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and had it no! been for the red stripe and the dark rooft of the cottage*, which could not be seen when viewed end-ways, the vessel might have been too close to have avoided the danger, and had this occurred the loss of the vessel would have been entirely owing to the expensive process of whitening the rocks and towers.
On a clear day when the son shines bright npon a whited tower we roust all acknowledge the brilliant effect produced by the lime, bat at such times we care very little about light-houses, and at night the light is, of course the best guide. It is in foggy and hazy weather and during gales, which in this sea arc almost always attended with mists, that we want our land marks, and there certainly is not any colour which at such times so effectually evades die eye as white.
Captain White in his Channel directions, complains of the difficulty of discerning the Hook light-house in consequence of its whiteness. Lieut. Fraser in his recent survey to the southward of Dublin, could scarcely make any use of the lower Wicklow light-house from the same cause.
I have frequently run for Carlingford Lough, at the entrance of which there is a beautiful light-house 110 feet high, of snow white purity, and in the misty weather which usually attends such exploits have always seen the Black hoaxe, a low ruiu about a cable's length inside the light tower, and even the llcrk rate rf the tracer below the whitewash, long before the lower itself could be distinguished.
I could furnish many other instances of a similar kind, but I hope that those which have been given will be sufficient to call further attention to the subject, and that the plan now upon trial at the Maidens under the direction of that most excellent Board, the Ballast office at Dublin, will be generally adopted. But I must observe that at present the plan is only half carried out at the Maidens, as the tower has only one band of red, whereas it should have two, each one third the height of the tower in width, and then the lantern may be white.
I must also remark that this rule should not be applied indiscriminately to all light-houses; for instance, Port Patrick, the Baily, Mull of Kintire, Douglas, and in fact all light-houses situated dote under elifft are decidedly more conspicuous when white; but all towers which stand alone, or, which have half a mile and more of atmosphere between them and the back ground, should be striped, and the stronger the contrast the better.
I am, &c,
To the Editor, Sfc. F. W. B.
Sib.—Being off the Maidens Rocks on the 23d Sept. 1841, in haxy weather, the great utility of the red band lately painted round the light-houses was very apparent; this, the railing round the lantern, and the darkness of the two cottages at the base of the tower being the only parts visible. It is evident that the roofs of these cottages in certain positions cannot be seen, we should, therefore, have been very close to the rocks before they were discovered, had it not been for the band.
As these dangers are five miles distant from the nearest land, swept by a rapid tide, and the lead gives us no wanting of an approach to them, every menus should be used to render them visible in hazy weather. This appears partly accomplished; and were there another band leaving the centre of the tcwer vliite, it would be still more so, and at the same time prevent the possibility of their being (from a casual glance) mistaken for vessels under sail, which might be the case were they painted entirely red.
I am at a loss to account for the rocks being whitewashed, as they would surely be more easily seen were they left their natural colour, or blacked over. As it is in your power, through your valuable periodical, to call general attention to so important a subject, 1 venture to trouble you with this note.
To the Editor, <$r. A Ma&tu, «.s.
Inspection Of The Present State Of The Rotal Navt.
Orders have beem sent by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the chief surveyor-general of the navy, and the governors of DepU ford, Woolwich, Chatham, Sheerness, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Pembroke dock-yards, to send immediately to the Board of Admiralty a correct statement of the present efficient state or sea-worthiness of att the ships within their respective dock-yards, after undergoing a careful survey as to their fitness for service.
Messrs. Lang, Fincham, and Atkins, it appears, have surveyed, in the last fortnight, thirty-three ships in the ordinary at Portsmouth, notwithstanding the tempestuous stale of the weather, blowing and raining every day more or less; these officers have previously visited Sheerness and Chatham, and examined the ordinary at each port; they will now proceed to Plymouth, oua similar service, having been selected by the Admiralty for the purpose. Mr- Lang is the senior mastershipwright of the profession; Mr. Fincham the fourth following, and Mr. Atkins the sixth, comprising one-half of her Majesty's builders, and forming a Board of Professional Men, (than whom none could be belter) to ascertain the correct state of "England's Wooden Walls," which have long since been, and, we trust, will ever continue to the dread aud envy of her enemies.—Hants. Tel.
Pensions And Pensioners.—The Lords of the Admiralty, taking int» consideration the injustice of the regulation, under which two years* service of the Marines, on shore is reckoned only as one for pensions— nave rescinded that regulation. Henceforth there will be no distinction between sea and shore service. Their Lordships have also conferred another act of justice, by allowing great coats to this gallant corps, the same as to regiments of the line- The Lords of the Admiralty have rescinded the regulations which prevented pensioners front receiving their pensions when serving in the royal navy; and all pensioners will, in future, if fit for service, be allowed to receive their pensions in addition to their pay. The Lords Commissioners have directed that in the case of any soldiers who may be temperance men being embarked on board her Majesty's ships, or troop ships, or in transports or freight sljips, such non-commissioned officers aud privates shall be allowed double rations of sugar, cocoa, and tea, for each ration of spirits stopped. (See our Admiralty orders.)
In consequence of the difficulty experienced in obtaining able-bodied seamen for the ships ordered in commission, the Lords ofXhe Admiralty, wishing to hold out every inducement, have issued the following notice :—
*' Sir.—I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you that they have been pleased to rescind the regulations which prevented pensioners from receiving their pensions when serving on board her Majesty's ships, and that all pensioners will in future, if fit for service, be allowed to receive their pensions with their pay.
*■ To Captain .' "I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
". Joint Barrow."
