A VOYAGE TO NEW HOLLAND ETC.
IN THE YEAR 1699.
Wherein are described,
The Canary Islands, the Isles of Mayo and St. Jago. The Bay of All-Saints, with the forts and town of Bahia in Brazil. Cape Salvador. The winds on the Brazilian coast. Abrolho Shoals. A table of all the variations observed in this voyage. Occurrences near the Cape of Good Hope. The course to New Holland. Shark's Bay. The isles and coast, etc. of New Holland.
Their inhabitants, manners, customs, trade, etc. Their harbours, soil, beasts, birds, fish, etc. Trees, plants, fruits, etc.
Illustrated with several maps and draughts: also divers birds, fishes and plants not found in this part of the world, curiously engraven on copper plates.
BY CAPTAIN WILLIAM DAMPIER.
THE THIRD EDITION.
Printed for James and John Knapton at the Crown in St. Paul's Churchyard.
The Author's departure from the Downs. A caution to those who sail in the Channel. His arrival at the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz in Tenerife; the road and town, and Spanish wreck. Laguna Town lake and country; and Oratavia town and road. Of the wines and other commodities of Tenerife, etc. and the governors at Laguna and Santa Cruz. Of the winds in these seas. The Author's arrival at Mayo. Of the Cape Verde Islands; its salt pond compared with that of Salt Tortuga; its trade for salt, and frape-boats. Its vegetables, silk-cotton, etc. Its soil, and towns; its guinea-hens and other fowls, beasts, and fish. Of the sea turtles, etc. laying in the wet season. Of the natives, their trade and livelihood. The Author's arrival at St. Jago; Praya and St. Jago Town. Of the inhabitants and their commodities. Of the custard-apple, St. Jago Road. Fogo.
The Author's deliberation on the sequel of his voyage, and departure from St. Jago. His course, and the winds, etc. in crossing the Line. He stands away for the Bay of All-Saints in Brazil; and why. His arrival on that coast and in the bay. Of the several forts, the road, situation, town, and buildings of Bahia. Of its Governor, ships and merchants; and commodities to and from Europe. Claying of sugar. The season for the European ships, and coir cables: of their Guinea trade and of the coasting trade, and whale killing. Of the inhabitants of Bahia; their carrying in hammocks: their artificers, crane for goods, and negro slaves. Of the country about Bahia, its soil and product. Its timber-trees; the sapiera, vermiatico, commesserie, guitteba, serrie, and mangroves. The bastard-coco, its nuts and cables; and the silk-cotton-trees. The Brazilian fruits, oranges, etc. Of the soursops, cashews and jennipahs. Of their peculiar fruits, arisahs, mericasahs, petangos, petumbos, mungaroos, muckishaws, ingwas, otees, and musteran-de-ovas. Of the palmberries, physick-nuts, mendibees, etc. and their roots and herbs, etc. Of their wildfowl, macaws, parrots, etc. The yemma, carrion-crow and chattering-crow, bill-bird, curreso, turtledove and wild pigeons; the jenetee, clocking-hen, crab-catcher, galden, and black heron: the ducks, widgeon and teal; and ostriches to the southward, and of the dunghill-fowls. Of their cattle, horses, etc. Leopards and tigers. Of their serpents; the rattlesnake, small green snake. Amphisbaena, small black and small grey snake; the great land-, and the great watersnake; and of the water-dog. Of their sea-fish and turtle; and of St. Paul's Town.
The Author's stay and business at Bahia: of the winds, and seasons of the year there. His departure for New Holland. Cape Salvador. The winds on the Brazilian coast; and Abrolho Shoal; fish and birds: the shearwater bird, and cooking of sharks. Excessive number of birds about a dead whale; of the pintado bird, and the petrel, etc. Of a bird that shows the Cape of Good Hope to be near: of the sea-reckonings, and variations: and a table of all the variations observed in this voyage. Occurrences near the Cape; and the Author's passing by it. Of the westerly winds beyond it: a storm, and its presages. The Author's course to New Holland; and signs of approaching it. Another Abrolho Shoal and storm, and the Author's arrival on part of New Holland. That part described, and Shark's Bay, where he first anchors. Of the land there, vegetables, birds, etc. A particular sort of iguana: fish, and beautiful shells; turtle, large shark, and water-serpents. The Author's removing to another part of New Holland: dolphins, whales, and more sea-serpents: and of a passage or strait suspected here: of the vegetables, birds, and fish. He anchors on a third part of New Holland, and digs wells, but brackish. Of the inhabitants there, and great tides, the vegetables and animals, etc.
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
MAP. CAPTAIN DAMPIER'S NEW VOYAGE TO NEW HOLLAND ETC. IN 1699 ETC.
TABLE 1. CANARY ISLANDS.
TABLE 2. CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.
TABLE 3. BRAZIL.
BIRDS OF THE VOYAGE: FIGURE 1: THE PINTADO BIRD. FIGURE 2: THIS VERY MUCH RESEMBLES THE GUARAUNA, DESCRIBED AND FIGURED BY PISO.
TABLE 4. NEW HOLLAND.
BIRDS OF NEW HOLLAND: FIGURE 3: THE HEAD AND GREATEST PART OF THE NECK OF THIS BIRD IS RED AND THEREIN DIFFERS FROM THE AVOFETTA OF ITALY. FIGURE 4: THE BILL AND LEGS OF THIS BIRD ARE OF A BRIGHT RED. FIGURE 5: A NODDY OF NEW HOLLAND. FIGURE 6: A COMMON NODDY.
FISH OF NEW HOLLAND: FIGURE 1: THE MONKFISH. FIGURE 3: A FISH TAKEN ON THE COAST OF NEW HOLLAND. FIGURE 6: A REMORA TAKEN STICKING TO SHARKS BACKS. FIGURE 8: A CUTTLE TAKEN NEAR NEW HOLLAND. FIGURE 9: A FLYING-FISH TAKEN IN THE OPEN SEA.
PLANTS FOUND IN BRAZIL. TABLE 1 PLANTS.
PLANTS FOUND IN NEW HOLLAND. TABLE 2 PLANTS.
PLANTS FOUND IN NEW HOLLAND. TABLE 3 PLANTS.
PLANTS FOUND IN NEW HOLLAND AND TIMOR. TABLE 4 PLANTS.
PLANTS FOUND IN THE SEA NEAR NEW GUINEA. TABLE 5 PLANTS.
FISH OF NEW HOLLAND. PLATE 3 FISHES: FIGURE 4: A FISH CALLED BY THE SEAMEN THE OLD WIFE. FIGURE 5: A FISH OF THE TUNNY KIND TAKEN ON THE COAST OF NEW HOLLAND.
DOLPHINS. PLATE 2 FISHES: FIGURE 2: THE DOLPHIN OF THE ANCIENTS TAKEN NEAR THE LINE, CALLED BY OUR SEAMEN A PORPOISE. FIGURE 7: A DOLPHIN AS IT IS USUALLY CALLED BY OUR SEAMEN TAKEN IN THE OPEN SEA.
A VOYAGE TO NEW HOLLAND, ETC. IN THE YEAR 1699.
To the Right Honourable Thomas, Earl of Pembroke,
Lord President of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council.
The honour I had of being employed in the service of his late Majesty of illustrious memory, at the time when Your Lordship presided at the Admiralty, gives me the boldness to ask your protection of the following papers. They consist of some remarks made upon very distant climates, which I should have the vanity to think altogether new, could I persuade myself they had escaped Your Lordship's knowledge. However I have been so cautious of publishing any thing in my whole book that is generally known that I have denied myself the pleasure of paying the due honours to Your Lordship's name in the Dedication. I am ashamed, My Lord, to offer you so imperfect a present, having not time to set down all the memoirs of my last voyage: but, as the particular service I have now undertaken hinders me from finishing this volume, so I hope it will give me an opportunity of paying my respects to Your Lordship in a new one.
The world is apt to judge of everything by the success; and whoever has ill fortune will hardly be allowed a good name. This, My Lord, was my unhappiness in my late expedition in the Roebuck, which foundered through perfect age near the island of Ascension. I suffered extremely in my reputation by that misfortune; though I comfort myself with the thoughts that my enemies could not charge any neglect upon me. And since I have the honour to be acquitted by Your Lordship's judgment I should be very humble not to value myself upon so complete a vindication. This and a world of other favours which I have been so happy as to receive from Your Lordship's goodness, do engage me to be with an everlasting respect,
Your Lordship's most faithful and obedient servant,
The favourable reception my two former volumes of voyages and descriptions have already met with in the world gives me reason to hope that, notwithstanding the objections which have been raised against me by prejudiced persons, this third volume likewise may in some measure be acceptable to candid and impartial readers who are curious to know the nature of the inhabitants, animals, plants, soil, etc. in those distant countries, which have either seldom or not at all been visited by any Europeans.
It has almost always been the fate of those who have made new discoveries to be disesteemed and slightly spoken of by such as either have had no true relish and value for the things themselves that are discovered, or have had some prejudice against the persons by whom the discoveries were made. It would be vain therefore and unreasonable in me to expect to escape the censure of all, or to hope for better treatment than far worthier persons have met with before me. But this satisfaction I am sure of having, that the things themselves in the discovery of which I have been employed are most worthy of our diligentest search and inquiry; being the various and wonderful works of God in different parts of the world: and however unfit a person I may be in other respects to have undertaken this task, yet at least I have given a faithful account, and have found some things undiscovered by any before, and which may at least be some assistance and direction to better qualified persons who shall come after me.
