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North Star, 1824
Type: 6th rate ; Armament 28 x 32 pdr
Launched : 7 Dec 1824 ; Disposal date or year : 1860
BM: 501 tons
This type of frigate was known as a "Jackass or donkey frigates."
19 Jun 1826 John Barrow, at the Admiralty, wrote to Captain Arabin as follows : "I Am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit to you, for your information and guidance, a copy of an Act 5 Geo. IV. c. 113, intituled, An Act to amend and consolidate the Laws relating to the Abolition "of the Slave Trade;" and with reference to the treaties which have been entered into with Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, for the prevention of an illicit traffic in Slaves, and of which copies are contained in the said Act; I am also to enclose to you three Instructions, signed by their Lordships, authorizing you, in conformity with the treaties, to search vessels bearing those flags ; in doing which, as well as in the whole of your conduct towards such vessels, you are to be strictly governed by the said treaties, and the instructions attached to them. I am, &c. John Barrow.
St Thomas's (WI) 27 Nov 1826 departed for Ascension Isle.
16 Dec 1826 Mid Bedford of the North Star apptd. Lieutenant of the Maidstone vice Trineham, apptd to the Louisa transport.
16 Dec 1826 Mr Rogan, supernumerary Surgeon, to be Surgeon of the North Star, vice McDougall, invalided.
6 Jan 1827 detained in lat. 6° 20' N. long. 2° 5' W., off Whydah the Brazilian slave schooner Eclipse, 120 tons, J. A. de Fevia, Master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone and on 31 Mar 1827 sentenced to be condemned.
31 Jan 1827 detained by the ship's boats in the River Bonny the Spanish slave schooner Emelia / Emilia, Manuel Prendez, master, bound from Havannah to Havannah, with 282 slaves on board, which was subsequently bought into the service as a tender.
31 Jan 1827 Detained by the ship's boats in the River Bonny, the Spanish slave schooner Emelia / Emilia, 90 tons, Manoel Prendez, Master, with 282 slaves on board when detained, 107 of whom died on the passage up to Sierra Leone, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone and on 16 Mar 1827 sentenced to be condemned.
6 Feb 1827 detained in the Old Calabar River the Spanish slave schooner Fama (de Cuba), 31 tons, Jozé Miguel, Master, with 100 slaves on board when detained, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone and on 16 Mar 1827 sentenced to be condemned.
4 Mar 1827 detained in lat. 6° 10' N. long. 2° 5' E. off Ajuda (Whydah) the Brazilian slave brigantine Conceicao de Marie, 111 tons, J. Pinto de Souzs, Master, with 232 slaves on board when detained, 35 of whom died on the passage up to Sierra Leone, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone and sentenced to be condemned on 15 May 1827.
12 Mar 1827 detained in lat. 4° 30' N., long. 8° 20' E., in the Old Calabar River, the Brazilian slave brig Selveirinha, 82 tons, late B. J. Ferreira (died 13 Mar), Master, with 266 slaves on board when detained, 57 of whom died on the passage up to Sierra Leone, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone and on 19 Jun 1827 sentenced to be condemned.
4 Apr 1827 arrived Prince's Island where the Commodore's ship, Maidstone, had arrived the previous day, and having stocked up on water and wood departed for Sierra Leone to pick up the prize crews for the above mentioned vessels.
18 Jun 1827 detained in lat. 12° 0' N. long. 16° 50' W., near the Bijuga Passage and following a chase by the government steam vessel African was arrested by the boat's crew of the North Star which was in company, the Portuguese slave schooner Toninha, C. J. Alvez Martinez, Master, with 65 slaves on board when detained, 7 of whom died on the passage up to Sierra Leone, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone and sentenced to be condemned on 21 Jul 1827.
20 Apr 1828 detained in at anchor off Popoe in 6° 17' N. the Brazilian slave schooner Terceira Rosalia, Manoel Pereira Sarmento, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 17 Jun 1828 sentenced to be condemned.
Sierra Leone 17 May 1828 On the Gold Coast, having visited Fernando Po.
8 Aug 1828 detained in lat. 2° 50' N. the Brazilian slave schooner Sociedade, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 3 Oct 1828 sentenced to be condemned.
17 Oct 1828 detained in or about lat. 5° 35' N. long. 3° 10' E., the Brazilian slave schooner Santa Effigenia, with 218 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 26 Nov 1828 sentenced to be condemned.
30 Oct 1828 Little Bear, Tender to the North Star, detained in the River Cameroons the Brazilian slave schooner Arcenia, with 448 slaves on board when detained, 179 of whom died on the passage up to Sierra Leone, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 18 Dec 1828 sentenced to be condemned.
30 Oct 1828 Little Bear, Tender to the North Star, detained in the River Cameroons the Brazilian slave schooner Estrella da Mar, with 448 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and sentenced to be condemned.
1 Nov 1828 detained in lat. 3° 50' N. 7° 20' E., the Spanish slave schooner Compeadora, Gaspar Prato, master, with 381 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 18 Dec 1828 sentenced to be condemned.
Circa Dec 1828 is reported to have departed from the West Coast of Africa to England, via the West Indies.
Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1829 the 6th rate North Star, 28 guns, Complement: 175, was involved in combatting the Slave Trade and experienced 1 Death by Accident.
23 Jan 1830 Portsmouth.
A Court-Martial assembled on board his Majesty's ship St. Vincent, in Portsmouth Harbour, on Saturday the 5th February, 1831, to inquire into the circumstances connected with the punishment and death of William Heritage, a boy on board his Majesty's ship North Star, and to try Capt. Lord William Paget for his conduct on the occasion. The following. officers comprised the members of the Court:- Admiral Sir Thomas Foley, President; Captains Burdett, Ganges; Sir C. Rowley, Wellesley; Hyde Parker, St. Vincent; E. Harvey, Undaunted; H. Senhouse, Asia; Hon. R. S. Dundas, Belvidera ; Lord H. J. Churchill, Tweed, Hon. F. W. Grey, Acteon.
The Court having been sworn, a letter from Mr. Heritage, the father of the boy in question, to the Admiral, was read, describing the particular circumstances which led to the death of his son. Then follow-ed the evidence of the several witnesses ; when the Court adjourned to the following Monday.
Sentence of the Court-The Court having re-assembled, and heard the defence of Lord Paget, and the evidence be had to offer, was of opinion, "That the charge of cruelly flogging the boy Heritage had not been proved against the said Captain the Right Hon. Lord William Paget, but is altogether unfounded and malicious, and that the death of the said William Heritage is in no way to be attributed to the conduct of his Lordship. That it has been proved to the Court, that the said boy received, during the period of his service on board the North Star, only twelve lashes, according to the established custom of the service; and that the offence committed by the said boy, was sufficient to justify the infliction of the aforesaid punishment ; and farther, that the order for the punishment of the said boy subsequently given, which appears to have led to his jumping overboard, was also justified by the misconduct of the said boy; and the Court adjudged the said Captain the Right Hon. Lord William Paget to be most fully and most honourably acquitted."
12 Feb 1831 Portsmouth.
7 Mar 1831 departed Portsmouth, for Bermuda, Capt. Lord William Paget, in command.
18 Mar 1831 departed Falmouth, for Bermuda.
21 Apr 1831 arrived at Bermuda from England.
8 Aug 1831 arrived Newfoundland from Bermuda.
During the summer months of 1831 cruising on the Coast of Labrador, [I would guess for fishery protection purposes and other depredations made by visitors from south i.e the reinforcement of the treaty with the US Government which was often ignored.].
9 Jan 1832 arrived Jamaica from Carthagina.
11 Feb 1832 arrived Aux Cayes from Port Royal.
10 Apr 1832 remained at Port Royal when the packet Lord Melville departed for England.
10 May 1832 refitting with a view to taking Commissioner Ussher and his family to Halifax, and then proceeding to the Bay of Fundy and Newfoundland.
