7th April 1769
Cape Horn to Tahiti
Fresh Gales and Cloudy. At 1/2 past 2 p.m. got up with the East end of the Land seen yesterday at Noon, and which proved to be an assemblage of Islands join'd together by Reef, and extending themselves North-West by North and South-East by South in 8 or 9 Leagues and of various breadths; but there appeared to be a total Seperation in the middle by a Channell of half a Mile broad, and on this account they are called the two Groups.* (*Marokau and Ravahare. Two atolls close together.) The South Eastermost of them lies in the Latitude of 18 degrees 12 minutes and Longitude of 142 degrees 42 minutes West from Greenwich, and West 1/2 North distant 25 Leagues from the West end of Bow Island. We ranged along the South-West side of this Island, and hauled into a Bay which lies to the North-West of the Southermost point of them, and where there appeared to be Anchorage and the Sea was smooth and not much Surf on the Shore; but we found no ground with 100 fathoms 3/4 of a Mile from the Shore, and nearer we did not go. Here several of the Inhabitants assembled together with their Canoes, with a design, as we thought, to come off to us, as they hauld one of them over the reef seemingly for that purpose; but after waiting near 1/2 an hour, and they not attempting to come, we bore away and made Sail, and presentley the Canoe put off after us; but, as we did not stop, they soon went back again. They were in all respects like those we had seen on Lagoon Island, and Armed with Clubs and long Pikes like them. At 1/2 past 6 a.m. Saw a small Island to the Northward, hauled our wind for it, and soon got close in with it. It is about 3 or 4 Miles in Circuit, and very low, with a Pond in the Middle. There is some wood upon it, but no inhabitants but Birds, and for this reason is called Bird Island.* (* Reitoru.) It lies in the latitude 17 degrees 48 minutes and longitude 143 degrees 35 minutes West, and West 1/2 North 10 Leagues from the West end of the two Groups. The birds we saw were Men-of-War Birds and several other sorts. Wind East; course North 66 degrees West; distance 66 miles; latitude 17 degrees 48 minutes South, longitude 143 degrees 31 minutes West.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn at day break Land in sight again, by 8 O'Clock came up with an Island made up like the last of narrow slips of land and reefs of rocks, the greatest part of the land lookd green and pleasant but it was without cocoa nut trees or any sign of inhabitants.
I purposely omit to mention the size of these Islands as it is almost impossible to guess at, and very dificult to give an idea of the contents of narrow strips of land which run one within another as a ribband thrown carelessly down would do. If you measure the lengh of it, it 4 or 5 times exceeds the space of sea that it occupies, if the circumference, such land of 100 Leagues in circumference would scarce contain 100 square miles; if the Space of sea that they occupy you err as much, for of that 20, 40 nay sometimes 100 parts are sea for one of land, tho that sea is so shut in by banks and reefs that no ship can get into it.
Posted by Arborfield at 07:30