CAMPBELL-RAOUL ISLANDS' ASSOCIATION (INC.)
NEWSLETTER Vol 2 Number 5 DECEMBER 1972
Association Officers 1971 - 72
Air Vice-Marshall A. H. Marsh C.B.E.
|Dave Leslie||John Caskey|
|Bernie McGuire||M. Butterton|
|Peter Shone||H. Carter|
|Robin Foubister||Capt. J. F. Holm|
|Ron Craig||I. Kerr|
|Peter Ingram||C. Taylor|
|Terry Smith||H. W. Hill|
Peter (Pierre) Ingram
"The Islander" is the official quarterly bulletin of the Campbell-Raoul Islands' Association (Inc.) and is registered at the Post Office Head quarters, WELLINGTON, for transmission through the Postal Services as a magazine. All enquiries should be addressed to: The Secretary, CRIA (Inc.), G.P.O. Box 3557, WELLINGTON. Contributions to the bulletin should be forwarded to the Editor, CRIA (inc), G.P.O. Box 3557, WELLINGTON, and subscriptions to the Treasurer. Current membership rates are $3 per annum.
A MESSAGE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT:
I am delighted to have this opportunity to extend my warmest greetings to all members of the Campbell and Raoul Islands' Association.
Just how I managed to be chosen as President this year, is still a big mystery to me - I suspect some behind-the-scenes coniving before the A.G .M. was held. However it is a great honour and I trust I will be able to serve the Association to the fullest. We have a grand committee this year too. With several new faces appearing on the scene, and already after one committee meeting it is evident that they all have their hearts in the job and the Association should benefit from more social activities than ever before.
The Association continues to thrive, with over 150 members now, but remember , it needs YOUR support. The committee will welcome any suggestions, ideas or criticism, so please write in immediately telling us about any sudden brainwaves and ideas on how to improve or benefit the Association.
I look forward to your support during the coming months, so please do join in our activities and relive the old cameradie and spirit of the rugged years on the islands. Good luck and best wishes to all.
BY ARK TO THE PARK
Noting the average New Zealander's ability to slowly spend more and travel further for his annual holiday and recreational needs, I am led to wonder what the requirements will be for the more adventurous in the coming decades. Many Americans have taken to the ‘trail', a vast and now coast to coast link-up of forest and mountain tracks that their pioneering forefathers created during their explorations. Shouldering sixty pound packs of exquisite and sophisticated camping material, they puff competitively into the hills to rack up group mileages that would almost put the family sedan in for a valve grind.
Such a trend is bound to follow in· New Zealand and it is not far off. But if five per cent of the Christmas vacationing public ‘went bush' in our National Parks, the areas with public facilities reasonably close to hand would take on the appearance of the botanical gardens on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately the Z.P.G. factor applies to our parks and not our population; the small extensions to coastal reserves being in sad ratio to a country which wishes to double its numbers by century's end.
In such light, the Sub-Antarctic Reserves Committee might find a unique pressure brought to bear on them by travel business interests looking for a new avenue of salesmanship within the not too distant future. Interest shown in our southern island reserves has resulted in the 'Magga Dan' (1968) and 'Lindblad Explorer' (1971) both calling into Campbell Island, the latter carrying a total of 75 paying passengers. Certainly the tourists were both of a selective and financial nature, but there it was - the foot was in the door. The Kermadecs with their balmy climate and excellent fishing is a New Zealander's vacation dream in reality, with Auckland and Campbell Islands presenting a botanical and wildlife treat which would obviously appeal to thousands.
The Internal Affairs Departments rules pertaining to the preservation of the natural features in these reserves would rigorously have to be preserved, but these are sensible and tolerable obligations which any New Zealander would instantly respect. Any infringement would bring the wrath of fellow travellers immediately down on the poor unfortunate's head as well as a fully justifiable fine. But one only has to see the neat preservation of Norfolk Island with its thousands of tourists every year to realise that a vacationing public can exist in an obedient state for at least a fortnight.
Certainly the prospects of such a venture are not for tomorrow but of the next decade. Not only is the demand seasonal by the public, but a new concept in ship hotelry has to be devised. As with colour television, the first buyers will face prices of an exceptionally high level. But they will find the going great and the trend will be set.
THE 1972 AGM AND REUNION
And so it came to pass that the inevitable increase in membership fees would have to be. In closing my term as President, I made this point the main item in my report which was mailed out to you in September, and as I suggested, the new $3 per annum will probably remain static for some time as our membership numbers go slowly ahead.
No association with a unique structure such as ours can calculate monetary input by subscription to equal personal material gain such as one expects with everyday shopping. But not only does membership give us a common bond and retention of interest in the happenings out on the islands, we are fast becoming quite a useful information service to others as our function becomes more widely known. Recently I have had conversations with sub-editor Sam Elder of the 'New Zealand Heritage' series for which we have supplied photographic material for coming issues. Odd phone calls come in from time to time from highly varied public occupations requesting information and we mail out to many important libraries and departments, not only here but overseas. It is obvious it can’t be done without your support.
Casting our net, we once again pulled in a very strong committee on October 7th, and it was with great pleasure for me to see that members at the AGM unanimously requested AVM Tony Marsh, our ex-director of departmental medical services, to remain Patron to our Association. Tony Bromley (C 66/67/68 )* is now your new President. Spliced on the ice (Vanda summer 68/69 and Vanda year 69/70), this young sub-antarctic/polar hybrid provides the necessary youthful injection a growing association needs. He is backed by new comers Bernie McGuire (R 66/67, C 68/69, Vanda summer 71/72), Peter Shone (C65/66/67), Terry Smith (R 60/61 and late of Tarawa) and Ron Craig (C63/64/66, R66/67 & 70/71 and Vanda year 68/69). All these five lads are now located at the Meteorological Service's head office at Kelburn.
Dave Leslie (R 61/62 & 63/64) now back in Wellington after a period overseas returns to committee for a second spell, this time as secretary. John Caskey (C 54/55 & 56/57) stays on to guard the moneybox as does Robin Foubister (C 66/67 and Scott Base Oic 68/69). For me (R 61/62 and C 63/64/65), I have never been able to locate the back door since that night on Wednesday 13th September 1967 in Khandalla.
The '72 Reunion drew 70 to the Seaway Cabaret at Petone, where Guest Speaker and Honorary Member Ian Kerr spoke on the unusual topic of the number of women that have been to Campbell Island, such a list being rendered that members sub-consciously tallied their totals to see if they still formed a majority. Most far-flung member to attend was Terry Sheperd (R 60/61) now Suva based with Fiji's Pacific Air. It all went with a great swing and was a great introduction for Raoul's outgoing party - all but two managing to attend. There is a strong possibility that the next reunion will be away from Wellington to suit members in other areas of New Zealand. Such a move I think is healthy for the Association - and I would like a holiday with a difference.