It has been objected against me by some that my accounts and descriptions of things are dry and jejune, not filled with variety of pleasant matter to divert and gratify the curious reader. How far this is true I must leave to the world to judge. But if I have been exactly and strictly careful to give only true relations and descriptions of things (as I am sure I have) and if my descriptions be such as may be of use not only to myself (which I have already in good measure experienced) but also to others in future voyages; and likewise to such readers at home as are more desirous of a plain and just account of the true nature and state of the things described than of a polite and rhetorical narrative: I hope all the defects in my style will meet with an easy and ready pardon.
Others have taxed me with borrowing from other men's journals; and with insufficiency, as if I was not myself the author of what I write but published things digested and drawn up by others. As to the first part of this objection I assure the reader I have taken nothing from any man without mentioning his name, except some very few relations and particular observations received from credible persons who desired not to be named; and these I have always expressly distinguished in my books from what I relate as of my own observing. And as to the latter I think it so far from being a diminution to one of my education and employment to have what I write revised and corrected by friends that, on the contrary, the best and most eminent authors are not ashamed to own the same thing, and look upon it as an advantage.
Lastly I know there are some who are apt to slight my accounts and descriptions of things as if it was an easy matter and of little or no difficulty to do all that I have done, to visit little more than the coasts of unknown countries, and make short and imperfect observations of things only near the shore. But whoever is experienced in these matters, or considers things impartially, will be of a very different opinion. And anyone who is sensible how backward and refractory the seamen are apt to be in long voyages when they know not whither they are going, how ignorant they are of the nature of the winds and the shifting seasons of the monsoons, and how little even the officers themselves generally are skilled in the variation of the needle and the use of the azimuth compass; besides the hazard of all outward accidents in strange and unknown seas: anyone, I say, who is sensible of these difficulties will be much more pleased at the discoveries and observations I have been able to make than displeased with me that I did not make more.
Thus much I thought necessary to premise in my own vindication against the objections that have been made to my former performances. But not to trouble the reader any further with matters of this nature; what I have more to offer shall be only in relation to the following voyage.
For the better apprehending the course of this voyage and the situation of the places mentioned in it I have here, as in the former volumes, caused a map to be engraven with a pricked line representing to the eye the whole thread of the voyage at one view, besides charts and figures of particular places, to make the descriptions I have given of them more intelligible and useful.
Moreover, which I had not opportunity of doing in my former voyages; having now had in the ship with me a person skilled in drawing, I have by this means been enabled, for the greater satisfaction of the curious reader, to present him with exact cuts and figures of several of the principal and most remarkable of those birds, beasts, fishes and plants, which are described in the following narrative; and also of several which, not being able to give any better or so good an account of, as by causing them to be exactly engraven, the reader will not find any further description of them, but only that they were found in such or such particular countries. The plants themselves are in the hands of the ingenious Dr. Woodward. I could have caused many others to be drawn in like manner but that I resolved to confine myself to such only as had some very remarkable difference in the shape of their principal parts from any that are found in Europe. I have besides several birds and fishes ready drawn, which I could not put into the present volume because they were found in countries to the description whereof the following narrative does not reach. For, being obliged to prepare for another voyage sooner than I at first expected, I have not been able to continue the ensuing narrative any further than to my departure from the coast of New Holland. But if it please God that I return again safe, the reader may expect a continuation of this voyage from my departure from New Holland till the foundering of my ship near the island of Ascension.
In the meantime to make the narrative in some measure complete I shall here add a summary abstract of the latter part of the voyage, whereof I have not had time to draw out of my journals a full and particular account at large. Departing therefore from the coast of New Holland in the beginning of September 1699 we arrived at Timor September 15 and anchored off that island. On the 24th we obtained a small supply of fresh water from the governor of a Dutch fort and factory there; we found also there a Portuguese settlement and were kindly treated by them. On the 3rd of December we arrived on the coast of New Guinea; where we found good fresh water and had commerce with the inhabitants of a certain island called Pulo Sabuda. After which, passing to the northward, we ranged along the coast to the easternmost part of New Guinea, which I found does not join to the mainland of New Guinea, but is an island, as I have described it in my map, and called it New Britain.
It is probable this island may afford many rich commodities, and the natives may be easily brought to commerce. But the many difficulties I at this time met with, the want of convenience to clean my ship, the fewness of my men, their desire to hasten home, and the danger of continuing in these circumstances in seas where the shoals and coasts were utterly unknown and must be searched out with much caution and length of time, hindered me from prosecuting any further at present my intended search. What I have been able to do in this matter for the public service will, I hope, be candidly received; and no difficulties shall discourage me from endeavouring to promote the same end whenever I have an opportunity put into my hands.
May 18 in our return we arrived at Timor. June 21 we passed by part of the island Java. July 4 we anchored in Batavia Road, and I went ashore, visited the Dutch General, and desired the privilege of buying provisions that I wanted, which was granted me. In this road we lay till the 17th of October following, when, having fitted the ship, recruited myself with provisions, filled all my water, and the season of the year for returning towards Europe being come, I set sail from Batavia, and on the 19th of December made the Cape of Good Hope, whence departing January 11 we made the island of St. Helena on the 31st; and February the 21st the island of Ascension; near to which my ship, having sprung a leak which could not be stopped, foundered at sea; with much difficulty we got ashore where we lived on goats and turtle; and on the 26th of February found, to our great comfort, on the south-east side of a high mountain, about half a mile from its top, a spring of fresh water. I returned to England in the Canterbury East India ship. For which wonderful deliverance from so many and great dangers I think myself bound to return continual thanks to Almighty God; whose divine providence if it shall please to bring me safe again to my native country from my present intended voyage; I hope to publish a particular account of all the material things I observed in the several places which I have now but barely mentioned.
A VOYAGE TO TERRA AUSTRALIS.
CHAPTER 1. DEPARTURE AND PROVISIONING EN ROUTE.
THE AUTHOR'S DEPARTURE FROM THE DOWNS.
I sailed from the Downs early on Saturday, January 14, 1699, with a fair wind, in His Majesty's Ship the Roebuck; carrying but 12 guns in this voyage and 50 men and boys with 20 months' provision. We had several of the King's ships in company, bound for Spithead and Plymouth, and by noon we were off Dungeness.
A CAUTION TO THOSE WHO SAIL IN THE CHANNEL.
We parted from them that night, and stood down the Channel, but found ourselves next morning nearer the French coast than we expected; Cape de Hague bearing south-east and by east 6 leagues. There were many other ships, some nearer, some farther off the French coast, who all seemed to have gone nearer to it than they thought they should. My master, who was somewhat troubled at it at first, was not displeased however to find that he had company in his mistake: which as I have heard is a very common one, and fatal to many ships. The occasion of it is the not allowing for the change of the variation since the making of the charts; which Captain Halley has observed to be very considerable. I shall refer the reader to his own account of it which he caused to be published in a single sheet of paper, purposely for a caution to such as pass to and fro the English Channel. And my own experience thus confirming to me the usefulness of such a caution I was willing to take this occasion of helping towards the making it the more public.
Not to trouble the reader with every day's run, nor with the winds or weather (but only in the remoter parts, where it may be more particularly useful) standing away from Cape la Hague, we made the start about 5 that afternoon; which being the last land we saw of England, we reckoned our departure from thence: though we had rather have taken it from the Lizard, if the hazy weather would have suffered us to have seen it.
HIS ARRIVAL AT THE CANARY ISLANDS.
The first land we saw after we were out of the Channel was Cape Finisterre, which we made on the 19th; and on the 28th made Lancerota, one of the Canary Islands of which, and of Allegrance, another of them, I have here given the sights, as they both appeared to us at two several bearings and distances.
SANTA CRUZ IN TENERIFE; THE ROAD AND TOWN, AND SPANISH WRECK.
We were now standing away for the island Tenerife where I intended to take in some wine and brandy for my voyage. On Sunday, half an hour past 3 in the afternoon, we made the island and crowded in with all our sails till five; when the north-east point of the isle bore west-south-west distance 7 leagues. But, being then so far off that I could not expect to get in before night, I lay by till next morning, deliberating whether I should put in at Santa Cruz, or at Oratavia, the one on the east, the other on the west side of the island; which lies mostly north and south; and these are the principal ports on each side. I chose Santa Cruz as the better harbour (especially at this time of the year) and as best furnished with that sort of wine which I had occasion to take in for my voyage: so there I come to an anchor January 30th, in 33 fathom water, black slimy ground; about half a mile from the shore; from which distance I took the sight of the town.
