possible) to ply to and fro in this bay till I found a conveniency to wood and water. We saw no more plantations, nor coconut-trees; yet in the night we discerned a small fire right against us. The next morning we saw a burning mountain in the country. It was round, high, and peaked at top (as most volcanoes are) and sent forth a great quantity of smoke. We took up a log of driftwood and split it for firing; in which we found some small fish.
The day after we passed by the south-west cape of this bay, leaving it to the north of us: when we were abreast of it I called my officers together, and named it Cape Orford, in honour of my noble patron; drinking his lordship's health. This cape bears from Cape St. George south-west about 18 leagues. Between them there is a bay about 25 leagues deep, having pretty high land all round it, especially near the capes, though they themselves are not high. Cape Orford lies in the latitude of 5 degrees 24 minutes south by my observation; and meridian distance from Cape St. George 44 miles west. The land trends from this cape north-west by west into the bay, and on the other side south-west per compass, which is south-west 9 degrees west, allowing the variation which is here 9 degrees east. The land on each side of the cape is more savannah than woodland, and is highest on the north-west side. The cape itself is a bluff point of an indifferent height with a flat tableland at top. When we were to the south-west of the cape it appeared to be a low point shooting out; which you cannot see when abreast of it. This morning we struck a log of driftwood with our turtle-irons, hoisted it in, and split it for firewood. Afterwards we struck another but could not get it in. There were many fish about it.
We steered along south-west as the land lies, keeping about 6 leagues off the shore; and, being desirous to cut wood and fill water if I saw any conveniency, I lay by in the night, because I would not miss any place proper for those ends, for fear of wanting such necessaries as we could not live without. This coast is high and mountainous, and not so thick with trees as that on the other side of Cape Orford.
ANOTHER BAY. THE INHABITANTS THERE.
On the 14th, seeing a pretty deep bay ahead, and some islands where I thought we might ride secure, we ran in towards the shore and saw some smokes. At 10 o'clock we saw a point which shot out pretty well into the sea, with a bay within it which promised fair for water; and we stood in with a moderate gale. Being got into the bay within the point we saw many coconut-trees, plantations, and houses. When I came within 4 or 5 mile of the shore 6 small boats came off to view us, with about 40 men in them all. Perceiving that they only came to view us and would not come aboard, I made signs and waved to them to go ashore; but they did not or would not understand me; therefore I whistled a shot over their heads out of my fowling-piece, and then they pulled away for the shore as hard as they could. These were no sooner ashore but we saw 3 boats coming from the islands to leeward of us, and they soon came within call; for we lay becalmed. One of the boats had about 40 men in her, and was a large well-built boat; the other 2 were but small. Not long after I saw another boat coming out of that bay where I intended to go: she likewise was a large boat, with a high head and stern painted and full of men; this I thought came off to fight us, as it is probable they all did; therefore I fired another small shot over the great boat that was nigh us, which made them leave their babbling and take to their paddles. We still lay becalmed; and therefore they, rowing wide of us, directed their course toward the other great boat that was coming off: when they were pretty near each other I caused the gunner to fire a gun between them which he did very dexterously; it was loaded with round and partridge-shot; the last dropped in the water somewhat short of them, but the round shot went between both boats and grazed about 100 yards beyond them; this so affrighted them that they rowed away for the shore as fast as they could, without coming near each other; and the little boats made the best of their way after them: and now, having a gentle breeze at south-south-east, we bore in to the bay after them. When we came by the point I saw a great number of men peeping from under the rocks: I ordered a shot to be fired close by to scare them. The shot grazed between us and the point; and, mounting again, flew over the point, and grazed a second time just by them. We were obliged to sail along close by the bays; and, seeing multitudes setting under the trees, I ordered a third gun to be fired among the coconut-trees to scare them; for, my business being to wood and water, I thought it necessary to strike some terror into the inhabitants, who were very numerous, and (by what I saw now and had formerly experienced) treacherous. After this I sent my boat to sound; they had first 40, then 30, and at last 20 fathom water. We followed the boat and came to anchor about a quarter of a mile from the shore in 26 fathom water, fine black sand and oaze. We rode right against the mouth of a small river where I hoped to find fresh water. Some of the natives standing on a small point at the river's mouth, I sent a small shot over their heads to fright them; which it did effectually.
