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kind of apple or plum, of a sweetish taste and farinace- 1767.
ous substance; it had a flattish kernel, and was wholly September.
different from every thing we have seen either before 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 confiderable quantity of ·
matting, which these people use both for fails and
awning, spreading it over bent sticks, much in the same
manner as the tilts of the London wherries. From the
contents of the vessel we judged that it had been fish-
ing, and we observed the people had a fire on board,
with one of their pots on it, in which they were boil-
ing their provision. When we had satisfied our curio-
sity by examining it, we cut it up for fire-wood.

These Indians were the same 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 beetle-
nut, and go quite naked, except the rude ornaments
of shelis (trung together, which they wear round their
legs and arms; they were also powdered like our last
visitors, and had, besides, their faces painted with white
streaks; but I did not observe that they had 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 Islands, condition, and I had been provided with such articles as are proper for an Indian trade, especially as their appearance is very inviting: they are cloathed with a most beautiful verdure; the woods are lofty and luxuriant, interspersed with spots that have been cleared for plantations, groyes of cocoa-nut trees, and houses of the nào 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 lati

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1767. tude 20 18' S. longitude 146° 44' E. and at the distance September.

of five and thirty leagues from Queen Charlotte's Foreland in New Hanover, in the direction of W. N. On the south side of this island, there is a small one, which rises conically in a high peak. The latitude of this peak is 2° 27'S. and it lies five degrees and an half weftward of cape Saint George in New Ireland. As we ran along the south side of the large island, we found it to be eighteen leagues long, in the direction of eart and west; how far it runs to the northward, I do not know, but by its appearance there is reason to suppose a very considerable distance. I think it probable, in the highest degree, that these islands produce many valuable articles of trade, particularly spices, especially as they lie in the same climate and latitude as the Malaccas, and as I found the nutmeg tree in a foil comparatively rocky and barren upon the coast of New Ireland.

Having passed these islands we continued our course

W. by N. with a fine eastern breeze, ard smooth water. Wedn. 16. On the 16th in the morning, we found the variation,

by a medium of several azimuths, to be 6° 30' E. our latitude being 20 19' S. and our longitude 145° 40' E. by observation. I was surprised to find the variation on this-side the land of New Britain and New Ireland so much, as we had found it gradually decreasing during our progress to the N. W. but I recollected that about two years before I had found nearly the same variation

in this meridian, about the island of Tinian. Satur. 19. On Saturday evening the 19th, we discovered two

small islands, both low land, level, and green: one of

them we saw only from the main. top-gallant-mast head; Durour's this I called Durour's ISLAND. Its latitude is about Illand.

1° 14' or 16' S. its longitude 143° 21' E. The other Matty's island, which I called MATTY's ISLAND, we coasted Illand.

during the night, and saw the inhabitants, in great numbers, run along the beach, a-breast of the ship, with lights: the side along which we sailed seemed to be about six miles in length, E. by N. and W. by S. As it was dark we could see no more of it, and having a fine breeze which we could not afford to lose, we kept on. Its latitude is about 10 45' S. and its longitude about 1430 2' E. the variation here was 4° 40' È. and we found a strong north-westerly current. We had now fresh gales

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w ith rain, the wind blowing very unsteadi. 1767 : S. E. to E. N. E. till the 22d, when it be

dable. Our latitude was then 53' S. longitude Tuesday 2. 1409 5. E, the variation was 4° 40' E.

Onthe 24th we saw two small islands to the south-Thurs. 24. welt, but it being calın, with light airs, and a strong westerly current, we could not get nearer to them ihan four or five leagues: they had a green, pleasant appearance, and were well covered with trees ; but whether they are inhabited I do not know. They run about N. W. by W. S. E. by E. One is about three miles long, and the other about fix: the passage between them appeared to be about two miles broad. They lie in latitude 22' S. longitude 138° 29' E. and I gave them the name of STEPPENS's ISLANDS. We kept steering N. Stephen's W. by W. with a light variable wind, and a strong Isands. north-west current.

