A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

In the beginning of October, we made the island of Guam, 100 leagues short of the account given by Rogers, who makes 105 deg. of longitude between Cape St Lucas and Guam, while we made not quite 100 deg..[2] We passed through between Guam and Serpana, and saw several flying proas, but none came near us that day.  We had heavy and squally weather, which obliged me to keep the deck in the rain, by which I caught a cold, which threw me into a worse condition than before, in which I continued all the time I was in China.  Guam seemed very green and of moderate height, and the sight of land was so pleasant after our long run, that we would gladly have stopped to procure some refreshments, but durst not venture in, though on the point of perishing, lest the inhabitants should take advantage of our weakness.  From Guam I shaped our course for the island of Formosa, to which we had a long and melancholy voyage, as our sickness daily increased; so that, on the 3d November, when we got sight of that island, both ship and company were almost entirely worn out.  Next day we doubled the south Cape of Formosa, passing within a league of the rocks of Vele-Rete, where we were sensible of a very strong current.  As we passed in sight, the inhabitants of Formosa made continual fires on the coast, as inviting us to land; but we were so weak that we did not deem it prudent to venture into any of their harbours.

[Footnote 2:  Rogers is however nearer the truth, the difference of longitude being 106 deg. 42’ between these two places.—­E.]

We directed our course from Formosa for the neighbouring coast of China, and found ourselves on the 6th at the mouth of the river Loma,[3] in twelve fathoms water, but the weather was so hazy that we could not ascertain where we were.  Seeing abundance of fishing boats, we tried every method we could think of to induce some of the fishermen to come on board to pilot us to Macao, but found this impracticable, as we could not understand each other.  We were therefore obliged to keep the land close on board, and to anchor every evening.  This was a prodigious fatigue to our men, who were so universally ill that we could hardly find any one able to steer the ship.  We were bewildered in a mist during four days, and much surprised by seeing a great many islands, omitted in our charts, on some of which we saw large fortifications.  This made us believe that the current had carried us beyond our port, and occasioned much dejection of spirits; for, though the sea was covered with fishing boats, we could get no one to set us right, or to give us any directions we could understand.

[Footnote 3:  This name is so corrupted as to be unintelligible.—­E]

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