OF THE COUNTRY ABOUT BAHIA, ITS SOIL AND PRODUCT.
Having given this account of the town of Bahia I shall next say somewhat of the country. There is a salt-water lake runs 40 leagues, as I was told, up the country, north-west from the sea, leaving the town and Dutch fort on the starboard side. The country all around about is for the most part a pretty flat even ground, not high, nor yet very low: it is well watered with rivers, brooks and springs; neither wants it for good harbours, navigable creeks, and good bays for ships to ride in. The soil in general is good, naturally producing very large trees of divers sorts, and fit for any uses. The savannahs also are loaded with grass, herbs, and many sorts of smaller vegetables; and being cultivated, produce anything that is proper for those hot countries, as sugarcane, cotton, indigo, maize, fruit-trees of several kinds, and eatable roots of all sorts. Of the several kinds of trees that are here I shall give an account of some, as I had it partly from an inhabitant of Bahia, and partly from my knowledge of them otherwise, namely sapiera, vermiatico, comesserie, guitteba, serrie, as they were pronounced to me, three sorts of mangrove, speckled wood, fustick, cotton-trees of 3 sorts, etc., together with fruit trees of divers sorts that grow wild, beside such as are planted.
ITS TIMBER-TREES; THE SAPIERA, VERMIATICO, COMMESSERIE, GUITTEBA, SERRIE, AND MANGROVES.
Of timber-trees the sapiera is said to be large and tall; it is very good timber, and is made use of in building of houses; so is the vermiatico, a tall straight-bodied tree, of which they make plank 2 foot broad; and they also make canoes with it. Comesserie and guitteba are chiefly used in building ships; these are as much esteemed here as oaks are in England, and they say either sort is harder and more durable than oak. The serrie is a sort of tree much like elm, very durable in water. Here are also all the three sorts of mangrove trees, namely the red, the white, and the black, which I have described. The bark of the red mangrove is here used for tanning of leather, and they have great tan-pits for it. The black mangrove grows larger here than in the West Indies, and of it they make good plank. The white mangrove is larger and tougher than in the West Indies; of these they make masts and yards for barks.
THE BASTARD-COCO, ITS NUTS AND CABLES; AND THE SILK-COTTON-TREES.
There grow here wild or bastard coconut-trees, neither so large nor so tall as the common ones in the East or West Indies. They bear nuts as the others, but not a quarter so big as the right coconuts. The shell is full of kernel, without any hollow place or water in it; and the kernel is sweet and wholesome, but very hard both for the teeth and for digestion. These nuts are in much esteem for making beads for paternosters, boles of tobacco pipes and other toys: and every small shop here has a great many of them to sell. At the top of these bastard coco-trees, among the branches, there grows a sort of long black thread-like horsehair, but much longer, which by the Portuguese is called tresabo. Of this they make cables which are very serviceable, strong and lasting; for they will not rot as cables made of hemp, though they lie exposed both to wet and heat. These are the cables which I said they keep in their harbours here, to let to hire to European ships, and resemble the coir cables.
Here are 3 sorts of cotton-trees that bear silk-cotton. One sort is such as I have formerly described by the name of the cotton-tree. The other 2 sorts I never saw anywhere but here. The trees of these latter sorts are but small in comparison of the former, which are reckoned the biggest in all the West India woods; yet are however of a good bigness and height. One of these last sorts is not so full of branches as the other of them; neither do they produce their fruit the same time of the year: for one sort had its fruit just ripe and was shedding its leaves while the other sort was yet green, and its fruit small and growing, having but newly done blossoming; the tree being as full of young fruit as an apple-tree ordinarily in England. These last yield very large pods, about 6 inches long and as big as a man's arm. It is ripe in September and October; then the pod opens and the cotton bursts out in a great lump as big as a man's head. They gather these pods before they open; otherwise it would fly all away. It opens as well after it is gathered; and then they take out the cotton and preserve it to fill pillows and bolsters, for which use it is very much esteemed: but it is fit for nothing else, being so short that it cannot be spun. It is of a tawny colour; and the seeds are black, very round, and as big as a white pea. The other sort is ripe in March or April. The fruit or pod is like a large apple and very round. The outside shell is as thick as the top of one's finger. Within this there is a very thin whitish bag or skin which encloses the cotton. When the cotton-apple is ripe the outer thick green shell splits itself into 5 equal parts from stem to tail and drops off, leaving the cotton hanging upon the stem, only pent up in its fine bag. A day or two afterwards the cotton swells by the heat of the sun, breaks the bag and bursts out, as big as a man's head: and then as the wind blows it is by degrees driven away, a little at a time, out of the bag that still hangs upon the stem, and is scattered about the fields; the bag soon following the cotton, and the stem the bag. Here is also a little of the right West India cotton-shrub: but none of the cotton is exported, nor do they make much cloth of it.
THE BRAZILIAN FRUITS, ORANGES, ETC.
This country produces great variety of fine fruits, as very good oranges of 3 or 4 sorts (especially one sort of china oranges) limes in abundance, pomegranates, pomecitrons, plantains, bananas, right coconuts, guavas, coco-plums (called here munsheroos) wild grapes, such as I have described, beside such grapes as grow in Europe. Here are also hog-plums, custard-apples, soursops, cashews, papaws (called here mamoons) jennipahs (called here jennipapahs) manchineel-apples and mangoes. Mangoes are yet but rare here: I saw none of them but in the Jesuits' garden, which has a great many fine fruits, and some cinnamon-trees. These, both of them, were first brought from the East Indies, and they thrive here very well: so do pumplemouses, brought also from thence; and both china and seville oranges are here very plentiful as well as good.
OF THE SOURSOPS, CASHEWS AND JENNIPAHS.
The soursop (as we call it) is a large fruit as big as a man's head, of a long or oval shape, and of a green colour; but one side is yellowish when ripe. The outside rind or coat is pretty thick, and very rough, with small sharp knobs; the inside is full of spongy pulp, within which also are many black seeds or kernels, in shape and bigness like a pumpkin-seed. The pulp is very juicy, of a pleasant taste, and wholesome. You suck the juice out of the pulp, and so spit it out. The tree or shrub that bears this fruit grows about 10 or 12 foot high, with a small short body; the branches growing pretty straight up; for I did never see any of them spread abroad. The twigs are slender and tough; and so is the stem of the fruit. This fruit grows also both in the East and West Indies.
The cashew is a fruit as big as a pippin, pretty long, and bigger near the stem than at the other end, growing tapering. The rind is smooth and thin, of a red and yellow colour. The seed of this fruit grows at the end of it; it is of an olive colour shaped like a bean, and about the same bigness, but not altogether so flat. The tree is as big as an apple-tree, with branches not thick, yet spreading off. The boughs are gross, the leaves broad and round, and in substance pretty thick. This fruit is soft and spongy when ripe, and so full of juice that in biting it the juice will run out on both sides of one's mouth. It is very pleasant, and gratefully rough on the tongue; and is accounted a very wholesome fruit. This grows both in the East and West Indies, where I have seen and eaten of it.
The jennipah or jennipapah is a sort of fruit of the calabash or gourd kind. It is about the bigness of a duck-egg, and somewhat of an oval shape; and is of a grey colour. The shell is not altogether so thick nor hard as a calabash: it is full of whitish pulp mixed with small flat seeds; and both pulp and seeds must be taken into the mouth, where sucking out the pulp you spit out seeds. It is of a sharp and pleasing taste, and is very innocent. The tree that bears it is much like an ash, straight-bodied, and of a good height; clean from limbs till near the top, where there branches forth a small head. The rind is of a pale grey, and so is the fruit. We used of this tree to make helves or handles for axes (for which it is very proper) in the Bay of Campeachy; where I have seen of them, and nowhere else but here.
OF THEIR PECULIAR FRUITS, ARISAHS, MERICASAHS, PETANGOS, PETUMBOS, MUNGAROOS, MUCKISHAWS, INGWAS, OTEES, AND MUSTERAN DE OVAS.
Besides these here are many sorts of fruits which I have not met with anywhere but here; as arisahs, mericasahs, petangos, etc. Arisahs are an excellent fruit, not much bigger than a large cherry; shaped like a catherine-pear, being small at the stem, and swelling bigger towards the end. They are of a greenish colour, and have small seeds as big as mustard seeds; they are somewhat tart, yet pleasant, and very wholesome, and may be eaten by sick people.
Mericasahs are an excellent fruit, of which there are 2 sorts; one growing on a small tree or shrub, which is counted the best; the other growing on a kind of shrub like a vine, which they plant about arbors to make a shade, having many broad leaves. The fruit is as big as a small orange, round and green. When they are ripe they are soft and fit to eat; full of white pulp mixed thick with little black seeds, and there is no separating one from the other till they are in your mouth; when you suck in the white pulp and spit out the stones. They are tart, pleasant, and very wholesome.
Petangos are a small red fruit that grow also on small trees and are as big as cherries, but not so globular, having one flat side, and also 5 or 6 small protuberant ridges. It is a very pleasant tart fruit, and has a pretty large flattish stone in the middle.
Petumbos are a yellow fruit (growing on a shrub like a vine) bigger than cherries with a pretty large stone. These are sweet, but rough in the mouth.
Mungaroos are a fruit as big as cherries, red on one side and white on the other side: they are said to be full of small seeds, which are commonly swallowed in eating them.
Muckishaws are said to be a fruit as big as crab-apples, growing on large trees. They have also small seeds in the middle and are well tasted.
Ingwas are a fruit like the locust-fruit, 4 inches long and one broad. They grow on high trees.
Otee is a fruit as big as a large coconut. It hath a husk on the outside, and a large stone within, and is accounted a very fine fruit.
Musteran-de-ovas are a round fruit as big as large hazelnuts, covered with thin brittle shells of a blackish colour: they have a small stone in the middle, enclosed within a black pulpy substance, which is of a pleasant taste. The outside shell is chewed with the fruit, and spit out with the stone, when the pulp is sucked from them. The tree that bears this fruit is tall, large, and very hard wood. I have not seen any of these five last-named fruits, but had them thus described to me by an Irish inhabitant of Bahia; though as to this last I am apt to believe I may have both seen and eaten of them in Achin in Sumatra.
