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number very much. They are confined principally to the coast, and the banks of the rivers and lagoons.
The bank of soundings off the coast between Cape Honduras and Cape Cameron varies in its distance off shore. Just to the eastward of the Roman river it reaches out for seventeen miles, the edge then takes a bend in to the southward, passing on an east line about twelve miles outside the Great and Little Rock Head, when the breadth gradually diminishes to five miles off Cape Cameron. It is free from danger for the whole extent, with deep soundings of forty and fifty fathoms near the edge, and from six to ten fathoms close in to the beach. It is very sleep to just to the eastward of Cape Honduras, deep soundings of twenty fathoms reaching within less than a mile of the shore ; there is however, as little as ten fathoms outside, a few miles to the northward, where the soundings are rather irregular.
From the Roman river to the Great Rock Head, the line of ten fathoms is about two miles off shore, and from thence to Cape Cameron it approaches to within a mile, so that a vessel should not come into less than twenty fathoms during the night off this part of the coast. The bottom is a mixture of mud and sand, except off Cape Honduras, where it is coarse gravel, with coral near the edge.
From Cape Cameron the edge of the bank runs nearly E.b.N., until about ten miles to the eastward of the meridian of Point Patook, when it trends up about N.E.B.E. as far as the meridian of 82° 30' W., and into the parallel of 16° 43' N., which is the northern extreme of the great Mosquito bank. The edge is seventeen miles from Point Patook : and upwards of fifty miles to the northward of the Carataska Lagoon, whilst in the meridian of Cape Gracias a Dios it reaches eighty-six miles to the northward of the Cape.
There is not any danger upon the bank to the westward of 83° 30' W., or about twelve miles to the eastward of the meridian of the Carataska Lagoon entrance.
Off Cape Cameron the deep soundings approach very near to the shore; there is twenty fathoms within one mile and a half of the beach.
Off Black river the soundings decrease more gradually, the line of tweuty fathoms is there about three miles and a half off shore.
Abreast of the entrance of Brewers Lagoon twenty fathoms is full seven miles out, and off Point Patook it reaches to the distance of nine miles; from hence the line of twenty fathoms takes nearly an east direction as far as the Vivorilla Cays in the meridian of Cape False.
In beating along shore at night between Black river and Point Patook, it would not be advisable to come into less than twelve fathoms, but to the eastward of Point Patook you may stand safely into eight fathoms all the way to Cape Gracias a Dios. During the day you may stand close in shore into five fathoms.
The soundings are very regular on this part of the bank, decreasing as you approach the shore. Above forty fathoms the soundings increase very suddenly to upwards of one hundred fathoms. The bottom is a mixture of sand and mud, with gravel off Brewers Lagoon.
There is a coral ledge with irregular soundings from seven to fifteen fathoms, about thirty miles N.N.W. of the mouth of the Carataska
Lagoon. It is ten miles in length from north to south, and four miles wide. The deep water soundings around it are of soft mud and sand.
The Great Musquito bank reaches to the north-eastward of Cape Gracias a Dios for upwards of one hundred and thirty miles.
The first danger on the bank from the north-eastward, and the one most distant from Cape Gracias is Cay Gorda, a small isolated barren rock. It is about seventy miles north-east of the Cape. There is a small detached breaker about five miles and a half E.b.S. of Cay Gorda, it is called Farrals breaker. These dangers stand quite detached, the bank is clear for thirty miles within them. They may be avoided when standing on to the bank from the northward, by not coming into less than twenty fathoms. There is a ledge with from seven to ten fathoms reaching to the S.S.E. from Cay Gorda for nearly forty miles. The northern part of this ledge has corally bottom, and the southern part has fine sand.
The Caxones of the Spaniards, called by the fishermen, the Hobbies, are a cluster of small cays, and dangerous reefs about sixty-five miles north of Cape Gracias, and twenty miles within the northern edge of the bank. They extend for about twelve miles W.N.W. and E.S.E. The line of twenty fathoms reaches within about four miles of them to the northward, which will gire sufficient warning to vessels standing on to the bank during the night.
Outside of the Caxones, and of Cay Gorda, both to the northward and eastward, the bank is quite free from danger.
There is a snug anchorage in six fathoms, under a spit of reef to the northward of the Caxones Cays, much used by the fishermen from the Caymans, and from Belize, who come here in the season to fish for the hawks-bill turtle, from which tortoise-shell is procured.
Three miles to the southward of the west end of the Caxones, are the Carataska shoals or reefs; they are two small reefs, each about threequarters of a mile long, running about S.S.E., with a small sandy cay three feet above water upon each of the reefs.
