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DEPARTURE FOR MADEIRA.
than at Funchal. The valley of Oratava possesses the most desirable peculiarities for the residence of an invalid, viz. a dry, warm atmosphere ; large enough to permit a free circulation of air; a sea aspect; surrounded by hills that shelter it from the blast of winter, or cool the siroc of summer; and if it has not as good an aspect as Funchal, it has the Peak between it and the African desert; and the coast itself, except near the port, is surrounded by minor hills, that temper the north wind from the sea. The annual mean temperature here is 70° 9', and at Santa Cruz, 713°.
The quantity of rain that falls is less than at Madeira, and it is said not to be so equable. A resident medical man, and good accommodation, with facility of access, would, no doubt, soon raise its character for salubrity.
Speaking of the vegetation, I must not be understood to say that the Flora of Teneriffe, or of any
of the Canaries, is not so extensive as that of Madeira; on the contrary, it is richer and more varied ; that is, its true indigenous one, while Madeira owes more to cultivation and naturalization.
Having been greatly exhausted by the trip, we were delighted once more to take possession of our berths; and having with us some of our English friends from the island, we set sail on Tuesday, the 14th November, to visit our old quarters at Funchal, previous to our setting forward towards the Mediterranean, where we purposed wintering.
Departure from Funchal—Sea-sickness—Means of preventing-A Calm-Life on
Board a Yacht-Shores of Africa --Gibraltar— Appearance of the placeBatteries—Market-A Street Scene—A Grave-yard—The Alamada— The Evening Gun-Society-Officers-Private Theatricals—Helen MacgregorThe Galleries—Capers-Smugglers-Climate.
SATURDAY, Nov. 22nd. We left Funchal roads, but the wind blew so hard outside, that we were obliged to return, and remained “ off and on” all night. On Sunday it moderated somewhat, and we put out again, although the sea ran so exceedingly high, that our consort, the Fanny cutter, was obliged to put back into harbour. Notwithstanding the sea had lulled, it blew a stiff breeze still, and the Crusader rolled and tossed upon the huge topling waves of the Atlantic in such a way, that I was again sick ; but having some little experience of what genuine sea-sickness really is, since crossing the Bay of Biscay, I managed to avoid much of the unpleasantness I then suffered, principally by the following means, which I would
strongly recommend to all landsmen. If
feel sickish, or know by experience that you will be sick, go to bed, close your eyes, and remain lying on your back, if possible without motion ; abstain from food, but not altogether; I would rather say, eat sparingly, and of some solid, such as a little broiled meat, or biscuit, as I have known most alarming consequences arise from 66 total abstinence,” to say nothing of the violent straining and fruitless retching it occasions. Drink sparingly of cold water, or brandy and water in sips, but taste no hot liquid of any kind. In keeping the eyes shut, I would remark, that the effect of vision and its sympathy with the stomach are not enough attended to; for though at rest in the berth, the swinging backwards and forwards, and motion of the vessel and things around, are often sufficient to produce what we so much wish to avoid. There is, however, one point at which emesis becomes inevitable—it is, when the mouth fills with saliva, and then the sooner it takes place the better.
We remained under the shelter of the island off Porto Santo all night, and the next day (Monday) bent our course once more towards Europe. After a storm comes a calm ; the wind fell off, and then what little remained became “ dead on end.”
Thursday. The wind has sunk into a perfect calm. Oh! the horrors of a calm—the rolling sluggish motion of the ocean—the flapping of the useless sails—the creaking of bulk-heads and
spars—the wailing of cordage, and the listless inactivity of all around. Not a ship—not a birda cloudless sky above, a sultry atmosphere around, and the glossy surface of the vasty deep beneath. The sailors lean over the vessel's side to watch if we make any way, or go occasionally aloft to try and catch the first view of a distant sail, or the rising of a cloud to windward ; and the master holds his cheek to the breathless air, or scans the horizon with his practised eye ; but nothing breaks the undulating mirror of the waters, except the gambol of a porpoise, or the “breaking” of a mackrel. Still there is a daily something to do. We breakfast at eight, walk or read, or watch the Portuguese men-of-war* coming up to stretch their thin blue sail to the sun till eleven; then all come upon deck, the master, mate, &c. to “take the sun,” and find what way we have made ; then examine the chart, and count progress ; strike the bell eight; men's dinner; starboard-watch set ; the men, if not required in working the vessel, are engaged in mending sails, splicing ropes, and such other naval employments. We dine at three; enjoy our cigar on deck ; watch the glories of the sunset ; speculate on the morrow's weather, and sup at seven, after which books, chess, and conversation end the day. But not every day. Satur
* A popular term applied by sailors not to the physalia, but to the velella limbosa.
day comes ; sweethearts and wives ; old Scottish Jem, the boatswain, tunes his fiddle, and the doctor, (ship’s cook,) produces his tambourine ; the men dance on deck, and the forecastle sounds with many a song of “ Nelson and Benbow.” Dibdin's beauties, too, call forth a chorus; toasts go round, and many a “Black-eyed Susan,” or girl at “the back of the Point,” is remembered in our “march
the mountain-wave.” We are nearing the shores of Africa, and spanking breeze is driving us along; it freshens into a gale, and on the night of the 4th of December we had a squall of several hours' duration. The morning found us within sight of Tangier, the wind cold, and the prospect dreary.
December 5th. We entered the straits, and shortly after anchored in the bay of Gibraltar. The rain has fallen in torrents all the early part of the day, and a misty cloud hangs over this great artificial volcano.
With a first view of the rock I was more astonished than pleased. Fancy a huge mass, several hundred feet high, in form resembling a lion couchant, connected tail-ward to the main land by a narrow strip of sand, that rises but a few feet from the level of the water. On this side the rock is perfectly perpendicular, and studded with apertures from the galleries.
Tier after tier of guns point from endless batteries along the water's edge. Above these, peeps the