|H||K||F||Courses||Winds||Ther.||Rems Monday 13th April 1789||Observations|
|NBE||Moderate Breezes and Cloudy Wr. A very heavy Surf breaking on every part of the Shore.|
|2||1||4||WSW||Saw Inhabitants on the Keys.|
|3||1||Calm||82½||At 3 a Cannoe with 4 People in her came on board.|
|4||"||At 4h..30′ the West point of the large Isld. N24°W. Westermost Key N40°W. Round Hill N15°W. Southt. Key North 33 Miles.||
At 4h..38′ Latd 19°..00′..30″ So|
Longd. T:K = 200..19..30 E
Varian pr. Azimhs
A Compass 7°..18′ E
Do. Turned 7..12
Mean 7..15 E
|8||"||Do||82½||The Body of the Land NBW.|
|10||1||2||WBS||So||Light Winds and Cloudy.|
|12||2||Body of the Land N½E.|
|5||2||3||80½||Fair Wr. Whytootackee NE½E 7 leags.. Saw some Fish.|
|7||4||5||SBE||"||Fair Wr. Served fresh Pork and Plantains as usual.||
At 19h..33′ Latd. 19°..09′ S|
Longd. T:K = 199..48 E
|10||4||5||Exercised Small Arms. Cleaned below. Carpenters repairing the Boats.|
|11||4||5||Fifty fms of the Bt Br. Cable being very bad I ordered it to be given to the Boatsn for Junk.|
|12||4||7||80½||Fair Wr. Under all Sails.||
Current by T:Keeper
SW 21° S dist 7 miles.
As I drew nearer to the Southermost Key I discovered from aloft that there were a number of Natives within the Reefs, but as the Sea broke dreadfully round them I imagined none were capable of getting through it to come out to us, let their inclination have been ever so strong. I was however agreeably surprized by a Visit from four Men in a single Cannoe. They paddled straight for the ship without making a single stop untill they were alongside, when without any kind of fear or astonishment, after receiving a few Beads from me, they came into the ship. One man seemed to have some ascendency over the others, ahd him only had the Curiosity to look a little about the ship, but none of them would go below. My People had just been to dinner and had left some of their fresh Pork in a Bowl which was given to them on being asked for, and they eat it Voraciously with some boiled Plantains.
Two of the Men had each a large Mother of Pearl Shell hung at their breasts, pendant from the neck by plaited human Hair. On being told I was the Erree, the principal person immediatly came and joined noses with me, and presented me his shell and tyed it round my neck, and now being perfectly reconciled to their situation, they seated themselves, and I had time to endeavor to make enquiries, which as their language was in some degree like Otaheite I got this information.
They called the Island Whytootackee and the Erree lomack kaiah. They said they had no Hogs, Dogs or Goats upon the Island neither had they Yams or Tarro, but Plantains, Vees, Fowls and Breadfruit they said were in great abundance, and also Cocoanutts. As all that I have mentioned was on their View there could be no mistake between us. I had also a Pompion hanging up and they immediatly called it Oomarra which is the Ulietea name for it, but the Otaheiteans called it Enoah.
Notwithstanding they said there were no Hogs, Yams or Tarro, they called them by name, and I am rather Inclined to beleive they were imposing upon me,
I nevertheless thought it my duty, as I could do it conveniently, to supply them with those Articles, and I therefore ordered a fine young Boar and Sow into their Cannoe, with some Yams and Tarro. I also gave each of them a Knife and a fine Toey some Nails, Beads and also a Looking Glass, the latter they handled and examined as a monkey would do, but Nails and Toeys they were acquainted with and called them Aouree which is the common name for Iron.
When I had given my present to the different Men, they were preparing to leave us, and the Cheif of the Cannoe took possession of every thing I had given to the others, one of them only, showed any signs of disatisfaction, they however joined Noses, and were reconciled. As the evening was coming on I became desirous for them to leave the ship, but to my astonishment two out of the four were to remain on board for the Night, and the others were to come for them in the morning. I would have treated their confidence with the utmost gratitude and regard, but it was impossible to say how far it might be in my power to land them in the morning without subjecting myself to accidents and delay, and as to the punctuality of their friends coming for them, it was by no means absolutely certain; I therefore desired them to go into the Cannoe, which they did reluctantly and left us. They were also solicitous for some of us to go on shore with them.
