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men to conceal himself till the new shell, which is soft and tender in the first instance, becomes firm, hard, and capable of resistance; he then sallies forth fearlessly to gratify his voracity by seizing all the prey that may come within his reach. The discarded shell is comparatively so small, when contrasted with the newly equipped animal, that it seems quite wonderful how the former could have ever contained the latter; but in lobsters of only one year old it is presumed that the growth is rapid immediately on the old shell being discarded, and continues so long as the new exterior remains tender, which is thought to be about from two to three days; and this may explain the sudden difference of size. As lobsters are very pugnacious, they frequently have their claws broken off in their conflicts; but, singular to state, nature very soon repairs this damage, as a new claw grows from the__old joint, but never, although perfect in other respects, attains the length or size of the old one. The precise place of the fracture is very discernible.
SEITH AND LEITH FISHING,
.WITH KOD AND LINE, WITH WHITE FLY, BY NIGHT, IN THE SOUND OP JURA.
At the northern end of the Sound of Jura, which is about eight or nine miles in breadth and twelve in length, there is a small rocky island, lying north and south, nearly midway between Jura and the south-eastern part of North Knapdale, and about five miles from Crinan, in the immediate vicinity of which there is excellent rod fishing, for seith and leith, during the months of May, June, and July, whenever the weather may be favourable. May and June are, however, the best months, as the seith and leith occasionally, during the month of July, desert their usual places of resort in quest of the young herring. This sport commences about ten minutes after sunset; and if the moon be at the full, or thereabouts, and the night fine and calm, may be carried on till eleven o'clock, and sometimes as late as even twelve; and be recommenced at about two o'clock in the morning, and continued till about half an hour before sunrise, when the innumerable multitudes of fishes which have enlivened the surface of the water simultaneously disappear, and the sport ends.
The island in question is almost a barren rock, rising in the centre some twenty feet above the surface of the water. The sides, in many parts, slope down to the water's edge; thus affording an easy access to small boats, especially as the sea is perfectly calm at the sides, the current being diverted by the opposing ends of the island, as the tide flows north and south, flowing to the north, and ebbing southwards. The upper part of the rock is rough, rugged, and uneven, with a few straggling tufts of grass here and there, intersected by hollow spaces holding water. This spot is the resort of innumerable sea swallows and sea gulls. The former, which are not visible during the winter months, make their appearance in this vicinity on the 15th of May; and as they commence breeding in June, and select islands of this description for the purpose, their eggs may be found in great abundance, two or three together, in any small cavity on the surface of the rock, without scarcely any semblance of a nest. The eggs are about the size of the golden plover's egg, and somewhat similar in appearance, although not so uniform and regular in size and colour. When boiled hard, they are almost, if not quite, as good to eat. I have sometimes found on two small islands as many as 200 in one day, and as many more after an interval of four or five days.
The island of which I have commenced the description as the scene of piscatorial operations is about 150 yards in length, and from 25 to 30 in breadth. From its tortuous and irregular construction, it forms several small nooks or bays at the sides, excellent for boat fishing with rods, in addition to the tranquil spots between the currents at each end of the island. As in the immediate current, at the moment of either the tide's flux or reflux, two men can scarcely row against the stream, and at the very highest tide I question whether even four men could do so, it is essentially necessary, even in the very finest weather, to have two skilful and powerful rowers to keep your boat whilst you are fishing within the intermediate spaces, in the centre of which there is scarcely any current; but which commences, and gradually increases, as you approach the sides. And as these spots, from the narrowness of the island, are necessarily small, both skill and strength are requisite to keep your boat within the prescribed limits; but in proportion as the tide rises or falls, the current becomes less violent, and about half-tide is the most favourable time for sport.
At each end of the island, opposite those parts which stem the tide and occasion its precipitate divergence on each side, are the most favourite spots. These, from the narrowness of the island, are small; but, when fish are abundant, they afford sufficient space for the successful operation of three or four boats, as the fish, when well disposed to take the fly, do not appear to be in the slightest degree alarmed at any number of boats, but continue playing on the surface close to the boats on all sides, in the midst of all the hostile movements against them.
At half a mile distance from this island there is another equally favourite spot, of a couple of acres in extent, more or less, where there is a perfect calm between two powerful currents, the cause, which is not immediately perceptible, being a reef of rocks, concealed beneath the surface, and only discernible at low tide. It is rather a singular sight to witness a dead calm out in the open sea, with a violent tide on either side carrying everything before it; and when one approaches this tranquil, mirror-like, glassy surface, for the first time, ascending through the opposing current, it is not without a secret and uncontrollable emotion of dread, so treacherous and unnatural is its appearance. The violence and the strength of the tide in the Sound of Jura is readily explained by the narrowness of the channel, and the fact of its waters being influenced by the weight and pressure of the vast Atlantic Ocean. In like manner, in the German and the English Ocean the tide is found to be strongest in those places which are narrowest; a