From Tasman To Marsden.
The first whaler officially entered at the Sydney Customs as coming from New Zealand was an Enderby owned vessel, the Greenwich, commanded by Captain A. Law. She arrived on 15th February preparatory to sailing for London, with 209 tons of sperm oil procured mostly off the N.E. coast of New Zealand. Captain Law reported that there were several whalers off the New Zealand coast—the Venus, the Alexander, and the Albion. The Harriet, Samuel Chace, which had cleared from Sydney in the previous August had sailed for England, full, on 4th February. The others named could all be expected to put into Sydney in due course.
The Greenwich was followed, on 6th March, by the Venus, one of Champions' fleet, with 1400 barrels of oil on board. Captain Gardner reported that he had left, cruising off the coast of New Zealand, the Albion and the Alexander. Some few days before reaching Sydney, the Venus had sprung her bowsprit, but had sustained no other damage. Captain Gardner had nearly lost his life while harpooning a whale. When struck it had dived and run out, and a part of the coil had got entangled about the Captain's leg and had dragged him out of the boat. For some time he remained under water, but the line was quickly cut and he managed to extricate himself and come to the surface, where he was rescued from what, when it happened, as it sometimes did in the style of whaling followed in those days, was considered certain death.
This visit to Sydney of the Greenwich and the Venus was preparatory to sailing to England as full ships. When page 99 they had obtained what refreshment they needed they both sailed for London on 18th May.
Captain Rhodes brought the Alexander into port on 31st May, with a cargo of 50 tons of oil. While cruising off New Zealand, Tuki, who had been taken away by the Daedalus, and had resided at Norfolk Island for 9 months in 1793, visited the Captain. He had not forgotten his English, nor the attention he had received from friends while in captivity. Huru had died. A young lad of about 16 years of age, Treena, the son of a chief, came on board the Alexander and in her to Sydney. While there he was taken to Government House and resided with His Excellency, it being hoped that if his visit were made agreeable it would ensure hospitable treatment to whalers visiting the New Zealand coast. Captain Rhodes was delighted at the reception accorded to him by the New Zealanders, and stated that he had purchased from them some 7 or 8 tons of very fine potatoes, and had also obtained assistance in wooding and watering, all for very small return.
Of the other vessels reported by Captain Law, the Albion arrived on 6th July with 65 tons of sperm oil, “procured mostly off the eastern coast of New Zealand." She had sailed from England on 17th June 1802, and, notwithstanding her long voyage, her crew were in perfect health. Our old friend Eb. Bunker, now on his third whaling voyage in these waters, commanded her.
On the 19th September Captain Rhodes sailed in the Alexander, taking with him the young Native chief to his home in New Zealand. The Captain's intentions were to proceed first of all to the Derwent with provisions, stores, and live stock, and, after landing these, put in some months whaling on the coast of New Zealand, before making for the coast of Peru and Chili to fill up. After calling at the Derwent the Alexander returned to Sydney, but only stopped long enough to send some letters ashore on 6th October, after which she stood away for New Zealand.