August 1791

On the 3rd. of August we found that the Observation gave a degree to the So.ward of the Log for the last two days & we saw the looming of the Land to the Wt.ward; We were in this situation 45 leagues from Cape St.Espintu Sancto brg. N70°W of us, the wind settled at SSW & SW blowing a steady fresh Gale, & altho' the streight leading to the Port of Manilla was to leeward of us & at so short a distance, It was now determined to beat to Windward along the Et. side of St. Johns & Mindanao & make the passage through the streight of Macassar, which had before been deem'd Impracticable [...] at the view facsimile

time that Macao as first determined on. As we came near the East Cost of the Phillipine Islands found a Strong So.erly Current which set from 25 to 50 Miles, wind So. & SW: Thursday 4th August, Saw Land to the WSW but at too great a distance to ascertain what part it was; We had variable light airs & Calm all night, At daylight Saw the Land again to WSW of considerable extent, We stood in WbN, I take the N.most part of this Land to be the N or NE Point of the Island of St. John, stretching out to the No.ward in a low point from very high Land ; This Pt. by our Observations is in 9°:30′No. ..126°:30′Et. which situation nearly corresponds with the Dutch Est. India Directory but not with ours; We continue to work to the So.ward with great success the Current setting more than 1 Knot pr. hour to the So.ward; the Weather was hazey & clouds hanging heavy over the Land prevented our having a good view of it & ascertaining any of the projecting Points or Bays that may be there; A few miles to the So.ward of the NE Pt. of St.Johns is the appearance of an Island laying near the Shore & shelter behind it.

Saturday.6th. Had some good Observations of the [sun] & [moon] from which & the Latitude at Noon I fix the situation of a projecting Pt. running out to the No.ward & appear'd to form a Bay behind it. 7°:41′No. ..126°:28′Et. we were abreast of it at 6 leagues distance, the No. extreme of Land then in sight view facsimile

bore NNW a low point; & the other Extreme SbW, High Land.

Sunday. 7th. Clouds hung so heavy over the Land that it could not be distinctly seen, wind from the SbE to SW found the Current had set us 51 Miles to windward these 24 Hours; At Noon Could just discern the Land through the Haze to the WSW.

Monday. 8th. Stood off to the SE 'till 8 P.M, then Tack'd & stood to the Wt.ward & at 6 AM Saw an Island with a remarkable Peak on it & low land to the Wt.ward: At Noon it bore ESE 7 leagues from which I make its situation 5°:33′No. Latd. & Longd. by Ships Run from [sun] & [moon] yesterday 126°:35′Et.: Suppose it to be the Island called Palmas in the Old Charts: found the Current had set us 32 Miles to the So.ward these 24 hours.

Tuesday. 9th. AM. Saw Land to the WNW, we had light breezes from SSW to WSW , At Daylight Saw the South Pt. of Mindanao & the Islands laying off to the So.ward of it, the SE Point then bore N2°W 9 leagues, had very good observations of the [sun] & [moon] in the afternoon & of the [stars] on the opposite side in the evening; I fix the SE Pt. of Mindanao (or middle Pt. between that So. Pt & Cape St.Augustine) in 6°:00′No. .. 125°:49′Et. & Cape St.Augustine from Capt Carterets run 6°:12′No. 126°:30′Et. We did not find any Current these 24 hours; the Land of the So.Coast of Mindanao is very high, running down to those parts which appear to be projecting points & terminating in Land of moderate height.

Wednesday. 10th: Modt. Breezes wt. fair weather, Wind So.erly view facsimile

we gained but little to the Wt.ward: AM At 9 finding that we could weather the Islands, we bore away for a passage between the two Et.most of them, but on seeing breakers in the passage we stood back till the Boat was got out & went ahead when we followed her through.

Thursday. 11th: Found the Passage a very good & safe one, the Reefs on both sides shewing themselves & the depth of water 20 to 13 fathom, Rocky near the Reef & muddy in the Channel through which we passed, there is a reef laying some distance off the Et. side of the middle Island along parallel to the shore which being near the Surface always shews itself: There is also a Reef laying 1/2 Mile or more from the Et.most of the Islands running out to the ENE from it, the Sea breaks very heavy on it & some of the Rocks are above water: several of the Natives appear'd on the Middle Island & retired as we approach'd.

