This is the first Stage Pirate Coast
Al Hoceima (Badis)
To Tetouan


Pirate notes

Cristel notes

Here are Leo's own words on Badis:

"Badis is a town built on the Mediterranean. The Spanish call it Velez de la Gomera. It has about 600 homes. Some of our historians say it was built by Africans, others think it was built by the Goths. Regardless, it is built between two high mountains, near a big valley which turns into a river when it rains. The town has a market with many stalls and a decent sized mosque. However, there is no drinking water. There is a well outside the town, near a saint's tomb: it's dangerous to draw water from this well at night, for it is filled with leaches.The inhabitants are either fishermen or corsairs. The latter attack Christian coasts with their ships.

Around Badis, the mountains are high and dry. They are full of good wood for building ships. The mountain dwellers live off of this wood commerce. Wheat does not grow in this region, so bread is made of barley. People mostly eat sardines and other fish, for fishermen take in so many fish that they need the help of locals to lift their nets. So the poor usually linger on the beaches, offering their help to incoming boats. Sardines are salted and sent into the mountains. The town still has a Jewish quarter, where one can buy wine. Locals believe wine is a divine liquor. Every night, in the warm months, the people go out in rowing boats, and drink and sing.Badis has a fort, but not a very strong one. The local lord lives there. Nearby, he has a palace with a beautiul garden.

On the seafront there is a boat building business, making galleys and smaller boats; as the lord often sends armored ships to Christian lands. This is why King Fernando of Spain sent a fleet commanded by Pedro Navarro to take control of an island just across Badis.
On that island, he built a fort, filled it with soldiers, food and arms. The Spanish aimed at people in the streets, and killed a few. The lord of Badis asked the King of Fes for help, and the latter sent troops to his defense. But many of these were killed, others were made prisonners and the rest fled back to Fes, wounded. The Christians held on to this island for 11 years, until the King of Fes sent another army to defeat them. Thanks to the help of a Spanish soldier who killed his captain for having slept with his wife, the island went back to the Moors. They killed all the Christians, but the treacherous soldier and his wife, whom they warmly thanked for their help. I heard this story in Naples, from people who were there. At the time I was in Fes.
Nowadays, the lord of Badis looks over the island with the greatest care, thanks to the King of Fes, who needs to protect it as it is the closest Mediterranean port to Fes, though distant by 120 miles.Venician galleys come to Badis twice a year with their goods. They trade and sell there. They also transport both goods and people to Tunis, and sometimes as far as Venice or Alexandria or Beirut. " (Leo, 274)

Leo's words are testimony to both the 'commercial entente' that existed between the Muslims of North Africa and the Christians of the Mediterreanean, and to the power struggles which opposed rulers of both camps. The advent of organized piracy a few decades later would make the 'entente' more difficult and the 'power struggles' more frequent, as Kings, Emperors and Rulers of Pirate Regencies fought bitterly for control of sea and commerce.