F Labrosse.

The navigation of the Pacific Ocean, China seas, etc. online

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UNITED STATES HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE

BUREAU OF




THE NAVIGATION



OF THE



PACIFIC OCEAN, CHINA SEAS, ETC,



TRANSLATED AT.



THE UNITED STATES HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE,



FROM THE FRENCH OF



MONS. F. LABROSSE,



j. w. MILLER,



LIEUTEXAXT U. S. KAV1'.



WASHI^GTOX:

OOVEENMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
1875.



V i 5;



!:






ADVERTISEMENT.

6 Q

_____^__^

3
_j

Ul

The Navigation of the Pacific Ocean has been translated at this office
from the French of M. F. Labrosse, as a valuable addition to our knowl-
edge of the winds and currents of, and routes through, this ocean.

B. H. W.
U. S. HYDRoaRirmc OFFICE,

April 20, 1874.



NOTE.



The bearings are true. The distances are expressed in nautical miles.
The orthography of the geographical names is in accordance with the
latest English and Americas standards.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



PAET I.

CALMS, WINDS, TYPHOONS, USE OF THE BAROMETER, CURKENT8, ICKHKKGS.

CHAPTER I.

Calms, winds, typhoons, cyclones, barometer.

Paragraphs. Page.

$ 1. Calm-belts; equatorial and tropical calms 1

2. Northeast trade-winds 7

$ 3. Southeast trade-winds 8

4. Prevailing winds of the west Pacific 8

1. North of the equator

2. South of the equator 9

5. Zones of general westerly winds 10

6. Prevailing winds on the coast of Australia 13

$ 7. Prevailing winds in Bass strait 15

$ 8. Prevailing winds on the coast of New Zealand 16

9. Prevailing winds in New Caledonia 18

$ 10. Prevailing winds in the Society islands 18

$ 11. Prevailing winds in the Marquesas islands 19

$ 12. Prevailing winds in the Sandwich islands 19

13*. Prevailing winds in the Java sea 20

$ 14. Prevailing winds in the Banda, Timor, and Molucca seas 20

$ 15. Prevailing winds in the Sulu and Celebes seas 21

$ 16. Prevailing winds in the Arafura sea 21

$ 17. Prevailing winds in the China sea 22

$ 18. Prevailing winds on the coast of Luzon 24

$ 19. Prevailing winds in the sea and islands of Japan 24

$20. Typhoons of the China sea ... 25

$ 21. Prevailing winds on the coast of Chile 30

$ 22. Prevailing winds on the coast of Peru 31

$ 23. Prevailing winds on the coast of Colombia, and in the bay of Panama 32

$ 24. Prevailing winds on the coasts of Guatemala, Mexico, and California 35

$ 25. Use of the barometer 37

$26. Cyclones of the Pacific ocean 41

CHAPTER II.

Currents, icebergs.

27. The equatorial current ., 49

$28. The equatorial counter-current 50

$29. The Australian currents, (east coast) -51

$ 30. The Australian currents, (south coast from cape Leeuwin to Bass strait).. 52

$31. The Rossel current 53



VI CONTENTS.

Page.

32. General currents in the " Seas of Passage " 54

9 33. The great Antarctic drift-current 54

$34. The Mentor current - 55

$ 35. The currents of the China sea... v 55

$ 36. The currents of the Japan sea 57

$ 37. The Kuro-Siwo or Japan current 59

$ 38. The Kamchatka and Behriug currents 61

$ 39. The currents of the coasts of California and Mexico 61

$ 40. Deep currents of the bay of Panama 62

$ 41. The currents of the coasts of Chile and Peru 62

$ 42. The Cape Horn current 63

$43. Icebergs 64

PART II.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE PRINCIPAL ROUTES ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

CHAPTER I.
Routes from south to north on the western coast of America.

