Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.
Journal of the “Chatham.”
Journal of the “Chatham.”
Extract from a M.S. Journal kept on Board the Armed Tender “Chatham” during Captain Vancouver's Voyage round the World, 1791–94. (Extract, 2nd to 29th November, 1791.)
[In the Library of A. H. Turnbull, Esq., Wellington, New Zealand.]
Dusky Bay, New Zealand.
The 2nd November, in the morning, the Land of New Zealand was seen through a thick dirty haze bearing E. b. N. We approach'd it fast with a Fresh Breeze at W.S.W., and about 2 o'clock the Discovery made the Signal “to prepare to anchor.” We therefore supposed (as was the case) that she saw the Entrance of Dusky Bay. We entered it about 6 o'clock in the evening, and as we proceeded lost the wind, which at last became light and variable, and we cou'd not get into Facile Harbour that night, but came to an anchor on the N.W. side of the Bay about 11 o'clock in 60 fams. Water.
Transactions in Dusky Bay.
In the morning the two Captains set out to take a look at Facile Harbour, and as the ships were not to move till their return, a Boat from each Ship went Fishing, and in about an hour caught as many with Hook and line as serv'd both Ships Companies.
The wind, which in the morning blew moderate over the Land from the Nd. & Ed., had by noon freshened to a Gale, and the Discovery, who lay in only 40 fams. water, without us, drove off the Bank, and though she let go another Anchor, she did not bring up, but was obliged to heave them up. By the time this was accomplish'd she had drifted nearly out of the Bay. She fir'd some Guns as Signals to Captn. Vancouver, who was away in the Boat, and we perceived him & Mr. Broughton return to her while she was driving. The wind had increased to a very hard Gale indeed, with heavy Squalls, and she made as much sail as she cou'd possibly bear, endeavouring to work up into her old Anchorage. After beating about some 3 hours without gaining anything considerable, her Fore Topsail Sheet Block gave way, and being then nearly abreast of an opening in which there is a very Snug Harbour call'd by Captn. Cook Anchor Island, she ran into it, and we presently lost sight of her. She was compleatly land locked. We gave our Cable good page 497 scope, and held on very well, but in the Evening, finding the weather still grow more Tempestuous and that we dragg'd our Anchor a little, we let go another Anchor and veer'd away upon both and hoist in the Boats. We had no abatement of the Gale in the night, and the following morning, the 4th, it seem'd to blow with greater violence. The sudden Gusts that came from the high land was amazing, and so quick did they follow each other that we scarcely had an interval of a lull for 5 minutes together. We got our Top Gallant Masts on Deck, struck the Lower Yards & Top Masts, secur'd the Boats, and bent the Storm Staysails, with every other necessary precaution in case of our being driven to Sea. All this day and the night it blew dreadfully, and we expected every minute either to part our cables or drive, but tho' the Squalls were as hard as many on board ever remember'd to have seen, we had but very little sea with them. The morning of the 5th brought no abatement of the Wind till about 9 o'clock, when after some very heavy rain it suddenly fell a perfect Calm, from being the minute before a hard Gale, and we had the water at the same instant as smooth as a Mill Pond. The clouds began now to disperse, and to clear up all round, and about 10 o'clock we had a moderate Breeze at N.N.E. We therefore hove up one Anchor, and hove short on the other. About 11 our Captain came on board from the Discovery, and about 3 we weigh'd and turn'd into Facile Harbour where about 6 o'clock we anchor'd in 5 fatm. water, within a hundred yards of the shore. It was Captn. Vancouver's intention to remain in Anchor Island Harbour (which is about 5 miles from where we were) to compleat his Wood & Water, &c. This we were sorry for, as the distance precluded any intercourse between the young Gentlemen of the Vessels, and in this dreary place their society wou'd have added much to each other's comforts. After we came to anchor a party was sent Fishing that soon return'd with a plentiful supply of excellent Fish. This practice was follow'd every other day, when 2 or 3 people caught as many fish as lasted the Ship's Company two days. The Ship being properly