Tuesday, 4th. A Steady fresh Trade and clear weather. At 1/2 past 10 a.m. saw land bearing south, distance 3 or 4 Leagues. Haul’d up for it, and soon found it to be an Island of about 2 Leagues in Circuit and of an Oval form, with a Lagoon in the Middle, for which I named it Lagoon Island. The Border of land Circumscribing this Lagoon is in many places very low and narrow, particularly on the south side, where it is mostly a Beach or Reef of rocks; it is the same on the North side in 3 places, and these disjoins the firm land and make it appear like so many Islands covered with wood. On the West end of the Island is a large Tree which looks like a large Tower, and about the Middle of the Island are two Cocoa Nutt Trees that appears above all the other wood, which as we approached the Island looked very much like a flag. We approached the north side of this Island within a Mile, and found no Bottom with 130 fathoms of line, nor did there appear to be Anchorage about it. We saw several of the Inhabitants, the most of them men, and these Marched along the shore abreast of the Ships with long Clubs in their hands as tho’ they meant to oppose our landing. They were all naked except their Privy parts, and were of a Dark Copper Colour with long black Hair, but upon our leaving the Island some of them were seen to put on a Covering, and one or two we saw in the Skirts of the Wood was Cloathed in White; these we supposed to be Women. This Island lies in the Latitude of 18 degrees 47 minutes and Longitude 139 degrees 28 minutes West from the Meridian of Greenwich; variation 2 degrees 54 minutes East. Wind East, East by South; course North 88 degrees West; distance 114 miles; latitude 18 degrees 42 minutes South, longitude 139 degrees 29 minutes West.
April 4, 2012
Tuesday, 4th April, 1769