Friday, May 17, 2013

William Dampier voyage to Batanes island in 1687

In 1687, a crew of English freebooters headed by William Dampier came with a Dutch crew and named the islands in honor of their country's monarchs. Itbayat was named "Orange Isle" in honor of William of Orange, and Batan was named "Grafton Isle" after Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton. Sabtang Isle was named "Monmouth Isle" after the James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. Capt. Dampier stayed for less than three months, and did not claim the islands for the British crown.

Excerpts from :



In going to them we sailed by the south-west end of Formosa, leaving it on our larboard side. This is a large island; the south end is in latitude 21 degrees 20 minutes and the north end in the 25 degrees 10 minutes north latitude. The longitude of this isle is laid down from 142 degrees 5 minutes to 143 degrees 16 minutes reckoning east from the Pike of Tenerife, so that it is but narrow; and the Tropic of Cancer crosses it. It is a high and woody island, and was formerly well inhabited by the Chinese, and was then frequently visited by English merchants, there being a very good harbour to secure their ships. But since the tartars have conquered China they have spoiled the harbour (as I have been informed) to hinder the Chinese that were then in rebellion from fortifying themselves there; and ordered the foreign merchants to come and trade on the main.

The sixth day of August we arrived at the five islands that we were bound to and anchored on the east side of the northernmost island in 15 fathom, a cable's length from the shore. Here, contrary to our expectation, we found abundance of inhabitants in sight; for there were three large towns all within a league of the sea; and another larger town than any of the three, on the back side of a small hill close by also, as we found afterwards. These islands lie in latitude 20 degrees 20 minutes north latitude by my observation, for I took it there, and I find their longitude according to our charts to be 141 degrees 50 minutes. These islands having no particular names in the charts some or other of us made use of the seamen's privilege to give them what names we please. Three of the islands were pretty large; the westernmost is the biggest. This the Dutchmen who were among us called the Prince of Orange's Island, in honour of his present Majesty. It is about seven or eight leagues long and about two leagues wide; and it lies almost north and south. The other two great islands are about four or five leagues to the eastward of this. The northernmost of them, where we first anchored, I called the Duke of Grafton's Isle as soon as we landed on it; having married my wife out of his duchess's family, and leaving her at Arlington House at my going abroad. This isle is about 4 leagues long and one league and a half wide, stretching north and south. The other great island our seamen called the Duke of Monmouth's Island. This is about a league to the southward of Grafton Isle. It is about three leagues long and a league wide, lying as the other. Between Monmouth and the south end of Orange Island there are two small islands of a roundish form, lying east and west. The easternmost island of the two our men unanimously called Bashee Island, from a liquor which we drank there plentifully every day after we came to an anchor at it. The other, which is the smallest of all, we called Goat Island, from the great number of goats there; and to the northward of them all are two high rocks.

Orange Island, which is the biggest of them all, is not inhabited. It is high land, flat and even on the top with steep cliffs against the sea; for which reason we could not go ashore there as we did on all the rest.