4 Jul 1832 arrived Newfoundland from Halifax.
15 Sep 1832 arrived Halifax from Newfoundland.
2 Oct 1832 departed Halifax for Newfoundland.
17 Oct 1832 arrived Newfoundland from Halifax.
19 Oct 1832 departed Newfoundland for Bermuda having landed a company of the 96th Regt.
31 Oct 1832 arrived Bermuda from Halifax and departed 3 Nov for Jamaica.
20 Nov 1832 Barbadoes.
10 Jan 1833 arrived Barbadoes.
22 Jan 1833 assistance rendered to the ship Isabel, of Liverpool ; the residue of a sum of money, awarded as salvage has been remitted from Barbadoes, and will be distributed, at Somerset-house, on and after Wednesday the 22 Jan 1834.
Jamaica 21 Apr 1833 Had departed for the Spanish Main.
Vera Cruz 24 May 1833 departed Portsmouth, via Tampico and Havannah, with specie.
Portsmouth 21 Jul 1833 arrived from Vera Cruz.
Portsmouth 24 Jul 1833 Has come into harbour from Spithead to be paid off.
Portsmouth 6 Aug 1833 Paid off.
Portsmouth 29 Mar 1834 Commissioned for service on the South American station.
Portsmouth 12 Apr 1834 Embarked her Royal Marines in preparation for her departure to the South American station.
Portsmouth 27 Jul 1834 Sails for Rio de Janeiro.
Portsmouth 28 Mar 1835 is reported to have arrived at Rio de Janeiro 7 Jan., from Monte Video.
Portsmouth 18 Apr 1835 is reported to have been at Pernambuco on 9 Feb.
Portsmouth 2 May 1835 arrived Bahia from Pernambuco 15 Feb.
6 Jul 1835 is reported to have departed from Rio de Janeiro for the Pacific.
Valparaiso 30 Oct 1835 reported to be on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
17 Apr 1836 is reported to be in the Pacific.
8 May 1836 was reported to be at Valparaiso, where Capt. F.N. Beechey of the survey vessel Sulphur joined, having been invalided back to the UK.
Portsmouth 11 Mar 1837 went out to Spithead Monday and sails tomorrow for the North Coast of Spain, calling at Falmouth en route. She has taken on board stores from the Flamer, from Woolwich, for the British Legion serving in Spain. See p. 276 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
San Sebastian 21 May 1837 was reported to be at Passages.
12 Feb 1838 in Passages Harbour, experienced light winds from the south, weather fine, but by the 15th and 16th the weather had deteriorated to become squally, with rain on the 17th.
13 Jun 1840 Portsmouth is expected shortly from the north coast of Spain, to be paid off. 8 Aug 1840 Commander Nicholas Cory, of the North Star, promoted to Captain, for services on the coast of Spain. 16 Aug 1840 Mates Marcus Knox (1831), R. C. Whyte (1832), and R. Robertson (1832), promoted to Lieutenant. 16 Aug 1840 Assistant Surgeon J. Salmon, of the North Star, promoted to Surgeon. 22 Aug 1840 will return to England as soon as the remainder of the British force employed on shore had quitted the North coast of Spain. 16 Sep 1840 Portsmouth, arrived at Cowes, and came to Spithead the following morning, and into harbour the same day. 2 Oct 1840 Portsmouth, was paid off : the crew, on their return from leave will join in the flag-ship. The Marine party, under Lieutenant Rider, joined the head-quarters here. 10 Oct 1840 Portsmouth, Boatswain George Chapman, late Boatswain's Mate of the North Star, appointed to be acting Boatswain of the Victory. 10 Oct 1840, Gunner J. Woodman, Gunner's Mate of the North Star, appointed to be acting Gunner of the Ordinary at Sheerness. 17 Oct 1840 Portsmouth, boatswain's mate John Smith, awarded the medal and gratuity of £15 and a pension of £36. 12s. per annum, for long service and conduct. 4 Sep 1841 Portsmouth, has been commissioned by Captain Sir J. E. Home, Bart. 4 Sep 1841 Captain Sir J. E. Home ; Purser Thomas Hookey ; Surgeon J. M. Brown, appointed to the North Star ; 11 Sep 1841 Master R. O. Stuart, appointed to the North Star. 18 Sep 1841 Lieutenants T. M'Gregor and G. Johnson ; Surgeon Mr. A. Sanderson ; Clerk G. Munro, appointed to the North Star. 25 Sep 1841 Lieutenant W. Wilson ; Assistant Surgeon L. M. Saunders ; Volunteers 1st Class G. D. Murray and E. H. Hatchell ; Clerk G. Munro, from the Victory, appointed to the North Star. 25 Sep 1841 Clerk E. Whitehead, appointed acting clerk of the North Star. 2 Oct 1841 Mate Henry Clarke, appointed to the North Star. 9 Oct 1841 Assistant Surgeon W. M'Kenzie Saunders, appointed to the North Star. 30 Oct 1841 Lieutenant J. B. Daffield appointed to the North Star. 6 Nov 1841 Portsmouth, will be taken out of the basin next week. 6 Nov 1841 Volunteer First Class R. B. Atkinson, appointed to the North Star. 13 Nov 1841 Second Master J. Wilkinson, appointed to the North Star. 20 Nov 1841 Portsmouth, is to convey money for the commissariat in China and goes out to Spithead on Monday. 20 Nov 1841 Volunteers First Class R. Rogers, appointed to the Columbine, and to take passage in the North Star. 24 Nov 1841 went out of harbour to Spithead, and departed the following morning for Plymouth, en route for China, as an escort for troop ships due to sail to the Far East shortly. 24 Nov 1841 Portsmouth, went out to Spithead, and departed on the Thursday 25th for Plymouth. 26 Nov 1841 arrived Plymouth Sound, from Chatham and Portsmouth. 27 Nov 1841 Mates F. H. N. Rolfe, and C. Compton ; Midshipman Chandos S. Stanhope, late of the Seringapatam ; Clerk James Gilpin, appointed to the North Star. 1 Dec 1841 ship's company paid 2 months pay in advance, and now ready to sail for China. 11 Dec 1841 Mate W. H. Wardrop, F. Rolfe ; Midshipman C. S. Stanhope ; Clerk J. D. Gilpin ; Boatswain John Sterling appointed to the North Star. 18 Dec 1841 Plymouth, departed the Sound for China. At some time during the period 1839-42 engaged in the Operations in China. Officers and Men serving on this ship during this period may be eligible for a Medal. See p. 288 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
18 Dec 1841 Lieutenants John Elliott, Robert Phillips, and G. L. Norcock, appointed to the North Star. 27 Dec 1841 arrived at Madeira from Plymouth.
27 Feb 1842 departed the Cape of Good Hope for China.
2 Jun 1842 arrived Hong Kong from England and is expected to depart shortly for the Yang-tse-Kiang.
13 Jun 1842, anchored off Woosung. Once the defences at the mouth of the river were sounded and buoyed the works on both sides of the river were bombarded (16th). See p. 298-9 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow 16 Jun 1842, operations commence against Shanghai. See p. 300 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow 5 Jul 1842 stationed at Chusan.
16 Jun - 29 Aug 1842, expedition up the Yang-tse-Keang, to the end of hostilities and signing of the Treaty of Nanking. See p. 300-> at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow and www.gazettes-online.co.uk. 22 Apr 1843 left Port Essington shortly after the setting in of the south-east monsoon.
6 Jul 1844 RoP of Cruise which commenced at Sydney on this date. See below for an RoP for some of this period as reported in the Naval Magazine for November, 1846
15 March 1845 North Star, passed over a coral shoal about 28 miles N.N.E. of Wallis's Island, it lies in latitude from 12° 56' S., to 13° 0' S., longitude 176° 25' E., the ship departed over with 11 fathoms, varying to 10½ and 13, and the appearance all round was the same discoloured water ; observed broken water on the peak of the Island of Koa bearing N N.E., about 28 miles, sounding round it 9 fathoms, the boat could not approach nearer, in consequence of broken water evidently not more than 4 or 5 feet. Lat. 18° 18' S. long. 174° 68' E.
