Bibliography Texts

Adventures of William Dampier
A New Voyage Round the World

William Dampier

This page offers a comparison of the Galápagos section of these works, as follows:

In Column 1, an occasional character or letter in parentheses within the text [but in brackets here, for clarity] indicates a note in the manuscript's left margin. The choice of characters (+, A, b, D, X) follows the ms. style. The appearance of these characters within the text flow suggests that this ms. was copied from an earlier ms., now lost. Perhaps Dampier marked that earlier ms. at places where he wished to insert a note, the copyist inserted these marks within the text when this ms. was prepared, and later on Dampier wrote his notes in the left margin of the ms. Each bracketed character is a link that displays the marginal note. A “[*]” indicates a location where a marginal note appears, but with no corresponding letter within the ms. body.

A bracketed page number within the text gives the ms. pagination in place at the time Dampier reviewed it, as indicated by one of his marginal notes (“See page 66”), which indeed refers to that page number. These numbers were crossed out at a later date when the ms. was re-paginated by recto page only. Thus, for example, the original pp. 66-67 are now labeled 34.

In Column 2, Chapter V begins at the author's departure from “John Fernando's” (Juan Fernandez), and contains the complete Galápagos section of the Voyage. Pagination may be displayed as found in either of the following editions:

1697 edition.
1729 edition.

The 1927 Argonaut Press and 1968 Dover reprint editions follow the 1729 pagination, and neither reprint edition contains footnotes. John Masefield's footnotes to the 1906 E. Grant Richards reprint edition are inserted here for historical interest. A bracketed inline notation indicates the page and footnote number in that edition.

The Captain's name is spelled “Davies” in Sloane Ms. 3236 and “Davis” in the book. An occasional linked word in either column serves as a link to the location in the other column where the same subject is discussed.—JW.

Sloane Ms. 3236


p. 93


The Author departs from John Fernando's. Of the Pacifick Sea. Of the Andes, or high mountains in Peru and Chili. A Prize Taken. Isle of Lobos: Penguins and other Birds there. Three Prizes more. The Islands Gallapago's: The Dildoe-Tree, Burton-Wood, Mammet-Trees, Guanoes, Land-Tortoise, their several kind; Green Snakes, Turtle-doves, Tortoise, or Turtle-grass. Sea-Turtle, their several Kinds. The Air and Weather at the Gallapago's. Some of the Islands described, their Soil, &c. The Island Cocos described, Cape Blanco, and the Bay of Caldera; the Savannahs there. Capt. Cook dies. Of Nicoya, and a red Wood for dying, and other Commodities. A narrow Escape of Twelve Men. Lancewood. Volcan Vejo, a burning Mountain on the Coast of Ria Lexa. A Tornado. The Island and Harbour of Ria Lexa. The Gulph of Amapalla and Point Gasivina. Isles of Mangera and Amapalla. The Indian Inhabitants. Hog-Plumb-Tree. Other Islands in the Gulph of Amapalla. Capt. Eaton and Capt. Davis careen their Ships here, and afterwards part.

[p. 67] The eight day of Aprill wee sailed from thence …

The 8th of April 1684, we sailed from the Isle of J. Fernando with the Wind at S. E. We were now two Ships in Company: Capt. Cook's, p. 94 whose ship I was in, and who here took the Sickness of which he died a while after, and Captain Eaton's. Our Passage lay now along the Pacifick-Sea, properly so called. For tho' it be usual with our Map-makers to give that Name to this whole Ocean, calling it Mare Australe, Mar del Zur, or Mare Pacificum; yet, in my Opinion, the Name of the Pacifick-Sea ought not to be extended from South to North farther than from 30 to about 4 Deg. South Latitude, and from the American Shore Westward indefinitely, with respect to my Observation; who have been in these parts 250 Leagues or more from Land, and still had the Sea very quiet from Winds. For in all this Tract of Water, of which I have spoken, there are no dark rainy Clouds, tho' often a thick Horizon, so as to hinder an Observation of the Sun with the Quadrant; and in the Morning hazy Weather frequently, and thick Mists, but scarce able to wet one. Nor are there in this Sea any Winds but the Trade-wind, no Tempests, no Tornadoes or Hurricanes (tho' North of the Equator, they are met with as well in this Ocean as in the Atlantick;) yet the Sea itself at the new and full of the Moon, runs with high, large, long Surges, but such as never break out at Sea, and so are safe enough; unless that where they fall in and break upon the Shore, they make it bad landing.

… and fell in with the maine in the latt. of 24 d. keeping 12 or 14 leagues of(f) shoare for feare of being discovered, for the land all (along) the coast is very high.

In this Sea we made the best of our way toward the Line, till in the Lat. of 24 S. where we fell in with the main Land of the South America. All this course of the Land, both of Chili and Peru is vastly high; therefore we kept 12 or 14 Leagues off from shore, being unwilling to be seen by the Spaniards dwelling there. The Land (especially beyond this, from 24 deg. S. Lat. 17, and from 14 to 10) is of a most prodigious Heighth. It lies generally in Ridges parallel to the Shore, and 3 or 4 Ridges one with another, each surpassing other in heighth; p. 95 and those that are farthest within Land, are much higher than others. They always appear blue when seen at Sea; sometimes they are obscured with Clouds, but not so often as the high Lands in other parts of the World, for here are seldom or never any Rains on these Hills, any more than in the Sea near it; neither are they subject to Fogs. These are the highest Mountains that ever I saw,[121-1] far surpassing the Pike of Tenariffe; or Santa Martha, and I believe any Mountains in the World.

