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ca. 5.30° N, on the North Atlantic Ocean


30 July1607

This day our general sent for Captain Hawkins to come aboard with Mr Mullineux and 2 of his mates [i.e. officers] and Mr Marlow to confer and determine what course was best to be taken for the furtherance of our voyage and preserving of men’s lives, without whom our voyage could not be performed, we having at this instant above 50 men who are sick of the flux [dysentery] and scurvy aboard the Dragon and as many in the Hector, and more every day likely to fall down through the want of fresh water. Whereby to give them fresh victuals being the chief preservative of men’s health, as we found by experience in giving them fresh victuals when we grew near the equinoctial, until such time as our water began to grow low (hoping that the Lord would have lent us a quick passage to the Cape). For until then none of our men fell sick. [ . . . ]


Our General did propound unto all that were called in counsel to nominate some places that they thought most convenient that we might best water, and with the least loss of time. Three places were then nominated: Mayo, Cabo Verde and Sierra Leona, of which places Sierra Leona, which stands in 8d 30’ to the northward of the line, was agreed upon, being held to be the fittest place to be assayed [attempted], considering the latitude where we now are. As also Sir Francis Drake and Captain Cavendish refreshed both in the same place [ . . . ]

Hearne and Finch, traders

A crew on deck sickly and famished.

A crew in desperate circumstances.


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Red Dragon Journal of Hearne and Finch; cited in Richmond Barbour, The Third Voyage Journals (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 166.

G. Doré. 1866: The dead eye looked at me with a ghostly glow

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