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The Old Whaling Days

May 16th

May 16th.

We are now at anchor in the harbour of Waikouaiti, last evening the calm was succeeded by a very strong breeze, and having been boarded by some of the people from Mr. Jones Whaling Station at that place, we made for the harbour and about 7 o'clock had our anchor down, which was a cause of rejoicing to us, as it terminated our voyage, the harbour is an open one and much exposed, as we found before the night was over, the wind was very strong and came in fearful gusts, making the vessel labour as much as if she had been in a heavy sea with a heavy wind. The strain was so great upon the anchor that the chain parted and about 10 o'clock the unpleasant announcement was made “the chain has parted and the vessel is drifting.” The roaring of the wind, the dashing of the rain, and the hissing of the water as the vessel made stern way, added to the roar of page 484 the breakers to leeward, produced a sensation in my mind which will not soon be forgotten; the second anchor was let go arid all the chain that could be was given her (ninety fathoms) but with slight hopes that she would be able to ride by it until the morning; so that we had the melancholy prospect before us of being compelled to get out to sea again if we could and if not to go ashore with the certainty of the vessel being dashed to pieces, even if our lives should have been saved. Thro' mercy the wind moderated about twelve o'clock tho' it continued to blow hard all night, the chain held and in the morning I had my first view of the scene of my labour. We were soon visited by the people from the Shore English and Natives, and as far as looks and gestures went, I could see that they were well pleased at the arrival of a Missionary among them. For New Zealanders they appeared to me to be docile. I hope they will ere long be Christians. About noon we got ashore, and found miserable lodgings in a house which Mr. Jones had intended for us solely, but which we found occupied by his brother, who made us as comfortable as he could. …