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Historical Records of New Zealand

Queries by Governor King to Messrs. Turnbull, Quested, and Gardiner, masters of the South Sea whalers Britannia, Speedy, and Venus, of London

Queries by Governor King to Messrs. Turnbull, Quested, and Gardiner, masters of the South Sea whalers Britannia, Speedy, and Venus, of London.

1st. 1st
Which do you think the best way of getting into the South Sea, with respect to the wear and tear of your ships and the health of your crews, either by Cape Horn or by Van Dieman’s Land? We think the passage round by Van Dieman’s Land is much the easiest, with respect to the vessel, &c., and health of the crew.
2nd. 2nd.
What difference is there in the weather on this coast and that of New Zealand, as far north as your present limits, and the weather on the opposite coast, in the same parralels of latitude? Within the same parralels, on both coasts, the weather is boisterous, but with this difference, that on the coast of Chili and Peru the gales are steady, and this coast variable and attended with squally weather and a great sea; but off New Zealand the weather and sea is as favorable as on the coasts of Peru and Chili.
3rd. 3rd.
What difference in time do you imagine there is in getting a voyage on this coast and New Zealand, or on the coast of Chili, Peru, Mexico, and California? The example of ships fishing on this coast proves that there is no material difference in time.
4th. 4th.
Do you think any advantage would attend the fishery by being allowed to go as far to the northward on this side the Pacific as you are permitted to go on the east side? We have always observed the spermaceti whales going in large scholes to the northward, and are certain, from our experience, that great quantitys must resort about the Hebrides and New Guinea.page 235
5th. 5th.
From the experience and success you and others have had in fishing on this coast, and off New Zealand, do you think it would be to the interest of the adventurers in the South-Sea fishery persevering in sending their ships entirely to this coast for spermaceti oil? We think, for the reasons stated in the answer to the 1st quere, that it would be to the interest of the owners sending their ships here first, and making up the voyage, if necessary, on the opposite coast, or running to New Guinea, if allowed, and then the opposite coast to complete the voyage.
6th. 6th.
How far do you think the adventurers would be advantaged by their ships coming first to this coast and New Zealand, then running to the coast of Peru and completing their voyage there in peacable times? Answered by the former.
7th. 7th.
What has been the general state of your ships company’s health, and how far have you been benefitted by the refreshments you have obtained here and at Norfolk Island? Our ships company’s have been in good health, neither of us having lost a man. Respecting refreshments we have had more plentiful and cheap supplys at Norfolk Island than at this place, but at both we have had sufficient to keep our crews in good health.
8th. 8th.
Any other information respecting the fishery on these coasts which can be communicated will be transmitted to Government, and some of the principal adventurers in the South-Sea fishery. We know of no other particular information, except that a very great advantage would be derived by the limits being extended on this side the Pacific Ocean to the Equator, and the longitute of 130° east of Greenwich.
Given under our hands, at Sydney, in New South Wales, this 21st day of May, 1802.

Robert Turnbull.

George Quested.

Barnabus Gardiner.