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Catching the Great Penguins. Page 159.
Sketched by Dr. Hooker.
Aspect of the Country. -- Visit to the Missionary Station of Waimati -- Falls of the Keri Keri. -- Kaudi Gum -- Heki's Pah. -- Heki's Feast. -- Waimati. -- Fishing Party to Lake Mapere. -- Ascent of Puki Nui. -- Lakes at Taiami. -- Hot Springs of Tuakino. -- Return to the Erebus. -- Visit from Captain L'Eveque of the French Corvette, Heroine. -- Capture of the French Whaler, Jean Bart, by the Inhabitants of Chatham Island. -- Necessity for increased Naval Force in these Seas. -- Tidal Observations.
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THE total absence of roads through the country, and the uncertain state of feeling towards Europeans which the natives had begun to manifest, prevented our officers from penetrating to any considerable distance into the interior; the native paths through the woods and swamps being quite impracticable without the assistance of guides, and under existing circumstances it was hardly safe for any Europeans to place themselves so completely in the power of the natives, who might, at any time, leave them in a situation from which it would be utterly impossible to extricate themselves, or find a way through the perplexing labyrinth in which they might become helplessly involved.
Fortunately our occupations demanding our attention so constantly, prevented our feeling any regret that the nature of the country opposed so serious a barrier to any researches we might have desired to make, for nothing could be more uninviting than its appearance from the ships and the neighbouring hills; the gently undulating surface covered almost entirely with fern, gave it an uniformity and sterility of aspect which the few clumps of trees, with which it was varied, served only to render the more remarkable, whilst the thickly interwoven underwood made travelling
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through the high fern groves extremely tedious and laborious.
As soon as the pendulum experiments, which had wholly engaged my time until the end of October, were completed, I availed myself of the kind invitation of the Reverend Mr. Taylor to visit the agricultural establishment and school at Waimati, belonging to the Church of England mission, at that time under his care, and which I was very desirous to see, on account of the well-known and highly-interesting accounts which have been given by earlier visitors to New Zealand of that valuable establishment for the improvement of the agricultural, as well as religious, condition of the natives.
Accompanied by Commanders Crozier and Sulivan and Lieutenant Bird, I left the Erebus in charge of Lieutenant Sibbald, at noon, on the 1st of November; the morning was beautifully fine, and perfectly calm, until 6 A.M., when an unfavourable change took place as we entered the river "Keri Keri," (pronounced Kiddi Kiddi,) a fresh opposing wind sprung up with occasional heavy showers of rain and violent squalls, as if to remind us of the appropriate name of the river, "Keri," meaning boisterous. After pulling for three hours against the breeze, but favoured by the tide, we gained the missionary settlement, near the lower falls of the Keri Keri, where it divides into two branches, without our boat grounding upon any of the sandbanks with which it abounds.
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FALLS OF THE KERI KERI.
The establishment here consists of a spacious strong-built stone warehouse, in which the stores and merchandise belonging to the missionaries are kept in safety. It is situated in one of the prettiest spots of the country, though entirely bare of wood, except only a few peach, pear, apple, and other fruit trees in the garden belonging to the house, and at the highest point of the river to which vessels can ascend.
We were very kindly received by Mr. Kemp, the schoolmaster, the only European resident at the place, and who had been a great many years in the country. He had heard of my intended visit, and had a guide ready to take us to the upper falls, which he told us were well worthy of our attention. Whilst our people were making preparation for our march to Waimati, we crossed to the opposite bank of the river, not exceeding twenty or thirty yards wide: the shore rises abruptly from the water about seventy feet, and after gaining the level country, covered with short fern, and heath-like plants, but totally destitute of trees, we walked above a mile and a half before we reached the falls. Their first appearance is very striking, the rapid stream which the eye may trace winding several miles along the extensive plain, precipitates a broad sheet of water over an escarpment of black basaltic columns about seventy feet high into a deep circular basin, whose shores are thickly wooded. A narrow winding path enables you, without difficulty, to descend to its margin, and
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FALLS OF THE KERI KERI.
however beautiful the effect is in looking from above into the depth below, the fall is seen to much greater advantage from beneath. The height and volume of water which is projected over the cliff, roaring and foaming, contrasts strongly with the black columns and the varied foliage of the dark green Coprosma, the lighter glaucous Lauri, and other trees which derive freshness and vigour from the constant supply of moisture from the thin mist that always fills the valley. The basin appears to have been worn to a considerable depth, as is also the narrow channel which conveys the pure and bright water from it to the sea.
