5th to 7th April 1771
5th. Var'ble light winds. Sail'd for Holland 3 Dutch Ships. Employ'd as above, and getting on board Provisions, etc.
6th. Gentle breezes, with some rain in the Night.
7th. Gentle breezes, and fine, pleasant weather; a Signal for some Ships being in the offing.
7th. The Europa Indiaman Captn Pelley came into the Bay. Of the four French vessels which we found in this Harbour 3 are now saild and the fourth is ready for sea. Of them two were 64 Gun ships, the other a large Snow and the fourth which still remains a frigate. All these Came from the Isle de France for Provision, of which they carry away from hence a prodigious quantity and consequently must have many mouths to feed upon that Island, from whence it is probable they Meditate some stroke at our East Indian Settlements in the beginning of a future war; which however our India people are not at all alarmd at, trusting intirely to the vast standing armies which they constantly keep up, the support of which in the Bengall alone Costs 840000 eight hundred and forty thousand pounds a Year!
Mr De Bougainville pleasd with the Bea[u]ty of the Ladies of Otahite gave that Island the Name of Cypre. In his return home he touchd at Isle de France where the Person who went out with him in the character of Natural Historian was left and still remains. Otorroo the Indian whoom he brought from thence was known on board his ship by the name of Tootavee, a plain corruption of Bougainville, with whoom it may be suppos'd he meant to change names according to his Custom. This man is now at L'Isle de France, from whence a large ship is very soon to Sail and carry him back to his own countrey where she is to make a settlement, in doing which she must Necessarily follow the Tract of Abel Jansen Tasman and consequently if she does not discover Cooks Streights, which in all probability she will do, must make several discoveries on the Coast of New Zealand. Thus much the French who were here made no secret of. How necessary then will it be for us to publish an account of our voyage as soon as possible after our arrival if we mean that our own countrey shall have the Honour of our Discoveries! Should the French have publishd an account of Mr De Bougainvilles voyage before that of the second Dolphin how infallibly will they claim the Discovery of Cypre or Otahite as their own, and treat the Dolphins having seen it as a fiction, which we were enabled to set forth with some shew of truth as the Endeavour realy did See it, a twelvemonth however after Mr De Bougainville; which if England chuses to exert her Prior Claim to it, as she may hereafter do, if the French settle it may be productive of very disagreable consequences. See Account of Cape of Good Hope below.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:01