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The price of Madeira wine in the years 1821 and 1822 at Calcutta was from 350 to 800 rupees per pipe.
The best vineyards are on the south side of the Island; but the produce is seldom imported pure. The Malmsey is from vines grown on rocky ground, exposed to the sun; and the grapes are allowed to hang for about a month longer than for the dry wines.
The good effect of an India voyage on Madeira wine is well known; but if the wine be of bad quality, it often does mischief.
DUTIES PAID AT MADEIRA.-Imports are subject to a duty of £15 per cent. ad valorem. The export duty on wine is 14 milreas 7 reas (or £3. 17s. nearly) per tun. Goods may be landed, for re-exportation, on payment of £4 per cent. when shipped. The period of warehousing is limitedto six months.
PORT CHARGES, &c.-The Consulage is £3. 6s. for each ship; Customhouse entry costs about the same. A visit on arrival, and another at departure, one dollar each. Two officers remain on board during a ship's stay in port, and are paid by the ship 300 reas each per diem.-The charge for commission here varies from 3 to 5 per cent.
RULES OF THE PORT.-1. A ship must be visited by a Government or Health Office boat previously to communication with the shore, or with vessels in the port. 2. The persons landing in the first boat from the ship, must be examined at the Health Office. 3. The ship's register, Mediterranean pass, and manifest of cargo, must be brought for production at the Consular and other offices. 4. No vessel can have communication with an unvisited vessel. 5. No vessel at anchor can change her birth without licence. 6. No boats can pass between vessels and shore after sunset, without licence. 7. No seaman or soldier may leave ship without permission in writing from commanding officer. 8. Any such person found on shore after sunset without such leave, liable to be taken up; which occasions an expence of 2 dollars, exclusive of the individual's maintenance whilst in custody. 9. Commanding Officers are required to read to their men the two aforegoing rules. 10. Captains or Pursers must notify, 24 hours beforehand, the time of their departure, at the Consular Office. 11. Passports necessary for persons quitting the Island. 12. The Master of a vessel detected in carrying away a Portuguese without passport, liable to a fine of 100 dollars, and imprisonment for three months. 13. A Captain of a vessel carrying away a person after being judicially warned not so to do, liable to the debts owed by him. 14. Application to be made to the Government for a visiter, when vessels are ready to depart. 15. After visitation, vessels cannot have communication with the shore, or with other vessels; or must be visited again. 16. A
special licence necessary for entering or leaving the port after sunset. 17. A vessel remaining in port a night after visitation, must be revisited. 18. Each visit after the first to be paid for, half a moidore each, (13s. 21d.), besides other expences. 19. Vessels attempting to get under weigh before visitation, will be fired at, and be obliged to pay for the powder and shot. 20. Security to be given in the Consul's Office for the subsistence of any of the crew left in the Island.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS are exorbitantly dear, and very indifferent. The provisions and water are sent off in boats belonging to the Island. COINS.-Accounts are kept in reas and milreas, which are imaginary coins; the latter is 1000 reas, and equivalent to 5s. 6d. sterling. The coins current on the Island are,
Spanish Dollars, which pass for...1000 Reas, equal to 10 Bits.
The gold coins of Portugal do not pass current on the Island.
The copper coins are pieces of 5, 10, and 20 reas, being the
and parts of the pistareen.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.-Those of Portugal are in general use on the Island. The commercial pound is equal to 7076 grains English: thus 100 lbs. of Madeira is 101.09 lbs. avoirdupois.
the vara and
LONG MEASURE.-There are two principal measures, the covado; the former is five palms, and the latter three.
The palm is
eight Portuguese, nearly nine English inches; the covado being 26.7 English inches; and the vara 43.2 inches.
THE CANARY ISLANDS.
THESE Islands are seven in number:-Lancerota, Fuertaventura, Grand Canaria, Teneriffe, Palma, Gomero, Hierro, or Ferro; the easternmost is about 50 leagues from Cape Non on the Coast of Africa. Several smaller islands to the eastward are uninhabited. If a ship be laid off to the S. S. E. after passing Madeira, care must be used in approaching the islets called Salvages.
LANCEROTA, the easternmost of the Canaries, is about 15 miles. long, and 10 broad. The principal port is Porto de Naos, on the S. E., in latitude 28° 58' N., and longitude 13° 33′ W., where vessels not drawing more than 18 feet, lay secure from all winds. It is the most convenient place for cleaning and repairing large vessels in the Islands. At the W. end of the harbour stands a square stone castle, mounted with some cannon, but of no great strength. There are some magazines for corn, but no town. West of the castle is another port, called Porto Cavallos, with an excellent harbour; but the entrance has only 12 feet water at spring-tides. The castle defends both harbours, being built upon a small island between them. The rock is joined to the land by a bridge, under which boats go from Porto de Naos to Porto Cavallos.
Two leagues N. W. from Porto de Naos is Cayas, or Rubicon, the chief habitation on the island, containing about 200 houses, a church and a convent, and defended by an old castle. There are one or two other small towns.
This Island sends to Teneriffe corn, orchilla-weed, cattle, cheese, coal, skins, salt fish, and fowls; and receives European goods and cash. The horses are of the Barbary breed, and much esteemed. The cattle are fat and good, and the fish are abundant.