In the road ships must ride in 30, 40, or 50 fathom water, not above half a mile from the shore at farthest: and if there are many ships they must ride close one by another. The shore is generally high land and in most places steep too. This road lies so open to the east that winds from that side make a great swell, and very bad going ashore in boats: the ships that ride here are then often forced to put to sea, and sometimes to cut or slip their anchors, not being able to weigh them. The best and smoothest landing is in a small sandy cove, about a mile to the north-east of the road, where there is good water, with which ships that lade here are supplied; and many times ships that lade at Oratavia, which is the chief port for trade, send their boats hither for water. That is a worse port for westerly than this is for easterly winds; and then all ships that are there put to sea. Between this watering-place and Santa Cruz are two little forts; which with some batteries scattered along the coast command the road. Santa Cruz itself is a small unwalled town fronting the sea, guarded with two other forts to secure the road. There are about 200 houses in the town, all two stories high, strongly built with stone and covered with pantile. It hath two convents and one church, which are the best buildings in the town. The forts here could not secure the Spanish galleons from Admiral Blake, though they hauled in close under the main fort. Many of the inhabitants that are now living remember that action in which the English battered the town, and did it much damage; and the marks of the shot still remain in the fort walls. The wrecks of the galleons that were burnt here lie in 15 fathom water: and it is said that most of the plate lies there, though some of it was hastily carried ashore at Blake's coming in sight.
LAGUNA TOWN LAKE AND COUNTRY; AND ORATAVIA TOWN AND ROAD.
Soon after I had anchored I went ashore here to the Governor of the town, who received me very kindly and invited me to dine with him the next day. I returned on board in the evening, and went ashore again with two of my officers the next morning; hoping to get up the hill time enough to see Laguna, the principal town, and to be back again to dine with the Governor of Santa Cruz; for I was told that Laguna was but 3 miles off. The road is all the way up a pretty steep hill; yet not so steep but that carts go up and down laden. There are public houses scattering by the wayside, where we got some wine. The land on each side seemed to be but rocky and dry; yet in many places we saw spots of green flourishing corn. At farther distances there were small vineyards by the sides of the mountains, intermixed with abundance of waste rocky land, unfit for cultivation, which afforded only dildo-bushes. It was about 7 or 8 in the morning when we set out from Santa Cruz; and, it being fair clear weather, the sun shone very bright and warmed us sufficiently before we got to the city Laguna; which we reached about 10 o'clock, all sweaty and tired, and were glad to refresh ourselves with a little wine in a sorry tippling-house: but we soon found out one of the English merchants that resided here, who entertained us handsomely at dinner, and in the afternoon showed us the town.
Laguna is a pretty large well-compacted town, and makes a very agreeable prospect. It stands part of it against a hill, and part in a level. The houses have mostly strong walls built with stone and covered with pantile. They are not uniform, yet they appear pleasant enough. There are many fair buildings; among which are 2 parish churches, 2 nunneries, a hospital, 4 convents, and some chapels; besides many gentlemen's houses. The convents are those of St. Austin, St. Dominick, St. Francis, and St. Diego. The two churches have pretty high square steeples, which top the rest of the buildings. The streets are not regular, yet they are mostly spacious and pretty handsome; and near the middle of the town is a large parade, which has good buildings about it. There is a strong prison on one side of it; near which is a large conduit of good water, that supplies all the town. They have many gardens which are set round with oranges, limes, and other fruits: in the middle of which are pot-herbs, salading, flowers, etc. And indeed, if the inhabitants were curious this way, they might have very pleasant gardens: for as the town stands high from the sea on the brow of a plain that is all open to the east, and hath consequently the benefit of the true tradewind, which blows here and is most commonly fair; so there are seldom wanting at this town brisk, cooling, and refreshing breezes all the day.
On the back of the town there is a large plain of 3 or 4 leagues in length and 2 miles wide, producing a thick kindly sort of grass, which looked green and very pleasant when I was there, like our meadows in England in the spring. On the east side of this plain, very near the back of the town, there is a natural lake or pond of fresh water. It is about half a mile in circumference; but being stagnant, it is only used for cattle to drink of. In the wintertime several sorts of wildfowl resort hither, affording plenty of game to the inhabitants of Laguna. This city is called Laguna from hence; for that word in Spanish signifies a lake or pond. The plain is bounded on the west, the north-west and the south-west with high steep hills; as high above this plain as this is above the sea; and it is from the foot of one of these mountains that the water of the conduit which supplies the town is conveyed over the plain in troughs of stone raised upon pillars. And indeed, considering the situation of the town, its large prospect to the east (for from hence you see the Grand Canary) its gardens, cool arbors, pleasant plain, green fields, the pond and aqueduct, and its refreshing breezes; it is a very delightful dwelling, especially for such as have not business that calls them far and often from home: for, the island being generally mountainous, steep, and craggy, full of risings and fallings, it is very troublesome travelling up and down in it, unless in the cool of the mornings and evenings: and mules and asses are most used by them, both for riding and carriage, as fittest for the stony, uneven roads.
Beyond the mountains, on the south-west side, still further up, you may see from the town and plain a small peaked hill, overlooking the rest. This is that which is called the Pike of Tenerife, so much noted for its height: but we saw it here at so great a disadvantage, by reason of the nearness of the adjacent mountains to us, that it looked inconsiderable in respect to its fame.
OF THE WINES AND OTHER COMMODITIES OF TENERIFE, ETC.
The true malmsey wine grows in this island; and this here is said to be the best of its kind in the world. Here is also canary wine, and verdona, or green wine. The canary grows chiefly on the west side of the island; and therefore is commonly sent to Oratavia; which being the chief seaport for trade in the island, the principal English merchants reside there, with their consul; because we have a great trade for this wine. I was told that that town is bigger than Laguna; that it has but one church, but many convents: that the port is but ordinary at best and is very bad when the north-west winds blow. These norwesters give notice of their coming by a great sea that tumbles in on the shore for some time before they come, and by a black sky in the north-west. Upon these signs ships either get up their anchors, or slip their cables and put to sea, and ply off and on till the weather is over. Sometimes they are forced to do so 2 or 3 times before they can take in their lading; which it is hard to do here in the fairest weather: and for fresh water they send, as I have said, to Santa Cruz. Verdona is green, strong-bodied wine, harsher and sharper than canary. It is not so much esteemed in Europe, but is exported to the West Indies, and will keep best in hot countries; for which reason I touched here to take in some of it for my voyage. This sort of wine is made chiefly on the east side of the island, and shipped off at Santa Cruz.
Besides these wines, which are yearly vended in great plenty from the Canary Islands (chiefly from Grand Canary, Tenerife, and Palma) here is store of grain, as wheat, barley, and maize, which they often transport to other places. They have also some beans and peas, and coches, a sort of grain much like maize, sowed mostly to fatten land. They have papaws, which I shall speak more of hereafter; apples, pears, plums, cherries, and excellent peaches, apricots, guavas, pomegranates, citrons, oranges, lemons, limes, pumpkins, onions the best in the world, cabbages, turnips, potatoes, etc. They are also well stocked with horses, cows, asses, mules, sheep, goats, hogs, conies, and plenty of deer. The Lancerota horses are said to be the most mettlesome, fleet, and loyal horses that are. Lastly here are many fowls, as cocks, and hens, ducks, pigeons, partridges, etc. with plenty of fish, as mackerel, etc. All the Canary Islands have of these commodities and provisions more or less: but as Lancerota is most famed for horses, and Grand Canary, Tenerife, and Palma for wines, Tenerife especially for the best malmsey (for which reason these 3 islands have the chief trade) so is Forteventura for dunghill-fowls, and Gomera for deer. Fowls and other eatables are dear on the trading islands; but very plentiful and cheap on the other; and therefore it is best for such ships that are going out on long voyages, and who design to take in but little wine, to touch rather at these last; where also they may be supplied with wine enough, good and cheap: and, for my own part, if I had known before I came hither, I should have gone rather to one of those islands than to Tenerife: but enough of this.
AND THE GOVERNORS AT LAGUNA AND SANTA CRUZ.
It is reported they can raise 12,000 armed men on this island. The governor or general (as he is called) of all the Canary Islands lives at Laguna: his name is Don Pedro de Ponto. He is a native of this island, and was not long since President of Panama in the South Seas: who bringing some very rich pearls from thence, which he presented to the Queen of Spain, was therefore, as it is said, made general of the Canary Islands. The Grand Canary is an island much superior to Tenerife both in bulk and value; but this gentleman chooses rather to reside in this his native island. He has the character of a very worthy person; and governs with moderation and justice, being very well beloved.
One of his deputies was the governor of Santa Cruz, with whom I was to have dined; but staying so long at Laguna, I came but time enough to sup with him. He is a civil, discreet man. He resides in the main fort close by the sea. There is a sentinel stands at his door; and he has a few servants to wait on him. I was treated in a large dark lower room, which has but one small window. There were about 200 muskets hung up against the walls, and some pikes; no wainscot, hangings, nor much furniture. There was only a small old table, a few old chairs, and 2 or 3 pretty long forms to sit on. Having supped with him I invited him on board, and went off in my boat. The next morning he came aboard with another gentleman in his company, attended by 2 servants: but he was presently seasick and so much out of order that he could scarce eat or drink anything, but went quickly ashore again.
OF THE WINDS IN THESE SEAS.
