In the morning of the 11th, while we were getting under sail, I sent a boat for the other five seals. At nine o’clock we weighed with a light breeze at south-east, and stood out to sea, taking up the boat in our way. It was noon before we got clear of the land; at which time we observed in 45 deg. 34’ 30” S.; the entrance of the bay bore S.E. by E., and Break-sea Isles (the outermost isles that lie at the south point of the entrance of the bay,) bore S.S.E., distant three miles; the southernmost point, or that of Five Fingers Point, bore south 42 deg. W., and the northernmost land N.N.E. In this situation we had a prodigious swell from S.W., which broke with great violence on all the shores that were exposed to it.
Directions for sailing in and out of Dusky Bay, with an Account of the adjacent Country, its Produce, and Inhabitants: Astronomical and Nautical Observations.
As there are few places where I have been in New Zealand that afford the necessary refreshments in such plenty as Dusky Bay, a short description of it, and of the adjacent country, may prove of use to some future navigators, as well as acceptable to the curious reader. For although this country be far remote from the present trading part of the world, we can, by no means, tell what use future ages may make of the discoveries made in the present. The reader of this journal must already know that there are two entrances to this bay. The south entrance is situated on the north side of Cape West, in latitude 45 deg. 48’ S. It is formed by the land of the Cape to the south, and Five Fingers Point to the north. This point is made remarkable by several pointed rocks lying off it, which, when viewed from certain situations, have some resemblance to the five fingers of a man’s hand; from whence it takes its name. The land of this point is still more remarkable by the little similarity it bears to any other of the lands adjacent; being a narrow peninsula lying north and south, of a moderate and equal height, and all covered with wood.
To sail into the bay by this entrance is by no means difficult, as I know of no danger but what shews itself. The worst that attends it, is the depth of water, which is too great to admit of anchorage, except in the coves and harbours, and very near the shores; and even, in many places, this last cannot be done. The anchoring-places are, however, numerous enough, and equally safe and commodious. Pickersgill Harbour, where we lay, is not inferior to any other bay, for two or three ships: It is situated on the south shore abreast of the west end of Indian island; which island may be known from the others by its greater proximity to that shore. There is a passage into the harbour on both sides of the isle, which lies before it. The most room is on the upper or east side, having regard to a sunken rock, near the main, abreast this end of the isle: