Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier eBook

John Pinkerton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 173 pages of information about Early Australian Voyages.

The noise we heard resembled the noise of some sort of trumpet; it seemed to be at no great distance, but we saw no living creature notwithstanding.  I perceived also in the sand the marks of wild beasts’ feet, resembling those of a tiger, or some such creature; I gathered also some gum from the trees, and likewise some lack.  The tide ebbs and flows there about three feet.  The trees in this country do not grow very close, nor are they encumbered with bushes or underwood.  I observed smoke in several places; however, we did nothing more than set up a post, on which every one cut his name, or his mark, and upon which I hoisted a flag.  I observed that in this place the variation was changed to 3 degrees eastward.  On December 5th, being then, by observation, in the latitude of 41 degrees 34 minutes, and in the longitude 169 degrees, I quitted Van Diemen’s Land, and resolved to steer east to the longitude of 195 degrees, in hopes of discovering the Islands of Solomon.


On September 9th I was in the latitude of 42 degrees 37 minutes south, and in the longitude of 176 degrees 29 minutes; the variation being there 5 degrees to the east.  On the 12th of the same month, finding a great rolling sea coming in on the south-west, I judged there was no land to be hoped for on that point.  On the 13th, being in the latitude of 42 degrees 10 minutes south, and in the longitude of 188 degrees 28 minutes, I found the variation 7 degrees 30 minutes eastward.  In this situation I discovered a high mountainous country, which is at present marked in the charts under the name of New Zealand.  I coasted along the shore of this country to the north-north-east till the 18th; and being then in the latitude of 40 degrees 50 minutes south, and in the longitude of 191 degrees 41 minutes, I anchored in a fine bay, where I observed the variation to be 9 degrees towards the east.

We found here abundance of the inhabitants:  they had very hoarse voices, and were very large-made people.  They durst not approach the ship nearer than a stone’s throw; and we often observed them playing on a kind of trumpet, to which we answered with the instruments that were on board our vessel.  These people were of a colour between brown and yellow, their hair long, and almost as thick as that of the Japanese, combed up, and fixed on the top of their heads with a quill, or some such thing, that was thickest in the middle, in the very same manner that Japanese fastened their hair behind their heads.  These people cover the middle of their bodies, some with a kind of mat, others with a sort of woollen cloth, but, as for their upper and lower parts, they leave them altogether naked.

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Early Australian Voyages: Pelsart, Tasman, Dampier from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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