On Saturday the 12th, we fell in with the dangerous shoals called the Spera Mondes, and had the mortification to find that the westerly monsoon was now set in, against which, and the current, it was impossible for any ship to get as far westward as Batavia. As it was now necessary to wait till the return of the eastern monsoon, and the shifting of the current; as we had buried thirteen of our crew, and no less than thirty more were at the point of death; as all the petty officers were among the sick, and the lieutenant and myself, who did all duties, in a feeble condition; it was impossible that we should keep the sea, and we had no chance of preserving those who were still alive, but by getting on shore at some place, where rest and refreshment might be procured; I therefore determined that I would take advantage of our being so far to the southward, and endeavour to reach Macassar, the principal settlement of the Dutch upon the island of Celebes.
The next day, we made some islands which lie not far from that place, and saw, what sometimes we took for shoals, and sometimes for boats with men on board, but what afterwards appeared to be trees, and other drift, floating about, with birds sitting upon them; we suddenly found ourselves twenty miles farther to the southward than we expected, for the current, which had for some time set us to the northward, had set us to the southward during the night. We now hauled up east, and E. 1/2 N. intending to have gone to the northward of a shoal, which has no name in our East India Pilot, but which the Dutch call the Thumb: By noon, however, we found ourselves upon it, our water shallowing at once to four fathom, with rocky ground. We now hauled off to the south-west, and keeping the boat a-head to sound, ran round the west side of the shoal in ten and twelve fathom; our water deepening when we hauled off to the west, and shallowing when we hauled off east. Our latitude, by observation, when we were upon the shoal, was 5 deg. 20’ S. and the northernmost of the islands, called the Three Brothers, then, bore S. 81 E. at the distance of five or six leagues. This island is, in the English Pilot, called Don Dinanga, but by the Dutch the North Brother.
Between the Three Brothers, and the main of Celebes, there is another island, much larger than either of them, called the island of Tonikiky; but none of them are inhabited, though there are a few huts belonging to fishermen upon them all. The passage between the shoal and this island is clear and good, with from ten to thirteen fathom and a sandy bottom; but the soundings are to be kept on the side of the island in twelve fathom, and never under ten: It is, however, very difficult and dangerous for ships to fall in with the land this way without a pilot on board, for there are many shoals and rocks under water. I ran in by a chart in the English East India Pilot, which upon the whole I round a good one, though the names of the islands, points, and bays, differ very much from those by which they are now known. When we got near to the Celebes shore, we had land and sea-breezes, which obliged us to edge along the coast, though our strength was so much reduced, that it was with the utmost difficulty we could work the stream anchor.