14th October 1769

[Off Portland Island, North Island, New Zealand]
P.M. had Gentle breezes between the North-East and North-West. Kept running down along shore at the distance of 2 or 3 miles off. Our sounding was from 20 to 13 fathoms, an even sandy bottom. We saw some Canoes or Boats in shore, and several houses upon the Land, but no harbour or Convenient watering place--the Main thing we were looking for. In the night had little wind, and Sometimes Calm with Dirty, rainy weather. A.M. had Variable light Airs next to a Calm and fair weather. In the morning, being not above 2 Leagues from the South-West corner of the great Bay we have been in for the 2 days past, the Pinnace and Long boat were hoisted out in order to search for Fresh Water; but just as they were ready to put off we observed several Boats full of People coming off from the Shore, and for that reason I did not think it prudent to send our own from the Ship. The first that came were 5 in Number, in them were between 80 and 90 men. Every Method was tried to gain their Friendship, and several things were thrown overboard to them; but all we could do was to no purpose, neither would they accept of any one thing from us, but seem'd fully bent on attacking us. In order to prevent this, and our being obliged to fire upon them, I order'd a 4 Pounder Loaded with grape to be fir'd a little wide of them, letting them know at the same time by Means of Tupia what we were going to do; this had the desir'd effect, and not one of these would afterwards trust themselves abreast of the Ship.

Soon after 4 more came off; one of these put what Arms they had into another Boat, and then came alongside so near as to take what things we gave them, and I believe might have been Prevailed upon to come on board had not some of the first 5 came up under our Stern and began again to threaten us, at which the people in this one Boat seem'd displeased; immediately after this they all went ashore.

At Noon Latitude in per Observation 39 degrees 37 minutes South. Portland bore by our run from it East by North, distant 14 Leagues; the Southermost land in sight, and which is the South point of the Bay, South-East by South, distant 4 or 5 Leagues; and a Bluff head lying in the South-West corner of the Bay South by West 2 or 3 Miles. On each side of this bluff head is a low narrow sand or stone beach; between these beaches and the Main land is a pretty large lake of Salt Water, as I suppose. On the South-East side of this head is a very large flatt, which seems to extend a good way inland to the Westward; on this flatt are Several groves of Streight, tall Trees, but there seems to be a great Probability that the lake above mentiond extends itself a good way into this flatt Country. Inland are a Chain of Pretty high Mountains extending North and South; on the Summits and Sides of these Mountains were many Patches of Snow, but between them and the Sea the Land is Cloathed with wood.*

(* The Endeavour was now off what is called Ahuriri Bay. The bluff head is known as Ahuriri Bluff, and the town of Napier, of 8000 inhabitants, lies at the back of it. The large sheet of salt water is called Manganui-o-rotu. There was no sheltered harbour for a vessel in the Endeavour's situation, but at present, harbour works have improved the entrance to the lagoon into which vessels drawing 12 feet can enter. Produce of the value of over a million pounds per annum is now exported from Napier.)

Joseph Banks Journal
This morn high mountains inland were in sight on the tops of which the snow was not yet melted, the countrey near the shore low and unfavourable; in one place was a patch of something yellow that bore much resemblance to a corn feild, probably some kind of flaggs decayd as is common in swampy places, at a distance some detachd groves of trees upon the flat that appeard very high and tapering. Several canoes had put off from shore in the morning and came towards us, about 10 O'Clock 5 were together seemingly holding a consultation after which they pulld towards the ship in a body as if resolvd to attack her, 4 more were coming after them from the shore. This manoevre was not to be disregarded: the canoes were large, we judgd that they could not contain less than 150 people, every one armd with a sharp pike of hard wood and their little hand instrument calld patoopatoo; were they to attempt any thing daring there could not fail to be a dreadfull slaughter among such a croud of naked men were we nesscesitated to fire among them; it was therefore though[t] proper to fire a gun over their heads as the effect of that would probably prevent any designs they might have formd from being put into execution. They were by this time within 100 yards of the ship singing their war song and threatning with their pikes; the gun was levelld a little before their first boat and had the desird effect, for no sooner had they seen the grape which scatterd very far upon the water than they paddled away in great haste. We all calld out that we were freinds if they would only lay down their arms. They did so and returnd to the ship; one boat came close under the quarter and taking off his Jacket offerd it to sale, but before any body had time to bid for it she dropd astern as did the rest, refusing to come to the ship again because they were afraid that we should kill them, so easily were these warriors convincd of our superiority.

Before noon we plainly saw that there was a small river ashore but no signs of shelter near it. About this time 6 more armd canoes came off from the land, they got together about ½ a mile from the ship and threatned most furiously with their lances paddles etc. After they had done this for some time they came nearer and Tupia talkd with them from the stern; they came into better temper and answerd his questions relating to the names of the countreys kings etc. very civily; he desird them to sing and dance and they did so. He often told them that if they would come to the ship without their arms we should be freinds with them; at last one boat venturd and soon after 3 or 4 more, they put all their arms into one boat which stayd at a distance while the others came to the ship and receivd presents, after which they went away. One of these men had hanging round his neck a peice of Green stone seemingly semitransparent, some of our people imagind it to be a Jewel, myself thought it no more than the green stone of which most of their tools and ornaments are made.

In the evening the countrey flat: upon it were 3 or 4 prodigiously pretty groves of tall trees; near one of them was a square inclosure made with close and very high rails, what was within it we could not guess. Some thunder and lightning this even, weather otherwise vastly moderate. Many shoals of small fish about the ship.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
We made for the inlet, which we saw the night before, and, on coming up to it, found that it was not sheltered, having only some low land at the bottom of it. Ten canoes, filled with people, chased us; but our ship sailing too fast for them, they were obliged to give over the pursuit. We sailed round most part of the bay without finding any opening; and the soundings, all along the shore, were very regular. The country appeared more fertile hereabout, and well covered with wood, the sea-shore making in clayey cliffs, upon which the surf broke very high. This bay was called Hawke's Bay.

In the afternoon, a canoe followed us, with eighteen people in her, armed with lances; but as they could not keep pace with us, they gave up their expedition. In sailing along, we could plainly distinguish land that was cultivated, parceled out into square compartments, having some sorts of herbs growing upon them.

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