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Dille had recently made a new settlement on the north coast of Timor, immediately opposite to Kissa, and that then vessels frequently came across to trade.
In working to the eastward, the Britomart passed along the north side of the Serwatty Islands, and communicated with Sermattans, where there is a very good anchoring place during the south-east monsoon. Baba, the next island to the eastward, had an appearance of great fertility ; we saw two large villages on the south side, at one of which a Dutch flag was hoisted. As the provisions were running short, Capt. Stanley was unable to survey the west coast of Timorlaut, which appeared worthy of examination. The island Serra is high, but the main land opposite is very low; and this appears to be its character to the south extreme, differing in this particular from the east coast, where the land is high and mountainous.
When at Bandan we met with a Capt. Chasteaux, commanding a ship belonging to a Chinese who resided there ; he had lately returned from a voyage to Timor-laut, during which he had found that the south-eastern part of Timorlaut consisted of an extensive island, on the north side of which was a bay, which afforded excellent anchorage in eight to ten fathoms throughout the year. He remained there two months, trading with the natives for tortoise-shell, bees'-wax, trepang, &c., and proposed going there again in the setting-in of the north-west monsoon, as stock, yams, Indian corn, &c., were abundant there.
This port, which is not 200 miles distant from Port Essington, may hereafter be of importance.
I regret very much that we were unable to remain a few days at Timor-laut, since, from the specimen of the natives of this island that I had seen during this voyage, I should have been glad to have had a further acquaintance with them. The young men are partial to emigration, with the view of acquiring sufficient wealth, during the time they remain abroad, to enable them to live in comfort at home, where the knowledge they have acquired during their absence gives them a high standing amongst their countrymen. We met with a few of these emigrants at the Ki and Arru Islands, but their favourite resort is Banda. Here the greater portion enter into the service of the government or of the residents, in the capacity of police and custom house peons, night watchmen, &c. ; while all the prahus sailing out of Banda are manned by them. Others employ themselves in catching fish, cutting timbers and firewood, and growing vegetables for sale. Indeed the markets are chiefly supplied by them. They are generally good rough carpenters, and upon the whole would make a very good description of labouring settler for Port Essington, when such may be required, particularly as there would be little difficulty in obtaining any number of them. They have lately come to Banda in such numbers, that the government have refused to permit any more to settle there.
On the 6th of August we left the south end of Timor-laut, and on the following day made Melville Island, on the coast of Australia. Contrary winds detained us until the 14th, when we entered Port Essington, having been absent eight weeks. Having now given every particular of interest that came under my observation during my late excursion.
I have, &c.,
(Signed) GEORGE WINDSOR EARL, Capt. M Arthur, R.M., Acting Commandant,
Linguist, 8c. Victoria.
THE MERMAID.-It is now nearly three years since we first called the attention of our readers to the performances of the Archimedes. The results were to prove the superiority of vessels fitted out on the screw over the paddle-wheel system in an eminent degree. The different voyages made by the Archimedes across the channel, and round the whole coast of Great Britain, proved that up to a speed of between 9 and 10 miles per hour, and working against strong head winds, nothing could exceed that vessel. Although the experiments since made with other vessels fitted out with the screw-propeller have not given such good results, enough has been shown to justify stern-propellers in all sea-going ships.
T'he system is being now carried out, on a great scale, in the Rattler steam frigate just launched, and a few months hence the Great Mammoth now ready for launching, and fitted up with the screw-propeller ; also a vessel called the Napoleon, destined for the Post-Office service of France, between Marseilles and Corsica, has given results of ten miles per hour. We were not, however, prepared for such a result as has recently been produced with the Mermaid namely, a velocity of from 134 to 14 miles per hour.
This vessel which has just been completed for the Admiralty is of iron, and of the following dimensions :Length:
She is propelled by two low pressure condensing engines each of 45 horses'. power, or 90 horses'-power collectively.
The propeller, which is on Mr. Rennie's coroidial principle, is 5 feet 6 inches diameter is placed in the stern of the vessel as usual; and is driven up to its velocity by toothed or friction wheels, of which it has a spare set.
The engines are placed on iron sleepers, fastened to the bottom of the vessel, and are worked on the direct action principle, namely, with the crank shaft immediately above the cylinders.
The engines are exceedingly compact, occupying only a space of 15 feet by 5 feet, which the total dimensions of the engine-room, including the boilers and spaces are only 28 feet by 9. The weight also of the engine, boilers, water, sleepers, and machinery, including the coal-boxes is only 47 tons. This is in a measure owing to the compactness of the engines, and the almost exclusive use of wrought iron. The workmanship is first-rate.
'The Mermaid has now had four trials on the river Thames. The result of which have given in velocity of from 13% to 14 miles per hour. She steers with great facility, and her performances have equalled some of the best boats on the river. As proofs of her performances, she has made the voyage from Blackwall to Gravesend distant 204 miles, with tide in 1 hour and 19 minutes, which is about the average time of the Blackwall Railway and other first rate boats, and she has gone from Deptford Dockyard to Erith Pier 121 miles against wind and tide in 1 hour.-From a Correspondent.
