Scientific American Supplement, No. 421, January 26, 1884 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 108 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 421, January 26, 1884.

There are other smaller fishing boats, among which may be noticed the bateler, a powerful little vessel, 13 feet to 16 ft. long, about 51/2 ft. wide, and 2 ft. deep.  They are sailed by one man, set a good spread of canvas, and are fast and handy.  They are used for taking a species of cuttlefish which supplies a bait, and is caught by hook and line, the fishes being attracted by colored threads, at which they rush, when the hook will catch in their tentacles.  There is a small well in the middle of the boat for keeping the fish alive.  None of the boats on the northern coast of Spain carry ballast.  They have flat hollow floors, and set a large area of of canvas on a shallow draught.  Lobster fishing is pursued in much the same manner as in England, but often four or five miles from land, and in very deep water.

One of the most noticeable objects in the Spanish court was a full-sized boat about 25 ft. long, which had a square hole cut in the bottom amidships.  Through this hole was let down a glass frame in which was placed a powerful paraffine lamp.  The object of this was to attract the fish.  It is said that tunny will be drawn from a distance of over a hundred yards, and will follow the boat so that they may be enticed into the nets.  Sardines and other fish will follow the light in shoals.  It is claimed that the boat will be useful in diving operations, for pearl or coral fishing, or for ascertaining the direction of submarine currents, which can be seen at night by a lamp to a depth to 25 to 30 fathoms.—­Engineering.

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Montauk Point, Long Island, is the most isolated and desolate spot imaginable during this weather.  The frigid monotony of winter has settled down upon that region, and now it is haunted only by sea fowl.  The bleak, barren promontory whereon stands the light is swept clean of its summer dust by the violent raking of cold hurricanes across it, and coated with ice from the wind-dashed spume of the great breakers hurled against the narrow sand spit which makes the eastern terminus of the island.  The tall, white towered light and its black lantern, now writhing in frosty northern blizzards, and again shivering in easterly gales, now glistening with ice from the tempest tossed seas all about it, and now varnished with wreaths of fog, is the only habitation worthy of the name for many miles around.  Keeper Clark and his family and assistants are almost perpetually fenced in from the outside world by the cold weather, and have to hug closely the roaring fires that protect them in that desolation.

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Scientific American Supplement, No. 421, January 26, 1884 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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