James Cook held the rank and position of Commander of the sloop Resolution, and Tobias Furneaux was Commander of the sloop Adventure. However, both people were called by everyone Captain, as was usual for those in charge of ships. Cook was also Commodore of this squadron.
At the beginning of July 1773, Cook and Furneaux were sailing east in the South Pacific Ocean from New Zealand looking for the fabled southern continent. Cook had decided they would sail further south than he had done in Endeavour, and then go to Tahiti to “take in water & such refreshments as are to be got” before returning to New Zealand, and continuing the search for the continent.
On 2 July, 1773, Johann Reinhold Forster in Resolution wrote, “The weather easy. Bore down towards the Adventure & fired two Guns at 11 o’clock at night”. Furneaux wrote, “At ½ past 11 Fir’d a Gun in answer to one from the Resolution”.
Two days later, Joseph Gilbert, Master of Resolution wrote, “Moderate Gales... Lost the Log & two lines”. The next day, Forster wrote, “The wind had since we left N[ew] Zeeland more than 4 times gone round the Compass against the Sun. With this difference, however, the Easterly winds were the most prevailing ones. How long this breeze will last is not to be said. We long & wish it may be settled for a 14 night in that Quarter, that we may the sooner come as far as the Capt we suppose to go i.e. between the two tracks he made last Voyage”.
On 7 July, First Lieutenant Robert Palliser Cooper in Resolution wrote, “Bro[ugh]t too, hoisted out the Jolly Boat & sent her with Mr Wales on board the Adventure to Compare the Watches”, i.e., the chronometers. Furneaux wrote, “At noon the Resolution sent her boat onboard to compare the Watches, which agreed”. Cook noted, “a proof that they have both kept to their rate of going sence we left Queen Charlottes Sound”, New Zealand. Forster added, “Capt Furneaux dined with us”.
Two days later, Forster wrote, “A very great & mountainous Swell from the South, which makes the Ship roll very much. In one of these deep rolls, a young goat born on board this Ship about the Tropics, had the misfortune to fall overboard from the booms, where he went in order to come at the Hay in the Longboat. He swam at first hard, we brought to & hoisted a boat out; but he was drowned before they could take him up”. According to Cook, they “hoisted a boat out and took it up alive but it died soon after”.
On 11 July, William Bayly, the astronomer in Adventure recorded, “last night Mr Scott: the Lieutt of Marines seemed to be out of his mind, as he ran about Almost Naked talking a great deal of Incohearent stuff”. James Scott was Second Lieutenant of Marines.
On 12 July, Cooper wrote, “At 11 Burnt 2 false fires, the Adventure being out of Sight, which she answd”. According to Furneaux, “Washed between decks with Vinegar... At 11 Burnt a false fire in Answer to the Resolution”. Forster’s thoughts were elsewhere. “I cannot help observing here, that every day ever since we left Queen Charlotte's Sound, I had observed in the morning constantly a rainbow, & if not a whole Arch was formed, I saw however a part of the reflected rainbow-colours in the clouds opposite the Sun near the horizon”.
The next day, Forster wrote, “It is this day just a year, that we left Plymouth-Sound, & the Shores of England. May providence continue to guard us against Misfortunes & Accidents, & procure me opportunities to describe & discover many useful things in these Seas & the Lands therein, for the benefit of mankind in general, & especially Great Britain & to the Satisfaction of the great & benevolent Monarch, who ordered this expedition from principles of Humanity & may it recommand me more to those whom the greatest Monarch entrusted with the Administration of the State, & may I be enabled afterwards to pass the remainder of my Days in peace & retirement, among my worthy Friends, & those whom Nature has tied to me by indissoluble ties.”
On 15 July, Cooper wrote, “At 8 Fir’d a Gun which we did not hear Answered, haul’d up the Courses & Bro’t too... [At ½ past 9] saw the Adventure on the lee Quartr”. Furneaux wrote, “At ½ past 6 lost sight of the Resolution, fir’d a gun every half hour, at 9 saw her again, & at 10 joined her”.
