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thus underwriters and passengers as well as shippers would at once see, judge, and act accordingly 1 It may be said that such powers are inquisitorial, not in the least, for those who have nothing to fear, let the means and the measures be full and efficient or not at all; and the Underwriters generally are deeply interested in seeing to this! It may be less impirtant to those, who fully insure their old ships, to carry goods and passengers for freight only, and that being mainly paid in advance; but for those who only partially insure their ships, and load and trade them upon their own account, the ability, honour, and integrity of the master and 1st mate, are all important and vital; and for such tested men £20 or 30 per month wages, would at the end of a voyage, ba found a security and saving. But I urge the making it illegal for Broker, or any other person whatsoever, directly or indirectly to receive any reward for recommending or obtaining any ship, master or mate: I can speak of the abuses and evils arising hereupon .'
G. T. W.
N.B.—That a distinct form, of log and journal combined, shall be laid down and entorced upon master and mate, is undeniably essential as simple, by numbering the left and right hand pages the same, making the former for the log, and the latter for the journal, &c.
Ose of the most remarkable instances of the degree of severity (partaking very strongly of Lynch-law) exercised in ships of the American Navy occurred a short lime since on board the United States brig-of-war Somen, Lieut.Commander A. S. M'Kenzie.
The Commander begins his narrative by stating that, after receiving information of a conspiracy, he treated the whole affair with ridicule ; he considered that Mr. Spencer had been joking, but that the joking was upon a subject much too serious. No steps were therefore taken, but the unfortunate Midshipman being closely watched by Lieut. Gansevoort, was found "narrowly examining the charts," and further, he committed the enormity of questioning the Surgeon about the Isle of Pines.
To digress for a moment. We will only ask, Is any young sailor not inquisitive about this noted place? "Spencer passed the following day as usual, sullenly, in the corner of the steerage;" from which we infer that he was under an arrest, and at least had no watch to keep; but he was, moreover, observed "examining attentively a small piece of paper, occasionally working with his penknife on a piece of the tail of a devil-fish, with which he had fashioned a ring for his cravat." These, and numerous other absurd and childish remarks, such as sketching a brig with a black flag, telling Midshipman Rogers's fortune, 8tc, occupy the next portion of the narrative.
Another paragraph, to our ears aristocratic, sounds oddly :—" The circumstance of his being the son of an Officer high in the Government enhanced his baseness in my estimation, and made me more desirous to get rid of him!"
The Narrative then goes on to detail the unsuccessful means employed for effecting this object, and then attributes to the unfortunate Mid. the crime of having a most villanous smile, and a "strange flashing of the eye." Commander M'Kenzie then proceeds to relate his mode of accusation, the arrest and handcuffing of Mr. Spencer, "for the sake of greater security."
Thus, in rather unpleasant limbo for his "joking" conversation, his searching the charts, his villanous smile, and " flashing eye," Mr. Spencer was under the additional terror of having a bayonet inserted between his ribs.
"I directed Lieutenant Gansevoort to place a watch over Mr. Spencer, and to give orders to put him to instant death if lie was detected speaking or holding any communication with any of the crew."
In Mr. Spencer's " locker" was found, it seems, "a string of characters in Greek letters. They proved"—(but in what way we trust the Justice of the Tribunal before which Commander M'Kenzie is arraigned will determine, for there is no proof mentioned in the Narrative),—" to contain the plan for the proposed mutiny. There was a list of the different members of the crew— (Query was it a watch-and-station bill ?)—some of whom were marked certain, others dontful; some were marked to be kept at all events, and others to be destroyed," &c. This ended in the arrest of two other men—Cromwell, the "tallest," and Small, the " shortest" man in the brig. These were also placed in irons.
On the 28th November, (the day following the arrest of Cromwell and Small,) Commander M'Kenzie addressed his ship's company upon what had transpired. The effect of his address upon them " was various;" many " seemed delighted at their narrow delivery," and others horror-struck "at the thoughts of the terrible danger" they had escaped; some " seemed overwhelmed with terror at the anticipation of punishment that awaited them; others were overcome by thoughts of returning home, and wept profusely at the mention of the friends they hope so soon to see." But among all these weeping, horror-struck, and delighted portions of the Somers's ship's company, we read of no sullen mutinous sort of fellows likely to attempt a rescue ; and what therefore must be our astonishment at the black sequel?