Payne's MODE OF PRESERVING Wood, &c.
We have lately seen some specimens of timber wbich have undergone Mr. Payne's process of preparation, and we are decidedly of opinion that his method is a good one.
Some of these specimens were very hard, and all of them when tested, were proved to have been impregnated to the very centre. The durability of his mode of preservation rests on the important fact that timber accidentally brought into contact with some of the solutions he uses, has been known to last for 50 or 100 years. Many of our readers have no doubt inspected the timbers of the Royal George, and will have observed that the metallic bolts have been destroyed, and the wood which has been in immediate contact with
them, preserved at their expense. Also in Cornwall and other mining districts it is found that wheels that work in streams impregnated with iron, last for ages, and the wood in the shoes of piles have been found perfect after a lapse of some centuries. Mr. Payne has also tolerable proof that wood which has undergone his process, will not be attacked by insects. - A correspondent has forwarded to us the copy of a letter, detailing the result of an experiment made at Calcutta, with some of his prepared wood. He states that two pieces of Deal of the same size (the one prepared, and the other not) were placed in a room infested by the white ant, these pieces lying about six inches asunder. On the second day the insects had made considerable ravages on the unprepared piece, and on the eighth day had destroyed all of it except a thin crust on the top. The prepared piece remained for three months longer, in the original position in which it was placed, and although on taking it up a great number of ants had located themselves beneath it, yet it remained as sound as when first laid there. This is an important fact and goes a long way to establish the validity of Mr. Payne's process for preserving timber from the ravages of insects.
BUOYS OF THE HOLLEPOORT.-The Director-General of the Royal Netherlands Marine has given notice, under date 8th of April, that in consequence of an alteration in the position of the inlets between the Islands of Vlieland and Terschelling, the buoys of the Hollepoort will be removed and placed at the recently repaired channel called North East Gat, between Thomds Smit Gat and the New Gat, of which the number of buoys and bearings will hereafter be duly published.
It has also been notified, under date of the 11th of the same month, that on the 20th of March a tjalk was wrecked on the North Shoal of the Vley, near Rammekens, about eight ells within the black buoy, outward of the channel, which since has been entirely buried in the sand, only the mast remaining standing, its bearing being southward and northward, with the steeple of the Abbey of Middleburgh and a group of trees on the late Villa of Newland. And under the same date, that another vessel, with spritsails, lying at anchor in the Vley of Rammekens, was run on board of, and sunk at the depth of two ells at low water, in the direction of S. & N. of the steeple of the Abbey of Middleburgh and the barn of the before-mentioned country seat, the mast of the vessel also remaining standing.
PORT DALRYMPLE.—Captain Stokes, of her Majesty's brig Beagle, employed in surveying the Straits, &c., has recently placed a beacon on the shore in Lagoon Bay, which, kept in one with the beacon on the Barrel Rock, forms a good lead in through the West Channel into this port. The last house on the western shore, the property of the Rev. Dr. Browne, kept in one with the Shear Beacon, will take a ship through the East Channel-a channel that may be used with safety by commanders of vessels making the port in heavy weather, when the pilots are unable to get out.
EIDER CHANNEL, near the Koller Sand. The Director General of Customs and Commerce has given notice, under date 25th ult., that instead of the Eider Channel, near the Koller Sand, which has been found to be inaccessible to large vessels, another channel, through the so-called Peter Carstons Loch, is to be substituted. The entrance of this channel is, coming from the South and North Rock, near the Black Stiel Buoy No. 14, or the White Buoy No. 11. Besides these two buoys there are also-as marks on the south side of the Stiel Buoys Nos. 15 and 16, as also along and between both the Buoys No. 14 and 15; several beacons, and on the north side of the White Stiel Buoys Nos. 12 and 13. At the shallowest part between the Black Buoys Nos. 15 and 16, the water at an ordinary ebb time does not exceed six feet. The course along this channel is N.E, and N.N.E..
Tonning Ruyal Pilot Inspectorate, May 11, 1843. C. F. Rathsch.
COLUMBIAN Pilot-Boat.-The master of the Bremen ship Adelgunde, Kehrmann, arrived in the Weser from Angostura, reports that on his last arrival off the Orinoco he found stationed there a pilot-boat, fitted out by the Columbian government. The same is cruising either within or close to the bar, or lying at anchor below Cape Barima, as the said master reports, in a depth of water sufficient for ships to approach her without danger. The pilotboat is a schooner under the Columbian flag at her main, and carried two guns one a large swivel.
