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QUARTERLY Naval OBITUARY,--Retired Rear-Admiral John M'Kerlie.
From the 21st of December, 1848, to the 20th of January, 1849.
In Dec In Dec 21 Th. 30.34 30:30 22 f. 30.32 30.32 23 s. 30.36 30.26 24 Su, 30 11 29.97 25 M. 29.90 29.99 26
30.08 30.02 27 W. 30.16 30.18 28 Th. 30.02 30.06 29 F. 30.21 30.20 30 S. 30.14 30.10 31 Su. 30:16 30.18
32 37 31 33 45 48 46 43 41 38 38
25 24 26 23 31 40 41 38 37 35 32
33 38 33 34 46 49 47 44 43 39 38
4 2 2 2 2 4 2 4 2 1 3
b b bc
b bed (2
0 bc bc
0 ogd (2
43 40 39 36 35
DECEMBER 1848.--Mean height of Barometer=29.934 inches; Mean Temper ature=42-2
degrees; depth of rain fallen=2.70 inches.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.
OCEANUS in our next.
Hunt, Printer, 130, St. Alban's Place, Edgware Road.
At length the Cape is lighted! And yet we must qualify the announcement by acknowledging that we have received no statement of the fact. We are left to form the conclusion on intelligence which has reached us direct from the place, regarding the efficiency of the new light, which it is stated was to be exhibited in the commencement of this year. Let us hope that new year's day witnessed the event;--that the Cabo Tormentoso of old, the much dreaded Cape of Storms, added another friendly beacon to guide the mariner on his venturesoine path.
The establishment of the Cape light has called forth the best exertions of that talented and energetic Astronomer, Mr. Maclear, in not only determining its position astronomically, but also in fixing a series of stations trigonometrically, by which the shore and its approaches have been examined. In his operations on this service, Mr. Maclear was most ably seconded by his assistant, Mr. Montagu.
We understand that H.M.S. Dee left Table Bay with the light apparatus and stores, with Mr. Rees, the master of the President, Mr. Cave, acting-master of the Nimrod, and returned on the 27th of September leaving Mr. Skead to assist in completing the drawings of the survey which had been made by these officers. In his report of this service Mr. Maclear says, “The officers charged with the execution of the soundings have performed it in a masterly style, with energy and cheerfulness, and I acknowledge my obligations to these gentlemen for their personal at
NO. 3.-VOL. XVIII.
tention and advice. These soundings were not referred to headlands or the features of the shore, but to fixed beacons on the shore, on high land above it, whose positions with respect to the lighthouse required to be well known.” Mr. Maclear proposed, after many consultations with the officers, (and we understand that his proposal has been adopted) that the building of the lighthouse should be painted with alternate white and red zones.
The white becomes invisible through fog, and the red appears suspended irr the air. In the day time it will be very significant, whether projected on the hill as seen from the south, or in the air as seen from the east. Another proposal was also made by Mr. Maclear, and which being also approved of we may point out to the special notice of seamen, until further accounts are received. He observes “as a general rule for the distance from the lighthouse in the night, let the lower part of the lantern glass in certain directions be coloured red, so that when viewed from shipboard, if the light should be red, the vessel must keep off until it becomes white, she will then be out of danger”, a caution which has been adopted elsewhere.
The following directions are drawn up for the guidance of seamen passing L'Agulhas light.
Cape Agulhas is situated in latitude 34° 49' 45" S., and longitude 20° 0' 45" E., and is nearly the southernmost point of Africa, the land immediately west of it projecting a little to the southward of the Cape.
It is a low rocky projection with reefs lying off it to the distance of one-third of a mile; these reefs break heavily in strong winds. When first seen from either the eastward or westward, the land in its immediate vicinity appears high; is even and round, forming two distinct prolonged hummocks, which are connected; but at a distance appear separate. The land, both to the eastward and westward of this double hummock is very low, which renders the Cape easy of recognition.
On the first rise of the land to the northward (N. 30° W., 520 yards from the Cape,) a lighthouse has been erected, shewing a brilliant fixed light at the elevation of 132 feet from the mean level of the sea, and which can be seen in any direction seaward, between E. and N. 57° 15' W., at the distance of six leagues in clear weather.
From the Cape the land trends to the E.N.E. as far as Northumberland Point, between which and the Cape are two deep indentations, the south-westernmost of which is named St. Mango Inlet. The reefs ex. tend from the shore about one-third of a mile, and break heavily in strong winds.
Northumberland Point is low and sandy, and lies N. 86° 30' E. three miles four-tenths from Cape Agulhas. A very dangerous ledge of rocks extends S. 37° 30' E. from the point, and a detached rock was fixed while breaking, by the intersection of lines observed from favourable positions, which place it S. 58° 30' E., one mile two-sevenths from Northumberland Point, and S. 81° 30' É., four miles seven-eights from the lighthouse. The extreme of Northumberland Point reef, bears S. 77° 30 E., four miles and a half nearly from the lighthouse.
