A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.

In the morning the current or tide set to the S.E. at the rate of three knots; at five we weighed, with a moderate gale at west and hazy weather, and in the night the tide shifted, and ran as strongly to the N.W. so that it ebbs and flows here twelve hours.

On the 19th we spoke with an English snow, belonging to the East India company, which was bound from Bencoolen to Malacca and Bengal.  We had now nothing to eat but the ship’s provisions, which were become very bad, for all our beef and pork stunk intolerably, and our bread was rotten and full of worms; but as soon as the master of this snow learnt our situation, he generously sent me a sheep, a dozen fowls, and a turtle, which I verily believe was half his stock, besides two gallons of arrack, and would accept nothing but our thanks in return.  It is with great pleasure that I pay this tribute to his liberality, and am very sorry that I cannot recollect his name, or the name of his vessel.  In the afternoon we worked round the first point of Sumatra, and our soundings on the north side, at the distance of about a mile and a half from the shore, were fourteen fathom.  At half an hour after three we anchored, and sent a boat to sound for the shoals which lie to the northward of the island called Lasipara, which bore from us S.E. by S. distant about six leagues.  Little wind, and a strong tide of flood to the northward, prevented our working between these shoals and the coast of Sumatra till the afternoon of the 20th; the soundings were very regular, being nine or ten fathom as we stood over to the island, and five or six when we stood over to Sumatra.  As this strait has been often navigated, and is well known, it is not necessary to insert all the particulars of our passage through it; I shall therefore only say, that at six o’clock in the evening of Tuesday the 27th, we steered between the islands Edam and Horn, and entered the road of Batavia.  At eight we anchored without the ships, Onrust bearing W.N.W. distant five or six miles.


Transactions at Batavia, and Departure from that Place.

The next day, which by our account was the 28th, but by the account of the Dutch at this place; was the 29th, we having lost a day by having steered westward a year, we anchored nearer to the town, and saluted the water-fort with eleven guns, which were returned.  We found here above a hundred sail great and small, and among others, a large English ship belonging to Bombay, which saluted us with thirteen guns.

There is always lying here a Dutch commodore belonging to the company, who, among his countrymen, is a person of very great consequence.  This gentleman thought fit to send his boat on board of me, with only the cockswain, in her, who was a very dirty ragged fellow:  As soon as he was brought to me, he asked whence I came, whither I was bound, and many other questions, which I thought equally impertinent, at the same time pulling out a book, and pen and ink, that he might set down the answers; but as I was impatient to save him this trouble, he was desired immediately to walk over the ship’s side, and put off his boat, with which he was graciously pleased to comply.

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