New Netherland and Beyond
Log of the Ship Rensselaerswyck
on its Voyage from Amsterdam to New Netherland,
September 25, 1636 - April 7, 1637
Journal for Skipper Jan Tiepkesz Schellinger
Beginning of the year of our Lord 1637
Thursday, Jan 1
Wind west-southwest, weather fair.
In God's name in the New Year.
Friday, Jan 2
Change of wind and weather.
Saturday, Jan 3
Wind about north.
Sunday, Jan 4
Monday, Jan 5
Tuesday, Jan 6
Wednesday, Jan 7
Thursday, Jan 8
Friday, Jan 9
At three o'clock before daybreak, we set sail in God's name and in the morning we were at the northwest point of Lundy Island. The wind southeast with steady weather. We sailed then west-southwest by
Saturday, Jan 10
At noon, Cape Cornwall lay south of us; we were about 10 leagues from land. Calms and fitful breezes. We went over to the Irish coast. That day and night and toward daybreak, the wind turned to the
south-southeast, with a stiff mainsail breeze. We sailed then southwest and about an hour later the wind changed to the west and at once blew so hard that we could carry only on lower sail. We sailed
Sunday, Jan 11
About noon, we could not carry any sail on account of the wind. We still sailed south and drifted east by south, toward the coast. During the night we had a severe storm.
Monday, Jan 12
In the morning we did not see land, which surprised us, for the whole day we had not realized that the current was carrying us farther from shore than we reckoned. Toward evening with great
difficulty, we lowered our main topmast on account of the severe storm and steered toward the north, sailing north-northeast because of the night at hand. It was dark weather toward evening and this
lasted all night.
Tuesday, Jan 13
In the morning we cast the lead and struck good Channel ground at about 65 fathoms. We assumed then that we were south of the Scilly Islands and set our course southwest by west. Till
Wednesday, Jan 14
Course S.W. by W., 12 leagues. The wind fitful with beautiful weather. In the first watch, the wind changed to the northwest blowing a topsail breeze and we sailed southwest. The day
Thursday, Jan 15
Course S.W., 12 leagues, the wind northwest with steady weather. The day gone.
Friday, Jan 16
Course S.W. by S., 26 leagues.
Winds mostly from the west with beautiful weather. This day we bent our new mainsail with both the topsails and sailed south-southeast, with lower sails set. The day gone.
Saturday, Jan 17
Course W. by N. 1/2 N., 6 1/2 leagues; the wind about south with a stiff gale and during the night the wind changed to the S.E. We sailed then with steady weather. The day
Sunday, Jan 18
Course W.S.W., 11 1/2 leagues, the wind fitful with calms but mostly S.E. with drizzling rain till midnight. the wind then changed to the N.E. The day gone.
Monday, Jan 19
Course S.S.W., 26 leagues; the wind about east, steady breeze with gray sky. The day gone.
Tuesday, Jan 20
Course S. by W., 40 leagues; the wind as before, stiff topsail gale, continuous clear weather. The day gone.
Wednesday, Jan 21
Course S. by W., 33 leagues; the wind as above, steady breeze. The day gone.
Thursday, Jan 22
Course S. by W., 33 leagues; the wind about north, with steady breeze and clear weather.
This day we made two more gun carriages and mounted a gun, so that we now had four on deck. We could for the present not put any more on deck. The day gone.
Friday, Jan 23
Course S. by W., 28 leagues; the wind about north, steady topsail gale. The day gone.
Saturday, Jan 24
In the morning we saw a sail to starboard under our lee. The wind was northeast and we sailed south. He made sail toward us. We kept our course and cleared away the chests and cows so that we
obtained a clear deck, which took us till shortly after noon. When we were ready, we waited for him with furled sails and when he came near us we hailed him. He answered that he came from La
Rochelle, France, and was looking for good booty. We said that we were also looking for a good prize. He remained near us for about an hour and then headed for the west when each of us fired a
salute. He had four iron and two metal cannon on board. This morning we saw Porto Santo, an island of the Madeira group, which lay southwest from us. We had fine weather and in the evening we got
near the west side of Porto Santo. We ran then southwest by south until the second watch, with a gentle breeze. We then took in the foresail and waited for the day. The day gone.
