PASSAGE FROM THE CRUISING GROUND TO THE MARQUESAS--SLEEPY TIMES ABOARD SHIP--SOUTH SEA SCENERY--LAND HO--THE FRENCH SQUADRON DISCOVERED AT ANCHOR IN THE BAY OF NUKUHEVA--STRANGE PILOT-- ESCORT OF CANOES--A FLOTILLA OF COCOANUTS--SWIMMING VISITORS--THE DOLLY BOARDED BY THEM--STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT ENSUE
In the bay of Nukuheva was the anchorage we desired to reach.
Towards noon we drew abreast the entrance go the harbour, and at last we slowly swept by the intervening promontory, and entered the bay of Nukuheva.
The water also appeared everywhere to be boiling; and it "became black, and exhaled a most disagreeable sulphureous smell." These latter circumstances were observed in the Bay of Valparaiso during the earthquake of 1822; they may, I think, be accounted for, by the disturbance of the mud at the bottom of the sea containing organic matter in decay.
There can be no doubt that the land round the Bay of Concepcion was upraised two or three feet; but it deserves notice, that owing to the wave having obliterated the old lines of tidal action on the sloping sandy shores, I could discover no evidence of this fact, except in the united testimony of the inhabitants, that one little rocky shoal, now exposed, was formerly covered with water.
“As she lay, on that day, in the Bay of Biscay, 0!”
But, as I was saying, take the whole coast along, I know it as well as the way from here to the Bold Dragoon; and a devil of acquaintance is that Bay of Biscay.
As to the seas, they runs more in uppers in the Bay of Biscay, unless it may be in a sow-wester, when they tumble about quite handsomely; thof it’s not in the narrow sea that you are to look for a swell; just go off the Western Islands, in a westerly blow, keeping the land on your larboard hand, with the ship’s head to the south’ard, and bring to, under a close-reefed topsail; or, mayhap, a reefed foresail, with a fore-topmast-staysail and mizzen staysail to keep her up to the sea, if she will bear it; and ay there for the matter of two watches, if you want to see mountains.
“I’ve often heard of that Bay of State,” said Benjamin, “but can’t say that I’ve ever been in it, nor do I know exactly whereaway it is that it lays; but I suppose there is good anchorage in it, and that it’s no bad place for the taking of ling; but for size it can’t be so much as a yawl to a sloop of war compared with the Bay of Biscay, or, mayhap, Torbay.
I say, good woman, do they grow many monkeys along the shores of that Bay of State?”
Now the communications with Florida are difficult, while the coast of Texas offers the bay of Galveston, which possesses a circumference of fourteen leagues, and is capable of containing the navies of the entire world!"
Have we not got the bay of Espiritu Santo, opening precisely upon