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New Zealand 1826-1827: From the French of Dumont D'Urville

IV The Passage from Astrolabe Bight to Houa Houa Bay [Cook's Tolaga Bay]†

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IV The Passage from Astrolabe Bight to Houa Houa Bay [Cook's Tolaga Bay]

1827, 22nd January—For the greater part of the night, there was a strong wind blowing: there were also squalls with heavy rain. At two o'clock in the morning the wind suddenly dropped, but rain continued to fall till five o'clock when the wind settled in the South. Immediately the last anchor was raised and the corvette was under way. Seeing us set to leave, the natives crowded into one of their canoes with their wives and children to the number of thirty and came to pay us a last visit and to obtain a few more trifles from us. Their persistent shouting deafened us; while throwing themselves heedlessly under the feet of the sailors, they were a great hindrance to the handling of the ship. However, I put up with their unwelcome company right to the end, in order to leave them with a favourable opinion of the character of their hosts. Fortunately, the rain relieved us of them in the end, and then we were becalmed not more than two miles from land. The savages took advantage once more of this circumstance to make a brief appearance alongside at about eleven o'clock. At last, by means of a slight wind from the N. to N.N.W., I moved slowly towards the inlet that I had noticed on the east coast. As this inlet now appeared to me to be nothing more than a shallow bay, at three forty-five in the afternoon and at a distance of roughly fifteen miles, I had decided to hug the wind to the N. by E. towards another indentation that was much more pronounced. However, an hour later, as the first inlet took on a new aspect and M. Guilbert thought he could make out the signs of a channel, I let run towards it so as to get closer and to avoid any regrets later on.

At seven-forty in the evening, we had this bay on the beam and were less than a league from the two headlands. From this point we could satisfy ourselves that there was no channel practicable for our ship. However, this bay, to which I gave the name of Croisilles Bay, should provide an extensive and satisfactory anchorage in any wind from the S., the E., and even the N.W., because of some islands off the northern tip which must give perfect shelter on that side. Near us, the coast was everywhere very steep page 86and the bottom remained constant at twenty-five fathoms. It was too late to search for a suitable anchorage; consequently, I again stood out to sea for the night; but scarcely had we put about, when we dropped into a dead calm, absolutely at the mercy of the current and the fairly heavy swell. That is how we spent the whole night, less than three miles from land, torn by the acutest anxiety, and fearing that in spite of everything we might be dragged on to the coast. The line, dropped regularly every half hour, recorded twenty-five fathoms each time, mud bottom. But I held back from dropping anchor till the very last minute, for I was afraid of being caught at anchor by a sudden wind coming up from the N.W., which would have left us almost helpless.

23rd January—At about four o'clock in the morning, we realized that in spite of our precautions, we were now much nearer the shore; in fact, we were less than half a league off. In vain I made them ship the sweep oars and tacked to take advantage of the slightest breath of wind. The swell continued to throw us nearer and nearer to the coast, and at ten minutes past eight, in spite of my reluctance and all the efforts that we had made, I had no choice but to drop anchor at twenty fathoms, We were then not more than one thousand yards from the rocky shore against which the sea was breaking violently.

There is an extraordinary difference between the appearance of the West coast of Tasman Bay and that of its East coast. The latter, lashed by the storms from the West, offers nothing but steep sides, often quite bare and nearly always unapproachable. It reminded us of the gloomy monotonous atmosphere of the coast that we had followed from Five Fingers to Rocks Head. Further, the swell from the West seems to be almost permanent and renders navigation just as unpleasant and dangerous here, as it is pleasant and safe all along the opposite shore.

Between eight and nine o'clock, a canoe manned by two natives appeared at the entrance to Croisilles Bay; then it disappeared. We were so worn out by the situation we were in that we took very little notice of it.

From a quarter past nine, I took advantage of a nice freshening breeze from the N.W. to get under way quickly and to steer the vessel towards the channel that I had noted the day before in the N.N.E. and which seemed to me to effect a communication between Tasman Bay and Admiralty Bay. We coasted at less than two miles from the shore, although the breeze was page 87fitful and threatened at times to leave me at the mercy of the swell. At four-fifty in the afternoon, we had reached a point opposite the entrance to the channel; and I was going in at full sail, when the lookout in the cross-trees sang out that the passage was blocked by reefs not more than two or three cables away from the ship. Instantly M. Guilbert rushed up to the crow's nest and confirmed the report. There was not a moment to lose; immediately every sail was furled and the leeward anchor was cast at seventeen fathoms, roughly in mid-channel, and a mile at the most from each of the two heads. The wind threatened to freshen in the N.W. and as the swell had increased notably, I immediately ordered fifty fathoms of cable to be run out.

Messrs. Lottin and Gressien were sent out in two boats to go on ahead along both shores of the channel, one on each side, to investigate the dangers and to ascertain whether the passage could, in fact, take us into Admiralty Bay. They were nearly four hours making their investigation, and on their return they informed me that, with the exception of the reef which ran out a good way from the N.W. headland, the channel had seemed to them to be clear throughout its length. They could not guarantee, however, that it was still practicable in its narrowest part at the point where it enters Admiralty Bay. M. Lottin, who went closer to it, had found it almost blocked by rocks scarcely showing above water; further there was a very strong current with eddies and whirlpools, which had nearly carried his boat on to the reef, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that he had been able to extricate himself from this perilous situation. This passage was a league and a half from our anchorage, and in the course of their return journey the current had given the two officers a lot of trouble, with the result that the men at the oars were absolutely exhausted.

I expected to see the wind fall as usual when night came: nothing of the sort; on the contrary, it freshened very quickly in the N.W. At nine o'clock, when the boats returned, it was already so strong and had brought up such a heavy swell that it was very difficult to hoist them on board without smashing them. From ten o'clock to eleven o'clock a gale blew and the sea had become very rough; the corvette pitched with extreme violence on its cable and in the strongest gusts, the breakers, leaping right over the ship, completely overwhelmed the forecastle. We were in danger of foundering by the head in the breakers. At eleven o'clock I ordered as much as seventy page 88fathoms of cable to be run out, and a few minutes later, having dragged anchor quite perceptibly, I dropped the starboard anchor, using the heavy-chain I bought in Port Jackson, and running out another twenty fathoms of the cable to let it take the strain.

Our position was extremely critical, for if the chain and cable failed to hold us, the corvette would be dashed to pieces on an iron coast, which was not more than three or four cables away. The sea was breaking against it with such fury, that it would only have been a matter of a few minutes for the Astrolabe to be ripped up and smashed to pieces. It was quite certain that not one member of the crew could have escaped from such a disaster; it is even doubtful whether the coast would have shown any trace of us, so complete would have been the destruction of the ship.

24th January—Acute as it was already, our anxiety became even more intense, when, at two forty-five, observing that we were again dragging anchor, we realized that the leeward cable was cut. Immediately we ran out sixty fathoms of the chain which had now become our one hope, and we shackled a new cable on the leeward sheet anchor, in readiness to drop it in case of need. But the chain held us by itself. Moreover, the wind suddenly moderated, the swell lessened and the weather improved as if by a miracle. Anyone who has ever been in such a situation must realize what a weight of anxiety was lifted from us.

It was scarcely daybreak when we set to work to haul the broken cable on board; it had been severed twelve fathoms above the clinch, as well as frayed in several other places. This proved to us that the bottom was strewn with sharp rocks and we rejoiced that this accident had not occurred at the height of the storm.

The longboat took two warps to the buoyrope of the anchor, in order to save it. At eight o'clock we heaved in the chain and when the anchor appeared at the surface of the water, we realized, with no less surprise than regret, that one of its flukes was broken, no doubt also owing to the character of the bottom. Thus for the space of several hours the safety of the Astrolabe had only held, so to speak, by a thread!

We then heaved the anchor with the broken cable, taking care to strengthen the warp by a strong shackle. This precaution proved useful, for scarcely had the anchor got near the surface of the sea when the warp broke, and without the shackle the anchor would have been lost.

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At ten minutes past nine we began to move under half sail in order to enter the channel of communication between the two bays. Quite close to leeward we passed two very dangerous submerged rocks, then we found ourselves in a basin of calm water, which at the moment gave no sign of current. As the wind was still coming from the West, I hugged the Eastern edge at a distance of four hundred yards, to keep myself in the wind.

There was something impressive about our course through this narrow channel, resembling a gorge, between two ranges of high mountains. On one side thick forest, on the other coppice wood or merely tall bracken, behind us the shores of Tasman Bay receding on the horizon; in front the islands small and great of Admiralty Bay, coming into view at the end of the channel, as if seen through a telescope, and gradually increasing in size before our eyes. Such was the scene we might have enjoyed, if anxiety about the ship had not prevented us.

When I came to within eight hundred yards of the exit, I saw that it was almost completely blocked by surface rocks and I was forced to send M. Gressien to examine it more closely while I advanced slowly under very little sail. After taking several soundings and examining the passageways, this officer returned to report that it was practicable, although very restricted, and that the greater depth lay towards the Eastern shore, but that the tide was beginning to get into it, and without a stiff breeze, it would be difficult to overcome it. However, I wanted to make the attempt, so I filled the sails, adding others, and the corvette was only a cable from the passage, when the tidal rip suddenly rose like a seething sheet and the water rushed into the basin forming whirlpools of incredible violence. At that instant, the corvette yielded to the action of the tide, which drove her rapidly back into the Basin of Currents, forcing her to swing round and round on herself several times.

