RECORD: Horsburgh, James. 1829. India directory, or directions for sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, Cape of Good Hope, Brazil and the interjacent ports. 3rd edn. London: Author.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 01.2014. RN1

NOTE: This work formed part of the Beagle library. The Beagle Library project has been generously supported by a Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant and Charles Darwin University and the Charles Darwin University Foundation, Northern Territory, Australia.

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Directions for Sailing










Observations and Remarks,





They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. PSALM CVII. v. 23, 24.








Entered at Stationers Hall.

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Pluminer and Brewis, Printers. Love Lane. Little Easte .

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IN submitting a third edition of this Sailing Directory to the Public, and to those Navigators who frequent the oriental seas and adjacent parts, the author returns his sincere thanks for their candid reception of the former editions of his work, and he trusts that the present will be found still more worthy of public confidence.

To correcting, re-writing, and enlarging the second edition of volume first, with useful information obtained, and from discoveries made, since the original publication of the India Directory, he devoted a great portion of his time; the result of which will easily be perceived, by reference to the following places, the descriptions of which have either been re-written with many important additions, or they comprehend original materials entirely new: viz.

Geographical situations of the principal harbours and headlands on the coasts of Spain and Portugal, with directions.—Canary Islands.—Coast of Guinea, and West Coast of Africa.—Chief Harbours on the Coast of Brazil, and Rio de la Plata.—Bouvet's Island.—Gough's Island.—Tristan de Acunha.—Bird Islands, and Doddington Rock, and Knysna in South Africa.—South Coast of Terra Australis, and Bass' Strait.—Africa East and N. E. Coasts, to the Red Sea, and Arabian Coast.—Island Mazeira, with soundings, not before known.—Gulf of Persia nearly all rewritten, and greatly enlarged and corrected from late surveys.—Aldabra Islands, true situation by late observations.—Several late discovered shoals, and geographical limits of Saya de Malha Bank.—Maldiva Islands, their principal Channels elucidated, and lost knowledge restored, from original journals, and other documents.—

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Directions to sail into Marmagoa Road.—Gulf of Manar.—Great and Little Basses, Ceylon.—Hooringottah River, Bengal.—Directions for sailing between Malacca Strait, Bengal, and Madras; with many other useful observations and directions, comprised in the second edition, too numerous to be mentioned in a preface.

In the third edition, now submitted to the public, much additional important information will be found, and many valuable discoveries elucidated, since the preceding edition came from the press, among which the following seem deserving of notice.

Geographical position of Funchal,—Cape de Verd Islands, and several parts on the West Coast of Africa, from late surveys.—Table Bay, Cape Good Hope,—Algoa Bay, and several places on the East Coast of Africa, particularly Zanzibar. N. W. and Northern Coasts of New Holland, entirely new. Geographical position and description of the islands and dangers in the Seychelle and Madagascar Seas, mostly all re written from late explorations and surveys.—Shoals in the Red Sea.—Geographical positions of Headlands on the South Coast of Arabia.—In the Persian Gulf, the Eastern Coast of Arabia described, with the correct situations of the Headlands, Towns, Islands, and Dangers adjacent, stated from the late laborious surveys performed by the officers of the Company's Bombay Marine; the whole of which coast, having been hitherto unknown to European navigators.

With these additions, and the diligence bestowed in correcting errors of the press, the author hopes that the utility of the India Sailing Directory to his brother seamen, may prove as great as his wishes for their safety, and the nautical prosperity of Great Britain.

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DIRECTIONS for sailing from England towards India.—First towards Madeira; places of shelter near this Route 1
Directions for sailing from Madeira to the Southward:—Salvages, Canary, and Cape Verd Islands 9
A Table denoting the Equatorial Limits of the Trade Winds between Africa and America, as experienced in every month of the year 18
Directions for sailing from the Cape Verd Islands across the Equator:—Islands in the South Atlantic, or Ethiopic Ocean 29
Abstracts and Remarks, on Passages to, and from St. Helena.—1st, Eastern Passage 40
2d. Western Passage 45
3d. Comparative View of Passages to, and from St. Helena 46
Winds and Currents in the Gulf of Guinea:—Coasts, and adjacent Islands, and from thence to the Southward 48
Winds and Currents, near the Equator, and the Brazil Coast.—Ships which have been carried near the latter 54
Brazil Coast.—Headlands, and principal Harbours, with Sailing Directions 56
Instructions and Observations for Navigating the Rio de la Plata, or River Plate.—By Captain Heywood of the Royal Navy 63
Directions to sail from the Coast of Brazil, toward the Cape of Good Hope;—Islands near this Route 72
Cape of Good Hope.—Description of the Bays, and the Coasts in its vicinity, with Sailing Directions 76
Cape and Bank of Aguilhas.—Description of the Land, the Bank, and Currents 86
Winds and Weather near the Bank of Aguilhas.—Doubtful Dangers, to the South, and Eastward 90
Islands in the Southern Ocean.—Directions to Sail from the Cape of Good Hope, toward Bass' Strait, and Cape Van Diemen.—Winds and Currents 95
Dangers near the West Coast of New Holland, near Sandalwood Island, and Timor 104
Sailing Directions from St. Paul, toward the North-west Cape of New Holland, and the Straits East of Java.—North-west Coast of New Holland and Islands 112
Islands to the South and S. Eastward of Java; adjacent Straits, and South Coast.—Directions to sail from St. Paul, to the Strait of Sunda 117
Directions for the Outer Passage, to places on either side the Bay of Bengal;—Prevailing Winds in the Indian Seas 125
Directions to sail from the Cape of Good Hope, to Bombay, the Malabar Coast, or Ceylon; also from Mauritius to Ceylon, by the Middle Passage, &c 128
Directions for the Passage to the Eastward of Madagascar 131
Directions for sailing to the Islands Roderigue, Mauritius, and Bourbon:—Description of them, and the Passage from thence towards India 132

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Eastern Coast of Madagascar.—With Sailing Directions 139
Archipelago of Islands, and Dangers, North, and North-east, of Madagascar 145
Chagos Archipelago, with Sailing Directions 162
Channel of Mozambique, and St. Augustine's Bay.—South and West Coasts of Madagascar; Islands, Shoals, Winds, and Currents 169
Comoro Islands, and adjacent Dangers;—Directions for sailing to the anchorage of Comoro, Mohilla, Mayotta, and Johanna 185
Passage from the Comoro Islands towards India.—Adjacent Islands and Shoals 191
South Coast of Africa, from Cape Aguilhas to Algoa Bay;—Bays, Headlands, and Sailing Directions 194
Coast of Africa, from Algoa Bay, to Cape Corrientes 200
Coast of Africa, from Cape Corrientes to Mozambique 206
Coast of Africa, from Mozambique to the Equator 212
Coast of Africa, from the Equator to Cape Guardafui, Island Socotra 221
Coast of Africa, from Cape Guardafui to the Straits of Bab-el-mandeb, with Sailing Directions 226
Coast of Arabia, from Cape Aden to Mocha, and the Straits of Bab-el-mandeb 230
Navigation of the Red Sea.—Coasts of Abyssinia and Arabia, with Sailing Directions 235
Coast of Arabia 239
Directions for sailing from Mocha to Juddah;—Description of Dangers near the Passage 240
Directions for sailing from Juddah to Koseir:—Islands and Dangers in the Passage 245
Instructions to sail from Koseir, up the Sea of Suez, Islands, Dangers, and Harbours in the Passage 248
Winds and Currents;—Directions for sailing to, and from the Red Sea 254
Coast of Arabia from Aden to Ras-el-had, Muscat, and Cape Mussendom.—Winds, Currents, Bays, Headlands, and Sailing Directions 258
Directions for sailing from India to Muscat, and to the Entrance of the Persian Gulf 271
Coasts of Scindy and Persia, with Sailing Directions.—1st. Coast of Scindy from the Gulf of Cutch to Cape Monze 273
2d. Coast of Persia from Cape Monze to Cape Jask 274
Gulf of Persia:—Winds and Currents:—Directions for sailing to Basra:—Coasts, Islands, Harbours, &c. 279
Arabian side of the Gulf 298
Directions to sail from the Gulf of Persia to the Malabar Coast, and other parts of India 319
Coast of Guzarat, from Goapnat Point, to Diu Head, and the Gulf of Cutch 321
Coast of India from Bombay to Surat River, with Sailing Directions 325
Gulf of Cambay; Banks near the Entrance, and Directions from Surat Bar to the Northward 330
Directions from Surat Bar to Gogo, and from the Gulf of Cambay, to the Southward, in the S. W. Monsoon 332
Monsoons, Land and Sea Breezes, and Currents, on the Western Side of Hindoostan;—Directions for sailing along the Coast. 334
Bombay Harbour, and the circumjacent Land; with Sailing Directions—1st. Description of the Hills, Lighthouse, Islands, &c 339
2d. Description of Dangers, with marks to avoid them 341
3d. Of Tides and Soundings 344
4th. Brief Remarks for Entering the Harbour 345
5th. To work into the Harbour during the Night in clear weather 347
6th. To approach the Harbour in the S. W. Monsoon 348
Directions to work out of Bombay Harbour, in the S. W. Monsoon, and to sail Southward to the South Coast of Ceylon 349

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Description of the Western Coast of India, from Bombay to Cape Comorin.—1st. Coast of Concan, with Sailing Directions 351
2d. Coast of Canara, with Sailing Directions 358
3d. Coast of Malabar, with Sailing Directions 362
Laccadiva, or Laccadive Islands.—Channels and Dangers, with Sailing Directions 371
Maldiva Islands, their extent, and separating Channels, with Sailing Directions 376
To sail between Cape Comorin and Point de Galle.—Coast of Madura, and Gulf of Manar 395
West Coast of Ceylon, from Manar to Point de Galle, with Sailing Directions 400
South Coast of Ceylon, from Point de Galle to the Elephant Hill;—Great and Little Basses, with Sailing Directions 407
Eastern Coast of Ceylon, from the Elephant Hill to Trincomale; with Sailing Directions 413
Trincomale Bay, Back Bay, and the Contiguous Coast, with Sailing Directions 417
North-East and North Coast of Ceylon, from Flagstaff Point to Point Pedro; with Sailing Directions 421
Palk's Bay; Winds and Currents on the Eastern Coast of Ceylon.—Directions to approach or depart from it in the N. E. Monsoon 424
Coast of Coromandel.—Description of that Coast, from Point Calymere to Madras, with Sailing Directions 428
Coast of Coromandel, continued, from Madras to the Northward, with Sailing Directions 436
Coast of Golconda.—Ports, Bays, and Headlands, with Sailing Directions 439
Coast of Orixa, or Orissa, with Sailing Directions 443
Entrance of the Hoogly River, or Calcutta River. Description of the Channels, Sea Reefs, and Sands 450
Directions to approach the River Hoogly; Winds, Currents, or Tides 455
Directions for Sailing from False Point Palmiras to the Sand Heads, and up the Eastern Channel to Sagor Road, by Capt. William Maxfield, First Assistant to the Marine Surveyor General, with Remarks on Thornhill's Channel, the Old Channel, Lacam's Channel, &c. 462
Storms near and in the River Hoogly. Lacam's Channel, Codjee Deep;—Tides, and the Bore 469
Coast of Bengal from Codjee Deep, to Chittagong, and the Interjacent Rivers 473
Monsoons and Currents in the Bay of Bengal 478
Directions to s from the Southern parts of the Bay, toward Bengal, in both Monsoons 482
Directions for sailing from Bengal to Madras, and the Southern parts of the Bay, during both Monsoons 484
Directions for sailing from Bengal, Madras, or other parts of the Bay; by the Southern Passage to Bombay, or other places to the Westward, during the S. W. Monsoon 488
Directions for sailing between Bengal or Madras, and the Strait of Malacca 490

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By unremitted attention to the correction of the press, it appears, that no errors of consequence have crept into this Volume, for after a careful perusal of every sheet as it issued from the press, it is satisfactory to observe, that the following abberration only, has been found.


from bottom 13 for 20° 5′ N. read 20° 53′ N.

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PARTICULAR, OR LOCAL WINDS, WEATHER, AND CURRENTS, are described as they prevail, in the different parts of this work, to which the reader is referred; yet, it may, nevertheless, be expedient, to give here, a summary view of the winds in general, with some remarks on causes which usually produce the prevailing winds on the surface of our globe.

Principal causes of Winds.

WIND is only a current of air, or a part of our atmosphere in a state of more or less rapid motion; its principal cause, is a partial or local rarefaction of the air by heat. When the air is heated it becomes specifically lighter, and in this state naturally ascending, the less rarefied or colder air rushing into its place to restore the equilibrium, forms a current of air, or what is properly called wind. Heat also increases evaporation, by which the atmosphere is rendered more elastic, and capable of retaining a greater quantity of moisture in the gaseous state than it can when colder; this may be considered as another cause tending to produce diversity in winds and weather, as an addition of moisture expands the air, and renders it specifically lighter than it would be at the same temperature with humid vapour.

Electricity must be considered as a third cause acting on the atmosphere, and having great influence in the local changes of winds and weather; currents of air are always produced by the passage of electric matter, and when the atmosphere is expanded by the presence of the electric fluid and surcharged with aqueous vapour, it is incapable of supporting a great quantity of the latter, which consequently descends in wet fogs or rain, while the denser and more elastic air near the rainy district, rushes toward it, to restore the equilibrium.

Three heads of winds.

Winds may be arranged under three distinct heads; Constant or Perpetual, Periodical, and Variable. Constant or Perpetual, are those which blow always in the same direction, and are called Trade Winds. Periodical Winds, or those which blow one half of the year in the same direction, and the other half in a contrary one, are generally called Monsoons. Variable Winds, are those which are not subject to any determinate periods or uniformity.

Trade Winds.

TRADE WINDS, seem to be occasioned by the rotatory motion of the earth on its axis, combined with the influence of the sun in rarefying the atmosphere between the tropics. The cold dense air at the poles, would naturally move along the surface of the globe to take the place of the hot rarefied air at the equator; but the earth's rotatory motion, and the gradually increasing velocity of this motion at its surface from the poles to the equator, oblige these polar currents of air to diverge from their meridians on their route to the equator, and ultimately to acquire a direction from East to West.

From the rotation of the earth, the sun's apparent diurnal motion is from East to West,


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consequently the points of greatest rarefaction must move in the same direction with that luminary, the atmosphere being greatly heated in a continued succession under every part of the sun's passage over the earth. The places, therefore, of greatest rarefaction following the sun from East to West, the denser air must move toward them, and thus occasion a constant easterly wind in the ocean remote from land between the tropics.

Hence, by the dense air proceeding from the polar regions in a northerly and southerly direction toward the equator, and afterwards more westerly toward the points of greatest rarefaction, a N. E. wind is produced on the North side, and a S. E. wind on the South side of the equator. These trade winds, both in their direction and limits, incline toward the sun or place of greatest rarefaction; that is, when the sun is near the tropic of Cancer, or returning from it, having greatly heated the northern hemisphere, the S. E. trade wind inclines farther from the East point than in the opposite season, and blows with strength toward the place of greatest rarefaction; and its northern limit reaches nearly to, and in some places, beyond the equator. The N. E. trade wind at the same time, generally inclines nearer to the East point than in the other season, blowing with less strength, and becoming contracted in its limits, the southern limit then receding several degrees to the northward of the equator. And in the opposite season, when the southern hemisphere is greatly heated by the sun, the N. E. trade wind blows stronger, inclines farther from the East point, and approaches nearer to the equator; the strength of the S. E. trade wind at the same time, being diminished considerably by the influence of the sun.

As there is a perpetual current of air proceeding from the polar regions to the equator, where it is rarefied, while the superior gravity of the cold makes the heated air ascend to the upper regions of the atmosphere, and thence it returns back to the poles, to preserve the equilibrium; this upper current of air must proceed from the parts in which the heat is greatest, so that by a kind of atmospherical circulation, admirably adapted to the preservation of animal life, the N. E. trade wind below will be attended by a S. W. above, and the S. E. trade wind below with a N. W. wind above. This opinion is corroborated by the clouds in the upper part of the atmosphere, which are frequently seen to move in a contrary direction to the trade winds; and by an instantaneous change of wind, often experienced when the limits of the trade winds are passed.

Places where they prevail.

THE TRADE WINDS extend generally to about 28° on each side of the equator, and there is in most places, a considerable space of variable light winds between them, in which westerly winds mostly prevail, forming a kind of monsoon near the equator, in several parts of the globe.

The N. E. and S. E. trade winds prevail in the open sea, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and from the great extent of the latter, they generally blow more steady in it than in the former; and the S. E. trade wind in the southern Atlantic Ocean, blows steadier than the N. E. trade wind to the northward of the equator, where the ocean becomes contracted between Cape Verd and the northern extremity of the coast of Brazil; but toward the West India Islands, the N. E. trade wind generally blows steady between E. and E. N. E.

The S. E. trade wind prevails also in the Indian Ocean, from within a few degrees of the East side of Madagascar nearly to the coast of New Holland, between the parallels of latitude 10° to 28° S.; but in this ocean, from latitude 10° S. to the coasts of India, the winds are periodical.

These trade winds are only constant in the ocean at a considerable distance from land; for large islands and continents obstruct the regular currents of the atmosphere, and thereby, produce either periodical or variable winds. When land is heated by the influence of the sun, the atmosphere over it becomes rarefied, the air acquires motion, and a wind is produced blowing from the ocean toward the land. This may be exemplified by the winds on the African Coast within the limits of the N. E. trade, blowing often from North and N. W.

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about Cape Verd; and from S. W. and S. S. W. betwixt the coast of Guinea and the Cape of Good Hope, within the limits of the S. E. trade; instead of N. E. and S. E., as is experienced when well out from the land, in the open ocean.

When the land of New Holland, is heated by the presence of the sun in the southern hemisphere, the wind blows generally from the westward upon the N. W. coast; from the S. W. upon the West coast; from S. W., South, and S. E., upon the South coast; and from S. E. and eastward upon the East coast of that extensive track of land: winds, indeed, blow nearly always from the sea, toward the heated atmosphere over the land. But contiguous to shores, sea and land breezes are often experienced.

High land, obstructs much more than low land, the regular progress of winds, for a steady trade wind will pass over a considerable track of low level land, without being much changed in its direction or velocity, particularly if that land be barren and destitute of moisture. But if the wind come in contact with high land or mountains, it is compressed in passing over their summits, as the atmosphere being heated by the sun's rays according to its density, is much warmer at the bottom than at the top of mountains; consequently, the air is cooled in its ascent, and being frequently condensed into humid clouds or fog, it is discharged in wet misty vapour, or in small rain, upon the tops of the mountains. This may be often seen on the Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope, or on high islands between the tropics, when the sun shines bright below, with clear weather around.

The presence of the sun in either hemisphere, obstructs considerably the regularity and strength of the trade wind in that hemisphere, and vice versa.


MONSOONS, or PERIODICAL WINDS, are those which blow half of the year from one quarter, and the other half year from the opposite direction. They blow more steady in the East Indian Seas than in any other place, particularly to the northward of the equator from the coast of Africa to the eastern side of the bay of Bengal; also in the China Sea, but with somewhat less regularity in the northern part of it.

Cause of them;

The principal cause of these winds, is from the situation of the land, as connected with the course of the sun, for the extensive coasts of Arabia, Persia, India, &c., being greatly heated when the sun is vertical to them, the atmosphere becomes rarefied there, and a S. W. wind blows from the ocean toward the land to restore the equilibrium. This current of air proceeding from the ocean, being highly charged with moisture in the state of gas, it is gradually condensed into rain, which descends in great quantities upon the coasts of India that front the ocean in a S. Westerly direction.

When the sun returns into the southern hemisphere, the atmosphere, there, becomes greatly rarefied, and by evaporation and cold winds from the northward, the land on the North side of the equator, soon parts with its heat, and the atmosphere over it becomes dense; a N. E. wind or monsoon is then produced in North latitude, blowing toward the heated parts about the equator. This is the dry season on the coasts of India, for the wind blowing from the land brings fair weather; and the rainy season is produced by the wind blowing from the ocean toward the land, which is generally the case on both sides of the tropics.

Were there an extensive track of land near the southern tropic in the Indian Ocean, probably a regular N. W. and S. E. monsoon would alternately prevail between that tropic and the equator, similar to the N. E. and S. W, monsoon in North latitude. This we may suppose would be the case, for although the N. W. monsoon in the open sea, seldom extends beyond lat. 8° or 10° S., yet in the vicinity of the East coast of Madagascar and the N. W. coast of New Holland, that monsoon extends several degrees farther to the southward, by the land being greatly heated when the sun is near the southern tropic.

Places where they prevail.

The S. W. monsoon prevails from April to October between the equator and the tropic of Cancer, and it reaches from the East coast of Africa, to the coasts of India, China, and the

b 2

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Philippine Islands; its influence extends sometimes into the Pacific Ocean as far as the Marian Islands, or to about lon. 145° E., and it reaches as far North as the Japan Islands. In the same season, a S. S. W. monsoon prevails to the southward of the equator in the Mozambique Channel, between the Island Madagascar and the coast of Africa, which is occasioned by the conformation of the lands on each side of that channel.

The N. E. monsoon prevails from October to May, throughout nearly the same space that the S. W. monsoon prevails in the opposite season mentioned above; but the monsoons are subject to great obstructions by land, and in contracted places such as Malacca Strait, they are changed into variable winds. Their limits are not every where the same, nor do they always shift exactly at the same period.

The N. W. monsoon prevails between the N. E. part of Madagascar and the West coast of New Holland from October to April, and it is generally confined between the equator and 10° or 11° of South latitude, but subject to irregularities. This monsoon seldom blows steady in the open sea, although in December and January it generally prevails, and in these months sometimes extends from lat. 10° or 12° S. across the equator to lat. 2° or 3° North. This is the rainy monsoon to the southward of the equator, and the S. E. monsoon is the dry season.

The S. E. monsoon predominates from April to October in the space last mentioned, and in some places reaches to the equator, or when the sun is near the northern tropic; but this monsoon may be considered as an extension of the S. E. trade following the sun, which recedes backward to lat. 10° or 12° S., when that luminary returns to the southern tropic.

The parts where the N. W. and S. E. monsoons prevail with greatest strength and regularity, are in the Java Sea, and from thence eastward to Timor, amongst the Molucca and Banda Islands, and onward to New Guinea.

Westerly winds are sometimes experienced near the equator, in the Pacific Ocean, a great way to the eastward of New Guinea. And also in the Atlantic Ocean, westerly winds are at times liable to happen near, or a little to the northward of the equator; forming a contra current to the regular N. E. and S. E. trade winds which prevail on each side of it.

Variable Winds.

VARIABLE WINDS, prevail in both hemispheres from lat. 28° or 30° to the Poles, but those from West and W. S. W. generally predominate in North latitudes; and those from West and W. N. W. predominate in South latitudes.

The principal cause of the prevalence of westerly winds in high latitudes, is thought to be, from the upper parts of the atmosphere having a motion toward the Poles, contrary to the trade winds; which becoming condensed beyond the limits of the latter, descends to the surface of the earth or sea, and blows from the West toward the East, to restore the equilibrium occasioned by the trade winds. For immediately beyond the limits of these winds, the westerly winds are generally found to prevail.

These westerly winds in high latitudes, are liable to obstructions and changes from various causes, where the influence of the sun is mutable and uncertain in the Temperate Zones; but beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, where a settled frost, and cold atmosphere constantly prevails, strong gales, and sudden shifts of wind, are not so liable to happen there, as at a greater distance from the Poles.

The sun's presence in either hemisphere, has great influence upon the prevailing westerly winds in high latitudes; in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, the wind generally inclines to blow from W. S. Westward in the summer months; and in winter, almost constantly from W. N. Westward between the coasts of Newfoundland and Ireland. In the British Channel, easterly winds often prevail in February, March, April, and part of May; during the other months, westerly winds prevail greatly.

On the N. W. coast of America, S. Westerly winds prevail in the summer months; and northerly winds during winter.

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In the southern hemisphere, during the summer months, when the sun is near the tropic of Capricorn, the winds are sometimes very variable, but prevail at West and W. N. Westward. In the winter months, they blow mostly from W. S. W. and West, and sometimes from South or S. Eastward. Westerly winds prevail greatly off the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn, and Cape Van Diemen, particularly when the sun is near the tropic of Cancer; but on the western coasts which form these promontories, the wind frequently prevails from the southward, when it is blowing strong from the westward off their extremities. And S. Easterly or southerly winds, are generally found to prevail more than any other, in February, March, and part of April, in the vicinity of those headlands.

Land and Sea breeze

LAND AND SEA BREEZES, may be considered as a kind of alternating winds, which are generally experienced in settled weather upon coasts or islands situated between the tropics. They arise from the circumstance of earth being a better conductor of heat than water, and consequently that the land is susceptible of a higher degree of temperature by the action of the sun, than the sea: this increase of temperature during the day, rarefies the incumbent atmosphere, and a current of colder air rushes in from the sea to supply the deficiency, and forms what is called a sea breeze. The progress of this breeze is regressive upon the sea, as it commences close to the shore where the motion of the air first inclines to the land, and it gradually extends out to sea; so that vessels close in with the shore, get the regular sea breeze sooner than those which are in the offing.

After sun-set, the atmosphere over the land becomes cool by evaporation, and at whatever time of the night, it exceeds in density that over the sea, the air takes a motion from the land toward the more rarefied parts over the sea, which is called the land breeze. This is a progressive breeze upon the sea, as it begins on the shore, and gradually extends to seaward; and its approach may be sometimes known by an increased noise of the surf, if a ship happen to be near the shore.

These land and sea breezes, extend in some places only to a small distance from the shore, but on the Malabar Coast, in the fair season, where they prevail probably with greater regularity than on any other part of the globe, their influence is perceptible at the distance of 20 leagues from the land.

When the land is greatly heated, and the evaporation not sufficient to cool the atmosphere over it below that of the adjoining sea, there will be no land breeze, and in such case the wind blows mostly from seaward; this may be observed in the Temperate, as well as in the Torrid Zone.

During summer in England when the weather is settled and serene, a gentle breeze from the sea frequently rises with the altitude of the sun, which is strongest after noon when the air over the land is greatly rarefied, and it declines with the setting sun. The evaporation from the land during the night, being in this country, not sufficient to cool the atmosphere over it, below that of the adjoining sea, a land breeze is consequently, seldom experienced in the night.

The temperature of the atmosphere being nearly the same over the land and sea, calms generally prevail in the night, until the sea breeze returns, when the atmosphere over the land becomes heated by the diurnal course of the sun.


SQUALLS, are generally of three kinds; that called the ARCHED SQUALL, is frequently experienced, and usually rises up from the horizon in the form of an arch, but sometimes it assumes the appearance of a dense black cloud, particularly when highly charged with rain or electric matter. From the time that the arch or cloud is first seen above the horizon, its motion is sometimes very quick to the zenith, the interval being scarcely sufficient to allow a ship to reduce the necessary sail before the wind reach her, which happens when the cloud has approached to the zenith. At other times, the motion of the cloud is

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very slow, and not unfrequently it disappears, or is dispersed, the impulse of the wind being then not sufficient to reach a ship. As a general rule, it may be observed, that if there be rain in these squalls preceding the wind, the latter will probably follow the rain in sudden severe gusts; whereas, if the wind precedes the rain, the squalls are seldom so furious, and terminate in moderate showers of rain. This general rule, however, is often interrupted by the operation of local causes. DESCENDING SQUALL, is not so easily discerned as the former, because it issues from clouds which are formed in the lower parts of the atmosphere near the observer; and when clouds are thus formed, they generally produce showers of rain, and successive squalls of wind.* WHITE SQUALL, is not often experienced, but it sometimes happens near to, or within the tropics, particularly in the vicinity of mountainous land. This squall generally blows very violently for a short time, and as it is liable to happen when the weather is clear, without any appearance in the atmosphere to indicate its approach, it is consequently very dangerous.

The only mark that accompanies it, is the white broken water on the surface of the sea, which is torn up by the force of the wind.

Squalls, and also storms, are sometimes progressive, at other times regressive, when obstructed by an opposite wind; or according as the point of greatest rarefaction is situated, which may be seen in the description of the sea breeze.

When a squall is opposed by an opposite wind, its motion is greatly retarded thereby; and a ship sometimes in this case, out-runs the squall, and overtakes other ships which are within the limits of the opposite wind.

Progressive winds, when they have an opposite wind to subdue, are frequently preceded many hours by a swell, which extends a great way before them.

Other remarks relative to winds.

In straits or channels formed between high lands, strong winds generally blow directly through them; this is experienced in many parts of the eastern seas, such as the Straits of Shadwan in the Red Sea, the Mozambique Channel, Straits of Macassar and Lombock, also in the entrance of the river St. Laurence in North America, and frequently in the Firth of Forth in Scotland, although the latter is not bounded by very high land.

Where shoal coral banks shoot up out of deep water in many places between the tropics, a decrease of the prevailing wind is frequently experienced upon them; for when a steady wind is blowing over the surface of the deep water, no sooner does a ship get upon the verge of a shoal coral bank, than a sudden decrease of wind is often perceived. This is probably occasioned, by the atmosphere over these banks being less rarefied, and cooler by the increased evaporation, than that over the deep water; consequently not requiring so great a supply of air to restore the equilibrium, as the circumjacent parts which are more rarefied and heated. Water in small quantities, parts quickly with its heat, but retains it when in large quantities; in other words, the quantity of water evaporated and cold generated in a given time, is always in proportion to the extent of surface and depth of the evaporating mass: the evaporation, therefore, over shoal banks, is always greater than over deep parts of the sea, and the atmosphere, as well as the surface of the water, proportionally cooler over the former than over the latter.

Gales of wind.

STORMS, may be classed under three heads; GALES OF WIND, HURRICANES, and WHIRLWINDS. The first of these generally happen beyond the tropics, outside of the limits of Trade Winds; for in high latitudes, gales of wind, or storms, blow sometimes from one direction several days together, particularly during winter. These strong gales prevail mostly from westward, and they are not so liable to shift round suddenly as the storms near the tropics; this however, sometimes happens, which has occasioned the loss of many

* This is called the Nimbus, by meteorologists, who have distinguished all the various aspects of the clouds, by appropriate names; although this classification, is not yet adopted by seamen.

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ships in the Atlantic Ocean, by having some square sails set, consequently not prepared for a sudden change.

The gales of wind which happen near to, and within the tropics, are generally of short duration, liable to veer round suddenly to an opposite direction.


HURRICANES, are seldom experienced beyond the tropics, nor nearer to the equator than lat. 9° or 10° North or South: they rage with greatest fury near the tropics in the vicinity of land or islands; far out in the open ocean, they rarely occur; and when they happen within 10° of the equator, they generally are less violent than nearer to the tropics.

These are dreadful tempests, in which the wind shifts sometimes suddenly from one direction to that opposite, and rising the sea in pyramids; its violence is frequently so great, as to overcome all resistance, breaking the masts of ships, and tearing up trees by the roots. The velocity of the wind in some violent hurricanes, has been estimated about 80 or 90 miles an hour: and in a pleasant brisk gale, it is about 20 miles an hour. In some places, hurricanes are occasionally accompanied by an earthquake.

Hurricanes happen among the West India Islands, near the East coast of Madagascar, near the islands of Mauritius and Bourbon, and to the eastward of these islands, within the limits of the S. E. Trade: they are also liable to happen near the coasts of India, particularly in the Bay of Bengal at the changing of the monsoons.

They are called Ty-foongs by the Chinese, and frequently happen on, and near the coasts of China, extending from thence to the eastward of Luconia, and to the N. Eastward as far as the Japan Islands. A description of them will be found in Volume Second of this work, in the 1st section, under the title "China Sea:" and the hurricanes which happen near the islands of Mauritius and Bourbon, are described in the section where directions are given for the returning passage from India toward the Cape of Good Hope.

Whirlwinds, or water-spouts.

WHIRLWINDS, are sometimes occasioned by high uneven land; when the wind is blowing strong, gusts from the mountains, descend sometimes with a spiral or whirling motion upon the surface of the contiguous sea. But the phenomenon usually known by the name of WHIRLWIND, when seen upon land, and called a WATER-SPOUT when it happens at sea, is generally attributed to an electrical effect; as it happens mostly in warm climates, when black dense clouds appear low in the atmosphere, which, being highly charged with electric fluid, thunder or lightning is mostly experienced with a whirlwind; and at sea, it is almost invariably accompanied by rain or hail.

When a whirlwind or water-spout is observed forming at a small distance, a cone may be perceived to descend from a dense cloud in the form of a trumpet, with the small end downward: at the same time, the surface of the sea under it, ascends a little way in the form of steam or white vapour, from the centre of which a small cone proceeding upward, unites with that which projected from the cloud; and then, the water-spout is completely formed; frequently, however, the acting cause is not adequate for this purpose, and in that case, after the water-spout is partly formed, it soon proceeds to disperse.

There is, in the middle of the cone that forms a water-spout, a white transparent tube or column, which gives it a very dangerous appearance, when viewed at a distance, as it seems like a stream of water ascending; but when closely approached, the dangerous appearance partly vanishes. I have passed close to several water-spouts, and through the vortex of some that were forming, and was enabled to make the following observations.

By an electrical force, or ascending whirlwind, a circular motion is given to a small space of the surface of the sea, in which the water breaks, and runs round in a whirlpool with a velocity of 2, 3, to 4 or 5 knots. At the same time, a considerable portion of the water in the whirlpool, is separated from the surface in minute particles resembling smoke, or vapour, with a hissing noise occasioned by the strength of the whirlwind; these particles continue to

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ascend with a spiral motion up to the impending cloud. In the centre of the whirlwind or water-spout, there is a vacuum, in which none of the small particles of water ascend; and in this, as well as around the outer edges of the water-spout, large drops of rain descend; because in those places, the power of the whirlwind not being sufficient to support the ascending minute particles, they consequently descend in the form of rain.

The vacant space in the centre of the water-spout, seems to be that which has a white transparent appearance, like a column of water when viewed at a distance, or resembling a hollow glass tube. In calm weather, water-spouts generally have a perpendicular direction, but occasionally also, they have an oblique or curved direction, according to the progressive motion given them by the prevailing winds. Sometimes they disperse suddenly, at other times they move rapidly along the surface of the sea, and continue a ¼ of an hour or more, before they disappear.

Water-spouts are seldom seen in the night; yet, I once passed near to a large one in a cloudy dark night. The danger from water-spouts is not so great as many persons are liable to apprehend, for it has been said, that when they break, a large body of water descends, sufficient to sink any ship. This appears not to be the case, for the water descends only in the form of heavy rain, where it is broken from the ascending whirlwind; but there is danger in small vessels, of being overset when they have much sail out, and large ships if their top-sails are not clewed up and the yards secured, may be liable to have them carried up to the mast-heads by the force of the whirlwind, and thereby lose their masts. It is sometimes thought, that the firing of a gun when near a water-spout will break it, and effect a dispersion; the concussion produced in the atmosphere by the explosion, destroying in such case, the cohesive force of the whirlwind. In the vicinity of water-spouts, the wind is subject to fly all round in sudden gusts, rendering it prudent for ships to take in their square sails.

When a whirlwind happens on land, all the light substances on the surface of the earth within its course, are carried up in a spiral motion by it. I have observed one pass over Canton River, in which the water ascended like a water-spout at sea, and some of the ships that were moored near its path, were suddenly turned round by its influence. After passing over the river, it was observed to strip many trees of their leaves, which, with the light covering of some of the houses or sheds, it carried up a considerable way into the atmosphere.

Marine Barometer useful in high latitudes, to indicate storms.

MARINE BAROMETER, is a very useful instrument in high latitudes, by assisting navigators to anticipate approaching storms: previous to a hard gale of wind, there is generally a great fall of the mercury, and even near the tropics, the fall of it before a storm or hurricane, is usually considerable. Within 9° or 10° of the equator, there seldom or never is a hurricane or storm of long duration, but whirlwinds, and hard squalls of a few hours continuance, are sometimes experienced within these parallels of latitude, without any fall of the mercury. Indeed, the barometer is of little use as a guide in prognosticating storms which may happen within the tropics; except before a severe hurricane, there is often a considerable fall of the mercury, when the latitude is not less than 14° or 15° North or South.*

Atmospherical tides.

It is proper to observe, that in the open ocean between the tropics, in settled weather, there is a flux and reflux in the atmosphere twice every 24 hours, resembling the tides of the sea; but these atmospherical tides depend upon the sun's influence and the rotation of the earth, and do not follow the motion of the moon. The rise and fall of the mercury, in consequence of these tides, is about 6 or 7 of the hundred parts of an inch, in settled weather near the equator, the high station happening about 11 o'clock in the morning, and 11 o'clock

* I have lately engraved an atmospherical register for facilitating the use of the Marine Barometer; by exhibiting its monthly range in each of the 12 sheets which the register contains, with an introductory sheet by way of example: this register is constructed for a period of 3 years, and is much more convenient than the usual method of registering the height of the mercury by cyphers.

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Remarks relative to the rise of the marine barometer, foretelling the changes of weather.

at night; and the low station about 5 o'clock in the morning and evening. The regularity of this flux and reflux of the atmosphere, is obstructed by land, but in the ocean it prevails to lat. 26° North and South; and in fine steady weather, it may be perceived as far as lat. 30° or 32° North or South.* In high latitudes, the motion of the mercury in the barometer, like the winds, is mutable and uncertain; but previous to a storm or gale of wind, there is commonly a great fall, and the mercury begins to rise before the conclusion of the gale, sometimes even at its commencement, as the equilibrium in the atmosphere begins to be restored.

Although the mercury sinks lowest before high winds, it frequently sinks considerably before a heavy fall of rain; and when the mercury stands low, the air is light and deprived of expansibility or elasticity, therefore, not capable of supporting much gaseous moisture: at such periods, consequently, rain generally falls. The mercury also sinks on the approach of thunder and lightning, or when the atmosphere is highly charged with electric matter.

In serene settled weather, the mercury commonly stands high, also in clear frosty weather. The mercury in the open sea, is in general inclined to rise with easterly, and fall with westerly winds. It is likewise necessary to remember, that in the northern hemisphere in the open sea, the mercury rises with northerly and falls with southerly winds; because the former coming from the frozen parts near the pole, are more dense than the latter, which blow from the equatorial regions. In the southern hemisphere, the contrary takes place, for there, the mercury rises with the cold southerly winds, and falls with northerly winds. These effects are more particularly observed in high latitudes in the ocean, for obstructions and irregularities will always happen near land; because there, the rarefication and expansibility of the atmosphere, are not so equal as over the ocean.

After very warm and calm weather, in winter particularly, a storm is likely to follow; or at any time that the atmosphere is greatly heated above the medium temperature.

By proper attention to the marine barometer, the experienced navigator may often be enabled to anticipate the changes of weather; and in some seas, he may by its indications, even take in, or let out reefs in the night. It is also advisable to observe the phases, and progress of the moon, for it is reasonable to suppose, the influence of that planet upon the atmosphere must be considerable, in penetrating through it to the surface of the ocean.†

Supposed influence of the moon upon the same.

CHANGE of the MOON, in most parts of the globe, is more liable to be accompanied by stormy weather than the full moon; and blowing weather prevails more in dark nights, than when much of the moon's disc is illuminated. By looking into the Nautical Almanac, the lunar points will be seen. When the semi-diameter and horizontal parallax of the moon are greatest, she is in that part of her orbit nearest the earth, called the Perigee; and the Apogee is, when the semi-diameter and horizontal parallax are least, the moon being then at her greatest distance from the earth.

* An abstract of 22 months observations with two marine barometers, is recorded in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, for 1805, wherein I have described more fully this flux and reflux of the atmosphere in different parts of the globe, from actual observation.
The influence of the atmosphere upon the mercury in the barometer, may perhaps be partly attributed to the expansible force of the air, as well as to the pressure arising from its gravity. If a barometer be placed near the perpendicular side of a high hill, wall, or building, when the wind is blowing violently against it, the mercury will probably remain nearly at the same height as if the barometer stood in an open place; but the density or gravity of the atmosphere ought to be considerably augmented by compression near the wall, on account of the obstruction it presents to the velocity of the wind; consequently the mercury should be more elevated in a barometer placed there, than it would be were it fixed in an open situation at the same time, if the action of the atmosphere upon the mercury were solely the force arising from its gravity.

† Although some persons are of opinion, that the moon has no influence upon the atmosphere, or even upon the surface of the sea in the production of tides or currents, there is great reason to think, that both are considerably disturbed by that planet; particularly, if the experience and observation of many medical practitioners and others be admitted, that the influence of the moon upon the human body, is frequently perceptible in places situated within, and near the tropics.


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An ingenious Frenchman has given a table of the chances, of the changes of weather liable to happen at the lunar points, which he makes 10 in number. The principal of these lunar points are Perigee, Apogee, Change, and Full; and the changes likely to happen with these points, he thus marks.

The Perigee of the moon, is likely to be accompanied by the greatest changes which happen from a single lunar point.

The new moon, next to the Perigee, is likely to be accompanied by the greatest changes of weather.

At new moon coinciding with the Perigee, the greatest changes may be expected, or 33 to 1 that a change of weather happens.

New moon coinciding with the Apogee, 7 to 1 that a change happens.

Full moon coinciding with the Perigee, 10 to 1 that a change happens.

Full moon coinciding with the Apogee, 8 to 1 that a change happens.

If new moon and Perigee coincide, when the sun is on the equator, the chance of a change of weather must be great.

If with the autumnal equinox, any of the lunar points coincide, there will be a great chance of a Ty-Foong on the South coast of China, or of a storm in other parts situated near the tropic of cancer.

The changes of weather do not happen precisely at the lunar points, but like the tides, vary a little in time from these points; for a change of weather, often precedes 1 or 2 days the change of the moon.

To measure the velocity of the wind on land.

VELOCITY of the WIND, may be measured in different ways, and tolerably correct by the motion of the detached clouds, when they are passing near the surface of the earth, for in such case, their velocity will be nearly (or probably a little less than) that of the wind. So that by measuring the interval of time betwixt the passage of the shadow of a cloud over two places, and comparing it with the distance between them, the velocity of the clouds moving with the current of wind, may be ascertained.

and at sea.

This may also be done at sea when two ships are at a considerable distance from each other in the direction of the wind, and sailing at the same rate on the same course: when the shadow of a cloud passing under the sun is observed to darken the sails, the time may be noted by a watch with a second hand, and when the shadow of the same cloud darkens the sails of the other ship to leeward, the time ought also to be marked. The distance between the ships may be measured by sound, if they are 2 miles separated, one of them firing a gun by signal, that the other may be enabled to note the time from seeing the explosion to hearing the sound; and the interval of time compared with the velocity of sound, or the rate at which it moves along the surface of the earth, 1140 feet in a second,* will give the distance between the ships; with which compare the interval of time employed by the shadow of the cloud in passing from the one ship to the other, and it will show the velocity of the wind or clouds, for that distance. If two ships are near each other and the height of their mast-heads is known, the angle of one of their mast-heads may be measured by sextant, and used as the base of a right angled triangle, to obtain the distance between them; which cannot be correctly ascertained by sound, unless they are at a considerable distance from each other. In

* Experiments lately made by Mr. Millington, make the velocity of sound to be nearest 1130 feet in a second, accelerated or retarded a little by the direction of the wind; but the state of the barometer, made no difference in its velocity. Dr. Olinthus Gregory, by various, and numerous experiments, has found the velocity of sound to be 1100 feet per second at the temperature of freezing or 33°, and 1116 at the temperature of 66°; therefore, deduct ½ a foot from 1100 for every degree below 33°, and add ½ a foot for every degree of higher temperature.

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measuring the velocity of the wind on land or at sea, by the motion of the clouds, the mean of several observations ought to be taken, in order to approximate near to the truth.

The velocity of the wind may be measured pretty correctly on shore by a common kite, letting it run out a considerable quantity of loose line, and marking the intermediate time by watch; then by comparing it with the quantity of line run out, the velocity of the wind may be nearly obtained, which will be rather less than the truth: because the kite having a line fixed to it, and descending by its gravity, it will be retarded a little in the horizontal motion; consequently, it will not have exactly the same velocity as the wind.

Waves of the sea.

WAVES of the SEA, are in general governed by the wind, and come from the same direction, when the latter has continued steady for a considerable time; but this regularity of the waves, is often obstructed by local causes. Sometimes they run contrary to the wind; at other times, several waves are seen moving in various directions, running into, and crossing each other at different angles. During light winds, when a strong current is prevailing, there is generally a short confused swell running in the opposite direction to the current, by attending to which, experienced navigators may often foretell the direction of the latter.

How to measure their velocity.

There is reason to think, that few observations have been made at sea relative to the velocity of the waves, which is generally greater in the ocean than in shoal water near land; because here, the mixed particles of sand and mud, and the friction occasioned by them and the ground, must considerably retard the regular progress of the waves.*

The velocity of the waves may be easily measured by the common log, when a ship is running with them. To do this, when there is several knots of line out, or after the log is hove to obtain the velocity of the ship, mark the time to the nearest second by watch when the log is lifted up upon the top of any wave, and mark the time when the stern of the ship is lifted up by the same wave: the length of line between the stern and the log, will be the measure of the apparent velocity of the wave for the interval of time, to which must be added the velocity of the ship, and the sum will be the true velocity of the wave.

It may also be measured, when 2 ships, or a boat and ship, near each other, are sailing on the same course with equal velocity, or when they are stationary during a calm. This is done by taking the angle of one of the ships mast-heads with a sextant, the height of it being known from the deck or above the surface of the sea, and correction must be made for the height of the eye above water. In this right-angled triangle, the perpendicular or height of the mast, and the angles are given, to find the horizontal base line or distance between the ships, as in the case mentioned above, for ascertaining the velocity of the wind. At the time the angle of the ships mast-head is taken, mark the time when the first ship is lifted up by a wave, and also the time when the other ship is lifted up by the same wave, and the distance between them, if they are both in a line with the course of the waves, will be the measurement of the velocity of that wave for the interval of time. In order to approximate near to the truth, the mean of several observations should be taken; the velocity of the waves may be measured in this manner, although the two ships are not in a direct line with the waves' course, by taking the angle between one of the ships and the course of the waves. In such case, the distance between the ships, will be the hypotheneuse of a right angled triangle, which, with the angles are given, to find the opposite side or perpendicular; and this will be the measurement of the velocity of the waves, for the interval of time marked by watch.

These methods of measuring the velocity of the winds and waves, are stated, principally

* Dr. W. H. Wollaston, late Secretary to the Royal Society, found the velocity of the waves to be nearly 60 miles an hour by some observations taken at anchor in one of the Leith smacks, close to the East coast of England. Captain David Thomson, an officer possessing much science, found the velocity of the waves to be 30 miles per hour, by repeated trials, when sailing directly before the wind with a strong gale, off the Cape of Good Hope.

c 2

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with the view of exciting young navigators to rational amusement during a leisure hour; and that they may by practice, improve themselves in the knowledge of maritime surveying, so essential to skilful navigators.

Luminous appearance of the sea.

LUMINOUS APPEARANCE of the SEA,* which frequently happens, more particularly between the tropics or near them, in different parts of the globe, is produced from various causes, not generally known to navigators; although it has been noticed by Aristotle and Pliny, and by several naturalists in different ages, since their time.

Of various kinds of marine animals which emit light, the following appear to be best known.

1st. The Cancer Fulgens, discovered by Sir Joseph Banks, resembling the common shrimp, but smaller; this I have often seen sparkling at the edge of the sea in dark nights, during the south-west monsoon on the Malabar Coast; which after being carried in a handful of sand, to be examined with a microscope, continued to emit light, till life was extinct.

2nd. Limulus Noctilucus, discovered by me in the Arabian Sea, April 12th, 1798: perceiving several luminous spots in the sea after day-light, and supposing them to be animals, I went in the boat and caught one, with some difficulty, as it endeavoured to avoid my hand. It proved to be an insect somewhat resembling in appearance the wood-louse, and was about ⅓ of an inch in length; which on examination with the microscope, appeared to be formed by sections of a thin crustaceous substance, and while any fluid remained in the animal, it shone brilliantly like the fire fly.

3d. The Medusa Pellucens, (or one of the species of blubber-fish) discovered by Sir Joseph Banks to be luminous, is a zoophyte, the most splendid of the luminous inhabitants of the ocean: the flashes of light emitted during its contractions, are at times so vivid, as to affect the sight of the spectator.

Several other species of luminous medusa, were discovered by Mr. Macartney, on the coasts of Kent and Sussex, of various forms and sizes, some of them very minute, not larger than the head of a small pin. Forster and other naturalists, have also discovered several different kinds of luminous marine animals, besides those already mentioned.

Although the luminous appearance of the sea is generally produced by living animals, nevertheless, some kinds of dead matter seem to give it a similar aspect at times, such as the exuviæ of fishes, or putrefactions.† I have sometimes carefully examined the water of the sea when it was luminous, and could not discern any animation, but it appeared only to contain small particles of matter of a dusky straw colour, which dissolved with the slightest touch of the finger; at other times, the sea was evidently illuminated by small sparkling animals.

A peculiar phenomenon is sometimes seen in the Banda Sea, and other parts of the Eastern Seas; and particularly in the Arabian Sea, between the East coast of Africa and the coast of Malabar, during the rainy monsoon. This I had an opportunity of once observing at midnight, when the weather was cloudy, and the sea particularly dark, but it suddenly changed to a white flaming colour all round. This phenomenon bore no resemblance to the sparkling or glowing appearance observed on other occasions in seas near the equator, but the sea was of a splendid colour, white as milk, which did not continue more than ten minutes, when it resumed its former darkness.

* An excellent paper on luminous marine animals, by J. Macartney, (now professor of anatomy at the university of Dublin) was published in 1810, in part 2d. of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

† Putrid fish are known to shine in the dark; this I have seen strangely exemplified at Bombay, where great quantities of a glutinous species of fish, resembling white-bait, are caught, and spread on the fields to be dried by the sun. These had a novel appearance in dark nights, the whole extent of the ground exhibiting a continued sheet of shining light.

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This singular phenomenon, has been also observed by several persons, near the Malabar coast and in other parts, and it appears to be in a great degree elucidated by the observations of Mr. Langstaff, made in a passage from Port Jackson toward China. About half an hour after sun-set, the sea changed to a milky appearance, and the ship seemed to be surrounded by ice covered with snow. A bucket of water being hauled up, and examined in the dark, a great number of globular bodies were discovered, each about the size of a pin's head, linked together; the chains thus formed did not exceed three inches in length, and emitted a pale phosphoric light. This extraordinary appearance of the sea, was visible two nights; but as soon as the moon exerted her influence, the sea resumed its natural dark colour, and exhibited distinct glittering spots, as at other times. Mr. Langstaff's observations seem to shew, that the diffused light of the sea is produced by an assemblage of minute medusa on the surface of the water.

Mr. Macartney, has seen streams of light on the surface of the sea, at different times, on the southern coasts of England; and upon examination, a gallon of sea water in a luminous state after being strained, left above a pint of small medusa. He has also, under such circumstances, perceived the sea to yield more support in swimming, and the water to taste more disagreeably than usual.

The surface of the sea is usually more subject to be luminous after long calms and sultry weather than at any other time; for then, it abounds with minute medusa and small marine animals generated in calm weather, which render it fetid both to the smell and taste. At such times, the sea becomes easily illuminated, by the least disturbance of a squall, or any thing that produces agitation or friction on its surface. Porpoises, dolphins, dorado, or other fishes, therefore, often reflect a vivid light when swimming near the surface, which has induced some persons to acribe the property of emitting light to several fishes; but upon close examination, the bodies of those fishes were found to be covered with minute spherical particles which adhered to their surface, apparently the same that illuminated the whole of the sea at the time, and in all probability were a minute kind of medusa.

The small particles of matter of a dusky straw colour, mentioned above, which were examined by me (but not with a microscope), and appeared destitute of animation, might nevertheless, have been the minute medusa discovered by Mr. Macartney, and called by him Medusa Scinitillans, which he thinks to be the most frequent cause of the luminous appearance of the sea. When at Herne Bay, a small watering place on the northern coast of Kent, in October, 1804, he observed the sea to be luminous several nights, and took up a considerable quantity of the water, which emitted no light when at rest; but on the slightest agitation of the vessel which contained the water, a brilliant scintillation was perceived towards the surface; and when the vessel was suddenly struck, a flash of light issued from the top of the water, in consequence of so many points shining at the same moment. Having strained a quantity of the luminous water, a great number of transparent corpuscles were obtained upon the cloth, and the water which had been strained, did not afterward exhibit the least light. Some sea water that had been rendered particularly clear by repeated filtrations, was then put into a large glass, and having floated in it a fine cloth, on which he had previously collected a number of luminous corpuscles, several of them were liberated, and became distinctly visible in their natural element, by placing the glass before a piece of dark coloured paper. They were observed to have a tendency to come to the surface of the water, and after the glass was kept steady sometime, they were found congregated together, and when thus collected in a body, they had a dusky straw colour, although individually they were so transparent, as to be invisible, except under particular circumstances. In the air, they appeared like globules of water; they were more minute than the head of the smallest pin, and upon the slightest touch, they broke and vanished from the sight. The motions of these creatures in the water were slow and graceful, not accompanied by any visible contractions of their bodies; and after death they always subsided to the bottom of the vessel.

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A beautiful illumination of the surface of the sea, is sometimes reflected from the broken water or waves at the head of a ship, occasioned by her velocity through the fluid, when it abounds with those animals which emit light. Once I experienced a splendid instance of this kind near the equator, when the quantity of gleaming light reflected from the waves under the weather bow of the ship, against the white fore-sail, was sufficient to enable me to read any pages of a book, if not printed with a very small type, although the night was otherwise dark at the time.

Temperature of the sea.

TEMPERATURE of the SEA, is a phenomenon of nature, hitherto but little investigated, although it appears to be closely united with the improvement of nautical science; the following observations, may, therefore, be not altogether unimportant to navigators.

It has been thought, that the temperature of the ocean was subject to little mutability, particularly between the tropics; but the temperature of the surface of the ocean, is affected by changes of the superincumbent atmosphere, as well as by other local, or adventitious causes.

1st. When the atmosphere is cold, a portion of its temperature is imparted to the surface of the ocean, by which the temperature of the latter is diminished; and in calm settled weather, the maximum of temperature of the sea has been experienced about one or two hours after mid-day, and the minimum about sun-rise in the morning.*

2d. Tempestuous weather, rises the temperature of the sea, which is probably produced from the agitation or friction of the broken waves, by the particles of water rubbing against each other.

3d. Currents have a more powerful influence than any other cause, in changing the temperature of the surface of the ocean; and it may be here observed, that the same rule is applicable in this case, as already stated in regard to winds, under the articles Trade Winds and Marine Barometer, viz. That in either hemisphere, a current proceeding from the cold polar regions toward the equator, diminishes the temperature of the sea; whereas, a current running from the inter-tropical regions toward either pole, rises its temperature. It is surprising how long the great bodies of currents preserve their original temperature; that known by the name of the Gulf Stream, loses only two degrees of its original warm temperature in running 1300 miles into a cooler climate, it being 81° in lat. 39° N. in summer; and in passing the bank of Newfoundland, it is several degrees warmer than the neighbouring sea in its vicinity; by which the experienced navigators there, and off the North American coast, are enabled to know when they get into the Gulf Stream, merely by drawing a bucket of water, and feeling its temperature.

4th and lastly. The depth of the sea, appears, also, to have a great influence on the temperature of its surface, for the immense body of water contained in the ocean preserves its heat: whereas, in places of little depth, the surface of the water is cooled by increased evaporation.† The temperature of the ocean, therefore, ought to be higher than that of seas which have little depth of water, in the same parallels of latitude. This seems to be verified by the experiments and observations of Dr. John Davy, during his voyage to Ceylon; as in approaching the land of Table Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope, from the westward, the temperature of the sea decreased 2°, and it also decreased 2° when the Island of Ceylon was closely approached, although the bank of soundings does not extend far out from either of these places. Were the temperature of the sea, as well as that of the atmosphere, conjointly registered in the journals of navigators, several times, every 24 hours, it would assist greatly the improvement of nautical science; and the proximity of land, or shoal banks, might probably be ascertained, by carefully observing the temperature of the sea.

* By the experiments and observations of Dr. John Davy, during a voyage to Ceylon, brother to that justly celebrated philosopher, Sir Humphrey Davy.

† See the sequel under the article Squalls, in a preceding page.

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Capt. J. P. Wilson, of the Company's ship Hythe, a very scientific officer, has ascertained by careful observation, that the temperature of the central part of the stream of westerly current which prevails along the verge of Cape Aguilhas Bank, is about 8° or 9° higher than that of the sea beyond the limits of the stream of current: and as the maximum of temperature is in the middle of the stream of current, a ship may be kept in it, by attending to changes of temperature in the surface water, and thereby be enabled to accelerate her progress to the westward during adverse winds.


CURRENTS, or TIDES, are generally experienced to prevail more or less, on most parts of the surface of the ocean. Where trade winds or monsoons blow steady, the current runs mostly with the wind: but at times, no current is experienced, and sometimes it sets contrary to the prevailing wind.

In high latitudes, in the open ocean, the current seldom runs so strong as in the vicinity of the equator, for here, it is very changeable, running sometimes at the rate of from 20 to 60 miles in 24 hours, in parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The current near the equator, and also in most places of the open sea, sets more frequently to the West than to the eastward: and when the current is running in one direction on the surface, it is sometimes running in an opposite, or oblique direction underneath. Therefore, the common method of trying the velocity and direction of the current in a boat, by sinking a kettle or pot to the depth of 60 or 70 fathoms, is seldom found to agree with the admeasurement of the same by chronometers. But since navigation has been improved by the use of the latter, the direction and velocity of currents are correctly ascertained.


The tides in high latitudes, generally rise and fall more than in low latitudes, and it has been said, that the perpendicular flux and reflux was very little within the tropics, which is not always the case. At the head of the gulf of Cambay, in lat. 22° N., the perpendicular depth of the rise and fall of the tides is from 30 to 36 feet at the full and change of the moon. At the same times, it is 20 and 21 feet in Surat Road; and from 15 to 17 feet in Bombay Harbour.

In the gulf of Martaban, which is far within the tropics, the perpendicular depth of the rise and fall of the tide, at the full and change of the moon, is 23 and 24 feet, and off Rangoon Bar about 20 or 21 feet.

In Gaspar Straits, within 2½° of the equator, there is sometimes from local causes, a rise and fall of 16 or 17 feet in the springs; but the rise and fall of the tide, is seldom so great as this, in places situated near the equator.

Although in most places, the tide flows twice every 24 hours, this is not universally the case within the tropics,* for amongst several of the eastern islands, the tide flows only once in 24 hours: the passage of the moon over the meridian, generally makes high water at these places; but in some parts, the tide is highest when the moon is near, or in the horizon.


Productive causes.

MAGNETISM, is one of those phenomena of nature, which seems to elude the definitions of science; several hypotheses indeed have been formed, and many attempts made to discover its elementary principles, yet they appear to be still very imperfectly known. Some philosophers are of opinion, that a great central magnet situated within the earth, or in the internal part of our globe, is the cause of all the magnetical influence; while others consider this cause to be merely atmospherical. But the productive cause of magnetism, seems neither confined within the surface of the earth, nor to the atmosphere, as both terrene and atmospherical matter, are known greatly to affect the magnetic needle.

* In many places far beyond the tropics, the tide likewise flows only once in 24 hours, particularly on the southern coast of Van Diemen's Land; but at Port Dalrymple on the North coast, the tide flows twice in 24 hours.

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1st. Many of the masses of rocks or mountains, which form a considerable portion of the earth, are partly composed of metallic matter, and exert a powerful magnetic influence.

2d. The rays of the sun, have an influence on the needle, producing a diurnal variation, which has been observed to increase progressively* with the altitude of that luminary after sun rise.

3d. Electricity seems also to be nearly allied to magnetism, as its influence is great upon the needle.

4th. The Aurora Borealis, which is considered to be an electrical phenomenon, is also thought to have an effect upon the magnetic needle; and it appears to be attracted by several other secondary causes.

Hypothesis of Churchman and Walker.

Mr. John Churchman (an American), who was a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburgh, and Mr. Ralph Walker, of Jamaica, appear to have published nearly at the same time, an ingenious hypothesis, with a view of solving all magnetical problems, relating both to the vertical and horizontal declination of the needle. In a diagram of the two hemispheres, on the plane of the equator, drawn by Mr. Walker upon this principle, there are two magnetic poles, represented at different distances from the poles of the earth, and revolving round the latter in unequal periods of time. The North Magnetic Pole is placed for the year 1794, in lat. 71° N., lon. 80° W.; the South Magnetic Pole in lat. 65° S., lon. 130° E.; and by the intersections of the magnetic meridians with the terrestrial meridians, the variation of the needle might be found by inspection on these hemispheres, for all places on the surface of the globe, were the positions of the magnetic poles well ascertained and correctly laid down, and the needle not subject to aberrations from various causes already mentioned. But exclusive of the perpetual aberration of the needle from permanent causes of nature, it is likewise subject to adventitious and local attractions, liable to operate in a considerable degree, against the accuracy of any theoretical solutions.

Mr. Churchman, states the periodical revolution of the North Magnetic Pole round the North Pole of the earth to be 1096 years; and the revolution of the South Magnetic Pole round the South terrestrial Pole to be 2289 years, its motion being much slower than that of the North Magnetic Pole, which is the cause of perpetual irregularities of the variation of the needle. He is of opinion, that when one of the Magnetic Poles is in the zenith of any place, magnetical tides, or great inundations, will there be experienced; and when the Magnetic Pole is far distant from any place, the sea will recede, and alluvial land will be formed. Mr. Walker, exclusive of his diagram for shewing the horizontal declination of the needle, has drawn likewise two hemispheres on the plane of the equator, for shewing the vertical declination or dip of the needle for all places on the globe; and besides his improvements on steering compasses, he has invented a meridional compass for shewing the quantity of variation by inspection at any time of the day.†

Professor Hansteen, of the Danish Marine Academy, has acquired much celebrity by his profound researches, and experiments on magnetism, from which he has deduced a hypothesis, somewhat different from that mentioned above.

Variation of the compass

VARIATION of the COMPASS, when mentioned in this work, is intended only for the navigator to make proper allowance in steering from one place to another, and not as a guide

* This I have experienced several times during fine weather at sea, in observing a series of azimuths: commencing when the sun's altitude was 3° or 4°, and continuing the observations until it was 25° or 30° above the horizon. The diurnal variation of the needle, has been long known, and often observed upon land.

† The late Mr. J. Garnett, an ingenious philosopher and astronomer, who resided long in America, and superintended the publication of an Astronomical Ephemeris there, states, that he used the common ring dial for the same purpose at sea as well as on land, which shews the true meridian within 1° of the truth, at any time when the sun's altitude is not too great; and consequently the variation of the needle from the true meridian.

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for estimating the longitude, which was practised about 30 and 40 years ago by mariners, before the use of chronometers and lunar observations became general.

Subject to an aberration from the change of a ship's head.

In places where the variation changed quickly, in sailing nearly on a parallel of latitude, navigators were formerly eager to embrace its aid as an approximation to the true longitude; but compasses being subject to many errors from various causes, the longitude ascertained by means of the variation, could never be trusted to, with any reasonable degree of confidence. The variation of the needle is in a state of continued change in most places of the globe, and there is also a diurnal and annual variation of the variation; besides, the same compasses will alter when taken from one ship into another, and if shifted to different situations in the same ship. And in some places of the globe, although a compass be fixed stationary in a ship, the needle seems to be subject to an aberration of several degrees, proportionate to the angle that the ship's head makes with the magnetic meridian. THIS ABERRATION OF THE NEEDLE, Captain Flinders constantly experienced during his survey of the coasts of New Holland, which is recorded in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, for 1805. With the compass placed a-mid ships in the Investigator, the bearing of points of land on the South coast of New Holland, taken immediately before and after tacking, differed sometimes 8° or 9° when the ship's head was changed nearly from East to West; but there was little or no difference, when the direction of the ship's head was North or South. This difference in the direction of the magnetic needle from its mean state, was easterly when the ship's head was West, and westerly when it was East. When the ship's head was North or South, the needle continued in its mean state, and shewed a variation from the true meridian, nearly equal to the medium between what it shewed when the ship's head was East and when West; and the aberration of the needle, was nearly proportionate to the number of points which the ship's head was from the North or South.

This aberration of the needle arising from a change of the ship's head, varies in different ships at the same place, according to their size, and the quantity of iron they contain, and it appears to be greatest in small ships: but in places near the equator, where there is little variation, this aberration cannot be perceived, for it seems to increase in proportion to the distance from the magnetic equator, toward the poles in both hemispheres.

Captain Flinders, was of opinion, that the magnetism of the earth, and the attraction of the iron in a ship, acted as a compound force, in producing the error of variation by the change of a ship's head; and he thought, that the error at any direction of the ship's head, would be to the error when her head was East or West, at the same dip of the needle; as the sine of the angle between the ship's head and magnetic meridian, was to the sine of eight points, or radius.

That this law might be verified, experiments were made by order of the Board of Admiralty, at Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Sheerness, Captain Flinders being present at the two latter ports, when a series of observations were made in five different vessels, which gave the following results.

1st. When the compass was placed at or near the binnacle, the North point was attracted forward in all the ships; but the quantity of error produced, on one side when the head was East, and on the other when West, varied 0° 21′ to 6½°, which was at this time greatest in small ships.*

2d. When the compass was placed in other parts of the different ships, the attraction was sometimes forward and sometimes aft; but always aft at the forecastle. The error at some of the stations was greater than at the binnacle, and at others less.

3d. On the upper deck of a ship of war, three places of different attractions were experienced; the first near the foremast; the second or central attraction, near the mainmast; and

* Mr. Bain, found the error in the English Channel very great in the Sybille frigate, amounting to 9° and 10°, when the ship's head was changed from East to West.


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the third or aftermost attraction, close to the stern. And generally two neutral stations were found on the midship line, one of which was between the fore and mainmasts, and the other near the stern.

Neither the exact places of the midship attractions, nor of the neutral stations, can be known without experiment made in each ship; nor otherwise can the points of no difference be known, nor what will be the greatest difference, nor even which way the needle will be certainly attracted; so varied is the magnetism in different vessels.

4th. The errors, however, were least when the ship's head was at, or near to North or South, and greatest at, or near to East or West; and as the head was made to deviate from the points of least error towards the greatest, the increase of error was found to be in proportion to the sines of the angles of deviation. This verified the law, before deduced from analogy, which was reduced into practice as follows. It has already been observed, that in the Northern Hemisphere, when the ship's head is East, the North end of the needle will be attracted or drawn forward to the right or eastward of North; and it will be drawn forward to the left or westward of North, if the ship's head be to the West.

In confirmation of this, when the Investigator was off the Start Point, July 20th, 1801, in lat. 49° 50′ N., lon. 3° 52′ W., where the dip was 72° N., several azimuths were taken with the ship's head at West, which made the variation 29° 32′ W., when the true variation was known to be nearest 25° 40′ W., giving an error 3° 52′ in excess of westerly variation for eight points deviation of the ship's head, or nearly equal to 1/19 part of the dip, the decimal expression of which is, 0537.

August 29th, in lat. 5° N., lon. 17° W., when the dip was 29° N., the error of variation observed was 1° 31½′ for eight points deviation of the ship's head from the meridian, or a little more than 1/19 part of the dip, its decimal expression being, 0526, the mean of which, and the above, 0537, equal to, 0531, which call, 053. This will be the common multiplier to the dip, for obtaining the radius or error of eight points, in every situation within the Northern Hemisphere.

In the Southern Hemisphere, between lat. 14° S. and 40° S., lon. 123° E. to lon. 153° E., where the dip was found to vary from 43° to 67° S., the error of variation for eight points deviation of the ship's head from the magnetic meridian, was from 2° 8′ to 3° 28′; this error being 2° 8′ when the dip was 43° S., and 3° 28′ when the dip was 67° S. The mean error, therefore, for eight points deviation of the Investigator's head on either side of the magnetic meridian, was very nearly 1/20 part of the dip; and, 0498 its decimal expression, call, 050, is the common multiplier to the dip, for obtaining the radius of error, or that of eight points, at any situation in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rule for correcting it.

With these data, the following method was used in correcting the variations, to what it is presumed they would have been, if observed with the ship's head in the magnetic meridian.

With the dip of the needle, as near as it could be known, and the common multiplier, the radius or error for eight points was obtained: with this, taken as a distance, and the direction of the ship's head as a course, the correction was found in the departure column of the traverse table; and being applied to the observed variation, either to the right or left, according as the dip was North or South, and the ship's head on the East or West of the meridian, it gave the true variation.


EXAMPLE 1st.—The dip being 66° South, and the ship's head W. by S., the variation was observed to be 5° 11′ East; required the true variation?

The dip 66° multiplied by, 050 (the common multiplier for South dip) gives 3°, 300 in degrees and decimal parts,* or 3° 18′ which is the error for 8 points equal to 198′.

* To find the minutes for the 300 decimal parts, say, as 1000 decimal parts is to 60 minutes of a degree, so is 300 parts to 18 minutes.

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In the table, with the course 7 points (or direction of the ship's head) and the distance 198′, in the departure column will be found 194′ equal to 3° 14′ the correction for 7 points deviation of the ship's head. Then, as in South dip, the South end of the needle was drawn forward, or in this case to the West, and the North end of it went to the East, the East variation observed, was therefore too great, and must be reduced 3° 14′: from the observed variation 5° 11′ E., subtract 3° 14′ correction, and there remains 1° 57′ East, the true variation.

Had the North end of the needle dipped, and all other circumstances been the same, the correction 3° 14′ would have been additive; as it would have been also, had the ship's head been E. by N. or E. by S. with South dip, instead of W. by S.

EXAMPLE 2d.—Suppose that with the ship's head W. S. W., the observed variation was 29° 12′ West in the English channel, where the dip is 72° North; and it be required to know what variation is to be allowed upon a set of bearings taken when the ship's head was N. E. ½ E.

To find the true variation.—Multiply the dip 72°, by, 053 (the common multiplier for North dip) gives 3°, 816 equal to 3° 49′ the error for 8 points, or 229′.

With the course 6 points (W. S. W.) and distance 229′, the departure will be 212′, or 3° 32′ correction for 6 points.

Being in North dip, the North end of the needle was drawn forward, that is westward in this case, when the ship's head was W. S. W., and the West variation observed was too great; therefore, from 29° 12′ observed take 3° 32′ correction, and the remainder 25° 40′ will be the true West variation.

To find from thence, the correction to be allowed when the ship's head was at N. E. ½ E.

With the course 4½ points and distance 229′, the departure is 177′ or 2° 57′ correction for the ship's head at N. E. ½ E.

When the ship's head was at N. E. ½ E., the North end of the needle at the binnacle was drawn eastward, and the West variation consequently less than the true; therefore, from the true variation 25° 40′ subtract 2° 57′ correction, the remainder 22° 43′ is the variation to be allowed to the bearings taken when the ship's head was at N. E. ½ E.; as deduced from 29° 12′ West variation observed.

This operation, Captain Flinders observes, may at first seem complex and tedious; but when a common multiplier is once obtained, and the principles of its use understood, it will be found nearly as easy as computation of a meridian altitude for the latitude, and the accuracy required is generally much less. The dipping needle, appears, however, an instrument too delicate to be used with accuracy at sea, and therefore, one of the principal arguments necessary to find the error of variation by the foregoing rule, can seldom or ever be obtained at sea: but probably this error depends more on the horizontal declination of the needle from the true meridian, than it does on the dip.

Captain Vancouver's remarks.

Captain Vancouver (as well as Captain Flinders), in steering with the ship's head to the westward out of the English channel, observed the variation to be about 4° greater than the truth, or from 28° to 29½° westerly.

Mr. Bain's remarks.

Mr. William Bain, a Master in the Royal Navy, published (1817) an Essay on the variation of the compass, corroborating Captain Flinders' statement, of the error in the variation produced by a change of the ship's head, which Mr. Bain experienced by observations on a cruize to East Greenland, in H. M. S. Sybille in 1814, and also in other places. He found the quantity of error diminish considerably East of the meridian of Greenwich, on approaching the North pole, where the variation also decreased; and increased with West longitude, where the variation increased: but he found the error by a change of the ship's head from East to West, in no part of those seas so great as in the English channel, where it

d 2

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amounted to 9° and 10°.* Mr. Bain is, however, of opinion, that the dip of the needle has not so close an affinity with its horizontal aberration, occasioned by the change of a ship's head, as Captain Flinders supposed; and that consequently, the rule invented by this scientific officer, for ascertaining the necessary correction in all situations, may probably not be founded on true principles.

It is, however, certain, that in high latitudes where the variation of the compass in most parts is generally considerable, and the dip always great, the deviation or horizontal aberration of the needle resulting from the change of a ship's head, is also greatest, in proportion to the sine of the angle it makes with the magnetic meridian. But near the equator, where there is little dip, and the variation of the compass small in quantity, there appears to be little or no aberration of the needle produced by the change of a ship's head from East to West; at least, none could be discovered in the Strait of Malacca, by careful observations taken by me. Captain Flinders' rule might easily be verified, in any place where both the dip and latitude are great, in either hemisphere, but where the magnetic and true meridians coincide, which is on the line of no variation. For, if azimuths observed, with a ship's head North or South, agree with others observed when her head is East or West, it will prove that the rule above described, is not correct: because, with the same dip, and in the same latitude, if the magnetic meridian differ much from the true meridian, or in other words, where the variation of the compass is considerable, azimuths or bearings taken with a ship's head North or South, will differ from others taken with her head at any angle from the meridian, in proportion to the sine of that angle, and relatively, to the attractive influence of the metal contained in every ship. But farther experience, and a greater number of accurate observations are wanting, to elucidate this important and interesting discovery in nautical science. It is, however, very probable, and reasonable to suppose, that the aberration of the needle occasioned by the change of a ship's head, is not so much dependent on the quantity of the dip, as it is on the quantity of iron in the ship, and the angular difference between the magnetic and true meridians.

Mr. Wales' remarks on the errors of variation.

Mr. Wales, Astronomer, in the Resolution, observes, in the introduction to Captain Cook's third voyage, published in 1785, that he found a variety of cases, wherein differences were found in the variation of the compass.

1st. Putting the ship's head a contrary way; differences 3° to 6°, and even 10°.

2d. At different times of the same day; differences 3° to 7°.

3d. Being under sail, and at anchor in a road-stead; differences 5°.

4th. On board different ships; differences 3° to 5°.

5th. Near the same place, at different times in the voyage 4° and 5°, or upwards.

6th. In different compasses; 3° to 6°.

Captain Flinders, on examination of these cases stated by Mr. Wales, found great reason to believe, that the direction of the ship's head had been changed in most of those where great differences had been observed; and also that the differences were conformable to what had been experienced on the binnacle of the Investigator.

The last-mentioned officer, farther observes, that in the southern hemisphere, the South end of the magnetic needle was attracted toward the nearest land, as well as by the iron in the ship; and he only experienced in two instances, the South end of the needle to be repelled from the land, which happened with observations taken on the shore, and might have been produced by some metallic rock situated near the theodolite on the East side, although the body of the land lay to the westward.

* Mr. Bain has given two tables, one for the North Sea, and one for the English Channel, wherein the quantity of error occasioned by changing a ship's head, is shewn for each point of the compass, allowing 10° between the East and West point for the English Channel: but in these tables, the quantity of error is apportioned in an arithmetical ratio for every point; whereas, it should have been conformably to the sines of the angles from the meridian.

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Captain Flinders gives the following precautionary remarks, relative to the use of the compass in marine surveying, founded on his experiments made in different ships, to discover the magnetic power of each locality.

Precautionary rules in surveying with the compass.

1st. When the guns are on board and the ship ready for sea, nail small cleats on the binnacle for shewing the place where the azimuth and surveying compass is to stand, when in use. Ascertain by repeated observations whether it be at North or South, or in what other angle near them, that this compass gives exactly the same variation; and mark these as the points of no difference.

2d. Ascertain what the difference in variation is, when the head is placed at right angles to the points of no difference, on each side. Half this difference is the error for eight points; which being divided by the dip, will give the common multiplier for that hemisphere, and perhaps for both.

3d. Try the accuracy of the common multiplier as often as conveniently can be done, by observations taken at various parts where the dip of the needle is different; and more especially, to ascertain whether observations in the southern hemisphere give the same multiplier as in the North.

4th. No change ought to be made in the disposition of the iron work or guns during the voyage; but if a change be indispensible, ascertain as soon after as possible, what alteration it may have produced in the points of no difference, and in the multiplier.

5th. The direction of the ship's head, by compass, to be noted to the nearest quarter point when the variation is observed, or bearings of land are taken; this to be considered an indispensible part of such observations, since without it the true variation cannot be known, nor the proper allowance made to the bearings.

6th. On arriving upon the coast to be surveyed, miss no opportunity of observing the variation, by azimuth if possible; and on passing from one side of a projecting cape or island to the other side, remark if any difference arise in the compass. This is best done by azimuths; but it may be found roughly by the bearing of two well-defined heads or points set in a line from opposite directions. If after the proper corrections are made according to the ship's head, the bearing be not the same, the difference will be seen.

Lastly. These remarks, relate chiefly to a compass fixed on the binnacle; but the trouble of correction may be avoided, if a place can be found near the taffrel, where the attraction of the iron at the stern will counteract, by its proximity, the more powerful attraction in the centre and fore parts of the ship; and should the after attraction be too weak, it may be increased by fixing one or more upright stanchions or bars of iron in the stern.

If a neutral station can be found or made, exactly amidships, and of a convenient height for taking azimuths and bearings, let a stand be there set up for the compass: and if the stand must of necessity be moveable, make permanent marks, that the exact place and elevation may always be known. Observations taken here, should never undergo any change from altering the direction of the ship's head, at any dip of the needle; but it will be proper to verify occasionally, and to compare the azimuths and bearings with others taken on the binnacle. The course should also be marked from this compass, though the ship be steered by one before the wheel; a quarter or half a point being allowed to the right or left, according as the two may be found to differ.*

A DIAGRAM to illustrate the aberration of the needle resulting from the change of a ship's head from East to West.

* Professor Barlow's plate of adjustment for the local attraction of the magnetic needle, which is affixed to the binnacle, and has been found very valuable for correcting the courses steered, ought to be possessed by ships proceeding on distant voyages, with directions for placing it previous to sailing, and for practical use afterward at sea.

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Let A represent a ship's apparent course by compass, steering East in the English Channel, when the variation observed is 20° 30′ West, which lay down from A to E, and draw the line W E which will be the apparent East and West Rhumb.

Then N S drawn at right angles, will be the apparent meridian, from which set off X the observed variation 20° 30′ West.

Let B represent the ship's apparent course by compass, steering West after tacking, and the observed variation 29° 30′ West, equal to W B equal to N Y.

Bisect X Y, and prolong n to s which will be the magnetic meridian. Then the angle N O n equal to 25° or half the sum of the observed quantities with the ship's head East and West, is the true variation. Therefore, the angle X O n equal to 4° 30′ is the aberration of the needle East of the magnetic meridian, produced by attraction when the ship's head was on the line A or steering East. And the angle Y O n 4° 30′ is the aberration of the needle West of the magnetic meridian when the ship's head was on the opposite line B or steering West. Then the apparent courses of the ship, being corrected by the quantity of the angle of aberration 4° 30′, her rectified course will be on the line e the magnetic East, or on w the magnetic West respectively; e w being the corrected magnetic parallel or East and West Rhumb, drawn at right angles to the magnetic meridian n. s.*

Remark by Capt. Ross.

Capt. Ross, of the Company's ship Discovery, observes in his journal, January 5th, 1813, as follows.

At the foot or base, of some of the high islands on the South coast of China, I have observed the needle of the theodolite to be horizontal or nearly so, when the plate of the theodolite was levelled; but when it was carried up about 800 feet high, to the summit of those islands, and there carefully levelled, with the needle pointing to the same part of the theodolite, there was observed to be a very sensible dip of the South end of the needle; which was not only experienced by one, but by two or three different instruments. Does this proceed from the attraction of some metallic substance on the South end of the needle, (it being always longer than the North end, and would more readily be depressed) or does the North end by being carried up so far, lose a portion of its magnetism, and therefore become lighter? If this effect is subject to a general law, proportionate to the elevation above the level of the sea, may not a long needle with its point traversing along a graduated vertical circle, be used to measure heights, after the exact dip at different elevations is known?

Remarks on the utility of chronometers.

CHRONOMETERS, would be highly useful for the improvement of marine geography, were navigators to adopt an uniform method, in marking in their journals the longitude obtained by these excellent machines. In taking a departure for chronometers at sailing from

* Mr. Thomas Yeates, with great labor and ingenuity, constructed a variation chart of the navigable globe, from lat. 60° North to 60° of South latitude, chiefly from actual observations made by European navigators and astronomers, as recorded in manuscript journals at the hydrographical offices of the Admiralty and East India House, compared with Spanish surveys in the Pacific Ocean, and collated with tables of the variation.
This chart is a valuable auxilliary to navigation in general, and interesting to those who investigate magnetical phenomena, the magnetic meridians or curves, being delineated at convenient distances on the chart, also the Halleyan lines, for every degree of change in the variation; and it is elucidated by much important information, with explanatory remarks, a brief description of the discovery of the variation of the needle, and its aberrations since that time.

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any port or headland, the longitude allowed to that place should be marked distinctly in every ship's journal; and the longitude measured from it by chronometers (whether East or West) to every headland, island, or danger, during the passage, ought to be carefully stated; by which means, the relative meridians of those places will appear to view, and be ready to compare with the admeasurement of the same by other chronometers.*

But unfortunately, the generality of navigators, seldom mention in their journals the longitude allowed to the place of departure, and instead of carrying on the longitude made, daily from that meridian by chronometers, they mark longitude in, by chronometers. The journals therefore, are of little or no use, for any future purpose, on account of the indefinite manner in which the longitude is marked by chronometers.

Of lunar observations.

When the longitude obtained by lunar observations, is carried on daily by chronometers, or up to any headland, it ought also to be marked distinctly, in order to prevent any mistake.

When lunar observations are taken, the objects on both sides of the moon ought always to be observed if possible, and the mean taken; which will contribute to correct or modify the errors of the instrument, particularly when the distances are nearly equal, and fall on the same part of the arch of the sextant: and the difference of longitude run by log, between day and night observations, ought never to be applied in carrying on the one to the other, if there is a chronometer on board. If for instance, some observations of the sun and moon are taken in the afternoon for longitude, altitudes of the sun should be taken nearly at the same time to obtain the error of the chronometer, or what it is fast or slow for the apparent time at ship; having also marked down the time by chronometer when the distances of the sun and moon are observed, the error of chronometer must be applied to it, to reduce it to the apparent time of observation. When the observations are taken afterward by the moon and stars in the night, the time by chronometer ought likewise to be marked down, to which apply its error, and the quantity of loss or gain of the chronometer (proportionate to its daily rate) for the interlapsed time between these observations and those taken in the afternoon by sun and moon. The apparent time at ship when the observations of the moon and star were taken, will then be measured by chronometer to the meridian of the place where the observations of sun and moon were taken in the afternoon, and the mean of both should be taken for the longitude of that place, after comparing the apparent time of observations with the Greenwich apparent time. By using the chronometer in this manner, the errors liable to arise from currents, and from the admeasurement of a ship's run by log, between day and night observations, will be avoided.†

CONFORMABLY to the design of this work, which is the safety of lives and property, a few cautionary remarks to mariners, may be introduced, which are the result of the writer's personal observation.

Coral Shoals, when discernible.

CORAL SHOALS, particularly when they are white or variegated, will generally be visible from the mast-head when the sun is near the zenith, and shining bright. If the situation of the observer is between the sun and coral shoals, the latter may frequently be discerned

* To shew the utility of this, the following example may be given. In the journals of two ships, which saw the Brill Shoal, and Middle Island in the Straits of Salayer, at different times, I find they had lunar observations in both ships, which the journals assert, may be depended upon in fixing the longitude of those places. It nevertheless, happens, that the observations differ 20 miles, for those taken in one ship, make the Brill Shoal and Middle Island, 20 miles more easterly than those of the other ship; but having chronometers on board of both ships, they agree exactly in measuring the difference of longitude between the Brill Shoal and Middle Island, although there is a difference of 20 miles in stating the longitudes of these places by the lunar observations.

† It is very perplexing to young navigators, that nautical time, or that used at sea, is 24 hours later than astronomical time; because the nautical almanac, and all the tables in general use, are computed for astronomical time. As the security of navigation depends upon astronomy, it certainly would be of utility to resign this irregular prejudice, and make nautical time conform to astronomical time.

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although the sun's altitude is not very great; but the glare of the sun will hide them from the observer, when they are situated between him and the luminary.

Detached clouds, passing with a slow motion under the sun's disc, have their shadows often reflected upon the surface of the sea, resembling greatly the appearance of coral shoals.

But as a general rule, it may be observed, that coral shoals are best discerned when the sky is clear, with the sun shining at a great altitude; and particularly, if the situation of the observer be between them and the sun, with his eye considerably elevated above the surface of the sea.

Coral reefs abound chiefly within the tropics, particularly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and round New Holland; many of the islands are either surrounded by these reefs, or stand upon a coral base. The formation of coral reefs by zoophytes is very remarkable, as these are neither perfect animals nor vegetables, but partaking of both. Most of them take root and grow up into stems, multiplying life in their branches, and in the transformation of their animated blossoms or polypes, which are endowed with spontaneous motion. Plants, therefore, resemble zoophyta, but are destitute of animation and the power of loco-motion; and zoophyta are, as it were, plants, but furnished with sensation and the organs of spontaneous motion. Of these, some are soft and naked, and others are covered with a hard shell; and it is astonishing with what rapidity they form coral reefs, by taking root often at the bottom of the sea in deep water, from whence the stems branch upward, and gradually, but speedily become transformed into solid rock. As these concretions of coral grow up near the surface of the sea, they become dangerous to ships; and after they appear above it, they are gradually transmuted into islands of various dimensions, according to the extent of their original basis.

A caution relative to unhealthy places.

SHIPS which stop on the East coast of Madagascar, at Cape Negrais, Tavay, Nicobars, Poolo Bay, Batavia, Borneo, or at any place within the tropics where the country is low, woody, uncultivated, and considered unhealthy, ought not to allow any of their people to remain on shore during the night, when wooding and watering at such places: nor should they be sent on shore in the mornings, until the noxious vapours are dispersed, by the influence of the sun penetrating into the forests.

On Swimming.

PERSONS who have not learned to swim, when they fall into the sea by accident, often drown themselves by lifting their hands above the surface, with a rapid and irregular motion. With proper resolution this may be avoided, for a gentle and slow motion of the hands under the surface of the water, either obliquely, or perpendicularly like the feet of a dog when swimming, will be sufficient to keep the face of any person above the surface, if there is no broken water. This will be more obvious, when it is generally known that the specific gravity of the human body is commonly lighter than sea water, as many persons float on the surface of the sea without any motion.

The natural position for persons to float, is with their backs downwards, and their arms extended close under the surface, which act as levers to preserve them in the natural position. If a person floating with his back downward, place his arms close to his side or across his breast, he will soon be changed from the horizontal position, for his feet will descend perpendicularly, and then his mouth and nose will gradually be immerged under the surface. If in floating, his arms are extended perpendicularly from his body, he will generally remain in the natural position a considerable time before his feet begin to descend from the horizontal to the vertical position. If his arms are extended beyond his head, with the palms of his hands spread just under the surface of the water, he will float steady in the horizontal position, with his face above water, and his toes touching the surface. In this manner the author has frequently floated in warm climates, half an hour at a time without the least motion, and generally was inclined to sleep: by placing the arms a little forward or backward, the natu-

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ral floating position is always adjusted to the greatest degree of regularity. It ought, however, to be observed, that the specific gravity of some persons is rather heavier than sea water, and such persons cannot float with their faces continued above the surface for any considerable time, without employing a little motion with their feet.

Remarks on the lading of ships.

WHEN SHIPS are chiefly laden with dead weight, such as iron, lead, zinc, &c., they labour and roll greatly; to modify which, part of the dead weight is generally placed high, in the hold, or between the decks. This, however, has little effect in retarding the quick rolling motion, which frequently endangers the masts when there is much swell; for the dead weight being placed over the whole breadth of ships, acts as a pendulum on the sides, to augment the rolling motion, produced by the swell. Returning from China in the Anna, by the eastern passage, laden deeply with sugar and tuthenag, we had a gale of wind near the Pellew Islands, in which the ship rolled very quick, broke some of the rigging, and the fore-topmast. In order to prevent this quick and dangerous rolling, tuthenag was taken from the hold, and placed in great quantities upon the decks, until the ship had scarcely stability left to carry proper sail; notwithstanding, there was very little diminution of her rolling.

Were it possible to compress all the dead weight contained in a ship, into a ball, and then place it at the centre of motion, she would in such case roll very little, because there would be no heavy weight near her extreme breadth. But as this cannot be done, an approximation seems desirable, which may be effected by stowing all the light goods along the sides and at the extremities, and the heavy articles in a longitudinal section over, and on each side of the keel, from the fore to the after hatchway, as circumstances require; and the dead weight may be carried up to the deck in this manner, or to any height thought consistent with the stability of the ship. This method was adopted in loading the Anna, when a great proportion of her cargo was iron, and she was very easy during the passage from London to Bombay; for the light goods being placed at the extremities, and in two sections along the sides of the ship, the cause of her pitching and rolling, was thereby greatly limited.

Remarks on the terms applied to winds, waves, and currents.

EXPLANATORY REMARKS, are here rendered necessary, on account of the ambiguous terms applied in common language to the direction of the winds, waves, and currents.

The point from which the wind proceeds usually gives to it a name; when the wind blows from the North, it is called a North wind, and vice versa. This order, however, seems to have been sometimes reversed by navigators; in the early voyages of the Portuguese to India, the wind that blows from N. E. is in some journals, called the S. W. monsoon; and that which blows from S. W. is called the N. E. monsoon; thereby, taking the name of the place to which the wind is proceeding.

The terms used by navigators to signify the direction of the waves, are also very vague and undefined; for although, (like the wind) the waves generally receive the name of the direction from which they proceed, the waves or swell running from North to South being called a northerly swell, and in like manner for those running in any other direction; this, however, is not always the case, as the waves or swell running from North to South, is called in some journals a southerly swell.

The terms applied to the direction of currents, are generally the reverse of those used to denote the direction of the wind and waves; as the direction to which the current is going, commonly gives it a name. Notwithstanding, a current running from North to South is almost uniformly called a southerly current, and that running from East to West called a westerly current, yet it appears, that some navigators are liable to reverse this order; for one of our circumnavigators in his voyage to the South Sea, calls a current running from East to West, an easterly current, and vice versa.

From the indefinite manner, therefore, in use amongst navigators, to mark the direction


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of the winds, waves, and currents, it seems necessary to describe the method followed, in applying the terms throughout this work.

How named in this work.

The direction of the wind, is named from the point of the compass from which it blows.

The direction of the waves, swell, or sea, is named from the point of the compass from whence they proceed.

The direction of the current, is named from the true point or place to which it is running, if not otherwise expressed.

The course steered by a ship at any time, near land, or in the open sea, is by compass, or magnetic.

The bearings of land, taken from a ship at sea, or at anchor, are by compass if not otherwise expressed.

The direction of any coast, or bearing of any headland, island, or danger, &c. from any other place, when mentioned in this Directory, is the true bearing by the pole of the world, if not otherwise expressed.

Explanatory remarks.

THE GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATIONS of the principal places are stated, and the names of the Ports, Headlands, Islands, and Dangers, with which the paragraphs generally commence, throughout this work, have been set forth in capitals, in order to render them more conspicuous, and that navigators may not be liable to lose time, in searching for any place of which the description is required; because, it frequently happens in critical situations at sea, that a small loss of time, may occasion considerable danger. To facilitate the same object, side notes have been added, which will be found contiguous to, or fronting the principal matter contained in each paragraph. And to accomplish this object in the highest degree, a copious general index, is placed at the end of each volume, comprehending the names of all the Ports. Headlands, Islands, and Dangers; likewise of the principal Banks, Bays, Rivers, Mountains, Towns; or whatever is conspicuous, as marks, for the guidance of navigators.


ALTHOUGH during the long and laborious prosecution of this work, the author has been constantly on his guard to prevent errors, and render it as complete as such an immense mass of heterogeneous materials would anmit of; yet, he is sensible, that with all possible care, it may still be liable to imperfections, which will readily be excused by those who can appreciate the difficulty of bringing forward a work of this nature and magnitude, digested not merely from his own observations, but also from documents, various in kind, often discordant in themselves, and seldom harmonizing with each other.

Since the publication of the former edition, however, he has received many highly important communications of newly discovered dangers, and navigable channels among the eastern islands not before known; these, with a careful examination of the journals belonging to the Company's ships during the 17th century, as well as those of a later date, have afforded him ample means for the improvement of this new edition of the India Sailing Directory.

Finally, the author having devoted the last two years to a careful revision and correction of his work, he trusts that its approximation towards perfection, has not been inconsiderable; and that all the discoveries which remain to be made during the present generation, cannot be of a nature to render it susceptible of being much improved for a long period of time; and he has great reason to infer, from his own observations, as well as from the information of others, that no similar work of equal magnitude and accuracy, was ever before published in this, or in any other country.

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Geographical Site of the Lizard Point and Cape Finisterre.

On passing this Cape

THE LIZARD POINT, being from the best authorities, in latitude 49° 57½′ N. longitude 5° 13′ W. and CAPE FINISTERRE the westernmost promontory of Spain, in latitude 42° 54′ N. longitude 9° 18′ W., when clear of the Channel, if the wind continue fair, steer a course to pass well to the westward of Cape Finisterre, at 20, 40, or 50 leagues distance. Should the wind prevail at W. and W. S. W., as soon as a ship can round the Cape, she ought to stand to the southward, and not lose time by endeavouring to pass it at a great distance; for the wind will probably become more favorable as she proceeds southward, and in winter it is a great advantage to get out of the cold weather as soon as possible.

Geo. Site of Ushant.

If the projecting part of the French coast, at the entrance of the Channel happen to be approached, it is proper to observe, that the Ushant Lights are in lat. 48° 28′ N. and placed in lon. 5° 3½′ W., but Capt. Heywood, in 1809, made them in lon. 5° 13¼′ W. or 1°44¼′ W. from the anchorage of Torbay, by good chronometers. The soundings near Ushant, are 64 and 65 fathoms:—high water about 4½ hours on full and change of the Moon. Variation of the compass about 25¼° W.

Currents near the Channel and Bay of Biscay.

In the Bay of Biscay, and to the westward of Ushant, the current sets to the westward at times in winter; but in summer, it generally sets N. E. and easterly. It is often found to set eastward from March to November, particularly when westerly winds prevail; and off Cape Finisterre, and near the South part of the Bay, it sets mostly along the Coast to the Eastward; and along the East side of the Bay it sets to the Northward, parallel to the West Coast of France. Caution is, therefore, requisite, with a westerly wind, in standing to the southward, to weather Cape Finisterre; for should a ship's position not be ascertained by chronometers or lunar observations, it would be imprudent in gloomy blowing weather, to stand to the southward in the night, if not certain of being well to the westward of the Cape.*

* A deplorable example of this, was experienced by his Majesty's ship Apollo, with 69 ships under convoy for the West Indies, which sailed from the Cove of Cork, March 26, 1804. With a fair wind blowing strong, they steered about W. S. W. till the 31st, the wind then came more to the westward. At noon, April 1, the observed lat. 40° 51′ N. lon. 12° 29′ W. by account. At 8 P. M. the wind shifted to S. W. and increased to a gale with a heavy sea; they stood S. S. eastward, and at half-past three on the following morning, struck on the coast of Portugal, in latitude about 40° 22′ N. 3 leagues northward from Cape Mondego. They did not think themselves near the coast, judging, most probably, that the dead reckoning could not be much out, in 6 days. Captain Dixon, of the Apollo, and 60 men perished in making exertions to reach the shore; the other part of the crew, were two days clinging to a fixed fragment of the wreck, without nourishment. About 40 sail of the convoy were also wrecked on this rocky shore at the same time; some of these sunk with all their crews, and almost every ship lost from 2 to 12 men. It is to be lamented, that all ships of war have not chronometers, particularly those in charge of fleets. A few sights obtained, for even an indifferent chronometer, on the day preceding this fatal catastrophe, when the sun was visible, or by stars in the night, would have prevented this deplorable loss of lives, and immense property! No ship should be without two chronometers, excepting small coasting vessels.


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N. W. gales have driven E. I. ships far into the Bay of Biscay.

Sometimes, gales of wind from W. N. W. blow into the Bay of Biscay, continuing for several days, and some of the outward-bound East-India ships, have been driven far into the Bay during these gales, in April and May. If a ship have the misfortune to lose any of her masts during one of these gales, the heavy sea rolling in from N. W. and W. N. W. with an easterly current, would unavoidably force her to leeward, and should the gale continue long and severe, she might be in danger of drifting on a lee-shore. It may therefore be expedient, to give a brief description of places, sheltered from gales at N. W. or W. N. W. in the Bay of Biscay.

Harbours in the Bay.

Geo. Site of Bilboa.

BAYONNE AND BILBOA, at the south part of the bay, are confined harbours, and have not sufficient water for large ships over the bars at their entrance. Off the eastern point of Bilboa entrance, there is said to be a reef of rocks, having anchorage of 7 or 8 fathoms within it, between the point and pier on the eastern side, where vessels lie sheltered from a N. W. wind. The entrance of Bilboa, is in about lat. 43° 24′ N. lon. 2° 54′ W.

Belle Isle.

Shelter may be found under it.

BELLE ISLE, in lat. 47° 18′ N. lon. 3° 5′ W.; and Basque Road, near Rochefort, are the best places in the bay, which afford shelter for large ships in westerly gales. Belle Isle is high, and may be seen at a great distance; the north-west end of it is surrounded with rocks, and directly in the line from it to Isle Grouais, nearly mid-way between them, is the Bank Bervidaux. The north-end of Belle Isle is in about lat. 47° 23′ N. and the south-end in 47° 15′ N. If a ship with the wind at N. W. or W. N. W. keep between these latitudes in running for the island, when she approaches it, she should steer along the south-side at 2 miles distance, to Point du Canon, the S. E. extremity; when abreast of this point, she ought to haul up for Point Locmaria, which is the easternmost point of the island, distant about a league from the former, then anchor under it in 8, 10, or 15 fathoms, where she will be sheltered from N. W. and westerly winds. Should it veer to S. W., she may run to the northward of the point, and anchor on the north-east side of the island.

Isle Hedic.

ISLE HEDIC, about 7 miles eastward from the east point of Belle Isle, has many contiguous rocks. To the S. E. lies a cluster of rocks called the Cardinals; the largest is distant from Hedic about 1 mile, and is always above water. If a ship be driven to the eastward of Belle Isle, she may pass to the southward of the Cardinals at a mile distant, then haul up to the northward, and anchor on the east-side of them and Isle Hedic, in 9 or 10 fathoms, sand and mud.

Geo. Site of Isle Re, &c.

Lavardin Shoal.

Ships when bound to Rochelle, or Rochefort, steer for ISLE RE in lat. 46° 14′ N. about lon. 1° 30′ W. which has a lighthouse on its N. W. end. In running for this island, care is requisite to avoid two reefs of rocks, partly above and partly under water, called Banches Vertes, and Roche Bonne: they are nearly 2 leagues in extent east and west, distant about 12 leagues west from Isle Re, in about lat. 46° 15′ N.† From the west point of Isle Re, a rocky bank extends under water about a league, called the Whales of Ars, or Les Balines d'Ars; and from the S. W. part of the Island, a ridge of rocks extends a full league to seaward, called Champ Chardon; but the Lavardin Shoal is most in the way, which is a small

† Near them to the westward there is 60 fathoms water, and 30 fathoms to the eastward of them.

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rocky bank dry at low water spring tides, about 1½ mile S. Eastward from the S. E. end of Isle Re. Isle Oleron lies to the South of Isle Re, and between them is the channel called Pertuis d'Antioche, leading to Basque Road, which is about 2 leagues wide. It is safest to keep nearer Isle Re than Oleron, on account of some rocky banks which lie off the north end of the latter, distant near a league, called the Antioches. And nearly at the same distance from the shore, along the north and N. E. side of Isle Oleron, a chain of banks extends nearly from the Antioche to abreast the south end of Isle Aix. In running for Basque Road, keep nearer Isle Re than Oleron, till near the S. E. end of the former; then steer to the southward, to avoid the Lavardin Shoal already mentioned, lying 1½ or 2 miles off the S. E. end of Isle Re; afterward steer for the west part of Isle Aix, a flat island, with some houses on it, situated about half-way between Oleron and the main land, keeping nearer to Isle Oleron than the main.

Basque Road.

BASQUE ROAD, extends from the Lavardin Shoal to Isle Aix, having from 10 fathoms water close to this shoal, to 12 and 13 fathoms in the middle of the road; and from 5 to 9 fathoms about 1½ mile to the north and N. W. of Isle Aix. The soundings in mid-channel, between Oleron to the southward and Isle Re and the Lavardin Shoal to the northward, are generally from 12 to 15 fathoms, shoaling on each side toward the banks. On the northern extremity of Oleron, there is a tower called Chassiron, where two fires are kept in the night, one above the other, by which it may be readily known. Should there be much sea in Basque Road, a ship may run up along the west side of Isle Aix, taking care to keep nearer to it than to Oleron, to avoid the bank off the latter; and then anchor in 5 or 6 fathoms, off the S. W. end of Isle Aix, in the inner road.

Coasts of Portugal and Spain.

THE COASTS OF PORTUGAL, OR SPAIN, having been sometimes visited by India ships, when forced by stormy weather to take shelter in some of the nearest ports, in order to repair damage sustained, it may therefore be useful, to describe briefly, some of the principal headlands and best harbours on the western side of the Peninsula.

Geo. Site of Capes Ortegal and Prior.

