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great overfalls of 10 to 24 fathoms^ After rounding the north-west
part of the reef about a mile off in "SS fathoms, rocky bottom^ they
anchored in 24 fathoms, about 1^ miles from the west end of the island
With the island bearing from S.E. ^ S. to E.S.E. About half-way between
this position and the shore the depths were 4 and 5 fathoms, and then very
shoal water.

H.M.S. Highflyer^ in May 1867, anchored about 8 cables from the
west end of the island, in 20 fathoms, coral and clay, the extremes
bearing S.E. § E. and E. by S. She also anchored, with stream anchor,
at half a mile from the south-east edge of the reef, in 32 fathoms, white
mud, with the centre of the island N.W. \ W. distant 10 miles ; there
were 13 fathoms water at 2 cables from the edge of the reef, and 7 fathoms
at a short distance from the edge. In April 1859, H.M. gun vessel Leven
anchored three-quarters of a mile off shore in 5 fathoms, with the ceutre
of the island bearing E. by N.

In May 1866, HJM.S. Serpent anchored on the sunken part of the
reef, 4 miles S.S.W. of the island, when the depths were observed to be
generally 3 to 4 feet shallower than was previously supposed. In the hazy
weather, which generally prevails during the N.E. monsoon, the island is
seldom visible beyond 5 or 6 miles, and the breakers at ^he edge of the
reef may possibly not be seen until within one mile of them.

Caution. — When beating against, or running with, the strength of the
monsoon up or down the China sea, vessels should always endeavour to
pass to leeward of Pratas reef on account of the invariable set of the
current to leeward ; for there are no soundings to indicate a near approach,
and the weather is frequently thick and hazy in this vicinity. The safest
quarter to make the reef is from the north-west, the island being on its
western side, and the currents in the neighbourhood invariably running
in a N.E. or S.W. direction according to the monsoon. Approaching the
reef a vessel should be conned from the fore- top. The sun should be well
above the horizon, and if possible astern or on the beam, as the bottom
can then be easily seen in 10 fathoms.

DOVBTFVK UMMTU near tlie PSATAS. — Captain Hossack of the
ship Cyclone reported, " That on the 9th August 1861, when standing to
the N.W., wind W.S.W., tacked ship, having seen two patches, tbe
easternmost of which appeared to be very shoal, about 2 or 3 fathoms
water, extending about 400 feet, and the water breaking on it. From
good observations the position of the reef is lat. 21** 31' N., long.
117° 7' E."

The ship Dorothea was reported to have been wrecked on a reef in
lat. 21° 5' N., long. 116** 50' E., which position is 14 miles north of Pratas

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Some search was made in 1866 for these doubtfdl dangers, never befoi-e
nor since observed. H.M.S. Serpent!* passed within a mile of the reputed
position of the Hossack, and obtained 175 fathoms; black and gray sand,
at 2 miles N.W. of it. To the northward, soundings of 60 &ihoms were
taken on a bank 20 miles in extent, which bank is sufficient, when the
^^urrent is deep, to cause such ripplings in fine weather, or broken water
in bad, as might lead an observer to the erroneous conclusion that he had
iseen a shoal.

Owing to a change! in the direction of the current, the position
Assigned to the Dorothea reef was not sounded over, but 190 and 160
^thorns were obtained 5 miles N.E. and S.E. of it, respectively.


The winds and climate of thi^ coast and of the Bashee channel are
described in Chapter I. •

CAVS BOjmaaiOB,§ which forms the north-west extreme of Luzon, is
3 low point with a reef of breakers projecting off it. From hence the
4io&8t takes a north-east direction, and at the distance of 6 mUes is Negra
point, on the east side of which is anchorage with southerly winds. Dialao
jpoint is 9 miles N.E. by E. of Negra point, and the deep bay between has
much foul ground on its eastern shore. There is anchorage at the bottom
of this bay, near the small port of Bangui, 6 J miles East of Negra point,
which is said to have been long shut up by an earthquake.

