Archive for the ‘Diary of events’ Category

The First Voyage (1407-1409)

June 17, 2008

Today is a special day. According to my navigators, they say that we will soon be reaching Nanjing, China. This voyage has taken us 2 years, but we will be returning home soon. I remember the day that we had set off, with my “treasure fleet” containing 62 ships and 27,800 men. We have ventured far and wide, our first stop was at Calicut, known as a major trading center on the southwestern coast of India, which was also founded by a chinese explorer named Hsuan-Tsang in the seventh century.

We stopped in Vietnam, Java, and Malacca, and then headed west across the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka and Calicut and Cochin (cities on the southwest coast of India). We remained in India to barter and trade from late 1406 to the spring of 1407 when, using the monsoon shift, made our way back home. On the way home, my fleet was forced to battle savages, known as pirates near Sumatra for several months. Just when we thought all hope was lost, my men managed to capture the pirate leader and we are going to take him to the Chinese capital Nanjing. It is not early, and i think it is time for me to turn in…

The Second Voyage (1407-1409)

June 17, 2008

Today, everybody is at the pier, watching as my Treasure Fleet departs once again for her second voyage. I however, will not be going with them this time as I will remain here in China to oversee the repair of a temple at the birthplace of a favourite goddess. When they return, I will be sure to follow them. Until then…

The Third Voyage (1409-1411)

June 17, 2008

At last, we are headed home once again. We will be returning to Nanjing, to deliver King Alagonakkara to the Emperor. Together with my 48 ships and 30,000 men, we closely followed the route of the First Voyage but established entrepots and stockades along our route to facilitate trade and storage of goods. On the second voyage the King of Ceylon  was aggressive; After a long battle lasting a few days, we finally defeated the king’s forces and captured the king to take him to Nanjing. Is that cheering I hear? We must be near China. I will stop here, and join my fellow comrades outside in their celebration.

The Fourth Voyage (1413-1415)

June 17, 2008

It is early in the morning. The sky is still dark, and all is quiet. Today is the day, that we will return home. This voyage has been with a very important goal, and we will be honoured when we get home.  With my 63 ships and 28,560 men, we were supposed to reach the Persian Gulf at Hormuz, known to be a city of amazing wealth and goods, including pearls and precious stones much coveted by the Emperor. We have brought back with us a plentiful bounty of trade goods from the Persian Gulf.  We have also sent detachments of this expedition sailing south along the eastern coast of Africa almost as far south as Mozambique. Their purpose is to bring back diplomats from other countries or encourage ambassadors to go to the capital Nanjing on their own. It is time to wake the navigators up, as I yearn to return home as fast as possible, so I must stop here.

The Fifth Voyage (1417-1419)

June 17, 2008

This voyage was ordered to return the ambassadors who had arrived from other countries. My fleet departed in 1417 and visited the Persian Gulf and the east coast of Africa, returning envoys along the way. Once we have returned all the ambassadors home, we will return to China.

The Sixth Voyage (1421-22)

June 17, 2008

This voyage was once again launched in search of treasure as we ventured to Southeast Asia, India, the Persian Gulf, and Africa. We planned to do some trading and bartering in Africa, which was full of riches. Somehow, though, I got separated from some of my fleet. Trusting the lost fleet to find their way, the rest of my remaining fleet are going back to China with me.

The Seventh Voyage (1431-1433)

June 17, 2008

It has been 10 years since my last voyage as after we returned in 1422, the Emperor passed away in the year 1424. His son took over as emperor and  canceled the voyages of the Treasure Fleets and ordered ship builders and sailors to stop their work and return home. I was then appointed military commander of Nanjing.

The leadership of Zhu Gaozhi did not last long – he died in 1426 at the age of 26. His son and Zhu Di’s grandson Zhu Zhanji took Zhu Gaozhi’s place. Zhu Zhanji was much more like his grandfather than his father was and in 1430 he resumed the Treasure Fleet voyages by ordering me to resume my  duties as admiral and make a seventh voyage in an attempt to restore peaceful relations with the kingdoms of Malacca and Siam. It took a year to get ready for the voyage which departed as a large expedition with 100 ships and 27,500 men. Now, we are on our way back home after the relations with the envoys of malacca and Siam were a success. I, however, art 60 years of age, fear that this might be my last voyage as I have not been feeling very well. I might not even get to see my beloved homeland for one last time. I am getting weaker by day and thus, will be taking a rest and hopefull, recover long and well enough to see China one last time before i die. May the merciful deities grant me this last dying wish…