Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.

When I came to open the land to the westward of the southermost point, I found it trend from that point W.N.W. and N.W. by W. forming first a point at the distance of about seven or eight leagues, and then a very deep bay running so far into the N. and N.E. that I could not see the bottom of it.  The westermost point of this bay is low, but the land soon rises again, and runs along to the N.W. by W., which seems to be the direction of this coast, from the southermost point of the island towards the city of Mindanao.

To the westward of this deep bay, the land is all flat, and in comparison of the other parts of the island, but thinly wooded.  Over this flat appears a peak of stupendous height, which rises into the clouds like a tower.  Between the entrance of this bay and the south point of the island there is another very high hill, the top of which has the funnel shape of a volcano, but I did not perceive that it emitted either fire or smoke.  It is possible that this deep bay is that which Dampier mentions, and that is misplaced by an error of the press; for, if, instead of saying it bore N.W. four leagues from the eastermost of the islands, he had said it bore N.W. fourteen leagues from the westermost of the islands, it would correspond well with his description, the bearings being the same, and the land on the east side of it high, and low on the west:  He is also nearly right in the latitude of his islands, which he makes 5 deg. 10’ N.; for probably some parts of the southermost of them may lie in that latitude; but as I did not go to the southward of them, this is only conjecture.

Between Hummock Island, which is the largest and westermost of them, and the islands to the eastward of it, which are all flat and even, is a passage running north and south, which appears to be clear.  The north-eastermost of these islands is small, low, and flat, with a white sandy beach all round it, and a great many trees in the middle.  East, or north-east of this island, there are shoals and breakers; and I saw no other appearance of danger in these parts.  Neither did I see any of the islands which are mentioned by Dampier, and laid down in all the charts, near Mindanao in the offing:  Perhaps they are at a more remote distance than is commonly supposed; for without great attention, navigators will be much deceived in this particular by the height of the land, as I have observed already.  As I coasted this island, I found the current set very strong to the southward along the shore, till I came to the south end of it, where I found it run N.W. and N.W. by W. which is nearly as the land trends.  We had the winds commonly from S.W. to N.W. with light airs, frequent rain, and unsettled weather.

We now bid farewell to Mindanao, greatly disappointed in our hope of obtaining refreshments, which at first the inhabitants so readily promised to furnish.  We suspected that there were Dutchmen, or at least Dutch partisans in the town; and that, having discovered us to be English, they had dispatched an armed party to prevent our having any intercourse with the natives, who arrived about two hours after our friendly conference, and were the people that defied us from the shore.

Follow Us on Facebook