Having refreshed my men ashore, and taken in what we had occasion for, I sailed away from Santa Cruz on February 4 in the afternoon; hastening out all I could, because the north-east winds growing stormy made so great sea that the ship was scarce safe in the road; and I was glad to get out, though we left behind several goods we had bought and paid for: for a boat could not go ashore; and the stress was so great in weighing anchor that the cable broke. I designed next for the Island of Mayo, one of the Cape Verde Islands; and ran away with a strong north-east wind right before it all that night and the next day, at the rate of 10 or 11 miles an hour; when it slackened to a more moderate gale. The Canary Islands are, for their latitude, within the usual verge of the true or general tradewind; which I have observed to be, on this side the equator, north-easterly: but then, lying not far from the African shore, they are most subject to a north wind, which is the coasting and constant trade, sweeping that coast down as low as to Cape Verde; which, spreading in breadth, takes in mostly the Canary Islands; though it be there interrupted frequently with the true tradewind, north-west winds, or other shifts of wind that islands are subject to; especially where they lie many together. The Pike of Tenerife, which had generally been clouded while we lay at Santa Cruz, appeared now all white with snow, hovering over the other hills; but their height made it seem the less considerable; for it looks most remarkable to ships that are to the westward of it. We had brisk north-north-east and north-east winds from Tenerife, and saw flying-fish, and a great deal of sea-thistle weed floating. By the 9th of February at noon we were in the latitude of 15 degrees 4 minutes so we steered away west-north-west for the island of Mayo, being by judgment not far to the east of it, and at 8 o'clock in the evening lay by till day. The wind was then at west by south, and so it continued all night, fair weather, and a small easy gale. All these were great signs, that we were near some land, after having had such constant brisk winds before. In the morning after sunrise we saw the island at about 4 leagues distance. But it was so hazy over it that we could see but a small part of it; yet even by that part I knew it to be the isle of Mayo. See how it appeared to us at several views as we were compassing the east and south-east and south of it, to get to the road, on the south-west of it, and the road itself.
THE AUTHOR'S ARRIVAL AT MAYO.
I got not in till the next day, February 11, when I come to an anchor in the road, which is the leeward part of the island; for it is a general rule never to anchor to windward of an island between the tropics. We anchored at 11 o'clock in 14 fathom clean sand, and very smooth water, about three-quarters of a mile from the shore, in the same place where I anchored in my voyage round the world; and found riding here the Newport of London, a merchantman, Captain Barefoot commander, who welcomed me with 3 guns and I returned one for thanks. He came from Fayal, one of the western islands; and had store of wine and brandy aboard. He was taking in salt to carry to Newfoundland, and was very glad to see one of the King's ships, being before our coming afraid of pirates, which of late years had much infested this and the rest of the Cape Verde Islands.
I have given some account of the island of Mayo and of other of these islands in my Voyage round the World, but I shall now add some further observations that occurred to me in this voyage. The island of Mayo is about 7 leagues in circumference, of a roundish form, with many small rocky points shooting out into the sea a mile or more. Its latitude is 15 degrees north, and as you sail about the isle, when you come pretty nigh the shore, you will see the water breaking off from those points; which you must give a berth to and avoid them. I sailed at this time two parts in three round the island, but saw nothing dangerous besides these points; and they all showed themselves by the breaking of the water: yet it is reported that on the north and north-north-west side there are dangerous shoals that lie farther off at sea; but I was not on that side. There are 2 hills on this island of a considerable height; one pretty bluff, the other peaked at top. The rest of the island is pretty level and of a good height from the sea. The shore clear round hath sandy bays between the rocky points I spoke of, and the whole island is a very dry sort of soil.
OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS; ITS SALT POND COMPARED WITH THAT OF SALT TORTUGA; ITS TRADE FOR SALT, AND FRAPE-BOATS.
On the west side of the isle where the road for ships is, there is a large sandy bay and a sandbank of about 40 paces wide within it which runs along the shore 2 or 3 miles; within which there is a large salina or salt pond, contained between the sandbank and the hills beyond it. The whole salina is about 2 miles in length, and half a mile wide; but above one half of it its commonly dry. The north end only of the pond never wants water, producing salt from November till May, which is here the dry season of the year. The water which yields this salt works in from out of the sea through a hole in the sandbank before mentioned, like a sluice, and that only in spring tides when it fills the pond more or less, according to the height of the tides. If there is any salt in the ponds when the flush of water comes in it presently dissolves: but then in 2 or 3 days after it begins to kern; and so continues kerning till either all or the greatest part of the salt water is congealed or kerned; or till a fresh supply of it comes in again from the sea. This water is known to come in only at that one passage on the north part of the pond; where also it is deepest. It was at a spring of the new moon when I was there; and I was told that it comes in at no other time but at the new moon spring tides; but why that should be I can't guess. They who come hither to lade salt rake it up as it kerns, and lay it in heaps on the dry land, before the water breaks in anew: and this is observable of this salt pond, that the salt kerns only in the dry season, contrary to the salt ponds in the West Indies, particularly those of the island Salt Tortuga, which I have formerly mentioned, for they never kern there till the rains come in about April; and continue to do so in May, June, July etc. while the wet season lasts; and not without some good shower of rain first: but the reason also of this difference between the salt ponds of Mayo and those of the West Indies why these should kern in the wet season, and the former in the dry season, I shall leave to philosophers.
Our nation drives here a great trade for salt, and have commonly a man-of-war here for the guard of our ships and barks that come to take it in; of which I have been informed that in some years there have not been less than 100 in a year. It costs nothing but men's labour to rake it together, and wheel it out of the pond, except the carriage: and that also is very cheap; the inhabitants having plenty of asses for which they have little to do besides carrying the salt from the ponds to the seaside at the season when ships are here. The inhabitants lade and drive their asses themselves, being very glad to be employed; for they have scarce any other trade but this to get a penny by. The pond is not above half a mile from the landing-place, so that the asses make a great many trips in a day. They have a set number of turns to and fro both forenoon and afternoon, which their owners will not exceed. At the landing-place there lies a frape-boat, as our seamen call it, to take in the salt. It is made purposely for this use, with a deck reaching from the stern a third part of the boat; where there is a kind of bulkhead that rises not from the boat's bottom but from the edge of the deck to about 2 foot in height; all caulked very tight. The use of it is to keep the waves from dashing into the boat when it lies with its head to the shore to take in salt: for here commonly runs a great sea; and when the boat lies so with its head to the shore the sea breaks in over the stern, and would soon fill it was it not for this bulkhead, which stops the waves that come flowing upon the deck and makes them run off into the sea on each side. To keep the boat thus with the head to the shore and the stern to the sea there are two strong stanchions set up in the boat, the one at the head, the other in the middle of it, against the bulkhead, and a foot higher than the bulkhead. There is a large notch cut in the top of each of these stanchions big enough for a small hawser or rope to lie in; one end of which is fastened to a post ashore, and the other to a grappling or anchor lying a pretty way off at sea: this rope serves to haul the boat in and out, and the stanchions serve to keep her fast, so that she cannot swing to either side when the rope is hauled tight: for the sea would else fill her, or toss her ashore and stave her. The better to prevent her staving and to keep her the tighter together there are two sets of ropes more: the first going athwart from gunwale to gunwale, which, when the rowers benches are laid, bind the boats sides so hard against the ends of the benches that they cannot easily fall asunder, while the benches and ropes mutually help each other; the ropes keeping the boat's sides from flying off, and the benches from being crushed together inwards. Of these ropes there are usually but two, dividing the boat's length as they go across the sides into three equal parts. The other set of ropes are more in number, and are so placed as to keep the ribs and planks of the boat from starting off. For this purpose there are holes made at certain distances through the edge of the keel that runs along on the inside of the boat; through which these ropes passing are laid along the ribs so as to line them, or be themselves as ribs upon them, being made fast to them by rattans brought thither, or small cords twisted close about both ropes and ribs, up to the gunwale: by which means though several of the nails or pegs of the boat should by any shock fall out, yet the ropes of these two sets might hold her together: especially with the help of a rope going quite round about the gunwale on the outside, as our longboats have. And such is the care taken to strengthen the boats; from which girding them with ropes, which our seamen call fraping, they have the name of frape-boats. Two men suffice to haul her in and out, and take in the salt from shore (which is brought in bags) and put it out again. As soon as the boat is brought nigh enough to the shore he who stands by the bulkhead takes instantly a turn with the hawser about the bulkhead stanchion; and that stops her fast before the sea can turn her aside: and when the two men have got in their lading they haul off to sea till they come a little without the swell; where they remove the salt into another boat that carries it on board the ship. Without such a frape-boat here is but bad landing at any time: for though it is commonly very smooth in the road, yet there falls a great sea on the shore, so that every ship that comes here should have such a boat, and bring or make or borrow one of the other ships that happen to be here; for the inhabitants have none. I have been thus particular in the description of these frape-boats because of the use they may be of in any places where a great sea falls in upon the shore: as it does especially in many open roads in the East and West Indies; where they might therefore be very serviceable; but I never saw any of them there.
ITS VEGETABLES, SILK-COTTON, ETC. ITS SOIL, AND TOWNS; ITS GUINEA-HENS AND OTHER FOWLS, BEASTS, AND FISH. OF THE SEA TURTLES, ETC. LAYING IN THE WET SEASON. OF THE NATIVES, THEIR TRADE AND LIVELIHOOD.
