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From Tasman To Marsden.

Chapter II. — Cook on the East Coast, 1769

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Chapter II.
Cook on the East Coast, 1769.

The period from 1643 to 1769 is a long call, and, when we consider the eagerness of the explorer of to-day to go out into the unknown, it looks all the longer for the explorers of that day to sit calmly down and make no effort to clear up the mystery of the South Pacific. Whatever energy was expended elsewhere in geographical exploration, the Australian coast-line and the shape of New Zealand were left as Tasman marked them on the map of the world. And it is difficult to say how long that state of things would have continued, but for the interest awakened among scientists by the approach of the Transit of Venus in 1769. A Memorial was presented to the King, in the year 1768, praying for a thoroughly equipped vessel to be sent out to the South Seas to observe the Transit, and, the Royal Consent having been obtained, the project was at once put under way.

It was the intention of the Royal Society that Alexander Dalrymple, the author of a work on discoveries in the South Pacific, should command the Expedition, but that gentleman would only do so if he had the management of the ship intended for the service. This was out of the question from an Admiralty point of view, and James Cook, who was a master in the Royal Navy and an able mathematician—two things not always combined—was given a lieutenant's commission, and the command of a cat-built bark called the Endeavour, formerly in use in the North Country coal trade, and which had been purchased by the Admiralty for the express purpose of the Expedition. The Royal Society fell into line with the selection of Cook and went so far as to appoint him one of their observers, the other being Charles Green, the astronomer.

The natural history side of this Expedition was catered for by Joseph Banks, whom the Royal Society asked to be allowed, with his suite of seven persons, to accompany the page 17 Endeavour. Consent was readily given, more especially as Banks had fitted out the party for scientific research at a cost of some £10,000 out of his own pocket. It is very doubtful if much natural history work would have been provided for at all but for the self-sacrifice of this gentleman. On Banks' staff were two men whose names will afterwards come into our narrative—Dr. Solander, the great botanist, a pupil of Linnæus, and young Parkinson, the artist.

Although the object of the Expedition was astronomical, additional instructions were given to Cook. The old idea of Tasman's day, of an immense continent in the South Pacific, had not been disproved by the discoveries of 1642 and 1643. All that Tasman had done was to confine the range of the unknown to a smaller portion of the earth's surface. It was still believed that a large area of land must exist somewhere in the south, to compensate for the known area of land in the north, and the New Zealand coastline of Tasman was thought to be the margin of the long talked of territory. To solve this problem, Cook had instructions to proceed to the south, after he had finished his Transit observations, and then sail westward along the fortieth parallel until he came in contact with the New Zealand of Tasman. That country he was to explore thoroughly before he returned.

Cook sailed on 26th August, and in due course reached Tahiti, the spot which had been selected for the observing of the Transit, and there, on 3rd June 1769, successfully carried out the object of his mission. The primary work of the Expedition being thus accomplished, Cook made what arrangements were necessary for his further voyage of exploration, and set sail for the south on the thirteenth of the following month.

Before leaving Tahiti Banks made a notable addition to his staff by taking with him Tupaea, a well-born priest of that island, who possessed a wonderful knowledge of the other islands scattered over the Pacific. Cook was at first unwilling to take the young man on his own accouut, but Banks, realising how valuable his knowledge would be to the Expedition, overcame the difficulty by placing him on his page 18 own staff. In his Journal Banks says: “I do not know why I may not keep him as a curiosity as well as my neighbours do lions and tigers at a larger expense than he will ever probably put me to." And Banks never regretted his decision; in fact, if he had been possessed of all the Polynesian knowledge at the disposal of the student of to-day, he would have found it profitable to have paid Tupaea a very high rate of remuneration for his services, rather than be without them where the Expedition was going.

New Zealand was first detected from the masthead by Nicholas Young, boy to the surgeon's mate, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, 7th October 1769. For some days it had been expected, on account of the presence of certain birds usually associated with land, but soundings had always failed to find bottom.

Next morning land could be seen from the deck, and, by five in the evening, a bay, now known as Poverty Bay, came into view, and the Endeavour was steered for it. Unable to enter it before night, Cook stood off. Canoes on the bay, dwellings on the shore, and fortifications and great columns of smoke far and wide, on hill and plain, indicated that the Expedition had reached a populous country. At four o'clock on the afternoon of Monday 9th October, the anchor was cast two miles from the entrance of the river on which Gisborne is now built. The spot where the Endeavour rode at anchor can be ascertained from the following bearings:—the N.E. point of the Bay bore E. by S. 1/2 S., and the S.W. point bore S., distance from the shore half-a-league.

The events of Cook's first day in New Zealand did not augur well for the success of his Expedition. The first day Tasman came in contact with the New Zealanders in 1642, three Europeans were killed; the first day Cook came in contact with the same race in 1769, one New Zealander was killed. It happened thus. Cook, Banks, and Solander, with a party of men, went ashore in the evening in the pinnace and yawl, and landed abreast of the ship on the east bank of the river. Seeing some Natives on the west side, Cook, leaving four boys in charge of his boat, crossed the river, but the page 19 Natives fled at his approach, and he had to content himself with visiting the huts which stood about 200 or 300 yards from the water's edge. While he was thus occupied four Natives came out of the bush and made for the boys, whom they would have cut off had not the coxswain of the pinnace seen their plight and directed them to drop down stream, which they did, closely followed by the New Zealanders. Two shots were fired over the latters' head, but without effect, upon which a third was fired and a Native killed, just as he was on the point of throwing his spear at the occupants of the boat. The death of their comrade in this mysterious manner so astonished the remainder that they stood motionless for a minute or two and then dragged away the body to a spot about 100 yards distant, where they left it. The shots quickly brought Cook and his party on to the scene, and, after examining the body, they returned to the ship.

The second day on shore was even a more disastrous one. Cook landed in the morning and tried to get into touch with the Natives. After some vain parleying Tupaea spoke to them in his own tongue, and, to the surprise of all present, the Natives thoroughly understood him. Some then crossed the river and readily accepted the presents which were offered them. Then Natives came across armed and began to manifest thievish tendencies, until at last they stole Mr. Green's sword. Unable to persuade them to give it up, Cook ordered the thief to be fired at, with the result that he was mortally wounded. Three more were wounded before the conference broke up.

Later on in the day Cook went for a sail round the Bay, to look for fresh water, and to try and capture some Natives. Two boats were seen coming in from the sea, and one of them was approached, but when Tupaea summoned its occupants to surrender they made off. A shot overhead, instead of frightening them into surrendering, made them seize their arms and turn the war on to the attackers. Such a desperate fight did they put up that four of them were killed, and three, who had taken to the water, were captured. The ages of these valiant youths ranged from 10 to 20 years.

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This incident is probably the one most open to question in the whole of Cook's life. His statement reads:

“I am aware that most Humane men who have not experienced things of this nature will Censure my Conduct in firing upon the People in their Boat, nor do I myself think that the reason I had for seizing upon her will at all justify me; and had I thought that they would have made the Least Resistance I would not have come near them; but as they did, I was not to stand still and suffer either myself or those that were with me to be knocked on the head."

Banks, who was in the boat, puts it in these words:—

“Thus ended the most disagreeable day my life has yet seen; black be the mark for it, and heaven send that such may never return to embitter future reflection."

More New Zealanders had now been killed by Cook, than had sailors of Tasman by New Zealanders.

While ashore on this occasion the country was taken possession of for George III. Parkinson says: “After having taken possession of the country, in form, for the King, our company embarked." Strange to say neither Cook, Banks, nor Hicks mention this interesting ceremony, but, outside of what Parkinson says, there is the fact that a strong body of marines and seamen had been landed in the boats, and, according to Dr. Hawkesworth, who probably got it from the officers, the marines marched “with a Jack carried before them." The presence of a body of marines with a Union Jack, when we think of Cook's mission, is sufficient corroboration of Parkinson's statement, even in the face of Cook's silence. Banks does not even mention the Mercury Bay hoisting. The result is that Gisborne is entitled to the honour of being the site of the first hoisting of the Union Jack in New Zealand, and the date was Tuesday, the 10th of October 1769.

