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anchor in i n fathom water, with a fine bottom of »767black sand. , .June' ,
The place where the ship struck appeared, upon farther examination, to be a reef of sharp coral rock, with very unequal soundings, from six fathom to two; and it happened unfortunately to lie between the two boats that were placed as a direction to the ship, the weathermost boat having 12 fathom, and the leewardmost nine. The wind freshened almost as soon as we got off, and thpugh it soon became calm again, the furs ran so high, and broke with such-Violence upon the rock, that if the ship had continued fast half an hour longer, she must inevitably have been beaten to pieces. Upon examining her bottom, we could not discover that she had received any damage, exceptthat a small piece was beaten off the bottom of the rudder. She did not appear to admit any water, but thetrussletrees, at the head cf all the masts, were broken short, which we supposed to have happened while she was beating against the rock. Our boats lost their grapplings upon the reef, but as we had reason to hope that the ship was sound; they gave us very little concern. As soon as the ship was secured, I sent the master, with all the boats manned and armed to sound the upper part of the bay, that if he found good anchorage we might warp the ship up within the reef, and anchor her in sasety. The weather was now very pleasant, a great number of canoes were upon the reef, and the snore was crowded with people.
About four in the asternoon the Master returned,and reported that there was every where good anchorage; I therefore determined to warp the ship up the bay early in the morning, and in the mean time, I put the people at four watches, one watch to be always under arms, loaded and primed all the guns, fixed musquetoons in all the boats, and ordered all the people who were not upon the watch, to repair to the quarters assigned them, at a moment's warning, there being a great number of canoes, some of them very large, and full of men, hovering upon the shore, and many smaller venturing to the ship, with hogs, fowls, and fruit, which we purchased of them, much to the N 2 satisfaction "767- fatisfaction of both parties; and at sun-set, all the
iy^s^j canoes rowed in to the shore.
tvedn. 14. At six o'clock the next morning, we began to warp the ship up the harbour, and soon after, a great number of canoes came under her stern. As I perceived that they had hogs, fowls, and fruit on board, I ordered the gunner, and two midshipmen, to purchase them for knives, nails, beads, and other trinkets, at the fame time prohibiting the trade to all other persons on board. By eight o'clock, the number of canoes was greatly increased, and those that came last up were double, of a very large fixe, with twelve or fifteen stout men in each. I observed, with some concern, that they appeared to be surnished rather for war than trade, having very little on board except round pebble stones; 1 therefore sent for Mr. Furneaux, my first Lieutenant being still very still, and ordered him to keep the fourth watch constantly at their arms, while the rest of the people were warping the ship. In the mean time more canoes were continually comingofffrom the shore,which were freighted very differently horn the rest,for they had on board a number of women, who were placed in a row, and who, when they came near the ship, made all the wanton gestures that can be conceived. While these ladies were practisingtheiralltirements,the large canoes, which were freighted with stones, drew together very close round the ship, some of the men on board singing in a hoarse voice, some blowing corchs, and some playing on a flute. After some time, a man who fat under a canopy that was fixed on one of the large double Canoes, made signs that he wished to come up to the ship's side; I immediately intimated my consent, and when he came along-side, he gave one of the men a bunch of red and yellow leathers, making signs that lie should carry it to me. I received it with expressions of amity, and immediately got some trinkets to presenthim in return, but to my great surprise he had put off to a little distance from the ship, and upon his throwing up the branch of a cocoa-nut tree, there was an univerfal shout from all the canoes, which at once moved towards the ship, and a shower of stones was poured into her on every side. As an attack was now peguo, in which our arms only could render us superior
'o the multitude that assailed us, especially as great part "767of the ship's company was in a sick and seeble condition,. . ' , I ordered the guard to fire; two of the quarter-deck guns, which I had loaded with small shot, were also fired nearly at the fame time, and the Indians appeared to be thrown into some confusion: in a sew minutes, however, they renewed the attack, and all our people that were able to come upon deck, having by this time got to their quarters, I ordered them to fire the great guns, and to play some of them constantly at a place on shore, where a great number of canoes were still taking in men, and pushing off towards the ship with the utmost expedition. When the great guns began to fire, there were not less than three hundred canoes about the ship, having on board at least two thoufand men; many thoufands were also upon the shore, and more canoes coming from every quarter: the firing, however, soon drove away the canoes that were about the ship, and put a stop to the coming off of others. As soon as I faw some of them retreating, and the rest quiet, I ordered the firing to cease, hoping that they were sufficiently convinced of our superiority, not tft renew the contest. In this, however, I was unhappily mistaken: a great number of the canoes that had been dispersed, soon drew together again, and lay some time on their paddles, looking at the ship from the distance of about a quarter of a mile, and then suddenly hoisting white streamers, pulled towards the ship's stern, and began again to throw stones, with great force and dexterity, by the help of flings, from a considerable distance: each of these stones weighed about two pounds, and many of them wounded the people on board, who would have sufsered much more, if an awning had not been spread over the whole deck to keep out the sun, and the hammocks placed in the nettings. At the fame time several canoes, well manned, were making towards the ship's bow, having probably taken notice that no shot had been fired from this part: I therefore ordered some guns forward to he well pointed and fired at these canoes ; at the fame time running out two guns a-baft, and pointing them well at the canoes that were making the attack. Among the canoes that Were coming toward the bow, there was one which
T7^7- appeared to have some Chief on board, as it was by , •'""'' .signals made from her that the others had been called together: it happened that a shot, fired from the guns forward, hit this canoe so full as to cut it asunder. As soon as this was observed by the rest, they dispersed with such haste, that in half an hour there was not a single canoe to be seen; the people also who had crowded the shore, immediately sled over the hills with the utmost precipitation.
