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The New Zealand Reader

Tasman's Log. *

page 6

Tasman's Log. *

Journal or description by me, Abel Jansen Tasman, of a voyage from the Town of Batavia in the East Indies, concerning the discovery of the Unknown South Land. In the year 1642, on the 14th of August. May it please Almighty God to give hereto His blessing. Amen.

On the fourteenth of August, Anno 1642, we set sail from the haven of Batavia, with our two ships: to wit, the cruiser Heemskerk and the cargo ship the Zeehaan. The wind N.E., with good weather. On the same date, in the evening, the Zeehaan ran aground on Rotterdam Island, but got off again without serious damage in the night; and we proceeded on our voyage toward the Strait of Sunda.

15 August. At night we came to anchor in front of Anjer in 22 fathoms. We set our ship to rights throughout; for she was in such disorder that it was not possible to go to sea with her so.

16 August. The wind still E.: a steady breeze. The current runs strong out of the Strait of Sunda. In the evening, with the land wind, we hove our anchors up, and got under sail, and steered our course to pass between the Prince Islands and Krakatau.

4 September. In the night, about the end of the first watch, we saw land, and lay by all night under easy canvas.

* [These extracts have been translated from the Amsterdam edition of 1860, which appears to be the first unabridged edition of the log.]

[This, and not Krakatoa, is the name of the place where the great volcanic eruption of 1883 occurred.]

[12 p.m. The night and day on board ship are divided into six watches of four hours each, the first watch beginning at eight in the evening. Each watch is divided into eight parts, called by Tasman "glasses," because the time was measured by a sand-glass, which was turned every half-hour; and the half-hours are counted by strokes on the bell, from one up to eight bells in each watch. The crew is divided into two parties, called "watches," which come on duty alternately every four hours. But, in order not to have the same set of men always on duty at the same hours of the day and night, the sixth watch, from 4 to 8 p.m., is divided into two short watches of two hours each, so as to make seven reliefs in the twenty-four hours. These short watches are called on an English ship the "dog watches," and on a Dutch ship the "flat-foot watches." The bells in the dog watches go 1, 2, 3, 4; 1, 2, 3, 8. On Tasman's ships the second or middle watch of the night was called the "dog watch," but the glasses or bells were counted straight through from 1 up to 8. "Morning watch" means the third watch, from 4 to 8 a.m.]

page 7

5 September. In the morning we saw that it was the Island of Mauritius. We turned and kept on towards it, and came to anchor there about nine o'clock. We had* the latitude of 20° and longitude 67° 2′. By our reckoning we were still 200 miles to the east of the Mauritius when we came in sight of it.

27 October. In the morning before breakfast we saw several land and fresh-water weeds floating in the sea. So we hoisted the flag, which soon brought the officers of the Zeehaan on board. I then called a meeting of the Council, in obedience to instructions received from H.E. the Governor-General and the Council of the Indies, about finding and observing land, shoals, sunken rocks, &c. I laid the question before the Council, whether it will not be best, so long as we notice signs of the proximity of land, always to keep a man at the topmast head, to look out for land, sandbanks, sunken reefs, or other dangerous obstacles to navigation; also, what is the best reward to offer for being the first to see such things. It was found good by the Council continually to keep a man on the look-out; and that whosoever should be the first to see and notice any land, shoal, sunken rock, or other such object, should

* [In the original log the distances are given in Dutch miles, of 15 to a degree of the equator; and the longitudes are reckoned east—never west—from the Peak of Teneriffe, which lies 16° 46′ west from Greenwich. In this Reader the distances have been reduced to nautical miles, of 60 to a degree of the equator, and the longitudes reckoned east or west from Greenwich, to suit English maps. But, as in Tasman's time navigators could not find out their longitude exactly, his longitudes often disagree with those of our maps. Here he gives 67° 2′ (but afterwards, 8th October, 62° 1′) for 57° 45′. His error grew less as he went east. Off Tasmania his error by way of excess was about 1° 50′, and on the New Zealand coast about 1° 47′.]

page 8be entitled to receive three reals of eight* and a can of rack as may be seen at greater length by looking at the minutes of today's date.

