Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

back to our old bay, or to a small cove which they l7e9pointed out, that was not quite so far off; but I chose ■ aob^f rather to prosecute my discoveries than go back, having reason to hope that I should find a better harbour than any I had yet seen.

About an hour before sun-set, the canoes put off from the ship with the few paddles they had reserved, which were scarcely sufficient to set them on shore; but by some means or other three of their people were left behind. As soon as we discovered it we hailed them, but not one of them would return to take them on board; this greatly surprized us; but we were surprized still more to observe, that the deserted Indians did not seem at all uneasy at their situation, but entertained us with dancing and singing after their manner, eat their suppers, and went quietly to bed.

Alight breeze springing up soon after it was dark, we steered along the shore under an easy sail till midnight, and then brought to, soon after which it fell calm. We were now some leagues distant from the place where the canoes had left us, and at day-break, when the Indians perceived it, they were seized with consternation and terror, and lamented their situation in loud complaints, with gestures of despair and many tears. Tupia, with great difficulty, pacified them; and about seven o'clock in the morning, a light breeze Thins, ix. springing up, we continued lo stand south-west along the shore. Fortunately for our poor Indians, two canoes came off about this time, and made towards the ship; they stopped, however, at a little distance, and seemed unwilling to trust themselves nearer. Our Indians were greatly agitated in this state of uncertainty, and urged their fellows to come along-side of the ship, both by their voice and gestures, with the utmost eagerness and impatience. Tupia interpreted what they said, and we were much surprized to find, that, among other arguments, they assured the people in the canoe, we did not eat men. We now began seriously to believe, that this horrid custom prevailed among them; for what the boys had said, we considered as a mere hyperbolical expression of their fear. One of the canoes, at length, ventured to come under the ship's side; and an old man came on board, who seemed to be a Vol. II. K Chief,

[ocr errors][merged small]

Chief, from the finery of his garment, and the supe, riority of his weapon, which was a Patoo-Patoo made of bone, that, as he said, had belonged to a whale. He stayed on board but a short time, and when he went away he took with him our guests, very much to the satisfaction both of them and us.

At the time when we sailed we were a-breast of a point, from which the land trends S. S. W. and which, on account of its figure, I called Cape Table. This point lies seven leagues to the southward of PovertyBay, in latitude 39° 7 S. and longitude 1810 36' W. It is of a considerable height, makes in a sharp angle, and appears to be quite flat at the top.

In steering along the shore to the southward of the Cape, at the distance of two or three miles, our soundings were from twenty to thirty fathom, having a chain of rocks between us and the shore, which appeared at different heights above the water.

At noon, Cape Table bore N. 20 E. distant about four leagues, and a small island, which was the southermost land in sight, bore S. 70 W. at the distance of about three miles. This island, which the natives call Teahowray, I named the Island Of Portland, from its very great resemblance to Portland in the English channel; it lies about a mile from a point on the main, but there appears to be a ridge of rocks, extending nearly, if not quite, from one to the other^ N. 57 E. two miles from the south point of Portland, lies a sunken rock, upon which the sea breaks with great violence. We passed between this rock and the land, having from seventeen to twenty fathom.

In sailing along the shore, we saw the natives assembled in great numbers, as well upon Portland Island as the main. We could also distinguish several spots of ground that were cultivated; some seemed to be fresh turned up, and lay in furrows like ploughed land, and some had plants upon them in different stages of their growth. We saw also, in two places, high rails upon the ridges of hills, like what we had seen upon the peninsula at the north-east head of Poverty-Bay; as they were ranged in lines only, and not so as to inclose an area, we could not guess at their use, and therefore supposed they might be the work of superstition.

About

[ocr errors]

About noon, another canoe appeared, in which were '7*9four men; she came within about a quarter of a mile-,°^ober' of us, where the people on board seemed to perform divers ceremonies. One of them, who was in the bow, sometimes seemed to ask and to offer peace, and sometimes to threaten war, by brandishing a weapon that he held in his hand; sometimes also he danced, and sometimes he fung. Tupia talked much to him, but could not persuade him to come to the ship.

Between one and two o'clock, we discovered land to the westward of Portland, extending to the southward as far as-we could fee; and as the {hip was hauling round the south end of the island, she suddenly fell into shoal water and broken ground; we had indeed always -seven fathom or more, but the soundings were never twice the fame, jumping at once from seven fathom to eleven; in a short time, however, we got clear of all danger, and had again deep water under us.

