A Narrative Of The Mutiny, On Board His Majesty's Ship Bounty; And The Subsequent Voyage Of Part Of The Crew, In The Ship's Boat
by William Bligh
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From TOFOA, one of the Friendly Islands, To TIMOR, a Dutch Settlement in the East Indies.





The following Narrative is only a part of a voyage undertaken for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit Tree from the South Sea Islands to the West Indies. The manner in which this expedition miscarried, with the subsequent transactions and events, are here related. This part of the voyage is not first in the order of time, yet the circumstances are so distinct from that by which it was preceded, that it appears unnecessary to delay giving as much early information as possible concerning so extraordinary an event. The rest will be laid before the Public as soon as it can be got ready; and it is intended to publish it in such a manner, as, with the present Narrative, will make the account of the voyage compleat.

At present, for the better understanding the following pages, it is sufficient to inform the reader, that in August, 1787, I was appointed to command the Bounty, a ship of 215 tons burthen, carrying 4 six-pounders, 4 swivels, and 46 men, including myself and every person on board. We sailed from England in December, 1787, and arrived at Otaheite the 26th of October, 1788. On the 4th of April, 1789, we left Otaheite, with every favourable appearance of completing the object of the voyage, in a manner equal to my most sanguine expectations. At this period the ensuing Narrative commences.



[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

I sailed from Otaheite on the 4th of April 1789, having on board 1015 fine bread-fruit plants, besides many other valuable fruits of that country, which, with unremitting attention, we had been collecting for three and twenty weeks, and which were now in the highest state of perfection.

On the 11th of April, I discovered an island in latitude 18 deg. 52' S. and longitude 200 deg. 19' E. by the natives called Whytootackee. On the 24th we anchored at Annamooka, one of the Friendly Islands; from which, after completing our wood and water, I sailed on the 27th, having every reason to expect, from the fine condition of the plants, that they would continue healthy.

On the evening of the 28th, owing to light winds, we were not clear of the islands, and at night I directed my course towards Tofoa. The master had the first watch; the gunner the middle watch; and Mr. Christian, one of the mates, the morning watch. This was the turn of duty for the night.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

Just before sun-rising, Mr. Christian, with the master at arms, gunner's mate, and Thomas Burket, seaman, came into my cabin while I was asleep, and seizing me, tied my hands with a cord behind my back, and threatened me with instant death, if I spoke or made the least noise: I, however, called so loud as to alarm every one; but they had already secured the officers who were not of their party, by placing centinels at their doors. There were three men at my cabin door, besides the four within; Christian had only a cutlass in his hand, the others had muskets and bayonets. I was hauled out of bed, and forced on deck in my shirt, suffering great pain from the tightness with which they had tied my hands. I demanded the reason of such violence, but received no other answer than threats of instant death, if I did not hold my tongue. Mr. Elphinston, the master's mate, was kept in his birth; Mr. Nelson, botanist, Mr. Peckover, gunner, Mr. Ledward, surgeon, and the master, were confined to their cabins; and also the clerk, Mr. Samuel, but he soon obtained leave to come on deck. The fore hatchway was guarded by centinels; the boatswain and carpenter were, however, allowed to come on deck, where they saw me standing abaft the mizen-mast, with my hands tied behind my back, under a guard, with Christian at their head.

The boatswain was now ordered to hoist the launch out, with a threat, if he did not do it instantly, to take care of himself.

The boat being out, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet, midshipmen, and Mr. Samuel, were ordered into it; upon which I demanded the cause of such an order, and endeavoured to persuade some one to a sense of duty; but it was to no effect: "Hold your tongue, Sir, or you are dead this instant," was constantly repeated to me.

The master, by this time, had sent to be allowed to come on deck, which was permitted; but he was soon ordered back again to his cabin.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

I continued my endeavours to turn the tide of affairs, when Christian changed the cutlass he had in his hand for a bayonet, that was brought to him, and, holding me with a strong gripe by the cord that tied my hands, he with many oaths threatened to kill me immediately if I would not be quiet: the villains round me had their pieces cocked and bayonets fixed. Particular people were now called on to go into the boat, and were hurried over the side: whence I concluded that with these people I was to be set adrift.

I therefore made another effort to bring about a change, but with no other effect than to be threatened with having my brains blown out.

The boatswain and seamen, who were to go in the boat, were allowed to collect twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, an eight and twenty gallon cask of water, and the carpenter to take his tool chest. Mr. Samuel got 150lbs of bread, with a small quantity of rum and wine. He also got a quadrant and compass into the boat; but was forbidden, on pain of death, to touch either map, ephemeris, book of astronomical observations, sextant, time-keeper, or any of my surveys or drawings.

The mutineers now hurried those they meant to get rid of into the boat. When most of them were in, Christian directed a dram to be served to each of his own crew. I now unhappily saw that nothing could be done to effect the recovery of the ship: there was no one to assist me, and every endeavour on my part was answered with threats of death.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

The officers were called, and forced over the side into the boat, while I was kept apart from every one, abaft the mizen-mast; Christian, armed with a bayonet, holding me by the bandage that secured my hands. The guard round me had their pieces cocked, but, on my daring the ungrateful wretches to fire, they uncocked them.

Isaac Martin, one of the guard over me, I saw, had an inclination to assist me, and, as he fed me with shaddock, (my lips being quite parched with my endeavours to bring about a change) we explained our wishes to each other by our looks; but this being observed, Martin was instantly removed from me; his inclination then was to leave the ship, for which purpose he got into the boat; but with many threats they obliged him to return.

The armourer, Joseph Coleman, and the two carpenters, M'Intosh and Norman, were also kept contrary to their inclination; and they begged of me, after I was astern in the boat, to remember that they declared they had no hand in the transaction. Michael Byrne, I am told, likewise wanted to leave the ship.

It is of no moment for me to recount my endeavours to bring back the offenders to a sense of their duty: all I could do was by speaking to them in general; but my endeavours were of no avail, for I was kept securely bound, and no one but the guard suffered to come near me.

To Mr. Samuel I am indebted for securing my journals and commission, with some material ship papers. Without these I had nothing to certify what I had done, and my honour and character might have been suspected, without my possessing a proper document to have defended them. All this he did with great resolution, though guarded and strictly watched. He attempted to save the time-keeper, and a box with all my surveys, drawings, and remarks for fifteen years past, which were numerous; when he was hurried away, with "Damn your eyes, you are well off to get what you have."

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

It appeared to me, that Christian was some time in doubt whether he should keep the carpenter, or his mates; at length he determined on the latter, and the carpenter was ordered into the boat. He was permitted, but not without some opposition, to take his tool chest.

Much altercation took place among the mutinous crew during the whole business: some swore "I'll be damned if he does not find his way home, if he gets any thing with him," (meaning me); others, when the carpenter's chest was carrying away, "Damn my eyes, he will have a vessel built in a month." While others laughed at the helpless situation of the boat, being very deep, and so little room for those who were in her. As for Christian, he seemed meditating instant destruction on himself and every one.

I asked for arms, but they laughed at me, and said I was well acquainted with the people where I was going, and therefore did not want them; four cutlasses, however, were thrown into the boat, after we were veered astern.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

When the officers and men, with whom I was suffered to have no communication, were put into the boat, they only waited for me, and the master at arms informed Christian of it; who then said—"Come, captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them; if you attempt to make the least resistance you will instantly be put to death:" and, without any farther ceremony, holding me by the cord that tied my hands, with a tribe of armed ruffians about me, I was forced over the side, where they untied my hands. Being in the boat we were veered astern by a rope. A few pieces of pork were then thrown to us, and some cloaths, also the cutlasses I have already mentioned; and it was now that the armourer and carpenters called out to me to remember that they had no hand in the transaction. After having undergone a great deal of ridicule, and been kept some time to make sport for these unfeeling wretches, we were at length cast adrift in the open ocean.

I had with me in the boat the following persons:

Names. Stations.


There remained on board the Bounty, as pirates,


In all 25 hands, and the most able men of the ship's company.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

Having little or no wind, we rowed pretty fast towards Tofoa, which bore N E about 10 leagues from us. While the ship was in sight she steered to the W N W, but I considered this only as a feint; for when we were sent away—"Huzza for Otaheite," was frequently heard among the mutineers.

Christian, the captain of the gang, is of a respectable family in the north of England. This was the third voyage he had made with me; and, as I found it necessary to keep my ship's company at three watches, I gave him an order to take charge of the third, his abilities being thoroughly equal to the task; and by this means my master and gunner were not at watch and watch.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

Haywood is also of a respectable family in the north of England, and a young man of abilities, as well as Christian. These two were objects of my particular regard and attention, and I took great pains to instruct them, for they really promised, as professional men, to be a credit to their country.

Young was well recommended, and appeared to me an able stout seaman; therefore I was glad to take him: he, however, fell short of what his appearance promised.

Stewart was a young man of creditable parents, in the Orkneys; at which place, on the return of the Resolution from the South Seas, in 1780, we received so many civilities, that, on that account only, I should gladly have taken him with me: but, independent of this recommendation, he was a seaman, and had always borne a good character.

