« PreviousContinue »
T R A V E L S.
P AH T II.
A Voyage to B R O 6 D I » g N A G.
'A great Storm described, the. Long- Beat sent tt fetch Water, the Author goes with it to disco
ver the Country. He is left en Shore, is seized by one of the Natives, and carried to a
Farmer's House. His Reception there, with several Accidents that happened there, A Description of the Inhabitants.
HAVING been condemned by Nature and Fortune to an active and restless Lise, in two Months aster my Return, I again left my native Country, and took Shipping in the Doraw on the 20th Day of June i702, in the Adventure, Capt. John Nicholas, a Corni/h Man, Commander, bound for Surat. We had a very prosperous Gale till we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, where we landed for fresh Water, but, discovering a Leak, we unshipped our Goods, and wintered there'; for, the Captain falling sick of an Ague, we could not leave the Cape till the End of March. We then set Sail, and had a good Voyage till we passed the 5'freights of Madagascar; but G having %^ A V o T A g £
having got Northward of that Island, and to about five Degrees Sooth Latitude, the Winds, which in those Seas are observed to blow a constant equal Gale between the North and West, from the Beginning ofDe.-eir.iir, to the Beginning of May, on the Qth of April began to blow with m uch greater Violence, and more Westerly than usual, continuing so for twenty Days together, during which Time, we were driven a little to the East of the Molucca Islands, and about three Degrees Northward of the Line, as our Captain found by an Observation he took the zd of May, at which Time the Wind ceased, and it was a persect Calm, whereat I was not a little rejoiced. But he, being a Man experienced in the Navigation of those Seas, bid us all prepare against a Storm, which accordingly happened the Day following r For a Southern Wind, called the Southern Monsoon, began to set in.
Finding it was like to overblow, we took in onr Sprit-fail, and stood by to hand the Fore-fail; but, making foul Weather, we looked the Guns were all fast, and handed the Missen. The Ship lay very broad off, so we thought it better spooning before the Sea, than trying or bulling. We reeft the Fore-fail and set him, we hawled ast the Foresheet ; the Helm was hard a Weather.. The Ship wore bravely. We belayed the Foretdown-ball; but the Sail was split, and we hawled down the Yard, and got the Sail into the Ship, and unbound all (the Things clear of it. It was a very sierce Storm; the Sea broke strange and dangerous. We hawled off upon the Lanniard of theWhipstaff, and helped the Man at the Helm. We would not get down our Top-mast, but let all stand, because she scudded before the Sea very well, and we knew that,
the .the Top-mast being aloft, the Ship was the wholsbmer, and made better Way thro' the Sea, seeing we had Sea room. When the Storm was over, Xvc set Fore-fail and Main-fail, and brought the Ship to. Then we set the Missen, Main top-fail, and the Fore-top-fail. Our Course was East North-east, the Wind was at South-west. We got the Star-board Tacks a-board, we call off our Weather Braces and Lists; we set in the Leebraces, and hawled forward by the Weather-bowlings, and hawled them right, and belayed them, and hawled over the Missen-tack to Windward, and kept her sull and by as near as she would lie.
During this Storm, which was followed by a strong Wind West South-west, we were carried by iny Computation, about five hundred Leagues to the £astt so that the oldest Sailor a-board could not tell in what Part of the World we were. Our Provisions held out well, our Ship was staunch, and our Crew all in good Health; but we lay in the utmost Distress for Water. We thought it best to hold on the fame Course, rather than turn more Northerly, which might have brought us to the North-west Parts of great Tartary, and into the Frozen Sea.
On the 16th Day of June, 1703, a Boy on the Top-mast discovered Land. On the 17th, we came in sull View of a great Island or Continent (for we knew not whether) on the South-side whereof was a small Neck of Land jutting out into the Sea, and a Creek too shallow to hold a Ship of above one hundred Tuns, We cast Anchor within a League of this Creek, and our Captain sent a dozen of his Men well armed in the Long-boat, with Vessels for Water, if any could be found. I desired his Leave to go with them, that Imight see G 2 'the 84 it Vo t A G E -
the Country, and make what Discoveries I could. When we came to Land, we faw no .River or Spring, nor any Sign of Inhabitants. Our Men therefore wandered on the Shore, to find out some fresh Water near the Sea, and I walked alone about a Mile on the other Side, where I observed the Country all barren and rocky. I now began to be weary, and, seeing nothing to entertain my Curiosity, I returned gently down towards the Creek ; and, the Sea being full in my View, I faw our Men already got into the Boat, and rowing for Lise to the Ship. I was going to hollow after them, altho' it fyacl been to little Purpose, when I observed a huge Creature walking after them in the Sea, as fast as he could: He waded not much deeper than his Knees, and took prodigious Strides: But our Men had the Start of him half a League, and, the Sea thereabouts being sull of sharp-pointed Rocks, the Monster was not able to overtake the Boat. This I was afterwards told, for I durst not stay to see the Issue of the Adventure; but ran as fast as I could the Way I iirst went, and then climbed up a steep Hill, which gave me some Prospect of the Country. I found it sully cultivated; but that which first surprised me was the Length of the Grass, which, in those Grounds that seemed to be kept for Hay, was about twenty Feet high.
I sell into a high Road, for so I took it to be, though it served to ihe Inhabitants only as", a Foot-path thro' a Field of Barley. Here I walked on for some Time, but could see little on either Side, it being now at least Harvest, and the Corn rising near forty Feet. I was an Hour walkinjr to the End of this Field, which was senced in with a Hedge of at least one hundred and twenty Feet