water ; but this latter necessary is difficult to procure, as the rivers are
barred by . reefs, which prevent boats from approaching or rafting off
sufficient quantities for vessels of war; this, however, would soon be
remedied if the visits of vessels rendered it advantageous.
* See Admiralty Chart of Batan islands, No. 2.408 ; scale, <fs24,inches, ivith Plana
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CMAP.T.] BALLINTANG CHANNEL. — ^BATAN ISLANDS. 217
BATAjr nxjLWB is aboot 9 nules long, N.NJB. and S.S-W., and
Mount Lrada, on its northern extremity, is 3,806 feet above the sea. The
rest of the island is mountainous, and has several broad and cultivated
AB^iiormve. — ThelSamaran^ anchored in the ba^ of San Domingo at
the nortihem part of the west side of Batan island, dn a fair clear bottom of
fine coral sand, the best berth being with the convent barely open, when
moored off the northern point of the bay in 13 fathoms ; this, however, is
not very secure with a northerly wind. Although the holding ground is
good, this bay can only be resorted to in the N.E. monsoon. There
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
is a patch of rocks, which show at low water, lying N.N,E. 4 cables from
Chaguie point, the south point of the bay, having 27 fathoms close-to on
the west, and 4^ fathoms on the east side ; and at a cable's length E.N.E.
firom the point is a rock awash at low water.
The authorities recommended the anchorage off San Carlos, about 2
miles to the south-west, as the best for obtaining a supply of water ; but
this position is exposed, and watering could only be effected in fine
weather. The passage through the reef is, however, quite safe for the
largest boats, which land on a sandy beach. This passage has been cut
to admit schooners of 50 tons, which are generally hauled up when they
arrive from Manila with the first of the S. W. monsoon.
The next anchorage! is that of San Vicente, which is the port of Ivana,
or landing place for that village ; it, however, ought not to be resorted to,
as it is very confined, with sandy bottom close to the reefs, and must
be quitted the moment a northerly wind threatens. Several vessels
have been driven ofi^ and being unable to purchase their anchors have
had to cut or slip, owing to the length of cable out. During the
S.W. monsoon other shelter must be looked for, and probably will be
found under the north-east part of the island of Sabtan ; but it has not yet
been sounded. On the eastern side of Batan are two large bays which
. appear to afford shelter; the northern and best is named Sonson, the
other Mananion ; but both contain many rocks, and have not yet been
BJkMTJkX xaiokjn^ is separated from the south-west end of Batan, by
a channel 2 miles wide, which appears clear of danger. Off the north
end of Sabtan are two ledges of rock, with a passage between them candy-
ing 14 and 10 fathoms water. These rocks are fixed on the chart by
land stations, fi-om which they were clearly visible by the edges of their
* See Flan of Santo Domingo ; scale m » 2 inches, on Admiralty Chart, No. 2408.
t See Plan of Ivana on same Chart*
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218 FOEMOSA AKB ADJACENT ISLANDS AKD STBAITS. [oh.y.
braakera ; acoording to the accounts giyen by H.M.S. Alceste th&j have
only three feet water on them at springs.
TMUUW^ or BASBZ JMiOkXi^ is small and rather low, excepting a hill
on its south end, where there is a village. It is separated from the west
side of Sabtan by a channel about a mile wide, which afibrds indifS^ent
anchorage,* the bottom being rocky with sandy patches between. There
are no facilities for watering, the stream from the nyidet inside the souifb-
west point of Sabtan entering at the coral beach at least half a cable from
the spot where boats could float. This is the only safe landing place, ih4
shores on both sides of the channel being bordered by a ree^ through
some of the gaps in which the native boats can pass in fine weather;
Deques or Groat island, also small and rather low, lies nearly half a mile
westward of the north-west point of Ibugos.
