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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume X by Robert Kerr

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the least understand Spanish, we supposed they had no intercourse with
the Spaniards.

Finding no water here, we sailed for _Porto Pinas_, about fifty miles to
the S. by W. in lat. 7 deg. 33' N. which is so named from the vast numbers
of pine-trees which grow in its neighbourhood. The country here rises by
a gentle ascent from the sea to a considerable height, and is pretty
woody near the shore. At the entrance into the harbour there are two
small rocks, which render the passage narrow, and the harbour within is
rather small, besides which it is exposed to the S.W. wind. We sent our
boats into this harbour for water, which they could not procure, owing
to a heavy sea near the shore; wherefore we again made sail for Cape
Carachina, where we arrived on the 29th March. On our way we took a
canoe, in which were four Indians and a Mulatto, and as the last was
found to have been in the fire-ship sent against us, he was hanged.

On the 11th of April we anchored among the King's isles, where we met
with Captain Harris, who had come with some men by way of the river of
Santa Maria. The 19th, 250 men were sent in canoes to the river
_Cheapo_, to surprise the town of that name. The 21st we followed them
to the island of _Chepillo_, directly opposite the mouth of the river
Chepo, or Cheapo, in the bay of Panama, about seven leagues from the
city of Panama, and one league from the continent. This is a pleasant
island, about two miles long, and as much in breadth, low on the north
side, but rising by a gentle ascent to the south. The soil is very good,
and produces in the low grounds great store of fine fruits, as
plantains, mammees, sapotas, sapadillos, avogato pears, star-apples, and
others. Half a mile from shore there is good anchorage, opposite to
which is a very good spring of fresh-water near the sea.

The _Sapadillo_-tree is altogether like a pear-tree, and the fruit
resembles a bergamot pear, but somewhat longer. When first gathered it
is hard and the juice clammy; but after keeping a few days it becomes
juicy and sweet. It has two or three black kernels, resembling
pomegranate seeds. The _Avogato_-tree is higher than our pear-trees,
having a black smooth bark, and oval leaves. The fruit is about the size
of a large lemon, green at first, but becomes yellow when ripe, having a
yellowish pulp as soft as butter. After being three or four days
gathered, the rind comes easily off, and as the fruit is insipid it is
commonly eaten with sugar and limejuice, being esteemed a great
provocative by the Spaniards, who have therefore planted them in most of
their settlements on the Atlantic. It has a stone within as large as a
horse-plum. The _Sapota_-tree, or _Mammee-sapota_, is neither so large
nor so tall as the wild mammae at Taboga, nor is the fruit so large or
so round. The rind is smooth, and the pulp, which is pleasant and
wholesome, is quite red, with a rough longish stone. There are also here
some wild _mammee_-trees, which grow very tall and straight, and are fit
for masts, but the fruit is not esteemed. The tree producing the
_star-apples_ resembles our quince-tree, but is much larger, and has
abundance of broad oval leaves. The fruit is as big as a large apple,
and is reckoned very good, but I never tasted it.

The river _Chepo_, or _Cheapo_, rises in the mountains near the north
side of the isthmus, being inclosed between a northern and southern
range, between which it makes its way to the S.W. after which it
describes nearly a semicircle, and runs gently into the sea about seven
leagues E. from Panama, in lat. 9 deg. 3' N. long. 79 deg. 51' W. Its mouth is
very deep, and a quarter of a mile broad, but is so obstructed at the
entrance by sands as only to be navigable by barks. About six leagues
from the sea stands the city of _Cheapo_, on the _left_ bunk of the
river.[175] This place stands in a champaign country, affording a very
pleasant prospect, as it has various hills in the neighbourhood covered
with wood, though most of the adjacent lands are pasture-grounds to the
north of the river, but the country south from the river is covered with
wood for many miles.

[Footnote 175: In modern maps the town of Chepo is placed on the _right_
bank of the river, as descending the stream, and only about five miles
up the river.--E.]

Our men returned from Cheapo on the 24th, having taken that town without
opposition, but found nothing there worth mention. The 25th we were
joined by Captain Harris, and arrived at Taboga on the 28th, when,
finding ourselves nearly a thousand strong, we meditated an attack on
Panama; but, being informed by our prisoners that the Spaniards there
had received considerable reinforcements from Porto Bello, that design
was laid aside. The 25th May we had intelligence from some prisoners
that the Lima fleet was daily expected, whereupon we anchored in a
narrow channel, a mile long and not above seven paces wide, formed by
two or three small islands on the south side of the island of
_Pacheque_. Our fleet now consisted of ten sail, only two of which were
ships of war, that commanded by Captain Davis having 36 guns and 156,
while Captain Swan's carried 16 guns and 140 men. The rest were only
provided with small arms, and our whole force amounted to 960 men. We
had also a fire-ship.

Hitherto we had the wind at N.N.E. with fair weather, but on the 28th of
May the rainy season began. On that day, about 11 a.m. it began to clear
up, and we discovered the Spanish fleet three leagues W.N.W. from the
island of Pacheque, standing to the east, we being then at anchor a
league S.E. from that isle, between it and the continent. We set sail
about three p.m. bearing down upon the Spaniards right before the wind,
while they kept close upon a wind to meet us. Night coming on, we only
exchanged a few shots at that time. As soon as it began to be dark, the
Spanish admiral shewed a light at his top, as a signal for his fleet to
anchor. In half an hour this was taken down; but soon after a light
appeared as before, which went to leewards, which we followed under
sail, supposing it to be still the admiral; but this was a stratagem of
the Spaniards to deceive as, being at the top-mast head of one of their
barks, and effectually succeeded, as we found in the morning they had
gained the weather-gage of us. They now bore down upon us under full
sail, so that we were forced to make a running fight all next day,
almost quite round the bay of Panama, and came at length to anchor over
against the island of Pacheque. As Captain Townley was hard pressed by
the Spaniards, he was forced to make a bold run through the
before-mentioned narrow channel, between Pacheque and the three small
islands; and Captain Harris was obliged to separate from us during the
fight. Thus our long-projected design vanished into smoke.

According to the report of some prisoners taken afterwards, the Spanish
fleet consisted of fourteen sail, besides _periagoes_, or large boats of
twelve or fourteen oars each, and among these there were eight ships of
good force, mounting from eight to forty-eight guns, with two
fire-ships, and computed to contain 3000 men. In the morning of the 30th
we saw the Spanish fleet at anchor, three leagues from us to leeward,
and by ten a.m. they were under sail with an easy gale from the S.
making the best of their way to Panama. In this affair we had but one
man slain, but never knew the loss sustained by the Spaniards. Captain
Gronet and his Frenchmen never joined us in this fight, laying the fault
upon his men, wherefore he was ordered in a consultation to leave us;
after which we resolved to sail for the islands of Quibo, or Cobaya, in
quest of Captain Harris.

We sailed on the 1st June, 1685, with the wind at S.S.W. passing between
Cape Carachina and _Islas del Rey_. The 10th we came in sight of _Moro
de Puercos_, a high round hill on the coast of Lavelia, in lat. 7 deg. 12'
N. round which the coast makes a turn northwards to the isles of Quibo.
On this part of the coast there are many rivers and creeks, but not near
so large as those on the east side of the bay of Panama. Near the sea
this western coast of the bay is partly hilly and partly low land, with
many thick woods, but in the interior there are extensive savannahs or
fruitful plains, well stored with cattle. Some of the rivers on this
side produce gold, but not in such abundance as on the other side; and
there are hardly any Spanish settlements on this side, except along the
rivers leading to Lavelia and Nata, which are the only places I know of
between Panama and _Pueblo nova_. From Panama there is good travelling
all over Mexico, through savannahs or plains; but towards Peru there is
no passage by land beyond the river Chepo, by reason of thick woods and
many rivers and mountains.

We arrived at the isle of _Quibo_ on the 15th June, where we found
Captain Harris. This isle is in lat 7 deg. 26' N. and long. 82 deg. 13' W. It is
near seven leagues long by four broad, being all low land, except at its
N.E. end, on which side, and also to the east, there is excellent water.
It abounds in many kinds of trees, among which are great numbers of deer
and black monkeys, the flesh of which is reckoned very wholesome; and it
has some guanas and snakes. A sand-bank runs out half a mile into the
sea from the S.E. end of this island, and on its east side, a league to
the north of this, there is a rock a mile from the shore, which is seen
above water at last quarter of the ebb. In all other places there is
safe anchorage a quarter of a mile from the shore, in six, eight, ten,
and twelve fathoms, on clean sand and ooze. The isle of _Quicarra_, to
the south of Quibo, is pretty large; and to the north of it is a small
isle named Ranchina, which produces great plenty of certain trees called
_Palma-Maria_. These are straight, tough, and of good length, and are
consequently fit for masts, the grain of the wood having a gradual twist
or spiral direction; but, notwithstanding the name, they have no
resemblance to palms. To the N.E. of Quibo are the small islands of
_Canales_ and _Cantarras_, in the channels between which there is good
anchorage. These islands have plenty of wood and water, and appear at a
distance as if part of the continent; and as the island of Quibo is the
most considerable, these isles are generally named collectively the
Quibo islands.

Having failed in our designs at sea, it was agreed to try our fortune on
land, and the city of Leon, near the coast of Nicaragua in Mexico, was
pitched upon, as being nearest us. Being in want of canoes for landing
our men, we cut down trees to make as many as we had occasion for, and
in the mean time 150 men were detached to take _Puebla nova_, a town on
the continent, near the Quibo island,[176] in hopes of getting some
provisions. They easily took that town, but got nothing there except an
empty bark, and returned to us on the 26th June. Captain Knight came
back to us on the 5th July, having been farther to the west, but meeting
with no prize, he had gone south to the bay of Guayaquil, where he took
two _barco-longas_, with wine, oil, brandy, sugar, soap, and other
commodities. Knight learnt from his prisoners that certain merchant
ships, designed to have accompanied the Spanish fleet to Panama,
remained behind at Payta, which he might easily have taken if he had
been provided with a stronger force.

[Footnote 176: The only place in modern geography resembling the name,
and agreeing with the description in the text, is San Pablo on the S.
coast of Veragua, in lat. 8 deg. 9' N. and long. 83 deg. W. from Greenwich.--E.]

Our canoes being all ready, we sailed from Quibo on the 20th July
towards Realejo, a port a small way to the N.W. of Leon, being now 640
men, with eight ships, three tenders, and a fire-ship. Coasting along to
the N.W. we passed the gulfs of Dulce and Nicoya, and the _Isla del
Cano_, the land along the coast being low and covered with wood, but
almost destitute of inhabitants. August 8th, in lat. 11 deg. 20' N. we got
sight of _Volcano viejo_, or Old Volcano, the sea-mark for Realejo,
bearing from us N.E. by N. when we made ready to land next day.
Accordingly, we sent 520 men on the 9th in thirty-one canoes to attack
the harbour of Realejo. The weather was fair and the wind favourable
till two p.m. when a tempest arose, attended by thunder and lightning,
which almost overwhelmed us in the sea. It subsided, however, in half an
hoar, as did the agitation of the waves; it being observable in these
hot climates that the waves soon rise and soon fall. It became calm
about seven p.m. but as we could not get ready to land that night before
day, being then five leagues from shore, we remained nearly in the same
place till next evening, that we might not be discovered.

About three next morning another tornado had nearly put an end to us and
our enterprise, but it did not last long, and we entered the creek, on
the S.E. side of the harbour, leading to Realejo in the night, but durst
not proceed further till day-break. We then rowed deeper into the creek,
which is very narrow, the land on both sides being very marshy and full
of mangrove trees, through among which it is impossible to pass, and
beyond these, where the ground is firm, the Spaniards had cast up a
small entrenchment. We rowed as fast as we could and landed 470 men, the
remainder, among whom I was, being left to guard the canoes.

The city of Leon stands twenty miles up the country in a sandy plain,
near a peaked burning mountain, called _El Rico_, or the Volcano of
Leon, the way to that city from where our people landed being through a
champaign country covered with long grass. Between the landing place and
the city were several sugar works, and about midway a beautiful river,
but fordable. Two miles before coming to the city there was an Indian
town, whence a pleasant sandy road led to the city. The houses in Leon
were large and built of stone, but low and roofed with tiles, having
many gardens among them, with a cathedral and three other churches. It
stands in an extensive sandy plain or savannah, which absorbs all the
rain, and being entirely free from wood, it has free access to the
breezes on all sides. These circumstances render it a healthy and
pleasant place, but not of much commerce, all the wealth of its
inhabitants consisting in cattle and sugar works.

Our people began their march for Leon at eight a.m. the van consisting
of eighty of the briskest men, being led by Captain Townly. He was
followed by Captain Swan with 100 men, and Captain Davis, assisted by
Captain Knight, brought up the rear with 170 men.[177] Captain Townley,
being two miles in advance of the rest, and having repulsed a body of
seventy horse about four miles short of Leon, pushed forwards with his
vanguard, and entered the city without farther resistance at three p.m.
He was then opposed by 500 foot and 200 horse, first in a broad street,
and afterwards in the great market-place; but the horse soon galloped
off, and were followed by the foot, leaving the city to the mercy of our
people. Captain Swan reached the city at four p.m. Davis about five, and
Knight with the remainder at six. The Spaniards only killed one of our
men, who was very old and had loitered behind, refusing to accept
quarter, and took another named Smith. The governor sent word next day,
offering to ransom the town; on which our officers demanded 30,000
pieces of eight, or Spanish dollars, together with provisions for 1000
men for four months, which terms being refused, our people set the city
on fire on the 14th of August, and rejoined the canoes next morning.
Smith was exchanged for a gentlewoman, and a gentleman who had been made
prisoner was released, on promise to deliver 150 oxen for his ransom at
Realejo, the place we intended next to attack.

