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35 miles ;,it8 barren, rugged sides rise with a steep slope from theisw
faciiig which is a large white land-slip. At 4^ miles N.S. of Ape hill is
another remarkable bill, 700 feet high, whichy from its resemblance to a
huge whale sleeping on the water, is named Whaleback ; and N.N.E., 12
miles, there is a small triangular-shaped hill, and a large detached piece of
table-land resembling a quoin on a North and South bearing. These.are
the only landmarks on this part of the coasi^ which is all yery low, and of
these Ape hill is the most useful, as it stands out on the coast, line, and is
frequently seen distinctly when all the others are shrouded in mist

Ape hill is a vast block of coral, its summit resembling a crater, and
most prohahlj it is an extinct volcano which has been alternately submerged
and upheaved. From its summit the land descends to the southward in a
gradual though somewhat rugged slope, and terminates in a small green
looking mound separated from Ape hiU by a chasm. Farther south is
Saracen head, 173 feet high and surmounted by a Bignal staff, a huge
nearly level block of a mole-like appearance, bounded on the sea face by a
line of precipitous cliffs rising from the water^s edge, and which, jutting
through the beach to seaward for about 300 yards, forms a sheltered harbour
for small vessels in the strength of the N.E. monsoon. This mole is
separated from the hill by a deep channel about 60 yards wide, which is
the entrance to the little port of Ta-kau-kon,

JLnehoraffe in the N.E. monsoon is good and safe under Ape hill,
which stretches out so as to afford smooth Tjrater. In the S.W. monsoon
heavy rollers come in making it undesirable to remain at anchor there.

TA^XAV-xoir,* or harbour of Takow, the Consular^port of Tai-wan fu,
is the only harbour on the West coast of Formosa available for vessels of
12 feet draught. It is a small basin just within the entrance of a great
lagoon, 6 miles in length and 1 to ^ in breadth, which run^ parallel to the
sea, from which it is separated by a strip of sand extending southwai^fl
from Saracen head, and which is bounded on the North by a rich plain
through which winds a little river.

The entrance to the harbour is immediately North of Saracen head^
where the &ir channel is only 200 feet wide.

Tba Bar is formed by a narrow ridge of sand, curving outwards and

extending from under the bluff of Saracen head round towards the shore

at half a mile north of the entrance. There are 10 to 11 feet over its

north and south parts at low-water springs, but over the central part,N.W«

** the entrance, only 7 to 9 feet. It consists of loose sand and is said to

* See Flan of Port Ta-kau-kon, scale m « 8^ inches, on Admiralty Chart of
rbonrs in Formosa, No. 2876. The spits inside the harbour have altered since the

cryey was made, and the channels between them have become deeper and naxrower.

^mmaoder C. C. Bising, B.N., 1870.

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be oonatantly shifting both when freshets occur, and in the S.W. monsoon,
when wind and swell oppose the strong tide sweeping out of the lagoon.
In tiiie same monsoon in bad weather the sea breaks heayilj on the bar,
but it will generally be found practicable even at this season for small

Tbe Marboor is inmiediatelj within the entrance, which is steep-to, quite
safe of approach, and has a depth of 4 fathoms ; inside the water quickly
deepens to 7 fathoms, again decreasing to 5. The anchorage is too confined
to allow a vessel to swing, it is therefore necessary to moor head and stem.
It is further contracted by a middle ground of sand, the spit of which, 100
yards within and filing the entrance, reduces the breadth of the harbour
on either side to 200 feet, and ships being towed in and out frequently
ground on it. In 1873 there was water only for vessels drawing 9 feet,
larger vessels having to anchor outside the bar.

On the north side is the custom house and harbour master's office, and
here lie the merchant ships alongside the jetty of the custom house godovms
where there is a good depth of water. The British gunboat, which visits
the port monthly, lies about 200 yards higher up.

The Chinese town or village stands on the south side at the back of
Saracen head. Its population is about 1,000, of which the chief part are
fishermen. Here is the British consulate, and the residences of the Chinese
conmiissioner of customs, the medical man, and the missionaries ,• there is
also a small Chinese hospital.

SimNLZBS, Trade, 4U). — Excellent water can be obtained from a spring
on the north shore, but not in any large quantity ; the price charged is
high, viz., 1^ dollars per ton, and care must be taken that it is not procured
from the wells on the south side, which are brackish and contaminated with
the sewage of the town. Fresh beef of inferior quality is supplied, also
vegetables, besides pigs, fowls, ducks, eggs, rice, sugar, and fish,

Takau was opened to trade in 1864, but as its importance arises from
the feet of its being the port of Tai-wan fu during the S.W. monsoon, and
the only accessible one where ships can then lie with safety, its trade is
chiefly limited to that period. In 1871, 353 vessels of all nations entered
and cleared, of which 138 were British. Sugar and rice are the principal
exports ; opium, cotton and woollen goods, the principal imports ; total
value, 761,309/. Small lorchas trade regularly with Amping, and a
schooner about once in two months with Amoy.