sntaonoWB. — ^As the current sets strong to the southward between
the above islands in the N.E. monsoon, it is advisable to work westerly
round Dequez, and not to cross the channel between Batan and Sabtan
antH the dividing neck of San Carlos is clearly open, E.S.E., as the
stream dividing at Mabatui point, sends one current southerly; the
other, which is an eddy, is fiivourable from thence north-easterly to San
If bound to this latter anchorage, work up to the north-west angle
of the island until the wind is free to run down, when round-to with
all aback, and drop the inner anchor in 12 fathoms ; then veer and
drop the outer anchor in 25 fathoms, which will afford sufficient room to
weigh. When moored the vessel will be in 15 fathoms, and the current
will keep a fair strain on both cables.
ZBJLTAT zsiJLirs, about 8 miles long, N.N.E. and S.S.W., lies
14 miles N.N.W. of Batan, and the channel between is free from
danger ; Mount Santa Bosa at its north end rises 680 feet, and Mount
Riposet at its south- eastern part, 800 feet above the sea. The exterior
of the island as viewed from the sea presents a blank barren outline,
defying disembarkation to any but those acquainted with the locality, and
is moreover without anchorage; the interior is, however, highly culti-
vated, in many spots exhibiting patches of good timber trees ; abundance
of refreshment can be easily obtained.
9ZOOO or BZOB zs&AiTD, is a small island, 848 feet above the sea^
lying 3J miles eastward of Ibayat, and the channel between is clear of
danger. The island is steep-to on its western side, but several small
islets lie off its eastern side, the x)utennost being distant a short half mile*
♦ See Plan of strait between Ibugos and Sabtan, on Chart, No. 2,408..
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CHAP, v.] BATAN ISLANDS. — ^BASHEE CHANNEL. 219
BKA8VBZ8 and BULYAM zs&AMBs.— Mabudis island, lying N.N.E.
6 miles from the north end of Ibayat, is about 1 J miles long in a N.E.
and S.W. direction, high and steep-to. One mile S.S.W. of it is Siayan
island, about 1^ miles in circumference, having off its north-east side
several detached rocks. The channel between Mabudis and Siayan is
rendered unsafe by detached rocks; that between Siayan and Ibayat is
about 4 miles wide, and free from danger.
^AHU and vo&TB zsLaVBS.— Y'Ami, the northern island of the
Bashee group, is about a mile in circumference and tolerably high ; the
position of the islet lying off its south-west point (by Belcher) is
Ut.21'' 4' 5&' N., long. 12r 58' 24" E.
North island, lying 2 miles S.S.W. from Y'Ami, is high and steep-to,
except on its eastern side, off which, at a cable, are three islets and some
detached rocks. The channel between Y'Ami and North island is safe and
carries soundings with rocky bottom, but too deep for anchorage ; that
between North island and Mabudis is 9 miles wide, and free from danger.
The North Bashee rocks could not be found by Captain Sir E. Belcher,
who states " they have no existence* in the position assigned them in the
charts, nor in the visual radius from the mast head of the Samarang^
108 feet above the level of the sea."
The 8A8BBS CBAmNrBK, also frequented by vessels making the
Eastern passage to China, is 80 miles wide between the Batanes and
Formosa, but its navigable breadth is greatly contracted by the dangerous
Gadd rock, which must be remembered whien sea room is needed to avoid
the track of a typhoon. For winds and weather, see page 5.
OABB BOCB, or Cumbrian Beef. — ^The position of this dangerous
rock, ID. the fairway of the]| Bashee channel, is nowf ascertained to be in
lat. 21° 42^' N., long. 121° 39' E., Little Botel Tobago bearing from it
N. \ W. 14^ miles. It is about half a cable long ; a depth qi 10 feet
water was obtained about the middle of the rocks, with depths pf 80 and
40 fathoms immediately around, and 69.^and, 127 .withip a distance of
one miJe; while between it and the Botel Tobago islands depths of 177
to 69 were obtained.
