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From Tasman To Marsden.

1. The Fancy, 1794 and 1795

1. The Fancy, 1794 and 1795.

Towards the latter part of 1794 a vessel called the Fancy arrived at Sydney from India with word that Captain Bampton, who it was feared was lost, would arrive later on to fulfil a long overdue contract he had made with the Governor. On 29th September the Fancy sailed from Sydney, Captain Dell indicating Norfolk Island as her destination. It was generally supposed, however, that she was going where timber could be procured, to make ready a load for Captain Bampton to pick up and take to India. The vessel was armed, had a full complement of officers and men, and a guard of Sepoys. On board of her were a great number of cross-cut saws. Everything pointed to New Zealand as her destination.

Norfolk Island was reached in due course, and on 5th December Captain Dell sailed for New Zealand. A call was made at Doubtless Bay, where Tuki, who had been to Norfolk Island in 1793, came on board with his wife and family, and stayed there while the Fancy remained in the Bay. He declined to return to Norfolk Island until King would come for him; he also told Captain Dell that some of the seeds which had been given him by King were growing, but that he had only one pig left. In view of the fact that Cook is generally given the credit of introducing the pig into New Zealand, it is interesting to find that, twenty-four years after he had been in the vicinity, his pigs were unknown. Only two days were spent in Doubtless Bay, and, when the Fancy left, two New Zealanders accompanied her intending to go to Norfolk Island. page 89 Unfortunately the weather was so unfavourable that the Fancy had to return, and the Natives, thinking they had had enough of sea life, went ashore.

From Doubtless Bay the Fancy made for the Waihou, where were the forests so glowingly described by Cook. There she lay for three months some miles up the River. The Natives all the time kept on very good terms with the visitors, and often rendered most invaluable aid, but the latter felt that they had always to be on their guard. During the stay, 213 very good spars, varying from 60 to 140 feet in length, were cut; some of these were brought away, while others were left in charge of the Natives. Great quantities of flax were reported in the locality, and the Natives readily parted with large parcels of it for small quantities of iron.

On the return journey Captain Dell made Norfolk Island on 20th February 1795, in forty-seven hours from the North Cape. On her arrival the Fancy was in great distress for want of provisions, the crew having only six days reduced rations on board, and supplies of salt meat, and sugar, were also required for the sick. Sufficient was supplied out of the stores to see the vessel back to Sydney, whither the Fancy sailed on 5th March, reaching her destination ten days later.

The arrival of Captain Bampton in the Endeavour, and the subsequent movements of that vessel until her bones were left in Dusky Sound and her survivors reached their various destinations, have already been given in Southern New Zealand history, but the author has been unable to glean what arrangements—if any—were made for taking away the spars left with the Natives at the Waihou. If the truth could be ascertained we would probably find that the taking away of these spars was the errand which brought down to New Zealand some of the vessels mentioned in this chapter.