RECORDS RELATING TO VANCOUVER'S VOYAGE.
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RECORDS RELATING TO VANCOUVER'S VOYAGE.
AN account of Vancouver's voyage was published in London, three volumes, 4to, in 1798, under the designation "A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and round the World," together with a folio atlas of plates, but a second edition of six volumes, in 8vo, printed in 1801, is the one in common use. A French translation was also published in 1798, in three volumes, 4to, with a folio atlas.
Vancouver was born in 1758, and entered the Navy at thirteen, with the rating of an A. B., on board the "Resolution" with Captain Cook, on his second voyage. From A. B. he rose to be midshipman. On 19th October, 1780, he passed his examination, and, on 9th December, was appointed lieutenant on board the sloop "Marten." He died on 10th May, 1798. and his brother John published his work.
Already, in Vol. i, pages 113 to 168, several official documents connected with Vancouver's Expedition have been published, but no journals of the officers were then available. Since that, the editor has found one portion of Menzies' Journal in the British Museum, and another portion in the Petherick Collection in Melbourne; and Mr. A. H. Turnbull, of Wellington, has handed over a copy of a journal kept by Edward Bell, the clerk on board the "Chatham," which is now in his possession. This gives us the advantage of having one journal from each of the ships in the Expedition.
Archibald Menzies, the writer of the first journal, was the surgeon on board the "Discovery," and the botanist of the Expedition. He was a very assiduous collector of flowerless plants, and procured many species of Filices, Musci, and He-•paticae, most of which are described at length, and beautifully illustrated, in Hooker's "Musci Exotici" and in Hooker and Greville's "Icones Filicum." For the Expedition Menzies received his instructions from Sir Joseph Banks. His salary was "£150 a year for every charge of salary, men, servants, wages, &c."
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1791 2 November.
Sight New Zealand.
Five Fingers Point.
Visited Facile Harbour.
EXTRACT FROM A M. S. JOURNAL KEPT BY ARCHIBALD MENZIES ON BOARD H. M. S. "DISCOVERY," WHILE AT DUSKY IN 1791 AND AFTER LEAVING THAT PORT, COPIED FROM THE MANUSCRIPT IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM BY THE EDITOR.
ON the 2nd of Novr. we had a fresh breeze & still fair with squally & dark hazy weather, which at intervals cleared up, so as to give us in the forenoon an imperfect sight of the land of New Zealand. We were at the same time met by vast flights of very small divers--blue petrels & Seals. At noon our Latitude by a Meridian altitude was 46° 00' South. We then steerd for Bushy Bay, which we entered about 7 in the evening, with a heavy rolling swell from the westward & light baffling air of wind that obligd us to hoist the boats out to assist in towing the ship into the Bay.
As we passed close to Point five-fingers, which makes the North point of Entrance, our eyes were fixd for some time upon its wild & romantic appearance. It is formed by a group of high peaked insulated Rocks perforated with holes & hideous caverns & furnishd with projecting rocks & steep cliffs that in many places overhung their base yet afforded a scanty nourishment to some trees & bushes which here & there issued from crevices & adornd their craggy sides. A little behind these a very steep rocky shore rose to a moderate height, & was covered towards the summit with trees of different kinds, forming, on the whole, a prospect truly picturesque, & which at this time was certainly heightened by the novelty of our situation -- the calm serenity of the evening & the wild hideous noise of a heavy surf dashing incessantly against the rocks & cavernous shore.
About nine the wind dying away entirely we both came to an anchor near the entrance of Facile Harbour, under the western shore, in 40 fathoms -- Point five fingers S. 38 W. & the outer point of Anchor Island S. 5 W. -- It remained calm during the night & a dark gloomy stillness pervaded the whole place from the high mountains with which we were surrounded.
On the morning of the 3d. of Novr Capt Vancouver, Lt Broughton, 1 & Mr Whidbey 2 went in the cutter into Facile Harbour in order to pitch upon a good situation for both Vessels. A boat was likewise employed in fishing, & in the course of a few hours
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1791 3 November.
Make for Anchor Island.
Menzies goes ashore.
returnd with good success. But towards noon it came on to blow very fresh & squally, which drove the Discovery off the Bank, nor did the dropping of a second Anchor avail, the depth of water being too great. Guns were fired, which soon brought the party on board from Facile Harbour, & after both anchors were hove up, having drove a good way to leeward, we made sail, & began working up to our former Anchorage, which we were on the point of regaining when at five in the evening the strap of the fore top sail sheet block gave way, & on account of the narrowness of the Channel obligd us to bear up for Anchor Island Harbour, where very soon after we came to an anchor in 26 fathoms, soft muddy bottom, at the entrance of a small cove, & after veering half a cable we were snug in the cove with our stern within 40 yards of the shore in 13 fathoms water. The Ship was further secured by a Hawser run out to each point of the Cove & one over each quarter, which were made fast on shore to large trees, & as the gale seemed increasing the Top Gallant Masts Top Masts & lower yards were struck, which on the whole rendered our situation as snug & secure as possible. In consequence of our hurry & tempestuous blowing weather Lt Broughton was obliged to stay on board the Discovery, & was for a time separated from his vessel, which still held her ground where she first anchored. During the night it continued to blow a very strong gale from North North West, with frequent heavy squalls.
On the morning of the fourth the Gale increased in its fury to a perfect storm with squalls & very heavy falls of rain, which induced us to drop another Anchor under foot -- send the Top Gallant Masts down upon deck -- strike the mizen top Mast and point the Yards fore & aft. By ten in the forenoon the gale somewhat abated & the weather became more moderate & fair. This tempestuous storm had so rarified the atmosphere that vapours were now seen ascending from different parts of the woods on the sides of the Mountains not unlike large columns of Smoke & the Mercury in the Barometer had sunk so low as 29.20.
A little before noon I went on shore with Capt Vancouver, Lt Broughton, and Mr Whidbey. Their object was to find a commodious place for carrying on the business of wooding & watering, while mine was to botanize & examine the natural produce of the country; nor did either of us return disappointed, for abreast of the ship a fine run of fresh water was discoverd, with wood close to the shore sufficient to supply all our wants; there were likewise found large Trees of what has been called New Zealand Spruce, so that the whole business of wooding, watering, brewing, &c, could be carried on here with great ease under the commanding officer's eye from the ship.
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1791 4 November.
Ferns and mosses plentiful.
Chatham removed to Facile Harbour.
Menzies searches for tea-plant.
They then rowed out to the entrance of the harbour to see if the Chatham had still remained in the same situation after the late storm, which they were happy to find she did, while I made an excursion into the woods & met with a vast variety of Ferns & Mosses I had never before seen. They are two tribes of plants of which I am particularly fond, therefore no one can conceive the pleasure I enjoyed unless placed under similar circumstances. I returned on board in the afternoon loaded with my treasures, & had sufficient to employ me in examining & arranging for the following day, which indeed was very lucky, for in the evening it began to blow again a very hard gale from the same quarter as before, & if possible with more fury the whole night & the greatest part of next day, attended with very heavy falls of rain. I do not remember ever seeing the foaming surface of the sea drifting about in the air in such quantity & and with such violence as during some parts of this storm. The mountains round about us were capt with fresh snow pretty low down.