Two days later, Cook wrote that at noon “we had run down the whole of the Longitude I at first intended and being nearly midway betwixt my track to the north in 1769 [in Endeavour] and return to the South the same year... I steered N½E having the Advantage of a strong gale at SSW, with a view of exploring that part of the Sea between the two tracks just mentioned down as low as the Latitude of 27° S in which space no one has been that I know of”. Forster commented, “we began now to run due North, which made every heart glad, as it now brings us nearer the warmer climates & tropical fruits, refreshments after which all begin to long”.
On 21 July, Cooper wrote, “Punish’d John Keplin Seaman 1 dozen [lashes] for throwing an old Chew of Tobacco amongst Victuals dressing, which infamous proceedings have frequently before been practiced by persons unknown”. His name is usually spelt Kepplin in the muster books.
The next day, Furneaux wrote, “Departed this Life Murduck Mahony Ship’s Cook”. In the Musters, his first name appears variously spelt as Morhigh, Mortough, Mortgh and Mort. The following day, William Bayly, the astronomer in the ship, commented, “This morning was committed to the Deep the remains of Murdoch Mahoney Ship's Cook; he died Yesterday Evening of the Scurvy, he being so ver[y] indolent & dirtily inclined there was no possability of making him keep himself clean, or even to come on Deck to breath the fresh air”.
On 25 July, Cook noted “Very unsettled weather with rain”. Furneaux commented, “Ship’s Company being wet [from] standing by the Sails in the Squally [weather, I] gave them an Extra Allowance, of Brandy”.
Three days later, Furneaux wrote, “20 Men Sick with the Scurvy & Flux... The Resolution’s boatswain on board”. James Gray was the Boatswain; he had been Quartermaster in Endeavour. Cooper wrote, “Spoke the Adventure who inform’d us they were very Sickly having 20 Sick & had lost the Ship’s Cook 3 days ago; We at this time have but one Man ill, who has been ailing since our departure from England in a decline & now bad of the Dropsey” The man was Isaac Taylor, a marine.
On 29 July, Forster wrote, “Went this morning on board the Adventure, & found Capt Furneaux confined to his Cabin, with a Rheumatism in his Foot. The sicknesses which were predominant were Rheumatisms, & very near the half had a Flux. The Carpenter was ill of the Scurvy, he sat on deck, & had brown livid spots on both Legs, which were painfull; he said the Wort had done him some good, but that he never laid it on the Leg but he had the day before found relief from Vinegar”. The carpenter was William Offord.
Cooper wrote, “This day Captn Cook appointed Wm Chapman one of our Seamen, who is Aged & having lost the use of 2 of his fingers to be Cook of the Adventure, the former deceas’d, a great act of humanity as well as Charity... Hoisted out the Small Cutter & sent her on board the Adventure”. Cook’s letter to William Chapman, an able bodied seaman (AB) in Resolution, was backdated to 24 July. “I do hereby appoint you Cook of His Majesty’s Sloop Adventure in the room of Morting Mahoney deceased requiring and directing you forthwith to take upon you the duty of Cook in her accordingly, to hold the same employment untill further Order, together with such allowance of Wages and Victuals for yourself and as is usual for the Cook of the said Sloop, and for so doing this shall be your Orders”.
Cook reflected on why in Adventure “her cook was dead and about Twenty more were attacked with the Scurvy and Flux; at this time we had only three men on the Sick list and only one of them of the Scurvy, several more however began to show some symptoms of it and were accordingly put upon the wort, Marmalade of Carrots, Rob of Lemons and Oranges. I... wrote to Captain Furneaux proposing such methods as I thought would tend to stop the spreading of the disease among his people”.
On 1 August, Cooper wrote, “Smoak’d the Ship between Decks with Gunpowder & Vinegar”.
The next day, Forster wrote, “The Thermometer at 71°. The Latitude observed 23° 14' South. We had therefore passed the Tropic of Capricorne for the second time”. The first time was on 24 September, 1772, as the ships were heading south towards Cape Town.