On the following day the three captured boys were taken ashore, but, strange to say, they expressed the greatest disinclination to rejoining their own people. When the page 21 Natives appeared in force, Cook crossed the river, and, with the stream between the two parties, Tupaea addressed the New Zealanders. After a short time one Native came across and presents were given to him; the others remained seated on the sand. To prevent the possibility of trouble again, Cook took every one (including the three boys), on board the Endeavour. In the afternoon the lads were again put ashore and this time rejoined their people. It was noticed that the body of the New Zealander first killed still remained near the scene of his death, but that of the second had been removed.

Those interested in following up the account of Cook's first landing on New Zealand should study an Article from the pen of the Ven. Archdeacon Williams, in the Transactions of the N.Z. Institute, Vol. XXI., pp. 389 to 395.

The name first given to the bay by Cook was Endeavour Bay, but, on second thoughts, it was changed to the singularly inappropriate one of Poverty Bay.

From here Cook sailed south on the twelfth. Evidently the lads had given a good report to their countrymen, because a canoe from the Bay, taking advantage of a calm, caught up on the Endeavour, and the occupants came on board without any hesitation, and traded. They even went so far as to offer their canoe for trade. When the time came for leaving, three remained, intentionally, it was thought, to prevent the ship sailing away. It did not have that effect, however, as Cook pursued his course, much to the alarm of the Natives. The following day two other canoes approached the ship, and the services of their occupants were utilised to get the Poverty Bay Natives returned to their homes. In their attempts to get the canoes of the visitors alongside, the imprisoned Natives hailed them with the information that the members of the Expedition did not eat men—a very significant intimation of one of their own characteristics.

The Endeavour rounded Portland Island about midday on 13th October, and Cook commenced his survey of Hawke's Bay, keeping as close to the land as possible in search of a suitable watering place. All along the coast Natives came out and visited the Endeavour. At noon on 15th October page 22 Cook was opposite Ahuriri Bluff, where Napier now stands. “On each side of this bluff," says Cook, “is a low narrow sand or stone beach; between these beaches and the Mainland is a pretty large lake of salt water as I suppose."

Cook had another unfortunate Monday. On his first, one man was killed, this time “Two or 3," to quote his own words. The trouble happened thus. At 8 a.m. when abreast of Cape Kidnappers, Cook was negotiating with a Native for a black dog-skin robe for a piece of red cloth, but the Native, having secured the cloth, made off. The canoe shortly afterwards returned, and its occupants seized Tiata, the servant of Tupaea, and made off with him. The canoe was fired on, and, in the confusion, Tiata plunged into the sea and was picked up by a boat from the ship. What Cook actually did is not recorded, but it is significant that the entry in his Journal is “Two or 3 paid for the daring attempt with the loss of their lives, and many more would have suffer'd had it not been for fear of killing the Boy." From this incident the Cape was called Cape Kidnappers. This brought the number of Natives killed to eight or nine.

When opposite Cape Turnagain, Cook decided to retrace his steps, and accordingly put his ship about to search for a harbour to the north, instead of the south.

When opposite Tokomaru, on the twenty-first, Cook made another attempt to secure water, and brought his ship to an anchor in the Bay. The Natives came on board without any hesitation, but the first attempt to land early in the afternoon was prevented by the surf, although the canoes readily negotiated it. In the evening a landing was effected, and water was found in plenty, but difficult of access. Next morning Lieutenant Gore took a party ashore for wood and water, but it was noon before the first cargo could be shipped, and then the difficulties of transport were felt to be so great that Cook determined to leave, and did so early on the twenty-third.

While in the Bay the scientists were not idle. Banks and Solander went ashore and ranged all over the place, the Natives going on with their shore occupations and their page 23 fishing, as if nothing unusual was taking place. The only domesticated animals seen were “very small and ugly dogs," and the cultivations, varying in size from 1 to 10 acres, covered 150 to 200 acres, for not more than 150 persons visible. On setting out for the ship Banks had a novel experience in a canoe, which, on the first occasion, got upset in the breakers, but, on a second attempt, landed four dripping men on the deck of the Endeavour.

Directed by the occupants of some friendly canoes, Cook took the vessel into Tolaga Bay, and Lieutenant Gore, who had been sent to examine it, brought back favourable reports, which were confirmed, after anchoring, by Cook himself. From the twenty-fourth until the thirtieth the Endeavour remained at this anchorage. During that time Cook surveyed the Bay, and determined its correct position. Ever mindful of the health of his men, he daily sent on board “sellery and scurvy grass" to be supplied to the crew as an antiscorbutic. Lieutenant Gore and his party procured 70 tons of water and a full supply of wood. Banks and Solander took advantage of the opportunities which were afforded them by the stay in the Bay, and found the Natives very accommodating, showing them everything, without restriction. Tupaea got into touch with their priests, and his discourses on intricate matters of their common religion were received by them with the greatest attention. Amongst other things he found that they practiced cannibalism on their fallen enemies. Every day the Natives visited the Endeavour and traded with fish and sweet potatoes, for cloth, beads, and nails.

The spot where Cook procured water is thus described by him: “Close to the N. end of this Island, at the Entrance into the Bay, are 2 high Rocks; one is high and round like a Corn Stack, but the other is long with holes thro' it like the Arches of a Bridge. Within these rocks is the Cove, where we cut wood and fill'd our Water." To this day a small artificial well is known as Cook's Well, or, to the Natives, Tupaea's Well; it was probably used by the men, but not to fill the water casks. Sporing Island alongside receives its name from Herman Sporing, Banks' secretary.

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From Tolaga Bay Cook continued his course northward, passing East Cape on the thirty-first, and Cape Runaway the following day. This Cape received its name from the action of a big armed canoe which “threatened us with their lances and dared us to fight." After a round shot had been fired over their heads, “I believe they did not think themselves safe until they got ashore," says Cook. Hence the name.

On 2nd November a great number of canoes visited the Endeavour, with crayfish, mussels, and large conger eels, for trade, but the Islanders could not resist their thievish propensities, and, before they were warned off, first by muskets, and then by a four-pounder, stole several of the sailors' shirts which were being towed astern.

It was now nearing the day for the Transit of Mercury, and Cook was anxiously looking for a port where he could get a clear observation. On the evening of the fourth an inlet was found and the anchor dropped. Several canoes were in attendance. They stopped about until it was dark, and then left, threatening to return and attack the ship in the morning. This design they proceeded to carry out, but got no further than a parade in force, a little trading, and a little trickery. With a view of enabling them to understand their enemy's powers, Cook caused a few muskets and a big gun to be fired.

After a careful examination of his surroundings in Mercury Bay, Cook took the Endeavour into what is now known as Cook Bay, and cast anchor 1 1/2 miles N.N.W. from the mouth of Oyster River.

On Friday, 10th November, Cook, Banks, and Hicks went ashore to observe the Transit, and were fortunate in securing a perfect day. Mr. H. D. M. Haszard, a surveyor who has specially investigated Cook's stay at Mercury Bay, located the site of the Observatory on the promontory immediately above Shakespeare Cliff. It is “situated on a little rounded knoll on the end of a plateau about 250 ft. above sea-level, with a clear view of the horizon, and is easily reached by a track leading up a gully from a small sandy bay immediately to the south of the cliff." While Cook was engaged in ob- page 25 serving the Transit, the Endeavour was left in charge of Second Lieutenant Gore, and that officer, when a New Zealander, who had received a piece of red cloth in exchange for a robe, refused to hand over the robe and paddled away, fired at, and killed him. Cook did not seek to defend such an extreme punishment for theft, and says that he considered they were long enough in contact with the Natives now to know how to punish their offences without resorting to the death sentence.

Although the action of the Natives alongside the Endeavour had not been too satisfactory, and their misdeeds had resulted in the death of one of them, Cook did not hesitate to go ashore and move among them. On the thirteenth a large party, with Cook at its head, visited and examined a strongly fortified village built on a high promontory on the north side and near the head of the Bay. Cook considered it a very strong and well-chosen post “where a small number of resolute men might defend themselves a long time against a vast superior force." The pa was prepared for a siege by being provided with a great quantity of fern root and dried fish, though fresh water appeared to be wanting. Cook's opinion was that wars must be very common among them to enable them to develop such well defended fortifications, and, while expressing his surprise at the absence of bows, arrows, or slings, states that with the exception of the loaded musket he had nothing equal to their long pikes or lances.

Before sailing on the sixteenth, Cook cut out, upon one of the trees near the watering place, the ship's name, date, etc., and after displaying the British colours, took formal possession of the place in the name of George III. Cook does not give the date, but it was probably on the thirteenth or fourteenth.

It was during the stay of the Expedition here that kauri gum was first detected. It was found lying on the sea beach, or sticking to the mangrove trees, from which latter circumstance it was thought to be a product of that tree. Great oyster beds were discovered, and one of the rivers was named after the delicious bivalves which were found in great quan- page 26 tities in its neighbourhood, and which were gathered in boatloads, and taken to the ship to be eaten by the men without let or hindrance. Generally speaking, the Natives maintained a good fish market alongside the Endeavour, so good on one occasion that the sailors were able to salt down four puncheons for future use, after getting enough for present requirements for all hands.

While the Expedition was in Mercury Bay, Banks took particular notice of the absence of the most elementary indications of civilisation; of the presence of immense piles of shells, pointing to a numerous population; and of the custom of the Natives to pass the night in the open air, with the women and children inside a circle formed of the men, indicating an ever present fear of attack, which could only come from an enemy of their own race.

On clearing Mercury Bay, Cook steered a course outside the islands lying to the N.E., and, following the line of the land, hauled round Cape Colville, and entered the Hauraki Gulf early in the morning of 19th November. While lying under the land, two canoes, one of which contained 62 men, visited the Endeavour, but confined themselves to singing some of their war songs, and then throwing stones at the ship.

Cook continued his course up the Firth of Thames for about 21 miles, when he anchored for the night. The following day he continued his course, but could not determine whether he was in a strait, bay, or river. The next day the Endeavour was visited by three canoes, whose occupants remained on board for about an hour. After running another 15 miles and finding the water decreasing to 6 fathoms, Cook anchored and sent out Molineux the master, and two boats, to examine the coasts on each side. When their report showed that not more than three feet more water could be found to the south, Cook decided to pursue his further investigations in boats.

The next morning, accompanied by Gore, Banks, Solander, and Tupaea, Cook set out with the pinnace and longboat for the head of the bay, and, at about nine miles from the ship, found the mouth of a river, afterwards called the Waihou. A mile up this River was a Native village, page 27 built on a bank of dry sand, and surrounded by mud which prevented an approach at low water, while a strong fence gave protection when the tide was in.

After a short and very friendly intercourse with the Natives Cook pushed on up the River until about 12 or 14 miles from the entrance, when he landed to examine a forest of very fine timber which grew on the bank. With his quadrant he measured one of the largest of the trees and found it to be 19 feet 8 inches in girth, 6 feet from the ground, and 89 feet to the first branch. After giving the river the name Thames, the party left with the ebb tide for the ship, but bad weather coming on them they were compelled to run under the land for the night, so that they did not get on board until 7 o'clock the next morning.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 22nd November, the anchor was lifted, and the ebb tide taken advantage of to get out of the Firth. At 8 the anchor was again cast until 3 a.m. the next day, when the assistance of the friendly ebb was again utilised. On coming to anchor at the flood, Cook went over in the pinnace to the western shore, but found nothing. While the Captain was away, Lieutenant Hicks was in command, and one of the Natives on board was caught in the act of stealing the half-hour glass. Hicks ordered him on to the gangway, where he received a dozen strokes of the “cat." Far from being angry at this treatment, the other Natives, when they learned the cause and got him back into the canoe, continued to administer what they considered was further necessary to make the punishment complete.

By the evening of the twenty-fifth Cook had passed Cape Rodney and was clear of the Hauraki Gulf. In this hurried visit he had crept along the eastern peninsula, and after coming out of what is now known as the Firth of Thames had steered towards Cape Rodney. Cook gave the name of Thames River to what is now known as the Hauraki Gulf, the Firth of Thames, and the Waihou River. While passing down the eastern peninsula he noted the small islands at Coromandel Harbour, which, he says, “together with the Main seem'd to form good Harbours." Although the course page 28 steered prevented him seeing Waitemata Harbour, he mentions the islands off its mouth and says of them: “It appear'd very probable that these form'd some good Harbours." Never was his judgment more accurate, as behind these islands lay what is now known as Auckland Harbour.

