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the 22nd of April, and arrived at Bombay on the 10\h of June. The present mail will accordingly convey to England the first accounts of the occupation of Australind, and the abandonment of the projected settlement at Port Grey, which, in Captain Whiteside's opinion, from all he could gather respecting the latter place, is not to be regretted.
Sir James Sterling's observations on the Leschenault district, have already been published in England. It is unnecessary, therefore, to reprint them in a paper intended for English readers. It may be proper, however, to state, that the inference drawn by liim in the following passage would appear not to be altogether borne out by facts :—
"The safety of the anchorage ofTthe mouth of Leschena>lt Inlet for ordinary sized merchant ships may be inferred from the fact, that nn American whaling ship remained at anchor in it throughout the winter of 1838. Another whaling vessel, the Elizabeth, remained also at that anchorage during the whole of last winter. These instances lead to the conclusion, that, with due precaution, vessels may resort to that place at any season of the year. The mouth of the inlet has not more than three or four feet water on its bar: but I am disposed to believe that if any extensive trade were to grow up, the entrance might be deepened to sixteen or eighteen feet; within the bar there is space and depth of water for a considerable number of ships."
We are, however, informed by Captain Whiteside, that in July last, two American whalers were wrecked at Port Leschenault, and another not far from that place ;—but according to the American's own account, none of them had ever experienced such a hurricane on that coast before.
Since writing the above, we have been favoured with the following extract of a letter from Captain Whiteside, together with remarks on the anchorage, weather, &c, during his stay at Port Leschenault:—
"For want of room, I can give you but little information with respect to Australind, or its Port Leschenault; suffice it to say, that from all I have heard, 1 think the colony is likely to thrive much better at the place where it is at present settled, than it would have done at Port Gr«y; and as for the port, I can only say, I have been at much worse places in the course of my travels. I should think it perfectly safe during the summer months, say from September until the middle of April, but for the winter months 1 should consider it an indifferent anchorage, it being much exposed to the northerly and north-west gales which prevail in these months I am however credibly informed, that vessels have remained in the bay fishing, during the whole of the winter without meeting with any accident; but this is not borne out by facts, for two American whalers were wrecked here hist July, and another not far from here; but this they say was a perfect hurricane, not one of them having ever experienced such a tempest on this coast before. During the five weeks we were at unchor in the bay, the weather was generally very fine except the last week, in which we hud two smart gales from the north-west, and the ship drove a little; but we met with no accident. I however thought it was a warning for me to be off, and being ready by the 22nd of April, succeeded in getting the ship away on that day.
"The anchorage of the ship Parkfield, as determined by several meridional altitudes of the sun, taken with a good sextant, and sea horizon, was 33° 18' south, from whence the undermentioned points bore as follows, viz. Point Casuarina S.W.b.W. } W., outer extremity of reef breaking W.b.N. J N. Northern extremity of coast in sight, N.b.E. (magnetic bearing,) taken from off poop elevated eighteen feet, ship's head E.b.S.; depth of water four and threequarters fathoms, hard sandy bottom.
