A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16, by Robert Kerr This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 Author: Robert Kerr Release Date: August 7, 2005 [EBook #16471] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A GENERAL HISTORY AND *** Produced by Robert Connal, Alison Hadwin and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. Produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS, ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER: FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE, BY SEA AND LAND, FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT TIME. BY ROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN. ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS AND CHARTS. VOL. XVI. WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH: AND T. CADELL, LONDON. MDCCCXXIV. [pg vi] CONTENTS OF VOL. XVI. CHAP. III. Transactions at Otaheite, and the Society Islands; and prosecution of the Voyage to the Coast of North America, 1 SECT. I. An Eclipse of the Moon observed. The Island Toobouai discovered. Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A General History and Collection of Voyages
and Travels, Volume 16, by Robert Kerr
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16
Author: Robert Kerr
Release Date: August 7, 2005 [EBook #16471]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A GENERAL HISTORY AND ***
Produced by Robert Connal, Alison Hadwin and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net.
Produced from images generously made available by the
Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.
A
GENERAL
HISTORY AND COLLECTION
OF
VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,
ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:
FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE
ORIGIN AND PROGRESS
OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND
COMMERCE,
BY SEA AND LAND,
FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT
TIME.
BYROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN.
ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS AND CHARTS.
VOL. XVI.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH:
AND T. CADELL, LONDON.
MDCCCXXIV.
[pg vi]
CONTENTS OF VOL. XVI.
CHAP. III. Transactions at Otaheite, and the Society Islands; and prosecution of
the Voyage to the Coast of North America, 1
SECT.
I. An Eclipse of the Moon observed. The Island Toobouai
discovered. Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance. Intercourse with
its Inhabitants. Their Persons, Dresses, and Canoes described.
Arrival at Oheitepeha Bay, at Otaheite. Omai's Reception and
imprudent Conduct. Account of Spanish Ships twice visiting the
Island. Interview with the Chief of this District. The Olla, or God, of
Bolabola. A mad Prophet. Arrival in Matavai Bay, 1
II. Interview with Otoo, King of the Island, Imprudent Conduct of
Omai. Employments on Shore. European Animals landed.
Particulars about a Native who had visited Lima. About Oedidee. A
Revolt in Eimeo. War with that Island determined upon, in a Council
of Chiefs. A human Sacrifice on that Account. A particular Relation
of the Ceremonies at the great Morai, where the Sacrifice was
offered. Other barbarous Customs of this People, 16
III. Conference with Towha. Heevas described. Omai and Oedidee
give Dinners. Fireworks exhibited. A remarkable Present of Cloth.
[pg vii] Manner of preserving the Body of a dead Chief. Another human
Sacrifice. Riding on Horseback. Otoo's Attention to supply
Provisions, and prevent Thefts. Animals given to him. Etary, and the
Deputies of a Chief, have Audiences. A mock Fight of two War
Canoes. Naval Strength of these Islands. Manner of conducting a
War, 35
IV. The Day of Sailing fixed. Peace made with Eimeo. Debates
about it, and Otoo's Conduct blamed. A Solemnity at the Morai on
the Occasion, described by Mr King. Observations upon it. Instance
of Otoo's Art. Omai's War-Canoe, and Remarks upon his Behaviour.
Otoo's Present, and Message to the King of Great Britain.
Reflections on our Manner of Traffic, and on the good Treatment wemet with at Otaheite. Account of the Expedition of the Spaniards.
Their Fictions to depreciate the English. Wishes expressed that no
Settlement may be made. Omai's Jealousy of another Traveller, 48
V. Arrival at Eimeo. Two Harbours there, and an Account of them.
Visit from Maheine, Chief of the Island. His Person described. A
Goat stolen, and sent back with the Thief. Another Goat stolen, and
secreted. Measures taken on the Occasion. Expedition cross the
Island. Houses and Canoes burnt. The Goat delivered up, and
Peace restored. Some Account of the Island, &c. 62
VI. Arrival at Huaheine. Council of the Chiefs. Omai's Offerings, and
Speech to the Chiefs. His Establishment in this Island agreed to. A
House built, and Garden planted for him. Singularity of his Situation.