Notwithstanding the roughness with which I was treated, the remembrance of past kindnesses produced some signs of remorse in Christian. When they were forcing me out of the ship, I asked him, if this treatment was a proper return for the many instances he had received of my friendship? he appeared disturbed at my question, and answered, with much emotion, "That,—captain Bligh,—that is the thing;—I am in hell—I am in hell."

As soon as I had time to reflect, I felt an inward satisfaction which prevented any depression of my spirits: conscious of my integrity, and anxious solicitude for the good of the service in which I was engaged, I found my mind wonderfully supported, and I began to conceive hopes, notwithstanding so heavy a calamity, that I should one day be able to account to my King and country for the misfortune.—A few hours before, my situation had been peculiarly flattering. I had a ship in the most perfect order, and well stored with every necessary both for service and health: by early attention to those particulars I had, as much as lay in my power, provided against any accident, in case I could not get through Endeavour Straits, as well as against what might befal me in them; add to this, the plants had been successfully preserved in the most flourishing state: so that, upon the whole, the voyage was two thirds completed, and the remaining part in a very promising way; every person on board being in perfect health, to establish which was ever amongst the principal objects of my attention.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

It will very naturally be asked, what could be the reason for such a revolt? in answer to which, I can only conjecture that the mutineers had assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans, than they could possibly have in England; which, joined to some female connections, have most probably been the principal cause of the whole transaction.

The women at Otaheite are handsome, mild and chearful in their manners and conversation, possessed of great sensibility, and have sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to our people, that they rather encouraged their stay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions. Under these, and many other attendant circumstances, equally desirable, it is now perhaps not so much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have been foreseen, that a set of sailors, most of them void of connections, should be led away; especially when, in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty, on the finest island in the world, where they need not labour, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond any thing that can be conceived. The utmost, however, that any commander could have supposed to have happened is, that some of the people would have been tempted to desert. But if it should be asserted, that a commander is to guard against an act of mutiny and piracy in his own ship, more than by the common rules of service, it is as much as to say that he must sleep locked up, and when awake, be girded with pistols.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

Desertions have happened, more or less, from many of the ships that have been at the Society Islands; but it ever has been in the commanders power to make the chiefs return their people: the knowledge, therefore, that it was unsafe to desert; perhaps, first led mine to consider with what ease so small a ship might be surprized, and that so favourable an opportunity would never offer to them again.

The secrecy of this mutiny is beyond all conception. Thirteen of the party, who were with me, had always lived forward among the people; yet neither they, nor the messmates of Christian, Stewart, Haywood, and Young, had ever observed any circumstance to give them suspicion of what was going on. With such close-planned acts of villainy, and my mind free from any suspicion, it is not wonderful that I have been got the better of. Perhaps, if I had had marines, a centinel at my cabin-door might have prevented it; for I slept with the door always open, that the officer of the watch might have access to me on all occasions. The possibility of such a conspiracy was ever the farthest from my thoughts. Had their mutiny been occasioned by any grievances, either real or imaginary, I must have discovered symptoms of their discontent, which would have put me on my guard: but the case was far otherwise. Christian, in particular, I was on the most friendly terms with; that very day he was engaged to have dined with me; and the preceding night he excused himself from supping with me, on pretence of being unwell; for which I felt concerned, having no suspicions of his integrity and honour.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL.]

It now remained with me to consider what was best to be done. My first determination was to seek a supply of bread-fruit and water at Tofoa, and afterwards to sail for Tongataboo; and there risk a solicitation to Poulaho, the king, to equip my boat, and grant a supply of water and provisions, so as to enable us to reach the East Indies.

The quantity of provisions I found in the boat was 150 lb. of bread, 16 pieces of pork, each piece weighing 2 lb. 6 quarts of rum, 6 bottles of wine, with 28 gallons of water, and four empty barrecoes.

[Sidenote: Wednesday 29.]

Wednesday, April 29th[*]. Happily the afternoon kept calm, until about 4 o'clock, when we were so far to windward, that, with a moderate easterly breeze which sprung up, we were able to sail. It was nevertheless dark when we got to Tofoa, where I expected to land; but the shore proved to be so steep and rocky, that I was obliged to give up all thoughts of it, and keep the boat under the lee of the island with two oars; for there was no anchorage. Having fixed on this mode of proceeding for the night, I served to every person half a pint of grog, and each took to his rest as well as our unhappy situation would allow.

[*] It is to be observed, that the account of time is kept in the nautical way, each day ending at noon. Thus the beginning of the 29th of April is, according to the common way of reckoning, the afternoon of the 28th.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL 29.]

In the morning, at dawn of day, we set off along shore in search of landing, and about ten o'clock we discovered a stony cove at the N W part of the island, where I dropt the grapnel within 20 yards of the rocks. A great deal of surf ran on the shore; but, as I was unwilling to diminish our stock of provisions, I landed Mr. Samuel, and some others, who climbed the cliffs, and got into the country to search for supplies. The rest of us remained at the cove, not discovering any way to get into the country, but that by which Mr. Samuel had proceeded. It was great consolation to me to find, that the spirits of my people did not sink, notwithstanding our miserable and almost hopeless situation. Towards noon Mr. Samuel returned, with a few quarts of water, which he had found in holes; but he had met with no spring or any prospect of a sufficient supply in that particular, and had only seen signs of inhabitants. As it was impossible to know how much we might be in want, I only issued a morsel of bread, and a glass of wine, to each person for dinner.

I observed the latitude of this cove to be 19 deg. 41' S.

This is the N W part of Tofoa, the north-westernmost of the Friendly Islands.

[Sidenote: Thursday 30.]

Thursday, April 30th. Fair weather, but the wind blew so violently from the E S E that I could not venture to sea. Our detention therefore made it absolutely necessary to see what we could do more for our support; for I determined, if possible, to keep my first stock entire: I therefore weighed, and rowed along shore, to see if any thing could be got; and at last discovered some cocoa-nut trees, but they were on the top of high precipices, and the surf made it dangerous landing; both one and the other we, however, got the better of. Some, with much difficulty, climbed the cliffs, and got about 20 cocoa-nuts, and others slung them to ropes, by which we hauled them through the surf into the boat. This was all that could be done here; and, as I found no place so eligible as the one we had left to spend the night at, I returned to the cove, and, having served a cocoa-nut to each person, we went to rest again in the boat.

[Sidenote: 1789. APRIL 30.]

At dawn of day I attempted to get to sea; but the wind and weather proved so bad, that I was glad to return to my former station; where, after issuing a morsel of bread and a spoonful of rum to each person, we landed, and I went off with Mr. Nelson, Mr. Samuel, and some others, into the country, having hauled ourselves up the precipice by long vines, which were fixed there by the natives for that purpose; this being the only way into the country.

We found a few deserted huts, and a small plantain walk, but little taken care of; from which we could only collect three small bunches of plantains. After passing this place, we came to a deep gully that led towards a mountain, near a volcano; and, as I conceived that in the rainy season very great torrents of water must pass through it, we hoped to find sufficient for our use remaining in some holes of the rocks; but, after all our search, the whole that we found was only nine gallons, in the course of the day. We advanced within two miles of the foot of the highest mountain in the island, on which is the volcano that is almost constantly burning. The country near it is all covered with lava, and has a most dreary appearance. As we had not been fortunate in our discoveries, and saw but little to alleviate our distresses, we filled our cocoa-nut shells with the water we found, and returned exceedingly fatigued and faint. When I came to the precipice whence we were to descend into the cove, I was seized with such a dizziness in my head, that I thought it scarce possible to effect it: however, by the assistance of Mr. Nelson, and others, they at last got me down, in a weak condition. Every person being returned by noon, I gave about an ounce of pork and two plantains to each, with half a glass of wine. I again observed the latitude of this place 19 deg. 41' south. The people who remained by the boat I had directed to look for fish, or what they could pick up about the rocks; but nothing eatable could be found: so that, upon the whole, we considered ourselves on as miserable a spot of land as could well be imagined.

I could not say positively, from the former knowledge I had of this island, whether it was inhabited or not; but I knew it was considered inferior to the other islands, and I was not certain but that the Indians only resorted to it at particular times. I was very anxious to ascertain this point; for, in case there had only been a few people here, and those could have furnished us with but very moderate supplies, the remaining in this spot to have made preparations for our voyage, would have been preferable to the risk of going amongst multitudes, where perhaps we might lose every thing. A party, therefore, sufficiently strong, I determined should go another route, as soon as the sun became lower; and they cheerfully undertook it.

[Sidenote: MAY. Friday 1.]

Friday, May the 1st: stormy weather, wind E S E and S E. About two o'clock in the afternoon the party set out; but, after suffering much fatigue, they returned in the evening, without any kind of success.

