From Tasman To Marsden.
Between 30th April and 10th May, three whalers—the Speedy, the Venus, and the Britannia—arrived at Sydney, and Governor King submitted to their captains a list of questions which elicited not very much information. They agreed that the route by the Cape of Good Hope was the easier on vessel and crew; that off the coast of New Zealand the weather was as favourable as on the coasts of Peru and Chili, and that there was no material difference of time in getting a cargo; and that whalers should come to Australasian waters first and then fill up on the opposite coast. Considering they were giving away dearly acquired information, the Governor had no occasion to be disappointed with the replies. The three captains had been a good while in these waters, Turnbull of the Britannia was on his second whaling voyage, Quested of the Speedy had been some considerable time on the coast, and Gardner of the Venus was well on with his voyage.
King now regarded whaling on the coast “and off New Zealand" as “established," and so wrote to Sir Joseph Banks under date 5th June, the letter going in the whaler Speedy which cleared the following day. Of the other ships mentioned in King's questions, the Britannia cleared for England page 98 on 12th June. In addition to these, King reported that four more were filling. These were the Venus, the Greenwich, the General Boyd, and the Harriet, all of which visited Sydney later on, and cleared for the fishing grounds again, the first in June, and the others in August. Of these whalers the General Boyd was American, and was the first of that nationality reported “fishing" in these waters. She was a vessel of 302 tons and was commanded by Owen Bunker.