[Footnote 177: Only 350 men are here accounted for, though 470 are said
to have marched on this enterprise, leaving a difference of 120 men:
perhaps these made a separate corps under Knight, as he seems to have
fallen considerably in the rear of Davis.--E.]

In the afternoon of the 16th we came to the harbour of Realejo in our
canoes, our ships having come there to anchor. The creek leading to
Realejo extends north from the N.W. part of the harbour, being nearly
two leagues from the island at the mouth of the harbour to the town. The
first two-thirds of this distance the creek is broad, after which it
closes into a deep narrow channel, lined on both sides by many
cocoa-trees. A mile from the entrance the creek winds towards the west,
and here the Spaniards had thrown up an entrenchment, fronting the
entrance of the creek, and defended by 100 soldiers and twenty guns,
having a boom of trees thrown across the creek, so that they might
easily have beaten off 1000 men, but they wanted courage to defend their
excellent post; for on our firing two guns they all ran away, leaving us
at liberty to cut the boom. We then landed and marched to the town of
Realejo, a fine borough about a mile from thence, seated in a plain on a
small river. It had three churches and an hospital, but is seated among
fens and marshes, which send forth a noisome scent, and render it very
unhealthy. The country round has many sugar works and cattle pens, and
great quantities of pitch, tar, and cordage are made by the people. It
also abounds in melons, pine-apples, guavas, and prickly pears.

The shrub which produces the _guava_ has long small boughs, with a white
smooth bark, and leaves like our hazel. The fruit resembles a pear, with
a thin rind, and has many hard seeds. It may be safely eaten while
green, which is not the case with most other fruits in the East or West
Indies. Before being ripe it is astringent, but is afterwards loosening.
When ripe it is soft, yellow, and well tasted, and may either be baked
like pears, or coddled like apples. There are several sorts,
distinguished by their shape, taste, and colour, some being red and
others yellow in the pulp. The _prickly-pear_ grows on a shrub about
five feet high, and is common in many parts of the West Indies, thriving
best on sandy grounds near the sea. Each branch has two or three round
fleshy leaves, about the breadth of the hand, somewhat like those of the
house-leek, edged all round with spines or sharp prickles an inch long.
At the outer extremity of each leaf the fruit is produced, about the
size of a large plum, small towards the leaf and thicker at the other
end, where it opens like a medlar. The fruit, which is also covered by
small prickles, is green at first, but becomes red as it ripens, having
a red pulp of the consistence of a thick syrup, with small black seeds,
pleasant and cooling to the taste. I have often observed, on eating
twenty or more of these at a time, that the urine becomes as red as
blood, but without producing any evil consequence.

We found nothing of value in Realejo, except 500 sacks of flour, with
some pitch, tar, and cordage. We also received here the 150 oxen
promised by the gentleman who was released at Leon; which, together with
sugar, and other cattle we procured in the country, were very welcome
and useful to us. We remained in Realejo from the 17th to the 24th of
August, when we re-embarked. On the 25th Captains Davis and Swan agreed
to separate, the former being inclined to return to the coast of Peru,
and the latter to proceed farther to the north-west; and as I was
curious to become better acquainted with the north-western parts of
Mexico, I left Captain Davis and joined Captain Swan. Captain Townley
joined us with his two barks, but Captains Harris and Knight went along
with Swan. On the 27th Davis went out of the harbour with his ship, but
we staid behind for some time, to provide ourselves with wood and water.
By this time our men began to be much afflicted with fevers, which we
attributed to the remains of a contagious distemper that lately raged at
Realejo, as the men belonging to Captain Davis were similarly infected.

We sailed from Realejo on the 3d September, steering to the north-west
along the coast, having tornadoes from the N.W. accompanied with much
thunder and lightning, which obliged us to keep out to sea, so that we
saw no land till the 14th, when we were in lat. 13 deg. 51' N. We then came
in sight of the volcano of Guatimala. This presents a double peak like
two sugar-loaves, between which fire and smoke sometimes burst forth,
especially before bad weather. The city of Guatimala stands near the
foot of this high mountain, eight leagues from the South Sea, and forty
or fifty from the gulf of Amatique, at the bottom of the bay of
Honduras.[178] This city is reputed to be rich, as the country around
abounds in several commodities peculiar to it, especially four noted
dyes, indigo, otta or anotto, cochineal, and silvestre.[179] Having in
vain endeavoured to land on this part of the coast, we proceeded to the
small isle of _Tangola_. a league from the continent, where we found
good anchorage, with plenty of wood and water.

[Footnote 178: This description agrees with the situation of St Jago de
Guatemala, in lat. 14 deg. 25' N. long. 31 deg. 18' W., which is about thirty
statute miles from the South Sea. The modern city of Guatemala, standing
nine miles to the S.E., is only about sixteen miles from the sea at the
head of a bay of the same name.--E]

[Footnote 179: This last is an inferior species of cochineal, gathered
from the uncultivated opuntia, while the true cochineal is carefully
attended to in regular plantations. Both are the bodies of certain
insects gathered by the Indians and dried for preservation, constituting
the most valuable scarlet dye.--E]

A league from thence is the port of _Guataico_, in lat. 15 deg. 52' N. long.
36 deg. 20' W. one of the best in Mexico. On the east side of the entrance,
and about a mile from it, there is a small isle near the shore, and on
the west side a great hollow rock, open at top, through which the waves
force a passage with a great noise to a great height even in the calmest
weather, which affords an excellent mark for seamen. This port runs into
the land about three miles in a N.W. direction, and is about one mile
broad. The west side affords the securest anchorage, the other being
exposed to S.W. winds, which are frequent on this coast. We landed here
to the number of 140 men, of whom I was one, on the 8th September, and
marched about fourteen miles to an Indian village, where we found
nothing but _vanillas_ drying in the sun. The _vanilla_ grows on a small
vine, or bindwood shrub, which winds about the stems of trees, producing
a yellow flower, which changes to a pod of four or five inches long,
about the the size of a tobacco-pipe stem. This is at first green, but
becomes yellow when ripe, having black seeds. When gathered they are
laid in the sun, which makes them soft and of a chesnut colour, when
they are squeezed flat by the Indians. The Spaniards buy this commodity
at a cheap rate from the Indians, and afterwards preserve it in oil.

The 10th we sent four of our canoes to wait for us at the port of
_Angelos_, about ten miles W. from Guataico, and on the 12th we sailed
from Guataico. The 23d we landed 100 men at Angelos, where they got salt
beef, maize, salt, hogs, and poultry but could bring little on board,
being at a distance from the shore. Hearing of a stout ship lately
arrived at Acapulco from Lima, and as Captain Townley was much in need
of a better ship, it was agreed to endeavour to cut that ship out of the
harbour. _Acapulco_ is a town and harbour in lat. 16 deg. 50' N. long. 99 deg.
44' W. on the western coast of New Spain, and belonging to the city of
Mexico, being the only place of commerce on this coast, and yet there
are only three ships that come to it annually. Two of these go every
year between this port and Manilla in Luconia, one of the Philippines,
and the third goes once a year to and from Lima in Peru. This last comes
to Acapulco about Christmas, laden with quicksilver, cacao, and dollars,
and waits the arrival of the Manilla ships, from which she takes in a
cargo of spices, calicos, muslins, and other goods of India and China,
and then returns to Lima. This is only a vessel of moderate size; but
the two Manilla ships are each of about 1000 tons burden.

These Manilla ships arrange their voyages in such a way that one or the
other is always at Manilla. One of them sails from Acapulco about the
beginning of April; and after sixty days passage across the Pacific
Ocean, touches at Guam, one of the Ladrones, to procure refreshments.
She remains here only three days, and pursues her voyage for Manilla,
where she arrives in the mouth of June. The other ship, being ready
laden at Manilla with India commodities, sets sail soon after for
Acapulco. From Manilla she steers a course to the latitude of 36 deg. or 40 deg.
N. before she can fall in with a wind to carry her to America, and falls
in first with the coast of California, and then is sure of a wind to
carry her down the coast to Acapulco. After making Cape Lucas, the S.
point of California, she runs over to Cape _Corientes_, in lat. 20 deg. 26'
N. whence she proceeds along the coast to _Selagua_, where the
passengers for Mexico are landed, and then continues along the coast to
Acapulco, where she usually arrives about Christmas.

This port of Acapulco is very safe and convenient, and of sufficient
capacity to contain some hundred ships without danger. There is a low
island across the entrance, stretching from E. to W. about a mile and a
half long by a mile in breadth, having a deep channel at each end,
through either of which ships may enter or go out, providing they go in
with the sea-breeze, and out with the land-wind, which regularly blow at
stated times of the day and night. The channel at the west end of the
isle is narrow, but so deep as to have no anchorage, and through this
the Manilla ship comes in; but the Lima ship takes the other channel.
The harbour runs eight miles into the land to the north, when it closes
up and becomes narrow, after which it stretches a mile to the west. At
the entrance of this channel, and on the N.W. side, close to the shore,
stands the town of Acapulco, near which is a platform or battery with a
good number of guns; and on the east side of the channel, opposite the
town, there is a strong castle, having not less than forty pieces of
large cannon, and the ships usually ride at the bottom of the harbour,
under the guns of this castle.

Captain Townley went with 140 men in twelve canoes to endeavour to cut
out the Lima ship; but finding her at anchor within 100 yards of both
the castle and platform, found it impossible to effect his purpose, so
that he was obliged to return much dissatisfied. We accordingly sailed
on the 11th November along the coast to the N.W. between Acapulco and
Petaplan, where we found every where good anchorage two miles from
shore, but the surf beat with such violence on the coast that there was
no safe landing. Near the sea the country was low, and abounding in
trees, especially spreading palm-trees, some of which were twenty or
thirty feet high in the stem, but of no great size. This part of the
country was intermixed with many small hills, mostly barren, but the
vallies seemed fertile. The hill of Petaplan, or Petatlan, sends out a
round point into the sea, called Cape _Jequena_, in lat. 17 deg. 27' N.
which appears from sea like an island, and a little farther west there
is a knot of round hills, having an intervening bay, in which we
anchored in eleven fathoms. We here landed 170 men, who marched fourteen
miles into the country, when they reached a wretched Indian village,
deserted by the inhabitants, so that we only found one mulatto-woman and
four young children.

Proceeding on the 18th about two leagues farther to the N.W. we came to
a pretty good harbour named _Chequetan_, having the convenience of a
good fresh-wafer river and plenty of wood. On the 19th we landed
ninety-five men, having the mulatto-woman for their guide, at
_Estapa_,[180] a league west from Chequetan. The guide now conducted
them through a pathless wood along a river, and coming to a farm-house
in a plain, they found a caravan of sixty mules, laden with flour,
chocolate, cheese, and earthenware, intended for Acapulco, and of which
this woman had given them intelligence. All this they carried off,
except the earthenware, and brought aboard in their canoes, together
with some beeves they killed in the plain. Captain Swan went afterwards
on shore, and killed other eighteen beeves, without any opposition. We
found the country woody but fertile, and watered by many rivers and

[Footnote 180: Istapha is to the eastward of Petatlan, but Chequetan is
not delineated in modern maps, neither are any rivers noticed for a
great way either N.W. or S.E. from Petatlan.--E.]

Sailing on the 21st to the N.W. the land appeared full of rugged hills,
with frightful intervening vallies. On the 25th we passed a high hill
having several peaks, in lat. 18 deg. 8' N. near which there is a town named
_Cupan_,[181] but we could not find the way to it. The 26th, 200 men
were sent to find out the way to _Colima_, said to be a rich place, but
after rowing twenty leagues along shore they could not find any place
fit for landing, and saw not the least sign of any inhabitants, so that
they returned to the ships on the 28th. Soon after we got sight of the
volcano of Colima, remarkable for its height, six leagues from the sea,
in lat. 19 deg. 5' N. It shewed two peaks or summits, both of which always
emit either fire or smoke. The valley at the foot of this mountain is
said to be fertile and delightful, abounding in cacao, corn, and
plantains, and is said to be ten or twelve leagues wide towards the sea,
and to reach far into the country. It is watered by a deep river named
Colima, but which is so obstructed by a sand-bank at its mouth, as not
even to allow admission to canoes; but there is no landing on this part
of the coast, owing to the impetuosity of the surf. The town of Colima
is the chief place of this part of the country.

[Footnote 181: Probably Texupan, in lat. 18 deg. 17' N. is here meant.--E.]

The 29th, 200 men were sent in canoes to attempt to land, and if
possible to find a road to the town of _Selagua_, seated, as we were
told by the Spaniards, at the N.W. end of the vale of Colima, but they
were unable to land, owing to the violence of the waves. We came in
sight of the port of _Selagua_ on the 1st December. This is a bay in
lat. 19 deg. 8' N. parted in the middle by a rocky point, so that it appears
like two havens, in either of which there is safe anchorage in ten or
twelve fathoms, though the western harbour is the best, and has besides
the advantage of a fresh-water rivulet. We saw a considerable number of
armed Spaniards on the land, to whom we made a visit next morning with
200 men, but they soon fled. In the pursuit our people found a broad
road, leading through a wooded and rocky country, which they followed
for four leagues, but found not the least appearance of any
inhabitants, and therefore turned back. On their return they took two
straggling mulattoes, who said the broad road led to the city of
_Oarrah_,[182] four long days journey into the country, and that these
men came from that city to protect the Manilla ship, which was expected
to set her passengers ashore at this place. The Spanish maps place a
town called Selagua hereabouts, but we could not find any appearance of

[Footnote 182: Guadalaxara, the latter part of which is pronounced
_achara_, is probably here meant. It is 160 miles inland from the port
of Selagua.--E.]