24 November. Good weather and clear sky. At noon we found latitude 42° 25′, and longitude 146° 45′. Course held, E.b.N.; and distance, 120 miles. The wind from the S.W. and afterwards from the S.: a sleepy topsail breeze. In the afternoon, about 4 o'clock, we saw land. We had it E.b.N. of us, and distant, as we reckoned, about 40 miles; it was very high land. Towards the evening we saw three more high mountains to the E.S.E., and two more to the N.E., but not so high as the most southerly one. Here the compass had no variation.§

In the first watch of the night, when three glasses were out,|| and the wind was in the S.E., we headed away from the coast, and sounded in 100 fathoms, fine white sand with small shells. Later on we sounded once again, and got coarse black sand with pebbles. In the night we had a gentle breeze from the S.E.

25 November. Towards noon we got the wind S.E., and afterwards S.S.E. and S., and we then turned towards the shore. In the evening, about five o'clock, we got under the shore. Twelve miles from shore we had 60 fathoms, coral; 4 miles from shore we had beautiful fine white sand. We observed that this coast extends S.b.E. and N.b.W., and that it is an even coast.

* [A real of eight, or piece of eight, was a silver coin, worth about 5s. English.]

[Rack, arrack, or raki, is any kind of spirit. The rack carried by these ships was no doubt rum, which was then and is still made in great quantities at the Mauritius. A mutchkin was about half a pint.]

[The distance given each day at noon is the distance in a straight line from the position at noon on the previous day.]

§ [The variation of the compass at any place is the angular difference between magnetic north and true north. It is found by observation at sunset.]

|| [9.30. p.m.]

page break Map of New Zealand page 9 Our latitude by reckoning was 42° 30′, and our mean longitude 147° 4′.*

This land is the first land that we have met with in the South Sea, and is unknown as yet to any European people. So we have given this land the name of Anthoony van Diemenslandt, in honour of His Excellency the Governor-General our exalted superior, who has sent us out to make these discoveries; and the islands lying round about, so far as they are known to us, we have called after Their Excellencies the Council of the Indies.

12 December. Good weather, and the wind S.S.W. and S.W.: this with a steady breeze. At midday we found latitude 42° 38′, and longitude 168° 31′. Course E.; and sailed 152 miles. The heavy swell from the S.W. still continues, so that there is no great land to be looked for to the south of this spot. Variation 7° easterly.

13 December. Observed latitude 42° 10′, longitude 171° 42′. Course E.b.N.; and sailed 144 miles. The wind S.S.W.: the same with a topsail breeze.

Towards the middle of the day we saw a great land uplifted high. We had it S.E. of us, about 60 miles away. We shaped our course S.E., straight on towards the land. At noon we fired a gun and let the white flag fly, whereupon the officers of the Zeehaan came on board; and with them we resolved to stand in for the land as fast as possible, for the reasons which are all fully explained in the minutes of this day's date.

At even we found it advisable, and gave orders to our steersmen accordingly, that so long as it should remain fine they should keep on the south-east course; but if the breeze should freshen they were to steer due east, so that we might not run ashore, but might as far as possible pre-

* [The error is about 1° 50′, practically the same as Tasman had on the New Zealand coast.]

[Captain Cook afterwards observed the same swell, and drew the same inference.]

[The Southern Alps. From the top of any high hill overlooking Cook Strait the opposite coast often looks as though it were hanging in the air, with the sky-line apparently visible underneath the land.]

page 10vent
all mischances. For here the great open sea comes rolling in with huge hollow billows and heavy surf; where-fore, according to our judgment, there would be no prospect of landing at this side of the country, unless there should be some sheltered bay on the coast.

In the first watch, when four glasses were out,* we set our course due east. Variation 7° 30′ easterly.

14 December. At midday we found latitude 42° 10′, and longitude 172° 17′. Course held, E.; and distance sailed, 48 miles. We were about 8 miles from the shore. It was a very high double land; but we could get no sight of the uppermost parts of the mountains for the thick clouds. We shaped our course parallel to the shore, onward towards the north. We were so near that one could see the surf continually breaking against the land. In the afternoon we sounded about 8 miles from shore, in 55 fathoms, waxy sand: no current. Towards the evening we saw a low point about 12 miles from us N.E.b.N. It was nearly dead calm as we drifted towards it. In the middle of the afternoon we sounded in 25 fathoms, waxy sand. All night long we were drifting further in calm, with a sea running from the W.N.W., and so got quite close to the land in 28 fathoms, good holding-ground. Then, lest we should drift any closer to the shore because of the calm, we anchored with one stream anchor, in the morning watch, and waited for the land breeze.

15 December. In the morning a little breath of air from the land. We hove up our anchor, and had hard work to stand off from the shore a little bit out to sea. Course N.W.b.N. We then had yesterday's most northerly point N.N.E. and N.E.b.N. from us. This country appears to consist of a high double mountain range, not lower than the Island of Formosa. At noon we found latitude 41° 40′, and longitude 173° 3′. Course held, N.N.E.; and distance sailed, 32 miles. The point of the previous day then lay S.E. of us. From this point there runs out to the north of it to a distance of 10 miles a great reef of

* [10 p.m.]

[Almost certainly 172° 44′ or 172° 47′. In Tasman's figures. 189° 3′ should apparently be 189° 30′ or 33′.]

[Cape Foulwind.]

page 11rocks. Here, above water, there stand on the reef several tall steep crags,* as it were towers or sails. Off this point, 4 miles to the west of it, no bottom. From this position also we could still see the continuation of the high land to the N.N.E. of us. We directed our course due north, with good dry weather and still water. From the low point with the crags the shore makes a great bend, and stretches first due east, and afterwards due north again. The aforenamed point lies under the parallel of 41° 50′. The wind was in the west.

Here it was plain to behold that in this country the land towards the water was barren, with neither men nor any smoke to be seen. And, as we saw no signs or traces of ships or boats, we inferred that the inhabitants could not possess any. Variation in the evening 8° easterly.

16 December. At six glasses,§ before it was day, we sounded in 60 fathoms, good holding-ground; when the most northerly cape that we had in sight lay 12 miles to the N.E.b.E. of us; and the nearest shore 6 miles to the S.E. of us. We drifted in calm, with good weather and smooth water. Latitude by account at noon 40° 58′; mean longitude 173° 8′. Course steered, N.N.E. Distance sailed, 44 miles. In the evening, at the going-down of the sun, we had variation 9° 23′ easterly. We got the wind, with an improving breeze, S.W. We observed that the most distant visible promontory|| of the coast bore E.b.N. of us. More-over it dropped so abruptly that we made no doubt of its being the end of the land.

We summoned our Council, and the under steersmen as well; and resolved with them to run on to the N.E. and E.N.E until the expiration of the first watch; and then, if the weather remained settled and the wind unaltered, to steer full-and-by; as may be seen at greater length in the minutes of to-day's date.

At night, in the sixth glass,** the weather fell almost calm; so that in the fifth glass of the dog watch †† our course was still E.N.E. although we had the evening's promontory to the S.E. of us. But the wind made so sharp

* [The Steeples.]

[Karamea Bight.]

[Really about 41°45′.]

§ [3 a.m.]

|| [Cape Farewell.]

[I.e., close-hauled.]

** [10.30 to 11 p.m.]

page 12an angle with our proper course that we could not steer any closer than E.N.E. a trifle E.

We sounded once in the first watch, and again in the dog watch, in 60 fathoms, beautiful grey sand. In the second glass of the morning watch* we got a bit of a breeze from the S.W., and immediately turned towards the shore.

17 December. In the morning at sunrise we were about 4 miles from the shore, and saw smoke rising in several places, where fire had been kindled by the inhabitants. At that time we had the wind southerly, off the land; but the weather afterwards went round to the eastward. At noon, by reckoning, we had the latitude of 40° 32′, and 174° 1′ longitude; and we had sailed 48 miles on a course N.E.b.E. In the afternoon, wind W., and course E.b.S. along a low sandy shore, with good dry weather, in 30 fathoms depth, black sand. One may easily feel his way along this coast at night by the lead on the bottom.