OF THE PALMBERRIES, PHYSICK-NUTS, MENDIBEES, ETC. AND THEIR ROOTS AND HERBS, ETC.
Palm-berries (called here dendees) grow plentifully about Bahia; the largest are as big as walnuts; they grow in bunches on the top of the body of the tree, among the roots of the branches or leaves, as all fruits of the palm kind do. These are the same kind of berries or nuts as those they make the palm-oil with on the coast of guinea, where they abound: and I was told that they make oil with them here also. They sometimes roast and eat them; but when I had one roasted to prove it I did not like it.
Physick-nuts, as our seamen called them, are called here pineon; and agnus castus is called here carrepat: these both grow here: so do mendibees, a fruit like physick-nuts. They scorch them in a pan over the fire before they eat them.
Here are also great plenty of cabbage-trees, and other fruits, which I did not get information about and which I had not the opportunity of seeing; because this was not the season, it being our spring, and consequently their autumn, when their best fruits were gone, though some were left. However I saw abundance of wild berries in the woods and fields, but I could not learn their names or nature.
They have withal good plenty of ground fruit, as callavances, pineapples, pumpkins, watermelons, musk-melons, cucumbers, and roots; as yams, potatoes, cassava, etc. Garden herbs also good store; as cabbages, turnips, onions, leeks, and abundance of other salading, and for the pot. Drugs of several sorts, namely sassafras, snake-root, etc. Beside the woods I mentioned for dyeing and other uses as fustick, speckled-wood, etc.
I brought home with me from hence a good number of plants, dried between the leaves of books; of some of the choicest of which that are not spoiled I may give a specimen at the end of the book.
OF THEIR WILDFOWL, MACAWS, PARROTS, ETC.
Here are said to be great plenty and variety of wildfowl, namely yemmas, macaws (which are called here jackoos, and are a larger sort of parrot, and scarcer) parrots, parakeets, flamingos, carrion-crows, chattering-crows, cockrecoes, bill-birds finely painted, corresoes, doves, pigeons, jenetees, clocking-hens, crab-catchers, galdens, currecoos, muscovy ducks, common ducks, widgeons, teal, curlews, men-of-war birds, boobies, noddies, pelicans, etc.
THE YEMMA, CARRION-CROW AND CHATTERING-CROW, BILL-BIRD, CURRESO, TURTLEDOVE AND WILD PIGEONS; THE JENETEE,
The yemma is bigger than a swan, grey-feathered, with a long thick sharp-pointed bill.
The carrion-crow and chattering-crows are called here mackeraws, and are like those I described in the West Indies. The bill of the chattering-crow is black, and the upper bill is round, bending downwards like a hawk's bill, rising up in a ridge almost semi-circular, and very sharp, both at the ridge or convexity, and at the point or extremity: the lower bill is flat and shuts even with it. I was told by a Portuguese here that their negro wenches make love potions with these birds. And the Portuguese care not to let them have any of these birds, to keep them from that superstition: as I found one afternoon when I was in the fields with a padre and another, who shot two of them, and hid them, as they said, for that reason. They are not good food, but their bills are reckoned a good antidote against poison.
The bill-birds are so called by the English from their monstrous bills, which are as big as their bodies. I saw none of these birds here, but saw several of the breasts flayed off and dried for the beauty of them; the feathers were curiously coloured with red, yellow, and orange-colour.
The curresos (called here mackeraws) are such as are in the Bay of Campeachy.
Turtledoves are in great plenty here; and two sorts of wild pigeons; the one sort blackish, the other a light grey: the blackish or dark grey are the bigger, being as large as our wood-quests, or wood-pigeons in England. Both sorts are very good meat; and are in such plenty from May till September that a man may shoot 8 or 10 dozen in several shots at one standing, in a close misty morning, when they come to feed on berries that grow in the woods.
The jenetee is a bird as big as a lark with black feathers, and yellow legs and feet. It is accounted very wholesome food.
CLOCKING-HEN, CRAB-CATCHER, GALDEN, AND BLACK HERON: THE DUCKS, WIDGEON AND TEAL; AND OSTRICHES TO THE SOUTHWARD, AND OF THE DUNGHILL-FOWLS.
Clocking-hens are much like the crab-catchers which I have described, but the legs are not altogether so long. They keep always in swampy wet places, though their claws are like land-fowls' claws. They make a noise or cluck like our brood-hens, or dunghill-hens, when they have chickens, and for that reason they are called by the English clocking-hens. There are many of them in the Bay of Campeachy (though I omitted to speak of them there) and elsewhere in the West Indies. There are both here and there four sorts of these long-legged fowls, near akin to each other as so many sub-species of the same kind; namely crab-catchers, clocking-hens, galdens (which three are in shape and colour like herons in England, but less; the galden, the biggest of the three, the crab-catcher the smallest) and a fourth sort which are black, but shaped like the other, having long legs and short tails; these are about the bigness of crab-catchers, and feed as they do.
Currecoos are waterfowls, as big as pretty large chickens, of a bluish colour, with short legs and tail; they feed also in swampy ground and are very good meat. I have not seen of them elsewhere.
The wild ducks here are said to be of two sorts, the muscovy and the common ducks. In the wet season here are abundance of them, but in the dry time but few. Widgeon and teal also are said to be in great plenty here in the wet season.
To the southward of Bahia there are also ostriches in great plenty, though it is said they are not so large as those of Africa: they are found chiefly in the southern parts of Brazil, especially among the large savannahs near the river of Plate; and from thence further south towards the Straits of Magellan.
As for tame fowl at Bahia the chief beside their ducks are dunghill-fowls, of which they have two sorts; one sort much of the size of our cocks and hens; the other very large: and the feathers of these last are a long time coming forth: so that you see them very naked when half grown; but when they are full-grown and well feathered they appear very large fowls, as indeed they are; neither do they want for price; for they are sold at Bahia for half-a-crown or three shillings apiece, just as they are brought first to market out of the country, when they are so lean as to be scarce fit to eat.
OF THEIR CATTLE, HORSES, ETC.
The land animals here are horses, black cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, hogs, leopards, tigers, foxes, monkeys, peccary (a sort of wild hogs called here pica) armadillo, alligators, iguanas (called quittee) lizards, serpents, toads, frogs, and a sort of amphibious creatures called by the Portuguese cachoras-de-agua, in English water-dogs.
LEOPARDS AND TIGERS.
The leopards and tigers of this country are said to be large and very fierce: but here on the coast they are either destroyed or driven back towards the heart of the country; and therefore are seldom found but in the borders and out-plantations, where they oftentimes do mischief. Here are three or four sorts of monkeys, of different sizes and colours. One sort is very large; and another sort is very small: these last are ugly in shape and feature and have a strong scent of musk.
OF THEIR SERPENTS; THE RATTLESNAKE, SMALL GREEN SNAKE. AMPHISBAENA, SMALL BLACK AND SMALL GREY SNAKE; THE GREAT LAND-SNAKE, AND THE GREAT WATERSNAKE; AND OF THE WATER-DOG.
They have here also the amphisbaena, or two-headed snake, of a grey colour, mixed with blackish stripes, whose bite is reckoned to be incurable. It is said to be blind, though it has two small specks in each head like eyes: but whether it sees or not I cannot tell. They say it lives like a mole, mostly underground; and that when it is found above ground it is easily killed, because it moves but slowly: neither is its sight (if it hath any) so good as to discern anyone that comes near to kill it: as few of these creatures fly at a man or hurt him but when he comes in their way. It is about 14 inches long and about the bigness of the inner joint of a man's middle finger; being of one and the same bigness from one end to the other, with a head at each end (as they said; for I cannot vouch it, for one I had was cut short at one end) and both alike in shape and bigness; and it is said to move with either head foremost, indifferently; whence it is called by the Portuguese cobra-de-dos-cabesas, the snake with two heads.
The small black snake is a very venomous creature.
There is also a grey snake, with red and brown spots all over its back. It is as big as a man's arm and about 3 foot long, and is said to be venomous. I saw one of these.
Here are two sorts of very large snakes or serpents: one of them a land-snake, the other a water-snake. The land-snake is of a grey colour, and about 18 or 20 foot long: not very venomous, but ravenous. I was promised the sight of one of their skins but wanted opportunity.
The water-snake is said to be near 30 foot long. These live wholly in the water, either in large rivers or great lakes, and prey upon any creature that comes within their reach, be it man or beast. They draw their prey to them with their tails: for when they see anything on the banks of the river or lake where they lurk they swing about their tails 10 or 12 foot over the bank; and whatever stands within their sweep is snatched with great violence into the river, and drowned by them. Nay it is reported very credibly that if they see only a shade of any animal at all on the water, they will flourish their tails to bring in the man or beast whose shade they see and are oftentimes too successful in it. Wherefore men that have business near any place where these water-monsters are suspected to lurk are always provided with a gun, which they often fire, and that scares them away or keeps them quiet. They are said to have great heads and strong teeth about 6 inches long. I was told by an Irishman who lived here that his wife's father was very near being taken by one of them, about this time of my first arrival here, when his father was with him up in the country: for the beast flourished his tail for him, but came not nigh enough by a yard or two; however it scared him sufficiently.
The amphibious creatures here which I said are called by the Portuguese cachoras-de-agua or water-dogs, are said to be as big as small mastiffs, and are all hairy and shaggy from head to tail. They have 4 short legs, a pretty long head and short tail; and are of a blackish colour. They live in fresh-water ponds and oftentimes come ashore and sun themselves; but retire to the water if assaulted. They are eaten and said to be good food. Several of these creatures which I have now spoken of I have not seen, but informed myself about them while I was here at Bahia, from sober and sensible persons among the inhabitants, among whom I met with some that could speak English.
OF THEIR SEA-FISH AND TURTLE; AND OF ST. PAUL'S TOWN.
In the sea upon this coast there is great store and diversity of fish, namely jew-fish for which there is a great market at Bahia in Lent: tarpon, mullet, grouper, snook, garfish (called here goolions) gorasses, barramas, coquindas, cavallies, cachoras (or dogfish) conger eels, herring (as I was told) the serrew, the olio-de-boy (I write and spell them just as they were named to me) whales, etc.
