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very tortuous, but no difficulty need be apprehended in navigating it
during the low level period, if it be kept in mind that the deep-water
channel is almost invariably close to the bank, which is steep, whilst
shoal water exists a considerable distance off" the shelving banks, par-
ticularly at the points. During summery however, much caution is
necessary lest the embankments be mistaken for the true river banks, as
they sometimes lie considerably back. At the end of June 1861 the
whole country to the southward of the Nan-tsuin hills, as far as the eye
'•ould reach, was under water ; so much so, that the course of the river

* Published by John Arrowsmith ; scale, m^O'25 of an inch.
t " live Months on the Yangtse," by Capt. Blakiston, R.A. 1861.
X See Admiralty Chart of the Upper Yangtse kiang, Sheet 6, from Yohchau fu to
Lwei-chau fii, No. 1,116 ; scale m=0'5 of an inch.
I See concluding paragraph of this chapter*

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424 THE UPPBB YANGTSB, [chap. vin.

could only be known bj the strength of the current. The waters of the
Tnng-ting lake were nnasuallj high at that timey and caused this
tremendous overflow.

Paining the sandy point of Hwei-yin-chau at the junction, Hue reach is
entered, its course being westerly for 7 miles. The steep banks are about
18 feet high ; whilst opposite, the shore slopes gradually down, or runs
out into long sand points and mud flats, the adjoining alluvial country
being one dead level, with scattered hamlets and ti-ees occurring at
intervals. The right bank is here kept, the course changing round by
l^orth, till a large temple and pagoda somewhat distant from the bank m
reached ; when cross over, and steer round St. Patrick bend along the
left bank.

After passing the village of Sze-pa-kow at the northern head of ihe
bight, the course becomes South, on crossing over towards a point of the
right bank, 2 miles above, which side must now be kept passing some
mounds and a village, after which the course turns to the westward round
the head of the next bend, on the right bank of which stand some lime
kilns. Camel reach is now entered by a sharp curve and stretches to the
northward for 10 miles. The Nan-tsuin hills 700 to 1,500 feet in height,
are seen to the north-west, with the Camel's hump, a prominent part 9O0
feet high, on their eastern end. There is a shoal half way up this reach
on the right bank, from which a white house on a hill bears W. by N. J N.

When the Camel's hump bears West, the river turns to the north-east,
and at the entrance of the reach, two shoals lie off the sandy point which
must be closed, and another a mile above the hamlet on the left bank,
which formed a bar of 2 fathoms in April 1861. The left bank is kept
passing Hia-chay-wan and its pagoda well up the reach, also Shang-chay-
wan on the sharp bend at its head, opposite the end of the Chaywan
tongue ; both are prosperous looking places 45 and 47 miles above the
junction, and at the first named were seen a quantity of spars suitable
for junks' masts. The river runs north and then south round this
tongue, changing to south-west and north again round the Brine bend,
when it enters the Hong Kong reach, up which the course is south-

At the end of June 1861 the whole country to the southward of the
Nan-tsuin hills, as far as the eye could reach, was under water • so much
so, that the course of the river could only be known by the strength of
the current. The waters of the Tung-ting lake were unusually high at
that time, and caused this tremendous overflow.

Bonider sboai. — In the lower part of Hong Kong reach is^the Boulder
shoal, an awkward danger, just showing above water >on March 24th.

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It lies nearly in mid-channel, and its position may be known by a peculiar
boulder on Ming hill, which is not seen in ascending the river until the
shoal is approached. Ming hill is the range on the right bank of Hong
Kong reach, 4 miles north-east of the Nan-tsuin hills. When CameFs
hump is seen through a gap in Ming hill, and the boulder on the hill
bears S. | W., the tail of the shoal is just above. A hamlet on the north
bank, with a large tree, is abreast of this spot. To clear the shoal, feel
the left bank, which is the steep one, until close to another hamlet, with
the boulder on the hill bearing South ; thtsn steer S.E., close the right
bank gradually, and keep it.