We accordingly ran towards this sandy point, to 17 fathoms; where we anchored at sunset, because it had fallen dead calm. We then had the northernmost point of the dry sandspit W.b.N. of us. There was also high ground extending to E.b.S.; and the point of the reef was to the S.E. of us. Here, inside this point or narrow sandbank, we saw a great open bay, quite 12 to 16 miles wide. To the east of the narrow sandspit the bank extends fully 4 miles from it, 6, 7, and 8 to 9 feet deep. This is a sand reef that lies under water and projects E.S.E. from the aforementioned point. Variation in the evening 9° easterly.

18 December. In the morning we got up our anchor, with quiet weather. Latitude by reckoning at noon 40° 49′, longitude 174° 55′. Distance 44 miles on a course E.S.E. In the morning, before we weighed anchor, we took counsel with the officers of the Zeehaan, and resolved that an attempt must be made to effect a landing on this coast, and to find a convenient haven. While approaching the land the launch was to be sent in advance of the ships,

* [4.30 to 5 a.m.]

[Farewell Spit.]

[To D'Urville Island; not recognised as an island by Tasman.]

page 13as is set forth in extenso in the minutes of this day's date.

In the afternoon our captain Ide't Jerksen and Pilot-Major Francis Jakobsen, in the launch, attended by the Zeehaan's jolly-boat, with the chapman Gilsemans and one of their under steersmen, went on ahead, to search along the shore for an anchorage and watering-place.

At the going-down of the sun, as it was almost calm, we let go our anchor in 15 fathoms, good holding-ground. In the evening, about an hour after sunset, we saw plenty of lights on shore, and four boats of some kind between us and the land, two of which turned out to be our own. When both our boats returned on board, they reported that no-where could they find less than 13 fathoms water; and that they had been still two miles from shore when they lost the sun, which was hidden behind the hills.

Our boats' crews had scarcely been on board again one glass when the people in the two canoes began to call to us with a gruff hollow voice; but we could not in the least understand any of it. Nevertheless we shouted back to them, in token of reply. Whereupon they began again, several times. Howbeit they came no nearer than the range of a stone-piece.* They blew moreover many times on an instrument that gave a sound like the Moorish trumpets; and we let one of our sailors, who could play on the trumpet, play them some airs by way of answering them back. The Zeehaan's people made their under steersman do the like. (He had joined as trumpeter; but at the Mauritius, by the council of the fort and of the ships, he was appointed under steersman.) After these performances had been repeated several times on either side, as the evening was closing in darker and darker, the people in the canoes finally gave it up and paddled away.

For the sake of security, and in order to be well on our guard, we made our folk keep watch by whole watches, as is done when at sea. And we took care that there was munition of war in plenty laid ready, such as muskets, pikes, and cutlasses. We fired off and reloaded the guns on the upper deck, to provide against mischances, and

* [A small cannon carrying a stone ball instead of an iron one, and shingle instead of grape.]

page 14to be able to defend ourselves if it should happen that these people contemplated any outrage. Variation 9° easterly.

19 December. Early in the morning one of these people's vessels, with thirteen men in it, came within about a cable's length* of our ship. They shouted several times, something that we could not understand, for their speech bore no resemblance to the vocabulary with which we had been provided by H.E. the Governor-General and the Council of the Indies; but this is not to be wondered at, as the vocabulary is of the language of the Solomon Islands.

These people, so far as we could see, were of middle height, but gruff of voice and big of bone. Their colour was between brown and yellow. They had black hair, drawn upwards at the back and fast bound on the very crown of the head, in the same manner and fashion as the Japanese. Moreover their hair was quite as long and as thick as the Japanese have it; and there was a large thick white feather standing upright in it.

Their vessels consisted of a pair of long narrow pontoons, a short distance apart, over which were laid some planks or other seats, so that one could see through between the water and the boat. Their paddles were a good fathom long, narrow and sharp-pointed. With these boats they could get over the ground smartly.

Some of these people had their clothing seemingly of matting, some of cotton; others were naked: as indeed were almost all of them from the waist upward.

We made signs to them many times that they should come on board; and we showed them some white linen and some sheath knives, out of what had been supplied to us for cargo. Yet they came no nearer, but finally paddled back again.

