A BURNING ISLAND.
On Tuesday the 2nd of April about 8 in the morning we discovered a high peaked island to the westward which seemed to smoke at its top. The next day we passed by the north side of the burning island and saw a smoke again at its top; but, the vent lying on the south side of the peak, we could not observe it distinctly, nor see the fire. We afterwards opened 3 more islands and some land to the southward, which we could not well tell whether it were islands or part of the main. These islands are all high, full of fair trees and spots of green savannahs; as well the burning isle as the rest; but the burning isle was more round and peaked at top, very fine land near the sea, and for two-thirds up it. We also saw another isle sending forth a great smoke at once; but it soon vanished, and we saw it no more. We saw also among these islands 3 small vessels with sails, which the people on New Britain seem wholly ignorant of.
A STRANGE SPOUT.
The 11th at noon, having a very good observation, I found myself to the northward of my reckoning; and thence concluded that we had a current setting north-west, or rather more westerly, as the land lies. From that time to the next morning we had fair clear weather and a fine moderate gale from south-east to east by north: but at daybreak the clouds began to fly, and it lightned very much in the east, south-east and north-east. At sun-rising the sky looked very red in the east near the horizon; and there were many black clouds both to the south and north of it. About a quarter of an hour after the sun was up there was a squall to the windward of us; when on a sudden one of our men on the forecastle called out that he saw something astern, but could not tell what: I looked out for it and immediately saw a spout beginning to work within a quarter of a mile of us, exactly in the wind. We presently put right before it. It came very swiftly, whirling the water up in a pillar about 6 or 7 yards high. As yet I could not see any pendulous cloud from whence it might come; and was in hopes it would soon lose its force. In 4 or 5 minutes time it came within a cable's length of us and passed away to leeward; and then I saw a long pale stream coming down to the whirling water. This stream was about the bigness of a rainbow: the upper end seemed vastly high, not descending from any dark cloud and therefore the most strange to me; I never having seen the like before. It passed about a mile to leeward of us and then broke. This was but a small spout, not strong nor lasting; yet I perceived much wind in it as it passed by us. The current still continued at north-west a little westerly, which I allowed to run a mile per hour.
A CONJECTURE CONCERNING A NEW PASSAGE SOUTHWARD.
By an observation the 13th at noon I found myself 25 minutes to the northward of my reckoning; whether occasioned by bad steerage, a bad account, or a current, I could not determine; but was apt to judge it might be a complication of all; for I could not think it was wholly the current, the land here lying east by south, and west by north, or a little more northerly and southerly. We had kept so nigh as to see it, and at farthest had not been above 20 leagues from it, but sometimes much nearer; and it is not probable that any current should set directly off from a land. A tide indeed may; but then the flood has the same force to strike in upon the shore as the ebb to strike off from it: but a current must have set nearly alongshore either easterly or westerly; and if anything northerly or southerly, it could be but very little in comparison of its east or west course, on a coast lying as this doth; which yet we did not perceive. If therefore we were deceived by a current it is very probable that the land is here disjoined, and that there is a passage through to the southward, and that the land from King William's Cape to this place is an island, separated from New Guinea by some strait as New Britain is by that which we came through. But this being at best but a probable conjecture I shall insist no farther upon it.
KING WILLIAM'S ISLAND.
The 14th we passed by Schouten's Island and Providence Island, and found still a very strong current setting to the north-west. On the 17th the we saw a high mountain on the main that sent forth great quantities of smoke from its top: this volcano we did not see in our voyage out. In the afternoon we discovered King William's Island, and crowded all the sail we could to get near it before night; thinking to lie to the eastward of it till day, for fear of some shoals that lie at the west end of it. Before night we got within 2 leagues of it and, having a fine gale of wind and a light moon, I resolved to pass through in the night; which I hoped to do before 12 o'clock if the gale continued; but when we came within 2 miles of it it fell calm; yet afterwards, by the help of the current, a small gale, and our boat, we got through before day. In the night we had a very fragrant smell from the island.
By morning-light we were got 2 leagues to the westward of it; and then were becalmed all the morning; and met such whirling tides that when we came into them the ship turned quite round; and though sometimes we had a small gale of wind yet she could not feel the helm when she came into these whirlpools: neither could we get from amongst them till a brisk gale sprang up; yet we drove not much any way, but whirled round like a top. And those whirlpools were not constant to one place, but drove about strangely; and sometimes we saw among them large ripplings of the water, like great overfalls, making a fearful noise. I sent my boat to sound but found no ground.
DISTANCE BETWEEN CAPE MABO AND CAPE ST. GEORGE COMPUTED.
The 18th Cape Mabo bore south distance 9 leagues. By which account it lies in the latitude of 50 minutes south and meridian distance from Cape St. George 1243 miles. St. John's Isle lies 48 miles to the east of Cape St. George; which, being added to the distance between Cape St. George and Cape Mabo, makes 1291 meridional parts; which was the furthest that I was to the east. In my outward-bound voyage I made meridian distance between Cape Mabo and Cape St. George 1290 miles; and now in my return but 1243; which is 47 short of my distance going out. This difference may probably be occasioned by the strong western current which we found in our return, which I allowed for after I perceived it; and though we did not discern any current when we went to the eastward, except when near the islands, yet it is probable we had one against us, though we did not take notice of it because of the strong westerly winds. King William's Island lies in the latitude of 21 minutes south, and may be seen distinctly off of Cape Mabo.
