James Cook 20 October, 1769
On 20 October, 1769, James Cook wrote, “made sail in shore in order to look into two Bays that appear’d to our View about 2 Leagues to the northward of the Foreland, the southernmost we could not fetch, but in the other we anchor’d about 11 oClock in 7 fathom water a black sandy bottom.
This Bay is not so much sheltered from the sea as I at first thought it was, but as the Natives many of whom have came about us in their canoes, appear’d to be of a friendly disposission, I am was willing to try if we can could not get a little water on board, and to see a little into the nature of the Country before we proceed’d farther to the northward.
We had no sooner come to an Anchor as mentioned above, than perceiving 2 old men in the Canoes, who from their garbe appear’d to be chiefs, these I invited on board and they came without hesitation.
To each, I gave about 4 yards of Linen and a Spike nail, the linen they were very fond of, but the Nails they seem’d to set no Value upon.
Tupia explained to them, the reasons of our coming here and that we should neither hurt nor molest them, if they did but behave in the same peaceable manner to us, indeed we were under very little apprehension but what they would as they had heard of what happened in Poverty Bay.
Between 1 and 2 PM, I put off with the Boats man’d and Arm’d in order to land to look for fresh water, having these 2 Men along with us, but the surf running very high and it begun to blow and rain at the same time, I return’d back to the Ship having first put the 2 Chiefs into one of their Canoes.
In the Evening it fell Moderate, and we landed and found 2 small streams of fresh water and the natives to all appearances very friendly, and peaceable and therefore I intend to stay here tomorrow on which account I resolved to stay one day at least to fill a little water and to give Mr Banks an opportunity to Collect a little of the produce of the Country”.
The bay was Anaura Bay.
Joseph Banks wrote, “in the morn the weather was pleasant tho we felt ourselves rather cold, the Therm 50°.
Several canoes followed us and seemd very peaceably inclined, inviting us to go into a bay they pointed to where they said that there was plenty of fresh water; we followd them in and by 11 came to an anchor.
We then invited two who seemd by their dress to be cheifs to come on board, they immediately accepted our invitation, in the mean time those who remained in the canoes traded with our people for whatever they had in their boats most fairly.
The Chiefs who were two old men, the one Dressed in a Jacket ornamented after their manner with dogs skin, the other in one coverd almost entirely with small tufts of red feathers, received our presents and staid with us till we had dined.
When we went into the boat to go ashore they accompanied us. The evening was rainy with heavy squalls of wind, we rowed almost round the bay, but found so much surf every where that we were forced to return, at last we told this resolution to our chiefs who called to the people ashore telling them to bring off a canoe for them which was immediately done, and they went ashore in her promising to return the next morn and bring of fish and sweet potatoes.
We returned on board, but in the course of the evening it became fair and we went ashore. We were received with great friendship by the natives in general, who seemed carefull of giving us umbrage by collecting in too great bodies, each family or the inhabitants of 2 or 3 houses which generally stood together were collected in a body, 15 or 20 men women and children, these sat on the ground never walking towards us, but inviting us to them by beckoning with one hand moved towards the breast. We made them small presents, walked round the bay, and found a place for watering where the people are to land tomorrow and fill some at least of our empty cask”.
Source: Captain Cook Society