We pursued our voyage on the 6th December towards Cape Corientes, in
hopes of meeting the Manilla ship. The land on the coast was moderately
high, sprinkled with many rugged points, and full of wood, having
several apparently good ports between Selagua and Cape Corientes, but we
did not touch at any of them. Cape Corientes, of which we came in sight
on the 11th, in lat. 20 deg. 28' N. is pretty high, being very steep and
rocky towards the sea, but flat on the top. I found its longitude from
the Lizard in England, by our reckoning, 121 deg. 41' W.[183] As the Manilla
ship is obliged to make this point on her voyage to Acapulco, we took up
a station here with our four ships in such a manner that we judged she
could hardly escape us; but as we were in want of provisions, fifty or
sixty men were sent in a bark beyond the cape to endeavour to get some.
They returned, however, on the 17th, not having been able to double the
cape, but left forty-six men in four canoes, who intended to attempt to
get beyond by rowing.

[Footnote 183: It is only in long. 105 deg. 88' W. from Greenwich; that in
the text, from computation or dead reckoning, being considerably
erroneous in excess.--E.]

The 18th December we sailed to the isles of _Chametly_, eighteen leagues
to the east of Cape Corientes. These are five small low and woody
islands, surrounded with rocks, and lying in form of a half-moon a mile
from the shore, having safe anchorage in the intermediate space. These
isles are inhabited by fishers, who are servants to some of the
inhabitants of _Purification_, a considerable town or city fourteen
leagues up the country.[184] We anchored at these isles on the 20th, and
here provided ourselves with wood and water, and caught great abundance
of rock-fish. Next day sixty of our men were sent under Captain Townley
to surprise an Indian village, seven or eight leagues to the N.W.

[Footnote 184: Villa de la Purificacion is considerably to the S.E. of
Cape Corientes, but the isles of Chametly are omitted in modern maps.
Puerto de Navidad, in lat. 19 deg. 20' N. seems the haven belonging to

On the 24th the four canoes left by Captain Townley's bark returned to
the ships. They had got beyond the cape by means of rowing to the valley
of _Valderas_, or _Val d' Iris_, the valley of flags, at the bottom of a
deep bay, inclosed between Cape Corientes on the S.E. and point
_Pontique_ on the N.W. In this delightful valley they landed
thirty-seven men, who advanced three miles into the country, and were
attacked by 150 Spaniards, horse and foot. Our men retreated into an
adjoining wood, whence they kept up a heavy fire on the Spaniards,
killing their leader and fourteen troopers, besides wounding a great
many, while four of our men were slain and two wounded. Owing to this
loss the Spaniards took to flight, and our people were enabled to
re-embark. This valley is about three leagues broad, and is bounded
towards the inland country by an easy ascent, affording a delightful
prospect of extensive pastures well stored with cattle, interspersed
with pleasant groves of guavas, orange-trees, and lime-trees. The sandy
bay affords a safe landing, and has a fresh-water river, navigable by
boats, but becomes brackish in the end of the dry season, which is in
February, March, and April.

We continued cruizing off Cape Corientes till the 1st January, 1686,
when we sailed for the valley of _Valderas_, proposing to provide
ourselves with some beef, of which we were in great need. At night we
anchored in sixty fathoms, a mile from shore. On the 7th we landed 240
men, fifty of whom were kept together in a body to watch the motions of
the Spaniards, while the rest were employed in providing cattle. We
killed and salted as much beef as would serve us for two months, and
might have procured a great deal more if we had not run out of salt. By
this time our hopes of meeting the Manilla ship were entirely vanished,
as we concluded she had got past us to the S.E. while we were employed
in procuring provisions, which we afterwards learnt had been the case,
by the information of several prisoners. The loss of this rich prize was
chiefly owing to Captain Townley, who insisted on taking the Lima ship
in the harbour of Acapulco, when we ought to have provided ourselves
with beef and maize, as we might then have done, instead of being now
forced to procure provisions at the critical time of her coming on the
coast. We were likewise deceived by the hope of falling in with rich
towns and mines on this coast, not then knowing that all the wealth of
this country is in the interior. Seeing that we were now entirely
disappointed in our hopes, we parted company, Captain Townley going back
to the S.E. while we in Captain Swan's ship went to the west.

The 7th January we passed point Pontique in lat. 20 deg. 38' N. ten leagues
from Cape Corientes, being the N.W. point of this bay of the valley of
Valderas. A league beyond this point to the W. there are two little
isles called the _Pontiques_, and beyond these to the north the shore is
rugged for eighteen leagues. The 14th we came to anchor in a channel
between the continent and a small white rocky isle, in lat. 21 deg. 15'. The
20th we anchored a league short of the isles of _Chametly_, different
from those formerly mentioned under the same name, being six small isles
in lat 28 deg. 11' N. three leagues from the continent.[185] One or two of
these isles have some sandy creeks, and they produce a certain fruit
called _penguins_. These are of two sorts, one red and the other yellow.
The plant producing the latter is as thick in the stem as a man's arm,
with leaves six inches long and an inch broad, edged with prickles. The
fruit grows in clusters at the top of the stem, being round and as large
as an egg, having a thick rind, inclosing a pulp full of black seeds, of
a delightful taste. The red penguin grows directly out of the ground,
without any stalk, sometimes sixty or seventy in a cluster, no bigger
than onions, but the shape of nine-pins, the cluster being surrounded
with prickly leaves eighteen inches or two feet long.

[Footnote 185: In modern maps these are called the isles of _Mazatlan_,
and are placed in lat. 28 deg. 15' N. The name given in the text appears
taken from a town on this coast called Charmela, in lat 22 deg. 50' N. but

Captain Swan went with 100 men in canoes to the north, to find out the
river _Culiacan_, supposed to be in lat. 24 deg. N.[186] and said to have a
fair and rich town of the same name on its banks; but after rowing
thirty leagues he could not find the river, neither was there any safe
landing place on the coast. Seven leagues N.N.W. from the Chametla or
Mazatlan isles, our men landed in a small lake or river, having a narrow
entrance, called _Rio de Sal_ by the Spaniards, in lat. 23 deg. 30' N.[187]
They here procured some maize at an adjacent farm; and learnt at another
landing place of an Indian town five leagues distant, to which they
marched. Coming near the place we were encountered by a good number of
Spaniards and Indians, who were soon beat off. On entering the place we
only found two or three wounded Indians, who told us the town was named
_Mazatlan_, and that there were two rich gold-mines at the distance of
five leagues.

[Footnote 186: The mouth of the river of Cullacan is in 24 deg. 45' N. and
the town of that name is about eighty-five or ninety statute miles up
the river, supposed to have been an ancient seat of the Mexican nation,
before their removal to the vale and lake of Mexico.--E.]

[Footnote 187: The Rio Rastla de Panuco, in 23 deg. 45' N. is certainly here

On the 2d February 80 men were landed in the river _Rosario_.[188] We
came to a pretty little town of the same name, a considerable way up
that river, where we were assured by some prisoners that the gold-mines
were not above two leagues from thence; but as we had present occasion
for provisions, we carried about ninety bushels of maize on board from
this place, without searching for the mines. As this small supply was
insufficient for our necessities, we resolved to return to the S.E. to
the _Rio San Jago_,[189] where we anchored on the 11th. This is one of
the most considerable rivers on the west coast of New Spain. The country
having a good appearance, Captain Swan sent seventy men to look for a
town. After rowing up and down for two days, they landed in a corn
field, and, while busy in gathering maize, they seized an Indian, who
told them of a town called _Santa Pecaque_, four leagues farther.

[Footnote 188: The mouth of this river is in lat. 28 deg. N. about fifty
miles S.E. from Cape Mazatlan, where Dampier seems to have been then at
anchor among the Mazatlan isles.--E.]

[Footnote 189: So called by Dampier from the town of St Jago on its
banks. Its proper name is the _Rio Grande_, or river of _Tololotlan_.
The mouth of this river forms a large bay, in lat 21 deg. 30' N. in which is
the considerable island of St Blas.--E.]

Returning to the ship with this intelligence, Captain Swan went with 140
men in eight canoes, and landed five leagues up the river, which was
there about a pistol shot across with high banks. He marched from thence
through fertile plains and woods for three or four hours, and on
approaching St Pecaque the Spaniards evacuated the place, so that we
entered unopposed. This town is situated in a spacious plain on the side
of a wood, being neatly built, with a market-place in the middle, but
not large, and has two churches. There are silver-mines five or six
leagues from this town, the ore from which is carried on mules to
Compostella to be refined. _Compostella_, the capital of this part of
Mexico, is twenty-one leagues from _Pecaque_, being inhabited by seventy
families of Spaniards, and by five or six hundred mulattoes and Indians.
Finding great plenty of maize, sugar, salt, and salt fish at this place,
Captain Swan divided his men into two parts, one of which kept
possession of the place, while the other half were employed to carry
these articles to the canoes, which was done turn and turn about, with
the assistance of some horses. We continued this work for two days; but
on the 19th Captain Swan learnt from a prisoner that 1000 men had
marched from St Jago, a rich town three leagues from Pecaque on the
river, for the purpose of attacking us. On this Captain Swan wanted our
people to march altogether with what provisions we could carry; but they
refused to obey him till all the provisions should be carried on board,
and he was forced to allow half of them to go on with fifty-four loaded
horses. They had not gone a mile from Pecaque when they were attacked by
the Spaniards from an ambush, and were all slain on the spot. Captain
Swan marched to their relief, but came too late, finding the whole party
slain and stripped naked; yet the Spaniards never once attempted to
engage him, having certainly paid dear for their victory.

Returning on board with the rest of his men, and what provisions had
been carried off, Captain Swan resolved to sail for Cape Lucas in
California, in hopes of trafficking with the Indians there and in the
_lake_ or gulf of California. We accordingly sailed on the 21st with the
wind at N.W. and W.N.W. and anchored at the islands of _Santa Maria_, in
eight fathoms on clean sand. There are three islands, usually called the
_Three Marias_,[190] stretching fourteen leagues from S.E. to N.W. of
moderate height, stony, barren, and uninhabited, in lat 21 deg. 30' N.
[long. 106 deg. 15' W.] from which Cape St Lucas in California is forty
leagues W.N.W. and Cape Corientes twenty leagues E.S.E. We anchored off
the east end of the middle island, which we called Prince George's
island. These islands produce some cedars, and we found near the sea a
green prickly plant, with leaves like those of the _penguin_ plant, and
roots like those of the _sempervivum_, but much longer, the Indians of
California subsisting mostly on these roots. We baked and eat some of
these roots, which tasted like boiled burdock roots. I had been long
afflicted with dropsy, and was here buried in the sand for half an hour,
covered up to the neck, which brought on a profuse sweat, and I believe
with good effect, for I began to recover soon after. We careened here;
but as there is no fresh water to be had at this place in the dry
season, we had to return to the valley of Valderas, but finding the
river brackish we sailed three leagues nearer Cape Corientes, and
anchored beside a small round isle four leagues north of that cape, and
half a mile from the shore, opposite to a rivulet on the continent,
where we filled our water casks.

[Footnote 190: In reality _four_, the fourth or most northwesterly,
being named St Juanica.--E.]

Being now sufficiently convinced of our mistaken notion of the riches of
this coast, founded on an erroneous idea that the commerce of this
country was carried on by sea, whereas it is entirely conducted by land
on mules, we now resolved to try our fortune in the East Indies. With
this view we sailed from Cape Corientes on the 31st March, and next
noon, being thirty leagues from the cape, clear of the land-winds, we
had the wind at E.N.E. in which direction it continued till we were
within forty leagues of Guam. In all this long passage across the
Pacific, nearly in the lat. of 13 deg. N. we saw neither fish nor fowl
except once, when by my reckoning we were 5975 miles west from Cape
Corientes in Mexico, and then we saw a vast number of _boobies_,
supposed to come from some rocks not far off, which are laid down in
some hydrographical charts, but we saw them not.

May 20th, at four p.m. being in lat. 12 deg. 55' N. and steering W. we
discovered, to our great joy, the island of Guam, eight leagues off,
having now only three-days provisions left. _Guam_ is one of the
Ladrones, in lat. 13 deg. 15' N. and long. 216 deg. 50' W. consequently its
meridional distance from Cape Corientes on the coast of Mexico is 111 deg.
14', or about 7730 English miles. It is twelve leagues long by four
broad, extending north and south, and is defended by a small fort
mounted by six guns, and a garrison of thirty men with a Spanish
governor, for the convenience of the Manilla ships, which touch here for
refreshments on their voyage from Acapulco to Manilla. The soil is
tolerably fertile, producing rice, pine-apples, water and musk melons,
oranges, limes, cocoa-nuts, and bread-fruit. This last grows on a tree
as big as our apple-trees, with dark green leaves. The fruit is round
and as large as a good penny-loaf,[191] growing on the boughs like
apples. When ripe it turns yellow, with a soft and sweet pulp; but the
natives pull it green, and bake it in an oven till the rind grows black.
They scrape off the rind, and the inside is soft and white, like the
crumb of new-baked bread, having neither seed nor stone; but it grows
harsh if kept twenty-four hours. As this fruit is in season for eight
months in the year, the natives use no other bread in all that time,
and they told us there was plenty of it in all the other Ladrone

[Footnote 191: This vague description may now safely be changed to the
size of a three-penny, or even four-penny loaf--E.]

