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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Otaheite to Tinian


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Otaheite to Tinian (continued)

At two o’clock, being about two miles distant from Boscawen’s Island, we saw several of the inhabitants; but Keppel’s Isle being to windward, and appearing more likely to afford us anchorage, we hauled up for it. At six, it was not more than a mile and an half distant, and, with our glasses, we saw many of the inhabitants upon the beach; but there being breakers at a considerable distance from the shore, we stood off and on all night.

At four o’clock the next morning, we sent off the boats to sound, and visit the island; and as soon as it was light, we ran down and lay over-against the middle of it. At noon, the boats returned, and reported that they had run within a cable’s length of the island, but could find no ground: that seeing a reef of rocks lie off it, they had hauled round it, and got into a large deep bay which was full of rocks: that they then sounded without the bay, and found anchorage from 14 to 20 fathom, with a bottom of sand and coral: that afterwards they went again into the bay, and found a rivulet of good water, but the shore being rocky, went in search of a better landing-place, which they found about half a mile farther, and went ashore. They reported also, that from the water to this landing-place, a good rolling-way might be made for supplying the ship, but that a strong guard would be necessary, to prevent molestation from the inhabitants. They saw no hogs, but brought off two fowls and some cocoa-nuts, plantains and bananas. While the boats were on shore, two canoes came up to them with six men: they seemed to be peaceably inclined, and were much the same kind of people as the inhabitants of King George’s Island, but they were clothed in a kind of matting, and the first joint of their little fingers had been taken off; at the same time about fifty more came down from the country, to within about an hundred yards of them, but would advance no farther. When our people had made what observations they could, they put off, and three of the natives from the canoes came into one of the boats, but when she got about half a mile from the shore, they all suddenly jumped overboard and swam back again.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 492 - 493, 2004
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