페이지 이미지
PDF

latitude south, 50° 24' and 52° 20' east long., are five in number, and are divided into two groups. The largest of the western groups is Ho£ Isle, which is mountainous and high; the coast in many places steep without any bay or anchorage for ships. The only parts which are at all accessible, and that with difficulty, are a few places on the eastern coast. It abounds with wild hogs and seals: at the distance of nine or ten miles E. 40° S , from the southern point of this isle is a dangerous reef which appeared to extend about a cable's length. It blew a gale all night, which made the danger formidable.

• "About eight or nine miles to the north-east of the island are the Twelve Apostles, which, strictly speaking are connected together. Formed by two islets of moderate height separated by a narrow channel, and surrounded by ten or twelve small rocks, they appeared inaccessible on all sides. A danger is reported to lie three miles south east of the Apostles, but we could not see it.

"The most southerly of the Marion Group is Penguin Isle, formed by two very elevated and closely situated islets. It is six miles in circumference, and has the appearance of a sugar-loaf when seen from the north-east;—it abounds with seals. The eastern group is composed of the Possession Island and the Eastern Isle. To the south-east of the former one is a small bay, about a quarter of a mile in depth, and about half that in width, called the ' Hay of Navire.' It is situated at the termination of a deep valley, from whence a stream of delicious water runs into the sea. Being open to the east and south-east winds which seldom blow with much violence, but sufficiently so as to produce a high sea and considerable surf, it is then very dangerous; but these winds seldom blow between November and the end of February. Tbe north-west wind which comes down the valley is very violent, and when the north-east and south-west winds, which blow along the coast are strong, the surf breaks violently, and renders the communication with the land very difficult. Vessels intending to remain here any time, should ride with strong chains secured to the rocks on the shores of the bay, with the strongest chain to starboard, on account of the sea. The Bay of Navire is the best of all the islands, and the most frequented by fishermen: water is easily found there. Its latitude is 46° 26' 18" south, longitude 51° 50' east, and the variation 35° west. Two miles to the north of the Bay of Navire is the Bay of Chaloupe, which offers no shelter except for boats. Three miles further to the northward is American Bay, tolerably large; a ship anchored in eight fathoms water at two cables' length from a rock on the starboard side of the bay on entering, is tolerably protected from any wind between north and south by the west;—the bottom is sand and rock. It is not advisable to stay long at this anchorage,—good water is found in a small river at the bottom of the bay. Three miles further north is Hebe Bay, where a vessel of that name was lost in 1831. It is small, and only tit for boats, which may find shelter under the lee of a rock in the middle of it. The western coast, with the exception of a reef lying three or four miles off the western point of Possession Isle, is clear of danger, but as the sea there runs extremely high, it should be carefully avoided under a light wiud or uncertain weather.

"The Eastern Isle, t' e most eastern of all the islands, is very high and steep, access to it being only attained by a very small bay, situated on its north-west part. It is not favourable for fishing, although seals in great numbers find more shelter on its southern side than on any of the other Islands. All these islands are plainly visible in clear weather, at the distance of twenty and twenty-five leagues, but like Prince Edward Island they are totally destitute of trees or bushes. Being nearly always covered with snow the only vegetation is grass, and a very hard sort of hollow stemmed moss, which grows on a soil nearly everywhere marshy, as well as on the sides of the mountains. This moss is of a reddish colour, and when squeezed emits a juice of the Same colour. The islands are an asylum for a prodigious number of birds of several species, and three kinds of penguins, viz. the royal, the tufted, and the common.

"During our short stay at this anchorage, the barometer remained steady between 23 8 and 28-9, and the thermometer at about 45°. With the exception of a trifling fall of snow, the sea was still and the weather very fine.'1 We shall follow the Heroine from these islands in our next number.

iEoi.UN Researches.—No. XI.
(Of the seventeenth century.—Continued from p. 195.)

It might likewise be inquired into, what prognostiques the seamen have of the weather, in all parts of the world, where they have different sorts of tempests: I am inform'd, that they also commonly observe, when the wind has been long in one quarter, if it passe into a quarter of the like quality, it is seldome constant, but reverts to the former : as suppose the east, if it change to the north, it frequently returns, but if it passe by the south, and follow the sun, the weather probably changes for some continuance, and not per saltum, as if it should skip from the east, to the west, or from the north to the south, for then it's seldome holding. It is not my design to multiply instances of this nature, I only offer at some few, to compare the mutations of the weather, with those of the wind; and questionlesse in a long tract of time, they might be reduced to some more certain rules, then those in Aristotle or Pliny; at least better calculated for an island; which being invaded on all sides by the sea vapors and winds, seldome enjoys the same serene face of the heavens, for any long time together; but is generally farre more obnoxious to all changes of weather, then the continent.

