Fresh Gales and squally weather with much Rain, Thunder and Lightning. Wind at East, ESE and ENE and Thermometer 77° to 80½°.
At ½ past five this Evening I received intelligence that my Deserters had gone past and got into Tettahah about five Miles from this. I therefore lost no time, but set after them altho the Weather and night coming on made it a difficult navigation through the Reefs. I had Odiddee with me and by his advice I had landed at a convenient place for the Boat but some distance from where the Deserters were. That being at the residence of my Freind Teppahoo from whom the information came. I therefore represented to Odiddee that my Boat must be within my call, and that unless there was good landing and safety for her at Teppahoo's House she should remain where she was. As he assured me of it, I desired the People to pull along shore with a Native for their guide and that I would proceed along the beach. Contrary however to Odiddee's information, the shore proved rocky, and in place of my having the assistance of the Boat, the night being very dark and Windy, I lost her altogether untill I got to Teppahoo's where she could not come within a Cables length of the shore, being so much Sea on, and I could but just discern her, I was now very kindly welcomed by Teppahoo and his Wife to their House, but my walk to them was very near being interupted by some fellows who wanted to get what I had, and were closing upon me for that purpose, untill I dispersed them by threatning to destroy them, and clearing the Beach with my Pistol. Odiddee's fears were so great on the Occasion, that I could scarce get him on, and as I scolded him for leading me into such a scrape, it was some time before he got the better of it.
The first thing I did was to enquire about the deserters, and I was told they were in a House just by, I therefore determined to get hold of them if possible, and in proceeding towards the House, they heard of my approach and came out without Arms and gave themselves up. By this time the Native from the Boat swam on shore, and I sent a message back by him for one of my People to come to me and the Boat to proceed to where I first landed and wait for my return. This was complied with, but the night continuing very rainy with much wind &ca. I had no shelter for my People, but what I could procure, and it happened luckily that an awning of a Cannoe was by, which I got by asking for, and Teppahoo as readily supplied me with people to carry it round to the Boat. I now took possession of the Arms and gave them to Teppahoo in charge for me, and taking my leave for the night I proceeded with the Deserters to the Boat. A Small shed being near where the Boat was, I remained on shore with two Men to Guard the Deserters and the others accomodated themselves very well in the Boat for the night which was passed without accident. We were plentifully supplied with provisions by Teppahoo and at dawn of day I returned to His House and got the Arms except One Musquet two Bayonets and some Scabbards and belts which were lost by the Cannoe being overset in which the Deserters came from Tetturoah. I now returned to the ship and on asking after Oreepyah and Moannah they told me they were still at Tetturoah. That they had made an Attempt to take them but had failed, and that of their own accord they were coming back to the Ship to give themselves up. How far true this might be I could not judge with certainty, but I beleive they were so much harrassed by the Natives that they were attempting to get to Morea or some of the other Islands without any intention to return to me if the bad weather had not forced them into the Harbour, and even here perhaps I should not have got them, if their ammunition had not got spoiled by the wet. The Cannoe they came over in was forced away by them which is likewise not much in their favor. I got on board by 8 oClock and ordered the Deserters into Irons, with directions that no liquor of any kind should be given them.
By my being kept from the Ship this Night the Time Keeper went down. I set it going again in the morning by a common Watch regulated by observations for the purpose.
A very heavy sea set in on all the Reefs, and I could not at a better time have been in the Harbour of Taowne than passing it last night and to day, to know if there was bad riding in it. On the west part of the Harbour the sea rolled in over the Reefs and created some swell, but on the East and where a Ship might lye conveniently moored it was as smooth nearly as in this, and altho there was a Surf on the lee part of the Harbour, yet a boat might land without much difficulty, and I beleive a Ship might lye here all the year round with great safety.
Since I have been here Matavai has shown itself to be a very dangerous place, a high breaking sea almost constantly running over the Dolphin Bank unto the shore, and likewise over a Bank near to one Tree Hill where the sea breaks with great violence.
At noon Tynah as is his usual custom dined with me and expressed much pleasure that the Men were returned but with some concern that Moannah and Orrepyah had not brought them, lest I should think they had not done their utmost. I therefore quieted his mind on that particular by telling him I thought they had.