페이지 이미지
PDF
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

broken up by the time it reached Royacottah and Bangalore, being described only as a gale at the first place, and of short duration, and as a "very high wind" at the latter ; and as no damage done by it is mentioned, we may suppose it not to have been very severe? Its centre, if we suppose it to have had one at that time, and to have travelled on the same line, would have passed about 85 miles to the North of Royacottah, and about 50 miles to the North of Bangalore. When we reflect that there is a series of stations in this WNW. line from Madras across to Darwar on the Eastern side of the great chain of the Western Ghauts, and to Rutnagherry on the Malabar Coast, it is not creditable to our brother sojourners in Southern India that not a single report has reached Government if the storm extended beyond Bangalore inland. One of the most curious points of research yet to be investigated is this of knowing where, and how, these great whirlwinds disperse ; and we might here perhaps have had an instance of a storm being lifted upwards and re-descending when it had passed the barrier of the Ghauts and table land. As things are, we must be content with what we have, and with having, through Captain Biden's zealous assistance, traced out this first of the Madras storms as clearly obeying the general law as to rotation and progression; and also as to what seems to be the usual track of those of the Bay of Bengal. I cannot conclude without earnestly requesting every person into whose hands this Memoir may fall to set down in a few lines the following data, in any storm which may occur, viz.

1. Situation of the observer before, during, and after the storm.

2. The direction of the winds as often as possible.

3. The times of varyings and shiftings of the wind.

4. The state of the Barometer, if any.

5. Any electric or other phenomena.

6. Any remarks and intelligence derived from other quarters.

All this may be done in a very few lines, and the report from it will not take more writing than a short letter. I presume that none are now ignorant of the very great importance of these researches, and at Madras the painful subject of my preceding Memoir, "Tint GolconDa's Stobic," may have shewn most persons that, one day or other, they may possibly have a personal interest in the full investigation of the Thfory Op Storms.

PART II.

The Whirlwind of the Paguebot des Mers du Sud, Captain P. Saliz.

The Mauritius Price Current of 7th and 14th September* 1841, give the following notice of this remarkable phenomenon, and as it is most important to place a good account of it upon record, I have thought it right to print the Mauritius account, with the addition of what I have personally learnt from Captain Saliz.

"Captain Saliz of the French Ship Paquebot des Mers du Sud, who arrived here on Wednesday last from Bordeaux, which port he left on the 9th June, reports, that on the 8th August, he encountered in latitude 38° south and longitude 21° east (from Paris.) 23° 20' E. from London; while scudding before a tremendous sea, an awful whirlwind, which in a twinkling carried away her three sails furrowing them with flashes of light (without however either destruction or ignition,) carried away the two top-gallant masts, and shoved the ship to windward, throwing her on her beam ends to starboard, the water pouring over her bulwarks. In this perilous situation she lay for nearly half an hour, nor was she righted till she was again brought before the wind by means of a tarpaulin hung out from the fore rigging, and by cutting away the mizen mast, weather backstays, and shrouds of the main top mast, which fell, carrying along in its fall the head of the main mast. She scudded during the remainder of the gale under bare poles."

In addition to this notice, Captain Saliz, who is a gentleman of education and long nautical experience, with great intelligence, has obligingly favoured me with his log book, and with replies to many questions addressed to him, from which I collect, in addition to what is stated above, the following particulars.

He was on the 8th August at noon in Lat. 38° 28' S. Long, by Chr. 19° 57'F. from Paris, 22° 17'E. from London Bar. at 27.5 French (28.00 Eng.) steering to the SE. i E. with wind from the North, to which it had veered from the NE. at midnight preceding. Sea heavy from NE. and at times from the NW. heavy squalls; sea very high from

• Th« P. C. of the 14th contains some corrections which are made here.

the NE. and North and going over the bulwarks, p. M. heavy gale from the Northward, scudding under double reefed main topsail on the cap, foresail and foretopmast stay sail: obliged to carry sail on account of the cross sea, ship rolling gunwales under. At 5 wind at NNW. to NW. At 6 caught by the whirlwind, as above related. Captain Saliz who was upon deck, says, that at the moment of being taken by it every thing was in a blaze of light (no lightning is marked before on the log, and he says that there was none worth noticing) like a sort of meteor, for there was fire every where, though nothing was burnt. The fire had no electrical characters. He distinctly saw the lightning cross the main* topsail in zig-zags, when the sail disappeared. He says further that the whirlwind turned from left to right outwards. The vessel's head was about NE. while on her beam ends, and it was blowing so furiously, that it was impossible to look to windward. A very remarkable fact is, that while all around the horizon was a thick, dark, bank of clouds, the sky above was so perfectly clear that the stars were seen, and one star shone with such peculiar brilliancy above the head of the foremast that it was remarked by every one on hoard! The Barometer which, as stated, was at noon at 27.5 Fr. or 28.00 Eng. was at 6 P.m. at 27-3 Fr. 27"79 Eng., and at midnight again at 27'5 Fr. The gale after the whirlwind was at WNW. veering to the West, and remaining there till fine weather on the following day, when the American ship Thomas Perkins passed them with royals and studding sails set. A remarkable fact also was the warmth of the weather. Capt. Saliz did not notice the thermometer, but says that every one found it " quite warm!"

No person on board was in any way affected by the lightning. The sea after, and during, the vessel's lying over was much diminished, and was a sheet of foam. After righting she steered EbS. and ESE. with the wind.

They found, on saving the wreck of the main top mast and mainmast head, that the topmast, though the vessel was upon her beam ends, appeared to have been lifted out of its place instead of being wrenched over in any way! I should not omit to say here, for it is due to them, that Captain Saliz speaks in the highest terms of the spirit and courage shewn by his gallant little crew and officers in this perilous crisis.

• Some fragments were left, but these had no traces of ignition

« 이전계속 »