27th November 1769
P.M., Gentle breezes Easterly, and Clear weather. At 3 passed the point of land afore-mentioned, which I have named Cape Brett in honour of Sir Piercy.* (* Rear Admiral Sir Piercey Brett was one of the Lords of the Admiralty when the Endeavour sailed) The land of this Cape is considerable higher than any part of the Adjacent Coast. At the very point of the Cape is a high round Hillock, and North-East by North, near one Mile from this is a small high Island or Rock with a hole pierced thro' it like the Arch of a Bridge, and this was one reason why I gave the Cape the above name, because Piercy seem'd very proper for that of the Island. This Cape, or at least some part of it, is called by the Natives Motugogogo; Latitude 35 degrees 10 minutes 30 seconds South, Longitude 185 degrees 25 minutes West. On the West side of Cape Brett is a large and pretty deep Bay* (* The Bay of Islands) lying in South-West by West, in which there appear'd to be several small Islands. The point that forms the North-West entrance I have named Point Pocock; it lies West 1/4 North, 3 or 4 Leagues from Cape Brett.
On the South-West side of this Bay we saw several Villages situated both on Islands and on the Main land, from whence came off to us several large Canoes full of People, but, like those that had been alongside before, would not Enter into a friendly Traffick with us, but would Cheat whenever they had an opportunity. The people in these Canoes made a very good appearance, being all stout well-made men, having their Hair--which was black--comb'd up and tied upon the Crown of their heads, and there stuck with white feathers; in each of the Canoes were 2 or 3 Chiefs, and the Habits of these were rather superior to any we had yet seen. The Cloth they wore was of the best sort, and cover'd on the outside with Dog Skins put on in such a manner as to look Agreeable enough to the Eye. Few of these people were Tattow'd or marked in the face, like those we have seen farther to the South, but several had their Backsides Tattow'd much in the same manner as the inhabitants of the Islands within the Tropics.
In the Course of this day, that is this afternoon and Yesterday forenoon, we reckoned that we had not less than 400 or 500 of the Natives alongside and on board the ship, and in that time did not range above 6 or 8 Leagues of the Sea Coast, a strong proof that this part of the Country must be well inhabited. In the Evening, the Wind came to the Westward of North, and we Tack'd and stood off North-East until 11 o'Clock, when the wind coming more favourable we stood again to the Westward. At 8 a.m we were within a Mile of Groups of Islands lying close under the Mainland and North-West by West 1/2 West, distance 22 Miles from Cape Brett. Here we lay for near 2 Hours, having little or no wind. During this time several Canoes came off to the Ship, and 2 or 3 of them sold us some fish--Cavallys as they are called--which occasioned my giving the Islands the same name. After this some others began to Pelt us with Stones, and would not desist at the firing of 2 Musquet Balls thro' one of their Boats; at last I was obliged to pepper 2 or 3 fellows with small Shott, after which they retir'd, and the wind coming at North-West we stood off to Sea. At Noon, Cavally Islands bore South-West by South, distant 4 Miles; Cape Brett South-East, distant 7 Leagues, and the Westermost land in sight, making like Islands, bore West by North; Latitude in per Observation 34 degrees 55 minutes South.
Light breeze. Several canoes came off and traded for fish but were most abominably saucy, continualy threatning us, at last they began to heave stone[s] with more courage than any boats we had seen. This made it nescessary to punish them: the Captn went upon the Poop where they immediately threw at him, he leveld a gun loaded with small shot at the man who held a stone in his hand in the very action of throwing and struck him. He sunk down so immediately into the Canoe that we suspected he was materialy hurt; this however did not prevent another Canoe from coming up with stones in their hands who met another load of small shot at about 50 yards distant which struck several of them and at once stopd their speed. The two canoes which had been fird at went immediately for the shore, the others dropd astern and we left them behind. The land appeard rocky and full of Islands, the Continent behind them rose in a gradual slope and seemd fertile; some cultivation was in sight. In the even foul wind.
Sydney Parkinson Journal
We were among a parcel of small broken islands, which we called the Poor Knights; and many canoes came along side of us, but the people in them seemed to be half mad. We asked them for some fish, and they took them up by handfuls and threw them at us, not regarding whether they had any thing from us in return: more canoes coming up, they began to behave very rudely, and heaved stones at us. One man, in particular, more active than the rest, took up a stick and threw it at one of our men on the taffel. A musket loaded with small shot was fired at him, upon which he clapped his hands to his face and fell flat in the canoe. This event alarmed the rest, and they made off as fast as they could, and we saw no more of them.
Posted by Arborfield at 10:20