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to some one of the chief thoroughfares of his trade. I accordingly set my eye on Cape St. Roque, in Brazil, which may be said to be the great turning-point of the commerce of the world. My intention was to make a dash, of a few days, at the enemy's ships on the south side of Cuba, coal at some convenient point, stretch over to Barbadoes, coal again, and then strike for the Brazilian coast. It is with this view, that the Sumter is now running for the narrow outlet, that issues from the Gulf of Mexico, between Cape Antonio, and the opposite coast of Yucatan. I shaped my course for the middle of this passage, but about midnight, made the light of Cape Antonio right ahead, showing that I had been drifted, northward, by a current setting, at the rate of from three fourths of a mile, to a mile per hour. We drew off a little to the southward, doubled the Cape, with the light still in view, and at nine o'clock, the next morning, we found ourselves off Cape Corrientes. The weather had n
t Chapman to town, in one of the ship's cutters, for the double purpose of arranging for a supply, and communicating with the Governor, on the subject of my prizes, and the position which Spain was likely to occupy, during the war. The following letter addressed by me to his Excellency will explain the object I had in view in coming into Cienfuegos, and the hopes I entertained of the conduct of Spain, whose important island of Cuba lay, as it were, athwart our main gateway to the sea—the Gulf of Mexico. Confederate States steamer Sumter, island of Cuba, July 6, 1861. Sir:—I have the honor to inform you, of my arrival at the port of Cienfuegos, with seven prizes of war. These vessels are the brigantines Cuba, The Cuba was hourly expected to arrive, but, as the reader has seen, was recaptured, and did not make her appearance. Machias, Ben. Dunning, Albert Adams, and Naiad; and barks West Wind, and Louisa Kilham, property of citizens of the United States, which States, as y
e process of this circulation, the warmth conveyed by the water to the basement, is taken thence by the air, and distributed all over the rooms. Now, to compare small things with great, we have, in the warm waters which are confined in the Gulf of Mexico, just such a heating apparatus for Great Britain, the North Atlantic, and Western Europe. The furnace is the torrid zone; the Mexican Gulf arid Caribbean Sea are the caldrons; the Gulf Stream is the conducting-pipe. From the Grand Banks of , but continues along the coasts of Spain and Portugal, thence along the coast of Africa, past Madeira and the Canaries, to the Cape de Verdes; where it joins the great equatorial current flowing westward, with which it returns again into the Gulf of Mexico. The Sumter, being between Madeira and the coast of Spain, was within its influence. One word before I part with my friend Maury. In common with thousands of mariners all over the world, I owe him a debt of gratitude, for his gigantic lab
to the Gulf Stream. The thick, rainy weather is almost as unerring a sign of the presence of this stream as the thermometer. The stream into which we have now passed is, literally, an immense salt-water river in the sea. Coming out of the Gulf of Mexico, it has brought the temperature of the tropics, all the way to the Banks of Newfoundland, in the latitude of 50° north, and it has run this distance between banks, or walls of cold water, on either side, parting with very little of its warmth, by the way. When it is recollected that this salt-water river in the sea is about three thousand times larger than the Mississippi River, that is to say, that it brings out of the Gulf of Mexico, three thousand times as much water, as that river empties into it, and that all this great body of water is carried up into the hyperborean regions of Newfoundland, at a temperature, even in mid-winter, ranging from 73 to 78 degrees, it will be seen at once what a powerful weather-breeder it must be.
