Items on whalers mentioned in the "Otago Witness"
newspapers Images online. NZ National
The whalers from Sydney and elsewhere, prosecuted the oil fishery, until by the short-sighted policy of destroying the cow whales with their young, the fishery itself failed. It was after whaling became no longer profitable in the 1860s that many whalers sought employment in New Zealand.
Whaling snippets Wellington 1842 and 1843
The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List
Source: Australian Cooperative Digitisation Project
Volume 1, Number 8 (11 May, 1844)
Whaling News: The Pickwick reports the following whales at Bank' Peninsula: French, at Akaroa:
Mississippi, Rochester, 1000 barrels, twelve months out
Fanne, Doufour, 250 barrels, seven months out
Harmony, Vasselin, none, six months out
Angelina, Yeene, 500 barrels, seven months out
Asia, Mason, 210 barrels, six months out
Ferdinand, Obey, 1300 barrels, fourteen months out
South Boston, Cromwell, 1500 barrels, fifteen months out
Heroine, West, 740 barrels, seven months out
Jane, Eddy, 150 barrels, six months out
Lancaster, Burke, 2400 barrels, seventeen months out
All the above vessels are bound to the N.W. coast of Japan. Nelson examiner, March 9 1844
The only vessel spoken by the Tryphena was the American whaler, Canton Packet, Captain Charman, of New Bedford, 28 months out, with 2000 barrels onboard; she was then off the Three Kings, and only wanted 200 barrels to complete her cargo. She had spoken the Nimrod of Sydney, a short time before on the same ground.
The Woodlark was refreshing at Doubtless Bay, NZ, on the 15th March, having fifty tuns sperm oil on board. She reported having fallen in with the Clarkstone, in December, with 550 barrels sperm. The Lucy Ann is now refreshing in Port Stephens, having 440 barrels sperm on board;
Sydney Shipping Gazette
Volume 1, Number 16 (6 July, 1844)
The Nimrod, whaler, lost a boat's crew consisted of Othaheitians and New Zealanders, and the officer was also a man of colour.
The Lady Leigh arrived at Port Nicholson 16th May. The Captain had gone ashore to be married, and the mate loaded one of the cannons on deck to fire in commemoration of it; on applying the match, the gun burst and blew off his left hand, whilst he was almost deprived of sight by gunpowder, and two men standing by were severely wounded. The cutter Lively was at Kapiti on the 23rd May. The Jane, 365 tons, Fairweather, owner S. Lyons, hence 20th August, 1843, was at Otago in April last, with 500 barrels sperm oil on board. The Terror, 257 tons, Harper, hence 24th December, 1843, was at Port Levi the latter end of May, 500 barrels spam oil on board, B. Boyd and Co., owners ; also the Juno, 212 tons, Hayes, hence 23rd March, 1844, clean - her crew being in a state of insubordination, B. Boyd and Co., owners. The brig Nimrod had left NZ for Tahiti..
Sydney Shipping Gazette
Volume 1, No. 39 1844 Saturday December 14, 1844
Ships in Sydney Harbour
Lady Blackwood, barque, 254 tons, Cooper, near Pinchgut. Lamb and Parbury, owners. Ready for the Whaling Grounds.
December 11 - Potomac, ship, 356 tons, Captain Hussey, for the Whale Fishery, with stores and original cargo.
Vessels Loading for London:
The schooner Orotava. Captain Cooney, is about to load for Auckland and the Bay of Islands.
The schooner Terror is taking on board about 50 head of cattle, at Milne's Wharf, for Auckland.
The following American whalers were at the Chatham Islands on the 6th May last: - Omega, 6 months out, with 200 barrels sperm; Rebecca Sims, Captain Ray, 40 months out, with 2100 barrels of sperm then on board, having landed 1000 barrels besides in Sydney during the voyage; London, of Nantucket, 8 months out, with 300 barrels sperm on board.
Vessels in Sydney Harbour -
Rebecca, barque, Mills, refitting for the Whaling Grounds.
Colonial Whalers at Sea (With their last Reports)
Caernarvon, 220 tons, Irvine, hence 22nd August, 1842; at the Bay of Islands, 16th September; refitting. Irvine owner.
Jane Eliza, 419 tons, Bradley, hence 7th March, 1843; touched at Tahiti, in July, with 300 barrels; H. Moore, owner.
Merope, 312 tons, Hogg, hence 26th March, 1843, spoken in June, 1844, with 500 barrels; Blaxland, owner.
Tigress, 192 tons, Eury, hence 10th May, 1843; reported at Rotumah, with 700 barrels sperm; Hughes and Hosking, owners.
Australian, 300 tons, Wiles, hence 14th June, 1843; at Strong's Island, September 27th, 1844, with 900 barrels sperm; Cooper and Holt, owners.
Lindsays, 200 tons, Williamson, hence 15th June, 1843; left Port Stephens, 9th September, 1844, with 700 barrels sperm; Williamson, Mitchell, and Russell, owners.
Clarkstone, 244 tons, Stewart, hence 13th September, 1843; spoken by the Jane, 6th instant, with 1000 barrels sperm. H. Moore, owner.
Woodlark, 243 tons, Smith, hence 24th September, 1843; spoken by the Lindsays 4th July, with 610 barrels sperm oil on board; H Moore, owner.
Scamander, 230 tons, Nixon, hence 6th October, 1843, put into Port Stephens, 14th September, 1844, with 600 barrels sperm; Mitchell and Co., owners.
British Sovereign, 365 tons, Cooper, hence 5th November, 1843; left Port Stephens, 12th September, 1844, with 370 barrels sperm, 50 barrels black; Lamb and Parbury, owners.
Fame, - tons, Sargeant, from Twofold Bay, 8th October, spoken on the 22nd October, with 80 barrels black oil. B. Boyd, and Co., owners.
Bright Planet, 187 tons, Kyle, hence, March 20th; Mitchell and others, owners.
Jane, barque, 250 tons, Fowler, hence 28th April, 1844; spoken by the Nimrod, 9th June, with 30 barrels sperm; Flower, Salting, and Co., owners.
William, 344 tons, Bolger, hence 19th June, 1844; at the Bay of Islands, 8th August, clean; B. Boyd and Co., owners.
Nimrod, barque, 232 tons, Sullivan, hence July 25, 1844. Lamb and Parbury, owners.
Juno, barque, 212 tons, Hayes, hence 11th November, 1844; B. Boyd and Co., owners.
Report from the Markets London, 13th August, 1844
Sperm is much wanted, and further advanced rates paid: fine British fetching £85 to £86 per tun; the supply is still scanty.
Whalebone - 3½ tons of Southern sold at auction at £232 to £289.
Sydney Shipping Gazette
Volume 1, No. 41 1844 Saturday December 28, 1844
Ships Loading for England
The Matilda has been thirty-six months from London, during which time she has taken 1100 barrels of sperm oil. She is now from Howe's Island direct, at which place no whalers have called since the Lady Blackwood, Captain Butcher, who touched there some months since. The following ships have been spoken by the Matilda -
March 20, 1844, Clarice, Cory, American ship, off Aurora Island: got nothing since leaving Sydney.
May 30, Bright Planet, Kyle, off Treasury Island; no oil.
July 20, Seringapatom, Lovell, late from Sydney, sixteen months out, 300 barrels sperm oil, in long. 160 21' east and lat. 0 52' north.
