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give it a very wide berth, as the reef extends full a mile off it. The winds we had on our way to Pitcairns Island, though we went into 33° S. before making our northing, were found hanging to the east and north-east, and from having very strong breezes with a heavy swell from the north-east, I had some difficulty in getting to it. There is nothing very particular in its appearance on making it. I consider it in lat. 25° 4' S., and long. 130° 16' W., it is about 1200 feet above the level of the sea, and about four miles and a half in circumference, and in clear weather may be seem 50% off. Situated in the midst of the wide expanse of the Pacific, it may be said to lay almost in the variables, as the true trade wind does not blow home.

It is thickly clothed to its summits with the most luxuriant verdure, terminating in lofty cliffs, skirted at their bases with thickly branching evergreens, which afford a welcome retreat from the burning rays of an almost vertical sun. The coast is fringed with formidable barriers, which seem to present insurmountable obstacles to landing, except in Bounty Bay, situated on the north-east side, and even here, all communication is impracticable, when it blows strong. A flag hoisted at the flag-staff, in the village, indicates that landing is practicable in Bounty Bay. On passing round the east end from the southward, St. Paul's point is shaped by the most grotesquely formed tall spiral rocks, and the Island called Adams Rock becomes visible. Having passed this rock a cable's length to the north-west, you are abreast of Bounty Bay, where you must stand ott, and on, as there is no safe anchorage. The inhabitants at the time of my visit, amounted in all to 134, 69 males, 65 females, descendants of the Bounty's mutineers; they are the most interesting people I have ever met. They have a capital school (which also serves as a church) in which 47 children receive the ground work of a truly religious education. They cultivate Irish potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, Indian maize, a small quantity of taro (mountain kind), and a small quantity of Bread fruit; the latter, does not thrive well. Stock of all kinds, such as fowls, pigs, goats is plentiful and reasonable. During the year 1846 forty nine-vessels (whalers) touched here for refreshments, out of these 47 were American, 1 Bremen, and 1 English.

THE BRITANNIA ISLANDS, OR UEA, Pacific Ocean.

(Continued from p. 517) Tae Britannia Islands, named Uea by the natives, consist of one large island (thirty miles in length in a N.N.E. and S.S.W. direction), and a number of smaller ones to the westward of it, connected by coral reefs joining on to Uea, with three good ship passages leading into a large and beautiful bay, having regular soundings all over it. Its formation is similar to some of the Lagoon islands near the equator. The southeastern part of Uea presents an iron-bound shore, with perpendicular cliffs and no soundings within one hundred yards of the breakers; from

that round the north-east and north part of the island the shore is generally rocky. Boats may land in some places on the N. and N.E. parts in fine weather. The west side of the Island fronting the anchorage is low land thickly studded with cocoa-nut trees, and a white sandy beach runs along its whole margin, giving the shore a beautiful appearance from the lagoon. The Juno's entrance is one-eighth of a mile wide, and has not less than 6 fathoms water in any part of it. The Bull's entrance is rather wider, and has 12 fathoms water in mid-channel ; this entrance may easily be known to a stranger by the island forming the east side of the entrance having a clump of tall pine trees on it. This is the only island near the passage which has any timber on it, the others being merely low rocky islets covered with grass and brushwood. I should decidedly prefer entering by the Bull's channel.

If bound to the anchorage off King Whiningay's village, a direct course should be steered for it, if the wind will allow, taking care not to come under five fathoms until near the place you intend to anchor, as many sunken rocks exist inshore of that line of soundings, which cannot be discerned even from the mast-head; when they can be seen, they appear to have a dark brown colour. The natives generally have fish pots set alongside the rocks, with small black buoys on them, about the size of a cocoa-nut; by keeping a good look out for those buoys, the rocks can mostly be avoided. The course from the Bull's entrance to the anchorage off Whiningay's village at Fitzaway is S.E.b.3. by compass; this course will take a vessel clear of all dangers, and when she shoals her water to four fathoms she will then be abreast of the king's village, and about one and a third miles from the shore, where she may anchor. The palisades of the fort will be seen about one hundred yards from the sandy beach, and in front of a large grove of cocoa-nut trees; to the left of that will be seen the fortification around the chief Koumah's village near the beach, and fronting the cocoa-nut trees. The two villages are about one mile apart, with few or no cocoa-nut trees betwixt them.