I certainly preferred to see her thrust back into the basin rather than hurled on to the reefs of the passage, but I was perturbed as well as astonished, when I realized that the tide, instead of keeping her in more or less mid-channel, was carrying her straight towards a bluff on the coast (Whirlwind Head), which stood exactly south of us. Thus, in the space of two or three minutes, before the anchors could be got out, the prow of the ship was already only a few yards from the rocks of the shore. She was about to be hurled on the Head by the full force of the tide. In order to page 90reduce at any rate the violence of the collision, I set the longboat pulling obliquely on the heaving line and at that moment the anchor, swinging clear at last, dropped. Although apeak, it held us afloat. Nevertheless it would not have prevented the crash, if the eddy in which the corvette was caught had not again swung her round two or three times on herself, thus keeping her in a depth of seven or eight fathoms, only a few feet from the rocks, in such a way that she appeared to graze them, although in fact she cleared them every time. By now it was exactly noon; M. Jacquinot had gone down into the longboat so as to take a better reading of the meridian altitude of the sun, because of the depression; and all these movements were so instantaneous that this officer knew nothing about them till it was all over.

Immediately, the second anchor was shipped in the longboat so as to drop it a cable out to sea. Yet although it was not only strongly manned, but also towed by the yawl, the boat was so carried by the current that it could scarcely take the anchor even sixty or seventy yards. Nevertheless, as soon as we held the end of the cable, we turned on it, dragging after us the main anchor, which luckily had lost hold. At about one o'clock in the afternoon, we were apeak the second anchor and forty yards from the coast.

Anxious to give each of our colleagues the means of employing his time usefully, I had the naturalists and the artist of the expedition (as well as Messrs. Guilbert and Paris) landed without delay on the neighbouring beach. The two latter separated and each climbed by himself to the top of two heights which overlooked both Tasman Bay and Admiralty Bay, in order to get an exact view of even their less prominent features and to do surveying that would be useful for the geographical study of the Strait. In acting in this manner I had a double aim, first to utilize the zeal and the time of men whose presence on board could not help in any way with the handling of the ship that we now had to deal with; but above all, to lull the sailors' fears of what dangers we might be running, by demonstrating that investigations were going on just as they did under the happiest circumstances of our voyage. It is the method that I have constantly adopted and I believe it to be indispensable, especially with such cowardly creatures as were the majority of our hands.

While our companions were usefully occupied on land, on board we redoubled our efforts to bring the corvette once again into a safe position. The longboat, after taking on once more two cables and a kedge anchor, page 91set, off to drop it as far out to sea as possible; but still helpless against the tide which carried it rapidly towards Tasman Bay, it could scarcely carry the anchor more than a hawser length from land; so we turned, dragging the second anchor, but because of the current, this anchor got entangled with the heavy anchor, which was still astern. The cables, hawsers and buoy ropes got so mixed up, that it took a good deal of time and a lot of work to get the tangled mass straightened out again. At last, by four o'clock, everything was in order and we were able to drop the second anchor once again, using the small chain, at twenty-one fathoms, on a bottom of gravel and shell, at rather more than a cable from the shore. Then the kedge anchor was raised. Not till then could the crew have their dinner, after working throughout the day from four o'clock in the morning with only a quarter of an hour's break for breakfast. On this occasion I observed that the sailors, by nature lazy and complaining when the weather is bad, had proved themselves responsive, obedient, and even fairly calm in the dangers we had just been through. I was glad to see this, for it showed what they were capable of in times of crisis.

During the evening the men were busy cleaning the deck (which was more loaded with cables, chains, and hawsers, than it had even been before), and preparing for the operations which still had to be carried out to get us clear of the Basin of Currents.

Meanwhile, accompanied by M. Guilbert, who had come back from his expedition, I embarked in the whaleboat to go to have a look at the channel. What I could now see of it convinced me that it would have been most imprudent to risk using it before making a thorough examination of it and also of the stretch of sea beyond in Admiralty Bay; but at the moment it was impossible to take soundings in either of them. The tide had turned and the current now flowed into Admiralty Bay, but its action was too irregular and the sea was swirling in a terrifying manner. Running out from the headland on the north-west was a chain of rocks at the surface of the water; lying across three-quarters of the channel, they blocked the flow of water and caused an almost perpetual bar of breakers across the only section free from rocks. The effect of this contraction in the volume of water made itself felt in our basin and its level was higher than that of the water in Admiralty Bay. It took the full strength of six men in the whaleboat to overcome the force of the current outside its own bed, and one can thus form some idea page 92of what its fury must have been within its real sphere of action. There was reason to think that the most favourable time for attempting this channel would be at low tide; but at that moment the current was against us and the help of a settled wind in the right direction became essential. Almost within reach of the bar, and close to the east headland, I found twenty, twenty-five, and even forty fathoms without touching bottom. A flock of cormorants perched on the little trees of the opposite shore were the sole guardians of the basin.

We spent the night riding our second anchor with forty-two fathoms of chain. It was calm till midnight, then the sky became threatening; we had squalls from the north and the north-west and continuous rain for several hours.

25th January—M. Guilbert spent the whole day surveying the basin in which we lay, and his investigations established the fact that there is everywhere an even bottom, at twenty to twenty-five fathoms of gravel and shell almost up to the shore, except in one or two spots where there is mud.

I set off myself at ten o'clock in the morning with M. Gressien to go once again to investigate the channel or at any rate its approaches. It was almost low tide, and I noticed with pleasure that the sea was only breaking feebly on the rocks, in spite of the eddies which still swirled. I ventured to take a sounding right in the middle of the channel, where I found deep water and without our realizing it, the current carried us rapidly into Admiralty Bay. For a moment I was uneasy about how we could get back into the Basin of Currents because of the terrifying bar that the returning tide would throw up once again. In the end I made up my mind to continue, feeling sure that we should always be able to get back by land by crossing the peninsula, and that after all at the worst we should only have to sacrifice the boat.

After that, I went on without any hesitation half a mile further into Admiralty Bay, which seemed to me as a basin very safe and much less blocked at its entrance by islands and islets than Cook had represented it to be. Along the shore we saw a few native villages and even a canoe out at sea; I should have liked to have waited to see it come ashore, but it was essential not to lose time which was so precious for the aim I had set myself; so I returned hurriedly to the channel where I found a perfectly calm sea. This was the exact moment when the tide became slack, and during the time that we were forced to spend in this basin, we noticed that this seldom page 93lasted more than a quarter of an hour. It was a quite extraordinary experience for us to be able to move about peacefully with our boat in this stretch of water, where we had seen nothing but raging whirlpools and a threatening bar of breakers. I took advantage of the opportunity to take careful soundings. I found that the whole of the N.W. section was effectively blocked by rocks normally just below the surface but uncovered at this moment, and also that a few isolated rocks, eight or ten feet below the surface, formed a further extension of the chain. Thus the only navigable section was reduced to a stretch sixty to eighty yards in width, near the S.E. head. The said headland, be it noted, was as perpendicular as a quay-side, and a ship could moor close in to the shore without the slightest danger.

From that moment I was determined to take the Astrolabe in on the first favourable wind, for the two reasons that this route would save a long and very unpleasant journey round the coast, and that at the same time it would ensure the means of making a detailed geographical survey of Admiralty Bay. I called to M. Guilbert, whom I saw some distance away coming round by the shore and suggested that he should come quickly to the channel to take advantage of the calm waters for taking his soundings. But the tide was already turning in our basin and it became impossible for him even to get near the channel, in spite of all the efforts of the men at the oars.

From there, I went on to a beach of the island not far from the channel, where I spent an hour wandering about and collecting plants. Once again, I was struck by the resemblance that there is, in a general way, between the vegetation in this part of the world and that of Polynesia. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that New Zealand produces several Australian species, in spite of the difference that appears at first sight in the flora of the two countries. These two facts naturally give rise to the idea that, in spite of its high latitude, New Zealand represents a scheme of vegetation intermediate between that of Polynesia and that of New Holland, a sort of transition from one to the other.

I found several tufts of Phormium [New Zealand flax] at this spot, and, although its favourite haunt seems to be at the edge of streams, I have seen it grow well on almost bare rocks by the sea. Near the shore a lovely waterfall dashed over rocks and over the remains of trees which have succumbed to the action of wind or time and would easily suffice to meet the needs of a whole fleet.

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Back on board about one o'clock, I sent the longboat to carry a kedge anchor two cables out to sea, roughly in mid-channel; then (after raising the second anchor) we hauled on the kedge. We had just dropped the second anchor again to take the place of the kedge, when the wind rose in the N.W. and brought squalls of rain and made the anchor drag. Fifty fathoms of chain were run out and the corvette stood still at about one cable from the shore. So all our day's work was wasted and we were no further forward than before.

At nightfall the wind increased; it blew very fresh with squalls, rain, thunder, and lightning. In order to ease the light chain that was straining hard, and not to be driven on to the shore, we had to drop a bower anchor on the heavy chain and we ran out thirty fathoms of chain.

26th January—The wind lessened at midnight; at daybreak we resumed work. The heavy anchor and the second anchor were raised; then we hauled on a sheet anchor that had been dropped three cables to windward at a depth of twenty-one fathoms. We then waited, held by eighty fathoms of hawser, till a favourable moment should come to set sail. At nine o'clock I thought I had found it at ebb tide with a pleasant W.S.W. wind which seemd quite steady. The cable and sheet anchor were quickly raised, the foresail and topsail immediately trimmed; but we had scarcely set our course when the wind, as it lessened, jumped from south to north. Then the current, catching us athwartships, drove us once again to within half a cable of the awful Whirlwind Head. A sheet anchor could not hold us, and we had to add the second anchor with the chain.