Some of our officers who visited these falls passed under them, between the volume of water and the vertical columns, where the much-lamented Cunningham is said to have collected several very curious plants. We could not afford time to do so. I am therefore the more glad to avail myself of some notes by Mr. M'Cormick on the curious cave he examined, and some other geological and general remarks made during his several short excursions into the country which will be found in the Appendix. When Dr. Hooker visited these falls, the day was bright, and he was much struck with the great difference of temperature, as measured by the feelings, on descending from the plain, where he stood exposed to the full force of the sun's rays, into the damp woods from which they are entirely excluded; he also described a phenomenon, which, though common to waterfalls, here produces
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ROAD TO WAIMATI.
a remarkable effect; when the sun shines brightly, a beautiful rainbow of intensely brilliant colours, spans the dark abyss, mingling its bright hues with the rich foliage of the encircling banks.
We returned to our people, who had, during our absence, got all ready for our journey; the boat's crew of eight men, carried our tents, blankets, and a small flat punt, constructed of bullocks' hides by Lieutenant M'Murdo, for duck shooting over the mud flats up the Kawa Kawa, very light and capable of carrying two men in smooth water. As one of our purposes was to fish an extensive lake near Waimati, I thought it would be useful, and a larger boat would have been too heavy for our party to manage. Mr. Taylor had sent a horse to carry our small-sized seine, but the animal was so restive that we found it impossible to fix this novel kind of burthen on his back, and were obliged to leave it to be sent for after our arrival at Waimati.
The unusual appearance of our party, the officers in advance with their double-barrelled fowling pieces, specimen baskets, and various instruments for measuring the elevation and position of the several places we proposed visiting, followed by the crew carrying the boat and other necessary materials, on bearing poles, attracted the attention, and not unfrequently the ridicule, of the natives we met on our journey. We kept along the main road nearly the whole distance. It is, indeed, the only thing that deserves the name of a road in New
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Zealand, and was formed by the missionaries a few years ago, for more ready communication between their two principal establishments: and at this time the greater part of it was in very good condition, so that a carriage might have been driven along it.
On ascending about two hundred feet rather abruptly from the river, we came upon a long tract of level country, covered with low stunted brushwood, amongst which many beautiful flowers were beginning to appear. The soil is extremely poor and unproductive; a large portion of the surface being occupied by reedy marshes, not more than one or two feet deep, lying upon dense clay. I was told that the whole of this extensive plain was at one time covered with an immense forest of Kaudi trees (Dammara australis), and the gum which exudes from them may be found in any part by digging for it. There are, however, no other remains of the trees to be found, from which circumstance it has been supposed that the forest was burnt down; a method frequently adopted for clearing the land when wanted for cultivation, and which would, in some measure, account for the gum being found in such very large pieces; in no other way can we explain how the gum should be there, and yet the absence of any trunks or roots of the trees, together with the extreme poverty of the soil, are facts barely reconcilable with the former existence of a large forest. It would be worth while to dig to a good depth at
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some of the spots where the gum is found in the greatest abundance, for we may conclude from the resinous nature of the wood the fire might eat its way down considerably beneath the surface, and a knowledge of that fact would of itself be an interesting circumstance. The gum is an article of extensive commercial importance; it is purchased chiefly by the Americans at the rate of a penny the pound, but the purpose to which it is applied by them is still a secret.
For the first four or five miles the country was equally monotonous and sterile; although I have no doubt it might, under cultivation, be made good pasture land, yet it would require great labour, which is not to be obtained here, and without it no considerable improvement can be expected. The natives we met on the road generally greeted us with the friendly and cheerful salutation of the country, "Tene-ra-ka-koa," the equivalent to "How do you do?" or "good morning," and seemed greatly amused at our imperfect pronunciation of the word; in most cases they had a kind look and hearty shake of the hand ready for us; indeed this latter practice seems to have entirely taken the place of their former method of greeting by touching noses, as is still practised by the Esquimaux of the Arctic regions.
We had at that time little reason to apprehend that these apparently peaceful and happy people were so soon to feel all the horrors of war. Yet it was along this road that the brave little band of
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soldiers and sailors, under the gallant Despard, marched to attack the rebellious Heki, in his hitherto esteemed impregnable Pah, distant between four and five miles from Waimati, which fell and was destroyed by the persevering bravery of our united-service force under his skilful command. It was fortunate for our brave countrymen they had a road by which to transport their artillery even thus far towards the scene of action; but I fear it will teach the "Maories" to erect their fortifications on situations inaccessible to cannon, by which alone they can be destroyed, as every attempt at scaling their outworks must inevitably end in disappointment and defeat.
We got the first sight of Waimati when at a distance of four miles from it, just before reaching the valley through which the river of that name flows. We crossed the stream by a neat wooden bridge, and at a short distance beyond we observed a most strange-looking lofty building or scaffolding, evidently erected with great labour, in a succession of terraces or platforms to the height of more than a hundred feet. It was situated close by a small native village, on a level space, surrounded by hills of small elevation, whose sides were thickly clothed with timber.
We were at a loss to conjecture for what purpose such a structure could have been erected; but we subsequently learned from Mr. Taylor, that it was built on the occasion of a great feast which was given by the now notorious Heki to a number of natives whom he had called together from all
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parts of the island, when the several stages or platforms were loaded with various kinds of provisions, consisting of Indian corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pigs, cockles, and all kinds of eatables for their use, being placed there for safety; each platform being cleared off as required.
It is said that upwards of a thousand natives assembled at the feast, the principal object of which was to afford Heki 1 the opportunity of dissuading his countrymen from selling their lands to the English.
He had been converted to Christianity several years ago, is well acquainted with the precious truths of the Gospel, and exemplary in the discharge of all religious duties. He has ever lived on good terms with the missionaries, although he has never concealed his growing hatred to the invaders of his country. He is a turbulent, courageous man, possessing a remarkable mixture of cunning and frankness, all of which characters are occasionally expressed in his countenance, notwithstanding the tattooing which disfigures his features. Ever since this patriotic feast he has been regarded as the greatest enemy of the English. The whole of the provisions which were consumed during the week or ten days it lasted were purchased by Heki; but of which he, as is the custom of the country, did not partake; his
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part of the business being to mix with the different groups, addressing each in their turn, and seeing that they all enjoyed themselves. We could not help thinking that the provisions might have been equally well secured upon a less elaborate and expensive structure.
After crossing the river we observed a marked change in the geological structure of the country, from a sterile pipe-clay to a richer decomposed volcanic matter at the surface, densely compressed beneath, and mixed with mica, hornblende and quartz, which had perhaps at one time been a hard granite rock, and if exposed to great heat and pressure, might again become so. Ascending the steep hill on the opposite side of the valley the increased fertility of the soil was strikingly manifest, and on reaching its summit the neat-looking village, and the church with its conspicuous steeple, came in view; the houses of the missionaries, built quite in the English style, together with the well-cultivated farms and fields, divided by hedgerows of true English green, formed a most gratifying sight, and reminded us more of our own country than anything we had seen in other parts of the colony.
We were received on our arrival, early in the afternoon, by Mr. and Mrs. Taylor in the most cordial manner, and after doing justice to an excellent dinner they had prepared for us, we walked through the gardens, in which we found abundance of delicious strawberries and other fruits of our own country mingled with those of the tropical
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regions. The gardens were laid out with good taste, and, although convenience and usefulness had been more especially consulted, yet neatness and regularity of appearance had not been overlooked. To us it was most delightful to see in this far-distant land so great a variety of plants common to our own country, recalling many happy associations of by-gone days, and the exciting thoughts of future hope which arose in our minds were by no means the least pleasurable emotions we experienced as we wandered through these beautiful gardens.
It was a fine serene evening, and our observations for the position of this spot and its elevation above the level of the sea were satisfactorily accomplished. The temperature of the air was 70 deg.5, that of the water in a well fifty-six feet deep, but with only nine feet of water in it, was 59 deg.
As our absence from the ships was limited to a few days, Mr. Taylor kindly undertook to arrange our operations, so as to enable us to visit the several places we wished with as little loss of time as possible. There was the great lake to be fished; then to be crossed and sounded, and the deep fissures in the mountain on the opposite shore to be examined and fathomed; the highest mountain in the neighbourhood, Puki Nui, to be ascended, and its height determined; the large crater to be explored, and the hot springs to be visited. All these objects, of great interest to us, except the two former, were placed in different directions, and at a considerable distance from Waimati, and as all had
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to be accomplished on foot, because our instruments might sustain injury from the jolting of a horse, and were too valuable to be trusted to any other hands, it required all the consideration of some one well acquainted with the country, and with our powers of enduring the fatigue of travelling along the narrow native paths, to dispose of our time to the best advantage.
We agreed first to visit the Lake Mapere at Mawe, and having sent our people off early the next morning with the small boat and seine, we started at 9 A.M., and after half an hour's smart walking were obliged to take shelter from a very heavy fall of rain in a small neat chapel which the Christian natives had themselves built of wood in one of their stone pahs, and in which, Mr. Taylor informed us, one of the native schoolmasters read the church service twice every Sunday. Some of the cottages were remarkably clean and tidy, and their gardens, containing peach trees and the Cape gooseberry, in much better order than we had seen in other places. At a distance of five or six miles from Waimati, after passing through a difficult marshy jungle, we arrived at the edge of the lake.
It is a fine sheet of water, between two and three miles in diameter, or perhaps more, and thickly wooded to the water's edge. It is said to be very shallow, and there are many superstitious traditions regarding its origin, too idle and absurd to be mentioned; yet it seems certain that it covers the
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sites of several native villages, whose names are spoken of as of no very distant date, and we have every reason to believe that the face of this land, and especially in this neighbourhood, has been much altered by volcanic disturbances, of which the extensive and numerous smaller craters, the cleft mountain, and the thermal springs are so many striking evidences. Although we were told that the lake is very shallow, yet on this point we may have been mistaken, as I perceive Dr. Dieffenbach, in speaking of it, says it is about one square mile and a half in extent, and apparently of great depth: in some places its borders are steep, and consist of basaltic lavas. It is, perhaps, an old crater: and indeed there is a tradition amongst the natives, that a large village with its inhabitants was suddenly engulphed during an earthquake. 2
The net was prepared and laid out by the assistance of a native canoe, which fortunately happened to be near the spot to which our guide had taken us. The first haul, in which we were assisted by the natives, gave us nothing but roots and limbs of trees, to their great amusement, and our net was very much torn: this occupied us some time to repair, when we moved to a more clear-looking space; but here we were almost equally unsuccessful, a few mussels and some very small fish, (valuable additions, however, to our collection of natural history,) were all we procured. The natives of the neighbourhood, who had collected in consi-
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derable numbers, seemed greatly to enjoy our disappointment, and but for the presence of Mr. Taylor would doubtless have proved troublesome. They were very jealous of our going there to fish, and, probably alluding to the large supplies we had obtained for our crews in the various coves of the bay, sneeringly asked us, "If we were not satisfied with the fish of the sea?"
They had, no doubt, purposely taken us to those parts of the lake most difficult to fish with a seine, and at first laughed heartily, and, as we thought, goodnaturedly, at our ill-success; but when they saw we were not at all disconcerted at their merriment, but replied to their jokes, they began to manifest some degree of ill-humour, for they could perceive that we in our fun had turned them rather into ridicule, which of all things, I afterwards learned, they are least able to bear. Eels are said to be large and numerous in the lake, but are only taken at night, by means of ingeniously contrived baskets, something like those employed on our own and the Norwegian coasts for catching lobsters: not having caught any, we bought a few from the natives, which answered their purpose and ours equally well.
We were prevented crossing the lake to the cleft mountain by a strong breeze arising, and rendering the passage in our little punt too dangerous and tedious, as it could only carry two, and it would have occupied the whole of the remainder of the day to get our party across. At the sug-
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gestion, therefore, of Mr. Taylor, we abandoned this object, which we could not have satisfactorily accomplished, and made up our minds to ascend the Puki Nui mountain, which was well within our reach. Our barometrical observations gave the elevation of Lake Mapere above the level of the sea seven hundred and eight feet, whilst that of Waimati was only six hundred and twenty-three feet.
We reached the summit of Puki Nui at a quarter past three in the afternoon, and were richly rewarded for our labour, as it afforded us a complete view of the whole of the surrounding country. The mountain itself is a volcanic vent towering high above all the others, and commanding from its top a view of the sea on each side of the island. The weather was beautifully clear, and the heads or entrance of the harbour of Hokianga were clearly visible. Mr. Taylor informed me that the chief establishment of the Wesleyan missionaries is at this place: these pious men followed soon after the Church of England missionaries had established themselves amongst the natives, and like them their beneficent labours have been abundantly blessed.
From this point also we could much better perceive and understand the great improvement in cultivation of the soil by the Christian natives than any description could have afforded us: before the introduction of the gospel of peace, they were compelled by the hostility or ambitious avarice of neighbouring tribes to live congregated together
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in fortified places, or pahs, as they are called, and of which vestiges were still to be seen on the top of almost every hill in the country; the cultivation of the Kumara, or sweet potato, upon which they principally lived, being confined to the sides of the hill, or seldom extending beyond the valley. Since, however, peace has been preached and war has ceased to be their chief occupation, we find them dispersing in small groups over the more fertile parts of the land, building detached cottages or small villages, and living in a degree of comfort and security to which they were formerly strangers, and of which they seem fully to appreciate the advantage. Nearly the whole of the extensive valley which we now saw under cultivation, and which so greatly excited our interest, was once the scene of some of the horrible and barbarous deeds, and at a later date the refuge, of the detestable Shoongi. The atrocities of this savage chief have rendered his name execrable amongst his countrymen, and serve to show in a striking manner how impolitic and improper it was to place so superior a power in the hands of a wretch who seems to have possessed no other feeling than that of vengeance and thirst for the blood of his former conquerors, and of which he let no opportunity pass of gratifying.
Our observations gave the height of Puki Nui one thousand two hundred and forty feet above the level of the sea. The highest range of mountains in sight to the southward is called by the natives
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LAKES AT TAIAMI.
Ikorangi, or "Fish of Heaven," but we had no means of measuring their elevation. The highest land to the north is called by them Maunga Taniwa, of which I did not learn the meaning. We descended the hill, and arrived in the evening at Waimati, after a fatiguing day's work.
We again set out at an early hour the next morning for the hot springs, at Taiami, called Tuakino: our road lay over a hilly and barren country, of which the most remarkable feature is the three volcanic conical hills which stand in the middle of an extensive depression of the table land, and of which Dr. Dieffenbach has given an account in his travels in New Zealand. 3 After three hours' laborious walking we reached the first lake, shortly before noon, and halted to obtain observations for latitude. The temperature of the lake was 62 deg., that of the air being at the time 60 deg. It is about half a mile in diameter; on its shores we observed numerous charred stems of trees, and near its centre a large flock of ducks, probably feeding on a small kind of fish, of which we saw a great many. Some pieces of pure sulphur were picked up along the margin of the lake.
The temperature of the smaller lake, near which are the hot springs, at only a short distance from the former, was found to be 65 deg.7, and that of the gaseous jets or bubbles that are continually rising in it 66 deg. Numerous holes had been dug, in
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HOT SPRINGS OF TUAKINO.
the clay soil through which the hot sulphureous water issues, by the natives who had visited this spot for the benefit of the waters, which are considered an efficacious remedy for all cutaneous and scrofulous diseases, with which the New Zealanders are so much afflicted, that few of them are without strong marks of the latter on the glands of the throat.
The temperature of these holes varied from 150 deg. to 80 deg., in proportion to the length of time they had been dug, the heat passing away gradually after exposure to the atmosphere. We had provided ourselves with the means of digging fresh holes, and these we found also to vary considerably in temperature, although quite close to each other. The hottest, of eight or ten that we dug, was 179 deg., and in this we cooked some eggs which we had brought with us for the purpose, and served to form part of our luncheon, although their shells were deeply stained with the sulphur. As Dr. Dieffenbach truly remarks, the surrounding country, especially to the southward, has to a singular degree the barren and desolate aspect so often observed in places celebrated for their salubrious mineral waters. Scarcely any verdure is to be seen on the hills of the neighbourhood: it is only in the ravines that the uniform brown tint of stunted fern is interrupted by the green of some sheltered groves.
Whenever this country shall have become thickly populated with Europeans, these springs will become of equal importance to the colonists with the most
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RETURN TO THE EREBUS.
celebrated baths of our own country or the spas of Germany.
Their elevation above the level of the sea is six hundred and forty-eight feet by barometrical measurement. We remained so long at this place, that we had hardly time to get back to Waimati before dark.
As the weather was very unfavourable the next day for making further excursions in the neighbourhood, we prepared to return to the ship, being unwilling to prolong our absence beyond the time I had at first proposed, upon the uncertainty of fine weather succeeding; and we had yet some important objects to accomplish before leaving New Zealand. We therefore took leave of the kind friends whose hospitality and attentions had afforded us three days of most agreeable relaxation from our severe duties, and returning to the Keri Keri by the road we came, we embarked in our boat, and arrived on board the Erebus early in the afternoon.
On the 20th of October the French corvette Heroine anchored off Kororarika, and I had the pleasure of receiving a visit from her commander, Captain L'Eveque. He informed me that they had experienced some very severe weather off the south coast of New Holland, and that his crew was in a sickly state. He had touched here for fresh provisions, and was on his way to Port Akaroa, in Banks' Peninsula, where a number of settlers from France had gone last year to form a colony, but found on
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FRENCH COLONISTS AT AKAROA.
their arrival there that it had been taken possession of a few days previously by the English. They were not allowed by the English authorities to build any fortifications, or land their guns or munitions of war, beyond what were absolutely necessary for personal protection; and were at this time getting on prosperously under the protection of the British flag. The next day Commander Crozier and I returned Captain L'Eveque's visit; and on acquainting him with my intention to visit the Chatham Islands, he very kindly furnished me with a more accurate plan of them than any with which we had been supplied.
We owe this valuable survey to the diligence and research of his predecessor in command of the Heroine, Captain Cecille, whilst employed in the protection of the French ships engaged in the whale fishery. The islands were almost entirely unknown to us, no British man-of-war having been there since their discovery by Lieutenant Broughton, in the Chatham, tender to the Investigator, in November, 1791, after his separation from his commodore, the justly celebrated navigator Vancouver. 4
Captain Cecille had been induced to visit the islands by hearing from the master of an American whaler, who had recently been there, that a French vessel, the Jean Bart, had been captured and de-
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FRENCH CORVETTE HEROINE.
stroyed by the natives, and the crew inhumanly murdered.
His chief object, therefore, in going there was, in his own words, "pour venger sur les insulaires le massacre de nos compatriots;" and also to afford relief to any of the crew that might by possibility have escaped to some of the contiguous islets. On his arrival at the great western bay of the island, he found the accounts he had received were but too true; the remains of the burnt ship were still to be seen, and one of her boats was recovered, but he could not hear anything of the crew, nor whether any of them had escaped in the boats of the ship. Although his arrangements appear to have been made with the greatest judgment, yet he did not succeed in securing the principal actors in this dreadful tragedy. He, however, landed a large force, and totally destroyed their pahs or strongholds, and burnt as many of their boats as he could find, thus depriving them of the power of attacking any other vessel. He succeeded also in decoying one of their principal chiefs, named Eitouna, and two of his people on board, whom he kept as prisoners, and from whom he derived the following information respecting the circumstances which led to the unfortunate collision with the New Zealanders.
