Saturday, 19 January 2019

Otago Wrecks and Hulks - Brig "Moa"

The early years of the Brig "Moa" read to me like the early years of New Zealand international commerce - it would take too long to itemise the imports and exports carried by the "Moa" and I have offered a few representative example of what was being imported and exported through the port of Auckland in the 1850s.

The beautiful brig Moa; recently launched from the slip of Mr. Nicol, at Mechanic's Bay, returned from her maiden voyage, on Tuesday the 8th instant. She entered the harbour in gallant style, and her performances both on the passage to and from Sydney have realized all that was anticipated of her —showing that whether for stability, symmetry, or speed the ships of New Zealand are second to none. It is extremely gratifying to know that we have men amongst us capable of designing, and abundant materials suitable for the production of numberless such vessels. The science of ship building is one of paramount importance to a maritime people. You, Maories, are much addicted to maritime pursuits. You can construct powerful and capacious canoes. You navigate them with great dexterity and daring. You have purchased, from time to time, many vessels of European build. Why, then, should you not direct your attention to the attainment of an art which would be equally of advantage to yourselves and your European instructors? Surely you can be taught how to build a ship as well as to erect a wall? Patience and perseverance are the main requisites. Consider our words — for, be assured you would earn quite as much money as skilful shipwrights as those of you acquire by masonry and other mechanical pursuits in which you have already displayed so creditable a proficiency. Hearken to what the Sydney newspapers say of the Auckland-built Moa. 
"The Moa arrived yesterday afternoon (December 6th) from Auckland, where she has been built by Mr. H. Nicol, for Messrs. Wright and Grahame. Although we have so many fine colonial vessels sailing out of the harbour of Sydney, the Moa decidedly ranks amongst the foremost, both with regard to sightliness and roomy accommodations. Her captain states that she is one of the smartest vessels he ever stepped on board of, and, that she has behaved admirably in this her first trip. She is intended expressly for the trade between Sydney and Auckland; is very substantially built, on a scale to carry a large cargo for her tonnage; and no expense has been spared to render the accommodations complete. She is built principally of New Zealand pine and pohutakaua, with a few pieces of the hardwood of New South Wales."
Why should not New Zealand annually launch many such ships, and why should not the Maories assist in their construction?  -Maori Messenger-Te Karere Maori, 3/1/1850.

. January 9.— Brig "Moa," 237 tons, J. D Norris, from Sydney Dec. 27. Mr. and Mrs. Wright, Miss Bent, J. Buchanan, Esq, Mr. Nicoll, Mr. Codlin, Master Owen, Master Romboldt, George Darker, Mrs. Ryan and child, G. Ross and son, Mr. and Mrs. T. Ryan, E. McShane and two sons, T. Harrison, J. Cunningham, S. Ryan, H. Seacombe, T. Keightly, G. Steedon, W. H. Samson. W. S. Grahame, agent.  -Daily Southern Cross, 11/1/1850.

THE fine New Auckland Built Brig "MOA," 281 tons register, — Norris, commander, will sail for the above port on Saturday the 19th instant. The Cabin and Intermediate accommodations of this vessel will be found to be far superior to any in the trade. For Freight or Passage, apply to W. S. Grahame, Fort Street, Auckland, Jan. 8, 1850.  -New Zealander, 16/1/1850.

In the 'Moa' from Sydney— 2 cases cigars, 28 cases champagne, 2 hhds. brandy, 1 case hardware, one crate earthenware, one case sieves, one case of stationery, 2 boxes window-glass, a quarter-cask of wine, 2 bales leather, 7 boxes candles, 9 packets of hops, one bale gunny bag, 2 tons sugar, 10 tierces beef, one cask of tongues, 2 bales leather, one case drapery, 10 boxes tobacco pipes. Order; 100 bags flour, 253 bags sugar, 10 bags pearl barley, 10 bags oatmeal, 6hhds. molasses, 5 bags arrowroot, 25 kegs nails, one case ironmongery, 30 horses; 2 cases of slops, one can turpentine, 3 bales gunny bags, 10 hhds. linseed oil, 116 kegs paint, 8 barrels tar, 4 cases saddlery, 14 logs cedar,. 100 dozen spades, 4 agricultural implements, 100 boxes candles, 2 bales of corks, W. S. Grahame; one case hardware, one keg tobacco, 2 crates crockery, one case hats, one package wearing apparel, one chest cinnamon, one case cloves, one bag nuts, 5 chests & 10 half-chests tea, 26 mats of sugar, 32 ditto, 2 packages raisins, 20 bags rice, 2 cases oilman's stores, 10 boxes soap, one case jam, 2 cases preserves, one cask nuts, one case herrings, 10 boxes soap, one bag barley, 6 cases oilman's stores, one cask peas, 10 boxes candles, 2 casks soda, one case Bath bricks, 2 boxes sperm candles, 10 bags salt, 2 cases mustard, one bale hops, 3 baskets oranges, 29 mats sugar, 2 chests 4 boxes tea, 2 do. gunpowder do., 5 bags coffee, 3 pkgs. raisins, one do. almonds, a bag pepper, one bag pimento; 241 bags rice, one cask molasses, 10 bags sugar, one bag corks, 2 bales sail-cloth, 472 camp.ovens, 12 kegs nails, one case silks, one bag seeds, 50 sheep, 500 bags rice.  -Daily Southern Cross, 10/10/1851.

