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The Pasjage from the Streight of Magellan, to King
George the Third's Ifand, called Otaheite, in the South Sea, with an Account of the Discovery of several other Islands, and a Description of their Inhabi
S we continued our course to the westward, af
ter having cleared the Streight, we saw a great Sund. 12. number of gannet, sheerwaters, pintado birds, and
many others, about the ship, and had for the most part strong gales, hazy weather, and heavy seas, so that we were frequently brought under our courses, and there was not a dry place in the ship for some
weeks together. Wedn. 22.
At eight in the morning of the 22d, we had an obfervation, by which we found our longitude to be 950 46' W. and at noon, our latitude was 420 24 S. and
the variation by azimuth, I 106' E. Friday 24.
By the 24th, the men began to fall down very fast in colds and fevers, in consequence of the upper works being open, and their cloaths and beds continually
wet. Sund. 26. On the 26th, at four in the afternoon, the variation,
by azimuth, was 10° 20' E. and at fix in the morning
of the next day, it was 9° 8' E. Our latitude, on the Monday 27. 27th at noon, was 36° 54' S. our longitude, by account,
1000 W. This day, the weather being moderate and fair, we dried all the people's clothes, and got the fick opon deck, to whom we gave falop, and wheat boiled with portable soup, every morning for breakfast, and all the ship's company had as much vinegar and mustard as they could use ; portable soup was also constantly boiled in their pease and oatmeal.
The hard gales, with frequent and violent squalls, and a heavy sea, soon returned, and continued with very little intermission. The ship pitched so much that we were afraid fhe would carry away her masts, and the men were again wet in their beds.
On the 30th, the variation, by azimuth, was 8° 1767. 30' E. our latitude was 32° 50' longitude, by account,
May. 100' W. I began now to keep the ship to the northward, as we had no chance of getting westing in this latitude ; and the surgeon was of opinion, that in a little time the sick would so much increase, that we should want hands to work the ship, if we could not get into better weather.
On the third of May, about four in the afternoon, Sunday 3 we had an observation of the sun and moon, by which we found our longitude to be 96° 26' W. the variation by the azimuth was 5° 44' E. at fix in the evening, and at fix the next morning, it was 5° 58' E. Our Mond. 4. latitude, this day at noon, was 28° 20's. At four in the afternoon we had several observations for the longitude, and found it to be 960 21' W. at seven in the evening, the variation was 6° 40' E. by the azimuth, and the next morning at 10 it was by amplitude, 5° Tuesd. 5. 48' E: at three in the afternoon, the variation, by amplitude, was 7° 40' E. This day we saw a tropic bird.
At six o'clock in the morning, of Friday the eighth Friday 8. of May, the variation of the needle, by amplitude, was 7° U' E. In the afternoon we saw several sheerwaters and sea swallows. At eight in the morning of Satur. 9. the gth, the variation by azimuth was 9° 34' E. and in the morning of the rith, by azimuth and amplitude, Monday 11. it was 4° 40' E. Our latitude was 270 28' S. longitude, by account, 1060 W. This day, and the next, Tuesday 12. we saw several sea swallows, sheerwaters, and porpoises, about the ship. On the 14th of May the variation, by four azi-Thurs
, 14. muths, was 2o E. About four o'clock in the afternoon, we saw a large flock of brown birds, flying to the eastward, and something which had the appearance of high land, in the same quarter. We bore away for it till sun-set, and it still having the same appearance, we continued our course; but at two in the morning, having run 18 leagues without making it, we hauled the wind, and at day-light nothing was to be seen. We had now the fatisfa&ion to find our ailing people
Our latitude was 24° 50' our lonVol. I.
1767. that they got on shore, as the surfi rản very high. June.
Having received this account, I stood off and on all night, and early the next morning I sent the boats out again to sound, with orders, if poffible, to find a place where the ship might come to an anchor; but at eleven o'clock they returned, with no better success than before. The people told me that the whole island was surrounded by a reef, and that although on the weather side of the island there was an opening through it, into a large bason, that extended to the middle of the island, yet they found it so full of breakers, that they could not venture in ; neither indeed had they been able to land on any part of the island, the furf running still higher than it had done the day before. As it would therefore answer no purpose to continue here, I hoisted the boats in, and stood away for the other island, which bore S. 22° E. diftant about four leagues. The island which I now quitted,
having been discovered on Whitsun-eve, I called it Whitfun
WHITSUN ISLAND. It is about four miles long, and three wide. Its latitude is 19° 26' $. and its longitude, by observation 137° 56' W.
