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PROVISIONS.-Port Cornwallis abounds in a great variety of fishmullets, soles, pomfrets, rock fish, skait, gurnets, sable, cockup, seer fish, snappers, &c. likewise prawns, shrimps, and cray-fish.
LITTLE ANDAMAN is about 30 miles to the S. of the former; 28 miles long, and 17 broad, but does not afford any harbour, though tolerable anchorage may be had near its coast; it is therefore never frequented.
The wild appearance of these islands, and the well-known disposition of the natives, have deterred navigators from visiting them; and they have justly dreaded a shipwreck on them, more than foundering on the ocean for though it is known that many vessels have been wrecked upon their coasts, an instance does not occur of any of the crews being saved, or a single person returning to give an account of such a disaster.
NICOBAR ISLANDS.-This cluster of islands extends N. N. W. to S. S. E. near 60 leagues, and contains seven principal islands, with eleven or twelve smaller ones. The northernmost bears from the Little Andaman S. 27° E. 29 leagues, and is called
CAR NICOBAR.-It is about six miles long, and five broad, its centre in lat. 9° 10' N. long. 92° 56' E., very low and level, and appears at a distance as if entirely covered with trees; the island has good soundings every where, free from danger. It is very populous, and the inhabitants are a quiet, honest, and inoffensive people; their houses are generally built upon the beach, in villages of 15 or 20 each, and each house contains a family of 20 persons or upwards. These habitations are raised upon wooden pillars, about 10 feet from the ground: they are round, and having no windows, look like bee-hives covered with thatch: the entry is by a trap-door below, where the family mount by a ladder, which is drawn up at night. The timber on the island is of many sorts, in great plenty, and some of it remarkably large, affording excellent materials for building or repairing ships.
TRADE-The coco-nuts produced on these islands are reckoned the finest in this part of India. Most of the country ships bound to Pegu from either of the coasts of India, stop here, in order to procure a cargo of coco-nuts, in exchange for which they take the following articles, viz.
Cloth of different colours, hatchets, and hanger blades, which they use to cut the nuts down with: tobacco and arrack are acceptable, but expected as presents. The natives have no money of their own, nor allow any value to those of other countries, further than as ornaments; however, they are good judges of gold and silver, and it is no easy matter to impose baser metals on them as such. They purchase a much larger quantity of cloth than is consumed upon their own island, which
is intended for Chowry, a small island to the S. of theirs, to which a large fleet of their boats sails every year, about the month of November, to exchange cloth for cowries. The village is on the N. E. side of Chowry, abreast of which you may anchor in 20 fathoms, sandy ground.
PROVISIONS AND Refreshments.-This island, being very fertile, produces abundance of fruits-oranges, lemons, citrons, bananas, and pineapples; the only animals are hogs, which are plentiful, remarkably fat, being fed on coco-nuts; they have likewise fowls, pigeons, several kinds of wild fowls, excellent yams, and sweet potatoes.
To the S. of Car Nicobar are three small islands-Terressa, Bembocka, and Katchull, seldom visited by Europeans. About five miles to the E. of Katchull is
NONCOWRY HARBOUR, in lat. 8° N. long. 93° 41′ E., one of the best harbours in the East Indies, formed by the islands of Carmorta and Noncowry; it is of very easy access, and will hold 40 sail of large ships, in the greatest security, sheltered from all winds, about half a mile from the shore, with the additional advantage of two entrances, that may serve for going in and out in both monsoons.
CARMORTA.-This island, to the N. of the harbour, is about 16 miles long, and in no place above 5 wide; the principal port is on the W. side of it, at the foot of a high mountain; the island is almost covered with trees, among which are three or four sorts of poon, very fit for masts, and for building. Sugar-canes grow here without cultivation; and it produces the finest yams in India, besides several excellent kinds of fruits. Water is got in wells; but in the dry season it is rather scarce, owing to the small number of wells sunk by the natives.
NONCOWRY, which gives its name to the harbour, is about four miles long on each side, being of a triangular form, and separated from Carmorta by a narrow channel; it affords the same fruits as Carmorta, but is more covered with wood.
The Sombreiro Channel, bounded on the N. side by the islands Katchull and Noncowry, and by Meroe on the S. side, is very safe, and about seven leagues wide. In August 1820, the Prince Regent Indiaman sailed through the passage between Meroe and the small island called Track, and had no soundings with 30 fathoms line.
TRADE.-At the commencement of the N. E. monsoon, the natives sail in large canoes to Car Nicobar to trade; and for cloth, iron, tobacco, and some other articles, which they obtain from Europeans, they give in exchange the produce of their own island, consisting of coco
nuts, oil, canoes, birds'-nests, tortoise-shell, ambergris, &c. With respect to the latter article, which is sometimes met with here, the natives have learned a mode of adulterating it; therefore it is seldom genuine. Birds'nests are found among the rocks, and a great variety of beautiful shells met with on the shore. Money being of no use here, the country ships purchase coco-nuts, four for a leaf of tobacco, and 100 for a yard of blue calico, and a bottle of coco-nut oil for four leaves of tobacco.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Hogs, fowls, and fruit are plentiful; the sea abounds with excellent fish, and the islands are much frequented by turtle. Water is procured from wells at Carmorta, and firewood may be got with the greatest ease on any of the islands.
The Great and Little Sambelong are but little known; they are, however, said to be very populous. All the islands, except the Quoin, and some of the smaller ones, are inhabited.
MALAY PENINSULA AND SINGAPORE.
