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Extract of a Despatch from Colonel Wakefield,the Company's Principal Agent in New Zealand, dated on board the Tory, Teawaiti, Queen Charlotte's Sound, Cook's Straits, September 1, 1839.
MY last letter, and the only one I have had an opportunity of sending since we left England, was dated June the 3rd, and was shortly to inform the Company of the safe progress of the expedition, nearly to the Equator. The hope I expressed therein of reaching New Zealand within a hundred days from England has been realised, and I have now the pleasure to inform you, for the information of the Governor and Directors of the Company, that having first sighted the land near Cape Farewell yesterday (16th August) at noon, being the 96th day from Plymouth, we anchored this evening in this harbour, (Ship Cove, Queen Charlotte's Sound.) Our passage has been made without touching anywhere, and, indeed, (if I except a very distant glimpse of the mountains in the Island of Palma, one of the Canaries),without our having seen land since the Lizard.
Having had the benefit of the opinions and experience ofan excellent navigator in Captain Chaffers, I venture in this place to offer briefly the result of my observation on the voyage, with the hope that, should the suggestions founded on it be thought likely to be useful to emigrants, the commanders of the Company's ships may be instructed to give their attention to them; and for so invading the province of the navigator, I would plead, that although the voyage across the North Atlantic nowadays may have, as Humboldt observes, fewer dangers than the passage of a Swiss lake, still it may be doubted whether the published accounts have laid down the course best calculated to ensure the least delay in accomplishing it; still more is it allowable to offer some practical remarks on the navigation of
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VOYAGE OF THE TORY TO NEW ZEALAND.
the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, for which no book of sailing directions, farther than to the Cape of Good Hope, exists,--and on the best way of reaching New Zealand, hitherto but little known, except to masters of whale ships, who seldom think of communicating the results of their experience.
It is the custom of vessels bound round the Cape of Good Hope to cross the Line in between 18 deg. and 22 deg. of west longitude, by pursuing which track it is supposed that they are most likely to avoid, on one hand the calms which prevail near the coast of Africa, and on the other the currents which set towards the dangerous shores of South America, near Cape San Roque; and by this plan a passage to the Line in forty days is considered good for a merchant-vessel. I would advise, that in running down the north-east trade, more westing should be made, so that the Line should be crossed in 26 deg. or 27 deg. west, by which means one is almost certain to find the south-east trade in 4 deg. or 5 deg. north, or almost as soon as the north-east trade fails, and to ensure a favourable wind down the coast of America, should it be the intention to put in at Rio, from whence, during the greater part of the year, a westerly wind blows towards the great connecting current and the Cape of Good Hope.
By pursuing this course, we reached the Line in twenty-six days, being but two days in the variables; and after quitting the south-east trade in 20 deg. south, might have been at Rio in a week, or in six weeks from England; or, had we been set to the westward, near Penedo de San Pedro, we had an excellent harbour for refuge, provisions, &c., under our lee in Bahia. I conclude that every emigrant ship to New Zealand will put in at one port, at least, on her way out. It is, in my opinion, absolutely requisite that the emigrants, in order to arrive out comfortably and satisfied, should (particularly where there are women and children), have a few days to procure fresh provisions, have their clothes washed, and break the monotony of so long a voyage; and I mention Rio as a desirable port for such purposes, as well as that by making it no time would be lost, as a vessel must go further south to be sure of finding a
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favourable wind, to run down her easting to the Cape. It has also the advantages of being a cheap place, whereas Cape Town, inaccessible by means of Table Bay, during the winter months, is now one of the dearest places in the world. Much time would also be lost by refreshing at the Cape, from its being necessary to wait for a wind to get a good offing from Lagulhas Bank, when coming to the east-ward.
After doubling the Cape, the usual course of the Indian ships in the parallel of 40 deg. seems to be the best, till reaching the meridian of the Islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam, after which it is necessary, (unless it is intended to go through Bass' Straits), to bear away gradually to the south. In this place I may remark that we sailed nearly over the spot where the Telemachus rock is laid down in the charts, off Cape Lagulhas, and the existence of which has been considered doubtful, since Captain Hanner in H. M. ship Heron, sought in vain for it during some days. We kept a good look out, but could find no signs of rock or shoal in the neighbourhood.
Vessels proceeding to the northern parts of New Zealand may continue in the parallel of 40 deg., which runs through Bass' Straits; but the prevalence of strong south-west, and south-south-west winds on the coast of Van Dieman's Land, during more than nine months of the twelve, renders it advisable for such as would make Cook's Strait to run as far south as 45 deg.; when after doubling the south-west cape of Van Dieman's Land, they will bear up direct for Cape Farewell.
