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J. D. POTTER, 31, POULTRY, AND 11, KING STREET,
AUSTRALIA (NEWCASTLE) TO CHINA, touching at Pleasant Island,
In the Barque Glenisle.
Mauritius, October 22nd, 1869. DEAR SIR,-Having read Captain Brown's accounts of his passages from Australia to China, during the months of October and November, 1865, and to Japan in March, 1868, and having made the passage last year, east of New Caledonia, during the months of August and September, I now take the liberty of sending you a short account of it to see if you think any part of it worthy of a place in the Nautical, and if so I may take the liberty again, and try to contribute a little towards getting a little more for our shilling, wbich you seem willing to give if we will assist.
We sailed from Newcastle N.S.W. on August 6th, with the wind moderate from the S.E. On the 10th, wind S.W., baving good obserrations, and finding that we would pass near the Middleton Shoal during daylight, steered to get a sight of it. At two p.m. knowing we must be drawing near it I went to the masthead and soon made it out. I found the position given of it very correct, having only been a few days out and chronometer good. It was a splendid sight as seen by us during the daylight. We could see the breakers on it all round the reef, but quite smooth in the interior. From the 11th to the 17th, wind from W.S.W. to W.N.W. with hard squalls and rain : did not see Hunter or Feern Island as we were too far east. On rounding it, wind gradually hauling round to the S.E. until we sighted Mitre Island on the 23rd. This island looks like two on passing the west side of it, and on the north side of it there is a high rock which looks very much like a ship under sail. At noon we sighted Anouda or Cherry Island. the position of which I make is lat. 11° 36' S., long. 169° 43' 15' E. When we were fully twelve miles from the island we saw a canoe
NO. 1-VOL. XXXIX.
paddling towards us. On nearing it we gave them a rope and allowed two out of the five persons in her to come on deck. They both stood six feet high and were naked, with the exception of a small cloth round the loins. Their canoe was very neatly made, being cut out of a solid log and the shape of an albicore.
We experienced the westerly current as far as Pleasant Island, which Captain Brown mentions. * On the morning of the 29th at daybreak we sighted Pleasant Island. We seemed to have been seen from the island as soon as we saw it, as we could observe several canoes coming out towards us. At seven a.m. we had two or three of them alongside, and a whale boat with an Englishman in her. They did not attempt to come on board until they had received permission to do so. As soon as they were on deck there commenced a strong bartering match, they having cocoa nuts, a few fowls, a few eggs, and some large sized flying fish. One of the natives had a pistol; and another had an English Bible which he had obtained from some passing ship. He offered it to me for five gun-caps, or ten fishhooks. The Englishman had a few mats, very neatly made from the cocoanut leaf, wbich I got for a bag of small bread. There was another whale boat that came alongside at this time with another Englishman in her, who had been twenty-eight years on the island. His son was with him, a youth eighteen years of age. They brought three pigs in their boat, which I bought.
There were several more canoes came alongside, and I believe we had a visit frou the same old woman mentioned by Captain Brown, and I am certain we are not the first ship that she has visited. I just saw her once, as she kept at the fore part of the ship. As to her beauty, just picture to yourself a kitchen wench of Shakespeare, and you have her true likeness. I spoke to the Englishmen about the island having a bad name, and they told me it was owing to a man named Jones who had been taken off the island by a man-of-war. They told me that tbey try to visit all ships that pass within an easy distance, and seemed to be very anxious for it to be known that they could supply ships with pigs and cocoanut oil. I told them they ought to try and cultivate potatoes which they said they would do. I read them the account of the island in the Nautical for 1865, and they were quite proud to think that they are mentioned in it. They gave me an advertisementt to put in the papers if I should come back to the colonies. This I take the liberty to enclose you; but I am making my story of the island too long. We bad them on board for four hours. They wished me to tell them what I made the position of the island. They said it was nine miles across, and twenty-two miles in circumference, and from what I made the west end in, I think Captain Cheyne's position is the correct one for the centre, which I see is given in last year's Nautical, as I made the west end to be in long. 167° E.,
• Page 72, February, 1868. + We have tried to read this production, and from the very faulty writing we