A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 15 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

[Footnote 171:  Voyage a la Nouvelle Guinee, Tab.  CII.]

“Of water-fowl, and such as frequent the sea, are the ducks seen at Annamooka, though scarce here; blue and white herons; tropic birds; common noddies; white terns; a new species of a leaden colour, with a black crest; a small bluish curlew; and a large plover, spotted with yellow.  Besides the large bats, mentioned before, there is also the common sort.

“The only noxious or disgusting animals of the reptile or insect tribe, are sea-snakes, three feet long, with black and white circles alternately, often found on shore; some scorpions, and centipedes.  There are fine green guanoes, a foot and a half long; another brown and spotted lizard about a foot long; and two other small sorts.  Amongst the other insects are some beautiful moths, butterflies, very large spiders, and others, making, in the whole, about fifty different sorts.

The sea abounds with fish, though the variety is less than might be expected.  The most frequent sorts are mullets; several sorts of parrot-fish; silver-fish; old wives; some beautifully spotted soles; leather-jackets; bonnetos, and albicores; besides the eels mentioned at Palmerston’s Island, some sharks, rays, pipe-fish, a sort of pike, and some curious devil-fish.

“The many reefs and shoals on the north side of the island, afford shelter for an endless variety of shell-fish; amongst which are many that are esteemed precious in Europe.  Such as the true hammer oyster, of which, however, none could be obtained entire; a large indentated oyster, and several others, but none of the common sort, panamas, cones, a sort of gigantic cockle, found also in the East Indies, pearl shell oysters, and many others, several of which, I believe, have been hitherto unknown to the most diligent enquirers after that branch of natural history.  There are likewise several sorts of sea-eggs, and many very fine star-fish, besides a considerable variety of corals, amongst which are two red sorts, the one most elegantly branched, the other tubulous.  And there is no less variety amongst the crabs and cray-fish, which are very numerous.  To which may be added, several sorts of sponge, the sea-hare, holothuriae, and the like.”

SECTION IX.

A grand Solemnity, called Natche, in Honour of the King’s Son, performed.—­The Processions and other Ceremonies, during the first day, described.—­The Manner of passing the Night at the King’s House.—­Continuation of the Solemnity, the next Day.—­Conjectures about the Nature of it.—­Departure from Tongataboo, and Arrival at Eooa.—­Account of that Island, and Transactions there.

We were now ready to sail, but the wind being easterly, we had not sufficient day-light to turn through the narrows, either with the morning, or with the evening flood, the one falling out too early, and the other too late.  So that, without a leading wind, we were under a necessity of waiting two or three days.

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