(*Previously members have been recorded by the year with the most number of months served on that island. For example - someone going in on October '64 and coming out on the October '65 servicing has been noted as R65 or C65. However it is common to refer to that person as part of the '64 expedition in normal conversation and so the brackets would now record R or C64/65 from this issue on. A run (C64/ 65/66) would obviously refer to period of continuous service from the '64 to ‘66 servicing.)
APOLOGIES ALL ROUND
Not only have I lost my typist, but I am heavily employed on a course at Head Office which will terminate a week after the December bulletin posting time, I think I can still make it, but the quality of typing and set-out will possibly suffer. Once over this hurdle, I will endeavour to be our own typist, as I note that professional fees will now be some $90 per annum, money we would certainly prefer to have in our account. Time consuming perhaps, but with a beneficial by-product - my own typing may well be improved.
THIS QUARTER'S CONTRIBUTIONS
A peep into wartime Tucker Camp has been provided by a series of extracts from Ron Balham's (Port Rose '43 and Campbell '44) diaries (see Vol 2 page 76) under Members' Comment. There are many points in his writing which will be of interest to Campbell Islanders, especially the old shepherds’ homestead of which I now have two photographs to be reproduced at a later date.
My sincere thanks also to Dr. R. A. Falla in finding time to gather information and provide photographs for his article on the Government steamers which used to service our islands. Surely we have now filled a further historical gap which coincides neatly with Ian Kerr's Chapter 7, 'Depots for the Shipwrecked and the Protection of Seals.’
For Raoul comes Alf Bacon's concluding article 'The Last Chance’, the account of his return in 1935. For further enlightenment on this period, I refer the reader to Johnny Wray's 'South Sea Vagabonds' (Vol 1, issue 4, page 10). And I still have a stack of Alf's photos here, which will slowly find their way into our pages of future issues.
THE SEASON'S GREETINGS
The card suggested snow with its hollyed window in the night,
Another boasted the pohutukawa in its late December blush,
Some silhouetted the desert palm in the sole Star's light,
While others chose the serenity of the manger's hush.
Seasonal Greetings bind Summer's ocean to the Winter's pine,
Unite the carol's sweetness to the vacational need,
A season sent for giving while clearer thoughts incline
To a better year of peace through kinder word and deed.
Best wishes to all for a very successful reunion. Regret inability to attend this year. Enjoyed visit Bob Rae and wife. Islanders always welcome Canberra.
Best wishes for another successful reunion. Convey our greetings to all.
1971/72 Kermedecians, Raoul Island.
Alcoholic beverages will be consumed in great quantities at your reunion tonight. Wish we had some to join you. All the best.
Thirsty Campbell Island Team.
Best wishes from the Seaborne Section. Have one for us.
'72 / '73 Campbell Party.
Friday l0th March 1944:
After dinner all had a discussion as to how we are going to fill in our evenings. There is the question of swot and and recreation. Robin doesn't mind swatting and reading every night. The rest of us want swot as well as 'off' nights. Agreed to have set 'quiet' evenings so those who want to can swot. This is better than pleasing yourself as it would be hard to get the place quiet every night. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays have been put aside as quiet evenings. Laurie and I agree with our experience that certain evenings should be swot evenings, while others should be when we can all get together. This business of everyone going their own way is no use at all, and leads to most of the trouble that's been on these stations. After all, apart from the wireless we have to provide all our amusement and this is hardly possible with half the chaps going their own way, and doing something else.
13th Monday March 1944:
With 1.25 inches of rain yesterday and last night the creek is in flood today. The dam is right up. The water wheel is rushing around madly and everything’s great. While meditating at 'the seat on the creek,' I lost my one and only belt- how I liked that belt, and now its gone, swept away by the flood. There was just a plop and that was the end. Now I have to use a piece of cord.
17th March Friday 1944:
After lunch, Jack and I made two trips in the boat to the old shearing shed in Tucker cove in order to get wood for building and footbridge across the gulley to the lab. Another good day, and very pleasant over at the sheds. They are most interesting, and it would appear that the shepherds just walked out and left every thing. Things like a wool press, sandstone, shears, an engine, branding stencils, a horse collar and the host of articles to be found around a shearing shed are just lying about all over the place amongst the now ruined shed. The house is even more interesting and should imagine an older construction. Here again everything has been left. Books, magazines, tools, cooking utensils, batteries, boots, clothes and everything to be found in a fairly comfortable camp is lying about. Even two unopened boxes of tea are outside in the wet. Must pop over to have a good look around one of these days.
After 6pm sked, Arnold, Jack and I left in the boat to pick up the other two at the place we had left them below Moubray Hill. The trip takes one hour each way and was most enjoyable as the harbour was flat calm again. Had tea together about 9 (pm), after having a rum for St Pat. Laurie made an amazing discovery today in finding 2 young Wandering Albatrosses nesting in the vicinity of Mowbray Hill. They have only once been seen here before, but never nesting. As far as we can remember, Doc (R.A.Falla, Ed) says Wandering and Royals have never been found on the same island before. At the Aucklands, Royals are on Enderby, but not on the mainland, where there are Wandering Albatrosses. Perhaps Laurie is onto something.
Saturday lst April 1944:
Weather fine and clear. Laurie, Arnold and I left for Penguin Harbour about 11am, and arrived after an easy trip shortly after 1pm. Had our lunch in the old shed, which the whalers used. It's still in a pretty good state of repair. The fireplace is falling in a bit, the windows have gone, and the door won't stand up, but otherwise its fairly cosy. Inspected the old whaling site built on the southern of two headlands which project out from the head of the harbour. There's still a lot of equipment left although in very bad condition now. 3 old pots, 7 or 8 large square tanks, piping, timber, an old flat-bottomed boat and a concrete pit used for something or other. On large boulders around the point are rings and shackles evidently used for mooring the whales out. The most surprising thing about the whole outfit was the complete lack of any evidence that they had caught a whale, for no bones were to be found.
Thursday 6th April 1944:
Went round to Camp Cove, Jack trotting up to the 'Emergency’, while Arnold and I went over to the spruce tree and cut a few small limbs off to take home for beer.
Tuesday 23rd May 1944:
Later on in the evening we voted for various names around the place. We all voted for each and got six names in all. I polled 4 and Laurie 2. My names were: the boat 'Rockhopper’, the s'house 'Grunt Grotto’, the house 'Shangra Lai' and the track from the landing 'The Slush Track.' Laurie's were: the track to the screen 'Weather Lane' and the whole show 'Paradise Park.'