The Auckland brig Moa, launched here in 1849, is about to proceed to the Island of Kawau to have her old copper stripped and replaced by new. The fine harbour of Kawau affords excellent facilities for effecting such a work, of which we are glad to see our ship owners and ship builders avail — thus placing the Port of Auckland in an independent position for such operations, which cannot at present be effected at Sydney or any other colonial port, unless at a sacrifice of time and money amounting almost to a prohibition.  -New Zealander, 24/9/1853.


John Watson Bain, Esq., J.P. M.P.C., proposed "The Mercantile Marine." He said, Although this toast is the last on the list, yet it must not be considered the least, for the interests it embraces are of great magnitude and value...But in addition to the prosperity which is giving profitable employment to the vessels of the port, there is also another most gratifying feature of our substantial progress presented in the activity and zeal with which shipbuilding is being carried on throughout the Province — not only do we see the carpenters' yards in the immediate neighbourhood of Auckland all full, but in every bay and river of any importance along our coast are vessels in their different stages of completion to be found. True, the majority of these are small-sized vessels, but none the less important on account, when we look, at the admirable manner in which our great coasting trade is carried on by them, and the estimation they are held in by the neighbouring Colonies. But our ship building is not confined to these small class of vessel. Vessels of larger tonnage have been built in our port and along the gulf; and not only large vessels, but vessels that would do any country credit. (Cheers,) Although, perhaps, we could not send home a living specimen of the Moa, such as Professor Owen could appreciate, yet we could send to England a "Moa'' quite as great and enviable a curiosity in its way almost as the bird itself. [Mr. Bain here alluded to the Auckland built brig Moa, which is expected shortly to sail for England.] few countries of the same age have produced the equal of the vessel of that name so well-known in the Waitemata; and taking her as a fair sample, we may well be proud of the capabilities New Zealand possesses for shipbuilding (Loud cheers.)  -New Zealander, 31/12/1853.


The Auckland Local Steam Navigation Company's line new screw steamer the Wanga Wanga was being fitted at Melbourne for this port with all dispatch. She will be brought down under the command of Captain Thomson, lately of the barque Galatea, who, we believe, will relieve Captain Bowden in command of the brig Moa,and transfer the Wanga Wanga to the charge of that able and indefatigable commander.  -New Zealander, 6/1/1855.


Per Moa, from Sydney : —600 bags flour, 237 bags rice, l36 oars, 32 boxes gunpowder, 100 boxes and 100 1/2 chests tea, and sundry packages of hardware, soft goods, ironmongery and oilmens' stores.  -New Zealander, 1/3/1856.


...the brig Moa, 238 tons, Captain Thompson, with 42 passengers, 2118 bags potatoes, 425 packages kauri gum, 90 bales wool, 661 bags copper ore, and 21 tons copper regulus for Sydney.  -Maori Messenger-Te Karere Maori, 31/3/1856.

Shipping Intelligence

Our old favourite, the brig Moa, Captain Bowden, arrived in harbour late on Tuesday night. She left Sydney on the 24th ult., and made the Three Kings on Saturday morning last. Throughout the passage, she met with nothing but light easterly winds. Leaving so soon after the Gazelle, she brings but little news.  -Daily Southern Cross, 9/7/1858.


The brig Moa, which has been sold to Government as a collier, is now on her passage to the Manukau with a cargo of coals, and may be shortly expected.  -New Zealander, 30/6/1860.

Shipping Intelligence

The brig Moa, instead of arriving in the Manukau as was expected, made her appearance in her old waters. She now carries the blue ensign, having been bought as a tender for the men of war on the station. She brings coals.   -Daily Southern Cross, 20/7/1860.


The brig Moa, in command of Mr. Smyth, of H.M.S. Niger, arrived in the Manukau from Auckland, on Friday last at 3 p.m., She is laden with coals for the use of Her Majesty's steam ships.  -New Zealander, 8/8/1860.


 But before we have done, we cannot omit mentioning one vessel borne on the Harbour Service List. The favourite Auckland brig Moa of former days. We have in vain searched for any other vessel supplied to Her Majesty's navy from any of the British colonial possessions, and although only rated as the coal depot in New Zealand, it is still no small credit to Auckland that she has supplied a local-built vessel for Her Majesty's service.  -Daily Southern Cross, 16/5/1862.

Maritime Record.
The schooner Salcombe Castle, whilst proceeding down the Manukau Harbour on her passage to Wanganui on Friday morning last, owing to the density of the fog, came in contact with the brig Moa, carrying away her bowsprit, besides doing considerable other damage to both hers and the brig.   -New Zealander, 23/7/1862.

SALE OF SPARS, RIGGING, SAILS, &c., Of the brig 'Moa,' at Onehunga.
ON TUESDAY, the 12th of MAY.
Have received instructions from Commander Mayne, Senior Naval Officer in New Zealand, to sell by auction, on Tuesday next, 12th May, at 12 o'clock, on the beach, Onehunga, 
Consisting of, — 
Standing and Running Rigging 
Lower and Topsail Yards
 Topmasts and Top gallant masts 
Bowsprit, Jib boom, Main Gaff Topsails, 
Topsails, Studding-sails, &c. 
Boat and Fish Davits 
Compasses and Lamps 
Boats and Ironwork
Included in the above are two Topsails, and Topsail yards on the patent principle, and the sails and spars, comprising the lots, are in good condition. 
1 Large Looking Glass, 3 feet 8 inches x 2 feet 8 inches 
1 Mahogany Table, 10 feet x 3 feet 
2 Mahogany Stools 
32 feet Mottled Kauri Panels, 6 feet deep 
14 Bunks, fitted in Cabins 
1 Mahogany Buffet.
The Cabin Furniture is at present on board the brig, and will have to be removed at the expense of the purchaser. Particulars can be had at the Auction Mart.
Terms — Cash.  -Daily Southern Cross, 8/5/1863.

