A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15.

[Footnote 154:  Such accidents as this here related, probably happen frequently in the Pacific Ocean.  In 1696, two canoes, having on board thirty persons of both sexes, were driven by contrary winds and tempestuous weather on the isle of Samal, one of the Philippines, after being tossed about at sea seventy days, and having performed a voyage from an island called by them Arnorsot, 300 leagues to the E. of Samal.  Five of the number who had embarked died of the hardships suffered during this extraordinary passage.  See a particular account of them, and of the islands they belonged to, in Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, tom. xv. from p. 196 to p. 215.  In the same volume, from p. 282 to p. 320, we have the relation of a similar adventure in 1721, when two canoes, one containing twenty-four, and the other six, persons, men, women, and children, were driven from an island they called Farroilep, northward to the Isle of Guam, or Guahan, one of the Ladrones or Mariannes.  But these had not sailed so far as their countrymen who reached Samal, as above, and they had been at sea only twenty days.  There seems to be no reason to doubt the general authenticity of these two relations.  The information contained in the Letters of the Jesuits about these islands, now known under the name of the Carolines, and discovered to the Spaniards by the arrival of the canoes at Samal and Guam, has been adopted by all our later writers.  See President de Brosse’s Voyages aux Terres Australes, tom. ii. from p. 443 to p. 490.  See also the Modern Universal History.—­D.]

This island is called Wateeoo by the natives.  It lies in the latitude of 20 deg. 1’ S. and in the longitude 201 deg. 45’ E., and is about six leagues in circumference.  It is a beautiful spot, with a surface composed of hills and plains, and covered with verdure of many hues.  Our gentlemen found the soil, where they passed the day, to be light and sandy.  But farther up the country, a different sort perhaps prevails, as we saw from the ship, by the help of our glasses, a reddish cast upon the rising grounds.  There the inhabitants have their houses; for we could perceive two or three, which were long and spacious.  Its produce, with the addition of hogs, we found to be the same as at the last island we had visited, which the people of this, to whom we pointed out its position, called Owhavarouah, a name so different from Mangeea Nooe Nainaiwa, which we learnt from its own inhabitants, that it is highly probably Owhavarouah is another island.

From the circumstances already mentioned, it appears that Wateeoo can be of little use to any ship that wants refreshment, unless in a case of the most absolute necessity.  The natives, knowing now the value of some of our commodities, might be induced to bring off fruits and hogs to a ship standing off and on, or to boats lying off the reef, as ours did.  It is doubtful, however, if any fresh water could be procured; for, though some was brought in cocoa-nut shells to the gentlemen, they were told that it was at a considerable distance; and, probably, it is only to be met with in some stagnant pool, as no running stream was any where seen.

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