Here is also shellfish (though in less plenty about Bahia than on other parts of the coast) namely lobsters, crawfish, shrimps, crabs, oysters of the common sort, conches, wilks, cockles, mussels, periwinkles, etc. Here are three sorts of sea-turtle, namely hawksbill, loggerhead, and green: but none of them are in any esteem, neither Spaniards nor Portuguese loving them: nay they have a great antipathy against them, and would much rather eat a porpoise, though our English count the green turtle very extraordinary food. The reason that is commonly given in the West Indies for the Spaniards not caring to eat of them is the fear they have lest, being usually foul-bodied and many of them poxed (lying, as they do, so promiscuously with their negrines and other she-slaves) they should break out loathsomely like lepers; which this sort of food, it is said, does much incline men to do, searching the body, and driving out any such gross humours: for which cause many of our English valetudinarians have gone from Jamaica (though there they have also turtle) to the island Cayman, at the laying time, to live wholly upon turtle that then abound there; purposely to have their bodies scoured by this food, and their distempers driven out; and have been said to have found many of them good success in it. But this by the way. The hawksbill-turtle on this coast of Brazil is most sought after of any, for its shell; which by report of those I have conversed with at Bahia, is the clearest and best clouded tortoise-shell in the world. I had some of it shown me which was indeed as good as ever I saw. They get a pretty deal of it in some parts on this coast; but it is very dear.
Beside this port of Bahia de todos los Santos there are 2 more principal ports on Brazil where European ships trade, namely Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro; and I was told that there go as many ships to each of these places as to Bahia, and 2 men-of-war to each place for their convoys. Of the other ports in this country none is of greater note than that of St. Paul's where they gather much gold; but the inhabitants are said to be a sort of banditti, or loose people that live under no government: but their gold brings them all sorts of commodities that they need, as clothes, arms, ammunition, etc. The town is said to be large and strong.
TWO OCEANS AND NEW HOLLAND.
THE AUTHOR'S STAY AND BUSINESS AT BAHIA: OF THE WINDS, AND SEASONS OF THE YEAR THERE.
My stay here at Bahia was about a month; during which time the viceroy of Goa came hither from thence in a great ship, said to be richly laden with all sorts of India goods; but she did not break bulk here, being bound home for Lisbon; only the viceroy intended to refresh his men (of whom he had lost many, and most of the rest were very sickly, having been 4 months in their voyage hither) and so to take in water, and depart for Europe in company with the other Portuguese ships thither bound; who had orders to be ready to sail by the twentieth of May. He desired me to carry a letter for him, directed to his successor the new viceroy of Goa; which I did, sending it thither afterwards by Captain Hammond, whom I found near the Cape of Good Hope. The refreshing my men and taking in water was the main also of my business here; beside the having the better opportunity to compose the disorders among my crew: which, as I have before related, were grown to so great a height that they could not without great difficulty be appeased: however, finding opportunity during my stay in this place to allay in some measure the ferment that had been raised among my men, I now set myself to provide for the carrying on of my voyage with more heart than before, and put all hands to work, in order to it, as fast as the backwardness of my men would permit; who showed continually their unwillingness to proceed farther. Besides, their heads were generally filled with strange notions of southerly winds that were now setting in (and there had been already some flurries of them) which, as they surmised, would hinder any farther attempts of going on to the southward so long as they should last.
The winds begin to shift here in April and September, and the seasons of the year (the dry and the wet) alter with them. In April the southerly winds make their entrance on this coast, bringing in the wet season, with violent tornados, thunder and lightning, and much rain. In September the other coasting trade at east-north-east comes in and clears the sky, bringing fair weather. This, as to the change of wind, is what I have observed, but as to the change of weather accompanying it so exactly here at Bahia this is a particular exception to what I have experienced in all other places of south latitudes that I have been in between the tropics, or those I have heard of; for there the dry season sets in, in April, and the wet about October or November, sooner or later (as I have said that they are, in south latitudes, the reverse of the seasons, or weather, in the same months in north latitudes, whereas on this coast of Brazil the wet season comes in in April at the same time that it doth in north latitudes, and the dry (as I have said here) in September; the rains here not lasting so far in the year as in other places; for in September the weather is usually so fair that in the latter part of that month they begin to cut their sugarcane here, as I was told; for I enquired particularly about the seasons: though this, as to the season of cutting of cane, which I was now assured to be in September, agrees not very well with that I was formerly told, that in Brazil they cut the cane in July. And so as to what is said a little lower in the same page, that in managing their cane they are not confined to the seasons, this ought to have been expressed only of planting them; for they never cut them but in the dry season.
But to return to the southerly winds, which came in (as I expected they would) while I was here: these daunted my ship's company very much, though I had told them they were to look for them: but they being ignorant as to what I told them farther, that these were only coasting winds, sweeping the shore to about 40 or 50 leagues in breadth from it, and imagining that they had blown so all the sea over, between America and Africa; and being confirmed in this their opinion by the Portuguese pilots of European ships, with whom several of my officers conversed much, and who were themselves as ignorant that these were only coasting tradewinds (themselves going away before them in their return homewards till they cross the Line, and so having no experience of the breadth of them) being thus possessed with a conceit that we could not sail from hence till September; this made them still the more remiss in their duties, and very listless to the getting things in a readiness for our departure. However I was the more diligent myself to have the ship scrubbed, and to send my water casks ashore to get them trimmed, my beer being now out. I went also to the governor to get my water filled; for here being but one watering-place (and the water running low, now at the end of the dry season) it was always so crowded with the European ships' boats, who were preparing to be gone, that my men could seldom come nigh it till the governor very kindly sent an officer to clear the watering-place for my men, and to stay there till my water-casks were all full, whom I satisfied for his pains. Here I also got aboard 9 or 10 ton of ballast, and made my boatswain fit the rigging that was amiss: and I enquired also of my particular officers, whose business it was, whether they wanted any stores, especially pitch and tar; for that here I would supply myself before I proceeded any farther; but they said they had enough, though it did not afterwards prove so.
I commonly went ashore every day, either upon business, or to recreate myself in the fields, which were very pleasant, and the more for a shower of rain now and then, that ushers in the wet season. Several sorts of good fruits were also still remaining, especially oranges, which were in such plenty that I and all my company stocked ourselves for our voyage with them, and they did us a great kindness; and we took in also a good quantity of rum and sugar: but for fowls, they being here lean and dear, I was glad I had stocked myself at St. Jago. But, by the little care my officers took for fresh provisions, one might conclude they did not think of going much farther. Besides I had like to have been embroiled with the clergy here (of the Inquisition, as I suppose) and so my voyage might have been hindered. What was said to them of me by some of my company that went ashore I know not; but I was assured by a merchant there that if they got me into their clutches (and it seems when I was last ashore they had narrowly watched me) the governor himself could not release me. Besides I might either be murdered in the streets, as he sent me word, or poisoned, if I came ashore any more; and therefore he advised me to stay aboard. Indeed I had now no further business ashore but to take leave of the governor and therefore took his advice.
HIS DEPARTURE FOR NEW HOLLAND.
Our stay here was till the 23rd of April. I would have gone before if I could sooner have fitted myself; but was now earnest to be gone, because this harbour lies open to the south and south-south-west, which are raging winds here, and now was the season for them. We had 2 or 3 touches of them; and one pretty severe, and the ships ride there so near each other that, if a cable would fail or an anchor start, you are instantly aboard of one ship or other: and I was more afraid of being disabled he in harbour by these blustering winds than discouraged by them, as my people were, from prosecuting the voyage; for at present I even wished for a brisk southerly wind, as soon as I should be once well out of the harbour, to set me the sooner into the true general tradewind.
The tide of flood being spent, and having a fine land-breeze on the 23rd in the morning, I went away from the anchoring place before it was light; and then lay by till daylight that we might see the better how to go out of the harbour. I had a pilot belonging to Mr. Cock who went out with me, to whom I gave 3 dollars; but I found I could as well have gone out myself by the soundings I made at coming in. The wind was east by north and fair weather. By 10 o'clock I was got past all danger and then sent away my pilot.
At 12 Cape Salvador bore north distant 6 leagues, and we had the winds between the east by north and south-east a considerable time, so that we kept along near the shore, commonly in sight of it. The southerly blasts had now left us again; for they come at first in short flurries, and shift to other points (for 10 or 12 days sometimes) before they are quite set in: and we had uncertain winds, between sea and land-breezes, and the coasting trade, which was itself unsettled.
THE WINDS ON THE BRAZILIAN COAST; AND ABROLHO SHOAL; FISH AND BIRDS: THE SHEARWATER BIRD, AND COOKING OF SHARKS.
The easterly winds at present made me doubt I should not weather a great shoal which lies in latitude between 18 and 19 degrees south, and runs a great way into the sea, directly from the land, easterly. Indeed the weather was fair (and continued so a good while) so that I might the better avoid any danger from it: and if the wind came to the southward I knew I could stretch off to sea; so that I jogged on courageously. The 27th of April we saw a small brigantine under the shore plying to the southward. We also saw many men-of-war-birds and boobies, and abundance of albicore-fish. Having still fair weather, small gales, and some calms, I had the opportunity of trying the current, which I found to set sometimes northerly and sometimes southerly: and therefore knew I was still within the verge of the tides. Being now in the latitude of the Abrolho Shoals, which I expected to meet with, I sounded, and had water lessening from 40 to 33 and so to 25 fathom: but then it rose again to 33, 35, 37, etc., all coral rocks. Whilst we were on this shoal (which we crossed towards the further part of it from land, where it lay deep, and so was not dangerous) we caught a great many fish with hook and line: and by evening amplitude we had 6 degrees 38 minutes east variation. This was the 27th of April; we were then in latitude 18 degrees 13 minutes south and east longitude from Cape Salvador 31 minutes. On the 29th, being then in latitude 18 degrees 39 minutes south, we had small gales from the west-north-west to the west-south-west often shifting. The 30th we had the winds from west to south-south-east, squalls and rain: and we saw some dolphins and other fish about us. We were now out of sight of land and had been so 4 or 5 days: but the winds now hanging in the south was an apparent sign that we were still too nigh the shore to receive the true general east trade; as the easterly winds we had before showed that we were too far off the land to have the benefit of the coasting south trade: and the faintness of both these winds, and their often shifting from the south-south-west to the south-east with squalls, rain and small gales, were a confirmation of our being between the verge of the south coasting trade and that of the true trade; which is here regularly south-east.
