Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

least knowledge. The soil both of the hills and vallies J7S9is light and sandy, and very fit for the production of all ^^—-^j kinds of roots; though we saw none except sweet potatoes and yams.

CHAP. Ill,

The Range from Tolaga to Mercury-Bay, with an decount of many Incidents that happened both on beard and ashore. A Description os several Views exhibited by the Country, and oj the Heppabsyorforfeited Villages of the lnbalitants,

ON Monday the 30th, about half an hour afterMonday 30. one o'clock, having made fail again to the northward for about ten hours, with a light breeze, I hauled round a small island, which lay east one mile from the north-east point of the land: from this place 1 found the land trend away N. W. by W. and W. N. W. as far as I could fee. This point being the eastermqst land on the whole coast, I gave it the name of East Cape, and I called the ifland that lies off it the Ea'st Island; itisof a smali circuit, high and round, and appears white and barren; the Cape is high with white cliffs, and lies in latitude 37° 42' 30" S. and longitude 18 1 ° W. The land from Tolaga Bay to East Cape is of a moderate, but unequal height, forming several small bays, in which are sandy beaches: of the inland country we could not fee much, the weather being cloudy and hazy. The soundings were from twenty to thirty fathom at the distance of about a league from the shore. After we had rounded the Cape, we taw in our run along the shore a great number of villages^ and much cultivated land; the country in general appeared more fertile than before, and was low near the lea, but hilly within. At fix in the evening, being four leagues, to the westward of East Cape, we passed a bay which was first discovered by Lieutenant Hicks, and which therefore I called Hi Cks's Bay. At eight in the evening, being eight leagues to the westward of the Cape, and three or four miles from the stioie, I ihortened fail and brought to lor the night, having at this time L 3 a fresh.

October. Tiresd. 31,

November.
Wednesd. i

a fresh gale at S. S. E. and squally; but it soon became moderate, and at two in the morning, we made sail again to the S. W. as the land now trended; and at eight o'clock in the morning saw land, which made like an island, bearing west, the south-westermost pait of the main bearing south-west; and about nine no less than five canoes came off, in which were more than forty men, all armed with their country pikes and battle-axes, shouting, and threatening an attack: this gave us great uneasiness, and was indeed what we did not expect; for we hoped, that the report both of our power and clemency had spread to a greater extent. When one of these canoes had almost reached the ship, another, of an immense size, the largest we had yet seen, crowded with people who were also armed, put off from the shore, and came up at a great rate; as it approached it received signals from the canoe that was nearest to the ship, and we could see that it had sixteen paddles on a side, beside people that fat, and others that stood in a row from stem to stern, being in all about sixty men: as they made directly to the ship, we were desirous of preventing an attack, by (hewing what we could do; and therefore fired a gun, loaded with grape ihot, a-head of them; this made them stop, but not retreat; a round shot was then fired over them, and upon seeing it fall, they seized their paddles and made towards the shore with such precipitation, that they seemed scarcely to allow themselves time to breathe. In the evening, three or four more canoes came off unarmed j but they would not venture within a musquet shot of the vessel. The cape, off which we had been threatened with hostilities, I called, from the hasty retreat of the enemy, Cape Runaway. It lies in latitude 37* 32'; longitude I8i°43'. In this day's run, we found that the land, which made like an island in the morning, bearing west, was so; and we gave it the name of White Island.

At day-break, on the first of Nov. we counted no. less than five and forty canoes that were coming from the shore towards the ship : seven of them came up with, us, and aster some conversation with Tupia, sold us some lobsters and muscles, and two conger-eels. 'I befe. people traded pretty fairly: but when they were gone,

some

[ocr errors]