CAPE ORTEGAL, the northernmost headland of Spain, is in lat. 43° 48′ N. lon. 7° 40′ W. and about 12 leagues to the S. westward of it, is Cape Prior, in lat. 43° 36′ N. having a very ragged aspect, with some rocks near it, which require a birth in passing. This Cape is above 2 leagues to the N. W. of the entrance into Ferrol, and between 4 and 5 leagues from the Iron tower, or light-house of the Groin, or Corunna.

To sail into Ferrol,

When a vessel comes near the bay of Ferrol, the haven begins to open, and you sail in mid-channel between two headlands, but when within, steer to the northward and anchor by the north point, for it is rocky and flat on the west side of the town, and therefore must be avoided.

To enter Ferrol from south or westward, after giving a birth to the north point of Ferrol, which is foul and rocky until the haven opens, then run right in, and you will be within the south point, clear of its projecting foul ground; steer now for the north point of the haven, and along by it, till the haven opens itself again; from thence keep in mid-channel, where are 12, 14, and 15 fathoms water, though the passage is so narrow that a stone may be thrown across it.

and Corunna.

CORUNNA, is situated at the bottom of a deep bay, within the mouth of a spacious haven, south-west of Ferrol, and on the opposite side of the gulf. To enter this port, having made the Islands Sizarga, which being foul, must have a good birth, steer for the light-house or iron tower, and run in E. S. E., and round the point steering S. E. and S. S. E. giving it a birth of 4 or 5 cable's-lengths. In passing the point, a small Isle will be seen

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with a house on it, along which a ship may sail very close, and anchor off the Fishing Village in 6, 7, or 8 fathoms.

Geo. Site of Vigo, and Bayonne Isles.

VIGO in lat. 42° 13½′ N. lon. 8° 27½′ W. is situated on the S. E. side of an excellent bay or haven, which is fronted by the Bayonne Isles, extending from lat. 42° 11′ N. to 42° 15′ N., and on the East side of these Isles, there is safe anchorage and shelter from the sea, and westerly winds, in 10 and 12 fathoms. The best channel into Vigo bay, is to the South of these Isles; for the northernmost Isle has a sunken rock about a cable's-length off, which must have a good birth when a ship enters by the northern channel. When the bay is entered, a ship may run up in mid-channel, and anchor in 10 or 12 fathoms off Vigo; or farther in, about Point Rondal, she may be laid in the mud and receive no injury, if destitute of anchors.

Onza Isles, and Pontevedro Bay.

ONZA ISLES, lie to the northward of Bayonne Isles, and on the East side have safe anchorage from westerly winds, with fresh water, where our ships of war procured supplies, even while at war with Spain. The south extremity of these Isles is in lat. 42° 21′ N., and they front Pontevedro Bay, which like that of Vigo, is a good haven.

Salvora Isle, and Arosa Bay.

SALVORA ISLE, in lat. 42° 28′ N. fronts the bay or gulf of Arosa, which is a deep and excellent haven, extending from the Isle about true N. N. E. a great way inland, having good shelter and moderate depths, with several shoals. The channel into this bay is on the south and east side of Salvora Isle, where a ship is sheltered as soon as she gets inside the Isle; but there is no safe passage on the north-west side of this Isle, it being nearly joined to the main by shoals.

Geo. Site of Cape Mondego,

CAPE MONDEGO, in lat. 40° 11′ N. lon. 8° 53′ W. is a projecting headland on the coast of Portugal, with a reef stretching out about a cable's-length, having good anchorage, and shelter on the south side, from north and N. N. W. winds.

and Cape Carvoeiro.

CAPE CARVOEIRO, in lat. 39° 22′ N. lon. 9° 20′ W. is a rocky headland, with a light-house like a church on its extremity, and being separated by a low sandy isthmus from the inland country, makes it look like an island in thick weather, by which some ships, mistaking it for the Burling, have run on shore on the sandy isthmus.

Burlings, &Estellas.

BURLING ISLAND, is of middling height and size, bearing from Cape Carvoeiro true N. 55° W. distant 6 miles nearly; W. N. W. of the Burling ½ a mile distant, lie six islets called Estellas in a N. E. and S. W. line, with a rock about ¼ mile to the southward of the southernmost one, visible at low water; there is also a high rock, at a small distance N. E. of the Burling.

From Burling Island N. 23° W. true bearing, distant 4¾ miles, lies a large round steep islet, surrounded by other rocks. There is a safe channel between this northern group and the Estellas, about 3 miles wide, but as the current sets toward the latter, it should not be used without a commanding breeze.

The channel between Cape Carvoeiro and Burling Island, being 5½ miles wide, with soundings, may be navigated without fear of danger; and a ship may anchor occasionally under the Burlings.

Cape Roca. Geo. Site.

CAPE ROCA, in lat. 38° 46′ N. lon. 9° 30′ W. is formed of steep cliffs, with a rocky islet adjoining to it, termed by seamen, the rock of Lisbon, from which a reef projects about a musket shot, having 25 fathoms close to. Cape Razo, is a low rocky point distant 4 miles S. 7° E. true bearing from Cape Roca, having on it Fort Sanxete, and adjoining it there is

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a small shoal. From Cape Razo the south point of Cascaes bears true S. 62° E. which is a steep cliff crowned with Fort St. George, and the Light-house of Our Lady of Guia; round this point the coast bends in to the N. E. forming the bay of Cascaes and the town of this name, where pilots are got for entering the Tagus.

Marks for entering the Tagus,

FORT ST. JULIAN, stands on a steep point, distant 4¾ miles S. 72° E. true bearing from Fort St. Martha near Cascaes, having a tower 120 feet high in the centre of the Fort, which serves for a light-house. From St. Julian to the tower of Belem the distance is 5 miles true N. 79° E. and the coast between them forms a bay with numerous edifices, part of which, situated about the middle of the bay, serve as marks for the great bar or principal entrance.

THE GREAT BAR, is formed between two banks called the North and South Cachops; the North Cachop extends about 2¾ miles to the S. Westward of Fort St. Julian, and the sea breaks on it with a westerly wind. The channel between this Cachop and the north shore, called the Corridor or Little Bar, has 8 to 10 fathoms water, but being narrow, can only be used with a fair wind.

SOUTH CACHOP, is a sand-bank, having the Tower of Bugio on it, formed of two circular concentric bodies, from the middle of which rises the little tower 63 feet high, and bearing from St. Julian true S. 55° E. distant 1½ mile. The tower is isolated by the sand-bank being covered every tide, and this bank extends 2 miles to the S. W. leaving the bar or great channel to the north. This channel is no where less than 1 mile wide, with from 10 to 18 fathoms good bottom; a bank stretches across the channel between the Cachops, having not less than 8 or 9 fathoms on it, and increasing to 15 and 20 fathoms inside. The water shoals suddenly to both the Cachops, having 6 or 7 fathoms close to.

and Sailing Directions.

To enter the Great Bar with a fair wind, the leading marks should be brought on, before the meridian of Cascaes is passed; or bring Cape Roca light-house on with that of Guia, which will be sufficiently to the westward of the Cachops till the Paps* be discerned; these must be brought in one with Jacob's Ladder,† and so kept until the Tower of St. Julian bear west or S. W., then the north shore of the river may be navigated to the anchorage of Belem.

To enter the Tagus without a Pilet.

If when near the bar, a strong westerly wind prevent pilots from getting on board, nor the marks be clearly discerned, pass not the meridian of Cascaes till Belem Tower be brought on with the north end of the outer wall of Bugio, bearing true N. 65° E., or the latter E. ¼ N.‡ by compass, if Belem Tower is not visible. Steer on this bearing till the Tower of St. Julian bear true N. N. E.; being then in mid-channel, steer for the Turret of Caxias, which bears true N. 45° E., keep this course till abreast of Paco d'Arcos, then coast the northern shore to Belem.

Should the Mirante or Turret of Caxias not be seen, then so soon as the Tower of St. Julian bears true N. N. E. you will be 2¼ miles from Bugio, for which steer no longer, but steer midway between St. Julian and Bugio, or so as to make good a true N. E. course until past the bar.

The north shore of the river is safest to approach, the anchorage being better, the depths less, and the tides not so strong as near the south shore. During the freshes, the ebb tide

* Two little mounts visible at a great distance, rising over the contiguous land.

† Seven walls or causeways, built to support the soil on the S. E. declivity of a round Hill of yellow colour near the sea, 260 feet high.—On the top of this Hill is a turret called Caxias 3 miles N. 60° E. from St. Julian, formed of two octagonal structures conjoined, each 33 feet high, and terminated in a cupola of similar shape. A good mark for Jacob's Ladder, is a long wall near it to the E. N. E. the buttresses of which, on the side of the Tagus, appear like the arches of a bridge.

‡ The variation at present is 22¾° Westerly, at Lisbon.

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runs frequently 6 miles an hour in the channel, requiring a press of sail to stem it, and at such times, when westerly winds blow strong, the sea breaks all across the bar between the Cachops, and cannot be easily distinguished from the breakers on the Cachops.

Geo. Site of Lisbon.

It is high water on the bar at 2½ hours on full and change of the moon. The observatory of Lisbon is in lat. 38° 42′ 40″ N. lon. 9° 8′ 30″ W.

Pass to the west of Madeira in winter.

Westerly gales.

AFTER LEAVING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, steer to pass to the westward of Madeira, at any convenient distance exceeding 7 or 8 leagues. In the winter months, it is preferable to pass to the west of Madeira, for strong gales from westward prevail in November, December, and January, producing eddy winds, and severe squalls near the land; which are occasioned by the high land obstructing the regular course of these gales. In November 1797, and December 1799, I was each time, forced to put to sea from Funchal Road. Severe westerly and S. W. gales, with hard squalls and rain, kept us at sea eight days each time, and prevented us from anchoring afterward, the W. S. W. wind continuing to blow strong. In these gales, the island of Madeira and the Desertas, were frequently obscured in fog; and the squalls so sudden and violent near the latter, and about the southeast end of the former, as nearly to overset one of the ships in company.*

Geo. Site and description of Porto Santo.

PORTO SANTO, in lat. 33° 5′ N. lon. 16° 16′ W., is a high island with several peaked hills on it, about 12 or 14 leagues north eastward from the east end of Madeira, and generally seen by ships bound to the latter: it has a bay on the S. W. side, where there is anchorage, water, and refreshments; and this road has a rock at its west end like that of Funchal. Although Porto Santo is not so high as Madeira, it may be seen 12 or 14 leagues from a ship's deck; and is easily distinguished from Madeira or the Desertas, by its Peaks and uneven appearance; these islands having a more regular outline.

The Reef said to lie 3 leagues to the N. E. of Porto Santo, on which a Dutch ship was lost, has been found by H. M. S. Falcon to bear about N. 18° W. true bearing, from the body of the island, distant from the nearest part about 7 miles.

The Falcon, Lieutenant J. Bowen, examined this reef, or rocky bank, on the 10th of January, 1802. When the easternmost rock, off the N. E. point of Porto Santo bore by compass S. E. the N. E. point of Porto Santo S. S. E. ½ E., northernmost rock S. ½ W., and the west point of Porto Santo S. S. W. ¾ W. had 22, 23, and 25 fathoms rocky bottom; the master in the cutter, at the same time, about ¾ of a mile S. ½ W. from the ship, had 30 fathoms rocky bottom; from whence rowing to the westward the depth gradually decreased to 16 fathoms, and then more suddenly to 12, 8, and 4½ fathoms on the shoalest part of the rock, which was plainly discerned from the boat. When she was on it in 4½ fathoms, the N. E. point of Porto Santo bore by compass S. S. E., the northernmost islet or rock S. by W., and the west point of the island S. S. W. distant from the nearest part of it about 7 miles.

This rocky bank extends east and west about 1 mile, terminating in a point of rocks to the westward, on which the least water appeared to be 4½ fathoms. Lieutenant Bowen, remarks, that when the bearings were taken upon it in the boat, the compass was agitated by her motion, and therefore may not be perfectly correct, but he is certain that the boat

* November 28, 1797, blowing hard at S. W. off the S. W. end of Madeira, and a high sea rising, we bore away in the Carron, to endeavour to find shelter under the lee of the island. In running between Madeira and the Desertas, blowing very hard at S. W. with dark weather and rain, we were suddenly becalmed; then followed an eddy wind from N. E., the sea so high as frequently to cover the bowsprit and jib-boom. At this time we were much nearer to Madeira than to the Desertas, with a dark cloud extending over us. At the same time, two ships about 2 or 3 miles more eastward, were in clear sunshine, running before a severe squall at S. W.; and one of them had her main topsail blown away. In December 1799, by carrying a press of sail on the Anna, we just cleared the southernmost Deserta, in very thick weather, during one of these westerly storms, which drove us 2° eastward from Funchal. Several outward-bound West-India ships, were not long ago, dashed in pieces on the Desertas in the night, by an error in their reckoning.

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was on the shoalest part, otherwise the sea must have broke on it, had there been less water, by the considerable swell and fresh breeze which prevailed at the time. Coming on to blow, he was prevented from making farther observations.

Channel between it and Desertas.

With the wind from the northward or N. E., bound to Funchal, the channel between Madeira and the Desertas is the most convenient, and seems about 4 leagues wide from the east point of Madeira to the Flat or Table Deserta, which bounds it to the eastward.

Desertas, or Desert Isles.

DESERTAS, are high barren rocks, except the north westernmost, which is level and much lower than the others. The middle Deserta is the largest, between which and the southernmost, called Bogia, there is a narrow channel, never to be attempted unless from necessity, as a ship is liable to be becalmed in it by the northern Deserta, which over-tops the Bogia. The fleet under convoy of H. M. S. Lavinia, bound to India, and to touch at Funchal, passed through the channel between the Middle and South Desertas, in May, 1809. They mistook the Deserts for Madeira, and after steering for the south extreme of the Large or Middle Deserta, proceeded through the channel between it and the southern Island, which is 1 or 1½ mile wide at most, and seems perfectly clear of danger. None of the ships tried for soundings, but the fishermen say, that bottom may be got with 60 to 300 fathoms of line, according to the distance from either shore.

The Desertas stretch nearly N. N. W. and S. S. E., rather of an even appearance, and are about 5 leagues in extent. At the N. W. end of the great Deserta, is situated the low small N. W. Deserta, which bounds the channel between these islands and the east point of Madeira. This small level island is seen at 5 or 6 leagues distance, just appearing above the water, and close to it there is a pyramidal rock, which may be mistaken for a ship under sail.


Southerly gales.

Indication of them.

MADEIRA, is very high, generally clouded, except in sereno weather; the east point, in about lat. 32° 42′ N. projects out in a kind of peninsula, rather low and rugged, forming an indentation or bay to the southward. In this bay, soundings are said to be found near the shore. In summer, when the N. E. winds prevail, a S. W. current sets through the channel between Madeira and the Desertas: and in that season, when the weather is settled, off Funchal Valley there are regular land and sea breezes; the sea breeze setting in from S. Westward in the forenoon, and the land breeze comes from the shore generally about 10 o'clock at night, but sometimes not till 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. These land breezes do not extend above 3 or 4 miles off shore. It has been said, that southerly winds never blow severe quite to the shore at Funchal, that the south-westers or south-easters are never expected, except in January, February, and the beginning of March, that large ships almost always ride them out; whereas, it is certain, these southerly gales blow quite home to Funchal, sometimes in November and December; and when they are apprehended, it is common for ships of every description to put to sea. These S. W. or S. E. gales, are in general preceded by a swell tumbling into the road, often accompanied by gloomy weather, drizzling rain, and a very unsettled breeze from the land, veering several points backward and forward very suddenly. By such indications, ships generally proceed to sea; for should it blow from southward, it would be almost impossible to clear the shore on either tack after cutting or slipping, the anchorage being near the land. Some ships have rode out these southerly gales, but others have been driven on shore.*

Directions for sailing to Funchal Road.

In passing through the channel between Madeira and the Desertas, a ship ought to keep at a considerable distance from both; for it would be unpleasant to be drifted near either in

* Not long ago, several ships at anchor in Funchal Road, were driven on shore, and wrecked by one of these gales. This, I think, happened in April or May. The S. W. gales are more frequent at Funchal than any other strong winds.

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calm weather, on account of the want of anchorage. In November, 1797, the Anna drifted in a calm very near the shore to the northward of the Brazen Head, and brought up with the stream anchor in 60 fathoms water, her stern not far from the rocky cliffs. After being at anchor some time, a light breeze from the land, with the help of the boats towing, enabled her to get out from this precarious situation. When a ship has advanced through the channel, and approaching the Brazen Head, she should not keep near it, in case of being becalmed, as there is no anchorage close to this steep bluff point, which is the eastern extreme of Funchal Road.

Bent anchorage.

Near this bluff head land, ships are frequently baffled by eddy winds and calms, and obliged to get their boats out to tow; it is therefore, advisable, not to borrow too close to it in passing, nor to haul in for the road till nearly abreast the town. Should a ship enter the road by night, it is proper to shew a light at her ensign staff, to prevent being fired at from the forts. In working in with a land breeze, it is best to make short tacks opposite the valley, for here, both the land and sea breezes prevail. The Loo Rock situated near the shore, at the west end of the town, is a high rock with a fort on it; and the citadel is a brown square fort on a hill, over the W. N. W. part of the town. The best birth for large ships, is the citadel a little open to the eastward of the Loo Rock, in 30 or 35 fathoms water; the distance from the Loo Rock will then not exceed a large half mile.

A caution.

With the Loo Rock and citadel in one, bearing about N. N. E. ¼ E., Funchal steeple N. E. ¼ N. by compass, the anchorage appears equally good, in 35 faths. stiff ground. With the Loo and Citadel in one, the ground is also good in 45 fathoms, off the former about 1 mile. Farther to the westward the ground is not so good, and to the eastward the bank has a sudden declivity from 50 or 55 fathoms good ground, to 100 fathoms rock, and then no ground. If south-westers are expected, which are frequent in winter, to anchor with the Loo and Citadel in one, or the latter just open to the westward of the Loo, is the most convenient birth to put to sea from, or to ride out a S. W. gale. But the citadel well open to the eastward of the Loo, is the best anchorage when south-easters are expected. In coming into Funchal Road with a brisk wind, sail should be reduced in time, to prevent having too much way through the water, at the time of anchoring; and a ship should be brought up with her head to seaward, that in case any accident prevent her bringing up, sail can be made off shore, or otherwise as most expedient. It is best to ride with a whole cable, when there is the least appearance of unsettled weather, with a slip buoy on it, in case of being obliged to cut near the end or splice, and put to sea quickly; as there would not be time to weigh the anchor, from the sudden approach of blowing weather.

In light breezes and calms, it is proper to have a kedge anchor out to steady the ship, and prevent fouling the bower.


Rainy season.

Point de Sol.

The beach is composed of shingle, and has generally a surf on it, which prevents a ship's boat from landing abreast the town; but on the N. W. side of the Loo Rock, about half a mile from the town, is the only place safe to land from a ship's boat; the country boats are employed in watering, &c. The current along the south side of Madeira and the Desertas, mostly sets to leeward in strong gales; but at the conclusion of a gale, it sometimes changes suddenly, and sets contrary to the wind. The tides rise, and fall, about 7 feet in general, at full and change. The rainy season is said to be January, February, and March; October is also, frequently a wet month. And when hard westerly gales blow in November, or more particularly in December, they bring with them cloudy weather and rain. There is a perpendicular high cliff of majestic appearance, about 3½ leagues westward from Funchal, called Point de Sol, with a small bay to the eastward of it, said to have anchorage in it near the shore. In westerly gales and stormy weather, Point de Sol, (Point of the Sun) is often painted with beautiful portions of rainbows, which give it a grand appearance.

There have been instances, of hurricanes blowing down through the Valley of Funchal;

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lately, a condensed cloud poured a torrent of water on the mountain at the head of the valley, which deluged many vineyards in its passage, and washed away some of the houses in the town.*

Geo. Site of Funchal.

Funchal is in lat. 32° 38′ 40″ N. by above 100 meridian altitudes of Stars on both sides the zenith, observed by General Brisbane and Professor Rumker, in June, 1821. Variation about 23° W. Longitude as follows, viz. by

Gen. Brisbane and Mr. Rumker in 1821, 16 54 55 16° 53¾′ West of Greenwich, mean Longitude of Funchal. The Owen Glendower, Frigate, went purposely in 1822, having 14 good chronometers on board, to measure the difference of Longitude from Greenwich to Funchal, and which she made to be 16° 53′ 45″ W. corresponding with the above.
Capt. Corry, 1821, 53 40
Capt. Heywood, 1810, 51 6
Do. Do. 1812, 53 19
Capt. M'Intosh 50
Capt. Craig 52
Flinders and Crosley 56
French Astronomers 55
Capt. Bartholemew 58

Lat. of the anchorage in the Road 32° 37′ 40″ N.

Calms under the High Land.

At leaving Funchal, steer directly from the shore, to prevent being baffled by calms or eddy winds under Point de Sol, or the Brazen Head, for vessels are liable to calms under the high land to the westward.



Proper to keep to the westward.

DEPARTING FROM MADEIRA, or after passing it to the westward, the best track is to the westward of the Canary, and Cape Verd Islands, at any discretional distance, or barely in sight of them. By adopting this route, steadier winds may be expected, than by passing close to, or among these islands. The Britannia outward bound in November, 1803, had W. S. W. and S. W. winds, and was several days close to the coast of Africa, in latitude 29° N. In January, 1795, the Swallow, after passing in sight of the Canary Islands to the westward, had westerly winds, which carried her to the eastward of the Cape de Verd Islands: it seems preferable to pass to the westward of all the islands, which is the track generally adopted, particularly early in the season; but many ships, after January, prefer the passage to the East of the Cape de Verd Islands.

If a ship be bound to Teneriffe, or intend to pass between the Canaries, or is laid off to the S. S. Eastward after passing Madeira, care is requisite to avoid the Salvages, which must not be approached in the night.†

Geo. Site of Great Salvage.

GREAT SALVAGE, in lat. 30° 8′ N. lon. 15° 50′ W. by the late survey of H. M. S. Leven, or 1° 3′ East from Funchal by chronometers, is a high bold rocky Islet that may be

* The small-pox is much dreaded at Madeira; were a ship discovered to have this distemper on board, she would be ordered to leave the port.

† Captain James Mortlock, an excellent observer and astronomer, passed within 1½ mile of the southern Salvages, or Piton, in the Young William, and made a plan of them. He made the Piton, or southernmost Islet, in lat. 30° 5′ N. lon. 15° 42′ W.; and the Great Salvage in lat. 30° 11′ N. The longitude from these Islets, was measured to Ferro by chronometers, in a run of 24 hours, and rests on Ferro, being in 17° 58′ W., as the chronometer measured 2° 16′ W. from the Piton, or southern Salvage, to Ferro.


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seen at 8 or 9 leagues distance. By measuring the angle of the Peak of Teneriffe to the Sun, and also to the Pole Star, made that Peak bear S. 20° 4¼′ W. true, from the Great Salvage, distant 118 miles.

The Great Piton bears from the Great Salvage S. 55° W., distant 9 miles; the Pitons consist of two islets with several rocks about them, having a safe channel between them and the Great or North Salvage.

Canary Islands.

CANARY ISLANDS, are eleven in number, (four of them small) extending from lat, 27° 40′ to 29° 20′ N. and from lon. 13° 35′ to 18° 6′ W. They are mostly high, with steep rocky shores, rendering the landing often impracticable, and they are all destitute of safe harbours for large ships.


Geo. Site.

PALMA, the north-westernmost of these Islands, 8 leagues long and 6 leagues broad, is frequently seen by the outward-bound East-India ships: being high, with a bold coast, some navigators have run toward it with great confidence in the night; and several ships have been nearly lost on it in dark nights, the lights on the impending mountains, first shewing their situation. Captain L. Wilson, a scientific observer, places Palma, the north point, in lat. 28° 51′ 20″ N. lon. 17° 48′ 40″ W., the west point in lat. 28° 46′ N., lon. 18° 4′ 30″ W., and the south point in lat. 28° 32′ N. lon. 17° 54′ 45″ W. This island is said to be more subject to westerly winds and rains, than any of the others. Santa Cruz, the chief place, is near the middle of the east side.

The channels clear.

The channels among the Canary Islands are clear of dangers, except a doubtful sunken rock in lat. 27° 52′ N., in the channel between Canary and Teneriffe, about 7 leagues from the latter, and 5 leagues west from the former; which many navigators think has no existence. Several of the outward-bound ships pass between Palma and Gomera, when laid off to the eastward by westerly winds, or otherwise.

Geo. Site of Santa Cruz.

SANTA CRUZ, in the Island Teneriffe, is in lat. 28° 29′ N. lon. 16° 22′ W. being the port generally used by ships which stop at these Islands to procure refreshments: it is on the east side of the island, and the road, though indifferent, is one of the best in the Canaries. Ships going in, should not bring any part of the town to the northward of west, for fear of being becalmed by the high land under the peak, and drifted on the rocky shore, where no bottom is found close to it with 200 fathoms line.



Merchant ships and small vessels anchor to the N. Eastward of the pier, off the town, in 18 and 20 fathoms, distant from the shore ½ mile. Ships of war anchor off the northern-most fort, about ½ mile distant from it, with their outer anchor in 36 fathoms, and the inner one in 15 or 18 fathoms. The Hindostan, in October, 1792, at anchor in 28 fathoms dark mud, had the southernmost steeple west, the northernmost fort north, and the easternmost point E ½ N. The bottom being foul in many parts of the road, it is customary to buoy the cables from the ground. Vegetables are plentiful, also the fruits common in Europe, and good water is easily procured when the surf is not great on the beach. This road is exposed to easterly winds, but these seldom blow hard, although it has sometimes happened, that ships have been driven from their anchors, on shore. Santa Cruz is an excellent place for procuring a supply of cheap wines, which are of a weak quality. The Peak of Teneriffe is in lat. 28° 18′ N. by Captain Cook; and in 28° 15′ 38″ N. by the Requisite Tables. It may be seen about 45 leagues when the atmosphere is clear, being about 12,300 feet elevated above the level of the sea. Variation 20° W.


ORATAVA, on the N. W. side of the island, has a very indifferent Road, where ships stop sometimes to take in wine: the anchorage is in 50 fathoms about 1½ mile off shore, with the Peak bearing S. W. and a pilot should be kept on board. Straggling rocks project

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two or three ships' lengths from the shore, on which the sea breaks furiously: this Road is very dangerous in the winter months, from September to May.

Grand Canary.

GRAND CANARY, 12 leagues S. E. of Teneriffe, is nearly round, being about 11 or 12 leagues in extent; it is the best watered, and most fertile of the islands. Palmas, the chief town, is on the N. E. side of the island; its road is sheltered from N. Eastward by that point of the land stretching out in a peninsula, and having some rocks adjoining.


GOMERA, distant about 5 leagues to the S. W. from the coast of Teneriffe, is 6 leagues long, and its medium breadth 3 leagues. Palmas, the chief place, is in a bay on the east side, sheltered from the northward by a projecting point.


FERRO, the S. Westernmost of the Canary Islands, distant 10 or 11 leagues to the S. W. of Gomera, is 6 leagues long and 3 leagues broad. El Golfo, on the east side, is the chief village. These islands are destitute of harbours.


FORTAVENTURA, is about 20 leagues long, and from 2 to 5 leagues broad, the south end of it being about 10 leagues to the east of Grand Canary.


LANZAROTE, or Lancerota, about 6 leagues long and 4 leagues broad, lies to the N. E. of Fortaventura, being separated from it by the Bocayno channel, in which is the Island Lobos, 2 leagues long and ½ league broad, dividing the channel into two passages. That between Lobos and Fortaventura, is 2 miles wide with 5 fathoms water, and good anchorage. The channel next Lanzarote, is 4 miles wide, with 10 fathoms water. Off the north end of Lobos there is a large reef.


On the S. E. side of Lanzarote, are two ports within reefs, called Puerto de Naos and Puerta Cavallos: the former is the northern one, sheltered from N, E. by the reefs, and here vessels may refit. It has two entrances between the reefs, with only 14 feet at high water in the northern, and 17 feet in the southern entrance; the depth within, is 27 to 10 feet, rise of tide 10 feet.

Puerta Cavallos.

PUERTA CAVALLOS, 1 mile south of the former, has only 12 feet in the channel; and within, 17 feet


GRATIOSA, is 1 league north of Lanzarote, being 5 miles long and 1 mile broad, and the channel between them, forms the harbour of El Rio, in which the depth is 6 and 7 fathoms.

Santa Clara, &c.

SANTA CLARA, 6 miles N. W. of Gratiosa, and Alegranza, are small rocky isles destitute of fresh water.

The channel between Cape Juby on the African coast and these islands, is about 20 leagues wide, and clear of danger.

Cape Verd Islands.

CAPE VERD ISLANDS, consisting of ten principal and some small Isles, extend from lat. 14° 43′ to 17° 13′ N., and from lon. 22° 28′ to 25° 27′ W.; they are mostly high, and some of them have sheltered bays, with tolerable anchorage.

Channel within them.

Some outward-bound ships for India, or St. Helena, prefer the channel between Cape Verd and these islands, generally keeping in longitude between 19° and 20° W. in passing the islands, to avoid some doubtful dangers placed to the eastward of them, which seem to have no existence: others keep nearer to the continent, the channel being clear on that side, with soundings near the land. Were it not for the great haze contiguous to the coast, occasioned by the dust and dry vapour, driven to seaward by the N. E. winds from the hot sandy

C 2

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desert, the passage near the main would be preferable to that outside the Cape Verd Islands, when the sun is far to the southward, for steady northerly winds then prevail near the continent, and the route is much shorter than that to the westward; but the obscure atmosphere, renders the inner passage unpleasant when observations are not regularly obtained.

In some charts, a reef is placed projecting from Cape Verd to a small distance, but the Cape seems safe to approach, the soundings decreasing regularly to 8 or 10 fathoms towards it.

St. Anthony.


ST. ANTHONY, the north-western most of the Cape Verd Islands, is often seen by ships passing to the westward of them: prior to the use of chronometers and lunar observations, it was desirable to see this island, Palma, or Madeira, in order to correct the reckoning; which is not requisite, if a ship have good chronometers; nevertheless, St. Anthony may be passed in sight, without fear of delay by calms or light winds, if not approached too close. By admeasurement, I made the summit of St. Anthony 7400 feet above the surface of the sea, it may therefore be seen near 30 leagues distance from a ship's deck in clear weather, which is seldom the case, hazy or cloudy weather mostly prevailing about these islands.

Geo. Site.

Point de Sol, or the North point, which may always be known by several white houses on it, projects in a low sand, with a reef extending about ½ a mile farther into the sea and 1¼ mile off the point, the Leven got no ground at 130 fathoms. From hence to the west end of the Island, the coast may be approached within 2 miles, where you must keep out, or otherwise get into the calm. Between the North and N. E. points, do not come within 5 miles of the land, as you may have light winds, and be set on the Island by the swell. By the survey of H. M. S. Leven, the North Point of the Island is in lat. 17° 12′ N. lon. 25° 9′ W. South Point in lat. 16° 54½′ N. lon. 25° 17¼′ W. East Point 17° 5½′ N. 25° 2¾′ W. West Point 17° 3¼′ N. 25° 25¾′ W.*

Fresh water at Terrafal Bay.

On the west side of the Island there is a small concavity, called Tarrafal Bay, where excellent fresh water may be got, and anchorage in from 35 to 40 fathoms, about ¼ mile off the sandy beach at that part of the Bay, where H. M. S. Leven remained some time in the summer of 1820, at which time there was very little surf, the anchorage being protected from the N. E. Trade Wind by the mountainous land; and this produced a light sea breeze or eddy wind sometimes in the heat of the day. A Plan of this Bay has been engraved at the Hydrographical Office, Admiralty, from the survey of Lieut. Vidal, who made the Tent, erected for observations on shore, in lat. 16° 57′ 10″ N. lon. 25° 24′ 48″ W. Variation 16° West.

This Bay is known by a small green plantation, and a black sandy beach under a cliff. The square sails should be furled, and all the boats got ready to tow a ship into it when she gets becalmed under the high land, and the jolly boat should be previously sent in, and anchored in 30 fathoms as a guide, opposite to a red mark in the cliff.

The best anchorage is in 39 to 35 fathoms, about ⅓ of a mile off shore, soft bottom, where a ship may lie very smooth under the Mountain, with its altitude about 25°, northern extreme of the land bearing N. 11° W., southern extreme S. 35° W., Red Mark on the cliff S. 30° E. This Bay is open from N. by W. to S. W. by S.


other islands.

The channel between St. Anthony and St. Vincent is very safe; the Lord Eldon passed through it in July, 1802, and thought it near 5 leagues broad. In passing through, you may be guided by your eye to keep clear of the light winds occasioned by either Island.


If an outward-bound ship is to stop at Porto Praya, in the Island St. Jago, which is frequented by ships in want of water, it will be prudent to steer for the Island Sal, or Bonavista; and to avoid the danger to the westward, and south-west of the latter, she may pass on the east side of these islands; or on the west side of Sal, if the wind be far from the

* The Russian Circumnavigator, Captain Krusenstern, made the S. W. point in lon. 25° 24′ W. Captain Lisiansky made it in lon. 25° 23′ W.; I made the summit of the island, by noon observation and chronometers, in lat. 17° 2′ N. lon. 25° 25′ W.

[page] 13

northward, then well to the westward of the shoals, and afterward for Isle May, passing also to the westward of it, she will easily reach Porto Praya Road. If the wind incline from eastward, to pass to windward of them will be most convenient for reaching Porto Praya with speed. In running for these islands it is proper to look out in time, the current generally setting to the southward amongst them, sometimes strong.


SAL, is high and bold, with two peaks on it, and may be seen 14 or 15 leagues in clear weather. The easternmost peak is highest, and the land between them being low, they appear like two separate islands when first seen.

Geo. Site.

Mordeira Bay, on the west side of the Island, affords tolerable anchorage, excepting in the rainy season, when the wind comes from the southward at times; but a chain should be used as the bottom is foul ground: neither wood nor water is to be got here for shipping. In passing along either side of the Island to the southward, do not approach too close to the South point, which is low, extending out several miles in a sandy spit, not visible in the night, or in hazy weather. The North Point is in lat. 16° 51¼′ N. lon. 22° 58¾′ W. The South Point in lat. 16° 34½′ N. lon. 23° 1′ W. East Point 16° 39¾′ N. 22° 56¾′ W. West Point 16° 48′ N. 23° 4¼′ W.


BONAVISTA, is high, very uneven, composed of alternate hills and vallies, and in some places, low points project into the sea; the south-east extreme, in particular, is a low projecting point, not discernible until near it. From this low point, a reef of rocks and foul ground extends a league or more to seaward, on which the outward-bound East-India ship, Hartwell, was wrecked, with loss of cargo and most of the treasure. The Resolution, Captain Cook, in her voyage to the South-Sea, was nearly sharing the same fate in the night, owing to a southerly current; and several other ships have suffered on this reef. The east side of the island, has a reef extending all along it, to a considerable distance.

Geo. Site.

There is anchorage here, in English Road, Portuguese Road, and off the Coral Reef, but there is no town except at English Harbour, where you may anchor inside or outside the Reef off the small Island, but it is often dangerous to remain at anchor, about the full and change of the Moon, more particularly, when heavy rollers generally prevail about the Island. In thick or misty weather, great care is necessary when approaching this Island, as the currents are sometimes strong and irregular; and the fine sand or dust blown off from the desart of Africa, makes the atmosphere frequently so thick, that the land cannot be seen before you are in the surf. The North Point of the Island is in lat. 16° 13¼′ N. lon. 22° 59½′ W. The South Point in lat. 15° 57¼′ N. lon. 22° 21¾′ W. East Point in 16° 3′ N. 22° 44′ W. West Point in 16° 11¾′ N. 23° 2′ W.

Island May.

MAY OR MAYO ISLAND, bearing from Bonavista nearly S. S. W., distant 14 or 15 leagues, has a reef of rocks projecting from the north end about 3½ miles; and this being a low point, makes it unsafe to approach in the night. This island may be seen 10 or 11 leagues, being high at the centre, uneven, making in hills, and has anchorage under the S. W. end in 7 or 8 fathoms, in a kind of bay, called English Road. The shore to the eastward, and abreast the town of May, is steep, bluff, and rocky; but to the westward, a low white sandy beach extends to a rounding point, from which a spit of sand and coral stretches out a few cables' lengths, at a small distance from which, there is no ground at 40 and 50 fathoms. This spit may be rounded in 17 to 15 fathoms, and a ship should not anchor in the road farther out than 16 or 17 fathoms, as these depths are on the edge of the bank. His Majesty's ship Polyphemus, at anchor in 16½ fathoms, had the west point of the bay bearing N. 10° W., the town East, and the south point of the bay S. 59° E., off shore 1 mile. From this anchorage, the chronometer measured 17½ miles west to the anchorage of Porto Praya, and 39 miles east to the east end of Bonavista. The north point of the island is 23

[page] 14

Geo. Site.

miles east of Porto Praya, by chronometers. There are 45 fathoms coral, 5 or 6 miles to the northward of the reef that projects from the north end of the island, and soundings extend from hence to Leton Rock, and from thence to the coral reef off Bonavista. A vessel may anchor in several places, and at the south side of the island, but there is no town except at English Harbour. The cattle are better here than at any of the other Cape Verd Islands, perhaps by their access to the Salt Pans. Salt is produced in great abundance, and a number of American ships load with it annually. No wood is to be obtained for shipping. The North Point is in lat. 15° 20¾′ N. lon. 23° 14¾′ W. South Point in lat. 15° 6′ N. lon. 23° 12′ W. East Point in 15° 14½′ N. 23° 8½′ W. West Point in 15° 10½′ N. 23° 17′ W. All the other Cape Verd Islands are high, and most of them have places under the south or south-west sides, where vessels may anchor.*

Leton Rock.

LETON ROCK, OR REEF; is very dangerous, and much in the way of ships passing to the westward of Bonavista. There seems to be another reef, considerably to the northward of the Leton Rock, and much nearer to Bonavista. These dangers, render the channel to the westward of Bonavista unsafe in thick weather, or in the night; for it is thought the sea does not break on these reefs with smooth water, but when there is much swell, breakers roll over them.

The London, in June, 1795, saw the northernmost breakers: after passing to the westward of Sal, she saw Bonavista, bearing S. E. by S. 7 or 8 leagues; from hence, she steered by compass S. ½ W. 6½ miles, S. by E. 5½ miles, S. by W. 6½ miles, being then 4 P. M. saw from the deck breakers, bearing from S. S. E. ½ E. to S. E., distant 6 or 7 miles; steered S. by W. ½ W. 6½ miles to 5 P. M., the breakers then distant 3½ miles to the eastward.

The Diana, in October, 1805, passed near the Leton or Southern Reef. At 1 P. M., October 21st, Bonavista E. S. E. 7 or 8 leagues, steered S. by W. 6 miles, S. by W. ½ W. 12 miles, being 4 P. M., breakers first seen at 3 P. M. now bore E. S. E. 4 miles.

By the relative positions of these ships from Bonavista, and their courses steered till near the breakers, the danger seen in the Diana appears to be about 4 leagues to the southward, and considerably to the westward of that seen in the London, if these were both real dangers.

The Bank.

The danger of running in the vicinity of these reefs in the night, has been fatally experienced by the loss of the Lady Burgess, one of the outward-bound India fleet, which ship struck among the breakers on Leton Rock, at 2 A. M. 19th of April, 1806. The Alexander, Sovereign, Lord Nelson, and other ships of the fleet, narrowly escaped, after the breakers were perceived close aboard. The Lord Melville struck three times, and slipped off the rocks into 25 fathoms, at the time the Lady Burgess was observed standing directly among the breakers. It appears from the journals of the fleet, combined with information received from several of the commanders, that the Leton Rock, or Reef, is composed of coral, no part of it above water. Captain Swinton, late commander of the Lady Burgess, thinks that the extent on which a ship would strike is not above a cable's length, and that there are no breakers on it in fine weather. To the northward, it is steep to, but this danger seems to he the northern limit of an extensive bank of coral soundings, which extends a great way to the southward, and a considerable distance to the eastward and westward. The Asia had 52 fathoms coral at day-light, when the breakers and wreck of the Lady Burgess bore E. by N., distant about 6 miles, and other ships had soundings from 25 to 50 fathoms to the west and south-west of the reef, at 2 to 5 or 6 miles distance. Directly after striking, the Lord

* On the south side of St. Nicholas, there are several indifferent anchoring places. Captain Davis watered there, 7th May, 1599, when pilot of a Dutch ship bound to India. He sailed from thence the 9th, and fell in with the coast of Brazil in lat. 7° S. on the 9th of June; not being able to beat round Cape St. Augustine, he bore away for Fernando Norhona, anchored there, in 18 fathoms water, on the north side of the island the 15th, where he remained until the 26th of August, having procured good water, provision, and refreshments of various kinds.

[page] 15

Geo. Site.

Melville had 25 fathoms, with her head to the eastward, and shortly after 30 fathoms; she love to, with her head easterly until day-light, and had from 30 to 40 fathoms, all coral soundings. Some of the other ships carried soundings on the Leton Bank for 10 or 12 leagues to the southward of the rock, generally coral, sometimes intermixed with sand and shells, and never had less than 20 fathoms. By mean of the observations and chronometers of the fleet, the Leton Rock is in lat. 15° 49′ N., lon. 23° 14′ W., and the survey of H. M. S. Leven placed it in lat. 15° 47½′ N. lon. 23° 13′ W.* Captain Cook, bound to the South Sea on discovery, had soundings 60 fathoms, the Island May bearing S. S. E. 5 leagues; these soundings were probably on the southern extremity of Leton Bank, as he had previously seen the breakers on the rock, after passing Bonavista on the east and south-east sides.


St. Jago.

Porto Praya Bay.

A false bay.

In running for Isle May in the night, the north part of it must not be approached too close, on account of the reef already mentioned off its northern extremity. This island should also be passed on the east side, if the wind hang from eastward, and when round the south point, a ship should steer westward for the south-east end of St. Jago, with the wind at east or E. N. E. ward; but with the wind inclining from northward or N. N. west, the Island May ought to be passed on the western side, then a direct course followed for the south-east point of St. Jago. This point appears low, when seen either from north or southward, and projects considerably into the sea. To the S. W. about 7 miles from it, is Porto Praya Bay, the principal port in the island St. Jago. Between the east point of Praya Bay and the south-east point of the island, about 3 or 4 miles to the west of the latter, a bay resembling that of Porto Praya is situated, which has a brown sandy beach, several date trees, and houses at the bottom of it. Some vessels have been in danger by mistaking this rocky bay for that of Porto Praya, as its east point is fronted by sunken rocks. From hence to the east point of Praya Bay, the shore is mostly perpendicular, and may be approached within 1½ mile, or in 10 fathoms water.


PORTO PRAYA FORT, situated on a small cliff, is a mark by which that bay may be distinguished from the false one; another mark is, that the north or east point of the latter is generally surrounded with breakers, whereas the east point of Praya Bay is high, steep, and free from danger; and its west point has a battery of earth or brown stones on it, by which the bay is often first distinguished, and the sea always breaks off this west point to distance. In running for this place with a brisk north-east wind, a ship should have a reef or two in her topsails when she approaches the east point of the bay, and this point may be passed within the distance of a cable's length, in 8 or 9 fathoms; the same distance from the eastern side of the bay, in 7 or 8 fathoms, is proper in sailing to the anchorage. The eastern shore of the bay is high, and all the land seems parched and barren.

Porto Praya is a fine bay, the two points which form it, bearing from each other about W. by S. and E. by N. 1½ or 1¾ mile distant; and it is of equal depth. After passing the east point, the fort at the bottom of the bay soon opens, to the westward of which, in a valley, are several date trees, and a small house. A small black island, flat at the top, called the Isle of Quails, is situated in the west side of the bay, having a rocky projection from its south end about half a cable's length; there is also a rocky ledge off the north end, where the water is in general shoal, for 3 fathoms is the greatest depth between this isle and the fort. Between it and the shore, the channel is only navigable for boats. From the west point of the bay, some rocks extend to seaward, and it requires care to avoid them, in sailing from the anchorage in the night.

Best anchorage.

The best anchorage is, to bring the fort N. W. ½ W. by compass, about 1 mile, the east part of Isle Quails W. by S. or W. by S. ½ S. 1¼ mile, in 7 or 8 fathoms; but nearer to the N. E. side of the bay, is more convenient to weigh from in light winds, or otherwise, to pre-

* By anchoring a Boat on it with a Flag, and measuring the angles from two High Hills on Bonavista to the Boat, which was visible from those hills.

[page] 16

vent being carried near the point of rocks to leeward by the currents, before a ship has good way through the water. The Earl Talbot, in 7½ fathoms, black sand, had the flag-staff on the hill N. W. by N., Jubaroon Point, or west extreme of the bay S. W. by S., south extreme of Quail Island W. by S. ½ S., and the east point of the bay E. S. E. ¼ S., off the landing place 1 mile, off the north-east shore 2 cable's lengths.

Winds and weather.

The winds are generally in the north-east quarter, and frequently the weather is cloudy with squalls; here, it seldom rains, but a dry haze mostly prevails about these islands. In December and January, the winds hang sometimes far to the eastward, but they veer at times in the same season to the northward.* In August, September, and October, strong southerly winds blow at times, forcing a heavy swell into the bay, which frequently breaks, and is said to make the anchorage dangerous at this season: therefore, ships touching here at this time should anchor well out, in order to clear the land in getting under weigh.

ST, JAGO, or YAGO, the chief of the Cape Verd Islands, is about 40 miles long and 20 broad; it is mountainous and generally sterile, having some fertile spots which produce fruits and vegetables.

Water in dry seasons scarce.

Geo. Site.

The cistern which supplies the ships with water in Porto Praya Bay, is at the bottom of the hill upon which the castle is built, about ¼ mile from the beach, and in common seasons, if drawn dry in the evening, is full again next morning. The water is not very good, being more or less brackish, particularly in dry seasons. At such times, there is a scarcity of all the necessaries of life, and the wretched natives perish in great numbers by famine. This is at all times, an indifferent place for a ship to procure refreshments; and in very dry seasons, the water although indifferent, is not to be had in sufficient quantity. The anchorage in the Bay of Porto Praya is in lat. 14° 55′ N. lon. 23° 30′ W., by mean of many ships observations and chronometers. Variation 16° West in 1820. The survey of H. M. S. Leven, makes Quail Island in lat. 14° 53¼′ N. lon. 23° 34′ W. North Point of the island in lat. 15° 20′ N. lon. 23° 49′ W. South Point in lat. 15° 7′ N. lon. 23° 39′ W. East Point in 15° 0′ N. 23° 29′ W. West Point in 15° 17½′ N. 23° 51′ W.

St. Vincent.

ST. VINCENT, 3 leagues E. S. E. of St. Anthony, has wood, water, and some indifferent cattle: it is high and rugged, said to have anchorage all around, with a bay on the S. W. side, where the Devonshire anchored, in 22 fathoms, sand and bits of coral, on her passage out to India in 1766, about 2½ or 3 miles off shore, and 4 miles from each of the extremes of the island. One well was discovered, and another was dug near it at the head of the bay, where she filled up her water during a stay of several days.

Porto Grande at the N. Western part of the island, affords the best anchorage of any of the Cape Verd Islands; here, you lie secure from the sea, with a fresh breeze generally blowing, and may cut as much wood in a short time as can be stowed away, and you may strip and refit your ship with safety. The harbour is open to the westward, but St. Anthony, being only 9 miles distant, will always shelter you from the wind in that direction. You may get water from the well, sufficient for daily use, and when refitted, you may run down in 5 or 6 hours to Tarrafal Bay, in St. Anthony, and there complete your water.

* When the weather is settled, there are often regular land and sea breezes in the Bay of Porto Praya; the sea breeze setting in near noon, with a great surf on the shore, and ending at four or five o'clock in the afternoon. The north east wind sets in towards evening, and continues during the night. As there is generally some surf on the beach, boats should lie at their grapnels, and the casks of water be hoisted into them, after being filled at the well or cistern, and rolled down and floated through the surf. His Majesty's ships Polyphemus and Africa, with a fleet of transports, watered at this place in January, 1807, and found the water then very good. Capt. Heywood, advises large ships to send on shore a pump to place in the well, by which they will be sooner watered than if the water were drawn up from it in the common manner with buckets. Some planks carried on shore will be useful to place under the casks in rolling them down, where the ground is stony or uneven, or where it is soft sand, which is often the case.

[page] 17

Geo. Site.

The North Point of St. Vincent is in lat. 16° 55½′ N. lon. 25° 0′ W. South Point in lat. 16° 47′ N. lon. 25° 3¼′ W. East Point 16° 50½′ N. 24° 55¾′ W. West Point 16° 50′ N. 25° 8¾′ W. Porto Grande Custom House 16° 53½′ N. 25° 3¼′ W. Bird Island 16° 54¾′ N. 25° 4½′ W.

St. Lucia.

ST. LUCIA, about 3 leagues E. S. Eastward from St. Vincent, having some rocky islets between them, is of considerable extent, hilly, and occasionally inhabited by fishermen; at the S. E. part, there is anchorage within the small isle called Round Island.

Geo. Site.

There is some water on St. Lucia, but not sufficient for shipping: soundings extend across between it and Round Island, where the Leven anchored in 12 fathoms hard bottom, the east end of St. Lucia. N. 28° E. West end of Round Island S. 4° W., where the flood was found to set to the westward, and the ebb to the eastward, about 2 miles an hour at spring tides, but the wind has great influence on them. On full and change of Moon, it is high water about 1 o'clock. In this channel, border not too close to the eastward of St. Lucia, the ground being uneven. There are soundings 2 or 3 miles to windward of St. Lucia, with discoloured water. Between St. Lucia and St. Vincent, there is a channel, in which the Leven passed; and here, when blowing fresh, with the tide setting to windward, it has the appearance of shoal water, but she did not find less than 6 fathoms in working through, with 15 fathoms in mid-channel. The North Point of St. Lucia is in lat. 16° 49′ N. lon. 24° 51′ W. South Point in lat. 16° 43′ N. lon. 24° 48½′ W. East Point in 16° 45¼′ N. 24° 45′ W. West Point in 16° 47′ N. 24° 51′ W.

St. Nicholas.

ST. NICHOLAS, about 5 leagues S. E. ward of St. Lucia, may be seen 16 leagues in clear weather; it is the most pleasant of these islands, and the residence of the bishop: on the south side, there are several indifferent anchoring places. Grand, or St. George's Bay, on the N. W. side, where the trade of the island is carried on, has anchorage in 7 fathoms clear ground, close to the shore, but out in 9 and 10 fathoms the ground is rocky. Here refreshments may be procured, but there is no watering place for a ship.

Geo Site.

This Bay may be known by the White Fort which stands on a hill, and is seen immediately after rounding the south point of the island from the westward; but ships requiring refreshments generally stand off and on, the anchorage being very close in. The chief town is about 4 miles inland from the landing place, and there the Bishop and Governor reside. From the west point of the island which projects out low and rocky, soundings extend 4 or 5 miles to the southward, from ½ to ¼ mile from the shore. A ship might anchor here in the calm to repair damage, about 3 miles to the southward of the west point, the breeze not reaching so far down, excepting in the rainy season, when it would be dangerous, as the wind then comes in from the southward. H. M. S. Leven anchored twice here, in 18 fathoms, the West Point bearing N. 16° E., off shore 1 mile. The North Point of St. Nicholas is in lat. 16° 41′ N. lon. 24° 24′ W. South Point in lat. 16° 28½′ N. lon. 24° 23′ W. East Point in 16° 35′ N. 24° 5′ E. West Point in 16° 38¼′ N. 24° 30′ W.


RAZA, OR CHAON, in lat. 16° 38′ N. lon. 24° 39′ W., is a small uninhabited island, about 1½ mile in diameter, at times inaccessible: there is no fresh water on it, and the bottom near it is rocky.


BRANCO, OR ROUND ISLAND, in lat. 16° 40′ N. lon. 24° 44½′ W., is about 3: miles in diameter, inaccessible excepting in fine weather. A low sandy point projects a short way from the eastward, with a reef off it, which is visible. The Leven, beat through the passage between this island and Chaon, and had irregular soundings. She also went through between Chaon and St. Nicholas, which is a good passage, but the tides and currents between these islands are sometimes strong and irregular, greatly influenced by the winds, rendering a good look out necessary when near them. Close in shore to the southward of


[page] 18

the west point of St. Nicholas, if blowing strong outside, you will find the tide run 9 or 10 hours to the northward.


BRAVO, about 18 leagues to the westward of St. Jago, is high, about 4 leagues in circuit, and one of the most fruitful of the group. Porto Furno, on the east side, is a good harbour for small vessels, with a narrow entrance, which obliges ships to warp out.

Porto Furreo, on the south side, and Porto Fajen Dago, on the west side, are said to afford good shelter for small vessels, where water and refreshments may be procured; but this island has no safe anchorage for large ships, neither can wood or water be got for such ships.

Geo. Site.

The North Point of the island is in lat. 14° 59′ N. lon. 24° 44′ W. South Point in lat. 14° 47¼′ N. lon. 24° 45′ W. East Point in 14° 51¼′ N. 24° 43½′ W. West Point in 14° 51′ N. 24° 48½′ W. There are two islets about 5 miles N. N. E. from the north end of Bravo.


Geo Site.

FUEGO, OR ST. PHILIP, about 5 leagues long, is very high, forming a volcanic peak, and generally clouded. It has no running stream, and but a few mulatto or negro inhabitants, who raise vegetables, and rear goats and cattle. A ship may anchor off the town, but the water is very deep, with a great surf on the beach, and the landing difficult. Fruit may be got in the season, but there is no water for the supply of shipping. At the north and N. E. points of the island, the currents are strong, influenced by the strength of the winds outside: do not approach these points close, being liable to light winds, under the high land. The North Point of the island is in lat. 15° 4¼′ N. lon. 24° 26′ W. South Point in lat. 14° 49′ N. lon. 24° 25½′ W. West Point in 14° 54′ N. 24° 34′ W. Peak in 14° 57′ N. 24° 24′ W.*




Table shewing the interior limits of the trades.

THIS TABLE is formed by extracts, taken from the East-India Company's ships journals, and will readily be comprehended, without any explanatory description. But it may be observed, that the limit of the north-east trade marked in the table, is the place where the wind was found steady between north and east; and the limit of the S. E. trade, is the position where the wind was experienced, settled between east and south-south-east. The winds which blow between S. by E. and S. S. W. to the northward of the equator; and the same winds which prevail from the equator to several degrees of S. latitude near the African coast, are not marked as part of the south-east trade, but included in the space of variable winds between the trades. These southerly and south-south-west winds, adjacent to the south-east trade, prevail through several degrees of latitude, generally speaking; but are most settled when the sun is in the northern hemisphere, particularly in June, July, August, and September; his rays having in these months, greatly heated the northern regions, draw the southerly winds far to the northward of the equator. In this season, the progress of outward-bound ships to the southward, is greatly obstructed between the trades, by the southerly winds, and north-west currents, which frequently attend them.

Many of the ships mentioned in this table, were in company with fleets, it being a period of war most of the time. The longitude is by chronometers, or lunar observations.

* To the liberality of the late Capt. Hurd, Hydrographer to the Admiralty, I am indebted for most of the Geographical Positions, and much new information concerning the Cape Verd Islands, given in this edition of the India Directory, which I transcribed from the survey of H. M. S. Leven.

[page] 19

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1794 Nancy Jan. 21 10 30 N. 14 0 W. Feb. 17 8 0 S 6 0 E. Had S. W. winds near the African Coast. Veered to south in lat. 8° S.
1795 Swallow 29 10 30 18 0 24 4 0 2 30 Had S. W. and S. S. W. winds till in lat. 4½° S. they veered to S. S. E. gradually.
1799 Taunton Castle 24 5 0 22 0 Jan. 31 2 0 N. 22 30 W. ..
1802 Arniston 24 7 0 16 0 March 5 9 0 S. 1 0 E. Had calms and faint airs to equator, and S. S. Westerly winds in south latitude.
1803 Royal George 30 7 0 15 0 Feb. 25 9 30 1 30 S. W. Winds from 4½° N. lat. to 7° S. then veering gradually to S. &S. by E.
1792 Rockingham Feb. 6 7 0 21 30 17 30 N. 24 0 W. Southerly and variable winds.
1792 Ganges 26 10 0 21 30 March 7 2 0 21 30 Variable.
1792 Lord Macartney 26 11 0 20 30 8 2 30 20 0 From 11° to 6. N. had N. W. winds.
1793 Royal Charlotte 1 8 30 16 12 9 11 0 S. 1 0 Light S. W. wind from leaving Cape Palmas 12th Feb. and afterward S. by W. &S. S. W.
1793 Triton 3 5 30 21 0 Feb. 11 1 0 N. 18 30 Variable winds mostly at southward.
1793 Woodcot 3 7 0 21 30 10 1 0 20 30 N. Westerly and variable winds.
1800 Arniston 13 6 0 21 0 27 1 0 21 0 Variable.
1801 Rose 25 9 30 23 0 March 5 2 30 20 0 ..
1803 City of London 21 8 30 16 40 27 7 0 S. 2 0 E. Had N. &N. Westerly airs to lat. 5° N.; then S. W. &S. S. W. light winds to 6° south lat.
1792 Europa March 14 8 1 21 0 April 3 1 0 N. 22 0 W. Southerly and variable.
1792 Middlesex 10 4 40 23 0 March 18 1 0 23 0 Variable.
Sir Edward Hughes 10 8 30 22 30 19 2 0 22 0 ..
Earl Weycombe 15 6 30 21 0 27 1 30 22 0 ..
Duke of Buccleugh 29 6 0 20 0 April 12 2 30 22 30 Variable and southerly.
General Goddard 22 5 0 21 30 March 27 2 0 22 0 ..
Valentine 31 7 30 14 30 May 3 4 0 S. 5 30 E. Calms &S. W. breezes in N. lat. &S. S. Westerly from equator to 6° south.
1796 Georgina 18 10 0 18 0 April 25 5 26 3 0 N. W. &variable winds to 1° lat. south; then S. S. Westerly to 5° south.
1797 Sir E. Hughes 24 2 0 19 30 March 29 2 0 17 30 W. Variable.
1798 Bombay Castle 25 2 20 20 0 31 30 22 0 ..
Earl Howe 25 2 30 18 0 April 4 0 21 0 ..
1802 Marquis of Ely 12 4 0 22 0 March 21 2 0 24 0 ..
Canton 14 3 30 23 0 25 4 0 25 0 N. Westerly and variable.
Cirencester 20 4 0 23 0 25 0 23 0 Northerly.
1802 L. J. Dundas 27 7 0 24 0 April 10 3 0 19 0 Variable.

D 2

[page] 20

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1802 David Scott March 22 6 30 N. 17 0 W. April 8 5 0 S. 9 0 W. S. Westerly light, variable, and calms.
Marquis Wellesly 25 8 0 23 0 7 3 40 N. 17 0 Variable.
1803 Carmarthen 11 3 30 21 0 March 17 28 S. 22 0 ..
Walpole 25 4 20 22 0 April 5 0 21 0 ..
1804 Windham 16 2 30 21 40 March 24 0 23 15 ..
1803 Experiment 12 3 0 21 30 14 36 N. 21 20 ..
1804 Sir Edward Hughes 6 6 0 18 0 16 20 S. 13 0 Variable.
David Scott 31 13 0 18 0 April 11 3 30 21.30 N. Westerly and variable.
1792 Melville Castle April 1 6 0 24 0 5 3 30 N. 25 0 Variable.
Duke of Montrose 5 5 30 21 0 16 30 22 0 ..
1794 Duke of Buccleugh 20 11 30 19 0 June 9 4 0 S. 7 0 E. Calms &S. W. winds from 5° N. to 3° S. and S. by W. near Anna Bona.
1795 Arniston 27 4 0 18 0 May 6 1 30 15 0 W. S. W. and S. S. W. winds.
1797 Rose 11 4 0 20 0 April 15 1 0 N. 20 0 Variable.
1798 Walpole 17 8 0 21 30 27 2 8 22 0 ..
1800 Lord Nelson 15 4 0 21 0 20 1 30 23 0 ..
1801 Lord Duncan 28 4 0 25 0 May 1 1 0 25 0 Variable at northward.
1802 Lord Nelson 8 3 36 20 0 April 20 1 0 20 0 Variable.
1803 Huddart 13 7 0 16 0 30 1 0 13 20 South and S. Westerly.
1804 Lord Nelson 15 6 0 24 0 20 2 0 25 0 ..
L. J. Dundas 15 5 25 25 0 20 2 0 26 0 ..
Fame 22 5 28 21 30 29 3 0 21 30 ..
1805 Walpole 8 1 40 21 0 14 0 21 0 ..
Charlton 15 3 30 17 30 May 3 3 30 S. 21 0 ..
1791 Kent May 5 5 20 20 0 8 3 30 N. 21 0 ..
Dublin 28 6 25 25 0 29 6 0 25 30 No light winds.
1792 Lascelles 2 7 0 21 0 7 4 0 17 0 Variable.
1792 Sullivan 4 6 0 22 30 11 2 30 20 0 Variable and southerly.
Rose 17 6 0 24 0 25 2 30 26 0 ..
Busbridge 18 7 0 22 0 25 2 0 25 0 ..

[page] 21

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1792 Thetis May 30 10 0 N. 19 30 W. June 17 2 0 S. 25 0 W. Southerly.
1793 Exeter 6 9 0 21 30 May 25 4 0 N. 20 0 ..
1796 Canton 7 13 0 19 30 23 30 S. 24 0 ..
1797 Ceres 5 4 0 20 0 13 1 30 22 30 Southerly and variable.
1798 Contractor 31 8 0 25 30 June 9 5 0 N. 20 0 ..
1799 Glatton 4 6 0 18 0 27 7 30 S. 5 0 E. Had calms; near St. Thomas, and in south lat. S. S. Westerly and southerly winds.
Sir Edward Hughes 4 3 40 20 30 May 10 1 0 N. 22 0 W. Variable.
Sir Step. Lushington 16 6 0 21 30 23 4 0 20 30 Southerly.
Lord Hawkesbury 19 7 30 18 0 June 9 0 14 0 Southerly. On May 30, was in 3° N. 5½° W. lou. stood westward, with southerly winds.
1801 Princess Charlotte 23 8 0 24 0 May 31 1 40 N. 24 30 Variable.
1802 Earl St. Vincent 10 7 0 22 0 21 3 0 20 30 ..
Anna 10 7 0 21 30 18 3 30 20 20 Variable and Calms.
Cuffnel's 28 8 30 22 0 June 4 5 0 21 0 ..
Britannia 30 9 0 22 0 12 4 0 17 30 Southerly and variable.
Tellicherry 10 7 0 25 0 May 14 3 0 27 0 Variable.
Herculean 30 11 0 21 30 June 10 2 30 24 0 Variable and southerly.
1803 Warren Hastings 5 9 30 23 40 May 21 2 0 25 0 ..
Earl Howe 30 7 50 23 0 June 6 3 40 19 30 ..
Lord Castlereagh 25 9 0 22 0 5 3 30 22 0 ..
Ceylon 29 9 30 21 0 8 4 0 19 0 ..
Preston 29 7 0 23 0 5 3 30 20 0 ..
Warley 29 7 38 21 0 7 3 40 16 0 ..
Alfred 30 9 0 21 40 7 4 20 16 30 ..
Ganges 31 8 0 22 30 6 3 50 19 0 ..
Coutts 30 9 30 21 0 7 3 40 17 0 ..
Abergavenny 28 8 0 22 0 6 2 0 20 0 ..
Union 5 10 0 24 0 May 21 2 0 23 0 Southerly.
Ocean 30 6 30 23 0 June 8 2 0 23 0 Variable.
1805 Coutts 23 7 0 22 30 1 2 0 20 0 ..

[page] 22

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1791 Bridgewater June 16 16 0 N. 19 30 W. July 4 5 0 N 20 0 W. Had N. N. W. winds to lat. 12½° N. then variable
Essex 23 13 30 16 0 13 3 0 16 0 Calms and southerly winds.
Bellmont 26 10 30 23 30 3 3 0 20 30 Variable.
1794 Woodford 3 8 0 23 0 June 11 5 0 20 0 Variable mostly at southward.
1795 Young William 15 9 30 23 30 22 4 30 23 0 ..
1795 Warren Hastings 17 4 50 23 50 18 4 40 24 0 Had no light winds.
1798 Tellicherry 30 12 0 26 0 July 10 3 0 24 0 Variable and S. Westerly.
1800 Hugh Inglis 1 10 0 25 0 June 16 2 0 28 0 Southerly.
Rockingham 29 10 0 25 9 July 14 2 0 26 0 ..
1801 Abergavenny 22 13 0 22 30 12 2 0 17 0 Northerly light winds to 8° N. afterward S. Westerly and S. S. W. winds.
1802 Fame 13 11 0 25 30 June 23 1 30 21 0 Southerly and variable.
Sir W. Bensley 28 12 0 25 0 July 15 2 0 20 0 ..
1803 Woodford 22 10 0 21 0 7 30 12 20 Had light N. Westerly airs and calms, then S. Westerly winds.
1804 Asia 15 8 30 23 0 June 24 5 0 21 0 Southerly and variable light airs.
Bengal 16 8 0 23 40 24 3 30 22 30 Variable.
1792 Earl Talbot July 9 13 0 24 0 July 20 4 0 22 30 Southerly.
1794 Sir E. Hughes 23 10 0 22 0 Aug. 2 4 0 20 0 S. S. Westerly.
1795 Cirencester 31 14 0 26 0 15 3 30 22 0 ..
1796 True Briton 17 17 0 25 30 16 2 0 S. 8 0 S. Westerly to S. by W.
1797 Queen 5 8 30 22 30 July 20 2 30 N. 24 30 Southerly.
1798 Osterly 1 9 30 25 0 11 2 0 25 0 ..
1799 Woodford 12 9 0 23 0 20 2 40 15 0 S. Westerly.
1800 Earl Spencer 28 16 30 26 0 Sept 23 13 0 S. 5 0 E. S. Westerly light winds and calms. Crossed equator in 2° E. Aug. 26.
1801 Minorca 18 15 0 26 0 Aug. 8 3 0 N. 24 0 W. Variable and southerly.
1802 Lord Eldon 11 11 30 23 0 24 9 0 S. 1 0 E. S. W. winds. Crossed equator in 4½° E. July 30. S. W. &S. S. W. winds continued.
Minerva 7 13 0 19 30 15 9 30 5 0 S. W. &S. S. W. winds. Crossed the equator, July 25, in 4° E. longitude.
Travers 9 13 0 25 0 July 24 2 0 N. 22 30 W. S. S. W. and S. W.
1803 Essex 29 13 30 27 0 Aug. 11 3 0 19 0 S. Westerly.
Princess Mary 28 14 30 27 0 13 54 22 20 S. and Westerly.

[page] 23

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1804 Arniston July 14 12 0 N. 26 0 W. July 27 4 0 N. 22 0 W. ..
Lord Eldon 31 8 0 21 0 Aug. 8 4 30 22 0 S. W. and Southerly.
1793 Earl Fitzwilliam Aug. 1 12 30 25 0 14 2 30 17 0 ..
1802 Skelton Castle 10 16 0 25 0 Sept. 24 9 0 S 9 0 E. S. Westerly on both sides of equator; crossed it Sept. 7, on meridian of London.
1803 Northampton 9 11 30 25 0 1 2 30 N. 25 0 W. S. Westerly and southerly.
Ann 8 13 0 25 0 Aug. 31 4 0 23 0 ..
General Stuart 16 14 0 27 0 Sept. 10 1 0 27 0 ..
1804 Monarch 7 13 0 25 0 Aug. 24 1 0 13 0 S. Westerly and variable.
1794 Dart Sept. 26 9 0 21 0 Oct. 6 1 0 13 0 ..
1796 Carnatic 5 11 0 23 0 10 11 30 S. 7 0 E. S. W. and southerly. Crossed equator 17th Sept. in 5° W. long.
1796 Queen 5 11 0 23 0 9 8 0 N. 3 0 S. W. and southerly, Sept. 23. Crossed equator in 3° E. and saw Anna Bona, 25th.
1798 Georgina 13 13 0 18 0 18 8 0 7 0 S. Westerly, saw St. Thomas's Island, Oct. 1st, and next day the Coast of Africa.
1799 Swallow 29 12 0 19 0 12 3 30 23 30 W. S. Westerly and variable.
1801 Elizabeth 9 15 0 27 0 Sept. 24 2 0 19 0 ..
1803 Georgina 28 10 30 23 30 Oct. 12 1 30 23 0 Variable.
1797 Henry Dundas Oct. 20 14 0 25 0 30 5 0 26 0 Southerly and variable.
1800 Georgina 16 8 0 23 0 20 4 0 24 30 Variable.
Prince Wm. Henry 18 7 0 24 0 24 3 0 24 0 ..
1801 Princess Mary 9 12 0 26 0 30 1 0 S. 19 0 Southerly and faint airs.
1804 Ocean 18 8 0 22 0 Nov. 4 3 0 N. 18 0 Calms and S. S. Westerly faint airs.
1805 Diana 29 8 30 21 0 9 3 0 22 30 Variable.
Europe 16 11 0 28 0 Oct. 26 4 0 29 0 Southerly and variable.
1792 Hindostan Nov. 10 10 30 22 30 Nov. 15 5 0 22 30 Variable.
Swallow 27 6 0 21 0 Dec. 1 4 30 21 0 ..
1796 Bellona 13 5 0 27 0 Nov. 13 5 0 27 0 Wind fresh at E. veered gradually to S. Eastwd.
1798 Cuffnells 5 9 30 25 0 19 4 0 23 30 Southerly.
Sarah Christiana 15 8 40 25 40 26 4 40 25 0 Southerly and variable.
1803 Lord Duncan 10 9 0 23 0 15 4 0 22 0 Easterly and variable.
1803 &4 Britannia 25 13 0 20 0 Feb. 1 7 0 S. 1 0 Calms &faint S. S. W. airs, near the Coast of Africa, and in general.

[page] 24

Year. Outward-Bound Ships. Lost N. E. Trade. Got S. E. Trade. Remarks on winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1797 Carron Dec. 16 6 40 N. 23 0 W. Dec. 26 1 0 N. 24 0 W. Southerly light airs.
1799 Earl Mornington 26 5 30 18 30 29 4 0 20 0 Variable.
Princess Mary 13 6 0 21 30 17 4 0 22 0 ..
1799 &1800 Anna 31 5 20 21 30 Jan. 3 4 20 22 0 Faint airs.
Year. Homeward-Bound Ships. Lost S. E. Trade. Got N. E. Trade. Remarks on Winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1793 Ganges Jan. 7 30 N. 18 0 W. Jan. 14 5 0 N. 20 0 W. Variable.
1798 True Briton 20 1 0 22 0 28 5 0 23 30 ..
1802 Rose 18 1 30 22 0 21 3 30 24 0 ..
1802 Georgina 31 4 0 18 0 Feb. 3 6 0 19 0 ..
1804 Walpole 17 3 20 22 0 Jan. 20 5 40 23 0 ..
1805 Britannia 24 2 0 19 0 31 2 27 22 0 ..
1807 Sarah Christiana 21 3 0 23 30 21 3 20 23 40 No calm between the trades.
1793 Ocean Feb. 25 1 30 S. 19 0 March 3 2 0 20 30 Light variable winds and calms.
1793 Europa 12 1 0 N. 19 0 Feb. 23 7 0 22 0 Variable.
1976 Mary 5 1 30 S. 20 0 5 0 20 0 Got N. E. trade in a squall, same time as S. E. trade abated.
1797 Georgina 12 2 50 N. 20 0 17 4 40 23 0 Variable and light airs.
1800 Georgina 22 3 0 20 0 25 4 0 21 0 Variable and light.
1801 Princess Mary 17 2 37 S. 20 0 March 2 4 20 23 0 Variable.
1803 Bengal 27 2 0 N. 19 0 10 7 0 19 0 ..
1803 Britannia 4 1 0 21 30 Feb. 10 4 30 23 0 ..
1804 Union 22 2 0 22 0 26 5 0 24 0 ..
1793 Bridgewater March 7 30 S. 20 30 March 10 3 0 26 0 Northerly.
General Goddard. 16 0 19 0 21 4 0 23 0 Southerly and variable.

[page] 25

Year. Homeward-Bound Ships. Lost S. E. Trade. Got N. E. Trade. Remarks on Winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
1793 Lascelles March 10 1 40 S. 19 0 W. March 23 5 0 N. 21 0 W. Variable.
1797 Swallow 27 1 30 19 0 April 7 3 30 22 0 ..
1803 Cirencester 11 1 0 N. 22 0 March 16 2 0 25 0 Northerly and variable.
Lady Jane Dundas 19 1 0 S. 16 0 April 1 5 30 21 0 ..
Tellichery 18 1 10 21 0 March 27 4 40 22 40 ..
1804 Lord Duncan 8 1 40 N. 23 0 8 1 50 23 0 No light winds between the trades.
Huddart 22 1 0 15 0 April 6 8 0 19 0 Light and variable.
Waller Brig 28 2 0 21 0 March 30 3 0 21 0 Light winds one day.
1793 Thetis April 22 0 23 0 May 8 6 0 27 30 Northerly.
1800 Sir Edward Hughes 9 1 0 S. 22 0 April 15 4 0 25 30 Variable.
1802 Lord Duncan 28 1 0 N. 20 0 May 5 5 0 21 0 ..
1803 Canton 13 3 0 S. 21 0 April 20 4 0 25 0 ..
1803 Lord St. Vincent 7 1 0 N. 22 0 April 14 4 20 26 0 Variable.
1804 Earl Howe 12 2 30 20 0 16 6 0 20 0 ..
Charlton 12 1 20 19 30 17 6 0 24 0 ..
1793 Melville Castle May 4 30 22 0 May 11 7 0 22 30 ..
1798 Rose 13 4 0 23 30 16 7 0 25 0 Southerly.
Marquis Lansdown 14 4 30 22 30 16 7 0 24 0 ..
Admiral Gardner 24 2 30 22 0 31 7 0 25 0 Southerly and variable.
1800 Taunton Castle 4 2 30 23 30 9 4 0 25 0 ..
Manship 16 1 0 20 0 22 6 0 20 0 ..
1801 Lord Nelson 5 3 30 24 0 6 4 30 25 0 ..
1802 Royal Admiral 23 5 0 26 0 23 5 0 26 0 No light winds.
1792 Kent June 2 1 0 22 0 June 9 8 30 24 30 Southerly and variable.
1794 Northumberland 2 2 0 21 0 17 12 0 21 0 Variable and calms.
1796 Carron 11 30 17 50 19 9 0 17 40 ..
1798 Sir Edward Hughes 12 1 30 19 30 24 12 0 25 0 ..
1799 Bridgewater 11 2 30 24 0 18 8 40 25 0 ..
1800 Woodford 7 1 30 23 0 17 8 30 26 0 ..
Earl Howe 29 5 30 21 0 July 16 15 0 26 0 Variable.


[page] 26

Year. Homeward-Bound Ships. Lost S. E. Trade. Got N. E. Trade. Remarks on Winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1803 Marquis Wellesly June 1 3 40 N. 22 0 W. June 7 8 0 N 22 30 W. ..
Lord Nelson 29 6 40 S. 15 0 July 16 11 0 27 0 Easterly to 1° N. 22° W. July 6th.
Cuffnells 2 2 0 N. 23 0 June 7 7 0 23 0 Southerly.
Fame 22 5 0 23 0 July 2 12 0 26 0 Southerly and variable.
Sir W. Bensley 10 5 0 24 0 June 15 9 0 25 0 ..
Dover Castle 5 4 30 22 0 14 10 0 22 0 ..
1806 Walpole 4 4 0 21 0 9 7 30 21 0 ..
1793 Bellmont July 5 5 0 22 0 July 15 11 30 24 0 ..
1794 Exeter 14 4 0 25 0 30 14 30 28 0 Variable and northerly.
1795 Lord Hawkesbury 13 0 21 0 Aug. 1 11 40 27 0 ..
1799 Tellicherry 18 4 0 17 0 July 29 13 0 27 0 ..
Sarah Christiana 28 4 0 23 0 Aug. 6 14 40 25 30 S. W. and westerly.
1802 Earl Mornington 9 1 30 20 0 July 16 13 30 26 0 S. W. and westerly.
1804 Abergavenny 2 6 0 21 0 8 12 0 24 0 S. W. and variable.
Sir Wm. Pulteny 22 10 0 23 0 26 12 0 26 0 Variable.
1805 Arniston 25 4 0 22 0 Aug. 7 14 0 26 0 S. W. and variable.
1793 Earl Talbot Aug. 14 3 0 22 0 22 14 0 26 0 ..
1798 Queen 25 3 0 25 0 Sept. 1 17 0 27 0 S.W. brisk winds.
1802 Abergavenny 2 50 0 24 0 Aug. 9 13 0 28 0 S. W. and variable.
1803 Travers 12 5 0 26 0 18 13 0 28 0 ..
1804 General Stuart 26 5 0 21 0 Sept. 6 16 0 27 0 ..
1795 Duke of Buccleugh Sept 17 2 30 24 30 24 11 30 26 0 ..
1797 Malabar 4 4 0 21 0 18 13 30 28 0 Variable.
1801 Anna 15 4 0 22 40 29 13 30 27 30 ..
1802 Princess Charlotte 18 3 30 19 40 24 11 0 23 0 South westerly.
1804 Preston 23 3 0 24 0 Oct. 1 12 0 25 0 Variable light winds.
1796 Cirencester Oct. 5 4 30 25 0 12 8 30 26 0 ..
1801 Hugh Inglis 20 2 30 S. 17 0 Nov. 2 10 0 25 0 ..
1802 Princess Mary 7 3 0 N. 22 0 Oct 20 16 0 28 0 ..
1803 Minerva 6 2 0 22 0 14 10 30 22 30 ..

[page] 27

Year. Homeward-Bound Ships. Lost S. E. Trade. Got N. E. Trade. Remarks on Winds, &c. between the Trades.
Month. Latitude. Longitude. Month. Latitude. Longitude.
° ′ ° ′ ° ′ ° ′
1803 Experiment Nov. 30 3 0 N. 21 84 W. Dec. 7 7 0 N. 21 40 W. ..
1804 Princess Mary 20 3 40 23 0 Nov. 23 7 0 23 30 ..
1793 &4 Swallow Dec. 28 1 0 18 0 Jan. 5 6 0 19 0 ..
1795 Nancy 25 3 0 19 30 Dec. 29 6 0 21 0 ..
1796 Earl Fitzwilliam 23 1 0 21 0 27 4 0 22 30 ..
1797 Carnatic 25 2 0 22 30 26 3 0 22 0 Southerly.
1798 Hawke 19 2 30 21 30 23 5 0 23 0 Variable.
1801 Travers 5 4 0 26 0 6 5 0 26 30 ..
1804 Ann 20 1 0 23 0 27 5 0 25 0 Calm and faint breezes.
1805 Northampton 14 2 30 20 0 20 6 0 21 0 Variable and light winds.

An abstract table shewing the equatorial limits of the trades.

Excluding the few Ships which made the Eastern Passage to St. Helena, from the 238 contained in the foregoing Table, the Result exhibiting the Equatorial Limits of the Trades, betwixt the 18° and 26° West Longitude, will be shewn by the following Abstract.

The numbers in this last column is the space of variable winds, &c. between the mean limits of the Trades. The columns of means do not always exhibit the exact mean of the two extremes for each month, but these mean numbers incline a little from the true mean, towards the extreme limit experienced by the majority of the ships.

Months. Lost N. E. Trade Outward, in Got N. E. Trade Homeward, in Mean out and Home. Lost S. E. Trade, Homeward, in Got S. E. Trade Outward, in Mean out and Home. Diff. of the Mean Limits of N. E. &S. E. Trades.
Latitude. Mean. Latitude. Mean. Latitude. Mean. Latitude. Mean.
° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °
January 5 to 10 N. 7 N. 3 to 6 N. 4½ N. 5¾ N. ½—to 4 N. 2¼ N. 2 to 4 N. 3 N. 2¾ N. 3
February 5 10 7 2 7 5 6 2 S. to 3 ½ 1 1
March 2½ 8 2 7 5 5⅛ 1 2 1 ½ 2½
April 4 9 6 4 8 2 2½ 1 0 2½
May 5 10 7 4½ 7 6 1 N. to 4 0 4 3
June 7 13 9 7 12 9 9 1 5 3 0 5 3 3 6
July 8½ 15 12 11 14 12 12 1 6 4 1 5 3
August 11 15 13 11 14½ 13 13 3 5 4 1 4
September 9 14 11½ 11 14 12 11¾ 2 4 1 3 2 3
October 7½ 13 10 8½ 14 10 10 2 5 3 1 5 3 3 7
November 6 11 9 7 0 7 8 3 4 3 5 4
December 5 7 6 3 6 5 1 4 1 4½ 4

The observations are rather few in number for some months, to obtain a correct mean; but the first column shewing the extreme limits for each, will be most useful to refer to, as it marks the situations where the trades may reasonably be expected to fail or commence.

[page] 28

John Seller's description of N. E. trade limits.

An interesting description of winds, printed in 1675, by John Seller, Hydrographer to the King, reprinted by Mr. Dalrymple, in 1807, agrees nearly with the above abstract, in fixing the southern limit of the north-east trade, as experienced in the different months of the year. The remarks relative to the southern limit of the north-east trade, in the treatise mentioned, seem judicious and concise, and are as follows:

How far the N. E. trade wind bloweth in January, &c. How far in April.

"In January, February, and March, the north-east trade wind bloweth commonly unto 4° N. lat, where at that time beginneth the south-east and easterly trade-wind.

In April, the north-east trade-wind bloweth commonly unto 5° N. lat., where then beginneth the south-east wind.


In May, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 6° N. lat., where at that time beginneth the south-east wind, somewhat more southerly.


In June, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 8° N. lat., where then beginneth the southerly wind.


In July, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 10° N. lat., where then beginneth the southerly wind somewhat westerly.


In August, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 11° N. lat., where the southerly wind begins somewhat westerly.


In September, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 10° N. lat., where the southerly wind beginneth.


In October, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 8° N. lat., where then the southerly wind beginneth somewhat easterly.


In November, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 6° N. lat., where the south-east wind beginneth.


In December, the north-east trade-wind bloweth unto 5° N. lat., where the south-east wind beginneth.

Variable winds between the trades.

It is to be observed, that between the north-east and the south-east trade-wind, the winds are subject to alteration, which variableness is sometimes found a degree or two sooner or later than the aforesaid latitude; and the more northerly you are, the more is the variableness found to be about the north and the north-east; and the more southerly you are, the more are the winds found to blow about the south-east and the south."

Southerly winds prevail.


Sudden squalls.

This observation is partly correct, but it is generally experienced that the southerly winds prevail more than any other throughout the whole space of variable winds between the trades, more particularly when the sun has great north declination; then the homeward-bound ships are enabled to cross this space more quickly than the ships outward-bound, which they do generally, at all seasons. Calms and variable winds, are also experienced during every month of the year, in the space between the trades; the former seldom continue long, and the vicinity of the north-east trade seems most liable to them. Sudden squalls often follow these calms, which ought to be observed with great care, and sail quickly reduced when they are perceived to approach; for many of the East India ships lose their topmasts, and sustain other damage, by these equatorial squalls, which give very little warning.

Storms do not happen near the equator.

These squalls are sometimes accompanied by whirlwinds, in their first effort against the resisting atmosphere, and may blow strong for an hour or two; but a gale of wind, or storm of much duration, probably never happens far from land, near the equator in the open ocean, on any part of the globe; although in its vicinity, sudden gusts of wind and whirlwinds are experienced at times.

S. W. and W. S. W. winds, with much rain, often prevail in July, August, and sometimes in June and September, blowing toward the coast of Guinea, and sometimes as far north as the Cape Verd Islands; which winds are called the Line Westerly Monsoon, by the navigators who trade to the gulf of Guinea.

[page] 29



Trade wind deflected by Cape Verd.

The equator should not he passed far west-ward.

MANY journals seem to prove, that the north-east trade-wind is deflected by the projection of Cape Verd to the westward, and that ships which keep near the coast of Africa, lose the trade sooner than others which are at a greater distance from the coast. To guard against this, it is recommended by many commanders, to keep well to the westward at the time the north-east trade fails, with a view to continue it longer, to have fewer calms and baffling winds in the variable space, and to meet the south-east trade-wind sooner than if more eastward. By adhering to this precept, several ships have crossed the equator far west, then meeting with the south-east trade hanging far from the southward, with strong westerly currents, have made the Brazil coast about Cape Roque, or farther to the westward, which greatly prolonged their voyage.

In the summer months, particularly when the sun is in the northern hemisphere, outwardbound ships should not run too far to the westward; for in this season, it has sometimes happened, that the north-east winds have continued longer with ships in lon. 19° to 23° W., than with others which had separated from them, and lost the trade in 26° and 27° west longitude.

Best situation at losing the N. E. trade.

On whatever side of the Cape Verd Islands ships may pass, the most eligible situation at losing the north-east trade, is probably from lon. 18° to 23° W.

Where to cross the equator.

When the sun is near the northern tropic, the trade often fails ships near, or in sight of these islands; it is certainly best to pass to the westward of them at such times, at 8 or 10 leagues distance at least, to preserve the steady wind, and prevent delay, as light eddy winds prevail near, and amongst them in this season. When to the southward of the Cape Verd Islands, steer to the south-eastward, if the wind permit, and endeavour to get into lon. 18° to 23° W. at losing the north-east trade. If then the southerly winds commence, take advantage of the shifts to stand on the tack which gains most southing, and endeavour to cross the equator from 18° to 23° W., if the winds permit; but do not be induced to make a long tack either eastward or westward, with a dead southerly wind, in hopes of meeting a better, unless the wind should veer so far as to gain much southing.

Westerly currents near the equator.

The south-east trade, generally at its northern limit inclines far to the southward, particularly in July, August, and September; and the same has been known in other months. When a ship meets this trade, she should not be kept too close to the wind, or she will make little progress, but ought to be kept clean full, to enable her to make good way through the water to the south-westward, by which means she will soon get to the southward of the limits of the westerly* current prevailing about the equator, and to lat. 4° or 5° N.: it also extends to lat. 3° or 4° S. about Fernando Noronha; and from lon. about 27° W. to Cape Roque, it runs very strong, particularly from September to March.

In proceeding to the southward, the wind will draw more to the south-east, and finally to east and east-north-east at the southern limit of the trade.

Warley Shoal, doubtful.

WARLEY'S SHOAL, is described by Capt. Collins, of that ship, to be a small coral bank (which she passed over, at 7 A. M. May 7th, 1813) about 100 feet long and 50 feet broad, which was too distinctly seen to admit of any mistake; for its edges were clearly de-

* In winter, the currents sometimes from the Cape Verd Islands set easterly, and sometimes westerly to 4° or 5° N. lat., at other times they are variable; but to the southward of 3° or 4° N. lat., and westward of 20° or 22° West lon., the equatorial current perpetually runs to the westward.

[page] 30

lineated, and upon it several ridges of rock appeared, with sand between them. The ship passed too quickly over it to admit of time to sound, as it was accidentally seen by Capt. Collins, when looking over the quarter. He thinks there may be full 7 fathoms water over the shoalest part; and a quarter-master, who also saw it, thinks the least water on this shoal may probably be 10 or 12 fathoms.

The fleet at this time consisted of eight ships, including H. M. S. Salsette, their convoy; and by mean of all the observations and chronometers of those eight ships, this very doubtful rocky bank is situated in lat. 5° 4′ 23″ N., lon. 21° 25′ 40″ W.

It might have been a shoal of Devil-fish, which the Warley passed over, as they are gregarious, and very large near the equator; and as they swim at great depths, their variegated backs appear exactly like coral rocks.

Geo. Site of St. Paul's

ST. PAUL'S ISLAND, called also Panedo and St. Peter's, in lat. 0° 55′ N. lon. 29° 15′ W. by mean of many ships chronometers and lunar observations, is now correctly determined, as this small island has been seen by ships both outward and homeward-bound, although it is considerably to the westward of the common route of the latter, and no ship bound to the southward, should cross the equator so far west as this island.

Tellicherry passed near it, outward-bound.

The Tellicherry passed within 5 miles of it, May 17th, 1802, bound for India. A view was taken, when it bore from N. 30° W. to N. 37° W., distant 5 or 6 miles; by this view, St. Paul's seems to be a heap of rugged rocks, having low gaps between some of them; the northernmost is a small pyramidal rock, not so high as the others. The description annexed to the view in the journal, says, "This island is all rocks, about the height of a ship's mast out of the water.*

French account.

Mons. de Landeneuf, in the ship Le Curieux, was sent to explore this island in 1768; His account and the Tellicherry's are similar: He found it consisted only of a heap of steep rocks, covered with birds dung, without verdure, and had no place fit for anchoring, nor convenient for landing.

The variation off St. Paul's was 6° W. in 1802.

Fernando Noronha.


FERNANDO NORONHA, has not unfrequently been visited or seen by ships bound to India, occasioned by the currents having horsed them to the westward, after the failure of the north-east trade. This island has on it a high rocky peak, called the Pyramid, which is very remarkable, and seems to lean or overhang to the eastward, when it bears S. S. W. The S. W. point is perforated, off which is a sunken rock at a considerable distance, dangerous to approach. From the S. E. part of the island a reef extends to seaward, and some sunken rocks at nearly a league's distance from the shore. There is also said to be a reef, on which the sea always breaks, about 3 miles from the east part of the island, with a channel of 10 to 15 fathoms within it, and that the pyramid is shut in with the highest hill when upon the rocks.


The currents generally run strong to the westward about Fernando Noronha, therefore ships intending to anchor here, should always pass round the north end of the island, which is formed by a chain of several small islets, very near each other, having forts on some of them that command the anchorage.

Extent, produce, &c.

This island extends nearly 10 miles about S. W. and N. E. and is about 2½ miles broad; the shore is rocky and the surf frequently high; at such times there is no landing. It is not advisable to touch at this island, except in cases of necessity; for it appears that water is a scarce article in the dry season, and when procurable, cannot always be got off from the

* It is about 35 feet elevated above the sea, and consists of a group of several rocks adjoining each other, with soundings of 30 to 80 fathoms near them, as found by a commander of the Navy, who surveyed and landed on it in 1813.

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shore on account of the surf. There is little rain, and they have been sometimes two years without any, then the rivulets were dried up, and vegetation quite parched; at such times, it cannot be supposed a ship would obtain much benefit by stopping at this place.

The General Stuart anchored at Fernando Noronha, September 15th, 1803, (outward-bound) in 18 fathoms water, the N. E. end of Wood Isle E. N. E., the S. W. end of Fernando Noronha S. W. by W., the Peak S. by W., Water Bay S. ½ E. off shore about 2 miles. She remained here four days, and could procure only nine casks of water, the well being nearly dry.

November 20th, 1805, the Ann, outward-bound, anchored in 17 fathoms shells and rocky bottom, extremity of Fernando Noronha from E. N. E. to S. W. by W., the Peak S. by W., the Church and Round Castle S. by E., the large Fort E. S. E., off shore 2 or 2½ miles.

November 22d. 1805, the Tigris anchored in a ¼ less 9 fathoms, sand and rocky bottom, Cloven Rock N. E. ¼ N., Fort Island N. E. by E. ¾ E., Fort Remedios S. S. E. ¼ E., Pyramid S. W. ½ S., western extreme S. W. by W. ½ W., off shore about half a mile. These ships sailed in company 24th; the Tigris received 3 bullocks, the Ann received some stock and 12 butts of water, but they found great difficulty in getting the water from the shore, the surf being very high.


Inconvenient for wooding and watering.

There is good anchorage in 13 fathoms, fine white sand, off shore about 1 mile, with Fort St. Antonio E. by S. ½ S., Fort Remedios S. by W., Fort Conception S. S. W. ½ W., Pyramid S. 42° W. The road of Fernando Noronha is unsafe to lie in, with northerly or north-west winds, which are said to prevail from December to April; at other times, they are mostly south-east or easterly, and sometimes at north-east. The well which supplies ships with water is near the governor's house, but landing the casks and getting off the water is inconvenient. The wood is cut on a little island near the north point of the large one, but is not conveniently got into the boats on account of the rocky shore.

Fernando Noronha is peopled with exiles from the coast of Brazil, and is well defended by forts built on the places most eligible for its security. It is hilly uneven land, and seen at 10 leagues distance in clear weather.

The tide rises about 6 feet, and flows to 4 hours on full and change of the Moon. There is very little variation of the compass here, at the present time.

Geo Site.

The Pyramid is in lat. 3° 55¼′ S. and in lon. 32° 16′ W. by General Brisbane and Mr. Rumker in 1821, measured from Funchal by good chronometers, and also by measurement to Rio Janeiro. Capt. Beechey, of the R. N., on his voyage to the Pacific, in 1825, made it in lon. 32° 15′ 9″ W. by chronometers, and in 32° 14′ 43″ W. corrected for the errors of chronometers after arriving at Rio Janeiro. By mean of 100 lunar observations he made it in lon. 32° 18′ 46″ W.*


ROCCAS, is a very dangerous low isle or reef, a little above water. Ships which pass between Fernando Noronha, and the Brazil coast, should be cautious in the night, if not certain of their relative position from Fernando Noronha; for the strong westerly currents are liable to sweep them to leeward.

Seen in 1761.

The Earl Elgin saw it in July, 1761, having first seen Fernando Noronha on the 13th, and on the 19th, she had soundings on the bank off Cape Roque; at noon 23d, the Roccas bore E. ½ N. to E. ¼ S., distant 4 miles, observed lat. 3° 50′ S. This ship's lon. by account, placed the Roccas 2° 12′ E. from Fernando Noronha, whereas it is about 50 miles west of the island; she had therefore, experienced a westerly set of 3° 2′ in ten days. In the Earl

* The mean of the observations of several ships which were near this island about 20 years ago, place it in about lon. 32° 35½′ W.; but this must be nearly 20 miles too far west, according to its position by those scientific gentlemen described above.

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Elgin, they call it a low island, or more properly a shoal, that cannot be seen at 3 leagues distance; a sand bank, surrounded by rocks, with high breakers mostly all round, and a projecting point of breakers at the north and south ends of the shoal.

Portuguese account.

By the Portuguese, the Roccas is said to bear west, a little northerly, distance 15 leagues from Fernando Noronha.

Accounts of it from English ships' journals.

The Company's ship Britannia and King George, transport, were wrecked on this reef at 4 A.M. 2d November, 1805. Captain Birch, who commanded the Britannia, says, "the Roccas are only distant from Fernando Noronha 45 miles; their latitude the same as that island; the rocks most dangerous, are to the northward and north-eastward; the whole extent may be about 5 miles; the current set 2½ miles per hour to the westward; rise and fall of tide 6 feet."

In the fleet, several ships narrowly escaped the fate of the Britannia and King George, having separated several days before. The Leda frigate, with one division, led past the shoal, and just cleared it, when the Britannia and King George were wrecked. Several ships of the other division, under Sir Home Popham, saw the shoal on the following morning.

The Northampton's journal describes it as a dangerous shoal, very little above water, with breakers all round, except on the south-west, or lee-side, there appeared a white sandy beach, where a boat might land. The Glory's journal describes it as two low sand banks, when it bore S. S. E. 2 or 3 miles; and when on the west side of it, at 2 miles distance, she had ground 28 fathoms, coral rock.

Geo. Site.

By mean of the observations and chronometers of ten different ships, taken about 20 years ago, the Roccas shoal seems to be in lat. 3° 52½′ S. lon. 33° 31′ W.; but, allowing the longitude of Fernando Noronha stated above to be correct, and that the difference of their meridians is 50 miles, then the Roccas will be in about lon. 33° 6′ or 33° 7′ W., which is probably near the truth.

Martin Vas Rocks.

MARTIN VAS ROCKS, are high and barren, the central one is largest, and may be seen from a large ship's poop at 11 leagues distance; this is a little more easterly than the other two, although they are nearly on the same meridian, as they are all in one, bearing south. The northernmost and central rocks are near each other, but between the latter and the southernmost, there is a channel, through which the Chesterfield passed in March, 1800, and observed the lat. 20° 28′S. when in mid-channel. When through, she hove to, in 12 fathoms, with the largest rock bearing E N. E. about 1 mile distant, the bottom then visible, and caught plenty of rock-cod and other fish: the boat in sounding, found the depth decrease gradually over a rocky bottom, to 1½ fathom close to the largest rock.

The north rock is small, and it is the most westerly of them; they are all steep and inaccessible, and the distance between the two extremes is about 3 miles.

The breadth of the channel between these rocks and the island Trinidad, is about 8½ leagues.

Geo. Site.

By mean of the observations and chronometers of 12 different ships, the central Martin Vas Rock, is in lat. 29° 28′ 30″ S. lon. 28° 42′ W. Variation 3° 0′ W. in 1797.


Difficult of access.

TRINIDAD, is about 6 miles in circumference, extending nearly south-east and northwest; it is high and uneven, and just discernable from a large ship's poop in clear weather at 18 leagues distance. It is rocky and barren in general, but in some parts, there are trees about 12 or 18 inches diameter on the heights, particularly about the south part of the island. The shore is rocky and difficult of access, occasioned by the high surf continually breaking on it in every part. At the east and south-west sides of the island, good water runs down in two small streams, it may also be procured at times from the rock that forms the south-west extreme. Excepting the times when rain prevails, these runs are very small, and it seems probable, that they may in some seasons be dried up. Ships should not stop at this island for water, unless greatly in want, for much difficulty is found in getting it from the shore:

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Anchorage unsafe.

the anchorage is also unsafe, as the winds are often variable, and should a gale happen from west or south-westward, they would be in danger of driving on the shore. Although Trinidad is within the southern tropic, the south-east trade-wind is not regular; north-east and northerly winds often happen, particularly the former, and sometimes hard squalls or south-west gales have been experienced, which render the anchorage at this island hazardous.

The Georgina packet, anchored in October, 1799, at the north-west end of Trinidad, in 19 fathoms, fine black sand, and moored off shore about 3 cable's lengths; the extremes of the island from east to south, a large rock detached from it about a ¼ mile, bore S. S. W. ¾ W. about ¾ mile; found 10, 11, and 12 fathoms, coral, between the rock and the shore. The surf being great, they landed at one place with difficulty, and shot some wild hogs; good water was found about ½ a mile inland, but it seemed almost impossible to get it from the shore on account of the surf, and must have been carried about ½ a mile in small kegs, had they been in immediate want.

Particular description.

It is recommended for ships which may be obliged to stop at Trinidad, to endeavour to procure water, to anchor in 30 fathoms, about a mile from the west part of the island, that they may be able to clear it on either tack, should the wind blow from westward; for the Rattlesnake was wrecked in a westerly gale, and the Jupiter and Mercury, narrowly escaped destruction. On this side, almost detached from the island, there is a rock about 850 feet high, with trees on it, called the Monument or Nine Pin, which is of a cylindrical form. There is also a stupendous arch, which perforates a bluff rock, about 800 feet high; this is about 40 feet in breadth, near 50 in height, and 420 in length; the sea breaks through the arch with great noise, and there are more than 3 fathoms water under it, and in the bason formed at its east side. At the south-east end of the island, there is a rock of a conical form, about 1160 feet high, called the Sugar Loaf, with trees likewise on its summit, and whenever it rains hard, a beautiful waterfall of above 700 feet is projected from it.

Captain Charles Lesley, of the Orford man of war, in his journal of 1773-4, mentions three bays at the south and south-west sides of Trinidad. He recommends the easternmost as the best, the western or middle bay being rocky, and the northernmost having shoal water in it. The easternmost bay must be situated at the south-east part of the island. Captain Lesley says, a church, with a cross on it, stands at the upper part of the bay, and that a ship may anchor in 6 fathoms, the church bearing W. S. W., and a point like the South Foreland S. W. by W., and may moor with one cable on shore.

The watering place, he describes to be near the church, and that a long boat may fill the water there, with a spout or hose.

Notwithstanding this description of the bay at the south part of the island, it would certainly be imprudent for any ship to anchor there with the south-east trade-wind, and it probably ought never to be done unless the weather is very settled, and the wind fixed at northward; at all events, no navigator would approach so near as to moor with a cable on shore, except this were a safe harbour, which it certainly is not. Perhaps, there is at present, no vestige of a church at this place.

Trinidad is often seen by ships passing to the southward, through the S. E. trade, but is seldom visited by navigators, on account of its unsafe anchorage.

The Chesterfield rounded the north end of the island, very close, in March, 1800, and her boat went all round it, which appeared to be steep, and bold to approach; she anchored in 25 fathoms, with the Nine Pin bearing N. N. E. 1 mile: they could only land at one part about a mile from the watering-place, on account of the surf, and although good water ran down within 50 fathoms of the shore, they could only get it to the long-boat moored outside of the surf, by filling canvas bags holding about 10 gallons each, and hauling them off by a circular rope of communication, rove through a block in the boat. H. M. S. Bristol, anchored here about 40 years ago, and filled about 30 Tons of water in one day, with a long hose, when there happened to be little surf. The Chesterfield got about 30 young hogs,


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which were very good; there are many wild goats on the island, but so shy, they cannot be caught.

Geo. Site.

By mean of the observations and chronometers of ten different ships, the centre of the island Trinidad, is in lat. 20° 22′ 50″ S., and in lon. 29° 10′ W. Capt. P. Heywood, and Capt. Corry of the Royal Navy, made it in lon. 29° 14¾′ W. by mean of chronometric admeasurements from Madeira, St. Helena, and Rio Janeiro, corresponding within 1 and 2 miles of each other, and some observers make it a little more westerly. Captain Flinders made the S. E. point in lon. 29° 19′ W., by lunar observation, and 29° 23′ W. by chronometers. Capt. Owen, made the same point in lon. 29° 23′ 12″ W. lat. 20° 31′ S. in 1821. The Chesterfield made the variation 2° 18′ West, in 1800. Capt. Wm. Owen, made it 5° West, in 1821.