After that, we towed ourselves on three warps run out seawards, but they scarcely drew us a cable from land. We made a second attempt, but we had so much force against us that at five o'clock in the evening we had to be content with dropping the bower anchor at one and a half cables from the shore. We had spent thirteen hours in exhausting and continuous efforts, and we had run out, dropped, and raised any number of anchors and hawsers, and we were further behind than at the beginning of the day. No sooner did the boats bearing the anchors and cables reach a certain distance from the ship than the current carried them to the south with an irresistible violence, and the towing distance was reduced to half a cable or a cable at most. In this sinister basin, the torture of the Danaides was renewed for us; it seemed page 95 as if an evil spirit took pleasure each day in destroying in a single instant the fruit of our most prolonged efforts."

For several days I had been suffering rather acutely from a pain in my side, and the continued strain of the day did not help to relieve it. All night a strong N.W. and W.N.W. wind blew, with squalls and some clear weather. We felt confidence in our chains which had already stood so much, otherwise our situation would not have been free from anxiety.

At half past five in the morning, I leapt into the yawl, and went to find a suitable spot to take a sheet anchor four cables to windward from the boat, in order to haul ourselves towards the other side of the bay, and so to get underway at last with the prevailing winds. To my great astonishment, while taking soundings between four hundred and six hundred yards from the channel, I found that the whole of this stretch was filled by a sandbank covered by not more than fifteen, twelve, or even eleven feet of water at low tide. Beyond it, the bottom suddenly dropped to twenty-two and twenty-four fathoms and so formed a narrow channel running along the island. The presence of this bank showed me that the connecting passage was even more dangerous to attempt with a ship with as great a draught of water as ours than I had thought, but on the other hand I was delighted with the discovery, as the shallows afforded a sure base for the kedge anchors that I wanted to place there.

As soon as I was back on board I sent off the longboat to drop a kedge anchor near this bank, and it returned bringing to the ship the ends of the three hawsers which it carried. At the same time I sent off the whaleboat from the corvette with two other hawsers, to be joined to those of the longboat, while we were turning on our anchor. But by a new misfortune (at the very moment when the two boats were nearing one another) the tide, which so far had been moderate and had allowed us to carry through the preliminary operations, this tide tore back furiously into Tasman Bay and drove the boats violently apart. Any further attempt was useless for the moment, so we stayed apeak on our anchor; from the ship we hauled in the whaleboat with its hawsers, and I ordered the longboat to ship its hawsers again, so as to remain apeak on its own anchor.

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At half past eleven, with the tide raging as strongly as ever, and fearing that the period of slack water might be too short to carry out our change of position, I sent M. Lottin to the longboat with orders to raise the kedge anchor, and to anchor nearer the corvette, so as to be able to bring on board the ends of the three hawsers. This operation was carried out successfully. At half past one we held the ends of the hawsers, the main anchor was raised, and we turned on the kedge anchor.

At three o'clock we again dropped the bower anchor in five and a half fathoms, in a gravel and shell bed, on the edge of the sandbank and one thousand yards from each shore of the channel. We kept the end of the hawser on board and we worked ourselves at last into a position to be able to get underway the moment the wind was favourable.

In the evening, I went with one or two of the officers to take a look at the coast of the island once again. I wanted to go into the interior, but the thickets and the impossibly steep rise of the land soon made me give up the attempt. From the tip of the reef, I once more examined the channel very carefully, and made up my mind to go through it the next day, weather permitting. Coming back to the ship, our boat was suddenly caught in the foaming eddies of the channel, and we had some difficulty in getting clear. However, on this occasion we found that, although they were so terrifying to look at, they proved less dangerous than one might expect so long as the boat was properly handled.

During the day, a few natives from Admiralty Bay came as far as the channel reef, and spoke to our men, but they would not come on board. When we entered the Bay of Currents we had noticed a little village near Lebrun Peninsula, and from the top of the height that overlooks the two bays, M. Guilbert had caught sight of another settlement down below in the direction of Admiralty Bay. None of the inhabitants of these two villages had appeared, although they could not have been ignorant of our presence; but as the tribes of these regions probably did not know anything of Europeans, except by hearsay, no one among them dared to risk gaining a closer acquaintance with us.

Throughout the evening and the night, the everlasting west wind raged once more with violent squalls. This time our position was still more precarious than on previous nights, for, if we had dragged anchor, the wind page 97would have driven us straight on to the channel reef and there could then have been no question as to our fate.

28th January—At last I saw the dawn heralding a day of happy auspices with a promise of a favourable wind. In order not to neglect any precautions that it was within my power to take, as early as half past four I went to the end of the S.E. side of the channel and I climbed right to the top of the bluff which overlooks it. It was not at all easy by reason of its steep sides and the very dense bracken that covers it to a certain distance. I managed it, however, and looking straight down on to the channel from this hill, I was convinced that it could be navigated if great precautions were taken. Yet I did not shut my eyes to the fact that this enterprise might have sinister consequences. As I looked back towards the corvette, I could not help thinking, try as I would, that this very vessel, so well organized, so imposing and intended for a long career, might in a few-moments and solely as a result of my wishes, be hurled to destruction on the rocks at my feet. Ten officers, a complete crew, the people of that floating city which had become their fatherland, might they not within a few hours be reduced to trying to find their salvation on a bare inhospitable coast; with nothing before them but to drag out a miserable existence, or perhaps to perish there without ever seeing their family or their friends again? Such thoughts weakened my resolution for a moment; but very soon it was steadfast once more and I returned to the ship quite determined to tempt fortune.

At seven o'clock the kedge anchor was raised and dropped twelve yards nearer the ship; soon afterwards, as the wind seemed steady and moderate in the W.S.W., and moreover the tide slack, I decided to get underway at once, so as to have the more complete mastery of my operation. We had taken in the hawser astern, which meant that we were facing in the right direction, and also that we were in the exact position to catch the wind immediately in the sails as we weighed anchor; all this was carried out with great rapidity. At the same moment, the mizensail, the mizentopmast-staysail, the foresail, and the foretopsail were trimmed, and for a few minutes we held our course very well; but just at the moment when we were about to enter the channel, the wind fell and the tide, coming up with a rush, made us swing to leeward. In vain I immediately ordered the helm hard down and all the sails astern to be taken in, in order to stand in to the coast on the right, as if to touch it, as the situation demanded. The corvette did not page 98respond, and at the mercy of the tidal current she could not escape being, carried on to the last rocks of the reefs over which I knew that there was only ten to twelve feet of water. Soon the Astrolabe struck twice; the first shock was slight, the second time a sinister sound of cracking went through her, then came a long shiver, with an unmistakable pause in the progress of the corvette and a heavy list to leeward, which might well make one fear that she would stay on the rocks and go to pieces. The crew, at this moment, gave an involuntary cry of terror. "It's nothing; we have cleared it," I shouted to reassure them. In fact, the tide, still bearing the ship with it, prevented her from remaining on the fatal rocks; moreover, the wind got up again, we could steer, and very soon, set free from any fears, with all sails set, we entered the peaceful waters of Admiralty Bay. The only damage was where the keelson had lost one or two scraps, knocked off by the collision, and these floated along in the wake of the ship.

Absolutely absorbed by the business of handling the ship, I could not take note of what was happening round me. But those of my companions who could give more attention to it assured me that it was a most impressive sight to see the Astrolabe, at one moment lying on her beam ends as if about to be swallowed up by the whirlpools that surrounded her, lift herself by a graceful movement, and advance majestically through the midst of the waters from which the fury had departed.

To preserve the memory of the passage of the Astrolabe, I gave the name of Passe des Français [French Pass] to this dangerous strait; but, except in a case of urgency, I should not advise anyone to attempt it, and even then it would be necessary to have a steady wind and almost to scud before the wind. For the rest, the maps and plans that M. Guilbert constructed from his survey of the whole of this part of the strait will make navigation much easier for those who come after us in these regions.

At nine o'clock we hove to, to make observations, in thirty-one fathoms, soft mud; we took all our boats on board and stowed them. Then we gazed at ease at the lovely basin in which we were. It certainly deserves all the praise that Cook had given it and I would specially commend a charming little roadstead a few miles to the south of the English captain's anchorage. Protected from the tides and the winds from the north by a headland running out to sea (Cape Good) it must afford excellent shelter from any wind. I was very sorry that the pressure of time did not permit me to spend a few page 99days there, especially as a native village, situated exactly opposite, promised a new centre of interesting observations.

Our navigation of the French Pass had just established beyond any doubt that all that section of land which ends in Cook's Cape Stephens forms an island. It is cut off from the mainland of Tovai-Pounamou [South Island] by the Basin of Currents. It is lofty and mountainous throughout its whole extent, the coast is gloomy, very steep, and wild on the west side looking towards Tasman Bay; but it has a much less forbidding aspect on the side facing Admiralty Bay; there are even a few attractive spots. This island measures twenty miles from north to south and a little less than eight from east to west. The officers of the Astrolabe, eager to perpetuate the memory of their commander, wished his name to be attached to this portion of the discoveries of the voyage, and he did not think it right to refuse this mark of esteem on the part of his brave companions. The name d'Urville Island can therefore remain attached to this part of the land until such time as the name given to it by its inhabitants be discovered.

A comparison of our map with the one that Cook drew of the strait, will show how defective his work was. No doubt ours will be far from complete, but at least we shall provide an accurate outline to which can be added the details that will result from new investigations. An entirely new configuration has been given to Admiralty Islands, and a group farther off to the east has been named Gaimard Islands. We were unable to see the end of a channel situated to the south-west of these, which seemed to penetrate some distance inland.

