RECORD: Darwin, C. R. In every case first inclination (blue water) to about 20-30 fathoms. [4.1836] CUL-DAR41.51 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections and editing by John van Wyhe 3.2011. RN2

NOTE: Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


In every case first inclination (blue water) to about. 20-30 fathoms, then suddenly incline — (at mean angle of 45°?

from land to 1200 ∠ 36° — from the 20° fathom, 39° — from 270 to do 48° —

At mouth from the 5 fathom sounds to the 550 ft 24° — from the 20 to 550 21°

In the 1200 section 20 fathom 200 3d from shore
In othr or SW section 20 — 100 — — —

The scale of 1. inch mile (∴ sect 9. inch long) two line can barely be ruled so as to be distinguished apart, if head a few feet distant.

Cocos Isd 6 or 7 larger Isd — 23: 24 of all sorts besides with traces
Mem growing points with Cocoa nuts — growing trees

Keeling Isd 1. & 400 yds. without reef 1.300 yds width 1200 yds including reef

reef 100 yds — Blue water broadest on West side; on the northern part of which no reef but sand, & there 400 yds wide. — case like Horsburgh Isd — one single dip of land, opening dead to SE. —

Same struck of reef. Liesk.1

Line cut by rocky cliffs

1 William C. Liesk (sometimes spelled Leisk), an English resident on Keeling. See Armstrong 1991.

51 verso

Keeling Isd little to W of North, 14 miles distant

Cocos Isd

whole opposite side or northern. very imperfect. especially west. part weaker. —

The deeper part of northern basin, which does not dry, 4-6. fathoms. with numerous patches fluish. — & deeper holes

longer axis NNW. 9 & 1/2 miles: shorter 6 & 1/2: —

widest average parts 800 yds — leeward side perhaps broadest

Blue water 200 yds wide: do of hornblende 850 yd — width 6 & 7 fathoms

On East side. 100 yd reef from shore or West. 200 yd. —

On southern end. reef joins on the lagoon

Whole northern end shoal; connected with mouth.

[sketch] form of growing Isld

3 & 4 fathoms at entrance, 9 at anchorage

Reef at SE. houses. from do to outside (which is all outside reef) (550 yd): at houses & near anchorage 500 yd, inlets at anchorage begin to apear 250 yds from outer break.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 2 July, 2012