secur'd places were pointed out on shore for carrying on our different operations. The Cooper was sent on shore to sett up the Casks, and a party was sent Brewing Spruce Beer, some were also employ'd Wooding & Watering. On the 7th some of the Officers who had been away shooting return'd with some Birds that proved acceptable, though they were only Wood Hens. They had not met with anything remarkable except seeing three deserted Huts at different places. They were constructed in the same manner as those we saw at King George the 3rds Sound, though with a little more ingenuity, being stronger put together, and less liable to suffer from the inclemency of page 498 the weather. 8th: In the course of this day a Boat came from the Discovery, and brought a Code of Signals to be used respecting our sailing from the Bay to be made with Guns, as we were not to join company till ready for sea, and then in Tempest Roads, for so the place was call'd that we rode out the hard Gale in. We had a good deal of rain since we came into the Port, and the 10th was the first fine day seen since we made the Land. The Captain and a party went shooting in the afternoon. They staid out the night and slept in the Goose Cove in some deserted Huts they found there. In the morning they return'd after having had excellent sport. The Huts they met with seem'd to have been deserted for a considerable time. A few old Baskets that discovered some remains of neat workmanship was the only thing found about them. Having some jobbs to do in the Iron way by the Armourer, the Forge was set up on shore the 12th, and being in want of Plank, the Carpenters set about cutting a tree down for sawing. Our Spruce Beer, which was made after the directions given by Captn. Cook, prov'd excellent, and was served out to the Ship's Company in lieu of Spirits. Those people however who were employ'd on shore were given every morning a dram of Rum with Bark mix'd in it to prevent any illness that might arise from the Rain & damp on shore.
On the 12th the Captain with a party of Gentlemen set out on another shooting expedition, and the next day I went with some of the young Gentlemen to Parrot Island, and returned after having had tolerable success in the shooting way. Mr. Broughton and his party did not return till the 15th. They had visited every part of the Bay, met with good sport, and returned well pleased with their excursion. Here and there they met with an old Hut that afforded them shelter at night. The first day of their setting out they made a considerable addition to their party by meeting two of the Discovery's Boats, with whom they continued till the last day, and Captain Vancouver, who was in one of them, finished the survey of a small arm left open by Captain Cook.
The 18th—being away with a sporting party to Ear Shell Cove—on our return with six brace of Birds we saw the Discovery working out of Anchor Island Harbour into Tempest Roads, where she anchor'd in her old birth, waiting for a wind, and likewise for us to go to sea, and a boat from her came on board shortly after us to inform Mr. Broughton of her situation, and with orders to join him if possible the next day, but if this cou'd not be done, and a fair wind in the meantime offer he shou'd sail without us, appointing Matavai Bay, Otaheite, the Rendezvous. We immediately began removing our things from the shore, and the next day, the 19th, being ready for Sea, we left Facile Harbour and work'd up towards Tempest Roads, page 499 but seeing the Discovery pitching there very heavy, we gave her an opportunity of seeing where we were, and came to an Anchor under Parrot Island, being there as ready to imbrace a fair wind and get to Sea as if we lay in Tempest Roads. In the Evening I went on shore with a Gentleman, and in the space of two hours shot eleven Brace of Parrots, Wood Hens, and Curlews. The way we managed with the Parrots was by at first endeavouring only to wound one, whose noise soon brought numbers to the spot. Had we had more ammunition we might have shot a hundred Parrots in a very little time. The 20th, the wind having freshen'd and a good deal of swell rolling into Tempest Roads, the Discovery came into the place we were lying in, and anchor'd close to us. We were detain'd by a foul wind till Tuesday the 22nd, when having a fresh Breeze at N.N.W. we weigh'd per Sig'l, and in a little time got clear of the Bay.
