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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

[One page torn out here.—The Editor.]

[One page torn out here.—The Editor.]

Friday 6th. I went to the upper part of the cove to cut down some trees for plank, the first we fell'd went into the water and sunk, the next we got into the water and, by good luck, it floated. We towed it to the beach and got it upon the Pit, when, deuce take it! it broke down; and our day's labour was lost.

Saturday 7th. Rigging sheers for new saw Pit, we built one on 6 Butts, thus:— sketch of rigging sheers

Sunday 8th. In the morning we hoisted the piece of timber on the pit. I afterwards cut another piece, and Brought it to the landing place. We expended the remaining part of the day rigging another pair of sheers for a new pit.

Monday 9th. This morning I hoisted the piece of timber which was cut yesterday on the pit. The weather has been very pleasant these two days.

Tuesday 10th. Rain in showers with a constant Haze. Employed cutting timber for the long Boat.

Wednesday 11th. Having little to do, this day, I accompanied Capt. B. to Luncheon Cove. The weather, which before 8 o'clock in the morning looked threatening, assumed a more inviting appearance. We started at ½ past 8 and arrived at Luncheon Cove at 10—from whence (after performing that page 528 ceremony from which the Cove was named) we pull'd to the Seal Isles to fish &c. The wind freshening at N.W. raised a great surf, which prevented our landing at the outermost Island. We, however, pull'd inwards alongshore, and happening to see a very large seal, I begged of Cn. Bampton to permit me to land which he complied with, hardly had I stepped out of the boat before 3 very heavy surfs came about me, I had no club with me; the boathook, which I had thrown on shore for that purpose had been carried out by the send back of the sea. And had the animal attacked me I was defenceless. My anxiety for the boat was greater than for the event of the Seal. I had however, some wish to kill him, but the heaviness of the surf prevented my moving from the summit of the rock on which I stood, like “Patience on a monument, smiling at Grief.” At last, however, the sea went down, they took me in and we made the best of our way for the ship, where we arrived at 7 o'Clock.

Since my writing the above day's work we have by some means lost the day of the week & month. The interval has been occupied in different events & employments, tending chiefly towards the fitting our vessels.

On Friday the 18th Dec. I had an opportunity of getting the distance of the Sun & Moon, by which I learned the real day.

On Saturday 19th—I went on shore and set all hands to work and got a piece of timber on the Saw Pit. Mr. Bowell has been three days indisposed, he is now of opinion that his illness proceeds from an inflammation of the Liver. I for my part, am hearty, the Captain is so, and that is a great blessing to us all.

A quarrel which has been sometime hovering about at last was settled the other day. Mr. Alms, a passenger, had offered his assistance to Capt. B. to catch fish for the ship's Compy and had obtained the small boat for that purpose, Mr. Wain, chief Officer, finding himself hurt, (as the prior application had not been made for the boat to him), denied the Two men which Capt. B. had granted, from going in her, but Mr. A. paid no attention to the denial & took them. From this time the two gentlemen have never been on the most intimate terms,—Mr. A. went to Luncheon with Mr. Weathrall for the purpose of avoiding a quarrel. Mr. W. always wished for one—Necessity brot. Mr. Alms to Facille Harbour and the wind being at S.SW he sailed up. The morning after his arrival I was on the deck with Mr. Alms, and seeing the Yard of his Sail had been cut, I jocosely said—“So Mr. Jonny, I have a reckoning to make with you for spoiling that yard.” He in the same manner page 529 replied “Whoever says that yard is spoilt, knows nothing of it”—Mr. Waine was walking the deck, he came to Mr. Alms, in a very impudent manner, thrust his face near to Mr. A's and said “I said you had spoilt the Yard, I know about it, and you are a S——n Puppy.” Mr. Arms made no answer to so foul an execration. He wished to preserve the utmost quietude untill the Vessels were in the Water. Soon after he came from Luncheon Cove, and wrote a Note to Mr. Waine, which that Gentleman threw overboard, without opening. He then called him into the round House, and begged that I would attend to see what happened. The words were nearly the following.

Mr. Alms to Mr. W. You know, Sir, I suppose what the expression was which I recd. from you. I cannot put it off any longer, but must have an immediate apology or satisfaction.

Mr. W. I do not think I gave any affront which could subject me to such a thing—I decline both.

