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.
a large fine bay, it juts out into a large high cape or point, which is three short leagues from Suez, at the other extremity of this bay, and from that first promontory to Suez the land bears N.W. by N. and S.E. by S. The shore of this bay is very high and rough, and at the same time entirely parched and barren.  The whole of this large bay, except very near the shore, is so deep that we had no ground with fifty fathom, and the bottom is a soft sand lake ouze.  This bay I hold to have been undoubtedly the Sinus Elaniticus of the ancients, though Strabo and Ptolemy, being both deceived in regard to its situation, placed it on the coast of Stony Arabia at Toro.  This I mentioned before, when describing Toro, that Strabo says the Arabian Gulf ends in two bays, one called Elaniticus on the Arabian side, and the other on the Egyptian side where stands the City of Heroes[321].  Ptolemy evidently fixes the elanitic sinus on the coast of Arabia, where Toro now stands; which is very wonderful, considering that Ptolemy Was born in Alexandria, where he wrote his Cosmography and resided all his life, and which city is so very near these places.

[Footnote 321:  No description can be more explicit:  but Don John unfortunately knew not of the eastern sinus, and found himself constrained to find both sinuses in one gulf.—­E.]

The 26th of April we set sail, and at eleven o’clock we lowered our sails, rowing along shore, where we cast anchor.  Two hours before sunset we weighed again with the wind at north and rowed along shore; and before the sun set we anchored behind a point of land on the Arabian shore, which sheltered us effectually from the north wind, having advanced only a league and a half this day.  This point is three small leagues short of Suez, and is directly east of the N.W. point of the Great Gulf, distance about a league.  From this point, about half a league inland, is the fountain of Moses already mentioned.  As soon as we had cast anchor we went on shore, whence we saw the end of this sea, which we had hitherto thought without end, and could plainly see the masts of the Turkish ships.  All this gave us much satisfaction, yet mixed with much anxiety.  As the wind blew hard all night from the north, we remained at anchor behind the point till day.

On the morning of the 27th, the wind blowing hard at N.N.W. we remained at anchor till ten, when we departed from the point and made for Suez with our oars.  When about a league from the end of the sea, I went before with two catures to examine the situation of Suez and to look out for a proper landing-place.  We got close up to Suez about three o’clock in the afternoon, where we saw many troops of horse in the field, and two great bands of foot-soldiers in the town, who made many shots at us from a blockhouse.  The Turkish navy at this place consisted of forty-one large gallies, and nine great ships.  Having completed the examination, and returned to our fleet, we all went to the point of land to the west of the bay, and came to anchor near the shore in five fathoms water, in an excellent harbour, the bottom a fine soft sand.

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