Dougall's Far South

Far South

An account of William Dougall's voyage to New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic islands in the summer of 1888.

From a photograph kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.
refer to:

For the Islands.— The s.s. Stella left the Bluff yesterday for the Auckland Islands, the object of her trip being to replenish the stores, build another depot, and make a careful search round the islands. She took with her five goats, shipped by Mr J. Macpherson, a pair of the same kind of animals given by Mr Johnston, of Puysegur Point lighthouse, and twenty-five sheep, of both sexes. This stock is to be distributed between the Enderby, Adams, Ewing, Ross, and Ocean Islands, so that succour may be afforded to shipwrecked mariners in the future. The sheep and goats sent by Mr Macpherson have been purchased out of the Invercargill Shipwreck fund, which was raised about twenty years ago and which has been invested ever since. After visiting the Aucklands the Stella will proceed to the Campbell, Antipodes and Bounty Islands returning to the Bluff or Port Chalmers about twenty days hence. Captain Fairchild is in command and among those on board are Mr R. P. MacGoun (County Clerk), Mr W. Dougall (photographer), and a German naturalist.
Southland Times, Issue 9730, 20 January 1888, Page 2

s.s. Stella at Erebus Cove, Enderby Island
From a photograph kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.
refer to:

Photography.— We intimated yesterday that Mr Dougall was among the passengers by the s.s. Stella to the southern islands. Mr Dougall's object in venturing so far south is, we understand, to take views of the various places visited, and no doubt after his return some interesting scenes will be produced in his studio. During his absence his business will be attended to by Mr Esquilant, a gentleman who has had ample experience in a similar capacity in Dunedin.— We may also mention that Mr B. P. MacGoun, whose name was included in our list, was prevented, by business engagements, at the last moment from proceeding on the trip.
Southland Times, Issue 9731, 21 January 1888, Page 2

Far South.
[From Notes by Mr W. Dougall.]
After a delay of 24 hours caused by stormy weather we left the Bluff in the Government steamer Stella, Captain Fairchild, at 9 a.m on Thursday, 19th January, bound on a cruise to the Snares, Auckland, Campbell, Antipodes, and Bounty Islands, to search for castaways, replenish the Government depots, and add to the existing soundings. After successfully negotiating Foveaux Straits, and taking advantage of an interval of fine weather, we made for the south of Stewart Is and in readiness to leave for the Snares with the first of settled weather. For my especial benefit the captain, who was exceedingly kind and obliging, steamed through Port Adventure, 9 miles south of Petersons Inlet. The passage is a short one, and I had just time to expose one plate from the bridge (instantaneous) to show the character of the coast at this part. After a run of four hours we anchored in Lords river at 1 p.m. The captain immediately got the dingy afloat, and accompanied by Mr Reischek, the Austrian naturalist, who is publishing a book on his return to Europe entitled "Ten Years in the New Zealand Forests," and who along with several youths completed the passenger list, we went to the head of the river, about 5 miles, took two photographs between the showers and we much enjoyed our sail up and down. Around Lords river is densely wooded and the little bays and inlets of the river are very lovely, being at the time of our visit resplendent, with the beautiful red blossom of the ironwood tree. While I had several shots with the camera the remainder of the party had several shots with the gun, the result being that our stock was added to by the addition of live and dead ducks. On our return to the vessel we found that some of the crew had been, fishing and had secured a good supply, the take including a hapuka (or groper) which weighed about 801b. The weather was still very stormy, but the Captain was anxious to get along so we up anchor and left Lords river early on Friday, 20th January, passed through Whale Passage and anchored off Evening Cove, Port Pegasus at 8 a.m. The scenery was beautiful, that is to say when, we could see it for rain. After breakfast we went ashore in the whaleboat and while the crew were replenishing our water supply the Capt. and myself went up to the top of the hill through the bush (Capt. Fairchild is a perfect sandfly in the bush, here, there and everywhere — indeed he was ready to come down by the time I got up). Near the top the bush ends and deadwood only exists, interspersed with tussock. It was with great difficulty we could prevent the camera being blown away; I attempted, however, a view of the Frazer Peaks, 1122 and 1400 feet respectively. The scenery here is grand — bush down to the water line, while the peaks of the hills are bare granite, The soil — if such it can be called — is very poor, the rock formation being covered by about a foot of peaty matter which, even on the hillside, hold water like a sponge. Travelling is very laborious, and the district is not likely to be of any use for settlement. Returning to the boat we were conveyed to a beautiful sandy beach on tbe point below Evening Cove, and here I took several negatives. Mr Reischek here discovered a tunnel through the headland, and I could not resist the temptation to have an extra "shot" at the scene beyond. The view I took is from the eastern side, but the western is much the prettier, only I could not get a sufficient distance back on account of the water.
We moved from Pegasus to Wilson's Bay at 2 p.m., but the barometer showing no signs of rising, Captain Fairchild resolved to remain there all night. The glass, however, continued to fall till it reached 29.10; the lowest reading the captain had noted for near three years. As we could do I nothing else we inspected the inner boat harbour. Passing through a narrow and rocky channel we entered a beautiful bay completely sheltered and land locked, but very shallow. Having landed I, secured two views of the harbour. We waded through fields of peppermint waist high, and tons upon tons of it. Returning on board the captain resolved to start in the hope that the storm which was coming would hold off till we reached the Snares. We were doomed to disappointment, for after steaming 24 miles the weather got dirtier and the glass fell so that it was "bout ship" for Pegasus, the anchorage in Wilson's Bay being inferior. On our way back we passed a brigantine under storm canvas, supposed to be the Sarah and Mary from Invercargill to Melbourne. We anchored at 8 p.m., and all through the night and next day (Sunday) it blew hard. On Sunday an 6 p.m. we weighed anchor and started again for the Snares; not that the weather was fine but time was passing and good or bad we must be off.

