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one hand and pistol in the other the passage was entered, rather difficult under such circumstances to keep her in it, when her keel sometimes scraped the ground ; and seeing several men ahead bearing down on each bow with the intention of laying hold, I desired Mr. Mayes to clear the way, and turning to the right I saw one man, among several, not more than the boat's length off, pick up a large stone and launch it at my head; by dodging it passed just astern, and I fired over his head. This not appearing to satisfy the fellow, he made a rush, thinking I suppose that I was now powerless, when another shot stopped him as well as his friends, rather I think from fright and astonishment than anything else, for he crouched down, and did not trouble us any more, the others pausing in their meditated rush, and the Master in the mean time dispersing his assailants, forward we got into deep water.
Here I rounded to to wait for the cutter, just entering the channel, with large stones, clubs, and shot flying about her, when she got out clear, and with the satisfaction of knowing that not a single casualty had occurred, and that the men were to be depended on for cool and steady behaviour; for although discovering that what had been taken for the long Arab musket were in most cases nothing more than clubs, yet the numbers, and so apparently determined, were quito enough to make one nervous.
How we escaped I cannot tell, for at the first commencement the shot for a short time were dropping about us like hail, but they must have been very bad marksmen. It was. however a most merciful interposition of Providence, for had we once landed all would have been sacrificed. As we afterwards learnt, it was their aim to lure us on, and the captain of the port, used the expression and gesture, Had you fallen into the hands of the mob, they would have eaten you.
On passing the line of merchant ships again, the crews all Mahomedans, I boarded several, in the endeavour to get information respecting what had taken place on shore, and it was not until on the point of giving up what appeared to be a fruitless task, for they either would not tell me what I required or did not know, when one man in the last ship boarded stepped forward, and in very disjointed English said, that the people on shore had been cutting off heads, and that he had got his information from the crew of an Arab ship, the people from the shore allowing them to come off. On enquiring what had become of the English Consul, he said that they had cut his head off, as well as that of the French Consul and his wife and family ; in fact all the Christians they could get hold of. This was indeed horrifying, but from such a source I had hopes that it might be untrue, but how to get correct accounts was the difficulty, for my boat bad already been attacked in attempting to land.
Under these circumstances I decided on seizing all boats coming out from the town; and finding the chief mate of the Eranee, (the ship seized) a Muscat man, willing to take a letter on shore, I wrote to the Caimacan for intelligence.
My proceedings in this affair for the next eight days, and arrival of
Pacha from Mecca, having been detailed in correspondence with the Admiralty I shall not enter into them here, further than that after getting all the remaining Christians out of the hands of the authorities, I put to sea on the morning of the 25th of June.
As it would not be possible now for the ship to get to Suez in time to catch the next mail for England, to send home reports relating to this affair, I decided on running a line of soundings up the centre of the sea to Jubal Strait. Accordingly, after clearing the Gehan Shoal, ran off the land, sounding at the same time; and in lat. 18° 58' N. long. 39° 18' E. hauled up to the northward.
The first cast on the line from the harbour of Jeddah was 42 fathoms, a short quarter of a mile N.W. of the Gehan Shoal, thence N.W. for about two miles, the depth was 351 fathoms. Steering a West compass course from the last cast, we passed the large patches Abbolhodere, Aboolyahood Ulfagarne, and Ul Wastance, geittng successively 384, 428, and 596 fathoms, on a soft bottom, except at the last depth (the valve bringing up nothing) in the above latitude, forming the point of intersection with the line up the sea, on a N.b.W. W. compass course.
Throughout the whole of this passage strong northerly winds have prevailed, obliging us to get the lower yards and topmast down, and work full power to make any progress. The sea, too, was rather heavy, yet not sufficient to prevent the sounding work going on constantly, night and day, thus showing no difficulty in that point in laying a submarine cable.
In consequence of the delay from this wind, the last cast was not got until the evening of the 30th, 608 fathoms, sand, to the southward and eastward of Shadwan, and as it was too late to enter Jubal Strait, no considering it prudent to pass through in the night with no good marks to run by, I kept to the westward of Shadwan, and anchored under its N.W. point, in seven fathoms of water, with the South end of White Stratum N. 43° E., and Sandy Point N. 69° W. (compass). This was near where we anchored before on the 28th of May. I consider it a very good anchorage, as affording shelter from N.W. winds, and may be readily made. You have smooth water, and may approach the island very close. It is however, very necessary to keep your lead going, and a good look out, for there is a small rock under water, in about the centre of the outer part of the bay. It does not show by any break, and I have only seen it once, a slight undulating motion showing over it. In working up make short tacks close to the island, and anchor directly you get soundings of ten fathoms. You can generally see the bottom in the day time directly you get into shoaler water.