Carried along by a pleasant west wind and helped by the current, we made good speed in Cook Strait. It was exactly noon when we crossed the meridian, less than a mile to the north of the rocks of Gaimard Islands; two hours later we were sailing less than half a league away from the dangerous reefs of Cape Jackson. Leaving the island at the entrance to leeward, we crossed the mouth of Queen Charlotte Sound, where Cook was in the habit of sheltering during his voyages. In this part of the strait we had frequent alarms, caused by longitudinal belts of water in which the sea was discoloured and was stirred up by strong eddies like those formed by reefs. Yet the lead, when dropped in one of these belts to a depth of thirty-five fathoms, gave no sign of bottom, so that I concluded that these effects were simply due to the currents in the strait, perhaps also to the sudden passage page 100of the sea from immense depths to a much shallower region, although the depth was still quite considerable.

Just as we rounded Cape Koamaro, huge fires, no doubt lit by the natives, suddenly appeared near its extremity. We sailed close in to the rocks known as The Brothers and at four o'clock in the afternoon we hove to in the lee of the steep shores which rise to the south of Cape Koamaro. A mile from the reefs, we did not touch bottom at ninety-five fathoms.

Since taking the morning position, that is to say in the space of about seven hours, we had really made forty-two miles, whereas the log had only shown about twenty-eight. This proved that we had been helped by a strong current. Emboldened by this success, I intended to push on that evening as far as Cloudy Bay and anchor in the entrance. The next day we were to go right in, investigate this still unknown area and particularly to ascertain whether this bay is connected with Queen Charlotte Sound by an internal channel, as I am inclined to think.

Unfortunately, just when my hopes were highest, the wind suddenly abandoned me just before five o'clock in the evening, when I was about two miles from a steep bluff, the dry barren earth of which crumbled in long landslides into the sea. A little cove at its foot seemed to be linked by a narrow channel, strewn with rocks, with Queen Charlotte Sound, whose calm waters could be seen quite clearly from the top of the masts. There were also enormous fires on the left tip of this inlet. It is probable that the savages, anxious to see us, used this means of attracting us to their village.

We stayed an hour becalmed, then I quickly took advantage of a little N.W. wind to stand off from the shore and put myself into a suitable position for the night. We were in the narrowest part of the strait, and I knew what Cook had written about the violence of the currents due to the tides here. By eight o'clock in the evening, that is to say as night came on, I had managed to take up a position five miles from the west coast (near Cape Koamaro) and eight miles from the north coast (near Cape Poli-Wero) [Tera-whiti]. Then I set her head E.N.E. under half sail so as to draw gently away from the coast. The wind freshened a great deal towards ten o'clock, the swell made itself felt and the current which was dragging us quite perceptibly towards the shores of the northern island forced us to tack a lot and to be more careful than ever. Fortunately, it was a lovely moonlight night and page 101sailors know what help they receive from this beneficent luminary on those nights when navigation becomes very tricky.

29th January—Throughout the night, a strong wind blew from the north, with squalls and rather rough sea stirred up as a result of currents. At half past three in the morning, sighting quite easily all the land round the strait, I hugged the wind to W.S.W., crowding on sail, in an attempt to get into Cloudy Bay. At a quarter past six, we were within four or five leagues of the entrance, but from early morning the current had been thrusting us out of the strait, and I was still convinced that I should have the greatest difficulty in succeeding in my plan, even supposing it to be practicable, so long as the wind remained in the same quarter.

Consequently, abandoning my first intentions, I decided to heave to in the neighbourhood of Cape Campbell, which was not more than five miles away, then to stand in for the coast of Ika-Na-Mawi [North Island] in order to investigate that part of the shore lying to the west of Cape Palliser.

Cape Campbell is formed of fairly high land ending in a low point. A little farther inland rises a snow-capped peak [Mount Tako on d'Urville's map] which is an excellent landmark for anyone entering the strait when the wind is southerly. The coast on the open sea runs away to the southwest and appears to be of great height. While resting here, we did not touch bottom at one hundred fathoms.

At six thirty-five we set sail and drove towards the north coast. To my great regret, the wind prevented us from reaching a great indentation between Poli-Wero Cape [Terawhiti] and Toura-Kira Cape [Cape Tura-kirae] where there are islands close to the shore, which must form excellent anchorage.So I had to be content to set my course towards the vast bay lying between Toura Kira Cape and Kawa-Kawa [Cape Palliser]. By noon we were not more than two miles from the first, and from that point, the bay, of which we still could not see the limit, seemed to us a most attractive sight. No rocks, no obvious dangers, clear lofty hills, with a belt of level ground at the edge of the sea, held out a promise of good anchorage.

Full of confidence, we were going forward on a perfectly calm sea, in lovely weather with a gentle N.W. breeze, when at a quarter past twelve a canoe, that we had been watching for some time along the shore, drew near to the ship. At my invitation, the natives who manned it (there were six of page 102them) boldly came on board the corvette. They had neither arms nor objects for barter and their chief, coming straight up to me, immediately asked whether there were any Zealanders on board. Tangata maodi ki te Kaipouke. On my replying in the negative, he asked permission to remain himself, which permission I gladly gave, thinking that it would only be for a few minutes, at most for the day. After that I was busy with the ship without paying any more attention to these savages.

About an hour later, I was extremely surprised to see the canoe leave with only four men, while the two others remained on board. One of them was the chief and when I pointed out to him his canoe, that was drawing away from us, he explained to me that it was going back to get provisions, that it would return the next day, and that meanwhile he wished to stay with us. When I argued that we might leave the bay before his people had time to return, he seemed quite decided to follow me wherever I might wish to take him. Then the officers who had watched the canoe go off told me that his companions, after talking with him for some time, had parted from their chief with tears in their eyes and with the high ceremonial of etiquette, viz., nose pressing (shongui). He himself had not been able to restrain himself from shedding a few tears and I mentioned this fact to him; he immediately wiped his eyes and making an effort to appear cheerful, he said that it was nothing and that he was very happy. This native, who looked about thirty to thirty-two years of age, was a fine specimen of a man and did not lack a certain dignity; he was of a serious, thoughtful disposition and there was even a trace of melancholy in his expression. He told me that his name was Tehi-Noui and that he was rangatira-noui and even ariki, i.e., first chief and high priest of his district which he called Tera Witi. His companion, Koki-Hore, who was younger, gayer and more carefree, had a more open and attractive expression; his face was better tattooed, yet he agreed himself that he was not rangatira and it seemed to be by an act of voluntary devotion that he shared his chief's fate. As I had decided to anchor in the bay, I reflected that it would be easy for them to leave if they changed their minds during the night and I made no effort to recall the canoe which was already a long way off.

We had gone four or five miles past Cape Turakirae hugging the N.W. coast of the bay and we often found fifty fathoms without touching bottom. It was only at a quarter past three that we began to find a bottom of fine page 103black sand at nineteen fathoms. At that distance, it was easy for us to realize that this bay was nothing but an enormous curve absolutely open to the south, and without any kind of haven or shelter that could afford safe anchorage. Consequently, at four o'clock I decided to drop the main anchor to hold us during the night.

On both sides, the coast is quite high and steep with still higher mountains beyond, whereas at the head of the bay there is nothing but a very low-lying flat shore; slightly higher ground only appears a long way inland. The character of the land soon made me suspect that this beach was simply an isthmus beyond which stretched another basin farther north: this suspicion was confirmed by the report of M. Lottin, who from the top gallant mast could see the water quite distinctly beyond the belt of land that closed the bay. Some distance inland we saw enormous fires burning, which obviously indicated the presence of natives.

No sooner had we dropped anchor, than I embarked in the whaleboat with Messrs. Quoy and Guilbert to investigate the character of the region and I took Koki-Hore with me to introduce us to his compatriots as men on a peaceful mission. We still had seven fathoms depth to within a half cable from shore and four fathoms at less than fifty feet; but we had the disappointment of seeing that everywhere a terrific surf broke on the coast and deprived us of any hope of putting the boat in there. We hugged the coast for more than three miles without finding a single spot where it was possible to run ashore without the gravest danger. Everywhere the beach consisted of fairly big pebbles with very steep but low cliffs at the back. Beyond stretched hills broken by little valleys, in which nothing grows but bracken or low bushes. So far as we could judge from the boat, all the soil seemed to bear marks of volcanic action; its general appearance, colour, and undulation reminded me of what I had observed in the past in some of the Greek islands, like Melos, Lemnos, and Santorin. It was very galling to find that, in spite of my efforts, access to this curious coast was denied me. For a moment I was tempted to try to reach the shore by flinging myself into the breakers which crashed furiously and my two companions were inclined to imitate me. But I thought of the difficulty of getting back to the boat again; besides the natives might have tried to join us, and I could not forget that in general their recklessness and preventions are excited by any imprudent behaviour of Europeans. We were much too page 104far from the corvette for it to render us prompt assistance in case of need. After careful consideration, I gave up the designs I had on this unapproachable coast and we left from a spot due north of our anchorage, where the bed of a torrent had made a most extraordinary cleft in the cliff. To record the uselessness of our efforts, we gave this miserable basin the name of Bale Inutile [Useless or Palliser Bay].

Our two guests did not seem perturbed because we had not been able to set foot on shore; they pointed out to us quite clearly that behind Cape Poli-Wero we should find a better anchorage, where we could get sweet potatoes but no pigs, as these are only found farther to the north. They again begged me to keep them on board; in vain I repeated that we should be away for a very long time and that probably they would never be able to return home; they appeared to be quite indifferent about this and nothing could make them abandon their plan. However, they did not fail to show their fear sometimes that we might want to eat them, and it was only after we had convinced them of our utter horror of such an idea, that they were completely reassured. One must admit that with such a dread, these two islanders must have had quite extraordinary courage to put themselves in this way at the mercy of strangers, when they knew absolutely nothing about their intentions. I ordered some food to be given to them and canvas for a bed; I had made up my mind to keep them on board, knowing that I could drop them on any coast, where they might afterwards choose to settle. Their presence might be useful in two ways, first to help us to get to know the natives wherever we landed, secondly to tell us in their own language the names of the chief features of the coast.