23 Mar 1845 arrived Auckland. with the brig Velocity, from Sydney with officers and men of the 58th Regt. See New Zealander, Volume 1, Issue 1, 7 June 1845, Page 2.
23 Apr 1845 departed for the Bay of Islands.
28 Apr 1845 at Kororarika.
29 Apr 1845 weighed and proceeded up the Kawa Kawa.
3 May 1845 landed troops and a small naval brigade from both the North Star and Hazard. British were repulsed at Heke's pah, near Okaihau.
10 May 1845 men re-embarked with the wounded.
12 May 1845 departed for Auckland, where they arrived on the 14th.
14 June 1845 North Star reports the American whaler Cora at the Bay of Islands recruiting. The North Star spoke the brig Tryphena on 20 May, off the Barrier from Sydney the 28th April, for Liverpool.
Oct 1845 Lying at the Kiddi Kiddi River, in the Bay
25 Oct 1845 H.M.S. North Star and Osprey, also the Slains Castle, were lying in the Bay ; H.M.S. Daphne left Auckland for the Pacific on the 2nd October, and HMS Hazard arrived at Auckland on the 1st instant from the Bay of Islands. No collision had taken place with the New Zealanders, as the British had been waiting for reinforcements.
22 Nov 1845 Anchored in the Bay of Isles
13 Dec 1845 The "Harpooner" has returned to Sydney, after an absence of six months, with 120 barrels of sperm oil on board. Her return has been caused from several of her crew having deserted at the Bay of Islands. H.M.S. North Star and Racehorse anchored in the Bay, on the 22nd ultimo; also, H.C.S Elphinstone, having on board His Excellency Governor Grey, who landed under a salute from the ships and the artillery on shore.
Dec 1845-11 Jan 1846 landed about 340 officers, seamen and Marines from the Castor, Racehorse, North Star, Calliope, and HEIC ship Elphinstone, to assist the army in the reduction of Ruapekapeka - see p. 348 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow 10 Jan 1846 It is reported that the North Star will sail direct from NZ to England on arrival of the steamer Driver at the Bay of Islands.
10 Jan 1846 When Captain Milne left the Bay of Islands, the following vessels were lying in the Kawi Kawi River:- H.M.S. Castor, North Star, and Racehorse; H.E.I.C. ship Elphinstone; the Slains Castle, Victoria and a number of small craft. At Kororarika the following were lying: Fanny, of Havre, five months and a half out. with 200 sperm and 100 of black oil. She had drifted ashore on the beach during a gale of wind, but hauled off again without damage with the assistance of H.M.S. Osprey, which vessel was there at the time. The Perseverance, Captain Corkhill, had arrived there, and reported having seen a brig and schooner a few days previous, supposed to be the Louisa and Waterlilly, bound to Auckland. On the 17th ultimo, a new schooner called the Bride, about 80 tons, was launched from a yard at the bark of Pomare's pah, where she had remained in safety during the late disturbances.
1846: South America and River Plate
17 Jan 1846 When the Louisa left Auckland, the Perseverance, Strathisla, Louisa Campbell, and Bandicoot, were lying there. A large vessel with a blue ensign passed the Bay of Islands on the 31st ultimo, supposed to be H.M.S. Calliope. The fore and aft schooner Bon Accord, from Sydney, 20th December, arrived off the Bay of Islands on the 31st ultimo. H.M.S. Castor, Racehorse, North Star, and Osprey, also the H.E.I. Company's ship Elphinstone, and the Slains Castle, were lying at the Bay of Islands. The schooner Waterlily had not arrived at Auckland.
14 Feb 1846 Jan 20. H.M S North Star, Captain. Sir Everard Home, from Bay of Islands, with troops.
14 February 1846 The "North Star". Associated as this gallant man-of-war has been with the stirring events in this colony, during the last twelve months, we cannot but regret her departure from it; and we trust that at on her arrival is England, the services of Sir Everard Home, will be duly appreciated, and that he and his brave officers will meet with commensurate promotion and honours. The conduct of the crew, and the urbanity of those entrusted with the command, have been such during their sojourn in New Zealand, as will ensure the most grateful reminiscences for their bravery and assistance in quelling the recent rebellion, and ensuring to the settlers permanent peace and security.- New Zealander.
14 Feb 1846 H.M.S. North Star has come on to Sydney to refit, preparatory to leaving for England, which will be in the course of a month, H M S Racehorse was at the Bay of Islands. and the Osprey was stationed at Hokianga. The Calliope, Castor, and Driver, were about to proceed to Port Nicholson, with Governor Grey and 400 of the troops, to settle the disputes concerning the land on the River Hutt. The North Star spoke the schooner Shamrock on the 3rd January, off the Three Kings, from Sydney to Auckland ; she reported having been in company with the Star of China two days previous, which was also from Sydney, bound to Auckland
7 March 1846 Calypso saw HMS North Star, and HEIC Ship Elphinstone, off Mount Dromedary, on Thursday se,nnight
8 Aug 1846 The North Star -It is reported by the Carysfort [just arrived at Sydney NSW], that Her Majesty's ship North Star had called at the Cape, and had there disembarked her marines, who had been sent to the frontier to reinforce the military there assembled to defend the outposts of the colony against the incursions of the Kafirs.
12 Dec 1846 . HMS North Star, from Sydney and the Cape of Good Hope, was in the Channel August 22nd.
19 Dec 1846 North Star. Portsmouth, August 23. Her Majesty's ship North Star, 26, Captain Sir E. Home, Bart., C.B., anchored at Spithead, at eight o'clock on Friday night. She has brought despatches from Sydney. New Zealand, Singapore, the Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, Ascension, and Fayal. The North Star, although one of the old class of frigates, has been most actively employed for upwards of four years. Sir E. Home commissioned her at this port, in August, 1841 and soon after, she was sent to China with a large supply of rockets, shells, and other ordnance stores, for service of the squadron under the orders of Vice Admiral Sir W. Parker. The officers and crew had the good fortune to be with Sir W. Parker's ships in all the engagements in China, and at the termination of hostilities, on the conclusion of the war, Sir E. Home was nominated a Companion of the Bath. The North Star was then sent to Calcutta, and afterwards to New South Wales, and when at Sydney, the disturbances at New Zealand occurred, and the North Star carried up about two hundred troops, and continued there until matters were quiet, and a senior officer arrived to relieve her. The North Star was then ordered to Singapore and England, and, after calling at the Cape and landing some of her marines for the defence of that colony, she came home, touching at St. Helena, Ascension, and Fayal. The North Star has some naval invalids on board. among them is Mr. J. K. Pope, purser of the Acteaon, who has left her from ill health. It was intended that the North Star should be sent to Chatham to be paid off, but the orders have been countermanded, and she is to remain here until after the court-martial is over. She will be surveyed, and reported on, and will probably be found useful as a surveying or troop ship, if her hull is sound.
20 Dec 1848 Chatham.
Notes Among the Islands of the Pacific.
(Extract from the Remarks of H.M.S. North Star: Captain Sir E. Home, R.N.)
The North Star left Sydney on the morning of July the 6th 1844, the breeze moderate from south-west, and freshening at W. by S., and was in the evening off Port Stephens. The directions for this port are accurately given by Capt. P. P. King. The land at the entrance is moderately hill, and may be known by two small barren islands which lie off it; working in, the wind fell light and then calm. From the southern point or head a reef extends in a northerly direction two-thirds of the distance across. Being furnished with Capt. King's sailing directions, the different points were easily recognised.