July 23, Margaret, Courtney, twenty-four months out, 1100 barrels sperm oil, in long. 160 21' east, and lat. 0 25' north.
August 29, Woodlark, Smith, off New Georgia; four months out; 700 barrels sperm oil. On the 22nd of September saw a strange barque off Murray's Island, painted black, with a white or gilt figure head; refused to show her colours or communicate in any way whatever. Had she been in the track of shipping I should have considered her a pirate; and I must say that during thirty-five years' experience at sea, I never saw anything so unbecoming on the part of a master. From information since obtained she is supposed to be a Sydney whaler.
The New Zealander 30 May 1846 pg 2
American barque, "Noble" - encountered the late severe gales on the whaling grounds, off the north-eastern coast, and suffered the loss of her main and foremasts. She entered the Gulf of Houraki [sic], by Cape Colville, on Wednesday, and came through the Wairoa passage, to the southward of Waiheki, into Waitemata, yesterday morning, soon after daylight, and was signalized. Yesterday evening, H.M. Steamer Driver, left her moorings to tow the Noble into the harbour, in order to undergo the necessary repairs.
Otago Witness December 26 1900 page 54
Mr L. Langlands who arrived in Dunedin in 1848 reminiscence. The Commercial Hotel in High Street about where Messrs Butterworth's premises now stand, was built before the arrival of the settlers, by Mr Thomas S. Watson, who was afterwards drowned in the harbour. A long room was added and it was here that after a dinner in 1848, a row took place between some American sailors, whalers and temporary residents of Dunedin, caused by a Dunedin sailor started to sing "The battle of the Shannon and The Chesapeake," and being at once knocked off his perch by a Yankee. The has been magnified in to "an attempt on the part of some drunken American sailors to take the town."
The Southern Cross, Auckland 1 January 1850 pg2
In the 'Vivid,' 10 cases tobacco, transhipped from the American whaler "Chandler Price," and "Jeanette," and a cargo of sawn timber.
The following shipping at Monganui on Dec. 23rd. This fine harbour is rapidly rising in the estimation of Whalers as a safe and economical port for refitting:-
Ship 'George,' Marsden - 6 months out, 210 brls.
Ship 'Jeanette,' West - 16 months out, 1400 brls.
Ship 'Margaret.' Fales - 17 months out, 2600 brls
Ship 'Chandler Price,' Taber, 17 mths out, 2600 brls
Schooners - 'Vivid', Hutchings; 'Whim,' Flavel; 'Phantom,' Phillips; 'Russell,' Walters; 'Water Witch,' Smith' and 'Mitford.' Jones.
The Southern Cross 4 January 1850 pg2
The 'Edward' 14 tons, Cook, from Russell reports the arrival of the 'Louis' of New Bedford 7 months out, with 70 barrels of sperm oil. The 'Children,' 31 tons, Monro, Passengers - Mr Boynton, Mr T. Williams, Mr Greenway, from Russell reports the arrival of the 'Abraham', H. Howland, of New Bedford, 16 months out, with 500 barrels black oil, 30 barrels sperm, and 6,000 lbs whalebone.
The Southern Cross Friday 29 March 1850
Bay of Islands
The following Whale Ships have visited the Bay of islands since the close of last year:-
Dec. 28 - Lewis, American ship, 308 tons, W.W. Clement, 7½ months out with 70 brls sperm oil.
Jan. 2 - Abraham H. Howland, American ship, 414 tons, J. Fisher, 16 months out, 700 brls. black oil, 30 brls. sperm oil and 6000 lbs whale bone.
Jan. 4 - William Tell, American ship, 367 tons, Jas. M. Jaber, 15 months out, 920 brls sperm oil, 80 barrels black oil.
Jan. 26 - Julian, American, 355 tons, Cyrus Jaber, 30 months out. 1500 barrels black oil, 150 brls sperm oil, 5000 lbs whale bone.
Jan. 28 - Abraham Barker, American, 401 tons, Alex. R. Barker, 20 months, 2700 brls black oil, 40 barrels sperm oil.
Jan. 28 - Jefferson, American, 396 tons, James Skinner, 5 months out, 120 barrels sperm oil, 50 barrels black oil.
Feb. 5 - Charles W. Morgan, American, 351 tons, John D. Samson, 8 months out,150 barrels sperm oil.
Otago Witness February 22 1851
Arrived. Arrived. Feb 7, the Tenedos, 245 tons, Middleton, Master, from New London, U.S.. In ballast. 5 months out, no oil, came in for wood and water. W.H. Mansford agent.
Feb 14, the Triton, of New Bedford, Sand, Master, from the whaling grounds. 14 months out - full. Whalers entering this port (Otago) can be supplied with provisions, such as pork, potatoes, &c., at a moderate rate, and abundance of wood and water. There are also no port dues leviable, except pilotage, which is very moderate. The harbour is a safe one, and the Pilot Station is formed at 'Tairoa's Head,' the entrance, on which there is a flagstaff.
Otago Witness February 22 1851 page 2 From the 'Friend', a monthly journal edited by Rev. S.C. Damon, Honolulu.
From the 15th to end of October 38 whalers and 15 merchantmen had arrived at the port of Honolulu, and 30 vessels at Lahaina, nearly all American. Among the arrivals at Honolulu the arrival on the 16th of the British barque 'Flying Childers,' eight months out, with 1700 barrels oil, and 24,000 lbs of whalebone; also, on the 17th, the ship 'Herald,' from Port Clarence, and the barque 'Eleanor Lancaster,' 52 days from Sydney.
The 'Triton' is 14 months out, and has been in the Arctic Ocean as high as latitude 70 deg. She reports the season as a mild one, and the fishing successful. She is a full ship, having come into this port for potatoes and some fresh provisions. Off this coast they were successful in capturing a sperm and a right whale, the latter giving 90 barrels of oil. We heartily wish Capt. Middleton of the 'Tenedos,' who is an old friend, equal success, he being about to proceed to the cruising grounds after some necessary repairs to the rudder of of his vessel.
March 8 1851
Sailed. Feb. 23. Tenedos, 245 tons, Middleton. Master, for the South Seas
27th, Triton, 314 tons, for New Bedford. U.S., having on board from the whaling grounds.
Honolulu (From the Friend)
Oil and bone imported into the United States from January to August 5:
sperm, 67,223 barrels
bone, 2,753,400 lbs
New Bedford Oil Market, Aug. 5. 1850
Sperm - The demand is very moderate, but the market continues firm, and full prices are realised. We notice sales of 300 barrels at 120 cents (5s British money), per gallon.
Whale - Continues dull and depressed, and we have no transactions to report. The last sales were at at 49 to 53 cents.
Whalebone. -We have heard no transactions in this market. In New York sales were made at 35 cents, for South Seas and N.W. coast and 37 cents for Polar.
Melancholy Occurrence. A few days since a young man, discharged from the ship 'William Tell,' shipped on board the merchant ship 'Iowa.' When going on board the latter vessel, lying in the out harbour, Honolulu, he lost his hat overboard, and immediately plunged after it; he was seized by a shark, which took, off his head, and next his left arm; subsequently nothing was seen if his body. We learn that his name was James Kinney, of Irish descent, and that he shipped on board the 'William Tell' at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. We have distinct recollections of the unfortunate young man; only a few hours before his untimely end he left our study with a bundle of books and papers, which he had procured of us for his reading during the passage.
