Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

this part of the passage from side to side, and sailed over »767the very spot where they are supposed to lie. *In the ^^-^J same chart seven small islands are also laid down within half a degree to the northward of the line, and exactly in the middle of the narrowest part of this passage; but neither have these islands any existence except upon paper, though I believe there may be fome small islands close to the main iand of Borneo; we thought we had seen two, which we took to be those that are laid down in the charts off Porto Tubo, but of this I am not certain. The southermost and narrowest part of this passage is about eighteen or twenty leagues broad, with high lands on each side. We continued labouring in it till the 27th, before we crossed the line, Frid»y t3. so that we were a fortnight in sailing eight and twenty leagues, the distance from the north entrance of the streight, which we made on the 14th. After we got to the southward of the line, we found a slight current fetting'against us to the northward, which daily increased: the weather was still unsettled, with much wet; the winds were chiesly S. W. and W. S. W. and very seldom farther to the northward than W. N. W. -except in the tornadoes, which grew more frequent and violent; and by them we got nothing but hard labour, as they obliged us to hand all our fails, which indeed with our utmost efforts we were scarcely able to do, our debility daily increasing by the falling sick of the few that were well, or the death of some among the many that were sick. Under these circumstances we used our utmost endeavours to get hold of the Jand on. the Borneo side, but were not able, and continued to struggle with our misfortunes till the 3d December, of December, when we fell in with the small islands Tilurs< 3and shoals called the Little Paternosters, the southermost of which, according to my account, lie3 in latitude 2" 31'S. and the northermost in 2° I 5' S. the longitude of the northermost I made 117* 12' E. they bear about S. E. I S. and N. VV. £ N. of each other, distant eight leagues, and between them are the others; the number ot the whole is eight. They lie very near the Celebes .side of the streight, and being unable either to weather them, or gel to the westward of them, we were obliged to go between them and the island. We had here tempestuous

»767- pestuous weather and contrary winds with sudden and ^_^/ impetuCus gusts, which, as we had not a number of hands sufficient to bend the sails, often endangered our masts and yards, and did great damage to our fails and rigging, especially at this time, as we were obliged to carry all the fail we could to prevent our falling into a deep bight, on the Celebes shore. The ravages of the scurvy were now universal, there not being one individual among us that was free, and the winds and currents being so hard against us, that we could neither get westing nor southing to reach any place of refreshment; the mind participated in the sufferings of the body, and a universal despondency was reslected from one countenance to another, especially among those who were not Thws. i*. able to come upon the deck. In this deplorable situation we continued till the ioth, and it is not perhaps very easy for the most fertile imagination to conceive by what our danger and distress could possibly be encreased; yet debilitated, sick, and dying as we were, in sight of land that we could not reach, and exposed to tempests which we could not resist, we had the additional misfortune to be attacked by a pirate; that this unexpected mischief might lose none of its force, it happened at midnight, when the darkness, that might almost be felt, could not fail to co-operate with whatever tended to produce confusion and terror. This sudden attack, however, rather rouzed than depressed us, and though our enemy attempted to board us, before we could have the least apprehension that any enemy was near, we defeated his purpose; he then plied us with what we supposed to be swivel guns, and small arms, very briskly; but though he had the start of us, we soon returned his salute with such effect, that shortly aster he sunk, and all the unhappy wretches on board perished. It was a small vessel, but of what country or how manned, it was impossible for us to know, The lieutenant, and one of the men, were wounded, though not dangerously; part of our running rigging was cut, and we received some other slight damage. We knew this pirate to be a vessel which we had seen in the dusk of the evening, and we asterwards learnt that she belonged to a free* booter, who had more than thirty such vessels under his command. The smallness of our vessel encouraged

the the attack, and her strength being so much more than 1767in proportion to her size, supposing her a merchant- J^TMJ? man, rendered it fatal.

On Saturday the 12th, we fell in with the danger- Satur. n. ous shoals called the Spera Mondes, and had the mortification to find that the westerly monsoon was now set in, against which, and the current, it was impossible for any ship to get as far westward as Batavia. As it was now necessary to wait till the return of the eastern monsoon, and the shifting of the current ; as we had buried thirteen of our crew, and no less than thirty more were at the point of death; as all the petty officers were among the sick, and the lieutenant and myself, who did all duties in a feeble condition; it was impossible that we should keep the sea, and we had no chance of preserving those who were still alive, but by getting on shore at some place, where rest and refresiV ment might be procured: I therefore determined that I wculd take advantage of our being so far to the southward, and endeavour to reach Macassar, the principal settlement of the Dutch upon the island of Celebes.