Mr. A. Mr. Murry, you heard all that passed, give your opinion. Did Mr. Waine give me any provocation to act as I do, or not?

Murry, He gave such provocation as I could not have been silent on.

Mr. A. You hear Mr. Waine? I now desire you to ask my pardon before Mr. Murry, or to give me satisfaction in another manner this instant.

Mr. W. I will not! I cannot think of fighting a man who has been used to practise a Pistol. I don't like to be shot at like a bird.

Mr. Alms. That's nonsense, Sir. here are two pistolls, take your choice of them, load them yourself, you shall have every advantage I can offer, but as you have refused to make attonement for the offence. You must fight me.

Mr. W. I cannot.

Mr. A. Then, Sir, You are a Coward, a Dastardly Coward! Mr. Murry, you hear what I say. I call Mr. Waine a Coward, who would dare to affront a gentleman, and refuse him satisfaction. Mr. W. you are a Coward, I shall publish this in India.

Mr. W. Well, if you call me a Coward I shall act accordingly.

(He then left the Cabin).

Since this the Gentlemen have not spoke to each other.

Sunday 20th. We were employed cutting timber and plank.

Monday 21st. In the same.—Exceeding fine weather.

Tuesday 22nd. Ditto. Schooner Watering.

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Wednesday 23rd—Employed variously. In the afternoon I drew up the names of the Crews of each respective vessel, which amounted to 244 Persons, Officers &c. included. Of which 90 go in the Providence. 90 in the Resource. The remaining 64 in the Fancy.

Thursday 24th. Pleasant breezes at N.NW. attended with cloudy weather Employed watering and wooding the Providence and planking the Resource.

Friday 25th. was Christmas day, our situation not permitting us to spare a whole, Captn. Bampton indulged the people with half a day, and gave the artificers, a portion of Mutton or Pork, with some Arrack, each man. Nor were the Ragged gang forgotten. Mr. Alms who had been previously sent to fish, returned in the morning with Seal & fish sufficient for all; to this the Captain added a dram. As for ourselves, we fared sumptuously, and altho' the absent were not toasted, I dare say, they were remembered. I can at least answer for myself.

Saturday 26th. This day our operations were rassumed. I cannot but perceive the very great partiality the Capt. seems to feel for Mr. Weathrall and the vessel which he commands. I think he wants to have vessel ready with the Fancy. The visible attention paid her, and the subsequent want of care in Mr. Waine has thrown the Resource considerably aback. On examination, I cannot accuse myself of a jealous disposition, but, I think that it would displease me exceedingly to have the attention transferred from me to a junior officer.

Sunday 27th. This morning Captn. Bampton asked me, if I would stay behind with the Resource? I willingly replied I would. But I believe I showed some inward uneasiness; I had before said I would not sail in her, I now thought that it was unsafe, and that I should run some risque, in short, I had made up my mind to avoid sailing in her, but had determined to let no one know this resolution untill I had heard the Captain's mind on the subject. His asking me if I would stay, put an entire stop to, shall I? and I made the sacrifize, which I think the least part of my duty to Capt. Bampton. I am only afraid he discovered some inward uneasiness which I endeavoured to conceal, as I know that if he thought any person under him uneasy in their situations he would sooner take it himself than see them unhappy.

Monday, 28th. Rainy disagreeable weather. After having cut two pieces of timber, I went to dinner and recd. Capt. B's order to cut two knees—which I did immediately. The afternoon pleasant weather.

Tuesday 29th. Unsettled weather the wind fresh at N.N.E. attended with showers of Rain. Employed as necessary—I this day cut down 3 pieces of timber and pitted one— page 531 Wednesday, 30th. Fresh gales from the Northward with light showers—After getting 2 pieces of timber pitted. I fell'd a tree for the Rudder and cut three knees for the Vessel.

Thursday 31st. This afternoon Capt. B. made a division of the Stores and provisions.

Friday Jan. 1st, 1796. The day was most gloriously usher'd in by a quarrel, between Capt. Bampton and Mr. Waine, the latter was accused of discontent—Hitherto I have not been attacked by the Bull dogs of party—whenever I meet one I sheer off.

