A Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland/Chapter 1
THE AUTHOR'S DEPARTURE FROM THE COAST OF NEW HOLLAND, WITH THE REASONS OF IT.
I had spent about 5 weeks in ranging off and on the coast of New Holland, a length of about 300 leagues: and had put in at 3 several places to see what there might be thereabouts worth discovering; and at the same time to recruit my stock of fresh water and provisions for the further discoveries I purposed to attempt on the Terra Australis. This large and hitherto almost unknown tract of land is situated so very advantageously in the richest climates of the world, the torrid and temperate zones; having in it especially all the advantages of the torrid zone, as being known to reach from the equator itself (within a degree) to the Tropic of Capricorn, and beyond it; that in coasting round it, which I designed by this voyage, if possible, I could not but hope to meet with some fruitful lands, continent or islands, or both, productive of any of the rich fruits, drugs, or spices (perhaps minerals also, etc.) that are in the other parts of the torrid zone, under equal parallels of latitude; at least a soil and air capable of such, upon transplanting them hither, and cultivation. I meant also to make as diligent a survey as I could of the several smaller islands, shores, capes, bays, creeks, and harbours, fit as well for shelter as defence, upon fortifying them; and of the rocks and shoals, the soundings, tides, and currents, winds and weather, variation, etc., whatever might be beneficial for navigation, trade or settlement; or be of use to any who should prosecute the same designs hereafter; to whom it might be serviceable to have so much of their work done to their hands; which they might advance and perfect by their own repeated experiences. As there is no work of this kind brought to perfection at once I intended especially to observe what inhabitants I should meet with, and to try to win them over to somewhat of traffic and useful intercourse, as there might be commodities among any of them that might be fit for trade or manufacture, or any found in which they might be employed. Though as to the New Hollanders hereabouts, by the experience I had had of their neighbours formerly, I expected no great matters from them.
With such views as these I set out at first from England; and would, according to the method I proposed formerly, have gone westward through the Magellanic Strait, or round Tierra del Fuego rather, that I might have begun my discoveries upon the eastern and least known side of the Terra Australis. But that way it was not possible for me to go by reason of the time of year in which I came out; for I must have been compassing the south of America in a very high latitude in the depth of the winter there. I was therefore necessitated to go eastward by the Cape of Good Hope; and when I should be past it it was requisite I should keep in a pretty high latitude, to avoid the general tradewinds that would be against me, and to have the benefit of the variable winds: by all which I was in a manner unavoidably determined to fall in first with those parts of New Holland I have hitherto been describing. For should it be asked why at my first making that shore I did not coast it to the southward, and that way try to get round to the east of New Holland and New Guinea; I confess I was not for spending my time more than was necessary in the higher latitudes; as knowing that the land there could not be so well worth the discovering as the parts that lay nearer the Line and more directly under the sun. Besides, at the time when I should come first on New Holland, which was early in the spring, I must, had I stood southward, have had for some time a great deal of winter weather, increasing in severity, though not in time, and in a place altogether unknown; which my men, who were heartless enough to the voyage at best, would never have borne after so long a run as from Brazil hither.
For these reasons therefore I chose to coast along to the northward, and so to the east, and so thought to come round by the south of Terra Australis in my return back, which should be in the summer season there: and this passage back also I now thought I might possibly be able to shorten, should it appear, at my getting to the east coast of New Guinea, that there is a channel there coming out into these seas, as I now suspected, near Rosemary Island: unless the high tides and great indraught thereabout should be occasioned by the mouth of some large river; which has often low lands on each side of its outlet, and many islands and shoals lying at its entrance. But I rather thought it a channel or strait than a river: and I was afterwards confirmed in this opinion when, by coasting New Guinea, I found that other parts of this great tract of Terra Australis, which had hitherto been represented as the shore of a continent, were certainly islands; and it is probably the same with New Holland: though, for reasons I shall afterwards show, I could not return by the way I proposed to myself to fix the discovery. All that I had now seen from the latitude of 27 degrees south to 25, which is Shark's Bay; and again from thence to Rosemary Islands and about the latitude of 20; seems to be nothing but ranges of pretty large islands against the sea, whatever might be behind them to the eastward, whether sea or land, continent or islands.
But to proceed with my voyage. Though the land I had seen as yet was not very inviting, being but barren towards the sea, and affording me neither fresh water nor any great store of other refreshments, nor so much as a fit place for careening; yet I stood out to sea again with thoughts of coasting still alongshore (as near as I could) to the north-eastward, for the further discovery of it: persuading myself that at least the place I anchored at in my voyage round the world, in the latitude of 16 degrees 15 minutes, from which I was not now far distant, would not fail to afford me sweet water upon digging, as it did then; for the brackish water I had taken in here, though it served tolerably well for boiling, was yet not very wholesome.
With these intentions I put to sea on the 5th of September 1699, with a gentle gale, sounding all the way; but was quickly induced to alter my design. For I had not been out above a day but I found that the shoals among which I was engaged all the while on the coast, and was like to be engaged in, would make it a very tedious thing to sail along by the shore, or to put in where I might have occasion. I therefore edged farther off to sea, and so deepened the water from 11 to 32 fathom. The next day, being September the 6th, we could but just discern the land, though we had then no more than about 30 fathom, uncertain soundings; for even while we were out of sight of land we had once but 7 fathom, and had also great and uncertain tides whirling about, that made me afraid to go near a coast so shallow, where we might be soon aground and yet have but little wind to bring us off: for should a ship be near a shoal she might be hurled upon it unavoidably by a strong tide, unless there should be a good wind to work her and keep her off. Thus also on the 7th day we saw no land, though our water decreased again to 26 fathom; for we had deepened it, as I said, to 30.
This day we saw two water-snakes, different in shape from such as we had formerly seen. The one was very small, though long; the other long and as big as a man's leg, having a red head; which I never saw any have, before or since. We had this day latitude 16 degrees 9 minutes by observation.