$ 44. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to Valparaiso 71

$ 45. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to the " intermediate ports"

of Coquimbo, Mexillones, Islay, Iquique, and Arica 81

$ 46. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to Callao 81

$ 47. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to Payta and Guayaquil.. 84

$ 48. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to Panama 84

$ 49. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to Acapulco, San Bias, and

Mazatlau 85

$ 50. Route from cape Horn or the strait of Magellan to San Francisco 88

$51. Route from Valparaiso to the "intermediate ports" and Callao 95

$ 52. Route from Valparaiso to San Francisco . . : 99

$ 53. Route from Callao to Payta and Guayaquil 99

$ 54. Route from Callao to Panama 100

$ 55. Route from Callao to Guatemala and Mexico . .*. 103

$ 56. Route from Callao to San Francisco 104

$ 57. Route from Payta or Guayaquil to Panama 105

$58. Route from Payta or Guayaquil to San Francisco 105

$ 59. Route from Panama to Mexico 105

$ 60. Route from Galapagos islands to cape San Lucas 106

$ 61. Route from Panama to Reakjo and from Reakjo to Acapulco 107

$ 62. Route from Panama to Sau Francisco 109

63. Route from Mexico to San Francisco 112

$ 64. Route from Monterey to Sau Francisco 115

$ 65. Route from San Francisco to Vancouver 115

CHAPTER II.
Eoutcs from north to south on the western coast oj America.

$ 66. Route from Vancouver to San Francisco and Monterey 116

$67. Route from San Francisco to Mexico -. 117

$68. Route from San Francisco to Panama 117

$ 69. Route from San Francisco to Callao 119

$ 70. Route from San Francisco to the " intermediate ports " 123

$ 71. Route from San Francisco to Valparaiso 123



CONTENTS. VII

I';i K .-.

72. Route from San Francisco to cape Horn 124

73. Route from Mexico to Panama 124

74. Route from Mexico to Guayaquil 125

$75. Route from Mexico to Callao 120

76. Route from Mexico to the " intermediate ports," Valparaiso, and cape Horn 128

77. Route from Panama to Guayaquil, Payta, and Callao 128

78. Route from Panama to the " intermediate ports," Valparaiso, and cape Horn 129

79. Route from Guayaquil and Pay ta to Callao 129

80. Route from Guayaquil and Payta to the "intermediate ports" llil

81. Route from Guayaquil and Payta to Valparaiso and cape Horn 131

82. Route from Callao to the Chiucha islands 132

83. Route from Callao to the "intermediate ports" i:j:5

84. Route from Callao to Valparaiso 135

85. Route from Callao to cape Horn 128

86. Route from the " intermediate ports " to Valparaiso and cape Horn 139

87. Route from Valparaiso to cape Horn 139

88. Route from Valparaiso to Concepcion 141

CHAPTER III.
Routes from the western coast of America across the Pac'ijic.

89. Route from Valparaiso or Callao to Australia, (by the trades) 144

90. Route from Valparaiso or Callao to the Indian ocean, Saigon, Jiatavia,

and Melbourne, etc 145

91. Route from Valparaiso or Callao to New Caledonia and New Zealand 148

92. Route from Valparaiso or Callao to China 149

$ 93. Route from Valparaiso to the Marquesas and Tahiti 150

94. Route from Callao to the Marquesas and Tahiti 151

95. Route from Valparaiso or Callao to the Sandwich islands 152

96. Route from Panama to Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand 15:i

97. Route from Panama to China 153

98. Route from Panama to the Marquesas and Tahiti 153

99. Route from Panama to the Sandwich islands 154

100. Route from San Francisco to Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand 155

101. Route from San Francisco to China 15(5

102. Route from San Francisco to the Sandwich islands 159

103. Route from San Francisco to Tahiti 159

CHAPTER IV.
Routes from Europe to Australia, New Caledonia, and Tahiti, and return rouh*.

104. Route from Europe to Australia 161

105. Route from Europe to New Caledonia 177

106. Route from Europe to Tahiti 18C

107. Route from Australia to Europe 187

108. Route from New Caledonia to Europe 195

109. Route from Tahiti to Europe 198

CHAPTER V.
Eoutes from the ports of Australia or Asia to the east.

