페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

to April; and during a hurricane it offers no security; the fate of a vessel, on such occasions, which does not gain an offing, being inevitable destruction. The merchant ships lie close in, huddled together, as the bank is limited and steep to; and, for the purpose of being nearer to the wharves from which the produce is shipped. The Fort point affords some shelter from the strong sea-breezes. There is at the elbow of the bay, a small close harbour, unfinished ; it is used principally by the Colonial vessels. The men-of-war, which visit the port, anchor outside of the merchant ships; but, as the bank slopes precipitately, they sometimes drag off. The smaller vessels of war, unless requiring supplies, generally heave to abreast of the Fort, and from this circumstance the place obtained the name of " Jib-sheet Bay.”

Lucea harbour is a complete bason, and one of the finest as well as securest anchorages in the island; but even enclosed as it is by hilly land, and possessing a narrow entrance, these offer no security to the the vessels at anchor when the furious hurricane blows from the north or north-east; but as the bottom is soft, vessels that are driven on shore during such storms, may be hove off again without being materially damaged. I have heard of ships being dismasted, in port, by the extreme violence of the wind, but there was an instance here of a sloop of war upsetting whilst at anchor, during the hurricane of the 3rd of October, 1780; and she would have sunk had not the masts been cut away. This vessel was the Badger then commanded by the late Admiral Lord Collingwood; it occurred near the Marley Hill, between the church and the town, and she ultimately drove on shore on the soft mud and sand at the south-west end of the harbour.

From the ship's log, which is given in the valuable work on the “ Law of Storms," it appears that the centre of the circle passed immediately over the harbour; the meteor, at the same time, progressing to the north-west. There was but one shift of wind, from the north-east to the south-west, with an intervening calm of half an hour; the meteor was nine hours in passing over the locality.

At the time I was on the station, twenty-three years after the occurrence of this storm, its destructive effects were still held in remembrance by the inhabitants, and with reason, for the town was nearly destroyed, as was also the case with Montego, and Savana-la-Mar; the latter place having been nearly swept away by the sea.

I may, perhaps, be excused for offering a few remarks here on the direction of the wind as given in the account of this storm at Bluefields. There is reason for helieving it erroneous, independent of its not agreeing with theory.

The account states the wind, at the onset, to have been from the south-east; and that it afterwards veered to the south. It is highly probable that the error was typographical; and, if we substitute N.E. (precisely N.E.b.N.) for S.E., the south wind, which appears so anomalous, may be accounted for.

I may observe that, nearly midway between Lucea and Bluefields bay, on the shore of which, Savana-la-Mar has been built, there is an isolated mountain, or rather an insulated ridge, or mountainet, called the Dolphin Head. The eastern extreme, or depression of this mountain bears from Lucea, about south, or, S.b. E.; and from Savana-la-Mar, north, or, N.b.W. From the position of the mountain, it seems evident that there could not have been any deflection of the wind, so that it should blow from the south-east, as there is no obstruction to the north-east, the directions from which we should expect the wind, and from which I have little doubt it came. To any person acquainted with the locality this will appear a correct view of the case. Indeed, as the meteor advanced from sea-ward there could have been no deflection of the first wind; and to assume that it was from south-east is in direct opposition to facts with respect to the action of these circular storms; and, in truth, appears to be an impossibility in the instance alluded to. As the storm was felt off Port Antonio, which is near the north-east end of the island; it would seem that the right-hand semi-circle spread over the length of the land, from the Dolphin Head in the west, to Morant Point on the eastern extreme, a distance of about 130 miles, so that we may estimate the diameter of this noted storm at 260 or 270 miles, which may be considered a medium size.

I am quite convinced that the seaman who has once experienced the ordeal of a ferocious and “down right" terrific hurricane in the west, will never lose the impression of its effects from his mind. It is a subject peculiarly suited to the flight of poetic fancy, and with the pen of a master-spirit, may almost realize, in idea, the sublimity and awful grandeur of such a scene.

There were some female relatives of Lord Collingwood residing at Lucea, immediately over the scene of his disaster in the Badger. The house was conspicuous, as standing alone, and higher than others, upon the ridge to the westward. One of these ladies was married to Doctor Corral, a physician practicing in the place; it is probable that not a remnant of the family remains at this day, in the island.

Before quitting the subject of the hurricane, I may notice a circumstance which, although striking enough, has not be alluded to by any writer :—the disposition of the waves during the continuance of a storm.