"Arrived at this anchorage the 18th of March, 1841, weather very fine, with light land and sea breezes, which veered round the compass regularly every twenty-four hours; had a strong gale on the 21st of March from S.S.W., attended with heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Birometcr about 2970. It lasted from twenty-lour to thirty-six hours, when the weather again set in fiue witli light land and sea breeze, which continued until the 12th of April, on which day we hud a smart gale, commencing at N.b.E. and veering to N.W., W.S.W., and moderated at south on the 14th. This gale threw into the bay a heavy swell, and the ship drove about a cable's length. Weather again set in fine with the land and sea breeze, but on the 19th, hud another heavy gale which commenced as before from N.N.E., veering to north-west and W.b.N., from whence it blew violently in squalls, attended with hail, rain, thumbr aid lightning; this gale lasted about forty-eight hours, though the heaviest of it was but of short duration,—say about four hours; a heavy swell was again thrown into the bay with the north-west wind, and the ship again drove with botli bowers ahead, tot brought up on the whole of the cables being veered out, without letting go a third anchor; this is bad holding ground, the bottom being a hard sand, consequently, I should say, an unsafe anchorage in the winter season.—I should think not very safe from the middle of April to the end of September. It appears to me that these gales increase the depth of water in the bay about four feet, and I observed that the gale commenced at N.N.E., veered to north-west, then moderated and fell calm, with light airs round the compass, weather gloomy and threatening, glass still falling, continued in this state for a few hours, when the gale set in again from N.b.E. and blew much heavier. One barometer stood at the lowest 29-G8, another 29'78. It appears to me that both sun and moon exercise great influence over the weather on this coast;—for instance, the gale on the 21st of March was the time of the equinox, followed by new moon on the 22nd; and the one of the 12th of April, the moon was at apogee, and entered the last quarter fourteen hours afterwards; again, the one on the 19th lasted till the moon changed on the 21st, and blew heaviest on the 20th, and we experienced, I think, a heavier gale from the same quarter than the two last: two days after we left Leschenault, viz. the 22ud of April, moon being then in perigee.''
The following observations on the anchorage are also published. We do not know by whom they were written :—
"KoombanaBay, off the mouth of Leschenault Inlet, is one and three-qnnrten of a mile wide and half a mile in depth, affording good anchorage for ten to fifteen ships, and as many small vessels in two to live fathoms water. Point Casnarina, which from the west point of entrance is in latitude 33° 15' 15",* and is composed of sand hills partially covered with a low scrubby vegetation; oil' its extremity a covered reef extends upwards of one-third of a mile to the N.N.E. J E., breaking always with a moderate sea and giving good protection to the shipping in the bay. This reef is bold on the outer side, having eight or nine fathoms within a quarter of a mile to the westward, and four to five fathoms one eighth of a mile to the north and eastward. To clear its northern extremity, bring Mount Leonard, the highest hill on this part of the Darling Range and about five leagues from the coast, to open a little to the north of two remarkable sand-hills on the east side of the bay, standing near each other and resembling a saddle, the seat being formed of dark green bushes. The bearing will be E.b.S. I S. (magnetic) ami will lead one-eighth of a mile north of the reef in four fathoms water when the outer coast line to the southward shuts in you may haul tip south-cast into the bay. The best berth for a ship is in four to four and a half fathoms with Point Casuarina hearing W.b.S., and the entrance to the inlet, (between two sandy points,) S.S.W., the distance from each being about three-eighths of a mile, the extremity of the reef will then bear N. W. § N. at the same distance—small vessels will be better sheltered in two and a quarter to three fathoms a quarter of a mile east from the point, where the reef will furnish protection as far as N.b.W., but the ground in that position appears
* The observation for this was taken at ?ea ?ome distance from the point, which accounts tor the discrepancy between it and luUtu.le, as observed bv Captain Whiteside.—Kd. B.T.
rocky under a covering of sand.—In the absence of regular moorings, vessels should always moor on arrival, not only on account of the limited space, but to prevent drifting over their anchors with an under current or outset, which is always experienced when strong ncrth-west winds throw much water into the bay. The tides here are, as usually found along this coast, very irregular and uncertain, depending apparently on the strongest or most prevalent winds. Hence gales from seaward raise the water along the coast, whilst a prevalence of land winds, although light, is found tD depress it. The usual rise of all does not exceed two feet. The variation 5° west.
"Leschenault Inlet has it entrance and bar in the south-west part of this bay, whereby it is well protected from all except northerly winds, and is in consequence generally practicable for boats of three feet draft^but the channel in is continually shitting, and in winter the bar extends much further into the bay than in summer. Firewood may be had by sending boats up the inlet, and there is abundance of good water in wells just within Point Casuariua."#
Officers Of The Indian Navy.
