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From midnight till noon, from the fact that the wind remained so steady to a point, we must have been directly on its track. Had I scudded longer I should have been leaving it, consequently have had less of it. Under the circumstances, although I was calculating from erroneous data, what I fortunately did, proved in the end the best course I could have adopted; to run longer would have endangered the lives of all hands. Had I rounded to on the north track, I should have drifted nearer the centre, consequently have been under its influence and force.
Another fact that proves the storm must have been going to the northward and eastward, was, the drift of the vessel was inconsiderable, and not allowing for the storm tide, would not have been sufficient to alter our relative position with the storm.
I shall be able to give you more particulars when we meet. Would you kindly send your account of it to the Sydney Herald, as the more all the information is spread abroad, the more likely we are to procure fresh data. I shall send an account of it to Piddington. Calcutta, author of the Sailor's Horn Book, &c).
I hope soon to see the time, when the theory of the law of storms, will be as well understood by practical seamen, as a day's work aboard ship is at present.
Whilst scientific men take such a lively interest in collecting data, we have much to expect from their praiseworthy exertions, and with such indefatigable men there is no fear but the science must progress.
T. B. SIMPSOR. To Rev. W. B. Clarke, St. Leonard's.
[With such men as Capt. Simpson, the science must progress; as the observations which they send home will be discussed, deductions made, the correct theory established, and rules laid down for the guidance of seamen; and as the subject of hurricanes both in the Atlantic and Pacific is becoming now one of examination, we have no doubt it will be taken up as it should be. We advise them to look into it for themselves, and they will soon find out there is no difficulty in it whatever. Long ago we gave rules in the Nautical, which with a piece of chalk to describe a circle on the cabin hatch, or any where else, would give all the conclusions which Capt. Simpson has mentioned, and he did perfectly right in laying the Freak to on the Starboard tack. But it would appear that he was in that part of the ocean, where the storm happened to recurve its track to the north-east, and as he says he therefore would have done better to have run further away to the westward. But had the storm been travelling to the north-west as he had good reason for supposing, he would then have crossed it, and possibly have suffered more severely than he did. His observations go to establish the locality in which the storms of the North Pacific recurve to the north-east, and observations of this kind in the Pacific are what we want. Some few will be found in Colonel Reid's valuable work, but good accounts of Pacific Storms are very rare indeed, and the Commander of the Freak has supplied a very useful one.—Ep. N.M.]
DEPTH OF THE (CEAN IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC.-Letters dated Washington, March 10, publish the following passage from a letter of Lieut. John R. Goldsborough, United States Navy, formerly assistant in the coast survey. It is dated United States ship Saratoga, Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, December 26th, 1850.--"During our passage from Rio de Janeiro, to Saldanba Bay, Cape of Good Hope, being in lat. 28° 21' S., and long. 29° 17' W., we sounded and obtained bottom at the depth of 3,100 fathoms, or three and a half miles. Our sounding apparatus was a 32-lb shot, slung with wire and attached to a small line of 5,000 fathoms long, and sufficiently strong to bear a weight of 60lb. The soundings were as good and fair as any I have ever seen obtained, the line up and down as taut as it could be, and when attempting to haul it on board, after procuring soundings, it parted about 50 fathoms from the surface. The time occupied in sounding was one hour and nine minutes.
Morte Stone, BRISTOL CHANNEL. A potice of the Trinity-house, London, dated 4th April, 1851, says :- That in order to mark the position of a Rocky Ledge, which extends in a northwesterly direction from Morte Point on the north coast of Devonshire, a Nun Buoy of large size, painted black, and marked “ Morte Stone," has been placed in 9 fathoms at low water spring tides, about 1} cables' length to the north-west of the extremity of the said ledge, and with the following compass bearings, viz. :
Lundy Light-house, W.b.N. $ N.; Hartland Point, W.b.S. S.; Baggy Point, S.W. S.; Bull Point, E. & S.; Morte Point, S.E.
FALKLAND ISLANDS. -It ought to be generally known to captains of vessels trading to the west coast of South America, California, and the Islands in the Pacific, that Stanley is a free port in the East Falkland Island, the extreme leeward point of the group, lat. 51° 40' south, long. 57° 49' west.
The port of Stanley possesses peculiar advantages : it is easily entered, well protected, has a safe anchorage, and is a most desirable Harbour of Refuge during the westerly gales so prevalent in the latitude of Cape Horn. In addition to these advantages it possesses numerous others : it is situated directly in the course of vessels going to or returning from the Pacific, and is generally sighted by them ; it furnishes (which ships after a long voyage so much want) fresh water, fresh beef, cheap and abundant, and vegetables of every description, at very moderate charges.