The 3rd of May, being in latitude 20 degrees 00 minutes and meridian distance west from Cape Salvador 234 miles, the variation was 7 degrees 00 minutes. We saw no fowl but shearwaters, as our seamen call them, being a small black fowl that sweep the water as they fly, and are much in the seas that lie without either of the tropics: they are not eaten. We caught 3 small sharks, each 6 foot 4 inches long; and they were very good food for us. The next day we caught 3 more sharks of the same size, and we ate them also, esteeming them as good fish, boiled and pressed, and then stewed with vinegar and pepper.
EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF BIRDS ABOUT A DEAD WHALE; OF THE PINTADO BIRD, AND THE PETREL, ETC.
We had nothing of remark from the 3rd of May to the 10th, only now and then seeing a small whale spouting up the water. We had the wind easterly and we ran with it to the southward, running in this time from the latitude of 20 degrees 00 minutes to 29 degrees 5 minutes south, and having then 7 degrees 3 minutes east longitude from Cape Salvador; the variation increasing upon us at present, notwithstanding we went east. We had all along a great difference between the morning and evening amplitudes; usually a degree or two, and sometimes more. We were now in the true trade, and therefore made good way to the southward to get without the verge of the general tradewind into a westerly wind's way that might carry us towards the Cape of Good Hope. By the 12th of May, being in latitude 31 degrees 10 minutes we began to meet with westerly winds, which freshened on us, and did not leave us till a little before we made the Cape. Sometimes it blew so hard that it put us under a fore-course; especially in the night; but in the daytime we had commonly our main topsail reefed. We met with nothing of moment; only we passed by a dead whale, and saw millions (as I may say) of sea-fowls about the carcass (and as far round about it as we could see) some feeding, and the rest flying about, or sitting on the water, waiting to take their turns. We first discovered the whale by the fowls; for indeed I did never see so many fowls at once in my life before, their numbers being inconceivably great: they were of divers sorts, in bigness, shape and colour. Some were almost as big as geese, of a grey colour, with white breasts, and with such bills, wings, and tails. Some were pintado-birds, as big as ducks, and speckled black and white. Some were shearwaters; some petrels; and there were several sorts of large fowls. We saw of these birds, especially pintado-birds, all the sea over from about 200 leagues distant from the coast of Brazil to within much the same distance of New Holland. The pintado is a southern bird, and of that temperate zone; for I never saw of them much to the northward of 30 degrees south. The pintado-bird is as big as a duck; but appears, as it flies, about the bigness of a tame pigeon, having a short tail, but the wings very long, as most sea-fowls have; especially such as these that fly far from the shore, and seldom come nigh it; for their resting is sitting afloat upon the water; but they lay, I suppose, ashore. There are three sorts of these birds, all of the same make and bigness, and are only different in colour. The first is black all over: the second sort are grey, with white bellies and breasts. The third sort, which is the true pintado, or painted-bird, is curiously spotted white and black. Their heads and the tips of their wings and tails are black for about an inch; and their wings are also edged quite round with such a small black list; only within the black on the tip of their wings there is a white spot seeming as they fly (for then their spots are best seen) as big as a half-crown. All this is on the outside of the tails and wings; and, as there is a white spot in the black tip of the wings, so there is in the middle of the wings which is white, a black spot; but this, towards the back of the bird, turns gradually to a dark grey. The back itself, from the head to the tip of the tail, and the edge of the wings next to the back, are all over spotted with fine small, round, white and black spots, as big as a silver twopence, and as close as they can stick one by another: the belly, thighs, sides, and inner part of the wings, are of a light grey. These birds, of all these sorts, fly many together, never high, but almost sweeping the water. We shot one a while after on the water in a calm, and a water-spaniel we had with us brought it in: I have given a picture of it, but it was so damaged that the picture doth not show it to advantage; and its spots are best seen when the feathers are spread as it flies.
The petrel is a bird not much unlike a swallow, but smaller, and with a shorter tail. It is all over black, except a white spot on the rump. They fly sweeping like swallows, and very near the water. They are not so often seen in fair weather; being foul-weather birds, as our seamen call them, and presaging a storm when they come about a ship; who for that reason don't love to see them. In a storm they will hover close under the ship's stern in the wake of the ship (as it is called) or the smoothness which the ship's passing has made on the sea; and there as they fly (gently then) they pat the water alternately with their feet as if they walked upon it; though still upon the wing. And from hence the seamen give them the name of petrels in allusion to St. Peter's walking upon the Lake of Gennesareth.
We also saw many bunches of seaweeds in the latitude of 39 32 and, by judgment near, the meridian of the island Tristan d'Acunha: and then we had about 2 degrees 20 minutes east variation: which was now again decreasing as we ran to the eastward, till near the meridian of Ascension; where we found little or no variation: but from thence, as we ran farther to the east, our variation increased westerly.
OF A BIRD THAT SHOWS THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TO BE NEAR: OF THE SEA-RECKONINGS, AND VARIATIONS: AND A TABLE OF ALL THE VARIATIONS OBSERVED IN THIS VOYAGE.
Two days before I made the Cape of Good Hope my variation was 7 degrees 58 minutes west. I was then in 43 degrees 27 minutes east longitude from Cape Salvador, being in latitude 35 degrees 30 minutes, this was the first of June. The second of June I saw a large black fowl, with a whitish flat bill, fly by us; and took great notice of it, because in the East India Waggoner, pilot-book, there is mention made of large fowls, as big as ravens, with white flat bills and black feathers, that fly not above 30 leagues from the Cape, and are looked on as a sign of one's being near it. My reckoning made me then think myself above 90 leagues from the Cape, according to the longitude which the Cape hath in the common sea-charts: so that I was in some doubt whether these were the right fowls spoken of in the Waggoner; or whether those fowls might not fly farther off shore than is there mentioned; or whether, as it proved, I might not be nearer the Cape than I reckoned myself to be; for I found, soon after, that I was not then above 25 or 30 leagues at most from the Cape. Whether the fault were in the charts laying down the Cape too much to the east from Brazil, or were rather in our reckoning, I could not tell: but our reckonings are liable to such uncertainties from steerage, log, currents, half-minute-glasses; and sometimes want of care, as in so long a run cause often a difference of many leagues in the whole account.
Most of my men that kept journals imputed it to the half-minute-glasses: and indeed we had not a good glass in the ship beside the half-watch or two-hour-glasses. As for our half-minute-glasses we tried them all at several times, and we found those that we had used from Brazil as much too short, as others we had used before were too long; which might well make great errors in those several reckonings. A ship ought therefore to have its glasses very exact; and besides, an extraordinary care ought to be used in heaving the log, for fear of giving too much stray line in a moderate gale; and also to stop quickly in a brisk gale, for when a ship runs 8, 9 or 10 knots, half a knot or a knot is soon run out, and not heeded: but to prevent danger, when a man thinks himself near land, the best way is to look out betimes, and lie by in the night, for a commander may err easily himself; beside the errors of those under him, though never so carefully eyed.
Another thing that stumbled me here was the variation, which, at this time, by the last amplitude I had found to be but 7 degrees 58 minutes west, whereas the variation at the Cape (from which I found myself not 30 leagues distant) was then computed, and truly, about 11 degrees or more: and yet a while after this, when I was got 10 leagues to the eastward of the Cape, I found the variation but 10 degrees 40 minutes west, whereas it should have been rather more than at the Cape. These things, I confess, did puzzle me: neither was I fully satisfied as to the exactness of the taking the variation at sea: for in a great sea, which we often meet with, the compass will traverse with the motion of the ship; besides the ship may and will deviate somewhat in steering, even by the best helmsmen: and then when you come to take an azimuth there is often some difference between him that looks at the compass and the man that takes the altitude height of the sun; and a small error in each, if the error of both should be one way, will make it wide of any great exactness. But what was most shocking to me, I found that the variation did not always increase or decrease in proportion to the degrees of longitude east or west; as I had a notion they might do to a certain number of degrees of variation east or west, at such or such particular meridians. But, finding in this voyage that the difference of variation did not bear a regular proportion to the difference of longitude, I was much pleased to see it thus observed in a scheme shown me after my return home, wherein are represented the several variations in the Atlantic Sea, on both sides of the equator, and there the line of no variation in that sea is not a meridian line, but goes very oblique, as do those also which show the increase of variation on each side of it. In that chart there is so large an advance made as well towards the accounting for those seemingly irregular increases and decreases of variation towards the south-east coast of America as towards the fixing a general scheme or system of the variation everywhere, which would be of such great use in navigation, that I cannot but hope that the ingenious author, Captain Halley, who to his profound skill in all theories of these kinds, hath added and is adding continually personal experiments, will e'er long oblige the world with a fuller discovery of the course of the variation, which hath hitherto been a secret. For my part I profess myself unqualified for offering at anything of a general scheme; but since matter of fact, and whatever increases the history of the variation, may be of use towards the settling or confirming the theory of it, I shall here once for all insert a table of all the variations I observed beyond the equator in this voyage, both in going out and returning back; and what errors there may be in it I shall leave to be corrected by the observations of others.
(A TABLE OF VARIATIONS.)
OCCURRENCES NEAR THE CAPE; AND THE AUTHOR'S PASSING BY IT.
But to return from this digression: having fair weather and the winds hanging southerly I jogged on to the eastward to make the Cape. On the third of June we saw a sail to leeward of us, showing English colours. I bore away to speak with her, and found her to be the Antelope of London, commanded by Captain Hammond, and bound for the Bay of Bengal in the service of the New-East-India Company. There were many passengers aboard, going to settle there under Sir Edward Littleton, who was going chief thither: I went aboard and was known by Sir Edward and Mr. Hedges, and kindly received and treated by them and the commander; who had been afraid of us before, though I had sent one of my officers aboard. They had been in at the Cape, and came from thence the day before, having stocked themselves with refreshments. They told me that they were by reckoning 60 miles to the west of the Cape. While I was aboard them a fine small westerly wind sprang up; therefore I shortened my stay with them because I did not design to go in to the Cape. When I took leave I was presented with half a mutton, 12 cabbages, 12 pumpkins, 6 pound of butter, 6 couple of stock-fish, and a quantity of parsnips; sending them some oatmeal which they wanted.
