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being carried by the current on a small rocky islet lying off the north-east
point of Ye-chau; afterwards endeavoured to steer in mid-channel, but the
eddy current swept the vessel into the surf that rebounded from the point
of Tam-kan, when at the same time a sunken rock appeared about mid-
channel, upon which the vessel must have been lost by following the track
intended. Although blowing strong outside, the sails flapped to the mast
as the vessel entered the channel, which ought not to be adopted unless in
a case of extreme necessity, and then the shore of Tam-kan should be kept
dose aboard to avoid the rock."

Te-eban is the middle and highest of the Lema islands, and, when
viewed from most positions, appears flat on the top. Close to its north-
east part is Round island, a small rocky islet, visible when the Yat-moun
channel is open.

♦ Howburgh's Directory, Vol U., seventh edition, page 398.

Digitized by VjOOQIC] LEMA and LAMHA ISLANDS. 78

-till, the third or fsonthem of the large islancb, is separated from
Ye-chau hj the narrow Ye-chan channe], with 19 to 30 fathoms water in
it. This island, 1,210 feet high, forms more in a peak than either of the
other two, and has a point projecting westward with a hummock oa it,
named £-chaa head.

Tai-^tarmi* a small but high island, lies to the southward of this head,
with a narrow channel between it and Poon-tin, and forms the north-east
boundary of the Tai-ta-mi channel, which has Cambridge rock, PakHsim
island, and the Kwei-taa rocks bounding its south-west side.

i^iMMcnoMa* — The Lema islands on their southern side are all steep
and rockj, not affording even a single baj for a boat to shelter in, and
the soundings are 22 or 23 fathoms about 1^ miles from their coasts; on
their northern sides the depths are generally 15 or 16 fathoms close to
the shore. Vessels in the N.E. monsoon should endeavour to pass between
the north end of Tam-kan and Putoy, which lies 6 miles northward^
and its north end, when viewed fix>m the E Jl'.E., forms a small peaked

Notwithstabding the Lema islands appear barren, there are a few men
residing on tbem, preparing charcoal from small quantities of brushwood
found between the rocks, which they send to Macao for sale. Fresh
water may be obtained along the north shore of Tam-kan at several
places ; and close to the westward of its north-east point, in a little cove,
called Joss House bay, is a Chinese place of worship, and about this part
the Compradores' boats await vessels after the end of August, when] the
easterly winds set in. The Yat-moun and Ye-chau channels should not
be used unless in a case of emergency, or when the wind blows directly
through, as they are narrow, with deep water, and have generally a
strong current sweeping through them. Yat-moun is the widest, and of
moderate depth, but if the Cordelia rock be in existence, it is very

T-imgiMA isikAm lies off the south-west side of Hong Kong, and its
south-west point bears W. J W. 13 miles from the NJE. head of
the Lema islands, and N.E. 5^ miles from the north point of Lingting.
The island, of rocky appearance, is about 4 miles long, north and south,
and 2 miles wide, but narrowed near the middle by a deep cove on its
east side, and a long bay on its west side, so that between them the
island is not more than a quarter of a mile across. The north end
of the island is about a mile distant from the south-west part of Hong

. * iSMAdmiialty Chart of HoDg Kong, No. 1,4S6; scale, Mas '4 inchef.

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Frcm the north poini of tbe long baj, on the west ftldo of the kland,
the shore trends N.^E. a mile to another point, off which^ at half amflle
from the shore^ are some sunken rocks.* The sonth-east point of the
idand is remarkable from its being a small round hummock, of bright
green appearance on the top, and rocky near the water's edge ; this part
of the island, as far as the eastern point, is rocky dose to the shore, with
18 or 14 fathoms half a mile off.

The cove on the east side of the island, to the northward of its eastern
point is about 1^ miles deep and two-thirds of a mile wide. It carries a
depth of 8 to 3^ fathoms, tmd a vessel may anchor in 6 or 7 fathoms over
rocky bottom, about half a mile within the entrance, and ride in security,
being land-locked. George island, 234 feet high, lies close to the north-
ward of the north point of the cove.

