New Zealand - A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 14 - By Robert Kerr









































































 -  Thus we were
deprived of seeing the whole fleet equipped on this occasion; and perhaps
of being spectators of a - Page 580
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Thus We Were Deprived Of Seeing The Whole Fleet Equipped On This Occasion; And Perhaps Of Being Spectators Of A Sea-Fight, And By That Means, Gaining Some Knowledge Of Their Manoeuvres.

I never could learn what number of vessels were to go on this expedition. We knew of no more than two hundred and ten, besides smaller canoes to serve as transports, &c. and the fleet of Tiarabou, the strength of which we never learnt.

Nor could I ever learn the number of men necessary to man this fleet; and whenever I asked the question, the answer was Warou, warou, warou te Tata, that is, many, many, many, men; as if the number far exceeded their arithmetic. If we allow forty men to each war-canoe, and four to each of the others, which is thought a moderate computation, the number will amount to nine thousand. An astonishing number to be raised in four districts; and one of them, viz. Matavia, did not equip a fourth part of its fleet. The fleet of Tiarabou is not included in this account; and many other districts might be arming, which we knew nothing of. I however believe, that the whole isle did not arm on this occasion; for we saw not the least preparations making in Oparree. From what we saw and could learn, I am clearly of opinion that the chief or chiefs of each district superintended the equipping of the fleet belonging to that district; but after they are equipped, they must pass in review before the king, and be approved of by him.

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