Narrative of the Voyage from England to the Pacific.
The larger ship of this little squadron was named the Desire, of 140 tons burden, and the lesser the Content of 60 tons, to which was added a bark of 40 tons, called the Hugh Gallant, all supplied at his own expence with two years provisions, and manned with 123 officers and men, most of them men of experience, and some of whom had served under Sir Francis Drake. For their better encouragement, he entered into a fair agreement with them, with respect to the proportions in which all prizes should be shared among them. He was likewise careful in providing maps, sea charts, and draughts, and all such accounts as could be procured of voyages already made into those parts which he intended to visit. Likewise, by means of his patron, Lord Hansdon, the lord-chamberlain, he procured a commission from Queen Elizabeth.
Having thus completed his preparations, he set out from London on the 10th July, 1586, for Harwich, where he embarked in the Desire, and sailed thence for Plymouth, where he arrived on the 18th, and waited there for some of his company till the 21st of that month, when he hoisted sail on his intended voyage. On the 25th of that month, one Mr. Hope died, of a wound received in a duel, during their stay at Plymouth. Next day, they fell in with five ships of Biscay, well manned, coming, as they supposed, from the great bank of Newfoundland, which attacked the Desire; but Mr. Candish gave them so warm a reception, that they were glad to sheer off, and continued their course without giving him any farther disturbance. As it grew dark, and he feared losing sight of his consorts, Mr. Candish did not continue the chase.
They fell in with the island of Fuertaventura, on the 1st August, whence they sailed for Rio del Oro and Cape Blanco, and thence along the coast of Guinea, with which navigation Mr Brewer, who sailed in the Desire, was well acquainted. The men now began to complain much of the scurvy, wherefore it was resolved to put them on shore for their recovery on the first opportunity. They made Sierra Leona on the 23d of August, and reached its southern side on the 25th, where they had five fathoms at the lowest ebb; having had for about fourteen leagues, while running into this harbour, from eight to sixteen fathoms. At this place they destroyed a negro town, because the inhabitants had killed one of their men with a poisoned arrow. Some of the men went four miles up the harbour in a boat, on the 3d September, where they caught plenty of fish; and going on shore, procured some lemons. They saw also some buffaloes, on their return to the ship. The 6th they went out of the harbour of Sierra Leona, and staid one tide three leagues from the point at its mouth, the tide there flowing S.W.