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fishing boats at low water ; at this time of tide they leave the rock to the
eastward and pass between it and two islets off the fort. In the event of
a wrecked crew wishing to reach Swatow, this would be the best route, as
few boats could live in the tide race off £he cape.

In December 1871, H.M.S. Dwarf passed through this channel finding
1 to 3 fathoms water ; and it was then judged to be only available, at high,
water, for vessels drawing 7 feet ; the northern entrance being shoal.


Tbe CAPS of GOOD BOPB is the southern, and Pagoda hill the northern

boundary of the entrance to the river Han. The cape, 163 feet high, is

the north-east extreme of a hilly peninsula, the highest part of which.

High Cape summit, 433 feet above high water, is most prominent when

♦ See enlarged Plan of Cape of Good Hope, on sheet 3, east Coast of China ; scale,
m » 1 inch.

f By Mr. G. Stanley, Master, R.N., 1865. See Admiralty Charts :— Entrance
of the River Han, No. 2,789, scale, w ~ 0* 75 of an inch ; and Swatau port, No. 854,
scale, m 3*1 « inches.

Digitized by VjOOQIC] HOPE BAT— SWATOW. 147

seen from the north*east, the top assuming a flattish appearance and
Buddenly falling on either side. Vincent range, the hills to the north-west
of the cape, rises to the height of 598 feet at 4J miles from High Cape
summit, but presents no striking feature, as it extends for 2 miles with
Ettle difPerence in height. Between this range and the cape is a plain
from which hiUs rise suddenly to an elevation of 330 feet. North 1^ mOes
from the highest part of Vincent range is Signal hOl, on the summit of
which, 377 feet high, is a rudely constructed semaphore: to the southward,
the hill extends in almost* a level ridge ; to the northward, it falls steep.

Dovs socx, with only 7 feet on it at low water, was discovered
during the progress of the survey. From it the south sunmiit of
Double island bears W. by N. J N., distant 5 miles, and Green islet
S.S.W. ^ W. 4J miles. Its position may easily be recognised in calm
weather by the tide setting over it.

Clearing BKarks. — The north summit of Kakchio promontory touching
the south extreme of Double island W. ^ N., leads three-quarters of a
mile northward of Dove rock ; the south extreme of Sugar-loaf island
touching the point of land abreast the island, W. by N., or the north
extreme of Fisherman island, just showing clear of the north extreme of
Sugar-loaf, leads three-quarters of a mile southward ; the east extreme
of Green islet touching the north part of High Cape summit, S.W. ^ S.,
leads nearly a mile eastward ; and Brig island its own breadth open east
of Fort island, N.N.E. | E., leads three-quarters of a mile westward, in
not less than 18 feet at low water springs.

ORBSV Z8&ET, BZUb Z8&BT, and s^VAT Bocx. — ^The northern
face of the cape of Good Hope is half a mile long, and terminates to the
westward in a bold point on which is an old fort. N. ^ E., half a mile
from the fort, is Green islet, 72 feet high, from the north-east side of
which rocks extend a cable, their outer part being 2 feet above high water.
In the passage between the islet and fort is a reef of rocks, the tops of
which are not<5overed at high water.

Bill islet, 50 feet high, bears N.N.W. 2| miles from the cape, and is
nearlj one mile off shore. At a third of a mile S. by E. | E. from this
islet is Squat rock, the part showing above high water being a large square
stone about 15 feet high ; and a quarter of a mile S.W. by W. from Squat
rock is a reef, more than a cable in extent, which breaks in the calmest
weather, the top being awash at high water.

8iroiLR-&OAr CHAXTsrE^. — ^Feaked rock, bearing N.W. | N. 2^ miles
from Bill islet, lies off the south point of entrance to Sugar-loaf channel,
which is formed between the west side of Sugar-loaf island and the coast
abreast it. This channel although only 2 cables wide is excellent, either

K 2

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148 HONG KONG TO AMOT. [chap. in.

side being quite steep to a quarter of a cable, and is always used by
steamers, and frequently by sailing vessels.

Peaked rock, 25 feet high, can only be seen when it is standing out
clear of the land. The coast for more than a mile north-west of it is
fringed with low-water rocks and steep-to ; the coast to the southward
is cut up by several conspicuous sandy bays, with several detached rocks
lying some distance off shore. Sugar-loaf island, which bears not the
least resemblance to its name, is 200 feet high ; and East, distant 2 cables
from its south extreme, are two rocks nearly awash at high water.

