Three days after I had agreed for my passage, we hoisted sail and began our voyage down the Red Sea, called by the ancients Mare erythraeum. It is well known to learned men that this sea is not red, as its name implies and as some have imagined, for it has the same colour with other seas. We continued our voyage till the going down of the sun, for this sea cannot be navigated during the night, wherefore navigators only sail in the day and always come to anchor every night. This is owing as they say, to the many dangerous sands, rocks and shelves, which require the ships way to be guided with great care and diligent outlook from the top castle, that these dangerous places may be seen and avoided: But after coming to the island of Chameran or Kamaran, the navigation may be continued with greater safety and freedom.
[Footnote 47: The Mare erythraeum of the ancients was of much more extended dimensions, comprising all the sea of India from Arabia on the west to Guzerat and the Concan on the east, with the coasts of Persia and Scindetic India on the north; of which sea the Red Sea and the Persian gulfs were considered branches or deep bays.—E.]
Adventures of the Author in various parts of Arabia Felix, or Yemen.
After six days sailing from Juddah we came to a city named Gezan, which is well built and has a commodious port, in which we found about 45 foists and brigantines belonging to different countries. This city is close to the sea, and stands in a fertile district resembling Italy, having plenty of pomegranates, quinces, peaches, Assyrian apples, pepons? melons, oranges, gourds, and various other fruits, also many of the finest roses and other flowers that can be conceived, so that it seemed an earthly paradise. It has also abundance of flesh, with wheat and barley, and a grain like white millet or hirse, which they call dora, of which they make a very excellent bread. The prince of this town and all his subjects are Mahometans, most of whom go nearly naked.