On Monday, 23rd January, at daybreak, we sighted the Snares and came to an anchor on the east tide at 4.30 a.m. Deep water exists all round these rocks, but there is an excellent boat harbour. As we approached the shelving rocks in a boat we saw compact masses of penguins with their peculiar bright yellow plumes, like quills, behind their ears. They watched our approach, but moved not, and it was indeed amusing when Captain Fairchild went among them and began filling a bag with them, neck and crop—indeed, they all but tumbled into the sack voluntarily. Old birds will not feed, but live on their internal fat for a long time; the young ones can be trained to eat like ducks. The captain was surprised to find these birds so scarce; as on former occasions he had seen myriads of them. Ascending the hill I clambered through the peculiar bush with which the island is clothed. The trees, which are stunted and stormbeaten, with long, rugged, bare limbs, spread their branches down hill and almost parallel with the ground. The wood is white and very soft and the leaves about four inches each way and of a light green-gray colour. Arrived at the top I stumbled into a perfect cemetery of dead penguins lying rotting among the black mud in thousands upon thousands. Returning to the boat we hurried on board and resumed our journey to the Aucklands at 11 a.m.

If the weather we experienced between Port Pegasus and the Snares was bad I scarcely know how to define the passage to the Aucklands. It was a fearful one - mountainous seas with a westerly wind of hurricane force — and as we were steering south our good craft had her work cut out. Some of the seas she shipped came over with tremendous force and we encountered bitter squalls of rain and hail. None of us thought of sleeping; and I occupied myself by reading; occasionally going up to the bridge to admire the grandeur of the scene. About 7 a.m. on 24th January, we sighted the Aucklands right ahead, a very good landfall by dead reckoning, thanks to a perfect compass and an able navigator. The Auckland islands, which lie about 300 miles to the southward of New Zealand were discovered on 18th August, 1806, by Captain Abraham Bristow, during a whaling voyage in the ship Ocean belonging to Mr Samuel Enderby. The discoverer named the islands after Lord Auckland and formal possession was taken of them in 1807. They extend over 27 miles north and south by 15 miles in breadth and are very mountainous, the altitude of the ranges being from 950 feet in the north to 2000 feet in the south. We saw the reef on which the Derry Castle struck and passing south entered the magnificent harbour of Fort Ross, the site of the Enderby whaling settlement, founded in 1860 by Mr Charles Enderby, and abandoned some years later. The first thing that claimed our attention was a monstrous sea lion disporting himself on the beach, occasionally going down to the water and returning to the bush and tussock. All available hands now west ashore, and before dinner the captain had a boat-house erected, and a dingy, provisions, and matches; along with instructions to castaways carefully stowed within it. While we were engaged at this work the sea lions came ashore as if to superintend the operations going on terra firma. They are very unwieldy creatures, and are only dangerous if when passing through the deep tussock you disturb one in his lair when the chance of your getting away, except as a uniped, would be small. We saw some dogs, rabbits in hundreds, and seabirds in myriads. The captain tried to shoot the dogs but failed through having bad ammunition. While the boatshed was being built I photographed the huts erected by the survivors of the Derry Castle. These are compactly built of tussock, several of them being bound with thongs of sea lion hides. One of them, a wooden building formerly used as a depot, bears the following inscription —"B'que Derry Castle, Limerick, lost north side Island Mar 22, '87, 8 survivors gone to depot other side harbour — matches inside, 18th June, '87, J. McGhie, passenger." I also took a general view of Erebus Cove with the Denny Castle's signal in the foreground — one of the ship's life-belts on a firm square post and visible a long way off. Adjoining this signal was another post with a rag or two still flattering from it — the remains of their distress flag. After dinner on board we started again to try and reach the scene of the wreck of the Derry Castle, but could not get to the beach for want of time, and so I photographed the reef from the shelves of the cliffs. The rocks rise here quite precipitously, with very few breaks, to a height of from 200 to 300 feet, and our wonder was that any of the crew were saved at all. The sea breaks on the reef and on the precipitous rocks with great force, hurling the spray and drift right over the cliff. Getting on board again about 3.30 p.m. we steamed up to the depot at Erebus Cove, Port Ross. We landed provisions, clothing, boots, matches, and tools, and came across several interesting mementos of maritime disaster. The first thing was the canoe which the Derry Castle's survivors built and which carried them from Enderby Island to Erebus Cove. The canoe is quite a wonderful piece of work, and must have tried their patience and stimulated their inventive faculties. The paddles are constructed from the blades of oars washed ashore from their ship, with handles of rough wood spliced on. The canoe is built of boards carried overland from the scene of the wreck, two and a half miles distant, and through a piece of dense tangled scrub. The seams are covered by pieces of tin tacked on, and the canoe as a whole resembles a flat bottomed duck punt. Entering the depot, which is one of the houses left by the Anderby enterprise, we found inscriptions all round, one of which informed visitors that the eight survivors of the Derry Castle had been 91 days on Enderby Island, ten of these days without fire and without food other than such shell fish as they could pick up. Sitting at home with even the most meagre fare and comfort it is impossible to conceive the distress they must have suffered. They could see the depot at Erebus Cove from their huts but between them and it the sea rushes angrily through three deep channels. With what longing eyes they must have passed their time; seeing, almost within their grasp food, clothes, fire, and, comparatively speaking, every comfort, and yet being unable to reach them. Over the mantle shelf were two slates, one of them framed the other a fragment. The larger bore the following inscription: - Sacred to the memory of the Captain, first and second officers, and twelve of the crew who lost their lives by the wreck of the Derry Castle, on the north side of Enderby