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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
30 - 31 October 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

The Range from Tolaga to Mercury Bay


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CHAP. III. The Range from Tolaga to Mercury Bay, with an Account of many Incidents that happened both on board and ashore: A Description of several Views exhibited by the Country, and of the Heppahs, or fortified Villages of the Inhabitants.

ON Monday the 30th, about half an hour after one o’clock, having made sail again to the northward for about ten hours, with a light breeze, I hauled round a small island which lay east one mile from the north east point of the land: from this place I found the land trend away N.W. by W. and W.N.W. as far as I could see, this point being the eastermost land on the whole coast. I gave it the name of EAST CAPE, and I called the island that lies off it EAST ISLAND; it is of a small circuit, high and round, and appears white and barren: the Cape is high, with white cliffs, and lies in latitude 37° 42’ 30" S. and longitude 181° W. The land from Tolaga Bay to East Cape is of a moderate, but unequal height, forming several small bays, in which are sandy beaches: of the inland country we could not see much, the weather being cloudy and hazey. The soundings were from twenty to thirty fathom at the distance of about a league from the shore. After we had rounded the Cape, we saw in our run along the shore a great number of villages, and much cultivated land; the country in general appeared more fertile than before, and was low near the sea, but hilly within. At six in the evening, being four leagues to the westward of East Cape, we passed a bay which was first discovered by Lieutenant Hicks, and which therefore I called HICKS’S BAY. At eight in the evening, being eight leagues to the westward of the Cape, and three or four miles from the shore, I shortened sail and brought to for the night, having at this time a fresh gale at S.S.E. and squally; but it soon became moderate, and at two in the morning, we made sail again to the S.W. as the land now trended; and at eight o’clock in the morning, saw land, which made like an island, bearing weft, the south westermost part of the main bearing south west; and about nine no less than five canoes came off, in which were more than forty men, all armed with their country pikes and battle-axes, shouting, and threatening an attack: this gave us great uneasiness, and was indeed what we did not expect; for we hoped, that the report both of our power and clemency had spread to a greater extent. When one of these canoes had almost reached the ship, another, of an immense size, the largest we had yet seen, crowded with people who were also armed, put off from the shore, and came up at a great rate; as it approached it received signals from the canoe that was nearest to the ship, and we could see that it had sixteen paddles on a side, beside people that sat, and others that stood in a row from stem to stern, being in all about sixty men: as they made directly to the ship, we were desirous of preventing an attack, by showing what we could do; and therefore fired a gun, loaded with grape-shot, ahead of them: this made them stop, but not retreat; a round shot was then fired over them, and upon seeing it fall, they seized their paddles, and made towards the shore with such precipitation that they seemed scarcely to allow themselves time to breathe. In the evening, three or four more canoes came off unarmed; but they would not venture within a musquet shot of the vessel. The cape, off which we had been threatened with hostilities, I called, from the hasty retreat of the enemy, CAPE RUNAWAY. It lies in latitude 37° 32’; longitude 181° 48’. In this day’s run, we found that the land, which made like an island in the morning, bearing west, was so; and we gave it the name of WHITE ISLAND.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 323 - 325, 2004
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