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CHAPTER XIX.

They depart from the Gulf of Nicoya to Golfo Duke, where they careen their vessel. An account of their sailings along the coast. Also a description of Golfo Duke. The Spaniards force the Indians of Darien to a peace, by a stratagem contrived in the name of the English.


WEDNESDAY, June 1st, 1681. This day we had very fair weather, and yet but little wind. Hereupon the tide, or current, drove us to the westward of Cape Blanco. Off this Cape, and at the distance of two miles within the sea, is situate a naked and nothing but barren quay. At E. by N., and at four leagues distance, Cape Blanco gave us this appearance:



The coast here along runs N.W. half W., and grows lower and lower towards Cape Guyones. This cape at seven leagues distance, and at N.W. by N., appeared thus to us:



At first sight the cape appeared very like two islands. The latter part of this day was cloudy, which hindered much our prospect.

June 2nd. This morning we saw land, which appeared like several keys to us at N.W. by N., and at seven leagues distance. It was the land of Puerto de Velas, and appeared thus:


Puerto de VELAS

This evening our captain called us together, and asked our opinions concerning the course we ought to steer. Having discussed the points by him proposed amongst us, we all resolved to bear up for Golfo Dulce, and there careen our vessels. This being done, we concluded to go from thence to the cape, and cruise thereabouts under the equinoctial. We observed this day that our bark taken at the gulf of Nicoya sailed much better than our ship.

Friday, June 3rd. The night before this day was very fair, and we had a fresh wind, our course being S.E. This morning we saw no land. In the evening the wind came about at S.S.W. and S.W. by S.

June 4th. This day we stood E. and E. by N., the wind being W. and W. by N. In the evening we stood N.E., and descried land at the distance of twenty-four leagues, more or less, from Cape Blanco.

Sunday, June 5th. Last night we lay by for all, or the greater part thereof. This morning we saw the island of Cano above described, which bore E.S.E. from us. We saw likewise multitudes of fish, but they would not bite. Also water-snakes of divers colours.

June 6th. All last night we had rain, and with it but little wind, yea, scarce enough to carry us clear off from the island afore-mentioned. Towards morning we had a fresh wind at N.N.W. So then we stood out S. until morning, and this being come, we stood N.E. by E. The land runs from Punta Mala to Golfo Dulce, and Punta Borrica, E.S.E. half S. At nine leagues distance we laid the island of Cano. Punta Borrica at the same distance, or thereabouts, looks thus:


Punta Borrica. Lat. 8 00' N.

The west end of C'Afo Dulce is very high land, and a high rock lies close off it. Besides which, two other rocks lie farther out; the outermost of which is a mile distant from the shore. The east side is also high, but breaks into small points and bays, growing lower and lower to Punta Borrica. We came about a mile within the mouth of the gulf, then anchored in eight fathom and a half water. The mouth of the gulf is almost three leagues over.

The next day, being June 7th, we weighed anchor again at young flood, and got about two leagues higher. At evening we came again to anchor in seven fathom and a half water. It rained this day until eight o'clock, more like the pouring down of water from the clouds, than the usual falling of drops.

Wednesday, June 8th, at daybreak we weighed anchor again, with a fresh sea-breeze. The higher up we went, the deeper we found the gulf, and at last no ground even with thirty fathom of line. This day we sent our canoe away to seek water and a good place to lay our ship in. Having landed, they found one Indian and two boys, which they made prisoners and brought aboard; we used them very kindly, giving them victuals and clothes, for they had no other than the bark of a tree to cover their nakedness withal. Being examined, they informed us that a Spanish priest had been amongst them, and had made peace with their nation, ordering them strictly not to come near any ship nor vessel that had red colours; forasmuch as that they were Englishmen, and would certainly kill them. Being asked where now the priest was, they answered that he was gone to a great Spanish town, which was distant thence four sleeps up in the country. After this the Indian left the two boys, his children, with us, and went to fetch more Indians to us, from a plantain-walk or grove, situated by a river a league off, or thereabouts. We came to an anchor in a bay close by one of the Indian quays, where two fresh rivers were within a stone's throw of each other, in twenty-seven fathom and a half water, and at a cable's length from the mark of low water. The Indians whom our prisoner went to seek, came to us several times, selling to us honey, plantains, and other necessaries that we usually bought of them, or trucked for with other things. We also made use of their bark logs in tallowing our ship, in which concern they did us good service. Their darts are headed with iron as sharp as any razor.

Here one of the prisoners which we took at the gulf of Nicoya, informed us by what means, or rather stratagem of war, the Spaniards had forced a peace upon the Indians of the province of Darien, since our departure thence. The manner was as follows: A certain Frenchman who ran from us at the island of Taboga to the Spaniards, was sent by them in a ship to the river's mouth, which disembogueth from that province into the South Sea. Being arrived there, he went ashore by himself in a canoe, and told the Indians that the English who had passed that way, were come back from their adventures in the South Sea. Withal, he asked them, if they would not be so kind and friendly to the Englishmen, as to come aboard and conduct them on shore. The poor deceived Indians were very joyful to understand this good news, and thus forty of the chief men among them went on board the Spanish vessel, and were immediately carried prisoners of war to Panama. Here they were forced to conclude a peace, though upon terms very disadvantageous to them, before they could obtain their liberty.

These poor and miserable Indians of Golfo Dulce, would come every day into our company, and eat and drink very familiarly with us all the time we were there. We laid our ship on ground, but the water did not ebb low enough to see her keel. Whilst we were careening our vessel, we built a house upon the shore, both to lodge and eat in, and every day we caught plenty of good fish. On Sunday, June 12th, the work of careening our ship going on in due order, we came to cleanse our hold, and here on a sudden, both myself and several others were struck totally blind with the filth and nastiness of the said place. Yet soon after we recovered our sight again without any other help than the benefit of the fresh and open air, which dissipated those malignant vapours that had oppressed our eyes. On June 14th, we had a great and fierce tornado, with which our cable broke, and had it not then happened to be high water at that instant, we had been lost inevitably. However, we had the good fortune to shore her up again, and by that means secure ourselves from farther danger. On June 21st we weighed anchor again, and went a league higher than the former place. Here we watered, and in the meanwhile left men below to cut wood.

Thursday, June 23rd. This day ran away from us two negroes; the name of one of them was Hernando; who was taken with Don Thomas de Argandona on the coast of Guayaquil, as was mentioned above. The other was named Silvestre, having been taken at the town of Hilo. Following the example of these aforementioned, on Monday, June 27th, that is, four days after, two more of our prisoners endeavoured to make their escape, both of them slaves. One of these was named Francisco, who was a negro, and had been taken in the cacao-ship mentioned before. The name of the other was also Francisco, and he was an Indian born, who was taken before Panama. Their attempts to escape succeeded not, for we caught them both again before they got on shore. On Tuesday following I went to sail up and down the gulf, in the little bark belonging to our ship.; and having viewed all places, took this description of Golfo Dulce here inserted. Our captain gave this gulf the name of King Charles, his Harbour.




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