A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 768 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16.
of their friendly intentions; for we did not see a single person who had with him a weapon of any sort.  Trade and curiosity alone had brought them off.  Among such numbers as we had at times on board, it is no wonder that some should betray a thievish disposition.  One of our visitors took out of the ship a boat’s rudder.  He was discovered, but too late to recover it.  I thought this a good opportunity to shew these people the use of fire-arms; and two or three muskets, and as many four-pounders, were fired over the canoe, which carried off the rudder.  As it was not intended that any of the shot should take effect, the surrounding multitude of natives seemed rather more surprised than frightened.

In the evening Mr Bligh returned, and reported, that he had found a bay in which was good anchorage, and fresh water in a situation tolerably easy to be come at.  Into this bay I resolved to carry the ships, there to refit, and supply ourselves with every refreshment that the place could afford.  As night approached, the greater part of our visitors retired to the shore, but numbers of them requested our permission to sleep on board.  Curiosity was not the only motive, at least with some; for, the next morning, several things were missing, which determined me not to entertain so many another night.

At eleven o’clock in the forenoon, we anchored in the bay, (which is called by the natives Karakakooa,) in thirteen fathoms water, over a sandy bottom, and about a quarter of a mile from the N.E. shore.  In this situation, the S. point of the bay bore S. by W., and the N. point W. 1/2 N. We moored with the stream-anchor and cable to the northward, unbent the sails, and struck yards and top-masts.  The ships continued to be much crowded with natives, and were surrounded by a multitude of canoes.  I had no where, in the course of my voyage, seen so numerous a body of people assembled at one place.  For, besides those who had come off to us in canoes, all the shore of the bay was covered with spectators, and many hundreds were swimming round the ships like shoals of fish.  We could not but be struck with the singularity of this scene; and perhaps there were few on board who now lamented our having failed in our endeavours to find a northern passage homeward last summer.  To this disappointment we owed our having it in our power to revisit the Sandwich Islands, and to enrich our voyage with a discovery which, though the last, seemed, in many respects, to be the most important that had hitherto been made by Europeans, throughout the extent of the Pacific Ocean.[6]

[Footnote 6:  Thus ends Captain Cook’s journal of his proceedings, and the visible satisfaction which pervades the concluding sentences, as is noticed in the Biog.  Brit., must strike the mind of every reader.  They indicate the high value which our navigator attached to this last discovery, now so irrevocably, but so painfully, associated with the honours of his name; whilst, in his unapprehending

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