Monday 30th October 1944:
I was on afternoon watch and also had Penguin Harbour. I did the first part of the watch from the sheep camp where I was collecting wood to finish off the drain from the sink and bath. After 3pm I went up the fence line, had a look at Penguin Harbour and then dropped over the other side of St Col to do the sea temperature. Today it was 43.8 (F). As usual there was a big sea running against the cliffs and it was a grand sight. There were only two fur seals in the cave where we keep the thermometer. Before going in its advisable to heave a few rocks in and about the cave to bring the seals out as it would be a nasty business to corner a wild, scared fur seal.
Saturday 4th November 1944:
Today has been beautiful with light and variable winds and calms. The cloud has been about 2000 feet and visibility excellent - similar, but a little better than no: 1, but evidently not good enough for the survey flight. I hope they are not making a mistake for it may be weeks before the weather is as good again. Today I'm watching 9am to 5:15pm. Our new arrangement is: one day 9am to 5:15pm; the following day you are cook and that night you go to the lookout at 6pm, do the watch until dark, sleep there and do the watching from dawn to 8am. Then you are off for 3 days. At present we watch from about 4:10am to 9pm.
Monday 25th December 1944:
This is the third Xmas I've had on the Cape expedition. Xmas 1942 was spent on board the 'Tagua’ when we were "hove to " off Kaikoura in the teeth of an old man Southerly. The cook was still too full of beer to think of roasting the turkey which the Captain had provided for our dinner and most of the boys couldn't have eaten it anyway. I spent most of the day on deck - fresh air at the expense of feeling cold was preferable to being below. Xmas 1943 was at No: 1 (Port Ross) and a good show too. I wonder where I'll be next time …. I was cook today and organised the cooking. Tub made cheese straws and finished the decorations. Laurie iced the cake, made chocolate eclairs and did the menus. Arnold made bacon and prune savouries and white bait fritters and I did the rest -cut the duck and ham - dried spuds and peas, made a cold sweet with our one and only tin of black currants, finished cooking the Xmas pudding and made a sauce and arranged the sweets. We sat down about 3:15pm and finished about 5:15pm. All the watching was taken in turns to dash up the hill. It was all very jolly. The meal was excellent and the drinks were good. Laurie's sparkling hock went very well - we could do with a few more bottles. Speeches were out and as one man was often up the hill. After the spread we sat outside sipping our drinks and had our photos taken. We played bridge till 9pm. Tub went up to the lookout to change into his Father Xmas outfit. Before tea we had tied our presents onto the tree. Most of us hadn't any suitable presents but Laurie had a good stock of soaps etc, and he came to the rescue. Father Xmas appeared at 9:30 and he was excellent too. He had his thigh boots on, was draped around with scarlet surveying tape and adorned with cotton wool for beard and eyelashes etc.. He fitted it to a 'T'.
SCIENTIST TO VOYAGE TO N.Z.'s SMALL ISLAND GROUPS
The POST, Saturday November 18, 1972.
A rare visit to the small southern possessions of New Zealand, the Bounty and Antipodes Islands, will be made next week by a scientific and national parks expedition in the motor launch 'Acheron'. Aboard the Acheron when she sails this weekend will be her master Mr. A. J. Black, an eminent authority on penguins, Mr. L.H. Peterson of Chicago, two staff members from the Dominion Museum, Drs. F. Climo and A. Baker, a senior surveyor of the Lands and Survey Department in Nelson, Mr. L. Ricketts, the chairman of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (Sir Thaddeus McCarthy), and the supervisor of national parks (Mr Gordon Nicholls).
About 350 miles south-east of Port Chalmers, the islands are tiny portions of the New Zealand continental shelf projecting up to several hundred feet above the sea. Both groups are inhabited or visited by millions of sea birds of many different types, and by seals and sea elephants. The Bounty Islands are just bare granite, coated thickly with slippery guano. The only way for visitors to walk safely on the islands is to cover their feet in scrim or similar sacking material to get a grip.
The 'Acheron' is a 76 ft-long American-designed Otago-built seagoing launch, specially prepared for scientific charter work. Since neither group of islands has a port, she will lie off the landing places while the parties visit ashore. A complete contrast to the 335 acres of rock in the 13 islands of the Bounty Group, the 1510 acres of the main Antipodes island are covered in scrub and tussock, mosses and lichens over a soft peat soil. Birds include land species such as pipits and green parakeets, while seabirds abound from albatross and mollymawks through various species of penguin to skua, and tiny petrels.
Bounty Islands were discovered by Captain William Bligh, the commander of the 'Bounty' in 1788. These two groups were once the haunt of hundreds of thousands of the southern fur seal, which were completely wiped out for many years, but are now returning. The groups are both reserved for the preservation of plants and all animals, but policing them against possible fur seal poachers is at present only under consideration.
THE GOVERNMENT STEAMERS by Dr. R.A. Falla
The outlying islands can never be said to have had scheduled shipping services. Whaling and sealing vessels came and went with a minimum of official clearance, or more often none at all. Occasionally for inspection and survey on behalf of Government they sailed respectably under charter. Tugs and schooners owned by the Provincial Government of Southland, such as the P.S. 'Southland' and the schooner 'Kekeno' were also used, but for the most part supervision of the islands was a courtesy service performed by the unwieldy warships of the Australian Squadron of the Royal Navy during their occasional New Zealand visits, for example H.M.S. 'Blanche' in 1869 and many others.
More regular inspection service may be said to have begun when the Government purchased the yacht-like S.S. 'Stella', 268 tons, built by scott of Greenock in 1876. She performed all the duties of a Government yacht until 1885, when a still larger vessel the S.S. 'Hinemoa' was purchased. She was from the same shipyard in the same year as the ‘Stella ', but was 542 tons, greater horsepower, and more luxurious appointments. She replaced the 'Stella' as Government yacht, and the latter took over servicing of lighthouses and replenishing the depots of the castaways on all the distant outliers. Her master, Captain Fairchild became very familiar with the islands under all conditions of weather and his knowledge was respected by scientists and officials alike. Before the 'Stella' was sold in 1895, the 'Hinemoa' had taken up her duties, as state dignitaries no longer needed an exclusive yacht to get around the realm and the Government had ordered a new vessel which was delivered in 1896. This was the 'Tutanekai', a more modern but less graceful vessel, designed to be fitted with cable-laying gear if required.
Thus from about 1891 to 1925, the 'Hinemoa' became the regular link with the outlying islands, and her master, Captain John Bollons - an almost legendary authority on everything pertaining to them. The routine inspection and replenishments were usually without incident, though there was some variety among the privileged passengers who were often distinguished scientists of their time. In 1907, the 'Hinemoa' carried members of a complete scientific expedition from the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury to Auckland and Campbell Island. On two occasions Captain Bollons picked up shipwrecked seamen, survivors from the French barque 'Anjou' from Camp Cove in 1905, and from the British barque 'Dundonald' at Port Ross in 1906. Other emergencies were mercy voyages to Macquarie Island when small sailing vessels were unable to service the sea-elephant hunters there.
