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A NEW NORTHERN TRADE.

PIONEER TRIP OF S.S. CHELMSFORD. The 8,8. Chelmsford, Captain Charles Hopkins, which sailed from this port on Tuesday afternoon last, on her pioneer trip to open up a trade .in the sub ports between Whangarei Heads and Whangaruru —namely, Ngunguru, Tutukaka, Matepouri, Whananaki, Mimewhangata, Helena Bay, and Whangaruru — returned to, tins port this morning at one o'clock. Among those on board were Mr. Ranson, manager of the Northern Steamship Company, who went to raako the necessary arrangements at the various ports with the settlers, Captain H. F. Anderson (one of the directors) who desired to see the capabilities of the various ports, and the shelter afforded in working them. Among other passengers wore Mr. Johnston, manager of the Auckland Fibre Company, Mr. Ledinghara, who was visiting the Ngunguru coal mine, and the representatives of the Auckland daily journals. There wore also passengers for « several of the places visited, and cargo for all the ports. The inauguration of the hew service is the outcome of a petition from the settlers of the various districts to the Northern Steamship Company that they would initiate it, and promising hearty co-operation and support, It was the original intention of Mr. Hanson to have run on to Whangaruru, and worked the intermediate porta back southward to and including Ngunguru, bub on Tuesday night, or rather early on Wednesday morning, the Chelmsford encountered a heavy northerly gale, with rain, and as little or no progress could be made against it in the faco of its increasing force, Captain Hopkins deemed it best to stand in to Whangarei Heads, and run op to Marsden Point till it had blown itself out. This necessitated the whole arrangements being altered. On Wednesday at noon a fresh start was made, as the weather looked a little more hopeful, though still threatening, and there was a heavy northerly swell the result of the gale. The Chelmsford got into Tutakalca that night, and landed cargo at Mr. Hugh Ferguson's for himself and other settlers. Some passengers also landed here, on a visit to Mr. Ferguson. The Chelmsford found Mr. Feathorstone's steam-yacht Nautilus lying in one of the bays, the party on board having been enjoying themselves fishing. On Thursday morning Mr. Ferguson, after shipping some of his produce, came on board to act as pilot and render such service as was possible on the trip Northward, his local knowledge and experience proving very valuable and helpful. At Matepouri Bay, Mr. Woolley came off, and some goods were landed for him. Some cargo and several passengers' were landed at Whananaki, and Messrs. Johnson, J.P., and R. Hooper and other settlers came off to see Mr. Ranson. The next place visited was Mimewhangata (Mr. Greenaway's station), where the balance of his wool clip, and some hides and pigs, wore shipped. He reported the p.s. Te Aroha, for Hokianga (which took shelter, like the Chelmsford), as having passed Mimewhangata. At Helena Bay a lit&lo cargo, and an intending !-ettler, an ox - California!!, was landed. Mr. Miller, storekeeper, came off to the ship, and had a chat with Mr. Ranson. The steamer then proceeded on to Whanga rum, where she landed some cargo for Mr. Jones, storekeeper, who was a passenger from Auckland, at the hiad of the bay adjacent to the native settlement. Mr. Howland, a settler, came off al.o a largo number of the natives, while quiia a crowd of them were on the beach to* welcome the arrival of the steamer. Whangaruru is almost purely a native district, with two or three hundred natives resident in it, and a good native trado is done, Last season a largo qu-ntity of oysters were exported from here toSydney. The natives wished Captain Hopkins to make a little longer stay, but time forbade, and the Chelmsford, turning southward, ran up to the Gables, where fishing was indulged in till the tide made at Ngunguru Heads. Good sport was obtained, 147 schnapper being taken in half-an-hour. As soon as the tide admitted the steamer stood in to Ngunguru Heads at six p.m., where a boat's crew landed the two press representatives, as their only chance of seeing the Ngunguru coal mine (through the altered arrangements of the trip) was to walk round the beach, three and a-half milos, to the Ngu-» nguru hotel (Mr. Hart, proprietor), and pull seven miles up the river to the mine the same night, returning by Friday, noon, in order to be picked up by the Chelmsford, at Mr. Hart's again. The press representatives accomplished their self-imposed task successfully. They left the hotel of Mr. Hart, who rendered them every assistance in his power, at eleven o'clock for up river, getting a boat, with Dougald Campbell, son of Mr. Campbell, bush contractor, ae pilot, and reached the residence of the officials of the mine towards one o'clock in the morning, whore they were hospitably welcomed < and accommodated for the rest of the night. Early next morning, after breakfast, Mr. Tankard, a Victorian gentleman largely interested in the enterprise, and Mr. Armitage, the working mine manager, courteously showed them over the mine workings and tho tramway line, and at half-past nine they started down the river again against the flood, Mr. Armitago kindly giving the services of one of the men to aid in the pulling, Mr. Hart's being reached by noon. After landing tho press representatives inside Ngunguru Heads, the Chelmsford returned to Tutukaka for the night, and on Friday morning while waiting for the tide to cross the Ngunguru bar, those on board indulged off the Heads in schnapper fishing about a hundred being caught. To give variety to the sport Captain Hopkins steamed over to the Poor Knights, where some hapuka fishing took place in 60 fathoms. About 30 splendid fish, weighing lewt each, wore secured, when tho ushers ceased operations being weary of hauling them in, it taking two or three men to haul each fish to tho surface. Tho sport was very exciting, and much enjoyod by those engaged in it. Punctual to time the Chelmsford was seen steaming up the reach, and then winding round in the channol. Having discharged a quantity of goods into a barge for the mine, and stores for Mr. Hart, she took some produce on board and her passengers, and headed down the river to get over the bar on &he tide. Some further fishing was indulged in off Ngunguru Heads with successful results, and at four p.m., the Chelmsford finally headed for Auckland on her return trip, arriving as above, after a fine run down the coast, averaging nine knots.

On the run north the German warship Bussard was seen off W hangaparoa, engaged in torpedo practice, and on the return trip last night, when off Point Rodney, the elwctric light practice in Auckland harbour was seen with ease, though taking place over 40 miles distant.

Mr. Ranson returns well satisfied with the cordial reception he met with from the settlers, and with the prospects of the new service. The Northern Steamship Company intend to give it a fair experimental teat, and of course if it grows the monthly service will develop into one more frequent. Captain Anderson was also of opinion that all tho sub-ports visited could bo worked successfully except in heavy easterly weather. Tutukaka and Wbangaruru are very tjood harbours and well sheltered. Helena Bay is the most exposed.. <;'. The settlers at the various ports were notified by Mr. Ranson that the steamer would leave Auckland on the second trip on Tuesday, the 7th March, and that the timetable would be published in the Auckland Weekly News, which would bring the information within the reach of all of them, an announcement with which they expressed satisfaction.

With the exception of the first day out, the trip proved a very pleasant one, and Captain Hopkins and his officers did their best to promote the comfort and enjoyment of the party on board. In another article will be given some further information concerning the settlements visited. Tho Chelmsford leaves to-day for Whakatane, at 10 a.m. .■'■.;';..■■

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18930211.2.39

Bibliographic details

A NEW NORTHERN TRADE., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9121, 11 February 1893

Word Count
1,349

A NEW NORTHERN TRADE. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9121, 11 February 1893

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