Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
potatoes, is the flying fish. You see shoals of them as you glide along in your ship at sea ; they rise suddenly out of the waves, and with outstretched wings they skim over the water like swallows for fifty yards or more, and then dive neatly into the sea again. They are no bigger than a herring, and taste very like one when you eat them.
A Pirate King One of the celebrated pirates of the Spanish Main was Bartholomew Sharp.
In 1680 he started with over three hundred desperate and hardy buccaneers; he crossed the Isthmus of Panama on foot, and seized a number of canoes on the Pacific coast; be boldly attacked the Spanish fleet, which was lying quite unprepared at Penio, a small island near Panama, and after a most desperate fight managed to capture all the enemy’s vessels.
With this fleet Sharp made a number of successful piratical raids on the Pacific coast. After this he disbanded his men, most of whom made their way back to the West Indies with their pockets full of money. This they did by going overland by the Isthmus of Panama ; but Sharp himself kept the best of the Spanish ships, one named the Most Holy Trinity, and in this, with a selected crew, he started to sail down the South Pacific coast and to return to the West Indies by going all the way round South America.
This, after many adventures and hardships, he succeeded in doing, but it took his gallant little ship (she was only 400 tons) eighteen months to do it.
The pirates made many attacks on Spanish towns on the way, and gained a good deal of booty. They were a tough and a rough lot, and yet, in spite of their being so rough, and in spite of their captain being so bold and successful, the crew mutinied against him because he would not hold Divine Service on Sundays I For this reason he was seized and chained up as a prisoner, while another captain was chosen and appointed in his place. This new captain was, however, killed a few days later in a fight.
When, after many weary months of cruising up the Atlantic coast, the Most Holy Trinity at length reached her port-Barbados – she found lying there a man-of-war, H.M.S. Richmond.
This was not at all what she wanted, so she sheered off, and with all speed made for another concealed anchorage which she knew of in Antigua (pronounced Anteega). Here the booty was divided among the crew, and Captain Sharp took passage for home in a ship just sailing for England; and so he succeeded in doing what few pirates managed, and that was to get home with his money and without being hanged.
The island of Trinidad is of much the same shape and size as Wales. It lies only seven miles off the northern coast of South America. It was first discovered by Christopher Columbus, the great Spanish explorer, on July 31st, 1498, and it became a Spanish colony.
A hundred years later the island was visited by Sir Walter Raleigh in his search for El Dorado – that is, a land of gold which was supposed to exist somewhere in that part of the world. Raleigh made a boat expedition up the mighty Orinoco River, which runs out of the mainland just opposite Trinidad.
He was always hoping to find the gold country, but as day after day of toilsome rowing was accomplished in the heavy heat of that country, and as his provisions ran short and his men began to die fast from fever and starvation, Raleigh was at length forced to give up his expedition and return to Trinidad. But he did not sulk about or give way to despair; like a true Scout, he said cheerily that he had been learning how to tackle the difficulty in a better way for another time.
In 1594 the Duke of Northumberland fitted out an expedition of two small ships and two boats,