Cook decided that as they were “in the Latitude of Pitcair[n]s Island discovered by Captain Carteret in 1767 we looked out for it but could see no thing excepting two Tropick birds... Having now crossed or got to the north of Captain Carteret’s Track, no discovery of importance can be made, some few Islands is all that can be expected while I remain within the Tropical Seas... I did not think it prudent, considering the Situation of the Adventures people, to lose time in looking for it; a sight of it would however [have] been of use in verifying or correcting, not only the Longitude of this Isle, but the others which Captain Carteret discovered in this neighbourhood”.
On 3 August, Forster “Saw three white Tropicbirds, with red Tails. They are the size of a Pigeon or larger & quite white & fly very high, far above the Mast. They croaked when flying”. The Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda melanorhyncos).
The next day, Furneaux “Caught a remarkable large Shark, Saw several Albacores, Dolphin & a number of Flying Fish”. Forster commented, “A young bitch of the Terrier-kind taken in at the Cape [of Good Hope], was covered by my Spaniel & had this night 10 young ones, one of which was dead”.
On 5 August, Cooper “Serv’d Wine to the ship’s Company instead of Grog... Spoke the Adventure who inform’d us their Sick people were much better”. He continued the next day, “hoisted out the Small Cutter & sent her with Mr Wales on board the Adventure to Compare the Watches”. According to Forster, “The boat was hoisted out & sent on board the Adventure, from whence Capt. Furneaux came to dine with us with Mr Bailey”. Cook “learnt that his people were much better, the flux having left them and Scurvy was at a stand, he having put in practice some of the methods I had proposed”.
Four days later, Furneaux “Lost a Logg & 3 Lines”. Cooper wrote, “Smoak’d the Bread Room”.
On 9 August, Cooper “Spoke the Adventure & Bore away, they gave us the disagreeable information of their people being much worse”. According to Second Lieutenant James Burney in Adventure, “the Number of Sick has increased to 28 who are all unable to do duty—this is more than a third of the Ship's Company... Our Sickness is, I believe chiefly owing to our Ships being greatly Lumber'd the people have scarce room to stir below—& this is more sensibly felt, coming from a cold climate to a hot one—our tedious passage has greatly contributed to depress their spirits, especially as this was proposed when we left New Zealand as a Cruize for refreshment”.
On 10 August, Forster noted, “we always shortened Sail at 6 o'clock in the Evening, brought to at 8 o'clock & the Adventure came not up before 9 o'clock: [tonight] when she was passing by we made the Signal for bringing to on the starboard tack: for as we now were a breast of the small, low Isles discovered by the Endeavour, & Mr Bougainville, we supposed there might be likewise some to the northward of them, where we were sailing”.
The next day, Cook wrote, “At 6 o’Clock in the morning land was seen to the Southward, we soon discovered it to be an Island about 2 Leagues in extent NW & SE, low and cloathed with wood... The Scorbutic state of the Adventures Crew made it necessary for me to make the best of my way to Otaheite where I was sure of finding refreshments for them, concequently I did not wait to examine this Island which appear’d too small to supply our wants”. It was Tauere, part of the Tuamotu Archipelago. “At 6 o’Clock in the evening land was seen from the mast head bearing west and by South”. It was Tekokota. The ships “stood on under an easy sail all night... at day break the next Morning We discovered land right a head, distant about two miles a proof that day light advised us of our danger but just in time”. It was Marutea. “Without waiting to examine this isle, we continued to steer to the West all Sails set, till 6 oClock in the evening when we shortned Sail... and brought-to”.
On 13 August, Cook wrote, “At 4 AM made sail and at day-break, saw a nother of these low isles”. It was Motutunga. “At 5 o’Clock in the PM saw land extending from WSW to SW distt 3 or 4 Leagues. I judged it to be Chain Island discovered in my last Voyage”. It was Anaa. Endeavour had passed to the south of Anna, whereas Resolution and Adventure went north of it. “Fearing to fall in with some of these low Islands in night... and being desirous of avoiding the delay which lying by in the night occasioned, I hoisted out the Cutter, manned her with a Lieutenant midshipman and Seven men and ordered he to carry a light at her mast head”. According to Furneaux there were in Adventure “30 Men in the Sick List, chiefly with the Scurvy... The Resolution sent her boat onboard with Signals, the boat going to carry a light about 2 miles ahead of the Ships that we might sail all night”.
