and a strong westerly current is encountered increasing in velocity as
Sunda strait is approached, amounting at times to 42 miles a day.
Zn Baly Strait the currents or tides run through the narrows with
exceeding velocity, some say 6 knots, and cause great ripplings, eddies,
* From a compilation by Alexander Geo. Findlay, Esq., in his ** Sailing Directoiv for
the Indian Archipelago, China, and Japan," page SO. The latest information on the
general system of these eastern currents is contained in the Admiralty Atlas, in which
see Cnxrent Chart of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
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and a boi^teroof sea, particalarlj near the shore of Balj durii^ the S.E-
moDioon, when the S.S.W. winds blow so strongly that it is often impos-
sible to mancDavre a ship. The flood mns to the northward and the ebb
to the soQlhwanl, and it is high water, full and change, between lOh.
and lh« At neaps the tides are irregdar. They change first on the
Java side of tlie strait, and about two hoars later on the Baly side.
During the east monsoon the flood is often only found near the Java shore,
and even then not to the northward of the strait, but during the west
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
monsoon the northerly currents prevaiL A tide often lasts for seven or
OMl^y yaaaaffa^ — ^The currents are strong, with great ripplings, in the
Ombay psuvsage and the other passages northward of Timor, generally
setting to the N.E. during the west monsoon, and to the S.W. during the
east monsoon ; but in some places, close in shore, weak tides haye been
expericnci^. The strong current in the Ombay passage seems to cause a
strong Easterly current along the north coast of Ombay during the east
In June the S.W. current of Ombay passage attains its greatest strength
amounting to from 72 to 80 miles in 24 hours. Near the end of the east
monsoon in August and September, there are strong easterly currents in
Ombay passage, though in October they often run with great velocity to
Near the entrance of the straits of Allor and Pantar the current takes a
northerly direction during the east monsoon, but during the west monsoon
it sets out S.S.W.
J9wm to Amboiaad — Ships from Java or Macassar bound to Amboina or
the Molucca channels during the east monsoon work along the north coasts
of Sumbawa, Flores, Ombay, &c., till they have reached the N,W. or
North point of Wetta, or farther eastward if bound to Banda, and the
voyage is often much -accelerated by fiavourable cuments.
Moluoea Cbaimels. — ^During the east monsoon, the current .sets to the
north-west along the western coast of New Guinea, and between the Ki
and Arrou islands, and thence westward along the south coast of Ceram,
at the rate of 1 or 1^ miles an hour, according to the strength of the
wind, the velocity being greatest along the coast of New Guinea. At
the same period an easterly current prevails on the north side of the
islands extending from Timor to Timor Laut, so that a moderately
fest vessel would expei-ience no difficulty there in beating up against
the monsoon. In the west monsoon the current in these seas usually
sets with the wind, but its velocity is not so great as during the other
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CHINESE MONEY, WEIGHTS, AND MEASURES. 573
Vew Oninea. — Of the currents on the north coast of New Guinea we
have few particulars, and these chiefly from D'Urville who sailed along it
in August 1827, where he found strong West and N.W. currents of more
than a mile an hour. It is probahle that this westerly drift is constant.
Later information shows that it merges in, the equatorial counter current.
Money, Veifflits, and Measures.
MOiTBT, — The only native coin in use in China is the tsien^ called
ccLsh by the English, and sapeque by the French, who derive it from the
Portuguese sapeca. It bears on one side the name of the province it is
cast in, in Manchu letters, also the Chinese word " money "•; and on the
other side the name of the reigning emperor, and above and below the
words " current money " in Chinese characters.
Spanish, Mexican, and South American dollars, though not acknowledged
by the government, big employed as a commercial medium throughout the
maritime provinces and at the interior treaty ports. Lumps of stamped
silver, called Sycee, pass current at a fixed standard of purity.
The nominal moneys of account are iheliang, tsien^fan^ and /i, called
by foreigners tael^ mace, candareen, and cash^ the proportion of which,
one to the other, is decimal, but from varioiis causes there is great diversity
in the number of cash given in exchange for the tael. The terms tael^
mace, candareen, and cash are merely denopiii^atipnB of weight.
The circulating medium, in transaction with^ foreigners at the open ports,
is chiefly in whole or broken dollars, clean 'or <^ chopped "♦ ; and the value
of the dollar in relation to the tael is variable, the latter being approxi-
mately one third more.
COMMEBCZA& ivlBZOHTS. — ^The unit of the table is the Hang or
1 kernel of millet is equal to 1 sAu.
10 sbu » 1 /tti.
10 lui « 1 chu or pearl.
24 chu B 1 liang or tael.
