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tke master proceeds on shore and clears out. Vessels however, from the West Iirthes and other places, subject to quarantine, should be taken veil up in the roads, above the town of Elsinore, and well inshore vhere the anchorage is good, and good holding ground. Opposite the town, and farther out the ground is too much cut up to hold by well, and in the strong westerly gales, which frequently occur, much damage is often done from vessels driving foul of each other. From the Wtst Indies with cargo, on arrival, hoist a quarantine flag ;—the quarantine boat will soon visit the vessel, giving the requisite orders as to the duration of the quarantine, &c. From the West Indies with sugar it it six days. This is a most absurd and ridiculous law, creating a attention and expense to the vessel quite unnecessary; it is not imposed by the Danish authorities, but by the Russian government, who are so timorous, as to require the performance of quarantine thus far from tbeir territory. It often occurs, that the vessel placed under quarantine in Elsinore, has called at Cowes for orders, the master and crew been on shore, and sometimes a fresh crew shipped, still no abatement of the quarantine takes place. In my own case last year, I came to London with a cargo of logwood,—entered the London dock,—discharged the crew, and prepared for unloading; when the cargo being sold, and the purchaser wishing to send it to Petersburg, urged me to take it there at an additional freight,—I did so, shipped another crew, and after being a week in London proceeded to Elsinore, when the vessel was put in quarantine, and but for trie strenuous exertions of the agents on shore, and my having the original clean bill of health from a loading port, I should have been detained six days. This is really too absurd, and calls loudly for redress. What infectious disease can a vessel loaded with sugar or logwood bring from the West Indies, after a sixty or seventy days passage? The only disease prevalent in these places, and that only in the few months of the rainy season, is the yellow fever, and I am confident that it could never exist in the climate of Russia, or ever linger on board the vessel so long. The matter should be represented to the British minister, at Petersburg, who certainly could point out the absurdity of the present law, and obtain redress.
Freed from quarantine, I would recommend the master of a vessel to proceed on shore in a shore-boat. They are very convenient, save time, prevent the crew getting grog, and enable the vessel's stores to be brought off at once, and in safety. The charge is moderate, and regulated by the authorities, so that no imposition can take place. At the entrance of the small harbour of Elsinore, the master will be questioned as to his port of loading, destination, &c, and receive a ticket, with which he will proceed to the custom-house, where he delivers his bills of lading and manifest. Thence he proceeds to the agent he may have chosen, who soon transacts the necessary business, and all of whom will be found very attentive and complaisant. Provisions generally, are moderate in price at Elsinore, and spirits, wine, tea, coffee, and sugar, should be purchased for the voyage, as they bear high prices in Russia. In order to induce the masters of vessels to give a true account of their cargoes, his Danish majesty allows them 4 per cent, on the amount of duties paid by the cargo.
Leaving Elsinore for the Baltic, a pilot should always be obtained for the Grounds, a narrow channel between Sand Banks on the one side, and Salt Holmes reef on the other, and extending from Copenhagen to Dragoe. The currents in the Narrows are often very strong, and uncertain in their direction. The Mutual Assurance Societies formed amongst shipowners, on the east coast of England and Scotland, permit vessels insured by them to navigate this passage without pilots, which often leads to accidents, and I am surprised that they should pay the losses so frequently occurring through this cause. Besides, the pilotage is very moderate, and the pilots are a careful attentive set of men, well acquainted with their duty.
Being left by the pilots at the entrance of the Grounds, the navigator will proceed onwards towards the Baltic, between Falsterbo Point and Steffens Head. The former must be approached and rounded with great care, as a very dangerous reef runs a long distance from the point, and there is nothing to indicate the vessel's approach to the danger, except judging of the distance from the land. This want of a beacon or mark, has caused, and continues to cause many accidents; a lightvessel ought to be moored at the extremity of the reef, as the light-house on the point is so low, as to prevent its being seen at a sufficient distance. This light-vessel, and the one at the Knobben before mentioned, are indispensably necessary to the safe navigation of the Baltic; and considering the vast amount of British property employed on this trade, I am surprised the matter is not urged upon the Danish and Swedish governments. The land on the opposite coast of Steffens Head is bold, and may be approached with safety. There is also an excellent light on the point. Round Falsterbo a course may be shaped for the norlh end of Bornholm, which is bold land, and clear all round the north end; the south end is foul, and should never be passed except under peculiar circumstances. From Bornholm a course is generally shaped to sight the south end of Oland. On this course, if daylight, the land at Torhamn Head will most probably be seen; both this land however, and the island of Oland are low, and must be approached with caution, particularly in thick weather. From Oland a course is generally shaped fur the south end of Gotland, this is also low land, and only to be seen at a very short distance, neither must any one trust to seeing any of the Swedish lights very clearly, or at any distance, as they are only of a second rate quality. From Gotland a course is shaped for Dagerort, the end of the island of Dago, at the entrance of the Gulf of Finland; this island is moderately high and clear. At the north-west end there is also an excellent light. It must, however, be noticed particularly, that none of the Russian lights ate lighted from the end of April, until the beginning of August; it being considered that the almost perpetual daylight enjoyed during that period, is sufficient for the purposes of navigation. All the Russian lights are from lamps with reflectors, and are very good, and well kept and attended to. In shaping the course from Gotland to Dago, great care ought to be taken, allowing for the vessel's distance off the former, and the distance she should pass clear of the latter. Numberless accidents occur from courses being take" from the Books of Directions. I am confident that several of the courses given in the book I had were wrong; moreover, they are there given ditcct from a point in Gotland, to a point in Dago, and the navigator sometimes forgets that he is a certain number of miles distant from the one, having it on his larboard hand, and wishing to pass a certain number of miles clear of the other on his starboard hand.
