A Voyage to the South Sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 274 pages of information about A Voyage to the South Sea.

In consequence of my having been kept all night from the ship by the tempestuous weather the timekeeper went down at 10 hours 5 minutes 36 seconds.  Its rate previous to this was 1 second, 7 losing in 24 hours, and its error from the mean time at Greenwich was 7 minutes 29 seconds, 2 too slow.  I set it going again by a common watch, corrected by observations, and endeavoured to make the error the same as if it had not stopped; but being over cautious made me tedious in setting it in motion, and increased the error from mean time at Greenwich.  The rate of going I did not find to have altered.

At dinner Tinah congratulated me on having recovered my men, but expressed some concern that they had not been brought by Oreepyah and Moannah, lest I should imagine they had not done everything in their power.  To this I replied that I was perfectly satisfied of their good intentions to serve me, and that I considered myself under great obligations to them for the trouble they had been at on my account.  I learnt afterwards that they had actually seized and bound the deserters but had been prevailed upon, by fair promises of their returning peaceably to the ship, to let them loose:  the deserters however, finding an opportunity to get possession of their arms, again set the natives at defiance.

Friday 30.

This afternoon I punished one of the seamen, Isaac Martin, with nineteen lashes for striking an Indian.  This was a transgression of so serious a nature and such a direct violation of my orders that I would on no account be prevailed on to forgive it, though great intercession was made by some of the chiefs.

Oreepyah and Moannah were not yet returned from Tethuroa.  This place is resorted to by the principal people of this part of Otaheite at particular seasons when fish are in great plenty there.  It was described to me to be a group of small keys surrounded by a reef:  their produce is chiefly coconuts and plantains.  During the season breadfruit and other provisions are daily carried over from Otaheite.  Not less than a hundred sail of canoes were at Tethuroa when our deserters were there.

Teppahoo and his wife were become my constant visitors:  he had for some time past been ill, and had made Oparre his place of residence for the benefit of our surgeon’s advice and assistance.  At this time he complained of a hoarseness and sore throat.  Mr. Ledward, on examining him, discovered there had been two holes in the roof of his mouth which, though healed, had the appearance of having been large:  the adjacent parts appeared sound, yet the surgeon was of opinion that they were cancerous and would in the end occasion his death.

Saturday 31.

This morning I ordered all the chests to be taken on shore, and the inside of the ship to be washed with boiling water to kill the cockroaches.  We were constantly obliged to be at great pains to keep the ship clear of vermin on account of the plants.  By the help of traps and good cats we were freed from rats and mice.  When I was at Otaheite with Captain Cook there were great numbers of rats about all the houses, and so tame that they flocked round the people at their meals for the offals which were commonly thrown to them; but at this time we scarce ever saw a rat which must be attributed to the industry of a breed of cats left here by European ships.

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A Voyage to the South Sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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