The Gadd rock may be considered one of the worst hidden dangers
known. At low water the sea would probably break, but the locality is
* It seems probable, as has been found to be the case in many other similar instances,
hat Y'Ami and North islands hare in &ct been sighted and their positions erroneously
t Be-examined by Commander S. W. Biooker, B.N., in 1S67. Ineutenant Ross,IlT.,
made the latitude 21'' 43' N.
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220 F0BM08A JlKD JLD JACEKT ISLANDS AND STRAITS, [ch. t.
generally oorered by Tiolent tide ripples and smooth wbirlsy which extend
more or less the whole distance to the Yele-Bete rode, although these
indications of its positions are not always visible on approach. The
neighbourhood of this danger should therefore be aroided.
This reef iq^^pears to lave been first discovered by Capt. Gadd, of tbe
Swedish ship Oster- Gothland, Jaanarj 20th, 1800, who perceived some
points of rocks amongst the breakers.
snuKSTSOWS^ — Quitting the Batan islands during the N.E. monsoon,
or merely working up to the northward past them, it is advisable to make
short boards to the north-east on the western side of Batan island, until
Mount Irada bears S.S.E., then make a stretch to the north-west and
work up on the western sides of Ibayat, Siayan, and Mabudis ; but on
reaching the latter, pass thi*ough easterly between it and North island,
where the current will favour northerly.
Keep well to the eastward, or endeavour to pass well to windward of
Botel-tobago sima, as the currents in that neighbourhood press strong to
the westward, and the changes from strong breezes to calm, attended with
swell, are troublesome, as well as harassing.
Gadd rock lies in the fair way of the Bashee channel, and to keep clear of
it vessels should keep either towards Botel-tobago or towards the northern
part of the Batan group, taking great care to avoid the mid-channel
track. When passing southward of the above danger in thick weather
or in the night, keep well towards the latter group, making aUowanoe
for a northerly current, which is generally experienced in light winds and
during the S.W. monsoon. In thick weather from lat. 21^ 15' to 21° 21' N.
is a good track to preserve when passing between the Batan group and
Gadd rock. Several vessels during light winds have been drifted by the
current between Formosa and Botel-tobago.
BOTB&-TOBAOO BTMJk* is high, 7^ miles long, N.W. and S.E., appears
in form of a saddle, or with a gap in it when viewed from a S.S.W. or
N.N.E. direction, and is visible about 50 miles from the mast-head. The
island is well inhabited, and its highest part is crowned with trees ; the
north-east peak is 1,850, and the west peak 1,820 feet above the sea.
There are several large villages on the southern part of the island, and
on the north-west side are several rocky points. On the western side is a
small conical islet, about 30 feet high, lying fully half a mile from the
shore. Detached rocks, remarkable for their spire-like form, and also a
large islet rock off the north-east end, lie off the north extreme.
*SimB signifies island in Japanese. See Admiialtj Charts: — Fonnosa island
No. 1,96S ; scale, (f » 6 inches ; also Bashee and Ballintang channels, No. 1,352 ; and
Hong Kong to Liautong, No. 1,262.
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CHAP.T.] DANGERS IN BASHEE CHANNEL. 221
Indifierent anchorage was found about half a mile from the beach on
the north side of the island, in 21 ffvthoms^ black sand and rock. A wtignlftr
shaped needle rock, having an arch through it, was selected for the observa-
tion spot,* and found to be in latitude 22^ 5' 2V' north, longitude (assumed)
121^ 31' 6" E., which places the island very nearly four miles farther west
than the position hitherto assigned it. The coast is rocky in almost every
part, and probably dangerous to land upon, as these needle rocks are seen
in many parts of the island ; with the exception, however, of those off the
north extreme, they are attached to the island by low land ; but the ground
under water often assumes the character of that which is above, in which
case a vigilant look-out for rocks would be necessary when rowing along
the coast. When circumnavigating the island deep water was found at a
mile off shore.
