A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

Though not made by the Portuguese, this voyage certainly claims to be inserted in this place, as having a near connection with their affairs; besides which, it serves to complete the information contained in the article next succeeding; as the present voyage was made along the eastern side of the Red Sea, while the other was along its western side:  So that the two together give a tolerable account of the whole of that sea; and they are in fact the more valuable, as being the only minute journals or relations extant of voyages performed along the whole length of the Arabian Gulf; except that by Mr Daniel in 1700, which is very superficial.  Yet geographers, with the exception of M. de Lisle, and one or two since, seem to have made no use of these helps.  It is however very surprising that neither of these two journals take the smallest notice of that great bay or arm at the head of the Red Sea, anciently called the Elanitic, a little to the east of Tor or Al Tur, which passing by the foot of Mount Sinai, penetrates a great way into Arabia.  This has been described by the Arabian geographers, and confirmed by two eminent travellers of our own country, Dr Shaw and Dr Pococke, both of whom have delineated it in their maps[213].

[Footnote 213:  The topography of the Red Sea has been much improved by Bruce, in his Travels in Abyssinia, and since him by Lord Valentia in his Travels in India.—­E.]

“The present voyage shews the way of sailing in these eastern seas by the Turks, with whom we may join the Arabs and Indians; and it mentions several particulars respecting the siege of Diu, and particularly respecting the conduct of the Pacha, which could not be so well known to the Portuguese; serving to rectify some things and elucidate others.  It must be observed that the soundings or depths of water, though expressed in fathoms, which are reckoned at six feet in the British marine service, are here to be understood as paces of five feet each.  The time is expressed according to the Italian mode of reckoning; which begins the day at sunset, and counts the hours successively round from one to twenty-four; instead of dividing the entire day into twice twelve hours, as is customary with the English and other European nations."[214]—­Astl.

[Footnote 214:  The Editor of Astleys Collection does not seem aware that in the British marine, the day begins at noon, instead of the civil day which begins at midnight.—­E.]


The Venetian Merchants and Mariners at Alexandria are pressed into the Turkish service, and sent to Suez.  Description of that place.  Two thousand men desert from the Gallies.  Tor.  Island of Soridan.  Port of Kor.

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