Page 87 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 87

 HOORN and the BUREN (2755 and 2782) in 1728 and 1729, Zeeland following a year later. They were not to call at Batavia. After fourteen equipages however the direct link was discontinued for financial reasons. Now a VOC link with Canton was opened from Batavia itself, in addition to the trading by junks, and some of the ships concerned sailed straight for the Republic with 'fresh' tea, at first one or two, later three, four or more.
In 1757 the 'direct consignment' to Canton from the Republic was reopened. The SLO- TEN (3693) made the first voyage. In contrast to the years 1728-1734 the China-men had orders to call at Batavia to drop men and goods and load other goods.32 From 1764 all chambers began to take part in this link and were repeatedly confronted with the fact that the monsoons made a timetable necessary. During the months of June to September ships had to sail through the Sunda Strait in order to reach Canton with the southwest monsoon via the Indonesian archipelago and the South China Sea. This was practically impossible against the northeast monsoon, which made it inevitable for ships to have to 'overwinter' when they had missed the southwest monsoon.
Overall duration of outward voyage
The ship itself as well as the weather conditions were of prime importance for the duration of the voyage to Asia. The quality of the crew, the sailing instructions and the use made of ports of call did also have a definite influence on the ships' travelling times. Table 12 gives a survey of the development of the average travelling times on the main run to Batavia and on that to Ceylon.
Table 12: Average duration of voyage Netherlands - Asia (in days)
1610-19 328 1620-29 251 1630-39 200 1640-49 200 1650-59 214 1660-69 236 1670-79 239 1680-89 246 1690-99 270
Ceylon Batavia Ceylon
1700-09 263 255 1710-19 246 254 1720-29 247 243 1730-39 246 279 1740-49 253 276 1750-59 232 231
240 1760-69 231 235 268 1770-79 246 209 278 1780-89 246 262 252 1790-95 242 239
1610-99 238
1610-1795 243 252
257 1700-95 245 250
The approximately 15,000 nautical
Batavia were on average completed in 243 days, i.e. in eight months. After the Cape came into use as port of call the duration of the voyage did not change substantially, except for the decades of 1690-1710 which were subject to many wars. Some eighteenth century shifts in travelling times will be dealt with further in chapter 6 and compared to those of other Asiatic companies. Research has already shown the technological development of ships during these two centuries to be so limited that it did not bring about greater speed.33 The somewhat
32 Jörg, Porcelain, 20-54.
33 Walton, 'Sources of productivity change', 73-74.
miles - slightly more or less depending on route - to

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