A LARGE ACCOUNT OF THE AUTHOR'S ATTEMPTS TO TRADE WITH THEM.
In the afternoon I sent my boat ashore to the natives who stood upon the point by the river's mouth with a present of coconuts; when the boat was come near the shore they came running into the water, and put their nuts into the boat. Then I made a signal for the boat to come aboard, and sent both it and the yawl into the river to look for fresh water, ordering the pinnace to lie near the river's mouth while the yawl went up to search. In an hour's time they returned aboard with some barrecoes full of fresh water, which they had taken up about half a mile up the river. After which I sent them again with casks; ordering one of them to fill water, and the other to watch the motion of the natives, lest they should make any opposition; but they did not, and so the boats returned a little before sunset with a tun and a half of water; and the next day by noon brought aboard about 6 tun of water.
I sent ashore commodities to purchase hogs, etc., being informed that the natives have plenty of them, as also of yams and other good roots; but my men returned without getting anything that I sent them for; the natives being unwilling to trade with us: yet they admired our hatchets and axes; but would part with nothing but coconuts; which they used to climb the trees for; and so soon as they gave them our men they beckoned to them to be gone; for they were much afraid of us.
The 18th I sent both boats again for water, and before noon they had filled all my casks. In the afternoon I sent them both to cut wood; but, seeing about 40 natives standing on the bay at a small distance from our men, I made a signal for them to come aboard again; which they did, and brought me word that the men which we saw on the bay were passing that way, but were afraid to come nigh them. At 4 o'clock I sent both the boats again for more wood, and they returned in the evening. Then I called my officers to consult whether it were convenient to stay here longer, and endeavour a better acquaintance with these people or go to sea. My design of tarrying here longer was, if possible, to get some hogs, goats, yams and other roots; as also to get some knowledge of the country and its product. My officers unanimously gave their opinions for staying longer here. So the next day I sent both boats ashore again to fish and to cut more wood. While they were ashore about 30 or 40 men and women passed by them; they were a little afraid of our people at first; but upon their making signs of friendship they passed by quietly; the men finely bedecked with feathers of divers colours about their heads, and lances in their hands; the women had no ornament about them, nor anything to cover their nakedness but a bunch of small green boughs before and behind, stuck under a string which came round their waists. They carried large baskets on their heads, full of yams. And this I have observed amongst all the wild natives I have known that they make their women carry the burdens, while the men walk before without any other load than their arms and ornaments. At noon our men came aboard with the wood they had cut, and had caught but 6 fishes at 4 or 5 hauls of the seine, though we saw abundance of fish leaping in the bay all the day long.
In the afternoon I sent the boats ashore for more wood; and some of our men went to the natives' houses, and found they were now more shy than they used to be; had taken down all the coconuts from the trees and driven away their hogs. Our people made signs to them to know what was become of their hogs, etc. The natives, pointing to some houses in the bottom of the bay, and imitating the noise of those creatures, seemed to intimate that there were both hogs and goats of several sizes, which they expressed by holding their hands abroad at several distances from the ground.
At night our boats came aboard with wood, and the next morning I went myself with both boats up the river to the watering-place, carrying with me all such trifles and iron-work as I thought most proper to induce them to a commerce with us; but I found them very shy and roguish. I saw but 2 men and a boy: one of the men by some signs was persuaded to come to the boat's side, where I was; to him I gave a knife, a string of beads, and a glass bottle; the fellow called out, "cocos, cocos," pointing to a village hard by, and signified to us that he would go for some; but he never returned to us. And thus they had frequently of late served our men. I took 8 or 9 men with me and marched to their houses, which I found very mean; and their doors made fast with withes.
