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Journal of His Majesty’s Brig Assistant at Matavia Bay

April 9th – May 7th 1792

Nathaniel Portlock

Bligh’s second Breadfruit Voyage

 

National Archives Kew, ADM 55/7

 

Note: the print of this journal is darkened on the right side, making it difficult to read.  Illegible words are indicated with ----


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His Majesty’s Brig Assistant on her Passage to Otaheite

 

Monday April 9th  1792

A  Moderate breeze with pleasant open Cloudy weather at ½ past five light showers of rain, Coild down the small bower Cable again, made and Shortened sail occasionally to keep in our Station in running in for the Island the Commodore shewed his colours we did the same At 4 the Body of the Island bore S 34 E distant 3 or 4 Miles, At ½ past 4 we had passed the Island and I dare say was 4 or 5 Miles to Leeward of it when we saw some Canoes padling from the shore towards the Ships – the Commodore Immediately brought too we did the same,  about 5 three or four Canoes had reach the Commodore and brought with them some Cocoanutt and plantains for trade which the Commodore purchased and gave me a part to take on board the Assistant we filld and stood to the Southward under the lee of the Island under our Topsails At 6 the Canoes left us and we bore up and proceeded on our Course - from a man who was Acknowledged and by the cut for a Chief we learnt that two English Vessels had about 3 Months ago touchd at and passd this Island bound for Otaheite. I conclude these Vessels to be the Discovery and Chatham- At 6 the Body of the Island E by N Distant 4 or 5 Miles, --  Top Gallant sails and Studdingsails At 8 Fresh Breezes with open cloudy weather At ½ past 9 in Topgallantsails and Studdingsails and 1st Reef of the Topsails At Midnight Fresh Breezes and Squally with heavy Showers of Rain At 1 AM Blowing Fresh in Squalls In 2.d Reef of the

sails and hauld up the Topsail, At 4 Fresh Breezes and Squally with open Cloudy weather (illegible)  it was daylight, we saw the Eastern part of Otaheite Bearing SW distant about 6 leagues, hauld our wind to the (illegible) and set 2d Reefs of the Topsails,  About 7 we Tackd to the Southward At 8 the Extremes of Otaheite in sight from W b S to NE (illegible) about 4 leagues and the Body of Morea W b N 8 or 9 leagues. At ½ past 8 the weather appearing more settld we bore up and made sail for Matavia Bay.  At 10 Fresh Breezes with open cloudy weather, steering along shore towards Point Venus. Hoist our Colours in --- with the Commodore – I took this opportunity of reading to the ships company the rules and regulations that the Commodore had thought it necessary should be followd whilst we remain in the South Seas - At 11 Drawing near Point Venus we hauld in the (Studdingsails?) and after passing the Point Venus and the Dolphin Bank made Several Tacks to get into a birth in the upper part of the Bay, in turning in I found we had much the advantage of the Providence in Sailing. The Providence payd Exceedingly much in (illegible) and workd very badly I atribute this to her being too light - before we anchord we were Joind by an English Whale boat on board were 7 hands and – I conceivd she must belong to some ship laying in Oparre harbour At ½ past 11 the Commodore anchord and we did the same. Immediately afterward with the best Bower in 7 fathoms water & black muddy sandy bottom we were --- surrounded by a number of Canoes full of the Natives who Shewed their friendship for our Worthy Commander by the Extreme happiness they felt in seeing and having him among them again, I waited on the Commander Immediately and learnt that this above mentiond boat and people were belonging the Matilda Merchant Ship, Mathew Weatherhead Master, belonging to London last from Port Jackson in new South Wales to which place she had carried 230 men Convicts that she had touchd at the Island and anchord at Oitepeha bay to procure refreshments for her Crew and to Enable them to prosecute their Voyage to the Coast of Macao in Search of Spermcetta Whales 8 days after they had Saild from this Island the ship was ---- the Reef of a low Island Situated by their account in the Latitude of  South and Longitude  East of Greenwich