Climate. — The climate of Takau is hot, but nevertheless healthy, and is
never cold at any period of the year. There are no records of the preva-
lence of any special disease likely to affect the European settler.

VZ&OTB, Blffnals. — The pilots are Chinese, and are under the Superin-
tendence and regulations of the European hai'bour master, from whom they

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obtain their certificate and license. One is usnally to be found awaiting
the arrival of ships.

The signal station on Saracen head, from which all vessels sighted are
signalled, is also under the direction of the harbour master.

TZDBB. — It is high water, full and change, at Takau, at 8 h. 30 m.,
springs rise 4 feet. The tides are rather strong when near the springs,
and at times sweep through the narrows with great rapidity, on account of
which it is generally recommended to go in and out at slack water.*

j^TXLBcnova^ — ^The entrance of Takau is easily distinguished and un-
mistakeable, Ape hill, the only high land in the vicinity standing out
prominently, and Saracen head on its south side, appearing as a detached
portion, being no less conspicuous. If obliged to run for the entrance in
bad weather, bring it to bear E. by S. ^ S., and run boldly in, keeping the
northern shore close aboard. As the rocks are neared, starboard the
helm and round the northern head close to, shooting into a little sandy
bay, where a vessel may touch the ground with her forefoot without
sustaining any damage, aferwards hauling into a berth, and mooring head
and stern. Small vessels drawing 8 and ^ feet can run past the moored
shipping, keeping the northern head on a West bearing, anchoring in less
than 2 fathoms, and veering chain just sufficient to swing clear.

Ort — ^In entering keep close to the outer* North rock (steep-to), and
haul close round the point, but not within 10 yards as there is a rock
inside, within that distance, with only 4 feet on it at low water. Pass the
vessels at the wharf as close as possible, and when beyond them or the
last house, which has a flagstaff in front and stands about 280 yards from
the entrance, haul out a point or so, taking care to avoid the vessels'
anchors, and there is good anchorage at once in 11 feet, fine dark sand,
and though confined, stiU with room to moor with one or two shackles on
each cable and swing clear.

Great care is required if entering at springs on the ebb, which runs at
the rate of 4 or 5 knots through the entrance, for should the tide catch the
vessel on the bow, she might sheer to one side of the harbour before the
helm would bring her head right.

The harbour is difiicult of exit in the S.W. monsoon, and vessels are
sometimes detained three weeks. They have generally to be towed out
against the heavy swell by catamarans, assisted when necessary by a warp
made fast to a ring bolt in the cliff on the south side of entrance.

The harbour is said to be shallowing year by year. At present, at the

itside, it can contain twelve vessels of 12 feet draught, moored head and

* Tides are irregular, a.m. tides in S.W. monsoon, and p.m. tides in N.E. monsoon
>nly, to be depended on. Commander B. Bax, B.N., 1874.
t Commander C. C. Rising, R.N., 1870.

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288 WEST COAST OP POB.MOSA. [chap.t.

stern ; bat it is nusceptible of great improvement at small expense, and as
Formosa becomes more opened to conmiercial enterprise this place mast
advance in importance.

PASSAOas between this port and Amoy will be fomid in the first
chapter of this work, at page 42.

TJkMMXr to ABirara* — The ooast, northward for 20 miles between Ape
bill and the old Dutch fort of Zealandia, is nearly a straight line of beach
pierced by four small streams, navigable only for boats ; and, from within
8 miles of Ape hill, where some low mud difib terminate, and where also
is situate a small piece of table land about a mile inland, is destitute of
any remarkable feature. Southward of Tai-wan fu the main land of For-
mosa approaches within a mile of the sand bars fronting the coast, and
although it is generally marshy and flat, it is cultivated with rice, &c.
The sand-bars are also occasionally clothed with bushes and grass, and are
densely populated by fishermen, who appear to be well fed and clothed
and a happy and contented people, and pursue their vocation generally in
divisions under the direction of particular chiefe ; and their rafts hauled
upon the beach, placed in tiers on their sides, form a feature in the
appearance of the coast. Whenever the officers of H.M.S. Saracen
landed they were treated with the greatest civility and deference, and the
surveying marks, although sometimes made of an article most tempting to
them (white calico), were never in one case interfered with.

rOBT UiA&AiniXA.— The old Dutch ruined fortress, Castle Zdand,
bnilt in 1680 and now surmounted by a lai^e tree, visible 8 or 9 miles
from a vessel's deck^ is the only conspicuous landmark in this neigh-
bourhood, except a large clump of trees If miles N.W. of the fort, oa. liie
outer sand-bar. The fort stands about two thirds of a mile from the sea,
and about it has grown up, along the continually rising mud and sand
banks, the village of Amping.