I was by this time got to the north of the place I had thought to have put in at where I dug wells in my former voyage; and though I knew, by the experience I had of it then, that there was a deep entrance in thither from the eastward; yet by the shoals I had hitherto found so far stretched on this coast, I was afraid I should have the same trouble to coast all along afterwards beyond that place: and besides the danger of running almost continually amongst shoals on a strange shore, and where the tides were strong and high; I began to bethink myself that a great part of my time must have been spent in being about a shore I was already almost weary of, which I might employ with greater satisfaction to my mind, and better hopes of success, in going forward to New Guinea. Add to this the particular danger I should have been in upon a lee shore, such as is here described, when the north-west monsoon should once come in; the ordinary season of which was not now far off, though this year it stayed beyond the common season; and it comes on storming at first, with tornadoes, violent gusts, etc. Wherefore quitting the thoughts of putting in again at New Holland, I resolved to steer away for the island Timor; where, besides getting fresh water, I might probably expect to be furnished with fruits and other refreshments to recruit my men, who began to droop; some of them being already to my great grief afflicted with the scurvy, which was likely to increase upon them and disable them, and was promoted by the brackish water they took in last for boiling their oatmeal. It was now also towards the latter end of the dry season; when I might not probably have found water so plentifully upon digging at that part of New Holland as when I was there before in the wet season. And then, considering the time also that I must necessarily spend in getting in to the shore through such shoals as I expected to meet with; or in going about to avoid them; and in digging of wells when I should come hither: I might very well hope to get to Timor and find fresh water there as soon as I could expect to get it at New Holland; and with less trouble and danger.
On the 8th of September therefore, shaping our course for Timor, we were in latitude 15 degrees 37 minutes. We had 26 fathom coarse sand; and we saw one whale. We found them lying most commonly near the shore or in shoal water. This day we also saw some small white clouds; the first that we had seen since we came out of Shark's Bay. This was one sign of the approach of the north-north-west monsoon. Another sign was the shifting of the winds; for from the time of our coming to our last anchoring place, the seabreezes which before were easterly and very strong had been whiffling about and changing gradually from the east to the north, and thence to the west, blowing but faintly, and now hanging mostly in some point of the west. This day the winds were at south-west by west, blowing very faint; and the 9th day we had the wind at north-west by north, but then pretty fresh; and we saw the clouds rising more and thicker in the north-west. This night at 12 we lay by for a small low sandy island which I reckoned myself not far from. The next morning at sun-rising we saw it from the top-masthead, right ahead of us; and at noon were up within a mile of it: when by a good observation I found it to lie in 13 degrees 55 minutes. I have mentioned it in my first volume, but my account then made it to lie in 13 degrees 50 minutes. We had abundance of boobies and man-of-war-birds flying about us all the day; especially when we came near the island; which had also abundance of them upon it; though it was but a little spot of sand, scarce a mile round.
I did not anchor here nor send my boat ashore; there being no appearance of getting anything on that spot of sand besides birds that were good for little: though had I not been in haste I would have taken some of them. So I made the best of my way to Timor; and on the 11th in the afternoon we saw 10 small land-birds, about the bigness of larks, that flew away north-west. The 13th we saw a great many sea-snakes. One of these, of which I saw great numbers and variety in this voyage, was large, and all black: I never saw such another for his colour.
THE AUTHOR'S ARRIVAL AT THE ISLAND TIMOR.
We had now for some days small gales from the south-south-west to the north-north-west, and the sky still more cloudy especially in the mornings and evenings. The 14th it looked very black in the north-west all the day; and a little before sunset we saw, to our great joy, the tops of the high mountains of Timor, peeping out of the clouds which had before covered them as they did still the lower parts.
We were now running directly towards the middle of the island on the south side: but I was in some doubt whether I should run down alongshore on this south side towards the east end; or pass about the west end, and so range along on the north side, and go that way towards the east end: but as the winds were now westerly I thought it best to keep on the south side, till I should see how the weather would prove; for, as the island lies, if the westerly winds continued and grew tempestuous I should be under the lee of it and have smooth water, and so could go alongshore more safely and easily on this south side: I could sooner also run to the east end where there is the best shelter, as being still more under the lee of the island when those winds blow. Or if, on the other side, the winds should come about again to the eastward, I could but turn back again (as I did afterwards) and passing about the west end, could there prosecute my search on the north side of the island for water, or inhabitants, or a good harbour, or whatever might be useful to me. For both sides of the island were hitherto alike to me, being wholly unacquainted here; only as I had seen it at a distance in my former voyage.
SEARCH FOR FRESH WATER ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ISLAND, IN VAIN.
I had heard also that there were both Dutch and Portuguese settlements on this island; but whereabouts I knew not: however I was resolved to search about till I found either one of these settlements, or water in some other place.
It was now almost night and I did not care to run near the land in the dark, but clapped on a wind and stood off and on till the next morning, being September 15th, when I steered in for the island, which now appeared very plain, being high, double and treble land, very remarkable, on whatever side you view it. See a sight of it in 2 parts, Table 5 Number 1. At 3 in the afternoon we anchored in 14 fathom, soft black oasy ground, about a mile from the shore. See 2 sights more of the coast in Table 5 Numbers 2 and 3, and the island itself in the particular map; which I have here inserted to show the course of the voyage from hence to the eastward; as the general map shows the course of the whole voyage. But in making the particular map I chose to begin only with Timor, that I might not, by extending it too far, be forced to contract the scale too much among the islands, etc., of the New Guinea coast, which I chiefly designed it for.
