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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
5 - 8 October 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

The Passage from Oteroah to New Zealand


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The Passage from Oteroah to New Zealand (continued)

On the 5th, we thought the water changed colour, but upon casting the lead, had no ground with 180 fathom. In the evening of this day, the variation was 12° 50’ E. and while we were going nine leagues it encreased to 14° 2’.

On the nest day, Friday, October the 6th, we saw land from the mast-head, bearing W. by N. and stood directly for it; in the evening it could just be discerned from the deck, and appeared large. The variation this day was, by azimuth and amplitude, 15° 4’ ½ E. and by observation made of the sun and moon, the longitude of the ship appeared to be 180° 55’ W. and by the medium of this and subsequent observations, there appeared to be an error in the ship’s account of longitude during her run from Otaheite of 3° 16’, she being so much to the westward of the longitude resulting from the log. At midnight, I brought to and sounded, but had no ground with one hundred and seventy fathom.

On the 7th, it fell calm, we therefore approached the land slowly, and in the afternoon, when a breeze sprung up, we were still distant seven or eight leagues. It appeared still larger as it was more distinctly seen, with four or five ranges of hills, rising one over the other, and a chain of mountains above all, which appeared to be of an enormous height. This land became the subject of much eager conversation; but the general opinion seemed to be that we had found the Terra australis incognita. About five o’clock we saw the opening of a bay, which seemed to run pretty far inland, upon which we hauled our wind and stood in for it; we also saw smoke ascending from different places on shore. When night came on, however, we kept plying off and on till day-light, when we found ourselves to the leeward of the bay, the wind being at north: we could now perceive that the hills were cloathed with wood, and that some of the trees in the valleys were very large. By noon we fetched in with the south west point; but not being able to weather it, tacked and stood off: at this time we saw several canoes standing cross the bay, which in a little time made to shore, without seeming to take the least notice of the ship; we also saw some houses, which appeared to be small, but neat; and near one of them a considerable number of the people collected together, who were sitting upon the beach, and who, we thought, were the same that we had seen in the canoes. Upon a small peninsula, at the north east head, we could plainly perceive a pretty high and regular paling, which inclosed the whole top of a hill; this was also the subject of much speculation, some supposing it to be a park of deer, others an inclosure for oxen and sheep. About four o’clock in the afternoon, we anchored on the north west side of the bay, before the entrance of a small river, in ten fathom water, with a fine sandy bottom, and at about half a league from the shore. The sides of the bay are white cliffs of a great height; the middle is low land, with hills gradually rising behind, one towering above another, and terminating in the chain of mountains which appeared to be far inland.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 283 - 284, 2004
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