A Polar whale yields upon an average about one hundred and twenty barrels of oil collected from the facts that eight ships that visited the Anadir Sea, and Arctic Ocean, took one hundred and fifty-two whales, yielding nineteen thousand, one hundred barrels oil.
Saturday 3rd March 1851
17th April, the schooner Wellington, in lat. 44 d; 31 m. S. long 172d. 40m. E. spoke the barque Runnimede, Captain Charles Bailey, of Hobart Town, 14 months out; with 50 tuns sperm oil and 50 tuns black oil.
Same day, brig Prince of Denmark, of Hobart Town, Captain Hayes, same latitude and longitude; with 25 tuns sperm oil, 10 months out.
[Built at the Prince of Denmark, schooner, 69 tons register, built at Kirkcudbright on the Dee in the year 1789. She was still afloat and owned out in Sydney, NSW, in 1913]
December 13 1851
Arrived. Dec. 8, the Averick Heinken, 470 tons, Geerken, master, from Bremen. In ballast.
December 27 1851
Sailed. December 16th, the Averick Heineken, 470 tons, Geerken, for the Arctic whaling grounds.
Otago Witness Saturday January 3 1852 page
Arrived December 30, the Isaac Howland, 400 tons, West, master, from New Bedford. W.H. Mansford, agent.
Imports. Per The Isaac Howland; 4 cases and 4 boxes tobacco, 4 cases cigars, 10 kegs salarettes, 1 cask cheese, 1 cask butter, 5 boxes soap, 2 boxes axes, a cask dried apples, 1 cask Edinburgh ale, 1 cask lemon syrup, 1 bale calico and prints, 1 bale dungaree, 2 bales slops, 100 barrels oil, 6 cwt whalebone.
May 8 1852
Arrived. May 3, the Black Dog, 142 tons, Garrick, master, from Auckland Islands. F.V. Martin agent.
Otago Witness June 19 1852 page 2
The brig Maukin, which had been recently fitted out for a whaling cruize (sic), was totally wrecked in Sandy Bay, near North Cape, during a heavy gale on the 6th March.
August 21 1852
The expected emigrant ship which last week raised our expectations has turned out to be a whale' The barque "Earl of Hardwicke" comes from the Auckland Islands, and has on board the remnant of the Southern Whale Fishery Company's staff and crews. The Auckland Islands are abandoned as a whaling station' and from the not very flattering description of the place, we apprehend there is little prospect of any attempt again being made to colonise them. The breaking up is so complete, that the Government House has been brought away, and is now being offered for sale. It is a large wooden house, containing twelve rooms. The discovery of gold diggings will in all probability put a stop to the obtaining of crews for whaling voyages, at least for a time; The failure of the Auckland Islands scheme does not surprise us; One of the chief reasons for choosing the Aucklands as a station was to prevent the desertion of the crews, and by compulsion to make them work the time stipulated for in the articles. This compulsion is all very well to check the vagrant spirit of a few seamen who would else desert their ships at every port in which a pretty lass or a glass of grog offered their seductions to the susceptible Jack. Viewed in this light, the term of the articles thoughtlessly signed is nothing less than so many years of slavery. It is a well known fact that a considerable proportion of the population of New Zealand, especially in the older settlement, consists of sailors who have either deserted or been discharged from emigrant ships; and although they might possibly refuse to go on one voyage, they would in all probability go the next; and as vessels would return to the same port, the loss from one would supply another, the sailor would return to his home and become a fixed member of the community. settler
August 28 1852
Arrived. August 18th, barque, Earl of Hardwicke, 247 tons, Young, master, from Auckland Islands. Passengers Mr W.A. Mackworth, Mr and Mrs Munce and 7 children, Mr Barton and 2 children, Mr Waite, Furneaux, Bryon, and Collins. F.V. Martin, agent.
September 4 1852
Sailed. August 24, barque Earl of Hardwicke, 247 tons, Young, master, for Sydney, having on board original cargo and passengers from the Auckland Islands.
Otago Witness 20th Jan 1855
Arrived Jan 10, the whaling brig Curlew, 117 tons, P. Gilroy, master, from Sydney, for South Seas. Called in for hands.
February 24 1855 page 1
The Heir-at-Law and next-of-kin of Robert Fyfe or Fyffe, deceased, late of Wellington and the Kai Koras in the Colony of New Zealand, Master Whaler, who was drowned at sea off the coast of New Zealand in or about the month of May, 1851 are requested to send information of their existence, and the perquisite legal proof to George Hunter, Esquire, Wellington... The deceased was supposed to be born in Perthshire, in North Britain, was a son of Elizabeth Stewart, and was a grandson of Alexander Stewart, deceased, he had a sister (married) who left Britain for some part of North America several years ago, another sister who died in Scotland several years ago, leaving children, and a brother James, who appears to have enlisted in the army many years ago.
April 21 1855 page 1
To be sold in one lot, lands in Queen Charlotte Sound, at Okiwa, comprising of 1100 acres, the estate of Joseph Toms, deceased, Master Whaler.
Otago Witness Saturday the 5th May 1855
Arrived. April 28, Otago, 70 tons, Stevens, master, from Whaling grounds, ballast.
Same day, Mount Wollaston, U.S. 325 tons, Potter, master, from Akaroa, via whaling grounds, with 175 barrels sperm and 750 barrels whale oil, 3 tons whalebone.
Sailed. May 2, Mount Wollaston for whaling grounds.
Otago Witness Saturday 28 November 1857
Schooner Queen of Perth - This vessel has been sold for the sum of £900 cash, to Captain Stevens, owner of the Otago, and we believe is intended for the whaling trade on the New Zealand coast. - Sydney Herald.
Otago Witness March 27 1858
Wreck of the American Whaling Ship Alexander. Captain Dougherty, master, of the above ill-fated vessel arrived at Wellington in the schooner Australian Maid. The Alexander belonged to New Bedford U.S. was 421 tons burthen, and sailed from that port to the south seas on a whaling voyage on the 3rd September, 1855. In December 1857, she out into Sydney to refit and sailed from thence on the 3rd January for the coast of New Zealand, to prosecute her whaling voyage. On the 19th of February she arrived in Cook's Straits, having on board over 1200 barrels sperm oil. About half-past three o'clock that morning the weather being thick and cloudy and very dark she struck on a sunken reef off Cape Campbell, where she now lies. Her bottom is broken, and her masts were cut away immediately she struck, to lighten her. Captain Dougherty and crew got to shore safe, and at once commenced to save the wreck, and Captain Dougherty came here in the Australian Maid leaving the wreck and cargo in charge of Alexander Phillips chief officer of the vessel.
Otago Witness April 17 1858
The Franklin, whaler, 333 tons, of New Bedford, Richmond master, from St. Helena, Dec. 20, was off the Heads on Monday, and sent in a boat for supplies. She reports all well, and has on board 180 barrels whale, and 18 barrels sperm oil. She was bound for Akaroa.