On the 6th the Weather being now moderate & fair, Lieut. Broughton returned this forenoon on board his vessel, & removd her into Facile Harbour. A party was employed in clearing a place for a large Tent, which was sent on shore & pitchd near the fresh-water run, while others were engagd in the various duties of wooding, watering, fishing, & a party had gone shooting, so that there were very few idlers amongst us. The plant called the New Zealand Tea 3 being wanted as an ingredient for brewing beer, I went in a boat in the afternoon to search for it round the Harbour, but did not meet with any of it near the shore, it was however found next day in abundance higher up in the woods above the Cove in the direction of the fresh-water Rivulet, & it may appear singular that in this excursion I only met with three different plants in flower, though this month corresponds with the Month of May in England. The shores were bound round with rocky perpendicular cliffs covered to their verge with thick wood, so that there were not many places on which we could land without considerable obstruction & difficulty.
The Brewing Utensils were sent on shore on the 7th, & a Brewery established near the Tent, which was superintended by Mr. Orchard. The Carpenters began felling of Timber, which is to be got here in great plenty with very little trouble & good in quality for almost any purpose whatever.
I had another botanical excursion in the woods, but met with nothing different from what I had seen in my last excepting several kinds of Mosses which were in full perfection, particularly Hypna and Jungermanniae.
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Compliment to Cook.
Menzies shifts to the "Chatham."
Shooting party camped out
That the reader may accompany me with more ease through the different parts of this extensive Sound I recommend to his perusal the Chart of it in Cook's Voyage, which we found very accurate.
In the morning of the 8th. a Boat was sent on Board the Chatham, & I embraced the opportunity of going in her with an intent to remain with my friends in Facile Harbour for some days in order to examine the woods & Shore in that neighbourhood. We found the Chatham in a very comfortable situation, hauld into a snug Cove, & Moord by Hawsers to the Trees, & her Commander on shore within a stone's throw of her attending the different duties that were going forward. In the afternoon I accompanied him to Cormorant Cove., where we shot some Ducks & Shags, & found a considerable rivulet emptying itself into the head of it. This day was mostly fair, with a moderate breeze from the Southward.
On the following day I was favord with a Boat, which enabled me to examine several parts of Facile Harbour. I went but a little way from the Vessel when I found on a small Island plenty of the New Zealand Tea which was much wanted at the Brewery, & in this day's excursion I collected a number of Cryptogame plants I had not before seen, & was not a little pleasd to meet with pretty large trees of the Wintera aromatica & Batula antartica. The former I suspect to be what is called the Pepper plant on Norfolk Island -- See Philips Voyage to Botany Bay, page 78. 4
We saw a hut in one place near the shore which did not appear to have been inhabited for a long time. It was of an obtuse conic form, about 4 feet high & 6 in diameter at the bottom, composed of slender sticks crossing each other, & fastened together with twigs, closely thatched over all with grass & ferns, with the marks of a fire place before the door of it which faced towards the wood.
On the morning of the 10th Lieutenant Broughton, Messrs Johnstone, 5 Walker, & myself formed a shooting party, & after breakfast set but for Goose Cove, which we reachd in the afternoon, but as it was then low water the boat was of no service to us. We therefore landed, & in order to have better sport, divided into two parties, one on each side of the Cove, &, though we saw a great number of the black Sea Pies, Curlews, & some Ducks, the mud was too deep to suffer us to get near enough to them to make much execution. After going up the Cove about half way we returnd, & met again at the entrance, when it was found that our success fell far short of our expectations.
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1791 10 November.
in a Native hut.
Keeping a sentinel all night.
Continued operations next day.
Search for geese liberated by Cook.
It was now consulted whether we should relinquish any further attempts & return on board or remain here all night & renew our sport again early in the morning; the latter was agreed upon, & we instantly movd towards a hut which had been observd in the verge of the wood on the east side of the Cove as a place eligibly situated for our encampment.
This hut was the same form & size as the one in Facile Harbour, but it was much fresher, & seemed to have been later inhabited by some of the Natives, perhaps within the last twelve months. There was a fire place before it with a great number of ear shells & limpets scattered round it, the contents of which I dare say had been used as food. There were likewise the remains of two rude baskets formd of the bark of a Tree laying close to it. We immediately set about giving this hut a fresh coat of thatch, & had the bottom of it spread over with a thick layer of Ferns for our beds. We kindled a large fire before the entrance which was kept up by a Centinel all night to keep off the sand-flys, which were very troublesome, & after dressing some of our game, on which we made a hearty Meal, we retird to sleep on our comfortable fern beds, & being pleasantly situated at the foot of high steep romantic mountains clothed with trees the habitation of a numerous variety of birds whose warbling cadence lulled us to rest & in the morning entertained us with their wild heterogeneous concert.
On the 11th. we set out by the dawn of day to put our scheme in execution after leaving orders for the boat to follow us with the returning Tide; we walkd to the head of the Cove which was by no means an easy task, as we were obligd in many places to wade up to our knees in mud, & that too without the pleasure of much sport. From thence we went across a low Istmus of half a mile wide to Hen-Cove where we had no better success. Thus disappointed in our expectations of sport we returnd to the boat much dissatisfied with the scarcity of game, & immediately embarkd for the Vessel.
As Captain Cook had left five Geese in this Cove 6 we were in hopes of meeting with some of their offspring, & thereby partaking of the fruits of his benevolence, but as they were left in the autumn, I am apprehensive they did not survive the first winter, for not the least traces of any could be seen at this time about the Cove, & though there was a scarcity of other Birds on account of this being the season of incubation, yet it appears to be the most eligible place in the whole Sound for Game at a proper time of the year.
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1791 11 November.
Visit to the islands.
Wood hens in great numbers.
By the progress of vegetation spring seemed to be further advanced here than any other part we had yet visited, yet I met with nothing different in my botanical pursuits from what I had seen before excepting a small species of Ancistrum & a Lobelia.
Early on the 12th I went with Lieutenant Broughton & Mr Johnstone on board the Discovery, where we were joined by Messrs Mudge & Bader 7 & then set out with an intent to try our luck in Duck Cove & encamp there for the night, but as we went up the Sound with a fair breeze, we passed it, & only made this discovery when we were about six miles beyond it. We then shaped our course for Cooper's Island, & found on our way a Shagery in Trees on the Shag Islands, where we killd a few of them with some Parrots, & afterwards went into Sportsmans Cove, an enchanting spot. Here we made a fire, cookd some fish & game & enjoyd a rural repast. While these were getting ready I sauntered into the wood up the side of a large rivulet, where I found some species of Moss, but nothing else in flower that was new. The wood here was thick, but no wise difficult to penetrate.
In the afternoon we row'd back as far as the Front Islands opposite to Resolution Passage, where we encampd for the night, & after kindling a fire we sat cordially round it & drank the usual toast on Saturday night in a hearty bumper of Grog, after which we reclind on the soft moss for a bed under the dense foliage of spreading trees for a covering & enjoyed a refreshing sleep, the night remaining mild & calm.
The dawn of the following day mild & serene set us all in motion again, being anxious to get as far as Duck Cove before breakfast. We found this little Island to be inhabited by Wood Hens, which surprisd us not a little, as they seem as capable of swimming as our common domestic fowls, & less so of flying, their wings being so small in proportion to their body that we never once observed them to use them.
After rowing to Duck Cove I am sorry to say we met with very little sport, we therefore put ashore at the entrance of it, & made fire on a small sandy beach, where we cook'd breakfast near the influx of a considerable brook rolling its rapid stream over shelving rocks into the Sea, forming a pleasing & beautiful small cataract.
From this place we rowed over to Indian Island, to see if we could meet with any of the Natives where they were first seen by Captian Cook, but here we were likewise disappointed,
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1791 13 November.
Meets Vancouver and a party in Cascade Cove.
Joined expedition to complete survey of sound.
Cook's limit reached.