they was fortunately Enabled (32 men in all) to take to their (4) Boats. and Shaped a Course for this Island; they touchd at Metea in their passage and remaind a very little time, the Night of their leaving Metea they had very bad weather and all the boats parted company – three of them fell in with the North Side of the Island, and one fell in on the South Side, those that arrivd at Matavia were in a little time Seized by the Natives their boats hauld up on the shore and themselves mostly stript and no further Violence offerd them but on the contrary were well fed and Supplyd with Otaheite cloath to wear in stead of their own cloaths. the boat that fell in to the Southward Coasted along as far as Atahora.  and these shared the same fate that their Shipmates had done to the northward and were afterward as kindly treated., very soon after anchoring. Edea the Queen. Oropia the Kings Brother with old Totahaw, the High Priest and Minister. and sundry others came onboard, but previous to their Coming a M.r Norris, Surgeon of the Matilda made his appearance, this gentleman it seems (with one Conner) has taken up his abode with Tubira a Ratira of Matavia, much against the Inclination of the Queen and Chiefs of Oparre with whom the Captain and all the people that were on this side the Island, (as soon as they could distinguish. the Chiefs from the Rabble) had made their friendship with, according to the request of the Commander and others that was at Oparre, a request was made by the Chiefs that the cloaths taken from the people of Britannia (with other property such as Money and Arms) might be given up by Po´e´enoe the Chief of Matavia, and others in the district, but this request was refusd, in the consequence of which a war Insued, and it appears pretty Evident that M:rs Norris and Connor took part with the Matavians against the people of Oparre and used their fire arms, the Consequence of which was that Urepia had very nearly been shot by Norris – and the Oparre Chief then Insisted that as the war had commenced on account of the Englishmen (and their property) that remaind at Oparre, and as Norris and Connor had taken up arms against them, that all the Englishmen should go out to Battle on their side, Marshal the Second mate and others, ------ that they could have shot Norris or Connor the first opportunity ---- as he had according to their account, wrote to Marshall requesting that himself or any of the Party would ---- with the Oparre people, and declared that himself and Connor meant to remain quite --- and --- little doubt but our Arrival put a Stop to some blood shed between the Englishmen - the Commodore ---- them all (except M.r Norris who he orderd or rather permitted to remain at the Post that he meant to Establish on the shore near Point Venus) to keep on a friendly footing with all the Natives and to desist from giving them the least Aid in their war -, some skirmishing happened between the Opparre people and Matavians on the beach and about the Skirtts of the Wood but nothing serious happend on Either side, and Indeed by what I learn from the Whalers people and they have generally some one or other been Spectators of their onsets, their battles are by no means very bloody, and during 10 or 12 days that they have at war ---  few people on Either side have been killd it appears pretty Evident that any prisoner that is taken is automatically put to death -, the Master of the Matilda with four others had taken a Passage and Saild from this in the Schooner Jenny. Belonging to Bristol  Baker Master Bound on a trading Voyage to the NWt Coast of America and the Second Mate a M.r Campbell and two others Saild in one of the Whale Boats for Port Jackson.

 

Matavia Bay Otaheite Tuesday April 10 th  1792
The Whole of these 24 hours Moderate Breezes from the Eastward with pleasant weather, At 2 PM Moord Ship with half a Cable on the best Bower to the Eastward and a third of a Cable on the Small Bower to the Westward, Venus Point having N10º est one tree hill S 89 º .00 Wt and the Westernmost point in Sight S69º 00 Wt the Ship laying in about 8 fathoms water, dried and unbent the Studingsails and Topgallantsails, Canoes begin to flock about us but the Natives by no means numerous. this war keeping all the Matavia people back, Stopt Serving Salt Provisions in Consequence of an Abundance of fine hogs and Bread fruit, we are by degrees getting the News of the Island one material and pleasant part of which is the Success of Captain Edwards of His Majesty’s Ship Pandora (who was sent out Expressly for the Purpose of Seizing the Mutineers of the Bounty in having taken 14 of them at the District of Matavia and Papara amongst those taken are two Midshipmen, Heywood and Stewart, Christian with 10 others we suppose are gone off in the Bounty to what place we cannot yet learn, Brown the man left here by Mr. Cox is also gone home in the Pandora, the Discovery and Chatham have also been here and Saild on their Route to the NW: Coast of America; and I do not hear of any hastle or accident having happened to them during their stay here…

 

Matavia Bay Otaheite  April 11th 1792    Wednesday
The Whole of these 24 hours Moderate Breezes from the Eastward with pleasant weather, Ships Company employd Picking oakum and cleaning the Ship fore and aft and Getting some Salt to hand from the After hold. during this afternoon the warring parties were on the Plains of Matavia and Continued Skirmishing for some time, at length  about 4 o’clock they had rather a serious set too with Spears Stones thrown from a Sling ( at which they are very Expert) and Musquetry (for each party have several musketts) and continued pretty warmly at it for about half an hour or more the Matavians began then to give way and soon after one of their party being shot through the head with a Muskett Ball by one of the Oparre people, gave way on all sides and took to their Mountains next the Border of low land, the Oparre people pursued them for some time and we heard the reports of Musketts frequently and Indeed from the Ship I saw some of the Matavia party amongst whom was Tubira as they were passing over the hills make short stands and fire their musketts at the opposite party that were pursuing them, in the Evening when the Chiefs returnd from the pursuit they Informd us that Tubira who appears to be their principal Warrior, with most of the Party have retreated to Opi’ano a district about 8 Miles to the Eastward of Matavia

 

Matavia Bay.  Otaheite    Thursday April 12th 1792
The Whole of these 24 hours Moderate Breezes from the East and ESE with fine weather - Ships Company Employd Picking oakum and clearing the decks after geting out the Launch and Jolly boats we receive an abundant Supply of Hogs, Bread fruit. and Cocoanutts from the natives – the Oparre people seem to consider the Matavians as compleatly beaten off and Several of them began to take advantage of their absence for they are taken down loading their Canoes and carrying down to Oparre. The small remains of Houses that have escaped the Ravage of war And Conflagration

 

