EARTHQUAKE AT SEA.
REMARKABLE; EXPERIENCE OF A KETCH. (BT TxtEOBAPB. — PaESB ASSOCIATION.] AUCKLAND, 4th December. The auxiliary ketch. Albatross had a remarkable experience at Ohiwa on Sunday night and evidently felt the disturbance of the Whakatane earthquakes. The experiences of the crew on the Sunday night were graphically described by one of their number to a Star repre. sentative : "The first heavy shock came j.ust as we had got into bunk, on Sunday night," he said, "and it startled us considerably to feel the boat bumping about alongside the wharf on. a calm night. Between Sunday night and> Tuesday there must have been about a dozen shocks, but nothing further of much account happened until Tuesday. Jusfc about breakfast time I was looking over the side at the time to see if there was enough water for us to get out. Then all of a sudden the boat lurched heavily on the water and began to rock violently. The wharf seemed to mo looking up at it to be coming right down on the ship. The vessel creaked loudly and everything on board was badly jerked about. There were no more shocks until we left." In reply to a question as to the appearance of Whale I&land as observed on the homeward voyage the reporter was informed that this appeared to be much as usual. "We passed fairly close to it on the landward side," he said, "and we could see I suppose about one hundred goats, which did not appear to be alarmed in the least. There were at any rate no signs of eruption. Passing between the island and the shore, however the vessel went through a lot of curiously-coloured water v such as might come from springs. Wo could see it bubbling up violently in one place just for all the world like the crude oil at the Taranaki wells — all thick and of a dirty brown. When we were going up to Ohiwa on Saturday White Island was very active and was spouting out clouds of black smoke. Generally the smoke is all white with a thin streak of black, but this was almost all black." WHAT IS HAPPENING AT WHAKATANE. The s.a. Tasman arrived from Whakatane at 2.35 p.m. to-day and brought additional particulars of the disturbances on Whale Island. Two of the passengers stated that the clouds, which have been observed over Whale Island, are generally believed by all who voyaged round the island on the Tasman yesterday to have been due to landslips and nothing else. There was no sign of a volcanic outbreak, and the generally accepted idea is that the cloud is wholly com. posed of dust. Nothing else unusual was observed, although the haze undoubtedly appeared like steam from the mainland. The visit to the island is stated to have dispelled all fear of an eruption. The residents of Whakatane are stated to be somewhat nervous as to the result should further earthquakes occur. No damage has yet been done, but the heavy shock of Tuesday morning last aroused anxiety to a fairly high pitch. Another sharp shock »vas experienced on Tuesday evening, and throughout the night the residents scarcely had a chance to sleep. On the voyage back to Auckland yesterday afternoon the discolouration of the water, mentioned above, was very noticeable, but this is put down to tho slips on Whale Island, which although not in themselves very large, extend a good way down the slopes. Some surprise is indeed expressed at the unusual effects in the water for the size of the slips. One of the officers of the Tasman also expressed his opinion, from observations on yesterday's cruise, that the clouds are due to that no other signs of thermal action are noticeable. At 11 a.m. yesterday another heavy yellow cloud supposedly of dust was observed hanging over Whale Island. On Saturday White Island showed unusual activity, throwing out thick black smoke. Yesterday, however, nothing unusual -was witnessed. i Tuesday morning's shock is stated to be the heaviest felt in the district since 1866.