A VOYAGE TOWARDS THE SOUTH POLE, AND ROUND THE WORLD; PERFORMED IN HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS THE RESOLUTION AND ADVENTURE, IN THE YEARS 1772, 3, 4, AND 5. WRITTEN BY JAMES COOK, COMMANDER OF THE RESOLUTION. IN WHICH IS INCLUDED CAPTAIN FURNEAUX'S NARRATIVE OF HIS PROCEEDINGS IN THE ADVENTURE DURING THE SEPARATION OF THE SHIPS. IN TWO VOLUMES. ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS AND CHARTS, AND A VARIETY OF PORTRAITS OF PERSONS AND VIEWS AND PLACES, DRAWN DURING THE VOYAGE BY MR. HODGES, AND ENGRAVED BY THE MOST EMINENT MASTERS.
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LONDON: PRINTED FOR W STRAHAN AND T CADELL IN THE STRAND. MDCCLXXVII (1777)
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CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
BOOK III. From Ulietea to New Zealand.
CHAPTER I. Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Isles, with a Description of several Islands that were discovered, and the Incidents which happened in that Track.
CHAPTER II. Reception at Anamocka; a Robbery and its Consequences, with a Variety of other Incidents. Departure from the Island. A sailing Canoe described. Some Observations on the Navigation of these Islanders. A Description of the Island, and of those in the Neighbourhood, with some Account of the Inhabitants, and nautical Remarks.
CHAPTER III. The Passage from the Friendly Isles to the New Hebrides, with an Account of the Discovery of Turtle Island, and a Variety of Incidents which happened, both before and after the Ship arrived in Port Sandwich, in the Island of Mallicollo. A Description of the Port, the adjacent Country, its Inhabitants, and many other Particulars.
CHAPTER IV. An Account of the Discovery of several Islands, and an Interview and Skirmish with the Inhabitants upon one of them. The Arrival of the Ship at Tanna, and the Reception we met with there.
CHAPTER V. An Intercourse established with the Natives; some Account of the Island, and a Variety of Incidents that happened during our Stay at it.
CHAPTER VI. Departure from Tanna; with some Account of its Inhabitants, their Manners and Arts.
CHAPTER VII. The survey of the Islands continued, and a more particular Description of them.
CHAPTER VIII. An Account of the Discovery of New Caledonia, and the Incidents that happened while the Ship lay in Balade.
CHAPTER IX. A Description of the Country and its Inhabitants; their Manners, Customs, and Arts.
CHAPTER X. Proceedings on the Coast of New Caledonia, with Geographical and Nautical Observations.
CHAPTER XI. Sequel of the Passage from New Caledonia to New Zealand, with an Account of the Discovery of Norfolk Island; and the Incidents that happened while the Ship lay in Queen Charlotte's Sound.
BOOK IV. From leaving New Zealand to our Return to England.
CHAPTER I. The Run from New Zealand to Terra del Fuego, with the Range from Cape Deseada to Christmas Sound, and Description of that Part of the Coast.
CHAPTER II. Transactions in Christmas Sound, with an Account of the Country and its Inhabitants.
CHAPTER III. Range from Christmas Sound, round Cape Horn, through Strait Le Maire, and round Staten Land; with an Account of the Discovery of a Harbour in that Island, and a Description of the Coasts,
CHAPTER IV. Observations, geographical and nautical, with an Account of the Islands near Staten Land, and the Animals found in them,
CHAPTER V. Proceedings after leaving Staten Island, with an Account of the Discovery of the Isle of Georgia, and a Description of it,
CHAPTER VI. Proceedings after leaving the Isle of Georgia, with an Account of the Discovery of Sandwich Land; with some Reasons for there being Land about the South Pole,
CHAPTER VII. Heads of what has been done in the Voyage; with some Conjectures concerning the Formation of Ice-Islands; and an Account of our Proceedings till our Arrival at the Cape of Good Hope,
CHAPTER VIII. Captain Furneaux's Narrative of his Proceedings, in the Adventure, from the Time he was separated from the Resolution, to his Arrival in England; including Lieutenant Burney's Report concerning the Boat's Crew who were murdered by the Inhabitants of Queen Charlotte's Sound,
CHAPTER IX. Transactions at the Cape of Good Hope; with an Account of some Discoveries made by the French; and the Arrival of the Ship at St Helena,
CHAPTER X. Passage from St Helena to the Western Islands, with a Description of the Island of Ascension and Fernando Noronha,
CHAPTER XI. Arrival of the Ship at the Island of Fayal, a Description of the Place, and the Return of the Resolution to England.
Tables of the route of the Resolution and the Adventure, the variation of the compass and meteorological observations during the voyage.
A Vocabulary of the Language of the Society Isles.
A table, exhibiting at one view, specimens of different languages spoken in the South Sea, from Easter Island, westward to New Caledonia, as observed in the voyage.
Letter from John Ibbetson Esq., secretary to the Commissioners of Longitude, to Sir John Pringle, Baronet, P.R.S.
A discourse upon some late improvementsof the means for preserving the health of mariners, delivered at the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society, Nov. 30, 1776. By Sir John Pringle, Bart. President.
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A VOYAGE TOWARDS THE SOUTH POLE, AND ROUND THE WORLD.
FROM ULIETEA TO NEW ZEALAND.
Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Isles, with a Description of several Islands that were discovered, and the Incidents which happened in that Track.
On the 6th, being the day after leaving Ulietea, at eleven o'clock a.m., we saw land bearing N.W., which, upon a nearer approach, we found to be a low reef island about four leagues in compass, and of a circular form. It is composed of several small patches connected together by breakers, the largest lying on the N.E. part. This is Howe Island, discovered by Captain Wallis, who, I think, sent his boat to examine it; and, if I have not been misinformed, found a channel through, within the reef, near the N.W. part. The inhabitants of Ulietea speak of an uninhabited island about this situation, called by them Mopeha, to which they go at certain seasons for turtle. Perhaps, this may be the same; as we saw no signs of inhabitants upon it. Its latitude is 16 deg. 46' S. longitude 154 deg. 8' W.
From this day to the 16th, we met nothing remarkable, and our course was west southerly; the winds variable from north round by the east to S.W., attended with cloudy, rainy, unsettled weather, and a southerly swell. We generally brought-to, or stood upon a wind during night; and in the day made all the sail we could. About half an hour after sun-rise this morning, land was seen from the top-mast head, bearing N.N.E. We immediately altered the course, and steering for it, found it to be another reef island, composed of five or six woody islets, connected together by sand-banks and breakers inclosing a lake, into which we could see no entrance. We ranged the west and N.W. coasts, from its southern to its northern-extremity, which is about two leagues, and so near the shore, that at one time we could see the rocks under us; yet we found no anchorage, nor saw we any signs of inhabitants. There were plenty of various kinds of birds, and the coast seemed to abound with fish. The situation of this isle is not very distant from that assigned by Mr Dalrymple for La Sagitaria, discovered by Quiros; but, by the description the discoverer has given of it, it cannot be the same. For this reason, I looked upon it as a new discovery, and named it Palmerston Island, in honour of Lord Palmerston, one of the lords of the Admiralty. It is situated in latitude 18 deg. 4' S. longitude 163 deg. 10' W.
At four o'clock in the afternoon, we left this isle, and resumed our course to the W. by S. with a fine steady gale easterly, till noon on the 20th, at which time, being in latitude 18 deg. 50', longitude 168 deg. 52, we thought we saw land to S.S.W. and hauled up for it accordingly. But two hours after, we discovered our mistake, and resumed our course W. by S. Soon after, we saw land from the mast-head in the same direction; and, as we drew nearer, found it to be an island, which, at five o'clock, bore west, distant five leagues. Here we spent the night plying under the topsails; and at day-break next morning, bore away, steering to the northern point, and ranging the west coast at the distance of one mile, till near noon. Then perceiving some people on the shore, and landing seeming to be easy, we brought-to, and hoisted out two boats, with which I put off to the land, accompanied by some of the officers and gentlemen. As we drew near the shore, some of the inhabitants, who were on the rocks, retired to the woods, to meet us, as we supposed; and we afterwards found our conjectures right. We landed with ease in a small creek, and took post on a high rock to prevent a surprise. Here we displayed our colours, and Mr Forster and his party began to collect plants, etc. The coast was so over-run with woods, bushes, plants, stones, etc. that we could not see forty yards round us. I took two men, and with them entered a kind of chasm, which opened a way into the woods. We had not gone far before we heard the natives approaching; upon which I called to Mr Forster to retire to the party, as I did likewise. We had no sooner joined than the islanders appeared at the entrance of a chasm not a stone's throw from us. We began to speak, and make all the friendly signs we could think of, to them, which they answered by menaces; and one of two men, who were advanced before the rest, threw a stone, which struck Mr Sparrman on the arm. Upon this two muskets were fired, without order, which made them all retire under cover of the woods; and we saw them no more.
