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Many of the passengers were sea sick, but to the great astonishment of all, the whole of us escaped it and were totally free from the slightest symptoms of its approach ; this we attribute to be caused by the abstemious mode of living we adopted at sea. We here beg to suggest to all those, who wish to escape the unpleasant effects of sea sickness, to refrain from taking any wine or spirits, and to be moderate in their meals for the first few days, as we have found it of advantage in keeping our health, though out of us five, only one of our attendants had been to sea before.
On the fourth of April we saw the land about Cannanore, from which place we had to take some soldiers and a young officer of the Army as passengers in the ship ; in the morning of the following day we came into the Bay of Cannanore, which is said to be the best on the coast of Malabar.
The Town is defended by a fortress, and has, we were informed, some very good houses. As our ship was expected to leave the place in a few hours none of the passengers went on shore ; we saw some very neat bungalows belonging to the English, close to the beach with gardens surrounding them.
A boat was sent on shore with the second officer and the purser, with whom we had the opportunity of sending some letters to Bombay by the post.
Soon after the ship entered the Bay we were surrounded by the natives, who came with their canoes loaded with all sorts of fruit, cocoa nuts, and vegetables, which was very acceptable to us, and we purchased them with great eagerness. The boat returned in the afternoon with the passengers, and we once more made for sea.
We had to take some more passengers from Cochin, as well as our living stock, such as fowls, geese, &c., with which the coast of Malabar abounds; we sailed along the coast keeping it in view all the time. The coast between Cannanore and Cochin, is of uniform height and thickly covered with cocoa nut trees, and had altogether a very beautiful appearance.
On the morning of the tenth of April we reached Cochin, there were several small vessels in the harbour and the steamer “ Semiramis,” belonging to the Honourable Company. Apprehensions were entertained about her safety at Bombay when we left, because she had been more than three months on her passage from England, but we here understood that she was detained at many places on her way to take in fresh supplies of coals.
We did not come to anchor at this place, because we expected to start again in the evening; the captain fired guns to warn the passengers on shore of his arrival, in order that they might come on board during the day. Here the ship was
again hemmed in by the native canoes, containing great quantity of fruit and vegetables, in addition to which they had brought numerous parrots, and mungooses, which the sailors were very desirous to buy, and to take them to their friends as the living curiosities of this side of India, and such was the bustle and noise which prevailed in making the bargains, and so many of the crew were willing to purchase the birds, that a momentary suspension of their duties took place, and the accommodation of the ship's company was likely to become a menagerie of birds, but the Captain issued peremptory orders for the owners to leave the ship.
After breakfast we took a small canoe and went on shore; we immediately repaired to the house of a Parsee, who was a merchant and had a building yard of his own; we were very handsomely treated by his domestics, and though he was not at home, he left orders always to shew hospitality to any one of his own caste, who may happen to come there. Having taken dinner we went to our host's dock-yard to pay our respects to him and to thank him for his hospitality, but to our great regret he was not there. The town of Cochin is not very extensive and from its proximity to the Teak wood forests many building yards have been established by private individuals, and some very good ships have been built here. Cochin was ceded to the British, in the year 1814,
by the Dutch, who captured it from the Portuguese. We saw some ruins of buildings which formerly must have had an air of grandeur. Dutch, Portuguese and Jews are to be found in great numbers here. The trade is considerable in Sandal wood, Cardamums, Pepper, Cocoa nut, and Teak wood, and ample supplies of poultry can be procured at a very cheap rate, consequently ships bound for long voyages take their living stock at this place. Fowls are procurable at two rupees a dozen. Ducks three rupees per dozen. Geese from two to two rupees and a half a couple, and Turkies from two rupees and a half to three rupees a couple.
The streets in the Town are very irregular, and the houses have a very indifferent external appearance, though many of them are commodious within.
At four in the afternoon we came to the landing place, and we saw the ship's boat, with the second mate and the purser loaded with poultry, return to the ship; they advised us to follow them as soon as possible as the ship was waiting for them.
It was more than half an hour before we could procure a boat to carry us, all of them being employed in conveying coals to the steamer ; however we succeeded in getting a miserable small craft, with two men to row her; we began to be very apprehensive that the ship would have to
wait for us, but our boatmen pledged themselves to take us on board in an hour.
The canoe, as these crafts are called, was an indifferent one; they are scooped out of a solid log of wood, and are round bottomed so that the least overbalance will upset it; there were two men on the oars and one at the rudder, the wind was blowing fresh, and tide against us, so that they had hard work to pull the canoe. The sea was very high and the boat was tossed about a great deal, and we were very much frightened, and were in danger of upsetting, however we persevered in keeping our balance and in an hour reached the ship. The passengers being all on board the Captain was anxious to avail himself of the fresh breeze, and we set sail, but within an hour it was ascertained that nearly a third part of the live stock, which came on board, was dead from the effects of the salt water and by the tossing about of the gig while coming to the ship. We were consequently forced to put back for the place, and cast anchor in the road on account of a heavy squall that came on. Early next morning the gig was sent ashore with the purser and second officer to procure a further supply, and they returned to the ship at three in the afternoon. By this time the Semiramis having taken in all her coals, got her steam up and weighed anchor to leave for Bombay; she spoke to us as she passed by and we had the satisfac