THE coast between Junkceylon and Queda is fronted by numerous islands of various sizes; and inside most of the groups, and between them, are passages for small vessels, but large ships generally sail outside. The country of Queda extends from the River Trang, in lat. 7° 30′ N. to that of Carian in lat. 5° 10′ N.; its length is about 150 miles, and its breadth from 20 to 35 miles. From Trang to Purlis the coast is sheltered by many islands and sandbanks navigable for small vessels only; the entire country is exceedingly well watered, and fertile. Twenty-three rivers, all navigable for proas, and many of them for larger vessels, empty themselves into the sea; the principal is
PURLIS. This river is deep and narrow; at its entrance is a small sandy island, on which stands a fishing village. The bar of the river is very long, with
only 10 feet water upon it at spring tides; the town is situated 4 or 5 miles from this entrance, in a valley encompassed with steep hills. Pulo Ladda and several other islands lie to the W. of this port, about 5 leagues. The Great Ladda is inhabited by a race of Malays, who are in general great thieves, and commit frequent acts of piracy. There is exceeding good anchorage on the E. side of them, sufficient for the largest fleet, with a plentiful supply of wood and water at hand. On the S. W. side is a harbour, where the French refitted and masted, after an engagement with Commodore Barnet in 1745.
QUEDA, the principal seaport, called Qualla Batrang, is in latitude 6° 6' N. The river is navigable for vessels of 300 tons, but its entrance is choked up by a mud bank, 2 miles in length, with about 12 feet water in spring tides. Large ships anchor about 4 miles off, in 5 or 6 fathoms, the entrance of the river bearing E. N. E. and a mountain called the Elephant N. E. The river is about 300 yards wide; both shores are muddy, and have swampy plains covered with jungle. Seven miles up the river is Allestar; all vessels that pass the bar, can go to Allestar: the river is narrow, but deep. About two years ago, the Rajahor King of Queda, was dispossessed of his territory by the Siamese, during their war with the Burmans. The inhabitants have emigrated in considerable numbers to Pinang.
Queda contains about 300 houses, inhabited by Chinese, Chulias, and Malays. It was formerly a place of considerable trade; but since the esta blishments at Pulo Pinang and Singapore, the Malay proas have carried the greater part of their trade thither, for the European and country ships bound to China.
TRADE. Opium and Spanish dollars form the principal part of the cargoes of the country ships. For the latter you are certain of procuring goods, if any are to be had; and frequently a few chests of opium will bring a good price. The Chinese junks import coarse China-ware in considerable quantities, thin irons, pans, gongs, white and blue cloths, and other articles suitable to the Malay market.
The chief produce of Queda is tin, which is brought from a distant part of the interior by water; but beech de mer, bees' wax, birds'-nests, cautch, dammer, fish-maws, rice, rattans, and sharks'-fins, are to be procured in their way to China. These compose the return cargo of the Chinese junks, and of the few country ships which visit this place.
DUTIES. Before the troubles here, the duties were 21 per cent. only, and few impositions were met with. Presents are necessary.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Bullocks, with poultry of various kinds, fruits, and vegetables, are in abundance. Very good water is procured from the river at an inconsiderable expence
COINS AND WEIGHTS.-Spanish dollars are the principal coin. All goods are weighed by the China dotchin, or wooden steelyards; but English scales and weights are in common use. The bahar is 424 lbs. avoirdupois.
QUALLA MOORBA, about 18 miles to the S. of Queda, is a large river, deep and rapid; the water here is always fresh to the sea; the heavy surge, which breaks upon this shore during the S. W. monsoon, has, by op posing the current from the river, formed a dangerous sandbank, extending 3 miles out to sea, and on which there is only one fathom water. This river is, however, convenient, on account of its situation in respect to the tin mines. The annual produce here is about 1000 peculs; this small quantity is not, however, owing to the scarcity of ore, but to the want of hands, and to the few people employed being badly paid.
PRY RIVER is abreast the N. point of Pulo Pinang; it has a mud bar, with 12 or 13 feet water on it in spring tides. The town is at the entrance of the river.
PULO TEECOOS, a rocky islet, off the N. E. point of Pulo Pinang. In Pulo Teecoos Bay, a settlement has recently been formed, and an emporium established, which seems already to have attracted a considerable trade in Malay productions.
PRINCE OF WALES'S ISLAND.-This island, called by the Malays Pulo Pinang, extends from latitude 5o 16' to 5° 30′ N.; it is of an irregular four-sided figure, the N. side being the longest, and the S. the shortest; it is near 5 leagues in length, and 7 or 8 miles in breadth. The N. W. end of the island is high uneven land; and excepting the S. part, and the E. side, where the town is built, and where there is a considerable tract of low land cultivated contiguous to the sea, the rest of the island is all high, and covered with trees. About 5 miles W. from the fort stands a mountain, 2170 feet high, on which signals are displayed for ships approaching the island.
Prince of Wales's Island is separated from the Malay Peninsula by a narrow strait about two miles broad, which forms the harbour, and affords excellent anchorage for the largest ships: there is also an inner harbour, where ships may receive every kind of repair that can be performed without going into dock. The S. channel may be entered by ships drawing under 18 feet water; pilots having been lately stationed at Pulo Jarajah, who come out on the proper signal, and carry the ships into the harbour.
Port Cornwallis is built on the N. E. point of the island, and is in latitude 5° 24′ N., and longitude 100° 21′ E.; it was originally badly constructed, and large sums have been spent upon it without completing it. The sea has