AMVnro &OAB. — This anchorage off an opening in the beach, which
is the nearest approach to Tai-wan fii from the sea is an open roadstead
where, during the strength of the N.E. monsoon, from December to
March, capital sheltered anchorage with smooth water may be found, in
5i fathoms, at 2 miles S.W. of fort Zealandia. During the rest of the
year the chances of S.W. winds render this position an unsafe one, and
anchorage should be sought further out, but in the strength of the S.W.
monsoon no vessel could lie off a coast so fully exposed to its full force,
and the heavy rollers which accompany it,* Then also the bar is most
dangerous, and cannot be passed by the cargo boats for days and weeks

* Remark Book of Nay. Lieut. Richard W. E. Middleton, H.M.S. Cockchafer.

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together.* Catamarans are used as at Takan, and are managed bj the
Chinese with great skill. Ti-ade ceases entirely for four months, viz., from
June till September, all goods being then sent to Takau for shipment. The
anchorage should be approached from the northward with caution, and the
lead used, constantly.

Amping has a population about equal to Takau, a resident mandarin,
and a superintendent and tide-waiters of Chinese customs. The British
consul, a medical missionary, and a surveyor of customs reside at Tai-
wan fb. Excellent fresh water is supplied from the latter place.

Between Amping and Tai-wan fu, 2 miles S.B. from the fort, is a large
expanse of mud ffat which at times during the 8.W. monsoon is entirely
covered with water. A narrow creek or canal runs up to the west gate of
the city, by which cargo boats can go up at high water.

TAZ-'vrAir nr, the capital of Formosa, is a prefectural city of 70,000
inhabitants, surrounded by a wall 20 feet high, quadrangular, and 5 miles
in extent. Within it are the residences of the Tao-tai, the mandarins,
and the chief citizens. The country around is cultivated and highly
fertile, producing sugar and rice. To seaward lies an extensive suburb
containing the chief markets and where the bulk of the business of the
town is done. There are about 3,000 troops in the city commanded by a
Chuntcd or general, but the mandarin rule is so weak that it is unable to
maintain order even in the immediate neighbourhood. Rice and sugar
are the principal exports ; the imports are opium, cloths, and miscellaneous
goods in small quantities. See Takau, page 236.

Climate^ — The winter is healthy and pleasant, with a clear, bracing
idr and not so cold as Hong Kong. The N.E. monsoon is very little felt,
being intercepted by the mountain ranges, but when it blows a north-
easter the air is filled with sand and dust which penetrates the houses and
is very disagreeable outdoors. In summer the heat is oppressive, for the
fine S.W. breeze which blows upon the coast is lost before it crosses the
plain, and sometimes for days together the thermometer never falls below
90", rendering the nights unbearable, and in the daytime it frequently
reaches 100°. The Europeans then go to Takau to enjoy the sea breeze
and a more endurable life. Heavy rains occur in the summer season.

* The bar was last crossed in 1869 by H.M. gunboat Bustard^ drawing 7 feet, but its
' annel is constantly shifting and, like the harbour within, shoaling rapidly. The same
ange is taking place all about this part of the coast, for where good harbours existed
merly with 15 to 20 feet water, there is not now sufficient to float a junk. According
Dutch and other records, the sea at one time extended to the fort inside the city.
H.M. ships are now prohibited from entering this harbour, by order of the Commander-

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240 WEST COAST OP POBMOSA, [chap. v.

^mrxOT SXOA&.* — This dangeroas sand-bank, about half a mile
in extent, and with only 8 to 12 feet on it at low water, lies upwards of a
mile off shore, S. hj E. 4^ miles from the entrance of port Kok-si-kon^
W. by N. I N. 4^ miles firom fort Zealandia, and S.W. by W. ^ W. 2| mUes
Arom Joss islet. With southerly winds the sea breaks heavily on it, but
with off-shore or north-east winds there is but little break. The soundings
are 4^ to 5 fathoms at 1^ miles westward of the bank, and 3 fathoms
between it and the shore.

