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cannons of a fort built on a low rock island almost in the middle of the entrance, Laje Island. Inside the bay are the fortresses of Villegagnon and Ilha das Cobras, both on islets not far from the city, which have the most considerable fortification works. On this last island are also imprisoned state criminals. In the town itself are the Forte da Conceicao, to the northwest, and the fortifications of Monte, in the southeast part of it; these are not, however, in the best state. Botafogo Cove is protected by the Praia Vermelha lines (1).

Botafogo bay

The waters of the bay of Rio de Janeiro participate with the ebb and flow of the tide. In the new and full moons, the flow takes place in 4 hours and 30 minutes, reaching the height of 14 to 15 feet. Sometimes it flows continuously all day long, so the current is stronger in the west part of the bay; On the other hand, as the flood begins, the current swirls along the east side. The flow is shorter than the ebb, and usually fills at speeds of three to four nautical miles per hour. Due to this heavy flood, sometimes the sailors have been deceived, anchoring too close to the shore, and suffer shipwreck with the ebb, because there is no longer enough water for the vessel. An English ship, arrived after an excellent voyage from Liverpool during our stay, and docking very close to the Cobra Island, was thus stranded inside the harbor, and the frigate Austria's best effort, called to her rescue, could save only a part of the goods, while the ship shattered in a few hours against the rocks of the bottom. The sea, when it is flooding, especially in the equinoxes, in various areas around the city, occupies several sandy marshes and mangroves, where groves of Rhizophora, Conocarpus and Avicennia grow. Thus it sometimes became a lagoon as the sandy stretch between the outskirts of Sant'Ana, where we lived, Saco do Alferes and the main street to Sao Cristovao, which limited our excursions through the valley. The salt content of this seawater is somewhat lower than that of the ocean, it collects on the coasts, and so, as well as because of

(I) It was here where Martim Afonso de Sousa once landed (January 1531), on the voyage of discovery charged by D. Joao III and gave the bay its current name "Rio de Janeiro". Praia Vermelha was called Porto de Martim Afonso. Martim Afonso soon withdrew, probably fearing the numerous Indian warriors, the Tamoios. It was only after Nicolau Durand de Villegagnon, sent by Admiral Coligny to seize the bay, that the Portuguese were warned of the importance of the place. After the governor-general of Brazil, Mem de Sa, was conquered and destroyed, on March 15, 1560, the establishment of the French was destroyed and the bay passed into the hands of the Portuguese, who soon began the construction of the city at the current place. The Indians gave the narrow entrance the name Nethero-hy or Nithero-hy, this is "hidden water." Lery called it Guanabara.


Guanabara bay