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of sugar cane and millet; the former appeared healthy but very small. The soil generally a reddish clay and sand, and in many parts very rocky. Passed several small villages but saw few inhabitants, and very few females except children, and all of the lower order. It is difficult to distinguish the females from the males, their dress being the same. About sunset returned to our camp.
(To be concluded in our next.)
OBSERVATIONS ON THE NAVIGATION OF THE Baltic, AND Gulf of
Finland, To PETERSBURGH, with the customs of the trade.--By the
(Concluded from page 224.)
In laying the concluding part of this paper before our readers, there are one or two subjects in it on which we may add a comment. It would, in the first place, be desirable that the light-vessel were stationed off the Knobben rock, alluded to in p. 18, as it is evident that the light of Anholt, seven miles off, cannot be seen from a ship in its vicinity in thick weather. The passing trade would benefit much by: such a measure, and we recommend the advice of our correspondent to their attention, not doubting that the Danish authorities would readily attend to any suggestion which has for its object the improvement of navigation. The next subject is, the proposal of our correspondent for stationing a beacon, or light vessel, at the extremity of the reef off Falsterbo Point, as “the lighthouse on the Point is so low as to prevent its being seen at a sufficient distance," and "there is nothing to indicate the vessel's approach to the danger except judging of the distance from the land." This proposal is no less important than the former, and we trust will meet with attention from the Swedish authorities, who cannot be otherwise than ready to do their part in taking any measures that “ are indispensably necessary to the safe navigation of the Baltic.” With respect to the Baltic lights generally, we are glad to hear so good a character of the Russian lights, and wish we could say as much for the Swedish. We are satisfied, however, in the present day when improvement in almost everything around us is making such rapid strides, that the complaint of our correspondent, that the Swedish lights “are only to be seen at a very short distance," and that " 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":(!) so much improvement we say is spreading everywhere, that, we are quite sure, no apathy on the part of the Swedish authorities can prevent it from extending to the Swedish lights.' Leaving, however, these observations to the attention of our seamen with the pecular regulation of the Baltic lights, generally not being lighted in the summer months, we may point out the judicious remarks of our correspondent on shaping courses in narrow seas, recommending them to exert their own good sense with a chart and a pair of parallel rulers rather than follow implicitly the courses and distances given in the books of directions, and thereby run the risk of losing their ships. In fact, the whole remarks of our correspondent are worthy of special attention they are particular useful to those who have not before made a voyage up the Baltic, and not only for his remarks on the navigation in general, but for those on the proceedings at Petersburgh with the authorities and the information concerning cargo, our shipmasters will be very much obliged to him.-[Ep. N.M.]
The ship being ready to receive cargo, a note will be sent on board by the agent, stating that a lighter is arrived, her number, &c.; the
master, or mate, will then proceed to the floating custom-house, and Tequest the cocket for the goods, (called a yerlick), which being first entered in a book, and that book signed by the receiver, is delivered. The craft may then go alongside the vessel, and when ready to discharge, an officer must be procured from the floating custom-house to take off the seals from the lighter's hatchway. Should the cargo come down in a barge, or cutter, (as they are called), the yerlick will be procured at the same place as before named, and on being taken to the officer stationed at the rooms, between the vessel and the landing-place, will be signed by him; the craft may then proceed alongside and discharge without further ceremony. A few days before the vessel is loaded, request the agent to procure the outward pass from Petersburgh. Without this precaution the vessel may be delayed when otherwise ready for sea. When loaded, take all the yerlicks for the cargo, as well as the provision yerlick, (which will have been procured on arrival, from the agent's clerk, to enable the vessel's stores to be taken on board), and proceed to the floating custom-house. Then a manifest will be made out, which, when ready, will be carried to the agent's office. Bills of lading must now be signed, and the cash account settled with the cashkeeper, which being done, the pass and manifest will be carried to the clerk at the custom-house, when the trifling duties exacted on the ship's stores being paid, in about two hours the pass will be delivered. It must then be taken to the floating custom-house where its contents are entered in a book, thence taken to the inner guard-ship, and signed by the captain of the port, which being done, the vessel is at liberty to haul out and proceed to sea. On approaching the outer guard-ship care must be taken to heave to in time; when the pass is signed by the officer, sail may be made for Elsinore, where on arrival, the pass, bills of lading, &c., being taken on shore, the vessel will soon be cleared for her destination.
In stowing cargoes it is customary to employ Russian labourers, they can be hired cheap. The stowage of hemp and flax, however, becomes expensive, as the price paid for the use of screws is high, and they occupy much time. Tallow and other articles are less expensive in stowage, and occupy less time. A vessel of 250 tons register, which loaded 340 casks of tallow, and 120 tons of hemr, cost about £25 for screws and labourers.
