An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn from the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, and from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq. [Vol. II]
Range from Cape Turnagain southward along the eastern Coast of Poenammoo, round Cape South, and back to the western Entrance of Cooke's Streight, which compleated the Circumnavigation of this Country: with a Description of the Coast, and of Admiralty Bay: The Departure from New Zealand, and various Particulars.
At four o'clock in the afternoon of Friday the 9th of February, having tacked, we stood S. W. and continued to make sail to the southward till sunset on the 11th, when a fresh breeze at N. E. had carried us back again the length of Cape Palliser, of which as the weather was clear we had a good view. Between the foot of the high land and the sea there is a low flat border, of which there are some rocks that appear above water. Between this Cape and Cape Turnagain, the land near the shore is, in many places, low and flat, and has a green and pleasant appearance; but farther from the sea it rises into hills. The land between Cape Palliser and Cape Tierawitte is high and makes in table-points; it also seemed to us to form two bays, but we were at too great a distance from this part of the coast, to judge accurately from appearances. The wind having been variable, with calms, page 223 calms, we had advanced no farther by the 12th at noon than latitude 41° 52′, Cape Palliser then bearing north, distant about five leagues; and the snowy mountains S. 83 W.
At noon on the 13th, we found ourselves in the latitude of 42° 2′ S. Cape Palliser bearing N. 20 E. distant eight leagues. In the afternoon, a fresh gale sprung up at N. E. and we steered S. W. by W. for the southermost land in sight, which at sunset bore from us S. 74 W. At this time the variation was 15° 4 E.
At eight o'clock in the morning of the 14th, having run one and twenty leagues S. 58 W. since the preceding noon, it fell calm. We were then a-breast of the snowy mountain which bore from us N. W. and in this direction lay behind a mountainous ridge of nearly the same height, which rises directly from the sea, and runs parallel with the shore, which lies N. E. ½ N. and S. W. ½ S. The north-west end of the ridge rises inland, not far from Cape Campbell; and both the mountain, and the ridge are distinctly seen as well from Cape Koamaro as Cape Palliser: from Koamaroo they are distant two and twenty leagues S. W. ½ S. and from Cape Palliser thirty leagues W. S. W. and are of a height sufficient to be seen at a much greater distance. At noon this day, we were in latitude 42° 34′ S. The southermost land in sight bore S. W. ½ W. and some low land that appeared like an island, and lay close under the foot of the ridge, bore N. W. by N. about five or six leagues.
In the afternoon when Mr. Banks was out in the boat a shooting, we saw, with our glasses, four double canoes, having on board fifty-seven men, put off from that shore, and made towards him: we immediately made signals for him to come on board; but the ship, with respect to him, being right in the wake of the sun, he did not see them. We were at a considerable distance from the shore, and he was at a considerable distance from the ship, which was between him and the shore; so that it being a dead calm, I began to be in some pain for him, fearing that he might not see the canoes time enough to reach the ship before they should get up with him: soon after, however we saw his boat in motion, and had the pleasure to take him page 224 on board before the Indians came up, who probably had not seen him, as their attention seemed to be wholly fixed upon the ship. They came within about a stone's cast, and then stopped, gazing at us with a look of vacant astonishment: Tupia exerted all his eloquence to prevail upon them to come nearer, but without any effect. After surveying us for some time, they left us, and made towards the shore; but had not measured more than half the distance between that and the ship before it was dark. We imagined that these people had heard nothing of us, and could not but remark the different behaviour and dispositions of the inhabitants of the different parts of this coast upon their first approaching the vessel. These kept aloof with a mixture of timidity and wonder; others had immediately commenced hostilities, by pelting us with stones: the gentleman whom we had found alone, fishing in his boat, seemed to think us entirely unworthy of his notice; and some, almost without invitation, had come on board with an air of perfect confidence and good-will. From the behaviour of our last visitors, I gave the land from which they had put off, and which, as I have before observed, had the appearance of an island, the name of Lookers-on.
At eight o'clock in the evening, a breeze sprung up at S. S. W. with which I stretched off south-east, because some on board thought they saw land in that quarter. In this course we continued till six o'clock the next morning, when we had run eleven leagues, but saw no land, except that which we had left. Having stood to the S. E. with a light breeze, which veered from the west to the north, till noon, our latitude by observation was 42° 56′ S. and the high land that we were a-breast of the preceding noon bore N. N. W. ½ W. In the afternoon we had a light breeze at N. E. with which we steered west, edging for the land, which, was distant about eight leagues. At seven in the evening we were about fix leagues from the shore, and the southermost extremity of the land in sight bore W. S. W.
At day-break on the 16th, we discovered land bearing S. by W. and seemingly detached from the coast we were upon. About eight a breeze sprung up, at page 225 N. by E. and we steered directly for it. At noon, we were in latitude 43° 19′ S. the peak on the snowy mountain bore N. 20 E. distant twenty seven leagues; the southern extremity of the land we could see bore west, and the land which had been discovered in the morning appeared like an island extending from S. S. W. to S. W. by W. ½ W. distant about eight leagues. In the afternoon, we stood to the southward of it, with a fresh breeze at north: at eight in the evening, we had run eleven leagues, and the land then extended from S. W. by W. to N. by W. We were then distant about three leagues from the nearest shore, and in this situation had fifty fathoms water, with a fine sandy bottom. The variation of the compass by this morning's amplitude was 14° 39′ E.
At sun-rise, the next morning, our opinion that the land we had been standing for was an island, was confirmed, by our seeing part of the land of Tovy Poenammoo open to the westward of it, extending as far as W. by S. At eight in the morning, the extremes of the island bore N. 76 W. and N. N. E. ½ E. and an opening near the south point, which had the appearance of a bay or harbour, N. 20 W. distant between three and four leagues: in this situation we had thirtyeight fathoms water with a brown sandy bottom.
This island, which I named after Mr. Banks, lies about five leagues from the coast of Tovy Poenammoo; the south point bears S. 21 W. from the highest peak on the snowy mountain, and lies in latitude 53° 32′ S. and in longitude 186° 30′ W. by an observation of the sun and moon which was made this morning: it is of a circular figure, and about twenty-four leagues in compass: it is sufficiently high to be seen at the distance of twelve or fifteen leagues, and the land has a broken irregular surface, with the appearance rather of barrenness than fertility: yet it was inhabited, for we saw smoke in one place, and a few straggling natives in another.
When this island was first discovered in the direction of S. by W. some persons on board were of opinion that they also saw land bearing S S. E. and S. E. by E. I was myself upon the deck at the time, and told page 226 them, that in my opinion it was no more than a cloud, and that is the sun rose, it would dissipate and vanish. However, as I was determined to leave no subject for disputation which experiment could remove, I ordered the ship to be wore, and steered E. S. E. by compass, in the direction which the land was said to bear from us at that time. At noon we were in latitude 44° 7′ S. the south point of Banks's island bearing north, distant five leagues. By seven o'clock at night we had run eight and twenty miles, when seeing no land, nor any signs of any, but that which we had left, we bore away S. by W. and continued upon that course till the next day at noon, when we were in latitude 45° 16′, the south point of Banks's Island bearing N. 6° 30′ W. distant twenty-eight leagues. The variation by the azimuth this morning was 15° 30′ E. As no signs of land had yet appeared to the southward, and as I thought that we had stood far enough in that direction to weather all the land we had left, judging from the report of the natives in Queen Charlotte's Sound, I hauled to the westward.
We had a moderate breeze at N. N. W. and N. till eight in the evening, when it became unsettled; and at ten fixed at south: during the night it blew with such violence that it brought us under our close reefed topsails. At eight the next morning, having run twenty-eight leagues upon a W. by N. ½ N. course, and judging ourselves to be to the westward of the land of Tovy Poenammoo, we bore away N. W. with a fresh gale at south. At ten having run eleven miles upon this course, we saw land extending from the S. W. to the N. W. at the distance of about ten leagues, which we hauled up for. At noon, our latitude by observation was 44° 38′, the south-east point of Banks's island bore N. 58° 30′ E. distant thirty leagues, and the main body of the land in sight W. by N. A head sea prevented us from making much way to the southward; at seven in the evening the extremes of the land stretched from S. W. by S. to N. by W. and at six leagues from the shore we had thirty-two fathoms water. At four o'clock the next morning, we stood in for the shore W. by S. and during a course of four leagues, our depth of water was from thirty-two to page 227 thirteen fathoms. When it was thirteen fathoms we were but three miles distant from the shore, and therefore stood off; its direction is here nearly N. and S. The surface, to the distance of about five miles from the sea, is low and flat; but it then rises into hills of a considerable height. It appeared to be totally barren, and we saw no signs of its being inhabited. Our latitude, at noon, was 44° 44′; and the longitude which we made from Banks's island to this place was 2° 22′ W. During the last twenty-four hours, though we carried as much sail as the ship would bear, we were driven three leagues to the leeward.
We continued to stand off and on all this day and the next, keeping at the distance of between four and twelve leagues from the shore, and having water from thirty-five to fifty-three fathoms. On the 22d, at noon, we had no observation, but by the land judged ourselves to be about three leagues farther north than we had been the day before. At sun-set, the weather, which had been hazy, clearing up, we saw a mountain which rose in a high-peak, bearing N. W. by N. and at the same time, we saw the land more distinctly than before, extending from N. to S. W. by S. which, at some distance within the coast, had a lofty and mountainous appearance. We soon found that the accounts which had been given us by the Indians in Queen Charlotte's Sound of the land to the southward were not true; for they had told us that it might be circumnavigated in four days.
On the 23d, having a hollow swell from the S. E. and expecting wind from the same quarter, we kept plying between seven and fifteen leagues from the shore, having from seventy to forty-four fathoms. At noon, our latitude by observation was 44° 40′ S. and our longitude from Banks's Island 1° 31 W. From this time to six in the evening it was calm; but a light breeze then springing up at E. N. E. we steered S. S. E. all night, edging off from the land, the hollow swell still continuing; our depth of water was from sixty to seventy-five fathoms. While we were becalmed, Mr. Banks, being out in the boat, shot two Port Egmont hens, which were in every respect the same as those that are found in great numbers upon the island of page 228 Faro, and were the first of the kind we had seen upon this coast, though we fell in with some a few days before we made land.
At day-break, the wind freshened, and before noon we had a strong gale at N. N. E. At eight in the morning we saw the land extending as far as S. W. by S. and steered directly for it. At noon, we were in latitude 45° 22′ S. and the land which now stretched from S. W. ½ S. to N. N. W. appeared to be rudely diversified by hill and valley; in the afternoon we steered S. W. by S. edging in for the land with a fresh gale at north; but though we were at no great distance, the weather was so hazy that we could see nothing distinctly upon it, except a ridge of high hills lying not far from the sea, and parallel to the coast, which in this place stretches S. by W. and N. by E. and seemed to end in a high bluff point to the southward. By eight in the evening we were a-breast of this point; but it being then dark, and I not knowing which way the land trended, we brought to for the night. At this time the point bore west, and was distant about five miles: our depth of water was thirty-seven fathoms, and the bottom consisted of small pebbles.
At day-break, having made sail, the point bore north, distant three leagues, and we now found that the land trended from S. W. by W. as far as we could see. This point I named Cape Saunders, in honour of Sir Charles. Our latitude was 45° 35′ S. and longitude 189° 4. W. By the latitude, and the angles that are made by the coast, this point will be sufficiently known; there is, however, about three or four leagues to the south-west of it, and very near the shore, a remarkable saddle-hill, which is a good direction to it on that quarter. From one league to four leagues north of Cape Saunders, the shore forms two or three bays, in which there appeared to be good anchorage, and effectual shelter from the S. W. westerly, and N. westerly winds; but my desire of getting to the southward, in order to ascertain whether this country was an island or a continent, prevented my putting into any of them.
We kept at a small distance from the shore all this morning, with the wind at S. W. and had a page 229 very distinct view of it: it is of a moderate height, and the surface is broken by many hills, which are green and woody; but we saw no appearance of inhabitants. At noon, Cape Saunders bore N. 30 W. distant about four leagues. We had variable winds and calms till five o'clock in the evening, when it fixed at W. S. W. and soon blew so hard that it put us past our top-sails, and split the fore-sail all to pieces: after getting another to the yard, we continued to stand to the southward under two courses; and at six the next morning, the southermost land in sight bore W. by N. and Cape Saunders N. by W. distant eight leagues: at noon, it bore N. 20 W. fourteen leagues; and our latitude by observation was 46° 36′. The gale continued, with heavy squalls and a large hollow sea all the afternoon; and at seven in the evening we lay to under our fore-sail, with the ship's head to the southwar: at noon on the 27th our latitude was 46° 54′, and our longitude from Cape Saunders 1° 24 E. At seven in the evening, we made sail under our courses; and at eight the next morning set the top-sails close reefed. At noon, our latitude was 47° 43′, and our longitude east from Cape Saunders 2° 10′. At this time we wore, and stood to the northward: in the afternoon, we found the variation to be 16° 34′ E. At eight in the evening, we tacked and stood to the southward, with the wind at west.
