Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Becket (1771) says that whilst an officer was on an inland incursion he was beckoned to by an elderly woman, who invited him to enter an enclosure. He found more than a score of men and women seated at a repast of crayfish and kumaras, and he was invited to join them. During his stay, an elderly man and two women called and, with much graveness, formally saluted the whole company (including, presumably, the visitor) “according to the custom of the country.” A man was sent to conduct him back to the watering-place along an easier track than that which he had used to reach the spot. As they came to each ditch or rivulet, “of which page 61 there were many for draining the land,” his guide insisted upon carrying him across.
Describing the fishes that were obtained at Tolaga Bay, Cook (rough notes) says: “We got as much fish as gave all hands a little; caught some few alongside ourselves. The fish we got here were souls and flounders, with seven other sorts of small fish, likewise crawfish and other shellfish.”
“Cook's Well” was visited by a correspondent of the Poverty Bay Herald in September, 1880. He says: “Portion of the rock is scooped out to about the width of an outspread hand. We uncovered the name of Cook in great Roman capitals and, beneath, was a date, which, however, was hardly decipherable. There are some who believe that this was the spot where water was obtained for the Endeavour. If it was, the jolly old Tars must have had a difficult job for, at present, the water to be obtained there would just about fill a barrel in a week!”
“A short distance north of the cove is ‘Hannah's Hole,’ an immense arch worn out of the narrow parts of the cliffs by the action of the seas and winds. The roof and the sides show the various strata of the sandstone rock very distinctly. Some very large fossil heads of fish project from the sides and the centre of the roof, which is very lofty.”—Poverty Bay Standard (July, 1882).
With reference to the naming of East Cape, Cook (quoted by Wharton) says: “This point of land I have called East Cape, because I have great reason to think it is the Eastern-most land on this whole coast….” In his rough notes, however, Cook indicates that East Cape was not so named at the time of passing. His entry reads: “After being round the N.E. Cape, the country appear'd to be well inhabited and full of plantations and look'd well: low near the shore and hilly inland.”