In the evening we passed by Cape Mabo; and afterwards steered away south-east half east, keeping along the shore which here trends south-easterly. The next morning, seeing a large opening in the land with an island near the south side, I stood in, thinking to anchor there. When we were shot in within 2 leagues of the island the wind came to the west, which blows right into the opening. I stood to the north shore; intending, when I came pretty nigh, to send my boat into the opening, and sound before I would adventure in. We found several deep bays, but no soundings within 2 miles of the shore; therefore I stood off again. Then, seeing a rippling under our lee, I sent my boat to sound on it; which returned in half an hour and brought me word that the rippling we saw was only a tide, and that they had no ground there.
NAVIGATION AMONG THE ISLANDS.
THE AUTHOR'S RETURN FROM THE COAST OF NEW GUINEA.
The wind seeming to incline to east, as might be expected according to the season of the year, I rather chose to shape my course as these winds would best permit than strive to return the same way we came; which, for many leagues, must have been against this monsoon: though indeed, on the other hand, the dangers in that way we already knew; but what might be in this by which we now proposed to return we could not tell.
A DEEP CHANNEL.
We were now in a channel about 8 on 9 leagues wide, having a range of islands on the north side, and another on the south side, and very deep water between, so that we had no ground. The 22nd of April in the morning I sent my boat ashore to an island on the north side, and stood that way with the ship. They found no ground till within a cable's length of the shore, and then had coral rocks; so that they could not catch any fish, though they saw a great many. They brought aboard a small canoe, which they found adrift. They met with no game ashore save only one party-coloured parakeet. The land is of an indifferent height; very rocky, yet clothed with tall trees, whose bare roots run along upon the rocks. Our people saw a pond of salt-water but found no fresh. Near this island we met a pretty strong tide but found neither tide nor current off at some distance.
On the 24th, being about 2 leagues from an island to the southward of us, we came over a shoal on which we had but 5 fathom and a half. We did not descry it till we saw the ground under us. In less than half an hour before the boat had been sounding in discoloured water, but had no ground. We manned the boat presently and towed the ship about; and then sounding had 12, 15, and 17 fathom, and then no ground with our hand-lead. The shoal was rocky; but in 12 and 15 fathom we had oazy ground.
We found here very strange tides that ran in streams, making a great sea; and roaring so loud that we could hear them before they came within a mile of us. The sea round about them seemed all broken, and tossed the ship so that she would not answer her helm. These ripplings commonly lasted 10 or 12 minutes, and then the sea became as still and smooth as a mill-pond. We sounded often when in the midst of them, and afterwards in the smooth water; but found no ground, neither could we perceive that they drove us any way.
We had in one night several of these tides that came most of them from the west; and, the wind being from that quarter, we commonly heard them a long time before they came; and sometimes lowered our topsails, thinking it was a gust of wind. They were of great length from north to south, but their breadth not exceeding 200 yards, and they drove a great pace: for though we had little wind to move us, yet these would soon pass away and leave the water very smooth, and just before we encountered them we met a great swell but it did not break.
THE ISLAND CERAM DESCRIBED.
The 26th we saw the island Ceram; and still met some ripplings, but much fainter than those we had the 2 preceding days. We sailed along the island Ceram to the westward, edging in withal, to see if peradventure we might find a harbour to anchor in where we might water, trim the ship, and refresh our men.
In the morning we saw a sail to the north of us, steering in for the west end of Ceram, as we likewise were. In the evening, being near the shore on the north side of the island, I stood off to sea with an easy sail; intending to stand in for the shore in the morning, and try to find anchoring to fill water, and get a little fish for refreshment. Accordingly in the morning early I stood in with the north-west point of Ceram; leaving a small island, called Bonao, to the west. The sail we saw the day before was now come pretty nigh us, steering in also (as we did) between Ceram and Bonao. I shortened sail a little for him; and when he got abreast of us not above 2 miles off I sent my boat aboard. It was a Dutch sloop, come from Ternate, and bound for Amboina: my men whom I sent in the boat bought 5 bags of new rice, each containing about 130 pounds, for 6 Spanish dollars. The sloop had many rare parrots aboard for sale which did not want price. A Malayan merchant aboard told our men that about 6 months ago he was at Bencola, and at that time the governor either died or was killed, and that the commander of an English ship then in that road succeeded to that government.
In the afternoon, having a breeze at north and north-north-east, I sent my boat to sound and, standing after her with the ship, anchored in 30 fathom water oazy sand, half a mile from the shore, right against a small river of fresh water. The next morning I sent both the boats ashore to fish; they returned about 10 o'clock with a few mullets and 3 or 4 cavallies, and some pan-fish. We found variation here 2 degrees 15 minutes east.
When the sea was smooth by the land-winds we sent our boats ashore for water; who, in a few turns, filled all our casks.
The land here is low, swampy and woody; the mould is a dark grey, friable earth. Two rivers came out within a bow-shot of each other, just opposite to the place where we rode: one comes right down out of the country; and the other from the south, running along by the shore, not musket-shot from the seaside. The northernmost river is biggest, and out of it we filled our water; our boats went in and out at any time of tide. In some places the land is overflown with fresh water, at full sea. The land hereabouts is full of trees unknown to us, but none of them very large or high; the woods yield many wild fruits and berries, such as I never saw elsewhere. We met with no land animals.
The fowls we found were pigeons, parrots, cockadores, and a great number of small birds unknown to me. One of the master's mates killed 2 fowls as big as crows; of a black colour, excepting that the tails were all white. Their necks were pretty long, one of which was of a saffron-colour, the other black. They had very large bills much like a ram's horn; their legs were strong and short, and their claws like a pigeon's; their wings of an ordinary length: yet they make a great noise when they fly, which they do very heavily. They feed on berries, and perch on the highest trees. Their flesh is sweet; I saw some of the same species at New Guinea, but nowhere else.
