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29 November 1769
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29 November 1769

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
29 November 1769

29. Wind as foul as ever and the ship moved more to leward, so we res[o]lvd to bear away for a bay which we had Passd. We did so and by 10 came to an anchor in a most spatious and well shelterd harbour or rather collection of harbours almost innumerable formd by Islands.

Canoes crowded upon us from all quarters so that we soon had 37 large and small about us; the people in them traded very fairly for what they had and shewd much fear of us, especialy if they saw any thing like a gun which they were well acquainted with. They became however soon a little more bold and while we were at dinner one of them went to the Buoy which they atempted to tow away: a musquet was fird over them without effect [and?] small shot at them but they were too far off for that to take effect. A ball was then fird at them which was thought to strike one of them as they immediately threw out the Buoy which by this time they had got into their Canoe; a round shot was then fird over them which struck the water and then went ashore; 2 or 3 canoes landed immediately and the men ran about on the beach as if in search of it. After this we calld to them and in a little time they all returnd to the ship.

By this time she was properly moor'd and the Boats out, so we set out for the shore. At our parting from the ship not a canoe stirrd which we Judgd a good sign, but no sooner had we set a foot on the shore about _ of a mile from the ship but every Canoe put off in a moment and pulld towards us. We were in a sandy cove behind the two heads of which the most of them landed, one or 2 only in sight; out of these they came running with every man his arms, others appeard on the tops of the hills and numbers from behind each head of the Cove so that we were in a moment surrounded by (the gentlemen in the ship say) 5 or 600 men tho we I beleive never saw more than 200 of them. We now every man expected to be attackd but did not chuse to begin hostilities so the Captn and myself marchd up to meet them. They crouded a good deal but did not offer to meddle with us, tho every man had his arms almost lifted up to strike. We brought them towards the party and made a line signing to them that they were not to pass it: they did not at first but by this time a party from the other side had come up and mixd with our people. They now began to sing their war song but committed no hostility till 3 steppd to each of our boats and attempted to draw them ashore. It was now time to fire, we whose Guns were loaded with small shot did so which drove them back. One man attempted to Rally them; he who was not 20 yards from us came down towards us waving his Patoo patoo and calling to his companions; Dr Solander whose gun was not dischargd fird at him on which he too ran. They now got upon rising ground about us from whence we dislogd them by firing musquet balls, none of which took effect farther than frightning them. In this way we were about _ of an hour, resolving to maintain our ground, when the ship had brought her broadside to bear and fird at the Indians who were on the topps of the hills. The balls went quite over them notwithstanding which they went off and at last left us our cove quite to ourselves, so that the musquets were laid down upon the ground and all hands employd in gathering Cellery which was here very plentifull. An Old Indian now appeard who had been on board in the morn with two more, they came immediately to us and provd to be his wife and brother. He said that another brother of his was struck with the small shot and askd whether he would dye: we told him no and gave him a musquet ball with some small shot telling him that it was the latter with which he was struck, but that if they again attackd us we would shoot them with the former which would infallibly kill them. After this we went into the boats and rowd to another Cove in the same Island near which was a high hill from whence we might have a good view of the bay. We climbd up it and from thence saw that the bay we were in was indeed a most surprizing place: it was full of an innumerable quantity of Islands forming as many harbours, which must be as smooth as mill pools as they Landlock one another numberless times. Every where round us we could see large Indian towns, houses and cultivations: we had certainly seen no place near so populous as this one was very near us, from whence several Indians came to us taking however great pains to shew us that they were unarmd. They acompanied us down to the boat. Night coming on we went onboard carrying much Celery, the only plant of any use even to us, for of all the places I have landed in this was the only one which did not produce one new vegetable.


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© Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal page (vol.2) 95, 2004
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