From Whiningay's village to the south point of Uea is about five miles; a boat harbour is formed between this point and the next island to it, fronting the small island Wassau. The next island to the westward of Wassau is of large extent, and inhabited by a chief and his dependants, who in consequence of being married to the daughter of a king, has much power over the natives, and ranks next to Koumah. This chief is named Boumulli. All the other islands of this group have no permanent inhabitants, but are merely visited occasionally by the natives when they go on fishing excursions.

The best entrance into the lagoon is on the west part of the group. This passage is four miles wide and clear of all hidden dangers. The land of Uea cannot be seen until a vessel gets some miles to the eastward of the entrance. I did not try for soundings when beating in this channel in the brig Naiad, but I rather think no soundings are to be got in the lagoon until the land of Uea is visible from the deck. A vessel may anchor in any part of the lagoon within sight of the land, as the soundings are very regular on a bottom of fine white sand. With westerly winds a short sea sets into the lagoon, which renders it difficult to communicate with the shore ; but those winds are of short duration, and only happen from October till April. A vessel anchoring here in these months, should ride with a long scope of cable, as the holding ground is not very good.

The Island of Vea is of coral formation, elevated on the south-east part about 250 feet and quite level on the top; the other parts of the island are not quite so high, and the whole of it is thickly wooded. From the east side to the centre of the island the ground is rocky and destitute of soil, but on the west side, around, and a little inland from the villages, the soil is good, and capable of producing every variety of tropical fruits and vegetables, and is well cultivated. These plantations produce beautiful tarro, sweet potatoes, bananas and sugar cane; but yams are not much cultivated.

Fresh water can be got in several places near the beach by digging wells in the sand, but there are neither running streams nor springs on the island.

The prevailing winds are from south-east, but from October until April westerly winds are frequently experienced, and gales happen some years in these months; they generally commence at north-east, haul round to north and north-west from whence they blow hardest, then round to south-west and moderate. Very little rain falls during the year.

I made Whiningay's village to be lat. 20° 34' S. and long. 166° 34' E. It is high-water on full and change of the moon at six hours, greatest rise and fall of the tide six feet. At neaps, there is only one tide in 24 hours, and this is generally in the night; the water does not rise then above two feet.

Uea is divided into two tribes,the southern tribe is governed by a king, named Whiningay, who is possessed of much power. The northern tribe has no king, but is governed by a council of chiefs. The two tribes are almost constantly at war, and are extremely jealous of each other. Their arms consist of clubs, spears, slings, and stones, and since our arrival tomahawks. The stones are of an oval shape, and when at war carried in a bag tied round the waist. The spear is thrown by the sip. Tomahawks are used as battle-axes, and preferred to any other weapon. Their wars are sometimes carried on in open fight. but stratagem is more generally resorted to. They frequently prowl about in small parties near the enemy's tribe, and lie in ambush for stragglers, whom they massacre without regard to age or sex. When one party is desirous of peace, some neutral person is sent to the other tribe with the king's tappa, which if accepted ends war for a time. But upon such frivolous pretences, are these treaties sometimes broken, that the chiefs seldom visit each other even after peace is declared.

The climate of these islands is salubrious, and well adapted to a European constitution. The warmest months are in the summer season from October till March, and during the other months the weather is cool and agreeable. Earthquakes are frequently experienced during the

summer months, and some of them are sufficiently severe to overthrow a stone house ; but the shock seldom lasts more than two minutes, and the natives exhibit no fear on account of them.

The natives appear to be tolerably free from diseases; and those which came under my personal observation were colds, elephantiasis, hydrocele, and rheumatism; the latter disease appears to be the most prevalent, and attacks them in the bones of the legs, which they relieve by making an incision in to the bone with a shell over the part affected.

