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Life in Early Poverty Bay

First Glimpse of Land

First Glimpse of Land.

It was on Friday, October 6, 1769, that the land was first seen from the masthead, bearing west by north, the longitude of the ship having been ascertained to be 180 degrees, 55 minutes W. On Saturday, October 7, it fell calm till the afternoon. At 5 p.m. Cook noticed a deep bay and stood in for it, but, when night came, he kept plying off and on till daylight. In the morning (Sunday Oct. 8) he found himself considerably to leeward of the bay, the wind being at north, and it was not till 4 o'clock in the afternoon that he anchored “on the north-west side of the bay, before the entrance to a small river … at about half a league from the shore.”

“In the evening,” Cook says, “I went on shore accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander with the pinnace and yawl and a party of men. We landed abreast of the ship on the east side of the river, which was here about 40 yards broad; but, seeing some natives on the west side whom I wished to speak with, and finding the river not fordable, I ordered the yawl in to carry us over, and left the pinnace at the entrance. When we came near the place where the people were assembled they all ran away; however, we landed and, leaving four boys to take care of the yawl, we walked up to some huts which were about two or three hundred yards from the waterside.