Mayraira, or Cavndian or Cauagan point,' the north extreme of Luzon,
is 4 miles N.E. by E. of Dialao point, and has a reef projecting about a
mile out. About 1^ miles southward from Mayraira point is a small bay,
open to the eastward, in which is maiked 9 fathoms in the Spanish chart.
Point Lacaylacay is 8^ miles E. | S. of Mayraira, and between them is

* Commander Bullock, K.N., who made this search, remarks, " We stood out towards
ihe Hofisack, obtaining depths of 58 and 60 fathoms, fine gray sand and stones, some
10 miles \>e7ond the 100 fathoms line of soundings, and one cast of 49 fathoms, rock
-(doubtful), whereabout the 150 fathoms line would be, and about 8 miles N. by B. of the
position. The water then deepened to 175 fathoms at 3 miles south-eastward of the
jreported shoals, and 237 fethoms at 5 miles ; bottom, fine gray speckled sand." Until
farther investigation has been made, caution is requisite when navigating in this vicinity.

t The current changed so frequently in force and direction that the reckoning
checked only by an occasional observation, had to be corrected by sighting the Pratas,
The search was not continued owing to the passage of a typhoon to the southward, a
Tare occurrence at the beginning of May, the storm wave of which rendered the
anchorage on the reef unsafe, and compelled the Serpent to put to sea.

t The west coast of Luzon is described in the China Sea Directory, vol. ii., p. 261.

I See Admiralty Charts, northern portion of the island of Luzon, with the Bashee
and Ballintang channels, No. 2,454; scale, d = 6'2 inches*; and China sea, sheet 4,
No. 2,661.

30251. O

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Baloaj hBjf an indentation of the coast of which nothing is known. Four
miles farther east is a sandy bay where the depth is 11 fathoms /itA
eastern point is Cabicongan, 12^ miles E. f S. of Mayraira, and 3^ milc^
East of Cabicongan is Pata point.

The deteription of this part of the coast in the last edition of the
China PUot was as follows* : — ^ Caravallo or Patapa point, bearing abotit
E. by S. 1 1 or 12 miles firom Mayraira point is a bluff steep point of white
difis, having a mass of high mountains, the Montes Patapa, contiguons to
it. To the eastward of Carayallo point there is a round hill of middling
height, called Pata point. The whole of the coast from cape Bojeador to
this place is steep, without any soundings until near the shore ; the land
is of moderate height, and in some parts rather low close to the sea, with
seyeral riyers ; but the country inland is high and mountainous."

On a comparison of old and recent charts, Caravallo would appear to
be identical with Lacaylacay point, and Cabicungan point is probably

From Fata point the coast trends south-eastward for 43 miles, and then
north-eastward for 27 miles to cape Engano, the north-east extreme of
Luzon, forming an immense bay. Fronting the sea is a considerable space
of moderately elevated or rather low land, interspersed with villages and
intersected by rivers. On the western side is the Abulug, a chain of
mountains parallel to the coast and about 6 nules inland. There is a
continued beach along this coast with regular soundings^ generally 5 to
10 fathoms at a mile or two off on the western part, and the same depths
at 3 to 6 miles off shore in the bight of the bay, deepening again near the
eastern shore.

At 14 and 15^ miles S.E. by E. from Pata point are the entrances of the
San Juan Pamplona and the Abulug, two small rivers, with a low island
between them. A sandbank, the only known danger on the coast, and on
which the sea breaks in bad weather, lies about 2 miles N. by E. of the
bar of the Abulug, and fronting the point to the westward of the river.
It extends E.S.E. and W.S.W. 2 miles, and about a mile outside it there
are 35 and 40 fathoms, fine black sand.

The entrance of the Cagayai, Rio Grande de Cagayan, 14 miles south-
eastward of the Abulug, has good anchorage in 10 or 11 fathoms, about

* The original deficription, which agrees better with the recent survey, is as follows:
— ** Point CaraYallo is a bluff, steep point of white clifb, bearing about E. by S. 3^
or 4 leagues from point Gayndian, having a mass of high mountains contiguous, which
go by the same name. Close to the point there is an islet, and other islets lie near the
shore, about 1^ or 2 miles to the eastward. About 4 leagues eastward from point
Caravallo there is a round hill of middling height called Fata point, &^," CMna Pilots
Ist edition, p. 177.

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1^ miles N.I^^. from its mouth. The point on the east side is known bj
ttte^^hiurch and convent of the town of Aparri built on it ; abreast of which
or North from the church is the best anchorage. The river is about a
third of ,a mile wide at entrance, with 2 and 2^ fathoms on the bar,
deepening to 6 and 6 fathoms, mud, inside. The coast to the eastward of
this river is flat, with soundings of 20 &thoms, black sand, about 6 miles
cxff shore.

9A3JBLVX xsZiAVB,* 5 milcs in extent and moderately elevated, lies
contiguous to the north-western point of the large {womontorj wifaich fonns
the north-eastern extremity of Luzon ; and between Pahiui and the coast is
farmed the port of San Vincente. The western shore of the island i^pears
hold, but from^ its eastern side a reef projects 1^ miles, the edge of which
is about half a mile outside and around the small islet Eschucha.