It is evident that as the wind gyrates round a centre, the seas risen by its force, will follow the same course, bounding along as it were in a circular trough; there is no apparent change in the waves, as they hold their position always on the broadside of a ship lying to; the wind, the wave, and the vessel all move in unison by one impulse ; and it should follow that the nearer a ship approached towards the centre, the shorter the seas would be found; from the circuit of the wind being progressively reduced inwards, and vice versá, precisely in the same way that the changes of wind vary in elapsed time according as the centre, or, the margin of the circle is approached. There seems, too, to be little doubt of an existing current being turned in its direction by the force and course of the wind.

(To be continued.)

Porto PRAYA, St. Jago.A spirited individual has, at considerable expense, conducted the water to the beach at this place, so that it can be filled with great facility, and be obtained in a good state for ships' use. Formerly it was a service of much difficulty and toil to water a vessel at Porto Praya, as the casks had to be rolled up to a well, not the cleanest in the world, and the water had to be baled up in buckets. The Vindictive, of 50 guns, in April last, obtained 60 tons, and she was only in the anchorage 48 hours. Merchant vessels are supplied by rafting by the boatmen, who charge 3d. for a large cask.

THE REEFS AND TIDES ON THE NORTH-East Coast OF AUSTRALIA.

UNCOVERED reefs are seen better from. on deck than aloft, from their being within the horizon of the latter. Reefs of this kind are also easily seen in the direction of the sun, (sunwards,) the lumps of black coral rock projected on the dazzling silvery water,-a smooth appearance in the latter is a sure indication of a shoal. Covered shoals of this kind are of course, sooner and better seen from aloft, where a most trustworthy person should always be stationed.

Pass eastward of reefs in the morning, and westward in the evening. If, however, obliged to pass the shady side, (the reef between you and the sun,) and circumstances will allow it, steer so as to bring the end of the reef open of the sun.

For instance, suppose a ship passing along the north-east coast of Australia, steering north-west in the afternon, with the sun ahead, and looking out for a covered reef. When near it steer north, bringing the the reef to the westward of the sun, the southern part of it will then be easily seen, when a course may be shaped along it. Again, should there be a space to the westward, steer in that direction, bringing the reef northward of the sun; but a glance at the following sketch will convey at once what I mean.

Edge of Reel

Edge of Reet.

It is difficult to discern the leeward edges of well covered reefs, the water being discoloured some distance off, by the sand, mud, and shells washing from them. This occurs particularly between Fitzroy's Island and Cape Tribulation.

Attention to the tides will often save much anxiety. High and low water alters the appearance of the reefs more than is generally believed, although the rise of tide is not more than from 4 to 8 feet. Hence arises the different reports of the same reefs being covered and uncovered.

High water takes place on the full and change day, when the tides are tolerably regular, between 10h. and 11h. 30m., along the whole range of the coast. The flood comes from the southward (main stream), there are branch tides flowing into the deep bays trending southward in some parts of the coast.

In the Beagle we always noticed a current setting between N.N.W. and N.W. from į to 14 knot hourly; its direction is greatly influenced by the trend of the coast, and uncovered reefs, and its strength by wind, flood, or ebb stream of tide, and according to the confined or open space of sea.

J. L. STOKES.

BOTTLE PAPERS.

(Continued from p. 184.) The numbers refer to the table and the tracks on the chart in the March number. The contents of the papers have been sirictly preserved in all their particulars. (No. 2.)

The following has been received at Lloyd's :-On the 23rd of November, 1841, a sealed bottle was picked up on the western coast of the Commune d'Ais, Ile de Re, in which was found a letter in English, of which the following is a copy :

« On board the Lydie, of Liverpool, Capt. Petree,

" bound to Bahia, Oct. 7, 1841. “We have had during the last few days, in the Bay of Biscay, strong winds from W.N.W., and heavy seas.

“ We apprehended that our voyage might be protracted on approaching the southern coasts of this bay, in which there is reason to fear meeting with strong currents. How desirable it would be, under such circumstances, to have a knowledge of the true set of the currents, in order to know how long one might follow them in standing to the southward with the helm a starboard. We are at this present time in lat. 46° 57' N., and long. 7° by chronometer, meridian of Greenwich, having struggled against currents, which indicate either the approximation of the coast or the junction of the two currents.

