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of Amsterdam, further than that it had blown very hard. I have no doubt that, (as I expected,) this gale swept the whole of that coast, as on closing it on the 28th, instead of the usual easterly current of a mile or more an hour, we found on that day a set, N. 73° W., 14 miles; on the 29th, W. 27 miles; and on the 30th, N. 41° W. 13 miles, the reflux evidently of the storm wave, whilst on the 4th of August the current had resumed its old course of N. 45° E. 20 miles.
On examining, after our arrival at Sydney the logs of two merchant ships, the Fairlie of London, and Ganges of Liverpool, which made the
passage about the same time as ourselves, but a degree or two more to the southward, I found they had occasionally north-east winds, while we had west gales, and both ships, from these causes, were unable to fetch the entrance to Bass's Straits, and were forced to go round Van Diemen Land, a loss of time of at least 4 or 5 days.
As far as my own limited experience goes, these remarks only refer to the open ocean, the vinds evidently sometimes being nullified by the neighbourhood of the land, &c., although Flinder's account of the usual progress of the gales in Bass's Straits, describes perfect rotatory storms. In our case, the southerly gale which took us through the Straits, and thence rapidly up the coast to Port Jackson, was certainly not of this description, as although it blew very heavy on the night of the 4th of August, it veered for an hour or two to the S.S. W., the glass only fell to 29° 84', rising very soon afterwards, when the wind resumed its old direction.
Having had a good observation, I did not hesitate to enter Bass's Straits at night, keeping in mid-channel between Otway and King island. Since then, the light on the former has been exhibited. I have my doubts, however, and I believe speak the opinion of Capt. P. P. King, the first of Australian authorities, whether the light should not have been placed on King Island, the gales blowing hardest from south and south-west. Cape Otway is a lee shore, and in our own case, I should never have thought of edging away towards it, to make a light. The reason generally assigned for the present position, viz: keeping a ship off the Harbinger rocks appears not to be worth considering, as they lie within a few miles of the shore of King Island, and a light on the latter would be a sufficient guide for them. Made Wilson's promontory in the morning of the 5th of August, and ran in a fresh southerly gale, between it and Redondo. When abreast of the Crocodile rock, then between 4 and 5 miles distance, saw it breaking distinctly from the main-top. Observed as we passed in the evening that the light-house on Kent's Grope was completed and the light-shown, so that either entrance to the Straits, has now this great advantage.
I believe it is now generally known, that the coast line from Cape Howe to Port Jackson, * as originally laid down by Flinders from observations in a small boat, is about 10 miles too far to the eastward. Capt. Stokes in the Acheron informs me that he has steamed over the assigned position of Cape St. George, south of Jervis Bay, and he has corrected the coast line in our Admiralty chart accordingly.
* Or rather as far nortlı as Red point in Lat. 34° 30'.
A CRUIZE THROUGH THE MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL, in H.M.S. Geyser.
By J. Richards, Master, R.N.
(Continued from page 344.)
view on every
side was very
AFTER completing a survey of the anchorage we made up a party to visit a waterfall, situated about two miles from the town. Starting early we made a detour to the eastward to look at the country: arriving on the high ground above the fall by eight o'clock. From this spot the
fine. Towards the peak the land ascended in gentle swellings for about two miles, covered with rich
grass, lieved occasionally with clumps of cocoa-nut and other trees. Beyond this arise steep hills, forming in ridges up to the peak, pretty well covered with wood, and intersected with deep ravines, the peak itself being buried in the clouds. On our right a bold ridge of land towered far above us, continuing towards the sea; then looking seaward the town is just visible in the
gorge. of a deep ravine, whilst at our feet a sheet of water fell over a precipice down which it makes the eye dizzy to look.