From my first setting out from England I did not design to touch at the Cape; and that was one reason why I touched at Brazil, that there I might refresh my men and prepare them for a long run to New Holland. We had not yet seen the land, but about 2 in the afternoon we saw the Cape land bearing east at about 16 leagues distance: and, Captain Hammond being also bound to double the Cape, we jogged on together this afternoon and the next day, and had several fair sights of it; which may be seen.
OF THE WESTERLY WINDS BEYOND IT: A STORM, AND ITS PRESAGES.
To proceed: having still a westerly wind I jogged on in company with the Antelope till Sunday June the 4th, at 4 in the afternoon, when we parted; they steering away for the East Indies and I keeping an east-south-east course, the better to make my way for New Holland: for though New Holland lies north-easterly from the Cape yet all ships bound towards the coast, or the Straits of Sunda, ought to keep for a while in the same parallel, or in a latitude between 35 and 40, at least a little to the south of the east, that they may continue in a variable winds way; and not venture too soon to stand so far to the north as to be within the verge of the tradewind, which will put them by their easterly course. The wind increased upon us; but we had yet sight of the Antelope, and of the land too, till Tuesday the 6th June: and then we saw also by us an innumerable company of fowls of divers sorts; so that we looked about to see if there were not another dead whale, but saw none.
The night before, the sun set in a black cloud, which appeared just like land, and the clouds above it were gilded of a dark red colour. And on the Tuesday, as the sun drew near the horizon, the clouds were gilded very prettily to the eye, though at the same time my mind dreaded the consequences of it. When the sun was now not above 2 degrees high it entered into a dark smoky-coloured cloud that lay parallel with the horizon, from whence presently seemed to issue many dusky blackish beams. The sky was at this time covered with small hard clouds (as we call such a lie scattering about, not likely to rain) very thick one by another; and such of them as lay next to the bank of clouds at the horizon were of a pure gold colour to 3 or 4 degrees high above the bank. From these to about 10 degrees high they were redder and very bright; above them they were of a darker colour still, to about 60 or 70 degrees high, where the clouds began to be of their common colour. I took the more particular notice of all this because I have generally observed such coloured clouds to appear before an approaching storm: and, this being winter here and the time for bad weather, I expected and provided for a violent blast of wind by reefing our topsails, and giving a strict charge to my officers to hand them or take them in if the wind should grow stronger. The wind was now at west-north-west a very brisk gale. About 12 o'clock at night we had a pale whitish glare in the north-west which was another sign, and intimated the storm be near at hand; and, the wind increasing upon it, we presently handed our topsails, furled the mainsail, and went away only with our foresail. Before 2 in the morning it came on very fierce, and we kept right before wind and sea, the wind still increasing: but the ship was very governable, and steered incomparably well. At 8 in the morning we settled our foreyard, lowering it 4 or 5 foot, and we ran very swiftly; especially when the squalls of rain or hail from a black cloud came overhead, for then it blew excessive hard. These, though they did not last long, yet came very thick and fast one after another. The sea also ran very high; but we running so violently before wind and sea we shipped little or no water; though a little washed into our upper deck ports; and with it a scuttle or cuttlefish was cast up on the carriage of a gun.
The wind blew extraordinary hard all Wednesday the 7th of June but abated of its fierceness before night: yet it continued a brisk gale till about the 16th, and still a moderate one till the 19th day; by which time we had run about 600 leagues: for the most part of which time the wind was in some point of the west, namely from the west-north-west to the south by west. It blew hardest when at west or between the west and south-west, but after it veered more southerly the foul weather broke up: this I observed at other times also in these seas, that when the storms at west veered to the southward they grew less; and that when the wind came to the east of the south we had still smaller gales, calms, and fair weather. As for the westerly winds on that side the Cape, we like them never the worse for being violent, for they drive us the faster to the eastward; and are therefore the only winds coveted by those who sail towards such parts of the East Indies as lie south of the equator; as Timor, Java, and Sumatra; and by the ships bound for China, or any other that are to pass through the Straits of Sunda. Those ships having once passed the Cape keep commonly pretty far southerly, on purpose to meet with these west winds, which in the winter season of these climates they soon meet with; for then the winds are generally westerly at the Cape, and especially to the southward of it: but in their summer months they get to the southward of 40 degrees usually ere they meet with the westerly winds. I was not at this time in a higher latitude than 36 degrees 40 minutes, and oftentimes was more northerly, altering my latitude often as winds and weather required; for in such long runs it is best to shape one's course according to the winds. And if in steering to the east we should be obliged to bear a little to the north or south of it it is no great matter; for it is but sailing 2 or 3 points from the wind when it is either northerly or southerly; and this not only eases the ship from straining but shortens the way more than if a ship was kept close on a wind, as some men are fond of doing.
THE AUTHOR'S COURSE TO NEW HOLLAND; AND SIGNS OF APPROACHING IT.
The 19th of June we were in latitude 34 degrees 17 minutes south and longitude from the Cape 39 degrees 24 minutes east, and had small gales and calms. The winds were at north-east by east and continued in some part of the east till the 27th day. When it having been some time at north-north-east it came about at north and then to the west of the north, and continued in the west-board (between the north-north-west and south-south-west) till the 4th of July; in which time we ran 782 miles; then the winds came about again to the east, we reckoning ourselves to be in a meridian 1100 leagues east of the Cape; and, having fair weather, sounded, but had no ground.
We met with little of remark in this voyage, besides being accompanied with fowls all the way, especially pintado-birds, and seeing now and then a whale: but as we drew nigher the coast of New Holland we saw frequently 3 or 4 whales together. When we were about 90 leagues from the land we began to see seaweeds, all of one sort; and as we drew nigher the shore we saw them more frequently. At about 30 leagues distance we began to see some scuttle-bones floating on the water; and drawing still nigher the land we saw greater quantities of them.
July 25, being in latitude 26 degrees 14 minutes south and longitude east from the Cape of Good Hope 85 degrees 52 minutes, we saw a large garfish leap 4 times by us, which seemed to be as big as a porpoise. It was now very fair weather, and the sea was full of a sort of very small grass or moss, which as it floated in the water seemed to have been some spawn of fish; and there was among it some small fry. The next day the sea was full of small round things like pearl, some as big as white peas; they were very clear and transparent, and upon crushing any of them a drop of water would come forth: the skin that contained the water was so thin that it was but just discernable. Some weeds swam by us so that we did not doubt but we should quickly see land. On the 27th also some weeds swam by us, and the birds that had flown along with us all the way almost from Brazil now left us, except only 2 or 3 shearwaters. On the 28th we saw many weeds swim by us and some whales, blowing. On the 29th we had dark cloudy weather with much thunder, lightning, and violent rains in the morning; but in the evening it grew fair. We saw this day a scuttle-bone swim by us, and some of our young men a seal, as it should seem by their description of its head. I saw also some bonetas, and some skipjacks, a fish about 8 inches long, broad, and sizable, not much unlike a roach; which our seamen call so from their leaping about.
ANOTHER ABROLHO SHOAL AND STORM, AND THE AUTHOR'S ARRIVAL ON PART OF NEW HOLLAND.
The 30th of July, being still nearer the land, we saw abundance of scuttle-bones and seaweed, more tokens that we were not far from it; and saw also a sort of fowls, the like of which we had not seen in the whole voyage, all the other fowls having now left us. These were as big as lapwings; of a grey colour, black about their eyes, with red sharp bills, long wings, their tails long and forked like swallows; and they flew flapping their wings like lapwings. In the afternoon we met with a rippling tide or current, or the water of some shoal or overfall; but were past it before we could sound. The birds last mentioned and this were further signs of land. In the evening we had fair weather and a small gale at west. At 8 o'clock we sounded again; but had no ground.
We kept on still to the eastward, with an easy sail looking out sharp: for by the many signs we had I did expect that we were near the land. At 12 o'clock in the night I sounded and had 45 fathom, coarse sand and small white shells. I presently clapped on a wind and stood to the south, with the wind at west, because I thought we were to the south of a shoal called the Abrolhos (an appellative name for shoals as it seems to me) which in a chart I had of that coast is laid down in 27 degrees 28 minutes latitude stretching about 7 leagues into the sea. I was the day before in 27 degrees 38 minutes by reckoning. And afterwards, steering east by south purposely to avoid it, I thought I must have been to the south of it: but sounding again at 1 o'clock in the morning August the first, we had but 25 fathom, coral rocks; and so found the shoal was to the south of us. We presently tacked again, and stood to the north, and then soon deepened our water; for at 2 in the morning we had 26 fathom coral still: at 3 we had 28 coral ground: at 4 we had 30 fathom, coarse sand, with some coral: at 5 we had 45 fathom, coarse sand and shells; being now off the shoal, as appeared by the sand and shells, and by having left the coral. By all this I knew we had fallen into the north of the shoal, and that it was laid down wrong in my sea-chart: for I found it lie in about 27 degrees latitude, and by our run in the next day I found that the outward edge of it, which I sounded on, lies 16 leagues off shore. When it was day we steered in east-north-east with a fine brisk gale; but did not see the land till 9 in the morning, when we saw it from our topmast-head, and were distant from it about 10 leagues; having then 40 fathom water, and clean sand. About 3 hours after we saw it on our quarter-deck, being by judgment about 6 leagues off, and we had then 40 fathom, clean sand. As we ran in this day and the next we took several sights of it, at different bearings and distances; from which it appeared as you see. And here I would note once for all that the latitudes marked in the draughts, or sights here given, are not the latitude of the land, but of the ship when the sight was taken. This morning, August the first, as we were standing in, we saw several large seafowls, like our gannets on the coast of England, flying 3 or 4 together; and a sort of white seamews, but black about the eyes, and with forked tails. We strove to run in near the shore to seek for a harbour to refresh us after our tedious voyage; having made one continued stretch from Brazil hither of about 114 degrees designing from hence also to begin the discovery I had a mind to make on New Holland and New Guinea. The land was low, and appeared even, and as we drew nearer to it it made with some red and some white cliffs; these last in latitude 26 10 south, where you will find 54 fathom within 4 miles of the shore.