On making the land a little to the south of Cape Farewell, the chain of Alps running down the centre of the Southern Island, capped with snow, is the most prominent feature. The land, however, near the coast is very high, gradually lowering towards the Strait. And about forty miles south-west of Cape Farewell is a most remarkable white cliff, or oblique fissure, perhaps the opening of a harbour, which presented to us, at twenty miles' distance,the appearance of a huge tail of white smoke as left behind by a steam-vessel under way. A spit of sand, on which is very shoal water, runs out twenty-five miles of Cape
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PASSAGE DOWN COOK'S STRAITS.
Farewell. We therefore stood to the north-east, and hove to for the night in the middle of the Strait, opposite Blind Bay, where the soundings are excellent at 45, 49, and 52 fathoms, deepening from the land. At day-break we made all sail, and stood on down the Strait, passing successively within ten miles of D'Urville's Island, Stephen's Isle, Admiralty Bay, Point Lambert, and Port Gore, bearing the appearance given in the accompanying sketches. The first appearance of the Southern Island is unpromising; a succession of apparently barren mountains stretching away from the coast till they reach those covered with snow in the interior; but, on nearing the land, you find that the whole is covered to the very highest points with timber and brushwood, which not till then betray their perpetual verdure. The Strait is extremely open and easy of access. Entry Island and the Highlands of Terrawaiti, with a volcanic mountain, emitting clouds of smoke, are plainly distinguished from Stephen's Island, but Mount Egmont has not been seen by us.
Passing Port Gore, Point Jackson, which divides that harbour from Queen Charlotte's Sound, has a reef of rocks partly out of water, partly sunken, running out from it two miles. Giving this a berth we entered between the headlands of the Sound, formed to the north-east by Cape Koemaroo; but the wind failing suddenly, and the tide setting at the rate of five miles an hour towards the reef, we were for a short time in doubt whether we could make our port. Just as we had resolved to stand off, a breeze sprung up, with which we ran in, and in an hour after entering the Bay, anchored in the mouth of Ship Cove; nightfall, a calm, and the ebb-tide preventing our taking up a berth at the bottom of it.
We came up the Sound between the Island of Motuara and Long Island, the sunken rock which Cook discovered in his last voyage in the passage between Motuara and the land to the north-west, not being precisely laid down. As we entered the Sound, we saw four canoes sailing from the north-west, as if with a view of coming up with us; and, before we were at anchor, another from one of the coves at the entrance, containing eight natives, came alongside us.
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VISIT FROM THE NATIVES.
It had, at some distance, the appearance of its owners hesitating to venture near us; but it turned out that they only stopped occasionally to bale out their canoe, which was very frail and shabby, consisting of a single tree hollowed out from the bottom, and a few rough planks, ill put together, for its sides. As the canoe ran alongside the ship, then scarcely making way through the water, it was lashed to the main-chains, and the men from it were on our deck in an instant. As they were unarmed, no precaution had been used to prevent such an occurrence; and, at first sight, their savage appearance, wild expression of countenance, and energetic movements, might have led to a belief that their intentions were anything but friendly. They quickly, however, shook hands with every one coming in their way on the deck, and seemed to consider that their appearance on board, in the way described, was a matter of course, and that we were very glad to receive them. They all spoke more or less English; inquired where we were going to anchor, telling us that their cove was the best place; and assumed an air of authority, such as a pilot does who steps on board a vessel entering a strange port. They brought on board a small quantity of fish and potatoes, which were afterwards bought for a little tobacco.
These men are of the Nyati-inhatuigh tribe, whose chief lives here, and is tributary to Raupero, the head of the Capiti tribes, who lives at Capiti or Entry Island. This part of the Sound, however, is owned by Hiko, Raupero's nephew, who inherited it from Tipahi, and who will probably succeed Raupero as chief of the Capiti tribes. One of them recognised Nayti, the interpreter, as an old acquaintance. . . . . . Three years ago, no "pah," or fort, existed in the Sound; but, as we sailed into it, the Island of Motuara and Long Island each presented signs of hasty but extensive fortification--if a rough enclosure by palings, scarcely so strong as an English sheep-pen, can be so called; and we found that, a few months ago, a quarrel had taken place between the Capiti tribe and that called Nyatiawa, which resides further up the Sound than where we are, respecting the right of proprietorship in Motuara and Long Island, when Raupero crossed the Strait with his
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ANCHOR IN SHIP COVE.
followers, and, after a fight which ended in the slaughter of eight men, had been victorious; when peace was established, and it still exists.