BOITB&B Z8&A»B, bearing N.W. by N., 4 cables from the north
extreme of Sugar-loaf, only appears double when seen from the south-east.
The white walls and tops of houses are the best guides to recognise it from
seaward. On the western side is the custom house ; the principal
inhabitants are Chinese. The southern summit of this island, 126 feet, is
the highest, and has a square top, being the walls of an old fort. At 3
cables S.S.E. ^ E. from the summit and Ij^ cables off shore, are rocks which
cover at 5 feet rise of tide ; the channel between them and Sugar-loaf cannot
be recommended. The light formerly shown here, as well as the light
tower, have been removed.

Miots.— -Double island is the pilot station. The pilots are Europeans,
and are supervised by a board composed of the senior naval officer, the
commissioner of customs, the surveyor for Lloyd's, and two masters of
merchant vessels. The charge is 2^ dollars for every foot of draught under
12 feet, and 3 dollars if over that draught.

nsBBSMAV X8&An>» about 75 feet high, is half a mile westward of
Double island, and forms with it the continuation of Sugar-loaf channel,
On the point of land immediately off its south end is a large white house,
formerly used as a dep6t for coolie emigration.

CAVTZOir. — ^Between Double island and the anchorage off Swatow are
numerous rows of fishing stakes, some of which stretch across the fairway,
and are much in the way of navigation, especially at night. Vessels not
unfrequently come into collision with them, whilst boats have been fre-
quently swept by the tide against the submerged nets, causing loss of life
in several instances.

PAGODA HZ&&, the northern boundary of the entrance to the river,
which looks remarkably like an island, will be easily recognised by the
pagoda on its summit ; the top of the pagoda is 257 feet above high water.
Thence the low sandy||coast runs in a south-westerly direction towards
Double- island, and terminates in an extensive sand bank, which leaves
the channel north of Double only half a mile wide ; that portion of the
bank immediately opposite Double is steep-to.

y Digitized by Google] SWATOW — EIVEE HAN. 149

The shoal water outside Double island can scarcely be called a bar, as
the water deepens so very gradually on either side of it. The north
extreme of the Outer flat is 1;^ miles East from Double island ; the flat
then extends in a S.S.E. direction for 2 miles and carries 12 feet at the
lowest tides. North of Double island the water is deep, 5 fathoms ; but
it again shoals, 3^ fathoms being carried for 1^ miles to the westward ; it
again deepens towards Swatow, off which ships moor in 7 and 8 fathoms.

TOA.CHZM BAVX, facing the lowland south of Pagoda hill^is evidently
extending to the southward. The old mark (Brig island, open east of
Fort island) which gave 14 feet at low water, now leads over 8 and 10 feet.
This bank was stated to be increasing in 1866.

SAXCBZO PSOMOVTOST, 4 miles westward of Double island, when
seen from seaward has the appearance of one continuous hill, the southeni
part being 486 feet high^ and the northern 296 feet ; the numerous ravines by
which it is cut up are only seen when close to. On its northern side is the
English Consulate (in lat. 23° 20' 43" N., long. 116^ 39' 3" E.) with a number
of European houses, but they can only be seen when close up to the anchorage.

Between Fisherman island and this promontory^ the coast falls back
about three-quarters of a mile, forming a large deep bay in which are a
few islets and rocks ; at low water the mud dries out to its extremes.

Off the north extreme of the promontory, and separated from it by a
TBij narrow channel, is Bottefurh rock 50 feet high ; and at two-thirds
of a cable farther to the N.N.W. is the Wyoming rock, with only 4 feet at
low water, marked by a red buoy, in 4 fathoms, 20 feet N.W. of the rock.

svTA.TA.jr or BVir ATOVi. — The Chinese town of Swatow stands on the
northern bank of the river, nearly a mile distant from Kakchio, and the
whole of the Hongs are on this side. The shore runs in an easterly direction
Scorn the town for more than a mile, and the greatest elevation on it is only 28
feet ; it then cui'ves round to the northward and eastward to the point opposite
Double island, and forms a bay half a mile deep, faced by a mud bank.*

THe A.iiclioraffe for foreign vessels, is immediately fronting the town of
Swatow, where 6 to 8 fathoms are found, with good holding ground.