On the 31st May we came to anchor near the middle of the west side of
this isle, a mile from shore, as there is no anchoring on its east side
on account of the trade-winds, which force the waves with great violence
against that side. The natives are of a copper-colour, strong-limbed,
with long black hair, small eyes, high noses, thick lips, white teeth,
and stern countenances, yet were very affable to us. They are very
ingenious in building a certain kind of boats, called _proas_, used all
over the East Indies. These are about twenty-six or twenty-eight feet
long, and five or six feet high from the keel, which is made of the
trunk of a tree like a canoe, sharp at both ends. They manage these
boats with a paddle instead of a rudder, and use a square sail, and they
sail with incredible swiftness, twenty or even twenty-four miles in an
hoar. One side of these boats is quite flat and upright like a wall from
end to end, but the other side is rounded and full-bellied like other
vessels. Along this side, parallel with the boat, at the distance of six
or seven feet, a log of light wood, a foot and a half wide, and sharp at
both ends, is fastened by means of two bamboos eight or ten feet long,
projecting from each end of the main boat, and this log prevents the
boat from oversetting. The English call this an out-lier, or out-rigger,
and the Dutch _Oytlager_. The air of this island is accounted
exceedingly healthy, except in the wet season between June and October.
The Indians inhabit small villages on the west side of this island near
the shore, and have priests among them to instruct them in the Christian
religion. By means of a civil letter from Captain Swan to the Spanish
governor, accompanied by some presents, we obtained a good supply of
hogs, cocoa-nuts, rice, biscuits, and other refreshments, together with
fifty pounds of Manilla tobacco.

Learning from one of the friars that the island of _Mindanao_, inhabited
by Mahometans, abounded in provisions, we set sail from Guam on the 2d
June with a strong E. wind, and arrived on the 21st at the Isle of St
John, one of the _Philippines_. These are a range of large islands
reaching from about the latitude of 5 deg. to about 19 deg. N. and from long.
120 deg. to 126 deg. 30' E. The principal island of the group is _Luzon_, or
Luconia, in which Magellan was slain by a poisoned arrow, and which is
now entirely subject to the Spaniards. Their capital city of Manilla is
in this island, being a large town and sea-port, seated at the
south-west end, opposite to the island of Mindora, and is a place of
great strength and much trade, especially occasioned by the Acapulco
ships, which procure here vast quantities of India commodities, brought
hither by the Chinese and Portuguese, and sometimes also by stealth by
the English from fort St George or Madras; for the Spaniards allow of no
regular trade here to the English and Dutch, lest they should discover
their weakness, and the riches of these islands, which abound in gold.
To the south of Luzon there are twelve or fourteen large islands,
besides a great number of small isles, all inhabited by, or subject to,
the Spaniards. But the two most southerly, Mindanao and St John, are not
subjected by the Spaniards.

The Island of St John, or _San Juan_, is about the lat. of 9 deg. N. on the
east side of Mindanao, and about four leagues from that island, being
about thirty-eight leagues in length from N.N.W. to S.S.E. and about
twenty-four leagues broad in the middle, having a very rich and fertile
soil. _Mindanao_, next to Luzon, is the largest of the Philippines,
being sixty leagues long by forty or fifty leagues broad. Its southern
end is in lat. 5 deg. 30' N. the N.W. extremity reaching to 9 deg. 40' N. The
soil is generally fertile, and its stony hills produce many kinds of
trees, most of which are unknown to Europeans. The vallies are supplied
with brooks and rivulets, and stored with various sorts of ever-green
trees, and with rice, water-melons, plantains, bananas, guavas, nutmegs,
cloves, betel-nuts, _durians, jacks_, or _jackas_, cocoa-nuts, oranges,
&c.; but, above all, by a species of tree called _libby_ by the natives,
which produces sago, and grows in groves several miles in length. The
poorer people feed on sago instead of bread for several months of the
year. This tree resembles the cabbage-tree, having a strong bark and
hard wood, the heart of which is full of a white pith, like that of the
elder. They cut down the tree and split it open, taking out the pith,
which they stamp or beat well in a mortar, after which, putting it into
a cloth, and pouring in water, they stir it well, till the water carries
all the farinaceous substance through the cloth into a trough. After the
farinaceous matter has settled to the bottom, the water is poured off,
and the sago is baked into cakes, which they use as bread. The sago,
which is carried from hence to other parts of the East Indies, is dried
into small grains, and is used with milk of almonds as a remedy against
fluxes, being of an astringent quality.

The other fruits of this island, being well known or described by
various authors, need not be here mentioned. The nutmegs here are very
large and good, but the natives do not care for propagating them, being
afraid lest the Dutch, who monopolize the spice islands, should be
induced to pay them a hostile visit. This island also produces abundance
of animals, both wild and tame, as horses, cows, buffaloes, goats, wild
hogs, deer, monkeys, and others; also guanas, lizards, snakes,
scorpions, and centipeds. These last are not thicker than a goose-quill,
but five inches long, and they sting fiercer even than scorpions. Of
tame fowl, they have only ducks and hens; but have plenty of wild birds,
as pigeons, parrots, parrakeets, turtle-doves, bats as large as our
kites, and an infinite number and variety of small birds. Their wild
hogs feed in the woods in prodigious herds, and have thick knobs growing
over their eyes. There are mountains in the interior of this island,
which afford considerable quantities of gold. Their chief fish are
bonitos, snooks, cavallies, breams, and mullets; and they have abundance
of sea-tortoises; and the island has many harbours, creeks, and rivers.

Considering the situation of this island, so near the Line, its climate
is by no means excessively hot, especially near the sea, where the
sea-breeze cools the air by day and the land-breeze at night. The wind
blows from the east between October and May, and then blows from the
west till October. The west wind produces the wet season, which is
heaviest in July and August, and, gradually lessening in September,
ceases in October, when the east wind brings fair weather, which lasts
till May. The inhabitants of this island, though all resembling each
other in colour and stature, and all Mahometans, differ considerably in
language and government. The mountaineers, or _Hillanoons_, who inhabit
the interior, and are masters of the gold-mines, are also rich in
bees-wax, both of which they exchange with the _Mindanayans_ on the
coast for foreign commodities. The _Sologus_ inhabit the N.W. end of the
island, and traffic with the inhabitants of Manilla and some other
adjacent islands, but not with the Mindanayans. The _Alfoores_ were
formerly under the same government with the Mindanayans, but were
separated from them by falling to the share of the younger children of
the sultan of Mindanao, who has of late laid claim to their allegiance.

The Mindanayans, properly so called, are of low stature, with small
limbs, little heads, straight bodies, small eyes short noses, wide
mouths, thin red lips, and sound black teeth, having black lank hair,
and tawny complexions, but rather brighter than other Indians. They are
ingenious and nimble, much addicted to indolence, obliging to strangers,
but implacable when once disobliged. They wear turbans on their heads,
formed of a cloth tied once round, the ends of which hang down, and are
ornamented with lace or fringe. They also wear breeches, over which
they have a kind of frocks, but have neither shoes nor stockings. The
women tie their long black hair in a knot, which hangs down behind,
being smaller featured than the men, with very small feet. Their
garments consist of a piece of cloth sewed together at both ends,
forming a kind of petticoat, with a frock reaching a little below the
waist. They covet the acquaintance of white men, and are very free with
them, as far as they have liberty. When any strangers arrive at the city
of Mindanao, the men come aboard and invite them to their houses, where
they immediately ask if any of them wish to have a _pagally_, or female
friend, which they must accept, and return the favour by some small
present, which is repeated from time to time, in return for which they
eat, drink, and sleep, in their friend's house.

The capital is named Mindanao, like the island, being on the south-west
side, two miles from the sea, on the bank of a small river, in lat. 7 deg.
N. The houses are built on posts, fourteen to twenty feet high,
consisting only of one floor, but divided in many rooms by partitions.
The house or palace of the sultan rests on 150 great posts, being much
higher than any of the others, and had great broad stairs leading up to
it from the ground. In the hall there were twenty pieces of iron cannon
upon field carriages, and the general and other great men have also some
cannon in their houses. The floors are generally well covered with mats,
and they have no chairs, but usually sit cross-legged. Their ordinary
food is rice, sago, and some small fish; but the better people use
buffaloe beef, and fowl, with a great deal of rice, every one using
their fingers, as they have no spoons. The inhabitants of the city of
Mindanao speak both the Mindanayan and Malay languages, and their
prayers are in Arabic, in which also they retain some Turkish words.
Some of the old people of both sexes can speak Spanish, as the Spaniards
had formerly several forts in the island, and had assuredly reduced the
whole if they had not been afraid of an attack from the Chinese at
Manilla, on which account they withdrew their troops from Mindanao, when
the father of the present sultan laid hold of the opportunity to gain
possession of their forts, and to expel them from the island. At present
they are most in fear of the Dutch, for which reason they have often
invited the English to make a settlement among them, believing them not
so ready to encroach as either of the other nations.

The chief trades in this city are goldsmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters,
and shipwrights, for they build good ships both for war and trade. Their
chief commodities for export are gold, bees-wax, and tobacco; the two
first being purchased from the mountaineers, and the last grows in all
parts of the island in great plenty. They exchange these commodities for
calicoes, muslins, and China silks. The Mindanao tobacco is reckoned as
good as that of Manilla, and yet ten or twelve pounds of it may be
bought for a rial, or the eighth part of a dollar. The natives are
generally afflicted with a dry itchy scurf all over their bodies, and by
scratching, the skin peels off in small white flakes, like the scales of
small fish, leaving broad white spots all over their bodies; but they
did not seem to make any great account of this disease, which is not
infectious. They are also troubled with small-pox; but their most common
diseases are fevers, agues, fluxes, and violent griping pains in their
bowels. They have many wives, but I could not learn their marriage

They are governed by a sultan, who has no great revenue, yet is so
absolute that he even commands the private purse of every one at his
pleasure. The reigning sultan was between fifty and sixty years old, and
had twenty-nine concubines besides his wife or sultana. When he goes
abroad he is carried in a couch on the shoulders of four men, and is
attended by a guard of eight or ten men. His brother, named Rajah Laut,
a shrewd person of good conversation, is both chief minister and
general, and both speaks and writes Spanish very readily. In war they
use swords and lances, and every one, from the highest to the lowest,
constantly wears a _criss_ or dagger, much like a bayonet. They never
fight any pitched battles, but construct small wooden forts defended by
guns, whence the adverse parties endeavour to surprise each other in
small parties, and never give or take quarter.

We came first to anchor on the N.E. side of the island, but learning
from the natives that the city of Mindanao was on the W. side, we again
set sail and anchored on the 4th July on the S.W. side of a very deep
bay in fifteen fathoms, the land within the bay on the E. side being
very high and woody, but watered by several rivers. On its W. side,
bordering on the sea, there were large plains covered with long grass,
on which were vast herds of deer, of which we killed as many as we
thought fit. We remained here till the 12th, when we again set sail, and
arrived on the 18th at the entrance of the river of Mindanao, in lat. 7 deg.
N. and long. 124 deg. 35' E. from Greenwich.[192] We here anchored in
fifteen fathoms on clean hard sand, two miles from the shore. Soon
afterwards Rajah Laut came on board, accompanied by one of the sultan's
sons, and asked in Spanish, Who we were? Being told we were English, he
asked if we came to settle among them, of which they had formerly some
promise, and were now in hopes of its being effected, to serve to
protect them against the Dutch, whom they greatly dreaded. Had we
properly considered the matter, it might have been much for our
advantage, Mindanao being conveniently situated between the Spice
islands and the Philippines, and besides the three islands of
_Meangis_,[193] only about twenty leagues from hence, abound with spice
and cloves. We were also well filled for such a settlement, having among
our company all manner of artificers, as carpenters, bricklayers,
shoemakers, tailors, and the like, as also abundance of tools, arms,
cannon, and sufficient ammunition to begin with; and, notwithstanding
the great distance from England, we might easily have had supplies from
thence, providing ships set out the latter end of August, proceeding
round Cape Horn, and so directly across the Pacific for Mindanao, or
else coasting along the western shore of America as far as was
necessary, and then stretching across to have the advantage of the
trade-wind. By this way the voyage might be accomplished in six or seven
months, which would at least require eight or nine by the Cape of Good

[Footnote 192: In Harris, this longitude is made 23 deg. 12' W. from the
Lizard by some strange error, being 235 deg. 25' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 193: It does not appear what islands these were, unless
perhaps the Silibabo islands, about half way between Mindanao and the
northern end of Gilolo, but considerably farther distant than is stated
in the text.--E.]