I have seen very high Land in the Lat. of 30 South,[121-2] but not so high as in the Latitudes before described. In Sir John Narborough's Voyage also to Baldivia (a City on this Coast) mention is made of very high Land seen near Baldivia: and the Spaniards, with whom I have discoursed, have told me, that there is a very high Land all the way between Coquimbo, (which lies in about 30 d. South lat.) and Baldivia, which is in 40 South; so that by all likelihood these Ridges of Mountains do run in a continued Chain from one end of Peru and Chili to the other, all along this South-Sea Coast, called usually the Andes, or Sierra Nuevada des Andes. The excessive Height of these Mountains may possibly be the reason that there are no Rivers of note that fall into these Seas. Some small Rivers indeed there are, but very few of them, for in some places there is not one that comes out into the Sea in 150 or 200 Leagues, and where they are thickest they are 30, 40 or 50 Leagues asunder, and too little and shallow to be navigable. Besides, some of these do not constantly run, but are dry at certain Seasons of the Year; as the River of Ylo runs flush with a quick Current at the latter End of January, and so continues till June, and then it decreaseth by degrees, growing less, and running slow till the latter End of September, when it falls wholly, and runs no more till January again: This I have seen at both Seap. 96sons in two former Voyages I have made hither, and have been informed by the Spaniards that other Rivers on this Coast are of the like Nature, being rather Torrents or Land-floods caused by their Rains at certain Seasons far within Land, than perennial Streams.

Wee encountered nothing of note in our way till the third day of May when wee discovered a saile to the northward of us. Shee was plying to [A] windward, wee chased and Eaton being a head soon tooke her.

Shee came from Guiaquill about a month since laden with timber and was bound to Lyma.

Three days before wee tooke here shee came from [A] Santa, where they had news of our being in the seas by an express from Baldivia where wee afterwards heard that Captain Swan had been to seeke a trade but of that hereafter.

Upon this news the ViceRoy sent post to all the Sea Ports, that they might provide themselves.

We kept still along in sight of this Coast, but at a good distance from it, encountring with nothing of note, till in the Lat. of 9 deg. 40 min South, on the 3d of May, we descried a Sail to the Northward of us. She was plying to Windward, we chased her, and Capt. Eaton being a-Head soon took her: she came from Guiaquil about a Month before, laden with Timber, and was bound to Lima. Three Days before we took her, she came from Santa, whither she had gone for Water, and where they had news of our being in these Seas by an express from Baldivia, for, as we afterwards heard, Capt. Swan had been at Baldivia to seek a Trade there; and he having met Capt. Eaton in the Streights of Magellan, the Spaniards of Baldivia were doubtless informed of us by him, suspecting him also to be one of us, tho' he was not. Upon this News the Viceroy of Lima sent Expresses to all the Sea-Ports, that they might provide themselves against our Assaults.

Wee immediately steered away for the Iland [+] Lobos de la mare which lyeth in latt. 6 d. 42 m. South latt: and is 15 leagues from the maine.

We immediately steered away for the Island Lobos, which lieth in Lat. 6 d. 24 m. South Lat. (I took the Elevation of it ashore with an Astrolabe) and it is 5 Leagues from the Main. It is called Lobos de la Mar, to distinguish it from another that is not far from it, and extremely like it, called Lobos de la Terra, for it lies nearer the Main. Lobos,[123-1] or Lovos, is the Spanish name for a Seal, of which there are great plenty about these and several other Islands in these Seas that go by this Name.

Wee arrived at this Iland the 9th day where wee came to an Anchor with our Prise.

There are two Ilands of an indifferent height and severall rocks lying on the north side of the channell.

There is a small cove at the west end of [p. 68] the eastermost Iland, where ships may carreen but there is neither wood nor water.

[*] The two large Ilands are invironed with white rocks and the middle part rocky and some land, but wholly barren without trees, shrubs, or grass. There are multitudes of Pinguins and Boobyes whose flesh is but ordinary food but their eggs are good meate. There is another sorte of small black fowle that makes holes in the sand for their night habitations, whose flesh is good sweet meate. There are some seales and sea lyons.

The 9th of May we arrived at this Isle of Lobos de la Mar, and came to an Anchor with our Prize. This Lobos consists indeed of two little Islands, each about a Mile round, of an indifferent heighth, a p. 97 small Channel between, fit for Boats only; and several Rocks lying on the North-side of the Islands, a little way from shore. There is a small Cove or sandy Bay sheltered from the Winds, at the West-end of the Eastermost Island, where Ships may careen: The rest of the shore, as well round the two Islands as between them, is a rocky Coast, consisting of small Cliffs. Within Land they are both of them partly rocky, and partly sandy, barren, without any fresh Water, Tree, Shrub, Grass, or Herbs; or any Land Animals (for the Seals and Sea-Lions come ashore here) but Fowls, of which there are great Multitudes; as Boobies, but mostly Penguins, which I have seen plentifully all over the South-Seas, on the coast of Newfoundland, and of the Cape of Good Hope. They are a Sea-Fowl, about as big as a Duck, and such Feet; but a sharp Bill, feeding on Fish. They do not fly, but flutter, having rather Stumps like a young Goslin's, than Wings: And these are instead of Fins to them in the Water. Their feathers are downy. Their Flesh is but ordinary Food; but their Eggs are good Meat. There is another sort of small black Fowl, that makes holes in the Sand for their Night Habitations, whose Flesh is good sweet Meat. I never saw any of them but here, and at John Fernando's.

