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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.

On the 6th, being to the north of the cape, the wind at S.W., and blowing strong, we bore away for some bay to complete our water and wood, being in great want of both, having been at the allowance of one quart of water for some days past; and even that pittance could not be come at above six or seven days longer.  We anchored in Tolaga Bay on the 9th, in latitude 38 deg. 21’ S., longitude 178 deg. 31’ east.  It affords good riding with the wind westerly, and regular soundings from eleven to five fathoms, stiff muddy ground across the bay for about two miles.  It is open from N.N.E. to E.S.E.  It is to be observed, easterly winds seldom blow hard on this shore; but when they do, they throw in a great sea, so that if it were not for a great undertow, together with a large river that empties itself in the bottom of the bay, a ship would not be able to ride here.  Wood and water are easily to be had, except when it blows hard easterly.  The natives here are the same as those at Charlotte’s Sound, but more numerous, and seemed settled, having regular plantations of sweet potatoes, and other roots, which are very good; and they have plenty of cray and other fish, which we bought of them for nails, beads, and other trifles, at an easy rate.  In one of their canoes we observed the head of a woman lying in state, adorned with feathers and other ornaments.  It had the appearance of being alive; but, on examination, we found it dry, being preserved with every feature perfect, and kept as the relic of some deceased relation.

Having got about ten tons of water, and some wood, we sailed for Charlotte’s Sound on the 12th.  We were no sooner out than the wind began to blow hard, dead on the shore, so that we could not clear the land on either tack.  This obliged us to bear away again for the bay, where we anchored the next morning, and rode out a very heavy gale of wind at E. by S., which threw in a very great sea.  We now began to fear we should never join the Resolution; having reason to believe she was in Charlotte Sound, and by this time ready for sea.  We soon found it was with great difficulty we could get any water, owing to the swell setting in so strong; at last, however, we were able to go on shore, and got both wood and water.

Whilst we lay here we were employed about the rigging, which was much damaged by the constant gales of wind we had met with since we made the coast.  We got the booms down on the decks, and having made the ship as snug as possible, sailed again on the 16th.  After this we met with several gales of wind off the mouth of the Strait; and continued beating backwards and forwards till the 30th, when we were so fortunate as to get a favourable wind, which we took every advantage of, and at last got safe into our desired port.  We saw nothing of the Resolution, and began to doubt her safety; but on going ashore, we discerned the place where she had erected her tents; and, on an old stump of a tree in the garden, observed these words cut out, “Look underneath.”  There we dug, and soon found a bottle corked and waxed down, with a letter in it from Captain Cook, signifying their arrival on the 3d instant, and departure on the 24th; and that they intended spending a few days in the entrance of the Straits to look for us.

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