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Te Pito Te Henua, Or Easter Island

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Author Topic: Te Pito Te Henua, Or Easter Island  (Read 1446 times)
Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 01:29:30 pm »

found a similar error of 300 miles in file course of that passage. It is fair to presume that Davis was longer in crossing from the Galapagos to Easter Island than either of those vessels or, at least, than the Blossom; and it is consequently but reasonable to allow him it greater error, particularly as the first part of his route was through a much stronger current. But taking the error in the Blossom's reckoning as a fair amount and applying it to the distance given by Wafer, there will remain only 204 miles unaccounted for between it and the real position of Easter Island, which, from the foregoing considerations, added to the manner in which reckonings were formerly kept, does not appear to me to exceed the limit that that might reasonably be ascribed to those causes.

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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2010, 01:29:38 pm »

M. La Pérouse was of the opinion that the islands of Felix and Ambrose were those under discussion, and in order to reconcile their distance from Capiapó with that given by Wafer, has imputed to him a mistake of a figure in his text, without considering that it would have been next to impossible for Davis to have pursued a direct course from the Galapagos to those islands (especially at the season in which his voyage was made), but on the contrary that he would be compelled to make a circuit which would have brought him much nearer to Easter Island, and that Davis acquainted Dampier with the situation of his discovery, which agreed with that contained in Wafer's account.

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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2010, 01:29:46 pm »

The alteration of a figure, it must be admitted, is rather arbitrary, as it has nothing to support it but the circumstance of the number of islands being the same. A mistake certainly might have occurred, but in the admission of it either party may claim it as an advantage by interpreting the presumed error in a way which would support his own opinion.

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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2010, 01:30:08 pm »

Cook and Pérouse differ in a very trifling degree from each other, and also from us, in the geographical position of Easter Island. The longitude is, by Cook, 109 degrees 46 minutes 20 seconds, and deducting 18 minutes 30 seconds, in consequence of certain corrections made at Fetegu Island, leaves 109 degrees, 27 minutes, 50 seconds west. That by Pérouse, allowing the longitude of Concepcion to be 72 degrees 56 minutes 30 seconds west, is 109 degrees 32 minutes 10 seconds west, and our own is 109 degrees 24 minutes 54 seconds west.

Admitting that the land was first sighted by Davis, the fact is beyond question that the Dutchmen under Roggeveen were the first Europeans to land on the island. From the unfortunate termination of his cruise, and the suppression of his official journal for so many years, but little has been handed down to us in the way of description of the island as it then appeared.

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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2010, 01:30:13 pm »

The Spaniards sighted the island in 1770, and gave it the name of St. Carlos. Captain Cook called it Easter Island in March, 1774, and sent all expedition on shore, but his log affords little in regard to its, general appearance beyond the fact that it was parched and desolate, and of no value as a place of refreshment.

M. Bernizet, geographical engineer, who visited the island in April, 1786, with the La Pérouse expedition, describes its appearance with care, and after the lapse of it century his notes are found to be sufficiently accurate for ordinary purposes.

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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2010, 01:30:41 pm »

Amasa Delano, Kotzebue, Lisiansky, and many other voyagers made brief calls at the island, and their journals afford little information. The recent French, Spanish, and English charts are sufficiently accurate in the main features, but some of the coast lines were evidently established from running surveys, and are incorrect. During the stay of the

p. 450

Mohican Lieut. F. M. Symonds, with Naval Cadet C. M. McCormick as assistant, made a careful survey of the island, and their chart, herewith appended, will be found accurate and replete with interest. (Plate XII.)



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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2010, 12:50:35 pm »

SAILING DIRECTIONS.