The island Mayo is generally barren, being dry, as I said; and the best of it is but a very indifferent soil. The sandy bank that pens in the salt pond has a sort of silk-cotton growing upon it, and a plant that runs along upon the ground, branching out like a vine, but with thick broad leaves. The silk-cotton grows on tender shrubs, 3 or 4 foot high, in cods as big as an apple, but of a long shape; which when ripe open at one end, parting leisurely into 4 quarters; and at the first opening the cotton breaks forth. It may be of use for stuffing of pillows, or the like, but else is of no value, any more than that of the great cotton-tree. I took of these cods before that were quite ripe, and laid them in my chest; and in 2 or 3 days they would open and throw out the cotton. Others I have bound fast with strings, so that the cod could not open; and in a few days after, as soon as I slackened the string never so little, the cod would burst and the cotton fly out forcibly at a very little hole, just as the pulp out of a roasting apple, till all has been out of the cod. I met with this sort of cotton afterwards at Timor (where it was ripe in November) and nowhere else in all my travels; but I found two other sorts of silk-cotton at Brazil, which I shall there describe. The right cotton-shrub grows here also, but not on the sandbank. I saw some bushes of it near the shore; but the most of it is planted in the middle of the isle, where the inhabitants live, cotton-cloth being their chief manufacture; but neither is there any great store of this cotton. There also are some trees within the island, but none to be seen near the seaside; nothing but a few bushes scattering up and down against the sides of the adjacent hills; for as I said before the land is pretty high from the sea. The soil is for the most part either a sort of sand, or loose crumbling stone, without any fresh-water ponds or streams to moisten it, but only showers in the wet season which run off as fast as they fall, except a small spring in the middle of the isle, from which proceeds a little stream of water that runs through a valley between the hills. There the inhabitants live in three small towns, having a church and padre in each town: and these towns, as I was informed, are 6 or 7 miles from the road. Pinose is said to be the chief town, and to have 2 churches: St. John's the next, and the third Lagoa. The houses are very mean: small, low things. They build with figtree, here being, as I was told, no other trees fit to build with. The rafters are a sort of wild cane. The fruits of this isle are chiefly figs and watermelons. They have also callavances (a sort of pulse like French beans) and pumpkins for ordinary food. The fowls are flamingos, great curlews, and guinea-hens, which the natives of those islands call galena pintata, or the painted hen; but in Jamaica, where I have seen also those birds in the dry savannahs and woods (for they love to run about in such places) they are called guinea-hens. They seem to be much of the nature of partridges. They are bigger than our hens, have long legs, and will run apace. They can fly too but not far, having large heavy bodies and but short wings and short tails: as I have generally observed that birds have seldom long tails unless such as fly much; in which their tails are usually serviceable to their turning about as a rudder to a ship or boat. These birds have thick and strong yet sharp bills, pretty long claws, and short tails. They feed on the ground, either on worms, which they find by tearing open the earth; or on grasshoppers, which are plentiful here. The feathers of these birds are speckled with dark and light grey; the spots so regular and uniform that they look more beautiful than many birds that are decked with gayer feathers. Their necks are small and long; their heads also but little. The cocks have a small rising on their crowns, like a sort of a comb. It is of the colour of a dry walnut shell, and very hard. They have a small red gill on each side of their heads, like ears, strutting out downwards; but the hens have none. They are so strong that one cannot hold them; and very hardy. They are very good meat, tender, and sweet; and in some the flesh is extraordinary white; though some others have black flesh: but both sorts are very good. The natives take them with dogs, running them down whenever they please; for here are abundance of them. You shall see 2 or 300 in a company. I had several brought aboard alive, where they throve very well; some of them 16 or 18 months; when they began to pine. When they are taken young they will become tame like our hens. The flamingos I have already described at large. They have also many other sort of fowls, namely pigeons and turtledoves; miniotas, a sort of land-fowls as big as crows, of a grey colour, and good food; crusias, another sort of grey-coloured fowl almost as big as a crow, which are only seen in the night (probably a sort of owls) and are said to be good for consumptive people but eaten by none else. Rabeks, a sort of large grey eatable fowls with long necks and legs, not unlike herons; and many kinds of small birds.
Of land animals here are goats, as I said formerly, and asses good store. When I was here before they were said to have had a great many bulls and cows: but the pirates who have since miserably infested all these islands have much lessened the number of those; not having spared the inhabitants themselves: for at my being there this time the governor of Mayo was but newly returned from being a prisoner among them, they having taken him away, and carried him about with them for a year or two.
The sea is plentifully stocked with fish of divers sorts, namely dolphins, bonetas, mullet, snapper, silver-fish, garfish, etc. And here is a good bay to haul a seine or net in. I hauled mine several times, and to good purpose; dragging ashore at one time 6 dozen of great fish, most of them large mullet of a foot and a half or two foot long. Here are also porpoises, and a small sort of whales that commonly visit this road every day. I have already said that the months of May, June, July and August (that is, the wet season) are the time when the green-turtle come hither and go ashore to lay their eggs. I look upon it as a thing worth taking notice of that the turtle should always, both in north and south latitude, lay their eggs in the wet months. It might be thought, considering what great rains there are then in some places where these creatures lay, that their eggs should be spoiled by them. But the rain, though violent, is soon soaked up by the sand wherein the eggs are buried; and perhaps sinks not so deep into it as the eggs are laid: and keeping down the heat may make the sand hotter below than it was before, like a hot-bed. Whatever the reason may be why Providence determines these creatures to this season of laying their eggs, rather than the dry, in fact it is so, as I have constantly observed; and that not only with the sea-turtle but with all other sorts of amphibious animals that lay eggs; as crocodiles, alligators, iguanas etc. The inhabitants of this island, even their governor and padres, are all negroes, wool-pated like their African neighbours; from whom it is like they are descended; though, being subjects to the Portuguese, they have their religion and language. They are stout, lusty, well-limbed people, both men and women, fat and fleshy; and they and their children as round and plump as little porpoises; though the island appears so barren to a stranger as scarce to have food for its inhabitants. I enquired how many people there might be on the isle; and was told by one of the padres that here were 230 souls in all. The negro governor has his patent from the Portuguese governor of St. Jago. He is a very civil and sensible poor man; and they are generally a good sort of people. He expects a small present from every commander that lades salt here; and is glad to be invited aboard their ships. He spends most of his time with the English in the salting season, which is his harvest; and indeed, all the islanders are then fully employed in getting somewhat; for they have no vessels of their own to trade with, nor do any Portuguese vessels come hither: scarce any but English, on whom they depend for trade: and though subjects of Portugal, have a particular value for us. We don't pay them for their salt, but for the labour of themselves and their beasts in lading it: for which we give them victuals, some money, and old clothes, namely hats, shirts, and other clothes: by which means many of them are indifferently well rigged; but some of them go almost naked. When the turtle season comes in they watch the sandy bays in the night to turn them; and having small huts at particular places on the bays to keep them from the rain, and to sleep in: and this is another harvest they have for food; for by report there come a great many turtle to this and the rest of the Cape Verde Islands. When the turtle season is over they have little to do but to hunt for guinea-hens and manage their small plantations. But by these means they have all the year some employment or other; whereby they get a subsistence though but little else. When any of them are desirous to go over to St. Jago they get a licence from the governor and desire passage in any English ship that is going thither: and indeed all ships that lade salt here will be obliged to touch at St. Jago for water, for here at the bay is none, not so much as for drinking. It is true there is a small well of brackish water not half a mile from the landing-place which the asses that carry salt drink at; but it is very bad water. Asses themselves are a commodity in some of these islands, several of our ships coming hither purposely to freight with them and carry them to Barbados and our other plantations. I stayed at Mayo 6 days and got 7 or 8 ton of salt aboard for my voyage: in which time there came also into this road several sail of merchants ships for salt; all bound with it for Newfoundland.
THE AUTHOR'S ARRIVAL AT ST. JAGO; PRAYA AND ST. JAGO TOWN.
The 19th day of February, at about one o'clock in the morning, I weighed from Mayo Road in order to water at St. Jago, which was about 5 or 6 leagues to the westward. We coasted along the island St. Jago and passed by the port on the east of it I mentioned formerly which they call Praya; where some English outward-bound East-Indiamen still touch, but not so many of them as heretofore. We saw the fort upon the hill, the houses and coconut-trees: but I would not go in to anchor here because I expected better water on the south-west of the island at St. Jago Town. By eight o'clock in the morning we saw the ships in that road, being within 3 leagues of it: but were forced to keep turning many hours to get in, the flaws of wind coming so uncertain; as they do especially to the leeward of islands that are high land. At length two Portuguese boats came off to help tow us in; and about three o'clock in the afternoon we came to an anchor and took the prospect of the town. We found here, besides two Portuguese ships bound for Brazil whose boats had towed us in, an English pink that had taken in asses at one of the Cape Verde Islands and was bound to Barbados with them. Next morning I went ashore with my officers to the governor, who treated us with sweetmeats: I told him the occasion of my coming was chiefly for water; and that I desired also to take in some refreshments of fowls, etc. He said I was welcome, and that he would order the townsmen to bring their commodities to a certain house, where I might purchase what I had occasion for: I told him I had not money but would exchange some of the salt which I brought from Mayo for their commodities. He replied that salt was indeed an acceptable commodity with the poor people, but that if I designed to buy any cattle I must give money for them. I contented myself with taking in dunghill-fowls: the governor ordering a crier to go about the town and give notice to the people that they might repair to such a place with fowls and maize for feeding them where they might get salt in exchange for them: so I sent on board for salt and ordered some of my men to truck the same for the fowls and maize while the rest of them were busy in filling of water. This is the effect of their keeping no boats of their own on the several islands, that they are glad to by even their own salt of foreigners for want of being able to transport it themselves from island to island.