Meanwhile the officers of the Zeehaan, on the summons of the previous evening, had presented themselves on board our ship. A council was accordingly held, at which it was resolved to run as close to the shore as we could go; since there was a good anchorage, and these folk were to all appearance desirous of our friendship.

* [About a furlong.]

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Immediately after the drafting of this resolution, we saw seven more canoes coming from the land; one of which, with a high bow tapering to a sharp point, manned with seventeen hands, passed behind the Zeehaan; while a second, wherein were thirteen stalwart men, came in front of the ship, not half a cable's length from us. We made signs and showed them white linen, &c., as before. But they continued to lie still all the same.

Then the captain of the Zeehaan sent his quartermaster, with his jolly-boat and six men, to carry orders to the under steersman of the Zeehaan. If any of these people wanted to come on board, he was not to let too many of them come over the side at once; but was to be circumspect, and quite on his guard. When the Zeehaan's boat started for the ship, the men in the canoe that was nearest to us shouted and made signs with their paddles to the other that was lying behind the Zeehaan; but what their meaning might be we could not tell. Just as the Zeehaan's boat started on her way back from the ship, they that were lying ahead of us, between the two ships, began to pull so furiously towards her that just about halfway to our ship they struck the Zeehaan's boat on the side with their stem, so violently as nearly to swamp her. Then the foremost rascal in that villainous canoe thrust the quartermaster Cornelius Joppen in the neck several times with a long blunt pike so savagely that he was forced to fall overboard. Meanwhile the rest of them, with short thick wooden clubs, which we took at first to be heavy round-pointed parangs,* and with their paddles, fell upon the crew of the jolly-boat and overpowered them. In this affray three of the Zeehaan's people were left dead, and a fourth hurt even to death by the rough treatment he met with. The quartermaster and two other sailors swam for our ship; so we sent our launch to meet them, and they were taken into her alive.

After this heinous and abominable deed, the murderers let the jolly-boat go adrift, having dragged one of the men into their canoe dead, and let another sink in the sea. We and the Zeehaan's people, seeing this, began to shoot with

* [Big knives shaped like half of a "spade" on a playing card, and used by the Malays instead of tomahawks, slashers, and bill-hooks.]

page 16muskets and cannon. They returned none the less towards the land, for we did not succeed in hitting any of them, and they paddled out of range. With our forecastle guns and bowchasers we put many shots near and among their boats, but did not hit any of them.

Our captain, Ide't Jerksen-Holman, with our launch well manned and armed, rowed to the Zeehaan's boat, which those accursed ruffians, luckily for us, had set adrift, and immediately returned on board with her, having found in her one of the dead men and one mortally wounded.

We raised our anchors and got under sail, because we deemed that we could not make any friendship here with this people; nor would water or refreshments be obtainable. When our anchors were up, and we were under sail, we saw twenty-two canoes under the land, eleven of which, swarming with savages, were coming off towards us. We kept quiet until some of the foremost of them were near enough for us to fire upon them; when we gave them one or two shots with our pieces out of the gunroom, but without success. The Zeehaan's people fired too, and hit one man in the biggest canoe, who was standing with a small white flag in his hand, so that he fell down. We also heard the rattle of the grape in and against the canoe; but what further effect it may have had remains unknown to us. As soon as they had received this shot, they retreated with haste towards land; two of them setting sails after the fashion of a tingangh.* They then remained lying under the shore, without paying us any more visits.

About noon Captain Gerrit Jansen and Senior Gilsemans a second time came on board. We ordered their upper steersman to be fetched as well; when we convened the Council and resolved as follows:—

Whereas the detestable conduct of these natives towards four of the Zeehaan's crew, as exhibited to us this morning, teaches us to hold the inhabitants of this country for enemies; we shall therefore proceed eastward along the coast, following the trend of the land in order to see whether we can anywhere find a convenient place at which some refreshment and water, may be procurable; as is stated more fully in the minutes.

* [A Javanese boat. Hence our word "dinghy."]

page 17

At this den of murderers, to which, by-the-by, we have given the name of Murderers' Bay,* we lay anchored in south latitude 40° 50′, and longitude 174° 44′. From this position we set our course E.N.E. At noon, latitude by account 40° 57′, longitude 174° 55′. Sailed 8 miles on a southerly course. In the afternoon the wind from the W.N.W.