On the other hand, a schooner from the Bay of Islands had been here, with an English, and native chief, missionary (whether of the Church or Dissenting Society did not appear), and he transformed these fighting cannibals into catechists, or self-styled missionaries. . . . They are a fine race of men, infinitely superior in appearance to those of the northern part of the other island; very intelligent, and capable of being extremely useful to settlers, as labourers, fishermen, and sailors. They behave with strict decency and propriety, but are half naked from want of clothes, for which they evince a decided preference to powder or ornaments. They have been much spoiled by their intercourse with the numerous whale ships in the ports in the Strait, and seemed surprised at my declining the offer of the sojourn of one of their daughters on board during my stay amongst them. With the acquisition of these bad habits, they have not lost those of the savage, and of the savage of New Zealand in particular. . . . . . . . . .
The rising generation, however, promises much better things. The influence of the forms of worship introduced by the missionaries, and scrupulously attended to by the whole community, although it has inculcated but a vague idea of the Christian religion, has been most powerful and morally useful. It has introduced a strong desire to acquire knowledge from books, and the love of a settled residence and of a quiet life, which routine always engenders.
Sunday, 16th August.--At day-light this morning we weighed anchor, warped into the cove, and moored the ship in eleven fathoms water, with muddy bottom, within 500 yards of the shore, to a tree on which we carried out a hawser; occupying nearly the same position as Captain Cook during his three visits to this harbour. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the situation. The water, tranquil as an inland lake, has ten fathoms' depth within a ship's length of the shore, which is covered to the water's edge with an evergreen forest, consisting of every variety of indigenous tree and shrub, so thick as to be scarcely penetrable, and
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VESTIGES OF COOK'S VISITS.
presenting to the eye an undulating carpet of verdure, reaching to the summit of the surrounding mountains, the highest of which is from 1,200 to 1,500 feet. The birds, as in the time of the immortal English navigator, fill the air with their notes, the mixture of which he has aptly likened to the tinkling of small bells; and the sea teems with fish, of which we caught enough with hooks and lines for the whole ship before we dropped anchor. These consisted of hake, colefish, spotted dog-fish, gurnet, flounders, and joe-fish, all of which are eatable. Our friends, the natives, came on board early, and were followed by the four canoes we had seen yesterday coming from the westward. The owners of these latter have their residence in Admiralty Bay, and were bound to Cloudy Bay with pigs and potatoes for sale, but seeing the Tory stand into the sound, had followed, in the hope of doing better with us, and with the intention of pursuing their way by the passage through the sound which opens to the strait near Cloudy Bay. This passage, which forms an island of the land to the S.E. of Cape Koemaroo, is mentioned by Cook, but is not laid down in any of the maps. It is the usual route to Cloudy Bay from the westward, being much shorter and safer than that by the strait. The natives from Admiralty Bay have not had the benefit of missionary visits, and exhibit, in nearly all its nakedness, the genuine savage character. They rubbed noses with Nayti, instead of giving the shake ofthe hand which characterizes the disciples of Christianity throughout the islands. Their faces were painted like an European buffoon, and their bodies thickly anointed with whale-oil and ochre. . . . . . . . . .
It being Sunday, after the ship was moored, and the decks cleared, I dismissed the natives, with a request that they would come early to-morrow with what they had for sale, and went on shore with the naturalist and other gentlemen of the expedition. The little beach, with its springs and rivulets, retains, at the distance of nearly seventy years, vestiges of Cook's visits, in the timber cut down but not used by him, the wild radishes and cabbages, and the spacecleared for his forge and workshop.
The wood is almost impenetrable on the sides of the hills,
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BARTER WITH THE NATIVES.
from the web of supple-jacks and other creepers; but for a hundred yards from the beach there is a swampy flat, through which run three rivulets of delicious water, which, flowing from the heights, here assumes a shape before mixing with that of the bay. The soil here and on the hills is very rich, being, in fact, the decayed vegetation of centuries, and in the flat producing a thick carpet of weeds and herbage; but even were the land cleared higher up, which would be a work of time, it is doubtful whether the great acclivity would not prevent cultivation for the purposes of husbandry, though there can be little doubt that the vine and Indian corn might be grown up to the summit. No natives appeared on the shore, the cove being under "taboo," on account of its containing the burial-place of a daughter of Tipahi, the late Chief of the Capiti Tribes. I was unaware of this fact until we were at anchor; and find that, notwithstanding the missionary doctrines, an "utu," or compensation, is expected from us, for breaking the "taboo" by anchoring in the cove.