The steamer Avon, Captain Hunt went down the Manukau yesterday to the brig Moa, with the auctioneer and intending buyers of the cabin fittings, spars, sails, &c, of that vessel The sale was conducted by Messrs Ridings and Dowden. The Moa will be used as a coal hulk in future.  -Daily Southern Cross, 30/5/1863.

The "Moa" is reported as a coal hulk at Onehunga for the next few years.

Sales by Auction. 


The Subscriber will sell, at the Commissariat Stores, Onehunga, by Public Auction, to the highest and best bidder, on Wednesday, the fifteenth day of August next,

THE BRIG 'MOA,' at present used as a Government coal hulk. Also, the entire Sails, Masts, Spars, Gear, Anchor and Chain, Cables, of the barque 'W. C. Wentworth.' The 'Moa' has been surveyed and reported SOUND by a Board of Officers of the Royal Navy, and is sold in consequence of the hulk 'W. C. Wentworth' being found amply sufficient for the service. 

P.S. —Full particulars may be had on application at the Commissariat Office, Wellington, or Auckland. 

SAMUEL COCHRANE. Auctioneer.   -NZ Herald, 20/7/1866.

The sale of the "Moa" by the Royal Navy ended its days as a hulk and saw a return to former glory.  The new owner had his eyes on the trans-Tasman trade and the "Moa" was refitted to sail again to Sydney.

The brig Moa, Caqtain Robinson, (at the Manukau), is all but ready for sea, and will shortly be taking her departure. She has been refitted in the most creditable manner by Mr. Hutchinson, shipbuilder, of Onehunga.  -New Zealand Herald, 24/11/1866.

Shipping Intelligence
Our old favourite Sydney trader, the brig Moa, after an absence of several years from our port (whilst doing duty as coal hulk at the Manukau), after being once more put all a tauto, returned to harbour yesterday morning in command of Captain Alexander Robertson (late of the brig Rita). The Moa has made a very fair passage of 12 days from Sydney, having left that port on the 16th ultimo (a few hours after the s.s. Auckland); carried fresh breezes to the North Cape, being off there on Sunday last, eight days out, and has since been baffled on the coast with light airs and calms; sighted no vessels on the passage. The barque Armistice was to follow from Sydney for this port on the 18th instant. The Moa brings the following passengers:— Mrs. Adams and two children, and Mr. Maher. She also has a full cargo, particulars of which will be found in our import columns.   -NZ Herald, 2/3/1867.

The "Moa" plied the Tasman for some more years, then was mostly engaged in the Pacific trade.

The cargo of cotton, &c., by the brig Moa, from Tahiti, is to be transhipped on board the ship Argyleshire, for London. This vessel has already a large portion of her cargo in, and will receive quick dispatch.   -New Zealand Herald, 20/9/1870.

Per brig Moa, from Starbuck Island via Rorotonga: —300 tons phosphate, 1 package furniture. —Combes & Daldy, agents.   -New Zealand Herald, 10/1/1871.

The "Moa" took many cargoes from Starbuck Island, then an uninhabited coral island of the Kiribati chain, now a wildlife sanctuary.  The freight run across the Tasman was not neglected, however.

We are indebted to Captain Robertson, of the brig Moa, for Sydney papers containing the English telegrams. The Moa has made a capital passage, having left Sydney on the 27th ult.  -Auckland Star, 5/9/1871.

As well as the trans-Tasman trade, the "Moa" took freight along the coast - it was there that near disaster occurred.

Wreck of the Brig Moa.
All Hands Saved. 
Insured for £1,500. OAMARU. 
This day. The brig Moa, Captain Robertson, loaded with grain for Auckland, has gone ashore. She left Lyttelton for this port on the 29th ultimo, and after taking in cargo was awaiting a fair wind to sail for Auckland when heavy gales set her ashore. All hands were saved. The Moa belongs to Captain Robertson, and was built at Auckland in 1849 by Mr Nicol, of the North Shore. She has been connected with the Auckland trade more or less ever since. She was insured in the office of the New Zealand Insurance Company for £1,500.  -Auckland Star, 8/5/1883.