The following comparative rates and other memoranda connected with the trade, I give on the authority of the Hull trader already mentioned. As he is a well informed man of great experience and observation, I am confident they may be relied upon, although in some instances they may vary from the printed rates.
Bristles. It is customary to receive 2s. 6d. to 5s. per ton more for bristles than tallow; if the latter is at £1 10s. it is the same as bristles, at £1 12s. 6d., as five casks of tallow and three casks of bristles occupy the same room.
Deals and Battens. One standard dozen = 72 feet. Ships of 200 tons register take 34 std. dozen per ton register, 0.m.; 300, 4 to 44.; 400, 4 to 44 ; 500, 44 to 5.
Junk. Ships take of good tarred junk, 10 per cent, more than their register tonnage.
Bones. Ships of good size will take 10 to 15 per cent. more than their register tonnage.
A ship of 270 tons took 320 tons of bones, and 80 tons of iron.
Rips are however preferable frieght, as at £2 10s. per ton for clean hemp, the ship gains about 3s. per ton on taking rips.
Linseed and Grain.-Ships will take of linseed 10 to 104 chetworts ; wheat hard 9 to 92, and soft 10 ditto; rye 10 to 10 ditto; oats 12 to 124 ditto; barley 11 to 111 ditto, per ton register. The ship will gain 6 to 8 per cent, on the weight of the grain, when allowed to leave out the empty mat bags in which it is brought alongside. A chetwort is 5 Winchester bushels.
Flax. Twenty-eight bobbins 9 heads, or 46 bobbins 6 heads, equal one ton weight.
Tallow. A tier is estimated at 2 feet in depth. Three casks to a ton register is the usual calculation for ships of 250 tons and upwards, and some ships of 200 tons take 3 casks to a ton register, A ship will turn out 2 tons of tallow, beyond 21 casks per ton, gross weight, for each 100 casks; 100 casks tallow, equal 42 tons gross.
For example a ship of 200 tons register, at 3 casks equal 600 casks, equal 252 tons.
600 casks at 21 casks, per ton equal 240 tons
25216 Hemp and Flax. Ships of 70 tons to 100 tons stow one-third less than their regular lonnage; 100 to 150 tons, three-tenths ; 150 to 200 tons, one-fourth; and 200 to 300 tons, one-fifth; but many full-built vessels, especially Scotch, will take their register tonnage of clean hemp, and flax. Flax as cargo is more profitable than hemp by 8 or 10 per cent. Instead of the proportions of printed rates, which are per outshot one-eighth more than clean hemp, it should be one-twelfth only; and half clean hemp one-fourth more than clean, it should be one-sixth only,
Potashes usually pay the same freight as tallow; but they are worse for a ship by about 5 per cent. If tallow be 30s., potashes should be 31s. 6d. per ton.
Freights. If tallow 30s. clean hemp should be 50s. to 52s. 6d. per ton; linseed 4s. 6d., wheat 58., rye 4s., oats 3s. 9d. per quarter, and deals 80s. per standard hundred : these are fair comparative rates for shipowners, taking the stowers' charges into calculation,
NB. All the regular tons here alluded to, are by the old measurement, 5 casks tallow, 3 casks bristles, 100 casks tallow, or 27 to 28 tons clean hemp, or 27 to 30% tons clean flax, occupy the same room.
Sixty cubic feet of tallow in measurement, and 85 feet clean hemp in bundles, equal a ton weight. One ton of flax codilla occupies 12 to 15 of a ton register; iron, hemp, flax, potashes, tallow, oil, &c. are calculated at 63 ps. per ton; and bristles, hides, wax, &c. at 44 ps. per ton.
Provisions and stores for ships' use may be procured cheaper in Cronstadt, than in England, such as beef, bread, canvas, cordage, spars, &c. All these articles may be procured of good quality, except the first; and it should be remembered, that beef cured in the summer season will not
keep many weeks; beef of a much better quality, and at a moderate price can always be procured at Elsinore.
The mole which contains the shipping is a large and commodious dock, enclosed with a massive stone wall, which is thickly studded with heavy guns, mounted en Barbette. The vessels lay in tiers, moored to dolphins, or large posts well secured to the bottom. The mole for the men-of-war is immediately contiguous; it is very extensive and commodious, having at its upper end, the various storehouses, workshops, dry docks, admiralty, &c. None of the men-of-war however, are built in Cronstadt, they are constructed in Petersburg, and floated over the bar, in an immense praam constructed on purpose.
