An Account of the Circumnavigation of the Island, and various Incidents that happened during the Expedition; with a Description of a Burying-place and Place of Worship, called, a Morai.
On Monday the 26th, about three o’clock in the morning, I set out in the pinnace, accompanied by Mr Banks, to make the circuit of the island, with a view to sketch out the coast and harbours. We took our route to the eastward, and about eight in the forenoon we went on shore, in a district called Oahounue, which is governed by Ahio, a young chief, whom we had often seen at the tents, and who favoured us with his company to breakfast. Here also we found two other natives of our old acquaintance, Tituboalo and Hoona, who carried us to their houses, near which we saw the body of the old woman, at whose funeral rites Mr Banks had assisted, and which had been removed hither from the spot where it was first deposited, this place having descended from her by inheritance to Hoona, and it being necessary on that account that it should lie here. We then proceeded on foot, the boat attending within call, to the harbour in which Mr Bougainville lay, called Ohidea, where the natives shewed us the ground upon which his people pitched their tent, and the brook at which they watered, though no trace of them remained, except the holes where the poles of the tent had been fixed, and a small piece of potsheard, which Mr Banks found in looking narrowly about the spot. We met, however, with Orette, a chief who was their principal friend, and whose brother Outorrou went away with them.
This harbour lies on the west side of a great bay, under shelter of a small island called Boourou, near which is another called Taawirrii; the breach in the reefs is here very large, but the shelter for the ships is not the best.
Soon after we had examined this place, we took boat, and asked Tituboalo to go with us to the other side of the bay; but he refused, and advised us not to go, for he said the country there was inhabited by people who were not subject to Tootahah, and who would kill both him and us. Upon receiving this intelligence, we did not, as may be imagined, relinquish our enterprise; but we immediately loaded our pieces with ball: This was so well understood by Tituboalo as a precaution which rendered us formidable, that he now consented to be of our party.
Having rowed till it was dark, we reached a low neck of land, or isthmus, at the bottom of the bay, that divides the island into two peninsulas, each of which is a district or government wholly independent of the other. From Port Royal, where the ship was at anchor, the coast trends E. by S. and E.S.E. ten miles, then S. by E. and S. eleven miles to the isthmus. In the first direction, the shore is in general open to the sea, but in the last it is covered by reefs