At the head of the cove, about 150 yards from the water-side, was a cave; across the stony beach was about 100 yards, and the only way from the country into the cove was that which I have already described. The situation secured us from the danger of being surprised, and I determined to remain on shore for the night, with a part of my people, that the others might have more room to rest in the boat, with the master; whom I directed to lie at a grapnel, and be watchful, in case we should be attacked. I ordered one plantain for each person to be boiled; and, having supped on this scanty allowance, with a quarter of a pint of grog, and fixed the watches for the night, those whose turn it was, laid down to sleep in the cave; before which we kept up a good fire, yet notwithstanding we were much troubled with flies and musquitoes.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 1.]

At dawn of day the party set out again in a different route, to see what they could find; in the course of which they suffered greatly for want of water: they, however, met with two men, a woman, and a child; the men came with them to the cove, and brought two cocoa-nut shells of water. I immediately made friends with these people, and sent them away for bread-fruit, plantains, and water. Soon after other natives came to us; and by noon I had 30 of them about me, trading with the articles we were in want of: but I could only afford one ounce of pork, and a quarter of a bread-fruit, to each man for dinner, with half a pint of water; for I was fixed in not using any of the bread or water in the boat.

No particular chief was yet among the natives: they were, notwithstanding, tractable, and behaved honestly, giving the provisions they brought for a few buttons and beads. The party who had been out, informed me of having discovered several neat plantations; so that it became no longer a doubt of there being settled inhabitants on the island; and for that reason I determined to get what I could, and sail the first moment the wind and weather would allow me to put to sea.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 1.]

[Sidenote: Saturday 2.]

Saturday, May the 2d: stormy weather, wind E S E. It had hitherto been a weighty consideration with me, how I was to account to the natives for the loss of my ship: I knew they had too much sense to be amused with a story that the ship was to join me, when she was not in sight from the hills. I was at first doubtful whether I should tell the real fact, or say that the ship had overset and sunk, and that only we were saved: the latter appeared to me to be the most proper and advantageous to us, and I accordingly instructed my people, that we might all agree in one story. As I expected, enquiries were made after the ship, and they seemed readily satisfied with our account; but there did not appear the least symptom of joy or sorrow in their faces, although I fancied I discovered some marks of surprise. Some of the natives were coming and going the whole afternoon, and we got enough of bread-fruit, plantains, and cocoa-nuts for another day; but water they only brought us about five pints. A canoe also came in with four men, and brought a few cocoa-nuts and bread-fruit, which I bought as I had done the rest. Nails were much enquired after, but I would not suffer one to be shewn, as I wanted them for the use of the boat.

Towards evening I had the satisfaction to find our stock of provisions somewhat increased: but the natives did not appear to have much to spare. What they brought was in such small quantities, that I had no reason to hope we should be able to procure from them sufficient to stock us for our voyage. At sun-set all the natives left us in quiet possession of the cove. I thought this a good sign, and made no doubt that they would come again the next day with a larger proportion of food and water, with which I hoped to sail without farther delay: for if, in attempting to get to Tongataboo, we should be blown away from the islands altogether, there would be a larger quantity of provisions to support us against such a misfortune.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 2.]

At night I served a quarter of a bread-fruit and a cocoa-nut to each person for supper; and, a good fire being made, all but the watch went to sleep.

At day-break I was happy to find every one's spirits a little revived, and that they no longer regarded me with those anxious looks, which had constantly been directed towards me since we lost sight of the ship: every countenance appeared to have a degree of cheerfulness, and they all seemed determined to do their best.

As I doubted of water being brought by the natives, I sent a party among the gullies in the mountains, with empty shells, to see what they could get. In their absence the natives came about us, as I expected, but more numerous; also two canoes came in from round the north side of the island. In one of them was an elderly chief, called Maccaackavow. Soon after some of our foraging party returned, and with them came a good-looking chief, called Eegijeefow, or perhaps more properly Eefow, Egij or Eghee, signifying a chief. To both these men I made a present of an old shirt and a knife, and I soon found they either had seen me, or had heard of my being at Annamooka. They knew I had been with captain Cook, who they enquired after, and also captain Clerk. They were very inquisitive to know in what manner I had lost my ship. During this conversation a young man appeared, whom I remembered to have seen at Annamooka, called Nageete: he expressed much pleasure at seeing me. I now enquired after Poulaho and Feenow, who, they said, were at Tongataboo; and Eefow agreed to accompany me thither, if I would wait till the weather moderated. The readiness and affability of this man gave me much satisfaction.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 2.]

This, however, was but of short duration, for the natives began to increase in number, and I observed some symptoms of a design against us; soon after they attempted to haul the boat on shore, when I threatened Eefow with a cutlass, to induce him to make them desist; which they did, and every thing became quiet again. My people, who had been in the mountains, now returned with about three gallons of water. I kept buying up the little bread-fruit that was brought to us, and likewise some spears to arm my men with, having only four cutlasses, two of which were in the boat. As we had no means of improving our situation, I told our people I would wait until sun-set, by which time, perhaps, something might happen in our favour: that if we attempted to go at present, we must fight our way through, which we could do more advantageously at night; and that in the mean time we would endeavour to get off to the boat what we had bought. The beach was now lined with the natives, and we heard nothing but the knocking of stones together, which they had in each hand. I knew very well this was the sign of an attack. It being now noon, I served a cocoa-nut and a bread-fruit to each person for dinner, and gave some to the chiefs, with whom I continued to appear intimate and friendly. They frequently importuned me to sit down, but I as constantly refused; for it occurred both to Mr. Nelson and myself, that they intended to seize hold of me, if I gave them such an opportunity. Keeping, therefore, constantly on our guard, we were suffered to eat our uncomfortable meal in some quietness.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 2.]

[Sidenote: Sunday 3.]

Sunday, 3d May, fresh gales at S E and E S E, varying to the N E in the latter part, with a storm of wind.

After dinner we began by little and little to get our things into the boat, which was a troublesome business, on account of the surf. I carefully watched the motions of the natives, who still increased in number, and found that, instead of their intention being to leave us, fires were made, and places fixed on for their stay during the night. Consultations were also held among them, and every thing assured me we should be attacked. I sent orders to the master, that when he saw us coming down, he should keep the boat close to the shore, that we might the more readily embark.

I had my journal on shore with me, writing the occurrences in the cave, and in sending it down to the boat it was nearly snatched away, but for the timely assistance of the gunner.

The sun was near setting when I gave the word, on which every person, who was on shore with me, boldly took up his proportion of things, and carried them to the boat. The chiefs asked me if I would not stay with them all night, I said, "No, I never sleep out of my boat; but in the morning we will again trade with you, and I shall remain until the weather is moderate, that we may go, as we have agreed, to see Poulaho, at Tongataboo." Maccaackavow then got up, and said, "You will not sleep on shore? then Mattie," (which directly signifies we will kill you) and he left me. The onset was now preparing; every one, as I have described before, kept knocking stones together, and Eefow quitted me. We had now all but two or three things in the boat, when I took Nageete by the hand, and we walked down the beach, every one in a silent kind of horror.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 3.]

When I came to the boat, and was seeing the people embark, Nageete wanted me to stay to speak to Eefow; but I found he was encouraging them to the attack, and I determined, had it then begun, to have killed him for his treacherous behaviour. I ordered the carpenter not to quit me until the other people were in the boat. Nageete, finding I would not stay, loosed himself from my hold and went off, and we all got into the boat except one man, who, while I was getting on board, quitted it, and ran up the beach to cast the stern fast off, notwithstanding the master and others called to him to return, while they were hauling me out of the water.

I was no sooner in the boat than the attack began by about 200 men; the unfortunate poor man who had run up the beach was knocked down, and the stones flew like a shower of shot. Many Indians got hold of the stern rope, and were near hauling us on shore, and would certainly have done it if I had not had a knife in my pocket, with which I cut the rope. We then hauled off to the grapnel, every one being more or less hurt. At this time I saw five of the natives about the poor man they had killed, and two of them were beating him about the head with stones in their hands.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 3]

We had no time to reflect, before, to my surprise, they filled their canoes with stones, and twelve men came off after us to renew the attack, which they did so effectually as nearly to disable all of us. Our grapnel was foul, but Providence here assisted us; the fluke broke, and we got to our oars, and pulled to sea. They, however, could paddle round us, so that we were obliged to sustain the attack without being able to return it, except with such stones as lodged in the boat, and in this I found we were very inferior to them. We could not close, because our boat was lumbered and heavy, and that they knew very well: I therefore adopted the expedient of throwing overboard some cloaths, which they lost time in picking up; and, as it was now almost dark, they gave over the attack, and returned towards the shore, leaving us to reflect on our unhappy situation.

The poor man I lost was John Norton: this was his second voyage with me as a quarter-master, and his worthy character made me lament his loss very much. He has left an aged parent, I am told, whom he supported.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 3.]

I once before sustained an attack of a similar nature, with a smaller number of Europeans, against a multitude of Indians; it was after the death of captain Cook, on the Morai at Owhyhee, where I was left by lieutenant King: yet, notwithstanding, I did not conceive that the power of a man's arm could throw stones, from two to eight pounds weight, with such force and exactness as these people did. Here unhappily I was without arms, and the Indians knew it; but it was a fortunate circumstance that they did not begin to attack us in the cave: in that case our destruction must have been inevitable, and we should have had nothing left for it but to die as bravely as we could, fighting close together; in which I found every one cheerfully disposed to join me. This appearance of resolution deterred them, supposing they could effect their purpose without risk after we were in the boat.

Taking this as a sample of the dispositions of the Indians, there was little reason to expect much benefit if I persevered in my intention of visiting Poulaho; for I considered their good behaviour hitherto to proceed from a dread of our fire-arms, which, now knowing us destitute of, would cease; and, even supposing our lives not in danger, the boat and every thing we had would most probably be taken from us, and thereby all hopes precluded of ever being able to return to our native country.

We were now sailing along the west side of the island Tofoa, and my mind was employed in considering what was best to be done, when I was solicited by all hands to take them towards home: and, when I told them no hopes of relief for us remained, but what I might find at New Holland, until I came to Timor, a distance of full 1200 leagues, where was a Dutch settlement, but in what part of the island I knew not, they all agreed to live on one ounce of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, per day. Therefore, after examining our stock of provisions, and recommending this as a sacred promise for ever to their memory, we bore away across a sea, where the navigation is but little known, in a small boat, twenty-three feet long from stern to stern, deep laden with eighteen men; without a chart, and nothing but my own recollection and general knowledge of the situation of places, assisted by a book of latitudes and longitudes, to guide us. I was happy, however, to see every one better satisfied with our situation in this particular than myself.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 3.]

Our stock of provisions consisted of about one hundred and fifty pounds of bread, twenty-eight gallons of water, twenty pounds of pork, three bottles of wine, and five quarts of rum. The difference between this and the quantity we had on leaving the ship, was principally owing to loss in the bustle and confusion of the attack. A few cocoa-nuts were in the boat, and some bread-fruit, but the latter was trampled to pieces.

It was about eight o'clock at night when I bore away under a reefed lug fore-sail: and, having divided the people into watches, and got the boat in a little order, we returned God thanks for our miraculous preservation, and, fully confident of his gracious support, I found my mind more at ease than for some time past.

At day-break the gale increased; the sun rose very fiery and red, a sure indication of a severe gale of wind. At eight it blew a violent storm, and the sea ran very high, so that between the seas the sail was becalmed, and when on the top of the sea it was too much to have set: but I was obliged to carry to it, for we were now in very imminent danger and distress, the sea curling over the stern of the boat, which obliged us to bale with all our might. A situation more distressing has, perhaps, seldom been experienced.

Our bread was in bags, and in danger of being spoiled by the wet: to be starved to death was inevitable, if this could not be prevented: I therefore began to examine what cloaths there were in the boat, and what other things could be spared; and, having determined that only two suits should be kept for each person, the rest was thrown overboard, with some rope and spare sails, which lightened the boat considerably, and we had more room to bale the water out. Fortunately the carpenter had a good chest in the boat, into which I put the bread the first favourable moment. His tool chest also was cleared, and the tools stowed in the bottom of the boat, so that this became a second convenience.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 3.]

I now served a tea-spoonful of rum to each person, (for we were very wet and cold) with a quarter of a bread-fruit, which was scarce eatable, for dinner; but our engagement was now strictly to be carried into execution, and I was fully determined to make what provisions I had last eight weeks, let the daily proportion be ever so small.

At noon I considered my course and distance from Tofoa to be W N W 3/4 W. 86 miles, my latitude 19 deg. 27' S. I directed my course to the W N W, that I might get a sight of the islands called Feejee, if they laid in the direction the natives had pointed out to me.

[Sidenote: Monday 4.]

Monday, 4th May. This day the weather was very severe, it blew a storm from N E to E S E. The sea ran higher than yesterday, and the fatigue of baling, to keep the boat from filling, was exceedingly great. We could do nothing more than keep before the sea; in the course of which the boat performed so wonderfully well, that I no longer dreaded any danger in that respect. But among the hardships we were to undergo, that of being constantly wet was not the least: the nights were very cold, and at day-light our limbs were so benumbed, that we could scarce find the use of them. At this time I served a tea-spoonful of rum to each person, which we all found great benefit from.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 4.]

As I have mentioned before, I determined to keep to the W N W, until I got more to the northward, for I not only expected to have better weather, but to see the Feejee Islands, as I have often understood, from the natives of Annamooka, that they lie in that direction; Captain Cook likewise considers them to be N W by W from Tongataboo. Just before noon we discovered a small flat island of a moderate height, bearing W S W, 4 or 5 leagues. I observed in latitude 18 deg. 58' S; our longitude, by account, 3 deg. 4' W from the island Tofoa, having made a N 72 deg. W course, distance 95 miles, since yesterday noon. I divided five small cocoa-nuts for our dinner, and every one was satisfied.

[Sidenote: Tuesday 5.]

Tuesday, 5th May. Towards the evening the gale considerably abated. Wind S E.

A little after noon, other islands appeared, and at a quarter past three o'clock we could count eight, bearing from S round by the west to N W by N; those to the south, which were the nearest, being four leagues distant from us.

I kept my course to the N W by W, between the islands, and at six o'clock discovered three other small islands to the N W, the westernmost of them bore N W 1/2 W 7 leagues. I steered to the southward of these islands, a W N W course for the night, under a reefed sail.

Served a few broken pieces of bread-fruit for supper, and performed prayers.

The night turned out fair, and, having had tolerable rest, every one seemed considerably better in the morning, and contentedly breakfasted on a few pieces of yams that were found in the boat. After breakfast we prepared a chest for our bread, and it got secured: but unfortunately a great deal was damaged and rotten; this nevertheless we were glad to keep for use.

I had hitherto been scarcely able to keep any account of our run; but we now equipped ourselves a little better, by getting a log-line marked, and, having practised at counting seconds; several could do it with some degree of exactness.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 5.]

The islands I have passed lie between the latitude of 19 deg. 5' S and 18 deg. 19' S, and, according to my reckoning, from 3 deg. 17' to 3 deg. 46' W longitude from the island Tofoa: the largest may be about six leagues in circuit; but it is impossible for me to be very exact. To show where they are to be found again is the most my situation enabled me to do. The sketch I have made, will give a comparative view of their extent. I believe all the larger islands are inhabited, as they appeared very fertile.

At noon I observed, in latitude 18 deg. 10' S, and considered my course and distance from yesterday noon, N W by W 1/2 W, 94 miles; longitude, by account, from Tofoa 4 deg. 29' W.

For dinner, I served some of the damaged bread, and a quarter of a pint of water.

[Sidenote: Wednesday 6.]

Wednesday, 6th May. Fresh breezes E N E, and fair weather, but very hazy.

About six o'clock this afternoon I discovered two islands, one bearing W by S 6 leagues, and the other N W by N 8 leagues; I kept to windward of the northernmost, and passing it by 10 o'clock, I resumed my course to the N W and W N W. At day-light in the morning I discovered a number of other islands from S S E to the W, and round to N E by E; between those in the N W I determined to pass. At noon a small sandy island or key, 2 miles distant from me, bore from E to S 3/4 W. I had passed ten islands, the largest of which may be 6 or 8 leagues in circuit. Much larger lands appeared in the S W and N by W, between which I directed my course. Latitude observed 17 deg. 17' S; course since yesterday noon N 50 deg. W; distance 84 miles; longitude made, by account, 5 deg. 37' W.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 6.]

Our supper, breakfast, and dinner, consisted of a quarter of a pint of cocoa-nut milk, and the meat, which did not exceed two ounces to each person: it was received very contentedly, but we suffered great drought. I dared not to land, as we had no arms, and were less capable to defend ourselves than we were at Tofoa.

To keep an account of the boat's run was rendered difficult, from being constantly wet with the sea breaking over us; but, as we advanced towards the land, the sea became smoother, and I was enabled to form a sketch of the islands, which will serve to give a general knowledge of their extent. Those I have been near are fruitful and hilly, some very mountainous, and all of a good height.

To our great joy we hooked a fish, but we were miserably disappointed by its being lost in getting into the boat.

[Sidenote: Thursday 7.]

Thursday, 7th May. Variable weather and cloudy, wind north-easterly, and calms. I continued my course to the N W, between the islands, which, by the evening, appeared of considerable extent, woody and mountainous. At sun-set the southernmost bore from S to S W by W, and the northernmost from N by W 1/2 W to N E 1/2 E. At six o'clock I was nearly mid-way between them, and about 6 leagues distant from each shore, when I fell in with a coral bank, where I had only four feet water, without the least break on it, or ruffle of the sea to give us warning. I could only see that it extended about a mile on each side of us; but, as it is probable that it extends much farther, I have laid it down so in my sketch.

I now directed my course W by N for the night, and served to each person an ounce of the damaged bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, for supper.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 7.]

It may readily be supposed, that our lodgings were very miserable and confined, and I had only in my power to remedy the latter defect by putting ourselves at watch and watch; so that one half always sat up while the other lay down on the boat's bottom, or upon a chest, with nothing to cover us but the heavens. Our limbs were dreadfully cramped, for we could not stretch them out, and the nights were so cold, and we so constantly wet, that after a few hours sleep we could scarce move.

At dawn of day we again discovered land from W S W to W N W, and another island N N W, the latter a high round lump of but little extent; and I could see the southern land that I had passed in the night. Being very wet and cold, I served a spoonful of rum and a morsel of bread for breakfast.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 7.]

As I advanced towards the land in the west, it appeared in a variety of forms; some extraordinary high rocks, and the country agreeably interspersed with high and low land, covered in some places with wood. Off the N E part lay two small rocky islands, between which and the island to the N E, 4 leagues apart, I directed my course; but a lee current very unexpectedly set us very near to the shore, and I could only get clear of it by rowing, passing close to the reef that surrounded the rocky isles. We now observed two large sailing canoes coming swiftly after us along shore, and, being apprehensive of their intentions, we rowed with some anxiety, being sensible of our weak and defenceless state. It was now noon, calm and cloudy weather, my latitude is therefore doubtful to 3 or 4 miles; my course since yesterday noon N 56 W, distance 79 miles; latitude by account, 16 deg. 29' S, and longitude by account, from Tofoa, 6 deg. 46' W. Being constantly wet, it was with the utmost difficulty I could open a book to write, and I am sensible that what I have done can only serve to point out where these lands are to be found again, and give an idea of their extent.

[Sidenote: Friday 8.]

Friday, 8th May. All the afternoon the weather was very rainy, attended with thunder and lightning. Wind N N E.

Only one of the canoes gained upon us, and by three o'clock in the afternoon was not more than two miles off, when she gave over chase.

If I may judge from the sail of the vessels, they are the same as at the Friendly Islands, and the nearness of their situation leaves little room to doubt of their being the same kind of people. Whether these canoes had any hostile intention against us is a matter of doubt; perhaps we might have benefited by an intercourse with them, but in our defenceless situation it would have been risking too much to make the experiment.

I imagine these to be the islands called Feejee, as their extent, direction, and distance from the Friendly Islands, answers to the description given of them by those Islanders. Heavy rain came on at four o'clock, when every person did their utmost to catch some water, and we increased our stock to 34 gallons, besides quenching our thirst for the first time since we had been at sea; but an attendant consequence made us pass the night very miserably, for, being extremely wet, and no dry things to shift or cover us, we experienced cold and shiverings scarce to be conceived. Most fortunately for us, the forenoon turned out fair, and we stripped and dried our cloaths. The allowance I issued to-day, was an ounce and a half of pork, a tea-spoonful of rum, half a pint of cocoa-nut milk, and an ounce of bread. The rum, though so small in quantity, was of the greatest service. A fishing-line was generally towing, and we saw great numbers of fish, but could never catch one.

At noon, I observed, in latitude 16 deg. 4' S, and found I had made a course, from yesterday noon, N 62 deg. W, distance 62 miles; longitude, by account, from Tofoa, 7 deg. 42' W.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 8.]

The land I passed yesterday, and the day before, is a group of islands, 14 or 16 in number, lying between the latitude of 16 deg. 26' S and 17 deg. 57' S, and in longitude, by my account, 4 deg. 47' to 7 deg. 17' W from Tofoa; three of these islands are very large, having from 30 to 40 leagues of sea-coast.

[Sidenote: Saturday 9.]

Saturday, 9th May. Fine weather, and light winds from the N E to E by S.

This afternoon we cleaned out the boat, and it employed us till sun-set to get every thing dry and in order. Hitherto I had issued the allowance by guess, but I now got a pair of scales, made with two cocoa-nut shells; and, having accidentally some pistol-balls in the boat, 25[*] of which weighed one pound, or 16 ounces, I adopted one, as the proportion of weight that each person should receive of bread at the times I served it. I also amused all hands, with describing the situation of New Guinea and New Holland, and gave them every information in my power, that in case any accident happened to me, those who survived might have some idea of what they were about, and be able to find their way to Timor, which at present they knew nothing of, more than the name, and some not that.

[*] It weighed 272 grains.

At night I served a quarter of a pint of water, and half an ounce of bread, for supper. In the morning, a quarter of a pint of cocoa-nut milk, and some of the decayed bread, for breakfast; and for dinner, I divided the meat of four cocoa-nuts, with the remainder of the rotten bread, which was only eatable by such distressed people.

At noon, I observed the latitude to be 15 deg. 47' S; course since yesterday N 75 deg. W; distant 64 miles; longitude made, by account, 8 deg. 45' W.

[Sidenote: 1789 MAY 10.]

[Sidenote: Sunday 10.]

Sunday, May the 10th. The first part of this day fine weather; but after sun-set it became squally, with hard rain, thunder, and lightning, and a fresh gale; wind E by S, S E, and S S E.

In the afternoon I got fitted a pair of shrouds for each mast and contrived a canvass weather cloth round the boat, and raised the quarters about nine inches, by nailing on the seats of the stern sheets, which proved of great benefit to us.

About nine o'clock in the evening, the clouds began to gather, and we had a prodigious fall of rain, with severe thunder and lightning. By midnight we had caught about twenty gallons of water. Being miserably wet and cold, I served to each person a tea-spoonful of rum, to enable them to bear with their distressed situation. The weather continued extremely bad, and the wind increased; we spent a very miserable night, without sleep, but such as could be got in the midst of rain. The day brought us no relief but its light. The sea was constantly breaking over us, which kept two persons baling; and we had no choice how to steer, for we were obliged to keep before the waves to avoid filling the boat.

The allowance which I now regularly served to each person was one 25th of a pound of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, at sun-set, eight in the morning, and at noon. To-day I gave about half an ounce of pork for dinner, which, though any moderate person would have considered but a mouthful, was divided into three or four.

The rain abated towards noon, and I observed the latitude to be 15 deg. 17' S; course N 67 deg. W; distance 78 miles; longitude made 10 deg. W.

[Sidenote: Monday 11.]

Monday, May the 11th. Strong gales from S S E to S E, and very squally weather, with a high breaking sea, so that we were miserably wet, and suffered great cold in the night. In the morning at day-break I served to every person a tea-spoonful of rum, our limbs being so cramped that we could scarce feel the use of them. Our situation was now extremely dangerous, the sea frequently running over our stern, which kept us baling with all our strength.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 11.]

At noon the sun appeared, which gave us as much pleasure as in a winter's day in England. I issued the 25th of a pound of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, as yesterday. Latitude observed 14 deg. 50' S; course N 71 deg. W; distance 102 miles; and longitude, by account, 11 deg. 39' W. from Tofoa.

[Sidenote: Tuesday 12.]

Tuesday, May the 12th. Strong gales at S E, with much rain and dark dismal weather, moderating towards noon and wind varying to the N E.

Having again experienced a dreadful night, the day showed to me a poor miserable set of beings full of wants, without any thing to relieve them. Some complained of a great pain in their bowels, and all of having but very little use of their limbs. What sleep we got was scarce refreshing, we being covered with sea and rain. Two persons were obliged to be always baling the water out of the boat. I served a spoonful of rum at day-dawn, and the usual allowance of bread and water, for supper, breakfast, and dinner.

At noon it was almost calm, no sun to be seen, and some of us shivering with cold. Course since yesterday W by N; distance 89 miles; latitude, by account, 14 deg. 33' S; longitude made 13 deg. 9' W. The direction of my course is to pass to the northward of the New Hebrides.

[Sidenote: Wednesday 13.]

Wednesday, May the 13th. Very squally weather, wind southerly. As I saw no prospect of getting our cloaths dried, I recommended it to every one to strip, and wring them through the salt water, by which means they received a warmth, that, while wet with rain, they could not have, and we were less liable to suffer from colds or rheumatic complaints.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 13.]

In the afternoon we saw a kind of fruit on the water, which Mr. Nelson knew to be the Barringtonia of Forster, and, as I saw the same again in the morning, and some men of war birds, I was led to believe we were not far from land.

We continued constantly shipping seas, and baling, and were very wet and cold in the night; but I could not afford the allowance of rum at day-break. The twenty-fifth of a pound of bread, and water I served as usual. At noon I had a sight of the sun, latitude 14 deg. 17' S; course W by N 79 miles; longitude made 14 deg. 28' W.

[Sidenote: Thursday 14.]

Thursday, May the 14th. Fresh breezes and cloudy weather, wind southerly. Constantly shipping water, and very wet, suffering much cold and shiverings in the night. Served the usual allowance of bread and water, three times a day.

At six in the morning, we saw land, from S W by S eight leagues, to N W by W 3/4 W six leagues, which I soon after found to be four islands, all of them high and remarkable. At noon discovered a rocky island N W by N four leagues, and another island W eight leagues, so that the whole were six in number; the four I had first seen bearing from S 1/2 E to S W by S; our distance three leagues from the nearest island. My latitude observed was 13 deg. 29' S, and longitude, by account, from Tofoa, 15 deg. 49' W; course since yesterday noon N 63 deg. W; distance 89 miles.

