Of our discovery of some islands, and what trouble befell us in one of them
Thus went we on our sea voyage without any ftorm, with pleasant gales, many calms, daily sports and paftimes till we discovered the firft land called Deseada upon the twentieth day of Auguft.
The Admiral of our Fleet wondering much at our slow sailing, who from the second of July to the 19 of Auguft had seen nor discovered any land, save only the Canary Islands, the same day in the morning called to council all the pilots of the ships, to know their opinions concerning our present being, and the nearness of land. The ships therefore drew near unto the Admiral one by one, that every pilot might deliver his opinion. Here was cause of laughter enough for the passengers to hear the wise pilots’ skill; one saying we were three hundred miles, another two hundred, another one hundred, another fifty, another more, another less, all erring much from the truth (as afterward appeared) save only one old pilot of the smallest vessel of all, who affirmed resolutely that with that small gale wherewith we then sailed we should come to Guadeloupe the next morning. All the reft laughed at him, but he might well have laughed at them, for the next morning by sun-rising we plainly discovered an island called Deseada by the Spaniards, or the Desired Land, for that at the firft discovery of the Indies it was the firft land the Spaniards found, being then as desirous to find some land after many days’ sailing as we were. After this island presently we discovered another called Marie Galante, then another called Dominica, and laftly, another named Guadeloupe, which was that we aimed
SURVEY OF WEST INDIES at to refresh ourselves in, to wash our foul clothes, and to take in fresh water, whereof we stood in great need. By two or three of the clock in the afternoon we came to a safe road lying before the island, where we cast our anchors, no ways fearful of the naked barbarians of that and the other islands, who with great joy do yearly expea: the Spanish fleefs coming, and by the moons do reckon the months, and thereby make their guess at their coming, and prepare some their sugar-canes, others the plantain, others the tortoise, some one provision, some another to barter with the Spaniards for their small haberdashery, or iron, knives, or such things which may help them in their wars, which commonly they make against some other islands. Before our anchors were cast, out came the Indians to meet us in their canoes, round like troughs, some whereof had been painted by our English, some by the Hollanders, some by the French, as might appear by their several arms, it being a common road and harbour to all nations that sail to America.