I visited 3 of their villages; and, finding all the houses thus abandoned by the inhabitants, who carried with them all their hogs etc., I brought out of their houses some small fishing-nets in recompense for those things they had received of us. As we were coming away we saw 2 of the natives; I showed them the things that we carried with us and called to them "cocos, cocos," to let them know that I took these things because they had not made good what they had promised by their signs, and by their calling out "cocos." While I was thus employed the men in the yawl filled 2 hogsheads of water and all the barrecoes. About 1 in the afternoon I came aboard and found all my officers and men very importunate to go to that bay where the hogs were said to be. I was loth to yield to it, fearing they would deal too roughly with the natives. By 2 o'clock in the afternoon many black clouds gathered over the land, which I thought would deter them from their enterprise; but they solicited me the more to let them go. At last I consented, sending those commodities I had ashore with me in the morning, and giving them a strict charge to deal by fair means, and to act cautiously for their own security. The bay I sent them to was about 2 miles from the ship. As soon as they were gone I got all things ready that, if I saw occasion, I might assist them with my great guns. When they came to land the natives in great companies stood to resist them; shaking their lances and threatening them; and some were so daring as to wade into the sea, holding a target in one hand and a lance in the other. Our men held up to them such commodities as I had sent, and made signs of friendship; but to no purpose; for the natives waved them off. Seeing therefore they could not be prevailed upon to a friendly commerce, my men, being resolved to have some provision among them, fired some muskets to scare them away; which had the desired effect upon all but 2 or 3, who stood still in a menacing posture till the boldest dropped his target and ran away; they supposed he was shot in the arm: he and some others felt the smart of our bullets but none were killed; our design being rather to fright than to kill them. Our men landed and found abundance of tame hogs running among the houses. They shot down 9, which they brought away, besides many that ran away wounded. They had but little time; for in less than an hour after they went from the ship it began to rain: wherefore they got what they could into the boats; for I had charged them to come away if it rained. By that time the boat was aboard and the hogs taken in it cleared up; and my men desired to make another trip thither before night; this was about 5 in the evening; and I consented, giving them order to repair on board before night. In the close of the evening they returned accordingly with 8 hogs more, and a little live pig; and by this time the other hogs were jerked and salted. These that came last we only dressed and corned till morning; and then sent both boats ashore for more refreshments, either of hogs or roots: but in the night the natives had conveyed away their provisions of all sorts. Many of them were now about the houses, and none offered to resist our boats landing, but on the contrary were so amicable that one man brought 10 or 12 coconuts, left them on the shore after he had showed them to our men, and went out of sight. Our people finding nothing but nets and images brought some of them away; which 2 of my men brought aboard in a small canoe; and presently after, my boats came off. I ordered the boatswain to take care of the nets, till we came at some place where they might be disposed of for some refreshment for the use of all the company: the images I took into my own custody.
In the afternoon I sent the canoe the place from whence she had been brought; and in her, 2 axes, 2 hatchets (one of them helved) 6 knives, 6 looking-glasses, a large bunch of beads, and 4 glass bottles. Our men drew the canoe ashore, placed the things to the best advantage in her; and came off in the pinnace which I sent to guard them. And now, being well stocked with wood and all my water-casks full, I resolved to sail the next morning. All the time of our stay here we had very fair weather; only sometimes in the afternoon we had a shower of rain which lasted not above an hour at most: also some thunder and lightning with very little wind. We had sea- and land-breezes; the former between the south-south-east, and the latter from north-east to north-west.
HE NAMES THE PLACE PORT MONTAGUE. THE COUNTRY THEREABOUTS DESCRIBED, AND ITS PRODUCE.
This place I named port Montague in honour of my noble patron. It lies in the latitude of 6 degrees 10 minutes south, and meridian distance from Cape St. George 151 miles west. The country hereabouts is mountainous and woody, full of rich valleys and pleasant fresh-water brooks. The mould in the valleys is deep and yellowish; that on the sides of the hills of a very brown colour, and not very deep, but rocky underneath; yet excellent planting land. The trees in general are neither very straight, thick, nor tall; yet appear green and pleasant enough: some of them bore flowers, some berries, and others big fruits; but all unknown to any of us. Coconut-trees thrive very well here; as well on the bays by the seaside, as more remote among the plantations. The nuts are of an indifferent size, the milk and kernel very thick and pleasant. Here is ginger, yams, and other very good roots for the pot, that our men saw and tasted. What other fruits or roots the country affords I know not. Here are hogs and dogs; other land-animals we saw none. The fowls we saw and knew were pigeons, parrots, cockadores, and crows like those in England; a sort of birds about the bigness of a blackbird, and smaller birds many. The sea and rivers have plenty of fish; we saw abundance, though we caught but few, and these were cavallies, yellow-tails and whip-rays.
