Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/112

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


trade; and, accordingly, the intercourse between the two seas is already chiefly removed to Chagres. But the harbour to seawahl is not there equal to what might be expected from the river which it receives and discharges. A ledge of rock runs across its mouth, with not more than fifteen feet water in the deepest places, and in many rising even to the surface. A heavy surf thus frequently breaks from !and to land; and even under the most favourable circumstances no vessels drawing more than twelve feet water can enter the river. The bay of Limon, on the contrary? is about five miles wide at the entrance, and can be approached by night or day, in any weather, there being no danger unless quite close to either shore. Its opening is due north. On the western side several projecting points afford secure and commodious anchorage within them, the innermost inclosing what is at present considered the harbour, but which a break-water, formed, at little expense. of the coral rock which abounds on the shores, and which has been already noticed (p. 7 i), would enlarge to any extent that could be required. The bottom of the bay curves regularly, bounded by a beach of very tenacious sand, and beyond by a bank, ?fised a few feet abovo high-water mark, and formed of shells thrown up by the surf, which, in strong northerly winds, breaks here with some force. .About three miles from the east point of the bay the land falls back in another deep curve, within which is situated an island called Manzani!ia, a mile and a quarter long and a mile broad, forming a fine channel with the main land, with excellent an- chorage for large ships for some distance within its entrance,rand shelter for small vessels to repair or careen, in a large lagoon inclosed between the main land and the south-eastern end of th? island. The depth of water in the bay decreases regularly from six fathoms to three, two, and one and a half even close t? shore; and its value as an anchorage is already well known to British vessels on the coast, from whose visits it has acquired tho name of Navy Bay. Along its.. shbres the !and is first studded with cocoa-nut trees, which are succeeded by mangroves, and these again by the dense forest. The climate is comparatively healthy, and the fall of rain moderate, even at present; but when the ad- joining woods are more cleared, there is little doubt that it would be still further improved in both respects. To this bay the Chagres approaches in its course to within tw? miles and a half, the internal being perfectly level, with the excep- tion of a few abrupt eminences from forty to sixty feet high. The soil is a stiff clay, covered with stunted wood, and intersected by a few rivulets, or quebradas, which in summer are still water, and somewhat. brackish. A canal cut in the most fav?urable direction ?ould come out near the Rio Indio; and as about this. po'.mt lhe? Dig,tiz?d by Google