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21 October, 1769

 

On 21 October, 1769, James Cook wrote “In the Morning Lieutt Gore went ashore to superintend the watering with a strong party of men, but the geting the Casks off was so very difficult on account of the Surff, that it was noon before one turn came on board... About or a little after noon several of the natives came off to the Ship in their Canoes and began to traffic with us, our people giving them Georges Island [Tahitian] Cloth for theirs, for they had little else to dispose of.   this kind of exchange they seemd at first very fond of and prefer'd the Cloth we had got at the Islands to English Cloth, but it fell in its Value above 500 per cent before night. I had some of them on board and shewed them the Ship with which they were well pleased.  The same friendly disposission was observe'd by those on Shore and upon the whole they behaved as well or better than one could expect, But as the geting the Water from the shore proved so very tedious on account of the surf, I resolved upon leaving this place in the morning”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “This morn at day break the waterers went ashore and soon after Dr Solander and myself; there was a good deal of Surf upon the beach but we landed without much difficulty. The natives sat by our people but did not intermix with them; they traded however for cloth cheifly, giving whatever they had tho they seemd pleasd with observing our people as well as with the gain they got by trading with them. Yet they did not neglect their ordinary occupations: in the morn several boats went out fishing, at dinner time every one went to their respective homes and after a certain time returnd. Such fair appearances made Dr Solander and myself almost trust them. We rangd all about the bay and were well repaid by finding many plants and shooting some most beautifull birds; in doing this we visited several houses and saw a little of their customs, for they were not at all shy of shewing us any thing we desird to see, nor did they on our account interrupt their meals the only employment we saw them engagd in... In the evening all the boats being employd in carrying on board water we were likely to be left ashore till after dark; the loss of so much time in sorting and putting in order our specimens was what we did not like so we applied to our freinds the Indians for a passage in one of their Canoes. They readily launchd one for us, but we in number 8 not being usd to so ticklish a convenience overset her in the surf and were very well sousd; 4 then were obligd to remain and Dr Solander, Tupia, Tayeto and myself embarkd again and came without accident to the ship well pleasd with the behaviour of our Indian freinds who would the second time undertake to carry off such Clumsy fellows”.

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