There is good riding betweene the easter-most Iland and the rocks in 10, 12 or 14 fathoms, for the wind is commonly at south or SSE and the Eastermost Iland lying E and W shelters the channell which is on the north side of it. There wee held our ships and scrub'd and being in a readiness to sail, the prisoners were examined to know if any of them could conduct us to some town where wee might make our fortunes, for they had before inform'd us that wee were discryed, and by that knew that they would send noe riches by sea soe long as wee were there. Many towns were considered on, as Guiaquill, Saneo (Zana), Truxilio and others, but at last Truxilio was pitched on as the most important. Therefore the likelyest to make us a voyage if wee could conquor it, [p. 69] which wee did not much question though wee knew it to be a populous city, but the greatest difficulty was in landing for Guanchaco, which is the Sea Port, [*] for it is but an ill place to land for sometimes the fishermen that live there are not able to goe out in 3 or 4 days. However, our men were in the afternoone mustered of both ships companyes and their armes proved. Wee were in all 108 men fitt for service besides the sick, and the next day intended to saile and take the wood prise with us.

The 18th day of May one of our men being a shoare betimes discovered three sailes bound to the northward, two were without the island and one within.

There is good Riding between the Eastermost Island and the Rocks, in ten, tweleve, or fourteen Fathom, for the Wind is commonly at S. or S. S. E. and the Eastermost Island lying East and West, shelters that Road.

Here we scrubb'd our Ships, and being in a readiness to sail, the Prisoners were examined, to know if any of them could conduct us to some Town where we might make some Attempt; for they had before informed us, there we were descried by the Spaniards, and by that we knew that they would send no Riches by Sea so long as we were here. Many p. 98 Towns were considered on, as Guiaquil, Zana, Truxillo, and others: At last Truxillo was pitched on, as the most important; therefore the likeliest to make us a Voyage if we could conquer it: Which we did not much question, tho' we knew it to be a very populous City. But the greatest difficulty was in Landing; for Guanchaquo, which is the nearest Sea-Port to it, but six Miles off, is an ill place to Land, since sometimes the very Fishermen that live there, are not able to go in three or four Days. However the 17th of May in the Afternoon, our Men were mustered of both Ships Companies, and their Arms proved. We were in all 108 Men fit for Service, besides the sick: And the next Day we intended to sail and take the Wood Prize with us. But the next Day, one of our Men being ashore betimes on the Island, discried three sail bound to the Northward; two of them without the Island to the Westward, the other between it and the Continent.

Wee soon gott our anchors up and chased.

Captain Eaton who drew the lest draft of water put through between the westermost Iland and the rocks and went after those two that were without the Ilands and wee went after the other, which stood in for the maine but wee soon fetched her up and then stood in againe for the Iland for wee saw that Captain Eaton wanted noe help haveing taken both that he went after.

Hee came in with one of his prises but the other was soe farr to leward and soe deepe that shee could not gett in but hoped to gett her in the next day.

We soon got our Anchors up and chased: and Captain Eaton, who drew the least draught of Water, put through between the Westermost Island and the Rocks, and went after those two that were without the Islands. We in Captain Cook's Ship went after the other, which stood in for the Main Land, but we soon fetched her up, and having taken her, stood in again with her to the Island; for we saw that Captain Eaton wanted no help, having taken both those that he went after. He came in with one of his Prizes; but the other was so far to Leeward, and so deep, that he could not then get her in, but he hoped to get her in the next Day: but being deep laden, as designed to do down before the Wind to Panama, she would not bear sail.

The 19th day turned all day, but gott nothing, and [p. 70] our strikers according to their custome went out and struck 6 turtles, for they are there indifferent plenty.

There are two sorts of green turtles, some large and some small. The large are very sweet, the smaller sort are very fatt, but not soe sweet as the other. These come a shoare and lay in the sunne like seale.

The 19th Day she turned all Day, but got nothing nearer the Island. Our Moskito-strikers, according to their Custom, went and struck six Turtles; for here are indifferent plenty of them.

These ships that wee tooke the day before came from Guanchaco which is a backadeer (? back door?) for Truxilio, all three laden with flower bound for Panama.

These Ships p. 99 that we took the Day before came from Guanchaquo, all three laden with Flour, bound for Panama.

__?__ two of them were laden as deepe as they could swim. The other was not above halfe loaden but ordered by the ViceRoy to saile with the other two or else shee should not saile till wee were gone out of the seas and in the biggest ship was a letter to the President of Panama from the ViceRoy of Lyma assuring him that there were enemies come into the seas for which reason he had dispatched there three ships with flower that they might not want and desired him to be frugall of it, for he knew not when he should send anymore. In this ship was likewise 7 or 8 tuns of marmalade and a stately mule sent to the President and a very great Picture of the Virgin Mary to adorne a new church at Panama.

This great ship came from Lyma not long before & they heard of Swans being att Baldivea and she brought from Lyma 800000 pieces of eight [p. 71] but when shee lay att Guanchaco the merchants ordered them a shoare again. I shall omit the description of any place or Town on the maine till hereafter. Being thus certifyed that our being in the seas was known all over the kingdome, wee resolved to run over to the Gallapagoes and then consider farther what methods to take.