Having passed about two miles above Nelson's Head, which is the most prominent head in the harbour on the port hand going in, the tide of ebb being down and the ship having scarcely steerage way, she took the ground, which was sand. The deepest water in the channel at that time was four fathoms, a kedge was laid out, and as the tide rose she was hauled into deep water, and having gone back into the proper anchorage just above Nelson's Head, anchored in little Salamander Bay in 8½ fathoms. It had been intended to have gone to the usual anchorage up the harbour near a small island, but as the passage, which could be seen through the shoal water, appeared to be very narrow, and having already touched the ground, I did not think it prudent to proceed farther up until I had seen Captain King. His recommendation was to remain where we were, and not to venture further. I had seen enough of this harbour to be of the same opinion, and further I should not recommend any vessel of more than 200 tons, or drawing more than 12 feet water to enter here. Wood is abundant, but water is found only in holes dug in the sand, and is brackish.
The North Star attempted to leave Port Stephens on the 10th, but a light breeze coming in, and soon falling calm off Nelson's Head, she again anchored ; and on the 11th left the port with a light air from N.N.E. In the evening it was cloudy with lightning all round the compass, and at midnight blew a gale from the north-west. At noon on the 12th, it moderated, but blew very fresh with squalls and rain: at 8 A.M. Balls Pyramid, the only island of Howe's Group which we saw, bore S.S.E.½ E. twenty miles. Sights were taken, the ship was steered south-east, and the patent log was put over: at noon the observed lat. was 31 ° 8 S., the longitude by chronometer 159 ° 32 E., and the distance run eastward since 8h. was twenty-two miles one fathom. Howe's Island then out of sight.
The northern island is high and barren, and appears to be double : at 1h. P.M. New Island, as it is called, was seen for an instant through the haze bearing E. ¾ S.
The fly of the patent log was found to have parted from the machine, which was for the future rendered useless. It would be very desirable that some simple contrivance were adopted so that the old line when worn might be cut away and a new one spliced in without difficulty. The weather continued squally with rain and strong breezes, until the evening of the following day, when it moderated: and the heavy sea, which had attended us since our departure from Port Stephens, gradually went down.
Norfolk Island was seen on the morning of the 16th. The winds having been more moderate, blowing from S.W. and W.S.W. since leaving Howe's Group, and the weather fine with occasional squalls and rain : the island bore E.N.E., and Philip Island E. ¾ S. Sights were got off the south-west side of the island. The ship then passed between Norfolk and Philip Islands for Cascade Bay ; a red ensign was hoisted at the settlement, a signal that boats could land ; when landing is dangerous or impracticable, a blue flag is hoisted. At noon the sun's meridian altitude was observed off the eastern side of the island : in the afternoon sights were again taken, the ship then being on the northern side of Cascade Bay. The latitude observed as 29° 2' S. ; long. 1?7 ° 51 E the day gradually cleared and was very fine.
Norfolk Island rises by a gradual ascent to a considerable height. The ground rises near the northern extremity to its greatest elevation, which is called Mount Pitt, and cannot be called a mountain ; the rest of the island is of moderate height, a large portion of it is level : the soil extremely rich. Approaching the island, the appearances produced by the pines, for which it is celebrated, are very curious, some resembling columns and ancient ruins, some groups resembling churches, cathedrals, and various other forms ; the greater part of the island appears to be covered with them. The land which is cleared and cultivated is remarkably green, forming a strong contrast with Nepean Island, a small barren island, upon which nothing appears excepting the dead trunks of four or five old pines. This island is in front of the settlement, which is called Kingston; so named after a former governor, Captain Philip King, after whom Philip Island is also named.
Philip Island is of considerable height, on the north and west side it is very rugged, having large fragments of detached rocks upon its surface. The soil is very red, and appears to be rich - a large portion is bare ; but where there is grass it is most beautifully green. There are but few trees upon the island ; they are much bent by the south-easterly winds. I saw only one Norfolk Island pine (Aurocaria excelsa) upon the west side of the island. The stratum of rock is slightly curved, and is close together, resembling the gills of a mushroom: the soil on the east side is more red than anything of the sort I ever saw before. The rocks, which appear to be extremely hard, are of the same colour, in some parts they are of a lightish brown, and everywhere very rugged : on this side there are a few pine-trees : a long low point runs off eastward. The south side I am informed is perpendicular.
The landing at Cascade Bay is not easy, and requires some management not to stave the boat, which must be backed in towards the rock on which you land. The cascade exists only in name, the stream of water is small, and spreads over the surface of the rock, giving it the appearance of a cascade when at a distance. There is no landing upon the island with any degree of safety, except here or at the settlement ; and when it is bad on one side of the island it is generally good on the other. The distance from one to the other is three miles. The view from Mount Pitt extends all over the island, which is most fertile and beautiful, the vegetation entirely tropical. Between Cascade Bay and the settlement there is a garden kept under the direction of the government, it is large and well conducted : pine-apples, strawberries, sugar-cane, and the usual European and tropical fruits grow together and succeed well. In the garden is the largest specimen of Aurocaria excelsa which is believed to exist upon the island. It is hollow for 16 feet above ground, yet is in good health ; the extreme height is 187 feet, the girth (at five feet from the ground) 51 feet, and at twenty feet above the ground it is 51 feet round.
This island formerly had vast numbers of orange-trees upon it. It being believed that the fruit furnished food upon which absconders could subsist, they were all destroyed in the year 1827, excepting a very few, which have since died : and although every means has been taken since that time to re-establish them, they will not succeed. There is at present only one. tree upon the island, and that is in an unhealthy state. The number of convicts upon the island is 953, and there are two companies of the 99th regiment to guard them - 200 men. The jail is small ; the barracks for the prisoners are well built, and well kept; but want draining. The buildings in the settlement are all very good. The latitude of the garden of the government-house in the settlement, as found by observation of the sun's meridian altitude by two observers in the artificial horizon was 29 ° 3' 6" S.; the variation of the compass 11 ° I8' E. ; the dip of the needle in the same place was found to be 54 ° 51'.
There is no safe anchorage off the island, moorings have been laid down for the government brig belonging to the colony of New South Wales, but they have been washed away : and she and other vessels have lost their anchors.
Upon the 19th of July a departure was taken from Norfolk Island, and as it was my intention to visit as many of the islands in the South Seas as I was able, regulations were made for a constant look out by day and night, beyond what was usually kept, and proper trustworthy persons selected for the purpose - the land-lead was kept constantly going. On the 26th of July, the ship was off Pylstart Island, and on the 29th, anchored at Tongataboo, between which day and making Norfolk Island the weather was fine and fresh, and moderate breezes from S.W., W., and N.W., W., W.S.W., S.W., N.W., and W., W.S.W., S.W.b.W., and S., W.S.W., and S.W., S., and on the 26th S.E. and E.b.S., going round on the day following to E.N.E. and N.E.; on the 28th to N.N.E., and N.b.W. ; and on the 29th, from N.N.E., and S.S.W. The barometer varied from 29.72 to 30.08 ; the thermometer between 78 ° and 6O°, and the surface water of the sea from 66 ° to 77 °, a long swell constantly from south-west. The tropic was crossed upon the 25th, in longitude 176 ° 30' east. Pylstarts Islands was observed at daylight on the morning of the 26th, bearing W. ½ N. eighteen or twenty miles ; we had not yet got the trade wind, nor were any birds seen.
Approaching the island from the east it has somewhat the appearance of a saddle, the north extreme bluff, the southern point slopes with a more gradual descent; off it there is a detached perpendicular white rock, which at a distance much resembles a ship. At a distance the outline of the island is irregular and rugged ; for some distance below the summit the ground is bare, below which the level ground appears to be well cultivated and regularly enclosed; trees of considerable size fill the valleys. The island is bounded by a steep rocky precipice, the stratum horizontal and well defined ; the sea breaks high upon the shore which appears to be of boulders. The enclosures are square and nearly of an equal size, separated from each other by wide hedgerows of uncleared ground.