Rounding an extensive point of sand, Adams point, (67 miles above the
junction) opposite which is Sin-ho-kow, the river turns abruptly North
for 8 miles through Bedwell reach, when a still more extensive sand point
(Farmer point) being rounded, keeping along the bight, CoUinson reach
is next ascended for 12 miles on a S.S.W. course, along which the left
bank must be kept, crossing over 3 miles below the town of Tiau-hien at
the head of the reach. The sands in this reach must be given a good

At Tlaa-blen (87 miles)* a creek of considerable size comes in from
the southward, flowing through the town. The plain to the south is here
26 to 30 feet above the river, and is perhaps rarely flooded. Wheat is the
staple production, but carrots, and especially beans, were also largely
cultivated. The western face of the Nan-tsuin hills, which rise to the
height of 1,500 feet, is at the back of the town, terminating to the north
in the Luk-keo shan or Ass's Ears peak, 700 feet high. The two pointed
hills of Shi-show are seen in the west.

From Tiau-hien the river again takes a northerly stretch of 10 raile3>
through Jamieson reach, turning to the west and south round Attalante
bend (97 to 102 miles). Jamieson reach is the second shallow pait of the
river reached, and is full of middle grounds and bars of 2 to 3 fathoms*
The flrst met is 1^ miles above Tiau-hien ; cross the river to the left
bank as soon as town is passed, and cross again about a mile above the
point that shuts the town in, feeling the way by the lead towards either
of the two kilns on the right bank. Then keep[ along this shore for 4
miles farther, and recross the river for a house in a gap of the trees about
N.N.E., and continue round the bight of Attalante bend.
Along the south shore of Attalante bend, is a low, extensive sand flat,

> miles in length, which covers in summer, and the channel is close to the

orth bank, in 3^ to 5 fathoms.

* The distances in brackets signify the number of miles above the Tung-ting junction.

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426 THE X7PPEB TANGTSE. [gup. vm

Francis point terminates the upper part of this bend» the western side of
which point most be crossed for as soon as the depth in the bight ahailowB;
then keep the right bank up Michie reach, at the centre part of irhicb itre
large sandbanks, as well as off Parsons point (109 miles) at its upper end.
Keep close round the bight opposite Parsons point till the embankment
recedes^ when a N.N.W. course must be steered between the sandbank^
which above this project on either hand at the lower part of Salunis or
lAst Bottle reach* Through the latter observ<k the rule to avoid the ssndj,
shelving sh<»«s and close those which are steep. A vast marsh, bordered
by sand flats, extends for 10 miles along the right bank of ^'s reach and
Shishow reach above it, which is 20 feet high in March, but covered
4 to 6 feet at the end of June.

Ma-ttSOW (122 miles) is a small walled town of little importance,
situated on the right bank, at a very sudden bend of the river, on the
tfitfjpas of a group of small hills, two of which ai^ crowned with temples,
and all with trees, the highest being about 400 feet. This is the only
place the hills touch upon the river bank for nearly 200 miles, and they
attract attention for a long distance. Great quantities of osiers are grown
on the marsh below Shi-show.

From Shi-show upwards, the nature of the river differs considerably
from the tortuous cbanicter it assumes below that place. It becomes com-
paratively direct, and its average width is half a mile. Low islands occur,
and in some reaches shoals are not unfrequent ; and the nature of the
banks being, excepting at the bends, no longer a guide, some caution wiH
be required. The current is moderate in March, and far from strong at*
other times.

Skipper point, the tongue of land opposite Shi-show, runs into the river
with a sandy spit, and off the sands, south of the point, is a detached shoal,
the deep water, 7 fathoms, being on the south shore. At 4 miles north-
west of it, the liver splits round Sunday island, in a north direction for 5
miles. The western or Stokes channel is the better of the two, the deep
water being near the south bank on entering it. Below the south end of
the island, the embankment is broken down, and in June a strong current
sets through it out of the river. There is a considerable group of shoals
off the north point of this island. The best channel is close along the
right bank of the river after passing Skipper point, but there was only 8 feet
in it in April IS69. The passage eastward of Sunday island is choked with

There is a remarkable tree on the left bank north of Sunday island, and
3^ miles above this is a shoal below the entrance of a creek, which renders
it necessary to cross over, at the lower part of Hohia reac/h, towards
two kilns and a joss house, where was a 2-fathoms bar in {April 1869.

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Hobia reach takes a northerly course for 12 miles £rom Sundaj klaad ;
there are shoals in it, and the safest course through is near the east shore.

soBiiL (144 miles) is a large villaffe on the left bank, just below a
bend to the westward. The river here narrows from 1,000 to 700 yards,
and the current rushes with great force against the left bank, which has
been deeply cut into, and necessitated the construction of a wall of ci|t
stone masonry to protect the embankment. There is a large joss house
above the town. In crossing the narrows, the lead gave close to the village
14 fathoms, 16 in mid-stream, and 8 fathoms at 20 yards irom the rigl^
bank, which is of sand. The embankment recedes from the river until, at
a distance of 9 or 10 miles up, it is fully a mile from it, the land between
this and the river being 15 feet higher than on the land side. A road is
carried along the top of the embankment which is 25 yards wide. The
country is richly cultivated with tobacco, cotton, rice, wheat, &c., and
vegetables and fish are easily procurable by purchase..

Compton reach runs nearly West 8 miles. Creasy reach runs N.N.W.
4 J miles and then splits round Tuh-ke-chow or Storm island ; and bending
to the north-east, the village of Kwan-yin-shih is passed (162 miles), and
Sha-sze reach entered. Swinhoe channel, the passage west of Storm island,
is the deeper, the eastern channel having only 2 to 3 fathoms, with a shoal
at its south part, passing which the island must be kept aboard. In June
there are 6 to 9 feet on this shoal, and 4 to 6 fathoms in the channel ; and
a long spit of sand which stretches above a mile to the north-east of Storm
island is also partially covered. At other seasons Swinhoe channel must
be used and the river bank kept aboard.

SBA^SZB (170 miles) is the first place* of considerable mercantile im-
portance above the Tung-ting junction. It is the port of Kin-chau, a
citj which lies north-east of it a mile inland. Sha-sze is built on the
left embankment, along which it runs for 2 miles ; and on the whole of its
face and in every creek, junks, some of large size, were moored as closely
as they Qould be stowed. It is a port of trans-shipment, the junks from
the province of Sz* chuen above, or from below, making this the end of
their voyage, when their cargoes are transferred to vessels of a different
description more suited to the change of navigation*

The cargoes from Sz* chuen are mostly composed of salt, sugar, tobacco,
hemp, pepper, spice, opium, medicinal and other drugs, some silk and wax,
and a little gold ; cotton and other goods imported from Canton by the
T ng-ting lake and Taiping canal connected with the lake, are taken back.
d also is said to be brought from Hunan by the latter route.

See Flan of Sha-sze on A^dmiralty Chart :^Plan8 and Ports of the Upper TangtM
ki ig, No. 115 ; scale, m=2 inches.

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ro OAJrA&w— About 4 miles aboye Sha-sze, on tlie right banl,
is the Tai-ping-kau, the mouth of the Tai-ping canal, which is 100 yards
wide. A small village stands on the east side of the entiance. Smaller
creeks, dry in winter, from above and below Sha-sze join it Ji is supposed
to lead in a direct course to the Tung-ting lake, the passage to which
occupies five dajs. It is SMd time is saved by taking this route on the
upward journey, and thus avoiding the tortuous course and strong cmrent
of the Yang-tse. Hankow may be reached from Kin-chau fu by fife
days* travelling on horseback, the distance being 100 miles west, as the
crow flies.

Below Sha-sze the soundings in the channel were never under 4 fathoms
in June, and from that depth to 17, and near the steep banks aeldom less
than 3 ; but a continuous line of soundings was never obtained by Captain
Blakiston*s party.

•BApSU VO OHX-UAJra. — There are several shoals off the sandy
point opposite Sha-sze, and a sand-bank in the river just below the Taip-
ing canal, awash in April, and the chart shows irregular soundings of 2 to 7
&thoms near the steep north bank. The best course would seem to be :
keep the north shore past Sha-sze, and after passing a small ruined fort and
then a creek, edge over into-mid channel south of the sand-banks below
the Taiping canal, gaining the right bank when above the entrance, and
keeping it throughout the reach. But when this is not practicable, hog
the shore above the ruined fort and pass north of the sand-bank, crossing
over S.W. when abreast the canal entrance. Ejn-chau reach is 10 miles
in length; the course is then north-westerly 18 miles up Sandford resell,
in which are many sand-banks. From the bight opposite the thicklj
wooded point at the entrance of this reach, steer across for the viH^
where the trees end 3 miles above, and after following the left bank about
a mile, cross towards the entrance of a lagoon 4 miles higher, eiiter psssing
which keep the] right bank for 2 miles, and cross over westward of the
bank of shingle 3 miles below Eiang-kau (196 miles), a viUage at the head
of the reach.