1 tael « 1*333 oz. Avoirdupois — 87*796 grammes.
Also, 16 liang or taels « 1 kin or catty ^ l\ lbs. Ayoirdupois.
2 kin . . • » 1 yin . . « 2^ „ ,,
30 kin ... 8 1 kiun . • ■■ 40 „ „
100 kiun . . . = 1 ton or picul = 133J. „ „
120 kin .- • • « 1 «AtA or stone s 160 .„ „
* '' Chopped " dollars are those which are stamped aU over and defaced with innu-
merable, private, commercial (or hong) marks. '< Clean " dollars have no mark or stamp
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The pieol and catty are chiefly vaed in dealinga with foreigners. The
fbllowtQg equiTalents will be found naefnl :—
1 too n equl to 16 ^cnla» 80 catties.
1 cwt. . • • » 84 catties.
1 Ib.aToirdapoi8 » t of a catty or 12 taels.
4 cm- • • . <- 8 taeb.
1 picfU ...» 1*19047 ewt.
8,000 taelt • , • t- 809 Ib0. troy.
Chinede weights and grain meaaores, also the linear long and land
measures, all vary in different parts of the conntry, bnt as a general role
they are largest and longest in the southern proyinces.
The difference in the values of the wei^ts above a tael, as fixed by
treaty, and those in conunon use in China, are as follows : —
Britisli Treatj. French Treatj. Common weights.
Tael • 1*888 OS. aroir. 87*788 grammes. 1 - 828 ox. avoix.
Catty . 1-888 Iba. „ 604-58 „ 1-826 0)6. „
Pical 188-88 ,, „ 60*458 kUogr. 182-6 „ „
8tODe • 159-99 „ „ 72-544 „ 159-1 „ „
WKMAMUwam^ — The H is generally estimated by foreigners to be about
one-third of a geographical mile.
Lemgtk, 1 gran is equal to
lOfbn. . . • -
1 t9un or inch.
lOtsui . . . -
1 cAa or Ibot « 14-1 inches.
lOchih . • . «
1 cAoayorpole » 11-75 feet.
Capacihf. 1 grain of millet »
6 soli • • • »
lOkwei . . . -
lOtsoh • . • -
10 ehan . • • »
1 ehoh or ladle.
10 cbob or 2 yoh =
1 AoAorgill = 0-103 Utre.
lOkoh . . . «
1 <Am^or pint « 1-031 litre.
10 shlng • . . a*
1 iau or peck « 10*310 „ ^
These are taken from the « Chinese Commercial Guide," by SL Wells
Williams, an excellent work.
Simkeii Bock in the Cap-alng^mun Faaaage.
VAsoAoa Bocx. — ^This danger, which has not more than one foot water
on it at low water ordinary springs, and dries at very low tides, is only
about 10 yards in circumference. From it the summit of Green island
bears S.E. easterly ; the south extreme of Chung-hae island in line with
Chung-hae rock, E. % N. ; south-east extreme of Lantao, W. hj S. \ S.
8 cables ; Victoria peak, S.E. by E. See ante, page 83.
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ROOKS AT HONa KONG AND NAMOA. 575
EAST COAST OP NAMOA.
HART aocx,— The P. and O, steam vessel Madras, having put into
Swatow disabled by striking a sunken rock off the sodth^east point of
Namoa, Captain Thomas E. Cocker, of the Imp. Chinese cruizer Ling Feng
proceeded to search for it in the position given, viz. :— Dome island S. 26^
W. (true), Three-chimney bluff S. 81^ W. (true), Obelisk island N. 18° W.
(true). Search was made by sweeping with lines between two boats, the
depth being 16 fathoms, but without success; and two of the local fisher-
men stated that the passage was clear. On returning, a rock, with
4i fathoms on it at low water, was discovered about 7 cables off East
point, and was named Hart rock. Its position, according to Captain
Cocker, is :— North pwnt of Namoa N. 39° W., West end of Ruff rock
just open of Dome island. See page 1 ^S.
