Fresh Breezes and fine Weather with Light Airs and Calms and some showers in the middle part. Lightning and distant Thunder. We have it often calm in the Harbour and a fresh Breeze at sea. Wind at ENE and the Thermometer from 81½° to 83°. PM Struck yards and Topmasts and in the morning began to examine the Spirit Room. Found one Cask of Rum N 10 Contents 31 Gallons entirely leaked out, occasioned by three Staves in the Bilge being rotten and broke. Carpenters employed repairing the small Cutter. Sent the large Cutter to Matavai for some Cabbage Plants to plant at this place where I have a Spot given me for a Garden.
I have now the ship laid up with every thing secured while I remain here. The Natives bring us sufficient supplies, but the Bread fruit begins to grow scarce to what they were, however there appears to be another Harvest of them coming on, which they say will be fit for use in one or two months. The very fine Plantains are also scarce, altho we get sufficient, but a peculiar kind called the Nayhee are come in great plenty. This fruit does not hang from the Trees as the other kinds do, but grows upon an upright stalk of a considerable substance which is proof against the Wind as long as the Tree is. It is however of an inferior kind but affords great subsistence to the Natives.
Tynah since I have been here has sent me several presents of Fish of the Dolphin and Albecores, but I have seen few other kinds except very small Rockfish. Any sort are acceptable to the People here, and they spare no pains in getting them. At night they make strong lights on the Reefs which draws the fish to them, and during fine moderate weather, the people are out in such numbers as illuminates the whole sea. Their Lights are made by bundles of Reeds which are carried in the Hand. Some fish with Hook and Line from the Cannoes, others go on the Reefs and strike with a spear and some carry out small nets that are managed by two men, so that by one means and the other, the cheifs are generally supplyed with Fish. It is what they are exceedingly fond of and is the principal food of the Women who it is asserted are not allowed to eat any meat kind. They however with us, eat plentifully of pork, but then they will not do it publickly. Animal food is not common with men or Women to my knowledge, and I may say with much certainty that not one day out of Ten that even the Men eat Meat, their general diet being either Roots or fruit, with an addition of a little Fish which they sometimes eat raw and at others bake them in their common Ovens wrapt up in leaves with no other sauce than salt water. One universal and common food among them is the dressed Breadfruit beat up into the consistence of a thick custard with no other mixture than water which is added as the operation is performed by a Stone Pestle on a four legged Stool.
In all operations of their Cookery as well as eating they are very cleanly, always washing their hands before they touch any thing, and they are not less so in their persons which they bathe and clean twice a day, so that among these people in ever so great a croud you feel no offensive smells among them. They are nevertheless filthy about their dwellings, and so much so, that it is realy surprizing such could be the case among a set of People as cleanly in every other respect.
It is difficult to judge from the Complexion of the People if there has been any difference among them, because as they are more or less exposed to the sun the skin shows it considerably. Neither have I yet seen any thing in the features to discover it by, but here are three Classes of People if I was to judge by the Hair of the head. One has it very short and frizled some thing like a negroes. The others becomingly Curled and the last long and lank like an Indian, but the frizled is not so jet black as the others. These differences however may arise from similar causes to those of our having different coloured hair as well as quality in Europe.