Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/118

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by far the largest, and ending on the north in the Saddle Group, North Saddle Island being in the same latitude as the low-lying and rounded corner of Yangtse Cape. The most westward group is comprised by the Volcano Islands, which lie approximately due south from Yangtse Cape and about midway across the mouth of the bay. We shall presently refer to this group as one of the places at which definite observations of changing water-level have been made in studying the birth of the bore. Westward of this meridian the bay shoals quite rapidly in the southern half, and at times of low water, west of 121½° longitude (east of Greenwich) the mud drys for two miles from the southern embankment. It was off the northeast corner of this extensive "flat" that H. B. M. ship Kite was lost.

But the most marked shoaling and constriction in the figure of Hangchow Bay has yet to be noted. As already stated, at Chapu the bay is about eighteen miles wide. From this point inward the general direction of the bay is southwesterly and safe navigation ends near Rambler Island, which is about eleven miles from Chapu. Here the width of the bay for water over six feet deep has narrowed to less than five miles, and from here on inward for quite a distance the whole estuary, with the exception of a very narrow region near the northern bank, is a sandy shoal. Between Rambler Island and Haining is a range of hills forming a promontory that extends well out, making the general direction of the bay take a quarter turn and bringing it to the northwestward. On this promontory is the town of Kanpu, and a little beyond the projecting point of land and well out in the middle of the channel is a group of low tide-washed islands. Just at the western end of this turn in the northern shore is a sharp indentation, protected by a good-sized hill, which forms Bore Shelter Bay. It is at these flats and along the meridian of this hill that an observer at the Haining Pagoda gets his first glimpse of the bore.

On account of the regular recurrence of the bore, junks going from Chapu road to Hangchow take three days, and shelter first in Bore Shelter Bay and second at Haining platform. Boats drawing over three feet can not be used. The return from Hangchow to Chapu road can not be safely accomplished under three tides in any boat. Thus in spite of being situated on the main tributary of the bay of the same name, the city of Hangchow, the capital of the rich and populous province of Chekiang, the center of a great silk-producing district and of the manufacture of the best silks, being the sole source of the silk fabrics supplied to the Imperial household, and a great center of Chinese culture and literature, has practically no direct connection with the sea. There is a small canal connecting it with Haining, but practically its whole export trade passes through Shanghai