HA.W SZVES. — The Han above Swatow is navigable 25 miles above where
the Admiralty survey terminates, to a place called Tiaka, where a bridge
crosses the river. Tiaka is about 12 miles from Chau-chu-fu, the capital of
the province. Another branch of the river runs to Chau-chu-fu from Swatow,
"jut it is so shallow that it is only available for flat-bottomed boats.f

* Madras rock. — A sunken rock, having 8 feet on it at low water springs, has been
ately discovered by the P. and O. ship Madras striking on it when hauling off the
lidjacent beach. Prom the rock, the extremity of the western concession • pier bears
8.E. by S. 260 yards, Bottefurh rock E. | N., and the English consulate flagstaff

f RM^st Dwarf , in 1871, visited Chuk-yuen, said, to be about 30 miles above Swatow.


zed by Google

150 HONG KONG TO AMOY. [chap. m.

The Han derives its waters from two main branches, one of which flows
from the mountains on the west in the heart of Kwangtung province,
whilst the other issues from the province of Fukien. Uniting at San-ho-pa
with a third less important stream, they form the river which flows past
Chau-chu fu, and expands below that city, flowing through a delta
embracing a wide expanse of alluvial and highly fertile soil.

There are numerous sets of fishing stakes* in the river, and as these are
always placed in the deepest water and a passage left between them for
junks, they serve as good guides to its navigation. But at night they are
dangerous to boats sailing down with a strong tide, which are liable to
be swept between the stakes and dismasted, or capsized by the guys which
support the stakes. There are sometimes fishing boats with h'ghts fast to
the ends of these stakes.

The POmT of ■WATO'W.t opened to foreign trade by the Treaty of
Tientsin in 1858, is the shipping port of Chau-chu fu, 35 miles inland, and
since its establishment as a centre of foreign commerce, has been the means
of creating a large emporium at San-ho-pa, at the confiuence of two
branches, 40 miles farther up the river Han. The British consulate is on
the south bank of the river, at the foot of the rocky range of Kahchio,
immediately facing the town of Swatow. The consular buildings are on a
r small piece of level ground, together with a few other houses and a Chinese
street. The residences of other foreigners are widely scattered, but a few
have established themselves near the town, in front of which, along the
river, several handsome houses have been erected including that of the
Chinese maritime customs. The large expanse of mud left dry, or covered
only with a few inches of water, on both banks of the river at low tide, has
rendered the construction of jetties necessary, and these structures are
seen projecting into the stream to a distance of some 200 yards. They
are, in most cases, built of rough blocks of granite. The military mandarin
resides at the small, picturesque fort on the west of the town, in close
proximity to the custom house.

Supplies, Trade, 4ie. — ^The markets are fairly supplied with beef,
mutton, poultry, fish and fruit, and in winter with wild-fowl. Small
repairs to ships, spars, <&c., can be executed, and there is a hulk capable of
heaving down vessels of 300 tons or more. There are no docks, the
nearest being at Amoy, and the rise of the tide is insufficient for the exami-
nation of the bottoms of ships grounded on the soft mud. There is constant
steam communication with Hong Kong, Amoy and Foochow, from which
places stores of all kinds, not procurable at the port, may be provided in a
few days.

♦ Lieut, and Com. Howard Kerr, R.N., H.M.S. Cockchafer.
-f Abridged from ** The Treaty Forts of China," page 230.

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The foreign trade of Swatow has been very rapidly developed, but
several causes have concurred towards confining it almost exclusively in
the hands of native or Singapore Chinese. The tendency of the native
traders to engross the profits of the commerce hitherto carried on by
foreigners, now becoming prevalent in China, is nowhere more strongly
marked than at Swatow. The importation of foreign goods such as cotton
fabrics, opium, &c., is done for them by Hong Kong firms ; and the native
import of beancake from New-chang as well as the native expoits of
tobacco, paper, <&c., are conducted by Chinese agencies. In 1871, the
foreign imports, chiefiy cotton goods, amounted to 1,852,408/. and the
native imports to 1,218,608/., and the exports, mainly sugar, to 1,296,486/.
About 350 British, and 140 foreign vessels entered and cleared.

The Climate, and especially Double island, shares with Amoy the well-
merited repute due to its maritime situation. During the summer months,
although the thermometer ranges as high as at Hong Kong, a refreshing
sea breeze tempers the heat throughout the day. Double island affords
sea-bathing, and attention has been drawn to this spot as a possible
sanitarium for Hong Kong and the southern ports.

The position of Swatow at a point opposite the Bashee channel renders
it peculiarly exposed to typhoons, the principal range of which is in this
narrow seaway. Scarcely a summer passes without the occurrence of one '
or more of these storms, the excessive violence of some of which has
necessitated, among other precautions, the construction of flat roofs to all
large buildings. The most memorable typhoons of late years were those of
1858 and 1862.

