페이지 이미지
PDF

in rainy squalls, although the ship never went more than three knots, and was frequently becalmed. That part of the stream which goes out of the Boca Grande on the west side, turns round the north-west point of Paria, and runs down that coast with such velocity, that if a ship* bound to Trinidad falls in with the land to leeward of this point, though never so little, she must immediately stand to the northward at least as far as 13° lat. out of the greatest force of the current,and work up to Grenada, liefore she again attempts the Bocas. Even then, if she cannot lie S.E.b.S. at least, her reaching them will be very doubtful, and her best way will be to go through the passage between Kick-'era- Jenny and Carriacou, in order to weather Grenada before she gets into the strong lee current which prevails between that island and Trinidad, and renders it very difficult for ships to fetch Point Saline from the Bocas. In general they only reach about four or five leagues to leeward of Grenada.

These difficulties of the navigation which greatly obstruct the communication between Trinidad and the islands to the northward of it, render it an improper place for a naval arsenal. A ship disabled in action or otherwise under the lee of Martinique or the neighbouring islands, the common scene of naval operations, might indeed fetch Grenada from thence, but it would be scarcely possible for her to get to the Bocas; and if she failed, and fell into the lee current thereabouts, she would he fortunate to reach even Torlola.

A good ship will require from eight to twelve days to go from Trinidad to Barbados, which would be a great loss of time, in case she should be wanted there after refitting. To this is to be added the scarcity of water, in situations from which a fleet might be supplied. At present it would be impossible to procure sufficient for that purpose in any reasonable space of time.

Nautical Remarks.

The north coast of Trinidad is quite bold, with the following exceptions. Off Point Galere a rock to the eastward three-quarters of a mile, often visible; and I suspect that some sunken ones lie still further out, and also within it. From Point Galere to Reefs Point, one mile and a half, a reef extends about one-third of a mile from the shore; go no nearer than twelve fathoms. To the eastward of Paria Bay there are several rocks along the shore: the furthest off lie about a league to leeward of it, and one-third of a mile from the land. At night do not stand into less than fifteen fathoms. A reef extends about half

* Sunday, May 27th, 1804, stood from Point Saline to the Boca;", but though the ship lay S.S.E-, and went on an average three and a half knots, yet we fetched five leagues to leeward of the Bocas. Stood to the northward again, but owinj; to culms under the lee of Grenada, we were not able to get up to the Carriacou Passage till Thursday night, when we attempted to get through, but were driven back by the current. On Friday morning we attempted it again, but as we lay only S.S.E. we could not weather the islands close to Grenada although we had weathered the Island Aux Jantes and Islet Monde ; we ran to leeward between Grenada and London bridge (a rock midway between Grenada and Islet Ronde.) The current sets with great rapidity here to leeward, not less than three knots. On Saturday morning, having a smart breeze, we again attempted the Carriacou Passage, and though the ship lay only S.S.E J E. she got through very well, weathered Grenada about three leagues. At midnight made Trinidad, and on Sunday morning entered the Bocas.

ENLARGED SERIES.—NO. 9 VOL. FOR 1841. 4 H

a mile to the eastward of Point Chupara; and off the western part of this point a rock lies S.E.b.S. 700 feet from the land,—the sea breaks on it. The soundings on this side lie several miles off, and are almost regular. Four miles N.b.W- from Point Galere, there are twenty-two fathoms, half a mile further forty, sand and mud.

Three miles and a half north from Point San Souci . . 23 fathoms
"N.b.W. from Point Rio Grande 20"

"N.N.W. from Point Matelot .17"

Five miles and a half N.N.E. from Paria .... 13"
Two miles and a half N.b.W. from the river Macapow 21"
Three-quarters of a mile from Point Chupara ... 16"

Five leagues N.b.W. from Escouvns 78"

Five miles and a half north from Maraccas Bay ... 43"
Six miles and a half north from Macaripe Point . . 60"
Seven leagues N.b.E. from Boca Mono 03"

These depths decrease gradually towards the shore, very close to which are six, seven, and eight fathoms: the bottom being everywhere good, Sand and mud, you may choose your anchorage on any part of this coast; taking the precaution not to go into the bays to leeward of Maraccas, as the high mountains prevent the wind therefrom blowing home, and the swell in such a case renders it difficult to manage a ship.

To anchor at Toco Bay bring Reefs Point E.h.S., and Harris house S.S.E. i E., you will be in twelve fathoms muddy bottom, nearly three quarters of a mile from the land. But it is not a good place to lie at, as a great swell sets in. Harris's house is on a little hill at the north side of the bay, and is distinguishable, being the largest in that neighbourhood.