St. Jago Town lies on the south-west part of the island in latitude about 15 degrees north, and is the seat of the general governor and of the bishop of all the Cape Verde Islands. This town stands scattering against the sides of two mountains, between which there is a deep valley, which is about 200 yards wide against the sea; but within a quarter of a mile it closes up so as not to be 40 yards wide. In the valley by the sea there is a straggling street, houses on each side, and a run of water in the bottom which empties itself into a fine small cove or sandy bay where the sea is commonly very smooth; so that here is good watering and good landing at any time; though the road be rocky and bad for ships. Just by the landing-place there is a small fort, almost level with the sea, where is always a court of guard kept. On the top of the hill, above the town, there is another fort which, by the wall that is to be seen from the road, seems to be a large place. They have cannon mounted there, but how many know not: neither what use that fort can be of except it be for salutes. The town may consist of 2 or 300 houses, all built of rough stone; having also one convent, and one church.
OF THE INHABITANTS AND THEIR COMMODITIES.
The people in general are black, or at least of a mixed colour, except only some few of the better sort, namely the governor, the bishop, some gentlemen, and some of the padres; for some of these also are black. The people about Praya are thievish; but these of St. Jago Town, living under their governor's eye, are more orderly, though generally poor, having little trade: yet besides chance ships of other nations there come hither a Portuguese ship or two every year, in their way to Brazil. These vend among them a few European commodities, and take of their principal manufactures, namely striped cotton cloth which they carry with them to Brazil. Here is also another ship comes hither from Portugal for sugar, their other manufacture, and returns with it directly thither: for it is reported that there are several small sugar-works on this island from which they send home near 100 ton every year; and they have plenty of cotton growing up in the country wherewith they clothe themselves, and send also a great deal to Brazil. They have vines of which they make some wine; but the European ships furnish them with better; though they drink but little of any. Their chief fruits are (besides plantains in abundance) oranges, lemons, citrons, melons (both musk and watermelons) limes, guavas, pomegranates, quinces, custard-apples, and papaws, etc.
OF THE CUSTARD-APPLE, ST. JAGO ROAD.
The custard-apple (as we call it) is a fruit as big as a pomegranate, and much of the same colour. The outside husk, shell, or rind, is for substance and thickness between the shell of a pomegranate, and the peel of a seville orange; softer than this, yet more brittle than that. The coat or covering is also remarkable in that it is beset round with small regular knobs or risings; and the inside of the fruit is full of a white soft pulp, sweet and very pleasant, and most resembling a custard of any thing, both in colour and taste; from whence probably it is called a custard-apple by our English. It has in the middle a few small black stones or kernels; but no core, for it is all pulp. The tree that bears this fruit is about the bigness of a quince-tree, with long, small, and thick-set branches spread much abroad: at the extremity of here and there one of which the fruit grows upon a stalk of its own about 9 or 10 inches long, slender and tough, and hanging down with its own weight. A large tree of this sort does not bear usually above 20 or 30 apples, seldom more. This fruit grows in most countries within the tropics, I have seen of them (though I omitted the description of them before) all over the West Indies, both continent and islands; as also in Brazil, and in the East Indies.
The papaw too is found in all these countries, though I have not hitherto described it. It is a fruit about the bigness of a musk-melon, hollow as that is, and much resembling it in shape and colour, both outside and inside: only in the middle, instead of flat kernels, which the melons have, these have a handful of small blackish seeds about the bigness of peppercorns; whose taste is also hot on the tongue somewhat like pepper. The fruit itself is sweet, soft and luscious, when ripe; but while green it is hard and unsavoury: though even then being boiled and eaten with salt-pork or beef, it serves instead of turnips and is as much esteemed. The papaw-tree is about 10 or 12 foot high. The body near the ground may be a foot and a half or 2 foot diameter; and it grows up tapering to the top. It has no branches at all, but only large leaves growing immediately upon stalks from the body. The leaves are of a roundish form and jagged about the edges, having their stalks or stumps longer or shorter as they grow near to or further from the top. They begin to spring from out of the body of the tree at about 6 or 7 foot height from the ground, the trunk being bare below: but above that the leaves grow thicker and larger still towards its top, where they are close and broad. The fruit grows only among the leaves; and thickest among the thickest of them; insomuch that towards the top of the tree the papaws spring forth from its body as thick as they can stick one by another. But then lower down where the leaves are thinner the fruit is larger, and of the size I have described: and at the top where they are thick they are but small, and no bigger than ordinary turnips; yet tasted like the rest.
Their chief land animals are their bullocks, which are said to be many; though they ask us 20 dollars apiece for them; they have also horses, asses, and mules, deer, goats, hogs, and black-faced long-tailed monkeys. Of fowls they have cocks and hens, ducks, guinea-hens, both tame and wild, parakeets, parrots, pigeons, turtledoves, herons, hawks, crab-catchers, galdens (a larger sort of crab-catchers) curlews, etc. Their fish is the same as at Mayo and the rest of these islands, and for the most part these islands have the same beasts and birds also; but some of the isles have pasturage and employment for some particular beasts more than other; and the birds are encouraged, by woods for shelter, and maize and fruits for food, to flock to some of the islands (as to this of St. Jago) than to others.
St. Jago Road is one of the worst that I have been in. There is not clean ground enough for above three ships; and those also must lie very near each other. One even of these must lie close to the shore, with a land-fast there: and that is the best for a small ship. I should not have come in here if I had not been told that it was a good secure place; but I found it so much otherways that I was in pain to be gone. Captain Barefoot, who came to an anchor while I was here, in foul ground, lost quickly 2 anchors; and I had lost a small one. The island Fogo shows itself from this road very plain, at about 7 or 8 leagues distance; and in the night we saw the flames of fire issuing from its top.
SOUTH OF THE LINE TO BRAZIL.
THE AUTHOR'S DELIBERATION ON THE SEQUEL OF HIS VOYAGE AND DEPARTURE FROM ST. JAGO.
Having despatched my small affairs at the Cape Verde Islands I meditated on the process of my voyage. I thought it requisite to touch once more at a cultivated place in these seas, where my men might be refreshed, and might have a market wherein to furnish themselves with necessaries: for, designing that my next stretch should be quite to New Holland, and knowing that after so long a run nothing was to be expected there but fresh water, if I could meet even with that there, I resolved upon putting in first at some port of Brazil, and to provide myself there with whatever I might have further occasion for. Beside the refreshing and furnishing my men I aimed also at the inuring them gradually and by intervals to the fatigues that were to be expected in the remainder of the voyage, which was to be in a part of the world they were altogether strangers to: none of them, except two young men, having ever crossed the Line.
HIS COURSE, AND THE WINDS, ETC. IN CROSSING THE LINE.
With this design I sailed from St. Jago on the 22nd of February with the winds at east-north-east and north-east fair weather and a brisk gale. We steered away south-south-east and south-south-east half east till in the latitude of 7 degrees 50 minutes we met with many ripplings in the sea like a tide or strong current, which setting against the wind caused such a rippling. We continued to meet these currents from that latitude till we came into the latitude of 3 degrees 22 north when they ceased. During this time we saw some bonetas and sharks; catching one of these. We had the true general tradewind blowing fresh at north-east till in the latitude of 4 degrees 40 minutes north when the wind varied, and we had small gales with some tornados. We were then to the east of St. Jago 4 degrees 54 minutes when we got into latitude 3 degrees 2 minutes north (where I said the rippling ceased) and longitude to the east of St. Jago 5 degrees 2 minutes we had the wind whiffling between the south by east and east by north small gales, frequent calms, very black clouds with much rain. In the latitude of 3 degrees 8 minutes north and longitude east from St. Jago 5 degrees 8 minutes we had the wind from the south-south-east to the north-north-east faint, and often interrupted with calms. While we had calms we had the opportunity of trying the current we had met with hitherto and found that it set north-east by east half a knot, which is 12 mile in 24 hours: so that here it ran at the rate of half a mile an hour, and had been much stronger before. The rains held us by intervals till the latitude of 1 degree 0 minutes north with small gales of wind between south-south-east and south-east by east and sometimes calm: afterwards we had the wind between the south and south-south-east till we crossed the Line, small winds, calms, and pretty fair weather. We saw but few fish beside porpoises; but of them a great many and struck one of them.
It was the 10th of March, about the time of the equinox, when we crossed the equator, having had all along from the latitude of 4 degrees 40 minutes north, where the true tradewind left us, a great swell out of the south-east and but small uncertain gales, mostly southerly, so that we crept to the southward but slowly. I kept up against these as well as I could to the southward, and when we had now and then a flurry of wind at east I still went away due south, purposely to get to the southward as fast as I could; for while near the Line I expected to have but uncertain winds, frequent calms, rains, tornados, etc. which would not only retard my course but endanger sickness also among my men: especially those who were ill provided with clothes, or were too lazy to shift themselves when they were drenched with the rains. The heat of the weather made them careless of doing this; but taking a dram of brandy which I gave them when wet, with a charge to shift themselves, they would however lie down in their hammocks with their wet clothes; so that when they turned out they caused an ill smell wherever they came, and their hammocks would stink sufficiently that I think the remedying of this is worth the care of commanders that cross the Line; especially when they are, it may be, a month or more before they get out of the rains, at some times of year, as in June, July or August.
HE STANDS AWAY FOR THE BAY OF ALL-SAINTS IN BRAZIL; AND WHY.