I have made it my general observation that where the land is fenced with steep rocks and cliffs against the sea there the sea is very deep, and seldom affords anchor-ground; and on the other side where the land falls away with a declivity into the sea (although the land be extraordinary high within) yet there are commonly good soundings, and consequently anchoring; and as the visible declivity of the land appears near, or at the edge of the water, whether pretty steep or more sloping, so we commonly find our anchor-ground to be more or less deep or steep; therefore we come nearer the shore or anchor farther off as we see convenient; for there is no coast in the world that I know or have heard of where the land is of a continual height without some small valleys or declivities which lie intermixed with the high land. They are the subsidings of valleys or low lands that make dents in the shore and creeks, small bays, and harbours, or little coves, etc., which afford good anchoring, the surface of the earth being there lodged deep under water. Thus we find many good harbours on such coasts where the land bounds the sea with steep cliffs, by reason of the declivities or subsiding of the land between these cliffs: but where the declension from the hills or cliffs is not within land, between hill and hill, but, as on the coast of Chile and Peru, the declivity is toward the main sea, or into it, the coast being perpendicular, or very steep from the neighbouring hills, as in those countries from the Andes that run along the shore, there is a deep sea, and few or no harbours or creeks. All that coast is too steep for anchoring, and has the fewest roads fit for ships of any coast I know. The coasts of Galicia, Portugal, Norway, and Newfoundland, etc., are coasts like the Peruvian and the high islands of the archipelago; but yet not so scanty of good harbours; for where there are short ridges of land there are good bays at the extremities of those ridges, where they plunge into the sea; as on the coast of Caracas, etc. The island of Juan Fernandez and the island St. Helena, etc., are such high land with deep shore: and in general the plunging of any land under water seems to be in proportion to the rising of its continuous part above water, more or less steep; and it must be a bottom almost level, or very gently declining, that affords good anchoring, ships being soon driven from their moorings on a steep bank: therefore we never strive to anchor where we see the land high and bounding the sea with steep cliffs; and for this reason, when we came in sight of States Island near Tierra del Fuego, before we entered into the South Seas, we did not so much as think of anchoring after we saw what land it was, because of the steep cliffs which appeared against the sea: yet there might be little harbours or coves for shallops or the like to anchor in, which we did not see or search after.

As high steep cliffs bounding the sea have this ill consequence that they seldom afford anchoring; so they have this benefit that we can see them far off and sail close to them without danger: for which reason we call them bold shores; whereas low land on the contrary is seen but a little way and in many places we dare not come near it for fear of running aground before we see it. Besides there are in many places shoals thrown out by the course of great rivers that from the low land fall into the sea.

This which I have said, that there is usually good anchoring near low lands, may be illustrated by several instances. Thus on the south side of the bay of Campeachy there is mostly low land, and there also is good anchoring all along shore; and in some places to the eastward of the town of Campeachy we shall have so many fathom as we are leagues off from land that is from nine or ten leagues distance till you come within 4 leagues: and from thence to land it grows but shallower. The bay of Honduras also is low land, and continues mostly so as we passed along from thence to the coasts of Portobello and Cartagena till we came as high as Santa Marta; afterwards the land is low again till you come towards the coast of Caracas, which is a high coast and bold shore. The land about Surinam on the same coast is low and good anchoring, and that over on the coast of Guinea is such also. And such too is the Bay of Panama, where the pilot-book orders the pilot always to sound and not to come within such a depth, be it by night or day. In the same seas, from the high land of Guatemala in Mexico to California, there is mostly low land and good anchoring. In the main of Asia, the coast of China, the Bay of Siam and Bengal, and all the coast of Coromandel, and the coast about Malacca, and against it the island Sumatra, on that side are mostly low anchoring shores. But on the west side of Sumatra the shore is high and bold; so most of the islands lying to the eastward of Sumatra, as the islands Borneo, Celebes, Gilolo, and abundance of islands of less note, lying scattering up and down those seas, are low land and have good anchoring about them, with many shoals scattered to and fro among them; but the islands lying against the East Indian Ocean, especially the west sides of them, are high land and steep, particularly the west parts, not only of Sumatra but also of Java, Timor, etc. Particulars are endless; but in general it is seldom but high shores and deep waters; and on the other side low land and shallow seas are found together.

But to return from this digression, to speak of the rest of these islands. Monmouth and Grafton Isles are very hilly, with many of those steep inhabited precipices on them that I shall describe particularly. The two small islands are flat and even; only the Bashee Island has one steep scraggy hill, but Goat Island is all flat and very even.

