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to England from the colonies on the 28th July, 1853, via Wellington (New Zealand), calling at Rio Janeiro and Madeira." Here we have three coaling stations; and how situated? After steaming about 1200 miles to Wellington, I suppose we should find that she had neared the Horn about 300 miles. Having arrived at Rio, she will have the whole force of the north west trades to contend against. I am not aware of the number of days her voyage occupied; but if the prospect held out be realised, it is a different result to that which I should have expected.*
The advice which I have given is to coal on the outward voyage at Bahia, and on the homeward voyage at the Falkland Islands. This route has been successfully followed out in each particular but that calling at St. Vincent instead of Bahia; and for this alteration there is a valid reason, the state of health at Bahia or Rio. If a coaling station on the homeward voyage be required, the Falkland Islands are undoubtedly the best calculated for that purpose. Under such circumstances my advice would, in order to make the shortest voyage out and home by the aid of steam, be as follows:
By the aid of both steam and wind, proceed to St. Vincent with as great despatch as possible; for economy of fuel is not of so much importance in the first part of the voyage, since it is not probable that more than one-third of the coals which the whole Voyage will require will be consumed between England and the Cape de Verd. At this station, having taken a fresh supply of fuel, sail to the calms direct, and until you reach the latitude of 48° use steam freely whenever it is required. By so doing, you will not only make your passage more rapidly, but you will lighten your ship by the time you have reached the regions in which you will depend on sail alone. The course you should take after you leave St. Vincent, should be such as would take you as far at least as 20° west, at the point where that meridian crosses the 30th parallel south latitude. But should the winds be such as would take you across that parallel at 30° west, you will have lost little by crossing at that point; at least, you will have done better than by not having sailed free through the south-east trades in order to get further east. Between 30° and 48° latitude on the great circle of 50° you will have occasional use for steam. If required, coals could be obtained for steamers at Kerguelen's land, no more expense being required than labour and the most simple machinery. This island, being nearly broken through the centre by the action of the ocean, has
* The "Cleopatra" arrived at Liverpool, February 24, 1854, after a voyage unprecedented in length for a vessel returning from Australia by the Horn.
its coal strata exposed to the light of day. After passing Kerguelen's land it is very improbable that steam will be required for seven hundred miles. On your return by the Horn I doubt whether more than a half cargo of coals should be taken on board, since between Australia and the Falkland Islands not more than 1500 miles would require the use of steam. A full cargo would tend only to burden the ship whilst under sail, and thus lengthen the voyage instead of aiding the ship. From the Falkland Islands, with a full cargo of coals, you should strike off on the same great circle by which you left your highest latitude, and then economise your fuel, taking advantage of the N.E. trades, and taking care to reserve a supply of coals for the variables, and especially for the channel.
There is, however, another problem which remains to be solved, for which the experience of steamers on the composite routes will soon furnish us the data. Is it desirable that steamers should have any coaling station on the voyage out and home? The number of days during which such steamers as the Great Britain would require steam out or home, I consider, will prove to be about 20. Now, at neither station, either out or home, is more than one-third of the total amount of coal required. Then, by decreasing the amount of coals required by the engines to two-thirds the present amount, we should decrease the power of the engine one-third. But this decrease of power would increase the time required to steam across the regions where the aid of steam is wanted more than from 20 to 24. Then, if one-third the coals is expended in increasing the speed of the vessel so as to save the time lost in coaling, we cannot regard such an expenditure in any other light than a waste. Before, however, we can establish such a proposition as a fact, further data are required.
When reviewing the passages of steamers in comparison with sailing vessels, we have regarded them as failures up to a very recent period. This term must be taken in a restricted sense. In one respect steamers have been superior, in contributing to the health and comfort of the passengers. No one but those who have crossed the tropical calms can form a perfect idea of the distressing feelings they give rise to. With a tropical temperature there is an incessant roll which frequently in these climates affects even the experienced seaman, but to the landsman it is unbearable. Under these circumstances the sickness and fever arise; and to bear out this opinion we have the fact that the mortality of passengers on board the steamers that cross the line is only ten per cent. of the proportion of that experienced by those on board of sailing
vessels. Whilst the sailing vessel is rolling about in the calms, the steamer is making a quick passage through the tropical regions.
