TRANSACTIONS DURING THE SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE NORTH, BY THE WAY OF KAMTSCHATKA; AND ON THE RETURN HOME BY THE WAY OF CANTON AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
Departure from Oneeheow—Fruitless Attempt to discover Modoopapappa.— Course steered for Awatska Bay.—Occurrences during that Passage.—Sudden Change from Heat to Cold.—Distress occasioned by the leaking of the Resolution.—View of the Coast of Kamtschatka.—Extreme Rigour of the Climate.—Lose Sight of the Discovery.—The Resolution enters the Bay of Awatska.—Prospect of the Town of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.—Party sent ashore.—Their Reception by the Commanding-Officer of the Port.—Message dispatched to the Commander at Bolcheretsk.—Arrival of the Discovery.—Return of the Messengers from the Commander.—Extraordinary Mode of Travelling.—Visit from a Merchant and a German Servant belonging to the Commander.
On the 15th of March, at seven in the morning, we weighed anchor, and passing to the north of Tahoora, stood on to the south-west, in hopes of falling in with the island of Modoopapappa, which, we were told by the natives, lay in that direction, about five hours sail from Tahoora. At four in the afternoon, we were overtaken by a stout canoe, with ten men, who were going from Oneeheow to Tahoora, to kill tropic and man-of-war birds, with which that place was said to abound. It has been mentioned before, that the feathers of these birds are in great request, being much used in making their cloaks and other ornamental parts of their dress.
At eight, having seen nothing of the island, we hauled the wind to the northward till midnight, and then tacked, and stood on a wind to the south-east till day-light next morning, at which time Tahoora bore E.N.E., five or six leagues distant. We afterward steered W.S.W, and made the Discovery’s signal to spread four miles upon our starboard-beam. At noon our latitude was 21 deg. 27’, and our longitude 198 deg. 42’; and having stood on till five, in the same direction, we made the Discovery’s signal to come under our stern, and gave over all hopes of seeing Modoopapappa. We conceived that it might probably lie in a more southerly direction from Tahoora, than that in which we had steered; though, after all, it is possible that we might have passed it in the night, as the islanders described it to be very small, and almost even with the surface of the sea.