The sea appears clear of danger, and the island to be steep to; when it bore west about two miles or less we had 95 fathoms sand and shells; when at that distance eleven canoes came off to the ship, each had four men or boys in them. The canoe bailers and paddles are the same in form as those of New Zealand. When they got near the ship they called in English that the ship departed too fast, and desired that we should shorten sail and heave to. They were on board in can instant from all parts, they brought green bananas, cocoanuts, yams, sweet potatoes, papaw apples, sugar-canoes, and kava root. The original legitimate dress appeared to be a cloth round the middle, but most of them had remnants of red frocks or cotton cloths which they seemed to desire most. Their hair was long and bushy as worn in Timor, and sometimes in New Zealand; two were stained about the neck and temples with blood, which appeared to have been newly shed, they gave as a reason for it that they were mourning for a friend that was dead ; by the quantity of blood wasted, their mourning must have been sincere and deep. Some wore things in their ears, pieces of tobacco-pipe, &c., and pieces of mother-of-pearl round their neck, but it was not good ; some were tattoed in patches, without design or meaning, some had round spots marked round their necks, resembling a necklace. Their loins also were tattoed in the same manner In exchange for what they brought they asked for hoes, which were the first thins called for on coming on board, or long knives ; but they took fishhooks, pipes, tobacco, and old clothes very readily, and I think they made the best bargains.
The chief was pointed out; he was a modest handsome man, six feet three inches: he was in want of a coat, and pretended to be very cold. Hearing that we were going to Tonga, asked if we were going to war, as war was expected there They took a great fancy to the cutlasses with which the men had been exercising. I believe they wanted them for agricultural rather than warlike purposes. They counted the guns : appeared to be perfectly independent, strong, active and fit for war or work of any kind. Their canoes are made from a single tree, having a piece of timber of nearly the same length, projecting from the larboard side two feet, and parallel with the keel, supported by two upright pieces, one at each extremity; they were extremely noisy. One of the canoes being upset, a great piece of work was made about it, but finding no atten-tion paid to them she was soon righted and bailed out: the people going to dinner, they took a great fancy to the boiled pork and potatoes, the latter they preferred raw, that they might be enabled to plant them, showing us upon the deck how they intended to do it, cut-ting, them into pieces as is practised in England, -in four months they said they would be fit for use. The number of inhabitants upon the island are about 150, as we were informed. Those on shore appeared to be all clothed. Having taken bearings of the remarkable points of land and rocks, and observed the sun's meridian altitude, stood round to the lee or north-east side of the island. The natives on board seeing us, as they thought, leaving the island, hastened to their canoes and cast off from the ship, following under sail. By the time we had distanced the canoes rather more than a mile, three natives, who were below, finding themselves left behind, jumped over-board and swam towards them.
The north side of the island appears to be perfectly barren and uncultivated, no water was seen falling from the rocks, nor did any place appear where a boat could conveniently land, or having landed, where they could walk; all is a rough black rock, there is no appearance of sand. On the northern side there is a very remarkable white pyramidial rock; it is high, and the apex sharp and very regularly formed: there are two others on the north-west extremity. No houses or huts were seen; a large fire had been lighted on the north west extremety of the island, from which issued a vast quantity of smoke.
A second set of sights were taken on the northern side of the island with sketches and bearings, and we stood on towards Tongataboo, the weather extremely cool and clear. The highest peak of this island is about 700 feet. In a north and south direction the island is about one mile in length, and east and west about three-quarters of a mile. It slopes from south-west to north-east, the south-west end being the highest. The mean longitude was by sights over the sea, horizon about 176 ° 1' 47" E., the latitude 23 ° 33' 50" S., and the variation 9 ° 30' E. The course for Tongataboo was N.b.E. ½ E., the weather fine, rather hazy, and very little swell: the variation by amplitude at sunset was 9 ° 5' E. At night the ship was put under easy sail, and her way through the water reduced to four knots per hour. At 10h. 46m. on the following morning, 27th, the land was observed northeast showing like two hummocks ; these were the Honga and Hapaa Islands ; the latitude at noon was 20 ° 49' S., the longitude by chronometer 175 ° 57' E. We tacked and stood for the land. At sunset it bore north-east twenty miles, and at half-past nine in the evening the land of Tongataboo was seen upon the weather bow, the wind N.E.b.E., a moderate breeze and very fine. This land the officer of the watch and my self had been looking at for some time before it was reported by the lookout man, it was so low and regular as to be scarcely perceptible; it was moonlight. Between the land and the ship there appeared to be a long sand bank or sandy beach, breakers were presently after seen rising very high, and we tacked half an hour before the time at first intended, and at daylight on the 28th, were to windward of the point we last night tacked from. We stood along the land E.N.E., the land generally low, with one hill upon it. It was at a considerable distance. Several islands between us and the island of Tonga, that to which we were the nearest at 9 A.M., was called Attata; it is the largest, and north-westernmost of them : the islands are low and covered with cocoa-nut trees and palms ; the sea breaks heavily upon them, and a line of breakers almost uninterrupted extends along the whole line of coast. Within this barrier a barque was seen at anchor, and we endeavoured to weather the eastern extremity of the line and bear up round it to the anchorage. A small schooner was seen ahead, we believed that she was coming to pilot us ; we made the pilot signal, and stood towards her, but she altered her course : towards evening the master came on board, he was a stranger to the place, and was looking for a passage through the reef : by attending to this vessel the day was lost, the night was fine with little wind N. by W. At 10, tacked and stood along the land, and when she had gone five miles hove to.
At daylight, 29th, no land was to be seen, but the schooner was near: as soon as the light was good we stood in and made the land and the line of breakers. Standing in for the opening seen yesterday a canoe was observed coming out, tacked and hove to for her; she was soon alongside and two natives came on board over the traffrail their favorite way. The canoe then left the ship and stood in to the opening we had intended to enter by, they took charge of the ship; and one of them who was named Henry, and was son to the king of the island, went to the fore-yard, and from thence conned the ship. The course steered for the opening was W.b.S. the passage formerly proposed to be taken is only fit for boats, which when we altered course as above, then bore south. Passing along the line of breakers at a distance of about half a mile, and leaving the small island of Mallenoah on the larboard hand, and Attata on the starboard hand, the passage is between them, keeping on the side nearest the latter island at a distance of about a quarter of a mile from the reef which extends from it in a north-easterly direction, the course S.b.W. ½ W. The depth of water varying from 5 to 9 fathoms. Having passed within the outer reef, the passage leads between two patches of coral which are covered at high-water, inside which anchor about two' miles east of the village of Neckalofa in 12 fathoms.
On the 30th, the day after full moon, it was high-water at 2h. 40m. P.M., the strength of tide per hour 4 fathoms ; the general strength was 2 fathoms : the tide rises from four to eight feet. The North Star remained at this anchorage until the 6th of August, at which time the winds were moderate and often light from N.W., S.S.W., N.E., S.S.W., and N., S.W., S.E., S., E., S.b.W., N.E., S.E., S.S.W., once it blew strong (August 3rd) with heavy rain. The barometer ranged from 29.85 to 30.13, and the thermometer between 68 ° and 83 ° . It was not until the 28th that it was necessary to change the clothing from blue to white, and it has been generally remarked that the temperature within the tropic of Cancer is lower than in that of Capricorn in parallel seasons.
The latitude as found on shore by meridian altitudes of sun and stars, north and south, was 21 ° 8' 27" S., the variation 10 ° 43' E., and the dip of the needle by four sets of observations 39 ° 30'. No birds had been seen since leaving Pylstarts Island, and these only close to the rocks, not flying from the island. There is no water to be obtained at Tongataboo. The springs maybe said to be upon the tops of the trees, that which is used for drinking being the produce of the cocoa-nut, it is so scarce that rain-water is saved in cloths spread out to receive it when it falls, or a cocoa-nut tree which does not stand erect has frequently a groove cut in the upper sides of the trunk, to conduct the rain-water into a small hollow, which is cut in the tree near its base. Wood is plentiful, the purser got a large quantity for an old jacket; money is not used. The most valuable articles for barter are quart bottles, white calico, and old clothes ; the supplies to be got consist of pigs and yams. A good pig weighing 70lbs. is to be had for eight or nine wine bottles, or an old shirt and a pair of old duck trousers ; a good fowl is to be had for a bottle; one bottle also was the price of about 20lbs. of yams; Muscovy ducks were three times the price of fowls.
