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having a channel 4 cables wide between it and the point.

Tslanffy the eastern island, is only 1 J miles long N.E. and S.W., and
about 1^ miles broad, and the channel between it and Pa-chau is barely one
cable wide. The east point of this island is remarkable from an isolated
cliff, called Rover Knob, 100 feet high, which forms the most striking
feature in the group ; and 7 cables eastward of the cliff is a ledge of rocks,
parts of which are always above water.

2>zftscTXOins. — The channel between the Rover group being so narrow
and intricate, the only excuse for a stranger using it would be his vessel
being caught at anchor to the northward of the group in a breeze from the
northward, and unable to fetch clear either eastward or westward. On the
north-west face of Tsiang are two islets, under the southern of which a
small vessel might find shelter in a northerly wind, taking the precaution
not to stand too far into the bay, as there are only 6 feet water at 2 cables off
shore. On the west end of the island, which is a cliff, are three embrasures*

In the centre of the southern part of the channel is a small rock with a
reef extending southward half a mile from it. The passage out is eastward
of this rock, and the channel is a quarter of a mile wide. E. by S.
4^ cables from the small rock is a reef which may always be detected from
the mast head, as well as two other patches lying respectively 4 and 7
cables eastward of it.

BzaK xsKAVBv bearing W. by S. | S. 9| miles from the highest part
of Pa-chan, is dome-shaped, 247 feet high, and three-quarters of a mile in
circumference. At one mile eastward of it is a low flat island, and between
the two are several rocks, one of which has a remarkable gap in it, and
rises 60 feet above the sea. A rock nearly level with the water's edge lies
S.E. J E. If miles from the summit of High island.

TiH-PAir is&A«a>, 158 feet high, 2 miles in circumference and uneven
in appearance, is 4 miles northward of High island, and S.W. ^ S., llj
miles from the lighthouse on the south-west end of Fisher Island.

TA8XJB X8&AirB, bearing S.S.E. | E. nearly 5 miles from the light-
house on Fisher island, is aptly named, the summit being a dead flat 200

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feet above the sea ; near its soutb-west end is a sudden fall nearly to {he
sea level, giving it at a short distance the appearance of two islands. Th&
island is not quite 2 miles long, E. bj N. and W. by S., and is seldom ^
cables wide. The 2-£Eithoms' line of soundings extends 2 cables from its
eastern extreme.*

^TttUr. — ^There was a good run of water in the month of June towards
the north-east end of Table island.

TAMMon xs&AVB ts about a mile northward of Table island, and
between them the depth is 12 to 19 fathoms. A shoal with only 9 feet
water extends N.W. ^ W. 1 J miles from the north-west side of the island,
and from its south-west edge, in 4 fathoms, the south end of the island
bears S.E. ^ E. ; from its north-east limit the north point o£ the island
bears S.E. by E. ; and from its north-western limit Dome island bears
N.E. by E. i E.

nsBBB xs&AVB, which, in a collection of voyages in Dutch pub-
lished in 1726, is called D'Visser's island, lies westward of Ponghou, and
between them is the excellent and extensive harbour of Ponghou. The
island is 5 miles long, north and south^ and 3^ miles broad. The south-
east point, Siau head, is a bold cliff 170 feet above the sea. A reef breaks
at low water 7 cables from the western shore of the island, and its outer
extreme bears N. by E. J E. from the lighthouse on the south-west ex-
treme of the island, which is described below.

Anoborare. — Vessels seeking shelter in a north-east gale will find
smooth water off the southern shore of Fisher island between the light-
house and Siau head, where there are two sandy bays ; in the eastern bay
is a fort or line of embrasures, and in the western a run of fresh water,
except during the dry season.

Niu-kung bay, between the north end of Fisher island and Pehoe
island, will afford shelter in the S.W. monsoon. The north-east point of
the former island is a table bluff with reefs, which cover at high water,
extending 2 cables in a north-easterly direction from it.
• POwaBOV zsXhAJTB, the largest of the Pescadores, is Similes in extent,
north and south ; it is, however, separated into three portions by narrow
channels, which have only 2 feet in them at low water, and are further
blocked by stone weirs. The whole of the western face of the island is
fronted by coral reefs. On its south-eastern side, between Hou and
Leechin points, are two-bays with fishing villages, either of which afford
anchorage in the N.E. monsoon. The best shelter will be obtained in the
northern bay of the two, as it is protected by some rocks, the reefs lying
off which may be seen from the mast head, as the water is very clear.

* Table island is conspicuously basaltic, the basalt, of a dark hue, being disposed side
by side like slates, a bundle of them peaking out on one side near the top. — Robert F,
Swinhoe, Esq. H.M. Consul.

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Dome bay, on the south-west side of the island, also affords good anchor-
age in 6 fathoms.

POiraBOir BASSomt. — The eastern coast of Fisher island trends
northward from Siau head, and forms several small bays which are
steep-to at a cable from the beach until 2J miles north of the head, when
reefs extend nearly 3 cables off shore. To avoid these reefs the fall of
Sian head must not be brought southward of S. by W. J W. after Makung
citadel opens northward of Black rock, which lies N.E. | E. 1^ miles from
Siau head, and part of it is always uncovered. When passing eastward
of this rock, keep within 4 cables of it, as coral patches extend some
distance from Ponghou.*

The Plover anchored about 3 miles northward of Siau head, with Black
rock S. by E. | E., and the highest part of Tatsang island E. ^ N. ; in the
bay abreast her were two runs of good fresh water. In working up for
this anchorage, to avoid the coral reefs extending from the Ponghou shore,
do not stand farther eastward than to bring Black rock S.S.W. The
harbour northward of this anchorage is much choked with coral patches.
There is a passage out to the northward between Fisher island and Pehoe
island, and it may be used on an emergency by vessels of 15 feet draught,
but a local knowledge is necessary to render it available.

AZOBTi — K fixed white light is exhibited at 22^ feet above high water,
from a lighthouse standing on the south-west extreme of Fisher island ;
but as part of the windows are glazed with oyster shells, and the apparatus
very rude, it will not be seen much farther off than a mile.

The lighthouse, 30 feet high, was built upwards of one hundred years ago
by subscription, and the expense of lighting is defrayed by a port charge
of one dollar upon each junk entering Makung harbour. A new lighthouse
is in course of construction.

MLaJKUVO BASBOint is formed at the south-west part of Ponghou, and
although much confined by coral reefs it has sufficient depth for vessels of
large draught. The town of Makung stands on the north side of Junks
bay, close to the north-east point of entrance, and will be easily recognised
by a citadel and a line of embrasures. The large junks waiting for a
favourable wind to take them' to Formosa, anchor south-west of the town in
7 and 8" fathoms, with Black rock, lying midway between Fisher island and
Makung, bearing N.E. by N. The junks belonging to the place lie close to
the town, in a creek north-eastward of the citadel. The most convenient
anchorage is in 8 fathoms, between the old Dutch fort and Observatory
island, a little within the line joining them. The harbour is a safe one, and
quite sheltered in typhoons.

* Vice- Admiral Shadwell reports, 1873, that this harbour affords good shelter during
the NJ2. monsoon, but is only fairly protected from the wind at other quarters.

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The harbour runs back 8 miles to the eastward from Chimney point,
the south point of entrance, on which is an old Dutch fort. The southern
shore is low, and on Dome hill, which is 154 feet above the sea^ and the
highest part of the land hereabouts, is a large pile of stones ; the land
between the hill and Chimney point is low and in two places less than a
cable across. Dome hill overlooks Dome bay, on the soutb-west face of
the island, in which is a village and a fort. The isthmus immediately
eastward of the village is low enough for the sea to break over at high
water during a south-east gale. The Plover anchored with Chimney
point bearing N.W. | W. distant 6 cables, which is also the width of the
harbour here.

Within the harbour are four coral patches, awash at low water springs,
small in extent, and steep-to, but they may always be detected from the
mast head in time to avoid them. From the westernmost patch Chimney
point bears N.W. by W. ^ W. and Dome hill S. by E. i E. The next
patch lies a quarter of a mile farther eastward, with the fort on Chimney
point N.W. by W. J W. and Dome hill South. From the next patch the
fort bears N.W. i W., and the hill S. J W. ; and from the fouith patch
the fort bears N.W. ^ W., and the hill S. W. by "S.

BntaoTSOWS. — ^Running for Makung harbour from the westward,
pass about half a mile southward of Litsitah point, the south extreme
of Fisher island, and then steer E. ^ N. for the town of Makung, which, as
before observed, may be recognised by a citadel and a line of embrasures.
The only dangers to be avoided in entering this passage are, the shoal •
with 9 feet on it, extending N.W. i W. IJ miles from Tablet island ; and
a reef, just awash at high water, at half a mile westward of Dome island.
Flat island, lying 2 cables westward of Chimney point, is also surrounded
by reefs to the distance of a cable from high water mark ; and shoal
water extends three-quarters of a cable in a northerly direction from
Chimney point.