Measures taken to insure his Safety. Damage done by Cock-
roaches on board the Ships. A Thief detected and punished.
Fireworks exhibited. Animals left with Omai. His Family. Weapons.
Inscription on his House. His Behaviour on the Ships leaving the
[pg viii] Island. Summary View of his Conduct and Character. Account of the
two New Zealand Youths, 71
VII. Arrival at Ulietea. Astronomical Observations. A Marine deserts,
and is delivered up. Intelligence from Omai. Instructions to Captain
Clerke. Another Desertion of a Midshipman and a Seaman. Three of
the chief Persons of the Island confined on that Account. A Design
to seize Captains Cook and Clerke discovered. The two Deserters
brought back, and the Prisoners released. The Ships sail.
Refreshments received at Ulietea. Present and former State of that
Island. Account of its dethroned King, and of the late Regent of
Huaheine, 87
VIII. Arrival at Bolabola. Interview with Opoony. Reasons for
purchasing Monsieur de Bougainville's Anchor. Departure from the
Society Islands. Particulars about Bolabola. History of the Conquest
of Otaha and Ulietea. High Reputation of the Bolabola Men.
Animals left there and at Ulietea. Plentiful Supply of Provisions, and
Manner of salting Pork on Board. Various Reflections relative to
Otaheite and the Society Islands. Astronomical and Nautical
Observations made there, 99
IX. Accounts of Otaheite still imperfect. The prevailing Winds.
Beauty of the Country. Cultivation. Natural Curiosities. The Persons
of the Natives. Diseases. General Character. Love of Pleasure.
Language. Surgery and Physic. Articles of Food. Effects of drinking
Ava. Times and Manner of Eating. Connexions with the Females.
Circumcision. System of Religion. Notions about the Soul and a
future Life. Various Superstitions. Traditions about the Creation. An
historical Legend. Honours paid to the King. Distinction of Ranks.
Punishment of Crimes. Peculiarities of the neighbouring Islands.
Names of their Gods. Names of Islands they visit. Extent of their
Navigation, 110
[pg ix] X. Progress of the Voyage, after leaving the Society Islands.
Christmas Island discovered, and Station of the Ships there. Boats
sent ashore. Great Success in catching Turtle. An Eclipse of the
Sun observed. Distress of two Seamen who had lost their Way.
Inscription left in a Bottle. Account of the Island. Its Soil. Trees andPlants. Birds. Its Size. Form. Situation. Anchoring Ground, 139
XI. Some Islands discovered. Account of the Natives of Atooi, who
came off to the Ships, and their Behaviour on going on Board. One
of them killed. Precautions used to prevent Intercourse with the
Females. A Watering-place found. Reception upon landing.
Excursion into the Country. A Morai visited and described. Graves
of the Chiefs, and of the human Sacrifices, there buried. Another
Island, called Oneeheow, visited. Ceremonies performed by the
Natives, who go off to the Ships. Reasons for believing that they are
Cannibals. A Party sent ashore, who remain two Nights. Account of
what passed on landing. The Ships leave the Islands, and proceed
to the North, 148
XII. The Situation of the Islands now discovered. Their Names.
Called the Sandwich Islands. Atooi described. The Soil. Climate.
Vegetable Productions. Birds. Fish. Domestic Animals. Persons of
the Inhabitants. Their Disposition. Dress. Ornaments. Habitations.
Food. Cookery. Amusements. Manufactures. Working-tools.
Knowledge of Iron accounted for. Canoes. Agriculture. Account of
one of their Chiefs. Weapons. Customs agreeing with those of
Tongataboo and Otaheite. Their Language the same. Extent of this
Nation throughout the Pacific Ocean. Reflections on the useful
Situation of the Sandwich Islands, 172
XIII. Observations made at the Sandwich Islands, on the Longitude,
[pg x] Variation of the Compass and Tides. Prosecution of the Voyage.