Sunday, Jan 25
In the morning about an hour after sunrise, we were between Porto Santo and Madeira. About two o'clock in the afternoon we got a steady breeze from the W.S.W. and ran S. In the evening, the S.W.
point of Madeira lay 12 leagues N.N.W. from us. From there we sailed W.S.W. with rough weather and lower sails. The wind about north with high seas.
This night about three o'clock, a child Marie was born; the father is Johannes La Montague and the mother Rachel. The day gone.
Monday, Jan 26
Course W.S.W., 30 leagues; the wind about north with rough weather and high seas. The day gone.
Tuesday, Jan 27
Course W.S.W., 45 leagues; the wind about N.E., with rough weather and high seas. Carried two lower sails and had clear weather. The day gone.
Wednesday, Jan 28
Course W.S.W., 45 leagues; the wind about N.E., with continuous rough weather and high seas. Carried the foresail and one topsail. The day gone.
Thursday, Jan 29
Course W.S.W., 43 leagues; the wind about north, steady breeze most of the time. The day gone.
Friday, Jan 30
Course S.W. by W., 36 leagues; the wind about north, mostly stiff topsail gale.
About two o'clock in the night a boy was born; Hendrick Cornelisz, (the father Cornelis Maesen), the mother Catelijntie Martens. The day gone.
Saturday, Jan 31
Course W.S.W., 47 leagues; the wind about northeast, mostly stiff topsail breeze with clear weather. Took the azimuth of the sun; variation of the compass. The day gone.
Sunday, Feb 1
Course W.S.W., 46 leagues; wind N.E., stiff topsail breeze, generally with fine weather. The day gone.
Monday, Feb 2
Course W.S.W., 43 leagues; wind N.E. stiff topsail breeze, clear weather. We were five minutes south of the tropic. The day gone.
Tuesday, Feb 3
Course W.S.W., 38 leagues; wind N. steady gale, mostly clear weather.
From here the course was changed and we sailed west. We were south of the tropic 26 leagues during the past day.
Wednesday, Feb 4
Course W. by S., 36 leagues; The wind N., steady breeze, with clear weather. The day gone.
Thursday, Feb 5
Course W. 1/2 S., 28 leagues; wind north, gentle topsail breeze.
This night a flying fish flew on board our ship. The day gone.
Friday, Feb 6
Course W., 18 leagues; the wind north with gentle breezes. The day gone.
Saturday, Feb 7
Course W., 30 leagues; wind north, stiff topsail gale and high seas for the past day.
Sunday, Feb 8
Course W. 1/2 N., 40 leagues; wind north with rough weather, with lower sails the past day.
Monday, Feb 9
Course W. 1/2 N., 35 leagues, wind north, rough weather with lower sails the past day.
Tuesday, Feb 10
Course W., 42 leagues; wind North, hard topsail gale the past day.
Wednesday, Feb 11
Course W. 1/2 N., 38 leagues; wind N. with stiff topsail gale.
This noon we changed our course and then sailed northwest by west. The wind as before with lower sails. In the afternoon there was a severe storm with thunder, lightning and rain; so that we
took off our sails, but toward the end of the second watch it became somewhat better. We set both our lower sails, the fore-topsail and mizzensail and then sailed about northwest. The wind
north-northeast. The day gone.
Thursday, Feb 12
Course N.W., 16 leagues wind N.N.E.
Fair weather the past day.
Friday, Feb 13
Course N.W., 20 leagues, wind N.E. Changeable weather the past day.
Saturday, Feb 14
Course N.W. 1/2 N., 37 leagues, Wind about N.N.E., variation of the compass. During the day we sailed 37 leagues; a steady topsail breeze. We took the sun's azimuth at its setting and
found a variation of the needle, 54 min N.W.
The weather was fine and we then sailed fully northwest by north.
