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is indeed carried farther among these people than 1767among any of the inhabitants of Europe, for they pow- - ePtembrr- ^ der not only their heads but their beards too. Their'""""' heads however were decorated with more showy ornaments, for I observed that most of them had, just above one ear, stuck a feather, which appeared to have been taken from the tail of the common dunghill cock; t .
so that these gentlemen are not without poultry for their table. They were armed with spears, and long sticks or pole6, like the quarter-staff; but we did not fee any bows and arrows among them: possibly they might have them on board, and think proper to keep them out of sight. On my part, I kept every body at their quarters while they were hovering about the ship, and I observed that they had a very watchful eye upon our guns, as if they apprehended danger from them; so that possibly they are not wholly unacquainted with the effects of fire-arms. They had fishing nets with them, which, as well as their cordage, seemed to be very well made. After they had been some time with us, a breeze sprung up, and they returned to the shore. The peak upon Sandwich Island lies in latitude 2° 53' S. longitude 1490 17' E. After the Indians had left us, we steered nearly west, and soon aster saw a point of land, which proved to be the south-west extremity of New Ireland, to which I gave the name of Cape Byron : it lies in latitude 20 30' S. longitude Cape Byron. 1490 2! E. Over-against the coast of New Ireland, to the westward of Cape Byron, lies a fine large island, to which I gave the name of New Hanover. Be-NewHanotween this island and; New Ireland there is a streightver- , or passage, which turns away to the N. E. In this passage lie several small islands, upon one of which there is a remarkable peak: this island I called Byron's Byron's Island, and the passage, or slreight, I called Byron's1"*"(,Streight. The land of New Hanover is high; it is finely covered with trees, among which are many plantations, and the whole has a most beautiful appearance. The south-west point of it, which is a high bluff point, I called Queen Charlotte's ForeLand, in honour of her majesty. This foreland, and the land about it, is remarkable for a great number of little hummocks or hills, but night coming on, X 2 with
1766. wjtj' thick weather, hard squalls, and much rain, we p" 'j could not see more of it distinctly enough to describe its appearance. Sundiy 13. We steered westward all night, and in the morning, the weather being still thick, our view of New Hanover was very impersect; but we faw, about eight leagues to the westward of it, six or seven small islands, Duke of which I called the Duke Of Portland's Islands, Islands! * two °^ wnicn are pretty large. I now perceived by the swell of the sea that we were clear os all the land, and I found Saint George's Channel to be a much better and shorter pasfage, whether from the eastward er the westward, than round all the land and islands to the northward; the distress therefore which pushed me upon this discovery, may probably be, in its consequences, of great advantage to suture navigators, especially as there can be no doubt but that refreshments of every kind may easily be procured from the natives who inhabit either of the coasts of the channel, or the islands that lie near them, for beads, ribbands, lookingglasses, and especially iron tools and cutlery-ware, of which they are immoderately fond,, and with which, to our great misfortune, we were not surnished.
Queen Charlotte's Foreland, the south-west part of New Hanover, lies in latitude 2° 29' S. longitude 1480 27' E. and the middle of Portland's Islands in latitude 20 2/ S. longitude 1480 3' E. The length ot" this streight or channel, from Cape Saint George to Cape Byron, the south-west extremity of New Ireland, is above eighty leagues; the distance from Cape Byron to Queen Chartotte's Foreland is about twelve leagues, and from the Foreland to Portland's Islands about eight leagues; so that the whole length of Saint George's Channel is about one hundred leagues, or three hundred miles.
Though we cleared the Streight in the morning of Sunday the 13th of September, we had no observation of the sun till the 1 5th, which I could not but greatly regret, as it prevented my being so exact in my latitude and longitude as might be expected- The description also of the country, its productions and people, would have been much more sull and circumstantial, if I had not been so much inseebled and dispirited by i - sickness, sickness, as almost to. sink under the duty that for »7&7want of officers devolved upon me, being obliged,. p ",1 when I was scarcely able to crawl, to keep watch and (hare other -duties wiih my Lieutenant, whose health also was greatly impaired.
The Passage from St. George's Channel to the Island of Mindanao, with an Account of many Islands that were seen, and Incidents that happened by tbt Way.