ISLAND ASCENSION, about 3 leagues in length from N. to S. and 2 leagues broad, E. and W. may be seen 15 leagues or more, in clear weather, there being several peaked hills on it; the highest, called Green Mountain, is situated near the S. E. part of the island, about 800 yards high, and appears a double peak in some views. Most of the hills are covered with red earth, like brick dust, being a decomposition of volcanic rock, which forms this island. It has a most dreary aspect, the surface consisting of calcined rocks, and pumice stones, dangerous and difficult in some places to walk over, as they have little solidity, and are often sharp pointed and rough. There is no verdure except purslane, which grows mostly about the Green Mountain, and is found in April, May, June, and July. Captain Dampier (whose ship was lost on this island) is said to have discovered a spring of fresh water on the S. E. side of the High Mountain, about ½ a mile from its summit. At that time, 1700-1, he found plenty of goats and land crabs, near the spring of water: other navigators have not been so fortunate as to discover any spring on the island, but have found some rain water in hollows at the base of the mountain, which is probably evaporated in the dry season.* The wild goats are very lean: rats and mice abound, and there are a few insects. The summit of the mountain is frequently enveloped in clouds or vapour, but it seldom rains here.

Ships homeward-bound from India, and whalers, stop here at times for a supply of turtle, which were formerly in plenty, particularly in February, March, and April; but of late, so many American and other vessels have touched at this island, that turtle often cannot be obtained.

There is a bay of considerable depth and extent, close on the north side of the S. W. point of Ascension, about 2½ or 3 miles distant from the two bays where ships anchor. Captain Heywood, found the landing very safe in February at this bay, went to it in his gig, on the nights of the 24th and 25th of February, and turned 36 large turtles, whilst very few could be obtained by the people stationed at the bays contiguous to the anchorage. A ship intending to touch at Ascension, should stop in the usual place, and send parties to the westward round the extreme point, which bears about S. S. W. from the road; two or three sandy beaches will then open, the farthest of which is S. W. bay, and as this bay is not frequented nor much known, a large supply of turtle may reasonably be expected.

Directions for sailling to the auchorage.

A ship intending to stop at Ascension, should steer round the N. point of the island, which is a low rocky point with deep water close to it, and may be passed within two cable's lengths with a commanding breeze: when abreast of this point, Sandy Bay will soon be seen a little to the S. W., which is a small bay, with a white sandy beach, having a regular hill like a dome a little distance inland; this is called Cross Hill, because a cross was placed upon it long ago.

From the W. point of Sandy Bay, a reef of rocks projects out about 1½ mile, on which

* Since the time that Gen. Buonaparte was sent to St. Helena, a British naval force has been placed at Ascension, and the men composing it, have found means to form some garden grounds, wherein they cultivate a few vegetables for the use of the table.

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W. part of the bay supposed rocky near the shore.

Geo. Site.

the sea breaks when there is much swell; at other times, there is no breakers on it. When a ship has passed the N. point of the island, she should haul up into the Sandy Bay, and anchor abreast of the beach, in 15 or 16 fathoms sandy bottom, with Cross Hill S. by E. ½ E. or S. S. E., off shore about ¾ of a mile.* The best landing place is at the W. end of the bay, behind an isolated rock: this rock makes a sort of division between the Sandy Beach Bay, and another bay to the westward, which has also a sandy beach in some places, and may be considered a continuation of the easternmost bay. In this western part, there are some detached rocks; on one of which the Egmont struck in 1771, which was found to be a very small rock, with ½ less 3 fathoms on it, and 13 fathoms close to it on the outside; there was 13 fathoms between it and the shore, from which it was distant about 2 cable's lengths. The summit of the rock, where the depth on it was ¼ less 3 to 5 fathoms, was not of more extent than 4 or 5 feet square. The bearing of this rock, from Cross Hill, is not known; Captain Mears says, it lies in the opening of the second sandy bay from the anchoring place under Cross Hill. Although the anchorage is to leeward, at the N. W. part of the island, there is often a high surf on the shore; caution is therefore requisite, as many ships have had their boats stove by the surf in landing. The summit of the mountain, or centre of the island, is in lat. 7° 58½′ S., and the anchorage of the road in lat. 7° 55′ S. lon. 14° 15½′ W. measured by many ships' chronometers from James's Town, St. Helena, allowing the latter to be in lon. 5° 36½′ W. Captain Heywood, made it also, in the above longitude, and in 14° 16′ W. by chronometers, measured from St. Anthony, one of the Cape Verd Islands. But Capt. Sabine, during his late scientific voyage of experiments, to ascertain the figure of the globe, by his observations while at Ascension, made that part of the island called Barrack Square, in lat. 7° 55′ 56″ S. lon. 14° 23′ 50″ W. Variation 13° 23′ W. in 1822. There is very little rise or fall of tide.†

S. E. Trade.

Some outward-bound East India ships, after crossing the equator, have found the S. E. trade far to the eastward, which enabled them to pass in sight of the Island Ascension; this can only happen to ships which cross the equator far eastward of the common track, when the sun is near the southern tropic. The trade-wind may then veer to E. by S. or E.; and at such times, a S. course may probably be made, by keeping close to the wind in crossing the trade, although ships bound to India, or the Cape of Good Hope, should not adopt this route with a view of shortening the distance; for their principal object is to get quickly through it, into the northerly and westerly winds, where they will soon run down the longitude.

Ascension in the route of ships homeward-bound.

Although Ascension is seldom seen by ships bound to India, it is directly in the route of those homeward-bound, for they generally see it in passing; particularly in times of peace, when no danger is apprehended from cruizers.

St. Helena.

ST. HELENA, is situated in the southern Atlantic Ocean, in the strength of the S. E. trade, but it is not the island most distant from its nearest continent of any in the known world, as has been said; for exclusive of the islands in the Pacific Ocean, St. Paul's, Ker-

* Along the N. W. side of the island, the bank of soundings extends about 2 miles off shore; the bottom said to be rocky, where the depth exceeds 18 or 20 fathoms.

† In places where the shores are lined with a sandy beach, and this bounded by a coral reef or a range of breakers, turtle are generally plentiful; and moonlight nights are the times when the females come on shore in the greatest numbers, to deposit their eggs in the sand. If there is a reef facing the beach, and a rise and fall of tide, they wait for the rising tide to float them over it, and reach the beach an hour or two before high water, that they may have time sufficient to dig large holes in which they deposit their eggs, and return to sea about high water, or before it has fallen much on the reef. If the beach has a gentle acclivity, they dig the pits at a considerable distance from high-water mark, among bushes, small sand hillocks, or in the most convenient secret places near the beach, and then deposit their eggs in them. Some of these holes or pits, are of considerable dimensions, employing the mother turtle upwards of an hour digging them. By those in search of turtle, the beach should not be frequented till near high water, or the time they are supposed to be mostly on shore. In walking along it, silence should be observed, for the smallest noise will alarm them, and those not already on shore, will in such case return to sea.

F 2

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guelens, Tristan de Acunha, and others, are more distant from the continents than St. Helena. Before the use of chronometers and lunar observations, navigators were directed, in running for St. Helena, to fall into its parallel 50 or 60 leagues eastward of it, to lie by in the night, and steer west in the day till they made the land: this practice is no longer requisite, for most of the East India ships, homeward-bound, steer now a direct course from the Cape to St. Helena, and make the island day or night: as they generally know the longitude within a few miles of the truth, there can be little danger of missing it, although this has sometimes happened, the body and leeward part of the island being frequently enveloped in fog clouds, particularly in the night. Should a ship, in such case, fall a little to leeward, she will find little difficulty in working up to the anchorage, unless she sail indifferently upon a wind, for the current seldom runs strong to leeward near this island; this, however, may happen, when the trade blows strong with squalls for a few days, which is sometimes experienced about the full and change of the moon; but this lee-current is generally of short continuance. In times of war, when any of the enemy's cruizers visit St. Helena, they keep to the eastward and south-eastward of it, at the distance of 15, 20, and 25 leagues; single ships, which sail well, would avoid these cruizers, were they to make the island bearing from N. N. E. to E. or S. E., and afterward make short tacks under the lee of it, till they reach the anchorage. I have seen store ships from England, make the island bearing E. S. E. directly to windward of them, at the distance of 15 or 18 leagues; they sailed indifferently, but reached the anchorage the third day after making the island. There are sometimes calms near it; the Mead was becalmed from the 17th to the 22d May, 1710, within 6 and 8 leagues of the East part of the island, the current setting to the eastward, prevented her from being driven near it by the swell, and she did not get into the anchorage till the 24th of May.

This island is about 3 leagues in length, nearly N. E. and S. W., of oblong or circular form, about 26 or 27 miles round. The steep rocky cliffs facing the sea, present a sterile and unfavourable appearance to an observer in sailing round the east part of the island, but the chasms or vallies in the interior, and likewise the hills, are fruitful, and clothed with continual verdure, except in very dry seasons, when it is sometimes burnt up for want of moisture. The principal ridge of mountains in the centre of the island is called Diana's Peak, and is about 2,200 feet high. Nearer the S. W. part, there is a hill of a conical form, called High Peak, about 50 feet less elevated than the former. On these hills, and on the high grounds, the air is always cool and pleasant; fog clouds frequently cover the Peaked Hills, or being driven from the sea by the trade wind, strike against them, producing gentle showers, which quicken the vegetation and cool the atmosphere on the high grounds, although in the vallies on the leeward side of the island, the sun is often very powerful. There is very little level ground on this island, for it evidently appears to have been forced upwards from the ocean by subterraneous fire; the abrupt ridges and chasms into which it is split, seem to prove this origin, and the effects of amalgamation by fire, are visible from the summits of the hills to the cavities formed by the abrasion of the surge of the sea at the water's edge.

Thunder is seldom heard at St. Helena; lightning has been at times observed in cloudy weather, accompanied by a sultry atmosphere; showers of rain are experienced in all seasons, but in some months more than others. Some years back, a heavy condensed cloud broke on the mountain over Rupert's Valley, deluged it with a torrent of water, and carried a great part of the breast-work and some of the guns into the sea, although this valley is generally dry, there being no run of water in it, except in heavy rains.*

At the north-east extremity of the island, there is a pyramidal hill close to the sea, called

* Hitherto the inhabitants of this island have escaped that dreadful scourge, the small-pox, but the measles, were transported by some ship to this place in 1806, and swept away nearly one-third of the natives.

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Signal Posts.

the Sugar Loaf, with a signal post on it:—At the base of this hill there are three batteries, at a small distance from each other, called Buttermilk, and Banks's upper and lower Batteries; a little to the south-west of these, Rupert's Battery appears, at the bottom of the valley of this name, which is a strong stone wall and battery, mounted with heavy cannon, and Munden's Point divides this valley from James's, or Chapel Valley, where James's Town (the only one on the island) is situated. On Munden's Point there is a fort of the same name, and several guns placed on the heights over it, which command that side of James's Valley. This valley has on the south-west side, a hill elevated nearly 800 feet perpendicular from the sea, called Ladder Hill, with a heavy battery of guns upon it, that commands the south-west entrance to the valley and anchorage. James's Valley is also protected by a wall, and strong line of cannon at its entrance close to the sea. There is also a battery at Sandy Bay, on the south side of the island, where boats might land when the surf is not great; but this and every other part, where there is a possibility of landing, are well secured by batteries or guns placed on the heights over them, and on the summits of the hills there are convenient signal posts all over the island, which communicate by telegraph with each other and with the castle, which add greatly to the natural strength of the Island. When a ship is descried, a gun is fired at the signal post where she is first seen, and this is repeated by the other posts to the castle, which is called an alarm; if more ships appear, a gun is fired for each, till five in number, then the signal is made for a fleet; but if more than two sail appear to be steering together for the island, a general alarm is beat, and every person immediately takes the station assigned him, and remains under arms till the governor is informed by the boats what ships they are.


All round the Island there are soundings of 15 or 20 fathoms near the shore, deepening quick to 150 or 200 fathoms about 1 mile from it in most places, then no ground; but South and S. by W. true bearing from the south point of the Island, a spit of soundings projects about 2 miles, which is about 1 mile broad, the bottom rocky and very uneven.*

Sperry Ledge.

Sperry Ledge has only 3¼ or 3 fathoms on it in some places, with 35 and 25 fathoms between it and the south point of the Island, from which it is distant a large mile true S. by W. This is the only danger at a considerable distance off the Island, and it is not in the way of ships unless they fall to leeward and round the south point, in such case they should give it a birth of 2 miles till it bear about N. E., then haul up for the S. W. or Western Point, which is bold to approach.

Barn Ledge.

Barn Ledge is about 1½ cable's length in circuit, with 12, 8, and 6 fathoms on it, to 3¼ fathoms, sharp rocks, on the shoalest parts. Barn Point bears from it N. W. ¼ N., distant about ¾ mile, and there is 24 and 20 fathoms between it and the shore, with 32 fathoms near it on the outside. Large ships coming from S. E. should keep the small islet, called George's Island, well open with Saddle Point until Sugar Loaf Point is open with Barn Point, which will carry them clear outside of the Ledge; or keep a mile from the shore till nearly abreast of Barn Point, which is the N. E. point of the Island.

Ships must heave to, &send a boat on shore.

All ships coming in from the eastward, heave to, before they pass Sugar Loaf Point, and send a boat with an officer to report them. The boat is generally hailed from the battery at Sugar Loaf Point, but she must proceed to James's Town, to give the governor information, before the ship is permitted to pass the first battery at the Sugar Loaf. Ships of war, and all others, must observe this precaution, or the batteries will open upon them and shut them out from the anchorage, which is well defended by the forts and batteries around.

Directions for the anchorage.

When the boat is perceived returning, a ship may make sail, and pass within a cable's length or less, of Sugar Loaf Point: she should afterwards keep the shore close a board in passing Rupert's Valley, with the head-sails braced well forward, as the gusts of wind from

* According to the survey of the bank of soundings, by Mr. G. Thoms of H. M. S. Northumberland in 1815.

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A rock must be avoided.

Ships should not anchor far out.

the high land veer several points, and may take the sails aback, if precaution is not taken to prevent it. When passed Rupert's Valley, Munden's Point ought also to be kept pretty close to; but care must be taken to avoid the sunken rock lying off the fort, about 30 or 40 yards from the point—on which, by borrowing close to the shore, the Lascelles, Fox, and other ships have struck, and were nearly lost: several years past, there has been a small buoy with a red flag placed over this rock. When Munden's Point is passed, James's Valley and Town appears, off which is the proper anchorage. Lemon Valley is about 2 miles to the south-west of James's Valley, and has a run of good water in it; but it is difficult to water at this place, on account of the surf and rocky shore. Ships do not anchor off this valley, it being distant from the town. Abreast of Rupert's Valley they sometimes anchor, but the ground is not so good as abreast of James's Valley and Ladder Hill; here the bank extends about a mile from the shore, shelving with a steep declivity, when the depth is more than 40 fathoms. It is not prudent to anchor in deep water near the edge of the bank, for the gusts of wind from the Valley are liable to start the anchor when a ship lies far out; should this happen, it would avail nothing to let go another anchor, for the steep declivity of the bank would prevent it from taking hold of the ground. This I have seen several ships experience, and drive off the bank with two anchors down, and all the cables veered out, which occasioned great exertion and fatigue to recover them, and afterwards to work up to the anchorage.

Should a ship anchor in 35 or 40 fathoms water, and the anchor not hold, all the cable may be weered out, to make her ride if possible, till a convenient opportunity offer to warp farther in; but a second anchor should never be resorted to, for if she will not ride fast with one, it ought to be hove up, then sail set, to work her in by short tacks, under lee of the island, till she gain proper anchorage.

Proper anchorage.

Abreast of James's Valley, the anchor may be dropped in from 8 to 15 fathoms, with the flag-staff on the castle in James's Town S. S. E. or S. E. by S. The anchorage is equally good off the east corner of Ladder Hill, or abreast of it, with the flag-staff about E. S. E. If a ship anchor in less than 14 fathoms off Ladder Hill, she should be kept at a short scope of cable, till a kedge or stream anchor is laid out in the offing to moor by, for light eddy winds and calms prevail under the hill; she may therefore be liable to swing with her stern in shore and tail on the rocks, if there is much cable out and the anchor under 14 fathoms. In weighing from under the hill, the inner anchor must be first taken up, to prevent tailing on the rocks, which happened to the Melville Castle, and other ships. Ships generally moor with a strcam or kedge anchor to the offing, and sometimes with a bower anchor; those in the stream of the valley, seldom swing with their sterns towards it, for a continued breeze, and frequent gusts of wind blow from it to seaward.

When the wind is light, the ships swing with their heads to the eastward and westward alternately at times, this being the effect of a current or sort of tide; but this tide is very weak, and the rise and fall on the shore at full and change of moon, is not more than 2 or 3 feet perpendicular.

Jame's Town and Valley.

James's Town, is situated in the entrance of the Valley, almost obscured by the impending rocky mountains enclosing it; a row of trees behind the ramparts, and another behind the governor's house, give it a pleasing appearance; the houses are neatly built on each side of the principal street, which lies in a direct line up the Valley; higher up, there is a long walk between two rows of trees, having an enclosed square on the left side, and terminated by a garden belonging to the company. There is a run of water in James's Valley, proceeding from a small spring on the left-hand side, and from a water-fall, which pours over a concave precipice, about 200 feet perpendicular, into an antient volcanic crater at the head of the valley. Water cresses are often plentiful about the edges of this run of water, and are very serviceable to ships with scorbutic crews.


On the right side of the valley, a zigzag road has been cut out with great labour, for as-

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cending Ladder Hill; persons on horseback, and carts, can pass up and down it with safety. This road leads to the governor's country house, and to the south-west parts of the island.

On the left side of the valley, there is a good carriage road, called Side Path, which leads to the interior, and to the eastern parts of the island; other cross roads join these two, and lead to the various plantations. The interior forms a beautiful contrast to the rugged steep cliffs which surround the island; for here, in every valley, small houses and gardens are seen with excellent pasture, and sheep or cattle feeding in different places.

Near the east side of the island, the plantation called Long Wood, contains the greatest quantity of level ground; there is a considerable space, planted with trees here, but a scarcity of water prevailed, until General Beatson, the late governor, brought a supply by artificial means.

Watering Place.


The water that supplies the garrison and shipping, is conveyed by leaden pipes from a spring in the valley, distant more than a mile from the sea. These pipes lead the water to the jetty, where there are two cranes for boats to load with goods or water casks, or receive stores from the shipping. Firewood cannot be had in sufficient quantity, furze being the principal fuel of the islanders, and is brought from a great distance by their slaves. Cabbages, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and other vegetables and fruits thrive well, but are sold dear, and not in sufficient quantity to supply half of the shipping, which at times anchor here, to procure water and refreshments.

Cattle are reared for the use of the company's ships, and supplied to them very sparingly when a fleet arrives, the quantity reared not being adequate to the demand; a greater number it seems cannot be reared, for in very dry seasons, the pasturage has been sometimes destroyed, and numbers of the cattle have died. The troops live mostly on salt provision brought from England, and on fish, with which the shores abound. Poultry is generally very dear, and frequently not to be had. A few hogs may at times be obtained at a high price, which, with a few bushels of potatoes*, are almost the only articles procurable when a fleet has recently departed, or is lying at the island.

During the time a ship or a fleet remains at St. Helena, the passengers are entertained as boarders by the most respectable of the inhabitants, at 30 shillings per day for each person. Until lately, one guinea was the daily charge for each person.

Geo. Site or James's Town.

James's Town is in lat. 15° 55′ S. and by mean of 32 sets of * I made it in lon. 5° 36½′. W. Captain Mortlock, by many sets of lunar observations, made it rather less; and Capt. Krusenstern. the Russian circumnavigator, made the anchorage in lat, 15° 54′ 48′ S. lon. 5° 35′ 40″ W. Variation 17½ West in 1815.

* Most of the tropical fruits, as well as those found in Europe, thrive well in St. Helena. There is a valley near the south-east part of the island, having a run of water through it, which issues from the east-side of Diana's Peak. An orchard of apple-trees thrives here in a remarkable manner, the branches being loaded to the ground with fruit; and on the same tree, the blossom is seen, and the apple in all the different stages, from its first formation till it is ripe and falling to the ground: some of these, have a flavour equal to good English apples. The soil of this orchard is a rich black loam. On one side of this valley, the soil is 10 or 12 feet deep, sloping down with a considerable declivity; deep ravines are formed in it by the rains, which wash great part of it down into the valley.
The Gum tree is the only one in the island that appears indigenous; several of these grow on the hills, and a copse of them is situated at the south-west part of this remarkable island.
General Beatson, the late governor, made great exertions for increasing the agricultural productions of this island, which have been crowned by complete success, and for this, he deserves the gratitude of all oriental navigators.

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1803-4. A tedious passage near the African Coast, afterwards to the westward of St. Helena.

EAST-INDIA Company's Ship Britannia, Nov. 11th, 1803, got soundings on the African Coast, in lat. 29° N. lon. 12° W. - Here she was several days embarrassed with S. Westerly winds in soundings, and near the coast, till in lat. 27° N. lon. 13° 20′ W. Nov. 15th, lost sight of the land: the weather was unsettled, and a heavy swell prevailed near the coast. She passed between the Island Forteventura, and the main-land, and between Cape Verd, and the islands of that name. Nov. 25th, in lat. 13° N. lon. 20° W. lost N. E. trade; then ensued calms and faint southerly airs. Dec. 28th, in lat. 4° 40′ N. lon. 9° 40′ W. got soundings 43 fathoms on the Coast of Guinea. At noon in 50 fathoms, lat. observed 4° 40′ N. lon. 9° 4′ W. by lunar observations, and 8° 59′ W. by chronometer. Calms and faint breezes continued, with a current to the northward, till January 8th, 1804, in lat. 3° 20′ N. lon. 1° 38′ W.; then a moderate S. W. breeze commenced, which carried her to lat. 1° N. lon. 4° 30′ E., January 12th. From hence, the wind continued between S. W. and S. by E. till in lat. 3° 0′ S. lon. 6° 30′ E. on the 23d; had then a return of calms and faint airs: the current set now, to N. Westward. With a moderate southerly breeze on the 28th, stood to the W. S. W. and westward; it continued till Feb. 1st, in lat. 7° S. lon. 1° W. and veered to S. S. E. and S. E by S. a moderate trade, which continued till in lat. 24° S. lon. 10° W. February 15th. Had calms and faint airs, till the 27th, in lat. 26° S. lon. 5° 46′ W. then a return of the trade, which enabled her to reach St. Helena, 4th March.

1803. A passage eastward of Cape Verd Islands, and near the S. W. extremity of Africa, to St. Helcns.

CITY OF LONDON, left the Isle of Wight, Feb. 1st, 1803, passed to the westward of Madeira and Canary Islands; then to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands, on the meridian 19½° W. in passing them. Lost the northerly winds Feb. 20th, in lat. 7° 50′ N. lon. 16° 40′ W.; had then faint airs from the northward and westward, till in lat. 5° 20′ N. lon. 11° W. the 25th; light S. W. and southerly airs then commenced, and increased to a moderate breeze when about 26 leagues southward from Cape Palmas, March 5th, which continued till in lat. 3° S, lon. 5° 30′ E., the 16th. Had then S. S. Westerly breezes till the 27th, in lat. 7° S. lon. 2° E. it veered to S. S. Eastward. Made two tacks afterward, and arrived at St. Helena, 3d April.

1803. Two ships bound to C. Good Hope, by a long track of S. S. Westerly winds, made the eastern passage to St. Helena.

SKELTON CASTLE, Union in company, August 10th, 1803, in lat. 16° N. lon. 25½° W. lost N. E. trade, soon after had S. S. Westerly winds. Stood on the starboard tack, and crossed the equator on the meridian of London, Sept. 7th. Light S. S. Westerly winds continued: tacked at times to the westward. On the 24th reached lat. 9° S. lon. 9° E. The S. S. Westerly winds continued till the 28th, in lat. 11° S. lon. 4° E., it veered gradually to S. by E. and S. S. E.; stood on the larboard tack, and arrived Oct. 1st at St. Helena: remained 3 days, and filled up the water.

1803. Minerva separates with Lord Eldon, passage to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands, and arrives at St. Helena ten days before her.

MINERVA, Lord Eldon in company, passed the Isle of Wight, June 18th, 1802; parted company, July 4th, in lat. 22° N. lon. 19° W., having passed to the westward of Palma. The Minerva passed to the eastward of the Cape Verd Islands, keeping in lon, 19° W. at the time. Lost N. E. trade 7th July, in lat. 13° N. lon. 19° 30′ W. Had westerly winds till the 12th, in lat. 7° N. lon. 16° W. it veered to S. S. Westward; stood on the star-

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board tack, and crossed the equator, 25th July, in lon. 4° E. Continued on this tack with steady breezes, S. W. and S. S. W. till the 30th, in lat. 2° S. lon. 8° E.; had then calms, and variable breezes at southward. Tacked occasionally. In lat. 4° 20′ S. lon. 8° E. Aug. 6th, the wind steady at S. S. W. and S. W. by S., stood S. Eastward till the 9th, in lat. 5° 22′ S. lon. 11° E. Tacked to westward; and on the 15th, in lat. 9° 30′ S. lon. 5° E. it veered to S. S. Eastward. Arrived at St. Helena the 20th.

1802. Lord Eldon makes a part of the Coast of Africa.

LORD ELDON, after parting with the Minerva, July 4th, 1802, passed between St. Anthony and St. Vincent's; the channel appeared about 5 leagues wide, and very safe. She passed to the westward of the other islands, and lost the N. E. trade, July 11th, in lat. 11° 30′ N. lon. 23° W. S. W. and S. S. W. winds then commenced, stood on the starboard tack, and crossed the equator 30th, in lon. 4° 30′ E. Standing on S. Eastward, saw the land Aug. 3d, and thought it the Island Anno Bona, being in its latitude. Bore away to pass to leeward of it, had regular soundings from 13 to 10 fathoms; but the land opening as she stood to the northward, found it to be the main. By observations, of nearly agreeing with 3 chronometers, this part of the coast of Africa, is in lat. 1° 37′ S. lon. 9° 8′ E. From hence with light S. W. and S. S. W. winds, tacked at times. Aug. 24th, in lat. 9° S. lon. 1° E., it veered gradually to S. S. Eastward; stood on the larboard tack, and arrived at St. Helena 30th.*

1802. A passage eastward of Cape Verd Islands, to St. Helena.

ARNISTON, left the Isle of Wight, Jan. 2d, 1802, and passed to the eastward of the Cape Verd Islands 20th, keeping in lon. 19° W. in passing. In lat. 7° N. lon. 16° W. lost N. E. trade 24th, then calms and variable airs prevailed. On the equator, in lon. 3° W. Feb. 15th, the wind commenced at S. Westward, and continued from S. W. to S., with squalls at times, till in lat. 9° S. lon. 1° E., March 5th, it veered to S. S. Eastward; stood S. W. and arrived at St. Helena 10th. From the equator, this ship tacked frequently, in proceeding southward, and was never more to the eastward than 6° E. longitude.

1800. A tedious passage from England to the River Hooghly, to windward of St. Helena.

EARL SPENCER, with six ships in company, for Bengal, July 28th, 1800, lost N. E. trade, in lat. 16° 30′ N. lon. 26° W.; had then light S. W. and S. S. W. breezes and calms. Stood mostly to S. Eastward, and crossed the equator, Aug. 26th. in lon. 2° E. The S. S. Westerly light winds continued, and veered gradually to S. and S. S. E. on Sept. 13th, in lat. 9° 40′ S. lon. 13° E.; but did not get the steady S. Easterly trade wind, till in lat. 13° S. lon. 5° E., Sept. 23d.†

1798. Passage near the African Coast to St. Helena.

GEORGINA, Aug. 18th, 1798, left the Isle of Wight, lost N. E. trade, Sept. 13th, in lat. 13° N. lon. 18° W. On the 22d, saw the coast of Africa, in lat. 5° N., and stood to the S. Eastward with S. Westerly winds. Oct. 1st, at 8 A. M. the Island St. Thomas bore W. by S. 8 leagues; from hence lay up S. by E. ½ E., 84 miles, to 8 A. M. 2d, and made the lon. 8° 14′ E. by . Variation 21° W. Oct. 3d, latitude observed, 1° 9′ S. account

* The Minerva made a more direct course from the Cape Verd Islands to the southward, than the Lord Eldon, and gained on her 10 days in the passage after separating, but the former had the advantage of superior sailing.

† Three of these ships, the Melville Castle, Skelton Castle, and Travers, separated from the others in the night of the 13th of Sept., stood to the W. S. Westward, and arrived at St. Helena 22d; filled up their water, sailed 29th, and arrived in Bengal River Jan. 1st, 1801. The Spencer, Walsingham, Herculean, and Tellicherry, arrived in that river Jan. 2d, very short of water and other necessaries of life; their crews greatly debilitated by scurvy, having touched at no place during a 6 months passage from the Lizard, from which they took a departure, July 2d, 1800.
The other three ships, by procuring a plentiful supply of water at St. Helena, prevented the scurvy; and reached Bengal River one day before their consorts.


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1° 10′ S. lon. 9° 7′ E. by *, the Coast of Africa extending from N. W. by W. to S. E., distant from shore 3 leagues, in 15 fathoms regular soundings. A heavy swell setting towards the land.

Oct. 4th, with the wind variable at westward, lay up S. by W. and S. S. W. along the coast, in regular soundings from 14 to 23 fathoms, off shore 3 or 4 leagues. At noon, latitude observed, 1° 52′ S. lon. 9° 33′ E. by distant from the shore 3 leagues. The extremes from N. E. by N. to S. E. ½ E. in 23 fathoms No current.

S. Westerly winds continued till Oct. 18th, in lat. 8° S. lon. 7° 30′ E., then gradually veered to S. by W. and S.; and shortly after to S. by E. and S. S. E., as she stood to the westward. Arrived at St. Helena 26th.

1799. A passage near the African Coast to St. Helena.

GLATTON, passed Portland, April 3d, 1799, and lost N. E. trade, May 4th, in lat. 6° N. lon. 18° W. Had then light airs and calms; S. S. Westerly breezes followed, and continued at S. W. and S. S. W. June 3d, at noon, Prince's Island, E. N. E. about 10 leagues, and three small islands from E. by N. to E. by S., the nearest, distant about 4 leagues. Lat. observed, 1° 16′ N. lon. 5° 53′ E. by chronometer.

June 5th, at noon, extremes of the Island St. Thomas, N. W. ½ N. to S. S. W., off shore about 9 miles. Lat. observed, 0° 20′ N. Saw a ship and 2 brigs at anchor in shore.

On the E. side of Island St. Thomas, the Glatton struck on a shoal.

June 6th, S. S. Westerly winds, working to windward to pass on the E. side of the island; kept the lead going in standing towards it after dark, had 24 fathoms, tacked, and struck on a shoal in the stays; hove all aback, and got off without damage. Finding a strong westerly current, bore away to leeward of the island. At midnight it bore from S. E. by E. to S. W. by W.: at day-light from S. E. to S. S. W., distant 4 leagues: at noon S. ½ E. to E. S. E. lat. observed, 0° 15′ N. S. S. Westerly winds continued. June 9th, saw at 6 A. M. very low land from E. ½ S. to S. E by E., stood E. S. E. ½ S. 8 miles, had ground 52 fathoms mud, and tacked. At noon, lat. observed, 0° 33′ S. lon. 8° 40′ E. by chronometer, the land bearing E. seen from mast-head.

June 10th, at sunset, in 27 and 28 fathoms, the southern extreme of the land S. by E. ½ E. Variable winds and a strong northerly current. June 12th; lat. observed, 0° 4′ S. lon. 8° 15′ E., S. S. Westerly winds; found the current set W. by S. ½ S. 1½ mile per hour. June 13th, at day-light, the land of Cape Lopez from S. S. E. to E. S. E. no ground 40 fathoms. Stood W. 10 miles to noon. Lat. observed, 0° 42′ S. lon. 8° 22′ E. by chronometer. Variation per azimuth, 25° W. The S. S. Westerly winds continued till 27th, in lat 7° 30′ S. lon. 5° E. they veered to the S. and S. S. E., stood to the S. W., and arrived at St. Helena 5th July.

1796. A passage to St. Helena by working in the open sea, at a considerable distance from the African Coast.

GEORGINA, left the Lizard, Feb. 25th, 1796, and lost N. E. trade, March 18th, in lat. 10° N. lon. 18° W. She had then variable light winds, S. Westerly and northerly currents to the equator, crossed it April 15th, in lon. 3° E. April 16th, a brisk N. N. W. breeze placed her in lat. 1° 25′ S. The S. S. Westerly winds returned, and continued between S. S. W. and S. by E., till the 15th, in lat. 5° 26′ S. lon. 3° E. She tacked to the S. Westward, and on this tack with S. S. E. and S. E. winds, arrived at St. Helena, 2d of May.

1796. A fleet for China, passage to the eastward of St. Helena, and stops there for a supply of water.

CARNATIC and fleet, bound to China, left the Lizard, Aug. 16th, 1796. Lost N. E. trade Sept. 5th, in lat. 11° 0′ N. lon. 23° W. Stood to the S. E. with S. S. Westerly winds, and crossed the equator, Sept. 19th, in lon. 5° W.: the same winds continued. On the 3d Oct. at noon, observed in lat 8° 52′ S. lon. 11° 40′ E. The wind veered to S. by W. Oct. 9th, in lat. 11° S. lon. 8° E. stood to the westward. On the 15th, in lat. 16° 14′ S. lon. 0° 30′ W., they bore away for St. Helena, to fill up their water, and anchored 17th.

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1796. The Queen parts with the fleet in N. lat. and arrives at St. Helena only one day before it.

QUEEN, parted with Carnatic and fleet, Sept. 16th, in lat. 2° 30′ N. lon, 9° W. At noon the 25th, lat. observed, 1° 31′ E. lon. 5° 16′ E. by chronometer, the Island Anno Bona hearing from E. by N. to E. by S. distant 4 or 5 leagues. Tacked at this time, there being an appearance of shoal water, and low land projecting out from the island. Had mostly S. Westerly winds from losing the N. E. trade, veering at times to southward; these continued till Oct. 9th, in lat. 8° S. lon. 3° E., then veered to S. by E. and S. S. E. Arrived at St. Helena 16th.

1795. A passage to St. Helena, by working in the open sea.

SWALLOW, left the Lizard Point, Jan. 3d, 1795, lost N. E. trade 29th, in lat. 10½° N. lon. 18° W. After passing in sight of the Canary Islands, to the westward, had constant N. W. and westerly winds, which obliged her to pass to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands. The S. Westerly winds commenced when she lost the N. E. trade, but frequently inclined to vary several points. Crossed the equator, Feb. 13th, in lon. 8° W. On the 24th, in lat. 4° S. lon. 2° 30′ E. the wind veered to S. by E. From hence, she stood mostly to the S. W. till March 8th, in lat 18° 30′ S. lon. 8° W., made then several tacks, and arrived 14th, at St. Helena.

1794. A passage to St. Herena, and near the S. W. extremity of the African Coast, and Island Anno-Bona.

DUKE OF BUCCLEUGH, left Porto Praya, April 18th, 1794, lost N. E. trade 20th in lat. 11° 30′ N. lon. 19° W., then had N. Westerly and faint variable airs till May 6th, in lat. 5° 30′ N. saw the African Coast bearing from E. by S. to N. E. by N., distant 6 or 7 leagues, in 55 fathoms green ouze. Had now S. Westerly and southerly light breezes, and saw the land daily till the 10th, in lat. 5° N.: the current set to the northward: with S. Westerly light winds crossed the equator 28th, and saw the Island Anno Bona, 31st. Was baffled near this island several days by southerly winds. June 3d, lat. observed, 1° 19′ S., Anno-Bona from S. 24° E. to S. 50° E. A white rock to the southward, S. 18° E., and a small isle to the northward S. 53° E., distance from the shore 5 or 6 miles. June 4th, at noon, lat observed, 1° 19′ S. Anna-Bona, W. ½ N. 5 or 6 leagues. Variation 18½° W. In lat. 3° 30′ S. tacked to S. W. with the wind at S. and S. by E., and reached St. Helena 19th, without tacking.

1793-4. A passage along the S. W. Coast of Africa, to St. Helena.

NANCY, Dec. 30th, 1793, left the Lizard; passed to the eastward of the Cape Verd Islands, Jan. 18th, 1794. Lost N. E. trade 21st, in lat. 10° 30′ N., and had ground 63 fathoms same time, on the African Coast: had now light N. W. winds. In lat. 6° N. saw the land, in 40 fathoms. Jan. 31st, passed Cape Palmas at 7 miles distance, the wind now veered to S. W. Variation 19½° W. With S. W. winds crossed the equator, Feb. 6th, but at times it veered to westward. In lat. 6° S. Feb. 13th, the wind S. S. W. and S. by W. Tacked to the westward. It veered to S. S. Eastward, in lat. 8° S. on the 17th. Arrived at St. Helena, 28th, without tacking.

1792-3. A passage eastward of Cape Verd Islands, and along part of the Coast of Gulnea, &c., to St. Helena.

Longitude of Grain Coast.

ROYAL CHARLOTTE, left the start, Dec. 30th, 1792-3, Jan. 28th, passed to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands. The rigging is covered with brownish dust, and the clouds come from S. Westward in opposition to the trade wind. Lost N. E. trade, Feb. 1st, in lat. 8° 30′ N. lon. 16° 12′ W. Had now N. Westerly and light variable breezes. At 2 P. M. the 8th, saw the Grain Coast, N. E. ½ N. At 4 P. M. extremes from N. N. E. to E., distant 5 leagues in 36 fathoms. At noon, lat. observed, 4° 53′ N. lon. 9° 0′ W. by chronometers, extremes of the coast from N. to E. ½ S., vessels at anchor in Settra Krow Road, N. E. by E., off shore 4 leagues in 40 fathoms. The current has set S. Easterly these last 6 days. From hence steered S. E. 11 miles to 6 P. M. 9th, the coast then from N. W. ¾ W. to E. S. E., a vessel at anchor off a rocky point, with breakers, like the entrance of a river, N. E. ½ E. off shore 4 leagues, in 36 fathoms. The weather is hazy, and the coast very low. At noon, lat observed, 4° 36′ N. lon. 8° 25′ W. by chronometers, Niffou N, 1°

G 2

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E., Village Little Sesters N. 60° E., off shore 3 leagues in 37 fathoms. Variation 17° W. Being nearly calm in the night, drifted into 17 and 15 fathoms sand, heard the surf on the shore and prepared to anchor; but a land breeze commenced at 3 A. M., stood out S. S. W. and soon deepened.

Grain Coast, Cape Palmas &c.

Feb. 10th, John George, master of the Brig Queen Charlotte, came on board. He is an experienced coaster, and advises falling in with the land about Cape Palmas, and by no means to the westward of it; as the land winds are generally very faint, and should the sea wind prove scant, a ship will receive little benefit from it; there is also a constant indraught which sets towards the shore; which we experienced last night. He says, Cape Palmas should not be rounded nearer than 28 fathoms: it is very woody, and from this depth no appearance of a town is perceived on it. The coast from Cape Palmas to Cape Three Points is clear of danger, and the anchorage good. At 6 P. M. the town Grand Sesters, N. N. E. ¾ E., distant about 3 miles in 30 fathoms. The chronometers make it in lon. 8° 11′ W., the lat. is 4° 39′ N. by noon observation.

Longftude of Cape Palmas

Cape Lopez, and Goast of Africa, to Angola.

Feb. 11th, by observations at noon, make Cape Palmas, in lat. 4° 30′ N. lon. 7° 41′ W. by chronometers. Departed from Cape Palmas, Feb. 12th, had S. Westerly winds and N. Easterly currents till the 16th, the latter abated in strength, and set to the westward of N. for 3 days. On the 21st, with the S. W. winds, passed to the eastward of St. Thomas. The chronometers made the N. end of this island in lon. 6° 37′ E.: had still northerly currents. Feb. 24th, spoke the Margery of Liverpool; Thomas Oliver, master, says Cape Lopez is low, and extends far out to seaward: it makes in a low point, and is seen before the back land. All the coast is rather low, but clear up to Angola, and may with safety be borrowed on in the night to 15 fathoms. Feb. 25th, in lat. 2° 7′ S. lon. 9° 0′ E. by chronometers, had ground 45 fathoms, and saw the appearance of land. March 3d, in lat. 5° 40′ S. lon. 9° E., tacked to westward; the S. Westerly winds continued four days, veering to southward on the 8th and 9th, in lat. 11° S. On the 11th, in lat. 13° S. it veered to S. by E. and S. S. E. Anchored 13th at St. Helena.

1792. A passage by working in the open sea, to St. Helena.

VALENTINE, left the Isle of Wight, March 9th, 1792, and passed on the east-side of Palma, and to the westward of Ferro the 20th. On the 25th and 26th kept in lon. 19° to 19½° W. in passing to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands. Lost the northerly winds the 31st, in lat. 7° 30′ N. lon. 14½° W.; had then calms and light S. Westerly breezes. Crossed the equator April 25th, in lon. 1° 30′ E. From lat. 4° N. to 2° N. the current set eastward. From the equator the wind was mostly from S. S. W. and S. by W. veering to S. by E. and S. S. E. at times. Worked to the southward till May 3d, in lat. 4° S. lon. 5° 30′ E. then with a S. S. E. wind stood to S. Westward, and arrived 11th at St. Helena.

1791-2. A passage to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands and along part of the Grain Coast to St. Helena.

OCEAN, Dec. 20th, 1791, left the Start Point: Jan. 11th, lost N. E. trade, in lat. 8° 40′ N. lon. 17° W. From hence had light variable winds all round, and calms, with S. Easterly currents at times, and during two nights much thunder and lightning. On the 20th, saw the land; at noon the extremes from Cape Mensurado N. 58° E. to N. 81° E., distance off the Cape about 9 leagues. No ground 120 fathoms. Lat. observed, 6° 7′ N. lon. 11° 0′ W. by chronometer, and 10° 50′ W. by , which mean will place the Cape in lon. 10° 35′ W., and in lat. about 6° 27′ N. from its bearing at noon. Saw yesterday several drifts and sea-weed, but no birds of any kind. Jan. 21st, the mean of observations ; and chronometer this day, makes Cape Mensurado in lon. 10° 36′ W. At midnight had ground 47 to 50 fathoms. At noon, the land in sight from the top E. N. E. lat. observed, 5° 24′ N. lon. 10° 0′ W., by mean and chronometer. No ground 90 fathoms. Steered S. S. E. ¼ E. 46 miles to 4 A. M. and had ground 48 fathoms. From the course steered, did not expect to be so near land. For some days past, the wind has been mostly westerly and N. W. it now inclines from S. W. Jan. 24th, mostly calm, but at 10 A. M. a

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tornado squall blew strong for a short time, with thunder, lightning, and rain. Faint S. Westerly breezes, and generally N. E. currents prevailed, till in lat. 2° N. lon. 5° W. 30th, the latter began to set N. Westward, and light breezes continued mostly from S. S. W. to S. Crossed the equator, Feb. 9th, in lon. 1° E. and had now a weak current to westward. In lat 5° 40′ S. lon. 6° 30′ E. the 18th, the wind veered to S. and S. by E., tacked to S. Westward, and with a S. S. E. trade, most of the way, arrived 28th at St. Helena.

VANSITTART, Feb. 22d, 1821, left the Lizard, got N. E. trade 2d March, in lat. 28° N. Crossed the equator in lon. 3° 45′ E., touched at Anna Bona, May 3d, left it next day, and arrived at St. Helena, 23d May, being 92 days from England.*


1795. A passage to St. Helena, without going far to the westward or southward.

ARNISTON and fleet, lost N. E. trade, April 27th, 1795, in lat. 4° N. lon. 18° W. had S. W. and S. S. W. winds till May 5th, in lat. 1* S. lon. 15° W., and got the S. E. trade next day. She parted with the fleet, and was never more westward than lon. 25° W., nor to the southward of lat. 25° S., and arrived June 2d, at St. Helena.

1794. Another passage without going far west, nor so far south as the trople of Capricorn.

DART, Sept. 26, 1794, got westerly and S. W. winds in lat. 9° N. lon. 21° W.; these continued till Oct. 6th, in lat. 1° N. lon. 13° W., then veered to S. S. E., stood to the S. Westward. In lat. 20° S. lon. 16° W. tacked to eastward on the 21st; in lat. 14° S. lon. 10° W. tacked to southward, in lat. 17° S. lon. 10° 30′ W. tacked to eastward the 28th; afterward, made various tacks between 15° and 19° S. lat. and reached St. Helena Nov. 8th, having never been more westward than 16° 50′ west longitude, during the passage from the equator to the island.

1802. A passage by the route most frequented to St. Helena.

MARQUIS OF ELY, left the Isle of Wight Feb. 13th, 1802, lost N. E. trade March 12th, in lat. 4° N. lon. 22° W., and got S. E. trade 21st, in lat. 2° S. lon. 24° W. In standing across the trade she did not get to the westward of lon. 29° W. On the 4th April, her most southerly position was in lat. 29° S. lon. 21° W. She arrived the 19th, at St. Helena.

1801. A passage by going far southward.

PRINCESS MARY, left the Lizard Sept. 12th, 1801, with a fleet, and lost the N. E. trade October 9th, in lat. 21° N. lon. 26° W.; separated from the fleet and got the S. E. trade 30th, in lat. 1° S. lon. 19° W.; lost S. E. trade Nov. 9th, in lat. 18° S. lon. 25° W., had then light variable easterly winds till in lat. 31° S. lon. 11° W. on the 21st, then northeast and northerly winds. In lat. 32° S. lon. 9° W. on the 25th. stood northward, and arrived Dec. 2d, at St. Helena.

1800. A tedious passage far southward to St. Helena.

HUGH INGLIS, with a fleet, left the Start, May 4th, 1800; lost north-east trade June 1st, in lat. 10° N. lon. 25° W. and got the south-east trade 16th, in lat. 2 N. lon. 28° W. Separated with the fleet, went as far as lat. 33° S. and arrived August 14th, at St. Helena.

1800. A passage by the regular track to St. Helena.

ARNISTON, left Portland Jan. 8th, 1800, lost north-east trade Feb. 13th, in lat. 6 N. lon. 21° W. and got south-east trade 27th, in lat. 1° N. lon. 21° W. She went to lat. 29° S. and arrived April 4th, at St. Helena.

* The Waterloo left the Downs two days before the Vansittart; she pursued the Western Route, and arrived at St. Helena, May 3d, making a quicker passage than the latter by 18 days.

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1799-1800 A passage far southward to St. Helena.

PRINCESS MARY, left Portland Nov. 19th, 1799, lost north-east trade Dec. 13th, in lat. 6° N. lon. 21° 30′ W., and got south-east trade 17th, in lat. 4° N. lon. 22° W. Between 27° and 31° S. lat. had calms and light winds, did not exceed lat. 31° S. and arrived Jan. 29th, 1800, at St. Helena.

1799. A tedious passage far southward to St. Helena.

LORD HAWKESBURY, left Portland, April 25th, 1799, lost north-east trade May 19th, in lat. 7° 30′ N. lon. 18° W.; on the 30th was in lat. 3° N. lon. 5° 30′ W., and got south-east trade June 9th, on the equator, in lon. 14° W.; July 25th, in lat. 31° 50′ S. lon. 10° W., had calms and light airs several days, then stood to the north-eastward with variable breezes till in the south-east trade, and arrived August 10th at St. Helena.

1798. A passage nearly in the most frequented route to St. Helena.

TELLICHERRY, June 11th, 1798, left the Lizard; lost north-east trade 30th, in lat. 12° N. lon. 26° W., and got south-east trade July 10th, in lat. 3° N. lon. 24° W.; on August 8th, her most southerly position was lat. 30° S. lon. 22° W., and arrived 18th at St. Helena.

1796. A passage to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands, and by the route beyond the southern limit of S. E. trade to St. Helena.

CANTON, left the Lizard April 15th, 1796; lost north-east trade May 7th, in lat. 13° N. lon. 19° 30′ W., having passed to the eastward of Cape Verd Islands; got south-east trade 23d, in lat. 0° 30′ S. lon. 24° W. For three days previous to crossing the equator had strong westerly currents; on it they changed, and set strong to north-east three days. In lat 25° S. lon. 21° W. June 11th, with westerly winds steered east; in lat. 23° S. lon. 11° W. the 15th, got easterly winds, then variable at north-east and northward till in lat. 21° S. lon. 7° W. on the 20th, the south-east trade returned, and arrived the 23d at St. Helena.

1815. A quick passage by the western route to St. Helena.

CERES, bound to St. Helena, crossed the equator the 7th May, 1815, in lon. 20° 20′ W. (having lost N. E. trade in lat. 5° N. lon. 19° W., and got the S. E. trade in lat. 0° 40′ S.) She lay up well to the southward, and went not farther west than lon. 25°, when in lat. 19° 20′ S. on the 15th. Here the winds veered to East and N. E. with which she stood to S. E. and E. S. E. the winds drawing to North, N. W., and West, as she ran to the eastward. On the 23d, she was in lat. 22° 15′ S. lon. 10° W., and was never farther south; from hence she steered E. N. E. to lon. 7½° W. with W. N. W. and W. winds, then steered N. N. E.; got the S. E. trade wind again in lat. 19° S. nearly on the meridian of St. Helena, where she arrived on the 28th, having 21 days passage from the equator.

1815. Western passage to St. Helena, longer than the above.

HEREFORDSHIRE, bound to St. Helena, crossed the equator the same day as the Ceres, on the 7th May, 1815, in lon. 22° 7′ W., and on the 15th was in lat. 17° 15′ S. lon. 27° 25′ W., being her farthest westerly position; with N. East and Northerly and S. S. E. winds, she steered first S. E. then East, nearly on the parallel of lat. 20° S. till in lon. 15° W. on the 24th. Here she got a return of the S. E. trade wind, and steered to the southward and S. S. E. till in lat. 28° 30′ S. lon. 11° W. on the 1st June, from whence she steered E. N. E. to lon. 7½° W. with northerly winds, then N. N. E., and got the S. E. trade again in lat. 26° S. and arrived at St. Helena 8th, having a passage of 32 days from the equator, or 11 days longer than the Ceres.


BY these examples of ships which have gone by the eastern and western routes to St. Helena, combined with other information, it appears that the eastern route might be adopted

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The winter months favourable for the eastern route to St. Helena.

Sun in northern hemisphere, the eastern route in precarious.

in November, December, January, February, and sometimes in March. If a ship bound to St. Helena, cross the equator in any of these months, and find the winds incline from S. Westward, by standing to the S. E. across the Gulph of Guinea close on a wind, and afterward tacking as it veers to the east or west of S. she may probably reach St. Helena nearly as soon as if she had proceeded by the western route. From the time of losing the N. E. trade, about 44 days to St. Helena may be considered a medium passage by the eastern route in these months, but the Swallow made it in 31 days. From the southern limit of the N. E. trade, the passage by the western route is seldom accomplished in less than 40 days. By this route, 43 days seems about the medium passage; and during any month of the year, it may be made in this time, from the situation mentioned. The Arniston made it in 36 days in May, &c. but she did not go more south than lat. 25° S. and the Ceres made it in 21 days from the equator, not going beyond lat. 22° 15′ S. When the sun has great, north declination, the eastern route seems precarious; and the other is most certain at all times. A ship that sails indifferently close hauled, or in light winds, should not attempt the eastern route in this season; but one that slides fast through the water in faint breezes, and holds a good wind, may probably proceed by the eastern route in any season with safety. The Britannia's passage of 95 days in the favorable season, from the southern limit of the N. E. trade to St. Helena, by the eastern route, is a singular case.* It has been the practice with ships going the western route, to run far south, sometimes to lat. 32° and 33° S.; this can seldom be requisite, as it lengthens the passage; the ships which have not proceeded so far south, have generally made the best passages to St. Helena.

From St. Helena to England.

From St. Helena to England, the passage with a fleet is generally about two months, or seven weeks in a single ship that sails well.

To Cape Good Hope.

From this island to the Cape of Good Hope, the passage is about a month. The Georgina was 26 days making it in November, 1798; in February, 1799, she was 28 days; and in April and May, 32 days completing the same passage.

From hence to St. Helena.

From Cape Good Hope to St. Helena, the passage may be estimated at 13 days; it is frequently performed in 10, and has been accomplished in 8 or 9 days.

From St. Helena to River Plate.

From hence to C. Good Hope.

The Georgina, departed from St. Helena, Sept. 18th, 1806, and carried the trade and N. Easterly winds to lat. 30° S. lon. 49° W. On the 13th Oct. she entered the River Plate, and grounded on the banks nearly in sight of Buenos Ayres on the 19th, but soon got off without damage, the bank being soft mud where she grounded. She got clear of the River Plate on the 21st Oct. and arrived at Table Bay, Cape Good Hope, Nov. 24th, and gave intelligence of the re-capture of Buenos Ayres.

St. Helena to Benguela.

GEORGINA, left St. Helena, May 22d, 1805. In lat. 27° S. and lon. 6° W. the 30th, got the wind at northward and N. E. three days, and then steered E. by S. June 2nd, in lat. 26° S. lon. 3° E. it veered to W. S. W. and S. W., and continued till in lat. 20° S. lon. 9° E. the 6th: it then veered to the S. Eastward. June 9th, at 7 P. M. heard the surf, and saw breakers on the lee-beam, hauled off N. E.; shortly after saw the land bearing S. S. E. and sounded in 38 fathoms, sand. At day-light the land from S. ½ E. to E. S. E., off shore 5 leagues, in 52 fathoms. At noon the high land from N. E. by E. to S. S. W., a remarkable hill like a turk's cap, which we suppose to be Mount Negro E. S. E., off shore 7 or 8 miles, in 45 fathoms, sand, coral, and shells. Lat. observed 15° 30′ S., lon. by 12° 28′ E. June 10th, steered along shore mostly N. E. and N. E. by E. with light westerly winds and hazy weather. At sun-set the coast from S. W. by S. to N. by E., off shore 6 or 7 miles; shortly after had 19 fathoms mud, steering N. E. by E. At 10 A. M. Tyger's Bay, S. S. E. ½ E. and a large bay open S. by E. off shore 7 or 8 miles.

* The Vansittart's passage of 92 days from England to St. Helena, in March, April, and May, by the Eastern Route, was also very tedious

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June 11th, light winds from S.W. to W. and cloudy weather; at sun-set a bluff point S. E. by S.; a remarkable high round hill S. by E., off shore about 7 miles; at noon, lat. observed 13° 7′ S., account 13° 8′ S. June 12th, light westerly winds and fine weather, hove to, in the night; at 8 A. M. St. Phillip's Bonnet E. by S. ½ S. 3 or 4 leagues; at noon, lat. observed 12° 33′ S., St. Philip's Point S. E. ½ E. 2 leagues the extremes of the land from E. N. E. to W. S. W. ½ S., off shore about 4 miles; P. M. steered S. E. by E. into the bay: at 8 the master attendant came on board, and at 4 anchored and moored in Benguela Bay in 10 fathoms, with the best bower to seaward.

Return to St. Helena.

The Georgina received 84 bullocks, sailed June 21st, and had light winds from westward near the land; stood to the westward on the 22d, with a fresh breeze at S. W.; it continued at S. W. by S. and S. S.W. till in lat. 13° S. on the 26th, veered then to S. by W. and to S. on the following day. June 28th, in lat. 15° 30′ S. lon. 2° 30′ W. it veered to S. by E.; arrived the 29th at St. Helena.

St. Helena to Bengula.

Georgina, Sept. 15th, 1805, left St. Helena. In lat. 21° S. with southerly and light variable winds the 18th, stood E. N. Eastward; in lat. 12° S. lon. 7° E. on the 29th, they veered to S. and S. S.W. moderate and light breezes, which continued till she arrived, Oct. 4th, at Benguela.

Return to St. Helena.

Sailed from hence the 22d, had the wind mostly at W. and W. S. W. (often variable) till in lat. 10° 30′ S. lon. 7° 30′ E. the 26th; it now veered to S. W., next day to S. S. W. and S. fresh breezes and squally. From the 26th to the 30th it blew strong from S. by W. to S. by E.; afterward it continued steady at S. by E., arrived at St. Helena Nov. 1st, having experienced a confused head sea great part of the passage.

WINDS and CURRENTS in the GULF of GUINEA: COASTS, and adjacent ISLANDS, and from thence to the SOUTHWARD.

Prevalling winds.

Currents near the coast.

Near equator.

ALONG the Coast of Sierra Leone and the Grain Coast, to Cape Palmas, N. W. and N. N. W. winds mostly prevail. From this Cape, across the Gulf of Guinea to Cape Lopez, they are found to prevail in general from S. W. and southward. The currents are variable on the Grain Coast; in the S. W. monsoon when the sun is far to the northward they frequently run to the N. W. but at other times often to the S. E. They set mostly between north and east across the Gulf, from Cape Palmas to Cape Lopez, particularly from the Coast to lat. 2° N. From lat. 2° N. across the equator to lat. 1° or 2° S, the current frequently sets strong to the westward; this is mostly experienced about the equator, and a little to the northward of it, when the sun has great north declination.

Winds from Cape Lopex to Benguela and at a great distance from the coast.

Although in the Gulf of Guinea, the winds blow generally from southward and S. S. W. towards the Coast, in S. latitude they are observed near the land to take a more westerly direction; often prevailing from S. W. and W. S. W. along the African Coast between Cape Lopez and Benguela. As the distance is increased from the coast, the winds veer in proportion more southerly; it has been said, that the boundary of the winds which blow from south to S.W. along the west coast of Africa to lat. 28° S. is an imaginary line drawn from Cape Good Hope to Cape Palmas. It may be observed, that the winds are found in general, to draw to the S. by E. or S. S. E. considerably to the eastward of this imaginary line; some ships however have been perplexed with the winds from S. and S. by W. between

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7° and 15° south lat. until several degrees to the westward of this imaginary line; although this seldom happens.

Harmattan a peculiar wind.

From Cape Lopez to Sierra Leon, a dry parching easterly wind sometimes blows along the Coast of Guinea, in December, January, and February, and is called the Harmattan by the Fantees, a nation on the Gold Coast. In these months, the Harmattan may come at any period of the moon, and it continues sometimes only 1 or 2 days, sometimes 5 or 6, and it has been known to last 15 or 16 days. There are generally 3 or 4 returns of it every season, and it blows moderately. On the Coast of Sierra Leon, its direction is from E. S. E., and the same farther northward. On the Gold Coast from N. E., and at Cape Lopez and the River Gabon from N. N. E. The Harmattan is accompanied by a dark haze; and it is a cold parching wind, destructive to vegetation, but purifies the atmosphere from infectious exhalations.

Rains on the Coast of Guinea.


Calms, &c.

The rains set in on the Coast of Guinea in May, and continue till October; as they do also on the west coasts of both peninsulas in India, and others situated to the northward of the equator, which have the ocean open to the west or S. Westward. Preceding, and subsequent to the rainy season, on the Coast of Guinea, tornadoes may be expected; these are hard squalls from East and E. S. Eastward, accompanied with thunder, lightning, and much rain. In the Gulf of Guinea, faint breezes and calms are also frequent at various seasons of the year.

Current variable near the coast.

About Cape Lopez, and from thence along the coast to the southward, the current often sets to the northward; at other times it is variable, with strong ripplings, near the rivers in the rainy season; when the freshes from these rivers, added to a body of water being driven toward the coast by the S. W. wind, is turned backward and forms a westerly current. In the dry season, there is frequently no current.

Rainy season in south latitude.

The rainy season to the southward of the equator, on the Coasts of Loango, Congo, and Angola, is the opposite to that on the Coast of Guinea; the sun in the northern hemisphere bringing the rainy season on the latter coast, at which time it is the dry season of the former; the southern sun producing the rains to the southward of the equator.

Land and sea breezes.

In the fair season, on the coasts which embrace the Gulf of Guinea, land and sea breezes prevail; but the winds blow almost constantly from the sea during the rains.

Headlands, &c. on the Coast of Guinea.

HEADLANDS OR ISLANDS, on the West Coast of Africa, and from Cape Verd around the coast of Guinea, are sometimes seen by East India ships, proceeding by the eastern route to St. Helena, the chief of which appear to be situated by lunar observations and chronometers as follows:

CAPE BAJADOR, in lat. 26° 8′ N. lon. 14° 30′ W.

CINTRA REEF, in lat. 23° 6′ 20″ N. lon. 16° 13′ W.

Geo. Sites.

RIVER OURA, N.W. entrance, in lat. 23° 38′ N. lon. 16° 0′ 30″ W.

CAPE BARBAS, in lat. 22° 20′ N. lon. 16° 43′ W.

CAPE BLANCO, West entrance, in lat. 20° 50′ 45″ N. lon. 17° 9′ 50″ W.

DO. DO. South point, in lat. 20° 46′ 30″ N. lon. 17° 5′ 30″ *.

Geo. Site of Cape Verd,

CAPE VERD, in lat. 14° 50′ N. lon. 17° 35′ W.

* The above are from the Survey made in H. M. ship Leven in 1819, 1820, and 1821.


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GOREE, Governor's Garden, in lat. 14° 40′ N. lon. 17° 27′ W.

and other places.

CAPE NAZE, in lat. 14° 33′ N. lon. 17° 9′ 20″ W.

BIRD ISLAND, off the Garabia, in lat. 13° 37′ 15″ N. lon. 16° 43′ W.

CAPE ST. MARY RIVER, ditto, in lon. 13° 29′ 30″ N. lon. 16° 43′ 20″ *.

Bissagos Islands.

CAPE REXO, in lat. 12° 23½′ N. lon. 16° 50¼′ W.; and 18 leagues to the S. S. Eastward, lies the Bissagos Islands encircled by shoals, with other shoals between them and Cape Rexo.

St. Ann's Shoals.

ST. ANN'S SHOALS, front the coast to the S. W. of Sierra Leon at a great distance, and their western extremity in lat. 7° 34′ N. lon. 13° 28′ W. bears nearly south from the Isles de Loss.

and Cape.

CAPE ST. ANNE, the western extreme of Sherbro Island, is situated in lat. 7° 5′ N. lon. 12° 20′ W., and a group called Turtle Isles project from it to the westward, uniting with the southern extremity of the foregoing shoals.

Capes Mensurado,

CAPE MENSURADO, in lat. 6° 25′ N. lon. 10° 30′ W. is high; and from Cape Verd to this part of the coast of Guinea, soundings extend out to a considerable distance from the land.


CAPE PALMAS, in lat. 4° 30′ N. lon. 7° 41′ W. is rather low, like most parts of the coast of Guinea, and it should not be rounded under 28 fathoms. Variation 17° W. in 1793.

Three Points St. Paul,

CAPE THREE POINTS, is in lat. 4° 31′ N. lon. 2° 41′ W.; and Cape St. Paul, the western extremity of the Bight of Benin, in lat. 5° 29′ N. lon. 0° 50′ E.

and Formosa.

CAPE FORMOSA, in lat. 4° 5′ N. lon. 5° 5′ E. is very low, forming the eastern extremity of the Bight of Benin, and from hence the coast extends about 53 leagues nearly east to the north of Calabar River, all low land, where it turns round to the southward, forming the Bight of Biafra, into which flow several large rivers.

Fernando Po.

ISLAND FERNANDO PO, situated in the middle of the Bight of Biafra, is about 13 or 14 leagues west of the mouth of the great River Camaroons, the body of it being in lat. 3° 14′ N. lon. 7° 48′ E., and it is about 20 leagues in circuit, inhabited by negroes, well watered, abounding in sugar-cane and fruits.

Prince's Island.

Three Brothers, and


PRINCE'S ISLAND, in lat. 1° 30′ N. lon. 7° 3′ E. is about 27 leagues to the W. N.W. of Cape St. John, and about the same distance to the S. S.W. of Fernando Po. It is high, with a village and harbour on the east side, where bullocks, hogs, goats, and water may be procured. There are some rocks and islets adjoining, particularly those called the Three Brothers, about 4 or 5 leagues to the S.W., and that called Coroco, about 2 leagues to the southward. Variation 21° W, in 1816.

St. Thomas.

Geo. Site.

ISLAND ST. THOMAS, about 40 leagues west of Gabon River, is about 26 leagues in circuit, of a round form, its north extremity being in lat. 0° 30′ N. lon. 6° 37′ E., and the

* The last four are from the Survey made in the Leven.

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islets off its south extremity lie on the equator. This island belongs to the Portuguese, and it affords some articles of refreshment for ships that touch at the bays on the eastern part, the chief of which is Anna de Chaves; but the shore to the northward of this bay being rocky and steep, it must have a wide birth in passing. Variation here in 1816 was 22° W.

Shoal off the anchoring bay of St. Thomas.


The Chesterfield, working toward the road of St. Thomas, on the 18th of September, 1781, with the Blandford and Tartar in company, got no ground at 50 and 60 fathoms, until the rocks were seen along side, had then 16 fathoms, and the ship grounded in stays. When aground, the fort bore S. W. by S., a small island off the N. W. point of the road N. W., the eastern extreme S. by W., off shore about 4 or 5 miles, and off the small island nearly 3 miles. Hove the ship off the shoal with the stream anchor, and the assistance of a schooner: afterward, steered for the road, keeping the fort from west to W. by S.; had from no ground 60 to 16 fathoms, and shortly after 6 fathoms, shells, sand, and coral, then anchored with the small island bearing N. by W. ½ W., south end of St. Thomas S. ½ W., the northernmost point N. W. ½ W., and the fort W. S. W., off shore about 2 miles. The Tartar anchored in 5½ fathoms, with the fort S. W. by W., distant 1 mile, and the Blandford much farther out: by observation, they made the south end of the island to lie on the equator.

There are two large bays fit for large ships, with a small bay between them, and the principal one where the fort is, lies at the S. E. part of the island: in this bay, the depths are from 8½ to 4 fathoms close in shore, the bottom clear fine sand. The other large one, called Man of War Bay, has a few huts, with good anchoring ground, and is situated at the N. W. part of the island.

sailling directions.

To approach the bay where the fort is situated, the best way is to come round by the south end of the island, because the current sets mostly to the northward, and the winds prevail from southward. The shore to the southward of the fort can be approached with greater safety than to the northward, but not under the distance of 1½ mile until the fort is brought to bear W. by N.

The lead is no guide in turning in from the northward, because from no ground, a ship may have 12 fathoms, and be aground before another cast of the lead can be hove.*


ANNO-BONA, in lat. 1° 30′ S. lon. 5° 48′ E. (the body) distant 56 leagues westward from Cape Lopez, is 7 or 8 leagues in circuit, rising in two high hills, the summits of which are often clouded, and on one of them is said to be a lake of pure water. This island is refreshed by constant breezes, which render it healthy; it abounds with tropical fruits, domestic animals, and poultry; the inhabitants are negroes, converted to the Catholic faith by the Portuguese. The best anchorage is at the N. E. part of the island, where there is a village: on the west side, the appearance of shoal water was seen by the Queen in passing, projecting from some low land. Variation 19° W. in 1794.

The Vansittart, Capt. Clarence Dalrymple, on the 3d of May, 1821, at 5 P. M. anchored at Anna Bona, in 11½ fathoms rocky bottom, with a conspicuous peak in the centre of the island, bearing W. ½ S., off shore about ¾ mile. Ships touching here should keep the lead going, the soundings being very irregular, with great overfalls from 19 to 11, then 3½ fathoms. Although the Vansittart lay in 11½ fathoms, a small anchor was necessary to steady her and keep the bower anchor clear, for half a cable's length in shore there was only ¼ less 3 fathoms rocks. The watering place is above a small rivulet to the S. W. of the village, and the process of getting water is tedious, which is first taken up in buckets, and passed to the casks on the beach, and they must be warped off, as a heavy surf sets constantly in upon

* The Glatton struck on a shoal here, as will be seen under that ship's name among the descriptions of eastern passages to St. Helena.

H 2

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the shore. The natives were well disposed, exchanging their pigs, goats, fowls, and fruits, (being all the island affords) for linen cloth, cutlery, needles, &c.

Geo. Site of Cape Lopez.

CAPE LOPEZ GONZALVES, in lat. 1° 11′ S. lon. 8° 40′ E., is low and woody, and with the whole of the coast, which is generally low to Angola, may be approached to 15 or 20 fathoms. The coast in lat. 2° 10′ S. is in lon. 0° 45′ E., and here the bank of soundings deepens regularly from 16 fathoms about 3 leagues off shore, to 70 fathoms about 9 leagues off, then no bottom at 100 fathoms.

Loango Bay.

LOANGO BAY, in lat. 4° 38′ S. lon. 11° 27′ E., is surrounded by red cliffs; and from the southern extremity called Indian Point, in lat. 4° 40′ S., a reef projects nearly half way across the bay, with probably not less than 6 or 7 fathoms water on it, and the extremity is about 7 miles off shore, with Indian Point bearing S. E. There is good anchorage within the reef, in 4 fathoms ¾ mile from the shore; but the surf prevents landing, except in the canoes of the country.

Cango River

CONGO RIVER'S MOUTH, in lat. about 6° 5′ S. is wide, with rapid freshes running out of it to the N. Westward, particularly in the rainy season, which discolour the sea at a considerable distance from land, and carry floating islands of trees a great way out to sea, but being seldom visited by ships, this river is not well known;* although the late expedition, sent by government under the unfortunate Capt. Tuckey, for the exploration of the Congo, has in some degree improved our knowledge of that remarkable river.

St. Paul de Loando.

ST. PAUL DE LOANDO, a city of considerable extent, in about lat. 9° 0′ S., situated on the south shore of Bengo Bay, and on an island 10 leagues long, which with a peninsula of the main, forms a good port: this is the chief settlement of the Portuguese on the coast of Angola, and the best place for a ship to obtain refreshments. The articles most appropriate for the trade here, and at other parts of this coast, are coarse blue checked India cloths, English white coarse cottons, glass ware and cutlery of inferior quality, ready made woollen coats, and shoes.

Benguela Bay; Geo. Site.

BENGUELA BAY, in lat. 12° 32′ S. lon. 13° 29′ E. or 19° 5¼′ East of James's Town, St. Helena, by Capt. Heywood's chronometers, in H. M. ship Nereus, is called also the Bay of St. Antonio St. Philip of Benguela, being the chief Portuguese settlement on this coast.

The Nereus, on the 29th Jan. 1811, anchored in 10 fathoms, with the Flagstaff just touching the East side of the church, bearing S. 54° E. distant 1¼ mile.

The Georgina 12th June 1805, moored in 10 fathoms, with the northern extreme of the land N. by W. ½ W., St. Philip's Bonnet W. N. W. ¼ W., the flag-staff of the fort S. E. ¼ E., off shore 1½ mile, and found two ships and seven brigs in the road, under Portuguese colours.

This bay is formed on the S.W. side by a peninsula, the extremity of which is called Punta de Chapeo, from a single clump of trees on it, the shore on each side being barren; and this clump is called St. Philip's Bonnet or Hat. The extreme points of the bay, extend from each other about 7 or 8 miles; and from a transit line joining these points, the bay is about 2½ miles in depth to the beach: upon that transit line, and half way between St. Philip's Bonnet and the low sandy point of the bay, the depth of water is 17 fathoms, from hence, decreasing gradually to 6 fathoms within a mile of the shore.

* The freshes run almost constantly out of the Congo or Zahir River all the year, sometimes at the rate of 5 and 6 miles an hour, there being little or no tides; and as there is upward of 100 fathoms water in the middle of the entrance, the difficulty of navigating it is great, and its extent and source at present are enveloped from the knowledge of Europeans.

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The surrounding country abounds with excellent fruit and vegetables in the proper season, but the water is not of the best quality, and procured with some difficulty, by bailing it out of wells of considerable depth, distant about 300 yards from the beach, where the surf runs high at times. The Nereus was well supplied with bullocks, sheep, goats, hogs, fruit and vegetables; and plenty of fine fish were caught by the seine in the bay. Variation 20° W. in 1806.

The Company's ship Thames, outward-bound to Bengal, after passing to the eastward of the Cape Verd Islands, had light westerly and S. S. W. winds, with which and a strong easterly current, she was drifted along the coast of Africa, at times approaching it within 60 miles, until abreast of Benguela, where she anchored 28th Sept. 1822, with the hope of procuring vegetables, &c., but no vegetables could be got at this season, and they only got a supply of fish, bullocks, and sheep, and found great difficulty in bringing off a few tons of water. Capt. J. Crawford, of the Bombay Marine, at this time a passenger in the Thames, made the flagstaff of Benguela in lat. 12° 32¼′ S. lon. 13° 30¾′ E. by mean of four chronometers, from observations taken on shore with a false horizon, who describes the bay to afford good anchorage in mud and sand, but that it is much exposed, being only a small indentation in the land. The town and fort are in a state of decay, garrisoned by about 300 native troops, having mostly European officers over them, banished hence by the mandate of their sovereign. This place is chiefly supported by trading in slaves, who are mostly carried to the coast of Brazil: as liquor shops are numerous, ships touching here, ought not to let their seamen visit the town without great circumspection.

Geo. Site of Cape Negro.

CAPE NEGRO, in lat. 16° 0′ S. lon. 11° 54′ E. by chro*, measured from Benguela, is the westernmost land of this part of the coast, of a level, brown, sandy appearance, discernible at 7 leagues distance, were it not for the atmosphere being generally hazy; but in passing at 3 leagues distance, in regular depths of 12 to 15 fathoms, no projecting headland was seen in the Nereus.


Between Benguela Bay and Cape Negro, there are several bays near the former: and Village Bay, Turtle Bay, and Little Fish Bay, nearest the Cape. Village Bay is in lat. 14° 10′ S. where the Abington and Josiah anchored in 20 fathoms, in Oct. 1703, and got plenty of wood, and water from a pool near the shore.

Port Alexander.

PORT ALEXANDER, in lat. 15° 52′ S., is formed by the peninsula of Cape Negro, which terminates in a curve to N. E. ward, bounding the entrance on the west side. This port has from 12 to 20 fathoms water in it, and seems to be well sheltered from all winds, by the sketch of it made in H. M. sloop Star, in 1796.

Fish Bay.

FISH BAY, in lat. 16° 30′ S., formed by a narrow sandy peninsula on the West side, called Tiger Peninsula, has even soundings from 12 to 6 fathoms, being a spacious and safe harbour. But as there is said to be no fresh water on the coast, from lat. 16° to 31° S., these bays are seldom visited, except by Whalers.

Walvish Bay.

WALVISH BAY, in lat. 22° 54′ S. lon. 14° 36′ E., is spacious and well sheltered, except from northerly winds, which seldom blow here; and it is frequented by Whalers. Soundings extend a considerable way off the coast, from hence to Cape Negro.

Sandwich Harbour and Spencer's Bay.

SANDWICH HARBOUR, in lat. 23° 30′ S., is small, with only 3 fathoms water in it. SPENCER'S BAY, in lat. 25° 46′ S., has 5 and 6 fathoms water, but although sheltered by Mercury Island on the west side of the entrance, it is rather exposed to northerly winds.

Angra Pequena.

ANGRA PEQUENA, (Little Bay) or Santa Cruz, in lat. 26° 37′ S., has 3½, 4, and 5

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fathoms water; and the best and deepest anchorage, is on the east side of the isles at its entrance, in 4 or 4½ fathoms, sheltered from all winds.

Geo. Site of Elizabeth Bay.

ELIZABETH BAY, in lat. 27° 0′ S. lon. 15° 37′ E., is formed by Possession Island, which lies about 3 miles from the land, having a channel between them of 8, 9, and 10 fathoms. A ship may anchor under the island, and be sheltered from west to S. W. Var. 22° 50′ W. in 1793. This place is the boundary between the Kaffer and Hottentot Countries.

Geo. Site of Cape Voltas.

CAPE VOLTAS, in about lat. 28° 42′ S. lon. 16° 20′ E., is the south point of the Orange or Giarep River; an extensive shoal projects from it, and to the south adjoining to the coast, there are several islets.

To the southward of Cape Voltas, soundings seem to extend far out, for the Hanover, from India, on the 2d June, 1715, in lat. 29° S., perceiving the water discoloured, sounded in 95 fathoms fine sand, and at noon had 115 fathoms, when the observed lat. was 29° 6′ S. and after steering N.W. 8 miles, the land was seen at 4 P. M. bearing N. E. by E., distant supposed about 15 leagues.



Periodical winds and currents on Brazil coast.

IT has been observed, that on the Brazil coast, the winds are periodical, blowing from S. S. E. and S. E. from March to September, the current then running to the northward; and from September to March, the wind blowing from N. E. and E. N. E. with a southerly current prevailing during the same period: vessels are therefore directed, to make the land to windward of the port they intend to touch at, according to the direction of the periodical winds blowing along the coast, which generally govern the currents.

When the sun is in the northern hemisphere, the winds on the Brazil coast, certainly incline more from south-eastward than in the opposite season, when that luminary is south of the equator, for at this time they prevail at eastward.

The coast should not be made far north.

It appears, that in any season of the year, if the coast be not made to the north of Cape St. Augustine, there is no difficulty in getting to the southward; for ships which have made the coast in lat. 7° and 8° S. which is considerably to the northward of this cape, even in the unfavourable season, found little difficulty in getting to the southward after making a few tacks, and experienced little or no current to the northward. But from March to October, in an indifferent sailing ship, it would be imprudent to make the land to the north of Cape St. Augustine, if it can be avoided. To the northward of Cape Ledo, or near Cape Roque, it certainly should not be made, on account of S. E. winds and W. N. W. currents, liable to sweep a ship round Cape Roque to the eastward, which has frequently been experienced,*

* The transports with the ordnance stores on board, for the army of Monte Video, in 1807, by crossing the equator too far to the eastward, were carried so far in this direction by the currents, that they could not get to the southward of Cape St. Augustine, and were twice obliged to stand to the northward, into variable winds, to regain easting, after having made two fruitless attempts to get into the regular south-east trade. This happened in May and June.

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In 13° or 14° S. lat. the winds draw to E. S. E.

North-easterly at Cape Frio.

Outward-bound ships, which touch at St. Salvador in every month of the year, after leaving this place, proceed to the southward without difficulty, for the winds mostly draw to E. S. E. in lat. 13° or 14° S. even in the most unfavourable season for sailing to the southward, and they are frequently variable near the coast, with land breezes at times. About Cape Frio, the prevailing winds are north-easterly all the year, though often variable, and sea and land breezes, are mostly experienced in the entrance to Rio Janeiro.

By crossing the equator far west the King George saw Cape Roque.

KING GEORGE 1st June 1792, crossed the equator in lon. 30° W. with the view of getting quickly into the S. E. trade, but being in the stream of the equatorial current, she was carried greatly to the westward, and saw the land about Cape Roque at 5 P. M. 6th June, bearing from S. S. E. to S. W. by S.; having steered south 4½ miles till 6 P. M. she tacked to the N. E. Cape Roque bearing S. S. E., a remarkable hummock South, breakers on Cape Roque Shoal S. by W. distant 3 or 4 miles, and off the land 8 or 9 leagues. She stood from hence, close hauled, to regain the variable winds in north latitude, in order to make easting, which considerably prolonged her passage to India.

Active, by crossing the equator far west, ruins her voyage.

Salinas Bank.

ACTIVE, bound to Pernambuco, passed the Cape Verd Islands in lon. 31½° W., and on the 4th March 1811, she crossed the equator in lon. 35° W., and afterward made the coast of Brazil far to the west of Cape Roque. March 25th, a pilot came off, and carried her into Parrazira Bay, where she procured a pilot to conduct her to Pernambuco. Coasting along to the eastward, with land breezes at times, the boat was daily sent on shore for provisions, and she anchored in the night, or when the wind was contrary, as the tide or current ran mostly to the westward. Salinas Bank, was found to extend parallel to the coast a great way* to the westward of Cape Roque, being a steep coral reef above and under water, with a channel of 1 to 2 miles broad between it and the shore: here the pilot got the Active once aground, and at another time into 2½ fathoms. By crossing the equator far to the westward, and consequently getting far to leeward of Cape Roque, this ship's passage was so much prolonged, as to render her voyage unprofitable, which occasioned a suit at law between the Freighters and Proprietors of the ship.

1803. General Stuart saw Fernando Noronha and Brazil coast.

GENERAL STUART, August 19th, 1803, lost N. E. trade in lat. 14° N. lon. 27° W.; was then perplexed with light breezes from south to S. S. W. and stood to the S. E. On the 31st, was in lat. 6° N., lon. 15° W. stood to the westward till in lat. 1° N., lon. 27° W. September 10th, the wind then veering to S. S. E., saw Fernando Noronha and anchored there on the 15th. The well being nearly dry, and a high surf, procured only 9 butts of water at this place; sailed 19th, and made the Brazil coast on the 20th, in lat. 7° 10′ S.; on the 21st and 22d; the wind at S. S. E. to S. E., tacked several times at 5 or 6 miles from the shore; at noon 22d, in lat. 7° 48′ S. the wind veered to E. S. E. and E. by S., stood to the southward, and saw the coast no more.

1803. Warren Hastings saw Brazil coast.

WARREN HASTINGS, May 5th, 1803, lost north-east trade in lat. 9° 30′ N. lon. 23° 40′ W. and got S. E. trade 21st, in lat. 2° N. lon. 25° W. The trade being scant, made the Brazil coast 28th, in lat. 8° 30′ S.; on the 29th, the wind veering more easterly, lost sight of the coast in lat. 9° S. Whilst in sight of the land, had soundings from 25 to 40 fathoms.

1802. Tellicherry saw Fernando Noronha and Brazil coast.

TELLICHERRY, May 10th, 1802, lost north-east trade in lat. 7° N. lon. 25° W. and got S. E. trade 14th, in lat. 3° N. lon. 27° W.; had the trade far southerly, and saw Fernando Noronha 20th; tacked to north-eastward for 30 hours, saw the island again 22d, and

* The Brazil pilot says 30 leagues, in a N.W. direction.

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passed to leeward of it; saw the Brazil coast 24th, and was obliged to tack frequently near it for several days, the wind south-easterly; in lat. 8° 6′ S. on the 30th, with a steady wind at S. E. and S. E. by E. was enabled to stand to the southward without tacking again.

1802. Strong westerly currents from equator to Brazil coast.

CUFFNELLS, May 28th, 1802, lost north-east trade in lat. 8½° N. lon. 22° W. and got S. E. trade June 4th, in lat. 5° N. lon. 21° W. From the equator, had a current setting W. and W. by N. from 30 to 52 miles daily, till the coast of Brazil was in sight 14th, in lat. 8° S.; tacked to the N. E. and stood on this tack near two days, then tacked to the southward, and saw the land no more.

1802. The same near Fernando Noronha &Brazil coast.

SIR EDWARD HUGHES, May 23d, 1802, lost N. E. trade in lat. 6° N. lon. 23° W. and got the wind at S. S. E. 25th, in lat. 5° N. lon. 23° 30′ W. The trade kept far south, and the current set westward strong. June 2d, saw Fernando Noronha, made several tacks till the Brazil coast was seen about Cape St. Augustine, June 7th; had some hard squalls here. In lat. 13° S. the wind veered to E. S. E. and to E. by N. June 13th, in 17° S. latitude.

1797, Saw Brazil coast.

HENRY DUNDAS, October 20th, 1797, lost N. E. trade in sight of the Cape Verd Islands, and crossed the equator November 4th, in lon. 30° 30′ W. with a scant S. E. trade. On the 8th, made the Brazil coast in 6° 50′ S. about Cape Ledo. The wind became more favourable near the land.

1795, Westerley current from Palma to Brazil coast.

BOMBAY CASTLE, and fleet, June 27th, 1795, at 3 A.M. in about lat. 7° S. had 18 fathoms on the Brazil coast, and tacked; the wind continued from south-eastward, with very little current, till she arrived at St. Salvadore, July 7th. They had 6½° westerly current from Palma to the coast of Brazil.

1805, Europe saw Brazil coast.

Two ships wrecked by going far westward.

EUROPE and fleet, October 16th, 1805, lost north-east trade in lat. 11° N. lon. 28° W. and got south-east trade 26th, in lat. 4° N. lon. 29° W. November 4th, in lat. 6° S. saw the Brazil coast; had the wind near the land at E. by S. and E. S. E. stood to the southward along the coast: on the 7th, were in 18 and 19 fathoms, off Pernambuco or Fernambuco point; on the 8th, in lat. 10° 40′ S. the wind veered from E. by S. to E. by N. and E. N. E. no land in sight; worked into the Bay of All Saints, on the 10th, the wind at E. and E. and S. By crossing the equator too far west, the Company's ship Britannia, and King George transport, were wrecked on the Roccas Shoal in the morning of the 1st November, and several other ships in the fleet, narrowly escaped this dangerous shoal.



Geo. Site of Cape Roque.

CAPE ROQUE, the N. E. extremity of Brazil, appears to be in about lat. 5° 10′ S.* about lon. 35° 40′ W. by observations taken in the East India ship King George in 1792,

* Cape Roque, is probably a little more to the south-eastward than here stated, although formerly laid down in lat. 5° 0′ S. The Active, already noticed, of having fallen to leeward of this Cape, made it in lat. 5° 34′ S. by noon observation, when passing between it and the Bank in 1811; but probably, more confidence should be placed in the observations of the King George, though taken at a considerable distance from the Cape, as they seem to have been inexperienced observers on board the Active.

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and the northern extremity of the breakers on the Bank of Cape Roque, she made in lat. 4° 53′ S. which lies 6 or 7 leagues northward from the Cape.

Geo. Site of Cape Ledo, and Paraiba river.

CAPE LEDO, in lat. 6° 52′ S. about lon. 34° 54′ W.*, by mean of several ships lunar observations, forms the outer extreme of the land bounding Paraiba River, which is a place of considerable trade, having 2½ fathoms on the bar at low water. Between Cape Roque and this place, the coast is generally lined by Reefs, with soundings extending to a considerable distance, but near Cape Ledo the bank is rather more steep, although 10 and 12 fathoms are got with the Cape bearing West, distance 10 or 12 miles. Reefs project out to a considerable distance from this part of the coast, rendering caution indispensible when approaching it in the night.

Geo. Site of Cape St. Augustine and Pernambuco.

CAPE ST. AUGUSTINE, in lat. 8° 28′ S. about lon. 34° 40′ W. is formed of a ridge of he sea, with the Fort N. S. de Nazareth on the summit of the hill over the Cape. Pernambuco, in lat. 8° 12′ S. about 6 leagues Northward of this Cape, is a place of great trade, being the Port of the City of Olinda: the entrance is narrow, with 4 fathoms in it at low water, nor is there room for many large ships inside, by which a pilot is necessary to conduct a ship into this Port. The Reef which forms the harbour extends nearly North and South, having a small Tower or Fort on its Northern extremity, and ships steering Westward for the entrance of the harbour, must haul close round this extremity of the Reef, and be ready to drop their anchor in the harbour which stretches southward within the Reef. Large ships in want of refreshments, may anchor in the road well out, and get the needful supplies, where they will be enabled to proceed to sea, on the appearance of blowing weather.

From Cape St. Augustine, the coast takes a direction about S. by W. several leagues, then S. S. Westerly to the Reefs of St. Francisco in about lat. 10° 48′ S. which lie about a league off shore, having a passage within them for small vessels. From hence, the coast lies nearly S. W. to the Bay of All Saints, having a reef lining it in many places, which forms a few intermediate harbours for small vessels.

If a large ship make the land about Capes Ledo or St. Augustine, it will be prudent not to approach it under 25 or 20 fathoms in proceeding to the southward, for with due caution, the soundings are generally a sufficient guide.


Geo. Site.

BAHIA DE TODOS SANTOS, or Harbour of St. Salvadore, is an extensive basin with several islands in it, the entrance being bounded by the large island Tapoa or Taporica on the west side, and on the east side by the Peninsula on which the city of St. Salvadore is built. Cape St. Antonio, or Cape St. Salvadore, is the S. W. extreme of the Peninsula, on which stands Fort Cabo, situated in lat. 12° 58′ S. lon. 38° 13′† W. by mean of lunar observations taken in the E. I. Company's ships: from the Cape, a shoal bank projects South and S. E. ward to the distance of 2 miles, called the Shoal of St. Antonio, on which the tide makes ripplings, but there is said to be not less than 4 fathoms water on it. The island Taporica is lined with a shoal bank that bounds the west side of the channel, and must be avoided: the depths are 10 and 12 fathoms in the fair track, a little outside the entrance of the harbour, deepening to 15 and 20 fathoms farther in.


With a fair wind, when Cape St. Salvadore is approached within 4 or 5 miles, it should be brought to bear N. by E or N. by E. ½ E., and when Fort Cabo is on this bearing, steer N. ½ E. or N. by E. direct for the harbour, borrowing on the Cape bank if the wind

* General Brisbane, and Professor Rumker, made this Cape in lat. 6° 53′ S. lon. 34° 43′ W. by chronometers in 1821.

† Perhaps it may be a little more Westerly.


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be easterly; or as soon as Monserrate Point is seen open with the Cape Point, (which is the first point to the northward on the east side of the harbour) steer right in.

The pilots say, that a ship may borrow on the Cape Bank to 5 fathoms with a steady breeze, but not under 15 fathoms with little wind. Should the wind be at E. N. E. or N. E., a ship may work in with safety, taking care to avoid the western shore; and a pilot will come off, if the signal be made. Having entered the harbour and neared Fort Balco, pass it in 14 fathoms about ½ a mile distant, then anchor abreast the city, in 8, 10, or 12 fathoms, about 1 or 1½ mile off; the bottom is sandy in some places.


The Glatton, moored in 8 fathoms, sand shells and coral, had the flag-staff off the Fort abreast the city bearing E. N. E. ½ N. distant 1 mile, Fort Balco S. ½ W. about 1 mile, extremes of the island Taporica from N.W. by W. to W. S.W. distant 4 or 5 miles. There is a light-house on the Cape Point, to guide ships in the night. High water at 2¼ hours on full and change of moon.


This port is sometimes visited by outward-bound East India ships in want of refreshments, but its situation being in the middle of the S. E. trade, navigators are cautious of touching here, thinking they may find it difficult to get to the south afterward, on account of adverse winds, said (in some old books) to blow along the coast from the southward from March to September; but the East India ships have never found any difficulty in getting from this port to the southward, even in the most unfavourable months, June, July, and August, for the wind generally draws well to the Eastward here, and more so, as you proceed to the southward.

Porto Seguiro.

PORTO SEGUIRO, or SEGURO, in lat. 16° 41′ S. is a place of considerable trade, but will not admit large ships, and the road outside is said to be foul ground: shoals lie about 5 miles to the E. N. E. of the river's mouth, which must be left to the northward in proceeding to the road. If a ship touch here, a pilot will be necessary.

Abrolhos or Brazil Bank.

ABROLHOS BANK, or BRAZIL BANK, extends from lat. 16° to 19° S., having various depths from 20 to 60 fathoms, and on the parallel of 18° 36′ S. it projects about 55 leagues East from Point Abrolhos, or to lon. 36° W.; but farther to the northward, it approaches much nearer to the coast. It seems not to be a continued bank, but probably is formed of several detached parts, with deep water between them; as soundings have been got by many ships far out on the bank, when others between them and the coast, had no bottom with 100 fathoms of line.

Royal Charlotte, Brunswick, and Glatton, left St. Salvadore 5th June, 1803, and on the day following, in lat. 16° 0′ S. lon. 37° 48′ W. had soundings of 22 and 25 fathoms: steered from thence 15 miles S. S. E. to S. E. gradually deepening to 60 fathoms.

Warren Hastings, 3d June, 1803, in lat. 16° 0′ S. lon. 38° 42′ W. by lunars, and 38° 54′ W. by chro*., had 23 fathoms, then steered between S. ½ E. and S. S. E. 19 miles, in 22, 23, 25, 30, and 35 fathoms, and soon after had no ground 70 fathoms.

David Scott, 28th June, 1810, in lat. 16° 35′ S. lon. 38° 26′ W. had from 19 to 24 fathoms; the coast in sight, bearing W. S.W. distant about 17 leagues.

The soundings of the ships stated above, appear to have been on the northernmost part of the Brazil Bank, which is probably a detached part projecting about 26 or 28 leagues from the coast, as all these ships lost soundings steering S. S. E. ward.

Busbridge, 5th June 1792, in lat. 18° 35′ S. lon. 35° 54′ W. by chro*., and 35° 56′ W. by lunars, had soundings 30, 32, and 33 fathoms coral rock, probably near the eastern verge of the Bank of Abrolhas.

Dorsetshire, got no soundings, in passing not far from the situation where the Busbridge had ground. Variation on the verge of the Bank 3° E. in 1803.

Sir Edward Hughes, 13th June 1802, in lat. 17° 18′ S. lon. 36° 15′ W. no ground with

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100 fathoms line; steered S. E. by S. 32 miles, no ground 100 fathoms; steered S. E. 22 miles, no ground 65 fathoms.

Upon this outer Bank of Abrolhas, to the eastward of the islands of the same name, there is no danger, and it is a guide for ships approaching the coast, although there appear to be deep gaps or chasms in it, particularly to the northward of lat. 18° S.

Abrolhas Islands, Geo. Site.

ABROLHAS ISLANDS, in lat. 18° 1′ S. lon. 38° 25′ W., distant about 12 leagues from the coast, consist of 4 small isles near each other, with some rocks and shoals adjoining; they are destitute of water, but abound with rats and turtle. There is said to be 6 and 7 fathoms off the east point of the easternmost island, which is the largest, and that a ship might anchor between it and South Island, but Capt. Isbister in hauling round the south side of the latter, in search of turtle, got his ship aground on a coral shoal. They are apparently safe to approach from the eastward, as Capt. J. Crabtree, in January, 1811, passed outside of them at 8 or 9 miles distance, and had not less than 15 fathoms regular soundings, and they seemed clear of danger on that side.

Inner Channel.

To the west of the Abrolhos Islands, there is a channel 5 or 6 leagues wide, with 9 to 14 fathoms sand and mud, which is seldom used except by coasters. On the west side, toward the land, this channel is bounded by shoals and rocks above water, called the Hats.

Coast to the Southward.

From Abrolhas Point, the coast lies about S. by W., and is safe to approach, if a birth be given to the small isles which lie near it in some places, particularly the Three Brothers, in about lat. 19° 30′ S. When round Espirito Santa, the coast trends more to the S. W. to Cape St. Tome, to the S. Westward of which, lie the three Isles of St. Ann, about a league or more from the shore, affording shelter and good anchorage under them; and fresh water may be got at a village to the northward of them, in Formosa Bay.

Cape Frio.

Geo. Site.

CAPE FRIO (COLD), about 11 or 12 leagues to the S. W. of the Isles of St. Ann, is formed by an island, having a channel 1½ mile wide between it and the main land, but although the depths in it are 7 and 8 fathoms, it is not safe, on account of eddies and strong currents. Ships bound for Rio Janeiro, steer always to make this Cape, which is situated in lat. 23° 1′ S. and in lon. 41° 50′ W. or 1° 4′ E. from Rat Island in Rio Janeiro Harbour, by Capt. P. Heywood's chronometers, although the observations of Captains Torin, Mortlock, and Krusenstern the Russian circumnavigator, place it in lon. 41° 42′ W.

The Cape appears like two paps or hummocks, and close to it on the N. E. side, lie several small isles, which like the island that forms the cape, have deep water close to them. The land about the cape is of middling height, appearing at a distance like islands; to the northward, the land is higher. From Abrolhas Bank to this place, soundings are generally got at a moderate distance from the coast.

Sailling directions into Rio Janeiro.

RIO JANEIRO HARBOUR'S ENTRANCE, is about 20 leagues west from Cape Frio, and ships approaching the latter, must be careful not to run into the bay to the north of the Cape with the wind easterly or S.E. in the night, which has happened to several ships by mistaking the latitude of the Cape, and nearly proved fatal to them.

In steering from Cape Frio to the westward, keep 3 or 4 leagues off shore, and when the distance is 9 or 10 leagues west from Cape Frio, you will see the Sugar-Loaf, if clear weather, and soon after Rodondo, (or Round Island) bearing about west, appearing like a small hummock, and also the extremity of the land to the westward; steer direct for it, and you will soon see Raza, or Razor Island, and in sailing along, will pass the Marice Islands, situated near the shore, distant 5 leagues or more from the entrance of the harbour, which are 2 or 3 small low islands. Round Island, by chronometer, bears from Cape Frio S. 85° W., distant 64 miles, and is in shape a perfect haycock.

I 2

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Razor Island is low, but has a kind of small peak, and seems as if sliced off to the northward, by which it probably got the name of Raza:—When you make it bearing to the westward, it resembles a slipper. The soundings are 30 and 35 fathoms near these islands on the outside, and to the eastward of them. Steering on for Razor Isle, you will make the islands Paya and Maya,* which are 4 to 6 miles eastward of the harbour, and lie near the shore, off Point Tarpu:—Paya is the outermost, and is on with the Sugar-Loaf bearing N. W. by W. ½ W. by compass; Maya is within it, and there is another small islet within these, so near the shore that it is not always perceived. Razor Island bears from Round Island, by compass, E. by N. ¼ N., and from the Sugar-Loaf S. by W.

The Great Channel, leading to the harbour, is between the Paya Islands to the eastward, and Razor Island westward:—when these islands are approached, the entrance of the harbour will be perceived, which is formed by the Sugar-Loaf to the westward, and Santa Cruz point to the eastward, on which is a fort. Having the Sugar-Loaf open to the westward of Paya, steer direct for it; and should the wind not be likely to carry you fairly into the harbour, anchor in 10 or 12 fathoms, when you are within ½ or ¾ of a mile of a small isle, called Cutunduba, with it bearing about N. W. by compass, which isle lies just without the Sugar-Loaf. If you go farther in, the swell on the bar will make you roll your ports in the water; and it is imprudent to anchor between the Sugar-Loaf and Santa Cruz, in the narrow part of the entrance to the harbour, where the depth is greater, the bottom rocky, the channel not a mile wide; with the tide rushing through it, between the rocky shores on each side, at the rate of 6 or 7 miles an hour on the springs.

The sea breeze generally sets in before mid-day in the entrance of the harbour, and continues till about sun-set. You should not enter between the Sugar Loaf and Santa Cruz point with an ebb-tide, and the sea breeze far expended. Several ships, at different times, have been nearly lost, by anchoring in the gut between them.†

Farther description and directions.

If you do not get a pilot outside, keep nearer Santa Cruz point than to the Sugar Loaf, in passing between them. There is a fort called St. John, a little above the Sugar-Loaf, which with Santa Cruz Fort on the opposite side, command the entrance of the harbour. When past the latter, the course up the harbour is about N. by W. ½ W., stand boldly on for the anchorage abreast the city, if there is a moderate commanding breeze; and you cannot have a more convenient birth for watering, &c. than with the principal church in one with the small Isle Ratos, or Rat, S. 53° W. by compass, and the flag on Villegagnon Fort on with the Sugar-Loaf S. 8° E., where you will be abreast the watering place, in 17 fathoms mud and sand. Isle Cobra lies before the city, and some ships pass round the north part of it, and anchor before the monastery at the N. W. end of the city.

If the breeze is light and flattering, as soon as you pass Santa Cruz point, haul up to the eastward; for should you be obliged to anchor short, the ground is good on this side. The inner harbour lies within the islands Cobra and Emaxados. On the N. W. side of the former, there is a most convenient place to heave down ships of any size.

Rio Janeiro Harbour is easy of access, readily known by the remarkable land about it, and is very commodious. You should moor as soon as possible, the tides being much influenced

* The Nereus passed between them, and Capt. Heywood observes, that there are good passages between all the islands which lie off the entrance of Rio Janeiro harbour.

† In September, 1803, H. M. ships Sceptre and Grampus, with the outward-bound fleet for India, steered in for the harbour in the afternoon, 16th September. At 7 P.M. it became squally and dark, with thunder, lightning, and rain; the shore was discernible only by the flashes of lightning. The journal of the Essex, states, that they anchored at 8 P. M. near the Sugar Loaf, and nearly drove on shore with two anchors down. The Earl Spencer, also anchored at 8 P. M. in 19 fathoms, with the best bower, and soon perceived they were near the Sugar Loaf, which obliged them to let go the small bower and sheet, to prevent being driven on shore. The ebb tide was setting round the point to the southward, near 7 miles an hour. This ship's journal, mentions, that all the fleet were in danger in different ways, and that a flash of lightning saved the Sceptre from running on shore on Santa Cruz point.

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by the winds, and the latter so variable, that it is difficult to keep a clear anchor 24 hours: it is high water at 4½ hours full and change of the moon, the ebb then running much longer than the flood, and the velocity 3½ or 4 miles per hour. Plenty of fruit, vegetables, and indifferent bee, are obtained at this port, but a ship intending to stop only a few days, ought to make application for a much longer time, as some of the governors have been known to refuse strangers sufficient time to repair, and refresh their ship's crews.

Rio Janeiro City, called also St. Sebastian, is the capital of all Brazil, formerly the residence of a viceroy, now of an Emperor. The water is conveyed in pipes to the jetty, where boats lie and fill their casks with ease, as the rise and fall of the tides are inconsiderable. Hogs, and poultry, are dear; yams and pumpkins are easily obtained, which are very useful for a scorbutic ship's company, as they will keep a long time at sea.

Directions for sailling out.

When bound out, if the wind is steady, steer direct for Santa Cruz point, but edge over to the eastward as soon as you can if it is light, till Santa Cruz bears about S. S. E. ½ E. Should you be obliged to anchor, go no farther out, than to bring Villegagnon flag-staff in one with the peak at the back of the town, bearing about W. by S. ¾ S., and Square Island Fort on with the west-end of Cutanduba Island, where you will have 15 fathoms mud and and:—this anchorage, is about midway betwixt Villegagnon Fort and the eastern shore. Farther out, the ground is foul and rocky. There is a small perpendicular islet with a church and house on its summit, elevated about 100 yards from the sea, having its communication with the main by a bridge: on the top of this islet, there is a well of excellent water, the water not more than 20 feet from the surface.