The poor Midshipman endured his indignities resignedly until his "tobacco was stopped," the day after which " his spirit gave way. He would sit for a long time with his face buried in his cloak, and when he raised his head, his face was bathed in tears." In this respect he certainly had a wondrous similitude to a hardened mutineer! The succeeding portions of the Narrative are detailed in the same spirit of pure unadulterated American humbug; but the tragical end is, that the poor young man is launched into eternity " unfit to die," as he himself said, together with his two shipmates.
Passing over the cant and hypocrisy of the Narrative, we proceed to the manner in which the commander, M'Kenzie, justified the sweeping barbarity of his conduct to the young man. This, however, is too severe a libel upon the Americans; and it will be sufficient, we imagine, if the crime and cruel imbecility he has displayed are not, to condemn him at once.
"If it had been possible to take him home, as I at first intended, I told him that he would have got clear, as in America a man with money and influential friends would always be cleared; that the course I was taking would injure his father less than if he should have gone home, and be condemned, yet again escape." The Commander endeavours to qualify this by the following note;— "Perhaps this is an extreme and erroneous opinion, and not just, but I am merely stating facts which passed on the occasion."
We must not omit begging our readers' attention to the concluding paragraph of the Narrative.
We should not have been thus premature in our remarks, were the scene of trial nearer at hand, where we could be supposed to influence the course of justice. But removed far from the scene of the Lieutenant-Commander's oratory or that of his counsellors, we can hut say that we look with anxiety to the receipt of the next news from America; and will only ndd, that if the measure of " Knglish justice" is awarded, Commander M'Kenzie will have little reason to plume himself on his meritorious conduct.—AT. <J- M. Gaz.
Floating Light, Bombay, Dec. 28.—Notice is hereby given, that a floating light is stationed in the Fair Channel into Bombay Harbour, about three-quarters of a mile to the S.W.b.S. from the Fair Way Buoy, in about nine fathorai at high water, and seven fathoms at low spring tides, with the following bear ings and distances :—
Flag-staff on Malabar Point, N. 5° 46' E., distant 6.90 nautic miles.
The lighthouse on Colaba, N. 21° 34' E., distant 4.56 nautic miles.
The Fair Way Buoy, N.E.b.N., distant three-quarters of a mile.
The Floating light at the Sunken Rock, N. 38° 50' E., distant 4.68 miles.
Kennery Island, S. 14" 15' E., distant 7.43 miles.
The point of the S.W. Prong in six fathoms foul ground bears N. about two miles.
The Middle of Thull Shoal E.S.E. two miles.
When approaching the harbour, if the floating light-vessel is seen bearing on any point from N. by E. round to the eastward as far as S.E. by S., a ship might steer directly for it; and, when up with the light- vessel, should steer from her N.E. easterly, so as to pass about three-quarters of a mile to the eastward of the other light-vessel, which is moored about a quarter of a mile to the southward of the sunken rock. After rounding the rock light-vessel, you may steer more northerly, and, if it be at night, should anchor about one mile to the N.E. by N. from it, where the water will be smooth. The south point of the middle ground shoal bears N.N.E., distant two miles from the rock lightvessel.
Both light-vessels are painted red, each carrying a ball on the light-mast, and during daylight they hoist a red flag when a sail is in sight.
The outer floating light burns a blue light at the end of each hour during the night, and displays a torch at the half hours.
The flood tide comes in from the S.W., and ebb from the N.E. It is high water at 12 hours on full and change of the moon.
East India House, Feb. 15. James C. Melvill, Secretary.
Note—The floating light was tried during the last monsoon, and rode well, but in the event of her breaking adrift the fair way buoy is continued at its station.