The bottom in this line runs up the centre, appears to be rather irregular, but on only one occasion was the ground found hard, the valve bringing up nothing. The deepest was 1054 fathoms, in lat. 22° 24' N., the least 461, about thirty miles S.E. of the former.
(To be continued.)
THE WEATHER BOOK :-A Manual of Practical Meteorology. By Rear
Admiral Fitz Roy. London, Longman and Co., 1863. “ How will you have the wind ? and how much of it?” were the conditional questions returned by a sailor to a lady who had asked him to foretell the weather for the morrow; and in this reply we may at once see the justness of the common observation of how much easier it is to ask a question than to answer it. But there was philosophy in either of the conditions required to be complied with from the sailor. How much wind? This in itself opens out the disturbing effects of currents of air, from a light breeze to a strong gale, producing transits and accumulations of the various clouds which winds will collect to a greater or less amount; and then the quarter from which it is to come, the freezing North or warm South, the cold East or temperate West, -how much will either of those contribute to load that wind with cloudforming vapours to make or to mar the weather of the morrow. Alas, the machinery of the weather is something like that of the physical system of man :-as this depends for its healthy equanimity of disposition, of sayings and doings, of rapid or slight movements on the sudden or gentle mandates of the dominant master called mind, so does the weather indulge in gentle or rouse to violent action as the forces of the wind take the command. When it is considered how much can be brought into active influence, how soon and bow rapidly controlling powers may go to work, the overwhelming number of disturbing effects were duly appreciated by the celebrated French astronomer, Arago, when he pronounced his opinion that “ He is a bold man who will prophecy the weather of the morrow!”
Still, the curiosity of man! where will it not lead him? That restless commanding spirit of his, where would it stop? It would know everything, it pries into the secrets of nebulæ, the deep caverns, the imagined seas, the lofty volcanic crags of the moon! He who can command the hidden wonders of chemistry, can apply the resources of science to measure the lengths of the years of heavenly bodies; nay, even their very weight in the scale of creation,-is he to be foiled by that simple element in which he moves, its varieties of heat and cold, moisture and dryness, its vagarics and fancies of change perpetually going on before him, is all his knowledge to stop short of the weather ? 'Tis very much like it! for there are very many questiors about it of which we know nothing.
Why have we had no winter lately in this metropolis of ours? Why has it been so long put off ? Snow has not been seen in it as usual these last few months. We have had a prevalence of S.W. winds. Is it owing to the warm atmosphere which they bring that the snow bas been kept from us? Meteorologists said nothing of this. On the contrary, a severe winter, from the prevalence of the red hawthorn berry, was foretold. Where is it? Not in London. The cold has kept to Russia East of us, and to the West it came tardily. Verily we have much to learn. Why has it gone to the South and made winter there? Did the railways make this country too warm for it? They say there are less of them, space for space, in France than in Evgland.
“Verily man, as the story goes,
Can scarcely see beyond his nose,” as yet, at least, in the vast overwhelming subject of meteorology.
But let us not despair. The subject has been forced into our lap; and here is the first real weather book from the weather office of this country, combining in its ample pages a store of information for the assistance of any one who desires (and who does not) to become weatherwise! It was time we set about it,-that a sailor (especially) with a staff should be duly installed in the very heart of the first maritime power of Europe. We were on the verge of ridicule for our old fashioned ideas of cui bono, which even the smallest state of Europe would not acknowledge, but set manfully at work with the duties of a meteorological observatory. We had one also, but we have more than that now in a staff to discuss the observations Thanks to agitation :
It would take us far out of our limits to refer to a tenth part of the subjects touched on in the Weather Book. And when we inform our readers that they embrace the varying regions from pole to pole, from East to West, describing the several phenomena of our terraqueous globe as far as its ocean of air is concerned,—that variables, trades, monsoons, normal and prevalent winds, hurricanes, waterspouts and waves, Papagayos and Tapagayos, (in fact, to string them all together would require room that we canuot give,) they may be satisfied that the Weather Book contains á vast amount of valuable information, which we can, moreover, tell them is preceded by descriptions of the best and most approved kind of instruments to be employed in meteorology,-and all this the more valuable from any part of it being unlocked in a moment by that most inestimable of all keys, a copious index.
