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.

[Footnote 299:  In our mode of counting time, three in the morning of the 8th.—­E.]

[Footnote 300:  This nautical language is so different from that of the present day as to be almost unintelligible.  They appear to have sailed in a winding channel, in which the wind was sometimes scant, sometimes large and sometimes contrary; so that occasionally they had to tack or turn to windward.  The strange word roamour, which has occurred once before, may be conjectured to mean that operation in beating to windward, in which the vessel sails contrary to the direction of her voyage, called in ordinary nautical language the short leg of the tack.—­E.]

[Footnote 301:  Signifying in Arabic the shelf of the two hands.—­Astl.]

[Footnote 302:  Probably that just before named Prionoto from Ptolomy, and called cape of the mountains, because the Abyssinian mountains there end.—­E.]

At sunrise on the 10th we set sail to the N.N.E. the wind being fresh and the sea appearing clear and navigable.  When about half a league from the point we saw, as every one thought, a ship under sail, but on drawing nearer it was a white rock in the sea, which we were told deceives all navigators as it did us.  After this we stood N. by E. By nine o’clock we reached an island named Connaka, and passed between it and the main-land of Africa.  This island is small and barren, about half a league in circuit, and is about a league and a half from the main.  It resembles a vast crocodile with its legs stretched out, and is a noted land-mark among navigators. Connaka and Zamorjete bear from each other N.W. by W. and S.E. by E. distant about six small leagues.  About half an hour past ten, we reached a very long point of sand stretching far out to sea, called Ras-al-nef, which signifies in Arabic the point or cape of the nose.  There is no nigh land whatever about this cape, but a vast plain field without tree or any green thing, and in the very face of the point stands a great temple without any other buildings, and on each side of it is a very clear sandy coast in manner of a bay.  This cape of Ras-al-nef is famous among navigators, as all their trouble and danger ends on reaching it, when they consider themselves at home and secure.  We continued our course from this cape along the coast with the wind at S.E.  At noon my pilot took the altitude, and found our latitude 24 deg. 10’ N. at which time we were beyond Ras-al-nef about three leagues, whence the latitude of that cape is 24 deg.  N. From this it appears that the ancient city of Berenice was built upon this cape Ras-al-nef as Ptolomy places it on this coast under the tropic of Cancer, making the greatest declination of the sun at this place almost 23 deg. 50’.  Likewise Pliny says that at Berenice the sun at noon in the summer solstice gives no shadow to the gnomon, by which that city appears to have stood under the tropic.[303]

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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