Remarks on the Mildness of the Weather, as far as the Latitude 44°
North. Paucity of Sea Birds, in the Northern Hemisphere. Small Sea
Animals described. Arrival on the Coast of America. Appearance of
the Country. Unfavourable Winds and boisterous Weather. Remarks
on Martin de Aguilar's River, and Juan de Fuca's pretended Strait.
An Inlet discovered, where the Ship's anchor. Behaviour of the
Natives, 195
CHAP. IV. Transactions, amongst the Natives of North America; Discoveries
along that Coast and the Eastern Extremity of Asia, Northward to Icy Cape; and
return Southward to the Sandwich Islands, 207
SECT.
I. The Ships enter the Sound, and moor in a Harbour. Intercourse
with the Natives. Articles brought to barter. Thefts committed. The
Observatories erected, and Carpenters set to work. Jealousy of the
Inhabitants of the Sound to prevent other Tribes having Intercourse
with the Ships. Stormy and rainy Weather. Progress round the
Sound. Behaviour of the Natives at their Villages. Their Manner of
drying Fish, &c. Remarkable Visit from Strangers, and introductory
Ceremonies. A second Visit to one of the Villages. Leave to cut
Grass, purchased. The Ships sail. Presents given and received at
parting, 207
II. The Name of the Sound, and Directions for Sailing into it. Account
of the adjacent Country. Weather. Climate. Trees. Other Vegetable
Productions. Quadrupeds, whose Skins were brought for Sale. Sea
Animals. Description of a Sea-Otter. Birds. Water Fowl. Fish. Shell-
fish, &c. Reptiles. Insects. Stones, &c. Persons of the Inhabitants.Their Colour. Common Dress and Ornaments. Occasional Dresses,
and monstrous Decorations of wooden Masks. Their general
[pg xi] Dispositions. Songs. Musical Instruments. Their Eagerness to
possess Iron and other Metals, 221
III. Manner of Building the Houses in Nootka Sound. Inside of them
described. Furniture and Utensils. Wooden Images. Employments
of the Men. Of the Women. Food, Animal and Vegetable. Manner of
preparing it. Weapons. Manufactures and Mechanic Arts. Carving
and Painting. Canoes. Implements for Fishing and Hunting. Iron
Tools. Manner of procuring that Metal. Remarks on their Language,
and a Specimen of it. Astronomical and Nautical Observations
made in Nootka Sound, 239
IV. A Storm, after sailing from Nootka Sound. Resolution springs a
Leak. Pretended Strait of Admiral de Fonte passed unexamined.
Progress along the Coast of America. Behring's Bay. Kaye's Island.
Account of it. The Ships come to an Anchor. Visited by the Natives.
Their Behaviour. Fondness for Beads and Iron. Attempt to plunder
the Discovery. Resolution's Leak stopped; Progress up the Sound.
Messrs Gore and Roberts sent to examine its Extent. Reasons
against a Passage to the North through it. The Ships proceed down
it to the open Sea 260
V. The Inlet called Prince William's Sound. Its Extent. Persons of the
Inhabitants described. Their Dress. Incision of the Under-lip.
Various other Ornaments. Their Boats. Weapons. Fishing and
hunting Instruments. Utensils. Tools. Uses Iron is applied to. Food.
Language, and a Specimen of it. Animals. Birds. Fish. Iron and
Beads, whence received, 279
VI. Progress along the Coast. Cape Elizabeth. Cape St
Hermogenes. Accounts of Beering's Voyage very defective. Point
Banks. Cape Douglas. Cape Bede. Mount St Augustin. Hopes of
finding a Passage up an Inlet. The Ships proceed up it. Indubitable
[pg xii] Marks of its being a River. Named Cook's River. The Ships return
down it. Various Visits from the Natives. Lieutenant King lands, and
takes Possession of the Country. His Report. The Resolution runs
aground on a Shoal. Reflections on the Discovery of Cook's River.