110. Route from Australia to the western coast of America 200

111. Route from Australia to New Caledonia 202



VIII CONTENTS.

Page.

112. Koute from Australia to New Zealand 20?

$ 113. Route from Australia to Tahiti aud the Sandwich islands 207

$ 114. Route from Singapore to the Molucca islands 208

115. Route from Singapore to Torres strait 212

$ 116. Route from Singapore to the western coast of America 213

117. Route from Saigon to the western coast of America 215

$ 118. Route from China to Valparaiso, Callao, and Panama 216

119. Route from China to Mexico aud California 219

120. Route from Yokohama to San Francisco 220

CHAPTER VI.

i
Routes from the ports of Oceania.

121. Route from the Sandwich islands to San Francisco 222

$ 122. Route from the Sandwich islands to Panama 223

$ 123. Route from the Sandwich islands to Valparaiso and Callao 224

$124. Route from the Sandwich islands to Europe 225

125. Route from the Sandwich islands to New Caledonia and Australia 225

126. Route from the Sandwich islands to China 226

127. Route from the Sandwich islands to Tahiti 226

128. Route from the Marquesas to the Sandwich islands 227

$ 129. Route from the Marquesas to Tahiti 227

130. Route from Tahiti to San Francisco 228

131. Route from Tahiti to the Gambier islands, Tubuai, Valparaiso, Callao,

and Panama 228

132. Route from Tahiti to New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Australia 230

$133. Route from Tahiti to China 234

134. Route from Tahiti to the Marquesas islands 234

$135. Route from Tahiti to the Sandwich islands 235

136. Route from New Caledonia to San Francisco 236

137. Route from New Caledonia to Valparaiso, Callao, and Panama 236

138. Route from New Caledonia to Australia 236

139. Route from New Caledonia to Singapore, China, and Japan 240

140. Route from New Caledonia to Tahiti 247

$ 141. Route from New Caledonia to New Zealand 252

142. Route from New Caledonia or the Fijis to the Sandwich islands 253

143. Route from New Zealand to Europe 256

144. Route from New Zealand to the western coast of America 257

$ 145. Route from New Zealand to New Caledonia 257

$ 146. Route from New Zealand to Australia, Singapore, aud China

$ 147. Route from New Zealand to Tahiti and the Sandwich islands 259

CHAPTER VII.

Routes from Europe to China, and return routes.
$ 148. Showing under what circumstances the Suez route is preferable to and

from China 260

$ 149. Route from Europe to China, (during the SW. monsoon, from April to

October) 261

150. Route from Europe to China, (during the NE. monsoon, from October to

April) 263



CONTENTS. IX

Page.
$ 151. Route from China to Europe, (during the NE. monsoon, from October to

April) 273

$ 152. Route from China to Europe, (during the SW. monsoon, from April to

October) 274

CHAPTER VIII.

Routes to the northward in the China 8ra.

$ 153. Route from Singapore to Saigon 278

$ 154. Route from Singapore to Hong-Kong 281

$ 155. Route from Singapore to Manila 285

$ 156. Route from Singapore to Shanghae and Yokohama 286

$ 157. Route from Saigon to Hong-Kong 288

$ 158. Route from Saigon to Manila 291

$ 159. Route from Hong-Kong to Shanghae 292

$ 160. Route from Hong-Kong to Japan 296

$ 161. Route from Manila to Hong-Kong 297

$ 162. Route from Manila to Shanghae and Yokohama ... 298

$ 163. Route from Shanghae to Japan , 298

CHAPTER IX.

Routes to the southward in the China sea.

$ 164. Route from Japan to Shanghae 301

$ 165. Route from Shanghae to Hong-Kong 303

$ 166. Route from Hong-Kong to Manila 303

$ 167. Route from Hong-Kong to Saigon and Singapore 304

$168. Route from Manila to Saigon 309

$ 169. Route from Manila to Singapore, the strait of Sunda, and Europe 310

$ 170. Route from Saigon to Singapore 311

CHAPTER X.

Routes from the Australian ports to Asia and China.