& it may appear singular that we had not yet met with any recent traces of them anywhere in the Sound. From here we were led by the wild & romantic appearance of a beautiful fall of some hundred feet perpendicular into Cascade Cove, where we met Captain Vancouver & Mr Whidbey in the Pinnace accompanied by a large party of the Midshipmen in the Cutter. They had left the Ship early in the Morning, breakfasted in Pickersgill harbour, and dind here before our arrival. Our first object after landing was to dress some fish & game for our dinner, of which we had picked up in the way more than sufficient for our own consumption.
Captain Vancouver now proposed, as it was moderate & pleasant weather, to visit the furthermost branch of the Sound, where Capt Cook left off his Survey, in order to obtain some knowledge of its termination. As this expedition might possibly take some days, we naturally examined our stock of provision, & foresaw we should be at a very short allowance of the most material articles, which were bread & liquor, for the rest of our subsistence we could in some measure depend on the produce of the country, with the assistance of our guns & fishing tackle. We however set out with the other two boats on this expedition with a fluctuating breeze, but for the most part favourable, & leaving Long Island on the right, we passed through Resolution Passage & entered the North Arm in the dusk of the evening; the wind having here headed us, it was late before we rowd about three miles further to reach Beachy Harbour, where we remained for the night, & the other two boats being somewhat astern & the night very dark, our first object was to make a large fire to denote to them our situation, which they soon after found out, & having pitched our tents we found it very necessary to keep a fire burning before each all night as we felt it exceeding cold, the mountains near us being covered with snow pretty low down; our greatest comfort was that the weather remained fair & calm.
In the morning of the 14th. we again embarked in our boats, & passing on the inside of some Island 8 which lay off the harbour we proceeded up the Arm leaving on our right hand some steep naked precipices & deep chasms with beautiful cataracts of considerable height, which with the romantic wildness of the country had a very picturesque appearance. By nine in the forenoon we reachd the furthest extent of Capt Cook's Survey. & landed in a small creek opposite to the third Cove near the end of his apparent Island, where we took some refreshment, after which, as the arm here divided into two branches, it was
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1791 14 November.
Vancouver Arm explored.
Broughton Arm explored.
The parties reunite.
Drink to Cook's memory.
agreed to separate, & that Capt Vancouver should go up the one to the left 9 with the Discovery's two Boats, & we the other in the Chatham's Cutter, appointing a small Island near where we parted as a place of rendezvous in case we should not meet further up.
That which we examined 10 was about half a mile wide, & ran in a winding direction East North East for about 6 miles, when it terminated in a low circular valley, backed by a solid ridge of Snowy Mountains from which it received two large streams of fresh water. A little way from the head is another small Valley on the Northern side, faced by a fine sandy beach, the banks of which are broken with beds of torrents & considerable streams of water running through to their conflux & like the other is backed by lofty Mountains whose steep & craggy sides are adorned with evergreens of different kinds, while the summits are enveloped in perpetual snow, affording a lively contrast to a wild & romantic scene. The rest of the Arm is bound in on both sides by a rocky shore arising abruptly into steep rugged mountains, & in some places overhanging precipices of great elevation.
On returning to the place of rendezvous we found Capt Vancouver & his party waiting our arrival on the small island after having finished the Arm they went up, which they said took a North East direction for about six Miles & then took a short turn round to the westward for about two miles further where it ended in low Marshy Land. Thus proving beyond a doubt what Capt Cook had not time to do, that neither of these branches communicate with any to the Northward, and that his apparent Island is only a narrow point of land separating these two small branches & rising steep from the water side to a peaked summit of considerable height.
As the evening was clear & fair we embraced a light favourable breeze down the Arm and reached Sandy Cove near its-entrance before dark, where we soon cleared a very eligible spot for the evening's encampment. After kindling a fire & refreshing ourselves on whatever game & fish the day afforded, we drank a cheerful glass to the memory of Capt Cook, whose steps we were now pursuing, & as far as we had opportunity to trace them, we could not help reflecting with peculiar pleasure & admiration on the justness of his observations & the accuracy of his delineations throughout every part of the complicated survey of this extensive Sound, where he had left so little for us to finish.
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1791 15 November.
Return through Acheron Passage.
Visit Cook's old camp.
In Facile Harbour.
More Maori huts.
As the weather was now so exceeding fine & we observd it to be generally calm at night, in the morning we set off at a very early hour on the 15th. from Sandy Cove in order to get through Resolution passage 11 before any breeze made against us, & we rowed on without much obstruction to the entrance of Duck Cove about 12 miles in distance where we landed & refreshed ourselves with our last quarter biscuit of bread each, after which Capt Vancouver returnd to the ship & we stretchd over to Pickersgill's Harbour to view the spot which the Resolution so snugly occupied about 18 years ago. 12 Here we visited the eminence on which the Observatory was pitchd, & attentively searchd for the Garden, but could not find the least traces or remains of it; the place facing where the ship lay was indeed clear of large trees, but so thickly covered with Brush wood & tall ferns as to hide the mark of the Axe & Saw in their stumps without a diligent examination, so that there is scarcely anything now remaining that would point out the situation to a stranger had it not been so well recorded. We found a note that had been left for us two days before by Capt Vancouver's party, & returnd on board in the evening, after being out three nights & four days.
In the forenoon of the 16th. I accompanied Lt Puget 13 to Facile Harbour, as that neighbourhood seemed more favourable for my researches, & after visiting the Chatham & the adjacent shores we went into Ear-shell Cove, where we made a fire & erected a temporary shelter with the Boats sails for the evening.
A considerable rivulet emptied itself into this Cove, near which we found the remains of two old huts similar in their structure to those already seen, with a number of different kinds of shells scattered round them, particularly Earshells.
Early next morning I made a short excursion up the side of the Mountains along the course of the Rivulet, which I found pretty clear & accessible, & if any attempt is ever made to reach the summits of the mountains in this Country I think the beds of torrents afford the most likely paths for accomplishing it, especially in dry seasons.
About breakfast time we were joined by Lt Broughton in his little boat, & spent the day agreably in visiting places adjacent, for the weather was exceeding fine & favourable for such excursions, & it would seem as if Summer had only now commenced in this Country, for in the day time we felt it very hot, & the flies were become very troublesome. The woods here
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1791 17 November.
Leave Facile Harbour.
The "Chatham" preparing.
Returned to Facile Harbour.
are well stocked with Parrots; one of them was wounded with a shot in a tree which made such a hideous noise that it brought several others about it from different parts of the wood, but their sympathising provd fatal to about a dozen of them, which were shot in a short time without stirring from the foot of the same tree, till at last, finding their number decrease so fast, the two or three surviving ones went away with a pitiful noise, seeming to bemoan the fate of their fellow-companions.
In the evening we returned again on board the Discovery, & found preparations were now making for leaving this place. I brought with me live plants of the Wintera aromatica, which were planted in the frame on quarter deck.
Early on the 18th. we weighd anchor, & the wind being, scanty, with the assistance of the boats ahead went out of the Harbour, but came to again in 38 fathoms water near Parrot Island to wait for fair wind and the Chatham's joining us. After we came to an anchor Lt Baker was sent with a party of men & three boats to strike the Tent & bring it & the Brewing utensils &c on board. I embracd the same opportunity to bring several live plants, among which was the New Zealand Flax plant, with a view, if they succeeded in the frame on board, to carry them to his Majesty's Gardens.
In the evening a Boat was sent into Facile Harbour, where they found the Chatham preparing to come out & join us, which she attempted to do the following day, but the weather proved so boisterous & squally that she was not able to accomplish it. & was obliged to put back again.