[Sidenote: Friday 15.]

Friday, May the 15th. Fresh gales at S E, and gloomy weather with rain, and a very high sea; two people constantly employed baling.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 15.]

At four in the afternoon I passed the westernmost island. At one in the morning I discovered another, bearing W N W, five leagues distance, and at eight o'clock I saw it for the last time, bearing N E seven leagues. A number of gannets, boobies, and men of war birds were seen.

These islands lie between the latitude of 13 deg. 16' S and 14 deg. 10' S: their longitude, according to my reckoning, 15 deg. 51' to 17 deg. 6' W from the island Tofoa[*]. The largest island may be twenty leagues in circuit, the others five or six. The easternmost is the smallest island, and most remarkable, having a high sugar-loaf hill.

[*] By making a proportional allowance for the error afterwards found in the dead reckoning, I estimate the longitude of these islands to be from 167 deg. 17' E to 168 deg. 34' E from Greenwich.

The sight of these islands served but to increase the misery of our situation. We were very little better than starving, with plenty in view; yet to attempt procuring any relief was attended with so much danger, that prolonging of life, even in the midst of misery, was thought preferable, while there remained hopes of being able to surmount our hardships. For my own part, I consider the general run of cloudy and wet weather to be a blessing of Providence. Hot weather would have caused us to have died with thirst; and perhaps being so constantly covered with rain or sea protected us from that dreadful calamity.

As I had nothing to assist my memory, I could not determine whether these islands were a part of the New Hebrides or not: I believed them perfectly a new discovery, which I have since found to be the case; but, though they were not seen either by Monsieur Bougainville or Captain Cook, they are so nearly in the neighbourhood of the New Hebrides, that they must be considered as part of the same group. They are fertile, and inhabited, as I saw smoke in several places.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 16.]

[Sidenote: Saturday 16.]

Saturday, May the 16th. Fresh gales from the S E, and rainy weather. The night was very dark, not a star to be seen to steer by, and the sea breaking constantly over us. I found it necessary to act as much as possible against the southerly winds, to prevent being driven too near New Guinea; for in general we were forced to keep so much before the sea, that if we had not, at intervals of moderate weather, steered a more southerly course, we should inevitably, from a continuance of the gales, have been thrown in sight of that coast: in which case there would most probably have been an end to our voyage.

In addition to our miserable allowance of one 25th of a pound of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, I issued for dinner about an ounce of salt pork to each person. I was often solicited for this pork, but I considered it better to give it in small quantities than to use all at once or twice, which would have been done if I had allowed it.

At noon I observed, in 13 deg. 33' S; longitude made from Tofoa, 19 deg. 27' W; course N 82 deg. W; distance 101 miles. The sun gave us hopes of drying our wet cloaths.

[Sidenote: Sunday 17.]

Sunday, May the 17th. The sunshine was but of short duration. We had strong breezes at S E by S, and dark gloomy weather, with storms of thunder, lightning, and rain. The night was truly horrible, and not a star to be seen; so that our steerage was uncertain. At dawn of day I found every person complaining, and some of them soliciting extra allowance; but I positively refused it. Our situation was extremely miserable; always wet, and suffering extreme cold in the night, without the least shelter from the weather. Being constantly obliged to bale, to keep the boat from filling, was, perhaps, not to be reckoned an evil, as it gave us exercise.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 17.]

The little rum I had was of great service to us; when our nights were particularly distressing, I generally served a tea-spoonful or two to each person: and it was always joyful tidings when they heard of my intentions.

At noon a water-spout was very near on board of us. I issued an ounce of pork, in addition to the allowance of bread and water; but before we began to eat, every person stript and wrung their cloaths through the sea-water, which we found warm and refreshing. Course since yesterday noon W S W; distance 100 miles; latitude, by account, 14 deg. 11' S, and longitude made 21 deg. 3' W.

[Sidenote: Monday 18.]

Monday, May the 18th. Fresh gales with rain, and a dark dismal night, wind S E; the sea constantly breaking over us, and nothing but the wind and sea to direct our steerage. I now fully determined to make New Holland, to the southward of Endeavour straits, sensible that it was necessary to preserve such a situation as would make a southerly wind a fair one; that I might range the reefs until an opening should be found into smooth water, and we the sooner be able to pick up some refreshments.

In the morning the rain abated, when we stripped, and wrung our cloaths through the sea-water, as usual, which refreshed us wonderfully. Every person complained of violent pain in their bones: I was only surprised that no one was yet laid up. Served one 25th of a pound of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, at supper, breakfast, and dinner, as customary.

At noon I deduced my situation, by account, for we had no glimpse of the sun, to be in latitude 14 deg. 52' S; course since yesterday noon W S W 106 miles; longitude made from Tofoa 22 deg. 45' W. Saw many boobies and noddies, a sign of being in the neighbourhood of land.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 19. Tuesday 19.]

Tuesday, May the 19th. Fresh gales at E N E, with heavy rain, and dark gloomy weather, and no sight of the sun. We past this day miserably wet and cold, covered with rain and sea, from which we had no relief, but at intervals by pulling off our cloaths and wringing them through the sea water. In the night we had very severe lightning, but otherwise it was so dark that we could not see each other. The morning produced many complaints on the severity of the weather, and I would gladly have issued my allowance of rum, if it had not appeared to me that we were to suffer much more, and that it was necessary to preserve the little I had, to give relief at a time we might be less able to bear such hardships; but, to make up for it, I served out about half an ounce of pork to each person, with the common allowance of bread and water, for dinner. All night and day we were obliged to bale without intermission.

At noon it was very bad weather and constant rain; latitude, by account, 14 deg. 37' S; course since yesterday N 81 deg. W; distance 100 miles; longitude made 24 deg. 30' W.

[Sidenote: Wednesday 20.]

Wednesday, May the 20th. Fresh breezes E N E with constant rain; at times a deluge. Always baling.

[Sidenote: 1789. May 20.]

At dawn of day, some of my people seemed half dead: our appearances were horrible; and I could look no way, but I caught the eye of some one in distress. Extreme hunger was now too evident, but no one suffered from thirst, nor had we much inclination to drink, that desire, perhaps, being satisfied through the skin. The little sleep we got was in the midst of water, and we constantly awoke with severe cramps and pains in our bones. This morning I served about two tea-spoonfuls of rum to each person, and the allowance of bread and water, as usual. At noon the sun broke out, and revived every one. I found we were in latitude 14 deg. 49' S; longitude made 25 deg. 46' W; course S 88 deg. W; distance 75 miles.

[Sidenote: Thursday 21.]

Thursday, May the 21st. Fresh gales, and heavy showers of rain. Wind E N E.

Our distresses were now very great, and we were so covered with rain and salt water, that we could scarcely see. Sleep, though we longed for it, afforded no comfort: for my own part, I almost lived without it: we suffered extreme cold, and every one dreaded the approach of night. About two o'clock in the morning we were overwhelmed with a deluge of rain. It fell so heavy that we were afraid it would fill the boat, and were obliged to bale with all our might. At dawn of day, I served a large allowance of rum. Towards noon the rain abated and the sun shone, but we were miserably cold and wet, the sea breaking so constantly over us, that, notwithstanding the heavy rain, we had not been able to add to our stock of fresh water. The usual allowance of one 25th of a pound of bread and water was served at evening, morning, and noon. Latitude, by observation, 14 deg. 29' S, and longitude made, by account, from Tofoa, 27 deg. 25' W; course, since yesterday noon, N 78 deg. W, 99 miles. I now considered myself on a meridian with the east part of New Guinea, and about 65 leagues distant from the coast of New Holland.

[Sidenote: Friday 22.]

Friday, May the 22nd. Strong gales from E S E to S S E, a high sea, and dark dismal night.

Our situation this day was extremely calamitous. We were obliged to take the course of the sea, running right before it, and watching with the utmost care, as the least error in the helm would in a moment have been our destruction. The sea was continually breaking all over us; but, as we suffered not such cold as when wet with the rain, I only served the common allowance of bread and water.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 22.]

At noon it blew very hard, and the foam of the sea kept running over our stern and quarters; I however got propped up, and made an observation of the latitude, in 14 deg. 17' S; course N 85 deg. W; distance 130 miles; longitude made 29 deg. 38' west.

[Sidenote: Saturday 23.]

Saturday, May the 23d. Strong gales with very hard squalls, and rain; wind S E, and S S E.

The misery we suffered this day exceeded the preceding. The night was dreadful. The sea flew over us with great force, and kept us baling with horror and anxiety. At dawn of day I found every one in a most distressed condition, and I now began to fear that another such a night would put an end to the lives of several who seemed no longer able to support such sufferings. Every one complained of severe pains in their bones; but these were alleviated, in some degree, by an allowance of two tea-spoonfuls of rum; after drinking which, having wrung our cloaths, and taken our breakfast of bread and water, we became a little refreshed.

