The ships from Portugal for India usually depart between the 10th and 15th of March, going direct for the coast of Melinda and Mozambique, which they reach in July, whence they proceed to Goa. If they do not reach the coast of Melinda in July, they cannot fetch Melinda that year, but must return to the island of St Helena. If they are unable to make that island, then they run as lost on the coast of Guinea. If they reach the coast of Melinda in time, and set forwards for Goa, but are unable to make that port by the 15th September, they then go to Cochin; but, if unable to get into Cochin, they must return and winter on the coast of Mozambique. Yet, in the year 1580, the ship San Lorenzo arrived there on the 8th of October, sore tempest-beaten, to the great admiration of every one, as the like had not been seen before.
The ships bound for Portugal leave Cochin between the 15th and 31st January, steering for Cabo de buona Speranza, and the isle of St Helena, which island is about midway, being in lat. 16 deg. S. It is a small island, but fruitful of all things, with great store of fruit, and gives great succour to the ships homeward-bound from India to Portugal. It is not long since that island was discovered, by a ship that came from the Indies in a great storm. They found in it such abundance of wild beasts and boars, and all sorts of fruit, that, by these means, this ship, which had been four months at sea, was wonderfully refreshed both with food and water. It received its name because discovered on the day of St Helen. This island is so great a succour to the Portuguese ships, that many of them would surely perish if it were not for the aid they get here. For this reason, the King of Portugal caused a church to be built here to the honour of St Helena, where only two hermits reside, all others being forbidden to inhabit there, that the ships may be the better supplied with victuals, as on coming from India they are usually but slenderly provided, because no corn grows there, nor do they make any wine. The ships which go from Portugal for India do not touch there, because, on leaving Portugal, they are fully provided with bread and water for eight months. No other person can inhabit St Helena except the two hermits, or perchance some sick person who may be left there on shore under the care of the hermits, for his help and recovery.
Ships depart from Goa for Mozambique between the 10th and 15th of January; and from Mozambique for Goa between the 8th and 31st August, arriving at Chaul or Goa any time in October, or till the 15th of November.
From Ormus ships bound for Bengal depart between the 15th and 20th of June, going to winter at Teve? whence they resume their voyage for Bengal about the 15th of August.
First Voyage of the English to India in 1591; begun by Captain George Raymond, and completed by Captain James Lancaster.