The Ulysses anchored at the following places:—Rio Grande Bay,in nine fathoms; the east end of the sandy bay S.b.E. i E., aud the • north rocky point E.h.S. two-fifths of a mile. In nine fathoms and a half off Point Matelot, which bore E.SE., three-fifths of a mile. In fourteen fathoms off the river Paria. The island on the east side of it bearing S.b.E. £ E., half a mile. In Escouvas Bay in nine fathoms; Point Chupara N.E.b.E., Fort Abecrombie E.N.E., and the large house to the north of the bay S.h.W.

This is by far the best place for anchoring on the north coast. Maraccas hay is much larger, but is more subject to calms and sudden shiftings of the breeze.

Off I. Saut d'eau, in twenty-three fathoms, the body of the island, S.b.E., three-quarters of a mile, and the north point of Chaca-chacare open about 3" to the northward of Macaripe Point.

The land immediately about Point Galere is not above fifty feethgh; it increases in height towards the west, and about Boca begins to connect itself with the chain of mountains which run along the whole north coast, from Rio Grande to the Bocas. At Rio Grande it is high water at 4h. 30m., full and change, and between this and Point Chupara the last two hours of the ebb, and sometimes the whole of it sets to the eastward along the shove.

Nautical remarks on the Boca*.

The great depth of water in the largest of the Bocas prevents anchor

ing in any part of them, except very close to the Bhore. A ship may anchor any where in Boca Mono, but in deep water thirty or forty fathoms in the mid-channel. The beds of these channels are much deeper than the bottom, either within or without them, as if they had been thus worn away by the constant operation of the northern current which runs through them. In autumn, its rapidity at times is so great, that ships are frequently driven out again, after having entered one of the passages with a good breeze; during the rest of the year, its rate may commonly be estimated about two or three knots, but close to the south-west point of Chaca-chacare, I have always found it much stronger ;* except in autumn, the tide of flood which sets through them into the Gulf of Paria, has a considerable power towards the top of high water in checking this current, and at spring tides I have seen the water perfectly slack in Boca Mono for an hour, and very nearly so in Boca Huevo. Boca Mono (the east mouth,) is only a-third of a mile over, and should not be attempted by aship, except in a case of necessity, as the wind seldom blows in any certain direction through it.

In May, 1803, on our return from surveying the north coast, when we came off Boca Mono, the "wind appearing to blow fairly through, I determined to attempt to pass it;+ we effected it, but barely did it, being two hours before we got round Taitrons Point. It was noon when we entered the passage, and I think it impossible for a ship to get through early in the day, before the sea breeze is strongly made.

There are two good bays on the east shore of this passage, Taitrona and the Carenage. At the head of the latter a line-of-battle ship might lay secured to the shore, land-locked. Off the sandy shore which forms the east side of this bay, there is a bank which shoals suddenly; it will be necessary therefore to keep on the north shore if you should have occasion to work up so far. You may anchor any where at the south of this passage, and all along the south side of Mono. Deherts Bay affords excellent anchorage, and there is deep water far into it; we anchored off the mouth of it in fifteen fathoms, the south point bearing S.E.b.S-, and found the bottom there so clayey and tough, that we were an hour heaving with every exertion after the cable was up and down, before the anchor would start.

Boca Huevo, Egg Passage, (or as it is now more commonly called Parasol or Umbrella Passage,) is safe to attempt to run in at, if the wind hangs to the north-east, as it will then probably blow quite through the passage; at any rate, if you cannot stem the current, you have ample room to back and fill your ship out again. Her Majesty's ship Dromedary was cast away in this passage, hut as it was in a dark night, and they were strangers, it affords no material objection to it. Keep on the lee side to avoid being becalmed by the high land of Mono. We seldom used any other passage to enter the gulf; the shore is bold, but care must be taken to avoid a rock at the south-west point of Mono. Although it is not above a ship's length from the point, the eddy of the flood tide at the springs sets directly over it, and in a calm we narrowly escaped it. Boca Navios (the third,) may be safely entered, if when

* I have seen it run there more than fire knots in April,
t In the Ulvsaei.

you haul round the west end of Huevo, (at a quarter or one-third of a mile distance,) you can lay up high enough to bring the south point of Huevo on your starboard bow, so as to have the current under your lee, otherwise it will be improper to attempt it, as the current does not run quite fairly out, but rather inclines down on Chaca-chacare. This remark must be attended to also in going out, and it will then be found a very good outlet, far better than the Parasol Passage, though I should prefer coming in from sea by the latter.

June the 5th, 1804, at 7 r.M., weighed from Chaguararaus, but falling calm, it was ten o'clock next morning before we got to the south point of Huevo, intending to go out through Boca Navios. Here we found such a strong current setting to the E.S.E. round that point, that being unable to stem it, we let her drive out through the Parasol Passage, which took up two hours to perform, owing to a number of eddies and opposite currents formed by the tide of flood setting in, and contending with the usual stream setting outwards. It was high water in the Hocus this day at about half-past noon, being three days before the new moon.