Towards noon it became fair weather; but with very little abatement of the gale, and the sea remained equally high. With great difficulty I observed the latitude to be 13 deg. 44' S; course N 74 deg. W; distance 116 miles since yesterday; longitude made 31 deg. 32' W from Tofoa.

[Sidenote: Sunday 24.]

Sunday, May the 24th. Fresh gales and fine weather; wind S S E and S.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 24.]

Towards the evening the weather looked much better, which rejoiced all hands, so that they eat their scanty allowance with more satisfaction than for some time past. The night also was fair; but, being always wet with the sea, we suffered much from the cold. A fine morning, I had the pleasure to see, produce some chearful countenances. Towards noon the weather improved, and, the first time for 15 days past, we found a little warmth from the sun. We stripped, and hung our cloaths up to dry, which were by this time become so thread-bare, that they would not keep out either wet or cold.

At noon I observed in latitude 13 deg. 33' S; longitude, by account, from Tofoa 33 deg. 28' W; course N 84 deg. W; distance 114 miles. With the usual allowance of bread and water for dinner, I served an ounce of pork to each person.

[Sidenote: Monday 25.]

Monday, May the 25th. Fresh gales and fair weather. Wind S S E.

This afternoon we had many birds about us, which are never seen far from land, such as boobies and noddies.

[Sidenote: Allowance lessened.]

About three o'clock the sea began to run fair, and we shipped but little water, I therefore determined to know the exact quantity of bread I had left; and on examining found, according to my present issues, sufficient for 29 days allowance. In the course of this time I hoped to be at Timor; but, as that was very uncertain, and perhaps after all we might be obliged to go to Java, I determined to proportion my issues to six weeks. I was apprehensive that this would be ill received, and that it would require my utmost resolution to enforce it; for, small as the quantity was which I intended to take away, for our future good, yet it might appear to my people like robbing them of life, and some, who were less patient than their companions, I expected would very ill brook it. I however represented it so essentially necessary to guard against delays in our voyage by contrary winds, or other causes, promising to enlarge upon the allowance as we got on, that it was readily agreed to. I therefore fixed, that every person should receive one 25th of a pound of bread for breakfast, and one 25th of a pound for dinner; so that by omitting the proportion for supper, I had 43 days allowance.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 25.]

At noon some noddies came so near to us, that one of them was caught by hand. This bird is about the size of a small pigeon. I divided it, with its entrails, into 18 portions, and by the method of, Who shall have this[*]? it was distributed with the allowance of bread and water for dinner, and eat up bones and all, with salt water for sauce. I observed the latitude 13 deg. 32' S; longitude made 35 deg. 19' W; and course N 89 deg. W; distance 108 miles.

[*] One person turns his back on the object that is to be divided: another then points separately to the portions, at each of them asking aloud, "Who shall have this?" to which the first answers by naming somebody. This impartial method of division gives every man an equal chance of the best share.

[Sidenote: Tuesday 26.]

Tuesday, May the 26th. Fresh gales at S S E, and fine weather.

In the evening we saw several boobies flying so near to us, that we caught one of them by hand. This bird is as large as a good duck; like the noddy, it has received its name from seamen, for suffering itself to be caught on the masts and yards of ships. They are the most presumptive proofs of being in the neighbourhood of land of any sea-fowl we are acquainted with. I directed the bird to be killed for supper, and the blood to be given to three of the people who were the most distressed for want of food. The body, with the entrails, beak, and feet, I divided into 18 shares, and with an allowance of bread, which I made a merit of granting, we made a good supper, compared with our usual fare.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 26.]

In the morning we caught another booby, so that Providence seemed to be relieving our wants in a very extraordinary manner. Towards noon we passed a great many pieces of the branches of trees, some of which appeared to have been no long time in the water. I had a good observation for the latitude, and found my situation to be in 13 deg. 41' S; my longitude, by account, from Tofoa, 37 deg. 13' W; course S 85 deg. W, 112 miles. Every person was now overjoyed at the addition to their dinner, which I distributed as I had done in the evening; giving the blood to those who were the most in want of food.

To make our bread a little savoury we frequently dipped it in salt water; but for my own part I generally broke mine into small pieces, and eat it in my allowance of water, out of a cocoa-nut shell, with a spoon, economically avoiding to take too large a piece at a time, so that I was as long at dinner as if it had been a much more plentiful meal.

[Sidenote: Wednesday 27.]

Wednesday, May the 27th. Fresh breezes south-easterly, and fine weather.

The weather was now serene, but unhappily we found ourselves unable to bear the sun's heat; many of us suffering a languor and faintness, which made life indifferent. We were, however, so fortunate as to catch two boobies to-day; their stomachs contained several flying-fish and small cuttlefish, all of which I saved to be divided for dinner.

We passed much drift wood, and saw many birds; I therefore did not hesitate to pronounce that we were near the reefs of New Holland, and assured every one I would make the coast without delay, in the parallel we were in, and range the reef till I found an opening, through which we might get into smooth water, and pick up some supplies. From my recollection of captain Cook's survey of this coast, I considered the direction of it to be N W, and I was therefore satisfied that, with the wind to the southward of E, I could always clear any dangers.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 27.]

At noon I observed in latitude 13 deg. 26' S; course since yesterday N 82 deg. W; distance 109 miles; longitude made 39 deg. 4' W. After writing my account, I divided the two birds with their entrails, and the contents of their maws, into 18 portions, and, as the prize was a very valuable one, it was divided as before, by calling out Who shall have this? so that to-day, with the allowance of a 25th of a pound of bread at breakfast, and another at dinner, with the proportion of water, I was happy to see that every person thought he had feasted.

[Sidenote: Thursday 28.]

Thursday, May the 28th. Fresh breezes and fair weather; wind E S E and E.

In the evening we saw a gannet; and the clouds remained so fixed in the west, that I had little doubt of our being near to New Holland; and every person, after taking his allowance of water for supper, began to divert himself with conversing on the probability of what we should find.

At one in the morning the person at the helm heard the sound of breakers, and I no sooner lifted up my head, than I saw them close under our lee, not more than a quarter of a mile distant from us. I immediately hauled on a wind to the N N E, and in ten minutes time we could neither see nor hear them.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 28.]

I have already mentioned my reason for making New Holland so far to the southward; for I never doubted of numerous openings in the reef, through which I could have access to the shore: and, knowing the inclination of the coast to be to the N W, and the wind mostly to the southward of E, I could with ease range such a barrier of reefs till I should find a passage, which now became absolutely necessary, without a moment's loss of time. The idea of getting into smooth water, and finding refreshments, kept my people's spirits up: their joy was very great after we had got clear of the breakers, to which we had been much nearer than I thought was possible to be before we saw them.

In the morning, at day-light, I bore away again for the reefs, and saw them by nine o'clock. The sea broke furiously over every part, and I had no sooner got near to them, than the wind came at E, so that we could only lie along the line of the breakers, within which we saw the water so smooth, that every person already anticipated the heart-felt satisfaction he would receive, as soon as we could get within them. But I now found we were embayed, for I could not lie clear with my sails, the wind having backed against us, and the sea set in so heavy towards the reef that our situation was become dangerous. We could effect but little with the oars, having scarce strength to pull them; and it was becoming every minute more and more probable that we should be obliged to attempt pushing over the reef, in case we could not pull off. Even this I did not despair of effecting with success, when happily we discovered a break in the reef, about one mile from us, and at the same time an island of a moderate height within it, nearly in the same direction, bearing W 1/2 N. I entered the passage with a strong stream running to the westward; and found it about a quarter of a mile broad, with every appearance of deep water.

On the outside, the reef inclined to the N E for a few miles, and from thence to the N W; on the south side of the entrance, it inclined to the S S W as far as I could see it; and I conjecture that a similar passage to this which we now entered, may be found near the breakers that I first discovered, which are 23 miles S of this channel.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 28.]

I did not recollect what latitude Providential channel[*] lies in, but I considered it to be within a few miles of this, which is situate in 12 deg. 51' S latitude.

[*] Providential Channel is in 12 deg. 34' S, longitude 143 deg. 33' E.

Being now happily within the reefs, and in smooth water, I endeavoured to keep near them to try for fish; but the tide set us to the N W; I therefore bore away in that direction, and, having promised to land on the first convenient spot we could find, all our past hardships seemed already to be forgotten.

At noon I had a good observation, by which our latitude was 12 deg. 46' S, whence the foregoing situations may be considered as determined with some exactness. The island first seen bore W S W five leagues. This, which I have called the island Direction, will in fair weather always shew the channel, from which it bears due W, and may be seen as soon as the reefs, from a ship's mast-head: it lies in the latitude of 12 deg. 51' S. These, however, are marks too small for a ship to hit, unless it can hereafter be ascertained that passages through the reef are numerous along the coast, which I am inclined to think they are, and then there would be little risk if the wind was not directly on the shore.

My longitude, made by dead reckoning, from the island Tofoa to our passage through the reef, is 40 deg. 10' W. Providential channel, I imagine, must lie very nearly under the same meridian with our passage; by which it appears we had out-run our reckoning 1 deg. 9'.

