Reception at Anamocka; a Robbery and its Consequences, with a Variety of other Incidents. Departure from the Island. A sailing Canoe described. Some Observations on the Navigation of these Islanders. A Description of the Island, and of those in the Neighbourhood, with some Account of the Inhabitants, and nautical Remarks.
Before we had well got to an anchor, the natives came off from all parts in canoes, bringing with them yams and shaddocks, which they exchanged for small nails and old rags. One man taking a vast liking to our lead and line, got hold of it, and, in spite of all the threats I could make use of, cut the line with a stone; but a discharge of small shot made him return it. Early in the morning, I went ashore with Mr Gilbert to look for fresh water. We landed in the cove above-mentioned, and were received with great courtesy by the natives. After I had distributed some presents amongst them, I asked for water, and was conducted to a pond of it that was brackish, about three-fourths of a mile from the landing-place, which I supposed to be the same that Tasman watered at. In the mean time, the people in the boat had laden her with fruit and roots, which the natives had brought down, and exchanged for nails and beads. On our return to the ship, I found the same sort of traffic carrying on there. After breakfast, I went ashore with two boats to trade with the people, accompanied by several of the gentlemen, and ordered the launch to follow with casks to be filled with water. The natives assisted us to roll them to and from the pond; and a nail or a bead was the expence of their labour. Fruits and roots, especially shaddocks and yams, were brought down in such plenty, that the two boats were laden, sent off, cleared, and laden a second time, before noon; by which time also the launch had got a full supply of water, and the botanical and shooting parties had all come in, except the surgeon, for whom we could not wait, as the tide was ebbing fast out of the cove; consequently he was left behind. As there is no getting into the cove with a boat, from between half-ebb to half-flood, we could get off no water in the afternoon. However, there is a very good landing-place, without it, near the southern point, where boats can get ashore at all times of the tide. Here some of the officers landed after dinner, where they found the surgeon, who had been robbed of his gun. Having come down to the shore some time after the boats had put off, he got a canoe to bring him on board; but, as he was getting into her, a fellow snatched hold of the gun, and ran off with it. After that no one would carry him to the ship, and they would have stripped him, as he imagined, had he not presented a tooth-pick case, which they, no doubt, thought was a little gun. As soon as I heard of this, I landed at the place above-mentioned, and the few natives who were there fled at my approach. After landing I went in search of the officers, whom