Friday April 13th 1792
Moderate Breezes from the SE and E b S with pleasant weather the Whole of these 24 hours,  Employd the Ships Company in the Necessary duty of the Ship At 1 PM detected an Indian on the Cable attempting to Steal a Jacket he took the water on being discovered, I sent a Boat after him and took him to the Providence where he receivd a Slight punishment and was dismissd, Sent the Cutter in shore Armd for a turn of water, some hands - employd picking Oakum ready for caulking the Sides At 8 AM an Indian under the Bows. attempting to get up by the Cables, I went after him myself with the Boats ( he swam in shore and by diving in a most astonishing manner, although Wounded in the head by a blow with the Boat Hook) would have got on shore pass the boats had not an Indian by the name of My´de´de who Captain Bligh permits to stay constantly onbd and who was in the Boat with me jumped over board and caught the fellow

----- mate employd getting ----- of the Capstan, Carpenters Employd making ---- to the ---- hands picking oakum and loosd the Courses to dry I have been ---- in sending the ---- down to Oparre, as he has some ---- in knowing the ------ remaining to protect them and the people who will have the care of procuring them he ----  it safe to risk the Providence in, Indeed there is little difficulty in getting in  but ---- a ship as she is in getting out as the ----- not above 5 fathoms although ---- the prevailing trade and without it the Navigation indeed dangerous ----- Coral Banks whose situations at present are not well known, during this day ---- means had many Visitors but those that come bring us a Good Supply of Hogs, Bread fruit, the Ave or Apple and fine plantains –

 

Nath.l Portlock

His Majesty’s Brig Assistant in Company with HM Ship Providence Matavia Bay  Saturday April 14th 1792
Most of these 24 hours Moderate Breezes from the Eastward with fine pleasant weather, a Number of Canoes off with some hogs and plenty of Cocoanutts plantains  bread fruit and in fact most articles that the Island produces. Edea Oripia some other chiefs onboard the Providence, ---- this day I receivd from Orepia the only present since our arrival it consisted of a Midling sizd hog about two Dozen Cocoanutts and Some dressd bread fruit.  Orepia remaind with me a little while and took his leave of me and went onboard the Commodore. I have this afternoon observd Several canoes laden also some Rafts of wood and much Bamboo going down to Oparre and on Enquiring I found  it was plunder from Matavia’s deserted plains. In the evening I accompanied the Commodore and Orepia to Venus Point as it was near dark we did not land. Orepia pointed out a Spot for the Post which the Commodore approvd of, it was by Orepias Information near the Spot where the Discovery’s post was we returnd onb.d att dusk; and during the night had Calm and hot sultry weather the Natives behave in the most kindly manner Orepia Intends Sleeping to night at Point Venus in order to be early in the morning to see Executed the commodores wishes in clearing the ground and cleaning the Spot where he Intends having the Plant House – Erected. and the Houses for the Reception for the Party that is to be on shore) the Commodore sent some – provisions on shore for his supper At 6 AM the Commodore calld for me I accompanied him on shore to Point Venus, we were receivd by Orepia, and the Commodore now determind on given up the thought of procuring plants at Oparre and fixt on Matavia and its neighbourhood for that purpose, and accordingly pointed out a place for the building of the Plant House, and two Houses for the reception of the Party from the Ships -  Orepia

gave Immediate instructions for clearing the ground and in a very little time had many people Employd in the work of building, About 7-8 M.r Norris the Surgeon of the late  Ship Matilda accompanied by one of Tupiras men and one or two men from Oparre went to the Residence of Poenoe and Tupira to Demand the Money and other things that were plundered from the Matildas people, About 8 we returnd onb:d  Orepia remaind on shore to give directions and to forward the Work of Building the Houses Old Tootahaw, the high priest accompanied me onb:d the Assistant with a present of a hog and some  Cocoanutts I made him a handsome return with which he was much pleasd. This old man is of some consequence here and is amongst the most Intelligent men of the Island – he has pickt up Several English words which he speaks tolerably plain and is highly delighted when he gets any person to learn him.
Towards Noon Several canoes on the beach Loading with plunder such as wood and the Whole sides of houses
Ships Company Employd some salting Pork and others Picking Oakum, Carpenters employd making Boxes to protect the locks of the 3 Pounders, At Noon Light Breezes from the Eastward with hot Sultry weather

 

His Majesty’s Brig Assistant:  Matavia Bay Otaheite
 Sunday April 15th 1792
PM: A Gentle Breeze from the Eastward with fine pleasant weather, Ships Company Employd Picking Oakum Salting Pork and making ---- for the locks of the Swivels and Blunderbusses At 4 PM one Canoe along side with plunder from Matavia, during the night calm and very hot weather At 7 AM I went on board the Commodore. I found M.r Norris there with him who had Just returnd from the Present Residence of Poenoe and Tubira. he found them about 6 Miles from the Eastward of Matavia, M:r Norris could only obtain about 16 dollars which he says belonged to himself and I think 3 or 4 belonging to the Master of the Ship, the remainder of the plunder they say is conveyed to a Small Island named    which lays about 6 leagues to the Northwest of this; Poenoe appears very low Spirited  and very much dreads Captain Blighs displeasure, the fire Arms that his party have in their Possession is I think 4 in Number, M:r Norris was directed to demand their being given up, but this the chiefs absolutely refusd to do.  saying they had nothing Else to depend on for the reestablishment of their property; at the same time observing that If the People of Opparre and other districts gave theirs up they would also Immediately give them up-,  Orepia Slept with us and then took his leave he Sleeps at Point Venus in order to be ready in the Morning to see the work carried out;  this forenoon a Gentle Breeze from the Westward and warm weather we get a Good supply of hogs and every other Article of food and much more reasonable than might be Expected when we consider the Quantities that must have been taken off by the different ships, we got a fine hog weighing 150 Pounds for a Sixpenny or an Eight penny hatchett we get 10 or 12 heads of bread fruit for a Sheathing nail and as many Cocoanutts for a sheathing nail also - This I think cheaper than we found it when here in the Resolution and Discovery, At Noon hot weather Thank God all well onbd,

