[Footnote 317: Purch. Pilgr. I. 247. Astl. I. 360.]
From the title given by Purchas to the narrative, it appears that there were three ships employed in this voyage: The Trades-increase of 1000 tons, admiral, commanded by Sir Henry Middleton, general of the expedition; the Pepper-corn of 250 tons, vice-admiral, commanded by Captain Nicholas Downton; and the Darling of 90 tons. Besides these, the bark Samuel of 180 tons accompanied as a victualler to Cape Verd.—E.
Sec. 1. Incidents of the Voyage till the Arrival of the Squadron at Mokha.
We came to anchor in the roads of Cape Verd on the 1st May, 1610, under an island, where we found a Frenchman of Dieppe, who was setting up a pinnace. Next day, I set all the carpenters of the fleet to work on my mainmast; and having taken off the fishes, they found it so sore wrung about three feet above the upper-deck, that it was half through, so that it must have gone by the board if we had met with any foul weather. I sent one of my carpenters a-land on the main to search for trees, who returned that night, saying he had seen some that would answer. The third we began to unload the Samuel, and sent the carpenters on shore to cut down trees, having leave of the alcaide, who came on board to dine with me, and to whom I gave a piece of Rouen cloth which I bought of the Frenchman, and some other trifles. The fifteenth, the mast being repaired, and all our water-casks full, we stowed our boats at night, and prepared to be gone next morning. Cape Verd is the best place I know of for our outward-bound ships; not being out of the way, the road being good and fit for the dispatch of any kind of business, and fresh fish to be had in great plenty. In a council with Captain Downton and the masters, it was agreed that our best course to steer for the line from hence was S.S.W. for sixty leagues, then S.S.E. till near the line, and then easterly. We dismissed the Samuel to return home, and held on our way.
We came into Saldanha roads the 24th July, and saluted the Dutch admiral with five guns, which he returned. There were also two other Holland ships there, which came to make train-oil of seals, and which had made 300 pipes. This day I went a-land, and found the names of Captain Keeling and others, homewards-bound in January, 1610; also my brother David’s name, outward-bound, 9th August, 1609, and likewise a letter buried under ground, according to agreement between him and me in England, but it was so consumed with damp as to be altogether illegible. The 26th, we set up a tent for our sick men, and got them all ashore to air our ships. From this till we departed, nothing happened worth writing.
[Footnote 318: In a letter which I had from Mr Femell, written from Saldanha bay, he mentions two French ships in like employment, which he suspected lay in wait for distressed ships coming from India.—Purch.]