The weather had been fair all the last week and at this time appeared quite settled, so that I was under no apprehensions of danger from continuing a little longer in Matavai bay. A Walk into the Country. The Peeah Roah. Prevailed on by the Kindness of the Chiefs to defer our Departure. Breadfruit Plants collected. Move the Ship to Toahroah Harbour. Fishing. Three of the Ship's Company desert.
The result of the mean of 50 sets of lunar observations taken by me on shore gives for the Longitude of Point Venus 210 degrees 33 minutes 57 seconds east. Captain Cook in 1769 places it in 210 degrees 27 minutes 30 seconds east. In 1777, his last voyage, 210 degrees 22 minutes 28 seconds east. The tide in Toahroah harbour was very inconsiderable and not regular.
The westernmost is the most convenient for sailing in or out but is not well sheltered from a north-west wind or sea. This harbour is called by the natives Taowne: it is about a league and a half distant from Point Venus and may be known by a remarkable mountain, called by the natives Wawry, which bears south-south-east from the entrance. The easternmost harbour is called Toahroah.
Their expressions of friendship and affection for me however I could not disregard, as I had no doubt of their being genuine and unaffected, and I felt my unwillingness to leave these kind people so much increased that the next day I sent the master in the launch to reexamine the depth of water between this bay and Toahroah harbour.
At daylight we unmoored and I sent the tents in the launch to Oparre with directions that, after landing them, the launch should meet the ship in the entrance of Toahroah harbour to show the safest part of the channel. At half-past ten we got the ship under sail and ran down under top-sails: when we were near the launch it fell calm and the ship shot past her.
I had not yet determined whether, on leaving Matavai bay, I would go to the island Eimeo or to the harbour of Toahroah near Oparre: this uncertainty made Tinah and the rest of my friends very anxious; and they appeared much distressed on my desiring them this afternoon to send on board all the things which they wished to have repaired by the forge without delay, that what they wanted might be done before the ship left Matavai, which I told them would be in a few days.
Taowne and Toahroah Harbours examined. November. After dinner I went on shore and, while I was at the tents, from having exposed myself too much in the sun, I was taken ill and continued in much pain for near an hour.
At half-past six there being no wind we weighed and, with our boats and two sweeps, towed the ship out of the harbour. Soon after the sea breeze came, and we stood off towards the sea. The outlet of Toahroah harbour being narrow I could permit only a few of the natives to be on board: many others however attended in canoes till the breeze came, when I was obliged to leave them.
He returned in the evening and acquainted me that he found a good bottom with not less than sixteen fathoms depth all the way. The harbour of Toahroah appearing every way safe I determined to get the ship there as speedily as possible, and I immediately made my intention public, which occasioned great rejoicing. Wednesday 24.