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In late December 1814, Captain Phillip Goodenough sailed his ship Betsy out of Port Jackson, bound for Macquarie Island. Onboard were 33 men, including six lascars, thirteen of which were left on the island for sealing, with enough stores to last them until the ship returned. Captain Goodenough then sailed Betsy for Auckland Islands where scurvy took hold of his crew and he lost two men. Betsy sailed back to Macquarie Island. Once there, she was blown offshore in a gale and after three weeks of battling raging seas and winds, Captain Goodenough admitted defeat and set course for Sydney. Incredibly the doomed voyage continued as Betsy hit nor’west gales and was driven back towards New Zealand. By now provisions were scant and scurvy rampant. Men disabled with pain lay about unable to gather strength to man the ship, which had been badly damaged in rough seas. Tragically Betsy drifted in whichever direction the weather or waves saw fit, and one by one, the men began to die.
Eventually she drifted to within site of Cook Strait but the wind deserted them, and Betsy became becalmed. The site of land so near only increased their desperation as the survivors committed another body to the deep. Eventually a wind came up. It carried the stricken vessel out to sea again. Two weeks later Betsy lay off the Bay of Islands and the men mustered their every last ounce of strength to attempt to run her into the Bay. A squall suddenly enveloped the ship, ripping away her sails. The men, beaten by their battles with the sea and the weather, could only wait to see what form their tragic end would take. When the last of their water was gone they launched a jollyboat and whaleboat into which they climbed twenty miles from land, abandoning Betsy to the sea. As men continued to die, their bodies were buried at sea, until only twelve remained. In the smaller boats the men battled the waves but try as they might, they couldn't shorten the distance to land. Eventually the decision was made to save the stronger men and the weaker four were loaded into the jolly and set adrift. So terribly sick, no one expected them to last more than a couple of hours, but one asked for his jacket to protect him from the cold.
For twelve hours the surviving eight summoned every last bit of energy, to fight their way to land. Eventually they reached the near North Cape. Shortly after coming ashore Captain Philip Goodenough died. As did one lascar, leaving six men remaining - four lascars, Thomas Rogers and Thomas Hunt. At last free of Betsy and the sea, a new danger descended upon the wretched men as native New Zealanders surrounded them. Taken into captivity, the men were lead away at the end of a spear believing that each miserable step they stumbled was one closer to being killed and eaten. For a week the men lived in constant fear of the cannibals who were holding them. Finally there were assured that their lives would be spared and when a sail came into sight the Maori prepared a canoe to take them to the ship. It passed before they were able to reach it. It was not until three months later that the few surviving crew of Betsy were at last rescued from North Cape, by Captain Hansen in his brig Active.
May 15 1815, the schooner Brothers set out from Sydney in company with the brig Trial with a view to establishing a trading settlement in New Zealand where flax, timber and other natural resources could be prepared for transport to trade on the Sydney market. Arriving at the Bay of Islands on June 13 they stayed for a month before sailing south trading for flax and spars with Maori where and when they could along the way. After visiting Cook Strait Brothers and Trial sailed back to a place they had named Trial Harbour during their voyage south. Located between Mercury Bay and Thames, Trial Harbour is known as Kennedy's Bay today. It was here that both ships were attacked by Maori and after a frantic fight for survival the ships were retaken from the native New Zealanders with the loss of several crew from both vessels. Arriving back at the Bay of Islands to report their ordeal, it came as no great surprise to the Europeans at the settlement, as they had been aware of some unscrupulous dealings by Captain Hovell with the Maori during their earlier visit there. The trading settlement dream failed and back in Sydney only a small amount of flax, mats and spars were offered for sale at discounted prices. As primitive as the captains considered the native New Zealanders, they had learnt the harsh lesson first hand that Maori were not to be crossed in trade or treatment, or the consequences for their lives and business prospects would be fatal.