On 15 August, Cook wrote, “at 5 am saw Osnaburg Island bearing SBW½W”. It had been named by Captain Samuel Wallis in 1767, and seen by Cook in 1769. It is called Mehetia. Cook “sent for Captain Furneaux on board to acquaint him that I intended to put into Oaiti-peha Bay in the SE end of Otaheite in order to get what refreshment we could from that part of the Island before we went down to Matavai Bay... At 6 PM saw the Island of Otaheite extending from WBS to WNW distant about 8 Leagues. We stood on till midnight then brought too”.
On 16 August, Cook wrote, at “4 o’Clock... we made sail in for the land. I had given directions in what possision the land was to be kept but by some mistake it was not properly attended to for when I got up at break of day I found we were steering a wrong course and were not more than half a league from the reef which guards the South end of the Island. I immidiately gave orders to haul off to the Northward and had the breeze of wind which we now had continued we should have gone clear of every thing, but the wind died away and at last flatened to a Calm. We then hoisted out our Boats but even with their assistance the Sloops could not be kept from nearing the reef”.
William Wales, astronomer in Resolution, remarked, “An incredible number of Natives round the Ship in their Boats all loaded with Cocoa-Nuts, Plantains, Apples and other fruits, which we purchased for Beads, nails etc. It is important to express how agreeable these fruits were to us who had not tasted anything of the kind since we left the Cape of Good Hope”.
Wales continued. “The Ship still continuing to drive on the reef notwithstanding the efforts of all our Boats to tow her off, the warping machines were got out and all hands without distinction who could be spared from the Boats employed to work them; but I could not perceive that they were of the least service... About 2 oClock found Ground & let go the Bower Anchor in 30 fathoms, but before the ship could be brought up she struck, and continued to do so with Great Violence. To add to our Misfortune the Adventure was not above a Cable’s length off setting directly down upon us at a great rate... All this time the Ship continued to shake so hard that it was difficulty some times that we kept on our legs, and continued to do so all the Time we were heaving on the Stream Cable until it was almost directly up and down, when she ceased to do so... The Adventure who was not 20 Yards from us had let go her Anchor, and yet more; but fortunately when she was not ten Yards from the Resolution she brought up and did not swing aboard of us; the two Ships riding along side of each other so near that a tolerable Plank would have reached from her Gunnel to ours... by the Assistance of [her boats] and our own the Resolution was towed off... Between 4 and 5 oClock there came a gentle Breeze from off the land, which with our Boats, soon carried us into a place of safety. At 6 oClock every Hand which could be spared were sent with the Boats to bring off the Adventure, which was presently done with the help of the land Breeze. During the Night we stood on and off shore”
According to Forster, he had “worked so hard at the Capstan & in pulling the ropes, when the longboat was hauled out, that I was quite faint: I could eat nothing & drank a great deal; in the hurry I once ran to clear the way for the Capstan-bars & wrenched my foot over some ropes; the pain from this Strain caused me a Swooning”.
Anders Sparrman, the botanist in Resolution, “drew no small satisfaction from remarking the celerity and the lack of confusion with which each command was executed to save the ship... I should have preferred, however, to hear fewer ‘Goddams’ from the officers and particularly the Captain, who, while the danger lasted, stamped about the deck and grew hoarse with shouting... As soon as the ship was once more afloat, I went down to the Ward Room with Captain Cook who, although he had from beginning to end of the incident appeared perfectly alert and able, was suffering so greatly from his stomach that he was in a great sweat and could scarcely stand.”
On the morning of 17 August, the ships arrived at Vaitepiha Bay.
Wales “enquired of Capt Cook about carrying on Shore my Observatory, and Instruments, who told me he should not Stop long here, and that it would not suit him to have a Guard on shore, without which I did not think it prudent to go my self, having already seen too much to think I was capable of guarding against such expert Thieves”. “After dinner”, wrote Forster, “Capt Furneaux came on board & with him Capt Cook went a shore & I went with them, with an Intention to see their Chief”. Cook, “got off some Water for present use, having scarce any left on board”.
The next morning, Cook “detached the two Launches and the Resolutions Cutter under the command of Mr Gilbert to endeavour to recover the Anchors we had lost, they return’d about noon with the Resolutions Bower Anchor but could not recover the Adventures”. Furneaux “sent the Launch”, but when “the Master [Peter Fannin] returned” they had been unable to retrieve anything. According to Burney, Adventure “lost our Coating Anchor & Cable, 2 Small Anchors & 3 Hawsers”. An expedition recovered some of the anchors in 1977-1978.
Wales wrote, “To Day, Isaac Taylor, a Marine, died and was buried” at sea. His disorder was the Dropsy. He was the first person who has died on board the Resolution since we left England”. According to Forster, Taylor “had been feverish, Consumptive & Asthmatic ever since we left England & had never been well on board”. Gilbert recorded that “at 5 PM the body of Isaac Taylor [was] Carried out to sea and Buried”. Cooper wrote “sent a Boat without the Reefs & Committed the Body of the deceas’d to the deep”. Forster continued, “All the rest of the people are healthy except the Stewart, who has a scorbutic habit... The Adventure people are much better, & partly recovered; the Land has amazingly helped them, with the Quantity of fruit. I have described some fish, & birds & plants & some were drawn”. According to Thomas Willis, midshipman in Resolution, “ceas’d serving Bread, Pease, Wheat & Oyl to the Ship’s Compy on Account of the great Quantities of Fruit got here”.
On 20 August, Forster returned from a trip ashore “at dinner & I stay’d even after dinner on board, having several things to describe... We are come here as it seems in the wrong season, or in the wrong place; for though I have been indefatigable in my several Excursions, so as to tire out all my younger Companions, I could never find a great many new ones. In these 3 days we got about 7 or 8 new ones & about 20 known ones... The ship being lumbered & allways full of Indians, I could not dry any plants on deck, but was obliged to dry them in the Oven”.
On 21 August, Cook wrote, “Having got on board a supply of fruit, roots and Water, I determined to sail in the morning for Matavai Bay as I found it not possible for us to get any Hogs”. Furneaux noted, “There is already a sensible difference in the state of our Sick for the better”. The next day, he added, “I sent the Sick on shore every afternoon to walk about under the care of the Surgeon’s mate”, who was John Kent.
Gales prevented the ships from sailing. On 23 August, Gilbert wrote, the Capt went on shore in search of the chief for his permission to purchase provisions for the ships company”. He returned, wrote Cooper, “having purchased only 3 Hogs & those with some difficulty”. The next morning, “At 6 AM weigh’d & came to sail as did the Adventure, leaving behind us the Cutter with the 3d Lieutt [Richard Pickersgill] to purchase Hogs for the Ships Company & to follow the Ships to Matavai Bay”.
On 25 August, Isaac Smith, a master’s mate in Resolution, wrote, “the Cutter returned [i.e., arrived from Vaitepiha Bay] with 3 Hogs”. According to Burney in Adventure, “the Cutter returned about Noon with 10 which were divided between the 2 Ships”. Later that day, noted Gilbert, “At 5 PM anchord in Matavai Bay”.
The next morning, wrote Wales, “a Party of Marines being sent on Shore as a Guard, I landed my Observatory and Instruments and begun to put them up on the Spot where Mr Green Observed the Transit of Venus in 1769, which has every advantage which could be wished for such a purpose”. Charles Green was the astronomer in Endeavour. Furneaux “Sent all the Sick men onshore, Employed erecting a Tent and sending empty casks, together with the Astronomer [Bayly] & his instruments onshore”. According to Cook, the guard was under “the command of Lieutt Edgcombe of the Marines”. John Edgcumbe held the rank of Second Lieutenant.
On 28 August, as food seemed to be scarce in the area, Cook “Sent Lieutt Pickersgill with the Cutter” along the shore “to endeavour to procure Hogs”. Cook then entertained the local chief, including “Bag-pipes of which musick he was very fond, and dancing by the Seamen; he in return ordered some of his people to dance... some of them could however immitate the Seamen tollerable well both in Country dances and Horn pipes”. In the evening, Cooper noted, “the 3d Lieutt came on board haveing not been able to purchase any Hogs”.
The next day, “The people had leave to go on shore for the benefit of the Air”, wrote Cooper. Furneaux continued “trading with the Natives for fruit, but can get neither hogs or fowls”. Forster “went into the country as far as possible in one day... We had a great retinue of Indians, some of which we had hired to carry some Cocoanuts, & breadfruit, we had bought... We collected some plants”. Meanwhile, Cook visited the Chief where “we were conducted to the Theatre where we were entertain’d with a Dramatick Heava or Play in which were both Dancing and Comedy, the performers were five Men and one Women”. Cooper noted that “The 3d Lieutt sent with the Cutter along shore to endeavour to purchase Hogs &ca for the Ships Company”.
On 30 August, Gilbert “punishd Jno Marrow with 6 lashes for being insolent to his officer”. John Marra was a Gunner’s Mate. Furneaux “Punish’d John Fagan & Anthony Bazil for Drunkenness & neglect of duty”. They were sailors.
“About 10 o’Clock in the evening”, wrote Cook, “we were alarmed by a great noise a Shore near the Bottom of the Bay at some distance from our incampment. I suspected that it was occasioned by some of our people and sent an Officer with an Arm'd Boat a shore to know what was the matter and to bring off such of our people as he should find their... the next morning I ordered them to be punished”. Cooper recorded, “Punish’d Geoe Woodward, John Buttall, David Ross Marines (the last belonging to the Adventure) 1 dozn & ½ each, also Emanl Peterson Seaman 1 dozen for absenting themselves from Duty & alarming the Natives”. Furneaux “Punish’d Wm Crispin, Jas Gibbs, Wm Medberry, Jas Jones, John Finley & Henry Wight, Seamen with a Dozen lashes each for disobedience & neglect”.
On 31 August, “A little after 9 oClock in the Morning”, wrote Wales, “we began to take down the Observatories Clocks Instruments &c and by ½ past 11 they were all packed up and ready to put into the Boat, and by Noon they were all safe on board the Ship again”. The next day, Cook wrote, “The Sick being all pretty well recovered, our Water Casks repaired and fill’d and the necessary repairs of the Sloops compleated I determined to be got off from the Shore and the Sloops to be unmoor’d”.
According to Wales, in the afternoon “At 4h the cutter returned from a Cruse round the Island in search of Hogs & brought two. At 5h weighed, & made Sail out of the Bay, and as soon as we were Clear of the Reef Brought too and Hoisted in the Boats”.
Before they left Tahiti, wrote Clerke, “A young Otahitean whose name was Porio having a curiosity to know a little more of the World... came on board and desir’d to be admitted as a Volunteer; he met with a cordial reception and very chearfully set out upon his Travels”.
Cook sailed west for Huahine, which they reached on the evening of 2 September, sailing into the harbour of Fare the following morning. According to Forster, they “got this day about 21 hogs, small & large... & we bought more than 10 cocks & about 12 Dogs, whom we intend to keep for Seaprovision, & the hogs for immediate consumption. Capt Cook & I went ashore... After dinner went again ashore... Capt Cook’s Indian from Otahaitee went with us ashore in a Frock & a pair of Trowsers”.
On 4 September, Cooper wrote, “Punish’d Richd Waterfield Marine with 6 lashes for disobeying orders. The 3d Lieutt went with the Cutter along shore to procure Hogs for the Ships Company”. Cook met the chief, who still had “a small peice of Pewter which I left with him when [I saw] him in 1769, it was in the same bag I had made for it together with a peice of counterfeit English coin and a few Beads”. According to Wales, “Capt Cook returned them to him along with some Medalls & a piece of Copper on which were the Names of the present ships & the Year &c”.
The next day, Gilbert wrote, “served fresh port to the Ships Company daily”. Cooper “Sent the Launch & Cutter with the 3d Lieutt to the last parts of the Island to procure Hogs for the Ships Company”.