Vessels bound from Kok-si-kon to Ta-kau, will pass westward of this
shoal, by keeping 3 miles off the sand bars fronting this part of the coast
or not shoaling to less than 4^ or 5 fathoms, until fort Zealandia bears

TXBSS. — The flood stream sets in a N.N.W.* direction from 1^
to 2 knots an hour along this part of the .coast The ebb runs S.S.E.
except near the entrance of Kok-he-mung, 3| miles N.W. of Zealandia
fort, where its direction is S. by W. out of the harbour.

»OST xox-«x*xO]r, the north point of entrance to which, Gull Point,
is 32 miles N.N.W. of Saracen head, can only be recognised by the
number of large junks generally at anchor inside, and by three larger
clumps of huts than can be found on any of the outer sand-banks which
front all this part of the coast, and which are elevated only 2 or 3 feet
above high water. These banks run in lines, generally parallel to the
coast, from 2 to 5 cables broad, and are pierced at every mile or so by
narrow channels, having depths varying from 7 feet and under. There
is no vegetation in sight from the western sand bar ; the main land of
Formosa can only be seen in very clear weather from it, and the whole
intermediate space seems to be an intricate mass of sand and mud banks
and shallows, with occasional patches of sedge.

These sand-banks are occupied by a few poor fishermen, whose miserable
huts and bamboo rafts are the only relieving features of this dreary scene.
Ape hill to the southward, and the southern islands of the Pescadores
to the westward, will be found useful marks to run in for Kok-si-kon,
which bears N.N.W. 30 miles from the former, and E. by S. | S. 26
^liles from East island, Pescadores. The old Dutch fort of Zealandia is
just in sight from the anchorage, from which it bears S.E. ^ S. distant
7^ miles.

This port is the outlet of several small shallow streams which here
unite and form a channel through the mass of sand-banks fronting the

♦Mr. W. Blakeney, B.N., 1858.

The banks north-west of Vuyloy shoal are extending to the westward. Eemark Book
of Nay. Lieut. Neville, H.M.S. Cormorant, 1869.

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coast. This channel or port runs N.E. and S. W., and, taking the 3-£ftthoms
line as its boundary inside, is three-quarters of a mile long and onlj 2 cables
broad, with 4^ fathoms in the middle ; it will be therefore necessary to
moor N.W. and S.E. The bar has 12 feet on it at low-water springs.
The deepest port is generally marked by the natives with bamboos ; but
as the channel is both wide and straight and the bottom remarkably even,
it is by no means difficult of access for vessels of 12 or 13 feet draught
at high tide. The Saracen^ in 18.55, sailed in drawing 13 feet 2 inches,
but then the sea was remarkably smooth ; vessels, therefore, drawing Over
13 feet should not attempt to enter, particularly with any swell on. The
channel and sand-banks are said (page 242) to have altered since this

TZBB8. — ^It is high water, full and change, at port Kok-si-kon, at
11 h. 30 m., rise aboat 3 feet. The tide inside the bar sets fairly
tbiTOugb the channel ; its greatest strength being about a knot. Outside
the bar the flood sets northward, along the coast, the ebb south-ward ;
its rate varies in different positions, running with much greater strength
off the west sand bar or the edge of the deep water than in the shoal
water bight off Tai-wan, where it is occasionally variable in strength and

BzaBCTZOVs.* — The high land of Formosa, immediately over port
Xok-si-kon, may be distinctly seen in very clear weather from the Pesca-
dores, but as it is generally obscured, and the coast low and sandy, it will
be prudent at all times when bound to that port from the westward, to be
certain of the vessel's position before losing sight of East island, or one of
the southern islands of that group.

The mast heads of a large fleet of junks usaally at anchor in the small
harbour of Kok-he-mung, 5 miles S.E. by E. of Kok-si-kon, will serve as
a guide on approaching the coast ; and when 3 or 4 miles from the shore,
three clumps of huts and trees (the southernmost clump abreast West point
being the largest and most conspicuous,) Joss islet, and fort Zealandia, are
objects sufficiently well defined to mark the locality. Joss islet has a
clump of d^k trees on its southern end, and the Joss house on it has a
white front to seaward. XJng-lo and So-co, to the south-eastward, are
remarkable hills, and may generally be seen when the moantains in the
interior are hidden. The clouds sometimes rest upon them, when they
"'^near as the highest land in the vicinity. Ung-lo, 1,080 feet high, is the

them termination of a long table range which falls steeply for a few

idred feet, and rises again to the round hill of So-co, 880 feet high.