THE ISLANDS BONAO, BOURO, MISACOMBI, PENTARE, LAUBANA, AND POTORO.
May the 3rd at 6 in the morning we weighed, intending to pass between Bonao and Ceram; but presently after we got under sail we saw a pretty large proa coming about the north-west point of Ceram. Wherefore I stood to the north to speak with her, putting aboard our ensign. She, seeing us coming that way, went into a small creek and skulked behind a point a while: at last discovering her again I sent my boat to speak with her; but the proa rowed away and would not come nigh it. After this, finding I could not pass between Bonao and Ceram as I purposed, I steered away to the north of it.
This Bonao is a small island lying about 4 leagues from the north-west point of Ceram. I was informed by the Dutch sloop before mentioned that, notwithstanding its smallness, it has one fine river, and that the Dutch are there settled. Whether there be any natives on it or not I know not, nor what its produce is. They further said that the Ceramers were their mortal enemies; yet that they were settled on the westermost point of Ceram in spite of the natives.
The next day as we approached the island Bouro there came off from it a very fragrant scent, much like that from King William's Island; and we found so strong a current setting to the westward that we could scarce stem it. We plied to get to the southward, intending to pass between Bouro and Keelang.
In the evening, being near the west end of Bouro, we saw a brigantine to the north-west of us, on the north side of Bouro, standing to the eastward. I would not stand east or west for fear of coming nigh the land which was on each side of us, namely Bouro on the west, and Keelang on the east. The next morning we found ourselves in mid-channel between both islands; and having the wind at south-west we steered south-south-east, which is right through between both. At 11 o'clock it fell calm; and so continued till noon; by that time the brigantine which we saw astern the night before was got 2 or 3 leagues ahead of us. It is probable she met a strong land-wind in the evening which continued all night; she keeping nearer the shore than I could safely do. She might likewise have a tide or current setting easterly, where she was; though we had a tide setting northwardly against us, we being in mid-channel.
About 8 at night the brigantine which we saw in the day came close along by us on our weather-side: our guns were all ready before night, matches lighted, and small arms on the quarter-deck ready loaded. She standing one way and we another; we soon got further asunder. But I kept good watch all the night and in the morning saw her astern of us, standing as we did. At 10 o'clock, having little wind, I sent the yawl aboard of her. She was a Chinese vessel laden with rice, arrack, tea, porcelain, and other commodities, bound for Amboina. The commander said that his boat was gone ashore for water, and asked our men if they saw her; for she had been wanting for 2 or 3 days, and they knew not what was become of her. They had their wives and children aboard, and probably came to settle at some new Dutch factory. The commander also informed us that the Dutch had lately settled at Ampoulo, Menippe, Bonao, and on a point of Ceram. The next day we passed out to the southward between Keelang and Bouro. After this we had for several days a current setting southerly, and a great tumbling sea, occasioned more by the strong current than by winds, as was apparent by the jumping of its waves against each other; and by observation I found 25 miles more southing than our course gave us.
On the 14th we discovered the island Misacomba, and the next day sailed along to the west on the north side of the island. In some charts it is called Omba; it is a mountainous island, spotted with woods and savannahs; about 20 leagues long and 5 or 6 broad. We saw no signs of inhabitants on it. We fell in nearest to the west end of it; and therefore I chose to pass on to the westward, intending to get through to the southward between this and the next isle to the west of it, or between any other 2 islands to the west, where I should meet with the clearest passage; because the winds were now at north-east and east-north-east, and the isle lies nearly east and west; so that if the winds continued I might be a long time in getting to the east end of it, which yet I knew to be the best passage. In the night, being at the west end and seeing no clear passage, I stood off with an easy sail, and in the morning had a fine land-wind, which would have carried us 5 or 6 leagues to the east if we had made the best of it; but we kept on only with a gentle gale for fear of a westerly current. In the morning, finding we had not met with any current as we expected, as soon as it was light we made sail to the westward again.
After noon, being near the end of the isle Pentare which lies west from Misacomba, we saw many houses and plantations in the country, and many coconut-trees growing by the seaside. We also saw several boats sailing across a bay or channel at the west end of Misacomba, between it and Pentare. We had but little wind, and that at north, which blows right in with a swell rolling in withal; wherefore I was afraid to venture in, though probably there might be good anchoring and a commerce with the natives. I continued steering to the west, because, the night before at sun-setting, I saw a small round high island to the west of Pentare, where I expected a good passage.
THE PASSAGE BETWEEN PENTARE AND LAUBANA.
We could not that day reach the west end of Pentare, but saw a deep bay to the west of us, where I thought might be a passage through, between Pentare and Laubana. But as yet the lands were shut one within another, that we could not see any passage. Therefore I ordered to sail 7 leagues more westerly, and lie by till next day. In the morning we looked out for an opening but could see none; yet by the distance and bearing of a high round island called Potoro, we were got to the west of the opening, but not far from it. Wherefore I tacked and stood to the east, and the rather, because I had reason to suppose this to be the passage we came through in the Cygnet mentioned in my Voyage round the World; but I was not yet sure of it because we had rainy weather, so that we could not now see the land so well as we did then. We then accidentally saw the opening at our first falling in with the islands; which now was a work of some time and difficul to discover. However before 10 o'clock we saw the opening plain; and I was the more confirmed in my knowledge of this passage by a spit of sand and 2 islands at the north-east part of its entrance. The wind was at south-south-west and we plied to get through before night; for we found a good tide helping us to the south. About 7 or 8 leagues to the west of us we saw a high round peaked mountain, from whose top a smoke seemed to ascend as from a volcano. There were 3 other very high peaked mountains, 2 on the east and one on the west of that which smoked.