Rajah Laut invited Captain Swan ashore, and promised to furnish what
provisions we wanted, and desired him in the mean time to secure our
ship within the river, for fear of the approaching westerly monsoon,
which Captain Swan agreed to after some deliberation. The river being
narrow, and having not above eleven feet water on the bar in
spring-tides, we had much ado to get our ship a quarter of a mile above
its mouth, where we moored head and stern in a hole, so that she lay
always afloat. The city of Mindanao is a mile in length, but not very
broad, stretching along the right bank of the river as you go up, though
there are some houses also on the opposite side. The inhabitants
frequently came aboard of our ship, and invited our men to their
houses, where they were kindly entertained after their manner with
tobacco and betel, and such of them as had money, or other articles of
value, did not want their _pagalies_, or female friends. Captain Swan
was entertained daily by Rajah Laut, and those of our men who had no
money had boiled rice, with scraps of fowl and buffalo beef given them.
Yet, after all these outward shews of friendship, we soon after began to
discover that Rajah Laut had sinister intentions. The sheathing on our
ship's bottom being much eaten by worms, we began in November to remove
the old sheathing, to see whether the main plank remained sound; on
seeing which, Rajah Laut shook his head, saying he had never seen a ship
with two bottoms. Besides, he did not perform his promise of providing
us with beef, pretending he could not get any; and he borrowed a
considerable sum in gold from Captain Swan, which he never repaid.

These circumstances at length induced most of our men to think of
leaving Mindanao, especially those who had not much money; and as our
ship was new sheathed and tallowed on the 10th December, they began to
urge our commander to depart in continuation of our voyage. Accordingly,
Captain Swan appointed the 13th January, 1687, for all our company to be
on board and ready to sail; but many being unwilling to depart so soon,
having dispersed about the country at the instigation of Rajah Laut, and
even Captain Swan not being very ready to come aboard, by reason of some
insubordination among the men, they deposed him from the command, and
chose Captain Teat in his room. After this we weighed in the morning of
the 13th January, and sailed out of the river, having Captain Swan and
forty-four more of the men on shore, besides sixteen others we had
buried there.

We coasted along the south side of the island to the west, and passed
next day in sight of _Chambungo_,[194] another town in this island,
thirty leagues west from the river of Mindanao, and said to have a good
harbour. On the 10th February we coasted along the west side of the
Philippine islands, and while passing Panga,[195] a large island
inhabited by the Spaniards, we saw many fires, which we supposed were
intended to give notice of our approach, it being rare to see a ship on
this coast. The 18th we anchored in ten fathoms at the N.W. end of the
island of _Mindora_. This is a large island, the middle of which is in
lat 12 deg. 45' N. its length from N.W. to S.E. being forty leagues. While
here, a canoe with four Indians came from Manilla, who told as that the
harbour of Manilla was seldom without twenty or thirty vessels, Chinese,
Portuguese, and Spaniards, and if we had a mind to trade clandestinely,
they would deliver letters from us to certain merchants there.

[Footnote 194: Probably Sambuang, at the western extremity of Mindanao,
in lat. 6 deg. 52' N. long. 122 deg. 20' E. from Greenwich.--E.]

[Footnote 195: Pany, or Panai.--E.]

We sailed again on the 21st, and came on the 23d to the S.E. end of
Luconia, where we took two Spanish barks from _Pagassanam_,[196] a small
town on the N.E. part of this island, having goods on board for the
Acapulco ship. This great island of Luconia extends in length through
six degrees of latitude, from 12 deg. 30' to 18 deg. 40' both N. and is
surrounded by many small isles, especially at its north end, Mindora
being the chief of these isles, which communicates its name to the
straits which run between it and the main island of Luconia. The surface
of this large island is partly composed of large pasture plains, and
partly of mountains, the latter of which afford some gold; and the
plains, or savannahs, are stored with buffaloes, bullocks, horses,
sheep, goats, and hogs. The inhabitants are Indians, who live in little
towns, under the Spanish jurisdiction, and are instructed in the Romish
religion by Spanish priests.

[Footnote 196: Perhaps the gulf on Pangasian is here meant, on the E.
side of Luzon, in lat. 16 deg. N.]

_Manilla_ is the chief city, or rather the only one, in the island,
seated at the foot of a ridge of high hills, fronting the harbour, near
the S.W. point of the island, in lat. 14 deg. 38' N: This city is defended
by a strong wall, and is composed of well-built spacious houses, covered
with pan-tiles, the streets being broad and regular, with a large
market-place in the middle, and has many fair churches and convents. The
harbour is large; and, besides the two great Acapulco ships, contains
abundance of small vessels belonging to the place, besides usually
thirty or forty stout Chinese junks; and the Portuguese also have
liberty to trade to this place. Many Chinese merchants also reside
constantly in this city. A league from the city, nearer the sea, there
is a strong fortress to defend the harbour, where the great ships lie at
anchor. Most of this account I received from Mr Coppinger, our surgeon,
who had formerly been thither, sailing from the Coromandel coast.

The time of the year being now too far spent for our purpose, we
resolved to sail for Pulo Condore, a knot of small islands on the coast
of Cambodia, and to return in May to lie in wait for the Acapulco ship.
We accordingly made sail from the island of Luconia on the 26th of
February; and coming into the lat. of 14 deg. N. we steered our course W.
for Pulo Condore,[197] and in our way got sight of the south end of the
_Pracel_ shoals, being three small isles, or large spots of sand, just
above water, only a mile from us. We came in sight of Pulo Condore on
the 13th March, and anchored next day on the north side of that island,
in ten fathoms, on clean hard sand, two miles from the shore.

[Footnote 197: This course ought rather to have been called W.S.W. as
Pulo Condore is lat. 8 deg. 40' N.]

Pulo Condore is the chief of a group of isles, and the only one of them
that is inhabited, in lat. 8 deg. 44' N. long. 106 deg. 5' E. forty leagues S.
by E. from the mouth of the river of Cambodia, otherwise called the
_Japanese_ river. Two of these isles are tolerably high and large, and
the rest very small. The principal isle, off which we anchored, is five
leagues long from E. to W. and three leagues broad, but in some places
not a mile. The other large isle is three miles long from N. to S. and
between these, at the west end of the largest, there is a convenient
harbour, the entrance being on the north, where the two isles are a mile
asunder. On the largest isle there grows a tall tree, three or four feet
diameter, which the inhabitants cut horizontally half through, a foot
from the ground, after which they cut out the upper part in a slope,
till it meets the transverse cut, whence a liquor distils into a hollow
made in the semicircular shelf, or stump, which, after being boiled,
becomes good tar, and if boiled still more, becomes perfect pitch, both
of these answering well for marine use. Such a tree produces two quarts
of this juice daily for a month, after which it dries up, but recovers

There are mango trees in this island, the fruit of which the
inhabitants pickle with salt, vinegar, and a little garlic, while green.
On straight trees of a foot diameter, grapes, both red and white, and of
a pleasant taste, much like those of Europe, grow in clusters about the
body of the tree, like the cocoas. This isle also abounds in wild
nutmeg-trees, which resemble our walnut-trees, and the fruit grows among
the boughs, in the same manner as walnuts. This fruit resembles the true
nutmeg, but smaller, and has neither smell nor taste. Besides hogs,
guanas, and lizards, these islands have various birds, as parrots,
parakeets, turtle-doves, and wild poultry. The sea affords limpits,
muscles, and tortoises. These isles have many brooks of fresh water
running into the sea for ten months of the year; and they are very
conveniently situated for trade with Japan, China, Manilla, Tonquin,
Cochin-china, and other places.

The inhabitants are originally from Cochin-china, being of a middle
stature and well shaped, but of much darker colour than the natives of
Mindanao, having lank black hair, small black eyes, and small noses, yet
tolerably high, with small mouths, thin lips, and white teeth. They are
civil, but very poor, their only employment being to collect tar, and to
prepare a little oil from tortoises, both of which they export to
Cochin-china. They offer their women to strangers for a small matter; a
custom universal in Pegu, Siam, Cochin-China, Cambadia, Tonquin, and
India, as also on the coast of Guinea. They are pagans, worshipping
chiefly the elephant and the horse, besides images of birds and fishes,
but I saw none resembling the human shape.

Having careened our ship, and laid in a supply of fresh water, we sailed
from Pulo Condore on the 21st of April, steering W. by S. for the bay of
Siam, and on the 23d came to the isle of _Ubi_, off the S.W. cape of
Cambadia, forty leagues W. of Condore. This isle is seven or eight
leagues in circuit, and is higher land than any of the Condore isles. It
has good water on the north side, where there is also good anchorage,
but the best anchorage is on the W. side, opposite a small bay. On the
24th we entered the bay of Siam, which is very deep, and went among the
islands at the bottom of the bay, in one of which we found a small
village inhabited by fishermen, but no fish, so we turned back, and did
not return to the isle of _Ubi_ till the 13th, and were detained there
by storms till the 21st, when we sailed for Condore, where we anchored
on the 24th. Here five or six of our men, going on board a Malay
vessel, were stabbed by the crew. Having provided our ship with wood and
water, we sailed from Condore on the 4th June, intending to proceed for
Manilla; but, by contrary winds, were forced to steer for _Pratas_, a
small low island inclosed with rocks, in lat. 21 deg. N. between Canton and
Manilla; and the east winds continuing, were obliged to approach the
coast of China, where we anchored on the 25th June, at the east end of
the island of St John, on the coast of Quan-tong, or Canton, in China,
in lat. 22 deg. 30' N.[198] They have here great plenty of rice, with hogs,
buffaloes, goats, and some oxen. The inhabitants were Chinese, and were
consequently, at this time, under the dominion of the Tartars.

[Footnote 198: This Island of St John is probably that named Sancianor,
or Tchang-te-huen, in lat. 21 deg. 33' N. long. 112 deg. 25' E. to the S.W. of
the bay of Canton. The latitude in the text would lead deep among the
islands of that bay, which does not appear to have been the case.--E.]

In this island we found a small town in marshy ground, the houses of
which were small, mean, and ill-furnished, but built on posts, the
inhabitants principally subsisting by the cultivation of rice. While we
lay here at anchor, a Chinese junk rode beside us, which was flat both
at the head and stern, having many little huts, three feet high, on her
deck, thatched with palmito leaves. Her cabin was large, having an
altar, on which was a lamp continually burning. The hold was divided
into several compartments, the bulkheads between which were so tight,
that if a leak should spring in any of these divisions, the goods in the
others would receive no damage. Every merchant has his own room, or
division, in the hold, in which he stows his own goods, sometimes
lodging along with them. These junks have only two masts, a main and
fore, the latter having a square-sail and yard, and the former a sail
that is narrow aloft, like a sloop's main-sail. In fine weather they
have also a top-sail, which, in foul weather, they lower to the deck,
yard and all. The main-mast of one of their largest junks is equal in
size to that of our third-rate men of war, but all of one piece, not

Fearing the approach of a storm, and wanting sea-room, we weighed on the
3d June, and stood out to sea; but next day we were assailed by the most
violent tempest at N.E. I ever saw, which lasted at intervals for three
days, when the weather became quite serene. We then refitted our ship,
but our men were so terrified by the last storm, and dreading the
approach of full moon, that we resolved to steer for the _Pescadores_,
or _Fisher Isles_, in lat. 23 deg. 40' N. off the western side of
_Tai-ouan_, or Formosa. This is a numerous group of islands in the
Straits of Formosa, having a good harbour between the two eastermost;
and on the west side of the most easterly there is a large town with a
fort, in which was a garrison of 300 Tartars. The houses in this town
were low, yet neatly built; and on the other island, on the west side of
the harbour, there was another small town near the sea, inhabited by
Chinese. Most of the islands in this group have some Chinese
inhabitants. We were very civilly treated by the Tartar governor, who
sent us some presents, and among the rest a heifer, the beef of which
was excellent; but would not allow us to trade, or even to land on the

We sailed thence on the 29th July, passing the S.W. end of Formosa, a
large island reaching from lat. 22 deg. to 25 deg. 18' both N. and in long. 121 deg.
E. It was formerly well inhabited by the Chinese, and frequented by the
English; but the Tartars have since spoiled the harbour, lest the
Chinese should fortify themselves there. On the 6th August we came to
anchor on the east side of the northermost of the _Five Islands_, or
_Bashees_, in fifteen fathoms. These islands are from the latitude of
20 deg. 26' to 21 deg. 13' both N. and long. 121 deg. 50' E. Contrary to our
expectations, we found three or four large towns on the island at which
we anchored. The westmost of these islands, which the Dutch among us
named _Orange_ isle, is the largest, being seven or eight leagues from
N. to S. and two from E. to W. There are two other large islands to the
S. of this; the northern of which we named _Grafton_ isle, which is four
leagues from N. to S. and a league and a half from E. to W. The other,
and most southerly, we named _Monmouth_ isle, being three leagues from
N. to S. and one from E. to W. Two other isles, lying E. and W. between
Monmouth isle and the S. end of Orange isle, we called _Bashee_ isle,
from a certain liquor we drank there, and _Goat_ isle.

_Orange_ isle is the largest, but barren, rocky, and uninhabited, and
has no anchorage on its coasts. _Monmouth_ and _Grafton_ isles are both
hilly, but well inhabited. _Goat_ isle and _Bashee_ isle are flat, the
former having a town. The hills in all these isles are rocky; but the
intermediate vallies are fertile in grass, plantains, bananas,
pine-apples, pompions, sugar-canes, potatoes, and some cotton, and are
well supplied with brooks of fresh water. They are also well stored
with goats and hogs, but have hardly any fowls, either wild or tame. The
natives are short and thick, with round faces and thick eye-brows, with
hazel-coloured eyes, rather small, yet larger than those of the Chinese.
Their noses are short and low; their mouths and lips middle-sized, with
white teeth; and their hair is thick, black, and lank, which they cut
short. Their complexion is of a dark copper colour, and they go all
bare-headed, having for the most part no clothes, except a clout about
the middle, though some have jackets of plantain leaves, as rough as a
bear-skin. The women have a short petticoat of coarse calico, reaching a
little below the knees, and both sexes wear ear-rings of a yellow metal
dug from their mountains, having the weight and colour of gold, but
somewhat paler. Whether it be in reality gold or not, I cannot say, but
it looked of a fine colour at first, which afterwards faded, which made
us suspect it, and we therefore bought very little. We observed that the
natives smeared it with a red earth, and then made it red-hot in a quick
fire, which restored its former colour.