Brampton, Captain S Moore, arrived at Port Jackson from Cork on 22 April 1823 with 183 male convicts on board and a detachment from the third regiment. Three months later Brampton was ready to sail for New Zealand with new settlers for the Christian Mission and the Wesleyans. Samuel Marsden accompanied his newest recruit, Henry Williams, who arrived to a small community that was breaking down on several fronts. Thomas Kendall had been cast out for unchristian behaviour. Personality clashes, power struggles, and accusations of affairs, musket trading, and drinking plagued the mission. Amongst the Wesleyans were Nathaniel Turner and a man named John Lee. After a month at the Bay of Islands, Marsden had convinced Thomas Kendall to leave, and Brampton was ready to sail again September 7. Others onboard were Wesleyan Samuel Leigh, forced to abandon his mission work due to ill health, Thomas Kendall, and survivors of the Cossack which had been wrecked at Hokianga. Included in the latter was James Spencer who had worked for his keep at the mission until he could work his passage back to Sydney on a new ship. Just as Brampton began to leave she was struck by strong winds and driven onto rocks. Stuck on the reef, Samuel Marsden quickly left the stricken boat and went ashore. Kendall remained onboard for several days until Marsden allowed him to disembark and return to his home in the Bay. Spencer, his services no longer required by the mission, was forced to survive on his own until he stowed away on Dragon when she set sail in late October. Brampton clung onto the rocks for a week longer before breaking up and dissolving into the sea.
An American whaling ship from Nantucket, Captain Joy brought Boston into the Bay for refreshing in autumn 1824. The Bay of Islands was a welcome port for captains and crew where they could get fresh water, pork, potatoes, and timber for repairs as well as female company which was a necessary provision for a happy crew. Many captains and men had 'wives' at the Bay of Islands and once in port they would join them onboard for the duration of the stay, with some accompanying their men to sea.
First in the employ of Bunn & Co in New Zealand waters, the brig Bee was used to bring back the season's cargo of whale oil and some of the men from Bunn's Preservation station on the south coast of Fiordland. In 1834 Captain Robertson was her charge and Bee sailed south from Sydney to Macquarie Island to bring back a sealing gang who, it turned out, had had an unsuccessful season. By 1836 a dozen whaling ships were working off Banks Peninsula including Bee. Her captain was George Hempleman. Both are remembered today in Banks Peninsula history for being at the birth of European settlement there. Hempleman is credited with establishing the first shore based whaling station on the peninsula when in 1836 he put tryworks ashore for his men to process their catch. George Hempleman and his wife were the first German settlers in New Zealand.
In the early to mid 1830's Cook Strait became a focal point for bay whalers. From the Kapiti Coast to Cloudy Bay many whaling and trading ships frequented the area. Traders were after flax for manufacture in Sydney while whalers sought out the best vantage point to prey on whales as they migrated south and came in close to shore to calf. Frequently in close contact with one another, men jumped ships and captains consulted each other on seafaring matters. In 1834, Bardastra from Liverpool was one of those ships in Cloudy Bay.
In 1837 Bombay of London called at Preservation whaling station on the south west coast of New Zealand. Preservation was perhaps the first shore station established in New Zealand. Two days after another vessel Sydney Packet had left Preservation for Sydney, Captain Lawson on Bombay found himself in distress when a gale set in and put his boat in grave danger. Battling atrocious conditions, original co-owner of Preservation Station Edwin Palmer and his men braved the conditions sending two boats out to help save the ship from being wrecked.
"This beautifully photographed book enables the reader to step back in time, to a world when tall ships were the means by which continents were discovered, trade routes were opened up and new worlds were colonised."
Whalers sought shelter in the many small bays on Banks Peninsula.
Above: Tumbledown Bay
"Sculpture made from a Sperm Whales tooth depicting 'Land & Sea'. This whales tooth is from a whale that washed up on the shores of New Zealand."
"In addition to the stunning photography, this book contains a trove of information about Nantucket, past and present, along with detailed captions and a comprehensive index. "