Anson's Voyage Round the World eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Anson's Voyage Round the World.
our way thither.  By the 1st of April we were so far advanced towards Seguataneo that we thought it expedient to send out two boats, that they might range along the coast and discover the watering-place.  They were gone some days, and our water being now very short, it was a particular felicity to us that we met with daily supplies of turtle; for had we been entirely confined to salt provisions, we must have suffered extremely in so warm a climate.  Indeed, our present circumstances were sufficiently alarming, and gave the most considerate amongst us as much concern as any of the numerous perils we had hitherto encountered; for our boats, as we conceived by their not returning, had not as yet discovered a place proper to water at, and by the leakage of our casks and other accidents we had not ten days’ water on board the whole squadron; so that, from the known difficulty of procuring water on this coast, and the little reliance we had on the buccaneer writers (the only guides we had to trust to), we were apprehensive of being soon exposed to a calamity, the most terrible of any in the long, disheartening catalogue of the distresses of a seafaring life.

But these gloomy suggestions were soon happily ended, for our boats returned on the 5th of April, having discovered a place proper for our purpose about seven miles to the westward of the rocks of Seguataneo, which by the description they gave of it, appeared to be the port called by Dampier* the harbour of Chequetan.  On the 7th we stood in, and that evening came to an anchor in eleven fathoms.  Thus, after a four months’ continuance at sea from the leaving of Quibo, and having but six days’ water on board, we arrived in the harbour of Chequetan.

(Note.  Dampier (1652 to 1715), the son of a tenant farmer, near Yeovil, played many parts in his time.  He was a buccaneer, a pirate, a circumnavigator, an author, a captain in the navy and an hydrographer.  His ‘Voyage Round the World’, published in 1697, procured him a command in the navy; but though an excellent seaman, he proved an incapable commander, as his buccaneer comrades had doubtless foreseen, for he had never been entrusted with any command among them.)

CHAPTER 24.  THE PRIZES SCUTTLED—­NEWS OF THE SQUADRON REACHES ENGLAND—­BOUND FOR CHINA.

The next morning after our coming to an anchor in the harbour of Chequetan, we sent about ninety of our men well armed on shore, forty of whom were ordered to march into the country, and the remaining fifty were employed to cover the watering-place and to prevent any interruption from the natives.  Here it was agreed after a mature consultation to destroy the Trial’s prize, as well as the Carmelo and Carmen, whose fate had been before resolved on.  Indeed, the ship was in good repair and fit for the sea; but as the whole number on board our squadron did not amount to the complement of a fourth-rate man-of-war, we

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