At Guam there is a small Spanish garrison, purposely intended to secure that place for the refreshment of the galleon, and to yield her all the assistance in their power. However, the danger of the road at Guam is so great, that though the galleon is ordered to call there, yet she rarely stays above a day of two, but getting her water and refreshments on board as soon as possible, she steers away directly for Cape Espiritu Santo, on the island of Samal. Here the captain is again ordered to look out for signals; and he is told, that centinels will be posted not only on that Cape, but likewise in Catanduanas, Butusan, Birriborongo, and on the island of Batan. These centinels are instructed to make a fire when they discover the ship, which the captain is carefully to observe: For if, after this first fire is extinguished, he perceives that four or more are lighted up again, he is then to conclude that there are enemies on the coast; and on this he is immediately to endeavour to speak with the centinel on shore, and to procure from him more particular intelligence of their force, and of the station they cruise in; pursuant to which, he is to regulate his conduct, and to endeavour to gain some secure port amongst those islands, without coming in sight of the enemy; and in case he should be discovered when in port, and should be apprehensive of attack, he is then to land his treasure, and to take some of his artillery on shore for its defence, not neglecting to send frequent and particular accounts to the city of Manilla of all that passes. But if, after the first fire on shore, the captain observes that two others only are made by the centinels, he is then to conclude, that there is nothing to fear: And he is to pursue his course without interruption, and to make the best of his way to the port of Cabite, which is the port to the city of Manilla, and the constant station for all the ships employed in this commerce to Acapulco.
Our Cruise off the Port of Acapulco for the Manilla Ship.
I have already mentioned, that the return of our barge from the port of Acapulco, where she had surprised three negro fishermen, gave us inexpressible satisfaction, as we learnt from our prisoners, that the galleon was then preparing to put to sea, and that her departure was fixed, by an edict of the viceroy of Mexico, to the 14th of March, N.S. that is, to the 3d of March, according to our reckoning.