Sunday, Feb 15
Course N.N.W., 26 leagues; wind N.N.E., steady breeze. We had then sailed 26 leagues N.N.W., the wind N.N.E. with fine weather. In the evening it became calm.
Monday, Feb 16
Course N.W. by N., 20 leagues, wind about N.N.E. We had sailed N.W. by N. 20 leagues and on taking the sun's azimuth at its setting we found the variation to be 6 deg. 40 min. N.E.
The day gone.
Tuesday, Feb 17
Course N.W. by N., 26 leagues. The wind southerly, high swells from the N.W. with fine weather at noon, the wind fitful and changed soon to the west, weather unsettled.
We had much rain, thunder and lightning. In the afternoon we took off the ship's bonnets, veered about, and went about southwest.
Wednesday, Feb 18
Course W. by S., 5 leagues. Variable weather but fair. We sailed N.W. with occasional calms. The day gone.
Thursday, Feb 19
Course S.W. by S., 3 leagues.
The wind fitful but we drifted quietly, mostly S.W. The day gone.
Friday, Feb 20
Course W.N.W., 16 leagues. Wind N.N.E., stiff topsail breeze. Toward daybreak there was a very strong wind. The day gone.
Saturday, Feb 21
Course N.N.W. 1/2 W., 25 leagues, wind N.E. with rough weather. The day gone.
Sunday, Feb 22
Course N.N.W. 1/3 W., 36 leagues, wind S.S.E. steady breeze.
In the afternoon and the early part of the night, we had a stiff breeze from the east; we changed our course and went north. The day gone.
Monday, Feb 23
Course N., 9 leagues, wind S. with calms. Variation of the needle 3 degrees N.W. Clear weather. the day gone.
Tuesday, February 24
Course N. by W., 35 leagues. Rough weather.
Left the weeds. We had dark weather with much rain. About noon, there was a water spout behind our ship, which drew the water like smoke to such a terrible height, that we were afraid of it.
We took in all our sails, but it was soon over and passed behind us at close range, without hurting us. The day gone.
Wednesday, Feb 25
Course N.W. by N., 22 leagues, wind E.N.E. stiff breeze.
During the day, we had much change of wind and terrible thunder, lightning and rain. Toward evening there was a gentle breeze. After supper, we cast the lead and found at 50 fathoms, small black
stones and also small red ones, some as large as shot, together with grayish sand, about 10 miles from land. We went then north-northwest, the wind northeast with a gentle breeze. When the first
watch was over, we sounded again and struck sand at 18 fathoms. At four bells in the second watch, we found sand at 12 fathoms, the depth having become steadily less up to this point. We then took in
our topsail and turned to the southeast, the wind being east-northeast. We sailed for four glasses (two hours) or till we had 17 fathoms; then we turned and sailed north, and set our topsails to a
Thursday, Feb 26
Course N.W. by N., 10 leagues. The wind fitful with calms.
In the forenoon, we found most of the time 20, 19, or 18, but also 17 and 15 fathoms, but not long after we saw land, the depth ranging from 15 to 20 fathoms. We did not know where we were for it was
foggy weather. We supposed that there might be a bank, as the southern colonies of the English were quite near, and as we had had in the afternoon the above course. We were about three miles from
land and found 14 fathoms of water, with foggy weather, so that we could not tell much about the land. At about three o'clock in the afternoon, Smith's Island lay about three leagues west-northwest
from us. Seen from there the island looks as follows: the upper part is hard to recognize, the north point is indented, and it seems as if a small flat island lay at the south point.
Saturday, Feb 28
Course N. by E., 20 leagues, wind S.W with a gentle breeze.
During the past night we had a steady breeze from the southwest, with rain, thunder and lightning. We had showers, as if we were near land. By reckoning, we were 6 leagues from land, north-northeast
of Cape Henlopen. We found 22 fathoms of water and ran close to northward. We sounded often and found sometimes 22, but also 20, 18, 17, 15 and then again 22 fathoms. We saw many whales. We then
sailed mostly northwest, the whole night long with many calms. That night we saw many fires burning.