At the time of the Syltfia^s visit, the island appeared to be densely in-
'babited, but the natives were timid and frightened, and refused any inters
course. Goats, pigs, and fowls seemed to be plentiful, and extensive
cultivation of rice, maize, and Indian com seen. The natives of Botel
Tobago do not appear to be a seafaring people, as only very small canoes
xxma BOTB& TORA.OO is a small island of considerable height,
lying about S.SJB. 3^ miles from the southern part of Botel Tobago, and
has from its north and south ends, reefs extending for three cables, on
which small detached rocks are seen above water : foul ground appears to
extend all round this island.
The Alceste shoal, formerly marked on the chart in about lat. 22^ 5' N.,
long. 121° 18' E., is supposed to have no existence.
VB&B-&nB &OCX8, in lat. 21'' 45' N., long. 120'' 49^' E., He
9 miles S. by W. from South Gape, and on nearly the same parallel, and
about 47 miles westward of Gadd rock in the Bashee channel.
They are a mass of detached rocks, about a mile in extent, above, level
witli, and below the surface of the sea. The highest, which is S. by W,
9 miles from the South cape of Fonnosa, and 12 miles S.S.E. ^ E, from
South-west point, may be seen from a distance of 5 mijes, and with two
others are from 15 to 25 feet above the sea, lying in a N.W. and S.E.
direction, and very narrow. The depths about them are from 50 to 70
fathoms, except on the south-east side, where at half a mile the depth is
The channel between them and the south end of Formosa is safe; but
'ery heavy tide ripples are often experienced, extending nearly the whole
» By Commander E. W. Brooter, R.N., H.M. surveying vessel SyUia, 186r.
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222 £A6I COAST OF POBMOSA. [chap«v.
diBtanoe acroes to them from theSouth cape ; (and also in the neighbouring
channd8)| and they have been observed to run so high that they resembled
the sea breaking fiarioualy over a dang^ous shoaL
The northern corrtint^ described on page 21, sets with great strength
over time rooks to the north-eastward, passing the South cape of Formosa,
and the islands of Botel Tobago and Samasana, causing strong eddies
round the points and bays of the islands^ and necessitating great caution
when nearing them. See Japan stream, pages 19^22.
EAST COAST; SOUTH CAPE TO PETOU POINT.
210 miles in length and 80 miles wide at its
•broadest party is high and mountainous throughout its whole extent,
except at the central part of the west coast, where a broad alluvial plain
stretches from the mountains to the sea, and on which is situate the Chinese
capital of Tar- wan fu.*
The Chinese have long been in possession of the plain and the harbours
and villages of the west and north coasts, but the east coast is still peopled
by aboriginal and warlike tribes, not subject to the Chinese, yet who hold
intercourse with them of a more or less friendly diaracter.
TmsATT witb tbe STATrirBS of l"0&llt08A. — ^^In consequence of
repeated acts of outrage and murder towards the shipwrecked crews of
foreign vessels, in revenge for former injuries, a treaty was concluded on
Ifth October 1867, with the hostile tribes of the south part of Formosa,
by the United States Consult of Amoy, by which the southern end of
Formosa has been rendered safe to those who may be driven on its coasts
by distress. The treaty was arranged with Tok-e-tok, principal chief of
the tribes of the south, who engaged ,to abstain from molesting strangers
in future, to supply them if in want, and receive them in a friendly manner
if they landed to procure water or other necessaries ; and it was further
agreed, that a red flag should' be hoisted by vessels to announce their
♦ See Admiralty Charts :— Formosa island and 8trait,'No. 1,968, scale rf = 6*5 inches;
also, China General, from Hong Kong to Liautung, No. 1,262 scale rf « 2 inches. For
winds and weather see page 6.
f General Le Gendre. The immediate cause of the negotiations was the massacre
of the crew of the American vessel Mover.
