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waves in succession rose above the visible horizon-hence they must have been more than thirty feet waves. He also observed that the waves no longer ran in long ridges, but presented more the form of cones of moderate elongation.

Having so far satisfied himself as to the height of Atlantic waves in a gale of wind (the Professor's estimate must not be taken as the measurement of the highest known waves, but simply as that of a rough Atlantic sea), he directed his attention to minuter and more difficult observations. He determined to measure the period of time occupied by the regular waves in overtaking the ship, their width from crest to crest, and the rate of their travelling. The first point to be known was the speed of the ship; this he ascertained to be nine knots. His next object was to note her course in reference to the direction of the waves. He found that the true course of the vessel was east, and that the waves came from the west-north-west, so that they passed under the vessel at a considerable angle. The length of the ship was stated to be two hundred and twenty feet. Provided with this information the Professor renewed his observations. He proceeded to count the seconds the crest of the wave took to travel from stern to stem of the vessel; these he ascertained to be six. He then counted the time which intervened between the moment when one crest touched the stern of the vessel, and the next touched it, and he found the average interval to be sixteen seconds and a fraction. These results gave him at once the width between crest and crest. As the crest travelled two hundred and twenty feet (or the length of the vessel) in six seconds, and sixteen seconds elapsed before the next crest touched the stern, it was clear tha the wave was nearly three times the length of the vessel; to write accu

rately, there was a distance of six hundred and five feet from crest to crest.

The Professor did not forget that the oblique course of the ship elongated her line over the waves; this elongation he estimated at forty-five feet, reducing the probable average distance between crest and crest to five hundred and fifty-nine feet.

Being quite satisfied with the result of this experiment, the hardy Professor, still balancing himself on his giddy height, to the wonder and amusement of the sailors, found that the calculations he had already made did not give him the actual velocity of the waves. A wave-crest certainly passed from stern to stem in six seconds, but then the ship was travelling in the same direction, at the rate of nine geographical miles per hour, or 15.2 feet per second; this rate the Professor added to the former measure, which gave 790 5 feet for the actual distance traversed by the wave in 16.5 seconds, being at the rate of 32-67 English miles per hour. This computation was afterwards compared with calculations made from totally different data by Mr. Scott Russell, and found to be quite correct.

With these facts the Professor scrambled from the larboard paddle-box of the Hibernia. He had also made some observations on the forms of waves. When the wind blows steadily from one point, they are generally regular; but when it is high and gusty, and shifts from point to point, the sea is broken up, and the waves take a more conical shape, and assume fantastical crests. While the sea ran high, the Professor observed now and then a ridge of waves extending from about a quarter to a third of a mile in length, forming, as it were, a rampart of water. This ridge was sometimes straight, and sometimes bent as of a crescent form, with the central mass of water higher than the rest,

and not unfrequently with two or three semi-elliptical mounds in diminishing series on either side of the highest peak.

When the wind had subsided, a few of the bolder passengers crawled upon deck in the oddest imaginable costumes. They had not much to encounter, for about a third part of the greater undulations averaged only twenty-four feet, from crest to hollow, in height. These higher waves could be seen and selected from the pigmy waves about them, at the distance of a quarter of a mile from the ship.

The Professor had been very unpopular on board while the stormy weather lasted, and the ladies had vowed that he was a sarcastic creature, who would have his little joke on the gravest calamities of life; but as the waves decreased in bulk, and the wind lulled, and the sun shone, and the men took off their oil-skin coats, and the cabin windows were opened, the frowns of the fair voyagers wore off. Perfect good will was general before the ship sighted Liverpool; and even the cook, as he prepared the last dinner for the passengers, was heard to declare (in confidence to one of the stokers) that, after all, there might be something worth knowing in the Professor's observations.

When the Professor landed at Liverpool, he would, on no account, suffer the carpet-bag, containing his calculations, to be taken out of his sight. Several inquisitive persons, however, made the best use of their own eyes, to ascertain the name of the extraordinary observer, and found it to be legibly inscribed with the well-known name of Scoresby.

That his investigations may be the more readily impressed on the reader's mind, we conclude with a summary of them. It would seem from Dr. Scoresby's intrepid investigations, that the highest waves of the Atlantic average in

Altitude

Mean Distance between each Wave 559
Width from Crest to Crest
Interval of time between each wave

Velocity of each Wave per hour

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43 feet

66

600

66

16 seconds

32 miles.

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IT

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