Esteemed Readers, we are about to sail farther. Please, embark! Don’t leave souvenirs, wine & provisions unattended. We remind you of wild elephants & lions onshore. Our next stops are the Islands of Java & Sumatra. Have a nice voyage!
Aboard the Oiseau, 6 June 1685
“…Last evening our Officers returned from hunting with two fleshy partridges, some little deer & turtle doves. Both flesh & fishes are good in this country.
The shot of departure was made & we set sail. There was no wind so we had to wait for a while. We have gained some roasters & some wine from the Canary Islands sent by M. the General Commissaire…”
Aboard the Oiseau, 7 June 1685
“…At dawn we sailed with a good Northwest. It ceased & did not allow us to tack to end our roads. In fact, it did not influence us much as the wind stream was very light. The Maligne is punished to follow us: it has all the advantages to move more rapidly than the Oiseau. We are still drinking water from Brest. The one from the Cape is not so good. Our sick men have been cured, their gums have been recovered: six days onshore is a good remedy. The rest of the crew is a bit weary. These poor people worked last five-six days as much as the Dutch did for three weeks. They stocked water, timber & other provisions. They could hardly sleep. They will rest in Bantam. At the moment this is our very goal & in five-six days we shall aim to Siam. All the Dutch pilots have no doubts that we shall arrive there this year.
The Cape has been overtaken: we entered there in the roads & we departed from it with the wind. Nevertheless I don’t advise our descendants to imitate us. When you sail from Europe & there is a strong not favourable wind you’d better to move to anchor in the North from the side of the Isle of Robin, that welcomed us before we made ours roads, & wait there peacefully when the wind changes to enter (the Cape) without worrying about the rocks. The Dutch confessed us that when they saw us beating so boldly they thought we should break on the undersea rocks…”
Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,
Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”
Image: Aubusson, tapestry.