National Geographic : 1969 Oct
plantain leaves held overhead, or even um brellas made no difference. Soon the moun tain streams began to rush like torrents. I doubt we would ever have seen much of the Tuaura Valley if we had not met John R. Reasin-a short, wiry man, strong-faced, aged 66, with thick gray-white hair-once of Baltimore. He and his wife Purea have a beautiful property called Rorue that clings atop a ridge 1,500 feet above the valley. Rain bows form for their delight above hibiscus, poinsettia, and orchids in the garden. As we yarn with John at his fabulous home stead, Orohena rears imperiously over our shoulders. Point Venus and Matavai Bay look like beautiful maps of themselves, with Moorea's astonishing island skyline rising be yond, and the white-frothed flash of sea break ing on its barrier reef in the morning sun. Far off I can imagine I see a little ship ghostly under gossamer sails-the shade of 486 the Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard. He liked Tahiti. So did we (pages 490-91). After Tahiti, the Beagle's orders were to continue around the world, taking longitude readings as she went-in New Zealand, Aus tralia, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Mau ritius (map, page 459). Yankee Whalers Met in New Zealand The Beagle arrived at New Zealand's Bay of Islands on December 21, 1835, and sailed again on December 30. Several Yankee whal ers lay at anchor there; otherwise only an occasional Maori canoe broke the quiet of the harbor. There were already a British resident and a mission in the area when the Beagle arrived. Not many years later, Captain Fitz Roy was to return as Governor of New Zealand, after many of the Maori chieftains ceded their ter ritories to Queen Victoria by treaty in 1840.