What I have here said about currents, winds, calms, etc. in this passage is chiefly for the farther illustration of what I have heretofore observed in general about these matters, and especially as to crossing the Line, in my Discourse of the Winds, etc. in the Torrid Zone: which observations I have had very much confirmed to me in the course of this voyage; and I shall particularise in several of the chief of them as they come in my way. And indeed I think I may say this of the main of the observations in that treatise that the clear satisfaction I had about them and how much I might rely upon them was a great ease to my mind during this vexatious voyage; wherein the ignorance, and obstinacy withal, of some under me, occasioned me a great deal of trouble: though they found all along, and were often forced to acknowledge it, that I was seldom out in my conjectures when I told them usually beforehand what winds, etc. we should meet with at such or such particular places we should come at.
Pernambuco was the port that I designed for at my first setting out from St. Jago; it being a place most proper for my purpose, by reason of its situation, lying near the extremity of Cape St. Augustine, the easternmost promontory of Brazil; by which means it not only enjoys the greater benefit of the seabreezes, and is consequently more healthy than other places to the southward, but is withal less subject to the southerly coasting tradewinds that blow half the year on this shore; which were now drawing on, and might be troublesome to me: so that I might both hope to reach soonest Pernambuco as most directly and nearest in my run; and might thence also more easily get away to the southward than from Bahia de todos los Santos or Rio de Janeiro.
But notwithstanding these advantages I proposed to myself in going to Pernambuco I was soon put by that design through the refractoriness of some under me, and the discontents and backwardness of some of my men. For the calms and shiftings of winds which I met with, as I was to expect, in crossing the Line, made them who were unacquainted with these matters almost heartless as to the pursuit of the voyage, as thinking we should never be able to weather Cape St. Augustine: and though I told them that by that time we should get to about three degrees south of the Line we should again have a true brisk general tradewind from the north-east, that would carry us to what part of Brazil we pleased, yet they would not believe it till they found it so. This, with some other unforeseen accidents, not necessary to be mentioned in this place, meeting with the aversion of my men to a long unknown voyage, made me justly apprehensive of their revolting, and was a great trouble and hindrance to me. So that I was obliged partly to alter my measures, and met with many difficulties, the particulars of which I shall not trouble the reader with: but I mention thus much of it in general for my own necessary vindication, in my taking such measures sometimes for prosecuting the voyage as the state of my ship's crew, rather than my own judgment and experience, determined me to. The disorders of my ship made me think at present that Pernambuco would not be so fit a place for me; being told that ships ride there 2 or 3 leagues from the town, under the command of no forts; so that whenever I should have been ashore it might have been easy for my discontented crew to have cut or slipped their cables and have gone away from me: many of them discovering already an intention to return to England, and some of them declaring openly that they would go no further onwards than Brazil. I altered my course therefore, and stood away for Bahia de todos los Santos, or the Bay of All Saints, where I hoped to have the governor's help, if need should require, for securing my ship from any such mutinous attempt; being forced to keep myself all the way upon my guard, and to lie with my officers, such as I could trust, and with small arms upon the quarter-deck; it scarce being safe for me to lie in my cabin by reason of the discontents among my men.
HIS ARRIVAL ON THAT COAST AND IN THE BAY.
On the 23rd of March we saw the land of Brazil; having had thither, from the time when we came into the true tradewind again after crossing the Line, very fair weather and brisk gales, mostly at east-north-east. The land we saw was about 20 leagues to the north of Bahia; so I coasted alongshore to the southward. This coast is rather low than high, with sandy bays all along by the sea.
OF THE SEVERAL FORTS, THE ROAD, SITUATION, TOWN, AND BUILDINGS OF BAHIA.
A little within land are many very white spots of sand appearing like snow; and the coast looks very pleasant, being chequered with woods and savannahs. The trees in general are not tall; but they are green and flourishing. There are many small houses by the seaside, whose inhabitants are chiefly fishermen. They come off to sea on bark logs, made of several logs fastened side to side, that have one or two masts with sails to them. There are two men in each bark log, one at either end, having small low benches, raised a little above the logs, to sit and fish on, and two baskets hanging up at the mast or masts; one to put their provisions in, the other for their fish. Many of these were a-fishing now, and 2 of them came aboard, of whom I bought some fish. In the afternoon we sailed by one very remarkable piece of land where, on a small pleasant hill, there was a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. See a sight of some parts of this coast and of the hill the church stands on.
I coasted along till the evening and then brought to, and lay by till the next morning. About 2 hours after we were brought to, there came a sail out of the offing (from seaward) and lay by about a mile to windward of us and so lay all night. In the morning upon speaking with her she proved to be a Portuguese ship bound to Bahia; therefore I sent my boat aboard and desired to have one of his mates to pilot me in: he answered that he had not a mate capable of it, but that he would sail in before me, and show me the way; and that if he went into the harbour in the night he would hang out a light for me. He said we had not far in, and might reach it before night with a tolerable gale; but that with so small an one as now we had we could not do it: so we jogged on till night and then he accordingly hung out his light, which we steered after, sounding as we went in. I kept all my men on deck and had an anchor ready to let go on occasion. We had the tide of ebb against us, so that we went in but slowly; and it was about the middle of the night when we anchored. Immediately the Portuguese master came aboard to see me, to whom I returned thanks for his civilities; and indeed I found much respect, not only from this gentleman but from all of that nation both here and in other places, who were ready to serve me on all occasions. The place that we anchored in was about two miles from the harbour where the ships generally ride; but the fear I had lest my people should run away with the ship made me hasten to get a licence from the governor to run up into the harbour and ride among their ships, close by one of their forts. So on the 25th of March about ten o'clock in the morning, the tide serving, I went thither, being piloted by the superintendent there, whose business it is to carry up all the King of Portugal's ships that come hither, and to see them well moored. He brought us to an anchor right against the town, at the outer part of the harbour, which was then full of ships, within 150 yards of a small fort that stands on a rock half a mile from the shore. See a prospect of the harbour and the town as it appeared to us while we lay at anchor.
Bahia de todos los Santos lies in latitude 13 degrees south. It is the most considerable town in Brazil, whether in respect of the beauty of its buildings, its bulk, or its trade and revenue. It has the convenience of a good harbour that is capable of receiving ships of the greatest burden: the entrance of which is guarded with a strong fort standing without the harbour, called St. Antonio: a sight of which I have given as it appeared to us the afternoon before we came in; and its lights (which they hang out purposely for ships) we saw the same night. There are other smaller forts that command the harbour, one of which stands on a rock in the sea, about half a mile from the shore. Close by this fort all ships must pass that anchor here, and must ride also within half a mile of it at farthest between this and another fort (that stands on a point at the inner part of the harbour and is called the Dutch Fort) but must ride nearest to the former, all along against the town: where there is good holding ground, and less exposed to the southerly winds that blow very hard here. They commonly set in about April, but blow hardest in May, June, July and August: but the place where the ships ride is exposed to these winds not above 3 points of the compass.
Beside these there is another fort fronting the harbour, and standing on the hill upon which the town stands. The town itself consists of about 2000 houses; the major part of which cannot be seen from the harbour; but so many as appear in sight with a great mixture of trees between them, and all placed on a rising hill, make a very pleasant prospect; as may be judged by the draught.
There are in the town 13 churches, chapels, hospitals, convents, beside one nunnery, namely the ecclesia major or cathedral, the Jesuits' college, which are the chief, and both in sight from the harbour: St. Antonio, St. Barbara, both parish churches; the Franciscans' church, and the Dominicans'; and 2 convents of Carmelites; a chapel for seamen close by the seaside, where boats commonly land and the seamen go immediately to prayers; another chapel for poor people, at the farther end of the same street, which runs along by the shore; and a third chapel for soldiers at the edge of the town remote from the sea; and an hospital in the middle of the town. The nunnery stands at the outer edge of the town next the fields, wherein by report there are 70 nuns. Here lives in archbishop, who has a fine palace in the town; and the governor's palace is a fair stone building, and looks handsome to the sea, though but indifferently furnished within: both Spaniards and Portuguese in their plantations abroad, as I have generally observed, affecting to have large houses; but are little curious about furniture, except pictures some of them. The houses of the town are 2 or 3 stories high, the walls thick and strong, being built with stone, with a covering of pantile; and many of them have balconies. The principal streets are large, and all of them paved or pitched with small stones. There are also parades in the most eminent places of the town, and many gardens, as well within the town as in the out parts of it, wherein are fruit trees, herbs, saladings and flowers in great variety, but ordered with no great care nor art.
OF ITS GOVERNOR, SHIPS AND MERCHANTS; AND COMMODITIES TO AND FROM EUROPE.
The governor who resides here is called Don John de Lancastrio, being descended, as they say, from our English Lancaster family; and he has a respect for our nation on that account, calling them his countrymen. I waited on him several times, and always found him very courteous and civil. Here are about 400 soldiers in garrison. They commonly draw up and exercise in a large parade before the governor's house; and many of them attend him when he goes abroad. The soldiers are decently clad in brown linen, which in these hot countries is far better than woollen; but I never saw any clad in linen but only these. Beside the soldiers in pay, he can soon have some thousands of men up in arms on occasion. The magazine is on the skirts of the town, on a small rising between the nunnery and the soldiers' church. It is big enough to hold 2 or 3000 barrels of powder; but I was told it seldom has more than 100, sometimes but 80. There are always a band of soldiers to guard it, and sentinels looking out both day and night.