Otago Witness Saturday 18th June 1859
The Esther, Blair, arrived at Wellington yesterday morning from the Chatham Islands, after a passage of seven days. Captain Blair reports the total loss of two whalers at the Chatham Islands. The barque Terror, of Hobart Town, struck on a reef on the east coast of the Chatham islands on the 12th April, at 2 o'clock, a.m. On the same morning the American whaler Franklin, of New Bedford, at anchor at Pitt's Island, parted her chains, and went on the rocks on the north side of that Island. There was a heavy sea, but not much wind at the time; shortly after the Franklin went ashore, however, the wind rose, and both vessels went to pieces. Nearly all the oil on board the Terror was saved, and 70 out of 700 barrels belonging to the Franklin. Fortunately no lives were lost. Both vessels had about 700 barrels of oil on board. Captain McGrath and two men of the Terror, and thirteen men belonging to the Franklin, are passengers by the Esther. Wellington Spectator, May 25. 1859
Southern Cross Tuesday January 17th 1860 pg2
Bay of Islands - Arrived
January 11 - Mount Wollaston, of New Bedford, 325 tons, Coffin, 19 months out, with 400 barrels sperm and 50 barrels whale oil.
The Southern Cross Friday 20th January 1860 pg3
Bay of Islands - Arrived
Jan. 14 - Nanagansett, of Nantucket, 398 tons, Gardener, 50 months out; with 950 barrels sperm oil.
Jan. 14 - Oneida, of New Bedford, 420 tons, Vincent, 27 months out; with 1400 barrels sperm, and 50 barrels whale oil.
Jan. 16 - The Mary, of Nantucket, of the port this day; has taken but 50 barrels of oil since last February, reports 750 barrels oil; 39 months out.
The Shepherdess sailed for the United States this morning.
Otago Witness Saturday February 25 1860 page 4
The Mary Thompson arrived here on Thursday evening. Captain Muirhead spoke the whale ship Gay Head, Capt. Lowen, of New Bedford, U.S., 39 months out, all well, with 2000 barrels of oil.
Otago Witness Saturday February 9 1861 page 4
Awful massacre of the Crew of the American Whaling Ship Superior.
I anchored at Rubiana (Solomon Islands), on the 10th of November, and on the following day the schooner Ariel, Slate, master, arrived at the same place, having touched Treasury Island three days previously. The mate of the Ariel told me that he had reason to believe that the American whaling ship Superior, of New Bedford, Woods, master, had been taken at the last named place. I thereupon got immediately under weigh, and proceeded to treasury Island, where the natives, as usual, came on board in considerable numbers, and during the whole day were coming and going, but did not offer anything for sale. This gave rise to increased suspicion, and finding but too many grounds for my misgivings, I called one of the chiefs into the cabin, and told him that I knew of their having taken the ship and murdered the crew. The man then confessed that it was the case. The next day the natives brought part of the ship's sails, all cut up, and several more articles, which they wanted to sell; amongst the rest was the ship's log book. That day I found out that six of her crew were prisoners upon the island, and I at once set about trying to get possession of them. For three days more I cruised off the island, having the natives backward and forward during that time. I went to the beach occasionally and could see the men, but on every occasion they were strongly guarded. None of the principal natives were coming on board, as a last resource I had to secure a native, who was related to one of the head chiefs. I put him in irons, and next morning I took him ashore, and again offered the natives to pay them for the men. They agreed at last to let me have one, who, on coming to my boat, gave me the dreadful intelligence that the whole of the crew of the Superior, with the exception of himself and five others, had been murdered, and the ship burnt. It seems there are two chiefs implicated - Copan, the head man, and America, the next. My prisoner being a relative to America, I resolved to keep him until I got the two other men that chief had (for each of the two chiefs had, it seems, two men), and I was finally successful after a great deal of trouble.
"The barque Superior, R.D. Woods, master, (Woods, owner), of New Bedford, sailed from that port on the 24th June, 1857, made Treasury Island on the 12th of September 1860, and came to anchor there the same day. On the 13th, 14th, and 15th of that month, the crew were employed in wooding and watering and were visited by a great number of natives, armed. On Sunday the 16th, nine of the crew went on shore. The carpenter and two men went to the settlement, and were murdered in one of the native huts. The natives then proceeded, in canoes and overland, to the ship; and those who came overland fell in with the remaining six, close to the beach, and murdered them. About 150 natives got on board the vessel, and made a rush on the crew, who were all on deck except four, who were in bed. Those on deck were immediately tomhawked, only two escaped by jumping down the main hatchway, and joining the four below in the forecastle. One of the crew, whom I recovered, saw the captain and the second mate murdered by a native called 'Billy' who has been to Sydney, and speaks English well. Twenty-six men were butchered in cold blood, amongst whom a poor lad, 10 years of age - the crew consisted of 32 souls when she anchored. The natives took five boats, with a quantity of cordage and sails, and everything else was destroyed by setting the ship on fire. The Superior had on board 150 barrels of sperm, and 150 barrels of right whale oil. In November last, she was in Honolulu, and shipped in the Midas, for the United States, 2688 lb. of bone, 370 barrels sperm, and 230 barrels of whale oil, as shown by her log in my possession.
I am, Sir, &c.,
Captain Delvin, of the Rebecca
"Rubiana", Solomon Islands, Nov. 30.
(Captain Hugh Mair, of the schooner Ariel)
Otago Witness February 23 1861
Port Chalmers. February 20 1861. The Eliza, from the South Seas whaling grounds, anchored at noon.
Otago Witness March 30 1861 page 4
The North America, whaling ship, Captain Chappell, arrived in port yesterday, from Freemantle, Western Australia. Captain Chappell left New London, U.S., on the 20th September, 1858, and Hobart Town on the 13th March last, and has been cruising off New Zealand and the middle ground, and disposed of her oil at Freemantle. The North America reports the following ships: On the 10th February the James Maury (Wing), with 1300 barrels: the Governor Troup (Kelly), with 450 barrels: the Roman (Hamlin), also with 450 barrels: the Hunter, with 120 barrels: and the Marnigo and Jerry Swift clean - all off the coast of New Zealand; and also the Nautilus; hence beginning of the present month, with 13 tuns, and the Runnymeade, with 5 tuns, on the middle ground. Captain Chappell also reports that on the 4th February, John Ives, boatswain and cooper, fell from the foretop sail-yard on deck, and broke both legs, and right shoulder, dying in about 12 hours afterwards. The North America having sprung a leak has put into this port for repair. Hobart Town Mercury, March 12.
Otago Witness Saturday February 22 1862 page 6
The Chatham Islands report made by Mr William Seed, Landing Surveyor. Includes trade, population, history and timber. etc....
21st. Oct. 1861.
He proceeded thither by the schooner "Esther", sailed from Wellington on the 30th and returned on the 17th.
From 1841 to about 1854, four to six whaling ships visited the islands every year for supplies. During 1855-1857 their visits became less frequent and for the last three years. 1858, 1859, and 1860 they have principally touched at Pitt's Island, and procured supplies from the two Europeans, Messrs Hunt and Reignault, resident there. During this year whaling ships called there and purchased the supplies they required for cash, few dutiable articles were landed from them. The Europeans residents had long been without tea, sugar and such articles and the natives so badly off for clothing, that the women were beginning to make mats again. Potatoes are at present the only thing grown... In former years there were several whaling stations on the main island, and last year the Maories had some boats out, and obtained a few tons of oil, but this enterprise has now altogether ceased.
Lyttelton Times July 26 1862
We hear that the boats of Mr James Wright's fishery at Island Bay have succeeded in catching a right whale, which promises to yield about five tons of oil. This is the first whale caught this season. Mr Le Cren's boats have caught a humpback whale lately.
Otago Witness September 27 1862 page 4
Wreck of the Marion.
