[Footnote 271: Probably meaning large unwieldy ships.—E]
[Footnote 272: It is to be noted, that at this time there was war between England and France.—This observation is a side note of Hakluyt: And it may be worth while to notice that, so early as 1557, free bottoms were not considered by the English as making free goods.—E.]
The 10th January we had sight of the grand Canary, and on the 12th we anchored in the road, a league from the town, where we were well received. We went to the town with two English merchants who resided there, and remained that day at their house. The second day following we returned on board to get our pinnace repaired, which had broken her rudder, and to deliver our merchandize. The 14th there came nineteen sail of Spanish ships into the road, bound for the West Indies, six of them being of 400 or 500 tons each, and the rest of 200, 150, and 100 tons. On coming to anchor they saluted us, which we returned. The Spanish admiral, who was a knight, sent a boat for me, and received me in a friendly manner, desiring to learn the news of England and Flanders. After partaking of a banquet, I departed; and when I was in the boat, he desired my interpreter to say that he expected I should strike my flag to him, as general of the Emperors fleet. When I was come on board my own ship this was told me by the interpreter, and as I refused compliance and continued to display my ensign, some Spanish soldiers began to discharge their arquebusses at us. At this time some Spanish gentlemen came on board to see our ship, to whom I said that if they did not order their men to cease firing, I would fire my cannon through their ships. They accordingly went away and made their soldiers give over firing, and coming back said that they had punished their men. I then shewed them our ship, and gave them such cheer as I had, which they were well pleased with. Next day they sent for me to dine with them, saying their general was sorry any one should have desired me to strike my flag, which had been done without his orders.
The 17th we set sail, and got sight of the coast of Africa, and running along shore came off Rio del Oro which is almost under the tropic of Cancer. The 25th we got sight of the land in the bay to the north of Cape Verd. The 26th taking our interpreter Francisco and Francis Castelin along with me in the pinnace, I went to the Tiger, which was nearer shore than the other ships. With her and the other ships we ran W. by S. and W.S.W, till about 4 o’clock, P.M. when we were close on board the cape. Then going about 4 leagues beyond the cape S.W. we found a fair island, and beside that two or three islands of high rocks, full of various kinds of sea fowl and pigeons, with other kinds of land birds, and so numerous that the whole island was covered with their dung, and as white as if the whole had been covered by chalk. Within these islands was a fine bay; and close by the rocks we had 18 fathoms and good ground.