TZBBS. — ^It is high water, full and change, at Double island, at 3h.,*
springs rise 9 feet ; but the tides are much influenced by the prevailing
winds. These observations are by Mr. Geo. Stanley, R.N., commanding
H.M. surveying vessel Dove^ but Lieut. Rising, R.N., remarks that the rise
and fall of ordinary spring tides is only 7 feet, which is a great drawback
to the construction of a dock at this port, although one is much required,
for there are frequently 70 or 80 vessels in the port during the summer
months, which are mostly engaged in carrying bean cake from Newchwang
to this port, and returning northward with sugar and rice. It is also stated
that during the S.W. monsoon, for a number of days there may be only
2 or 3 feet rise. The mud also is so soft that it is not practicable to beach
a gun-boat for the examination of her bottom.

In the N.E. monsoon the duration of the ebb and flood streams is
nearly equal, the ebb obtaining the greatest velocity. Only after one or
two days' calm the water falls to zero, and quite irrespective of the moon's
age ; consequently there is generally more water on the Outer flat than
shown on the chart.

* Doubtful. The time of high water must be earlier. Ed,

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162 HONG KONG TO AMOT. [chap. in.

In the S.W. monsoon for a number of days there may be only 2 or 3
feet rise, the sluggish flood stream just causing slack water for a short time.
Vessels drawing 17 feet have been known to wait 10 days off Double
island, there not being sufficient rise of tide to enable them to stand out.*

BXSacTZOHS. — A vessel of heavy draught running for the entrance
of the river Han before the N.E. monsoon should pass outside or eastward
of the Dove rock. To do this, do not bring the east extreme of Fort
island to the eastward of N. ^ E., until the clearing mark, the east
extreme of Green islet on with the north part of High Cape summit,
S.W. ^ S., is made out, when steer for it until Sugar-loaf channel is well
open. Bill islet and Squat rock will then be easily recognised, and bj
steering in with Bill islet on with the extreme of the cape of Good Hope
bearing S.S.E., it will lead between the Outer flat and the spit extending
eastward from Double island in not less than 15 feet at low-water spring
tides. When nearing Double island great attention must be paid to keep
this mark exactly on, as the channel is only 2 cables wide.

If the wind hangs to the northward, and the vessel is unable to k^p
the latter mark on, she had better bear up for Sugar-loaf channel, which
is 2 cables wide, steep -to on either side, with the tides setting directly
through. The only drawback against using this channel is, that in a light
monsoon vessels are liable to lose the wind.

Vessels of light draught, 12 and 14 feet, can easily run in for the
entrance north of Double island. Sugar-loaf channel a little open is a
good mark, and leads south of Joachim spit. When Bill islet is on with
High Cape summit, steer in N.W. by N. until Bottefurh rock is seen clear
of the north extreme of Double island, when keep in mid-channel until
past the latter island, and then a W. J N. course will lead up to the
anchorage. Give the Wyoming rock a good berth, there being no occasion
to pass within 2 cables of it.

Vessels have plenty of room to back and fill when dropping down with
the tide towards Double island, the only thing to avoid being the fishing
stakes. The edge of the bank abreast the island is steep-to, and can be
approached to a cable. If the wind is far round to the eastward, vessels
generally wait a tide or two off Double island until it has sufficient
northing to enable them to leave the port. If obliged to tack do not
stand too close to the southern shore, as during the N.E. monsoon there is
generally a swell setting in, especially between Green and Bill islets.

Bound to the river Han from the southward, the cape of Good Hope
may be rounded closely if necessary, steering northward towards Pagoda

* In January the tides were found variable, the flood running longest, and sometinres
for 12 hours, with an interval of slack water of half an hour, at change of moon ; the
ebb ran the stronger, from three to four knots an hour. Eemark Book of Com.
C. C. Rising, R.N., H.M.5. Midge.

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hill, until Bill islet and Squat rock are seen. Having passed about 2 cables
eastward of Bill islet, bring it in line with the extreme of the cape, and
proceed as before directed. There is a tide race off the cape during the

In going out, vessels *of heavy draught can only cross the^^ar at the top
of high water, and usually anchor off Double island to await the flood. With
a westerly wind, sailing vessels may pass out through the Sugar loaf channel
without the necessity of tacking, but the risk is seldom ventured upon.

In crossing over to Takau south of the Formosa banks, vessels are not
likely to be helped by the northerly current.

POST and B&XO zszJurDS.— E.N.E. If miles from Pagoda hill is
Fort island, with a fort on the table-land at its western end ; the channel
between the island and main is shoal.