Two of them were laden as deep as they could swim, the other was not above half laden, but was ordered by the Vice-Roy of Lima to sail with the other two, or else she should not sail till we were gone out of the Seas; for he hoped they might escape us by setting out early. In the biggest Ship was a Letter to the President of Panama from the Vice-Roy of Lima; assuring him, that there were Enemies come into that Sea; for which reason he had dispatched these three Ships with Flour, that they might not want; (for Panama is supplied from Peru;) and desired him to be frugal of it, for he knew not when he should send more. In this Ship were likewise 7 or 8 Tuns of Marmalade of Quinces, and a stately Mule sent to the President, and a very large Image of the Virgin Mary in Wood, carved and painted to adorn a new Church at Panama, and sent from Lima by the Vice-Roy; for this great Ship came from thence not long before. She brought also from Lima 800000 Pieces of Eight, to carry with her to Panama: but while she lay at Guanchaco, taking in her lading of Flour, the Merchants hearing of Capt. Swan's being in Baldivia, order'd the Money ashoar again. These Prisoners likewise informed us, that the Gentlemen (Inhabitants of Truxillo) were building a Fort at Guanchaco (which is the Sea-Port for Truxillo) close by the Sea, purposely to hinder the designs of any that should attempt to land there. Upon this News we altered our former Resolutions, and resolved to go with our three Prizes to the Gallapagos; which are a great many large Islands, lying some under the Equator, others on each side of it. I shall here omit the description of Truxillo,[126-1] because in my Appendix, at the latter end of the Book, I intend to give a general Relation of most of the Towns of note on this Coast, from Baldivia to Panama, and from thence towards California.

Our departure from the Lobos to the Iland Gallapagoes with the description of those Ilands and what wee did there.

p. 100

The 19th day of May about 5 in the afternoon wee departed from the Lobos bound for the Gallapagoes which by the account wee had of them were Ilands lyeing under the line about 90 or 100 leagues off shoare.

Wee tooke all the prises with us and steered away N W by N till within half a degree from the Equinoctiall and had the winds at SSW and S by W at last at So: a small gale and then our prises could hardly maintaine their latitude.

The 19th day in the Evening we sailed from the Island Lobos, with Captain Eaton in our Company. We carried the three Flour Prizes with us, but our first Prize laden with Timber, we left here at an Anchor; the Wind was at S. by E. which is the common Trade-wind here, and we steered away N.W. by N. intending to run into the Latitude of the Isles Gallapagos, and steer off West, because we did not know the certain distance, and therefore could not shape a direct course to them. When we came within 40 minutes of the Equator, we steered West, having the Wind at South, a very moderate gentle Gale.

The 31: day of May about noone wee first discovered the Ilands and at 5 a clocke anchored at the Easter Side of the Eastermonst Iland in 16 fathom water hard sand a mile from the Shoare. Capt. Eaton came to a mile to Leward [p. 72] of us and one of the prises gott to anchor at the north end of the Iland but the other two could not fetch in.

It was the 31st Day of May when we first had sight of the Islands Gallapagos: Some of them appeared on our Weather-bow, some on our Lee-bow, others right a-Head. We at first sight trimm'd our Sails, and steered as nigh the Wind as we could, striving to get to the Southermost of them, but our Prises being deep laden, their Sails but small and thin, and a very small Gale, they could not keep up with us; therefore we likewise edged away again, a point from the Wind, to keep near them; and in the Evening, the Ship that I was in, and Capt. Eaton anchored on the East-side of one of the Eastermost Islands, a Mile from the shoar, in sixteen fathom Water, clean, white, hard Sand.

The Gallapagos Islands are a great number of uninhabited Islands, lying under, and on both sides of the Equator. The Eastermost of them are about 110 Leagues from the Main. They are laid down in the Longitude of 181, reaching to the Westward as far as 176, therefore their Longitude from England Westward is about 68 degrees. [127-1] But I believe our Hydrographers do not place them far enough to the Westward. The Spaniards who first discovered them, and in whose draughts alone they are laid down, report them to be a great number stretching North-p. 101West from the Line, as far as 5 degrees N. but we saw not above 14 or 15. They are some of them 7 or 8 Leagues long, and 3 or 4 broad. They are of a good heighth, most of them flat and even on the top; 4 or 5 of the Eastermost are rocky, barren and hilly, producing neither Tree, Herb, nor Grass, but a few Dildoe-trees, except by the Sea-side. The Dildoe-tree is a green prickly shrub, that grows about 10 or 12 foot high, without either Leaf or Fruit. It is as big as a Man's Leg, from the root to the top, and it is full of sharp prickles, growing in thick rows from top to bottom; this shrub is fit for no use, not so much as to burn. Close by the sea there grows in some Places Bushes of Burton-wood, which is very good firing. This sort of Wood grows in many Places in the West-Indies, especially in the Bay of Campeachy, and the Samballoes. I did never see any in these Seas but here. There is Water on these barren Islands, in ponds and holes among the Rocks. Some other of these Islands are mostly plain and low, and the Land more fertile, producing Trees of divers sorts, unknown to us. Some of the Westermost of these Islands, are nine or ten Leagues long, and six or seven broad; the Mould deep and black. These produce Trees of great and tall Bodies, especially Mammee-trees, which grow here in great Groves. In these large Islands there are some pretty big Rivers; and in many of the other lesser Islands, there are Brooks of good Water. The Spaniards when they first discover'd these Islands, found Multitudes of Guanoes, and Land-turtle or Tortoise, [128-1] and named them the Gallapagos Islands. I do believe there is no place in the World that is so plentifully stored with these animals. The Guanoes here are fat and large as any that I ever saw; they are so tame, that a Man may knock down twenty in an Hour's Time with a Club. The Land-turtle are here so numerous, that 5 or 600 Men might subsist p. 102 on them alone for several Months, without any other sort of Provisions: They are extraordinary large and fat; and so sweet, that no Pullet eats more pleasantly. One of the largest of these Creatures will weigh 150 or 200 weight, and some of them are 2 foot, or 2 foot 6 inches over the Challapee or Belly. I did never see any but at this place, that will weigh above 30 pound weight. I have heard that at the Isle of St. Lawrence or Madagascar, and at the English Forest, [128-2] an Island near it, called also Don Mascarin, and now possessed by the French; there are very large ones, but whether so big, fat, and sweet as these, I know not. There are 3 or 4 sorts of these Creatures in the West-Indies. One is called by the Spaniards, Hecatee;[128-3] these live most in fresh Water-ponds, and seldom come on Land. They weigh about 10 or 15 pounds; they have small Legs and flat Feet, and small long Necks. Another sort is called Tenapen;[128-4] these are a great deal less than the Hecatee; the Shell on their Backs is all carved naturally, finely wrought, and well clouded: the Backs of these are rounder than those before-mentioned; they are otherwise much of the same form: These delight to live in wet swampy places, or on the Land near such places. Both these sorts are very good Meat. They are in great plenty on the Isles of Pines near Cuba: there the Spanish Hunters when they meet them in the Woods bring them home to their Huts, and mark them by notching their Shells, then let them go; this they do to have them at Hand, for they never ramble far from thence. When these Hunters return to Cuba, after about a Month or six Weeks stay, they carry with them 3 or 400 or more, of these Creatures to sell; for they are very good Meat, and every Man knows his own by their Marks. These Tortoise in the Gallapagoes are more like the Hecatee, except that, as I said before, they are much bigger; and they have very long small p. 103 Necks and little Heads. There are some green Snakes on these Islands, but no other Land Animal that I did ever see. There are great plenty of Turtle-Doves so tame, that a Man may kill 5 or 6 dozen in a Forenoon with a Stick. They are somewhat less than a Pigeon, and are very good Meat, and commonly fat.

