« ZurückWeiter »
ever, give the best account I can of the appearance and situation of the islands that I left behind me.
I gave the general name of Queen Charlotte's Islands to the whole cluster, as well to those I did not see distinctly, as to those that I did; and I gave several of them particular names as I approached thein,
To the southermost of the two, which when we first dig. covered land were right a-head, I gave the name of Lord Howe's Island, and the other was Egmont Island, of which some account has already been given. The latitude of Lord Howe's Island is 119:10 S. longitude 164 -43' E. The latitude of Cape Byron, the north-east point of Egmont Island, is 10° 40'S. longitude 1649.49 E. The east sides of these two islands, which lie exactly in a line with each other, about N. by W. and S. by E. including the passage between them, extend about eleven leagues, and the passage is about four miles broad; both of them appear to be fertile, and have a pleasant appearance, being covered with tall trees, of a beautiful verdure. Lord Howe's Island, though more flat and even than the other, is notwithstanding high land. About thirteen leagues W.N.W.IN. by compass, from Cape Byron, there is an island of a stupendous height, and a conical figure. The top of it is shaped like a funnel, from which we saw smoke issue, though no flame; it is, however, certainly a volcano, and therefore I called it Volcano Island. To a long flat island that, when Howe's and Egmont's islands were right a-head, bore N.W. I gave the name of Keppel's Island. It lies in latitude 10° 15'S. longitude, by account, 165o,4? E. The largest of two others to the S.E. I called Lord Edgcumb's Island. The small one I called Ourry's Island. Edgeumb's Island has a fine pleasant appearance, and lies in latitude 11° 10 S. longitude 165° 14' E. The latitude of Qurry's Island is 11 10 S. longitude 165° 19' E. The other islands, of wbich there were several, bdid not particularly name. ...
The inhabitants of Egmont island, whose persons have been described already, are extremely nimble, wigorous, and active, and seem to be almost as well qualified to live in the water as upon the land, for they were in and out of their canoes almost every minute. The canoes that came out against us from the west end of the island, were all like that which our people brought on board, and might probably, upon occasion, carry about a dozen men, though three or four manage them with amazing dexterity: We
saw, however, others of a large size upon the beach, with awnings or shades over them.
We got two of their bows, and a bundle of their arrows, from the canoe that was taken with the wounded man; and with these weapons they do execution at an incredible distance. One of them went through the boat's washboard, and dangerously. wounded a midshipman in the thigh. Their arrows were pointed with flint, and we saw among them no appearance of any metal. The country in general is woody and mountainous, with many vallies intermixed; several small rivers flow from the interior part of the coun: try into the sea, and there are many harbours upon
the coast. The variation here was about 119115 EduA
SECTION. V. dt. "
Dand eysi 100 ods Departure from Egmont Island, and Passage to Nova Brin
tannia ; with a Description of several other Islands, and their Inhabitants. *tinitie
We made sail from this island in the evening of Tuesday the 18th of August, with a fresh trade-wind from the eastward, and a few squalls at times. At first we only hauled up W.N.W. for I was not without hope of falling in with some other islands, where we might be more fortunate than we had been at those we left, before we got the length of Nova Britannia. ive
! On the 20th, we discovered a small, flat, low island, and got up with it in the evening. It lies in latitude 7° 56'S.longitude 158° 56' E, and I gave it the bame of Gower's Island. Polour great mortification we found no anchorage here, and could procure only a few cocoa-nuts from the inhabitants, (who were much the same kind of people that we bad seen at Isle Egmont,) in exchange for nails, and such trifles as we had ; they promised, by signs, to bring
us more the next day, and we kept off and on all night. The night was extreme ly dark; and the next morning at day-break, we found that a current had set us considerably to the southward of the island, and brought us within sight of two more. They were situated nearly east and west of each other, and were distant about two miles. That to the eastward is much the : smallest, and this we called Simpson's Island; to the other,
which is lofty, and has a stately appearance, we gave the name of Carteret's Island. The east end of it bears about south from Gower's island, and the distance between them is about ten or eleven leagues. Carteret's Island lies in about the latitude of 8° 26' S. longitude 159° 14 E. and its length from east to west is about six leagues. We found the variation here 80 30 E. Both these islands were right to windward of us, and we bore down to Gower's Island. It is about two leagues and a half long on the western side, which makes in bays: The whole is well wooded, and many of the trees are cocoa-nut. We found here a considerable number of the Indians, with two boats or canoes, which we supposed to belong to Carteret's Island, and to have brought the people hither only to fish. We sent the boat on shore, which the natives endeavoured to cut off; and hostilities being thus commenced, we seized their canoe, in which we found about an hundred cocoa-nuts, which were very acceptable. We saw some turtle near the beach,' but were not fortunate enough to take any of them. The canoe, or boat, was large enough to carry eight or ten men, and was very neatly built, with planks well jointed, it was adorned with shell-work, and figures rudely painted, and the seams were covered with a substance somewhat like our black putty, but it appeared to me to be of a better consistence, The people were armed with bows, arrows, and spears; the Spears and arrows were pointed with flint. By some signs which they made, pointing to our muskets, we imagined they were not wholly unacquainted with fire-arms. They are much the same kind of people as we had seen at Egmont island, and, like them, were quite naked; but their canoes were of a very different structure, and a much larger size, though we did not discover that any of them had sails. The cocoa-nuts which we got here, and at Egmont island, were of infinite advantage to the sick.