Next, what certainty there is in any astrologicall predictions, as by the age, or phasis of the moon, appearance, or conjunction of the starrs, &c. The rise of the Orion is more particularized in authors; but seems to be rather a concomitant of other causes, then of it selfe, the efficient of winds.

So likewise, what information we might receive from all sorts of Trades; of what concernment it might be for vintners to have their cellar windows exposed to this, or that wind; since Michael Angelus Blondus in his book of Navigation, affirms, that the easterly, and paduanus in his treatise of winds, that the southerly, have a very sensible operation on the wines in the cask. I have heard that some of the Vertuosi who pretend to great skill in ordering of cidar, find by experience, that certain winds set it a fermenting more then others, and render it turbid and thick; so that when they perceive them coming to such a point of the compasse, they critically observe the just time for boiling it, to prevent these inconveniences. Rules have been prescrib'd to drugslers, and apothecarys upon this account, for the preserving their medicines: and happily some remarks might be taken from cabinet-makers, joyners, and other mechanicall artists, in the drying and seasoning their materials, that migh conduce a fuller history of winds.

Lastly, it would be no lesse beneficiall to the advancement of natural knowledge, to detect the falsity of those assertions, which have been long receiv'd in the world, from the great reputation of their authors. As for example, those which are set down by Aristotle, in the second of his Meteors, and in the book of Problems, where he endeavours to explicate severall phenomena of the air and winds; as in the first section, Probl. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. 19. 23; and in the twenty-sixth section, Probl.3. 9. 13, 14, 15, 16. 18. 21, 22. 25. 37, 38. 40. 42. 48, 49. 56. 58. which I mention more particularly, because I find my Lord Bacon, in his chapter concerning the qualities of winds, follows exactly the traces of Aristotle; and the generality of peripaletique writers have made it their non ultra, daring to adventure no further in these enquiries then was prescrib'd to them by that great genius of nature. So likewise the sentiments of Thenphrastu? deliver'd in his Book of Winds, and the rest of the ancient placits ought to be more thoroughly examin'd; before we receive them for infallible: many things in Pliny that relate to this argument, might be considerable, were they not suspected to be generally false. But since the too great veneration of antiquity, has iniposM so many vulgar errors on the credulous world, it will be the most generous design, first to free our minds from those prejudices we have taken up from Tradition, and upon this foundation to superstruct a more real and experimental philosophy.

I have only mention'd some few observations of that infinite variety, with which this fruitfull argument will entertain the curious: and so from their causes and qualities, proceed to the prognostiques of winds.

First we might enquire what the radiant, sanguine, pallid, nubilous, or other appearances of the sun signify to the predictions of winds.

What the age or eclipse of the moon, the pick'd or obtuse figure; the greater resplendency of the lunar horns, or the conjunction of it with other planets: likewise halos about the sun, or moon, the shooting or twinkling of Starrs, &c , whether these may be accounted prognostiques of winds i. In like manner, if the sun seem bigger then ordinary, or dart more refulgent beams; or if it rise in a cloud of the same colour, &c. All these different appearances of the heavenly bodys proceed chiefly from refraction, the visual rays being distorted by the density of the medium: and the collection of those rorid and nebulous vapors in the air, that cause these unusual perceptions in our sense, may first generate halos, and afterward descend in tempests, or winds.

Some prognosticate from comets and eclipses: and it would be farther worth remarque; what connexion there is between certain species of thunder or lightnings, and wind; what predictions may be taken from the colours, motion, and as it were several storys, and ranges of clouds, or the suddain appearance of any single one above the horizon, in an extraordinary serene and peaceful sky, as we observe in tornados.

Others have been no lesse superstitious from the suddain paleness of fires, from the roaring of the sea, from the resounding of echos, or a noise heard from the shoars, which happens many times before the levants blow in the Mediterranean; or if there be a murmur in the mountains, or clouds without thunder; or if the sea seeme to rise, or swell, in those places where there is no sensible wind to irritate it. Some have employ'd their curiosity, in making predictions from birds, and water-fowle, from ravens, and crows, the playing of porpuses and dolphins, the spinning of spiders, the leaping of fishes above the water, &c. Innumerable of this nature maybe had from Aristotle, Pad uani us, Petrus de Medina, Ricciolus, Fournier; though for the most part fallible and uncertain, we might offer at the philosophicall reasons of some prognostiques; but those, which have any evident connexion between the causes and effects, may be solu'd from the former discourses.

