We got nothing here by traffic but a few fish, and some sweet potatoes, except a few trifles, which we considered merely as curiosities. We saw no four-footed animals, not the appearance of any, either tame or wild, except dogs and rats, and these were very scarce: The people eat the dogs, like our friends at Otaheite; and adorn their garments with the skins, as we do ours with fur and ermine. I climbed many of the hills, hoping to get a view of the country, but I could see nothing from the top except higher hills, in a boundless succession. The ridges of these hills produce little besides fern; but the sides are most luxuriantly clothed with wood, and verdure of various kinds, with little plantations intermixed. In the woods, we found trees of above twenty different sorts, and carried specimens of each on board; but there was nobody among us to whom they were not altogether unknown. The tree which we cut for firing was somewhat like our maple, and yielded a whitish gum. We found another sort of it of a deep yellow, which we thought might be useful in dying. We found also one cabbage tree, which we cut down for the cabbages. The country abounds with plants, and the woods with birds, in an endless variety, exquisitely beautiful, and of which none of us had the least knowledge. The soil, both of the hills and vallies, is light and sandy, and very fit for the production of all kinds of roots; though we saw none except sweet potatoes and yams.
The Range from Tolaga to Mercury Bay, with an Account of many Incidents that happened both on board and ashore: A Description of several Views exhibited by the Country, and of the Heppahs, or fortified Villages of the Inhabitants.
On Monday the 30th, about half an hour after one o’clock, having made sail again to the northward for about ten hours, with a light breeze, I hauled round a small island which lay east one mile from the north-east point of the land: From this place I found the land trend away N.W. by W. and W.N.W. as far as I could see, this point being the eastermost land on the whole coast. I gave it the name of East Cape, and I called the island that lies off it East Island; it is of a small circuit, high and round, and appears white and barren: The Cape is high, with white cliffs, and lies in latitude 37 deg. 42’ 30” S. and longitude 181 deg. W. The land from Tolaga Bay to East Cape is of a moderate, but unequal height, forming several small bays, in which are sandy beaches: Of the inland country we could not see much, the weather being cloudy and hazy. The soundings were from twenty to thirty fathom at the distance of about a league from the shore. After we had rounded the Cape, we saw in our run along the shore a great number of villages, and much cultivated land; the country in general appeared more fertile than before, and was low near the sea, but hilly within. At six in