The land by the sea on this south side is low and sandy, and full of tall straight-bodied trees like pines, for about 200 yards inwards from the shore. Beyond that, further in towards the mountains, for a breadth of about 3 miles more or less, there is a tract of swampy mangrove land which runs all along between the sandy land of the shore on one side of it, and the feet of the mountains on the other. And this low mangrove land is overflown every tide of flood by the water that flows into it through several mouths or openings in the outer sandy skirt against the sea. We came to an anchor right against one of these openings; and presently I went in my boat to search for fresh water, or get speech of the natives; for we saw smokes, houses, and plantations against the sides of the mountains, not far from us. It was ebbing water before we got ashore, though the water was still high enough to float us in without any great trouble. After we were within the mouth we found a large salt-water lake which we hoped might bring us up through the mangroves to the fast land: but before we went further I went ashore on the sandy land by the seaside, and looked about me; but saw there no sign of fresh water. Within the sandy bank the water forms a large lake: going therefore into the boat again we rowed up the lake towards the firm land, where no doubt there was fresh water, could we come at it. We found many branches of the lake entering within the mangrove land but not beyond it. Of these we left some on the right hand and some on the left, still keeping in the biggest channel; with still grew smaller, and at last so narrow that we could go no farther, ending among the swamps and mangroves. We were then within a mile of some houses of the Indian inhabitants and the firm land by the sides of the hills: but the mangroves thus stopping our way, we returned as we came: but it was almost dark before we reached the mouth of the creek. It was with much ado that we got out of it again; for it was now low-water, and there went a rough short sea on the bar; which however we passed over without any damage and went aboard.
The next morning at five we weighed and stood alongshore to the eastward, making use of the sea and land-breezes. We found the seabreezes here from the south-south-east to the south-south-west, the land-breezes from the north to the north-east. We coasted along about 20 leagues and found it all a straight, bold, even shore, without points, creeks or inlets for a ship: and there is no anchoring till within a mile or a mile and a half of the shore. We saw scarce any opening fit for our boats; and the fast land was still barricaded with mangroves; so that here was no hope to get water; nor was it likely that there should be hereabouts any European settlement, since there was no sign of a harbour.
FAULT OF THE CHARTS.
The land appeared pleasant enough to the eye: for the sides and tops of the mountains were clothed with woods mixed with savannahs; and there was a plantation of the Indian natives, where we saw the coconuts growing, and could have been glad to have come at some of them. In the chart I had with me a shoal was laid down hereabouts; but I saw nothing of it, going, or coming; and so have taken no notice of it in my map.
Weary of running thus fruitlessly along the south side of the island to the eastward I resolved to return the way I came; and compassing the west end of the island, make a search along the north side of it. The rather, because the north-north-west monsoon, which I had designed to be sheltered from by coming the way I did, did not seem to be near at hand, as the ordinary season of them required; but on the contrary I found the winds returning again to the south-eastward; and the weather was fair, and seemed likely to hold so; and consequently the north-north-west monsoon was not like to come in yet. I considered therefore that by going to the north side of the island I should there have the smooth water, as being the lee side as the winds now were; and hoped to have better riding at anchor or landing on that side, than I could expect here, where the shore was so lined with mangroves.
Accordingly the 18th about noon I altered my course and steered back again towards the south-west end of the island. This day we struck a dolphin; and the next day saw two more but struck none: we also saw a whale.
THE ISLAND ROTI.
In the evening we saw the island Roti, and another island to the south of it, not seen in my map; both lying near the south-west end of Timor. On both these islands we saw smokes by day, and fires by night, as we had seen on Timor ever since we fell in with it. I was told afterwards by the Portuguese that they had sugar-works on the island Roti; but I knew nothing of that now; and the coast appearing generally dry and barren, only here and there a spot of trees, I did not attempt anchoring there but stood over again to the Timor coast.
A PASSAGE BETWEEN THE ISLANDS TIMOR AND ANABAO. FAULT OF THE CHARTS.
September the 21st in the morning, being near Timor, I saw a pretty large opening which immediately I entered with my ship, sounding as I went in: but had no ground till I came within the east point of the mouth of the opening, where I anchored in 9 fathom, a league from the shore. The distance from the east side to the west side of this opening was about 5 leagues. But, whereas I thought this was only an inlet or large sound that ran a great way into the island Timor, I found afterwards that it was a passage between the west end of Timor and another small island called Anamabao or Anabao: into which mistake I was led by my sea-chart, which represented both sides of the opening as parts of the same coast, and called all of it Timor: see all this rectified, and a view of the whole passage as I found it, in a small map I have made of it. Table 6 Number 1.
I designed to sail into this opening till I should come to firm land, for the shore was all set thick with mangroves here by the sea, on each side; which were very green, as were also other trees more within-land. We had now but little wind; therefore I sent my boat away, to sound and to let me know by signs what depth of water they met with, if under 8 fathom; but if more I ordered them to go on and make no signs. At 11 that morning, having a pretty fresh gale, I weighed and made sail after my boat; but edged over more to the west shore, because I saw many smaller openings there, and was in hopes to find a good harbour where I might secure the ship; for then I could with more safety send my boats to seek for fresh water. I had not sailed far before the wind came to the south-east and blew so strong that I could not with safety venture nearer that side, it being a lee shore. Besides, my boat was on the east side of the Timor coast; for the other was, as I found afterwards, the Anabao shore; and the great opening I was now in was the strait between that island and Timor; towards which I now tacked and stood over. Taking up my boat therefore I ran under the Timor side, and at 3 o'clock anchored in 29 fathom, half a mile from the shore. That part of the south-west point of Timor where we anchored in the morning bore now south by west, distance 3 leagues: and another point of the island bore north-north-east, distance 2 leagues.
A DUTCH FORT, CALLED CONCORDIA. THEIR SUSPICION OF THE AUTHOR.
