Tuesday, 15th August, 1769

Tuesday, 15th. Fresh breezes and fair weather. At 2 p.m. the Pinnace return’d on board without landing, not but what it was practicable, but they did not think it Altogether safe with only one Boat, as it would have been attended with some danger on account of the Surf and Rocks upon the Shore. The Natives were Arm’d, and Shewd no Signs either of fear or Friendship. Some of them came off to the Boat in a Canoe, and had some Nails and Beads given them; but with these they were not Satisfied, thinking they had a right to everything in the Boat, and at last grew so Troublesome that in order to get clear of them our People were obliged to fire some Musquets, but with no intent to hurt any of them; however, it so hapned that one Man was Slightly wounded in the head. The firing had the desired effect, and they thought fit to retire. After this, as the Boat lay near the Shore, some of them waded off to her, and brought with them some Trifles which they parted with for small Nails, etc. They seem’d desirous that our people should land, but this was looked upon as a Piece of Policy in them to get the whole Boat’s Crew in their power; however, this was not attempted, as I had given orders to run no Risk. The Bay they went into, which lies on the West side of the Island, had in it 25 fathoms Water, but the bottom was very foul and Rocky. We had now made the Circuit of the Island (which did not appear to the best advantage), and found that there was neither a Harbour or safe Anchorage about it, and therefore I thought the Landing upon it would be attended with no advantage either to ourselves or any future navigators; and from the Hostile and thievish disposition of the Natives it appear’d that we could have no friendly intercourse with them until they had felt the Smart of our fire Arms, a thing that would have been very unjustifiable in me at this Time; we therefore hoisted in the Boat, and made Sail to the Southward.

This Island is situated in the Latitude of 22 degrees 27 minutes South, and in the Longitude of 150 degrees 47 minutes West from the Meridian of Greenwich. It is 13 miles in Circuit, and tolerably high; it appears to be neither Populous nor fertile; its produce seem’d to be nearly the same as the other Islands we have touched at, and likewise the Stature, Colour, Habit, and Arms of the Natives, only that some of them wore Pieces of Cloth like broad belts, different both in Shape and Colour to anything of the kind we had seen before, and their Arms, and in general everything they had about them, much neater made, and shew’d great proofs of an ingenious fancy. Tupia says that their are several Islands laying at different directions from this–that is, from the South to the West and North-West–and that 3 days’ sail to the North-East is an Island called Manua, that is Bird Island, and that it lies 4 days’ sail from Ulietea, which is one day less than from Ulietea to Ohetiroa. From this account I shall be able to find the Situation of Manua pretty well. Since we have left Ulietea Tupia hath been very desirous for us to steer to the Westward, and tells us if we will go that way we shall be with plenty of Islands: the most of them he himself hath been at, and from the discription he gives of two of them they must be those discover’d by Capt. Wallace, and by him called Boscawen and Keppel’s Islands, and those do not lay less than 400 Leagues to the Westward of Ulietea. He says that they are 10 or 12 days in going thither, and 30 or more in coming Back, and that their Pahies–that is their large Proes–sails much faster than this Ship. All this I believe to be true, and therefore they may with Ease sail 40 Leagues a day or more.

The farthest Island to the Southward that Tupia hath been at, or knows anything of, lies but 2 days’ Sail from Ohetiroa, and is called Moutou, but he says that his father once told him that there was Islands to the Southward of it; but we Cannot find that he either knows or ever heard of a Continent or large Track of Land. I have no reason to doubt Tupia’s information of these Islands, for when we left Ulietea and steer’d to the Southward he told us that if we would keep a little more to the East (which the wind would not permit us to do) we should see Manua, but as we then steer’d we should see Ohetiroa, which hapned accordingly. If we meet with the Islands to the Southward he speaks off, it’s well, but if not, I shall spend no more time searching for them, being now fully resolv’d to stand directly to the Southward in search of a Continent. Wind Northerly; course South 1/2 East; distance 94 miles; latitude 24 degrees 1 minute South, longitude 150 degrees 37 minutes West; at noon, Ohetiroa North 1/2 West, 31 leagues; variation 6 degrees 7 minutes East.

NOTE. As we advanced to the Southward into Cold weather, and a troubled Sea, the Hogs we got at Ulietea began to die apace. They cannot endure the least cold, nor will they hardly eat anything but vegetables, so that they are not at all to be depended upon at Sea. The fowls also have a complaint general among them which affects their heads, so that they continue holding it down betwixt their Legs until they die; this at least was the fate of most of ours. This is necessary to be known to those who come such Voyages as these, least they place too much dependance on the live stock they get at the Islands.


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