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CHAP, v.] TBEAJX WITH NATIVES. — SOUTH CAFE. 228
inteiidon of lading peaceably. As an additional secuiitj, it was an;anged
that a fort ishoiild be erected on i^e heights of Tossapon,* as a menace
to the aborigines and a centre of refuge to shipwrecked mariners. The
Chinese of the neighbourhood, themselves almost savages, also signed a
formal agreement^ that if, contrary, to promise, any stranger fell a victim
to or were bacUy treated by flie aborigines, they would themselves seek
out the guilty parties in order to deliver them into the hands of the
authorities ; their persons and goods being considered a security for the
due execution of this condition.
1 GA^M or VAV-SBA, in lat. 2V 54' N., long. 120° 50' E., is low,
sxidy together with the one which is three-quarters of a mile E.N.E. of it,
formed of coral limestone. An isolated rock with deep water around
staads up Iwldy, close to the extreme S.E. point ; these rocky points are
much perforated by the action of the sea. The cape or point is £ringed by
Oyer the bay 4 miles to the north-west, is a peculiarly rugged hill,
1,035 feet high, from which the land slopes down gradually to the cape,
the whole, with the exception of a few clearings, being densely wooded.
Farther northward is a high double peaked mountain, visible 60 miles in
clear weather. The south bay is described on page 230.
Caution.— ^t was at this point and the neighbourhood that the attack
was made on the Dove's boat when surveying in 1866 ; where the captain
and crew of the ship Mover were recently minrdered; savage attacks
made on the boats of H.M.S. Cormorant ; ^d also on the Sylvid^ sur-
veying party in 1867, indicating that the natives of the south .end of
Formosa have been always until lately hostile to strangers; and their
traditional prop^sity for the collection of skulls is so wdl.authenticated
that little or no hope of life could have attended the misfortune of ship-
wreck, which, from the large quantities of drift and wrecked wood to be
seen on the sliore, seems to have been frequent.
To t3ie north-eastward of the cape there is said to be a village and
harbour for small crfyft.
■AST COAST of TOHMOSA,t extending 200 miles to the N.N.E., is
mountainous, and with the exception of Sau-o bay is without harbours,
* Tossapon hill is on the south-western promontory. The fort is situated oyer Bliack
. S.W. points <pp. 230, 281), and is therefore plainly visible from the sea, and had
Chinese flag flying on it.
From the remarks of Mr. "William Blakeney, R.N., Assistant Surveyor, made during
visit of H.M.S. Inflexible to Fonnosa in search of missing Europeans, June 1868 ;
K) those of the late Commander E. W. Brooker, R.N., H.M.S. Sylvia, 1867. . .
Digitized by VjOOQIC
224 EAST COAST OF FOEMOSA. [chaf.t.
and deep water will be found cloee in to the land. The mountains rise
ahnost immediatelj from the sea ; their sides in some places are caltiyated,
and scattered houses are seen.
This coast is not yisited bj the full strength of the NJS. monsoon,
which probably results from the mountainous character of the country
preventing the breeze blowing home. Sailing vessels, however, expe-
riencing strong gales at 20 miles to the. eastward, might feel cautious in
venturing in-shore. Nor is there any necessity to run to leeward ; but,
if, when beating up, they should experience the breeze declining in
strength, with less sea on the western board, particularly between 9 h. a.m.
and 3 h. p.m., or up to sunset, they will find it advantageous to hug the
coast within a moderate distance; but good judgment and caution are
requisite, as sudden loss of wind attended by inconvenient swell might be
attended, if followed by calm, with imminent danger.
, a mountain on the coast 58 miles to the northward is
about 2,500 feet high. When H.M.S. Inflexible was exploring this coast,
aoundings were tried for at 1^ miles S.S.E. of the point, with no bottom
in 100 fathoms. The vessel was then within the line of discolored water
from the stream which debouches here. A junk was observed under sail
close to the shore, and others either hauled up on the beach or within the
entrance of the stream.
