Dampier did not see either bows or arrows amongst them; but says, "the men, at our first coming ashore, threatened us with their lances and swords; but they were frightened by firing one gun, which we did purposely to scar them." Of "their prows made of the bark of trees," he saw nothing. On the contrary, he "espied a drove of these men swimming from one island to another; for they have no boats, canoes, or bark logs." The English navigator is silent as to any dangers upon the twelve leagues of coast seen by him; but fully agrees in the scarcity of the vegetable productions, and in the circumstance of the natives using no houses.
The relation of Willem de Vlaming's voyage to New Holland
1696. was published at Amsterdam in 1701; but not having been fortunate enough to procure it, I have had recourse to Valentyn, who, in his Description of Banda, has given what appears to be an abridgment of the relation. What follows is conformable to the sense of the translation which Dr. L. Tiarks had the goodness to make for me; and the reasons for entering more into the particulars of this voyage than usual are, the apparent correctness of the observations, and that no account of them seems to have been published in the English language.
A Dutch ship, called the Ridderschap, having been missing from the time she had left the Cape of Good Hope, in 1684 or 1685, it was thought probable she might have been wrecked upon the Great South Land, and that some of the crew might (in 1696) be still living. Accordingly, the commodore Willem de Vlaming, who was going out to India with the Geelvink, Nyptang, and Wezel, was ordered to make a search for them.
On Dec. 28, the ships got soundings in 48 fathoms, coral bottom;
in latitude 31° 53', and longitude 133° 44' (east, apparently, from the
- The Abbé Prévost in his Hist. gen. des Voyages, Tome XVI. (à la Haye) p. 79—81, has given some account of Vlaming's voyage in French; but the observations on the coast between Shark's Bay and Willem's River are there wholly omitted.