||Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. I
Table of Contents
From Mindanao to the Island of Celebes
From Mindanao to the Island of Celebes (continued)
Between the Three Brothers, and the main of Celebes, there is another island, much larger than either of them, called the Island of Tonikiky; but none of them are inhabited, though there are a few huts belonging to fishermen upon them all. The passage between the shoal and this island is clear and good, with from ten to thirteen fathom, and a sandy bottom; but the soundings are to be kept on the side of the island in twelve fathom, and never under ten: it is, however, very difficult and dangerous for ships to fall in with the land this way without a pilot on board, for there are many shoals and rocks under water. I ran in by a chart in the English East India Pilot, which upon the whole I found a good one, though the names of the islands, points, and bays, differ very much from those by which they are now known. When we got near to the Celebes shore, we had land and sea breezes, which obliged us to edge along the coast, though our strength was so much reduced, that it was with the utmost difficulty we could work the stream anchor.
In the evening of Tuesday the 15th, we anchored at about the distance of four miles from the town of Macassar, which, according to my account, lies in latitude 5° 10' or 5° 12 S., longitude 117° 28' E. having spent no less than five and thirty weeks in our passage from the Streight of Magellan.
I have been the more particular in my description of as much as I saw of this Streight, because all the charts, both English and French, that I consulted, are extremely deficient and erroneous, and because an exact knowlege of it may be of great service to our China trade: the ships by which that trade is carried on, may pass this way with as little danger as by the common one, which lies along the Prassel shoals; and when they miss their passage to China, in the south east monsoon, and lose the season, they may be sure of a clear channel here, and fair winds at W.S.W.W. and round to W.N.W. in November, December, and the four following months: I am also of opinion, that it is a better and shorter way to go to the N.E. and eastward of the Phillipine Islands, than to thread the Moluccas, or coast New Guinea, where there are shoals, currents, and innumerable other dangers, as they were forced to do when the French were cruizing for them in the common passage during the last war.
© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 628 - 629, 2004
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