In 1667 he was the deputy chosen by the states of Holland to accompany Admiral de Ruyter in his famous expedition to Chatham.
He again accompanied De Ruyter in 1672 and took an honourable part in the great naval fight at Sole Bay against the united English and French fleets.
After several battles, in which the advantage was generally on the side of the French, a decisive engagement took place near Catania, on the 20th of April 1676, when the Dutch fleet was totally routed and de Ruyter mortally wounded.
His victory over the Dutch in 1665, and his drawn battle with De Ruyter in 1672, show that he was a good naval commander as well as an excellent administrator.
The Spaniards replied by appealing to Holland, who sent a fleet under Ruyter into the Mediterranean.