The general was instructed, besides settling the factories, that if the zamorin would not quietly consent or give sufficient lading to the ships, he should make cruel war upon him for his injurious conduct to Vasco de Gama. If the zamorin consented to the establishment of a factory and trade, the general was secretly to request him not to allow any of the Moors of Mecca to remain or to trade in Calicut, or any other harbour in his dominions, and to promise that the Portuguese should hereafter supply all such commodities as used to be brought by the Moors, of better quality and cheaper than theirs. That he should touch at Melinda, to land the ambassador who had been brought from thence by De Gama, together with a present for the king of that place. Along with this fleet, the king sent five friars of the order of St Francis, of whom Fra Henrique was vicar, who was afterwards bishop Siebta, and who was to remain in the factory to preach the Catholic faith to the Malabars.
The fleet being in full readiness, the king went in procession, on Sunday the 7th of March 1500, to hear mass at the monastery of Belem, accompanied by the captain-general, whom he took along with himself behind the curtain in the royal seat, to do him the more honour. After mass, Don Diego Ortis, bishop of Viseu, preached a sermon, in which he gave high praise to Cabral for undertaking the command of this expedition, as serving not only the king his temporal master, but the eternal GOD his spiritual Lord, drawing many comparisons in his favour from the Grecian and Roman histories. Mass being ended, a banner of the royal arms of Portugal was delivered to the bishop, who solemnly blessed it, and returned it to the king, who delivered it to Cabral, that it might be displayed at his main-top. The bishop then, gave a bonnet to the general, which had been blessed by the pope, and placed a rich jewel with his own hands on his head, and gave him his blessing. When these ceremonies were ended, the king accompanied the captain-general to the water side, where he and the other captains of the fleet took leave of the king, kissing his hands, the king giving them Gods blessing and his own; after which all went on board, and the whole fleet saluted the king by discharging all the ordnance of all the ships: But the wind being foul, the fleet could not depart that day, and the king returned to Lisbon.
Next day, being the 9th of May 1500, having a fair wind, the fleet weighed by signal from the general, and set sail at eight in the morning. “The whole fleete having wayed, did then begin to cut and spread their sayles with great pleasure and crie, saieng altogether, Buen viage, that is to say, a luckie and prosperous voyage. After all this, they beganne all to be joyfull, every man to use his severall office: The gunners in the midst of the ship, hailing the maine sheets with the capsteine: The mariners and ship boys, some in the forecastell haling bollings, braces, and martnets: Others belying the sheets both great and small, and also serving in trimming the sayles, and others the nettings and foretop sayles: Other some vering the trusses, and also beleying brases and toppe sayle sheets, and coyling every sort of ropes. It was wonderful to see such a number of diversities of offices in so small a roome, as is the bredth and length of a ship.”