Saturday 2nd. This day was one of the finest that we have had since our arrival—it proved a day of the greatest importance to me. I have as I mentioned before, been rather unhappy at the idea of being left here—I was afraid of hurting Captn. Bampton's feelings on the subject, as I had every reason to think he wished me to stay, and I knew that the attachment of the people to me, wou'd expedite the work, but Capt. Dell this day assured me that it was Capt. B's particular wish that I should accompany him. I therefore complied with his wish, in doing which I did myself a service, as it lessened the painful anxiety which has for sometime past, troubled me.

Sunday 3rd.—Fresh gales of wind from the northward, employed cutting timber for the vessell which was launch'd and pitting pines for the Sawyers.

Thursday 7th. We weighed and sailed out of Facille Harbour, we had a very light breeze from the S.E. and the Providence was in company. At 9 A.M. we were abreast of Pt. Five fingers, the wind chopping suddenly round to the sea, we were obliged to make 3 boards before we could wr. the Point. The Schooner was astern at 10 o'clock, at ½ past 10 we pass'd Pt. five fingers, and ran out into the offing, where, at Noon, we brot. too for the Schooner, and at 1 P.M. veered and stood in for ber, she was then close under the Fingers—at 2 she was without them and we veered upon coming up they informed us that they had narrowly escaped, being lost upon the Point—The vessel had missed stays, and as it fell calm they could not veer her, the tide setting her among the Rocks—A light, air, however, released them from the painful anxiety which they must have felt.

Wherever I have followed our immortal country man. Captn. Cook, I have never been so presuming as to aim at description, he has left very little to be done at any Port, or on any Coast he ever visited, but, for the information of the few friends I have, and as memorandums to myself, should I again visit this part of the world; I think my efforts will not appear altogether blameable; as the observations I make, are such as Captn. Cook, had not an opportunity of knowing, or such as he would have known, had he staid as long, and visited Duskey Bay, as often as I have.

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In Captain Cook's description of the Country and the Harbours of Duskey Bay, I find not one error; some things have indeed escaped his notice, which good fortune has pointed out to us, and future Navigators may discover, what we never saw. For an accurate description of Duskey Bay, I should refer to Cooks 2nd Voyage, with the following observations as additions which I presume will be found of some service.

A commander unacquainted with Duskey Bay, having a chart of the Harbours before him, would chuse Facile Harbour as the safest and most commodious. In this however he would choose one of the worst, as I shall endeavour to prove.

At Duskey Bay, the winds blow constantly in the summer months from the northwards; in Winter, as invariably from the S.Wd. I never knew of an instance of a Southerly gale of wind in Summer, or a Northerly one in the winter season. It therefore becomes necessary to chuse Your Harbour according to the season, in this prudence will direct the choice. You will naturally chuse an harbour from which you may with ease get to Sea — in this case, I know of no better Harbour than Cascade Cove in Winter, or the Bason, and little Harbour in Summer, it is necessary to go out, in summer with a northerly wind, as the southerly ones blow too strong and throw too much Sea into the sound to admit of a ship working against it; In settled weather, by weighing very early, and getting into the sound you may, (and as it seldom fails) will, get a land breeze from the S.E—about 9 A.M. sometimes sooner the Sea breeze sets in, and if you are after this time, 'tis fifty to one you do not get out that day.

But in Winter, you may get out of the Son. Harbour with any winds, and run out of the North entrance with a southern gale, which I should prefer, as you may get an offing sooner by running out of the Son. entrance, the land between being a promontory, which projects considerably into the Sea.

The great height of the land about Facile Harbour and the immense depth of the valleys, or rather chasms between the hills. cause the wind to come down in heavy gusts, a ship must have good tackle to ride a Northerly gale out, in Facile Harbour, whereas in Little Harbour and the Bason, the puffs are neither frequent nor heavy, but the winds are more settled and blow more steadily and with less violence. In no other part of Duskey Bay have I felt the gusts of so much violence as in Facile Harbour.

There are several stragling rocks lying on the Eastern Shore of the North Cove which are very dangerous, and the ground in several parts is foul and has considerable over falls. If any persons runs into this Harbour I would advise them to keep close to the west Point and give the other shore a good birth, keeping about ⅔ of the channel over and run well into the bight to the westwd. of the Facile Rock, where you may anchor in page 533 14 fms. soft mud, and if you drive here you will haul the anchor up a mud bank.