Dusky Bay, in New Zealand, lies in the Latde. 45.47 S. and the Longde. 166.16 E. New Zealand was first discover'd by the Dutch Navigator Tasman in 1642, and has not since been visited by any one we know of except Captn. Cook, who touch'd at it in all his three Voyages. In his 2nd voyage he was in Dusky Bay a considerable time, and survey'd it accurately. It abounds in Harbours and Snug Coves, shelter'd from all winds, and the greatest inconvenience in many of them is the great depth of water, 20, 30, and 40 fatms. being found close to shore. There are, however, numbers of Harbours that are free from this in convenience, and those the Discovery and Chatham lay in had a moderate depth of water, and were extremely convenient for all we had to do. The water in Facile Harbor came from a beautiful Cascade, and so convenient that the Casks were not moved out of the boat. Whilst we stai'd we visited Pickergill's Harbour, where Captn. Cook lay, and though 18 years had elapsed since that time, yet we easily found out the place where he carried on his operations ashore by the remains of Trees cut and saw'd down and the ground that was clear'd away.* The very Tree that he mentions they walk'd from the Ship to the Shore by was yet remaining. We saw no Inhabitants while we lay here, and the appearance of all the Huts discover'd led us to imagine that it was a considerable time since they were inhabited. Marks of Fires were likewise seen, and large quantities of Shells near them, from which it may also be supposed that Shell fish is a great part of their subsistence. When Captain Cook was here he only saw three families of Indians, and they seem'd to be stragglers.
We saw some stones and pieces of Rock that had a Mineral appearance, and it is not improbable that some valuable mines might on strict examination be found on this Coast.
We saw no animals here, nor the slightest marks of any, tho' Captn. Cook says there are animals here, and that one of his people saw one, but a Sailor when he goes ashore at a strange place is sure to see more than anyone else can. One of our Carpenters said he saw a Bear at the Wooding place, but on being question'd what it was like said it was White, like a Greenland Bear, which is so very improbable that he found few that wou'd credit his story. Birds of all kinds we found in abundance. The whole time we were in the Harbour we lived on them, and Fish. The best kinds were Ducks, Curlews, a bird very much resembling a Wood Cock, and Sea Pies. Shags, Wood Hens, and Parrots were in great abundance, and the two last were tolerable eating. The Wood Hen very much resembles the Common Barn Door Fowl in England, except in the Beack, which was longer, and the Feet in general were Red. They cou'd not fly. As to Parrots, had they been in great estimation enough might have been procur'd every day for the Ships Companies. Of the smaller kinds of birds there were great variety; many of them were very beautiful in their plumage, and their notes extremely melodious. The principal of these is the Poe Bird, as call'd by Cook. This bird is both beautiful in its plumage and harmonious in its song, which differs very much in the morning and evening, at the latter time greatly resembling the notes of a peal of Bells. Captn. Cook left 5 Geese at a place call'd Goose Cove, but tho' we often visited this place, nothing was seen of them or their progeny. Fish, as I have before mention'd, was in very great plenty, and excellent in their kind. The best are the Cole Fish and Skip Jack. Many of the former page 501 weigh'd 10 to 15 lbs., and were equal in firmness and flavour to Codd. We never caught any Flat Fish, and the only Shell Fish besides small Mussells and Limpets were Cray fish.
We saw nothing of the reptile kind, nor in short did we see any living thing on shore except Birds and a small sand fly, but this annoy'd us more than perhaps fifty animals wou'd, for no sooner did we set our feet on shore than we were covered with these flys, and their sting is as painful as that of a Musquitto, and made us scratch as if he had got the itch; indeed, one of my legs became so much swell'd by this means that I was forced to apply a poultice to it, and was lame for two or three days.
Passage from Dusky Bay to Otaheite; Strange Land discovered on the Passage, part Company with the Discovery in a Gale of Wind.