$ 171. Northerly route from Australia to India, Batavia, and Singapore 318

$ 172. Southerly route from Australia to India, Batavia, and Singapore 332

173. Route from Australia to Coch in-China, China, and Japan 336

$174. Route from Port Adelaide or Melbourne to Sydney 340

CHAPTER XI.

Routes from China and Asia to Australia.

$ 175. Route from Singapore to Australia -342

$ 176. The easterly routes from Singapore or Batavia to Australia, New Cale-
donia, and New Zealand, (when starting from the 15fft November to the

15th February) 345

$177. Route from China and Japan to Australia 353

$ 178. Route from Sydney to Melbourne 358

II N



PA.RT I.



CALMS, WINDS, TYPHOONS, USE OF THE BAROM-
ETER, CURRENTS, ICEBERGS.



CHAPTER I

CALMS, WINDS, TYPHOONS, CYCLONES, BAROMETER.

1. CALM-BELTS, EQUATORIAL AND TROPICAL CALMS.
In the author's Instructions for the Navigation of the Atlantic,
tables were given indicating, for every season, the percent-
age of calms experienced in each square of 5 degrees.
The following tables are prepared in a similar manner :
As may be observed, information is wanting for the cen-
tral portion of the North Pacific, comprised between the
meridians 365 W. and 150 E. Directions for the other
parts, including the most frequented routes, are, on the
contrary, as full as could be desired.
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I



6 REGION OF CALMS.

An inspection of the preceding tables proves the existence
of a clearly denned region of calms, lying between the two
sets of trades in the eastern part of the Pacific. These
calms are termed equatorial. It is also shown that the
zone in which the navigator is most exposed to detention
from calms, takes the form of a wedge, the base resting on
the coasts of Guatemala and Mexico, between 5 and 25
K, and the apex extending to the westward for a distance
varying according to the season.
January, Febru- Thus, in JanuarVi Februarv, and March, calms are com-

ary and March

mon on the western coast of America from the equator to
20 N. Vessels making passage to the northward, east of
110 W., will find a calm-belt about 20 wide, when they
will be liable to from 4 to G per cent, of calms.

Between 110 and 130 W. the belt is only 10 wide 5
here there are only 4 per cent, calm chances. Finally, west
of 130 W. the calm-belt may be said to cease, vessels
usually passing from one set of the trades to the other
without being appreciably detained.
April, May, and In April, May, and June, the calm-belt extends from the

JllD6

120th meridian to the coast of America, causing navigation
on the Mexican coast, from the gulf of Tehuantepec to cape
Corrientes, to be almost impossible for sailing-vessels. The
calms in this locality often last for several successive weeks.
Well defined equatorial calms are not encountered west of
,120^ w. ; or a t the farthest 130 W.

July, August, The equatorial calms are of greater duration during these
' months and prevail north of 10 N. They extend from the
coast of Mexico to 140 W. East of 130 W. they extend
as far north as the 30th parallel; between 130 and 140
W. the calm-belt is only 10 broad, while west of 140 W-
calms are no longer common.

Se" * 11 ^ ct Der ? November, and December, a calm-belt ex-
tends from the Mexican coast to 120 W., and from 10 to
20 or .25 2f. Farther to the westward several calnvregious
exist, but they have none of the attributes of genuine calm-
belts. Equatorial calms also exist in the West Pacific,
especially between the equator and 10 S. ; in the Central
Pacific, however, though the numerous groups of islands
interrupt the trades, calms rarely prevail to any great ex-
tent.

Tropical calms. Tropicul calms are those which prevail on the polar bor-



NORTHEAST TRADES.

ders of the trades. The calms of the tropic of Cancer are
only well defined in the eastern part of the Pacific, and
during the months comprised between April and Septem-
ber. They are common between the parallels 30 and 40
N. East of Japan, however, and between the same paral-
lels, the calms are of greater duration, except during Octo-
ber, November, and December.

The calms of the southern hemisphere, near the tropic of
Capricorn, are especially prevalent from October to April.
During this season they occupy a belt extending over
nearly the whole breadth of the Pacific, and reaching from
25o to 4Qo s.