Not long after, we saw a sloop coming about the point last mentioned, with Dutch colours; which I found, upon sending my boat aboard, belonged to a Dutch fort (the only one they have in Timor) about 5 leagues from hence, called Concordia. The governor of the fort was in the sloop, and about 40 soldiers with him. He appeared to be somewhat surprised at our coming this way; which it seems is a passage scarce known to any but themselves; as he told the men I sent to him in my boat. Neither did he seem willing that we should come near their fort for water. He said also that he did not know of any water on all that part of the island, but only at the fort; and that the natives would kill us if they met us ashore. By the small arms my men carried with them in the boat they took us to be pirates, and would not easily believe the account my men gave them of what we were and whence we came. They said that about 2 years before this there had been a stout ship of French pirates here; and that after having been suffered to water, and to refresh themselves, and been kindly used, they had on a sudden gone among the Indians, subjects of the fort, and plundered them and burnt their houses. And the Portuguese here told us afterwards that those pirates, whom they also had entertained, had burnt their houses and had taken the Dutch fort (though the Dutch cared not to own so much) and had driven the governor and factory among the wild Indians their enemies. The Dutch told my men further that they could not but think we had of several nations (as is usual with pirate vessels) in our ship and particularly some Dutchmen, though all the discourse was in French (for I had not one who could speak Dutch) or else, since the common charts make no passage between Timor and Anabao, but lay down both as one island; they said they suspected we had plundered some Dutch ship of their particular charts, which they are forbid to part with.
With these jealousies the sloop returned towards their fort, and my boat came back with this news to me: but I was not discouraged at this news; not doubting but I should persuade them better when I should come to talk with them. So the next morning I weighed and stood towards the fort. The winds were somewhat against us so that we could not go very fast, being obliged to tack 2 or 3 times: and, coming near the farther end of the passage between Timor and Anabao, we saw many houses on each side not far from the sea, and several boats lying by the shore. The land on both sides was pretty high, appearing very dry and of a reddish colour, but highest on the Timor side. The trees on either side were but small, the woods thin, and in many places the trees were dry and withered.
THE ISLAND ANABAO DESCRIBED.
The island Anamabao, or Anabao, is not very big, not exceeding 10 leagues in length and 4 in breadth; yet it has 2 kingdoms in it, namely that of Anamabao on the east side towards Timor and the north-east end; and that of Anabao, which contains the south-west end and the west side of the island; but I known not which of them is biggest. The natives of both are of the Indian kind, of a swarthy copper-colour, with black lank hair. Those of Anamabao are in league with the Dutch, as these afterwards told me, and with the natives of the kingdom of Kupang in Timor, over against them, in which the Dutch fort Concordia stands: but they are said to be inveterate enemies to their neighbours of Anabao. Those of Anabao, besides managing their small plantations of roots and a few coconuts, do fish, strike turtle, and hunt buffaloes, killing them with swords, darts, or lances. But I know not how they get their iron; I suppose by traffic with the Dutch or Portuguese, who send now and then a sloop and trade thither, but well armed; for the natives would kill them, could they surprise them. They go always armed themselves; and when they go a-fishing or a-hunting they spend 4 or 5 days or more in ranging about before they return to their habitation. We often saw them after this at these employments; but they would not come near us. The fish or flesh that they take, besides what serves for present spending, they dry on a barbecue or wooden grate, standing pretty high over the fire, and so carry it home when they return. We came sometimes afterwards to the places where they had meat thus a-drying, but did not touch any of it.
But to proceed: I did not think to stop anywhere till I came near the fort; which yet I did not see: but, coming to the end of this passage, I found that if I went any farther I should be open again to the sea. I therefore stood in close to the shore on the east side, and anchored in 4 fathom water, sandy ground; a point of land still hindering me from seeing the fort. But I sent my boat to look about for it; and in a short time she returned, and my men told me they saw the fort, but did not go near it; and that it was not above 4 or 5 miles from hence. It being now late I would not send my boat thither till the next morning: meanwhile about 2 or 300 Indians, neighbours of the fort, and sent probably from thence, came to the sandy bay just against the ship; where they stayed all night, and made good fires. They were armed with lances, swords and targets, and made a great noise all the night: we thought it was to scare us from landing, should we attempt it: but we took little notice of them.
THE AUTHOR'S PARLEY WITH THE GOVERNOR OF THE DUTCH FORT. THEY, WITH GREAT DIFFICULTY, OBTAIN LEAVE TO WATER.
The next morning, being September the 23rd, I sent my clerk ashore in my pinnace to the governor to satisfy him that we were Englishmen: and in the King's ship, and to ask water of him; sending a young man with him who spoke French. My clerk was with the governor pretty early; and in answer to his queries about me, and my business in these parts, told him that I had the King of England's commission, and desired to speak with him. He beckoned to my clerk to come ashore; but as soon as he saw some small arms in the stern-sheets of the boat he commanded him into the boat again, and would have him be gone. My clerk solicited him that he would allow him to speak with him; and at last the governor consented that he should come ashore, and sent his lieutenant and 3 merchants with a guard of about a hundred of the native Indians to receive him. My clerk said that we were in much want of water, and hoped they would allow us to come to their watering-place and fill. But the governor replied that he had orders not to supply any ships but their own East India Company; neither must they allow any Europeans to come the way that we came; and wondered how we durst come near their fort. My clerk answered him that, had we been enemies, we must have come ashore among them for water: but, said the governor, you are come to inspect into our trade and strength; and I will have you therefore be gone with all speed. My clerk answered him that I had no such design but, without coming nearer them, would be contented if the governor would send water on board where we lay, about 2 leagues from the fort; and that I would make any reasonable satisfaction for it. The governor said that we should have what water we wanted, provided we came no nearer with the ship: and ordered that as soon as we pleased we should send our boat full of empty casks, and come to an anchor with it off the fort, till he sent slaves to bring the casks ashore and fill them; for that none of our men must come ashore. The same afternoon I sent up my boat as he had directed with an officer and a present of some beer for the governor; which he would not accept of, but sent me off about a ton of water.