At night, the fires already seen appeared in greater numbers over a wider area and at a greater distance than we had thought at first. They even became so active and lasted so long that for a time I, with others, thought that they might come from a volcano, feeling sure that the savages could never light such huge fires and that they would spend the night in sleep rather than in keeping them up. However, as they often set fire to enormous stretches which go on burning for several days, it is more likely that those we saw were due to fires of this kind. Whatever the explanation, fires sprang up and disappeared several times during the night, and the next day there still remained a heavy smoke, quite easy to see.

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30th January—As I was under no illusion as to the extent of the danger that we should run in this bay if we were suddenly surprised by the southerly squalls so often found in these latitudes, at half past five in the morning, I lost no time in raising anchor and making the most of a slight northerly wind to get out of this dangerous cul-de-sac. We sailed along the eastern coast of Useless Bay [Palliser Bay] at a distance of two or three miles from the shore. It runs fairly directly from north to south without offering any more resources than the west coast. Shortly after nine o'clock we had a dead calm for a little while, then some unsteady variable winds jumping from N. to N.E. which enabled us to get beyond the sharp rocks which form the end of Cape Kawa-Kawa (Cook's Cape Palliser) by twelve o'clock. It is formed by quite high mountains, massed pell mell, extremely jagged, most of them ending in sharp peaks, and separated by precipitous gorges. The same geological formation, which indicates a soil torn by great natural upheavals, may be seen all along the coast north of Cape Kawa-Kawa [Cape Palliser] for a long distance. However, a belt of low land, about a mile wide, runs along by the sea fairly regularly and seems suitable for human habitation. Indeed we could see one fire under the headland and another five or six miles to the north.

As at last I left Cook's Strait behind, I could not refrain from expressing my surprise at the errors which had crept into this part of the great man's records. His configurations were extremely inaccurate and the errors in longitude made in the first voyage were as high as one degree and sometimes more. The correction of forty minutes which he makes in his second voyage, rectifies one or two positions, it is true; but on other points, it still leaves errors of fifteen to twenty minutes in relative positions. This will be seen more clearly in the discussion on these points in the section of marine geography.

Outside the strait, we found a big N.E. swell, and we were obliged to sail hard to leeward, with a very variable slight wind from the north. At two-forty in the afternoon, we no longer found any bottom at fifty fathoms, five or six miles from the coast.

M. Guilbert's work came to an end at Kawa-Kawa [Cape Palliser] and the rest of the geographical work to be carried out on New Zealand is entrusted to M. Lottin. It is my intention to investigate the whole of the east page 106coast of Ika-Na-Mawi [North Island], if time permits, and not to stop before reaching North Cape.

Yesterday and to-day, in Useless Bay our ship was often surrounded by big Fucaceae [brown seaweeds] floating on the surface of the waves; I gathered a few specimens which I immediately got my secretary, young Lauvergne, to draw for me.

This morning our two passengers were still cheerful and apparently ready to go with us to the ends of the earth. However, they seemed to lose their good spirits as our vessel sailed out of the bay. When we rounded Cape Kawa-Kawa they became dreamy and sad, especially Tehi-Noui, who soon begged to go home (houta). He shed a few tears when I explained to him that it had become impossible. Nevertheless, they consented to answer a few questions that I put to them, and I learnt from them, with absolute certainty, that the southern island (at any rate the part that they knew) is called both Kai-Kohoura and Tarai-Pounamou, and that the northern island is really called Ika-Na-Mawi. The district which forms the coast from Cape Poli-Wero [Terawhiti] to Cape Kawa-Kawa [Palliser] is called Tera-Witi, and the land round Queen Charlotte Sound, Totara Noui. Instead of the names Tera-Witi and Palliser given by Cook, they gave me Poli-Wero and Kawa-Kawa, which on our map I restored to the capes which should bear them, convinced that it would be absurd not to designate these points by the names used, for centuries perhaps, by tribes as numerous and intelligent as those of New Zealand.

The snow-clad mountain near Cape Campbell is Mt. Tako and our two savages told me that pounamou, the green jade of which they make their most precious ornaments and instruments, is found in the neighbourhood. They explained several times that in the southern island pounamou was found, but not pigs, whereas on the contrary, in the northern island pigs were found, but no pounamou. They did not seem to know the song of the Pihe, although they repeated the words perfectly after me, seemed to understand them, and even to find pleasure in hearing them. They called the chain of high mountains running from Cape Poli-Wero [Terawhiti] to the north, Wai-Terapa. Tehi-Noui has left three wives and four children behind in his own district.

We have already said that out at sea beyond Cape Kawa-Kawa we found the sea rough and our two Zealanders suffered cruelly, which completed page 107their depression and discontent. No doubt they bitterly regretted their unfortunate mania for travel and longed for their homes.

31st January—We spent the night with little sail; at daybreak, we made tacks to bring us into line with the coast. Helped by the current, which was evidently running N.E., we gained more than we had dared to hope.

As we advance towards the north, the mountains on the coast are less precipitous, less grotesque in form, assuming more regular shapes; for the rest, not the slightest break in the land can be seen, not the least feature that might afford shelter, even for a time: everywhere the sea breaks with great force on the shore.

I am really very vexed about it, for I should much like to get rid of my two guests who have become very trying. Victims at the same time of seasickness and homesickness, they have lost all control and wallow in misery. Tehi-Noui in particular is extremely ill-tempered and does nothing but complain. He insisted that I should take him home (houta). To this end, he resorted first of all to caresses, prayers, and supplications, then to the sort of promises that he thought most likely to win me over. Seeing that I did not yield to his constant pleadings to take him back to houta, he flew into a towering rage and, using all the most abusive words in his language, called me Kaore rangatira, tangata iti iti, tangata wari (no gentleman, good for nothing, slave). He also talked a great deal about a certain Kapane, no doubt the captain of a whaleboat who had visited his tribe, who he said was his friend, of whose power he boasted, and with whose vengeance he sometimes threatened me. I felt really sorry for the poor fellow and I should have been glad to comply with his request; but I had no time to lose and the coast was inaccessible.

Wiser and more resigned, Koki-Hore bore his troubles patiently, without saying a word. Only, when he explained to me that they were cold and I gave him to understand that they could go and warm themselves by the kitchen fire, he replied that he could do that without any risk, as he was not a gentleman, but that it was impossible for Tehi-Noui, who, in his quality of rangatira and ariki (chief and priest) was tapou-tapou (sacred to the highest degree), and that if he warmed himself by the fire all our people shared, his Atoua (God) would kill him. To make it clearer to me, he gathered his chief tenderly in his arms and seemed heartbroken simply at the thought of losing him; he always showed him the greatest consideration page 108and never wavered in his attitude of a faithful servant, full of affection and respect. In every way, Koki-Hore was much more interesting than Tehi-Noui, and I was very sorry that the latter was with him, for otherwise he would certainly have grown accustomed to us and might even have lived happily on board. At the first moment of fine weather, I intend to run ashore and drop them both.

In the afternoon, we saw a goodly number of albatrosses, brown petrels with white breasts, little terns, gannets with tawny heads, as well as dolphins with white bellies. About nine o'clock in the evening, eight miles from the shore, we could find no bottom at one hundred fathoms. All night we had a calm or else sporadic winds in the northerly quarter, with a light rain that was almost continuous. We spent it taking short tacks under topsails.

1st February—At daybreak, we were twelve miles from the shore, not very far from the placed marked Flat Point on Cook's map (Tehouka-Kore to our Zealanders). The land, which is not very high, slopes gently down to the sea and must have quite a considerable population, for we saw several fires along the coast. A slight N.N.E. wind in the morning veered to S.E. towards noon and allowed me at last to draw near to land. At half past three in the afternoon we hove to about three leagues from Cook's Castle Point, in seventy-five fathoms of water, mud and shell. Castle Point is a high bluff rising straight up from the water, a little like a fortress; nearby on the north, a long black rock with a flat top forms a little island close to the shore.

The land in the neighbourhood still looks quite pleasant, but there seems to be no possible anchorage. The hills are well wooded and on the heights farther inland there are trees which must be of enormous height, given the angle at which they are seen at such a distance away.

The two natives, still in the depths of woe, lay down almost the whole day in the longboat, gazing sorrowfully at Cape Kawa-Kawa which they saw disappearing behind them and saying over and over again in a pathetic voice houta. Tehi-Noui, regardless of his rank and dignity, wailed in the most piteous manner. It was indeed a strange sight to see this savage, who on a battlefield would no doubt have faced death without flinching, so crushed by grief that he abandoned himself to his sorrow and whined in a plaintive voice like a sulky child who cannot get his own way. However, he cheered up a little in the evening and ate a good supper. What these men page 109like better than anything else is bread soaked in coffee and every morning they look through all the mess tins to finish up anything that the sailors have left.

During the night, there rose a light wind from S.S.W. which at eleven o'clock veered and increased at W.N.W. We remained hove to. A fire was burning in the S.W. and a long N.E. swell was still very powerful. At four o'clock in the morning, we set sail to the north and the westerly breeze soon carried us towards Cape Topolo-Polo (Cook's Cape Turnagain), where it abandoned us at about ten o'clock, seven miles from land, leaving us becalmed and at the mercy of a current which was carrying us out to sea once more.

