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JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO INDIA.
time back) prayed with the sick below. Their number still continues inconsiderable, and there is no case of absolute danger, though one poor lad has had a very tedious intermitting fever. Symptoms of our advanced progress are visible in the preparations making in the cutter, which Captain Manning is sheathing with zinc, and fitting up with masts and sails for the navigation of the Ganges. His good nature and obliging disposition have spared us another preparation which at these times is usual. I mean, painting the ship previous to her appearing in harbour; an operation which must have made the whole population of the vessel miserable for some days. I am heartily glad to escape this.
September 18.---This evening we had a most beautiful sunset the most remarkable recollected by any of the officers or passengers, and I think the most magnificent spectacle I
Besides the usual beautiful tints of crimson, flame-colour, &c., which the clouds displayed, and which were strangely contrasted with the deep blue of the sea, and the highter, but equally beautiful blue of the sky, there were in the immediate neighbourhood of the sinking sun, and for some time after his disc had disappeared, large tracts of a pale translucent
such I had never seen before except in a prism, and surpassing every effect of paint, or glass, or gein. Every body on board was touched and awed by the glory of the scene, and many observed, that such a spectacle alone was worth the whole voyage from England. One circumstance in the scene struck me as different from all which I had been led to expect in a tropical sunset. I mean, that its progress from light to darkness was much more gradual than most travellers and philosophers have stated. The dip of the sun did not seem more rapid, nor did the duration of the tints on the horizon appear materially less, than on similar occasions in England. Neither did I notice any striking difference in the continuance of the twilight. I pointed out the fact to Major Sackville, who answered, that he had long been convinced that the supposed rapidity of sunrise and sunset in India had been exaggerated, that he had always found a good hour between dawn and sunrise, and little less between sunset and total darkness. As, indeed, we are at present within three degrees of the line, we must, a fortiori, have witnessed this precipitancy of the sun, if it really existed any where, in a still greater degree than it can be wit: nessed in any part of Hindostan.
September 19.--I wakened before dawn this morning, and had therefore an opportunity of verifying, to a certain extent, Major Sackville's observations on a tropical sunrise.' I had no watch, but to my perceptions his account was accurate.
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO INDIA.
Our breeze continues very light, and the heat intense. Our progress, however, is steady, and we were this day at twelve, south lat. 1° 16'. We had again a fine sunset which, though inferior to that of the day before, was decorated by two concentric rainbows of considerable beauty and brilliancy, the colours of the outer rainbow being arranged in a reverse and succession to that of the usual prism, and which was visible in its companion. A night of glorious moonshine followed, with a moderate breeze, and we were supposed to pass the line about 11 o'clock A. M.
September 21.-Nothing remarkable occurred on the 20th. This morning we had divine service, with awning up, and the crew seated, the first time that this has been possible since we passed the Cape. The weather continues fine, but very hot. In the evening we were apprehended to be about 90 miles from the coast of Ceylon, and a trick was attempted
passengers, which is on such occasions not unusual, by sprinkling the rail of the entrance port with some fragrant substance, and then asking them if they do not perceive the spicy gales of Ceylon? Unluckily no oil of cinnamon was found on shipboard, though anxiously hunted for, and peppermint water, the only succedaneum in the doctor's stores, was not what we expected to find, and therefore did not deceive us. Yet, though we were now too far off to catch the odours of land, it is, as we are assured, perfectly true, that such odours are perceptible to a very considerable distance. In the straits of Malacca, a smell like that.of a hawthorn hedge is commonly experienced; and from Ceylon, at thirty or forty miles, under certain circumstances, a yet more agreeable scent is inhaled.
September 24.-A violent squall came on this morning about seven o'clock. Happily Captain Manning foresaw it from an uneasy sensation in the ship's motion, and took in all possible sail, to the surprise of his officers, who saw no reason for the measure. He was, however, only just in time, for a moment after, we were laid nearly on our beam ends, and had we been carrying any thing like our previous sail, must have been completely dismasted. Tremendous rain followed, with some thunder and lightning, and continued the greater part of the day. Towards
evening the rain ceased, and the wind became light. The weather was, however, thick and hazy, and I never saw so much lightning as continued to flash on every side of us during the greater part of the night. Several of the passengers think this symptomatic of the change of the Monsoon, the usual period of which, indeed, is not till the middle of next month; but it sometimes terminates prematurely, even as early as our present date.
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO INDIA,
This possibility has a little damped the spirits of our party, since, though there are, I believe, several among us who will be almost sorry when our voyage is at an end, none of us can look forward without disappointment to the prospect of the indefinite delay, the uncertain weather, and probable hurricanes to which this event would expose us. No observation could be taken this day (September 25.) During the early part of the morning we lay completely becalmed, surrounded with very awful and magnificent thunder-storms, which swept past us in all directions, but without coming nigh us. A water-spout was also seen, but at a distance. At length a light breeze arose, but from the N. W., an unfavourable quarter. We were, however, able to get on with it in a tolerable, though not very direct course: in the evening it drew more aft, and consequently, resumed in part its proper character of S. W. Monsoon, though so light as to do little good. It is probable, however, that the slow progress of last night may have been a dispensation of great kindness towards us, since the officers are of opinion that a very severe storın has taken place in our present latitude, within the last few hours. An uncomfortable swell prevails, indicating, something of the sort, and the number of insects and land-birds around us seem to imply a hard gale to have driven them so far out to sea. Among the insects several dragon-flies appear, precisely like those of England, and some very beautiful butterflies and winged grasshoppers. A turtle-dove and two hawks perched on the rigging, all so much fatigued, as that the latter showed no desire to molest the former. The day beautifully clear, but intensely hot. Both to-day and yesterday the fragrance of the land, or at least the peculiar smell which denotes its neighbourhood, was perceived by the experienced organs of Captain Manning and his officers; but I could not catch any thing in the breeze more than usual. We are all now in good spirits again, and the officers more particularly, rejoice in having ascertained the latitude correctly, à circumstance agreeable at all times, but especially desirable when about to approach a dangerous coast, at a time of the year when the sun and stars are frequently obscured for weeks together.