The reason for advising to keep to the eastward, as above described is, should you weigh in the morning with the land breeze, which is at first generally very light, you are in the fair way of the tide, which will set you right out; but if more to the westward, it would be liable to horse you upon Square Island, which consists of some rocks with a fort on them, just within the Sugar-Loaf. The bar is about ½ or ¼ mile without Santa Cruz point; the least water on it is thought to be 6½, or ¼ less than 7 fathoms at low water spring tides. It is about ½ a mile in breadth, the depth increasing gradually on each side. The Sugar-Loaf is in lat. 23° 0′ S. and about 62 miles west from Cape Frio.

Geo. Site.

Rat Island, in Rio Janeiro Harbour, is in lat. 22° 54′ S. lon. 43° 1′ W. by the observations of Capt. Heywood, General Brisbane, and Mr. Rumker. By an eclipse of the Sun, recorded in the Brazilian Gazette, it is said to be in lon. 43° 3½′ W. But Capt. Beechey, in 1825, made Gloria Observatory in lat. 22° 55′ 11″ S. by mean of 19 meridian altitudes of Stars, corrected for aberration; and in lat. 22° 55′ 14″ S. by mean of 5 meridian altitudes of the Sun. He made the lon. 43° 12′ 38.9″ W. by observations of right ascension of the Moon. 43° 12′ 46″ W. by mean of 113 lunar distances east and west. 43° 15′ 10″ W. by chronometers from Santa Cruz; and he made Cape Frio 1° 15′ 2″ east of Gloria Observatory.

Rio Janeiro, affording abundance of refreshments, is frequented by ships of war, and others bound to India with troops on board, for obtaining needful supplies; but unless they are in want of water or refreshments, or otherwise obliged to run for a port, it seems not advisable for ships destined to India, to touch at any of the ports on the coast of Brazil, as it must considerably lengthen the passage. Should a squadron of ships be absolutely necessitated to stop somewhere, it may however, be preferable to go into Rio Janeiro, rather than into False Bay at the Cape of Good Hope during the winter season, where supplies are not so abundant, nor the anchorage so safe for a fleet or large squadron.

Ilha Grande.

ILHA GRANDE, in lat. 23° 17′ S., is about 4 leagues in length, the eastern channel into its harbour being about 16 leagues to the W. S. W. of Rio Janeiro entrance, which is very safe, as is also the other channel to the west of the island. The whole of the channel formed between Ilha Grande and the Main, is a spacious and safe harbour for ships of any number and size, with soundings from 6 to 15 fathoms. There is fresh water on the west

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end of the Island Meranbaye, which bounds the east side of the eastern channel, and wood may be got on the contiguous islands: refreshments may also be got at the Village dos Reis, situated on the main, opposite to the middle of Ilha Grande.

Island St. Sebastian.

ISLAND ST. SEBASTIAN, in lat. 23° 45′ S., about 22 leagues to the W. S. W. of Ilha Grande, forms a safe harbour between it and the main, by entering from the northward and keeping near the island, as the main land is lined by a shoal bank. Refreshments may be got at the villages on the island, or at those on the continent. The south entrance is not above a mile wide, but with proper caution, may be navigated in a middling sized ship, as Captain Heywood, passed between the Island St. Sebastian and the main, in the Nereus frigate, in 1810, where he lay 2 days during a S. E. gale, surveying the channel. He also passed between Ilha Grande and the main land.



Isle Redondo.

SANTOS BAY, in lat. 24° 0′ S., about 13 leagues to the W. S. W. of St. Sebastian, affords safe anchorage from all winds, excepting those at S. E. and southward, and the town is 4 or 5 miles up the river. In this track, the Alcatrasses Isles, having foul ground about them, lie about 4 or 5 leagues off shore, and 5 or 6 leagues distant from the Island St. Sebastian to the S. Westward. ISLE REDONDO, or Round Isle, in lat. 24° 30′ S. and about 6 or 7 leagues off shore, has a reef a little inside of it, extending about 4 miles parallel to the coast; to avoid which, ships that happen to get to the westward of Redondo, ought to keep it bearing to the northward of E. by N., for with it bearing E. ½ N. a ship will be within ½ a mile of the reef.

From Isle Redondo, to St. Catherina, there are several other small islands nearer the coast than the former, and it is safe to approach, having in this space some harbours, the best of which, is that of St. Francisco, in lat. 26° S., and Garoupas Road, in about lat. 27° 0′ S.

Island St. Catherina. Geo. Site.

ISLAND ST. CATHERINA, extends about 10 or 11 leagues N. by E. and S. by W. the north end being in lat. 27° 19′ S. lon. 47° 50′ W.: the channel between this island and the main, forms an excellent harbour for ships of every description; and it is navigable to the narrow strait near the middle of the island, a little beyond which, stands the town of St. Catherina. From hence, to the south end of the island, the channel will only admit small vessels out to sea.


The proper passage into the harbour, is round the north end of the island, between it and the Isle Alvoreda, distant about 2 leagues to the northward; but a ship may pass occasionally betwixt this isle and the other small isles to the N. W. of it, or between the latter and the main, if necessary, the depths being from 8 to 12 fathoms among those isles. Having rounded the north end of the island, steer to the S. W. and southward, keeping about mid-channel between St. Catherina and the main, and anchor under the small Isle Atomeri, situated near the latter.

Atomeri Isle, is in lat. 27° 22′ S. observed by Dr. Horner, Astronomer to the Russian Voyage of circumnavigation, under the direction of my friend, Captain Krusenstern, who made the variation here 7° 50′ E. in 1803.

Here, ships are well supplied with fruits, vegetables, and refreshments of various kinds, but the prices are not very low. Several small isles, line the shores of St. Catherina on both sides, those off the south end extending about 3 leagues to seaward; and the soundings increase to 65 or 70 fathoms about 10 leagues east of St. Catherina.

Coast from hence to Rio de la Plata.

Although neither the Spanish, or Portuguese charts, mark any soundings between Rio Janeiro and Rio de la Plata, yet every part of this coast seems to be fronted by soundings, stretching to a considerable distance off shore.

From the Island St. Catherina to Morro St. Marta, the coast extends about 20 leagues

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S. S. W.; from hence to Cape St. Mary, at the entrance of Rio de la Plata, the direction of the coast is generally about S. W., and in this space it has no safe harbours for large ships, but the shore in most places may be approached to a moderate distance with safety.



Rio de la Plata. Winds.

AT RIO DE LA PLATA ENTRANCE, the prevailing winds during the summer months, from September to March, are north-easterly, with tolerably clear weather over head, but a dense atmosphere near the horizon. These winds haul gradually to the eastward as you advance up the river: and about the full and change of the moon, strong breezes from south-eastward are common at this season, accompanied with rain and foul weather. At Buenos Ayres, during the summer months, the S. E. winds are generally fresh in the daytime, hauling round to northward in the night.

During the winter months from March to September, the prevailing winds at the entrance of the Plata are S.W., or more westerly; but up the river, more generally from the northward, than the southward of west.

In the winter season, is the best weather at Buenos Ayres, for the winds being chiefly from N. W. to S. W., the water is smooth, and the communication can be kept up between the shore and the shipping with more facility. The weather is sometimes foggy, but fogs are most common in the months of July, August, and September, prevailing more at the entrance of the river, and as far up as the S. E. tail of the Ortiz, than above these banks.

Tides or currents.

As it cannot be said regular tides exist in the Plata, but currents as uncertain in their duration as they are irregular in their rate and direction, no certain allowance can be made for them; therefore, a ground log should be used, to find the course made good and distance run.

The tides, when the weather is settled, and the winds moderate, seldom rise or fall more than 5 or 6 feet; though at Buenos Ayres, 8 miles distant from the city, we found in the Nereus, when the winds were strong at N. W., sometimes only 15 feet water; while with strong breezes from E. S. E. to S. S. W., the depth was upwards of 5 fathoms: but, except on such extraordinary occasions, we had between 17 and 22 feet water.*

The river Plata has many singularities; which arise, perhaps, from its formation being different from any other known river. Its entrance being very wide and shallow, it is affected by every change of wind in a remarkable manner; that a shift of wind may be predicted almost to a certainty, by observing carefully the state of the barometer, and the set of the currents, which usually shift before the wind. In calm weather the currents are generally very weak, setting up and down the river alternately, and nearly as regular as tides. When the winds are variable, the currents are equally so; and I have known the ship to be current rode four different ways in less than six hours. When the current comes in from eastward along the north bank of the Plata, a north-easterly wind may generally be expected to follow, and at the same time (should the wind have been previously to the S. E.) the ba-

* I have heard, however, some marvellous stories, of the river having been almost dried up, across from Buenos Ayres to Colonia, during heavy westerly gales.

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rometer will fall a little; but much more, if the transition be quick from south-west, without stopping in the south-eastern quarter.

When the wind continues in the north-east quarter, proportionate to its strength, the mercury is more depressed than with any other wind, and then there is usually a set into the river on the north bank, and out on the opposite bank. Indeed, whilst the winds are between N. E. and S. S. E. the current generally runs to the westward, past Monte Video, though without much augmenting the depth of water off that place, but filling the river above the banks.

Winds between N. N. E. and W. N. W. make the water lowest; the out-set being then strongest along the south bank of the river, past the Points del Indio and Memoria; but very inconsiderable along the north bank.

Prior to a S.W. gale, or Pampero, the weather is usually very unsettled, with unsteady and variable winds in the north and north-west quarters; preceded by a considerable fall of the mercury, though it usually rises a little again before the wind shifts to the south-west; and often continues to rise, even though the wind may increase from that quarter. Before these set in at Buenos Ayres, the current runs up and fills the river unusually high; at the same time, as strong an out-set is experienced along the north bank, which centinues whilst the winds are strongest from W. S.W. to south, seeming to prove, that these winds force up from the southward, a large accumulated body of water past Cape St. Antonio, which can only find a passage out again by the north shore, where they increase the depth of water, as well as up the river, and particularly in the shallow harbour of Monte Video. Whilst these S.W. winds blow, the air is cold, and the atmosphere clear and elastic, in a degree rarely to be met with in any other part of the world. They are generally succeeded by some days of fine serene weather; the wind continuing moderate from the southward, or varying to the eastward.

I have never known the velocity of the tide or current in any part of the river, to exceed 3 knots per hour; although it is reported, sometimes to have run 6 to 7 miles an hour!

Geo. Site of Cape St. Mary.

As the winds outside the river Plata, and particularly about Cape St. Mary, are most frequently from the north-eastward and northward, except when the S. E. summer, and S.W. winter gales blow about the times of new and full moon, I consider it most advisable, for ships bound into the river, to get in with the land about the latitude of that cape, which is 34° 40′ S., and its lon. 53° 54′ W. of Greenwich, or 2° 9′ E. of Mount Video.

Bank of soundings.

In lat. 33° S. the bank of soundings extends off the land full 36 leagues, where the depth of water in lon. 50° 20′ W. is 94 fathoms, and the quality of the bottom dark olive-coloured mud, or ouze, as it is all along the outer verge of the bank. In lat. 34° S. and 30 leagues from the land, the bank is steep; and the soundings decrease quickly in standing to the westward, to 25 fathoms 20 leagues from land.

In lat. 34° 20′ S. lon. 51° 50′ W., or about 30 leagues east of the Great Castellos Rock, the depth is 63 or 64 fathoms dark mud. In standing for the land, between the Great Castellos and Cape St. Mary, the water shoals in a short distance from 60 to 25 fathoms; and the quality of the bottom changes to sand, which grows coarser as you approach the coast: and as far as 7 miles off shore, is intermixed with shells. This bottom is found only in, and to the northward of the latitude of Cape St. Mary, except very close in with this cape.

To the southward of 34° 40′ S. the bottom is chiefly mud, intermixed with fine sand or gravel; and if a ship happen to be set to the southward of Cape St. Mary, as she hauls in for the land, yet keeps to the northward of Isle Lobos, she will get out of fine sand, into dark mud; which is the quality of the bottom (chiefly) between Cape St. Mary and Lobos; as well as 8 or 9 leagues to the eastward of that island; and the depth of water between them, is generally 26 to 20 fathoms.

In lat. 35° S. lon. 52° W., or 42 leagues true east of Lobos, there are about 90 fathoms

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water, dark sandy bottom; from thence, the bank of soundings takes a S.W. direction. East of Lobos 27 leagues, the depth is 25 fathoms; and in steering in, on its parallel, the same depth nearly continues till very close to that island. But if set a little to the southward of Lobos, the water will shoal even to 10 fathoms perhaps, on a hard sandy or gravelly ridge that extends all the way from the English Bank, in its parallel as far as lon. 52° 30′ W.; or full 18 leagues to the eastward of the meridian of Lobos.

Thus, the approach to this river cannot be considered dangerous, if proper care be taken in navigating, and due attention paid to the lead, and the course steered.

Captain Bouverie, gives the following remarks:—

Cape St. Mary.

"CAPE ST. MARY, is a low point, fronted by rocks, and the direction of the coast to the westward of this Cape, becomes more westerly than at any other part northward of it. About 6 miles north of it there is a house, with a row of trees northward of the house, (probably a fence of high, prickly pear-bushes) which is very remarkable.

About a mile south of the house, there is a bluff point, with a few rocks at the foot, which is remarkable, being different from the rest of the coast, the general character of which is a sandy beach. You cannot fail knowing the cape by these marks, when running down the coast near it: but at a considerable distance off, you will not perceive them.*

To the northward of the cape, between it and Palma, you have 10 or 11 fathoms at a little distance from the shore.


Ships generally make the land with N. or N. E. winds; therefore it is best to keep in the latitude of the cape or a little to the northward of it, till you get soundings, as the current sets to the S.W.; but do not make the land north of the cape; for although there seems no real danger, yet the water in many places is shoal a long way off the land, and would alarm strangers.

In lat. 33° 27′ S. lon. 52° 9′ W. there is a shoal where we found 9 fathoms water; which is probably a ridge, running in that parallel of latitude all the way to the shore. In lat. 34° S. is some tolerably high land, on which is a Spanish fortress, called Fort Teresa; being a square, with bastions at the angles, and stands about a mile from the beach. About 6 leagues N. N. E. from it, is a mark set up, as the termination of the Spanish territories. Being in the latitude of Cape St. Mary, and having got ground in 28 or 30 fathoms water, fine sand and shells, you may reckon yourself 20 leagues off shore: with from 15 to 20 fathoms, sand and clay mixed, you are not far off the land. When you have not seen the land before night, be sure to keep to the northward of the cape by your reckoning, as the current sets to the southward, with north and N. E. winds: with south and south and S.W. winds, it runs strong the other way."

Agreeing with Captain Bouverie, that it is generally advisable to make the land about Cape St. Mary, I would recommend, if the wind between S. E. and N. N. E., to enter the river on the north side of the English bank, passing Lobos on either side, according to the wind and state of the weather. There is a good passage between Lobos and the main, having 17 to 14 fathoms water.

Geo. Site of Island Lobos.

LOBOS ISLAND, is in lat. 35° 1′ S. and lon. 54° 39′ W., or 1° 24′ east of the Mount Video. It bears about true S.W. from Cape St. Mary, distance 41 miles. Variation off it, 13° easterly in 1813.


When within 2 or 4 leagues of Cape St. Mary, in 17 or 18 fathoms, S. S.W. by compass is a fair course to steer for passing outside of Lobos in the night-time; for, with the wind

* The Nereus tacked in 12½ fathoms water, the prickly pear-hedge, on with Cape St. Mary, bearing north by compass, and the breakers stretching to the S. E. of the Cape N. 7° E.; and her distance from the cape was about 3 miles.


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from the eastward, or N. E., the set along shore into the river must be guarded against. Steering this S. S.W. course, the depth of water will increase to 20 and 22; and some casts, perhaps of 25 or 27 fathoms, (if you are set neither to the westward nor to the southward of it), and the bottom will change, first to sandy mud and then to dark-blue mud, as you approach the latitude of Lobos. If you are set to the southward, in steering S. S. W. you will not deepen so much; the bottom will keep sandy; and when you approach the latitude of Lobos, you will have no more than 19, 18, and 17 fathoms; but if you are set to the southward of Lobos a few miles, you will have hard casts of from 16 to 10 fathoms, and may rest assured of being on the parallel of the English Bank, and may therefore make a west-northerly course true, till you find the bottom soften; as it is all dark-blue or greenish mud in the channel, between the foul ridge of the English Bank, and the north shore, all the way up to Monte Video, in the fair way from Lobos. When off Lobos, if the weather threaten, and it should be likely to blow, a ship will find safe anchorage in the harbour of Maldonado, sheltered from southerly winds by the island of Goritti, which bears N. 42° W. true, 11 or 12 miles from Lobos.

"Captain Bouverie, observes, that, the Spanish surveys of this bay, mark sufficient depth of water for any ship between every part of the island and the main: however, it cannot be safely entered but by small vessels, except to the westward; and you must not go farther in, than to bring the N.W. point of Goritti to bear S. S.W. half W., or S.W. by S. by compass, with 4½ or 5 fathoms stiff clay. With southerly winds, there is in the east passage a heavy swell; and the water, from the ground being uneven, breaks almost the whole way across in bad weather. The Diomede (fifty-gun ship) passed through it to the anchorage before its dangers were known, and had not less than 18 feet: but there are places with only 1½ fathom, very irregular soundings. There is a bed of rocks to the south of Goritti, from which the Tower of Maldonado, bears north, and the outer part of Point del Este, E. N. E. ½ E.

In the direct line of the entrance of the bay from the westward, lies a bed of rocks, having only 3, and 2¾ fathoms on some of the patches; from which the N. E. point of Goritti bears E. ½ S., North-west point of ditto E. by S. ½ S., South-west point of ditto S. E. by S., Point Ballena bears W. by N. ½ N., and the hill of Pan de Azucar, just within the extreme of Point Ballena.

In mid-channel between these rocks and the island, there are 6 and 7 fathoms; and their distance from the island is about ¾ of a mile: there is 7 fathoms close to them, all round the western side. The watering place is on the main, close by a battery; and the stream loses itself in the sand, except when swollen by heavy rains; you have to roll your casks about 60 yards over the sand, and the water is very good."


Having Lobos bearing N. by W. by compass, distant 3 or 4 miles, you will have about 18 fathoms; and in making a compass course W. ½ S. by ground log; (having due regard to the wind and current at the time), you will make the island of Flores a-head of you. In this track, your soundings will gradually decrease from 18 to 12 fathoms due south of Black Point, and to 7 or 8 fathoms when you approach within 9 or 10 miles of Flores.

Though Captain Bouverie says, "you may run quite up to Monte Video, either by night or day, by making a due west course, first trying the current to make allowance for it;" and though I have frequently done it myself, yet I would not recommend it as a general rule to be followed by strangers. Great care and attention to the course made good, and to the soundings, are indispensably requisite to those who attempt to conduct vessels during the night, in any part of this river; and even these, have often been insufficient to save ships from destruction.

Flores Island.

FLORES, bears true W. 4° 30′ N. from Lobos, distant 52 miles; it extends nearly N. E. and S. W., having a small hummock in the middle, and one at each end, that to the S. W.

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being 39 feet high. Between these, the land is low and marshy; and overflowed sometimes between the central and N. E. hummock. It may be seen at the distance of 5 or 6 leagues from a ship's deck, in clear weather.

Caretas Rocks.

English Bank.

There is good anchorage all round this island; but a reef extends in a N. W. direction from the north point about a mile. Seals and sea-lions, and various aquatic birds, resort to this small island as well as to Lobos; and, in the months of August and September, great quantities of very excellent eggs may be procured. With the wind easterly, boats may land on the western side of Flores, particularly in a small cove very near the S. W. part of the island. From Flores, W. N. W., the Caretas Rocks (above water) are distant about 5 miles, and there are 5 fathoms between them. True south, at the distance of 11 miles from Flores, lies the north part of the English Bank, having on it in that lat. 35° 8′ S., about 12 feet water: the depth of water, between Flores and the English Bank, is 7 fathoms all the way across, to within a very little distance of both. The English Bank, in lat. 35° 12′ S. generally has breakers; and, with a low river, is above water in some places. Its extent to the southward has not yet been accurately defined, and for 70 or 80 miles to the southeastward of it, the ground is said to be foul and uneven, and has not been explored.

Between the Archimedes Bank and the English Bank, there is a swatch about 5 miles wide, with 5 fathoms water, according to Captain Beaufort of the Royal Navy, who explored these banks in 1807.

Archimedes' Bank.

Monte Video.

ARCHIMEDES' BANK, the shoalest part with 2¾ fathoms, is 4 miles in extent about north and south by compass; and has 4 fathoms all round. The centre of it is in lat. 35° 12′ S., and the Mount Video bears true N. 22° W. from it, distant 20 miles. Besides this bank, there is a Small Knowl in lat. 35° 14′ S., which bears true south from the Mount Video, 21 miles, with not more than 3½ fathoms water on it, and about 4 fathoms all round. Passing to the southward of Flores, at the distance of 2 miles, you have 6½ or 7 fathoms, and may steer W. ½ S. by compass to pass Point Braba, which bears true W. 4° N., distant 4 leagues from the S. W. end of Flores. This point is bolder to, than the land to the westward between it and the town of Monte Video, and may be passed close, in 4½ or 5 fathoms, at 1 mile or 1½ mile distance. The best anchorage for a frigate off the town of Monte Video, is with Point Braba bearing by compass, E. by N. ½ N., the cathedral N. E. by N., and the Mount about N. W. by N., in 3½ or 4 fathoms, 2 miles or more from the town, with the harbour quite open. The bottom is all soft mud.

MONTE VIDEO HARBOUR, is very shoal, having only from 14 to 19 feet water; but the bottom being very soft, vessels receive no damage by grounding. Captain Bouverie says, "the wind at S. S. W. blows right into the harbour, causing a good deal of sea, and occasions the water to rise a fathom or more.

Geo. Site.

"In a long continuance of fine weather, the tides sometimes (though not often) assume the appearance of regularity. They are governed entirely by the winds, and southerly winds cause the water to run out on the north shore strongest: fine weather, and a N. W. wind, make the water lowest. It is usual, in Monte Video harbour, to have an anchor to the S. E., and another to the S. W., and to take one in abaft from the northward; for the water forced in by the southerly wind, sometimes rushes out with astonishing rapidity; when the anchor to the north is of the greatest service." The Mount Video is in lat. 34° 53′ S., lon. 56° 3′ W. of Greenwich; being 1° 24′ W. of the island of Lobos, and 2° 10′ E. from the cathedral of Buenos Ayres.* On the summit of this mount, there is a fortified building, whose base is 42 feet 6 inches by 20 feet, used sometimes for a light-house.

* By the observations of Captains Heywood and Beaufort of the Royal Navy, who together surveyed this place, and observed upon the Mount.

K 2

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The diameter of the lantern is 10 feet 6 inches, and its elevation above the level of the sea 450 feet. At the base of the mount there are several runs of excellent water, particularly in two small smooth sandy bays, at the S. W. part of it, where ships in the outer road may supply themselves with ease; and another on the east side of the mount, just abreast of Rat Island, adapted to ships in the harbour.

Passage up by the South side of the river.

Giving the preference to the passage on the north side of the English Bank, especially when the wind is any where between S. S. E. and N. N. W. on passing Lobos, because it may be expected most probably to shift, if it does at all, round by the north to the westward; though, perhaps, not before that wind, and the in-set together, might carry a ship up to Monte Video: yet, if the wind should be to the north-westward at the time of making the land, it may be pretty confidently expected to shift next to the westward or S. W., and therefore a ship should not strive to beat up round Lobos in the north channel against an out-set, but stand at once over towards Cape St. Antonio; where by the time she could stretch across, she would most likely find a S. S. W. wind and N. W. current to run up with, along a weather shore to Buenos Ayres; or to Monte Video, if bound thither, passing to the westward of the bank of Archimedes, in about 5 fathoms water; or, if the Mount should be seen in time, it ought never to bear to the westward of north by compass, till approached within 5 leagues.

In standing to the southward from abreast of Cape St. Mary, with the wind south-westerly, a ship will have from 18 to 24 or 25 fathoms when in the latitude of Lobos, and about 12 or 13 leagues to the eastward of it; and making a S. S. E. course, the water will then shoal to 18, 16, 12, or 11 fathoms in crossing the ridge, which hereabout is generally composed of grey speckled sand, mixed with stones; after which, the depth increases gradually to 35 or 36 fathoms, over a sandy bottom, in lat. 35° 40′ S., and lon. 53° 25′ W. In lat. 36° S., and 15 or 20 miles farther to the eastward, you will deepen off the bank entirely. Having got as far to the southward as 36° S., you may consider yourself in the fair way for proceeding up on the south side of the English Bank, and if the wind serve, a true west course will be proper.

In lat. 36° S. the depth of water on the meridian of Cape St. Mary is 38 fathoms, the bottom fine grey sand like ground pepper. Steer to the westward on this parallel of 36° S., the depth will decrease to 19 or 18 fathoms true south of Lobos; and for 10 leagues further you have from this depth to 15 fathoms. But if from the lat. of 36° S. on the meridian of Lobos, you make a W. by N., or W. by N. half N. course true, you will shoal the water to 8, or 7½ fathoms in lat. 35° 45′ S., on the meridian of the English Bank. The quality of the bottom generally in this track is sandy, mixed with small stones; and the nearer you approach to the ridge of the English Bank, it is intermixed with bits of shells, and sometimes with clay or mud.

From lat. 35° 45′ S., due S. of the English Bank, a W. N. W. true course to lat. 35° 33′ S. will bring the Mount Video to bear true north, in about 6½ fathoms mud, at the distance of 13 leagues from Point Piedras: and from this position, the same true course may be made, to raise the land about Point del Indio, if bound up to Buenos Ayres; or N. W., or more northerly, to get sight of the Mount Video; having due regard to the set of current, up or down the river, that you may neither be horsed on the S. E. tail of the Ortiz Flats, nor on the western part of the Archimedes' Bank. The bottom above this, is soft mud or clay in the channels, fit for safe anchorage. In lat. 35° 30′ S., or thereabout, and due south of the Archimedes' Bank, or some miles further to the eastward, I have been told by some persons, they have had as little as 4 fathoms, hard ground.

To sail from Monte Video to Buenos Ayres.

Ships leaving Monte Video to proceed up to Buenos Ayres, must be very attentive to the lead; and the course steered across the river, must be very carefully regulated by the set of current at the time. If the weather be sufficiently clear, the Mount is the most sure guide, keeping it by an azimuth compass, on the magnetic bearing N. E. by N.; and when it sinks

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to an eye in the top, a more westerly course may be steered to raise the land about Point del Indio. This direction is intended to apply particularly to frigates, or any ships drawing more than 16 feet water; because it is not advisable for them to cross the tail of the Ortiz Flats much further to the westward than a true S. W. course from the Mount will take them; for with a low river, I have had barely 3¼ fathoms in the Nereus, with the Mount bearing N. 35° E. by compass, distant 10 leagues. At other times, I have sunk the Mount on a N. 53° E. magnetic bearing, and had as much as 3½ fathoms water; but the river was then well filled.

Ortiz Bank.

On the south-eastern part of the Ortiz Bank, which is there hard stony sand, there is still remaining (in 1813) part of a mast, or beacon, about 12 or 13 feet high. It is in lat. 35° 2′ 15″ S., and 0° 45′ west of Mount Video; from which it bears true W. 14° S. 37 miles. There is about 12 or 13 feet alongside of it; 3 fathoms 2 miles to the eastward of it; but not more than 10 or 12 feet, as far as 3 miles S. W. of it. Point del Indio bears true S. 33° W. 16 or 17 miles from it.

To the distance of full 17 miles south-eastward of the Ortiz Beacon, there is generally no more, and often less than 3½ fathoms; the bottom tough clay nearest the bank; and in some places farther to the south-eastward, soft mud, not more than 3¼ fathoms.

After sinking the Mount about N. E. by N., and having 3½ fathoms, a W. S. W. course will raise the land (if the weather is clear) about Point del Indio, to the eye at the masthead; and probably you will not have more than 3¼ or at best 3½ fathoms. The Mount and the land near Point del Indio, are sometimes visible at the same time.

Point del Indio.

POINT DEL INDIO, is in lat. about 35° 16′ S. and 0° 56′ W. of the Mount Video, from which it bears true S. 63° W., distant 50 miles. There is little more than 3 fathoms at the distance of 10 or 11 miles off shore, when the river is in a mean state; farther to the southward, and off Point Piedras, there is only that depth 14 or 15 miles off shore. Very great caution therefore is required in approaching it, and a constant look-out should be kept for the land, as it is very low, and cannot be seen farther than 12 or 13 miles from the deck of a frigate, in clear weather.

When the land is barely raised to an eye 19 or 20 feet above the surface of the water, a W. N. W. magnetic course will lead along shore, between it and the south part of the Ortiz, which is distant about 14 miles from it; and between them there is no where more water than 3½, but mostly 3¼ fathoms. With a high river, I have had 3¾ fathoms: the nearer the Ortiz, the deeper the water.

Embudo Trees.

In steering up W. N. W. with the land seen from the deck, if clear weather, you will have 3½ or 3¼ fathoms, (yet if the river is low, perhaps some casts of three fathoms), and raise a remarkable clump of trees called Embudo, which are much taller than the rest, highest at the west end, and lie in lat. 35° 6′ S., and in lon. 1° 16′ 30″ west of the Mount Video, or 0° 57′ 30″ east of the cathedral of Buenos Ayres. At some distance to the westward of the Embudo Trees, there is another clump about the same height, but these being highest at the east end, are sufficiently distinguished not to be mistaken for the true Embudo.

When in 3½, or 3¼ fathoms, the Embudo Trees bearing by compass W. S. W., the S. E. end of the Chico Bank will bear W. N. W. or thereabouts, 10 or 11 miles: you must now determine from the water your ship draws, the direction of the wind, and state of the weather, whether you will pass between the Chico Bank and the shore, or between the Ortiz and the Chico.—I have passed up and down several times between the Chico and the south shore in the Nereus, lightened in her draft to 18 feet 3 inches, but I would never attempt it again from choice, now I am better acquainted with the middle channel between the Chico and the Ortiz, and have every reason to believe that the middle ground, some charts lay down in it, does not exist.

A ship not drawing more than 15 feet, may take either passage; and ought perhaps to

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prefer that to the southward of the Chico Bank, particularly if the wind be well to the southward, as she might take her soundings from the weather shore, and keeping in somewhat more than her own draft, run up along it; and by not deepening above 3 fathoms, would ensure being to the southward of the Chico.

Chico Bank.

The S. E. end of the Chico Bank, bears from the Embudo Trees N. 32° E. true, distant 10 miles, and E. 9° N., 13 miles from Atalaya Church. Its latitude there is 34° 56′ 30″ S., and lon. 1° 9′ W. of the Mount Video. This bank runs in the direction of N. 52° W. true, or N. 65° W. by compass, about 13 miles to its N. W. end, which is in lat. 34° 48′ 50″ S., and 0° 47′ east of Buenos Ayres' Cathedral. From this N. W. end in 14 feet water, Atalaya Church bears S. 14° W., distant 11 miles; and Point Santiago, forming the Ensenada de Barragan, bears W. 4° N., distant 14 miles from it. The breadth of the Chico does not exceed 2 miles, or perhaps 1½ mile, and its inner edge is about 9 miles from the shore. The water between it and the shore is no where more than 3½ fathoms, and the deepest water is along the inner edge of the shoal, at the distance of ½ a mile from it, or less in some places. About midway between it and the shore there is 2¾ fathoms. On some parts of the Chico there is very little water, and within the limits I have assigned to it, no where more than 14 feet. There was for some years, the mast of a vessel called the Pandora, which was wrecked on this shoal in lat. 34* 54′ S., about 5 miles from its S. E. end, which proved an excellent beacon to guide ships passing it on either side; but it has disappeared. It is very necessary that three buoys should be placed on this dangerous shoal, to mark its centre and each end.

Point St. Jago.

To ships drawing less than 15 feet, it is only further necessary to recommend care and attention on approaching Point St. Jago, which forms bushy and distinct; and when it is brought to bear to the south-westward, haul out into the stream of 3½ fathoms, to round outside the Spit, which runs about N. W. by compass from Point St. Jago at least 10 or 11 miles; its extreme point, in 2 fathoms, being about 5 miles from the shore. When two remarkable trees on Point Lara are brought to bear S. by E. ½ E., or S. S. E. by compass, you are past the Spit. This mark, will also lead a ship of that draught of water, clear to the westward of the Spit, in running in towards Ensenada.

After passing the Spit off Point St. Jago, in 3½ fathoms, a W. by N. Northerly course by compass, will lead up to the outer road of Buenos Ayres, where any ship may safely anchor in the water she draws, if the river is low.

To sail between the Ortiz and Chico Banks.

Frigates, or any vessels drawing more than 16 feet water, should barely raise the land about Point del Indio to the eye on deck, and borrow nearest the Ortiz: more particularly when the Embudo Trees are brought to bear as far as S. W. by W. (magnetic;) for with the Embudo bearing from S. W. to S. S. W., the bottom is flat, off to three fathoms, full 7 miles from the shore, and chiefly hard clay. Therefore, when the Embudo Trees bear W. S. W. by compass, and you are about 9 or 10 miles off shore in 3½ fathoms, if you have a leading wind haul N. W. by W. or more northerly, as may be required to clear the S. E. tail of the Chico, and you will soon deepen your water to 4 fathoms, and more, in the middle channel, between the Chico and the Ortiz Shoal. The fair course through between them, is about N. W. by W. ½ W. (magnetic) and in mid-channel, the land can but just be distinguished from the quarter-deck of a frigate. When the Embudo Trees bear S. 20° W. by compass, you will be abreast of the S. E. end of the Chico, and may either take your shoal soundings along its northern or outer edge, to about 3¾ fathoms, if the wind is southerly, or if the wind be northerly, or easterly, borrow into a convenient depth along the southern edge of the Ortiz.—I believe the breadth of this middle channel may be 5 or 6 miles, the depth of water from 4 to 5½, and even 6 fathoms in the fair-way about the N. W. part of it, and abreast that end of the Chico. The quality of the ground all the way through this channel, is generally soft mud, fit for safe anchorage.

The N. W. pitch of the Chico Bank being passed, and the depth of water 5 or 5½ fathoms,

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you may steer by compass W. by N. ½ N., or W. by N. for Buenos Ayres, taking care not to shoal under 3¾ off Ensenada, till Point Lara Trees bear S. S. E. A little more than half way from Point Lara to Buenos Ayres, there are two other remarkable trees.

Anchorage at Buenos Ayres.

Geo. Site.

BUENOS AYRES, when moored off it, in the Nereus in 19 feet water, soft mud bottom, these remarkable trees bore by compass S. 17° E., the Cathedral S. 67° W., and the spire of the Recoleta Convent S. 76° W.: the lat. observed was 34° 34′ 30″ S., and the lon. by the moon 58° 2′ W. of Greenwich, at the distance of 8 miles from the Cathedral. Variation of the compass 10½° Easterly in 1813.

Buoys placed on the Banks.

Description of Buoys placed in 1823, on the Chico and Ortiz Banks, Spit of Ensenada, and Bank of Point Lara, by Capt. Willis, of H. M. S. Brazen, with Sailing Directions:

On the Chico Bank, there are four red buoys, one at the S. E. extremity in 3 fathoms muddy bottom, Magdalena church bearing from it S. 15° W. by compass. One on the N. W. extremity, Point Atalaya bearing S. 24° W. muddy bottom. The third is placed in 2½ fathoms, W. N. W. from the one on the S. E. extremity, distant 4 miles. The fourth in 1¼ fathoms, 3 miles N. 15° W. of the third.

On the Ortiz, there are four black buoys; the first in 3 fathoms, bears N. E. from the one on the S. E. end of the Chico. The second in 3 fathoms, bears N. ¼ E. from the one on the N. W. end of the Chico. The third in 3 fathoms, to the N. N. E. of the one in the centre of the Chico. These, with the buoys on the Chico form the Large Channel between the banks of 4, 5½, and sometimes 6 fathoms, according to the state of the river. The fourth is placed at the S. E. extremity of the Ortiz, 5½ miles E. S. E. of the old wreck, called the Aguila Volante, Point Indio bearing S. S. W.

Point Santiago, or Ensenada Spit; a black buoy is placed on the Spit in 3 fathoms water, Point Santiago bearing from it S. 28° E. and Point Lara S. 53° W. On the Bank of Lara, or part of Ensenada Spit, a black buoy is placed in 3 fathoms, Point Lara bearing S. E. ¼ S. and Point Santiago, S. 63° E.


Departing from Monte Video for Buenos Ayres, steer S. W. 30 miles, then W. S. W. till Point Indio is seen, and when it bears S. S. W. about 8 miles distant, steer N. W. At this distance you will find 3¼ to 3½ fathoms, deepening to 4½ and 5 fathoms gradually: continue the same course until you get into 3½ fathoms, then you will be near the Ortiz. Here change the course to W. N. W. until arriving at the outer roads; from 5 fathoms you may perceive the buoys.

The inside passage of the Chico being about 7 miles from Point Indio, steer W. N. W. until you see the farm-houses of the Magdalena, and when the second farm-house bears S. S. W. you will see the buoy on the S. E. end of the Chico, and by keeping on, will perceive the second 4 miles distant from the first W. N. W. on the sothernmost part of the Chico; and on reaching the second, continue your course with confidence, as the bank stretches to the N. W., and the third buoy is at N. N. W. After passing Atalaya, the wood of Santigo will be seen, and after it immediately, the point of this name; then the buoys off Ensenada. On no account ought a vessel to come within 6 miles of the land after passing Point Atalaya, for Ensenada Spit, extends far out, as will be seen by the buoy, which, with a smooth river, is visible at 5 miles distance.

The Atalaya may be easily distinguished by two small clumps of trees on the bank of the river, and some farm-houses with amber trees. After seeing Ensenada, the amber trees on Point Lara is the next point; afterward the steeples in Buenos Ayres; then the vessels in the outer roads.

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DIRECTIONS to SAIL from the COAST of BRAZIL, toward the CAPE of GOOD HOPE;


Northerly winds prevail contiguous to S. E. trade.

Favorable for running eastward.

In 39° S. the winds are variable and revolving.

Southerly winds near the Cape land,

render it prudent not to fall to leeward.

DURING most months of the year, the south-east trade fails about the southern tropic, or 2 or 3 degrees beyond it, where the wind is found to veer from eastward to north-east and northward: the northerly winds prevail more than any other in the vicinity of the southeast trade, and as far as lat. 34° or 35° S. from the coast of Brazil to the meridian of London, or a little farther eastward. When, therefore, a ship departs from the Brazil coast, or has got to the southward of the south-east trade, she will most probably, in almost every month in the year, meet with brisk winds veering from N. E. to N. W., and sometimes to W. and W. S. W., which will carry her quickly to the eastward. These variable winds keep mostly between north-east and north, attended with smooth water and fine weather.* A ship, by running to the eastward in the track of these winds, gradually increasing the latitude as she proceeds, will often make greater progress than by going to 38° or 39° S. lat. in search of westerly winds. Although, here, the westerly winds prevail during most months of the year, they are often very unsettled—completing a revolution round the horizon, coincident with the course of the sun, every 2, 3, or 4 days, with intervening calms, particularly when the wind is from the south-west quarter. It seems, therefore, inexpedient to increase the latitude more than 35° S. till a ship has reached the meridian of London; she may then gradually proceed into 36° or 37° S. as she approaches the Cape, for the southerly winds which prevail around the Cape land from January to April, (and at times in other months) extend far to the westward. In February and March, these southerly winds are frequently experienced between the Cape and the meridian of London, on which account it is prudent for a ship bound to it, in this season, to increase her latitude to 35° or 35½° S. when she draws into east longitude. She ought then to keep in about 35½° S. if possible, till the Cape is nearly approached, to prevent being driven to the northward of Table Bay by the southerly winds.

On edge of bank, the current northerly and north-westerly.

Close in shore southerly.

We were to touch at Table Bay, to fill up our water in the Carron, in 1798, and crossed the meridian of London January 18th, in lat. 34° 50′ S. The N. W. winds continued a day afterward, placing us in lon. 2° 50′ E. then in lat. 34° 44′ S.; a calm followed, and was succeeded by a southerly wind, which continued variable between S. S. W and S. S. E., with cloudy weather and a high sea, till we made the land on the 27th. It was at times squally, and brought us under double reefs, which with the scant wind, forced us daily a little to the northward, although we experienced no lee current till the day we made the land at Dassen (or Coney) Island; had that day 25 miles of current to the northward. Distant 2° from the land, we had a strong westerly current; distant 1°, it set north-westerly: and close in shore, in soundings, from 17 to 50 fathoms between Dassen Island and Table Bay, there was a strong eddy current to the southward, with which we worked to Table Bay in 30 hours. The Polyphemus, with Admiral Murray's flag on board, fell also to the northward of Table

* When cloudy weather accompanies these northerly or north-west winds, there is a risk of a sudden shift to the south-west or south. This happened to H. M. S. Bristol, to the Queen, and to us, in the Anna, in January, 1800. We were in lat. 31° S. lon. 22° W. had run 230 miles the preceding 24 hours, and with steering sails set, were running at the rate of 10 or 11 miles per hour, when at 9 P. M. in a shower, the wind shifted from N. W. to S. S. W. in an instant, taking us aback; we lost all the light sails and booms, and the ship's head was thrown round against the north-west sea, before the sails were trimmed, which made her plunge bowsprit and forecastle under.

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Bay in 1807, having made the land at Dassen Island with a southerly wind on the 10th March, in a thick fog, by the help of soundings.

To sail past the Cape bank.

From December to April, if it is not intended to touch at the Cape, a ship should get into lat. 37° or 38° S. about the meridian of London, and keep between 37° and 39° S. in running down her easting; for the winds will be found as favorable for this purpose in 38° or 39° S., or probably more so, than if she were in a higher latitude. In passing the Bank of Cape Aguilhas, the stream of current setting westward, ought to be avoided, by keeping at least in lat. 37° S., and she should not go to the northward of this parallel in running down her easting, after passing the Cape, or she may be greatly retarded by the south-easterly winds which prevail in these months to the northward of lat. 35° or 36° S.

Saxemburg Island, of the old Charts, has no real existence.

Tristan d'Acunha.

TRISTAN D'ACUNHA GROUP, consist of three islands, the largest and northern-most being named after the Portuguese discoverer, Tristan d'Acunha. Three Americans remained here in 1811, to prepare seal skins and oil, but they were taken away before 1813. A Naval Station was formed here by the British, when Buonaparte was confined at St. Helena, which was afterwards withdrawn.

The ship Berwick, on her passage to Van Diemen's Land, touched at Tristan d'Acunha on the 25th March, 1823, and found seventeen people, ten of whom constantly reside there: they had for disposal 25 tons of potatoes, vegetables, milk, and butter; and they had two good whale-boats, ready to afford assistance to such vessels as might require a supply of fresh water. In payment for their assistance, or supplies, they prefer clothes, salt-beef, pork, and rum, as of more utility to them than money.

This island is about 6 or 7 miles in extent, or 20 miles in circuit, of square form, being the base of a mountain, which terminates in a peak elevated 8,326 feet above the sea, sometimes covered with snow, when the sun is in the northern hemisphere, and may be seen at 30 leagues distance.

From the west point of the island, breakers appear to project about two cable's lengths, but the shore is bold to approach in other parts. At the north side of the island, the land rises perpendicularly 1,000 feet or more from the sea, then ascends with a gentle acclivity to the base of the Peaked mountain, which rises majestically over the Table Land. This island, like St. Helena, is formed of abrupt hilly ridges, with chasms or deep valleys between them, and seems to be of volcanic origin. The trees which grow on the sides of the ridges, are small, with spreading branches hanging near the ground, but burn well.* Wild celery, wild parsley, and sorrel, grow plentifully; and wild goats, and wild hogs, are found in the interior.

The cascade, or watering place, is about the middle of the north side of the island, where the water is excellent, and the landing on the east side of it, at four cable's lengths distance, upon a beach of round pebbles, is not difficult in fine weather.

There is anchorage near the cascade, in from 26 to 36 fathoms, from ½ a mile to 1 mile off shore. H. M. ship Lion, anchored there 31st Dec. 1792, in 30 fathoms black sand and slime, off shore 1 mile, a small rock off the west point of the island bearing S. W. by S. just open with the western extremity, and the cascade of water falling on the beach S. by E.

Geo. Site.

Capt. Heywood, who touched here in H. M. S. Nereus, on the 5th and 6th January, 1811, made the waterfall or cascade in lat. 37° 6′ 9″ S. lon. 12° 3′ West by chronometer, measured from Rio Janeiro.

Mr. Fitzmaurice, in H. M. S. Semiramis on the 5th of March, 1813, by observations taken on shore at the cascade, made it in lat. 37° 5′ 36″ S. lon. 11° 57′ 45″ W., by chrononometers, measured from the Cape of Good Hope: on a second cruize in the same ship,

* Probably the Gum tree, which is indigenous here, at St. Helena, and Gough's Island.


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on the 15th Nov. following, he made it in lon. 12° 2′ W., by chronometer, from the Cape of Good Hope, and in 12° 7′ W. by lunar observations. The mean of Mr. Fitzmaurice's observations makes the cascade of Tristan d'Acunha in lon. 12° 2′ W., corresponding within a mile of Capt. Heywood's observations.*

The variation of the compass in 1811, was 9° 20′ W., and in 1813, it was 9° 51′ W. by Mr. Fitzmaurice's observations.

Watering place.

Good water is got with great ease from a small lake at the east side of the bay, which is supplied by falls from the mountains: the casks may be thrown into the sea well bunged, and the surf will wash them on shore; when filled at the lake, they must be rolled about 130 or 150 yards over a soft sandy beach, hauled off by a line to the boats at anchor, and hoisted in by a mast or stump, fitted for this purpose. The Semiramis filled 75 tons of water in this manner in November, sending the boats on shore in the mornings, and hoisting them in at night, the ship keeping under sail.

It is dangerous to anchor without great caution, as the sea rises suddenly prior to a strong N. W. or North wind, which is liable to drive a ship on the rocks if she cut or slip from her anchor in order to gain an offing. The Julia, brig of war, was driven on the shore from her anchors, dashed in pieces on the rocks, and several of her crew perished; other ships have narrowly escaped the same fate. If a ship venture to anchor here, she ought to put to sea immediately on the least appearance of an unfavorable change, or if the wind incline to veer to the northward of west; but as the swell sets in often before the wind, it is in such case impossible to get under way, or a ship would be driven on the rocks, as the surf will then rise upon the shore, and it would be extremely dangerous to remain at anchor with a N. W. or Northerly wind. The water cannot be rafted off, on account of the sea-weed surrounding the island. There is a rise and fall of tide, about 8 or 9 feet at times.

The shores of this, and the adjacent islands, abound with seals and sea lions, and are fronted by strong sea-weed, which is seen floating on the water in their vicinity, and patches of it extend to a considerable distance.

Easterly winds seldom continue longer than 24 hours at a time near these islands; but S. W. and N. W. winds prevail with storms from N. W. in winter, and dark thick weather, requiring great caution in ships which happen to be running here at such times, if not certain of their situation.† As soon as the wind veers to the northward of West, thick fogs immediately darken the atmosphere.

Inaccessible Island.

Geo. Site.

INACCESSIBLE ISLAND, bearing by compass from Tristan d'Acunha, S. 67° W. dist. 19 or 20 miles, is the middle, and the westernmost of the group, situated in lat. 37° 17′ S. lon. 12° 22′ W. or 7 miles more west than Tristan d'Acunha, being about 9 miles in circuit, and may be seen about 16 leagues distance. It is level and barren, with only a few scattered shrubs on it; the Semiramis' boat landed at a small pebbly beach, of which there are several small spots, with the mountain rising perpendicularly over them.

There is no danger, only a rock like a boat under sail, is visible at the S. E. point: soundings are got within a mile of the N. E. point, and 20 fathoms black sand with small reddish stones, when the body of the island bears west. Several streams of water issue from the top of the mountain.

* Some ships have made it only in lon. 11° 44′ W.

† This has been verified by the late unfortunate loss of the Blendon Hall, from London, bound for Bombay, which ship was totally wrecked on Inaccessible Island, 23d July, 1821, where the crew and passengers suffered great privations, living on penguins and their eggs, till November 8th, when some of them reached Tristan d'Acunha in a small boat made out of the wreck, where they procured two whale boats, and returned to Inaccessible Island for the remaining part of the crew. On the 9th Jan. an English brig, from Brazil, touched at Tristan d'Acunha for water, took them all on board, and carried them to the Cape of Good Hope, where they arrived on the 18th.

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Nightingale Island.

Geo. Site.

NIGHTINGALE ISLAND, the smallest and southernmost of these islands, bearing by compass from Tristan d'Acunha S. 33° W. distant 18 miles, is in lat. 37° 26′ S. lon. 12° 8′ W., being about 6 or 7 miles in circuit, having two rocky islets off the N. E. point, and some at the south point. On the east side there are soundings, and when the middle of the island bore W. S. W. Mons. D. Etchevery anchored in the L'Etoile du Matin, Sept. 1767, in 33 fathoms, coarse brown and reddish sand. The boat found some difficulty in reaching the shore, on account of strong sea-weed twined together, and after a landing was secured, the interior could not be penetrated for reeds, and the shore was covered with Penguins and eggs. The boat of the Semiramis, landed here in 1813, and found plenty of fresh water, sea elephants, and seals.

These islands are not unfrequently seen by ships which haul far to the southward after leaving the S. E. trade, with the view of getting strong westerly winds.

Gough's Island.

Geo. Site.

GOUGH'S ISLAND, OR DIEGO ALVAREZ; has been seen by several East India ships, at various times, and by mean of the observations and chronometers of 9 ships, its centre is situated in lat. 40° 19½′ S. lon. 9° 41¼′ W. Capt. Heywood, in H. M. S. Nereus, visited it on the 8th January, 1811, and made it in lon. 9° 45¼′ W. or 2° 18′ East from Tristan d'Acunha by chronomer. Variation 10½° West.

This island is about 5 or 6 miles in extent, or 15 or 16 miles round, elevated about 4385 feet above the sea; its surface is covered mostly with a light coat of mossy grass, and some of the small bushy trees may be observed, which abound on Tristan d'Acunha.

The steep cliffs rise almost perpendicularly from the sea, having several beautiful cascades of water issuing from the fissures between them. The boat landed with safety at a cove on the north side of the island, just to the eastward of one of the rocky islets that adjoin to it on that side.

The Church Rock, resembling exactly a church with a high spire on its western end, is situated near the N. E. point of the island; and to the southward of this rock, on the east side of the island, lies an islet near the shore, within which, the landing is safe and easy, being protected by the N. E. point from the swell and northerly winds. Here, some men resided belonging to the American ship Baltic, which ship the Nereus left at Tristan d'Acunha; these men had been rather unsuccessful during a long stay on Gough's island, most of the seals having deserted it, but they procured plenty of fish, and birds of good flavor for subsistence, by lighting a fire upon one of the hills in the night.

Between the islet and the S. E. point of the principal island, there seemed to be a small bay or cove, where the Americans said a ship might anchor in safety, about ½ a mile off shore, in about 20 fathoms sandy bottom, tolerable holding ground. H. M. S. Semiramis visited this island in Dec. 1813, and found none of the Americans there, but several had been buried, by inscriptions placed at the burying ground; three boilers for boiling oil, and a quantity of salt for curing skins were also discovered.

Three doubtful sunken rocks in lat. 37° 31′ S. lon. 4° 42′ W. were seen in the Hibernia, in April, 1817, with apparently about 9 feet water over them, when passing close to one of them, which she narrowly escaped. But although the wind was strong with a considerable swell at the time, the sea did not break on these supposed dangers, which is unaccountable, and gives reason to think that they might have been three whales or huge marine monsters asleep, and not rocks.

L 2

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St. Helena Bay.

Geo. Site.

ST. HELENA BAY, on the west coast of South Africa, is formed on the west side by St. Martin's Point or Cape, in lat. 32° 40′ S. lon. 17° 55′ E., which is a low point projecting out from the high land on the west side of the bay. Cape Deseada is a high bluff headland, about 7 leagues N. E. ward from the former, and bounds the N. E. side of the bay, which stretches from St. Martin's Point in a S. E. direction, being about 4 or 5 leagues deep, with regular soundings from 12 or 10 fathoms, to 6 and 5 fathoms near the shores of the bay, the bottom mostly sand and shells.

Berg River, a small stream, falls into the bottom of the bay, having some springs near it, and a few houses on each side.

In summer, the anchorage is safe, as southerly winds then prevail; for this bay is only open to those winds which blow between north and west. During winter, when N. W. gales render Table Bay unsafe, St. Helena Bay is also unsafe, for these gales extend sometimes to the northward of this bay. The variation here was 23° 40′ W. in 1809. High water at 2 hours 30 minutes on full and change of the moon. Near 3 leagues to the southward of St. Martin's Point, there is said to lie a sunken rock 4 miles off shore. The Dutch used to have a resident at this bay to collect grain.

Saldanha Bay.

SALDANHA BAY entrance, in lat. 33° 6′ S. is about 16 or 17 leagues to the N. N. W. of Table Bay, having at its mouth the two islands Jutten and Malgasen lying north and south of each other, between which is the proper passage; and Marcus Island situated a little farther in, may be passed on either side.


In running for this bay, you cannot easily miss it, if certain of your latitude, although the islands at the entrance are low, and so near the main, that they are not easily discerned, unless a trusty person be stationed at the mast-head. Marcus Island may be approached on all sides within ½ a cable's length, but the widest passage is to the south of it, and the best with a southerly wind; for in the summer, if you wish to anchor to the southward, in order to sail out with a S. E. wind, you will be able to fetch your anchorage; or if you run into Hoetjes Bay, you will have plenty of time to take in sail before you anchor.

Hoetjes Bay.

The best anchorage in Hoetjes Bay, is in 6 fathoms, with the natural granite pier on with Marcus Island bearing S. by W., where ships of all descriptions are completely sheltered.

Capt. Cramer examined Saldanha Bay in H. M. sloop Rattlesnake, in Nov. 1802, and describes it as follows.

Channels and dangers.

Between Jutten Island and the main, there is a safe passage, with from 7 to 11 fathoms sand and broken shells; both the shore of the island and the main may be approached within 100 yards, but to anchor, keep twice this distance from either, or you will have foul ground.

There is also a passage between Malgasen and the main, with from 10 to 20 fathoms foul ground, and several sunken rocks lie a full half mile off the N. W. end of the island; which, together, with a heavy swell always setting into this passage, and being destitute of clear ground for anchorage, renders it unsafe, without a leading wind.

In the principal channel between the islands Jutten and Malgasen, you will not have less than 13 fathoms sand. Marcus Island, as well as the north and south points of the main land, are bold to, there being 6 or 7 fathoms clear ground within 50 fathoms of this island, but when approached within about 50 yards, you will have 7 fathoms foul ground; the same

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from the island to the north point of the main land which forms Hoetjes Bay, off which, about a cable's length, lies a rock not larger than a small boat, dry at low spring tides.

Hoetjes Bay is on the larboard side of the entrance, having regular soundings in it of 4 to 5½ fathoms sand and shells, till you open the passages, when the water deepens to 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 fathoms. North-west from the point that forms this bay, lies a sunken rock of considerable extent, called the BLINDER CLIP, not visible even at low tide when there is 3 feet water over it, unless the wind blow strong. The distance from this rock to the sandy beach of the main, is more than a mile, with from 4 to 7 fathoms sand and broken shells. The mark for the Blinder Clip, is Marcus Island and the Mouse-Back in one, the latter being a piece of high land on the northern shore.

In working up from Hoetjes Bay, to the head of Saldanha Bay, the starboard shore was found to be bold to, till within 1½ mile of Schapen (Sheep) Island, as a bank commences at this island, and terminates at the north point of a small bay farther down, being of a triangular form, with the point out from the shore called Salamander Point, and having on it irregular soundings from 5 to 3½ fathoms.

On the starboard side the soundings are regular, 3½ and 3 fathoms till within half a mile of the beach. Adjoining to Schapen Island in a northern direction, lies a small isle, with shoal water 2½ fathoms about a mile off the island, and the soundings on it are very irregular, not exceeding 6 or 7 feet in some places: between this and the eastern shore of the main, there is a good channel up to Melvill's, or to the Old Post-House up the Lagoon.

In working up to Schapen Island, keep your lead going, as the soundings to the N. E. ward are regular, and will be your best guide; but in standing back to the S. W., get the N. W. end of Schapen Island in one with the Saddle Hill up the Lagoon, and then put about, as the water shoals quick afterward.

Bevian Bay, is well sheltered from the N. W., but having much foul ground about it, Hoetjes Bay is far preferable, from whence at all times, ships may work out.

We found the water very scarce, having to send our launch up the Lagoon for it, which was found to be very good, but they cleared the well every time. Upon the high hill called Whitter Clip, about 5 miles distant, we were told there was plenty of good water to supply a large fleet, if it could be brought down.

Capt. James Callander, states, that the Berg River, being contiguous to the Bay, could be turned down into it, at a small expence; by which, not only shipping and a town might be supplied, but it would facilitate the cultivation of large tracks of land.

The marks for mooring at the head of Saldanha Bay, are the Mouse-Back shut in half a cable's length with Salamander Point and the S. W. point of Schapen Island, distant from the latter 1½ mile. Here you will have from 4½ to 5¼ fathoms sand and shells, with plenty of room to swing clear of the banks, should you part one cable.


Bullocks and sheep may be got from the farmers in the neighbourhood at a moderate price, and plenty of fish may be caught either with the net, or with hook and line: Reets Bay is the best place for the net or seine, having only 6 or 7 feet water, sandy ground; the other places being rocky, are only fit for the hook and line. The islands mostly swarm with wild rabbits.

In Hoetjes Bay, it is high water at 2 hours on full and change of moon, rise of tide from 6 to 7 feet.

This is an excellent harbour, for ships to repair any damage they may have sustained by stress of weather at sea. The Thames, bound to Bencoolen and China, when near the Cape of Good Hope early in May, 1812, found her bowsprit badly sprung, and not being able to get round the Cape to Simon's Bay, she bore away for Saldanha Bay, and secured her bowsprit there, in a few days stay. The water was brackish, and in small quantity at this time, all round the coast about the bay.

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Dassen Island.

DASSEN, OR CONEY ISLAND, is in lat. 33° 24′ S. about 6 leagues southward from the entrance of Saldanha Bay, and 9 leagues N. N. Westward from Robben Island. It lies about 4 or 5 miles from the shore, is a low sandy island, dangerous and rocky on the W. side. When we tacked 4 miles from the W. part of it, in 17 fathoms sand, the sea broke over a sunken rock, distant 1½ mile from the S. W. end of the island. The S. side is also said to be rocky, but there is anchorage within it. If the lead is kept going, there is no danger running in for the land hereabout in the night, as there is 17 fathoms about 2 miles outside of the foul ground about this island. Between Dassen Island and Table Bay, the water has a black stagnated appearance. At 2 or 3 leagues distance from the shore, we found an eddy current setting to the southward; when a little to the westward of the bank of soundings it set N. Westerly. This part of the coast is of moderate height, barren and sandy near the sea; the interior is higher, and seems a better soil.

Soundings to the northward of Table Bay.

Should a ship, in running for Table Bay, be driven to the northward of it, by strong southerly winds in the summer season,* the soundings are a safe guide in approaching the land, if the lead is not neglected: between Saldanha and Table Bays, regular soundings extend out from the land several leagues.

In lat. 33° 30′ S. and 41 miles W. from Cape Town by chronometers, there are 110 fathoms. From Dassen Island to Penguin, or Robben Island, the depths are from 50 to 56 fathoms about 5 leagues off; from 20 to 22 fathoms 3 or 4 miles from the shore; and about 30 fathoms 10 or 11 miles to the N. Westward of the latter island.

Land near Table Bay.

TABLE BAY, is so remarkable that it cannot be mistaken, by the contiguous high land, which appears like an island when seen at a considerable distance from sea.

The highest part, from which the bay takes its name, is situated right over Cape Town, at the S. part of the bay, and is called the Table Mountain. It is about 3,500 feet high, level on the top, and falls down nearly perpendicular at the E. end till it joins the Devil's Mount, which is a rugged peaked mountain, nearly as high as the former, and separated from it by a small gap. The W. end of Table Mountain is also nearly perpendicular from the top to a considerable distance, and then has an abrupt declivity, till it joins the base of another mount called the Sugar Loaf or Lion's Head; which is about 2, 100 high. Near the summit of this rocky conical mount, there is a spring of good water, and a flag is generally displayed on it when a ship appears, although in some places it is so steep, that it can only be ascended by steps cut in the rock. This is joined on the N. side by an oblong mount about 1000 feet high, called the Lion's Rump, from a supposed resemblance these contiguous mountains have to this animal. The Lion is on the W. and S. W. sides of the bay, the Table Mountain, and the Devil's Mount, are on the S. side. On the E. side of Table Bay, and of these mountains, the low sandy isthmus between Cape Town and False Bay is formed. The land is high and uneven, from Table Mountain to the extremity of the Cape of Good Hope.

Strong S. E. &E. S. E. winds in Table Bay.

When the Table Mountain, in the summer months, begins to be covered with a white cloud, it indicates a strong S. E. or E. S. E. wind. In January, February, and March, these winds blow sometimes with great fury over the Table and Devil's Mount, and through the gap between them, driving the white clouds in rolling fleeces like wool, over the perpendicular sides of the Table Mountain, curious to behold; ships ought, therefore, to moor with good cables, for they are liable to drive, and bring both anchors a-head. I have known several ships driven from Table Bay by these south-easters, with all their anchors down; and did

* To the westward of the Cape, in the summer months, the atmosphere is at times remarkably clear; the planet Venus, and even Jupiter may be often seen at mid-day. About 1° W. from Table Bay, at 2 P. M. Jan. 27th, 1798, when the altitude of the sun was about 55°, then shining bright. I observed the latitude very correctly by the planet Venus on the meridian. This luminary was bright, and distinctly visible to the eye without the assistance of a telescope during most part of the day.

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not regain the anchorage till after 5 or 6 days. When the Table Mountain is free from clouds, the S. Easter will be mild, and a gentle sea-breeze then generally blows in on the W. side of the bay, when there is a fresh S. E. breeze prevailing from the E. side of it, halfway across, during most of the day.

Prevalling winds at this Bay, &near the Cape.

The prevailing winds at Table Bay, and near the Cape of Good Hope, are from S. E. and southward during summer; the S. E. winds blowing more or less in every month of the year, and generally bring settled weather. These winds, extend more than 200 leagues to the eastward of the Cape. N. E. winds are less frequent than any, and never continue long. In May, June, July, and August, the W. and S. W. winds blow strong, attended often with fogs and cloudy weather; but the N. W. winds are most violent in these months, frequently blowing in severe storms for several days together, with a clouded sky, and sometimes accompanied with lightning, hail showers, or rain. These winds extend as far as lat. 27° S. in the track from the Cape towards St. Helena, and prevail far to the westward, but much farther to the eastward of this promontory, although they are generally most violent near the land.

Summer is the proper season for anchoring in Table Bay.

Dangerous there in N.W. winds.

The summer is from October to April, in which season it has been thought safe for ships to lie in Table Bay, notwithstanding, H. M. S. Sceptre, and several other ships were wrecked by a severe N. W. storm, in November, 1799. These N. W. gales are occasionally experienced about the Cape, in every season of the year; but they seldom blow home in Table Bay, from November to May; and although several ships have been driven on shore by them, more than once in April, the Dutch fixed on the 10th of May, as the period for all ships to leave this place; the strong N. W. winds being then daily expected. Such a mountainous sea is forced into the bay by some of these N. W. gales, that it is almost impossible for any ship to ride safe.*

Although an eddy current may be setting along shore to the southward, from Dassen Island to Table Bay, the regular current at the same time, often sets round the Cape to the N. Westward, as far as the high land on the west side of the bay; ships should, therefore, endeavour to make the land to the southward of the entrance, if bound into Table Bay, particularly if the wind incline from the S. W. or southward. From the Cape of Good Hope to Table Bay, the shore is mostly steep, and may be approached within 1½ or 2 miles distance, in sailing along towards Green Point, which is low, and forms the northern extremity of the peninsula. About 3 leagues south from this point, is

Hout Bay. Directions for sailing to Table Bay.

HOUT BAY, situated at the N. end of an excavation in the land. It is said, this bay can afford shelter from all winds, to a small number of ships; but it is rather confined, and has a reef of rocks at the entrance. A ship in passing the points which form this bay, should keep 1½ or 2 miles from the land, to give a birth to some straggling rocks detached from the shore; and she may keep about the same distance from it, till she reach Green Point, to avoid some rocks at a small distance from the shore, between the Sugar-Loaf and that Point. Most of these rocks are above water, and within half a mile of the shore; the depths of water about 1½ or 2 miles off, are from 50 to 60 fathoms.

Penguin Island.

PENGUIN, OR ROBBEN ISLAND, is low and flat, distant about 5 miles from Green Point to the northward; the point may be approached with caution, the soundings

* In cases of exigency, ships put into Table Bay in the winter months, notwithstanding the risk of N. W. gales; and the early navigators to India, seem often to have touched there for refreshments, in that season. About 2 centuries back it was called Soldania Bay.
The Hector lay in Table Bay, from the 15th of June, to the 4th of July, 1614, and made the variation 0° 35′ W., and the Watering-Place, in lat. 33° 54′ S., which is very near the truth, considering the imperfection of instruments, and tables of the sun's declination, at that period. In the 17th century, East India ships, both Dutch and English, frequented Table Bay at all times of the year, to procure refreshments, on their voyages to, and from Europe.

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being regular towards it, but the island must not be passed nearer than 2 miles, on account of the sunken rock WHALE, about 1½ mile distant from its south extreme, on which the sea breaks when there is much swell; at other times, it is not perceived.

A ship may borrow towards Green Point, to 10, or 9 fathoms with caution;* then steer for the shipping in the road, in 8, 7, or 6 fathoms, regular soundings.

Land and sea breeszes.

In the fair weather season, regular sea-breezes from S. W. and W. prevail in the mornings, which continue till noon, or longer; these are followed by strong S. E. winds from the land, which blow fresh during the afternoon, and frequently till the following morning; then the sea-breeze returns.

The southeasters blow very strong.

The S. Easter sometimes comes from the land with great fury; it is therefore prudent to take a reef, or two, in the topsails, before a ship has reached Green Point, if near or a little past noon. By neglecting this precaution, I have seen ships rounding the point with all sail set in a light breeze, then suddenly meet the fiery south-easter on opening the bay, which compelled them to let fly every thing, to save their masts; and one of these ships, whilst the people were aloft securing the topsails, nearly ran on shore on the east side of the bay, in waring.

Anchorage under Penguin Island.

If abreast of Green Point, a ship should meet with a fiery south-easter, and be unable to work to windward, she ought to bear away and anchor under Penguin Island, taking care to keep at 2 miles distance from the S. and S. W. sides of it, to give a birth to the Whale, and a reef projecting from the S. W. end of the island.† She may anchor off the north end, about a large ½ mile from it, in 9 or 10 fathoms; but the N. W. end must not be approached very close, as the reef extends near half a mile out here; and it is said to project about 1 mile from the S. W. and S. E. ends of this island.

Different channels.

I have known the south-easters blow so strong, that a ship could not bring up under Penguin Island, but was driven to sea till the violence of the wind abated. Should a ship not wish to anchor under that island, she may make short tacks to the southward of Green Point, under lee of the High Land, until the violence of the S. Easter is abated, and this seems preferable to the risk of losing an anchor, by endeavouring to bring up in a strong gale.

It must be observed, that all ships going into Table Bay, should use the channel between Green Point and Penguin Island, but the channel to the northward of this island is most proper for ships bound out; for the strong S. E. winds blowing out of the bay, produce an outset, or partial current between the island and the northern shore; whereas, the current frequently sets past Green Point into the bay, to replace the quantity of water driven out by the strong winds along the N. shore.

N. Channel.

After working from Dassen Island, in January, 1798, to the entrance of Table Bay, we observed in the morning, that it was calm under the high land in the S. channel; but a steady light breeze was perceived on the water between Penguin Island and the N. shore. To preserve the breeze, we proceeded to work in, by the N. channel: about 2 P. M. the southeaster came to blow strong, carried away our topsail sheets, and we were obliged to close reef the topsails, when beating through between the island and the main. We found a lee current whilst the wind was strong, and gained little ground until it moderated about 8 P. M. In beating through, we did not stand nearer to the island than 8 fathoms; the soundings were from 8 to 12 fathoms sandy ground, but did not decrease much in nearing the main. From where we tacked on each side, the depths were generally from 9½, to 11 and 12 fathoms across the channel. On the main, three rocky points project a small dis-

* Two ships have been wrecked on the Reef fronting Green Point, by borrowing too close to it in the night.

† Or if well into the bay, she may run for the channel between it and the main, and anchor in 8 or 9 fathoms, at ¾ of a mile distant from its eastern shore; where she may lie till the morning, when the S. Westerly breezes, will enable her to weigh and run for the anchorage at Cape Town.

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tance from a sandy beach; near which, several sunken rocks were seen shining under water, distant a quarter of a mile or more from the shore. Near the outermost of these rocky points, we shoaled from 10 to 7½ fathoms at a cast; whilst in stays, I perceived some sunken rocks about 2 cables' lengths within us, which render it unsafe to make too free with the shore in this part.

Anchorage in Table Bay.

Between Green Point and Penguin Island the ground is foul; should a ship be driven by the swell, towards the Whale or Penguin Island in a calm, and obliged to anchor, the stream will be most convenient for this purpose, where the ground is rocky. The proper anchorage in the bay, abreast the town, is sandy bottom; the W. side of it being clear ground all over. In the summer months, a ship may moor in 7, 6, or 5 fathoms, with Green Point N. W. ½ N., the body of Table Mountain S. W. ¼ S., and the flag-staff on Lion's Mount W., ½ S., off shore from ½ to 1 mile, and from the town 1 or 1½ mile. When N. W. winds are expected, do not anchor under 6 or 6½ fathoms, where the swell runs more regular than in shoal water. At these times, ships should ride with a whole cable, or more, for they are liable to drive if their anchors are not well seated in the sand; and when a ship drives, it is difficult to bring her up, as the anchors scrape along the surface of the sand, and do not take hold, whilst the heavy seas are striking against her. The best ground, is from 5 to 7½ fathoms. When so far out, as to have the Lion's Head in one with, or open to the northward of the Lion's Rump, the ground is rocky quite across the bay.


Table Bay is an excellent place for obtaining refreshments: the water is good, but wood is very scarce. Sheep are to be had in abundance, at very moderate prices; also other provision of various kinds, and the vegetables and fruits are good. The water is brought down in pipes to the wooden pier, where boats fill it with hoses, leading from the pipes to their casks. The atmosphere about the Cape is generally cool in the night, although the sandy soil is often greatly heated by the rays of the sun: this occasions the land winds which blow out of Table Bay, to come off in hot gusts in the evenings, when their course is over sandy ground.

Refraction at the borison very changeable.

In this bay, it is difficult to obtain rates for chronometers on ship board, in the fair weather season; for correct altitudes of the sun cannot be obtained, the refraction is so mutable near the horizon. During seven days stay here. I took nearly 100 sets of forenoon and afternoon altitudes of the sun, to correct the rates of seven chronometers, but did not get their rates very exact. Objects in the horizon at the entrance of the bay, were sometimes reflected double; a picture of a vessel under sail, was seen distinctly in the atmosphere above her, and other objects were reflected in various ways. It is therefore advisable, if a ship remain several days at this place, to take the chronometers on shore, where their rates may be corrected by altitudes taken with an artificial horizon, or in a bason of water when there is little wind.

Geo. Site of Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN, by mean of six meridian altitudes of the sun, taken on board with an indifferent horizon is in lat. 33° 58′ S. lon. 18° 28½′ E. by mean of the observations of different astronomers. The mean of several good chronometers measured 24° 11′ W. from Cape Town to the anchorage at St. Helena, in a run of 13 days, in 1807; this would place Cape Town in lon. 18° 34′ E. allowing James's Town in 5° 36½′ W: but Capt. Owen, sent by the Admiralty to survey on the Coasts of Africa in 1822, made the Devil's Mount, in lat. 33° 57′ 12″ S. lon. 18° 20′ E., which would place it and Cape Town 9 or 10 miles farther West than the longitude stated above.

The tide seldom rises more than 5 feet perpendicular in Table Bay; high-water at half

* Capt. Beaufort of the Royal Navy, by observations taken on shore with an artificial horizon, made Cape Town in lat. 33° 55′ S.


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past 2 o'clock on full and change of the moon. Ships moor with their anchors about N. W. and S. E.

Table Mountain E. 12 leagues, the var. was 25° 40′ W. in Feb. 1798 Mean of many morning azimuths, each time by 2 compasses.
Table Mountain E. 14 leagues, the var. was 25° 40′ W. in Feb. 1800.

Light House.


A Light House, with a double Light, is now building, on the projecting Point of Land between the Great Mouille, or Moulin Battery, and Three Anchor Bay, under the Lion's Rump, at the entrance of Table Bay; and the following are Directions for Sailing into Table Bay, by Night, after the Light House is finished:

Coming from the southward and westward, with a leading wind, and not having made the Light-House before night, steer along the coast to the N. E. until you open the lights of the rising land, about the Lion's Head, when the two lights will be their breadth open of each other, and bear about E. by N.; then haul in towards them, taking care as you approach, to keep them well open on the starboard bow; steer to the Eastward, until the lights come on with each other, i. e. are in one, or until they bear S. W. ½ S. you will then be abreast of the North Western extremity of Table Bay, and may haul in S. by E. or S. S. E. according to circumstances, for the anchorage; when the lights are shutting in by the rising land of the Upper Mouline Battery, bearing N. W. by W., you will be approaching the outer anchorage, and may safely anchor for the night, in 7 or 8 fathoms water, fine sand. Care should be taken not to run into less than 5½ or 6 fathoms, unless well acquainted.

Ships coming from the northward and westward, should observe the same Directions, with respect to passing the lights, &c.

Ships working in, with the wind from the South and Eastward, after being abreast of the lights, should not stand to the Eastward farther than 2½ or 3 miles, or until they shoal the water to 8 or 7½ fathoms.

N. B. The bearings are all by compass. Variation 27° westerly.*
(Signed) J. GOODRIDGE, Master Attendant,
28th Sept. 1821. H. M. Naval Establishment.

Geo. Site of Cape Good Hope.

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, is the southern extremity of the peninsula which separates False and Table Bays from each other, and the terminating promontory of the west coast of Africa to the southward. From Table Bay to this Cape, the land is of considerable height, rugged and uneven, ending in hummocks at the Cape point. The latitude of the extreme point is about 34° 24′ S.† and about 3 miles E. from the meridian of Cape Town, in Table Bay. If the lon. (above) 18° 28½′ E. is adopted for Cape Town, it will place the Cape of Good Hope in lon. 18° 31½′ E.

Bellows Rock.

THE BELLOWS, is a large rock even with the water's edge, about 2½ or 3 miles distant from the true Cape Point, nearly S. by W. from it, true bearing. In 1803, when the Bellows Rock was on with Cape Point, by compass, it bore N. 35° E.; and in one

* On the 1st day of September next, a Flag-staff will be erected on the Lion's Rump, for the purpose of communicating with ships entering Table Bay, by means of Captain Marryat's Code of Signals, now in general use in the Merchant Service.
Vessels approaching the land, have, therefore, only to make use of that Code, as directed, for the purpose of either conveying, or receiving, communications to, or from the Signal Post on the Lion's Rump.
It is to be recollected, that at this Flag-staff, a Colonial Telegraph is also in use; but no mistake can arise therefrom, if ships in the Offing pay attention to Capt. Marryat's Code, the flags of which are entirely different from those of the Colonial Telegraph.

Cape of Good Hope, 8th Aug. 1821. By His Excellency's Command,
(Signed) C. BIRD, Secretary to Government.

† Some navigators make it in lat. 34° 23′ S.

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Anvil and other rocks.

with the western extreme, N. 17° W. the Cape Point then bearing N., variation 26° W. On this rock, the sea generally breaks. About 2 miles or more N. E. of this, there is another sunken rock, called the ANVIL, distant about 2 miles from Cape Point; there is a passage between these rocks, and another betwixt them and the land, with soundings from 20 to 7 fathoms, but they are not frequented,* the bottom being rocky, and the current sometimes strong. The Colebrook was lost in August, 1778, on a rock, said to be about 1½ league N. E. Easterly from the Bellows, which had not been known before. By many navigators this is thought to have been the Anvil, the true situation of which seems not exactly known. It is said to bear S. E. by E. from Cape Point by Capt Fraser; S. E. by the Colebrook's journal, distant 4 miles; Mr. Bligh places it E. S. E. 2 miles, and Capt. Huddart thinks it bears about E. from the same point, variation allowed. There is thought to be 14 feet water on the Anvil Rock, and it is of small extent; it is so differently placed in bearing from Cape Point, that there is reason to think another rock † exists hereabout, exclusive of the Anvil. When the Colebrook struck, the Royal Admiral passed within the rock about a mile, between it and the land; before and after striking on it, the former ship had 30 fathoms water.

Cape False and Bay.

FALSE BAY entrance, is formed by the Cape of Good Hope on the west side, and Cape False to the Eastward; the latter being a steep bluff, resembling a quoin, which may be seen at 8 leagues distance, and appears to lean over to the west when viewed from the southward: it is called Hang-lip, by the Dutch, and sometimes Hottentot's Point. The entrance of the bay from Cape to Cape is about 5 leagues wide, and these are nearly on the same parallel—Cape False being a little to the southward of the Cape of Good Hope. It extends northward into the land about 5½ leagues, being a large open bay of square form, having several dangers in it, none of which are situated near Cape False, or in the eastern side of the bay.‡


Across the entrance of False Bay, the depths of water are from 40 to 50 fathoms, but a little to the westward of the middle of the entrance, there is a bank of rocky ground, with soundings on it, from 16 to 30 fathoms, having 45 and 46 fathoms within it, and 60 fathoms to the southward.


The middle and Eastern parts of the bay, are thought free from dangers, but the ground is foul and improper for anchorage. If a ship, coming from the westward with a N. W. wind, is bound to Simon's Bay, she may pass to the southward of the Bellows Rock at any discretional distance. When abreast of it, at 2 or 3 miles distance, the course ought to be E. S. E. to E. by S. by compass, till she has run 5 or 6 miles; she may then haul up E. N. E. and N. E. taking care not to approach the Cape Point nearer than 5 miles, till it bear W. N. W. by compass; being then to the northward of the Anvil and Colebrook Rocks, she may haul in, within 2 or 3 miles of the western shore, into moderate depths for anchoring.

Land around.

As you enter False Bay, a ridge of rugged mountains is perceived to the northward, which ends at the entrance of Table Bay. The Table Mountain is seen in clear weather, when the distance from it is 60 miles to the southward, and very distinctly from the entrance of False Bay. From Cape False, another ridge of mountains extends to the northward, along

* The Cumberland, with the direct ships for China, under convoy of H. M. S. Doris, 15th June, 1813, at ¼ past 8 A. M. had the Cape of Good Hope bearing N. W. by N. distant ¼ of a mile, with the wind at N. Westward: she then steered into False Bay between the Bellows Rock and Cape Point, keeping about E. by S. in nearly mid-channel, 1½ mile from the Cape of Good Hope.

† A master of the navy, who has lately surveyed False Bay, asserts, that there are other rocks near the Anvil.

‡ At its N. E. angle there is a small concavity called Gordon's Bay, where a ship might be sheltered from south and easterly winds, in 8 or 9 fathoms water. Pringle's Bay is a sort of cove on the north side of Cape False, not so much sheltered as the former.

M 2

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the eastern shore, to the bottom of the bay. The space between these ridges is low-land, the mountains seen over it, being at a great distance in the country.

Simon's Bay.

Dangers near Seal Island.

SIMONS, OR SEAMONS' BAY, is situated 4 leagues northward from Cape Point, near the north-west corner of False Bay, at the foot of the highest mountain on the coast. From April to September, when Table Bay is unsafe, ships put into Simon's Bay, and in every month of the year, this is considered a place of safety. Although it is open to northeast and easterly winds, which come from the bottom of False Bay, or from the mountains on the coast, these never blow strong; so that it may be considered a safe retreat for 13 or 14 sail of ships, where they will be moored in security at all seasons; but being small, it cannot contain a numerous fleet, sheltered from south-east winds. The ships in this bay, receive refreshments and supplies of provision from the interior, and from Cape Town, distant from hence about 6 leagues; water is conveniently obtained, and is excellent. At a small distance from the south point of the bay, there is an islet or rock, in the form of a barn, called Noah's Ark; about a mile N. N. Eastward from this, a small reef is situated near the water's edge, called Roman Rocks; between these, is the common channel for ships. From Roman Rocks, about 2 leagues to the E. N. E., lies Seal Island, having straggling rocks above and under water near it, some of which extend 2 and 3 miles to the southward, and near 4 miles to the eastward; breakers are always seen when the sea runs high. The Warren Hastings in 1795, struck on one of the southernmost of these rocky patches, whilst in stays—False Cape bore S. by E. ¾ E. by compass, Cape Point S. W, ¼ W., a high peak at the bottom of False Bay, N. by W., and the ships in Simon's Bay, W. by N. ¾ N. Ships turning to windward in False Bay, should be cautious not to approach Seal Island nearer than 4 miles on the south side, or 3 miles on the south-west side.

Whittle Rocks.

The danger most in the way of ships working into, or out of False Bay, is the WHITTLE ROCKS, which is an extensive ledge of rocks, nearly a mile in circumference, covered with from 5 to 15 fathoms water excepting the shoalest spot, which has only from 12 to 15 feet water on it at low spring tides, and appears to be about 6 feet in diameter. It is steepest on the S. E. side; and another rock with 4½ fathoms water on it, lies south by compass 40 fathoms from the shoalest part of the Whittle Rocks. There are others to the N. W. about a cable's length from it, with 4 and 5 fathoms water on them.

The Trident, Asia, and several other ships, have struck on these dangers.

In October, 1811, a beacon was placed N. N. E. 50 fathoms from the shoalest rock, which has since been broken away by the sea. From this beacon, Cape of Good Hope Point bore by compass S. 51½° W. Outer Smith's Winkle West—Commandant's House, N. 40° W. Noah's Ark N. 35° W. West Point of Fish-hook Bay N. 20° W. Muyzenberg Point N. 3° W. Peak of the Devil's Mount N. 5½° E. Seal Island N. 34° E.,—and the extremity of Cape False S. 33½° E. Variation 28° W.

It lies 4½ miles E. from the north point of Little Smith's Winkle Bay, and about 8 miles from Cape Point. Lieutenant Whittle examined this danger, and found it to be a rocky bank, about a ¼ of a mile broad, on which there is a rock with only 12 feet water over it at low tide. On the 12-feet rock, the angle of Cape False and Cape Point, taken with a quadrant, was 87°, and the summits of two hills over Fish-hook Bay, just touching each other. To avoid this danger, a ship should go to the westward of it, keeping within 2 or 3 miles of the land, in passing between Little and Great Smith's Winkle Bays, taking care in passing abreast of it, that the angle of Cape False and Cape Point is not increased to 85° when measured by a quadrant. Close to this dangerous patch, the soundings are 20 and 22 fathoms. The Francis struck on a spot about a mile to the northward of the Whittle Rocks, but probably the bearings were not correctly taken, and that it was on one of the northernmost of the Whittle Rocks where she struck.

Sailing Directions into

A ship coming into False Bay from the eastward, should steer for the middle of the bay,

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False Bay, and Simon's Bay.

or for the west side of it, with a S. W. or westerly wind. When the Cape Point bears W. by N. by compass, she is clear to the northward of the Anvil, or other sunken rocks supposed to be situated near the Point, and may then borrow on the western side of the bay, within 2 miles of the shore, or less if requisite. When she is about 6 miles within Cape Point, and abreast the rocky hill over Little Smith's Winkle Bay, she ought not to stand farther from the shore than 3 miles in passing the Whittle Rocks, and should it fall calm, she may anchor in moderate depths near the western shore. Ships may pass to the eastward of the Whittle Rocks, and between them and the reefs to the southward of Seal Island; but the western channel seems preferable for strangers, the land affording them a sufficient guide. After passing the Whittle Rocks, a ship may continue to steer or work along the western shore, at the distance of from 1 to 3 miles; when she approaches Simon's Bay, Noah's Ark will be discerned, which is a level islet near the south point of the bay; but the marks most conspicuous, and seen farthest off, are white sand downs, appearing like snow, in the hollows between the mountains to the N. W. of Noah's Ark, as represented in the plan of False Bay, by Captain Joseph Huddart.

Noah's Ark is steep to, having 9 fathoms close to it; the soundings in the channel, between it and Roman Rocks, are from 10 to 15 fathoms: from hence, a ship should steer direct for the white sand downs, till she reach the anchorage in Simon's Bay. If working with a N. W. wind, she may proceed by the channel outside of Roman Rocks, which is clear and much wider than the common channel between them and Noah's Ark, taking care not to borrow very close to the N. W. side of Roman Rocks, as a rock, with 3 or 4 fathoms water on it, is said to lie at a small distance from them in this direction.

Eastern Channel.

To work into False Bay, and to the eastward of the Whittle Rocks, toward Simon's Bay, a ship should not bring Cape Point to the southward of S. W. by W. by compass, till Noah's Ark bear N. W. by W.; and when on the starboard tack, bring Noah's Ark nothing to the northward of this bearing, by which the Whittle Rocks will be avoided; but she must not stand far to the north, towards the sunken rocks extending southward from Seal Island.


Feriodical winds.

The latitude of Simon's Bay is 34° 15′ S., the depths of water, 8, 9, and 10 fathoms; a good birth for a large ship, is Noah's Ark on with Cape Hanglip S. 33° E., and the north battery N. 13° W. by compass, off shore about 1 mile; or a ship making a long stay, may moor farther in, with Cape Hanglip shut in by the south point of Simon's Bay, but it is best to moor at a convenient distance from the shore, to have room in case of driving. Although the bottom is sand, the anchors hold well when seated in it. Ships moor in this road N. W. and S. E., from May to September, with the stoutest ground-tackle to N. W., for this being the winter season, the winds prevail from that quarter, and often blow in strong gusts over the hills; from September to May, the S. E. and southerly winds may be expected to predominate, then the best bower should lie to the S. E., but in this season, ships generally prefer Table Bay.

In Simon's Bay, it is high-water at ½ past 3 o'clock, on full and change of the moon; the rise and fall of tide is seldom more than 3 feet, and there is little current perceptible here at any time.

To sail from Simon's Bay.

From October to April, the south-easterly winds generally prevail, but do not continue longer than 5 or 6 days at a time, and are constantly succeeded by variable winds. In Simon's Bay, as in Table Bay, it frequently happens, that these winds after blowing very strong for a day, and part of the night, abate towards morning, and are succeeded by a land-breeze from W. N. W. By taking the advantage to weigh with the first of this breeze, a ship may sometimes get to sea before the return of the S. Easterly wind; if she cannot get clear out before the strong S. E. wind set in, the most prudent plan will be to return to the anchorage in Simon's Bay.

Ships bound to the eastward, should leave the bay when N. W. winds begin to blow; if bound westward, in the winter season, they ought to remain till these winds are on the de-

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cline, and get under sail when they shift to westward, as it is probable they will veer from W. to S. W. South and S. E. which will be favorable for doubling the Cape.

A caution in the summer season.

Ships from the eastward, bound into False Bay, or even into Table Bay, should be particular, when the south-east winds prevail in the summer months, not to fall to leeward of the Cape; for it will often be found very difficult to gain the former of these bays, if a ship make the land about the Cape bearing to the eastward, during strong south-east winds. Ships from India, at different times, bound into Table Bay with stores, have been obliged to bear away for St. Helena, on account of passing the Cape in the night, and were unable to beat up against the strong easterly winds and leeward current.

The Cape of Good Hope, is frequently the boundary of very different kinds of weather; for ships homeward-bound, have in general unsettled cloudy weather, and the winds variable to the eastward of it; but so soon as they get round to the westward of this promontory, the weather generally becomes favourable, with a steady S. Easterly wind; this usually happens, but more particularly in the summer season.

Coast eastward of Cape Hanglip.

From Cape Hanglip the coast takes an easterly direction 8 or 9 leagues, then turns round to the southward in a headland, named Point Danger, by which a deep concavity called Sand Down Bay is formed between them. A reef projects a considerable distance from the latter point, and near it there is a Bluff Hill, with a small isle about 3½ leagues to the eastward of the point, near the shore, called Dyer's Island, which is also fronted by rocks. Betwixt Dyer's Island and Cape Aguilhas there is a small projection, called Quoin Point, a little to the westward of the Gunner's Quoin.



Cape Aguilhas.

Geo. Site.

Struy's Bay dangerous.

CAPE AGUILHAS, OR LAGULLAS, bears from the extreme point of Cape Good Hope E. 20° S. (true bearing) distant about 30 leagues, and it is the southernmost land of Africa, situated in about lat. 34° 53′ S.† lon. 20° 18′ E. This cape being more to the southward than stated in some nautical works, has been the cause of dangerous mistakes to several navigators bound to the westward. In December, 1795, the Milford got into Struys Bay on the east side of Cape Aguilhas in the night; they were first alarmed by the noise of breakers on the shore, when they thought themselves clear of all the land to the southward; at this time the wind was light, and the swell setting on the shore, obliged them to anchor; when day-light appeared, the breakers on the beach were not above 2 miles distant. With a fresh wind, which set in from S. E. this ship had some difficulty in working out of this deep bay.

The ship Star, from Amboina, bound to London, got into this bay in the night of October 2d, 1801. The journal says, "Got into the bay eastward of Cape Aguilhas, heard the noise of breakers, had 6 fathoms, and tacked to the eastward; after tacking, had 7, 7, 7½, 8, 7½, and 7 fathoms, then heard the noise of other breakers a-head; tacked, and lay up S. by W. with a light S. Easterly air, and deepened to 8½ fathoms; being then 3 A. M. a

* Called by its discoverers, the Portuguese, Aguilhas, or Needle's Cape, because the magnetic needle had no variation there at that time. The Portuguese name has been corrupted by the English sailors into Lagullas, or Lagullus. In 1598, the variation at this Cape was 0° 30′ W., at Cape Good Hope 25′ E., and at Cape False no variation.

† Some navigators state it to be in lat. 34° 50′ S.

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breeze at N. N. W. came from the land, steered out S. by E. till day-light; hazy, no land seen in the morning."

This bay is about 2½ leagues wide between Aguilhas Point and the first low point to the N. Eastward. The Arniston, transport, from Ceylon, bound to England in 1815, thinking they were to the westward of the Cape, edged away to the N. W. for St. Helena, and got into Struys Bay during a strong southerly gale; not being able to ride at her anchors, she drove on shore, and out of upward of 300 persons, only 5 or 6 survived that catastrophe.


Cape Aguilhas is low even land, about the height of the North Foreland, and may be seen at 5½ or 6 leagues distance from the deck of a large ship. There is no high land within several miles of it in any direction; but to the W. N. Westward, at the distance of about 3 or 4 leagues from the Cape, an isolated hill is situated near the sea, called the Gunner's Quoin, which it resembles when seen from the eastward. This hill may be seen 9 or 10 leagues off, and is a mark for ships passing at too great a distance to see the low land near the Cape. Ships coming either from the east or westward, and only arriving in sight of the Quoin, or other high land in the vicinity of Cape Aguilhas in the evening, should, if the wind is scant from southward, be aware that the low land of the Cape projects much farther to the south than any of the high land adjacent. By attending to this, they will avoid getting into the bays on either side of this Cape.

Aguilhas Bank.

From the Cape of Good Hope, along the south coast of Africa to Algoa Bay, a bank of soundings projects out a considerable distance from the land; from Cape Aguilhas this bank extends a great way to S. S. Eastward, and is generally called the CAPE BANK, or Bank of Aguilhas. The southern extremity of the bank is nearly on the meridian of Cape Vaches, or in lon. 22° E. and is said to extend nearly to lat. 37° S. in this part;* but a little to the southward of lat. 36° S., it converges quickly, and becomes of a narrow conical form, having very deep water on its southern end. The soundings on the bank westward of Cape Aguilhas, to the south of lat. 35° 15′ are generally found to be mud; to the southward of the Cape, frequently green sand, or sand of various kinds; and on the south-east and eastern parts of the bank, to the eastward of Cape Aguilhas, the quality of the ground is mosly coral, or coarse sand, shells, and small stones.

Before lunar observations were practised at sea, it was customary for ships to get soundings on the Bank of Aguilhas, to correct their reckoning; which is no longer requisite, for the longitude obtained by observation must be more exact than can be ascertained by sounding on the bank.

Grampusses, or whales, are frequently seen floating with their backs a little above water, more particularly in moderate weather with easterly winds, when the water is smooth on the bank; at such times, a ship may be liable to run against one of them before it is awake, which has actually happened to some ships, and greatly alarmed all on board. Very large seals also frequent the Cape Bank and its vicinity.

Gannets (or Soland Geese) are generally seen on the bank in moderate weather; they are about the size of the domestic goose, entirely white, except that the extremities of the wings are tipped with black. They beat their wings quick in flight, like a duck or pigeon, and are easily known from other large aquatic birds, whose wings are much longer.

Abreast of Cape Aguilhas, the Gunner's Quoin, and the land to the eastward of that Cape, the depths of water are from 40 to 50 fathoms, at 3 and 4 leagues distance from the shore.


THE SET OF THE CURRENT, round the Cape Bank, was first explained by Major

* It has been said, that soundings of 91 fathoms were got on the tail of the bank in lat. 38° 15′ S. lon. 20° 40′ E.; but it remains uncertain, if the bank really extends thus far south. The Warren, however, had ground 125 fathoms in lat. 36° 46′ S.

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Rennell, in 1777, who published a chart of the bank, exhibiting the direction of the current, and its velocity in the winter months.

Runs generally westward,

As he has observed, the current in general, is strongest during the winter months, but it is sometimes found in other months to run equally strong. It runs with the greatest velocity along the verge of soundings, and a little outside of them, the direction of the stream nearly all round, conforming to the outline of the bank. Far in upon it, near the land, the current is very weak, it is therefore advisable for all ships bound to the westward, to keep near the edge of the bank when they have contrary winds, that they may benefit by the current.*

Obstructed at times.

It produces a high sea.

Although a strong current sets round the Cape Bank to the westward, during both the winter and summer seasons, it is frequently obstructed by various causes, particularly with strong gales from the W. and S. Westward. When these blow, the current is sometimes completely repressed for a short time, but runs with redoubled strength immediately after, when these gales abate; at other times, it continues to run with considerable velocity against the strongest gales, producing a very high sea; but far in upon the bank, towards the land, where the current is generally weak, the sea is always more smooth, and the winds more moderate.

Eastern limit of the current.

Direction and velocity.

Ships coming from the eastward, begin to experience the Cape Current when they approach the eastern verge of the bank in lon. 28° E. to the eastward of Algoa Bay; sometimes it prevails much farther to the eastward, and along the coast of Africa, a considerable way to the N. Eastward. Bound from Bombay to London, in the Anna, we began to experience the westerly current, July 28th, 1801, in lat. 30½° S. lon. 37° E. On this day it set W. 38 miles by chronometers; on the subsequent day, W. 35 miles; July 30th, it set W. 16° S. 48 miles; on the 31st, it set W. 12° S. 77 miles; lat. at noon 32½° S. lon. 31° 40′ E.; during this time, the winds were light at S. E. and Eastward. August 1st, the current was checked by a strong gale, veering from N. E. to N. W. and W. S. W.; on the 2d and 3d, had a set of 30 miles to the westward each day, saw the land near Cape Recife on the 3d; from hence had the winds variable with two gales at westward, till we got round the Cape of Good Hope on the 13th, in which time the current set generally 15 or 20 miles to the westward daily, and on one day 45 miles in this direction. During the westerly gales, the current was completely checked, and by the force of these winds, it sometimes set eastward. From China, bound to London, in the same ship, we got into the stream of the Cape current April 21st, 1799; on the preceding day, the noon lat. was 35° 11′ S. lon. 27° 59′ E. had no current; on the 21st, lat. 35° 3′ S. lon. 26° 52′ E. the current had set W. 32° S. 27 miles by chronometers; from noon 21st to noon 22d it set W. 19° S. 52 miles, lat. 35° 13′ S. lon. 25° 5′ E. at noon 22d, light winds from westward; from the 22d to 23d, the current set W. 36° S. 87 miles, being above 3½ miles an hour, lat. 35° 56′ S. lon. 22° 51′ E. on the 23d at noon. By the strength of the current this day, the ship was greatly agitated, the sea it produced rising in confused heaps, although the breeze was moderate at W. N. Westward. Noon the 24th, lat. 35° 30′ S. lon. 18° 58′ E. the current having set W. 19° S. 32 miles; at noon 25th, abreast of Cape False, this day no westerly current, but a set of 9 miles northward.

The Arniston and fleet saw the land, May 28th at noon, 1805, in lat. 30° 57′ S. lon. 31° 0′ E., and until the 29th, at 5 P. M. At noon, 29th, lat. 32° 25′ S. lon. 30° 0′ E., the current set S. 38° W., 88 miles from noon 28th. At noon 30th, lat 34° 14′ S. lon. 27° 46′ E., current set W. 14° S. 44 miles from 29th. Noon 31st, observed lat. 34° 21′ S. lon. 26° 36′ E., current W. 22° S. 65 miles from preceding noon. Noon 1st June, lat. 34° 53′ S.

* But they ought not to stand too far to the southward beyond the verge of soundings, where they will be subject to violent gales from the westward in the winter months, outside the stream of the current; and may perhaps get disabled, and be obliged to bear away for St. Augustine's Bay, or Port Louis to refit, which has happened to many ships.

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lon. 25° 15′ E., current set W. 16° S., 66 miles from the preceding noon. Noon 2d, lat. 36° 12′ S. lon. 22° 36′ E., current set S. 40° W. 74 miles from noon preceding. Noon, 3d June, lat. 36° 23′ S. lon. 21° 42′ E. by chronometers, current set S. 35° W. 27 miles from noon 2d. When more to the westward, lost the current.

The abstracts here adduced, are to shew the general direction and velocity of the current, in its course round the edge of the Bank. Although it may at a medium rate, be taken at less than mentioned above, yet at some particular times, the velocity of this stream seems to be greater than exhibited in these abstracts, as appears by the Northampton's journal, and those of some other ships.

Singular instance of its strength.

Northampton, Dec. 23d, 1802, at 9 A. M., saw the Coast of Africa bearing N., about 25 leagues. At noon, lat. 35° 0′ S. lon. by chronometers 24° 54′ E. Dec. 24th, variable light airs, and a very confused swell, which makes the ship very uneasy. Find we have had a current of 47 miles to the southward, and 160 miles to the westward by chronometers, these 24 hours. Lat. observed at noon 36° 33′ S. lon. by chronometers 21° 53′ E., which gives the direction of the current W. 20° S. velocity 139 miles, or 5½ miles per hour.

It is difficult to assent to a current of such velocity as this, although it may be possible, for constant gales from westward prevailed along the Bank during the first and middle parts of the month, which prevented the ships bound round the Cape from making any progress, until these winds abated about the 20th December. It is therefore probable, that the current at this time, began to set very strong to the westward along the Bank, as it had been repressed a considerable time by the strong westerly gales.

The general course of the current round the Cape Bank, appears to be comfortable to the following description.

In June, July, and August, from about lon. 37° or 40° E. the current generally sets westward, between lat. 30° and 35° S., till it reaches the eastern part of the Cape Bank, off Algoa Bay.

General Direction.

On the coast of Natal, it sets along shore to S. Westward, till joined by the oceanic stream, on the edge of the Bank, in lon. 27½° or 28° E. between Algoa Bay and Infanta River. After the junction, it increases in strength abreast of Cape Recife, the south extreme of Algoa Bay, and takes the direction of the outline of the Bank, which is about W. by S. nearly, to about lon. 23½° W. In this space, it often diverges a little from the outline of the Bank, setting W. by S. ½ S. or W. S. W.; but seldom or ever to the northward of West. In lon. 23½° E. the edge of the Bank begins to take a S. Westerly direction, soon after about S. S. W. ½ W., nearly to its southern extremity. Here also the current follows its concave outline, taking a S. Westerly course in lon. 24° E., and from 23° E. it generally sets about S. W. by S. to the southern extremity of the Bank, in lon 21¾° or 22° E. The velocity of the current is greatest from lon. 25° to 22° E., along that part of the Bank which takes the most southerly direction. At the southern extremity of the Bank, it seldom runs strong* beyond lat. 36½° S. or to the westward of lon. 21° E. From hence, a part of it seems to set weakly to the westward, and is lost in the ocean; but the strongest part follows the convex extremity of the Bank, and continues to set along the western edge of it to the N. Westward, directly towards Cape Good Hope. This N. Westerly current, seldom exceeds half the velocity of that setting to the S. Westward, on the other side of the Bank.

Contra, or easterly current

AN EASTERLY, OR CONTRA CURRENT, often prevails outside of the regular stream that sets along the edge of the Bank to the westward. This easterly current is frequently experienced in lat. 36½° to 40° S., about 2 degrees from the eastern part of the

* Keeping nearly in lat. 36° S. outward-bound in June, 1802, the wind strong at westward, we had a very weak current against us in passing the Bank of Aguilhas, only from 10 to 20 miles per day.


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Bank contiguous to Algoa Bay, between lon. 26° and 30° E.; and it sometimes extends to lat. 36° or 35½° S. within about 20 leagues of the Bank.

From the 17th to the 20th April, 1799, we had in the Anna, a strong current to the S. E. in lat. 36° S. lon. 27° and 28° E.; and did not perceive any set to the westward, until in lat. 35° S., then near the verge of soundings.

In July, 1792, the Thetis was in 24 hours set 38 miles to the eastward by a current, in lat. 36½° S. lon. 28½° E. This ship had, in the same latitude and longitude, a stronger current to the eastward, in the voyage preceding; and also on her first voyage, a little farther to the southward, in the same longitude. The sea was much agitated at these times.