There are good wide channels between these islands, fit for ships to pass, and in some places shoal water, where there grows plenty of turtle-grass; therefore these islands are plentifully stored with sea-turtle, of that sort which is called the green turtle. I have hitherto deferred the description of these creatures, therefore I shall give it here. There are four sorts of sea-turtle,[129-1] viz. the trunk-turtle, the loggerhead, the hawks-bill, and the green-turtle. The trunk-turtle is commonly bigger than the other, their backs are higher and rounder, and their flesh rank and not wholesome. The loggerhead is so call'd, because it hath a great head, much bigger than the other sorts; their flesh is likewise very rank, and seldom eaten but in case of necessity. They feed on moss that grows about rocks. The hawks-bill turtle is the least kind, they are so call'd because their mouths are long and small, somewhat resembling the bill of a hawk: on the backs of these hawks-bill turtle grows that shell which is so much esteem'd for making cabinets, combs, and other things. The largest of them may have 3 pound and a half of shell; I have taken some that have had 3 pound 10 ounces. But they commonly have a pound and half, or two pound; some not so much. These are but ordinary food, but generally sweeter than the loggerhead. Yet these hawks-bills, in some places are unwholesome, causing them that eat them to purge and vomit excessively, especially those between the Samballoes and Portobel. We meet with other fish in the West-Indies, of the same malignant nature. But I shall describe them in the Appendix. These hawks-bill turtles are better or worse, accord p. 104 ing to their feeding. In some places they feed on grass, as the green-tortoise also doth; in other places they keep among rocks, and feed on moss, or sea-weeds; but these are not so sweet as those that eat grass, neither is their shell so clear; for they are commonly overgrown with barnacles which spoil the shell; and their flesh is commonly yellow, especially the fat.

Hawks-bill turtle are in many places of the West-Indies: They have islands and places peculiar to themselves, where they lay their eggs and seldom come among any other turtle. These and all other turtle lay eggs in the sand; their time of laying is in May, June, July. [130-1] Some begin sooner, some later. They lay 3 times in a season, and at each time 80 or 90 eggs. Their eggs are as big as a hen's egg, and very round, covered only with a white tough skin. There are some bays on the north side of Jamaica, where these hawks-bills resort to lay. In the Bay of Honduras are islands which they likewise make their breeding-places, and many places along all the coast on the Main of the West-Indies, from Trinidado to La Vera Cruz, in the Bay of Nova Hispania. When a sea-turtle turns out of the sea to lay, she is at least an hour before she returns again, for she is to go above high-water mark, and if it be low-water when she comes ashore, she must rest once or twice, being heavy, before she comes to the place where she lays. When she hath found a place for her purpose, she makes a great hole with her fins in the sand, wherein she lays her eggs, then covers them 2 foot deep with the same sand which she threw out of the hole, and so returns. Sometimes they come up the night before they intend to lay, and take a view of the place, and so having made a tour, or semi-circular march, they return to the sea again, and they never fail to come ashore the next night to lay near that place. All p. 105 sorts of turtle use the same methods in laying. I knew a man in Jamaica, that made 8 pound sterling of the shell of these hawks-bill turtle, which he got in one season, and in one small bay, not half a mile long. The manner of taking them is to watch the bay, by walking from one part to the other all night, making no noise, nor keeping any sort of light. When the turtle comes ashore, the man that watches for them turns them on their backs, then hales them above high-water mark, and leaves them till the morning. A large green turtle, with her weight and struggling, will puzzle 2 men to turn her. The hawks-bill turtle are not only found in the West-Indies, but on the coast of Guinea, and in the East-Indies. I never saw any in the South Seas.