On 6 September, Cook wrote, “Mr Sparman being out alone botanizing was set upon by two men who striped him of every thing he had but his Trowsers, they struck him several times with his own hanger but happily did him no harm, as soon as they had accomplished their end they made of”. Later that day, “the hanger [a type of sword], the only thing of value Mr Sparman had lost, and part of his waist coat was brought to us”.
The next day, the ships sailed for Ra`iātea where Cook “intended to stop a few days to procure an addition of Fruit to our present stock”. According to Gilbert, they had “purchased of the natives near 400 hogs for the use of both ships”. Forster commented, “We had all our decks crowded with Hogs, Dogs & Cock. We had... 209 Hogs on board, about 30 Dogs & more [than] 50 Cocks, but very few Greens & Vegetables”. Furneaux noted, “From this Island I brought away one of the Natives a young man who expressed the greatest desire to go to Britania”. He was called Omai or, more properly, Mai.
The ships arrived at Ra`iātea on 8 September. Because the wind was “blowing right out” of the harbour, Cook “carried out anchors and Hawsers to warp in by and as soon as the Resolution was out of the Way the Adventure anchored in like manner and warped in by the Resolution. The warping in and mooring the Sloops took us up the whole day”.
The next day, wrote Forster, “the Capt set the Armorer at work to make large knives for trade from old iron Hoops... Their cloth they offer in great Quantities for Nails. They like beads, but only as presents; for fruit they allways expect Nails, & Iron-ware”. Wales “went on Shore with Mr Pickersgill to look out for a proper place to erect the Observatory on, as Capt Cook talked of having a Tent & Guard on Shore, & found one Convenient enough: indeed the principal thing to be considered was the End of the Solar Eclipse which will happen on the 16th Inst which I had some notion might possibly be seen here. We afterwards walked a considerable way up the country, along the banks of a small River which runs into the Bay where the ships lie”.
Cook visited the local chief that day, and the next when, he “entertain’d us with a Comedy or Dramatick Heava such as is usually acted in the Isles, the Musick is consisted of three Drums, the actors were Seven Men and one Woman, the chief’s Niece, the Play seemed to be nearly if not quite the same as was acted at Otaheite. The only entertaining part in it was a Thift committed by a man and his accomplice, this was done in such a manner as sufficiently desplayed the Genius of the people in this art”.
On 10 September, Forster wrote, “The day was very hot, & we went [ashore] only towards Evening... There we found a Man who could tell us the Names of 9 different Isles... Seven of these Names are similar to those of some Isles which Toobaya [Tupaia] had drawn on board the Endeavour on a piece of paper, which Mr Pickersgill very kindly communicated to me, & are situated to the N.W & West of Uliatea [Ra`iātea]”.
The next day, “After breakfast”, Forster “got the use of a boat & went a shore, looked out for plants & got but one new one”. Upon returning aboard, he wrote, “A pretty young Girl had the day before given George for a handkerchief one of the finest pieces of clot, & promissed him a hog. She came in the same Canoe with us & brought two small hogs & got a hatchet [in return]”. “The next morning we went again ashore, & having found good Specimens of two plants, we had seen before... In the afternoon we again went for a short time a shore, but nothing new could be collected by us”.
On 13 September, Forster took a long Excursion to the North part of the Isle, in order to see whether a more distant part of the Country would afford to us new plants, but... we found nothing”. He went “in the Company of Messrs [Robert] Cooper & [Charles] Clerck, Lieutts of the Ship, Mr [John] Burr, Mate, & Mr [Robert] Anderson, Gunner of the Ship, & I had my Servant [Ernest Scholient], (who was very weak from a looseness which he had 2 days ago), & a Saylor by Capt Cooks leave with me”. They did not return together. When they got back to near the ships “my Son [George] told me he wanted to hire a Canoe, near which he stood... for we were much tired. I told he should do it; he told me the Man wanted 4 Nails. I told him I had but one, he should offer him beads, but the Man refused... I waded on, but when I cast my Eyes a shore, I saw the Fellow endeavouring to wrestle the Gun out of George’s hand; George let then one hand go, & put into his bosom; the fellow had then the Gun; I thought it was all over with George; paternal Affection would not allow me to be quiet at this act of violence & I must expect to have in my turn my gun wrestled from me. I pointed my Gun at the Fellow, when he returned the Gun & went off, but I ran up to him & could have shot him dead, but I was resolved not to hurt the fellow... And my shooting at the Fellow had no consequences of note, for Mr Cooper afterwards saw the Man & found that on the left Shoulder by about 9 Shots he was just skinwounded”. In the evening, continued Forster, “the Captain began to reflect upon my conduct; he arrogated himself an Authority, which he had not, & I supported my Independency of him, with a Spirit which becomes a Man of honour; the Dispute went however too far... & so some hot & unguarded Expressions came out on both sides & he sent me by Force out of his Cabin”.