Vessels anchoring on this unprotected coast must be guided entirely by the direction of the wind at the time. The Mohican anchored in the roadstead of Hanga Roa (Cook's Bay on the English charts) on the morning of December 19, 1886, and afterwards moved to a position off Anakena Bay (La Pérouse Bay), for convenience in shipping the stone image, now in the National Museum.
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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2010, 12:50:46 pm »

On the south coast there are good anchorages during northerly and westerly winds, but there is usually a heavy swell from the southwest, making the boat-landings at Vaihu both difficult and dangerous. With easterly winds a good anchorage will be found just outside of Hanga Pico Bay, with sandy bottom, in about 26 fathoms of water, and the boat-landing will be found safe. The best boat-landing on the island is at Anakena Bay; the beach is comparatively free from stones, and even with northerly winds the landing would be no more difficult than is usual at Funchal.
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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2010, 12:51:08 pm »

The rise and fall of the tide at Easter Island is about 2 feet. The northerly and westerly winds do not produce a high sea, but generally bring rain, and are usually confined to the winter season. These winds are known to the natives as "papakino" (in-force). The northeast wind is called "tongariki;" it is variable, and frequent in summer. The southeast wind, known as "anoraro" (wide expanse), is the prevailing wind in summer. The south wind, called "motu-rauri" (dark leaf rock), blows in winter. The southwest wind blows strong in winter, and brings rain and a high sea. Vaitara (cut-water) is a winter wind from the west. The prevailing winds are from an easterly direction, and all others are of short duration. Light airs that frequently shift direction are usually accompanied by rain, and are called by the natives "tepu hanga" (blows drift on shore), the reason for which is obvious.
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2010, 12:51:35 pm »

GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.

The geological features of the island are replete with interest. The formation is purely of a volcanic character and embraces every variety pertaining to that Basaltic, cellular, and tufaceous lavas abound in diversified forms. The basaltic is generally porous and scoriform, but on the slope of the hills the substrata are frequently as com pact and dense is that of the coast-line. Near Anakena may be seen hills composed of scoria quite as cellular as pumice, and in close proximity compact beds having a dark blue basis, composed of crystals of glassy feldspar and olivine. The cellular formation is mixed pumice and slag, in some cases similar

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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2010, 12:51:54 pm »

to volcanic cinder, having the lightness and qualities of coke. In some of the varieties the cavities are filled with olivine crystals partly decomposed, but generally the cavities are empty. This lava when mixed with feldspar is sometimes of gray color; not unfrequently several tints of red may be seen, though the most common is a dark, lusterless brown.

The tufaceous lavas are extremely interesting, because they form the most prominent feature in the physiognomy of the island. To this geological structure, with the incessant action of the trade-winds and heavy rains, is due the fact that the island is surrounded by precipitous cliffs, rising in some cases to a thousand feet in height. The formation is
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« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2010, 12:52:10 pm »

extremely friable, and by the action of the elements, enormous masses are continually disappearing beneath the waves of the sea that beat upon this unprotected shore. These tufas differ considerably in consistency at the eastern end of the island. The species is a fine light-red dust that is blown about by the wind and is destitute of vegetation; towards the southwest end the basis is a compact mud-like red clay, while the colossal crowns, intended to adorn the gigantic statues, are carved out of a variety that has been scorified in one of the craters, and is of a dull reddish color.
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Jennifer Murdoch
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« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2010, 12:52:13 pm »

extremely friable, and by the action of the elements, enormous masses are continually disappearing beneath the waves of the sea that beat upon this unprotected shore. These tufas differ considerably in consistency at the eastern end of the island. The species is a fine light-red dust that is blown about by the wind and is destitute of vegetation; towards the southwest end the basis is a compact mud-like red clay, while the colossal crowns, intended to adorn the gigantic statues, are carved out of a variety that has been scorified in one of the craters, and is of a dull reddish color.
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2010, 12:52:54 pm »

The ordinary rules for estimating the age of rocks by compactness can be applied at Easter Island only hypothetically, because the scoriform and more dense specimens are found immediately contiguous to one another. In places they are quite conglomerated, as though older formations had been disturbed by volcanic convulsions, while a new flow of lava enveloped and sealed the whole into a heterogeneous mass. During our short stay on the islands there was no opportunity to measure the lava flow or to make investigations of that nature.
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2010, 12:53:10 pm »

Natural caves are numerous, both on the coast-line and in the interior of the island. Some of them are of undoubted antiquity and bear evidence of having been used by the early inhabitants as dwellings and as burial places. It is reported that small images, inscribed tablets, and other objects of interest have been hidden away in such caves and finally lost through land-slides.
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