At noon this day, our latitude by account was 47° 52′, and our longitude from Cape Saunders 1° 8′ E. We stood to the southward till half an hour past three in the afternoon: and then, being in latitude 48° S. and longitude 188° W. and feeing no appearance of land, we tacked and stood to the northward, having a large swell from the S. W. by W. At noon the next day, our latitude was 46° 42′ S. and Cape Saunders bore N. 46 W. distant eighty-six miles. The south-west swell continuing till the third, confirmed our opinion, that there was no land in that quarter. At four in the afternoon, we stood to the westward with all the sail we could make. In the morning of the 4th, we found the variation to be 16° 16′ E. This day we saw page 230 some whales and seals, as we had done several times after our having passed the streight; but we saw no seals while we were upon the coast of Eahienomauwe. We sounded both in the night and this morning, but had no ground with one hundred and fifty fathoms. At noon we saw Cape Saunders bearing N. ½ W. and our latitude, by observation, was 46° 31′ S. At half an hour past one o'clock we saw land bearing W. by S. which we steered for, and before it was dark were within three or four miles of it: during the whole night we saw fires upon it, and at seven in the morning were within about three leagues of the shore, which appeared to be high, but level. At three o'clock in the afternoon, we saw the land extending from N. E. by N. to N. W. ½ N. and soon after we discovered some low land, which appeared like an island, bearing S. ½ W. We continued our course to the W. by S. and in two hours we saw high land over the low land, extending to the southward as far as S. W. by S. but it did not appear to be joined to the land to the northward; so that there is either water, a deep bay, or low land between them.
At noon, on the 6th, we were nearly in the same situation as at noon on the day before. In the afternoon we found the variation, by several azimuths and the amplitude, to be 15° 10′ E. On the 7th, at noon, we were in latitude 47° 6′ S. and had made twelve miles easting during the last twenty-four hours. We stood to the westward the remainder of this day, and all the next till sun-set, when the extremes of the land bore from N. by E. to W. distant about seven or eight leagues: in this situation our depth of water was fifty-five fathoms, and the variation, by amplitude, 16° 29′ E. The wind now veered from the N. to the W. and as we had fine weather, and moon-light, we kept standing close upon the wind to the S. W. all night. At four in the morning we had sixty fathoms water; and at day-light we discovered under our bow a ledge of rocks, extending from S. by W. to W. by S. upon which the sea broke very high; they were not more than three quarters of a mile distant, yet we had five-and-forty fathoms water. As the wind was at N. W. we could not now weather them; and as I was unwilling page 231 to run to leeward, I tacked and made a trip to the eastward; the wind, however, soon after coming to the northward, enabled us to get clear of all. Our foundings, while we were passing within the ledge, were from thirty-five to forty-seven sathoms, with a rocky bottom.
This ledge lies S. E. six leagues from the southermost part of the land, and S. E. by E. from some remarkable hills which stand near the shore: about three leagues to the northward of it, there is another ledge, which lies full three leagues from the shore, and on which the sea broke in a dreadful surf. As we passed these rocks to the north in the night, and discovered the others under our bow at break of day, it is manifest that our danger was imminent, and our escape critical in the highest degree: from the situation of these rocks, so well adapted to catch unwary strangers, I called them the Traps. Our latitude at noon was 47° 26′ S. The land in sight, which had the appearance of an island, extended from N. E. by N. to N. W. by W. and seemed to be about five leagues distant from the main; the eastermost ledge of rocks bore S. S. E. distant one league and an half, and the northermost N. E. ½ E. distant about three leagues. This land is high and barren, with nothing upon it but a few straggling shrubs, for not a single tree was to be seen; it was, however, remarkable for a number of white patches, which I took to be marble, as they reflected the sun's rays very strongly: other patches of the same kind, we had observed in different parts of this country, particularly in Mercury Bay, we contitinued to stand close upon a wind to the westward, and at sun-set the southermost point of land bore N. 38 E. distant four leagues, and the westermost land in sight bore N. 2 E. The point which lies in latitude 47° 19′ S. longitude 192° 12′ W. I named South Cape; the westermost land was a small island, lying off the point of the main.
Supposing South Cape to be the southern extremity of this country, as indeed it proved to be, I hoped to get round it by the west; for a large hollow swell from the south-west, ever since our last hard gale, had convinced me that there was no land in that direction.page 232
In the night we had a hard gale at N. E. by N. and N. which brought us under our courses; but about eight in the morning it became moderate; and at noon, steering to the west, we tacked and stood to the northward, having no land in sight. Our latitude, by observation, was 47°, 33′, our longitude, west from the South Cape, 59′. We stood away N. N. E. close upon a wind, without seeing any land, till two the next morning, when we discovered an island bearing N. W. by N. distant about five leagues. About two hours afterwards we saw land a-head, upon which we tacked and stood off till six, when we stood in to take a nearer view of it. At eleven we were within three leagues of it, but the wind seeming to incline upon the shore, I tacked and stood off to the southward. We had now sailed round the land which we had discovered on the 5th, and which then did not appear to be joined to the main which lay north of it; and being now come to the other side of what we supposed to be water, a bay, or low land, it had the same appearance; but when I came to lay it down upon paper, I saw no reason to suppose it to be an island; on the contrary, I was clearly of opinion, that it made part of the main. At noon, the western extremity of the main bore N. 59 W. and the island which we had seen in the morning S. 59 W. distant about five leagues. It lies in latitude 46° 31′ S. longitude 192° 49′ W. and is nothing but a barren rock, about a mile in circuit, remarkably high, and lies full five leagues distant from the main. This island I named after Dr. Solander, and called it Solander's Island. The shore of the main lies nerest E. by S. and W. by N. and forms a large open bay, in which there is no appearance of any harbour of shelter for shipping against S. W. and southerly winds. The surface of the country is broken into craggy hills of a great height, on the summits of which are several patches of snow; it is not, however, wholly barren, for we could see wood not only in the vallies, but upon the highest ground, yet we saw no appearance of its being inhabited.
We continued to stand to the S. W. by S. till eleven o'clock the next morning, when the wind shisted to the S. W. by W. upon which we wore, and stood page 233 to the N. N. W. being then in latitude 47° 40′ S. longitude 193° 50′ W. and having a hollow sea from the S. W.
During the night, we steered N. N. W. till six in the morning, when, seeing no land, we steered N. by E. till eight, when we steered N. E. by E. ½ E. to make the land, which at ten we saw bearing E. N. E. but it being hazy, we could distinguish nothing upon it. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 46° S. About two it cleared up, and the land appeared to be high, rude, and mountainous. About half an hour after three I hauled in for a bay, in which there appeared to be good anchorage; but in about an hour, finding the distance too great to run before it would be dark, and the wind blowing too hard to make the attempt safe in the night, I bore away along the shore.
This bay, which I called Dusky Bay, lies in latitude 45° 47′ S. it is between three and four miles broad at the entrance, and seems to be full as deep as it is broad: it contains several islands, behind which there must be shelter from all winds, though possibly there may not be sufficient depth of water. The north point of this bay, when it bears S. E. by S. is rendered very remarkable, by five high-peaked rocks which lie off it, and have the appearance of the four fingers and thumb of a man's hand, for which reason I called it Point Five Fingers. The land of this Point is farther remarkable, for being the only level land within a considerable distance. It extends near two leagues to the northward, is lofty, and covered with wood; the land behind it is very different, consisting wholly of mountains, totally barren and rocky; and this difference gives the Cape the appearance of an island.
At sun-set, the southermost land in sight bore due south, distant about five or six leagues; and as this is the westermost point of land upon the whole coast, I called it West Cape. It lies about three leagues to the southward of Dusky Bay, in the latitude of 45° 54′S. and in the longitude of 193° 17′ W. The land of this Cape is of a moderate height next the sea, and has nothing remarkable about it, except a very white cliff, two or three leagues to the southward of it; to page 234 the southward of it also the land trends away to the S. E. and to the northward it trends N N. E.
Having brought to for the night, we made sail along; the shore at four in the morning, in the direction of N. E. ½ N. with a moderate breeze at S. S. E. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 45° 13′ S. At this time, being about a league and an half from the shore, we founded, but had no ground with seventy fathoms. We had just passed a small narrow opening in land, where there seemed to be a very safe and convenient harbour, formed by an island which lay in the middle of the opening at east. The opening lies in latitude 45° 16′ S. and on the land behind it are mountains, the summits of which were covered with snow, that appeared to have been recently fallen; and indeed for two days past we had found the weather very cold. On each side the entrance of the opening, the land rises almost perpendicularly from the sea to a stupendous height, and this indeed was the reason why I did not carry the ship into it, for no wind could blow there but right in or right out, in the direction of either east or west, and I thought it by no means adviseable to put into a place whence I could not have got out but with a wind, which, experience had taught me, did not blow more than one day in a month. In this, however, I acted contrary to the opinion of some persons on board, who, in very strong terms, expressed their desire to harbour for present convenience, without any regard to future disadvantages.
In the evening, being about two leagues from the shore, we sounded, and had no ground at 108 fathoms; the variation of the needle, by azimuth, was 14° E. and by amplitude 15° 2′. We made the best of our way along the shore, with what wind we had, keeping at the distance of between two and three leagues. At noon we were in latitude 44° 47′ having run only twelve leagues upon a N. E. ¼ N. course, during the last four and twenty hours.
We continued to steer along the shore, in the direction of N. E. ¼ E. till six o'clock in the evening, when we brought to for the night. At four in the morning we stood in for the land, and when the day broke we saw what appeared to be an inlet; but, upon a nearer page 235 approach, proved to be only a deep valley between two high lands: we proceeded therefore in the same course, keeping the shore at the distance of between four and five miles. At noon, on the 16th, the northermost point of land in sight bore N. 60 E. at the distance of ten miles, and our latitude, by observation, was 44° 5′, our longitude, from Cape West 2° 8′ E. About two we passed the point, which at noon had been distant ten miles, and found it to consist of red high cliffs, down which there fell a cascade of water in four small streams, and I therefore gave it the name of Cascade Point. From this point the land trends, first N. 76 E. and afterwards more to the northward. At the distance of eight leagues from Cascade Point, in the direction of E. N. E. and at a little distance from the shore, lies a small low island, which bore from us S. by E. at the distance of about a league and a half.
At seven in the evening we brought to, in thirtythree fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom; at ten we had fifty fathoms, and at twelve wore in sixty-five fathom, having driven several miles N. N. W. after our having brought to. At two in the morning we had no ground with 140 fathoms, by which it appears that the foundings extend but a little way from the shore. About this time it fell calm; at eight a breeze sprung up at S. W. with which we steered along the shore, in the direction of N. E. by E. ½ E. at the distance of about three leagues. At six in the evening, being about one league from the shore, we had seventeen fathoms, and at eight, being about three leagues from the shore, we had forty-four; we now shortened sail and brought to, having run ten leagues N. E. by E. since noon.
It was calm most part of the night; but at ten in the morning a light breeze sprung up at S.W. by W. when we made sail again along the shore N. E. by N. having a large swell from the W. S. W. which had risen in the night. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 43° 4′ S. and our longitude from Cape West 4° 12′ E. We observed that the vallies, as well as the mountains, were this morning covered with snow, part of which we supposed to have fallen during the night, when we had rain. At six in the evening we shortened sail, and at ten brought to, at the distance of about page 236 five leagues from the shore, where we had 115 fathoms, At midnight, there being little wind, we made sail, and at eight in the morning we stood to the N. E. close upon a wind till noon, when we tacked, being about three leagues from the land, and, by observation, in latitude 42° 8′, and longitude from Cape West 5° 5′ E.
We continued to stand westward till two in the morning, when we made a trip to the eastward, and afterwards stood westward till noon, when, by our reckoning, we were in the latitude of 42° 23′, and longitude from Cape West 5° 35′ E. We now tacked and stood eastward, with a fresh gale at N. by W. till six in the evening, when the wind shifted to the S. and S. S. W. with which we steered N. E. by N. till six in the morning, when we hauled in E. by N. to make the land, which we saw soon afterwards. At noon our latitude, by account, was 41° 37, and our longitude from Cape West 5° 42′ E. We were now within three or four leagues of the land, but, it being foggy, we could see nothing upon it distinctly, and as we had much wind, and a vast swell rolling in upon the shore from the W. S. W. I did not think it safe to go nearer.
In the afternoon we had a gentle breeze from the S. S. W. with which we steered north along the shore till eight, when, being within between two and three leagues, we sounded, and had but thirty-four fathoms; upon which we hauled off N. W. by N. till eleven at night, and then brought to, having sixty-four fathoms. At four in the morning we made sail to the N. E. with a light breeze at S. S. W. which at eight veered to the westward, and soon after died away. At this time we were within three or four miles of the land, and had fifty-four fathoms, with a large swell from the W. S. W. rolling obliquely upon the shore, which made me fear that I should be obliged to anchor; but by the help of a light air now and then from the S. W. I was able to keep the ship from driving. At noon, the northermost land in sight bore N. E. by E. ½ E. distant about ten leagues; our latitude, by account, was 40° 55′ S. longitude from Cape West 6° 35 E. From this time we had light airs from the southward, with intervals of page 237 calm, till noon on the 23d, when our latitude, by observation, wa 40° 36′ 30″ S. and our longitude from Cape West 6° 32′ E. The eastermost point of land in sight bore E. 10 N. at the distance of seven leagues, and a bluff head or point, of which we had been a-breast at noon the day before, and off which lay some rocks above water, bore S. 18 W. at the distance of six leagues. This point I called Rock's Point. Our latitude was now 40° 55′ S. and having nearly run down the whole of the north-west coast of Tovy Poenammoo, I shall give some account of the face of the country.
I have already observed, that on the 11th, when we were off the southern part, the land then seen was craggy and mountainous, and there is great reason to believe that the same ridge of mountains extends nearly the whole length of the island. Between the westermost land which we saw that day, and the eastermost which we saw on the 13th, there is a space of about six or eight leagues, of which we did not see the coast, though we plainly discovered the mountains inland. The sea-coast near Cape West is low, rising with an easy and gradual ascent to the foot of the mountains, being in most parts covered with wood. From Point Five-Fingers, down to latitude 44° 20′, there is a narrow ridge of hills that rises directly from the sea, and is covered with wood: close behind these hills are the mountains, extending in another ridge of a stupendous height, and consisting of rocks that are totally barren and naked, except where they are covered with snow, which is to be seen in large patches upon many parts of them, and has probably lain there ever since the creation of the world. A prospect: more rude, craggy, and desolate, than this country affords from the sea, cannot possibly be conceived; for as far inland as the eye can reach, nothing appears but the summits of rocks, which stand so near together, that instead of vallies there are only fissures between them. From the latitude of 44° 20′, to the latitude of 42° 8′, these mountains lie farther inland, and the sea coast consists of woody hills and vallies, of various height and extent, and has much appearance of fertility; many of the vallies form plains of considerable extent, wholly covered page 238 with wood, but it is very probable that the ground in many places is swampy, and interspersed with pools of water. From latitude 42° 8′, to 41° 30′, the land is not distinguished by any thing remarkable; it rises into hills directly from the seas and is covered with wood; but the weather being foggy while we were upon this part of the coast, we could see very little inland, except now and then the summits of the mountains, towering above the cloudy mists that obscured them below, which confirmed my opinion, that a chain of mountains extended from one end of the island to the other.
In the afternoon we had a gentle breeze at S. W. which, before it was quite dark, brought us a-breast of the eastern point which we had seen at noon; but not knowing what course the land took on the other side of it, we brought to in thirty-four fathoms, at the distance of about one league from the shore. At eight in the evening, there being little wind, we filled and stood on till midnight, and then we brought to till four in the morning, when we again made sail, and at break of day we saw low land extending from the point to the S. S. E. as far as the eye could reach, the eastern extremity of which appeared in round hillocks. By this time the gale had veered to the eastward, which obliged us to ply to windward. At noon next day, the eastern point bore S. W. by S. distant sixteen miles, and our latitude was 40° 19′; the wind continuing easterly, we were nearly in the same situation at noon on the day following. About three o'clock the wind came to the westward, and we steered E. S. E. with all the sail we could set till it was dark, and then shortened sail till the morning: as we had thick hazy weather all night, we kept sounding continually, and had from thirty-seven to forty-two fathoms. When the day broke we saw land bearing S. E. by E. and an island lying near it bearing E. S. E. distant about five leagues. This island I knew to be the same that I had seen from the entrance of Queen Charlotte's Sound, from which it bears N. W. by N. distant nine leagues. At noon it bore south, distant four or five miles, and the north-west head of the Sound S. E. by S. distant ten leagues page 239 and an half. Our latitude, by observation, was 40° 33′ S.
As we had now circumnavigated the whole country, it became necessary to think of quitting it; but as I had thirty tons of empty water-casks on board, this could not be done till I had filled them; I therefore hauled round the island, and entered a bay which lies between that and Queen Charlotte's Sound, leaving three more islands, which lay close under the western shore, between three and four miles within the entrance, on our starboard hand. While we were running in, we kept the lead continually going, and had from forty to twelve fathoms. At six o'clock in the evening we anchored in eleven fathoms, with a muddy bottom, under the west shore, in the second cove, that lies within the three islands; and as soon as it was light, the next morning, I took a boat and went on shore, to look for a watering place, and a proper birth for the ship, both which I found much to my satisfaction. As soon as the ship was moored, I sent an officer on shore, to superintend the watering, and the Carpenter with his crew to cut wood, while the long boat was employed in landing the empty casks.
In this employment we were busy till the 30th, when the wind seeming to settle at S. E. and our water being nearly completed, we warped the ship out of the cove, that we might have room to get under sail; and at noon I went away in the pinnace, to examine as much of the bay as my time would admit.
After rowing about two leagues up it, I went a-shore upon a point of land on the western side, and having climbed a hill, I saw the western arm of this bay run in S. W. by W. about five leagues farther, yet I could not discover the end of it. There appeared to be several other inlets, or at least small bays, between this and the north west head of Queen Charlotte's Sound, in each of which, I make no doubt, there is anchorage and shelter, as they are all covered from the sea wind by the islands which lie without them. The land about this bay, as far as I could see of it, is of a hilly surface, chiefly covered with trees, shrubs, and sern, which render travelling difficult and fatiguing. In this excursion I was accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. page 240 Solander, who found several new plants. We met with some huts, which seemed to have been long deserted, but saw no inhabitants. Mr. Banks examined several of the stones that lay upon the beach, which were full of veins, and had a mineral appearance, but he did not discover any thing in them which he knew to be ore; if he had had an opportunity to examine any of the bare rocks, perhaps he might have been more fortunate. He was also of opinion, that what I had taken for marble in another place, was a mineral substance, and that, considering the correspondence of latitude between this place and South America, it was not improbable but that, by a proper examination, something very valuable might be found.
At my return, in the evening, I found all the wood and water on board, and the ship ready for the sea; I resolved therefore to quit the country, and return home by such a route as might be of most advantage to the service, and upon this subject took the opinion of my officers. I had myself a strong desire to return by Cape Horn, because that would have enabled me finally to determine, whether there is or is not a southern continent; but against this it was a sufficient objection, that we must have kept in a high southern latitude in the very depth of winter, with a vessel which was not thought sufficient for the undertaking; and the same reason was urged against our proceeding directly for the Cape of Good Hope, with still more force, because no discovery of moment could be hoped for in that route; it was therefore resolved that we should return by the East Indies, and that with this view we should, upon leaving the coast, steer westward, till we should fall in with the east coast of New Holland, and then follow the direction of that coast to the northward, till we should arrive at its northern extremity; but if that should be found impracticable, it was further resolved, that we should endeavour to fall in with the land, or islands, said to have been discovered by Quiros.
With this view, at break of day on Saturday the 31st of March, 1770, we got under sail, and put to sea with the advantage of a fresh gale at S. E. and clear weather, taking our departure from the eastern point, page 241 which we had seen at noon on the 23d, and to which, on this occasion, I gave the name of Cape Farmewell.
The bay out of which we had just sailed I called Admiralty Bay, giving the name of Cape Stephens to the north-west point, and of Cape Jackson to the south-east, after the two gentlemen who at this time were Secretaries to the Board of Admiralty.
Admiralty Bay may easily be known by the island that has been just mentioned, which lies two miles N. E. of Cape Stephens, in latitude 40° 37′ S. longitude 185° 6′ W. and is of a considerable height. Between this, island and Cape Farewell, which are between fourteen and fifteen leagues distant from each other, in the direction of W. by N. and E. by S. the shore forms a large deep bay, the bottom of which we could scarcely see, while we were sailing in a straight line from one Cape to the other; it is, however, probably of less depth than it appeared to be; for as we found the water shallower here, than at the same distance from any other part of the coast, there is reason to suppose, that the land at the bottom which lies next the sea is low, and therefore not easily to be distinguished from it; I have for this reason called it Blind Bay, and am of opinion, that it is the same which was called Murderer's Bay by Tasman.
Such particulars of this country and its inhabitants, with their manners and customs, as could be learned while we were circumnavigating the coast, shall now be related.