On the 24th in the morning I sent the same officer again in my boat; and about noon the boat returned again with the two principal merchants of the factory and the lieutenant of the fort; for whose security they had kept my officer and one of my boat's crew as hostages, confining them to the governor's garden all the time: for they were very shy of trusting any of them to go into their fort, as my officer said: yet afterwards they were not shy of our company; and I found that my officer maliciously endeavoured to make them shy of me. In the evening I gave the Dutch officers that came aboard the best entertainment I could; and, bestowing some presents on them, sent them back very well pleased; and my officer and the other man were returned to me. Next morning I sent my boat ashore again with the same officer; who brought me word from the governor that we must pay 4 Spanish dollars for every boat-load of water: but in this he spoke falsely, as I understood afterwards from the governor himself and all his officers, who protested to me that no such price was demanded, but left me to give the slaves what I pleased for their labour: the governor being already better satisfied about me than when my clerk spoke to him, or than that officer I sent last would have caused him to be: for the governor being a civil, genteel, and sensible man, was offended at the officer for his being so industrious to misrepresent me. I received from the governor a little lamb, very fat; and I sent him 2 of the guinea-hens that I brought from St. Jago, of which there were none here.
I had now 11 buts of water on board, having taken in 7 here, which I would have paid for but that at present I was afraid to send my boat ashore again; for my officer told me, among other of his inventions, that there were more guns mounted in the fort than when we first came; and that he did not see the gentlemen that were aboard the day before; intimating as if they were shy of us; and that the governor was very rough with him; and I, not knowing to the contrary at present, consulted with my other officers what was best to be done; for by this the governor should seem to design to quarrel with us. All my other officers thought it natural to infer so much, and that it was not safe to send the boat ashore any more, lest it should be seized on; but that it was best to go away and seek more water where we could find it. For having now (as I said) 11 buts aboard; and the land being promising this way, I did not doubt finding water in a short time. But my officer who occasioned these fears in us by his own forgeries was himself for going no further; having a mind, as far as I could perceive, to make everything in the voyage, to which he showed himself averse, seem as cross and discouraging to my men as possible, that he might hasten our return; being very negligent and backward in most businesses I had occasion to employ him in; doing nothing well or willingly, though I did all I could to win him to it. He was also industrious to stir up the seamen to mutiny; telling them, among other things, that any Dutch ship might lawfully take us in these seas; but I knew better, and avoided everything that could give just offence.
The rest of my officers therefore being resolved to go from hence, and having bought some fish of some Anamabeans who, seeing our ship, came purposely to sell some, passing to and fro every day, I sailed away on the 26th about 5 in the afternoon. We passed along between a small low sandy island (over against the fort) full of bays and pretty high trees; sounding as we went along, and had from 25 to 35 fathom, oasy ground. See the little map of this passage Table 6 Number 1.
The 27th in the morning we anchored in the middle of the bay, called Kupang Bay, in 12 fathom, soft oaze, about 4 leagues above the Dutch fort. Their sloop was riding by the fort, and in the night fired a gun; but for what reason I know not, and the governor said afterwards it was the skipper's own doing, without his order. Presently after we had anchored I went in the pinnace to search about the bay for water but found none. Then, returning aboard, I weighed, and ran down to the north entrance of the bay, and at 7 in the evening anchored again in 37 fathom, soft oaze, close by the sandy island, and about 4 leagues from the Dutch fort. The 28th I sent both my boats ashore on the sandy island to cut wood; and by noon they both came back laden. In the afternoon I sent my pinnace ashore on the north coast or point of Kupang Bay, which is called Babao. Late in the night they returned, and told me that they saw great tracks of buffaloes there, but none of the buffaloes themselves; neither did they find any fresh water. They also saw some green-turtle in the sea and one alligator.
COASTING ALONG THE NORTH SIDE OF TIMOR.
The 29th I went out of Kupang Bay, designing to coast it alongshore on the north side of Timor to the eastward; as well to seek for water, as also to acquaint myself with the island, and to search for the Portuguese settlements; which we were informed were about forty leagues to the eastward of this place.
We coasted alongshore with land and seabreezes. The land by the shore was of a moderate height, with high and very remarkable hills farther within the country; their sides all spotted with woods and savannahs. But these on the mountains' sides appeared of a rusty colour, not so pleasant and flourishing as those that we saw on the south side of the island; for the trees seemed to be small and withering; and the grass in the savannahs also looked dry, as if it wanted moisture. But in the valleys, and by the sea side, the trees looked here also more green. Yet we saw no good anchoring-place, or opening, that gave us any encouragement to put in; till the 30th day in the afternoon.
We were then running alongshore, at about 4 leagues distance, with a moderate seabreeze; when we opened a pretty deep bay which appeared to be a good road to anchor in. There were two large valleys and one smaller one which, descending from the mountains, came all into one valley by the seaside against this bay, which was full of tall green trees. I presently stood in with the ship till within two leagues of the shore; and then sent in my pinnace, commanded by my chief mate, whose great care, fidelity, and diligence I was well assured of; ordering him to seek for fresh water; and if he found any to sound the bay and bring me word what anchoring there was, and to make haste aboard.
As soon as they were gone I stood off a little and lay by. The day was now far spent; and therefore it was late before they got ashore with the boat; so that they did not come aboard again that night. Which I was much concerned at; because in the evening, when the seabreeze was done and the weather calm, I perceived the ship to drive back again to the westward. I was not yet acquainted with the tides here; for I had hitherto met with no strong tides about the island, and scarce any running in a stream, to set me alongshore either way. But after this time I had pretty much of them; and found at present the flood set to the eastward, and the ebb to the westward. The ebb (with which I was now carried) sets very strong and runs 8 or 9 hours. The flood runs but weak, and at most lasts not above 4 hours; and this too is perceived only near the shore; where, checking the ebb, it swells the seas and makes the water rise in the bays and rivers 8 or 9 foot. I was afterwards credibly informed by some Portuguese that the current runs always to the westward in the mid-channel between this island and those that face it in a range to the north of it, namely Misicomba (or Omba) Pintare, Laubana, Ende, etc.
THEY FIND WATER AND AN ANCHORING-PLACE.
