This evening, two of the men who had agreed to remain with Captain Dampier, left him and came over to us, so that our number was now thirty-five, viz. thirty-four English, and a little negro boy we had taken from the Spaniards. While we were employed in watering our bark, the men on board the St George were busied in refitting that ship as well as they could; the carpenter stopping up the shot-holes in the powder-room with tallow and charcoal, not daring, as he said, to drive a nail, for fear of making it worse. The four great guns, which usually stood between decks, were put down into the hold, there being sixteen besides, which was more than they now had men to manage, as there only remained twenty-eight men and boys with Captain Dampier, who were mostly landsmen, a very insignificant force indeed with which to make war on a whole nation.
Sequel of the Voyage of William Funnell, after his Separation from Captain Dampier.
We left the Gulf of Amapalla on the 1st February, 1705, where Captain Dampier remained at anchor in the St George, having a fine gale of wind at N.E. While in any of the harbours on the coast of Mexico, we were seldom allowed any thing except flour, only that we used to go on shore, and found on the rocks plenty of concks, oysters, muscles, and other shell-fish, on which we made many a hearty meal. Being now bound, as we hoped, for a land of plenty, we bore hunger and short commons with great patience, of which we had much need, as our allowance was no more than half a pound of coarse flour a day to each man, and two ounces of salt meat every other day. Our vessel was a small bark of about seventy tons with two masts, which we had taken from the Spaniards, which was so eaten with worms while in the Gulf of Amapalla, that she already began to grow very leaky. To add to our distress, we had no carpenter, neither had we a doctor or any medicines, if any of us happened to fall sick, and we had no boat to aid us if our vessel should fail. The carpenter, doctor, and boat being all left with Captain Dampier. Yet, trusting to God’s providence, who had already delivered us out of so many dangers, we proceeded on our voyage to India; and a bolder attempt was perhaps never made by such a handful of men in so frail a bark, and nothing but our anxious desire to revisit our native country could have supported us under all the difficulties and dangers of this extensive voyage.
The prospect of our difficulties gave us spirit and resolution to provide against them; and in a council, which we held on this occasion, we determined on the course we were to pursue, and the allowance of provisions during the course. We knew the wind we now had was merely a land breeze, and that by running 100 leagues out to sea we should fall in with the regular trade-wind, which blows always N.E. or E.N.E. our first purpose was, therefore, to get into the latitude