We were told by a gentleman [circa Dec 1846] at the Navigator's, that when H.M.S. North Star was there a British subject applied to Sir Everard Home for redress - he had commenced building a vessel at the Island of Vavau, and had completed her frame, when a disturbance took place between two native functionaries, and the one having compelled the other to retreat. the victorious party wantonly burned the Englishman's vessel to the ground - he claimed one hundred pigs as the value of the material and labour he had lost. Sir E. Home addressed a letter to the chiefs on the subject and shortly after the departure of the North Star it was conveyed to them. A meeting was convened, and the letter explained. One young chief stepped forward, and boldly refused to make any reparation, but an older chief of the assembly said that his house had cost him a great deal of property, and he would not like to lose it, said he was willing to pay his share of the penalty demanded ; but the younger chief obstinately refused to pay any proportion. We are informed, that subsequently the old chief paid fifty pigs, but we did not learn if the balance had been paid by the younger one. This ought to be enquired into when any vessel of war visits the Navigators, as if the young chief is allowed to escape with impunity. the threats of an English man-of-war will be looked upon as idle gasconade. and the natives will consider themselves as fully privileged to plunder an Englishman at pleasure.
New Zealand Hydrography.
Extracts from the Remarks of H.M.S. North Star, Captain Sir E. Home, Bart., R N.
(From the Naval Magazine for November, 1846)
On the first of August the North Star departed for Auckland, New Zealand, where she anchored on the 10th, the winds were from the north to south, by the west, and once south by east ; south-west, west, and north-west, were the prevailing winds. The first three days the weather was fine, after which there was a succession of strong gales and fresh breezes, with squalls and rain, and fine weather. On the 4th the breeze being light at south by east with fine weather, it shifted to south and south-west, and came on to blow ; and on the 5th blew hard, shifting to south, and returning to south-went, moderating at west, west-north. west, and north, with light airs and fine weather.
On the 6th and 7th it blew hard, coming, on from north, when it was fine ; shifting to northwest, and increasing at west and west-south. west, and south-west ; after which it moderated, but strong breezes from the same quarters continued until sheltered by the land. The barometer had fallen gradually from 29.97 on the 1st until noon on the 3rd, when it was 29.62 ; it then rose during the 4th, and at 8 a.m. on the 6th stood at 30 inches, and fell by noon on the day following to 29.60, and then continued to rise gradually to 30.12 by 8 am upon the 10th. The thermometer between the 1st and 12th ranged between 54° and 67°.
On the morning of the 8th we were off the Three Kings, a group of high barren rugged rocks of different sizes ; having rounded the northern extremity of the island, the water was smooth, and the weather very fine. After rounding the North Cape, at 1 p.m., a course was shaped for Cape Brett, east-south-east ; the land of North Cape is high, sloping off on the inside to a long low neck of land, forming the north extreme of Doubtless Bay. Cape Brett is a barren high pointed headland, with a small island off it by which it may be known. This cape was passed at 9 a.m. and the group of islands called the Poor Knights at two a.m. They are rugged islands of moderate height. At daylight passed between the Hen and Chickens and Bream Head, the first a most remarkable group of islands, as the latter is a headland, high and rugged in the extreme ; large fragments of basaltic rock piled up in most fantastic forms, which vary their appearance as the ship passes them. This done, the Great and Little Barrier Islands open, and a low flat-topped rock is to be looked for a-head. Off Bream Head and the islands Poor Knights and Hen and Chickens, the greatest abundance of the finest bream, or schnapper, with other fish, are to be caught with hook and line.
The space between Bream Head and Cape Rodney is a bay of considerable depth, the land at the back hilly, and, like the rest which we had passed, clothed with trees to the top. The Great Barrier Island is rather high, and is remarkable for its copper ore. Cape Rodney is of moderate height and considerable extent, terminating in a bluff, within which at a distance of about ten miles there is a harbour, called Motu-ka-ka, which is said to be good. Passing on towards the harbour of Waitemata, at the entrance to which the town of Auckland is situated, we passed between the island of Tiri-tiri Matanghi and the point Wangaprava. The island is low and covered with brush wood ; the point is moderately high, with rocks off the north side of it, which were breaking ; the passage is very good, we worked through, the wind south-west. The island of Ranguitoto had been for some time visible, and cannot be mistaken ; it is to be known by two points which stand upon each side of the peak which forms the apex of the mountain, and have the same appearance which ever way they are-viewed. Under this island is good anchorage all round ; a signal station will now be seen upon the top of a remarkable hill, called Mount Victoria, which is left on the starboard hand, passing to the left of a red buoy which is placed upon a rock, over which there is six feet water. Having passed which, the port of Waitemata opens ; the north head is rounded at about a quarter of a mile to avoid a sandy spit, which extends easterly.
A remarkable rock, in form of, and called, the Bastion, is seen, from which extends a rocky ledge in a north direction one mile ; a standing beacon is placed upon the outer extreme, and a black buoy is in-shore of it, avoiding which there is a good working passage of seven fathoms up to the town, in which depth, or from five to ten fathoms, anchor, the church bearing south, the Bastion rock east-half-south ; the holding ground is very good. Moor with open hawse to south-west. The tide runs about three knots per hour. Wind from south-west or north-east, with squalls and rain, prevails during the day, falling light or calm towards sunset, and coming on again most commonly about 10 a.m. ; the harbour of Waitemata is capable of containing three hundred large vessels.
The town of Auckland is built on the south side of this strait. At the upper part of the harbour, it was at first proposed to place the town, but the shoal water near the land, and the distance which it would be necessary for vessels to be brought from sea, was a sufficient objection. Above the harbour is an extensive piece of water, very shallow; near the middle of it is a rock called the Boat Rock, which, at a little distance exactly resembles a boat ; it is about fifteen feet long and four above the surface at high water ; this rock is usually covered with cormorants. Near the centre of the gorge, in the narrowest part, opening into this basin, are the remains of a small island about thirty feet high, having bushes on the top, called the Centinel ; it is composed of a sort of soft sandstone and clay, off which there is very good fishing with hook and line. It is about two miles ands half from the head, the opening between which is about one mile and a half. This is sheltered to the east by the southern part of the main land and the island of Koreha, the island of Waihekah being eastward of it, is some distance further out.
The North Head is a round hill of moderate height, from the base of which rises another hill round and high, Mount Victoria, upon which is the signal station ; behind which in the distance, is to be seen the summit of Ranguitoto. These two hills are upon a peninsula, which, like the greater part, of the country where it is not forest land, is covered with fern. From these hills the land continues of a regular form, and of moderate height for some distance round the north side of the harbour, bare of trees, and having a cliff of light brown sandstone. the strata horizontal and well defined. The South Head is lower than the North, it is a precipice, and is of the same formation as the rest. This harbour is broken into numerous bays, the surface of the land undulates in moderate hills and slopes ; in one of these bays a the south side, about half way between the South Head and the Centinel rock, is the town of Auckland ; it is called Commercial Bay ; it is separated from Official Bay by Britomart Point, upon which are the barracks, and south of that the church is built, a brick building unfinished.
In Official Bay are the principal government officers' allotments, where they reside. Upon the ground above is the government house, a long low building of wood upon a brick foundation. A stream of water rushes from this bay into the sea ; the stream is small, but a convenient watering place might be made there with little trouble. There is no landing place, and shoal water extends to a considerable distance, so that a boat cannot come close up to the beach excepting at high water. A ship lately departed out of the harbour laden with coals, which the inhabitants stood in need of, because there was no means of landing them is any moderate length of time. The various bays eastward are all occupied by different settlers ; that next eastward of Official Bay is called Mechanic Bay ; here is a rope walk of some extent, the property of three brothers, who make cordage from the New Zealand hemp, that which is prepared by the natives being much the best ; the demand is greater than their power to supply, and although we wanted rope there was none on hand for sale.