A great many merchants always reside at Bahia; for it is a place of great trade: I found here above 30 great ships from Europe, with 2 of the King of Portugal's ships of war for their convoy; beside 2 ships that traded to Africa only, either to Angola, Gambia, or other places on the coast of Guinea; and abundance of small craft that only run to and fro on this coast, carrying commodities from one part of Brazil to another.
The merchants that live here are said to be rich, and to have many negro slaves in their houses, both of men and women. Themselves are chiefly Portuguese, foreigners having but little commerce with them; yet here was one Mr. Cock, an English merchant, a very civil gentleman and of good repute. He had a patent to be our English consul, but did not care to take upon him any public character because English ships seldom come hither, here having been none in 11 or 12 years before this time. Here was also a Dane, and a French merchant or two; but all have their effects transported to and from Europe in Portuguese ships, none of any other nation being admitted to trade hither. There is a custom-house by the seaside, where all goods imported or exported are entered. And to prevent abuses there are 5 or 6 boats that take their turns to row about the harbour, searching any boats they suspect to be running of goods.
The chief commodities that the European ships bring hither are linen cloths, both coarse and fine; some woollens, also as bays, serges, perpetuanas, etc. Hats, stockings, both of silk and thread, biscuit-bread, wheat flour, wine (chiefly port) oil olive, butter, cheese, etc. and salt-beef and pork would there also be good commodities. They bring hither also iron, and all sorts of iron tools; pewter vessels of all sorts, as dishes, plates, spoons, etc. looking-glasses, beads, and other toys; and the ships that touch at St. Jago bring thence, as I said, cotton cloth, which is afterwards sent to Angola.
The European ships carry from hence sugar, tobacco, either in roll or snuff, never in leaf, that I know of: these are the staple commodities. Besides which, here are dye-woods, as fustick, etc. with woods for other uses, as speckled wood, Brazil, etc. They also carry home raw hides, tallow, train-oil of whales, etc. Here are also kept tame monkeys, parrots, parakeets, etc, which the seamen carry home.
CLAYING OF SUGAR.
The sugar of this country is much better than that which we bring home from our plantations: for all the sugar that is made here is clayed, which makes it whiter and finer than our muscovada, as we call our unrefined sugar. Our planters seldom refine any with clay, unless sometimes a little to send home as presents for their friends in England. Their way of doing it is by taking some of the whitest clay and mixing it with water, till it is like cream. With this they fill up the pans of sugar that are sunk 2 or 3 inches below the brim by the draining of the molasses out of it: first scraping off the thin hard crust of the sugar that lies at the top, and would hinder the water of the clay from soaking through the sugar of the pan. The refining is made by this percolation. For 10 to 12 days time that the clayish liquor lies soaking down the pan the white water whitens the sugar as it passes through it; and the gross body of the clay itself grows hard on the top, and may be taken off at pleasure; when scraping off with a knife the very upper-part of the sugar which will be a little sullied, that which is underneath will be white almost to the bottom: and such as is called Brazil sugar is thus whitened. When I was here this sugar was sold for about 50 shillings per 100 pounds. And the bottoms of the pots, which is very coarse sugar, for about 20 shillings per 100 pounds, both sorts being then scarce; for here was not enough to lade the ships, and therefore some of them were to lie here till the next season.
THE SEASON FOR THE EUROPEAN SHIPS, AND COIR CABLES: OF THEIR GUINEA TRADE AND OF THE COASTING TRADE, AND WHALE KILLING.
The European ships commonly arrive here in February or March, and they have generally quick passages; finding at that time of the year brisk gales to bring them to the Line, little trouble, then, in crossing it, and brisk east-north-east winds afterwards to bring them hither. They commonly return from hence about the latter end of May, or in June. It was said when I was here that the ships would sail hence the 20th day of May; and therefore they were all very busy, some in taking in their goods, others in careening and making themselves ready. The ships that come hither usually careen at their first coming; here being a hulk belonging to the king for that purpose. This hulk is under the charge of the superintendent I spoke of, who has a certain sum of money for every ship that careens by her. He also provides firing and other necessaries for that purpose: and the ships do commonly hire of the merchants here each 2 cables to moor by all the time they lie here, and so save their own hempen cables; for these are made of a sort of hair that grows on a certain kind of trees, hanging down from the top of their bodies, and is very like the black coir in the East Indies, if not the same. These cables are strong and lasting: and so much for the European ships.
The ships that use the Guinea trade are small vessels in comparison of the former. They carry out from hence rum, sugar, the cotton cloths of St. Jago, beads, etc. and bring in return gold, ivory, and slaves; making very good returns.
The small craft that belong to this town are chiefly employed in carrying European goods from Bahia, the centre of the Brazilian trade, to the other places on this coast; bringing back hither sugar, tobacco, etc. They are sailed chiefly with negro slaves; and about Christmas these are mostly employed in whale killing: for about that time of the year a sort of whales, as they call them, are very thick on this coast. They come in also into the harbours and inland lakes where the seamen go out and kill them. The fat of them is boiled to oil; the lean is eaten by the slaves and poor people: and I was told by one that had frequently eaten of it that the flesh was very sweet and wholesome. These are said to be but small whales; yet here are so many, and so easily killed, that they get a great deal of money by it. Those that strike them buy their licence for it of the king: and I was informed that he receives 30,000 dollars per annum for this fishery. All the small vessels that use this coasting traffic are built here; and so are some men of war also for the king's service. There was one a-building when I was here, a ship of 40 or 50 guns: and the timber of this country is very good and proper for this purpose. I was told it was very strong, and more durable than any we have in Europe; and they have enough of it. As for their ships that use the European trade some of them that I saw there were English built, taken from us by the French, during the late war, and sold by them to the Portuguese.
OF THE INHABITANTS OF BAHIA; THEIR CARRYING IN HAMMOCKS: THEIR ARTIFICERS, CRANE FOR GOODS, AND NEGRO SLAVES.
Besides merchants and others that trade by sea from this port here are other pretty wealthy men, and several artificers and tradesmen of most sorts, who by labour and industry maintain themselves very well; especially such as can arrive at the purchase of a negro slave or two. And indeed, excepting people of the lowest degree of all, here are scarce any but what keep slaves in their houses. The richer sort, besides the slaves of both sexes whom they keep for servile uses in their houses, have men slaves who wait on them abroad, for state; either running by their horse-sides when they ride out, or to carry them to and fro on their shoulders in the town when they make short visits near home. Every gentleman or merchant is provided with things necessary for this sort of carriage. The main thing is a pretty large cotton hammock of the West India fashion, but mostly died blue, with large fringes of the same, hanging down on each side. This is carried on the negroes' shoulders by the help of a bamboo about 12 or 14 foot long, to which the hammock is hung; and a covering comes over the pole, hanging down on each side like a curtain: so that the person so carried cannot be seen unless he pleases; but may either lie down, having pillows for his head; or may sit up by being a little supported with these pillows, and by letting both his legs hang out over one side of the hammock. When he hath a mind to be seen he puts by his curtain, and salutes everyone of his acquaintance whom he meets in the streets; for they take a piece of pride in greeting one another from their hammocks, and will hold long conferences thus in the street: but then their 2 slaves who carry the hammock have each a strong well made staff with a fine iron fork at the upper end, and a sharp iron below, like the rest for a musket, which they stick fast in the ground and let the pole or bamboo of the hammock rest upon them till their master's business or the complement is over. There is scarce a man of any fashion, especially a woman, will pass the streets but so carried in a hammock. The chief mechanic traders here are smiths, hatters, shoemakers, tanners, sawyers, carpenters, coopers, etc. Here are also tailors, butchers, etc., which last kill the bullocks very dexterously, sticking them at one blow with a sharp-pointed knife in the nape of the neck, having first drawn them close to a rail; but they dress them very slovenly. It being Lent when I came hither there was no buying any flesh till Easter-eve, when a great number of bullocks were killed at once in the slaughterhouses within the town, men, women and children flocking thither with great joy to buy, and a multitude of dogs, almost starved, following them; for whom the meat seemed fittest, it was so lean. All these tradesmen buy negroes, and train them up to their several employments, which is a great help to them; and they having so frequent trade to Angola, and other parts of Guinea, they have a constant supply of blacks both for their plantations and town. These slaves are very useful in this place for carriage, as porters; for as here is a great trade by sea and the landing-place is at the foot of a hill, too steep for drawing with carts, so there is great need of slaves to carry goods up into the town, especially for the inferior sort; but the merchants have also the convenience of a great crane that goes with ropes or pulleys, one end of which goes up while the other goes down. The house in which this crane is stands on the brow of the hill towards the sea, hanging over the precipice; and there are planks set shelving against the bank from thence to the bottom, against which the goods lean or slide as they are hoisted up or let down. The negro slaves in this town are so numerous that they make up the greatest part or bulk of the inhabitants: every house, as I said, having some, both men and women, of them. Many of the Portuguese, who are bachelors, keep of these black women for misses, though they know the danger they are in of being poisoned by them, if ever they give them any occasion of jealousy. A gentleman of my acquaintance, who had been familiar with his cookmaid, lay under some apprehensions from her when I was there. These slaves also of either sex will easily be engaged to do any sort of mischief; even to murder, if they are hired to do it, especially in the night; for which reason I kept my men on board as much as I could; for one of the French king's ships being here had several men murdered by them in the night, as I was credibly informed.