Sunday, March 1
In the morning, we were about two leagues from land and in 16 fathoms, southwest from the north point of the Barnegat Inlet, Bloommaert's Point being north of us. We saw many whales, some 10 or 20
swimming for at least two hours about our ship; we supposed that they were taking their course from the south to the north. At about six o'clock in the evening at sunset, we came to anchor behind
Godyn's Point (Sandy Hook), in five fathoms, good anchorage. God be praised for His mercy.
Monday, March 2
In the morning the wind was northwest with rough weather so that we could not make the headlands. Our boat landed at Godyn's Point for the purpose of shooting geese and stayed over night there. It
was bitterly cold.
Tuesday, March 3
At noon, the weather was somewhat better as far as the wind was concerned, though it was northwest and very cold. Our boat returned and we could not do anything else.
Wednesday, March 4
The wind as above with a gentle breeze. We weighed our anchor and arrived at four o'clock in the afternoon at the Manhattans, where we found an English vessel. God be praised for our safe voyage thus
far. As we learned here that the river was still closed up above and we remained here.
Thursday, March 5
As above, the wind west.
Friday, March 6
The wind east.
Saturday, March 7
We began to clear our hold and brought our empty water casks on land.
Sunday, March 8
The wind northwest.
Two of the children born on our ship were baptized here. (Marie La Montague and Hendrick Cornelisz Maesen baptized here; Storm Van der Zee was baptized in England)
Monday, March 9
Tuesday, March 10
Wednesday, March 11
As above. Wind south.
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
The wind north with storm.
Saturday, March 14
The wind south with snow.
Sunday, March 15
The wind S.
In the evening, Claes Raemaaecker came out into the bay and also near Nut Island (Governor's Island); during the night, Dirck Corssen Stam, supercargo of the vessel, sailed up the
Monday March 16
The wind S. with fair weather.
Claes came on board. This day we fetched some goods from land.
Tuesday, March 17
In the afternoon, the wind was about west with rough weather.
Wednesday, March 18
Thursday, March 19
Friday, March 20
Saturday, March 21
I brought most of the merchandise on land into a house and left the mate, Hendrick de Forest, in charge, with orders to sell it. With the consent of the director, we got ready to sail up the
river with the ship.
Sunday, March 22
The widow of Cornelis Thomasz, the smith who died in England, was married here at the Manhattans to Arent Steffeniersz.
Monday, March 23
The wind about north.
Tuesday, March 24
Peter Cornelisz (van Monnickendam) went up the river in a yacht. The weather calm.
Wednesday, March 25
The wind N.E., rain and rough weather.
Thursday, March 26
We sailed up the river in the ship with calm weather. In the evening, we came to anchor near Sapokaniean (Greenwich Village).
Friday, March 27
In the morning we set sail again with calm weather and very light northerly breeze. At about nine o'clock at night, we anchored on account of the darkness. We had sailed about eight leagues.
Saturday, March 28
In the morning, we set sail and came to the Highlands. The tide went out and the wind was contrary, so that we anchored there about four o'clock in the afternoon.
Sunday, March 29
In the morning, Dirck Coerssen came down in the yacht and boarded our ship again; the yacht sailed on with a north wind.
Monday, March 30
The wind as above with rough weather.
Tuesday, March 31
In the morning, the wind was about southwest with fair weather. We got under sail and came to the Esopus. In the evening, the wind changed to the north and blew hard.
Wednesday, April 1
Thursday, April 2
In the morning, the wind turned to the south and we set sail. We came to anchor about a mile above Catskill. The wind was then about east.
Friday, April 3
In the morning the wind was about south with a drizzling rain. We set sail and in the evening came to anchor about half a mile below Barren Island, on account of calms and contrary wind.
Saturday, April 4
Sunday, April 5
Monday, April 6
In the evening the wind changed to the south. We set sail but were becalmed. Getting a fair breeze during the night, we sailed on.
Tuesday, April 7
About three o'clock in the morning, we came to anchor before Fort Orange, the end of our voyage upward.
End of Part II
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