After waiting for some little time, and till we were satisfied nothing was to be done here, the country being so overrun with bushes, that it was hardly possible to come to parley with them, we embarked and proceeded down along shore, in hopes of meeting with better success in another place. After ranging the coast for some miles, without seeing a living soul, or any convenient landing-place, we at length came before a small beach, on which lay four canoes. Here we landed by means of a little creek, formed by the flat rocks before it, with a view of just looking at the canoes, and to leave some medals, nails, etc. in them; for not a soul was to be seen. The situation of this place was to us worse than the former. A flat rock lay next the sea; behind it a narrow stone beach; this was bounded by a perpendicular rocky cliff of unequal height, whose top was covered with shrubs; two deep and narrow chasms in the cliff seemed to open a communication into the country. In or before one of these lay the four canoes which we were going to look at; but in the doing of this, I saw we should be exposed to an attack from the natives, if there were any, without being in a situation proper for defence. To prevent this, as much as could be, and to secure a retreat in case of an attack, I ordered the men to be drawn up upon the rock, from whence they had a view of the heights; and only myself, and four of the gentlemen, went up to the canoes. We had been there but a few minutes, before the natives, I cannot say how many, rushed down the chasm out of the wood upon us. The endeavours we used to bring them to a parley, were to no purpose; for they came with the ferocity of wild boars, and threw their darts. Two or three muskets, discharged in the air did not hinder one of them from advancing still farther, and throwing another dart, or rather a spear, which passed close over my shoulder. His courage would have cost him his life, had not my musket missed fire; for I was not five paces from him when he threw his spear, and had resolved to shoot him to save myself. I was glad afterwards that it happened as it did. At this instant, our men on the rock began to fire at others who appeared on the heights, which abated the ardour of the party we were engaged with, and gave us time to join our people, when I caused the firing to cease. The last discharge sent all the islanders to the woods, from whence they did not return so long as we remained. We did not know that any were hurt. It was remarkable, that when I joined our party, I tried my musket in the air, and it went off as well as a piece could do. Seeing no good was to be got with these people, or at the isle, as having no port, we returned on board, and having hoisted in the boats, made sail to the W.S.W. I had forgot to mention in its proper order, that having put ashore a little before we came to this last place, three or four of us went upon the cliffs, where we found the country, as before, nothing but coral rocks, all over-run with bushes, so that it was hardly possible to penetrate into it; and we embarked again with intent to return directly on board, till we saw the canoes; being directed to the place by the opinion of some of us, who thought they heard some people.
The conduct and aspect of these islanders occasioned my naming it Savage Island. It is situated in the latitude 19 deg. 1' S. longitude 169 deg. 37' W. It is about eleven leagues in circuit; of a round form, and good height; and hath deep waters close to its shores. All the sea-coast, and as far inland as we could see, is wholly covered with trees, shrubs, etc.; amongst which were some cocoa-nut trees; but what the interior parts may produce we know not. To judge of the whole garment by the skirts, it cannot produce much; for so much as we saw of it consisted wholly of coral rocks, all over-run with woods and bushes. Not a bit of soil was to be seen; the rocks alone supplying the trees with humidity. If these coral rocks were first formed in the sea by animals, how came they thrown up to such an height? Has this island been raised by an earthquake? Or has the sea receded from it? Some philosophers have attempted to account for the formation of low isles, such as are in the sea; but I do not know that any thing has been said of high islands, or such as I have been speaking of. In this island, not only the loose rocks which cover the surface, but the cliffs which bound the shores, are of coral stone, which the continual beating of the sea has formed into a variety of curious caverns, some of them very large: The roof or rock over them being supported by pillars, which the foaming waves have formed into a multitude of shapes, and made more curious than the caverns themselves. In one we saw light was admitted through a hole at the top; in another place, we observed that the whole roof of one of these caverns had sunk in, and formed a kind of valley above, which lay considerably below the circumjacent rocks.
I can say but little of the inhabitants, who, I believe, are not numerous. They seemed to be stout well-made men, were naked except round the waists, and some of them had their faces, breasts, and thighs painted black. The canoes were precisely like those of Amsterdam; with the addition of a little rising like a gunwale on each side of the open part; and had some carving about them, which shewed that these people are full as ingenious. Both these islanders and their canoes agree very well with the description M. de Bougainville has given of those he saw off the Isle of Navigators, which lies nearly under the same meridian.
After leaving Savage Island, we continued to steer W.S.W. with a fine easterly trade-wind, till the 24th in the evening, when, judging ourselves not far from Rotterdam, we brought-to, and spent the night plying under the top-sails. At daybreak next morning, we bore away west; and soon after, saw a string of islands extending from S.S.W. by the west to N.N.W. The wind being at N.E., we hauled to N.W., with a view of discovering more distinctly the isles in that quarter; but, presently after, we discovered a reef of rocks a-head, extending on each bow farther than we could see. As we could not weather them, it became necessary to tack and bear up to the south, to look for a passage that way. At noon the southernmost island bore S.W., distant four miles. North of this isle were three others, all connected by breakers, which we were not sure did not join to those we had seen in the morning, as some were observed in the intermediate space. Some islands were also seen to the west of those four; but Rotterdam was not yet in sight. Latitude 20 deg. 23' S. longitude 174 deg. 6' W. During the whole afternoon, we had little wind; so that at sunset, the southernmost isle bore W.N.W., distant five miles; and some breakers, we had seen to the south, bore now S.S.W. 1/2 W. Soon after it fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of a great easterly swell; which, however, happened to have no great effect upon the ship. The calm continued till four o'clock the next morning, when it was succeeded by a breeze from the south. At day-light, perceiving a likelihood of a passage between the islands to the north and the breakers to the south, we stretched in west, and soon after saw more islands, both to the S.W. and N.W., but the passage seemed open and clear. Upon drawing near the islands, we sounded, and found forty-five and forty fathoms, a clear sandy bottom. I was now quite easy, since it was in our power to anchor, in case of a calm; or to spend the night, if we found no passage. Towards noon some canoes came off to us from one of the isles, having two or three people in each; who advanced boldly alongside, and exchanged some cocoa-nuts, and shaddocks, for small nails. They pointed out to us Anamocka, or Rotterdam; an advantage we derived from knowing the proper names. They likewise gave us the names of some of the other isles, and invited us much to go to theirs, which they called Cornango. The breeze freshening, we left them astern, and steered for Anamocka; meeting with a clear passage, in which we found unequal sounding, from forty to nine fathoms, depending, I believe, in a great measure, on our distance from the islands which form it.
As we drew near the south end of Rotterdam, or Anamocka, we were met by a number of canoes, laden with fruit and roots; but as I did not shorten sail, we had but little traffic with them. The people in one canoe enquired for me by name; a proof that these people have an intercourse with those of Amsterdam. They importuned us much to go towards their coast, letting us know, as we understood them, that we might anchor there. This was on the S.W. side of the island, where the coast seemed to be sheltered from the S. and S.E. winds; but as the day was far spent, I could not attempt to go in there, as it would have been necessary to have sent first a boat to examine it. I therefore stood for the north side of the island, where we anchored about three-fourths of a mile from shore; the extremes of it bearing south, 88 deg. E. to S.W.; a cove with a sandy beach at the bottom of it S. 50 deg. E.
Reception at Anamocka; a Robbery and its Consequences, with a Variety of other Incidents. Departure from the Island. A sailing Canoe described. Some Observations on the Navigation of these Islanders. A Description of the Island, and of those in the Neighbourhood, with some Account of the Inhabitants, and nautical Remarks.
Before we had well got to an anchor, the natives came off from all parts in canoes, bringing with them yams and shaddocks, which they exchanged for small nails and old rags. One man taking a vast liking to our lead and line, got hold of it, and, in spite of all the threats I could make use of, cut the line with a stone; but a discharge of small shot made him return it. Early in the morning, I went ashore with Mr Gilbert to look for fresh water. We landed in the cove above-mentioned, and were received with great courtesy by the natives. After I had distributed some presents amongst them, I asked for water, and was conducted to a pond of it that was brackish, about three-fourths of a mile from the landing-place, which I supposed to be the same that Tasman watered at. In the mean time, the people in the boat had laden her with fruit and roots, which the natives had brought down, and exchanged for nails and beads. On our return to the ship, I found the same sort of traffic carrying on there. After breakfast, I went ashore with two boats to trade with the people, accompanied by several of the gentlemen, and ordered the launch to follow with casks to be filled with water. The natives assisted us to roll them to and from the pond; and a nail or a bead was the expence of their labour. Fruits and roots, especially shaddocks and yams, were brought down in such plenty, that the two boats were laden, sent off, cleared, and laden a second time, before noon; by which time also the launch had got a full supply of water, and the botanical and shooting parties had all come in, except the surgeon, for whom we could not wait, as the tide was ebbing fast out of the cove; consequently he was left behind. As there is no getting into the cove with a boat, from between half-ebb to half-flood, we could get off no water in the afternoon. However, there is a very good landing-place, without it, near the southern point, where boats can get ashore at all times of the tide. Here some of the officers landed after dinner, where they found the surgeon, who had been robbed of his gun. Having come down to the shore some time after the boats had put off, he got a canoe to bring him on board; but, as he was getting into her, a fellow snatched hold of the gun, and ran off with it. After that no one would carry him to the ship, and they would have stripped him, as he imagined, had he not presented a tooth-pick case, which they, no doubt, thought was a little gun. As soon as I heard of this, I landed at the place above-mentioned, and the few natives who were there fled at my approach. After landing I went in search of the officers, whom I found in the cove, where we had been in the morning, with a good many of the natives about them. No step had been taken to recover the gun, nor did I think proper to take any; but in this I was wrong. The easy manner of obtaining this gun, which they now, no doubt, thought secure in their possession, encouraged them to proceed in these tricks, as will soon appear. The alarm the natives had caught being soon over, they carried fruit, etc. to the boats, which got pretty well laden before night, when we all returned on board.
Early in the morning of the 28th, Lieutenant Clerke, with the master and fourteen or fifteen men, went on shore in the launch for water. I did intend to have followed in another boat myself, but rather unluckily deferred it till after breakfast. The launch was no sooner landed than the natives gathered about her, behaving in so rude a manner, that the officers were in some doubt if they should land their casks; but, as they expected me on shore soon, they ventured, and with difficulty got them filled, and into the boat again. In the doing of this Mr Clerke's gun was snatched from him, and carried off; as were also some of the cooper's tools; and several of the people were stripped of one thing or another. All this was done, as it were, by stealth; for they laid hold of nothing by main force. I landed just as the launch was ready to put off; and the natives, who were pretty numerous on the beach, as soon as they saw me, fled; so that I suspected something had happened. However, I prevailed on many to stay, and Mr Clerke came, and informed me of all the preceding circumstances. I quickly came to a resolution to oblige them to make restitution; and, for this purpose, ordered all the marines to be armed and sent on shore. Mr Forster and his party being gone into the country, I ordered two or three guns to be fired from the ship, in order to alarm him; not knowing how the natives might act on this occasion. These orders being given, I sent all the boats off but one, with which I staid, having a good many of the natives about me, who behaved with their usual courtesy. I made them so sensible of my intention, that long before the marines came, Mr Clerke's musket was brought; but they used many excuses to divert me from insisting on the other. At length Mr Edgcumbe arriving with the marines, this alarmed them so much, that some fled. The first step I took was to seize on two large double sailing canoes, which were in the cove. One fellow making resistance, I fired some small shot at him, and sent him limping off. The natives being now convinced that I was in earnest, all fled; but on my calling to them, many returned; and, presently after, the other musket was brought, and laid down at my feet. That moment, I ordered the canoes to be restored, to shew them on what account they were detained. The other things we had lost being of less value, I was the more indifferent about them. By this time the launch was ashore for another turn of water, and we were permitted to fill the casks without any one daring to come near us; except one man, who had befriended us during the whole affair, and seemed to disapprove of the conduct of his countrymen.
On my returning from the pond to the cove, I found a good many people collected together, from whom we understood that the man I had fired at was dead. This story I treated as improbable, and addressed a man, who seemed of some consequence, for the restitution of a cooper's adze we had lost in the morning. He immediately sent away two men, as I thought, for it; but I soon found that we had greatly mistaken each other; for instead of the adze, they brought the wounded man, stretched out on a board, and laid him down by me, to all appearance dead. I was much moved at the sight; but soon saw my mistake, and that he was only wounded in the hand and thigh. I, therefore, desired he might be carried out of the sun, and sent for the surgeon to dress his wounds. In the mean time, I addressed several people for the adze; for as I had now nothing else to do, I determined to have it. The one I applied the most to, was an elderly woman, who had always a great deal to say to me, from my first landing; but, on this occasion, she gave her tongue full scope. I understood but little of her eloquence; and all I could gather from her arguments was, that it was mean in me to insist on the return of so trifling a thing. But when she found I was determined, she and three or four more women went away; and soon after the adze was brought me, but I saw her no more. This I was sorry for, as I wanted to make her a present, in return for the part she had taken in all our transactions, private as well as public. For I was no sooner returned from the pond, the first time I landed, than this old lady presented to me a girl, giving me to understand she was at my service. Miss, who probably had received her instructions, wanted, as a preliminary article, a spike-nail or a shirt, neither of which I had to give her, and soon made them sensible of my poverty. I thought, by that means, to have come off with flying colours; but I was mistaken; for they gave me to understand I might retire with her on credit. On my declining this proposal, the old lady began to argue with me; and then abuse me. Though I comprehended little of what she said, her actions were expressive enough, and shewed that her words were to this effect, sneering in my face, saying, What sort of a man are you, thus to refuse the embraces of so fine a young woman? For the girl certainly did not want beauty; which, however, I could better withstand, than the abuses of this worthy matron, and therefore hastened into the boat. They wanted me to take the young lady aboard; but this could not be done, as I had given strict orders, before I went ashore, to suffer no woman, on any pretence whatever, to come into the ship, for reasons which I shall mention in another place.
As soon as the surgeon got ashore, he dressed the man's wounds, and bled him; and was of opinion that he was in no sort of danger, as the shot had done little more than penetrate the skin. In the operation, some poultice being wanting, the surgeon asked for ripe plantains; but they brought sugar-cane, and having chewed it to a pulp, gave it him to apply to the wound. This being of a more balsamic nature than the other; proves that these people have some knowledge of simples. As soon as the man's wounds were dressed, I made him a present, which his master, or at least the man who owned the canoe, took, most probably to himself. Matters being thus settled apparently to the satisfaction of all parties, we repaired on board to dinner, where I found a good supply of fruit and roots, and, therefore, gave orders to get every thing in readiness to sail.
I now was informed of a circumstance which was observed on board; several canoes being at the ship, when the great guns were fired in the morning, they all retired, but one man, who was bailing the water out of his canoe, which lay alongside directly under the guns. When the first was fired, he just looked up, and then, quite unconcerned, continued his work. Nor had the second gun any other effect upon him. He did not stir till the water was all out of his canoe, when he paddled leisurely off. This man had, several times, been observed to take fruit and roots out of other canoes, and sell them to us. If the owners did not willingly part with them, he took them by force; by which he obtained the appellation of custom-house officer. One time, after he had been collecting tribute, he happened to be lying alongside of a sailing canoe which was on board. One of her people seeing him look another way, and his attention otherwise engaged, took the opportunity of stealing somewhat out of his canoe; they then put off, and set their sail. But the man, perceiving the trick they had played him, darted after them, and having soon got on board their canoe, beat him who had taken his things, and not only brought back his own, but many other articles which he took from them. This man had likewise been observed making collections on shore at the trading-place. I remembered to have seen him there; and, on account of his gathering tribute, took him to be a man of consequence, and was going to make him a present; but some of their people would not let me, saying he was no Areeke (that is, chief). He had his hair always powdered with some kind of white dust.
As we had no wind to sail this afternoon, a party of us went ashore in the evening. We found the natives everywhere courteous and obliging; so that, had we made a longer stay, it is probable we should have had no more reason to complain of their conduct. While I was now on shore, I got the names of twenty islands, which lie between the N.W. and N.E., some of them in sight. Two of them, which lie most to the west, viz. Amattafoa and Oghao, are remarkable on account of their great height. In Amattafoa, which is the westernmost, we judged there was a volcano, by the continual column of smoke we saw daily ascending from the middle of it.
Both Mr Cooper and myself being on shore at noon, Mr Wales could not wind up the watch at the usual time; and, as we did not come on board till late in the afternoon, it was forgotten till it was down. This circumstance was of no consequence, as Mr Wales had had several altitudes of the sun at this place, before it went down; and also had opportunities of taking some after.
At day-break on the 29th, having got under sail with a light breeze at west, we stood to the north for the two high islands; but the wind, scanting upon us, carried us in amongst the low isles and shoals; so that, we had to ply, to clear them. This gave time for a great many canoes to get up with us. The people in them brought for traffic various articles; some roots, fruits, and fowls, but of the latter not many. They took in exchange small nails, and pieces of any kind of cloth. I believe, before they went away, they stripped the most of our people of the few clothes the ladies at Otaheite had left them; for the passion for curiosities was as great as ever. Having got clear of the low isles, we made a stretch to the south, and did but fetch a little to windward of the south end of Anamocka; so that we got little by this day's plying. Here we spent the night, making short boards over that space with which we had made ourselves acquainted the preceding day.