The appearance of the weather on the 20th was nowise favourable, the Sky to the Southward appeared overcast with a rising bank of dark clouds seeming to portend a gale from that quarter, & our situation in that event not being a very eligible one, we were indued to run into Facile Harbour, where we anchord again in 38 fathoms, & for further security steadied the Ship with a Hawser to the trees on shore.
On the 21st Capt Vancouver was employd in Sounding the entrance of the Harbour, which he found very favourable for anchorage in case a Vessel was necessitated to run in for it in a gale of wind. A boat was likewise employd in watering & another in fishing, the latter was not long gone when she returnd with a sufficient quantity of fish for all the Ship's Company. In the afternoon I went on shore, & in a short time shot about a dozen & half of the Poe birds without moving 20 yards from where I landed; these were dressd in a pie next day, & they were allowd by all who tasted to be the most delicate & savoury food we had yet used of the produce of this Country.
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1791 21 November.
Description of the bay.
Facile Harbour described.
Before our departure I will here offer some few observations on the Country & its produce.
The Bay is interspersed with numerous Islands & various Inlets, affording an easy access into the Country for about 30 miles, & it is almost everywhere bound in by a rocky indented shore forming in some places overhanging precipices of considerable height, & for the most part rising by a steep ascent to form exceeding high mountains whose craggy cliffs & dreary precipices are in great measure hidden from the eye of the beholder by a luxuriant covering of verdant woods even from high water mark to at least three fourths of their elevation. The summits of some appear coverd with a greenish Turf, while others are seen naked barren & rocky, apparently elevated beyond the powers of vegetation, & those inland still more remote & lofty are enveloped in perpetual snow, so that a prospect more wild & romantic than the general appearance of this country is seldom to be met with.
On the sides of these Mountains, the soil is a light blackish mould of a soft spungy texture, evidently formd from decayd vegetables, & every where coverd with a carpet of Mosses that naturally preserves a warmth & moisture more favourable to the luxuriancy of its produce in many places than the depth of the soil, but in the bottom of the vallies & on the low land which in a few places stretches out from the foot of the Mountains the soil is somewhat deeper & is intermixed with a redish friable earth that affords growth & nourishment to a very thick forest of trees & underwood, which would not fail to impede in a considerable degree the progress of cultivation should a settlement ever be thought of in this remote region, as the clearing & preparing the ground would be a work of immense labor, indeed the only inducement I can at present discover to such a design would be the establishing of a plantation of the New Zealand Flax which grows here spontaneous, & the variety of fine timber with which the country abounds, but these objects may no doubt be obtained to greater advantage in a more northerly situation of the Island, where the climate will be more favourable.
Facile Harbour, on account of its easy access, is the most eligible part in the whole Bay, as it is found safe & capacious, & surrounded with more low land than any other part, at the same time possessing the advantage of procuring with little trouble every kind of refreshment which the country affords.
The climate appears temperate & healthy, though often exposed to the visitation of very strong gales of wind & frequently heavy rains, the natural consequences of a mountainous & woody
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1791 21 November.
country. During the latter part of our stay the weather was mild & pleasant, we generally had a gentle breeze of wind from the sea in the daytime & calm at night, & the rise & fall of the Mercury in the Thermometer during the whole period averaged at about 62° of Farenheit's scale, yet it may seem strange that in all our excursions we met with very few plants in flower & only two in seeds, the one was that which has obtaind the name of Supple Jack with red berries, & the other apparently a Juniper with white berries. This evidently shows that the Summer was but just set in, & that the year here is markd only by two seasons, summer & winter, for the Trees & Shrubs are mostly evergreens, & show very little change in their foliage or natural verdure throughout the year.
As this place was found inhabited by several families when Capt Cook was here it may appear singular that we did not meet with any of the Natives in our various excursions. Indeed, I am much afraid that his liberality towards them has been in some measure the cause of this apparent depopulation, by affording a pretext for war to a more powerful tribe, ambitious to possess the riches he left them, which in all probability has ended in their total destruction, for if we except the few old huts we saw in & about Facile Harbour, we met with no other traces of them anywhere in the Sound, & these to all appearance were formd only for temporary shelter, & bore no marks of being very recently inhabited.
In the forenoon of the 22nd. I went on shore & shot another parcel of Poe Birds, which were found equally good & relishing. The fishing boat likewise returnd successfull, & the wind which was light & fluctuating about two in the afternoon settled at North, with which we both weighd anchor, & after running out of the harbour by a narrow passage hoisted in the boats & made all the sail we could out of the Bay to gain a good offing before dark, which by six in the evening we so far effected that the West Cape of New Zealand bore East of us four Leagues, & as it was intended to go round the South end of the Island we now shaped a south course, with all the Sail which a strong gale from the North West sufferd. us to make. This gale continued augmenting in its course till it increased to a most violent storm attended with dark hazy weather heavy rain & boisterous sea which broke incessantly over us & kept us wet and uncomfortable the whole night.
The following morning brought no alleviation to our hopes,, on the contrary the dawn ushered in with the redoubled fury of a storm that had now reducd us to our foresail & obliged us to scud before it as our only expedient for safety.
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1781 23 November.
Water in the hold.
The "Chatham" out of sight.
The Snares sighted.
At this time we were not a little alarmd at the sudden report of seven feet water in the Hold. The chain pumps were immediately set a going for the first time since we left England, & all hands stood by to take their spell, when it was soon found to our great satisfaction that we gained upon it & hi a short time pumpd all out.
As the day advanced we discovered we were separated from our Consort the Chatham, for she was not to be seen any where within our horizon from the Mast head. 14
In the forenoon the gale abated, & the weather, which was still dark & gloomy, became more moderate, so that we were able to make Sail again. In some part of this Storm the Barometer was again so low as 29. 20. At eleven we saw land about five leagues to the Eastward of us. At this time we had vast flights of Blue Petrels, some Albatrosses, & a few Pintadoe Birds about us & at noon the observed Latitude was 48° 6' South when the above Land bore N. 60 E. which we now found to be a cluster of seemingly barren Islands & peaked insulated rocks consisting of about 7 or 8 in number, & ranging nearly East & West about nine miles in extent; the largest is near the East end of the group, & may be about two leagues in circumference, & of a Height sufficient to be seen in clear weather eight or nine leagues off. As these were now considered a new discovery, they were called the Snares, a name sufficiently applicable to their lurking situation & appearance, & will we hope induce any vessel bound this way to give them a good birth. They are situated in the Latitude of 48° 3' S and in the Longitude of 166° 20' East of Greenwich, so that no part of Capt Cook's tract will be found within ten leagues of them, which will sufficiently account for his not seeing them when he passed round this end of New Zealand. We bore up on the outside of them at the distance of about six Miles, but it was so hazy that we could not distinguish any signs of vegetation upon them, nor is it probable from their appearance there was any except upon the largest -- they appeard however to afford secure & inaccessible retreats to vast numbers of Oceanic Birds, Seals, & Penguins with which we were now surrounded.
In the afternoon the breeze still continued fresh & the weather dark & cloudy. At four the Snares bore N. 30 W. six leagues off. From this time we pursued an easterly course for 25 leagues to shun the Traps, a shoal & sunken rocks which lay off the South point of New Zealand.
[Image of page 496]
"Prepare to anchor" in Dusky Bay.
The "Discovery" recalls her captain.
The "Chatham" remains at anchor.
JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
EXTRACT FROM A M.S. JOURNAL KEPT ON BOARD THE ARMED TENDER "CHATHAM" DURING CAPTAIN VANCOUVER'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD, 1791-94. (Extract, 2nd to 29th November, 1791.)
[In the Library of A. H. Turnbull, Esq., Wellington, New Zealand.]
