Table of Contents
Chapter I. General Remarks. Climate, Prevailing Winds and Weather, Fogs, Storms, Gales, Typhoons, and Currents; and Remarks on making Passages. (1-30). Chapter II. West, South-West, and South Coasts of Korea; and Korea Strait. (31-74). Chapter III. Sea of Japan. East Coast of Korea and Russian Tartary. Gulf of Tartary and River Amur. Tartary Strait. Sea of Okhotsk, and Kamchatka. (75-115). Chapter IV. Mariana or Ladrone Islands; Islands South-East of Japan; Meiaco Sima, Liu-Kiu, and Linschoten Groups. (116-158). Chapter V. The Japan Islands, Comprising the South and East Coasts of Kiusiu, Sikok, and Nipon, and the Islands lying South of Yedo Gulf. (160-200). Chapter VI. The Seto Uchi, or Inland Sea, and its Approaches. (201-265). Chapter VII. Japan Islands. The Goto Islands, and the West Coasts of Kiusiu and Nipon. (266-324). Chapter VIII. Japan Islands. Tsugar Strait, North Coast of Nipon, Yezo Island; Saghalin and Kuril Islands.
In Chapter 1
On the east coast of Korea and in the Japan Sea, from January to March, inclusive, northerly winds prevail on the Korean coast, hauling to the westward, in the middle of the Japan sea; on the coast of Tartary southerly and south-westerly winds prevail, and on the East coast of the Japan sea westerly and north-westerly winds and calms are experienced. From April to June, inclusive, the winds are variable, but light southerly winds prevail with frequent calms, and fine weather, especially between the parallels of 40° and 45°N.; the wind hauls to the eastward on the coast of Japan, and is accompanied by mist, it, however, sometimes freshens to a stormy breeze, with squalls, from the north-eastward; the weather however is generally fine. Fogs prevail during the whole of this season (April to June inclusive) all over the sea of Japan, especially on the northern coast of Korea and coast of Tartary, and are most dense in June; they are however generally dispersed by S.W. winds. Rain falls in May and June on the Japan coast. From July to September, inclusive, on the Korean coast moderate northerly winds prevail, with fine weather, in September; on the coast of Tartary southerly and easterly winds with calms are experienced and during the whole of this season, between the parallels of 40° and 45°N., calms are most frequent. In the northern part of the sea, fogs and rain last until August, the former generally being dispersed by S.W. winds, and decrease in density as the summer advances. Gales occur at the equinoxes, generally commencing at S.E. on the coast of Japan, and veering to the southward and westward, excepting when they are associated with a Typhoon, the centers of which as a rule pass south of Japan, when the wind veers from South to S.E., East, and North, generally clearing up at N.W. These latter gales are generally very heavy, and have been known to last three days; these however are rare. From October to December, inclusive, north-westerly winds prevail, and heavy gales are sometimes experienced, generally commencing at South, veering to West, and ceasing at N.W., they are fierce and short duration; the weather is generally fine, but easterly wind brings rain and snow; gales of the same description as those occurring from July to September, being the outer limit of a Typhoon, sometimes occur in October, but they are apparently rare.
In Chapter 2
Korea Strait divides the south-east coast of Korea from the south-west coasts of the Japan islands; it is split into two channels by Tsu sima. The Western Channel is 34 miles wide, between Sentinel island and the south point of Tsu sima, narrowing to 25 miles between the north point of that island and Tsau-liang-hai; its greatest depth is 90 fathoms near the west coast of Tsu sima. H.M.S. Dove in crossing the Korea strait from the Goto islands in 1861, after decreasing the soundings from 83 to 53 fathoms in 15 miles on the parallel of 33°N., obtaining a sounding of 23 fathoms in long. 127°38′E. On sounding again one mile N.N.E. of this position, there were 56 fathoms, deepening again to 81 fathoms at 11 miles in the same direction. The Eastern Channel is 25 miles wide at its narrowest part, between the south point of Tsu sima and Iki island; its greatest depth is 65 fathoms.
In Chapter 3
The SEA of JAPAN, bounded on the east and south by the Japan islands, and on the west and north-west by the coasts of Korea and Russian Tartary, is about 900 miles long, N.N.E. and S.S.W., and 600 miles East and West, at its broadest part. Surrounded by land on all sides, this sea is only accessible by the following narrow passages: To the south by the Korea Strait, which connects it with the China Sea; to the east by La Perouse and Tsugar straits, by which it communicates with the Pacific; and to the north by the Gulf of Tartary, through which it communicates with the Sea of Okhotsk by the Gulf of Amur; this sea is, as far as is known, clear of rocks or dangers with the following exceptions: Liancourt Rocks, Matusima (Dagelet Island) and Waywoda Rock. GULF of TARTARY. From Cape Disappointment, in lat. 45°40.5′N., the coast of Manchuria trends to the north-east, and forms with the west coast of Saghalin island a long channel named the Gulf of Tartary, which communicates with the Gulf of Amur to the northward by Tartar Strait.
LIANCOURT ROCKS are named after the French ship Liancourt, which discovered them in 1849; they were also called Menalai and Olivutsa rocks by the Russian frigate Pallas in 1854, and Hornet islands by H.M.S. Hornet in 1855. Captain Forsyth, of the latter vessel, gives their position as lat. 37°14′N. long. 131°55′E., and describes them as being two barren rocky islets, covered with guano, which makes them appear white; they are about a mile in extent N.W. by W. and S.E. by E., a quarter of a mile apart, and apparently joined together by a reef. The western islet, elevated about 410 feet above the sea, has a sugar-loaf form; the easternmost is much lower and flat-topped. The water appeared deep close-to, but they are dangerous from their position, being directly in the track of vessels steering up the Sea of Japan for Hakodate.
MATU SIMA, or Dagelet island, is a collection of sharp conical hills, well clothed with wood, supporting an imposing peak in the centre, in lat. 37°30′N., long. 130°53′E. It is 18 miles in circumference, and in shape approximates a semicircle, the northern side, its diameter, running nearly E. by N. and W. by S. 6.25 miles. From each end the coast trends rather abruptly to the southward, curving gradually to the east and west, with several slight sinuosities until meeting at Seal Point, the south extreme of the island, off which is a small rock. There are several detached rocks along its shores, principally, however, on the north and east sides, some reaching an elevation of 400 to 500 feet. They are all, like the island, steep-to, and the lead affords no warning, but none of them are more than a quarter of a mile from the cliffs, except the Boussole rock, the largest, which is 7 cables from the east shore of the island. Hole rock on the north shore is remarkable, from having a large hole, or rather a natural archway through it, while nearly abreast it on the shore is a smooth but very steep sugar-loaf hill, apparently of bare granite, about 800 feet high. The sides of the island are so steep, that soundings could only be obtained by the Actaeon's boats, almost at the base of the cliffs, while in the ship at 4 miles to the southward no bottom could be found at 400 fathoms, and 2.25 miles north none at 366 fathoms. Landing may be effected in fine weather, with difficulty, on some small shingly beaches, which occur at intervals, but the greater part of the island is quite inaccessible. During the spring and summer months some Koreans reside on the island, and build junks which they take across to the mainland; they also collect and dry large quantities of shell-fish. Except a few iron clamps, their boats are all wood-fastened, and they do not appear to appreciate the value of seasoned timber, as they invariably use quite green wood.
British Publication "China Sea Directory," 1st Edition, Vol. 4 (1873)
The following are excerpts from the 1th edition of the China Sea Directory, Vol. 4, which was published by Hydrographic Office of the British Admiralty in 1873: