Page 114 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 did the frequency increase. Dutch Chinamen called at the Cape on both their way out and back and this took much time, as already mentioned. For the other ships a short break at the Cape Verde Islands on the way out, and at S. Helena on return, was sufficient. They also took in fresh food and water while anchoring in Sunda Strait. This took at most from five to seven days.
After 1756 the Dutch Chinamen on their voyage out had to call at Batavia from the Sunda Strait, to unload passengers and goods and to take in merchandize. In the Republic they had taken on board three hundred or more heads. So it can justifiably be stated that for the VOC the actual China trade started in Batavia. For the other companies it started in Europe; their ships were manned for a trading voyage and not simultaneously used for passenger transport, so that they had more space for victuals and needed to spend less time at ports of call. During the six years of direct China trade in 1728-1734 the VOC too was able to confine itself to small crews.
There is yet another reason why the comparison of the duration of round trips does not work. The French, Danes and Swedes tried to keep the voyage to Canton as brief as possible and in view of the monsoon in the South China Sea they chose the wintermonths for departure. Experience showed them that ships could leave later and later, eventually even in early spring. But such considerations did not count with the VOC. Departure dates of the Batavia-Canton traders were independent of the monsoon. The period of departure from the Republic stretched over many months, extending the duration of the round trip unintentionally.
There is however one possibility for a true comparison of the speed of Dutch ships with that of others, namely the return voyage from Canton. All European ships in Canton were dependent on the same trading and weather conditions. The sooner they departed round the turn of the year, the earlier in the summer did the tea arrive at auction in Europe. The tendency is clear throughout the eighteenth century: the Chinamen came home earlier and earlier.
Table 25: Survey of months of arrival home of French, Swedish, Danish and Dutch China- men23
French 1719-69 1770-90 Swedish 1731-64 1765-95 Danish 1732-71 1772-92 Dutch 1730-64 1765-93
1 3 11 42 9 2 1
1 1 12 10 5 2 1 1
- 1 9 19 13 4 3 —
April May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov.
Dec. tota
5 74 33
49 51
59 40
78 91
1 3
4 30 14 1 2
- 18 28 11 1 1
- 2 8 20 7 2
- - 12 24 21 14 4
1 10 45 23 9 3 —
23 Based on: Dermigny, La Chine, 247-248, Velschow, 'Voyages', 150, G0bel, 'Kinafarter', 38-41 and the List.

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