Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by Joe Bartolini
After we had sailed three or four leagues, we began to espy our Pinnesses, which came straight toward us, and at their arrival they reported to the captain that while the fogs and wild weather endured they harbored themselves in a mighty river which in bigness and beauty exceeded the former; wherewithall the captain was exceedingly joyful, for his chief desire was to find out a haven to harbor his ships, and there to refresh ourselves for awhile. Thus making thitherward we arrived athwart the said river (which because of the fairness and largeness thereof we named Port Royal) we stroke our sails and cast anchor at ten fathoms of water; for the depth is such, namely when the sea beginneth to flow, that the greatest ships of France yea the Arguzes of Venice may enter there. Having cast anchor, the captain with his soldiers went on shore and he himself went first on land where we found the place as pleasant as was possible, for it was all covered with mighty high oaks and infinite stores of cedars, and with Lentiskes growing underneath, them smelling so sweetly, that the very fragrant odor only made the place seem exceedingly pleasant. As we passed through these woods we saw nothing but turkeycocks flying in the forests, partridges gray and red, little different from ours, but chiefly in bigness. We heard also within the woods the voices of stags, bears, lusernes, leopards, and divers other sorts of beasts unknown to us. Being delighted with the place, we set ourselves to fishing with nets, and we caught such a number of fish that it was wonderful. And among others, we took a certain kind of fish which we called salicoques, which were no less than creuises, so that two draughts of the net was sufficient to feed all the companies of our two ships for a whole day.
The river at the mouth thereof from cape to cape is no less than three French leagues broad; it is divided into two great arms whereof one runneth towards the West, and the other towards the North. And I believe in my judgment that the arm that stretches toward the North runneth up into the country as far as the River Jordan, the other arm runneth into the sea as it was known and understood by those of our company, which were left behind to dwell in this place. These two arms are two great leagues broad; and in the middle of them is an isle, which pointed towards the opening of the great river in which island there are infinite numbers of all sorts of strange beasts. There are Simples growing there of so rare properties and in such great quantities that it is an excellent thing to behold them. On every side there is nothing to be seen but palm trees and other sorts of trees bearing blossoms and fruits of very rare shape and very good smell. But seeing the evening approach and that the captain determined that we should return to our ships. (Source: History of South Carolina, Volume 1, Yates Snowden, Harry Gardner Cutler, pp. 8-9)