Lights of the New Diep.—To facilitate ships entering the harbour of New Diep, in case of need, in the evening or during night time, two lights have been placed on the Wierhoofd (Wierhead), which mark the north-west entrance of the New Diep; one nearly at the extremity of the Wierhoofd, showing a white light, placed above the level of the sea 8 86 ells; the other, a south-westerly direction, 67 60 ells inside of the former, and 10 67 ells above the level of the sea, shewing a red light; which lights since April 1st have been lighted every evening at sunset. They have been placed thus conspicuously that they may be seen by vessels coming from sea, as soon as they have passed the Westerhoop and may also be clearly perceived from all points of the roadstead of the Texel and the Texel stream, up to the Texel harbour, and to the Balg. As soon as the red light bears a little to the south of the white light, the entrance to the New Diep is open, and by steering S.W. by compass the “Corps-morts," before the New Diep, and the Oldhoofd along the Weirhoofd will be avoided, and steering along the lights, New Diep may safely be entered.
ALTERATION IN THE Lights or Kullen, ON THE Swedish Coast.—The Director-General of Marine has, under date of the 2nd May, given notice that, according to a proclamation of the Royal Administration of Marine at Stockholm, of the 17th March last, the Light Tower of Kullen, on the Swedish coast, in lat. 56° 18' 12' N., long. 12° 271 45" E., of Greenwich, will, in the course of next summer, undergo an alteration, and the open coal fire on the same be replaced by a revolving lamp light, which, in eight minutes, will turn round, producing during its revolution four flashes, cach of 30 seconds duration, and be succeeded by eclipses lasting a minute. The light will consist of twelve lamps, with parabolic reflectors, which will be placed on a quadrate frame moved by machinery. During the alteration, an open coal fire will be shewn at the foot of the Light Tower. This new revolving light cannot be mistaken for that of the Island Anholt; as, according to the proclamation of the Danish Marine administration of March 21, the revolutions of the latter light continues only 34 minutes, during which eight glares, each of six seconds, are produced.
Hunter Bank, between Syang and Wyang, North-west of New Guinea. Sunday, February 23rd, 1840, about 11 A.M. steering through the passage between Syang and Wyang, with a fine breeze N.W.b.N. going about five knots, and keeping rather nearer the Syang shore than the other, I happened to look over the side and saw that the water was a very light colour, immediately after could see the bottom distinctly, the masthead-man not having seen it before. White sand and black coral rocks, got a cast of the lead as quickly as possible, 11 fathoms, we soon after deepened too much for the hand lead, and went into the dark blue water. Took the bearings immediately that we were over Syang body of the island, west about 5 or 51 miles; Wyang S.S.E. about 7 miles, the breakers plainly visible from the deck on both islands. From the masthead as soon after as I could get there, the green water was seen extending considerably on each side, or about E.S.E. and w.N.W. of the part we crossed, which I should estimate to be about 200 yards in breadth. We were heading N.E.b.N.
I could not examine this bank more particularly as breakers were reported ahead previous to our getting on it, which, perhaps, was the reason it was not first seen from the masthead; it seemed, however, pretty large, and to extend a good way towards Wyang, also to reach very near or quite to Syang; but of this I can say nothing positively. It lies directly in the fairway of ships passing between these islands; we got only one cast, through the lead line being below, and the ship going quickly through the water. I do not think there was less than ten fathoms on any part that passed under us.
The soundings which are generally inserted on the west side of Syang should be continued to the south-east point, as the bottom can be plainly seen a full mile from the shore; except at the north-east part there are soundings a considerable distance from this island. I have landed on the south side for turtles, of which, in April 1837, we procured nineteen very fine ones, in fact, the boats had been ashore about two hours previously to our getting on the bank abovementioned, but only obtained two.
CORAL Rocks, in the Straits of Mindoro.-Cruizing to the westward of the Appo Shoal, in the Straits of Mindoro, and standing to the north-east with a light breeze and fine weather ; about 2b. 30m. P.M. a shoal was reported from the masthead close to on the weather bow. From the rail I saw it distinctly by the discoloured water, it being then about 100 yards distant, backed when under the lee, and sent a boat to sound, in which was the chief mate. About 3h. 30.. P.M., the boat returned, having examined it carefully, the result of which is that on a rock, situated near the western verge were found only nine feet water, and on another of similar description near the other extreme eleven feet. The depths on the remaining parts varied from three to nine fathoms, extent of soundings altogether not exceeding three hundred yards, and the size of these very dangerous coral rocks about 16 feet by 10 or 12 feet.
At the time the tops of the highest trees on Appo large island were just visible at an elevation of 50 feet, bearing E. & S. by compass, from which I estimate the distance to be about 14 miles ; and from the shoal that lies W.N.W of Appo Island, which we passed at 5h. P.m. of the same day. It bears about S.W.b.W. distant about 54 miles. Therefore, taking the position assigned to Appo large island in the Directory, which is 12° 38 N. and 120° 28' E., this dangerous coral bank having only nine feet over one part, will be in 12° 40' N. and 1 200 14' E, nearly, and the other shoal, which is about half a mile in extent will be in 12° 43' N. and 120° 18' E.
I trust this notice may be of service until these dangers are critically surveyed.-March 15, 1842.
R. L. HUNTER.
Bennet SANDBANK AND Reef, between Masbate and Sibuyan, Philippine ENLARGED SERIES. NO. 6.-VOL. FOR 1843.