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Historical Records of New Zealand

State of His Majesty’s Settlements in New South Wales

State of His Majesty’s Settlements in New South Wales


31st December, 1801.

Respecting the whale-fishery on this coast, it has certainly succeeded so far that three ships have gone home loaded with spermaceti oil, i.e., Eliza, Britannia, and Albion. Six are now on the coast and off the north end of New Zealand. When last heard of they had various success. Some had upwards of 600 barrels (70 tons). Every ship that comes here, and indeed our Colonial vessels, always see great quantities of whales; but the objection on the part of the masters of the whalers is the frequent gales of wind that happen on this coast. However, as it is certain that whales may be caught in great plenty here, this coast page 225 will generally be preferred to the coast of Peru in war time, and even in peaceable times. The run by Van Dieman’s Land is less destroying in wear and tear than by Cape Horn, which will not only give the whaler the chance of bringing prisoners and stores out, but also inable them to try this coast before they go to the coast of Peru.

Philip Gidley King.