Island, March 20, 1887. The eight survivors were taken from the island by the schooner Awarua, July 21, 1887." Then followed the names of the survivors and of those lost, so far as known. The inscription on the broken slate reads — "Sacred to the memory of 68 persons who lost their lives on May 14th, 1866, by wreck of the ship General Grant on Auckland Isles." The writing on the first mentioned slate is done with burnt shell, but that on the other is apparently scratched in by a sharp nail and is very neatly done. The margin of the land all around here is clothed for about 400 feet up with a stinted growth of small trees, and above that with titree, red fern, and tussock, interspersed with creepers, bearing red and violet flowers. The soil is, if anything, better than that at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, and at Erebus Cove the English grass was knee deep. We landed a few sheep (supplied from the Wreck Fund, Invercargill) as there were no signs of rabbits or dogs. On Wednesday, 25th we steamed to the head of the harbour known as Sarah's Bosom in a bitterly cold rain, accompanied by severe squalls — quite as severe as those recorded by the author of "Wrecked on a reef: or Twenty months on the Auckland Isles" — one of the survivors of the Grafton. Indeed, from the time we reached the islands the hills had been almost constantly obscured by storm clouds. After landing and putting up a sign board directing any persons who might be ship wrecked to the provision depot, we took our departure. But as we got below the depot we saw a blue painted boat ashore and two square columns so we hove to and went ashore. We found the remains of a boat and two columns about 4 feet high and 18 inches square; also a flag of cement about two feet square and nine inches thick, which had doubtless at one time been the cap of one of the columns, and bearing the inscription — "German Expedition, 1874." This marks the spot where the German scientists observed the transit of Venus and also where Captain J. C. Ross made his observations in 1840. After we got aboard and under weigh we went as near as possible to Ross Island and saw quite a number of sea lions disporting themselves on the tussocky grass. The captain ordered the boat out and with several of the hands we went ashore, the sight which greeted our view being worth the voyage even if we had seen nothing else. I "took" several groups of the lions but had exposed all my plates when a compact lot of 29 gathered together. In the course of my record I must characterise some statements made by former writers as somewhat "tall," but when I say that these 29 seals were grouped within a square of from 45 to 50 feet I am very near the truth. I will no further and say that at one time I stood with my camera less than six feet from a pair of the largest, and you may rest assured I was ready to run at short notice — one thing in my favour was that these animals cannot travel fast. I don't think anyone ever saw such a sight as these 29 sea lions making for the beach. It was sublime; it was ridiculous; we laughed, and laughed again. The sea lion is of comparatively little commercial value, and I was indeed sorry that the close season for fur seals protected also the sea lion or hair seal or we could have had some splendid specimens. When full grown I should imagine that each male, or " old wig" as the sailors call him, will weigh about seven hundredweight, and each female about six. They live in groups, one old male guarding several of the gentler sex, and should one of the latter desert without leave the chastisement is very severe. At one place we saw a female seal with a great portion bitten out of her side, probably the punishment inflicted on her by her lord and master. They emit a sort of bark or grunt when attacked, but will not fight unless provoked. The day being well advanced we had to push ahead. So on board we went and off to Carnley Harbour at the other end of the island, with its treasured mementoes of the Grafton. The weather was still rough and cold, with heavy seas running. Passing round the north of the island we came on some very bold cliffs. The sealers tell us that they swing down cliffs 700 feet high, but we must allow a little for exaggeration as the highest of the cliffs on the north and all along the west are not more than 350 feet in altitude, with one or two jutting headlands of from 450 to 500 feet. The seal caves are as numerous as the fur seals are scarce, and again I may say I think it scarcely worth while protecting the seal fisheries of New Zealand. There is no doubt that the seals frequenting these islands are only wanderers from their home further south, and for three months at a spell a sealer might work away at the Aucklands and report on his return that his seals were taken at Macquarie Islands (which are not annexed) a statement which would be difficult to disprove. There are waterfalls in abundance on this island, but owing to the mountainous seas it was impossible to photograph any of them. I made a rough sketch, however, of a crest of the cliffs about 300 feet high, over which five streams of water were falling. The peculiar feature was that a few feet below the edge of the cliff the strong wind caught the water and turned it completely back, so that the appearance was that of five jets of steam leaving the face of the rock and flying up in fine spray about 80 or 100 feet. A prettier effect I had never seen, and the same thing was noticed at several points during that day's coasting trip. We sailed inside Disappointment Island as close as possible to the land, and soon reached the spot where the General Grant is said to have gone into a cave. Now, I don't care about taking all the romance out of a good story, but on the west coast of the Auckland Islands there is not a cave into which a cutter could find her way; indeed, I question very much if you could get into one of them with a ship's whaleboat. Therefore the cave part of the General Grant narrative is a "yarn," and if the steamer Southland found the cave, as was reported, those on board were smarter than this Southlander, and got ahead even of Captain Fairchild, who has carefully examined the whole coast and is confident that no such cave exists. We entered a fine harbour on the north and another on the south east, and took soundings. The latter is also a good harbour but is not to be compared with Carnley Harbour, where we anchored at 8.30 p.m. While we were fossicking about for a site for the boat house a heavy squall came on, the mountains, although close to us, were hidden, and the spray from he seas breaking on Monumental Island flew across the steamer like pellets of ice. To say that spray was cold is to describe it mildly.

