Fair Wr. Wind at EBN and varial to the SE. The Thermr. from 79° to 81°. Sick list contains three Men. One under the complaint Cramp, one with the Flux and one recovering. The Carpenters have now Completed the Cabbin in which I have fixed 77 additional poles, the whole amounting to 705. I ordered some of my People on shore for their amusement, and the Invalids are sent every morning.
The number of Plants that have been shifted from being in a dying State amount to 24 this day at Noon. The Natives bring us but few Hogs at present, but the Breadfruit cocoanutts & Plantains we have in great abundance.
As every thing relating to the Bread fruit is of consequence, I shall now mention the mode of dressing it by the People here.
The principal thing used in this process is what is vulgarly called the coney shell, which being cut in two transversely beomes a scraper to prepare the fruit. This is the first operation and the green uneven surface of the fruit being scraped off they are then split through the middle and are ready for the fire or Oven. The Oven is made by digging a hole in the ground in which a fire is kindled and a number of stones put under and about it to be made hot. This being done and they have received all possible heat, they are placed round the side and bottom of the pitt on which Bread fruit leaves are put to prevent the fruit being burnt. The fruit is now thrown in and covered over with the same leaves upon which they throw Rubbish of any kind that will keep in the heat, here the fruit remains about two Hours, but as the removing it is very often guided by their leisure or being at work about a thing more material, it does not appear to me to be of much consequence the attending the fruit exactly as to time.
This is far the most advantageous wasy of dressing the fruit. For the ships use when we are out of baked fruit we boil them in the Coppers but they are not half so good as when dressed by the Natives.
I have directed Mr Nelson to reserve 24 Pots for a sort of fine Plantains called Oraia and a very valuable refreshing fruit of the Apple kind called Ay,yah. This Apple has the most refreshing quality of any fruit I ever tasted, and as such I am certain it will be esteemed in Jamaica or any hot country.
The reason perhaps of the Natives not bringing so many Hogs to market is owing to their seeing I have so many in store. We have however great plenty of every thing.
I find the reason for uncovering on the water at Oparre, as mentioned yesterday is that Toahroah Harbour is the property of the Erreerahigh. That ceremony therefore is obliged to be Observed whenever any person enters on the property of the King, the boundaries of which are known by carved stumps of Trees in a rude form of a Visage or a man. The Women always uncover their shoulders to Tynah, but the men do not, his son therefore has got this honor from him with the other marks of distinction which custom allows him to possess.