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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

November 19th

November 19th.

A.M. Saw Land. 8 Saw the Cutter to the Southward observed her make all sail steering wide of the point of Land I wished to visit made all sail after her but the Wind falling light from the Northwd She drew away from us. At noon our Lat. Obsern, was 43° 40′ South Long. 176.48. East the extremes of Land from W.B.S. to S.E.B.S. Observed the Cutter shorten Sail and heave too with her head to the Eastward fired a Gun and ran down to her with the Ensign at the Mast Head for her to close, when she was little more than Hull down from the deck. The Weather very clear, I imagined of course she must see us and indeed that she had done so all days altho' she did not answer my signal; which I can't account for, I now haul'd in for the Land, to send the Boats on shore thinking the Cutter would follow, but as she still took no notice I kept on intending to pick her up after the Boats should have return'd. At 5 p.m. the Boats returned bringing with them three Natives who seem'd page 558 willing to remain with us, but having seen no seal and as I did not wish to encumber the vessel with these People who for some time to come could do nothing but consume the provisions I sent them on shore again they were quite naked with the exception of a course Mat over the shoulders which seem'd to be used as a roof to them to turn the water off, as the moment they came on deck they squatted down like so many monkeys and the Mat being stiff, of course stuck out something like the shell of a turtle, Added to this a strap of the same material passed under the crutch compleatly concealed what might otherwise have appear'd indelicate. After the Boat had landed them I steer'd E.N.E. to join the Cutter, the weather having become very thick I had for some time lost sight of her. After steering E.N.E. for some time I haul'd to the Wind, and as she always weather'd on the Tula in laying to, I hoped to see her in the Morning. If Mr. Avery did not see the Tula he kept a very bad look out, and if he did, he having been absent for some days, ought to have joined company immediately, at all events he ought not to have passed the point of Land as he did without examining it, this being the only fine day we had had for some time, I cannot account for it. At 6 p.m. the nearest point of Land bore W .½ N. 7 miles, the Wind gradually veer'd round to the Westward and at Midnight blew a strong Gale with thick weather which continued all the 20th & 21st so that we could only stand off & on under the trysails. On the 22nd the Weather was more moderate, stood to the S.W. and at 6 A.M. of the 23rd made the same rocks we had seen before. As the weather was nearly calm at 1 p.m. sent a Boat to them and at 5 she return'd bringing 7 seal skins of excellent fur, but the rocks being nearly perpendicular it was almost impossible to land on any part of them, and as they had only seen a few seal, it was thought these were only stragglers from some Rookery near at hand: I now determined to make Chatham Island and keep along the East Shore, so as to gain the Rocks to the southward, which by their appearance on the Chart were much larger than those we had overhauled, lay to all night to send both Boats again in the Morning but the Wind coming up from the Northward they could not land and