Boca Grande is of great extent and free from danger, except a small rock on which are three fathoms water, one-third of a mile west from the south point of Chaca-chacare. It is small and difficult to hit;— you will be clear of it when the whole of the high land of the peninsula at Chaguaran.us is open to the southward of the rock, at the south point of Chaca-chacare. The altitude of the south-west mountain at that point is 7° 50', taken from its top to the sea at its foot, in a boat anchored on the rock. It flows 2h. 30m. full and change.

The bay at Chaca-chacare is very spacious, but the wind in it is so baffling that we were obliged to warp in and out, and I apprehend the same thing would happen nine times out of ten to a ship going in there. At the head of this bay is a low sandy neck, which nearly divides the island into two parts; over this, we frequently launched our small boats into Boca Grande to fish. To the southward of this low neck, there are some rocks scattered along the shore, about a cable's length distant from it.

We anchored at the head of the great bay in thirteen fathoms, the low sandy neck bearing W.b.N. four hundred yards. The ground here is as tough as at Mono Island, and the mud which the cable and hawsers brought up was extremely foul and offensive.

Chaguaramus Bay is very spacious, and affords good anchorage,— the shores are bold except off the large plantation of Mono. Dert, which is situated in the principal valley on the north side, where a shoal extends six hundred yards from the shore ;—its outer edge trends to the W.N.W. It is very steep. You may anchor in this bay anywhere, hut the most convenient spot for a ship wanting to water is in twelve fathoms; when the east end of Gaspar Grande bears S.b.E., and the point to the north of Gasparillo is on with Taitrona Point. We lost an anchor in this hay, it having hooked the wreck of one of the Spanish line-of-battle ships, which were burnt here at the taking of the island, —it lays in seventeen fathoms. The western Diego Island, open 1° 10' of Escondida Point, and the north extren.e of Gai-par Grande W.b.S. A ship or two may water very well heie. The tide flows here at full and change three hours by the shore, but ah. 30in. at the anchoring place; the flood sets to the eastward and the'ebb to the westward. It rises about five feet. The flood runs only five hours and a quarter.

The Carenage would be an excellent harbour for merchantmen, but it is too shoal for men-of-war.

A mile and a half from Port Spain, the round white tower on a hill over it, bearing N.E.b.E. there are three and a half fathoms very soft mud but you may anchor anywhere. Your ship will turn the soft mud up long before she gets into a good place to anchor, which should be in about three feet more water than she draws. The water is always perfectly smooth. The tide flows here, at full and change 5h. 30m. The flood comes from the west and the ebb from the south-east. The water is slack one hour and a half at high and low water.

The gulf of Paria is of great extent: the water is not very deep iu any part of it, and the bottom very good sand and mud,—ships may anchor all over it. The soundings are not quite regular, though nearly so, there being some small banks with six or seven fathoms on them, five or six leagues from the shore. Running down the coast to the southward of Port Spain, observe that off a point of mangroves eight miles distant there are only two and a half fathoms one mile and three-quarters from the land. Naparima hill is easily known, it stands single on the shore, and is about 600 feet high. Seven miles to the north-west of it, there are two and a half fathoms two miles off the land, and this bank is steep with ten fathoms not far without it. To not stand into less than four and a half fathoms between Point de Brea and Point Cedro. A rock called the Barrel of Beef, lays two-thirds of a mile W.b.N. from the latter. Between Point Cedro and the Gallos the shore is flat,—you may be guided by your lead.

Nautical Remarks on the East Coast.

A ship coming from the eastward, and making the body of the island, will see the mountain of L'Ebranche ahead of her, and a flat low shore extending from thence to the northward, bounded by a considerable range of high mountains,* To the south of L'Ebranche she will see another andmore extensive low shore at the extremity of which are the hills of Guaya-guayare, The soundings lie a long distance. from the land, particularly at the south point and shoal gradually. The body of the island bearing W.b.N. fourteen leagues, fifty-six fathoms, and west eight leagues, forty fathoms.

Care must be taken to avoid a sunken rock which lies six or seven leagues from the land. I was not able to bestow time enough to hit on it; but having found a bank with only sixteen fathoms on it,whilst there was much deeper water round it, not far from the place where I was told to look for the rock, I conjecture it is somewhere on this bank; which lies S.EjE. seven leagues from point Galere, and E.b.N. from the mountain of L'Ebranche; Manzanilla point distant six leagues and a half. There is no doubt of its existence; vessels have been wrecked

■ The north mountains hereabouts may be estimated at 2,000 feet. Mountain of I/Ebrancha 1,000 feet (b> conjecture) us I have not measured it. Hills of Guavguayara measured 7G0 feet. '1 hia may serve as a guide to know them.

« 이전계속 »