to more congenial company and pursuits. Having finished our coaling, and made the other preparations necessary for sea, I dispatched my coal-ship, which had still another supply of coal left, to another rendezvous—the Areas islands, in the Gulf of Mexico, and gave the Yankee schooner leave to depart, telling the master to make a free sheet of it, and not let me catch him on the high seas, as it might not be so well for him a second time. He took me at my word, had all the sail on his little craft in the twinkling of an eye, and I question whether he stopped this side of Nantucket. My object; in running into the Gulf of Mexico, was to strike a blow at Banks' expedition, which was then fitting out for the invasion of Texas. This gentleman, who had been a prominent Massachusetts politician, but who had no sort of military talent, had risen to the surface with other scum, amid the bubbling and boiling of the Yankee caldron, and was appointed by Honest Abe to subjugate Texas. Banks
t for some days yet. It was now the 12th of December, and it was time for us to begin to think of running into the Gulf of Mexico, in pursuit of General Banks. Accordingly we put the ship under sail, and ran along down the island of Jamaica to thngs regular, and I felt my way around the Cape without the least difficulty, finding myself, the next morning, in the Gulf of Mexico, running off to the westward with a free wind. The water was of a chalky whiteness, a little tinged with green, rese success. I had not sighted a sail since leaving the west end of Jamaica, which could report me, and had entered the Gulf of Mexico, by night, unseen of any human eye, on the land or the sea. On the day after entering the Gulf, we did pass a solitarnia. What was best to be done in this changed condition of affairs? I certainly had not come all the way into the Gulf of Mexico, to fight five ships of war, the least of which was probably my equal. And yet, how could I very well run away, in t
atter is settled. The little by-play, in the Gulf of Mexico, related in the last chapter, being over, I dets, that the Gulf Stream, which flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, between the north coast of Cuba, and the Florian twice the quantity of water flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, than flows into it through this passage. Upon Dr. Franklin's theory, the Gulf of Mexico in a very short time would become dry ground. Nor can the Mississiticing, in this connection, that flows into the Gulf of Mexico, come to his relief, as we have seen that that river only empties into the Gulf of Mexico, about one three thousandth part as much water, as the Gulf Stream under-current from the north, passing into the Gulf of Mexico, under the Gulf Stream, rising to the surface wng chase to a bark, whilst we were still in the Gulf of Mexico, we were quite amazed, as we came up with her, nds I had visited in the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, I had not had a holiday on shore, since leavin
e Mozambique Channel and by the Cape of Good Hope, was a south-westerly current. It being now a north-easterly current, he observes that it is running back whence it came, in an ellipse! We have seen, in a former part of this work, that the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic performs a circuit around the coasts of the United States, Newfoundland, the British Islands, the coasts of Spain and Portugal, the African coast, and so on, into the equatorial current, and thence back again to the Gulf of Mexico. From my observation of currents in various parts of the world, my impression is, that the circle or ellipse is their normal law. There are, of course, offshoots from one circle, or ellipse, to another, and thus a general intermingling of the waters of the earth is going on—but the normal rule for the guidance of the water, as of the wind, is the curve. As we approached the 40th parallel of latitude, my attention was again forcibly drawn to the phenomena of the winds. The Brave West
, as naturally as the African, and afterward the Hindoo, had given place to the Portuguese. Passing through the chain of islands which extends parallel with the Malabar coast for some distance, we stretched across the Arabian Sea in the direction of the east coast of Africa. We were now in the height of the season of the north-east monsoon, which was a fair wind for us, and the weather was as delightful as I have ever experienced it in any part of the globe—not even excepting our own Gulf of Mexico, and coasts of Alabama, and Florida, in the summer season. For twelve successive days, we did not have occasion to lower a studding sail, day or night! We had a constant series of clear skies, and gentle breezes. The nights were serene, and transparent, and the sunsets were magnificent beyond description. The trade wind is, par excellence, the wind of beautiful sunsets. Bright, gauzy clouds, float along lazily before it, and sometimes the most charming cumuli are piled up on the we
the fall of the Empire, but was finally released, and has since made his way to Europe, with important papers belonging to the late unfortunate monarch, and will no doubt give us a history of the important episode in Mexican affairs in which he took part. No other vessel offering, we were compelled to embark in a small Yankee schooner, still redolent of codfish, though wearing the English flag, to which she had recently been transferred. This little craft carried us safely across the Gulf of Mexico, after a passage of a week, and landed us at a sea-shore village, at the mouth of the Rio Grande, rejoicing in the dreamy eastern name of Bagdad. So unique was this little village, that I might have fancied it, as its name imported, really under the rule of Caliphs, but for certain signs of the Yankee which met my eye. The ubiquity of this people is marvellous. They scent their prey with the unerring instinct of the carrion-bird. I had encountered them all over the world, chasing the