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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 16 of 55 1609 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Related in Contemporaneous Books and Manuscripts, Showing the Political, Economic, Commercial and Religious Conditions of Those Islands from Their Earliest Relations with European Nations to the Close of the Nineteenth Century

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EVENTS IN THE FILIPINAS ISLANDS. [1] Chapter Seventh (concluded)

On the tenth [of July] [2] of the same year, the vessels "Espiritu-Santo" and "Jesus Maria" left the port of Cabit en route for Nueva España—in the wake of two smaller vessels, which had been despatched a fortnight before—with the Filipinas merchandise. Don Lope de Ulloa was their commander, while Doctor Antonio de Morga left those islands in the almiranta, the "Santo Espiritu," to fill the office of alcalde of the court of Mexico. Before leaving the bay, both vessels were struck head on by a storm, and went dragging upon the coast, buffeted by the heavy seas and winds, and amid dark and tempestuous weather, from three in the afternoon until morning of the next day, notwithstanding that they were anchored with two heavy cables in the shelter of the land, and their topmasts struck. Then they grounded upon the coast, in La Pampanga, ten leguas from Manila. The storm lasted for three more consecutive days. Consequently it was regarded as impossible for those vessels to sail and make their voyage, inasmuch as the season was now well advanced, and the vessels were very large and heavily laden, and were deeply imbedded in the sand. Advice was immediately sent overland to Manila, whence were brought several Chinese ships, cables, and anchors. By dint of the great efforts exerted, both vessels, each singly, were fitted with tackle and cables, which were rigged at the stern. There awaiting the high tide, the ships were drawn, by force of capstan and men, stern first for more than one legua through a bank of sand, upon which they had struck, until they were set afloat, on the twenty-second of July, St. Magdelen's day. Immediately they set sail again, as the vessels had sustained no injury, nor sprung any leak; and they made their voyage and navigation, under light winds, to the coast of Nueva España. A violent south-southwest gale, accompanied by heavy showers, hail, and cold, struck the ship "Espiritu Sancto" on the tenth of November, in forty-two degrees, and within sight of land. The wind was blowing obliquely toward the shore, upon which the vessel was almost wrecked several times. The vessel suffered distress and lost its rigging, while the crew was worn out by the voyage and with the cold. The storm lasted until November twenty-second. On the morning of that day, while the ship was in the trough of the waves, and with topmasts shipped, it was struck by a squall of rain and hail, accompanied by great darkness. A thunderbolt, descending the mainmast, struck the vessel amidships. It killed three men besides wounding and maiming eight others; it had entered the hatches, and torn open the mainhatch, with a blaze of light, so that the interior of the ship could be seen. Another thunderbolt fell down along the same mast among the entire crew, and stunned sixteen persons, some of whom were speechless and unconscious all that day. It left the vessel by the pump-dale. The next day, the wind veered to north-northeast, whereupon the ship set sail, and went coasting along the land, with sufficient winds until the nineteenth of the month of December, when it made port at Acapulco....