A BURNING ISLAND DESCRIBED.
We departed from hence on the 22nd of March, and on the 24th in the evening we saw some high land bearing north-west half west; to the west of which we could see no land, though there appeared something like land bearing west a little southerly; but, not being sure of it, I steered west-north-west all night, and kept going on with an easy sail, intending to coast along the shore at a distance. At 10 o'clock I saw a great fire bearing north-west by west, blazing up in a pillar, sometimes very high for 3 or 4 minutes, then falling quite down for an equal space of time; sometimes hardly visible, till it blazed up again. I had laid me down having been indisposed this 3 days: but upon a sight of this my chief mate called me; I got up and viewed it for about half an hour and knew it to be a burning hill by its intervals: I charged them to look well out, having bright moonlight. In the morning I found that the fire we had seen the night before was a burning island; and steered for it. We saw many other islands, one large high island, and another smaller, but pretty high. I stood near the volcano and many small low islands with some shoals.
A NEW PASSAGE FOUND.
March the 25th 1700 in the evening we came within 3 leagues of this burning hill, being at the same time 2 leagues from the main. I found a good channel to pass between them, and kept nearer the main than the island. At 7 in the evening I sounded, and had 52 fathom fine sand and oaze. I stood to the northward to get clear of this strait, having but little wind and fair weather. The island all night vomited fire and smoke very amazingly; and at every belch we heard a dreadful noise like thunder, and saw a flame of fire after it, the most terrifying that ever I saw. The intervals between its belches were about half a minute, some more, others less: neither were these pulses or eruptions alike; for some were but faint convulsions in comparison of the more vigorous; yet even the weakest vented a great deal of fire; but the largest made a roaring noise, and sent up a large flame 20 or 30 yards high; and then might be seen a great stream of fire running down to the foot of the island, even to the shore. From the furrows made by this descending fire we could in the daytime see great smokes arise, which probably were made by the sulphureous matter thrown out of the funnel at the top which, tumbling down to the bottom and there lying in a heap, burned till either consumed or extinguished; and as long as it burned and kept its heat so long the smoke ascended from it; which we perceived to increase or decrease, according to the quantity of matter discharged from the funnel. But the next night, being shot to the westward of the burning island, and the funnel of it lying on the south side, we could not discern the fire there as we did the smoke in the day when we were to the southward of it. This volcano lies in the latitude of 5 degrees 33 minutes south, and meridian distance from Cape St. George 332 miles west.
The eastermost part of New Guinea lies 40 miles to the westward of this tract of land, and by hydrographers they are made joining together: but here I found an opening and passage between, with many islands; the largest of which lie on the north side of this passage or strait. The channel is very good, between the islands and the land to the eastward. The east part of New Guinea is high and mountainous, ending on the north-east with a large promontory, which I named King William's Cape in honour of his present majesty. We saw some smokes on it; and, leaving it on our larboard side, steered away near the east land which ends with two remarkable capes or heads distant from each other about 6 or 7 leagues. Within each head were two very remarkable mountains, ascending very gradually from the seaside; which afforded a very pleasant and agreeable prospect. The mountains and lower land were pleasantly mixed with woodland and savannahs. The trees appeared very green and flourishing; and the savannahs seemed to be very smooth and even; no meadow in England appears more green in the spring than these. We saw smokes but did not strive to anchor here; but rather chose to get under one of the islands (where I thought I should find few or no inhabitants) that I might repair my pinnace, which was so crazy that I could not venture ashore anywhere with her. As we stood over to the islands we looked out very well to the north, but could see no land that way; by which I was well assured that we were got through, and that this east land does not join to New Guinea; therefore I named it New Britain. The north-west cape I called Cape Gloucester, and the south-west point Cape Anne; and the north-west mountain, which is very remarkable, I called Mount Gloucester.