The Seal Cays are about four miles and a half S.S.E. of the Carataska reefs; they are three miles in extent in the same direction, and are situated upon a coral bank, nearly dry, A ledge with from seven to ten fathoms, reaches for five miles to the S.S.E. The Great Seal Cay is at the south end of the coral bank, it is about four feet above water, and has some cocoa-nut trees growing upon it. There is a rock nearly dry one mile and a half S.E.B.E. of the Great Seal Cay.
The Vivorillas, (or Caymans of the fishermen,) are abont four miles and a half S.S.W. of the Seal Cays. There are two cays about two miles apart with trees on them, and a coral reef between, with a few small sandy cays upon it. There is anchorage under the west side of the reef in seven and eight fathoms, sheltered from the regular breezes. A rocky ledge with irregular soundings from four and a half to ten fathoms, runs out for eight miles to the north-eastward of the Vivorillas, with one spot near the west extreme, and another on the north-east side having as little as three and a quarter fathoms. The channel between the Seal Cays and the Vivorillas is deep with twenty fathoms. There is also a clear channel between the Caxones and the Carataska shoals, and between the Carataska shoals and the Seal Cays.
About seventeen miles to the south-eastward of the Seal Cays, are the Cocorocuma Cays and reef. The cays have some low bushes, and à few cocoa-nut trees upon them. A dangerous reef runs out for five miles N.N.W. from the cays, it is less than half a mile wide, and steep to all round. A small detached breaker lies about half a mile to the westward of the north end of the reef.
The Pigeon Cays are about four miles to the eastward of the Cocorocumas. The western Pigeon Cay is very small, three feet above water, with a reef running out half a mile to the northward. The east Pigeon Cays are two in number, the same size as the western, they are two and three-quarters miles E.S.E. of the western Cay; the channel that divides them is clear, with from twelve to twenty fathoms.
S.b.W. twelve miles from the Cocorocuma Cays is a dangerous detached reef, which we have called Allens reef. It is one mile and a half in length from N.N.W. to S.S.E., and has deep water fourteen to sixteen fathoms all round it.
The Cocorocuma Channel, between Allens reef and the Cocorocuma Cays, is quite clear with from sixteen to eighteen fathoms sandy bottom.
About S.b.E. E. fourteen miles from Allens reef, is another dangerous reef very similar in character. It is three miles and three-quarters in extent from north to south, and has from ten to fourteen fathoms round it. We have called it Barnetts reef.
Allens Channel is between Barnetts reef and Allens reef, it is perfectly clear, with fourteen fathoms all the way between the reefs.
Barnetts reef is twenty-two miles E.b. N. from Cape False, and seventeen miles and a half N.N.E. E. from Cape Gracias a Dios. The space between is free from danger, and the soundings very regular. When beating round Cape False at night, it would be prudent not to stand out into more than ten fathoms.
To the E.S.E. of Barnetts reef, about sixteen miles distant, there is a cluster of detached cays with some extensive and dangerous reefs to the northward. The reef to the northwest-ward called Half-moon reef, is steep to on the northern edge; it is more than six miles in length from east to west, and is very dangerous. The northern edge is on the same parallel as the middle of Barnetts reef. Another dangerous reef runs to the south-eastward for four miles, nearly connected with the Halfmoon reef at the south-east extreme. It is called the Savanna reef. Barnetts Channel, between Half-moon reef and Barnetts reef, has from ten to fifteen fathoms across, with a bottom of sand and shells.
The cays to the southward of Half-moon reef are very small, standing about three feet above the water. There is a single cocoa-nut tree on the one furthest to the southward, (Cay Bobel.)
Logwood Cay, and Burns Cay, on the southern part of the reef are only small rocks without vegetation. Half-moon Cay is composed of sand; it is four miles N.N.W. of Cay Bobel, and has a reef running off it to the northward for about one mile, under which there is anchorage sheltered from the eastward.
There is a small detached reef called Cockburns reef, about nine miles to the southward of Cay Bobel, with deep water round it, and a small shoal with three fathoms and a half, called Halls shoal, two miles and a half S.E.b.S. of the Cay.
To the south-west of the Savanna reef there are three oays detached from each other, they are about four feet high, with low bushes upon two of them. There are likewise some small dry reefs, about five miles to the southward of the S.E. extreme of the reef. This neighbourhood is too full of dangers to be ventured into by any but small fishing vessels.
To the eastward of the Savanna reef about six miles distant, is the porth-west elbow of the Alargate Alla reef,- (keep at a distance.) This is the most dangerous reef on the bank, it is upwards of ten miles in extent from north to south. The eastern side forms the segment of a circle convexing to the eastward, quite steep to, with from twelve to fifteen fathoms close to the dry reef. There is a cay off the centre of the west side about five feet high, detached from the reef at the distance of about two miles; it bears nearly south from the north-west extreme of the reef. The Alargate Alla is in the same meridian as Cay Gorda, upwards of forty miles to the southward. Its southern extreme is in the same parallel as Cape Gracias a Dios, about forty-six miles to the eastward. It is forty-two miles within the eastern edge of the Great Musquito Bank, with from eleven to sixteen fathoms for the entire distance.