2nd February—At this point it must be noted that from Cape Kawa-Kawa as far as Cape Topolo-Polo the currents have been most irregular in character. This fact, together with the faulty latitude taken near the first of these two points, made the charting of this part of the coast extremely difficult. In spite of all the care taken by M. Lottin to get as near as possible to the truth, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the map prepared by him is not as accurate as it should be for this section and that it calls for further correction.

Cape Topolo-Polo consists of a slightly raised headland surmounted by a rounded bluff, obviously of volcanic origin, as is shown by its scarred bare slopes, scored by broad vertical white streaks, and its summit hollowed out in the form of an extinct crater. All this, together with a white patch a little farther off to the south, makes it easy to recognize; also it is the first really projecting point of the coast after the strait. To the north the shore is still very steep though not very lofty, and one can see the range of high mountains in the interior stretching in a line parallel to the coast. At seven o'clock and again at noon, at ninety-five fathoms, the line did not touch bottom.

It was calm almost the whole afternoon or there were light variable winds with glorious weather and a long swell from the N.E., which seems to be a permanent feature of this belt of New Zealand, as the S.W. swell is on the west coast. In the evening a slight westerly allowed us to make another eight miles to the north, then we hove to so as not to lose sight of the points seen during the day. The high land in the neighbourhood of Cape Kidnappers began to appear in the distance.

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Our two companions, tired of moaning to no purpose, at last made up their minds to be quiet. We even noticed that to-day it was Koki-Hore who seemed more upset by the voyage, whereas Tehi-Noui had calmed down and even appeared fairly satisfied with his fate.

3rd February—The wind dropped little by little, and at midnight it was almost calm. The wind did not get up until half past five in the morning in the S.W. and W. in which direction it soon grew stronger. We were then some distance to the south of Black Head; soon we stood in for the coast, and sailed along it about three or four miles out, from this point, as far as Mata Mawi Cape (Cook's Cape Kidnappers). The coast is fairly lofty, but so steep and bare that it strikes one as gloomy and wild. Only on drawing quite near to Cape Mata Mawi does one get any fresh glimpse of a few verdant valleys.

At ten minutes past ten in the morning, we were running quickly about half a league from Cook's Bare Island whose real name is Motou-Okoura. It is merely a steep rock, quite bare and not more than a mile from land. A pa (or stronghold) of considerable size occupies the summit and must have a quite impregnable position. There are also a few scattered huts to be seen on the slopes of the little island. With the telescope we could easily make out the inhabitants moving about their stronghold, and keeping a careful watch on us as we went by. As on other points of the coast, they had been careful to light a big fire on the summit to attract our attention.

A fully-armed canoe came out from Motou-Okoura and was rowed vigorously towards us. I was told that on seeing this our two natives shouted for joy. Delighted to be able to offer them a way out of their captivity, I began at once to heave to. The canoe was now only about a cable from the ship and I told them that they were free to seize this opportunity to land. What was my surprise to see them both terribly upset at this suggestion; they covered their faces with their hands and rolled on the ground with every indication of despair, saying most forcibly that their only wish was to stay on board! Then they told me that the inhabitants of Okoura were their enemies, and that if they fell into their hands, they could not escape being put to death and eaten. They invited us in the clearest way to fire on them and kill them. From what I learned a little later, the first joyful reaction of our guests sprang from their conviction that we should fight and exterminate these newcomers and from the prospect of the delicious meal which, according to their notions, would be the reward of the victors.

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It will be understood that I was not disposed to satisfy the peculiar tastes of my two companions. On the contrary, I should have been honoured to have had peaceful dealings with the inhabitants of the Okoura rock, to get to know their attitude and to form some idea of their resources. But time pressed, I wanted to take advantage of the favourable wind to find, before darkness came on, a suitable place to anchor the corvette in the great expanse of Hawke's Bay.

Consequently, without waiting any longer for the men in the canoe, who, by a false move, were still a fairly long way behind us, I crowded on sail. After skirting for eight to ten miles very close to a pleasant foreshore that runs all the way from Okoura island to Cape Mata Mawi, we found ourselves at midday four or five miles to the south of the latter.

Cape Mata Mawi, the most southerly point of Hawke's Bay, is very remarkable because of its narrow, angular shape, absolutely precipitous and utterly devoid of any vegetation. The same is true of the two rocks quite close to it; they are merely fragments broken from the mass of the headland. Seen from the south they look like slightly inclined cones, whereas from the north they give the impression of quadrangular pyramids. Rocks just beneath the surface form a reef which runs out half a mile to sea.

Beyond the island of Okoura the sea had taken on a colour that was obviously less clear, yet we found sixty-five and sixty-nine fathoms at a distance certainly not more than a league from the shore. When we were athwart the cape, the muddy hue of the water was so pronounced that it formed an extraordinary line of demarcation and seemed to indicate shoal water. However, one hundred yards away we did not find any, and I concluded that this complete discolouration should more probably be attributed to the waters of rivers and torrents which enter the sea at the head of this vast bay.

From one o'clock to two o'clock we sailed further into this enormous basin with a pleasant wind from the West and W.S.W. and a lovely sea that held a promise of easy and safe sailing along these little-known shores. But at two o'clock the wind suddenly jumped to the East, and dashed all my hopes, for prudence bade me henceforth hold a course farther out from land. So we sailed along through most of it six or eight miles out from shore, having a depth of forty, thirty-four, and twenty-four fathoms, sand and mud, on a sea as calm as any in the most sheltered of harbours.

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We thought we saw a fairly large island, lying alongside the coast, which must have been overlooked by Cook in his investigations, but which might only be a peninsula. There is every reason to assume that between it and the coast there would be good anchorage.

In the south-west, Hawke's Bay offered us a panorama of landscapes with clusters of trees here and there and near its shores great stretches of calm water, the latter not deep enough for ships of any considerable size on account of the alluvial deposits brought down by the streams. From three or four terraces forming a sort of ampitheatre, the land rises gradually to the lofty mountains of the interior and this region is undoubtedly the one where I have found the richest and most attractive scenery in the whole of New Zealand. These lands must be well populated, as is shown by the smoke from many fires that we have seen rising at several points. Farther north, the coast rises in steep cliffs whose sides, beaten by the winds and undermined by the waves of the sea, do not appeal to a seaman's eyes, although there must be a surer bottom there than by the flatter beaches at sea level.

This evening our two natives were in good spirits and told me once more that they wanted to stay on board and go to Europe to see Kapane. Certain it is that, having got over their seasickness, they have quite regained their appetite and this improved physical condition has had a great influence on their morale. As far as Cape Mata Mawi they had been quite sure about the coast, and they gave me accurately the exact names of the different points as we saw them: beyond this cape, they first of all hesitated, then they frankly admitted that they did not know any more. So the inhabitants of Okoura are their most distant enemies and their notions of geography stopped at Mata Mawi. The result is that the names that now follow as far as Houa-Houa [Cook's Tolaga Bay], will be once again those used by Cook, except a few that were told to me by the natives of the last-named place.

At seven o'clock in the evening, the wind having scanted to N.E., I remained for the night with only the two foretopsails, with two reefs taken in, running under the shore on short tacks. At nine o'clock the wind suddenly rose in the west and I hove to. At ten o'clock and at midnight, we had forty-three and fifty fathoms, soft mud. There was a much stronger wind with squalls, a dull sky, and fierce frequent lightning.

At daybreak, four o'clock, taking note of the points observed the day before, I set sail and took a course N.N.E. towards a considerable bight, page 113noted by Cook to the north of Hawke's Bay, and alongside the peninsula Tera-Kako [Mahia Peninsula].

But clouds rolled up in a most terrifying manner, and warned us of a violent squall from the south-west. Consequently, I took in the lower sails, furled the mizen topgallant sail and the foretopsail, so as to keep nothing but the maintopsail (two reefs taken in) and the forestaysail.

This operation was scarcely carried out, when the squall burst suddenly in the W.S.W.; the wind blew for an hour with frightful violence, bringing with it very cold heavy rain. Two tacks, as close as possible, took up this time; at six twenty-five, as the sky was bright once again, M. Lottin resumed his work and the Astrolabe continued on her way.

About nine o'clock, at less than a league to the south of them, we rounded the reefs of Tea Houra [Portland Island], an island round in form, of moderate height, and steep on every side. Its summit forms a plateau covered with nothing but low bushes and grass and I noticed a few palisades which indicate that the place is sometimes frequented and lived in by natives. Tea Houra is only separated from the Tera-Kako Peninsula by a narrow channel, which seemed to us to be absolutely blocked by rocks at the surface of the water.

We sailed, less than four miles out, along the east coast of this peninsula, which by reason of its height and the straight line of its crest forms a perfect continuation of Tea-Houra. By noon we had doubled Table Cape which is simply one tip of it. After that we could see very distinctly from that side the tongue of low land, which appears to separate the waters of Hawke's Bay from the open sea. This belt of land terminated on the left in a lofty peninsula, the appearance of which made me conjecture that there might exist a channel between it and Tera-Kako; a narrow channel, it is true, but enough to turn Tera-Kako into an island. It would have been an interesting point to verify, but one that we could not consider, driven as we then were by a very stiff wind from the west, which gave us a speed of five or six knots under nothing but the foresail. In addition to the strong wind, there was a widespread mist over the land; it mingled with the column of smoke from the big fires that the natives lighted at almost every mile to let us know of their presence. Further, a rapid and uniform speed enabled us to plot accurate and long distance bearings, so giving more precision to the hydrographic operations.

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At two o'clock in the afternoon we rounded Young Nick's Cape, memorable as having been the first point in New Zealand sighted by the famous Cook; we soon passed across the opening of Taone Roa Bay [Poverty Bay] but we could scarcely distinguish the land beyond. At four o'clock we took observations with a depth of thirty-five fathoms about four leagues off Cape Gable [Gable End Foreland].

It is known that Cook gave it this name because it resembles the part of the wall of a house set between two roofs. And in fact, when one looks straight at it, that is exactly what it looks like, viz., a vertical triangular section, more or less white and absolutely bare, the end of a ridge that runs back like a roof; whereas the two sides of the hill are covered with verdure.

The coast, which had continued very wild from Tea-Houra Island to the S.W. point of Taone-Roa, once again took on a gentler aspect beyond. The part round Cape Gable is particularly pleasant, and there are sites which a well considered method of cultivation would no doubt turn into fertile land. Here we saw more columns of smoke than anywhere else, an infallible proof of a bigger population.

Near the foreland we caught a white-bellied dolphin, which was very interesting because of its narrow pointed snout like the mouth of the gavial.

At about six o'clock in the evening we approached Cook's Tolaga Bay, and I was hoping to round it before nightfall, when the wind, which had already lessened a good deal, dropped altogether and the corvette remained stationary three or four miles from land. At seven o'clock in the evening we thought we saw a little schooner, which at first skirted the shore, and then suddenly headed out to sea and disappeared, a course that I could only explain by supposing that for reasons of its own the ship found our visit unwelcome.

At eight o'clock two canoes, that we had seen for some time paddling in our direction, drew alongside without any hesitation and as if their occupants were people used to seeing Europeans. They sold us pigs, potatoes, and a few curiosities in return for axes, knives, and other trifles. Forty-five days had passed since we left New Holland, and our stores of fresh food had run out a long time ago. It can be understood with what delight these were received, especially when they told us that pigs were very plentiful in Tolaga, and that we could buy them very cheaply. Terangui Wai-Hetouma, the chief page 115of the Zealanders who had come to visit us and who introduced himself as one of the most important rangatiras of the region, wanted to send his canoes back to get pigs and potatoes, while he spent the night with us. I could not be other than very pleased by this proof of his confidence, but fearing for this native the fate of those from Tera-Witi, I refused and insisted, to his great regret, that he should return in his canoe. I promised him, however, that he would find us at the same spot the next morning.

Tehi-Noui and Koki-Hore seemed henceforth to be happily resigned to their fate, for a copious portion of dolphin meat, which had been bestowed on them, had delighted them with the prospect of the feast they meant to have the next day; and in the evening a shark, that we also caught, brought them further supplies, which completed their joy. Enraptured by this abundance, they seemed little inclined to acquiesce in my desire to see them remain behind there; Koki-Hore, in particular, did not welcome the suggestion at all.

Throughout the night, there was only a slight westerly wind with lovely weather. At ten o'clock in the evening, we hove to in fifty-three fathoms, mud and sand.

5th February—During the morning, as the wind had veered to the N.N.W., thus preventing us from skirting the coast any longer, I decided to use this setback profitably in making a short visit to Tolaga. At half past seven we sailed towards the bay and at eleven o'clock the Astrolabe dropped anchor at exactly the same spot where the Endeavour had anchored fifty-five years before.

The natives had arrived early, but I only allowed a small number to come on board. When we were anchored, we were soon surrounded by canoes full of islanders, who had come to trade with the crew. Although excited and noisy in doing business, they showed good faith and we could only congratulate ourselves on what we got by our barter. The price of a big pig was a large axe; a little axe was worth a young hog. For some poor knives, hooks, and other trifles, we received enormous quantities of potatoes. It can be imagined what ample stores of fresh food we took in for the crew and for our own tables.

Immediately, I sent Messrs. Jacquinot and Lottin to Cook's Fresh Water Cove to note the latitude and longitude. At one o'clock M. Paris left to take page 116soundings close in by the edges of the channel. The naturalists and the artist also landed to proceed with their work. I myself stayed on board with the other officers to keep an eye on the natives, a precaution that I considered more necessary here than anywhere else, as much because of their number as because of their physical strength and their excitable disposition.

Already I had narrowly escaped rousing the enmity of one of these redoubtable savages, which was exactly what I wanted to avoid at all costs, especially because of those men, who, by the nature of their work, were forced to go ashore. As I have already said, so long as we were under sail, I had refused all the canoes that approached the ship, and had only allowed Wai-Hetouma, who said he was the first rangatira of the region, to come on board, with another native whom he had presented as a close relative. It is right to note that this chief, who seemed to have received all the insignia, if one judged by his face completely covered by tattoo, was a peaceful, gentle man of great courtesy, who had approved my decision not to allow anyone on board except himself and his companion. Most of those who attempted it afterwards accepted the prohibition that was issued, although with obvious annoyance and regret; but one of those who came would not obey the sentinel and he only yielded in a tearing rage to the peremptory order that I myself gave him. Moreover, I could see quite easily that from his canoe he was pouring out threats against me. From his tall figure, his haughty manner, and the air of submission of those who were round him, I suspected that he was a chief. Further, a girl in his canoe who spoke a mixture of bad English and Zealand, repeated incessantly and with extraordinary volubility that Shaki, her master, was a great chief, a friend of the English, and that I was doing wrong not to receive him. No doubt I could have ignored his threats so far as I personally was concerned, but I have explained the reasons which lead me to placate all these savages and especially the chiefs. So I called Wai-Hetouma and asked him who this very insistent newcomer might be. He agreed that, in fact, Shaki was a great chief, and indeed I soon had reason to think that he was superior to Wai-Hetouma in rank, or, at any rate, in influence. Then I signed to Shaki to come on board. I explained in a friendly way that I did not know that he was a distinguished rangatira, and I even gave him a few presents, which completed his conquest. From that moment we were the best of friends, and he was one of the last to leave the corvette from which he did not budge for a page 117moment. This native, who seemed scarcely thirty years of age, was at least five feet eight inches tall, his figure was athletic, and his manner very belligerent. He told me that he had seen several English people and had been the companion in arms of Pomare of Mata-Ouwi, the famous conqueror of New Zealand. He also knew the name of Shongui-Ika, but he agreed that he had never seen him.

In spite of my precautions, this incident shows how near I came to making an implacable enemy of Shaki. Back on shore, he might have avenged himself on the officers or naturalists of the Astrolabe for what he would have regarded as an outrageous insult to his dignity. This is what must have happened often to Europeans, especially with people as easily irritated and as vindictive as those of New Zealand, where the chiefs are all independent and very jealous of one another. This jealousy, which makes the position of Europeans still more delicate, is carried to excess by the natives. They would all like to be the only ones to benefit from the advantages which they expect to receive from the visits of foreigners and cannot endure seeing their neighbours share them. We had a most amazing proof of this while we were anchored off Houa-Houa.

As more and more canoes came along, the first arrivals gave me no peace with their attempts to make me fire on and kill those who manned them; yet, the moment these drew alongside, the others immediately began to talk to them and greet them as acquaintances. Thus it was clear that nothing but the fear of seeing the new arrivals enjoy a share of our favour and our barter could have inspired such an inhuman request. I merely laughed at such extraordinary tactics, when suddenly a general restlessness, a sort of confused whispering rose from the midst of the natives. They looked anxiously away from the ship, and soon I noticed that their disturbance was caused by the arrival of a canoe manned by not more than seven or eight men, two of whom seemed to be of high rank. This time, our guests begged me, implored me, to kill the newcomers. They went so far as to ask for guns so that they themselves could fire on them. In a word, they used all possible means to excite my anger against these strangers. Far from yielding to these bloodthirsty desires, I took pleasure in giving a friendly welcome to those against whom they were directed and in assuring them that they would be well received. They seemed to hesitate for some time, and in the obvious desire that prompted them to come on board, one could page 118see a clear trace of anxiety and suspicion. Meanwhile, the behaviour of the other islanders towards them had changed completely. Convinced that I should not yield to their requests, these now adopted an attitude of great respect towards the newcomers. Even Shaki himself, so haughty till now, and the most eager to make me fire on them, suddenly changed his tone. He became modest and silent, even carried respect so far as to offer to two natives of the dreaded canoe some large axes that he had only acquired with much difficulty and which he had seemed to value almost as much as his life. The same tactics were followed by all those who had not had time to hide sufficiently thoroughly what they had received from us.

At last the two chiefs decided to come on board and I carefully studied their faces, which were tattooed all over, and their fierce warlike manner. I had never observed in any New Zealander these two characteristics combined to such a pronounced degree, not even in the terrible Hihi of Wai-Mate. I was just about to question them, after securing their goodwill with a few gifts, when I saw them suddenly leave me, jump into their canoes, and push out to sea. When I tried to find out the reason for this hurried retreat, I discovered that the natives who were already on board, with Shaki at their head, had given the men with these two chiefs to understand that, as I intended to kill them, their lives were in danger on the ship. Determined to get rid of them at all costs, these artful savages could not think of any better method than by this lie and it had succeeded. Annoyed by this piece of trickery and worried about the consequences it might have, I rebuked those who had invented it, hastened to undeceive the strangers and pressed them to come on board again. They seemed to believe my protests; but realizing that they had been deceived, they flew into a frightful rage against the natives on board; and althought the latter were three or four times more numerous, the others defied them with the most insulting language and gestures and I realized that they were trying to goad them into going ashore to reply to the challenge of their insult. Those on board, looking gloomy and embarrassed, seemed scarcely able to speak.

Nor would the strangers tie up to the ship again, but they demanded axes in a haughty manner; I replied quietly that if they brought pigs on board, they should have as many as they liked. Thereupon they withdrew without any further communication with us. It caused me real regret, for I should have liked to question them and find out the exact reason for their superior position in relation to our first set of guests.

