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.

As soon as God had put us out of danger, the fire caught hold of the forecastle of the carak, where I think there was great store of benzoin, or some such combustible matter, for it flamed and flowed over the carak, which was almost in an instant all over in flames.  The Portuguese now leapt over-board in great numbers, and I sent captain Grant with the boat, bidding him use his discretion in saving them.  He brought me on board two gentlemen.  One of them was an old man named Nuno Velio Pereira, who had been governor of Mozambique and Sofala in the year 1582, and had since been governor of a place of importance in the East Indies.  The ship in which he was coming home was cast away a little to the east of the Cape of Good Hope, whence he travelled by land to Mozambique, and got a passage in this carak.  The other was named Bras Carrero, who was captain of a carak that was cast away at Mozambique, and came likewise as a passenger in this ship.  Also three men of the inferior sort; but only these two gentlemen we clothed and brought home to England.  The rest, and others which were saved by our other boats, were all set on shore on the island of Flores, except two or three negroes, one of whom was a native of Mozambique, and the other of the East Indies.

This fight took place in the open sea, 6 leagues to the southward of the sound or channel between Fayal and Pico.  The people whom we saved informed us, that the cause of the carak refusing to yield was, that she and all her goods belonged to the king, being all that had been collected for him that year in India, and that the captain of her was greatly in favour with the king, and expected to have been made viceroy of India at his return.  This great carak was by no means lumbered, either within board or on deck, being more like a ship of war than a merchant vessel; and, besides her own men and guns, she had the crew and ordnance that belonged to another carak that was cast away at Mozambique, and the crew of another that was lost a little way to the east of the Cape of Good Hope.  Yet, through sickness caught at Angola, where they watered, it was said she had not now above 150 white men on board, but a great many negroes.  They likewise told us there were three noblemen and three ladies on board; but we found them to disagree much in their stories.  The carak continued to burn all the rest of that day and the succeeding night; but next morning, on the fire reaching her powder, being 60 barrels, which was in the lowest part of her hold, she blew up with a dreadful explosion, most of her materials floating about on the sea.  Some of the people said she was larger than the Madre de Dios, and some that she was less.  She was much undermasted and undersailed, yet she went well through the water, considering that she was very foul.  The shot we made at her from the cannon of our ship, before we laid her on board, might be seven broadsides of six or seven shots each, one with another, or about 49 shots in all.  We lay on board her about two hours, during which we discharged at her about 20 sacre shots.  Thus much may suffice for our dangerous conflict with that unfortunate carak.

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