From Dobu we sailed south and rounded Normanby Island finding 노래방알바 everywhere, in likely pearl-shell localities, shell of a size and quality better than any other in the world, but water too deep for us to work it successfully. The shell always lay at a depth varying from twenty-eight to thirty fathoms; a depth that, however tempting the outlook, simply spelt suicide on the part of the diver volunteering to work it, and manslaughter on the part of the owner sending him below. From the south end of Normanby Island we stood north to Cape Vogel on the mainland, sounding and prospecting the bottom all the way, but with no payable results. At Cape Vogel, or Iasa Iasi as the natives call it, an epidemic of influenza attacked the Malays and Billy, leaving my New Guinea boys and myself the only effective members of our little fleet. Finding, therefore, that for a short time my working vessels—the three luggers—were useless, I left them at anchor at Iasa Iasi and stood north again with the Mizpah, intending to explore the little-known regions of the north-east coast for signs of pearl shell. This coast of New Guinea was then regarded by traders—and in fact by all Europeans—as a wild region inhabited by savage cannibals and unsafe to touch upon, much less trade with. The navigation of its waters was also regarded, and rightly so, as highly dangerous. Odd ships, heavily armed, such as men-of-war50 and the Merrie England, had touched at certain points but had really made no permanent impression; and the natives of the coast were therefore practically in the same state as they had been prior to the advent of the European.

Some twelve miles north of Cape Vogel we discovered a large island-studded harbour with a deep water entrance, called by the natives Pusa Pusa; this harbour is about twelve square miles in extent, it is marked on no chart, but is probably the best natural harbour on this coast of New Guinea. The Mizpah was the first European vessel to enter it, and in fact its existence had not been suspected before. Some years later, when I was Resident Magistrate of the North-Eastern Division, I piloted the Merrie England into it through the deep-water channel. The Commander and the ship’s officers spoke in high praise of it as an anchorage and harbour, but the then Governor, Sir George Le Hunte, summed it up in these words: “An admirable place for exploration by steam launch, slowly, however, filling up by deposit of mud from rivers.” With all due respect for vice-regal sapience, I beg now to remark that—Firstly, there are no rivers flowing into Pusa Pusa Harbour; secondly, the bottom consists of coral sand and is subject to great scour; and thirdly, the value of a harbour lies in its safety for shipping and not in its suitability for a scenic or picnic resort. Pusa Pusa is the only harbour existing between China Straits and Cape Nelson where ships of large tonnage can lie in safety. Its entrance is masked by islands, hence ships by the dozen may sail past without having any idea of what lies behind them; only a prowling pearl-hunting vessel such as mine was likely to nose her way into the entrance.

As we sailed in we came suddenly upon a few natives camped upon the beach of a small island, with whom—after a little difficulty—we established trading relations, and from whom I purchased several fine specimens of gold-lip shell, which they told me they had found washed up on the beach. In this place every indication pointed to shell: namely, strong tidal scours in narrow passages, sandy coral-studded bottom and quantities of the submarine plant, which divers maintain grows only where pearl shell is to be found.