On entering the Gulf of Finland, and navigating amongst the numerous shoals and reefs with which it is studded, great vigilance and circumspection must be used; but, every dependance may be placed on the presence of the brooms and flags which point out the various shoals. So soon as the navigation is clear in the spring they are placed, and during the summer they are attended to, by vessels specially appointed. The Gulf is also remarkably well lighted, and during the season when the lights are in use they may be depended on. These beacons and lights being placed and maintained, are more for the benefit of the Russian men-of-war which are constantly cruizing there, than the merchantmen bound to their harbours. These brooms and flags are very conspicuous and well moored; the light-houses and various stone beacons are also very easily recognized, and with care and the asssistance of both, the Gulf may be navigated in safety. To a stranger judging from the appearance of the chart, it appears a very difficult matter to encounter, and most American and Italian vessels bound to Petersburg, take Baltic pilots from Elsinore, for whose services they pay about sixteen pounds for the voyage up and down; in my opinion however, they may as well bring pilots from England, and I am certain they are quite as much required in the Sleeve and Cattegat, as in the Gulf of Finland. I do not say so because I have sailed up and down in fine weather, and under favourable circumstances,—on the contrary, in the very last trip I turned up the whole distance from Dago to Cronstadt, with the weather occasionally thick and unpleasant.
I rounded Dago in the evening, in the beginning of May, the wind was light and abeam, the weather fine, and a nice twilight remained during the short night. Over head it was clear, but a fog bank lay all around, extending about 12° above the horizon. Having marked the vessel's position on the chart, assured myself she was in a fairway, and shaped a course at midnight, I gave particular directions to the second-mate, who was a careful young man, to maintain the course given, and keep a very bright look-out for beacons and brooms, describing to him what I supposed they would appear like; and as the course to be steered, run the vessel well clear of all dangers, and as the wind was light, I lay down above my bed without undressing, full of all sorts of fancies, and very anxious about brooms, &c. I had dozed into a sort of sleep, when just as one bell was struck, down came the secondmate in a great hurry, calling me with " There is a broom right ahead Sir!" I instantly ran on deck and went forward, on my way calling the mate and watch below to jump up, and there, plain enough, stood the beacon as I thought, about a cable's length distant on the lee bow. I at once called out to look on the other bow: another broom was immediately seen there, and the brig was going very nicely between them, and right on a shoal. The vessel was immediately luffed to the wind, and the yards at the same time braced forward, the steering-sail tacks let run, the helm put down, and she stayed without any noise or confusion; I then told the man at the wheel to steer her exactly the opposite course to the one we had been pursuing Astern were the brooms very distinct, and certainly within a cable's length. In half an hour, however, daylight increased, and instead of beacons they proved to be two vessels bound down, and at least six miles distant; their apparent proximity and diminished size arose from the refraction in the foggy atmosphere. During that day we saw many curious instances of the same refraction, houses, &c, at times appearing inverted above the fog bank, sometimes elevated, at others depressed, now enlarged, then diminished.*
The Book of Directions accompanying Norie's chart of the Gulf, is very good,—gives a very excellent account of the shoals, beacons, &c, and contains all that I could say on the subject. One very beneficial alteration ought however to be made in lighting the Gulf, and I am surprised those navigating it, have not already represented the matter to the Russian admiralty. Instead of having two lights on the north end of Hogland, I think there should only be one, and one placed on the south end of the island; the latter being a much clearer passage, more direct, and not having so many shoals in its vicinity as the north end, especially since a light was established on Rothscar: with a light in the south end of Hogland, vessels might pass the island with all safety. On coming upwards, and approaching the Narrows between Stirs Udden, and Dnlgoi Noss, the land is plainly perceived on either side, and the shore clear; ahead the toll beacon light-house will soon be perceived, on the lower extremity of the island of Cronstadt.
