The boats having made a signal for a channel, and one of them being placed on the point of the reef on the weather side of it, we stood in with the ship, and took up the other boat in our way, when the officer informed me, that where we were to pass, was sixteen and fourteen fathoms water, a fine sandy bottom, and that having put alongside two canoes, he found the people very obliging and civil. They gave him some fish; and, in return, he presented them with medals, &c. In one was a stout robust young man, whom, they understood to be a chief. After getting within the reef, we hauled up S. 1/2 E., for a small low sandy isle that we observed lying under the shore, being followed by all the canoes. Our sounding in standing in, was from fifteen to twelve fathoms (a pretty even fine sandy bottom,) for about two miles; then we had six, five, and four fathoms. This was on the tail of a shoal which lies a little without the small isle to the N.E. Being over it, we found seven and eight fathoms water, which shallowed gradually as we approached the shore, to three fathoms, when we tacked and stood off a little, and then anchored in five fathoms, the bottom a fine sand mixed with mud. The little sandy isle bore E. by S., three-quarters of a mile distant; and we were one mile from the shore of the main, which extended from S.E. by E., round to the south, to W.N.W. The island of Balabea bore N.W. by N., and the channel, through which we came, north, four miles distant. In this situation we were extremely well sheltered from the reigning winds, by the sandy isle and its shoals, and by the shoal without them.