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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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Table of Contents

C

CABIN to To CALK, or CAULK

CALL to CANNON

CANNON to CANOE

CANOE to To rig the CAPSTERN

Surge the CAPSTERN to CARPENTER of a ship

CARTEL to CATS-PAW

CAULKING to CHANNEL

CHANNELS to CHEARLY

CHEEKS of the mast to CLINCH

CLINCHER-WORK to COASTING-PILOT

COAT to COLLIERS

COLOURS to COMPASS

COMPASSING to COVE

COUNTER to CRAWL

CREEPER to CROW-FOOT

CROWNING to CUT-WATER
CROWNING
CRUISE
CUDDY
CUNNING
CURRENT
CUTTER
CUTTING-DOWN LINE
CUT-WATER


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CURRENT

CURRENT, (courans, Fr. currens, Lat.) in navigation, a certain progressive movement of the water of the sea, by which all bodies floating therein are compelled to alter their course, or velocity, or both, and submit to the laws imposed on them by the current.

In the sea, currents are either natural and general, as arising from the diurnal rotation of the earth about it's axis; or accidental and particular, caused by the waters being driven against promontories7 or into gulfs and streights; where, wanting room to spread, they are driven back, and thus disturb the ordinary flux of the sea.

" Currents are various, and directed towards different parts of the ocean, of which some are constant, and others periodical. The most extraordinary current of the sea is that by which part of the Atlantic or African ocean moves about Guinea from Cape Verd towards the curvature or bay of Africa, which they call Fernando Poo, viz. from west to east, contrary to the general motion. And such is the force of this current, that when ships approach too near the shore, it carries them violently towards that bay, and deceives the mariners in their reckoning.

" There is a great variety of shifting currents, which do not last, but return at certain periods; and these do, most of them, depend upon, and follow the anniversary winds or monsoons, which by blowing in one place may cause a current in another.

" At Java, in the streights of Sunda, when the monsoons blow from the west, viz. in the month of May, the currents let to the eastward, contrary to the general motion.

"Also between the island of Celebes and Madura, when the western monsoons let in, viz. in December, January, and February, or when the winds blow from the N. W. or between the north and west, the currents let to the S. E. or between the south and east.

"At Ceylon, from the middle of March to October, the currents let to the southward, and in the other parts of the year to the northward; because at this time the southern monsoons blow, and at the other, the northern.

" Between Cochin-China and Malacca, when the western monsoons blow, viz. from April to Auguft, the currents set eastward against the general motion, but the rest of the year set westward; the monsoon conspiring with the general motion. They run so strongly in these seas, that unexperienced sailors mistake them for waves that beat upon the rocks known by the name of breakers.


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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 91, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-refs-falc-0400