3rd November 1769

[In Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand]
P.M. Fresh Gales at North-East by East and hazey weather. At 2 pass'd a small high Island lying 4 Miles from a high round head on the Main* (* The island was Moliti; the high round head was Maunganui, which marks the entrance to Tauranga harbour, a good port, where now stands a small town of the same name.) from this head the land Trends North-West as far as we could see, and appeared to be very rugged and hilly. The weather being very hazey, and the Wind blowing fresh on shore, we hauled off close upon a wind for the weathermost Island in sight, which bore from us North-North-East, distant 6 or 7 Leagues. Under this Island we spent the Night, having a fresh gale at North-East and North-East by East, and hazey weather with rain; this Island I have called the Mayor. At 7 a.m. it bore South 47 degrees East, distant 6 Leagues, and a Cluster of small Islands and Rocks bore North 1/2 East, distant one League. At the time had a Gentle breeze at East-North-East and clear weather. The Cluster of Islands and Rocks just mentioned we named the Court of Aldermen; they lay in the Compass of about half a League every way, and 5 Leagues from the Main, between which and them lay other Islands. The most of them are barren rocks, and of these there is a very great Variety, some of them are of as small a Compass as the Monument in London, and Spire up to a much greater height; they lay in the Latitude of 36 degrees 57 minutes, and some of them are inhabited. At Noon they bore South 60 degrees East, distant 3 or 4 Leagues, and a Rock like a Castle lying not far from the Main, bore North 40 degrees West, one League. Latitude observed 36 degrees 58 minutes South; Course and distance since Yesterday noon is North-North-West 1/2 West, about 20 Leagues. In this Situation had 28 fathoms water, and a great many small Islands and Rocks on every side of us. The Main land appears here with a hilly, rugged, and barren surface, no Plantations to be seen, nor no other signs of its being well inhabited.

Joseph Banks Journal
Continent appeard this morn barren and rocky but many Islands were in sight, cheifly inhabited with such towns upon them as we saw yesterday; 2 Canoes put off from one but could not overtake us. At breakfast a cluster of Islands and rocks were in sight which made an uncommon appearance from the number of perpendicular rocks or needles (as the seamen call them) which were in sight at once: these we calld the Court of Aldermen in respect to that worthy body and entertaind ourselves some time with giving names to each of them from their resemblance, thick and squat or lank and tall, to some one or other of those respectable citizens. Soon after this we passd an Island on which were houses built on the steep sides of cliffs inaccessible I had almost said to birds, how their inhabitants could ever have got to them much surpassd my comprehension; at present however we saw none so that these situations are probably no more than places to retire to in case of Danger which are totaly evacuated in peaceable times. At 12 the Continent appeard still rocky and barren, few houses were seen, they were not built in towns but stood seperate. About dinner time 3 Canoes came alongside of much the most simple construction of any we have seen, being no more than the trunks of trees hollowd out by fire without the least carving or even the addition of a washboard on their gunnels; the people in them were almost naked and blacker than any we had seen only 21 in all, yet these few despicable gentry sang their song of defiance and promisd us as heartily as the most respectable of their countrey men that they would kill us all. They remaind some time out of stones throw but at last venturd close to the ship; one of our people gave them a rope from the side to save them the trouble of Padling, this they accepted and rewarded the man who gave it by thrusting at him with a pike which however took no effect; they then went a few yards from the ship and threw a lance into her which struck nobody; a musquet was fird over them on which they all went off. Late in the evening the ship came into a bay which appeard well shelterd by Islands and gave hopes for the morn. Several Canoes with people like the last came about the ship and talkd very civily to us. A bird was shot from the ship in their sight as it swam on the water, this they took up and tied to a fishing line that was towing astern for which they were rewarded with a peice of cloth. Notwisthstanding all this they became very saucy Just at night singing their song of Defiance and attempting to tow away the buoy of the anchor; 2 or 3 musquets were fird over them which had not the least effect, they threatned hard and promisd that tomorrow they would return with more force and kill us all and dispatchd a boat who told us that he was going to another part of the bay for assistance.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
… the 3d: then the canoe which we saw the night before gave us chace again; having a sail, they at length came up with us; sailed along-side of us for a considerable time, and now and then gave us a song, the tune of which was much like the chant which the popish priests use at mass: they also gave us a heivo, but soon after threw some stones at us: we fired a musket, loaded with small shot, at a young man who distinguished himself at the sport, and he shrunk down as if he had been wounded. After a short consultation they doused the sail, and stood back for an island. We sailed along with a moderate breeze, and passed an island, or cluster of rocks, which we called the Court of Aldermen: and, from the vicinity of one of the three last mentioned islands to them, we gave it the name of The Mayor. This cluster of rocks lies off a point of land, and terminates the bounds of this large bay to the N.W. which, from the number of canoes that came off to us, bringing provisions, we named The Bay of Plenty. The coast hereabout appeared very barren, and had a great number of rocky islands, from which circumstance we named the point, Barren Point. The land is very grotesque, being cleft, or torn into a variety of strange figures, and has very few trees upon it. About noon, several canoes came off to us, and the people in them were so daring as to throw a lance into the ship, but we fired a musket, and they paddled away from us. Their canoes were formed out of one tree, and shaped like a butcher's tray, without any ornament about them. The people, who were naked, excepting one or two, were of a very dark complexion, and made a mean appearance. We stood in for a bay, and, at night, anchored in it, having seven fathoms water. Several canoes, like the former, followed us; the people in then; cut a despicable figure; but they were very merry, and gave us several heivos, or cheers. This bay, which the inhabitants call Opoorangee, is the best harbour we have found, being well land-locked; and we found good landing at the watering-place, in a salt-water river, which winds a great way up into the country. At the bottom of the bay there is another river, which also seems to extend very far within land. The name the natives gave to the country, about the bay, is Konigootaoivrao.

No comments:

Post a Comment