Meanwhile inter-Asiatic intercourse by means of sea-routes had been steadily on the increase since the discovery of the way to utilize the monsoons and to sail directly to and fro across the Indian Ocean (attributed to the Greek pilot Hippalus) had been made.
79 Hippalus took advantage of the regular alternation of the monsoons to make the voyage from the Red Sea to India across the open ocean out of sight of land.
Among the islands of the Malay Archipelago the force of the monsoons is much interrupted, and the position of this region on the equator otherwise modifies the directions of the prevailing winds.
The China Sea is fully exposed to both monsoons, the normal directions of which nearly coincide with the centre of the channel between the continent of Asia and the eastern islands.
The seas surrounding the Japanese islands may be called a resort of fishes, for, in addition to numerous species which abide there permanently, there are migatory kinds, coming and going with the monsoons and with the great ocean streams that set to and from the shores.
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