The soldiers of Dion filled two merchant-ships, and a third transport of small size, together with two thirty-oared galleys, accompanied these. Moreover, besides the arms which his soldiers had, Dion carried two thousand shields, missiles and spears in great numbers, and a boundless store of provisions, that they might suffer no lack as they traversed the high sea. For they put themselves entirely at the mercy of winds and sea during their voyage, because they were afraid of the coast, and learned that Philistus was watching for them with a fleet at Iapygia.
After sailing with a light and gentle breeze for twelve days, on the thirteenth they reached Pachynus, a headland of Sicily. Here Protus their pilot urged them to disembark with all speed, since, if they should be forced away from the shore, and should relinquish the headland which they had gained, they would be tossed about on the high sea for many days and nights, awaiting a south wind in the summer season. But Dion, fearing to disembark near the enemy, and wishing to land farther along the coast, sailed past Pachynus.
Thereupon a boisterous wind from the north rushed down upon them, raised a great sea, and drove the ships away from Sicily, while flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, now that Arcturus was just rising, conspired to pour down from the heavens a great storm of furious rain. The sailors were confounded by this and driven from their course, until on a sudden they saw that their ships were driving with the sea upon Cercina, off the coast of Africa, at a point where the island presented the roughest and most precipitous shore for their approach.
Accordingly, after a narrow escape from being cast ashore and dashed to pieces on the rocks, they plied their punting-poles and forced their way along with great difficulty, until the storm abated, when they learned from a vessel which they spoke that they were at what were called the Heads of the Great Syrtis. And now they were disheartened by the calm in which they found themselves, and were drifting up and down, when a gentle southerly breeze was wafted to them from the land, although they were by no means expecting a south wind and could not believe in the change.
Little by little, however, the wind freshened and grew strong, so that they spread all the sail they had, and praying to the gods, fled over the sea from Africa towards Sicily. For five days they ran swiftly on, and came to anchor at Minoa, a little town in that part of Sicily which the Carthaginians controlled. Now, it chanced that Synalus, the Carthaginian commander, was in the place, and he was a guest-friend of Dion's.
But not knowing of Dion's presence or of his expedition, he tried to prevent his soldiers from landing. These, however, rushed on shore with their arms, and although they killed no one, since Dion had forbidden it because of his friendship with the Carthaginian, they put their opponents to flight, dashed into the place with the fugitives, and captured it. But as soon as the two commanders had met and greeted one another, Dion restored the city to Synalus, without doing it any harm, and Synalus entertained the soldiers and supplied Dion with what he wanted.