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant at Matavia Bay Otaheite April 16th 1792
A Gentle Breeze at West with pleasant weather, not many Canoes about but we Continue to get a good supply of Provisions, I rather suppose most of Oppare people are Employed in making plunder, the Commodore in order to make our Liquors seen  out and to guard also against any Accident has come to the determination of Serving Grog only three times a week, that is on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays Grog is an Article that can be well done without here where every man gets as many fine Cocoanutts as he chuses to make use of.  and the Milk of the Cocoanutt before the Kernal becomes hard and firm is exceedingly pleasant to drink  About 5 PM I accompanied the Commodore on shore and found Orepia had got well forward with the two houses for the reception of the Party; and has finisht the House or Shed for the Plants a small house for the use of the Officers he had built rather too near the river, the Commodore requested it might be movd to the same ground that the house Intended for the Petty officers and privates stood, Orepia promised to get it done in the morning, About 6 we returned onboard, during the night a Gentle Breeze from the Eastward  with fine weather, At 7 AM) the Marines from each ship was sent on shore to the Post the party consisted of 25 Men  Including 1 Naval Lieutenant 1 Marine Lieutenant and 3 Petty Officers they were receivd on shore by the Natives with Every appearance of Friendship and satisfaction. The Forenoon the Carpenter Employd making an arm chest for the Cutter, some hands picking Oakum and the remainder clearing and cleaning ship

 

His Majesty’s Brig Assistant at Matavia   Otaheite  April 17th 1792         
PM) A Gentle Breeze from the Westward with close Cloudy weather, in the Evening the wind shifted to the Eastward and blew in gentle breezes, cleard however, At 2 PM, the King who formerly had the name of Otoo and is now Calld Tynaa (his eldest son taking the name of Otoo) passed us in a double Canoe with a shed over her fore part and went onboard the Providence he had just arrived from Morea and this was his first Visit to the ships, on which occasion Captain Bligh saluted him with a few guns which pleasd exceedingly, he made his visit with very little state and was very thinly attended on the Occasion, it used to be quite different formerly, for on his coming to the Resolution he was generally attended by a number of Canoes and many of the chiefs, and the Canoes that were about the ship trading were always thrown into a bustle to get out of the way, he must now be advancing in Years and his son Otoo is growing a fine lively lad its most probable that the respect that used to be shown to the father now devolves to the son, At 6 PM) I went onboard the Providence, where I found the King, his father whose name is Otou, Edéa and another wife of the Kings whose name is Whyréde, this lady is younger sister to Edéa and appears to have surplanted her Intirely in the Kings Affections, it was a very happy meeting of old friends and their joy was so great that it was now perfectly visible in all countenances. few of them in speaking of the fate that they Expected Captain Bligh and his companions had met with could refrain from tears, the King in particular who is one of the most friendly and best disposd men in the world could not Express his happyness at this unexpected visit from Captain Bligh, he still looks remarkably well is much belovd by his subjects, but from his Imoderate use of Wine or Spirits (or when he cannot get them / the Yava he too often renders himself Incapable of doing them or his country much Service, Uripia his next brother (between whom and the king there appears to be much Friendship and Affection) is the ruling man and indeed from the remarks I have been able to make of him I think there cannot be a better, he appears to be a Sensible Vigilant and all his countrymen allow him to be one of their best warriors he is about five feet ten Inches high, an Excellent figure of a man remarkably strong and Active, and and of a commanding Aspect

The Commander made them suitable presents, I returned onboard the Assistant the King, his father, Edéa and Whyrede moved onboard the Providence for the night, the Botanists reported to Captain Bligh that they had found a very good place for procuring the bread fruit plants at, in the Valley leading to the Southend, from Matavi and about 1 ½ mile off, (AM) the sun being very hot and Captain Bligh Indisposed he did not Venture on shore I visited the post were I found all perfectly in order and work beginning on the houses and bounding the post by a ditch of four feet broad and 4 feet deep going on very well, the ditch made by our own people – whilst I was at the Post the young King Otoo came carried as usual on a mans’s shoulders I made him a present from Captain Bligh and one for myself which he directed his attendants to receive (for it appears he never in public takes any things of the kind himself) and was highly pleasd with them, he had learnt my name and spoke it and several English words very plain his behaviour was truly  friendly and he gave me a pressing Invitation to see him at Oppare, this prince is I think is about 13 or 14 years of age. well grown and with a countenance that commands respect already from the Inhabitants, I think he possesses a very different disposition to that of his father, having an Active and lively turn of mind -
The Indian that was in confinement onbd the Providence was by request of the King set at liberty on conditions that he was not to return to the ships again, the poor wretch who had laid his account down to be killd, receivd his liberty with every demonstration of Joy and gratitude that he could show, lept into the water and swam on shore, At noon light westerly breezes with hot Sultry weather, I returnd onboard the Providence and reported to Captain Bligh the proceedings on shore