Tuesday, 22nd Nov: With a fine fresh Breeze at NNW we shap'd our course S, and scarce had we got clear of the Bay but the wind began to freshen with a heavy swell and every indication of an approaching Storm. At 6 o'clock we took in the Top Gallant Sails and double reef'd the Topsails. Cape West bearing E 4 N, 5 Leagues. By 10 o'clock it blew so very hard as to bring us under close reef'd Topsails. At 11 the Discovery bore S b E of us a few miles, but at 12 she was not in sight, nor did we afterwards see her the remainder of the passage to Otaheite. By this time it had increased, as was prognosticated, to a very heavy Gale, and the sea ran so very high that we handed our Topsails and scudded under the Foresail during the night, and the morning brought with it such an encrease of both Wind & Sea as was dreadful to behold. Nothing like it I, nor many others on board ever witness'd. At about 6 o'clock an amazing sea struck us in the stern and dash's the Jolly Boat to shivers, wash'd forward the two men at the Helm, the Booby Hatch, and in short every thing that came before it. The Sea having by 9 o'clock encreas'd to such a tremendous height as to render scudding any longer extremely dangerous we hove too under a single reef'd Trysail & Storm Fore Staysail. About Noon, the Wind & Sea having both abated a little, we bore away under the Foresail & close reef'd Mn. Topsail. At 2 we were surprized to see Land bearing S.S.E. about 5 Leagues distant, on which we immediately haul'd up in order to weather it. As we approach'd this Land we found it to be a cluster of Barren Rocks, which cou'd not be inhabit'd by anything except Sea Fowl of all kinds of which we saw astonishing quantities. About ½ past 5, observing a passage between them, we steer'd for it, and found it a very safe passage. A small Black rock about a third channel being in one with the Rocks on the starboard side page 502 bore S.W. and the centre of the Rocks on the Larboard hand N.E. We sounded close to them, but got no bottom with 80 fathoms of line.
These Rocks be in the Lat. 48.3 S. and the Longitude 166.20 E. As they were never seen by Captn. Cook or any other person we know of, we conceived ourselves to be the first discoverers of them,* and should this passage be ever frequent'd by Ships they may be deem'd a happy Discovery. Had we been so unfortunate as to have got among them the preceding night the consequences might have been fatal, as the night was extremely dark, and it blew so very hard that it was with difficulty we could bear Scudding, much less to have been able to haul upon a wind to weather them, had we even been fortunate enough to have seen them at any distance.
The next morning, the 24th, the wind having become more moderate, and the sea gone down a good deal, we got up our Top Gallt. Masts and Yards & made all sail with a fresh Breeze at West, altering our course to the Northwd., steering ENE and afterwards NE. In the late Gale we labour'd much and shipp'd an immense quantity of Water. There was scarce a man that had a dry Bed to sleep in or a dry Jacket to put on, even the Captain & the Officer's Cabbins were half full of Water. The opportunity of drying their Bedding, Cloathing &c., was not neglected this fine day, and the 'tween Decks were well wash'd & purified.
* Here, however, we were mistaken, for on joining the Discovery at Otaheite we learned that they had seen them on the same day as we did, but early in the morning. Captn. Vancouver therefore nam'd them. He call'd them “The Snares,” and the above Late. and Longe. I have taken from him.
[The above note is in the original journal. Broughton first called the island “Knight's Island,” after Captain Knight, of the Navy.—The Editor.]
