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between the island of Chiloe and California, from May till December. The beginning and end of winter are most to be dreaded. Great hurricanes are experienced * in the months of June and September, and we them. find, on the coasts of Acapulco and San Blas, as rough and angry a sea as we find in winter near the island of Chiloe and the coast of Gallicia and the Asturias. The great ocean only merits the denomination of Pacific, between the parallels of Coquimbo and Cape Corientes, that is between 30° south latitude and 5° north latitude. In this region a constant serenity prevails. Gentle winds from the south-southwest and south-east, blow there during the whole year, and the seasons have almost no perceptible influence on them. Between 5° north latitude and Bering's Straits, there prevails, in the eastern part of the great ocean in winter, that is to say, from the month of May till the month of October, south-south-west f and even south-south-east winds, which go all by the general names of bendavales; and in summer, that is to say, from the month of November till the end of April, the brisas or north and north-east winds continue to blow. The bendavales are stormy, and accompanied with thick clouds, which near the land, espe
* Vol. i. p. 85. - t Vientos del tercer quadrante . .
cially in August, September, and October, burst in heavy rains of twenty or twenty-five days continuance. These rains destroy the fruits of the earth, while the south-west wind tears up the largest trees. I saw near Acapulco, a bombaxceiba-tree, the trunk of which was more than seven metres in circumference *, blown down by the bendavales. The brisas are mild, and frequently interrupted by dead calms, and they blow during a beautiful and serene sky, as is generally the case with all the winds which have the same denomination as the hemisphere in which they prevail. Near Acapulco, and the fact is very important to the pilots who frequent these latitudes, the north monsoons constantly incline to the north-west. The north-east wind f which we find out at sea, and in more southern latitudes, is very rare, and the true west wind is dreaded from its extreme violence. It is probable, that the breadth of the continent, and the ascending current that is formed on a land strongly heated, occasion these movements of the atmosphere towards the east, and that this effect becomes insensible in proportion to the distance from the continent. The regularity of the monsoons, and the changes in the direction of the wind, depending on the influence of the seasons, are only felt at a distance from the coast of four or five degrees in longitude. Earther to the westward, the great ocean exhibits the same phenomena as the Atlantic Ocean; for we find during the whole course of the year between the tropics the trade wind, which might be called the wind of the rotation of the earth, and which inclines, according to the denomination of the hemisphere to which it blows, sometimes to the north and sometimes to the south. Pt sometimes happens that vessels coming from Chili or Lima, get into longitudes too far to the west, through fear of touching land to the east of Acapulco; and they wait there in vain for the north-west wind, which never blows at a distance from the coast. The north-east compels them to rise as high as the parallel of 20° to approach the continent, which stretches out in a direction from south-east to north-west; for there only at 40 leagues from land can they fall in with the north-west wind, which brings them into port. These same winds from the west, force the galeon of Acapulco, when it returns to Manilla, to steer southwards
* 23 feet. Trans.
t The land wind (terral) which blows during the night, and till eight or nine o'clock in the morning, at Sonzonate, Rialexo, and Acapulco, is however east and north-east; and it is by means of this trifling wind that vessels ascend in summer, if they have the misfortune of approaching land east from Acapulco.
and at 103° of longitude, and consequently more
than two hundred leagues west from the coast of Guatimala, the galeon gets the trade winds (east and east-north-east) which accompany it to the Mariana Islands.
The trade of Acapulco with the ports of Guayaquil and Lima is far from being active; and the principal objects are copper, oil, some Chili wine, a very small quantity of sugar, and quinquina of Peru, and the cocoa of Guayaquil, destined either for the interior consumption of New Spain, for the Havannah and the Philippine islands, or in time of war, for Europe. The lading of the vessels, which return to Guayaquil and Lima, is very trifling, and is confined to a few woollens of the manufactures of Queretaro, a small quantity of cochineal, and contraband East India goods. The length and the extreme difficulty of the navigation from Acapulco to Lima are the greatest obstacles to trade between the inhabitants of Peru and Mexico. From the Callao de Lima to Guayaquil is easily navigated in the space of six or eight days; and from Guayaquil to Acapulco requires three, four, and five weeks; but the passage from the northern to the southern hemisphere, from the coast of Mexico to the coast of Quito and Peru, is a continual struggle against winds and currents. The distance from Guayaquil to Callao is only 210 marine leagues, yet very often more time is required for this short passage from north to south, than from Acapulco to Manilla by a course of more than 2,800 marine leagues; and it also frequently happens, that more weeks are necessary to go from Guayaquil to the Callao than days from the Callao to Guayaquil. Three things are to be dreaded in the passage from the coast of Peru to New Spain; the dead calms which particularly prevail near the line; the furious winds known by the name of papagallos, of which we have already spoken at the end of the third chapter; and the danger of getting on land to the east of Acapulco. The calms are the more dangerous, because while they last, the currents are at the strongest. Moreover, the Spanish vessels employed in the South Sea trade are so ill constructed, that with very moderate winds they are driven about by . these currents. The parallels where the currents are felt with the greatest force, are the Gallapagos Islands, first examined by Mr. Collnet with something like accuracy. There have been examples of Spanish vessels constructed at Guayaquil, and obeying very badly the helm, which have cruised among the islands for two months, without any power of getting away from them, and risking every moment, in the midst of a dead calm, to be carried by currents * on the shore which is every where shelvy. The Peruvian pilots endeavour to cross the line