Finding it was like to overblow, we took in our sprit-sail, and stood by to hand the foresail; but making foul weather, we looked the guns were all fast, and handed the mizzen.
The ship lay very broad off, so we thought it better spooning before the sea, than trying, or hulling. We reefed the foresail and set him, we hauled aft the foresheet: the helm was hard-a-weather. The ship wore bravely. We belayed the fore down-haul; but the sail was split, and we hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and unbound all the things clear of it. It was a very fierce storm; the sea broke strange and dangerous. We hauled off the laniard of the whipstaff, and helped the man at the helm. We could not get down our topmast, but let all stand, because she scudded before the sea very well, and we knew that the topmast being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made better way through the sea, seeing we had sea-room. When the storm was over, we set foresail and mainsail, and brought the ship to. Then we set the mizzen, main-top-sail, and the fore-top-sail. Our course was east north east, the wind was at southwest. We got the starboard tacks aboard, we cast off our weather braces and lifts; we set in the lee braces, and hauled forward by the weather bowlings, and hauled them tight and belayed them, and hauled over the mizzen tack to wind-ward and kept her full and by, as near as she could lie.
During this storm, which was followed by a strong wind, west southwest, we were carried, by my computation, about five hundred leagues to the east, so that the oldest sailor on board could not tell in what part of the world we were. Our provisions held out well, our ship was staunch, and our crew all in good health; but we lay in the utmost distress for water. We thought it best to hold on the same course, rather than turn more northerly, which might have brought us to the northwest parts of Great Tartary, and into the Frozen Sea.
On the sixteenth day of June, 1703, a boy on the topmast discovered land. On the seventeenth, we came in full view of a great island or continent (for we knew not which), on the south side whereof was a small neck of land, jutting out into the sea, and a creek too shallow to hold a ship of above one hundred tons. We cast anchor within a league of this creek, and our captain sent a dozen of his men well armed in the long-boat, with vessels for water, if any could be found. I desired his leave to go with them, that I might see the country, and make what discoveries I could.