A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

[Footnote 347:  Purch.  Pilg.  I. 274.  Astl.  I. 390.]

Sec. 1. Notices of the Voyage between Saldanha Bay and Socotora, both inclusive.

The 22d July, 1611, we got sight of the Table and point of Saldanha, bearing east, twelve leagues distant; but owing to calms and contrary winds, it was the 24th before we got moored in the road.  We there found three ships belonging to Holland; one of which, bound for Bantam, was commanded by Peter Bat, general of thirteen sail outward-bound, but having spent his main-mast and lost company of his fleet, put in here to refresh his sick men.  The other two were homeward-bound, having made train-oil of seals at Penguin island.

Saldanha bay is some fourteen leagues N.N.E. from the Cape of Good Hope,[348] and ten leagues N. by W. from Cape Falso, which is eastward of the former; and both of which capes may be seen from the said bay.  These two capes are divided by another great bay, False bay, the distance between the two bays being about three leagues of low marshy land, extending north and south, and on either side environed by mountains.

[Footnote 348:  Although these hydrographical notices of the environs of Saldanha bay and the Cape of Good Hope are by no means perfectly accurate, probably vitiated in the abbreviation of Purchas, they distinctly shew, that the bay named Saldanha by our early voyagers, was that now called Table bay:  This latter is twelve or thirteen leagues from the Cape, nearly as in the text, while that now called Saldanha bay is twenty-seven leagues distant.  The near neighbourhood of False bay is incontestible evidence of the fact, being only three leagues distant; while our modern Saldanha bay is more than twenty leagues from False bay as the crow flies.—­E.]

In former time, Saldanha bay was very comfortable to our navigators, both outward and homeward-bound, yielding them abundance of cattle and sheep, by which their weak and sick men in former voyages were easily recovered and made strong.  These used to be brought down by the savage inhabitants, and sold for mere trifles, as an ox for a piece of hoop-iron fourteen inches long, and a sheep for a much shorter piece.  It is now quite otherwise; but, from my ignorance of the language of the natives, I have not been able to ascertain the cause.  Whether it may have proceeded from the too great liberality of the Dutch, spoiling the trade, which indeed they are apt to do in all places where they come, as they only consider their present occasions; or whether it may have been that the cattle formerly brought down in such abundance were plunder taken from each other in wars then raging, which made them greedy of iron to make heads for their lances and darts, which now by peace or reconciliation they have little need of.  However this may have been, all our bribes or contrivances should only procure at this time four old lean cows, for which they would not take iron in payment, but thin pieces of copper six inches square.  We got likewise six or seven sheep, for pieces of copper three inches square, cut out of a kettle.  Of this copper they made rings, six or eight of which made very bright they wear on their arms.

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