The Jean Bart arrived at Chatham Island early in May, and before she gained the anchorage several canoes belonging to the two tribes of New Zealanders who had possessed themselves of the island went alongside. It was about 2 P.M. when
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FRENCH WHALER JEAN BART.
the ship anchored in the small bay of Wai-Tangui, upon the shores of which the tribe of Eitouna were established. The captain, frightened at seeing so many savages on board, desired the chiefs to send them on shore. Eitouna gave orders to his people to leave: many obeyed, others remained to make some exchanges with the sailors: all the people of Eimare, the chief of the other tribe, also remained on board, so that there were still seventy to seventy-five of them left in the ship. The captain, not thinking himself safe, prepared immediately to quit the bay, and refused to read some certificates that Eitouna presented to him to inspire him with confidence.
Eitouna and many others were in the cabin of the Jean Bart, when suddenly they heard a great tumult on deck: they immediately endeavoured to make their way up the ladder, when a wounded New Zealander fell from the deck amongst them.; they then returned into the cabin to conceal themselves when the skylight was immediately removed; and Eitouna said they tried to kill them with lances and spades, which they thrust into all parts of the cabin; many of those in the cabin were wounded, some were killed: they looked about for some arms to defend themselves, and found a double-barrelled gun and some pistols in the captain's cabin, but these being percussion, and having no caps, they were useless to them. At length they found some muskets and cartridges, with which they killed two of the seamen. The sky-
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FRENCH WHALER JEAN BART.
light was instantly put on again, and fastened down by the people on deck, and soon afterwards all was silent. Eitouna supposes that the captain and crew became alarmed when they found the New Zealanders in possession of fire-arms, and had barricaded all the hatchways, to gain time to get out their boats and make their escape; for when he and his party eventually got upon deck, there was no one to be seen. He stated that twenty-eight of their men and one woman were killed, and twenty others wounded. He believes that the attack was provoked by the people of Eimare's pah, who wished to get possession of some articles which the seamen endeavoured to prevent; he said, also, that had it not been for the fire-arms they found, the French would have put them all to death. The fight lasted from two hours after sunset until two o'clock in the morning.
Captain Cecille had learned at the Bay of Islands that the pahs of Chatham Island were placed beyond the reach of the guns of a vessel at the anchorage; he made his dispositions accordingly, and landed a large force the day after his arrival. The party met with no resistance: all the pahs were abandoned; they saw a few of the New Zealanders, who fled into the woods, where it was neither prudent nor possible to follow them. The fortifications were entirely destroyed by fire, as well as some large canoes: they also found several articles that had belonged to the French whaler, and one of her boats, which was launched and taken on
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board the Heroine. By four o'clock in the afternoon there remained of all their extensive establishment, of a quarter of a league in length, and which was pallisaded throughout, nothing but a heap of ashes.
In the mean time Eitouna had been a prisoner on board two days in the greatest uneasiness: he inquired frequently when they would put him to death. Not willing to prolong this mental torture, Captain Cecille acquainted him that he and his two companions should remain prisoners in the vessel, and be taken to France, when the King would decide their fate.
They soon became reconciled to their situation; and Captain Cecille having satisfied himself that Eimare and his people were the aggressors, he contrived to open a communication with the people of Eitouna's tribe, and succeeded so far in assuring them of their safety from any further punishment, that several of them came on board to take leave of their chief.
After having landed on another part of the island, and destroyed some more pahs and canoes belonging to Eimare's tribe, he visited Pitt Island, under the impression that as only one of the boats of the Jean Bart was to be found, it was very probable that those which were missing had been taken by the survivors of the crew, in which they might have sought a place of safety upon this contiguous islet. Eitouna appeared also to have been of the same opinion. But as all their searches
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INHABITANTS OF CHATHAM ISLAND.
after them proved fruitless, it is most likely that those who escaped the assault of the New Zealanders perished in their attempt to reach New South Wales, or were murdered by the savages that inhabit Pitt Island.
As Captain Cecille's observations and description of Chatham Island and its anchorages may prove useful to our whalers or other vessels that may have occasion to touch there, I have given them in the Appendix to this volume, being the best information we at present possess.
The people with whom the French had been engaged, were not the aborigines of the island, but part of a large number of New Zealanders who had been taken to the island in an English vessel, the Lord Rodney, amounting to between four and five hundred, whom the inhabitants of the island, of about an equal number, allowed quietly to settle there. A scarcity of provisions soon followed their arrival, when the New Zealanders fell upon the aborigines, and killed above two hundred for food: the rest they reduced to slavery.