TYPHOONS AT AMOY.*
In August 1864, Amoy,' where typhoons are almost unknown, experienced
the rare occurrence of two typhoons in the space of 'five days. The path
of the first was from S.E..to N.W., its centre passing a little northward
of Amoy. Then succeeded a gale veering from S.W. to S.E., foUowed by
the'second typhoon, which travelled down the coast to the W.S.W. or S.W,
by W., its vortex passing to the southward of Amoy. During the whole
of 1 1 days the worst weather prevailed, stopping communication between
H.M.S. Swallow^BXid. the shore, and the damage done in the inner harbour
was considerable. The vortex (of the first typhoon) went far inland, and
the river overflowed its banks. Subsequently, several ships arrived with
loss of lower masts and other spars, &c. H.M.S. JDove rode out one of
these (probably the second) in Haitan strait', 100 miles to the north-east-
ward. The following is an abridged description of these remarkable
storms : — August 5th, stronger land breeze than usual from N.E. wkh
falling barometer; squalls of hot dry wind during the night. As the day
of the 6th advanced the electrical appearance of the clouds and still falling
barometer prognosticated a typhoon, lower yards were sent down, sea
gaskets passed, fires lighted, and all made snug.. By midnight it was
blowing a heavy gale, and the wind had veered to North, with torrents of
rain ; barometer, 29*26. At 6 a.m. of the 7tb, the wind was West force
the same ; barometer, 29*17. During the day the wind shifted toS.W. and
South, and moderated, the barometer gradually rising, but the clouds
preserved their wild, unsettled appearance.
* From remarks of Ed. Wilds, Esq., E.N., commanding H.M. sunreying vessel
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The cv<»ning of the 7th ashcred in the return (so conjectured) of the
ftorm, which continued to blow with increased violence, accompanied by
fun(>u<« ^*lualls of wind and rain, during the night; barometer at mid-
ni;:ht, 2ii»'A\ ThU gale continued, during the 8th, from South and S.E.,
with CHVA-i<mal lulls ; barometer at midnight, 29-72. Several cargo junks
were U*^i in the harbour.
The lOih waa fine, but the appearance of the clouds foreboded storm,
and the hnrometer, which at noon was 29*92, again began to fall. On the
llth thi* wiud was squally from the northward, increasing to a iresh
pale nt midiii;rht, when the glasM had fallen to 29*59. At daylight of the
12ih it wn.M blowing a whole gale, with torrents of rain, the wind veering
to N.K., Ensit^ and S.E., with rising barometer. In the evening it
m<Mlrnitcd ; barometer, 29*80. The wind continued from SJS.,.but squally
on the 13th, and cleared up on the 16th.
The year 1HG4 was marked by an unusual number of typhoons. Even
Shan«;liai experienced one in July of that year. The famous tea-clipper
Taiping fell in with one (supposed to be the same) east of Formosa, and
lost hor foremast and bowsprit A very violent one also occurred near
(he I'nraci'lM in the same month.
OiCMMWa &IOST. — A temporary light* has been established on Ocksea,
which will be regularly exhibited until the arrival of the apparatus for the
permanent light from Europe. The tower is built on the high or western
island. See page 186.
PARKER GROUP, ENTRANCE OF YANGTSE.
■ mo ox is reported to lie about 2\ miles to the northward
of Chesney island, one of the Parker group at the entrance of the
Tangtse kiang, but no definite position has yet been assigned to it. The
only information received concerning it is contained in the London and
China Telegraph of the 27th January 1873 :—
•* The Customs steamer ICua-Hsing returned from the wreck of the
Tonhridge on the 7th December, bringing back some spars and sails saved
from the wreck, together with the lifeboat in which Captain Pizzey saved
himself, and which was found in a small bay on the south-west of Chesney
island. The lifeboat in which the second mate got ashore was found on
* The temporary light is a fixed bright one of the sixth order dioptic, elevated 286
feet above the sea, and in clear weather should be seen 7 miles. It is exhibited from a
tower 85 feet high and painted^ black, and the light-keepers' dwellings and boundary
walls are painted white. The permanent light will be revolving and of the first order,
giving bright flashes at one minute intervals, and visible 24 miles in cleai; weather,
and the lantern vane will be €4 feet above base of tower.
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OCKSEU LIGHT. — TONBEIDGE . ROCK. 577
h e Raffles, considerably broken up, and gutted of her iron tubes hj the
natives. The wreck lay in some 7 fathoms of water, about a mile
from the northern extremity of Chesney Island. A rock was observed
at low water and estimated to be about a mile and a half to the northward
of the wreck, upon which it is supposed the Tonbridge struck, and which
is said to be known to the natives and to some Europeans ; from the
meagre information, however, the rock has not been placed on the
CLIMATE OF SHANGHAI.
Crews of ships stationed at Shanghai suffer both from the malarial
inf uences of the climate and the impurity of the water, especially in the
hot season, when fever, dysentery, and cholera generally prevail, at which
time precautionary measures are found to be instrumental, in a great
degree, in staving off fatal results. Frequently, under double awnings,
the temperature rises to 95** by day, remaining above 85° during the
night, and at midsummer, for a period of two to three weeks, it often rises
much higher. This is the most trying period, and many cases of sunstroke
then occur. In July 1863 the native population were dying of cholera
at the rate of one thousand a day. It is therefore of the highest importance
that officers in command should be prepared to adopt needful precautions.