The houses of the natives are small, and hardly five feet high,
collected into villages on the sides of rocky hills, and built in three
or four rows, one above the other. These rocky precipices are framed by
nature into different ledges, or deep steps of stairs as it were, on
each of which they build a row of houses, ascending from one row to
another by means of ladders in the middle of each row, and when these
are removed they are inaccessible. They live mostly by fishing, and are
very expert in building boats, much like our Deal yawls. They have also
larger vessels, rowed by twelve or fourteen oars, two men to each bank.
They never kill any goats themselves, but feed on the guts and skins,
which last they broil after singing off the hair.[199] They also make a
dish of locusts, which come at certain seasons to devour their potatoes;
on which occasions they catch these insects in nets, and broil or bake
them in earthen pans, when they are tolerable eating. Their ordinary
drink is water; but they make also a kind of liquor of the juice of
sugar-canes, boiled up with black-berries, allowed afterwards to ferment
four or five days in jars. It then settles and becomes clear, when it
affords a strong and pleasant liquor, which they call _bashee_,
resembling our English beer both in taste and colour. I can give no
account of their language, as it has no affinity either to Chinese or
Malay. Their weapons are lances headed with iron, and they wear a kind
of armour of buffalo-hide without sleeves, reaching below their knees,
where it is three feet wide, and as stiff as a board, but close at the

[Footnote 199: This is rather inexplicable, as we cannot conceive how
they got the guts and skins without killing the goats.--E.]

I could not perceive that they had any worship, neither saw I any idols
among them. They seemed to have no government or precedency, except that
the children were very respectful to their parents. They seem, however,
to be regulated by some ancient customs, instead of laws, as we saw a
young lad buried alive, which we supposed was for being guilty of theft.
The men have each only one wife, and she and her children were very
obedient to the head of the family. The boys are brought up to fishing
along with their fathers; and the girls work along with their mothers in
the plantations in the vallies, where each family plants a piece of
ground proportional to their numbers. They are a civil quiet people, not
only among themselves, but in their intercourse with strangers; for all
the time we were here, though they came frequently aboard, exchanging
their yellow metal, goats, and fruits, for iron, we never saw them
differ either among themselves or with our men, though occasions of the
latter were not wanting. They have no coins, neither any weights or
scales, but give their pieces of yellow metal by guess. During our stay
here, we provided ourselves with seventy or eighty fat hogs, and great
plenty of potatoes, for our intended voyage to Manilla.

On the 25th September, we were forced out to sea by a violent storm,
which lasted till the 29th, when we made the best of our way back to the
Bashees, which we reached on the 1st October. This last storm so
disheartened our men, that they resolved to give up the design of
cruising before Manilla; and, by the persuasions of Captain Read, who
now commanded, and Captain Teat, our master, it was determined to sail
for Cape Comorin, and thence into the Red Sea. As the eastern monsoon
was at hand, our nearest and best way had been to pass through the
Straits of Malacca; but Teat persuaded the men to go round by the east
side of the Philippines, and thence, keeping south of the Spice islands,
to pass into the Indian ocean by the south of Timor.

We sailed from the Bashees on the 3d October, by the east of the
Philippines, and on the 15th, being to the south of Luconia, directed
our course west for Mindanao. On the 16th we anchored between two small
isles, in lat. 5 deg. 10' N. four leagues from the island of Mindanao. While
here, we learnt from a young prince of one of the isles, that Captain
Swan and some of his men were still at Mindanao, and in great esteem for
their services against the Alfoores: but I was since informed, that he
and his surgeon, when going on board a Dutch ship in the road, were
overset by the natives and drowned, by order of rajah Laut, as we
supposed, who had seized all his gold.

We sailed on the 2d November for Celebes, and anchored at its N.E. end
on the 9th. The 30th, while steering between two shoals, in lat. 3 deg. S.
ten leagues from Celebes, we saw three waterspouts towards evening. A
waterspout is a piece of a cloud hanging down in a sloping direction,
sometimes bending like a bow, but never perpendicular. Opposite to its
extremity the sea begins to foam, and the water is then seen gently
moving round in a circle, increasing to a rapid whirling motion, rising
upwards, an hundred paces in circumference at the bottom, but lessening
gradually upwards to the size of a spout, through which the sea-water
appears to be conveyed into the cloud, as is manifest by its blackness
and increase of bulk. After this the cloud, which was before immoveable,
drives along for half an hour, accompanied by the spout. When the
sucking is over, and breaks off, all the water which was below the
spout, or pendulous cloud, falls again into the sea with a terrible
clashing noise. These spouts are, however, more frightful than

We had sight of the Isle of Bouton on the 1st December, and anchored
there on the 5th, where we staid till the 11th, procuring eggs, fowls,
potatoes, and other provisions from the natives, who are Mahometans, and
speak the Malay language. Continuing our voyage, we saw the N.W. point
of Timor on the 28th, and on the 29th stood S. towards New Holland,
which we fell in with on the 4th January, 1688, in lat. 16 deg. 50' S. _New
Holland_ is a vast tract of land, but whether island or continent is
hitherto unknown.[200] We anchored at a point of land, three leagues to
the east of which is a deep bay. The land was low and sandy, the points
only excepted, which were rocky, as were some islands in the bay. We
found here no fresh water, except by digging. There were various trees,
and among these the tree producing dragon's-blood. We saw no
fruit-trees, nor so much as the track of any animal, except one footstep
of a beast, which seemed the size of a large mastiff. There were a few
land-birds, but none bigger than a black-bird, and scarcely any
sea-fowl; neither did the sea afford any fish, except tortoises and
manatees,[201] both of which are in vast plenty.

[Footnote 200: It is now known to be a vast island, stretching from the
lat. of 11 deg. 40' to 38 deg. 40', both S. and from long. 109 deg. 40' to 154 deg. 50'
both E. being 1870 miles from N. to S. and 2400 miles from E. to W.]

[Footnote 201: The Lamentin, or Trichechus Manatus australis of

The inhabitants are the most miserable wretches in the universe, having
no houses or coverings but the heavens, and no garments except a piece
of the bark of a tree tied round the waist. They have no sheep, poultry,
or fruits, and subsist wretchedly on a few shell-fish, such as cockles,
muscles, and periwinkles, living without any government or order, and
cohabit promiscuously like brutes. Their bodies are straight, thin, and
strong-limbed, having great heads and eye-brows, with round foreheads.
Their eye-lids are constantly half closed, to keep out flies, which are
here very numerous and troublesome. They have large bottle noses, thick
lips, and wide mouth; and both men and women, young and old, wanted the
two front teeth of the upper jaw. They have no beards, and their hair is
short and curled like the negroes, their complexion being equally black
with them. Their weapons are a kind of wooden swords or clubs, and long
straight poles sharpened at one end. Of their language I can only say
that they speak much in the throat. We landed several times, and brought
the natives to some degree of familiarity with us, by giving them some
old clothes, but could never prevail on them to assist us in carrying
water or any other thing, as they seemed quite averse from labour.

We sailed hence on the 12th March, and on the 7th April got sight of
Sumatra, whence we directed our course for the Nicobar islands, which we
came in sight of on the 4th May, and anchored next day in a small bay at
the N. end of the island of Nicobar Proper, in lat. 7 deg. 30' N. This
island produces plenty of cocoa-nuts, and _mallories_, a fruit as large
as the bread-fruit of Guam, which the natives boil in covered jars.

Mr Hall, Mr Ambrose, and I, being desirous to leave the unruly crew
among whom we had sailed so long, were set ashore at this island,
intending to proceed for Acheen. We accordingly left this island on the
5th May, accompanied by four Malays and a Portuguese, in a Nicobar
canoe, not much bigger than one of the London wherries used below
bridge. On the 18th we had a violent storm, when we expected every
moment to be swallowed up by the waves; but on the 19th, to our great
joy, we saw _Pulo Way_, near the N.W. end of Sumatra, as was supposed,
but it turned out to be the golden mountain of Sumatra, and at length
arrived at Acheen in June. In July I went with Captain Weldon to
Tonquin, and returned to Acheen in April, 1689. In September of that
year I went to Malacca, and came back about Christmas, 1690. Soon after
I went to Fort St George or Madras, where I remained five months, and
came back to Bencoolen, an English factory on the west coast of Sumatra.

Before relating my return to England, it may be proper to give some
account of _Jeoly_, the painted prince, who afterwards died at Oxford.
He was purchased along with his mother at Mindanao by Mr Moody; and when
Mr Moody and I went together to Bencoolen, he gave me at parting half
the property of this painted prince and his mother, leaving them to my
care. They were born in the island of _Meangis_, which abounds in gold,
cloves, and nutmegs, as he afterwards told me. He was curiously painted,
down the breast, behind, between the shoulders, and most of all on the
fore part of his thighs, in the nature of flower-work. By what I could
understand, this painting was done by pricking the skin, and rubbing in
the gum of a tree called _damurer_, used instead of pitch in some parts
of India. He told me, that the natives of his country wore gold
ear-rings, and golden bracelets about their arms and legs; their food
being potatoes, fowls, and fish. He told me also, that being one day in
a canoe with his father and mother, they were taken by some fishers
belonging to Mindanao, who sold them to the interpreter of Rajah Laut,
with whom he and his mother lived as slaves for five years, and were
then sold for fifty dollars to Mr Moody. Some time afterwards, Mr Moody
gave me the entire property of both, but the mother soon died, and I had
much ado to save the son. After my arrival in the Thames, being in want
of money, I first sold part of my property in Prince Jeoly, and by
degrees all the rest. He was afterwards carried about and shewn for
money, and at last died of the small-pox at Oxford.

During my stay at Bencoolen I served as gunner of the fort; but when my
time was expired, I embarked with my painted prince in the Defence,
Captain Heath, in order to return to England. We sailed on the 25th
January, 1691, in company with three other ships, and arrived at the
Cape of Good Hope in the beginning of April. After a stay of six weeks,
we set sail on the 13th May for St Helena, where we arrived on the 20th
June. We left this island on the 2d July, and came to anchor in the
Downs on the 16th September, 1691, after an absence of twelve years and
a half from my native country.




This voyage has usually passed under the name of Captain William
Dampier; but as he proceeded only to the South Seas, and the
circumnavigation was entirely completed by Mr William Funnell, who
sailed originally as his mate, it seemed proper to place his name in the
title of the voyage, instead of that of Captain Dampier, with whom, in
this voyage, we have much less to do. It is just however to state, that
it was on the credit of Captain Dampier, and in expectation that he
would be able to do great things against the Spaniards in the South Sea,
that this expedition was undertaken. The point aimed at was plunder,
rather than discovery, yet there was something remarkable done even in
this way; and the unknown islands met with by Mr Funnell, in his passage
between the South Sea and India, strongly confirmed the reports of
former navigators, of large, populous, and well-cultivated countries in
those parts.[203] The narrative of Funnell also is well digested, and
may be read with much satisfaction, as giving a fair and agreeable
account of his adventures.

[Footnote 202: Funnel's narrative in Dampier's Voyages, vol. IV. pp.
1.--208. Harris, I. 131. Callender, III. 66. and III. 145.]

[Footnote 203: All these fancies are now shewn to be imaginary.--E.]

This expedition was undertaken at the beginning of the Succession war,
in the reign of Queen Anne; and high expectations were raised from it,
of performing great exploits against the Spaniards, who had accepted the
Duke of Anjou as their king. The merchants believed that a very
profitable expedition might be made into these parts, with a reasonable
force, where the buccaneers, with small and ill-provided vessels, had
performed such extraordinary things; and therefore, having obtained the
best information they could as to the proper manner of accomplishing the
design, they cheerfully contributed to the expences necessary for the
purpose. With this view, they at first fitted out two ships of 26 guns
and 120 men each, which were designed for the South Seas. One of these
was named the St George, commanded by Captain William Dampier, in which
Mr William Funnell sailed as chief mate. The other was the Fame,
commanded by Captain John Pulling. Both ships were amply supplied with
warlike stores, and well victualled for nine months; and had commissions
from Prince George, the queen's husband, lord-high-admiral, to proceed
against the French and Spaniards; and the officers and crews of both
were hired on the principles of sharing in the expedition, _no purchase
no pay_.

