13th July 1769
Sail from Tahiti
Winds Easterly, a light breeze. This morning we was visited by Obariea and several others of our acquaintance, a thing we did not expect after what had hapned but 2 days ago; but this was in some measures owing to Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself going to Apparra last night, where we so far convinc'd them of our Friendly disposition that several of them were in tears at our coming away. Between 11 and 12 o'Clock we got under Sail, and took our final leave of these People, after a stay of just three Months, the most part of which time we have been upon good terms with them. Some few differences have now and then hapned owing partly to the want of rightly understanding each other, and partly to their natural thievish disposition, which we could not at all times bear with or guard against; but these have been attended with no ill consequence to either side except the first, in which one of them was kill'd, and this I was very sorry for, because from what had hapned to them by the Dolphin I thought it would have been no hard matter to have got and keep a footing with them without bloodshed. For some time before we left this Island several of the Natives were daily offering themselves to go away with us; and as it was thought they must be of use to us in our future discoveries we resolved to bring away one whose name is Tupia, a Chief and a Priest. This man had been with us most part of the time we had been upon the Island, which gave us an opportunity to know something of him. We found him to be a very intelligent person, and to know more of the Geography of the Islands situated in these Seas, their produce, and the religion, laws, and Customs of the inhabitants, than any one we had met with, and was the likeliest person to answer our Purpose. For these reasons, and at the request of Mr. Banks, I received him on board, together with a young Boy, his Servant.
For the first two Months we were at this Island the Natives supplied us with as much Bread fruit, Cocoa Nuts, etc., as we could well dispence with, and now and then a few Hogs, but of these hardly sufficient to give the Ship's company one and sometimes two fresh Meals a week. As to Fowls, I did not see above 3 dozen upon the whole Island, and fish they seldom would part with; but during the last Month we got little refreshment of any sort. The detaining of their Canoes broke off Trade at that time, and it never after was begun again with any Spirit. However, it was not wholy owing to this, but to a Scarcity. The Season for Bread fruit was wholy over, and what other Fruits they had were hardly sufficient for themselves; at least, they did not care to part with them. All sorts of Fruits we purchased with Beads and Nails, not less than 40-penny, for a nail under that size was of no value; but we could not get a Hog above 10 or 12 pounds weight for anything less than a Hatchet, not but that they set great value upon Spike Nails; but, as this was an Article many in the Ship are provided with, the Women soon found a much easier way at coming at them than by bringing Provisions.
Our Traffick with this people was carried on with as much Order as in the best regulated Market in Europe. It was managed ashore chiefly by Mr. Banks, who took uncommon Pains to procure from the Natives every kind of refreshment that was to be got. Axes, Hatchets, Spikes, large Nails, looking Glasses, Knives, and Beads are all highly valued by this People, and nothing more is wanting to Traffick with them for everything they have to dispose of. They are likewise very fond of fine Linnen Cloth, both White and Printed, but an Axe worth half a Crown will fetch more than a Piece of Cloth worth Twenty Shillings. Upon our arrival at Batavia we had certain information that the two ships that were at George's Island some time before our arrival there were both French ships.
Joseph Banks Journal
Depart Otahite About 10 this morn saild From Otahite leaving our freinds Some of them at least I realy beleive personaly sorry for our departure, notwisthstanding the confinement of the day before yesterday had frigh[t]ned and affronted them as much as possible, yet our nearest freinds came on board at this Critical time except only Tubourai and Tamio. We had Oborea, Otheothea, Tayoa, Nuna, Tuanna Matte, Potattou, Polotheara etc. on board when the anchor was weighd; they took their leaves tenderly enough, not without plenty of tears tho intirely without that clamourous weeping made use of by the other Indians, several boats of whoom were about the ship shouting out their lamentations, as vyeing with each other not who should cry most but who should cry loudest -- a custom we had often condemned in conversation with our particular freinds as savouring more of affected than real greif. Tupia who after all his struggles stood firm at last in his resolution of acompanying us parted with a few heartfelt tears, so I judge them to have been by the Efforts I saw him make use of to hide them. He sent by Otheothea his last present, a shirt to Potamai, Dootahah's favourite mistress. He and I went then to the topmast head where we stood a long time waving to the Canoes as they went off, after which he came down and shewd no farther signs of seriousness or concern. In the Evening Tethuroa in sight; before night it appears clearly to be a very low Island and but small, which with Tupias declaring that there were no fixd inhabitants upon it only the people of Otahite who went there for a few days to fish, determind us to content ourselves with what we had seen and stand on in search of Urietea, which he describd to be a well peopled Island as large as Otahite.
Posted by Arborfield at 09:28