THAT PART DESCRIBED, AND SHARK'S BAY, WHERE HE FIRST ANCHORS.
About the latitude of 26 degrees south we saw an opening, and ran in, hoping to find a harbour there: but when we came to its mouth, which was about 2 leagues wide, we saw rocks and foul ground within, and therefore stood out again: there we had 20 fathom water within 2 mile of the shore. The land everywhere appeared pretty low, flat and even; but with steep cliffs to the sea; and when we came near it there were no trees, shrubs or grass to be seen. The soundings in the latitude of 26 degrees south, from about 8 or 9 leagues off till you come within a league of the shore, are generally about 40 fathom; differing but little, seldom above 3 or 4 fathom. But the lead brings up very different sorts of sand, some coarse, some fine; and of several colours, as yellow, white, grey, brown, bluish and reddish.
When I saw there was no harbour here, nor good anchoring, I stood off to sea again, in the evening of the second of August, fearing a storm on a lee shore, in a place where there was no shelter, and desiring at least to have sea-room: for the clouds began to grow thick in the western board, and the wind was already there, and began to blow fresh almost upon the shore; which at this place lies along north-north-west and south-south-east. By 9 o'clock at night we had got a pretty good offing; but, the wind still increasing, I took in my main topsail, being able to carry no more sail than two courses and the mizzen. At 2 in the morning August 3 it blew very hard, and the sea was much raised; so that I furled all my sails but my mainsail. Though the wind blew so hard we had pretty clear weather till noon: but then the whole sky was blackened with thick clouds, and we had some rain, which would last a quarter of an hour at a time, and then it would blow very fierce while the squalls of rain were over our heads; but as soon as they were gone the wind was by much abated, the stress of the storm being over. We sounded several times, but had no ground till 8 o'clock August the 4th in the evening; and then had 60 fathom water, coral ground. At 10 we had 56 fathom fine sand. At 12 we had 55 fathom, fine sand, of a pale bluish colour. It was now pretty moderate weather; yet I made no sail till morning; but then, the wind veering about to the south-west, I made sail and stood to the north: and at 11 o'clock the next day August 5 we saw land again, at about 10 leagues distance. This noon we were in latitude 25 degrees 30 minutes, and in the afternoon our cook died, an old man, who had been sick a great while, being infirm before we came out of England.
The 6th of August in the morning we saw an opening in the land and we ran into it, and anchored in 7 and a half fathom water, 2 miles from the shore, clean sand. It was somewhat difficult getting in here, by reason of many shoals we met with: but I sent my boat sounding before me. The mouth of this sound, which I called Shark's Bay, lies in about 25 degrees south latitude, and our reckoning made its longitude from the Cape of Good Hope to be about 87 degrees; which is less by 195 leagues than is usually laid down in our common charts, if our reckoning was right and our glasses did not deceive us. As soon as I came to anchor in this bay (of which I have given a plan) I sent my boat ashore to seek for fresh water: but in the evening my men returned, having found none. The next morning I went ashore myself, carrying pickaxes and shovels with me, to dig for water: and axes to cut wood. We tried in several places for water but, finding none after several trials, nor in several miles compass, we left any farther search for it and, spending the rest of the day in cutting wood, we went aboard at night.
OF THE LAND THERE, VEGETABLES, BIRDS, ETC.
The land is of an indifferent height, so that it may be seen 9 or 10 leagues off. It appears at a distance very even; but as you come nigher you find there are many gentle risings, though none steep nor high. It is all a steep shore against the open sea: but in this bay or sound we were now in the land is low by the seaside, rising gradually in within the land. The mould is sand by the seaside, producing a large sort of samphire, which bears a white flower. Farther in the mould is reddish, a sort of sand producing some grass, plants, and shrubs. The grass grows in great tufts as big as a bushel, here and there a tuft: being intermixed with much heath, much of the kind we have growing on our commons in England. Of trees or shrubs here are divers sorts; but none above 10 foot high: their bodies about 3 foot about, and 5 or 6 foot high before you come to the branches, which are bushy and composed of small twigs there spreading abroad, though thick set, and full of leaves; which were mostly long and narrow. The colour of the leaves was on one side whitish, and on the other green; and the bark of the trees was generally of the same colour with the leaves, of a pale green. Some of these trees were sweet-scented, and reddish within the bark, like the sassafras, but redder. Most of the trees and shrubs had at this time either blossoms or berries on them. The blossoms of the different sort of trees were of several colours, as red, white, yellow, etc., but mostly blue: and these generally smelt very sweet and fragrant, as did some also of the rest. There were also beside some plants, herbs, and tall flowers, some very small flowers, growing on the ground, that were sweet and beautiful, and for the most part unlike any I had seen elsewhere.
A PARTICULAR SORT OF IGUANA: FISH, AND BEAUTIFUL SHELLS; TURTLE, LARGE SHARK, AND WATER-SERPENTS.
There were but few land-fowls; we saw none but eagles of the larger sorts of birds; but 5 or 6 sorts of small birds. The biggest sort of these were not bigger than larks; some no bigger than wrens, all singing with great variety of fine shrill notes; and we saw some of their nests with young ones in them. The water-fowls are ducks (which had young ones now, this being the beginning of the spring in these parts) curlews, galdens, crab-catchers, cormorants, gulls, pelicans; and some waterfowl, such as I have not seen anywhere besides. I have given the pictures of 4 several birds on this coast.
The land animals that we saw here were only a sort of raccoon, different from those of the West Indies, chiefly as to their legs; for these have very short forelegs; but go jumping upon them as the others do (and like them are very good meat) and a sort of iguana, of the same shape and size with other iguanas described, but differing from them in 3 remarkable particulars: for these had a larger and uglier head, and had no tail: and at the rump, instead of the tail there, they had a stump of a tail which appeared like another head; but not really such, being without mouth or eyes: yet this creature seemed by this means to have a head at each end; and, which may be reckoned a fourth difference, the legs also seemed all 4 of them to be forelegs, being all alike in shape and length, and seeming by the joints and bending to be made as if they were to go indifferently either head or tail foremost. They were speckled black and yellow like toads, and had scales or knobs on their backs like those of crocodiles, plated onto the skin, or stuck into it, as part of the skin. They are very slow in motion; and when a man comes nigh them they will stand still and hiss, not endeavouring to get away. Their livers are also spotted black and yellow: and the body when opened has a very unsavoury smell. I did never see such ugly creatures anywhere but here. The iguanas I have observed to be very good meat: and I have often eaten of them with pleasure; but though I have eaten of snakes, crocodiles and alligators, and many creatures that look frightfully enough, and there are but few I should have been afraid to eat of if pressed by hunger, yet I think my stomach would scarce have served to venture upon these New Holland iguanas, both the looks and the smell of them being so offensive.
The sea-fish that we saw here (for here was no river, land, or pond of fresh water to be seen) are chiefly sharks. There are abundance of them in this particular sound, and I therefore give it the name of Shark's Bay. Here are also skates, thornbacks, and other fish of the ray kind (one sort especially like the sea-devil) and garfish, bonetas, etc. Of shellfish we got here mussels, periwinkles, limpets, oysters, both of the pearl kind and also eating-oysters, as well the common sort as long oysters; beside cockles, etc., the shore was lined thick with many other sorts of very strange and beautiful shells, for variety of colour and shape, most finely spotted with red, black, or yellow, etc., such as I have not seen anywhere but at this place. I brought away a great many of them; but lost all except a very few, and those not of the best.
There are also some green-turtle weighing about 200 pounds. Of these we caught 2 which the water ebbing had left behind a ledge of rock, which they could not creep over. These served all my company 2 days; and they were indifferent sweet meat. Of the sharks we caught a great many which our men eat very savourily. Among them we caught one which was 11 foot long. The space between its two eyes was 20 inches, and 18 inches from one corner of his mouth to the other. Its maw was like a leather sack, very thick, and so tough that a sharp knife could scarce cut it: in which we found the head and bones of a hippopotamus; the hairy lips of which were still sound and not putrefied, and the jaw was also firm, out of which we plucked a great many teeth, 2 of them 8 inches long and as big as a man's thumb, small at one end, and a little crooked; the rest not above half so long. The maw was full of jelly which stank extremely: however I saved for a while the teeth and the shark's jaw: the flesh of it was divided among my men; and they took care that no waste should be made of it.