At this time the island lay within a mile of us, making in white cliffs, and a long spit of low land running from it towards the main. On the sides of these cliffs fat great numbers of people, looking at us with a fixed attention; and, it is probable, that they perceived some appearance of hurry and confusion on board, and some irregularity in the working of the ship, while we were getting clear of the shallow water and broken ground, from which they might infer that we were alarmed or in distress; we thought that they wished to take advantage os our situation, for five canoes were put off with the utmost expedition, full of men, and well armed; they came so near, and shewed so hostile a disposition, by shouting, brandishing their lances, and using threatening gestures, that we were in some pain for our small boat, which was ffll employed in sounding; a musket was therefore fired over them, but finding it did them no harm, they seemed rather to be provoked than intimidated, and I therefore fired a four pounder, charged with grape-shot, wide of them. This had a better effect. Upon the report of the piece, they all rose up and shouted; but instead of continuing the chace, drew all together, and after a short consultation went quietly away.

K a Having

,169- Having got round Portland, we hauled in for the ^^^ land N. W. having a gentle breeze at N. E. which about five o'clock died away, and obliged us to anchor. We had one and twenty fathom, with a fine sandy bottom: the south point of Portland bore S. E. $ S. distant about two leagues; and a low point on the main bore N. i E. In the fame direction with this low point, there runs a deep bay, behind the land of which Cape Table is the extremity, so as to make this land a peninsula, leaving only a low narrow neck between that and the main. Of this peninsula, which the natives call Terakako, Cape Table is the north point, and Portland the south.

While we lay at anchor, two more canoes came off to us, one armed, and the other a small fishing-boat, with only sour men in her. They came so near that they entered into conversation with Tupia. They answered all the questions that he asked them with great civility, but could not be persuaded to come on board; they came near enough, however, to receive several presents that were thrown to them from the ship, with which they seemed much pleased, and went away. During the night many fires were kept on shore, probably to shew us that the inhabitants were too much upon their guardto be surprized. Friday 13. About five o'clock in the morning os the 13th, a breeze springing up northerly, we weighed, and steered in for the land. The shore here forms a large bay, of which Portland is the north-east point, and the bay that runs behind Cape Table an arm. This arm I had a great inclination to examine, because there appeared to be safe anchorage in it; but not being sure of that, and the wind being right an end, I was unwilling to spare the time. Four and twenty fathom was the greatest depth with Portland, but the ground was every where clear. The land near the shore is of a moderate height, with white cliffs and sandy beaches; within it rises into mountains ; and, upon the whole, the surface is hilly, for the most part covered with wood, and to appearance pleasant and fertile. In the morning nine canoes came after the

ship,

[ocr errors]

sliip, but whether with peaceable or hostile intentions »769we could not tell, for we soon left them behind us. . t 0^h"'.

In the evening we stood in for a place that had the '^v~~ appearance of an opening, but found no harbour; we therefore stood out again, and were soon followed by a large canoe, with eighteen or twenty men all armed, ■who, though they could not reach us, shouted defiance, and brandished their weapons, with many gestures of menace and insult.

In the morning, we had a view of the mountains Satur. 14. inland, upon which the snow was still lying: the country near the shore was low and unfit for culture, but in one place we perceived a patch of somewhat yellow, which had greatly the appearance of a corn field, yet was probably nothing more than some dead flags, which are not uncommon in swampy places: at some distance we saw groves of trees, which appeared high and tapering, and being not above two leagues from the south-west cod of the great bay, in which we had been coasting for the two last days, I hoisted out the pinr nace and long-boat to search for fresh water; but just as they were about to put oft", we saw several boats full of people coming from the shore, and therefore I did not think it safe for them to leave the ship. About ten o'clock, five of these boats having drawn together, as if to hold a consultation, made towards the ship, having on board between eighty and ninety men, and four more followed at some distance, as if to sustain the attack. When the first five came within about a hunr dred yards of the ship, they began to sing their war song, and, brandishing their pikes, prepared for an engagement. We had now no time to lose, for if we could not prevent the attack, we stiould come under the unhappy necefllty of using our fire arms against them, which we were very desirous to avoid. Tupia was therefore ordered to acquaint them, that we had weapons which, like thunder, would destroy them in a moment; that we would immediately convince them of their power, by directing their effect so that they should not be hurt; but that if they persisted in any hostile attempts, we should be obliged to use them for our defence. A four pounder, loaded with grape shot, K 3 was

« ZurückWeiter »