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.

When I was at Pegu in August 1569, having got a considerable profit by my endeavours, I was desirous to return to my own country by way of St Thome, but in that case I should have been obliged to wait till next March; I was therefore advised to go by way of Bengal, for which country there was a ship ready to sail to the great harbour of Chittagong, whence there go small ships to Cochin in sufficient time to arrive there before the departure of the Portuguese ships for Lisbon, in which I was determined to return to Europe.  I went accordingly on board the Bengal ship; but this happened to be the year of the Tyffon, which will require some explanation.  It is therefore to be understood that in India they have, once every ten or twelve years, such prodigious storms and tempests as are almost incredible, except to such as have seen them, neither do they know with any certainty on what years they may be expected, but unfortunate are they who happen to be at sea when this tempest or tyffon takes place, as few escape the dreadful danger.  In this year it was our evil fortune to be at sea in one of these terrible storms; and well it was for us that our ship was newly over-planked, and had no loading save victuals and ballast, with some gold and silver for Bengal, as no other merchandise is carried to Bengal from Pegu.  The tyffon accordingly assailed us and lasted three days, carrying away our sails, yards, and rudder; and as the ship laboured excessively, we cut away our mast, yet she continued to labour more heavily than before, so that the sea broke over her every moment, and almost filled her with water.  For the space of three days and three nights, sixty men who were on board did nothing else than bale out the water continually, twenty at one place, twenty in another, and twenty at a third place; yet during all this storm so good was the hull of our ship that she took not in a single drop of water at her sides or bottom, all coming in at the hatches.  Thus driving about at the mercy of the winds and waves, we were during the darkness of the third night at about four o’clock after sunset cast upon a shoal.  When day appeared next morning we could see no land on any side of us, so that we knew not where we were.  It pleased the divine goodness that a great wave of the sea came and floated us off from the shoal into deep water, upon which we all felt as men reprieved from immediate death, as the sea was calm and the water smooth.  Casting the lead we found twelve fathoms water, and bye and bye we had only six fathoms, when we let go a small anchor which still hung at the stern, all the others having been lost during the storm.  Our anchor parted next night, and our ship again grounded, when we shored her up the best we could, to prevent her from over-setting at the side of ebb.

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