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and stood over towards the western shore. As daylight broke I found myself about 5 miles from the S. peninsula and about 2 miles from the cliffs which bound the sea to the westward. The breeze then died away, and by 7 o'clock it was calm. The sun had for some time poured its rays over the tops of the eastern mountains into this misty furnace, and we all felt very much as if we were in a well-heated oven. From Rás-elFeshkah, at the northern end of the sea, nearly down to the peninsula, the western hills rise almost like a perpendicular wall to the height of 1200 or 1500 feet; and in one small gap only about Engiddi was there the slightest sign of vegetation in the ravines which seemed to betoken the presence of water. But I did not attempt to land, the heat being too intolerable, and having been strongly recommended not to do so, as the Bedouins occasionally approach the shores. The mountains on the eastern side are considerably higher than those to the westward, but slope down more gradually to the water's edge, and are broken by many large wadys or ravines. They much resemble some parts of the mountains of Lebanon, only they are more completely barren and scorched. Having taken a good look round, I stood off a little farther from the western shore; and when we reached the point where I thought the deepest water was to be found, judging from the formation of the land, I took a cast with the deep-sea lead. The extremes of the peninsula bore by compass about S.S.W. and S. E.; Mount Quarantana barely clear of Ras-el-Feshkah bore due N., and the farthest land visible at the N.E. end of the Dead Sea bore N.N.E. We paid out all the line, amounting to 225 fathoms, without feeling sure that the lead had reached the bottom; but it was no easy task to haul it up again, so insufferable was the heat, although we contrived some shelter from the sun by means of our coats and blankets. When the lead was up, we found some pieces of clear rock-salt adhering to the arming.
Soon after this a light air sprung up from the southward, in direct opposition to our course; which, added to what I had seen of the sea during the previous night, induced me, very much against my wishes, to give up all further attempt to reach the peninsula; and I therefore allowed the boat to drift gently to the northward, endeavouring to keep near the middle of the sea. The peninsula extends at least two-thirds across the sea. The cliffs which bound it have a whitish appearance, but are of no great height; they resemble those I had seen in the valley of the Jordan, and are not unlike parts of the island of Gozo. The water throughout was of a dirty sandy colour, like that of the Jordan: it appeared to be destructive to everything it touched, particularly metals ; it had also a dis
of the water thro it appium
agreeable smell, and produced a very unpleasant greasy feeling when allowed to remain on the skin.
At 11 A.M., when the eastern point of the peninsula bore about S. ¿ W., the N.E. point of land N. by E. } E., and Mount Quarantana about N. } W., I sounded a second time, in 178 fathoms, and the lead brought up a quantity of dark clay or mud. The eastern hills about Ras-el-Tafilah, abreast of which point we were drifting, are peculiar, the different starta being distinctly marked.
About lo'clock, Ras-el-Feshkah bearing N.N.W., Jericho due N., and the south-western point of land visible S.S.W. W., we sounded the third time, and the lead came up covered with bluish mud, some of which I scraped off and kept. The depth was 183 fathoms. It now again fell calm ; and by the time we had got in the line, we were all completely knocked up. At 3 o'clock we endeavoured to pull a little; but we made such miserable work of it, and the boat leaked so much, that everybody began to despair of getting back. At 5 h. 20 m. a breeze sprung up from the N.W., gradually drawing to the northward and freshening considerably; but the sea also got up so rapidly that the little boat took in much water, and we began to think what should first be thrown overboard, for she was too deep. Being unable to fetch along the eastern shore, about 6h. 15m. P.M. we went about, and spent a most wretched night endeavouring to hold our own by occasionally pulling a lee oar during the lulls.
Sunday, 5th.-We continued on the starboard tack the rest of the night, and at daylight found ourselves about two miles from Ras-el-Feshkah, having lost sight of the peninsula. The wind had fallen, and I was very anxious to sound again, but found it impossible, as no one could keep his head up, and even Toby was so chilled that I was obliged to give him some brandy. We managed to keep gently pulling against a light air from the north-west. At eleven o'clock we got sight of the tent; and at twelve we reached the shore, quite done up, and thankful for having escaped, which none of us expected to do the night before. Everything in the boat was covered with a nasty slimy substance ; iron was dreadfully corroded, and looked as if covered in patches with coal-tar; and the effect of the salt spray upon ourselves, by lying upon the skin, and getting into the eyes, nose, and mouth, produced constant thirst and drowsiness, and took away all appetite.
As to the alleged destructive effect of the Dead Sea on birds flying over its surface, we killed some which were actually standing in the water; and on Saturday, while in the very centre of the sea, I three times saw ducks, or some other fowl,
fly past us within shot. I saw no signs, however, of fish, or of any living thing, in the water, although there were many shells on the beach. I must here mention a curious broad strip of foam which appeared to lie in a straight line nearly north and south throughout the whole length of the sea. It did not commence, as might be supposed, at the exit of the Jordan, but some miles to the westward, and it seemed to be constantly bubbling and in motion, like a stream that runs rapidly through a lake of still water; while, nearly over this white track, during both the nights that we were on the water, we observed in the sky a white streak, like a cloud, extending also in a straight line from north to south, and as far as the eye could reach.
- Three remarkable points of land project from the eastern shore into the Dead Sea-Ras-el-Balkah, Ras-el-Tafilah, and Ras-el-Kerah- but I only observed one cape worthy of notice on the western side, viz. Ras-el-Feshkah, near its northern extremity. The cliffs are everywhere nearly perpendicular; and the tops of ten other ranges of hills and mountains may be seen rising behind them; but we saw neither buildings nor ruins on any part of its shores. At the northern end of the sea the water shoals gradually, and has a filthy, muddy bottom, at least in the neighbourhood of the Jordan. Farther to the westward we found a beach of shingle, covered with a greasy salt crust. - As soon as we reached the shore we took all the things out of the boat, and during the day packed up, ready for a start; after which we lay down, and had a comfortable sleep.
Monday, 6th.—At daylight we began to move, but the ground about us being much too bad for the camels to carry the boat, we put the tent and baggage on the mules, and two of the men having tracked the boat about two miles along the shore to a more convenient place to put her on the camels, we there hauled her up. As we rode along the beach to that place we saw a man following us, waving a handkerchief, and occasionally firing his pistol ; so we pulled up to await his arrival, and to my inexpressible delight it proved to be the consul's Janissary, with a letter to tell me that the three lost men had reached Tiberias in safety; and he brought me also a most kind letter from Captain Symonds, enclosing a copy of the account that they had given him of their adventures. It would be a mere waste of words to state my joy at these tidings.
It was nine o'clock before we started the boat and the camels, and we then found considerable difficulty in getting her up the ravines and sand-hills to the plain on which stands the present village of Jericho, which the Arabs call Ríha. On our arrival at that place we pitched the tent under some trees not far from the old castle, and about five o'clock, while writing, I heard some horses galloping; and, running out, I was surprised and gratified beyond measure to find Curtis and Greaves, who had ridden up from Jaffa, and had come with Mr. Finn from Jerusalem to see me. We all dined in the tent, and spent a most jolly evening
Tuesday, 7th.-About half-past seven, leaving Toby to bring on the boat, I pushed forward to Jerusalem in order to procure further assistance. I arrived there at 3 P.m., and Iost no time in sending to him some fresh camels and six swarthy Arabs, for all which I had to pay 80 piastres. But it was not till 2 P.m. on
Wednesday, 8th, that he and the boat entered the walls of Jerusalem by the Damascus gate. In the mean time I went with the consul to wait upon the Pasha, and to thank him for all his civility.
Thursday, 9th, was passed in bargaining for camels to carry the boat to the sea-coast. On the 10th we finally left Jerusalem, and after two days I had the pleasure of finding myself once more on board H.M.S. Spartan, and of rejoining my three lost comrades.
Seneste rehy a realiza para bat he andate. In thand to the
XI.- On Eastern Africa. By Lieut. BARKER. (Communi
cated by Mr. M'Queen.)
[Read 8th May, 1848.] The islands of Mushakh having been purchased for the British Government from the Sultan of Tajourah, I had the honour of taking possession of them, in the name of Our Most Gracious Queen, on the 31st of August, 1840.
These islands are situated on a coral reef lying in a direction N.E. and S.W., 7 miles by 33 miles N.W. and S.E., consisting of one elevated about 30 feet above the sea in the highest part, with a few trees scattered about them, such as the mangrove, but not a drop of water. The N.W. end of the N.E. island is situated in lat. 11° 43' N., and long. 43° 19' 29" E., allowing Bombay to be in long. 72' 54' 26" E., variation of the compass 5° 30' W. There is a tolerable anchorage to be found in from 9 to 6 fathoms, muddy bottom, in a gap of the reef N. 39° W., more than half a mile from N.E. end of Mushakh. Nearly in mid-channel there is a small rocky patch, having only 9 feet water. The soundings on this anchorage they have omitted in the printed chart. The rise and fall of the tide on the full and change of the moon, is 7 and 8 feet. The tides are, however,
in med. The soundinthe rise and feet.
131 very irregular, being much under the influence of the prevailing winds. Time of high water 7h. 15m. A.M.
Tajourah has been sufficiently described by Sir William Harris. I must point out, however, another error-in the map lately constructed, where there is 16 fathoms water, they have put down two small islets surrounded by a reef!
Joobul Kharib, situated at the head of the Bay of Tajourah, is worthy of a short notice from its extraordinary formation. The whole of this portion of Africa has evidently been subject to violent volcanic agency. This bay is connected with the Bay of Tajourah by two narrow channels. The whole width across from coast to coast being about three-quarters of a mile, with a small rocky isle, 40 feet high, situated rather nearer to the Dannakil than to the Eessah coast; the channel formed between it and the former being but 40 yards wide, having 17 fathoms, and the other about 350 yards, having but 3 fathoms on its rocky bottom. The bay lies in a direction N.W. by W. and S.E. by S., 13 miles by nearly 6 miles broad. The western portion is decidedly volcanic. The northern and southern sides are formed by precipitous limestone cliffs, from 400 or 500 feet to 2000 feet above the level of the sea, with very deep ravines. In the S.E. portion the water is deepest, there being 115 fathoms, with the shore equidistant to the northward. Just three-quarters of a mile, a line of soundings across the centre gave 105 fathoms.
In the western extremity there is a small basin, having 16 fathoms water in it, about 300 yards in diameter, surrounded by precipitous volcanic cliffs; the entrance is closed at lowwater. Having a small gig with me, I had it carried across this barrier, and sounded all round the basin. Large masses of lava abound in this part of the bay. At a short distance from the small basin there are two islands called Good Alli; they are both precipitous : in one the traces of the lava, or the course of it rather, is plain; the other is of a reddish-white appearance, being thickly covered on all sides with some . vegetable matter and earth mixed together.
There are so many reefs and dangers in the vicinity of Zeylah, that it is difficult to give a clear description of the place. The harbour is bounded on the west side by a range of sand-banks extending from Ras Tacooshah in a N.N.Ě. direction towards Taddickdeen Island, having three channels for small ships, each about 300 yards wide, 18 feet at lowwater.
Zeylah is the only port on the Eessah coast. It is built on a low sandy cape called Ras Mahmahr. It has a wall round it in a very ruinous and dilapidated condition; there are a few