But as our appetites were by this time pretty sharp, we thought that “Goliath”.just heaving in sight from between some clumps of trees below, and bearing a hamper of provisions, was not the least interesting feature of the scene. After bathing in the stream we all set to work and made a hearty breakfast ; then wishing to view the grand fall from below, some of the most adventurous among us commenced the descent. This was ticklish work, in which, the natives could not be persuaded to accompany us, so Doctor Jolliffe, young Sunley, Hearnden, Jones and myself proceeded without them. We succeeded after an immense deal of trouble, and ascending the mountain on the opposite side, arrived at the town at four o'clock pretty well tired. I should mention that when the natives saw us disappear in the ravine they went home and reported that we had got into a pit and could not get out ; in consequence of this the Sultan sent a party of natives to our assistance with ropes to draw us out, these we met on our return just as we were about to enter the town.
In our walk we saw a great variety of birds, but not one guinea fowl, although we had been told there were plenty on the island. The soil was everywhere of the most luxuriant description, and I am told would grow sugar quite equal to Mauritius. The natives make a small quantity which fetches a good price at Mayotte. Any one, therefore who, is acquainted with the Johannese method of culture and manufacturing this article, may form some idea of what might be done with capital combined with European energy and intelligence. Every thing seems
favourable to the enterprise of Englishmen at this moment. The Sultan standing in great awe of his near neighbours the French, would gladly receive any English that might choose to settle here ; but the surest guarantees is the peaceable disposition of the people themselves ; their wishes on this subject, and the large black and slave population, which is said to be continually increasing by fresh importations from the Mozambique (of course without the knowledge of his Majesty).
I am told that the lower classes of the Johannese are very industrious, and that no difficulty is anticipated in procuring free labour, sufficient to bring a considerable quantity of the soil under cultivation, and at a very much cheaper rate than at Mauritius, in addition to which the planter would have a rich virgin soi), and in most cases entirely free from trees or bushes.
All the Johannese are passionately fond of trading, and in their dealings with Europeans generally consult Mr. Sunley, whose advice they seem to appreciate ; as I have heard them remark * At one time we did so and so, but now there is an Englishman among us, thank God we know better”.
Nothing surprised us so much as the number of natives speaking English, and the general correctness of their pronunciation, but I am told that from the decreasing intercourse with us, and their constant communication with the French at the neighbouring island of Mayotte, their language and influence is gradually superseding ours.
We employed Abdalla Abbas in negociating our purchases of stock, &c., and found him exceedingly useful. He speaks English very correctly, is of gentlemanly address, and seems always eager to serve us in any way; neither did this seem to arise so much from the hope of gain as from being considered our friend, and gaining knowledge. Most of these people have certificates of character given to them by the masters of vessels putting in here, so of course our friend had his share of them, but that which he seemed most proud of was given to him by Captain Brown, of H.M. brig Snake and which set forth that he had given considerable assistance to the officers and ship’s company at the time of her wreck near Mozambique.
Whilst we were here several dows arrived from Comoro, laden with bullocks. This trade appears to be considerable for such a small place, one dow generally arriving every day with from 30 to 40; however this taking place whilst we were here may be the result of accident.
We know of no harbours on this island, but I have been told by the natives that there are two very good ones on this side of the island. They must of course be small, probably nothing more than openings in the reefs, which at some parts extends near half a mile from the shore.
The natives were all much pleased at the idea of a Consul being sent here, he is now expected daily, and I have no doubt that when he arrives, considerable impulse will be given to industry and commercial enterprize. The cattle of Johanna are very fine, goats and fowls also are plentiful, but considering the great fertility of the soil, the supply of vegetables
brought to market was very small, excepting of course those articles that are indigenous to the island and grow without culture, such as cocoanuts, arrow root, &c., which are very abundant. As a list of prices may be of service I may mention that for bullocks we paid £1. 185. each, fresh beef 2 d. per lb., vegetables about £d. per lb., pumpkins 4d. each, sweet otatoes ls. per basket, fowls 7s. per dozen, arrow root 8s. per cwt.; bananas are dear, mangoes plentiful, as also are pomegranates, tamarinds and pine apples.
We purchased for the ship's company's use 800 lbs. of vegetables, including pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and yams for £1. 15s., and fodder for oxen 58. per load.
Having made a survey of the anchorage off the town during our stay here, it may be as well to offer a few remarks on its approaches, &c.
