A Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 154 pages of information about A Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland.

The 28th we had many violent tornadoes, wind, rain, and some spouts; and in the tornadoes the wind shifted.  In the night we had fair weather, but more lightning than we had seen at any time this voyage.  This morning we left a large high island on our larboard side, called in the Dutch charts Wishart’s Isle, about 6 leagues from the main; and, seeing many smokes upon the main, I therefore steered towards it.


New Britain discovered.

The mainland of new guineaIts inhabitantsSlingers bay.

The mainland at this place is high and mountainous, adorned with tall flourishing trees; the sides of the hills had many large plantations and patches of cleared land; which, together with the smokes we saw, were certain signs of its being well inhabited; and I was desirous to have some commerce with the inhabitants.  Being nigh the shore we saw first one proa; a little after, 2 or 3 more; and at last a great many boats came from all the adjacent bays.  When they were 46 in number they approached so near us that we could see each other’s signs, and hear each other speak; though we could not understand them, nor they us.  They made signs for us to go in towards the shore, pointing that way; it was squally weather, which at first made me cautious of going too near; but, the weather beginning to look pretty well, I endeavoured to get into a bay ahead of us, which we could have got into well enough at first; but while we lay by we were driven so far to leeward that now it was more difficult to get in.  The natives lay in their proas round us; to whom I showed beads, knives, glasses, to allure them to come nearer; but they would come so nigh as to receive anything from us.  Therefore I threw out some things to them, namely a knife fastened to a piece of board, and a glass bottle corked up with some beads in it, which they took up and seemed well pleased.  They often struck their left breast with their right hand, and as often held up a black truncheon over their heads, which we thought was a token of friendship; wherefore we did the like.  And when we stood in towards their shore they seemed to rejoice; but when we stood off they frowned, yet kept us company in their proas, still pointing to the shore.  About 5 o’clock we got within the mouth of the bay and sounded several times, but had no ground though within a mile of the shore.  The basin of this bay was above 2 miles within us, into which we might have gone; but, as I was not assured of anchorage there, so I thought it not prudence to run in at this time; it being near night and seeing a black tornado rising in the west, which I most feared:  besides we had near 200 men in proas close by us.  And the bays on the shore were lined with men from one end to the other, where there could not be less than 3 or 400 more.  What

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A Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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