The advantages to Emigrant ships of having an intermediate port in the Atlantic, where they can obtain fresh supplies, on reasonable terms, without incurring the heavy charges of the Brazilian ports, must be very obvious, as much of the space used for stowing provisions and water might be more profitly employed in carrying passengers and cargo.
Application has been made to the Government to erect a Tower or Lighthouse on Cape Pembroke, the south-east point of the east Falkland Island, on which a Telegraph may also be placed. When this is done it will greatly assist captains who have not been there before, although there is no danger in approaching the islands, all sunken rocks being naturally buoyed by the kelp.
Excellent Admiralty Charts of the group are to be purchased for 3s. each, at J. D. POTTER'S 31, Poultry, London, and at MELLING AND Co's, 39, South Castle Street, Liverpool, and to be bad at the Custoin-houses of all the principal outports.
Cape Passaro.— The light on Cape Passaro is bright and fixed and may be seen in clear weather twelve or tbirteen miles. A berth for a large ship, is, the tower of Castello on with the Mole, and a square fort on Mount St. Elias on with the Lazaretto; the latter is situated near the beach to the northwest of the Signal Tower on the Mount, which is said to have been erected for the purpose of a Lighthouse, but no light is ever exhibited although so stated on the chart.
J. Chegwyn, Master, R.N.
Rock in Axim Bay.-Gold Coast, ship struck. We find the following accounts of three newly discovered dangers in a recent number of the Vorhandelingen en Berigten.
In the schooner brig Governor bound to Asim on the coast of Guinea, and the first of our possessions on the coast, situated in long. 2° 15' W., and lat. 4° 52' N., on anchoring I brought Fort St. Anthony to bear as much east as possible, and found good ground in 5} fathoms.
The plan of the Bay of Axim in 1837, drawn up by Capt. Vidal of the Etna, with the addition of the undermentioned, appears quite correct.
On the morning of the 1st of March, I started from Appolonia, a deserted English establishinent, 51 German miles above, or to the westward of Axim, and anchored in the roadstead of the latter place in 54 fathoms. However, the brig by veering out the chain, tailed on a hard ground astern, which made it necessary for me to get under sail again, in order to shift my berth, which I did into 7 fathoms, the fort E.b.N., although scarcely drawing nine feet. I immediately examined the place, and found a pinnacle shaped rock, over which at low water, there was scarcely thirteen feet; and while the bow of a twenty-four feet boat rested on the shoal, I had at the stern 5} fathoms. This danger lies with the following bearings taken by compass, which according to several observatons had 21° westerly variation ; f Fort St. Anthony E. S., Island Bobowassie S.E.b.E. I E., Island Sagaba N.N.E.
To avoid this rock bring the fort to bear E.b.N., or E.N.E. 4 E., when you may anchor in safety in 6 fathoms.
The current along the whole Gulf of Guinea, mostly sets to the eastward; the rise and fall is four or five feet.
The English charts of the Gold Coast, published by the Admiralty, and mostly drawn up by Captains Vidal and Owen, are carefully done ; perhaps more trouble is bestowed on the English plans, than on the Dutch, by which I mean the first named are more accurate.
W. Van Der Hoeven. GCRTER'S ROCK IN THE JAVA Sea. From the log of the frigate built ship Johanna Maria Christina, Capt. C. N. Gorter, Batavia Roads. Thursday 6th of June, 1850, weighed anchor and set all requisite sail, passing slowly the islands Onrust, Hooru, Haarlem, &c. At 2 o'clock we perceived that the ship slightly touched the ground, having then 3] fathoms. Our bearings then were, the middle of the Island of Middleburgh to the southward, and the Island Kleine Kombuis W. N. After the ship had passed this bank or coral reef, we observed the west extreme of Middleburgh S. 1 W., and the south extreme of Kleine Kombuis W. $ N.
* A work similar to the Nautical Magazine, published quarterly at the Royal Hydrographic Office at Amsterdam, and edited by Jacob Swartz, member of the Royal Society, Hydrographer, &c.
† Capt. Vidal's plan gives 20°, agreeing very closely.
# If so it lias been accidental; no such preference is observed either in the orders given to the surveying officers, or by the officers themselves.--Ed,
On reference to the chart, we shall find this shoal situated in about lat. 5° 57' S., and long. 106° 45' E.
As soon as intelligence is received from the commission for the correction of Indian charts, of this discovered danger, I shall take measures to have it laid down in the chart.
