Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/81

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O? the Vya' caUed the Aitki?' Rock. 57 disturbing it, there can be little doubt but it would now !?ave had a place upon the list of Hgias. In the fact here related will pro- bably be found the history of many of those fearful marks which crowd our ch?xts; and u the greater part 6f the officers of s frigate were deceived into the belief that what they saw was really a rock, is it unreasonable to suppose that similar deceptions may have given rise to some of the positions of the Aitkius' Rock ? It is to be observed, in the case above mentioned, that them was only' a little ripple about the body, but no breakers; and this circum- stance had not escaped the intelligent eye of the commander. The vigia, which is the subject of this paper, has been intro- duced to notice by enumerating the various authorities on which it rests; and those who feel interested in the inquiry cannot fail to have observed how much they are at variance with each other. The first one describes it four feet under water, without any men- tion of breakers, though it was blowing a gale of wind at the time. The second describes it as rugged, seven or eight feet high, and the length of the vessel's keel; and though an observation was ob.. rained only four hours previously to falling in with it, the position assigned by this authority is twelve miles south, and one hundred and fifteen miles west, of any other on record. The third was unable to find it, though he passed within five fathoms, and hove to for the purpose; consequently there could have been no breakers on it. He further describes it as of a horse-shoe form. The fourth, who actually sounded on, and all round it, calls it a very elongated cone--the whole mass perfectly smooth, as far as could be seen under water. The fifth makes it ninety feet long, forty broad, and a little above water. The sixth two or three feet high, and thirty feet long; the north end smooth, and the south end like a fish's tail; and here again no mention is made of breakers, though it was blowing strong from the N.W. And, lastly, Mr. Anthony Carrol, who was personally communicated with on the subject, states it to be a small pointed black rock, according in e?ery particular with the old t?ce which has been mentioned, and which was perfectly calculated to make such an impression if left unexamined, as was his case. This brief recapitulation of the evidences for the Aitkins' Rock places their discrepancies in a striking point of view; and whether we regard the discordant appearances, or the variety of positions which have been assigned by them, it seems impossible they can refer to one and the same object. It may be added, that, from the experience we have had of the rwd/on the coast of Ireland, no rock could be so situated without producing very high breakers in bad weather, which would be visible at least two or three miles. The Frenchman's Rock lies off the north coast of Ireland, only three miles from the !and, which affords it considerable protectioq Dig,ti=?d by Google