So many stories are related in England by the masters of vessels trading to Russia, of the oppression of the custom-house regulations, and tyranny of the various officers, in the execution of their duty, that I went to Petersburg very much prejudiced against the place, and all connected with it. I left it, however, with a very different opinion. I can safely say, that in the many countries I have visited, and amongst all the authorities I have been temporarily subjected to, I have never met with more civility or consideration, than I did in Russia. I cer. tainly treated every one I had to do business with, in a civil and respectful manner, but I never gave a single ruble as a bribe, the attention, therefore, that I met with did not proceed from interested motires. A great many of the difficulties which are constantly arising to British masters of vessels and the authorities, proceed in my opinion, from both parties being ignorant of the languages; and truth compels me to say, not a few, from the obstinacy, rudeness, and “ John Bullism” of my countrymen. I always endeavour to judge charitably of every class of my professional brethren, and I have no hesitation in saying, that I have met in Russia, masters of British coasters and colliers, well informed, respectable men, who would do honor to any class of shipmasters. But I must at the same time affirm, that in Cronstadt, I have met with a set of men in that situation, from whom a very poor opinion of my countrymen could be formed. Meeting them on shore during the day, you could scarcely recognize them from their own crews; dirty, unshaven, and ill-dressed : at night they were to be found in a grog shop or brothel amusing themselves in their own peculiar way. I have seen such men go on business into the custom-house, or on board the guardship, advance into the inner room of the principal officer, with hands in their pockets, hats on their heads, and in a surly, gruff tone, and in the broad patois of tbeir native province, demand the paper, or whatever else they may have come for. In such cases, I have seen them treated with indifference, but it was certainly excusable. Another frequent cause of disturbance with this class, is quarrelling with the poor custom-house officer stationed on board their vessel, while the inward cargo remains on board ; these men are old soldiers, who have been promoted to this situation as a reward for long and faithful service, and good conduct, accustomed from their youth up, to the strict discipline of the Russian army, they are disposed to perform their duty as custom-house officers, in a strict and literal manner; but I have always found them civil, and respectful, and willing to accommodate so far as they can. I again say, I had every reason to be pleased with my treatment, and
think it perfectly possible for a man to transact his business with the authorities with every satisfaction.
All the merchants reside in Petersburg, the business in Cronstadt being transacted through the agent; to the city, therefore, the shipmaster must proceed, if he wishes to obtain a freight, or communicate personally with his consignee. The communication between the two places is now regular, being maintained twice a day by steamers ; this is a decided convenience, as by going in the morning boat from Cronstadt, the mer. chant may be visited, the Exchange attended, and a return effected by the evening boat. Previous, however, to going, a passport is required, which is procured by the agent, one general pass serving for the period of the vessel's stay in port.
I have never been in any country where business is conducted by British merchants in so aristocratic and exclusive manner as in Russia. On arriving in Cronstadt, the ship-master must put himself under the hands of one man, the merchants only acknowledging one agent, the stranger has no recourse to any other, no remedy if he feels aggrieved by the agent's conduct. I am not now alluding to the present agent, but to the system on which he acts. On the contrary, Mr. Booker the present factotum, is a venerable and highly respectable gentleman, who has for many years conducted the business in such a manner, as to gain almost universal satisfaction ; indeed I never saw an establishment where business is conducted so systematically, or attended to so promptly. Mr. Booker being also British vice-consul, has his own share of annoyances. Whenever an apprentice has been chastised by his master, or a sailor, turns lazy, and quarrels with the mate about his grub or his grog, they instantly appeal to Mr. Booker, whose patience on some occasions is very severely tried. I remember being present one evening when two or three of the crew of a North Country brig, sulky, demure looking fellows appeared, complaining of the want of beef; the master also a respectable “canny" north countryman was present. The oldest of the party, whose rolling eye gave evidence of his having lately taken a quantity of “ votkey," became speaker and stated his complaint. The master was appealed to, who proved by the butcher's book that 2lbs. a man per day was served out to them, besides vegetables for soup and potatoes, with bread at discretion. Mr. Booker told the speaker he was perfectly satisfied the master's statement was correct, as he had known him for many years, that he had no doubt the deficiency arose from the cook's roguishness; advised him to find out if the cook did not sell part of the meat in order to purchase grog, if he did, to report him, and he should be severely punished. During Mr. Booker's address, I could see something like a smile on the countenance of the other men, and an ill suppressed laugh on the part of the master, who told Mr. Booker when the men were gone, that he had been addressing himself particularly to the very rogue, he being cook. I thought at the time, I should like to have these same fellows an eight or ten months voyage across the ocean, just to make them acquainted with salt junk and mouldy biscuit.
Proceeding to Petersburg, the master will find the method of transacting business very exclusive and arbitrary. When the cargo is delivered and the freight due, it will be paid by the merchant himself