Then, by the advice of our steersmen, approved by our own judgment, we proceeded N.E.b.N. At night we let her go on, as it was clear weather; though about an hour after midnight we sounded in 25 or 26 fathoms, hard sand. The wind presently shifted to the N.W. We sounded again, and, finding only 15 fathoms, we immediately went about, to wait for daylight, and steered to the west: exactly the opposite course to the one on which we had run in. Variation 9° 30′ easterly.

This is the second§ land that has been sailed past and discovered by us. We have given this country the name of Staten Land, in honour of Their Highnesses the States-General of the United Provinces. For this land may possibly prove to be continuous with Staten Land [to the east of Tierra del Fuego], though this is uncertain. It seems to be a very fine country; and we presume that it is part of the coast of the mainland of the Unknown South Continent.

We have given this track the name of Abel Tasman's Track, since he is the first that has sailed over it.

20 December. In the morning we saw land lying all round us, as we had sailed quite 120 miles into a gulf. We had hitherto presumed that the land where we had been at anchor was an island, not doubting that we should find a passage from that position into the open South Sea; but, to our grievous disappointment, it has fallen out quite otherwise. The wind being then westerly, we had hard

* [Afterwards called Massacre Bay, now Golden Bay; but the identification depends on the view taken of the errors of latitude and longitude in the log.]

[Apparently a merely temporary course to clear Separation Point.]

[From the position at noon on the 18th.]

§ [The first being Tasmania. See November 25.]

page 18work thenceforward to beat out again by the same track by which we had just sailed in. At noon we found ourselves in the south latitude of 40° 51′, and 176° 9′ east longitude. Course held E. half a point N.; sailed 56 miles. In the afternoon it fell calm. As the sea was setting so heavily into this gulf that we could make no progress, we drifted back into the gulf with the sea. Having altered our course to N. at noon, we saw a high round-topped island* bearing W.b.S. about 32 miles, which we had sailed close by on the previous day. This island, which is situated about 24 miles to the east of the place where we had been anchored, in the same latitude, inside the gulf into which we had sailed so far in vain, was on all sides a beautiful, good land to look upon. Near the seashore it was mostly low, dry ground, but the interior was fairly high. In sailing towards the land one has an anchorage that shoals gradually from 60 or 50 fathoms up to 15 fathoms, being then still fully 6 or 8 miles from the shore. At three o'clock in the afternoon we got a light breeze from the S.E., but as the sea was exceedingly rough, we made little or no progress. During the night we drifted in calm. In the second watch, with the wind W., we steered across to the northward.

21 December. At night in the dogwatch we got the wind westerly, with a steady breeze, and let her run towards the north in hopes that the land which we had had on the N.W. of us the day before might fall away before us to the north. But after breakfast we arrived over against that coast again, and found that it extended towards the N.W. When near the shore we went about; and, as the gale began to freshen, we steered a south-westerly course across towards the southern shore.

At noon we found latitude 40° 31′, and longitude 176° 9′. Course held, N; and distance sailed, 20 miles; and it was foggy, so that we could see no land. In the middle of the afternoon we again saw the southern shore, and the island, which had on the previous day been about 24 miles to the west of us, was now bearing S.W.b.S.,

* [Apparently Stephen Island.]

[Apparently near Whanganui or Waitotara.]

page 19about 16 miles from us. We accordingly sailed towards it and ran on till the island bore N.N.W., and there we let go our anchor behind some rocks, in 33 fathoms, sand mixed with shells. This place is full of islands and rocks. We lowered our yards, because it blew a gale from the N.W. and W.N.W.

22 December. The wind N.W.b.N., and still a heavy gale, so that there was no prospect of getting under sail and making headway against it; indeed, we had hard enough work to hold to our anchor where we lay, and save our ship at all. Here we lay in south latitude* 40° 50′, and longitude 175° 51′. Course held, S.W.b.S. and distance 24 miles. In the night we got the wind so strong from the N.W. that we had to strike the topmasts and let go yet another anchor. The Zeehaan began to drag her anchors, but she let go one anchor more.

23 December. Still dark, misty, drizzling weather: the wind N.W. and W.N.W.; and still such a storm that we could make no progress, to our great regret.

