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on it. And I know people who have teen it at very low spring tides. It is very small, and the water is deep close to it. There is a rock about three-quarters of a mile east of point Galere, and probably some sunken ones further out.
A reef stretches off from point Manzanilla half a mile; and two miles to the S.E. of this point are three rocks on which the sea always breaks. Half a mile W.b.S. from them, is a rock so small, that it scarcely makes the sea break, and is not to be seen till you are close to it. There is also some foul ground nearly the same distance K.b.N. from the three rocks; the sea breaks on it in bad weather, you shoal in one cast from nine fathoms to four and three-quarters. The N.E. part of Mayero point should not be approached within a mile, whilst it bears about west, there are several rocks off it, and much broken ground. We found in one spot three fathoms nearly three-quarter of a mile off.
A heavy swell often sets in upon this coast, which makes it unsafe for strangers to approach it too close; unless they are in ships that can work off the shore, or have good anchors and cables. There are no points which can afford the least shelter to ships, notwithstanding which they may lie in safety at the following places. Off. Salibia in six fathoms the island bearing N.b.W. 500 yards. The bay is shoal. At Manzanilla, in five fathoms, the leewardmost of the small rocky islands at the entrance of the bay bearing north-west 600 yards, and Manzanilla point N.N.E. This is by far the best anchorage on the coast, as a ship from hence will always have plenty of room to make sail, in case of necessity. A ship may lie in five fathoms good ground, off the mouth of the Ortoire; the outer rocky point bearing S.E.^.S. and the last rocky bluff to the westward bearing S.37° W. The mouth of the Ortoire south-west, off shore nearly one statute mile. A ship proposing to lie here any time should have good anchors and cables, as a prodigious swell sets in at times. Off the north part of Mavero Bay a ship may anchor in any depth of water, as it shoals very gradually.
The South Coast and the Serpents Mouth.
The only bay on this coast is Guaya-guayare; very spacious, but unfortunately so shoal that nothing can be sheltered in it, but small droghers. A mile from the land there are only three fathoms. Several rocks lie off point Galgota but all above water. After passing this bay you will have five fathoms a mile and a half from the land; in which depth you may run along the coast, taking care not to go within it. Three or four leagues to the eastward of point Icaque, a reef of rocks lies upwards of a mile from the land. Some red cliffs on the shore will nearly point out its situation. None of the south coast can properly be called mountainous, although it is very hilly, but these gradually diminish towards point Icaque, which is quite low and flat; the water deepens as you approach it, and you must keep close to the Point, rounding it at a cable's length off, to pass between it and a ■mail shoal to leeward of it. The tide sets with great velocity to the and i "T"' / Cl0Se to the south-west part of this point there are eleven north* A tthoms; i4 gradually decreases as you haul round to the
award. This passage into the gulf is called the Serpents Mouth, and
is infinitely better than that of the Bocas del Drago. I would recommend it to all merchant ships hound to Trinidad.
There is no danger whatever if they keep close round the south-west part of the point, and then steer N.b.YV. about two miles, and they are certain of entering the gulf through this passage, whilst there are many instances of ships being unable to stem the current in the Bocas del Drago. Add to this, the south coast is little frequented by French privateers; because, if they should capture any ship there, the current would compel them to take her into the Gulf of Paria, and she would have a great chance to be re-captured before she got through it.
The Soldier is a large high rock W.N.W., near two leagues from the south-west part of Point Icaque. A long reef stretches from it to the south-east and south. There is a good channel between it and the small shoal, but it is safest to go between the shoal and the point, to avoid any possibility of being carried by some eddy of the current upon the reefs.
Light-house For Morant Point, Jamaica.
In our February Number we noticed the decisions of the Commissioners for erecting a light-house on Morant Point. Since the date of that notice, the Commissioners have determined to extend and enlarge their operations considerably. Having adopted the report of Mr. Alexander Gordon, and appointed that gentleman their engineer, they have now in progress in London, and almost ready for shipment, the cast iron tower, together with the gun-metal and copper lantern.