In our plying to get through between Pentare and Laubana we had (as I said) a good tide or current setting us to the southward. And it is to be observed that near the shores in these parts we commonly find a tide setting northwardly or southwardly as the land lies; but the northwardly tide sets not above 3 hours in 12, having little strength; and sometimes it only checks the contrary current which runs with great violence, especially in narrow passes such as this between 2 islands. It was 12 at night before we got clear of 2 other small islands that lay on the south side of the passage; and there we had a very violent tide setting us through against a brisk gale of wind. Notwithstanding which I kept the pinnace out, for fear we should be becalmed. For this is the same place through which I passed in the year 1687, mentioned in my Voyage round the World, only then we came out between the western small island and Laubana, and now we came through between the two small islands. We sounded frequently but had no ground. I said there that we came through between Omba and Pentare: for we did not then see the opening between those 2 islands; which made me take the west side of Pentare for the west end of Omba, and Laubana for Pentare. But now we saw the opening between Omba and Pentare; which was so narrow that I would not venture through: besides I had now discovered my mistake, and hoped to meet with the other passage again, as indeed we did, and found it to be bold from side to side, which in the former voyage I did not know.
THE ISLAND TIMOR.
After we were through we made the best of our way to Timor, and on May the 18th in the morning we saw it plain, and made the high land over Laphao the Portuguese factory, as also the high peak over our first watering-place, and a small round island about midway between them.
We coasted along the island Timor, intending to touch at Babao, to get a little water and refreshments. I would not go into the bay where we first watered, because of the currents which there whirl about very strangely, especially at spring tides which were now setting in; besides, the south-east winds come down in flaws from the mountains, so that it would have been very dangerous for us.
Wherefore we crowded all the sail we could to get to Babao before night, or at least to get sight of the sandy island at the entrance of the bay; but could not. So we plied all night; and the next morning entered the bay.
There being good ground all over this bay we anchored at 2 o'clock in 30 fathom water, soft oazy ground. And the morning after I sent my boat ashore with the seine to fish. At noon she returned and brought enough for all the ship's company. They saw an Indian boat at a round rocky island about a mile from them.
On the 22nd I sent my boat ashore again to fish: at noon she returned with a few fish, which served me and my officers. They caught one whiting, the first I had seen in these seas. Our people went over to the rocky island and there found several jars of turtle, and some hanging up a-drying, and some cloths; their boat was about a mile off, striking turtle. Our men left all as they found. In the afternoon a very large shark came under our stern; I never had seen any near so big before. I put a piece of meat on a hook for him but he went astern and returned no more. About midnight, the wind being pretty moderate, I weighed and stood into the bottom of the bay, and ran over nearer the south shore, where I thought to lie and water, and at convenient times get fish for our refreshment. The next morning I sent my pinnace with 2 hogsheads and 10 barrecoes for water; they returned at noon with the casks full of water; very thick and muddy, but sweet and good. We found variation 15 minutes west.
THE ISLAND ROTI.
This afternoon, finding that the breezes were set in here, and that it blew so hard that I could neither fish nor fill water without much difficulty and hazard of the boat; I resolved to be gone, having good quantity of water aboard. Accordingly at half an hour after 2 in the morning we weighed with the wind at east by south, and stood to sea. We coasted along by the island Roti which is high land, spotted with woods and savannahs. The trees appeared small and shrubby, and the savannahs dry and rusty. All the north side has sandy bays by the sea. We saw no houses nor plantations.
MORE ISLANDS THAN ARE COMMONLY LAID DOWN IN THE CHARTS. GREAT CURRENTS.
The next day we crowded all the sail we could to get to the west of all the isles before night but could not; for at 6 in the evening we saw land bearing south-west by west. For here are more islands than are laid down in any charts that I have seen. Wherefore I was obliged to make a more westerly course than I intended till I judged we might be clear of the land. And when we were so I could easily perceive by the ship's motion. For till then, being under the lee of the shore, we had smooth water; but now we had a troubled sea which made us dance lustily. This turbulent sea was occasioned in part by the current; which, setting out slanting against the wind, was by it raised into short cockling seas. I did indeed expect a south-west current here but not so very strong as we found it.
On the 26th we continued to have a very strong current setting southwardly; but on what point exactly I know not. Our whole distance by log was but 82 miles, and our difference of latitude since yesterday noon by observation 100 miles, which is 18 miles more than the whole distance; and our course, allowing no leeway at all, was south 17 degrees west, which gives but 76 miles difference of latitude, 24 less than we found by observation. I did expect (as has been said) we might meet a great current setting to the south yesterday, because there is a constant current setting out from among those islands we passed through between Timor and the isles to the west of it, and it is probable, in all the other openings between the islands, even from the east end of Java to the end of all that range that runs from thence, both to the east and west of Timor; but, being got so far out to sea as we were, though there may be a very great current, yet it does not seem probable to me that it should be of so great strength as we now found: for both currents and tides lose their force in the open sea where they have room to spread; and it is only in narrow places or near headlands that their force is chiefly felt. Besides, in my opinion, it should here rather set to the west than south; being open to the narrow sea that divides New Holland from the range of islands before mentioned.
The 27th we found that in the last 24 hours we had gone 9 miles less south than the log gave: so that it is probable we were then out of the southern current which we felt so much before. We saw many tropic-birds about us. And found variation 1 degree 25 minutes west.
On June the 1st we saw several whales, the first we had at this time seen on the coast: but when we were here before we saw many; at which time we were nearer the shore than now. The variation now was 5 degrees 38 minutes west.
COAST OF NEW HOLLAND.
