2nd November 1769

[Off Cape Runaway, North Island, New Zealand]
Gentle breezes from North-West round Northerly to East-South-East and fair weather. At 2 p.m. saw a pretty high Island bearing West from us, and at 5 saw more Islands and Rocks to the Westward of it. Hauld our wind in order to go without them, but, finding that we could not weather them before dark, bore up, and run between them and the Main. At 7 was close under the first Island, from whence a large double Canoe full of People came off to us. This was the first double Canoe we had seen in this Country. They staid about the Ship until it was dark, then left us; but not before they had thrown a few stones. They told us the name of the Island, which was Mowtohora. (Motuhora, called also Whale Island.) It is but of a small Circuit, but high, and lies 6 Miles from the Main. Under the South side is Anchorage in 14 fathoms. South-West by South from this Island on the Main land, seemingly at no great distance from the Sea, is a high round Mountain, which I have named Mount Edgcombe. It stands in the middle of a large Plain, which make it the more Conspicuous. Latitude 37 degrees 59 minutes South, Longitude 183 degrees 07 minutes West. In standing to the Westward we Shoalded our Water from 17 to 10 fathoms, and knowing that we were not far from some Small Islands and Rocks that we had seen before dark, after Passing of which I intended to have brought too for the night, but I now thought it more prudent to tack, and spend the Night under the Island of Mowtohora, where I knew there was no danger. And it was well we did, for in the morning, after we had made Sail to the Westward, we discovered Rocks ahead of us Level with and under the Water. (Rurima Rocks.) They lay 1 1/2 Leagues from the Island Mowtohora, and about 9 Miles from the Main, and North-North-East from Mount Edgecumbe. We passed between these Rocks and the Main, having from 7 to 10 fathoms. The double Canoe which we saw last night follow'd us to-day under Sail, and keept abreast of the Ship near an hour talking to Tupia, but at last they began to pelt us with stones. But upon firing one Musquet they dropt astern and left us. At 1/2 past 10 Passed between a low flat Island and the Main, the distance from one to the other being 4 Miles; depth of Water 10, 12, and 15 fathoms. At Noon the flat Island (Motunau.) bore from North-East to East 1/2 North, distance 5 or 6 Miles; Latitude in per Observation 37 degrees 39 minutes South, Longitude 183 degrees 30 minutes West. The Main land between this and the Island of Mowtohara, which is 10 Leagues, is of a moderate height, and all a level, flat Country, pretty clear of wood and full of Plantations and Villiages. These Villiages are built upon Eminences Near the Sea, and are Fortified on the land side with a Bank and a Ditch, and Pallisaded all round. Besides this, some of them appear'd to have out-works. We have before now observed, on several parts of the Coast, small Villiages inclosed with Pallisades and works of this kind built on Eminences and Ridges of hills, but Tupia had all along told us that they were Mories, or places of worship; but I rather think they are places of retreat or strong hold where they defend themselves against the Attack of an Enemy, as some of them seem'd not ill design'd for that Purpose. (In the contests with the Maories in after years, these Pahs, or forts, proved to be no despicable defences.)

Joseph Banks Journal
Pass this morn between an Island and the main which appeard low and sandy with a remarkable hill inland, flat and smooth as a mole hill tho very high and large. Many canoes and people were seen along shore: some followd us but could not overtake us. A Sailing canoe that had chasd us ever since day break came up with us and provd the same double canoe as pelted us last night which made us prepare for another volley of their ammunition, dangerous to nothing on board but our windows. The event provd as we expected for after having saild with us an hour they threw their stones again; a musquet was fird over them and they dropd astern not I beleive at all frightned by the musquet but content with having shewd their courage by twice insulting us. We now begin to know these people and are much less afraid of any daring attempt from them than we were. At 12 the countrey appeard low with small clifts near the shore but seemingly very fertile inland. We saw plainly with our glasses villages larger than any we had before seen situated on the topps of cliffs in places almost inaccessible, besides which they were guarded by a deep fosse and a high paling within it, so that probably these people are much given to war. In the evening the countrey low as before: many towns were in sight larger than those at noon, always situated like them on the topps of cliffs and fenc'd in the same manner; under them upon the beach were many very large canoes, some hundreds I may safely say, some of which either had or appeard to have awnings but not one of them were put off. From all these circumstances we judgd the countrey to be much better peopled hereabouts and inhabited by richer people than we had before seen, may be it was the residence of some of their princes. As far as we have yet gone along the coast from Cape Turnagain to this place the people have acknowledgd only one cheif, Teratu: if his dominion is realy so large he may have princes or governors under him capable of Drawing together a vast many people: for himself he is always said to live far inland.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
On the 2d, in the morning, we discovered three sorts of land; but, as the weather was hazy, could not make many observations. We also passed three other islands: one of them was rocky, high and barren, which we called White Island. The other two were lower; one of them we named Flat Island, in which which we saw a village. A canoe pursued us, but, having a brisk breeze, it could not overtake us. Toward night it blew pretty hard, right on shore we, therefore tacked about, and sailed backward and forward till the next morning…

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