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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology



The second voyage of discovery was made by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who had accompanied Mendaña as his chief pilot. Quiros sailed with three ships from Callao on December 21, 1605. He took a more southerly course than that of Mendaña and encountered a number of atolls in the southern Tuamotus. Since longitude was determined by the dead reckoning of the daily sailings in those days, the identity of the atolls he discovered remains somewhat obscure. One of the islands, which he named La Sagittaria, some writers have identified as Tahiti, but his description of the island is evidently that of an atoll formation and could not possibly apply to a high volcanic island such as Tahiti. Continuing west, Quiros passed some small islands and then discovered page 19an inhabited island which he named Gente Hermosa. This has been identified as Olosega or Swains Island in the Tokelau group. He entered Melanesia to the south of Santa Cruz and reached an island in the New Hebrides group which he named Australia del Espiritu Santo, believing that it formed part of the long-sought southern continent. Contrary winds prevented him from reaching Santa Cruz and he returned to Navidad, Mexico, without making any other discoveries.