CAPS svOAiro, E. \ S., 54 miles from Fata point, is the north point
of Palaui island. Off it are the two Hermanoz islets ; and off the N.E.
point, which is a mile east of the cape, are some rocks, and also at the
distance of half a mile the islet Gran Laja, which is a square, steep mass
g£ lava about half a mile in extent, which may be seen at the distance of
about 27 miles.

It has been stated that a coral reef, with high breakers and several rocks
ab^ve water, extends E.N.E. about 3 miles from the point of the oape^
and that patches of shoal water project a mile beyond it ; but the recent
Spanish survey does not corroborate this, but shows deep water about
Gran Laja and the adjacent islets. Nor does the Spanish chart show any
extensive reefs off Escarpada point, the north-east point of Luxon, which
has by some been considered to be the true cape Engano, the name of
which signifies " deceit."

POST SAsr vnrcBSTS,! 30 miles E. by N. f N. of Aparri, is formed
by a small island of the same name lying between the north-east end of
Luzon and its adjacent island of Palaui. There is room in this port
for three or four ships, sheltered from all winds ; but the entrance is
narrow and intricate, being formed between shoals on either side, which
project from the south-east part of Palaui, and from Vincente island ; a
vessel is therefore obliged to warp in.

There is good anchorage in 5 fathoms opposite the mouth of the port
on the south-west, sheltered dfrom all winds but those between W. and S. W.

.ere is also anchorage along the coast between Aparri road and this

ice, in 15 or 20 fathoms water within 2 miles of the shore ; the soundings
pretty regular, excepting at a depression in the bank about 10 miles

Usually called Falibi island. Point Fatapat or Caraballo of some charts.
See Flan of port San Vhicente, scale w = 0-6 inch, on Admiralty Chnrt, No. 2,464. -

O 2

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to the S.W. of Vincentey where the depths are 70 and 80 fathoms water
aboat 2^ miles off shore, havisg close to the edge of it 30 &thomSy black

There is no description of the eastern entrance to this port, but the
sarrej shows a channel of 6 fathoms between the reefs off the Luzon shore
and Bona islet, in the centre of the narrows. The approach is from the
eastward, and is a mile wide between the reefs around Escucha islet and
those bordering the main.

MM. COAST Of KVEOV. — From San Vincente the coast runs East
5 miles to Escarpada point, before mentioned, which has been usually
distinguished, both in charts and sailing directories, as cape Engano. Here
the coast turns abruptly to the south-eastward for 12 miles to Tligan
point, where the Spanish survey terminates, and where the coast again
abruptly turns to the south-westward.

Little is known of the north-east coast of Luzon. Southward of Cape
Engano, at the distances of 11, 16, and 22 miles, are three mountains, the
respective heights of which are 2,086, 3,451, and 3,995 feet, which must
he fine landmarks in dear weather. Beaten incessantly* by the whole
fetch of the Pacific surf, at best it must be an iron-bound coast, and is so
indicated, and probably with very strong currents drifting past it. This
inust be especially the case in the N.E. monsoon, which brings the rainy
season here ; and when the remark before made is remembered, that the
mountain ranges intercepting the S.W. monsoon, bring the rain on the
opposite coast, although in a less continuous manner, it will be inferred
that they reach the eastern shore very much mitigated in their force, and
are probably felt as light and baffling winds, or as more violent squalls.
In the absence of any recorded experience it may be the safest course to
entirely avoid it as far as possible.

untaOTZOVB. — The channel between cape Engano and Camiguin
island to the N.N.W. is 20 miles wide, and dear of danger. As the
currents set strongly to the northward in the S.W. monsoon, it will be
prudent for vessels proceeding to the eastward from this coast with light
winds to keep on the south side of the channel, to prevent their being
drifted to the northward near the Guinapac and Didicas rocks which lie
north-eastw5trd of Camiguin.


The Babuyan or Five islands, named Camiguin, Fuga, Dalupiri, Calajan,
-and Babuyan Claro, form a kind of ciicular chain fronting the north coast

' ' ■ ' ■ ■

* Iladbiy's Sailing Direetoiy for the Indian Archipelago, &c., p. 819.

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of Xinzon. ' The channels between them are said to be safe, without
soimduigs^ and their coasts are generallj steep-to ; bat as these islands
hare not yet been examined their shores should be approached with
caution** For winds and weather, see page 5.

