On the 5th January, 1705, we met with such vast quantities of fish, that in half an hour we caught near three score albicores, from sixty to ninety pounds weight each, besides vast quantities of other fish. The albicore is about four or five feet long, weight from 50 to 100 and even 150 pounds. It has eleven fins on its back, one pretty large, a second of middle size, and nine small yellow fins near the tail; one large fin on each side near the gills; and one near the middle of the belly. This is a very fleshy fish, having hardly any bones besides the back bone, and is extraordinary good eating. It has prodigious strength, while in the water, and preys mostly on flying fish, as do dolphins and bonetoes. On the 6th of this month, a new revolution took place in our affairs, as thirty of our men agreed to remain along with Captain Dampier in the South Sea; but with what view or on what terms, we others, who were not in the secret, never knew. Our company, who were not of Dampier’s party, consisted of thirty-three men; and, notwithstanding this new arrangement, we all sailed to the Gulf of Amapalla, where we anchored on the 26th January.
That same day, all the remaining provisions were equally divided between the two companies by the agent for the owners, and we had four pieces of cannon, with a proper proportion of small arms and ammunition, assigned for us, for our defence during the voyage to India. Our next care was to take in water, for which purpose we landed on the island of Conchagua; and after some search, we found a large bottom behind the hills, in which was a large plantain walk, and a large reservoir of rain water, which came from the mountains. This was very inconvenient, as we were forced to carry all our water over a high hill, which we could hardly climb by ourselves; but there was no alternative, and we set to work to cut down the bushes in our way, to make a clear path. After this, as the hill was very steep on the land side towards the bottom whence we had to fetch water, we cut steps in the hill with axes and shovels; and our sail-maker made a hose or canvass pipe of ninety fathoms long, which carried the water from the top of the hill down to our water cask at its foot towards the sea. We then fell to work, each man having a six gallon keg, in which the water was carried to the top of the hill, where it was emptied into the hose. We were thus employed four days, in which time we filled twenty-six tons, which we carried on board. The 31st January, we all went to the plantain walk, where we cut down as many plantains as we could carry, with which we returned on board our ship, meaning to set sail next day.