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June 1791

Tuesday.31st.. Modt. & fair weather, at 3PM Saw a Canoe wt. a Sail standing out from the Island first seen, but the Ship being to windward & a fresh breeze we soon lost sight of her, At 4 this Island bore No.7 Miles from which I fix its situation 2°:19'so. & 147°:52′Et., it is about 1 1/4Mile in length & has a very beautiful appearance, the shore towards the Wt.end off which lies a Reef, is rocky Cliffs & to the Et.ward & top sides of the Hills it is cover'd with trees, with some open patches delightfully green on the sides as we stood on to the Wt.ward we saw another Island; the wind being from the So.ward could not weather the large Island, we brought too for the night & at day light view facsimile

found ourselves nearly in the same situation as when we brought too; Many other Islands were seen bearing from So.25°W round to the Wt.ward & No.ward to N23°Et. & the Island we passed yesterday bore No.80°Et. 15 Miles; Some Canoes came off from the large Island; at 8 we were within 4 Miles of it & nearly Calm; the Canoes came near the Ship but would not come alongside: I take them to be about 30 feet in length, they had a Platform or Stage in each, in the Midships which went out some distance on the Outrigger on the larboard side & projected with a rising over the starboard side, they had there were People on these Stages besides those who paddled, the greatest number I saw in one Canoe were 5 on the Stage and 6 at the paddles, one of those on the Stage had evidently the Command of the Canoe, they had Bows & Arrows with them, but we saw nothing Hostile in their manner; We had reason to suppose they had been visited before, from their signifying to us by signs that they wanted to exchange some things with us & one of them went regularly through the motions of shaving himself, These people were ornamented with Shells & Bones in Rings round their Arms & hanging about their necks, the had something about their Waist which was supposed to be Bow Strings; The Man who we supposed to Command had his hair tied on the view facsimile

top of his head & was painted on the face & breast, they were near half an hour about the Ship, a fresh breeze springing up from the So.ward with rain they left us, We steer'd to the Wt.ward to get through between some of the Islands but finding them very thick in that direction & some shoals shewing themselves we bore away to the NW for a passage between two Islands that appear'd to be clear.

Wednesday. 1st. June. Modt. Breezes & showers of Rain PM At 1. Passed through between two of the Islands (had no soundings) & saw a very extensive Island to the Wt.ward; We steer'd WNW for the Et.most part of it & at day light found it to be the NE point of a very large Island the No. Coast of which lay nearly Et. & Wt. as far West as the eye could reach from the MastHead; We did not see the appearance of any Islands or Rocks laying off the No.ward of it: the Wind shifting to the WSW prevented our ranging along the shore; The extremes of this Island seen & some of the other Islands, are determined by the Latitude Obsd. & Longitude corrected, as follows.

[Table not reproduced -see original journal]

There are several Islands laying to the ENE of these, the tops of which were only seen from the Mast Head.

view facsimile

[Table not reproduced - see original journal]

This Land comprehends a very extensive & beautiful Country to appearance: & divided into a numerous cluster of small Islands besides two of considerable Extent both of which appear to afford shelter for a Ship; they appear to be full of People & are apart of those Islands named by Capt. Carteret Admiralty Islands; He passed to the So.ward of the large Island & did not see those which we sailed through in passing to the No.ward.

Wednesday 3rd. AM Saw 3 Islands through which passed & by Angles taken & the Ships run I fix them in
1°:33'so...145°:34′Et. - 0°:51'so...146°:17′Et. & 0°:44'so.. 145°:54′Et.
they appear'd high but of no considerable extent.

Monday. 6th.. Cross'd the Line in 144°:48′Et. Longitude Varn. Of the Compass 5°:00′Etly.; from this time to the 12th of July we had variable light breezes & a strong Et.erly Current which we found by Lunar Observations had set the Ship 10 Deg 21 Min to the Et.ward of the Log in that time sometimes going at the Rate of 40 Miles pr.day & at other times less, this very unfavourable circumstance & with every prospect of its continuance, occasioned a view facsimile

Consultation to determine what was best to be done; It was the general opinion that it was absolutely necessary that we should make the best of our way to Macao in China circumstanced as we were with respect to Provisions which as now become very short, the Wind being at SW We bore away on the 13th & steer'd to the No.ward: AM At 9. Saw Land, it appear'd to be an Island brg. NbW soon after, we saw 2 other Islands to the NWbN; As we approach'd the first, we found that they were all three connected by a Reef & dry sand bank extending 7 Miles in nearly a WNW direction & 3 Miles in breadth the Et.most of these woody patches which at first appear'd to be seperate Islands is about a Mile in length & lies in 8°:06′No...140°:30′Et. deduced from Lunar Observations taken two days before & 2 days after; The two Wt.most patches are very small & close together & lie in 8°:08′No. ..140°:23′Et. It breaks very heavy upon the Sand all round, except just to the Et.ward of the two woody patches on the No.side of the Sand, where there appears to be a small opening; We passed the Et. pt. of this Island at about 3 Miles distant, Saw several of the Natives come out of the wood to the beach but did not see any of their Canoes or Habitations, We had an amazing number of Birds & fish about the Ship & many Bonettas were caught.

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