Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/137

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The Black Sea. condition; ,and while we touch, therefore, upon some few points mentioned by them, we cannot but refer the reader to the more extended discussion and greater store of information contained.in their respective works. The harbour is described by the master of the Blonde as being one of the finest in the world; so far guarded by nature from attack, that there is a reef of rocks on either side of the entrance, with a sunken rock nearly mid-channel, on which is a floating beacon with a flag, as well as on the outer edge of the reef on the southern side of the entrance. Dr. Clarke's chart gives no indi- cation of the sunken rock,. which may not, probably, at the period of his visit, have been so clearly pointed out by the beacon. By the aid of these beacons the frigate had no difficulty in making her way into the outer harbour, being further assisted in the operation by two lighthouses on the eastern shore, which, bro. ught into one, are the sailing mark for the proper channel. But not being per- mitred to penetrate any farther, she dropped her anchor in nine fathoms water, with a muddy bottom. With regard to artificial defences, there ?re many considerable forts which guard the several points of approach, some of which are in decay, while others have been lately repaired and strength- ened by the labour of the Turkish prisoners in the late war. Sebastopol itself is exclusively dedicated to the service of the Russian navy, and no other vessels are permitted to enter it except under circumstances of distress: a restriction which existed at the period when the late lamented Bishop Heber visited this port: and he was informed that it had been occasioned by the peculation of the government officers, who had sold the stores of which they had the custody to the merchants who visited the harbour; a statement which is also confirmed by the authority of Captain Jones*. The outward harbour, in which the Blonde was moored, is directly exposed to the north-west and west winds, although the heaviness of the sea may in some degree be broken by the reefs at its entrance. Opening from it on the southern side are several bays, and among them the Quarantine Harbour, a wretched esta- blishment, but sheltered from every wind; and farther on to the eastward, the inner harbour, which is also completely sheltered, sloping to the south-west, with eight fathoms water at its entrance, and seven and six fathoms off the arsenal and town upon its western shore. It is four or five miles long, and navigable for first-rate men-of-war for more than half that distance; but it has no docks, - and the ships appeared to be suffering materially for want of repair. This may probably be owing to the depredations of the worm

  • Vol. ii. p. 3