These People are just the same as those of Herveys Isles, in their appearance at first sight, but they are certainly more docile and inoffensive. They were fishermen who had been upon the Reefs, their complexion therefore being very dark, and their persons very meagre, made them perhaps not a true sample of their Countrymen. They had naturally strong black Hair which they wore loose about the Neck, but from the extreme heat of the Sun and the Salt Water, (like all fishermen) great part of it was
turned of a brown or reddish colour. The Cheif of the Cannoe was tatowed on the Thighs and the Legs, with four small strakes across the upper arms, something like a spear, the others had the same strakes across the hollow of the Knee, but neither were marked on the posteriors as the Otaheiteans. They wore a marro like most other Islanders and had besides some cloth and matt like those of the Friendly Islands which was wrapt round their middle. They had one Spear in the Cannoe which they gave me. It was a common Pole pointed with the hard Toa Wood. Not a single article besides had they in their Cannoe, not even a Cocoanutt or a Gourd of water. The Cannoe was made of one peice of Timber with the common outrigger. The Stern had a Small elevation, and round the Gunwale long poles were lashed to strengthen the upper part of the Cannoe. The head was no way remarkable or was their Paddles materialy different from most others.
I could not discover if they had any knowledge of Herveys Islands, but I think there is little doubt of it, as from them only could they have got a knowledge of Iron. The distance between those Islands is 54 Miles in the direction S67°E and N67°W. Should this Island be without such essential articles as I have already mentioned, it would be of little avail for any ship to stop at it, but I am doubtfull of the information I received, and as the Natives are disposed to trade and will be more so, a Ship coming this way may make it worth her while to stop a day or two with them under the West side of the Island. Could Anchorage be found it would be one of the most desireable little Spots in the South Sea, but within the Keys it is all Shoal water & without not fathomable.
This Island which the Natives call Whytootackee is about 10 miles in Circuit its North part lies in Latd. 18°..50′So and its South end in 18°..54′So. Eight sml Islands or Keys lie off to the SSE of it and one to the WSW. The Southermost lies from a Round Hill on the No part of the Isld. S30°Et by Comnpass 7 miles, and is in Latd. 18°..58′S. The Isld. itself is not above 2½ miles from Et to Wt., but the Reef and Keys to the Southd. of it extends 8 miles. Every Key was covered with Trees among which as well as on the large Island were many that from their peculiar
branches I supposed to be the Tea. The Beaches were brilliantly white.
The Longd. of the Hill on the North part of the Isld is by the Time Keeper 200°..19′ Et and by my account 199°..40′ Et and the Variation of the Compass may be considred to be 8°..14′ Et.
The Language of these Islanders altho at first in conversation did not appear to be like the Society Islands yet many of their words may be said to be Identically the Same, and in any respect not differ more from the Otaheiteans than the Ulietea or Huheine People do. I shall therefore conclude my remarks on this place with the few words of their language I was able to collect.
|Aauree eetee||Ima eetee||I don't know|
|Vee||Vee||A fine Apple|
|Tatatow||Tatow||To puncture the skin with marks|
|Oomarra||Comma or Enoah||Pompions or Potatoes|
|Arreeah||Arreeah||Stay a little|
|Pyee or Pyie||Pyhee||A Ship or Large Cannoe|
|Toa or Toah||Toa||A Tree (very hard Wood)|
|Tarro||Tarro||Eddie or Coccos|
|Arravve||Arravve||To take away|
|Evyyo||Evyyo||Let it remain or Stay where you are|
|Ma Myty||Ma Myty||Good Food|
|Ennoo||Avree or Addee||Cocoa nutts|
|Whyeine mytety te yootah||Huheine mytety e yootah||There are fine Women on shore|
|Te yootah te medooah||Te yootah te medooah||His Parents are on shore|
|Aauree Boah te yootah||Ima ou aoree Boah te yootah||No Hogs on Shore|
After the Natives were gone I heard that some of my Johns had engaged them to bring Women off in the morning, it was therefore the reason perhaps that two of them designed to sleep on board.