XAUfMA OKunrauSr^East Lamma channel, between Lamma island
and Hong Kong, is about a mile wide, and has general depths in it of from
17 to 23 fathoms ; but a yei^sel will find a good and edieltered anchorage
between George island and the north point of Lamma in 7 or 8 fathoms.
There appear to be no dangers in this channel, but a rockf is said to lie
off the south-east point of Mas-kong or Round island, on the Hong Kong

West Lamma channel, between the western side of Lamma and the
islands lying off the east side of Lantao, has general depths of 5 and 6
fathoms on a mud bottom. Entering it from the East Lamma channel,
the soundings*will decrease rapidly to 7 and 6 fathoms after rounding the
north point of Lamma, off which, at a third of a mile to the N.N.E., is a
rocky patch of 8 fathoms, surrounded by depths of 14 to 21 fathoms.

Water. — ^About a mile north-east of the north point of Lamma island,
and near the western point of a deep cove, named Aberdeen or Shekpywan
harbour, on the Hong Kong shore, there is a cascade where good water
can be conveniently obtained.

OBmro iBiakM9 is near the south-east side of Lantao, K«^W.
5 imiles fix>m Lingting. Its north and south parts are high, but it is
naxxowed near the middle, which is low, by two bays, one on the east, the
othi^r on the west side of the island. A vessel of moderate drau^t will
$fid good shelter, during an easterly gale, in the western bay in 3^
fathoms. There is no dangei** in passing the south end of the island, the
.4eptb9 being 7 and 8 fathoms close to^ imd 5 and 6 fathoms near the
(iK>uth-westem part ; but East, about 3 cables from the eastern p<Hnt of

* Horsbuig's Directory, Vol. IL, eighth edition, page 272.

t This roek is doubtful $ it is not shown in Capt.Belcher's siirrey of 1841.

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the idaady is a Bmall rock, which dries at low water, and has 6 and
7 iBkibomB close to»

To the northward of Chnngy and at a short distance from Lantao, are
several small islands and rocks aboye water, bat the channels between
ihem and the Lantao shore are narrow, shoal, and unfit for large yessels.

iVMerir— Fresh water can be procured in the baj on the western ade
of Chang.

THe m-T0T c»oirp, lying sonth-east of Hong Kong, boands the
noriihem side of the Lema channel'*

Pit-toy, the southern island of the group, bears N.N.W. ^ W. 6 mfles
from the N.E. head of the Lema islands. It is of moderate height, the
appearance in general barren, there being onlj a small quantity of brush*
wood iniihe valleys. On its western side is a core for boats and a small
rocky islet.

&o-«iia« or Boavftort istoad, lying northward of Pa-toy, and separated
from it by a narrow channel, is 895 feet high, flattened at the top, and
steep all around ; its north-western brow has a small peak, with a few
lai^ and remarkable rocks on it. Half a mile off its south-west point is
Castle rock above water, having no hidden dangers near it.

sva^-koiic, about 1^ miles East of Lo-chau, is a small island rising in a
peak 466 feet high towards the centre. Near its north-western part are
some rocks considerably above water.

wiar-ian, about three-quarters of a mile East of 8un-kong, is a small
barren rocky islet, the easternmost of this group, having 16 and 17 fathoms
water at a short distance to the eastward.

sova icova xs&ASH.t about 9 miles long, N. W. by W. and S.E. by E.,
2 to 5^ miles broad, and with an area of about [29 square miles, lies
between Lamma island and the main, and separated from the latter by a
narrow channel a quarter of a mile wide, named Lyemun pass. The
appearance of the island is somewhat picturesque, but on the whole gene-
ra31y barren and unprepossessing. It consists for the most part of rocky
ranges, on the highest summit of which, Victoria peak, 1,825 feet above
the sea level, at the north-west part of the island, is a signal station which
commTinicates with the city of Victoria and vessels seaward. A good
military road about 22 statute miles in length encircles the island. The
city, 3 miles in extent, is on its north side, nearly abreast Kowloon point,
the extreme of the peninsula of the mainland which forms the west side of

* Com. C. M. BucUe, B^.* who oruized for some dajs about the uBlandssoathward
of Hong Kong in H.M.S. Cormorant^ 1865, remarks that there are a number of small
rocks amongst them, some above and some below low-water mark, which, owing to the
smaQness of the scale of the chart, do not appear.

t See Admiralty Chart of Hong Kong, No. 1,466 ; scale, m » 2*4 inches.

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Eowloon bay. Water abonnds everywhere, and is sappUed to shipping
hy tanks; each vallej of the least pretension sends its stream to the
cnltiyated grounds near the shore, where a portion is retained for
irrigation, and the remainder is permitted to find its way to the sea.