On the 26th January the second mate (with) four others went albatross hunting, and had a rough experience, having had to travel eight miles each way through a thick scrub. I took the ship's whaleboat and went to Monumental Head and Monumental Island. I was very much interested with this part of the trip, having just read "Wrecked on a Reef," in which work was a picture of the mausoleum which I admired, I could identify the place and that was all. I took several photographs as we picked our way up hill; our path being surrounded by sea lions. The cliffs from the top look very imposing, but truth compels me to state that they are not more than 170 to 200 feet high. The seas which enter Carnley Harbour by this entrance are fearful, the surf breaking about 60 feet high and the spray flying over our boat a quarter of a mile off. Returning to the steamer we landed stores for castaways at Camp Cove, a pretty little spot covered with bush of no great height but so dense that I could not find a single point from which to get a view and I had to take one from the steamer's deck. There is no refuge for castaways except a store-room 7x6 but any distressed person could construct a hut and make themselves tolerably comfortable. Some of the stores consisted of matches (in hermetically sealed tins) boots, clothing and blankets, which were placed along with the food. Returning to Monumental Head we picked up our hunters, who were laden with albatrosses, living and dead, and albatrois eggs in abundance. The mist came down very dense about 6 p.m., and we very cautiously groped our way and sounded around Fig. 8 Island, where we landed a ram and ewe as the feed looked good, the grass growing about, though rank, being very juicy. It was amusing to see the sheep take stock of the sea lions among the tussock: they evidently looked on them as very ferocious dogs. We now made for the scene of the wreck of the Grafton, where we anchored for the night. The captain and I went ashore and secured several relics of this noted wreck. We also found the remains of Epigwaitt, the house for so long of the Grafton's crew. The remains of the house consist of the uprights made out of the vessel's masts. On the following day (27th) I took several photos of the Grafton. She has evidently been a very strongly built craft the chief part of her planking and the knees being of blue gum. There was also some box and Oregon timber about her and one of the masts is of Western Australia mahogany and the other of gum. We also found her stove which we nearly brought away with us, but satisfied ourselves with some remnants of timber and copper bolts. Just as we were leaving I found the original bammer and took possession of it. There is a fine beach where she went ashore, covered with small boulders, and from which; the water deepens rapidly. Indeed she could not have touched ground more than 30 or 40 feet from dryland. There are no rocks near and only about 1 1/4 miles off harbour water, so that even with a very stormy gale it would be quite impossible for an overwhelming sea to get up. The locality resembles an inland lake and is not open to any sea. On reading "Wrecked on a Reef" I felt very much for the poor creatures described as being perilously drawn to land through enormous breakers, and alongside of great rugged boulders, but, alas for the romance — the Grafton could not have gone ashore at an easier place for landing. I think that on the Auckland Islands there is better soil than even in the southern part of Stewart Island, and they might be successfully settled by and by by a colony of say 1000 people. The bush just skirts the water, and the higher land is covered with tussocky grass. Volcanic rocks peep out on all the hills, and the boggy surface is very bad. The anchorage off Epigwaitt Is, Captain Fairchild declares, the best he knows of in the islands. Within a quarter of a mile off the Grafton's homestead we cast anchor in five fathoms of water. Getting on board again is, the evening we steamed off en route to the East Coast Sounds of the islands, number of which cut far into the centre of the island, and are no laid down on any chart. In one of them, "Waterfall Inlet," the water was so deep that the steamer's jibboom was amongst the trees growing on the vertical cliffs. These cliffs rise to a height of 300 feet at least, and are densely wooded with iron wood to the water's edge. We filled our tanks here with excellent water. The inlet is one of the finest sheets of water I have seen. We steamed out at 3.30 p.m, and made for

