1:00 pm Very fine Weather.
3:00 pm Performed prayers
4:00 pm Saw Natives on the Main. Sailed strong Tide in our favor.
6:00 pm Fair Cape NWBW¾W 4 leagues. A Small Key NEBN 6 miles. The one seen from our landing place, NBW 6 or 7 miles. Restoration Island SSE¼E 7 miles nearly on with Island of Direction, the latter being only just discernable. Fair Cape being the northermost land in sight.
2:00 am Hauled the Wind as I found I was embayed.
3:00 am Tacked.
6:00 am Tacked. Fair Cape SSE 5 leagues. East part of the Main North 4 miles Islands from N¼E 4 miles to ESE 6 miles. Steered between them and the Main where seven Natives came to the shore armed with spears and other weapons.
8:00 am At 8 I landed on the largest and northermost of these Isles from whence the main low and Sandy, bore WBN 3 leagues with two Small Keys off it, and the south part to be seen S½E 4 miles being Indian Bay sent Parties out for Supplies. I went on the heights to look at the Coast. Saw it no farther. A Key NWBN.
12:00 pm At Noon observed by the marks on the Rocks that the Tide at times rose 4 or 5 feet.
Being all ready for Sea I directed every person to attend prayers and by 4 o'Clock were preparing to embark, when we saw twenty natives running and halloeing to us on the opposite shore. They were armed with a Spear or Lance, and a shorter weapon which they carried in their left hands and made signs for us to come to them. On the top of the Hill we saw the Heads of many more, whether these were their wives and children or others who waited for our landing untill which they meant not to show themselves lest we might be intimidated, I cannot say, but as I found we were discovered to be on the Coast, I thought it prudent to make the best of my way for fear of Cannoes, altho from the accounts of Captain Cook the chance was that there were very few or none of any consequence. I passed these People as near as I could, which was within a quarter of a mile, but I can only say that they were naked and apparently black, and their Hair or Wool bushy and short.
I directed my Course for a Small Island bearing NBW from Restoration point, and from thence to Fair Cape with a Strong Tide in my favor, so that I was abreast of it by 8 o'Clock. The Coast I had passed was high and Woody, and to the SE of the Isle seen from Restoration point lay another, neither of which are worth notice but as laying in the way. As I could see no land without Fair Cape I concluded that the Coast inclined to the NW and WNW and it was agreeable to my recollection of Captain Cooks survey of it. I therefore steered accordingly, but by eleven oClock at night I found myself mistaken as I met with low land, which inclined to the NE, so that 3 oClock in the morning I was obliged to stand away to the southward as I found I was embayed.
At daybreak I was exceedingly surprized to find the appearance of the Country all changed, as if in the Course of the night I had been transported to another part of the world, for I had now a miserable low sandy coast in view with very little Verdure or any thing to indicate it was at all habitable to a human being, if I except some patches of small Trees or Brush wood.
I had many small Islands in view to the NE about 6 miles distant. The East part of the Main bore North 4 miles, and Fair Cape SSE 5 or 6 leagues. I took the channel between the nearest Island and the Main about 1 Mile apart, leaving all the Islands on the Starboard side. Some of these were very pretty Spots covered with wood and well situated for fishing, large schools were about us but we could not catch any. As I was passing this Streight we saw another party of Indians seven in number, running towards us, shouting and making signs for us to land. Some of them waved green branches of the bushes that were near them as a token of friendship, but there were some of their other motions less friendly. A larger party we saw coming, and I therefore determined not to land altho I wished much to have had some intercourse with these People, for which purpose I beckoned them to come near to me and laid the boat close to the Rocks, but not one would come within 200 yards of us. They were armed as those I had seen from Restoration Island. Stark naked, short bushy Hair and in evry respect the same people.
An Island of a good height now bore N½W 4 miles from us at which I resolved to see what could be got and from thence to take a look at the Coast, and here I landed about 8 oClock in the morning. The shore was rocky with some sandy Beaches within it, the water however was smooth and I landed without any difficulty. I now sent two parties out one to the northward and the other to the southward to see what could be got, and others I ordered to Stay by the Boat. A muttering now began who had done the most, and some declared they would rather go without their Dinner than go out. In short I found I had but little command among a few if they had not feared I was yet able to enforce it by more than laying simply my Commands.
The Carpenter began to be insolent to a high degree, and at last told me with a mutinous aspect he was as good a man as I was. I did not just now see where this was to end, I therefore determined to strike a final blow at it, and either to preserve my Command or die in the attempt, and taking hold of a Cutlass I ordered the Rascal to take hold of another and defend him self, when he called out that I was going to kill him, and began to make concessions. I was now only assisted by Mr. Nelson, and the Master very deliberately called out to the Boatswain to put me under an Arrest, and was stirring up a greater disturbance, which I declared if he interfered when I was in the execution of my duty to preserve Order and regularity, and that in consequence any tumult arose, I would certainly put him to death the first person. This had a proper effect on this man, and he now assured me that on the contrary I might rely on him to support my Order and directions for the future. This is the out lines of a tumult which lasted about a quarter of an hour. I saw there was no carrying command with any certainty or Order but by power, for some had totally forgot every degree of obedience. I saw no one openly scouting the offenders altho they were known, and I was told that the Master and Carpenter at the last place were endeavoring to produce altercations and were the principal Cause of the murmuring there. Such is generally the case under such disastrous circumstances as mine. I now took a cutlass determined never to have it from under my Seat, or out of my Reach, as providence had seemed pleased to give me sufficient strength to make use of it, it [sic]
I did not suffer this to interfere with the harmony of the well disposed who it is my duty to make known. They were Mr. Nelson, Mr. Samuel, Mr. Hayward, Mr. Peckover Mr. Ledward, Mr. Elphinstone Mr. Hallett, Mr. Cole, John Smith and Lawrence Lebogue.* And I ordered the parties to go on to collect what could be found, which consisted of some fine Oysters and Clams, and a few Small Dog Fish were Caught in the Holes of the Rocks. We also found about Two Ton of Rain water in a hollow of the Rocks on the North part of the Island, so that of this essential article we were again so happy as not to be in want.
After regulating the mode of proceeding I set off to the highest part of the Island to see and consider of my route for the night. To my surprize I could see no more of the main than I did below, it extending only from S½E 4 miles to WBN about 3 leagues full of Sand Hills. Besides the Isles to ESE and South this was considerably farther from the main than where I was at present. I resolved to get there by night it being a more secure resting place, for I was here open to an attack of [if] the Indians had Cannoes, as they undoubtedly observed my landing. My mind being made up in this point I returned taking a particular look at the spot I was on, which I found only to produce a few Tropical Bushes and Coarse Grass, and the extent of the whole not more than 2 miles in Circuit. On the north side in a Sandy Bay we found an old Cannoe about 33 feet long bottom up and half burried in the Beach. It was made of three peices, the bottom entire to which the sides were secured in a common way. It had a sharp projecting prow rudely carved in resemblance of a Fishes head. The extreme breadth was about 3 feet and I imagine it was capable of carrying twenty Men. I now returned and observed the Latitude.
The parties were all in, but found difficulty in gathering the Oysters from their adhering so close to the Rocks and the Clams were not plenty. I therefore saw that without delaying time for a day or two and not even then I should be able to collect but few more than we could eat, for as real and actual exertions were wanting any tolerable sea Store could not be expected unless I fell in with a greater plenty.