The mould of these islands in the valley is blackish in some places, but in most red. The hills are very rocky: the valleys are well watered with brooks of fresh water which run into the sea in many different places. The soil is indifferent fruitful, especially in the valleys; producing pretty great plenty of trees (though not very big) and thick grass. The sides of the mountains have also short grass, and some of the mountains have mines within them; for the natives told us that the yellow metal they showed us (as I shall speak more particularly) came from these mountains; for when they held it up they would point towards them.
The fruit of these islands are a few plantains, bananas, pineapples, pumpkins, sugarcane, etc., and there might be more if the natives would, for the ground seems fertile enough. Here are great plenty of potatoes, and yams, which is the common food for the natives for bread kind: for those few plantains they have are only used as fruit. They have some cotton growing here of the small plants.

Here are plenty of goats and abundance of hogs; but few fowls, either wild or tame. For this I have always observed in my travels, both in the East and West Indies, that in those places where there is plenty of grain, that is, of rice in one and maize in the other, there are also found great abundance of fowls; but on the contrary few fowls in those countries where the inhabitants feed on fruits and roots only. The few wild fowls that are here are parakeets and some other small birds. Their tame fowl are only a few cocks and hens.


Monmouth and Grafton Islands are very thick inhabited; and Bashee Island has one town on it. The natives of these islands are short squat people; they are generally round-visaged, with low foreheads and thick eyebrows; their eyes of a hazel colour and small, yet bigger than the Chinese; short low noses and their lips and mouths middle proportioned; their teeth are white; their hair is black, and thick, and lank, which they wear but short; it will just cover their ears, and so it is cut round very even. Their skins are of a very dark copper colour.

They wear no hat, cap, nor turban, nor anything to keep off the sun. The men for the biggest part have only a small clout to cover their nakedness; some of them have jackets made of plantain leaves which were as rough as any bear's skin: I never saw such rugged things. The women have a short petticoat made of cotton which comes a little below their knees. It is a thick sort of stubborn cloth which they make themselves of their cotton. RINGS OF A YELLOW METAL LIKE GOLD. Both men and women do wear large earrings made of that yellow metal before mentioned. Whether it were gold or no I cannot positively say; I took it to be so, it was heavy and of the colour of our paler gold. I would fain have brought away some to have satisfied my curiosity; but I had nothing where with to buy any. Captain Read bought two of these rings with some iron, of which the people are very greedy; and he would have bought more, thinking he was come to a very fair market, but that the paleness of the metal made him and his crew distrust its being right gold. For my part I should have ventured on the purchase of some, but having no property in the iron, of which we had great store on board sent from England by the merchants along with Captain Swan, I durst not barter it away.

These rings when first polished look very gloriously, but time makes them fade and turn to a pale yellow. Then they make a soft paste of red earth and, smearing it over their rings, they cast them into a quick fire where they remain till they be red hot; then they take them out and cool them in water and rub off the paste; and they look again of a glorious colour and lustre.


These people make but small low houses. The sides, which are made of small posts wattled with boughs, are not above 4 foot and a half high: the ridge-pole is about 7 or 8 foot high. They have a fireplace at one end of their houses and boards placed on the ground to lie on. They inhabit together in small villages built on the sides and tops of rocky hills, 3 or 4 rows of houses, one above another and on such steep precipices that they go up to the first row with a wooden ladder, and so with a ladder still from every storey up to that above it, there being no way to ascend. The plain on the first precipice may be so wide as to have room both for a row of houses that stand all along on the edge or brink of it, and a very narrow street running along before their doors, between the row of houses and the foot of the next precipice; the plain of which is in a manner level to the tops of the houses below, and so for the rest. The common ladder to each row or street comes up at a narrow passage left purposely about the middle of it; and the street, being bounded with a precipice also at each end, it is but drawing up the ladder if they be assaulted, and then there is no coming at them from below, but by climbing up against a perpendicular wall: and, that they may not be assaulted from above, they take care to build on the side of such a hill whose back side hangs over the sea, or is some high, steep, perpendicular precipice, altogether inaccessible. These precipices are natural; for the rocks seem too hard to work on; nor is there any sign that art has been employed about them. On Bashee island there is one such, and built upon, with its back next the sea. Grafton and Monmouth isles are very thick set with these hills and towns; and the natives, whether for fear of pirates, or foreign enemies, or factions among their own clans, care not for building but in these fastnesses; which I take to be the reason that Orange Isle, though the largest, and as fertile as any, yet being level and exposed has no inhabitants. I never saw the like precipices and towns.


