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.


Continuation of the Voyage after the Loss of the African, to the Arrival of Roggewein at New Britain.

The next morning after leaving Mischievous island, they saw a new island eight leagues to the west, to which they gave the name of Aurora island, because observed first at break of day.  At this time the Tienhoven was so near, that if the sun had risen half an hour later, she must have shared the same fate with the African, as she was within cannon-shot of the shore when the danger was perceived, and she then tacked and escaped with considerable difficulty.  The fright which this occasioned produced a mutiny, in which all the seamen insisted with the commodore either to return immediately, or to give them security for payment of their wages, in case they should be so unfortunate as to suffer shipwreck.  This request seemed just and reasonable, being daily exposed to excessive fatigue in these stormy and unknown seas, and at the same time ran the hazard of losing all the reward of their labours, as it is the custom in Holland that the seamen lose their wages if the ship is lost in which they sail.  The commodore listened to their complaints with much humanity, and immediately gave them assurance upon oath, that they should have their wages to the uttermost farthing, and kept his promise with the utmost exactness; for, though the African was lost before, and both the other ships were condemned at Batavia, yet every one of their respective crews received their full wages on their arrival at Amsterdam.

The island of Aurora was about four leagues in extent, the whole being covered with delightful verdure, and adorned with lofty trees interspersed with smaller wood.  But, as the coast was found to be all foul and rocky, they left this island also without landing.  Towards evening of the same day, they had sight of another island, to which therefore they gave the name of Vesper.[1] This was about twelve leagues in circuit, all low land, yet verdant and containing abundance of trees of various sorts.  Continuing their course to the west in about the latitude of 15 deg.  S. they next morning discovered another country; and, as it was covered with smoke, they concluded it was inhabited, and made there all sail to come to it, in hopes of procuring refreshments.  On approaching nearer, some of the inhabitants were seen diverting themselves off the coast in their canoes.  They also perceived by degrees, that what they had at first supposed to be one country or large island, was in reality abundance of islands standing close together, among which they had now entered so far, that they found it difficult to get out again.  In this situation, a man was sent to the mast-head to look out for a passage, and as the weather was quite serene, they had the good fortune to get out once more into the open sea without injury; although in passing by several steep ranges of rocks, they had reason to consider this as a great deliverance.  There were six of these islands, exceedingly beautiful and pleasant in appearance, which altogether could not be less than thirty leagues in circumference.  They were about twenty-five leagues west from Mischievous island, and the Dutch called them the Labyrinth,[2] having difficultly got clear of them by numerous tacks.

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