By the time the 'Tutanekai' took over from the ageing 'Hinemoa' in 1926, the need for maintaining depots declined as every oceangoing ship was equipped with radio. Captain Bollons continued in command of 'Tutanekai' and depots were serviced until 1927, with a final short trip to close them down in 1929. He died in September of that year, and an era had ended. The new Government steamer 'Matai' built in 1931 was also, like the 'Tutanekai', a cable-ship, but her varied career as official yacht, minesweeper, and passenger ferry had never the romantic associations of the earlier vessels. Even the regular lighthouse servicing came to an end, and with it the chance to book in for a coastal holiday voyage at the modest rate of twenty shillings a day. The rate on 'Tutanekai' and 'Hinemoa' had been seven and six.
From 1905 until 1919, the Government training ship 'Amokura' also made the round of castaway depots. One such voyage was described in detail by the late Dr. P.D. Cameron in volume 35 of the magazine 'Sea Breezes' (1963). The life of Captain Bollons has been written by Sir Bernard Fergusson, now Lord Ballantrae. His 'Captain John Niven' (1972 ) is fictional in form but descriptive of the period and very true to the character of the man by whom it was inspired.
The 'Tutanekai' could double as cable-layer but lacked the grace of her
predecessors. Built in 1896, she was only briefly used in the late 1920s for
inspection duties due to the sdvent of marine radio eliminating the need for
shipwreck depots. (photo: via R A Falla)
Casual Campbellian Comments
HAVE WE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE?
We had not seen a solitary seal in the waters of the bay …. we thought that (they) had gone for refuge to the tall grasses of the shore, or the thick brushwood of the littoral, in order to enjoy a cool sleep during the heat of the day. (description of Perseverance Harbour in 'Wrecked on a Reef' page 51 , by Raynal, 1896.)
CAMPBELL? NEVER 'EARD OF HIM.
In these smooth days of steam and rail to the uttermost corners of the earth, Robinson-Crusoe-like adventure does not seem to be very easy of attainment even to a man who may have fancy for such experience. Nevertheless, some few desert islands still remain to us; and the Auckland Islands, about 400 miles to the south of New Zealand, are among the number. ('The TIMES' (London), December 9th, 1865.)
A PRAYER AT SERVICING: "How shall I admire your heroicke courage, ye Marine Northies beyond all names of worthinesse?" (Richard Hakluyt, Preacher, in his 'Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries)
SOMEWHERE, SOMETIME: And of course the McMurdo boys have a name for it. The standard girlie pinup has been dubbed a 'Mermory Aid' (2ZB News Item, September, 1972)
THE BENEFITS LF COLONIALISM: Accordingly, Mr Charles Enderby, with an efficient staff of assistants, took possession of his domain in the early part of 1850, finding the New Zealanders (Chatham Maoris-Ed) in possession of a portion of the land. Their claims were soon adjusted and they became great auxiliaries to the infant colony. (Thomas Musgrave in 'Castaway on the Auckland Isles' l866)
CLOSE ENCUUNTER: My three year old son, having become partial to listening to brief extracts from F.E. Raynal's 1863 account on Campbell Island, enquired if I had met Captain Thomas Musgrave during my own period of residence down there. Give or take a month, I noted that our respective arrival dates were only a mere 100 years apart. ( Pierre)
A JOURNAL OF EVENTS, PART THREE by Alfred Bacon.
In the concluding article, Alf goes on to tell us of his third jaunt to Raoul Island, this time arriving on the 28th of May, 1935, after experiencing outside the Hauraki Gulf, the worst storm Auckland had on record for eighty years. In forming the Sunday Island Association soon after Alf's 1927 return, the necessary $900 was raised to purchase the 275 acre norrth coast freehold, which had been part of the late Charley Parker's estate. The Association unfortunately folded when there was a failure to procure the promised transport. Alf did not give up, but found a couple of likely lads in Bruce Robertson and Reg Randel for company and took off with Aucklander Johnny Wray and crew member Dick Wellington in Johnny's 38 foot cutter 'Ngataki'. We meet up with the little group well past Raoul Island.
THE LAST CHANCE
"The weather was so thick no observations could be taken, and when at last our position was found, it was one hundred miles past the island. Then came two days beating back against a head wind, sighting the island in the evening and spent the night sailing around it as we could not land in the dark. Next morning when we got to the Fishing Rock landing on the north side, the sea was so calm as ever I have seen it, so that we had no trouble in landing all our things safely. Our 14 foot boat came in very handy for the purpose. Johnny worked the boat, while my two mates, Bruce Robertson and Reg Randel got the stuff out of the yacht, with myself receiving it on the Rock. Dick Wellington who wa s helping to work the yacht over to the island had gone to get a bag full of oranges up at Bell's old place, and when he got back we had finished. The wind having changed to the NE, he and Wray got under sail and made for Auckland. Once more I was landed on my Island of Dreams, and then came the adventures, the hardships and the privations, but for all these, the life was worth it. Away from all troubles, apart from the world, living as nature intended us to live - on the food stuffs we grew, the fish, the turtle and wild goat we caught. The best of climates in latitude 28 south, where most tropical fruits thrive, and yet not too hot for fruit and vegetables grown in colder climates. The two dogs we brought with us to catch goats, had been very sick on the way over to the island, being in the yacht's cockpit and drenched with sea water most of the time and without food for eleven days. To get them some fresh meat, I climbed to the top of some low ridges about 400 feet high to get them a goat. I saw several and had a couple of shots but missed them. I came to the end of the ridge which terminated in a very steep slope and covered in a dense mass of buffalo grass, so thick and high that one of the dogs could not get through. I had to drag her over the top on her side down to the beach. I then went up into the bush again to get a goat and was more successful this time.
After feeding the dogs, I made camp on the edge of the bush. My two mates were bringing the boat from the Rock landing to the beach, so that it could be hauled up, but not being used to the surf, they were caught by a great breaker when they were coming through and were capsized. They both got a good ducking but got the boat ashore and hauled up. Then back to Fishing Rock to pick up the blankets, coming back in the dark over the rocks in their bare feet taking a lot of knocks and bruises, so that the language was rather profane. I had made a fire and roasted some goat, but it was so tough that we were unable to eat it. So we rolled in our blankets and slept under the stars. The next day was spent packing stores and looking for a site to build a house on my land. Poles were cut and nikau palm fronds brought in to thatch the sides, iron carried from the Rock, in all it took us a week to get it fit to live in - and it was not done too soon, as bad weather set in. We slept on the ground until we could get some bunks put up which we did as soon as possible as the ground was very damp.
