28th October 1769
[“Watering Place”, North Island, New Zealand]
Gentle breezes Southerly and fine weather. Employ'd wooding, cutting, and making of Brooms, there being a Shrub here very fit for that purpose; and as I intended to sail in the morning some hands were employ'd picking of Sellery to take to Sea with us. This is found here in great plenty, and I have caused it to be boiled with Portable Soup and Oatmeal every morning for the people's breakfast; and this I design to continue as long as it will last, or any is to be got, and I look upon it to be very wholesome and a great Antiscorbutick.
This morn we went ashore in an Island on the left hand as you come into the bay calld by the natives Tubolai. Here we saw the largest canoe we had met with: her lengh was 68½ feet, her breadth 5, hight 3:6: she was built with a sharp bottom made in 3 peices of trunks of trees hollowd, the middlemost of which was much longer than either of the other two; Her gunnel planks were in one peice 62 ft 2 in lengh carvd prettily enough in bass releif, the head was also richly carvd in their fashion. We saw also a house larger than any we had seen tho not more than 30 feet long, it seemd as if it had never been finishd being full of chipps. The woodwork of it was squard so even and smooth that we could not doubt of their having among them very sharp tools; all the side posts were carvd in a masterly stile of their whimsical taste which seems confind to the making of spirals and distorted human faces. All these had clearly been removd from some other place so probably such work bears a value among them.
While Mr Sporing was drawing on the Island he saw a most strange bird fly over his head; he describd it about as large as a kite and brown like one, his tail however was of so enormous a [length] that he at first took it for a flock of small birds flying after him. He who is a grave thinking man and is not at all given to telling wonderfull stories says he judg'd it to be at least yards in lengh.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
This bay abounds in a variety of fish, particularly shell and cray-fish; some of the latter, which we caught, weighed eleven pounds; these are found in great plenty, and seemed to be the principal food of the inhabitants, at this season of the year, though they have a kind of fern, the roots of which, roasted, make a good substitute for bread, especially when their Koomarra is young and unfit for use. Most of the rocks, which are many on the sea shore, are composed of a sandy stone, through which the surf had worn several passages. One of them, in particular, was very romantic it had the appearance of a large arch which led from the sea-side into the vallies, and through it ran a stream of water. The whole formed a very uncommon view, peculiarly striking to a curious spectator.
Posted by Arborfield at 13:21