Monday, August 19th.--Everything was in activity to-day for filling our water-casks and refitting the ship.
......The wood here comes most opportunely to replace our studding-sail booms, of which we had not one left when we arrived, all having been carried away, one after the other, in the various favourable gales we had run before. The storekeeper was busily employed in traffic all the morning, and soon laid in a stock of pigs and potatoes, sufficient for all hands on board during six weeks. A basket of potatoes, weighing twenty pounds, sold for a pipe, and a blanket, which cost eight shillings in London, fetched three pigs, weighing eighty pounds each, and this was considered a liberal scale of barter on our part.
In the afternoon, having sent all the natives away, with the exception of the Chief Nyarewa, and his wife and son,(a very handsome nice lad of seventeen,) whom I retained to dinner, I went over to Motuara, accompanied by Captain Chaffers and the cabin party. This is the island lying at the entrance of the sound, where Cook had his observatory and garden, and commands a view of the whole northern part of the sound, Entry Island, and the high lands of
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Terrawaiti. It is covered with wild shrubs, plants, and flowers; and even at this time, the depth of winter, looked as gay and thriving as an ornamental plantation in England in summer. Hundreds of parrots, green and brown, wood-pigeons, tuis, and singing-birds, crossed our steps, and all our guns contributed to the naturalist's collection. There are also many pigs turned loose here by the natives, to be caught as occasion requires; but no human inhabitants reside here.
There are about 200 natives living in the sound, at about three hours' sail from Ship Cove. The settlement is called Teawaiti on the island of Alapawa, formed by the southern channel before mentioned, and the natives are of the Nyatiawa tribe. The Nyati-inhatuigh tribe consists of only eighty or ninety souls, living at a mile and a half nearer the entrance of the sound than Ship Cove. Their village bears the name of Anaho. Two of our party went to this village yesterday evening in a canoe, with the natives. They were most kindly received; supper was prepared, and, after prayers and singing in a meeting-house, when every soul in the village collected, they had mats for the night. The chief, his wife, and son behaved most respectably at table, ate of everything heartily, but drank sparingly, the father occasionally warning his son against taking too much wine.
Nayti is delighted at the reception by us of his friends, who treat him with great respect, always addressing him by the title of "erike," or chief. There was some doubt in England as to his caste, which, from all we see, stands as high as that of any one in the strait. His dress and apparrent wealth has some share also in procuring deference from his countrymen. A striking change has taken place in his demeanour since our arrival in harbour. During the voyage he was at first moody, and regretted the life of visiting and amusement he had led in London. At another time he took affront at a debating club which we held in the cabin twice a week; at one of the meetings of which he supposed that he heard his own name mentioned, and he accordingly absented himself from the cabin for some days, and declared that he would leave the ship when she might
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CONDUCT OF NAYTI.
arrive in port, and would go back to England, and get employment from another Company, &c. The same uniform kind treatment he had received from all of us, with a little firmness on my part in forbidding him to associate with the crew, quickly brought him round, however; and fear of his countrymen at the first sight of them, made him cling still more to his English friends. When the first canoe came alongside us, he began to apologize to me for the naked state in which I should find the natives, in the manner that one might excuse the appearance of a poor relation; and was much relieved by our reception of them. The contrast between his own comfortable position and their wretched state, then seemed to strike him forcibly, and made him sacrifice them to us. He interpreted faithfully their words and intentions, and repeatedly cautioned me against either their attempts to steal from the ship, or to cheat us in our dealings. He has greatly gained, also, in our estimation by juxta-position with his countrymen, amongst whom he assumes the bearing of a smart intelligent Englishman; so much so that, in talking of him, they commonly call him the white man. On the whole he promises to be much more useful to the expedition than I had anticipated, and decidedly has the interests of the Company, and its object of settling his native country from Great Britain, much at heart.
Tuesday, August 20th.--The work on shore proceeds with vigour. I have settled the question of "Utu," for anchorage, wood, and water, by a small present, and this even was unnecessary, the natives themselves breaking the "taboo" whenever convenient to themselves; and the custom having gone out of fashion where the missionaries, who strictly denounce it, have got any footing. In the afternoon I went to a small cove up the sound, and drew the seine, in which we caught an excellent dish of soles, flounders, and young herrings. In the evening many fish were caught from the ship with line and hook, one of them a species of ground-ling, very good for the table, weighing nearly twenty pounds.
