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They depart from Golfo Duke, to go and cruise under the Equinoctial. Here they take a rich Spanish vessel with 37,000 Pieces of Eight, besides plate and other goods. They take also a Packet-boat bound from Panama to Lima. An account of their sailings and the coasts along.
OUR vessel being now careened, and all things in a readiness for our departure, on Tuesday, June 28th, in the afternoon, we weighed anchor to go to sea again, turning out towards the mouth of Golfo Dulce. Our design was to cruise under the equinoctial, as had been concluded upon before, thereby to get what purchase we could by sea, seeing the greatest part of our attempts on land had proved hitherto very unsuccessful to us.
Wednesday, June 29th. Both the night last past and this day we had rainy weather. About three in the afternoon a fresh gale sprang up at S.W. and S.S.W., our course being S.E. and S.E. by S. At five this evening the gulf bore N.W. by W., seven leagues distant, and Punta Borrica three leagues and a half distant.
Thursday, June 30th. All night past we enjoyed a fresh gale at S.S.W. We sailed in the bark (where I was) better than the man-of-war, for so we called the Trinity vessel, notwithstanding that she was newly cleansed and tallowed. This day we had hazy weather, and I reckoned myself from Punta Borrica S.S.E. eighteen leagues and a half.
July 1st, 1681. Last night we had two or three tornados. I reckoned this day a S.S.E. way, and by a clear observation found lat. 6° 10' N. We saw great quantities of fish as we sailed this day.
July 2nd. We made a S.E. way, and our reckoning was 64 by it. By observation I found lat. 5° 20’N. At noon the same day we had a fresh gale at S.W., with some rain.
July 3rd. We had hazy weather. We made a S.E. by S. way, and 37.
Monday, July 4th. The night just past was windy, with rain, which forced us to hand our top sails. Our reckoning this day was a S.E. way, and a hundred miles.
July 5th. We had a clear night, and, withal, a fresh gale. By this we made a S.E. way. Our latitude this day gave us 20 20' N. This morning we saw land southward of us, lying in low hummocks. It was the point, so called, of Manglares.
Wednesday, July 6th. We turned up along shore, and by observation took this day lat. 2° 02' N. Hereabouts with every new moon is experienced a windward current. In the evening of this day we were close in with low land. We had windy weather and a great sea.
Thursday, July 7th. This day by observation we found lat. 01° 48' N. In the evening of the said day we lost sight of the said ship.
The next day, being July 8th, we saw the ship again, whose loss began to create some concern in our minds. This day we made very high land all along as we went. And the port, or rather bay, of San Mateo, or St. Matthew, appeared to us like several islands.
Saturday, July 9th. This morning we stood fair in with the port of Tucames. Off the highest part of the land there seems to lie a key. At the north-east point of the port it appears exactly thus:
This day at noon we had a clear observation, which gave us lat. 01° 22' N.
Sunday, July 10th. Last night we stood off to sea, thereby to keep clear of the shore. This day observation showed us lat. 01° 31' N. About noon the same day we happened to spy a sail, to which immediately we gave chase. We bore up one point of the compass, thereby to hinder her lasking away; but notwithstanding in the evening lost sight of her again. However, our great ship got up with her, and at about eight o'clock at night made her a prize. She proved to be the same ship, named San Pedro, which we had taken the last year, being then bound from Truxillo to Panama, and laden with wine, gunpowder, and pieces of eight, whereof mention was made in its due place. Thus this same bottom became doubly fortunate to us, being twice taken by us in the space of fourteen months. For she had on board her now twenty-one thousand pieces of eight, in eight chests, and in bags sixteen thousand more, besides plate.
Monday and Tuesday, the 11th and 12th of the said month, we made in for the shore. Our prize was so deeply laden,-that she seemed to be buried in the water. She had forty men on board her, besides some merchants and friars. On Tuesday an observation gave us lat. 1 ° 20' N.
Wednesday, July 13th. This day we dared not adventure into the bay of San Mateo, because we saw some Indians, who had made a great fire on shore, which, as we judged, was designedly done to give intelligence of our arrival. Hereupon we bore away for the river of Santiago, six leagues distant, more or less, from the bay afore-mentioned, to the north-east. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the said week, we spent in taking out what parcels of cacao-nut we thought fit from on board the prize, which was chiefly laden with the said commodity. This being done, we cut down the main-mast by the board, and gave them only their main-sail, and thus turning the ship loose, sent away in her all our old slaves, for the good service they had done us, taking new ones from the prize in their room. One only we still detained, who was Francisco, the negro that attempted to run away by swimming ashore, as was mentioned above.
Sunday, July 17th. This day we went from the ship, and found the river of Santiago above-mentioned. At the mouth of this river we stayed Monday and Tuesday following to take in water, which we now much wanted. On the sides of the river we found good store of plantains. Our fresh water we fetched the distance of four miles up the river. We saw several Indians, but could not speak with them they were so shy of us, being forewarned by the Spaniards not to come near us.
On Wednesday, July 20th, we shared our plunder among ourselves, or rather this day made part of the dividend of what we had taken, the rest being reserved to another day. Our prisoners being examined, informed us that the Spaniards had taken up our anchors and cables which we left behind us at the isle of Juan Fernandez. Also that they had surprised the Mosquito Indian that we left behind us there on shore, by the light of a fire which he made in the night upon the isle.
Tuesday, July 21st. All the last four-and-twenty hours we stood off and on. The next day we shared the rest of our things taken in the prize, as also the money that was in the bags; the rest we laid up to divide upon another occasion, especially after such time as we were got through the Straits of Magellan. Our dividend amounted to the sum of 234 pieces of eight to each man. Our prisoners informed us this day that a new Viceroy of Peru was arrived at Panama, and that he dared not adventure up to Lima in a ship of twenty-five guns that was at Panama, for fear of meeting with us at sea, but had chosen rather to wait until the Armada came down from Lima to safeguard and conduct him thither.
July 23rd we had a fresh breeze at S.W., and the next day a clear observation, which gave us only latitude 14' N. This day Cape San Francisco at N.E. appeared thus to us:
Monday, July 25th. This day we observed latitude 01° 20' S., and we had a south-west wind.
July 26th. This morning we had a very great dew fallen in the night last past. The weather in like manner was very close.
On Wednesday, July 27th, Cape Passao, at S.S.W. and at six leagues distance, appeared thus:
The same morning about seven o'clock we spied a sail E.S.E. from us, under the shore. We presently gave her close chase, as eagerly as we could, and about noon came up with her. But several of the people belonging to her were already got on shore, whereby they made their escape from being taken our prisoners. These were chiefly a friar, who was either a passenger or chaplain to the vessel, and five negroes. She proved to be a Barco d'Aviso, or Packet boat, that was going with letters from Panama to Lima. In this bark we took among other prisoners two white women who were passengers to the same place. Both these and the rest of the prisoners told us, they had heard at Panama that we were all gone out of these seas homewards over land, and that made them adventure now up towards Lima, otherwise they had not come. This day and the Thursday following, we spent in taking out of the packet-boat what we could find in her, which all were things of no considerable value, they having scarce brought any thing with them but the packet. They told us, moreover, that the new Viceroy of Peru, of whom we made mention above, was setting forth from Panama under the conduct of three sail of ships, the one of sixteen, the other of eight, and the third of six guns. That a general peace was all over Europe, excepting only that the English had wars with the Algerines by sea, and the Spaniards by land. Having got what we could out of the prisoners and the vessel, we gave them their liberty, and sent them away in the same bark, as being desirous not to encumber ourselves with more than we could well manage. That night we stood out to sea all night long, most of our men being fuddled.