some others came off from another place, who began '76?allo 10 trade fairly; but after some time they took; what was handed down to them, without making any return; one of them who had done so, upon being threatened, began to laugh, and with many marks of derision set us at defiance, at the fame time putting oft" the canoe from the ship: a musquet was then fired over his head, which brought him back in a more serious mood, and trade went on with great regularity. At length, when the cabin and gun room had got as much as they wanted, the men were allowed to come to the gang-way, and trade for themselves. Unhappily the fame care was not taken 10 prevent frauds as had been taken before, so that the Indians, finding that rhey could cheat with impunity, grew insolent again, and proceeded to take greater liberties. One of the canoes, having sold every thing on board, pulled forward, and the people that were in her feeing some linen hang over the ship's side to dry, one of them, without any ceremony, untied it, and put it up in his bundle: he was immediately called to, and required to return it; instead of which, he let his canoe drop a-stern, and laughed at us: a musquet was fired over his head, which did not put a stop to his mirth; another was then fired at him with small shot, which struck him. upon the back; he shrunk a little when the shot hit him, but did not regard it more than one of our men would have done the stroke of a rattan; he continued with great composure to pack up the linen that he had stolen. All the canoes now dropped a-stern about u hundred yards, and all set up their song of defiance, which they continued till the stiip was distant from them about four hundred yards. As they seemed to have no design to attack us, I was not willing to do them any hurt; yet I thought their going off in a bravado might have a bad effect: when it should be reported a-shore. To shew them therefore that they were still in our power, though very much beyond the reach of any missile weapon with which they were acquainted, I gave the ship a yaw, and fired a four pounder so as to pass near them. The (hot happened to strike the water, and rife several times at a great distance beyond the canoes: this struck them with terL 4, *PV

[graphic]

•7si9- ror, and they paddled away without once looking be

November. i ■ 1 .r

,_ _,hind them.

About two in the afternoon, we saw a pretty high iflartd, bearing west from us; and at five, saw more islands and rocks to the westward of that. We hauled our wind in order to go with them, but could not weather them before it was dark. I therefore bore up, and ran between them and the main. At seven, I was close under the first, from which a large double canoe, or rather two canoes lastied together at the distance of about a foot, and covered with boards so as to make a deck, put off, and made fail for the ship: this was the first vessel of the kind that we had seen since we left the South Sea islands. When she came near, the people on board entered very freely into conversation with Tupia, and we thought shewed a friendly disposition ;. but when it was just dark, they ran their canoe close to the ship's side, and threw in a volley of stones, after which they paddled a-stiore.

We learnt from Tupia, that the people in the canoe called the island which we were under MgwtohoRa: it is but of a small circuit, though high, and lies six miles from the main: on the south side is anchorage in fourteen fathom water. Upon the main land S. VV. by W. of this island, and apparently at no great distance from the sea, is a high, round mountain, which 1 called Mount Edgecombe: it stands in the middle of a large plain, and is theretore themore conspicuous; latitude 370 59', longitude 193 "/.

In standing westward, we suddenly shoaled our water from seventeen to ten fathom; and knowing that we were not far from the small islands and rocks which we had seen before dark, and which 1 intended to have passed before I brought to for the night, I thought it more prudent to tack, and spend the night under Mowtohora, where I knew there was no danger. It was Thurs. i indeed happy for us that we did so; for in the morning, after we had made fail to the westward, we discovered, a-head of us, several rocks, some of which were level with the surface of the water, and some below it: they lay N. N. E. from Mount Edgecombe, one league and a half distant from the island Mowtohora, and about nine miles from the main. We palled between

these these rocks and the main, having from ten to fathom water.

This morning, many canoes and much people were seen along the shore; several of the canoes followed us, but none of them could reach us, except one with a fail, which proved to be the fame that had pelted us the night before. The people on board again entered into a conversation with Tupia; but we expected another volley of their ammunition, which was not indeed dangerous to any thing but the cabin windows. They continued a-breast of the ship about an hour, and behaved very peaceably; but at last the salute ■which we expected was given; we returned it by siring a musquet over them, and they immediately dropped a-stern and left us, perhaps rather satisfied with having given a test of their courage, by twice insulting a vessel so much superior to their own, than intimidated by the shot.

At half an hour after ten, we passed between a low flat island and the main: the distance from one to the other was about four miles, and the depth of water from ten to twelve fathom. The main land between this flat island and Mowtohora is of a moderate height, but level, pretty clear of wood, and full of plantations and villages. The villages, which were larger than any we had yet seen, were built upon eminences near the sea, and fortified on the land side by a bank and ditch, with a high paling within it, which was carried all round; beside a bank, ditch, and pallisadoes, some of them appeared to have out-works. Tupia had a notion that the small inclosures of pallisadoes, and a ditch that we had seen before, were Morais, or places of worship; but were of opinion that they were forts, and concluded that these people had neighbouring enemies, and were always exposed to hostile attacks.

At two o'clock, we passed a small high island, lying four miles from a high round head upon the main. From this head the land trends N. W. as far as can be seen, and has a rugged and hilly appearance. As the weather was hazy, and the wind blew freih on the fltore, we hauled off for the weathermoit island in

[graphic]
« ZurückWeiter »