Wednesday, August 21st.--The bad weather prevented me leaving the ship, a violent S.E. gale, accompanied with
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THE CHIEF, NYAREWA.
heavy rain, continuing all the day. Some of the gentlemen, however, were out in a boat, and shot several shags and red-beaked cormorants. The former build in trees at the edge of the water, are easily shot, and are very good eating, resembling very much in taste fresh-killed beef. Notwithstanding the rain, the watering proceeded rapidly, so that in two days and a half we have filled and stowed enough for a voyage back to England. The chief, Nyarewa, continues our guest on board, and Nayti is paying a visiton shore at the village. The old chief is most inoffensive and dignified, his pipe and looking at pictures in books of travels being his principal employments. He seems to possess but little influence amongst his people, or perhaps he has not yet seen an occasion worthy of his serious interference. He knows all this country well, and, amongst other information, assures me that the coast of Taranake, on the other side of the strait, is without any harbour, and has very shoal water, which breaks a long way out to sea. He also knows a harbour about twenty miles to the S.W. of Cape Farewell, where abundance of coal is to be found, and whither he would undertake to pilot a vessel. The longitude taken to-day by our chronometer varies only three-quarters of a mile from that given by Cook of this place.
Thursday, August 22nd.--During the forenoon the gale broke, and the rain ceased; so that I was able to take the chief home to his village in the whale-boat. Before starting I gave him a gun and a few trifles, with which he was delighted. On landing at his "pah," in the cove at the entrance of the sound, which I have before mentioned, we were received by many of the natives, who had been on board, and knew us; and as we advanced towards the meeting-house, which has been built at the expense of the missionaries, man, woman, and child came out from their huts, to greet us with the eternal shake of the hand.
The bottom of the cove where these people reside is a amost delightful place, with sufficient flat land for a considerable settlement, and a gentle slope for half a mile up the side of the mountain, which is, like the rest, covered with evergreen trees and shrubs of the most luxuriant growth.
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WRETCHED CONDITION OF THE NATIVES.
A stream, of strength enough to turn a mill, runs through the centre of the basin formed by the rising ground. The village is a straggling collection of thatched huts of ten feet high each, the door of which barely admits a man creeping on his hands and knees; and, altogether, presents the most miserable specimen of human habitations I ever saw. The occupants of these sties are not less wretched than the appearance of their residences indicates: they want energy and industry to make anything of the abundance which Nature has placed around them. It may be said that their wants being few, little exertion is required by them; but to me they seemed to want everything, with everything within their reach. They are almost naked, houseless, and potato-fed, with a country that would produce commodities exchangeable for every comfort of life. The meeting-house, which also forms the residence of an Englishman, I believe a runaway sailor absent for a time at Cloudy Bay, serves during the day for a common habitation. In this they have morning and evening prayers, and at other times teach each other to read the portions of Scripture translated and printed by the missionaries in the Northern Island. The chief presented us, on leaving him, with a fine specimen of the coal of which he had spoken before, and which I send you, with the birds and drawings, to form the foundation of the Company's Museum. I walked half way back to the ship over a mountain and through a forest, which confirmed me in the opinion that I have before expressed, of the capability of the soil hereabouts to yield almost every vegetable production, were the land cleared of the timber, and rendered availableby means of terraces, or in patches by spade husbandry. In the spaces cleared for potato-grounds, which the natives only use for one crop, we found deep loam, and in some places clay, perfectly adapted to brick-making.
Friday, August 23.--I went at daylight to the village: on my return, several canoes arrived from Cloudy Bay, whence they had started two days ago by the passage through the sound. The artist was on shore in the woods all the morning, and shot sixteen birds--parrots, pigeons,tuis, and the several strange singing-birds of which I send the drawings made by him. In the evening the seine was
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drawn in the little cove next to ours, which we have called "Flat-fish Cove," and several buckets full of soles and herrings were caught. The hooks and lines, also, on board, had only to be let down to ensure cole and dog-fish. Eoro, the son of the chief Nyarewa, came off with me in the morning, and slept on board. He amused himself with pencil and paper, and learns with great facility. His observance of his newly-acquired worship is most strict; no circumstances preventing him praying and singing most devoutly night and morning.