Pilot Station Off The Mouth Of The River Hooohly.—Notice is hereby given, that the same causes existing, which, during the last S.W. Monsoon, rendered necessary the removal of the Pilot Station from off Point Palmyras to a position 6 or 8 miles S.W. of the Outer floating light, and in from 16 to 20 fathoms water, this latter station will be continued during the next S.W. Monsoon, viz. from 15th March to the 15th September.
During the last S.W. Monsoon no difficulty would appear to have been experienced by vessels passing from False Point Lighthouse to the New station, nor can any be felt if common attention be paid to the Lead, and to the following directions prepared by Captain Lloyd, late Officiating Marine Surveyor General, after a careful survey of the ground between the two Points.
"False Point Light-house is in lat. 20° 19J' N., and long. 86° 47' E., and that of the South Channel Buoy in lat. 20° 59' N., and long. 88° 4' E., and bears from the former N. 61 E. true, or N.E.b.E. JE., by Compass, distant 83 miles, and is laid in 12 fathoms.
A bank of soundings extends from off Point Palmyras in a direction towards the tail of the Western Sea Reef, and the nature of the bottom (as distinguished from that of the tiooghly deposit, which is sand and mud with shining specks) is a gravelly substance composed of sand, shells, and small pebbles discharged from the ' Kunka' and other rivers near Point Palmyras, the lighter material of which being caried further out, is deposited and forms what is called the Pilots Ridge, which in crossing to the N.W. shews a little less water than on either side; coming from seaward you shoal rather suddenly, from 28 to 23 fathoms, upon its Eastern Edge. It is composed of a shelly sand, or minute gravel, of a reddish or rusty brown colour.
The best guide therefore to enable a Vessel to direct her course from False Point to the Vessels at the New Station will be to run down the Edge of the Pilots Ridge, which can readily be done by making the Light-house, and bringing it to bear about W.S.W., or S.W.b.W., distant by computation from 10 to 15 miles, then steering to the E.N.E., and having gradually increased the depth
ENLARGED SERIES NO. 3.—VOL. FOR 1843. 2 E
of water to 23 fntlioms upon the Eastern edge of tlie Ridge, regulated the course to keep between it and 27 fathoms, when by attention to the Lead, and nature of the soundings, course and distance run from the Light-house, it is almost impossible to miss the Pilot Vessels (if the above limits are kept within) either by getting too far to windward or falling to leeward; for the soundings increase so rapidly to seaward from the proposed New station, that 28 fathoms will not be more than 3 or 4 miles to the southward of it, and 23 fathoms the same distance to the westward of it.
The soundings to seaward of the Ridge are in general a greenish or olivecoloured mud, with occasionally a few bits of broken shells mixed with it."
Vessels approaching the Station during the day, are required to shew the usual signal for a Pilot, and by night, to give as early and as much warning as possible, by firing guns, burning blue lights, and by exhibiting Two lights in a Vertical position, where best seen; but Commanders are recommended to avoid, as much as possible, making the station during the night.
To mark the Station, one of the Pilot vessels will shew, during the day, a large " St. George's Jack" (white with red cross) at the main top gallant masthead, and a good mast-head light during the night, and will burn a blue light and a maroon alternately every half-hour, and fire a gun at 8 P.m. at midnight, and at 4 A.m. Vessels approaching the station and wnile there, as well as when approaching the light* and buoy station vessels, are warned to be careful in avoiding collision by night, or by day and in communicating with cither of the above vessels, either at anchor, or hove to, when it is necessary to cross heT to pass under the stern; Beveral instances of serious damage having occurred during the S.W. Monsoon, whereby the outer floating light was more than once compelled to leave her station for repairs, to the great inconvenience and risk of vessels entering and quitting the river.
A vessel will be stationed off False Point light-house, keeping it according to circumstances W.b.S. to N.W.b.N. in from 10 to 15 fathoms water.
She will exhibit during the day, when vessels are in sight, a large " Danish Jack" at the main top gallant mast-head (red with a white cross), and during the night a good mast-head light in the same place, and will burn a blue light every half-hour.
