[Footnote 4: It is very remarkable, that, in this custom, which one would think is so unnatural, as not to be adopted by two different tribes, originally unconnected, the people of this island, and Dampier’s natives on the west side of New Holland, at such an immense distance, should be found to agree.—D.]
After the water-casks had been filled and conveyed into the boat, and we had purchased from the natives a few roots, a little salt, and some salted fish, I returned on board with all the people, intending to visit the island the next day. But, about seven o’clock in the evening, the anchor of the Resolution started, and she drove off the bank. As we had a whole cable out, it was some time before the anchor was at the bows; and then we had the launch to hoist up alongside, before we could make sail. By this unlucky accident, we found ourselves, at day-break next morning, three leagues to the leeward of our last station; and, foreseeing that it would require more time to recover it than I chose to spend, I made the signal for the Discovery to weigh and join us. This was done about noon, and we immediately stood away to the northward, in prosecution of our voyage. Thus, after spending more time about these islands than was necessary to have answered all our purposes, we were obliged to leave them before we had completed our water, and got from them such a quantity of refreshments as their inhabitants were both able and willing to have supplied us with. But, as it was, our ship procured from them provisions, sufficient for three weeks at least; and Captain Clerke, more fortunate than us, got, of their vegetable productions, a supply that lasted his people upward of two months. The observations I was enabled to make, combined with those of Mr Anderson, who was a very useful assistant on all such occasions, will furnish materials for the next section.