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against her anew, and by able handling placed her between two fires. At this moment the Huascar, under a shower of projectiles from our ironclads, was forced to surrender Almost at the close of the action the Covadonga came withir range and succeeded in firing one of her projectiles at the enemy. It was then observed that the crew of the Peruvian hac become demoralised. While her engines continued working as i trying to escape, some of the crew were seen springing overboar into the sea. On seeing this I ordered the firing to cease and th boats of the ships to be lowered to render aid to those in th water. A launch from the Blanco Encalada, under the Squadro Adjutant [? Chief of the Staff], proceeded to the Huascar to receive the chief officers. The launch returned in a few minute after with the sad news that Admiral Gran had been killed by shot. His body had disappeared. Shortly after his death tw officers who succeeded to him were slain.” Admiral Rivero say that Admiral Gran's death was much regretted by the Chilia officers, and he pays a graceful compliment to his unfortunat antagonist's memory.
He then “ attended to the wounded placed a prize crew on board the Huascar and ordered her t steer at once to Mexillones. Her engines having remained in perfect state, the Huascar, with some slight repairs, may figl again under our national flag."
" There were twent eight officers prisoners, and more than one hundred of ti crew."
“ This result was obtained with very little sacrifice. Cochrane received two of the enemy's projectiles which stru her in no vital part. The crew had ten wounded, one of who died, the rest were but slightly hurt. The Blanco Encala suffered neither loss nor injury. The O'Higgins and Loa chas the Union till off the river Loa, but, finding it impossible overtake her, gave up the chase.
(Signed) “GALVARINO RIVERO."
N reference to the communicated article which
appeared under the above heading in our last number, we find it incumbent on us to state in
answer to several Correspondents, that the views therein expressed are simply the views of our Contributor himself, who wished to have an opportunity of saying a few words more on the subject before the discussion closed.
Our own summary of the question which appeared in the magazine for October last, embraces the essential points of the question, and in our opinion is an impartial and complete statement of the case. We think it necessary to make this announcement in consequence of some of our Subscribers having been under the impression that the communicated article of last month was intended as a rider to or qualification of the editorial summing up, whereas it was merely a few further observations from the author of the original paper which provoked the discussion, further explaining the position he had taken up. It in no way modifies our view that the Report of the Royal Commission is substantially right; and we once again urge our readers to use every endeavour to adopt the precautions recommended in that valuable Report.-ED. N.M.
LITTLE PROBLEMS FOR YOUNG OFFICERS.—No. I.
AKE a sheet of paper and draw a line horizontally
across it from W. to E. On this line and near the lefthand edge of the paper draw a ship (A), heading N.
Then, with a pair of compasses or a rule, measure along the line a distance of six inches, at which distance draw a similar ship, (B), also heading N. The ships A and B are at anchor, in a current which is flowing from N. to . : they are broadside to
* Nautical Magazine, Vol. 48 (1879), p. 843.
broadside, six knots apart. Alongside (port-side) of ship B is a third ship, C, lashed to B. C is a screw steamer and wishes to take an important letter from the captain of B to the captain of A. Assuming that there is no wind, and assuming that the steamer, C, goes neither to the right nor left of a straight course, with her helm amidship, in smooth water, what course will have to be shaped by C so as to enable it to go from B to A without varying her helm; and what will have to be the speed of C on that course, if the current is ranning N. to S. at the rate of ten knots an hour ? Further, what will be course and speed if the current is running at five knots an hour ? Further, what will be the course and speed of C if the current is running two knots an hour ?
There will be a series of six problems.
Answers to this one must contain a diagram of the ships in their first positions named, before C moves from B, and must state the courses in degrees west of N., and must give the speed in knots
All answers should be addressed to the PROBLEM EDITOR, “Nautical Magazine," 15, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C.
Those who answer the whole six correctly will receive a written testimonial or certificate.
ATLANTIC VOYAGING AND GRAIN-LADEN VESSELS.
