o'ahu island- north shore 11:05 am

a sudden sighting of land

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


IN THE MORNING OF THE 18TH [JANUARY, 1778], AN ISLAND MADE ITS APPEAREANCE, bearing northeast by east; and soon after we saw more land bearing north and entirely detached from the former. Both had the appearance of being high land. At noon the first bore northeast by east, half east by estimation about eight or nine leagues distant. Our latitude at this time ws 21º 12' N. and longitude 200º 41'E. We had now light airs and calms, by turns; so that at sunset we were not less than nine or ten leagues from the nearest land.
On the 19th, at sunrise, the island first seen bore east several leagues distant. This being directly to windward, which prevented our getting near it, I stood for the other, which we could reach; and not long after discovered a third island in the direction of west-northwest, as far distant as land could be seen. We had now a fine breeze at east by north; and I steered for the east end of the second island, the nearest part being about two leagues distant.
At this time, we were in some doubt whether or no the land before us was inhabited; but this doubt was soon cleared up by seeing some canoes coming off from the shore toward the ships. I immediately brought to, to give them time to join us. They had from three to six men each; and on their approach we were agreeably surprised to find that they spoke in the language of the Otaheite and of the other islands we had lately visited. It required but very little address to get them to come alngside, but no entreaties could prevail upon any of them to come on board. I tied some brass medals to a rope and gave them to those in one of the canoes, who in return tied some smal mackerel to the rope as an equivalent. This was repeated; and some small nails or bits of iron, which they valued more than any other article, were given them. For these they exhanged some fish, and a sweet potato- a sure sign that they had some notion of bartering, or at least of returning one present for another. They had nothing else in their canoes except some large gourd shells and a kind of fishing net; but one of them offerred for sale the piece of stuff that we wore around his waist, after the manner of the other islands.

James Cook and James King, A voyage to the Pacific Ocean, London, 1784.

No comments: