A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.

The next morning, at six o’clock, we weighed, and stood away from this unfortunate and inhospitable place, to which I gave the name of Poverty Bay, and which by the natives is called Taoneroa, or Long Sand, as it did not afford us a single article that we wanted except a little wood.  It lies in latitude 38 deg. 42’ S. and longitude 181 deg. 36’ W.; it is in the form of an horse-shoe, and is known by an island lying close under the north-east point:  The two points which form the entrance are high, with steep white cliffs, and lie a league and a half, or two leagues, from each other, N.E. by E. and S.W. by W.; the depth of water in the bay is from twelve to five fathom, with a sandy bottom and good anchorage; but the situation is open to the wind between the south and east:  Boats can go in and out of the river at any time of the tide in fine weather; but as there is a bar at the entrance, no boat can go either in or out when the sea runs high:  The best place to attempt it, is on the north-east side, and it is there practicable when it is not so in any other part.  The shore of the bay, a little within its entrance, is a low flat sand; behind which, at a small distance, the face of the country is finely diversified by hills and valleys, all clothed with wood, and covered with verdure.  The country also appears to be well inhabited, especially in the valleys leading up from the bay, where we daily saw smoke rising in clouds one behind another to a great distance, till the view terminated in mountains of a stupendous height.

The south-west point of the bay I named Young Nick’s Head, after Nicholas Young, the boy who first saw the land; at noon, it bore N.W. by W. distant about three or four leagues, and we were then about three miles from the shore.  The main-land extended from N.E. by N; to south, and I proposed to follow the direction of the coast to the southward as far as the latitude of 40 or 41; and then, if I met with no encouragement to proceed farther, to return to the northward.

In the afternoon we lay becalmed, which the people on shore perceiving, several canoes put off, and came within less than a quarter of a mile of the vessel; but could not be persuaded to come nearer, though Tupia exerted all the powers of his lungs and his eloquence upon the occasion, shouting, and promising that they should not be hurt.  Another canoe was now seen coming from Poverty Bay, with only four people on board, one of whom we well remembered to have seen in our first interview upon the rock.  This canoe, without stopping or taking the least notice of the others, came directly alongside of the ship, and with very little persuasion, we got the Indians on board.  Their example was soon followed by the rest, and we had about us seven canoes, and about fifty men.  We made them all presents with a liberal hand; notwithstanding which, they were so desirous to have more of our commodities, that they sold us every thing they had, even the clothes from their backs, and the paddles from their boats.  There were but two weapons among them, these were the instruments of green talc, which were shaped somewhat like a pointed battledore, with a short handle and sharp edges; they were called Patoo-Patoo, and were well contrived for close-fighting, as they would certainly split the thickest scull at a single blow.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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