Northumberland Point is the western horn of Struys Bay, which is formed by a slight bend of the coast to the westward, and terminates at Struys Point which bears N. 79° 30' E., from ten to twelve miles from Northumberland Point.
Shelter may be obtained in the bay during westerly and north-westerly winds, (although with a heavy swell when blowing hard,) but none is afforded with the wind between south-west, round to the southward, and east.
With any of these winds it is unsafe, if not impossible, for a ship to ride in this bay, for the sea rises to such an extent as to break in 7 and 8 fathoms. This was observed on two occasions in H.M. steam-vessel Dee, while standing off and on, waiting for the weather to moderate to enable her to anchor. At the time of anchoring, although the wind had subsided for several hours, the water nearly broke in 7 fathoms, when the anchor was let go, and at the place from whence she had put to sea three days previously in 44 fathoms, the sea was breaking heavily.
In a small sandy bay or cove to the north-west of Northumberland Point, and which is sheltered by a projecting shelf of shingle from each extremity of the cove, is the landing-place. A jetty has lately been constructed from pieces of wreck, and renders landing very easy, but at the outer horns of the abovementioned shingle there is only water sufficient for a boat at a quarter flood, when the weather is fine. There are three or four wooden houses at the head of the jetty which point out its position from the bay.
The marks for anchoring in Struys Bay, are the large houses near the beach W. I S., and the sandy extremes of Northumberland Point S.W.b.S. in 5 fathoms sand. Here the bottom is clean, while to the westward, and nearer the reef where the water is smoother, the bottom is foul; rocks interspersed with patches of sand. Here it is unsafe for a vessel to anchor, for the cable is liable to spap suddenly from fouling the rocks; this occurred to H.M. steam-vessel Dee, while lying there in a light south-westerly wind, but having the usual swell.
Vessels from the westward intending to anchor in Struys Bay, should not bring the lighthouse to bear more westerly than W.b.N.N., until Northumberland Point bears N.W. N., then steer N.N.E. or N.E.b.N. till the large house in the bay bears W.N.W.; this will lead clear of the outer and detached reefs of Northumberland Point. Then proceed to the N.W., and bring the anchoring marks on.
The whole of the coast from Northumberland Point to Struys Point is low and sandy; but at a short distance from the beach there is a line of sand hills varying from 50 to 150 feet in height. The greater number of these hills are composed entirely of sand, but some are crowned with dark coloured bush. This coast feature extends to the eastward as far as the next point east of Struys Point.
The land near the beach in the neighbourhood of Struys Point is also low, and there is no high land sufficiently near the sea to prevent the low feature from rendering the hills to the northward of Cape Agulhas, a very remarkable object from seaward.
Struys Point is the eastern extreme of a number of sand hills, and forms as already stated the outer horn of Struys Bay. This point is far more dangerous than Northumberland Point, for the reefs lie much farther off the shore, and there is no remarkable high land to enable the mariner to determine his position. A variety of causes prevented this point from being included in the survey which was made at Cape Agulhas; but it was observed from the summit of the sand hills over the point, that the reefs extend to seaward about three miles, breaking with great fury in a strong south-easter. The same appearance in the colour of the water was observed here as off Northumberland Point, viz. changing from brown to light, and dark green to seaward, from which it may be inferred, together with the shoalness of the water in the offing of Northumberland Point, that the lead will always warn a ship of the approach to danger, as well as the colour of the water, which is remark
Coming from the eastward in the night, if the weather is clear, the light on Cape Agulhas will be seen five or six miles before Struys Point is reached, and no ship should stand so far to the northward after having once seen the light as to bring it more southerly than W.b.N.
Keeping the light on this bearing will lead a vessel about two miles to the southward of any danger off Struys Point.
Care should be taken in approaching the land before the light is discovered; as in hazy weather, or from the spray in a fresh breeze combined with the distance of Struys Point, (about fifteen miles,) the light may be obscured, and a vessel get inside the line already mentioned.
Should a vessel seek refuge in a north-west gale in Struys Bay, it would be advisable that she put to sea immediately the gale abated, for the wind frequently changes in a few hours from a strong north-wester to S. or S.W., in which case a vessel would scarcely be able to work out, in consequence of the heavy sea that rises in a short time with these winds.
From Northumberland Point westward the reefs extend about onethird of a mile, and break heavily when the wind is from S.E. In one or two places it breaks farther out, but in no place exceeds half a mile.
During the time the examination of the coast was being carried out, no tide or current was observed in Struys Bay, nor about the coast to the distance of two miles and a half from the shore, as far to the westward as Point E. of the chart, but it is confidently asserted by fishermen and residents at Struys Bay, that a very strong current frequently sets to the westward round Northumberland Point.
The tides were observed at the jetty in Struys Bay once, and twice at Agulhas, at full and change days; the results of these observations give the time of high-water, 2h. 50m., and the rise and fall 5 feet.
Ships approaching the land near Cape Agulhas or Struys Bay, in hazy or foggy weather, should on no account neglect the use of the