TOSTOZ8B SOCK, 9 feet above high water and steep-to, lies about
2 J miles from the north-west point of Fisher island, and N. by E. J E.
7^ miles from the lighthouse. There is a shoal patch of l|-fathoms at
6 cables S. | E. from the rock, and N.W. | N. from the north-east point
of Fisher island.

8A»B iBJOLxmf three-quarters of a mile long, north and south, and a
quarter of a mile broad, bears N.E. by E. i E. 2| miles from Tortoise
rock, and it will be known by a hummock which rises on the low land in
the centre of the island and also by its yellow appearance ; a rock lies off
its south-west end and reefs extend north-westward 3 cables from its north-
west point. At half a mile eastward of this island is a flat black islet, and
northward of it a cluster of stones, some of which are always above



bears E.N.E. from Sand island, and a long sandy point,
off which is a small sand island with a house upon it, forms it& southern
extreme. On the west point is a low hill connected with the rest of the
island by a sandy isthmus.

Shoal water extends 3 miles northward from the north point of Bird
island, and near its centre is North island, which has a house upon it to
shelter the fishermen, and upcm a reef half way between them is another
house. The northern edge of the shoal water uncovers at low tide, bearing
from N.N. W. i W. to N. f W. from North island distant 1^ miles ; and
from the reef at its west extreme, which is steep-to (for the lead gives no
warning), Sand island bears S. by W. From the west point of Bird
island to this reef are many reefs which will be avoided by not bringing
Sand island westward of S. by W.

AXCUOMJLOm, — Shelter during a north-easterly wind might be found
on the west side of Bird island ; and from southerly winds, to the north-
ward of the reefs extending from the north point of the island.

v.^BBT. ovtIbEMM is a shoal patch of 5 fathoms, lying N. by W. | W.
from Sand island and West 3f miles from North island.

MJkM^m zs&A»i>, bearing S.E. by S. 5 miles from the north-east end
of Bird island, is a small islet with a sand patch on its south cliff, and
surrounded with rocks. It is nearly connected with the two Conch islands
southward of it, by reefs at low water ; the southern island of the two
has a large village on it.

osaAir and SAaosB xsXiAHDS. — Organ island is three miles
S. by E. ^ E. from Sable. N.E. | N. one mile from it is a reef, from
which Sable island bears N.W. by N. Ragged island is nearly a mile
S.E. by E. from Organ.

The whole of the east coast of Pehoe and north coast of Ponghou
abreast the above islands is shoal.

somra and THSBS Z8&Ain>8. — Leechin point, the east extreme of
Pongliou, is low and shelving, and If miles eastward of it is Hound island,
bearing S. by E. |^ E. 3^ miles from Bagged island ; and S. ^ E. 1^ miles
from Bound is Three island. N.W. by W. | W. from Three, and S.W. ^ S.
from Bpund island, is a reef which covers at half tide. Between Round
and Organ islands are several overfalls.

WOSTBSSW CHtows. — The archipelago, to the northward of Fisher
a^d ^hoe islands, does not afford any inducement for a vessel to enter it.
The external dangers have, therefore, only been noticed.

TX9BS. — It is high water, full and change, in Makung harbour at
lOh. 30m. ; springs rise 9J feet, neaps 7 feet. The tidal streams among
the Pescadores run with great strength, but they are much affected by the


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204 PESCADOEES ISLANDS. [chap. it.

preTftillng winds. H.M. brig Plover, daring the southerly monsoon in
Aogusty sometimes experienced a stream of 4 knots per hour on the flood
nmning to the northward,* whilst on the ebb, the current slackened for
two and three hours, but seldom ran with any velocity to the southward.
Vessels therefore nayigating in this neighbourhood may safely allow that
the effect of the current and tidal stream together will set them, according
to the prevailing monsoon, 17 miles in one tide. Tide races are common,
and overtop with great violence.

roBMOBA MAMMM occupy a large space on the charts to the south-
west of the Pescadores, but as they have not been surveyed and there is
at present no account of them, they should be approached with great
caution. They trend in the direction of the Pescadores channel and have
general depths of 5 to 10 fathoms water. During the summer months the
S. W. monsoon drift current causes tide-rips, eddies, and whirls on the banks
between Swatow and Takau.