Saturday, August 24.--The naturalist and artist, with Eoro, started early this morning, and ascended a hill to the S.E., from whence they had a view of the whole sound, with a distant glimpse of Cloudy Bay. Their observationsas to the character of the land and its productions do not add anything to what had been previously gathered respecting them. The rest of the cabin party were engaged in washing clothes on shore, in which they were eagerly assisted by the native women from the village, which had to-day been deserted by nearly all its inhabitants for our cove. There were nearly a hundred persons busy abreast of the ship, and I do not doubt that the cove has not presented so lively an appearance since the time of Cook's visits. The most perfect harmony prevailed, and not the smallest attempt at pilfering by the natives was observed. I went with my gun to the top of the first ridge of hills, accompanied by a native, who answered the purpose of a good setter-dog, by finding abundance of birds sitting in the high trees; upon each occasion of finding a bird worth shooting, he squatted himself in the peculiar position of which all his countrymen are so fond, and called to me to come up. After I had fired, he resumed his course, to which the impediments of supple-jacks, fern, and underwood,which made my progress very slow, seemed to offer no opposition. The woods abound in parrots, wattle-birds, and innumerable small singing-birds.
The supply of potatoes exceeds our demand, more than five hundred basketsful being ranged along the beach to attract our notice. I intend to lay in a stock of them here on account of their cheapness, and to prevent loss of time in
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barter at other places; and should recommend any ship running through the strait, in want of provisions of this nature, to look in here, in preference to supplying itself at Cloudy Bay. Pigs, however, are scarce, the natives being unable to catch those that have been turned out on the Motuara.
Sunday, August 25.--We had no work on board to-day, it being the first Sunday the duties of the ship have allowed any relaxation since leaving England. After I had read prayers to all hands, including our guest Nyarewa, I went with some of the gentlemen to climb a hill in the cove. We ascended the course of a rivulet, which occasionally fell in cascades over the slate-stone rocks, forming the sub-stratum of these mountains. With some labour we reached the region where the highest timber grows. Here we found a species of elm, some of which are eighteen feet in girth, and other trees seventy or eighty feet high, without a branch, which, if too heavy for masts, would make excellent planking for ship-building. As specimens of all these native trees have been long since taken to England by the Dromedary and Buffalo, I do not send specimens of the woods; but, from my own experience, and the information I have from the captain and an excellent ship's carpenter, I feel confident that, although the timber here may not be so valuable as that found in some districts of the North Island,it is still sufficiently valuable to deserve future attention. The Surveyor-General of the Navy of England might supply himself, for some years' consumption, amongst the trees we saw in our ramble this morning. . . .
Monday, August 26.--. . . The climate of this place very much resembles that of the north of Portugal, the most lovely days bursting out in the middle of winter. The thermometer has ranged between 40 deg. and 56 deg. in the shade during our stay. . . .
Wednesday, August 28.--Dr. Dieffenbach, the naturalist, yesterday ascended the highest neighbouring hill. It is covered to the summit with fine trees and underwood, like all the rest on this part of the Southern Island, and, therefore, affords no view of the surrounding country, or inland valleys. His observations, by means of the temperature of
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DETENTION IN SHIP COVE.
the atmosphere, made the hill 1544 feet high. This accords nearly with Captain Chaffers' measurement from the base. Nothing more than what we had already noticed was elicited from the excursion. The old chief told us that one of the objects of his visit to Capiti is to be present at a grand "Tangi," or mourning (at which every one cries to the utmost of his power), on the occasion of the death of a sister of Raupero.
Thursday, August 29.--A strong N.E. wind, blowing directly into the sound, prevented us hauling out of the cove, preparatory to leaving this place. Heavy rain, which is common in this latitude at this time of the year, accompanied it. Wetu became very friendly from the hospitable reception he received, and this morning prevented a canoe full of his people from coming on board; sending themaway by saying that we did not want them, and that he was very well on board by himself. He is, I should say, upwards of sixty years old, but very strong and wiry. He told us of his four wives, besides one lately dead, and shook with laughter at a New Zealand gentleman being so muchmore amply provided than the king of England. He expressed himself very anxious for us to pay a visit to his place, Rangatoto, which, he says, abounds in pigs and potatoes. He could not point it out on a chart, but from his description and others, I felt sure it must be in Admiralty Bay, and have since found that it is D'Urville's Island.