While they lay in the Downs, some difference arose between the two
captains, on which Captain Pulling went away with his ship, the Fame,
intending to cruize among the Canary Islands, and never afterwards
joined. Before sailing on the originally-proposed expedition, Dampier
was joined by a small ship, the Cinque-ports galley, Captain Charles
Pickering, of ninety tons, carrying 16 guns and 63 men, well victualled
and provided for the voyage. The original plan of the voyage was to go
first up the Rio Plata, as high as Buenos Ayres, in order to capture two
or three Spanish galleons, which Dampier alledged were usually there. If
this part of the expedition succeeded, so as to get to the value of
about 600,000_l_. it was to be proceeded in no farther; but if his first
object failed, they were then to cruize on the coast of Peru, to
intercept the ships which bring gold from Baldivia to Lima. Should this
again fail of success, they were to attempt some rich towns, as Dampier
might direct. After this, they were to go to the coast of Mexico, at
that time of the year when the great galleon usually comes from Manilla
to Acapulco, which is commonly reported to be worth fourteen millions of

On their arrival at Madeira, learning that the galleons from Buenos
Ayres had already arrived in safety at Teneriffe, that part of the
expedition was laid aside. "How well we pursued the latter part of our
instructions, the subsequent history of our voyage will sufficiently
declare; in recording which I have used the greatest sincerity,
narrating every thing exactly in the manner in which it happened, and
setting down all that appeared worthy of notice, with all truth and
plainness: so that I flatter myself the whole will be found useful, and
that the latter part especially will be esteemed new, curious, and
interesting, as it contains many things not before published or

[Footnote 204: This introduction is from the pen of Harris; and the last
paragraph, marked by inverted commas, is given in the words of


_Narrative of the Voyage, till the Separation of Funnell from Dampier._

We sailed from the Downs on the 30th April, 1703, and anchored on the
18th May at Kinsale, in Ireland. We here refitted and victualled our
ship, and were joined by the Cinque-ports, and left Kinsale on the 11th
September. We reached Madeira on the 25th, where we did not come to
anchor, but plied off and on for our boats, which were sent ashore for
necessaries. By a good observation, I made this island to be in lat 32 deg.
20' N. and long. by my account, 18 deg. 5' W. from London.[205] October 6th,
we saw Mayo, one of the Cape de Verd islands, in lat. 15 deg. 12' N. long.
23 deg. 20' W. off which we plied all night; but the surf ran so high that
we durst not send our boats ashore for salt. We accordingly bore up next
day for St Jago, and anchored at noon of the 7th in Prior bay [Port
Praya] in that island. This is one of the most fruitful of the Cape Verd
Islands, abounding in hogs, poultry, guinea fowl, monkeys, maiz,
oranges, lemons, dates, water-melons, plantains, bananas, and other
fruits, having good water, but troublesome to get at, and wood is very
dear. The inhabitants of this island were formerly Portuguese, banished
thither for murders, thefts, and other crimes; but are now mostly all
black, in consequence of these men having issue by their female slaves,
which were Guinea negroes. Yet they still retain the vices of their
progenitors, thieving being more common here than in any place I ever
visited, insomuch that they will take a man's hat from his head at noon
day and in the midst of company. In trading with them, it is necessary
not to let them have your goods before theirs are delivered, or you are
sure to lose them. We here watered and refreshed ourselves; and here a
disagreement took place between Captain Dampier and his
first-lieutenant, who was turned ashore at midnight, with his chest and
servant. At four next morning, being the 13th October, we sailed from St
Jago, not fully resolved where next to touch at.

[Footnote 205: Lat. 32 deg. 33' N. long. 17 deg. 5' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

On the 22d October we caught four fish; a shark, a dolphin, a
jelly-fish, and an old-wife. The shark and dolphin are well known, and
need not be described in this place. The _Jelly-fish_ was about fourteen
inches long and two inches deep, having sharp teeth, a sparkling eye,
and long extended mouth. It has a prodigiously high fin on its back, of
a slimy substance, except that its rays, which are thirty-two in number,
are firm and stiff. It has also one small fin under the throat, of the
same slimy substance with the large one on its back. The greater part of
the body is of a silver colour, with numerous small dark spots and
circular bands, all the rest of its substance being a green jelly-like
substance, whence the name. The _Old-wife_ is about two feet long and
nine inches high in the back, having a small mouth, a large eye, and a
large broad fin beginning at the hinder part of the head, and reaching
to the tail. It has also a large broad fin on each side near the gills,
and a pretty large one under the belly. The body is deep blue, and the
fins a very light blue, tipt with yellow. The head has many spots, and
the body is regularly streaked longways.

We passed the equator on the 2d November, about forty-five leagues west
from the meridian of St Jago. On the 8th, in lat. 10 deg. 20' S. we saw
three small islands on the coast of Brazil, called the islands of St
Ann, not above a stone's throw from each other, and very full of wood,
as is the whole coast of Brazil. These islands are about four miles from
the main, and are much troubled with southerly winds, which blow in
gusts, so that ships ought here to lay their best anchor to the south,
and all little enough sometimes for their safety. They produce nothing
except wood, and are frequented by vast flocks of sea fowl, called
boobies by our sailors. The _booby_ is about the size of a duck, some
entirely white and others grey, having feet like a duck, and subsist
mostly on flying-fishes, which they catch while in the air. I have made
many a meal on these birds, but it was for want of other victuals, for
they taste very fishy, and are apt to make one sick, if not previously
well salted. They are so silly, when weary of flying, that they will
light upon your hand, if held out to them.

We anchored at the island of _Le Grand_, in lat, 23 deg. 30' S.[206] on the
24th of November. This is a very woody island, on which are several good
springs of water. It is about nine miles in circuit, and three miles
from the main, the woods being infested with many savage animals, which
make a most hideous noise in the night. It produces sugar, rum, and
several kinds of fruits, but all very dear, on account of supplying the
town of St Paul with necessaries. _St Paul_ is 300 miles inland from Le
Grand; but by the vast high mountains which are between, it is reckoned
a distance of sixty days journey. Near St Paul there is said to be a
gold mine, which is accounted the richest hitherto known. We here
wooded, watered, and refitted our ships; and our new first-lieutenant,
falling out with the captain, went ashore, together with eight of our
men, and left us. Here also Charles Pickering, captain of the
Cinque-ports, departed this life, and was succeeded in the command by
his first-lieutenant, Mr Thomas Stradling. At this island there are good
fish of various sorts, one of which, called the _Silver-fish_, is about
twenty inches long, and eight deep, from back to belly, having five
small fins immediately behind the head, and one large fin from the last
of these to the tail; one middle-sized fin on each side near the gills,
and a large fin from the middle of the belly to the tail, which last is
half-moon shaped. The eyes are large, the nostrils wide, and the mouth
small. It is a thin fish, and full of bones, of a fine transparent
white, like silver.

[Footnote 206: Isla Grande is only in lat 30 deg. N. and St Paul's, stated
in the text, as 300 miles distant, is hardly 200, and is at within
twenty-five miles of the coast farther south.--E.]

Leaving the isle of Le Grand on the 8th December, we passed the islands
of Sebalt de Weert[207] [_Falklands_] on the 29th. In lat. 57 deg. 50' S. we
had a terrible storm, in which we lost company of our consort, the
Cinque-ports, on the 4th January, 1704. When in lat 60 deg. 51' S. on the
20th, believing we had sufficiently passed Cape Horn, we tacked to the
N. and got sight of the island of _Mocha_ on the 4th February. This
island is in lat. 38 deg. 20' S. twenty miles from the coast of Chili, and
is well inhabited by Indians, who are always at war with the Spaniards,
and indeed with all white men, because they consider them all as
Spaniards. It is a high island, four leagues long, having many shoals
on its west side, which extend a league or more out to sea. It is about
112 miles to the northward of Baldivia.

[Footnote 207: Called Sibbil de Ward Islands in the narrative of

We saw the island of Juan Fernandez on the 7th February, and on the
10th, while passing the great bay, we saw the Cinque-ports, which had
arrived three days before. We accordingly anchored in the great bay, in
thirty-five fathoms. At this island we wooded, watered, and refitted our
ships, giving them a heel to clean their sides as low as we could, which
took up much time, and occasioned both companies to be much on shore. In
this island there are abundance of cabbage-trees, which are excellent,
though small. The cabbage-tree, which is a species of palm, has a small
straight stem, often ninety to one hundred feet long, with many knots or
joints, about four inches asunder, like a bamboo-cane. It has no leaves
except at the top, in the midst of which the substance called cabbage is
contained, which, when boiled, is as good as any garden cabbage. The
branches of this tree we commonly twelve or thirteen feet in length, and
at about a foot and a half from the tree the leaves begin, which are
about four feet long and an inch and a half broad, the leaves growing so
regularly that the whole branch seems one entire leaf. The cabbage, when
cut out from among the roots of the branches, is usually a foot long and
six inches diameter, and as white as milk. From the bottom of the
cabbage there spring out several large bunches of berries, like grapes,
each bunch being five or six pounds weight. The berries are red, and
about the size of cherries, each having a large stone in the middle, and
the pulp tastes like that of haws.

The sea-lion is so called, as I suppose, because he roars somewhat like
a lion, and his head also has some resemblance to that animal, having
four large teeth in front, all the rest being short, thick, and stubbed.
Instead of feet and legs, he has four fins; the two foremost serving
him, when he goes ashore, to raise the fore part of the body, and he
then draws the hind part after him. The two hinder fins are of no use on
land, but only when in the water. This animal is very fat, for which
reason we killed several of them, from which we made a ton of oil for
our lamps; and, while at this island, made use of it also for frying our
fish. They have short light-coloured hair while young, becoming sandy
when old. Their food is fish, and they prey altogether in the water, but
come on land to sleep, when five, six, or more of them huddle together
like swine, and will often lie still three or four days, if not
molested. They are much afraid of men, and make off as fast as they can
into the water. If hard pressed, they will turn about, raising their
bodies on their fore fins, and face you with their mouths wide open, so
that we used to clap a pistol to their mouth, and fire down their
throat. Sometimes five or six of us would surround one of these
monsters, each having a half pike, and so prick him till he died, which
commonly was the sport of two or three hours.

While we were at this island, a difference took place between Captain
Stradling and his men, which was at last compromised by Captain Dampier.
On the 29th February we descried a sail, on which all hands hurried on
board, and we slipped our cables and stood out to sea. The Frenchman,
for so he afterwards proved, immediately tacked and stood from us, while
we followed the chase with all sail, and got up with him about eleven at
night, but did not deem it convenient to engage till day. During the
chase our pinnace towed under water, and was cut adrift. Captain
Stradling's boat also got loose, in which were a man and a dog.

At sun-rise next morning, 1st March, we began to engage the French ship,
which was of about 400 tons burden, and thirty guns, well manned. We
fought her very close, broadside to broadside, for seven hours; and then
a small gale springing up, she sheered off. In this action our consort
only fired ten or twelve guns at the commencement, when she dropt
astern, and never again came up during the whole fight, in which we had
nine men slain and several wounded. We were desirous to have had another
trial with the Frenchman, knowing it would be of bad consequences to let
him go, as he would discover our being in these seas to the Spaniards;
but our captain opposed this, saying, he knew where he could get to the
value of 500,000_l_. at any time. So we concluded to return to Juan
Fernandez, to get our anchors, long boats, and several tons of water
already casked, together with a ton of sea-lion oil, which we had left
there. Captain Stradling also had left five of his men, who were gone to
the west part of the island, and knew nothing of our going away after
the enemy. He had also left all his sails, besides those at the yards,
and a great many other stores.

We had then the wind at S. directly off Juan Fernandez, so that it was
difficult to go there; and while beating up we saw two sail, to which
the Cinque-ports was very near, and they fired several shots at her, but
she rowed away to us, and reported them to be two French ships of about
36 guns each; on which the two captains thought it convenient to bear
away for the coast of Peru, leaving Captain Stradling's five men, with
his other stores, which he could ill spare, and now we had neither of us
any boats. We accordingly stood for the coast of Peru on the 6th March,
and fell in with it on the 11th, in lat. 24 deg. 53' S.[208] The land here
was very high, having three distinct ranges of hills behind each other,
that nearest the water the lowest, and the farthest off the highest. We
coasted along shore to the northward, and passed the port of _Capaipo_
on the 14th, said to be a very good harbour, fenced from almost all
winds. The land is here inhabited by Indians, who make good wines; and
it is said to abound in good meat, corn, and other provisions, and from
this port they export wine, money, and other goods for Coquimbo. We
would willingly have gone ashore for refreshments, but could not for
want of boats.

[Footnote 208: There must be a material error here, as they afterwards,
in sailing along the coast _to the northwards_, passed Copaipo, which is
in lat. 27 deg. 13' S. and they consequently must have fallen in with the
coast of Chili, improperly named Peru in the text, considerably farther

Continuing along the coast, which is the highest and most mountainous I
ever saw, we were surprised, on the 19th of March, to see the waves
changed to a red colour for seven or eight leagues, though on sounding
we had no ground at 170 fathoms; but on drawing up some of the water, we
found the colour owing to a vast quantity of fish-spawn, swimming on the
surface. We were now in lat. 16 deg. 11' S. having passed the three famous
ports of Arica, Ylo, and Arequipa. The 22d March we were off the
harbour of Callao de Lima, when we saw two ships steering for that port,
to which we gave chase, and soon came up with the sternmost, which
proved to be the ship we had fought with off the island of Juan
Fernandez. We were very eager to stop her from going in, to prevent the
Spaniards from having intelligence of us, and hindering their merchant
ships from putting to sea, and did not question our taking her, being
all now in health; whereas on the former occasion, between twenty and
thirty of our men were very sick and weak. But Captain Dampier was
averse to attack her; and while the matter was disputing, both ships got
into the port of Lima, from whence twenty ships such as ours could not
have forced them out. This proceeding gave great offence to most of the
crew, and might have proved of bad consequence, had we not taken two
very considerable prizes a few days afterwards, one of 150 and the other
of 200 tons. We took out of these every thing that we thought useful,
and then dismissed them.

