On the 14th we made sail again before daybreak, with a S.E. wind and steady weather; from the 9th of this month up to now we have found the land of Nova Guinea to extend N.N.E. and S.S.W., and from this point continuing N. and S. I went ashore here myself with the skipper and 10 musketeers and found a large number of footprints of men and dogs going south; we also came upon a very fine fresh-water river, flowing into the sea, whence fresh water can easily be obtained by means of boats or pinnaces; the river is in 10 deg. 50’, and is marked Waterplaets in the chart. The land here is high, hilly, and reefy near the sandy beach; seeing that nothing profitable could be effected here, we returned to the yacht, which was lying-by under small sail; towards the evening we were at about 1 mile’s distance from three islets, of which the southernmost was the largest; five miles by estimation farther to northward we saw a mountainous country, but the shallows rendered (or render) it impossible for us to get near it; in almost every direction in which soundings were taken, we found very shallow water, so that we sailed for a long time in 5, 4, 3, 21/2, 2, 11/2 fathom and even less, so that at last we were forced to drop anchor in 11/2 fathom, without knowing where to look for greater or less depths; after sunset we therefore sent out the pinnace to take soundings, which found deeper water a long way S.W. of the pinnace, viz. 2, 3, and 41/2 fathom; we were very glad to sail thither with the yacht, and cast anchor in 81/2 fathom, fervently thanking God Almighty for his inexpressible mercy and clemency, shown us in this emergency as in all others.
In the morning of the 15th, the wind being S.E. with good weather, we set sail on a W. course, which took us into shallower water of 2, 21/2 and 3 fathom; we therefore went over to S.W., when we came into 31/2, 4, 5, 6 fathom and upwards; we had lost sight of the land here, and found it impossible to touch at it or follow it any longer, owing to the shallows, reefs and sandbanks and also to the E. winds blowing here; on which account it was resolved and determined—in order to avoid such imminent perils as might ultimately arise if we continued to coast along the land any longer—to turn back and hold our course first for the Vleermuijs Eijlant; we therefore stood out to sea on a W. course in 91/2 fathom and upwards, having sailed 17 miles in 24 hours, kept west, and finding no bottom in 27 fathom.
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That in our landings between 13 deg. and 11 deg. we have but two times seen black men or savages, who received us much more hostilely than those more to southward; they are also acquainted with muskets, of which they would seem to have experienced the fatal effect when in 1606 the men of the Duyffken made a landing here.
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In the morning of the 16th, the wind was E.S.E. with good weather, the Eastern monsoon having set in; course held N.N.W., at noon we were in 10 deg. 27’, having sailed 30 miles in 24 hours.