We now returned God thanks for his gracious protection, and with much content took our miserable allowance of a 25th of a pound of bread, and a quarter of a pint of water, for dinner.

[Sidenote: Friday 29.]

Friday, May the 29th. Moderate breezes and fine weather, wind E S E.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

As we advanced within the reefs, the coast began to shew itself very distinctly, with a variety of high and low land; some parts of which were covered with wood. In our way towards the shore we fell in with a point of a reef, which is connected with that towards the sea, and here I came to a grapnel, and tried to catch fish, but had no success. The island Direction now bore S three or four leagues. Two islands lay about four miles to the W by N, and appeared eligible for a resting-place, if nothing more; but on my approach to the first I found it only a heap of stones, and its size too inconsiderable to shelter the boat. I therefore proceeded to the next, which was close to it and towards the main, where, on the N W side, I found a bay and a fine sandy point to land at. Our distance was about a quarter of a mile from a projecting part of the main, bearing from S W by S, to N N W 3/4 W. I now landed to examine if there were any signs of the natives being near us; but though I discovered some old fire-places, I saw nothing to alarm me for our situation during the night. Every one was anxious to find something to eat, and I soon heard that there were oysters on the rocks, for the tide was out; but it was nearly dark, and only a few could be gathered. I determined therefore to wait till the morning, to know how to proceed, and I consented that one half of us should sleep on shore, and the other in the boat. We would gladly have made a fire, but, as we could not accomplish it, we took our rest for the night, which happily was calm and undisturbed.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

The dawn of day brought greater strength and spirits to us than I expected; for, notwithstanding every one was very weak, there appeared strength sufficient remaining to make me conceive the most favourable hopes of our being able to surmount the difficulties we might yet have to encounter.

As soon as I saw that there were not any natives immediately near us, I sent out parties in search of supplies, while others were putting the boat in order, that I might be ready to go to sea in case any unforeseen cause might make it necessary. The first object of this work, that demanded our attention, was the rudder: one of the gudgeons had come out, in the course of the night, and was lost. This, if it had happened at sea, would probably have been the cause of our perishing, as the management of the boat could not have been so nicely preserved as these very heavy seas required. I had often expressed my fears of this accident, and, that we might be prepared for it, had taken the precaution to have grummets fixed on each quarter of the boat for oars; but even our utmost readiness in using them, I fear, would not have saved us. It appears, therefore, a providential circumstance, that it happened at this place, and was in our power to remedy the defect; for by great good luck we found a large staple in the boat that answered the purpose.

The parties were now returned, highly rejoiced at having found plenty of oysters and fresh water. I also had made a fire, by help of a small magnifying glass, that I always carried about me, to read off the divisions of my sextants; and, what was still more fortunate, among the few things which had been thrown into the boat and saved, was a piece of brimstone and a tinder-box, so that I secured fire for the future.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

One of my people had been so provident as to bring away with him a copper pot: it was by being in possession of this article that I was enabled to make a proper use of the supply we found, for, with a mixture of bread and a little pork, I made a stew that might have been relished by people of more delicate appetites, of which each person received a full pint.

The general complaints of disease among us, were a dizziness in the head, great weakness of the joints, and violent tenesmus, most of us having had no evacuation by stool since we left the ship. I had constantly a severe pain at my stomach; but none of our complaints were alarming; on the contrary, every one retained marks of strength, that, with a mind possessed of any fortitude, could bear more fatigue than I hoped we had to undergo in our voyage to Timor.

As I would not allow the people to expose themselves to the heat of the sun, it being near noon, every one took his allotment of earth, shaded by the bushes, for a short sleep.

The oysters we found grew so fast to the rocks that it was with difficulty they could be broke off, and at last we discovered it to be the most expeditious way to open them where they were found. They were very sizeable, and well tasted, and gave us great relief. To add to this happy circumstance, in the hollow of the land there grew some wire grass, which indicated a moist situation. On forcing a stick, about three feet long, into the ground, we found water, and with little trouble dug a well, which produced as much as we were in need of. It was very good, but I could not determine if it was a spring or not. Our wants made it not necessary to make the well deep, for it flowed as fast as we emptied it; which, as the soil was apparently too loose to retain water from the rains, renders it probable to be a spring. It lies about 200 yards to the S E of a point in the S W part of the island.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

I found evident signs of the natives resorting to this island; for, besides fire-places, I saw two miserable wigwams, having only one side loosely covered. We found a pointed stick, about three feet long, with a slit in the end of it, to sling stones with, the same as the natives of Van Diemen's land use.

The track of some animal was very discernible, and Mr. Nelson agreed with me that it was the Kanguroo; but how these animals can get from the main I know not, unless brought over by the natives to breed, that they may take them with more ease, and render a supply of food certain to them; as on the continent the catching of them may be precarious, or attended with great trouble, in so large an extent of country.

The island may be about two miles in circuit; it is a high lump of rocks and stones covered with wood; but the trees are small, the soil, which is very indifferent and sandy, being barely sufficient to produce them. The trees that came within our knowledge were the manchineal and a species of purow: also some palm-trees, the tops of which we cut down, and the soft interior part or heart of them was so palatable that it made a good addition to our mess. Mr. Nelson discovered some fern-roots, which I thought might be good roasted, as a substitute for bread, but it proved a very poor one: it however was very good in its natural state to allay thirst, and on that account I directed a quantity to be collected to take into the boat. Many pieces of cocoa-nut shells and husk were found about the shore, but we could find no cocoa-nut trees, neither did I see any like them on the main.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

I had cautioned every one not to touch any kind of berry or fruit that they might find; yet they were no sooner out of my sight than they began to make free with three different kinds, that grew all over the island, eating without any reserve. The symptoms of having eaten too much, began at last to frighten same of them; but on questioning others, who had taken a more moderate allowance, their minds were a little quieted. The others, however, became equally alarmed in their turn, dreading that such symptoms would come on, and that they were all poisoned, so that they regarded each other with the strongest marks of apprehension, uncertain what would be the issue of their imprudence. Happily the fruit proved wholesome and good. One sort grew on a small delicate kind of vine; they were the size of a large gooseberry, and very like in substance, but had only a sweet taste; the skin was a pale red, streaked with yellow the long way of the fruit: it was pleasant and agreeable. Another kind grew on bushes, like that which is called the sea-side grape in the West Indies; but the fruit was very different, and more like elder-berries, growing in clusters in the same manner. The third sort was a black berry, not in such plenty as the others, and resembled a bullace, or large kind of sloe, both in size and taste. Seeing these fruits eaten by the birds made me consider them fit for use, and those who had already tried the experiment, not finding any bad effect, made it a certainty that we might eat of them without danger.

Wild pigeons, parrots, and other birds, were about the summit of the island, but, as I had no fire-arms, relief of that kind was not to be expected, unless I met with some unfrequented spot where we might take them with our hands.

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 29.]

On the south side of the island, and about half a mile from the well, a small run of water was found; but, as its source was not traced, I know nothing more of it.

The shore of this island is very rocky, except the part we landed at, and here I picked up many pieces of pumice-stone. On the part of the main next to us were several sandy bays, but at low-water they became an extensive rocky flat. The country had rather a barren appearance, except in a few places where it was covered with wood. A remarkable range of rocks lay a few miles to the S W, or a high peaked hill terminated the coast towards the sea, with other high lands and islands to the southward. A high fair cape showed the direction of the coast to the N W, about seven leagues, and two small isles lay three or four leagues to the northward.

I saw a few bees or wasps, several lizards, and the blackberry bushes were full of ants nests, webbed as a spider's, but so close and compact as not to admit the rain.

A trunk of a tree, about 50 feet long, lay on the beach; from whence I conclude a heavy sea runs in here with the northerly winds.

This being the day of the restoration of king Charles the Second, and the name not being inapplicable to our present situation (for we were restored to fresh life and strength), I named this Restoration Island; for I thought it probable that captain Cook might not have taken notice of it. The other names I have presumed to give the different parts of the coast, will be only to show my route a little more distinctly.

At noon I found the latitude of the island to be 12 deg. 39' S; our course having been N 66 deg. W; distance 18 miles from yesterday noon.

[Sidenote: Saturday 30.]

[Sidenote: 1789. MAY 30.]

Saturday, May the 30th. Very fine weather, and E S E winds. This afternoon I sent parties out again to gather oysters, with which and some of the inner part of the palm-top, we made another good stew for supper, each person receiving a full pint and a half; but I refused bread to this meal, for I considered our wants might yet be very great, and as such I represented the necessity of saving our principal support whenever it was in our power.

At night we again divided, and one half of us slept on shore by a good fire. In the morning I discovered a visible alteration in every one for the better, and I sent them away again to gather oysters. I had now only two pounds of pork left. This article, which I could not keep under lock and key as I did the bread, had been pilfered by some inconsiderate person, but every one most solemnly denied it; I therefore resolved to put it out of their power for the future, by sharing what remained for our dinner. While the party was out getting oysters, I got the boat in readiness for sea, and filled all our water vessels, which amounted to nearly 60 gallons.

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