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.
as much water as filled all their casks; that immediately upon this fortunate supply they stood to the westward in quest of the commodore; and being now luckily favoured by a strong current, they joined us in less than fifty hours, from the time they stood to the westward, after having been absent from us full forty-three days.  Those who have an idea of the inconsiderable size of a cutter belonging to a sixty-gun ship, (being only an open boat about twenty-two feet in length,) and who will attend to the various accidents to which she was exposed during a six weeks continuance alone, in the open ocean, on so impracticable and dangerous a coast, will readily own that her return to us, after all the difficulties which she actually experienced, and the hazards to which she was each hour exposed, was little short of miraculous.

I cannot finish this article without remarking how little reliance navigators ought to have on the accounts of the Buccaneer writers:  For though in this run eighty leagues to the eastward of Acapulco, she found no place where it was possible for a boat to land, yet those writers have not been ashamed to feign harbours and convenient watering-places within these limits, thereby exposing such as should confide in their relations to the risk of being destroyed by thirst.

Having received our cutter, the sole object of our coming a second time before Acapulco, the commodore resolved not to lose a moment’s time longer, but to run off the coast with the utmost expedition, both as the stormy season on the coast of Mexico was now approaching apace, and as we were apprehensive of having the westerly monsoon to struggle with when we came upon the coast of China; and therefore he no longer stood towards Acapulco, as he now wanted no answer from the governor; but yet he resolved not to deprive his prisoners of the liberty which he had promised them; so that they were all immediately embarked in two launches which belonged to our prizes, those from the Centurion in one launch, and those from the Gloucester in the other.  The launches were well equipped with masts, sails, and oars, and, lest the wind might prove unfavourable, they had a stock of water and provisions put on board them sufficient for fourteen days.  There were discharged thirty-nine persons from on board the Centurion, and eighteen from the Gloucester, the greatest part of them Spaniards, the rest Indians and sick negroes:  But as our crews were very weak, we kept the mulattoes and some of the stoutest of the negroes, with a few Indians, to assist us; but we dismissed every Spanish prisoner whatever.  We have since learnt, that these two launches arrived safe at Acapulco, where the prisoners could not enough extol the humanity with which they had been treated; and that the governor, before their arrival, had returned a very obliging answer to the commodore’s letter, and had attended it with a present of two boats laden with the choicest refreshments and provisions which were to be got at Acapulco; but that these boats not having found our ships, were at length obliged to put back again, after having thrown all their provisions overboard in a storm which threatened their destruction.

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