It was the 7th of August when we came into Shark's Bay; in which we anchored at three several places, and stayed at the first of them (on the west side of the bay) till the 11th. During which time we searched about, as I said, for fresh water, digging wells, but to no purpose. However we cut good store of firewood at this first anchoring-place; and my company were all here very well refreshed with raccoons, turtle, shark, and other fish, and some fowls; so that we were now all much brisker than when we came in hither. Yet still I was for standing farther into the bay, partly because I had a mind to increase my stock of fresh water, which was began to be low; and partly for the sake of discovering this part of the coast. I was invited to go further by seeing from this anchoring-place all open before me; which therefore I designed to search before I left the bay. So on the 11th about noon I steered farther in, with an easy sail because we had but shallow water: we kept therefore good looking-out for fear of shoals; sometimes shortening, sometimes deepening the water. About 2 in the afternoon we saw the land ahead that makes the south of the bay, and before night we had again shoalings from that shore: and therefore shortened sail and stood off and on all night under, 2 topsails, continually sounding, having never more than 10 fathom, and seldom less than 7. The water deepened and shoaled so very gently that in heaving the lead 5 or 6 times we should scarce have a foot difference. When we came into 7 fathom either way we presently went about. From this south part of the bay we could not see the land from whence we came in the afternoon: and this land we found to be an island of 3 or 4 leagues long, as is seen in the plan, but it appearing barren I did not strive to go nearer it; and the rather because the winds would not permit us to do it without much trouble, and at the openings the water was generally shoal. I therefore made no farther attempts in this south-west and south part of the bay, but steered away to eastward to see if there was any land that way, for as yet we had seen none there. On the 12th in the morning we passed by the north point of that land and were confirmed in the persuasion of its being an island by seeing an opening to the east of it, as we had done on the west. Having fair weather, a small gale, and smooth water, we stood further on in the bay to see what land was on the east of it. Our soundings at first were 7 fathom, which held so a great while, but at length it decreased to 6. Then we saw the land right ahead that in the plan makes the east of the bay. We could not come near it with the ship, having but shoal water; and it being dangerous lying there, and the land extraordinary low, very unlikely to have fresh water (though it had a few trees on it, seemingly mangroves) and much of it probably covered at high-water, I stood out again that afternoon, deepening the water, and before night anchored in 8 fathom, clean white sand, about the middle of the bay. The next day we got up our anchor; and that afternoon came to an anchor once more near 2 islands and a shoal of coral rocks that face the bay. Here I scrubbed my ship; and, finding it very improbable I should get anything further here, I made the best of my way out to sea again, sounding all the way: but, finding by the shallowness of the water that there was no going out to sea to the east of the two islands that face the bay, nor between them, I returned to the west entrance, going out by the same way I came in at, only on the east instead of the west side of the small shoal to be seen in the plan; in which channel we had 10, 12, and 13 fathom water, still deepening upon us till we were out at sea. The day before we came out I sent a boat ashore to the most northerly of the 2 islands, which is the least of them, catching many small fish in the meanwhile with hook and line. The boat's crew returning told me that the isle produces nothing but a sort of green, short, hard, prickly grass, affording neither wood nor fresh water; and that a sea broke between the 2 islands, a sign that the water was shallow. They saw a large turtle and many skates and thornbacks, but caught none.
THE AUTHOR'S REMOVING TO ANOTHER PART OF NEW HOLLAND: DOLPHINS, WHALES, AND MORE SEA-SERPENTS: AND OF A PASSAGE OR STRAIT SUSPECTED HERE: OF THE VEGETABLES, BIRDS, AND FISH.
It was August the 14th when I sailed out of this bay or sound, the mouth of which lies, as I said, in 25 degrees 5 minutes, designing to coast along to the north-east till I might commodiously put in at some other part of New Holland. In passing out we saw 3 water-serpents swimming about in the sea, of a yellow colour, spotted with dark brown spots. They were each about 4 foot long, and about the bigness of a man's wrist, and were the first I saw on this coast, which abounds with several sorts of them. We had the winds at our first coming out at north and the land lying north-easterly. We plied off and on, getting forward but little till the next day: when the wind coming at south-south-west and south we began to coast it along the shore to the northward, keeping at 6 or 7 leagues off shore; and sounding often, we had between 40 and 46 fathom water, brown sand with some white shells. This 15th of August we were in latitude 24 degrees 41 minutes. On the 16th day at noon we were in 23 degrees 22 minutes. The wind coming at east by north we could not keep the shore aboard, but were forced to go farther off, and lost sight of the land. Then sounding we had no ground with 80 fathom line; however the wind shortly after came about again to the southward, and then we jogged on again to the northward and saw many small dolphins and whales, and abundance of scuttle-shells swimming on the sea; and some water-snakes every day. The 17th we saw the land again, and took a sight of it.
The 18th in the afternoon, being 3 or 4 leagues offshore, I saw a shoal point, stretching from the land into the sea a league or more. The sea broke high on it; by which I saw plainly there was a shoal there. I stood farther off and coasted alongshore to about 7 or 8 leagues distance: and at 12 o'clock at night we sounded, and had but 20 fathom hard sand. By this I found I was upon another shoal, and so presently steered off west half an hour, and had then 40 fathom. At one in the morning of the 18th day we had 85 fathom: by two we could find no ground; and then I ventured to steer alongshore again, due north, which is two points wide of the coast (that lies north-north-east) for fear of another shoal. I would not be too far off from the land, being desirous to search into it wherever I should find an opening or any convenience of searching about for water, etc. When we were off the shoal point I mentioned where we had but 20 fathom water, we had in the night abundance of whales about the ship, some ahead, others astern, and some on each side blowing and making a very dismal noise; but when we came out again into deeper water they left us. Indeed the noise that they made by blowing and dashing of the sea with their tails, making it all of a breach and foam, was very dreadful to us, like the breach of the waves in very shoal water, or among rocks. The shoal these whales were upon had depth of water sufficient, no less than 20 fathom, as I said; and it lies in latitude 22 degrees 22 minutes. The shore was generally bold all along; we had met with no shoal at sea since the Abrolho Shoal, when we first fell on the New Holland coast in the latitude of 28, till yesterday in the afternoon, and this night. This morning also when we expected by the chart we had with us to have been 11 leagues offshore we were but 4; so that either our charts were faulty, which yet hitherto and afterwards we found true enough as to the lying of the coast, or else here was a tide unknown to us that deceived us; though we had found very little of any tide on this coast hitherto. As to our winds in the coasting thus far, as we had been within the verge of the general trade (though interrupted by the storm I mentioned) from the latitude of 28, when we first fell in with the coast: and by that time we were in the latitude of 25 we had usually the regular tradewind (which is here south-south-east) when we were at any distance from shore: but we had often sea and land-breezes, especially when near shore, and when in Shark's Bay; and had a particular north-west wind, or storm, that set us in thither. On this 18th of August we coasted with a brisk gale of the true tradewind at south-south-east, very fair and clear weather; but, hauling off in the evening to sea, were next morning out of sight of land; and the land now trending away north-easterly, and we being to the northward of it, and the wind also shrinking from the south-south-east to the east-south-east (that is, from the true tradewind to the seabreeze, as the land now lay) we could not get in with the land again yet awhile, so as to see it, though we trimmed sharp and kept close on a wind. We were this 19th day in latitude 21 degrees 42 minutes. The 20th we were in latitude 19 degrees 37 minutes and kept close on a wind to get sight of the land again, but could not yet see it. We had very fair weather, and though we were so far from the land as to be out of sight of it, yet we had the sea and land-breezes. In the night we had the land-breeze at south-south-east, a small gentle gale; which in the morning about sunrising would shift about gradually (and withal increasing in strength) till about noon we should have it at east-south-east, which is the true sea breeze here. Then it would blow a brisk gale, so that we could scarce carry our topsails double reefed: and it would continue thus till 3 in the afternoon, when it would decrease again. The weather was fair all the while, not a cloud to be seen; but very hazy, especially nigh the horizon. We sounded several times this 20th day and at first had no ground; but had afterwards from 52 to 45 fathom, coarse brown sand, mixed with small brown and white stones, with dints besides in the tallow.
The 21st day also we had small land breezes in the night and seabreezes in the day: and as we saw some seasnakes every day, so this day we saw a great many, of two different sorts or shapes. One sort was yellow, and about the bigness of a man's wrist, about 4 foot long, having a flat tail about 4 fingers broad. The other sort was much smaller and shorter, round and spotted black and yellow. This day we sounded several times, and had 45 fathom sand. We did not make the land till noon, and then saw it first from our topmast-head. It bore south-east by east about 9 leagues distance; and it appeared like a cape or head of land. The seabreeze this day was not so strong as the day before, and it veered out more; so that we had a fair wind to run in with to the shore, and at sunset anchored in 20 fathom, clean sand, about 5 leagues from the bluff point; which was not a cape (as it appeared at a great distance) but the easternmost end of an island, about 5 or 6 leagues in length and 1 in breadth. There were 3 or 4 rocky islands about a league from us between us and the bluff point; and we saw many other islands both to the east and west of it, as far as we could see either way from our topmast-head: and all within them to the south there was nothing but islands of a pretty height, that may be seen 8 or 9 leagues off. By what we saw of them they must have been a range of islands of about 20 leagues in length, stretching from east-north-east to west-south-west and, for ought I know, as far as to those of Shark's Bay; and to a considerable breadth also (for we could see 9 or 10 leagues in among them) towards the continent or mainland of New Holland, if there be any such thing hereabouts: and, by the great tides I met with a while afterwards, more to the north-east, I had a strong suspicion that here might be a kind of archipelago of islands and a passage possibly to the south of New Holland and New Guinea into the great South Sea eastward; which I had thoughts also of attempting in my return from New Guinea (had circumstances permitted) and told my officers so: but I would not attempt it at this time because we wanted water and could not depend upon finding it there. This place is in the latitude of 20 degrees 21 minutes, but in the chart that I had of this coast, which was Tasman's, it was laid down in 19 degrees 50 minutes, and the shore is laid down as all along joining in one body or continent, with some openings appearing like rivers; and not like islands, as really they are. See several sights of it, Table 4 Numbers 8, 9, and 10. This place lies more northerly by 40 minutes than is laid down in Mr. Tasman's chart: and beside its being made a firm, continued land, only with some openings like the mouths of rivers, I found the soundings also different from what the pricked line of his course shows them, and generally shallower than he makes them; which inclines me to think that he came not so near the shore as his line shows, and so had deeper soundings, and could not so well distinguish the islands. His meridian or difference of longitude from Shark's Bay agrees well enough with my account, which is 232 leagues, though we differ in latitude. And to confirm my conjecture that the line of his course is made too near the shore, at least not far to the east of this place, the water is there so shallow that he could not come there so nigh.
HE ANCHORS ON A THIRD PART OF NEW HOLLAND, AND DIGS WELLS, BUT BRACKISH.