Cook’s entry for the day consisted of the single sentence “Nothing happen’d worthy of note”.
On 14 September, Cooper wrote, “The 3d Lieutt went with our Launch & the Adventure’s Cutter to the Isle of Otaha [Taha`a] to procure Plantains and Bananas &ca for the Ships Company”. Forster accompanied them; he noted that “during the night it rained hard & blew a Hurricane”. The next day, Cooper wrote, “In the Morng found the Chief & all the Natives had abandone’d their habitations with their Canoes & Effects during the Night they apprehending some treacherous design be against them, by sending our Boats away to Otaha. The Captain & Captn Furneaux went in Search of the King whom they overtook & effected a Reconciliation”.
The next day, Furneaux wrote, “All our Sick quite recovered”.
On 16 September, Wales wrote, “At 18' past 6 o'Clock in the Morning the Sun rose over the land; the Eclipse being entirely over”. Furneaux “Punished Robt Barber Seaman with a dozen lashes for disobedience”. Cooper commented, “This Afternoon Porea the native of Otaheite left the Captain on shore & went away to another part of the Island, I believe on a Female’s Account”.
The boats had been away a second night searching for fruit. Eventually, “going into a bay”, wrote Pickersgill “we found such an abundance of Fruit that we loaded both boats”. Furneaux noted, “At 3 PM the small Cutter returned from Otaha (having been round it) laden with Cocoanuts & Plantain”. Cook decided that “having got a board a large supply of refreshments I determined to put to Sea in the morning”. According to Forster, “Capt Furneaux brought me word Capt Cook was sorry for having acted with such violence against me, & by my Son desired me to come to an Accomodation, for I had insisted upon a Satisfaction: I desired to be re-introduced by Capt Cook into his Cabin, & desired me to come into the great Cabin, where after several Discources, we both yielded without giving any thing up of honour, & then shook hands”.
The ships left the island on 17 September. Cook decided to take another islander in place of Porea. “There were Volanteers enough out of whome I took one, a youth... and a great advocate for Bolabola [Bora Bora] of which Island he is a native, his name is Oediddee [Hitihiti], he may be of use to us if we should fall in with and touch at any isles in our rout to the west which was my only montive for takeing him on board”. Cook “directed my Course to the West inclining to the South as well to avoid the tracks of former Navigators as to get into the Latitude of Amsterdam Island [Tongatapu] discovered by Tasman in 1643, my intention being to run as far west as that Island and even to touch there if I found it convenient before I proceeded to the South”. In the afternoon Forster “saw Maurua [Maupiti], a single hill rising out of the Sea, whereas the peak of Bolabola is divided, & perfectly represents a Volcano with its Crater”.
The next day, Cooper wrote, “Punish’d John Cave Seaman 1 dozen for not complying with orders... Our people have had fresh Pork every day since coming from Huaheine, both ships Companies are in good health”.
On 23 September, Furneaux wrote, “At 11, Saw 2 Islands from the Masthead bearing SW”. There appeared to be, wrote Cook, “three small Islands connected together by a reef of rocks in which they are incircled... I named them Sandwich in honour of my noble Patron the Earl of Sandwich”. Cook changed his mind about their name. “I afterwards altered the name of this isle, and called it Herveys isle and gave the name of Sandwich to one of the Hebrides”. There are two islands, Manuae and Te Au O To, which are now part of the southern group of the Cook Islands.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 25, volume 46, number 3 (2023).
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