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Wednesday April 18th 1792
PM) a gentle breeze from the northward with hot sultry weather, ships Company Employd in the Necessary duty of the Ship, our supply to day from the Natives (and which we buy very cheap) are an abundance of Cocoanutts and bread fruit, but few hogs we get for a nail about 1½ Inch long 6 or 8 large heads of bread fruit one head sufficient for a man Pr day and for Cocoanutts we give the same kind of nail for 8 or 10 in general a nutt containing very near a Quart of most Excellent and healthy drink which we in general call Milk, in the Evening I accompanied Captain Bligh on shore we visited the Post and found the Botanists had lodgd in the Plant House 32 Potts each containing on an average two fine bread fruit Plants the weather was showry, and much in favour of the Plants, thus we had the satisfaction of seeing the first of this business the object of our Voyage happily begun I this afternoon receivd onboard by order of Captain Bligh John W..stnat Late belonging to the Matilda, he being naked I supply d him with Bed Bedding and clothing, At Sun set we returned onboard, AM)  Moderate  breezes from the Westward with some rain – Employd the Carpenter in making an Arm chest for the Cutter or Launch, the remainder of the ships Company picking Oakum ready for caulking the Ship, the King, his Father, Mother and Wife took a friendly leave of us and Went to Oparre for the Night.

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Thursday April 19th 1792
PM) Light Variable winds from the Northward and Westward with Showry weather, People Employd in the necessary duty of the ships  In the evening visited the Post and found all in good order, the Natives behaving in the most friendly manner, the Botanists have to day Lodgd in the Plant House 83 Potts with bread fruit Plants, About 7 returned onboard, At ½ past 5 AM agreeable to Captain Blighs order we unmoord and weighed, towd towards Point Venus and nearer to the Post, At 7 anchord with the best bower in 10 fathoms water fine black sand, Moord with the small Bower to the WNW it laying in 14 fathoms and the ship in 13 fathoms black sand, ---- Board the following bearings were taken, Single tree on Point Venus N30º 00’ Et, Point Venus Reef N30º 00’Wt, Opare Point S62º 00’Wt and the Post N .. Et distant from the Post 2 Cables length, sounded all round and found the bottom very good, Employd the Seamen Rounding the Cables, and Carpenter making an Arm Chest, The Natives as usual in the highest degree friendly, and bring us supplys of Hogs, Bread Fruit and Cocoanutts more than sufficient for our daily Consumption, this day we have been able to salt one Barrel of two Half Log heads of fine Pork, At Noon a Gentle Breeze from the Eastward with cool and pleasant weather    

   

His Majestys Brig Assistant at Matavia Bay Otahiete
Friday April 20th 1792
Am) a Moderate Breeze from the Eastward with Cool pleasant weather, Unbent the Square Mainsail, in the Evening I accompanied Captain Bligh on shore to the Post where we found everything quiet and in good order, we Crossed the River and in our walk about the District of Matavia we saw one well grown Shaddock tree and Several Pumpkin Vines, our walk although through a most beautifull country did not afford much pleasure, as the district was Intirely deserted in consequence of the war, the appearance of numbers of uninhabited houses together with the Ruins of others and the Silence of What we used in former times to Esteem the merry and happy district of Matavia could not avoid giving serious reflections and Pain for the fate of these poor people with whom we were once so happy, I am sure Captain Bligh feels exceedingly for them and takes every step in his power to reconcile the parties in which benevolent act I hope must earnestly he may succeed. About 6 in the Evening we returned onboard the Providence where we found the King his Wife and Attendants, they had brought some presents for Captain Bligh and took their lodgings up onboard for the night, --------------during the Night we had calm and hot sultry weather, AM) Loosd sails to dry and unbent, not many Canoes but those that are off bring us a plentifull supply of hogs, Cocoanutts, ripe Bread fruit, and plantains Unbent some of the small sails,            At Noon a Moderate Breeze and coursing all round the Compass with open cloudy weather          

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Saturday April 21 st 1792
Very variable and moderate breezes with open cloudy weather, PM) very few Canoes about the bay, Unbent the Foresail Spritsail and fore and aft Mainsail, Several of the ships company According to the Surgeons report very much crampt and purged. he thinks it owing to the fresh provisions and fruit which we get in Abundance,      At Midnight Gentle and Variable Breezes with cool and pleasant weather, AM) Moderate Breezes from the Eastward with fine weather, a good deal of swell in the Bay, the surf high on the beaches, the Sea breaking frequently in 2 fathoms water on the Dolphin Bank, and on the Bank between Taraa head and Oppare Mori Point, in the Morning Early I accompanied the Commodore to the Post, the Surff was so high in the beach Opposite the Post that it became dangerous landing we therefore rowd round Point Venus and landed by the Mouth of the river were we found it quite Smooth, Captain Bligh Judging that the Plants are taken up rather too late in the day, recommended it to the Botanists to be on the spot for gathering by dawn of day in the Mornings by which means the plants might be gathered and brought in before the heat of the day came and he also recommended it to them to be exceedingly particular in procuring the different kinds of bread fruit plants as there is a great variety of them and some kinds grow much larger and finer than others, they adopted this plan, and by noon the number of Potts in the Plant  House were 400, five with only a Single plant but most of them with two or three,  At Noon we returnd  onboard and found very few Canoes or Visitors about the ships and of course but little trade going on. A pleasant trade wind and fine weather very few people moving about the plains of Matavia and really the beautifull spot bears quite a deserted appearance.    

        

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Sunday April 22 1792
AM) a fine breeze with pleasant weather, ships Company Employd picking Oakum and repairing sails, ---- in the Afternoon I accompanied Captain Bligh on shore to the Post where we found all quiet and in order. in course of the day Captain Bligh has had several well grown shaddocks brought him in by the Natives they were large but unfortunately have been gatherd before they were ripe a few weeks more in the trees no doubt would have made very fine from the size we find them there is little doubt of the Soil and Climate agreeing with them, the natives except Edéa, do not appear to like them, perhaps they may never have had them when in perfection, about 7 Oclock we returnd onboard again and during the night had light winds and fine weather - At 3 AM )I was calld by the Officers of the watch in consequence of two large sailing Canoes coming in to the bay and near the ships, they passd us and went in towards Point Venus (Messrs Tobin, Harwood, Frankland, and Norris, in an Excursion 4 or 5 miles up the Valley of Matavia, saw a number of shaddock and they thought some orange trees) but in the orange trees I think they are mistaken, for I do not think Except the very young ones that we have now landed that there are any on the Island, and at the Extent of their walk were Joind by a party of about 30 friendly Matavians these poor people Expressd much happiness in the meeting with their friends of Bretania behaved in the most friendly manner Imaginable and lamented much that the present troubles prevented them from being nearer to the ships – they walkd part of the way to Matavia with those gentlemen but could not be prevaild in to Enter the Post: for fear of their enemies - the people of Oppare, they took a friendly leave, retird to their places of security and the gentlemen returnd to the Post,   At About ½ past 9 the Sea or Easterly breeze set in with fine pleasant weather, Musterd the ships Company saw them all thank God in good health and clean,  I performd divine Service and permitted some of them to go on shore on liberty,  At Noon I accompanied the Commodore on shore where all was quiet and in order, the Botanists has housd 730 Potts with Bread fruit Plants, we found Otoo, at the Post who was quite pleasd to see us, he appeard (notwithstanding his scruples the other day in receiving presents with his own hands) fond of beging for and

searching pockets for knives, his father with most of the other chiefs are at Oppare, Otoo remaind with us a few hours. was highly pleasd with the treatment he receivd and returnd to Oparre quite in high spirits --------     

         

Monday April 23d 1792
The whole of these 24 hours light Breezes from the Eastward with fine weather, same  afternoon we returnd onboard and found very few visitors about the ships – however from those few that are about we to day procurd three very fine Hogs beside an abundance of cocoanutts and dressd bread fruit, we Encourage their bringing the Bread fruit dressd as they certainly by their method of baking make it much more palatable than we do – About 5 in the afternoon I accompanied the Commodore on shore to the Post were we found all quiet and in order, we made a short Excursion to the Valey of Matavia were we saw several Oppare familes  building houses on the spots where houses in the war had been pulld to pieces or burnt, the Bread fruit trees of which the valley amazingly abounds full of fruit in high perfection and the different familys gathering and preparing it to make Mahee. the Mahee is much Esteemd by the Natives and made use of as a bread kind. during those short season when the bread fruit is not in perfection and is made in the following manner, when the fruit is full grown and before it becomes soft or quite ripe it is

gathered in large quantities and with a split  bamboo all the rind is scrapd clean off when a sufficient quantity of the fruit is prepared in this manner a hole is then dug in the ground of depth and size according to their Quantity. and lind all round with green leaves (the leaves I think are either of the Ginger or Turmerick plant) the fruit remains in a heap untill it becomes a little soft it is then broke into pieces the core taken out. and peeld and packd very tight into the hole and then coverd very well up with leaves a considerable weight of stones and earth laid on it in. and about 2 or 3 weeks it becomes ready for use and is taken out wrapt up in clean bread fruit leaves and bakd, when it is well managed. it makes a very pleasant bread kind and possesses a pleasant acid taste, the natives are extremely fond of it and most of them prefer it to any other bread kind, in this short walk we saw a Number of fine breadfruit and Ave or apple trees quite destroyed by being notched all round the trunk. this practice we found was adopted by the Oppare people to disturb the Matavians and I suppose is the general practice between parties at war – the small parties that we met with behaved in the most friendly manner we distributed some presents among them and about sun set returnd to the Post were Captain Bligh gave the necessary orders and we then went onboard, during the night we had calm and clear weather. at ½ past 5 good day light turnd all hands up and began to wash and clean the ship, Employd the ships company in hauling up the Starboard Cables and filling the water Butts under them. got some coals from under the Bread Butts, and put them into the coal hole, At 11 AM I sent Peter Mulberry marine onboard under charge of Corporal Rear. with a Complaint from the Officer Lieut Guthrie of his having lost a full cartridge out of his Cartouche Box, and one of his shirts and that there was every reason to suppose that he had sold them to the Indians, we have had several Instances at the Post of the chiefs attempting to procure amenities from the marines and as the Pretence of letting them have it and saying it was lost might be a practice very Easily adopted by others (illegible)..............of the Whole) it became highly necessary to make an Example of this man particularly as it was the opinion of the officers that he really had sold those things to the ---- 18 lashes for these crimes and returnd him on shore again to his duty At Noon a gentle Breeze with fine weather      

 

His Majesty’s Brig Assistant in Matavia bay Otaheite
Tuesday April 24th 1792
Light Variable winds most of these 24 hours and fine weather, PM finishd the Starboard side of the main Hold and Coild down the Cables AM) hauld up the small Bower cables filld water under the them Put coals into the coal hole and Coild down the Cables again ------------The Natives about us not numerous and very friendly,
At Noon Moderate Breezes with pleasant weather

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Wednesday April 25th 1792
Gentle breezes from the Eastward with open cloudy and pleasant weather, ships Company Employd in Stowing the holds and getting off some water, about 5 this afternoon I accompanied Captain Bligh to the Post, were we found all quiet and in order the number of Potts in the Plant Room this Evening are 850 many of the Plants begin to droop but the Botanists tell me that is to be Expected before they take root in the Potts, about 7 we returnd onboard again and during the night had moderate Breezes from the Eastward with pleasant weather about 6 in the morning we again went on shore to the Post were we found Otoo, he had slept the last night in the district of Matavia as had done his father and several of the Principal chiefs from Oparre, who now appears to think themselves quite being in the Possession of the Matavians houses and Plantations and beside the chiefs many others of the middling class from Oparre are now gathering about Matavia and building themselves houses on the spots were the houses have been burnt or otherwise destroyed during the wars, how long they may keep Possession after our departure is very uncertain for there is little doubt but the Matavians will make an attempt to regain their Estates and perhaps aided by some other district (the people of which led forward with a hope of getting a part of the Opare peoples (illegible) may soon accomplish the point  Establish  themselves again with Matavias and perhaps turn the Tables upon the Oppare people, this seems the most likely as its thought that Matavians are of the two Districts the best warriors and there are several smaller districts to the Eastward that seem disposd to Join the Matavians. one or two had Indeed Joind and others would soon have followed their example but were no doubt prevented by our arrival in the Bay knowing Captain Blighs friendship for the Otoo family and people of Oppare   

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Thursday April 26th 1792
Light Variable winds with some showers of Rain --- the Stowage of the hold and Employd the Carpenters in fitting some --- the bends in place of those washd off at sea; during the night we had light Variable winds with ---- Captain Bligh on shore, the unsettled state of the weather causd a ---- Surf on the beaches it ----- we could not land without great danger of filling the boats ------ around Point Venus ----- shore to the Eastward ----- and not the weather ----- pleasure in the walk, we were soon joind by many others ----- that could be and other ------ was their Sacred Canoe ----- place the first part of the ----- contain Matts and feathers and I suppose many other things ----- respect and Estimation by them, the old high Priest approachd & with much respect and ceremony and as well ----- they Imagine their God hovers about this Prince and their presents of red feathers ----- Valuable things offerd ----- are all deposited in it the high Priest carried with him a few red feathers made up and fastend neatly to the end of a ---- rush or Bamboe and deposited it in the Canoe, he then began his prayers in a Singing tone of voice, accompanied with two drums and as he was short of a drummer he seemd desirous that a man belonging to Captain Bligh’s ship who had also attended us should beat one of them, the man readily complyd, performd very well and gave great satisfaction to the high Priest – we continued here about half an hour and then returnd the way we came, the Kings ---

who on our approach to the sacred Canoe had sat down under the shade of a Palm Bush, we now visited the Post were we found all quiet and in good order the natives behaving in the most friendly manner. I that morning counted the number of potts with bread fruit Plants and there are in the Plant Room 985 most of them containing two plants; at 9 we returnd onboard but few Canoes about to day and scanty supply of Hogs bread fruit and Cocoanutts; the Carpenter began this day to caulk the sides, remainder of the Ships Company Employd picking oakum and making spun yarn, At noon a Gentle Sea breeze with hot weather.

 

Friday April 27th 1792
PM) a Gentle Breeze with open cloudy weather, Carpenters Employd caulking the side and seamen working up Junk about 5 I accompanied the Commodore on shore to the Post were we found all quiet and in order -  about 1000 Potts with the bread fruit plants in the Plant room - during the Night we had calm and fine weather and a considerable swell Rolling into the Bay which causes much surf on the beaches, AM) Employd  working up Junk caulking sides and salting Pork, we have to day got  salted in all since our arrival was Hoghead 2 Barrels and 1 half hogs head of very fine Pork, - this day PoéE´noe Chief of Matavia came and sued to the King for Peace which was granted in condition of Poe´ E´noe bringing in the Fire Arms and Money that he has in Possession, belonging to the Commander of the late Ship Maltilda he consented to these terms, and the King and him have brushed noses as a mark of friendship for each other, for my part I think they cordially hate each other, and that Poe´ E´noe does not mean to comply with the Conditions

of peace), during the forenoon we had light and Variable winds with hot weather, sent the ---  natives by no means numerous, and the supply of Provisions rather Scanty - Up all --- Bags sweepd dry and clean below