But I hope that the evil influence of calms may be greatly reduced on board of sailing vessels. By the reports we have received of vessels that have passed the line by Lieut. Maury's route, calms are very little felt. It appears that the regions on which these calms exist being of a wedge form, with the sharp edge on South America, he recommends that the line should be crossed at 30° west, instead of further east; and I have no doubt, from the data by which he supports this advice, that vessels from England to Australia will be benefitted by taking this route. Several Liverpool ships have started with the intention of making this route; amongst them the "Australia," spoken in 8° north under most favourable circumstances. I am anxious to hear of her arrival. To cross the line at 30° of west longitude was not usual in modern passages to the Horn or the Cape previously to its being advocated by Lieut. Maury. There is no advice more strongly enforced in Horsburgh than to give Cape St. Roque a wide berth. This advice, and many other remarks made in this work, must be disregarded by modern mariners, although they were well suited for the day in which that work was compiled. With such ships as were built some 50 years since, no better advice could be given than to avoid falling into the current that runs round this cape, by which many a ship was carried back towards the West Indies. But what was the condition of our mercantile marine at that time? In order that no vessel should escape the supervision of the British cruisers, and thus infringe our fiscal regulations, the custom-house enforced a law that no British merchant vessel should be longer than three and a-half times her breadth. The tonnage laws co-operated with this regulation to swaddle our mercantile navy into such a state of deformity, that well might the mariner of that day be scared at the idea of approaching St. Roque, although in the present day, with our clippers, we may treat such a fear as a bugbear. We hope the time is passed when the government endeavoured by every means to cripple our mercantile marine, in order that they might keep pace with our ill-formed ships of the British navy.
In concluding the subject I have had the honour of bringing before. this Society, allow me to remark that I hope I have proved one point to your satisfaction-that the commanders of Australian emigrant ships are required to be men of superior skill and quick perception, of good natural abilities, and possessing a full amount of that class of education which is best qualified to place a shipmaster at the head of his pro
fession. That line of ships can only attain a high standing in the estimation of the public whose commanders are men of such abilities. Above all, the captain of an Australian ship should cultivate a clear notion of this earth as being a globe and not a plane. I would not do one of them the injustice to insinuate that he does not assent to the truth of the hypothesis that this earth is a sphere. But we often assent to the truth of a proposition, and yet fail in carrying out its principle in practice. So it is with the mariner. He is so accustomed to regard places to be situated as they appear on his chart, that he ceases in practice to regard the earth as a sphere. I do not recommend him to cast aside his chart, but as frequently as possible to compare it with the globe, and by so doing to acquire the power of discerning in the distorted shadow the substance intended to be represented. To young men who desire to rise in their profession there is every inducement to energy. Never was there a greater demand for talented master mariners, nor was there ever such an opportunity offered to those who wish to avail themselves of the advantages afforded. Fifty years ago, the government exerted their utmost power to cripple the mercantile marine. Now, on the contrary, the Board of Trade have afforded an establishment at this port for the instruction of those who desire to advance in their profession-such as they have never previously possessed. To all present I would say, do your utmost to advance science; do not look too narrowly to the subjects that come within your notice in a utilitarian sense. Although the observations of the gentleman who lately so worthily filled the civic chair of this borough, and those of one of the gentlemen who now represent us in parliament, are true, that science should produce utilitarian results; still, unless we cultivate science for the sake of science, we shall not keep up with the spirit of the age. There are branches of science the utilitarian value of which is not at first seen. I have endeavoured to show you instances in which meteorological observations are calculated to be of great practical value to the mercantile interest of this port. I hope the suggestions of Lieut. Maury regarding a record of meteorological observations at sea will be carried out. Liverpool can afford as much valuable information on this subject as any other port. Its extended commerce takes its ships to every part of the globe. For observation in the Australian tracks, the means that Liverpool possesses cannot be surpassed by any other port. But beyond all, if we were to search every port in the world, I would defy you to produce an individual better qualified to superintend such investigations than Mr. Hartnup. I never met clearer illustrations of
series of meteorological observations than such as have been arranged by him. The solution of the problem of the shortest route to and from Australia is reserved, I believe, for Liverpool; and I see no reason why we should go out of Liverpool for the arrangement of data so important in connexion with the solution of this problem.
ROYAL INSTITUTION.-January 9, 1854.
J. B. YATES, Esq., F.S.A., &c., VICE-PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
THE Secretary read a letter from the Rev. Dr. Hume, in which he regretted his inability to be present at the meeting, and stated that he had requested his friend, the Rev. Thomas Moore, M.A., to read his Paper on English Dialects," in the event of such arrangement meeting with the approbation of the Society.
At the conclusion of the meeting the thanks of the Society were voted to Dr. Hume, for his valuable Paper; and also to Mr. Moore, for his kindness in reading the Paper in the author's absence, and for the able manner in which he offered explanations on some of the passages of the Paper.
ROYAL INSTITUTION.-January 23, 1854.
JOSEPH DICKINSON, M.D., F.L.S., &c., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
AT an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING, held this evening, the following recommendation of the Council was read and adopted, viz.: "To consider the propriety of voting the sum of £50 to the funds of the Local Committee of the BRITISH ASSOCIATION."