24th April 1769

Joseph Banks Journal
Dr Solander and myself went along shore to the eastward in hopes of finding something worth observation by inlarging our ground. For about 2 miles the countrey within us was flat and fertile, the hills then came very near the waters edge and soon after quite into the sea so that we were obligd to climb over them. This barren countrey continued for about 3 miles more when we came to a large flat full of good houses and wealthy looking people; here was a river much more considerable than our own, it came out of a very deep and beautifull valley and was where we crossd it near 100 yards wide tho not quite at the sea. About a mile farther than this river we went when the Land became again as barren as possible, the rocks every where projecting into the sea, so we resolvd to return.

Soon after this resolution one of the natives made us an offer of refreshment which we accepted. He was remarkable for being much the whitest man we had seen. On examining him more nearly his skin was dead pale without the least signs of Complexion in any part of it, some parts were lighter than others but the darkest was lighter than any of our skins, his hair and eyebrows and beard were as white as his skin, his eyes bloodshot, he apeard to be very short sighted, his whole body was scurfy and maybe disease had been the cause of his colour; if not we shall see more such. In our return met Lycurgus who seem'd much rejoicd at seeing us as did all his women, to shew their regard I suppose they all cry'd most heartily.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
The tide rises and falls scarce a foot in the harbour; but the surf runs high. The inhabitants are very expert swimmers, and will remain in the water a long time, even with their hands full. They keep their water on shore in large bamboos, and in them they also carry up salt-water into the country. The boys drag for fish with a sort of net made of convolvulus leaves; and sometimes catch them with hooks made of mother of pearl oysters, large pinna marina, and other shells; and the shapes of them are very singular. They have also some made of wood, which are very large; They fish without bait, but the fish are attracted the soonest by such hooks as are made of glittering shells. When they throw their hooks, they row their canoes as fact as possible: sometimes they make use of a decoy made of the backs of cowries, and other shells, which are perforated, and tied together in the shape of a fish, making a head to it with a small cowrey; and the tail is formed of grafts ingeniously plaited. At a little distance under this decoy, hangs the hook: To sink their lines, they make use of bone, or a piece of spar, which they sometimes carve.

No comments:

Post a Comment