Brisbane 10th Sept. One boat containing three shipwrecked sailors arrived this morning. They reported the wreck of the ship Marion, 900 tons burthen, Captain Williams from New Bedford, America, on Stewart's Island, eight days ago. There were four boats containing the rest of the crew left the wreck together. No intelligence of the remaining three boats has yet been received.
The Daily Southern Cross, January 31st, 1863
Russell - Arrivals
18 - Mohawk, of Nantucket, Swain, N.Y., 46 months out, 350 tuns, with 650 barrels sperm and 90 barrels whale oil.
21 - Sarah Perry, of New Bedford, Sherman, 28 months out, 435 tuns, with 600 barrels sperm, and 1,000 barrels whale oil.
24 - Illinois of New Bedford, Potter, 38 months out, 413 tuns, with 1,000 barrels sperm, 1,100 barrels whale oil and 9,000 lbs whalebone.
The Daily Southern Cross Monday 2nd Feb. 1863
Arrivals 31 - Jan. Lapwig, cutter, 40 tons, J. Edwards, from Norfolk with 4 boxes tobacco, 7 hides, 20 head cattle, 4 boxes pines. When off the North Cape the whaler 'Triton' was boarded, and Captain Edwards sold one of the bullocks to the master. The whaling barque 'Hope,' of New Bedford, and another whaler were on port at Norfolk island when the 'Lapwig' left.
The 'E.K. Bateson,' from Fiji sighted and spoke when off Cape Howe, on the 3rd inst. the 'Waterwitch,' whaler, of Hobart Town, three months out, with 85 barrels, which desired to be reported. Ibid. SMH. Jan. 8th
The Daily Southern Cross February 3rd 1863 pg 2
The cutter 'Alpha,' from the Chatham islands passed up this morning. Captain Mclennan reports that, during his stay there, a number of Tasmanian and American whalers were anchoraged at Pitt's Island for the purpose of recruiting, and in consquence of a heavy gale. Among these whalers there was the 'Emily Downing,' of Hobart Town, and the following American whaling ships:- The 'Daniel Wood,' 'Stephaine,' 'Mermaid,' 'Minerva,' and 'Addison.' The American whaling vessel 'Roman' had gone home full. - daily Times, Jan. 21.
The Daily Southern Cross 7 July 1863
Entered Inwards - Russell
1 July - Lydia, of Fairhaven, mass., Babcock, master, 351 tons, 37 months out, 1,100 barrels sperm oil, 800 barrels whale oil.
1 July, Sun of New Bedford, Smith master, 182 tons, 31 months out, 600 barrels sperm oil.
Wellington Independent Thursday Sept. 17 1863
At half-past one today, the remains of the late Mr William Wood, will be conveyed from Paipitea to their last resting place. He died on Tuesday shortly before afternoon, aged 46. He was the foreman of the hands employed in finishing the deep water wharf. His illness (heart disease) had been long coming on, but assumed a serious aspect only a few weeks since.
Mr Wood's name belongs to the history of New Zealand. His father, who was a respectable will-to-do citizen of London, emigrated in the ship Albion to Sydney in 1827, with his wife and family, William being then about ten-years old. They were amongst the earliest free settlers in that colony; and the New Zealand whale trade being a flourishing one, the deceased engaged himself to the once well know Richard Barrett, and came to Queen Charlotte's Sound in 1838. In 1839 he was one of the crew of the boat that put off to welcome the Troy, the New Zealand Company's pioneer ship with Col. Wakefield on board. In 1843, while engaged at Dogherty's station in Cloudy Bay, he was one of the crew that took off the beach the survivors from the massacre at Wairau. In 1849, on the breaking up the shore fishery he came to live in Wellington, where he resided and became well known as a steady, industrious, and skilful ship carpenter and boat-builder. While living in Cloudy Bay he was married by the Rev. Samuel Ironside to a native, who, with a large family of halfe-caste children, still survive him. To them he leaves little more than his name; a name however, which they fondly cherish, and to which many townspeople will delight to do honor to-day, as that of a worthy man and fellow settler.
The Southern Cross, 10 December 1863
Port of Russell
Arrival - December 7
The American ship Elizabeth, of New Bedford, Winslow, master, 49 months out, with 800 barrels sperm oil; refitting for home.
Southern Cross Dec. 21 1863 pg2
Loss of the Hope at Bampton Shoal on Oct. 30th. Captain L.S. Grifford, master of the American whaling ship, Hope, 300 tons, register burthen, belonging to New Bedford. Weather was fine at the time of the disaster. Disaster was solely owning to an error of nearly forty miles in the position of the shoal, as laid down on Captain Gifford's chart. From 30th Oct. to 6th Nov. the crew were employed on an Island, in repairing the boats, to render them fit for the passage to Brisbane, Australia. The vessel Sporting Lass, master Bennett, whaling brig, sighted on the reef. The crew was afterwards seen to abandon the brig and come towards the Island. Captain Bennett, was cast away some months ago, at the same place, in the schooner Prince of Denmark, from which remains he constructed a smaller vessel called the Hamlet's Ghost, and which he made his way to Brisbane. The two ship companies remained together for two days on the island and on the 17th Nov. the entire crew of the Hope left the shoal in the four boats and in company with five boats of the crew of the Sporting Lass. Bennett contact with one of his boats in charge of the third mate (subsequently picked up by the steamer Yarra Yarra, near Double Island, and conveyed to Sydney). The three remaining boats reached Brisbane, all in good health, on the 24th. Respecting the vessel herself, we learn that she has been absent from New Bedford about six years on her present voyage. Cargo valued at 70,000 dollars. Vessel uninsured. The greater part of the crew here have already shipped upon the Rockhampton, Black Ball ship, which is about to proceed to Callao. The remainder will leave Brisbane for Sydney tomorrow in the Urana. The boats and crew of the Sporting Lass had arrived in Brisbane all safe.
The Southern Cross Monday 28th Dec. 1863
Loss of the Swift, American Whaler, near Raorotonga, at a village named Avarus, went on shore on a reef and became a total wreck. All hands and a portion of her oil were saved. SMH.
Otago Witness August 12 1865 page 4 column 2
Wreck of the barque Alabama at the Chatham Islands
The schooner Flying Cloud has brought to Lyttelton fourteen seaman of the barque Alabama, wrecked at the Chatham Islands, and the following letter to the United States Consul, written by Captain Coffin, at Port Hutt. Sir - I regret to acquaint you with the loss of the whaling barque Alabama, of Nantucket, Mass. On or about May 27th, I left Waitangi and sailed across to Port Hutt. .... We have about 150 to 160 barrels of sperm oil on board. We shall save from the wreck to pay wages due and expenses.
The Southern Cross Tuesday January 23 1866 pg4
The American whaling barque Pacific, Captain French,called at the Bay of Islands for provisions and medical comforts on Saturday last. She came into port tugging in a whale which she captured off the North Cape last Monday. She had a good fortune to capture a leviathan of the deep just outside, which it is estimated will augment her six months' accumulation of oil by upward of 1000 barrels. Up to that time she only had 30 barrels on board. The chief officer of the Pacific had the misfortune to dislocated his shoulder during the capture, the result of a blow from the whale. He was however doing favourably.
The Southern Cross Thursday January 25 1866 pg4
The barque Robert Towns, returned from a whaling cruise to the Arctic Sea, having been away nearly nine months during which time she has taken 630 barrels oil, and 10,5000lb whale bone. She called at Honolulu and touched at Coral Queen Island on 55th November; left the Bay of Islands on the 30th ultimo - Ibid - Sydney Morning Herald January 17th.