Nov. 28th, 1800, at noon, the Sir Edward Hughes was in lat. 39½° S.: on the subsequent noon in lat. 38¾° S. lon. 26° E.; the current having set N. N. E. ¼ E. 54 miles during the 24 hours.

In Feb. 1798, we kept mostly in 40° and 41° S., from the meridian of Cape Aguilhas to the meridian of the S. W. part of Madagascar; had in general a daily set of from 20 to 30 miles eastward; and at two different times, 60 miles in 24 hours. From the meridian of Cape Aguilhas, to the meridian of Cape St. Mary, we had 4° of easterly current in 10 days, with variable winds from every quarter, but strongest from westward.



Periodical winds.

From May to Sept. westerly winds blow strong.

Ships bound to the westward in this season should be in good condition.

FROM September to April, which is the summer season, the S. E. winds are said to predominate in the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope, and N. W. and Westerly winds from April to October, which is the winter or stormy season. But it must be observed, that the S. E. winds are more constant on, and near the Bank of Aguilhas, during part of January, the whole of February and March, than at any other time of the year. In April, also, they are expected, though in this month, short gales from the westward frequently happen. In May, the winds between N. W. and S. W. prevail more than the S. E. and Easterly winds, sometimes blowing in hard gales along the edge of the Bank. In June, these westerly and N. W. winds set in strong: during this month, July, and August, they blow with greatest force, producing very high seas, and were it not for the help of the westerly current setting along the edge of the Bank, ships would find it very difficult to get round the Cape in these months. All ships from India, which on their passage to Europe, reach the eastern part of the Cape Bank from April to September, should be in good condition if possible, and well prepared to resist bad weather; for they will be liable to encounter storms from W. N. W. to W. S. W., which may continue two or three days at a time, with short intervals of easterly and variable winds. Many ships by not being in condition to resist these gales, have sprung leaks, and were obliged to bear away for St. Augustine's Bay, in Madagascar, to repair their damages;* some have anchored in the Bays to the eastward of the Cape in great distress; others have reached Simon's Bay with much difficulty, where they repaired their damages, and refreshed their crews, worn out with fatigue.

Westerly gales in August not so constant as in the preceding month.

In August, the westerly winds blow not so constant as in June and July, although very hard gales of short duration may be expected. On the 4th of August, 1801, we were in

* Several ships have perished in these gales:—the Princess of Wales, with her crew and passengers, in a fleet homeward-bound from India, also the Ganges, and probably the Skelton Castle, the William Pitt, the United Kingdom, and other ships.

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But happen also in the subsequent months.

the Anna, near the eastern part of the Bank abreast of Algoa Bay, and got round the Cape of Good Hope on the 14th, having encountered a very severe storm of two days continuance from W. N. W. and W., in lon. 24° E. Westerly winds are also frequent in September, October, and November; and even in December, ships have been beating round the Bank against westerly winds during the whole month, before doubling the Cape. They had sometimes very severe sudden squalls; but in general, westerly gales are of short duration in this season, although they may blow very strong.

Ships sometimes get speedily round the Cape in the winter months.

Notwithstanding what has been mentioned above relative to winds, it sometimes happens, that ships get easily round the Cape Bank to the westward in every month of the year: many have been known to get round in May, June, July, and August, more speedily than others in November and December; for the winds are often different in one season, from what they are in another, even in the same month.

The winds revolve with the course of the sun;

But are very mutable.

Around the Cape Bank, as in the open sea far to the S. W., S. E., and southward of the Cape, the winds in changing, follow the course of the sun, seldom veering from N. to Eastward, &c.; but mostly from N. W. to W., S. W. and Southward. After blowing strong from N. W. or W. if the wind veer to S. W. and Southward, it becomes light, or is succeeded by a calm. If a light breeze continue, it veers to S. Eastward, where it may keep fixed for a considerable time, but not above a day most probably, if it be the winter season. From S. E. it veers to E. and N. E. then to N. N. E. and N. In the vicinity of the Bank, the N. E. and Northerly winds are very transitory, but in lat. 39° and 41° S. from the meridian of Cape Aguilhas to lon. 45° or 50° E. the N. N. Easterly winds frequently are experienced in both seasons, which sometimes blow steady for a day or two at a time.

Indications of westerly gales.

There are sometimes N. W. or Westerly gales, near, and upon the Cape Bank, which blow very hard with a clear sky, but those most to be dreaded are generally preceded by heavy black clouds rising from the N. W. and Westward, with sometimes lightning issuing from them, or a noise of distant thunder; shortly after, the gale may be expected to commence by sudden gusts*, or whirlwinds from the heavy dense clouds.

Cautions of the Dutch.

When the wind at S. E. or E. S. E. shifted to N. Eastward, the Dutch commanders were directed by the company to take in the mainsail. If lightning appeared in the N. W. quarter, they were to wear and shorten sail; for in the first case, they expected a hard gale at N. W.; and if lightning was seen in that direction, they thought the gale would commence in the sudden shift, or whirlwind, which might be fatal if they were taken aback.

The marine barometer essential for anticipating storms.

I have found the Marine Barometer of great utility, in anticipating the storms near the Cape Bank, by a considerable fall of the mercury. A careful attention to this instrument, combined with the knowledge, every navigator ought to obtain by observing the appearance of the atmosphere, and surface of the sea, or celestial orbs, will be sufficient to warn him of the approach of the storms. Although a fall of the mercury, generally precedes a gale of wind in these latitudes, it is seldom disturbed by hard squalls of short duration.

Mercury rises with southerly, and falls with northearly winds, in the southern hemisphere.

In the vicinity of the Cape Bank, and in most parts of the southern hemisphere, the mercury rises with southerly, and falls with northerly winds; these proceeding from a warmer atmosphere are more rarefied, consequently the mercury falls in the barometer, whereas southerly winds coming from the frozen regions near the pole, are more dense, and cause the mercury to rise. This ought to be kept in remembrance; for I have several times when the wind was from south-east, observed the mercury to fall considerably before it changed to the northward, and expected a gale, but the fall resulted only from the warmer air coming in contact with, and repelling the former.

Hard gales happen to the eastward of the Cape Bank, with dangerous lightning and thunder.

From the Cape Bank to the meridian of the south-end of Madagascar, hard gales of wind happen in the winter season, accompanied with lightning, thunder, and much rain; which sometimes prove very dangerous to ships, particularly near the land.

* And sometimes heavy showers of hail.

N 2

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The Britannia, and Bombay Castle, homeward-bound at different seasons, were struck by lightning off the Cape; the latter ship was near the land at Algoa Bay, in company with a fleet. These ships had each her foremast set on fire by the lightning, which penetrated from the head to the centre, bursting out in that part, and could not be got under: the Britannia was laying to, at the time, in a storm. Both ships were fortunately saved by cutting away their foremasts, which fell clear of them in a body of fire.*

Many oceanic birds are seen before, and during the storms.

In the storms off the Cape Bank, and to the eastward, the sea is turbulent, and they are generally accompanied with a black overcast sky. When they are about to commence, and during their continuance, numbers of albatros, peterels, and other oceanic birds, are seen flying about; although in moderate weather, few are perceived, for at this time they rest on the surface of the sea to fish, which they cannot do in a storm.

Telemaque Shoal very doubtful.

TELEMAQUE DOUBTFUL SHOAL, said to have been discovered by Capt. Geraud, on the 22d January, 1786, in the French brigantine, Telemaque, bound to Madras, who, with his passengers, were firmly of opinion, that they had passed over a dangerous coral shoal of great extent, having apparently not more than 2 fathoms on some parts of the rocks; but they did not sound, owing to the anxiety of considering themselves in imminent danger at the time.

This supposed danger, they made in lat. 38° 11′ S. lon. 21° 57′ E. by account; but its corrected situation was supposed to be lat. 38° 50′ S. lon. 22° 2′ East of London.

The following discordant positions have been assigned to the Telemaque Shoal, by different ships which have passed in sight of apparent dangers, since the existence of that shoal was first reported.

Discoloured water in lat. 39° 9′ S. lon. 23° 24′ E. seen by the Crown Prince Frederick, in 1796.

Discoloured water extending as far as the eye could reach, in lat. 38° 5′ S. lon. 22° 58½′ E. seen by the American ship, Pallas, in January, 1807.

This apparent danger seems also to have been seen by the brig Macedon, in May, 1816, who made it in lat. 38° 0′ S. lon. 22° 54½′ E. by sun and moon; it appeared to consist of several patches of breakers, one of which seemed extensive, and soundings of 90 to 40 fathoms were said to have been obtained when near them.

It is satisfactory for navigators to know, that they have no longer any cause to apprehend danger on the supposed Telemaque Shoal, for although it is said to have been seen by several ships, as stated above, H. M. S. Heron, Capt. Hanmer, has recently been employed in endeavouring to discover this shoal; and its non-existence has been published in the Government Gazette at the Cape of Good Hope, in a letter from Capt. Hanmer, to Capt. F. Moresby, senior officer there at the time of the Heron's return.

Appearance of an extensive shoal in lat. 33° 56′ S. lon. 36° E., no part of it above water, seen by the Otter, sloop of war, in November, 1810.

The Brunswick thought soundings of 85 or 95 fathoms were struck in lat. 37° 20′ to 37° 30′ S. lon. 36° 19′ E.

A rock 20 yards in length, and 6 feet above water, surrounded by a sand-bank, with breakers, as far as the eye could discern from the top-mast-head, in lat. 35° 23′ S. lon. 41° 29′ E. by chronometer, and 41° 12′ E. by lunar observations; was supposed to have been seen in the American ship, Union, in July, 1812.

* The Thames, a small ship from Bengal, was near the edge of the bank, in lat. 35° 15′ S. lon. 25° E., Nov. 30th, 1801. She had then strong gales at westward, hard squalls, hail showers, a high sea, and much lightning all round. At 7 A. M. with a sudden explosion, several fire-balls were seen to strike the ship, when sending down top-gallant yards. Two men were thrown from the main-top-mast head into the sea, and perished: one thrown from the main-top on deck, and two much scorched in the top. One was killed in the fore-top by the lightning, and one man much scorched on deck; the fore-topsail yard, it also set on fire. Hail showers, and hard squalls at the time.

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A Dutch officer, in October, 1795, stated that he had discovered a shoal in lat. 31° 44′ S. lon. 44° E. by estimation, upon which he had soundings, the sea running high and confused; and the water appeared shoal, with breakers to the northward.

Soundings thought to have been struck in H. M. S. Belliqueux, August, 1801, ground 80, then 132 fathoms, in lat. 28° 43′ S. lon. 42° 50′ E. by , and 42° 26′ E. by mean of seven ship's chronometers. Three ships of the fleet sounded at the time, but got no ground at 110, 150, and 170 fathoms.

A high rock 26 feet above water, with another rock just above the surface of the sea, about ½ a mile to the westward of it, and the appearance of shoal water extending to the E. S. E., as far as the eye could reach from the mast-head, were thought to have been seen by the Swallow, in 1815: when at 3 miles distance, had no ground 120 fathoms. By chronometers and lunar observations nearly corresponding, these apparent dangers are in lat. 28° 20′ S. lon. 42° 13′ E.

A shoal in lat. 37° S. lon. about 52° E. is said to have been seen by the American brig, Atalanta. This shoal is also said to have been seen by the Dutch ship, Samarang, in August, 1818, and stated to be an extensive reef under water, with some pointed rocks above the surface of the sea on its western part, situated in lat. 36° 44′ S. lon. 51° 52′ E.

Doubtful Slot Van Capelle Shoal.

The Slot Van Capelle Shoal, or Dutch Shoal, said to have been seen by Capt. Jacob Bows in the ship of this name in 1746, with breakers on it, and soundings of 62 fathoms grey sand to the S. W. about 4 or 5 leagues, has had various situations assigned to it, viz. lat. 38° 24′ S. lon. 38° 50′ E., lat. 37° 24′ S. lon. 38° 50′ E., lat. 38° 20′ S. lon. 43° 30′ E. lat. 36° or 36½° S. lon. 41° E., and lat. 40° S. lon. 43° 30′ E.

The last situation but one, viz. lat. 36½° S. lon. 41° E. assigned to the Slot Von Capelle Shoal, nearly corresponds with the following account transcribed by me from the journal of Capt. William Bennett, who was an officer in the ship Atomatia, when she got soundings, apparently, on that shoal.

"May 16th, 1801, strong W. N. W. winds, steering east at the rate of 10 and 11 knots, came suddenly into a smooth sea at 10 P. M., and supposing we were in soundings, hove to, got ground 82 fathoms, small glittering shells and grey sand. Steered east by compass 4½ miles, and at ½ past 10 sounded again in 62 fathoms, small white shells and sand, with black specks. Steered 5 miles N. E. by compass, and at ½ past 11 P. M. again sounded with 120 fathoms line, but got no bottom. We supposed ourselves to be on the Dutch bank."

At noon the observed lat. was 36° 11′ S., from which time, computing the run back to ½ past 10 P. M. when they sounded in 62 fathoms, would place that part of the bank in lat. 36° 30′ S. or 36° 35′ S. and in lon. 43° 43′ E. by dead reckoning, carried on from the Island Trinidad, seen on the 21st of April. But they had an observation of the sun and moon for the longitude on the 6th of May, from which, computing the run to the 16th at ½ past 10 P. M. will place that part of the bank thought to have 62 fathoms on it, in lon.* 41° 8′ E. or 2° 35′ West of its situation by account from Trinidad.

Notwithstanding the above account, the existence of the Slot Van Capelle Shoal seems still very doubtful.

French shoal doubtful.

A French ship is said to have passed close to breakers in lat. 38° 8′ S. lon. 43° 6′ E. of London by account, on her passage from Marseilles to the Island Mauritius, in 1788.

Spots of discoloured water were seen in the ship Wellington, 9th January, 1817, in lat. 39° 53′ S. lon. 71° 43′ E. with apparently 8 to 10, or 12 fathoms water over them, resembling coral shoals; she sailed 7 miles among these patches, which were separated from each other about one or two hundred yards, and none of them appeared above 60 or 70 yards in dia-

* This is nearly the longitude of the shoal said to have been seen by the Union as stated above, but upward of a degree farther to the south.

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meter. She did not sound, as it blew a gale whilst running through amongst these patches, with an officer on the topsail-yard to direct the course; afterward she got into clear water, and soon lost sight of them.

There is great probability, that the exuviæ of fish, patches and beds of spawn, dead whales, or part of the wrecks of ships, which are not unfrequently seen floating on the sea in these latitudes, during the summer months, have been mistaken at times for banks, shoals, or rocks near the water's edge; for some of these patches are of a reddish† or brown colour, others resemble saw-dust, and might easily be mistaken for sand-banks. The supposed rock seen by the American ship, Union, also those seen by the Swallow, might probably have been a dead whale, surrounded by a bed of fish-spawn resembling a sand-bank, with ripplings like breakers extending from it, occasioned by a collision of currents, which phenomenon has deceived many navigators. It may, however, be prudent to keep a good look out, when near any of the situations described above, although the existence of most, or all of these dangers, appears to be very doubtful.

Fishes of uncommon size seen at times in the Southern Ocean, may be mistaken for dangers, which happened to the ship Hercules, in June, 1816, as may be perceived by the following extract from her journal.

At 2½ P. M. the man at the mast-head said he saw a rock on the larboard bow, which was thought to be the Slot Van Capelle Shoal, as we were looking out for it; the weather being fine, steered towards it to have a good view. About 2¾ P. M. another was seen about 2 miles on the starboard bow, and we appeared to be passing between them; shortly afterward, to our astonishment, saw one right a-head not far from us, and while in the act of hauling away from it, we observed it disappear suddenly, shewing an immense fish's tail as it descended below the surface of the sea. The ship no doubt had disturbed it, as it lay without motion before we got close, the sea then making a small break on the head or fore part of the body of the animal, which was about 16 feet above water, and about 30 feet in circumference, of a white grey colour, covered with a mixture of barnacle, sea-weed, &c. like a wreck that had been long in the water. The length could not be determined, but it must have been great, by the appearance of the discoloured water over the animal. If we had not got suddenly close to it, should positively have declared that we had seen rocks above water about a mile distant from each other, as these huge animals lay without motion, part of them about 16 feet above water, and the sea breaking upon them.

It is much to be regretted, that modern navigators have reported so many dangers to the southward and eastward of Cape Aguilhas, without having examined any of them, leaving their existence in great doubt. Whereas, in none of the Journals of the Company's Ships, during the 17th and great part of the 18th century, is there any notice of dangers supposed to exist in those seas.

Ice Islands.

ICE ISLANDS, have sometimes been mistaken for land by ships which have proceeded far to the southward; such probably are Denia and Marseveen, two small islands placed near each other in some old charts in lat. 41° S. lon. 21° 30′ E., but ships now seldom steer so far south as to meet with Ice Islands.

Ships should not go too far south.

Proceeding toward India in the Carron, in Feb. 1798, we went into lat. 42½° S. in search of westerly winds, where the atmosphere became very cold, with almost constant fogs and sleet, the sea being covered with snow peterels, indicating that we were not far from ice; we were therefore glad to return into lat. 40° and 39½° S. where we got speedily to the eastward.

Ships bound to New South Wales, should be careful not to proceed too far south, in run-

† When the water in some of these reddish patches is taken up and examined by the microscope, it is sometimes found to contain minute cray fish and other young fry.

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ning down their easting, particularly at the beginning of summer, for H. M. ship Guardian, bound outward with stores, struck against an ice island in a dark night in lat. 46° or 47° S. She soon after nearly filled with water, and the chief part of the crew left her in the boats; but Capt. Riou, and a few of the people, remained in the ship, and suffered great hardships, as she continued nearly full of water, and was tossed about a considerable time without a rudder, till at last a French frigate discovered them, and towed her into Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope, where she was wrecked, by driving on the shore with several other ships in a storm.



Bouvet's Island.

BOUVET'S ISLAND, OR CIRCUMCISION, was seen in 1808, by the Swan and Otter, at different times, both vessels belonging to Messrs. Enderby, employed in the Southern Fishery.

The Swan, Capt. Lindsay, on the 6th of October, 1808, discovered high land, and from this time till the 11th, they made every effort to get close to it, without being able to get nearer the land than 3 miles, on account of a mass of solid ice surrounding it, and the land itself was covered with snow.

Their situation was rendered very perilous at times, being beset with loose masses and islands of ice, in dark blowing weather, which forced them to depart from this inhospitable place on the 11th of October.

Geo. Site.

The observations taken in the Swan make this island in lat. 54° 16′ S. lon. 6° 14′ E.; it appeared about 5 miles in extent east and west, and the west end, which is very high land, Capt. Lindsay called DALRYMPLE'S HEAD. This must be the Cape Circumcision of Mons. Bouvet, discovered by him on the 1st January, 1739, who placed it in lat. 54° 8′ S. lon. 11° 10′ E. Capt. James Cook, could not find this land, although he got into its parallel of latitude considerably to the westward of the meridian assigned to it by Bouvet, and he appears to have passed about 6 or 8 leagues to the southward of its situation as determined by Capt. Lindsay. Our celebrated circumnavigator, was therefore of opinion, that Mons. Bouvet had mistaken ice islands for land, but the existence of the Island of Circumcision, seems now proved beyond all doubt.

Although the Swan was prevented by the ice from approaching close to it in October, this might probably be effected in January or February.

Prince Edward's Islands.

Geo. Site.

PRINCE EDWARD'S ISLANDS, two in number, were named by Capt. Cook, who passed through the channel between them in December, 1776, and found it about 5 leagues broad, and very safe. These islands are high, and were then covered with snow, and the largest was thought to be about 15 leagues in circuit, the body of it being in lat. 46° 53′ S. lon. 37° 46′ E.; the other in lat. 46° 40′ S. lon. 38° 6′ E. and about 9 leagues in circuit.

Crozet's Islands.

CROZET'S ISLANDS, four in number, were discovered by the French navigators Marione du Fresne, and Crozet, in 1772, but their true geographical situations are not yet determined. They are said to lie from 9° to 12° to the east of Prince Edward's Islands, the N. Westernmost being nearly in the parallel of the southern Prince Edward's Island; and

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the two easternmost islands lie a little more to the south, and farther to the eastward. These, and Prince Edward's Islands, are sometimes visited by the southern fishers, in search of seals or sea elephants, but as they appear to be destitute of any harbour or places of shelter, the landing difficult, and the weather often tempestuous, they present an unfavourable aspect for commerce.

Kerguelen's Island.

KERGUELEN'S ISLAND, discovered by the French Navigator of this name, (called DESOLATION, by Captain Cook,) is the largest of those situated in this part of the southern ocean, and it is frequented by English and American fishers, several of whom, remain many months there, preparing seal skins and oil, which they collect from the numerous herds of seals, and sea elephants, that bask on the shores of this island.

Geo. Site.

Bligh's Cap.

Cape Louis, the western extremity, is in lat. 49° 3′ S. lon. 68° 20′ E.; Cape Digby, the east point, in lat. 49° 23′ S. lon. 70° 33′ E.; Cape George, the southern extremity, in lat. about 50° S. lon. 70° 10′ E.; and Cape François, the northern promontory of the island, is in lat. 48° 40′ S. lon. 69° 4′ E. This Cape forms the north side of Christmas Harbour, which has 45 fathoms water at the entrance, 16 fathoms farther in, and near the bottom of it, good anchorage in 8 fathoms black sand, where ships are sheltered from all winds, the harbour being only open to two points of the compass, and these covered by the islands in the offing. The south point terminates in a high rock, perforated like the arch of a bridge, which is a good mark for distinguishing this harbour. There are several bays on the coasts of Kerguelen's Island, with many rocky shoals and islets, which render the approach to the shore dangerous in some places. And at a small distance from the N. W. extremity, lies a group of small isles, the northernmost of which, called Bligh's Cap, is a high barren rock, situated in lat. 48° 29′ S. lon. 68° 40′ E. The tides are considerable here.

Island St. Paul.

ST. PAUL, is the southernmost of two islands, situated nearly on the same meridian, distant from each other about 17 leagues; the Dutch Navigator, Vlaming, who examined these islands in 1697, called the northernmost Amsterdam, and the other St. Paulo, which is better known, and more accessible than the former; and may be seen about 20 leagues distance in clear weather. It extends about 8 or 10 miles N. W. and S. E. and is about 5 miles in breadth, having a level aspect, and sloping down at each extremity when bearing to the N. E.


On the east side of the island, there is an inlet to a circular basin, through which the sea ebbs and flows over a causeway at its entrance. A head-land appears on each side the entrance, and a rock 80 or 90 feet high, resembling a nine-pin or sugar-loaf, stands at a small distance from the shore on the northern side. Abreast of the bason, there is good anchorage in 21 or 23 fathoms black sand, like wet gun-powder, about a mile from the shore, where ships are sheltered from westerly winds. This is the only safe anchorage; in other parts, the bottom being rocky, with deep water near the shore; and from the western extremity of the island, a reef on which the sea breaks, projects out to a considerable distance.

One of the vessels that frequent this island for the seal fishery, was driven on shore from her anchors, and wrecked, by a sudden shift of wind; ships, therefore, ought to avoid this anchorage, if there be the least indication of an easterly wind.

Mr. J. H. Cox, in the ship Gustavus, on the 30th of May 1789, anchored here in 20 fathoms black sand, with the S. E. point of the island S. W. by S. (compass bearing) distant 2 miles, the N. E. point N. ½ W. 2 miles, entrance into the bason W. by N. 1¼ mile, sugar-loaf W. N. W. 1 mile, which was nearly in the spot where Vlaming anchored in 1697.

With some difficulty the cutter got over the bar of the entrance into the lagoon, as the tide was running out of it about 2½ knots, being then ½ ebb. Long coarse grass obstructed their ascent to the top of the hill, in order to look for fresh water, where it was thought

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Vlaming found it; but although fresh water had been discovered there, it would have been very difficult if not impracticable to have watered the ship; for present expenditure, it might however be valuable, to any vessel that intended to remain at the island for a considerable time.


Hot Springs.

In rowing round the bason, smoke was observed to issue from several places among the stones close to its verge, and a pocket thermometer which stood at 62° in the open air, rose to 190° when immersed in the water, and then in about a minute fell to 185°; and this was found to take place in several of the hot springs, at different parts of the bason. Sometimes in the same hole, the thermometer fell from 185° to 182°, and rose again to 187° or 188°. Our people who were on shore sealing, constantly boiled their dinner of fish in some of these springs, which are in all parts close to the bason, mixing with its waters in some places, and heating them to a considerable extent. And as the bason abounds with fish, and no art required to catch them, one of the boys, in five minutes, caught a sufficiency for our whole party to eat, so that, as Vlaming says, you may really throw the fish fastenend on the hook, out of the cold into the hot water, and boil them.

June 1st.—The weather being clear at day-break, saw from our anchorage the Island Amsterdam, bearing by compass from N. 10° E. to N. 22° E.

June 5th, P. M. blowing hard from N. E. with a great swell, we resolved to put to sea, and run under lee of the island; at 5, got a spring on our cable to cast, cut it close to the splice, and went to sea.

The anchorage unsafe in blowing weather.

We lay in a good birth to clear the island on either side, but it would be safer for a large ship to lie about two cables lengths farther to the eastward, and at the appearance of blowing weather from this direction, to put to sea immediately, and run to leeward of the island, where smooth water will be found: and as the easterly wind is never of long continuance, she would soon regain the anchorage.

There is not a shrub on the island, coarse grass and reeds being the only verdure seen: a sort of turf composed of the decayed fibres of the grass and reeds, burnt very well.

During our short stay here, we killed 1200 seals: many whales were constantly playing about the ship, said to be of the spermaceti kind, by several of our people who had been in Greenland.

Abundance of fish.

In the bason, we caught bream, some red perch, and a fish resembling a tench. Those caught on board were generally a sort of bream, striped like a mackarel; of these, so many were caught the first day, that besides salting and pickling several barrels, we threw some hundreds over board. The instant fish are caught, they should be gutted and salted: if exposed to rain before they are salted and packed, they will perish, as we experienced to our cost.

The ship Clyde, Capt. Blair, in October, 1820, procured vegetables here, which had been planted near the basin, by a Frenchman, with four slaves under him, who cure fish for a vessel which transports them annually to the Island Mauritius. To the southward of the entrance of the basin, 1½ mile, in 23 fathoms water, two boats caught about five tons of fish in a few hours, a species of excellent cod, which were served to the crew and troops on board the Clyde.

Vlaming's description of the bason.

Vlaming says, "near the right road is a salt water pond, whereto the seals go over the rock that separates it from the sea, about 20 paces. This pond is shaped like a half-moon, and about pistol shot long." But this pond is now a large bason, at least 2½ miles in circuit, forming almost a complete circle; it is therefore probable, that since his time, the sea has formed the present channel into it, and enlarged it to its present size.

Hindostan's description.

The Hindostan anchored here in 1793, about 1¼ mile east from the entrance of the bason, when bound out with the embassy to China. On examination, the bason was found to be the crater of a volcano, its circumference at the water's edge being 2980 yards, or nearly 1¾ mile. By taking the perpendicular height of the surrounding sides at 700 feet, and the


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angle of their inclination at 65°, the circumference of the crater will be 2 miles and 160 yards. The depth of water 29 fathoms, or 174 feet, added to the average height of 700 feet, will make the whole depth of the crater 874 feet, and it is a pretty regular ellipsis.

The entrance into the bason, is about 25 yards wide, formed by two narrow causeway or ridges of rocks, that run out from two peaks, which terminate the sides of the crater, one on each side; that on the right is 743 feet high, and at its foot, on the causeway, there is a hot spring, where the thermometer stood at 212°, at which were boiled some fish; and this is the general standard of heat at all the springs round the water's edge. From the ship at anchor, fire was seen to issue from various crevices on the island during the night, it being fraught with subterraneous fire.

Tides, &c.

From the north, and from the west points of the island, breakers project about ¼ of a mile into the sea. The tide rises about 3 feet, high water at full and change of the moon about 11 o'clock.


Geo. Site.

Sealers who have resided on this island, state the weather to be fine in summer, but stormy in winter, whirlwinds sometimes tearing the water from the surface of the crater. Torrents of rain, which burst over the hills, pour down and form ravines in them. The variation here in 1747, was 17° 35′ W.; in 1764, it was 18° 45′ W.; in 1789, it was 19° 45′ W.; and it was 19° 50′ W. in the crater, in 1793. By good observations, the anchorage off the bason is in lat. 38° 42′ S., and the south end of the island in 38° 47′ S. The mean of ten ships observations by moon and chronometers, made it in lon. 77° 51′ E., and the fleet bound to China in 1804, under convoy of H. M. Ship Atheniene, hove to, under lee of it on the 11th of October, and by mean of nine ships observations by moon and chronometers, made it in lon. 77° 53′ E., the mean of which places St. Paul, in lon. 77° 52′ E.


Geo. Site.

AMSTERDAM ISLAND, situated on the same meridian as St. Paul, distant about 17 leagues from it, lies in about lat. 37° 52′ S., lon. 77° 52′ E.; being about 12 miles in circuit, and high land, it may be discerned 18 or 20 leagues in clear weather.


In 1697, Vlaming, the Dutch Navigator, anchored in 16 fathoms black sand, on a spot about a cannon-shot from the shore, at the south part of the island: they landed, but found no water, and the bushes and rushes on this side, made it difficult to penetrate into the interior. In 1770, the Morse sent her boat on shore, part of the crew landed with difficulty, and found the island covered with high grass and shrubs, but very little water could be discovered.

Admiral D'Entrecasteux, in passing this island 29th March, 1792, observed it to be all in a blaze, the smoke indicating vegetables on fire, which were probably set on fire by sealers, or by lightning; consequently, the vegetation on it may be now diminished. Some little rivulets were perceived on the S. E. side, and it was thought that the sloping of the mountains here, would afford an easy landing in favourable weather.

Strong westerly gales prevail near these islands in the winter months, with thick hazy weather, rendering caution necessary when they are approached. Although patches of seaweed extend to a considerable distance from them, yet these are not always observed in coming from the westward, particularly when the winds blow from this direction.

Passage from St. Paul to Bass' Strait.

THE PASSAGE from ST. PAUL, through BASS STRAIT, and round CAPE VAN DIEMEN, has sometimes been followed by ships which departed too late from England to pursue the common route for China, and instead of passing through any of the straits east of Java, as usual, when late in the season, they proceeded round New Holland by the route of the Pacific Ocean; which although circuitous, and ought not to be adopted under usual circumstances, yet some ships have made tolerable passages to China by this route.

The Walpole left the Cape of Good Hope 21st Sept. 1794, with a fleet, parted company 7th Oct. in lat. 39° 5′ S. lon. 61° 42′ E., rounded the south Cape of Van Diemen's Land

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Land 31st, passed to the east of New Caledonia, and reached Canton River, 5th January, 1795.

H. M. Ship Atheniene, with a fleet for China, passed St. Paul 11th Oct. 1804, entered Bass' Strait 28th, passed to the east of New Caledonia, and reached Pedro Branco on the coast of China, on the 28th December. Since the discovery of Bass' Strait, the passage through it is generally preferred to that round Van Diemen's Land, as it is equally safe, and greatly shortens the distance.

A ship having passed the Island St. Paul, and intending to pass through Bass' Strait, may get into lat. 39° or 39¼° S., then steer east on this parallel; as she advances, the variation will rapidly decrease; in about lon. 132° E. there will be none; and having advanced 1° or 2° more to the east, she will begin to have easterly variation; at King's Island, in the west entrance of Bass' Strait, it was 7° 38′ East, in 1807.

Cape Leeuwin, Geo. Site.

CAPE LEEUWIN, (Lioness) the S. W. extremity of New Holland, or Terra Australis, is in lat. 34° 22′ S. lon. 115° 6′ E. by Captain Flinders, who says, it appeared to be formed by islands adjoining to the main land.

On the N. W. side of this Cape, there is said to be an inlet or river, fronted by an island at the entrance, which obscures it from the view of a ship passing outside, but there is said to be a navigable passage on each side of the island leading into the river.*

There is a bay on the east side of the Cape, destitute of shelter, and thought to be dangerous. Soundings of 80 or 85 fathoms, are found about 9 or 10 leagues to the S. S. W. of this promontory.

Places of shelter.

The chief places of shelter on the south coast of Terra Australis, between Cape Leeuwin and Bass' Strait, where a ship might procure fresh water in case of necessity, are the following:—

King George's sound.

Geo. Site.

KING GEORGE'S SOUND, the entrance of which, is formed on the south side by Bald Head, situated in lat. 35° 6¼′ S. lon. 118° 1′ E., is well sheltered from all winds, but those from eastward. Fresh water is found near the anchorage on the south side of the sound; the approach to Bald Head may be known by the Eclipse Isles, which lie about 3 or 3½ leagues to the S. Westward. Oyster Harbour, and Princess Royal Harbour, at the bottom of the sound, are perfectly secure, but will admit only small vessels.

Port Lincoln. Geo. Site.

PORT LINCOLN, in lat. 34° 48′ S. lon. 135° 45′ E. about 7 leagues north from Cape Catastrophe, the south-west extremity of Spencer's Gulf, is a very secure harbour, discovered by Captain Flinders, in February, 1802, where fresh water is got by digging pits at the head of the port, or western extremity.

Nepean Bay. Geo. Site.

NEPEAN BAY, in lat. 35° 44′ S. lon. 37° 55′ E. at the N. E. part of Kanguroo Island, is sheltered from all winds but those from north: Captain Flinders seems not to have found any fresh water convenient for ships at this place, but plenty of Kanguroos were shot. The south and west coasts of Kanguroo Island were not explored, but the Investigator's Strait, formed between the north side of the island and Cape Spencer, is wide and safe; Back Stairs passage, is above 2 leagues wide, formed between the east end of the island and Cape Jervis, having some islets called the Pages at its entrance, but it affords a safe approach, and is the shortest route to Nepean Bay.

A small Island discovered.

Hammant's Island, was discovered by Capt. Hammant in the brig Endeavour, 6th July, 1817, at 7 A. M., which he made in lat. 36° 27′ S. lon. 127° 2′ E., and it appeared to be about 30 feet in height and 400 yards in circuit, with breakers bearing from it S. W. 3 miles,

* This account I received from Captain Scott and Mr. Wright after their return from Port Jackson.

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another breaker, N. W. by N. 6 miles, and a third breaker bearing from it N. E. by E. about 1 mile. Afterward, at 10 A. M. saw Kanguroo Island, distant about 7 leagues.

There appear to be no places of shelter between Kanguroo Island and Bass' Strait, and few parts of the coast afford any fresh water. Soundings extend a considerable way out, along the whole of the coast from Cape Leeuwin to Bass' Strait.

Geo. Site. of Cape Otway and King's Island.

CAPE OTWAY, in lat. 38° 53′ S. lon. 143° 30′ E. is a high promontory, bounding the west entrance of Bass' Strait on the north side, which is about 14 leagues wide between the Cape and north end of KING'S ISLAND, the latter being in lat. 39° 36′ S. lon. 143° 55′ E. A Reef projects from Cape Otway about a mile.

Harbinger's Reefs.

New Year's Isles, &c.

About 5 or 6 miles to the West and N. W. of the north point of King's Island, lie the Harbinger's Reefs, consisting of high breakers in patches, with a passage through between them, and another between them and the island. New Years' Isles are a little farther to the southward, fronting a bay on the N. W. side of King's Island, where vessels can anchor well sheltered from easterly winds; here the brig Harington rode close under New Year's Isles, during a gale at S. W.; but the best anchorage in westerly winds, is on the N. E. side of King's Island, in 10 or 12 fathoms sand, where there is a fresh water lake inland.

King's Island, is about 10 leagues in extent north and south, and 6 leagues from east to west, and may be seen 10 or 12 leagues. Sea-Elephant Bay, on the middle of the east side, and the Bay of Seals at the S. E. side of the island, also afford shelter from West and N. W. winds. The tide rises here 12 feet, high water about 3½ hours on full and change of the moon.

The channel between the south end of King's Island, and Hunter's Isles, fronting the N. W. end of Van Diemen's Land, may be adopted if necessary, but as REID'S ROCKS lie nearly in mid channel, and it seems not sufficiently explored, the north channel is preferable.

BELL'S ROCK, with the sea breaking over it, was discovered 13th Nov. 1824, by Capt. Bell, in the Minerva, who passed between it and Reid's Rocks, within a short ½ mile of the breakers. When on with the Black Pyramid, the breakers bore E. S. E. a short ½ mile distant, Reid's Rocks then bearing North about 5 or 6 miles; cloudy weather obscured King's Island at the time.

Wilson's Promontory. Geo. Site.

WILSON'S PROMONTORY, in lat. 39° 11′ S. lon. 146° 24′ East, projects nearly due south about 8 leagues from the low land of the main, forming the northern boundary of the east part of Bass' Strait, and may be seen 15 leagues. This is the southernmost land of Terra Australis, easily known by its height, and several groups of islets around. RODONDO, a white pyramidal rock, distant about 3 leagues, nearly due south from the promontory, and bearing E. ¾ N. true from the north part of King's Island, distant 37 leagues, may be be discerned 10 or 11 leagues. MONCUR'S ISLES, a small group, lie 2 leagues east of Rodondo, and HOGAN'S GROUP, lies east of Rodondo about 8 leagues, being in lon. 147° 2′ E., and are high islands.

Sir Roger Curtis' Isles.

Devil's Tower.

SIR ROGER CURTIS' ISLES, distant 39 or 40 leagues true east from the north end of King's Island, may be seen about 11 leagues off, the southernmost of them being two small and high peaked rocks, situated on the parallel of the north end of King's Island, but the northern island is much larger. DEVILS TOWER, lies about 2 or 3 leagues to the N. E. of the north, or largest isles of Sir Roger Curtis' Group; it is called, also, Fortification Isle.

Crocodile Rock.

CROCODILE ROCK, lies nearly in mid-channel, between Rodondo and Sir Roger Curtis' Isles, and is very dangerous. The Castle of Good Hope, Captain M'Askill, 7th February, 1803, running at the rate of 9 miles per hour, in order to get through Bass' Strait

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before night, saw when entering the channel between Sir Roger Curtis' Isles and Rodondo, breakers a-head very close; the helm was put down, sail instantly reduced, and the ship cleared the rock about ½ a cable's length, upon which the sea foamed with breakers. It appeared about 12 or 14 yards in extent where the sea broke, but has probably a greater base, and although a part of this rock is only 2 feet under water, the sea perhaps does not break on it at high tides when the weather is fine. From Rodondo, it bears about S. E. ½ E. by compass 7 miles, and from Sir Roger Curtis' Isles N. W. ¼ W., distant about 11 miles, and it is steep to. Captain Park, of the Cato, 3d April, 1803, saw also the Crocodile Rock, and passed within a mile of it, in 45 fathoms water, the sea then breaking high upon it: he states, that it bears S. E. by E. 2½ leagues from the Round Island or Rodondo, and 5 leagues S. E. by S. from Wilson's Promontory.

Kent's Groups, Geo. Site.

KENT'S GROUPS, in lat. 39° 29′ S. lon. 147° 17′ E. (the body) bearing true east from Sir Roger Curtis' Isles, distant about 9 or 10 leagues, consist of two detached groups, the smaller lying about 2½ or 3 leagues to the W. S. W. of the largest isles, one of them being of a remarkable form, and called Judgment Rock. All these isles are steep, rocky, and barren, and the two largest may be seen at 10 or 12 leagues distance, between which, there is a safe channel, where small vessels might be sheltered from easterly or westerly winds, in two small coves, with sandy beaches at their head. The large isles have also a safe channel between them and the small group to the westward.


Wright's Rock.

Craggy Island.

THE PYRAMID, in lat. 39° 48′ S. is a high rock, bearing true S. by W. from the body of Kent's Group, distant about 5½ or 6 leagues; another rocky islet, called sometimes Wright's Rock, lies about 4 or 5 leagues to the S. E. of Kent's Group, and about 2½ leagues farther in the same direction Craggy Island is situated, nearly at equal distance W. N. W. ward from the N. W. end of the Great Furneaux's Island.

Endeavour Rock.

ENDEAVOUR ROCK, discovered in 1817, by Capt. Hammant, in the brig of this name, and placed by him in lat. 39° 38′ S. lon. 147° 35′ E., is described by him thus:— when the south end of Kent's Group bore W. by N., Craggy Island S. S. E., the islet called Wright's Rock S. W. by S., saw a reef with two small rocks on it, visible at the rebound of the sea, (being then low water) bearing S. ¾ W.; this danger lies in a line between Craggy Island and Wright's Rock, about a third of the distance from the latter, and directly in the track recommended by some navigators for passing through the strait.


THE CHANNELS between all these groups of islands from Wilson's Promontory to Furneaux's Islands, are safe in the day time with moderate weather, taking care to avoid the Crocodile Rock, if the channel between Rodondo and Sir Roger Curtis' Isles be adopted; and the Endeavour Rock, if the channel to the south of Kent's Group is followed; but great caution will be necessary, if a stranger should attempt to pass through any of them in the night.

Banks' Strait.

BANKS' STRAIT, formed between Furneaux's Islands and the N. E. end of Van Diemen's Land, is also safe, but not so much frequented, nor so wide as the channels to the northward; it lies out of the direct route of ships coming from the westward through Bass Strait, bound to Port Jackson, or other parts to the northward.

Directions for sailing through Bass' Strait.

BASS' STRAIT, should be approached with caution, by ships coming from the westward, if not certain of their latitude, which ought to be correctly ascertained, before they reach lon. 143½° E.: and the strait ought not to be entered in the night, unless the land has been previously seen, or both the latitude and longitude be known by observation. The parallel of 39° or 39° 20′ S. according as the wind may incline, is the best track for passing between

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King's Island and Cape Otway; and a sight of either, or preferably of both, will point out the true situation.

Westward of the north end of King's Island at 10 leagues distance, there are soundings from 65 to 70 fathoms sand, which will indicate the proximity of the Strait in thick weather. The only danger to be apprehended here, is the Harbinger's Reefs, two patches situated nearly 2 leagues to the N. W. of the north end of King's Island; but are so far separated from it, and from each other, as to leave passages between them, in case of necessity, where the shoalest water found by the Cumberland schooner was 9 fathoms.

Having passed the north end of King's Island, a course should be made good from it true east for Sir Roger Curtis' Island, and part of this distance may be run in the night with a good look out: the soundings in this track to the eastern part of the strait are regular, from 35 to 48 fathoms, fine sand and shells. The best track, is on the south side of Sir Roger Curtis' Isles, and on either side of Kent's Groups, keeping near the southernmost island of the group, if the south channel is chosen, to avoid the Endeavour Rock; then steer E. N. E. by compass, if nearly before the wind, or on either side of this course, as the wind may incline, taking care not to approach the northern Long Beach formed between Wilson's Promontory and Cape Howe, which becomes a concave lee shore with a S. E. gale. This makes the channel south of Kent's Groups preferable, at times, to those between them and Wilson's Promontory; but with a steady N. W. wind and settled weather, either of the channels south of Rodondo might be pursued occasionally; then a course steered well to the eastward to give a birth to the Long Beach, and Cape Howe may be rounded at any reasonable distance.

Anchoring places with easterly winds.

The most convenient places for anchoring in the strait with easterly winds, are, (according to Capt. Flinders, from whose survey, the preceding directions for Bass' Strait are chiefly taken) under the N. W. end of King's Island, near the New Year's Isles. Port Phillip, anchoring just within the entrance, on the south side: when a fair wind comes, a ship can get out of the port by help of the strong tides. Hunter's Isles, between Three-Hummock and Barren Islands; taking care not to anchor too close to the weather shore, lest the wind change suddenly. On the west side of Wilson's Promontory, in a case of necessity; but this place is dangerous, should the wind change suddenly to S W., as a deep bay is formed between the Promontory and Cape Liptrap. Kent's Large Group, for brigs and small vessels, in one of the small sandy coves under the eastern island. Furneaux's Islands, between Clarke's and Preservation Islands; and if a ship be not able to weather Clarke's Island, and pass out to the S. E. ward through Banks' Strait when the wind becomes fair, she may run through Armstrong's Channel, with a boat a-head and a good look out.

Port Phillip.

PORT PHILLIP, is the westernmost harbour on the north side of Bass Strait, distant 17 or 18 leagues to the N. Eastward of Cape Otway, and the entrance is in lat. 38° 19′ S., about 4 leagues to the eastward of a bluff headland without trees, rising from low land thickly wooded. The soundings about 3 miles from the entrance are 12 and 13 fathoms, decreasing to 7 or 8 fathoms near it, and until 3 or 4 miles within the entrance, irregular from 6 to 12 fathoms. A reef projects from each side of the entrance, and the ebb tide runs out of it at the rate of 5 or 6 miles an hour on the springs, resembling breakers. Although this is an excellent harbour, or rather a very extensive lagoon, having a rivulet falling into the upper part of it, there is no fresh water in the vicinity of the entrance, the nearest being found at the S. Eastern angle of the harbour, to the westward of the hill called Arthur's Seat.

Western Port.

WESTERN PORT, entrance, in lat. 38° 31′ S., distant about 8 or 9 leagues E. S. E. ward from Port Phillip entrance, is formed by Cape Schanck on the west side, and the west point of Phillip's Island called Point Grant bounds its eastern side. The north side is lined by shoals, which make it necessary to keep near to Point Grant and the north side of Phillip's Island, in steering in E. N. E. ward into the port. This harbour may be chosen as a place of shelter, if a ship is driven near its entrance by a southerly gale, being much wider

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than the entrance of the former port; and there is fresh water up a rivulet at its S. Eastern angle. The coast between Port Phillip and Western Port, presents a continued barrier of rock, with a heavy swell generally tumbling in upon it from the S. Westward.

Sealer's Cove.

SEALER'S COVE, at the eastern angle of Wilson's Promontory, has depth of water for a ship, and room for a small vessel to swing, with plenty of wood and fresh water: it is only open from E. N. E. to E. S. E., but these winds throw in very little sea; the tide rises 10 or 11 feet, high water 2 hours before the moon passes the meridian. Seal Islands lie N. E. ward from the Cove.

Winds near Cape Leeuwin, and to Bass' Strait.

WINDS NEAR CAPE LEEUWIN, blow generally from westward; in summer, varying from N. W. in the night, to S. W. in the latter part of the day, though not regular; and in winter this variation is not experienced. A long swell appears to come at all times from S. W. ward, indicating that the strongest and most durable winds blow from that quarter, which is confirmed by experience.

From the Archipelago of the Recherche, along the south coast to Bass' Strait, from the middle of January to the middle of April, the prevailing winds are between S. E. and E. N. E.; coming more from the land at night, and from sea in the day, but seldom strong; whereas, the winds which occasionally blow from westward, are always fresh, and sometimes become gales, veering in this case, invariably to the S. W.

Gales in Bass' Strait,

In Bass' Strait, the gales and strongest winds come from S. W., and during nine months of the year, they generally blow from the western quarter. In January, February, and March, easterly winds with fine weather are not uncommon; but these are not to be depended on at any other season. The gales usually come between S. W. and S. E., most frequently from the latter direction, rendering it hazardous to approach the coast between Cape Howe and Wilson's Promontory. At the eastern side of the Strait, and of Van Diemen's Land, north or N. E. winds not unfrequently happen, but seldom blow strong.

on the South Coast,

Off the south coast of Terra Australis, speaking generally, it may be considered, that during the six or eight winter months, the winds blow almost constantly from some western point; and that gales of wind at S. W. are frequent. The progress of the gales, is usually this: the barometer falls to 29½ inches, or lower, and the wind rises from the N. W. with thick weather, commonly with rain; it veers gradually to the west, increasing in strength, and when it veers to the southward of that point, the weather begins to clear up; at S. W. the gale blows hardest, and the barometer rises, and by the time the wind gets to south or S. S. E., it becomes moderate, with fine weather, and the barometer above 30 inches. Sometimes, the wind may return back to west, or more northerly, with a fall in the mercury, the wind diminishing in strength, or dying away; but the gale is not over, although a cessation of a day or two may take place. In some cases, the wind flies round suddenly from N. W. to S. W., and the rainy, thick weather, then continues a longer time.

and East Coast.

Such is the usual course of the gales along the South Coast, and in Bass' Strait; but on the east side of the Strait, the winds partake of the nature of those on the East Coast, where the gales often blow hardest between South and S. E., with thick weather, and frequently with heavy rain.


The barometer rises generally with southerly winds on the South Coast, and falls with northerly winds. On the south, east, and west coasts of Terra Australis, sea winds mostly always rise the barometer when the weather is moderate, and it falls with land winds.

Northerly winds west of Van Diemen's Land.

Northerly winds do not prevail near the land, but in lat. 40° and 44° S. to the westward of Van Diemen's Land, strong north and N. N. E.* winds often happen, shifting sometimes suddenly to N. W. and westward.

* These winds also happen in the same latitudes, from the meridian of Cape Aguilhas to Van Diemen's Land and sometimes shift in a similar manner.

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Several ships have experienced these northerly winds when steering for Bass' Strait, which drove them to the south of that route, and obliged them to proceed round Van Diemen's Land. In July, 1802, the Perseus running in lat. 40° S. for Bass' Strait, had strong north and N. N. E. winds, with a southerly current, several degrees to the westward of the Strait, which forced her to go round Van Diemen's Land: here, the winds were very changeable, much from S. E. ward, with northerly currents till her arrival at Port Jackson late in July.

In Nov. 1800, the Royal Admiral, in lat. 43° to 44° S., running east for Van Diemen's Land, had the winds mostly at N. N. E. and N. W.; sometimes at West and W. S. W. When round Cape Van Diemen, she had north and N. E. winds three days, then variable between east and S. S. W. till her arrival at Port Jackson on the 20th of November.

Current from Cape Leeuwin to Bass' Strait.

CURRENT, NEAR CAPE LEEUWIN, is separated into two branches, one running northward along the west coast of Terra Australis, and the other branch runs to the eastward along the South Coast; which Capt. Flinders attributes to the strength of the prevailing S. W. winds, impelling the water of the ocean toward the land, and this meeting with the Cape, is deflected in different directions as mentioned above. From Cape Leeuwin to King George's Sound, the current was found to set eastward in May and December, about 27 miles daily. From thence to a little beyond the Archipelago of the Recherche, in with the shore, it set N. E. 13 miles; and at a considerable distance from the coast, it ran N. E. by E. 16 miles per day, the wind being more from the south than from the northward in both cases.

In coasting all round the Great Australian Bight, from the Archipelago to Cape Northumberland, very little current was perceived, and it generally followed the impulsion given to it by the winds; but in May, crossing the Great Bight, it ran about 14 miles per day to N. E. ward, the winds prevailing strong from the southward.

In Bass' Strait, the current does not set to the eastward in common cases, as the flood comes from that direction, and flows westward to Hunter's Islands and King's Island, where it meets another flood from the southward: but the Bight on the north side, between Cape Otway and Wilson's Promontory, lies out of the direct set of the tides. Nevertheless, if the wind blow strong from the westward, it will be prudent to allow for an easterly current; which during a west and S. W. gale, has been found to set S. 73° E., about 35 miles in one day.



GEOGRAPHE BAY, lies on the east side of Cape Naturalist, this cape being in lat. 33° 28′ S. lon. 115° 0′ E.; the bay is open to northerly winds, but sheltered from S. W. and Southerly winds.

Island Rottenest.

ROTTENEST ISLAND, in lat. 31° 59′ S. lon. 115° 29′ E., is the southernmost island, situated at a considerable distance from the west coast of New Holland. By the Dutch accounts, it is about 5 leagues in length, extending E. and W., covered with trees, having soundings from 10 to 16 fathoms round it; and it lies opposite to Black Swan River, about 10 leagues off shore, having several islands between it and the main-land to the S. Eastward.

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Houtman's Abrolhas.

HOUTMAN'S ABROLHAS, situated between lat. 28° and 29° S. (from Van Keulen's account) are the same on which the ship Batavia in 1629, and the ship Zeewyk in 1727, were lost. The crew of the last ship, found them to consist of ten or twelve Sandy Islands, united to one another by reefs, supposed to be 32 or 36 miles from the main-land, which was not seen from the shoals: between these shoals and the coast, the sea is clear with deep water. On the easternmost Island, lying 16 miles distant from them to the S. E. they found some pieces of wrecks, and a little underwood; but no fresh water was got in the pits which they dug, though Peisart in 1629, found good water on one of the Islands, in two small holes: the said crew built out of the wreck a vessel, wherewith they arrived at Batavia.

Captain Daniel, in the London, saw these shoals in June 1681. "With the wind S. W. by W., steering by compass N. E. by E., at 10 A. M. the water was discoloured: a man at the fore-top, saw a breach rise a-head of us; we put our helm hard a starboard, and stood away N. W. by W. and weathered the N. W. end of it about ½ a mile: at that distance the depth was 35 fathoms white corally ground, with some red mixed; next depth (about two hours after we tacked) was about 40 fathoms, the same ground; and at 9 P. M. having ran off by log on a N. W. by W. course, about 24 miles, had no ground at 65 fathoms.

"The breach, which we first saw, happened to be the northernmost of all, there being several; and by our computation are near 20 miles in length. Within the breaches, several small white sandy Islands were seen, with some bushes on them; a very heavy sea broke against the south part of these shoals. When close to them, the main land was not seen."

Shark's Bay, and circumjacent coast.

Geo. Site.

SHARK'S BAY, of Dampier, on the east side of Dirk Hartog's Island and Road, is a spacious and safe harbour, in about lat. 25° S. There are two channels leading to this bay; one in about lat. 25° 15′ S., between Dirk Hartog's Islands and Barren Island, the other to the northward of the latter, in about lat. 24° 25′ S., between a high red sloping point on the main and these islands. Barren Islands extend north and south along the N. W. part of the Bay, and Dirk Hartog's Island secures it from the sea to the S. W. and westward. These Islands facing the sea in this part of the coast, are in about lon. 113° 10′ E., and have soundings several leagues to the westward of them.

The land around Shark's Bay, is sandy, barren, destitute of inhabitants, fresh water,* or other necessaries; but as the approach to this part of the coast is safe, ships have frequently made it here. To the southward of Dirk Hartog's Island, in lat. 26° S., it should not be seen by any ship bound to the northward, that the vicinity of Houtman's Abrolhas may be avoided.

CLOATES' DOUBTFUL ISLAND, is said to have been seen in 1719, by Capt, Nash in the Imperial ship, House of Austria, who gave it this name. The day before, and several days after, much sea-weed and small birds like lapwings, both in size and flight, were observed. He made the island in lat. 22° S., and from it he made 7° 26′ Westing to Java Head. This Island, is said also to have been seen in 1743, by the Haeslingfield; and according to the description of both ships, it is about 8 or 10 leagues in extent, N. E. by N. and S. W. by S., of moderate height, level, with a gradual slope at both ends, and high breakers projecting about 3 miles from them. The Haeslingfield made it in lat. 22° 7′ S.; they steered from it nearly north, for seven days, made the land of Java, in lat. 8° 30′ S., and in three days more, made Java Head 7° 12′ W. from Cloates' Island.

The longitude made by these two ships from this Island to Java Head, agrees within 14 miles of each other; allowing Java Head in lon. 105° 11′ E., Cloates' Island, will be in

* Such parts of the West Coast, as the Dutch examined, were found destitute of fresh water.


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112° 30′ E., by mean of the longitude made by both ships, or 1° 46′ W. from the Coast of New Holland; this Coast in lat. 22° S. being in about lon. 114° 16′ E.

An Island on the coast of New Holland mistaken for it.

Cloates' Island, has also been supposed, to lie very near the coast of New Holland. The Belvedere's Journal states, January 12th, 1796, at ½ past 8 A. M. steering E. ½ S., saw Cloates' Island on the lee bow, bearing E. by N. 5 or 6 miles, hauled up N. N. W; at 9 the Island E. ½ S. to S. E., breakers off each end from E. to S. E. by E., in 25 fathoms. Steered N. ½ W. 3 miles to 10 A. M., a bluff point of land then seen from the mast-head S. E. ½ E., distant 8 or 9 leagues, in 25 fathoms. Steered N. E. by N. 4 miles, N. E. 6 miles to noon, the observed lat. 21° 10′ S., then the body of Cloates' Island seen half-way up the mizen shrouds, bearing S. by W., distant 4 or 5 leagues, in 38 fathoms. Wind at N. W. and westward. From noon, steered N. E. 9½ miles, then saw the coast of New Holland from the deck, hauled on a wind N. N. W., being in 17 fathoms red coarse sand, at ½ past 1 P. M., January 13th. At 2 P. M., the southern extreme, a bluff point, with high breakers, extending out to a great distance S. 78° E., the northern extreme N. 50° E., the nearest land N. 76° E. distant 5 leagues.

This was evidently not Cloates' Island, seen in the Belvedere, but some of the low islands in the bight to the eastward of the N. W. Cape of New Holland, as the island and land she saw, are to the northward of the Cape, It seems very proable that Cloates' Island has no real existence, but that some of the islands near the coast of New Holland were mistaken for it, when ships were navigated by dead reckoning.

Tryal Rocks very uncertain.

TRYAL ROCKS, like Cloates' Island, are of doubtful existence, and named from the English ship Tryal, said to have been lost upon them in 1622. A Dutch sloop sent from Batavia to explore them, in consequence of one of their ships* having seen them in 1718, marks in a plan, the extent of the whole range E, and W. about 40 miles, and about 15 miles broad, in lat. 19° 30′ S., 80 leagues from the coast of New Holland. They are placed in different latitudes; in some of the old charts, from 19° 45′ S. to 21° S., and on the meridian of Java Head; also from 1° to 2°, both to the eastward and westward of this meridian. In July, 1777, Captain Matthias Foss, of the Dutch ship Fredensberg Castle, saw the Tryal Rocks, and made them by good observation, when they bore E. distant 12 miles at noon, in lat. 20° 40′ S., meridian distance 23° 45′ E. from St. Paul, but by the run afterwards, S. ¼ W. 840 miles from Java Head. The Danish account says, "these rocks lie N. W. and S. E. and extend in length 24 miles; the centre of them appears very broad, and not higher out of the water than a small vessel's hull; the extremes are clusters of small broken rocks, now and then appearing as the sea retires, and are about 4 miles from each extreme of the main rock."

Captain Wilson searched for the Tryal Rocks, as placed from the Danish account, and remarks, that neither these nor the island laid down in Thornton's chart exist, near lat. 20° 50′ S. betwixt lon. 104° 41′ and 105° 44′ E. He also observes, that the Lascelles, in 1789, passed lat. 20° 50′ S. in lon. 104° 12′ E. by chronometer; and that he passed the same latitude in the Carnatic, in 1786, in lon. 103° 34′ E. by chronometer; then concludes with this useful remark:—

"If rocks of the Dane's description were situated within these limits, i. e. betwixt 103°

* Van Keulen says, they were seen in the ship Vaderland Getrouw, found to lie in 20½° S., and that she had 57 to 65 fathoms fine soft sand, when they bore E. N. E. 8 miles. The Jane frigate's journal, has the following remark:—June 27th, 1705, according to custom, hove to, on account of the Tryal Rocks (if such rocks exist) for although they are reported to extend 20 leagues in length, I was informed by the Commodore of the Dutch ships, with whom I went home last voyage, that he never heard of these rocks having been seen. If they exist, they must lie much farther east than in the route toward Java Head, or they must have become more familiar to us.

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34′ E. and 105° 44′ E., it is barely possible, that the Lascelles, the Carnatic, and the Vansittart could have passed without seeing them; and I have not a doubt, if the tracks of other direct ships, with chronometers on board, were examined, even these limits would be extended to the westward, in which no such island, or rocks can lie. Whoever, therefore, would look for the Tryal Rocks, as reported by the Dane, will do it with much greater probability of finding them to the eastward of 105° 44′ E., than to the westward of that limit."

As the Danish account places the Tryal Rocks about 44 miles to the westward of Java Head, or in about lon. 104½° E., and the Dutch account within 80 leagues of the coast of New Holland, upward of 10° more easterly; it may be inferred, that it cannot be one and the same, but two different shoals seen by them; the latitude differing also more than one degree, strengthens this opinion; and we are still left in doubt, whether or not the Tryal Rocks and Cloates' Island have any real existence.

In 1770, the Harcourt, Captain Nathaniel Paul, is said to have sounded in 40 fathoms stiff clay, on a bank which they reckon in lat. 21° 0′ S. and 28° 30′ E. from St. Paul, or about lon. 106° 23′ E.

Captain L. Wilson, in the Vansittart, July 5th, 1789, thought they had soundings 75 fathoms stiff mud, and broke the deep-sea line, in lat. 20° 54′ S. lon. 105° 25½ E., which Captain Wilson called the Harcourt's Bank; but as no soil came up on the arming of the lead, the quarter-master was probably deceived.

Moffat's Shoal doubtful.

Geo. Site.

MOFFAT'S DOUBTFUL SHOAL, seen at 1 P. M., Nov. 26th, 1818, by the ship of this name, at which time she passed over the tail of an apparent shoal, the water being very white, but no breakers, and there may be 8 or 10 fathoms water over the white coral, or perhaps sandy bottom. After taking in sail and heaving to, got no ground at 100 fathoms, the shoal then seen from the mizen-top, bearing from S. W. ½ W. to N. by W. ½ W., which we made in lat. 21° 37′ S., lon. 112° 25½′ E. by mean of chronometers, and lunar observations, differing only 9 miles.

Clark's Reef.

CLARK'S REEF is in lat. 20° 18′ S. and bears N. W. by compass, distant about 9 or 10 miles from Rosemary Island,* off the coast of New Holland, by the account of Captain Clark, who discovered it, and found from 7 to 9 fathoms water, close to the rocks. Captain Piddington saw this Reef in 1818, and made it in lat. 20° 17′ S.

Greyhound's Shoal.

Geo. Site.

GREYHOUND'S SHOAL, discovered by the brig of this name, bound from Calcutta to Batavia and Port Jackson, was seen 15th Jan., 1818, at noon, while observing; the breakers bearing from S. E. ¾ E. to E. by S. ½ S. distant about 6 miles, and extending about N. E. and S. W.; an opening was perceived in the middle of the shoal, no part of which appeared above water, but the breakers were high. Our noon observation made the body of the shoal in lat. 19° 58′ S. lon. 114° 40½′ E. by lunars.

Imperieuse Shoal.

IMPERIEUSE SHOAL, discovered by Captain Rowley, Dec. 30, 1800, in H. M. S. Imperieuse. At day-break, saw a shoal extending about 3 miles from N. E. to S. W.; on the S. W. end, shoal water with high breakers; the N. E. part a low sand, in some places covered with water, and several small rocks appearing above the surface.

As far as could be seen from the main-top, when the shoal bore from N. by E. ½ E. to W. N. W. ½ N. distant 2½ miles, the water appeared discoloured, and in many parts high

* Dampier, who named Rosemary Island, places it in lat. 20° 21′ S. (the Belvidere's noon observation will make the island seen by her in 21° 23′ S.) Dampier says it is 6 leagues long, and 1 in breadth, with several islets about it. No water could be found there.

P 2

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breakers were observed. Noon observation made it in lat. 17° 35′ S. lon. 118° 27′ E. by account; no ground with 90 fathoms line. By observations of eight days afterward, the ship was about 10 miles to the westward of account.

Rowley's Shoals. Geo. Site.

Lieutenant King, in his survey of the N. W. coast of New Holland, marks three shoals under the name of ROWLEY'S SHOALS; the first in lat. 17° 34′ S. lon. 119° 0′ E.; the second in lat. 17° 56′ S. lon. 119° 28′ E., and the third in lat. 17° 9′ S. lon. 119° 37′ E.

One of these shoals seems to have been seen by the ship Good Hope, from Banda, bound to Batavia, 14th February, 1813; when under a closed-reefed main-topsail and foresail, with a N. W. wind and heavy sea, head to the S. W., saw at ½ past 11 P. M. breakers a-head and on the lee bow, instantly wore, and set more sail. At 4 A. M. the weather more moderate, wore, and at 8 saw the breakers from the mast-head, bearing west. At 9½ A. M. tacked within 1½ mile of the shoal, no ground 150 fathoms, it then bearing from N. N. W. to S. W. ½ S., the N. Eastern extreme being distinctly seen, but breakers were visible to the S. W. as far as the eye could reach from the mast-head. Several spots of dry sand appeared, and on the north end of the shoal were black rocks, on which the sea broke very high. At noon, observed in lat. 17° 47½′ S., the north extreme of the shoal bearing west about 5 miles, and we made that part of it in lon. 119° 18′ E. by chronometer, and 119° 21′ E. by an observation of the moon and Aldebaran taken 8½ hours afterward. The chronometer was found to be very correct, when we made Christmas Island on the 7th of March following.

Minstrel's Shoal. Geo. Site.

MINSTREL'S SHOAL,* is said by Capt. Clark (who discovered the Reef described above under his name) to bear N. 49½° E. from the North part of Rosemary Island distant about 230 miles; when it bore East 3 or 4 miles he made the North part of the shoal in lat. 17° 28′ S. lon. 119° 2′ E. by observations of sun and moon.

This shoal was seen by the Minstrel, Capt. Barnes, at 4 P. M. 7th May, 1820, and at 5½ P. M. she tacked within 1½ mile of the N. E. part of the shoal, had no ground 60 fathoms; a very white sand bank about 4 or 5 feet above water, was observed near the northernmost end of the shoal, with several black rocks to the northward and eastward of the sand bank, and the breakers from thence extended to the S. S. Westward as far as visible from the mast-head. The N. E. point of the shoal, by noon observation, brought up to 5 P. M. we made in lat. 17° 14′ S. lon. 118° 57′ E.; or 5° 28′ E. by chronometer, measured from the coast of New Holland, in lat. 23° 10′ S.; and by lunar observation, taken yesterday, made the same part of the shoal in lon. 118° 59′ E. This must certainly be the shoal mentioned by Capt. Clark, but these observations taken in the Minstrel, make its Northern extremity 14 miles more northerly than that navigator's position of the same part of the shoal.

Dampier's Shoal.

DAMPIER'S SHOAL, according to the account given in the voyage of this celebrated navigator, lies S. by W. from the eastern part of Timor, in lat. 13° 50′ S. He describes it to be a small sandy bar, that shews itself on the surface of the water, surrounded with rocks, which appear 10 feet above water: it is of triangular form, and each side about 1½ league long; no ground at ½ a league distant from it.

This shoal seems to be in about lon. 122° 36′ E. by Dampier's account, in a run of two days from the S. W. end of Timor.

The Cartier in 1800, struck on a shoal, March 6th, at midnight, apparently Dampier's Shoal. It was then blowing strong from the westward, the ship under double-reefed topsails, "Hove all aback, and got off. While on the rock, which was 8 or 10 minutes, had five fathoms rocks over the stern."

* Probably one of those called Rowley's Shoals, by Lieut. King.

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"This shoal, I am led to believe," says Capt. Nash, "is of great extent, as we were about 20 minutes in much smoother water, which, I think, was occasioned by rocks or breakers to windward, (as we had a very heavy sea before and after) although not any in sight of us."

Another account adds, "That the ship from being in a heavy sea, suddenly came in smooth water, and ran 2¼ miles, before striking. Although nothing was seen above water, it is very probable there are rocks, or a sand above water, of considerable extent, on account of the sea being so smooth."

Geo. Site.

"These rocks, we suppose are those seen by Dampier in 1688; by observation from the preceding noon, they are in about lat. 13° 58′ S. lon. 122° 20¾′ E. by chronometer brought on from last sights.

One of the journals states, that when she struck, the lon. was 122° 3′ E.; another account says, she was then in lat. 13° 57′ S. lon. 121° 55′ E. by chronometer.

Capt. Heywood's account of a Reef,

SCOTT'S REEF, is, probably, that seen by the ship Cartier, and by Dampier: Captain P. Heywood, in H. M. S. Vulcan, gives the following description of a reef, seen by him, February 22d, 1801. "At noon, by account, in lat. 13° 46′ S. lon. 122° 19′ E. by chronometers, or 97 miles due E. from the position assigned to Dampier's Rocks, in Robertson's chart, when the man at the mast-head discovered a long range of breakers at 1 P. M. This reef on all parts is even with the water's edge, and the breakers only visible. The N. W. end is in lat. 13° 52½′ S. lon. 121° 59′ E. From thence it extends about S. 62° E., 18 or 19 miles to the N. E. point, in lat. 14° 1′ S. lon. 122° 16′ E.; from each of these points, it takes a sharp turn to the southward, but the extent of either tail in that direction, I know not, as they both broke in the mast-head horizon.

This day, unfortunately, was gloomy, which deprived me of a sight of the sun; but the course was free, and the distance run from the preceding noon not great, the error in the log account, I think could not have been much. The nearest land to this dangerous reef, is Red Island, on the coast of New Holland, from which it bears N. 62° W. distant 143 miles."

Called Scott's Reef.

Captain Heywood observes, that as this Reef differs essentially in situation, from that assigned to Dampier's Rocks in the charts; of much greater magnitude, and not answering the description given by Dampier, he cannot say if it is the same; but thinks it should be considered as another danger, that ships may be on their guard against both. He therefore named it Scott's Reef, after the man at the mast-head, who first saw it. There seems little reason to doubt, that this and the shoal on which the Cartier struck in the night, are the same; the positions agreeing so nearly, although computed from the observations of the preceding days, and the Cartier having experienced very smooth water for a considerable time, give cause to think, they are one and the same shoal.

It also agrees nearly with the position Dampier assigned to the rocks seen by him; although his description of rocks 10 feet above water, and the extent of the shoal, differs from Captain Heywood's remarks; but this difference, might arise, from being viewed at high and low water, as the tides rise considerably hereabout.

Sahul Bank, Geo. Site.

Other banks.

SAHUL BANK, and other Banks or Shoals between Timor and the coast of New Holland, are imperfectly known. The Sahul Bank is projected on the charts as dangerous and rocky, of great extent, the west end of it commencing nearly due east from the south part of Rotto, and about 16 or 17 leagues from the south point of Timor; from thence stretching to the eastward upward of 2°, betwixt lat. 10° 40′ and 11° 30′ S. There is reason to think this bank is not so extensive as here mentioned, but many other coral banks, some of which are very dangerous, lie to the southward of it, at a great distance; and one of these was seen in the Cartier, March 5th, 1800, the day before she struck on another shoal, which has been already described.

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Cartier's Bank.

The Cartier left Amboina, February 12th, 1800, with a cargo for England; she had westerly winds, and passed the east end of Timor 22d: strong westerly winds prevailed when to the southward of this island. "March 5th, at 5 P. M. saw a DRY SAND BANK, bearing S. 40° W. about 4 miles; a shoal joins it to the northward, and the danger appears to be about 4 miles in circumference. We were going so fast through the water, could not heave the lead. From noon observation, it lies in about lat. 12° 29′ S., and by a good chronometer, in lon. 123° 56′ E., allowing Amboina to be in 128° 14′ E."

Ashmore's Shoal.

Geo. Site.

ASHMORE'S SHOAL, discovered by Capt. Ashmore, in the Hibernia, on the 11th June, 1811, is very dangerous and extensive:—At 4 A. M. being calm, they heard the noise of breakers, and at day-light were about a mile from the nearest part, in a deep bight at the N. E. end of the shoal, and nearly embayed. A barrier of black rocks, 6 or 8 feet above water, was observed, to the westward of which were several sand banks, with the appearance of some vegetation on the highest of them, and the surf broke violently on the S. E. point of the shoal, which seemed to extend from the N. E. point about W. ½ N. 6 or 7 miles, but its extent to the S. Westward could not be discerned for the sand banks and haze at the horizon. The water was not discoloured near the shoal; many birds rose from it in the morning, and flew towards it in the evening. The N. E. end of the shoal, by noon observation, we made in lat. 12° 11′ S. lon. 122° 58½′ E. by chro. allowing the South Head of Port Jackson in 151° 25′ 25″ E., and we made 18° 57¼′ West from Booby Island to the Shoal by chro. On the 19th June saw Christmas Island, and made it in lon. 105° 37½′ E. by chro. being then 43 days from Port Jackson.

Hibernia Shoal.

Geo. Site.

HIBERNIA SHOAL, seen by Capt. Ashmore, May 8th, 1810, at 8 A. M. from the mast-head, two small sand banks, distant 5 or 6 miles to the S. Westward, situated upon a shoal, the breakers on which appeared to extend nearly east and west about 4 miles. The two sand banks lie near the centre of the shoal, elevated about 10 feet above water, and each appeared to be in extent about a cable's length.—At 9 A. M. the Shoal bore from S. S. E. to S. W. by S., distant about 3 miles, and some rocks were visible above water upon its western extreme. This shoal was found to be in lat. 11° 56′ S., lon. 123° 28′ E., deduced from Port Jackson by chronometer, in a run of 34 days through Torres Strait.

Sourthern route from Amboina.

Captain P. Heywood, passed over many of the banks between New Holland and Timor. January 1st, 1801, in H. M. bomb vessel, Vulcan, with three transports, under convoy, he left Amboina, and was ordered to proceed to Madras by the southern route; January 8th, owing to the indifferent sailing of the ships, and the wind veering from W. N. W. to W. S. W., he was obliged to pass to the eastward of Wetter, and next morning he passed the east end of Timor.

New Holland.

Red Island.

Having a strong monsoon to the southward of this island, veering between W. N. W. and W. S. W. with a heavy sea, and gaining no ground, he stretched to the southward, and on the 23d, made the coast of New Holland in lat. 15° 9′ S. This part of the coast was low, the aspect barren and sandy. An island of the colour of red ochre, situated about 5 or 6 miles from the main, was very conspicuously seen in contrast with the low land behind it, which lies in lat. 15° 9′ S. lon. 124° 22′ E., and named Red Island.

Soundings on the Sahul Bank.

On this part of the coast the soundings were regular, the bottom green ouze; at 5 leagues distance, to the N. W. of the island, 35 fathoms, deepening gradually to 60 and 70 fathoms, as far to the northward as lat. 13° 40′ S. From Red Island, with strong westerly winds, he stood back to the northward, and at noon, January 28th, saw the water discoloured a-head; immediately after got ground in 30 fathoms water on the edge of Sahul Bank; shoaled quick, and tacked in 19 fathoms; when about, had only 12 fathoms. The water was very clear, and the bottom appeared white sand, with coral patches. The part where 12 fathoms was got on the southern edge of the bank, is in lat 11° 34′ 50″ S. lon. 120° 14′ E. From this

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position (Captain Heywood remarks, that) the western extremity of the shoal appeared to extend some miles to the W. N. W., as the water was much discoloured in that direction. To the eastward, the shoal water extended beyond their mast-head horizon, although, on the 20th January, when they tacked in lat. 11° 35′ S. lon. 125° E. no ground was obtained at 59 fathoms, nor any appearance of shoal water from the mast-head.

Geo. Site of other banks

From the edge of the Sahul Bank they stood to the southward, with strong westerly winds and squally weather; on the 31st, at 9 A. M. shoaled suddenly from no ground to 15 fathoms, wore instantly, and saw the coral rocks and sand under the ship, carrying 12, 10, and 9 fathoms; when about, deepened as quick to 20, 60, and 70 fathoms. This shoal is in lat. 13° 25′ S. lon. 124° 12′ E., and on the preceding day, 30 fathoms was got only 2 miles farther southward. February 2d, past 1 P. M. they shoaled again suddenly from 65 into 12 fathoms, and had only 7 fathoms when about, the bottom (distinctly seen) white sand and coral rocks, this position being in lat. 12° 46′ S. lon. 124° 32′ E. Being thus embarrassed between the Sahul, and these, perhaps, dangerous shoals, they were obliged to stand to the northward, had a gale from westward, and then light winds till the 6th, when the depth again decreased from 60 fathoms quick, to 20 and 17 fathoms coral. This third discovered shoal is in lat. 13° 32′ S. lon. 124° 29′ E. After tacking from it, the depth quickly increased to 70 fathoms. With constant westerly winds, beating about till the 21st, they tacked in 10 fathoms, coral bottom, about 4 miles to the eastward, and 1 mile to the southward of the place of the bank discovered on the 2d. Captain Heywood, observes, that between the parallels of 11° 30′ S. and 13° 40′ S. and the meridians of 124° and 125° E. is a space interspersed all over with banks of sand and coral rocks, shooting up out of deep water, the soundings near them irregular; but close to them, the bottom was generally coarse sand and bits of shells; farther off, fine white sand; and when clear of them altogether, a sort of green sandy ouze.

Whose positions are well determined.

The positions of these banks were correctly ascertained by two excellent chronometers, corroborated at times by lunar observations. Although he saw no breakers on any of them, there can be no doubt of danger existing on some of these banks, which is rendered certain, by the Cartier and Hibernia having seen dry sand banks; and although these dangers were not seen by Captain Heywood, he must have passed within a few leagues of the shoals discovered by those ships.

We may, from the observations of this correct navigator, and those made in the Cartier and Hibernia, infer, that there are many banks, at considerable distances from each other, in the sea between New Holland and the Island of Timor, some of which are dangerous; and that probably, the northernmost of these banks is the Sahul Bank of the charts, not of so great extent as generally delineated.

Southern route from Amboina.

Geo. Site of another Bank.

The Bellona, and Echo, had also soundings on one of these banks. They left Amboina Jan. 1st, 1798, passed to the eastward of Wetter and Timor; afterward, with strong westerly winds, they continued to beat from January 5th, (sometimes in sight of the island) till the 12th. In the Echo, at 8 A. M. they saw the rocks under her bottom, and had 14 fathoms sand by the lead, the lat. 11° 16′ S. lon. 125° 50′ E. by chronometers. This, perhaps, was the eastern part of Sahul Bank, or another Bank detached from it to the eastward. From hence they had W. N. W. and N. W. winds till in lat. 14° S. lon. 121° E. the 19th; westerly and N. W. winds continued till the 31st, in lat. 17° S. lon. 115° E., then veered to S. S. W. and to S. on February 3d, in lat. 17° S. lon. 110° E.

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To proceed from St. Paul to China, late in the season.

THE MOST ELIGIBLE ROUTE for ships late in the season, bound to China direct, if they are in the vicinity of St. Paul, part of September, October, November, and December, is to proceed through some of the Straits east of Java, then enter the Pacific Ocean by Macassar Strait, the Molucca Passage, Gillolo Passage, or by Dampier's Strait.

Probably, the most preferable of these, is the Ombay Passage; that is, to make Sandalwood Island, pass between Timor and the Islands to the northward of it, haul close round the east end of Ombay to the northward, and pass to the westward of Bouro if the wind permit, or between it and Manipa; then through the Pitt's passage, and enter the Pacific Ocean by Dampier's Strait, or the Gillolo Passage.

If late in January or February, before a ship pass St. Paul, she ought not to enter the Pacific Ocean, but steer through Allas or Lombock Straits, then through Macassar Strait, and between Baseelan and Mindanao, or to the southward of Baseelan into the Sooloo Sea, and along the west side of Mindanao, Panay, Mindora, and Luconia; where she will find the winds favorable for getting to the northward.

Prevailing winds, &c.

It has generally been the practice with ships destined for the Straits between Java and Timor, to make the Coast of New Holland. With good chronometers, and other instruments on board for obtaining lunar observations, this is not requisite. The N. W. Cape of New Holland, may in such case, be passed at any convenient distance judged prudent, according to the season of the year, and the Strait intended to be taken. It must be remembered, that southerly and S. W. winds prevail greatly on the west coast of New Holland, from Cape Leeuwin the S. W. extremity, to the N. W. Cape; and this southerly wind is generally experienced near the shore, although at a distance from it, the S. E. trade wind may be expected at all seasons near the tropic.

From April to November, the easterly monsoon blows along the shores of Timor, Sandalwood Island, Sumbawa and Java; at this season, S. E. and Easterly winds may be expected in the sea between these islands and the N. W. part of New Holland; but in November, December, January, February, and March, when the westerly monsoon should prevail along the shores of the islands mentioned, the winds are often very variable between New Holland and these islands, though generally from westward.


Ships departing from the N. W. Cape of New Holland in these months, lose the southerly winds frequently in lat. 19° to 15° S., which are followed by light variable breezes at first, and afterward by the westerly monsoon. In December, January, and February, the westerly monsoon often blows strong, with squally weather and rain, between New Holland and the islands to the northward, producing a current to the eastward. At such times, a ship should make the land to the westward of the Strait to which she is bound; and to the eastward of the same, when the easterly monsoon is prevailing.

When the westerly monsoon is expected, ships bound to Bally, Lombock, or Allas Straits, certainly have no occasion to make the Coast of New Holland; but may pass the N. W. Cape at any discretional distance, and steer direct for the strait to which they are bound; if the southerly winds fail in from lat. 18° to 14° S., and are followed by the westerly monsoon, they should take care not to fall to leeward of the intended strait, for the wind is often

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at W. N. W., and sometimes at N. W. along the southern coasts of the islands, between Java Head and Timor.

In running across the S. E. trade, care is requisite, on account of several dangers to the westward of New Holland, and to the northward of the tropic, the true situations of which are very imperfectly known.

Route to China during the S. W. monsoon, in times of war.

DURING WAR, should it be thought unsafe to proceed through Sunda Strait, or by Malacca Strait, ships bound to China, may, after passing St. Paul, run to the eastward with the westerly winds at any season of the year, not decreasing the latitude under 30° S. in winter, nor under 35° S. in summer, till they have increased the longitude 16° or 18° more easterly than the meridian of St. Paul; then edge to the E. N. Eastward, into the S. E. trade, and pass the N. W. Cape of New Holland either in sight, or at any distance thought requisite. If it is the season when the S. E. monsoon prevails to the southward of the equator, and the S. W. monsoon to the northward of it, they ought not to enter the Pacific Ocean, but pass through Allass, or more preferable Sapy Strait, from March to September; and by the Strait of Macassar, then through the Sooloo Sea, up the west coasts of Mindanao, Panay, Mindora, and Luconia. If any danger from an enemy is apprehended on these coasts, they may, if the season is not far gone, pass to the westward of Sooloo, and enter the China Sea by Balabac Strait, then run along the west coast of Palawan, and keep at any desirable distance from the Coast of Luconia.

Geo. Site of N. W. Cape of New Holland.

NORTH-WEST CAPE OF NEW HOLLAND, by the observations of Capt. Torin, of the Coutts, is in lat. 21° 50′ S. lon. 114° 26′ E. by chronometers and lunars nearly agreeing, on two different voyages; but Capt. Balston, of the Princess Amelia, in 1816, made it 2° 32′ West of Bally Town, in the Strait of Allass, by chro. which allowing to be in lon. 116° 33′ E. would place the Cape in lon. 114° 1′ E. The mean lon. 114° 13½′ E. by these navigators is probably very near the truth, for Capt. King, in his minute survey of the N. W. Coast, makes the extreme point of the N. W. Cape of New Holland in lat. 21° 47′ S. lon. 114° 14′ E. This extreme point is low, from whence the land rounds to S. Westward, increasing in height, and resembles the Bill of Portland, the land near the Cape being lower than the coast more to the southward. Here the aspect is barren, without any diversity of appearance, and the land may be discerned at 7 or 8 leagues distance. A good mark in coasting along near the N. W. Cape, (Capt. Torin observes) is to keep the southern extremity of the land bearing south. About 2 miles north from the extreme point of the cape lies a shoal, having a channel with 7 and 8 fathoms water between it and the point. To the southward of the cape, in lat. 21° 54′ to 22° 4′ S. the coast is fronted by a reef projecting 1 and 1½ mile from the shore; and it seems to have been here that a Portuguese ship was wrecked in 1816, bound from Lisbon towards Macao.

Capt. Balston, fell in with the coast in lat. 22° 19′ S. where it is very low, with small hummocks, no soundings 5 or 6 leagues off with 90 fathoms line; he therefore recommends to fall in with it in lat. 22° 8′ to 21° 55′ S. where the land is higher, and of even appearance.

Capt. Barnes, in the Minstrel, 29th April, 1820, made the coast well to the southward of the Cape, in lat. 23° 10′ S., where the land was discerned at 7 leagues distance, then had soundings 60 fathoms, coarse yellow sand with small pebble stones.


It is certainly prudent to make it to the southward, between Shark's Bay and the N. W. Cape, where there are soundings several leagues from the shore in most places, and it may in general, be approached within 2 or 3 leagues with safety: but no ship should make the land to the N. E. ward of the Cape, for there are many low islands and dangerous shoals, several of which are situated at a great distance from the coast, and very unsafe to approach in the night.

When approaching any part of this coast in the night, run toward it under easy sail,


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heaving the lead every hour, or every half-hour if the velocity of the ship is great, by which means, soundings will be obtained before too near the shore.

It has been said, the never-failing guides in approaching this coast, are great quantities of skuttle-bones, weeds, and drifts; also grampusses, with an amazing number of tropic birds. These guides are however not always observed, as Captain Torin remarks, on making the coast, December 9th, 1800, that he saw a flock of birds the day before, which is noticed, because it was the third time he had steered in for the coast, and never saw any of the birds, skuttle-fish-bones, weed, &c. Sometimes snakes may be seen on the surface of the water, when in soundings, and birds with brown wings and white bellies, resembling the lapwing in their flight, but the lead and a good look out, are the best guides in approaching this coast, particularly if the longitude be uncertain.

The variation off the N. W. Cape of New Holland was 4° westerly in 1797, and the same in 1819.

Exmouth's Gulf.

EXMOUTH'S GULF, situated on the east side of the N. W. Cape of New Holland, is 6 and 7 leagues wide, and extends southward to lat. 22° 30′ S., having many small islands in it, with shoal soundings of 12 and 10 fathoms at the entrance, to 4, 3, and 2 fathoms at the bottom of the Gulf, the coast around it barren and sandy.

Mairon Islands.

Islands called MAIRON, by Capt. King, extend 4½ leagues to the N. E. ward of the N. W. Cape of New Holland: and it may be useful to give the following brief sketch of the islands and dangers not hitherto mentioned, which are interspersed along the N. W. Coast of New Holland to the northward and eastward of the N. W. Cape, some of them at a great distance off the main land, and most of them have either been discovered or explored by Capt. King, during his arduous survey of that coast.

Piddington's Islands.

PIDDINGTON'S ISLANDS, were discovered in the brig, St. Antonio, Jan. 15th, 1818, being at day-light unexpectedly within 2 miles of a long low sandy island, bearing S. E. ¾ S., then in 10 fathoms sandy bottom. The westernmost or largest island, appeared to extend about 3 or 4 leagues nearly N. W. and S. E., separated by a gap in the middle, into two islands, but connected by a reef: the north point is highest, forming a bluff 50 or 60 feet above low water mark, from which a reef projects about a mile. Here Capt. Piddington landed near the reef, on a steep sandy beach, having 5 fathoms water about a cable's length off, and 7 or 8 fathoms about a mile off shore. Round the north point of the island, on its western side, the water seemed deeper, probably about 20 fathoms within ½ mile of the beach. A few straggling bushes and tufts of sand grass, parched for want of moisture, were the only vegetation on the island, nor was there any appearance of fresh water, the soil being sandy and sterile.

There are two other islands, one of which bears about east, nearly 4 leagues from the north part of the principal island, and the other nearly east from its southern extremity; but these are mere sand banks, of tabular form, considerably elevated above the sea, and they altogether extend semi-circular, with the chief opening to the northward, and regular soundings from 13 to 7 fathoms inside, where the brig had to work out against a N. W. wind. By marks on the shore, the perpendicular rise of tide appeared to be 20 feet on ordinary springs, and at times much more. The vessel was carried speedily away from the islands by a change of tide, after 6 P. M. 16th January, but the opposite tide drifted her back in sight of the bluff point of the westernmost island on the following morning.

No other land could be discerned from these islands, which lie much in the track of ships steering from the N. W. Cape of New Holland to the northward, and they are very dangerous to approach in the night.

Geo. Site.

When the Bluff Point or N. W. extreme of the westernmost island bore W. N. W. 3 miles, the observations at noon made it in lat. 21° 36′ S. lon. 114° 56′ E. by chronometer, or 1° 37′

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West from Bally Town, in the Strait of Allass, and 54 miles west from the body of the westernmost Rosemary Island.

Rosemary Islands.

Geo. Site.

ROSEMARY ISLANDS, OR MONTEBELLO ISLANDS, were seen by Capt. Piddington, and appear to consist of two principal low sandy islands, having several gentle risings, the highest part of which is the N. E. extremity of the Eastern Island, and this island extends about 10 miles in a N. N. E. and S. S. W. direction. The Western Island extends about 12 miles nearly N. E. by N. and S. W. by S., and they appear separated 8 or 9 miles at the nearest parts, but a reef projects nearly 3 miles from the north end of the Eastern Island, and from thence extends to the north end of the Western Island, admitting of no safe passage between them, as the open space seemed to be occupied by shoal water as far as the eye could discern. To the southward of the two principal islands, lie two small islets of black aspect, resembling quoins, with a small black Table Island outside of them; the islands seemed very sterile, formed of variegated sand hills, and probably destitute of fresh water. The tides are strong, and appear to rise about 20 feet perpendicular on the springs. By noon observation, I made the N. E. point of the Eastern Island in lat. 20° 26′ S. North extremity of the western one in lat. 20° 35′ S. by meridian altitude of the moon, and the latter I made in lon. 115° 30′ E.* by observations of sun and moon, and 115° 50′ E. by chronometer, or 43 miles west of Bally Town, in the Strait of Allass. The Eastern Island is about 10 miles east of the meridian of the western one.

These islands, called by Capt. Piddington, Rosemary Islands, are no doubt the group examined by Capt. King, during his exploration of the N. W. Coast of New Holland, named by him MONTEBELLO ISLANDS, extending from lat. 20° 21′ S. to 20° 27′ S. lon. 115° 30′ E.; and BARROW'S ISLAND from lat. 20° 40′ S. to 20° 53′ S. lon. 115° 22′ E. to 115° 30′ E.

Geo. Site of Dampier's Archipelago.

DAMPIER'S ARCHIPELAGO,† by Capt. King's survey, extend from lat. 20° 19′ to 20° 30′ S. lon. 116° 30′ to 117° 7′ E. near to the Coast of New Holland, with shoal soundings amongst these islands from 7 to 3 fathoms; and from hence to the N. W. Cape the coast is fronted by a broken chain of small barren sandy islands, having shoal soundings near to most of them, and between them and the main land.

Geo. Site of Brunswick Bay;

BRUNSWICK BAY, in lat. 15° 14′ S. lon. 124° 45′ E., is of considerable extent, and forms the entrance of Prince Regent's River, which river seems, by Capt. King's survey, to have good depths of water for ships, with a rise of tide about 20 to 24 feet on the springs, and it is fronted by an archipelago of islands, forming several bays or harbours, Brunswick Bay being the outermost, open to North and N. W. winds. Fresh water can be got at a rivulet on the west side of the entrance of Prince Regent's River, at the bottom of Hanover Bay, which forms the south termination of Brunswick Bay.

of York Sound.

YORK SOUND, in lat. 14° 55′ S. lon. 125° 17′ E., forms the entrance of Prince Frederick's Harbour, into which flow Roe's River and Hunter's River.

Admiralty Gulf,

ADMIRALTY GULF, in lat. 14° 10′ S. lon. 126° E., forms the entrance of Port Warrender.

Vansittart's Bay,

VANSITTART'S BAY, in lat. 14° 0′ S. lon. 126° 25′ E., is separated from Admiralty Gulf by a peninsula.

* This is probably nearest the truth, by corresponding almost with Capt. King's longitude of these Islands.

† One of the westernmost islands of this Archipelago, is called Rosemary Island, by Capt. King, which name seems to have been applied to several of the islands situated to the N. E. ward of the N. W. Cape of New Holland, by different navigators who have seen them.

Q 2

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Cambridge Gulf,

CAMBRIDGE GULF, entrance, in lat. 14° 40′ S. lon. 128° 20′ E., fronts the mouth of a river which extends S. S. Westward to lat. 15° 35′ S.

Cape Van Diemen,

CAPE VAN DIEMEN, in lat. 11° 9′ S. lon. 130° 30′ E., is the northernmost point of Melville Island, which with Cobourg Peninsula to the eastward, forms Van Diemen's Gulf, having two large openings, one between the above mentioned island and peninsula; the other called Clarence Strait, round the west and south sides of Melville and Bathurst Islands, these two islands being separated by a narrow strait, called Apsley Strait, which forms a good harbour, named Port Cockburn, with moderate depths of water.

Port Cockburn.

PORT COCKBURN, was established as a British settlement, in 1824, by Capt. G. Bremer, of H. M. ship Tamar, who took formal possession of the north coast of New Holland, comprehended between the meridians of 129° and 135° East longitude, and the following directions have been given for vessels proceeding to the new settlement.

On approaching the north part of Apsley Strait, care is requisite to avoid the Mermaid Shoal, which extends to the westward of Cape Van Diemen, about 5 leagues. Piper's Head, a steep and remarkable red and white cliff, situated a little to the southward of Cape Van Diemen, being brought to bear east, and kept on this point, will lead a vessel into the narrow part of the entrance, (which is about 2 miles wide) then the lead should be kept going, with a good look out, the soundings being generally from 5 or 6 to 9 or 10 fathoms. From hence an E. S. E. course will carry her into St. Asaph Bay, which is spacious, with good anchorage, where ships may stop, until they communicate with the settlement, which is about 4 leagues farther down the strait.

Geo. Site.

The flag-staff of Fort Dundas, in Port Cockburn, is in lat. 11° 25′ S. lon. 130° 28′ E. The tides are strong, especially in the springs; and the flood sets to the southward. The master of the colonial brig, Lady Nelson, stationed here, has been directed to afford his assistance as a pilot (as far as he is acquainted) to any vessel requiring it.

King's Cove, another good harbour, is beyond Port Cockburn, farther into the strait.

and of Port Hurd.

PORT HURD, in lat. 11° 40′ S. lon. 130° 20′ E., situated on the north side of the S. W. point of Bathurst Island, is a snug harbour, with moderate depths for anchorage. Alligator's Rivers, two in number, fall into the S. E. part of Van Diemen's Gulf, and by Capt. King's chart, the westernmost seems a fine river, navigable for ships of large size; and all these rivers have a great rise and fall of tide, from 19 to 22 or 24 feet on the springs, the velocity of the stream from 2 to 3 or 4 miles per hour.

Currents between the Island St. Paul and the Coast of New Holland.

When Captain Torin made the coast of New Holland, 3d October, 1797, in the Coutts, he had, during the run from St. Paul, experienced a current of about 30 miles to the westward. When he made the coast, in the Pigot, November 7th, 1780, had an easterly current of 1° during the run from the island to the coast; and an easterly set of 3° 22′ from the one to the other, when he made the coast, December 9th, 1800, by which it appears that the current runs strong to the eastward as the season advances.

From the N. W. Cape the fleet steered N. E. by N. 71 miles, N. E. 12 miles, had then 55 fathoms, fine sand; steered N. E. 7 miles, then 55 fathoms, and the same course 6 miles to noon, lat. 20° 5′ S. lon. 115° 34′ E. by chronometers, in 47 fathoms, the wind at W., December 10th.

Passage from N. W. part of New Holland, by Sapy, Salayer, and Dampier's Straits, to China.

December 11th, steered N. 8 miles, in 48 to 44 fathoms; N. E. by N. 8 miles, 43 fathoms, and 4½ miles more on the same course; had then 23 and 28 fathoms; soon after no ground at 60 fathoms, continuing the same course till noon; observed lat. 18° 54′ S. lon. by lunar observations 116° 30′ E. From hence, had faint westerly and S. W. winds two days, then variable light breezes from N. E. to S. E. till Sandalwood Island was seen on the 19th. They entered Sapy Strait 23d, watered there, passed through Salayer Straits, Dampier's Strait, and arrived the 17th February, 1801, at Macao.

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By Ombay, and the Gillolo passage to China.

December 7th, 1801, with a southerly wind, at 10 P. M. in the Elizabeth, the Coast of New Holland, in lat. 22° S., was seen bearing east, distant 4 or 5 miles; they hauled off N. W., sounded, and had 55 fathoms; passed on the east side of Sandalwood Island the 17th, with westerly winds; on the 21st, passed the east end of Ombay; on the 25th, between Bouro and Xulla Bessey; on the 28th, between Gagy and Geby; and to the westward of Yowl Islands the 30th. Here, the current set strong to the eastward; among the islands it set to the southward. This ship arrived in Canton River, January 18th, 1802, by the Bashee passage.

By Allass, and Bally Straits, and through Macassar Strait, to China.

September 23d, 1798, the Dublin, and fleet, made the coast of New Holland in lat. 21° S., had southerly winds till in lat. 15° S. on the 25th; from hence easterly winds prevailed till the 28th, when they found themselves off Banditti Island. With the easterly wind, part of the fleet worked along the south side of Lombock, and arrived at Bally Town, in Allass Strait, October 4th; sailed from this Strait the 10th, with the wind S. E.; reached Pulo Laut the 14th, and passed Cape Donda on the 19th. The other part of the fleet went through Bally Strait, watered there, sailed October 4th, passed between Pondy and Madura, cleared Cape Donda the 16th, and arrived at Macao the 15th November, by the Bashee passage.

By Sapy and Macassar Straits to China.

September 20th, 1798, at 10 P.M. they saw the coast of New Holland, in the Caledonian, in lat. 22° S., bearing E. ½ N., distant 3 leagues; sounded, and had 42 fathoms. They had easterly winds both to the northward and southward of Sapy Strait, passed through it the 28th, and were obliged to make a tack in passing to the eastward of the Postillions, at 4 leagues distance, 30th September. On the following day, they went over a coral bank of 13 fathoms in running for Macassar Strait; October 13th, cleared Cape Rivers; November 2d, saw Formosa, and arrived the 4th at Macao.

By Ombay and Dampier's Strait to China.

January 13th, 1796, the Belvedere left the coast of New Holland in lat. 21° S., having made a low island the day before; after leaving the coast, calms and faint westerly and N. W. winds continued two days, then light and variable winds from southward till the 24th, at making the west end of Sandalwood Island. With light westerly winds, land and sea breezes, she passed along the north coast of this island, sometimes within 3 miles of the shore, and had strong ripplings. The boat was sent to range along it in search of the watering place, but it could not be discovered. On the 5th February, she passed the east end of Ombay, and round the west end of Bouro 10th; cleared Dampier's Strait 20th; saw Bottel Tobago Xima, March 17th, was delayed here four days by westerly winds; it then came at N. E. and S. E. which carried her to Macao on the 25th.

ISLANDS to the South and S. Eastward of JAVA; adjacent STRAITS, and SOUTH COAST.


Cocos Islands.

COCOS ISLANDS, are low, covered chiefly with the cocoa-tree, and not visible above 5 leagues from the deck of a large ship; some navigators who have landed on them, found no article of utility, except cocoa-nuts, and their extent is not more than 10 or 11 leagues. The northernmost is a single low island, 5 or 6 miles long, and 3 or 4 miles broad, with breakers projecting from it in several places, having apparently safe landing on the west side. The channel betwixt this and the southern islands is about 3 or 4 leagues wide, through which the General Coote passed. Captain Robertson (then an officer in that ship) describes

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the southernmost to be a circular group of low islands, extending from lat. 12° 4′ S. to 12° 28′ S., the eastern extremity being 7° 50′ W. from Java Head, and the western extreme is on the meridian of the northernmost island, which he places 8° 1′ W. of Java Head, and in lat. 11° 50′ S., bearing due north from the westernmost of the group 14 miles. In ranging along the north part of the group, no danger was seen detached from the shore, which seemed steep to, with a beautiful beach of sand, or probably white coral. A reef projects near a ¼ mile from the N. W. part of the group. The Houghton, in 1788, passed along the east side of the southern group; a fine sandy* beach appeared on the easternmost island. In the centre of the group, there is an extensive bason of smooth water, which is probably a safe harbour for small vessels, although these islands are generally supposed to be steep to, and without anchorage.

Geo. Site.

The southern limit of this group 12° 23′ S., as placed by Captain Robertson, is no doubt nearly correct, although the observations of some other persons make it several miles more northerly. Observations taken in six different ships by chronometers, and moon, make the North Coco in lat. 11° 49¾′ S. lon. 97° 4′ E.

Christmas Island.

CHRISTMAS ISLAND, about 3 leagues in length each way, of square form, may be seen 12 leagues off in clear weeather; it abounds with trees, many of which are said to be cocoa-nut and limes.

Captain G. Richardson, in the Pigot, endeavoured to find anchorage at this island in 1771; two boats were sent to examine it, but they could find no place where a ship might anchor, during a search of two days, sounding round the island. All round, it was found steep to, with 95 fathoms, within a cable's length of the shore; and the only accessible part they discovered, was at the north-west part of the island, at a small white beach, resembling sand, but formed of white stones and coral, where they landed, and got a number of land-crabs and boobies. Some wild hogs were seen, but they could find no runs of water.

Geo. Site.

Ship Earl Wycombe, made the body of the island in lat. 10° 34′ S. lon. 105° 33′ E. by good observations. Lieutenant Davidson, in the brig Waller, made it in lat. 10° 32′ S. lon. 105° 33′ E. by . Captain L. Wilson, a very correct observer, made the north end in lat. 10° 27′ S. and the body in lon. 105° 33′ E. or 19¼ miles E. from Java Head by chronometer, to the west end of the island. Lascelles, by chronometer, made it also in lon. 105° 33′ E.

These observations nearly correspond with each other, and with those made in the Asia, by Mr. William Stone, in July, 1805. This ship, in proceeding from China to Bombay, by the eastern passage, sailed close to Christmas Island; observations by agreed nearly with the chronometers, one of which was excellent. Sights taken with the island S. made its centre in lon. 105° 34′ E. The whole of the observations for latitude and longitude taken in the Asia, make Christmas Island extend from lat. 10° 27′ S. to 10° 35′ S., and from lon. 105° 29′ E. to 105° 39′ E., which position is corroborated by the observations of other ships since that time.

TO SAIL FROM THE ISLAND ST. PAUL toward the Straits east of Java, directions have been given in the preceding section; but some additional remarks may be requisite, to convey a knowledge of the situation and appearance of the head-lands contiguous to the southern parts of these straits.

To sail toward Sandalwood Island, and the Ombay passage.