From the time of our leaving Egmont island, we had observed a current setting strongly to the southward, and in the neighbourhood of these islands we found its force greatly increased : This determined me, when I sailed from Gower’s island, to steer N.W. fearing we might otherwise fall in with the main land too far to the southward; for if we had got into any gulph or deep bay, our crew was so sickly, and our ship so bad, that it would have been impossible for us to have got out again.
About eight o'еlock in the morning of the 22d, as we were continuing our course with a fine fresh gale, Patrick Dwyer, one of the marines, who was doing something over the ship's quarter, by some accident missed his hold and fell into the sea; we instantly threw overboard the canoe which we had seized at Gower's island, brought the ship to, and hoisted out the cutter with all possible expedition ; but the poor fellow, though remarkably strong and healthy, sunk at once, and we saw him no more. We took the canoe on board again; but she had received so much damage by striking against one of the guns, as the people were hoisting her overboard, that we were obliged to cut her up,
In the night of Monday the 24th, we fell in with nine islands. They stretch nearly N.W. by W. and S.E. by E. about fifteen leagues, and lie in latitude 4° 36' S. longitude 154° 17' E. according to the ship's account. I imagine these to be the islands which are called Ohang Java, and were discovered by Tasman; for the situation answers very nearly to their place in the French chart, which in the year 1756 was corrected for the king's ships. The other islands, Carteret's, Gower's, and Simpson's, I believe had never been seen by, an European navigator before. There is certainly much land in this part of the ocean not yet known.
One of these islands is of considerable extent, the other eight are scarcely better than large rocks; but though they are low and flat, they are well covered with wood, and abound with inhabitants. The people are black, and woolly-beaded, like the negroes of Africa : Their weapons are bows and arrows; and they have large canoes which they navigate with a sail, one of which came near us, but would not venture on board.
We went to the northward of these islands, and steered W. by S. with a strong south-westerly current. At eleven o'clock at night, we fell in with another island of a considerable extent, flat, green, and of a pleasant appearance. We saw none of its inhabitants, but it appeared by the many fires which we saw in the night to be well peopled. It lies in latitude 49 50 S. and bears west fifteen leagues from the northermost of the Nine Islands, and we called it Sir Charles Hardy's Island.
At day-break the next morning, we discovered another large high island, which, rising in three considerable hills, had, at a distance, the appearance of three islands. We
gave it the name of Winchelsea's Island; it is distant from Sir Charles Hardy's island about ten leagues, in the direc tion of S. by E. We had here the wind squally, with unsettled weather, and a very strong westerly current.
About ten o'clock in the morning of the 26th, we saw another large island to the north ward, which I supposed to be the same that was dicovered by Schouten, and called the island of Saint Joho. Soon after we saw high land to the westward, which proved to be Nova Britannia ; and as we approached it we found a very strong S.S. westerly current, setting at the rate of no less than thirty-two miles aday. The next day, having only light winds, a north-westerly current set us into a deep bay or gulph, which proved to be that which Dampier has distinguished by the name of Saint George's Bay.
On the 28th, we anchored in a bay near a little island at the distance of about three leagues to the N.W. of Cape Saint George, which was called Wallis's Island. I found the latitude of this Cape to be about 5° S. and its longitude by account 152° 19' E. which is about two thousand five hundred leagues due west from the continent of America, and about one degree and a half more to the eastward than its place in the French chart which has been just mentioned. In the afternoon I sent the cutter to examine the coast, and the other boat to get some cocoa-nuts, and haul the seine. The people in this boat caught no fish, but they brought on board about an hundred and fifty cocoa-nuts, which were distributed to the men at the surgeon's discretion. We had seen some turtle as we were coming into the bay, and hoping that some of them might repair to the island in the night, especially as it was sandy, barren, and uninhabited, like the places these animals most frequent, I sent a few inen on shore to watch for them, but they returned in the morning without success.
We anchored here only to wait till the boats could find a fit place for our purpose; and several very good harbours being discovered not far distant, we now endeavoured to weigh anchor, but, with the united strength of our whole company, were not able: This was an alarming proof of our debility, and with heavy hearts we had recourse to an additional purchase; with this assistance, and our utmost efforts, we got the anchor just clear of the bottom, but the ship casting in shore, it almost iinmediately book again