AS soon as we had cleared Saint George's Channel, we steered westward, and the next day we discovered land bearing W. N. \V. and hauled up,for it ; it proved to be an island of considerable extent, and soon asterwards we saw another to the north-east of it, but this appeared to be little more than a large rock above water. As I had here strong currents, and for several days had not been able to get an observation of the sun, I cannot so exactly ascertain the situation of these islands as I might otherwise have done. As we proceeded to the westward, we discovered more land, consisting of many islands lying to the southward of the large one which we had first discovered. As the nights were now moon-light, we kept on till eleven o'clock, and the Lieutenant, who was then officer ot the watch, finding that the course we were steering would carry us among them, and not being willing to awaken me till it was roy turn to watch, hauled off S. by E. and S. S. E. I came upon deck about midnight, and at one in lhe morning, perceiving that we were clear of Tuesd. Is. them, 1 bore away again to the westward with an easy sail: the islands, however, were not far distant, and about six o'clock, a considerable number of canoes, with several hundred people on board, came off, and paddled towards the ship: one of them, with seven men on board, came near enough to hail us, and made us several signs which we could not perfectly understand, but repeated, as near as we could, to shew that whatever they meant to us we meant to them: however, the better to bespeak their good-will, and invite them to come on board, we held up to them several
'767- of the sew trisles we had: upon this they drew nearer September to the ^.^ and j flatterecj myself that they were coming on board; but on the contrary, as soon as they came within reach of us they threw their lances, with great force, where we stood thickest upon the deck. As I thought it better to prevent than repress a general attack, in which, as the number wtould be more, the mischief would be greater, and having no doubt of their hostile intentions, I'fired some muskets and one of the swivel guns, upon which, some of them being killed or Wounded, they rowed off and joined the other canoes, of which there were twelve or fourteen, with several hundred men on board. I then brought to, waiting the issue, and had the fatisfaction to see, that, after having long consulted together, they made for the shore: that I might still farther intimidate them, .and more effectually prevent their return, I fired a round shot from one of my six pounders, so as to fall into the water beyond them: this seemed to hav,e a good effect, for they not only used their paddles shore nimbly, but hoisted fail, still standing towards the shore. Soon after, however, several more canoes put off from another part of the island, and came towards us very fast : they stopped at about the fame distance as the others had done, and one of them also in the fame manner Came forward: to the people on, board this vessel we made all the signs of friendship we could devise, shewing them every thing we had which we thought would please them, opening our arms and inviting them on board : but our rhetoric was to no effect, for as soon as they came Within a cast of the ship, they poured in a shower of darts and lances, which, however, did us no harm. We returned the assault by firing some muskets, and one man being killed, the rest precipitately leaped into the sea, and swimming to the others who waited at a distance, all returned together from whence they came. As soon as the canoe was deserted, we got out our boat and brought it on board: it was sull fifty seet long, though one of the smallest that came against us; it was very rudely made out of one tree, but had an outrigger. We found in it fix fine filh, and a turtle, some yams, one cocoa-nut, and a bag sull of a small kind of apple or plum, of a sweetish taste and farinace- i767ous substance; it had a flattish kernel, and was wholly SePtembes- ^ different from every thing we have seen eitherbesore or *" since: it was eatable raw, but much better boiled, or roasted in the embers: we found also two large earthen pots, shaped somewhat like a jug, with a wide mouth, but without handles, and a considerable quantity of . matting, which these people use both for fails and awning, spreading it over bent sticks, much in the fame manner as the tilts of the London wherries. From the contents of the vessel we judged that it had been fishing, and we observed the people had a fire on board, with one of their pots on it, in which they were boiling their provision. When we had fatisfied our curiosity by examining it, we cut it up for fire-wood.
These Indians were the fame kind of people that we had seen before on the coast of New Ireland, and at Egmont Island: they were of a very dark copper colour, nearly black, with woolly heads. They chew beetlenut, and go quite naked, except the rude ornaments of shells strung together, which they wear round their legs and arms; they were also powdered like our last vifitors, and had, besides, their faces painted with white streaks; but I did not observe that they hid any beards. Their lances were pointed with a kind of bluish flint.
Having disengaged ourselves from this fierce and unfriendly people, we pursued our course along the other islands, which are between twenty and thirty in number, and of considerable extent; one in particular would alone make a large kingdom. I called them the Admiralty Islands, and should have been glad to Admiralty have examined them, if my ship had been in a better ndS" condition, and I li3d been provided with such articles as are proper for an Indian trade, especially as their appearance is very inviting: they arecloathed with a most beautisul verdure; the woods are lofty and luxuriant, interspersed with spots that have been cleared for plantations, groves of cocoa-nut trees, and houses of the na . tives, who seem to be very numerous. Nothing would be more easy than to establish an amicable intercourse with them, as they would soon be sensible that our superiority would render contest vain, and traffic advantageous. I judge the middle of the largest to lie in latitude