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SOUTHERN CREW'S ADVENTURES PERILS OF SOLA a DER ROOK. BLUFF, August 26. The first of the sealing parties have returned to the Bluff m the cutter Antelope. These sealers Juid a failamount of success. One party was stranded at tlie solitary Solander Island, m. Foveaux Strait, and was almost provisionless for some weeks, and amongst other adventures tho hut at tho Solander was flooded out by the heavy seas at night. From start to finish the Antelope's cruise was full of exciting incidents that will be long remembered by tho members of .her crew. Everyone ot- the ninety-one seal-skins secured was- well earned. The sealers commenced work at Dusky Sound on June 16. A party landed at a rookery on. Five Fingers Peninsula. Seals were very numerous and the party knocked down thirtyone before they took a spell. It was warm work but the seals did not have mulch show of getting away. Ift' Da-gg's Sound.- the cutter met with stormy weather. She was held up for a week and tried to get out of the place on June 25, but on opening up the mouth of the Sound the seas showed up "a bit lumpy.' As tlie Antelope drew nearly clear of the north- point a squall struck her and the crew took m the staysail. A-'gunute later the jib went and they started to run ba!ck again before a howling, jjiile and reached their anchorage after a risky experience. ,At Nancy Sound the" hunters obtained eight seals, and at Charles Sound) one. | A sealer named Tupai liad a narrow escape at Dusky Sound, where a cave with a very narrow opening was tested. Tupai just managed to" wriggle through- and used his. revolver. One of the • seals made at liim and he shoved his hat down its throat, choking it and enabling him to get. out. ,- Later on he went back with lamps and crawled m and shot another, but it took five and a quarter hours , to pull the two seals out of the cave, the party working hard all the time. After sixty-five sealskins' had boon -obtained a party Avas landed at the Solander Rock on July 27. The sealers found the hut m good order. The island was covered with penguins and i mollyhawks on their nests, and it was amusing to see them carrying sticks to their nests. As soon as one penguin dropped a stick or put it down on her nest another stole it when her back was turned. They were at this game ,all day long. -. ■ . ■ The main seal rookery on the.Solander'is reached with difficulty over a Tazor-back height, which is only three feet wide, with a, sheer drop, of hundreds of feet on each side. " The slightest slip would have- sent a hunter into the sea. To get down it was necessary to make sheaves of tataki and. sit on them straddle-legged, holding up the front part of the sheaf. From top to bottom the island is 700 ft or 800 ft. This method of» toboganning is what the Maoris ;call "Kai-'panuku-nuku." All the sealers got fof their trouble ail^ risk at tliis spot was three seals. On the 4th they. 'captured seven seals and, just missed two, as they slipped away Into the water. On the sth they bagged eleven seals. The seas at the Solander were very heavy, and on the evening of August 6 they rose rapidly and big rollers came into tho boat landing. Tlie party had turned m by 9- p.m. and had fallen asleep when they wero suddenly awakened by a crash. A hea.y roller had washed down the door and everything m the place, was awash. The sealers remembered the skins . which were hung up about ten yards form the hut, and found some of thcro floating m the water, mixed up with kelp and driftwood. By good fortune they recovered the lot. Huge seas were trolling m on the shore, but* m spito of the alarming, situation tho party thought it safe to try and get some sleep. They managed to' get the lamps lit and the fire, going again. "We were just settling down," said one of them, "when bang came a log through tijie door on top of a big sea, and m half a second we were -once again floundering about; the shut was half -full of water, kelp, and rubbish." The sealers spent the rest of\a moonlit night m laughing at the ludicrous figures they out.- ■■'-•-.. tin August 8 the hunters visited an "overhang," where they , saw the remains of hundreds of seals, old and young. Some of the young ones were not more than eighteen inches long, just dried up and lying one. on top of the other. It .was an American whaler which landed a party there, and what they could not kill on the rocks outside they drove inside the cave and then j>ut a net across the mouth. : . Bad .weather' came - up. and they crawled out, leaving tho seals to die! The carcases were piled up against the net, hundreds of them, left by the merciless American hunters. ■ * Food now -ran very .low, and by tlie 9th the party was reduced to two, meals of a sort, a day. On the Sunday for dinner they had fried paws and punui roots. At various jspiges tbey got fi ve more seals. but the croatin-es wciJe very scarce. On, the 20th the Antelope returned , to the Solander, to the sealers intense relief, and safely landed them at tho Bluff after seventy-three days' hunting. „_■..,:

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Bibliographic details

SEAL HUNTING., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13475, 2 September 1914

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SEAL HUNTING. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13475, 2 September 1914