[Footnote 292: This is to be understood of 1541, when visited by De Castro. Since the Turkish conquest, Mokha and other places have greater trade.—Purch.]
Continuation of the Voyage from Swakem to Comol.
We remained in the haven of Swakem from the 1st to the 9th of March 1541, when an hour before sunset we weighed from before the city, and anchored for the night at the mouth of the channel. We weighed again on the 10th, and came again to anchor at night, when the dew was wonderfully great. On the 11th it blew a storm from the north, so violent that it raised great mountains of sand along the sea coast, after which it dispersed them, and the air remained obscured by the sand as if it had been a great mist or smoke. We remained at anchor all this day, and on the 12th we left this channel two leagues beyond Swakem, and being without the channel we made sail. About a league and a half from the coast there were so many rocks, shoals, and flats, on which the sea continually broke, that we had to take in our sails and row for three hours, till we got beyond these shoals, after which we again made sail. At evening we came to anchor within the bank by a very narrow channel, a league beyond that we had been last in, and three leagues from Swakem, but the channel within the entrance was large, with clean ground, and perfectly secure in all winds.
The 13th we went out of this channel an hour before day, and about a cannon-shot to seaward we saw a long range of shoals with broken water, seeming to stretch in the same direction with the coast. At eleven o’clock the wind turned to the N.N.W. and as our course was N.W. we were unable to make way, and had to fasten our vessels to the rocks on these shoals, where we lay about three hours. About two o’clock afternoon the wind freshened at N.N.E. and we made sail N.W. But coming to the bank landward, we took in our sails and rowed into a channel within the bank, where we came to anchor. This channel is very narrow and winding, being about seven leagues beyond Swakem, whence the coast to this place runs