When in the offing it is not easy to distinguish Duskey Bay, and I had nearly mistaken it, for we made the land of Cape West, and stood in for the bay untill about two miles from the shore, when I discovered that we had mistaken this for Duskey Bay, it came on to blow hard soon after and we stood out to sea. Mr Malen. the mate of the Britannia had been sent by Captain Raven* to examine this bay, and reported that it was a very dangerous coast, straggling rocks extending some miles to sea. At the time we veered to stand off we were about 1½ mile from ye shore, and had a small rock, which was the only one we saw, within us, it might be ¾ of a mile from the Shore, in allowing it so great a distance, I make the greatest that can be supposed. The bay seemed to us to have as fair entrance as Duskey Bay, with this difference that in the North entrance there are several rocky Isles, a large Isld lies in the middle, which, with the great similitude this Pt. has to Five Fingers, made me think it Duskey Bay — the South entrance is also much like that of Duskey, but the Seal Isles are further to the Sod. From these circumstances I think it highly worth the trouble to examine this bay, as it may afford shelter to ships who cannot fetch Duskey, with a Northerly wind; but from what I have said I would not wish any person to venture too far with a Ship.

The Officer who went to examine this bay, was not a man of the most enterprising genius, I wonder not therefore that he did not so clearly determine the truth; and I am led to believe that he never went so far to see it at all; I suppose he saw the rock which I mentioned, from the boat and as he kept close along shore, it had the appearance of being at a greater distance than it really is,—but for his account of a reef extending from the No. Pt. across the Bay, I cannot account. We saw not a breaker, but the surf only which runs upon the shore.

The timber which grows here, would answer very well for plank, for the Ship Builder, Joiner or Cabinet Maker, this is the opinion of our Carpenter in the Britannia. He being as well acquainted with its properties as any man of his profession; and the Joiner preferred it to the wood of Port Jackson or the Brazill wood. But I think it would be a task of some trouble, to get a Cargo of spars, sufficiently long for the Masts of Ships.

To procure turpentine, we made several experiments, by tapping, &c. but found no method of extracting any, and I believe that none is to be got from them. In the centre of the large Spruce trees grows a gum of a light colour with streaks of red, this is found to have all the properties of Pitch when melted, page 534 but it is so hard, and grows in such small quantities, that it would be an endles job to extract sufficient for caulking a ship.

In the Pitch Pine trees, there is no gum of any sort but the bark emits a transparent resin which has a most agreeable smell, but it would take a man a week to get a Pound of it and would half of that be wasted thro' the moss which mixes with it, and is inseparable from it.

Capt. Cook has given so good a description of the Spruce Fir, that it is impossible to mistake it. But he has not taken any notice of the Pitch Pine—Birch—And large Myrtle.

The Pitch Pine is remarkable for its black bark, which when cut and rubbed with the finger smells agreeably. It generally grows from 20 to 40 feet without branches, and the wood is much like Norway Pitch Pine, but whiter.

The Birch is only fit for fuel—Its uncommon whiteness would cause it to be preferred for decks, &c. but it splits with the smallest blow, and, of all the woods at Duskey Bay it is the least durable—It grows from a large stump about 50—60 & even 70 feet with branches included. The boughs spread more than any other tree and the bark is generally white, somewhat resembling the hazel in England.

The Myrtle is not so large, it grows near the water, has a red bark, and is known by the smell of its leaf which very much resembles the smell of the leaf from which its takes its name, it is of use for turners or Cabinet makers, makes excellent block Pins, and from its hardness may be converted to many uses with which I am unacquainted. There are many other kinds of wood, which, as they scarcely deserve notice, I have not mentd but the Spruce Pine is the best for Naval Purposes, and the Pitch for small spars.

[In the manuscript the name of one of the passengers is spelt “Arms” in one place, “Alms” in another.

At Norfolk Island Mr Murry went on board the “Providence” on Sunday, 31st January, 1796, and until 17th April, the log is the log of the “Providence,” the first vessel built in Australasia, of Australasian timber. She made the Loyalty Islands on 5th February. An entry from the Journal of the Providence reads thus:—

“It is the intention of Capt. Bampton to leave us, being a bad sailer to ourselves, this day (6th Feb) we have kept ahead of the brig, and, as we have no ballast very little water and few good sails, the present time should I think be embraced for getting these points accomplished that we may proceed on our passage.”

On 10th April the position of the “Providence” was Lat. 1° 22′ S. and 119° 53 'E.—The Editor].

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* During Murry's previous visit in the “Britannia.”