5th December 1769

[At Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand]
P.M., had the winds at South-West and West-South-West, a fresh breeze. At 3 o'Clock we return'd on board, and after dinner Visited another part of the Bay, but met with nothing new. By the evening all our Empty Casks were fill'd with water, and had at the same time got on board a large quantity of Sellery, which is found here in great Plenty. This I still caused to be boild every morning with Oatmeal and Portable Soup for the Ship's Company's breakfast. At 4 a.m. weigh'd with a light breeze at South-East, but had Variable light Airs and sometimes Calm until near Noon, when a Gentle breeze sprung up at North. At this time we had not got out of the Bay; our Latitude by Observation was 35 degrees 9 minutes South. This Bay I have before observed, lies on the West side of Cape Brett: I have named it the Bay of Islands, on account of the Great Number which line its shores, and these help to form Several safe and Commodious Harbours, wherein is room and Depth of Water sufficient for any number of Shipping. The one we lay in is on the South-West side of South-Westermost Island, that lies on the South-East side of the Bay. I have made no accurate Survey of this Bay; the time it would have requir'd to have done this discouraged me from attempting it; besides, I thought it quite Sufficient to be able to Affirm with Certainty that it affords a good Anchorage and every kind of refreshment for Shipping, but as this was not the Season for roots, we got only fish. Some few we Caught ourselves with hook and line and in the Sean, but by far the greatest part we purchased of the Natives, and these of Various sorts, such as Sharks, Stingrays, Breams, Mullet, Mackerel, and several other sorts. Their way of Catching them is the same as ours, viz., with Hook and line and Seans; of the last they have some prodidgious large made all of a Strong Kind of Grass. The Mackerel are in every respect the same as those we have in England, only some are larger than any I ever saw in any other Part of the World; although this is the Season for this fish, we have never been able to Catch one with hook and line. The inhabitants of this Bay are far more numerous than at any other place we have yet been in, and seem to live in friendship one with another, although it doth not at all appear that they are united under one head.  They inhabited both the Islands and the Main, and have a Number of Hippas, or Strong Holds, and these are all built in such places as nature hath in a great part fortified, and what she hath left undone the people themselves have finished. It is high water in this Bay at full and change of the Moon about 8 o'clock, and the tide at these times rises and falls upon a perpendicular 6 or 8 feet. It appears, from the few Observations I have been able to make of the Tides on the Sea-Coast, that the flood comes from the Southward, and I have lately had reasons to think that there is a current which comes from the Westward and sets along shore to the South-East or South-South-East, as the Land lays.

Joseph Banks Journal
A small spirt of fair wind before day break made us heave up the anchor in a great hurry, but before we were well underway it was as foul as ever so we were obligd to atempt turning out. Many canoes came from all parts of the bay which is by far the most populous place we have been in. In the middle of the day we were becalmd and caught many fish with hooks. About 10 at night as we were going through the outer heads on a sudden we wer[e] becalmd so that the ship would neither wear nor stay: in a moment an eddy tide took hold of us and hustled us so fast towards the land that before the Officers resolvd what was best to be done the ship was within a Cables lengh of the breakers, we had 13 fathom water but the ground so foul that they dar'd not drop an anchor. The eddy now took another turn and set her along shore opening another bay but we were too near the rocks to trust to that: the pinnace was orderd to be hoisted out in an instant to take the ship in tow, Every man in her was I beleive sensible of the Danger we were in so no one spard to do his best to get her out fast. The event however shewd how liable such situations must be to Confusion: they lowerd down too soon and she stuck upon a gun: from this she must be thrust by main force, in doing which they had almost ove[r]set her which would have tumbled out her oars: no man thought of running in the gun: at last that was done and she was afloat, her crew was soon in her and she went to her duty. A faint breeze of wind now sprung up off the land and with that and towing she to our great Joy got head way again, at a time when she was so near the shore that Tupia who was not sensible of our danger was conversing with the Indians ashore, who made themselves very distinctly heard notwithstanding the roaring of the breakers. We were all happy in our breeze and fine clear moonlight; myself went down to bed and sat upon my cott undressing myself when I felt the ship strike upon a rock, before I could get upon my leggs she struck again. I ran upon deck but before I could get there the danger was over; fortunately the rock was to wind ward of us so she went off without the least damage and we got into the proper channel, where the officers who had examind the bay declard there to be no hidden dangers--much to our satisfaction as the almost certainty of being eat as soon as you come ashore adds not a little to the terrors of shipwreck.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
We weighed anchor, but were becalmed at the entrance of the bay, which we called the Bay of Islands, from the many islands in it. However, as it frequently happens in life, a lesser evil secured us from a greater; being detained here, we escaped a severe gale at sea, that might have proved very dangerous to us, as the wind blew a perfect hurricane, one day, accompanied with heavy showers of rain. The natives (being more sensible of our power) behaved very civil, and brought us a great many fish; and while we lay here, we caught some ourselves with hook and line. A canoe came into the bay that had eighty people in her, most of whom paddled; the chiefs wore garments of dogs skins, and were very much tataowed; the men upon their hips, and the women on their breast, necks, and bellies. We saw many plantations of the Koomarra, and some of the Eaowte, or cloth trees.

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