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"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."
The whaleship Commerce visited the Bay of Islands in 1807. Prior to being at the Bay, she called at Chatham Islands and took on new crew in the form of a Maoriori who acted as interpreter. Having previously been to New Zealand he knew he could communicate with Maori despite language differences. An interpreter was an important asset during times of early trade in New Zealand. Some Europeans left their ships to take on this role for chiefs. These men became known as go-betweens, not only bridging the gap in language, but also showing native New Zealanders how to use items they traded for.
Making frequent calls at the Bay of Islands for more than a decade in the early days of European and New Zealand Maori contact, Cumberland became a well known visitor to New Zealand shores, as did her captains. The first of those was William Swain who brought Cumberland into the Bay of Islands in January 1810. On this occassion he gave several gallons of oil to a tribe, no doubt in return for fresh provisions. Two years later when Cumberland was whaling off the coast of New Zealand Swain was still her captain, but when she next arrived at the Bay of Islands two years later in early 1814, that post had been transferred to Captain Phillip Goodenough. Now a trading ship, Cumberland was on her way from Sydney to Rarotonga for a cargo load of Sandalwood. By October 27 1819 Cumberland was once again a whaler and destined for New Zealand where she arrived on March 20 the following year. Her captain was now William Brind who eventually set up residence at the Bay of islands with a chief's daughter. In 1820 Brind brought Cumberland into the Bay on at least four occassions, and she arrived in Sydney in August with 600 barrels of oil destined for the London market. Owned by Enderby's of London, Cumberland continued on her South Seas whaling voyage and when she sailed into the Bay in October 1820 Captain Brind brought news that King George was dead and the whaleship Echo was lost, Cumberland having assisted some of Echo's crew when their ship was wrecked in Cato's Reef. By February of the following year, Cumberland's crew had procured 1200 barrels of oil and her last appearance at the Bay of Islands was in early December 1821.
Captained by Joseph Moore, Cretan sailed in company with another South Seas whaler Phoenix, and both ships paid an eight day visit to the Bay of Islands in November 1815.
In mid-December 1822 two ships hove into the Bay of Islands. Mermaid, Captain J.R. Kent, and Cossack, Captain Brown, had come from trading in Hawaii. A month later Cossack arrived at Sydney where she stayed two months before heading for the coast of New Zealand and Sandwich Islands. Unfortunately Cossack never made it any further than New Zealand's Hokianga where she was wrecked leaving the harbour on 27 April 1823. Her surviving crew scrambled exhausted and half clothed across land for five days until they reached the Christian mission station at Kerikeri in the northern Bay of Islands. One of Cossack's crew James Spencer was able to work for his keep with the mission until he could arrange to work his passage out of New Zealand on the next available ship. That opportunity came four months later on the mission's vessel Brampton, however Spencer must have wondered what more could go wrong when that ship too was wrecked as she attempted to sail out of the Bay.
In 1824 the French ship Coquille arrived for a two week stay in the Bay of Islands. Her Captain was Louis Duperry and Dumont d'Urville his second-in-command. As the ship came to a standstill hundreds of natives crowded onto her deck. They were visited a few days later by three of the Bay's most powerful chiefs and Te Tuhi of Kahuwera Pa guaranteed the safety of the ship and her crew. Coquille's visit to New Zealand was part of a research expedition which involved surveying the prospect of establishing a French penal colony on the islands. Having spent a fortnight collecting plant specimens, trading and meeting local chiefs, Coquille set sail for Marseilles where she arrived in January 1825. When Coquille made her next appearance in New Zealand she sailed under the name Astrolabe.
In October 1828 Courier left Sydney for a whaling voyage to the fishery on the hunt for sperm whales. The voyage lasted ten months in which time they gathered 135 tons of oil. Captain Banks set sail again on his next voyage to the sperm fisheries just three months later and this time they were out for the best part of a year. In May of 1831 Courier was reported to be at Cloudy Bay on the north east coast of the South Island. This bay had become a focal point for whalers who were able to harpoon whales as they passed through Cook Strait during their migration south. The region was also popular at this time for traders who were seeking flax to be processed in Sydney. While at Cloudy Bay Courier was said to be empty and her crew in a state of mutiny. When she arrived at Sydney in December 1831 Captain Sutton was in control but the crew had only managed to procure 75 tons of oil. Courier was working in Cloudy Bay again in 1832, but in 1837 she was under the charge of Captain Worth and was seen trying out at Paterson's River on Stewart Island, her crew having procured 900 barrels of oil.
Columbia, Captain Watson, arrived at Sydney in February 1829 with a cargo of flax, spars and pork from New Zealand. She remained in port until late April then set sail for Liverpool.
Seized by convicts off the coast of Australia in 1829, Cyprus was renamed Friends of Boston by convict Walker who led his fellow crewmen on their mutinous journey into Port Underwood. When they arrived John Guard was there with his ship Waterloo, and was shortly after joined by Captain Billy Worth in the sealer Elizabeth and Mary. Although it was evident that Cyprus was in the hands of pirate convicts the captains were not prepared to put themselves or their men in danger, not having enough man power or weaponary to overthrow the ship's captors. When Captain Worth arrived in Sydney the next month, he reported the Cyprus incident. However Billy Worth may have come to regret letting Cyprus slip out of Port Underwood, as when he arrived back in Sydney in February 1830 on his new ship Samuel the sealing gang he had left at Chatham Islands had had all of their seal skins plundered and their entire kit carried off by the crew of Cyprus, numbering as many as fifty mutinous men.
Having been recently converted to a schooner Currency Lass, Captain Wishart, began trading in New Zealand's Cook Strait in April 1830. At this time it was becoming increasingly difficult for captains to procure cargoes of flax. Local tribes either refused to trade or raised the price they were willing to trade for. By early October many boats in the market for flax were still empty but when Currency Lass arrived in Sydney towards the end of that month she had managed to obtain 20 tons of flax and a quantity of potatoes. Compared to other ships Currency Lass was rather more successful in procuring flax. In February 1831 under Captain Bucknell she brought 30 tons to Sydney, another 20 tons in July and a further 28 tons of flax in April 1832.
From Kororareka to Russel, the story of a small town in the Bay of Islands that played a large part in New Zealand history.
On May 30 in 1820 HMS Coromandel, Captain Downie, arrived at the Bay of Islands from England. Two days later Reverend Samuel Marsden who had been on an excursion inland returned to Rangihoua and learned from Captain Downie that his intention was to head to the Firth of Thames in order to procure a cargo of timber. When HMS Coromandel sailed for the Thames a few days later, Reverend Marsden accompanied them on their voyage. Captain Downie later reported that while at the Bay of Islands whalers were in the practice of trading muskets and ammunition for pork and potatoes.