Passing upwards between the toll beacon and London Chest shoal, and being guided in the fairway by the white flags on the starboard, and the red flags on the larboard hand, a look-out must be kept for the outer guard-ship, which is a frigate, riding from one to four miles distant from Cronstadt, carrying a blue flag at the fore. The guardship must on no account be passed, but the vessel hove to, or anchored just before she comes abreast of her. Any contravention of this law, either in going up to, or coming down from Cronstadt, subjects the party transgressing to a fine, which is invariably exacted. Having hove to, or anchored close to the guard-ship, her boat will soon come alongside to enquire into the health of the crew, &c. The officer on coming on board will sign the Sound pass, demand the bills of lading in duplicate, which he will enclose in an envelope and seal with his seal, at the same time requesting the master to seal it with his. The master will also sign an acknowledgment of the exact number of the bills of lading. All letters must also be shewn, either in the master's possession or that of any passenger, or other person on board. He must also declare whether there is any powder on board, if so, it must be delivered to the proper officer previous to entering the Mole. It must be noticed that duplicate bills of lading are indispensably necessary, but all shipmasters coming to Cronstadt, should provide themselves with a third copy, which they will find very useful in expediting the vessel's being entered at the custom-house.
• A good instance of the benefit of a good look-out in merchant vessels; the want of which is one of the many prolific sources of wreck. But our correspondent, "Mexicano," is one of those who knows the advantage of it.—Bd. N.JVJ,
Being cleared by the guard-ship, the vessel will proceed towards the Mole, which ia readily distinguished, keeping in the channel by observing the flags on either side, and on Hearing the entrance to the Mole, anchor as near as convenient. The custom-house boat, and officers will soon come on board, for the purpose of sealing up the hatchways, which should be previously cleared for that purpose; loose bulkheads, and any place having communication with the hold: all parcels whether ia the bills of lading or not, must be given up to be sealed up. The officers will then deliver to you a note, containing the number of seals placed on the vessel, and declare her at liberty to be hauled into the Mole. This the mate may proceed to do, procuring when he enters a pilot, to point out the vessel's berth, and to clear the way. It is advisable to cause the carpenter to nail small pieces of board over the seals, to prevent their being injured, as any breaking or even defacing of them is visited by a heavy fine.
The master will now proceed to the inner guard ship, a small hulk, lying inside the Mole, and close to the entrance on the left hand. There he must shew the Sound pass, powder note, and list of crew, quantity of ballast declared, if any, &c. He will then proceed to another hulk, adjoining the one last mentioned, which is used as a sort of branch custom-house, and occupied by the officers of customs, answering to our tide-surveyors, &c. then the sealed note containing bills of lading, letters, &c. must be given up. The master will then proceed to the office of J. Bocher, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's vice-consul, and sole agent for all the British vessels trading to Cronstadt, arid agent for all the merchants in Petersburg, receiving or shipping produce in British vessels. There, he will enter the vessel's name, port, &c. she is also put on a list, as in turn for a lighter to discharge. Next proceed to the custom-house taking with you, ship's register, list of crew, and if you have it, a third copy of bills of lading; when Mr. B's clerk will prepare the declaration, which must be done with care; and information for preparing which, had better be obtained before arriving in port. It must contain a list of all stores, provisions, &c. on board, as well as any new or unused clothes, natural or artificial curiosities, &c.; any trifling article, if at all unusual, found on board, when the vessel is searched, and not inserted in the declaration, will subject the roaster to a heavy fine, besides the confiscation of the article. After the lapse of a few hours, the ensign must be hoisted at the main, the officers will then come on board, and search the vessel: when this is done the discharge may be commenced so soon as a lighter can be procured. The officer on board will remove the seals from the hatchways, previous to discharging, and every day on the discharge being finished, the vessel will be visited by the proper officer, who will seal all up again. In discharging, or loading from lighters, where hatchways are sealed up, never permit any of the crew to break the seals. This must only be done by the proper officer, otherwise the vessel is subject to a heavy fine. The vessel being discharged, by hoisting the ensign at the fore the clearing officer will come on board. A strict search is now made, the declaration formerly made at the custom-house produced, and every thing on board is expected to correspond with it. If there is a greater quan tity of wine, cigars, spirits, or other stores on board, than the law