Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

2769: leagues in compass. Several of us remained at the mastApril.

head the whole evening, admiring its extraordinary figure :-- It was shaped exactly like a bow, the arch and cord of which were land, and the space between them water ; the cord was a Alat beach, without any signs of vegetation, having nothing upon it but heaps of sea-weed, which lay in different ridges, as higher or lower tides had left them. It appeared to be about three or four leagues long, and not more than two hundred yards wide; but as a horizontal plain is always seen in perspective, and greatly fore-sortened, it is certainly much wider than it appeared: the horns, or extremities of the bow, were two large tufts of cocoanut trees ; and much the greater part of the arch was covered with trees of different height, figure and hue; in some parts, however, it was naked and low like the cord: some of us thought we discovered openings through the cord, into the pool, or lake, that was included between that and the bow ; but whether there were or were not such openings is uncertain. We failed a-breast of the low beach, or bow-string, within less than a league of the fhore, till sunset, and we then judged ourselves to be about half way between the two horns ; here we brought to, and founded, but found no bottom with one hundred and thirty fathoms; and, as it is dark almost instantly after sunset in these latitudes, we suddenly lost sight of the land, and making fail again, before the line was well hauled in, we steered by the sound of the breakers, which were distinály heard till we got clear of the coast.

We knew this island to be inhabited, by smoke which we saw in different parts of it, and we gave it the name of Bow-ISLAND. Mr. Gore, my Second Lieutenant, said, after we had failed by the island, that he had seen several of the natives, under the first clump of trees, from the deck; that he had distinguished their houses, and seen several canoes hauled up under the shade ; but in this he was more fortunate than any other person on board. The east end of this island, which from its figure we called the Bow, lies in latitude 18° 23' S. and longitude 141° 12' W. we observed the variation of the compass to be 5° 38' E.

On

On the next day, Thursday the 6th, about noon, 1769.

April. we saw land again to the westward, and came up with it about three. It appeared to be two islands, or ra- Thurid. 6. ther groups of islands, extending from N. W. by N. The

Groups. to S. E. by S. about nine leagues. Of these, the two largest were separated from each other by a channel of about half a mile broad, and were severally surrounded by smaller islands, to which they were joined by reefs that lay under water.

These ifinds were long narrow strips of land, ranged in all directions, some of them ten miles or upwards in length, but none more than a quarter of a mile broad, and upon all of them there were trees of various kinds, particularly the cocoa-nut. · The south-eastermost of them lies in the latitude 18° 12' S. and longitude 142° 42' W. and at the distance of twenty-five leagues, in the direction of W. N. from the west end of Bow Island. We ranged along the S. W. side of this island, and hauled into a bay which lies to the N. W. of the southermost point of the group, where there was a smooth sea, and the appearance of anchorage, without much surf on the shore. We sounded, but found no bottom with one hundred fathoms, at the distance of no more than three quarters of a mile from the beach, and I did not think it prudent to go nearer.

While this was doing, several of the inhabitants assembled upon the shore, and some came out in their canoes as far as the reefs, but would not pass them : when we saw this, we ranged, with an easy fail, along the shore, but just as we were passing the end of the island, six men, who had for some time kept a-breast of the ship, suddenly launched two canoes wich great quickness and dexterity, and three of them getting into each, they put off, as we imagined, with a design to come on board us; the ship was therefore brought to, but they, like their fellows, stopped at the reef; wè did not however immediately make sail, as we observed two messengers dispatched to them from the other canoes, which were of a much larger size; we perceived that these messengers made great expedition, wading and swimming along the reef; at length they met, and the men on board the canoes making no dirpositions to pass the reef, after having received the mes

sage,

1769; fage, we judged that they had resolved to come no farApril.

ther; after waiting, therefore, some little time longer, we stood off; but when we were got about two or three miles from the shore, we perceived some of the natives following us in a canoe with a fail ; we did not, however, think it worth while to wait for her, and though the had passed the reef, she soon after gave over the chace.

According to the best judgment that we could form of the people when we were nearest the shore, they were about our size, and well made. They were of a brown complexion, and appeared to be naked ; their hair, which was black, was confined by a fillet that went sound the head, and stuck out behind like a bush. The greater part of them carried in their hands two weapons; one of them was a slender pole, from ten to fourteen feet long, on one end of which was a small knob, not unlike the point of a spear ; the other was about four feet long, and shaped like a paddle, and possibly might be so, for some of their canoes were very small; those which we saw them launch seemed not intended to carry more than the three men that got into them : we saw others that had on board six or seven men, and one of them hoisted a fail which did not seem to reach more than six feet above the gunwale of the boat, and which, upon the falling of a slight fhower, was taken down and converted into an awning or tilt. The canoe which followed us to sea hoisted a fail not unlike an English lug-fail, and almost as lofty as an English boat of the same size would have carried.

