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Endeavour journal, 12 October 1769 (Series 03.413)

Notes: Page header reads: 'off Young Nicks head'; 'off Cape Table'; 'off Portland Isle'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 12 October 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 12. During last night the ship saild some leagues which as soon as the 3 men saw they began to lament and weep very much, Tupia with dificulty could comfort them. About 7, 2 Canoes apeard; they left no sign unmade which might induce them to come to the ship. One at last venturd, out of her came an old man who seemd to be a cheif from the finenes of his garment and weapon, patoo patoo, which was made of Bone (he said of a whale); he staid but a short time on board but when he went took with him our 3 guests much to our as well as their satisfaction.

In sailing along shore we could clearly see several spots of land cultivated, some fresh turnd up and laying in furrows like ploughd land, others with plants growing upon them some younger and some older; we also saw in two places high rails upon the Ridges of hills, but could only guess that they belong to some superstition as they were in lines not inclosing any thing. Before noon another Canoe appeard carrying 4 people; she came within about ¼ of a mile of us and there (I beleive) performd several ceremonies, the man in the bow of her sometimes seeming to ask and offer peace, at others seeming to threaten with a weapon he held in his hand, sometimes dancing sometimes singing. Tupia talkd much to him but could not persuade him to come to the ship. About this time very distant land was seen to the Southward forming a very large bay.

About dinner time the ship was hauling round an Island calld by the inhabitants Teahoa, by us Portland, the ship on a sudden came into very broken ground which alarmd us all a good deal; the officers all behavd with great steadyness and in a very short time we were clear of all dangers; we never had less than 7 fathom but the soundings hardly ever were twice the same jumping from 11 to 7, which made us very glad once more to get deep water under us. The Island lay within a mile of us making in white cliffs, a long spit of low land running from it towards the main. On the sides of these cliffs sat a vast quantity of people looking at us, these probably observd some confusion in the manoevre of the ship for 5 Canoes almost immediately put off from the shore full of armd people; they came so near us shouting and threatning that at last we were in some pain least they [should seize] our small boat which had been lowerd down to sound and now towd along side. A musquet was therefore fird over them: the Effect of this was rather to encourage them than otherwise so a great gun was orderd to be prepard and fird wide of them loaded with grape, on this they all rose in their boats and shouted but instead of continuing the chase drew all together and after a short consultation went quietly away.

About half an hour after this we hawld in with the land again and two more canoes came off, one armd the other a small fishing boat with only 4 men in her; they came tolerably near and answerd all the questiions Tupia askd them very civily; we could not persuade them to come on board but they came near enough to receive several presents which we hove over board to them, with these they seem'd very much pleasd and went away. At night the ship came to an anchor; many fires were kept up on shore possibly to shew us that our freinds there were too much upon their guard to be surprizd.