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9 December, 1769


On 9 December, 1769, James Cook wrote “westward of the Cavalle Isles... lies a deep Bay runing in SWBW and WSW, the bottom of which we could but just see and there the land appear'd to be low and level... This Bay I have named Doubtless Bay. The wind not permiting us to look into this Bay we steer'd for the westermost land we had in sight... but before we got the length of it, it fell calm... several of the Natives came off to the Ship in five Canoes, but were fearfull of ventering along side, after these were gone Six more came off these last came boldly along side and sold us fish of different sorts sufficient to give all hands a little”.


Joseph Banks wrote “Fair wind tho but little of it. Many Canoes came off who shewd much fear of us and after some time said that they had heard of our Guns. Tupia at last persuaded them to come under the stern and after having bought of them some of their cloths, which they sold very fairly, began to enquire about the countrey. They told him that at the distance of three days rowing in their canoes, at a place calld Moorewhennua, the land would take a short turn to the southward and from thence extend no more to the West. This place we concluded must be Cape Maria Van Diemen [named by Abel Tasman], and finding these people so intelligent desird him to enquire if they knew of any Countries besides this or ever went to any. They said no but that their ancestors had told them to the NW by N or NNW was a large countrey to which some people had saild in a very large canoe, which passage took them up a month: from this expedition a part only returnd who told their countreymen that they had seen a countrey where the people eat hogs, for which animal they usd the same name (Booah) as is usd in the Islands. And have you no hoggs among you? said Tupia. — No. — And did your ancestors bring none back with them? —No. — You must be a parcel of Liars then, said he, and your story a great lye for your ancestors would never have been such fools as to come back without them. Thus much as a specimen of Indian reasoning”.

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