Dusky Bay, New Zealand.
The 2nd November, in the morning, the Land of New Zealand was seen through a thick dirty haze bearing E. b. N. We approach'd it fast with a Fresh Breeze at W. S.W., and about 2 o'clock the Discovery made the Signal "to prepare to anchor." We therefore supposed (as was the case) that she saw the Entrance of Dusky Bay. We entered it about 6 o'clock in the evening, and as we proceeded lost the wind, which at last became light and variable, and we cou'd not get into Facile Harbour that night, but came to an anchor on the N.W. side of the Bay about 11 o'clock in 60 fams. Water.
Transactions in Dusky Bay.
In the morning the two Captains set out to take a look at Facile Harbour, and as the ships were not to move till their return, a Boat from each Ship went Fishing, and in about an hour caught as many with Hook and line as serv'd both Ships Companies.
The wind, which in the morning blew moderate over the Land from the Nd. & Ed., had by noon freshened to a Gale, and the Discovery, who lay in only 40 fams. water, without us, drove off the Bank, and though she let go another Anchor, she did not bring up, but was obliged to heave them up. By the time this was accomplish'd she had drifted nearly out of the Bay. She fir'd some Guns as Signals to Captn. Vancouver, who was away in the Boat, and we perceived him & Mr. Broughton return to her while she was driving. The wind had increased to a very hard Gale indeed, with heavy Squalls, and she made as much sail as she cou'd possibly bear, endeavouring to work up into her old Anchorage. After beating about some 3 hours without gaining anything considerable, her Fore Topsail Sheet Block gave way, and being then nearly abreast of an opening in which there is a very Snug Harbour call'd by Captn. Cook Anchor Island, she ran into it, and we presently lost sight of her. She was compleatly land locked. We gave our Cable good
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
1791 3 November.
Preparations to withstand the storm.
Lieutenant Broughton gets on board.
scope, and held on very well, but in the Evening, finding the weather still grow more Tempestuous and that we dragg'd our Anchor a little, we let go another Anchor and veer'd away upon both and hoist in the Boats. We had no abatement of the Gale in the night, and the following morning, the 4th, it seem'd to blow with greater violence. The sudden Gusts that came from the high land was amazing, and so quick did they follow each other that we scarcely had an interval of a lull for 5 minutes together. We got our Top Gallant Masts on Deck, struck the Lower Yards & Top Masts, secur'd the Boats, and bent the Storm Staysails, with every other necessary precaution in case of our being driven to Sea. All this day and the night it blew dreadfully, and we expected every minute either to part our cables or drive, but tho' the Squalls were as hard as many on board ever remember'd to have seen, we had but very little sea with them. The morning of the 5th brought no abatement of the Wind till about 9 o'clock, when after some very heavy rain it suddenly fell a perfect Calm, from being the minute before a hard Gale, and we had the water at the same instant as smooth as a Mill Pond. The clouds began now to disperse, and to clear up all round, and about 10 o'clock we had a moderate Breeze at N. N. E. We therefore hove up one Anchor, and hove short on the other. About 11 our Captain came on board from the Discovery, and about 3 we weigh'd and turn'd into Facile Harbour where about 6 o'clock we anchor'd in 5 fatm. water, within a hundred yards of the shore. It was Captn. Vancouver's intention to remain in Anchor Island Harbour (which is about 5 miles from where we were) to compleat his Wood & Water, &c. This we were sorry for, as the distance precluded any intercourse between the young Gentlemen of the Vessels, and in this dreary place their society wou'd have added much to each other's comforts. After we came to anchor a party was sent Fishing that soon return'd with a plentiful supply of excellent Fish. This practice was follow'd every other day, when 2 or 3 people caught as many fish as lasted the Ship's Company two days. The Ship being properly secur'd places were pointed out on shore for carrying on our different operations. The Cooper was sent on shore to sett up the Casks, and a party was sent Brewing Spruce Beer, some were also employ'd Wooding & Watering. On the 7th some of the Officers who had been away shooting return'd with some Birds that proved acceptable, though they were only Wood Hens. They had not met with anything remarkable except seeing three deserted Huts at different places. They were constructed in the same manner as those we saw at King George the 3rds Sound, though with a little more ingenuity, being stronger put together, and less liable to suffer from the inclemency of
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1791 8 November.
Code of signals.
First fine day.
Captain out shooting.
The "Chatham" to join the "Discovery."
the weather. 8th: In the course of this day a Boat came from the Discovery, and brought a Code of Signals to be used respecting our sailing from the Bay to be made with Guns, as we were not to join company till ready for sea, and then in Tempest Roads, for so the place was call'd that we rode out the hard Gale in. We had a good deal of rain since we came into the Port, and the 10th was the first fine day seen since we made the Land. The Captain and a party went shooting in the afternoon. They staid out the night and slept in the Goose Cove in some deserted Huts they found there. In the morning they return'd after having had excellent sport. The Huts they met with seem'd to have been deserted for a considerable time. A few old Baskets that discovered some remains of neat workmanship was the only thing found about them. Having some jobbs to do in the Iron way by the Armourer, the Forge was set up on shore the 12th, and being in want of Plank, the Carpenters set about cutting a tree down for sawing. Our Spruce Beer, which was made after the directions given by Captn. Cook, prov'd excellent, and was served out to the Ship's Company in lieu of Spirits. Those people however who were employ'd on shore were given every morning a dram of Rum with Bark mix'd in it to prevent any illness that might arise from the Rain & damp on shore.
On the 12th the Captain with a party of Gentlemen set out on another shooting expedition, and the next day I went with some of the young Gentlemen to Parrot Island, and returned after having had tolerable success in the shooting way. Mr. Broughton and his party did not return till the 15th. They had visited every part of the Bay, met with good sport, and returned well pleased with their excursion. Here and there they met with an old Hut that afforded them shelter at night. The first day of their setting out they made a considerable addition to their party by meeting two of the Discovery's Boats, with whom they continued till the last day, and Captain Vancouver, who was in one, of them, finished the survey of a small arm left open by Captain Cook.
The 18th--being away with a sporting party to Ear Shell Cove--on our return with six brace of Birds we saw the Discovery working out of Anchor Island Harbour into Tempest Roads, where she anchor'd in her old birth, waiting for a wind, and likewise for us to go to sea, and a boat from her came on board shortly after us to inform Mr. Broughton of her situation, and with orders to join him if possible the next day, but if this cou'd not be done, and a fair wind in the meantime offer he shou'd sail without us, appointing Matavai Bay, Otaheite, the Rendezvous. We immediately began removing our things from the shore, and the next day, the 19th, being ready for Sea, we left Facile Harbour and work'd up towards Tempest Roads,
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
Left Facile Harbour.
Dusky Bay described.
Signs of Cook's visit seen.
but seeing the Discovery pitching there very heavy, we gave her an opportunity of seeing where we were, and came to an Anchor under Parrot Island, being there as ready to imbrace a fair wind and get to Sea as if we lay in Tempest Roads. In the Evening I went on shore with a Gentleman, and in the space of two hours shot eleven Brace of Parrots, Wood Hens, and Curlews. The way we managed with the Parrots was by at first endeavouring only to wound one, whose noise soon brought numbers to the spot. Had we had more ammunition we might have shot a hundred Parrots in a very little time. The 20th, the wind having freshen'd and a good deal of swell rolling into Tempest Roads, the Discovery came into the place we were lying in, and anchor'd close to us. We were detain'd by a foul wind till Tuesday the 22nd, when having a fresh Breeze at N.N.W. we weigh'd per Sig'l, and in a little time got clear of the Bay.