If a ship in the vicinity of the N. W. part of New Holland, intend to enter the Pacific Ocean by the shortest route, which is to proceed through the Ombay, and Pitt's Passage, she ought to make the east part of Sandalwood Island, and pass between it and Savu; or

* Perhaps white coral.

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between the latter and Rotto, should she fall to leeward with N. W. or westerly winds. Ships generally make the west part of Sandalwood Island, and pass to the northward, between it and Flores; but the route to the eastward of it is more direct, and should be preferred, particularly with variable winds, and it can never be requisite to pass to the westward of Sandalwood Island, unless the wind blow strong from N. Westward, with a lee-current; then it may be desirous to pass to windward.

Sandalwood Island.

Geo, Site, &c.

SANDALWOOD ISLAND, called Jeendana, by the natives, being the Malay name for sandal, is of middling height: near the west part of the island there is a peak, which can be seen about 20 leagues distance, and in most parts, the south coast may be discernible at the distance of 9 or 10 leagues. It extends about W. by N. and E. by S.; the N. W. end, called Bluff or Breaker's Point, (on account of some breakers projecting from it) is in lon. 119° 0′ E. or 5 miles west of the meridian of Gunong-apee Peak, and the east end of the island in lon. 120° 40′ E. by mean of several ships observations. The N. W. or northern extremity is in about lat. 9° 15′ S.; Bluff, or West Point, in about 9° 42′ S.: and the southern extreme, in about 10° 22′ S. Near Bluff Point, there are soundings from 30 to 60 fathoms, at the distance of 3 or 4 miles from the shore; when this point and the S. W. end of the island were in one bearing, S. 39° E., the extremity of the breakers then bore S. 32° E. and the peak S. 75° E. The west end of Sandalwood Island bears about S. S. W. from the entrance of Sapy Strait, and the S. E. end of Sumbawa.

Geo. Site of Savu.

Banjoan and New Island.

Between Sandalwood Island and SAVU, the channel is wide and safe, the body of the latter being in lat. 10° 37′ S. lon. 122° 0′ E. by lunars, agreeing with chronometers in a run of six days from Amboina, by Captain Heywood's observations, or 6° 15′ W. from Amboina flag-staff. Savu may be seen 7 or 8 leagues from a ship's deck. BANJOAN lies near its S. W. end; NEW ISLAND, 13 or 14 leagues to the westward, in lat. 10° 40′ S. lon. 121° 3′ E.; they are both low, and covered with trees.

Straits between Ombay and Sapy Strait.

STRAITS OF ALUER, PANTAR, SOLOR, AND FLORES, situated between Ombay and the Islands Flores or Mangerye, are not much frequented by English ships; if the Ombay passage be not preferred, they generally proceed through some of the straits to the westward of Flores, as those to the eastward are narrow, with strong tides in them.

SAPY STRAIT has been much used, but ships intending to pass through Salayer Straits in the westerly monsoon should not choose it, for they may find great difficulty in weathering Salayer, if the W. N. W. winds blow strong with a lee current. This frequently happens during the strength of the westerly monsoon, which makes Allass Strait preferable in this season, it being farther to windward.

Directions to steer toward Sapy Strait.

South coast of Sumbawa.

Ships steering for Sapy Strait, with light variable or easterly winds, may fall in with the west end of Sandalwood Island; but with westerly winds, which blow strong, with a lee current, the south coast of Sumbawa should be approached. This coast extends nearly in the parallel of lat. 9° S. upward of 50 leagues, and is mostly high land, except near the middle of it, there is a low point covered with trees, opposite to the bottom of the great bay, which enters into the north side of the island, and nearly cuts it in two.

Entrance of Sapy Strait.

Geo. Site of S. E. end of Sumbawa.

Sapy Strait, at the entrance from the southward, is about 4 leagues wide, formed on the east side by the Island Comodo, which is high, and to the westward by the S. E. end of Sumbawa, and the islands contiguous. The south-east end of Sumbawa, by recent observations, is in about lat, 8° 42′ S. lon. 119° 14′ E., having rugged islands at a considerable distance to the westward, and the Camara Islands on the east side, several of which are small islets.

From the entrance of Sapy Strait, in clear weather, the peak on Sandalwood Island is

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visible, bearing S. 2° W. Wood and water may be always procured at Sapy, or in the bays near it.

Geo. Site of the south entrance of Allass Strait.

How to approach it.

ALLASS STRAIT, is safe, much frequented, and may be easily known in coming from the southward, the S. W. end of Sumbawa, which bounds it to the eastward, being high rugged land; whereas, the S. E. end of Lombock, forming the W. side of the entrance of this Strait, is composed of steep cliffs facing the sea; the land here, appearing low and level, at 5 or 6 leagues distance. The S. W. end of Sumbawa is in about lat. 9° 2′ S. lon. 116° 42′ E., from observations I made in 1796, by * and chronometers, (to construct a plan of the Strait of Allas) which agree exactly with those of the Boddam and Asia, by and chronometers. The S. W. end of Sumbawa extends about 3½ or 4 leagues more south than the S. E. end of Lombock; and the breadth of the channel from this point to the Sumbawa shore is about 3 leagues. A ship should borrow toward Lombock, there being soundings near the S. E. point, and along the shore of this Island throughout the Strait: but the Sumbawa shore is steep to. Near the pitch of Lombock Point, there is a rock high above water, distant about ½ a mile from the shore; and several rocky islets lie near the steep cliffs to the westward of the point, outside the entrance of the Strait. At Bally Town, and at Segar, (both on the Lombock side of the Strait,) water and other necessaries are procured.

LOMBOCK STRAIT, formed by the Island Bally to the west, and that of Lombock to the east, is about 13 leagues W. N. Westward from the S. E. point of the latter Island.

South coast of Lombock, entrance into Lombock Strait.

Between the Straits of Lombock and Allass, the south coast of Lombock is indented by several bays or inlets, one of which lies a few leagues eastward of the S. W. point of the Island, having some rocks near its west point 2 or 3 miles from the shore. The south entrance of Lombock Strait is easily known, the large Island Banditti lying nearly in the middle of it, which has a level contour resembling a table, with a small nob or peak on the east end, when seen from southward: and the cliffs facing the sea, are steep like the forelands.

Rapid Tides.

The common channel into the Strait, is to the eastward of Banditti Island; but the passage between this Island and the Bally shore, is sometimes used by the Eastern traders.* The Cirencester during a calm, was horsed between Banditti Island and those close to the west side of it, by a rapid current or tide. This happened in the night. The channel so narrow, that they thought the ship would touch against the steep shores on either side, which appeared over of the top of the masts, although no soundings could be obtained. She was carried through this critical gut by the strong currents or tide, fortunately without damage. Ships should, however, avoid the west end of Banditti Island, and not approach the Islands near it, particularly with baffling winds.

Marks to know this Strait.

In clear weather, Lombock Strait may be easily distinguished from the others, when the Peaks of Bally and Lombock are visible, at 7 or 8 leagues distance from the entrance. Bally Peak, situated at the east end of the Island of this name, is a sharp pointed mountain, and is in the centre of the opening of the Strait bearing N. by W.; same time, Lombock Peak bearing N. E. ½ N. (appearing double in this view) is seen topping over the western high land of the Island. This peak is situated near the north end of Lombock, and bears N. N. W. from the entrance of Allass Strait. It may be seen near 30 leagues distance in clear weather.

In entering Lombock Strait, a ship should keep mid-channel between Banditti Island

* Captain Ashmore, went twice through this passage in the brig Emily, and represents it safe, with soundings in some places within three miles of the Bally shore, which is low near the sea, opposite to Banditti Island.

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and Lombock, and afterward nearest the eastern shore; this will prevent her from being set toward the north shore of Banditti Island, should the winds be light, and the tide of ebb make to the southward after she has entered the Strait.

Geo. Site of Island Banditti.

The tides are rapid with strong eddies, and no bottom to be had in the fair channel in passing through. From the best accounts, Banditti Island is in lat. 8° 46′ S. and in about lon. 115° 15′ E.

South entrance of Bally Strait,

Geo. Site of Java, S. E. point.

BALLY STRAIT, situated between the Island of this name, and the east end of Java, is 5 or 6 leagues wide at the entrance from the southward, and 14 or 15 leagues to the westward of Lombock Strait. Table Point, and the other land of Bally on the east side of the Strait, is higher than the east end of Java, which is an even piece of land resembling Banditti Island, sloping down at each end, when viewed from the southward at 6 or 7 leagues distance. The S. E. point of Java is in lat. 8° 46′ S., lon. 114° 33′ E., by mean of several ships observations, of moon and chronometers.

To approach the Straits eastward of Java, in the easterly monsoon.

From February to September, southerly winds generally prevail near the south coasts of the islands which form the Straits now mentioned; a ship should then, at leaving the S. E. trade, be nearly on the meridian of the strait through which she is to pass, and steer north for it. After losing the S. E. trade, the winds may often be found variable, but generally between S. S. W. and S. E. near the Islands.

If on drawing near them, the wind incline far to the eastward, she must keep a little to windward of the entrance of the intended Strait, for the current will probably set to the westward.

And in the westerly monsoon.

From November to March, strong westerly winds are frequently to be expected, which produce an easterly current, setting along the south coast of Java, and the islands to the eastward. She ought, therefore, in this season, to keep a little to the westwasd of the entrance of the strait intended to be used, particularly, if the wind incline to the westward as she approaches the land.

South coast of Java.

THE SOUTH COAST OF JAVA, extends from the entrance of Bally Strait, nearly W. by N. to Wine Cooper's Point, excepting in several places, where bays or inlets cause a deviation from this general direction. On most parts of this coast, there are soundings near the shore, and anchorage in several bays, over a bottom generally black sand; but they are seldom visited by strangers.

Vleer Muys Bay.

VLEER MUYS (Flying Mouse) BAY, situated about 8 or 9 leagues eastward of Noesa Baron, seems to afford no shelter, the shores being rocky, the water too deep for good anchorage, and the Bay much exposed, with some islands in it.

Geo. Site of Noesa Baron.

NOESA BARON, in lat. 8° 38′ S. lon. 113° 35′ E.* distant from the coast 3 or 4 leagues is an island about 7 or 8 miles in extent east and west, of a low and level appearance, presenting a front of bold cliffs on the south side, with a high surf beating against them; all the other isles or rocks on this coast, lie much nearer the shore. About 7 leagues to the eastward of Noesa Baron, far inland, Moneroo high Peaked Mountain is situated, which may be seen when coasting along in clear weather. There are soundings of 40 to 25 fathoms between Noesa Baron and the main, where shelter might be found under the Island from southerly winds, in a case of necessity.

Tangala Isles.

TANGALA ISLES, are small, three in number, situated near each other, and appear joined together when viewed from the westward, but separated, when seen from the south-

* Some persons have made it about 4 leagues more westerly.


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Geo. Site.

ward: the central or largest isle, is in lat. 8° 26′ S. lon. 112° 26′ E. by chronometers, and is on with a remarkable hill bearing N. ½ E. To the westward of Tangala Isles, there are two remarkable hills near the sea.

Pachitan Bay.

PACHITAN, OR PATEJETAN BAY, in lon. 111° 6′ E., is said to afford shelter from all winds, in depths of 9 to 13 fathoms black sandy bottom, although there is generally a heavy surf beating against the shore at the bottom of the bay. The course into this bay is about north, having 40, 30, to 25 fathoms in the entrance, which is 1 or 1½ mile wide, opening inside into a circular basin or bay.

Turtle Bay.

TURTLE BAY, in lat. 7° 48′ S. separated from Maurice Bay by the island Kambangan, or Cambangan, distant about 7 leagues from the latter Bay, seems to be well sheltered from westerly winds by the island mentioned, where ships may lie in from 7, to 8, or 9 fathoms, in fine black sand; and the eastern side of this Bay affords shelter from easterly winds. The Strait that separates Cambangan from the main is narrow, with soundings of 20 to 3 fathoms, the Eastern entrance being called the Eastern Harbour, having depth of 7 to 4 fathoms, by keeping close to the Island. The other entrance or Western Harbour is rocky, with a winding channel, and the Island Noesa Waru at the South part of it.

Penanjong Bays.

EAST PENANJONG BAY, called Maurice Bay by the Dutch, in about lon. 108° 30′ E. is formed by a peninsula on the west side, and on the east side by the island Cambangan, mentioned above, which island extends about 6 leagues from W. N. W. to E. S. E.; the Strait that separates it from the main, communicates with a large inland lagoon, called Segara Anakan Bay. Penanjong Bay affords good shelter in the westerly monsoon, also fresh water easily obtained, and other refreshments may be got, as appears by the journal of the Company's ship Anna, bound to Bencoolen, which ship anchored here in 7 fathoms black sand, on the 24th of December, 1703, and moored with the extremes of the land from E. S. E. to S. S. E. ½ E., the latter being the S. W. point of the Bay. She struck her top-masts, examined her rigging, wooded and watered, obtained rice, some buffalos, fruits and vegetables in this bay, and sailed from hence on the 10th of Jan. 1704, for Bencoolen.

When entering Penanjong Bay, a rock perforated like the arch of a bridge will be discerned, also three rocks in a line like three sugar-loafs; there is no danger, the soundings decreasing gradually till within a mile of the shore, where a ship may anchor, or nearer if requisite. Fresh water is easily got in a small sandy bay.

WEST PENANJONG BAY, or CHIKAMBULAN BAY, called Dirck Vries Bay, by the Dutch, situated in about lat. 7° 50′ S. is separated from the Bay last described, by a peninsula projecting into the sea. This Bay, also affords shelter from the westerly monsoon, where refreshments may be got, but not fresh water, without great difficulty.

The Anna, anchored here in 11 fathoms fine black sand, on the 11th of December, 1703, with the western extreme of the land bearing S. ½ W., the eastern extreme E. by N., and a mountain, probably Tegal Hill, N. E. by E. ¼ E., appearing like a sugar loaf, high over the other land. Here she remained till the 24th, and finding the natives friendly, got timber for spars and fuel, plenty of rice, fowls, vegetables, some buffalo beef; abundance of fish may be caught in the sandy bays, but she was obliged to proceed for Penanjong Bay to fill up her water.

The land on the south coast of Java is not easily known, the alternate high and low lands having a similar appearance in coasting along. From the west part of the last-mentioned Bay, the coast stretches about W. by N. to Wine Cooper's Point; it then takes a direction northward, and N. Eastward, to the parallel of 7° S., by which an extensive concavity is

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formed, called Palatasan, or Wine Cooper's Bay, at the bottom of which there are soundings and anchorage within a mile of the shore, with shelter from the Easterly monsoon. From the bottom of this Bay, the direction of the coast is nearly W. ½ N. about 28 leagues to Java Head.

Geo. Site. of Anjol Point.

ANJOL, or WINE COOPER'S POINT, in lat. 7° 28′ S. lon. 106° 36′ E., is environed by rocks and breakers, having a small low sandy islet near it, on which several trees appear. In coming from the eastward, this point is easily distinguished, the double land having a declivity towards it, and the point itself low, covered with trees, and terminates the coast in this part to the westward.

Clap's and Trower's Islands.

Appearance of the land about Java Head.

CLAPS' ISLAND, called also Breakers' Island, bears W. N. W. about 20 leagues from Point Anjol, and is distant about 3½ leagues from the shore of Java, and about the same distance W. by S. from Trower's Island, which lies about 2 leagues off shore; they are both low, covered with trees, with soundings near them, and anchorage inside of Claps' Island; to the northward of it and Trower's Island, the land of Java is low; a little farther eastward it is high, with steep cliffs facing the sea; the land over Java Head is also high. Ships running for the land to the eastward of Java Head, have often mistaken the high land first mentioned, for that over Java Head, and the space of low land between them, for the entrance of the Strait, as this is not discerned, till well in with the coast. The high land over Java Head and that to the eastward, are similar in appearance, the west end of each, having a sharper declivity than their eastern extremities.

Geo. Site of Java Head.

JAVA HEAD, is in lat. 6° 48′ S. lon. 105° 11′ E. by mean of many chronometers and lunar observations taken in different ships, or 1° 41′ W. from Batavia City, measured by good chronometers: it is a bluff promontory, at the foot of the high land that forms the west end of Java, and from Clap's Island, it is about 7 leagues N. W. by W. Near the shore, to the southward of Java Head, there is a reef on which the sea breaks; and several rocks near a mile off, may be perceived in coasting along from the southward. The variation near Java Head, in 1790, was 1½° Easterly.

To sail from St. Paul toward Sunda Strait.

In the easterly monsoon.

FROM THE ISLAND ST. PAUL, ships bound to Sunda Strait or Bencoolen, may run several degrees to the eastward of its meridian before they edge away to get into the S. E. trade; they may afterward, keep away gradually to the N. Eastward, and cross the tropic of Capricorn in about lon. 102° E.—From March to September, they should get on the meridian of Java Head, several degrees from it, and steer north: the S. E. trade sometimes prevailing easterly, in March, April, and May, with a current setting to the westward along the south coast of Java, during the easterly monsoon, from March to September, render it indispensible to keep to the eastward, and not fall to leeward of Java Head if bound into Sunda Strait in this season; ships should, therefore, endeavour to make Clap's Island, or Java Head itself, if certain of the longitude by observation, or by good chronometers.

In May, June, and part of July, those bound to Bencoolen need not make Java Head, but they will probably make the quickest passage, by steering direct for Engano, and from thence for Bencoolen, as the winds may admit; because, in these months the winds often veer to N. W. with S. Easterly currents, which enables the small coasting vessels to come from the northward to Bencoolen.

Westerly monsoon.

From September to March, N. W. and Westerly winds frequently prevail between the northern limit of the S. E. trade and the equator, which is called the Westerly or N. W. monsoon. In December and January, the westerly and N. W. winds are generally strong, extending from lat. 1° or 2° N. to lat. 12° or 14° S. These winds force a lee current before them to the eastward, which runs strong along the south coast of Java; the weather being

R 3

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then mostly dark and cloudy, with much rain. Several ships, in this season, having fallen in with the land to the eastward of Java Head, found it impossible to beat round against the westerly winds, and strong currents setting to the eastward; they were, therefore, obliged to steer southward, re-entering the S. E. trade, where they made westing sufficient to pass to the westward of Java Head.

To sail toward Sunda Strait in this monsoon,

In the season when westerly winds prevail, a ship bound to Sunda Strait ought not to proceed to the northward on the meridian of Java Head, but should steer direct for the S. W. end of Sumatra, or the Island Engano, taking care to pass Java Head well to the westward, as the winds are often variable between W. and N. N. W. near Engano and the entrance of Sunda Strait. When nearly on the parallel of Java Head, and 1° or 2° to the westward of it, a direct course may be steered for the strait, with an allowance for a probable current setting to the southward. These instructions may be followed from September to March, and ought certainly to be adopted in November, December, January, and part of February, when the easterly monsoon generally predominates.

and to Bencoolen.

In this season, a ship bound to Bencoolen should steer to the northward after losing the S. E. trade, keeping nearly on the meridian of Achen Head till she is well to the northward of the Cocos Islands, or approaching the latitude of Java Head; she will then probably meet with N. Westerly winds, with which a course may be followed to fall in with Trieste (or Reefs) Island; or she may pass this island to the northward, between it and the Island Larg, should the wind prevail from northward; but should it incline from S. W. or Southward as she approaches the former island, a direct course to the southward of it, may be pursued for Bencoolen.

Instances of great delay by falling to leeward in the westerly monsoon.

One of the ships from London, bound to Bengal for rice, fell in with the Island Engano in January, 1796. From hence, with N. Westerly winds and a current setting to the S. E., she was carried to the southward of Java Head, and obliged to stand to the southward with the westerly winds, till in lat. 10° S. they became variable, which enabled her to make westing. This mistake occasioned the loss of several men by scurvy, as they were short of provision, &c., and no supply obtained, till after this protracted passage, she reached Bengal.

Another instance may be adduced, to shew the care requisite in running for the Strait, and not to make the land to the eastward of Java Head in the N. W. monsoon.

Captain G. Richardson, of the Pigot, fell in with the land 5° to the eastward of Java Head in December, 1771; this proceeded from the instructions advising the land to be made to the eastward of the Head, without noticing the seasons. He was obliged to stand to the southward into the S. E. trade, finding it impossible to get to the westward otherwise, the westerly winds being constant, with a current setting to the eastward along the south coast of Java. Having made sufficient westing in the trade to weather Java Head, he entered Sunda Strait, six weeks after falling in with the south coast of Java.

The Anna, bound to Bencoolen, made Java Head bearing N. N. W. ½ W. on the 5th December, 1703; having strong westerly winds and lee currents, she could not beat round it, and was forced to bear away on the 9th, in search of water and refreshments, in some of the bays on the south coast of Java; and she got all these with facility in Maurice Bay, as may be seen in the description of the south coast of Java.

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DIRECTIONS for the OUTER PASSAGE, to Places on either Side the BAY of BENGAL;


Different routes toward India.

NAVIGATORS have the choice of proceeding by the Mosambique channel, or any of the routes east of Madagascar, when the S. Westerly monsoon prevails to the northward of the equator, which is from March to October. The outer passage, to the eastward of the Chagos Archipelago, may also be adopted in the same season, or at any time of the year, but ought certainly to be followed by all ships from Europe, or the Cape of Good Hope, which cross the equator from September to April, when N. Easterly winds mostly prevail in north latitude.

Winds in the Indian Seas. S. E. Trade.

Between the Island Madagascar and New Holland, the trade wind generally prevails from S. E. in from lat. 26° to 12° S. In February, March, April, and May, the southern limit of this trade is frequently extended to lat. 23° or 30° S.; and in these months, the wind is often fixed at E. or E. N. E., continuing from these directions, many days together; this happens more particularly in the ocean, for near the west coast of New Holland, the trade wind blows from southward and S. W.; and eastward of Madagascar, near the Islands Mauritius and Bourbon, the trade wind is often obstructed by sudden changes.

Easterly monsoon, in S. latitude.

Westerly monsoon.

From the equator to lat. 12° S., the winds prevail from E. and E. S. E. during six months; which is called the easterly monsoon, and continues from April to November. From October to April, the westerly winds prevail within the same limits, blowing often at N. W. and N. N. W., with cloudy weather and rain; which is called the westerly monsoon, and brings the rainy season; the easterly monsoon being the dry season to the southward of the equator.

The westerly winds are strongest in December and January, but never so constant as the easterly winds in the opposite monsoon, which frequently extend to the equator, in June, July, and August, from the meridian of Madagascar to lon. 90° E.; but in proportion as the distance from Sumatra is decreased, the northern limit of the easterly monsoon recedes to the southward, leaving a space of variable winds between it and the equator.

S. W. monsoon in N. latitude.

When the S. E. or Easterly monsoon is prevailing to the southward of the equator, on the north side of it, the S. W. monsoon predominates, which is the rainy season in north latitude on most of the coasts of India. It commences in April at the north part of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and China Sea; but seldom till May near the equator, which is its southern limit; from thence, it blows home to all the coasts of India, Arabia, and China, continuing till October: this is a changeable month, liable to gales of wind on the Malabar Coast, and in the Bay of Bengal.

N. E. monsoon.

In October, or early in November, when the N. W. or Westerly monsoon begins to the southward of the equator, the N. E. monsoon commences in the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and China Sea, which continues till April. This is the fair weather monsoon in the Arabian Sea, and in the Bay of Bengal, the winds being more moderate and settled than in the S. W. monsoon. The equator is the southern boundary of the N. E. monsoon, or general limit between it and the N. W. winds prevailing in south latitude; but there is often a considerable space between them, subject to light variable breezes and calms.

It may be observed, that the N. E. monsoon should commence in October; but this is seldom the case in the southern part of Bengal Bay, for between Ceylon and the entrance of Malacca Strait, from the equator to lat. 8° or 10° N. westerly winds are frequently experienced in October and November, which blow strong and constant several days at a

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Westerly winds in October and November, from Ceylon to Achen Head.

time: near the equator, these winds are mostly at N. W. and N. N. W. In a direct line from the Island Ceylon to Achen Head, they are from W. S. W. to W. N. W.; and more northward into the Bay, from S. W. and S. S. Westward.

Not to make the N. W. end of Sumatra.

In October and November, these westerly winds prevail much about the Nicobars, and the entrance of Malacca Strait, and from hence to Ceylon, so that it appears very detrimental for ships bound to that island, or to the Coromandel Coast, to fall in with Achen Head in these months; nor is this requisite during any period of the N. E. monsoon, for it must frequently lengthen the passage.

It is generally very tedious passing from the west coast of Sumatra or Sunda Strait to Ceylon, in October and November, on account of the N. Westerly and variable light winds.

To proceed into the S. E. trade, and from thence to the Bay of Bengal.

SHIPS BOUND TO THE BAY OF BENGAL, when they are entering the southern limit of the S. E. trade, or in about lat. 26° to 28° S., should be in about lon. 80° to 83° E., if they expect to pass the equator from March to October, whilst the S. W. monsoon prevails to the northward of it. In standing across the trade, it often happens that no easting can be made, the wind blowing more from E. and E. N. E. than from S. Eastward; this has been experienced in different seasons of the year, but more particularly in March, April, and May. Between the meridians of Cape Comorin and Madagascar, in the western part of the Indian Ocean, the trade wind is most liable to hang far eastward; for near Java, and the west coast of New Holland, it is found mostly at S. E. and Southward.

As the S. E. trade is liable to veer to the eastward, ships ought not to enter it far to the westward, in hopes of running down much longitude whilst crossing, in case of getting near the Maldiva Islands with a scant trade.* When they get into lat. 1° or 2° N. from April to October, they may be certain of the westerly monsoon to carry them to any part of the bay. Ships bound to Ceylon or Madras in this season, should steer to the northward through the trade, keeping a little to the west of the meridian of Point de Galle, if bound there. If bound to Trincomale, they should make the land to the southward of it, from March to September, and to the southward of Madras from the 1st of February to September, when bound to that place.

Ships expecting to pass the equator between October and April, bound to the Bay of Bengal, may run to the northward in about lon. 85° E. through the trade, which will probably carry them about lat. 12° to 8° S.; variable winds, mostly from W. to N. W. and squally weather may be expected to follow, and continue from the northern limit of the trade to the equator.

Ships bound to Bengal should not make the land of Achen.

With these winds, ships bound to Malacca Strait, should steer for Achen Head; but those proceeding for Bengal, should keep at a reasonable distance from Hog Island and the N. W. end of Sumatra; for here, they are subject to delay by baffling winds and N. Westerly hard squalls, with a current setting into Malacca Strait, particularly in October and November, when N. W. and W. winds prevail about the Nicobar Islands and Achen Head.

It is improper to pass to the eastward of the Nicobar and Andaman Islands, which was formerly thought the only secure route to Bengal, during the N. E. monsoon; but it is now well known, that light N. W. winds and southerly currents prevail along the Aracan Coast in this season, which makes the passage along it to the northward, very tedious. Should any navigator, however, think the passage to the eastward of the islands requisite, during the strength of the N. E. monsoon, he ought to pass to the westward, by the Preparis, or Cocos Channel, and not approach the coast of Aracan.

But pass to the westward of the Islands.

After passing Achen Head at any discretional distance, from 1° to 2° or 3°, the west side of the Nicobar or Carnicobar Islands may be approached if the wind permit, by ships pro-

* This happened to the Contractor, as may be seen under the description of the southern part of the Maldiva Islands, and other ships have experienced the same.

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ceeding to Bengal during any part of the N. E. monsoon. If the wind incline to keep at westward, the islands need not be approached close; if at E. N. E. or N. E., they ought to steer up the bay close on a wind, to the westward of the islands. In lat. 16° or 17° N. the wind often veers more to the northward, favorable tacks may then be made to the eastward at times, to keep from the west side of the bay; neither should the coast of Aracan be approached, but ships should work to the northward in the open sea, where there is smooth water and moderate breezes, which will enable them speedily to reach the Sea Reefs. It has frequently happened in the strength of the N. E. monsoon, that ships by passing close along the west side of the Nicobar Islands, have reached the Sea Reefs at the entrance of Hooghly River, without making a tack. Navigators from Malacca Strait bound to Bengal, who have great experience, never proceed along the eastern shore, but adopt the channels between the Andamans, or to the southward of the little Andaman, or even to the southward of the Nicobars, in time of war. They also proceed through the channels to the northward of the Great Andaman frequently, but always avoid the coast of Aracan.

To keep in the west side the Bay is proper in March.

Ships that cross the equator in March, should keep well to the westward in passing up the bay, for the current then runs to the northward, along the Coromandel Coast, and the winds are often between S. W. and S. E.; whereas, in the middle of the bay, they are variable and light from N. W. to N. E. in this month, with a drain of current at times setting to the southward.

To proceed to Madras in Oct. and Nov.

and during the N. E. monsoon.

SHIPS BOUND TO MADRAS, in October, or early in November, ought not to proceed too near to Achen Head in hopes of benefitting by the N. E. monsoon, for they may be delayed by N. W. and Westerly winds. In the middle or western part of the bay, in October, the winds will often be found variable from southward and westward; with which, a ship may speedily get to the northward. During any period of the N. E. monsoon, there seems no occasion if bound to Madras to exceed lon. 86° or 87° E.; and this probably is farther than necessary, for ships which sail well.* These making the ports on the Coromandel Coast, should fall in with the land to the northward of the place to which they are bound, after September; for the current begins to set along shore to the southward in October, and is strongest in November and December; but this like the monsoons, commences in some seasons, near a month sooner than in others.

Winds near Ceylon, and directions.

At Point de Galle, and along the south side of Ceylon, and also in the Gulf of Manar, between that island and Cape Comorin, westerly winds prevail nearly eight months in the year. These winds commence in March, and continue till November, sometimes till the latter end of this month; ships, therefore, which pass the equator after the middle of March, bound to Ceylon by the outer passage, should steer north nearly on the meridian of the place to which they are going, or rather keep a little to the west of that meridian, as westerly winds may be expected to the south and westward of the island, after the period mentioned, although not always constant. The same course of proceeding is advisable till November, and even in this month, strong westerly breezes may be generally expected; but in part of October and November, the current runs strong to the westward between Ceylon and the equator, which might render it unpleasant, were a ship to have no westerly winds in the vicinity of the Maldiva Islands.

Strong westerly currents in November near Ceylon.

In the Anna, we passed Point de Galle, November 24th, 1792, bound to China. On the 2d December, we were in lat. 3° N., and nearly on the meridian of Point de Galle, having experienced a constant current of 38 to 56 miles to the westward daily, by chronometers and lunar observations, from leaving Ceylon. During this time, we could gain no easting, the

* But in January, February, and March, the equator should not be crossed too far to the westward, in case of the N. E. Trade being scant, and leeward currents prevailing, which might carry a ship to the southward of Madras, or even near to the Island of Ceylon, which has been experienced, and thereby greatly prolonged the passage.

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current being so strong, and the winds light and variable from northward. On the 2d December, the westerly current abated, and subsequently a drain set to the eastward.

Ships should not go far eastward in this month.

It is, however, improper, for ships bound to Ceylon or the Malabar Coast, to cross the equator far eastward in November, for by doing so, their passage may be considerably delayed. The Woodford, and Albion, bound to Bombay, in 1799, after crossing the equator, stood into lon. 88° E. in the early part of November, expecting to get the N. E. monsoon; but they had constant westerly winds, and made the S. E. part of Ceylon in the middle of that month: a continuance of these winds, obliged them to beat round the island, which occasioned great delay. Had they crossed the equator in lon. 80° or 81° E., then steered direct for Point de Galle, or more westerly from Cape Comorin after experiencing the wind constant from this quarter, their passage to Bombay would have been greatly accelerated.

The Belvedere, bound to Bombay, lost the S. E. trade, 19th October, 1793, in lat. 7° S. lon. 86° E., and had from hence N. W. and W. N. W. winds, to lat. 1° N: these N. W. and Westerly winds continued till the 30th, then in lat. 7½° N. lon. 85° E., at which time they veered to W. S. W. and S. W., enabling her to make the Friar's Hood, 5th November. She reached Point de Galle the 10th, where she was obliged to enter the Harbour, to renovate the health of her crew, and did not reach Bombay until the 5th of January, 1794. By losing the S. E. trade so soon, and crossing the equator so far to the eastward, her arrival at the port of destination was greatly prolonged.

The Travers, bound to Colombo, after crossing the equator with Southerly and S. W. winds, 22d October, 1802, in lon. 82° 30′ E., had constant westerly winds; she worked against them, and arrived 2d November at Colombo; had she crossed the equator on the meridian of the west part of Ceylon, she most probably would have reached her port with the westerly winds without tacking.



Middle Passage.

MIDDLE PASSAGE, is that to the eastward of the Madagascar Archipelago, having this and the Mahe Islands to the westward, and the Chagos Archipelago to the eastward.

Boscawen's Passage.

BOSCAWEN'S PASSAGE, named after Admiral Boscawen, (who in 1748, with a fleet of 26 sail, proceeded from the Island Mauritius to India by this passage) is more to the westward, or directly to the northward of the Islands Mauritius and Bourbon, toward the Island Galego, and to the west of Cargados Garajos and Saya de Malha Bank; then from Galega, to the eastward of the Mahe Islands. This route is shorter than the Middle Passage, and would be generally preferred, were the positions of all the low dangerous islands and banks adjoining to it correctly known, but as all of them are not, ships proceeding by this passage, if not certain of the longitude, should get a sight of Mauritius or Bourbon in passing, and afterward of Galega, steering the course requisite to avoid the dangers on either side of the passage.

Ships destined for Bombay or the Malabar Coast, which do not pass the Cape before the 1 st of September, ought not to proceed through the Mozambique Channel, but should adopt one of the passages on the east side of Madagascar; and the Middle Passage, or Boscawen's, may be considered the most advantageous, the route by these being more to the eastward;

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consequently, a ship proceeding by them, will be nearer to the coast to which she is destined, at the approaching N. E. monsoon.


If a ship pass the Cape of Good Hope between the 1st* of September and 1st of October, bound for the Malabar Coast, or Bombay, and intending to adopt the Middle Passage, she should get in about lon. 67° or 68° E., when crossing the parallels of 26° or 27° S. in case the trade should hang far to the eastward, which frequently happens: this, however, is most common in March and April.

When she has got into the S. E. trade, a true north course is proper, keeping in about lon. 66° E., which will carry her well to the eastward of Cargados Garajos Shoals, and the Bank Saya de Malha: the variation will decrease quick, in running to the northward.

Winds and Currents uncertain.

It is impossible to say, how far a ship will carry the trade by this route in September or October, for in these months, the winds may be found very different in one year to what they are in another. The currents are also liable to the same changes, between the equator and the northern limit of the trade, in the same months.


Bound to Bombay by the southern passage from Malacca Strait, in the King George, we crossed the equator in lon. 65° E., September 5th, 1791. On the 8th, in lat. 3° N. the wind shifted from S. to N. N. W. and N. W., and the current set N. Eastward till the 11th, in lat. 5° N. lon. 66° E. From hence, the current set to the southward, 6 to 20 miles daily; and mostly gentle breezes prevailed, constantly between N. and N. W. till we made Barsalore Peak and Pigeon Island, October 1st, having passed to the westward of the Laccadiva Islands. The wind sometimes veered to N. W. by W. and N. by E., but in general it was fixed between N. W. by N., and N. Next year, in the Anna from China, we lost the S. E. trade, August 22d, in lat. 1½° S. lon. 65° E. From hence, had light variable winds, and a current to the southward of 16 to 30 miles daily, till we crossed the equator 29th, in lon. 63° E.; had then a southerly wind two days, and lost the adverse current; in lat. 4° N. we got a steady S. W. monsoon on the 31st, with which we reached Bombay, on the 9th of September. In the King George, the preceding season, we were only seven days later in passing the equator, nearly in the same longitude, and found the S. W. monsoon completely vanished.

In the Anna, the voyage following from China, proceeding (improperly) by the same route, to the northward of the Chagos Archipelago, the S. E. trade failed September 7th, 1793, in lat. 4° S. lon. 75° E. The wind then veered to S. W. and W. S. W., and soon after to W. and W. by S. We kept tacking with these winds till the 11th, to endeavour to get to the westward, but finding this impossible, bore away to the eastward of the Maldiva Islands, and made the land near Anjenga on the 18th September, having experienced steady winds at west, till we made the land. On the Malabar Coast, the current set constantly southward, and the winds were unsettled at N. W. and Westward, which made it very tedious getting to the northward, and prevented us from reaching Bombay till the 21st of October.

Where to cross the equator;

When a ship has lost the trade, she should in proceeding to the northward, endeavour to keep between lon. 65° and 68° E., in case of meeting with light winds and easterly currents near the equator, which might carry her near the Maldivas. When she has reached lat. 3° or 4° N., in October and November, northerly winds may be expected, which will probably hang more to the westward than to the E. of the N. point.

And proceed northward, &c.

With the shifts, advantage must be taken to tack as expedient: the sea being generally smooth, a ship after getting into lat. 6° or 7° N., will soon get to the northward of the Laccadiva's, if every advantage is taken of the favorable changes of wind; she may then stand to the N. Eastward upon a wind, till the coast is seen. Or if bound to the southern part of

* If they pass the Cape sooner, the route on the east side of Madagascar may be followed.


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the Malabar Coast, she may pass through the 8° or 9° Channel, between the Maldiva and Laccadiva Islands; or through the 1½° Channel, if bound to Ceylon.

Should a ship bound to Ceylon adopt this passage, in March, April, September, or October, she may run to the eastward, keeping nearly on the equator or a little south of it, and pass the Maldivas through the 1½° channel, the equatorial channel, or to the south of the whole of these isles.

To sail from Mauritius.

Ships which sail from Mauritius for Ceylon or the Bay of Bengal, from March to September, may steer to the northward on either side of Cargados Garajos, then to the eastward of the Seychelle Islands, and pass through the equatorial channel, or 1½° channel of the Maldivas. And the latter channel is preferable to the 8° or 9° channel, for ships coming from the Mozambique Channel, toward Ceylon or Madras in the S. W. monsoon.

Some ships bound from Mauritius to the Bay of Bengal in November, December, and January, have steered to the N. N. E. ward by Boscawen's Passage till they got within 2° of the equator, then with the westerly winds which are found near the equator, they steered eastward as far as requisite, but this route is sometimes tedious: the parallels of 1° to 2° or 3° south, are considered the best for getting N. W. and Westerly winds for running down the easting.

From the Cape of Good Hope, the route by the Middle, or Boscawen's Passage may be taken previously to the setting in of the S. W. monsoon, but the passage on the east side of Madagascar, seems preferable at such times. I have, however, twice in March, proceeded by the Middle Passage to Bombay.

We left the Cape in the Carron, February 6th, 1798, got the trade March 6th, in lat. 26° S. lon. 67° E. In crossing it, the wind was seldom at S. E., or even E. S. E., but in general fixed at E. by N., veering from E. N. E. to E. by S. On the 13th, lost the trade in lat. 10° S. lon. 64° E., having experienced a daily current to the westward. On the 20th, in lat. 4° S. lon. 62½° E., the current changed, and set four days to the eastward, at the rate of 62 and 64 miles daily. When in lat. 2° S. lon. 60° E., on the 23d, it abated.

From the 13th, at losing the trade, the winds were very variable till April 1st, in lat. 4° N. lon. 60½° E. we unexpectedly got a remnant of the N. E. monsoon, and a daily current to the westward till in lat. 11½° N. lon. 56° E. on the 7th. Here, we were involved by calms and faint airs seven days. On the 14th, in lat. 14° N., a steady breeze commenced at west, and veered gradually to N. W. and N. N. W., with which we arrived the 24th of April, at Bombay.

In the Anna, we left the Cape, February 15th, 1800, and got the S. E. trade 8th of March, in lat. 28° S. lon. 69° E. The wind in crossing it at this time, kept generally at E. S. E. and S. E. by E., but we lost it in lat. 13° S. lon. 69° E., on the 14th.

From this time we had the current changeable, mostly setting southward, with very light variable winds till we passed the equator 29th, in lon. 68° E.; had then the wind from N. N. E. to N. N. W. in general, with which we tacked often till April 12th, then in lat. 7½° N. lon. 69° E. From hence, the wind kept mostly between N. by W. and N. W., with a southerly current in general. Stood to the N. N. Eastward, only making a few short tacks to the westward occasionally, till we cleared the N. W. limit of the Laccadiva Islands on the 18th, without seeing any of them. After making the coast at Geriah, arrived the 29th at Bombay, having experienced no remnant of the N. E. monsoon, as we did on the former voyage in the Carron, April 1st, in lat. 4° N.; although at this time, we reached the same latitude on the 2d of that month, or only one day later.

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The passage east of Madagascar and the Inner Passage compared.

IN THE MOSAMBIQUE CHANNEL, there being several dangers, whose positions are not well known, and light variable winds in it at times, particularly in August and September, many navigators now prefer to pass to the eastward of Madagascar, where the winds are more steady. Ships may proceed by this route from February to October; and although the distance by it, is somewhat greater than the passage through the Mosambique Channel, this is rendered of no importance, as you have better winds, more particularly in August and September.


Fort Dauphin winds.

A ship intending to follow the route to the eastward of Madagascar, after passing the Cape, should get into about lon. 52° or 53° E. before entering the trade, or in crossing the parallel of 27° S.; for she may find it impossible to make any easting in the trade, till she get to lat. 18° or 19° S. Adjacent to the S. E. part of Madagascar, E. N. E. winds prevail, extending several degrees from the land. These are called Fort Dauphin winds by the French, as they are most constant along that part of the coast, and sometimes force a current to the southward of 40 and 50 miles per day, near the shore; consequently, a ship intending to touch at Fort Dauphin for refreshments, ought to fall in with the land to the northward of the bay. Should she fall to leeward, it will be difficult to beat up against the current, but it does not extend far from the land.

These winds and currents, do not however, appear always to prevail, for the London, on the 30th April, 1699, made the south part of Madagascar bearing W. S. W. about 6 leagues, then in soundings 46 fathoms at 6 A. M. She steered east 19 miles till noon, observed lat. 25° 26′ S., then in 50 fathoms, and had fresh gales from S. S. W. to S. S. E. From hence, she steered for Bourbon, passed in sight of that island on the west side, and anchored at Port Louis on the 17th of May.

To pass up the east side of Madagascar.

In steering to the northward through the trade, a ship should continue in lon. 51° to 52° E. till she is in lat. 15° S., being then past Cape East, where the coast trends to N. by W. true bearing, she may edge in, and make the land at discretion. It should not be made to the southward, near the Deep Bay of Antongil, as there might be difficulty in getting to the N. Eastward, round the east part of the island, called Cape East.

Geo. Site of Cape Ambre, and Cape East.

N. E. part of Madagascar should be seen.

CAPE AMBRE, the northern extremity of Madagascar, is in lat. 12° 2′ S. lon. 49° 25′ E. by mean of several ships observations and chronometers. In a run of 12 days from it to Bombay, I made it by 3 chronometers, in lon. 49° 22′ E., allowing Bombay in 72° 58′ E. Mr. Stevens, (a correct observer) on the passage to Bombay in the Elphinstone, June, 1803, made it in lat. 12° 2′ S. lon. 49° 25′ E. by mean of upwards of 200 lunar distances, measured to it by chronometers. But Capt. Owen, in his late survey, makes it in 49° 11′ E. by chronometers. CAPE EAST is about 65 miles east from the meridian of the former, by recent observations, which will place it in lon. 50° 30′ E.; and it is in about lat. 15° 14′ S. If a ship do not make the land to the northward of Cape East, she ought certainly to see Cape Ambre, for a point of departure, which is a low point of land, terminating in a ledge of rocks at the water's edge, with several conical hills near it to the southward. In passing along the N. E. part of Madagascar, the coast appears sterile, and the shore rocky; a little inland, the country is mountainous.

A course made from Cape Ambre, between true N. and N. by E. is the safest track, till clear of the small islands which lie to the N. Eastward and N. Westward of it.

To proceed from it to Bombay.

The variation in lat. 10° S. nearly on the meridian of Cape Ambre, was 13° W. in 1802,

S 2

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therefore, a course from it by compass N. N. E. is very proper till past the African Islands, in lat. 5° S.; she may from thence, steer a direct course N. E. for Bombay. A ship should not make above 1½° or at most 2° E. by chronometer from Cape Ambre, till past the African Islands.


It must be observed, that off the north end of Madagascar, the current generally runs strong to the westward all the year round. From Cape East to Cape Ambre, it sets along shore to the northward, and the wind on this part of the coast, generally veers to the southward when the sun is in the northern hemisphere.

Abstract of the route of two ships by this passage.

The Ocean and Addington went this passage early in the season; they left the Cape, February 25th, 1803, and did not go to the eastward of lon. 51° 20′ E., in passing Madagascar. The trade prevailed mostly at E. by S. and E. S. E. On the 16th March, they stood to the westward to make Cape Ambre, but did not see it. From lat. 13° 40′ S. lon. 50° 40′ E. they made a north course by compass 154 miles, then steered N. by E.; from lat. 5° S. to 10° N. the winds were very light and variable, which prevented their reaching Bombay till the 7th of May.

Another abstract.

In the Anna, we passed Cape Aguilhas the 27th of June, 1802; got the trade July 11th, in lat. 27° S. lon. 51° E. Between lat. 25° and 20° S. the wind was mostly at E. by N., and E. N. E. sometimes N. E. by E. which obliged us to make two short tacks: our lon. being 50½° E. we were afraid of getting near the land with the Fort Dauphin winds, but experienced no westerly current. In lat. 19° S. the wind veered to E. S. E. next day to S. E.; on the 17th, made the coast in lat. 14° 20′ S. and steered along it to Cape Ambre; at 8 A. M. this Cape bearing S. by W. ¾ W. by compass, steered N. N. E. ½ E. 84 miles, then N. N. E. till in lat. 5° S., then N. E. till we reached Bombay, July 31st. On the day we passed Cape Ambre, had 45 miles of northerly current; it set strong in this direction along the shore south of the Cape, and also beyond it to the northward.



Instructions for proceeding to Mauritius, and the adjacent islands.

IN SAILING FROM THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, toward any of these islands, the easting must be made in a high southern latitude, as best corresponds with the season of the year, agreeably to the instructions already given for proceeding toward India.

In entering the trade, or passing the parallel of lat. 27° S. a ship should be nearly on the meridian of the island to which she is bound, that she may not be obliged to haul close to the wind, should it hang from the eastward. If bound to Roderigue, (called also Diego Rais) lat. 27° S. may be crossed in about lon. 63° E.; if to Mauritius, in about lon. 57½° E., or in 56° E. if bound to Bourbon.


Gales and burricanes.

When the sun has great north declination, it may not be absolutely requisite for ships which sail well, to reach the meridian of their port so far southward, the trade wind then blowing more from S. E. and E. S. E. in general, than from E. and E. N. E. It must also be observed, that there is a kind of northerly monsoon in the vicinity of Mauritius and Bourbon, from November to April, during which period the winds are very variable, often from N. E. to N. W. particularly from the latter quarter. From October to May, gales of wind are liable to happen in these seas: at Bourbon, there is generally one or two each

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season, and in some years a hurricane. Although the latter have been known to happen in December, at Mauritius, also in January and February, they are more liable to be encountered in March or April, when they blow very severe; but like the hurricanes in the West Indies, they are not very frequent.

Geo. Site of Roderigue.


RODERIGUE, situated in lat. 19° 41′ S. lon. 63° 20′ E. (the body) by chronometers from Mauritius, extends E. and W. about 15 miles, and is about 6 or 7 in breadth from N. to S.: it is high uneven land, which may be seen 12 or 14 leagues in clear weather. Reefs and shoals encompass it, extending 3 to 5 miles from the shore, except at the N. E. part of the island, where it is bold, having within ½ a mile of the shore 16 and 18 fathoms; from this depth, in standing to the northward, it increases to 25, 30, 40, and 45 fathoms, 3 miles from the shore, then no ground; farther westward, the soundings are more gradual. The Road or Harbour is called Mathurin Bay, and near the middle of the island, and south from the road, there is a remarkable peak, which answers as a mark or guide. You may stand in shore to 16 or 18 fathoms, but the bottom in general is coral rocks, though in some spots, sand and mud. There is a small level spot of land between two hills, with some houses, where a resident and some soldiers were usually stationed. An extensive shoal, called the Middle Ground, fronts the harbour, on some parts of which, there are 3, 2, and 1½ fathoms, with gaps of 6, 7, or 8 fathoms, between these shoal patches. The harbour is in general good holding ground, the bottom being a mixture of sand and mud. The tide rises about 6 feet, high water at 1¾ hours on full and change of the moon, the flood runs to the eastward and the ebb to the westward, about 2 miles per hour. Variation 10° W. in 1810; at which time, there were only three French families on the island, and about forty slaves.

There are two channels for entering or leaving the harbour, the eastern one being only about 250 yards in breadth, renders it very intricate for large ships. The western or leeward channel is free from danger, being about ¼ mile in breadth, formed by a small shoal of 2¾ fathoms on the edge of the Middle Ground, and a rocky patch of 3½ fathoms to the westward; this channel being far to leeward, should only be used by ships going out of the harbour. There is another channel over the Middle Ground, of the same breadth, which was used for bringing in ships previous to the survey of the harbour, but often attended with danger, by violent gusts of wind descending from the valleys, making a ship liable to miss stays when near the reef, where she might be on the rocks before the anchor could bring her up. Ships, therefore, should always go in by the eastern, and out by the western channel.



Hurricanes are liable to happen here, from the beginning of November till the end of March, and in some years there are two, but generally only one, and sometimes none: they blow with great violence, commencing from southward, and veering round to East, N. E. and N. W. where they gradually decrease after continuing about 36 hours. When at anchor in the harbour, the approach of these hurricanes may be known without the assistance of a barometer, by the darkness of the atmosphere, rising of the water above its usual level, and the hollow roaring of the breakers on the reef and shoals, and they generally give about 24 hours warning. If a ship have occasion to touch here, she must go in by the Eastern Channel, and after having made the East or N. E. part of the island may stand in within 1½ mile of the reef, and coast along it at this distance until Booby Island is seen, which bring to bear W. ¾ S. by compass, and steer toward it with this bearing, keeping a good look-out for the Peak, which will bear about S. S. W. ¼ W. when first seen; steer for Booby Island till the Peak bears S. by W. ¾ W., or about two ships lengths open to the eastward of the White Rock,* then Diamond Island will be just touching Diamond Point, and you will be at the entrance of the channel with the Peak S. by W. ¾ W., Booby Island

* A rock close to the shore, whitened to make it conspicuous.

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W. ¾ S., and Diamond Island touching, or a little on with Diamond Point:* steer in W. by S. ½ S. until the Peak and White Rock are in one, (observing not to open Diamond Island with the Point) then haul up S. W. ¼ W. or S. W. keeping a good look out on the larboard bow for a 2¼ fathoms shoal, which is generally visible, and when Diamond Island is open with Diamond Point you are within the shoals, and may run down to the westward, and anchor in 12 or 12½ fathoms sand and mud, with the Peak bearing from S. ¼ W. to S. ¼ E., and Diamond Island between two Knobs or Hummocks,† near the point, which is the most convenient birth for watering.

The wind is too scant to sail out by the Eastern Channel, ships leaving the anchorage, therefore, should use the Western Channel, and as soon as the anchor is weighed for that purpose, get the ships head round to W. N. W. and run down till the Peak bears S. by E. nearly, then haul up N. by W. or N. ½ W. (observing how the tide sets you, so as to keep the Peak bearing S. 10° E.) by compass, and when the N. E. point of the island is open with the East point of the Bay, you are clear of all the shoals, and will have 16 or 17 fathoms water.

These Directions for sailing into, and out of Mathurin Bay, were given by Lieut. Grubb, of the Bombay Marine, and accompanied his excellent plan of that bay which has been published, and ought to be obtained by those navigators who may have occasion to stop at Roderique, for it contains views and land marks as guides.

The soundings decrease regularly from 30 fathoms, 2 or 3 miles off, to 8 or 9 fathoms, within a cable's length of the reef.

In sailing into, or out this harbour, a good look-out from the fore or fore-topsail yard is advisable, for the shoal coral reefs‡ may often be easily seen when the water is clear: a boat a-head, is also a necessary precaution for those who are unacquainted.

Wood and water.

The only inducement a ship can have to touch at this place, is the want of fresh water, there being plenty of this necessary article in the harbour, and also wood for fuel. Fish may be caught in abundance, but some of them are of a poisonous § quality; which the people in Commodore Tiddeman's squadron found, was confined to those caught in deep water, with hook and line, whereas those got by the net or seine, in shore, were good and wholesome.

Winds and currents.

At Roderique the trade wind blows more constant than at Mauritius or Bourbon, prevailing between E. and S. E. greatest part of the year; the weather is sometimes cloudy, with showers of rain, when the wind is strong; but more frequently hazy and dry, with a moderate trade. The stormy months here are January, February, and March, when a hurricane is liable to happen, and also in November and December. The current throughout the S. E. trade, generally sets with the wind to the westward, from 5 to 15 miles daily; but at times it runs eastward, in opposition to the wind, as is the case at Roderique.

* See View A, in Lieut. Grubb's Plan of the Bay.

† See View B, in the Plan.

‡ A Rocky Patch of 3½ fathoms, has been discovered nearly in the middle of the western channel, and when the Island was in possession of the British in 1810, there was a blue buoy placed on it. The peak just open to the west of the large house, leads a ship between the Rocky Patch, and the western extremity of the Middle Ground.

§ These fish which are noxious, probably feed on the vegetating poisonous coral at the edges of the reefs. Abbe Rochon states, that several kinds of poisonous fish are found on the coast of Madagascar, which are discovered by placing a piece of silver under their tongue; for it loses colour, and turns black when the fish are noxious. He also mentions, that the squadron of Admiral Boscawen suffered a considerable loss at Roderigue, for having neglected this precaution. At several places within the tropics, a poisonous quality is supposed to pervade some kinds of fish, at particular seasons. It is generally thought by sailors, that a piece of silver placed along with such fish, when boiled, will turn black, but this may be only a vulgar opinion. The Baracoota, at some of the West India Islands, is considered dangerous to eat at a particular season, although at other times it is generally considered a wholesome and delicate fish; and is thought so, at all times in the Gulf of Persia, and on the Malabar Coast.

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Tempests in S. M. trade.

The storms or hurricanes which happen near these Islands, are sometimes experienced to extend far to the eastward in the S. E. trade, or nearly to the coast of New Holland. On the 21st of November, 1808, the homeward-bound fleet from Madras, was in lat. 9½° S. lon. 90° E. when a violent storm came on from Westward, which veered to Eastward after moderating, then blew with redoubled violence, veering to South, S. W. and N. W: with a very cross high sea, till the weather moderated on the 23d. In this tempest, the Company's ships, Lord Nelson, Glory, and Experiment, foundered with their crews, and the Diana was nearly sharing the same fate. The Ann, one of the ships in this fleet, suffered very little during the storm.

On the 14th of March, 1809, the homeward-bound fleet from Madras and Ceylon, was in lat. 23° S. lon. 62° 40′ E. when a violent gale commenced at S. E., and increased on the 15th from the eastward with constant rain, then moderated without veering, round the compass. In this gale the Bengal, Calcutta, Lady Jane Dundass, and Dutchess of Gordon, four of the Company's regular well built ships, foundered with all their crews; and it is remarkable, that the Earl St. Vincent, and some other ships of this fleet, suffered no damage in the gale, nor did even appear to consider it as very tempestuous, although their distance from the ships that perished could not be great, so partial are these tempests in their local range.


Geo. Site.

ISLE OF FRANCE, called MAURITIUS, by the English and Dutch, situated about 100 leagues to the west of Roderique is mountainous, and may be discerned 16 or 18 leagues off in clear weather, but it seldom can be seen at a great distance, the summits of the mountains and other elevated parts of the island being frequently enveloped in clouds. This island extends in a N. E. and S. W. direction, the S. W. point being in lat. 20° 27′ ½ S. lon. 57° 16′ E., and the N. E. point in lat. 19° 53′ S. lon. 57° 35′ E.


Great care is requisite when running in with the eastern part of the island in the night, as dangerous reefs project from several places nearly a league into the sea. When a ship approaches the N. E. part, in lat. 20° S. four small islands will be seen, at different distances from the N. E. part of the main island. The channel generally used in sailing to the N. W. Port, is between the inner island, called the Gunner's Quoin, and the others which lie farther from the shore. Round Island is the most remarkable, and lies about 4 leagues off, in lat. 19° 50½′ S. lon. 57° 45′ E., being about 1 mile in length; it is high, appearing like a haycock, and can be seen at 10 or 12 leagues distance. A ship coming from the eastward, in the latitude of the island, will discover it sooner than the main island, especially in cloudy weather, or when the horizon is hazy. In approaching Round Island, a large barren islet or rock is perceived; this is called Serpent's Island, and lies N. N. E. ½ E., about a mile from the former. If a ship pass outside of all the islands, with the wind far to the southward, she will have to work in afterward; it is, therefore, proper to pass to the southward of Round Island, keeping at least a large ½ league from it, to give a birth to the reef projecting out to the westward.

About 3 or 4 miles N. E. from the Gunner's Quoin (or Coin de Mire) and about 7 miles W. S. Westward from Round Island, Long or Flat Island, is situated, the greatest part of which is very low land; it is cut in two by a small arm of the sea, and close on the north side there is a large rock, resembling a tower, called Le Colombier, or the Pigeon House, which seems separated from Flat Island, though joined to it by a ridge of rocks even with the water's edge.* The only part of Flat Island that is high, is the west end.

* Captain W. Owen of the Royal Navy, says, there is a narrow channel with 11 and 12 fathoms in the middle of it, between Columbier and Flat Island. He makes Cooper's Island, in lon. 57° 25′ E., or 39° 5′ East of Devil's Mount, Table Bay, by excellent chronometric admeasurements, during his survey of East Africa.

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When a ship has passed Round Island on the south side, keeping it at least 2 miles distant in passing, she should steer for the Gunner's Quoin, bearing from the former about S. W. by W. ¾ W. distant 10 miles, and give a birth to the west end of Flat Island in sailing along, on account of a reef of rocks extending about a cannon-shot from the S. W. point of a sandy cove, directly opposite to the Gunner's Quoin; as this reef is very dangerous, she ought to keep at least in mid-channel, or nearest to the Gunner's Quoin, taking care not to approach very close to the latter, there being several rocks above and under water, extending from the north side of it, about a musket-shot distant.

Currents or tides.

Having passed the westernmost of these rocks, the Gunner's Quoin will be approached, from which the island takes its name; it is situated on the west part of the island, which is high and steep close to the sea. From the highest part of the Quoin, Point des Canonniers, (or Canonniers' Point) bears S. W. 2° W., about 5 miles; but this Point must not be approached near, as a reef of breakers projects from it about the distance of a cannon-shot. Among these islands the currents set strong for about an hour at a time, often at the rate of 3 miles an hour. The flood sets N. W., and sometimes westward; the ebb to the S. E. and Eastward. They ought to be attended to with care, that a ship may be navigated a little more to one side, or to the other, as circumstances require.

Between the Gunner's Quoin and the main, close under the Quoin, there is tolerable anchorage in 10 to 20 fathoms, and here the fleet of transports anchored on the 29th November, 1810, and landed the troops prior to the capture of the Island Mauritius.

Anchorage in the channel.

Should a ship in passing through the channel among the Islands, experience a calm, she ought to anchor with a stream or kedge, in 15 or 20 fathoms gravel or coral, which is the common ground here; this will prevent her from driving on the reef joining Flat Island by currents, or being carried between it and Round Island, where are several shoals, particularly a ledge of rocks extending near 3 miles to the W. N. Westward from Round Island. This ledge, which has no breakers on it but when the sea runs high, renders this channel narrow and dangerous; a ship may notwithstanding, pass through it without accident, but should she fall to leeward of Round Island, it is safest to pass outside of Flat Island also, keeping about 1½ mile from it, and then steer for the west end of the Gunner's Quoin, and Canonniers' Point.

To sail toward Port Louis.

Having cleared this Point, she should run along shore to the Point of Sea Arm, which is about 3 miles farther to the S. Westward, and continue the course, keeping near a mile from the reefs that extend along the coast, taking care to avoid those at the entrance of the Baie des Tortures, (Turtle Bay) as well as those of the Baie du Tombeau (Monument Bay) which project farthest out; to avoid these, she ought to keep in 13 or 14 fathoms at least, in the day-time, and in 20 fathoms during the night.

From the Reef du Tombeau, the course is about S. S. W. till the starboard point of Great River, and the mountains of the guard-house, with a small hummock, are brought to bear all in one. When you have got into this bearing, steer S. W. for two buoys at the entrance of the harbour, close to the reef's end of l'Isle aux Tonneliers, (Cooper's Island) which are distinguished by two small flags. This course should be continued till you open the most advanced point of Cooper's Island, near the small hill in the hollow of the cape; then anchor in 14 or 15 fathoms, about a cable's length from the two flags mentioned.

If the wind happen to be at N. or N.W. which is sometimes the case, it will be needless to anchor outside, because you may then easily enter the harbour, if acquainted, the channel being marked out by buoys, with small flags upon them; you must then steer S. E. and S. E. by S. for two heads of mountains, which are called the Two Peter* Boats, or Butts, keeping them a little to starboard, till quite within the first point of Cooper's Island.

* Two knobs like chimneys or upright stones, one of them on a mountain inland, the other on a hill nearer the harbour; these should be kept in a transit line with each other till inside of Fort Tonneliers.
The highest mountains on this island are about 2600 feet above the level of the sea, and this is one of them.

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In case you should not make Round Island till the evening, and are unable to pass the Gunner's Quoin before night, as it would be extremely dangerous to lie exposed between the islands, when the darkness does not permit you to distinguish objects, it is much safer to make small trips in the offing, or in sight of Round Island, with this caution, however, not to stand off farther than 2 leagues from it, and when you tack to keep your broadside toward Mauritius, for fear of the reefs round it; for in this part they extend far out, by which you might get on the shelves before the land is seen. You ought by no means to lie to, in this track, because of the tides.

After passing Round Island, if you are able to discern Flat Island, and the Gunner's Quoin, so as to keep sight of them, which may be done in a bright moonlight night, with fine weather, you may then keep on your course, and sail betwixt them; it will be sufficient if you guard against the ledges of Flat Island, and of the Gunner's Quoin. Having passed the latter, and being about 1½ league to the west of it, you should steer W. S. W. by compass, to range along the reef of Canonnier's Point, on which a fire is generally lighted when any vessels are in sight. When that fire bears S. E. about 3 miles, you will have doubled the reef, and may then keep coasting along, taking care not to approach the shore nearer than 15 fathoms.

It is, however, difficult to distinguish the entrance of the harbour in the night-time, and as you may be easily deceived by the different fires on the mountains, it is much safer, after having passed Canonnier's Point, to anchor in 18 or 20 fathoms, and wait for day-light; above all, when there is little wind you must never venture to come near Canonnier's Point, whether in the day or night, because of eddy tides, which run there with great velocity.

These directions for sailing into Mauritius, are chiefly those of M. d'Apres de Mannevillette: English navigators, have given the following instructions for sailing to the ports of this island:—

Further directions for proceeding to Port Louis.

In approaching the N. E. end of Mauritius, when Round Island is seen, steer to pass it on the south side, at 2 or 3 miles distance; Gunner's Quoin will then be seen to the westward; steer direct for it, until it is approached within a mile, then edge away to the N. Westward, between it and Flat Island, which has a white rock, called the Pigeon House, on its north side. In passing through, keep nearest the Quoin, and having passed it, at 1 or 1½ mile distance, on the north side, steer S. W. for Canonnier's Point, if the wind is from the land; but should there be the appearance of a sea breeze, steer more westerly, on account of the swell it commonly brings in with it, setting toward the shore. In steering along, keep about ¾ or 1 mile from the reefs projecting from the points; you will pass several batteries before reaching the Pavilions, which are two small flags* close to the extremity of the north-east shoal, at the entrance of Port Louis Harbour, about 8 leagues distant from Round Island. In the day, the discoloured water on the reefs will be seen at a considerable distance, if a good look-out is kept from the fore-yard, should a ship by chance approach any of them too close. The pilots generally come out to the distance of 2 or 4 miles from the harbour, to carry ships in, particularly if the necessary signal is made. As the wind generally blows directly out of the harbour, ships are obliged to warp in, by coir hawsers laid along one of the lines of buoys, to each of which the hawser is stopped by a rope-yarn to keep the ship in the fair channel between the two lines of buoys, and a diver attends to cut the rope-yarn as each buoy is approached. Mid-channel between the lines of buoys is the best track to have the deepest water, and to keep clear of the different wrecks sunk near the edges of the channel.

From October to February, when the winds are inclined to vary, and sometimes blow

* In Lieutenant Evans' excellent survey of this Port, there is only one Flag marked on the outermost buoy, which is placed at the entrance of the Channel, beyond all the other buoys.


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from North and N. Westward, the current is then liable to run to the eastward along the north side of the island; at such times, ships may approach Port Louis with facility, by coming round the west side of the island. This is the best season for ships crossing over from Madagascar to Mauritius and Bourbon.

Geo. Site of Port Louis.

Port Louis, is in lat. 20° 9′ 45″ S. lon. 57° 28′ E. by the observations of Abbé de la Caille, and d'Apres, corresponding with each other within a mile of longitude. In 1788-9, the mean of 70 distances of , made it in lon. 57° 29′ E. from Greenwich, the lat. 20° 9′ 33″ S., and the variation in the road at the same time 16° 20′ W. Captain Flinders, made it in 57° 29′ 57″ E. by lunar observations, taken while he was detained a prisoner of war.

Geo. Site of Port Bourbon.


Port Bourbon, is the south-east Port of the Island Mauritius, situated in lat. 20° 22′ S. lon. 57° 41′ E. It is little frequented, being on the windward side of the island; the trade wind blowing generally into it, the navigation out, is thereby rendered very difficult; more so, as the two channels are narrow, and formed between reefs. At full and change of moon, there are breezes at times from the land, when a ship may be enabled to get out of this harbour. The eastern channel is of great length, winding in various directions, narrow, and intricate. The western channel, although narrow and winding, is more safe; in entering it you keep Passe, (or Passage Island) which is on the edge of the eastern bank, close a board, and when round it you haul to the eastward, to avoid the point of the western reef, and may then anchor in the bason, in 25 or 30 fathoms. If you are to proceed for the harbour, the channel may be perceived by the colour of the water, as the dangers plainly appear. This harbour is secured from all weather by a reef, great part of this being dry at low water.

Island Bourbon.

ISLAND BOURBON, or MASCARENHAS, is of a round form, about 14 leagues from N. W. to S. E. which is its greatest length. There is a volcano near the S. E. part, and the high peaked mountain near the centre of the island, is in about lat. 21° 9′ S. Although this island is larger than Mauritius, it is only a great mountain, in a manner cloven through the whole height, in three different places; the summit is covered with wood, and its declivity, which extends down to the sea, is cleared and cultivated in two-thirds of its circuit; the remainder is covered with lava of the volcano, which generally burns gently and without noise; it only appears a little violent in the rainy season.

Geo. Site of St. Denis.

St. Paul.

Stormy season.

St. Dennis, at the north part of the island, is the principal place, lying in lat. 20° 52′ S. and in lon. 55° 27′ E., but the anchorage here, is near the shore, and unsafe. There is another bay at the N. W. part of the island, in the district of St. Paul, where there is anchorage, and the sea tolerably smooth, but the landing is difficult. The island has no port where ships can be sheltered from bad weather, on which account vessels seldom remain at anchor, especially during the rainy season. Hurricanes are liable to happen from November to the latter end of April, and are more particularly dreaded about the full and change of moon. In this season it is thought unsafe to anchor, except four or five days after the new or full moon, and vessels do not remain more than five or six days or even less, for fear of storms at the phases. The hurricanes at Bourbon, are thought to be more violent than at Mauritius; notwithstanding, ships touch at the island in the stormy season, to load coffee, and take in provision.

Passage from Mauritius toward India.

THE PASSAGE, from the Islands Mauritius and Bourbon toward India, may be followed at all seasons. When the wind is fair, or inclined to keep at S. E., ships leaving Port Louis, will often be able to steer direct to the E. N. Eastward, and pass to the east of Cargados Garajos without tacking, also to the east of Diego Garcia, if bound to the Bay of Bengal; or they may pass on the west side of Cargados Garajos without losing time, if un-

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able to weather those isles and shoals, which require great care when crossing their parallel. When the N. E. monsoon prevails in north latitude, it is prudent to get to the eastward as speedily as possible.

The Alexander, left Port Louis, 30th December, 1810, bound to Madras, had variable winds, chiefly between N. W. and E. N. E., with which she passed to the southward of Diego Garcia, and had light winds and calms, by keeping so far south of the equator, which she did not cross till in lon. 92° E. Light winds continuing, she touched at Achen for refreshments and water, having troops on board, where she arrived 26th February, 1811. Sailed from thence, the 4th March, and arrived on the 11th, at Madras.

The Sir Stephen Lushington, left Port Louis 22d December, 1810, bound to Madras, and with easterly winds, she steered to the northward, saw the Islands Agalega, Coetivy, and passed over the Fortune Bank in 10 and 12 fathoms; she passed to the west of the Chagos Islands, then steered to the eastward, mostly in lat. 4½° to 5° South, with light variable winds, till she got within 2° of the equator, in lon. 85° E., and had then strong N. W. and W. N. W. winds, with which she arrived the 6th February at Madras.

This ship kept too far south of the equator in running down her easting; ships following this route from September to March, should keep very little to the southward of the equator, for by keeping within 1° or 2° of it, they will be more likely to have N. Westerly winds, to run down their easting, than by continuing in a higher parallel of south latitude.

Ships bound from Mauritius to Bengal Bay, in the N. W. monsoon, may steer to the northward and N. N. E., passing to the east of the Seychelle Islands, then through the 1½° channel, or the equatorial channel of the Maldivas, which is more direct than the channels to the north of those islands.

Passage from Bourbon by the 1½° channel to Madras.

The Cornwallis, Captain Burnet Abercrombie, passed the Island of Bourbon about 10 leagues to the east of it, 1st September, 1784, then to the eastward of Galega and the Seychelle Islands, without seeing them. When near the equator, the wind veered to North, W. N. W., and West, with which she steered east on the parallel of 1° 30′ N., and passed through the Adoumatis or 1½° channel of the Maldivas, on the 27th September, being at 6 P. M. in lat. 1° 28′ N. lon. 73° 35′ E. by chronometer and lunar observation, without seeing any of the isles on either side. The westerly winds continued brisk, and enabled her to steer direct for Ceylon, saw the Great Basses on the 2d of October, steered along the east side of the island, and arrived at Madras on the 8th of that month, having 11 days passage from the Adoumatis Channel.



Geo. Site of Fort Dauphin; winds and currents.

EAST COAST OF MADAGASCAR, has lately been more frequented by English ships since the Island Mauritius became a British colony: several of His Majesty's ships visit the ports on the east coast to obtain refreshments, or otherwise as duty renders necessary, and along the east side of Madagascar, a bank of soundings extends from 3 to 5 miles off shore in most places, containing few hidden dangers. FORT DAUPHIN, the southernmost port on the coast, is in lat. 25° 5′ S. and about lon. 46° 45′ E.* A ship bound there, should make the land to the northward of this port, on account of strong N. E. and

* Lieut. Evans made it about 10 miles more to the eastward.

T 2

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E. N. E. winds, called Fort Dauphin Winds, which prevail greatly, forcing a current to the southward along this part of the coast, rendering it very difficult to gain the bay, if a ship fall to leeward. Between Fort Dauphin and Cape St. Mary (the south extremity of the island) the coast is generally bold to approach, with soundings within a moderate distance of the shore.

In approaching Fort Dauphin, as the current sometimes sets 16 leagues in 24 hours to the southward, a ship should anchor in the night, to prevent being driven to leeward, if the weather is favorable, and the bottom not rocky.

Instructions to sail toward Fort Dauphin.

When the land is seen in lat. 24° S. you perceive a chain of very high mountains;* and in 24° 15′ to 24° 18′ S. a hummock in the form of a sugar-loaf, is distinguished amidst some small hills near the sea. Sailing along the coast, at 2½ leagues distance, a reef may be perceived in lat. 24° 22′ S. which projects to a considerable distance from the shore; and a little farther southward, you discover, through St. Luce's Islands, some small rocky shoals under water, at a considerable distance from the shore, between lat. 24° 35′ S. and 24° 45′ S. which require great care. Continuing to sail along at the same distance from the shore, a point will be discerned S. W. by W. by compass, appearing to stand by itself, with two hummocks, more flat than round; and after this, another point, with hummocks of the same shape. These two points have been often taken for Point Itapere, which is the next, or third in order, having sharp pointed hummocks. When you come near the second point, steering along the coast, at 1½ league distance, there are shoals, some of which extend above 2 miles from the shore: it is therefore, advisable, to keep an offing of 1½ league, or more.

Itapere Rock, whose breakers are always seen, is the surest mark to distinguish the Point, from which it is distant about 1 mile to the S., but there is no passage between them; these breakers, sometimes, rise very high.

Two leagues W. S. W. (true bearing) from this rock, lies Fort Dauphin: the coast between Itapere Point and that on which the fort stood, forms a cove or bay, named Tolonghare, by the natives, and Anse Dauphine by the French, who were formerly settled there, and of whose fort, the remains are still visible. Ships generally go within the elbow made by the point.

Anchorage there.

Having passed Itapere Rock, at the distance of a mile, or a little less, steer for Fort Dauphin Point, which is encompassed with a reef to the distance of a cable's length, having good anchorage within it. A good birth is with Point Itapere E. 5° or 6° S. by compass, and the extreme of the breakers nearest the anchorage S. E. by E., the larboard anchor to the N. Eastward, in 7 fathoms sandy ground; the starboard anchor in 6 fathoms, having 28 or 29 feet water under the ship; a third anchor is placed to the N. Westward, if requisite.

When there is not sufficient day-light to reach the road, having doubled Itapere Rock, you may anchor in any part of the bay, if the weather admit, observing that the quality of the ground is not every where the same.

Indifferent water is obtained at the landing place, by digging in the sand, which may answer for cooking and for the stock; but at a small distance inland, there are plentiful springs of very good water.

The natives of Madagascar not to be trusted.

To the southward of Fort Dauphin Point, there is a bay of foul ground, called St. Luke's, Galleons, or False Bay. The Point is even land, of middling height; and the country mountainous inland, to the N. W. of Fort Dauphin Bay. It is under the government of several chiefs, with whom you must always behave with caution, and the same conduct ought to be observed in all parts of Madagascar where you may have occasion to land.

TAMATAVE, in about lat. 18° 12′ S., is a village on a low point of land, having good anchorage within the coral reefs, which secure ships from N. E., easterly, and southerly

* The perpendicular height of this chain is supposed to be near 3600 yards above the sea level.

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Reefs near Tamatave.

winds. A reef projects N. E. ward from the northern point of the road, and another about a mile to the S. S. W. of Plumb's Island, which require care; as neither of them are laid down in M. D'Apre's plan of Tamatave Bay. To the southward of this place, from 3 to 7 leagues distance, several reefs exist about 3 or 4 miles from the shore; and also about 6 miles N. N. E. from Tamatave, in lat. 18° 7′ S. there are some reefs.

PLUMB'S ISLAND, (L'Isle aux Prunes) distant about 2 miles from the nearest part of Madagascar, is covered with trees, and seen at the distance of 5 leagues.

Directions for sailing to Foul Point.

When the southerly winds prevail, it is proper for ships bound to Foul Point to make this island, and as that place is often preferred to Fort Dauphin on account of its greater facility and better anchorage, those bound there for refreshments, may attend to the following observations.

The land about that part of the coast adjacent to Plumb's Island, is low and covered with trees. Three leagues N. N. E. from Plumb's Island, there is a rocky bank with breakers, and 1½ league farther on the same bearing, a shoal with 3 fathoms water on it; one league to the N. N. E. of this, there is another with 4 fathoms, which dangers are about a league from the shore.

From Plumb's Island to Foul Point, the Coast of Madagascar is of moderate height, uneven and woody, rising gradually inland, till double and treble mountains are seen at a great distance. The shore consists of white sand, lined with breakers, projecting 2 or 3 cable's lengths into the sea. When Plumb's Island bears N. W. by compass, about 2 leagues distant, you perceive on the north side, a small hill nearer the shore than the others, and forming two Paps; they are called the Paps* of Natte, from the village in that quarter, where the Natives often hoist a white flag. Several vessels have mistaken this place for Foul Point, which lies 3 leagues farther north; but this error will be avoided, if you observe that Plumb's Island is visible from Natte, but cannot be seen from Foul Point; if therefore, you bring the island to bear S. 30° W., by compass, when it is disappearing in the horizon, you may steer N. 15° E. for Foul Point, which is on this bearing.

These directions must be followed only during the season of the S. E. winds, for in the season of the N. E. winds, you ought not to make the land to the southward of the place to which you are bound.

Anchorage there.

The bight of Foul Point, where ships anchor, is formed by a large reef, which begins on the shore a mile to the southward of the village, and extends about ¾ of a league N. N. E. true bearing. Come no nearer this reef than a ¼ league, and range it along, so as to double its northern point at a large cable's length. You distinguish the breakers, but they show less at high water, and with a fresh breeze. When round the north end of the reef, haul to the S. W., and anchor under shelter of it in 6 or 7 fathoms sand and mud. The north point of the reef will bear E. by N. or E. N. E., by compass, the south point of the bight S. by W. ½ W., the village S. W. 1 mile, the land towards Manivoul N. by E. 6 or 7 leagues. You moor E. N. E. and W. S. W.; if you are to remain a considerable time, it is requisite to have a third anchor to the N. W. Within the reef, there is a basin where large ships may anchor, the depths being 6 and 7 fathoms; but it is not very safe, and the cables are exposed to be cut by the rocks.

Geo. Site.

Periodical winds.

The village of Foul Point in lat. 17° 41′ S. lon. 49° 36′ E., affords plenty of bullocks and refreshments, but the harbour is full of shoals, over which a boat cannot pass at low water. It must be also observed, that Foul Point should only be frequented in the fine season, when the Southerly and S. E. winds prevail, the reef affording no shelter against northerly winds, or stormy weather. The winds here are periodical, the S. E. and Southerly, prevailing from

* These inland mountains, called also Foul Point Paps, (and are the mark for this place) lie about 15 leagues to the westward. There are four of them, but in coming from Plumb's Island only two are seen.

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April to October or November, and the N. E. or Northerly winds during the rest of the year. This kind of monsoon is experienced in all these seas, from the equator to the parallels of Mauritius and Bourbon, and extends a considerable way to the eastward of these islands.

Indication of the proximity of land.

A certain sign of land in the season of the northerly winds, and during the greatest part of the year, is a large bank of black clouds, of an even appearance, which gathers during the day, and extends over Madagascar. When seen from the land, this cloud has about 10° of elevation above the horizon; it may be discerned at 12, 15, and 20 leagues distance from sea, and is a sure indication of your approach to the land.


MANOUROU, in lat. 20° S. is a village where vessels are sheltered within the reef, extending from it to the northward; but this place, and Tamatave, appear by the plans of them, rather confined for large ships; and ought not to be adopted as places of refreshment, unless in a case of necessity, during the fair weather season.


LONG POINT, OR MANIVOUL, in lat. 17° 13′ S., about 6 leagues to the S. W. of the south end of St. Mary's Island, affords shelter in the S. E. monsoon, or fair weather season.

Island of St. Mary.

Gen. Site.

ST. MARY'S ISLAND, the south point, is about 13 leagues N. N. E. ½ E., true bearing, from the road of Foul Point. This island, called by the natives Nossi Ibrahim, or Abraham's Island, extends from lat. 17° 4′ S. to 16° 37′ S. in a direction about N. E. by N.: and Capt. Owen places the S. W. point 31° 25′ East from Devil's Mount, Table Bay, which will make this point in about lon. 49° 54° E., allowing Devil's Mount to be in lon. 18° 29′ E.; but as he makes the latter in 18° 20′ E., this would place the S. W. point of St. Mary's in lon. 49° 45′ E.

Channel within it.

Between it and Madagascar, the channel is safe for ships of any size, the narrowest part being about 5 miles wide, having from 40 to 45 fathoms in mid-channel.

This part of it is formed by Lokinsin Point near the middle of the island, and Laree Point opposite, on the Madagascar shore. From this point, a bank projects E. N. Eastward about a mile, with only 2 or 3 fathoms water on it, and the former point is also environed by a reef.

The south point of St. Mary's is formed by a flat islet, separated from it by a very small channel, around which is a reef extending nearly 2 miles to the southward. The whole of the eastern side of St. Mary's, is likewise lined with breakers, with two sand banks detached, the northernmost about 4 miles off, and the southernmost one about 3 miles from the islet that forms the south point of St. Mary's.


On the west side, about 2 leagues from the south point, there is a bay, with an island called Quails Island at the entrance, where small vessels may find shelter. On it, the French had a factory, which they were forced to abandon in 1761, the place being unhealthy, and the natives treacherous.* To anchor at this place, steer along the S. W. end of St. Mary's, in 18 or 20 fathoms, and having rounded a large rock off the S. W. point of the Bay, anchor in 18 or 20 fathoms, with Quails Island bearing about south, true bearing; Point Laree will then bear nearly true north, distant about 4 leagues. The tide rises here about 4 feet perpendicular. The months most liable to storms or hurricanes, are January, February, and March.


TEINTIQUE, situated within the Island St. Mary's, about 3½ leagues N. W. from Point Laree, is a bay or cove, full of shoals at the entrance, having a channel between

* It was first settled by the French, in 1740, and 120 men left there, who were three months after cut off by the natives. They re-possessed it in 1743.

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them, with moderate depths for anchoring inside, in 5, 6, or 7 fathoms, sheltered from all winds, according to the French plan, but too confined for large ships.

Anton-gil Bay.

ANTON-GIL BAY, named Manghabes by the natives, takes its name from Antonio Gil, a Portuguese captain, supposed to be the first European who entered it.

From the north end of St. Mary's Island, the entrance of this Bay is distant about 10 leagues, bearing true north. It is about 14 leagues in length from north to south, and 8 leagues broad at the entrance between Cape Bellones and Point Baldrish, these bearing about N. E. ½ E. and S. W. from each other.

To sail toward it.

In sailing towards Anton-gil Bay, a ship may in the southerly monsoon, pass through the channel between St. Mary's and the main land, or to the eastward of the Island at discretion; but in the northerly monsoon she should not make this island, for then, a direct course ought to be steered for the entrance of the Bay; she may sail along either side of it as most expedient, the depths of water and quality of the ground being nearly the same, and decrease to 30, 25, 20, and 15 fathoms, as the head of the bay is approached.


Here are several Islets, the principal one called Marosse, is about a mile in extent, and the same space from the shore. It is in lat. 15° 25′ S., having four smaller islets to the southward, the farthest of these distant from it about 2 leagues. The common anchorage is to the northward of Isle Marosse, at the distance of a musket-shot, opposite to two small sandy coves, in 11 or 12 fathoms. Wood and water are procured here with great convenience, and tents may be erected, safer than on the main, where you must trade for provisions. The river bears N. N. W. true bearing from Isle Marosse, and is navigable by boats. The anchorage off this river, is called by the French, Port Choiseul; the water rises about 5 feet on full and change of moon. Rice, bullocks, &c. are procured here.

To sail from the Bay.

N. E. Coast of Madagascar.

Departing from Anton-gil Bay, bound to the northward, steer along the eastern shore, taking advantage of favorable breezes with the ebb tide. At a small distance southward from Baldrish Point, lies a small Island, called Behenter, to the southward of which, ships anchor when trading to this place. From hence, the coast extends about 2 leagues eastward, and is lined with a reef projecting 2 miles out, till it joins another islet, called Nepatte; from this islet, the direction of the shore is about N. E. by N. true bearing, four leagues, then about N. N. E. ¼ E. to Cape East.

Veninguebe Bay.

VENINGUEBE BAY, in lat. 15° 52′ S. about 1½ league to the northward of the east point of Anton-gil Bay, is about ½ a mile wide between the reefs that form the entrance. It appears unsafe, particularly for large ships. On the point of the reef forming the north side of the bay, which is very extensive, the French frigate La Gloire was lost, going out in 1761.

Geo. Site. of Cape East,

and Cape Ambre.

CAPE EAST, is in lat. 15° 14′ S. lon. 50° 30′ E., and the whole of the coast to this Cape, is also lined with reefs, which in several places project 2 miles from the shore; it is therefore, proper, to keep at least an offing of 1 league in sailing along. From Cape East to Vohemare Bay, in lat. 13° 25′ S. the direction of the coast is about N. by W. ½ W. true bearing; and N. N. W. to N. N. W. ½ W., from this Bay to CAPE AMBRE, which is the northern extremity of Madagascar, situated in lat. 12° 2′ S. lon. 49° 25′ E.,* as described in a preceding section, of "Directions for the Passage to the Eastward of Madagascar." From Cape East to Cape Ambre the land is generally high and uneven, except near the sea, in some places, it is level, and of moderate height. The shore is rocky, with some islets and coral reefs in different parts, projecting out 1, 2, 3, to 4 miles.

* But in lon. 49° 11′ E. by Captain Owen's chronometers, in H. M. Ships Leven and Barracouta.

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Cape East Bay and Harbour.

CAPE EAST BAY, AND HARBOUR, in lat. 15° 15′ S. are situated on the S. side of the Cape of this name. They are formed by reefs, the soundings in them 4,. 5, and 6 fathoms. The Harbour is a small inlet between the reefs, a little to the southward of the Bay, apparently more safe than the latter, but they seem too confined for large vessels.

Port Louquez.

PORT LOUQUEZ, in lat. 12° 48′ S. seems a safe Harbour by the French plan of it. The entrance is in lat. 12° 43′ S. between an extensive coral bank to the eastward, and another to the westward; the latter having an Island on its north part, called Sandy Island, which is about 3 miles long. When abreast of the south end of this island about 1½ or 2 miles distance, the course is about S. by W. true bearing between the reefs which form the entrance, and the distance about 5 miles to a safe cove or harbour, having an even bottom of sand, from 5 to 9 fathoms, where ships are sheltered from all winds. The entrance leading to it is about ½ a mile wide, with deep water in it, from 20 to 40 fathoms.

False Port.

About two miles above the harbour, at the head of the inlet, there was formerly a village, and an inner harbour, having 4, 5, and 6 fathoms sand bottom, where the French vessels moored, when they visited this port. Between the outer and inner harbour, an extensive bank projects from the point on the eastern shore more than two-thirds across the channel, which makes it very narrow in this part. It is high water at 3 o'clock, and the tide rises 5 feet. A little to the southward of the entrance to Port Louquez, there is a bay very open to the northward, called the False Port.

Geo. Site of British Sound.

BRITISH SOUND, entrance, is in lat. 12° 14′ S. lon. 49° 15′ E. by the observations of Capt. Owen, of H. M. S. Leven, who surveyed this excellent Harbour in 1824, it having been previously discovered by Capt. Chapman, of H. M. S. Ariadne. Capt. Owen gave it the general name of British Sound, but within the entrance it branches out into several bays, named by him Irish Bay, Scotch Bay, English Bay, and Welch Pool. The entrance of the Sound is about ⅔ of a mile wide, with about 24 fathoms water close to its south side, and from thence to mid-channel, and shoaling gradually to 4 and 3 fathoms at the northern side, which is formed by a small island close to the main. In the middle of the Sound there is 35 fathoms, shoaling gradually to the banks and shores of the bays inside. Variation 12° 40′ W.

East coast of Madagascar unhealthy in the northerly monsoon.

Relative to the eastern coast of Madagascar, it should be observed, that Fort Dauphin is generally healthy at all times. That from Foul Point, which is unhealthy only in the bad season, the country is more so, as you proceed northward. To prevent your crew from the diseases prevailing there during the unhealthy season, allow none of them to sleep on shore after November.

Currents between Cape Ambre and the African Coast.

From Cape Ambre, the currents set generally strong to the westward all the year, toward the Comoro Islands and the Coast of Africa. Several navigators have experienced a set of 15 or 20 leagues in 24 hours to the westward.

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Geo. Site of Sandy Island.

SANDY ISLAND, or L'Isle de Sable, in lat. 15° 52′ S. lon. 54° 40′ E. is a flat sandy spot about 15 feet above water, ½ a mile long from N. N. W. to S. S. E. and about ¼ of a mile broad, having a sand bank projecting ¾ of a mile towards the S. S. E. It was discovered by the ship La Diane in 1722; and in 1761 the Flute l'Utile* was cast away there. Ships passing to the eastward of Madagascar, if not certain of their longitude, should be careful in crossing the parallel of this low and dangerous island.

The Alexander, passed on the west side of Sandy Island, within 5 or 6 miles of it, on the 3d Jan. 1810; the breakers on that side, did not appear to extend far out from the Isle, which she made in lat. 15° 49′ S. lon. 54° 48′ E. by chronometer.

Capt. Moresby, visited this island on the 6th March, and again on the 24th of July 1822, having at this time reached it after a run of only 40 hours from Port Louis; and 60 hours from the same place at the first time to this isle, which he made in lat. 15° 51¾′ S. lon. 54° 33¾′ E. by chronometric measurement from Port Louis, and in lon. 54° 38′ E. by observations of . He found it to be very low and sterile, about ¾ of a mile in length, with a reef extending from the south point. The north point appeared to be a steep sand bank, up which the sea rolled a considerable distance. Off the N. W. end about 1 mile distant, the boat sounded in 11 fathoms uneven bottom, sand and coral; which soundings are on a spit that extends a mile or more in a N. W. direction. The Wizard rounded the island on the west side, whilst the Menai did on the east side at ½ a mile distant, and except on the spit mentioned, could not obtain soundings with 100 fathoms of line. The wreck of a vessel apparently of 140 tons lay half embedded in sand, and from her position and aspect, probably had been several years in this situation. There was also a small hut and flagstaff on its eastern end; the people who erected these were taken off by H. M. sloop, Harpy.

Cargados Garajos.

CARGADOS GARAJOS, consists of a chain of low islets or sand banks, from 8 to 12 feet above water,† with channels between some of them, having anchorage on the N. W. side, to leeward of the isles.

Geo. Site by the French.

The North Isle, by the French account, is situated in lat. 16° 28′ S. lon. 59° 31′ E., having on it some shrubs, wild sallad, and plenty of good water. A great variety of fine fish, may be caught in abundance at the edge of the reef, and there used to be a few Europeans, and 30 or 40 negroes on the Isle.


Soundings extend 7 or 8 leagues to the N. Eastward of this Isle, and continue to increase in a N. N. E. direction to 80 or 90 fathoms on the north end of the Bank of Cargados Garajos, called also Nazareth Bank, which extends about 56 leagues in that direction from the Islands, as will be found in the sequel of this description.


An English commander, who was captured by the Semilante, French frigate, states, that coming from the eastward, and after getting soundings on the Bank in the Semilante, they steered westward, the soundings regularly decreasing in a run of 6 or 7 leagues, and having

* This ship had on board 80 blacks, men and women; the whites, who composed the greatest part of the crew, arrived safe at Madagascar after a short passage, in a flat-bottomed boat they made out of the wreck. The blacks were left on the island, with a promise of speedy relief, who all died except seven women; these remained on it 15 years, living on the shell-fish they could pick up, with now and then a turtle, and having nothing but brackish water to drink. Captain Tromelin, of the ship La Diligente, had the courage and good luck, to land on this dangerous spot, and brought them back to Mauritius in 1776. Abbè Rochon's Voyage.

† In 1812, an inundation of the sea, it is said, nearly proved fatal to the few fishermen residing on these isles.


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got into the proper latitude, they passed between the largest North Isle of Cargados Garajos and another sandy isle to the northward of it; and after hauling round the extremity of the reef until the tuft of trees bore about S. E. she anchored in 15 fathoms sandy bottom, with the watering place bearing about east.

The Semilante with four prizes, remained a month here, waiting for intelligence from Mauritius; the people eat the wild sallad that grew on the Isle, caught plenty of fine fish close to the edges of the reefs, and were very healthy.

From this place, they steered to the southward 6 or 8 leagues, till clear of the numerous sand banks, the southernmost danger being in lat. 16° 48′ S.: they were obliged to bear away for one shoal, and haul up for another, but there is safer passages by steering out in a westerly direction.

A ship coming from the eastward, may haul to the northward of all the banks, and run down to the west of them, which passage is free of danger, excepting the visible reefs, with breakers on them. A shoal bears west 6 or 7 miles from the north point of Sandy Island.

Cargados Garajos, is the St. Brandon Reef of the old charts; H. M. Ships Cornelia, and Sir Francis Drake, visited this chain of islets and shoals, in January, 1810, and Lieut. J. Henderson, an excellent observer, determined their situations as follows:—

South Islet anchorage, in lat. 16° 47′ S. lon. 59° 34½′ E. by and 59° 33¼′ E. by chronometer.

North Islet anchorage, where there are several huts, in lat. 16° 27½′ S. lon. 59° 39′ E. by chronometer, and 59° 40¼′ E. by . On this islet there is brackish water, but none at the South Islet; fresh water being procured at an islet called Water Isle, which bears S. by E. 7 miles distant from North Islet.

Geo. Site by the English.

South Islet Flagstaff, bears S. 27° W. from North Islet Flagstaff, distant 23 miles. The south point of the shoal bears from its north point S. 20° W., distant 30 miles. These are all true bearings, the variation of the compass being 9° Westerly.

This narrow chain of islets and reefs, is steep to, on the east side, having in general 32 or 34 fathoms water within a ¼ or ½ mile of the breakers; but the west side is not so steep, and may be approached in several places to 18 or 20 fathoms.

The late unfortunate loss of the Company's ship, Cabalva, with Capt. Dalrymple, and part of her crew on the shoals of Cargados Garajos, by crossing their latitude in the night, when correct observations were not obtained for ascertaining the longitude of the ship, and the chronometers being faulty; forcibly prove the necessity of great caution when approaching the parallel of these dangers in the night.

H. M. S. Magicienne brought the survivors to the Mauritius, and while she remained at the wreck of the Cabalva, made the Bank of Cargados Garajos extend from lat. 16° 9′ to 16° 52′ S., and from lon. 59° 25′ to 59° 50′ E.

Lieut. Hay, of H. M. Ship Menai, in April, 1821, anchored of the South Isles in lat. 16° 47′ S. The northernmost isle, called St. Pierre, he made in lat. 16° 11′ S., between which and a small sandy isle (N. N. E. of the North Isle anchorage) there is a good passage, by hauling round inside of a coral patch which generally breaks, 2 or 3 miles W. N. W. of North Anchorage Isle. The southern reef extremity is in lat. 16° 55′ S. From the eastern edge of the Reef to the westernmost dangers is about 11 miles, and the meridian assigned to North Isle 59° 39′ E. will pass through the centre of the group.

Nazareth Bank.

The Huddart, 25th December, 1810, made the south islet in lat. 16° 47′ S. lon. 59° 31′ E. by chronometer, and after tacking from the east side of the chain, she stood 28 miles to the southward, then tacked to the N. E. and weathered the islets and dangers without seeing them. On the 27th, at 2 P. M. she sounded in 25 fathoms coral, in lat. 14° 50′ S. lon. 61° 1′ E. by chronometer and noon observation; she steered from hence N. E. ½ N. 26 miles, and sounded in 21 fathoms at 8 P. M.: steered N. E. ½ N. 33 miles till 3 A. M. in soundings from 21 to 32 fathoms coral and weed, which was the last soundings, then in lat.

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13° 41′ S. lon. 61° 15′ E. after steering 13 miles to the northward, had no ground at 80 fathoms. These soundings of the Huddart, were on the NAZARETH BANK, which is thought to be a continuation of the Bank of Cargados Garajos, although it is uncertain, whether or not they be separated by deep water chasms.

Capt. Smyth, who lately surveyed the coast of Lybia, when an officer in H. M. S. Cornwallis, Nov. 10, 1808, in lat. 13° 56′ S. lon. 60° 59′ E. by three chronometers, had soundings on the Nazareth Bank, 20 fathoms sand and coral, and carried from 19 to 40 fathoms until the 11th at noon, in lat. 14° 54′ S. lon. 60° 53′ E., then carried from 40 to 25 fathoms, steering to the S. S. W. ward, and after having no ground at 60 fathoms, again got soundings of 40 to 23 fathoms, then no bottom at noon, the 12th, with 80 fathoms, in lat. 17° 1′ S. lon. 60° 17′ S.

The Ganges, Capt. Falconer, 22d February, 1817, saw a low sandy isle, bearing S. 20° W., distant about 7 miles, then in lat. 16° 12′ S. lon. 52° 49′ E. by observation of Sun and Moon, in soundings 20 fathoms sand and coral; from this situation steered East about 28 miles till 11 P. M., had then 45 fathoms, and shortly afterward got off the Bank of Cargados Garajos. Feb. 26th, at 9 P. M. again got soundings 30 fathoms white shells in lat. 15° S. lon. 60° 40′ E. by chronometer, and continued in soundings of 20 to 30 fathoms till 8 A. M., steering N. by E., and at noon lost soundings in lat. 14° 14′ S. lon. 60° 43′ E.

The Acteon, Capt. Mackie, 16th March, 1816, at 7 A' M. in lat. 15° 20′ S. lon. 60° 14′ E. by chronometer, got soundings 35 fathoms sand and coral: steering from hence N. E. by E. and E. N. E., she had generally from 25 to 16 and 14 fathoms at 7½ P. M., when a strong smell of sea-weed was experienced, as if passing under the lee of a shoal or reef of rocks: at this time the lat. 14° 30′ S. lon. 61° 23′ E. by chronometer; shortly after deepened to 40 fathoms at 8 P. M., and at 9 P. M. lost soundings, steering N. E. by E. as before.

Saya de Malha Bank.


SAYA DE MALHA BANK (or Coat of Mail) has lately been found to extend above a degree more to the northward than formerly supposed. Its southern extremity is thought to be in lat. about 11° 30′ S. and its northern extremity is known to extend to lat. 8° 18′ S.

Geo. Site of N. W. part.

His Majesty's ship Galatea, on the 26th July, 1811, got upon a bank of 9 and 10 fathoms, the coral rocks distinctly seen under the ship, then in lat. 8° 35′ S. lon. 59° 58½′ E. by chronometer, and the bank appeared to extend east and west about 5 miles.

This place where the Galatea got upon, was probably the N. Western patch of the Saya de Malha Bank, which appears at the N. W. and Western parts, to consist of detached* large coral patches, with very deep water between them; for several of the Company's ships have lately had soundings near the same situation, and carried them far to the northward, and also to the eastward. The Lady Carrington, in July, 1814, got soundings of 12 and 13 fathoms, on Saya de Malha Bank, in lat. 10° 30′ S. lon. 61° 50′ E. by chronometer, and steered from thence N. N. E. and N. E. by N., deepening regularly on these courses, to 75 fathoms in lat. 9° 43′ S. lon. 62° 20′ E., then lost soundings: the Bank, therefore, seems to be of great extent in longitude, as well as in latitude.

* The doubtful bank, called St. Michael's, is probably only one of the N. W. patches of Saya de Malha, as the situation assigned to it is nearly where the Galatea had soundings.
In lat. 17° 10′ S. lon. 58° 18′ E. by chronometers, breakers were thought to have been seen by Capt. Ball, of the Biramgore Grab, which might probably be occasioned by ripplings, although he considered them to be on a shoal.

U 2

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Geo. Sites, and soundings on it.

Lat. S. Lon. E.
° °
Northumberland, 1st Jan. 1811, had soundings on the bank in 9 19 60 26 By lunar observations agreeing within 3 miles of chronometers
She had from 7 to 10 fathoms coral 9 3 60 43
18 ditto 8 55 60 38
40 ditto 8 51 60 37
Huddart, in December, 1810, had 32 ditto &sand 10 44 60 44 By chron.
14 &15 ditto &sand 9 55 60 56 Then no ground steering N. by E.
Preston and Phœnix in company, 10 ditto &sand 9 45 60 32 By the Phœnix chronometers. The Preston's chronometers made the lon. about 15 miles more easterly.
December, 1810, No ground 9 42 60 31
6¾ &7 fath. coral 9 21 60 14
9¾ &10 ditto 8 44 60 10
No ground 8 42 60 10
Ditto 8 31 60 7
12 &13 fath. coral 8 30 60 5
12 to 15 ditto 8 19 60 3
No ground 8 17 60 3
Marchioness of Ely &Lady Carrington in July, 1814, had 49 fathoms 10 58 61 40 chron. from Port Louis.

From this situation, they steered N. Eastward in soundings from 41° to 20 fathoms, till in lat. 10° 25′ S. lon. 62° 10′ E. and from hence to lat. 10° 0′ S. lon. 62° 20′ E., had regular soundings of 12 to 14 fathoms, then deepened gradually to 75 fathoms in lat. 9° 44′ S. lon. 62° 30′ E. which was the last soundings got on the eastern edge of the bank, steering N. E.

Extent east and west,

The bank is also of great extent east and west, as appears by the soundings and observations of these ships, which has also been experienced by others.

and N. E. part,

Brig, Tweed, Jan. 14, 1817, at 6 A. M. saw the rocks under the stern, and had from 13 to 9 fathoms coral rocks, steering N. E.ward with a light breeze till 11¾ A. M., then suddenly no ground; at noon, observed lat. 8° 18′ S. lon. 60° 46′ E. by chronometer, from Mauritius. H. M. S. Cornwallis, June 10th, 1806, at noon, observed lat. 9° 47′ S. lon. 61° 13′ E. Variation 6° 20′ W. at 10 P. M. steering N. E., sounded in 40 fathoms on Saya de Malha Bank; and thought we were well advanced on it; at 12 P. M. had 42 fathoms, and generally 45 to 37 fathoms till 11 A. M. passed over a knowl or patch in 10 fathoms red coral and shells, the bottom clearly seen, having from 9 to 8 and 7 fathoms, nearly ¾ of an hour; afterward lost soundings with the hand-lead, and at noon 11th, observed lat. 7° 23½′ S. lon. 62° 24′ E., having experienced a current S. 75° W. 39 miles, since the preceding noon.