The shores of Hong Kong are indented by numerous bays, of which
the most considerable are on its south side. There is good anchorage
throughout the entire channel between the island and the main, except in
the Lyemun Pass, where the water is deep ; but the best anchorage is in
Hong Kong road, in front of the settlement, where the depth is from
5 to 9 fathoms over good holding ground. During the typhoon months
the anchorage in the northern part of the road is considered preferable
in consequence of the shelter afforded by Kowloon peninsula to the north-
east, the point from which the wind blows hardest. The inner anchorage
in Victoria bay is in 6 and 7 fathoms, about half a mile off shore, abreast
the Ordnance jetty, where a yessel will be sheltered from the eastward
by Kellett island and East point, and be out of the strength of the Ude.

The population of Hong Kong in 1841 was only 7,540 ; but according
to the census of 1865 it amounted to 125,504^ of whom 2,034 were
European and American, and the remainder Chinese. In 1864 the total
number of yessels entered was 2,264, amounting to 1,013,748 tons, of
which about one-sixth were in ballast.

Hong Kong being a free port, it is impossible to give any statistics of
its trade. It may be looked upon chiefly as a dep6t, only a small quantity
of the goods imported being consumed upon the island, the greater portion
being re-exported to other ports. Amongst the articles principally dealt
in, may be enumerated,^-opium, sugar, flour, cotton, rice, tea, cotton and
woollen goods, silks, oil, salt, provisions, &c., besides which there is an
export of granite, almost the only article produced in the colony.

Hong Kong was first occupied by the British in January 1841, having
been ceded by the Chinese Commissioner. On the 6th February 1842 it
was declared a free port by Sir H. Pottinger, and on the 26th January.
1843 a formal ratification of the treaty between Great Britain and China
took place, followed by a proclamation announcing the fact, and directing
that the city be called Victoria, in obedience to Her Majesty^s commands*
It was constituted a British crown colony by Order in Council of the 5th
April 1873. The peninsula of Kowloon, opposite the city, was sub-
sequently ceded to Great Britain by the treaty of Tientsin in 1860.

Climate, 4bo. — ^Hong Kong lies just within the tropic, and is subject to an
excessively hot and a somewhat cool season, coinciding with the S.W. and
N.E. monsoons; it has als« a dry and a rainy season. The annual range
of temperature is from 45° to 99°, and the average annual range from 74?
to 93°. July and August are the hottest months, the temperature ranging

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from 8(f to 94^ with a difference of 10° between day and night. The> city
bezD^ situate on the nort)i side of the island under the peak, is com-
pletely sheltered from the influence of the S.W. monsoon, which, on the
Bouihem side of the island agreeably tempers the violent heat. NoTember
to January is the coolest period, and the air is often bracing; the tem-
perature occasionally falls below 40°, and ice has been known on the peak*
but this is rare ; sudden changes frequently take place^ a day of ahnost
tropical heat being followed by a cutting northerly wind, for when calms
aad Yoriables prevail, it is hot even in winter, and it requires the north-east
wind and overcast sky to reduce the temperature, and gales from the
latter quarter are common in the autumn and spring months, blowing for
two or three days. March and April are rainy and foggy, and the damp
is so penetrating that the greatest core is required to prevent dothes,
books, instruments, stores, &c., from' being destroyed or injured by mildew.
Typhoons seldom occur before June or July, for they advance north-
ward as the season progresses, and may be expected most severe at Hong
Kong about the autunmal equinox.

The wet season commences in May and continues until the beginning
of August, and during this period the rain ialls almost without inter*
mission, frequently causing floods which do great damage.

Although visited by sickness caused by malaria, it has been shewn by
statistics that for salubrity Hong Kong may compare favourably with
most of the ports of the East, and its healthiness has been greatly in-
creased of late years by its sanitary arrangements and excellent water
supply. The annual rate of mortality amongst the foreign residents
between 1858 and 1865, was about 5^ per cent., ranging in various years
between 2 and 8 per cent. The most unhealthy years have been those
most deflcient in rainfall. Dysentery and intermittent fever are not un-
common, and the bilious remittent fever, sometimes so nearly allied to
yellow fever, occurs in the summer season, small-pox prevailing in January,
February, and March. Neglect of the usual conditions of health, such
as exercise, diet, proper clothing, and the like, conduce to, and exposure to
the rays of the sun, even in winter, almost invariably results in, sickness.