We were driven 4 leagues back again, and took particular notice of a point of land that looked like Flamborough Head, when we were either to the east or west of it; and near the shore it appeared like an island. Four or five leagues to the east of this point is another very remarkable bluff point which is on the west side of the bay that my boat was in. See two sights of this land, Table 6 Numbers 2 and 3. We could not stem the tide till about 3 o'clock in the afternoon; when, the tide running with us, we soon got abreast of the bay, and then saw a small island to the eastward of us. See a sight of it Table 6 Number 4. About 6 we anchored in the bottom of the bay in 25 fathom, soft oaze, half a mile from the shore.
I made many false fires in the night, and now and then fired a gun that my boat might find me; but to no purpose. In the morning I found myself driven again by the tide of ebb 3 or 4 leagues to the westward of the place where I left my boat. I had several men looking out for her; but could not get sight of her: besides I continued still driving to the westward; for we had but little wind, and that against us. But by 10 o'clock in the morning we had the comfort of seeing the boat; and at 11 she came aboard, bringing 2 barrecoes of very good water.
A DESCRIPTION OF A SMALL ISLAND, SEVEN LEAGUES EAST FROM THE WATERING BAY.
The mate told me there was good anchoring close by the watering-place; but that there ran a very strong tide, which near the shore made several races, so that they found much danger in getting ashore, and were afraid to come off again in the night because of the ripplings the tide made.
We had now the seabreeze, and steered away for this bay; but could hardly stem the tide till about 3 in the afternoon; when, the tide being turned with us, we went along briskly, and about 6 anchored in the bay, in 25 fathom, soft oaze, half a mile from the shore.
The next morning I went ashore to fill water, and before night sent aboard 8 tons. We filled it out of a large pond within 50 paces of the sea. It looked pale but was very good, and boiled peas well. I saw the track of an alligator here. Not far from the pond we found the rudder of a Malayan proa, 3 great jars in a small shed set up against a tree, and a barbecue whereon there had been fish and flesh of buffaloes dressed, the bones lying but a little from it.
In 3 days we filled about twenty-six tun of water, and then had on board about 30 tun in all. The 2 following days we spent in fishing with the seine, and the first morning caught as many as served all my ship's company: but afterwards we had not so good success. The rest of my men which could be spared from the ship I sent out; some with the carpenter's mate to cut timber for my boats, etc. These went always guarded with 3 or 4 armed men to secure them: I showed them what wood was fitting to cut for our use, especially the calabash and maho; I showed them always the manner of stripping the maho-bark, and of making therewith thread, twine, ropes, etc. Others were sent out a-fowling; who brought home pigeons, parrots, cockatoos, etc. I was always with one party or other myself; especially with the carpenters, to hasten them to get what they could, that we might be gone from hence.
Our water being full, I sailed from hence October the 6th about 4 in the afternoon, designing to coast alongshore to the eastward, till I came to the Portuguese settlements. By the next morning we were driven 3 or 4 leagues to the west of the bay; but in the afternoon, having a faint seabreeze, we got again abreast of it. It was the 11th day at noon before we got as far as the small island before mentioned, which lies about 7 leagues to the east of the watering-bay: for what we gained in the afternoon by the benefit of the seabreezes we lost again in the evenings and mornings, while it was calm, in the interval of the breezes. But this day, the seabreeze blowing fresher than ordinary, we passed by the island and run before night about 7 leagues to the east of it.
This island is not half a mile long, and not above 100 yards in breadth, and looked just like a barn when we were by it: it is pretty high, and may be seen from a ship's topmast-head about 10 leagues. The top, and part of the sides, are covered with trees, and it is about 3 leagues from Timor; it is about midway between the watering-place and the Portuguese first and main settlement by the shore.
LAPHAO BAY. HOW THE AUTHOR WAS TREATED BY THE PORTUGUESE THERE.
In the night we were again driven back toward the island, 3 leagues: but the 12th day, having a pretty brisk seabreeze, we coasted alongshore; and, seeing a great many houses by the sea, I stood in with my ship till I was within 2 miles of them, and then sent in my boat and lay by till it returned. I sent an officer to command the boat; and a Portuguese seaman, that I brought from Brazil, to speak with the men that we saw on the bay; there being a great many of them, both foot and horse. I could not tell what officer there might be amongst them; but I ordered my officer to tell the chief of them that we were English, and came hither for refreshment. As soon as the boat came ashore and the inhabitants were informed who we were they were very glad, and sent me word that I was welcome, and should have anything that the island afforded; and that I must run a little farther about a small point, where I should see more houses; and that the men would stand on the bay, right against the place where I must anchor. With this news the boat immediately returned; adding withal that the governor lived about 7 miles up in the country; and that the chief person here was a lieutenant, who desired me, as soon as the ship was at anchor, to send ashore one of my officers to go to the governor and certify him of our arrival. I presently made sail towards the anchoring-place, and at 5 o'clock anchored in Laphao Bay in 20 fathom, soft oaze, over against the town. A description of which, and of the Portuguese settlement there, shall be given in the following chapter.
As soon as I came to anchor I sent my boat ashore with my second mate, to go to the governor. The lieutenant that lived here had provided horses and guides for him, and sent 4 soldiers with him for his guard, and, while he was absent, treated my men with arack at his own house, where he and some others of the townsmen showed them many broad thin pieces of gold; telling them that they had plenty of that metal and would willingly traffic with them for any sort of European commodities. About 11 o'clock my mate returned on board and told me he had been in the country, and was kindly received by the gentleman he went to wait upon; who said we were welcome, and should have anything the island afforded; and that he was not himself the governor, but only a deputy. He asked why we did not salute their fort when we anchored; my mate answered that we saw no colours flying, and therefore did not know there was any fort till he came ashore and saw the guns; and if we had known that there was a fort yet that we could not have given any salute till we knew that they would answer it with the like number of guns. The deputy said it was very well; and that he had but little powder; and therefore would gladly buy some of us, if we had any to spare; which my mate told him we had not.
