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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
13 - 16 July 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Description of Several other Islands


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CHAP. XX. A Description of several other Islands in the Neighbourhood of Otaheite, with various Incidents; a dramatic Entertainment; and many Particulars relative to the Customs and Manners of the Inhabitants.

AFTER parting with our friends, we made an easy sail, with gentle breezes and clear weather, and were informed by Tupia, that four of the neighbouring islands, which he distinguished by the names of HUAHEINE, ULIETEA, OTAHA, and BOLABOLA, lay at the distance of between one and two days sail from Otaheite; and that hogs, fowls, and other refreshments, with which we had of late been but sparingly supplied, were there to be procured in great plenty; but having discovered from the hills of Otaheite, an island lying to the northward, which he called TETHUROA, I determined first to stand that way, to take a nearer view of it. It lies N. ½ W. distant eight leagues from the northern extremity of Otaheite, upon which we had observed the transit, and to which we had, for that reason, given the name of POINT VENUS. We found it to be a small low island, and were told by Tupia, that it had no settled inhabitants, but was occasionally visited by the inhabitants of Otaheite, who sometimes went thither for a few days to fish; we therefore determined to spend no more time in a farther examination of it, but to go in search of Huaheine and Ulietea, which he described to be well peopled, and as large as Otaheite.

At six o’clock in the morning of the 14th, the westermost part of EIMEO, or York Island, bore S.E. ½ S. and the body of Otaheite E. ½ S. At noon, the body of York Island bore E. by S. ½ S. and Port-Royal bay, at Otaheite, S. 70° 45’ E. distant 61 miles, and an island which we took to be Saunders’s Island, called by the natives TAPOAMANAO, bore S.S.W. We also saw land bearing N.W. ½ W. which Tupia said was Huaheine.

On the 15th, it was hazy, with light breezes and calms succeeding each other, so that we could see no land, and made but little way. Our Indian, Tupia, often prayed for a wind to his god Tane, and as often boasted of his success, which indeed he took a very effectual method to secure, for he never began his address to Tane, till he saw a breeze so near that he knew it must reach the ship before his oraison was well over.

On the 16th, we had a gentle breeze; and in the morning about eight o’clock, being close in with the north west part of the island Huaheine, we sounded, but had no bottom with 80 fathom. Some canoes very soon came off, but the people seemed afraid, and kept at a distance till they discovered Tupia, and then they ventured nearer. In one of the canoes that came up to the ship’s side, was the king of the island and his wife. Upon assurances of friendship, frequently and earnestly repeated, their Majesties and some others came on board. At first they were struck with astonishment, and wondered at every thing that was shewn them; yet they made no enquiries, and seeming to be satisfied with what was offered to their notice, they made no search after other objects of curiosity, with which it was natural to suppose a building of such novelty and magnitude as the ship must abound. After some time, they became more familiar. I was given to understand, that the name of the king was OREE, and he proposed, as a mark of amity, that we should exchange names. To this I readily consented; and he was Cookee, for so he pronounced my name, and I was Oree, for the rest of the time we were together. We found these people to be very nearly the same with those of Otaheite, in person, dress, language, and every other circumstance, except, if Tupia might be believed, that they would not steal.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 249 - 251, 2004
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