1 pm: Fresh Gales and Cloudy Weather. Set lower Studding Sail.
4 pm: Cloudy and misty Weather Sun to be seen at times. At ½ past 4 the Assistant mad the Signal for seeing Whytootackee. It bore SWbW½W 4 or 5 Leagues.
6 pm: In 3rd Reefs and hauled the Wind. The round Hill bore SWbW about 4 Leagues.
10 pm: Light Showers of Rain and smart Squalls.
12 mid: Wore Ship.
4 am: Very Squally Weather with Rain. Wore Ship.
7 am: Bore away with very unsettled & Squally Weather. At 7 hour..47′ I got Altitudes and the round Hill bore S59°W about 3 Leagues. The East Keys SSW. Stood round the North end of the Island.
10 am: Found no Ground at 140 fathoms off Shore 3 Miles, Round Hill S51°E. Saw several Cannoes and Natives. One Cannoe came on board
12 noon: Fresh Gales and very Squally Weather. The Extremes of the Main Island Whytootackee
from N88°E to S12°E Westermost Key S¼W and West Point of the Reef SbW. Round Hill
S59°E 2 or 3 Miles, from the Key about 5 Miles. off Shore 1½ or 2 Miles.
Under Double Reefs. Assistant in Company.
Served Fresh Pork &c as Yesterday.
I determined to take a look at Whytootackee not only to endeavour to gain some information respecting the proceedings of the Pandora, but of the Bounty, to ascertain its exact situation, and to examine the West side of it for Anchorage. I went round the East and SW part of it when I first discovered the Island in the Bounty.
The land is remarkable by a round Hill which lies near the northermost extremity, and it is of a very conspicuous height.
After a very boisterous Night I bore away, and having passed the NE side of the Island we hauled round the North end, and kept working under the lee of the land trying for Anchorage which we did not find, having Sounded with 140 fathoms of line without striking the bottom. From the North point the land inclined first SWbS (by Compass) then S¾W, and from the Westermost point SEbS to the South point of the Island.
What I have to remark new on the Geography of this land, is, that for an extent of 3 Miles on the West side is perfect good shelter for a Ship under Sail. The border round the Shore is a steep reef at a small distance from the Beach, where I believe in moderate Weather our Boats may land with safety. The Assistant sounded with 180 fathoms of line about 1½ Cables length from the Breakers but could get no Bottom.
My Sketch of the Island will give a just Idea of it. It is remarkable that I made the Longitude of the round Hill in my last Voyage to be 200°..19′ East by my Time Keeper and this time from a mean of my three Time Keepers 200°..17′ East, from whence I conclude that 200°..18′E is very near the truth after so short a run from Otaheite. My situation with respect to latitude is the same, and every nautical remark, I shall therefore conclude my discription as I did then.
This Island which the Natives call Whytootackee is 10 Miles in Circuit its north part lies in 18°..50′S and its South end 18°..54′S. Eight small Keys (or Quays) lie off to the SSE of it and one to the WSW. The Southermost lies from round Hill S30°E by Compass 7 Miles and is in latitude 18°58′S. The Island itself is not above 2½ Miles from East to West but the limits of the Reef that surrounds it are nine Miles from North to South, and about 7 from East to West.
It is beautifully clothed with Wood, and exceeds any places I ever saw, in Cocoa Nut Trees. A great number of them on the East side are without their branches, and even to leeward many of them were in the same state, I therefore apprehend the Island is subject to severe Storms of Wind.