Up to this the country retains the same dead level as below Sha-sze,
but here the land becomes undulating and the river banks shingly. Shoals
lie off Kiang-kau, and also below the point opposite to it. Thence the
course is westerly, a little winding, through Boone reach, 8 miles up io
the village of Tung-tsze on the left bank, and it is necessary to cross to
the north shore again about the middle of this reach, 4 miles above

The north point of Spring island, 4 miles in length, is opposite Tung-tsze.
Pass north of the island, mid-channel, but avoid its west point, off which
are shoals, by hauling in to the left ba^Jt ; there are only 2 fathoms here

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at the end of March. The course then changes from S. W. by W. to S. by E.,
through Spring reach, so as to gain the red cliffs on the right bank, and
pass northward of a shoal in mid-channel ; keep along the cliffs round the
bend westward, and south of Hope island, 2 miles in length, which has a
shoal off its west point, above which is the Tillage of Yang-chi, where lime-
stone is quarried and burnt, and red bricks and tiles are made.

CHZ-xrawG. — ^North-west 3 miles from Yang-chi, also on the right
bank, is Chi-kiang hien (220 miles), a walled city with an imposing river
front. The mountain floods are felt here ; one occurred in 1860, when
the river rose 50 feet in the Ichang gorge, and did much damage to this
town. From Chi-kiang, the course up Itu reach is North, inclining to the
eastward, but after a 5 miles' run it curves by a detour of 5 miles to the
westward and up to the city of Itu. At 3 miles above Chi-kiang there is
a shoal nesir the left bank, opposite where the hills come down to the river,
with a tall pagoda, having a bush growing on its side, bearing W. by N. ;
this shoal shows even in June, and is passed when Bush pagoda bears
West. Above this, after passing the village of Pan-yang, the left bank
must be kept round the bend, until more than a -mile beyond the village
of Pih-yang, above Keppel point, after which steer mid-channel up
to Itu.

ZTV BZEW (232 miles), a walled city^ is on the right bank of the river,
at the junction of the Chin (or Tsing) kiang, a stream about 120 miles in
length (as delineated on the maps), flowing through a mountainous region ;
it showed no signs of trade. A little above the mouth of the Chin kiang
and abreast Opossum point opposite, is a large shoal, covered in June, the
eastern edge of which is in mid-channel, and the passage between it and the
point. From this the course up the river is nearly North for 2 J miles, after
which it is about N.W. by N. for 16 miles to the city of Ichang, through a
reach almost straight. On either hand the banks become high and pre-
cipitous, bold cliffs of conglomerate and sandstone rising immediately from
deep water. To the west is an entirely mountainous country, which
stretches to the northward beyond Ichang, behind which the country
rises gently into plateaux and ridges, occasionally broken by narrow rice-
planted valleys. The country everywhere, except where impracticable, is
highly cultivated.

Above Opossum point keep the bight, but when well past the shoal
point north of it, cross over towards the flrst low hills on the. right bank,
I i when past Hung-wha-taou recross gradually to avoid the shoals off a
1 >untain gorge 2 miles above that village. At 4 miles below Ichang and
] N.E. of a monastery on a commanding position a mile back from the
] 'er, and 1,233 feet high, is the tail of Swain bank or island, 2 miles in
] gth, the channel being north of it. This bank is variable in height

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480 THE UPPBB YAN0TSB. [chap.vjii.

and size, being 9 feet abore water in April and sometimes the same in
Jane ; a seven-storied pagoda is abreast the upper part of it.

The river below Ichang is half a mile wide, and the depth varies from
4 to 7 fathoms (April 1st), with a moderte current. On the 18th of June
the water was 15 feet higher. This gives the rise at 1 J feet per week,
which is precisely the same as computed for Yohchau. Above Itu, Uie
•and-banks in the bed of the river are not so numerous as lower down,
and they become clajej and gravelly, with rocks in some places standing
out from the shore.

lOKAVO W (250 miles) stands on a bluff point of the Yangtse on its
left bank, a small branch of the river forming an island immediately above
the walled part of the town. The water is shoal off the citj side, the main
lead of the river being nearer to the other shore. The country ix) the
east and south-east is broken into small hills and ridges, on which clumps
of pine are dotted about, and much ground about the city is appropriated
to graves.

Ichang,* in hit. 80° 12" N., long. 111° 19' E., is by the river 365 miles
above Hankow, or 950 total distance from Shanghai. For steamers of the
present build in China, it must be considered as the head of the navigation
of the Yangtse. It is a provincial town of the first order, and contains
a considerable population. The trade is small, but, as at Sha-sze, part of
the Sz'chuen produce is here trans-shipped. An immense number of junks
are moored along the shore.

