Here Began Our
Misfortunes; These Coasts Are Remarkable For The Many Shipwrecks The
Portuguese Have Suffered.
The sea is for the most part rough, and
the winds tempestuous; we had here our rigging somewhat damaged by a
storm of lightning, which when we had repaired, we sailed forward to
Mosambique, where we were to stay some time.
When we came near that
coast, and began to rejoice at the prospect of ease and refreshment,
we were on the sudden alarmed with the sight of a squadron of ships,
of what nation we could not at first distinguish, but soon
discovered that they were three English and three Dutch, and were
preparing to attack us. I shall not trouble the reader with the
particulars of this fight, in which, though the English commander
ran himself aground, we lost three of our ships, and with great
difficulty escaped with the rest into the port of Mosambique.
This place was able to afford us little consolation in our uneasy
circumstances; the arrival of our company almost caused a scarcity
of provisions. The heat in the day is intolerable, and the dews in
the night so unwholesome that it is almost certain death to go out
with one's head uncovered. Nothing can be a stronger proof of the
malignant quality of the air than that the rust will immediately
corrode both the iron and brass if they are not carefully covered
with straw. We stayed, however, in this place from the latter end
of July to the beginning of September, when having provided
ourselves with other vessels, we set out for Cochim, and landed
there after a very hazardous and difficult passage, made so partly
by the currents and storms which separated us from each other, and
partly by continual apprehensions of the English and Dutch, who were
cruising for us in the Indian seas.
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