Voyage de Siam par L’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 XVIII

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 ”

Voyage, part I:

Voyage, part II:

Voyage, part III:

Voyage,part IV:

Voyage, part V:

Voyage, part VI:

Voyage, part VII:

Voyage, part VIII:

Voyage, part IX:

Voyage, part X:

Voyage, part XI:

Voyage, part XII:

Voyage, part XIII:

Voyage, part XIV:

Voyage, part XV:

Voyage, part XVI:

Voyage, part XVII:

Image: Aubusson, tapestry.

Maria KethuProfumo

About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
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11 Responses to Voyage de Siam par L’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 XVIII

  1. I wonder if the Dutch wagered that the Oiseau would hit the rocks. If so they lost. Thank you, Maria

  2. Monch Weller says:

    Interesting take! If I may comment, one area mentioned there definitely looks familiar more than four centuries on.

    The island of “Bantam,” I believe, refers to the modern-day Batam — which is part of the Riau Islands in Indonesia. Located just south of Singapore, it used to be under the Sultan of Johor.

    But the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 established a clear boundary. Bencoolen, Sumatra and the Riau Islands (including Batam) were under the Dutch, while Singapore and Malaysia were under the Union Jack.

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