We made a rough and disagreeable passage, and arrived off this island on the 28th, but we had great difficulty in following up the land on account of the dense mist and bitter squalls. However, we were glad when we dropped anchor at 10 a.m. in a fine inlet among steep hills clothed with tussock but no bush. The land appears as if it could be easily turned to account for sheep pasturage, unless the great quantity of moisture would be detrimental. We were quite stormbound all day and were thankful that we had picked up Sugarloaf Island when we had ran the distance from the Aucklands. We ran out a second anchor off a point aptly named "Tucker Cove," where the N Z. Government maintain a provision, depot for shipwrecked persons. It was from this harbour that some four years ago the Sarah A. Hart, an American sealer, dispatched two whaleboats sealing, under the charge of the two mates, to the other side of the island, without provisions of any kind, and as soon as they were well out of sight the vessel stood out to sea. On her arrival at Lyttelton the captain reported that all hands had been lost and that he and the steward had had to work the vessel singlehanded. The Stella, on visiting the island, found the second mate and crew of one boat, and consequently got at the truth of the matter; and not only so, for it came out that the captain had thrown a seaman overboard off the Cape of Good Hope. As this had not happened in British waters no charge could be laid against him. It appeared that he shipped a crew in America, and outfitted the vessel, in defiance of our laws, for a sealing expedition at the Aucklands, thinking that as the seals had been protected for some time previous he would make a good haul. On arriving at the islands he found no seals, and he owing the seamen and party a considerable amount as wages, he schemed to send them on an expedition, fully intending to desert them with the vessel. The first mate and his crew have never been heard of, and the second mate and his party, who were rescued by the Stella on the 20th December, 1883, were a week off the island in their boat, but were ashore when found. They were terribly exhausted, and had to he helped into the boats. They were landed at Port Chalmers on Christmas night, 1883.

Albatrossess, Campbell Island
This photograph kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.

The next day (Sunday, 29th), as the day looked fine, Capt. Fairchild moved to the head of the bay called Garden Cove. We saw no trace of the oak, elm and ash trees planted there by Dr Chambers, of the imperial cruiser Victoria, in October, 1865, not any descendants of the pigs, geese and Guinea fowls landed by the same vessel, but we saw the remains of the pedestal formed of stone and cement, which the French used to observe the transit of Venus in 1874. In all the accounts I have seen of Campbell Island, including that in the "New Zealand Pilot," it is described as densely wooded, but I am certain you could not get a green stick over 2 1/2 inches in diameter on any part of it. We were glad to see the sheep and goats lively and looking well. I ascended one of the highest hills amidst hundreds of nests of the albatross, surrounded by nothing save the unvarying tussock, fern, and ti-tree scrub. We came on the first albatross about 800 feet above sea level and after reaching the crown of the hill, 1000 feet, they were sitting in their nests and flying about close to the ground in hundreds. Apparently the albatross lays but one egg each year, but one of the parties found two nests containing two eggs each. It was suggested that this was only a freak of nature, although it is known that the gannet of New Zealand lays two eggs, one of which is hatched by the male bird.

Penguins and Molly Hawks Auckland Islands
from a photograph, by William Dougall, Invercargill

Unfortunately just as we got to the top of the hill, the fog or mist, which is so prevalent in these latitudes, came on, ending in rain which sent us back to the ship soaked. As the glass was falling we remained at Penguin Bay, our next run being one of over 460 miles. Campbell Island was discovered in 1810 by Fred. Hazelburgh, master of the brig Perseverance, owned by Mr Robert Campbell, of Sydney. The island is about 30 miles in circumference, of an irregular egg shape, and has two good anchorages, but is exposed to peculiarly stiff squalls of wind. We expected to have seen a number of sea lions here but they had evidently migrated to some other locality, as is their habit occasionally. Campbell Island might be made a successful settlement, as the soil is very much superior to that of the Aucklands and the southern portion of Stewart Island; bat the short days of the winter season and the prevailing fogs and high winds would be serious drawbacks. The formation is volcanic, and in many places the rocks are eaten away into pilasters of two tiers or more, the dividing line being sometimes scoria and sometimes a light red or brown soft stone which wears away by the notion of the elements faster than the intervening rocks. The weather was too rough to attempt obtaining specimens of this columnar formation, as it occurs principally on the west and south exposures, and is almost incessantly under the action of heavy seas. This day (30th Jan) the barometer read lower than it had done on board the Stella for two and a half years. As in the face of each warning it would have been folly to leave shelter and chance a storm in so small a vessel, we steamed round the island and examined the harbours. Entering a sheltered gulch in the rocks on the west coast we saw a number of seals on the beach, so we got out the boat with the camera on board, and after negotiating the surf with some difficulty we effected a landing and I proceeded to secure a negative of the "natives." One of these was a regular giant about twelve feet long and probably four feet or over through the thickest part of his body. He had a fine mane like a gigantic frill round his neck. He sat up about 15 feet from my position and looked at me and the instrument as much as to say, "Now then, photographer, there's a smile for you, fire away," and I did. The other seals, principally females, and more shy, waddled into the water and watched the performance from the crest of the surf.