The brig Moa, Robertson master, from Lyttelton to Allday Bay to load a cargo of grain, parted her cable at about 8 o'clock on Wednesday night, and drove ashore at the boat landing. The following particulars have been supplied to us: — The Moa arrived and anchored in Allday roads about 8 p.m. on Friday last. At low tide, finding himself in rather shoal water, Captain Robortson kedged the vessel out about two cable lengths into deeper water, giving her 60 fathoms chain. On the following day (Sunday) he found that the cable had fouled, probably on some rock, and when the wind freshened from the N.E. paid out more chain; and on Tuesday, when the wind rose to a gale, paid out to 100 fathoms. Owing to the position the vessel occupied, and to her being light in the water, the captain deemed it inadvisable to put to sea, preferring to try to ride out the gale at his anchors. Had he attempted to get out, there would have been great risk of his missing stays and driving ashore. The vessel rode out until Wednesday night when the cable parted. Sail was made at once, and the vessel's head being fortunately canted in shore she took the beach head on at the landingplace, where she now lies. The beach is of fine hard sand, and the vessel is high and dry at low water, and does not appear to have suffered any damage, and it is possible that after being lightened she may be floated off. The Moa is an old vessel, but in good condition. She was built in Auckland, and is the property of her present master. She is 230 registered tonnage, and is insured in the New Zealand Marine Office, amount unascertained (supposed to be about L150O). She will be surveyed to-day, and it is probable that she will be abandoned to the underwriters and sold.  -North Otago Times, 9/5/1873.

A. H. Maude's Notices.
At Allday Bay. THIS DAY, TUESDAY, 13th MAY. At 1 o'clock. A. H. MAUDE has received instructions to sell by public auction, at the above time and place— 
The wreck of the Brig Moa, in separate lots— Hull, Spars, Sails, Gear, Rigging, Boats, and Cabin Furniture 
A. H. MAUDE, Auctioneer.  -North Otago Times, 13/5/1873.

The brig Moa, which was beached at Allday Bay, in May last, was floated off on Friday night, and sailed to Port Chalmers, where she arrived yesterday forenoon. The brig was insured in the New Zealand Office, by which she was sold as she lay on the beach, the purchasers being Captain J. F. Crawford and Mr Arthur Shield. These gentlemen determined, if possible, to get her off, as she was in no way injured. Finding, on enquiry, that the charge for a tug-boat (L 300) was higher than they were prepared to give, they set about getting her off in some other way. The New Zealand Meat Preserving Co., whose establishment at Kakanui is not far from the scene of the wreck, very kindly lent Messrs Crawford and Shield a large number of empty casks, free of charge, and by their means the vessel was floated off. Care was taken to keep her head to sea, and twice, when the weather became bad, she was scuttled as she lay, thus enabling her to hold what she had made, and at the same time preserving her from harm. In this way, little by little, she was moved, until she was successfully floated, when she was kedged to an anchorage. The empty casks were then taken on board, and filled with water, and with them and 60 tons of stone ballast which she had in her when wrecked, she made the voyage to Port Chalmers in safety. On the passage she had light S.E. weather till off Fish Reef, when the wind hauled to N.E., bringing her up to an anchorage at the Port. She will be docked for a survey, but it is believed that she will require little or nothing to be done to her, beyond, perhaps, the replacing of a sheet or two of her copper. She is thus likely to prove a paying speculation to the enterprising gentlemen who floated her off, and we hope that may prove to be the case.   -Otago Daily Times, 8/7/1973.

(To the Editor of the North Otago Times,) Sir,— No doubt you will have received my telegram announcing the successful launching of the brig Moa and of her safe arrival in Port Chalmers. 
Shortly after I purchased the vessel as she lay stranded in Allday Bay my first act was to scuttle her to prevent her from forging higher on the beach. I then went to Dunedin and tried to arrange about a tug, but the price required for the Geelong — L300 for the job — was, I considered, too much, so I returned home, and sent down all masts and yards, except foretopmast and topsail yard, discharged the ballast (60 tons), and waited for the spring tides, but these being unnaturally low, little or no progress was made. My next step was to collect all the available casks, which were lashed to booms and placed under her quarters, by which process she moved about 16 foot. I further obtained 30 large tallow casks from the Meat Preserving Company, Kakanui, and built two pontoons calculated to lift eight tons each. These were placed round the vessel, but in consequence of the heavy break on the beach little or no good was done until the next spring tides, when, through the patience and perseverance of captain Campbell, of Kakanui, who was moored out to low wafer mark, about 120 foot. At this time we had to encounter a south-east gale, and were obliged again to scuttle the vessel, but we felt confident that all would be well if we had only time to ballast her and get an offing before bad weather set in. On the 3rd instant there was an improvement in the tides, and we made some progress; but on the 4th we hauled out to her old anchorage, and picked up 30 fathom of cable, which she parted at the time of her stranding, and waited anxiously for 300 bags of wheat from the shore to ballast her; but these not being sent off our only chance was to fill up the casks which we took the precaution to keep on board. The ballasting having been completed, and a wind springing up from the land, we took advantage of it, and stood out to sea. Though the wind was light the vessel worked splendidly, notwithstanding her peculiar rig, and arrived safely at Port Chalmers, to the great astonishment of the people at the port.
I am, &c, A. Sheild. Dunedin, 8th July, 1873.  -North Otago Times, 11/7/1873.

 The brig Moa, lately rescued from Allday Beach, was taken into the Graving Dock yesterday. On the water being pumped out, the brig's bottom looked well, hardly a strain being perceptible. She will, however, be stripped thoroughly, overhauled, and re-coppered.   -Otago Daily Times, 15/7/1873.

The brig Moa, now in the Graving Dock, has been stripped of her copper. Her planking - kauri - looks quite fresh. She is now being caulked from keel to gunwale, after which she will be re-coppered with Muntz's metal. The whole of the work is being done in Messrs Sutherland and Co. , shipwrights, and is expected to be completed by the end of this week. The Moa has been bought by Messrs Guthrie and Asher, timber merchants, Dunedin, and we understand that they intend running her between this port and Auckland, carrying kauri timber for their own requirements.   -Otago Witness, 19/6/1873.

