11th October 1769

Leave Poverty Bay
In the P.M., as I intended to sail in the Morning, we put the 3 Youths ashore, seemingly very much against their inclination; but whether this was owing to a desire they had to remain with us, or the fear of falling into the hands of their Enemies, as they pretended, I know not. The latter, however, seemed to be ill-founded, for we saw them carried across the River in a Catamaran, and walk Leasurely off with the other Natives.

At 6 a.m. we weighed and stood out of the Bay, which I have named Poverty Bay, because it afforded us no one thing we wanted (Latitude 38 degrees 42 minutes South, Longitude 181 degrees 36 minutes West).* (* Latitude correct. Longitude is 181 degrees 57 minutes West.) It is in the form of a Horse Shoe, and is known by an Island lying close under the North-East point. The 2 points which forms the Entrance are high, with Steap white Cliffs, and lay a League and a half or 2 Leagues from Each other, North-East by East and South-West by West. The Depth of Water in this Bay is from 12 to 6 and 5 fathoms, a sandy bottom and good Anchorage, but you lay open to the winds between the South and East. Boats can go in and out of the river above mentioned at any time of Tide in fine weather; but as there is a Bar at the Entrance, on which the Sea Sometimes runs so high that no Boat can either get in or out, which hapned while we laid here; however, I believe that Boats can generally land on the North-East side of the river. The shore of this Bay, from a little within each Entrance, is a low, flat sand; but this is only a Narrow Slip, for the face of the Country appears with a variety of hills and Vallies, all cloathed with woods and Verdure, and to all appearance well inhabited, especially in the Vallies leading up from the Bay, where we daily saw Smoke at a great distance inland, and far back in the Country are very high Mountains.

At Noon the South-West point of Poverty Bay, which I have named Young Nicks head (after the Boy who first saw this land), bore North by West, distance 3 or 4 leagues, being at this time about 3 Miles from the Shore, and had 25 fathoms Water, the Main Land extending from North-East by North to South. My intention is to follow the direction of the Coast to the Southward, as far as the Latitude of 40 or 41 degrees, and then to return to the Northward, in case we meet with nothing to incourage us to proceed farther.

Joseph Banks Journal
This morn We took our leave of Poverty bay with not above 40 species of Plants in our boxes, which is not to be wonderd at as we were so little ashore and always upon the same spot; the only time we wanderd about a mile from the boats was upon a swamp where not more than 3 species of Plants were found. 

Weather this day was most moderate: several Canoes put off from shore and came towards us within less than a quarter of a mile but could not be persuaded to come nearer, tho Tupia exerted himself very much shouting out and promising that they should not be hurt. At last one was seen coming from Poverty bay or near it, she had only 4 people in her, one who I well rememberd to have seen at our first interview on the rock: these never stopd to look at any thing but came at once alongside of the ship and with very little persuasion cam[e] on board; their example was quickly followd by the rest 7 Canoes in all and 50 men. They had many presents given to them notwithstanding which they very quickly sold almost every thing that they had with them, even their Cloaths from their backs and the paddles out of their boats; arms they had none except 2 men, one of whom sold his patoo patoo as he calld it, a short weapon of green talk of this shape intended doubtless for fighting hand to hand and certainly well contrivd for splitting sculls as it weigh[s] not less than 4 or 5 pounds and has sharp edges excellently polishd.

We were very anxious to know what was become of our poor boys, therefore as soon as the people began to lose their first impressions of fear that we saw at first disturbd them a good deal we askd after them. The man who first came on board immediately answerd that they were at home and unhurt and that the reason of his coming on board the ship with so little fear was the account they had given him of the usage they had met with among us. The people were in general of a midling size tho there was one who measurd more than 6 feet, their colour dark brown. Their lips were staind with something put under the skin (as in the Otahite tattow) and their faces markd with deeply engravd furrows Colourd also black and formd in regular spirals; of these the oldest people had much the greatest quantity and deepest channeld, in some not less than 1/16 part of an inch. Their hair always black was tied on the tops of their heads in a little knot, in which was stuck feathers of various birds in different tastes according to the humour of the wearer, generaly stuck into the knot, sometimes one on each side the temples pointing forwards which made a most disagreable apearance; in their Ears they generaly wore a large bunch of the down of some bird milk white. The faces of some were painted with a red colour in oil some all over, others in parts only, in their hair was much oil that had very little smell, more lice than ever I saw before! and in most of them a small comb neatly enough made, sometimes of wood sometimes of bone, which they seemd to prize much. Some few had on their faces or arms regular scars as if made with a sharp instrument: such I have seen on the faces of negroes.  The inferior sort were clothd in something that very much resembled hemp; the loose strings of this were fastned together at the top and hung down about 2 feet long like a petticoat; of these garments they wore 2, one round their shoulders the other about their wastes. The richer had garments probably of a finer sort of the same stuff, most beatifully made in exactly the same manner as the S. American Indians at this day, as fine or finer than one of them which I have by me that I bough[t] at Rio de Janeiro for 36 shillings and was esteemd uncommonly cheap at that price.