North-East Harbour, Campbell Island

Getting on board again we steamed away to North East Bay to wait for better weather. On going up the bay we encountered a very strong and bitter gale, and on looking clear of the land could see that the sea was running the proverbial mountains high which made us thankful we were under the lee of the land; for the Stella, although a tight little craft, is not a deep sea vessel, beside* we had consumed so much of our coal that she rolled about like an empty drum. Being also very fine at both ends she was not likely, especially in her then trim, to run well before a Sooth Pacific gale, with its unbroken 2000 miles or more of S.W. seas(?). It may be mentioned that our position was nearer to the somewhat mythical Victoria Land than it was to Melbourne, and the cold was consequently very severe. We were surprised that no fish were observed in the harbours here, and attributed that fact to the muddy nature of the bottom. There were some sea lions about, but not so many as we had expected. The vegetation is pretty dense on the hills but all stunted, the largest timber we saw being a graceful mountain pine of healthy growth but never exceeding about five feet in height; then there is the never failing ti-tree, which here assumes somewhat the character of a creeper and covers the ground with a species of net work very difficult to walk through especially down hill. At the height of 700 feet from the water line the upper margin of the red fern is reached and it extends, from that altitude down to the waters edge. All up the sides of the hills wild parsley was growing luxuriantly, often two feet high, while everlasting daisies clothed tbe ground like a carpet. The cottonwood plant in full bloom was also plentiful. As the top is reached variety of vegetation ends and travelling becomes easier as there is no growth to impede progress but diminutive tussock among which are the albatross nests and their tenants. These nests are built up of moss and earth about four inches above the surface of the ground. The material to form the nest is so taken from the soil as to leave a trench all round it, and this keeps things dry for the important object in view. The female never leaves the nest during incubation, a period of about 60 days and is fed by her consort, who faithfully hunts for food for both. If by chance the nest is left unguarded for a single moment the sea-hark, which is here in thousands, pounces upon the egg, and "love's labour's lost," at least so far as the albatross is concerned. The albatross is a stupid bird; it will sit whether hatching or not till you tumble it head over heels with your foot. At the same time it will resent such liberties, and if it succeeds in getting a bold it will take the piece out of trousers, hose, and skin. They are very strong birds. The best way to catch one is to make a feint at its head with the left hand, which distracts the bird's attention, and then quickly seize it by the bill with the right, but be sure you get the grip, as they turn very quickly and would snap your fingers off if they got a proper hold. They build only on the flat plateau of the hills, and so far as we have seen, never lower down than 700 feet from sea-level. The hatching here was much further advanced than at the Auckland Islands. On Tuesday, 31st January, the day broke beautifully and the bay was like a mirror, but the glass was still low. As the day advanced we were enveloped for half-an-hour in one of those dense mists characteristic of this locality, and when it passed, the hills were covered with snow which however, soon melted and trickled dawn their sides in hundreds of miniature cascades. Looking seaward we saw that a heavy sea was still running, but as time was pressing the captain resolved to start in the hope that as we voyaged N.E. the wind and sea would favour us and enable us to reach the Antipodes with good weather, so that we might be able to land on that bleak but interesting island. Accordingly we steamed out of the bay at 10.20 a.m. At 3.15 p.m. we were 45 1/2 miles distant, but the inland was still well in view. With fine weather and a calm sea the barometer rises and our spirits with it. When about four miles clear of the land I took a photo to show the general shape and more prominent features of Campbell Island.

At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 1st February we were half way between the Campbell and Antipodes Islands having ran 205 miles out of the 406. The appearances indicated that the fine weather would soon cease, the glass being stationary at 29.28 and the sea gradually rising. The vessel rolled so much that an onlooker would have laughed consumedly to see us try to get breakfast — tea, camp stools, personages, cruets, books and everything else being inextricably mixed up and flying hither and thither, helter skelter. Just as one of the company would put his cap to his lips there would be a sudden lurch, and away he and his beverage would fly, to be brought up under the saloon sofa or in some other inconvenient corner.

Towards the afternoon the glass gave indications of rising and all through the weather was fine, although a heavy swell from the S.W. was running. We expected to make the Antipodes about 6 a.m., but as at 7 o'clock we had not sighted the islands we had to heave to and wait till the sun could be taken at noon. When these observations were made, Captain Fairchild found that we had run about thirty miles northwest of the islands, so the ship was put about and half an hoar afterwards we sighted land. The Antipodes Islands were at one time, say about sixty years ago, the resort of the Sydney sealers, but in our visit we did not see a single seal or sea lion, nor has Captain Fairchild, in any of his visits, been more favoured.

The islands rise abruptly from the sea to a height of 1200 feet, with perpendicular cliffs varying in altitude from 200 to 600 feet. The water all round is very deep and there is no fit anchorage for any vessel save a steamer. Even steamers must be kept continually ready to get under weigh, owing to the frequent changes of wind and the fact that when it blows it does so with a vengeance. The island proper is about three miles long, egg shaped, and is surrounded by bold precipitous black rocks. There are a great many sea-formed caves, and also a remarkable archway formed by the water eating its way through between two rocks. As the weather looked threatening the Captain determined to go round to the E.S.E. side, where we anchored and landed stores, three goats and six sheep.

"a remarkable archway formed by the water eating its way through between two rocks"
Boat Harbour, Antipodes Island

An inspection of the depot proved it to be intact, and we discovered that there was abundance of pasture and water for the live stock we put on shore. There is, however, no vestige of bush or scrub of any description, so we planted some trees and sowed some grass seed in the hope that by and by they would add to the natural verdure of the island. Penguins and paroquets (sic) abound, but although our party got a number of the former along with several of the albatross tribe, they failed to secure any of the latter. An hour after we anchored the wind changed, and we had to shift our quarters. On the morning of the third the weather was thick and dirty, while the glass had gone .own four-tenths, so we had to dodge round to another anchorage, comparatively, close inshore and sheltered by perpendicular cliffs some 400 or 500 feet high.