On the 30th at day-break, stretched out for Amattafoa, with a gentle breeze at W.S.W. Day no sooner dawned than we saw canoes coming from all parts. Their traffic was much the same as it had been the day before, or rather better; for out of one canoe I got two pigs, which were scarce articles here. At four in the afternoon, we drew near the island of Amattafoa, and passed between it and Oghao, the channel being two miles broad, safe, and without soundings. While we were in the passage, we had little wind and calms. This gave time for a large sailing double canoe, which had been following us all the day, as well as some others with paddles, to come up with us. I had now an opportunity to verify a thing I was before in doubt about, which was, whether or no some of these canoes did not, in changing tacks, only shift the sail, and so proceed with that end foremost, which before was the stern. The one we now saw wrought in this manner. The sail is latteen, extending to a latteen yard above, and to a boom at the foot; in one word, it is like a whole mizzen, supposing the whole foot to be extended to a boom. The yard is slung nearly in the middle, or upon an equipoise. When they change tacks they throw the vessel up in the wind, ease off the sheet, and bring the heel or tack-end of the yard to the other end of the boat, and the sheet in like manner; there are notches, or sockets, at each end of the vessel in which the end of the yard fixes. In short, they work just as those do at the Ladrone Islands, according to Mr Walter's description*. When they want to sail large, or before the wind, the yard is taken out of the socket and squared. It most be observed, that all their sailing vessels are not rigged to sail in the same manner. Some, and those of the largest size, are rigged, so as to tack about. These have a short but pretty stout mast, which steps on a kind of roller that is fixed to the deck near the fore-part. It is made to lean or incline very much forward; the head is forked; on the two points of which the yard rests, as on two pivots, by means of two strong cleats of wood secured to each side of the yard, at about one-third its length from the tack or heel, which, when under sail, is confined down between the two canoes, by means of two strong ropes, one to and passing through a hole at the head of each canoe; for it must be observed, that all the sailing vessels of this sort are double. The tack being thus fixed, it is plain that, in changing tacks, the vessels must be put about; the sail and boom on the one tack will be clear of the mast, and on the other it will lie against it, just as a whole mizzen. However, I am not sure if they do not sometimes unlace that part of the sail from the yard which is between the tack and mast-head, and so shift both sail and boom leeward of the mast. The drawings which Mr Hodges made of these vessels seem to favour this supposition. The outriggers and ropes used for shrowds, etc. are all stout and strong. Indeed, the sail, yard, and boom, are all together of such an enormous weight, that strength is required.
[* See Lord Anson's Voyage.]
The summit of Amattafoa was hid in the clouds the whole day, so that we were not able to determine with certainty whether there was a volcano or no; but every thing we could see concurred to make us believe there was. This island is about five leagues in circuit. Oghao is not so much; but more round and peaked. They lie in the direction of N.N.W. 1/2 W. from Anamocka, eleven or twelve leagues distant; they are both inhabited, but neither of them seemed fertile.
We were hardly through the passage before we got a fresh breeze at south. That moment all the natives made haste to be gone, and we steered to the west; all sails set. I had some thoughts of touching at Amsterdam, as it lay not much out of the way; but as the wind was now, we could not fetch it; and this was the occasion of my laying my design aside altogether.
Let us now return to Anamocka, as it is called by the natives. It is situated in the latitude of 20 deg. 15' S.; longitude 174 deg. 31' W., and was first discovered by Tasman, and by him named Rotterdam. It is of a triangular form, each side whereof is about three and a half or four miles. A salt-water lake in the middle of it occupies not a little of its surface, and in a manner cuts off the S.E. angle. Round the island, that is, from the N.W. to the S., round by the N. and E., lie scattered a number of small isles, sand-banks, and breakers. We could see no end to their extent to the N.; and it is not impossible that they reach as far S. as Amsterdam or Tongatabu. These, together with Middleburg or Eaoowee, and Pylstart, make a group, containing about three degrees of latitude and two of longitude, which I have named the Friendly Isles or Archipelago, as a firm alliance and friendship seems to subsist among their inhabitants, and their courteous behaviour to strangers entitles them to that appellation; under which we might, perhaps, extend their group much farther, even down to Boscawen and Keppell's Isles discovered by Captain Wallis, and lying nearly under the same meridian, and in the latitude of 15 deg. 53'; for, from the little account I have had of the people of these two isles they seem to have the same sort of friendly disposition we observed in our Archipelago.
The inhabitants, productions, etc. of Rotterdam, and the neighbouring isles, are the same as at Amsterdam. Hogs and fowls are, indeed, much scarcer; of the former having got but six, and not many of the latter. Yams and shaddocks were what we got the most of; other fruits were not so plenty. Not half of the isle is laid out in inclosed plantations as at Amsterdam; but the parts which are not inclosed, are not less fertile or uncultivated. There is, however, far more waste land on this isle, in proportion to its size, than upon the other; and the people seem to be much poorer; that is, in cloth, matting, ornaments, etc. which constitute a great part of the riches of the South-Sea islanders.
The people of this isle seem to be more affected with the leprosy, or some scrophulous disorder, than any I have seen elsewhere. It breaks out in the face more than any other part of the body. I have seen several whose faces were ruined by it, and their noses quite gone. In one of my excursions, happening to peep into a house where one or more of them were, one man only appeared at the door, or hole, by which I must have entered, and which he began to stop up, by drawing several parts of a cord across it. But the intolerable stench which came from his putrid face was alone sufficient to keep me out, had the entrance been ever so wide. His nose was quite gone, and his whole face in one continued ulcer; so that the very sight of him was shocking. As our people had not all got clear of a certain disease they had contracted at the Society Isles, I took all possible care to prevent its being communicated to the natives here; and I have reason to believe my endeavours succeeded.
Having mentioned a house, it may not be amiss to observe, that some here differ from those I saw at the other isles: being inclosed or walled on every side, with reeds neatly put together, but not close. The entrance is by a square hole, about two feet and a half each way. The form of these houses is an oblong square; the floor or foundation every way shorter than the eve, which is about four feet from the ground. By this construction, the rain that falls on the roof, is carried off from the wall, which otherwise would decay and rot.
We did not distinguish any king or leading chief, or any person who took upon him the appearance of supreme authority. The man and woman before mentioned, whom I believed to be man and wife, interested themselves on several occasions in our affairs; but it was easy to see they had no great authority. Amongst other things which I gave them as a reward for their service, was a young dog and bitch, animals which they have not, but are very fond of, and know very well by name. They have some of the same sort of earthen pots we saw at Amsterdam; and I am of opinion they are of their own manufacture, or that of some neighbouring isle.
The road, as I have already mentioned, is on the north side of the isle, just to the southward of the southernmost cove; for there are two on this side. The bank is of some extent, and the bottom free from rocks, with twenty-five and twenty fathoms water, one or two miles from the shore.
Fire-wood is very convenient to be got at, and easy to be shipped off; but the water is so brackish that it is not worth the trouble of carrying it on board; unless one is in great distress for want of that article, and can get no better. There is, however, better, not only on this isle, but on others in the neighbourhood; for the people brought us some in cocoa-nut shells which was as good as need be; but probably the springs are too trifling to water a ship.
I have already observed, that the S.W. side of the island is covered by a reef or reefs of rocks, and small isles. If there be a sufficient depth of water between them and the island, as there appeared to be, and a good bottom, this would be a much securer place for a ship to anchor in, than that where we had our station.
The Passage from the Friendly Isles to the New Hebrides, with an Account of the Discovery of Turtle Island, and a Variety of Incidents which happened, both before and after the Ship arrived in Port Sandwich, in the Island of Mallicollo. A Description of the Port, the adjacent Country, its Inhabitants, and many other Particulars.
On the first of July, at sun-rise, Amattafoa was still in sight, bearing N.E., distant twenty leagues. Continuing our course to the west, we, the next day at noon, discovered land bearing N.W. by W., for which we steered; and, upon a nearer approach, found it to be a small island. At four o'clock it bore from N.W. half W. to N.W. by N., and, at the same time, breakers were seen from the masthead, extending from W. to S.W. The day being too far spent to make farther discoveries, we soon after shortened sail, hauled the wind, and spent the night, making short boards, which, at day-break, we found had been so advantageous that we were farther from the island than we expected, and it was eleven o'clock before we reached the N.W. or lee-side, where anchorage and landing seemed practicable. In order to obtain a knowledge of the former, I sent the master with a boat to sound, and, in the mean time, we stood on and off with the ship. At this time four or five people were seen on the reef, which lies round the isle, and about three times that number on the shore. As the boat advanced, those on the reef retired and joined the others; and when the boat landed they all fled to the woods. It was not long before the boat returned, when the master informed me that there were no soundings without the reef, over which, in one place only, he found a boat channel of six feet water. Entering by it, he rowed in for the shore, thinking to speak with the people, not more than twenty in number, who were armed with clubs and spears; but the moment he set his foot on shore, they retired to the woods. He left on the rocks some medals, nails, and a knife, which they no doubt found, as some were seen near the place afterwards. This island is not quite a league in length, in the direction of N.E. and S.W., and not half that in breadth. It is covered with wood, and surrounded by a reef of coral rocks, which in some places extend two miles from the shore. It seems to be too small to contain many inhabitants; and probably the few whom we saw, may have come from some isle in the neighbourhood to fish for turtle; as many were seen near this reef, and occasioned that name to be given to the island, which is situated in latitude 19 deg. 48' south, longitude 178 deg. 21' west.
Seeing breakers to the S.S.W., which I was desirous of knowing the extent of before night, I left Turtle Isle, and stood for them. At two o'clock we found they were occasioned by a coral bank, of about four or five leagues in circuit. By the bearing we had taken, we knew these to be the same breakers we had seen the preceding evening. Hardly any part of this bank or reef is above water at the reflux of the waves. The heads of some of the rocks are to be seen near the edge of the reef, where it is the shoalest; for in the middle is deep water. In short, this bank wants only a few little islets to make it exactly like one of the half-drowned isles so often mentioned. It lies S.W. from Turtle Island, about five or six miles, and the channel between it and the reef of that isle is three miles over. Seeing no more shoals or islands, and thinking there might be turtle on this bank, two boats were properly equipped and sent thither; but returned without having seen one.
The boats were now hoisted in, and we made sail to the west, with a brisk gale at east, which continued till the 9th, when we had for a few hours, a breeze at N.W., attended with squalls of rain. This was succeeded by a steady fresh gale at S.E., with which we steered N.W., being at this time in the latitude of 20 deg. 20' S. longitude 176 deg. 8' E.
On the 15th at noon, being in the latitude of 15 deg. 9' south, longitude 171 deg. 16' east, I steered west. The next day the weather was foggy, and the wind blew in heavy squalls, attended with rain, which in this ocean, within the tropics, generally indicates the vicinity of some high land. This was verified at three in the afternoon, when high land was seen bearing S.W. Upon this we took in the small sails, reefed the top-sails, and hauling up for it, at half-past five we could see it extend from S.S.W. to N.N.W. half W. Soon after we tacked and spent the night, which was very stormy, in plying. Our boards were disadvantageous; for, in the morning, we found we had lost ground. This, indeed, was no wonder, for having an old suit of sails bent, the most of them were split to pieces; particularly a fore-top-sail, which was rendered quite useless. We got others to the yards, and continued to ply, being desirous of getting round the south ends of the lands, or at least so far to the south as to be able to judge of their extent in that direction. For no one doubted that this was the Australia del Espiritu Santo of Quiros, which M. de Bougainville calls the Great Cyclades, and that the coast we were now upon was the east side of Aurora Island, whose longitude is 168 deg. 30' E.
The gale kept increasing till we were reduced to our low sails; so that, on the 18th, at seven in the morning, I gave over plying, set the top-sails double-reefed, bore up for, and hauled round the north end of Aurora Island, and then stretched over for the Isle of Lepers, under close-reefed topsails and courses, with a very hard gale at N.E.; but we had now the advantage of a smooth sea, having the Isle of Aurora to windward. At noon the north end of it bore N.E. 1/2 N., distant four leagues; our latitude, found by double altitudes, and reduced to this time, was 15 deg. 1' 30" south, longitude 168 deg. 14' east. At two o'clock p.m. we drew near the middle of the Isle of Lepers, and tacked about two miles from land; in which situation we had no soundings with a line of seventy fathoms. We now saw people on the shore, and many beautiful cascades of water pouring down the neighbouring hills. The next time we stood for this isle, we came to within half a mile of it, where we found thirty fathoms a sandy bottom; but a mile off we found no soundings at seventy fathoms. Here two canoes came off to us, in one of which were three men, and in the other but one. Though we made all the signs of friendship, we could not bring them nearer than a stone's throw; and they made but a short stay before they retired ashore, where we saw a great number of people assembled in parties, and armed with bows and arrows. They were of a very dark colour; and, excepting some ornaments at their breast and arms, seemed to be entirely naked.
As I intended to get to the south, in order to explore the land which might lie there, we continued to ply between the Isle of Lepers and Aurora; and on the 19th, at noon, the south end of the last-mentioned isle bore south 24 deg. east, and the north end north, distant twenty miles. Latitude observed 15 deg. 11'. The wind continued to blow strong at S.E., so that what we got by plying in the day, we lost in the night. On the 20th, at sun-rise, we found ourselves off the south end of Aurora, on the N.W. side of which, the coast forms a small bay. In this we made some trips to try for anchorage; but found no less than eighty fathoms water, the bottom a fine dark sand, at half a mile from shore. Nevertheless, I am of opinion that, nearer, there is much less depth, and secure riding; and in the neighbourhood is plenty of fresh water and wood for fuel. The whole isle, from the sea-shore to the summits of the hills, seemed to be covered with the latter; and every valley produced a fine stream of the former. We saw people on the shore, and some canoes on the coast, but none came off to us. Leaving the bay just mentioned, we stretched across the channel which divides Aurora from Whitsuntide Island. At noon we were abreast the north end of this latter, which bore E.N.E., and observed in 15 deg. 28' 1/2. The isle of Aurora bore from N. to N.E. 1/2 east, and the Isle of Lepers from N. by W. 1/2 W. to west. Whitsuntide Isle appeared joined to the land to the S. and S.W. of it; but in stretching to S.W. we discovered the separation. This was about four o'clock p.m., and then we tacked and stretched in for the island till near sun-set, when the wind veering more to the east, made it necessary to resume our course to the south. We saw people on the shore, smokes in many parts of the island, and several places which seemed to be cultivated. About midnight, drawing near the south land, we tacked and stretched to the north, in order to spend the remainder of the night.
At day-break on the 21st, we found ourselves before the channel that divides Whitsuntide Island from the south land, which is about two leagues over. At this time, the land to the southward extended from S. by E. round to the west, farther than the eye could reach, and on the part nearest to us, which is of considerable height, we observed two very large columns of smoke, which, I judged, ascended from volcanoes. We now stood S.S.W., with a fine breeze at S.E.; and, at ten o'clock, discovered this part of the land to be an island, which is called by the natives Ambrym. Soon after an elevated land appeared open off the south end of Ambrym; and after that, another still higher, on which is a high peaked hill. We judged these lands to belong to two separate islands. The first came in sight at S.E.; the second at E. by S., and they appeared to be ten leagues distant. Holding on our course for the land ahead, at noon it was five miles distant from us, extending from S.S.E. to N.W. by W., and appeared to be continued. The islands to the east bore from N.E. by E. to S.E. by E., latitude observed 16 deg. 17' south. As we drew nearer the shore we discovered a creek, which had the appearance of being a good harbour, formed by a low point or peninsula, projecting out to the north. On this a number of people were assembled, who seemed to invite us ashore; probably with no good intent, as the most of them were armed with bows and arrows. In order to gain room and time to hoist out and arm our boats, to reconnoitre this place, we tacked and made a trip off, which occasioned the discovery of another port about a league more to the south. Having sent two armed boats to sound and look for anchorage, on their making the signal for the latter, we sailed in S.S.W., and anchored in eleven fathoms water, not two cables' length from the S.E. shore, and a mile within the entrance.
We had no sooner anchored than several of the natives came off in canoes. They were very cautious at first; but, at last, trusted themselves alongside, and exchanged, for pieces of cloth, arrows; some of which were pointed with bone, and dipped in some green gummy substance, which we naturally supposed was poisonous. Two men having ventured on board, after a short stay, I sent them away with presents. Others, probably induced by this, came off by moon-light; but I gave orders to permit none to come alongside, by which means we got clear of them for the night.
Next morning early, a good many came round us, some in canoes, and others swimming. I soon prevailed on one to come on board, which be no sooner did, than he was followed by more than I desired; so that not only our deck, but rigging, was presently filled with them. I took four into the cabin, and gave them various articles, which they shewed to those in the canoes, and seemed much pleased with their reception. While I was thus making friends with those in the cabin, an accident happened that threw all into confusion, but in the end, I believe, proved advantageous to us. A fellow in a canoe having been refused admittance into one of our boats that lay alongside, bent his bow to shoot a poisoned arrow at the boat-keeper. Some of his countrymen prevented his doing it that instant, and gave time to acquaint me with it. I ran instantly on deck, and saw another man struggling with him; one of those who had been in the cabin, and had leaped out of the window for this purpose. The other seemed resolved, shook him off, and directed his bow again to the boat-keeper; but, on my calling to him, pointed it at me. Having a musquet in my hand loaded with small shot, I gave him the contents. This staggered him for a moment, but did not prevent him from holding his bow still in the attitude of shooting. Another discharge of the same nature made him drop it, and the others, who were in the canoe, to paddle off with all speed. At this time, some began to shoot arrows on the other side. A musquet discharged in the air had no effect; but a four-pound shot over their heads sent them off in the utmost confusion. Many quitted their canoes and swam on shore; those in the great cabin leaped out of the windows; and those who were on the deck, and on different parts of the rigging, all leaped overboard. After this we took no farther notice of them, but suffered them to come off and pick up their canoes; and some of them even ventured alongside of the ship. Immediately after the great gun was fired, we heard the beating of drums on shore; which was, probably, the signal for the country to assemble in arms. We now got every thing in readiness to land, to cut some wood, which we were in want of, and to try to get some refreshments, nothing of this kind having been seen in any of the canoes.
About nine o'clock, we put off in two boats, and landed in the face of four or five hundred people, who were assembled on the shore. Though they were all armed with bows and arrows, clubs and spears, they made not the least opposition. On the contrary, seeing me advance alone, with nothing but a green branch in my hand, one of them, who seemed to be a chief, giving his bow and arrows to another, met me in the water, bearing also a green branch, which having exchanged for the one I held, he then took me by the hand, and led me up to the crowd. I immediately distributed presents to them, and, in the mean time, the marines were drawn up upon the beach. I then made signs (for we understood not a word of their language) that we wanted wood; and they made signs to us to cut down the trees. By this time, a small pig being brought down and presented to me, I gave the bearer a piece of cloth, with which he seemed well pleased. This made us hope that we should soon have some more; but we were mistaken. The pig was not brought to be exchanged for what we had, but on some other account, probably as a peace-offering. For, all we could say or do, did not prevail on them to bring down, after this, above half a dozen cocoa-nuts, and a small quantity of fresh water. They set no value on nails, or any sort of iron tools; nor indeed on any thing we had. They would, now and then, exchange an arrow for a piece of cloth; but very seldom would part with a bow. They were unwilling we should go off the beach, and very desirous we should return on board. At length, about noon, after sending what wood we had cut on board, we embarked ourselves; and they all retired, some one way and some another. Before we had dined, the afternoon was too far spent to do any thing on shore; and all hands were employed, setting up the rigging, and repairing some defects in it. But seeing a man bring along the strand a buoy, which they had taken in the night from the kedge-anchor, I went on shore for it, accompanied by some of the gentlemen. The moment we landed, it was put into the boat, by a man who walked off again without speaking one word. It ought to be observed, that this was the only thing they took, or even attempted to take from us, by any means whatever. Being landed near one of their plantations and houses, which were just within the skirts of the wood, I prevailed on the man to conduct me to them; but, though they suffered Mr Forster to go with me, they were unwilling any more should follow. These houses were something like those of the other isles; rather low, and covered with palm thatch. Some were enclosed, or walled round with boards; and the entrance to those was by a square hole at one end, which at this time was shut up, and they were unwilling to open it for us to look in. There were here about six houses, and some small plantations of roots, etc., fenced round with reeds as at the Friendly Isles. There were, likewise, some bread-fruit, cocoa-nut, and plaintain trees; but very little fruit on any of them. A good many fine yams were piled up upon sticks, or a kind of raised platform; and about twenty pigs, and a few fowls, were running about loose. After making these observations, having embarked, we proceeded to the S.E. point of the harbour, where we again landed and walked along the bench till we could see the islands to the S.E. already mentioned. The names of these we now obtained, as well as the name of that on which we were. This they called Mallicollo;* the island that first appeared over the south end of Ambrym is called Apee; and the other with the hill upon it Paoom. We found on the beach a fruit like an orange, called by them Abbimora; but whether it be fit for eating, I cannot say, as this was decayed.
[* Or Mallicolla. Some of our people pronounced it Manicolo or Manicola, and thus it is also writ in Quiros' Memorial, as printed by Dalrymple, vol. ii. p. 146.]
Proceeding next to the other side of the harbour, we there landed, near a few houses, at the invitation of some people who came down to the shore; but we had not been there five minutes before they wanted us to be gone. We complied, and proceeded up the harbour in order to sound it, and look for fresh water, of which, as yet, we had seen none, but the very little that the natives brought, which we knew not where they got. Nor was our search now attended with success; but this is no proof that there is not any. The day was too far spent to examine the place well enough to determine this point. Night having brought us on board, I was informed that no soul had been off to the ship; so soon was the curiosity of these people satisfied. As we were coming on board, we heard the sound of a drum, and, I think, of some other instruments, and saw people dancing; but us soon as they heard the noise of the oars, or saw us, all was silent.
Being unwilling to lose the benefit of the moon-light nights, which now happened, at seven a.m. on the 23d, we weighed; and, with a light air of wind, and the assistance of our boats, proceeded out of the harbour, the south end of which, at noon, bore W.S.W., distant about two miles.
When the natives saw us under sail, they came off in canoes, making exchanges with more confidence than before, and giving such extraordinary proofs of their honesty as surprised us. As the ship, at first, had fresh way through the water, several of them dropped astern after they had received our goods, and before they had time to deliver theirs in return. Instead of taking advantage of this, as our friends at the Society Isles would have done, they used their utmost efforts to get up with us, and to deliver what they had already been paid for. One man, in particular, followed us a considerable time, and did not reach us till it was calm, and the thing was forgotten. As soon as he came alongside he held up the thing which several were ready to buy; but he refused to part with it, till he saw the person to whom he had before sold it, and to him he gave it. The person, not knowing him again, offered him something in return, which he refused, and shewed him what he had given him before. Pieces of cloth, and marble paper, were in most esteem with them; but edge-tools, nails, and beads, they seemed to disregard. The greatest number of canoes we had alongside at once did not exceed eight, and not more than four or five people in each, who would frequently retire to the shore all on a sudden, before they had disposed of half their things, and then others would come off.
At the time we came out of the harbour, it was about low water, and great numbers of people were then on the shoals or reefs which lie along the shore, looking, as we supposed., for shell and other fish. Thus our being on their coast, and in one of their ports, did not hinder them from following the necessary employments. By this time they might be satisfied we meant them no harm; so that, had we made a longer stay, we might soon have been upon good terms with this ape-like nation. For, in general, they are the most ugly, ill-proportioned people I ever saw, and in every respect different from any we had met with in this sea. They are a very dark-coloured and rather diminutive race; with long heads, flat faces, and monkey countenances. Their hair mostly black or brown, is short and curly; but not quite so soft and woolly as that of a negroe. Their beards are very strong, crisp, and bushy, and generally black and short. But what most adds to their deformity, is a belt or cord which they wear round the waist, and tie so tight over the belly, that the shape of their bodies is not unlike that of an overgrown pismire. The men go quite naked, except a piece of cloth or leaf used as a wrapper*.
[* The particular manner of applying the wrapper may be seen in Wafer's voyage, who mentions this singular custom as existing, though with some little variation, amongst the Indians of the Isthmus of Darien. See Wafer's Voyage, p. 140.]
We saw but few women, and they were not less ugly than the men; their heads, faces, and shoulders, are painted red; they wear a kind of petticoat; and some of them had something over their shoulders like a bag, in which they carry their children. None of them came off to the ship, and they generally kept at a distance when we were on shore. Their ornaments are ear-rings, made of tortoise-shell and bracelets. A curious one of the latter, four or five inches broad, wrought with thread or cord, and studded with shells, is worn by them just above the elbow. Round the right wrist they wear hogs' tusks, bent circular, and rings made of shells; and round their left, a round piece of wood, which we judged was to ward off the bow-string. The bridge of the nose is pierced, in which they wear a piece of white stone, about an inch and a half long. As signs of friendship they present a green branch, and sprinkle water with the hand over the head.
Their weapons are clubs, spears, and bows and arrows. The two former are made of hard or iron-wood. Their bows are about four feet long, made of a stick split down the middle, and are not circular. The arrows, which are a sort of reeds, are sometimes armed with a long and sharp point, made of the hard wood, and sometimes with a very hard point made of bone; and these points are all covered with a substance which we took for poison. Indeed the people themselves confirmed our suspicions, by making signs to us not to touch the point, and giving us to understand that if we were prickled by them we should die. They are very careful of them themselves, and keep them, always wrapped up in a quiver. Some of these arrows are formed with two or three points, each with small prickles on the edges, to prevent the arrow being drawn out of the wound.
The people of Mallicollo seemed to be a quite different nation from any we had yet met with, and speak a different language. Of about eighty words, which Mr Forster collected, hardly one bears any affinity to the language spoken at any other island or place I had ever been at. The letter R is used in many of their words; and frequently two or three being joined together, such words we found difficult to pronounce. I observed that they could pronounce most of our words with great ease. They express their admiration by hissing like a goose.
To judge of the country by the little water we saw of it, it must be fertile; but I believe their fruits are not so good as those of the Society or Friendly Isles. Their cocoa-nut trees, I am certain, are not; and their bread-fruit and plantains did not seem much better. But their yams appeared to be very good. We saw no other animals than those I have already mentioned. They have not so much as a name for a dog, and consequently have none, for which reason we left them a dog and a bitch; and there is no doubt they will be taken care of, as they were very fond of them.
After we had got to sea, we tried what effect one of the poisoned arrows would have on a dog. Indeed we had tried it in the harbour the very first night, but we thought the operation was too slight, as it had no effect. The surgeon now made a deep incision in the dog's thigh, into which he laid a large portion of the poison, just as it was scraped from the arrows, and then bound up the wound with a bandage. For several days after we thought the dog was not so well as it had been before, but whether this was really so, or only suggested by imagination, I know not. He was afterwards as if nothing had been done to him, and lived to be brought home to England. However, I have no doubt of this stuff being of a poisonous quality, as it could answer no other purpose. The people seemed not unacquainted with the nature of poison, for when they brought us water on shore, they first tasted it, and then gave us to understand we might with safety drink it.
This harbour, which is situated on the N.E. side of Mallicollo, not far from the S.E. end, in latitude 16 deg. 25' 20" S., longitude 167 deg. 57' 23" E., I named Port Sandwich. It lies in S.W. by S. about one league, and is one-third of a league broad. A reef of rocks extends out a little way from each point, but the channel is of a good breadth, and hath in it from forty to twenty-four fathoms water. In the port, the depth of water is from twenty to four fathoms; and it is so sheltered that no winds can disturb a ship at anchor there. Another great advantage is, you can lie so near the shore, as to cover your people, who may be at work upon it.
An Account of the Discovery of several Islands, and an Interview and Skirmish with the Inhabitants upon one of them. The Arrival of the Ship at Tanna, and the Reception we met with there.
Soon after we got to sea, we had a breeze at E.S.E. with which we stood over for Ambrym till three o'clock in the afternoon, when the wind veering to the E.N.E. we tacked and stretched to the S.E. and weathered the S.E. end of Mallicolo, off which we discovered three or four small islands, that before appeared to be connected. At sun-set the point bore S. 77 deg. W., distant three leagues, from which the coast seemed to trend away west. At this time, the isle of Ambrym extended from N. 3 deg. E. to N. 65 deg. E. The isle of Paoon from N. 76 deg. E. to S. 88 deg. E.; and the isle of Apee from S. 83 deg. E. to S. 43 deg. E. We stood for this last isle, which we reached by midnight, and then brought-to till day-break on the 24th, when we made sail to the S.E., with a view of plying up to the eastward on the south side of Apee. At sun-rise we discovered several more islands, extending from the S.E. point of Apee to the south as far as S.E. by S. The nearest to us we reached by ten o'clock, and not being able to weather it, we tacked a mile from its shore in fourteen fathoms water. This island is about four leagues in circuit, is remarkable by having three high peaked hills upon it, by which it has obtained that name. In the p.m. the wind veering more to the north, we resumed our course to the east; and having weathered Threehills, stood for the group of small isles which lie off the S.E. point of Apee. These I called Shepherd's Isles, in honour of my worthy friend Dr Shepherd, Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge. Having a fine breeze, I had thoughts of going through between them; but the channels being narrow, and seeing broken water in the one we were steering for, I gave up the design, and bore up, in order to go without, or to the south of them. Before this could be accomplished, it fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of the current, close to the isles, where we could find no soundings with a line of an hundred and eighty fathoms. We had now land or islands in every direction, and were not able to count the number which lay round us. The mountain on Paoon was seen over the east end of Apee, bearing N.N.W. at eight o'clock. A breeze at S.E. relieved us from the anxiety the calm had occasioned; and we spent the night in making short boards.
The night before we came out of Port Sandwich, two reddish fish, about the size of large bream, and not unlike them, were caught with hook and line. On these fish most of the officers, and some of the petty officers, dined the next day. The night following, every one who had eaten of them was seized with violent pains in the head and bones, attended with a scorching heat all over the skin, and numbness in the joints. There remained no doubt that this was occasioned by the fish being of a poisonous nature, and having communicated its bad effects to all who partook of them, even to the hogs and dogs. One of the former died about sixteen hours after; it was not long before one of the latter shared the same fate; and it was a week or ten days before all the gentlemen recovered. These must have been the same sort of fish mentioned by Quiros,* under the name of pargos, which poisoned the crews of his ships, so that it was some time before they recovered; and we should, doubtless, have been in the same situation, had more of them been eaten.
[* Dalrymple's Collection of Voyages, vol. I. p. 140, 141.]
At day break on the 25th, we made a short stretch to the east of Shepherd's Isles till after sun-rise, when seeing no more land in that direction, we tacked and stood for the island we had seen in the south, having a gentle breeze at S.E. We passed to the east of Threehills, and likewise of a low isle, which lies on the S.E. side of it, between a remarkable peaked rock which obtained the name of Monument, and a small island named Twohills, on account of two peaked hills upon it, disjoined by a low and narrow isthmus. The channel between this island and the Monument is near a mile broad, and twenty-four fathoms deep. Except this rock, which is only accessible to birds, we did not find an island on which people were not seen. At noon, we observed, in latitude 17 deg. 18' 30"; longitude, made from Port Sandwich, 45' E. In this situation, the Monument bore N. 16 deg. E. distant two miles; Twohills bore N. 25 deg. W. distant two miles, and in a line with the S.W. part of Threehills; and the islands to the south extended from S. 16 deg. 30' E. to S. 42 deg. W.
Continuing our course to the south, at five p.m. we drew near the southern lands, which we found to consist of one large island, whose southern and western extremities extended beyond our sight, and three or four smaller ones lying off its north side. The two northernmost are much the largest, have a good height, and lie in the direction of E. by S. and W. by N. from each other, distant two leagues; I named the one Montagu and the other Hinchinbrook, and the large island Sandwich, in honour of my noble patron the Earl of Sandwich. Seeing broken water ahead, between Montagu and Hinchinbrook isles, we tacked; and soon after it fell calm. The calm continued till seven o'-clock the next morning, when it was succeeded by a breeze from the westward. During the calm, having been carried by the currents and a S.E. swell, four leagues to the W.N.W., we passed Hinchinbrook Isle, saw the western extremity of Sandwich Island, bearing S.S.W., about five leagues distant, and at the same time discovered a small island to the west of this direction. After getting the westerly breeze, I steered S.E. in order to pass between Montagu Isle and the north end of Sandwich Island. At noon we were in the middle of the channel, and observed in latitude 17 deg. 31' S. The distance from one island to the other is about four or five miles; but the channel is not much above half that breadth, being contracted by breakers. We had no soundings in it with a line of forty fathoms.
As we passed Montagu Isle several people came down to the sea-side, and, by signs, seemed to invite us ashore. Some were also seen on Sandwich Island, which exhibited a most delightful prospect, being spotted with woods and lawns, agreeably diversified over the whole surface. It hath a gentle slope from the hills, which are of a moderate height, down to the sea coast. This is low, and guarded by a chain of breakers, so that there is no approaching it at this part. But more to the west, beyond Hinchinbrook Island, there seemed to run in a bay sheltered from the reigning winds. The examining it not being so much an object, with me as the getting to the south, in order to find the southern extremity of the Archipelago, with this view I steered S.S.E., being the direction of the coast of Sandwich Island. We had but just got through the passage, before the west wind left us to variable light airs and calms; so that we were apprehensive of being carried back again by the currents, or rather of being obliged to return, in order to avoid being driven on the shoals, as there was no anchorage, a line of an hundred and sixty fathoms not reaching to the bottom. At length a breeze springing up at S.W. we stood to S.E., and at sun-set the Monument bore N. 14 deg. 30' W., and Montagu Island N. 28 deg. W. distant three leagues. We judged we saw the S.E. extremity of Sandwich Island, bearing about S. by E.
We continued to stand S.E. till four a.m. on the 27th, when we tacked to the west. At sun-rise, having discovered a new land bearing south, and making in three hills, this occasioned us to tack and stand towards it. At this time Montagu Isle bore N. 52 deg. W., distant thirteen leagues; at noon it was nearly in the same direction, and the new land extended from S. 1/2 E. to S. by W., and the three hills seemed to be connected. Our latitude by observation, was 18 deg. 1' S., and the longitude, made from Port Sandwich, 1 deg. 23' E. We continued to stand to the S.E., with a gentle breeze at S.W. and S.S.W. till the 28th at sun-rise, when, the wind veering to the south, we tacked and stood to the west. The three hills mentioned above, we now saw, belonging to one island, which extended from S. 35 deg. to 71 deg. W. distant about ten or twelve leagues.
Retarded by contrary winds, calms, and the currents, that set to N.W., we were three days in gaining this space; in which time we discovered an elevated land to the south of this; It first appeared in detached hummocks, but we judged it to be connected. At length, on the 1st of August, about ten a.m. we got a fine breeze at E.S.E., which soon after veered to N.E., and we steered for the N.W. side of the island. Reaching it about two p.m., we ranged the west coast at one mile from shore, on which the inhabitants appeared in several parts, and by signs invited us to land. We continued to sound without finding bottom, till we came before a small bay, or bending of the coast, where, near a mile from shore, we found thirty and twenty-two fathoms water, a sandy bottom. I had thoughts of anchoring here, but the wind almost instantly veered to N.W.; which being nearly on shore, I laid this design aside. Besides, I was unwilling to lose the opportunity that now offered of getting to the south-east, in order first to explore the lands which lay there. I therefore continued to range the coast to the south, at about the same distance from shore; but we soon got out of soundings. About a league to the south of this bay, which hath about two miles extent, is another more extensive. Towards the evening, the breeze began to abate, so that it was sun-set before we got the length of it. I intended not to stop here, and to stand to the south under an easy sail all night; but at eight o'clock, as we were steering S.S.E. we saw a light ahead. Not knowing but it might be on some low detached isle, dangerous to approach while dark, we hauled the wind, and spent the night standing off and on, or rather driving to and fro; for we had but very little wind.
At sun-rise on the 2d, we saw no more land than the coast we were upon; but found that the currents had carried us some miles to the north, and we attempted, to little purpose, to regain what we had lost. At noon we were about a league from the coast, which extended from S.S.E. to N.E. Latitude observed 18 deg. 45' S. In the afternoon, finding the ship to drift not only to the north, but in shore also, and being yet to the south of the bay we passed the day before, I had thoughts of getting to an anchor before night, while we had it in our power to make choice of a place. With this view, having hoisted out two boats, one of them was sent ahead to tow the ship; in the other Mr Gilbert went to sound for anchorage. Soon after, the towing boat was sent to assist him. So much time was spent in sounding this bay, that the ship drove past, which made it necessary to call the boats on board to tow her off from the northern point. But this service was performed by a breeze of wind, which, that moment, sprung up at S.W.; so that as the boats got on board, we hoisted them in, and then bore up for the north side of the island, intending once more to try to get round by the east; Mr Gilbert informed me, that at the south part of the bay, he found no soundings till close to a steep stone beach, where he landed to taste a stream of water he saw there, which proved to be salt. Some people were seen there, but they kept at a distance. Farther down the coast, that is to the north, he found twenty, twenty-four, and thirty fathoms, three-fourths of a mile, or a mile, from shore, the bottom a fine dark sand.
On the 3d, at sun-rise, we found ourselves abreast a lofty promontory on the S.E. side of the island, and about three leagues from it. Having but little wind, and that from the south, right in our teeth, and being in want of fire-wood, I sent Lieutenant Clerke with two boats to a small islet which lies off the promontory, to endeavour to get some. In the mean time we continued to ply up with the ship; but what we gained by our sails, we lost by the current. At length towards noon, we got a breeze at E.S.E., and E., with which we could lie up for the head; and soon after Mr Clerke returned, having not been able to land, on account of a high surf on the shore. They met with no people on the isle; but saw a large bat, and some birds, and caught a water-snake. At six o'clock p.m. we got in with the land, under the N.W. side of the head, where we anchored in seventeen fathoms water, the bottom a fine dark sand, half a mile from shore; the point of the head bearing N. 18 deg. E., distant half a league; the little islet before-mentioned N.E. by E. 1/2 E., and the N.W. point of the bay N. 32 deg. W. Many people appeared on the shore, and some attempted to swim off to us; but having occasion to send the boat ahead to sound, they retired as she drew near them. This, however, gave us a favourable idea of them.
On the 4th, at day-break, I went with two boats to examine the coast, to look for a proper landing-place, wood, and water. At this time, the natives began to assemble on the shore, and by signs invited us to land. I went first to a small beach, which is towards the head, where I found no good landing, on account of some rocks which every where lined the coast. I, however, put the boat's bow to the shore, and gave cloth, medals, etc. to some people who were there. For this treatment they offered to haul the boats over the breakers to the sandy beach, which I thought a friendly offer, but had reason afterwards to alter my opinion. When they found I would not do as they desired, they made signs for us to go down into the bay, which we accordingly did, and they ran along shore abreast of us, their number increasing prodigiously. I put in to the shore in two or three places, but, not liking the situation, did not land. By this time, I believe, the natives conceived what I wanted, as they directed me round a rocky point, where, on a fine sandy beach, I stepped out of the boat without wetting a foot, in the face of a vast multitude, with only a green branch in my hand, which I had before got from one of them. I took but one man out of the boat with me, and ordered the other boat to lie-to at a little distance off. They received me with great courtesy and politeness; and would retire back from the boat on my making the least motion with my hand. A man, whom I took to be a chief, seeing this, made them form a semicircle round the boat's bow, and beat such as attempted to break through this order. This man I loaded with presents, giving likewise to others, and asked by signs for fresh water, in hopes of seeing where they got it. The chief immediately sent a man for some, who ran to a house, and presently returned with a little in a bamboo; so that I gained but little information by this. I next asked, by the same means, for something to eat, and they as readily brought me a yam, and some cocoa-nuts. In short, I was charmed with their behaviour; and the only thing which could give the least suspicion was, that most of them were armed with clubs, spears, darts, and bows and arrows. For this reason I kept my eye continually upon the chief, and watched his looks as well as his actions. He made many signs to me to haul the boat up upon the shore, and at last slipped into the crowd, where I observed him speak to several people, and then return to me, repeating signs to haul the boat up, and hesitating a good deal before he would receive some spike-nails, which I then offered him. This made me suspect something was intended, and immediately I stepped into the boat, telling them by signs that I should soon return. But they were not for parting so soon, and now attempted by force, what they could not obtain by gentler means. The gang-board happened unluckily to be laid out for me to come into the boat, I say unluckily, for if it had not been out, and if the crew had been a little quicker in getting the boat off, the natives might not have had time to put their design in execution, nor would the following disagreeable scene have happened. As we were putting off the boat, they laid hold of the gang-board, and unhooked it off the boat's stern. But as they did not take it away, I thought this had been done by accident, and ordered the boat in again to take it up. Then they themselves hooked it over the boat's stern, and attempted to haul her ashore; others, at the same time, snatched the oars out of the people's hands. On my pointing a musket at them, they in some measure desisted, but returned in an instant, seemingly determined to haul the boat ashore. At the head of this party was the chief; the others, who could not come at the boat, stood behind with darts, stones, and bows and arrows in hand, ready to support them. Signs and threats having no effect, our own safety became the only consideration; and yet I was unwilling to fire on the multitude, and resolved to make the chief alone fall a victim to his own treachery; but my musket at this critical moment missed fire. Whatever idea they might have formed of the arms we held in our hands, they must now have looked upon them as childish weapons, and began to let us see how much better theirs were, by throwing stones and darts, and by shooting arrows. This made it absolutely necessary for me to give orders to fire. The first discharge threw them into confusion; but a second was hardly sufficient to drive them off the beach; and after all, they continued to throw stones from behind the trees and bushes, and, every now and then, to pop out and throw a dart. Four lay, to all appearance, dead on the shore; but two of them afterwards crawled into the bushes. Happy it was for these people, that not half our muskets would go off, otherwise many more must have fallen. We had one man wounded in the cheek with a dart, the point of which was as thick as my finger, and yet it entered above two inches, which shews that it must have come with great force, though indeed we were very near them. An arrow struck Mr Gilbert's naked breast, who was about thirty yards off; but probably it had struck something before; for it hardly penetrated the skin. The arrows were pointed with hard wood.
As soon as we got on board, I ordered the anchor to be weighed, with a view of anchoring near the landing-place. While this was doing, several people appeared on the low rock point, displaying two oars we had lost in the scuffle. I looked on this as a sign of submission, and of their wanting to give us the oars. I was, nevertheless, prevailed on to fire a four-pound shot at them, to let them see the effect of our great guns. The ball fell short, but frightened them so much, that none were seen afterwards; and they left the oars standing up against the bushes.
It was now calm; but the anchor was hardly at the bow before a breeze sprung up at north, of which we took the advantage, set our sails, and plyed out of the bay, as it did not seem capable of supplying our wants with that conveniency I wished to have. Besides, I always had it in my power to return to this place, in case I should find none more convenient farther south.
These islanders seemed to be a different race from those of Mallicollo; and spoke a different language. They are of the middle size, have a good shape, and tolerable features. Their colour is very dark, and they paint their faces, some with black, and others with red pigment. Their hair is very curly and crisp, and somewhat woolly. I saw a few women, and I thought them ugly; they wore a kind of petticoat made of palm-leaves, or some plant like it. But the men, like those of Mallicollo, were in a manner naked; having only the belt about the waist, and the piece of cloth, or leaf, used as a wrapper*. I saw no canoes with these people, nor were any seen in any part of this island. They live in houses covered with thatch, and their plantations are laid out by a line, and fenced round.
[* The particular manner of applying the wrapper may be seen in Wafer's voyage, who mentions this singular custom as existing, though with some little variation, amongst the Indians of the Isthmus of Darien. See Wafer's Voyage, p. 140.]
At two o'clock in the afternoon, we were clear of the bay, bore up round the head, and steered S.S.E. for the south end of the island, having a fine breeze at N.W. On the S.W. side of the head is a pretty deep bay, which seemed to run in behind the one on the N.W. side. Its shores are low, and the adjacent lands appeared very fertile. It is exposed to the S.E. winds; for which reason, until it be better known, the N.W. bay is preferable, because it is sheltered from the reigning winds; and the winds to which it is open, viz. from N.W. by N. to E. by N., seldom blow strong. The promontory, or peninsula, which disjoins these two bays, I named Traitor's Head, from the treacherous behaviour of its inhabitants. It is the N.E. point of the island, situated in the latitude 18 deg. 43' S. longitude 169 deg. '28' E., and terminates in a saddle-hill which is of height sufficient to be seen sixteen or eighteen leagues. As we advanced to S.S.E., the new island, we had before discovered, began to appear over the S.E. point of the one near us, bearing S. 1/2 E., distant ten or twelve leagues. After leaving this one, we steered for the east end of the other, being directed by a great light we saw upon it.
At one o'clock the next morning, drawing near the shore, we tacked and spent the remainder of the night making short boards. At sun-rise we discovered a high table land (an island) bearing E. by S., and a small low isle in the direction of N.N.E., which we had passed in the night without seeing it. Traitor's Head was still in sight, bearing N. 20 deg. W. distant fifteen leagues, and the island to the south extended from S. 7 deg. W. to S. 87 deg. W. distant three or four miles. We then found that the light we had seen in the night was occasioned by a volcano, which we observed to throw up vast quantities of fire and smoke, with a rumbling noise heard at a great distance. We now made sail for the island; and, presently after, discovered a small inlet which had the appearance of being a good harbour. In order to be better informed, I sent away two armed boats, under the command of Lieutenant Cooper, to sound it; and, in the meanwhile, we stood on and off with the ship, to be ready to follow, or give them any assistance they might want. On the east point of the entrance, we observed a number of people, and several houses and canoes; and when our boats entered the harbour, they launched some, and followed them, but came not near. It was not long before Mr Cooper made the signal for anchorage; and we stood in with the ship. The wind being at west, and our course S.S.W., we borrowed close to the west point, and passed over some sunken rocks, which might have been avoided, by keeping a little more to the east, or about one-third channel over. The wind left us as soon as we were within the entrance, and obliged us to drop an anchor in four fathoms water. After this, the boats were sent again to sound; and, in the meantime, the launch was hoisted out, in order to carry out anchors to warp in by, as soon as we should be acquainted with the channel.