There appears however to be much less water over these banks, for
Captain Livingstone, of the ship Sea Star, of Glasgow, reportsf that his
vessel struck the ground in Lit. 23'' 19^ N., long. 118'' 53' E., and carried
away part of her keel ; the depth he considered to be about 15 feet, and
High island bore E. ^ S. distant about 20 miles. This statement has been
subsequently confirmed ^ by Mr. Turner, of the P. and O. Company's ship
PeJdn, who, in passing near this locality in December 1861, observed the
sea breaking as near as possible in the above position ; and he warns
all vessels from approaching it at night during the N.E. monsoon, as the
breakers might be taken for phosphorescent water till too late to avoid the

Mr. George Stanley, B.N., who carried soundings many times across these
banks between Amoy and southern Formosa, makes the following remarks.
" Considering the limiting edges of the Formosa bAnks to be a depth of 20
fathoms, their northern edge will be in lat. 23° 18' N., long. 118° 26' E.,
and their eastern side in the parallel of 2^ N., and long. 119° 15' E. The
western edge of the banks can scarcely be delineated as it stretches from the
Lamock islands without any marked irregularity of depth. The shoalest
part§ 5 fathoms, is in lat. 23"^ 1' N., long. 118° 29' E. The banks are
formed of coarse white sand, with patches of from 7 to 10 fathoms

* The same was obserred m H.M.S. SerpentyVOi May 186&, when anchored during fonr
days in the Pescadores channel ; the S.W. monsoon was not then established. See also
pages 24 and 248.

t Nautical Magazine, p. 54, January 1858.

j Mercantile Magazine, p. 128, April 1862.

§ This was the least water found bj H.M. surveying vessels Swallow and JDove. The
banks were not regularly surveyed, but only crossed from shore to shore by dead

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water on them, which all lie between the parallels of 22° 40' and 23° 16' N.,
and between the meridians of 118° ICy and 119° E. When saUing slowly
through the water and sounding, it was frequently found to shoal
suddenly from 18 to 8 fathoms, increasing in depth again as rapidly •
Heavy overfialls generally indicate these sudden variations in depth. Fish
in large shoals were seen in the months of April and May. The
current during those two months was generally found setting to the N.E.
one mile an hour, increasing in strength as the coast of Formosa was

PB8CA1IOSB8 OHJLMmwLt formerly called Formosa channel, lies
between the Pescadores, and Formosa 20 to 30 miles to the eastward. It
is 20 to 60 fathoms in depth, and narrowed to a breadth of 9 miles between
Outer Wanckan shoal and Nine-feet reef which lies W. by S. J S. from
Wanckan, and which is 4 miles S.S.E. JE. from Three island, the eastern-
most islet of the Pescadores group.

TIBV8< — ^In the centre of the Pescadores channel, eastward of Ponghon,
the Udsd streams were observed, early in May 1866, to set as follow : — ^At
high water by Makung, the northern stream, which had then been runimig
for 9 hours, ceased and was succeeded by 3 hours slack water, after which
the northern stream again made. Its velocity was 2 to 3 knots an hour,
with a maximum of 4 knots at half-stream. Large eddies were formed by
the current which covered the sea with discoloured patches, shewing that
it swept the bottom at a depth of 22 fathoms ; and the temperature of the
water was 10° higher than at Makung harbour. Further observation is
required to determine whether this condition of the tidal streams is per-
manent or variable, or whether it changes according to season, or is
reversed at any period of the N.E. monsoon. It is well known that a
warm current, which is either the S.W. monsoon-drift or a branch of the
Japan stream, flows up this channel during the spring and summer months,
but precise information concerning it has yet to be ascertained. It is well
therefore to record the following remarks.* "On the N.W. coast of
Rl^rmosa the ebb stream was invariably found running strong to the
ndiiCisBftward, whilst the effect of the flood, even during strong breezes,
was scarcely perceptible. On the ebb, tide-races with very dangerous,
coniused sea exist off all the points of the north-west coast of the island,
and also to the northward of Tamsui, the worst of which is off Syau-ki
point. Here, on one occasion although there was but little wind, the
MavoCf under steam, lost all steerage way until drifted up to Foki
point where it became comparatively smooth. It was considered that
the effect of the northern cuitent had been under-estimated."

* Bemark Book of Mr. John F. Barns, B.N., H.M. Gunboat Havoc.

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Vabiation in 1874.

