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.
weak and defenceless condition, he advised the viceroy to send what ships of war he had to the southwards, in order to be secure at all events, where, in all probability, they would intercept us singly, before we had an opportunity of touching any where for refreshment; in which case he had no doubt of our proving an easy conquest.  The viceroy approved this advice, and as he had already fitted out four ships of force at Callao, one of 50 guns, two of 40 each, and one of 24, which were intended to have joined Pizarro, three of these were stationed off the port of Conception, and one at the island of Juan Fernandez, where they continued cruising for us till the 6th of June; and then, conceiving it impossible that we could have kept the sea so long, they quitted this station and returned to Callao, fully persuaded we must either have perished, or been driven back.

Now, as the time when they left Juan Fernandez was only a few days before our arrival at that island, it is evident, if we had made it on our first search, without hauling in for the main to secure our easting, a circumstance we then considered as very unfortunate, on account of the many men we lost by our long continuance at sea; had we made the island 28th of May, when we first expected to see it, and were in reality very near to have so done, we had inevitably fallen in with some part of the squadron from Callao; and in our then distressed condition, the encounter of a healthy and well-provided enemy might have proved fatal, not only to us in the Centurion, but also to the Tryal, Gloucester, and Anna pink, which separately joined us, and were each less capable to have resisted than we.  I may also add, that these Spanish ships, sent out to intercept us, had been greatly shattered by a storm during their cruise, and had been laid up after their return to Callao; and we were assured by our prisoners, that, when intelligence might be received at Lima of our being in the South Seas, it would require two months at least, before this armament could be refitted for going to sea.  The whole of this intelligence was as favourable as we, in our reduced circumstances, could wish for; and we were now at no loss to account for the broken jars, ashes, and fish bones, which we had observed at Juan Fernandez on our first landing; these things having been doubtless the relics of the cruisers stationed at that island.  Having thus satisfied ourselves in the most material articles of our enquiry, got all the silver on board the Centurion, and most of the prisoners, we made sail to the northward at eight that same evening, in company with our prize.  We got sight of Juan Fernandez at six next morning, and the day following both we and our prize got safe there to anchor.  When the prize and her crew came into the bay, in which the rest of our squadron lay, the Spaniards, who had been sufficiently informed of the distresses we had gone through, and were astonished we had been able to surmount them, were still more surprised when

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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