There is no need for stopping about opinions, or we might inquire in the subject of the dissipation of clouds, as the sun gets low, has the effect of cold and the chemical affinity of damp surface more effect than that of the moon ? Terrestrial radiation does its work in terrestrial rather than in a lunar atmosphere. And again, the hard, defined, or soft woolly edges of clouds, are not the first produced by a dry atmosphere where they are well packed, and the last in a humid on, which has not pressure enough to scrape them together?
Doubtless we shall shortly find the Weather Book in another edition, when we shall have another opportunity of opening out some more of the hidden treasures which it contains.
CALENDAR OF STATE PAPERS, COLONIAL SERIES,-East Indies, China,
and Japan, 1513—1616. Preserved in 11.M. Public Record Office
and elsewhere. Longman and Co., London, 1862. Another in valuable present to the historian of records concerning one of the most important periods in the history of our country's progress. It embraces “the early voyages for the discovery of a North-East or North-West passage, the establishment of the East India Company, the various early voyages to the East Indies, an account of the settling of the different factories with the gradual developement of the lasting influence of England in those distant countries; the commencement of a commercial intercourse with Persia; the first faint attempt at establishing a direct trade with China ; the opening of a communication with Japan through a series of adventures as curious as the history of Robinson Crusoe, and the approaching cessation of all intercourse with that empire, chiefly caused by the death of one Emperor and the different policy of his successor, in which religious consideration formed a predominent part." The contrast presented by the state of all the affairs treated on in the foregoing resumé and the present condition of each and all of them, is a display of progress of wbich England may well be proud in the high satisfaction at the rart wbich she has contributed towards it. An interesting historical survey of the contents of the volume forins a graceful and valuable introduction to it, from the careful notes of the Editor, W. Noel Sainsbury, Esq., of the Public Record Office. We hope to avail ourselves of its treasures in another number.
THE YEAR BOOK OF Facts—in Science and Art, 8c. Lockwood, London.
Mr. John Timbs perseveres in his annual collection of Facts, forming a useful little volume for reference on all subjects of science and art. That before us for 1862 enters on that most important of questions between wood and iron for ships, and the all engrossing subject of iron clad ships and heavy projectiles, on which conclusions seem yet to be in abeyance.
FORMULE OF NAUTICAL ASTRONOMY, ETC., Arranged by Captain
Shadwell, R.N., C.B., F.R.S. Revised Series, 1862. London, J. D.
Potter, 31, Poultry. These formulæ, concisely printed on twelve cards and contained in a pocket case, comprise all the principal problems of nautical astronomy in every day use, as well as a few others of a useful character occasionally employed by the nautical astronomer. They are “intended to serve as an aide-memoire for the use of naval officers and students of nautical astronomy.”
By a judicious alteration of the size of the type, and by other arrangements, the author has succeeded in introducing into the present series of cards several improvements : among these we may mention useful forinulæ of trigonometry and for the solution of triangles, both plane and spberical; accurate formulæ for the reduction of Pole Star observations; a modification of Borda's method of clearing lunar distances, requiring for its application only the ordinary tables of log sines and cosines; and Mr. Jeans's method of obtaining the latitude by altitudes near the meridian, which is independent of any special tables and of a previous knowledge of the latitude by account.
We have long been of opinion that, even in the case of students not thoroughly conversant with mathematics, the system of working by formula might advantageously supersede the method of instruction by verbal precept usually adopted in most books on navigation and taught in our schools. In any case, unless the student understands the problem mathematically, be must take his rule in the first instance on trust. It is as easy to assume the truth of a formula as of a long series of verbal instructions. The formula is but one step further back, and has the advantage, when judiciously handled by a careful instructor, of impressing on the mind of the student the connection between different problems in cases where, as often happens, their processes are mathematically identical. When verbal precepts are alone employed each different problem requires a distinct rule, notwithstanding the possible identity of their mathematical conditions. Hence the science of nautica! astronomy has become oppressed with a mass of verbal diffuseness, and has been made needlessly complicated and burdensome to the memory.
As an illustration of our meaning we may observe that the following problems, of constant occurrence in the practice of nautical astronomy-finding the hour angle-finding the azimuth-computation of the altitude-reduction of double altitude observations by direct process-clearing the lunar distance by direct process—calculation of course and distance in great circle sailing-can all be solved by the application of two cases in spbcrical trigonometry. How few young students recognise these facts, disguised as the rules of nautical astronomy are at present by long and tedious verbal preccpts and explanations.
To those who prefer the elegant conciseness of a formula to the diffuseness of verbal rules Captain Shadwell's cards will be very acceptable, and we therefore confidently recommend them to the notice of young naval officers and others interested in the progress of nautical science.