Sailing along the coast, the anchor was cast, on the evening of the twenty-fifth, in Bream Bay, at the head of which is Whangarei, the name being given on account of a catch of 90 to 100 bream, while lying at anchor. Cook remained here only for the night, and the following day continued his survey. In the afternoon another “incident" happened with the Natives. Hicks thus enters it in his journal:

“Some of the Indians came on board. We gave them presents, at length they began to be Insolent, throwing Stones, brandishing their Launces, and Cheating us in Trade One fellow who had taking a piece of Cloth We fired at with small Shot and some Balls over their Heads they retreated abt. a hundred yards and then began to threating and flourish singing their War Song We fired a four Pounder, the report, ye Wistling of the Shot over their Heads sent them to the shore as fast as they could Paddell the Number of Indians in the Canoes was about three Hundred."

Cook thus describes the effect of “ye Wistling of the Shot": “As no harm was intended them, none they received, unless they hapned to over heat themselves in pulling on shore." The next morning, however, they were again around the vessel, and some came on board, but could not be induced to engage in trade.

At 3 p.m. on Monday 27th November, the Endeavour passed Cape Brett.

In giving names to the various places Cook showed a wonderful aptitude for taking advantage of some circumstance connected with their discovery. We have already had Young Nick's Head, Poverty Bay, Cape Kidnappers, Cape Runaway, Hicks Bay, Mercury Bay, and a host of others; but in giving the name Cape Brett, Cook was disclosing another page 29 side of his character. The name Brett was given to the Cape because about a mile from it there is a “high Island or Rock with a hole pierced thro' it like the Arch of a Bridge." Brett's name was Sir Piercey Brett; “and this was one reason," says Cook, “why I gave the Cape the above name, because Piercy seem'd very proper for that of the Island." Brett's name, therefore, was given to the Cape to enable Cook, by calling the perforated island, Piercy, to perpetrate a geographical pun upon the name of Sir Piercey Brett.

When Cook first noted the bay on the west side of Cape Brett, he did not appear to have had any desire to visit and explore it. As he passed it he noted the villages on the S.W. side and upon the islands, and great numbers of the Natives came off to trade with the ship, in which trade they evinced little desire to carry on a friendly intercourse, but cheated whenever an opportunity presented. So numerous were the Natives that, while sailing along the coast for a distance of 24 miles, not less than 400 or 500 were alongside and came on board of the Endeavour.

Cook sailed along as far as the Cavalle Islands, and there, as elsewhere, found it necessary “to pepper 2 or 3 fellows with small Shott" to stop being “peppered" with stones from the canoes. On the 28th the weather changed round to the westward, and the Endeavour gradually began to lose ground until she was once more off the bay near Cape Brett. N.W. weather continuing, Cook decided to enter the bay and spend the bad weather inside exploring its coastline, rather than be tossed about, learning nothing, on the open sea. He accordingly entered, and, finding the water shoaling rapidly cast anchor at 11 o'clock on the thirtieth, under the S.W. side of Motu Arohia, and sent out Molyneux the master, to sound.

From the first moment of contact with the Natives there was trouble. At half-past twelve, the boats sent out to sound returned and reported that the pinnace had been attacked and nearly boarded by the New Zealanders. By two o'clock there were 33 canoes, with some 300 Natives on board, round about the Endeavour. Some of the Natives were recognised page 30 as having already visited the ship at sea, and knew enough of the merits of the big guns to trade for a short time honestly. At a signal given by one of the chiefs, the canoes went ahead and attempted to carry off the buoy attached to the anchor. Musket fire was tried in vain, then small shot, and a New Zealander was wounded, which caused them to desist. Cook then fired “a Great Gun" over their heads, which so terrified them that, had it not been for the persuasion of Tupaea, they would have left the ship. They were induced to remain, and their behaviour seemed to indicate that they would give no further trouble.