These bays have sandy beaches, the rocks projecting from the points which form them some distance into the water, flowering shrubs overhang the precipices which form these points ; the land between them rises with a gradual slope to the level ground, which forms the face of the country, it is here entirely covered with fern, upon which and the grass which grows under it the cattle thrive exceed-ingly. At the back of the town stands Mount Eden, the town itself standing in the county of Eden, the family name of the Earl of Auckland ; this mountain, with others in its neighbourhood, is of volcanic origin, as is the island of Rauguitoto, and probably the whole country. These hills were formerly fortified places and are nearly all encircled near the summit with a succession of trenches, many of great depth, giving the appearances of terraces, as many as five or six, one below the other. Mount Eden has a large deep crater in its centre, and is very remarkable as a native fortification. The hills rise abruptly from the plain, are steep, and of considerable height ; are well formed for strong-holds and places of defence in a country filled with warlike tribes. Masses and blocks of scoria of immense size cover the ground near these mountains, and are excellent for building. From the harbour there is no appearance of cultivated land, except a few small neat gardens, in and near the town. The prospect is not, however, sterile, but has the appearance of down land.
In the neighbourhood of Auckland, but not further south, are forests of the Dammara Australis or Kawri trees, particularly about Manakau harbour, westward ; and up a creek in the basin, above the Centinel Rock, upon the ; right hand side, at some distance there is a forest of considerable size ; some of the trees were measured which, at four feet from the ground, would square three feet eight inches, three feet six, and three feet seven, perfectly erect and smooth for forty and fifty feet below the branches ; trees squaring two feet seven and a half were common, but there are no remarkably large trees in this forest. Kawrie-gum streams copiously from the stumps of the trees, which have been felled, covering the stump with an appearance like wax, and hardening in the air ; this, gum is also to be found in large lumps in places where the trees are now no longer to be found. At a little distance below the surface of the ground, it is collected by the natives, and sold to speculators who have lately commenced a trade with it to England. The population of the county of Eden, parish of Waitemata, is the years 1843-4, in an area of twenty-four square miles, was
European males, 1506, females 1016.
Natives " 350 " 250
Total 1856 1266
The North Star remained at Auckland from the 10th of August to the 14th, during which time the winds were from west and west-south- west, east, and north-east. The dip of the needle was found to be 68 19, in the garden of the Harbour-master in Official Bay. The ba-rometer, which had been gradually rising for three days previous to our arrival at Auck-land, attained its greatest height on the day after, standing at noon at 30.18. It then fell as gradually, and when she departed upon the 14th, stood at 8 pm, at 29.94 ; the range of the thermometer, in the mean time, between the 10th and 14th, was from 54° to 66°. We arrived at Wellington upon the 31st of August. In this passage the winds were from the north-east and south-east, calm, north-west, west, north-east, south-east, south-west, south, north-west, south-west, and south-east, south, south-west and south, north-east, north-west, north, east, and north. The first three days after sailing were fine, with light airs and calms, but from that time to the end of the passage a succession of strong breezes and gales of wind, with thick cloudy weather and rain, particularly of the East Cape, the worst weather being from the south--south-east.
Port Nicholson is a large harbour of an oval form, the depth of water from seven to fifteen fathoms, mud. It is surrounded with very high land covered with trees. There are numerous gullies, down which the wind rushes with great violence, rendering it extremely dangerous for boats. The prevailing winds in this harbour are, as is Cook's Straits, from north-north-west to south-south-east.
The entrance is formed by two heads, the eastern is called Pencarrow, and the western Sinclair's Head ; between Sinclair's Head and the entrance is a long reef of rocks, which extend eastward two-thirds of the passage across. There are two passages, the western is called Chaffers, which should not be attempted by a stranger. The eastern or main passage is safe, using common caution, the dangers being all above water. The depth in the eastern passage from 7 to 10 fathoms, and until after the heads have been passed. From a little rugged island, which is left on the starboard hand, a bank extends a quarter of a mile with 4 fathoms water ; a small rock called the Pyramid is left, on the port hand, from which a small bank also extends about a cable's length. Point Journingham is to be rounded upon the port hand at a convenient distance ; the anchorage is in what is called Lampton harbour, off Thorndon flat, the latter point bearing east, and the centre of a large island called Soames Island bearing N.E. The best watering place is at the heads of the harbour near the custom-house ; on the Te-Aro flat. This town stands upon the beach, for the most past it is very straggling, and extends from the Te-Aro to Thorndon flats, a distance of about two miles. A shallow but rapid river called the Hutt flows into the N.E. part of the harbour. The tide in the harbour is scarcely perceptible ; at the entrance it sets N E. and S. W. 1½ knots.
Vessels have been known to mistake Pallisser bay for Port Nicholson, the wind blowing in, they have been unable to work out, and have been lost. The ship remained at Port Nicholson from the 31st of August until the 6th of October, during which time the winds blew alternately from north-west and north-north-east, south-east, and south-south-east, varying occasionally to the cardinal points and east-south-east ; the barometer ranged between 29.26 and 30.08 ; the thermometer from 64° to 50°.
On the 5th of October the ship departed for Cook's Straits. In rounding Cape Tera-whiti, the Islands of Maua and Capiti are seen ahead ; the first is a table-land of moderate height ; bare of trees, with anchorage on its eastern side. The ship anchored under this island in the afternoon of the same day, in five fathoms water, sand, and mud, Broken Head bearing north-north-east ½ east four miles, and the extremes of the island of Maua, west ¼ north, and north-west one mile. The tide here sets through the strait, the flood three knots two fathoms, the ebb two knots six fathoms per hour. On the 7th she moved to the anchorage off the island of Kapiti, which is distant from that of Maua about eighteen miles. Midway between the islands, the depth is thirty-three fathoms, dark sand. Kapiti is high and thickly wooded : upon the eastern side are three islands, the anchorage is between the northern and southern ones ; they are used as whaling stations. The bearings are extremes of Kapiti from south-east by east half east to north by west. Evans island, north-west, Maua Island, south by east, the depth seventeen fathoms. It is exposed to the north-easterly winds, but the fetch is not great, the coast extending eastwards of these islands, from Cape Tera-white to Cape Egmont, forms a curve north-northwest, and south-south-east, at a distance from them of about seven miles.
Between Maua and the main the tide runs two and a half knots, and between the main and Kapiti three knots, it runs in the direction of Cook's Strait ; at the anchorage on the day of full moon it was high water at 9h. 30m the force of tide one mile and a half per hour.
On the 9th October we departed for Nelson. In crossing the strait when Cape Tera-Whiti bore south-south-west, and was in one with the east extreme of Maua Island, Gibraltar rock bore north-east three quarters north, and the extremes of Kapiti north half west and north three-quarters east ; the extremes of Maua west-south-went and south-south-west ; the patent log was put over. Stephens Island appears at the extreme entrance to Blind Bay, when the centre of this island bore south-west by south, the distance run was forty-one miles. At the bottom of this lies Nelson haven. The anchorage is in seven fathoms, sand and mud, with the east point of a small island called Pepins Island, which is left open on the port hand coming in north-east, and the Company's flag staff, which is on the high ground in the town of Nelson, south-south-east quarter east. Outside the haven the distance from the town measured by sound two miles and fifty-six yard. This haven is formed by a natural breakwater, or bank of boulder stones, two miles in length. The entrance to it is very narrow, and at length times dangerous to enter or depart from excepting at slack water, the force of the tide being at the springs eight, and at neaps six knots per hour. The anchorage outside the haven is considered to be perfectly safe. The winds very seldom blowing home into the bay, but the finest and mildest weather prevails there, when the very reverse is found outside. The distance from Stephens Island to the town of Nelson is about sixty miles, and the space between Stephens Island and the point of Massacre Bay is about the same.
