Fortunately all hands had just been engaged in putting the ship about, "so that the necessary movements were not only executed with judgment but with alertness, and this alone saved the ship." Cook confesses that he was tired of beating about in these dangerous waters, and felt relieved to get back to his old anchorage off Annamooka.
In consequence of this operation, they became objects of ridicule to their own countrymen; and our people, by keeping them at a distance, were enabled to deprive them of future opportunities for a repetition of their rogueries. The island of Annamooka being exhausted of its articles of food, Captain Cook proposed, on the 11th, to proceed directly for Tongataboo.
From the observations which our commander now made, he was convinced, that such islands are formed from shoals, or coral banks, and, consequently, that they are always increasing. After leaving Palmerston's Island, Captain Cook steered to the west, with a view of making the best of his way to Annamooka.
They knew I had been with captain Cook, who they inquired after, and also captain Clerk. They were very inquisitive to know in what manner I had lost my ship. During this conversation a young man named Nageete appeared, whom I remembered to have seen at Annamooka: he expressed much pleasure at our meeting.
Our station being inconvenient for watering at daylight we weighed, and worked more to the eastward where we anchored in twenty-one fathoms; the extremes of Annamooka bearing north 85 degrees east and south 33 degrees west; the Sandy bay south 73 degrees east; our distance from the shore half a league.
Soon after some of our foraging party returned, and with them came a good-looking chief called Egijeefow, or perhaps more properly Eefow, Egij or Eghee, signifying a chief. To each of these men I made a present of an old shirt and a knife, and I soon found they either had seen me or had heard of my being at Annamooka.
Concerning the size of the thirty-two which were unexplored, it can only be mentioned, that they must be larger than Annamooka, which was ranked amongst the smaller isles. Several, indeed, of those which belong to this latter denomination, are mere spots, without inhabitants.
On the passage to the Friendly Islands, the ships called off Palmerston Island, where scurvy-grass, palm-cabbages, and fodder for the animals and birds, and cocoa-nuts for the crew, were obtained. Passing Savage Island on the 1st of May, they dropped anchor at Annamooka. Here Cook made the acquaintance of Feenon, who, though then only a tributary, afterwards became lord of the whole group.
A Friend of Omai visits the Ship. Leave the Society Islands. A Water-spout. The Island Whytootackee discovered. Anchor in Annamooka Road. Our Parties on Shore robbed by the Natives. Sail from Annamooka. The Chiefs detained on board. Part friendly. April. Sunday 5. We steered towards the island Huaheine, which we got sight of the next morning.
At this time I served a teaspoonful of rum to each person, from which we all found great benefit. As I have mentioned before I determined to keep to the west-north-west till I got more to the northward, for I not only expected to have better weather but to see the Feejee Islands, as I have often understood from the natives of Annamooka that they lie in that direction.