Upon leaving the ship “We pulled in for the Bay where we “had first seen the Natives, who still kept attentively observing “us from the east point of it. At each extremity of this Bay “the rocks project a little out, within which we found smooth “water amongst a good deal of Sea Weed. As we saw no Natives “on the West extremity we made choice of this place for our “first landing, expecting to be able to make some observations “on the productions before either the Hostile disposition or “teasing curiosity of the Inhabitabts might prevent us. Here “we found two canoes, if they may be allow'd that name, for so “little did they resemble anything we knew of that kind that “had they been found Inland instead of on the Sea Beach I “believe we should have thought of various other uses before “we had hit on the one for which they were really intended. “In shape they were not unlike the body of a common Wheel-“barrow, their sides were made of small sticks lash'd tightly “with withs upon one another about 8 or 9 feet long. The “widest end about 3 feet, the other about 2, and narrowing “downwards, left a flat bottom better than a foot broad. Their page 504 “depth was nearly two feet, and compactly filled with sea weed “almost to the top. The Paddles were a rough piece of wood “rudely made into a flat form without the least neatness. The “whole of their construction made it pretty evident that they “could never be employ'd upon any distant embarkation, but “were most probably used merely in the Bays and amongst the “Rocks for fishing. So far, indeed, they appear'd sufficient, nor “did the situation of their owners seem to demand anything “better, for the clearness and levelness of the Island afforded an “easy intercourse without requiring the assistance of water con-“veyance. We saw some fishing Nets that were made of small “two strand line evenly twisted and others that were made from “the simple Fibres of the Plant, apparently without any other “preparation than being made even, after being stripp'd off. “Two of those were Scoop Nets, the others were made somewhat “in the shape of a Bell, the width of the mouth about 6 feet in “diameter, kept open by a large rim or Hoop made of the Supple “Jack, the length from 8 to 10 feet, tapering gradually to the “small end, which was not wider than a foot and close netted. “The Hoop at the wide end had stones fix'd to it as Sinks, “and from the centre attach'd to the rim by Legs was a line “for hauling it up by in fishing. The Trees we saw were but of “small size, straight and free from Branches till near the tops, “where they spread forth in great profusion, and whose foliage “afforded a pleasant shade to the ground below, which was so “free from all kinds of Bush or Underwood as might have led “one to imagine that it had been clear'd by Art; this with the “Trees growing so far apart render'd travelling amongst them “not only easy but pleasant.
“The Natives who had quitted their station as soon as they “saw us land now advanced hastily, and by their threats and “gestures plainly indicated their Hostile intentions, but rather “than oppose their tumult we thought best to retire to the “Boat, where more in safety we might endeavour to engage “their friendship. With the oars we kept her just afloat. They, “without making the least stop, rush'd hastily on, some of them “up to their knees in water, brandishing their Spears & Clubs “with much vociferation. They were only about 40 in number, “which gave reason to conjecture that they were totally ignorant “of the effect of our Fire-Arms, and only reckon'd strength on “the superiority of numbers. For some little time we had us'd “everything we cou'd think of to conciliate their friendship but “without effect. At last their violence somewhat abated, and “they received some presents which we conveyed to them on “the ends of their Spears which they held out for the purpose, “for we did not yet chuse to trust the Boat within their depth. “They now became to all appearances perfectly reconcil'd, and “received ev'rything which we offer'd with avidity, but amongst page 505 “the Articles, which were pieces of Red Cloth, Helmets, Beads, “& Nails, we could not observe that they gave the preference “to any one more than another, and though they wou'd not “consent to make us the least return, yet they made no scruple, “not only in receiving, but in snatching away ev'rything they “cou'd reach at, and it was sometimes not without a little “struggle that we could hold them fast. We had often applied “by signs for something to eat & drink, with a wish to discover “what their food consisted of, but we were not so fortunate as “to succeed. They only answer'd by pointing to the Woods “and to the opposite point of the Bay from whence we at that “time concluded that their habitations were there. Mr. Sheriff “stepp'd on shore to see if he could observe any of their Huts, “but as their behaviour was not altogether to his liking he “soon return'd, tho' they had forcibly detain'd him longer than “he wish'd. But I do not think that this was done with any “other intention than for a longer opportunity of gratifying “their curiosity. As we saw clearly we could have no satis-“faction in landing where we were we pull'd down to ye opposite “point in the hopes of finding less obstruction, but on our “arrival we found that tho' we had changed our situation we “had by no means changed our company, for our new friends “having kept away with our first motion and follow'd us along “the Beach as we row'd down, arrived at the same time. Here “we saw on the Beach the same kind of Canoes & Nets as we “had observed before, but no appearance of any Huts.”