But (as I before noted) the great inequalities in the superficies of the earth, the several obstacles and repercussions from mountains, the different situations of the places, and mediums in which they blow, the distance of those countries from the poles of the world: Their respects to the course of the sun: whether they comply with, or resist the naturall motion of the air from east to west, &c, have so many intricate, and nice speculations, that it will be hard to lay down any perfect theory of winds. Yet certain it is, that most mutations which happen in the air either as to heat, cold, or such like qualities, are chiefly occasion'd by the diversities of winds; which, for the time they blow, are the soveraign lords of the atmosphere, and influence, and dispose of it as they please: Beside this, they help to sustaine, or dissolve the clouds; they ventilate and purifie the stagnant air, preserving it from putrefaction, and by this means are the greatest benefactors to mankind.

Their number and distribution, has been very different in the time of Homer, only 4, of Strabo 6, of Andronicus Chyrrestes, 8, though in strictness, we may suppose as many several sorts of winds, as points in the whole horizontall arch. The Romans came to 12: others have very aptly multiply'd their number to 16; 4 answering to the cardi. nail points of the heaven, and 3 collateral^ between every cardi nail wind: but the moderns, since the encrease of navigation, have divided their compass into 32 points, known in these parts, by the Dutch or German names; and by the Italian, in the Mediterranean Seas.

The following prognostic of a storm occurs in an ancient ballad, entitled " Sir Patrick Spens," of Scottish history :—

"I saw the new moon, late yestreen,
V\Y the auld moon in her arm!
And if wc gang to sea master,
I fear we'll come to harm."

Notes On Trinidad In 1803.—By Capt. Q. II. Columbine, R.N.

(Concluded from p. 593.)

The Currents.—The western tropical currents occasioned by th<* trade wind being confined by the trending of the coast of South America; and thus thrown in collected force upon Trinidad, runs there with great strength; which is still further increased along its shores by the obstruction which itself presents against the free course of the stream; and by the Oronoque, which flowing through plains subject to periodical inundations, and emptying itself near this island, greatly increases the currents in its neighbourhood ; particularly about August and September, when that river is at its greatest height.

The vast river Amazons, sometimes called Orellana; the name of the first Spaniard who explored it, collecting its waters from almost half the southern continent, may perhaps, though at the remote distance of 280 leagues, contribute something to its force.

These currents vary much in their strength, at different times without any apparent cause. It is said that they ran strongest in the declining quarters of the moon; but I could not discover any satisfactory proof of this idea. Adapting itself to the coast the current runs to the northward along the east side of Trinidad; and takes a western direction between Tobago, and point Galere; round which it runs wilh such force, that it is scarcely possible, for a square-rigged vessel to beat against it, round that point, although it is sometimes effected.

Along the north coast it runs close to the shore a few leagues as far as Rio Grande, but there it often quits the shore, and takes a W.N.W. course, increasing its distance from the land, till it gets to the northward of the Bocas, where it seldom prevails within five or six leagues, being repelled by the current which runs out of those passages. There the two currents blend and run to leeward. Along the south coast they always run to the westward about one and half or two knots near point Galgota; but as the opposite shore of South America contracts this channel towards point Icaque, their strength is much increased there, and may be reckoned generally at three knots, bnt often more. From hence this body of water disperses itself over the Gulf; and along the shore is subject to the influence of the tides; but in the middle it always runs to the northward towards the Bocas, where its course being again contracted, its velocity is proportionably increased. Having passed these straits the body of this water preserves its northerly direction for five or six leagues before it falls into the common course of the stream of the ocean which is there W.N.W., but it is to be oltserved that as soon as it has passed the Bocas, a considerable part diverges to the K N.K., and either runs with some rapidity to windward, or so thoroughly destroys the effect of the western current, that a ship will seldom fail working up to Point Cbupara with ease by keeping inshore. Often this easterly current extends a considerable distance further along the north coast, as we experienced in June IS04, when we worked up to Rio Grande from Huero in twenty-five hours, by help of the currents and occasional shiltingsof the wind a few points

« 이전계속 »