Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 1.djvu/15

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and the other Channel Islands.

the English Channel. Where its passage is narrowed, and diverted by the land, it forms those currents of which the variety and intricacy is so great, and of which the rapidity is such, as in some places to amount (it is said) to six miles in an hour.

Neither from my own observations, nor from the traditions of the inhabitants, nor from ancient records, have I been able to trace much alteration in the level of the sea, or any considerable change in the positions of the harbours, or the depths of the soundings. Indeed, the shores in general being high, small changes of level are more likely to escape notice; and the rocks being of a firm constitution, and belonging to a country without rivers, and almost without ice, escape some of the ordinary causes of decay.


THE approach to this island is somewhat dangerous, from the rapidity and perplexity of the tides, and the number of the rocks which surround it.

Its eastern end is only seven miles distant from Cape La Hogue, and the passage between them, Raz Blanchard, is known to English navigators by the name of the Race. Here the tide wave undergoes its first violent contraction, and here the rapidity of the current is greatest. Its course is on the NNW rhumbline.

The high rocky shores which are subjected to the constant action of this current, do not appear to have suffered materially from it; apparently, because they are formed of a rock so inclined, as to avert the effects of its action.

This part of the island is also beset with rocks, but there is deep water in mid channel. About six miles to the southward of it lies