The considerable Tides in it accounted for, 291
VII. Discoveries after leaving Cook's River. Island of St
Hermogenes. Cape Whitsunday. Cape Greville. Cape Barnabas.
Two-headed Point. Trinity Island. Beering's Foggy Island. A
beautiful Bird described. Kodiak and the Schumagin Islands. A
Russian Letter brought on Board by a Native. Conjectures about it.
Rock Point. Halibut Island. A Volcano Mountain. Providential
Escape. Arrival of the Ships at Oonalaschka. Intercourse with the
Natives there. Another Russian Letter. Samganoodha Harbour
described, 306
VIII. Progress Northward, after leaving Oonalashka. The Islands
Oonella and Acootan. Ooneemak. Shallowness of the Water along
the Coast. Bristol Bay. Round Island. Calm Point. Cape Newenham.
Lieutenant Williamson lands, and his Report. Bristol Bay, and its
Extent. The Ships obliged to return on account of Shoals. Natives
come off to the Ships. Death of Mr Anderson; his Character; andIsland named after him. Point Rodney. Sledge Island, and Remarks
on landing there. King's Island. Cape Prince of Wales, the Western
Extreme of America. Course Westward. Anchor in a Bay on the
Coast of Asia, 323
IX. Behaviour of the Natives, the Tschutski, on seeing the Ships.
Interview with some of them. Their Weapons. Persons. Ornaments
Clothing. Winter and Summer Habitations. The Ships cross the
Strait, to the Coast of America. Progress Northward. Cape
Mulgrave. Appearance of Fields of Ice. Situation of Icy Cape, the
Sea blocked up with Ice. Sea-horses killed, and used as Provisions.
[pg xiii] These Animals described. Dimensions of one of them. Cape
Lisburne. Fruitless Attempt to get through the Ice at a Distance from
the Coast. Observations on the Formation of this Ice. Arrival on the
Coast of Asia. Cape North. The Prosecution of the Voyage deferred
to the ensuing Year, 338
X. Return from Cape North, along the Coast of Asia. Views of the
Country. Burney's Island. Cape Serdze Kamen, the Northern Limit
of Beering's Voyage. Pass the East Cape of Asia. Description and
Situation of it. Observations on Muller. The Tschutski. Bay of Saint
Laurence. Two other Bays, and Habitations of the Natives.
Beering's Cape Tschukotskoi. Beering's Position of this Coast
accurate. Island of Saint Laurence. Pass to the American Coast.
Cape Derby. Bald Head. Cape Denbigh, on a Peninsula.
Besborough Island. Wood and Water procured. Visits from the
Natives. Their Persons and Habitations. Produce of the Country.
Marks that the Peninsula had formerly been surrounded by the Sea.
Lieutenant King's Report. Norton Sound. Lunar Observations there.
Stæhlin's Map proved to be erroneous. Plan of future Operations,
353
XI. Discoveries after leaving Norton Sound. Stuart's Island. Cape
Stephens. Point Shallow-Water. Shoals on the American Coast.
Clerke's Island. Gore's Island. Pinnacle Island. Arrival at
Oonalashka. Intercourse with the Natives and Russian Traders.
Charts of the Russian Discoveries, communicated by Mr Ismyloff.
Their Errors pointed out. Situation of the Islands visited by the
Russians. Account of their Settlement at Oonalashka. Of the Natives
of the Island. Their Persons. Dress. Ornaments. Food. Houses and
domestic Utensils. Manufactures. Manner of producing Fire.