The next day we made some islands which lie not Sunday 13. far from that pL.ce, and saw, what sometimes we took for shoals, and sometimes for boats, with men on board, but what asterwards appeared to be trees, and other drift sloating about, with birds sitting upon them; we suddenly found ourselves twenty miles farther to the southward than we expected, for the current, which had for sometime set us to the northward, had set us to the southward during the night. We now hauled up east, and E. \ N. intending to have gone to the northward of a shoal, which has no name in our East India Pilot, but which the Dutch call the Thumb; by noon, however, we found ourselves upon it, our water shallowing at once to four fathoms, with rocky ground. We now hauled off to the south west, and keeping the boat a-head to sound, ran round the west side of the shoal in ten and twelve fathoms; our water deepening when we hauled off to the west, and shallowing when we hauled off east. Our latitude, by observation, when we were upon the shoal, was 50 20' S. and the northernmost of the islands, called the Three Brothers, then bore S. 18 E. at the distance of five or

fix

» 767- six leagues. This island is, in the English Pilot, called J^^J' Don Dinanga, but by the Dutch the North Brother. Between the Three Brothers, and the main of Celebes, there is another island, much larger than either of them, called the Island of Tonikiky; but none of them are inhabited, though there are a few huts belonging to fishermen upon them all. The passage between the shoal and this island is clear and good, with from ten to thirteen fathoms, and a sandy bottom; but the soundings are to be kept on the side of the island in twelve fathoms, and never under ten: it is, however, very difficult and dangerous for ships to fall in with the land this way without a pilot on board, for there are many shoals and rocks under water. I ran in by a chart in the English East India Pilot, which upon the whole I found a good one, though the names of the islands, points, and bays, differ very much from those by which they are now known. When we got near to the Celebes shore, we had land and sea breezes, which obliged us to edge along the coast, though our strength was so much reduced, that it was with the utmost difficulty we could work the stream anchor. Tuesday 15. In the evening of Tuesday the 15th, we anchored at 'about the distance of four miles from the town of Macassar, which, according to my account, lies in latitude 5Q 10' or 50 12' S. longitude 117° 28' E. having spent no less than five and thirty weeks in our passage from the Streightof Magellan.

I have been the more particular in my description of as much as I saw of this Streight, because all the charts, bothEnglish and French, that I consulted, are extremely deficient and erroneous, and because an exact knowledge of it may be of great service to our China trade: the ships, by which that trade is carried on, may pass this way with as little danger as the common one, which lies along the Prassel shoals; and when they miss their passage to China, in the south-east monsoon, and lose the season, they may be sure of a clear channel here, and fair winds at W. S. W. and round to W. N.W. in November, December, and the four following months; I am also of opinion, that it is a better and shorter way to go the N. E. and eastward of the Philippine Islands, than to thread the Moluccw, or coast

New

New Guinea, where there are shoals, currents, and ^T"innumerable other dangers, as they were forced to do t^v^^' when the French were cruising tor them in the common pasfage during the last war.

CHAP. X.

Transactions off Macaffar, and the Passage thence to
Bonthain.

THE fame night that we came to an anchor, at
about eleven o'clock, a Dutchman came on
board, who had been dispatched by tbe Governor, to
learn who we were. When I made him understand
that the ship was an English man of war, he seemed
to be greatly alarmed, no man of war belonging to the
King of Great Britain having ever been there before,
and I could not by any means persuade him to leave
the deck, and go down into the cabin; we parted,
however, to all appearance, good friends.

The next morning, at break of day, I sent the Lieu- Wedn. i£. tenant to the town, with a letter to the Governor, in which I acquainted him with the reason of my coming thither, and requested the liberty of the port to procure refreshments for my ship's company, who were in a dying condition, and shelter for the vessel against the approaching storms, till the return of a fit season for failing to the westward. I ordered that this letter should, without great reason to the contrary, be delivered into the Governor's own hand; but when my officer got to the wharf of the town, neither he nor anv other person in the boat was sufsered to land. Upon this resufal to deliver the letter to a messenger, the Governor was made acquainted with it, and two officers, called the shebander and the fiscal, were sent down to him, who, as a reason why he could not deliver the letter to the Governor himself, pretended that he was sick, and faid, that they came by his express, order to setch it; upon this the letter was at length delivered to them, and they went away. While they were gone, the officer and men were kept on board their boat, exposed to the burning heat of the sun, which was almost vertical at noon, and none of the count rytoats were suffered to come near enough to sell

them

« ZurückWeiter »