The Uea natives are generally above the middle size and display much variety of figure. Their complexion lies between that of the black and copper-coloured races, although instances of both extremes are met with, which would lead one to suppose that some of them are descended from two different stocks. They are much fairer than the Isle of Pine natives, and less savage in appearance; but like all savages, are treacherous and cruel, and are much addicted to thieving, coveting every thing they see. Both sexes have the lobe of the ear bored, which operation is performed at the age of puberty : the men distend the holes to a large size, by inserting rolls of tappa, pieces of wood and bunches of leaves, which completely alters the original shape of the ear, and gives it a most unnatural appearance. Their hair is frizzled, and they take great pains in dressing it, with a comb made of two long and slender pins or prickers; when dressed it has a large bushy appearance similar to a mop. Many of the boys and girls whiten their hair with lime, which when they grow up gives it a brown appearance, similar to the colour of their skin. The wooden hair pricker or pin is worn as an indication of rank. The king wears it in the front of his hair; the chiefs a little on one side, while the lower class have it tied round the neck, and hanging down the back. These natives are seldom seen painted unless when going to war, at which time they use a sort of lamp black, or soot, to blacken the face and breast. They pay great respect to their king and chiefs, and never attempt to pass them without stooping, and lowering their clubs. The men go entirely naked, and are not circumcised. The women when married wear a fringe around the body about six inches in breadth, which has a more decent appearance than that worn by the females of the other islands.

The daughters of chiefs are usually betrothed to chiefs' sons, by the parents of both parties, several years before they are marriageable. At this island strict chastity is observed among both sexes before marriage, and promiscous intercourse expressly forbidden. It is difficult to account for this difference in the morals of the inhabitants of two islands so near to each other as this and Lifu. There, neither men nor women are under any restraint in this respect before marriage.

The ornaments worn by these people are beads made of Jade stone, and strung on a thick string made from the down of the vampire bat, or flying fox ; these strings are also worn by the chiefs around the knees and waist. Shell armlets are worn by some of the chiefs and their children. The shells of which the armlets are formed are held in much estimation, and are only to be found in New Caledonia. Since their

intercourse with Europeans, glass beads form their chief ornaments. The large blue beads are the most highly esteemed.

Although otherwise cruel, these people are kind and affectionate to their children, and seldom punish them even for the most insolent or passionate behaviour.

The natives of Vea are cannibals, and invariably eat the bodies of their enemies slain in battle with as much relish and satisfaction as any of their neighbours. When at war, women are often cut off (by small parties of the enemy) when fishing on the reefs, and their bodies carried home to administer to their cannibal appetites.

In regard to the population, I found it difficult to obtain correct information, but I should estimate it to be about 4,000 souls.

Beaupre's Islands are correctly placed in the charts. They consist of three small low islands, covered with cocoa-nut trees, and surrounded by a coral reef which extends from the islands some distance to the north-west and north. The largest island is inhabited by some Uea natives.

A dangerous coral reef of about one mile in extent was seen by me in October 182. It is situated in lat. 19° 55' S., long. 165° 25' E. This danger is not laid down in any charts which I have seen.

Mr. Thomas Beckford Simpson, master of a sandal-wood vessel, discovered a dangerous reef in 1846 off the east part of New Caledonia. He examined it and found it to be of large extent. The position he assigns to it, is lat. 21° 30 S., long, 166° 50' E.

Walpole Island is only about a mile in extent, elevated about 200 feet, and level on the top, with high perpendicular cliffs on the west side. It is covered with brushwood, and in fine weather a landing might be effected on some parts of the east side. I found it correctly placed in the charts, its position being in lat. 22° 40' S., long. 169° 15' E.

The French corvette La Brilliante on the 28th of August, 1847, discovered a dangerous coral reef forty yards in extent in lat. 23° 13' 52" S., long. 167° 35' 18" E. of Paris.

I passed near St. Matthew's Rock in 1841, on my passage from Sydney to Manila in the Diana, and made it in lat. 22° 25' S., long. 171° 20' E., by chronometers from Sydney

The position I have assigned to Hunter Island in my chart is according to Captain Wilke’s of the United States Exploring Expedition, who examined it on his passage to Sydney.

The positions of the following dangers are from the authority of Mr. Thomas Beckford Simpson of Sydney: a group of low coral islands covered with cocoa-nut trees, and inhabited in lat. 4° 52' S., long. 160° 12' E., and a dangerous reef lies in each of the following positions:

Lat. 5° 0' S., Long 159° 20' E. Lat. 20° 5' S., Long. 160° 30' E. 66 4 16 " 1498

" 22 40 · 150 10 66 5 24 6 147 6

" 15 44 16 176 27 " 16 52 6 149 50

6 18 11 " 175 15 16 21 8 6 161 35

" 21 43 56 174 45 A dangerous rcef lies forty miles east of Rotumah.

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