24 December. Still rough, unsettled weather, the storm continuing from the N.W.; but in the morning, having a spell of calm, we flew the white flag and fetched the officers of the Zeehaan on board. We put it before them that, since the tide flowed from the S.E., there must probably be some channel in that direction, and would it not be best, so soon as wind and weather would let us, to explore it and see whether any fresh water can be obtained there, as may be seen at greater length in the resolution drawn up on that occasion.

28 December. In the morning at daybreak we made sail again, and steered our course due east, to ascertain whether the land before mentioned, which we had seen in the latitude of 40°, extended any further towards the north, or whether it fell away towards the east. At noon we saw a high mountain east by north of us. At first we took it for an island, but later on we saw that it was an extensive

* [Probably about 40° 45′ and 174° 4′.]

[So near was Tasman to the discovery of Cook Strait.]

[Apparently Karioi—north of Kawhia.]

page 20coast; and we were about 20 miles from the shore. We hove the lead in 50 fathoms—fine sand mixed with clay. This high mountain lay in the south latitude of 38°. The coast extended, so far as I could observe, south and north. It fell calm; but getting a light air from N.N.E., we altered our course to N.W. At noon we had the estimated latitude of 38° 2′, and longitude of 175° 37′. Course held, N.E. by E.; and distance, 64 miles. Towards the evening we got the wind N.E. and N.E.b.E., and it kept blowing harder and harder, till, at the end of the first watch, we had to take in our topsails. Variation, 8° 30′.

29 December. This morning at daybreak we took in our bonnets,* so that we could lower the foresail into the bow. At noon we made out our reckoning as latitude 37° 17′, and longitude 174° 14′, as we had been running to the westward again. The course we had been steering was N.W.; and distance, 64 miles.

4 January, 1643. In the morning we were close to a cape, and had an island N.W.b.N. of us. Whereupon we ordered the white flag to be hoisted, so that the officers of the Zeehaan should come on board. We came to a resolution together to run for that island, to see whether one can obtain there any fresh water, green vegetables, &c. At noon we found latitude 34° 35′, longitude 174° 23′. Course held, N.E.; distance sailed, 60 miles, with the wind S.E. Towards noon we drifted in calm, and found ourselves in a very strong current here, which carried us towards the west. There was also at this place a heavy sea rolling in from the N.E., which made us rejoice not a little to think that here we were going to find a way through. This cape, which bore E.N.E. from us, lies in south latitude 34° 30′. From this point the land falls§ away note

* [Additional strips of canvas laced to the upper or lower edge of a sail to make it larger.]

[This seems to require an addition of about 25′.]

[As this is the true latitude of Cape Maria van Diemen, and as Tasman's latitudes are generally 5′ too high, it seems likely that Cape Reinga is the cape to which he gave the name of Cape Maria van Diemen.]

§ [This might be said of either cape.]

page 21the east. In the evening we sent the pilot-major with the secretary to the Zeehaan. Thus we drifted quite close to the island, but could perceive no indication that any of the things we had need of would be obtainable there. I accordingly desired the officers of the Zeehaan to give their opinion whether it would not be best, in the event of our getting a favourable wind by ten o'clock that night, to take advantage of it at that hour; and the officers also judged that this same would be the best course—to avail ourselves of a good wind if we should happen to get one. Variation, 8° 40′ N.E.