Dusky Bay, in New Zealand, lies in the Latde. 45. 47 S. and the Longde. 166. 16 E. New Zealand was first discover'd by the Dutch Navigator Tasman in 1642, and has not since been visited by any one we know of except Captn. Cook, who touch'd at it in all his three Voyages. In his 2nd voyage he was in Dusky Bay a considerable time, and survey'd it accurately. It abounds in Harbours and Snug Coves, shelter'd from all winds, and the greatest inconvenience in many of them is the great depth of water, 20, 30, and 40 fatms. being found close to shore. There are, however, numbers of Harbours that are free from this inconvenience, and those the Discovery and Chatham lay in had a moderate depth of water, and were extremely convenient for all we had to do. The water in Facile Harbor came from a beautiful Cascade, and so convenient that the Casks were not moved out of the boat. Whilst we stai'd we visited Pickergill's Harbour, where Captn. Cook lay, and though 18 years had elapsed since that time, yet we easily found out the place where he carried on his operations ashore by the remains of Trees cut and saw'd down and the ground that was clear'd away. 15 The very Tree that he mentions they walk'd from the Ship to the Shore by was yet remaining. We saw no Inhabitants while we lay here, and the appearance of all the Huts discover'd led us to imagine that it was a considerable time since they were inhabited. Marks of Fires were likewise seen, and large quantities of Shells near them, from which it may also be supposed that Shell fish is a great part of their subsistence. When Captain Cook was here he only saw three families of Indians, and they seem'd to be stragglers.
The land about the Bay is very hilly, rising directly from the Water's edge, and completely cover'd with Wood, but further Inland we cou'd see very high Mountains, in some places bare
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1791 22 November.
What the sailor saw.
Cook's geese. Fish.
and craggy and cover'd at the Tops with snow. The soil as much as we could see of it appear'd for the most part to be composed of decay'd rotten Trees, and you cannot proceed ten Yards without being up to your Knee in the trunk of an old Tree. This happens from the thickness of the Woods and the heavy rains washing them down they can get down no further than the place they fell at; this, with the underwood which grows amazingly thick and compos'd chiefly of the Supple Jack, prevents any pleasure you might propose in walking on shore. Many of the Trees are large enough for Masts of Ships, and the grain of the Spruce Tree is very close and durable. The Tea plant we found in plenty and mix'd with the Spruce in Brewing. As to useful vegetables, we found none, nor did we see any tree or plant that produced a Berry. Very few pretty flowers were seen growing, but the Botanist was enrich'd most abundantly with Mosses of different kinds.
We saw some stones and pieces of Rock that had a Mineral appearance, and it is not improbable that some valuable mines might on strict examination be found on this Coast.
We saw no animals here, nor the slightest marks of any, tho' Captn. Cook says there are animals here, and that one of his people saw one, but a Sailor when he goes ashore at a strange place is sure to see more than anyone else can. One of our Carpenters said he saw a Bear at the Wooding place, but on being question'd what it was like said it was White, like a Greenland Bear, which is so very improbable that he found few that wou'd credit his story. Birds of all kinds we found in abundance. The whole time we were in the Harbour we lived on them, and Fish. The best kinds were Ducks, Curlews, a bird very much resembling a Wood Cock, and Sea Pies. Shags, Wood Hens, and Parrots were in great abundance, and the two last were tolerable eating. The Wood Hen very much resembles the Common Barn Door Fowl in England, except in the Beack, which was longer, and the Feet in general were Red. They cou'd not fly. As to Parrots, had they been in great estimation enough might have been procur'd every day for the Ships Companies. Of the smaller kinds of birds there were great variety; many of them were very beautiful in their plumage, and their notes extremely melodious. The principal of these is the Poe Bird, as call'd by Cook. This bird is both beautiful in its plumage and harmonious in its song, which differs very much in the morning and evening, at the latter time greatly resembling the notes of a peal of Bells. Captn. Cook left 5 Geese at a place call'd Goose Cove, but tho' we often visited this place, nothing was seen of them or their progeny. Fish, as I have before mention'd, was in very great plenty, and excellent in their kind. The best are the Cole Fish and Skip Jack. Many of the former
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
weigh'd 10 to 15 lbs., and were equal in firmness and flavour to Codd. We never caught any Flat Fish, and the only Shell Fish besides small Mussells and Limpets were Cray fish.
We saw nothing of the reptile kind, nor in short did we see any living thing on shore except Birds and a small sand fly, but this annoy'd us more than perhaps fifty animals wou'd, for no sooner did we set our feet on shore than we were covered with these flys, and their sting is as painful as that of a Musquitto, and made us scratch as if he had got the itch; indeed, one of my legs became so much swell'd by this means that I was forced to apply a poultice to it, and was lame for two or three days.
Passage from Dusky Bay to Otaheite; Strange Land discovered on the Passage, part Company with the Discovery in a Gale of Wind.
Tuesday, 22nd Nov: With a fine fresh Breeze at NNW we shap'd our course S, and scarce had we got clear of the Bay but the wind began to freshen with a heavy swell and every indication of an approaching Storm. At 6 o'clock we took in the Top Gallant Sails and double reef'd the Topsails. Cape West bearing E 4 N, 5 Leagues. By 10 o'clock it blew so very hard as to bring us under close reef'd Topsails. At 11 the Discovery bore S b E of us a few miles, but at 12 she was not in sight, nor did we afterwards see her the remainder of the passage to Otaheite. By this time it had increased, as was prognosticated, to a very heavy Gale, and the sea ran so very high that we handed our Topsails and scudded under the Foresail during the night, and the morning brought with it such an encrease of both Wind & Sea as was dreadful to behold. Nothing like it I, nor many others on board ever witness'd. At about 6 o'clock an amazing sea struck us in the stern and dash's the Jolly Boat to shivers, wash'd forward the two men at the Helm, the Booby Hatch, and in short every thing that came before it. The Sea having by 9 o'clock encreas'd to such a tremendous height as to render scudding any longer extremely dangerous we hove too under a single reef'd Trysail & Storm Fore Staysail. About Noon, the Wind & Sea having both abated a little, we bore away under the Foresail & close reef'd Mn. Topsail. At 2 we were surprized to see Land bearing S.S.E. about 5 Leagues distant, on which we immediately haul'd up in order to weather it. As we approach'd this Land we found it to be a cluster of Barren Rocks, which cou'd not be inhabit'd by anything except Sea Fowl of all kinds of which we saw astonishing quantities. About 1/2 past 5, observing a passage between them, we steer'd for it, and found it a very safe passage. A small Black rock about a third channel being in one with the Rocks on the starboard side
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1791 22 November.
Position of rocks.
Water comes on board.
Gale still continues.
bore S.W. and the centre of the Rocks on the Larboard hand N. E. We sounded close to them, but got no bottom with 80 fathoms of line.
These Rocks be in the Lat. 48.3 S. and the Longitude 166.20 E. As they were never seen by Captn. Cook or any other person we know of, we conceived ourselves to be the first discoverers of them, 16 and should this passage be ever frequent'd by Ships they may be deem'd a happy Discovery. Had we been so unfortunate as to have got among them the preceding night the consequences might have been fatal, as the night was extremely dark, and it blew so very hard that it was with difficulty we could bear Scudding, much less to have been able to haul upon a wind to weather them, had we even been fortunate enough to have seen them at any distance.
The next morning, the 24th, the wind having become more moderate, and the sea gone down a good deal, we got up our Top Gallt. Masts and Yards & made all sail with a fresh Breeze at West, altering our course to the Northwd., steering ENE and afterwards NE. In the late Gale we labour'd much and shipp'd an immense quantity of Water. There was scarce a man that had a dry Bed to sleep in or a dry Jacket to put on, even the Captain & the Officer's Cabbins were half full of Water. The opportunity of drying their Bedding, Cloathing &c, was not neglected this fine day, and the 'tween Decks were well wash'd & purified.