The green turtle are so called, because their shell is greener than any other. It is very thin and clear, and better clouded than the hawks-bill; but 'tis used only for inlays, being extraordinary thin. These turtles are generally larger than the hawks-bill; one will weigh 2 or 3 hundred pound. Their backs are flatter than the hawks-bill, their heads round and small. Green turtle are the sweetest of all the kinds: but there are degrees of them, both in respect to their flesh and their bigness. I have observed that at Blanco in the West-Indies, the green turtle (which is the only kind there) are larger than any other in the North Seas. There they will commonly weigh 280 or 300 pound: Their fat is yellow, and the lean white, and their flesh extraordinary sweet. At Boca Toro, west of Portobel, they are not so large, their flesh not so white, nor the fat so yellow. Those in the Bay of Honduras and Campeachy are somewhat smaller still; their fat is green, and the lean of a darker colour than those at Boca Toro. I heard of a monstrous green turtle once taken at Port Royal, [131-1] in the Bay of Campeachy that was four foot deep from the back to the belly, p. 106 and the belly six foot broad; Capt. Roch's son, of about nine or ten years of age, went in it as in a boat, on board his father's ship, about a quarter of a mile from the shore. The leaves of fat afforded eight gallons of oil. The turtle that live among the keys, or small islands on the south side of Cuba, are a mix'd sort, some bigger, some less; and so their flesh is of a mixt colour, some green, some dark, some yellowish. With these Port Royal in Jamaica is constantly supplied, by sloops that come hither with nets to take them. They carry them alive to Jamaica, where the turtles have wires made with stakes in the sea, to preserve them alive; and the market is every day plentifully stored with turtle, it being the common food there, chiefly for the ordinary sort of people.

Green turtle live on grass, which grows in the sea, in 3, 4, 5, or 6 fathom water, at most of the places before-mentioned. This grass is different from manattee-grass, for that is a small blade; but this a quarter of an inch broad, and six inches long. The turtle of these islands Gallapagos, are a sort of a bastard green turtle; for it is common for these to be two or three foot [132-1] deep, and their callapees, or bellies five foot wide. But there are other green turtle in the South Seas that are not so big as the smallest hawks-bill. There are seen at the island Plata, and other places thereabouts. They feed on moss, and are very rank, but fat.

Both these sorts are different from any others, for both He's and She's come ashore in the day time, and lie in the sun; but in other places, none but the She's go ashore, and that in the night only, to lay their eggs. The best feeding for turtle in the South Seas is among these Gallapagos Islands, for here is plenty of grass.

p. 107

There is another sort of green Turtle in the South Seas which are but small, yet pretty sweet. These lie westward on the coast of Mexico. One thing is very strange and remarkable in these creatures; that at the breeding time they leave for two or three months their common haunts, where they feed most of the year, and resort to other places, only to lay their eggs: And 'tis not thought that they eat anything during this season: so that both He's and She's grow very lean; but the He's to that degree that none will eat them. The most remarkable places that I did ever hear of for their breeding, is at an island in the West Indies called Caimanes, [133-1] and the isle Ascention in the Western Ocean: and when the breeding time is past, there are none remaining. Doubtless they swim some hundreds of leagues to come to those two places: for it hath been often observed, that at Caimanes, at the breeding time, there are found all those sort of turtle before described. The South Keys of Cuba are above 40 leagues from thence, which is the nearest place that these creatures can come from; and it is most certain, that there could not live so many there as come here in one season.

Those that go to lay at Ascention, must needs travel much farther; for there is no land nearer it than 300 leagues. And it is certain, that these creatures live always near the shore. In the South Sea likewise, the Gallapagos is the place where they live the biggest part of the year; yet they go from thence at their season over to the Main, to lay their eggs; which is 100 leagues, [to] the nearest place. Altho' multitudes of these turtles go from their common places of feeding and abode, to those laying places, yet they do not all go: And at the time when the turtle resort to these places to lay their eggs, they are accompanied with abundance of fish, especially sharks. The places which the turtle then leave bep. 108ing at that time destitute of fish, which follow the turtle.

When the She's go thus to their places to lay, the male accompany them, and never leave them till they return. Both mail and female are fat [at] the beginning of the season, but before they return, the male, as I said, are so lean that they are not fit to eat, but the female are good to the very last, yet not so fat as th the beginning of the season. it is reported of these creatures, that they are nine days engendering, and in the water; the maile on the female's back. It is observable that the male, while engendering, do not easily forsake their female; for I have gone and taken hold of the male when engendring, and a very bad striker may strike them then, for the male is not shy at all. But the female seeing a boat, when they rise to blow, would make her escape, but that the male grasps her with his two fore fins, and holds her fast. When they are thus coupled, it is best to strike the female first, then you are sure of the male also. These creatures are thought to live to a great age, and it is observed by the Jamaica turtlers, that they are many years before they come to their full growth.

The air of these islands is temperate enough considering the clime. Here is constantly a fresh sea breeze all day, and cooling refreshing winds in the night. Therefore, the heat is not so violent here as in most places near the equator. The time of the year for the rains is in November, December and January. Then there is oftentimes excessive hard tempestuous weather, mixt with much thunder and lightning. Sometimes before and after these months, there are moderate refreshing showers, but in May, June, July and August, the weather is always very fair.

There wee went a shoare and found the largest land turtle that ever I saw, but the Iland rocky and barren without [A] wood or water.