On this head I think Horsburgh's directions very good, but I have been told by several masters of merchant vessels, that the great caution recommended by him in approaching the island and anchorage, impressed them with an idea of great danger, which is further increased by not having a proper plan of the place. This induced me to make a close survey of the anchorage and its neighbourhood, from which any one wishing to anchor here may choose their own position. I have, however, marked the spots which I consider the best, and there is plenty of room between the points included in the survey to work up.
Whilst the Geyser remained at Johanna the land and sea breezes blew pretty regularly, with light variable airs between, but chiefly from the N.E. The barometer steady 30.00. Thermometer ranging between 76° and 79o. The climate delightful.
I interrogated the lieutenant in command of the French schooner concerning the reefs and shoals east of Mayotte, but did not add to my stock of information. Although he had been cruizing in these seas for a considerable time, and frequently passed these dangers, yet it was at too great a distance to be of any service, so I gave him a copy of my plan of the Geyser reef and shoal. On examining his chart I found three reefs marked down in nearly the same situation as I afterwards found were marked in most of our Admiralty charts, and a bank of soundings extending from the easternmost reef to the eastward for about three or four miles, and having from 40 fathoms to three feet on it.
The commander of the French schooner having some business to settle at Mohilla, got under way on the 8th to run over there.
Having completed our business and filled up with water we wayed from Johanna on Sunday the 10th of September at 6h. A.M., and steamed over to Mohilla, steering for the principal town named Doáng, at which place we arrived at noon. Here we found the French schooner at anchor, and several Arab dows in a small harbour off the town.
The natives had been told of our coming by the Frenchman, so directly we anchored a messenger came on board from the Queen to welcome us. In the afternoon the Captain landed to wait on her Majesty, accompanied by James the interpreter and Mr. Sunley, who had come over with
NO. 8.-VOL. XVIII.
us from Johanna. He was received on the beach by a guard of 50 men armed in the European manner with muskets and bayonets. They presented arms, and went through several maneuvres with great regularity. On entering the palace he was received by the Queen, (a good looking girl of about fourteen
of age). The governor of the town, who is at present Regent or Protector, and several of the principal officers, all of whom imitate the European dress on such occasions, besides a pretty young Creole Frenchwoman, who had been sent by her countrymen at Mayotte, to superintend the young queen's education. After a little chit-chat, and arranging the time of saluting, &c., our party returned on board. As neither the queen nor any of the principal officers or soldiers are Arabs or natives of the island, it may not be uninteresting to shew how they got in to power.
Every body knowing anything of the history of Madagascar, in Radama's time, will recollect that Ramanetaka was one of the most successful of Radama's generals, and at his death was governor of Majunga, (Bembatooka,) which province he had conquered. On the accession of the present queen, (Ranavalona,) he became an object of jealousy and drea to the party in power. It was therefore resolved to destroy him. But as he was a near relative of the late king, and very popular, and further being an experienced general and at the head of 500 experienced soldiers, it was thought dangerous to do it openly and by force.
About the middle of May 1828, an officer with 20 soldiers, arrived at Majunga from Tannarreivo, to summon Ramanetaka to the queen's presence, under pretence of requiring his services at the consul, but several of the party having received hints of what was to take place, before leaving the Capital, privately told Ramanetaka, and advised him to escape. He apparently treated their advice slightingly, and said all would go right enough directly he made his appearance before the Queen. He accordingly prepared for his journey intending to take a guard of 200 men, with all his wives, slaves, goods and chattels.
At this time there were several Arab dows at anchor off the town of Majunga, and as Ramanetaka possessed many slaves and much baggage, he engaged the dows and gave out that he should embark and proceed up a river to the southward, which it was well known would save a deal of time. He embarked accordingly, and proceeded out of the bay, then declaring his intention of visiting Johanna first, ordered the dows to be steered in that direction.
He arrived before the town of Johanna on the fifth day, and immediately despatched a messenger to the King asking permission to land. This was granted, and he landed with all his people.
Just about this time the king of Johanna was engaged in a war with the people of the neighbouring
island of Mohilla, and seeing that Ramanetaka's band of 200 men were armed with muskets and bayonets, he requested their assistance. This being granted, Ramanetaka was appointed commander-in-chief of the entire force, and he proceeded to reduce the island of Mohilla.