But to proceed: in the night we had a small land-breeze, and in the morning I weighed anchor, designing to run in among the islands, for they had large channels between them, of a league wide at least, and some 2 or 3 leagues wide. I sent in my boat before to sound, and if they found shoal water to return again; but if they found water enough to go ashore on one of the islands and stay till the ship came in: where they might in the meantime search for water. So we followed after with the ship, sounding as we went in, and had 20 fathom, till within 2 leagues of the bluff head, and then we had shoal water, and very uncertain soundings: yet we ran in still with an easy sail, sounding and looking out well, for this was dangerous work. When we came abreast of the bluff head, and about 2 mile from it, we had but 7 fathom: then we edged away from it, but had no more water; and, running in a little farther, we had but 4 fathoms; so we anchored immediately; and yet when we had veered out a third of a cable we had 7 fathom water again; so uncertain was the water. My boat came immediately aboard, and told me that the island was very rocky and dry, and they had little hopes of finding water there. I sent them to sound, and bade them, if they found a channel of 8 or 10 fathom water to keep on, and we would follow with the ship. We were now about 4 leagues within the outer small rocky islands, but still could see nothing but islands within us; some 5 or 6 leagues long, others not above a mile round. The large islands were pretty high; but all appeared dry and mostly rocky and barren. The rocks looked of a rusty yellow colour, and therefore I despaired of getting water on any of them; but was in some hopes of finding a channel to run in beyond all these islands, could I have spent time here, and either get to the main of New Holland, or find out some other islands that might afford us water and other refreshments; besides, that among so many islands we might have found some sort of rich mineral or ambergris, it being a good latitude for both these. But we had not sailed above a league farther before our water grew shoaler again, and then we anchored in 6 fathom hard sand.
We were now on the inner side of the island, on whose outside is the bluff point. We rode a league from the island and I presently went ashore, and carried shovels to dig for water, but found none. There grow here 2 or three sorts of shrubs, one just like rosemary; and therefore I called this Rosemary Island. It grew in great plenty here, but had no smell. Some of the other shrubs had blue and yellow flowers; and we found 2 sorts of grain like beans: the one grew on bushes; the other on a sort of creeping vine that runs along on the ground, having very thick broad leaves and the blossom like a bean blossom, but much larger, and of a deep red colour, looking very beautiful. We saw here some cormorants, gulls, crab-catchers, etc., a few small land-birds, and a sort of white parrot, which flew a great many together. We found some shellfish, namely limpets, periwinkles, and abundance of small oysters, growing on the rocks, which were very sweet. In the sea we saw some green-turtle, a pretty many sharks, and abundance of water-snakes of several sorts and sizes. The stones were all of rusty colour, and ponderous.
We saw a smoke on an island 3 or 4 leagues off; and here also the bushes had been burned, but we found no other sign of inhabitants: it was probable that on the island where the smoke was there were inhabitants, and fresh water for them. In the evening I went aboard, and consulted with my officers whether it was best to send thither, or to search among any other of these islands with my boat; or else go from hence, and coast alongshore with the ship till we could find some better place than this was to ride in, where we had shoal water and lay exposed to winds and tides. They all agreed to go from hence; so I gave orders to weigh in the morning as soon as it should be light, and to get out with the land-breeze.
According, August the 23rd, at 5 in the morning we ran out, having a pretty fresh land-breeze at south-south-east. By 8 o'clock we were got out, and very seasonably; for before 9 the seabreeze came on us very strong, and increasing, we took in our topsails and stood off under 2 courses and a mizzen, this being as much sail as we could carry. The sky was clear, there being not one cloud to be seen; but the horizon appeared very hazy, and the sun at setting the night before, and this morning at rising, appeared very red. The wind continued very strong till 12, then it began to abate: I have seldom met with a stronger breeze. These strong seabreezes lasted thus in their turns 3 or 4 days. They sprang up with the sunrise; by 9 o'clock they were very strong, and so continued till noon, when they began to abate; and by sunset there was little wind, or a calm till the land-breezes came; which we should certainly have in the morning about 1 or 2 o'clock. The land-breezes were between the south-south-west and south-south-east. The seabreezes between the east-north-east and north-north-east. In the night while calm we fished with hook and line and caught good store of fish, namely, snapper, bream, old-wives, and dogfish. When these last came we seldom caught any others; for if they did not drive away the other fish, yet they would be sure to keep them from taking our hooks, for they would first have them themselves, biting very greedily. We caught also a monkfish, of which I brought home the picture. See Fish Figure 1.
On the 25th of August we still coasted alongshore, that we might the better see any opening; kept sounding, and had about 20 fathom clean sand. The 26th day, being about 4 leagues offshore, the water began gradually to shoal from 20 to 14 fathom. I was edging in a little towards the land, thinking to have anchored; but presently after the water decreased almost at once, till we had but 5 fathom. I durst therefore adventure no farther, but steered out the same way that we came in; and in a short time had 10 fathom (being then about 4 leagues and a half from the shore) and even soundings. I steered away east-north-east coasting along as the land lies. This day the seabreezes began to be very moderate again, and we made the best of our way alongshore, only in the night edging off a little for fear of shoals. Ever since we left Shark's Bay we had fair clear weather, and so for a great while still.
The 27th day we had 20 fathom water all night, yet we could not see land till 1 in the afternoon from our topmast-head. By 3 we could just discern land from our quarter-deck; we had then 16 fathom. The wind was at north and we steered east by north, which is but one point in on the land; yet we decreased our water very fast; for at 4 we had but 9 fathom; the next cast but 7, which frighted us; and we then tacked instantly and stood off: but in a short time the wind coming at north-west and west-north-west we tacked again, and steered north-north-east and then deepened our water again, and had all night from 15 to 20 fathom.
The 28th day we had between 20 and 40 fathom. We saw no land this day but saw a great many snakes and some whales. We saw also some boobies and noddy-birds; and in the night caught one of these last. It was of another shape and colour than any I had seen before. It had a small long bill, as all of them have, flat feet like ducks' feet; its tail forked like a swallow, but longer and broader, and the fork deeper than that of the swallow, with very long wings; the top or crown of the head of this noddy was coal-black, having also small black streaks round about and close to the eyes; and round these streaks on each side a pretty broad white circle. The breast, belly, and underpart of the wings of this noddy were white; and the back and upper part of its wings of a faint black or smoke colour. See a picture of this and of the common one, Birds Figures 5 and 6. Noddies are seen in most places between the tropics, as well in the East Indies, and on the coast of Brazil, as in the West Indies. They rest ashore a-nights, and therefore we never see them far at sea, not above 20 or 30 leagues, unless driven off in a storm. When they come about a ship they commonly perch in the night, and will sit still till they are taken by the seamen. They build on cliffs against the sea, or rocks, as I have said.
OF THE INHABITANTS THERE, AND GREAT TIDES, THE VEGETABLES AND ANIMALS, ETC.
The 30th day being in latitude 18 degrees 21 minutes we made the land again, and saw many great smokes near the shore; and having fair weather and moderate breezes I steered in towards it. At 4 in the afternoon I anchored in 8 fathom water, clear sand, about 3 leagues and a half from the shore. I presently sent my boat to sound nearer in, and they found 10 fathom about a mile farther in; and from thence still farther in the water decreased gradually to 9, 8, 7, and 2 mile distance to 6 fathom. This evening we saw an eclipse of the moon, but it was abating before the moon appeared to us; for the horizon was very hazy, so that we could not see the moon till she had been half an hour above the horizon: and at 2 hours, 22 minutes after sunset, by the reckoning of our glasses, the eclipse was quite gone, which was not of many digits. The moon's centre was then 33 degrees 40 minutes high.
The 31st of August betimes in the morning I went ashore with 10 or 11 men to search for water. We went armed with muskets and cutlasses for our defence, expecting to see people there; and carried also shovels and pickaxes to dig wells. When we came near the shore we saw 3 tall black naked men on the sandy bay ahead of us: but as we rowed in they went away. When we were landed I sent the boat with two men in her to lie a little from the shore at an anchor, to prevent being seized; while the rest of us went after the 3 black men, who were now got on the top of a small hill about a quarter of a mile from us, with 8 or 9 men more in their company. They seeing us coming ran away. When we came on the top of the hill where they first stood we saw a plain savannah, about half a mile from us, farther in from the sea. There were several things like haycocks standing in the savannah; which at a distance we thought were houses, looking just like the Hottentots' houses at the Cape of Good Hope: but we found them to be so many rocks. We searched about these for water, but could find none, nor any houses, nor people, for they were all gone. Then we turned again to the place where we landed, and there we dug for water.
While we were at work there came nine or 10 of the natives to a small hill a little way from us, and stood there menacing and threatening of us, and making a great noise. At last one of them came towards us, and the rest followed at a distance. I went out to meet him, and came within 50 yards of him, making to him all the signs of peace and friendship I could; but then he ran away, neither would they any of them stay for us to come nigh them; for we tried two or three times. At last I took two men with me, and went in the afternoon along by the seaside, purposely to catch one of them, if I could, of whom I might learn where they got their fresh water. There were 10 or 12 natives a little way off, who seeing us three going away from the rest of our men, followed us at a distance. I thought they would follow us: but there being for a while a sandbank between us and them, that they could not then see us, we made a halt, and hid ourselves in a bending of the sandbank. They knew we must be thereabouts, and being 3 or 4 times our number, thought to seize us. So they dispersed themselves, some going to the seashore and others beating about the sandhills. We knew by what rencounter we had had with them in the morning that we could easily outrun them; so a nimble young man that was with me, seeing some of them near, ran towards them; and they for some time ran away before him. But he soon overtaking them, they faced about and fought him. He had a cutlass, and they had wooden lances; with which, being many of them, they were too hard for him. When he first ran towards them I chased two more that were by the shore; but fearing how it might be with my young man, I turned back quickly, and went up to the top of a sandhill, whence I saw him near me, closely engaged with them. Upon their seeing me, one of them threw a lance at me, that narrowly missed me. I discharged my gun to scare them but avoided shooting any of them; till finding the young man in great danger from them, and myself in some; and that though the gun had a little frighted them at first, yet they had soon learnt to despise it, tossing up their hands, and crying pooh, pooh, pooh; and coming on afresh with a great noise, I thought it high time to charge again, and shoot one of them, which I did. The rest, seeing him fall, made a stand again; and my young man took the opportunity to disengage himself, and come off to me; my other man also was with me, who had done nothing all this while, having come out unarmed; and I returned back with my men, designing to attempt the natives no farther, being very sorry for what had happened already. They took up their wounded companion; and my young man, who had been struck through the cheek by one of their lances, was afraid it had been poisoned: but I did not think that likely. His wound was very painful to him, being made with a blunt weapon: but he soon recovered of it.