 

Saturday April 28th 1792
Am) A Moderate sea breeze with hot weather, Carpenters Employd Caulking and seamen working up Junk About 1AM) Maa´hoo a friend of the Kings came onboard the Providence, he had Just arrivd from Morea of which Island he is a principal Chief and by what I can learn he had been sent some days since to Morea to kill a man and bring him to Opparee and there to be offerd up to their Gods as a thanks offering for their success in the late war with the Matavians and another part of his Errand was to desire the people of Morea to come over with their Hogs &c &c for sale to the ships, Maa´hoo, the King, and his two Wives dined with us and afterwards went on shore to the Post, a Custom we now see prevail which I believe has not before been Observd and that is the Queen Edéa drinking quantities of Yava, I have not observd any other woman follow the practice About 5 I accompanied Captain Bligh to the Post were we found all quiet and in order and after taking

a short walk returnd again leaving the natives all around the neighbourhood of the Post perfectly friendly, in our walk we passd a house in which was Poo´e´noe and other of the Mataviaans Chiefs, there was no intercourse between us as Captain Bligh avoided speaking to him untill he has performed the conditions of the peace. Poo´e´noe sent a Messenger to Captain Bligh requesting permission to call on him in the Morning which was granted on conditions of his returning the Money and Musquetts - during the Night we had a Gentle breeze and fine weather, About 7 AM Captain Bligh accompanied by the King his two Wives and some of the Officers from the Providence went to Oparre to see performd the ceremony of the thanks offering. I could not be present as Captain Bligh wishd me to remain on the spot during his absence about 8 I visited the Post and had Information from the Officer that Edéa´a and U´re´pe´aa had slept in the Post last night and that U´re´pe´a had made offer to the Sergeant of Marines to let him have some 5 Cartridges of Powder, and he was also detected tampering with one of the Centinels, the Centinel had very improperly suffred him to Approach to near and was either shaking hands with him or had his hand on U´re´pe´aas shoulders, in consequence of this Inattention when on duty the centinel was relieved and remains a Prisoner untill a Report of his conduct is made to Captain Bligh, Ships Company Employd this forenoon mending and washing their cloths, At Noon a pleasant Sea Breeze and fine weather, no supply of Hogs this 24 hours - M.r White surgeons head mate of the Providence was robbd by an Indian in The Matavia district of a neck handkercheif and four other Articles but no Violence offerd to his person.

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavia Bay Otaheite
Sunday April 29th 1792
PM) a Moderate Breeze from the Eastward with very pleasant weather, No Canoes about the ship At 1 PM Captain Bligh returnd from Oparre, I this Afternoon Receivd from Why’re’de one of the Kings Wifes as a present a large Hog and some cocoanutts I made her a suitable return About 4 I accompanied Captain Bligh to the Post and found all perfectly quiet, I repeated to him the circumstances that had happend last night respecting U´re´pe´aas behaviour at the Post, the centinel was returnd to his duty in consequence of it appearing that Instead of shaking hands with U´re´pe´aa he was in the Act of keeping him off with his hand, Captain Bligh orderd a particular good look out to be kept and warnd the Officers against being too familiar and off their guard with the Natives, we returnd about 7 in the Evening, during the Night Calm and clear weather AM) a Moderate sea breeze, very few Canoes about, no hogs and but few Cocoanutts at Market, gave a part of the Ships Company leave to go on shore

 

Monday April 30th 1793
PM) a Gentle sea breeze with fine weather. I this Afternoon had a visit from the King and his Wifes. they each of them made me a present of a large Hog & Quantity of Bread Fruit and Cocoanutts and some pieces of Otaheitian cloth, I made them a proper return and in the Evening they departed very much pleasd with the attention shewn them towards night I accompanied the Commodore on shore to the Post were we were Joind by the King and other chiefs we found all perfectly quiet and the Natives behaving in the Most friendly manner, the liberty men all onboard. and during the Night we had light  winds and hot weather, AM) light winds and Variable procurd a small supply of Hogs Employd some hands in salting Pork, loosd Sails to Air, got water off for present use and Employd the ships Company about the Necessary duty of the ship Messrs John, Harwood, and Frankland over set in a Canoe going on shore I sent a boat to their assistance no lives lost

 

His Majestys Brig Assistant in Matavi Bay Otaheite
Tuesday May the 7th 1792 (written after this date in a new hand; ship work details only)
Do. W.r  P.M. Employd as before AM) Got the Foretopgallant mast on deck, scraped & greasd  D.o & Empd. overhauling & repairing the defects & taring the Foretopgallant Rigging Rove new Foretopgallant Braces at 11 Swayed up the Foretopgallantmast, Scrapd & greased the Foretopmast Blacked the Cross-Trees. Head of the Topmast & Poles of the Topgallant masts, Carpenters Employed as before – a few natives Trading as usual


   
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