" Whoever shall find this bottle is requested to make known to the public the place where, and the time when, it may have been picked up, so that it may come to the knowledge of the Scientific Society in England, and that it may be known we were in these latitudes."— Times, Dec. 23, 1841.

(No.3.)

A bottle from the ship Graham Moore, 6th of July, 1821, in latitude 47° 47' N., longitude 7° 51' W: Found 15th of September, 1821, on the coast of St. Jean de Mont, arrondissement of Sables d'Olonne, department of La Vendée ; and made known by the Journal de Paris.

(No. 3a.)

Londres, le 21 Juilles, 1842. MONSIEUR.-J'ai l'honneur de vous transmettre, conformement aux directions de M. l'Amiral Duperré, Ministre de la Marine en France, le billet ci joint, extrait d'une bouteille provenant du Vaisseau de Sa Majesté Britannique le “ Benbow," et qui a été trouvée sur la cote de St. Gilles, dans l'arrondissement maritime de Rochefort.

J'ai l'honneur d'étre, Monsieur,

Votre tres Obt. Servr., To the Hon. S. Herbert, Admiralty.

Durant St. Andre. “ Her Britannic Majesty's ship Benbow, lat. 46° 49' N., long. 7° 46' 15' W. at noon; all well-bound for England. " A. C.-May 2, 1842."

“ By Gunroom OFFICERS."

(No. 4.)

On the 11th inst, a bottle was picked up at Porlease Bay, about two miles west of Padstow, containing the following written on paper with a pencil :

“ Ship Britannia, of New York, at sea, two days off Cape Clear, outward bound, Sept. 5, 1835. W. R."- Plymouth & Devon. Herald, Oct. 25, 1835.

H.M. Brig Hope, Noon, Mar. 31, 1838. (No. 5.)

Lat. 50° 10' N., long. 9° 43' W., per chron. “Sailed from Havana on the 28th of Feb., and have 1,172,642 dollars on board on freight, up to this time all well. The wind has been strong from the eastward for three days. Should this ever be taken up I request it may be made public, in some of the prints of England (The Nautical Magazine). The intention of this is to ascertain the direction and velocity of the current, &c.

“D. PENDER, Master R.N."

(No. 6.)

“ H.M.S. Arrow, 14th of July, 1838, lat. 48° 30' N., long. 9° 25' W. The wind has been south-west for five days, occasionaliy blowing strong; the last few hours a fresh gale which has now drawn round to the north-west.

“B. J. SULLIVAN,

"Lieut.-Commander."

(No. 7.)

Gibraltar, Feb. 9.-Copy of a paper found within a bottle, by a Moor, on the 8th of January, 1839, upon the sea beach, about half way between Arzyla and Laraiche :

East India ship, Malabar,

Outward bound, Aug. 6, 1838. “ Whoever finds this will be so good as to put an announcement into the English newspapers to that effect. The passengers on board are all well. Our latitude to-day 43° 27' minutes, and longitude 9° 3'. We saw land this morning and from our chart it proves to be Cape Ortegal."

(True copy) E. W. A DRUMMOND HAY, Tangier, Feb. 2, 1839.

British Consulate General.

(No. 8.)

H.M. Schooner Pike, Falmouth, 2012 Oct., 1834 SIR, -Much having been said about the strength of currents on the coast of Portugal, I beg to submit the following statement, which occurred in May last, on my passage from Lisbon to Falmouth, in His Majesty's Schooner Pike :

May 8th.-Light breezes, Mount Tecla (a remarkable hill on the borders of Spain and Portugal) bearing N.E.b.E. 1 E. sixteen or seventeen miles, observed a dead whale floating : when we got close to it, the wind died away, and I was enabled to get it alongside, and succeeded in cutting out one of its lower jawbones. The breeze springing up, obliged me to cast it adrift, before I could get the other. On my return to Lisbon, on the 7th of June, mentioning the case to Mr. Phillips, acting agent for the Consul at Belem, he informed me that a whale, answering the description, had been towed by the fishermen into the Tagus on the 6th of June. He agreed to accompany me next morning to ascertain the fact, and, from the marks, (my initials A. B., and a king's broad arrow, I cut on its head,) found it to be the same. On my giving the fishermen a small sum, they allowed me to take out the fellow bone to the one I had. From the time of my falling in with it to the time the fishermen saw it off Cape Espechel, was twenty-eight days. During that time it had drifted 220 miles, or about eight miles a day; the wind during that time from the northward and

« 이전계속 »