The next morning wee weighed and stood to the northward to fetch in our two prises to any of the Ilands where wee could gett anchoring.

Wee came close under Captain Eaton's sterne and desired him to stand off to the prises and help them in, for [D] our Captain being sick desired to be a shoare. Therefore wee made our way to the next Iland to [X] leward of us and at 2 a clocke in the afternoone anchored at the NE end of the next Island in 15 fathoms clean ground a quarter of a mile from the shoare and before night one of the prises came to us, but Eaton and the other two did not come in till the next day after.

We staid at one of these islands, which lies under the equator but one night, because our prizes p. 109 could not get in to anchor. We refresh'd ourselves very well both with land and sea-turtles, and the next day we sailed from thence. The next island of the Gallapagos that we came to, is but two leagues from this: 'tis rocky and barren like this; it is about five or six leagues long, and four broad. We anchored [134-1] in the afternoon, at the north side of the island, a quarter of a mile from the shore, in 16 fathom water. It is steep all round this island, and no anchoring only at this place. Here it is but ordinary riding, for the ground is so steep that if an anchor starts it never holds again. And the wind is commonly off from the land, except in the night, when the land wind comes more from the west, for there it blows right along the shoar, tho' but faintly. Here is no water [135-1] but in Ponds and Holes of the Rocks.



There wee went a shoare and made a tent for our comander.

When wee came first a shoare wee found severall large green turtles on the land sleeping which wee turned on their backs to prevent them from going into the water againe.

But the next day when wee found more come [p. 73] a shoare to sleep wee turned those on their bellyes again which wee turned the night before, for wee could goe a shoare at any time and [A] kill as many as wee had ocasion for.

There is but ordinary riding at this place unless within cables length of the shoare for it is steep and the wind blowed right off shoare and if an anchor starts it never holds again but you must put to sea and there is no riding anywhere else about the Iland.

The Iland is likewise a barren rocky Iland like the former but noe water only in ponds which retaines it in the wett season and keeps all the year.

That which we first anchored at hath water on the north end, falling down in a stream from high steep rocks, upon the sandy bay, where it may be taken up. As soon as we came to an anchor, we made a tent ashore for Capt. Cook who was sick. Here we found the sea turtle lying ashore on the sand; this is not customary in the West Indies. We turned them on their backs that they might not get away. The next day more came up, when we found it to be their custom to lie in the sun: So we never took care to turn them afterwards, but sent ashore the cook every morning, who killed as many as served for the day. This custom we observed all the time we lay here, feeding sometimes on land turtle, sometimes on sea turtle, there being plenty of either sort. Capt. Davis came hither again a second time; and then he went to other islands on the west side of these. There he found such plenty of land turtle that he and his men eat nothing else for three months that he staid there. They were so fat that he saved sixty jars of oil out of those that he spent. This p. 110 oil served instead of butter, to eat with doughboys or dumplins, in his return out of these seas. He found very convenient places to careen, and good channels between the islands, and very good anchoring in many places. There he found also plenty of brooks of good fresh water, and firewood enough, there being plenty of trees fit for many uses. Capt. Harris, one that we shall speak of hereafter, came thither likewise, and found some islands that had plenty of Mammee-Trees, and pretty large rivers. The sea about these islands is plentifully stored with fish, such as are at Juan Fernando's. They are both large and fat, and as plentiful here as at Juan Fernando's. Here are particularly abundance of sharks. The north part of this second island we anchored at lies 28 min. north of the Equator. I took the height of the sun with an Astrolabe. These isles of the Gallapago's have plenty of salt.

Wee stayed there twelve days and got a shoare about 5000 packs of flower and piled them againe and heap'd for a store and there wee concluded to goe to Ria Lexa having a pilot for it who told us it was a very rich town and easily taken, but before I proceed farther I shall give you the description of these ilands and what I have not of my own knowledge I had from Captain Davies who was there afterwards and carreened his ship at neither of these that wee were at but at others to the westward of them.

[*] These Iland(s) called the Gallopegoes as I [p. 74] have been told doe reach from the latitude of one Degree South to 5 degrees North, tending NW but of that wee have noe certainty. Therefore I shall only speake of these which I have seen which lay all of them under or neare the lyne within a degree of either side.

These are about 14 in number most of them large considerable Ilands they all of them swarme with land turtle and guanos which are both extraordinary fatt and sweete and the sea abounds with green turtle and fish.

I have already given some relation [see p. 70, above—JW] of the green [A ] turtle which are soe plenty there that though wee were about 200 soules yett wee kill'd every morning on the bay as many as served us all day the whole time of our abode there and might have kill'd many more though they differ in nature from the West India turtle yett are very sweet wholesome meate.

And the [b] fish is as plenty there as at John Fernandoes.

Guanoes are as plenty there as in any place of the world and extraordinary sweet meat but the land turtle as they exceed in sweetness soe doe they in like manner in numbers for it is incredible to report how numerous they are and I believe there is not any place in the world that have such plenty of these creatures.

[p. 75] Now let us consider if there is anything else worth of observation in these Ilands.

In the first place I have denoted those two which I was on, to be barren dry Ilands. I must confess my curiosity would have carryed me further in search to find anything profitable on them but our business was not to search places to settle in, only to find conveniences to carreen which at this time wee did not think convenient yett Captain [A] Davies after I left him came thither and carreened at some Ilands to the westward of these which he found to be good habitable Ilands having a deep fatt soyle which if cultivated would produce anything that grows in these clymatts.

