It is well known that the surgeon on board his majesty’s ships keeps a list of the persons who are sick on board, specifying their diseases, and the times when they came under his care, and when they were discharged. It happened that I was once at the pay-table on board a ship, when several sailors objected to the payment of the surgeon, alleging, that although he had discharged them from the list, and reported them to be cured, yet their cure was incomplete. From this time, it has been my constant practice when the surgeon reported a man to be cured, who had been upon the sick-list, to call the man before me, and ask him whether the report was true: If he alleged that any symptoms of his complaint remained, I continued him upon the list; if not, I required him, as a confirmation of the surgeon’s report, to sign the book, which was always done in my presence. A copy of the sick-list on board the Dolphin, during this voyage, signed by every man in my presence, when he was discharged well, in confirmation of the surgeon’s report, written in my own hand, and confirmed by my affidavit, I have deposited in the Admiralty; by which it appears, that the last man on board the ship, in her voyage outward, who was upon the sick-list for the venereal disease, except one who was sent to England in the store-ship, was discharged cured, and signed the book on the 27th of December, 1766, near six months before our arrival at Otaheite, which was on the 19th of June, 1767; and that the first man who was upon the list for that disease, in our return home, was entered on the 26th of February, 1768, six months after we left the island, which was on the 26th of July, 1767; so that the ship’s company was entirely free fourteen months within one day, the very middle of which time we spent at Otaheite; and the man who was first entered as a venereal patient, on our return home, was known to have contracted the disease at the Cape of Good Hope, where we then lay.
Passage from Otaheite to Tinian, with some Account of several other Islands that were discovered in the South Seas.
Having made sail from King George the Third’s Island, we proceeded along the shore of the Duke of York’s Island, at the distance of about two miles. There appeared to be good bays in every part of it, and in the middle a fine harbour; but I did not think it worth while to go on shore. The middle and west end is very mountainous, the east end is lower, and the coast, just within the beach, is covered with cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, apple, and plantain trees.