Canoes. Fishing and Hunting Implements. Fishes, and Sea
[pg xiv] Animals. Sea and Water Fowls, and Land Birds. Land Animals and
Vegetables. Manner of burying the Dead. Resemblance of the
Natives on this Side of America to the Greenlanders and
Esquimaux. Tides. Observations for determining the Longitude of
Oonalashka. 369
XII. Departure from Oonalashka, and future Views. The Island
Amoghta. Situation of a remarkable Rock. Strait between
Oonalashka and Oonella repassed. Progress to the South.
Melancholy Accident on board the Discovery. Mowee, one of the
Sandwich Islands, discovered. Intercourse with the Natives. Visit
from Terreeoboo. Another Island, called Owhyhee, discovered. The
Ships ply to Windward to get round it. An Eclipse of the Moon
observed. The Crew refuse to drink Sugar-cane Beer. Cordage
deficient in Strength. Commendation of the Natives of Owhyhee.The Resolution gets to Windward of the Island. Her Progress down
the South-East Coast. Views of the Country, and Visits from the
Natives. The Discovery joins. Slow Progress Westward.
Karakakooa Bay examined by Mr Bligh. Vast Concourse of the
Natives. The Ships anchor in the Bay, 402
CHAP. V. Captain King's Journal of the Transactions on Returning to the
Sandwich Islands, 421
SECT.
I. Description of Karakakooa Bay. Vast Concourse of the Natives.
Power of the Chiefs over the Inferior People. Visit from Koah, a
Priest and Warrior. The Morai at Kakooa described. Ceremonies at
the Landing of Captain Cook. Observatories erected. Powerful
Operation of the Taboo. Method of Salting Pork in Tropical
Climates. Society of Priests discovered. Their Hospitality and
Munificence. Reception of Captain Cook. Artifice of Koah. Arrival of
Terreeoboo, King of the Island. Returned by Captain Cook, 421
II. Farther Account of Transactions with the Natives. Their
[pg xv] Hospitality. Propensity to Theft. Description of a Boxing Match.
Death of one of our Seamen. Behaviour of the Priests at his
Funeral. The Wood Work and Images on the Morai purchased. The
Natives inquisitive about our Departure. Their Opinion about the
Design of our Voyage. Magnificent Presents of Terreeoboo to
Captain Cook. The Ships leave the Island. The Resolution
damaged in a Gale, and obliged to return, 434
III. Suspicious Behaviour of the Natives, on our Return to
Karakakooa Bay. Theft on Board the Discovery, and its
Consequences. The Pinnace attacked, and the Crew obliged to quit
her. Captain Cook's Observations on the Occasion. Attempt at the
Observatory. The Cutter of the Discovery stolen. Measures taken by
Captain Cook for its Recovery. Goes on Shore to invite the King on
Board. The King being stopped by his Wife and the Chiefs, a
Contest arises. News arrives of one of the Chiefs being killed by
one of our People. Ferment on this Occasion. One of the Chiefs
threatens Captain Cook, and is shot by him. General Attack by the
Natives. Death of Captain Cook. Account of the Captain's Services,
and a Sketch of his Character, 446
IV. Transactions at Owhyhee subsequent to the Death of Captain
Cook. Gallant Behaviour of the Lieutenant of Marines. Dangerous
Situation of the Party at the Morai. Bravery of one of the Natives.
Consultation respecting future Measures. Demand of the Body of
Captain Cook. Evasive and insidious Conduct of Koah and the
Chiefs. Insolent Behaviour of the Natives. Promotion of Officers.
Arrival of two Priests with Part of the Body. Extraordinary Behaviour
of two Boys. Burning of the Village of Kakooa. Unfortunate
Destruction of the Dwellings of the Priests. Recovery of the Bones
of Captain Cook. Departure from Karakakooa Bay, 460
[pg xvi] V. Departure from Karakakooa in Search of a Harbour on the South-
East Side of Mowee. Driven to Leeward by the Easterly Winds and
Current. Pass the Island of Tahoorowha. Description of the South-
West Side of Mowee. Run along the Coasts of Ranai and Morotoi toWoahoo. Description of the North-East Coast of Woahoo.
