Three planters came to me one morning. They needed more workers just like me. They were going to go on a journey to Guinea. They told me that I could go with them. If the expedition was successful, I was going to get some new slaves. I started to arrange all of my documents. In case I didn’t return, all my things would be left to my friend, the captain.
I left my comfortable life in Brazil very quickly. I regret it now. I left Brazil the same day that I left my parents’ house eight years ago – on the 1st of September. Our ship was very big, but we had only 17 men and 6 guns. It was full of things for trade. We had glass, mirrors, knives, scissors, and other similar things.
The weather was good but very hot at the beginning of our journey. A hurricane came two weeks later. Our ship was in danger for the next twelve days. Two men were washed overboard. When the hurricane was gone, we saw that we were close to the northern part of Brazil, near the Orinoco River. This was not part of our plan. The ship was badly damaged and we couldn’t go to Africa. The captain wanted to go back and repair the ship, but I didn’t want to go back. We talked about it, and we decided to go to Barbados and repair the ship there.
We set out on this short trip, but a second storm came. It drove us far out to sea. The next morning, a sailor shouted, “Land!” At that moment, the ship got stuck. The sea was not deep enough. We thought that the ship was going to break every second. We all moved onto a smaller boat. This was very dangerous as there were many of us and the boat was small. The wind was strong and we knew that we were going to crash.