LANDING THE NEW ZEALAND CABLE AT SCHRODER'S MISTAKE.
On Thursday afternoon, the steamer Charles Edward left for an excursion ta Schroder's Mistake, and » small party took advantage,of the opportunity to view the spot selected for laying the New Zealand cable. The steamer left shortly before four o'clock with some forty excursionists, and about an hour afterward?, the steamer Hibernia was seen lying under Pepin'e Island, and shortly afterwards the Edinburgh was seen olose in shore at Sohrodor's Mistake. The Charles Edward after steaming round the Hibernia, and thus affording her passenger* a view of this fine vessel, which is a three-thousand ton ship, and yet her decks appear to be pretty fully taken up with the necessary machinery for laying the thread that now connects us with Home. Over the B tern protrude huge wheels, drums, Ac, for paying out the cable, and over her bows other machinery for its recovery, but happily on the present expedition everything has worked as smoothly as possible, the latter machinery has not been brought into requisition. The Charles Edward then steamed close to the Edinburgh, her appearance was very similar to that of the Hibernia, though of the two tho latter is by far the larger ship. It was then clearly seen that the cable was landed, but at the same time not sufficient was yet got ashore, for a wheel amidships, over which the cable passed on coming from the hold, was seen slowly revolving, and on looking ashore, some half a mil& distant, a line of about twenty men were to be seen hauling at the cable with might and main. Between tho Edinburgh and the shore were ten boats so placed that each had a line bent round the cable to prevent its sinking and so lessen the weight which those on shore were hauling in. The whole scene was most magnificent. On the southern side of the inlet were crags with hugh detached rocks standing up out of the water, with white surf dashing against them, whilst on the southern side Pepin's Island rose verdure covered from the sea, and it rises to a considerable height, covered with the most beautiful of New Zealand shrubs, and with the sun at our backs, (it was about six o'olook) the scene was enchanting. In the inlet were the large ships, about a dozen small boats, and straight in front the beach with white waves dashing upon it, and through them was to be seen the cable with a swarm of human beings round it toiling to their utmost. On reaching the shore we were able to learn the way in which the landing of the cable had been effected. The ships having arrived at the inlet, a boat was sent ashore to make the necessary observations as to the length necessary to land in order to allow it to reach the cable house, and a hawser was got ashore for the boats to make fast to, but some difficulty waa experienced in getting it ashore ; this was overcome by the native chief, Martin, walking into the sea till his head only was above water, and he brought the hawser ashore. A portion of the cable was then lowered into a boat which started for the shore, other boats taking up positions on her route holding the cable and so easing the weight until the first boat reached the land, and there were a string of nine others between her and the Edinburgh, each supporting the cable. On getting the end ashore a pulley was rigged on to a tree lying on the beach, and by this means a good purchase was got to haul in the cable but unfortunately the strain upon the block was too great, and it gave way, flying in all directions. Sufficient cable was then drawn ashore by sheer strength, the workers being principally those who had been attracted there by the navelty of the proceedings. Just as tho excursionists arrived on shore sufficient cable had been landed and several of the more energetio of the excursionists assisted in dragging the end to the cable house. This bu'lding has been erected in the most solid style, in the walls there are four thioknesses of timber, and in the centre is a kind of table made of solid timber, with a top of thick cedar. The cable passes on to this table through a stone cemented passage, and from this passage to the shore a trench had to be dug in which the cable was to be buried. The cable house is to be used for taking off the cablegrams, aud for testing purpose*, messages will then be taken to a house adjoining, whence they will be dispatched by the land line to Nelson. This line is now completed. The difficulties in the way of its construction were immense, but even then they had been overcome, the bush through the Maoris' land been felled, and only some posts over a very rough hill had to be erected and some wire stretched. Some idea of the rapidity with which this line was constrcted may be imagined from the fact that in one morning fortyone poles were erected by twenty workmen, and if the country were only seen it would at opce be clear how vigorously the work was being carried through. But to return to thn shore of Schroder's Mistake : After seeing all that was to be seen the excursionists re-embarked, but before doing so Dr. Irvine proposed three cheers for Mr. Lucas and Mr. Riddell, the Constructing Engineers, and the proposition was heartily respnded to. The compliment was returned by those gentlemen proposing three cheers for New Zealand, and they were juat as heartily returned. Some few of the Charles Edwards passengers had an opportunity of boarding the Edinburgh, but our reporter was not amongst the fortunate. On the whole cf her passengers arriving on board, the Charles Edward steamed round the ships, and more cheering was given. She then proceeded homeward, and arrived in harbor about nine o'clock, but just before she started the Tui came up, having an board Dr. Lemon and Mr. Shapley. These gentlemen at once boarded the Edinburgh. Any mention of this successful event is incomplete without noticing Mr. Maling, who only left Wellington a fortnight ago, when the landing place of the cable was decided upon, and under his management the work has progressed most satisfactorily ; but not alone to Mr. Maling is credit due, for all connected with the undertaking appear to have exerted themselves with untiring energy. The steamers were to leave at midnight to lay the shore portion of the cable from the landing-place to the bouyed end of the ocean part, some forty miles distant. Captain Conway, of the Wallace, which arrived in pirt last night, informed us that the Hibernia was at Telegraph Bay yesterday morning at B'3o and that the Edinburgh would arrive there about 11 a.m. with the cable, and that it would be spliced about 5 p.m. yesterday, as the operation take 3 about 6 hours. The steamer was expected to arrive at this port early this morning.
Permanent link to this item
LANDING THE NEW ZEALAND CABLE AT SCHRODER'S MISTAKE., Colonist, Volume XVIII, Issue 2038, 19 February 1876
LANDING THE NEW ZEALAND CABLE AT SCHRODER'S MISTAKE. Colonist, Volume XVIII, Issue 2038, 19 February 1876
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.