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15 January, 1770


On 15 January, 1770, James Cook wrote “At day light stood in for an Inlet... at 8 AM we were got within the entrance... [We saw] a Village situated upon a point of an Island which lies 7 or 8 Miles with[in] the Entrence [Motuara]... At 2 oClock we Anchor'd in a very snug Cove [Meretoto, Ship Cove] which is on the NW side of the Bay faceing the S West end of the Island, in 11 fath. water soft ground and moor'd with the Stream anchor. By this time several of the Natives had come off to the Ship in their Canoes and after heaving a few stones at us and having some conversation with Tupia some of them ventured on board where they made but a very short stay before they went into their boats again and soon after left us altogether. I then went a Shore in the bottom of the Cove accompanied by most of the Gentlemen, we found a fine stream of excellent water, and as to Wood the land is here one intire forest. Having the Saine with us we made a few hauls and caught 300 pounds weight of different sorts of fish which was were equally distributd to the Ships Compney”.


Joseph Banks wrote “In the course of the last night we were drove to the Eastward more than we had any reason to expect, so much that we found ourselves in the morn past the harbour we intended to go into. Another however was in sight into which we went: the land on both sides appeard most miserably barren till we got pretty deep in when it began to mend by gradual degrees. Here we saw some canoes who instead of coming towards us went to an Indian town or fort built upon an Island nearly in the middle of the passage [Motuara], which appeard crowded with people as if they had flockd to it from all parts; as the ship aproachd it they wavd to us as if to invite us to come to them but the moment we had passd by they set up a loud shout and every man brandishd his weapons which none of them were without. The countrey about us was now very fertile to appearance and well wooded so we came to an anchor about long cannon shot from the fort... we went ashore abreast of the ship where we found good wood and water and caught more fish in the Seine than all our people could possibly destroy, besides shooting a multitude of Shaggs. The countrey however did not answer so well to Dr Solander and myself as to the ship, we finding only 2 new plants in the whole even”.

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