During the rest of the year they are not comprised in so
well defined a region. But it is important to note that in
the eastern portion tropical calms exist at all seasons in a
more marked manner, and have a greater width in latitude,
appearing to increase on approaching the coast of America.

Later will be given, in the descriptions of the various
routes, more detailed information on the chances of deten-
tion by calms.

2. NORTHEAST TRADE- WINDS. The trade- winds of the
Pacific Ocean blow, in the northern hemisphere, from a gen-
eral northeasterly direction. They are usually stronger than
the NE. trades of the Atlantic Ocean.

We have already had occasion to observe, in the Instruc-
tions on the Atlantic, how difficult it is to solve the question
of the limits of the trades. We again repeat that it is not
best to rely too much on the mean latitudes indicated in
the Instructions, because there will sometimes exist a dif-
ference of 600, and even 900, miles between these mean
limits and those which may be found in attempting to enter
or leave the trades.

We think it best, however, to give below the parallels
between which the regular NE. trades are most often en-
countered :

In .January, February, and March, the trade- winds blow a
from KB., between 6 and 25 N.

In April, May, and June, they blow between 7 30' and j^ ril * May> and
29 N.

In July, August, and September, between 14 30' and ai &
280 N.



SOUTHEAST TRADES.

vero c ber e ami Se" In Octo ^^ r ? November, and December, between 9 and

cember.' " 25O Jf.

The trades do not begin to be well defined within 300
miles of the western coast of America. On coming closer
to the coast variable winds are found, according to the sea-
son of the year. (Vide 23 and 24.)

Though the western limits of the NE. trades can hardly
be definitely fixed, it is generally conceded that these winds
extend, all the year round, as far as the Caroline and Ma-
riana Islands. Monsoons prevail westward of these groups.
(Vide 4.)

Finally, the NE. trades of the Pacific attain their greatest
force while the sun is in the southern hemisphere, or, in
other words, from October to March. This remark applies
to all trade-winds, for they are always stronger when the
sun is in the opposite hemisphere ; when the sun is in their
own hemisphere, they are, on the -contrary, always weak,
baffling, and often changed to monsoons blowing from an
opposite direction.

3. SOUTHEAST TRADE-WINDS. The southeast trades are
especially prevalent in the eastern part of the Pacific, be-
tween the following parallels :
January, rebru- In January, February, and March, between 4 and 31 S.

ary, and March.

jun p e ril ' May>and In April, May, and June, between 2 30' X. and 27 S.
and u se' tetS 5 *' In Jul ^> August, and September, between 5 30' K. and

25o S.
October, NO- in October, November, and December, between 3 K.

vember, and De-
cember, and 26 S.

These limits are, however, merely approximative, especi-
ally for the SE. trades, which are much less regular than
the northeast.

Settled SE. winds will be found from 250 or 300 miles off
the coast of America to 108 or 118 W., while west of
. these meridians the wind shifts to E. and ESE. Beyond
138 W. the trades become exceedingly variable, undergoing
such changes, especially from October to April, that some
authors consider them to possess all the characteristics of
genuine monsoons.

This question will be reconsidered in the second part of
4.

North of the 4. PREVAILING WINDS OF THE WEST PACIFIC. In-
formation concerning the prevalent winds north of the



PHEVAILING WINDS. <>

Line is far from being complete; consequently too muck
confidence must not be placed in the following remarks:

NE. winds prevail in the West Pacific during this season. A p r ^ to ber to
Though called the NE. monsoon, they are in reality only
the steady trade-wind. Near the Caroline islands the NE.
monsoon does not set in steadily until January, while north
of this group and among the Mariana islands it sometimes
begins in November and lasts till May or June ; in short, the
duration of the monsoon varies considerably. The NE.
winds are generally accompanied with good weather.

All authorities agree in stating that steady SW. winds April to octo-
prevail at this season ; near the Philippine islands, from
May to September, and in the Mariana group, from July to



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