C/ur readers may perhaps remember that Ensign Riishbrook when onr duly in Portsmouth dock-yard, a short time ago, lost his life by being: blown into the North Camber dock, while visiting the rounds in company with a corporal who shared the same fate. His brother Mr. Rushbrook, mate, has in consequence been promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Jq our last we recorded the death of Lieut. Helpman, of H.MS, Reacon, surveying the Archipelago. The distressed mother of this much esteemed young officer, has had the gratification of seeing her only remaining son a mate in the Wellesley, promoted in consequence, to the rank of lieutenant.
We leave these gracious acts for the comments of our readers. With reference to the accident to Ensign Rushbrook, we understand that as a due precaution against any such accident occurring in the dock-yard for the future, a fence—partly permanent, and partly made to ship and unship in those parts at which stores are landed, is ordered to Iw erected around the boundaries. This fence is to be placed under the charge of the police, whose duty it will be to see that no part of il shall be removed but for some especial purpose, during the day, and that the whole of it be standing immediately after the working hours have closed.
Tub Pelorus.—Her Majesty's brig Pelorus was sold ont of the service at Singapore 6lh July last, by order of Commodore Sir J.J. 6. Bremer, and on the following day the officers and crew, with the exception of the acting commander (Chambers,) were transferred to the brig Benlinck, which the commodore had purchased for 6.0001. This brig was fitting for service in China. Lieut. Chambers returns to England. Mr. R. A. Bankier, as Assistant-Surgeon, and Mr. T. R. Tate, as Clerk in Charge, &c., have joined the Bentiuck.
The Snake, 16, has been commissioned at Shecrnes*.
The Hazard, 18, by Commander Bell.—Shipping Gazette,
General Steam Navigation Company—The General Steam Navigation Company have recently made another important addition lo> their numerous and splendid fleet of steam-vessels by the purchase of the Hull steam-ships Vivid and Waterwitcb, which have been for the last four years running between Hull and London. The purchase-money for the Vivid and Waterwitch is, we undersland, 16,0001. their original cost being 24,0001. each. The General Steam Navigation Company lately bought the Mercury, the largest of the Gravesend steamers; and not long since launched the Trident, of one thousand tons burden. In number and tonnage their fleet of steamers now exceeds those of the Royal Navy, and their consumption of coals amounts to 50,0001- per au«um.—Morning Post.
Pursers.—The following memorandum, has been published, dated Admiralty, Sept, 8, 1841,—" Pursers serving as Clerks," are only to wear the uniform of the station in which they are actually serving By command of their Lordships,—J. Barrow.
Mts-or-W»t Again.—The complement to be borne by the Queen, 118, is fixed to be 900. Ofthise there are fcj hi 13 boys of the first class, aoJ IS of the second. She is to bear only one clerk, being a reduction of one. The Illustrious, 72, has had her complement of men increased to 62S. She is to receive on board 110 supernumeraries, for distiibution among the ships on the station to which she is destined, and is to be got ready for sea with all despatch.—Hants. Tel. A»i»t«r.—Oct. 20.—The Belgium steamer British Queen, is hauled into dock fur the winter, and will make her first experimental voyage from this port to New York, in the month of March, 1842.-—Shipping Gazette.
What To Observe, or the Traveller's Remembrancer.—By /. R. Jarhsct, Sfcretary to Ike Royal Geographical Society, .yc.—London, J. Madden, 1841.
What to observe! How m^ch these three little words convey is amply told in the handy little work bef»re us. It would not be possible to find in the whole range of msefsi works (and they are not a few) that have issued from the press within the last few years, or to select one that is calculated to be more gene rally useful in all branches of general knowledge, or one calculated to advance them, than the little uupretending volume before us entitled What to obseive! How many valuable opportunities are lost of adding discovery to some branch of useful research, by not knowing " what to observe!" How many traveller* and voyager* go forth every year from this country, some heedless, it may be, hut many desirous of adding their tribute to enlarge the boundaries of some kind •f knowledge, and that is not done from not knowing " what to observe." Indeed, we may ask how many are there not, who, with a little work like that before us, telling them '* what to observe" on every subject that may fall in thenway, would not add something to the stock of geueral knowledge from the mere satisfying reflection of having made themselves as useful as they could. Very few, we will venture to say, there are, who would not do so. "What to observe" then, we consider a work especially directed to our readers, than whom few have better opportunities of making good use of it.
The author has separated the branches of his subject into eleven divisions, these agaiu br»nchin<: into sections, aud the whole rendered of the easiest possible reference by an index. We will annex one or two of these heads:—
Division 1.—" Of a country considered in itself," includes geography, boundaries, aspect, aud configuration, this latter including mountains, their names, arrangement and direction, height, form, and slope; also, plains. Section 2 if this division embraces hydrography, or the various waters of a country; and Section 3, its meteorology, or climate, temperature, and terrestrial magnetism.
The next division is that of productions subdivided again into three sections, the next " Inhabitants," involving a vast multitude of points for inquiry, or shewing " what to observe." But we should go far beyond our limits were we to enumerate one h If of the divisions into which, " What to observe," is classed.
We must not omit, however, to add, that in the last Division No. 11, in tlie Sections of " Instniments," and "Operations," the observer is supplied with a vast deal of information relating to them, and to their use; combiuing not only directions, but many valuable practical hints of a most useful kind, la catering for our naval readers, we cordially recommend this little work to their atteu-tion, most especially those going abroad, assuring them that they will find it a most useful companion, for we fully ajrree with the author in his quotation liroiu La Croix, that "L'art d'observer est le seul moyeo d'acquerir des connoisuu.es utiles."