I designed to have made New Holland in about the latitude of 20 degrees, and steered courses by day to make it, but in the night could not be so bold; especially since we had sounding. This afternoon I steered in south-west till 6 o'clock; then, it blowing fresh and night coming on, I steered west-south-west till we had 40 fathom; and then stood west, which course carries alongshore. In the morning again from 6 to 12 I steered west-south-west to have made the land but, not seeing it, I judged we were to the west of it. Here is very good soundings on this coast. When we passed this way to the eastward we had, near this latitude of 19 degrees 50 minutes 38 fathom, about 18 leagues from the land: but this time we saw not the land. The next morning I saw a great many scuttle-fish bones which was a sign that we were not far from the land. Also a great many weeds continually floating by us.
We found the variation increase considerably as we went westward. For on the 3rd it was 6 degrees 10 minutes west; on the 4th, 6 degrees 20 minutes, and on the 6th, 7 degrees 20 minutes. That evening we saw some fowls like men-of-war-birds flying north-east, as I was told; for I did not see them, having been indisposed these 3 or 4 days.
THE TRYAL ROCKS.
On the 11th we found the variation 8 degrees 1 minute west; on the 12th, 6 degrees 0 minutes. I kept on my course to the westward till the 15th, and then altered it. My design was to seek for the Tryal Rocks; but, having been sick 5 or 6 days without any fresh provision or other good nourishment aboard, and seeing no likelihood of my recovery, I rather chose to go to some port in time than to beat here any longer; my people being very negligent when I was not upon deck myself; I found the winds variable, so that I might go any way, east, west, north, or south; wherefore it is probable I might have found the said rocks had not sickness prevented me; which discovery (whenever made) will be of great use to merchants trading to these parts.
THE COAST OF JAVA. PRINCES ISLE. STRAITS OF SUNDA. THWART-THE-WAY ISLAND.
From hence nothing material happened till we came upon the coast of Java. On the 23rd we saw Princes Isle plain, and the mouth of the Straits of Sunda. By my computation the distance between Timor and Princes Isle is 14 degrees 22 minutes. The next day in the afternoon, being abreast of Crockadore Island, I steered away east-north-east for an island that lies near midway between Sumatra and Java but nearest the Java shore; which is by Englishmen called Thwart-the-way. We had but small winds till about 3 o'clock when it freshened, and I was in good hopes to pass through before day: but at 9 o'clock the wind fell and we got but little. I was then abreast of Thwart-the-way, which is a pretty high long island; but before 11 the wind turned, and presently afterward it fell calm. I was then about 2 leagues from the said island; and, having a strong current against us, before day we were driven astern 4 or 5 leagues. In the morning we had the wind at north-north-west; it looked black and the wind unsettled: so that I could not expect to get through. I therefore stood toward the Java shore, and at 10 anchored in 24 fathom water, black oazy ground, 3 leagues from the shore. I sounded in the night when it was calm, and had 54 fathom, coarse sand and coral.
INDIAN PROAS, AND THEIR TRAFFIC.
In the afternoon before we had seen many proas; but none came off to us; and in the night we saw many fires ashore. This day a large proa came aboard of us, and lay by our side an hour. There were only 4 men in her, all Javians, who spoke the Malayan language. They asked if we were English; I answered we were; and presently one of them came aboard and presented me with a small hen, some eggs and coconuts; for which I gave some beads and a small looking-glass, and some glass bottles. They also gave me some sugarcane, which I distributed to such of my men as were scorbutic. They told me there were 3 English ships at Batavia.
The 28th at 2 in the afternoon we anchored in 26 fathom water; presently it fell calm and began to rain very violently and so continued from 3 till 9 in the evening. At 1 in the morning we weighed with a fine land-wind at south-south-east; but presently, the wind coming about at east, we anchored; for we commonly found the current setting west. If at any time it turned it was so weak that it did us little good; and I did not think it safe to venture through without a pretty brisk leading gale; for the passage is but narrow, and I knew not what dangers might be in the way, nor how the tide sets in the narrow, having not been this way these 28 years, and all my people wholly strangers: we had the opening fair before us.
PASSAGE THROUGH THE STRAIT.
While we lay here 4 Malayan proas came from the shore, laden with coconuts, plantains, bananas, fowls, ducks, tobacco, sugar, etc. These were very welcome, and we purchased much refreshment of them. At 10 o'clock I dismissed all the boats, and weighed with the wind at north-west. At half an hour past 6 in the evening we anchored in 32 fathom water in a coarse sort of oaze. We were now past the island Thwart-the-way, but had still one of the small islands to pass. The tide began to run strong to the west; which obliged me to anchor while I had soundings, for fear of being driven back again or on some unknown sand. I lay still all night. At 5 o'clock the next morning the tide began to slacken: at 6 I weighed with the wind at south-east by east, a handsome breeze. We just weathered the Button; and, sounding several times, had still between 30 and 40 fathom. When we were abreast of the Button, and about 2 leagues from the westermost point of Java, we had 34 fathom, small peppery sand. You may either come between this island and Java, or, if the wind is northerly, run out between the island Thwart-the-way and this last small island.
The wind for the most part being at east and east by south I was obliged to run over towards the Sumatra shore, sounding as I went, and had from 34 to 23 fathom. In the evening I sounded pretty quick, being got near the Sumatra shore; and, finding a current setting to the west between 8 and 9 o'clock, we anchored in 34 fathom. The tide set to the west from 7 in the evening to 7 this morning; and then, having a small gale at west-south-west, I weighed and stood over to the Java shore.