These people are pretty ingenious also in building boats. Their small boats are much like our deal yawls but not so big; and they are built with very narrow plank pinned with wooden pins and some nails. They have also some pretty large boats which will carry 40 or 50 men. These they row with 12 or 14 oars of a side. They are built much like the small ones and they row doubled-banked; that is, two men setting on one bench, but one rowing on one side, the other on the other side of the boat. They understand the use of iron and work it themselves. Their bellows are like those at Mindanao. The common employment for the men is fishing; but I did never see them catch much: whether it is more plenty at other times of the year I know not. The women do manage their plantations.


I did never see them kill any of their goats or hogs for themselves, yet they would beg the paunches of the goats that they themselves did sell to us: and if any of our surly seamen did heave them into the sea they would take them up again and the skins of the goats also. They would not meddle with hogs' guts if our men threw away any besides what they made chitterlings and sausages of. The goat-skins these people would carry ashore, and making a fire they would singe off all the hair, and afterwards let the skin lie and parch on the coals till they thought it eatable; and then they would gnaw it and tear it in pieces with their teeth, and at last swallow it. The paunches of the goats would make them an excellent dish; they dressed it in this manner. They would turn out all the chopped grass and crudities found in the maw into their pots, and set it over the fire and stir it about often: this would smoke and puff, and heave up as it was boiling; wind breaking out of the ferment and making a very savoury stink. While this was doing, if they had any fish, as commonly they had two or three small fish, these they would make very clean (as hating nastiness belike) and cut the flesh from the bone, and then mince the flesh as small as possibly they could, and when that in the pot was well boiled they would take it up and, strewing a little salt into it, they would eat it, mixed with their raw minced flesh. The dung in the maw would look like so much boiled herbs minced very small; and they took up their mess with their fingers, as the Moors do their pillaw, using no spoons.


They had another dish made of a sort of locusts, whose bodies were about an inch and a half long and as thick as the top of one's little finger; with large thin wings and long and small legs. At this time of the year these creatures came in great swarms to devour their potato leaves and other herbs; and the natives would go out with small nets and take a quart at one sweep. When they had enough they would carry them home and parch them over the fire in an earthen pan; and then their wings and legs would fall off and their heads and backs would turn red like boiled shrimps, being before brownish. Their bodies being full would eat very moist, their heads would crackle in one's teeth. I did once eat of this dish and liked it well enough; but their other dish my stomach would not take.


Their common drink is water; as it is of all other Indians: besides which they make a sort of drink with the juice of the sugar-cane, which they boil, and put some small black sort of berries among it. When it is well boiled they put it into great jars and let it stand three or four days and work. Then it settles and becomes clear, and is presently fit to drink. This is an excellent liquor, and very much like English beer, both in colour and taste. It is very strong, and I do believe very wholesome: for our men, who drank briskly of it all day for several weeks, were frequently drunk with it, and never sick after it. The natives brought a vast deal of it every day to those aboard and ashore: for some of our men were ashore at work on Bashee Island; which island they gave that name to from their drinking this liquor there; that being the name which the natives called this liquor by: and as they sold it to our men very cheap so they did not spare to drink it as freely. And indeed from the plenty of this liquor and their plentiful use of it our men called all these islands the Bashee Islands.


