6 February 1770
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6 February 1770

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Joseph Banks



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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
6 February 1770

Tuesday 6th At 2 PM hove up the Anchor warp'd the Ship out of the Cove and got under sail, but it soon after falling little wind and that very variable we came again to an anchor a little above Motu-ouru - The old man, seeing us under sail came on board to take his leave of us, amongest other conversation which pass'd betwixt him a[nd] Tobia Tupia he was asked if either he or any of his ancestors had ever seen or heard of any Ship like this being in these parts, to which question he answer'd in the negative, but said that his Ancestors had told him that there came once to this place a small Vessel from a distant part ^land call'd Olhemaroa, wherein was were four men that were all kill'd upon their landing and be^ing asked where this distant land lay he pointed to the North intimated that it would take up a great many days to go thether. Something of this land was mentioned by the people of the Bay of Islands, who said that some of their Ancestors had been there. But it is very clear to us that there knowlidge of this land is only traditionary —

Had it calm all night untill 6 oClock in the morning when a light breeze sprung up at north and we got again under sail, but as the wind proved very unsteady we got no farther than just w^ithout Motu-ouru by noon - but had a fair prospect of geting ^clear out of the Sound which I shall next describe —

Description of Queen Charlottes Sound —

The ^entrence of this Sound is situated in the Latitude of 41° 0 South and in the Longitude 184°..45' West, and at the S.W. entrance of near the middle of the SW side of the Strait which separates the Land of            from that of before mentioned, The ^land of the SE head of the Sound call'd by the Natives Koamaroo / off which lies two small Islands and some rocks / makes the narrowest part of the Strait. There stretcheth out two miles NEBN from the NW head a reef of rocks a part of which is above water. This account of the two heads will be found sufficient guide to know this Sound, which is three Leagues b[r]oad at the entrence and lies ^in SWBS, SW and WSW at least 10 Leagues and is a Collection of some of the finest harbours in the world ^and this as will evidently appear from the Plan which was taken with all the accuracy that time and circumstance would admit The one ^harbour or Cove in which we lay call'd Ship Cove is not inferior to any in the Sound both in poi^nt of Securety and other conven conveniences; it lies on the west side of the Sound and ^is the southermost of the three coves lying within Motu-oura, which Island bears due East from it. You may sail into this Cove either between this last mentioned Island and the Isle Hamote or between Motu-oura and the West shore    in this ^last channell are two ledges of rocks 3 fathom under water but they may be known by the Sea weed which grows upon them. In sailing in or out of this Sound with little wind attention must be had to the Tides which flows 9 or 10 oClock at the full and change of the Moon and rises and falls upon a perpendicular 7 or 8 feet. The flood comes in through the Strait f^rom the SE and sets strong over upon the NW head and the reef laying off it, the Ebb sets with great rapidity to the SE over upon the Islands and rocks lying off the SE head. The Variation of the Compass we found from good observations to be 13°. 5' East. The land about this sound is of such height that we first saw it at the distance of 20 Leagues   it consists wholy of high hills and deep Vallies well stored with a variety of excellent Timber fit for all purposes excepting Ships Masts for which use it is too hard and heavy. The sea abounds with a variety of fish and in such plenty that without going out of the Cove where we lay, we caught daily what with the Saine and hook and line quite sufficient for all hands, and upon our first arrival we found plenty of shags and some few other wild fowls which to people in our situation was fresh food not to be dispised —

The number of Inhabitants hardly exceeds 3 or 400 hundreds people, they leive desperse'd along the Shore in search of their daly bread which is fish and firn roots for they cultivate not no part of the lands. Upon the appearence of danger they retire to their Hippa's or strong holds for in this situation we found them and they remaind so for some days after. This people are poor when compared to many we have seen and their Canoes are mean and without orament, the little traffick we had with them was wholy for fish for we saw nothing ^little else they had to dispose of,   they seem'd to have some knowlidge of Iron for they very readily took Nails in exchange for fish and some times prefer'd them to any thing else which was more than the people of any other place would do, they were at first fond of paper but when they found it spoild by being wet they would not take it, nor did they set much Value upon the cloth we got at Georges Island, but shew'd an extraordinary fondness for English broad Cloth and Red Kersey, which shew'd them to be a more sensible people than Ma[n]y of their Neighbours —

Besides the common dress some of these people wore on their heads ^round Caps made of birds feathers which were far from being unbecoming —

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© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 183, 2004
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