UNKNOWN Rock in GASPAR STRAIT. In one of the recent Java Courants, we read that the Dutch schooner Cornelius Haja of Schiedam, Com. J. J. Bell, sailed from Whampoa on the 25th of March, 1850, with a cargo of tea for Amsterdam. On the 9th of April, 1850, at 6h. 30m. P.M., standing for Gaspar Strait, in long. 107° 1' E. of Greenwich, and lat. 2° 44' 30" S., grounded on a hidden rock not laid down on any chart. The bearings were Gaspar Island N.b.E. E., and the north corner of Leat Island S.E. I S. By the first shock the ship lost her false keel, and in less than fifteen minutes, there was ten feet water in the hold. The commander and crew were obliged to take to the boat, and at ilh. at night, were picked up by the English brig Marmion, Capt. R. Hodgson of Port Phillip, who took them to Anjer, from thence by the ship Vijf Gebroeders, C. J. Teensma of Amsterdam, brought to Batavia. Laying down this danger on the chart of Gaspar Strait by H. L. Osthoff, or on that of the navigable waters between Sumatra and Borneo, by H. D. A. Smits, it would appear probably as belonging to the rocks that stretch north-westerly froin Leat, and this fresh misfortune warns all to give the north-west part of Leat or Middew Island a wide berth.
[The above position places the rock nearly seven miles from the north point of Leat Island, but it is worthy of notice that the rock on which H.M.S. Alceste, Capt. Sir Murray Maxwell, was lost, was stated to be five miles from this point, and it was afterwards shewn that it was only one and three-quarters. We hope the question will be examined, and the limits of the reef extending north-west from that point laid down correctly, as well as any detached dangers such as the above would appear to be.-Ed.]
THE LATE Capt. Hewett'S OPINION of Redcar, (INTENDED) VICTORIA
Lee Grove, January 14th, 1833. SIR.—I had the pleasure to receive your letter of January 11th, with its accompanying plan and report of your brother's, for the formation of a harbour on the Redcar Coast,* and I beg to say that, I will give the subject my best consideration, and should any other advantages than those already enumerated suggest themselves to my mind, I will unhesitatingly mention them. In the meanwbile I would observe that there can be but one opinion on the formation of a harbour on the spot selected, and that every way favourable to the measure; for the very overlapping description of the two distinct patches of rocks which form the Salt Scars and which constitutes the greatest danger to the lives of the crews of vessels caught on that portion of tbe coast of Yorkshire as a lee shore, from the total impossibility of running a direct course for the beach, without touching these rocks, has always struck me as
* Plan and report by Mr. W. A. Brooks, C.E., of January, 1832, and Nautical Magazine, 1833, p. 95.
being their best recommendation also, so far as the weight of sea is concerned, for a harbour being formed between them.
I have had it in contemplation to recommend the erection of a beacon on with the mill, or two beacons as may be most convenient, as a guide to ves. sels, caught on this dangerous coast, between the rocks, so as to run on the beach and save life at the least; but I shall be happy to wait the issue of the infinitely more important proposition brought forward by your brother's ingenuity.
I should certainly have done myself the pleasure of waiting upon you in Bond Street ere this, had not my occasional visits to my vessel at Sheerness, close confinement to my professional duties here, and no small share of indifferent health, prevented me.
I am &c., To G. Brooks, Esq.
NICARAGUA CANAL COMPANY.—The New York Herald states that the junction of the Atlantic with the Pacific by the Nicaragua route, will soon be completed by the Nicaragua Canal Company.
Great progress has been made with the surveys: and up to the last date the engineers have fixed upon routes for a ship canal between the Lake of Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean, and also a road for passengers and freight from the extremity of the lake to the Bay of San Juan on the Pacific. Rio Lagos had been selected on the Atlantic side of the lake. Route, from New York to San Juan, by steam-ship; thence to the Castillian rapids on the San Juan river, by steam-boat; from this point to the river above the afore. said rapids, a distance of one hundred yards or so, by land; thence by the river San Juan and the Lake of Nicaragua to Virgin Bay; thence to San Juan Harbour on the Pacific, a distance of twelve miles; and thence to San Francisco by steam-ship. Making liberal allowances for delays, &c., this will bring San Francisco within twenty days of New York.
From California, we have interesting accounts to February 1, confirming the reports from the Cold Bluffs, as to the auriferous character of the sands in that locality. The Bluffs were some thirty miles to the northward of Trinidad, presenting to the ocean a perpendicular front from 100 to 400 feet in height, and extending to the extraordipray distance of six miles.
CAUSE AND EFFECT.-Allowance of Grog in the Royal Navy.
Sailors' Home, Well Street, March 14th, 1851, SIR.--I am requested by the Directors of the Sailors' Home to report to you, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that several seamen lately paid off from Her Majesty's ships Prince Regent and Powerful have been boarding at this Institution, and that the Secretary has this day reported to the Board, at their monthly meeting, that many of these men have made the most satisfactory statements of the increased comfort and happiness they have enjoyed in their messes since the regulation for the abolition of the evening grog has come into operation.
The Board feel that such direct information respecting the recent alteration in the mode of victualling will be acceptable to their Lordships.
I am, &c.,
Henry Hope, Reur Admiral, Chairman. To John Parker, Esq., M.P., Secretary, Admiralty.