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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

We pursued our course to the eastward, without meeting with any thing worthy of note, till the night between the 6th and 7th of February, when a marine belonging to the Discovery fell over-board, and was never seen afterward.  This was the second misfortune of the kind that had happened to Captain Clerke since he left England.

On the 10th, at four in the afternoon, we discovered the land of New Zealand.  The part we saw proved to be Rock’s Point, and bore S.E. by S., about eight or nine leagues distant.  During this run from Van Diemen’s Land, the wind, for the first four or five days, was at N.E., N., and N.N.W., and blew, for the most part, a gentle breeze.  It afterward veered to S.E., where it remained twenty-four hours.  It then came to W. and S.W.; in which points it continued, with very little deviation, till we reached New Zealand.

After making the land, I steered for Cape Farewell, which at day-break the next morning bore S. by W., distant about four leagues.  At eight o’clock, it bore S.W. by S., about five leagues distant; and, in this situation, we had forty-five fathoms water over a sandy bottom.  In rounding the Cape we had fifty fathoms, and the same sort of bottom.

I now steered for Stephens’s Island, which we came up with at nine o’clock at night; and at ten, next morning, anchored in our old station, in Queen Charlotte’s Sound.  Unwilling to lose any time, our operations commenced that very afternoon, when we landed a number of empty water-casks, and began to clear a place where we might set up the two observatories, and tents for the reception of a guard, and of such of our people whose business might make it necessary for them to remain on shore.

We had not been long at anchor before several canoes, filled-with natives, came along-side of the ships; but very few of them would venture on board; which appeared the more extraordinary, as I was well known to them all.  There w as one man in particular amongst them, whom I had treated with remarkable kindness, during the whole of my stay when I was last here.  Yet now, neither professions of friendship, nor presents, could prevail upon him to come into the ship.  This shyness was to be accounted for only upon this supposition, that they were apprehensive we had revisited their country, in order to revenge the death of Captain Furneaux’s people.  Seeing Omai on board my ship now, whom they must have remembered to have seen on board the Adventure when the melancholy affair happened, and whose first conversation with them, as they approached, generally turned on that subject, they must be well assured that I was no longer a stranger to it.  I thought it necessary, therefore, to use every endeavour to assure them of the continuance of my friendship, and that I should not disturb them on that account.  I do not know whether this had any weight with them; but certain it is, that they very soon laid aside all manner of restraint and distrust.

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