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29 April, 1770

 

On 29 April, 1770, James Cook wrote “I sent a party of men a shore in the morning to the place where we first landed to dig holes in the sand by which means and a small stream they found fresh water sufficient to water the ship. The strings of beeds &ca we had left with the children last night were found laying in the hut this morning, probably the natives were afraid to take them away. After breakfast we sent some empty casks a shore and a party of men to cut wood and I went my self in the Pinnace to sound and explore the Bay, in the doing of which I saw severl of the natives but they all fled at my approach. I landed in two places one of which the people had but just left, as there were small fires and fresh muscles broiling upon them --- here likewise lay vast heaps of the largest oyster shells I ever saw... As soon as the wooders and watere[r]s were come on board to dinner 10 or 12 of the natives came to the watering place and took away their canoes that lay there but did not offer to touch any one of our Casks that had been left ashore, and in the after noon 16 or 18 of them came boldly up to within 100 yards of our people at the watering place and there made a stand.  Mr [Zachary] Hicks who was the officer ashore did all in his power to entice them to him by offering them presents &ca but it was to no purpose, all they seem'd to want was for us to be gone. After staying a short time they went away. They were all arm'd with darts and wooden swords, the darts have each four prongs and pointed with fish bones, those we have seen seem to be intend[ed] more for strikeing fish than offensive weapons neither are they poisoned as we at first thought. After I had returnd from sounding the bay I went over to a Cove on the south north side of the bay where in 3 or 4 hauls with the Saine we caught about 300 pounds weight of fish which I caused to be equally divided among the Ships Company”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “The fires (fishing fires as we supposd) were seen during the greatest part of the night. In the morn we went ashore at the houses, but found not the least good effect from our present yesterday: No signs of people were to be seen; in the house in which the children were yesterday was left every individual thing which we had thrown to them; Dr Solander and myself went a little way into the woods and found many plants, but saw nothing like people. At noon all hands came on board to dinner. The Indians, about 12 in number, as soon as they saw our boat put off Came down to the houses. Close by these was our watering place at which stood our cask: they lookd at them but did not touch them, their business was merely to take away two of four boats which they had left at the houses; this they did, and hauld the other two above high water mark, and then went away as they came. In the Evening 15 of them armd came towards our waterers; they sent two before the rest, our people did the same; they however did not wait for a meeting but gently retird. Our boat was about this time loaded so every body went off in her, and at the same time the Indians went away. Myself with the Captn &c were in a sandy cove on the Northern side of the harbour, where we hauld the seine and caught many very fine fish, more than all hands could Eat”.

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