Having now no reason to fear any further interruption, we warped the ship up the harbour, and by noon we were not more than half a mile from the upper part of the bay, within less than two cables length of a fine river, and about two and a half of the reet. We had here nine fathom water, and close to the shore there were five. We moored the ship, and carried out the stream-anchor, with the two shroud hausers, for a spring, to keep the ship's broad-side a-breast of the river ; we also got up and mounted the eight guns, which had been put into the hold. As soon as this was done, the boats were employed in sounding all round the bay, and in examining the shore where any of the inhabitants appeared, in order to discover, whether it was probable that they would give us any further Thurs Ic disturbance. All the asternoon, and part of the next morning, was spent in this service, and about noon, the Master returned, with a tolerable survey of the place, and reported, that there were no canoes insight; that there was good landing on every part of the beach; that there was nothing in the bay from which danger could be apprehended, except the reef, and some rocks at the upper end, which appeared above water; and that the river, though it emptied itself on the other side of the point, was fresh water.
Soon aster the Master had brought me this account, I sent Mr. Furneaux again, with all the boats mannqd and armed, the marines being also put on board, with orders to land opposite to our station, and secure himself, under cover os the boats and the ship, in the clearest ground he could find. About two o'clock the boats landed without any opposition, and Mr. Furneaux stuck up a staff, upon which he hoisted a pennant, turned a turf, and took possession of the island ">t tn in his Majesty's name, in honour of whom he called 17^ it King George The Third's Island : he then went to the river, and tasted the water, which he found excellent, and mixing some of it with rum, every man drank his Majesty's health. While he was at the river, which was about twelve yards wide, and fordable, he faw two old men on the opposite side of it, who perceiving that they were discovered, put themselves in a supplicatory posture, and seemed to be, in great terror and consusion. Mr. Furneaux made signs that they should come over the river, and one of them complied. When he landed, he came forward, creeping upon his hands and knees, but Mr. Furneaux raised him up, and while he stood trembling, shewed him some of the stones that were thrown at the ship, and endeavoured to make him apprehend that if the natives attempted no mischief against us, we should do no harm,to them. He ordered two of the water casks to be filled, to shew the Indian that he wanted water, and produced some hatchets, and other things, to intimate that he wished to trade for provisions. The old man, during this pantomimical converfation, in some degree recovered his spirits; and Mr. Furneaux, to confirm his prosessions of friendship, gave him a hatchet, some nails, beads, and other trisles; after which he re embarked on board the boats, and left the pennant flying. As soon as the boats were put off, the old man went up to the pennant, and danced round it a considerable time: he then retired, but soon after returned with some green boughs, which he threw down, and retired a second time : it was not long however before he appeared again, with about a. dozen of the inhabitants, and putting themselves in a supplicating posture, they all approached the pennant in a slow pace, but the wind happening to move it, when they were got close to it, they suddenly retreated with the greatest precipitation. After standing some time at a distance, and gazing at it, they went away, but in a short time came back, with two large hogs alive, which they laid down at the foot of the staff, and at length taking courage, they began to dance. When they had performed this ceremony, they brought ihe hogs down to the water side, launched a canoe;.