Captain David Middleton in the Consent, appears to have been intended to accompany the fleet under Captain Keeling. But, setting out on the 12th March, 1607, from Tilbury Hope, while Captain Keeling did not reach the Downs till the 1st April, Middleton either missed the other ships at the appointed rendezvous, or purposely went on alone. The latter is more probable, as Purchas observes that the Consent kept no concent with her consorts. By the title in Purchas, we learn that the Consent was a vessel of 115 tons burden. This short narrative appears to have been written by some person on board, but his name is not mentioned. It has evidently suffered the pruning knife of Purchas, as it commences abruptly at Saldanha bay, and breaks off in a similar manner at Bantam. Yet, in the present version, it has been a little farther curtailed, by omitting several uninteresting circumstances of weather and other log-book notices.—E.
[Footnote 263: Purch. Pilgr. I. 226. Astl. I. 332.]
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We anchored in Saldanha roads on the 16th July, 1607, with all our men in good health; only that Peter Lambert fell from the top-mast head the day before, of which he died. The 21st, the captain and master went to Penguin island, three leagues from the road. This island does not exceed three miles long by two in breadth; yet, in my opinion, no island in the world is more frequented by seals and fowls than this, which abounds with penguins, wild-geese, ducks, pelicans, and various other fowls. You may drive 500 penguins together in a flock, and the seals are in thousands together on the shore. Having well refreshed our men, and bought some cattle, we weighed anchor about four in the morning of the 29th July, and came out of the roads with very little wind, all our men in perfect health, yet loth to depart without the company of our other two ships. But all our business being ended, and being quite uncertain as to their arrival, we made no farther stay, and directed our course for the island of St Lawrence or Madagascar.
[Footnote 264: The other two ships under Keeling did not arrive at Saldanha bay till the 17th December, five months afterwards.—E.]
The 30th was calm all day, till three in the afternoon, when we had a fresh gale at S.W. with which we passed the Cape of Good Hope by ten at night. The 1st August we were off Cape Aguillas; and on the 27th we saw the island of Madagascar, some six leagues off. In the afternoon of the 30th we anchored in the bay of St Augustine, in six and a half fathoms on coarse gravel. In consequence of a great ledge of rocks off the mouth of the bay, we fell to room-wards, [leeward,] of the road, and had to get in upon a tack, having seven, six and a half, and five fathoms all the way, and on coming to anchor had the ledge and two islands to windward of us.