When we came under the lee of the other island, I fent Lieutenant Furneaux, with the boats manned and armed, to the shore, where I saw about fifty of the natives armed with long pikes, and several of them running about with firebrands in their hands. dered Mr. Furneaux to go to that part of the beach where we faw the people, and endeavour to traffic with thein for fruit and w: ter, or whatever else might be useful ; at the same time, being particularly careful to give them no offence. I ordered him also to employ the boats in sounding for anchorage. . About seven o'clock he returned, and told me that he could find no ground with the line, till he came within half a cable's length of the shore, and that there it consifted of sharp rocks, and lay very deep.
As the boat approached the shore, the Indians thronged down towards the beach, and put themselves upon their guard with their long pikes, as if to dispute the landing. Our men then lay upon their oars, and made signs of friendship, fhewing at the same time several strings of beads, ribbands, knives and other
trinkets. The Indians still made signs to our people, that they should depart, but at the fame time eyed the
Jure. trinkets with a kind of wishful curiosity. Soon after some of them advanced a few steps into the sea, and our people making signs that they wanted cocoa-nuts and water, some of them brought down a small quantity of both; and ventured to hand them into the boat: the water was in cocoa-nut Thells, and the fruit was stripped of its outward covering, which is probably used for various purposes. For this fupply they were paid with the trinkets that had been shewed them, and Tome nails, upon which they seemed to set a much greater value. During this traffic, one of the Indians found means to steal a filk handkerchief, in which some of our small merchandize was wrapped up, and carried it clear off, with its contents, so dexterously, that nobody observed him. Our people made ligns that a handkerchief had been stolen, but they either could not, or would not understand them. The boat continued about the beach, founding for anchorage, till it was dark; and having many times endeavoured to persuade the natives to bring down fome scurvy-grass, without fuccess, she returned on board.
I stood off and on with the ship all night, and as Monday S. soon as the day broke, I sent the boats again, with orders to make a landing, but without giving any offence to the natives, that could poffibly be avoided. When our boats came near the shore, the officer was greatly surprized to see seven large canoes, with two Itout masts in each, lying juft in the surf, with all the inhabitants upon the beach, ready to embark. They made signs to our people to go higher up; they readily complied, and as soon as they went on fhore, all the Indians embarked, and failed a way to the westward, being joined by two other canoes at the west end of the island. About noon, the boats returned, laden with cocoa-nuts, palm-nuts, and scurvy grass. Mr. Furneaux, who commanded the expedition, told me that the Indians had left nothing behind them but four or five canoes. He found a well of very good water, and described the island as being sandy and level, full of trees, but without underwood, and abounding with Scurvy-grass. The canoes, which steered about W. S.
W. as long as they could be seen from the matt-head, appeared to be about thirty feet long, four feet broad, and three and an half deep. Two of these being brought along-side of each other, were fastened together, at the distance of about three feet asunder, by cross beams, pafsing from the larboard gunwale of one, to the starboard gunwale of the other, in the middle and near to each end.
The inhabitants of this island were of a middle ftature, and dark complexion, with long black hair, which hung loose over their shoulders. The men were well made, and the women handsome. Their
cloathing was a kind of coarse cloth or matting, which was faftened about their middle, and seemed capable of being brought up round their shoulders.
In the afternoon, I sent Lieutenant Furneaux with the boats again on shore. He had with him a mate and twenty men, who were to make a rolling way for getting the casks down to the beach from the well. 1 gave orders that he should take poffeffion of the island, in the name of King George the Third, and give it the name of QUEEN CHARLOTTE's ISLAND, in honour of her Majesty. The boats returned freighted with cocoa-nuts and scurvy-grafs, and the officer told me that he had found two more wells of good water, not far from the beach. I was at this time very ill, yet I went a-shore with the Surgeon, and several of the people, who were enfeebled by the scurvy, to take a walk. I found the wells so convenient that I left the mate and twenty men on shore to fill water, and ordered a week's provisions to be sent them from the ship, they being already furnished with arms and ammunition. In the evening I returned on board, with the Surgeon and the fick, Jeaving only the waterers on shore. As we had not been able to find any anchorage, I stood off and on all night.
In the morning, I sent all the empty water cafks on shore ; the Surgeon and the sick were also fent for the benefit of another airing, but I gave them strict orders that they should keep near the water-side, and in the shade ; that they should not pull down or injure any of the houfes, nor, for the sake of the fruit, deftroy the cocoa-trees, which I appointed proper persons to