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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Batavia to the Cape and thence to England


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Batavia to the Cape and thence to England (continued)

Island and Green Point, and worked into Table Bay with our top-sails close reefed, there being a strong gale, with hard squalls at S.S.E. At three o’clock in the afternoon, we anchored, and saluted the fort, which was returned. The Dutch told me, that none of their ships could have worked in in such a gale of wind, and that we seemed to come in faster than they were generally able to do when the wind was fair.

The next morning, I waited upon the Governor, who had sent his coach and six to the water-side for me. He is an old man, but is a favourite with all ranks of people: he received me with the greatest politeness, and not only offered me the Company’s house in the garden for my residence while I should continue at the Cape, but his coach whenever I should think fit to use it. As I was one day at dinner with him, and some other gentlemen, I took occasion to mention the smoke that I had seen upon one of the sandy beaches on a desolate part of the coast, and the surprise with which it had struck me: they then told me that another ship, some time before, had fallen in with that part of the coast, and had seen large smokes as I had done, although the place was uninhabited, and supposed to be an island: to account for the smokes, however, they told me also, that two Dutch East Indiamen had, about two years before, sailed from Batavia for the Cape, and had never afterwards been heard of; and it was supposed that one or both of them had been shipwrecked there, and that the smokes which had been seen, were made by some of the unfortunate crew: they added, that they had more than once sent out vessels to look for them, but that there broke so dreadful a sea upon the coast, they were obliged to return without attempting to go on

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 136, 2004
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