Kiwiosities: Spanish names

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

Spanish names

In Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, a number of Spanish place names recall the visit of the  explorer Malaspina, more than 200 years ago. The Spanish expedition was five years at sea from 1789, exploring around the world, and mapping part of Doubtful Sound while trying to test the gravity in this part of the world. The two corvettes, Descubierta and Atrevida  stood off the Sound on February 25 1793, while the hydrographer Felipe Bauza took a party  inside in a ship’s boat. His chart includes the Nee Islets at the entrance, named for Louis Nee, botanist on the Atrevida, Malaspina Reach, Bauza Island and Maraciones Point (translated as Observation Point) where he took the gravity measurements. The story of Doubtful Sound is recorded by John Hall-Jones in Doubtful Harbour (1984) and supplement to Doubtful Harbour, (1988)

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Gordon Ell, a former journalist and wildlife film-maker, is the author of many popular books about New Zealand's historic and natural heritage.