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inch iron, and being about seven inches in length.
These cables have to undergo a very severe
process of testing, each link, before it is made
use of for mooring purposes, having to bear a
strain equal to a weight of thirty tons. Each
vessel is supplied with about two hundred and
ten fathoms, a quarter of a mile or so, of this
cable. Those which are moored in very deep
water have as much more as the depth of water
renders necessary. It is by the skilful management
of the cable that a light-ship is enabled to
ride out the fiercest storm in safety. In smooth
weather they have only a short cable out, but
when it is rough and the billows run high, they
let out sufficient chain to enable her to mount
up to the very top of the great waves. She
is never allowed to go to the extreme length
of her tether; as she rises she takes as much
chain as she wants, still leaving a quantity on
the ground, whereby she seldom jerks at the
anchor, or has a tight strain on the cable. The
constant rise and fall of the cable, and the
swinging of the vessel round with the tide, often
occasion strange combinations, and the great
chains have been known to tie themselves in
knots, or to do themselves up in such tangled
bunches, that it was with great difficulty they
were disentangled, the latter operation having
to be generally performed by means of sledge-
hammers and anvils.

Some readers perhaps wonder how the lights
are maintained bright and clear on very stormy
nights, and why the rolling and plunging of
the vessel does not upset all the lighting
arrangements. It is managed in this way. The
lantern is made to surround the mast so as to
show light all round; it is hoisted up at night,
but is lowered on to the deck in the daytime.
Inside the lantern is a circular framework, on
to which are fitted a number of argand lamps
with reflectors behind; each lamp and each
reflector swings by means of gimbal work, so
that however much the ship may lurch or roll
the lamps and reflectors are kept perpendicular
by their own weight. This apparatus requires
a good deal of attention to keep it always in
easy working condition, more especially when
the vessel has revolving lights with clockwork
machinery to turn them.

It is the business of the crew to keep good
lights burning; to work (with a windlass) the
cable in and out as occasion may require; to
fire warning signals if they see a vessel standing
into danger, and distress signals if assistance
is wanted from shore; in fact to make
themselves as serviceable as they can to passing
ships. The whole crew is composed of
eleven men; a master, a mate, three lamp-
lighters, and six seamen; but of these, four
are always on shore in turn, so that seven men
only are on board at one time; the master and
mate have alternate months afloat and ashore,
the rest of the crew have two months afloat
and one month ashore. At the beginning of
each month the Trinity steamers go out with
numbers of unhappy-looking men who are going
to be left at sea for two months, and return with
much merrier crews who are about to have
their month ashore. These latter often come
back laden with toys, boots, &c., which they
have made in their spare time on board the
light-ship, which articles they sell on shore.

It is no joke being on board a light-ship in
rough weather. Here is a melancholy incident
which occurred a few years since. Two seamen
of the light-vessel in Morecambe Bay had the
watch one terrific night; one had gone below
for a moment or two, and while there he felt a
tremendous sea strike the ship; he made his
way up again, but his comrade was not to be
seen: he had no doubt been caught up by the
furious sea and carried overboard. Another
huge wave presently broke over the ship, and
this time seized and carried off the remaining
seaman. The officer in charge, in pursuance
of the regulation requiring him to go up
frequently on deck in rough weather to see that
all was right, went on deck and missed the two
men who had the watch. He saw the state of
the weather and feared something dreadful had
happened, and then he took the watch upon
himself, bravely lashing himself with a rope to
the mast. The great waves dashed over the
vessel, but still he remained faithful to his duty.
Meanwhile the light burned bright and clear,
and in spite of the fury of the storm flashed
across the troubled waters, faithfully fulfilling
its beneficent purpose.

Some stations are more comfortable than
others; several of those at the mouth of the
Thames are what the sailors would call
tolerably snug berths; the Nore, for instance, is
very much to be preferred to the Galloper,
which is twenty-two miles off the Essex coast,
or the Outer Dowsing off the Lincolnshire
coast, which is still further out to sea. At
every station with bad weather they have
plenty of tossing about, but at the Galloper
the sea always appears to be "lumpy;" a
quick succession of nasty short waves keep the
vessel in a continual state of jumping. At the
Outer Dowsing they get the full benefit of the
North Sea, and are very seldom quiet. Then
there is the Seven Stones light-ship moored
in forty fathoms water off the Scilly Islands.
Here they experience unusually heavy seas;
the vessel has to ride over great rollers from
the Atlantic, which in rough weather run almost
mountains high. The special dangers of this
station have made it necessary that a crew of
eighteen men should be attached to her, eleven
of whom are always on board. She is also
provided with an extra allowance of chain cable,
and has been known to have out as much as
three hundred fathoms so that she might ride
safely over the gigantic waves.

The crews of the light-ships are occasionally
honoured by visitors. The Trinity yacht, with
some of the members of the Trinity Board,
sometimes unexpectedly appears, and an
inspection is made of the condition of the vessel.
Woe to the officer in charge if any sign of
neglect shows itself: the severe displeasure of
the board will be visited on him. But, creditable
alike to the vigilance of the members of
the board and to the esprit de corps of the
men in the service there is seldom occasion
to find fault. Sometimes the lightsmen have