We stood tothe Westward & Tack'd occasionally as the Wind favored most; About 5PM Standing over for the largest of these Islands called by Capt. Carteret Hummock Island, Saw 2 Canoes or Boats coming towards us, with white Flags which was answer'd by our hoisting a White Flag at the Ensign Staff; One of them a Canoe came alongside before dark, asked many questions concerning the Vessel her destination & informed us that the Raja lived on the So. side of the largest Island which they call Loorongo: view facsimile

& that He was appointed; by the Dutch Et.India Company; from Ternate to Govern at these Islands, the Dutch having establish'd a Trade with them & that their small Vessels frequently came wt. Trade from Ternate an Island to on the Wt. side of Gilolo where the Dutch have a Settlement. They asked for a paper, with the Ships name, Captains name, where Bound to &c. for the Raja, which was given to them & they went away well satisfied. Having Malays on bd. & a Native of Ternate we understood each other perfectly by Conversation, they were of them cloth'd with Jackets Trowsers &c. & armed with a Cress or long Dagger; About 8 O'clock the others who were in a large Boat came close up under the Stern, ask'd many questions, said that they had things to sell, but that it being dark they would not dispose of any until the morning, they said that they would shew us a good Anchoring place & left us, steering over for the Middle Island where we should have followed had not the Wind prevented us; We therefore stood over towards Hummock Isl. or Loorongo in hopes of getting good Anchorage there, when with 1 1/2 or 2 Miles of the Shore got Soundings, 80 fm. & at Noon Came too in 25 fm. Sand & Shells about 3/4 of a Mile from the Shore abreast of us on the NE. side of Loorongo; The Pt. of that Island bore S.38°E & N86°W The Hummock SW; The Middle Island S.49°E to N40°Et. The No. most view facsimile

of the 3 Islands N37°E: The So.Coast of Mindanao from N40°W to N26°E about 5 leagues distance: Soon after we anchored, several of the Natives came on board, appear'd very well disposed & traded very fairly; Most of them had Cresses by their sides.

Friday 12th. P.M: A Boat with some people of consequence came off with a Dutch Flag flying; they brought an answer to the Letter sent to the Raja last night & which mention'd that we could get Wood & Water; Goats, Poultry &c. but that they had but little Rice or Paddy to spare, they also brought on board what they called a Pass dated. 1791 from the Dutch Company, Authorising the Raja to Govern these Islands & the Vessels trading here from Ternate; Several of the Natives came on board but few articles were purchased this afternoon; The Boats were sent for a turn of Water & returned before dark with a Raft of 14 Casks they found it a very good watering place & convenient except just at low water when the Reef dries some distance off, the Natives shew'd where to fill the Water & then retired. AM. Soon after Sunrise several of the Natives came off bringing many useful necessaries to Trade with us, Poultry, Sago, Tobacco, Honey, Wax, Sugar Cane & various fruits were exchanged for Cloath, Iron, Buttons, Knives &c. in all which they view facsimile

dealt very fairly & honestly; Watering went on very well: Many of the Natives brought fruit &c. to Trade to the watering place & exchanged with out People for what things they had to give them; Our Party on shore were not armed any part of the time.

Saturday.13th. The Raja came on board; He was saluted with 3 Guns as was the second in Command when He came; & on their leaving the Ship they were saluted by  with a Volley of Small Arms from the Poop; An Armed Party having been previously station'd there in case these People might shew any hostile intentions which not appearing in the smallest degree the Musquets were discharged as a Salute: The Raja promised to come the next day & bring a sufficient quantity of Rice & Paddy for all our People, He had a present of a Peice of Silk given him by the Master of the Vessel: He was on board about an hour in the course of which time he shew'd a Paper signed by Capt. Vanholm, Commodore of the States Ships then employed in India, appointing him the King of these Islands, Many useful necessaries were procured this day & 10 Bags of Paddy on the Publick account. AM At daylight when the Boat was towing a Raft of Casks on shore it came on to blow very fresh from the WSW by which several of Casks were lost & we were prevented from Compleating our water. view facsimile

Sunday.14th: PM. It continuing to blow fresh from the WSW it was judged necessary to go the Sea before night with what water & refreshments we had procured; About 5 O'clock the Raja came on board according to his promise, but instead of bringing the articles he mention'd yesterday; He only brought 20lb of Rice, On which the Commander of the Vessel remonstrated & told him that he had broke his word & I have reason to think threaten'd him with Confinement until those things were brought, He having declared that to be his intentions, but as their Conversation was in the Malay language, what passed could not be well understood by us farther than by their actions; The instant Words arose which I supposed to be threats, An Old Man who stood near drew his Cress & would have immediately ki stabb'd the Commander of the Vessel had not the Raja prevented him; the Raja then went to the Ships side where his Boat was, & several of his People coming in with their Cresses drawn, He made a stand as if he meant an attack, but by this time several of the Officers were armed & all hands coming aft with handpikes, Capston Bars &c. they made a very precipitate retreat throwing themselves over the quarter into their Boat & some into the water, they immediately cut the Boat adrift, the Raja himself after throwing a Spear into view facsimile