Goats were very numerous, as many as thirty would come down from the hills at the back of our camp and old Taipo (Maori for Devil) my dog, had a great time trying to exterminate them, which he finally did and afterwards, if ever a goat came near our camp, Taipo would get it. He was worth his weight in gold, as the goats would have been a real menace to us being so destructive. I must say we had some work before us, and we went at it with a will, clearing the land of the wild arum, growing in such a dense mass that it took us weeks to clear enough land to grow all-the crops we needed, such as bananas, maize, taro and kumara. A few bananas were left from the ravages of the goats, eight plants in all, so we planted them out about ten feet apart and soon they were sending up shoots as many ten on some. When the shoots were about six feet high, they were chopped off the parent stem with a spade and planted out, multiplying very quickly, and we soon had a large plantation of them. Before our crops were ready, we ran out of stores and it being Winter, the fish were not plentiful like they are in the Summer. So we were reduced to goat meat three times a day, not even a bit of green stuff as the goats had previously eaten everything. Of course, there were plenty of oranges which kept us in good health, and the pure air and exercise gave us an appetite that would surprise you. We then got a turtle and had it every meal for a week, baked, boiled, roasted, fried, not forgetting turtle soup. A kerosene tin full of rendered down fat was got from it, and later on, when our vegetables were ready, it was used on them in place of butter and was really good. As time went on more land was cleared, more crops grown, until we had too much food and a lot was wasted. Reg got sick of the life on the island, so decided to leave. The 'Ngataki' called in after a South Sea Island cruise and took him off. It was very rough that day, the seas were breaking right over the Rock and we were nearly washed off several times while we waited for Johnny Wray to come from his yacht in a flat bottom punt . He had nothing on at all, ready for the swim if the punt got swamped, and as he came near where the sea was boiling and washing down, he was nearly caught, but at last a bit of a lull came and the punt came in, our mate making the jump while Bruce threw a sugar bag full of oranges and his suitcase after him. Off they went just as another sea came thundering in, breaking over the two of us. In the gale that was blowing from the NE, the yacht did the trip to Auckland (674 miles) in four days. Bruce and I were left in our glory, to do and go where we liked, what we liked - and we did it.
Not being well equipped for a water supply, only having a small tank left by the Bells of about 80 gallons, we decided to launch our boat and pull round the island to Denham Bay, where the 400 gallon tank was that had left there on my previous visit to the island, and bring it back. Of course, it was a rather daring proposition to tackle, but sooner than being without water, we took the risk. All went well, we launched the boat, pulled round the 7 miles, beached the boat, stowed the tank, shoved off with only shipping a small sea as we got through the surf. And there we were away out in mid-ocean, with the tank in our little boat - and we feel small in the trough of that heavy swell that is always around the island. However, luck was with us and we tipped the tank overboard when we got to the north beach, the surf soon picking it up and washing it up on the beach. And so it did it to us too - we were watching the tank, and not the breakers. One caught us and being a nice warm day we did not mind a bath. The tank was parbuckled up a very steep siding some 200 feet to the flat where we lived, a few holes which had rusted through while it had been at Denham Bay for 8 years were soldered up, the whole thing put up on a stand and was soon full of water.
Bruce and I made two further trips to the Bay for the 26 sheets of 8 foot iron. This time we had difficulty, the boat could not be beached to load her, being too heavy to relaunch. So kedge anchor was used to keep her afloat just outside the break, the bowline was made fast to a stake driven into the sand on the beach. My part was to stay in the boat to receive and stow the iron as Bruce waded out up to his neck with it. It was very risky work, the boat had to be let in so close, that the little boat nearly stood on her head sometimes. The line held her at the stern, but if that had parted, the boat would have been smashed up on the beach , probably bottom up with myself underneath. Next trip we also had trcuble, as the wind got up and made a nasty jobble at the Rock Landing. To stand in a small boat and handle iron under those conditions is no joke; there was some mighty bad language used, and we were glad when it was over. The boat had to be hauled up our to the water by means of a derrick we had rigged, with skids laid down to slide her up out of the seas when they broke over the Rock in bed weather. The next job was to carry all that iron over the rocks and along the sandy beach for about two miles and up to the high level where the whare was. But it got done and the hut was made as large again . It came in handy to stow away our crops from the rats, as they were becoming troublesome now they had acquired the taste. But our garden gave us such an abundant return that there was not enough room in the whare, so had to build a another storehouse - and to do that we had to split slabs out of trees. The trees we picked for the job were karaka, a soft timber and not very durable, but there was no other to use and it would do until we got some timber from New Zealand. It took us many months to complete the job, to find trees large and straight enough, split slabs and carry them out of the bush on our backs, trim them to width and thickness, carry poles from the Low Flat for the frame of the whare, hundreds of palm leaves to be used for thatching and 4 inch nails to be made out of No 8 fencing wire. In all it was some job - however, it got finished and it held quite a lot of stuff which had been stowed away in the living quarters. A ton of kurnaras we had grown had been put in pits with a thatched roof over them but we found they were starting to grow again, so took them out and stored then in tins and boxes and put them in there too, along with about a hundred bushels of white maize which we used for hominy at breakfast time. The maize was ground fine in a steel mill we had brought with us and the hominy was eaten with a syrup that we got from a sugar palm that grew on the island known to the Maoris as the Ti (cordyline). It has roots about 4 feet long resembling a great parsnip but very soft. The root is cooked in a hangi or Maori earth oven for 36 hours until it resembles preserved ginger and is very sweet. It is then cut up into small pieces, boiled down until a thick syrup is left. A plate of the white maize meal porridge and the syrup lasted us till mid-day, then a meal of goat of fish with kumaras, taro, yams, tapioca root, pumpkins and tomatoes with a follow-up of stewed bananas, pawpaws, yellow guavas, pineapples, granadillas, passion fruit or grapes. Our last meal of the day would consist mostly of fruit.
Our food supply became so abundant that it grieved me to see the waste, knowing so many people would have been glad to get it. Oranges were lying all over the ground under the trees rotting - year after year, and no way of getting them away. So we drank orange juice instead of water. Our lives were just one long dream in a garden of Eden without an Eve to tempt us. We wandered through the palms and we lived on the best that nature could provide. We fished, hunted, explored, read and played the best of music on my zither. Away from all cares and troubles with no debts, takes or rent - in fact the money racket was out of our lives altogether. No one on earth could have been happier than Bruce and I. But there was germ that crept into our lives to upset us and it came in the shape of civilisation. The New Zealand Government sent a party of six men over to survey for roads and landings, and later to erect a wireless and meteorological station there and it came too much for us both. We are now separated - he is in Fiji and I am back in New Zealand."