In the evening, having the wind between east-north-east and south-east by east, we could not keep off the Java shore. Wherefore I anchored in 27 fathom water, about a league and a half off shore. At the same time we saw a ship at anchor near the shore, about 2 mile to leeward of us. We found the tide setting to the westward, and presently after we anchored it fell calm. We lay still all night and saw many fires ashore. At 5 the next morning, being July the 1st, we weighed and stood to the north for a seabreeze: at 10, the wind coming out, I tacked and had a fine brisk gale. The ship we saw at anchor weighed also and stood after us. While we passed by Pulo Baby I kept sounding and had no less than 14 fathom. The other ship, coming after us with all the sail she could make, I shortened sail on purpose that she might overtake us but she did not. A little after 5 I anchored in 13 fathom good oazy ground. About 7 in the evening the ship that followed us passed by close under our stern; she was a Dutch fly-boat; they told us they came directly from Holland, and had been in their passage six months. It was now dark, and the Dutch ship anchored within a mile of us. I ordered to look out sharp in the morning; that so soon as the Dutchman began to move we might be ready to follow him; for I intended to make him my pilot. In the morning at half an hour after 5 we weighed, the Dutchman being under sail before; and we stood directly after him. At 8, having but little wind, I sent my boat aboard of him to see what news he had brought from Europe. Soon after we spied a ship coming from the east, plying on a wind to speak with us, and showing English colours. I made a signal for my boat, and presently bore away towards her; and, being pretty nigh, the commander and supercargo came aboard, supposing we had been the Tuscany galley which was expected then at Batavia. This was a country ship belonging to Fort St. George, having come out from Batavia the day before, and bound to Bencola. The commander told me that the Fleet frigate was at anchor in Batavia Road, but would not stay there long: he told me also that His Majesty's ships commanded by Captain Warren were still in India, but he had been a great while from the coast and had not seen them. He gave me a chart of these straits from the Button and Cap to Batavia, and showed me the best way in thither. At 11 o'clock, it being calm, I anchored in 14 fathom good oazy ground.
ARRIVAL AT BATAVIA.
At 2 o'clock we weighed again; the Dutch ship being under sail before, standing close to Mansheters Island; but, finding he could not weather it, he tacked and stood off a little while, and then tacked again. In the meantime I stood pretty nigh the said island, sounding, but could not weather it. Then I tacked and stood off, and the Dutch stood in towards the island; and weathered it. I, being desirous to have room enough, stood off longer and then went about, having the Dutch ship 4 points under my lee. I kept after him; but as I came nearer the island I found a tide setting to the west, so that I could not weather it. Wherefore at 6 in the evening I anchored in 7 fathom oazy ground, about a mile from the island: the Dutch ship went about 2 miles further, and anchored also; and we both lay still all night. At 5 the next morning we weighed again, and the Dutch ship stood away between the island Cambusses and the main; but I could not follow because we had a land-wind. Wherefore I went without the Cambusses, and by noon we saw the ships that lay at the careening island near Batavia. After the land-wind was spent, which we had at south-east and south-south-east, the seabreeze came up at east. Then we went about; and, the wind coming afterward at east-north-east, we had a large wind to run us into Batavia Road: and at 4 in the afternoon we anchored in 6 fathom soft oaze.
HOME VOYAGE AND LOSS OF SHIP.
THE AUTHOR CONTINUES IN BATAVIA ROAD TO REFIT, TO GET PROVISIONS.
We found in Batavia Road a great many ships at anchor, most Dutch, and but one English ship named the Fleet frigate, commanded by one Merry. We rode a little without them all. Near the shore lay a stout China junk, and a great many small vessels, namely brigantines, sloops and Malayan proas in abundance. As soon as I anchored I sent my boat aboard the Fleet frigate with orders to make them strike their pennant, which was done soon after the boat went aboard. Then my clerk, whom I sent in the boat, went for the shore, as I had directed him, to see if the government would answer my salute: but it was now near night, and he had only time to speak with the ship-bander, who told him that the government would have answered my salute with the same number of guns if I had fired as soon as I anchored; but that now it was too late. In the evening my boat came aboard and the next morning I myself went ashore, visited the Dutch general, and desired the privilege of buying such provision and stores as I now wanted; which he granted me.
I lay here till the 17th of October following, all which time we had very fair weather, some tornadoes excepted. In the meantime I supplied the carpenter with such stores as were necessary for refitting the ship; which proved more leaky after he had caulked her than she was before: so that I was obliged to careen her, for which purpose I hired vessels to take in our guns, ballast, provision and stores.
ENGLISH SHIPS THEN IN THE ROAD.
The English ships that arrived here from England were first the Liampo, commanded by Captain Monk, bound for China; next the Panther commanded by Captain Robinson; then the Mancel frigate, commanded by Captain Clerk. All these brought good tidings from England. Most of them had been unfortunate in their officers; especially Captain Robinson, who said that some of them had been conspiring to ruin him and his voyage. There came in also several English country vessels; first a sloop from Benjarr, commanded by one Russel, bound to Bengal, next the Monsoon, belonging to Bengal: she had been at Malacca at the same time that His Majesty's ship the Harwich was there: afterwards came in also another small ship from Bengal.
While we stayed here all the forenamed English ships sailed hence; the 2 Bengal ships excepted. Many Dutch ships also came in here, and departed again before us. We had several reports concerning our men-of-war in India, and much talk concerning rovers who had committed several spoils upon the coast and in the Straits of Malacca. I did not hear of any ships sent out to quash them. At my first coming in I was told that 2 ships had been sent from Amboina in quest of me; which was lately confirmed by one of the skippers, whom I by accident met with here. He told me they had 3 protests against me; that they came to Pulo Sabuda on the coast of New Guinea 28 days after my departure thence, and went as far as Schouten's Island and, hearing no further news of me, returned. Something likewise to this purpose Mr. Merry, commander of the Fleet frigate, told me at my first arrival here; and that the general at Batavia had a copy of my commission and instructions; but I looked upon it as a very improbable thing.
While we lay here the Dutch held several consultations about sending some ships for Europe sooner than ordinary: at last the 16th of October was agreed upon for the day of sailing, which is 2 months sooner than usual. They lay ready 2 or 3 days before, and went out on the 10th. Their names were the Ostresteen, bound to Zealand; the Vanheusen, for Enchiehoust; and the 3 Crowns, for Amsterdam, commanded by skipper Jacob Uncright, who was commodore over all the rest. I had by this time finished my business here, namely fitted the ship, recruited myself with provision, filled all my water; and, the time of the year to be going for Europe being now at hand, I prepared to be gone also.
DEPARTURE FROM BATAVIA.
Accordingly on the 17th of October, at half an hour after 6 in the morning, I weighed anchor from Batavia, having a good land-wind at south, and fair weather: and by the 19th at noon came up with the 3 Dutch ships before mentioned. The 29th of November in the morning we saw a small hawk flying about the ship till she was quite tired. Then she rested on the mizzen-topsail-yard, where we caught her. It is probable she was blown off from Madagascar by the violent northerly winds; that being the nighest land to us, though distance near 150 leagues.
TOUCH AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
The 30th December we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope and departed again on the 11th of January, 1701. About the end of the month we saw abundance of weeds or blubber swim by us, for I cannot determine which. It was all of one shape and colour. As they floated on the water they seemed to be of the breadth of the palm of a man's hand, spread out round into many branches about the bigness of a man's finger. They had in the middle a little knob, no bigger than the top of a man's thumb. They were of a smoke-colour; and the branches, by their pliantness in the water, seemed to be more simple than jellies, I have not seen the like before.
AND AT ST. HELENA.
The 2nd of February we anchored in St. Helena Road and set sail again from thence on the 13th.
ARRIVAL AT THE ISLAND OF ASCENSION. A LEAK SPRUNG.
On the 21st we made the island of Ascension and stood in towards it. The 22nd between 8 and 9 o'clock we sprung a leak which increased so that the chain-pump could not keep the ship free. Whereupon I set the hand-pump to work also, and by 10 o'clock sucked her: then wore the ship, and stood to the southward to try if that would ease her; and then the chain-pump just kept her free. At 5 the next morning we made sail and stood in for the bay; and at 9 anchored in 10 and a half fathom, sandy ground. The south point bore south-south-west distance 2 miles, and the north point of the bay north-east half north, distance 2 miles. As soon as we anchored I ordered the gunner to clear his powder-room that we might there search for the leak and endeavour to stop it within board if possible; for we could not heel the ship so low, it being within 4 streaks of the keel; neither was there any convenient place to haul her ashore. I ordered the boatswain to assist the gunner; and by 10 o'clock the powder-room was clear. The carpenter's mate, gunner, and boatswain went down; and soon after I followed them myself and asked them whether they could come at the leak: they said they believed they might, but cutting the ceiling; I told the carpenter's mate (who was the only person in the ship that understood anything of carpenter's work) that if he thought he could come at the leak by cutting the ceiling without weakening the ship he might do it, for he had stopped one leak so before; which though not so big as this, yet, having seen them both, I thought he might as well do this as the other. Wherefore I left him to do his best. The ceiling being cut, they could not come at the leak; for it was against one of the foot-hook-timbers which the carpenter's mate said he must first cut before it could be stopped. I went down again to see it, and found the water to come in very violently. I told them I never had known any such thing as cutting timbers to stop leaks; but if they who ought to be best judges in such cases thought they could do any good I bid them use their utmost care and diligence, promising the carpenter's mate that I would always be a friend to him if he could and would stop it: he said by 4 o'clock in the afternoon he would make all well, it being then about 11 in the forenoon. In the afternoon my men were all employed, pumping with both pumps; except such as assisted the carpenter's mate. About one in the afternoon I went down again and the carpenter's mate was cutting the after-part of the timber over the leak. Some said it was best to cut the timber away at once; I bid them hold their tongue and let the carpenter's mate alone; for he knew best and I hoped he would do his utmost to stop the leak. I desired him to get everything ready for stopping the violence of the water, before he cut any further; for fear it should overpower us at once. I had already ordered the carpenter to bring all the oakum he had, and the boatswain to bring all the waste cloths to stuff in upon occasion; and had for the same purpose sent down my own bedclothes. The carpenter's mate said he should want short stanchions to be placed so that the upper end should touch the deck, and the under-part rest on what was laid over the leak; and presently took a length for them. I asked the master-carpenter what he thought best to be done: he replied till the leak was all open, he could not tell. Then he went away to make a stanchion, but it was too long: I ordered him to make many of several lengths, that we might not want of any size. So once more desiring the carpenter's mate to use his utmost endeavours I went up, leaving the boatswain and some others there. About 5 o'clock the boatswain came to me and told me the leak was increased, and that it was impossible to keep the ship above water; when on the contrary I expected to have had the news of the leak's being stopped. I presently went down and found the timber cut away, but nothing in readiness to stop the force of the water from coming in. I asked them why they would cut the timber before they had got all things in readiness: the carpenter's mate answered they could do nothing till the timber was cut that he might take the dimensions of the place; and that there was a caulk which he had lined out, preparing by the carpenter's boy. I ordered them in the meantime to stop in oakum, and some pieces of beef; which accordingly was done, but all to little purpose: for now the water gashed in with such violence, notwithstanding all our endeavours to check it, that it flew in over the ceiling; and for want of passage out of the room overflowed it above 2 foot deep. I ordered the bulkhead be cut open, to give passage to the water that it might drain out of the room; and withal ordered to clear away abaft the bulkhead, that we might bail: so now we had both pumps going and as many bailing as could; and by this means the water began to decrease; which gave me some hope of saving the ship. I asked the carpenter's mate what he thought of it; he said "Fear not; for by 10 o'clock at night I'll engage to stop the leak." I went from him with a heavy heart; but, putting a good countenance upon the matter, encouraged my men, who pumped and bailed very briskly; and when I saw occasion I gave them some drams to comfort them. About 11 o'clock at night the boatswain came to me and told me that the leak still increased; and that the plank was so rotten it broke away like dirt; and that now it was impossible to save the ship; for they could not come at the leak because the water in the room was got above it. The rest of the night we spent in pumping and bailing. I worked myself to encourage my men, who were very diligent; but the water still increased, and we now thought of nothing but saving our lives. Wherefore I hoisted out the boat that, if the ship should sink, yet we might be saved: and in the morning we weighed our anchor and warped in nearer the shore; yet did but little good.