The 13th the deputy sent me aboard a present of 2 young buffaloes, 6 goats, 4 kids, 140 coconuts, 300 ripe mangoes, and 6 ripe jacks. This was all very acceptable; and all the time we lay here we had fresh provision, and plenty of fruits; so that those of my men that were sick of the scurvy soon recovered and grew lusty. I stayed here till the 22nd, went ashore several times, and once purposely to see the deputy, who came out of the country also on purpose to see and talk with me. And then indeed there were guns fired for salutes, both aboard my ship and at the fort. Our interview was in a small church which was filled with the better sort of people; her poorer sort thronging on the outside, and looking in upon us: for the church had no wall but at the east end; the sides and the west end being open, saving only that it had boards about 3 or 4 foot high from the ground. I saw but 2 white men among them all; one was a padre that came along with the lieutenant; the other was an inhabitant of the town. The rest were all copper-coloured, with black lank hair. I stayed there about 2 hours, and we spoke to each other by an interpreter. I asked particularly about the seasons of the year, and when they expected the north-north-west monsoon. The deputy told me that they expected the wind to shift every moment; and that some years the north-north-west monsoon set in in September, but never failed to come in October; and for that reason desired me to make what haste I could from hence; for it was impossible to ride here when those winds came.
DESIGNS OF MAKING FURTHER SEARCHES UPON AND ABOUT THE ISLAND. PORT SESIAL.
I asked him if there was no harbour hereabouts where I might be secured from the fury of these winds at their first coming. He told me that the best harbour in the island was at a place called Babao on the north side of Kupang Bay; that there were no inhabitants there, but plenty of buffaloes in the woods, and abundance of fish in the sea; that there was also fresh water: that there was another place, called port Sesial, about 20 leagues to the eastward of Laphao; that there was a river of fresh water there, and plenty of fish, but no inhabitants: yet that if I would go thither he would send people with hogs, goats and buffaloes, to truck with me for such commodities as I had to dispose of.
I was afterwards told that on the east end of the island Ende there was also a very good harbour, and a Portuguese town; that there was great plenty of refreshments for my men, and dammer for my ship; that the governor or chief of that place was called Captain More; that he was a very courteous gentleman, and would be very glad to entertain an English ship there; and if I designed to go thither, I might have pilots here that would be willing to carry me, if I could get the lieutenant's consent. That it was dangerous going thither without a pilot, by reason of the violent tides that run between the islands Ende and Solor. I was told also that at the island Solor there were a great many Dutchmen banished from other places for certain crimes. I was willing enough to go thither, as well to secure my ship in a good harbour, where I might careen her (there being dammer also, which I could not get here, to make use of instead of pitch, which I now wanted) and where I might still be refreshing my men and supporting them in order to my further discoveries; as also to inform myself more particularly concerning these places as yet so little known to us. Accordingly I accepted the offer of a pilot and two gentlemen of the town, to go with me to Larentuca on the island Ende: and they were to come on board my ship the night before I sailed. But I was hindered of this design by some of my officers who had here also been very busy in doing me all the injury they could underhand.
But to proceed. While I stayed here I went ashore every day and my men took there turns to go ashore and traffic for what they had occasion for; and were now all very well again: and to keep themselves in heart every man bought some rice, more or less, to recruit them after our former fatigues. Besides, I ordered the purser to buy some for them, to serve them instead of peas which were now almost spent. I filled up my water-casks again here, and cut more wood; and sent a present to the lieutenant, Alexis Mendosa, designing to be gone; for while I lay here we had some tornadoes and rain, and the sky in the north-west looked very black mornings and evenings, with lightning all night from that quarter, which made me very uneasy and desirous to depart hence; because this road lay exposed to the north-north-west and north winds, which were now daily expected and which are commonly so violent that it is impossible for any ship to ride them out: yet on the other hand it was absolutely necessary for me to spend about 2 months time longer in some place hereabouts before I could prosecute my voyage farther to the eastward; for reasons which I shall give hereafter in its proper place in the ensuing discourse. When therefore I sent the present to the governor I desired to have a pilot to Larentuca on the island Ende; where I desired to spend the time I had to spare. He now sent me word that he could not well do it, but would send me a letter to Port Sesial for the natives, who would come to me there and supply me with what provision they had.
I stayed 3 days in hopes yet to get a pilot for Larentuca, or at least the letter from the governor to Port Sesial. But seeing neither I sailed from hence the 22nd of October, coasting to the eastward, designing for Sesial; and before night was about 10 leagues to the east of Laphao. I kept about 3 leagues offshore and my boat ranged along close by the shore, looking into every bay and cove; and at night returned on board. The next morning, being 3 or 4 leagues farther to the eastward, I sent my boat ashore again to find Sesial. At noon they returned and told me they had been at Sesial, as they guessed; that there were two Portuguese barks in the port who threatened to fire at them but did not; telling them this was Porto del Roy de Portugal. They saw also another bark which ran and anchored close by the shore, and the men ran all away for fear: but our men calling to them in Portuguese, they at last came to them, and told them that Sesial was the place which they came from, where the 2 barks lay: had not these men told them they could not have known it to be a port, it being only a little bad cove, lying open to the north; having 2 ledges of rocks at its entrance, one on each side; and a channel between, which was so narrow that it would not be safe for us to go in. However I stood in with the ship, to be better satisfied; and when I came near it found it answer my men's description. I lay by a while to consider what I had best do; for my design was to lie in a place where I might get fresh provisions if I could: for, though my men were again pretty well recruited, and those that had been sick of the scurvy were well again, yet I designed if possible to refresh them as much and as long as I could before I went farther. Besides my ship wanted cleaning; and I was resolved to clean her if possible.
RETURN TO BABAO IN KUPANG BAY.