Unsuccessful Attempt to Water. Passage to Atooi. Anchor in Wymoa
Bay. Dangerous Situation of the Watering Party on Shore. Civil
Dissensions in the Islands. Visit from the contending Chiefs. Anchor
off Oneeheow. Final Departure from the Sandwich Islands, 492
[pg 1]
A
GENERAL HISTORY,
AND
COLLECTION
OF
VOYAGES AND TRAVELS.
PART III. BOOK III.
(CONTINUED.)
CHAPTER III.
TRANSACTIONS AT OTAHEITE, AND THE
SOCIETY ISLANDS; AND PROSECUTION OF
THE VOYAGE TO THE COAST OF NORTH
AMERICA.
SECTION I.
An Eclipse of the Moon observed.—The Island Toobouai
discovered.—Its Situation, Extent, and Appearance.—Intercourse
with its Inhabitants.—Their Persons, Dresses, and Canoes
described.—Arrival at Oheitepeha Bay, at Otaheite.—Omai's
Reception and imprudent Conduct.—Account of Spanish Ships
twice visiting the Island.—Interview with the Chief of this District.—
The Olla, or God, of Bolabola.—A mad Prophet.—Arrival in Matavai
Bay.
1Having, as before related, taken our final leave of the Friendly Islands, I now
resume my narrative of the voyage. In the evening of the 17th of July, at eight[pg 2] o'clock, the body of Eaoo bore N.E. by N., distant three or four leagues. The
wind was now at E., and blew a fresh gale. With it I stood to the S., till half an
hour past six o'clock the next morning, when a sudden squall, from the same
direction, took our ship aback; and, before the sails could be trimmed on the
other tack, the main-sail and the top-gallant sails were much torn.
The wind kept between the S.W. and S.E., on the 19th and 20th, afterward, it
veered to the E., N.E., and N. The night between the 20th and 21st, an eclipse
of the moon was observed as follows, being then in the latitude of 22° 57-1/2'
S.:
Apparent time, A.M.
H.M.S.
Beginning, by Mr King, at 0 32 50}
Mr Bligh, at 0 33 25} Mean long. 186° 57-1/2'.
Myself, at 0 33 35}
End, by Mr King at 1 44 56} Mean long. 186° 28-1/2'.
Mr Bligh at 1 44 6} Time keep. 186° 58-1/2'.
Myself, at 1 44 56}
h mThe latitude and longitude are those of the ship, at 8 56 a.m., being the time
when the sun's altitude was taken for finding the apparent time. At the
beginning of the eclipse, the moon was in the zenith, so that it was found most
convenient to make use of the sextants, and to make the observations by the
reflected image, which was brought down to a convenient altitude. The same
was done at the end, except by Mr King, who observed with a night telescope.
Although the greatest difference between our several observations is no more
than fifty seconds, it, nevertheless, appeared to me that two observers might
differ more than double that time, in both the beginning and end. And, though
the times are noted to seconds, no such accuracy was pretended to. The odd
seconds set down above, arose by reducing the time, as given by the watch, to
apparent time.
I continued to stretch to the E.S.E., with the wind at N.E. and N., without
meeting with any thing worthy of note, till seven o'clock in the evening of the
29th, when we had a sudden and very heavy squall of wind from the N. At this
time we were under single reefed topsails, courses, and stay-sails. Two of the
[pg 3] latter were blown to pieces, and it was with difficulty that we saved the other
sails. After this squall, we observed several lights moving about on board the
Discovery, by which we concluded, that something had given way; and, the
next morning, we saw that her main-top-mast had been lost. Both wind and
weather continued very unsettled till noon, this day, when the latter cleared up,
and the former settled in the N.W. quarter. At this time, we were in the latitude of
28° 6' S., and our longitude was 198° 23' E. Here we saw some pintado birds,
being the first since we left the land.
