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On this day ...
9 - 13 April 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Terra del Fuego



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Terra del Fuego (continued)

This day we also discovered another low island, which we called Chain Island: It is of an oval figure, consisting of a ridge of coral and sand, with a few clumps of small trees, and had a lagoon in the middle of it. These islands were dedicated to the Royal Society.

In the morning of the 10th, we saw Osnabrug Island, bearing N. W. by W. half W. about six leagues distant, and, leaving it to the northward, at noon we discovered George’s Island from the main-top mast head, and stood toward it.

The 12th, the sea being mostly calm in the forenoon, we could get very little nearer land; but many of the Indians came off to us in canoes (one of which was double, and had much carved work upon it) bringing with them cocoa nuts, and apples, to truck for nails, buttons, and beads. These canoes were but just wide enough for one person to sit in the breadth: to prevent them from oversetting, they place out riggers, upon the top of which is fixed a bamboo fishing rod. The people in the canoes were of a pale, tawny, complexion, and had long black hair. They seemed to be very good-natured, and not of a covetous disposition, giving us a couple of cocoa nuts, or a basket of apples, for a button, or a nail.

While we lay before these islands, we had squalls of wind, some calms, and heavy showers of rain. Toward night we opened the N.W. point, and discovered the island named by the Dolphin’s people, York Island, and called by the natives, as we afterwards learned, Eimayo. A breeze springing up, we lay off and on all that night; and, on the 13th, we made the island of Otaheite, called by the Dolphin’s people George’s Island, which is opposite to York Island. We entered Port Royal harbour, called by the natives Owarrowarrow, and anchored in nine fathom water, within half a mile of the shore. The land appeared as uneven as a piece of crumpled paper, being divided irregularly into hills and valleys; but a beautiful verdure covered both, even to the tops of the highest peaks. A great number of the natives came off to us in canoes, and brought with them bananas, cocoas, bread-fruit, apples, and some pigs; but they were errant thieves; and, while I was busied in the forenoon in trucking with them for some of their cloth, (an account of which will be given hereafter,) one of them pilfered an earthen vessel out of my cabin. It was was very diverting to see the different emotions which the natives expressed at the manoeuvres of our ship. They were very social, and several of them came on board; some of them remembered such of our people as had been there in the Dolphin, and seemed highly pleased at our arrival. The captain and Mr. Banks went on shore; but they returned greatly disappointed, as they could not find the principal inhabitants, and perceived that many of their houses had been taken down since the Dolphin left them.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 13 - 14, 2004
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