18th April 1769
Cloudy weather with some showers of rain. This morning took as many people out of the Ship as could possibly be spared, and set about Erecting a Fort. Some were employ'd in throughing up intrenchment, while others was cutting facines, Picquets, etc. The Natives were so far from hindering us that several of them assisted in bringing the Picquets and facines out of the woods, and seemed quite unconcern'd at what we was about. The wood we made use of for this occasion we purchased of them, and we cut no Tree down before we had first obtained their Consent. By this time all the Ship's sails were unbent and the Armourer's Forge set up to repair the Ironwork, etc. Served fresh Pork to the Ship's Company to-day for the first time. This is like to be a very scarce Article with us, but as to Bread fruit, Cocoa Nutts and Plaintains, the Natives supply us with as much as we can destroy.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn at day break all hands were ashore and employd in getting up the tents and making a defence round them. The ground we have pitchd upon is very sandy which makes it nescessary to support it with wood, for the doing of this our people cut the boughs of trees and the Indians very readily assisted them in bringing them down to the place.
Three sides of our fort are to be thus guarded the other is bounded by a river on the banks of which water cask[s] are to be placd. The Indians brought down so much provision of Cocoa nuts and bread fruit today that before night we were obligd to leave off buying and acquaint them by signs that we should not want any more for 2 days; every thing was bought for beads, a bead about as large as a pea purchasing 4 or 6 breadfruits and a like number of Cocoa nutts.
My tents were got up before night and I sept ashore in them for the first time. The lines were guarded round by many Sentries but no Indian atempted to come near them during the whole night.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
In the night, we lay on shore, and were much incommoded with a species of flies with which the island swarms; insomuch that, at dinner time, it was one person's employ to beat them off with a feather fly-flap, the handle of which is made of a hard brown wood, rudely carved, and somewhat resembles a human figure.
As we were to make the observation of the transit on this island, we built a temporary fort for our accommodation on shore: It had a foffé, with palisadoes, next the river: guns and swivels mounted on the ramparts; and within, we had an observatory, an oven, forge, and pens for our sheep. Centinels were also appointed as usual in garrisons, and military discipline observed. The sandy ground, on which the fort stood, was very troublesome when the wind was high.
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