13th October 1769

[Off Portland Island, North Island, New Zealand]
At 1 p.m. we discover'd land behind or to the Westward of Portland, extending to the Southward as far as we could see. In hauling round the South end of Portland we fell into Shoal Water and broken ground, which we, however, soon got clear of. At this time 4 Canoes came off to us full of People, and keept for sometime under our stern threatning of us all the while. As I did not know but what I might be obliged to send our Boats ahead to sound, I thought these Gentry would be as well out of the way. I order'd a Musquet shott to be fir'd close to one of them, but this they took no notice of. A 4 Pounder was then fir'd a little wide of them; at this they began to shake their Spears and Paddles at us, but notwithstanding this they thought fit to retire.

Having got round Portland, we hauled in for the Land North-West, having a Gentle breeze at North-East, which died away at 5 o'Clock and obliged us to Anchor in 21 fathoms, a fine sandy bottom: the South Point of Portland bore South-East 1/2 South distant about 2 Leagues, and a low Point on the Main bore North 1/2 East. In this last direction there runs in a deep bay behind the Land on which is Table Cape, which makes this Land a Peninsula, joined to the Main by a low, narrow neck of land; the Cape is the North Point of the Peninsula, and Portland the South.

While we lay at Anchor 2 Boats came off to us, and so near as to take up some things we throw'd them out of the Ship, but would not come alongside. At 5 a.m. a breeze springing northerly we weigh'd and steer'd in for the Land. The shore here forms a very large Bay, of which Portland is the North-East Point, and the Bay above mentioned is an Arm of it. I would gladly have examin'd this Arm, because there appear'd to be safe Anchorage in it, but as I was not certain of this, and the wind being right an End, I did not care to spend time in Turning up to it.

At Noon Portland bore South 50 degrees East, and the Southermost land in sight bore South-South-West, distant 10 or 12 Leagues, being about 3 miles from the Shore, and in this situation had 12 fathoms water--24 fathoms have been the most Water we have had since we have been within Portland, every where clear ground. The land near the Shore is of a moderate height, with white Cliffs and Sandy beaches. Inland are several Pretty high Mountains, and the whole face of the Country appears with a very hilly surface, and for the most part Covered with wood, and hath all the appearances of a very pleasant and fertile Country.

Joseph Banks Journal
Brisk breeze of wind: 9 Canoes came after the ship this morn, whether with war or peace we cannot tell for we soon left them behind. We found that the land within Teahoura or Portland Isle makes another Island or peninsula, both sides of this the natives have calld Teracaco so that is in all likelyhood the name of it. Before noon we were almost surrounded with land; that nearest us made in green hills without the white Cliffs which we have generaly seen, the appearance more fertil tho we can not distinguish any cultivation as we did yesterday; on the tops of the hills were several palings like those seen yesterday. Towards evening stood in for a place that had the appearance of an opening which provd no harbour so stood off again with a pleasant breeze. A very large canoe soon put off carrying 18 or 20 men armd who tho they could not get within a mile of us shouted and threatned most prodigiously; after this the white cliffs and more barren land began again to appear. At night pleasant light breeze, stood along shore.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Two canoes came off' to us, and one of the natives came on board of our ship, but, being much intimidated could not be prevailed on to stay long. He was was tataowed in the face, and wore a garment made of a sort of silky flax, wrought very strong, with a black and brown border round it, and a weapon in his hand made of the bone of a grampus. There were several women in the canoe with uncommon long breasts, and their lips stained with a blue colour. In the afternoon, more canoes came to us. Some of the people in them were disfigured in a very strange manner; they brandished their arms, and shewed signs of contempt, while the rest paddled hard to overtake us; and, at length, attempted to board us.

The captain ordered one of the men to fire a musket over them, which they did not regard. A great gun, loaded with grape shot, was fired, which made them drop astern; but whether any of them were wounded, we could not discover. Several of the canoes had outriggers; and one of them had a very curious piece of ornamental carving at the head of it. At this time we were doubling the west point of the land, formed by a small high island, and got into very foul ground, the sounding being from seven to thirteen fathoms, and were afraid of running upon it, but we happily escaped.

After we had doubled this island, which was called Portland Isle, or, according to the natives, Teahowray, we got into a sort of large bay, and, the night coming on, we thought it best to drop anchor, designing, next morning, to make for a harbour in the corner of the bay, where there was the appearance of an inlet. Most of the country in view makes in flat table-hills, with cliffs of white clay toward the sea. In the evening, several of the natives came, in two canoes, to visit us: they seemed to be more friendly than the former; but were, however, so frightened, that we could not persuade them to come on board: we offered them various things, which they kindly accepted.

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