Otago Witness March 14 1868 page 3 column 4
Sandwich Islands - The Advertiser contains an account of the loss of the whaling bark Stella, wrecked on the East Grampus Island, August 12th, in the northeast gulf of the Ochotsk Sea. The vessel went on the rocks, with the wind blowing a gale from the west and a thick fog prevailing at the time. The Stella was owned in New Bedford, and was valued at 48,000; she had on board at the time of her loss 2000 pounds of bone, and 130 barrels of sperm and 675 barrels of whale oil. Two seaman, Edward Burns and Conrad Founty, were killed, and several others wounded in trying to save the ship.
Boston Daily Advertiser, (Boston, MA) Friday, July 17, 1868
Arrived at Dunedin, N.Z., May 5, schooner, Lovett Peacock, Dowson, from Boston, Jan. 25.
The Hawaiian Gazette, (Honolulu, HI) Wednesday, July 22, 1868
Port Chalmers, NZ, has been made a free port for whaling vessels. The port on the south east side of the middle island; in latitude 42 53S and longitude 179 50 E. The opening of the port to whalers was brought about through the efforts of Mr George L. Sise, of the firm Bates, Sise & Co., Mr Sise wrote to the Dunedin chamber of Commerce. Now that there is a graving dock in process of construction, at an enormous cost, and patent slips have been for some time in operation, it is essential some time in operation, it is essential some other scheme should be adopted to make Otago a port of greater attraction. It can be proved satisfactorily that this port is deserving, both as regards its latitude and longitude and its general capabilities, of selection as the whaling station of eth South Pacific and Antarctic Oceans....
A regular line of packets runs from Boston to that place, to the consignment of Messrs Bates, Sise & Co., so that constant opportunities exist for shipment of materials and supplies. By the monthly mail via Panama, the postal time between New York and New Zealand is only forty five days.
Otago Witness October 26 1872 pg14
Invercargill. Oct. 23rd
The schooner Nancy has just returned from a six months sealing cruise, but brings a tun of oil and 150 skins. The passage up occupied ten days.
Timaru Herald February 2 1874
The brigantine Sarah Pile, which arrived at the Bluff a short time since, after a successful sealing cruise to Macquarie Island, put in an appearance at the Port on Wednesday night. The Sarah Pile was purchased in Sydney some ten months ago by her present owner, Mr Printx, and was fitted out for whaling and sealing. She may be regarded as the first Otago whaler. This cruise is the second the Sarah Pile has made. She has between 60 and 70 tons of sea elephant oil on board and is here for the purpose of sending it to England in the ship Dunfillan.
Timaru Herald Wednesday 28 October 1874
Port Chalmers, Monday Evening
The Calypso has arrived, but is not towed in.
The Jessie Redman returned, after having been blown off the coast.
The whaling barque, Chance, had to put back, having lost both her anchors at Macquarie's.
Port Chalmers, Tuesday Evening
The whaler Chance put in here for an anchor on Sunday, and her papers have been detained by the Collector of Customs under the Plimsoll Act, until she is thoroughly surveyed.
Sailed - The whaling barque Splendid
Otago Witness 2 May 1874 pg 22
Our whaling barque, the Albion, has not been a success. After a cruise of 17 months she has returned with 21 tuns oil. Whales are plentiful, but objected to being caught by any but Yankee whalers. Such enterprises cannot, it is clear, be suddenly undertaken, but must grow from small beginnings if we are to have the men and the skill to make them successful.
Timaru Herald Nov. 2 1874
Auckland. The Albion, whaler, has arrived after a cruise of four months. She has 130 barrels of humpback oil. Plenty whales were seen, but the vessel did not have sufficient hands.
Timaru Herald 3rd February 1876
John Lediard who recently died at the house of his daughter near Riverton, was reputed to be the oldest white resident in New Zealand. His early life was chiefly whaling cruises, in the course of which he became acquainted with the well-known missionaries Kendal, Butler, and Williams. For some years her served in the Royal Navy and was one of the volunteers who brought home the Danish fleet captured by Lord Nelson. Afterwards, though against his will, he was on board the Majestic at the blockade of Boston Harbour, and the enemy's frigate the Constitution. He served in the Bellerophon when that vessel ran into Plymouth with the great Napoleon on board. Being paid off, John went to London, then shipped in the whaler Indian for the South Seas, about which he cruised ever afterwards. Born in Depford in 1789.
The Southern Cross Saturday 8th April 1876 page 3
Russell, March 18
The whaling barque Matilda Sears, Captain Childs, arrived from a cruise. A seaman belonging to the Matilida Sears was drowned last night whilst attempting to desert by swimming ashore. The body has not yet been recovered.
Arrivals: Mary Frazer, whaler, from a cruise; Christina, William and Julia, and Rover.
The Magellan Cloud has arrived from a cruise, with 40 barrels of sperm oil. The head of a large whale was lost, but picked up by the Niger.
Russell, April 6
Arrival: Isabella, whaler, of Wellington, two months out. She has no oil. She is just from the Chatham Islands. Passengers: Mr Priscoe and Miss Bulger.
page 8. During 1875 there were seventeen American whalers cruising on the New Zealand coast. They took 6,095 barrels, making an average to each of 358 barrels. Thirteen vessels are told off for duty on this coast during the present year.
The Southern Cross Wednesday 12th April 1876 page 2
Ruessell, Tuesday. Departures: The Magellan Cloud, Captain Irving, for a whaling cruise.
During 1875 there were seventeen American whalers cruising on the New Zealand coast. They took 6,095 barrels, making an average to each of 358 barrels. thirteen vessels are told off for duty on this coast during the present year.
Otago Witness Saturday March 29th 1879 pg24
Captain Nye of the barque Mount Wolleston
The northern whales will average 10lbs of bone to each barrel of oil, and are at present the most profitable whales caught. The most ardent sportsman would find in the whaler's life no lack of exciting adventure.
Comparative value of Whales
The following table presents the average yield of oil and bone to the northern and southern whale:Bbls oil Lls bone Northern right whale 125 1500 Southern right whale 75 600 Artic whale 90 1450
Otago Witness Saturday 17 January 1880 page 16
At Stewart's Island the arrival of the barque Sophia, of Hobart Town, which put in at Port William for the purpose of trying out a whale. The captain stated that this was the fourth he has secured off the Solander during the six weeks he had been on the ground.
Otago Witness March 16 1800 page 15
March 3. The whale ship James Arnold arrived at Russell. Captain Wilson reports taking 190 barrels of sperm oil. He reports the Horatio, Captain Arnan, with one small whale since leaving Russell.
Otago Witness April 17 1880 page 13
The schooner Jessie Niccol was towed into Port Chalmers on Saturday morning by the p.s. Peninsula. She comes from the Macquarie Islands, and brings 25 tuns of oil, part only of the quantity stored there by the se-elephant hunters, who have, been fairly successful this time on the island. The schooner would have brought away the whole of the oil had it been that she encountered very sever weather, which compelled her to put to sea and leave 60 tuns of oil on the island.
Otago Witness Saturday 28 August 1880 page 14
Arrived. Jessie Niccol from a sealing cruise.
Otago Witness Saturday December 18 1880 page 14
Tuesday - Jessie Niccol from Macquarie Islands.