Properly filtered water is indispensable to health, and when mixed with
oatmeal, for drinking purposes, has been found to be very beneficial. Rigid
attention to diet should be strictly observed, excesses of every kind being
in the highest degree prejudicial. There is published in the *' Treaty
Ports of China," page 394, from the pen of the late Dr. Henderson, an
article on health, which contains most valuable reflections on that important
subject, the preservation of health in China, which is well worthy the
perusal of ofl&cers stationed at the' ports. Without entering into par-
ticulars it may be stated that not more than half the amount of food is
required to sustain the vital energies in the hot months as during the
cold, that then the food cannot be too simple, and that extreme moderation
in, almost abstention from, the use of fruit and vegetables in season is
necessary, indulgence in them being incompatible with health, rice being
quite sufficient for all purposes of nutrition. During summer and autumn
the power of the digestive organs is weak, and a moderate indulgence in
stimulants is requisite, but iced drinks during meals are very injurious.
Tea is far too little used ; it has a gently stimulating influence, and is not
followed, as in the case of alcoholic drinks, by a corresponding depression.
It is tonic and astringent, and its use and that of coffee excite respect-
ively the nervous and cerebral functions. But above all things, after a
30251. o o
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IflBgtbaMd staj, duuift to a mate faradng elimate is essential to the due
BIS£ AND FALL AT HANKOW.
Tjlblb ahowiog the Datis on which the Levkl of the Yahgtse
KiAJco at Hahkow was at its Hiohsst and Lowest, also the
Axocirr of Risk and Fall daring each Seasok, by J. H. Mat,
Tide Sonreyor and Harboor Master.
Date* of High and
38 2 .
38 2 rise.
FelwTiary 2nd, 1865 -
5 5 below sero -
41 8 .
47 1 IMC.
January 29th, 1866
2 1 below lero -
Aaga»t 10th, „
50 1 rise.
January Itt, 1867
2 below lero -
St?ptembeT ISth, „
44 8 -
44 10 rise.
February 4th, 1868 -
October 9th, „
44 4 -
44 4 rise.
January 28th, 1869
10 6 -
38 6 rise.
March 9th, 1870 -
50 6 -
50 4 rise.
Mareh Ist, 1873, river began to rise. Lient Whish, B.N., H.M.S. Leoen.
Whence, the Mean high level is 45 ft. 2 in.,
the Mean low level is ft 6 in.,
and the Mean rise and £eJ1, 44 ft. 8 in.
ira.wlcaMiit]r of tbe siror abowe leiuuig^ — The follo¥ring is an extract
firom the Report of Mr. L. S. Dawson, R.N., who accompanied, as naval
Borveyor, the Special Commission, appointed in 1869^ to ascertain up to
what point the Yangtse was navigable by steam vessels :t—
mamAMU to xivax-CRKoiv. — ^ The part of the river between Ichang
and Kwei-chow-fa was particularly examined, more especially in the vicinity
of the rapids, and I regret to have to give it as my opinion thatsteam
navigation cannot be carried on above Ichang. The force of the current,
want of anchoring groand, intricacy of navigation, and changeable con-
dition of the river's bed, are, I consider, sufificient reasons to predude the
possibility of anything beyond a native junk being able to ascend these
rapids. The descent would be, if anything, more difficult, as, should a
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UPPER YANGTSE, — EIVER LEVELS. 579
vessel fail to answer her helm at the exact moment, nothing could prevent
her being dashed upon the rocks.
^ To make a proper survey of these rapids would be at any time a
matter of much danger, if not of sheer impossibility, as I found on making
the attempt in a boat with ten rowers that she was altogether at the
mercy of the current, and the chance of swamping or striking a rock
more than probable ; this was in April^ and, from what information could
be gleaned from the natives, the most favourable period of the year. From
the appearance of what would become the river's bed in summer, then
some 30 feet dry, the rapids must increase in danger and violence, inasmuch
as even junks have to tranship their cargoes. On the downward return
journey by junk a line of soundings was obtained mid-channel, the depth
of water in the gorges above Ichang, generally, being found to be over
20 fathoms, rocky bottom. Li one gorge 44 fathoms were obtained. The
various dangers are most abrupt, the lead giving no warning. No oppor-
tunity was lost of testing the velocity of the current, although in the
immediate vicinity of the rapids this had to be estimated, owing to the
junk being tracked up close to the shore, where the force of the current
was not so much felt. The river between Ichang and Yoh-chau is of
similar nature to that below Hankow, and quite as navigable for vessels
of 7 feet draught from the beginning of April to the end of September.