Until the establishment of the Suez packets, for the overland mail brought passengers in contact with the officers of the Indian navy, this department of the company's service was comparatively little known to the public at large. The officers of the Indian navy had individually made noble contributions from time to time to the science and literature of their country, but personally they were, from the nature of their avocations, little known in India; and of the manner in which the professional duties was discharged, nothing was heard beyond the limits of tiieir profession. The packet service materially altered this state of things; and certainly the numerous commentaries on the conduct of the packet officers, both published and spoken, which made their appearance just after the overland route was fairly opened up for passengers, were anything but complimentary to them. Not a few of these complaints on the part of the passengers arose at the commencement of the Suez packet arrangements from mutual misunderstandings: the passengers grumbled at the heavy charge of Rs. 800 for a trip of 3,000 miles; and as two-thirds of this went as commander's allowance, they seemed to have expected every sort of attainable or unattainable atteniion and luxury in return. It seemed monstrous that a steamer should smoke aft—right over the quarter deck, for the insignificant reason, that a head wind was blowing,—that no punkahs should exist in cabins seven feet high,— that beer should not be kept cold at a temperature of 90°, where the air was too damp to admit of cooling by evaporation; and most monstrous of all, that the servants picked up for a single voyage should be less obliging or less expert than domestics retained for half a life time in a family! On the other hand, to attend to the fancies of a score of fidgetty or sickly passengers, who looked for every thing that they ought, or that they ought not to have expected, and found fault whether there was or was not occasion, was a novelty for the commanders of packets; the service was lucrative, but it had not been sought for, and was for a time anything but covetted by them; and it is not at all to be marvelled at, if, as is alleged, an officer occupied with the duties of the ship should not, on certain occasions, have been quite so courteous as a lord of the bed-chamber. These things in regard to commanders of packets and their passengers, have already luckily passed away, and so complete a change come about within little more than a twelvemonth, that scarcely a voyage occurs where some special acts of reciprocal gratitude and good-will are not changed betwixt the commander and those under his charge throughout the Red Sea passage. It is not at the same time to be concealed, that complaints are loud and frequent, and
• This is now private property, and of course the wood must now be purchased. —ed. B.T.
listened to on all tides, ai to the general condition of the junior officer* of the Indian navy. These gentlemen have somehow fallen into a mistake,—ther have placed themselves in a false position; and the general expressions which are every day employed—that "the officers of the Indian navy are disgusted with the service,"—are not more uncomplimentary to the service to which they belong than to those who make use of them. Besides this, the fact that officen of merchant vessels are daily taken into the employment of the Indian navy, in the mixed and somewhat anomalous character of master and lieutenant, of itwlf shews, without reflection on any one, that the service is defective in its complement of efficient officers, and that therefore the resources of merchantmen mint be drawn upon to make good the deficiency.
It is needless to e'hlarge on the many inconveniences occasioned to all psrtiei by this single portion of the system now prevailing, in withdrawing the officer* of merchant ships from the sphere to which they have been accustomed, and the patrons who might have provided for them had they remained under then protection. The mode in which the ship duties are carried on onboard at men-of-war, is so materially different from that generally prevalent in merchantmen, that the altered condition of the transferred officers must seem strange and new to them. Commissioned officers of the Indian navy amalgsmate indifferently with those who are viewed as the most anomalous descriptic-a of uncovenanted servants, and whose employment in any way at all is a virtual reflection on the efficiency of the service into which they have been intruded. The intruded officers themselves feel the uncertainty of their tenure of service; and the Indian navy is aware, that the temporary assistance which has thus been secured may, in a moment, be withdrawn from them, as it has on many occasions already been, by the merchantmen outbidding them in the remuneration or the advantages held out.
