State Library of NSW
in their being always accompanied with a large swell from the same Quarter & we find a much greater surf beating upon the shore of the sides of the Island situated just within the limits of the trade winds than upon any other part of them.
The tides are perhaps inconsiderable in these Seas as in any part of the world a So or SbW wind moon makes high water in Royal Bay but the waters does not rise upon a perpendicular above 10 or 12 Inches except on some extraordinary occasions.
The variation of the Compass found to be 4°.4'6 Easterly this being the mean result of a great number of Trials made by 4 of Dr Knights needles belonging to the Azimuth Compass all of which I judged to be good ones & yet when applied to the Meridian line I found them not only differ one from another sometimes a degree & a half but the same needle would differ from itself more or less the differance sometimes amounting to half a degree both at the same time & on different days. this will in a great measure amount for the seeming errors that may upon a nice examination, appear to have been made in observing the Variation inserted in the Course of this Journal. This variability in Magnatick Needles I have many times & in many places experienced both ashore & on board of Ship & I do not remember of ever finding two Needles that would agree exactly together at one & the same time & place but I have often found the same Needle agree with itself for several Trials made immediately one after another, however all this is of no sort of consequence to Navigation as the Variation of the Compass can always be found to a degree of accuracy more than sufficient for all nautical purposes - I have before hinted that these people have an extensive knowledge of the Islands situated in these Seas Tupia as well as several others hath given us an account of upwards of 70, but as the account they have given of their situation is so vague & uncertain, I shall refer giving a list of them until I have learnt from Tupia the situation of each Island with a little more certainty. Four of these Islands/ Vis/ Huaheine, Ulietea, Oaha, & Bolabola. we were informed lay only one or two days sail to the Westward of Georges Island & that we might there procure Hogs, Fowls & other refreshment Articles that we have been very sparingly supplyed with at this last Island, & as the Ships Company & what from the constant hard duty they have had at this place & the too free use of woman & were in a worse state of health than they were on our first arrival for by this time full half of them had got the Venereal disease in which situation
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