The stripping, caulking, and recoppering of the Auckland-built brig Moa, which lately went ashore at Allday Bay, and was afterwards successfully got off, has been completed in the Graving Dock by Messrs Sutherland and Co., shipwrights. The brig was to be taken out of dock yesterday, but owing to the unpropitious state of the weather, and no other vessel requiring the dock's services, she remained in, every nail being an anchor. Independent of her outer works being thoroughly overhauled, a great portion of her skin has been taken up, and her frame of Potoukaire, or iron wood indigenous to the North Island, was found in a perfect state of preservation, the corners of her timbers being perfectly square, and no decay whatever manifesting itself, though she left the Auckland building yard some years ago — a circumstance which reflects credit on her builders. The brig formerly had a large cabin, part of which, to the extent of 30 tons carrying capacity, has been utilised for cargo. Her cabin now has been fitted up mainly for the captain's and officers' quarters with an eye to economising space, and withal to comfort. The brig, which is the property of Messrs Guthrie and Asher, of this city, will vie in excellence with any coastal or Intercolonial vessel connected with the New Zealand trade, both as a large-carrying vessel and a good sailer. Captain Paterson, late of the brigantine Emulous, is to take charge of the brig, and proceeds to the North to load timber for her owners. The brig is a good bit of stuff, and it is hoped will return a good profit to her enterprising owners, under the command of Captain Paterson.  -Otago Daily Times, 23/7/1873.

Our correspondent writes:— " The brig Moa, Captain Paterson, from Dunedin, arrived at Te Kopuru on Tuesday, 19th instant.   -Daily Southern Cross, 27/8/1873.

. — The brigantine 'Ottawa,' loading alongside Te Kopuru wharf, by some means broke loose from her moorings between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning, and, sliding down the mud, came full against the brig 'Moa' at the outer end of the wharf, breaking every line, and sending her away from the wharf down the river, where she swung to her anchor. The crash was something terrific, but fortunately everybody was more frightened than hurt; the damage is but trifling. A seaman on board the 'Moa' got his arm broken last week whilst engaged in taking in timber; and the second mate, whilst engaged in the same work a few days before, got his foot crushed.   -Daily Southern Cross, 10/9/1873.

We are informed on good authority that the brig Moa, which was recently purchased by Messrs Guthrie and Asher for £1400, has been sold by them to a Timaru firm for the handsome sum of £2800. It will be remembered that the Moa was beached at Allday Bay some months ago, but was afterwards got off and brought to Port Chalmers, where Messrs Guthrie and Asher bought her. She was found to be in excellent condition, notwithstanding her mishap and that she is by no means a new vessel. Since then she has been employed in the timber trade. While her late owners have made a good thing by her, her present owners have also done well to get possession of so staunch and seaworthy a craft as the Moa has proved herself to he.— Otago Daily Times-Lyttelton Times, 17/10/1873.

The barque Amateur and brig Moa and Wave may be daily looked for from Newcastle, with cargoes of coals.   -Timaru Herald, 27/10/1873.

The brig Moa, Captain Paterson, arrived at Te Kopuru, from Timaru, on the 3rd instant. Captain Paterson reports, left Timaru on 25th ult., and experienced variable and baffling winds during the passage. The Moa will load at Te Kopuru with sawn timber.  -Daily Southern Cross, 11/12/1873.

The "Moa" worked out of Timaru for the next few years, mostly carrying Newcastle coal.  It was a time, as they would have said, "not without incident."  

Shipping Intelligence.
ARRIVED. October 18— Moa, brig, 219 tons, Paterson, from Newcastle. 
MAILS. Nil. 
CLEARED. October 17— Cleopatra, schooner, 109 tons, P. O'Brien, for Waikato, via Oamaru. 
EXPORTS. In the Cleopatra, P. Cunningham and Co., agents: 600 bags oats. The Moa, brig, laden with coal and timber for her owners, Messrs Jackson and Gibson, arrived here yesterday afternoon. The following paragraphs are from the Otago Daily Times of Thursday: — An unexpected visitor — the brig Moa — arrived in port yesterday afternoon. She is from Newcastle bound to Timaru, and on Tuesday sought the shelter of the Heads from the gale of that day. There was, moreover, no inducement to run for an open roadstead like that of Timaru in such weather. The Moa brought up on her starboard bower, and that not holding, she let go the port anchor. A furious squall struck her at the time, and as the anchor bit ground, the sudden jerk snapped the chain at the forty-five fathom shackle. Luckily the starboard anchor held good, and so the brig rode out the gale and ran into port yesterday for the purpose of procuring another anchor and chain, Timaru Roads not being safe to venture in without a sufficiency of ground tackle. The Moa is full of coal and sundries. She left Newcastle on the 3rd instant, had N.E. winds for the first two days, and after that heavy gales from south to west. She kept going through it all, and made the S. W. Cape of the Middle Island on the morning of the 12th instant, passed the Strait the same night, and reached the Heads next morning. A howling S.W. gale drove her along the coast.  -Timaru Herald, 19/10/1874.

