“In their unthinking situation, the first moment they have nothing ready at hand to satisfy the cravings of appetite, our fowls must fall the victims to their voracity. If there are any hopes of succeeding in the introduction of domestic animals in this country, it must be in the populous bays to the northward, where the inhabitants seem to be the more civilized, and are already accustomed to cultivate several roots for their subsistance.”—G.F.
Transactions at Queen Charlotte’s Sound; with an Account of the Inhabitants being Cannibals; and various other Incidents.—Departure from the Sound, and our Endeavours to find the Adventure; with some Description of the Coast.
The first thing we did after mooring the ship, was to unbend all the sails; there not being one but what wanted repair. Indeed, both our sails and rigging had sustained much damage in beating off the Strait’s mouth.
We had no sooner anchored than we were visited by the natives, several of whom I remembered to have seen when I was here in the Endeavour, particularly an old man named Goubiah. In the afternoon, I gave orders for all the empty water casks to be landed, in order to be repaired, cleaned, and filled, tents to be set up for the sail-makers, coopers, and others, whose business made it necessary for them to be on shore. The next day we began to caulk the ship’s sides and decks, to overhaul her rigging, repair the sails, cut wood for fuel, and set up the smith’s forge to repair the iron-work; all of which were absolutely necessary. We also made some hauls with the seine, but caught no fish; which deficiency the natives in some measure, made up, by bringing us a good quantity, and exchanging them for pieces of Otaheitean cloth, &c.
On the 5th, the most part of our bread being in casks, I ordered some to be opened, when, to our mortification, we found a good deal of it damaged. To repair this loss in the best manner we could, all the casks were opened; the bread was picked, and the copper oven set up, to bake such parcels of it, as, by that means, could be recovered. Some time this morning, the natives stole, out of one of the tents, a bag of clothes belonging to one of the seamen. As soon as I was informed of it, I went to them in an adjoining cove, demanded the clothes again, and, after some time spent in friendly application, recovered them. Since we were among thieves, and had come off so well, I was not sorry for what had happened, as it taught our people to keep a better lookout for the future.