♦ Mr. W. Blakeney, B.N., 1858.
30251. Q

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242 WEST COAST OF FORMOSA. l<3hap.y.

OMrtlMu — The Iff/lexible in 1858 anchored in 6 fatihoms oS Kok-sl-kon,
Observalorj point, the south point of entrance^ bearing N.E. bj E. 1^ miles.
The wind being light from South, an attempt was made to enter the port
hi the TeMeFs boat, but it was unsuccessful, as the sea broke the wboie
way across the entrance. The Chinese fishermen stated that the chanmel
and sand'banks have altered oonsiderabfy since surrejed hj Richards in
18M. There were no junks at anchor in Kok-si-kon, but the harbour ci
Kok-he-mung was crowded with them. A party fiN>m the vessel landed
inside the latter harbour, and visited Tai-wan fa, the capital of the island.
They were civilly received by the authoritiesy who sent off presents tif
pigs, goats, fowls, sweet potatoes, &c

Tbe COAST for 20 miles to the northward of fort Zealandia lias no
distinguishing feature, the highest bushes and huts being but a few feet
above the low level land.

XAJLAOV. 7 mUes northward of Kok-si-kon, is a temporary fishii^
village, standing on the north bank of a small and narrow inlet, in the
entrance of which there are 5 to 7 fathoms, but only 8 feet on the bar
immediatelj outside ; only boats can enter, and when blowing a strong
monsoon it is attended with difficulty, as the sea breaks the whole way

VAW-TAT-CPBin is N.NJE). ^ E., 11 miles from Ka-kaou. The coast
between is a low narrow strip of sandy land, which is only 4 or 5 feet
above high water. The town is a mile from the entrance, the inhabitants
of which are piratical, and often bid defiance to the mandarins. The
entrance to this small inlet is from the N.N.W., and also difficult of access
when the monsoon has any strength. S.S.W. of the town of Paw-tay-
chui and 1^ miles inland, is a mound covered with trees and huts, the
native name of which is Ang-hay-kang ; it is the most conspicuous land-
mark between Wanckan and Kakaou. West of this are sand-banks and
shallows which project nearly 2 mUes outside the general run of the

From the entrance of Faw-tay-chui the coast, still skirted by sand-banks
and shallows, trends N. ^ W. ; the trees inland are thicker and more con-
tinuous than to the southward, and at a part about 6 miles northward, the
extreme of the trees appears as a bluff.

Ay-aw Bank*.— Four miles W.N.W. of the entrance to Paw-tay-chui,
is a sandy patch of 2 fathoms at low water, which must break heavily in
the S.W. monsoon ; and a mile N.W. of it is another bank of 16 to 18 feet,
2 miles in extent; these are at the outer part of the bay formed between
Paw-tay-chui and the Wanckan banks, and within them the channel carry-
ing 4 fathoms, is 3 miles wide. The depths are 7 fathoms at 2 miles off
shore from Kakaou to Ang-hay-kang mound, and also one mile outside /the

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above dioais ; but thej deepen to 40 fafthoms, fine dark sandy at that dktance
outside ihe extremity of the Wanckan shoaLs.

iLT'A.'var cmtaas is at the northern part of the bay, formed by the
Wanckan banks and the low opposite shore ; it runs north and south for a
distance of 4 miles, and in some places is 2 miles wide. A narrow channel
with 10 feet watei: can be traced out, which for junks and small vessels
affords anchorage and shelter. In the S.W. monsoon entering the inlet
Would be attended with almost certain destruotiony but in the N.E. monsoon
good shelter can be obtained outside. Si^ar is the principal export, which
is shipped in junks of about 200 tons burthen. This small place has much
deteriorated during the last few years.

The creek is approached from the south-west, between the Ay-aw banks
and the south Wanckan shoal.

mr Airc&av or cxnr-irs-TAK bavu* form the westernmost part
of the island of Formosa. The small sandy patch on the south end, on
vehich a hut is erected, is only one or two feet above high water, and is in
lat. 230 BV N., long. 120^ 2' E., 24 miles northward of Kok-si-kon. To
the southward, the bank at low water dries nearly 2 miles, and continues
in a E. direction for 11 miles. S.S.W., 8 miles from the hut, is a
patch with only 4 feet on it at low-water. The Wanckan bank and shoals
may be considered the great dangers of the Pescadores channel, and the
Chinese say that there are many junks and ships lost on them during the
year. When coming from the north or south there are no landmarks
to guide the navigator, and the strong tides experienced render a ship's
position at all times doubtful.

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 28 of 72)