This island which I called New Britain has about 4 degrees of latitude: the body of it lying in 4 degrees and the northermost part in 2 degrees 30 minutes and the southermost in 6 degrees 30 minutes south. It has about 5 degrees 18 minutes longitude from east to west. It is generally high, mountainous land, mixed with large valleys; which as well as the mountains appeared very fertile; and in most places that we saw the trees are very large, tall and thick. It is also very well inhabited with strong well-limbed negroes, whom we found very daring and bold at several places. As to the product of it I know no more than what I have said in my account of Port Montague: but it is very probable this island may afford as many rich commodities as any in the world; and the natives may be easily brought to commerce, though I could not pretend to it under my present circumstances.
SIR GEORGE ROOK'S ISLAND.
Being near the island to the northward of the volcano I sent my boat to sound, thinking to anchor here; but she returned and brought me word that they had no ground, till they met with a reef of coral rocks about a mile from the shore. Then I bore away to the north side of the island where we found no anchoring neither. We saw several people, and some coconut-trees, but could not send ashore for want of my pinnace which was out of order. In the evening I stood off to sea to be at such a distance that I might not be driven by any current upon the shoals of this island if it should prove calm. We had but little wind, especially the beginning of the night; but in the morning I found myself so far to the west of the island that, the wind being at east-south-east, I could not fetch it; wherefore I kept on to the southward and stemmed with the body of a high island about 11 or 12 leagues long, lying to the southward of that which I before designed for. I named this island Sir George Rook's Island.
LONG ISLAND AND CROWN ISLAND, DISCOVERED AND DESCRIBED.
We also saw some other islands to the westward; which may be better seen in my chart of these lands than here described. But, seeing a very small island lying to the north-west of the long island which was before us, and not far from it, I steered away for that; hoping to find anchoring there: and, having but little wind, I sent my boat before to sound; which, when we were about 2 miles distance from the shore, came on board and brought me word that there was good anchoring in 30 or 40 fathom water, a mile from the isle and within a reef of the rocks which lay in a half-moon, reaching from the north part of the island to the south-east: so at noon we got in and anchored in 36 fathom a mile from the isle.
In the afternoon I sent my boat ashore to the island to see what convenience there was to haul our vessel ashore in order to be mended, and whether we could catch any fish. My men in the boat rowed about the island, but could not land by reason of the rocks and a great surge running in upon the shore. We found variation here 8 degrees 25 minutes west.
I designed to have stayed among these islands till I had got my pinnace refitted; but, having no more than one man who had skill to work upon her, I saw she would be a long time in repairing (which was one great reason why I could not prosecute my discoveries further) and, the easterly winds being set in, I found I should scarce be able to hold my ground.
The 31st in the forenoon we shot in between 2 islands lying about 4 leagues asunder; with intention to pass between them. The southermost is a long island with a high hill at each end; this I named Long island. The northermost is a round high island towering up with several heads or tops, something resembling a crown; this I named Crown Isle from its form. Both these islands appeared very pleasant, having spots of green savannahs mixed among the woodland: the trees appeared very green and flourishing, and some of them looked white and full of blossoms. We passed close by Crown Isle; saw many coconut-trees on the bays and the sides of the hills; and one boat was coming off from the shore but returned again. We saw no smokes on either of the islands, neither did we see any plantations; and it is probable they are not very well peopled. We saw many shoals near Crown Island, and reefs of rocks running off from the points a mile or more into the sea. My boat was once overboard with design to have sent her ashore; but, having little wind and seeing some shoals, I hoisted her in again and stood off out of danger.
SIR R. RICH'S ISLAND.
In the afternoon, seeing an island bearing north-west by west, we steered away north-west by north, to be to the northward of it. The next morning, being about midway from the islands we left yesterday, and having this to the westward of us; the land of the main of New Guinea within us to the southward appeared very high. When we came within 4 or 5 leagues of this island to the west of us, 4 boats came off to view us: one came within call, but returned with the other 3 without speaking to us: so we kept on for the island which I named Sir R. Rich's Island. It was pretty high, woody, and mixed with savannahs like those formerly mentioned. Being to the north of it we saw an opening between it and another island 2 leagues to the west of it, which before appeared all in one. The main seemed to be high land, trending to the westward.