Arrival at Ulietea.—Astronomical Observations.—A Marine deserts, and is delivered up.—Intelligence from Omai.—Instructions to Captain Clerke.—Another Desertion of a Midshipman and a Seaman.—Three of the chief Persons of the Island confined on that Account.—A Design to seize Captains Cook and Clerke, discovered.—The two Deserters brought back, and the Prisoners released.—The Ships sail.—Refreshments received at Ulietea.—Present and former State of that Island.—Account of its dethroned King, and of the late Regent of Huaheine.
The boat which carried Omai ashore, never to join us again, having returned to the ship, with the remainder of the hawser, we hoisted her in, and immediately stood over for Ulietea, where I intended to touch next. At ten o’clock at night, we brought-to, till four the next morning, when we made sail round the south end of the island, for the harbour of Ohamaneno. We met with calms and light airs of wind, from different directions, by turns; so that, at noon, we were still a league from the entrance of the harbour. While we were thus detained, my old friend Oreo, chief of the island, with his son and Pootoe, his son-in-law, came off to visit us.
Being resolved to push for the harbour, I ordered all the boats to be hoisted out, and sent them a-head to tow, being assisted by a slight breeze from the southward. This breeze failed too soon, and being succeeded by one from the E., which blew right out of the harbour, we were obliged to come to an anchor at its entrance at two o’clock, and to warp in, which employed us till night set in. As soon as we were within the harbour, the ships were surrounded with canoes filled with people, who brought hogs and fruit to barter with us for our commodities, so that wherever we went we found plenty.
Next morning, being the 4th, I moored the ship head and stern close to the north shore, at the head of the harbour; hauled up the cables on deck, and opened one of the ballast-ports. From this a slight stage was made to the land, being at the distance of about twenty feet, with a view to get clear of some of the rats that continued to infest us. The Discovery moored alongside the south shore for the same purpose. While this work was going forward, I returned Oreo’s visit. The present I made him on the occasion, consisted of a linen gown, a shirt, a red-feathered cap from Tongataboo, and other things of less value. I then brought him and some of his friends on board to dinner.
On the 6th, we set up the observatories, and got the necessary instruments on shore. The two following days we observed the sun’s azimuths, both on board and ashore, with all the compasses, in order to find the variation; and in the night of the latter, observed an occultation of Sigma Capricorni, by the moon’s dark limb. Mr Bayly and I agreed in fixing the time of its happening, at six