5 January. In the morning we were still drifting in calm; but about nine o'clock we got a little breeze from the S.E. In consultation with the officers of the Zeehaan we found it advisable to steer for the island. About noon we sent our launch, in charge of the pilot-major, along with the Zeehaan's cutter, in charge of the chapman Gilsemans, to the island to find out whether there was any water to be got. In the evening the gentlemen returned on board, and reported that they had approached quite close to the land, exercising the utmost caution not to be overpowered or surprised by the Natives. They had been into a safe but small cove, where they found good fresh water, which ran down from a steep range of hills in great abundance; but the sea was running so high as to make it dangerous—indeed, absolutely impossible—to fetch any water from that place. Consequently the gentlemen had made their way further round the island to ascertain whether they could find any other convenient place. From several places on the shore there were seen by them, on the highest ridge, some thirty or thirty-five persons—men of tall stature, as well as they could see from such a distance—with sticks or clubs, who shouted to them with gruff, loud voices, which our people could not at all understand. In walking they took immensely long steps and strides. While they were rowing round the island these people occasionally showed themselves to them in small parties on the tops of the hills. Our party accordingly, inferring from the manner of the islanders—as, indeed, there is good reason to believe—that they intended to attack them in canoes, determined to keep the boats page 22and the small arms quite ready for action. Howbeit on that island there could be very few, if any more, inhabitants than had shown themselves, for our people, in rowing round the island, saw no land anywhere that was either built upon or cultivated except near the fresh water in front of which they had rowed; and there, high up on either side of the running stream, it was laid out in square enclosures here and there, after the fashion of our fatherland, green and beautiful; though what was the crop remained unknown to them on account of the distance. It was quite possible for all those people to have their dwelling-places near that fresh water. In that same cove they also saw two canoes lying drawn up on the beach, one seaworthy and the other in pieces, but they saw no other vessel. When our people and the boat returned on board, we immediately did all we could to get close to the land, where we anchored in the evening a short cannon-shot from the shore in 40 fathoms, good ground, and made immediate preparations for fetching water on the following day. This island* lies in the south latitude of 34° 25′, and 173° 54′ mean longitude.

6 January. Early in the morning we sent both the cutters, to wit, our own and the Zeehaan's, each mounting, two stone-pieces, with six musketeers, the rowers provided with pikes and side arms, accompanied by our launch, with Pilot-Major Francis Jakobsen and Captain Gerrit Jansen, to the watering-place with barrels to fetch water. While they were rowing thither our people saw in several places a big man standing with a long stick or a pike, apparently keeping watch on our people; he shouted very

* [In the oldest available copy of Tasman's chart this island is named Three Kings Island; its true latitude is 34° 8′ to 10′, and longitude 172° 6′ to 9′. Tasman is here 16′ too high in his latitude. It seems most likely that he wrote, or meant to write, 34° 15′, in which case his error was about 6′. He could hardly, even with his crude appliances, have made an error of 16′ of latitude in the short distance from Cape Reinga to the Three Kings. The error appears to be more than 5′ but certainly less than 16′ at Karioi, and probably there is a constant error of 5′ or 6′ all along. The longitudes agree very well with the final position at the Three Kings and show a constant error of about 1° 47′ all up the coast. But when he states his distance from the shore he usually greatly underestimates it.]

page 23loud at our people as they passed by. But when they had got about half-way to the watering place, between a certain point and another great high rock or small island, they found the current running so hard against the wind that with the empty cutters they had enough to do to keep from broaching to. Wherefore, the pilot-major and Gerrit Jansen, the captain of the Zeehaan, with the other officers, unwilling to endanger the little boat and the crew, considered that there was still a long pull in store for them, and that neither any men nor any of the boats could be spared from the ships. They accordingly began to row for the ships again, all the more so on account of the heavy sea that was breaking against the land in the direction of the watering-place. Moreover, the wind was beginning to freshen, and we could easily see that the people would not be able to effect a landing. We made a signal from our ship with the flag tied up, and at the same time fired a gun, as a sign that the people were to come back. But they were already on their way towards us before our signal. The pilot-major, with our boats, having appeared on board again, reported that the service was a dangerous one on account of the direction of the wind. Moreover, as the whole shore was bristling with rugged rocks, without any sandy beach, the service was subject to the consequent risk of injuring the men in the endeavour to preserve the casks and the guns from damage or loss. We immediately caused the officers and under-steersmen of the Zeehaan to appear on board our ship, and, as soon as we had convened the Council, we resolved thereat to heave up our anchors at once and to steer an easterly course as far as the longitude of 157° W.

Towards midday we got under sail,* and by noon we had the island nearly 12 miles due south of us. In the evening at sunset it was some five-and-twenty miles or more to the S.S.W., the rocks and the island lying S.W. and N.E. of each other.

A. J. Tasman

("Journal of Voyage to the Unknown South Land, 1642").

* [Thus Tasman left New Zealand without effecting a landing anywhere.]