These Gave Sufficient Employment To Our Botanists, All The Time We
Stayed Upon It, And Occasioned My Calling It Botany Isle.
On it were
several water-snakes, some pigeons, and doves, seemingly different from any
we had seen.
One of the officers shot a hawk, which proved to be of the
very same sort as our English fishing-hawks. Several fire-places, branches,
and leaves very little decayed, remains of turtle, &c. shewed that people
had lately been on the isle. The hull of a canoe, precisely of the same
shape as those we had seen at Balade, lay wrecked in the sand. We were now
no longer at a loss to know of what trees they make their canoes, as they
can be no other than these pines. On this little isle were some which
measured twenty inches diameter, and between sixty and seventy feet in
length, and would have done very well for a foremast to the Resolution, had
one been wanting. Since trees of this size are to be found on so small a
spot, it is reasonable to expect to find some much larger on the main, and
larger isles; and, if appearances did not deceive us, we can assert it.
If I except New Zealand, I, at this time, knew of no island in the South
Pacific Ocean, where a ship could supply herself with a mast or yard, were
she ever so much distressed for want of one. Thus far the discovery is or
may be valuable.
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