At the eastern extremity of Morant Point a site has been chosen for the light, sixty-five feet inland from high-water mark. Under nine feet of sand, and ten feet six inches above the sea, there is a hard solid coral rock admirably adapted for a foundation. It is easily approachable from Holland wharf, distant from the site about seven miles to the northwest. Good fresh water is close at hand, plenty of coral for lime, and hard wood to burn it with.
The tower is formed of cast iron plates from one inch to seven-eights thick: each plate is (launched all round inside, and no plate exceeds a ton in weight. Ninety-three of these plates bolted together on the inside, form the shaft of the column or tower. Upon this column a cast iron cap is fixed which forms the floor of the light-room, where ths revolving machinery is placed; and it also forms the footway of the gallery outside. The footway is supported by cast iron brackets, and protected by a strong wrought iron railing. Five feet in height of the light-room or lower portion of the lantern is made of cast iron plates so as to form a polygon of sixteen sides, and upon the fop of it is fixed the gun-metal frame of the lantern. Five feet in height of the lantern, is glazed with strong plate glass all round; and covered with a copper roof, surmounted by a suitable hood. The light is a revolving one, produced by fifteen Argand lamps, and directed by fifteen highly polished paraboloidal reflectors. The revolving machine shows three faces, each face having five lamps, and five reflectors. Each face throws five beams of reflected light in one, upon the eye of the seaman, and one revolution of the machine exhibits to his eye three appearances of the light in a given time.
The speed of the machine is such that the successions of light and darkness shall he regularly maintained, and a ship cannot be deceived by any other light in the neighbourhood.
The lower portion of the cast iron tower is to be let into the coral rock six or seven feet, and the interior of that portion, and also of twenty feet above it will be filled in with hot lime, sand, gravel, and broken stone to form a concrete mass, and give stability as well as prevent vibrations: above this, floors are prepared at each ten feet hich, and the whole is to be lined inside, and well painted white outside. Windows are provided for the tower, and ladder stairs, water pipes, soil pipes, and every other requisite for making the column comfortable and habitable.
Both the theory of electric currents and the practice had in iron steam boats, and in other iron structures warrant the safety of such a tower in case of lightning. From the top of the lantern to the base of the column it is one large and immeasurably abundant conductor; and at the bottom, to prevent the foundation being destroyed by the passage of electricity, Mr. Gordon has prepared an artificial metal conductor for carrying the current into the sea.
We cannot help observing here the strange want of knowledge in a well established branch of Natural Philosophy, which induced or permitted the fixing of a glass nob upon the top of the splendid new light-house at St. Katharines, Isle of Wight, by the Trinity House of London. The said nob was actually placed there in the year 1840, as a repeller of lightning. We have been told that the appendage has since been removed.
The difficulties offered by the locality of the light at Morant Point, were numerous and great;—the passage of the materials over a lagoon, —the distance from any other habitable part of the island,—the necessity for European workmen to erect the tower and light apparatus,— the insalubrity of the climate, excepting only for the cold months of the year,—the limited funds at the disposal of the light-house commissioners of the island,—and the artificial altitude requisite for elevating the light upon so low a natural site. These and numerous others have all been well overcome. The light-house will be shipped, and the requisite workmen will be embarked from London, so as to arrive in Jamaica on or a little before the 1st of November this year, and the whole will be then erected under the direction of Captain St. John, the island engineer, and the light will be exhibited about the end of December.
In the year 1780, the sea, driven by a hurricane, laid bare the rock on which the column is based ; and to anticipate such another hurricane, Mr. Gordon is to fix the tower well into the rock, and has provided a set of ladder steps for ascending to the door, in the event of the outside staircase being carried away.
Port Nicholson.—Extracts from a letter from New Zetland, May, 1841.
This is your November month at home,—that is to say transversing the order of the year, and your month of April is not to be compared with it: generally a moderate gale steady from the south-east, or squally weather from the north-west with rain. This is our winter, and is attended more with wet than cold, although during the last week we have been chilled by a south-easter attended with rain; the thermometer as low as 43°, it rarely falls lower.
As a harbour, Port Nicholson stands pre-eminent,—in saying this be assured that there is no puffing; the land, as an agricultural district, far different; the forests are so dense, and the price of labour so enormous, that it cannot pay at present. We tried it on a small scale, but it would not answer,—507. an acre will not clear it and put in a crop. Many farmers have arrived here, and are preparing to set to work with a good will, but unless they be men of capital, they will probably be ruined. Their ruin will eventually perhaps turn out the fortune of their successors, a consequence, we believe, usual in first settlements, where the land was to be cleared of timber.
Land at present is comparatively cheap, notwithstanding it may appear in England to bear a great premium, the price from 30Z. to 70?. per section of 100 acres,—title uudisputable, now that the Company is taken in hand by government.
Stores, wharfs, &c, are rising and being formed rapidly. We have one which admits a schooner of 100 tons, lying close alongside.
Every week brings forth something new; coal has been discovered not far from this place, and fortunately, it appears to be excellent, it is sold at the rate of 21. 10s. per ton. The forests abound with firstrate limber for ship-building, joiners'1 and millwrights' work. Of dyewoods only two have yet been met with,—colours, jet black and red.
The cowdie, white pine, tottora, riva riva, remo or red pine, manonka, ratla, mogey, and others, are excellent woods; there is little doubt these will prove articles of export:—but that which will "send" New Zeeland "ahead," is the cultivated flax, a commodity so extremely valuable to a country like England, that we may anticipate a very favourable reception of it there. Attention has already been directed towards it as an article of traffic, and the house of Ridgway has invented a machine for producing it in bulk."
The British Cyclopaedia speaks thus of the New Zeeland flax.
"Flax lily is the phormium tenax of Forster, an economical sedgelike plant, found in New Zeeland. It is an hexandrious herb, and belongs to the natural order asphodelece. It takes the name from being employed by the inhabitants, where it grows naturally, in the manufacturing of baskets, and it has been introduced into Europe as a fit plant to lake the place of hemp; as the fibres obtained from its long leaves after maceration, are said to be more tenacious than any other vegetable fibre known. Whether it will be found hardy enough for the climate of Britain is not yet ascertained, but if it could be naturalized and cultivated, so far as to furnish material for the manufacture
ENLARGED SERIES.—NO. 9.—VOL. FOR 1841. 4 I
of ship's cables, it would be a valuable acquisition. Th« imported phormiom flax has been manufactured and tested with the beat hemp, and found of superior strength."
A Visit To San Lorenzo.
Sir— I have been induced to send you the following notices, trusting they are not of a nature unsuiled to your Chronicle. The virtues of a man and of a Christian, never shine so much in the sailor as when he pays a last tribute to the worth of a departed messmate. If his friend have died in a foreign land far from his own native country, he is loth to depart without raising some humble inscription to mark the spot. I met with several of these inscriptions, some of which I copied, on tbe island of San Lorenzo, which forms a natural breakwater to the noble harbour of Callao, a port of Peru. It is the most desolate' place conceivable. On it the sun shines to no purpose, and refreshing dews visit it to cheer no herbage: not a weed grows on it. The island, which is about four miles in length, is very steep, its highest point about 700 feet above the level of the sea and almost too perpendicular to climb. One dreary sandy valley on it, which faces the town of Callao, has been chosen as the burial place for the seamen of different
nations that happen to die in the port. In her Majesty's ship S
we used frequently to take a trip to this island, for the purpose of exercising our men, firing great guns, small arms, &c, and to paint and refit ship. One day I went to visit the burial-ground, and thinking I might fall in with something worthy of note, I took the precaution to carry pencil and paper with me. I found about, at a rough guess, seventy or eighty graves there, and nearly half of them had records of the inhabitant. These were English and American. The inscriptions were painted on boards of the shape of tomb-stones, and at a distance would not be distinguished as otherwise,—a large cross was painted on each, for unless this is done the native fishermen carry them off for firewood. To despoil these they look upon as sacrilege, and this painted symbol besides, they look upon as shewing the erectors to have been Catholics.—The three following I copied.
the Memory of
William Edwards, late Royal Marines
of H.M.S. " Harrier," Callao,
who departed this life November the 29th, 1837,
Aged 2fi years.
I'm here at rest from busy scenes,
I once belonged to the Royal Marines,
I'm now confined within inoje borders,
Remaining here for further orders
This, I think, carries somewhat of originality, with it! Another,
Sacred to the Memory of
three seamen, who departed this life
on board of H.M.S. "Blonde,"