Note: Alf was a fit 68 and Bruce 25 years of age when they returned to New Zealand in the 'Maui Pomare' on the 25th December, 1937. Alf did come back briefly on the 6th April, 1938, when the same Government vessel returned for the second party. After Raoul, he tried Cairns, Norfolk Island and Otaki Beach, finally retiring to Kerikeri. He died in Auckland in his l00th year, on the 4th October, 1970. The three articles have all come from a folio of typed notes which I have since returned to his son, Stan, in Kerikeri. I believe he must have based them on his own account in the back of the Aeradio Report (1937), for there is a great similarity of writing. One short article is still to come - and of course he will be back with us in the Kermadec historical series.
STATE OF THE PARTIES:
Present (1972/73) expedition members on both the islands.
|OIC||Bob Ferguson||Graham Camfield|
|Cook||Gavin Lowe||Jim Wade|
|Met||Keith Herrick||Mark Crompton*|
|Tony Williams||John Wilkinson*|
|Bruce Buckley||Tony Veitch|
|Tech||Lloyd Kirkham||Peter Goodman|
|Mech||Colin Bullard||Bill Clark*|
|Ion||Roeland van Der Staal|
*Mark Crompton and John Wilkinson extend their year into the '72/73 Summer programme for Deepfreeze, returning to New Zealand in early March. Bill Clark and Brian Plummer are to do a consecutive tour. All four lads were of course, resident on Campbell when the official photograph was taken, but appear in last year's MOT picture in Vol 2 No l.
Actually Brian is ashore on temporary repat at the moment and is due to return at any time. George Money of the '71/72 party has elected to stop-over and keep Brian's valves hot until Christmas.
ANNUAL BOOK PRESENTATIONS
are made to both islands by the Association from donations given by Honorary Members. Normally the presentations are received by the ingoing OICs prior to sailing, but this year a delay occurred while awaiting the latest ‘Pears Cyclopaedia' shipment. The books are now in the mail and should reach their destinations by Christmas or the New Year.
LET IT BE KNOWN
that a kind offer by Gordon Surrey (C 65,66.67) P.O. Box 600, National Park, is extended to old hands who may wish to stop-over and 'chew the rag' or use his home for a jumping off point into the south-western section of the Tongariro National Park.
BOOK REVIEW: MARIE LEVANT by Carlyle Ferguson
Whitcombe & Tombs, 1913.
It's that Lady again - onetime of the Heather, sometime of varied journalistic imagination. Ferguson's knowledge on the matter comes from a faded manuscript found in a trunk purchased at an auction. The author, one Jonathon Wells, titles his work as a 'confession' and prays God - rather than the reader - have mercy on his soul.
J.W. introduces himself as the near-perfect human in the first few pages - but a damnable thirst puts him on a blind in Bluff and a cruise to Campbell Island with the scurviest pact of sea-going knaves imaginable. To match this slight lapse of mental control, he proceeds to bang his body about in true 007 fashion until he has a bullet in the left shoulder, a musket ball lodged in the back of his throat (unfortunately taking his pearly smile with it), and a knife between the ribs, all in day to day skirmishes with his shipboard mates. He judges correctly that the crew is a mutinous one, but sides with the captain and his daughter despite their scorn for him. The move is a wise one, for the fair Marie is a creature of beauty and breeding and the future shows great promise if he can lay low the leader of the mutineers, who is not only more handsome and better educated than himself, but also sings in a fine baritone voice.
Once snugly anchored in Perserverance Harbour, the crew starts to sort itself out for all time, the captain going down early in the piece despite the fact he can swing a mean sword. But the honours go the final mutineer who falls over a cliff locked in deadly combat with a sea lion - something not seen very often these days. Needless to say, the brigantine sinks on her moorings due to crew neglect in not checking a between- decks fire while the action was elsewhere. It leaves but the fair Marie to die sweetly of a chill and not before she has quoth her eternal love for J.W., who is now but a shell of his former self in that merry month of May, 1832.
Why any of them went to Campbell Island at all is only partially revealed; it was something to do with something hidden under a headstone somewhere and the scurvy crew (but God bless J.W.) were obviously the hired hands of the publican at Bluff - out to thwart the captain's curiosity. What does matter is that the captain is none other King Louis XVII in lifelong disguise with his royal daughter and dangerously named ship, 'Princess Marie.’
That King Louie went to the bottom of the harbour with nary a trumpet blast is something Campbell Islanders might well put in order today; but there he lies, halfway between Shoal Point and the Beeman Landing, cursing his luck and the Monday morning avalanche of beer cans coming over the side of the 'Aurora.’ And the heather- why of course it came from the pot plant in the ship's saloon. A mere snippet cast down thoughtlessly, speared itself into the ground and flourished magically - wait until the Internal Affairs Dept hears about that.
Whether tale-teller Ferguson intended the emphasis to lie on romance or murder is hard to say - but one must admit that his Campbell Island settings are remarkably accurate even though he may run rough, meteorologically speaking, from time to time. It is certainly not a book to go frantically searching for - I mention it here only for the record. It is a collector's item, and as such, C.F. (God have mercy on his soul) has made a fine contribution.
DEPOTS FOR THE SHIPWRECKED AND THE PROTECTION OF SEALS
by Ian Kerr.
The ‘stella' could not be spared from her important servicing of lighthouses to make visits to the islands with the required frequency, so the schooner 'Kohimarama', which had been used as a training ship by the Education Department 's Naval training school, was converted for the purpose. As well as policing the Act, the schooner would also examine and replenish the depots provided for the shipwrecked and keep a lookout for wrecks. The 'Kohimarama' was renamed 'Kekeno' (the Maori name for the fur seal) and sailed under Captain Greig in March, 1882. On that trip "it was found that the provisions and stores at most of the depots …. had been consumed or stolen, so that had any shipwrecked persons reached the islands, the humane object for which these depots had been established would have been frustrated …. It seems clear that they must have been used or made away with by the crews of sealing vessels … but whoever may have been the perpetrators of this outrage, it is certain that their conduct will be universally reprobated ….
In the next eighteen months the 'Kekeno' made four more inspection voyages to the islands. On the last of these, in December 1883, six members of the crew of the American sealing schooner 'Sarah W. Hunt’ were found marooned on Campbell Island. The events that preceded and followed this moment are described in an article in 'The American Neptune' ( 1951) in which long extracts from the 'Sarah W. Hunt's' log are quoted . The Schooner commanded by Captain S. Miner, left New Bedford on 11 July, bound for Campbell Island, with the intention of taking seals, either in ignorance or in defiance of the law. On 25 October , Macquarie Island was sighted and a stay of nearly a month was made. The only result was a lost anchor, no seals. On 20 November, the schooner dropped anchor in a little bay on the west side of Campbell Island where one seal was seen. The next few days, after moving to Perseverance Harbour, the crew spent in re-filling the fresh water casks, washing their clothes and riding out a gale. On the twenty-sixth the log keeper, the German First Mate wrote, "sah a seal longside the Vessel, in the evening I went with my boat to look for him, sah him and shot him but he sank like a stone."