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My first conjecture was that they belonged to a hostile tribe; but they had been too few in number to have dared to defy, as they did, the other Zealanders gathered on board. Besides, these denied over and over again that the men from the canoe were their enemies and in the end they even stated that, on the contrary, they were friends and relations. I may add that it was very easy to see that my questions about this business were far from welcome; as often as possible they evaded them, especially Shaki, who did all he could to turn the conversation into any other channel.

According to what I knew already of the customs and political organization of these people, this is what seemed to be most likely. As in all other parts of New Zealand, the natives of Houa-Houa live in small independent tribal groups, each under the direction, or rather, under the protection of its own chief. Doubtless those who came on board first only belonged to weak tribes without any prestige, while those from the last canoe came from a powerful tribe; it may be under the rule of an ariki feared by all, like Shongui in the Bay of Islands and Poro in the northern region of Ika-Na-Mawi. The first group, afraid of seeing their neighbours with their greater prestige and wealth snatch the treasures of Europe from them, and so wishing to be free of them, tried to rid themselves of their rivals by getting us to fire on them, then by convincing them that I was determined to destroy them. This would explain both the arrogance of the strangers and the astonishing meekness with which the others listened to their reproaches and challenges. Among these tribes, as indeed is the case everywhere else, an overpowerful ally is often more to be feared than an enemy who can be fought on equal terms.

The only dressed head (moko-mokai) that appeared here was brought in this canoe and bought by the accountant for a few bits of coloured glass; it was well dressed, well preserved and had belonged to someone of importance. It is a pity that it was not brought to France, for it showed extremely well the fine human type of the race and the lines of a perfect tattoo.

Here the Pihe begins to be known, although Shaki could only say a few verses to me, which he repeated without the slightest variation, twenty to thirty times over. But Rau-Tangui, a very lively girl twelve or thirteen years old, who was especially attached to me, recited the whole thing, just as it appears in the Missionaries' Grammar. Both agreed in confirming my page 120belief that it was the prayer addressed to the great Atoua in heaven when the sacred food was offered him on the battlefield.

This girl Rau-Tangui seemed to have a close tie with Shaki, but it was impossible for me to tell whether she was only his slave or whether she was his sister. Their answers to my questions, varying from moment to moment, first in one sense, and then in the other, left me constantly in doubt on the subject. Given the adoptions that are practised among them, it may be that both were true, and that, in fact, Shaki's father had married one of his prisoners, the mother of Rau-Tangui. This little girl was extraordinarily lively; her body was never still and her imagination was just as active, for she might be seen laughing, then very soon afterwards crying, and often doing both almost at the same moment. Several of her companions lavished their favours indiscriminately on officers and men in return for all sorts of trifles. But it was well to be on one's guard; for these beauteous maidens, true to their old habits, were never satisfied with the voluntary gifts that were bestowed on them, but took, in addition, everything that they could lay their hands on. Thus to his great sorrow, one of our gallant knights saw his watch disappear, and only found it again in the hands of our friend Shaki, for as a rule ownership of these objects passes to the supreme chief.

Our two travellers from Tera-Witi became acquainted with the inhabitants of Houa-Houa, and Tehi-Noui seemed decided to stay with them. I did my best to strengthen him in this resolve, giving him, at his request, a cartridge bag of powder with which to gratify the chief who would take him under his protection and supply a canoe for him to return home. Indeed, next to guns (pou), more precious among them than gold and diamonds to us at home, powder was of the first importance in their eyes.

Koki-Hore does not seem at all pleased by this decision and would prefer to remain on board, but honour requires him to follow the fortunes of his chief.

Throughout the day it had been almost dead calm and I was expecting to spend a peaceful night at anchor, when at six o'clock in the evening, in a slight squall from W.N.W., we saw that our anchor was dragging. When twenty fathoms of chain that we ran out immediately failed to stop us, I concluded that the chain was round the stock. We were rapidly approaching the reefs of Moui-Tera [Cook's Sporing Island], and I did not favour dropping a second anchor, as I feared the risk of our cable becoming entangled page 121with the chain at the change of tide. So I decided to set sail and to leave the bay. At that moment our two boats returned from land and the decision that I made was undoubtedly the safest.

There were still fifteen natives on board, among them five or six women, who had let their canoes go, as they intended to spend the night with us. At first they suffered acute anxiety, and were tormented by the fear that we wanted to carry them off. I hastened to reassure them, explaining to them the reason why I was forced to leave the anchorage so suddenly; then they regained confidence, performed some of their dances for us and spent a happy night on board.

Shaki, Rau-Tangui, and two other chiefs gave me, in the most accurate manner, the names of the different parts of the coast from Pa-Noui-Terra [Gable End Foreland] to Wai-Apou [East Cape]. Sporing Island is Moui-Tera, and White Island, on the right as one enters the bay, is Motou-Heka. It is worth noting that they know nothing whatever of the names Tolaga and Tegadou, but it is a well-established fact that Cook, although so sagacious in many ways, showed very little aptitude for catching the names of the peoples he visited and still less for committing them to writing. The real name of Tolaga Bay, or at least of the district round it, is Houa-Houa, and that is the one we have adopted. On Moui-Tera Island we were able to gaze as long as we liked on those curious arches formed by nature or by the action of the waves, which formerly attracted the notice of Cook and his companions.

I deeply regretted being forced to leave the district so promptly, for I had looked forward with much pleasure to making a few excursions in it. Judging by the account left by Cook and his companion, Banks, the country all round is very picturesque. Further, the natives in this region, who still practise all their primitive customs, and have been scarcely touched by their dealings with Europeans, offered me a very valuable field for study and observation.

It was here that I obtained the first reliable information as to the nature of the kiwi, in connection with a cloak trimmed with the feathers of this bird, one of the most important articles of luxury among these natives. According to them, the kiwi is a bird about the size of a small turkey, but like the ostrich and the cassowary, unable to fly. These creatures are common round Mt. Ikou-Rangui [Hikurangi]. They are hunted at night with torches and dogs. It is probable that these birds belong to a species closely related to the cassowary and I believe that it has already been called Apteryx by some writers.

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M. Quoy brought me a leaf of a kind of palm that I had already noted in Tasman Bay. Unfortunately, it had neither fruit nor flower, and I could not tell to what species it belonged; all I can say is that I am inclined to think that it must be related to the Zamia or Seaforthia of Australia. It is, no doubt, the same plant that Cook noted under the name cabbage-palm, for there are no true areca palms in these regions.

The latitude that resulted from observations by Messrs. Jacquinot and Lottin was 38° 22' 32" S., which only differs from Cook's finding by 8", and the longitude is 176° 5' 35" E.

Although we were unable to stay in this anchorage, I still consider it very good, so long as there is no sign of wind from N. to E. Only one ought to anchor a cable or two farther to the east, towards the head of the bay. Two things prevented me from doing so; first, the wish to be further under way, and secondly to be at the same time within easier distance to help our men at the observation post had it been necessary.

6th February — A light N.W. wind blew all night, and we spent it quietly hove to in thirty-five fathoms, sand and mud. At four-fifty, I sent the two small boats, in charge of Messrs. Lottin and Dudemaine, to go and measure a base in Houa-Houa Bay, the only data needed by the first of these officers to complete the survey. At the same time I sent on shore eleven of the natives whom we still had with us; among them were Tehi-Noui and Koki-Hore who now at last said good-bye to us, and to whom I gave twice as much gunpowder as I had promised. While watching them leave, I hoped most sincerely that they would have a good journey back, if they were destined to see their homes again. I was certain that they would soon forget the troubles that they had experienced on board and would recall with pleasure the friendliness and kind treatment that they had met with. The only ones left on board were Shaki, Rau-Tangui, and two other chiefs, whom I was very glad to keep under my control until the two boats returned. Thereupon, a large number of canoes came alongside, loaded with provisions, and the natives did business in orderly fashion and in very good faith. We bought a lot of pigs, potatoes, and flax cheaply. At about eleven o'clock all those in the boats came back on board, and I hastened to put out to sea to get rid of the natives, whose shouting and chatter with the sailors began to annoy me. We parted very good friends, although they were very sad to see that I did not want to return to Houa-Houa.

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I noticed that the term New Zealander (English for Nouveau Zelandais) is already used in this district; only instead of Noui-Tireni as the natives I call it in the Bay of Islands, these say Noui-Tirangui, which gives a still i more characteristically native form to the word. The word pakeha is used by them to indicate any whites whom they also call Iouropi (European). I I did not observe that they used any special term to denote the English. They use the term ariki for a big chief, and the word tohunga (priest) does not seem to be known to them.

We have borrowed from the English the notation sh to render throughout the work a sound that is, so to speak, intermediate between the i and the ch in French. In the same way we have borrowed the w to indicate the sound of the diphthong ou at the beginning of syllables. Finally, we wish to point out that in all words belonging to native languages the different letters of the alphabet, consonants or vowels, should always be pronounced as we pronounce them in Latin. But the syllables gue and gui should be pronounced as in the French words guerir and guidon. Further, it is worth noting that the sound sh is never found in the body of a word: and even at the beginning it is only accidental, arising from the juxtaposition of one vowel with another breathed or initial vowel. Thus, to write really correctly, it would have to be e Haki, e Hongui, e Houraki, etc., instead of Shaki, Shongui, Shouraki, etc. In discussing the languages of Oceania, we shall dwell at greater length on this curious feature of the pronunciation.

d'Urville, Volume II, Chapter XIII.

The Danaides, daughters of Danus King of Argos, were condemned to fill with water a vessel full of holes, so that their labour was infinite and their punishment eternal. (See Lempriere, Classical Dictionary.)

d'Urville thus missed exploring Wellington Harbour, etc.

Gavialis, a crocodile with a long, narrow snout.

Under Captain Cook.