We entered and moored in Royal Harbour, no sooner than we were made fast to two buoys, we were surrounded by natives in bum boats ladened with different things for sale – silk scarfs, silk handkerchiefs, woollen underwear, cigars, Whiffs, cigarettes, fruit, etc., all clamouring to sell their wares which was most amusing.
What with the troops shouting what articles they wanted and the chattering of the natives it was a proper babel for about an hour. Many transactions were made by lowering the money over the side of the boat, in a basket attached to a rope. Many of the fellows received with their change a coin value one third of a farthing.
A young fellow a native about 15 years of age, was diving in the water after money which the troops threw in, not once did I see him miss one.
The view of the town was good what we could see of it, if time could have been spent on shore no doubt we would find it of marked interest.
It appears to be well fortified, the guns although not covered up in any way, were not noticeable till getting quite close, owing to them being the same color as the surrounding buildings, a kind of light ochre color.
The town had every appearance of an Oriental Place, domes on some of the large buildings and minarets, which appeared to be built of a kind of light buff stone.