It is hardly to be doubted that we might have set this great ship on fire, by converting one of our ships into a fireship for that purpose: But this was objected to by all our officers, because we had goods of value on board all our ships. The enemy on this occasion was the better provided for us, having heard at Manilla, through our British settlements in India, that two small ships had been fitted out at Bristol for an expedition into the South Sea, and of which Captain Dampier was pilot. On this account it was that they had so many Europeans on board the great ship, most of whom had all their wealth along with them, for which they would fight to the utmost; and it having been agreed to pay no freight on the gun-decks, they had filled up all the spaces between the guns with bales of goods, to secure the men. The two ships were to have joined at Cape Lucas, expecting to meet us off Cape Corientes or Navidad.
We returned again into our port on the coast of California on the 1st January, 1710, and being resolved to make as quick dispatch as possible for our passage to the East Indies, we immediately parted with our prisoners, giving them the bark with a sufficiency of water and provisions to carry them to Acapulco. We then occupied ourselves to the 7th in refitting and laying in a stock of wood and water; and had much satisfaction in finding as much bread in our prize as might serve for our long run to Guam, with the aid of the scanty remains of our old stock. After a long disputatious negotiation, it was settled that Mr Fry and Mr Stratton were to take charge of our prize, which we named the Bachelor, though under Captain Dover, but they were not to be contradicted by him in the business, as his business was to see that nothing was done in her contrary to the interest of our owners and ships companies, he being in the nature of agent, only with the title of chief captain. At the same time, we put on board of this ship 35 men from the Duke, 25 from the Duchess, and 13 from the Marquis, making in all 73 men, which, with 36 Manilla Indians, called Las-Cars, and some other prisoners we still had remaining, made up her complement to 115 men.
Sequel of the Voyage, from California, by Way of the East Indies, to England.
WE weighed anchor on the 10th January, 1710, from Porta Leguro, on the coast of California, but were becalmed under the shore till the afternoon of the 12th, when a breeze sprang up which soon carried us out of sight of land. Being very slenderly provided, we were forced to allow only a pound and a half of flour, and one small piece of beef, to five men in a mess, together with three pints of water a man, for twenty-four hours, to serve both as drink and for dressing their victuals. We also lowered ten of our guns into the hold, to ease our ship. On the 16th the Bachelor made a signal that she could spare us some additional bread, having discovered