Juan Fernandez described the natives of the coast as wandering shepherds, of the same race with the Moor who had been brought over to Portugal by Antonio Gonzales in the former voyage. After he had been conveyed to a considerable distance inland, he was stripped of all his clothes, and even deprived of all the provisions he had taken on shore. A tattered coarse rug, called an alhaik, was given him instead of the clothes he had been deprived of. His food was principally a small farinaceous seed, varied sometimes by the roots which he could find in the desert, or the tender sprouts of wild plants. The inhabitants, among whom he lived as a slave, unless when better supplied by means of the chase, fed on dried lizards, and on a species of locust or grasshopper. Water was bad, or scarce, and their chief drink was milk. They only killed some of their cattle on certain great festivals; and, like the Tartars, they roamed from place to place in quest of a precarious sustenance for their flocks and herds. The whole country presented only extensive wastes of barren sand, or an uncultivated heath, where a few Indian figs here and there variegated the dreary and extensive inhospitable plain. A short time before he rejoined his countrymen, Fernandez acquired the protection and kindness of Huade Meimon, a Moor of distinction, who permitted him to watch for the arrival of the ships, and even assigned him a guard for his protection.
In the interval between these two voyages of Gonzales, Denis Fernandez, a gentleman of Lisbon, who had belonged to the household of the late king, fitted out a vessel for discovery under the patronage of Don Henry, with a determination to endeavour to penetrate farther to the southwards than any preceding navigator. He accordingly passed to the southwards of the Senegal river, which divides the Azanhaji moors from the Jaloffs, or most northern negroes, and fell in with some almadias or canoes, one of which he captured, with four natives. Proceeding still farther on, without stopping to satisfy his curiosity in visiting the coast, he at length reached the most westerly promontory of Africa, to which he gave the name of Cabo Verde, or the Green Cape, from the number of palm trees with which it was covered. Alarmed by the breakers with which the shore was everywhere guarded, Denis did not venture to proceed any farther, especially as the season was already far advanced, but returned with his captives to Portugal, where he met with a flattering reception from Don Henry, both on account of his discovery of the Cape de Verd, and for the natives he had procured from the newly discovered coast, without having been traded for with the Moors.
Progress of Discovery from Cape de Verd to the Gambia.