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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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10 - 12 April 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Arrival at Otaheite


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CHAP. VIII. The Arrival of the Endeavour at Otaheite, called by Captain Wallis, King George the IIII.'s Island. Rules established for Traffic with the Natives, and an Account of several Incidents.

ABOUT one o’clock, on Monday the 10th of April, some of the people who were looking out for the island to which we were bound, said they saw land ahead, in that part of the horizon where it was expected to appear; but it was so faint that, whether there was land in sight or not, remained a matter of dispute till sunset. The next morning, however, at six o’clock, we were convinced that those who said they had discovered land, were not mistaken; it appeared to be very high and mountainous, extending from W. by S ½ S. to W. by N. ½ N. and we knew it to be the same that Captain Wallis had called King George the III.’s Island. We were delayed in our approach to it by light airs and calms, so that in the morning of the 12th we were but little nearer than we had been the night before; but about seven a breeze sprung up, and before eleven several canoes were seen making towards the ship: there were but few of them, however, that would come near; and the people in those that did, could not be persuaded to come on board. In every canoe there were young plantains, and branches of a tree which the Indians call E’Midho; these, as we afterwards learnt, were brought as tokens of peace and amity, and the people in one of the canoes handed them up the ship’s side, making signals at the same time with great earnestness, which we did not immediately understand; at length we guessed that they wished these symbols should be placed in some conspicuous part of the ship; we, therefore, immediately stuck them among the rigging, at which they expressed the greatest satisfaction. We then purchased their cargoes, consisting of cocoa-nuts, and various kinds of fruit, which after our long voyage were very acceptable.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 79 - 80, 2004
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