OAXiaviv zs&AirB, the south-eastern of the group, about 10 miles
in extent N.N.E. and S.S.W., is high and liillj, and lies 20 miles north-
west of cape Engano. Its shore in some places is bordered with coral
rocks, having soundings of 30 to 35 &thoms about a mile off; and the
land is low close to the sea along its eastern and northern sides. The
southem^part of the island is formed of a high mountain, formerly a
volcano, visible at a distance of 60 miles. To the westward of this moun-
tain some steep white cliffs front the sea, about 2 miles to the southward
of the south point of Fort San Fio Quinto.

Port Umn Fio Qnlntof may be considered the only place amongst these
islands tolerably safe for a large ship, for the bottom in it is not so rocky
as in Musa bay, Fuga island. The port is formed by a concavity in the
land about 3 miles wide and 1^ miles deep, a little southward of the
middle of the west side of Camiguin, and is sheltered from the westward
by Fio Quinto islet, which lies in the middle of the entrance. This islet
is high, about 1^ miles in circumference, steep to seaward, and has on
each side a safe channel leading to the poi-t. The south channel, 1^ miles
wide with 40 fathoms at entrance decreasing gradually inside, is between
the islet and the south point of the port, which, with an islet near it, has
the colour of iron ; and a little to the southward there is a boiling spring
of salt waler. The north channel, between Fio Quinto islet and north
point of the port, is about a mile wide, with soundings fronting it of 28
and 30 fathoms, and 17 and 18 fathoms inside ; but there is a rocky patch
of only 6 and 8 fathoms, lying rather nearer the islet than mid-channel^
and a coral reef projects about a quarter of a mile from the north point
of entrance.

The bottom in the channels and in the port is mostly soft sand, with a
little coral in some places, and the soundings decrease gradually to the
shore around. The best anchorage is in 15 or 16 fathoms to the eastward
of Ro Quinto islet, abreast a rivulet of fresh water, which bears E.N.E.
firom the islet.

Tides. — ^It is high water, full and change, in port San Fio Quinto at
6 h. m., springs rise about 6 feet.

See Admiralty Chart of the NorUiem portion of Luzon with the Bashee and BalHn-
j chaonels, No. 2,454 ; scale, </ » 6*2 inches.
See plan of port San Fio Quinto ; scale, m » 1 inch, on the above Chart, No. 2,454..

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I, bearing E.bjS. about 10 miles from the north
point of Camignin, consists of two rocks like towers, one larger than the
other, with some smaller rocks contiguous. There are no soundings
within a short distance of .their eastern side; between them and the
nearest part of Camiguin is a channel 6 miles wide, which is.Bafeon 4;he
island sideb

UgMMCMM wtoOMBt Or Northern Pillars, about 7 or 8 miles N.E. ^E. of
the Guinapac, are a group of foAr sharp-pointed rocks, much higher tiian
the lattei*, and when seen at a considerable distance appear like ships
under sail. They are about 2 miles in extent N.E. and S.W., and among
them are many rocks of various sizes, which render their approach
dangerous in light winds ; for the currents run strong to the northward,
producing ripplings like breakers in the vicinity of and among these
dangers, and there are no soundings near them where a vessel could
anchor in case of necessity.

ruujL xs&AVB, 18 miles west of Camiguan, is lower, and of an even,
appearance, terminating in low land at the eastern part. It is about
10 miles long, east and west, and there are irregular soundings along its
south-west^side, where a vessel may occasionally anchor.

Mmaa Say is formed between the west end of Fuga and the two
small adjacent islands, Barrete and Mabag. The best channel into the
bay is from the southward, between Barrete and the west point of Fuga,
the depths being 14 and 16 fathoms outside, and 9 to 12 fathoms in mid-
channel. The west channel into the bay between the two islands is
narrow, with soundings of 6 to 10 fathoms. The north channel into the
bay is rendered intricate by a reef extending half way across from the
north-east point of Mabag towards Fuga, and the tail of this reef, joining
the north-west point of Fuga, is a bed of rocks with 5 and 6 Mboms
water on it ; this channel, therefore, ought not to be attempted unless in
a case of necessity, and a vessel to enter by it must borrow pretty dose to^
Fuga. Barrete island has a reef lying off its west side, and another pfro-
jecting from its south point. Water may be procured, but with difficulty,
some distance inland.*

9ZSECTZOVB. — Musa bay, although sheltered frx>m the sea, is only
fit to run for in case of necessity, the bottom everywhere teeing' coral
rock, mixed in some places with a little coarse sand or gravel. The
depths are 17 to 12 fathoms in the middle, shoaling to 4 or 5 fathoms
near the coral reefe that line the. shojeg on either si^, and the breadth
of the bay is not more than three-quarters of a mile. The best anchorage

* S€€ Flan of Musa bay, No. 2,454 ; scalo, m -i 0*9 inoh, on Admiralty Chftrt, Ko. 2,454.

