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.

[Footnote 6:  The remarks of Harris on this voyage are extended to a far greater length than have been here adopted, and are many of them loose and uninteresting; but some of those here inserted have a strong reference to a most important subject now under consideration of the legislature; and the notices respecting the Dutch West India Companies are curious in themselves, as well as upon a subject very little known in this country.

The subject of this voyage round the world is principally exhausted in the seven first sections; all those subsequent being chiefly a detail of the Indian settlements of the Dutch East India Company, as it was in the year 1722, almost a century ago.  These certainly might have been omitted on the present occasion, without injury to the present article, as a circumnavigation:  But, as conveying a considerable mass of information, respecting the Dutch possessions in India, now all belonging to Britain, and respecting which hardly any thing has been published in the English language, it has been deemed indispensable to preserve them.—­E.]


Narrative of the Voyage from Holland to the Coast of Brazil.[1]

The small squadron of three ships, already enumerated, sailed from Amsterdam on the 16th July, 1721, and arrived at the Texel in thirty-six hours, where they were provided with every thing requisite for so long a voyage.  All things being in readiness, they sailed with a fair wind on the 21st August; but, as the wind changed next day, they were three days in beating to windward through the British channel, after which they continued their course to the S.W. for the coast of Barbary, but were opposed by a heavy storm which did them considerable damage.  To this a dead calm succeeded, during which the water ran mountains high, owing to agitation they had been thrown into by the storm.  By the rolling of the ships during the calm, several injuries were sustained, one of the vessels losing its main-top-mast and mizen-mast; and the main-yard of the Commodore came down with such force as to wound several of the people on deck.  After two days the wind freshened again, and they continued their course S.W. towards the Canaries, amusing themselves with observing the manner in which the flying-fish endeavours to escape from its enemies, the albicores and bonitoes.  The flying-fish are not larger than a herring, and raise themselves into the air by means of two long fins, one on each side, not much unlike the wings of a bat in strength and texture.  They are considered as good eating, and the sailors are always well pleased when they are met with in plenty.  The bonito is about two feet long, of a greyish colour, finely streaked from head to tail; but the flesh is hard, dry, and disagreeably tasted.  The albicore is generally five or six feet long, and sometimes weighs 150 pounds.  They saw likewise several water-fowls, particularly teal, which the seamen account a sign of land being near.

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