The present population consists chiefly of inhabitants of East Cape and Port Nicholson, and a few turbulent natives of Teranaki. They arrived at Chatham Island, under the command of Hepatou. Since his death, in 1836, they divided into two tribes: the one staid at Wangaroa, under Eimare, the other established itself at Wai Tangui, with Eitouna, as its chief. Chatham Island is called
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Wairi Kaori (large mountain) by its New Zealand inhabitants. It is very fertile, and the potatoes grown there are of a very superior quality. Corn has not succeeded, in consequence of the great number of parroquets which destroy it before it is ripe. An Englishman of the name of Coffee, who had lived five years on the island, had never seen any ice there, but remembers the occurrence of a single fall of snow.
The Heroine had been again sent to these seas for the protection of French whaling vessels, and to prevent a fraud which they had extensively practised. The French government had lately offered a bounty for the encouragement of the whale fishery, and the reward was granted in proportion to the success of the vessel. But the object for which it was intended was entirely defeated, for instead of capturing the whales themselves, they purchased oil from the American and English whalers, and, carrying it home, received the bounty, as if it had been the produce of their own skill and enterprize. From Captain L'Eveque I also received a chart of the discoveries of Admiral d'Urville in the southern seas, which I had not before seen. On quitting the Heroine, we were honoured by a salute of eleven guns, which was returned with an equal number by the Erebus. After remaining two or three days at anchor off Kororarika, the Heroine sailed, on a favourable, breeze arising, for Akaroa.
During the whole period of our stay in the river
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FISH OF THE BAY OF ISLANDS.
Kawa Kawa, our crews were abundantly supplied with excellent fish, which the numerous creeks and small beaches around the shores of the bay and river afforded. The more delicious of these were the John Doree (Zeus Australia) and the red mullet; the largest, a kind of mackarel, called yellow tail, and sometimes cavallo, though coarse, was found to be very good eating. Of the last we caught several in the seine, three feet nine inches in length, and weighing nearly fifty pounds: the soles, though small, are very good, and the plaice of large size are equal in flavour to the Dutch fish: the Barracouta is caught in the proper season, which had not arrived before we quitted the place. Sharks of a formidable size are numerous, and of these several new species were captured by us: they are described, together with the rest of our extensive collection of other kinds of fish, by Dr. Richardson, in the zoology of the voyage, amongst which are many genera and species hitherto wholly unknown: his account of them will, I have no doubt, prove a valuable addition to our knowledge of the finny tribes of the southern seas. A description of the birds we collected at New Zealand, will be published in the same work, by Mr. George Robert Gray, of the British Museum.
Our crews maintained very good health, so that it was seldom we had any one of them in the sick report, and then, generally, only for some trifling accidental hurt: but we had the misfortune to lose one of our shipmates, and in him one of
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DEATH OF GEORGE BARKER.
our best men, George Barker, marine, who was drowned by the upsetting of a boat.
The proper season for renewing the exploration of the Antarctic Regions being now near at hand, we concluded the hourly magnetometrical observations at the end of the month of October; and the absolute determination of the three magnetic elements was obtained in the course of three or four following days. The observatories and instruments were re-embarked, and our ships prepared for sea by the middle of November.
The Favourite had been despatched to Sydney at the request of Sir George Gipps, who was desirous of visiting Norfolk Island, to inquire into the cause of the insubordination reported to prevail there; but events having since occurred which rendered his visit unnecessary, and therefore not requiring her services, she returned to New Zealand, where her presence was more likely to be useful, bringing us letters from England, and some stores which we had omitted to get before our departure from Sydney. During this short cruize she was found to be so leaky that it became necessary to make a thorough survey of her condition: Commander Crozier, and the other officers who had been appointed to assist him in this duty, reported that the leak was occasioned by the copper being very much worn away, and by the oakum having worked out of the seams in several places. As it was not possible to get at the leaks without heaving the ship down, I directed Commander
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NAVAL FORCE NECESSARY.
Sulivan to proceed to Auckland; and if Governor Hobson, who had by this time returned from the southern settlements, did not require her for any urgent or immediate service, I recommended him to go direct to Port Arthur in Van Diemen's Land, and there make all necessary repairs, and thoroughly refit her in readiness for any service that might be required, as, from her being the only man-of-war on the station, it was the more necessary that she should be immediately brought into an efficient state.