All these outlying dangers, and the bank as far as to the meridian of 82° west longitude, were surveyed by Lieutenant Barnett in the Jackdaw schooner.
The channels to the north-east of Cape Gracias a Dios are not recommended to be used, except in cases of emergency, as none of the Cays are sufficiently conspicuous for a land-fall, and there is not any certajn indication of your proximity to the reefs even by the lead.
Vessels bound to Cape Gracias from the eastward, should strike the Great Bank about the meridian of the mouth of the Carataska Lagoon, and beat up in shore rouud Cape False ; and on leaving Cape Gracias for the eastward, they should pass to the westward of the Vivorillas.
On the north-east part of the Great Musquito Bank, there is a detached knoll about seven miles in diameter, with from fifteen to twenty-five fathoms. It is separated from the main bank by a channel eight miles wide, with from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty fathoms fine sand. We have called it Thunders Knoll, there is deep water soundings for some miles round it, from one hundred to two hundred fathoms. This knoll is about seventy miles N.E.b.E. from Cay Gorda.
The north-east elbow of the Great Musquito Bank, to the southward of Thunders Knoll, has from twelve to twenty fathoms. We did not quite join Lieutenant Barnett's work to the westward, but found a bight of irregular deep soundings between thirty and one hundred and twenty fathoms running up to the northward, round the south-west corner of this elbow, that may possibly detach it from the main bank. This will be determined by Lieutenant Barnett who is completing the survey.
To the southward of the north-east elbow, the edge of the great bank' (in the parallel of Cape Gracias a Dios,) falls in about thirty miles to the westward, and takes a direction nearly S.S.W. in an undulating line, gradually nearing the shore. Abreast of Cape Gracias it is ninety miles off shore, and to the southward of San Juan de Nicaragua it approaches to within seven miles.
Between the parallels of 130 and 15° north latitude, (including the Musquito Cays to the sonth-eastward of Cape Gracias,) the bank has yet to be surveyed.
The coast to the southward of the harbour at Cape Gracias trends $.b.W. for eleven miles, and then S.S.E. for twenty-five miles to Governors Point, which is a long rounding turn in the land, beyond which the coast trends about S.S.W., and continues in that direction for fifty-five miles to the mouth of the river Wounta, or Tongula, from whence it trends nearly south all the way to Parattee Point,* to the southward of the Pearl Cays, a distance of sixty-seven miles. It is a low coast the whole distance, with a sandy beach.
The first opening to the southward of the Cape, is into the Guana Sound Lagoon, about eight miles from the harbour, the next is Sandy Cay river, about twenty miles further to the southward. There is a small river called Dockwara, two miles to the northward of Governors Point, and another fifteen miles to the southward, called Honesons river; these are all small rivers with a bar of sand across the mouth, mostly impassable even for canoes.
There is a remarkable part of the coast about five miles and a half from Honesons river, called Bragmans Bluff, with steep cliffs of red earth, about thirty-five feet high, reaching nearly three miles along the coast; it cannot easily be mistaken, as there is not any thing else along the coast, that at all resembles it.
The river Wava twelve miles and a half S.S.W. from Bragmans Bluff is the largest on the coast to the northward of the Rio Grande ; the water was discoloured for a considerable way from the mouth. The river Wounta, or Tongula, already mentioned, is twenty-three miles to the southward of the Wava. There are two more small rivers, the Apulca and the Walpasiksa, aad some small creeks, between the Wounta and the Rio Grande, a distance of about thirty-six miles.
The coast from Cape Gracias to within about ten miles of the Rio Grande, was merely traced during a run to the southward in the Blossom, and will require to be more closely examined. We had from four to six fathoms, within less than two miles of the coast, the whole way, except when off the Wounta river, where we had as little as three fathoms and a half when two miles and a half off shore. The Fox shoals are said to be off the mouth of this river.
The first cays off the coast to the southward of the Musquito Group, are the Men-of-War Cays; they are situated about ten miles north-east of the mouth of the Rio Grande, and nearly the same distance off the nearest part of the shore, they are very small with trees and bushes upon them. A small low rock of shingle stands upwards of a mile to the north-east of the cays, steep to all round, with nine and ten fathoms, and a detached breaker about one mile and a half to the southwestward.
About eight miles to the southward of the Men-of-War Cays, are two small cays, called the Great Tyro and the Seal Cays; and about the same distance south of the Tyro Cay are the two King Cays.
A barren rock about eight feet high, lies four miles and a half N.E. by N. from the Great Tyro Cay, and another of equal size lies three
* Called Point Loro in the Columbian Navigator.