Otago Witness Saturday 18 February 1882 pg 13
Arrivals: Monday - Jessie Niccol, from Macquarie Islands.
Otago Witness Saturday 6th January 1883
The whaler Splendid arrived at Port Chalmers yesterday morning. She left Lyttelton on December 17th and proceeded to the Chatham Islands, and on the 23rd gave chase to and captured a sperm whale, the whole of which (with the exception of a portion of the casing) she rescued, and in getting the casing in, her windlass unfortunately carried away on both sides, which compelled her to abandon the casing. She cleared the Chathams on December 25th, had strong fair winds, and arrived off the Heads on Friday evening; lay to outside , and finished trying in her oil' took a fresh breeze yesterday morning, and was towed into port by the s.s. Plucky. We are informed that part of the windlass which gave way was the new casting effected in Christchurch about a fortnight back. This is greatly to be regretted, as the whaling season in the vicinity of the Chathams is now at its height. The last sperm whale, Captain Earle informs us, turned out 14 tuns of oil.
Otago Witness, Saturday March 3rd 1883. Page 14
From a private telegram received from Hobart yesterday, we learn that the whaling barque Asia arrived at Hobart on the 25th inst., with a full cargo of 72 tons of sperm oil, valued at £6000. The Asia arrived at Stewart's Island in November last an empty ship, and in less than three months cruising off the Solanders has netted to her owners equal to £2000. Invercargill merchants burn their fingers over Longwood shares and throw away thousands, whilst strangers make fortunes at their back-doors.- Southland Times.
Otago Witness Saturday April 21st 1883. Page 14
The Othello has been purchased for the whaling trade.
The barque Splendid is at the Chatham Islands with 25 tuns of sperm oil.
Otago Witness Saturday October 27th 1883. Page 14.
Captain Hugh Paterson, of the brigantine Gleaner, states that he witnessed a very exciting fight between a thrasher and a whale off Cape Pallisier on the 12th inst. It was a very furious encounter, and the thrasher [a large shark] seemed to have the best of it. Owing to the heavy gale that prevailed, Captain Paterson was unable to remain and ascertain the result of the fight although he is of the opinion the whale has decidedly the worst of it.
The barque Splendid is being refitted for the South Sea whaling trade. Her lower rigging is set up, and she will soon be ready for sea.
Timaru Herald Saturday June 7th 1884 page 2
William Maclean, one of the first settlers in Otago, died on Monday. He arrived in Otago nearly fifty years ago from Sydney in a whaler. His wife was the first white women who landed in Otago.
Otago Witness Saturday 14th June 1884
Died. On 3rd June at Waikouaiti, William McLochland; aged 83. Sydney papers please copy.
The Star Dec. 22 1884 page 2
Port Chalmers, Dec. 21.
Arrived - Jessie Niccol, from Macquarrie Islands, bringing 40 tons of sea elephant oil. The master reports that rabbits put on the island by Mr W. Elder have increased to thousands.
Otago Witness Friday 28 May 1886 pg 15
Arrived: May 23
Splendid, barque, 358 tons, Anglem, from a whaling cruise. W Elder agent
Othello, barque, 312 tons, Earle, from a whaling cruise. W Elder agent
Otago Witness 16 July 1886 page 18
Auckland, July 10
The whaling barque Alaska (Captain Fisher), thirteen months out from New Bedford, arrived at Russell this morning. She left the Chatham islands on the 27th May, and has on board 300 barrels of sperm and 300 of whale oil, with 15cwt of whale bone; all well.
Otago Witness 30 July 1886 page 19
The whaler Alaska, at Russell, has been detained by the Customs authorities there. It is alleged that whilst at Chatham Islands she landed a quantity of goods upon which duty was not paid.
Otago Witness Friday 13 August 1886 page 19
Auckland, August 5
The captain of the American whaler Alaska was charged at the Russell Police Court with landing dutiable goods at Chatham Island, and was fined £100 with £28 costs. The barque sailed for Russell to-day.
Timaru Herald Monday June 24 1889
Port Chalmers. June 22 - The schooner Janet Ramsey, which went to the Macquarrie Islands, on an elephant oil expedition, returned unsuccessful, owning to bad weather. The crew captured a number of seals, but as the notice misled them, representations will be made to the Commissioner of Customs to relieve them from penalties.
Timaru Herald Thursday 11 July 1889
Dunedin, July 10
The Government intends to prosecute the master and crew of the Janet Ramsay for taking seals during the close season. The offense was said to be committed quite unwittingly. The only notice on the Auckland Islands when the men arrived there was that the close season expired on the 1st June. The master and the men voluntarily informed ten Customs officers of the affair. It is pointed out that while sealers in this colony are pounced on, American and other lands play havoc with the seals with impunity, no attempt being made to see that the close season is observed.
Timaru Herald October 30 1889
Mr Joseph Hatch has just shipped by his schooner Awarua from Lyttelton to his sea elephant station on the Macquarie Islands a steam boiling down plant. He keeps ten or a dozen men on the main island to catch and boil down sea elephants. The men shoot these creatures when they come ashore, cut them up, and boil down their thick bludder. Hitherto, the reduction has been done in pots over open fires, and the use of steam apparatus is expected to reduce the labour and the coal as fuel has o be imported as well as all stores for the men's use.
Otago Witness Thursday 13 Feb. 1890 pg15 & 20th pg15.
RM Court. The Voyage of the Janet Redman. Left Port Chalmers for the Macquarie Islands on the 15th Sept. to get elephant oil. Edward Fowler was left on the island until taken back to NZ by the Awarua.
Anderson Captain of the Salado
Camp William (sailor)
Fowler Edward (seaman)
Godfrey George (seaman)
Lewis Walter Powell owner of schooner
Mill John (master)
Shearer John (sailor)
Strong George (sailor)
Sutherland James (sailor)
Otago Witness Thursday April 2 1896 page 36
The old barque, Waterwitch, for many years a constant cruiser from Tasmanian to the South Seas was recently offered for sale at Hobart, and the highest bid for the vessel was only 90, just as she stood. The reserve placed upon her was not reached and she was passed in. The Waterwitch was built at Pembroke in 1820, and was consequently 76 years old. She is owned by Messrs A.M. McGregor and CO., of Hobart, since 1878.
Otago Witness December 5 1900 page 90
Photo of Jack Guard. His father was Captain Guard of the whaler "Harriet," wrecked with her crew near Cape Egmon [south of Rahot] during the night on April 29, 1834. The "Harriett" was en route from Port Jackson, Sydney to Port Underwood, Cloudy Bay [in calm weather so the disaster was thought to be careless navigation]. [The Harriet cast iron anchor was recovered by the Gibson family in 1970 and is on display.] [Everyone, including his wife and two small boys got ashore safely and set up camp among the sandhills near the mouth of the Okahu River. Maori discovered them and at first relationships were friendly but then quarrels and fighting broke out. ] Mrs Guard, her infant, and an older child were taken prisoners by the Maoris, who attacked the wrecked crew killing two of their number and carrying the rest into captivity. The poor women herself narrowly escaped being tomahawked [a blow from a tomahawk struck Mrs Guard but was diverted by her large hair comb and rendered her unconscious], and saw her husband's brother and other members of the "Harriet's" crew who were killed in the attack, cooked and eaten. Captain Guard, however, and the remaining eleven men, managed to escape, leaving Mrs Guard and her two children in the hands of the natives, where they remained for five long months. [Captain Guard and some of his men escaped and reached the whaling station at Ngamotu, New Plymouth.] She was, however, treated kindly, and when brought back to the Captain of the H.M.S. "Aligator," was wrapped in the most beautiful feather mats. Two children were with Mrs Guard, Jack, and an elder boy, whom the natives refused to give up even after they had surrendered Mrs Guard and the infant. Nor was it until the H.M.S. "Alligator", man-o'-war, arrived from Sydney and landed a strong force, that Mrs Guard and her infant were surrendered. On board the H.M. Ship "Alligator" was a detachment of the 59th Regt. despatched to recover the captives.. .