“The disorderly behaviour of the Natives having deterr'd “us from landing at the place we quitted, we had no reason to “expect that it wou'd prove better now, so without entering “into any further parley we quitted them, intending to row on “board, and pull'd up towards the weather point of the Bay, “which they observed with out shewing the least symptoms of “either satisfaction or displeasure, remaining still on the Beach “where they had first sat down. Finding this to be the case we “thought it a favourable opportunity for changing our intention “of going straight on board and landing again at our first situa “tion, which we did, and whilst we were free from molestation “examined the skirts of the Wood, where we found no other “signs of Habitations than a small circle of clear ground, some-“times fenced in by a simple palisade. In the centre of this “circle was the mark of a fire place, and a great number of Fish “Shells lay about, particularly the Earshell. This had no other “covering than the growing branches of the Trees.
“We nailed to one of them a piece of Lead written with the “name of the Vessel and the date of our arrival. We also buried “a Bottle with a paper enclosed written—Navis Britann. “Majest. Chatham, Gulielm, Robertas Broughton, Princeps— “29th of November 1791. It was now call'd Chatham Island, page 506 “the Union Jack was hoisted, and taken possession of in the “name of the King. By the time we had made an end of these “ceremonies a few of the Natives had straggled towards us, “and more were inclining the same way, but they all approach'd “with cautious indifference. That they might place the more “confidence in our friendship our people stay'd behind whilst “we advanced to meet them. At first they were rather shy, “retiring back, but at last halted till I came up, and received me “by saluting noses, the same as at the Sandwich Islands. Having “made them some presents of Nails they were soon perfectly “easy, and were join'd by more, some of our people coming in “at the same time. Most of them were covered with Matts or “Seal Skins hung loosely over the Shoulders, which reach'd “down to about the Hip. They had no other covering except “their privates which was done in the form of the Marro of the “Sandwich Islands, with a small Mat neatly wrought.
“We saw no perforation either in their Ears, Nose, or any “other part of the Body, nor any ornament except some few “who had a small piece of Bone hung round their neck with “several parts of small twisted Hair. They were of a middle “stature, with straight Black Hair, which some wore tied in a “Bunch on the top of their Head, whilst others suffer'd it to “hang down loose in its natural order about long enough just to “reach the shoulders. Amongst them were several Boys, but “we did not see one of the Female Sex.
“Though they took whatever we offer'd, yet so little did “they esteem them that we could not draw from them any “thing in exchange. One spear with a small piece of Rope, “wrought in fashion of French Sinnet, was all that we could “procure. They would at first shew an appearance of making “a return till they got in their hands what was offer'd—then “would run off well pleas'd. The Spear we got was about 6 feet “long, so thick that a man could easily grasp in the middle, “tapering to a sharp point at both ends. But both their Spears “and Clubs were subject to great variety. Some of the Spears “were very long, and pointed only at one end, without much “neatness. Their Clubs were rough pieces of Wood, some as “picked up from the Beach, other as they had been broke from “the Tree, and a very few had two stones lashed on at one end, “which gave them the appearance of a double-headed maul. “With the intention of giving them some idea of the effect of “our Muskets, Captn. Broughton fir'd at some Birds; the first “discharge gave them a good deal of alarm, though it appear'd “to have been the report that produced it more than any thing “else, for after the repetition they observed it with very little “emotion, but often repeated the word ‘Tohaua.’ Whether “this was the name they called it by, or what else, I could not “well determine.page 507
“We had now spent an hour in friendly intercourse, and “nothing had transpired to give us reason to suspect a change “of it. Their number from what it was at first had also greatly “diminished, which we look'd upon as a further security for “their good behaviour. Considering these instances as favour-“able for visiting the East point of the Bay, which different “appearances had before prevented us from, as also to examine “a piece of Water which we had observed to lay within the “Beach about the Centre of the Bay, Mr. Sheriff was directed “with three of the people to pull down along the shore whilst “with the other three I accompanied Captn. Broughton. We “had proceeded but a little way when we first observed the “Natives forming rather hastily in a Bay by the edge of the Wood “abreast of us. I stept towards them to see if I could discover “the cause of the bustle. On my approach they hastened “quickly within the verge of the Wood, and quickly return'd “arm'd with Clubs, preceded by one carrying a Blaze of dry “Brush with which he presently made a great smoke by com-“municating this fire to more wood of the same kind.