Our own correspondent, on the 22nd July. —Another old settler has just passed away from amongst us in the person of W. R. McKay, late post-master at Lower Matakana. The deceased traded to this Colony as far back as the year 1835, in the brig 'Rodney,' Captain Jack, and was mate of the first vessel that sailed direct from the West Indies to Sydney. He was also for some time mate of the Government brigs 'Governor Phillips,' and made many trips to Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay, with prisoners, and on more than one occasion had a narrow escape for his life in consequence of the prisoners mutinising. He finally settled in this Colony about twenty-seven years ago, arriving in the schooner 'Deborah. He was a shipwright by trade, and on that occasion was brought from Sydney by the firm of Abercrombie and Co. to finish the barque 'Stirlingshire,' then being built at the Great Barrier Island. He was also an excellent carver, and on his carving the figurehead for the brig 'Moa,' he performed it so accurately that several old natives, on seeing it, called out "Oh, the moa, the moa." The deceased gentleman died in his 68th year, after a short illness of 5 days, of inflammation of the lungs. He had been a severe sufferer from chronic rheumatism for many years. He was a native of Arbroath, Scotland, and eldest son of the late W. R. Mackay, surgeon, 42nd Regiment of Highlanders. He was much respected, and his loss now deeply regretted.   -Daily Southern Cross, 5/8/1875.

The figurehead of the brig Moa, the first vessel of any size to be built at Auckland, which is included in the fine collection at the Devonport Naval Base. While this birjd has little resemblance to the moa as we know it, it must be remembered that at the time it was carved (about 1849) the bird had not been reconstructed and the carver had to use his imagination and the legends that were common at the time. (Evening Post, 23 July 1938)

"The figurehead of the brig Moa, the first vessel of any size to be built at Auckland, which is included in the fine collection at the Devonport Naval Base. While this birjd has little resemblance to the moa as we know it, it must be remembered that at the time it was carved (about 1849) the bird had not been reconstructed and the carver had to use his imagination and the legends that were common at the time. (Evening Post, 23 July 1938). "Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

A seaman, named John Williams, belonging to the brig "Moa" under command of Captain McDearmid, was committed to the Lunatic Asylum this morning. The poor man, of whose general character Captain McDearmid spoke in terms of high praise, has been subjected to strong religious delusion during the passage from Timaru to Auckland. He took a great dislike to animals and especially to cats and dogs, and was a terror to the ship boy. He said he had seen the angels at the theatre and had been shewn the straight way into heaven that the churches were wrong and the theatre was right.  -Auckland Star, 16/8/1875.

[Per Press Agency.] THIS DAY'S TELEGRAMS. Auckland, Sept 3. A warrant has been sent after Constable Axam, lately of the Auckland police force, who left by the brig Moa for Newcastle ten days ago, to arrest him on a charge of forging an endorsement of the police sergeant and another to a promissory note. Several other charges are also pending against him.  -NZ Times, 3/9/1875.

Some sensation was caused by the announcement that a detective was despatched by the Hero to arrest Constable Axam, lately of the Auckland Police force. This is the man who made himself so notorious by striking a man with a baton, and subsequently was charged with beating his infant. This led to his leaving the force, and he proceeded in the brig Moa to Newcastle. It now transpires he had forged the endorsement to two promissory notes, and committed other offences of a similar character. He managed very cleverly. It is expected that the Hero will arrive before the Moa.  -Otago Witness, 11/8/1875.

Although peripheral to the story of the "Moa," the story of Mr Axam is interesting enough to follow to its conclusion...

Constable Axam and the Detective in Waiting.
By the barque Union which arrived from Newcastle to-day, we learn that the brig Moa in which the noble constable Axam and family took their departure from these fair shores, and from sundry bills with forged endorsements thereon, arrived in Newcastle harbour on the 10th instant, having had a most protracted passage. The Constable had been unfortunate in his choice of a vessel, for the Glimpse and the Stag, which left here a week later, made much better passages. The s.s. Hero, with Constable Williams and a warrant for the arrest of Mr Axam, reached Sydney on the 7th instant, and no doubt that vigilant young officer must have been quietly awaiting the arrival of the Moa in Newcastle two days before the lines of that venerable craft became visible in the offing. The sequel is yet to come, for we learn that Constable Williams had, very wisely kept his own counsel, and the people of Newcastle were in as complete ignorance of the presence in their midst of an Auckland detective as was the free-and-easy gentleman whose welfare and movements formed the object of Mr William's solicitude. We have no doubt whatever that Mr Axam would receive zealous attention in getting on shore and removing his traps, and that by the first steamer from Sydney Mrs Wells will have the pleasure once more of seeing his handsome features — not this time wreathed in smiles as on the day of his departure, when he bent so graciously over the side of the brig, and proferred the good lady a kiss; then was his hour of triumph, but the day of reckoning has come, and Constable Axam will have to answer in the Police Court, in which he has so frequently appeared as the upholder of the law, to the very serious charges preferred against him.  -Auckland Star, 21/9/1875.