September 27.- At eleven this day the Pagoda of Juggerpaut, and the two known by the name of the Black Pagodas, were visible from the mast-head, bearing N. W. about eighteen miles, and only distinguishable, on this flat coast, from sails, by those who were previously aware of their forms and vicinity: three or four vessels were seen at the same time, supposed to be small craft engaged in the coasting trade. Our lat. at twelve was 19° 30'. We had light wind with occasional squalls till twelve; after which a dead calm
JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE TO INDIA.
with a heavy and uncomfortable swell. I have been endeavouring, for these last two days, to compose a sermon, but my head aches, and my feelings are very unfavourable to serious mental exertion. It is some comfort to be assured that very
few days in India are so severe as the weather which we now have, and our confined situation on ship-board makes us feel the heat more oppressive than we should otherwise do. The calm continued all day, and the sea-breeze which arose at night, was by far too feeble to carry us on against a heavy swell and current from the N. E.
Sunday 28. --Found ourselves to the westward of our late station by a good many miles, and drifting into the Pagoda of Juggernaut. We had prayers as usual, and I preached, I hope, my last sermon on ship-board during the present voyage. Afterwards we cast anchor in twenty-five fathom water, with Juggernaut about fifteen miles to the N. W. visible with the naked eye from deck, and very distinctly so with a glass. Its appearance strongly reminds me of the old Russian churches. To the S. W. of us, at a considerably greater distance, are seen two small hills, said to be near Ganjan.
- Procul obscuros colles, humilemque videmus Italiam!” About three o'clock a little breeze sprung up from the S. W. just enough to enable us to stem the current. We weighed anchor, and crept slowly along the coast E. by N. The eve. ning was cool and pleasant, and we derived some amusement and mental occupation from watching the different objects which we passed. The immense hostile current and swell were, much against us, and the night grew by degrees squally and rainy. The captain and chief mate were up nearly all night and very anxious. The soundings showed a bottom of coarse. sand and a little gravel.
September 29.-- In the morning we had the mortification to find ourselves still in sight of Juggernaut and the Black Pagoda, and in fact very little advanced from our station at day-break the preceding day. The breeze was quite incompetent to contend with the swell and current from the N. E., and all which we could comfort ourselves with was, that we did not lose ground, nor, as yesterday, drift to the westward. About noon a light breeze again sprung up from the S. E. and we now advanced slowly to the N., so as to see the Black Pagoda more clearly, and even to distinguish the Coco-palms on the coast. Several vessels were under the shore, one brig, some sloops, and a kind of galliot of singullar rig, besides some boats with large square sails. The day was very pleasant and cool, and the night which followed
beautiful. Our breeze was good, and our progress would have been excellent, but for the unfortunate current. As it was, after another anxious night of unceasing sounding and exertion to Captain Manning and his officers, we were only advanced, at six in the morning of the 30th, about forty miles, or not quite to the parrallel of False Cape; yet even this was considerable gain, and would have made us very happy, had not a dismal accident overclouded all such feelings About ten o'clock, as I was writing these lines in the cuddy, a cry was heard, “ Davy is overboard:” at first I thought they said, “the baby,” and ran to the mizen chains in a sort of confused agony, tugging at my coat buttons and my sleeves as I went, with the intention of leaping in after her; when there, however, I found that one of the poor boys apprenticed to Captain Manning by the Marine Society, had fallen from the mizen-gaff, and that one of the midshipmen, Gower not Davy, as at first supposed, was knocked over by him in his fall; the boy only rose for a few moments and sunk for ever, but the midshipman was picked up when almost exhausted. It was pleasing to see the deep interest and manly sorrow excited by this sad accident in all on board. For my own part, I was so much stunned by the shock of my first mistake, that I felt, and still feel a sort of sick and indistinct horror, which has prevented me from sympathizing so deeply as I otherwise must have done, in the melancholy end of the poor lad thus suddenly called away.
The coast was so low, that we could not discover any tokens of it, and were compelled to feel our way by soundings every half hour, keeping in from sixteen to twenty-nine fathom. All this, part of Orixa, as I am assured by Major Sackville, who has himself surveyed the coast, is very ill laid down in most charts. It is a large delta, formed by the mouths of the Maha-Nuddee and other rivers, the northernmost of which insulates Cape Palmiras, and the remainder flow into what is called Cojam Bay, but which is dry at low water; so that the real line of coast is nearly straight from Juggernaut to Palmiras. The night was fine and starlight, and we crept along, sounding, every balf-hour in from seventeen to twenty-three fathoms till after midnight, when we entered suddenly into a rapid stream of smooth water, which carried us considerably to the east. I happened to go on deck during this watch, and was much pleased and interested with the sight. It was exactly like a river, about half a mile broad, smooth, dimply, and whirling, bordered on each side by a harsh, dark rippling sea, such as we had hitherto contended with, and which obviously still ran in a contrary direction. It was, I have no doubt, from Major Sackville's