“Their intentions were now no longer a mystery, for they “advanced brandishing their Clubs in the most threatening “attitudes. On this we thought proper to stop for the Boat “which had got aground where we left her, but she soon came “up, and having her to pull abreast of us, we went on keeping “close by the water's edge, whilst the Natives, though only 14 “in number, follow'd us with the most menacing gestures, and “often came so near as to oblige us to face about to check their “coming within reach. When we came abreast of the Water, “which we wish'd to examine, we struck up the Beach, and on “tasting found it to be exceeding Brackish, having a brown “Marshy colour. Its surface was very nearly as high as the brink “of the beach, which was about 8 or ten feet above the level of “the Sea. It was foun'd between two ridges of the land that was “pretty high, and broke down rather steeply at this place, and “lay towards the S.W. but in a winding direction, which pre-“vented us from seeing its extent beyond a quarter of a mile. “The Natives who had stopped when we did no sooner saw us “returning towards the sea side than they push'd on, more “violently than they had done before, particularly a Youth “who was the most forward & who appear'd to encourage the “others, whilst he kept swinging his Club over his head and “committing various gestures. It was now but too evident “that they meant to make the attack, therefore the Boat was “call'd to, and Mr. Sheriff desir'd to let go the grapnell and back “in with the Oars while we, in hopes of intimidating them, kept “our Muskets pointed towards them and retreated backwards “to prevent their getting between us and the Boat. They still “resolutely press'd on. Captn. Broughton who had his piece page 508 “loaded with small shot fir'd at one of the most forward but it “did not in the least daunt their advance. Having now reach'd “the Water we were obliged to make a stand when they clos'd “in. The first blow that was made at me I received on the “Musket but with such force that it broke down its level. My “opponent's Club, from its size being rather unwieldly, fell to “the ground at the same time, and gave me time to recover.
“There was no alternative; I was compell'd to fire. A “little before and about the same time two of the people also “fired. They were in a like situation, so I found after, for at “the moment I was too much occupied with those that directly “opposed me to be able to pay attention to any other object. “The whole of them upon this discharge and a Musket that was “fired from the Boat immediately fled. At first we felt the most “pleasing satisfaction not only in finding that we had secur'd “our own lives, but that in doing it we had not injur'd theirs. “This pleasing contemplation was but of short duration, for “before they reach'd the Woods one of them fell on the Beach. “In hopes that some relief might be given to his wounds that “were probably not mortal, with two of the people I went up for “that end, but to my utter grief found him dead. The others “had made a stand by the skirts of the Wood, setting forth loud “cries. As we could not be of any service to the dead man we “immediately quitted the spot, which we had no sooner done “than one of them came up to the corpse, but we did not see “what they did afterwards, & as we were anxious not to give “them any uneasiness by halting to observe, proceeded directly “to the point, where the Boat was desi'd to go also, for she could “not take us in where we were owing to a reef of Rocks that “lay alongshore, and on which her Stern had struck after letting “go the Grapnell. But at the time when this circumstance “rendered our situation more critical we were ignorant of it. “When we arrived we found no other kind of resistance at this “point but what we had observ'd at the other. We saw none “of the Natives, though we were satisfied they were at no great “distance by their cries, which we sometimes heard in the “Woods. Here, as at our first Landing, the Boats came easily “to the shore amongst a good deal of Sea Weed. After leaving “what Trinkets we had remaining in the different Canoes we “quitted the Shore and went on board. After we had gone we “saw one man come to the Canoes, the only one we had seen “since we had left them after the Skirmish.”*
Chatham Island lies in 43° 49′ So. Latitude and 182° 55′ Et. Longitude. Variation of the Compass, 15° Etly.