"In June 1897 David
left for Funafuti (an atoll in the Ellice Islands) accompanied by
his wife, a practical engineer and amateur scientist George Sweet, two
senior students and a party of workmen.
Mrs David (nee Caroline Martha (Cara) Mallett) published an 'unscientific account' of the expedition, Funafuti: Or, Three Months on a Coral Island (1899)."
still supposed to be a great delight with the natives; but either the sea
was not favourable, or our expedition furnished the natives with so much
amusement that they could dispense with surf- riding for a while: whatever
the cause we never saw any surf-riding and I never even saw a surf-board.
The ocean reef is rather dangerous and the people seldom swam there except when there was a surf-riding display, or when the ocean was so caIm that the men could dive off the ocean edge of the reef for the growing corals.
They did this several times while we were there, and chopped off and swam up with large pieces of coral, which they gave to our workmen.
My daughter, Naina,
and my botanical friend, Tavau, once induced me to go into the surf with
them on the ocean reef.
They walked out on the long, flat platform,about half-way across, then stood still with legs firmly planted and rather wide apart, ... (incomplete)
Or Three Months on a Coral Island:
An Unscientic Account of a Scientific Expedition.
Melville, Mullen and Slade, Melbourne.
John Murray, Albemarle Street, London, 1899, page 170.