The Wind continued fresh from the N.W., with which we steer'd N. E. till the night of the 26th, when it suddenly shifted to S.W. and blew extremely hard in Squalls which obliged us to clew up everything except the Foresail, under which we went for the greatest part of the night. We had a very heavy Sea. Towards the morning the wind moderated, and we set the Top Sails close-reef'd. The squalls were still heavy, accompanied with rain. It is an old saying of seamen that a S.W. Gale comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb and a N. E. Gale vice versa, and by the evening it was quite moderate. The wind returnd from the N.W. quarter, and we made all sail, still steering N. E. Our Latitude the 27th was 45.54 S. and Longe. 177 E. The Breeze continued in its favourable quarter with fair pleasant weather, and we saw a great number of Birds, and pass'd some patches of Rock Weed. The morning of the 29th, about 2 o'clock, we were exceedingly surprized at the man who
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
Chatham Island sighted.
A party lands.
The master's account of the visit.
Description of canoes.
was looking out forward calling out "Land ahead." Upon looking we perceived we were close aboard of it, bearing from E. N. E. to N. E. We immediately haul'd our wind. At 3 we sounded in 40 fams. and hove too till daylight. At 4 the Land bore from S.S.E. to E. N. E., and then appear'd of considerable extent. We now bore up and made sail, steering E b N, and between 7 & 8 rounded the Northern point of it, and being about a mile from the shore, had soundings in 14 fathoms. From this point the Land took an E b N direction. The Land was low in general, but some Hills gradually rose up to a very moderate height, whose sides were beautifully cloathed with Wood up to the Tops, and the verdure on the rising grounds was exceedingly gratifying to the view. We ran along the shore about 14 miles, but observed nothing like a Bay or Harbour. The depth of water was moderate & gradual, and the ground good for Anchorage, being fine sand & shells. We saw smokes in several parts, particularly on the high land, but did not see any Inhabitants till we had run a good way, when a few Indians were observed running along the Beach, who were join'd by more as we proceeded. About 11 we haul'd our wind, and fetching up under the Lee of a point of Land, we anchor'd in 20 fatms. Water at Noon. The East point of this Bay, which afterwards got the name of Skirmish Bay, bore S.E. about a mile, & the N. E. point of the Island which form'd the extreme N. 83E about a League distant. The Cutter was immediately hoisted out and arm'd, and Mr. Broughton, attended by Mr. Johnstone and Mr. Sheriff, one of the Mates, went to Shore. They did not return on board till 5 in the afternoon, when Mr. Johnstone was so obliging as to favour me with the following account of their transactions.
Upon leaving the ship "We pulled in for the Bay where we had first seen the Natives, who still kept attentively observing us from the east point of it. At each extremity of this Bay the rocks project a little out, within which we found smooth water amongst a good deal of Sea Weed. As we saw no Natives on the West extremity we made choice of this place for our first landing, expecting to be able to make some observations on the productions before either the Hostile disposition or teasing curiosity of the Inhabitabts might prevent us. Here we found two canoes, if they may be allow'd that name, for so little did they resemble anything we knew of that kind that had they been found Inland instead of on the Sea Beach I believe we should have thought of various other uses before we had hit on the one for which they were really intended. In shape they were not unlike the body of a common Wheelbarrow, their sides were made of small sticks lash'd tightly with withs upon one another about 8 or 9 feet long. The widest end about 3 feet, the other about 2, and narrowing downwards, left a flat bottom better than a foot broad. Their
[Image of page 504]
depth, was nearly two feet, and compactly filled with sea weed almost to the top. The Paddles were a rough piece of wood rudely made into a flat form without the least neatness. The whole of their construction made it pretty evident that they could never be employ'd upon any distant embarkation, but were most probably used merely in the Bays and amongst the Rocks for fishing. So far, indeed, they appear'd sufficient, nor did the situation of their owners seem to demand anything better, for the clearness and levelness of the Island afforded an easy intercourse without requiring the assistance of water conveyance. We saw some fishing Nets that were made of small two strand line evenly twisted and others that were made from the simple Fibres of the Plant, apparently without any other preparation than being made even, after being stripp'd off. Two of those were Scoop Nets, the others were made somewhat in the shape of a Bell, the width of the mouth about 6 feet in diameter, kept open by a large rim or Hoop made of the Supple Jack, the length from 8 to 10 feet, tapering gradually to the small end, which was not wider than a foot and close netted. The Hoop at the wide end had stones fix'd to it as Sinks, and from the centre attach'd to the rim by Legs was a line for hauling it up by in fishing. The Trees we saw were but of small size, straight and free from Branches till near the tops, where they spread forth in great profusion, and whose foliage afforded a pleasant shade to the ground below, which was so free from all kinds of Bush or Underwood as might have led one to imagine that it had been clear'd by Art; this with the Trees growing so far apart render'd travelling amongst them not only easy but pleasant.
"The Natives who had quitted their station as soon as they saw us land now advanced hastily, and by their threats and gestures plainly indicated their Hostile intentions, but rather than oppose their tumult we thought best to retire to the Boat, where more in safety we might endeavour to engage their friendship. With the oars we kept her just afloat. They, without making the least stop, rush'd hastily on, some of them up to their knees in water, brandishing their Spears & Clubs with much vociferation. They were only about 40 in number, which gave reason to conjecture that they were totally ignorant of the effect of our Fire-Arms, and only reckon'd strength on the superiority of numbers. For some little time we had us'd everything we cou'd think of to conciliate their friendship but without effect. At last their violence somewhat abated, and they received some presents which we conveyed to them on the ends of their Spears which they held out for the purpose, for we did not yet chuse to trust the Boat within their depth. They now became to all appearances perfectly reconcil'd, and received ev'rything which we offer'd with avidity, but amongst
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
1791 29 November.
Mr. Sheriff goes ashore.
The boat leaves the Natives.
The boat lands again.
Notice put up.
Land taken possession of.
the Articles, which were pieces of Red Cloth, Helmets, Beads, & Nails, we could not observe that they gave the preference to any one more than another, and though they wou'd not consent to make us the least return, yet they made no scruple, not only in receiving, but in snatching away ev'rything they cou'd reach at, and it was sometimes not without a little struggle that we could hold them fast. We had often applied by signs for something to eat & drink, with a wish to discover what their food consisted of, but we were not so fortunate as to succeed. They only answer'd by pointing to the Woods and to the opposite point of the Bay from whence we at that time concluded that their habitations were there. Mr. Sheriff stepp'd on shore to see if he could observe any of their Huts, but as their behaviour was not altogether to his liking he soon return'd, tho' they had forcibly detain'd him longer than he wish'd. But I do not think that this was done with any other intention than for a longer opportunity of gratifying their curiosity. As we saw clearly we could have no satisfaction in landing where we were we pull'd down to ye opposite point in the hopes of finding less obstruction, but on our arrival we found that tho' we had changed our situation we had by no means changed our company, for our new friends having kept away with our first motion and follow'd us along the Beach as we row'd down, arrived at the same time. Here we saw on the Beach the same kind of Canoes & Nets as we had observed before, but no appearance of any Huts.
