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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Discovery of Queen Charlotte's Island


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Discovery of Queen Charlotte's Island (continued)

The inhabitants of Egmont Island, whose persons have been described already, are extremely nimble, vigorous and active, and seem to be almost as well qualified to live in the water as upon the land, for they were in and out of their canoes almost every minute. The canoes that came out against us from the west end of the island, were all like that which our people brought on board, and might probably, upon occasion, carry about a dozen men, though three or four manage them with amazing dexterity: we saw, however, others of a large size upon the beach, with awnings or shades over them.

We got two of their bows, and a bundle of their arrows, from the canoe that was taken with the wounded man; and with these weapons they do execution at an incredible distance. One of them went through the boats washboard, and dangerously wounded a midshipman in the thigh. Their arrows were pointed with flint, and we saw among them no appearance of any metal. The country in general is woody and mountainous, with many vallies intermixed; several small rivers flow from the interior part of the country into the sea, and there are many harbours upon the coast. The variation here was about 11° 15 E.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 583, 2004
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