Leaving St Helena on the 30th May, they crossed the line for the fourth time on the 14th of June; and on the 16th met a fleet of six Dutch ships, under Admiral Heemskirk, bound for India. These had fought with thirteen Spanish ships near the island of Sal, and had lost their pinnace and vice-admiral; the former having been taken by the Spaniards, and the latter having parted company. The 8th July they were in lat. 27 deg. N. when they fell in with considerable quantities of the sea-weed called saragossa. By the 13th they were in lat. 32 deg. 30’ N. after which they had a calm of fifteen days, the sea being all covered with weeds. The 22d they had to go upon short allowance of bread, and that too much worm eaten. August 1st, being in lat. 40 deg. N. they passed the island of Flores, forty-five miles to the westward, by their estimation. They met three ships belonging to Embden on the 18th, from whom they procured bread and flesh, in exchange for rice and pepper; and from whom they learnt that they were so near England, that they might expect to see the Lizard next day. About noon of the 26th August, 1601, they arrived in safety before the city of Rotterdam, where they were received with the utmost joy, on their return from so long and perilous a voyage, which had occupied three years, bating eighteen days.
Voyage of Sebald de Weert, to the South Sea and Straits of Magellan, in 1598.
“Though not a circumnavigation, it seems necessary to give an account of this voyage of Sebald de Weert, by way of supplement to that of Oliver de Noort; because De Weert was fitted out with the intention of sailing by the Straits of Magellan to India, and because it is difficult to find so good a description of these famous straits as he has given. De Weert was one of the best seamen in Holland, and lived to distinguish himself afterwards by many more successful enterprises; and I persuade myself the reader will be pleased to see the firmness of an able commander, struggling against a long series of misfortunes. This has always been esteemed one of the best written, and most curious of all the Dutch voyages, and is therefore given at large."—Harris.
[Footnote 82: Harris, I. 36.]
[Footnote 83: So far Harris; but on the present occasion several trivial and minute circumstances are omitted or abbreviated.—E.]
Sec. 1. Incidents of the Voyage from Holland to the Straits of Magellan.
The fleet fitted out for this expedition consisted of the Hope of 500 tons, with 130 men, commanded by James Mahu, admiral; the Love or Charity of 300 tons, and 110 men, commanded by Simon de Cordes, vice-admiral; the Faith of 320 tons, and 100 men, of which Gerard van Beuningen was captain; the Fidelity of 220 tons, with 86 men, captain Jurian Buckholt; and a yacht of 150 tons and 112 men, called the Merry Messenger, captain Sebald de Weert. These five ships were well provided with all manner of provisions, cannon, small arms, ammunition, money, merchandise, and stores necessary for a long voyage; and the pilot on whose knowledge and experience they chiefly depended, was an Englishman named William Adams, besides whom there were three other Englishmen on board the admiral.