Tbe Barbour consists of the space enclosed between the northern shore
of the island and the mainland immediately opposite. It is only exposed
to the force of strong westerly gales, and their effect is mitigated by the
large number of outlying islands, so that altogether it may be deemed one
of the safest in the world. Eastward of the harbour, the peninsula of
Kowloon forms an inner harbour which is nearly landlocked, and which
affords protection to vessels in all weathers, but the situation is not a
convenient one. On the approach of a typhoon the native craft almost
invariably seek shelter over towards the northern side of the harbour..

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The ftnchorage ismoet oommodionSy and 10^ entered from the sea by toe
de^water channeb both from the eastward and westward. The depth of
water varies from 8 to B fathoms, deepeniDg to 11 &thomfi off Kowlobn


There are port regolations for the berthing of vessels under the snperifii'
tendence of the harbour master. The anchOTBge fi» the merchant shipping
is abreast the centre and lower parts of the city, on either side a Mirmt.^
ofaamel, marlEed bj bnoys; that for the men-of«war lies eastward, betwdctti
^e GrOV«mment establishments and Kowloon, thefeathedral roughly indicating
the dividing limit

itaypUM. — Stores and provisions of every kind can be obtained in
abundance, and there is a well-regulated market. Excellent water from
the well-constmoted water-works, is efficiently supplied to the dty and
shipping. Every appliance necessary for refit and for the repairs of ships
and steam machinery will be found at the dock establishments, stores, &c. ;
and there is a good hospital for seamen, and a well«condncted sailors' home.

Bocxs, BepairSf 4U). — ^There are two large granite docks at Aberdeen
or Shekpywan harbour, a narrow inlet formed between the south-west
shore of Hong Kong, and small island off it named Aberdeen or Taplichau.
They lie on the Hong Kong shore of the harbour, and one of them is
capable of receiving the largest class of vessels drawing 24 feet. There is
also a dock at Kowloon, and a patent slip at East point. The dock charges
are very high, owing to want of competition, and therefore many prefer to
have their vessels docked at Whampoa in the Canton river, see p. 101,
where the charges are more moderate.*

Aberdeen ]>oe]ui.^The dimensions of these docka^ belonging to the
Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock (Company, are as follows : —

Dock No. 1.

Dock No. 2.

Length over all


330 feet

400 feet

„ on blocks


308 „

"" 99

Breadth over all


80 „

90 „

„ at bottom


42 „


Width of caisson gate -


60 „

70 „

Depth over sill at spring



24 „

„ at neap tides -

16 „


The above are the extreme depths for which credit is claimed, but the
level is much influenced by the wind at all times, and from October to
January inclusive, the average height is about 1 J feet greater at springs
than during the remainder of the year.f

* A rock breaks at low water about 50 yards to the westward of the north point of
Aberdeen bay. There is also another rock a little more than half that distance off a
point to the south of it, on which a vessel was lost.

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A steam tug of 100 horse power nominal, is abrByB in readinesfl to
tow sailing vessels round from Hong Song firee of chargpy and will take
tbem back or to sea at reduced rates.

The workshops on the premises possess erery appliance necessary for
the Tepairs of ships and steam machinery $ the engineers and blacksmith^
shops are provided with steam lathes, planing, cutting, and pancfaing
machines, and other plant, capable of execnting work on the largest scale;
and the work is entirely carried on under the sapervision of experienced
Europeans. There are also poweribl Hfting shears on the jetty, akmgnde
which vessels can lie in 24 feet water, and take in or out IxHlers, masts, ftc
New boilers oan he made^ iron and brass casting executed, and stores,
such as paint, copper, canvas, and the like, supplied.

oiber 9ocks^ — ^The tJnion Dock Company has also a dock at Kowloon,
which, being within the harbour is of immense advantage to vessels which
may reach port in such a state as to require instant docking. Its dinien«
sions are : — ^Length over all, 300 feet ; breadth of entrance 80 feet; and
depth over sill at ordinary spring tides, 21 feet.

The patent slip at East point, on the northern shore of Hong Kong, is
said to be capable of taking vessels of 1,000 tons.

TiBWi. — It is high water, full and change, in A>ng Ebng road at
lOh. 15nK, and springs rise about 4| feet. Around the island the tides
are irregular, flowing and ebbing without any apparent change of direc-
tion at the surface, and at neaps there sometimes appears to be only one
tide in 24 hours. In the harbour the tidal streams are regular.