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is near the north-east side of Barrete island^ in 14 or 15 fathoms water
where the bottom is rotten coral and coarse sand ; near Faga it is all
verjr rocky.

TIBB8. — The tide rises in Mass bay about 5 or 6 feet» but it is
irr^olar in time and direction.

i^AAnzai xssAini» about 7 miles North of the west end of Fuga, is
the westernmost of the group ; it has a level appearancoi extends 9 mUes
in a North and South direction, and may be seen firom a distance of
30 miles. About 1^ miles off its south point is Rijutan islet, with shoals
extending a considerable distance to the southward ; but the water is
deep* in the narrow channel between this islet and the south end of

CA&ATAV ZB&AVB, lying about 13 miles north-east of Dalupiri, is
formed of mountainous and uneven land, highest in the centre, with
low gaps in some places ; it is steep-to, without any safe anchorage, and
may be seen in clear weather at a distance of 45 miles. Some rocks above
water extend about a mile from its south point ; and about 1 J miles off
the north-east point is Panuctan islet, about a mile in extent north and

H.M.S. Cornwallis experienced a high topping sea (first reported as
breakers) in passing between Dalupiri and Calayan ; this was almost
immediately succeeded by a glassy smoothness. These effects were attri-
-buted to a strong north-west current.

'WnojOk socxSf consisting of two clusters above water with high
breakers between, are dangerous to vessels passing through the Babuyan
group at night. The southernmost rock, which is the largest, bears
2^.N.E. distant about 5 miles frpm Panuctan islet ; the other cluster lies
about 1 J miles in a N.N.E. direction from the largest rock. The chart
shows sunken rocks between Panuctan and Wyllie rocks.

BJOEIvyAV c&aBO, the northern and highest of the Babuyan islands,
is about 25 miles E.N.E. from Calayan. On its west end is a volcano,
between which and the mountains on the eastern part is a concave curve
IB the form of a crescent, when viewed from the north or south ; but when
tiie. island is seen at a great distance from the eastward, it appears as one
round mountain with a detached hummock to the northward. A reef
{»ojects from the west point of the island. The south point is steep and
**dcky, and about a, mile off it is a black rocky islet in the form of a sugar

* The SpaniBh map of the islas Filipinas for 1852, shows a reef extending across from
'Ionian islet to the south end of Balupiri.


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r« OBJunnni is 43 miles wide between Babujao
Cltfo and Sabtan, the soath^mmost of the Batan ialaiidsy and, being reputed
free of all danger, is frequently used by yessels when proceeding by the-
Eastem passages to China.

MMXganfMMm xszuurBS, in lat Iff 58' N., long. 122^ 14' E., are an
isolated group, consisting of three small bat high-peaked islets or rocks,
visible about 27 miles off in clear weather, and when in one bear E. by l$«.
and W. by N. They lie in the eastern part of the Ballintang channel,
equidistant, about 27 miles, from the Babuyan and Batan groups. The
westernmost islet is much larger than the others, and a hole is seen through
it when bearing N.£. ; they are steep-to, and may be passed on either side
at 2 or 3 miles distance, but the sea beats violently against them in bad


The Batan or Bashee islands, so called by Dampier from the name of an
intoxicating liquor much used by the natives, lie northward of the
Babuyan group, and consist of a chain of islands, mostly high, ezten^g:
from Lit 19° 58' to 21"" 13' N., and the channels among them are thought
to be safe and free from hidden danger.* They consist of three large and
several smaller islands extending over nearly a d^ree of latitude. The
southern group, Batan, Sabtan, Ibugos, and Dequez, were surveyed by
Captain Sir E. Belcher, H.M.S. Samarang, in 1843-1844. During the
N.E. monsoon strong winds prevail amongst these islands, and the currents
are occasionally very strong ; the flood sets to the S.W., the ebb to the

snppues.-— The islands of Batan and Sabtan are mountainous, with
many broad cultivated spots ; the highest peak, apparently an old volcana,
is about 5,000 feet above the level of the sea, and thickly covered wit&
trees. The former is, however, richer in soil, and produces abundance of
yams, sweet potatoes, maize, onions, garlic, rice, grain, &c. ; indeed the
only want appears to be variety of seed. Cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, andP
goats are abundant; deer are found on Sabtan and Ibugos, as well as
quail on all the islands. Wood is reasonable and plentiful, as well as

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 25 of 72)