The Sea of Darkness
To the terror of the Sea of Darkness, with its treacherous winds and currents, was added the superstitious dread inspired by legends of the tropics. Although the surf prevented a landing, Nuno Tristam approached close enough to the shore to see that the natives who stood there beckoning to him were Negroes. The Sudan, or Guinea as the Portuguese called it, had at last been reached by sea, and negroes, hitherto known only to Christendom as the slaves of others, were for the first time seen enjoying a free life in their own country. Prince Henry’s immediate objective, however, was the discovery of Guinea and the capture of the rich desert trade which kept the ports of Barbary filled with Christian galleys. Hearing of their arrival Henry sent out to the Venetians inviting them to enter his service and make the Guinea voyage.