Grady, Don 'Guards of the Sea' published 1978 1st ed. Pub: Whitcoulls, Chch. h/b, pictorial d/j, about the Guard family who settled in the South Island and earned a living as whalers. 192pp; index; appendix; lots of photos b/w & colour; photos of old documents and family members, family history charts; maps on endpapers. About 1830 Jacky Guard, whaler, sealer & fisherman, brought his wife out from Sydney to his whaling camp at Te Awaiti, Tory Channel. Their first child was born there in 1831. They later lived at Port Underwood. Descendants still live and fish in Kakapo Bay and have contributed their personal family memories.
The Whaler Fleet
Full merrily sail'd our whaler fleet
When the wind blew out to sea;
Any many a one came forth to greet
Each good ship's company.
For there was the Dove and the Good Intent
(How the wind blew out to sea!)
And the Polly o' Sleights with her bran-new sails;
But the Mary Jane for me!
Oh, Captain Thwaites of the Mary Jane,
When the wind blew out to sea,
Full many a time his ship had sailed,
Full many a time had he.
He has Jack of Grosmont and Tom o' the Staith
(How the wind blew out to sea!)
And Handsome Jim from Hayburn Wyke;
But 'twas Robin Hood Will for me.
My Willy he kiss'd me before them all,
When the wind blew out to sea;
My Willy he stood the last on deck
A-waving his cap to me.
So off they sail'd out over the main,
While the wind blew out to sea;
Till the ice was all under their beamed bows
And the ice drove under their ice.
The months they went and the months they came,
And the wind blew out to sea;
Any many a time in the stormy nights
My mammy she wept with me.
But when the harvest moon came round,
And the wind blew in from the sea,
'Twas merrily came our whaler fleet
All home from the north country.
The folk they call'd and the folk they ran,
And the wind blew in from the sea;
From the tick of the town to the lighthouse tower,
'Twas throng as a throng could be.
I saw them atop of the old church stairs,
When the wind blew in from the sea;
And the waves danced under their beamed bows,
And the foam flew under their lee.
I saw them at foot of the old church stairs,
When the wind blew in from the sea;
And the foremost ship of our whaler fleet
Was rounding the lighthouse quay.
Oh there's the Dove and the Good Intent,
(Still the wind blew in from the sea),
And the red red sails of the Polly o' Sleights-
Her men are plain to see.
Now every each hath pass'd the bar,
And the wind blew in from the sea;
And every each lies in harbor lies,
Right up against the quay.
But where, oh where, is the Mary Jane,
Now the wind blew in from the sea?
There's many hath clipt his lass,
And when doth my lad clip me?
"Oh tell me where is the Mary Jane,
For the wind blew in from the sea?"
"The Mary Jane went down by her head
With all her company!"
Now take me home to my mammy so dear,
Though the wind blows in from the sea;
There's never a billow rolls over my lad,
But I wish it rol'd over me!
And take me home, for I care not now
If the wind blows in from the sea;
My Willy he lies in the deeps of the dead,
But his heart lives on in me.
Arthur J. Munby (1828-1910)
Otago Witness Saturday 8th April 1865 page 15 column 4
Note: The vessels sailed out of Whitby. Hayburn Wyke is between Scarborough and Whitby on the Yorkshire coast. To the north is the seaport of Whitby and the fishing villages of Robin Hood's Bay, Runswick Bay and Staithes. Sleights village is outside Whitby about two miles. Grosmont is another village about five miles out. The old church stairs refers to the 199 steps from the town of Whitby to the church on the top of the cliff, a hard climb.
Whale ships were always whaling and
seldom went anywhere direct or fast
for speed's sake other than at the very beginning or end of a round voyage which might well take four years.
New Bedford Whaling database - American, crew lists online.
List of Vessels which visited the Bay of Islands 1839
1840 Bay of Islands Arrivals
List of US vessels arriving and departing Bay of Islands, NZ January 1839 - December 1841
Yankee Maritime Activities - 602 American vessels which are known to have visited Australian coasts up to 1850
Whaling in Early NZ
A good source of NZ whaling records prior to 1840 are the Tasmanian Archives - as many whaling boats based their south seas operation from there - Crew lists still exist.
Paterson Inlet photo Norwegian
Marshall Is. Ships visiting
Foreign Ships in Micronesia
Petticoat Whalers by Joan Druett. On women on whaling ships 1820-1920 in the South Pacific region (including NZ). It also has bits on some early settlers in NZ. Substantial index. On the back cover it reads "by 1850, roughly a sixth of all whaling vessels carried the captains' wives. Invariably the only woman aboard very cramped ships, they endured harsh conditions to provide companionship for their husbands, and often exerted a strong unofficial moral influence on a rowdy crew".
The Old Whaling Days - by Robert McNab - has an index listing hundreds of vessels that came to NZ. Old (1913) 1975. Golden Press, Auckland. 508pp; index; hard cover book; pictorial d/j. The story of early South Island whalers, lawlessness, and Te Rauparaha's attack at Akaroa. Covers the period from 1830 to 1840
Sealers and Whalers in New Zealand Waters by Don Grady
The Perano Whalers by Don Grady
In Ian Nicholson's 'Log of Logs' list of references for whaling voyages.
Under the NZ Marine Mammal Protection Act, people cannot be closer than 50 metres from whales, and fines for such breaches can amount to $NZ30,000.
Whales used to be hunted as they swam through Cook Strait. The first whaling station was established at Cloudy Bay in 1828 and the second at Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds the following year. The whaling business was a bloody dangerous one. Whalers use to stand on these little slippery boats crashing in the Cook Strait and wearing gumboots with something the size of a submarine thrashing about under them. The Perano family had been associated with whaling in Cook Strait from 1911. Whaling came to an end in Marlborough in 1964 when the Perano whaling operation at the Tory Channel closed in the face of falling catches after Japanese and Russian boats took vast numbers from Antarctic waters and a decline in whale oil prices. Very few whales were left to travel through Cook Strait on their way to breeding grounds. That was then and this is now. Over the last forty years whalers have gone from harpoon gunners in whale chasers and explosive experts, to conservationists, DNA samplers and tour guides in hydrofoils! Posted 2005.
The instant a whale rises a blast of air is exhaled through its nostril, the blow hole. This air has been under pressure in the lungs, is heated and saturated with water vapour. It condenses upon striking the colder outer air forming a column of spray called the spout. The blowhole is opened by muscles upon surfacing and closed by the pressure of water upon diving. A whale will surface for about ten minutes and when you see its tail go up in the air it is getting ready to dive and will stay down about about 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Photo of the sperm whale about to dive taken off the Kaikoura coast by me, Olwyn, Aug. 2003.
for James "Worser" Heberley
- a whaler and pilot
by Ian Wedde 1990