This vessel will have no pilots on board, and is only intended generally to furnish information touching the course to the new station, but particularly to do so to vessels which may be in ignorance of the position of the new station. /■'.ant India Home, Jan. 18. James C. Melvill, Secretary.
• [The light vessels are directed, when another vessel is approaching during the jiight, to shew a light at the Gaff end to mark the way they are riding.]
H.M. Steam Packet Station, Holt/head, Jan. 31, 1843. Sir,—I am directed by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to give public notice, that a bell has been placed at the end of the pier, near the lighthouse, for the purpose of guiding her Majesty's steamers into the harbour during fog. The bell will be rung at about half-past 2 P.m., when the packet generally enters the bay, and continued at intervals until her arrival. . I am, &c,
John Kains, Commander, R.N.
The master of the Hamburgh schooner-brig Paradise, Zybrandts, discovered, July 18, 1841, on his passage from Valparaiso for Manila, in lat. 9° S., long. 172' W. of Greenwich, a group of six islands, thickly covered with cocoa-nut trees and apparently uninhabited, which were not laid down on the newest charts on board, and Mr. Zybrandts therefore named them " Paradise Islands." According to his observations he found the latitude of the northernmost island at noon to be 9° C 20" S., and its longitude, according to a good chronometer. 172° W. Mr. Zybrandts afterwards found that the "Uloe Group' is laid down in the English charts 23' loo southerly, the most south and westerly of those islands being in lat. 7° 32' N., and long. 143° 30' E.—BorsenhaUe.
[We are sorry to deprive the Master of the Paradise of the honour of his discovery, by finding the Duke of York and Duke of Clarence Islands in the position pointed out by him in Kruzenstem's chart. With respect to the Ouliay Groupe of the Caroline chain we suspect he has been misprinted.]
Misdoro Sea.—Sir.—On my homeward passage from Manila, in the barque Sarah, when in the Mindoro Sea, I found it was next to an impossibility to beat her down the Mindoro Sea, against the whole strength of the south-west monsoon. After beating off the coast of Panay for a day or two, I found we were losing ground, likewise tearing the ship and gear to pieces, without any chance of doing good. I therefore bore up, to try, if possible, to get into the Pacific without going round by Celerite Point, which is at the entrance of the Straits of St Bernardino.
The first place I ran for was the space between the Islands of Semarara and Cape Potol, in the Island of Panay; but I found it full of shoals, small islands, &c, without an opening, (although the Spaniards allow a passage to exist there for Pontens, &c.) Being disappointed there, I stood to the northward, and found an excellent passage, free from all danger, between the Islands of Semarara and the south end of Mindoro; in the whole passage, as far as I saw, there being but one island, surrounded by a coral reef, which island lays, I think midway between the island called Tablas and Mindoro, and may be kept clear of by keeping on the Mindoro shore, about four miles off or so, until CabezaRedonda on Tablas bears about E.b.N. then steer over for the head, making an allowance fur a current setting to the N.E. about one mile per hour; after rounding this headland, it is very easy to get into the Straits of St. Bernardino. The passage from Tablas, to the channel between Burius and Masbate, being entirely free from danger. Cabeza Redonda lies in 13° 36'N., 122" 12'E. • I remain, &c.
John Hall, Jun.
P.S.—I suspect the island called Tablas has been so named at first in derision, it bring very hilly indeed, instead of table land, which the name "Tablas," signifies.
Our correspondent would have conferred greater value on his useful letter, had he given us the dale when he was in the Straits ; and we should also like to know, how he obtains the particulars of this position, whether he landed or determined it by bearing and distance from the ship, and if so how the ship's position was determined; as without such information his communication will 'airy but little authority in these days. But on this subject in general, one so important to Mariners, we recommend to our correspondent's perusal the remarks contained in the second edition of Raper's Navigation, p. 351, which should be consulted by all seamen.—With respect to Tablas, are the hilln flat-topped ?—Ed.
The Variation Of The Compass.
(Continued from p. 64V)
Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Feb. lfi, 1642,
Magnett'eal and Meteorological Department.
Mean Magnetic Declination for December 1842—23" 17' 22"
G. B. Airy, Axlronnmer-lioynl.