The North Star left Nelson on the 14th, and returned to Wellington on the 16th. The winds in Cook's Straits were from leaving Port Nicholson to our arrival at Nelson, from the south-east principally, varying occasionally to east and south. In Blind Bay it was calm nearly the whole of the time we remained there, and returning from thence to Port Nicholson it was north-north-east and north-east light, and the weather fine. The barometer had been regular from the day we left Port Nicholson, when it had risen to 30.16, until our arrival at Nelson, when it stood at 30.07 ; during our stay there it fell from that to 29.97, at which it remained stationary for thirty-six hours, and then continued to fall from 8 a.m. on the 30th (29.07) to 8 p.m. on the 16th, at noon of which day it had fallen to 29.07. We were at that time off the entrance to Port Nicholson. It was not my intention to have gone in, but as the mercury was lower than I had yet seen it, I did not pass the port, and anchored ; making every preparation for bad weather. At 8 that evening it stood at 28.97, and began to rise ; during the time that the mercury was stationary, when is Blind Bay between the evening of the 11th and the morning of the 13th, the weather was calm and very fine, and between that time and the evening of the 16th, when the barometer had fallen to the lowest, the same light breezes and fine weather continued, the winds from north-east, and north-north-east, and north-north-west ; for the greater part of the 16th it was calm and fine, a light air from the east and south-east, which shifted in the evening to north-west, clouded over, and towards midnight became squally. It rose on the 17th to 29.10 with strong breezes and squalls, which continued until the evening of the 19th, when it blew a gale from the north-west, which moderated into a fresh breeze from that quarter and fine weather by noon of the following day. At noon of the 19th, it had risen gradually to 29.28, and at noon of the 20th had fallen again to 29.07. As the weather which attended this extraordinary fall of the mercury was by no means equal to what might have been expected, I delayed our departure no longer. and upon that day, 20th, departed for Akaroa, Banks Peninsula. The thermometer ranged between sailing from Port Nicholson until our return to it from 48 ° to 65°, and when in Blind Bay from 55° to 64°.
Leaving Port Nicholson, on the 20th of October, arrived at Akaroa on the 24th ; the weather was fine and the winds light and moderate from south, south-west ; and south-south-west ; there were occasionally squalls, and showers of rain ; for twelve hour it was calm, the barometer during the four days rose gradually from 29.07 to 29.86, and the thermometer ranged between 51° and 60°. Running along the eastern part of Banks Peninsula, the entrance to the harbour of Akaroa may be known by a ledge of large flat black rocks which are off the northern part of the entrance. From the entrance to the anchorage is a clear passage of about five miles, from a mile to a mile and a half wide, and in one past about one-third of the way up, not more than three-quarters of a mile. There is no anchorage for the first two miles within the entrance, being open to the sea, the bottom rocky, and the water from 15 to 20 fathoms deep.
The anchorage is with the Government flag staff south-east by east, and the extreme of a remarkable promontory at the upper part of the harbour north-west quarter north, the depth four fathoms mud. Wood here is most abundant, and water is to be found in large and rapid streams in several places, particularly one which runs past the house of the Government resident. It must be rafted ; no other supplies except a few vegetables are to be obtained here. Fish and crayfish are plentiful, the land all round this harbour, which is perfectly land locked, is very high and thickly covered with timber.
The tide is scarcely perceptible ; the wind blows generally in or out of the harbour ; a reef extends for half a mile from the southern head in an, easterly direction, to seaward the sea breaks over it. It is necessary to be prepared for squalls of wind which may be expected from the high land at entering or leaving the place. There are plenty of pigeons to be shot here is the woods, but great care should be taken not to go alone, or to separate from the party, for there a nothing easier than to be lost in the thick high forest, and few things more difficult than to find the way out again. The natives here are few in number, and very well disposed. Southward of the Lockers-on, or Cape Campbell, the number of natives on the middle island do not exceed 2000.
In the seven days that the ship remained at Akaroa the barometer ranged between 30.08 and 29.35, the thermometer from 49º to 64°, the winds were variable and moderate from north-east to north-north-east and north, south-east, south-west, west, and west-south-west, the weather fine, but cloudy. The dip of the needle by five sets of observations 66.30.
The North Star left Akaroa on the 1st of November, and anchored off Auckland on the 10th following. During this passage she had for the first four days strong gales and fresh breezes, with squalls from the south-west, west, and west-north-west, after which it was fine, with light and moderate breezes from the same quarters ; the barometer ranging between 29.30 and 30.07, the thermometer from 53º to 68º. Upon the 15th she departed for Sydney, where she arrived on the 27th, the weather throughout which was fine with moderate breezes, occasionally fresh. In this passage the barometer rose to 30.15, and two days after fell to 29.78 the weather changing from light breezes from east-south-east and hazy, to fresh and strong breezes from north by west and south by east at which change it rose rapidly to 30.10, the thermometer in the mean time ranged from 71º to 69º.
On the 9th of December the ship again departed for New Zealand. Between our arrival at Sydney and departure from it nothing remarkable took place, excepting the occurrence of what is these called a 'brick-fielder.' I felt the effects of two. They are by no means to be overlooked. The barometer ranged during our stay from 29.55 to 30.18, and the thermometer from 67º to 80º, seldom falling below 70º in the night. The morning of the 30th November had been oppressively hot and calm. Upon a sudden, about noon, the south-west was clouded with dust, and in a few seconds it blew extremely hard from that quarter, the dust so thick as to equal one of the thickest London fogs ; the land over which the wind passes is, in dry weather, thickly covered with this dust, which is the colour of brick-dust. No boat could pull against it, and ships is the harbour drove ; the barometer had continued to fall gradually from 8 a.m. of the 29th until noon on the day following, by 8 p.m., to 30.05, and so continued until the 4th, when for the next four days with little apparent cause by change of weather, it varied, on the 4th from 29.86 at 8 a.m. to 29.55 in the evening. It rose by noon on the 5th to 29.83, and by eight o'clock the neat morning had fallen to 29.68 ; at eight in the evening it was 29.84, and eight next morning 29.70 ; by eight o'clock on the 7th it had risen to 30.15, and so continued. The wind during the time south-west and west as above stated.
The North Star departed on the 9th of December for Auckland, from whence she proceeded to Port Nicholson, Nelson, and touching again at Wellington, returned by Cook's Strait to Sydney. In this repetition of our former visit little new presented itself. The season was, however, different the winds were as follows:- for the first six days from the north-east, north-north-east, north, once south by east, and once north by west, being then in latitude 35º 13' south, and longitude 164º east ; the wind shifted to south-west and south-east, and south-south-west, then to south-east; and so remained for the next three days, then to south-west, west, and south-west, at which last it blew a gale for twelve hours.
Excepting this gale the weather was fine and the winds light or moderately strong all the way. The range of the barometer during the passage was from 29.74, to 30.08. The thermometer between 64º and 74º. She remained at Auckland from the 23rd of December to the 18th of January, 1844, during which time the winds were from south-west, west-south-west, west, south, and south-west ; the south-west and south-south-west, prevailing for thirteen days, then north, east-north-east, east, northeast, north, calm, west-north-west, west, southwest, south-south-west, south, south-south-east, east-south-east, south, east, east-north-east, north-east, south-west, south, south-south-west, south-south-east, south, south-south-west, and south-west, the breezes moderate for the most part, generally fresh towards noon, sometimes calm, the weather fine : and here when it is fine it is most beautifully so ; the dews at night are extremely heavy. The barometer in this period rose to 30.28, and fell to 29.65, this was on the 10th of January ; the mercury stood on the 8th at noon at 30.25. At noon on the 8th at 30.13, and then fell gradually until 8 p.m. on the 10th when it was 29.65, and then rose as gradually as it had fallen, being at 8 a.m. on the 12th 29.88, and at the same hour on the 13th 30.03. In this time between the 8th and 13th, there was no perceptible interruption to the fine weather, excepting that on the 10th about noon and afterwards, the breeze was unusually fresh, and in the evening there was rain. The thermometer rose to 76° and fell to 60°.