On the 25th we saw land a-head, which proved to be Friday 2.5. three small islands; and before it was dark, we got pretty near them. Several canoes soon came off, filled with the natives, who, after making signs of peace, canie on board without the least sign of fear or mistrust: they had nothing with them but a few cocoa-nuts, which they sold with great joy for a few pieces of an iron hoop; we soon found that they were not unacquainted with that metal which they called Parram, and they made us understand, by signs that a ship like ours sometimes touched their islands for refreshment. I gave one of them three pieces of an old iron hoop, each about four inches long, which threw him into an extacy little short of diftra&ión : I could not but sympathize in his joy, nor observe, without great pleasure, the changes of countenance, and extravagance of gesture, by which it was expressed. All thee people indeed appeared to be more fond of iron than any we had seen before, and I am sure, that for iron tools we might have purchased every thing upon the islands which we could have brought away. They are of the Indian copper colour, the firit of that complexion that we had seen in these parts, with fine long black hair, and little beards, for we observed that they were continually plucking the hair from their chin and upper lip by the roots. Their features are pleasing, and their teeth remarkably white

and

1767: and even: they were of the common stature, but nimSeptember.

ble, vigorous, and active in a surprising degree, run-
ning up to the mast-head much faster than our own peo-
ple. Their disposition was free and open, they eat and
drank whatever was given them, went without hesitati-
on into every part of the ship, and were as familiar and
merry with the crew, as if they had been of long and
intimate acquaintance. They were not, like the peo-
ple on all the other islands that we had visited, quite
naked, though they had only a slight covering for the
waist, which consisted of a narrow piece of fine matting.
Their canoes were very well and neatly made, having
a hollow tree for the bottom, and planks for the sides,
with a sail of fine matting, and an outrigger : their
ropes and netting were also very good. They urged us
strongly to go on shore, offering to leave an equal num-
ber of their own people behind, as a pledge of their safe
return; and indeed I would gladly have consented if it
had been in my power, but a strong westerly current
hurried me to so great a distance, that I had no oppor-
tunity to seek for anchorage, and night coming on, we
pursued our course. When our visitors perceived this,
one of them insisted upon going with us, and, notwith-
standing all that I and his companions could say or do,
obstinately refused to go on shore." As I thought it
possible that this man might be the means of our mak-
ing some useful discovery, I did not put him a-shore by
force, but indulged him in his desire: we learnt from
him that there were other islands to the northward, the
inhabitants of which he said had iron, and always killed
his countrymen when they could catch them out at
sea. It was with great concern that I perceived this
poor fellow, whom I called Joseph Freewill, from his
readiness to go withus, became gradually fickly after he
had been some time at sea: he lived till I got to the
islands of Celebes, and there died. As the islands from
which I had taken him were very small and low, the
largest being not more than five miles in compass, I was
surprised to see with how many of the produ&ions of
Celebes he was acquainted; beside the cocoa-nut and
palm, he knew the beetle-nutand the lime, and the mo-
ment he got a bread-fruit, he went to the fire and roast-

ed

her.

ed it in the embers. He made us understand also, that 1767. in his country they had plenty of fifh, and turtle in their season. It is however very probable, notwithstanding the number of people who subfist upon these islands, that they have no fresh water but what falls in rain : how they catch and preserve it, I had no opportunity to learn, but I never met with a spring in a spot so small and low, and in such a place I believe no spring was ever found. The largest of these islands, which the natives call Pegan, and to which I gave the name of FREEWILL ISLAND, lies fifty minutes north of the line, Freewill and in 1370 51' east longitude. They are all surround- Idand. ed by a reef of rocks. The chart of these islands I drew from the Indian's description, who delineated them with chalk upon the deck, and ascertained the depth of water by stretching his arms as a fathom.

I now steered N. W. by N. to get from under the fun, and had light winds at E. S. E. with which almost any ship but the Swallow would have made good way, but with every possible advantage she went at a heavy rate. We now found our variation begin again to decrease, as will appear by the following table:

Longitude from Queen
Latitude Charlotte's Foreland. Variation.

89 36'W. 4° 40' E. Upon the line. 9 40 W.

4 17 E. 10 30 W.

3 10 E. 2. ON

IL 40 W. 2 30 E. 2° 50'N. 12 10W.

2 o E.

40'S.

30' N.

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On the 28th, being in latitude 2° 53' N. longitude Monday 28. 136° 10' E. we fell in with a very dangerous shoal, which is about eleven or twelve miles in circuit, and surrounded with small stones that just shew themselves above water. We found here a strong northerly current, but could not determine whether it inclined to the east or west.

In the evening we discovered from the maft-head another island to the southward of us: the east and of it seemed to rise in a peak, and had the appearance of a fail, but we did not go near enough to see any thing of it from the deck. I suppose its latitude to be about 20 30' N. and its longitude, east of London, about 136° 10'E.

We

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