They likewise are well watered and plenty of good timber fitt for any uses and places enough to carreen in, soe that take them by and large they are extraordinary good Ilands where a ship in distress may have anything that can be expected from places not inhabitated for there is both food and water and firewood and timber for other uses besides masts and yards may be had and good secure places to carreen in and with a little payne salt may be gathered.

[*] Wee departed from the Gallapagoes bound to the Iland Cocos which we mist [p. 76] missed and stood over for the main where Captain Cook dyed and our adventures there afterwards.

We stay'd here but 12 days, in which time we put ashore 5000 [136-1] packs of flour for a reserve, if we should have occasion of any before we left these seas. Here one of our Indian prisoners informed us that he was born at Ria Lexa, and that he would engage to carry us thither. He being examin'd of the strength and riches of it, satisfy'd the company so well, that they were resolv'd to go thither.

June the 12th wee sailed from [A] thence bound for the Iland Cocos which lyes in latt: 5d: 15m: north latt and are lay'd down in the Spanish drafts to lay NNW from the Gallapagoes distant 100 leagues.

The same day wee left the Iland where we rode, wee came up with another Iland lying in latt: 56 minutes N: which was the North most of all that wee saw. After this wee steered away NNW to gett into our latt: fearing the true course was not layd down in the drafts but as wee sailed to the northward the wind hailed to the westward of the south which wee did not minde at first.

(end of Galápagos section)

Having thus concluded, the 12th of June we sailed from hence, designing to touch at the island Cocos, as well to put ashoar some flour there as to see the island, because it was in our way to Ria Lexa.

(end of Galápagos section)


They are laid down in the Longitude of 181, reaching to the Westward as far as 176, therefore their Longitude from England Westward is about 68 degrees.”

It would appear that Dampier's typesetter had difficulties with this sentence: in order for the first part to make sense, the longitudes must be rewritten as 281 and 276, which agrees with the longitudes on Herman Moll's Map of the World in the author's New Voyage. Having made these changes, we may convert them to 79° west and 84° west, respectively. To these values add 16°35', for Dampier reckoned these longitudes from the Pike of Tenerife rather rather than from Greenwich. This places the islands between 95°35' W and 100°35' W. The actual values are 89°14' W (east end of Isla San Cristóbal) and 92° W (west end of Isla Darwin) (Lanza 1974, p. 510).

Of course, the islands could not be 68 degrees removed from England, which would place them somewhere east of Quito. Perhaps this error was introduced by someone else and not caught by Dampier who, one hopes, would have corrected it. Unfortunately, these cartographic details do not appear in Sloane Ms. 3236, so there is no place to look for the source of the errors. To this day (2003), no subsequent reprint edition has corrected, or commented on, any of the above.—JW.

John Masefield's Footnotes

121-1He refers to the rank of prodigious mountains marshalled along the coast of Chile from Copiapo to Chipicani. They range from 18,000 to 23,000 feet in height. The Peak of Teneriffe is but a little more than 12,000 feet. The Peak of Santa Martha is less than 17,000 feet.
121-2Probably Aconcagua.
123-1Ringrose saw one of these islands on the 10th of April 1681. “We saw from here [the bay of Malabrigo] the leeward [northerly] island of Lobos, or Seals, being nothing but a rocky and scraggy place. On the S. W. side thereof is a red hill. … which the Indian fishermen much frequent.” The buccaneers frequently visited these islands.
126-1Truxillo, or Trujillo, in northern Peru (lat. 8° 7' long. 79° 4'W.) is one of the oldest of the Spanish towns upon the coast. It lies a few miles within land, and its two seaports, Huanchaco (to the north) and Salaverry (to the south) are surf-beaten and dangerous. Salaverry is now the more important of the two.
127-1About 89°. Dampier's belief was well justified. This first anchorage was apparently in what Cowley calls “Yarmouth Road” in the “Duke of Norfolk's island.” [“Yarmouth Road” appears on Moll's Galápagos chart in Cowley's Voyage, but is not mentioned by Cowley himself—JW.]
128-1Testudo Indica. They live upon “succulent cactus,” the acid guayavita berry, and a lichen which grows upon the dildo bushes.
128-2Mascarenas, or Don Mascarenhas, the Portuguese name for the Mauritius.
128-3A variety of marsh or fresh-water tortoise.
128-4The terrapin. [Spelled “Terrapen” in the 1729 edition—JW.]
129-1The trunk-turtle is Sphargis coriacea. The loggerhead is Chelone caouana. It smells strongly of musk. The hawk's-bill is Chelone imbricate, of which the eggs are very delicious, though the flesh is sometimes poisonous. The green turtle, Chelone mydas, is the turtle known to epicures.
130-1 The early editions add “in S. lat. about Christmas.” [This addition is not in the 3rd (1698) edition—JW.]
131-1At Laguna de Terminos. It was a logwood-cutters' camp.
132-1The early editions read “3 or 4 foot.” [This variation is not in the 3rd (1698) edition—JW.]
133-1Grand Cayman, to the south of Cuba.
134-1They anchored, apparently, in “Albany Bay,” a bay to the north of an island which Cowley calls the Duke of York's Island. On Cowley's Chart the island is called King James's Island, the Duke of York having come to the throne by the time the Chart was first published.
135-1A note in Dampier's original MS. states that he saw “water running down from the rocks” at “the north end” of this island. Cowley also states that the anchorage had “excellent good sweet water.”
136-1Cowley gives the number as “1500 Bags of Flower, with Sweetmeats.”