The 5th of April, we began to prepare for the great exploit our captain
meditated, of landing on the coast and plundering some rich city; for
which purpose our carpenters were ordered to fit up the launches or long
boats we had taken from our prizes, so as to land our men in safety, and
to fit two swivels in each launch. On the 11th we took a bark of fifty
tons, laden with plank and cordage, as if sent on purpose for our
present service. This was in sight of _Gallo_, under which island we
anchored next day with our prize, which we kept to use in the intended
enterprise. The island of _Gallo_ is in lat. 2 deg. 45' N. long. 76 deg. 38' W.
from London,[209] and about five leagues from the main; being two
leagues long and one league broad. When approached from the south, it
shews three hummocks which seem at a distance as three separate islands,
the land between being very low; but when to the N.W. of the S. end you
will see a small island, or rock rather, resembling a ship under sail.
From this island the main land is in sight, being very low near the sea,
but prodigiously high up the country. We anchored off the N.W. part of
this island, two cables length from the shore, in thirty-five fathoms on
hard sand, the N. point bearing N. 1/2 W. and the S. point S.W. The
watering place goes in with a full gap, over which, on the hill, is a
plain spot of red earth, bearing N.W. 1/2 N. but there are several other
good watering places in the island. The best anchorage is on the N.E.
part at _Legnetta_, where a ship may wood and water quite secure from
any enemy. The island is very woody, affording large timber, which is
often shipped hence for Peru. There are here a few wild monkeys, with
abundance of lizards; among which is one called the _lion-lizard_, about
the size of a man's arm, one that I measured being three feet eleven
inches from the head to the end of the tail. It has a kind of large comb
on its head, standing up like a helmet, as if to defend its head, and
when attacked it erects this comb, which otherwise lies in a deep groove
on the head, just fitted for its reception, so that it can hardly be
seen when down. This animal has very large eyes, and a large mouth, in
which are a great many small sharp teeth. The skin is rough and of a
dark colour, full of black, yellow, and bluish spots. It runs very
swift, yet our dog caught many of them.

[Footnote 209: Lat. 1 deg. 56' N. long. 78 deg. 50' W. from Greenwich.--E.]

After remaining here five days, we began to hoist our anchors to set
sail, when we discovered a ship standing in for the island, which we
took. She was a small vessel of fifty tons, commanded by a Mestizo, on
board of which we found a Guernsey man, who had been taken by the
Spaniards, while cutting logwood in the Bay of Campeachy above two years
before, and must have continued a prisoner during life if we had not
released him. On sailing from Gallo, our purpose was to attack the town
of Santa Maria, not far from this on the continent to the E. expecting
there to have found a great quantity of gold, brought thither from the
adjacent mines of the same name. But this design miscarried, whether
from fear, confusion, or the enemy having early intelligence of our
motions, which enabled them to cut off many of our men. This, however,
is certain, that we were quite sick of our fruitless attempts on shore
by the 1st May, and immediately re-embarked. We were now so short of
provisions, that five boiled green plantains were allotted for six men;
but, when almost out both of hope and patience, a vessel came and
anchored close beside us at midnight, which we took without resistance.
This proved a most valuable prize, being a ship of 150 tons, laden with
flour, sugar, brandy, wine, about thirty tons marmalade of quinces, a
considerable quantity of salt, and several tons of linen and woollen
cloth; so that we had now a sufficient supply of provisions even for
four or five years. I was put aboard of this prize on behalf of Captain
Dampier and his company, and the master of the Cinque-ports, in behalf
of Captain Stradling and his crew.

We carried our prize into the Bay of Panama, and anchored under the
island of Tobago on the 14th of May. Here Captains Dampier and Stradling
disagreed, and the quarrel proceeded to such length, that they could not
be reconciled, so that at last it was determined to part company, all
the men being at liberty to go with which captain they pleased, in
consequence of which five of our men went over to Captain Stradling, and
five of his men came to us. We were now informed by the prisoners, that
there were 80,000 dollars on board our prize, which had been taken on
board at Lima clandestinely, and were concealed at the bottom of the
hold in the run of the ship. But Captain Dampier would not credit this,
neither would he wait till we should rummage her to the bottom, lest
delay might mar his great designs. Having, therefore, taken on board a
quantity of provisions from the prize, she was dismissed; and we set
sail in the St George on the 19th May, leaving the Cinque-ports behind,
intending again to proceed for the coast of Peru.

We took a vessel of 120 tons on the 7th June, bound from Truxillo for
Panama, and laden with flour, sugar, brandy, and other articles, with
some bales of flowered silk. In her we found a packet of letters, and
the first of these we happened to read was from the captain of the ship
we had fought off Juan Fernandez, and fell in with again going into
Callao. It was directed to the president of Panama, and stated, "That he
had fought with two English privateers off Juan Fernandez, the smaller
having only fired eight or ten guns at him, and then fell astern and did
not come up again during the fight, as he believed for want of wind;
while the large ship fought him yard-arm and yard-arm for more than six
hours, killed a great many of his men, and wounded such numbers, that he
had landed thirty-two at Lima, each of whom had lost a leg, an arm, or
an eye, and he had been nearly taken, as at parting they had given
themselves over for lost, not having a sufficient number of men left to
defend themselves." By other letters, we learnt that the two French
ships we afterwards saw near Juan Fernandez had picked up a boat at sea,
in which were an Englishman and a dog; had been in at the island of Juan
Fernandez, and had taken up our anchors, cables, and long-boats, with
all Captain Stradling's stores, as also his five men and our negro who
were left there. We learnt also, that the Spaniards had fitted out two
men of war against us, one of thirty-two, and the other thirty-six brass
guns, all twenty-four pounders, each having 350 sailors and 150
soldiers, all picked men, and had been cruizing for us in the Bay of
Guayaquil, between point St Helena and Cape Blanco, from the 7th to the

We were forced to go under an easy sail, as our prize sailed very
heavily, wherefore we went into _Sardinas_ Bay, in lat. 1 deg. 20' N. where
we anchored with our prize in ten fathoms, about four miles from the
shore, for the purpose of rummaging her. We durst not go farther in,
because of many shoals and sand-banks, which were very imperfectly laid
down in all our charts. The sea-coast is inhabited by Indians, but not
in any great numbers, and has several small fresh-water rivers. From
hence, all the way south, till we came to the Bay of _Atacarnes_, in
lat. 0 deg. 54' N. the sea-side is composed of white cliffs; and there are
many shoals as far as _Punta de la Galera_, in lat. 0 deg. 48' N. Six
leagues S.W. of Sardinas Bay is the great river of St Jago, the mouth of
which is about three quarters of a mile wide, but has no good anchorage
till well within. This river is seldom used by ships, being out of the
way, yet the country here produces abundant provisions of all sorts. We
careened our ship and rummaged our prize in the Bay of Sardinas, and
watered at one of the fresh-water rivers, which was as white as milk,
and both smelt and tasted very strong of musk, occasioned by many
alligators swimming in it. We shot several of these creatures, one of
which measured thirty feet in length, and was bigger about than a

The alligator is covered over with great scales from head to tail,
having very large sharp teeth, and very long claws. It is amphibious,
living both on land and in the water, and when lying on shore is often
mistaken at a distance for a great tree fallen down. It runs very fast
on the land, and is of such strength that one of them will take a horse
or a cow into the water, and there devour it. They will seize on any
thing, either on land or in the water, and often make great havock among
cattle near their haunts, which are usually in fresh-water rivers. The
Indians are not greatly afraid of them, either on land or in the water.
In the former case, they run in circles, and this unwieldy animal is
unable to turn his body quickly, so that they easily get away from them.
The Indians also go into the water to seek them, taking in one hand a
piece of iron pointed and baited at both ends, with two cross pieces a
little below the points. Holding this iron by the middle, when the
alligator rises to bite, which he always does with, the head above
water, the Indian holds out the iron to him which he snaps at, and it
fastens in his mouth, keeping his jaws open like a gag. The female lays
about 100 eggs at a time, as large as goose eggs; but quite spherical,
and having shells as thick almost as those of an ostrich. The flesh of
the alligator is not fit to be eaten, being very strong and musky; and
the very water of the rivers they frequent was so strong of musk that a
draught of it was like to suffocate us, yet there are no instances of
its being injurious to health.

Being off the Bay of Guayaquil on the 21st June, we saw a ship, and came
up with her next day, being one of the Spanish men of war fitted out to
take us, carrying thirty-two guns. We did all we could to gain the
weather-gage, but carrying away our fore-top-mast, were obliged to come
to action from the leeward, so that she kept a good distance from us,
and we could not use our small arms. Dividing our crew into two equal
parts, one managed the guns while the other looked on, and when those at
the guns were weary, the others took their places, alternately
refreshing those who were not employed, by which means we fired much
faster than the enemy, making about 560 discharges, while they only made
110 or 115. We thus fought from noon till half past six, though at such
distance that our shot would hardly reach him, while his flew over us.
Growing dusk, both ceased firing, none of our men being either killed or
wounded, and only two through carelessness had their hands and faces
scorched. We lay-to all night, expecting in the morning to renew the
fight; but he had made sail from us in the night.

We now returned to the Bay of Atacames in search of provisions, for
which purpose we sent our boat ashore with twenty men, who soon
returned, saying they had found an Indian village of fifty houses, but
the inhabitants were all fled and had left nothing behind. In the river
we found a fine bark of about fifty tons, with as much new plank in her
as would have built another of equal size; and we took another of about
ten tons, laden with plantains. This we resolved to retain, instead of a
long-boat. She had two masts and two square-sails, and having fitted her
for our purpose, we called her the Dragon. The country in the
neighbourhood of this bay is very pleasant, being well wooded and
watered. About seven leagues to the N.E. is the Bay of _St Mattheo_, the
land about it being very high, and there are many shoals about it,
running two leagues out to sea. For three or four leagues the water is
only from four fathoms to six, and this bay has white cliffs both to the
north and south. In the bottom of the bay there are two rivers running
into the sea, both of which are what the seamen call _alligator water_,
that is, white and musky as before described. On each side of these
rivers there are shoals of sand; and near their mouths are fine groves
of tall spreading green trees, which are the marks by which they may be
found, as their mouths are narrow, and not discernible at a distance.
These rivers are seldom frequented by the Spaniards, except for
refreshments, for which they are well adapted, as all the adjoining
country abounds with every kind of provisions that this part of the
world produces. About two leagues up these rivers there are several
Indian villages, who furnish the Spanish ships which come here with
cocoa-nuts, plantains, bananas, and other kinds of fruit.

The _cocoa-tree_ is generally from fifty to an hundred feet high, and
for the most part straight and slender. The leaves are four fathoms, or
four and a half long, at the very top of the tree, and serve excellently
for thatching houses. At the bottom of the leaves the cocoa nuts grow in
clusters of ten, fifteen, or twenty, hanging by a small string which is
full of joints. Each nut, with its outer rind, is larger than a man's
head, and within this outer rind is a hard woody shell which will hold
near a quart of liquid. The nut or kernel lines the inside of this
shell, and within this kernel is about a pint and half of pure clear
water, very cool, sweet, and pleasant. The kernel also is very good and
pleasant; but when old, we scrape it all down, and soak it in about a
quart of fresh water for three or four hours, which is then strained,
and has both the colour and taste of milk, and will even throw up a
thick head not unlike cream. This milk, when boiled with rice, is
accounted very wholesome and nourishing by the doctors, and was given to
our sick men. When the nut is very old, the kernel of itself turns to
oil, which is often used to fry with, but mostly for burning in lamps.
The outer end of the nuts may be applied to the purposes of flax, and of
it the natives make a kind of linen, and it is also manufactured into
ropes and cables, which are sold in most parts of America and the West
Indies. The shell of this nut makes very pretty drinking cups, and it
also burns well, making a fierce hot fire. Thus the cocoa-tree affords
meat, drink, oil, clothing, houses, firing, and rigging for ships.

The _plantain-tree_ is only about thirteen or fourteen feet high and
four feet round, its leaves being eight or nine feet long and two broad,
ending in a round point. The fruit grows at the bottom of the leaves, on
a great stalk, in a pod about eight inches long and the size of a black
pudding, being of a fine yellow colour, often speckled with red. The
inside of this is white, but the plantain itself is yellow like butter,
and as soft as a pear. There sometimes grow fifty or sixty of these pods
on one stalk, and five or six stalks on one tree. They are an excellent
fruit, and most parts of the East and West Indies abound with them. The
_banana_ tree is much the same with the plantain, but the fruit is only
about six inches long, fifty or sixty of them growing on one stalk, and
is extraordinarily mellow, sweet, and good.

We left the bay of Atacames on the 31st July, accompanied by our prize
the Dragon, and passing the Bay of Panama, came to the Bay of Nicoya on
the 16th August, in lat 9 deg. 30'N. in which we anchored near certain
islands near the centre of the bay, called Middle Islands, where we
careened. While here, Mr Clippington, the chief mate, having quarrelled
with Captain Dampier, drew over twenty-one men to his party, and making
himself master of the bark, in which was all our ammunition and the best
part of our provisions, hoisted anchor, and went without the islands,
whence he sent us word that he would put ashore at an Indian house all
our powder, shot, and other ammunition, reserving only what was
necessary for his own use, which he did accordingly, and we sent our
canoes to fetch it on board.

These islands in the Bay of Nicoya are extremely pleasant and fruitful,
abounding in all things necessary for life, such as birds of various
kinds, several sorts of fish, and amphibious animals, particularly
turtles and guanas. Among the birds is a very beautiful one called the
_Maccaw_, having feathers of all the colours of the rainbow. It is in
shape like a large parrot, with a white bill, and black legs and feet.
The _carrion crow_ is as big as a small turkey, which it perfectly

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