the Ship took an Oar to endeavour to get the Boat away from us; She was scarce astern of us when a Strong Party was collected on the Poop at Small Arms, who kept up a very smart fire on them for some time; Every ball going through their awning of Slit Bamboo into the Boat, great execution must have been done the whole of them except the Raja & one man being in the body of the Boat, some were seen to fall in attempting to get to the Oars & we have great reason to think that the Raja fell at one of the Oars. Some Great Guns were fired when they had got a little dis'ce. off but only the Grape shot struck the Boat, the round shot going over her; The Boat belonging to the Ship was at this time returning from the Shore with some Goats & other articles which one of the Natives of some consequence had sent off as a present; Our watering party were luckily all on board, but unfortunately one of the Malays who had been left to take care of some Casks that had drifted on shore was not thought of 'till it was too late, as there was a necessity for our going to Sea immediately, Night coming on, the Ship having drove close to a Reef & the lee tide nearly made against us & which would set us over the Reef & only one little Boat that we could have sent to the shore. We weigh'd & stood out to the Et.ward about 8 O'clock. view facsimile

The road in which we anchored is shelter'd from the NE to the So.ward & Wt.ward to West, by the Pt. of the Island Loorongo & those laying near it, the bottom does not appear to be good holding ground as we drove without any Sea setting in upon us; There is every appearance of good shelter in deep Coves along the West side of the Middle Island, as also of as clear passage out from thence to the So.ward but for want of a Boat we could not ascertain either; These Islands afford plenty of Goats, Poultry Sago, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Honey & Wax in great quantities, Tobacco, Sugar Cane exceedingly large & fine & all the Fruits usually found between the Tropics, We saw some Nutmegs, but whether they got them from the Dutch or were the produce of the Island we could not learn; they have Turtle about these Islands the Shell of which is an Article of Commerce: A Ship might get every refreshment here provided a friendly intercourse with the Natives could be establish'd. Our Anchorage lies in 5°:26′N & 125°:12′Et. from as mean of 50 Observations of the [moon] & [stars] on each side of her, from which & the Bearings taken, I make the So. Point of Mindanao to lie in 5°:40′N & 125°:08′Et: The Hummock on Hummock Island or Loorongo 5°:23′No...125°:09′Et. & the small Islands the No.most of the three 5°:36′N. .. 125°:21′E. view facsimile

Variation of the Compass 1°:00′ Et.

Monday.15th. Wind SW to So. Passed 5 Islands to the Wt.ward of us, & saw more to the SW & one very large one to the SSW before night; between those two of the Islands first seen there appear'd to be a Reef; but the distance we passed from the others prevented our being able to see whether they had any dangers about them; We had but little wind all night & at day light found that the Current had set us close up the Islands & Rocks laying about to the NW & NE of the large Island: About 11 We were set close in between two of the Islands, Hoisted a Boat & sent her to examine the passage & if they found it clear they were order'd to go on to the Small Island & try if any thing was to be got there; We had drifted considerably within this Island when a fresh breeze spring up Made Signal for the Boat, she returned without having landed but was near enough to see several Natives on the beach & that the Island was cover'd with Cocoa Nut & Plantain Trees & had the appearance of a litt le Garden: Sounded 70fm. Sand.

Tuesday.16th. P.M: We had just got without this Passage again when it Calm we were carried along by the Current to the Wt.ward close along by the other small Islands & had no Soundings, about 12 the Land wind came off with which we stood clear out to Sea between the NW Pt of Po.Sanguy, & an Island laying about 9 Miles to the No.ward of it: These Islands being view facsimile

cover'd with Cocoa Nuts & Plantains have a beautiful appearance; We saw some Canoes fishing but they did not regard us. In passing from Loorongo to Po.Sanguy we found a Chain of small Islands all in sight of each other, the Situation of those that se saw are as follows

[Table not reproduced - see original journal]

We had light breezes cheifly from SSE to SW & having clear weather & good Observation every day for the Longitude were able to determine our situation very near & found a little westerly Current: We pass'd a great quantity of drift wood & some very large Trees.

Thursday.25th: Saw the Land & at Noon the NW Point of Celebes bore SbE 11 leagues: the Wind when we had any was cheifly from the SW, we had much Calm & made but little progress, It was not 'till the 28th that we brought the NW Pt. of Celebes to bear East of us, we then began to feel a Southerly Current tho' not very strong & consider'd view facsimile

ourselves as then entering the Streights of Macassar. From our Situation at Noon the last 4 days & the bearings taken I make the NW Point of Celebes to lie in 1°:19′N & 121deg;:02′Et: And another Point to the So. & Wt. of it & which has much the appearance of an Island 1°:09′N. .. 120°:35′Et. We found the Variation of the Compass so trifling, that the Compass would sometimes give five a few Miles Et. & sometimes Wt.

Monday.29th: A Fresh breeze Sprung up from the SSW with which we stood over f towards the Borneo shore; the wind continued steady till 4 AM when it shifted to the Wt.ward in a heavy & sudden squall; blew Strong for about an hour & then settled in a moderate breeze at WSW: from which Qt. we have mostly found the winds prevail even so far to the Et.ward as the New Carolines.