Ex-Constable Axam.
SINCE the departure of James Axam, otherwise Edwin Barkley, or Barclay, from the Auckland wharf by the brig Moa, bound for Newcastle, certain facts have come to light not at all favourable to the general character of this over-zealous guardian of the public peace. Those alleged offences, however, are too familiar with the majority of our readers to need repetition, and as these grave charges will shortly be thoroughly investigated, it is unnecessary further to allude to them. This officer will long be remembered in this city for certain peculiarities of disposition and various acts of official conduct which he frequently displayed in getting forward in his business. He was tall in stature, whiskerless, and well proportioned; he must be full six feet in height. There was nothing of the Uriah Heap kind of humility about Constable Axam; he ever assumed the hauteur of a Czar rather than that of a slave; even his voice was authoritative, and he spoke as one having authority. When in private clothes, he invariably raised his chin two inches higher than when in uniform. He was stern in voice and gesture to those in his custody, and would even go out of his way to run some unfortunate drunkard in. Constable Axam went away, and bowed his head, and waved his hand gracefully to several persons who lingered on the wharf to see the last, as they thought, of the smartest constable that had paced Queen-street and looked upwards at the stars. 
PURSUIT AND ARREST. After the constable's departure from the wharf, and when the good-byes had subsided, and tears had ceased to flow, information was supplied to the police that the noble, finegrown ex-constable had committed certain offences against society which demanded his re-appearance in Auckland. Constable Joseph Williams, an active young officer of the police force, was ordered to make ready, equipped with a warrant, to go in hot pursuit of the absent Axam. Without any delay he departed in the Hero, and the vessel making a speedy passage he reached Newcastle before the Moa, which bore the living body of the fugitive. On her arrival Constable Williams went on board, before the Moa had anchored, and presented himself to his old comrade, and read the warrant announcing his mission. On seeing Constable Williams, Axam turned very pale, and resigned himself unmurmuring into custody. Subsequently, in conversation, Axam said that he had a presentiment that some one in blue might be sent after him. He admitted some things, but was not disposed to talk of the charges to be urged against him. He was quite passive and subdued, and rather inclined to silence than conversation. He appeared before the magistrate at Newcastle, who remanded the case to Auckland. There was no difficulty in the matter. He then accompanied Constable Williams to Sydney by the next steamer, leaving his wife and children in charge of the captain, who promised to take them back to Timaru, where she has a brother residing. The general demeanour of the accused has throughout been that of a thoroughly crushed man. He seems to be completely "done," and resigned to any fate.
HIS RECEPTION. When the Hero arrived at the wharf, about 500 persons of various ages and shades of character were awaiting the arrival of the fallen constable, and we must conscientiously state that their greeting was not creditable to them, but on the other hand was an unmanly jumping on a man when down. Axam has yet to be tried and proved guilty, and on that ground entitled to more fair play than he received last night. The ex-constable, in company with constable Williams and Detective Jeffrey, who met him on board, stepped on to the wharf with apparent equanimity and self-possession, and walked along the wharf in his wonted military style, frequently assailed with jeers by units in that hooting, hissing crowd. On one or two occasions Axam lost his temper and gave one man a smart smack on the face. A publican, who owed him a grudge, also offered an injudicious remark, and had the strong arm not been caught, it is probable that the poor publican would have passed over head and heels into the water. 
THIS MORNING. Between two and three hundred persons assembled outside the Police Court, at ten o'clock this morning, anxious to get a glimpse of the captured ex-constable. The Court was densely crowded, so much so, that two or three constables had their work to do, in order to keep the office entrance clear. When the name was called there was a general hubbub, and all eyes were turned to the inner door. The accused walked in with a firm step, and looked round the Court with a fearless air, but said nothing. He was remanded until Friday next.  -Auckland Star, 29/9/1875.

Axam was subsequently found guilty of three of the four forgery charges against him and sentenced to two years' prison.  The "Moa" continued in the trans-Tasman coal trade unti 1878.

The brig Moa, we understand, has been sold to Messrs. Guthrie and Larnach, and will be placed in the timber trade between the Manukau and the South.   -NZ Herald, 17/4/1878.

In the service of Guthrie and Larnach, "Moa" mostly carried grain and other agricultural goods to the North and timber to the South.

The brig Moa has now all but completed discharging her cargo of baulk timber, only a few logs remaining on board. She will load back to Auckland.  -Timaru Herald, 2/12/1878.

TIMARU, this day. GRAIN FOR AUCKLAND. The schooner Saucy' Kate left last night, loaded with wheat and oats for Auckland. The brig Moa will leave at the end of the week, loaded with oats, on account of Messrs Guthrie and Larnach.   -Auckland Star, 5/12/1878.

In 1883, "fears were entertained" for the "Moa," sailing between Dunedin and Kaipara, and the brig took 49 days for a passage which usually took nine or ten.  

