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Explorers of the Pacific: European and American Discoveries in Polynesia

Boenechea and Gayangos

Boenechea and Gayangos

1774 to 1775

The report on Amat being favorable, Boenechea sailed on his second voyage with the Aguila, accompanied by the storeship Jupiter. His senior lieutenant was Don Thomas Gayangos. They left Callao on September 20, 1774, taking with them two padres to be established on Tahiti to convert the heathen. A wooden house, cattle, seed, and garden implements page 61were carried for the new settlement. On October 29 they sighted an island which was named San, Narciso (Tatakoto), and two days later, the island of San Simon (Tauere) was picked up. On November 1 two islands were sighted which were named Los Martires (Tekokoto) and San Juan (Hikueru). The island of San Quintin (Haraiki) was seen, and at Todos Santos (Anaa) they traded with the natives for coconuts and artifacts. On November 13 they sighted San Cristobal (Meetia), and the next day Amat (Tahiti) was in sight. After some exploration of the coast, they anchored on November 27 in a harbor which they named Santa Cruz de Ohatutira in the Tautira district of the island. They made friends with the chief, Vehiatua, and land was selected for the homestead and the house built for the priests.

After installing the priests, Boenechea sailed. northwest for Orayatea (Raiatea). He passed Tetiaroa, which he renamed Los Tres Ermanos (Hermanos); sighted Huahine, which he named La Hermosa; and saw Raiatea, which he named La Princessa. Maurua was renamed San Antonio, and Borabora received the new name of San Pedro. The ships returned to Tahiti, where Boenechea took seriously ill and died on January 26, 1775. He was buried ashore, and Gayangos assumed command. Gayangos set his return course southeast with a wind from the northeast and; on February 6, discovered the island of Raivavae in the Austral group which he named Santa Rosa. The ship entered the harbor of Callao on April 8, and a report of the voyage was made by Thomas Gayangos.