Thursday, 12th. Gentle breezes at North-West and North, with frequent Calms. In the Afternoon, while we lay becalm’d, several Canoes came off to the Ship, but keept at a distance until one, who appeared to come from a different part, came off and put alongside at once, and after her all the rest. The people in this boat had heard of the Treatment those had met with we had had on board before, and therefore came on board without hesitation; they were all kindly treated, and very soon entered into a Traffick with our People for George’s Island Cloth, etc.; giving in Exchange their Paddles, having little else to dispose of, and hardly left themselves a sufficient number to paddle ashore; nay, the people in one Canoe, after disposing of their Paddles, offer’d to sell the Canoe. After a stay of about 2 hours they went away, but by some means or other 3 were left on board, and not one boat would put back to take them in, and, what was more surprizing, those aboard did not seem at all uneasy with their situation. In the evening a light breeze springing up at North-West, we steer’d along Shore, under an easy sail, until midnight, then brought too. Soon after it fell Calm, and continued so until 8 o’Clock a.m., when a breeze sprung up at North, with which we stood along shore South-South-West. At and after sunrise found the variation to be 14 degrees 46 minutes East. About this time 2 Canoes came off to the Ship, one of which was prevailed upon to come along side to take in the 3 people we had had on board all night, who now seem’d glad of the opportunity to get ashore. As the People in the Canoe were a little shy at first, it was observed that one Argument those on board made use on to intice the others alongside, was in telling them that we did not Eat men; from which it should seem that these people have such a Custom among them. At the time we made sail we were abreast of the Point of Land set yesterday at Noon, from which the Land trends South-South-West. This point I have named Cape Table, on account of its shape and figure. It lies 7 Leagues to the Southward of Poverty Bay, in the Latitude of 39 degrees 7 minutes South, longitude 181 degrees 36 minutes West, it is of a moderate height, makes in a sharpe Angle, and appears to be quite flat at Top. In steering along shore to the Southward of the Cape, at the distance of 2 or 3 miles off, our soundings were from 20 to 30 fathoms, having a Chain of Rocks that appears at different heights above water, laying between us and the Shore. At Noon, Cape Table bore North 20 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues, and a small Island (being the Southermost land in sight) bore South 70 degrees West, distant 3 miles. This Island I have named Isle of Portland, on account of 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 ledge of Rocks extending nearly, if not quite, across from the one to the other. North 57 degrees East, 2 Miles from the South point of Portland, lies a sunken rock whereon the sea breaks; we passed between this Rock and the land having 17, 18, and 20 fathom Water. We saw a great Number of the Natives assembled together on the Isle of Portland; we likewise saw some on the Main land, and several places that were Cultivated and laid out in square Plantations.
October 12, 2012
Thursday, 12th October, 1769