These Four Isles I Called Palliser's Isles, In Honour Of My Worthy
Friend Sir Hugh Palliser, At This Time Comptroller Of The Navy.
Not chusing to run farther in the dark, we spent the night making short
boards under the top-sail;
And on the 20th, at day-break, hauled round the
west end of the third isle, which was no sooner done than we found a great
swell rolling in from the south; a sure sign that we were clear of these
low islands; and as we saw no more land, I steered S.W. 1/2 S. for
Otaheite, having the advantage of a stout gale at east, attended with
showers of rain. It cannot be determined with any degree of certainty
whether the group of isles we had lately seen, be any of those discovered
by the Dutch navigators, or no; the situation of their discoveries not
being handed down to us with sufficient accuracy. It is, however, necessary
to observe, that this part of the ocean, that is, from the latitude of 20 deg.
down to 14 deg. or 12 deg., and from the meridian of 138 deg. to 148 deg. or 150 deg. W., is so
strewed with these low isles, that a navigator cannot proceed with too much
We made the high land of Otaheite on the 21st, and at noon were about
thirteen leagues E. of Point Venus, for which we steered, and got pretty
well in with it by sun set, when we shortened sail; and having spent the
night, which was squally with rain, standing on and off, at eight o'clock
the next morning anchored in Matavai Bay in seven fathoms water.
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