[Footnote 39: Tethuroa consists of several low islets, enclosed in a reef ten leagues round, and inaccessible to large canoes. The people are subject to the sovereign of Otaheite, and are in general members of the wandering society of the arreoyes, who frequent these spots for purposes of amusement and luxury. No bread-fruit is allowed to be planted on these islets, in order that the resident inhabitants, who are few in number, may be obliged to come with their fish, which is their principal commodity, to Oparre, where it may be had in exchange. Cocoa-nuts, however, abound, as they thrive most in low places. The passage to these islets is represented as difficult and dangerous, but this does not deter the people from assembling on them in great numbers. So many as a hundred canoes have been seen occasionally around this spot.—E.]
At six o’clock in the morning of the 14th, the westermost part of Eimeo, or York island, bore S.E. 1/2 S. and the body of Otaheite E. 1/2 S. At noon, the body of York Island bore E. by S 1/2 S.; and Port-Royal bay, at Otaheite, S. 70 deg. 45’ E. distant 61 miles; and an island which we took to be Saunders’s Island, called by the natives Tapoamanao, bore S.S.W. We also saw land bearing N.W. 1/2 W. which Tupia said was Huaheine.
[Footnote 40: Eimeo, or, as the natives usually call it, Morea, is the nearest to Otaheite, its distance from the western coast being only about four leagues.—It is reckoned ten miles long, from north to south, and half as much in breadth. It has several harbours, and is intersected by considerable valleys of a fertile appearance. The natives, who are at present dependent on Otaheite, are said to be as much addicted to thieving as those of that island. The women are inferior in attractions to any in their neighbourhood. The harbour of Taloo on the north coast is very eligible for vessels—it is situate in 17 deg. 30’ latitude, and 150 deg. west longitude. This island is always seen by persons who touch at Otaheite. Tapoamanao, a little to the westward of Eimeo, has perhaps never been landed on by Europeans and is little known.—It is not above six miles long, but seems fertile, and to abound especially with cocoa-nuts. There are not many habitations to be seen on it. The government is said to depend on Huaheine, which is distant from it about fourteen leagues.—E.]
On the 15th, it was hazy, with light breezes and calms succeeding each other, so that we could see no land, and made but little way. Our Indian, Tupia, often prayed for a wind to his god Tane, and as often boasted of his success, which indeed he took a very effectual method to secure, for he never began his address to Tane, till he saw a breeze so near that he knew it must reach the ship before his oraison was well over.