FUERTAVENTURA is about 7 miles from the S. W. point of Lancerota, and 80 miles long by 15 broad, narrow and low in the midst. There are no ports for large ships; the produce is chiefly corn. The latitude of the N. point is 28° 46′ N., longitude 13° 52′ W. In the channel between it and Lancerota lies the Island of Lobos, or Seals; circumference about a league, uninhabited, and destitute of water. Near to this is a good port for
shipping; the mark to find it is the E. point of Lobos N. E., and anchor about half-way between it and Fuertaventura. Although apparently exposed, the road is very safe with the trade-wind; the water is smooth, and the ground clean, being a fine sandy bottom. Right ashore from the road, on Fuertaventura, is a well of good water, easy to come at.
On the E. side is the port of Cala de Fustes, fit only for small barks. Four leagues further to the S. is Point de Negro, on the other side of which is a spacious bay, called Las Playas. The best anchoring place is on the N. side, in 14 fathoms, at a convenient distance from the shore, a clean sandy bottom. The principal town on the island is situated about 2 leagues inland from the road of Lobos, and consists of about 100 houses neatly built. Several other small towns are scattered in the island, but the inhabitants are not numerous. They receive Spanish dollars, and a few articles of European and West India produce, for their corn, orchilla-weed, and cattle.
GRAND CANARIA is the healthiest and pleasantest of the group. Its N. E. point is about 18 leagues from Fuertaventura, in latitude 28° 13′ N., longitude 15° 38′ W. On the N. E. of this island is a peninsula, 2 leagues round, connected by an isthmus, 2 miles long, and about a quarter of a mile broad. On each side of this isthmus is a bay, exposed on the Small barks, however, lay here
N. W. side to the swell of the sea. securely. On the other side is a spacious sandy bay, called Porto de Luz, having some steep rocks at its entrance towards the N. E. This is a good road for shipping of any burthen, with all winds, except S. E.; but that wind seldom blows so hard as to endanger shipping. The landing-place is at the bottom of the bay, where the water is generally so smooth, that a boat may lay broadside to the shore without risk. Along shore to the E. is Palmas, the capital, between which and a castle at the landing-place, are two forts. At the other end of the City is another castle, called St. Pedro: none of these forts are strong. The City is large, and the houses, built of stone, are generally good. A small stream of water divides it into two parts. The inhabitants of Palmas are estimated at 6000.
Shipping that discharge at Palmas, anchor in good weather within half a mile of the town, for dispatch; but the road is not good there.
TRADE.-The exports to Teneriffe consist of provisions, coarse woollen blankets, raw and wrought silk, orchilla-weed, &c. The returns are chiefly silver. The wine is good, but not of such body as Teneriffe; yet a considerable quantity was sent to the West Indies.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS are plentiful, consisting of cattle, goats, rabbits, poultry, &c. Peaches, apricots, apples, pears, cherries,
plums, pine-apples, &c. are abundant in season.
good and reasonable.
Vegetables are extremely
TENERIFFE.—This island, 15 leagues from Canaria, is nearly triangular, each side being about 12 leagues in length. The peak, situated almost in the centre, is 24 miles above the sea, and may be seen in clear weather 30 leagues.
About 6 leagues from the N. E. point of the island, called Punta de Nago, on the S. E. side, is SANTA CRUZ, in latitude 28° 29′ N., longitude 16° 22′ W. The best road for shipping is between the middle of the town and a fort about a mile to the N. of it. In all that space, ships anchor from a cable's length from the shore, in 6, 7, and 8 fathoms, to half a mile, in 25 to 30 fathoms. The ground is foul in some places; the cables should be buoyed if the ship remains long. A mole for landing in the middle of the town, runs to the N., and the outermost part of it turns towards the shore. The surf is sometimes violent, against which the mole affords an imperfect shelter. In mild weather, goods are landed at a creek among the rocks, near the Custom House, at a short distance S. of the mole. In going from the mole to the town, there is a square fort on the left, named St. Philip's; to the N. of it, along shore, are some batteries; the chief is called Passo Alto. Near it is a steep rocky valley, running a long way inland. At the S. end of the town are some batteries, and beyond them, close in shore, is Fort St. Juan. From thence to the S. the shore is generally inaccessible, with a surf breaking on it. The forts are connected by a thick stone wall, breast-high within, but higher without, facing the sea. The entry to the town from the sea is at the mole, the entrance guarded by St. Philip's Castle. The town is not fortified on the land-side.
The Governor General of the Canary Islands resides at Santa Cruz, which is the centre of the Canary trade with Europe and America, and may be regarded as the capital, though the episcopal see and courts of judicature are at Palmas in Canaria. The number of inhabitants is about 7000. The road of Santa Cruz is in latitude 28° 28′ N. and longitude 16° 26' W.
TRADE. The chief articles of import from England into the Canaries in 1821 were, of foreign and colonial merchandize, chiefly wheat, flax, East India piece-goods, and brandy, to the amount, in official value, of £23,197; and of British and Irish produce, to the amount, in declared value, of £70,225, consisting principally of cotton manufactures, woollens, linens, iron, glass and earthenware, hardware, cutlery, and hats.
Wine is the chief export. The better sort is equal to the middling kinds of Madeira wine, for which it frequently passes in England. The