Now, it does appear, that for most of the inconveniences and imperfections in the officering of the Indian navy just alluded to, a very easy and very thorough remedy might be provided, were the attention of the Indian Company and of the Admiralty of England, properly directed to the matters already stated, or just about to be so. According to the navy list, there are at present the following officers on the half-pay establishment at the rates understated :—
Captains . . 675
Commanders . . 752
Lieutenants . . 2747
Constituting a body of the finest seamen in existence, ready to officer the Indian navy fifty times over, were permission only given them to accept service under the company. There are two modes in which the transfer might very readily be effected. Assuming that the captains and commanders of th« company's service are quite adequate for all their duties, and that it is upon the lieutenants of the royal navy alone we should require to draw :—supposing the Admiralty and Court of Directors to have made up their minds on the principle of the measure, then let the latter of these fix on the number of officers required, let these be put upon the books of the Indian navy, at the rate of pay and allowances belonging to their rank, with permission to retire on the same terms as the officers of the Indian navy, past service being reckoned to them, under certain modifications, as if they had all along been in the company's employment,—their connection with, and claims on, the royal navy forthwith ceasing. In fact, let them be transferred bodily from the one service to the other, with all the privileges, &c, of the new employment commencing, and those of the former one coming to an end; and then in one way the object desired i» effected.
This is the simplest scheme, but there is another still more convenient as • temporary expedient, though the above is best suited for permanency. The proposal which probably would best answer the views of both parties, as »n immediate and experimental expedient would be, for the Indian Company to get a loan from the Admiralty, so to speak, of certain of its half-pay officers at present unemployed. Say that twenty lieutenants were so required: let them retain their rank and pay in the Queen's service, together with the claims of promotion they presently enjoy: let them be transferred to the Indian navy, so long as the home government can spare them, receiving the whilst the full emolument of Company's officers, hut without claims on promotion or retiring allowances from the Company: and let them be liable to recall at a moment's notice, so soon as they are required by the service to which they properly belong.
By some such scheme as this, the Company would at once have their ships officered by the most experienced, accomplished, and perfectly educated naval officers, the Admiralty would not only have it in its power to reward meritorious but ill requited men, whose services are not required on a niggard peace establishment, but it would keep its officers in lull practice, and it might be in the way of benefitting by the experience of other latitudes and modes of navigation than those already familiar to them, instead of permitting them to deteriorate in knowledge or skill, or become averse to professional exertion from want of practice afloat : while a set of able navigators, nt present compelled to live in a state of comparative idleness, and maintain the position of gentlemen on almost a menial's pittance, would be restored to those pursuits for which they were trained, and in which they delighted, and remunerated in a way somewhat worthy of their deserts. Let us glance at the relative rates of payment in the Royal Navy compared with that of the India Company.
On the first of the two schemes just explained, it is proposed to substitute the pay of the Company for that of the Royal Navy,—on the second to superadd it thereto under the provisions already specified. One great source of disgust from wliice the officers of the Company were formerly said to have suffered, was the drudgery of the packet service; and this we venture to say, the officers of the Royal Navy will, with the following explanations, get over very easily. We have in this computation given the results in sterling money instead of Companys, rupees; because while the latter is chiefly intelligible to those familiar with Indian currency; the former is readily understood by all.
From the 30th Dec. 1839 to the 3rd Dec. 1840, the commanders of the Red Sea steamers received amongst them £13,800 in the course of ten voyages;— this came to he divided among eight officers, of whom the commander of the Berenice received 5,100/.; the commander of the Victoria 4,200/.; and the commander of the Zenobia 2,730/.; the balance being divided in lesser sums amongst the other five officers in command. To make up the net emoluments of these officers, of course the expense of the Passengers' Commissariat has to be deducted.
The pay of a commander or lieutenant 960/. and 208/. a year has to be added to this. With these advantages we do not see a single objection to be offered to the arrangement just proposed, saving the insignificant withdrawal of patronage the directors would sustain by it. It supercedes no one, for we propose adding Navy officers to the present establishment, not substituting them for
ENLARGED 8ERIE8.—NO. 9 VOL FOR 1841. 4 L