At half an hour after ten, we bore away and made sail to the westward, finding it impossible to procure at these islands any refreshment for our sick, whose situation was becoming more deplorable every hour, and I therefore called them the Islands of Disappointment.
The Discovery of King George’s Islands, with a Description of them, and an Account of several Incidents that happened there.
At half an hour after five o’clock in the afternoon of the 9th, we saw land again, bearing W.S.W. at the distance of six or seven leagues; and at seven we brought-to for the night. In the morning, being within three miles of the shore, we discovered it to be a long low island, with a white beach, of a pleasant appearance, full of cocoa-nut and other trees, and surrounded with a rock of red coral. We stood along the north-east side of it, within half a mile of the shore; and the savages, as soon as they saw us, made great fires, as we supposed, to alarm the distant inhabitants of the island, and ran along the beach, abreast of the ship, in great numbers, armed in the same manner as the natives of the Islands of Disappointment. Over the land on this side of the island we could see a large lake of salt water, or lagoon, which appeared to be two or three leagues wide, and to reach within a small distance of the opposite shore. Into this lagoon we saw a small inlet about a league from the south-west point, off which we brought-to. At this place the natives have built a little town, under the shade of a fine grove of cocoa-nut trees. I immediately sent off the boats, with an officer in each, to sound; but they could find no anchorage, the shore being every where as steep as a wall, except at the very mouth of the inlet, which was scarcely a ship’s length wide, and there they had thirteen fathom, with a bottom of coral rock. We stood close in with the ships, and saw hundreds of the savages, ranged in very good order, and standing up to their waists in water; they were all armed in the same manner as those that we had seen at the other islands, and one of them carried a piece of mat fastened to the top of a pole which we imagined was an ensign. They made a most hideous