Brig island, so called from a rock at its south extreme which appears
like a brig when seen in an east or west direction, lies N.E. J E. 3| miles
from Fort island, the depths between varying from 2^ to 4 fathoms, the
most water being towards Brig island.

WAMIOJL iBiMAXJ^t* 12 miles long, east and west, and 5| miles wide at
its broadest or eastern part, is separated from the main by a channel about
3^ miles wide with depths varying from 3 to 6 fathoms. The three peaks
of this island, West peak, 1,830 feet, Namoa peak, 1,934 feet, and Saddle
peak, 1,794 feet above the level of the sea, form the most promineut land-
marks in the neighbourhood. Notwithstanding its barrenness, the island
is exceedingly populous, the fisheries affording a livelihood to the greater
portion of the inhabitants. Caution is required to avoid the large fishing
stakes which almost sun'ound this island in deep water, some of which are
lai'ge enough to carry away a vessel's j ib-boom.f The passage inside the island
is lined on both sides with these stakes. During the N.E. monsoon the
opium vessels used to anchor off Baylis bay, at the west end of the island,
remaining from October till May. In the other monsoon they used to lie
1^ miles to the northward in Clipper road, abreast Steward's house, as the
swell setting round Clipper point renders the other anchorage inconvenient*

* See Admiralty plan of Namoa island, No. 1,957 ; scale, w = 0* 7 of an inch.

t The Commander of the French ship of war Bouragne reported in 1873, that from
he point west of Crab island, on the south shore of Namoa, there extended out for two
Tiiles, a long series of fishing stakes with scarcely any passage between them. These
takes were of such large dimensions that they would cause serious damage to a ship
striking them in a seaway. He therefore recommended that steam vessels proceeding
against the N.E. monsoon should not approach this shore at night when the wind is
strong, but take the passage westward of the Lamock islands.

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154 HONG KONG TO AMOT. [chap. ra.

The anchorage in Clipper road is in 6 to 7 fathoms, very good holding

Local knowledge is necessary when approaching these anchorages from
the southward, as the knolls off the south-west end of Namoa are said to
shiftj and there was formerly a shoal in their position with as little as
1 1 feet on it. The eastern channel between North point of Namoa and
Fort head is much wider and has general depths of 7 to 4 fathoms.

x«o&&a off s.ixr. end of vilkioAm — Clipper point, the west end of
Namoa, is fronted to the southward by several knolls of sand, which will
probably be found to shift, owing to the freshes from the river Han. In
1844, three of these knolls were lying with Clipper point in line with
Breaker island; from the westernmost, of 12 feet water, Pagoda hill bore
N.W. by W. ; from another of 17 feet it bore W.N.W. ; and from the
third of 18 feet it bore West. There was another of 14 feet with Pagoda
hill W. by N., and Clipper point N.N.E.

BATXX8 BAT is the first little bight on the west side of Namoa iiorth-
ward of Clipper point, and there is a fort on the ridge westward of it,
and an outwork on the beach. Three knolls lie off this bay ; the Rrsty
with only 5 feet water over it, bears W. by N. rather less than a cable
from the fort point ; the second, with 9 feet on it, N.W. :^ N. a cable from
the point ; and the third, with 1 1 feet on it, N.W. | N. a quarter of a
mile from the point. From the latter the summit of Brig island bears
N.W. i N., and the summit of Fort island W. by S. ^ S.

From Baylis bay a bank commences that borders the north-west coast
of Namoa for 2^ miles ; its greatest distance from the shore is 4 cables,
which is abreast Stewart's house ; the lead gives no warning, and there
are only 9 feet on its edge.

Supplies. — ^Baylis bay and Clipper road must be considered more as safe
roadsteads than harbours, as from the velocity of the tide and the fetch of
the sea, laden boats would frequently have much difficulty in passing to
and fro. Water may be procured with great facility, and there is no
difficulty in obtaining fresh provisions.

ro&xsTOiTB Bocx, with only 5 feet on it, lies with the south extreme
of Brig island in line with north-west head of Fort island, S.W. by W. ^ W.;
Coffin island (the largest of a cluster of islets 2| miles north of Brig
island) N.W. ; and the flagstaff at Stewart's house in line with a white-
washed rock at the back of it, S. by E.

The south extreme of Brig island, just open of the north-west extreme
of Fort island, leads south of Folkstone rock, and also of the shoal which
extends nearly all the way from Brig island to Breaker island ; the
latter is a peaked rock with several others around it, which must not be

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 18 of 72)