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labour, is lost; for it is no easy matter to arrest the progress of a craft when once the stream has caught her. The number of trackers varies with the size of the craft, but is generally very inadequate to the work to be performed.
The shape of this boat is little to be altered in its adaptation for the peculiarities of the Indus: the fault lies in its exceedingly fragile construction; and were it intended to increase the number of sailing craft on the Indus, the Dúndi, of more durable materials, might well be adhered to. But the form is the only portion to be commended; the whole detail is rude, and inadequate beyond measure, and consequently its advantages in one respect are more than counterbalanced by the deficiencies in the other.
There is another description of boat peculiar to the Suttledge, called the Zoruck, but it is frequently found in the Indus and lower stream. It differs from the Dúndi in having no elevation at the stern, is rounded off a little fore and aft, but does not taper in at those points, like the Sindh boat. It is, if possible, more fragile than the other in its fastenings, which consist of small iron cleats outside; and it is no unusual occurrence with both to lose a piece out of their sides or flat bottoms, and thus go down at once. The smaller fishing, ferry, and other craft, in Sindh, of which there are several kinds, such as the Kowtil, Kuggur, &c., partake much of the same general cha
racter as those described. In floating down the stream the mast of the boat is lowered, and the direction, as well as accelerated speed, is given by two large oars, placed immediately in the centre of the stern, and worked backwards and forwards by two or more men, according to the size of the craft. A boat will make about sixty miles per day with the stream; but, as in the Ganges, in no case is it possible to progress on the Indus during the night. After sunset the most favourable situation for fastening to the bank is sought, the day's meal is cooked, and all progress suspended, until the following morning. A strong contrast is afforded in this respect between the Indian rivers and the Nile. In the latter steamers even can fly down its stream at any hour of the night or day, and the river is at all times crowded with craft under sail. The boats in the Indus are scantily manned; and for tracking, if extra hands are required, they are hired from village to village for a very small remuneration, labour being very cheap throughout the country. The rate paid for boats is six rupees per khina, from the mouths of the Indus to Bukkur.
The jumptis, or state-barges, of the Amirs formed an exception to the rest of the river craft: these were immensely long (some as much as 120 feet), strong-built boats of teak, having pavilions at either extremity, in the foremost of which the princes reclined when they visited the hunting preserves.
The jumptis had two masts, or were propelled by six enormous oars on a side, requiring about twenty men to each; the decks were crowded with retainers, in many-coloured floating vests, and the pavilions covered with scarlet cloth, flags also streaming from the stern. The steersman, or pilot, occupied a prominent position on the top of the sternmost pavilion, and was on these occasions a most important personage. The jumpti was peculiarly characteristic of Sindh and its rulers, and the effect of these crowded floating pavilions, as seen amongst the dark foliage of the hunting preserves, stemming the stream with a stiff breeze, or tracking against it by the labour of some hundreds of retainers, was most picturesque and enlivening to the general monotony of an Indus scene.
Teak is occasionally used to construct the larger river boats for stowage, but it is too expensive for general purposes. Boat-building for large craft is carried on at the ports, and in the Delta, but otherwise it may be seen in progress at many of the towns on the river: the number of craft is scanty in comparison with the extent of navigation,
Length of Voyages by Native Craft. - Southerly Winds.Experimental Steam Trip up the Narrah.-Voyage during Northerly Winds. -Impracticability of Native Method of Navigation. - Fuel for Steamers.- Features of River. —
Delta.-Tattah and Hyderabad.-Arrul and Narrah Branches. -Appreciation of River by Natives.-Water as a Beverage. -Seaports.-Karrachi.—Sea-boats.-Ports in Delta, Higher Indus, and its Tributaries.
A VOYAGE from Tattah to Sukkur by native craft is thus accomplished, if during the monsoon or months of inundation, i. e. from April to September, the southerly winds which prevail for that period assist a boat almost to Sehwun without much tracking; but these breezes must not be too strong, for in such case the craft seeks some sheltered nook amongst the jungle or under the lee of a bank during the day-being unable to stand the pressure of the wind against the stream—and there awaits its moderating, which generally takes place towards the following morning. The tracking paths being lost as the dense jungle comes down to the very edge of the river, progress is sometimes very slow, and the above distance often occupies from fifteen to twenty days: above Sehwun the boatmen quit the main stream, and pursue the circuitous course of the Narrah, passing through the centre of the lake
Munchur: this nearly doubles the distance, but the fierce torrent of the main river is avoided, and time as well as labour are saved, by having only to track against the comparatively sluggish stream of the Narrah alluded to. The southerly winds here are very partial, and render uncertain assistance, for their force is diminished visibly, and sometimes completely lost, after turning the barrier of Sehwun. The banks of the Narrah being open and cultivated, there are great advantages in the facilities it affords for tracking: a boat here will sometimes make from fourteen to fifteen miles a day; but time with the Sindhian Monana is of very minor importance, and, if left to himself, he would consider he was progressing rapidly at half the above rate. From Sehwun to Sukkur occupies about twenty days; and thus the whole distance from Tattah to the latter place consumes from thirty-five to forty days. An experimental steamer was on one occasion, at the season described, sent up the Narrah river and across the lake Munchur, and was so far successful, that it established the fact that a boat adapted to the purpose could make this passage in about eighty hours' steaming, or one half the time consumed on the main stream during the floods. The title Narrah signifies snake, and is expressive of the tortuous channel of this great branch of the Indus. The whole estimated distance is 280 miles (about double that of the main stream, from exit to entrance); but the average velocity of current being