■Alffif awA X8&JUrB, 15^ miles from the coast abreast Double Pea&,
is in Utitude 22° 39' 26" N,, longitude (assumed) 121° 28' 48" E., and
lies N. } W. 34 miles from Botel Tobago ; its north extreme is a long
low point with a double hillock on it, and a pinnacle rock, with a high
arch through ; a small rock lies a quarter of a mile fiirther out to the
northward. The south point falls abruptly.
H.M.S. Sylvia^ in 1867, anchored in the North bay in l^ fathoms,
nearly half a mile from the shore on a rocky and sand bottom ; as the
current going to the northward sets in a strong eddy round this bay and
also round the island, the anchorage is not recommended.
The inhabitants, who are Chinese, and mostly from the Amoy province,
fiay that no European vessel had called at the island since 1840. It was
visited by Capt Belcher in HJ!^.S. Samarang^ June 1845, and had a
population of about 150 persons (now considerably increased), inhabiting
a village concealed within a bamboo hedge skirting the sea;
The cultivated products of the island are ricej maize, cucumbers, and
customary Chinese vegetables and fruits ; and from the eagerness shown
by the people to barter yams, sweet potatoes, fowls, and eggs, for calico
Digitized by VjOOQIC
CHAP. T.] SAMASAl^A TO BOFDROrET ROCKS, 225
•tuffs, they appear to be greatly in need of that article. The communication
with China must be very rare.
It is advisable to avoid the lee side of the island, as calms, eddies, and
variable winds are likely to cause delay.
WIULCM, AOCX BAT, in latitude 23** 6' 30" North, and longitude (assumed)
121° 26' East, and 22 miles northward of Double peak, might afford shelter
from south-west and southerly gales, but the bottom is rocky and uneven,
and a heavy swell would always roll round the point. The Black rocks
are two masses of coral limestone, 120 feet high, nearly touching each
other, and having a little verdure on their summits. The island of which
they are a part is barely joined to the mainland by a number of detached
rocks and reefs. The Sylvia anchored in 13 fathoms, with the ix>cks
bearing E.S.E., distant three-quarters of a mile.
H.M. brig Plover anchored in this bay and rode out a S.W. gale, the
vessel swinging from 13 to 22 fathoms ; the anchorage by no means is to
With the centre of the Black rocks bearing S.W. by S., 2 miles, the
depth was 29 ^thorns, black sand, and the next cast to seaward, no bottom
with 70 fathoms.
xiie COAST north of Black rock bay is rugged and rocky. The lower
slopes of the hills are covered with grass ; behind the hills the mountains
attain an elevation of 5,000 and 6,000 feet, and are clothed with dense
CBOCX-s-BAT, 60 miles northward of Black rock bay, is in lat. 24"*
6^' N. The inhabitants of Chock-e-day village were communicated with,
but the high surf prevented landing. The aborigines were nearly naked,
and used threatening gestures, brandishing their long knives and spears.
The few Chinese among them appeared much afraid that the natives would
be injured, in which case they said their lives would be taken in revenge.
The river marked on the chart in this latitude was not seen. At a mile
off shore there was no bottom with 115 fathoms of line.
The COAST from Chock-e-day to Dome point, 20 miles to the north-
ward, is the boldest and most precipitous that can be conceived, the
mountains rising 7,000 feet almost perpendicularly from the water's edge.
'No soundings with 70 fathoms at from 1 to 1 J miles off shore. Dome
— int, 650 feet high, is 3 miles south of Sau-o bay.
SOVBAVBT &OCXS, reported to be about 65 feet high, and in lat.
P 10' N., long. 122° 34' E., would be 48 miles from the nearest point of
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226 BAST COAST OF PORMOSA. [chap, v.
Bts.— A Bhoal which would He in lat. 24° 17''N.v
long. 122° 48' is reported in the Nautical Magazine for 1844, p. 244, as