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Endeavour journal, 28 July 1769 (Series 03.336)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Ulhietea'; 'Otahah'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 28 July 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 28. Wind still baffles us as much as ever. This morn hoisted out a boat and sent ashore on the Island of Otahah in which Dr Solander and myself took a passage. We went through a large breach in the reef situate between two Islands calld Toahattu and Whennuaia within which we found very spatious harbours, particularly in one bay which was at least 3 miles deep. The inhabitants as usual so that long before night we had purchasd 3 hoggs, 21 fowls and as many yams and plantains as the boat would hold. Indeed of these last we might have had any quantity and a more useful refreshment they are to us in my opinion even than the pork; they have been for this week past boild and servd instead of bread; every man in the ship is fond of them and with us in the Cabbin they agree much better than the Bread fruit did which sometimes gripd us. But what makes any refreshments of this kind the more acceptable is that our bread is at present so full of vermin that notwistanding all possible care I have sometimes had 20 at a time in my mouth, every one of which tasted as hot as mustard.

The Island itself seemd more barren than Ulhietea tho much like it in produce, bread fruit being less plentyfull than Plantains and Cocoa nuts. The people perfectly the same, so much so that I did not observe one new custom or any thing Else among them worth mention; they were not very numerous but flockd from all Quarters to the boat wherever she went bringing with them whatever they had to sell. Here as well as in the rest of the Islands they paid us the same Compliment they are used to pay to their own Kings, uncovering their shoulders and lapping their Garments round their breasts; here particularly they were so scrupulously observant of it that a man was sent with us who calld out to every one we met telling him what we were and what he was to do.