I experienced a scene to day of Wind and Weather which I never supposed could have been met with in this place. The Wind Varied from ESE to the NW and the Thermr. stood between 78° and 81¼°. By Sun set a very high breaking Sea ran across the Dolphin Bank, and before seven oClock it made such way into the Bay that we rode with much difficulty and hazard. Towards midnight it encreased still more, and we rode untill eight in the Morning in the midst of a heavy broken sea which frequently came over us. This Wind at times dying away was a great evil to us for the ship from the tremendous sea that broke over the Reefs to the Eastward of Point Venus producing such an outset thwarted us against the surge from the bank which broke over us in such a manner, that it was necessary to batten every part of the ship. In this state we remained the whole night with all hands up in the midst of torrents of Rain, the ship sending and rolling in a most tremendous manner, and the sea foaming all around us so as to threaten instant destruction. However I did not strike yards and Topmasts untill eight in the morning when the Wind encreasing from the NW I gave up all Ideas but riding it out, and made the ship as fit for it as possible.
In this situation my Friends on shore became very anxious for my safety. All the natives said the Pyhee rahigh would be on shore, and my People at the Tents were not much less unpleasantly situated, for the Point on which they were became an Island from the Flood of Rain which had swelled the River to a great degree and the sudden influx of the Sea, which combined, the Plants became in danger. But this was remedied by Mr. Nelson and his assistant cutting a passage through the beach for the River at a distance from the Tents, when their situation no longer became hazardous.
when I could not have supposed any Boat could have existed a moment. They were no useless passengers on board the Cannoe in which they came, each had their Paddle and the Sea was such as required them to be used with much Skill and dexterity, and not less risk to get into the Ship.
Each of these kind people came and embraced me with a flood of tears. Said they had prayed to the Eatua for my safety, but that they feared the ship would be lost. In a short time I reconciled Tynah and his Wife to a different opinion, but old Moannah I could not make beleive that the ship would not be stranded. He remained still not to be comforted, or could I get this good old Man to resume a natural chearfullness, which from the first moment I saw him he never lost before. They brought with them some Cocoanuts and Breadfruit for my present use and kindly told me I should have more when the Cannoe came again making partiular enquiry if I was not very hungry.
The sudden change in my proceedings which will oblige one to leave these affectionate people gives me much concern. I had conceived I might have staid here untill the 25th of January at least, which answers to the 25th July in the West Indies, but I find I dare not risk it. From my enquiries hitherto I have found in general that the season now advances for bad weather, yet I did not beleive it. They even described to me that the Wind at times blows the Trees down, but as I had never seen any proof of it I had considered Matavai a secure place. In this I am very much mistaken, and recommend it to future Navigators not to lie here towards the Southern Solstice. Under these considerations I am determined to remove to Imeo for a secure Harbour, and shall complete and prepare the ship for putting to Sea with all dispatch.
To Noon the Weather had little appearance of becoming better but the Sea was some what abated. I ordered the Carpenter to be employed, but to consider himself still a prisoner.