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quantity of Teneriffe wine imported into Great Britain in the year 1822, was 810 tuns, of which 788 tuns were brought direct.
The other returns of the island are barilla, orchilla-weed, rose-wood, Spanish dollars, &c. The official value of the imports into Great Britain, from the Canaries, in 1821, amounted to £86,463.
The trade with the Canaries was formerly embarrassed with prohibitions to foreigners; but the interdiction is now taken off from every article of merchandize, except Tobacco.
DUTIES. By royal order of 26th November, 1823, the ports in the Canary Islands are thrown open, pro tempore, for the admission of foreign cotton goods, on payment of 15 per cent., besides per cent. Consular duty. Other imports and exports pay 7 per cent. The values are settled according to a tariff of rates.
PORT REGULATIONS.-No person may land until a bill of health is produced, or the crew of the ship is examined by the health-officers: meantime no boat but the pratique dares approach the vessel. No boats are allowed to go between ship and shore after sunset. The firing a morning and evening gun is prohibited.
PORT CHARGES.-Visit of Captain of the port, Spanish dollars, 31. Inquisition, 3. Health Office, 31. Waterage and anchorage dues, 12. General licence, 4. Vessels touching only for repair or refreshments are exempt.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS consist of good beef, pork, goats, and poultry. Vegetables and fruits are rather scarce, and bread is very indifferent. Fish are plentiful, particularly mackerel. The water is better here than at the other islands: the charge for it is a Spanish dollar per butt, boat-hire included.
It is advisable for ships that call here in winter merely for refreshment, not to anchor, but to stand off and on, sending a boat on shore to go through the necessary forms, and to order the requisite supplies. The preservation of the cables, and the safety of the ship, compensate for this little inconvenience.
COINS. Those current in the Canary Islands are the Mexican dollar and its divisions. There is besides a provincial real, which is a small silver piece, of the value of 5d.; and the quart, a copper coin, ten of which make a real of plate. The provincial silver coin is not current in Lancerota and Fuertaventura; it passes in the islands for more than its intrinsic value.
The imaginary money of account is the current dollar of 10 reals of vellon, each equivalent to 8 quarts. A real of plate is equal to parts of the Mexican dollar. Little or no gold coin is met with.
MEASURES are the fanega, almuda, liquid aroba, and var. The first is used for corn, cocoa, salt, &c. 12 almudas make a fanega. The liquid aroba contains somewhat more than 3 English gallons, and the quartillo nearly equals our quart. The var is a long measure, about 7 per cent. less ́ than the English yard.
OROTAVA lies about 8 leagues to the S. W. of Point Nago, in latitude 28° 25′ N., longitude 16° 35′ W. This is a good port in summer; but in winter ships are often obliged to slip cables, and put to sea, for fear of being surprised with a N. W. wind, which throws in a heavy sea; but these winds rarely happen, and generally give warning.
No boat will go to a ship in the offing, until she approaches within a mile of the shore, when the pratique-boat puts a pilot on board, who brings her into the road, about a mile to the W. of the town, where shipping lay moored in 40 or 50 fathoms water: the pilot remains until the vessel departs.
These pilots are careful to slip, and put to sea, when they apprehend danger. It is commonly calm in this road; but a long northerly swell causes ships to roll very much, and makes it difficult to land a cargo there. The landing-place is near the middle of the town, in a small creek among the rocks. Large boats load wines there, and carry them off to the ships with great dispatch.
The town contains some good buildings. At each end is a black sandy bay. Along the northernmost is a low stone wall; at the other bay is a small fort; and between them, at the landing-place, a battery: but the continual surf is the best defence. Port Orotava is plentifully supplied with good water from a rivulet at some distance, which is brought off to shipping in the country boats.
PALMA is about 17 leagues from the W. end of Teneriffe; the land extremely high; the coast bold. Its N. point is in latitude 28° 51′ N., longitude 17° 48′ W. The chief port is Santa Cruz, on the S. E. The mark by which it is found is, when approaching the E. side of the island, it appears shaped like a saddle. Steer so as to fall in a little to windward of the midst of the saddle, till within a mile of land; then run along shore to the S., till you perceive the town close by the shore, and the shipping in the roads. The town is in latitude 28° 38′ North, longitude 17° 58′ W.
The road is within musket-shot of the shore, in 15 to 20 fathoms, but is exposed to easterly winds. It is considered securer than any at Canaria or Teneriffe, though there is a heavy surf in the winter season, that prevents boats going off or landing for days together.
Santa Cruz is a large town. Near the mole is a battery, to defend the shipping in the bay. It is supplied with good water from a fountain in the middle of the town, filled by a rivulet.
TRADE. The exports from Palma to Teneriffe are sugar, almonds, sweetmeats, plank, pitch, raw silk, and orchilla-weed; the returns are West Indian and European goods. The E. side of the island produces good wines, of a different taste and flavour from those of Teneriffe. The dry wine is small-bodied, and of a yellow colour. The Malvasia is less luscious and strong than Teneriffe; but when about three years old, has the flavour of a rich and ripe pine-apple; but these wines often turn sour. Large quantities of pitch are produced in this and the neighbouring island.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS are much the same as at Canaria and Teneriffe. The natives make excellent conserves.