At three o'clock, Cook, Banks, and Solander, took two boats, manned and armed, and went ashore. The canoes straightway left the ship, and, after landing at different parts of the island, concentrated on Cook and his party until they were surrounded by some 200 or 300 Natives. Cook, who grew anxious at the appearance of things, straightway drew a line on the sand and indicated to the Natives that they were not to pass it. They at once set up their war dance, and some of them tried to draw the boats ashore. This was immediately followed by pressing in on the line, so Cook discharged his musket at one of the leading men, and Banks and two others followed suit, with the result that the attacking party fell back in confusion. One of the Chiefs rallied and led them forward, when Dr. Solander, whose musket was undischarged, let him have the contents of it, and this local champion joined the retreating throng. The New Zealanders were now out of reach of small shot, so ball was tried, but they still remained in a body at some distance. In this state of suspense the two parties remained for about a quarter of an hour. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Hicks, who had seen the attack, “got a Spring on the cable & brought the broad side to bear," and fired four four-pounders over their heads. This was enough, and the Natives fled. Some who hid themselves in a cave were afterwards interviewed and given presents, after which Cook visited another part of the island where he found the Natives “as meek as lambs." He loaded his boats with “sellery" and returned on board in the evening.

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Early in the morning of 1st December the anchor was weighed with the intention of leaving the Bay, but it fell a calm, and the anchor had again to be let go. The previous night three of the sailors had left their duty when ashore and had dug up some of the Natives' potatoes; they were given a dozen lashes each, and one of them, who contended that he had committed no offence, was sent back to durance vile. This day the conduct of the Natives was quite changed, and, when trading, they acted very fairly and friendly. In the afternoon, Cook and the botanists rowed to the south side of the harbour, where was a small sandy cove, two small streams of fresh water, and plantations of sweet potatoes and yams. Everywhere the Natives were friendly.

The next day found the Endeavour still detained by contrary winds, and advantage was taken of the facilities for obtaining grass, to procure some for the sheep. This state of things continued over Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, Cook, Banks, and Solander visited one of the islands near the anchorage, and found it well cultivated, planted with roots, and having abundance of water. To the same place two boats went the next day for supplies of water and grass, and Cook and the botanists went to the mainland. On the road they stepped aside to examine a pa, the Natives of which extended a hearty invitation to them. Here was seen a wonderful Native seine of not less than 400 or 500 fathoms long, and 5 fathoms deep. It looked as if every house in the place had nets in the making, kept in small heaps like hay cocks, and thatched over. The ordinary King's seine, which the Endeavour had on board, on account of its diminutive size, was a source of great amusement to the Natives.

Early on Wednesday 6th December, the anchor was weighed, but owing to continued calms the Endeavour was almost ashore. Hardly had she been got out of danger, with the help of the pinnace towing, than, near midnight, she struck Whale Rock, but got clear without sustaining material damage. The following morning the Endeavour was clear of the Bay and stood out to sea.

Cook made no accurate survey, as it required too much page 32 time, but certified that the Bay contained good anchorage and every kind of refreshment for shipping. Fish could be caught by hook and line, and seine, or bought from the Natives, in great quantities and endless variety. From the treatment given to him by the Natives a note of warning to shipping might have been expected, but none was given, Cook contenting himself by praising their pas, and commending their judgment in the selection of sites, and their ability in making good any defects.

By Saturday 9th December, the Endeavour was close under the Cavalle Islands, where she was approached by some canoes, but Cook would not wait for them to come up and trade. The same day Knuckle Point, and the next morning Doubtless Bay, were seen and named, but the wind would not permit of a close examination. At 6 a.m., while lying becalmed off the Bay, five canoes came off, but their occupants would not come on board. Later, six more came out, boldly ranged alongside, and sold a considerable quantity of fish to the ship's company. The occupants of the canoes freely entered into conversation with Tupaea, and, in reply to his questions, told him that at the end of three days' travel in canoes the land turned to the southward. When asked whether they knew of any other country they said no, but that their ancestors told them that to the N.W. by N. there was a large country to which some people had sailed in a large canoe in a month, that in that country they were told were hogs, which they called booah, the same name as the Islanders use. These Natives were inhabitants of Doubtless Bay, and were the last alongside the Endeavour while off the coast of the North Island.

Making northward, Cook found the rate of progression very slow against a wind which was generally from the west and north. At noon, on Tuesday 12th December, the Endeavour was in latitude 35° 12′ and within 1 1/2 miles from the shore on the East Coast. An hour before, De Surville, from the deck of the Saint Jean Baptiste, sighted the West Coast of New Zealand in latitude 35° 37′, or almost directly opposite where Cook then was.