What language these people do speak I know not: for it had no affinity in sound to the Chinese, which is spoken much through the teeth; nor yet to the Malayan language. They called the metal that their earrings were made of bullawan, which is the Mindanao word for gold; therefore probably they may be related to the Philippine Indians; for that is the general name for gold among all those Indians. I could not learn from whence they have their iron; but it is most likely they go in their great boats to the north end of Luconia and trade with the Indians of that island for it. Neither did I see anything beside iron and pieces of buffalo hides, which I could judge that they bought of strangers: their clothes were of their own growth and manufacture.


These men had wooden lances and a few lances headed with iron; which are all the weapons that they have. Their armour is a piece of buffalo hide, shaped like our carters' frocks, being without sleeves and sewn both sides together with holes for the head and the arms to come forth. This buff coat reaches down to their knees: it is close about their shoulders, but below it is three foot wide and as thick as a board.


I could never perceive them to worship anything, neither had they any idols; neither did they seem to observe any one day more than other. I could never perceive that one man was of greater power than another; but they seemed to be all equal; only every man ruling in his own house, and the children respecting and honouring their parents.


Yet it is probable that they have some law or custom by which they are governed; for while we lay here we saw a young man buried alive in the earth; and it was for theft as far as we could understand from them. There was a great deep hole dug and abundance of people came to the place to take their last farewell of him: among the rest there was one woman who made great lamentation and took off the condemned person's earrings. We supposed her to be his mother. After he had taken his leave of her and some others he was put into the pit and covered over with earth. He did not struggle but yielded very quietly to his punishment; and they rammed the earth close upon him and stifled him.


They have but one wife, with whom they live and agree very well; and their children live very obediently under them. The boys go out a-fishing with their fathers; and the girls live at home with their mothers: and when the girls are grown pretty strong they send them to their plantations to dig yams and potatoes, of which they bring home on their heads every day enough to serve the whole family; for they have no rice nor maize.

Their plantations are in the valleys, at a good distance from their houses; where every man has a certain spot of land which is properly his own. This he manages himself for his own use; and provides enough that he may not be beholding to his neighbour.


Notwithstanding the seeming nastiness of their dish of goats' maw they are in their persons a very neat cleanly people, both men and women: and they are withal the quietest and civilest people that I did ever meet with. I could never perceive them to be angry with one another. I have admired to see 20 or 30 boats aboard our ship at a time, and yet no different among them; but all civil and quiet, endeavouring to help each other on occasion: no noise, nor appearance of distaste and, although sometimes cross accidents would happen which might have set other men together by the ears, yet they were not moved by them. Sometimes they will also drink freely and warm themselves with their drink; yet neither then could I ever perceive them out of humour. They are not only thus civil among themselves but very obliging and kind to strangers; nor were their children rude to us, as is usual. Indeed the women, when we came to their houses, would modestly beg any rags or small pieces of cloth to swaddle their young ones in, holding their children out to us; and begging is usual among all these wild nations. Yet neither did they beg so importunately as in other places; nor did the men ever beg anything at all. Neither, except once at the first time that we came to an anchor (as I shall relate) did they steal anything; but dealt justly and with great sincerity with us; and make us very welcome to their houses with bashee-drink. If they had none of this liquor themselves they would buy a jar of drink of their neighbours and sit down with us: for we could see them go and give a piece or two of their gold for some jars of bashee. And indeed among wild Indians, as these seem to be, I wondered to see buying and selling, which is not so usual; nor to converse so freely as to go aboard strangers' ships with so little caution: yet their own small trading may have brought them to this. At these entertainments they and their family, wife and children, drank out of small calabashes: and when by themselves they drink about from one to another; but when any of us came among them then they would always drink to one of us.

They have no sort of coin; but they have small crumbs of the metal before described which they bind up very safe in plantain leaves or the like. This metal they exchange for what they want, giving a small quantity of it, about two or three grains, for a jar of drink that would hold five or six gallons. They have no scales but give it by guess. Thus much in general.


