A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
get into the harbour before night; but, after rowing all that day and the next night, and all the ensuing day, we could find no harbour nor any fit place to land; for, trusting to the ignorant counsel of the pilot and the two Portuguese, we had overshot the harbour and left it behind us.  In this way we twenty-eight unfortunate persons in the boat lost both our ship and the inhabited land, and were reduced to the utmost extremity, having no victuals along with us.  By the good providence of God, one of the mariners in the boat had brought a small quantity of rice along with him, intending to barter it for some other thing, though the whole was so little that three or four men might have eaten it all at one meal.  I took charge of this small store, engaging, with God’s blessing, that it should serve to keep us all in life, till it might please God to send us to some inhabited place, and when I slept I secured it in my bosom, that I might not be robbed of my precious deposit.  We were nine days rowing along the coast, finding nothing but an uninhabited country and desert islands, where even grass would have been esteemed a luxury in our miserable state.  We found indeed some leaves of trees, but so hard that we could not chew them.  We had wood and water enough, and could only row along with the flood tide, as when it ebbed we had to make fast our boat to one of the desert islands.  On one of these days, it pleased God that we discovered a nest or hole, in which were 144 tortoise eggs, which proved a wonderful help to us, as they were as large as hens eggs, covered only by a tender skin, instead of a shell.  Every day we boiled a kettle full of these eggs, mixing a handful of rice among the broth.  At the end of nine days, it pleased God that we discovered some fishermen in small barks, employed in catching fish.  We rowed immediately towards them with much delight and thankfulness, for never were men more glad than we, being so much reduced by famine that we could hardly stand on our legs; yet, according to the allotment we had made of our rice, we still had as much as would have served four days.  The first village we came to was in the gulf of Tavay, on the coast of Tanasserim, in the dominions of Pegu, where we found plenty of provisions; yet for two or three days after our arrival none of us could eat much, and most of us were at the point of death.  From Tavay to Martaban, in the kingdom of Pegu, the distance is 72 miles[164].  We loaded our boat at Tavay with provisions sufficient for six months, and then went in our boat to the city and port of Martaban, in the kingdom of Pegu, and arrived there in a short time.  But not finding our ship there as we hoped, we dispatched two barks in search of her.  They found her in great calamity at an anchor, with a contrary wind, which was exceedingly unfortunate for the people, especially as they had been a whole month without a boat, which prevented them from making any provision of wood and water.  The ship, however, arrived safe, by the blessing of God, in the harbour of Martaban.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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