Story: Charting the sea floor

Southern Port, 1809

Southern Port, 1809

This chart of Southern Port (now Port Pegasus), at the southern end of Stewart Island, was drawn by cartographer William Stewart, first mate aboard the sealer Pegasus. He was employed by Captain Samuel Chase, as seals were becoming scarce and he wanted to search ‘every crack and corner’ of the southern South Island. The ship was leaking badly after a trip to the Chatham Islands, and spent two months at Southern Port being repaired. This gave Stewart time to chart the harbour, using nothing but ship’s instruments and a lead line for soundings. His chart compares favourably with modern charts of the area, and it is fitting that Stewart Island is named after him.

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Lionel Carter, 'Charting the sea floor - Making and using charts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 July 2024)

Story by Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006