First part fresh Breezes and cloudy. Middle Calm and the latter moderate with very heavy Rain. Wind at ENE and Variable to North. The Thermometer 80° & 82°.
Killed a few Hogs for salting. Armourer employed at the Forge. Cleaned ship and served double Allowance of Grog. Four Venereals in the List. It must give every person much concern, to think so dreadful a disease is among these People, however what we have seen of it hitherto has been of the mildest nature, and the men have been easily cured. If it was realy the case (as I have before related from report,) that this disease had carried off many people in its most shocking stages, we find nothing so very bad remaining of it at present, and I therefore doubt of the truth of that relation, for I do not beleive they have any cure for it so as to eradicate the disease when in a violent stage. Estringent vegetables I am told they use, those therefore may effect a cure (in such habits,) of simple Gonnorhoeas which I hope is the extent of the disease. Many objects but particularly of the Male sex, have presented themselves to us with ulcerous Legs and Arms, all of whom my late Surgeon laid down as Venereal, but I had many proofs that he was grossly mistaken. Two instances of cure has already come within my knowledge, one is Tynahs sister whose situation I have already described, and the other is a Man of Matavai with an ulcerous Leg. These people were at first treated as Venereals and mercury was given to them, but from their peculiar habit of Body by their mode of living, a very small quantity effected them so much it was no longer given. They however attended regularly to have their sores dressed which I directed Mr. Ledward to attend to, and with plain dressing and keeping the sores clean they healed without any other trouble, except the fore finger of Wowwo's hand, the bone of which being carious caused it to remain a sore. One would imagine that no people under such calamitous circumstances but would feel unhappy under the complaint, yet it gives them no concern, for they enjoy every amusement and the Company of their Friends and acquaintances when they are realy objects of horror and disgust. To this I attribute in a great measure the virulence and continuance of these sores, for I am convinced a natural cure would be made if the patient confined himself at home and with care kept his sores clean and Free of Flys. I have made it my business to attend to these particulars, and as far as circumstances have as yet given me leave to judge—I am of opinion there is no confirmed Lues in the Country.
I saw several Santapees on shore to day and some of my people saw several Scorpions. Small Lizards are common to be met with, but not numerous and Otaheite has that blessing to be free of Musquitos. Flys are the only troublesome insects in this Island and are undoubtedly more numerous than in any part of the World. It is impossible to keep any provisions free of them, and all but the stinging part are certainly worse than Musquitoes.