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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
20 - 24 July 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Description of Several other Islands


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Description of Several other Islands (continued)

Night now came on apace, but Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander continued their walk along the shore, and at a little distance saw another Ewharre-no-Eatua, and a tree of the fig kind, the same as that which Mr. Green had seen at Otaheite, in great perfection, the trunk, or rather congeries of the roots of which was forty-two paces in circumference.

On the 21st, having dispatched the Master in the long-boat to examine the coast of the south part of the island, and one of the Mates in the yawl, to sound the harbour where the ship lay, I went myself in the pinnace, to survey that part of the island which lies to the north. Mr. Banks and the Gentlemen were again on shore, trading with the natives, and examining the products and curiosities of the country; they saw nothing, however, worthy notice, but some more jaw-bones, of which they made no doubt but that the account they had heard was true.

On the 22nd and 23d, having strong gales and hazey weather, I did not think it safe to put to sea; but on the 24th, though the wind was still variable, I got under sail, and plyed to the northward within the reef, with a view to go out at a wider opening than that by which I had entered; in doing this, however, I was unexpectedly in the most imminent danger of striking on the rock: the Master, whom I had ordered to keep continually sounding in the chains, suddenly called out, "two fathom." This alarmed me, for though I knew the ship drew at least fourteen feet, and that therefore it was impossible such a shoal should be under her keel; yet the Master was either mistaken, or she went along the edge of a coral rock, many of which, in the neighbourhood of these islands, are as steep as a wall.

This harbour or bay is called by the natives OOPOA, and taken in its greatest extent, it is capable of holding any number of shipping. It extends almost the whole length of the east side of the island, and is defended from the sea by a reef of coral rocks: the southermost opening in this reef, or channel into the harbour, by which we entered, is little more than a cable’s length wide; it lies off the eastermost point of the island, and may be known by another small woody island, which lies a little to the south east of it, called by the people here OATARA. Between three and four miles north west from this island lie two other islets, in the same direction as the reef, of which they are a part, called OPURURU and TAMOU; between these lies the other channel into the harbour, through which I went out, and which is a full quarter of a mile wide. Still farther to the north west are some other small islands, near which I am told there is another small channel into the harbour; but this I know only by report.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 257 - 259, 2004
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