"The disorderly behaviour of the Natives having deterr'd us from landing at the place we quitted, we had no reason to expect that it wou'd prove better now, so without entering into any further parley we quitted them, intending to row on board, and pull'd up towards the weather point of the Bay, which they observed with out shewing the least symptoms of either satisfaction or displeasure, remaining still on the Beach where they had first sat down. Finding this to be the case we thought it a favourable opportunity for changing our intention of going straight on board and landing again at our first situation, which we did, and whilst we were free from molestation examined the skirts of the Wood, where we found no other signs of Habitations than a small circle of clear ground, sometimes fenced in by a simple palisade. In the centre of this circle was the mark of a fire place, and a great number of Fish Shells lay about, particularly the Earshell. This had no other covering than the growing branches of the Trees.
"We nailed to one of them a piece of Lead written with the name of the Vessel and the date of our arrival. We also buried a Bottle with a paper enclosed written--Navis Britann. Majest. Chatham, Gulielm, Robertis Broughton, Princeps-- 29th of November 1791. It was now call'd Chatham Island,
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1791 29 November.
Description of Natives.
Spears and clubs.
the Union Jack was hoisted, and taken possession of in the name of the King. By the time we had made an end of these ceremonies a few of the Natives had straggled towards us, and more were inclining the same way, but they all approach'd with cautious indifference. That they might place the more confidence in our friendship our people stay'd behind whilst we advanced to meet them. At first they were rather shy, retiring back, but at last halted till I came up, and received me by saluting noses, the same as at the Sandwich Islands. Having made them some presents of Nails they were soon perfectly easy, and were join'd by more, some of our people coming in at the same time. Most of them were covered with Matts or Seal Skins hung loosely over the Shoulders, which reach'd down to about the Hip. They had no other covering except their privates which was done in the form of the Marro of the Sandwich Islands, with a small Mat neatly wrought.
"We saw no perforation either in their Ears, Nose, or any other part of the Body, nor any ornament except some few who had a small piece of Bone hung round their neck with several parts of small twisted Hair. They were of a middle stature, with straight Black Hair, which some wore tied in a Bunch on the top of their Head, whilst others suffer'd it to hang down loose in its natural order about long enough just to reach the shoulders. Amongst them were several Boys, but we did not see one of the Female Sex.
"Though they took whatever we offer'd, yet so little did they esteem them that we could not draw from them any thing in exchange. One spear with a small piece of Rope, wrought in fashion of French Sinnet, was all that we could procure. They would at first shew an appearance of making a return till they got in their hands what was offer'd--then would run off well pleas'd. The Spear we got was about 6 feet long, so thick that a man could easily grasp in the middle, tapering to a sharp point at both ends. But both their Spears and Clubs were subject to great variety. Some of the Spears were very long, and pointed only at one end, without much neatness. Their Clubs were rough pieces of Wood, some as picked up from the Beach, other as they had been broke from the Tree, and a very few had two stones lashed on at one end, which gave them the appearance of a double-headed maul. With the intention of giving them some idea of the effect of our Muskets, Captn. Broughton fir'd at some Birds; the first discharge gave them a good deal of alarm, though it appear'd to have been the report that produced it more than any thing else, for after the repetition they observed it with very little emotion, but often repeated the word 'Tohaua.' Whether this was the name they called it by, or what else, I could not well determine.
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JOURNAL OF THE "CHATHAM."
1791 29 November.
Party proceeds along the beach.
Natives threaten the party.
Their violence increases.
"We had now spent an hour in friendly intercourse, and nothing had transpired to give us reason to suspect a change of it. Their number from what it was at first had also greatly diminished, which we look'd upon as a further security for their good behaviour. Considering these instances as favourable for visiting the East. point of the Bay, which different appearances had before prevented us from, as also to examine a piece of Water which we had observed to lay within the Beach about the Centre of the Bay, Mr. Sheriff was directed with three of the people to pull down along the shore whilst with the other three I accompanied Captn. Broughton. We had proceeded but a little way when we first observed the Natives forming rather hastily in a Bay by the edge of the Wood abreast of us. I stept towards them to see if I could discover the cause of the bustle. On my approach they hastened quickly within the verge of the Wood, and quickly return'd arm'd with Clubs, preceded by one carrying a Blaze of dry Brush with which he presently made a great smoke by communicating this fire to more wood of the same kind.
"Their intentions were now no longer a mystery, for they advanced brandishing their Clubs in the most threatening attitudes. On this we thought proper to stop for the Boat which had got aground where we left her, but she soon came up, and having her to pull abreast of us, we went on keeping close by the water's edge, whilst the Natives, though only 14 in number, follow'd us with the most menacing gestures, and often came so near as to oblige us to face about to check their coming within reach. When we came abreast of the Water, which we wish'd to examine, we struck up the Beach, and on tasting found it to be exceeding Brackish, having a brown Marshy colour. Its surface was very nearly as high as the brink of the beach, which was about 8 or ten feet above the level of the Sea. It was foun'd between two ridges of the land that was pretty high, and broke down rather steeply at this place, and lay towards the S.W. but in a winding direction, which prevented us from seeing its extent beyond a quarter of a mile. The Natives who had stopped when we did no sooner saw us returning towards the sea side than they push'd on, more violently than they had done before, particularly a Youth who was the most forward & who appear'd to encourage the others, whilst he kept swinging his Club over his head and committing various gestures. It was now but too evident that they meant to make the attack, therefore the Boat was call'd to, and Mr. Sheriff desir'd to let go the grapnell and back in with the Oars while we, in hopes of intimidating them, kept our Muskets pointed towards them and retreated backwards to prevent their getting between us and the Boat. They still resolutely press'd on. Captn. Broughton who had his piece
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1791 29 November.
A shot fired.
Johnstone fires another.
One Moriori fell.
The party embarked.
loaded with small shot fir'd at one of the most forward but it did not in the least daunt their advance. Having now reach'd the Water we were obliged to make a stand when they clos'd in. The first blow that was made at me I received on the Musket but with such force that it broke down its level. My opponent's Club, from its size being rather unwieldly, fell to the ground at the same time, and gave me time to recover.
"There was no alternative; I was compell'd to fire. A little before and about the same time two of the people also fired. They were in a like situation, so I found after, for at the moment I was too much occupied with those that directly opposed me to be able to pay attention to any other object. The whole of them upon this discharge and a Musket that was fired from the Boat immediately fled. At first we felt the most pleasing satisfaction not only in finding that we had secur'd our own lives, but that in doing it we had not injur'd theirs. This pleasing contemplation was but of short duration, for before they reach'd the Woods one of them fell on the Beach. In hopes that some relief might be given to his wounds that were probably not mortal, with two of the people I went up for that end, but to my utter grief found him dead. The others had made a stand by the skirts of the Wood, setting forth loud cries. As we could not be of any service to the dead man we immediately quitted the spot, which we had no sooner done than one of them came up to the corpse, but we did not see what they did afterwards, & as we were anxious not to give them any uneasiness by halting to observe, proceeded directly to the point, where the Boat was desi'd to go also, for she could not take us in where we were owing to a reef of Rocks that lay alongshore, and on which her Stern had struck after letting go the Grapnell. But at the time when this circumstance rendered our situation more critical we were ignorant of it. When we arrived we found no other kind of resistance at this point but what we had observ'd at the other. We saw none of the Natives, though we were satisfied they were at no great distance by their cries, which we sometimes heard in the Woods. Here, as at our first Landing, the Boats came easily to the shore amongst a good deal of Sea Weed. After leaving what Trinkets we had remaining in the different Canoes we quitted the Shore and went on board. After we had gone we saw one man come to the Canoes, the only one we had seen since we had left them after the Skirmish." 17
Chatham Island lies in 43° 49' So. Latitude and 182° 55' Et. Longitude. Variation of the Compass, 15° Etly.