A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 778 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 02.
possibility of being charged with ingratitude or want of attention.  Being a sailor, and unused to composition, I pretend to little more than copying the remarks of those who have sailed from our continent to Ethiopia, without attempting to reduce my narrative into lucid order, or to embellish it with fine writing.  You will therefore have the goodness to destroy this account, after its perusal, that the errors I have committed, by compliance with your commands, may not draw upon me the imputation of presumption.

The Portuguese ships which sail to the island of St Thomas from Lisbon, for cargoes of sugar, usually put to sea in February, though some vessels make this voyage at every period of the year.  Their course is S.S.W. until they reach the Canary Islands; after which they steer for the island of Palmas, which is opposite to Cape Bojador on the coast of Africa, and is about ninety leagues from the kingdom of Castile.  This island has plenty of provisions, and abounds in wine and sugar.  The north-west wind prevails most, and a great sea rages continually on its coast, particularly in the month of December[2].

If the ships which are bound for the island of St Thomas find it necessary to obtain a quantity of salt after having taken on board a sufficient supply at the island of Sal, they steer for the coast of Africa at the Rio del Oro; and, if they have calm weather and a smooth sea; they catch as many fish in four hours, with hooks and lines, as may suffice for all their wants during the remainder of the voyage.  But, if the weather is unfavourable for fishing at the Rio del Oro, they proceed along the coast to Cape Branco; and thence along the coast to the island of Arguin.  The principal sorts of fish on this coast are pagros, called albani by the Venetians; likewise corvi and oneros, which latter are only a larger and darker-coloured species of pagros.  As soon as taken, the fish are opened and salted, and serve as an excellent supply of provisions to navigators.  All the coast of Africa, from Cape Bojador, otherwise called Cabo della Volta, as far as Cape Branco and even to Arguin, is low and sandy.  At Arguin, which is inhabited by Moors and Negroes, and which is situated on the confines between these two nations, there is a capacious harbour, and a castle belonging to our king of Portugal, in which some Portuguese always reside with the royal agent.

On leaving the island of Sal, our ships steer next for St Jago, another of the Cape Verd islands.  This island is situated in fifteen degrees on the equinoctial and thirty leagues towards the south[3].It is seventeen leagues long, and has a city on the coast, with a good harbour called Ribiera Grande, or the Great River, now St Jago.  From two high mountains, one on each side, a large river of fresh water flows into the harbour; and, from its source, full two leagues above the city, its banks are lined

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