INCE the harvests have failed in this country and
on the Continent, freights have ruled high, and many steamers, whose construction scarcely
warranted their crossing the Bay of Biscay with an ordinary cargo, have been employed in the grain trade of Baltimore or New York.
Their fate, under the conditions of weather which sweep the Atlantic in winter is not difficult to predict, and the ominous words, “Missing since," &c., &c., are now only too often posted at Lloyd's. Such
events are looked on as transactions in the ordinary course of business amongst insurers. “Deuced unfortunate, certainly, but it cannot be helped, you know." And yet each of those announcements may perhaps indicate that a score or more of English seamen in the prime of manhood are lost to their country and friends. It is of no avail to say that men are not forced to join these dangerous Fessels. Necessity has no law, even if those concerned were aware by technical or practical knowledge of the risks they run. “I'd as lief be drowned as starved,” is an expression which of late has been too often heard in the waiting-rooms of the Sailors' Homes and Shipping Offices in our great maritime ports. If shipowners and shipbuilders were thoroughly conversant with the peculiarities of the trade for which they were designing ships, many valuable lives and untold wealth would be saved to the world. But, while the shipbuilder and shipowner may not be aware of the dangerous points of many of the iron steamers of this country, the great corporations who class them as well as colonial ships stand in a different light, bearing as they do on their books experts of every denomination—the engineer, the shipwright, and the sailor. An indispensable condition of a safe grain ship is that her timbers should be properly formed and clear, in order that the water may flow freely to the pump-well. But as a rule if the masters or officers of such vessels are asked to explain by what channel the water reaches the foot of the pump, the reply is—“I don't know; never thought of that before.” Not a winter passes without seeing a number of abandonments resulting from neglect of this point. Here is a chance for the insurers to step in, for legislation is powerless to act in such cases. It is also not uncommon to find keels without rabbets for the garboard strakes in ships of 800 tons, the cant timbers without seatings, the keel scarphs without tablings, and the tenons of the stem and stern-posts barely sufficient for an ordinary gate. Age, and the decay of fastenings, loosen these important parts of the hull; water enters freely in heavy weather, and the chapter ends. Occasionally, in the smaller class of vessels, one may be found without rabbets to the stem and stern-posts, the ends of the planking being simply shaped off to make a calk. Here, as in the garboards,
when thus fitted, the iron and oakum of the caulker act as wedges to force the planks from their fastenings. There are other defects of construction which go to swell the seaman's death-roll in colonial-built ships ; but the above are of the most importance, and arise generally from ignorance on the part of local builders in the remote districts of the Colonial Empire. If, however, the great shipping corporations would sternly refuse to class a vessel with such dangerous points, a change for the better would set in steadily, and a serious risk to life and property be averted. Men who go down to the sea in ships have enough of the inevitable to contend with in their arduous profession, without being racked by the unnecessary anxieties attending inherent defects of construction or equipment, such as short doublings, improperly cut sheaveholes, and a lack of proper proportions in lower or topsail yards. The ordinary rule for the latter is one quarter of an inch in the diameter at the slings to a foot in length, and the diameter at the yard-arm half that at the slings. There is nothing objectionable in these proportions save that the taper commences too soon. This is evident from the fact that lower-yards generally go in the quarters, although, by the laws of mechanics, they ought to break in the slings.
Steamships in the Atlantic grain trade are not safe in winter without a spar-deck and a main-topsail. As a matter of fact, on leaving the American coast with a grain cargo, they are invariably loaded down to what sailors call their “bearings,” and if this is exceeded the men steadfastly believe that the displacement increases in a higher ratio than the amount of weight put on board warrants. No amount of mathematical reasoning can shake this assumption, which may, therefore, be deemed an article of their faith. Of course this belief has no connexion with spare buoyancy, and it is simply mentioned to show how strongly traditions are handed down on shipboard. Now the majority of the ships built on the east coast of England are fitted with a poop, forecastle, and bridge-house amidships. In many the latter is not bulkheaded across the deck, thus giving a clear passage fore-and-aft to the sea. A few years since, the engine-room skylight was a flimsy wooden structure fixed on an ordinary coaming, but since the London