On the 31st, at noon, Captain Clerke made a signal to speak with me. By the
return of the boat which I sent on board his ship, he informed me, that the head
of the main-mast had been just discovered to be sprung, in such a manner as to
render the rigging of another top-mast very dangerous; and that, therefore, he
must rig something lighter in its place. He also informed me, that he had lost his
main-top-gallant-yard, and that he neither had another, nor a spar to make one,
on board. The Resolution's sprit-sail top-sail yard which I sent him, supplied
this want. The next day, he got up a jury top-mast, on which he set a mizen-top-
sail, and this enabled him to keep way with the Resolution.The wind was fixed in the western board, that is, from the N., round by the W. to
S., and I steered E.N.E. and N.E., without meeting with anything remarkable, till
eleven o'clock in the morning of the 8th of August, when land was seen,
bearing N.N.E., nine or ten leagues distant. At first, it appeared in detached
hills, like so many separate islands; but, as we drew nearer, we found that they
were all connected, and belonged to one and the same island. I steered directly
for it, with a fine gale at S.E. by S.; and at half-past six o'clock in the afternoon, it
extended from N. by E., to N.N.E. 3/4 E., distant three or four leagues.
The night was spent standing off and on; and at day-break the next morning, I
steered for the N.W., or lee-side of the island; and as we stood round its S. or
S.W. part, we saw it every where guarded by a reef of coral rock, extending, in
some places, a full mile from the land, and a high surf breaking upon it. Some
thought that they saw land to the southward of this island; but, as that was to the
windward, it was left undetermined. As we drew near, we saw people on
[pg 4] different parts of the coast, walking, or running along the shore, and in a little
time after we had reached the lee-side of the island, we saw them launch two
canoes, into which above a dozen men got, and paddled toward us.
I now shortened sail, as well to give these canoes time to come up with us, as
to sound for anchorage. At the distance of about half a mile from the reef, we
found from forty to thirty-five fathoms water, over a bottom of fine sand. Nearer
in, the bottom was strewed with coral rocks. The canoes having advanced to
about the distance of a pistol-shot from the ship, there stopped. Omai was
employed, as he usually had been on such occasions, to use all his eloquence
to prevail upon the men in them to come nearer; but no entreaties could induce
them to trust themselves within our reach. They kept eagerly pointing to the
shore with their paddles, and calling to us to go thither; and several of their
countrymen who stood upon the beach held up something white, which we
considered also as an invitation to land. We could very well have done this, as
there was good anchorage without the reef, and a break or opening in it, from
whence the canoes had come out, which had no surf upon it, and where, if
there was not water for the ships, there was more than sufficient for the boats.
But I did not think proper to risk losing the advantage of a fair wind, for the sake
of examining an island that appeared to be of little consequence. We stood in
no need of refreshments, if I had been sure of meeting with them there; and
having already been so unexpectedly delayed in my progress to the Society
Islands, I was desirous of avoiding every possibility of farther retardment. For
this reason, after making several unsuccessful attempts to induce these people
to come alongside, I made sail to the N., and left them, but not without getting
from them, during their vicinity to our ship, the name of their island, which they
called Toobouai.
It is situated in the latitude of 23° 25' S., and in 210 37' E. longitude. Its greatest
extent, in any direction, exclusive of the reef, is not above five or six miles. On
the N.W. side, the reef appears in detached pieces, between which the sea
seems to break upon the shore. Small as the island is, there are hills in it of a
considerable elevation. At the foot of the hills, is a narrow border of flat land,
[pg 5] running quite round it, edged with a white sand beach. The hills are covered
with grass, or some other herbage, except a few steep rocky cliffs at one part,
with patches of trees interspersed to their summits. But the plantations are more
numerous in some of the vallies, and the flat border is quite covered with high,
strong trees, whose different kinds we could not discern, except some cocoa-
palms, and a few of the etoa. According to the information of the men in the
canoes, their island is stocked with hogs and fowls, and produces the several
fruits and roots that are found at the other islands in this part of the Pacific