Fntas Island, l"" O' W. ; Bashee Islands, (fS&W.; Meiaco dima Group, I'' 20' W. j
Takan, Formosa, 0* SC W. ; Eelong Harbour, 1° 10' W.

The present chapter deals with a region embracing wilMn its limits
some of the ocean highways to and from southern China. Ships bound
thereto by the eastern route or passages, pass southward of Formosa
through the Bashee or Ballingtang channels; those to northern China
pass through or near the^ groups of islands lying to the north-east ; the
passage east of Formosa is made by sailing vessels bound from. SQuthera
Qiina to the northern ports or to Japan, against the N.E. monsoon ; and
that west of Formosa is often found preferable to proceeding by the cosust
of China. Directions for making these passages, with the prevailing winds
and currents, are given in the first chapter of this work, on pages 36-44.

nuiTAS zs&AirB and MMMT.* — ^Pratas island, the north-east end of
which is in lat. 20° 42' 3" N., long. 116° 43' 22" E., rises from the west
fflde, and near the middle of the sunken part of the Pratas reef. It is
about 1^ miles long, E. by S. and W. by N., half a mile wide, and 40 feet
high, of which elevation the scrubby bush, with which it is covered, forms
about 10 feet. It is composed of sand, not a particle of mould or earthy
matter could be found on it, its shape is that of a horse-shoe, enclosing
a shallow inlet or lagoon, which runs into its western side for about half
a mile, and must afford shelter to the Chinese fishermen who come here to
fish in the early part of the year. Brackish water can be obtained by
digging a few feet into the sand. Gannets are numerous, and may be
knocked down with sticks.

The island is visible at a distance of 9 or 10 miles, in clear weather
from the deck of a large vessel ; from the westward it will make like two

* Surveyed and described by John Richards, Master B.N., April 1858. See Admiralty
Chart, China sea. Sheet 4, Mindoro strait to Hong Kong, No. 2,661 ; scale, m » 0*05
of an inch.

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detached but contiguous islets, the centre being lower than the ends. It
is visible when near the south extreme of the ree^ but more conspicuous
when approaching it from the westward or northward.

Pratas reef, the north -east point of which is in about lat. 20° 47' N.,
long. 116P 53' E., is a coral barrier of nearly circular form, encircling a
lagoon of 5 to 10 fathoms water, and thickly studded with coral knolls
round its maj^n, but comparatively clear near the middle. The reef is
about 40 mUes in circumference, one to two miles broad, and slightly
flattened on the northern side. Nearly two-thirds of it, or the north,
east, and south sides, are just dry at low- water springs, the remainder,
or western side, forms a sunken barrier, across which are two channels
leading into the lagoon, one on each side of Pratas island. The north
channel is about 3 miles wide, between the island and the edge of the
breakers, and 3 fathoms may be carried near the middle of it at low- water
springs. The south channel is by far the best of the two, from its being
wider, a little deeper, as well as its comparative freedom from coral knolls.

TZBas. — During the survey of Pratas reef, April 1858, it was high
water, full and change, at about 4 h. a.m.,* and the rise was about 5 feet.
There was only one perceptible ebb and one flow in the 24 hours at the
springs. The highest tide occurred on the third day after the ftdl moon,
but the tides were very irregular.

AVCBOSAOS. — ^Although Pratas reef is steep-to in most parts, there
are several spots where, in case of necessity, a vessel might flnd anchorage
outside the breakers, particularly on the west side, abreast the middle
of the channels through the sunken part of the reef, and at the distance
of about 1^ or 2 miles on either side of the island. At each of these
spots there is good anchorage in the N.E. monsoon, in 20 to 10 fathoms,
but the position abreast the south channel is considered the best, the
sunken reef at this part being deeper and the bottom more even than
in the channel north of the island. A vessel of light draught might
even anchor in safety on the reef, in the middle of the south channel in
3^ fathoms at low water, or cross it and take up a berth inside the lagoon
in 10 fathoms fine sand.

Captain Eoss, I.N., visited this reef in the Discoveri/y with the
Investigator in company, August 1813. The first soundings obtained
were 74 fathoms, fine coral, about 1^ or 2 miles from the north-east
point ; from thence the former vessel steered along the north side^
about three-quarters of a mile from the breakers, in soundings of 31 to
38 fathoms ; the Investigator keeping about a quarter of a mile off*, had

mother obBervationB are at variance with this. The eBtablishment is probably

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 24 of 72)