Departure from Karakakooa in Search of a Harbour on the South-East Side of Mowee.—Driven to Leeward by the Easterly Winds and Current.—Pass the Island of Tahoorowha.—Description of the South-West Side of Mowee.—Run along the Coasts of Ranai and Morotoi to Woahoo.—Description of the North-East Coast of Woahoo.—Unsuccessful Attempt to Water.—Passage to Atooi.—Anchor in Wymoa Bay.—Dangerous Situation of the Watering Party on Shore.—Civil Dissensions in the Islands.—Visit from the contending Chiefs.—Anchor off Oneeheow.—Final Departure from the Sandwich Islands.
We got clear of the land about ten; and, hoisting in the boats, stood to the northward, with an intention of searching for a harbour on the S.E. side of Mowee, which we had heard frequently mentioned by the natives. The next morning we found ourselves driven to leeward by a heavy swell from the N.E., and a fresh gale springing up from the same quarter, carried us still farther to the westward. At midnight we tacked, and stood to the S. for four hours, in order to keep clear of the land; and at day-break, we found ourselves standing toward a small barren island, called Tahoorowa, which lies seven or eight miles to the S.W. of Mowee.
All prospect of examining more nearly the S.E. parts of Mowee being now destroyed, we bore away, and ran along the S.E. side of Tahoorowa. As we were steering close round its western extremity, with an intention of fetching the W. side of Mowee, we suddenly shoaled our water, and observed the sea breaking on some detached rocks almost right a-head. This obliged us to keep away a league and a half, when we again steered to the northward; and, after passing over a bank, with nineteen fathoms water, stood for a passage between Mowee and an island called Ranai. At noon the latitude was by observation, 20 deg. 42’ N., and the longitude 203 deg. 22’ E.; the southern extremity of Mowee bearing E.S.E. 1/4 E.; the southern extremity of Ranai W.N.W. 1/4 W.; Morotoi, N.W. and by N.; and the western extremity of Tahoorowa, S. by E., seven miles distant. Our longitude was accurately deduced from observations made by the time-keeper before and after noon, compared with the longitude found by a great many distances of the moon from the sun and stars, which were also observed the same day.
In the afternoon, the weather being calm, with light airs from the W., we stood on to the N.N.W.; but at sun-set, observing a shoal, which appeared to stretch to a considerable distance from the W. point of Mowee, toward the middle of the passage, and the weather being unsettled, we tacked, and stood toward the S.
The S.W. side of this island, which we now had passed without being able to get near the shore, forms the same distant view with the N.E., as seen on our return from the N., in November 1778; the mountainous parts, which are connected by a low flat isthmus, appearing at first like two separate islands. This deception continued on the S.W. side, till we approached within eight or ten leagues of the coast, which, bending inward to a great depth, formed a fine capacious bay. The westernmost point, off which the shoal we have just mentioned runs, is made remarkable by a small hillock, to the southward of which there is a fine sandy bay, with several huts on the shore, and a number of cocoa-nut trees growing about them.