WHICH BEING IMPOSSIBLE TO BE STOPPED, THE SHIP IS LOST, BUT THE MEN SAVED.
In the afternoon with the help of a seabreeze I ran into 7 fathom and anchored; then carried a small anchor ashore and warped in till I came into 3 fathom and a half. Where having fastened her I made a raft to carry the men's chests and bedding ashore; and before 8 at night most of them were ashore. In the morning I ordered the sails to be unbent, to make tents; and then myself and officers went ashore. I had sent ashore a puncheon and a 36 gallon cask of water with one bag of rice for our common use: but great part of it was stolen away before I came ashore, and many of my books and papers lost.
THEY FIND WATER UPON THE ISLAND.
On the 26th following we, to our great comfort, found a spring of fresh water about 8 miles from our tents, beyond a very high mountain which we must pass over: so that now we were, by God's Providence, in a condition of subsisting some time; having plenty of very good turtle by our tents, and water for the fetching. The next day I went up to see the watering-place, accompanied with most of my officers. We lay by the way all night and next morning early got thither; where we found a very fine spring on the south-east side of the high mountain, about half a mile from its top: but the continual fogs make it so cold here that it is very unwholesome living by the water. Near this place are abundance of goats and land-crabs. About 2 mile south-east from the spring we found 3 or 4 shrubby trees, upon one of which was cut an anchor and cable, and the year 1642. About half a furlong from these we found a convenient place for sheltering men in any weather. Hither many of our men resorted; the hollow rocks affording convenient lodging; the goats, land-crabs, men-of-war-birds and boobies good food; and the air was here exceeding wholesome.
AND ARE BROUGHT BACK TO ENGLAND.
About a week after our coming ashore our men that lived at this new habitation saw two ships making towards the island. Before night they brought me the news; and I ordered them to turn about a score of turtle to be in readiness for their ships if they should touch here: but before morning they were out of sight, and the turtle were released again. Here we continued without seeing any other ship till the second of April; when we saw 11 sail to windward of the island: but they likewise passed by. The day after appeared 4 sail, which came to anchor in this bay. They were His Majesty's ships the Anglesey, Hastings and Lizard; and the Canterbury East India ship. I went on board the Anglesey with about 35 of my men; and the rest were disposed of into the other 2 men-of-war.
We sailed from Ascension the 8th; and continued aboard till the 8th of May: at which time the men-of-war, having missed St. Jago, where they designed to water, bore away for Barbados: but I being desirous to get to England as soon as possible took my passage in the ship Canterbury, accompanied with my master, purser, gunner, and 3 of my superior officers.
Anabao Island: its inhabitants.
Ascension Island: water found there.
Babao in Timor.
Batavia: arrival there. its road. English ships there. departure from thence.
Bird (strange) killed on the coast of New Guinea.
Burning island, another described.
Cape Orford in New Guinea.
Cape of Good Hope in New Guinea.
Cave's, Anthony, Island.
Cape, King William's.
Cape and Port Gloucester.
Ceram Island described.
Channel, a deep one.
Cockles, very big.
Cockle-merchant, a fish.
Cockle Island on the coast of New Guinea.
Cupang Bay in Timor (see Kupang).
Cross Island, discovered and described.
Currents (see Tides).
Distance between Cape Mabo and Cape St. George computed.
Dutch: the author's parley with them. their suspicion of the author.
Charts (Dutch), their falseness.
Dutch fort called Concordia.
Figtrees of Timor described.
Gerrit Denis (Garret Dennis) Island, inhabitants described.
Jelly found in the sea.
George, St.: Cape and Bay in New Guinea. another bay. the inhabitants there. a large account of the author's attempt to trade with them.
New Guinea coast: inhabitants. their manner of fishing. the author departs from New Guinea.
Indian plantation on the island Timor.
Indian proas and their traffic.
John's, St., Island.
King William's Island.
Laphao in Timor.
Leak sprung, incurable.
Long Island described.
Montague: Port in New Guinea. the country thereabouts described and its produce.
Nova Britannia, (see New Britain).
Palmtrees: a new one conjectured. a new one discovered. two sorts described.
Parley with the Portuguese at Timor.
Pigeons, great numbers of them on the coast of New Guinea.
Pulo Subada Isle.
Return (the author's) to England.
Rich's (Sir R.) Island.
Rook's (Sir George) Island.
Roti (Rotee) Island.
Sago, how made.
Sesial Port in Timor.
Terra Australis Incognita, what to be expected there.
Tides strange and uncertain, see Currents.
Timor Island: described. the Dutch settlement. the Portuguese settlement. its inhabitants. its fruits and animals. trade. weather. the author's departure from it.
Trees full of worms found in the sea.