At Hong Kong,* during the summer months, the highest tide is three
days after, in winter three days before the full and change. In September,
October and November, and the three corresponding spring months,
March, April and May, the highest water is at the latter end of the
quarter. In March the tide is very low. At all seasons of the year the
tides are most irregular off the mouth of the Canton river. It so occurs that
the night tides are the higher, and consequently stronger, during the N.E.
monsoon, and similarly the day tides in the S.W. monso<»u The rise from
low water at Hong Kong is 7^ feet, except in strong east and south-east
winds. A tide of 10 feet rise at Canton or Whampoa is generally owing
to a fireshet or a strong southerly wind.

mmaorxows. — ^Hoog Kong road is generally approached by sailing
vessels from the westward, which side is protected by Qreen island and
KeDett bank, the latter extending nearly 1^ miles northward from the
island, with an even depth of 3^ fathoms. It may also be approached
from the eastward through the Lyemun Pass during the N.E. monsoon,

* TVeoty Porto o/* C%iffa, page 6.

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but the winds are generally baffling under the high land, for which reason
it is not generallj used hy sailing vessels.

When abreast Green island, if the ressel be of hearj draught Jkeep
the peak of Lanuna island (Mount Senhouse, 1,140 feet high) open west-
ward of Green island S. | E. until Derils peak (on the mainland near
Ljemun Pass) is in line with the White rock on the south point of Won-
chu-chau or Stone-cutters island, when a S.£.byE. course will lead
northward of Kellett bank, and direct for the anchorage.

Vessels of proper draught can proceed oyer Kellett bank, on which the
least water is 20 feet^ or through the 4-fathoms channel between Green
island and the south part of the bank, by passing about 1| cables' north-
ward of the island, and then steering for the toad.

The narrow channel between Green island and Hong Eong is sometimes
used by steamers, also by sailing yessels when a fresh fair wind blows
riff hi through. It has depths of 10 to 12 fathoms in the middle, shoaling to
8, 6, and 4^ fathoms after passing the small islet eastward of Green island.

Xiffbthoiues are in course of construction on Green island, and on cape

TTTAM BikT and BABBomt. — There are several bays on the southern
shore of Hong Kong, all of which are safe for small yessels ; but at the
south-east part of the island is Tytam bay, an inlet 2^ miles deep, 1^ miles
wide at entrance, free from danger, and carrying a depth of 10 to 6 fathoms.
Tytam head, the western point of entrance, is a high bluff, with 13 and
14 fathoms near it ; from thence the western shore of the bay trends
about N. by W. three-quarters of a mile to a small sandy bay, with a
rocky islet fronting the beach. About half a mile northward of the islet
the land forms a round projecting pointy and northward of this point is a
larger bay, with a sandy beach, in which is T^tam village.

Tylong head, or cape D'Aguilar, off which are two green islets, forms
the eastern point of entrance to Tytam bay, and from thence the eastern
shore of the baj bends round to the northward for 2 miles, and terminates
in Tytam harbour, carrying 4 to 6 fathoms ; but its head, to the north-
west, is shoal and rocky. This bay would be useful to a vessel, in the
event of her being near Wag-Ian at the close of the day, with the pro-
bability of a dark and tempestuous night, for by running in she will at
any rate be snug, even if there should be a typhoon during the night. If
wishing to anchor in the upper part of the bay, be careful to avoid the
fishing stakes, of which there are a great many in the middle of the bay.

"Water. — ^At the head of Tytam harbour is a rivulet of fresh water,
which, however, cannot be procured without inconvenience when the
tide is low. Water may be obtained at Tytam village on the western shore
of the bay.

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-There is yerj Utile tide in Tjiam bay, and, like all the places
hereabouts^ is difficalt to fix the time of high water^ owing to the variety
of channels, and the wind greatlj influencing the tidal streams ; but the
rise and iall is about 7 or 8 feet at springs, and about 8 or 4 feet at neaps.
The ebb sets to the eastward between Lo-chau and Hong Kong.

Bntaonovs. — 1£ bound to Tjtam baj from the eastward the route
maj either be taken to the northward of Wag-Ian, Sun-kong, and Lo-chau,
through the Shingshimdn pass ; or to the southward of this group through
the Lema channel, and round Castle rock to the westvrard of Lo-chau.
But the northern passage is preferable, for af^r opening the baj a ressel
maj haul to the northward into any conrenient berth ; whereas, bj taking
the southern route, if the wind be northerly, she will haye to work in.

If Shingshimun pass be taken, give Wag-Ian and Sun-kong a berth

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 10 of 72)