This was the last entry by the mate; the rest of the log was apparently written by Captain Miner. It appears that, early on the twenty-seventh, he sent the two boats off with five men and a mate in each. The wind being light they were to search the shores for seals. The wind increased during the afternoon and became very squally during the night but, as there were thought to be numerous bays where shelter could be found, Miner was not greatly alarmed. However, when they did not return the next day the Captain became anxious and made preparations to go to look for his crew, although he and the steward were the only men left on board. On the third day thick fog with rain, and later a strong wind , made it impossible to get under way with safety . Finally, on the thirtieth they cleared the harbour, but, although still in sight of the island the next day, they saw no sign of the missing boats and made for New Zealand. They reached Lyttelton on 8 or 9 December and Miner told his story. The Christchurch Chamber of Commerce guaranteed £360 towards the hire of rescue ship and the Government steamer 'Stella' was dispatched to search for the lost crew. She returned to Port Chalmers on 27 December with the Second Mate and his five men; the other boat's crew had not been found.
The second mate, in a statement to the press, said that he had seen the first mate's boat early on the twenty-eighth but never saw it again. The survivors were blown out of sight of the island for two days, but kept it in sight for the next five days although unable to reach the shore. At last they landed on the shore of a west coast bay, found water and, finally on 4 December made their way back to Perseverance Harbour only to find the 'Sarah W. Hunt’ gone. They obtained food from the depot but were in poor shape when the 'Kekeno' found them on the fifteenth. The little schooner could not accommodate them but was able to make them more comfortable until the 'Stella' arrived and took them back to New Zealand.
A few weeks later, acting as spokesmen, two of the seamen, Tierney and Hartwig, made a long statement about the hardships of the voyage and the wrongs they had suffered at the hands of Captain Miner; it was alleged that, because the prospects of successful sealing operations seemed remote and there would be no money to pay the crew, Miner had deliberately left the men to their fate or, at best, had not waited at the island as long as he should have. An attempt was made to prosecute Miner but the argument that those really responsible were the owners of the ship was upheld and, as they could not be brought to Court, the charge was dismissed. The story closes on a bright note. The President of the United States sent two handsome gold watches, suitably inscribed, to be presented to Captains Greig and Grey, in recognition of their services in rescuing the marooned men. The watches were duly presented, to Captain Grey by His Excellency the Governor at a meeting of the Executive Council in Wellington, and to Captain Greig, in Invercargill, by the Mayor.
The Act of 1878 was incorporated in 1884 in a general Act, "The Fisheries Conservation Act, 1884." The provisions concerning seals were not greatly changed, A close season was not specified but was to be declared by Order in Council for a period of up to three years as required. The forfeiture of gear used in illegal fishing was added to the penalties. Buying and selling in the close season was prohibited and regulations could be gazetted prescribing minimum sizes or weights.
In June 1885 the 'Kekeno' on a routine inspection trip found the Southland cutter 'Anna' at Campbell Island. As the close season had been extended in May 18S4 to 1 June 1S86, the ‘Kekeno's' men searched the 'Anna's' hold but found nothing. The crew of the latter, except the master, were ashore so a search was made for them. After finding signs of digging on the beach of North West Bay, they at last found a tent and one man; the rest were at another part of the island 'prospecting for gold.' The game of hide-and-seek went on, and when the 'Kekeno’s’ men finally found the spot where the others had been working they were, of course, no longer there. They did find, however, two seal clubs and two pairs of rope-soled shoes of kind used by sealers for walking over rocks. Returning to the ‘Kekeno' they found that the 'Anna' had sailed for Melbourne. Actually, she went to Macquarie Island and returned to Bluff via the Auckland Islands in September. The evidence was insufficient to bring a charge.
A few months after this incident, a special trip was made by the ‘Stella' at the request of the Victorian Government. It was thought that the crew of the missing ship 'North American' might be found on one of the islands but no trace of them was found. The 'Kekeno' continued to make regular inspections but was wrecked at Bluff in September 1886 and, by arrangement with Mr Hatch, his schooner 'Awarua' made the next trip. The ‘Stella' then took over the duty for a year or two but was replaced in 1890 by the 'Hinemoa’ which continued regular visits until 1910. As a result of the 'Anna' affair and, no doubt, because of strong suspicions that much poaching was going on in spite of the Government's vigilance, the 1884 Act was amended in 1887 to provide much heavier penalties. The maximum fine was increased to £500, plus up to £20 for every seal illegally taken. The Government’s officers were given power to search and seize vessels and the vessels were forfeit to the Crown on conviction.
The Macquarie Island trade continued and it was thought that this island was being used as a base from which to poach at Campbell and Auckland Islands. In order to stop this the Imperial Government was asked to proclaim sovereignty over Macquarie Island. Authority to do so was granted and the 'Hinemoa' was about to depart when word was received from Tasmania that the island was within the jurisdiction of the Governor of Tasmania. An attempt was then made to have jurisdiction transferred to New Zealand but the Tasmanian Parliament was not agreeable. A regulation prohibiting sealing at Macquarie Island was gazetted however in April 1891.
After 1887 naturally, the only records we have of the activities of sealers at Campbell Island are in the occasional open seasons. The first of these was in 1891 and two Invercargill firms organised expeditions to the islands. The first vessel to leave Bluff, on 7 July, was Jas Waddell & Co's 41 ton schooner 'Janet Ramsay' (Captain Wood), She reached the Auckland Islands on 13 July and stayed there nearly a month, then sailed for Campbell Island. After being blown 50 miles off course she anchored in Perseverance Harbour on 14 August and was weather-bound there for over a month. The 'Janet Ramsay' arrived back at Stewart Island on 25 of September with between 500 and 600 skins. When Captain Wood reached Campbell Island he found there a gang of seven left a week before by F.J. Hatch's ketch 'Gratitude.' She had left Bluff on 29 July and, after a brief call at the Snares, had spent four days at the Auckland Islands. Two gangs were left there and a third gang was taken on to Campbell Island. The 'Gratitude' returned for the Campbell Island party at the beginning of September and was back at Bluff on 16 September with nearly 500 skins, of which about 200 were obtained at Campbell Island. The evidence in a lawsuit over the alleged theft of some of these skins provides us with some details of the economics of sealing at the time. Hatch's agreement with the men was that he was to pay fifteen shillings for each skin, ten shillings going to the sealers and five shillings to the ship. This meant that each member of the Campbell Island gang should have received about £14. They were away seven weeks. Hatch stated that the 'Gratitude' had cost him £1500 and a further £400 to fit out for the expedition. He estimated that the skins were worth £3 to £4 apiece in London so, disregarding the cost of the vessel itself, Hatch's profit would have been about £1000 less the cost of shipping the skins to London.
Since the great voyages of Wilkes, Dumont d'Urville and Ross, little effort had been made to extend the work of discovery in the Antarctic. It was fifty years before a new assault was begun. In Australia in the eighties and early nineties there was growing interest but it was not until an enthusiast named Bull had gained the support of business men for a combined exploratory and commercial venture that an expedition from that country approached reality. Unfortunately, a financial depression put a stop to Bull's plans but having so nearly attained his goal, he was determined to succeed. A visit to Norway and an hour's conversation with Svend Foyn, the veteran owner of sealing and whaling ships, secured for Bull a ship, a refitted steam-sealer, renamed 'Antarctic' and commanded by Captain Kristensen. It was intended that as far as possible the cost of the expedition was to be recouped by sealing and whaling, so a winter whaling cruise using Campbell Island as a base was projected. (A quantity of sealskins and oil was obtained at Kerguelen on the way out.) On 12 April 1894, leaving Bull at Melbourne to complete preparations for the summer cruise, the 'Antarctic' sailed for the Auckland Islands which were reached early in May. There she was met by the 'Hinemoa' which had been dispatched by the New Zealand Government to warn the 'Antarctic's' master of the embargo on the killing of seals. Captain Kristensen promised to respect the law and sailed southwards.
Campbell Island was sighted on 14 May and in the teeth of 'half a gale, with tremendous squalls' the captain tried to enter North East Harbour as night fell. Failing in this attempt, the vessel was taken south in what seems to have been a very reckless fashion, close to an unknown shore at night. Bull's account goes on 'by forcing the boiler the vessel was made to slowly advance between squalls into the firth (Perseverance Harbour) but in the darkness it was impossible to make out exact bearings and the vessel grounded on Terror Shoal.' She was got off with much labour but her tribulations had only begun. The tempest raged for another three days and at midnight on the eighteenth with three anchors out the ship began to drift out of the harbour. Then one anchor cable broke as the wind shifted to the southwest and drove the vessel close under the precipitous mountain-walls. Nothing remained but to cut down the mainmast and rig down the yards on the foremast,' which done, 'the anchors held, and the poor wreck of a ship was kept swinging before the squall less than her own length from the mountainside.' The wind abated soon after and the 'Antarctic' made a safe anchorage. The rest of the month was spent in rigging a jury mast.
During June strenuous efforts were made to catch whales but these efforts seem to have been as gauche as was, according to Bull, the handling of the ship in the storm. The boats were too clumsy, an anchor was lost, a harpoon line became entangled with kelp and several other mishaps occurred. Many whales were seen but during the whole month only one was captured . There was another besides the Government who was concerned about the 'Antarctic's' activities . This was F.J. Hatch who was interested because there was to be another open season in September and October and he was afraid the 'Antarctic' might be 'spoiling sport' by sealing beforehand. Captain Brown of the 'Gratitude' was therefore instructed before he left for Macquarie Island early in May to search for the 'Antarctic.' This he did and found Bull's ship in Perseverance Harbour on 12 June. Brown left a party of five men on the island “to protect New Zealand's (ie : Hatch's) interests,” and returned to New Zealand with a letter to post to Bull and a commission to bring back two anchors and some coal for the 'Antarctic.'
A few days after the 'Gratitude's' departure, the H.M.S.'Rapid' arrived to make trebly sure that Captain Kristensen and his men were behaving themselves. The 'Rapid's' commander reported that no seals were found on the 'Antarctic' and that she appeared to be engaged solely in whaling. He also reported the presence of the 'Gratitude's' five men who were 'prospecting for gold.' This seems to have been a favourite occupation of sealers when Government ships were about. The 'Antarctic’, taking the five New Zealanders, so on afterwards left for the Auckland Islands where she met the 'Gratitude' again with her anchors and coal. These were quickly transferred and the 'Antarctic' returned to Melbourne.
Repairs were soon completed and the ship left Melbourne on 26 September with Bull on board. After a brief call at Hobart, Macquarie Island was sighted but a landing could not be effected. Campbell Island was reached on 25 October and the anchor was dropped in North East Harbour. The next day was spent in shifting coal and exploring the land and on the twenty-seventh the ship moved to a new anchorage in Perseverance Harbour. There they fell in with the New Zealand schooner 'Anna' with a crew of eight commanded by Captain Joss. Bull was dismayed to learn from Joss that the sealing season closed in four days' time so they set about hunting the creatures immediately. The efforts of the sealers yielded only three skins in the next couple of days but a naturalist with the party had better luck in his sphere. He was an enthusiastic young Norwegian named C. Egeberg Borchgrevink who had, with Bull's approval, persuaded Captain Kristensen to take him on as an extra hand. He made a good collection of plants, eggs and also three snipe, probably Godwits. On 31 October the 'Antarctic' left the harbour and, as she cruised along the south coast sent off two boats to make a final search for seals. Seven fur seals were killed but at the cost of one of the boats stove in against the rocks. The crew of the boat after some anxious moments were all rescued.
On 1 November, Campbell Island was left behind with course set for Emerald Island, but naturally enough, as it does not exist, it was not sighted. Before the pack ice was entered, some trouble with the ship's screw sent the expedition back to New Zealand, but repairs did not take long and the 'Antarctic' finally reached the Ross Sea in January 1895. Borchgrevink, Bull, Kristensen and the Mate, Jensen, were the first to set foot on the continent at Cape Adare on 24 January. Borchgrevink has a further claim to fame as, four years later, he was one of the first party to winter in the Antarctic. When the 'Antarctic' reached Campbell Island in October, the 'Anna' had been there over six weeks and had obtained 309 seal skins in the time. The party was running short of food and traded two of their skins for provisions from the 'Antarctic's' stores. She remained weather-bound at the island for another six weeks and did not arrive home until just before Christmas.
The 'Gratitude' in this open season did not, after all, go as far south as Campbell Island but procured about 520 skins, 300 of them from fur seals, at the Auckland Islands. The following year, 1895, saw the first step in the development of Campbell Island as a pastoral run, but this is a story which demands a chapter to itself.
(I regret we will have to leave Ian's seventh chapter at this point due to lack of space. Also missing this quarter will be the latest news of the islands from the new parties in residence, as it is yet to come to hand, but we hope to have a bonus item for you in March- Ed.)
AS WE GO TO PRESS: Another for the Aucklands. "The small 31 foot pleasure craft St Michel leaves York Bay (Wellington) tomorrow (Friday Dec 8th) on a 2000 mile voyage which will take her through some of the roughest and most dangerous seas in the world. She will carry four members of the Atkinson Family, of York Bay to the Auckland Islands. There, some 200 miles south of Bluff, the ship will assist a scientific party to carry out a wild life and plant survey of the many islands in the group. This party is already in the area (page 104-Ed)." The POST, Wellington, Thursday, Dec 7, 1972.