[Footnote 2: Captain Cook had seen Oree in 1769, when he commanded the Endeavour; also twice during his second voyage in 1772.—D.]
Arrival at Bolabola.—Interview with Opoony.—Reasons for purchasing Monsieur de Bougainville’s Anchor.—Departure from the Society Islands.—Particulars about Bolabola.—History of the Conquest of Otaha and Ulieta.—High Reputation of the Bolabola Men.—Animals left there and at Ulietea.—Plentiful Supply of Provisions, and Manner of salting Pork on Board.—Various Reflections relative to Otaheite and the Society Islands.—Astronomical and Nautical Observations made there.
As soon as we had got clear of the harbour, we took our leave of Ulietea, and steered for Bolabola. The chief, if not sole object I had in view by visiting that island was, to procure from its monarch, Opoony, one of the anchors which Monsieur de Bougainville had lost at Otaheite. This having afterwards been taken up by the natives there, had, as they informed me, been sent by them as a present to that chief. My desire to get possession of it did not arise, from our being in want of anchors; but having expended all the hatchets, and other iron tools which we had brought from England, in purchasing refreshments, we were now reduced to the necessity of creating a fresh assortment of trading articles, by fabricating them out of the spare iron we had on board; and in such conversions, and in the occasional uses of the ships, great part of that had been already expended. I thought that M. de Bougainville’s anchor would supply our want of this useful material; and I made no doubt that I should be able to tempt Opoony to part with it.
Oreo, and six or eight men more from Ulietea, took a passage with us to Bolabola. Indeed most of the natives in general, except the chief himself, would have gladly taken a passage with us to England. At sunset, being the length of the south point of Bolabola, we shortened sail, and spent the night making short boards. At day-break, on the 8th, we made sail for the harbour, which is on the west side of the island. The wind was scant, so that we had to ply up, and it was nine o’clock before we got near enough to send away a boat to sound the entrance, for I had thoughts of running the ships in, and anchoring for a day or two.
When the boat returned, the master, who was in her, reported, that though at the entrance of the harbour the bottom was rocky, there was good ground within, and the depth of water twenty-seven and twenty-five fathoms; and that there was room to turn the ships in, the channel being one-third of a mile broad. In consequence of this report, we attempted to work the ships in. But the tide, as well as the wind, being against us, after making two or three trips, I found that it could not be done till the tide should turn in our favour. Upon this I gave up the design of carrying the ships into the harbour; and having ordered the boats to be got ready, I embarked in one of them, accompanied by Oreo and his companions, and was rowed in for the island.