Captain Fitzroy’s Journal
Next day, however, we found that appearances were worse than the reality; for behind a hill, which separates the harbour from the sound, a thick wood was discovered, where there were many trees of considerable size; and in the midst of this wood I found Sir Richard Spencer's house, much resembling a small but comfortable farm-house in England. This sort of isolated residence has a charm for some minds; but the loss of society, the numerous privations, and the vastly retrograde step necessarily taken in civilized existence by emigrating to perfectly new countries, are I think stronger objections to the plan than usually occur to persons who have not seen its consequences in actual operation.
At this time there were about thirty houses, or cottages, in the neighbourhood of the sound and harbour; some had small gardens; but, generally speaking, there was no appearance of agriculture, excepting immediately around Sir Richard's house, where a few fields had been cleared and cultivated in the midst of the wood.
There is an extraordinary degree of local magnetic attraction about this place. We could not ascertain the amount of variation with any degree of accuracy until our compasses were placed upon a sandy beach of considerable extent, near the sea. Wherever there was stone (a kind of granite) near the instruments, they were so much affected as to vary many degrees from the truth, and quite irregularly: those on board were not influenced, at least not more than a degree. We were also perplexed by the irregular and peculiar tides; but as they are mentioned elsewhere, I will refrain from farther remark on them here.