The want of a sufficient naval force for the protection of the numerous colonies that Great Britain has recently established in this quarter of the world, has been a just cause of complaint, and has occasioned pressing representations on the subject to the home government by the successive governors, but without any effect. Indeed, it is difficult, almost impossible, to keep the colonies regularly visited by ships from the East India station, to which they at present belong, and which is too remote to admit of provision being made for the many contingencies that arise. It is therefore desirable that a distinct naval command should be formed, and consist of several ships. Sydney should be the head-quarters of the commodore of the squadron, and the vessels belonging to it might be sent to each of the other colonies in turn, and by maintaining a zealous and cordial co-operation between the naval force and the respective governments, inspire a feeling of security and confidence amongst the
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NAVAL FORCE NECESSARY.
settlers, and prevent hostile attacks from the natives. One of the vessels should occasionally visit the Friendly, Society, and Feejee Islands, for the encouragement and protection of British subjects engaged in commercial pursuits, and for the purpose of strengthening the now existing friendly disposition of their inhabitants towards Great Britain. Frequent disputes occur between the masters and crews of whaling and other merchant ships in those remote regions, where an appeal to the captain of a man-of-war would be generally more effectual, and more satisfactory to both parties, than the interference of the civil authority, for which seamen, in general, have very little respect or fear, especially in the newly-established colonies, where there is seldom sufficient power to enforce the laws, and where there is usually a great dislike to meddle in nautical matters, which are generally but little understood.
In the various groups of islands of the Pacific, mutinies, piracies, and other disgraceful proceedings are but of too frequent occurrence, to the degradation of our national character, which even the expected arrival of a man-of-war would sometimes prevent, and her presence would always check or rectify such reprehensible irregularities. In the course of our voyage, I had several times occasion to put matters to rights between the master and the crew of merchant vessels, and restore harmony and good feeling, which could not have been accomplished by any other means, al-
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RESULT OF OBSERVATIONS.
though, be it remembered, I had no legal authority to interfere beyond giving my advice to the parties concerned, except only in extreme cases; but by pointing out the consequences that would result to them, and the penalties to which they were rendering themselves liable by their improper proceedings, I always accomplished my object.
The result of our observations gave the latitude of the place of the observatories 35 deg. 17' 46".6 S., longitude 174 deg. 8' 22".7 E.; the mean magnetic dip between the 23rd of August and 25th October, 59 deg. 33'S., the
Variation between 26th and 31st of August, 13 deg. 33' 52.5 E.
1st and 30th of Sept. 13 deg. 34' 54".6
1st and 23rd of Oct. 13 deg. 38' 45".9
and first week of Nov. 13 deg. 40' 50"
showing a gradually increasing easterly variation.
The following are the results of our tidal observations:-- a tide gauge was fixed at a convenient distance from the astronomical observatory, and the height of the tide was recorded every quarter of an hour, when near the time of high and low water, or every hour, at other times, day and night between the 14th of September and 19th of November, through a space therefore of two complete lunations, or five periods of full or change of the moon, viz.:--
It was full moon on the 15th September, at 5h 38m A.M.; the following high water occurred at 7h 30m, the amount of rise being then five feet nine inches; the highest and largest tide was the third
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high water after new moon, and the amount of tide six feet ten inches.
October 1st, --Full moon at 3h 55m A.M., high water at 7h 22m A.M., amount of tide five feet two inches; the highest and largest tide being the seventh high water after full moon, and amounted to six feet one inch; the strength of the stream of the flood at the anchorage 0.6 mile per hour, and of the ebb 1.2 mile per hour.
October 15th. -- New moon 4h 2m A.M., high water 7h 15m A.M., amount of tide five feet seven and a half inches: largest tide the seventh high water after new moon, being six feet one inch; strength of the flood 1.0, and of the ebb 1.4 mile per hour.
October 30th. --Full moon 5h 33m P.M., high water at 7h 30m, rise of tide five feet six inches, largest tide the sixth after the change of moon, amounted to six feet two inches, stream of flood 1.0 and of the ebb 1.2 mile per hour.
For practical purposes we may therefore assume that the time of high water next after the full and change of the moon takes place at about 7h 22m; that the amount of tide on that day is about five feet six inches; and that the highest tide occurs very irregularly, but may be looked for generally about the fifth or sixth high water after the full or change of the moon, at which time it varies in amount from five feet ten inches to six feet ten inches; and that at the strength of the flood-tide in the middle of the stream, its rate is rather less than one mile, and
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that of the ebb nearly one mile and a quarter per hour; but both are considerably modified by the very heavy rains which occur at this period of the year, and by which the velocity of the ebb tide is much increased, whilst that of the flood proportionally retarded.
On any other day than that of full and change of the moon, the time of high water occurs, on an average, at 7h 22m after the moon passes the meridian.
The state of the tide was registered by the petty officers on duty at the observatory, and the velocity of the stream measured every half hour by one of the quarter-masters of the Erebus, under the direction of the officer of the watch.
I have been the more particular in stating these phenomena of the tides, in consequence of our observations differing widely from those of others who have visited this place. Captain Fitzroy states the time of high water, at full and change, to be 9h 16m, and the amount of tide six feet; and Captain Cecille, who made his observations at Kororarika, states that the establishment of the Port is 5h 40m, and the amount of tide six feet six inches.