At last after much consideration I thought it safer to go away again for Babao; and accordingly stood to the westward. We were now about 60 leagues to the east of Babao. The coast is bold all the way, having no shoals, and but one island which I saw and described coming to the eastward. The land in the country is very mountainous; but there are some large valleys towards the east end. Both the mountains and valleys on this side are barren; some wholly so; and none of them appear so pleasant as the place where I watered. It was the 23rd day in the evening when I stood back again for Babao. We had but small sea and land-breezes. On the 27th we came into Kupang Bay; and the next day, having sounded Babao road, I ran in and came to an anchor there, in 20 fathom, soft oaze, 3 mile from the shore. One reason, as I said before, of my coming hither, was to ride secure and to clean my ship's bottom; as also to endeavour by fishing and hunting of buffaloes to refresh my men and save my salt provision. It was like to be some time before I could clean my ship because I wanted a great many necessaries, especially a vessel to careen by. I had a long-boat in a frame that I brought out of England, by which I might have made a shift to do it; but my carpenter was uncapable to set her up. Besides, by the time the ship's sides were caulked, my pitch was almost spent; which was all owing to the carpenter's wilful waste and ignorance; so that I had nothing to lay on upon the ship's bottom. But instead of this I intended to make lime here, which with oil would have made a good coat for her. Indeed had it been advisable I would have gone in between Cross Island and Timor, and have hauled my ship ashore; for there was a very convenient place to do it in; but, my ship being sharp, I did not dare to do it: besides, I must have taken everything out of her; and I had neither boats to get my things ashore nor hands to look after them when they were there; for my men would have been all employed; and, though here are no Indians living near, yet they come hither in companies when ships are here, on purpose to do any mischief they can to them; and it was not above 2 years since a Portuguese ship riding here, and sending her boat for water to one of the galleys, the men were all killed by the Indians. But to secure my men I never suffered them to go ashore unarmed; and while some were at work others stood to guard them.
We lay in this place from October the 28th till December the 12th. In which time we made very good lime with shells, of which here are plenty. We cut palmetto leaves to burn the ship's sides; and, giving her as good a heel as we could, we burned her sides and paid them with lime and water for want of oil to mix with it. This stuck on about 2 months where it was well burned. We did not want fresh provisions all the time we lay here, either of fish or flesh. For there were fair sandy bays on the point of Babao, where in 2 or 3 hours in a morning we used with our seine to drag ashore as much fish as we could eat all the day; and for a change of diet when we were weary of fish I sent 10 or 11 men a-hunting for buffaloes; who never came empty home. They went ashore in the evening or early in the morning, and before noon always returned with their burdens of buffalo, enough to suffice us 2 days; by which time we began to long for fish again.
THE AUTHOR'S ENTERTAINMENT AT THE FORT OF CONCORDIA.
On the 11th of November the governor of Concordia sent one of his officers to us to know who we were. For I had not sent thither since I came to anchor last here. When the officer came aboard he asked me why we fired so many guns the 4th and 5th days (which we had done in honour of King William and in memory of the deliverance from the powder plot) I told him the occasion of it; and he replied that they were in some fear at the fort that we had been Portuguese, and that we were coming with soldiers to take their fort; he asked me also why I did not stay and fill my water at their fort before I went away from thence? I told him the reason of it and withal offered him money; bidding him take what he thought reasonable: he took none and said he was sorry there had been such a misunderstanding between us; and knew that the governor would be much concerned at it. After a short stay he went ashore; and the next morning came aboard again, and told me the governor desired me to come ashore to the fort and dine with him; and if I doubted anything he would stay aboard till I returned. I told him I had no reason to mistrust anything against me, and would go ashore with him; so I took my clerk and my gunner and went ashore in my pinnace: the gunner spoke very good French, and therefore I took him to be my interpreter because the governor speaks French: he was an honest man, and I found him always diligent and obedient. It was pretty late in the afternoon before we came ashore; so that we had but little time with the governor. He seemed to be much dissatisfied at the report my officer had made to me (of which I have before given an account) and said it was false, neither would he now take any money of me; but told me I was welcome; as indeed I found by what he provided. For there was plenty of very good victuals, and well dressed; and the linen was white and clean; and all the dishes and plates of silver or fine china. I did not meet anywhere with a better entertainment while I was abroad; nor with so much decency and order. Our liquor was wine, beer, toddy, or water, which we liked best after dinner. He showed me some drawers full of shells which were the strangest and most curious that I had ever seen. He told me before I went away that he could not supply me with any naval stores, but if I wanted any fresh provision he would supply me with what I had occasion for. I thanked him and told him I would send my boat for some goats and hogs, though afterwards on second thoughts I did not do it: for it was a great way from the place where we lay to the fort; and I could not tell what mischief might befall any of my men when there from the natives; especially if encouraged by the Dutch, who are enemies to all Europeans but such as are under their own government. Therefore I chose rather to fish and hunt for provisions than to be beholden to the Dutch and pay dearly for it too.
HIS STAY SEVEN WEEKS AT BABAO.
We found here, as I said before, plenty of game; so that all the time we lay at this place we spent none or very little of our salt provisions; having fish or fresh buffalo every day. We lay here 7 weeks; and, although the north-north-west monsoon was every day expected when I was at Laphao, yet it was not come, so that if I had prosecuted my voyage to the eastward without staying here it had been but to little advantage. For if I had gone out and beaten against the wind a whole month I should not have got far; it may be 40, 50 or 60 leagues; which was but 24 hours run for us with a large wind; besides the trouble and discontent which might have arisen among my men in beating to windward to so little purpose, there being nothing to be got at sea; but here we lived and did eat plentifully every day without trouble. The greatest inconveniency of this place was want of water; this being the latter part of the dry season, because the monsoon was very late this year. About 4 days before we came away we had tornadoes with thunder, lightning and rain, and much wind; but of no long continuance; at which time we filled some water. We saw very black clouds, and heard it thunder every day for near a month before in the mountains; and saw it rain, but none came near us: and even where we hunted we saw great trees torn up by the roots, and great havoc made among the woods by the wind; yet none touched us.