Sulu Archipelago, Philippine Islands, 3 January 1762
As I gazed out over the massive bows of the “London”, it seemed to me that in all my Eastern wanderings, I had rarely seen anything to compare with this enchanting spot. The surroundings islands – and there were many – appeared fertile, lush and well-cultivated. Gentle, undulating slopes rose up in places to over 4000 feet, presenting an ever-varying contrast of dense forest and wide open savannah, of harsh sunlight and textured shadows, of cool waterfalls tumbling into fast-flowing rivers, of gently smoldering volcanoes and bubbling hot springs – a profusion of all the creative and destructive powers Nature could offer.
Down by the shoreline the coral coves, capes and headlands seemed to rise up almost perpendicularly from the surrounding lagoons. And, dotted here and there, on the flanks of the rich, sun-drenched foothills, among the stately coconut palms whose luxuriant fronds…
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