The brig Moa, Captain Meyer, which recently arrived at the Kaipara, had a fearful knocking about, and it will be seen from a perusal of the subjoined extract from the ship's log what the ship encountered. Shakespeare says, "Blow winds blow — crack your cheeks." The winds on this voyage blew "big guns," and nearly "cracked" the Moa and her skipper and crew instead. Under the circumstances Captain Meyer may rejoice he reached Kaipara in safety. 
May 23rd, in tow of s.s. Shag, crossed the Dunedin bar, with strong breeze, E. to S.E. to E.N.E. and heavy swell, vessel rolling heavily. Terrible cross sea. May 25th—Carried away foresail and part of running gear. May 26th— Calms. May 27th—Nearly all running gear carried away. Squally and thick. Snow and rain in large quantities. May 28th—Gale, and heavy cross seas. May 29th—Terrible cross seas. May 29th, 30th, and 31st—Winds veering almost round the compass; terrible squalls and cross sea. Gale worked all stanchions adrift from beams, and shipped much water. June 1st and 2nd —Sighted land, bearing west by north. June 5th—Main-topmast backstay carried away. June 6th—Tedious wind to leeward. June 7th —Sighted land bearing N. half N. Wore ship about 18 miles off land. Cape Turnagain W. half S. Cape Kidnapper N.N. 7 miles. Vessel labouring heavily, and her head reaching under. June 9th—Tremendous gale and high sea; vessel lifting almost out of water. Main-topmast backstay carried away. The ship encountered continuous storms on June 9th to 15th. On the latter day main backstay carried away. June 16th—All ironwork aloft found almost worn through. Sighted Cape Turnagnin once more. June 17th —Calms, Kaikoura N. W. by W. on June 21st. June 23rd—Spoke Vision, brig, and asked to be reported. From 23rd to 27th continued gales and calms alternately. Mount Egmont N. by W., distant 7 miles, on June 27th; Stephen's Island, S.S.E., 30 miles. Hard gale and terrible squalls. June 30th— Short of water and beef through being such a time at sea. Gale continuing, stood in for Guard's Bay. Got supplies, and made repairs. Found following vessels there: Celestia, barque, schooners Pelican and Gleaner, and cutter Hero, July 4th —Left in company with barques Celestia and Mary Campbell. Moderate breeze and clear weather. July 5th—Brisk gale. Cape Egmont E. half E. S., 11 miles. Gale increasing. From July 5th to 9th—Gales which at times became perfect hurricanes. July 10th-Off Kaipara bar. Wind being unfavourable held off. July 11th—Crossed bar. In crossing vessel shipped large quantities of water, everything above and below straining; rollers fearfully high. Carried away main-topmast backstay; expecting every moment to strike. Ship answered helm and behaved admirably. Anchored abreast pilot station, 49 days from Dunedin.  -NZ Herald, 26/7/1883.

The brig Moa is again in trouble. From our telegrams it will be seen that she has been compelled to call at Lyttelton for provisions, she being at the time on the trip from Kaipara for Dunedin. The worthy old master and owners of the poor old Moa should have profited by the lesson of a few months past, and remembered that, if they wish Jack to do a fair day's work, they must keep up the supply of food. None like a good meal better than Jack, and there is no doubt that none deserve it more than he does.  -NZ Herald, 28/9/1883.

The "Moa" soldiered on - an old ship but still sound.  Kauri and pohutukawa timber were showing their worth in an 1883 survey while some foreign bluegum was found to be rotten.  At the end of 1884 the "Moa" was sold on to Williamson and Murray.  In September of 1889 the "Moa" is reported as taking coal to lighten a ship which continued up harbour to Dunedin, compensating for the shallow draught of the channel from Port Chalmers.  At the same time, however, comes the first mention of the "Moa" as "hulk."  The brig's sailing days were over.

The hulk Moa, having completed the discharge of her transhipments from the ship Timaru, was towed down to Port Chalmers yesterday forenoon.  -Otago Daily Times, 28/3/1891.

 The hulk Moa, having discharged her cargo at the Dunedin wharf, was towed back to Port Chalmers yesterday forenoon.    -Otago Daily Times, 4/5/1898.

Mr. John Mill has sold the old hulk Moa to Mr. Isbister, of Carey's Bay (says the "Otago Daily Times"). Forty-five years ago, this staunch old craft was rigged as a brig, and carried the mails more or less regularly between Auckland and Sydney, under the command of Captain Christian, and about the same time the brig Thomas and Henry was the mail packet between Port Chalmers and Sydney, and it is worthy of note that both of these useful old vessels became the property of Mr. Mill, and have lain side by side at Port Chalmers for many years — the Moa having been used as a lighter and hulk for the past 20 years. Vessels of her type in those days were remarkable more for strength than elegance, and "old-timers" declare that she could go as fast sideways as endways in a head wind; consequently it is not surprising to be told that the old brig, used to be hove-to regularly when she began to sail "sideways to leeward." With the advent of steamers, the Moa and Thomas and Henry were not long in being placed on the retired list, but Captain Christian is still in harness, being now in command of the Blackball Coal Company's collier Parcora, and Captain Thomson, who commanded the Thomas and Henry, is now living in retirement at Port Chalmers. In their early days the Thomas and Henry and Moa were crack vessels of their type, and filled a large sphere of usefulness. Though now relegated to comparative obscurity, their bluff bows and bulging sides afford a good basis for comparing the old order with the new, by means of which we are afforded some idea of the vast strides made in marine architecture during the past half century.  -Dominion, 28/7/1909.

When recording the sale of the old hulk, Moa, recently, a Dunedin exchange stated that, many years ago when the Moa traded between Auckland and Sydney, she was in command of Captain Christian, now of the Blackball Coal Company's service. This is not correct, says The Dominion. It was the Moa, of Messrs. Johnston and Co.'s fleet, that Captain Christian commanded. About forty-five years ago, this latter Moa worked up and down the coast of this island, landing troops and stores for the Government at Patea, Opunake, and other points.  -Poverty Bay Herald, 3/8/1909.

The still-visible group of hulks at Isbisters Bay.  The "Prince Alfred" is nearest the camers, while the "Moa" is seen next.  The two ships were placed on the remains of the Floating Dock "Alpha."  Hocken Library photo.

The bones of the much-travelled "Moa" now lie at Isbisters Bay, along from Careys Bay.  They, with those of the "Prince Alfred" and the Floating Dock "Alpha" are visible at low tide.

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