Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 51
WRECK OF THE aCORBINa.
were, or a little further on, so that we should not make any more way in the night, and get lost before we knew where we were. At nightfall we obeyed the orders of the General. The captain, who was very ill, charged me to warn the mate and second mate to keep a good look-out (bon cart, as the watch is called which is kept by the mariners every night, each in his turn, as by sentinels), for in his opinion we were in a dangerous part of the Maldives, notwithstanding the opinion of the pilot of the Croissant.
Our General intended to pass by the north of these islands, between the head of them and the coast of India; but, on the contrary, we were running right into the midst of them, to our peril. The pilots said they would be careful; for all who have the duty of navigation in those parts must cautiously avoid the dangerous banks and reefs from a hundred leagues off, if he can, otherwise there is great risk in passing through these islands without losing your ship. But misfortune was pressing close upon us, and notwithstanding the foresight of our captain, who could not set right the othersa ignorance, that which had not happened once during the voyage now came to pass, viz., everyone was fast asleep that night, even those on watch. The mate and second mate had been carousing, and were drunk. The light usually kept on the poop for reading the compass was out, because the man at the wheel, who had charge of the light and the hour-glass, had fallen asleep, as had also the shipas boy that attended him; for it is customary for the man at the helm always to have a shipas boy by him. What was worse, the ship was steered to the east half-an-hour, or three-quarters at most, too soon. So, while we were thus $11 asleep, the ship struck heavily twice, and as we started with the shock, she suddenly struck a third time, and heeled over. I leave you to imagine the condition of all on board,awhat a pitiful spectacle we presented,athe cries and lamentations of men who find themselves wrecked at night on a rock in mid-
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