James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770 - Page 79
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Remarkable Occurrences & I,[Incidents] in the South Sea's -
[margin] Bow Island [/end margin]
Middle forming these a large lake into which there appeared to be no islet, the border of land & Reef, surrounding this lake like a wall appeared to be of a Bow like Figure, for which reason I named it Bow Island, the South side along which we Saild was one continued low narrow Beach or Reef like a Causeway for 4 Leagues & upwards & lies E b N & W b S. The East & West Ends & North side of this Island are wooded in Groves & the firm Land appeared disjoin'd & like a Number of Islands & very probably is so. The NWt. part of the Island we only saw a [also?] of the Lake & not very distinct on account of its great extent & night coming on before we had run the whole length of the Island, this description must be imperfect & the whole Island may form a Different figure to what I have here described the Ean end like in the Latitude of 18 .23'S & Long.de 141.12'Wn from Greenwich. Variation 5.386En This Island is inhabited. we not only saw smoke in the Differ.n Parts but people also.- At Noon saw Land to the Westward
[margin] Two Groups [/margin]
Fresh Gales & Cloudy at 1/2 past 2 pm got up with the East end of the Land seen yesterday at Noon & which proved to be an assembly of Island joined together by Reefs & extending themselves NWbN & SEbS in 8 or 9 Leagues & of various breadths. but there appeared to be a total Separation in the middle bu a Channell of half a Mile broad & on this account they are called the two Groups. The S
o Easternmost of them lies in the Latitude 18º12' & Long.de of 142º 42' Wn from Greenwich & W1/2N distant 25 Leagues from the W. end of Bow Island. We ranged along the SW.n side of these Island & hauld into a Bay which lies to the NW. of the Southern most point of them & where there appeared to be Anchorage & the Sea was smooth & not much Surf on the Shore but we found no ground with 100 fa.on 3/4 of a Mile from the Shore & nearer we did not go here several of the Inhabitants assembled together with their Canoes with a design as we thought to come off to us, as they hauld one of them over the reef seemingly for that purpose, but after waiting near 1/2 an hour & they not attempting to come off, we bore away & made Sail & presently the Canoe put off after us, but as we did not stop they soon went back again. They were in all respects llke those we had seen on Lagoon Island & armed with Clubs & long Pikes like them.
[margin] Bird Island [/margin]
At 1/2 past 6 am Saw a small Island to the Northw.d hauld our wind for it & soon got close in with it. it is about 3 or 4 Miles in Circuit & very low with a Pond in the Middle there is some wood upon it but no inhabitants but Birds, & for this reason is called Bird Island. it lies in the Lat.de 17º .48' & Long.de 143 º.35' W & W1/2N 10 Leagues from the West end of the two Groups; the BIrds we saw were Men of War Birds & severl other sorts
Fresh Trade & pleasant wea.r but about noon had a few flying showers of rain. Variat.n 6º .32' East
[margin] Chain Island [/margin]
A steady fresh gale & pleasant wea.r at 2 pm saw Land to the Northw.d hauld for it & found it to be a double range of low woody Islands joined together by reefs, & by w.ch means they make on Island in form of an Ellipsis or Oval, in the Middle [?] is a salt water Lake the small Islands & reef circumscribes or bounds this lake like a Chain It is therefore called Chain Island it is in length NW& SE.n about 5 Leagues & in breadth about 51N.s the middle of it lies in the Latitude of 17º.23' S
o & Long.de 14.5º.54'W & WbN 45 Long.e from Bird Island. Variation of Several Az.th 4 º.54' East.