cravat, and the next moment snatched it from his neck,
and ran away with it. Our adventurer, therefore,
to prevent his being stripped by piece-meal, made
the best of his way back again to the boat: Still,
however, we were upon good terms, and several of the
Indians swam off to our people, some of them bringing
a cocoa-nut, and others a little fresh water in a
cocoa-nut shell. But the principal object of
our boats was to obtain some pearls; and the men, to
assist them in explaining their meaning, had taken
with them some of the pearl oyster-shells which they
had found in great numbers upon the coast; but all
their endeavours were ineffectual, for they could not,
even with this assistance, at all make themselves
understood. It is indeed probable that we should
have succeeded better, if an intercourse of any kind
could have been established between us, but it was
our misfortune that no anchorage could be found for
the ships. As all Indians are fond of beads,
it can scarcely be supposed that the pearls, which
the oysters at this place contained, were overlooked
by the natives, and it is more than probable that
if we could have continued here a few weeks, we might
have obtained some of great value in exchange for nails,
hatchets, and billhooks, upon which the natives, with
more reason, set a much higher value. We observed,
that in the lake, or lagoon, there were two or three
very large vessels, one of which had two masts, and
some cordage aloft to support them.
To these two islands, I gave the name of King George’s
Islands, in honour of his majesty. That which
we last visited, lies in latitude 14 deg.41’S.,
longitude 149 deg.15’W; the variation of the
compass here was 5 deg.E.
The Run from King George’s Islands to the
Islands of Saypan, Tinian, and Aguigan; with an Account
of several Islands that were discovered in that Track.
We pursued our course to the westward the same day,
and the next, about three o’clock in the afternoon,
we saw land again, bearing S.S.W. distant about six
leagues. We immediately stood for it, and found
it to be a low and very narrow island, lying east
and west: we ran along the south side of it,
which had a green and pleasant appearance, but a dreadful
surf breaks upon every part of it, with foul ground
at some distance, and many rocks and small islands
scattered at about three leagues from the shore.
We found it about twenty leagues in length, and it
appeared to abound with inhabitants, though we could
only get a transient glance of them as we passed along.
To this place I gave the name of the Prince of
Wales’s Island. It lies in latitude 15 deg.S.
and the westermost end of it in longitude 151 deg.53’
W. It is distant from King George’s Islands
about eight-and-forty leagues, in the direction of
S.80 W. the variation here was 5 deg.30’E.