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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

The good treatment which strangers meet with at the Cape of Good Hope, and the necessity of breathing a little fresh air, has introduced a custom, not common any where else (at least I have no where seen it so strictly observed), which is, for all the officers, who can be spared out of the ship, to reside on shore.  We followed this custom.  Myself, the two Mr Forsters, and Mr Sparrman, took up our abode with Mr Brandt, a gentleman well known to the English, by his obliging readiness to serve them.  My first care, after my arrival, was to procure fresh-baked bread, fresh meat, greens, and wine, for those who remained on board; and being provided, every day during our stay, with these articles, they were soon restored to their usual strength.  We had only three men on board whom it was thought necessary to send on shore for the recovery of their health; and for these I procured quarters, at the rate of thirty stivers, or half-a-crown, per day, for which they were provided with victuals, drink, and lodging.

We now went to work to supply all our defects.  For this purpose, by permission, we erected a tent on shore, to which we sent our casks and sails to be repaired.  We also struck the yards and topmasts, in order to overhaul the rigging, which we found in so bad a condition, that almost every thing, except the standing rigging, was obliged to be replaced with new, and that was purchased at a most exorbitant price.  In the article of naval stores, the Dutch here, as well as at Batavia, take a shameful advantage of the distress of foreigners.

That our rigging, sails, &c. should be worn out, will not be wondered at, when it is known, that during this circumnavigation of the globe, that is, from our leaving this place to our return to it again, we had sailed no less than twenty thousand leagues; an extent of voyage nearly equal to three times the equatorial circumference of the earth, and which, I apprehend, was never sailed by any ship in the same space of time before.  And yet, in all this great run, which had been made in all latitudes between 9 deg. and 71, we sprung neither low-masts, top-mast, lower, nor top-sail yard, nor so much as broke a lower or top-mast shroud; which, with the great care and abilities of my officers, must be owing to the good properties of our ship.

One of the French ships which were at anchor in the bay, was the Ajax Indiaman, bound to Pondicherry, commanded by Captain Crozet.  He had been second in command with Captain Marion, who sailed from this place with two ships, in March 1772, as hath been already mentioned.  Instead of going from hence to America, as was said, he stood away for New Zealand; where, in the Bay of Isles, he and some of his people were killed by the inhabitants.  Captain Crozet, who succeeded to the command, returned by the way of the Phillipine Isles, with the two ships, to the island of Mauritius.  He seemed to be a man possessed of the true spirit of discovery, and to have abilities.  In a very obliging manner he communicated to me a chart, wherein were delineated not only his own discoveries, but also that of Captain Kerguelen, which I found laid down in the very situation where we searched for it; so that I can by no means conceive how both we and the Adventure missed it.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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