28th to 29th July 1769
Little wind and Variable between the South-West and North-West. At 6 a.m., being near the Entrance of the Harbour which lies on the East side of Otaha before mentioned,* (* Hamene Bay.) and finding that it might be examin'd without loosing time, I sent away the Master in the Long boat, with orders to sound the Harbour, and if the wind did not shift in our favour to land upon the Island and to Traffick with the Natives for such refreshments as were to be got. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander went along with him.
29th. Little wind and Variable. Kept plying on and off this day, waiting for the return of the Long boat. At 1/2 past 5 not seeing anything of her, fir'd a Gun for her to return, and as soon as it was dark hoisted a light. At 1/2 past 8 heard the report of a musquet, which we answered with a Gun; and soon after the Boat came on board with 3 small Hogs, a few Fowls, and a large Quantity of Plantains, and some Yams. They found the Natives very Sociable and ready to part with anything they had, and the Harbour safe and Commodious, with a good Anchorage in 25, 20, and 16 fathoms clear ground.
As soon as the Boat was hoisted in we made Sail to the Northward, and at 8 o'Clock a.m. were close under the Peak of Bolabola, but as we could not weather the Island, we Tack'd and stood off until near Noon, then Tack'd again and stood to the South-West. At Noon the Peak of Bolabola bore South 75 degrees West; we were then distant from the Shore under it 2 or 3 miles, and from the Peak about 5 miles. Latitude observed 16 degrees 29 minutes South.
Joseph Banks Journal
Wind still baffles us as much as ever. This morn hoisted out a boat and sent ashore on the Island of Otahah in which Dr Solander and myself took a passage. We went through a large breach in the reef situate between two Islands calld Toahattu and Whennuaia within which we found very spatious harbours, particularly in one bay which was at least 3 miles deep. The inhabitants as usual so that long before night we had purchasd 3 hoggs, 21 fowls and as many yams and plantains as the boat would hold. Indeed of these last we might have had any quantity and a more useful refreshment they are to us in my opinion even than the pork; they have been for this week past boild and servd instead of bread; every man in the ship is fond of them and with us in the Cabbin they agree much better than the Bread fruit did which sometimes gripd us. But what makes any refreshments of this kind the more acceptable is that our bread is at present so full of vermin that notwistanding all possible care I have sometimes had 20 at a time in my mouth, every one of which tasted as hot as mustard. The Island itself seemd more barren than Ulhietea tho much like it in produce, bread fruit being less plentyfull than Plantains and Cocoa nuts. The people perfectly the same, so much so that I did not observe one new custom or any thing Else among them worth mention; they were not very numerous but flockd from all Quarters to the boat wherever she went bringing with them whatever they had to sell. Here as well as in the rest of the Islands they paid us the same Compliment they are used to pay to their own Kings, uncovering their shoulders and lapping their Garments round their breasts; here particularly they were so scrupulously observant of it that a man was sent with us who calld out to every one we met telling him what we were and what he was to do.
29th The wind last night has favourd us a little so that we are this morn close under the Island of Bola Bola, whose high craggy peak seems on this side at least totaly inaccessible to men; round it is a large quantity of low land which seems very barren. Tupia tells us that between the shore and the mountain is a large salt lagoon, a certain sign of barrenness in this climate; he however tells us that there are upon the Island plenty of Hogs and fowls as well as the vegetables we have generaly met with. We see but few people on the shore, Tupia tells us that they are gone to Ulhietea where we shall find them. He says also that there is no breach in the reef on this side the Island but on the other there is one large enough for the ship to go in and a good harbour within it.
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