Page 86 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
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 the old route to India remained the most profitable one.2 9
These directions had for the time being no great significance, since from 1629 all shipping
from the Republic to south Asia was to go via Batavia. The GALIASSE (0373) was to be the last one for some time. But from 1667 regular runs were made to Ceylon, after the first ships (0921 and 0929) had been started on this route in 1660. The routes remained the same. Ceylon was the final destination, or was registered as first place of arrival in Asia (e.g. 1491 and 1494). The Bay of Galle on the southwest corner of the island became a much used place of rendez-vous, arrival or departure.
During the second half of the eighteenth century the old Portuguese seaway to Ceylon fell into disuse. Because of adverse experience on this route, ships sailing from the Cape between January and August were ordered also to take the southerly course and just after S. Paul and Amsterdam to head on an approximately northerly course for the equator and Ceylon. Along the southerly route it was possible to travel from the Republic to Ceylon throughout the year.30
The duration of the voyage from the Cape to Ceylon, a distance between three and five hundred nautical miles longer than that to Batavia, appears from table l i b to have been subject to great fluctuations throughout the entire period. The average duration of the voyage during the years 1660-1795 was 93 days.
Table lib: Average duration of voyage The Cape - Ceylon days (trips)
1660-69 1670-79 1680-89 1690-99 1700-09 1710-19 1720-29
99 (17) 101 (13) 94 (16) 87 (34) 82 (20) 92 (19) 84 (17)
93 (271)
1730-39 113 (18) 1740-49 114 (23) 1750-59 88 (19) 1760-69 90 (26) 1770-79 67 (18) 1780-89 97 (21) 1790-95 97 (10)
In 1750 the Heren Zeventien decided to annually send one ship, equipped by the A m - sterdam chamber, to the settlement in Bengal. This single ship had to convey precious metals to Chinsura, near the Hooghly estuary, the westernmost tributary of the Ganges. The first ship, the DIEMEN (3513), which sailed from Texel on December 4th, 1750, was instructed to sail through the Mozambique Channel, but not later than May. It did not call at Ceylon.3 1
In 1729 the Canton harbour became a fourth destination in Asia. Too much competition on the European market from other companies, and the inferior quality of tea imported via Batavia compared to that direct from China, forced the Heren Zeventien to send ships straight to Canton also. The Amsterdam chamber equipped the first two, the COX-
29 ARA, VOC 434, s.v. cors. res. Amsterdam chamber 1.5.1620; 313, f. 656-661. Also Colenbrander, Jan Pietersz. Coen I, 588.
30 Van Dam, Beschryvinge, vol. 63,660 and 666; id., vol. 83,520; id., vol. 87,499-505. ARA, VOC 4826 (1769) and 5036 (1783). Northcote Parkinson, Trade, 111 puts the duration of the voyage from the Cape to Coromandel at two to three months.
31 ARA, VOC 170, res. Heren 17 of 11.3.1750; Lequin, Het personeel, 10O-106, 117.

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