Their boats were not large but well made, something in the form of our whale boats but longer; their bottom was the trunk of a tree hollowd and very thin, this was raisd by a board on each side sewd on, with a strip of wood sewd over the seam to make it tight; on the head of every one was carvd the head of a man with an enormous tongue reaching out of his mouth. These grotesque figures were some at least very well executed, some had eyes inlaid of something that shone very much; the whole servd to give us an Idea of their taste as well as ingenuity in execution, much superior to any thing we have yet seen. Their behaviour while on board shewd every sign of freindship, they invited us very cordialy to come back to our old bay or to a small cove which they shewd us nearer to it. I could not help wishing that we had done so, but the captn chose rather to stand on in search of a better harbour than any we have yet seen. God send that we may not there have the same tragedy to act over again as we so lately perpetrated: the countrey is certainly divided into many small principalities so we cannot hope that an account of our weapons and management of them can be conveyd as far as we in all probability must go and this I am well convincd of, that till these warlike people have severly felt our superiority in the art of war they will never behave to us in a freindly manner. About an hour before sunset the canoes left us, and with us three of their people who were very desirous to have gone with them but were not permitted to return to the Canoes. What their reason for so doing is we can only guess, possibly they may think that their being on board will induce us to remain here till tomorrow when they will return and renew the traffick by which they find themselves so great gainers. The people were tolerably chearfull, entertaind us with dancing and singing after their custom, eat their suppers and went to bed very quietly.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
In the morning, the boats went on shore again, and carried the three men whom we had taken, dressed up very finely. The men did not seem willing to land, and when we left them, they cried, and said that the people on that side of the bay would eat them. While a party of our men went to cut wood, these men hid themselves in the bushes, and many of the natives appeared on the other side of the river. We beckoned to them, and, at length, one man, of more courage than the rest, ventured over to us without arms, with whom we conferred, by our interpreter Toobaiah, for a considerable time; and, during the conference, about two hundred more, armed with lances, poles, and stone bludgeons, made up to us, which the captain seeing, and being apprehensive they intended to cut off our retreat to the boats, as they had got to the other side of the river, he ordered us to embark, and return to the ship; which we did accordingly, taking with us the three natives whom we had brought on shore; but, in the afternoon, we set them on shore again; they parted with us reluctantly, and went into the woods; but, some time after, we saw them, with our glasses, come out again, make signs to us, and then go in again. These men, while on board, ate an immoderate quantity of every thing that was set before them, taking pieces at one time into their mouths six times larger than we did, and drank a quart of wine and water at one draught. They informed us, that there was Taro, Eape, Oomara, Yams, and also a peculiar kind of Deer, to be found upon the island.

The natives on this side of the bay were tataowed, or marked, in various forms on their faces; and their garments, wrought of rushes, reached down below their knees, and were very thick and rough. They tie their foreskins to their girdle with a string, and have holes pierced in their ears, which shews that they sometimes wear some sort of ear-rings: they have also some bracelets; necklaces they well knew the use of; but they did not like our iron wares. We saw a piece of wood which looked as smooth as if it had been cut with an axe; but of what materials the instruments are composed, which they use for that purpose, we could not learn. We went into some of their houses, which were very meanly thatched, having a hole in the center of the roof to let out the smoke; but we saw nothing in them except a few cockles, limpets, and muscle-shells. We found here a sort of long-pepper, which tasted very much like mace; a Fulica, or bald Coot, of a dark blue colour; and a Black-bird, the flesh of which was of an orange colour, and tasted like stewed shell-fish. 

A vast quantity of pumice-stone lies all along upon the shore, within the bay, which indicates that there is a volcano in this island.

No comments:

Post a Comment