The people, who kept a-breast of the ship on the beach, made many signals; but whether they were intended to frighten us away, or invite us on shore, it is not easy to determine: we returned them by waving our hats and shouting, and they replied by shouting again. We did not put their disposition to the test, by attempting to land; because, as the island was inconfiderable, and as we wanted nothing that it could afford, we though it imprudent as well as cruel to risk a contest, in which the natives must have suffered by our fuperiority, merely to gratify an idle curiosity; especially as we expected food to fall in with the island where we had been directed to make our astronomical observarion, the inhabitants of which would probably admit

us without opposition, as they were already acquaint. 1769.

April. ed with our strength, and might also procure us a ready and peaceable reception among the neighbouring people, if we should desire it. '

To these islands we gave the name of THE GROUPS.

On the 7th, about half an hour after fix in the Friday 7. morning, being just at day-break, we discovered ano- Bird iNand. ther island to the north ward, which we judged to be about four miles in circumference. The land lay very low, and there was a piece of water in the middle of it; there seemed to be some wood upon it, and it looked green and pleasant ; but we saw neither cocoa trees nor inhabitants: it abounded, however, with birds, and we therefore gave it the name of Bird-ISLAND.

It lies in latitude 17° 48' S. and longitude 1430 35' W. at the distance of ten leagues, in the direcion W. N. from the west end of the Groups. The variation here was 6° 32' E.

On the 8th, about two o'clock in the afternoon, we Saturd. 8. saw land to the north ward, and about sun-set came Chain a-breast of it, at about the distance of two leagues. It land. appeared to be a double range of low woody islands joined together by reefs, so as to form one ifland, in the form of an ellipsis or oval, with a lake in the middle of it. The small islands and reefs that circumscribe the lake have the appearance of a chain, and we therefore gave it the name of CHAIN ISLAND. Its length seemed to be about five leagues, in the direction of N. W. and S. E. and its breadth about five miles. The trees upon it appeared to be large, and we saw smoke rising in different parts of it from among them, a certain sign that it was inhabited. The middle of it lies in latitude 170 23' S. and longitude 1450 54' W. and is distant from Bird-Island forty-five leagues in the direction of W. by N. The variaiion here was, by several azimuths, found to be 4° 54' E.

On the roth, having had a tempestuous night with Monday 10. thunder and rain, the weather was hazy till about nine o'clock in the morning, when it cleared up, and we saw the island to which Captain Wallis, who first difcovered it, gave the name of Osnaburgh Hand, called by the natives Maitea, bearing N. W. by W. distant

about

1769. April.

about five leagues. It is a high round island, not above , a league in circuit ; in some parts it is covered with trees, and in others a naked rock. In this direction it looked like a high crown'd hat; but when it bears north, the top of it has more the appearance of the roof of a house. We made its latitude to be 170 48'S. its longitude 148° 10' W. and its distance from Chain Island 44 leagues, in the dire&ion of W. by S.

[blocks in formation]

The Arrival of the Endeavour at Otaheite, called by Cap

tain Wallis King George the Illd's Island. Rules esiablished for Traffic with the Natives, and an Account of feveral Incidents which happened in a Visit to Tootahah and Toubourai Tamaida, two Chiefs.

Monday 10. A BOUT one o'clock, on Monday the roth of

A April, some of the people who were looking out for the island to which we were bound, said they saw land a-head, in that part of the horizon where it was expected to appear; but it was so faint that,

whether there was land in sight or not, remained a Tuesday 11. matter of dispute till sun-set. The next morning, how

ever, at six o'clock, we were convinced that those who said they had discovered land, were not mistaken ; it appeared to be very high and mountainous, extending from W. by S. 1 S. to W. by N. Į N. and we knew it to be the same that Captain Wallis had called King George the IIId's Island. We were delayed in our

approach to it by light airs and calms, so that in the Wein. 12. inorning of the 12th we were but little nearer than we

had been the night before ; but about seven a breeze sprung up, and before eleven several canoes were seen making towards the ship: there were but few of them, however, that would come near ; and the people in those that did, could not be persuaded to come on board. In every canoe there were young plantains, and branches of a tree which the Indians call E' Midho; these, as we afterwards learnt, were brought as tokens of peace and amity, and the people in one of the cances handed them up the ship's side, making signals at the sante time with great earneftness, which we did not

immediately

« ZurückWeiter »