As I was prevented from going to Teawaiti yesterday, I sent the storekeeper, and he returned this afternoon in a whale-boat with two Englishmen, one of whom is carpenter at a whaling establishment at that place, where there are fifty or sixty Europeans and Americans. The other proved to be the Englishman whom I had had misrepresented to me as a runaway sailor, and who lived at Anoho. Oddly enough, I found him to be Mr. E------, to whom I had a letter from his father in England, recommending him to take employment under me, in case of his knowledge of New Zealand qualifying him to be useful to the Company's interests. He has given me much information respecting this immediate neighbourhood, where he has resided nearly two years. His present place of abode during the whaling
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season (which continues from May to September) is Teawaiti, in the channel which leads from Queen Charlotte's sound into Cook's Strait, to the south-east. Few ships,according to his account, have hitherto made the voyage through the sound by this passage (and no published account of it has been given), the Pelorus, a man-of-war brig, having only pursued it as far as the English settlement last year, and then returned to the strait by the north-western entrance. The river, which that vessel explored, and of which an account reached England last May, instead of being at Cloudy Bay, as erroneously reported in the Oriental Herald, is in Admiralty Bay, and was named the Pelorus River by Lieutenant Chetwode, acting commander during Captain Harding's illness.
The laws of property, as known to our visitors, are very undefined in this part of New Zealand. Neither Raupero nor Hiko possess the power of absolute disposal of any portion of land in the strait. Great confusion exists respecting vested rights. Many white men have established themselves amongst different tribes, and have occupied and cultivated land to any extent within their power, without a question or exaction of any kind from the natives, and it is probable that such is the value set upon European commodities and industry by the natives, and so uncertain the right of ownership in land (which has been usurped by tribe after tribe during a series of wars), that a body of settlers might locate themselves without purchase in almost any part of the shores of the strait, unmolested by anybody. One of the principal means of safety, at present, to wandering Europeans taking up their abodes here, is a quasi marriage with a native female. Our two guests brought their wives with them as a matter of course, and of safety amongst any natives they might meet. These are the natural consequences of irregular colonization, and would speedily give way to a better system, should this country be settled from Europe by associations of individuals, or occupied by a military force, and apportioned as in our colonies.
Friday, August 30.--During the morning, the weather being still tempestuous, we completed our supply of potatoes, which now nearly supersede the use of flour on board. With
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DEPARTURE FROM SHIP COVE.
the latter article, vessels coming to New Zealand should be well supplied, as it is very uncertain whether it can be obtained here. Such was the failure of the wheat crop last year in New South Wales, from long droughts, that no flour could be bought in Sydney lately, wholesale, as it could be retailed at the rate of 80l. per ton; whilst cabbages sold at 2s. 6d. a-piece, and carrots at 6d. We took on board also a quantity of cabbages and turnips, which are always in season and plentiful here. Since our countrymen came on board, we have had no trouble from the natives, who receive but little kindness from the whalers, and, therefore, do not seek them. Wetu still continues with us; but has ceased all importunities for presents and compensation, from a conviction that our English visitors have confirmed us in our resistance to his attempts at extortion. He is, however, very well satisfied with the small gratuitous presents I have made him, and has kept his people at a distance till there shall be a fair wind for his passage. A native missionary was on board to-day at sunset, when he mustered all the natives on board who have conformed to the new form of worship, and had prayers and a hymn on the deck. He seemed to possess complete control over the others in inducing them to join in the service; but old Wetu sat apart from the circle, saying that he was no missionary.
Saturday, August 31.--Teawaiti.--The weather having moderated, I determined to take advantage of the experience of our English visitors in the navigation of the sound and southern channel, to run through them in the ship. We accordingly weighed anchor at 10 A.M., and with a lightwind left Ship Cove, and stood up the sound. After the anchor was up I sent Wetu and Nyarewa on shore. The latter parted with us with some little reluctance. . . .
At three o'clock we entered the channel, the entrance of which is about a mile wide. The sound previously had presented a fine expanse of water, of thirty or forty fathoms depth, even close in to the shore, and was bounded on each side with bays and coves, forming a collection of as fine harbours as any in the world. One of them, West Bay, is as large as Plymouth Sound, and all of them easy of access, and safe in all winds. At the southern end of the sound,
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ARRIVAL AT TEAWAITI.
