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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45

Break-Sea Sound

Break-Sea Sound.

is only a short sail from Wet Jacket Arm. This Sound is about two miles wide, and the hills which wall it in are densely wooded. They present a great variety of outline, and the combination of the picturesque and the grand which is observable in the scenery, is very remarkable. The Sound is dotted with wooded islets, and marking the mountain with silver seams, a number of waterfalls roll down on either hand. A charming view is obtained on passing by a pretty valley, marked Second Cove on the chart. At the head of this valley are several tall hills peaked with silver. One can only obtain a bird's-eye glimpse of the picture, but even that is very enjoyable. The Sound divides into two arms about seven miles up from the junction of Acheron Passage, and here a magnificent prospect is to be obtained. The majestic cone known as Chatham Point, rises close on 3,000 feet high in front of the vessel as it steams onwards, and to the left Vancouver Arm stretches between sloping and thickly-wooded hills; to the right the Broughton Arm forms between rugged ridges of snow-capped mountains. Further ahead a quaintly- shaped triple cone meets the gaze. Lower down, deep dark gullies sink beneath the tall ridges of crags which frown above them. Here there is capital employment for the pencil of the sketcher, and here the poetically inclined tourist, as he gazes on the towering peaks, might exclaim—

"Ye are the things that tower, that shine—whose smile
Makes glad—whose frown is terrible—whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear of awe divine."

page 49

The steamer generally makes a short stay at this point, and then proceeds up Vancouver Arm, which is enclosed by noble wooded-hills, pierced by two or three beautiful valleys. Here, as in nearly every other portion of the Sounds, there are numerous waterfalls, and one of these, which pours down in a shower of spray from a gigantic overhanging rock, is an exceedingly pretty sight. When Vancouver Arm is thoroughly explored, the steamer retraces its course, and passes through a number of richly-wooded islands near the lower end of Break-Sea Sound. Here the shores are mantled with the small foliage of the birch trees, the drooping tassels of the remu, the crimson branches of the rata blossom, and the paler pinkish spikes of the tawhero. When the junction with Acheron Passage is again reached, the boat steers by the entrance to Dagg's Sound, and close by the Hare's Ears, two sharp rocks which mark (he entrance to