24th to 25th July 1769
Winds variable from South-South-East to North-East. At 8 a.m. got under sail and plyed to the Northward within the Reef, in order to go out at the Northern Channell, it being the broadest; but being little wind and meeting with Shoals we had not before discovered, we turned down but slowly.
First part, little wind at North-East; in the night calm, A.M. a fresh breeze at West-North-West, fair weather. At 3 p.m. Anchor'd in 22 fathoms Muddy bottom, the North Channell open bearing North-East 1/2 East, at 5 a.m. a breeze sprung up at North-West, weighed and put to Sea, and hauled to the Northward in order to take a View of the Island and Ataha and Bolabola; but before I proceed farther, I shall describe the Harbour we have been in.
This Harbour, taken in its greatest Extent, is capable of holding any number of Shipping in perfect security, as it extends almost the whole length of this side of the Island, and is defended from the Sea by a reef of Coral rocks; the Southermost opening* (* Teava Moa Pass.) in this reef or Channell into the Harbour, which is not more than a Cable's length wide, is off the Eastermost point of the Island, and may be known by a small woody Island, which lies a little to the South-East of it. Between 3 and 4 miles North-West from this Island lies 2 other small Islands, and in the same direction as the reef, of which they are a part. Between these 2 Islands is another Channell* (* Iriru Pass.) into the Harbour that is a full Quarter of a Mile broad; still further to the North-West are some other small Islands, where, I am informed, is another small inlet, but this I did not see; but, as to the other 2, we enter'd the Harbour by the one and came out by the other. The principal refreshments we have got here consists in Plantains, Cocoa nuts, some Yams and a few Hogs and fowls. This side of the Island is neither Populous nor Rich in Produce, if compared to George's Island, or even Huaheine; however, here is no want of refreshments for a ship who may put in here and stay but a short time; and wood and water may be got everywhere, tho' the latter is not very convenient to come at.
Joseph Banks Journal
Foul wind. The Captn attempts to go out of the reef at another passage situate between the two Islets of Opourourou and Taumou. The ship turning to windward within the reef in doing which she narrowly escapes going ashore, the Quartermaster in the chains calld out 2 fathom; the ship drawing at least 14 feet made it impossible that such a shoal could be under her Keel, so either the man was mistaken or she went along the edge of a coral rock many of which are here as steep as a wall. Soon after this we came to an anchor and I went ashore but saw nothing but a small marai ornamented with 2 sticks about 5 feet long, each hung with Jaw bones as thick as possible and one having a skull stuck on its top.
25th. This morn get to sea and turn to windward all day. Find that the two Islands Ulhietea and Otahah are inclosed by one reef: Tupia says that there is a large pasage through[h] it between them and a harbour within it, also another fronting a large bay on the Eastermost end of Otahah.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:12