1856 - New Zealand Pilot - APPENDIX.

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  1856 - New Zealand Pilot - APPENDIX.
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The following Directions for the Coast from Poverty Bay to the Mahia Peninsula and Hawke's Bay, by Commander B. Drury, of H.M.S. Pandora, are from the New Zealand Government Gazette, of January 4, 1856:

From Poverty Bay to the neck of the Mahia Peninsula, the coast is bold, and may be approached as near as convenient; twenty-four fathoms at two miles distant, and ten fathoms at one mile; but there is no landing until reaching Mahanga, which is within half a mile of the neck.

On the north coast of the peninsula there is a good roadstead at Wangawai, three miles west of Table Cape, anchorage in ten fathoms mud, one mile north of the river, Table Cape bearing E. 1/2 S. affording shelter in south and west winds, and safe during the ordinary sea breeze; but care must be taken to leave on the approach of easterly winds. The "Governor Hobson," schooner, was swamped, and all hands lost, in 1845; by holding on too long she was driven upon a patch of shifting sand, on which the sea broke in five fathoms, one and a half miles north-west of Wangawai, and about three quarters of a mile from the shore. Small coasters can enter Wangawai, it affords anchorage in six feet.

Between Wangawai and Table Cape the ground is foul,--rocks extend north of the cape, awash for near a mile, and the east coast of Mahia to Portland Island is studded with off-lying dangers.

We first come to a reef three miles south of the Table Cape, extending three quarters of a mile off Taiporutu. One mile farther south is a detached reef three and a half miles long; the outer ledge two miles from the shore, and leaving a channel within, half a mile broad, sometimes taken by coasters, but not recommended; the northern extreme of the rocks are six feet above water, the rest covered and only occasionally breaking. Three miles south-easterly of this ledge is a rock seen by Captain Cook. 1 We ascertained the true position of this isolated danger; it is 3 3/4 miles N. 78 deg. E. of the south point of the Mahia, and 4 1/4 miles N. 45 deg. E. of the

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south extreme of Portland; we found 20 fathoms within one-third of a mile round it. We came across another reef midway between it and the extreme of Mahia. The latter appears to be a narrow ledge extending a cable north and south, a channel within, its centre is two miles N. 70 E. from the south of Mahia, these rocks have at least eight feet of water on them, and only break when there is a swell. We sounded a channel between Portland and the Mahia of six fathoms, and a quarter of a mile in width. The rocks extending from Portland and the Mahia show, and the channel is more on the Mahia shore.

If a vessel is caught in a souther, and cannot weather Portland, this route is available, but as it leads among the rocks before-mentioned, it is not to be recommended. The tide sets through with a force of two knots, ebbs to the south-east across the Portland reef.

The south extreme of Portland is foul, but not above half a mile from the shore.

We found a shoal path in Long Point Bay, with 2 3/4 fathoms on it, N.N.E. from Long Point and S.W. by W. from Moemoto Head three cables. The ground of Mohaka is foul, and the covered rock two miles N.N.E. of Ahuriri Bluff, are all the dangers we found or heard of in and about Hawkes Bay.

We found considerable change in the entrance to Ahuriri since March last, but not less water; the Rangitera bank is now connected with a low spit extending from the south shore, about one-third of a mile north of the mouth.

The anchorages in Hawkes' Bay are Ahuriri, Long Point, and Cape Kidnappers.

Ahuriri Roads is safe in south, south-west, and north-west winds, and during the ordinary summer north-east sea breezes. The anchorage is after shutting in Cape Kidnappers, bringing the bluff to bear S.E. by E., and about one mile off the harbour, in 6 fathoms, good holding ground.

Cape Kidnappers anchorage is the shelter afforded by a reef extending from a point a mile westward of the cape; the best anchorage is a mile south-west of the extreme. Here a vessel can ride out south-east and south winds--the anchorage has otherwise little to recommend it; the landing is bad, and no water or stock can be procured.

On the north-east extreme of Hawkes' Bay we find Long Point Roads, sheltered from all winds but westerly. The holding ground is not always good, but by anchoring a mile from the point, bringing Long Point to bear S.S.W., there is good protection from the black north-easter, 2 and ample

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room to weigh. To ride out a south wind, it is requisite to get well and close inside Long Point, 3 until an opening or cleft shows itself; bring the point to bear south-west, in seven fathoms blue clay, this is the best holding ground; the cliff within the point is steep-to, but vessels should be prepared to take an outer berth when the gale abates, and if a south-west wind sets in proceed to Wangawai. In Hawkes' Bay there are three more minor anchorages for small vessels, under Black Reef Point, between Long Point and Portland Island, under Waikokopu, and under Whakaari, but their partial shelter is only adapted to those coasters who are accustomed to take up the birth. There is the Waippa boat harbour between Whakaari and Waikare, it is under the highest white bluff.

The rivers Wairoa, Mohaka, and Tukituki, are, besides Ahuriri, used for trade. The former river can take in a vessel of 30 to 40 tons; the Mohaka, vessels of 10 tons, but the entrances are difficult; the mouths shift, and a south swell detains them with the chance of being blocked up.

The anchorage of these rivers are fair in fine weather, but a heavy ground swell sets into the bight of the bay off Wairoa and Mohaka. On the approach of a south wind on one occasion, it appeared ready to break over us in 12 fathoms.

Hawkes' Bay has a fine climate; but the winds are very uncertain, and the sudden south-easters make it necessary to be cautious when trading off Wairoa and Mohaka: the southers give more warning, by an overcast sky, but they are violent, especially in the winter. The westerly winds occur chiefly in October and November, blowing very strong with a low barometer, but generally fine weather. The black north-easter may be expected about once a month; this gale comes on very gradually, but latterly blows very hard, accompanied by rain, veering to north-west and south-west.

The ordinary summer wind is a fine north-easter, with hazy weather, setting in at 10 a.m., and dying away at sunset, and succeeded by a land-wind. The barometer rises to north-east, south-east, and south winds, and falls to north, north-west, and westerly. Rainy weather may be expected with north winds, and the black north-easters, and often with south-east winds; sometimes dry south-easters last for many days.

The tides in Hawkes' Bay are slack, but strong in the river mouths. The flood sets in from the south, ebb from the north; high water full and change, at Long Point, 6h. 0m. Rise and fall; neaps, 4 feet, springs, 5 feet.

There are now eight whaling stations working on the west coast of Mahia, 22 Europeans, the crews Maories. There are settlers at Wairoa and Mohaka, the former being the Mission station. The whaling stations at Whakaari and Cape Kidnappers are at present deserted; the trade is annually decreasing, the whales becoming scarce.

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The aspect of the country in Hawkes' Bay is mountainous on the north, with fine valleys at Wairoa, Mohawka, and Whakari, and these are the timbered districts. South of Waikari we come to impassable white cliffs, backed with undulating downs of curious formation, from the extreme regularity of the rises and hollows.

Twelve miles from Ahuriri the cliff ends abruptly, when the fine grazing land and extensive plains of this district face the sea until reaching Cape Kidnappers. This Cape is broken argillaceous clay of peculiar whiteness. In all these cliffs fossil shells are found identical with the present species--the terebratula--in abundance, proving (geologically speaking,) the recent upheaving of the coast.

WINDS AND WEATHER.(Compiled from various sources.)

The climate of New Zealand, it must be admitted, is essentially stormy and boisterous, although its character in this respect, having been derived principally from the reports of vessels which have visited the settlements in Cook strait, where gales of wind are certainly more prevalent than in most other parts, has doubtless been exaggerated. Embracing, however, so considerable an extent of coast line as these islands do, extended over 800 miles of latitude, there must necessarily exist, irrespective of local influence, great varieties of wind and weather.

The North and North eastern coast of the North island from Three Kings Islands to the Hauraki gulf are most exempt from heavy gales, and are sheltered from the prevailing westerly ones; the eastern and southern coasts are subject to S.E. gales, to which, from the scarcity of harbours ships are more exposed; Cook and Foveaux straits are visited by frequent and sometimes furious gales from N.W. and S.E., while the prevailing winds on the entire western coasts are from N.W. to S.W. 4

During the summer months, from October to March, the N,E. or regular sea breeze is constant on the eastern coast of the North Island between the north and east capes; it sets in about 10 A.M. and gradually dies away towards sunset, when it is succeeded by the westerly or land wind. Should the sea breeze, however, continue after sunset and the sky become cloudy, it will generally increase to a fresh gale accompanied with heavy rain lasting for several hours, when the wind will suddenly shift to the westward and the weather become fine.

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These regular land and sea breezes cannot be depended on during the winter months, and the general wind seems to be from N.W. to S.W.; a North wind with cloudy weather will usually terminate in a gale accompanied with rain, though of short duration.

N.W. winds generally blow strong with heavy rain, and seldom last more than twenty-four hours; the general shift follows the course of the sun. With the wind at rest the weather is unsettled and squally, but immediately it veers to W.S.W. and S.W., which it almost invariably does, fine settled weather may be expected to continue for several days.

A strong Easterly or S.E. gale may be looked for about once in six weeks; it generally occurs about the time of the moon's full or change, and is accompanied by rain and thick weather, lasting from three to form days; this wind is preceded by a high barometer, and generally veers round by the Northward to S. W.

There is likewise a S.E. wind exceedingly cold, with a clear sky and fine settled weather, which frequently continues for several days, terminating in a calm, or shifting to S.W. Westerly gales generally die away at sunset within a short distance of the shore; their continuance is indicated by a sensible fall in the barometer,

In the Bay of Plenty, the sea breeze blows from the Westward, and frequently with considerable strength; the S.E. wind is more common than in the Hauraki gulf and freshens rather suddenly; N.E. gales, which generally spring from the Eastward, come on more gradually and give warning of their approach.

The winds on either side of the East cape are frequently very different, although it may be blowing fresh, the distinct line of breeze being curiously depicted on the water; a vessel may be becalmed here for hours in sight of strong breezes. South winds come on very suddenly on both sides of the cape, frequently accompanied by rain.

Proceeding southward, the ordinary sea breeze from N.E. will again be found; N.E. gales are far less common than on the north-east coast, while those from S.E. which are so uncommon there, are frequent on both sides of the East Cape, lasting several days together. The N.E. gales are more frequent in March and April; those from S.E. during the winter months; the latter accompanied by showers and lightning to the S.E. North winds, with gloomy weather and rain, frequently precede those from South, and the change from North to South is very sudden.

In the Bay of Plenty, the barometer rises to W.S.W. winds, and the same effect is produced by the N.E. sea breeze south of the East cape; it falls to northerly winds and rises when about to shift to the southward.

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Before N.E. gales, the barometer is generally very high; they come on very gradually with a leaden sky, rain follows, and they invariably shift to north and N.W. veering to W.S.W., and frequently remaining at the latter quarter for some days; these gales seldom last less than forty-eight hours. It will be found that 3 P.M. is not an uncommon time for change, during any gales on this coast.

In Cook strait, the prevailing, indeed the almost constant winds, are N.W. or S.E.; and approaching either entrance with N.E. or S.W. winds, the former will almost certainly change to S.E., and the latter to N.W.; the changes also from N.W. to S.E., and the contrary are common and frequently very sudden; lightning or a dark bank of clouds rising, are pretty certain indications that the wind will come from the quarter in which they appear, but it is not an uncommon circumstance for a vessel running through the Strait with a fair wind on opening out either entrance to be taken aback with one from the opposite quarter, with little or no warning. Gales from these quarters are also frequent and blow with great violence; those from S.E. are most frequent during the winter months of May, June, and July; a falling barometer is a certain indication. They come on very suddenly, last often three days, and are generally accompanied by rain and thick weather. N.W. gales are most common in spring and summer, they are exceedingly violent, though generally of short duration, and at their strongest raise a high barometer.

These winds are believed to be almost purely local, and their violence is in a great measure due to the configuration of the shores; they do not extend far beyond the line of Strait and the harbours which indent its shore; in proof of this, the head of Blind Bay on the southern side is remarkably exempt from strong winds, and frequently enjoys line and calm weather while a gale is blowing in Cook Strait.

On the western coast of the North island, when clear of the influence of Cook Strait, there are regular land and sea breezes during the summer season, the latter from S.W. and light winds off the land during the night. In winter the weather is variable; the spring and fall of the year bring the heaviest gales.

S.W., or W.S.W., is the prevailing wind, and S.E. is the fine weather quarter on the southern part of this coast--northward of Cape Egmont; the N.W. which blows directly into the roadstead of New Plymouth, does not often blow home, it gives sufficient warning, backing round from N.E. and North, and is generally preceded by a swell.

On the N.W. coast in the neighbourhood of Hokianga river and Kaipara harbour, Westerly winds are the most frequent; it blows hardest from N.W. to S.W., the heaviest gales from the latter quarter, and in the winter

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months. Easterly winds are more common in summer, and draw round to the south, they are looked for at the time of the new moon, and generally last three days. Most rain falls in July, August, and September; fogs prevail in October and November, but seldom last after 8h. a.m.

On the eastern coast of the Middle island, between Cape Campbell and Foveaux Strait, the N.E. sea breeze may be looked for during the summer months; and within a short distance of the coast a wind off the land during night, but not with the same degree of regularity as they are found on the eastern coast of the North island.

Strong winds from N.W. and S.W. are frequent, and S.E. gales are not uncommon; the latter blow heavily, bring thick dirty weather and rain, and continue between two and three days.

Foveaux Strait and the coasts of Stewart island, are without doubt the most boisterous localities in New Zealand; heavy gales from N. W. to S.W. are the prevailing winds, and seem to blow, without regard to seasons, at all times of the year, occasionally continuing for Aveeks without intermission. N.W. winds are the most frequent in Foveaux Strait, which seldom last less than four or five days, and often bring rain and thick dirty weather; thunder which is not of common occurrence in New Zealand, is said to indicate that the gale will be of unusually long duration; the barometer falls on the approach of this wind, though it often continues to blow hard after the mercury has risen; on these occasions, however, it generally veers to S.W., and the weather clears. With a strong N.W. or Westerly wind in Foveaux Strait, it is often from S.W. on the eastern coast of Stewart island, and on the western coast of that island the N.W. wind becomes N.N.W.

A strong S.E. wind may be looked for about once in six weeks in the summer months, and perhaps twice in that period during June, July, August, and September, and generally occurs about the full or change of the moon; the barometer rises before one of these winds and they often blow with great strength, bringing thick weather with drizzling rain; a heavy bank of clouds rising to the S.E., with rain, and the tops of the hill clothed with a white mist nearly to the horizon, are considered as certain indications.

Before a S.E. gale, also, the groups of islands between Ruapuke and Stewart island appear much raised by refraction, but on going westward, should Solander island appear distorted from the same cause, the Westerly wind will prevail over the Easterly: a casual N.E. or Easterly wind with fine weather in the eastern entrance of the strait almost certainly turns to N.W. before reaching the western outrance; the only

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wind which can be depended on to carry a vessel through is a strong south-easter.

The worst weather is said to occur in Foveaux strait, in July.

During very fine weather the ordinary sea breeze of the East coast prevails as far south as the Traps rocks, but this must not often be looked for, and it is almost invariably met there by the N.N.W. wind of the west coast.

The N.W. or N.N.W. wind is very constant on the S.W. coast of the Middle island, until sufficiently far to the northward to be out of the influence of Foveaux Strait, and the endeavour to round the S.W. extreme from this cause as well as a southerly current which prevails, is extremely tedious for a sailing vessel. When to the northward of West cape the difficulty is in a great measure overcome, as there is a port under the lee, and moreover, S.W. winds are of more common occurrence, it frequently however blows hard from both quarters. A falling barometer indicates a N.W. wind, which brings rain and thick weather, while with that from S.W. it is generally fine and clear.

Unless blowing very hard in the offing, the wind generally falls light or dies away within one or two miles of the high precipitous coast between the S.W. extreme of the Middle island and Milford sound, but a strong gale blows home and direct up the inlets; rain is frequent in all the harbours of this coast, and a land wind will be found to draw out of them in the early morning, unless it is blowing strong from the westward outside. N.W. gales are less frequent and intervals of fine weather, accompanied by Southerly or S.W. winds, and attended with a high barometer, are by no means uncommon.

On rounding Cape Farewell with these winds, they almost invariably draw to the Westward and N.W., and follow a vessel through Cook strait.

1   Cook thought its distance was only two miles from Portland. The coasters call it six.
2   It frequently blows from the north-west in Hawkes' Bay, while it is north-east at Long Point; the neck of low land causing the in-draft. The black north-easter is so called as distinguished from the summer sea breeze from the same quarter.
3   Long Point affords an excellent supply of water.
4   For much of the information respecting the wind and weather on the eastern coast of the North Island we are indebted to the Venerable Henry Williams, Archdeacon of Paihia, in the Bay of Islands, who has resided many years in New Zealand.

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