1 pm: Fair Weather and Cloudy. Much Haze.
2 pm: The Assistant made the Signal for seeing Land. Saw it in the SW
4 pm: Cloudy Weather. The Sugar Loaf Peak Island (so called in the Bountys Launch) S24°W 11 Leagues the Eastermost Island S41°W 8 Leagues.
6 pm: The Island A S16W 8 Leagues B S36°W 5 Leagues C or largest Island of this group S46W D or North Island S76°W and the North Rocks NWbW 6 Leagues.
8 pm: Hailed the Assistant and Hauled the Wind for the Night
12 mid: Fresh Breezes and Cloudy. Made the Signal and Tacked
2 am: Squally in 2nd Reefs
7 am: Bore away A S14°W B S28°W to S45°W North Rocks N41W 7 Leagues
8 am: Cleaned and Mustered the People. Saw a booby and a large Devil Fish, Some large Flying Fish.
10 am: Saw some Keys between C and D steered more to the Northward.
12 noon: Fair Weather but very hazy. The Extremes of the Island D S65°E
S27°E 6 or 7 Miles. The West part of B on with the Eastermost extreme same time
The East part of B bearing S27½°E Could see no other parts.
Assistant in Company, Sails well.
Plants in fine Order
In pursuance to my Plan to verify my observations during my distressing Voyage in the Bounty's Launch, I directed my Course to make the Islands that I discovered to the Northwards of the New Hebrides. We saw them soon after One O'Clock, but our situation was, owing to a Current, farther to the Northward than I intended, and by that means, being out of the Point of View I saw them in before, they had not the same appearance. The Sugar loaf Peaked Island, as I then called it, was very different, it had only a Peaked Hill on its eastern part joined by land which scarcely made it remarkable but for its situation and small size altho high. It was now called Island A. B Island is higher, and forms with three Hills, a Mountainous body of land with a low border of land round it with a Clift shore. They bear S½E and N½W by Compass from each other, and lie off the Coast of the largest Island of this Group. I was certain of my situation by the North Rocks, and I spent the Night plying to Windward that I might get a better view of the land in the Morning, as well as to prevent accident to the Ships.
At day light I stood round Island B, to the SW of which we saw the largest Island called C towering in the Clouds, the Summits of its high Mountains hid, or at times put partially to be observed. My Views of it will give a just Idea, and its size sufficiently marks it out from all the rest. Between B, C and D, we observed two low Isles or Keys, and some broken ground which was thought to join C and make that pass dangerous, it therefore induced me to pursue my old track round the Island D.
We passed near to B, it has a rocky shore and I believe steep too, for we could get no Bottom. It is covered with wood without any cleared Ground. Cocoa Nutt Trees grow luxuriantly and raise their heads conspicuously above the rest. I saw only one Smoke and not a single habitation. Some Trees looked like Breadfruit, but I saw no Plantain Trees. It has a remarkable Hill on its West part that opened with the other high land at S34W. This Island is about 6 or 7 Leagues round.
Upon the North Rocks, which I now called the Bounty's Launch, we saw some Trees, with our Glasses, and it is of a tolerable height, for we saw in at 7 Leagues distance. It lies NNW nearly by Compass 22 Miles from the Island B, and is in the Latitude of 13°..17′ South Longitude by Time Keepers 167°..42′E as deduced from my Map.
I steered close in with Island D to take a look at the Bay I had described in my last Voyage. It is a remarkable Island from the formation of this Bay which occupies a large circular space in the Middle of it, Surrounded by a continued ridge of high Mountains that have rather a rapid inclination to the Water side. I could get no ground off this place, and am inclined to think the Water is extremely deep close to the Shore. The Points of the Bay lie S20E and N20W from each other about a Mile a part or more, but whatever Anchorage a Ship may find in it I am affraid she cannot get sheltered form the Wind at NE, in other respects it may Answer very well. At the bottom of the Bay there appeared some Sandy beaches, and we saw the same round the North part of the Island, but as they were bounded by a rocky shore it is propable [probable] to have very deep Anchorage.
The whole Country had an entire covering of Wood without a single cultivated or cleared spot, many Clumps of Cocoa Nutt Trees was the only favorable aspect it had, and these were uncommonly numerous about the Hills. Around the Sea Shore we saw only a few Natives, but as we passed the Bay we saw a large Body collected in the inner part of it, drawn up in some order as if with a design to prevent our landing. Some of the Natives we observed with our Glasses on the Sea Shore, had Cloth over their Shoulders in the Otaheite fashion, but I cannot say any thing more of them. Saw no Habitation.
This Island may be about a dozen Miles round or more. Its Latitude is 13°..34′S and Longitude 167°..24′E, and lies S32°W by Compass about 7 Leagues from the Bountys Launch.
I have forgot to mention that in passing the low Keys we saw a few Natives and a Cannoe. The Sail was like the Friendly Island Sails.
At Noon I directed my Course towards the Westermost of the Islands I discovered of this Group in my last Voyage.