We had no sooner got round the north end of the Island than we observed several Hutts on the Shore, and the Natives about their Cannoes. As soon as we were well under the lee of the Shore they launched through the Surf and came off to us. As the Assistant was able to keep nearest the Shore, the most of the Cannoes went to her: Three came alongside of us, and I made presents to them of Beads and Iron Work, for which they gave a few worthless Spears and Breastplates. They had not a Cocoa Nut or any article of food with them, some Cocoa Nutts however were carried on board the Assistant. They were confident of our good intentions towards them, and instead of any look of surprise and astonishment, it was rather complacency and admiration. They asked for Togee Nooee, which is the New Zeland name for a large Hatchet or Toey. A great part of their language was Otaheitean, yet the two Men I have with me did not understand them so readily as I did myself. On the whole I was satisfied in my enquiries. They said no white person had been or was on the Island. That they had seen three Ships or Vessels. They named Brittanee and Otaheite very distinctly, and spoke of a Person who they called Oheedidee. They called the Island Whytootackee, and named particularly Comackkaiah, and Tongawarre, as Errees of the Island. They knew all out Plants, and called the Breadfruit Cooroo, and Pork Boackah, the latter is a Friendly Island name, taking their expression literally it was to be understood they had no Hogs on shore, but I suspect they meant to say they were scarce. Fowls were in abundance. The Scraps of Cloth they brought off with them was of the Friendly Island kind. The Men were above the middle size, had very good regular features, were fleshey, and no mark of a want of food. Their Heads covered with strong black Hair were very lousy, and I observed that some of them had had their faces smutted, the remains of it being evident about the Eye brows and under the Throat. Their dress was only a marro, and the Pearl Shell pendent from the neck by plaited human Hair. Their Colour is darker than an Oteheitean. They spoke of their women lasciviously, some of them were in the Cannoes that went alongside the Assistant. The Men were Tattowed on the Legs, Thighs and Arms. The Legs & Thighs of two Men were fully tinctured as to loose the natural colour of the Skin. In all I observed about 15 Cannoes, some of them might have had 20 Men, I distinctly counted 15 & 9, & 11 in others. Some of the Cannoes had high black feathered ornaments at the Stern. Within the Reef they were managed by setting Poles. Those that were alongside of us were hallowed out of the Trunk of the Breadfruit Tree without any scarf or piece, except in the length, to increase which, they injudiciously join the ends of one piece of hallow Trunk to the end of the other, by a sewing as it may be called, without forming a Scarf to strengthen it. Perhaps to make up for this, is the reason for their supporting the Gunwales by long Poles being lashed along the edge. The Outriggers are common, and, like all I have seen, on the larboard side. I saw not any with Sails.
The dwellings or Hutts on the Beach were only shelter for Fishermen, they were made like the common Sheds at Otaheite, but I saw some lofty Houses under and among the Cocoa Nutt Trees that had the exact form of those among the Sandwich Islands. They looked like Hay Stacks.
I do not think we saw above four hundred persons including every person we could discover with our Glasses.
It blew so violently that the Natives showed some apprehension of being drifted off the land, but notwithstanding this, two Men wished to stay with us, and others gave our Otaheite Men an invitation to go on Shore, for which with much incivility they laughed at them. On my looking at a scrap of Cloth that one of them had in his hand he conceived I wanted it, and with an apology gave it in a manner which delighted me. "Terah, airaddee no te tye," Take it, you are wellcome, but it is wet with the Sea.
There was no sign of any wreck about the Coast. It is clear that the Pandora was here, as I am confident of their discription of Oheediddee the Otaheitean who sailed with Captain Edwards. His Shallop probably made the 2nd Vessel, the Natives spoke of, and as to the 3rd. I fear they allude to my touching there in the Bounty, but for this, I should flatter myself Captain Edwards had taken her.
One of the Natives who came on board had a very ulcerous Throat and Neck, evidently the same disease as the people of Otaheite are subject to.
At 5 O'Clock in the Evening I bore away in a hard Gale of Wind, regretting very much I could have no further intercourse.
Besides the Breast Plates and Spears, I got some Fish Hooks like the Taheite Mattow, made of Turtle Shell, the line was made of Cocoa Nutt husk, also a Stone Adz or Ettoey, the Edge of which was circular like a Gouge.