GOMERA is about 5 leagues S. W. from Teneriffe, in latitude 28° 5′ N., longitude 17° 20′ W. The principal town, called St. Sebastian's, or La Villa de la Palma, is close by the sea-shore, in the bottom of a bay, on the S. E. side of the island, where shipping lay land-locked from all winds but S. E. You may moor at a convenient distance from shore, in 7 to 15 fathoms; but as the land-wind often blows hard, moor with a large scope of cable, or you will be in danger of being forced out of the bay. The sea here is generally so smooth, that boats may land on the beach without risk. When the surf prevents landing, boats put ashore at a small cove, on the N. side of the bay, from whence there is a very narrow foot-path along the cliff to the town. After sunset, or when it turns dark, this passage is closed. At the cove, ships of any burthen may heave down, clean, and repair, hauling close to the shore, which is a perpendicular cliff, with a battery at the top. The town commences at a short distance from the beach. It consists of about 150 houses, mostly small, and is well supplied with good water, drawn from wells. The best place for a ship to lay, is where a full view may be had through the main street of the town, and at about a cable's length from the beach.
HIERRO, or FERRO, is the westernmost of the Canaries; its N. point is in latitude 27° 50′ N., longitude 17° 50′ W. It is 15 leagues in circumference, and 3 broad. It has no harbour or considerable town; El Golto, on the E., is the chief village. The anchoring place is an open road, but little frequented. The island produces poor wine, which is
distilled into brandy, and, with orchilla-weed, and a few small cattle, is exported to Teneriffe. Water is extremely scarce here.
COMMODITIES PROCURABLE AT THE CANARY ISLANDS.
ORCHILLA-WEED grows upon the rocks on the coast of the Canaries, Cape de Verds, and Madeira; but mostly, and of the best sort, at the former. It is a valuable ingredient in dying; colour grey, inclining to white; the stalk spotted here and there with white; many stalks proceed from one root. It grows to about the length of 3 inches, roundish, and of the thickness of common twine. Those who are unaccustomed to the weed, would scarcely find it, as it resembles the stone from which it springs. It produces a beautiful purple, and brightens other colours. The darkest is the best, and it should be exactly round. The more white spots, the better. The prices of the different sorts vary greatly.
ROSE-WOOD grows in the Canary Islands and in India: the colour externally whitish; internally deep yellow, with a cast of red. In the most perfect specimens, the external part is pale, and nearest the heart the wood is darker. These appear cut from a knotty tree, with an irregular grain, having several convolutions, with clusters of circular fibres in the midst, including a fine fragrant resin. Rose-wood has a slightly bitterish, somewhat pungent balsamic taste, and a fragrant smell, especially when scraped or rubbed. Choose the largest pieces, of the most irregular knotty grain, well filled with resinous fibres, sound, heavy, and of the deepest colour. There is much which passes for rose-wood, pale, inodorous, and of little value.
CAPE DE VERD ISLANDS.
THESE islands, which take their name from Cape de Verd, the nearest point of the Coast of Africa, consist of Sal or Salt Island, Bonavista, Mayo, St. Jago, Fogo, Brava, St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and St. Antonio, besides several small islets.
SAL is about 16 miles long, and 6 or 7 broad, and uninhabited. It is high, and has a peak that may be seen afar. The N. W. part of the
island is in latitude 16° 50′ N., and longitude 22° 55′ W. On the W. side are three bays: the chief, Mordera Bay, is one of the best in the Cape de Verds. BONAVISTA is very uneven. The N. end is in latitude 16° 15′ N., longitude 22° 52′ W. No fresh water can be had here. The principal road, named English Road, is on the N. W. side of the island. Near the S. E. point is a dangerous reef of rocks.
MAYO is about 15 leagues to the S. of Bonavista. Under its S. W. point is English Road, where merchant vessels anchor. A reef projects from the N. end to about 2 miles. This island is frequented, especially by Americans, for its salt. The anchorage is rocky and dangerous. The town is wretched; the surrounding country almost without vegetation, and the inhabitants miserable. Live stock and a few limes may be had. The water is scarce and bad. The cotton-plant and silk-cotton-tree grow in the interior.
ST. JAGO, the largest and most considerable, is very high. Its principal road is on the S. E., called Praya Bay, in latitude 14° 55′ N., Iongitude 23° 30′ W. The town of Ribiera Grande, on the S. side of the island, is now, with its castle, in a state of decay.
Porto Praya, or St. Jago, about 7 leagues to the N. E. of Ribiera Grande, is now the residence of the Governor of the Cape de Verds. The houses are little better than huts. A battery is placed on a cliff at the bottom of the bay, but the guns are in a bad condition. The best anchorage is with the fort bearing N. W., about a mile distant.
TRADE is very trifling. A duty is levied on imports amounting to about 10 per cent.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-The privilege of selling cattle to shipping, and European goods to the inhabitants, is vested in a Company; but the natives may traffic in other articles. Cattle must be paid for in Spanish dollars; other refreshments are better procured for old clothes, particularly black. The fruits are oranges, guavas, cocoa-nuts, limes, plantains, pine-apples, and tamarinds. Vegetables are rather scarce. Indian corn is plentiful. The water is generally very good. The cistern which supplies the ships, is at the bottom of the hill where the fort is built, about a quarter of a mile from the beach. As there is generally some surf upon the beach, boats should lie at their grapnels, and the casks of water be hoisted into them, after being filled at the cistern, rolled down, and floated through the surf. A pump should be sent on shore, instead of using the common buckets. Some planks will be useful to place under the casks when rolling, where the ground is stony, uneven, or where it is soft sand.
FOGO, or FUEGO, is the highest of the islands, and has an immense volcano, continually burning, seen sometimes at 30 leagues' distance. The