To proceed therefore with our affairs: I have said before that we anchored here the 6th day of August. While we were furling our sails there came near 100 boats of the natives aboard, with three or four men in each; so that our deck was full of men. We were at first afraid of them, and therefore got up 20 or 30 small arms on our poop and kept three or four men as sentinels, with guns in their hands, ready to fire on them if they had offered to molest us. But they were pretty quiet, only they picked up such old iron that they found on our deck, and they also took out our pump bolts and linchpins out of the carriages of our guns before we perceived them. At last one of our men perceived one of them very busy getting out one of our linchpins; and took hold of the fellow who immediately bawled out, and all the rest presently leapt overboard, some into their boats, others into the sea; and they all made away for the shore. But when we perceived their fright we made much of him that was in hold, who stood trembling all the while; and at last we gave him a small piece of iron, with which he immediately leapt overboard and swam to his consorts who hovered about our ship to see the issue. Then we beckoned to them to come aboard again, being very loth to lose a commerce with them. Some of the boats came aboard again, and they were always very honest and civil afterward.

We presently after this sent a canoe ashore to see their manner of living and what provision they had: the canoe's crew were made very welcome with bashee-drink and saw abundance of hogs, some of which they bought and returned aboard. After this the natives brought aboard both hogs and goats to us in their own boats; and every day we should have fifteen or twenty hogs and goats in boats aboard by our side. These we bought for a small matter; we could buy a good fat goat for an old iron hoop, and a hog of seventy or eighty pounds weight for two or three pound of iron. Their drink also they brought off in jars, which we bought for old nails, spikes and leaden bullets. Beside the fore-mentioned commodities they brought aboard great quantities of yams and potatoes; which we purchased for nails, spikes or bullets. It was one man's work to be all day cutting out bars of iron into small pieces with a cold chisel: and these were for the great purchases of hogs and goats, which they would not sell for nails, as their drink and roots. We never let them know what store we have, that they may value it the more. Every morning as soon as it was light they would thus come aboard with their commodities which we bought as we had occasion. We did commonly furnish ourselves with as many goats and roots as served us all the day; and their hogs we bought in large quantities as we thought convenient; for we salted them. Their hogs were very sweet; but I never saw so many measled ones.


We filled all our water at a curious brook close by us in Grafton's Isle where we first anchored. We stayed there about three or four days before we went to other islands. We sailed to the southward, passing on the east side of Grafton Island, and then passed through between that and Monmouth Island; but we found no anchoring till we came to the north end of Monmouth Island, and there we stopped during one tide. The tide runs very strong here and sometimes makes a short chopping sea. Its course among these islands is south by east and north by west. The flood sets to the north, and ebb to the south, and it rises and falls eight foot.

When we went from hence we coasted about two leagues to the southward on the west side of Monmouth Island; and, finding no anchor-ground we stood over to the Bashee Island and came to an anchor on the north-east part of it, against a small sandy bay, in seven fathom clean hard sand and about a quarter of a mile from the shore. Here is a pretty wide channel between these two islands and anchoring all over it. The depth of water is twelve, fourteen, and sixteen fathom.

We presently built a tent ashore to mend our sails in, and stayed all the rest of our time here, namely, from the 13th day of August till the 26th day of September. In which time we mended our sails and scrubbed our ship's bottom very well; and every day some of us went to their towns and were kindly entertained by them. Their boats also came aboard with their merchandise to sell, and lay aboard all day; and if we did not take it off their hands one day they would bring the same again the next.
We had yet the winds at south-west and south-south-west mostly fair weather. In October we did expect the winds to shift to the north-east and therefore we provided to sail (as soon as the eastern monsoon was settled) to cruise off of Manila. Accordingly we provided a stock of provision. We salted seventy or eighty good fat hogs and bought yams and potatoes good store to eat at sea.

About the 24th day of September the winds shifted about to the east, and from thence to the north-east fine fair weather. The 25th it came at north and began to grow fresh, and the sky began to be clouded, and the wind freshened on us.

At twelve o'clock at night it blew a very fierce storm. We were then riding with our best bower ahead; and though our yards and top-mast were down yet we drove. This obliged us to let go our sheet-anchor, veering out a good scope of cable, which stopped us till ten or eleven o'clock the next day. Then the wind came on so fierce that she drove again, with both anchors ahead. The wind was now at north by west and we kept driving till three or four o'clock in the afternoon: and it was well for us that there were no islands, rocks, or sands in our way, for if there had we must have been driven upon them. We used our utmost endeavours to stop here, being loth to go to sea because we had six of our men ashore who could not get off now. At last we were driven out into deep water, and then it was in vain to wait any longer: therefore we hove in our sheet-cable, and got up our sheet-anchor, and cut away our best bower (for to have heaved her up then would have gone near to have foundered us) and so put to sea. We had very violent weather the night ensuing, with very hard rain, and we were forced to scud with our bare poles till three o'clock in the morning. Then the wind slackened and we brought our ship to under a mizzen, and lay with our head to the westward. The 27th day the wind abated much, but it rained very hard all day and the night ensuing. The 28th day the wind came about to the north-east and it cleared up and blew a hard gale, but it stood not there, for it shifted about to the eastward, thence to the south-east, then to the south, and at last settled at south-west, and then we had a moderate gale and fair weather.

It was the 29th day when the wind came to the south-west. Then we made all the sail we could for the island again. The 30th day we had the wind at west and saw the islands but could not get in before night. Therefore we stood off to the southward till two o'clock in the morning; then we tacked and stood in all the morning, and about twelve o'clock the 1st day of October we anchored again at the place from whence we were driven.


Then our six men were brought aboard by the natives, to whom we gave three whole bars of iron for their kindness and civility, which was an extraordinary present to them. Mr. Robert Hall was one of the men that was left ashore. I shall speak more of him hereafter. He and the rest of them told me that, after the ship was out of sight, the natives began to be more kind to them than they had been before, and persuaded them to cut their hair short, as theirs was, offering to each of them if they would do it a young woman to wife, and a small hatchet and other iron utensils fit for a planter, in dowry; and withal showed them a piece of land for them to manage. They were courted thus by several of the town where they then were: but they took up their headquarters at the house of him with whom they first went ashore. When the ship appeared in sight again then they importuned them for some iron, which is the chief thing that they covet, even above their earrings. We might have bought all their earrings, or other gold they had, with our iron bars, had we been assured of its goodness; and yet when it was touched and compared with other gold we could not discern any difference, though it looked so pale in the lump; but the seeing them polish it so often was a new discouragement.


This last storm put our men quite out of heart: for although it was not altogether so fierce as that which we were in on the coast of China, which was still fresh in memory, yet it wrought more powerfully and frightened them from their design of cruising before Manila, fearing another storm there. Now every man wished himself at home, as they had done a hundred times before: but Captain Read and Captain Teat the master persuaded them to go towards Cape Comorin, and then they would tell them more of their minds, intending doubtless to cruise in the Red Sea; and they easily prevailed with the crew.

The eastern monsoon was now at hand, and the best way had been to go through the Straits of Malacca: but Captain Teat said it was dangerous by reason of many islands and shoals there with which none of us were acquainted. Therefore he thought it best to go round on the east side of the Philippine Islands and so, keeping south toward the Spice Islands, to pass out into the East Indian Ocean about the island Timor.

This seemed to be a very tedious way about, and as dangerous altogether for shoals; but not for meeting with English or Dutch ships, which was their greatest fear. I was well enough satisfied, knowing that the farther we went the more knowledge and experience I should get, which was the main thing that I regarded; and should also have the more variety of places to attempt an escape from them, being fully resolved to take the first opportunity of giving them the slip.



Related web links :

Our Exotic Batanes islands province

Taiwan claim on Batanes islands.

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