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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
28 April 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

The Run from New Zealand to Botany Bay


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The Run from New Zealand to Botany Bay (continued)

The Indians sat down upon the rocks, and seemed to wait for our landing; but to our great regret, when we came within about a quarter of a mile, they ran away into the woods: we determined however to go ashore, and endeavour to procure an interview, but in this we were again disappointed, for we found so great a surf beating upon every part of the beach, that landing with our little boat was altogether impracticable: we were therefore obliged to be content with gazing at such objects as presented themselves from the water: the canoes, upon a near view, seemed very much to resemble those of the smaller sort at New Zealand. We observed, that among the trees on shore, which were not very large, there was no underwood; and could distinguish that many of them were of the palm kind, and some of them cabbage trees: after many a wishful look we were obliged to return, with our curiosity rather excited than satisfied, and about five in the evening got on board the ship. About this time it fell calm, and our situation was by no means agreeable: we were now not more than a mile and a half from the shore, and within some breakers, which lay to the southward; but happily a light breeze came off the land, and carried us out of danger: with this breeze we stood to the northward, and at day-break we discovered a bay, which seemed to be well sheltered from all winds, and into which therefore I determined to go with the ship. The pinnace being repaired, I sent her, with the Master, to sound the entrance, while I kept turning up, having the wind right out. At noon, the mouth of the bay bore N.N.W. distant about a mile, and seeing a smoke on the shore, we directed our glasses to the spot, and soon discovered ten people, who, upon our nearer approach, left their fire, and retired to a little eminence, whence they could conveniently observe our motions. Soon after two canoes, each having two men on board, came to the shore just under the eminence, and the men joined the rest on the top of it. The pinnace, which had been sent ahead to sound, now approached the place, upon which all the Indians retired farther up the hill, except one, who hid himself among some rocks near the landing-place. As the pinnace proceeded along the shore, most of the people took the same route, and kept abreast of her at a distance; when she came back, the master told us, that in a cove a little within the harbour, some of them had come down to the beach, and invited him to land by many signs and words of which he knew not the meaning; but that all of them were armed with long pikes, and a wooden weapon shaped somewhat like a cimeter. The Indians who had not followed the boat, seeing the ship approach, used many threatening gestures, and brandished their weapons; particularly two, who made a very singular appearance, for their faces seemed to have been dusted with a white powder, and their bodies painted with broad streaks of the same colour, which passing obliquely over their breasts and backs, looked not unlike the cross-belts worn by our soldiers; the same kind of streaks were also drawn round their legs and thighs like broad garters: each of these men held in his hand the weapon that had been described to us as like a cimeter, which appeared to be about two feet and a half long, and they seemed to talk to each other with great earnestness.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 490 - 491, 2004
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