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.

On Wednesday the 12th, at three o’clock in the afternoon, we were abreast of Cape Lagullas, from which the coast lies W.N.W. to the Cape of Good Hope, which is distant about thirty leagues.  The next day we passed between Penguin Island and Green Point, and worked into Table Bay with our top-sails close reefed, there being a strong gale, with hard squalls, at S.S.E.  At three o’clock in the afternoon, we anchored, and saluted the fort, which was returned.  The Dutch told me, that none of their ships could have worked in such a gale of wind, and that we seemed to come in faster than they were generally able to do when the wind was fair.

The next morning, I waited upon the governor, who had sent his coach and six to the water-side for me.  He was an old man, but a favourite with all ranks of people:  He received me with the greatest politeness, and not only offered me the company s house in the garden for my residence while I should continue at the Cape, but his coach whenever I should think fit to use it.  As I was one day at dinner with him, and some other gentlemen, I took occasion to mention the smoke that I had seen upon one of the sandy beaches on a desolate part of the coast, and the surprise with which it had struck me:  They then told me that another ship, some time before, had fallen in with that part of the coast, and had seen large smokes as I had done, although the place was uninhabited, and supposed to be an island:  To account for the smokes, however, they told me also, that two Dutch East Indiamen had, about two years before, sailed from Batavia for the Cape, and had never afterwards been heard of; and it was supposed that one or both of them had been shipwrecked there, and that the smokes which had been seen were made by some of the unfortunate crew:  They added, that they had more than once sent out vessels to look for them, but that there broke so dreadful a sea upon the coast, they were obliged to return without attempting to go on shore.  When I heard this melancholy account, I could only regret that I had not known it before, for I would then certainly have made every effort in my power to have found these unhappy wretches, and taken them from a place where, in all probability, they would miserably perish.

The cape is certainly a most excellent place for ships to touch at; it is a healthy climate, a fine country, and abounds with refreshments of every kind.  The company’s garden is a delightful spot, and at the end of it there is a paddock belonging to the governor, in which are kept a great number of rare and curious animals, and among others, when I was there, there were three fine ostriches, and four zebras of an uncommon size.  I gave all the people leave to go on shore by turns, and they always contrived to get very drunk with cape wine before they came back.  Many ships came in while we lay here; some were Dutch, some French, some Danes, but all were outward-bound.

Having continued here three weeks, and during that time refreshed our men, and completed our water, I took leave of the good old governor on the 6th of March, and on the 7th, sailed out of the bay, with a fine breeze at S.E.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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