Government Depot, Antipodes Island
This photograph kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.
refer to:

The height of the island marked on the chart as 600 feet, but this is an error as the principal hill, Mount Galloway is 1200 feet above the level of the sea. From seaward this hill looks conical or dome shaped, but on reaching the summit a beautiful clear lake, covering an area of thirteen or fourteen acres, is found, a lake which a little later in the season than the time of our visit is much frequented by the albatross, being virtually surrounded by thousands of these birds.

While lying at this anchorage we caught a number of cod but were not sure that they were eatable. They resemble the cod of the New Zealand waters, but when alive their gills are of a bright yellow, the colour disappearing when they die. A post mortem disclosed the fact that their stomachs were full of broken shells and seaweed, while their flesh had been honeycombed by maggots about an inch long.

On Saturday, the 4th, we were still stormbound under the shelter of the island, and had been unable to effect a landing since the previous Thursday. As the glass was beginning to rise we hoped to be able to get ashore on the following day, but it was quite useless to attempt to go to sea in such weather. We were very glad that we got the observation which enabled us to pick up the island when we did as a strong gale had been blowing ever since. Daring our forced sojourn at this place we had to amuse ourselves by watching the penguins ashore. Every sloping rock, boulder, and bank was crowded with these curious creatures and their incessant chatter or yelp reached us above the howling of the storm three-quarters of a mile away. We ventured ashore to take one or two photographs, and although we made for a boulder beach the very heavy surf made landing a difficult and dangerous operation.

Vue Prise Devant L'ile Des Antipdoes
Dessin de Taylor, d'après une photographie de M. Dougall, communiquée par la Société de Géographie.
Antique wood engraving published by Libraire Hachette Et Cie, Paris 1875-94 for
"La Nouvelle Géographie Universelle, la terre et les hommes"
by Elisée Reclus.

Sunday opened stormy, but by noon the wind had died away, although the glass warned us of another change very soon. We landed again, and on ascending an almost precipitous ledge of rock and tussock we found a piece of totara board with the remains of an inscription, apparently marking a grave. So far as decipherable the inscription reads as follows :—

To the M - Foster, chief officer of the Sebr. Prince of Denmark, who was unfortunately drown -ke the Boat Arbour — 1-th day of December in the — 1825.

We carefully examined this interesting and sad memento, marking the wild and lonely resting place of one who had perished on this inhospitable shore, and we hoped to glean further information concerning it upon reaching the mainland. Doubtless the Prince of Denmark was a sealer which visited the island 63 years ago, and after our experience of the difficulty of landing we could not feel surprise upon learning that an attempt to "take" Boat Harbour, for so we interpreted the inscription, had been attended with loss of life. The surf breaks with terrific force and rolls the boulders about as if they were so many bubbles. As the weather continued wild and threatening, and as the barometer was falling rapidly, it was decided to remain another 24 hours at the Antipodes before making for the Bounties. We were all anxious to get back to the mainland but after waiting so long we could not think of passing over so important a part of our duty as to visit the rock I have last named. Several albatross parties had been ashore, and all had returned laden with the spoils of the hunt. Our vessel had the appearance of a floating menagerie, troops of penguins promenading the deck like soldiers on parade, while albatrosses were walking about and lying around in all directions. Unfortunately we could not get these birds to swallow a morsel of food, although we had two nellies, which are reckoned valuable birds on board which were beginning to eat. We also began teaching the young penguins that they would have to eat, and it was rather amusing to see the cook and one or two of the hands catching the youngsters in turn and forcing their breakfasts down their throats. I also took on board some grasses and a few pieces of rocks. Among the latter were some well-defined black crystals, but not being a geologist I was at a loss to decide as to their nature and value. These crystals do not occur in the rocks on the beach, but are plentiful at an elevation of about 300 feet above sea level. On Monday afternoon we were still waiting a "slant" to get off to the Bounties, but we could not start till the evening as we wanted daylight when approaching these dangerous reefs. About 4 p.m. we got under weigh, and steaming round the Antipodes, we made