The Ganges, Captain Falconer, after having sounded on the Cargados and Nazareth Banks, already mentioned, got soundings 40 fathoms on Saya de Malha Bank at 8 A. M. 4th March, 1817, and shoaled gradually to 15 and 14½ fathoms at noon, then in lat. 10° 37′ S. lon. 62° 10′ E. by chronometers, having run 9 miles E. N. E. from 8 A. M. till noon; shortly afterward lost soundings, by which it appears that this edge of the bank is steep, with rather shoal soundings, and extends farther to the eastward than generally supposed.

The ship Colombo, on the 2d January, 1822, got 70 fathoms on the Saya de Malha Bank in lat. 10° 57′ S. lon. 61° 3′ E. and steered to the northward upon it; in lat. 10° 15′ S. lon. 61° 20′ E. she had 21 fathoms; in lat. 9° 50′ to 9° 47′ S. lon. 61° 21′ to 61° 29′ E. she carried soundings of mostly 8 and 7 fathoms rocky ground, and had twice only 6¾ fa-

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thoms on separate patches about 4 miles distant from each other. The rocks were distinctly seen under the ship whilst sailing over this shoal part of the bank, appearing in large white patches.

The ship, Charles the Second, from Bombay, bound to England, 25th Feb. 1698, got soundings 45 fathoms ouze, on Saya de Malha Bank, in lat. 10° 34′ S., and hauled up E. S. E., thinking themselves on the eastern edge of it. Having run 27 miles E. S. E. in soundings not less than 40 fathoms, then at 1 A. M. shoaled fast to 12 fathoms coral and shells; and now, thinking they were rather on the west, than on the east side of the bank, tacked and steered W. by N. to N. W. till day-light, deepening to 43 fathoms ouze as before. At day-light steered S. W. with a fresh N. E. wind, and at noon shoaled again to 14 fathoms coral rock, and weeds; afterward, deepened gradually to 50 fathoms, having run 31 miles on a S. W. course, then got no ground with 60 fathoms of line.

May be dangerous.

Navigators are still left in a state of uncertainty, whether or not any part of this bank is dangerous, but as the Cornwallis had 7 fathoms, the Northumberland 7 fathoms on another part, the Preston only 6¾ fathoms coral rock on a different part, and the Colombo 6¾ fathoms on the Eastern edge, caution ought certainly to be used by those who happen to get upon this bank; more so, as a French navigator of the island Mauritius, states, that there are dangers on the southern extremity, where a ship would be liable to strike on some of the coral patches; and the Eliza, French schooner, is said to have been in 4 fathoms, close to breakers on this part of the bank.


AGALEGA, or GALEGA, was examined by Captain Briggs of H. M. S. Clorinde, on the 12th of January, 1811, who seems to have fixed its situation correctly, which was previously not well ascertained. The landing was found difficult on account of the heavy surf, the island being surrounded by a reef. A person who formerly had commanded a French privateer, was at this time settled on the island, having under him a colony of negroes, who cultivated part of the ground with maize, wheat, &c.

This Island is little more than a mile in breadth, extending about 11 miles, nearly N. W. and S. E., all low land, with a gap in the middle, (where the sea breaks through on high tides) which gives it the appearance of two islands, if viewed at a distance.

Geo. Site.

The north end was found to be in lat. 10° 20′ S lon. 56° 37′ E.
South end 10 31 56 40

By the chronometers of the Clorinde and Minerva in company.

The ship, Sir Stephen Lushington, passed in sight of this island on the 28th of January, 1811, and made it in lon. 56° 39′ E. by chronometer, and other ships have lately made it nearly in the same longitude.

Capt. Moresby, on the 29th August, 1821, visited this Island, and landed on the N. W. point, which he made in lat. 10° 21′ S. lon. 56° 32′ E. by chronometers, from Port Louis; and although he had not time to examine the S. E. point, he states that the eastern extremity of the reefs extends to lon. 56° 42′ E. At this time a schooner was at anchor in 8 fathoms water, two cable lengths from the shore under lee of the N. W. point. Variation 9° 40′ West in 1821. Although the island is low, the trees may be seen 5 leagues distance.

Geo. Site. of John de Nova Group.

JOHN DE NOVA, extending from lat. 10° 5½′ to 10° 26′ S. lon. 51° 2′ E. (the body) is the southernmost of the groups of islands, north-eastward from Cape Ambre; and it is an elliptical chain of low islets and reefs, extending N. E. and S. W. 6 or 8 leagues, having a bason in the centre, with 7 or 8 feet water on the bar leading to it, at the north part of the chain, where there is good ground for anchoring. The soil of these islets is mostly coral, on which grow trees of small size. Turtle and fish of various kinds are plentiful, and some fresh water is to be obtained by digging. The tide sets about N. E. and S. W., and rises 4 or 5 feet.

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Capt. Moresby, of H. M. ship, Menai, on the 26th July, 1822, anchored at the northern part of John de Nova in 17 fathoms sandy bottom, and made the lat. of the anchorage 10° 6′ 47″ S. by good observations, lon. 51° 5′ 30″ E. by three chronometers, measured in a run of 84 hours from Port Louis, Mauritius. By the same means, he made the extreme of North Reef in lat. 10° 6′ S. lon. 51° 7½′ E. Northwest Isle in sight from the ship, lat. 10° 11′ S. lon. 50° 59′ E. South extreme, lat. 10° 26′ S. lon. 50° 54′ 20″ E. Variation 8° 30′ W. Some lunar observations gave the lon. 51° 20¾ E., but as the weather only admitted a few sights to be taken, Capt. Moresby, is of opinion, that the chronometers gave the true longitude of John de Nova. He remained at anchor here till the 29th, turning Turtle, the wind fresh from S. E.ward; the flood tide then ran N. N. E. 1½ mile per hour, and the ebb to the S. W. Water was got by digging at the depth of two butts in the sand.

Capt. Hugh Scott, of the Company's ship, Charles Grant, on the 8th of May, 1819, at 4 P. M. saw the western part of this group bearing E. by S. 3½ or 4 leagues distant, which part he made in lat. 10° 15′ S. lon. 50° 54′ E. by chronometers, measured from lunar observations, corresponding nearly with the longitude stated above, by Capt. Moresby. Captain Francklin, of the Northumberland, in June, 1810, made the western part in lon. 51° 21′ E. by lunars, and the mean of six ships of the fleet at the same time, made it in lon. 52° 2½′ E. by their chronometers, but this appears to be above one degree to the eastward of its true longitude, as determined by Capt. Moresby.

Twelve Islands.

The group called the TWELVE ISLANDS, said to be situated about 10 leagues to the N. W. of John de Nova, seems to be one and the same group, as John de Nova, consisting of two islands of considerable extent, and ten small ones, making twelve in number.

Geo. Site of St. Pierre.

ST. PIERRE is in lat. 9° 20′ S. lon. 50° 47¾′ E. by Capt. Moresby's observations, who visited it in 1822, and found it to be a low island, about 1¼ mile long, bearing W. S. W. by compass from Providence Island: it is peculiar from being cavernous, through which the sea is thrown a great height, appearing like whales blowing near it, when first discerned, and its formation differs from the neighbouring islands, having a thin bed of soil resting on rock, which is neither granite nor lime stone. The anchorage for small vessels is close to the reef, the bank not extending a cable's length. Variation 8° 52′ W. in 1822. The tallest trees on it are scarcely 10 feet high, and may be seen 5 or 6 leagues distant. It is the nearest island on the eastern side of the channel, in steering from Cape Ambre to the northward for India.

Geo. Site of Providence Island.

PROVIDENCE ISLAND, in lat. 9° 10′ S. lon. 51° 4¾′ E. (the north point) by Capt. Moresby's observations, is low, about two miles in length North and South: water is got by digging in the sand. There is anchorage on the west side ½ a mile from the shore upon uneven ground, sand and coral. The tide rises and falls 8 feet, high water at 3 hours 30 minutes on the shore at full and change of the moon. The north part of the island is covered with cocoa-nut trees, and the south part with a spungy tree resembling the fig tree, and growing to the height of 40 or 50 feet. Turtle are plentiful, and land crabs of large size, which are considered palatable and wholesome food. The reef which surrounds the island, begins at the north end, and projects 1½ mile from the southern extremity, nearly joining the Providence Reef, to be described hereafter, which extends 6 or 7 leagues to the southward.

St. Pierre and Providence Islands, were seen by Capt. Driscoll, in the ship Lonach, bound from London to Bombay, who passed between them, on the 11th September, 1818. At 11 A. M. St. Pierre bore N. N. W. by compass distant 4 leagues: at noon it bore W. by S., the observed lat. 9° 24′ S. which made the Island St. Pierre in lat. 9° 28′ S. lon. 50° 42′ E. by two chronometers, corrected from Cape East Madagascar, in a short run of two days. Same time saw Providence Island bearing E. N. E., about 4 leagues, which will

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place it in lat. 9° 13′ S. lon. 50° 58½′ E. We passed through the channel between these two Islands, which appeared safe; they bear nearly N. E. and S. W. of each other, and have reefs projecting from their extremities.

Geo. Site of Providence Reef.

PROVIDENCE REEF extends about 7 leagues to the southward of Providence Island, and its S. W. extremity lies in lat. 9° 34′ S. lon. 50° 55½′ E. by Capt. Moresby's observations and chronometers, who on the 29th July, 1822, steered from the anchorage of John de Nova N. by W. 32 miles, then had the S. W. extremity of Providence Reef, bearing N. E. by N. 3 or 4 miles. He steered N. N. E. 14 miles along the west side of the Reef at ½ mile distance without obtaining soundings, then saw Providence Island, and shortly afterward St. Pierre. There are two small Isles on Providence Bank, which have apparently been mistaken for the Isle St. Lawrence, and Providence Island has also been mistaken for St. Lawrence, which seems to have no real existence.

The greatest breadth of Providence Reef, near the middle, is about 2 leagues, by the French account, the whole space within, being filled with banks of sand and coral, several of which are above water, so that it is scarcely passable in a canoe at low tide. The French frigate L'Heureuse, was lost here, after sailing from Mauritius on the 30th August, 1769, for Bengal; she passed in sight of John de Nova on the east side, about 5 leagues distance, September 5th, and on the following night she struck on the south part of the Reef, and went to pieces. The crew got upon a dry sand a league within, from which they came to a small island joined with the Reef, and about 7 leagues to the northward of its southern extremity, to which they gave the name of Providence Island. After having remained two months on this island, the crew, 35 in number, left it November 8th in a boat, which had been lengthened 5 feet; and with the help of N. E. winds, they landed four days after on Madagascar, 8 leagues to the south of Cape Ambre.

Cosmoledo Islands.

COSMOLEDO ISLANDS, were visited by Capt. Moresby on the 31st of July, 1822, who made the circuit of the group within a mile of the reefs, the Wizard passing to the southward, and the Menai to the northward, but did not get soundings at that distance. This group consists of a ring of coral about 10 leagues in circumference, ¼ mile broad in some places, and others interspersed with islets and banks, inclosing a magnificent lagoon, into which there did not appear a single opening. The S. W. isle, named Isle Menai, from its position being correctly ascertained, is more elevated than the others, and having some cocoa-nut trees, and a small variety of other trees. At noon, when within a musket-shot of the centre of Isle Menai, observed the lat. 9° 40′ 55″ S. lon. 47° 36¼′ E. by chronometers. Variation 11° 51′ West.

Geo. Site.

The geographical situation of the group is as follows:—North point, lat. 9° 38′ S. lon. 47° 41½′ E. South point, lat. 9° 46′ S. lon. 47° 42¼′ E. East point, lat. 9° 42¾′ S. lon. 47° 44′¼ E. West point, lat. 9° 41′ S. lon. 47° 36′ E. These Isles are sometimes resorted to for fish, where a few blacks are left, who wait the vessels return. On the southern side there is a small patch of sand, where, during the northerly monsoon, small vessels may anchor.


Supposed Geo. Site.

ASTOVE, or ASTOVA, in about lat. 10° 10′ S., and distant 8 leagues to the southward of the Cosmoledo Islands, is a small low island, upon which the French ships Le Bon Royal, and La Jardiniere, are said to have been wrecked. Capt. Moresby thinks it is situated in lat. 10° 13′ S. lon. 47° 31′ E., but he did not see it, having been carried to the N. W. by the current when endeavouring to steer for it.

Geo. Site of Glorious Islands.

GLORIOUS ISLANDS, two in number, are low, small, situated on a reef, about 38 or 40 leagues to the W. N. W. of Cape Ambre. Capt. Moresby, in the Menai sloop of

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war, touched at these islands in 1821, and made the eastern one in lat. 11° 32½′ S. lon. 47° 39′ E. and the western one in lat. 11° 34¾′ S. lon. 47° 30′ E. by observations of sun and moon, nearly agreeing with chronometer. They are covered with brush wood and trees 20 or 25 feet high, and are about 15 feet above the sea level, connected by a coral bank nearly 3 miles in breadth in some places, which space is filled with small isles, sand banks and lagoons, through which no passage appears, neither could soundings be got with 100 fathoms 1 mile from the reef, on which the sea breaks with great violence. West Island, on which the boat landed, is about 1¼ mile long and 1 mile broad: a small basin is formed of its eastern end by a curve of the sand bank, in which is 7 fathoms water, but with a rocky and uneven bottom, where a small vessel might probably find shelter. Turtle and birds are plentiful, but no fresh water, although it might perhaps be found by digging. The Eastern Island is not more than a mile in length, but has a very extensive reef stretching off it, in a N. E. direction. On account of the strength and uncertainty of the currents, the islands should not be approached but with a commanding breeze. The whole of these dangers appear to extend in an E. by N. and W. by S. direction by compass, about 15 miles. The tide rises about 10 feet. Variation 13° 15′ W.

Marquis of Huntly's Bank.

MARQUIS OF HUNTLY'S BANK, was discovered on the 28th March, 1818, by Capt. D. MacLeod, in the ship of this name, with the Duke of York in company, bound to Bombay, and it is situated in the fair track in steering from Cape Ambre to the northward. The Journal states, that steering N. by E. with a light breeze at S. S. W. the rocks were observed under the ship's bottom at 7 A. M., and had 10 fathoms; the breeze being light and the water clear, stood on till 7½ A. M. in 10, 10½, 11, and 13 fathoms, then hove to, and sent two cutters, one to the northward, which deepened gradually from 13 to 40 fathoms about 1¼ mile from the ship, then no ground at 40 fathoms. The other cutter, which went to the eastward, deepened from 13 to 20 fathoms, then no ground at 30 fathoms about 1 mile from the ship. The Duke of York hove to, bearing S. S. W. ½ W. about 2 miles distant, and showed soundings 10, 13, and 17 fathoms. At 8½ A. M. bore away and steered N. by E. keeping a cutter a-head of the ship until 9½ A. M. having run 4 or 5 miles N. by E. from 7 A. M. when we first sounded: after 9½ A. M. got no soundings at 75 and 105 fathoms.

Geo. site.

When we hove to, on the bank at 7 A. M. we were in lat. 9° 57′ S. (deduced from observation at noon taken 5 hours afterward) lon. 50° 18¾′ E. by chronometers measured from lunar observations taken on the 29th, 30th March, and 1st April. The mean result of various lunar observations taken before and since the 28th March, measured to our position in 13 fathoms, places that part of the bank in lon. 50° 20′ E. latitude stated as above; and our last soundings of 40 fathoms in lat. 9° 53′ S. and on the same meridian. Probably this bank is not dangerous, as the ship appeared to pass over the shoalest part, by the water deepening all round, but we had not the means of forming a correct opinion of its extent. During the morning, no appearance of shoal water or breakers could be discerned from the masthead, but only ridges of strong ripplings at short distances from each other, in one of which the boat found the water much agitated, and the particles striking against each other with considerable force, but no ground was got with 40 fathoms; and here the current was found setting strong to N. E., and when out of the rippling it appeared to set weakly to N. N. W.

While in soundings the ship was surrounded by many sharks, and rock-cod, several of which were caught, and the bottom seemed to be white coral rocks in ridges, with apparently deep chasms between them; but from the regularity of the soundings, this was occasioned by the various colours of the coral.

Assumption Island.

ASSUMPTION ISLAND; in lat. 9° 43′ S. lon. 46° 32¾′ E. by Capt. Moresby's observations in August 1822, and distant about 18 leagues westward from Cosmoledo Group is low, with some sand downs, covered with shrubs, being about 7 miles in length, according

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to the French plan, extending nearly E. S. E. and W. N. W. Mr. Morphey, who examined it August 15th, 1756, anchored on the west side; on the north and east sides, it is fortified by a coral reef, steep to. From Isle Menai of the Cosmoledo Group, Capt. Moresby made a true course N. 88° W. 53½ miles when Assumption bore S. W. by W. 2 miles.

Aldabra Islands. French account.

ALDABRA ISLANDS, (called also Aro, Arco, Atques, and Albadra) are three in number, joined by islets and rocks, which make them appear as one island. A bason is formed between them, having an opening to the eastward. After leaving Assumption, Mr. Morphey, on the 18th August, 1756, discovered Aldabra, and found their lat. 9° 24′ to 9° 35′ S.

These were probably the islands seen in the Asia, which ship made Cape Bassas, 20th November, 1766, homeward-bound from Bombay; light winds followed, with frequent strong ripplings, and at noon, December 15th, a low island bore from W. by S. to W. by N. ½ N. distant 2½ or 3 leagues: observed lat. 9° 19′ S. which made the island in lat. 9° 21′.

Asia's description.

It seemed covered with tufts of trees or shrubs on the east side, steep to, without breakers, having red cliffs on that side, and appeared to extend E. S. E. and W. N. W. 6 or 8 miles in length, and 3 or 4 miles in breadth. From noon she steered S. by E. 8 miles, with the wind westerly, squally and rain, when at 2 P. M., 16th December, another island was seen from the mast-head, bearing S. W. about 8 leagues. At sunset, it had the appearance of a hummock, bearing west, with low land extending from it W. by N. ½ N., distant 4 or 5 leagues. Hove to, during the night. At sunrise the island bore from W. ½ S. to S. W. by W. distant about 3 leagues; the wind being now from southward, she could not weather it, then bore away to the N. W., and passed between it and the island seen the preceding noon. At 8 A. M. the body of the southernmost island bore south, distant about 2 leagues; same time, the body of the other to the northward bore north, distant about 6 leagues. At noon, 16th, observed lat. 9° 44′ S. the southernmost island distant 4 or 5 leagues, the hummock bearing E. ½ S., which makes it in lat. 9° 42′ S. This island is low, with a small hummock near the centre; it consists of white sand, with a few shrubs, about 4 miles in length east and west; a sand, with breakers, projects about ½ a mile from the east point, but no other breakers were seen, nor had she any soundings near these islands, which were supposed the Atque's (or Aldabra's.) From thence, the Asia had light winds, and four days after, passed Mayotta on the east side, at 6 leagues distance, without perceiving any shoals or dangers: she got on the Parcel Bank the second day after passing Mayotta, and continued on it a whole day, steering to the S. W. and Westward. Afterward, she made the Island John de Nova, and the Bassas de India; from the former to the latter she made lon. 2° 16′ West by dead reckoning, which seems to be nearly the exact difference of longitude between these islands, as may be seen by the description of them given in this work.

The ship Castlereagh's description.

The ship Lord Castlereagh, Capt. Laing, belonging to Bombay, saw these islands, December 15th, 1815. At daylight, thick weather, saw land from the deck, bearing from S. by W. to W. by S., distant from the nearest part about 3 leagues: the wind being light and variable at eastward, bore away to leeward of the land, in case of unknown dangers.

Steered along the coast for the most projecting part, and passed it at 2 or 3 miles distance, which after doubling, found the north side of the island to lie nearly east and west.

This land consists of three principal islands, named East, Middle, and West Islands; the two former appeared to be of equal extent, and West Island about ⅔ of that extent. East Island appeared to lie in a S. E. and N. W. direction, the east end of which forms the projecting part mentioned above: Middle, and West Islands, extend nearly true east and west. A reef of breakers projects from the east end of East Island, at least 3 miles in an easterly direction; and the north side of this island, appeared to be fronted by several rocks with high breakers, situated close to the shore; otherwise, the sea appeared deep and clear of danger. This island is of moderate height, here and there interspersed with a few trees, and a hummock near the eastern extreme, close to which the beach is fronted with white patches


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of sand, and there are other white patches, almost hid by the brushwood and verdure that covers this island, and gives it a beautiful appearance.

The gap between East and Middle Island, is about ½ a mile wide, with breakers stretching across, and some isles covered with bushes, extending to the southward as far as could be discerned.

Middle Island, is the highest, the east part of it being elevated, and covered with very high trees, for at least a mile in extent, that may be seen 8 or 9 leagues from the deck of a moderate sized ship. The other parts of this island are well covered with verdure, and trees interspersed, with some white patches inland and on the beach, which give it a fine appearance. In coasting along this island, the beach seemed to be steep to, the water not discoloured, therefore did not try for soundings.

The channel between Middle and West Islands appeared perfectly clear, about ¼ mile wide, without any indication of breakers or danger; with smooth water inside, where any boat might land, there being no surf whatever, and as far as could be distinguished through the gap, no islands or dangers were visible.

West Island, is of level appearance, and although clothed with verdure, has very few trees or bushes on it of considerable size, like those on the two former islands; but it has like them, several white patches. The coast of this island, is also clear of danger, the N. W. end being fronted by a white beach of at least ½ mile in extent, and it may be seen at 6 or 7 leagues distance from the deck of a large ship.

When abreast of the central part of the coast of these islands, the beach of the extremities could not be seen from the poop, by which it may be inferred, that their northern coast extends about 38 or 40 miles in length; and the north and west sides of them, may be approached with safety, by night or day.

Geo. site.

At noon, when the N. W. end of West Island bore S. S. E. by compass, distant 6 miles, the observed lat. 9° 19′ S. lon. by chronometers 45° 44′ E. And when the Island Comoro was seen, on the 17th December, the chronometer placed it in the situation assigned to it by Horsburgh, by which it may be inferred, that the situation of the foregoing islands is pretty well ascertained, their N. W. extremity being in lat. 9° 23′ S. lon. 45° 46′ E.

From the appearance of these islands, water is perhaps plentiful, and the timber of sufficient size, to be useful to any ship that might be in distress for spars.*

Shortly after the bearings were taken at noon, a squall from the eastward with rain, obscured the land till ½ past 4 P. M. having run 22 miles per log: it then clearing up, the island was just visible from the deck, bearing E. S. E. distant about 8 leagues.

Capt. Moresby, in August 1822, passed on the south side of the Aldabra Islands in the Menai, and made the east point bear nearly N. by W. from Assumption distant 19 miles, or in lat. 9° 24½′ S. lon. 46° 25′ E., and according to Mons. Hodoul's plan, the extent of the Aldabra Islands east and west is 11 leagues, making the western extremity in lon. 45° 51′ E. nearly agreeing with Capt. Laing's observations, in the Castlereagh.

Natal Island doubtful.

NATAL ISLAND, is generally placed about a degree to the northward of Aldabra, or in lat. 8° 25′ or 8° 35′ S.; but it seems doubtful whether such island exists.


ALPHONSE ISLAND, is low, of considerable extent, having on it some small trees or shrubs, and during these last 14 years, it has been seen by several English ships. It appeared to Captain Ross of the Carmarthen, who passed it on the 12th of April, 1811, to be surrounded with breakers. Capt. Moresby made the north point in lat. 6° 59½′ S. lon. 52° 41′ E. by chronometers, and 52° 45½′ E. by observations of . Var. 7° 55′ W. He rounded this point ¼ mile from the reef which extends ½ a mile from the point. The

* These Islands abound with land turtle, and probably have a good harbour.

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southern extremity of these dangers (Capt. Moresby observes) is fast rising into an island of greater extent than Alphonse; when in lat. 7° 14½′ S. at noon this isle bore true East, and the extent of the reef still farther south, so that between. lat. 6° 59½′ S. and 7° 20′ S. dangerous reefs nearly unite North and South Alphonse; there is a passage, but it is very intricate and dangerous, and the currents are strong and uncertain. The above named officer, in March 1822, remained two days under sail on the lee side of the island, whilst the people were on shore turning turtle.

Geo. site.

The mean of four other ships observations, by * and chronometers, place this island in lat. 7° 3¾′ S. lon. 52° 49′ E.

Sand Bank or Isle.

About 4 leagues due south from Alphonse, lies a sandy isle or bank already mentioned, called South Alphonse, a little above water, with a reef of high breakers surrounding it, and extending N. E. and S. W. 5 or 6 miles. There are no soundings within a mile of the sand.

Mahe Islands.

MAHE, OR SEYCHELLE ARCHIPELAGO, is an extensive group of islands, the southern extremity of which, is about 15 or 16 leagues to the northward of Alphonse.

Harbour and read of Seychelles.

Geo. site.

The principal islands of this Archipelago, were explored in 1743, by Lazarus Picault, and named after Mahé de la Bourdonnais, then governor of Mauritius. These are situated on the middle of a great bank of soundings, Seychelles being the largest, named also Mahe, and is about 16 miles long, and 5 broad. On its N. E. end there is a harbour, off Bat River, secured by reefs from all winds; and farther out is the road, sheltered from Easterly and S. E. winds by the Island St. Ann, and Stag Island, but exposed to northerly winds. To the northward of this road, there is a reef about 2 miles off the N. E. end of Seychelles, having a safe channel within it, of 18 and 20 fathoms water. St. Ann's, and the anchorage on the west side of it, is in lat. 4° 35′ S., and that island is in lon. 55° 35° E. by observations of Abbe Rochon.

Mr. Russel, of H. M. ship Topaze, made the town of Mahe in lon. 55° 31½′ E. by lunars, and in 55° 26¾′ E. measured by three chronometers, from Port Louis, in a run of 15 days.

Capt. Moresby, of H. M. ship Menai, in 1821 and 1822, made the anchorage at Mahe in lat. 4° 35′ S. lon. 55° 33′ E by lunar observations agreeing with chronometers. Capt. Owen made St. Ann in lon. 55° 26¾′ E. or 1° 58½′ and 2° 0′ West, from Cooper's Island, Port Louis, Mauritius.

The flood sets about S. S. W. and rises 6 feet, high water at 3¾ hours on full and change of moon; variation 7° W. in 1821. The Island Seychelles is high land, probably more than 2000 feet above the sea, rising in most places nearly perpendicularly from it, and was inhabited in 1812 by about 60 families, who cultivate cotton, make cocoa-nut oil, collect tortoise shell, and build small vessels such as brigs and schooners.*

During the hurricane months at the Island Mauritius, the ships of war, in order to avoid them, sometimes are ordered to Seychelles, as these tempests do not approach so near to the equator.

Captain Moresby's Remarks.

Capt. Moresby, who explored great part of the Seychelle Archipelago in 1821 and 1822, states, that Mahe is crowned with wood, and may be seen 12 or 13 leagues; that its eastern side is bordered by extensive reefs of coral, the openings of which opposite to St. Ann's Island forms the Port, capable of holding five or six large ships of war moored, with sufficient room for many small vessels. The anchorage between the coral reefs and St. Ann's is excellent, with the centre of St. Ann's bearing East ¾ of a mile, the town of Mahe W. S. W. in 8 to 15 fathoms sandy bottom. There are three coral patches between St. Ann's and the entrance of the port, having ¼ less 4 fathoms on some parts, which must be avoided by large ships. In the S. E. monsoon the wind never blows hard, and seldom strong. In the N. W. monsoon heavy gusts blow from the land, in which the wind varies: in this season, ships

* The Seychelle Islands belong now to Great Britain.

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might conveniently lie between St. Ann's and Isle Moyenne; there is a good passage between these islands. A large ship has been known to come to the road of St. Ann's between Isle Cerf and the main, but the passage is very intricate and dangerous. During the S. E. monsoon, there is good anchorage on the western side of Mahe, but heavy gusts come over the high land, when the winds are moderate and steady on the eastern side. Water and wood may be procured either at St. Ann's or Mahe: a large boat loaded, cannot pass over the coral reefs when the tide is low. A supply of about 150 cattle could be obtained, a large quantity of rice, and refreshments for the sick in abundance at a moderate price, excepting wine.

Mahe is without fortifications, but easy to defend from its precipitous hills and deep ravines; nor could ships approach sufficiently near the town to fire effectually, without entering the port, which is narrow and intricate.

Anchorage at Praslin, &c.

PRASLIN, is a high island, N. 58° E. true bearing from Mahe 23 miles, next to it in magnitude, and about equal height. The anchorage here is safe, where vessels lie sheltered by the small circumjacent islands, Curieuse protecting it from northerly winds. Praslin is in lat. 4° 19′ S., about lon. 55° 50′ E. and the watering place is on the adjacent island Curieuse: the tide rises 6 or 7 feet; and most of the Mahe islands abound with land-turtle. On the hills, the trees are generally hard wood, and cocoa-trees are plentiful in many of the valleys. The French were used to feed cattle on some of these islands, and have colonized those of the greatest value, with slaves from Madagascar. Thirty families inhabited Praslin in 1821, who prepare cocoa-nut oil, and cultivate cotton by numerous slaves.


Dangers between Praslin and Mahe are as follows, from Capt. Moresby's observations. Northward of the anchorage of St. Ann's about 4 miles the Brisans are situated, two rocks which bear from each other by compass S. E. ½ E. and N. W. ½ W. From the North Brisan, N. by W. ¾ of a mile, there is a small coral patch with 6 fathoms water on it. Between the Brisans and the Mamelles the bottom is uneven, having from 7 to 13 and 15 fathoms at one cast. A musket shot W. N. W. of the Mamelles there is a rock with 6 feet water on it, on which the sea generally breaks; but when the weather is fine it is difficult to be seen: two ships lengths from the north point of the Mamelles, lies also a sunken rock. Half way between the Mamelles and Praslin are two dangerous rocks covered in high tides, distant from each other between two and three cables lengths N. E. and S. W.: in the S. E. monsoon, the sea usually breaks high, but when Capt. Moresby passed them within two cables lengths, the southernmost appeared now and then above water, and the position of the northernmost was only indicated by the reflux of the water. The marks for these rocks are, the highest part of St. Ann's on with the Mamelles, south part of La Digue bearing East, Silhouette W. ¾ S. From these rocks E. by N. ¼ N. there is a bed of rocks called Le Trompeuse, from its being often mistaken for those last mentioned. N. E. of Trompeuse are two islands called the Cousins; between the South Cousin and La Trompeuse the channel is intersected with dangers, which a ship cannot pass with safety; but between the Cousins there is a safe channel, likewise between the North Cousin and the reef that extends from Praslin. From the North Cousin N. W. 4 or 5 miles, lies a small dangerous rock called the Baleine, covered at high water. Capt. Moresby observes, that he searched for this rock, but could not find it, not having any decisive marks; it is, however, frequently seen, even with the water's edge at half tide. From the North Cousin W. N. W. distant 1½ mile, lies a coral patch, having 2½, 3, and 4 fathoms, between which and the Baleine Capt. Moresby passed, steering for Isle Aux Fous, leaving on the starboard hand a coral patch with 4 fathoms on it, situated about half way between Isle Aux Fous and the N. W. part of Praslin. Having Isle Aux Fous and Isle Aride in one bearing N. ¾ W. and S. ¾ E. of each other, Isle Marianne being just open of Isle Curieuse, you may haul up with safety to anchor, or pass between Curieuse and Praslin.

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Geo, Site of Silhouette.

SILHOUETTE, in lat. 4° 27′ S. lon. 55° 18′ E. is the highest of the Seychelle Islands, the next to Praslin in magnitude, being about 12 miles nearly circular, and situated to the N. Westward of Seychelles, distant 6 or 7 leagues: it abounds with timber, has five families residing on it; the landing is difficult from the surf which beats over the coral reefs. Most of the other islands in this Archipelago are small, some of them very low, with extensive reefs about them.

Bank of soundings, and of the islands on it.

The bank of soundings on which these three islands and the adjacent small ones are situated, is in length N. W. and S. E. about 54 leagues, being of a triangular form, with the acute angle to the S. E. The most easterly islands on the bank, are FREGATE'S ISLE, about 6 or 7 leagues S. Eastward from Praslin, and the THREE SISTERS, FELICITF, and MARIANE ISLANDS, 5 or 6 leagues to the eastward of it.

Geo. Site of Island Denis

DENIS, OR ORIXA, the N. Easternmost island of the Archipelago, isin lat. 3° 49′ S. lon. 55° 44′ E. by the observations of Capt. Tanner of the Bombay Marine, who passed close to it on the 28th July, 1821, in the Company's cruizer Antelope, and describes it as follows. This island is about 2½ or 3 miles in extent north and south, with several thatched habitations on its northern side; it is very low, covered with trees, and may be seen from a ship's deck about 4 leagues. A reef appeared to project from its southern end nearly a mile, with discoloured water beyond it; and a coral bank or spit extends from it to the northward and westward nearly 3 miles, upon which we shoaled suddenly, and found 7, 6, and 5 fathoms, and there may be less water on some of the patches. In approaching from S. E. the soundings at 3 and 4 leagues distance are from 25 to 30 fathoms, sand, coral, and shells; and when the island bears from S. W. to South you are then off the spit that stretches out from its northern extreme. If a ship suddenly shoal under 10 fathoms in passing, she should immediately haul out to the northward or N. Eastward. From 10 fathoms the soundings gradually deepen as you stand to the N. W. and the bank slopes down to 40 fathoms when the island disappears from the deck. As this island is situated near the N. Eastern extremity of the great bank of soundings which circumscribes the Mahe Archipelago, it is convenient for a ship to make, when proceeding by the southern passage, for the Arabian Gulf, as there is no danger in steering towards it in the night, for the lead, if attended to, will give timely warning of your approach to it in any direction.

Geo. Site of Sea Cows Island.

SEA COWS, or BIRD ISLAND, the northernmost of these islands, in lat. 3° 40′ S. lon. 55° 8′ E., is a small low sandy isle, with a few shrubs on it, and environed by a reef, about 1¼ mile in length. There is anchorage off it in moderate depths, the bottom rocky, mixed with sand. When this island was explored by the Eagle cruizer, from Bombay, in 1771, many sea-lions (probably Manutees or large seals) were seen on the beach, with birds innumerable. A bank extends from the south end, having 9 fathoms sand and coral at 6 miles distance from the island. L'Hirondelle, French privateer, with 180 people on board, was lost on it, having sailed the preceding day from Mahe, to cruize in the Red Sea. They procured water by sinking a pit in the sand, remained there 22 days, and part of them got to Mahe on a raft.

French shoal.

Geo. site.

FRENCH SHOAL, on which a French ship is said to have been lost, has been twice passed over in 1824, by Capt. Mc. Lean, of the Swan, southern whaler, belonging to Messrs. Enderby, who describes it to be a dangerous shoal, about 5 or 6 miles in extent, with depths of 9, 5, and 3 fathoms the least water found on it, over a bottom of coral rock. This shoal was found to be in about lat. 3° 55′ to 4° 1′ S. lon. 54° 42′ E. and about 10 leagues to the westward of the meridian of Bird Island, or 9½ leagues to the West of the meridian of the N. W. end of the Island Silhouette: and it is situated

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a little within the verge of soundings on the Great Bank that surrounds the Seychelle Islands.


To the N. W. of the Mamelles, distant 1½ mile, there are several rocks. About 1½ mile east of the rocks called the Chimnies, between the Isles of Mahe and Praslin, there are several rocks at the water's edge, on which the French frigate Regeneree was nearly lost; and to the N. E. of the Chimnies about 1½ mile distant, lie several rocks under water.

Captain Moresby describes the small Islands on the Seychelle Bank, as follows:—

Curieuse, &c.

CURIEUSE, is a small island of moderate elevation, to the north of Praslin; the channel between them is from 1½ to 2½ miles wide, affording excellent anchorage at all seasons of the year. A coral patch with 4 fathoms on it, is distant 1 mile from the S. E. end of Curieuse, and a detached rock bears N. W. from its N. E. end.

Between Praslin and Les Sœurs the bottom is generally uneven from 6 to 25 fathoms, but there are safe channels between Les Sœurs and Isle Felicite: a bed of rocks extends from Les Sœurs southward, chiefly above water. Isle Ave Marie is a rock about half-way between Praslin and Felicite, having a shoal projecting S. W. from it about a cable's length.

La Digue and adjacent dangers.

LA DIGUE, inhabited by thirteen families, is surrounded by a reef, the landing difficult: between it and Praslin in mid-channel lie two dangerous rocks covered at half tide, distant nearly a mile from each other in a S. S. E. and N. N. W. direction. Around the southernmost rock, at a boat's length from it, Capt. Moresby had 6 fathoms, and 9 and 12 fathoms at a ship's length; but he thinks a ship ought not to pass between these rocks, till the space between them is better known.

From the Round Island, united by a coral reef to the east end of Praslin, distant 2 or 3 miles S. S. W., are two rocks above water, called the Reguins', bearing from each other about N. N. E. and S. S. W., distant two or three cable's lengths; the south point of La Digue on with the south point of Mariane will lead to them. From La Digue five miles south, a little easterly lies a bed of rocks, called the Chimnies, and W. N. W. of these 1 mile, there is a dangerous rock covered at half tide.

Geo. Site of Fregate's Isle.

FREGATE'S ILE, or ISLE AUX FRIGATE, in lat. 4° 32′ S. lon. 56° 0′ E., is the most eastern of the Seychelle group, elevated 550 feet above the sea, about 2½ miles in length, having a rocky reef off its S. W. end, over which the sea breaks. This island is inhabited, and has anchorage under its lee: ships running for St. Ann's Roads in hazy weather, will pass it before they see Mahe, and sometimes they may be as far as Isle Recif.

Geo. Site of Isle Recif.

ISLE RECIF, in lat. 4° 34′ S. lon. 55° 49′ E. elevated about 150 feet, and 1½ mile in length, has a remarkable white rock like a building on its summit, the resort of millions of birds, which give it this colour. With it bearing S. S. E. 1½ mile, the Menai anchored in 17 fathoms sand and shells.

Eagle Island.

Geo. site.

The S. Western group of the SEYCHELLE ISLANDS, formerly called Amirante Islands, consist of several detached small Islands, coral reefs, and banks. EAGLE ISLAND (one of them) was examined in 1771, by the Eagle cruizer, which is a low sandy Island, about 3 miles round, covered with shrubs, and encompassed with a chain of reefs to the northward and eastward, at the distance of 2 and 3 miles from the shore, on which the sea breaks very high. Between these reefs and the island, there is a channel, with soundings in it from 9 to 14 fathoms. This island, called by the French, Remire, is in lat. 5° 8′ S. lon. 53° 22½′ E.; on it there is no fresh water. The tide rises about 9 feet, high water at 3½ hours, on full and change of the moon.

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African Islands.

AFRICAN ISLANDS,* two in number, are very small and low, situated about 6 leagues northward of the bank which surrounds the Amirante Islands, and were discovered about 1795, by some of the small French vessels which belong to, and navigate in these parts. Captain Adams, of H. M. S. La Sybille, examined them in 1801, and found a few shrubs on them. They are almost overflowed at high spring tides, and abound with turtle and aquatic birds, but are destitute of fresh water.

Geo. Site.

The largest island is the southernmost, joined to the other by a sand bank, which is dry at low water, spring tides; their length from N. to S. is not above 2 miles. On the east side a reef of breakers environs them, and on the west side there is safe and commodious anchorage in a bay, formed by the extremes of the isles and the reef which joins them. Observations taken on the southern island made it in lat. 4° 55′ S. lon. 54° 9½′ E. by stars on each side of moon. But Lieutenant Hay of the Menai, in 1821, observed on the North Island, and made it in lat. 4° 50½′ S. lon. 53° 27½′ E. allowing Eagle Island to be in lon. 53° 22½′ E.; so that the position of these Islands, and others on the southern part of the bank, seem all to have been placed too far to the eastward by former navigators. Variation 8° W. in 1821. The tides rise about 8 feet, high water at 9h. 39m, on full and change of moon. These islands lie about 6 leagues to the N.ward of Remire or Eagle Island, and 4 miles N. W. by N., from the latter, there is said to be a reef; also, a bank extends 4 or 5 miles from the south end of the African Islands, with 5 to 9 fathoms on it; but there is a safe channel between them and the others which lie to the southward. The Mary passed through this channel, 17th December, 1694, and afterward steered to the eastward, between the Seychelle Islands and the small isles on the south part of the bank, without perceiving any danger.

Geo. Site of Isle de Neuf.

Marie Louise.

ISLE DE NEUF (Isle of the Nine) in lat. 6° 53¼′ E. is the southernmost of the Amirante Islands, very small, and covered with bushes. Marie Louise, situated 7 miles E. N. E. from Isle de Neuf, is also woody and small, surrounded by a reef, on which there is ¼ less 4 fathoms 2 miles West from the island. Capt. Moresby passed in the Menai between these islands, in soundings of 12, 15, and 17 fathoms, and continued the latter depth steering N. E. 3 miles.

Geo. Site of Isle Boudeuse.

ISLE BOUDEUSE, in lat. 6° 11′ S. lon. 52° 55′ E. is situated on the western extremity of the Amirante Bank, and like the two Islands last described, is small, crowned with wood; they are all environed by coral reefs, excepting a few narrow openings. Ships should use a chain if they anchor among these islands; the white sandy bottom may be distinguished from the coral patches when in 12 to 15 fathoms water.

Isle L'Etoile.

ISLE L'ETOILE (Star Island) in lat. 5° 57′ S. and bearing by compass N. ¼ E. from Marie Louise, is about 1½ mile in length, low, and covered with bushes: the surrounding reef projects to the southward about a mile, and to the N. N. W. of the Isle, there is a bank with breakers on it.

Geo. Site of Isles Poivre.

ISLES POIVRE, in lat. 5° 43′ S. lon. 53° 20′ E., are two small islands, within a mile of each other in an East and West direction, bearing N. by E. ¾ E. from Isle Marie Louise, by compass. Reefs extend around them to a considerable distance, and 7 or 8 miles to the northward, there is a bank dry at low water.

* His Majesty's schooner, Spitfire, was wrecked on the reef at the southern part of these Islands, on the morning of 21st August, 1801. Lieut. Campbell, the commander, with four men, left the Isles in a small boat on the 27th, saw Silhouette 29th, reached it the 31st, and got a supply of water and cocoa-nuts; he then left this Island, and reached Mahe Roads 2d September, where he found the Sybille frigate, Capt. Adams, who proceeded immediately to the African Islands for the remainder of the Spitfire's crew.

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Geo. Site of Isle de Roches.

ISLE DE ROCHES, in lat. 5° 41½′ S. lon. 53° 42′ E. or 22 miles to the east of Poivre, has a bank extending around it about 4 leagues to the north or N. W., and 2 leagues to the East, with only 2½ fathoms on it in this part, and mostly from 5 to 13 fathoms to the N. westward; but in a southerly direction, the bank extends only a small distance from the Isle.

St. Joseph Isle.

ST. JOSEPH, in lat. 5° 27′ S. and 4 or 5 miles east of Isle de Ros, according to the observations of Mr. Russell, of H. M. ship Topaze, who explored most of these Islands in a small vessel, while the frigate lay at Mahe during the hurricane months at Mauritius; and the descriptions and positions here given of the Amirante Islands, and most of the others of this archipelago, are from the late observations of Mr. Russell, or Capt. Moresby, which correspond with each other, but differ much from the positions assigned to them by the French; the latter is now ascertained to be erroneous, and therefore exploded from the India Directory.

Isle de Ros.

ISLE DE ROS, in lat. 5° 24′ S. is nearly on the meridian of Eagle Island, by Mr. Russell's observations. To the northward of it about 3 miles, is the southern extremity of a shoal bank, marked with 2 fathoms in that part, from thence stretching nearly to Eagle Island, with soundings of 4 to 9 fathoms. When Isle de Ros bore S. E. 12 miles, Lieut. Hay found 4½ fathoms rocky bottom, then steered N. by W. 3 miles and was off the bank. Sand banks and coral reefs extend far West of St. Joseph, making the channel between that island and de Ros narrow and dangerous.

Isle Platte.

ISLE PLATTE is in lat. 5° 48½′ S. lon. 55° 27′ E. by Capt. Moresby's chronometers, and observations, on the 30th March, 1822, who left Mahe on the preceding day; and in passing 3 miles to the eastward of it there is no bottom at 100 fathoms, but off its S. W. end a bank extends 4 or 5 leagues, having from 5 to 12 fathoms sand and coral. From the North part of the Island a reef extends W. N. W. 4 or 5 miles, and also 1 mile E. S. E. from the north point. This island is composed of coral, and is about a mile in length.

The Amirantes differ little from each other, being generally from 1½ to 2½ miles in length, situated on coral banks, and seldom exceeding 20 or 25 feet in height; but they are crowned with trees, rising 24 or 25 feet above the land, and cocoa-nut trees now cultivating by slaves from Mahe, will soon be abundant. By digging 12 or 14 feet, water may generally be obtained. Calms, and uncertain currents, with the want of good anchorage, make it desirable not to approach these islands in large ships, unless obliged by necessity.

On the extensive bank which surrounds the Seychelle Islands, the depths are generally from 14 to 40 or 45 fathoms, but there is less water on some parts of it, particularly at the eastern and western extremities. About 6 or 7 leagues East and E. S. E. from Fregate's Island, the soundings are from 8 to 10 or 12 fathoms coral, on an extensive part of the bank. The Mary had 10 and 11 fathoms on the S. Eastern part, and true W. 7° S. from the Island Seychelles 18 leagues, she had 11 fathoms rocky bottom. Some French navigators, mark shoal patches on the western verge of the bank, where a large ship would be liable to strike; and this has been verified by the Swan southern whaler, as stated in a preceding page.

Cœtivy Island.

CŒTIVY ISLAND, discovered July 3d, 1771, by the Chevalier De Cœtivy, is low and sandy, extending about S. W. by S. and N. E. by N. 8 miles, having off the North and N. W. points, in the S. E. monsoon, anchorage on a bank of sand stretching ½ mile from the shore, in 7 to 17 fathoms. Capt. Moresby touched here in H. M. S. Menai, i April, 1822, and found abundance of turtle, and water may be procured close to the anchorage. The reef extends far to the southward. By Capt. Moresby's observations an

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Geo. Site.

chronometers, the north end of the island is in lat. 7° 6′ S. lon. 56° 16½′ E. The Lord Eldon and Carmarthen, on the 10th October, 1808, made the island (probably the south end) in lat. 7° 19′ S. lon. 56° 20′ E., and the Sir Stephen Lushington, in 1811, made it in lat. 7° 14′ S. lon. 56° 32′ E. by chronometers. Variation 9° 2′ West in 1822. Captain Malfie carried on a manufactory of cocoa-nut oil here in 1811.

Bank Adelaide and Success.

BANK ADELAIDE, very little known, is thought to be situated about 15 leagues N. E. from the above island; and in lat. 6° 9′ S., N. N. W. 6 or 7 leagues from Bank Adelaide, Success Bank is said to be in lon. 56° 40′ E. Capt. Moresby thinks these banks unite on the meridian of 56° 35′ E. between lat. 5° 10′ and 5° 40′ S., and that they are a continuation of the Grand Mahe Bank.

Fortune Bank.

FORTUNE BANK, named by Mr. Kerguelen after his vessel, in which he left Mauritius, 13th September, 1771, made a north course corrected from thence, and at 1 A. M. 19th, had ground 30 fathoms, next cast only 19 fathoms rocky. He stood on the other tack under a foresail, until the anchor was ready, and shoaled to 17, 15, and 14 fathoms sand, then anchored, being apprehensive of driving upon some sand bank. The multitude of sharks about them, made the sea luminous like breakers; of these they caught above 50, and a great quantity of crabs, with which the sea was covered. When day-light appeared, no danger was discernible. On weighing, he let the vessel drive, and continued sounding; for a long time they had 14 fathoms, then 20, 25, and 28; then at once no ground. M. Kerguelen, states it to be in lat. 7° 16′ S., lying N. W. and S. E., but does not mention its extent, which is 3 leagues, according to M. D. Apres.

This bank was discovered, 31st May, 1770, by the Verelst, Captain Compton; who observed on the 30th in lat. 7° 24′ S. and thought they were then on the bank, but did not sound till about ¾ before 1 P. M. when he had 15 fathoms coral rock, then 14 fathoms several casts. The weather was fine and clear, with a smooth sea, could see no appearance of shoal water or breakers from the mast-head. Steered N. E. ½ E., going about 4 knots, and had shoaled to 12 fathoms by 1¼ P. M.; continued that depth till 2 P. M., then deepened to 14 fathoms a few casts, and shoaled again to 12 fathoms. From 2½ to 3 P. M. had 11 fathoms very regular, from 3 to 3½ P. M. had 10½ fathoms very regular, then as fast as the line could be passed along, no ground at 20, 50, and 100 fathoms. Though the N. E. edge be steep, it is supposed the S. W. part shoalens gradually, as some of the people had observed the water discoloured, as early as 10 A. M. the preceding day. They found the N. E. end of the bank to be in lat. 7° 11′ S. Immediately after losing soundings, the sea regained its proper colour, with the usual swell. Numbers of ground sharks were seen during the time they were on the bank.

The Surat Castle, on her passage from Mauritius to Madras, crossed over this bank, 22d February, 1789. The first cast of the lead was 15 fathoms irregular, and in running over the bank from 15 to 10 fathoms, the least water, coral rocks and coloured shells.

The appearance of breakers was seen on the western edge, with strong ripplings round it. By lunar observations taken in this ship, the bank was found to be in lon. 57° 38′ E.

Geo. Site.

The Sir Stephen Lushington, in Jan. 1811, after passing the Island Coetivy, next day got upon Fortune Bank, and carried soundings of 10 to 12 fathoms steering east 7 miles; coral rock and sand were plainly visible under the ship, and as far as could be seen from the mast-head to the northward and southward. At noon had 38 fathoms, and soon after no ground; by observations taken on the bank, it was found to be in lat. 7° 7′ S. lon. 57° 4′ E. or 31 miles east of the Island Coetivy by chronometers. This would place it in lon. 56° 47½′ E. by adopting Capt. Moresby's longitude of Coetivy, but this officer says, it is 14 leagues East of Coetivy, or in lon. 56° 58½′ E.


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About 45 leagues N. N. Eastward from Fortune Bank, in about lat. 5° 12′ S. there is another Bank according to the French, with soundings on it from 13 to 31 fathoms.


ROQUEPEZ, a low sandy island, is thought to lie, in lat. 6° 24′ S. about lon. 60° E. but if it exist, it is probably the SANDY ISLE, with breakers extending about 3 miles from it, said to have been seen in the Bridgewater at 10 A. M. the 6th Dec. 1812, then distant 6 or 7 miles, and situated in lat. 6° 27′ S. lon. 60° 4′ E. (its southern extremity), may perhaps, be the doubtful Island Roquepez.

Swift's Bank.

SWIFT'S BANK, from the journal of the vessel of this name, who passed over it going from Mauritius to Ceylon, in 1744, Mr. Dalrymple places from lat. 5° 17′ to 4° 35′ S. lon. 61° 5′ to 61° 30′ E. The soundings found on it were from 18 to 35 fathoms.

Rose Galley Rocks.

ROSE GALLEY ROCKS, are said to be a ledge of rocks and breakers, seen by Capt. Gentleman, in the Rose Galley, going from Madras to Bombay in 1746; since which time, they appear never to have been seen, rendering their existence doubtful. This danger is said to be in lat. 5° 30′ S., and thought to be nearly on the meridian of the N. E. end of the Swift's Bank, or about 61° 33′ E. The run from Madras, places the Rose Galley Rocks in about lon. 61° 52′ E.

Space of clear sea between the Mahe and Chagos Archipelagos.

Which route may be adopted at times.

This danger, said to have been seen in the Rose Galley, is thought to be the most easterly of those in the vicinity of the Mahe Archipelago, between which and the western limit of the Chagos Archipelago, there is a space of above 8° in longitude, where the sea is considered free from shoals or islands; which is frequented by ships from the Eastern parts of India going the Southern Passage to Bombay, and was formerly used by ships in early times, proceeding from Bombay to England. This route is now seldom frequented by homeward-bound ships, although it appears eligible when the Northerly and N. W. winds may be expected between the equator and Mauritius, in December and January.

In 1796, the London proceeded by this passage. January 29th, she was in lat. 3° N. lon. 67½° E., got the winds then at W. and S. Westward, afterward at N. W., until in lat. 1° S. lon. 68° E. on the 2d February. From hence, brisk winds between W. S. W. and W. N. W. continued till in lat. 12° S. lon. 75° E. on the 7th, then veered to N., where they kept till she reached lat. 21° S. lon. 75° E. on the 10th; had then light N. W. winds one day, and got the trade at S. S. E. on the 12th, in lat. 22° S. In 23° S. it veered to E. S. E. In 24½° S. lon. 62° E. had strong N. N. W. gales two days, then S. W. and Southerly winds three days more. On the 21st February, in lat. 25½ S. lon. 59° E. had a return of S. Easterly winds.



General remarks on the Chagos Archipelago,

CHAGOS ISLANDS AND BANKS, were very imperfectly knowon, until Capt. Archibald Blair, then a Lieutenant of the Bombay Marine, surveyed them in 1786. They formerly had the general name of Basses de Chagos, from the largest Island which forms the southern limit of the whole, called Chagos Island, or Diego Garcia. These were formerly

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placed on the charts as separate Islands, and Diego Garcia generally laid down about 2½° to the westward of Chagos, but it is now well ascertained, that they are one and the same Island.*

The extent of the Chagos Islands and Banks, is from the south end of Diego Garcia, in lat. 7° 29′ S. to the north end of Speaker's Bank, in about lat. 4° 40′ S., which is thought to be 4 or 5 leagues to the eastward of the meridian of the former, the islands between them forming a large curve to the westward.

Geo. Site of Diego Garcia.

Environed by a reef.

Entrance of the harbour described.

DIEGO GARCIA, or CHAGOS ISLAND, extends from lat. 7° 14′ S. to 7° 29′ S. and by mean of two immersions of the first satellite of Jupiter, taken by Captain Blair, on Flagstaff Point, in the harbour, lon. 72° 22′ E. This island is one of the wonderful phenomena of our globe; its length from north to south being about 14 or 15 miles, and the general breadth from 3 to 4 miles, having the form of a crescent, with the convex side to the eastward. But it may be considered as a steep coral wall standing in the ocean, for the whole interior of the island is a lagoon or natural harbour, nearly of the same length and breadth as the island itself, as there is no part of the circumjacent wall above ½ a mile broad, and the greater part of the eastern side is only about 1/10 of a mile in breadth. This Island (or contour of an island) is low, generally 8 or 10 feet elevated above the sea at high tides, but inundations of the sea appear to have pervaded the wall in some places, and imparted their waters to those in the harbour. Although low, the island is covered with tall cocoa-trees, which make it visible 5¾ or 6 leagues at sea. A steep coral reef fronts the sea all round, on which it breaks very high, and renders the landing on the exterior impracticable. This reef is steep to, in most places, there being no anchorage for a ship on the outside of the island, except in the entrance of the harbour at the N. W. end. The points which form the entrance, are called by Captain Blair, the East and West points; between them three Islands are situated, called East, Middle, and West Islands; this lies near the west point of the main island, and the two former nearest the east point.

West Point and Island, are joined by a reef dry at low water, and Middle and East Islands, are situated on the edge of an extensive coral bank, which projects from them about 2 miles to the southward into the harbour; several parts of it are dry at low water, with dangerous patches of 1½ and 2 fathoms coral in other places. The same coral bank extends to the east point, which renders the passage between it and either of these islands unsafe, except for very small vessels. It appears, however, that M. la Fontaine went into the harbour in 1770, betwixt East Island and East Point, where 4½ fathoms is marked on his plan of the Island Diego Garcia; but Capt. Blair in 1786, found only 2 and 2¼ fathoms in the same place; and the ship Hampshire, of Bombay, was wrecked (about 1793) in attempting to enter by this dangerous and shoal passage.

The only safe channel into the harbour, is between West Island and the sand projecting from Middle Island above ½ a mile to the S. W., leaving a channel near a mile wide between it and West Island, which is safe to approach on the N. W. and N. E. sides. There are no soundings until a ship is close to the entrance, the water then shoals suddenly, from 100 fathoms no ground, to 20, 10, and 7 fathoms.

The French used to keep a small settlement on this Island, consisting of slaves and a few Europeans, who prepared cocoa-nut oil and salt fish, for small vessels which came annually from Mauritius.

Productions, &c.

A variety of fish abound in the harbour, and excellent green turtle visit the shores on the outside of the island; the land crabs, which feed on the cocoa-nuts as they fall from the trees, are also wholesome food; and good fresh water may be had in almost every part of the island, by digging eight or ten feet deep.

* Ady and Candy, and the London's Bank, have no real existence.

Y 2

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Perodical winds and currents.

Instructions for sailing toward the Island.

The S. E. winds prevail here from April to November, but are strongest in June, July, August, and part of September, during which time the current generally sets between W. and N. W., from 12 to 20 miles daily. In March and April the winds are often very variable and light; October and November are also changeable months, but more unsettled, and more squally than the former. In December and January, the N. W. winds prevail almost constant, producing a current to the S. Eastward. A ship proceeding by the southern passage for Bombay, and desirous of getting a sight of Diego Garcia, should keep in about lat. 7° 30′ S. to 7° 35′ S. when approaching its meridian, and pass to the southward of the island if the wind is favourable. Should she intend to stop here for a supply of water, or other refreshments requisite for a scorbutic crew, she ought to steer for the N. E. part of the island, keeping in the parallel of 7° 18′ S. When the S. E. winds blow strong with hard squalls, much rain, and cloudy weather, in July, August, and part of September, she must guard against the currents setting generally to the N. Westward, as she might be carried to the northward of the Island, if observations were not obtained.

As the shore is free from projecting shoals, she may in the day, run for it without danger, if the weather is not so thick as to prevent land from being seen at the distance of 2 or 3 miles. The Island being low, and sometimes enveloped by a cloud in the night, great caution is requisite in running for it at such times, and it should not be approached in a dark night.*

To approach it with the S. E. monsoon.

and sail into the harbour.

Running for it in a clear night, or in the day with thick weather, when near its situation a ship should be kept under such sail as she can bear on a wind; and if the Island is seen, her head ought immediately to be laid to the N. Eastward off shore, if it is night; and it may be prudent to ply to windward till morning, to prevent being carried to leeward by the current. In the day, she should steer along by the N. E. point boldly, passing close on the north side of East and Middle Islands, and round the spit that extends near a mile to the westward of the latter, as close as consistent with safety, to enable her to fetch higher up the harbour. In clear weather, the dangers are always visible from the masthead; an officer stationed there to look out, is the safest guide. Care must be taken in working up, not to stand farther westward than to bring West Island North, that the shoals in the bight to the southward of this Island may be avoided; nor too much to the eastward, that the extensive bank and shoals to the southward of Middle Island may also be avoided.

Proper anchoring birth.

Entering the channel during S. E. winds, it is proper to keep near to the sand projecting from Middle Island to the westward, which has 5½ and 6 fathoms close to its western point: by keeping this close a-board, a ship may fetch into good anchoring-ground without tacking, with West Island bearing N. ½ W.; but attention is requisite, not to stand to the westward of the meridian of this island, on account of the shoal in the bight.

This part of the harbour to the southward of the entrance, is the safest when the N. Westers blow, and equally secure with any other part in the south-easters. Its vicinity to the sea, and the facility with which ships may be brought in or carried out, make it preferable to any other part of this capacious harbour; and if necessary, ships may be warped between the shoal patches, within 500 yards of the shore.

The anchorage at this part is generally sandy clay, with bits of coral in some places,

* The Atlas was wrecked on the S. E. side of the island, about half an hour before day-light, May 30th, 1786 in which vessel I was at the time. The Charts on board were very erroneous in the delineation of the Chagos Islands and Banks; and the commander trusting too much to dead reckoning, was steering with confidence to make Ady or Candy (which do not exist) for a new departure, being in their longitude nearly by account, and bound to Ceylon; but, unfortunately, a cloud over Diego Garcia prevented the helmsman from discerning it (the officer of the watch being asleep) till we were on the reef close to the shore; the masts, rudder, and every thing above deck, went with the first surge; the second lifted the vessel over the outer rocks, and threw her in to ward the beach, it being high water, and the vessel in ballast; otherwise, she must have been dashed in pieces by two or three surfs on the outer part of the reef, and every person on board have perished. We had been se 4° to the westward of account, in the passage from Bencoolen of 20 days.

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and there is good water found in digging on this N. W. part of the island, abreast the anchorage.

Description of the harbour, &c.

In the channels between the coral banks, which are interspersed through the harbour of Diego Garcia, the bottom is generally fine white sand, mixed in many places with coral, which makes it prudent to anchor with a chain, or to have good ground service on the cables. About half-way up the harbour, it is contracted by a large flat projecting from the western shore, and several coral patches in the channel make it in this part intricate for large ships, should they be inclined to proceed so high up. To the southward of this intricate channel, on the east side of the harbour, there is good anchorage beyond the point that projects from the eastern shore.

In the upper part of the harbour, the depths are from 5 to 10 and 11 fathoms, and between the entrance and middle part of it, from 7 or 8, to 16 or 18 fathoms, except near the shores, or on the coral patches or flats; the depths on these, are from 1 to 3 fathoms.

If a ship is obliged to anchor at the entrance of the harbour, on the outside, it should be with the channel open, for the wind has been known at times in the S. E. monsoon, to veer to the N. W., and blow from this quarter, a short time, in squalls.

From October to February, when westerly and northerly winds may be generally expected, a ship from Bombay intending to stop at this Island, should pass to the westward of the Maldivas and Chagos Banks, and steer eastward for it, keeping in its parallel.

It is high water here on full and change of moon at 1 h. 30 min., and the tide rises 6 or 7 feet. The variation was 2° 16′ W. in 1786. An earthquake in 1812, is said to have torn asunder one of the small isles at the entrance of the harbour.

Blair's Bank.

BLAIR'S BANK, in lat. 6° 40′ S., about 14 leagues N. Westward from Diego Garcia, is thought to be the nearest to this Island. Captain Blair, in crossing over it, had soundings from 9½ to 30 fathoms.

Pitt's Bank.

PITT'S BANK,* is situated directly west from the same Island, the eastern verge of which, is about 16 or 17 leagues distant from it, and the western edge about 5 leagues farther. The south end of this bank, is thought to be nearly in the latitude of the south end of Diego Garcia, and its north end in about lat. 6° 50′ S. In crossing the north part of this bank the depths were from 9 to 18 fathoms, and the least water found near the south part of it was 7½, but there may be less, the bottom being coral and sand, and it was not surveyed.

It lies directly south from the Six Islands, Danger Island, and Eagle Islands, which are the most westerly in this Archipelago; and it was considered the most southerly and western-most bank of the whole, its western limit being about 66 miles distant from Diego Garcia, but the following Banks have since been discovered, more to the westward.

CENTURION'S BANK, was discovered by the squadron under Admiral Rainier, proceeding to Bombay by the southern passage. Capt. P. Heywood, of the Dedaigneuse frigate, gives the following extract from his journal, relative to this discovery.

Centurion's Bank.

Geo. Site.

"H. M. S. La Dednaigneuse, 1803, September 27th, at noon H. M. S. Centurion, bearing S. ½ W. a small distance from us, made the signal for soundings 17 fathoms, and soon after for 25 fathoms. My observed lat. was then 7° 39′ S. lon. by observation of 70° 52′ E. and by chronometer 70° 53′ E.; and the course made from the south point of Diego Garcia W. 7° S. distant 99 miles. I hove the lead immediately, but had no ground at 100 fathoms."

Nearly in the same place, the frigate Bombay, had soundings, in proceeding by the

* The Pitt passed over it in 1763.

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southern passage with some merchant ships. Captain Hayes, of the frigate, states, that on discerning the rocks alongside, the lead was passed forward and hove, and the depth was found to be 21 fathoms. He thinks when the rocks were first seen, that the depth was not more than 7 or 8 fathoms over them, for the ship had deepened the water greatly before the lead could be hove.

Ganges Bank.

Geo. Site.

GANGES BANK, appears to be a new discovery of the ship of this name, 12th of March, 1817, when at 10½ A. M. they saw discoloured water, with rocks under the bottom, and had soundings 17 to 11 fathoms, which continued a few minutes steering East, and afterward at 11 A. M. got no ground. The water seemed to be discoloured on the bank about 1½ mile in a North and South direction, and about ¾ mile from East to West: the ship crossed over nearest to the North end of the bank, and when on it in 11 fathoms were in lat. 7° 26′ S. from noon observation, lon. 70° 47′ E. by chronometer from the last lunar observations, and 70° 54′ E. by chronometer, measured from the Island Diego Garcia, allowing that Island to be in lon. 72° 22′ E.

This bank is more to the northward than the Centurion's, consequently cannot be the same; the Ganges steered from it E. by N. 26 miles till 5 P. M., then got soundings of 9½ and 9 fathoms on the Pitt's Bank, the rocks plainly seen under the ships' bottom.

Owen's Bank.

Geo. Site.

OWEN'S BANK, situated to the westwerd of Diego Garcia, and considerably to the westward of the Pitt's Bank, and to the N. W. of the Centurion's Bank, was discovered 20th November, 1811, by Capt. W. Owen, of the Royal Navy, when giving convoy to some transports from Batavia towards Bombay. He accidentally saw the bottom, and carried soundings of 19 and 20 fathoms for ½ an hour on the bank, although the other ships had no soundings: at the time, lat. 6° 46½′ S. lon. 70° 12′ E. by chronometer, from Diego Garcia in three days, and he observes, that the bank may be of considerable extent, as they probably were on it some time before it was perceived.

How to avoid these Banks.

As neither of these newly discovered banks, nor the Pitt's Bank, have been explored, it is uncertain if any part of them be dangerous, or if there may not be several detached patches of coral banks, which form this S. W. limit of the Chagos Archipelago; it therefore seems prudent to avoid them. To effect this, a large ship proceeding by the southern passage, after getting a sight of Diego Garcia, or passing the meridian of this Island, should get into the parallel of 8° S., and not decrease this lat. till she has made 2° of lon. west from Diego Garcia, being then to the westward of all the banks in this Archipelago, she may edge away to the N. Westward as judged most expedient.

Six Islands.

SIX ISLANDS, or EGMONT ISLANDS,* are the nearest to Diego Garcia, bearing from it N. 55° W., distant 68 miles. They are all very low, covered with wood; three only abound with cocoa-nuts. The four southernmost extend to W. N. W., the other two to N. E. They are connected by shoals which appear fordable, and a small harbour seems to be formed on the N. E. side of them, by reefs and breakers which project from the two extreme Islands; but it is difficult of access, and dangerous within, from the proximity of numerous shoals. There is no safe anchorage near these Islands, the soundings extending so little without the breakers. To the S. W. a small coral bank extends about ½ a mile off.

About 4 or 5 leagues southward from the Six Islands, the north end of the Pitt's Bank is supposed to be situated, which has already been described, and is thought not to be dangerous.

* These islands were seen by M. de Surville in 1756, by the Egmont in 1760, by M. du Roslan in 1771, and by the Eagle in 1772, by the Rumbold in 1773, by the Drake 1774, and were surveyed by Captain Blair in 1786

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Geo. Site.

The Six Islands extend about 6 miles N. W. and S. E., lat. 6° 37′ S. about lon. 71° 24′ E.

Danger Island.

DANGER ISLAND, in lat. 6° 21′ S. about 16 miles distant from the Six Islands, bearing from them N. N. W., is covered with wood, and a few cocoa-nut trees near the centre: it is small, with a reef projecting from it 3 or 4 miles to the southward, and a coral bank to the E. and S. Eastward of the reef. Nearly north from the northernmost of the Six Islands, and S. Eastward from Danger Island, about equal distance from both, there is a coral bank with 7 fathoms water.

Eagle Islands.

EAGLE ISLANDS, bear from Danger Island N. 25° E., distant 11 miles; the southernmost is an inconsiderable spot covered with bushes; the other in about lat. 6° 10′ S. is about 2 miles in length, covered with cocoa-nut trees, and others common to these islands. No soundings obtained except very close to it on the west side; but to the eastward, there is 9 or 10 fathoms about a mile east from the small island.

Three Brothers.

THREE BROTHERS, in lat. 6° 9′ S. bear from Eagle Islands about E. by N., distant 12 miles. They are small, connected by shoals, and by a fourth island, having small bushes on it, which cannot be seen unless very close in. Two of these islands abound with cocoa-nut trees.

Extensive bank, eastward of these Islands.

The Calcutta passed to the southward of the Three Brothers, and between Danger Island and Eagle Island; she had 5, 6, and 7 fathoms in this channel, and due east from it carried soundings from 8 to 40 fathoms, to the distance of 10 or 12 leagues. About 20 leagues to the E. S. Eastward of the Brothers, this ship first got on the bank, and shortly after had 4½ fathoms coral, in about lat. 6° 40′ S.; from hence she steered in a direct line for the Three Brothers, until they were seen, in various depths from 6 to 38 fathoms on this extensive bank.

In about lat. 5° 53′ S., and N. by E. from the Three Brothers, distance about 5 leagues, there is a steep coral bank, on which Captain Blair found 4½, 5, and 6 fathoms.

Peros Banhos.

PEROS BANHOS ISLANDS, are the largest group in the Chagos Archipelago, being 5 leagues in length at the western part, extending from lat. 5° 16′ to 5° 31′ S., and the breadth about 4 leagues east and west at the north part. This circular group is composed of several chains of islands and banks, having channels between them; one of these, divides the western part of the group nearly in the middle, through which the French vessel, Elizabeth, passed in 1744. Between the N. W. and N. chains, there is an opening about 2 miles wide. The N. W. chain consists of seven islands and several dry sands, connected by very shoal water, and bears the appearance of becoming one island. The northern chain consists of eight islands, with several dry sands and rocks, having a channel with 10 fathoms water in it at the N. E. part of the group; but within, it is full of dangerous shoals.

From the N. E. angle, several dry sand banks and breakers extend S. 4 miles; an apparent channel is formed between these, and a detached island more to the southward. There is another channel on the east side of the S. W. chain, at the south part of the group, between which and the S. Eastermost Island, there seems to be an extensive bank.

An eclipse of Jupiter's 2d satellite, taken by Captain Blair, on the island next to that which forms the N. E. angle, made it in lon. 72° 3′ 30″ E. The north part of these islands, Peros Banhos, are those called Bourde Islands in M. d'Après charts.

Salomon Islands.

SALOMON ISLANDS,* in lat. 5° 23′ S. are a circular group, extending N. E. and S. W. near 5 miles, and about 3 miles in breadth. They are eleven in number, the southern

* From the French ship, Salomon, Captain Bourde, who saw them in 1766. They are called by Captain Blair, Governor Boddam's Islands, which name Mr. Dalrymple appropriates to the harbour, and not to the islands.

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Anchorage, &c.

parts joined by rocks and sands with breakers; the other islands are also connected by reefs, except at the N. W. part, there is a channel leading into a large harbour, formed by these islands. The centre of the group bears E. 18° S. from the N. E. islands of Peros Banhos, distant 17 miles. At the entrance of the harbour there is a bar, on which Captain Blair found 3 fathoms, and judged that there may be about 4 fathoms on it at high water, spring tides. When over the bar, regular soundings from 10 to 18 fathoms coral, and some spots of sand, were found in working up the harbour; and several shoals seen, on which there appeared little water. He anchored in 13 fathoms sandy clay, near the S. E. island, the entrance of the harbour bearing N. N. W., distant about 2 miles.

From November 21st to the 25th, he remained here, taking in wood and water. The well was dug 5 feet deep, about 30 fathoms from high water mark, in a copse of cocoa-nut trees on S. E. Island; the water was perfectly clear, well tasted, and in abundance. They caught 20 turtle, and a sufficient supply of fish, but the latter were not so plentiful as at Diego Garcia, probably occasioned by the great number of seals.

Harbour secure, but has a bar at the entrance.

"If a judgment may be formed from the soil and productions, these islands" Captain Blair remarks, "may be supposed much older than any we have visited; the soil is tolerable, and much deeper than at Diego Garcia, or Peros Banhos; consequently, the trees take much deeper root, and grow to a greater size. One sort peculiar to these islands, which appears to be very good timber, grows to the height of 130 feet, many very straight, some 4 feet diameter, and 40 feet from the ground to the branches. The young timber is white, but the old decayed trees are of a deep chocolate colour, and the timber perfectly sound. The harbour is very secure, but the bar at the entrance, on which there is not more than 4 fathoms at high water, spring tides, makes it impossible for large ships to anchor. There are a number of shoals within, which may be easily avoided by keeping a good look-out from the mast-head, as the clearness of the water makes them easily distinguished."

The articles with which these islands abound, are cocoa-nuts and the timber mentioned; a small quantity of tortoise-shells may sometimes be procured. The tide rises 6 feet, and it is high water at 1h. on full and change of moon.

Sandy Islands.

SANDY ISLANDS, in lat. 5° 17′ S. are distant about 6 leagues from Salomon Islands, to E. N. Eastward. These are three low sandy islands, connected by rocks and breakers, seen by the Griffin, in 1749, and by other ships; also by Captain Blair, in his survey of the Chagos Archipelago, in 1786.

Speaker's Bank.

Geo. Site.

SPEAKER'S BANK, takes its name from the ship Speaker, Captain James Dewar, who sailed over great part of it in 1763, although the Griffin had previously been upon it in 1749. The latter vessel, after passing on the west side of Sandy Islands, steered north to the south part of the bank; from which, and Captain Blair's run, the south end of Speaker's Bank appears to bear N. by W. from Sandy Islands, distant 6 leagues, and is in about lat. 5° S., very little to the eastward of the meridian of Diego Garcia, or in lon. 72° 26′ E. At this part, it is 5 or 6 miles in breadth, extending in a direction about N. by E., 20 miles distance, the northern extremity being in lat. 4° 40′ S. and not more than half the breadth that it is at the southern part.

Probably some parts of it unsafe for large ships.

This bank consists mostly of coral rock, the bottom may be seen in 14 or 15 fathoms when the weather is clear; and the depths on it are from 5 to 27 fathoms, irregular soundings, as experienced by the Speaker, which ship passed from the north part to the southward, and anchored on it November 11th, 1763, in lat. 4° 52′ S. during the night. On the following morning the boats were sent to sound, one to the northward and one to the southward, and found several patches of 6 and 7 fathoms. The eastern part of the bank seemed more shoal than any other, although no appearance of breakers was discernible; the com-

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mander and officers of the Speaker, therefore, supposed, the depths on it to be much the same as they had passed over.

Probably some parts of it unsafe for large ships.

This bank is not considered dangerous for small vessels, but it would be imprudent for a large ship to make too free with it, particularly when there is much swell, as it is known that some of the patches have scarcely 5 fathoms on them, and it is probable there may be less. Speaker's Bank, is the northern limit of those banks and islands which form the Chagos Archipelago; the south-west extremity of it and Chagos Island (or Diego Garcia) are on the same meridian. Between them, in the concave space formed by the islands to the westward, there is an extensive bank, or rather several banks, with deep gaps between them, some of which have been noticed already. The general depths on them are from 12 to 30 or 40 fathoms, but on some of the patches not more than 4½, 5, and 6 fathoms; on which account, these islands and banks are generally avoided by large ships. They have been long known by the name of Basses de Chagos, the exterior limits of which, were until lately, imperfectly known.



Mozambique Channel.

MOZAMBIQE CHANNEL, OR INNER PASSAGE, formed between the Coast of Africa and the Island of Madagascar, is in the narrowest part nearly opposite to the town of Mozambique, about 71 leagues wide; but much broader at the southern part, opposite to Cape Corrientes.

Periodical winds and currents.

THE SOUTH-WEST MONSOON, which is the fair season in the Mozambique Channel, begins in April and continues till November; the N. E. monsoon then commences, and prevails until April.

During the S. W. monsoon, the winds vary from S. W. to S. E. and E. S. E., particularly near the south end of Madagascar, they blow often from S. E. and Eastward, brisk and moderate breezes; close to the African Coast, land breezes are frequent. In mid-channel, they are more steady, generally blowing right through, when the distance is equal from either shore. But there are exceptions to this general observation, for in the southern part of the channel, light variable winds, and westerly currents, have sometimes retarded ships bound to India by this channel.

From lat. 24° or 25° S. to 15° or 16° S. light variable winds from the E. and N. E. with westerly currents, have sometimes been experienced during the S. W. monsoon; this happened to the Sir Edward Hughes, in July, 1802, although at such times, Southerly and S. E. winds may be generally expected.

On the west coast of Madagascar, the current at times sets to the northward during the S. W. monsoon; and on the African Coast, generally to the southward. It is often changeable about mid-channel. Among the Comoro Islands, and between Cape Ambre and the coast of Querimba, it sets westerly all the year round.

THE N. E. MONSOON, commences early in November, at the northern part of the Mozambique Channel, but toward St. Augustin's Bay, not till the end of this month, and


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seldom extends farther south, the prevailing winds between Cape Corrientes and the S. W. part of Madagascar being southerly, varying from S. E. to S. W. during both monsoons.

In the N. E. monsoon storms at times.

In the Mozambique Channel, squalls from W. to N. N. W. may at times happen during the S. W. monsoon, but never continue long. It is chiefly during the N. E. monsoon that storms arise, when the S. E. and S. W. winds, which prevail without, are blowing strong; these winds blow into the channel, and are resisted by the N. E. and N. W. winds, which produce a high turbulent sea, and sometimes whirlwinds, by their opposing force. At such times, the sky is overclouded, and the rain heavy.

CURRENTS in the Mozambique Channel, during the N. E. monsoon, generally set to the southward along the African Coast, and also in the offing, from 18 to 28 miles daily; but on the coast of Madagascar, they run to the northward. On the African side, they set southerly most of the year, though they are liable to change in both monsoons, when the weather is precarious, and set to the northward for a short time.

Mozambique Channel, the most direct route for ships bound to India in the S. W. monsoon,

The route by the Mozambique Channel, is more direct than any other, for ships bound to Bombay, Ceylon, or the Coromandel Coast, when the S. W. monsoon prevails on those coasts; for it predominates in the Mozambique Channel at the same time. This route is generally preferred in times of peace: but in war, many navigators have adopted the passage to the east of Madagascar, where they are not so liable to light winds, nor to fall in with shoals, as if they proceeded by the inner passage. The passage outside of Madagascar, although the distance is greater, may, by these advantages, be made as quickly as the other; and some instances have occurred, of ships separating to the eastward of the Cape, part of them adopting the Inner Passage, the others the Passage east of Madagascar, and the latter were the first that arrived at Bombay.

but unsafe when ships were navigated by dead reckoning.

The positions of the dangers in the Mozambique Channel, being now tolerably well known, this route is much safer than formerly, since marine chronometers have become in general use. Before the use of lunar observations and chronometers, ships running for the Mozambique Channel were liable to great errors in their longitude after leaving the Cape, or the Cape Bank, occasioned by the strong S. W. and Westerly currents. Many ships, after shaping a course for the middle of the channel, have fallen in with the African Coast. The Doddington, in 1756, steering in the night E. N. E. by compass, struck a little to the eastward of Algoa Bay, and most of the crew perished.* The Grosvenor, bound home, was wrecked farther to the N. Eastward, 4th August, 1782; the crew and passengers, after reaching the shore, and suffering great hardships, were thought to have fallen a sacrifice to the natives, but three or four of them reached the Cape. Since that time, other ships have been wrecked on this coast, occasioned by errors in their reckoning, from westerly currents.

on account of the strength and uncertainty of currents.

Although the current generally sets to the W. and S. W. between the south end of Madagascar and Cape Aguilhas Bank, it sometimes sets to the S. Eastward between Cape Corrientes and the Island Madagascar with considerable velocity, which produces a contrary error in the reckoning.

The Prince of Wales and Britannia, in company, in 1762, fell in with the land about midnight, near St. Augustine's Bay, when they supposed themselves near mid-channel.

The St. Jean Baptiste, French Indiaman, was lost on the Star Bank in 1777, on account of the ship being to the eastward of her reckoning, and 39 only, of 120 people, were saved these survivors reached St. Augustin's Bay in the boat, and on landing were made slaves by the natives; 19 only of the 39, survived their captivity, in which they remained 7 months and then were ransomed by a Dutch ship.

Caution requisite when steering for the Mozambique Channel.

The French ship, Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, in 1785, made the Star Bank, having experienced an easterly set of 4° from soundings on the Cape Bank.

* By the dead reckoning, this ship was near 6° to the eastward of the place where she unfortunately struel and went to pieces in 20 minutes.

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These examples of errors in the reckoning, both to the east and westward, evince the propriety of caution in running for the Mozambique Channel, when not confident of the longitude being correct.

How to proceed towards it.

Ships bound to the Mozambique Channel, to guard against the S. W. and Westerly currents, which may be expected after passing the Cape Bank, should not edge away too soon to the northward, particularly if it be intended to see the Coast of Madagascar to the southward of St. Augustin's Bay, or to stop there for refreshments. At most times, it will be proper to reach lon. 37° E. before crossing the parallel of 34° or 35° S. or shaping a direct course for the channel.

Mid-channel is the most expeditious, and safest route,

It was the practice of most navigators to get a sight of Madagascar, near St. Augustin's Bay, and then to steer a course along this side of the channel, to get soundings on the Pracel (or Precella) Bank, on which are several dangers, and the soundings mostly coral rock; and there are other dangerous spots in several places near this shore: it therefore, appears, that the track near mid-channel is preferable when the longitude can be relied on, for here, the winds are more steady, and no dangers except the Island Bassas de India and Europa Rocks, the parallels of which, must be crossed with great caution, particularly during the night. These may be passed either to the westward, or eastward, and when to the northward of them, a course should be steered to pass to the westward of the island John de Nova, direct for Mohilla, or Comoro.

although seldom frequented.

Although the mid-channel track was seldom frequented, from a dread of the Bassas de India and Europa Rocks, it appears, however, preferable to the route along the Madagascar shore, when the navigator is confident of his longitude being correct; for many ships have been in great danger, by falling in unexpectedly with straggling islets or reefs near the coast of Madagascar. With a steady wind at S. or S. S. W. the track to the westward of the Bassas de India and Europa Rocks seems preferable to that along the Coast of Madagascar, it being clear of dangers. If a ship approach the African coast, she may be subject to light winds and southerly currents: but in mid-channel, the monsoon is generally strong, and more steady, than on either side of it; although in April, and early in May, the best winds will be found, by steering up to the west of Comoro, rather to the westward of the mid-channel track.

Geo. Site of Cape St. Mary.

CAPE ST. MARY, the south extremity of Madagascar, is situated in about lat. 25° 40′ S. lon. 45° 16′ E., from whence the coast extends in a N. E., N. N. E., and North direction to Cape Ambre, its north extremity; and from Cape St. Mary eastward to Fort Dauphin, the coast is mostly bold, with depths of 40 and 50 fathoms about 4 or 5 miles off shore, on a bank of regular soundings that fronts the southern part of Madagascar; which is here composed of mountainous land.

Star Bank.

Geo. Site.

STAR BANK, is distant from Cape St. Mary about 60 miles, bearing nearly W. N. W.; there are soundings between them from 20 to 40 fathoms several leagues from the shore, but this part of the coast should not be approached in the night, because the Star Bank is very dangerous. This bank is thought to extend from lat. 25° 7′ S, to 25° 25′ S., and is in about lon. 44° 16′ E., distant at least 5 leagues from the land, and is partly above water. H. M. S. Intrepid, at the distance of 3 miles from it, had no ground 150 fathoms; her noon observation was 25° 30′ S., the outer part of the shoal bearing E. N. E. ½ E. by compass, about 7 miles distance, the land then in sight from the mast-head. This shoal is steep to, on the west side, with high breakers on this part, but between it and the coast of Madagascar there are soundings in a channel near 3 leagues wide, through which several French ships have passed, and it is said to be safe, if a ship keep in mid-channel. There is shelter and spacious anchorage under the Star Bank during the S. W. monsoon.

To the N. W. of the Star Bank, in about lat. 24° 55′ S. two small islands lie near the

Z 2

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coast, surrounded by rocks and breakers; and several small islands lie contiguous to the S. W. end of Madagascar hitherto little known.

S. W. part of Madagascar.

Ships intending to touch at St. Augustin's Bay, or to make the land to the southward of it, should not approach the coast to the south of lat. 24° 30′ S., as that part in the vicinity of the Star Bank, is little frequented. From this latitude to St. Augustin's Bay, the direction of the coast is generally about N. by W. (true bearing) having a reef fronting the sea, at the distance of 2 or 3 miles from the shore, upon which the sea breaks in most places. The land hereabout, is of middling height near the sea; inland, the S. W. part of Madagascar is high.

Geo. Site of Sandy Island.

SANDY ISLAND, in lat. 23° 36′ S. lon. 43° 35′ E.* situated at the entrance of St. Augustin's Bay, about 2 miles from the southern shore, is a small low island, with shrubs on it, and a white sandy beach.

To sail towards it and St. Augustin's Bay.

A ship coming from the southward, bound to St. Augustin's Bay, should steer along shore at 2 leagues distance; when it is approached near, the high land about it will be seen, which near the sea is of middling height, but much higher at some distance inland, and a table hill, called Westminster Hall, will be discerned on the north side of the bay, which is situated at a considerable distance in the country.

When Sandy Island is perceived, a course must be steered to pass it on the north side; a ledge of rocks projects from it a large half mile to the N. W. and to a small distance it is encompassed by foul ground, which is steep on the west side, but a bank of soundings extends about 1½ or 2 miles to the N. E. of the island. A ship may borrow on this bank to 12 or 13 fathoms in passing Sandy Island, to avoid the shoals on the north side of the bay, on which the sea does not always break; the outermost of them is a reef of rocks, distant about 4 miles to the N. E., and the sea breaks on it in stormy weather.

After passing Sandy Island in 13 or 14 fathoms water, in steering to the eastward, a piece of high land, close to the sea, on the south side of the bay, will be perceived, and another piece of high land at some distance in the country. The entrance of Onglahé River, called by the English, Dartmouth River, will then be open, and serve as a leading mark in sailing to the anchorage, by observing the marks near it.

St. Augustin's Bay.

The north point of this river is a steep bluff, and the south one, which is also steep, has a low woody point terminating it to the northward. The high bluff point ought to be kept a sail's breadth† open with the low woody point, then the bluff point of the north side of the river will bear E. ½ S.

After having lost soundings on the bank off Sandy Island in running to the eastward, no more bottom will be obtained till abreast the first low sandy point on the southern shore. A reef projects from this point to a considerable distance, on which the sea breaks. There are 9 and 10 fathoms water close to the breakers, and 14 or 15 fathoms 2 cable's length without them, from whence it deepens gradually to 28 fathoms, and at a small distance farther out no soundings.

Geo. Site of Tent Rock.

The southern shore of the bay is low and sandy to the Tent Rock, which Capt. Owen places in lat. 23° 35¼′ S. lon. 43° 39′ E.; this is an isolated rock, situated below high-water mark, about half a cable's length to the westward of the steep cliff at the water's edge, which is the west end of the piece of high land on the south side the entrance of the river.

From the low sandy point to the Tent Rock, the south shore is lined by a reef, distant

* Navigators differ much in the situation of this island, some placing it in lat. 23° 35′ S. lon. 43° 27′ E., others in lat. 23° 42′ S. lon. 43° 4′ E. In Requisite Tables, 23° 28′ S. lon. 44° 9′ E. The Hon. Thomas Howe made it 44° 3′ E. by an eclipse of the first satellite of Jupiter. The longitude assigned to it above, is taken from the late surveys of Capt. Owen.

† This is the mark given by Mr. Nichelson for steering up the bay, but it is, probably, too distant as a guide for the entrance, particularly when it is considered that a sail's breadth is an indeterminate angle.

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from it about a large half mile. This reef is covered at half-tide, but the constant surf generally shews the limit of danger, except near the eastern part, where two rocks are situated on its outer edge; these are always visible when the tide is not high, appearing at ¾ flood, or ¼ ebb, like two small boats or canoes, but they are covered at high spring tides. From these rocks, the reef converges toward the shore near the Tent Rock, leaving a bank of soundings to the northward, which is the proper anchorage.

About half way between the low sandy point where the breakers are, and the two small rocks mentioned, there is a swatch in the reef, with 16 or 17 fathoms close to it, which makes the soundings not a certain guide in passing along; for some ships have struck on this part of the reef, by hauling in towards it, when they could not get ground with the hand-lead.

Directions to proceed to the anchorage.

With the sea-breeze, which generally sets in about mid-day, a ship after passing Sandy Island may steer direct for the bottom of the bay, keeping a moderate distance from the edge of the reef; at other times, when the wind generally prevails from S. W. and Southward, she ought to pass the breakers off the low sandy point in 14 or 15 fathoms, and the swatch in the reef may be passed in 21 fathoms, there being 34 fathoms about 2 cable's lengths farther out, and then no soundings.

Between the swatch and the two rocks that appear at ¾ tide, the reef is nearly steep to, in some places, but a ship may steer along, getting a cast at times, in 29 or 30 fathoms. There are 12 fathoms a small distance outside of the two small rocks mentioned, 20 fathoms a small cable's length from them, and 30 fathoms N. ½ E. from them about 3 cable's lengths, from whence the bank shelves suddenly into deep water.

A ship should continue to steer to the eastward, with the north point of the river bearing about E. ½ S. till Westminster Hall is on with a low sandy point on the north side of the bay, bearing N. E. ½ N.; she will then begin to get into regular soundings on the bank, and the two small rocks on the edge of the reef will bear about S. W. The depth decreases gradually on the bank, from 26 fathoms near the outer edge, to 8 and 9 fathoms toward the Tent Rock.

Proper situation to anchor.

The common anchorage is in 8 to 12 fathoms, the Tent Rock bearing from S. ½ E. to S. ½ W. good holding ground, which is the best situation, and where there is most room.

The broadest part of the bank is with the Tent Rock S ½ E. there being soundings two-thirds of the bay over from it, with this bearing. No ship should let go an anchor in more than 15 or 16 fathoms, unless it is with this bearing of the Tent Rock, and then in not more than 18 or 20 fathoms, for the bank shelves off suddenly from 24 fathoms in most places. The Intrepid, in 10½ fathoms, had the Tent Rock bearing S. ¾ W. off shore 1 short mile. The Preston, in August, 1801, anchored in 14 fathoms, the Tent Rock, S. 6° W., distant 1½ mile, the bluff point on the south side the entrance of the river, S. 81° E., distant 3 miles, the low green point on the north side of the entrance, E. 3¼ miles, a white rugged cliff elevated nearly perpendicular, N. 63° E., and Westminster* Hall N. 40° E. distant about 14 miles.

And to moor

A ship should moor east and west, that she may ride between the two anchors with an open hawse when the wind blows strong from the northward, which sometimes happens; should she moor north and south, in some places, the outer anchor would be in very deep water. During the N. E. monsoon it is considered dangerous to lie in this bay, the Northerly and N. W. winds, which prevail much in that season, blowing directly into it, accompanied by a heavy swell.


The time of high water at full and change, is stated by Mr. Nichelson to be at 2 hours 15 minutes. In August H. M. S. Intrepid, remained there 20 days, and found the tide

* This Table Hill, at some views, is thought to resemble Westminster Hall, having a kind of acute nob at each end, like that building, from which it has been named.

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flow to 5 hours 15 minutes on full and change, and rose in perpendicular height at the entrance of the river 13 feet. Variation 24° west in 1804.

Wood and water.

Wood and water, are got near the entrance of the river. The Intrepid towed her water on board in rafts, but found it tedious, the distance being near 3 miles, and several casks were lost on the bar by the surf. At low water, spring tides, the depth on it is only 2 feet, and the stream runs almost constantly down the river, although the perpendicular flow of tide is 12 and 13 feet on the springs. Aligators are seen in it at times.

Refreshments, &c.

Ships generally get a good supply of bullocks, sheep, and poultry, at this place; but it has been customary to give the King of Baba a present when a large supply is wanted, to induce him to encourage his people to trade: vegetables are scarce. The inhabitants are hospitable, but subtle and prone to revenge. The anchorage abreast the Tent Rock, is about 6 or 7 miles distant from Sandy Island, and nearly on the same parallel.

Tullear Bay.

TULLEAR BAY, is situated about 4 leagues to the northward of Sandy Island, where there is anchorage within the reefs near a small river. From hence, to the north point of Dartmouth River, the coast on the north side of St. Augustin's Bay has a reef † parallel to it; within which, there is an intricate channel for small vessels, leading from Tullear Bay to the entrance of Dartmouth River. This reef projects above a league from the shore in some places, is steep to, on the S. and S. W. sides, fronting St. Augustin's Bay.

The entrance to Tullear Bay is by a gap in the reef; the anchorage is in 6 and 7 fathoms, but the entrance being intricate, and the bottom rocky, this place is not frequented.

The Arabella, on the 4th June, 1714, sent her boat a-head to sound, and followed the boat into the passage leading into Tullear Bay, least water ¼ less 7 fathoms a few casts on the Bar, then deepened gradually to 12 fathoms, keeping nearest the southern shore, and steering S. S. E. to bring Westminster Hall to bear about S. E., afterward anchored in 6 fathoms ouze, with the Table bearing S. E. ½ E., mid-channel between the shore and the breakers, the latter bearing N. W., distance off shore 1 mile, and had 7 fathoms within a cable's length all round the ship. Procured some bullocks, &c., and on the 14th, at 6 A. M. weighed with a land breeze at S. E., least water 8 fathoms in running out over the bar. Variation in 1714, was 23° W.

Mouroundava Road.

MOUROUNDAVA, situated in lat. 20° 10′ S. is a place where some trade is carried on, and where a ship may get refreshments. Water is procured in the rivers adjacent to the road. The anchorage is in 8½ or 9 fathoms, with a remarkable high tree bearing E. S. E. by compass, near the sands which bar the rivers Youle and Moroundava. This place is seldom frequented by European ships, being exposed to N. W., S. W., and Westerly winds.

The Arabella, on the 14th August, 1714, was in lat. 20° 12′ S. Youncoule or Youle, bearing S. E. about 5 miles, sent the pinnance to a canoe who had one of the king of Timinirobus people in her, who gave us a woman pilot to conduct us to the anchorage. She anchored us in 8½ fathoms, Youncoule bearing S. E. 2 or 3 miles, but being too near the bar and a shoal that lies off the river about a mile, weighed and steered N. by E 1½ mile, then anchored in 9 fathom, Youncoule bearing S. S. E. distant 3 miles, extremes of the land from S. W. to N. E. by E. and the large Tree S. E. ¼ E., which stands a little to the northward of the river. Var. 22° 30′ W. The Clapham galley, had sailed 2 months before with 300 slaves, and the Arabella got 203 slaves here, and sailed on the 24th September, for Bencoolen.

Coora Ryka, &c.

COORA RYKA, is a small place, in about lat. 17° 40′ S. to the S. Eastward of Coffin Island, where a ship may anchor, and procure water in case of necessity; close to the

* The company's ship, Winterton, was wrecked on this reef, by standing too near the land in the night.

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northward of this place, lies the small river Vulla, directly opposite to Coffin Island, and 9 leagues farther northward is the river Manumbaugh, in about lat. 17° 12′ S. Between Coffin Island and the coast, there is a channel with 5 and 6 fathoms in it. If a ship should pass through it, or intend to anchor at any of these places, caution is requisite to avoid the coral patches about this part of the coast of Madagascar. The tides set strong through this channel, between Coffin Island and the main land.

Geo. Site of Cape St. Andrew

CAPE ST. ANDREW, is about 33 leagues to the northward of Manumbagh River, in a direction about N. E. ¼ N. It appears to be situated in about lat. 16° 2′ S. lon. 45° 16′ E., and is the north-western extremity of Madagascar, the land from hence taking an E. N. Easterly course. The N. W. coast of Madagascar from this Cape to Cape Ambre, has for a century been little known to English navigators, until Captain David Inverarity explored the harbours, and nearly the whole of this part of the coast, during a trading voyage along it, in 1802.

and of Table Cape.

TABLE CAPE, is placed by him in lat. 15° 43′ S. lon. 46° 6′ E., the direction of the coast being E. N. E. from Cape St. Andrew to the former. Directly south from Table Cape, there is a large opening in the land, called Boyana Bay, which seemed spacious, but was not explored. Table Cape forms the N. W. extremity of this Bay, and has a Table Hill on it.

Geo. Site of Bembatooka Bay.

BEMBATOOKA BAY, is large and safe, the entrance of which is in lat. 15° 43′ S. lon. 46° 28′ E.* about 7 leagues east from Table Cape. The entrance of this Bay is about 3 miles wide, the depths from 18 or 20 fathoms on the west side, to 7 and 8 fathoms near Point Sareebingo, east side of the entrance, on which is the village Majunga, or Majemghai. The depths from the entrance are 18 and 20 fathoms to Bembatooka Point, which is about 3 leagues within, on the east side, having a small Island close to it, and a reef projecting to the westward. Bembatooka Town is on the south side of the point, where ships may lie land-locked, sheltered from all winds, in 5, 6, or 7 fathoms, close under the point near the town. Bullocks are plentiful at this place, at 2 dollars each; rice and other articles, may also be procured at reasonable prices. From Bembatooka Point, the Bay extends in a circular form about 3 leagues farther inland. Several small rivers discharge their contents into this part of it, which is generally shallow, having two Islands near the southern shore. Variation here 17° 30′ W. in 1802. Rise of Tide about 13 feet. This Bay is an eligible place to refresh a fleet of ships.

Geo. Site of Majambo Bay.

MAJAMBO BAY entrance, in lat. 15° 10′ S. lon. 47° 6′ E., bears N. E. ¼ E. from Bembatooka Bay entrance, distant 50 miles, having 9 and 13 fathoms in it, and from 18 to 30 fathoms to the distance of 3 leagues within, which part is about 3 miles wide; from hence, it extends in a circular form about 3 leagues farther to the southward. This part is large, but the bottom is shoal all over, except at the N. W. point towards the entrance of the Bay, there is anchorage under it in 6, 7, and 8 fathoms, land-locked, and sheltered from all winds. This Bay has several rivers around, which fall into it, with a Table Hill near the rocky point on the east side of the entrance. The tide flows here on full and change, at 5 hours, and rises 13 feet. Variation 16° 25′ W.

Geo. Site of Narreenda Bay.

NARREENDA BAY entrance, is between the Island Nosu Sancassee and Moormona Point; the latter bearing N. E. from Rocky Point at the entrance of Majambo Bay, distant about 15 leagues. The Island Nosu Sancassee is in lat. 14° 31′ S. lon. 47° 45′ E. Be-

* Perhaps this is too far east, as Capt. Owen in his late survey, makes Majemghai Point in lon. 46° 13¾′ E.

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tween this Island and the Point mentioned, the entrance into Narreenda Bay is more than two leagues wide, from whence it takes a direction about S. by W., extending about 8 leagues inland, and is of an oblong form, 8 or 9 miles broad near the entrance, and 5 or 6 miles in breadth at the village Narreenda, near the bottom of the Bay. The general depths are 15 to 11 fathoms near mid-channel, and along the western shore, 5 fathoms toward the bank on the eastern side, and 4, 5, and 6 fathoms where the anchorage is, opposite to the village Narreenda, where the governor resides. The deepest water here, is near the western shore. High water at 5¾ hours. Variation 15° 50′ West.

Geo. Site of Mambacool Eay.

MAMBACOOL, or DALRYMPLE'S BAY, is in lat. 13° 31′ S. lon. 48° 9′ E., situated at the north extremity of the Peninsula on the west side of the great bay, Passandava.

It has 8 fathoms in the entrance, 5, 6, and 7 fathoms inside, and is recommended as particularly safe and commodious for wooding, watering, and refitting ships. In coming in, keep the west point of the entrance a-board. About 3 miles N. W. from this Bay, there is a small Island near the north point of the land; when it bears west 1½ or 2 miles, the course is directly south (true bearings) into Mambacool Bay, which abounds with fish, but is not inhabited.

There are several Islands, and dangerous coral patches, between this bay and Nosa Sancasse Island. Some of these patches lie 4 leagues from the shore, and have only 2½ or 3 fathoms water on them.

Passandava Bay, Geo. Site of the town.

PASSANDAVA BAY, is on the east side of the Peninsula already mentioned. It is a large bay of a square form, extending directly south from the entrance to the distance of 6 leagues.

Passandava Town is at the bottom of the bay, in lat. 13° 45′ S. lon. 48° 23′ E.; about 2 miles off it, the depths are 4, 5, and 6 fathoms, from hence increasing to 20 and 22 fathoms at the entrance. The large Island Noss Bey, is situated to the northward of this bay, having two small Islands between it and the entrance. The great channel is to the westward of these Islands, but there is a passage to the eastward of them, by which small vessels may enter the bay. Variation here 14° 45′ W.

Provisions obtained at these places.

Bullocks, and refreshments, wood and water, may be procured in great plenty, and on most reasonable terms at all the above places. The inhabitants are shy to strangers until acquainted with their business; but they seemed to be an inoffensive, fair dealing, and hospitable people.*

Cape St. Sebastian;

From the Island Noss Bey, Cape St. Sebastian bears about N. E. ¼ N., distant 18 leagues. About half-way between them there is a group of Islands, some of which are 6 leagues off shore, and the coast from Cape St. Sebastian lies nearly south 10 or 12 leagues, then S. by W. and S. S. W. 8 leagues farther; from hence it turns sharp round to the west towards Noss Bey, forming a bay called Chimpayke, to the eastward of an Island of the same name, which is situated near the east end of Noss Bey.

West Island Geo. Site.

Close around Cape St. Sebastian, there are several small Islands; that called West Island is about 3 or 4 miles due west from the Cape, and is situated in lat. 12° 28′ S. lon. 48° 50′ E. Wood Island is in lat. 12° 14′ S., and about 5 leagues to the N. Westward of it, lies a small Island environed by a reef of rocks. The variation 5 leagues north from it is 13° 35′ W.

