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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. Farther 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. It 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 leaguess 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 to the 12° or 14° of latitude. In these parallels,
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 navia gated 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
* Vancouver, iii. p. 404.
seven or eight degrees east from the Galapagos Islands. The English and Anglo-Americans * who enter these latitudes for the spermaceti whale or cachalot fishery are much less afraid of this archipelago than the Spaniards; and they frequently touch there for the purpose of getting turtles, an agreeable and salutary food to mariners, and of landing the diseased seamen. As the whalers are nicely constructed, they experience less drift from the feeble winds.
After escaping from the calms which prevail under the equator, between Cape St. Francis and the Galapagos Islands, the Peruvian ves, sels fall in with about the 13° 30' and 15% of north latitude, and the 103° and 106° of west longitude, another region equally formidable from the frequent calms in the months of February and March. In the year which preceded that in which we visited these seas, a dead calm of twenty-eight days with a want of water, in consequence of it, forced the crew of a ship newly built at Guayaquil, to abandon a rich cargo of cocoa, and save themselves in a boat to make the land, which was eighty leagues distant. Similar accidents are not uncommon in the South Sea, where the pilots have the blameable custom of taking in a very small number of casks of water, to have more room for goods.
.* See Vol. III. chap. X. p. 88. VOL. IV.
The calms which prevail in the parallel of 14° north, and which are only to be compared with those of the gulph of Guinea, are the more to be feared, as they are experienced at the end of the passage.
In the navigation from the Callao, and from Guayaquil to Acapulco, they endeavour to land west from the port, on account of the winds and currents which have a very regular direction near the coast. They generally endeavour to steer for the sand banks of Signantizo, situated at more than forty leagues distance to the west-north-west of Acapulco, a little to the west of the Morro de Petatlan. These banks being very white are seen at sea, at a distance of four leagues. After passing them, they follow the coast steering to the south east, towards the point of Satlan and the beautiful shores of Sitiala, and Coyuca, which are covered with palm trees. They know the port of Acapulco, merely from the nipples (tetas) of Coyuca and the great Cerro de la Brea or Siclata. This mountain, visible at sea at 38 miles distance from the port, is situated to the west of the Alto del Peregrino, and, like the Pic d'Orizaba, the Campana de Truxillo and the Silla de Payta, serves for a signal to navigators. From the coasts of California and Cinaloa to Acapulco, and frequently even to Tehuantepec, the current runs from December to the month