A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.
three or four hundred fathom long.  Fishing seems indeed to be the chief business of life in this part of the country; we saw about all their towns a great number of nets, laid in heaps like hay-cocks, and covered with a thatch to keep them from the weather, and we scarcely entered a house where some of the people were not employed in making them.  The fish we procured here were sharks, stingrays, sea-bream, mullet, mackrel, and some others.

The inhabitants in this bay are far more numerous than in any other part of the country that we had before visited; it did not appear to us that they were united under one head, and though their towns were fortified, they seemed to live together in perfect amity.

It is high water in this bay at the full and change of the moon, about eight o’clock, and the tide then rises from six to eight feet perpendicularly.  It appears from such observations as I was able to make of the tides upon the sea-coast, that the flood comes from the southward; and I have reason to think that there is a current which comes from the westward, and sets along the shore to the S.E. or S.S.E. as the land happens to lie. [66]

[Footnote 66:  Some sketches of the Bay of Islands, and a good deal of valuable information about it, are given by Mr Savage in his Account of New Zealand, to which we shall be indebted hereafter.—­E.]


Range from the Bay of Islands round North Cape to Queen Charlotte’s Sound; and a Description of that Part of the Coast.

On Thursday the 7th of December, at noon, Cape Bret bore S.S.E. 1/2 E. distant ten miles, and our latitude, by observation, was 34 deg. 59’ S.; soon after we made several observations of the sun and moon, the result of which made our longitude 185 deg. 36’ W. The wind being against us, we had made but little way.  In the afternoon, we stood in shore, and fetched close under the Cavalles, from which islands the main trends W. by N.:  Several canoes put off and followed us, but a light breeze springing up, I did not chuse to wait for them.  I kept standing to the W.N.W. and N.W. till the next morning at ten o’clock, when I tacked and stood in for the shore, from which we were about five leagues distant.  At noon, the westernmost land in sight bore W. by S. and was about four leagues distant.  In the afternoon, we had a gentle breeze to the west, which in the evening came to the south, and continuing so all night, by day-light brought us pretty well in with the land, seven leagues to the westward of the Cavalles, where we found a deep bay running in S.W. by W. and W.S.W. the bottom of which we could but just see, and there the land appeared to be low and level.  To this bay, which I called Doubtless Bay, the entrance is formed by two points, which lie W.N.W. and E.S.E. and are five miles distant from each other.  The wind not permitting us to look in here, we steered for the westermost land in sight, which bore from us W.N.W. about three leagues, but before we got the length of it it fell calm.

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