The verge of the bank of soundings,

From Cape St. Sebastian, the coast takes a direction about N. E. nearly to Cape Ambre,

* The peaceful natives of Johanna, however, affirm, that their villages are destroyed, and many of their people cruelly maimed or massacred, by the inhabitants of Madagascar, who come over in boats and prey upon them.

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the distance between these Capes being about 15 leagues, with a concavity in the coast to the N. E. of the former. Cape St. Sebastian has a hill over it, and a regular sloping oblong mountain to the eastward of it, at a small distance inland.

dangerous in many places.

From Cape St. Andrew to the north end of Madagascar, a bank with soundings extends along the whole of the coast, projecting from it 2 or 3 leagues in some places, and in others to the distance of 8 or 9 leagues from the shore. Ships drawing more than 12 feet water, should be very careful in approaching the edge of the bank, where in many places there are only 3 fathoms coral. Several of these coral flats are of considerable extent, and generally situated on the verge of the bank of soundings; it is therefore, requisite, to keep a good lookout from the mast-head for discoloured water, or keep a boat a-head sounding.

To sail from St. Augustin's Bay to the northward.

IF BOUND TO THE COMORO ISLANDS, a ship departing from Sandy Island, or having seen the land about St. Augustin's Bay, may steer N. by W. or N. N. W. by compass, until she is 8 or 10 leagues from the shore, then steer about N. by E. or N. The direction of the coast to Point St. Felix, in lat. 22° 36′ S. is about N. N. W. true bearing, or rather a little more westerly in some places. A North and N. ½ W. course by compass, may be steered in the day, which is parallel to the coast as far as Point St. Felix, but in the night the coast should not be approached close, for high breakers stretch along it, and it is low in several places near the sea, composed of sand downs, with verdure interspersed. Point St. Felix is a sand hill, with some trees on it. The variation here in 1798, was 23° 30′ W.

In lat. 21° 58′ S., nearly on the meridian of Point St. Felix, a small Island is situated, called First Island, and 8 leagues farther northward is Second Island, which are distant about 3 leagues from the coast: a rocky bank is said to lie about half-way between them. Nearly abreast of Second Island, the projecting part of the coast is called Cape St. Vincent, from whence it takes a N. N. Easterly direction toward Moroundava, having several sand banks between them, from 3 to 4 leagues off shore.

Crab Island, in about lat. 21° 8′ S. is nearly on the meridian of First Island; it is small, and placed in De Apre's chart about 12 leagues from the coast; probably it is not so much, for in August, 1803, it bore S. E. by S. from the Huddart, when the high land of Madagascar was in sight.

After leaving the coast about St. Augustin's Bay, or Point St. Felix, steer to pass well to the westward of Crab Island, by getting 30 or 40 miles west of Sandy Island by chronometers, when near the parallel of the former; then steer true north, keeping in lon. 40 or 45 miles west from Sandy Island, which will lead to the westward of the Pracel Bank; and when near the lat. of the Island John de Nova, it will be proper to reduce the lon. made by chronometers from Sandy Island to about 25 miles west, in passing. This will carry you to the eastward of John de Nova, and the same meridian preserved, will lead to the westward of the Chesterfield Shoal.

A good look-out is requisite when crossing the parallels of these two places, and from hence a direct course may be steered for Johanna, if to touch there; in such case, it will be proper to pass between it and Mohilla. If not to stop at any of the Comoro Islands, pass through any of the channels between them, or to the westward of the principal Island, as circumstances require. Amongst these Islands the current generally sets westward, rendering it prudent, when bound into Johanna, early or late in the season, not to fall to the westward of Mohilla, as the winds are frequently light and variable at these times.

The route here described, is recommended in preference to that along the coast of Madagascar, over the Pracel Bank; but the latter having been much used in former times, it is proper to point out the dangers contiguous.

Pracel Bank.

PRACEL,* or PRACELLA BANK, extends a great distance from the coast of Ma-

* Signifying hidden, or invisible.


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dagascar, having on it several dangers, the true situations of which are not correctly determined.

The southern limit of this bank is at the Barren Islands, and it reaches nearly to Cape St. Andrew; the soundings on it are in many places very uneven, it being generally composed of coral and sand; at the western edge it is steep, having a sharp declivity to seaward.

Barren Islands.

Geo. Site.

BARREN ISLANDS, are a group of Islands, with reefs and breakers projecting from some of them to a considerable distance, and joining several of them together. The Islands are low, with white sandy beaches, and shrubs on them; the westernmost or outermost Island of the group, is in about lat. 18° 26′ S. lon. 44° 15′ E., by mean of several ships chronometers and lunar observations, or 15 miles east of Sandy Island, at St. Augustin's Bay; and is distant from the coast 8 or 9 leagues. These Islands are situated on the southern edge of the Pracel Bank, and several ships have been in danger of running on them in the night, when steering for the edge of the Bank.

Dangerous to approach in the night.

The Fox, in June, 1783, was close to the breakers which lie a few miles to the southward of the Barren Islands; this happened at dawn of day, when the Islands were perceived at 2 or 3 miles distance, and the reef much nearer. She was obliged to make a tack or two, to round the outer end of the group, and when close to these Islands, the high sloping land of Madagascar was in sight from the deck to the eastward, distant 10 or 11 leagues.

June 12th, 1792, the Montrose at day-light saw part of Madagascar E. N. E. distant about 9 leagues, and the southernmost Barren Islands bearing N. N. W. she immediately hauled to the westward and cleared them.

Coral banks to the N. W. of them.

June 30th, 1799, the Walmer Castle and Hughes, in company, at day-light saw the northernmost of the Barren Islands, bearing S. E., distant 4 or 5 leagues. They sounded and had 13, 10, 7, and 7½ fathoms coral rocks, hauled out west 3 miles, and had from 10 to 15 fathoms; from hence stood 3 miles more to the westward, and deepened to 90 fathoms on the edge of the Pracel Bank; then observed at noon in lat. 18° 6′ S. lon. 44° 10′ E.* by chronometer. Variation 21° W. Current setting N. E. 1 mile per hour.

Soundings on the west part of the Pracel Bank, Geo. Site.

June 30th, 1801, the Fort William, Worcester, Airley Castle, and Hawkesbury, got soundings on the bank at 10 P. M. in 20, 18, and 16 fathoms, and anchored. They weighed and stood to the northward in the morning, with boats a-head sounding, the least water was 8 and 9 fathoms white coral and sand, and the shoal part of the bank which they passed over, is from lat. 17° 34′ S. to 17° 16′ S. lon. 43° 31′ E. Two of these ships at noon, made the observed lat. 17° 17′ and 17° 18′ S. when in 14 and 19 fathoms, and by three different ships' chronometers at the same time, lon. 43° 29′ E. 43° 31′ E. and 43° 35′ E.; the Hawkesbury about 2 or 3 miles more to the westward, was on the edge of the bank in deep water.

June 16th, 1800, the Brunswick and fleet got soundings on the Bank, 23 fathoms coral; at noon in 22 fathoms, the observed lat. 17° 30′ S. lon. 43° 32′ E. 43° 29′ E., and 43° 29′ E., by three ships lunar observations; from hence they steered N. N. E. ½ E. to N. E. by N. 37 miles, in soundings from 23 fathoms, increasing irregularly to 38 fathoms, afterward no ground 40 fathoms, steering N. E. ½ N.

May 10th, 1799, observed lat. 17° 9′ S. lon. 43° 40′ E. by chronometers, the Taunton Castle was on the edge of the Bank, no ground 45 fathoms; a little before noon she had 25 fathoms on it.

July 19th and 20th, 1798, the Walpole had light winds on the Pracel Bank, soundings generally from 15 to 30 fathoms. She lay by, during these two nights, and made sail at day-light each morning: she first got soundings, 60 fathoms on the edge of the Bank, in lat. 17° 51′ S. lon. 43° 30′ S. by ; on the following day in 29 fathoms, observed lat.

* Their lon. seems to have been rather too much to the eastward.

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17° 50′ S. lon. 43° 56′ E. by , and 43° 49′ E. by chronometers; from hence, she continued to have soundings, till in lat. 16° 30′ S. lon. 44° 4′ E.


From the above extracts, taken from original journals of the ships mentioned, the western limit of this bank appears to be in about lon. 43° 28′ E.; and from the S. W. end, contiguous to the Barren Islands, it extends nearly on the same meridian to lat. 17° 16′ S., or probably farther to the northward, before it diverges from the meridian to the eastward.

Rocky bottom and dangers on the S. W. part.

The Worcester, in 1790, got 10 and 12 fathoms rocks on the S. Western edge of the Bank, at 2 P. M., August 20th, when in lat. 18° 1′ S. from noon observation, lon. 43° 38′ E. by observation of at the time; and from the mast-head, the appearance of breakers was seen to the eastward.

The Thistleworth on the 28th July, 1714, saw rocks under the bottom, and on sounding, had only 3 fathoms coral rocks, low land then discerned bearing E. S. E., distant about 5 leagues, thought to be on the main, steered N. W. and deepened fast to 30 fathoms no ground. When in 3 fathoms, was in lat. 18° 11′ S. computed from noon observation, and it was probably the northernmost of the Barren Islands, and not the land of Madagascar seen at that time.

The Nathaniel, on the 25th April, 1712, before day-break, struck on the reef that projects about a mile from the northernmost Barren Island, and beat off her rudder; but the anchor having been previously let go in 4 fathoms, she quickly warped off into 11 fathoms and hung her rudder again. Observed lat. 18° 14′ S. the northernmost Island bearing N. by E., one South, another S. E., and another S. by E. 5 or 6 leagues, being then ½ a mile off the reef, bearing from East to N. by W. ½ W.

As the Walmer Castle had only 7 fathoms, and the Thistleworth only 3 fathoms on the shoal coral patches to the N. W. of the Barren Islands, these Islands and the S. W. part of the Bank, ought to be approached with great caution, and a ship should haul out instantly to the westward, if she happen to get soundings on this part of the bank.

Coffin Island,

and a sand bank,

COFFIN ISLAND,* small and low, of black appearance, with a white sand beach, has been mistaken for the Island St. Christopher's by several navigators in passing it, from their not having seen the adjacent coast of Madagascar, which is low near the sea opposite to this Island, but has a conical peak inland, and generally mountainous. This Island is dangerous to approach on the S. and S. W. sides, as shoal coral banks project from it 5 and 6 miles in these directions, and it is probably surrounded by shoals, extending out several miles. To the westward of it, at two leagues distance, there is a sand bank, which stretches to the northward a considerable way, and is nearly covered at high-water spring tides.

Taunton Castle grounded on a coral bank;

The Taunton Castle, saw the land from the mast-head at day-light, April 18th, 1791, appearing something like a sail, bearing E. N. E. She then steered between N. E. and N. N. E. 18 miles to 9 A. M., when the water appearing discoloured, she struck on a bank of coral and sand in 3½ fathoms, in the act of heaving to, to sound. When aground, Coffin Island bore E. N. E. about 5 miles, and a sand bank N. N. E. about the same distance. To the N. W. the water was found to be very shoal, but deepened fast to the S. Westward. A small anchor being laid out in this direction, the ship was hove into deep water; the water had flowed 13 feet when the ship floated, the sand bank nearly covered, just visible from the mast-head, the tide setting 2 miles an hour to the N. E. Whilst she lay on the coral bank, the weather was very fine, and the sea smooth; notwithstanding, her fore-foot was found much injured, on examination in Bombay dock.

having mistaken it for St. Christopher's.

When they first saw this island, they supposed it to be St. Christopher's, trusting to observations of , taken five days before, which agreed with the chronometer, but made the

* Called Savou, in the French charts, by the Dutch Dodkist, i. e. Coffin.

A A 2

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lon. above 1° to the westward of observations by moon and Antares,* taken 12 hours before the ship struck.

Channel inside this Island.

The cutter was sent to examine the bank to the southward and eastward of the island, and found the depths about 3 leagues to the S. E. and Southward of it, generally sandy bottom, from 10 to 7 and 8 fathoms. To the eastward of the island, between it and the Madagascar shore, the depths decreased to 5 and 6 fathoms soft ground, in mid-channel, shoaling as the island or the coast were approached to 3 and 3½ fathoms hard ground. It was therefore concluded, that the channel between Coffin Island and the adjacent coast, has from 4 to 5 fathoms in it at low water, shoaling towards either shore; the water in it was thick, containing a quantity of weed, and the tide set strong through it to the northward.

A shoal spit to the westward of the sand bank.

When the Taunton Castle struck on the coral bank, the land last seen was the Island Trinidad, near the coast of Brazil; after getting clear of the ground, she remained at anchor near the shoal, with light northerly winds till the 20th; on this day, she passed the sand bank on the S. W. side, at the distance of 4 or 5 miles, deepening gradually to 22 fathoms when 3 leagues to the westward of it, then shoaled at once to 7 and 8 fathoms on a coral spit, in passing over which, the rocks were visible under the bottom; afterward, she steered about N. by W. by compass, in soundings from 15 to 32 fathoms till in lat. 16° 56′ S.; from hence she steered N. E. by N., deepening to 56 fathoms, in lat. 16° 34′ S., and then no ground at the same depth.

Coffin Island† was seen by the Princess Amelia, and London, in company, August 12th, 1795. They steered E. N. E. and N. E. by E. 8 miles from noon, had three casts during this run, of 13, 20, and 22 fathoms, when at half-past 2 P. M., an island was seen from the mast-head, bearing east.

Captain Millet's description.

Captain Millet, of the Princess Amelia, states in his journal, "at 3 P. M. I saw from the mast-head, a small island bearing about E. S. E. by compass, also a sand bank, with a large extent of breakers, bearing east, about 4 leagues distance; then in lat. 17° 30′ S. from noon observation, and from Sandy Island, St. Augustin's Bay, 19 miles west by time keeper. The breakers of the sand bank are therefore 7 miles west from Sandy Island, which may be depended upon."

Coffin Island is distant from the coast of Madagascar about 4 leagues, and this part of the coast is certainly much farther to the westward, in its relative position from St. Augustin's Bay, than represented on the old charts.

Geo. Site of Coffin Island.

By mean of several ships chronometers and lunar observations, Coffin Island is in lat. 17° 30′ S. lon. 44° 4½′ E. or 4½ miles E. from Sandy Island.‡

The Bank extends far westward.

The soundings on the Pracel Bank, in the lat. of this island, appear to extend 11 or 12 leagues to the westward of it;—this may be inferred, from the observations of the fleet in 1801, (already mentioned,) and those of other ships. To the northward of lat. 17° S., the edge of the bank declines more to the N. Eastward.

Our previous knowledge of this part of the channel of Mozambique very imperfect.

Coffin Island, having been so frequently mistaken for an imaginary island called St. Christopher's, which was thought to be situated 12 or 14 leagues distant from the coast of Madagascar to the westward, has been the cause of great embarrassment to the navigation of the Mozambique Channel; for John de Nova and St. Christopher's have been projected on many charts as two different islands, distant from each other more than 1° of lon., although

* These observations were found to be right, but no confidence was placed on them, as they differed greatly from the chronometer, and those taken five days previously by . This is an example, evincing how cautious navigators ought to be in trusting to a single chronometer, during a great interval of time; or to lunar observations, by an object only on one side of the moon.

† In the London's journal, it is called St. Christopher's, but Captain Millet remarks in his journal, that it was Coffin Island.

‡ In May, 1803, the Experiment saw Coffin Island, and the breakers on the bank to the N. W. of it; she had 25 fathoms, and made the island in lat. 17° 29′ S. lon. 44° 5′ E. by * and , but thought it was St. Christopher's

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they are one and the same island. The Chesterfield Shoal is erroneously placed from the same cause.

Chesterfield Shoal,

erroneously placed in the charts and directories.

CHESTERFIELD SHOAL, so named from the ship Earl Chesterfield, having, with the Walpole and Hector in company, passed close to it on August 13th, 1756. These ships passed in sight of Coffin Island* the preceding evening, which is called in the Chesterfield's journals, St. Christopher's. In this ship, therefore, Coffin Island was mistaken for the imaginary Island, St. Christopher's, and the situation of the Chesterfield Shoal has been placed in the old charts, and described in former Directories, according to the run of this ship from St. Christopher's, or N. 5° E. from it, distant 24 leagues; whereas, the relative position of the shoal is really from Coffin Island. The journals of the Chesterfield only, have been consulted in assigning to this shoal its geographic situation, by which it has continued for ½ a century projected on the charts, at the distance of nearly 1½° from the coast of Madagascar, considerably detached from the edge of the bank; whereas, had the journals of the Walpole been equally consulted as those of the Chesterfield, this error might have been avoided.

Walpole's description.

Captain Fowler's journal of the Walpole, in company with the Chesterfield, states, that the island seen in the evening could not be St. Christopher's, but an island nearer Madagascar; although they did not sound at the time, nor till 2 A. M. when the water was observed to be discoloured;—at this time, they sounded in the Walpole, had 23 fathoms, and made the signal; from hence, steering N. E. by compass, the soundings decreased to 16 and 17 fathoms, at 5 A. M.; at ¼ past 5, breakers were seen close a-head, and a rock on the middle of a sand bank; at ½ past 5 the breakers bore N. after hauling to the westward to clear them; at 6 they bore N. E. by N., 1 mile, deepening fast from 7 fathoms near them, to 20 fathoms in standing westward.


They passed to the westward of it.

By the Chesterfield's journals, from passing the island in the evening, they steered N. N. E. 38 miles, and N. E. 36 miles, when the shoal was seen in the morning, bearing from N. N. W. to N. W. ¼ N., distant about 2 miles; they directly hauled out W. N. W., had 6, 7, and 8 fathoms in passing near the breakers, then at once 19, 20, and 25 fathoms; and when 12 miles to the westward of it, no ground 40 fathoms. The shoal is here said to be about a mile in length east and west, having on it a rock, with a patch of reddish sand to the eastward of it, on which the sea broke furiously, though the weather was moderate.

Warren Hasting's description;

she passed to the eastward of it.

The Warren Hastings, saw this shoal on the 8th July, 1787, and carried a series of soundings on the Pracel Bank, in steering toward it, and also after passing. From 6 P. M. she steered E. by N. 27 miles, and E. 16 miles to 5 A. M., in regular soundings 26 fathoms; at 6 P. M., increasing to 30 and 32 fathoms sand and shells, about midnight, and from 36 to 24 fathoms, till 5 A. M., frequently blue mud, at which time she hove to, until day-light. From 6 A. M. steered N. E. by N. 14 miles, when at 8 a rock was seen bearing N. 5 or 6 miles, the depths were at this time 10, 13, and 18 fathoms, brown sand. From this time she steered till noon, N. E. 7 miles, and N. E. by N. 21 miles, in 18 and 20 fathoms, having passed to the eastward of the shoal, and observed in lat. 16° 0′ S. From noon she steered N. E. by N. 10 miles, increasing the depth regularly, afterward no ground 30 fathoms.

Worcester passed over the west part of the Pracel Bank.

The Worcester also fell in with the Chesterfield Shoal, on the 21st of August, 1790. At 2 P. M. she sounded in 22 fathoms, then in lat. 17° 44′ S. lon. 43° 37′ E., with the wind at north she stood to the W. N. W. 5 miles, deepening to 54 fathoms, it then veering to N. W. and Westward, she steered during the night mostly N. E., in various soundings from

* Commander's journal of the Chesterfield states, at 5 P. M. August 13th, saw an island, (Coffin Island) bearing N. E. Easterly about 4 leagues. At 6 P. M. it is marked in the First Officer's journal, E. 2 or 3 leagues. In First Officer's journal of Walpole, it is said to be distant 6 leagues, at 5½ P. M.

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saw the shoal, passed to the westward of it.

30 to 13 and 16 fathoms, hauling off north at times when the depth decreased. At ½ past 10 A. M., when in 22 fathoms mud, the shoal was seen from the mast-head, bearing N. E. by E., about 3½ leagues; steered north till noon, in soundings 22 and 20 fathoms, the shoal then E. 32° S. 7 or 8 miles. She steered northward till 3 P. M. 22d, in different depths from 27 to 13½ fathoms, then deepened from 25 fathoms to 30, 40, and 65 fathoms no ground, and bore away N. E. by N.


In this ship, they judged the extent of the shoal to be about a ¼ of a mile from north to south, where it is dry, consisting of reddish sand, with a black rock in the middle, and breakers surrounding the sand.

The true situation of the Chesterfield Shoal, may be approximated from the following observations.

In the short run of 12 hours from Coffin Island to the shoal, made during the night by the Walpole and Chesterfield, will place it 6½ or 7 miles east of the meridian of that island, allowing the latter as already described, in lon. 44° 4½′ E. the shoal will be by their run in,

Geo. Site.

Lon. 44° 11′ E. In a run of 24 hours from it to the merid. of Valentine's Peak,* Mayotta, in
44 6 and in lat. 16° 21′ S. by Warren Hastings.
44 5 16 20½ or 5 miles E. of Sandy Island, St. Augustin's Bay, by Worcester's journal.
44 13 or 13 miles E. of Sandy Island, by Walpole's do.

Mean. 44° 8¾′ E. lon. 16° 20¾′ S. lat. by these ships from account, which corresponds with the situation of it obtained by Mr. R. H. Gower, of the Worcester, from many lunar observations, viz. lon. 44° 7′ E. and in lat. 16° 19′ S. by noon observation in sight of it, bearing E. 32° S.

General remark.

From the foregoing descriptions, it appears, that the Chesterfield Shoal, Coffin Island, and Sandy Island, at St. Augustin's Bay, are nearly on the same meridian, although in the old charts, this shoal is generally placed about 40 miles to the westward of Coffin Island, which has originated from the cause already mentioned.

Directions to avoid the Chesterfield Shoal.

In running to the northward, the Chesterfield Shoal may be avoided by keeping to the westward of the edge of the Bank, or by getting soundings on the edge of it, a few leagues to the southward of the parallel of the shoal; then edging away to the northward to get out of soundings when crossing its lat., or just venturing to get a cast of deep soundings at times, on the verge of the bank. Proceeding to the southward, this shoal may be avoided in the same manner, by keeping outside, or barely on the verge of the bank of soundings.

The Chesterfield Shoal, is the most northerly danger on the Pracel Bank, and the farthest from the Madagascar shore. In about lat. 16° 48′ S., at the distance of 5 leagues from the coast, there is said to be a sand bank even with the water's edge. It may be observed, that the Pracel Bank along the S. W. and Western verge is generally steep, having a sharp declivity from 30 or 35 fathoms, to 50 and 60 fathoms no ground.

General remark relative to John de Nova.

JOHN DE NOVA, OR ST. CHRISTOPHER'S, has in most old charts been marked as two islands, at a great distance from each other; the Dutch, however, seem to have known that only one island did exist at a great distance from the coast of Madagascar in this part of the channel, which is called Juan de Nova, in Van Keulen's chart.

By mean of many ships chronometers and lunar observations, this island was fixed in

* Allowing Valentine's Peak in lon. 45° 14′ E., she made 68 miles difference lon. east from the shoal to this Peak. The Chesterfield made the shoal by account. 30 miles west from Westminster Hall; but Captain Fowler's journal makes it 2 miles east, and the Second Officer's journal 12 miles east from the same place, although these ships were in company from St. Augustin's Bay to the shoal.

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Geo. Site.

lat. 17° 2′ S. lon. 43° 9′ E.; but Capt. Owen, in his late survey of East Africa and the Islands, places it in lat. 17° 4′ S. lon. 43° 40′ E.*

Farther description.

The Sir Edward Hughes, passed in sight of it in June, 1797, and made it in lat. 17° 4′ S. from noon observation. This ship's journal, states it to be about 1½ or 2 miles in length, with breakers projecting 3 miles from the S. W. side, and nearly the same distance from the N. E. part; that it is low, and dangerous to approach in the night.

When it bore N. E. by N. about 3 miles, at 11 P. M., H. M. S. Intrepid had no ground 150 fathoms. In passing to the eastward of it at 3 leagues distance, the Lord Nelson had no soundings.

Other accounts, state this island to be 3 miles long from north to south, with a small elevation at the centre, where it is covered with shrubs, and breakers extending 2 miles from the south end, having a black rock at their extremity.

John de Nova, appears to be the rendezvous of aquatic birds, for there are generally great numbers in its vicinity. It may be seen about 4 leagues from the poop of a large ship, or 6 leagues from the mast-head.

The Scaleby Castle, in company with the Bombay and China ships, passed it on the west side, on the 3d June, 1807. At noon it bore east, true bearing, distant 3 or 4 miles, had then no ground 60 fathoms; from hence, she made a true north course 1½ mile, and had 2 casts no ground 60 fathoms, steering the same course about ½ a mile farther, she got soundings 9½ fathoms sandy bottom, the body of the island bearing then S. 34° E., true bearing, distant about 3 or 4 miles. From this station, steering N. and N. N. W. about 1½ mile, she carried regular soundings, deepening from 9½ to 15 fathoms, then suddenly no ground 40 fathoms, when about 4½ or 5 miles to the N. W. of the island. The other ships farther out, had no ground in passing. The island appears to be only about a mile in diameter, of round form (by a plan of it made in the Scaleby Castle) with a reef projecting at least 2 miles to the southward of it, and nearly the same distance to the N. W. and N. E. of the island, with discoloured water projecting from the reef at the N. W. end. Captain Loch, thinks, that it was on the tail of the N. W. reef, where they got soundings in passing, and advises not to come nearer the island than 3½ or 4 miles on the west side, there being no danger at that distance. Capt. Owen says, east and west from it the dangers extend about 3 miles.

The observations taken in the Scaleby Castle, made the island in lat. 17° 5′ S. lon. 43° 2′ E. by lunars and chronometers. Variation 20° W. Captain Loch, thinks it is elevated about 40 feet above the sea, but cannot be seen more than 6 leagues from the mast-head. It is completely surrounded with breakers, and the first probable intimation of its proximity that a ship would have in the night, he thinks would be the noise of them.

The other dangers in the Mozambique Channel, nearly mid-way between Madagascar and the coast of Africa, are near the southern entrance; the northernmost of these is the

Europa Rocks very dangerous.

EUROPA ROCKS, OR SHOAL, seen by the ship of this name, December 24th, 1774, bearing from S. W. by S. to S. E. by S., distant 2 or 3 leagues; the largest of the rocks appeared about the size of a long boat, with the sea breaking over them, which makes it a very dangerous reef, for there are no soundings until very close to the rocks. The Europa made this reef or shoal, in lat. 21° 28′ S., (probably the north end) and 5 miles east of Mozambique, by dead reckoning. It was seen by H. M. S. Norfolk, in 1764, and mistaken for the Bassas de India, which ship made it in lat. 21° 45′ S., (probably the south

* This great difference is perplexing in the longitude of John de Nova, as the first mentioned, was considered to be near the truth, it being the mean of several ships chronometers nearly corresponding. But as Capt. Owen makes this island 10 leagues more to the eastward, great caution is required in passing it in the night or in hazy weather. Captain Beaufort, of H. M. S. Woolwich, a very scientific officer, made it in lat. 17° 3′ S., and about 52 miles west from Mohilla by chronometers.

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end) but it is not perhaps quite so far south. From Cape St. Sebastian, she made, by dead reckoning, 4° 20′ E. to the shoal, but this, and also the Europa's account, would place the shoal about a degree to the eastward of its real situation, arising probably from the westerly currents these ships may have experienced, during their run from the coast to the shoal.

Geo. Site.

Captain Huddart, saw it in the Royal Admiral, 23d of August, 1784. Nothing was perceived above water, except scattered rocks like hay-ricks, though probably some part of the flat may dry at low water; at the exterior part, the sea breaks heavy all round. The pinnace was sent to the back of the surf, and sailed round the south and west sides in from 3 to 12 fathoms, within 20 or 30 yards of the breakers, while the ship kept from about 1 to 1½ mile off them, and had no soundings with 40 to 70 fathoms of line, for an extent of 14 miles on the said south and west sides, but could not ascertain how far it extended to the eastward. The part visible, lay in a direction from E. S. E. to W. N. W. 13 miles, and from N. N. E. to S. S. W. 6 miles. The northernmost extreme of the shoal, was found to be in lat. 21° 28′ S., and the westernmost in lon. 40° 8′ E. by mean of 12 lunar observations, and by chronometer in 39° 58′ E.* From the known accuracy of Captain Huddart in making observations, and in every thing pertaining to nautical knowledge, the longitude of the Europa Rocks, as observed by him, may be considered nearly correct; but there is reason to think that this danger is rather a little to the west, than to the eastward of its position as stated above.

Geo. Site by the Kellie Castle.

Since making the above remark, in the former editions of this work, the Company's ship, Kellie Castle, on her passage to Bombay, fell in with the Europa Rocks on the 21st May, 1821, and passed to the westward of them about 6 miles distance. When the small rocks like Haycocks on the N. E. end of the shoal bore E. by S., a large rock E. S. E., with a long dry sand bank extending to the S. W., the south-west end of the shoal then bore S. S. E. ½ E., with high breakers on this part; and the limits of the danger were distinctly seen, except to the eastward. The north end of the shoal was observed to be in lat. 21° 27′ S., and its western part in lon. 39° 45′ E. by observations on both sides of the moon taken two days previously, and carried on by chronometer, and in lon. 39° 57′ E. by observations of sun and moon taken on the 22d, after passing the shoal. Capt. Owen of H. M. ship, Leven, made the S. E. end of the shoal in lat. 21° 30′ S. lon. 39° 40′ E. by chronometers, which seems to be about 18 miles more westerly than placed above by the observations of the Company's ships. He thinks, these rocks are properly the Bassas de India, and ought to be named accordingly; and that the Bassas de India should be called Europa Island.

Island Bassas de India.

BASSAS DE INDIA,† though long the dread of navigators, does not seem so dangerous as the Europa Rocks, for it is not a shoal, but an island about 5 or 6 miles in length north and south, and 3 or 4 in breadth, (from angular bearings taken in the Royal Charlotte, by Captain Joseph Cotton) highest at the northern part, with several small hummocks in other places, and a sandy beach fronting the sea.

The David Scott, June the 4th, 1804, having steered N. E. by N. 4 miles from lat. 22° 38′ S. observed the preceding noon, the Bassas de India was seen from the mast-head at half-past 1 P. M. bearing E. by N. or E. N. E. about 5 leagues. At this time they sounded, and had two casts, 55 and 52 fathoms rocky bottom. From hence, an E. N. E. course was steered to get a nearer view of the island, when at 5 P. M. the N. W. part bore S. 88° E., distant about 4 miles, and the other extreme S. 55° E. After having the two casts of ground

* In a run of three days, the Royal Admiral measured by chronometer 22½ miles difference longitude east, from the Europa Rocks to the northernmost of the small islands on the Coast of Angoxa, in lat. 16° 21½′ S.

† Named by the Portuguese discoverers, Baxos da Judia, or the Banks of the Jewess; and are still called so by that nation, as well as by all European navigators, except those of our country, where the first charts of these parts copied from the Portuguese, having changed the letter u into an n, substituted the word India, for that of Judia.

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when the island was first seen, no more soundings were obtained in standing towards it, and it is thought none are to be had at the distance of 2 and 3 miles from the shore. Captain Jones's journal, describes it to be a low Island with many trees on it, and a white sandy beach all along the west side, without any appearance of shoals or rocks on that side, and that it may be seen from the mast-head at the distance of 5 or 6 leagues in clear weather.

Geo. Site.

The lunar observations of Capt. Jones, of the David Scott, and one of his officers, made the body of the Island in lat. 22° 28′ S. lon. 40° 34′ to 40° 39′ E. Variation 23½° W.

The Neptune, Capt. Donaldson, on the 27th March, 1812, saw the Island Bassas de India from the mast-head at 10¾ A. M. bearing N. by W. At noon it bore N. 40° W. to N. 70° W. distant 5 or 6 miles, the south end of the Island then bore true west, and by good observation that part was found to lie in lat. 22° 26½′ S. lon. 40° 37′ 33″ E. by mean of lunar observations and chronometers, corresponding within 5 miles.

Capt. Rush, of the Royal Charlotte, in company with the Neptune, measured by chronometers 3° 44′ East from Bassas de India to Saddle Island at the west end of Johanna, which is situated in lon. 44° 21′ E.; and by this measurement the former Island will lie in lon. 40° 37′ E., corresponding with Capt. Donaldson's longitude, as stated above.

Capt. Owen, nevertheless, in examining this Island in 1825, made it in lat. 22° 20½′ S. lon. 40° 21′ E., or 16 miles to the Westward of the situation assigned to it from the above observations. He states it to be much larger than hitherto supposed, easy of access, abounding with turtle, and he thinks this Island should be called Europa Island, and that Europa Rocks should be named Bassas de India.

When first seen from the Neptune, as stated above, it seemed merely a sand bank, but on a nearer view, was found to be covered chiefly with brush-wood, excepting some trees on the north end, which made that part of the Island look more elevated than the rest of it, although these trees were far from lofty.

The east side of the Island, and every part seen by these ships, had a beautiful white sandy beach (or perhaps white coral) with the appearance of being safe to approach, as nothing like a reef or breakers could be discerned. A reef projects ½ a mile or more from the south end of the Island.

Although the Island is low, it may be seen about 6 leagues distance from the mast-head; it seemed narrow, and appeared to extend N. N. E. and S. S. W. about 4 leagues. These ships did not sound, as they were sailing at the rate of 9 miles per hour when passing the Island.

Middle of the Mozambique channel, best route.

It has been already intimated, that mid-passage through the Mozambique channel, seems preferable to that along the Madagascar shore, when ships are certain of the longitude being correct; but caution will ever be requisite, when the parallels of Bassas de India, Europa Rocks, and John de Nova are approached in the night, for a ship might be close to the breakers before they are perceived, particularly in hazy weather, which prevails in this channel. Neither should the African coast be approached close, on account of southerly currents, and baffling winds, often experienced there.



Comoro Islands.

COMORO, the largest and highest of these four Islands, gives its name to the others, which are Mohilla, Mayotta, and Johanna: they are all very high, and may be seen at the distance of from 14 to 20 leagues in clear weather. The inhabitants are Mahometans, de-


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scendants of Arabs incorporated with Africans, and at present, they are generally found to be courteous and hospitable.*

Grand Comoro anchorage not good.

Comoro, called also Angazecha, is about 12 leagues in length north and south, and about 5 or 6 leagues broad. The anchorage at this Island is inconvenient, and water not easily procured; European ships, therefore, do not now visit it, though formerly they sometimes touched here for supplies.

Where to anchor.

The anchorage is at the N. W. part of the Island, said to be in lat. 11° 18′ S., about 1¼ or 1½ mile to the westward of Muchamahola, the King's Town, opposite to a small sandy beach, but it is not advisable for a ship to anchor under 30 or 35 fathoms water, for in this depth, she will be only distant from the breakers about 2 cable's lengths.

This remark was given by Captain Webber, who was there in the Oxford, in 1759, and the bearings recommended for anchorage are, the easternmost point of land in sight East, King's Town, E. S. E., and the black rocky point S. by W. The Suffolk at anchor in 24 fathoms sandy ground, had the King's Town, E ½ S. distant near 2 miles, the easternmost land E. by N., and a black bluff point, like two rocky islands, S. S. W. Captain Mitcham says, a ship may anchor with the easternmost land in sight E. by N., and the black bluff point S. by W. ½ W., but these and the Suffolk's bearings are probably too close for a large ship.

The shores of this Island are steep,

Excepting the anchorage at the N. W. end, the Island is generally steep, having no soundings at a small distance from the shore; there are, indeed, two bays called Ingando and Moroon, to the northward of the S. W. point, where the bottom is coral, and the depth 35 fathoms within a cable's length of the breakers, but no vessel should anchor there.

and the tides set strong.

If a ship intend to anchor at this Island, she ought to have the boats prepared to tow when the shore is approached, for she will be liable to baffling light airs and calms, the high land obstructing the regular monsoon, and the tides, which are strong, may be liable to drift her past the anchorage, if precaution is not taken to counteract their impulse.

The town is large, with many cocoa-nut trees, and a sandy beach before it; at low water a boat cannot land, as shoal water extends ¾ of a mile from the town, which is the only landing place. Steering for the anchorage, a boat should be sent a-head to sound, for the bank is steep, and the distance small, from 35 fathoms on its outer edge to 12 fathoms close to the breakers. Ships may be sheltered here from the southerly monsoon, but it would be dangerous were the winds to blow strong at any time from the north-westward; this, however, seldom happens, particularly during summer, when the southerly monsoon predominates. Bullocks, sheep, goats, and tropical fruits are plentiful, but no water to be procured.

In 1759, the price of bullocks was settled with the king, from 4 to 6 dollars each; and it is prudent to give him a present, when a supply is wanted.

Geo. Site.

It is high water at 4¾ hours, and the tide rises about 12 feet on the springs. The body of Comoro is in lat. 11° 32′ S. about lon. 43° 25′ E.

Island Mohilla.

Geo. Site.

MOHILLA, at one time was considered, of all these Islands, the best for obtaining refreshments; but the preference, for many years, has justly been given to Johanna, on account of the anchorage being safer than at any of the others. Mohilla is the smallest† of these Islands, situated about 12 leagues S. E. by S. from Comoro, and about 10 leagues to the W. S. Westward of Johanna. The body of it is situated in about lat. 12° 20′ S. lon. 43° 50′ E.

Anchorage at south end,

At the south end of the island, several small Isles are situated, with a coral reef around

* The natives of Comoro, appear not to have merited this appellation when the Company's ships first traded to India, for the Penelope had part of her crew enticed on shore, and destroyed by the inhabitants of this Island.

† It is not so high as Johanna or Comoro; the most elevated part is near the N. W. end.

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and on the N. and E. sides.

them, behind which, Van Keulen, describes good anchorage; and that there is 8 or 9 fathoms least water, in crossing the coral reef to the eastward of these Isles, where the ground is plainly seen, but no danger. The soundings within the reef, are said to be from 45 to 30 fathoms sandy bottom, where is the anchorage. There is also an anchoring place near the shore, at the north part of Mohilla, and one on the east side, where refreshments may be obtained.


for the anchorage; water and refreshments.


Captain Wilson, of the Suffolk, was at this island in May, 1756, when at noon, observed lat. 12° 29′ S., the extremes of Mohilla bore from E. ½ N. to N. N. E. distance from the Islands off the S. W. part of it 5 miles, the high land of Comoro North. They passed these islands at the distance of 4 or 5 miles, and when clear of them, hauled in for the N. W. end of Mohilla; no ground with 40, 50, and 60 fathoms of line was obtained in rounding the Island. About 2 miles short of the N. W. point of the island, there is a black rock always above water, which lies about 2 miles from the shore; in passing this about 2 miles distance, they had no ground with 30 and 40 fathoms. The reef of rocks above water, which projects from the N. W. point of Mohilla about ¼ mile, was passed about the distance of 1½ mile, no ground 30 fathoms; when clear of the point, and the land opening to the eastward, they hauled in for it, and soon got soundings 30 fathoms, small stones and coral, decreasing to 15 fathoms as the shore was approached. On edging off to 24 fathoms, a small town was seen on a bluff hillock, close to the sea. Having previously sent a boat to examine this place, the Suffolk stood in, with boats a-head sounding, and anchored at 6 P. M. in 24 fathoms, small stones, shells, and coral, then moored with the stream to the northward, in 26 fathoms, off shore ¾ of a mile, the N. W. point of Mohilla bore W. S. W., the easternmost extreme E. by S. ½ S., and the town S. S. W.

The watering place at this town was found to be about 200 yards from the beach, up an easy ascent, but the run of water was in a ravine about 12 feet deep, which seemed to have been formed by the torrents from the hills; this was steep, which made it necessary to fill the casks with the engine; they were then rolled with great ease from the beach, which is soft sand. The run of water is clear, and constant from the mountains, but is lost among the rocks and sand, about 10 yards below the place where the casks were filled, and it was observed to issue from the beach afterward at low water. A reef of rocks extends from the point on which the town is built, across the little bay where the watering place is, to two rocks to the eastward which are always above water; this prevents boats working the last quarter ebb, and the first quarter flood, as the reef is dry at low water.

It is high water at 6 hours on full and change of moon, and rises 15 feet: the stream sets along shore, the flood to the westward, but changes before the water has done rising on the ground, as does the stream to the eastward before it has done falling. Mr. Jackson, the second officer, was sent at day-light, 29th, in the pinnace, to examine the coast to the eastward, between this place and the King's Town; he returned next day, and reported that the King's Town is about 4 leagues S. E. by S., that the coast between it and where the ship lay is very dangerous, having several reefs of rocks projecting far out into the sea; that a ship cannot lie nearer than 2 miles from the land off the King's Town, that there is a large surf on the shore, and that boats cannot go in after ebb. The watering place is a mile beyond the town, and not convenient, there being a chopping sea which prevented the boat's rowing. He landed, and walked about 4 miles farther along shore to the S. S. E., and came to a large run of water, like that at Johanna. The coast appeared very rocky, and being open to the S. E. a large swell came in, and the surf was great on the shore, which would, apparently, make it very difficult to water there.

Anchorage on the eastern coast,

Fruit was had in abundance where the Suffolk lay, but only 27 bullocks could be procured, and many of them small. She weighed on June 4th, at mid-way, and the first cast after the anchor was up, was only 15 fathoms, deepening gradually to 40 fathoms, at the

B B 2

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distance of about 5 miles from the shore, steering N. N. E. to N. E.; afterward, no ground.

Capt. Mitcham, describes the anchorage on the east side of Mohilla, to be in muddy ground, betwixt two reefs or shoals, when an islet or rock will bear S. by E. ½ E., the southernmost point S. E. by S., and the westernmost point in sight, low and flat with some trees on it, and a reef of rocks dry at low water N. W. ½ N. distance 3 miles. The King's Town is near this point, but ships cannot anchor there, the ground being foul.

Since these observations were made, about 70 years ago, at Mohilla and Comoro, the variation of the compass has not essentially changed at these places.

and north coast.

The Winchelsea, in 1762, anchored in 22 fathoms, on the north side of Mohilla, about ½ a mile to the eastward of a place where she watered; Johanna bore from E. 9° S. to E. 27° S., south part of Comoro N. ½ W. to N. 21° W. and Mohilla the N. N. E. point, called Cocoa-nut Tree point, S. E. distant 4 or 5 miles, the N. N. W. point West, distant 3 miles; observed on shore at the watering place in lat. 12° 13′ 30″ S. The bottom was rocky, as the cable was injured, and the hawser cut in two.

In 1749, the Warren, Capt. Glover, lay some time within the Isles which front the south part of Mohilla.

Island Mayotta.

Geo. Site.

Surrounded by a reef;

anchorage at the N. W. end.

MAYOTTA, the easternmost of the Comoro Islands, and Johanna, bear from each other about E. S. E. ½ S. and W. N. W. ½ N. true bearings; the breadth of the channel, between the N. W. end of the former, and the S. E. end of the latter, is about 12 or 13 leagues. On the south part of Mayotta, there is a sharp conical mountain, called Valentine's Peak, which makes it easily known. By selecting a number of observations, made by different navigators, this Peak appears to be in lat. 12° 54′ S. lon. 45° 14′ E. The Island lies in a direction S. S. E. and N. N. W., the southern extremity being in about lat. 13° 5′ S., and the N. W. part where is the anchorage, in lat. 12° 42′ S. This Island is completely surrounded by a coral reef, at the distance of 3, 4, and 5 miles from the shore, in some places, (having smooth water within it,) which prevents ships from anchoring here. There is, however, an opening in the reef at the north part of the island, leading to a place of anchorage, which has been frequented by English ships in former times, when they wanted refreshments; or when this Island happened to be mistaken for Johanna, which has sometimes been the case.

Channel and road;

to proceed into it.

A Saddle Island, like that of Johanna, is situated at the N. W. end of Mayotta, which is thought to have occasioned the mistake here mentioned; between Saddle Island and the reef to the eastward of it, the channel is formed which leads to the anchorage, having deep water in the east side, near the sunken reef; but, toward Saddle Island, there are only 5, 6, and 7 fathoms, on a spit projecting to the N. E. and Eastward of it. Within this Island, the depths are from 16 to 30 fathoms in proceeding to the anchorage near the town, which is about 4 or 5 miles south-eastward from the Island, and abreast a bluff headland with rocks overhanging the sea.

It is high water here on full and change, at 5¾ hours; the rise of tide 11 or 12 feet. Variation off Mayotta in 1798, was 17° 36′ W. To the southward and S. W. of Saddle Island, reefs of breakers extend 4 or 5 miles from the shore.

The channel leading to the anchorage, at the N. W. end of Mayotta, being imperfectly known, not having been frequented by English ships these last 60 years, it would be prudent for any ship, intending to touch there for refreshments, to keep boats souding a-head, until she reach the anchorage, which is in 26 and 28 fathoms, sandy bottom.

A reef said to be eastward of Mayotta.

Ships are frequently liable to calms and light winds near these Islands, particularly at the changes of the monsoons, when the currents are also variable. If carried to the eastward of Mayotta, at such times, by the current, take care to avoid a reef, said to lie near 4

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leagues off shore. When the north point of Mayotta bore N. W. by N. by compass, and the south point S. W. by W. 6 or 7 leagues, this reef bore N. W. by W. distant 2 leagues: it appears to have been seen by the Devonshire, 10th December, 1766, at 4 P. M. when Mayotta bore from S. by E. to W. S. W., the three small isles off its north end from W. S. W. to West, distant from the nearest shore 3 leagues, breakers were then seen from the masthead bearing N. W. by N.

Island Johanna much frequented.

Geo. Site.

To sail for the anchorage.

JOHANNA, or ANZUAN, is now more frequented by European ships, than any other place of refreshment in the Mozambique Channel; it is higher than Mohilla or Mayotta, though not so much elevated as Comoro. The mountain, called the Peak, has not this appearance in every view, but is rather of an oblong form, and situated near the east part of the Island. This Peak, or summit of the highest mountain, is in lat. 12° 15′ S. lon. 44° 34′ E. by mean of lunar observations, taken in ten different ships, at various times. The south extremity of the Island is in about lat. 12° 25′ S., and the anchorage of the bay, is on the north side, in lat. 12° 7½′ S., lon. 44° 30′ E.* The Island is of a triangular form, with rocky reefs extending from its extremities; and from the S. W. to the N. W. point, the shore is bounded by a reef, at the distance of 2 miles from it in many places. Ships, therefore, should not in light winds, come too near the southern shore of this Island, in case of a calm ensuing, and the current or swell drifting them on the reef.† But they ought to steer direct for the N. W. point, near which a small Island (from its form called Saddle Island) is situated, and connected with the main Island by the reef already described, which extends to Saddle Island, and projects around it to a considerable distance. This Island should not be passed nearer than 1½ mile, as the foul rocky ground extends from it about a mile on the north side, and is steep to, having no soundings with 20 fathoms close to its outer edge. If a ship happen to pass so near as to have soundings on the verge of the foul ground off Saddle Island, she ought to edge away to the northward immediately, for it is dangerous to make free with this foul ground or reef, there being great overfalls and shoal water on its outer verge; and farther in, it is nearly dry at low water spring tides. When past Saddle Island, which is the N. W. extremity of the bay, she should steer along to the anchorage, hauling up gradually for the shore, on account of the reef, which extends from Saddle Island about 4 miles along shore to the eastward; and the shoal water on it, is generally visible. When thus far advanced, the sudden gusts, which often blow from the hills, make it prudent to keep well in with the land in sailing to the anchoring place, which is about 3 or 4 miles to the westward of the town, abreast a range of cocoa-nut trees, near the sea, called Brown's Gardens; and having a large black rock to the eastward, betwixt them and the town, with the rivulet where the water is procured at their western extremity.

Captain Moffat, who in 1814, made a survey of the bay of Johanna, says—care should be taken not to make too free with the shore, after luffing round Saddle Island. It may be approached very close in some parts, but 1½ mile distance is sufficiently near to venture, for in several places coral rocks extend out to a considerable distance. This is the case to the eastward of the Black Rock, also to the westward of the fort. Be on your guard, by having your ship under proper sail for working, as flurries of wind often blow from the land; and when you approach near the Black Rock, luff in if you can, and get soundings, and be ready to tack if you cannot fetch into the anchorage. Keep the deep sea-lead going, then standing toward the shore, with the hand-lead also ready. Have the boats ready to tow, in case it should fall calm, as they may often be found very useful.

* Captain Owen makes Brown's Gardens, or the Watering Place, in lon. 44° 20¾′ E.; or 3° 40¼ East of Mozambique Flagstaff, and 26° 0¾′ East from the Devil's Mount at Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope.

† The Brilliant, in 1782, drifted toward the shore, and was wrecked on the reef, at the S. W. part of the Island, and several other ships, with great exertion, have been towed clear of it by their boats, when becalmed near the S. W. side of this Island.

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Best anchorage and watering places.

The most convenient situation to moor, is abreast the rivulet bearing S. by W., with the peak S. by E. ½ E. the Mosque East, and the extremes of the bay N. E. Easterly to N. W. by W.* In this situation, with the inner anchor in 10 fathoms, a ship will be a ¼ mile or more from the shore at low water, and a line of light cordage may be extended from the ship to a small anchor or grapnel near the shore, to conduct the boats on board with water, and they may haul off to the anchor by a rope placed from it to the shore. The anchorage here, is good holding ground. There is another watering place, with good anchorage off it, some distance to the westward of the Black Rock, and Brown's Gardens; and a third watering place near midway between the Black Rock and the town.

There is a fourth place where water comes through the first cocoa-nut tope to the eastward of the town, but the anchorage before the town being very indifferent, it is not frequented; for here, with the outer anchor in 25 fathoms, and the other in 7 fathoms, a ship will not be distant from the shore above 2 cable's lengths at low water.

Reef of rocks.


Between Brown's Gardens and the Mosque Town, there is a reef of rocks projecting from the shore near a ¼ of a mile, dry at low water. Having anchored at high water, a ship may appear to be at a proper distance from the shore, but the declivity from the beach at this part being very gradual, and the rise of tide considerable, she may at low water when the rocks appear, be found to have anchored very near them; the best birth is, therefore, abreast the proper watering place, already mentioned. High water at 3½ hours on full and change, and rises 8½ feet perpendicular. Variation 13° 45′ West in 1822.

Water and other refreshments.

At the eastern extremity of the bay, a reef of sand and coral, lines the shore along the N. E. part of the island, having deep water on its outer edge.

The water at Johanna is excellent, but wood is a scarce article. The bullocks are small, weighing 300 or 350 lbs. each, but the meat is good. Goats, kids, and poultry, may also be procured at high prices. On the whole, this is a proper place for obtaining refreshments, or restoring to health a scorbutic crew, for the island abounds with cocoa-nuts, limes, oranges, plaintains, and other tropical fruits; yams and sweet potatoes, may also be procured.

A caution.

As the wind blows from the hills and valleys in variable gusts, it is prudent to bring a ship under proper sail on approaching Saddle Island, for hauling close to the wind, or for tacking, should that be requisite before she reach the anchorage.

The natives are hospitable, but they possess a considerable degree of low cunning, and some of them are addicted to theft.


In November the weather is precarious, heavy rains are expected here at this time, with the changing of the monsoon, which generally happens about the middle of the month; the northerly monsoon then commencing, it is considered not perfectly safe to remain in Johanna Road during these northerly winds, which may at times be liable to blow strong. The currents are variable about this island, particularly at the change of the monsoons, but their general course is to the S. Westward.

Banks to the east of Mayotta,

DANGERS probably existing in the vicinity of the Comoro Islands are the following;—

A bank on which the Devonshire, 10th September, 1766, at 11½ P. M. had from 17 to 20 fathoms coarse sand, with red and black specks, when she wore immediately, and soon lost soundings steering N. W.

On the following noon, they observed in lat. 12° 45′ S. with the Island Mayotta bearing from S. by W. to W. by N., distant about 4 leagues, from which, computing her course and distance made good, will place the bank above mentioned in lat. 12° 18′ S. and 60 miles east from the eastern part of Mayotta, which Captain Mercer supposed to be the bank dis-

* The Cirencester abreast the watering place, at anchor in 16 fathoms, had the extremes of the Bay from N. E. ½ N. to Saddle Island W. N. W., and the town E. ½ N., off shore ½ a mile.

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covered by the Firebrass in 1682. But the Firebrass Bank, is sometimes placed about 16 leagues to the eastward of Mayotta, in lat. 13° 16′ S. Another bank or shoal, was placed about the same distance S. S. Eastward of Mayotta in the old charts. Ships that pass to the eastward of this island, ought to keep a good look out, as there possibly may be dangers on some of these doubtful banks, situated between it and Madagascar, which are not yet ascertained.

and near Comoro.

Near Grand Comoro, a shoal or bank is placed by the Portuguese, distant 3 leagues from the S. W. point of Comoro; it is said to be 5 or 6 leagues long, N. W. and S. E., having 6 fathoms on the south part, and 4 fathoms on the N. W. part, at half flood.

A reef of breakers, about 8 or 10 leagues to the westward of Comoro, is said to have been seen in the Devonshire, in 1764, and appeared to extend N. E. and S. W. about 2 miles in length.

Doubtful shoals.

These seem to be very doubtful, as many ships have passed to the westward of Comoro without perceiving any appearance of danger.

St. Lazarus Bank.

ST. LAZARUS BANK, in about lat. 12° S., said to be 12 or 14 leagues to the eastward of the Querimbo Islands, is very little known, although several ships have sounded on it. The Dorset had soundings of 12 to 18 fathoms on it in 1737, in lat. 11° 56′ S. and 1° 10′ E. from the main, and the south part seemed very shoal. The Edgecote, had 10 and 12 fathoms on it in 1757, in lat. 12° 4′ S. and 1° 12′ E. from Querimbo; and the Raymond in 1784, in lat. 12° 13′ S., about 33 miles east from Cape Delgado, had soundings on it. The soundings obtained on it by these ships, seem to have been from 9 to 50 fathoms; but the extent of this bank, its real distance from the adjacent coast, and from Comoro, and whether any part of it is dangerous, remain imperfectly ascertained.

The Portuguese describe it to be dangerous. The Kaunitz, Imperial ship, in 1791, is said to have seen breakers from the quarter-deck bearing east, distant about 3 leagues, when the land was visible to the westward, about 11 leagues distance: Mr. Osborn, 1st officer, made this shoal in lon. 42° 25′ E. by lunar observation, and it is said to be in lat. 11° 3′ S.; although this does not agree with the latitude assigned to the St. Lazarus Bank, they are considered by some as the same shoal.*



The Mozambique channel not advisable after September, for ships outward bound.

Essex went through it late in the season.

WHETHER BOUND TO THE RED SEA, the Persian Gulf, or to India, it seems improper to proceed through the Mozambique Channel after September, on account of light baffling winds and strong S. W. and Southerly currents, which frequently prevail in October and November among the Comoro Islands. The Essex, bound to Bombay, got the winds from northward, 15th September, 1791, and reached Johanna the 28th. She left this island October 3d, and the day following was carried to the westward of Comoro by the current, which drifted her almost close to the rocks during the night when calm; it was then deflected by the bluff rocky shore, by which she was swept round a point of the island, and had no soundings, although the boat lay upon a rock where the water was shoal, at a small

* Little Comoro, a doubtful island, is now thought to have no existence; it was placed in the old charts in lat. 10° 20′ S. and on the meridian of the north end of Comoro.

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distance in shore. From hence she had S. E. winds to the equator, and crossed it on the 15th, S. W. and Westerly winds then prevailed, till in lat. 6° N.; N. N. Westerly winds followed, till in lat. 10° N., on the 27th; she had N. N. E. and Northerly winds afterward, until her arrival at Bombay, on the 17th November.

Leopard long perplexed on the African Coast.

H. M. S. LEOPARD, Commodore Blankett, bound to the Red Sea, anchored at Johanna, October 29th, 1798; the Dædalus, saw the Island Mayotta on the same day, but did not reach Johanna Road till the 5th November, owing to light winds and southerly currents. They sailed on the 11th, had light variable winds, made the coast of Africa on the 24th, in lat. 0° 44′ N., the current began to run strong to the southward along the coast, sometimes more than 2 miles an hour during the time they continued to beat against it and the N. Easterly winds, which was until the 14th February, 1799, without gaining ground. During this period, they were generally within 30 miles on either side the equator, and kept near the shore. Provisions began to fail, and the Dædalus was dispatched, 14th January, to the Cape of Good Hope, after transporting most part of her provisions to the Leopard. This ship, with the Orestes sloop in company, continued to beat without effect till the 14th February, when they bore away to Zanzibar to procure provision and refreshments, and arrived there on the 20th. They sailed again on the 5th of March, coasted along to the northward, and had now the current generally favorable, but the wind often contrary. Continuing to coast along shore, they passed Cape Gardafui, April 8th, and anchored the 11th, in Aden Road.

Passages from the Mozambique Channel to the Arabian Coast against the N. E. monsoon.

THE ASCENSION, was close to the Comoro Islands, late in October, 1608, and had stormy weather in the southern part of the Mozambique Channel; she touched at the Island Pemba on the African coast to obtain refreshments, but was obliged to leave it by the perfidy of the natives, who appeared friendly until some of the crew were enticed on shore, and then assaulted them. After leaving this place, she continued to beat at sea until she fell in with a group of uninhabited islands,* abounding with cocoa-nuts, and other refreshments. The contrary winds continued till late in March, which prevented her reaching Aden Road before April.†

THE MARY, Capt. Oyles, from England, bound to the Gulf of Persia, left Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope, 15th August, 1694, saw the Coast of Natal in lat. 29½° S. on the 7th September, having experienced a current of 180 leagues to the westward, from leaving Table Bay. She had light winds and southerly currents in the Mozambique channel, watered at Johanna, sailed from thence on the 4th November, had variable light winds and calms, passed between the African Isles and those of the S. W. part of the Seychelle archipelago on the 6th December, then stood to the eastward on the south side of the Island Seychelles and those near it, left the eastern edge of the bank on the 21st December, and steered East and N. E. for a few days with variable winds between North and S. W., which veered to N. E. and East when near the equator; steered then between N. N. E. and N. N. W., making a tack to the eastward at times. Saw the east end of Socotra on the 16th January, 1695, having experienced 140 leagues of westerly current from leaving Johanna, saw the Coast of Arabia near Cape Chansley on the 20th, had here land and sea

* Probably some of those in the Seychelle Archipelago.

† Captain Saris, with the Clove, Hector, and Thomas, left Mohilla, in November, 1611, made the coast of Melinda in December, and were carried back to 5° S. by the currents. They made Cape Bassas, January 1st, 1612, had strong easterly winds here, and southerly currents; but more to the southward, light airs and strong ripplings, when they stood out to seaward. From Cape Dorfui (which they made early in February) they stood out to sea, and saw it again 8 days after, owing to westerly currents, and arrived at Tamarida Road, in the Island Socotra, having a passage of 14 weeks from Mohilla, against the monsoon. These ships made a passage by keeping mostly out from land, while the Leopard could not effect it along the coast.

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winds from N. E. to S. E., which drew to the southward when off Cape Isolette, with which, rounded the Island Mazeira on the 30th, made an occasional tack at times, passed Ras-el-had 1st February, and arrived at Gombroon on the 18th.

A remark.

These ships, so late in the season, ought to have avoided the Mozambique channel and the African coast. Had they proceeded to the eastward of Madagascar, and between Diego Garcia and the Seychelle Islands, the Essex would probably have reached Bombay more speedily; and the others destined for Aden and the Red Sea, by following the same route, then keeping within a few degrees of the western limit of the Maldiva Islands until they had reached lat. 6° or 7° N., and met with N. N. Easterly winds, there is reason to think their passage would not have been very tedious.

Geo. Site of Latham's Shoal.

LATHAM'S SHOAL, OR SANDY ISLE, by Capt. Moresby's observations in August, 1822, in H. M. S. Menai, is situated in lat. 6° 59′ S. lon. 39° 50′ E., bearing nearly North from the north point of Monfia, distant 41 miles, and it is a low sand bank about ½ a mile in extent, with a rocky point projecting from the eastern part, and generally high breakers on the rocks around. This shoal was discovered by the Latham on the 8th Dec. 1758, about 14 feet above water, and her journal states it to be in lat. 7° 0′ S. from noon observation.

Bassas de Patram. doubtful.

BASSAS DE PATRAM, is a doubtful shoal, there being no satisfactory account concerning it, except that given by Capt. Wilson, of the Pitt, should be considered as such. His journal states, August 16th, 1758, that breakers were seen from the mast-head, bearing from E. by N. to E. N. E., distant 5 leagues, supposed to be the Bassas de Patram. He made them in lat. 4° 30′ S. and 50 miles E. of Comoro by account.

Bassas de Amber also doubtful.

BASSAS DE AMBER, thought to have been seen in H. M. ships Norfolk and Panther, May 17th, 1760, on their passage from Johanna towards India: the sand was visible in several places, and the bank appeared about 9 miles in extent. They made 5° 49′ mer. distance east from Johanna, and the lat. about 0° 9′ S. It is sometimes placed in 51° 50′ E., whereas, the run of these ships from Johanna, would place it in about lon. 50° 30′ E. The Huddart, in Aug. 1803, saw the appearance of broken water, which they supposed might be the Amber Shoal, lat. 0° 5′ S. lon. by chro. 48° 50′ E. But probably neither this, nor Bassas de Patram really exist.

To sail from the Comoro Islands toward India.

DEPARTING FROM JOHANNA, towards India, a course about N. N. E. is proper to the parallel of lat. 8° S., to avoid falling in with the Aldabra Islands, and in crossing their latitude, a good look-out is requisite. From the parallel of 8° S. a course more easterly ought to be steered, to cross the equator in lon. 53° or 54° E., taking care to avoid Alphonse Island near the parallel of 7° S., and the African Islands near the parallel of 5° S. By crossing the equator well to the eastward, the situation assigned to the Amber Shoal will be avoided.

In running from the Comoro Islands to the equator, during the southerly monsoon, the winds generally prevail at S. S. Eastward, increasing in strength as the latitude is decreased; and they veer to S. S. W. and S. W. in north latitude.

How to approach Bombay.

From the equator, a ship bound to Bombay, may steer a direct course for that place, taking care to get on the parallel of the Island Kanary, at a considerable distance from the coast, and then steer directly east for it. In steering east for the entrance of Bombay Harbour, the soundings denote the approach to the land. On the parallel of Kanary, at the distance of 40 leagues to the westward, the depths are from 52 to 60 fathoms; at 20 leagues distance, 46 and 48 fathoms; at 10 leagues distance, 36 or 37 fathoms; and 5 leagues west from it, 19 or 20 fathoms.


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At the conclusion of the southerly monsoon, a ship leaving the Comoro Islands, should steer more easterly than during the strength of the southerly winds, to counteract the prevailing westerly currents.

Channels that may be chosen.

If bound from the Mozambique channel, or from Mauritius, to the southern part of the Malabar Coast, or to Colombo, near the close of the S. W. monsoon, a ship may steer a course from the equator to pass through the Eight or Nine Degrees' Channel; but if bound to the south part of Ceylon or the Coromandel Coast, the One and a Half Degree Channel seems preferable, being more direct, and equally safe as the former.

In passing through the 9° Channel in thick weather, and uncertain of the exact latitude, should a ship see the Island Minicoy, she may pass on either side of it as seems most expedient; but great caution is requisite in approaching any of these islands in thick weather, or in light winds, for they are all very low, with extensive coral reefs contiguous to them; close to which, there are no soundings.

To steer for Ceylon.

If this channel is adopted by a ship bound to the Coromandel Coast, and certain of being to the eastward of Minicoy, a direct course may be steered for Point de Galle: if uncertain of the longitude, she ought to steer to the eastward, until soundings are obtained on the bank adjacent to Cape Comorin, any where between lat. 8° 4′ N. and 9° N. The depths are from 45 to 50 fathoms 8 or 9 leagues off the coast, at which distance the high land will be easily seen in clear weather; but the weather being generally hazy during the S. W. monsoon, the land is seldom visible until near it; a course, therefore, must be steered to the southward, so soon as soundings are obtained. In steering from Cape Comorin for Point de Galle, a course should be adopted to place a ship in the latitude of the latter, at a reasonable distance from it, for the current at times sets into the Gulf of Manar; and near Point de Galle, the wind is sometimes at S. S. Westward, which might cause considerable delay were a ship not able to round the S. W. extremity of Ceylon.* Should a ship's position be correctly known by lunar observations or chronometers, or any of the islands be seen in passing through either the 8° or 9° Channel, there will be no cause to steer for soundings off Cape Comorin, but a direct course may be adopted for Point de Galle.



Bays of South Africa.

THE BAYS ON THE SOUTH COAST OF AFRICA, are mostly open to S. E. and Easterly winds, seldom visited by large ships, except in exigent cases, but small vessels from the Cape frequent several of these bays, to procure timber, and grain.

Struy's Bay.

From Cape Aguilhas, Cape Infanta bears about E. N. E. ½ N. true bearing, distant 15 or 16 leagues; the coast between them is low, and sandy in some places near the sea, extending from the former Cape, in a circular direction to N. Eastward, by which Struy's Bay is formed to the eastward of that cape; being open to easterly and southerly winds, and the coast around sterile, this bay ought never to be entered by any ship voluntarily, as may be seen in a preceding section, where the Cape and Bank of Aguilhas are described.

* Many ships from England, bound to Madras, got into the Gulf of Manar about a century ago, in the strength of the S. W. monsoon, sometimes falling in with Manapar Point, or the land near Tutacorin; but their journals show, that by making a few tacks, they all got round Ceylon without difficulty.

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St. Sebastian Bay.

Geo. Site of Cape Infanta

ST. SEBASTIAN BAY, is formed on the north side of Cape Infanta, the land turning sharp round from this cape to the N. W. then taking a circuit to northward and eastward, forms the bay, which is open to southerly and easterly winds, and not frequented: the coast around this bay has deep water near it, and seems clear of danger; about 2 leagues off shore, the depths are 36 and 38 fathoms. At the bottom of the bay, to the N. W. of Cape Infanta, there is a valley between the mountains, through which Infanta River descends to the sea, and there is said to be good anchorage off the entrance of the river, where a ship might be sheltered from N. W. and Westerly winds, but there is generally a considerable swell tumbling into this bay. Cape Infanta, the southern extreme of St. Sebastian Bay, is of middling height, with sand downs over it, having an arid appearance; this cape is in about lat. 34° 35′ S. lon. 20° 54′ E. To the northward of the Bay of St. Sebastian, there is a flat table hill, and further to the N. eastward, a mountain with a hummock on it, resembling a cupola.

and Cape Vaches.

From St. Sebastian Bay, the coast extends east a little northerly to Cape Vaches, in lat. 34° 24′ S. lon. 21° 58′ E., the distance between them being about 23 leagues: in this space, the coast is high, and has a regular appearance.

Flesh Bay.

Fish Bay.

FLESH BAY, formed on the north-east side of Cape Vaches, in lat. 34° 21′ S., was sometimes entered by the early Dutch navigators, where they got water, bullocks, and other refreshments: there is said to be a reef projecting a little way from Cape Vaches, and an island near the shore at the bottom of the bay. Fish Bay, in lat. 34° 15′ S. lies to the N. N. E. ward of the bay last mentioned, between it and Cape St. Blaize, which cape separates it from Mossel Bay.

Mossel Bay.

Geo. Site of Cape St. Blaize.

Anchorage, &c.

MOSSEL BAY, called also the Bay of St. Blaize, or St. Bras, is bounded to the southward by Cape St. Blaize, in lat. 34° 10′ S. lon. 22° 9′ E., situated 6 or 7 leagues north-eastward from Cape Vaches. There is a reef off Cape St. Blaize, at the distance of a short ½ mile to the S. Eastward, on which the sea generally breaks; it is steep to, on the outside, and between it and the cape there is a narrow channel, with 5 fathoms water. The western reddish bluff, kept open of the craggy point, (which is about ¾ of a mile to the westward of the cape) bearing W. by N. ¼ N. will lead a ship about ½ or ¾ of a cable's length clear of the reef in 16 or 18 fathoms, and when the cape bluff is brought to bear W. N. W. she may haul directly into the bay, and anchor in any situation thought convenient, the soundings being regular over a sandy bottom.

Seal Island, is near the shore in the west side of the bay; when it bears N. W. by W. the corn magazine (a long white stone building) S. W. by S. and the outer point South, a ship will have a good birth in 7½ fathoms water, distant from the shore nearly 1 mile.

Water may be conveniently got near the landing place, which is on a sandy beach, at a cove or small bay, near the point Holders. There is another small bay about ¾ of a mile to the S. E. of it, where the landing is most convenient when there is a great swell.

Mossel Bay is open to the wind from south to east, and when blowing fresh from these points, a great swell rolls in; the S. E. gales seldom blow more than 24 hours at a time, and generally moderate in the evening.

Several brackish rivers fall into this bay, none of which will admit a boat. Near the shore, brush wood is only to be had, but a little way up the Great Brack River, there is plenty of large timber: and the new settlement of George Town is on the bank of this river, about 7 or 8 leagues to the N. Eastward of Mossel Bay.

Beef and mutton may be procured at moderate prices, but vegetables and fruit are scarce. Fish are plentiful near Seal Island, and oysters may be got on the rocks and reefs about the Cape.

C C 2

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The tide flows to 3 hours on full and change of moon, and rises 6 feet perpendicular, variation 27° 54′ W. in 1797. The bearings, here mentioned, are magnetic.

Coast to Cape Delgado.

From Mossel Bay to Seal Cape, or Cape Delgado, the distance is about 23 or 24 leagues; the coast between them lies nearly east and west, (true bearing) extending a little to the southward of the parallel of lat. 34° South. It is a bold coast, the land generally of moderate height near the sea, and mountainous inland.

Geo. Site of Knysna River.

KNYSNA, OR NYSNA RIVER, in lat. 34° 4′ S. lon. 23° 1′ E. situated about 20 miles to the westward of the entrance of Plettemberg Bay, is formed between two perpendicular rocky headlands, and it looks like the entrance of a large dock when viewed from seaward.

His Majesty's sloop Podargus, Capt. Wallis, went into it in 1817, having arrived off the mouth of the river, April 20th, and the tide being then unfavorable, were obliged to haul off. The day following was calm; but early on the 22d closed with the entrance, but the tide not serving, she anchored in the fairway, which afforded an opportunity of sounding. When the flood made (being neap tides), she weighed and entered the river with great ease, having never less than 20 feet water, the Podargus drawing only about 13 feet. Capt. Wallis observes, that any vessel drawing under 15 feet, attending to the tide, might run for this river with safety, which is 288 yards wide at the only dangerous part. It is high water at full and change of the moon at 3 hours 45 minutes: extraordinary tides rise 7 feet, ordinary tides 5 and 6 feet, and the ebb tide runs out at the rate of 3 or 3½ miles an hour on the springs. The middle of the channel is the deepest water, but it is proper to keep nearest to the western head on account of the straggling rocks lining the opposite side, which are mostly visible, excepting the Emu Rock, about ⅓ channel over, which lies on the west side of the innermost of the straggling rocky islets; and upon this the brig Emu was lost, before its situation was known. A pilot will come off by making the signal, and a boat should be ready with a line to run out to the rocks in order to steady the vessel, in case of falling calm under the high land, and being obliged to anchor in the narrow part of the entrance. There is good anchorage outside, the depths decreasing gradually toward the entrance of the river, which affords room inside for about thirty sail of ships as smooth as in a dock, and if necessary a ship may be hove down to the steep bank, where vessels may also be built, forests of fine timber being contiguous to the river.

Plettemberg Bay.

PLETTEMBERG BAY, is formed by the projecting Peninsula, called Seal Cape, or Cape Delgado, which is the southern extreme, and may be easily known by a gap in the land, about a mile to the westward of Seal Hill, which gives the Cape the appearance of an island, when viewed from the southward at a few leagues distance.

To sail into it.


The only danger in approaching the bay, is the Whale Reef, a circular shoal of rocks bearing S. E. by E. by compass from the Cape, near 1 mile distant; the sea in general breaks over it very high, and between it and the Cape there is a channel, in breadth about ¾ of a cable's length, with 9 fathoms, the least water. This channel should not be attempted but in case of necessity, as there is generally a great swell, and when it blows strong, the wind is unsettled and baffling near the Cape. By giving the Cape point a birth of a large mile, ships may pass safely to the southward, and round the east side of the Whale, which is steep, having 18 fathoms water about ¼ of a cable's length from it; and when the south end of the long sandy beach is open with the high rocky point on the north side of Seal Hill, they are to the northward of the shoal, and if the wind permit, may haul close into the bay. The common anchorage is in 17 or 18 fathoms water, about ¾ of a mile from the governor's store houses, bearing from them S. by E. ¾ E. which is convenient for taking in timber; but by bringing the Cape to bear S. by E. ½ E. and the gap S. W. a ship will be in 8¾ or 9 fathoms water, good ground, and more sheltered.

Geo. Site, &c.

Cape Delgado, the southern extremity of the bay, is in lat. 34° 6½′ S. lon. about 23° 22′ E.

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the variation 28° 42′ W. in 1718. From the extremity of the Cape, the bay extends about 5 miles to the westward, sheltered from all winds, except those at S. E. and Eastward. The wind from E. S. E. to S. S. W. sets in a great swell, but S. Easterly gales are of short duration here, as at Mossel Bay. The landing place is on a sandy beach near the governor's store-houses, at the south-end of which, there is a small river that descends from a farm at the distance of 1¼ mile, the entrance of which is generally closed with a dry sandy bar. At both ends of the beach, rocky points project, and from the S. point E. S. E. 1 cable's length, are some rocks dry at low water, which break off the sea. Wood may be cut near the landing place; watering is difficult, as the casks must be rolled near 300 yards over a heavy sand, and then rafted through the surf, which frequently runs high. Beef and poultry may be had at reasonable prices; vegetables are scarce; fish are plentiful near the Cape, and about the rocks off the landing place. Vessels from the Cape load timber at this bay, for 12 miles to the N. W. of the landing place there is a forest, where various sorts of timber may be had; some of large dimensions, proper for either house or ship building.

Mountains near the Coast.

The tide flows to 3h. 10m. on full and change of the moon, and rises 5 or 6 feet perpendicular; a strong current at times sets out of the bay, between the Cape and the Whale. Several brackish rivers fall into the north side of this bay. Around Plettemberg Bay the land is hilly, and inland to the northward, there is a mountain of an irregular shape, called Buffalo Mountain, the highest part of which is to the eastward. About a degree to the eastward of Buffalo Mountain, there is inland, another of a sharp conical form, called Peaked Mountain; 9 leagues farther eastward, there is a table hill, called Flat Mountain; and between these a round hill, called Round Mountain, or Grenadier's Cap; all of which, are at a considerable distance from the sea.

From Plettemberg Bay, the coast diverges a little southward from the true east point, to the distance of 30 leagues, being generally of middling height near the sea, and destitute of any places of shelter, the depth 60 fathoms about 5 leagues off shore.

St. Francis Bay.


ST. FRANCIS BAY, called also (Kromme) Crooked River Bay, has been visited by some ships in distress. The Pigot got water and other refreshments there in June 1785; and the Countess of Sutherland remained in it, (after losing her masts at sea) from July 18th to August 17th, 1801; while she continued at this place, had frequent land and sea breezes, with strong winds at times from S. E. blowing into the bay, rendering her situation very dangerous, for the cables were much injured, and some of the anchors were broken by the rocks, although she moved from 10 fathoms on the east side, to 7 fathoms on the west side of the bay, to endeavour to get better anchorage. A little to the eastward of the entrance of the river, the Pigot found a spot of 7 fathoms, sandy bottom, where she moored at a large mile distant from the shore, the eastern extremity of the land in sight bearing E. 10° N. true bearing, and a round mount in one with the entrance of the river, which is the best situation to moor.

Crooked River is the only landing place, and that not always practicable, on account of the high surf; the most water on the bar at high water, is 7 or 8 feet on the springs. The tide flows to 5 hours, 15 minutes, on full and change of the moon, and rises 5 or 6 feet. In the river the water is brackish, but about a mile up, there is a spring on the larboard shore. A boat should be anchored outside of the surf, and the casks hauled through it by ropes to her, when filled and brought down the river.

The Countess of Sutherland, had her long boat stove, which was hauled on shore to repair, but she buried in the sand, and could not be extricated.

Bullocks and other refreshments may be procured in this bay; it abounds with fish, but is much exposed to southerly and easterly winds, and the ground being generally rocky, it ought not to be chosen as a place of refreshment, except in a case of necessity. From Cape St. Francis the S. W. point of the bay, a reef of high breakers projects out to a considerable

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Geo. site, and Mountains near it.

distance, with deep water close to it, which point is in lat. 34° 14′ S. lon. 25° East, and is called the Cape of Mountains by the French, although it is not high land; but on the same meridian, about 7 or 8 leagues inland, there is a remarkable rugged piece of high land, the flat and round mountains, already mentioned, being 12 or 14 leagues to the westward of the bay.

Coast to the eastward.

From Crooked River Bay, the coast lies nearly in the direction of the true east point, to the distance of 7 or 8 leagues, then bending to the northward of east 4 or 5 leagues farther, forms Cape Recife, or Arrecife, the southern extremity of Algoa Bay; on this part of the coast, there is 60 fathoms water within 2 leagues of the shore, in some places.

Algoa Bay, Geo. site of Cape Recife.

ALGOA, OR ZWARTKOP'S BAY, is very extensive, but it is only in the western part of it to the N. W. of Cape Recife, where ships may anchor and find shelter, or under the Isles St. Croix. Cape Recife, (Rocky Cape) is in lat. 34° 2′ S., lon. 25° 42′ E. by correct observations; it is low and sandy, with a small conical hill near the extremity, not perceived unless close in shore, having several rocks above water adjacent, and reefs projecting out to the southward and S. W. to the distance of 1½ mile from the shore, on which the sea generally breaks high, when there is much swell. This place is not easily known, although the Islands St. Croix lie in the north part of the bay, about 4 leagues distant from the Cape, the highest of which appears like a saddle; for they resemble small sandy hummocks on the main, not discernible in coming from the westward, unless close in with the shore.

Sailing Directions.

Coming from the westward, a ship ought to pass round Cape Recife, at the distance of 3 or 4 miles, until it is brought to bear W. by N. or West by compass, she may then haul in, and keep within a mile of the shore, (or less) to the next rocky point, 4 miles distant from Cape Recife, called Beacon's, or Rocky Point, carrying from 9 to 12 fathoms, the course being N. ½ E. A Sunken Rock, called Despatch Rock, with only 6 feet water on it, bears E. by S. or E. ¾ S. by compass, from the rocky point about 3 miles, and 4 or 5 miles N. by E. from Cape Recife; as this rock is a small pinnacle, upon which the sea does not break in fine weather, large ships must give it a proper birth, keeping 3½ or 4 miles from Beacon's Point, in passing outside; although a ship may occasionally use the channel inside of the rock, by borrowing within 1 mile or less of the Point. About 1 mile S. ¾ E. true bearing from Despatch Rock, there is a bank of 6 fathoms coral, situated nearly as far off shore as that rock. Redwing Rock, discovered by Capt. Frederick Hunn, of H. M. sloop Redwing, in 1819, is situated farther into the bay, and appeared to be about 8 fathoms in length and 2 or 3 fathoms in breadth, having 2½ fathoms on it the least water, with 8 fathoms close to. When upon it the extremity of the breakers off Cape Recife bore by compass S. 8° E., Cape Recife S. 2° E., Bird Island off Beacon Point South, Fort Frederick W. ½ S., St. Croix northernmost Island N. E. by E. ½ E. off shore about 1½ mile.

Isles St. Croix.

From abreast of Beacon Point or Despatch Rock, to the anchorage off the landing place at Markham's Cove, or Baker's River, the course is N. N. W. ¾ W. and N. W. by N. distance 2½ miles, the soundings regular and clear; the coast, sand hills, covered with bushes. The bottom is sandy all over the bay, except between the grand and south Isles of St. Croix, to the eastward of them, where the bottom is foul. The channels betwixt any of these Isles are safe; between the N. W. Isle and the grand Isle, the depths are 10 and 12 fathoms; between the latter and the south Isle, 15 and 15½ fathoms; and between the N. W. Isle and the main, 7 fathoms, in a channel about ¾ of a mile broad. To the S. W. of the grand Isle, ships may anchor and receive shelter against the S. E. winds, and it is an eligible situation for clearing Cape Recife, when the gale moderates sufficiently to permit a ship to carry sail.

Directly over Markham's Cove, stands Fort Frederick, which from several positions is not easily seen, but Lady Donkin's Pyramid (lately erected) half a mile to the S. E. of Fort Frederick, is conspicuous to ships approaching Port Elizabeth.

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From Markham's Cove to Ferrara's River, is N. 13° E. by compass nearly 4 miles, between which and Beacon's Point, may be considered the anchorage of Port Elizabeth: the water deepens gradually from the shore over a hard sandy bottom, in which the anchors hold well, but many of these have been lost where merchant vessels lie near the shore, liable to cut the cables if chains are not used; therefore, no ship should anchor nearer the shore than 6½ fathoms until the bay is cleared of anchors, unless she have chain cables. Capt. Moresby, of H. M. S. Menai, lay off Port Elizabeth from the 29th of April until the 25th of June, 1820, during which period, there were only two days that they could not communicate with the shore. A swell rolled in with a S. E. wind, but never any high breaking sea: ships have from time to time, (Capt. Moresby observes) rode during the whole year in this bay, and some of His Majesty's ships have rode out the heaviest S. E. gales that have been known.

Ferrara's River is closed at the mouth by a bank of sand, except at spring tides, and is not worth notice.

The common anchorage off the landing place, is in 6½ or 7 fathoms, sandy bottom, the mouth of Bakers River W. ½ S. about ¾ of a mile, and the outermost point of the land S. by E. ¼ E. If at the Isles St. Croix, bring the grand Isles to bear from S. S. E. to S. S. W. distant ½ mile, or rather more, in 10 or 10½ fathoms, sandy bottom.


The usual landing place is on a small beach close to the northward of Baker's River, the mouth of which is generally closed with a dry sandy bar; about 100 yards within it, there is a good spring of fresh water, and about ¾ of a mile to the southward there is a small run of water, called Baker's Fountain. With a westerly wind, any number of casks may be easily rafted off from the shore. Bullocks and sheep are good and plentiful, fish may be caught in abundance with hook and line near the reefs, and oysters are got at low water on the springs; a ship may also refit here with spars, as there are large forests inland, but wood is scarce near the sea.

Zwartkop's River, in lat. 33° 51½′ S., bears by compass N. ¾ E. distant 10 miles from the Cape, W. ½ S. from the Grand Isles St. Croix 7½ miles, and N. E. by E. ½ E. from Farrara's River about 4 miles; at a favourable opportunity, a boat may pass through the surf over the bar into this River, where it is navigable for small vessels 8 or 9 miles up; a little below this, the water is fresh. This river may become of great consequence if Port Elizabeth continue to flourish, but the anchorage here is more exposed than at Baker's River.

The coast is generally sandy around the bay; to the westward there is a range of hills, and to the north-west of Zwartkop's River, the craggy mountain may be seen inland, when the weather is favourable. It is high water at 3h. 30m. at full and change of the moon, and rises 6 feet perpendicular; variation 28° 48′ W. in 1817. Bullocks and sheep may be had at moderate prices, but vegetables are scarce. Fish are caught near the Isles, and about the reefs of Cape Recife. Oysters may be got on the rocks along shore, and plenty of fish may be obtained in Zwartkop's River with the Seine. The Isles St. Croix, abound with seals; and this, and Plettemberg's Bay, abound with whales, in July, August, and part of September.

Captain Dighton, of the Upton Castle, carried a detachment of 450 troops from the Cape to Algoa Bay in October, 1811, and as he found considerable difficulty in discerning it, having ran to the eastward as far as the Bird Islands, before he found his mistake, and was obliged to work back to the westward; he thinks, therefore, that the following directions may prove useful in approaching Algoa Bay from the westward.

Sailing direction by Captain Dighton.

Ships coming from the westward bound into Algoa Bay, after passing St. Francis Bay, and getting abreast of Christian Vogels River, ought to keep near the shore in about 25 fathoms water: the entrance of this river is in lon. 25° 26′ E. and may be known if near the land, by a large patch of sand on its western side, and there are no sand patches for 2 miles east of it, this space being green, or covered with brush-wood close to the sea. When the

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entrance of this river bears N. E. you will perceive the mouth of a larger one about ½ a mile to the westward called Stadden River, from whence the course is E. S. E. ½ S. by compass, to Cape Recife. If the weather be clear when off the latter Cape, Craggy Mountain will be seen bearing N. by W. ½ W., and a high mountain with a flat summit N. W. by N. Cape Recife is a low sandy point, (of which there are several on this coast) not otherwise remarkable, having rocks projecting a mile into the sea, which at a little distance resemble islets. The small round hummock near the extremity of the Cape, is not easily perceived, unless in a particular point of view. Having rounded the Cape, steer north for the next Rocky Point, and pass it at 3 miles distance at least, as a Rock lies E. by S. from the point about this distance, with 6 feet water on it; from hence to the anchorage in Algoa Bay, the course is N. W. by N. in regular soundings from 18 to 7 fathoms. We anchored in 7 fathoms fine brown sand, with the flagstaff near the landing place bearing S. W. ½ W. 1½ mile distant, Blockhouse W. S. W. ¼ S., St. Croix Island E. N. E. ½ N., Craggy Mountain N. by W. ¾ W., farthest extreme of land to the Eastward E. ½ S., extremity of Rocky Point, S. by E. ½ E.

There is a small Fort on an eminence near the landing place, called Fort Frederick, but the chief military station is several miles inland.

Kuga River.

Kuga River, in lat. 33° 48½′ S. and 5 miles distant from Zwartkop's River, is barred up at the mouth, and the water which is very salt, flows into a small lake; the coast between these rivers, consists of sand hills, with a flat sandy beach.

Sunday River.

Sunday River, in lat. 33° 48′ S. lon. 25° 15½′ E., and 9 miles to the Eastward of Kuga River, falls into the sea close to a remarkable rock, named Read's Monument,* between which and Cape Recife, may be denominated Algoa Bay. The bed of this river is deep on the northern side, but the surf beats violently over the bar across its mouth; and as the coast here is exposed to the constant rolling swell, there is little chance of the river ever becoming navigable for commercial purposes. Sometimes, boats may pass over the bar, but at the mouth of this river the coast becomes dreary and inhospitable, destitute of shelter for any class of shipping.

Geo. Site of St. Croix Isle.

St. Croix Grand Isle, in lat. 33° 47½′ S. lon. 25° 41½′ E. distant 3½ miles S. E. by S. from the mouth of Kuga River, and 6 miles W. by S. ¾ S. from the mouth of Sunday River, is about 2¼ miles in circumference. Another small rocky Island, called Brenton's Isle, is a large mile S. W. from St. Croix, and about ¾ mile in circumference. South from the mouth of Kuga River ⅔ of a mile, lies the Island Jahleel, about the same size as Brenton's Isle.


Geo. Site of Bird Island.

BIRD ISLANDS, or CHAOS, in lat. 33° 48′ S. lon. 26° 22′ E. distant about 12 leagues E. ¾ S. of Cape Recife by compass, consist of three low Isles, with several black rocks above and under water, extending about 3 or 4 miles nearly W. by N. and E. by S. true bearing, and distant 6 or 7 miles from the main land opposite. H. M. Ship Stag, examined these Isles in March, 1814, in search of the wreck of the William Pitt; entering between them and the land from the westward, she anchored in 17 fathoms within them, and passed

* In commemoration of a promising youth, a midshipman of H. M. S. Menai, who with three seamen, perished, whilst surveying the coast.

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Doddington Rock.

through to the eastward between them and Cape Padron on the following day. In midchannel, the least water was 12 and 13 fathoms, inside of the Isles, and in some parts 17 and 18 fathoms rocky bottom, but sounding in the boats, the depths decreased regularly to 6 or 7 fathoms close to the main, where the ground was found better for anchorage than near the Islands.* Bird Island is the easternmost, about ¼ mile in extent, of round form, where the landing was found difficult, on account of the rocks, and myriads of birds, particularly Gannets and Penguins, which covered the Isle. The next Isle, about ½ a mile in length, called Seal Island, and the third called Stag Island, with black rocks that extend from it to the westward, were all covered with seals. There are two sunken rocks surrounded by others, partly visible at low water, but in fine weather, the sea probably does not break on them at high tide; one of these lies 2½ miles West from Bird Island, and S. W. by S. from the west end of the reef, by compass. The other is the DODDINGTON ROCK, bearing by compass S. W. from the centre of Bird Island at 6 or 7 miles distance,* being in lat. 33° 53′ S., and it was on this rock, that the Doddington East Indiaman struck in the night, when steering E. N. E. by compass, in 1756, where she soon went to pieces, and only about 23 of her crew, with the chief mate, reached Bird Island on pieces of the wreck, where they remained several months, and built a boat, in which a few survivors reached the Comoro Islands.

There are 25 and 26 fathoms water near the east and west extremes of Bird Isles, and the depths are thought to be from 35 to 40 fathoms near the Doddington Rock on the outside, which is very dangerous for ships making the land hereabout in thick weather, or in the night, more particularly, if standing toward the shore when working to windward.

Geo. Site of Cape Padron.

CAPE PADRON, in about lat. 33° 40′ S. about lon. 26° 34′ E. bears E. N. E. by compass from Bird Islands, distant 3 or 4 leagues, being a projecting point of land, with a bay on the western side between it and Bird Islands; but although there is a channel between these Islands and the main, through which the Stag passed, as mentioned above, that might be used in case of necessity, yet it is uncertain if there be any secure anchorage inside of these Islands in bad weather, on account of the bottom being rocky near them, as far as that ship explored.

Coast eastward of Cape Padron.

Great Fish River, and Keiskamma River, Geo. Sites.

The Craggy Mountain over Algoa Bay, forms the eastern boundary of the chain of mountains on the coast of South Africa, there being no remarkable high land farther to the eastward, for the coast is then of moderate height, with sand downs and steep cliffs in several places. To the eastward of Cape Padron, the sand hills become higher, and appear in square patches, the coast extending true E. N. E. 13 or 14 leagues to the mouth of the Great Fish River, or Rio de Infanta, which is in lat. 33° 25′ S. lon. 27° 34′ E. and continues nearly in the same direction 9 or 10 leagues farther, to the entrance of the Keiskamma River in the Kaffer country, which is in lat. 33° 12′ S. about lon. 28° 4′ E.

The following rivers fall into the sea between Sunday River and the Great Fish River, most of which were examined by Capt. Moresby, in H. M. S. Menai, and found to be merely

* This description of the Bird Islands, Doddington Rock, and adjacent coast, is chiefly taken from L. Fitzmaurice, of the Royal Navy, who went from the Stag Frigate, in the boats, to examine the Isles and the Channel.
Although the Bird Isles were environed with high breakers, two small inlets or creeks were discovered at the west end of the easternmost Isle, with smooth water, where the boats landed. On the beach of the main opposite to the Isles, the high surf rendered it impracticable to land, and steep cliffs with sand hills, seemed to present an impenetrable barrier into the interior.
In Mr. Fitzmaurice's plan of these Isles, the Doddington Rock is placed 7 or 8 miles to seaward of the easternmost Bird Island, whereas Capt. James Callander, who was also in the Stag, at a former visit to these Isles, places the Doddington Rock only 3 or 4 miles outside of them. Cape Padron is placed at 8 or 9 miles distance from the easternmost Bird Island by the former officer, and at 6 leagues distance from the same Island by the latter, but Mr. Fitzmaurice's plan seems to be nearest the truth.

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Bosjesman's and other rivers.

streamlets in the dry season, viz. Bosjesman's River, Karega, and Kasowka Rivers, the mouths of which were nearly closed, only a weak stream running over a bed of light sand, in the dry season. Kowie River lies to the eastward of these, and receives its inland stream (like the other rivers) into a sandy basin, from which it forces its way through a narrow channel on its eastern side, not wider at low water than 20 yards; the sun broke across a bar about a ¼ mile from the entrance, but not violent, and at a low tide there must have been several feet of water. The water appeared deep close to the shore, but S. E. by S., about 2½ miles from the rivers mouth, there are two extensive beds of rocks.

Kleine Monden, is the next appearance of a river, to the eastward, which seemed to have at times, three outlets into the sea, but they were all closed in the dry season, and probably open only at high spring tides, or when the mountain waters come down.

From the Kowie to the Great Fish River's mouth, the coast has a more verdant aspect, than it has between the former and Sunday River, the sand hills being covered with luxuriant bushes; but there is not an inlet or curve of any sort that offers shelter for ships, and the surf rolls in high breakers along the coast.

Great Fish River.

The country at the mouth of the Great Fish River, is open, interspersd with picturesque ravines, generally clothed with bushes: from the S. W. side of the entrance, a sand bank projects within twenty yards of the N. E. side, which contracts the stream, part of the ebb is thereby thrown back on the flat beach, runs to the westward, and finds an outlet close to the rocks, on the western side. At this spot the water appeared deep, and the sea did not break successively for the space of ten yards, but at times, there was an interval of five minutes, when a boat could easily have landed; when, however, the sea did break in this space, it was with treble the violence of the constant rolling surf along the sand before the mouth of the river.

The position of the Great Fish River may be easily known in fine weather, by some distant hills of undulating form; when bearing N. N. W. by compass, they are between the ravines through which the river flows. This river, at particular seasons, swells to a considerable height, then, from the violence of the stream, no vessel could possibly enter; but when the causes have ceased that filled its bed, the river becomes a mere brook.

Becca River.

Becca River, the next to the eastward of the Great Fish River, is not more at low water than 12 or 14 fathoms across at the entrance, which contracts the stream, makes the tides rapid, and the water apparently deep; the breakers not more than would be expected at a depth of 8 or 10 feet, resembling those seen at the mouths of rivers known to be navigable. This river, therefore, may perhaps admit coasting vessels, but the coast in its vicinity seems sterile and forbidding.

Keiskamma River.

Keiskamma, or Keiskahama River, is about 15 miles from Becca River in an E. S. E. direction by compass, which has an extensive basin as a receptacle for the inland stream; the extreme points between which the river flows, when its bed is full, are distant about a mile from each other N. E. by E. and S. W. by W.; but it can only be full, when produced by the mountain torrents. Capt. Moresby, from whose observations, this description of the Coast and Rivers to the north and eastward of Cape Receife is chiefly taken, states that it was nearly high water when he visited the Keiskamma River, the mouth of which being then about 70 or 80 yards across, with the stream running south into the sea, strong and deep. Part of the stream was forced back along the shore, similar to the Great Fish River, but the greater part ran close along the low rocky shore, forming N. E. point; and here, the breakers were not constant, affording the hope, that there may be a channel at high tides for small vessels; but the wildness of the coast, with a flat reaching 1½ or 2 miles to seaward, precludes every reasonable expectation, that this river can ever be constantly open to the most enterprising trader. It probably never can be the resort of His Majesty's ships, the tides being too feeble, and of too little elevation to answer any great purpose, the highest rise observed by marks on the shore being only 7 or 8 feet; and at low water the

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river did not exceed 40 yards in breadth. The ravine through which it serpentines, extends in a N. W. and S. E. direction, and the entrance may be known at sea, in clear weather, by a range of mountains in the interior, one an isolated cone flattened at the top, another high mountain a short distance to the eastward, having three distinct elevations and falls: when these mountains bear N. N. W. they are on with the Keiskamma River. The N. E. point of land, close to which the river flows into the sea, is low and rocky; projecting from a remarkable little green hillock, detached from the one where the bank begins to rise: the S. W. point is a sandy hillock. Along the coast hereabout, the sand is covered with bushes, through which, at different places the sand is visible.


After an exploration of the coast and rivers from Cape Receife to the Keiskamma, Capt. Moresby, concludes his remarks concerning those rivers as follows, viz. "If, therefore, trade is ever carried on, it is my opinion, that by Port Elizabeth, or the Zwartkop's River alone, it can be effected with security."

First point of Natal, Geo. Site, and of the third point.

St. John's River and others.

The northern extremity of Cape Aguilhas Bank converges toward the coast, as the distance is increased to the eastward of Algoa Bay, the soundings being 80 or 85 fathoms, about 7 leagues off the Great Fish River's entrance, and from thence towards the Keiskamma, nearly the same; but abreast of the river last mentioned, there are no soundings to be got about 7 leagues off shore. From this river's mouth, the coast takes a direction more N. Eastward, to the First point of Natal, in about lat. 32° 22′ S. about lon. 29° 25′ E., which has three small hills over it; from hence, it continues in a direction nearly N. E. ¾ N. to the Third or Last Point of Natal, in about lat. 30° 15′ S. and about lon. 31° 22′ E. Between these points there is another called the Second or Middle Point of Natal, in about lat. 31° 8′ S. This coast, called Natal by the Portuguese, because they discovered it on Christmas Day, is destitute of good harbours, and little frequented; being inhabited by negroes who are thought to be inhospitable to strangers, and the coast generally sterile near the sea, there is no inducement for any ship to touch here. The River St. John's falls into the sea, between the first and middle points of Natal, Christian's River on the south side of the latter point, and Ant's River, and Bloody River, between it and the third point. Mostly all of these rivers on the S. E. coast of Africa, are closed up at the entrance by sandy bars, on which there is generally a high surf. St. John's River may be known by the two bluff points which form the entrance; between it and the first point of Natal, a concavity is formed, and to the northward of the middle point, the coast assumes the same form, opposite to Ant's and Bloody Rivers.

Geo. Site of River and Port Natal.

RIVER, AND PORT NATAL, are situated about 4 leagues to the northward of the third point; and the southernmost point of the Bay is in lat. 29° 55′ S. lon. 31° 28′ E. by lunar observations. This place is only navigable by small vessels, the bar being very dangerous, having only 5 feet on it at low water, and the rise of the tide is but 5 feet more, except in September and October, when there is about 12 feet in spring tides. There is generally a heavy swell on the bar, and as it is very narrow, two or three of these will carry a vessel over; the water will then deepen to 2, 3, 4, and 5 fathoms, and she ought to keep along the larboard shore at a ship's length distance. When about a mile within the river, a piece of barren ground is perceived at the declivity of a hill, opposite to which there is anchorage in four fathoms, at a cable's length from the shore; but it is confined, and not frequented at present by European vessels. The tide flows here till 10 o'clock on full and change of moon.

Coming from the northward, the south point of Natal River is most conspicuous, and by its projection the bay is formed, where a vessel may anchor with a S. W. wind, in 9 fathoms sandy bottom, the point bearing S. W. by S. 2 miles, the northern extreme N. 52° E., and the extreme of the Bay S. 70° W. by compass. From the north point, some sunken rocks extend out a ¼ mile; and in going into the river, the passage is between these and the sandy

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point on the larboard side. To the S. Westward there is a table mountain, with another of the same form under it. The banks of the river are low, abounding with hippopotami, and overflowed at high tides. This place was frequented by the early voyagers to India; at present there is no trade carried on here, but poultry may be procured for metal buttons, &c. The natives go nearly naked, are shy of strangers, and though apparently inoffensive, are armed with lances, bows, and arrows.

The coast of Natal is generally high land, or of moderate height, interspersed with sand hills; and in many places the shore is rocky, with deep soundings near it. The country is said to be fertile inland, abounding with cattle and elephants.

Fisher's Point, &c.

Coast of Fumos.

Fisher's Point is distant from Port Natal 9 or 10 leagues to the N. E., having a river and bay on the north side of it; about 21 leagues farther, in a direction nearly N. E., lies Point St. Lucia, both of which are low land; and 6 or 7 leagues farther, lies the River St. Lucia. From hence to Cape Fumos, the coast continues nearly in a N. E. direction, the distance about 30 leagues, and then extends nearly north, about 23 leagues more, to the Island St. Mary's, at the entrance of Delagoa Bay. This extent of coast from Point St. Lucia, has been called Fumos by the Portuguese, on account of the discoverers having perceived smoke in different places. It is generally composed of low land near the sea, and little frequented by Europeans, consequently, its true contour is very imperfectly known. About 11 or 12 leagues to the S. W. of Cape Fumos, Gold Downs River is situated, which to Capt. Webster, of the ship Mary Ann, from Bengal, who was becalmed some time off its entrance, appeared to be navigable, with a large lagoon or harbour inland; and on the north side of the Cape, there is another river. Several parts of this coast, have no soundings except near the shore.

Extent of Delagoa Bay.

DELAGOA BAY, called also the Bay of Lorenzo Marques, from its discoverer, is of great extent, being 7 leagues in breadth east and west from St. Mary's and Elephant Islands at the entrance, to the mouth of the principal river, called Delagoa River, also English River, and Rio de Lorenzo Marques. The length of the bay from north to south is about 10 or 11 leagues, but all the southern part is shallow and unsafe.

Geo. Site of Cape St. Mary's.

Cape St. Mary's, the N. E. point of the island of the same name, is in lat. 25° 58′ S. lon. 33° 15′ E., which is a high undulating land; near the middle of the island on the east side, there is a single hill with white spots, and this island is separated from the point of the main land by a narrow rocky channel. On this peninsula of the main, there is a high hill, called Mount Calato, and the northern extremity bears the name of Point Inyacke,* or Unhaca.

Elephant Island.

A little to the N. W. of St. Mary's Island, there is another small one called Elephant Island, from which an extensive reef projects about 5 miles to the northward and westward; between this reef and others, projecting 5 or 6 miles from the land on the north side of the bay, is the proper channel, about 5 miles broad. From Elephant Island, the south side of the bay is barred by a reef, which extends from the island to the main land on the west side of the bay.†


A ship bound into this bay, should keep boats a-head sounding, as the sands are said to shift with the tides, which are irregular. Outside the entrance, the general depths are from 5 to 7 fathoms, and in some places only 4¼ and 4½ fathoms at low water, about 3 leagues distance from it, and nearly on the meridian of the east end of Elephant Island; a little more to the westward, there are from 6 to 8 fathoms. When a ship has steered in, about

* Capt. Owen made this point in lat. 26° 1¾′ S. lon. 14° 35½′ E. from the Devils Mount at Table Bay, which would place Point Inyacke in about 33° 4½′ East.

† Between Elephant Island and the reefs which project to the N. and N.Westward of it, there is a narrow channel with var