This volume was originally written in Dutch by John Esquemeling, and first published in Amsterdam in 1678 under the title of De Americaeneche Zee Roovers. It immediately became very popular and this first hand history of the Buccaneers of America was soon translated into the principal European languages. The first English edition was printed in 1684.
we sailed thence with a favourable gale, and some mists arising, totally impeded the English frigates from discovering our fleet. We steered our course as near as we could to the coast of France, for fear of the enemy. As we sailed along, we met a vessel of Ostend, who complained to our admiral, that a French privateer had robbed him that very morning; whereupon we endeavoured to pursue the said pirate; but our labour was in vain, not being able to overtake him.
Our fleet, as we sailed, caused no small fears and alarms to the inhabitants of the coasts of France, these judging us to be English, and that we sought some convenient place for landing. To allay their fright, we hung out our colours; but they would not trust us. After this we came to an anchor in the bay of Conquet in Brittany, near Ushant, there to take in water. Having stored ourselves with fresh provisions here, we prosecuted our voyage, designing to pass by the Ras of Fontenau, and not expose ourselves to the Sorlingues, fearing the English that were cruising thereabouts. The river Ras is of a current very strong and rapid, which, rolling over many rocks, disgorges itself into the sea, on the coast of France, in 48 deg. 10 min. latitude; so that this passage is very dangerous, all the rocks, as yet, being not thoroughly known.
Here I shall mention the ceremony, which, at this passage, and some other places, is used by the mariners, and by them called baptism, though it may seem little to our purpose. The master's mate clothed himself with a ridiculous sort of garment, that reached to his feet, and on his head he put a suitable cap, made very burlesque; in his right hand he had a naked wooden sword, and in his left