Local reports as to the[£all of the river in these parts were so unsatisfactory
that although, on the whole, they tend to the conclusion that the river was
at its lowest in April, still, without actual observation or better authority,
such statements must be received as doubtful. This part of the river is
subject to more changes than the river below Hankow, but not beyond what
a pilot's experience could keep pace with. The general rule for navigating
the river is to hug the steep bank, but the formation of the banks and
difference of depth on either side, as shown by the lead, are of great
assistance." — Extract from the Report of Mr. L, S. Dawsmiy R.N,,
Lieutenant Commander Stokes, R.N., of H.M.S. Opossum, who con-
veyed the Commission to Kwei-chow, was of opinion that the river rose
60 to 80 feet in the gorges, and that the velocity of the stream at the
rapids was 8 to 10 knots. The passages through the rapids were narrow,
uneven, and rocky, with large rocks and boulders on either sid6. Both
above and below the rapids were frightful eddies and whirlpools. Several
of the large junks are lost by striking rocks when crossing the rapids.
No anchorage was observed for a ship in the river, the junks, when they
wish to stop, making fast either to rocks, or piles which they drive into
the shore. In some places the river is exceedingly tortuous, with a width
of only about 80 to 100 yards.
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NORTH COAST OF YELLOW SEA.
9S0'WB^mMM mmA VA^TAV« MO.*— Aboat 70 miles westward of the
Tala*kUng, which sepaimtefl Korea from Li«i-timg» la the entraQce of
the T»-jftng ho, on which river at 12 miles from the sea is the town o£ Ta-
kQ-«aD« in Ul 311^ 56' N^ long. 123"" 5(y E.* It is the seaport next in.
magnitude to Tingtw (Newchwang), and like that place possesses many
larg^ native warehouses, and is the mediom through which a tremendous
amount of produce from the north is exported* It competes with Yingtse
in soliciting the trade in pulse and beancake, but is not likelj to succeed.
At the name time great quantities of goods were met on their way to this
port, which, as far as could be judged, could as easily ha^e been conveyed
to the other. There was a great amount of native shipping in the harbour,
but chiefly junks of second and third class. Timber is supplied frx>m Ta-
ku'san to all the ports of China northward of the Yangtse.
Opposite the port the river is about 1,100 yards vride, a fine broad
flowing Btream. The tide rises and fidls a good many feet, thus facilitating
navigation, but the bar is more formidable than that of the Liau ho, so
much so that large southern junks find it advisable to discharge their
cargoes outaide. The river is frosen over firom the end of November
till March. See Tides, pages 488, 489, and 491. .
The intervening coast between this and Korea is reputed to be a coal
district. A great road runs from Ta-ku-san to Pi-tsze-woa 80 miles to
the south-westward, and also eastward to Fung-whang-ching, the gate of
9S«MiS-*WOA is another harbour of some note in lat 39^ 18' N., long.
122° 18' £. This port is situated on the sea, and the harbour is pretty
well defended from all winds by a series of rocks, which form a semi-
circle round it. Unfortunately, the water is shallow, and many of the
jimks are left high and dry when the tide is out. This could be remedied
by a pier, and it would be worth while to construct one, for this place
has the great advantage of being open all the year i^und. The ware-
houses here are also large, and the import and export trade considerable.
Pi-tsze-woa is placed by Mr. Williamson 6 miles N.N.W. of the island
Kwang-lo*tau, and 12 miles north-eastward of where the Admiralty survey
terminates. From this town the great road to Yingtse strikes across the
peninsula^ west-north-westward to the head of ]>ort Adams, which is 18
• From •« Notes on Manehuria," by the Bev. Alexander Williamson, B.A., pablished
in the <' Jovnal of the Bojal Geographical Soeie^ '* lor 1869.
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NAVIGATION OF YELLOW RIVEB. 581
THE YELLOW RIVER.
Vaviffatlon of tbe Ta-tslnff bo.'*
The Ta-tsing ho, Li-tsm ho, or Yellow River outlet would be navigable,
for vessels able to cross the bar, up to Yu-shan, 227 miles from its mouth,
were it not for two obstructions, a shoal and a ruined bridge, 174 and
1 77 miles respectively from the sea, for except at those places nowhere
was less than 2 fathoms found in the channel of ^ the river daring its
exploration in October and November 1868.
BAR to TZBH-MW-x-WAV. — Depths of 2^ to 6 fathoms may be
canied in the channel of the river except at two parts, the first of which