University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Africa Focus

Page View

Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part I (1984)

Chapter 11. Which discusses the Rio Grande, the land of the Beafares, and the customs of the Beafares. [translated text],   pp. 102-114 ff.

Page 102


Chla-ter 1 1
'the Rio C~ra;¢ithcc.! of t-re V .7 tXes ,  _ -_1- the
cit'n  ,_ of ft7 e le.'f 'res.
1.       The Rio Grande begins at Bulaaia Point, which lies beyond the channel
of the Ilha das Arcas, a island to the N,'orth, almost one league
long and covered with mangroves, tar3fes and other trees.   To enter the
river byr this channel it is necessary to do s3 oithe ebbing quarter -
heading towards the Sandbanks of Bisegue - in order to catch the water
of the main channiel on the rising tide, and to complete the passage on
the ebb tide of the Rio de Bonabo, the waterway which flows out past the
land of the Papels. Coming from the Little Isles (to the Rio Grande) by
this channel, it is necessary to come on the rising tide as far as
So Martints Point, and from there to proceed at low tide, so that when
the channel of the Ilha das Arcas has been passed, one can come in on the
eDbing quarter. This is because when one goes as far as the Sandbanks
with the ebb, that is, the falling tide, one hits the flood tide entering
by another large channel which passes between Purple Island and the
Island of lNatanboli. In the chmannel of the Ilha das Arcas, the water
flows very violently and one cannot sail against the tide even with the
strongest wrind that obtains there. One can only go with the tide, whether
falling or rising, because it penetrates through all the facing channels
between the Bejagos Islands and comes in with such force that it is
impossible to sail against it. The channel must be entered one league
from the island, and must be followed on a bottom of clean sand, in four
or five fathoms. In greater depth the passage is not as good, because it
approaches the Shoal of Pedro Alvares. This lies alongside Parrots Island,
and at low tide looks like a large rowing-boat turned on its side. Hence,
in greater depth the passage is more difficult, because of the danger of
touching this shoal.


Go up to Top of Page