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.
by the Spaniards as unwholesome, and little less than poisonous.  Perhaps the strange appearance of this animal may have been the foundation of this ridiculous aversion, which is strongly rooted in all the inhabitants of that coast, and of which we had many instances in the course of this navigation.  Some Indian and negro slaves we had taken in our prizes, and continued on board to assist in navigating our ships, were astonished at our feeding on turtle, and seemed fully persuaded that it would soon destroy us; but finding that none of us died, nor even suffered in our health by a continuation of this diet, they at last got so far the better of their aversion, as to be persuaded to taste it, to which the absence of all other kinds of fresh provisions might not a little contribute.  However, it was with great reluctance, and very sparingly, that they began to eat it:  But the relish improving upon them by degrees, they at last grew extremely fond of it, preferred it to every other kind of food, and often felicitated each other on the happy experience they had acquired, and the delicious and plentiful repasts it would be always in their power to procure, when they should return to their country.  Those who are acquainted with the manner of life of these unhappy wretches, need not be told, that next to large draughts of spirituous liquors, plenty of tolerable food is the greatest joy they know; and that the discovering a method which would supply them with what quantity they pleased of a kind more luxurious to the palate than any their haughty lords and masters could indulge in, was a circumstance which they considered as the most fortunate that could befal them.

In three days time we had completed our business at this place, and were extremely impatient to put to sea, that we might arrive time enough on the coast of Mexico to intercept the Manilla galleon.  The wind being contrary detained us a night, and the next day when we got into the offing, (which we did through the same channel by which we entered) we were obliged to keep hovering about the island, in hopes of getting sight of the Gloucester.  It was the 9th of December, in the morning, when we put to sea, and continuing to the southward of the island, looking out for the Gloucester, we, on the 10th, at five in the afternoon, discerned a small sail to the northward of us, to which we gave chase, and coming up took her.  She proved to be a bark from Panama, bound to Cheripe, an inconsiderable village on the continent, and was called the Jesu Nazareno.  She had nothing on board but some oakum, about a ton of rock-salt, and between 30l. and 40l. in specie, most of it consisting of small silver money, intended for purchasing a cargo of provisions at Cheripe.

I cannot but observe, for the use of future cruisers, that had we been in want of provisions, we had by this capture an obvious method of supplying ourselves.  For at Cheripe, whither she was bound, there is a constant store of provisions prepared for the vessels which go thither every week from Panama, the market of Panama being chiefly supplied from thence:  So that by putting a few of our hands on board our prize, we might easily have seized a large store without any hazard, since Cheripe is a place of no strength.

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