before entering the channel, which turns sharply to the eastward, and a few miles afterwards again to the northward, is a large arm, or long bay, at the bottom of which a river, a mile wide at the mouth, enters. Up this arm there is some fine land, and a grove of excellent trees for ship-building and other purposes. A cutter of forty tons was built here two years ago by an Englishman, resident in Teawaiti. Near this river, a few hours' walk across the hills, brings you to the Pelorus river, in Admiralty Bay, the latter rising to the S. W. of its mouth. The channel, as we proceeded farther, narrowed to little more than half-a-mile, and reminded me of the Rhone between Lyons and Avignon. The tide ran at the rate of four or five miles an hour, and formed eddies near each shore. We had no wind, but had nothing to do but to keep the ship in the middle of the passage. At six o'clock we anchored near Teawaiti, and Mr. B------, who is at the head of a whaling establishment, came off to us in his boat. The mountains through which this channel runs are much less covered with timber than those at the northern entrance of the sound, and less fertile. The bays, however, offer spots capable of cultivation for any purposes. There are many native settlements, whose inhabitants bear an indifferent character for honesty. A small island, about half way through the channel, has a fort on it, the inhabitants of which eyed us eagerly, and sent some canoes to us; but they are cautious of annoying Europeans since the visit of the Pelorus, whose commander was of essential service to the settlers through all this part of the country, by examining into complaints, and rendering justice to the injured party.............
Mr. B------, who has lived in New Zealand as a whale fisherman ten or twelve years, and came from Cafia with the Nyatiawa tribe, when driven from thence by the Waikato people, knows the strait and the western coast thoroughly, and has great influence with that part of the Nyatiawa tribe living at Port Nicholson, having married the daughter of the chief, and shared their hardships and dangers, when attacked by the Cafia and Waikato tribes.........
I hope, by means of Mr. B------, to open a negociation with the chiefs at Port Nicholson. The description of its
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value as a commercial port is quite equal to that given by all voyagers who have visited it. The whalers here, however, are anxious to see an English settlement here, when the land which they have acquired in the manner I before related will, of course, be of great value. The works here for melting the blubber are considerable, but of late years few whales have been taken in the strait by shore parties, in consequence of the number of ships going to Cloudy Bay, and on the eastern coast as far south as Port Cowper, in Banks' Peninsula. The south-eastern entrance to the sound is about two miles from this place, and seventeen from Cloudy Bay. Any sized vessel can enter it with the tide, there being no bar, and twenty to twenty-five fathoms water between the headlands, which are a mile and a half apart. I consider the knowledge of this channel to be of great importance to vessels coming into Cook's Strait, particularly if they are bound to Port Nicholson on the eastern coast, from the westward; for they would not only save time by passing through it, but may do so with perfect ease and safety, when a south-east wind would prevent them running through the strait between Cape Koemaroo and Terrawaiti. The island formed by the channel bears the native name of Alapawa, unless renamed by Lieutenant Chetwode, who, however, did not circumnavigate it by the distance of the two miles we are now lying from the entrance.........
Mr. B------ has been in his cutter to Manganiu (the place near Cape Farewell I mentioned before), where the coal is found. He brought away ten tons of it, which he dug up at high water mark on the beach. There is abundance of it to be had without sinking shafts, and it burns as well as any English coal.
Sunday, September 1.--Another settler and whaler here is named J.------, and owns a little bay and tryworks next to the large settlement. He has been here ten years, being one of the original visitors. He describes the Pelorus river as an excellent place for a settlement, and is to introduce me to a Cloudy Bay whaler, who acted as pilot to the Pelorus brig in her discoveries in the strait, and by whose means I hope to open a negociation with the Admiralty Bay chiefs. I went to-day in a boat to the S.E. entrance of the sound.
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CAPTAIN CHAFFERS' REPORT OF THE VOYAGE OF THE TORY.
It is open and easy of access or egress. Near it is a fine valley, occupied by the natives, covered with grass. The inhabitants received us with great civility, having had constant intercourse and trade with the English settlement.
On the whole, considering the position and capabilities of Queen Charlotte's Sound, whether with a view to its becoming a port for homeward-bound vessels to take in cargo and provisions--a safe channel of communication between the western parts of the strait, and Port Nicholson, and the eastern coast,--or as a situation for docks and ship-building, it is of the first importance, and cannot be spoken of in too high terms................
I hope that in my next communication I shall have to announce the progress of negociations for territory in this part of New Zealand. Our quick passage out has given me a fortnight to have the ship put into complete order, and provisioned for four months, before the time it was expected we should arrive here, and to obtain the above information; and I have, therefore, nothing now to do but to pursue the object of our voyage. The state of the natives having been so materially altered of late years by their contact with Europeans, and by the precepts of the missionaries, offers facilities of communication with them beyond my anticipations..................
I send this in great haste, by a small schooner bound to Sydney, and shall forward the specimens and drawings by a vessel expected from the southward in a fortnight. At present there is no vessel in Cloudy Bay.