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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900

Little To Eat

Little To Eat.

Those who had got ashore spent an awful night on the sea-beaten rocks, and they hoped against hope that with the morning they would find some more survivors, but when daylight returned neither living nor dead were seen. They started a hunt for succour. Dividing into three parties they tried to find some house. It was a bleak, lonely spot, and they were unsuccessful. Fortunately there was plenty of fresh water close to the spot where they had come ashore, but they were badly off for food. All they could find was a bag of oatmeal that had been washed ashore, but later a few pounds of pork and a packet of cornflour were added. They gnawed the raw meat and drank oatmeal and water, but this was poor fare for fourteen men.

The outlook was very black, and little parties of the survivors made excursions in search of help. The face of the cliff under which they found themselves was steep and difficult, and those that got to the top had hard work of it, wet and cold and half-starving as they were. One man fed himself on rabbits that he cought, and candles that came ashore from the wreck. Another man looking for help ate shellfish and kelp.