Historical Records of New Zealand
Chapter Captain Hunter To Secretary Stephens
Chapter Captain Hunter To Secretary Stephens.
* In other despatches the name is given as Von Graaffe
† The enclosures are not recorded.
On the day I sailed from Port Jackson the ship sprung a leak, A leak. which admitted 2 feet 4 inches water in the four hours, but as before my arrival here we had discovered it to be about two or three feet below the wale, starboard side, I hope to be able to have it stoped before I sail on my return to the coast of New South Wales.
I transmit by this opportunity a box containing dispatches from Governor Phillip, directed to Lord Sydney, one of his Majesty’s Principal Secretarys of State. On the 12th of July last four transports* under the command of Lieutenant Shortland sailed from Port Jackson for Europe. They took their route to the northward, and might possibly have called at Batavia. They have not touched here; I therefore imagine they may have passed on to St. Helena and water’d there on their way home.
* Alexander, Prince of Wales, Friendship, and Borrowdale.
Captain Hunter did not sight the South Cape on this occasion. In his Historical Journal, published in London in 1793, p. 95, when describing this trip, he says:—
“On the 12th, we passed the South Cape of New Zealand, but the weather being very hazy and squally, we did not attempt to make it, but kept a degree and a half to the southward of it; here we met with vast numbers of birds of various kinds, mostly aquatic, such as albatrosses, pentada birds, divers, peterels, and a variety of gulls; some of a kind I had not before seen during the voyage, very large, of a dark brown or mouse colour; and another sort not quite so large, with a white body, dark wings, and the head of a light blue or lead colour. Much seaweed was also seen here in very large patches. We now had the wind fresh from the north-west quarter, with frequent squalls, attended with rain, and the weather cold. We found the variation of the compass 40 leagues south-south-east from the South Cape of New Zealand, to be 16° 54′ east.“. [The Editor.]
As no part of the service on which I came to this place† is yet in any forwardness I cannot give their Lordships any information upon it, but will leave an account of my proceedings to be forwarded from hence after my departure, if no opportunity should offer before I sail.
I am, &c.,
* Scarborough, Charlotte, and Lady Penrhyn.
† Hunter was sent to the Cape for supplies.