8th to 11th January 1771
Joseph Banks Journal
8th. In the Morn the ship which had in the night been driven something nearer the shore, was so near being ashore that the foot of the rudder touchd several times, and indeed gave the first intimation of our danger, but by the alertness of the officers she was hove into deep water in a very short time. The day was rainy throughout and very few Indians came to the watering place, so that nothing was bought but a few fish and fowls.
9th. Fine weather today and rather more trade than usual. Early in the morn 8 guns were heard within Pepper point, but no ship had been seen by either us or the Islanders so we could not even guess the Occasion of them.
10th. Little trade; the people brought down a deer of a kind weighing about 40 lb; our stock of Turtle was now Considerably increasd, some few having been bought every day, tho the Joint number did not equal what had been bought the first day.
11th. My Servant Sander who I had hir'd at Batavia having found out that these people had a town somewhere along shore to the Westward and not very far off, I resolvd to visit it, but knowing that the inhabitants were not at all desirous of our company kept my intentions secret from them. In the morn I set out accompanied by our second Lieutenant and went along shore, telling all whoom I met that I was in search of plants which indeed was also the case. In about 2 hours we arrivd at a place where were about 4 or 5 houses, here we met an old man and venturd to ask him questions about the town; he said it was very distant, but we not much relying on his information proceeded on our way, as did he in our company, atempting however several times to lead us out of the pathway which we were now in; we remaind firm to our purpose and soon got sight of our desird Object. The old man then turnd our freind and accompanied us to the houses, I suppose near 400 in number, divided into the old and new town between which was a brackish river. In the old town we met with several old acquaintances, one of whoom at the rate of 2d a head undertook to transport us over the river, which he did in two very small Canoes which we prevented from oversetting by laying them alongside each other and holding them together; in this manner we safely went through our navigation and arrivd at the new town, where the kings and all the nobilities houses were which the inhabitants very freely shewd to us. The most of them were shut up, the people in general at this time of the year living in their rice feilds to defend the Crop from Monkies, Birds etc. When our curiosity was satisfied we hird a large sailing boat for which we gave 2 Rupees 4s/, which carried us home time enough to dine upon the deer we had bought the day before, which provd very good and savoury meat.
In the Evening when we went ashore we were acquainted that an axe had been stole from one of our people; this as the first theft we thought it not proper to pass over, so immediate application was made to the king, who after some time promisd that it should be returnd in the morn.
Posted by Arborfield at 11:53