[Off Portland Island, North Island, New Zealand]
12th October 1769
[James Cook - Joseph Banks - Sydney Parkinson]
[Off Portland Island, North Island, New Zealand]
Gentle breezes at North-West and North, with frequent Calms. In the Afternoon, while we lay becalm'd, several Canoes came off to the Ship, but keept at a distance until one, who appeared to come from a different part, came off and put alongside at once, and after her all the rest. The people in this boat had heard of the Treatment those had met with we had had on board before, and therefore came on board without hesitation; they were all kindly treated, and very soon entered into a Traffick with our People for George's Island Cloth, etc.; giving in Exchange their Paddles, having little else to dispose of, and hardly left themselves a sufficient number to paddle ashore; nay, the people in one Canoe, after disposing of their Paddles, offer'd to sell the Canoe. After a stay of about 2 hours they went away, but by some means or other 3 were left on board, and not one boat would put back to take them in, and, what was more surprizing, those aboard did not seem at all uneasy with their situation.
In the evening a light breeze springing up at North-West, we steer'd along Shore, under an easy sail, until midnight, then brought too. Soon after it fell Calm, and continued so until 8 o'Clock a.m., when a breeze sprung up at North, with which we stood along shore South-South-West. At and after sunrise found the variation to be 14 degrees 46 minutes East. About this time 2 Canoes came off to the Ship, one of which was prevailed upon to come along side to take in the 3 people we had had on board all night, who now seem'd glad of the opportunity to get ashore. As the People in the Canoe were a little shy at first, it was observed that one Argument those on board made use on to intice the others alongside, was in telling them that we did not Eat men; from which it should seem that these people have such a Custom among them.
At the time we made sail we were abreast of the Point of Land set yesterday at Noon, from which the Land trends South-South-West. This point I have named Cape Table, on account of its shape and figure. It lies 7 Leagues to the Southward of Poverty Bay, in the Latitude of 39 degrees 7 minutes South, longitude 181 degrees 36 minutes West, it is of a moderate height, makes in a sharpe Angle, and appears to be quite flat at Top. In steering along shore to the Southward of the Cape, at the distance of 2 or 3 miles off, our soundings were from 20 to 30 fathoms, having a Chain of Rocks that appears at different heights above water, laying between us and the Shore. At Noon, Cape Table bore North 20 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues, and a small Island (being the Southermost land in sight) bore South 70 degrees West, distant 3 miles. This Island I have named Isle of Portland, on account of its very great resemblance to Portland in the English Channel. It lies about a mile from a Point on the Main, but there appears to be a ledge of Rocks extending nearly, if not quite, across from the one to the other. North 57 degrees East, 2 Miles from the South point of Portland, lies a sunken rock whereon the sea breaks; we passed between this Rock and the land having 17, 18, and 20 fathom Water. We saw a great Number of the Natives assembled together on the Isle of Portland; we likewise saw some on the Main land, and several places that were Cultivated and laid out in square Plantations.
Joseph Banks Journal
During last night the ship saild some leagues which as soon as the 3 men saw they began to lament and weep very much, Tupia with dificulty could comfort them. About 7, 2 Canoes apeard; they left no sign unmade which might induce them to come to the ship. One at last venturd, out of her came an old man who seemd to be a cheif from the finenes of his garment and weapon, patoo patoo, which was made of Bone (he said of a whale); he staid but a short time on board but when he went took with him our 3 guests much to our as well as their satisfaction.
In sailing along shore we could clearly see several spots of land cultivated, some fresh turnd up and laying in furrows like ploughd land, others with plants growing upon them some younger and some older; we also saw in two places high rails upon the Ridges of hills, but could only guess that they belong to some superstition as they were in lines not inclosing any thing. Before noon another Canoe appeard carrying 4 people; she came within about ¼ of a mile of us and there (I beleive) performd several ceremonies, the man in the bow of her sometimes seeming to ask and offer peace, at others seeming to threaten with a weapon he held in his hand, sometimes dancing sometimes singing. Tupia talkd much to him but could not persuade him to come to the ship. About this time very distant land was seen to the Southward forming a very large bay. About dinner time the ship was hauling round an Island calld by the inhabitants Teahoa, by us Portland, the ship on a sudden came into very broken ground which alarmd us all a good deal; the officers all behavd with great steadyness and in a very short time we were clear of all dangers; we never had less than 7 fathom but the soundings hardly ever were twice the same jumping from 11 to 7, which made us very glad once more to get deep water under us.
The Island lay within a mile of us making in white cliffs, a long spit of low land running from it towards the main. On the sides of these cliffs sat a vast quantity of people looking at us, these probably observd some confusion in the manoevre of the ship for 5 Canoes almost immediately put off from the shore full of armd people; they came so near us shouting and threatning that at last we were in some pain least they [should seize] our small boat which had been lowerd down to sound and now towd along side. A musquet was therefore fird over them: the Effect of this was rather to encourage them than otherwise so a great gun was orderd to be prepard and fird wide of them loaded with grape, on this they all rose in their boats and shouted but instead of continuing the chase drew all together and after a short consultation went quietly away. About half an hour after this we hawld in with the land again and two more canoes came off, one armd the other a small fishing boat with only 4 men in her; they came tolerably near and answerd all the questions Tupia askd them very civily; we could not persuade them to come on board but they came near enough to receive several presents which we hove over board to them, with these they seem'd very much pleasd and went away. At night the ship came to an anchor; many fires were kept up on shore possibly to shew us that our freinds there were too much upon their guard to be surprizd.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Early in the morning, we weighed anchor, and attempted to find' some better anchoring-place, as this bay (which, from the few necessaries we could procure, we called Poverty Bay) was not well sheltered from a S. E. wind, which brings in a heavy sea. The natives call the bay Taoneroa, and the point of land, at the entrance on the east side, they call Tettua Motu. In the afternoon we were becalmed, and fix canoes came off' to us, filled with; people; some of them-armed with bludgeons made of wood, and of the bone of a-large animal. They were a spare thin people, and had garments wrap about them made of a silky flax, wove in the same manner as the cotton hammocks of Brazil, each corner being ornamented with a piece of dog-skin. Most of them had their hair tied up on the crown of their heads in a knot, and by the knot stuck a comb of wood of bone. In and about their ears some of them had white feathers, with pieces of birds skins, whose feathers were soft as down; bat others had the teeth of their parents, or a bit of green stone worked very smooth. These stone ornaments were, of various shapes. They also wore a kind of shoulder-knot, made of the skin of the neck of a large sea-fowl, with the feathers on, split in two length-ways. Their faces were tataowed, or marked either all over, or on one side, in a very curious manner; some of them in fine spiral directions like a volute, being indented in the skin very different from the rest: and others had their faces daubed over with a sort of red ochre.
The bottom of their canoes was made out of a single tree; and the upper part was formed of two planks, sewed together, narrowed both at head and stern. The former was very long, having a carved head at the end of it painted red, and the stern ended in a flat beak. They had thwarts to fit on, and their paddles were curiously stained with a red colour, disposed into various strange figures; and the whole together was no contemptible workmanship. After we had given them a variety of beads and other, trinkets, they set off in so great a hurry, that they left three of their people on board with us. We were at this time off a cape, which we named Table Cape: we made but little way that night.
Posted by Arborfield at 09:04