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13 April, 1769

 

On 13 April, 1769, James Cook wrote “At Anchor in Royal Bay Georges Island [Tahiti]...
a great number of the natives in their canoes came off to the Ship and brought with them Cocoa-nuts, &ca and these they seem'd to set a great Value upon.  Amongest those that came off to the Ship was an elderly Man whose Name was is Owhaa, [known to] the Gentlemen that had been here before in the Dolphin... I went on Shore accompanied by Mr Banks and the other gentlemen, with a party of Men under arms, we took along with us Owhaa who took us to the place where the Dolphin water'd, and made signs to us as well as we could understand that we might occupy that ground but it happen'd not to be fit for our purpose... We afterwards made a circuit through the Woods, and then came on board”.

Joseph Banks wrote “As soon as the anchors were well down the boats were hoisted out and we all went ashore where we were met by some hundreds of the inhabitants whose faces at least gave evident signs that we were not unwelcome guests, tho they at first hardly dare aproach us, after a little time they became very familiar...  We then walkd into the woods followd by the whole train to whoom we gave beads and small presents. In this manner we walkd for 4 or 5 miles under groves of Cocoa nut and bread fruit trees loaded with a profusion of fruit and giving the most gratefull shade I have ever experienced, under these were the habitations of the people most of them without walls”.

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