About 4.30 a.m the following day, after a tolerably fair passage of 130 miles. We had great difficulty in landing on account of the rocks being so precipitous and the surf so heavy. The New Zealand Government had a provision store there but by some means unknown it has totally disappeared. There can be no doubt but a depot is wanted at this place, as the islands are in the route of homeward bound vessels and although the chances would be against any shipwrecked people reaching the shore, still a few might manage to do so. The greatest want in such a case would be fresh water, and the castaways would have to devise some means of collecting the rain, that which falls upon the rocks being useless because of the guano deposit. The Bounty Islands, discovered by Captain Bligh, of H.M.S. Bounty in 1788, are a compact group fourteen in number, and consist wholly of bare rocks jutting up from the deep Pacific. They are absolutely destitute of vegetation and are covered with guano which makes walking or climbing just about as difficult as it can be to glide over the ice upon skates would seem travelling a rough road in comparison. You feel particularly good humoured when you slip, and putting out your hand to save yourself your arm is buried to the elbow in a pool of semi-solid guano. The aroma gives you vigour to get up, and it is needed. The penguins, mollyhawks, and ice-birds, made the islands their bleeding place, the first named being more numerous here than in any of the other islands visited. The fourteen islands which form the group average about thirteen acres each in extent, and I should think there were at least a dozen penguins to every square yard, while the water all around is alive with them. The peculiar method they have of diving reminded me strongly of the performances of the porpoise. The mollyhawks are more plentiful than formerly, being at least five times more numerous when we called than on any of the previous visits of the Stella. The nests are shaped like those of the albatross, and are built of guano that is nearly hard. I suppose the birds have no alternative but to use this material, no other being available on the islands. With the utmost difficulty we got the camera on the top of the island, and I was able to take several negatives. Without these photographic proofs some of my statements might seem incredible, but fortunately "the instrument cannot lie," whatever its carriers may do in that direction. I don't want to tell a Grafton yarn, but I believe I am right in saying that you can. smell the Bounties before you see them, and that the odour is not Cingalese. Talk of the pleasures of sleeping on a bed of roses— they are nowhere; try the Bounties.

Penquins and Mollyhawks on Bounty Island, the s.s. Stella in the distance (detail below).
This photograph kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.
refer to:

We collected a few sacks of mollyhawks, penguins, and ice-birds*, and wended our way to the gulch which, after much hesitation we bad selected as the point for our debarkation. We first got our birds aboard and then threw ourselves in one by one as the boat surged past. I managed to fall. Fortunately for myself I fell in the right direction; unfortunately for the birds I fell on them. When we got to the Stella the steward blocked our way and demanded that we should discard our unsavoury garments before entering the saloon. We divested ourselves of all the clothing we could conveniently spare, and then we were kindly allowed to pass. It was then dinner time, but, alas, we had left our appetites ashore. Tie ice-bird is a very pretty creature about the size of a pigeon, a beautiful blue in colour, bright and clear. They are found in hundreds under the shelves of the rocks and sit quite patiently until caught, never attempting to get out of reach. Having thoroughly examined the islands, and having found no signs of any wreck or more recent visit than that of the Awarua, we steamed off at noon,

And at half-past four o'clock on the morning Of the 9th we made fast alongside the Port Chalmers wharf, thus concluding one of the most interesting trips it could be the lot of anyone to accomplish. Were I to yield to the temptation to romance, I daresay I could make my diary of thrilling interest, but as it is I have merely stated the bare facts. Of this I am confident that for a total change from everyday life, as a cure for ennui and as a health restorative, there is no trip to equal this one of (1600?) miles on the South Pacific. Then there are the attractions afforded by views of myriads of penguins, acres of albatrosses, and mobs of sea lions and altogether I think the Union Company would be fully warranted in making at least one trip per year to the Snares, Auckland, and Campbell Islands. Although the weather from start to finish was anything but pleasant, the disagreeable features were all but put to flight by the uniform courtesy of Captain Fairchild and his officers. Without the assistance which these gentlemen so willingly accorded I certainly would have been very much "at sea." In conclusion I would tender them my very sincere thanks, and if again I am in a position to indulge in a maritime trip, I trust my lines may fall in equally pleasant places. However long I may live I will always remember with pleasure my cruise "Far South" in the Stella.

By way of appendix I may state that the sheep and goats left on the islands were supplied out of the Invercargill Wreck Fund, per Mr John McPherson, and the trees, grass seed, wattles and broom by Messrs Nichol Bros and Mr B. Cleave. The goats and sheep were distributed as follows :—
Snares, 2 goats;
Erebus Cove, Auckland Islands, 5 sheep;
Adam's Island, 5 sheep;
Figure-eight Island, 2 sheep;
Tucker Cove, Campbell Islands, 6 sheep and 2 goats;
Antipodes Island, 7 sheep and 3 goats.

Grass seed was sown at the Snares, at Erebus Cove, Terror Cove, Sarahs Bosom. Adams Island, Camp Cove, figure Eight Island and Epigwaitt in the Auckland Islands; at the Antipodes Island.

Assorted trees and plants, consisting of gums, firs, wattles and Scotch broom were placed on the Aucklands, Campbells, and Antipodes.

I would like to mention that at Erebus Cove and Camp Cove in the Aucklands we found letters from Captain Drew, of the sealing schooner Awarua, giving a thoroughly satisfactory explanation of his reasons for taking a portion of the stores.

These islands were collectively designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

All the following photographs are kindly provided by Smith's Bookshop, Manchester Street, Christchurch.
refer to:

The representatives of Messrs Josiah Rogers and Co. have arrived in town and are now busily engaged canvassing the district with "The Far South in Camera."

Many of the views were to be seen yesterday at Messrs Hutton and Co.'s, Wagstaff's and C. Begg and Co.'s and comprise photographs of Stewart, Auckland, Bounty, and Campbell Islands.

We have carefully looked over the album of views, and can say with confidence that they are all without exception very good. The public are to be given full opportunity of inspecting them, and as they are of colonial interest the sale for them should be very large.
Timaru Herald, Volume XLVII, Issue 4312, 16 August 1888, Page 2

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