Ooal is plentiful at Kwei, 40 miles above Ichang, whence it is brought
in six hours by boat, but it does not appear to be of good quality ; it is
small and dull looking, and is made into bricks, as in the north, before
being used for fuel. Still higher up the river there is a district from
which both coal and coke (which is made there) could be brought to
Ichang by country boats in eight days ; this latter coal seems to be of
superior quality.

OUSBBWTS, SZ8B, and r&OOD8. — The force of the current is very
variable, but seldom sluggish. In June, for 30 miles below Ichang it was
4 knots, but lower down much less ; in April its rate from the Tung-ting
junction upwards was from 2^ to 3 knots. This part of the river is subject
to extraordinary floods ; in I860, the water rose 20 feet above the level of
1861. At the Tung-ting outlet it rose 20 feet between the 17th of March
and the 25 th of June ; and at Ichang, between the 1st of April and the
middle of June, 15 feet.

* See Ichang on Admiralty Chart :~Flans and Forts of the Upper Yangtse kiang,
Ko. 115 ; scale,mB2 inches.

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Its Tise in June is sometimes probably &om 50 to 60 feet higher than
in the cold months, judging from the height at which water lin^ were
observed in the gorges, but much of course depends on the width of the
river and the nature of the banks ; yet this estimate will not appear so
much when it is considered the river at Hankow is a mile in breadth, yet
rises sometimes 50 feet. The river begins to rise in the beginning* of April
and rises until June, remaining at about the same level until the end of
September ; and is at its lowest in the month of December, when the
water loses Its usual red mud colour, and becomes clear.

'WATBElt. — The prevailing winds during the latter part of March
were north-easterly, and the weather variable with some rain as might
be expected at the season of the equinox. The temperature ranged from
47^ to 64°,

The navigation above Ichang is closed to all but tow boats, both on
account of the obstructions caused by the rapids, and by the excessive-
velocity of the stream, which becomes greatly accelerated by- a sudden con-
traction to half its former breadth, Capt. Blakiston found it to average
6 knots, whilst many of the rapids ran 10 in June. In April, Lieut.
Dawson, B.N. estimated its strength at from 5 to 8 knots. As a rule
there is no want of water in the rapids in April, but some of them are bad
in both seasons, the Shan-tau-pien being the worst. In the high level
season the appearance of the river is totally changed and rapids exist
where there were none before, while former ones by the rise of the water
become smoothed over. The river is highest in June, continuing high
till October, and is at its lowest in December, when the water is said to be
dear, though muddy at all other seasons.

zcHiure GO&GE. — For three miles above the town of Ichang the
river retains the same character as it has for some distance below, except
that the right bank is high and rocky ; and in width the river has lessened
nothing since dividing from the waters of the Tung-ting lake, being a
good half mile across ; but suddenly, as if by magic, we lose the river,
and in its stead an impetuous current comes rushing out of a long deep
cleft in the mountains to the westward, not 250 yards in width, with its
broken sides mounting vertically from 300 to 500 feet. This mc^nificent
gorge is 9 miles in length, with no bottom at 10 and 15 fathoms depth.

FIRST KJBLPZD8. — About 6 miles above Ichang gorge, at a bend of the
* I ^er, some islands of rock stand out towards the middle of the stream,

^ This is two months later than at Hankow and Eiukiang, bat both Capt. Blakiston
I 1 Lient. Dawson make the same statement on native authority.

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432 THE UPPBK YANGTSIfi. [chap.tiil

and Uige boulders of gnnite line the shores, indicating an uneven bed in
the rirer. Here, although it could hardly be called a rapid, the rash of
water in June was very strong, and immediately below were strong eddies
and whirls. A small Tillage stands on the right bank just above, and less
than a mile south some high peaks mark the end of a mountain range
2,000 feet high, which runs thence in a north-westerly direction nearly
parallel with a short reach of the river, all along which lie heaps of granite
boulders, forming small islands and promontories causing the river to
narrow in some places to 150 yards. Two miles above the first rocks are
the first rapids, and 3 miles above these the village of Shan-tow-pien,
where the river pursuing a straight course is obstructed by a couple of
dangerous rapids and runs the whole way with a very strong current
while the shores are still broken by boulders and solid rock. In a twist

Online LibraryGreat Britain. Hydrographic OfficeThe China Sea directory: Comprising the coasts of China from Hong Kong to ... → online text (page 49 of 72)