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Comte de Gabalis [1913], at


WWThe following document is "278 of 1912" in the records of the British Government Observatory at Bombay, India.

"At 7.30 p.m. on the 17th February, 1912, in Lat. 23° 37´ 01, Long. 67° 20´, E., 19 miles off the nearest point of land on the Kutch Coast, also 127 miles N.W. of the town of Dwarka, on the Kahiawar Coast, the weather at the time being very fine with a clear and cloudless sky, full of stars, sea smooth, wind moderate, breeze from N.W., the ship steaming 9 knots and perfectly steady: we steamed into the most curious and weird atmospheric phenomena it has been my lot to see in all my forty years' experience of a sea life.

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As we approached it, it had the appearance of breakers on a low beach, but when we got into it, at first it looked like flashes of light (not bright) coming from all directions in quick time. After some few minutes of this, the flashes assumed a lengthened shape, following quickly one after the other from the North, and these continued for some minutes, steadily veering to the East and South and to S.W. into N.W. All the time this was going on, the surface of the sea appeared to be violently agitated, at times very high seas as if they would completely engulf the ship; the imagined waves always going in the same direction as the waves of light, and, at the time, the waves of light were from opposite directions. At the same time the sea appeared like a boiling pot, giving one a most curious feeling, the ship being perfectly still, and expecting her to lurch and roll every instant.

It turned me dizzy watching the moving flashes of light, so that I had to close my eyes from time to time. We were steaming in this for twenty minutes and then passed out of it, the same appearance on leaving it as we saw approaching it, as of breakers on a low beach, and for twenty minutes everything around assumed its normal condition, a beautiful fine, clear and cloudless night.

At the end of this time we again saw the same thing ahead of the ship, and in a few minutes were fairly amongst it again, but if anything slightly worse, the

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waves of light acting in precisely a similar manner, this second lot lasting about fifteen minutes; when we again steamed out of it and saw nothing any more all the night until our arrival off Karachi at 2.30 a.m. on the 18th. When the flashes of light passed over, the sea appeared just for that instant of time to be full of jelly fish, but I do not think there were any about. I have seen the white water many times in this Arabian Sea, but this did not appear like that in any way. It gave one the idea of the cinematograph without the brightness, the flashes being so quick in their movements."

(Signed) H. BRADLEY,

Master of S.S. "Ariosto," Wilson Line.

In a letter addressed to the Dire6tor of the Astronomical Department of the Government Observatory at Bombay, Captain Bradley affirms that the above is "certainly as plain a statement of what occurred as I am able to give, the barometer 30.154, thermometer attached 76 in ship's saloon. Thermometers on bridge in wood case, dry bulb 75 and wet bulb 71. At noon ship's barometer in chart room 29.81, thermometer attached 76. When before mentioned barometer 30.142 att., ther. 78. These instruments belong to the Meteorological Office, LONDON, for whom I have the honour of keeping a log on my voyage, and to whom I am sending a copy of this paper. The ship's barometer is an aneroid, the office barometer a Mercurial

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one. The ship's is 33 feet above the waterline, and the other 20 feet."

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