Soon after, we weighed, and with a light breeze at S.E., stood out to sea; and then Tafooa, and a few other natives, that were in the ship, left us. On heaving up the anchor, we found that the cable had suffered considerably by the rocks; so that the bottom, in this road, is not to be depended upon. Besides this, we experienced, that a prodigious swell rolls in there from the S.W.
We had not been long under sail, before we observed a sailing canoe coming from Tongataboo, and entering the creek before which we had anchored. Same hours after, a small canoe, conducted by four men, came off to us. For, as we had but little wind, we were still at no great distance front the land. These men told us, that the sailing canoe, which we had seen arrive from Tongataboo, had brought orders to the people of Eooa, to furnish us with a certain number of hogs; and that, in two days, the king and other chiefs, would be with us. They, therefore, desired we would return to our former station. There was no reason to doubt the truth of what these men told us. Two of them had actually come from Tongataboo in the sailing canoe; and they had no view in coming off to us, but to give this intelligence. However, as we were now clear of the land, it was not a sufficient inducement to bring me back, especially as we had already on board a stock of fresh provisions, sufficient, in all probability, to last during our passage to Otaheite. Besides Taoofa’s present, we had got a good quantity of yams at Eooa, in exchange chiefly for small nails. Our supply of hogs was also considerably increased there; though, doubtless, we should have got many more, if the chiefs of Tongataboo had been with us, whose property they mostly were. At the approach of night, these men finding that we would not return, left us; as also some others who had come off in two canoes, with a few cocoa-nuts and shaddocks, to exchange them for what they could get; the eagerness of these people to get into their possession more of our commodities, inducing them to follow the ships out to sea, and to continue their intercourse with us to the last moment.
Advantages derived from visiting the Friendly Islands.—Best Articles for Traffic.—Refreshments that may be procured.—The Number of the Islands, and their Names.—Keppel’s and Boscawen’s Islands belong to them.—Account of Vavaoo—Of Hamoa—Of Feejee.—Voyages of the Natives in their Canoes.—Difficulty of procuring exact Information.—Persons of the Inhabitants of both Sexes.—Their Colour.—Diseases.—Their general Character.—Manner of wearing their Hair.—Of puncturing their Bodies.—Their Clothing and Ornaments.—Personal Cleanliness.