At my return in the evening, I found all the wood and water on board, and the ship ready for the sea; I resolved therefore to quit the country, and return home by such a route as might be of most advantage to the service; and upon this subject took the opinion of my officers. I had myself a strong desire to return by Cape Horn, because that would have enabled me finally to determine, whether there is or is not a southern continent; but against this it was a sufficient objection that we must have kept in a high southern latitude in the very depth of winter, with a vessel which was not thought sufficient for the undertaking: And the same reason was urged against our proceeding directly for the Cape of Good Hope, with still more force, because no discovery of moment could be hoped for in that route; it was therefore resolved that we should return by the East Indies, and that with this view we should, upon leaving the coast, steer westward, till we should fall in with the east coast of New Holland, and then follow the direction of that coast to the northward, till we should arrive at its northern extremity; but if that should be found impracticable, it was further resolved that we should endeavour to fall in with the land, or islands, said to have been discovered by Quiros.
With this view, at break of day on Saturday the 31st of March, 1770, we got under sail, and put to sea, with the advantage of a fresh gale at S.E. and clear weather, taking our departure from the eastern point, which we had seen at noon on the 23d, and to which, on this occasion I gave the name of Cape Farewell.
The bay out of which we had just sailed I called Admiralty Bay, giving the name of Cape Stephens to the northwest point, and Cape Jackson to the south-east, after the two gentlemen who at this time were secretaries to the board.
Admiralty Bay may easily be known by the island that has been just mentioned, which lies two miles N.E. of Cape Stephens, in latitude 40 deg. 37’ S. longitude 185 deg. 6’ W., and is of a considerable height. Between this island and Cape Farewell, which are between fourteen and fifteen leagues distant from each other, in the direction of W. by N. and E. by S. the shore forms a large deep bay, the bottom of which we could scarcely see while we were sailing in a straight line from one Cape to the other; it is, however, probably of less depth than it appeared to be, for as we found the water shallower here, than at the same distance from any other part of the coast, there is reason to suppose, that the land at the bottom which lies next the sea is low, and therefore not easily to be distinguished from it. I have for this reason called it Blind Bay, and am of opinion that it is the same which was called Murderer’s Bay by Tasman.
[Footnote 68: The three following sections of the original are occupied by unsatisfactory accounts of New Zealand, which it seemed very unadvisable to give here, as the subject must be resumed when we come to the third voyage of Captain Cook. It was equally objectionable to anticipate fuller information now, and to repeat imperfect notices hereafter. The present omission will be made up to the reader’s content. We now go on with the remainder of the narrative.—E.]