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 104
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Discription of King Georges Island
Point of conveniency & Situation it may easily be known by a Prodigious high Mountain in the middle of the Island which bears due Sº. from Point Venus which is the Eastern point of the Bay, To sail into it either keep the W.t Point of the Reef which lies before Point Venus, close onboard or give it a berth of near half a Mile in order to avoid a small Shoal of Coral Rocks whereon is but 2½ fathom Water, the best Anchoring is on the Eastern side of the Bay in 16 or 14 fa.om, water and owsey bottom the Shore of the bay is all a fine sandy beach behind which seems a river of Such Water so that any Number of Ships might Water here with.t discommoding one another the only wood for fuel upon the whole Island is fruit Trees, & these must be purchased of the Natives if you mean to keep up good Terms with them- There are some Harbours to the Westw.d of this bay that have not been mention'd but as they lay Contigious to it & are to be found in the plan- the discription of them is unnecessary-
The land of this Island except what is immediately bordering upon the Sea coast is of a very uneven Surface & rises in ridges which run up into the middle of the Island & these form Mountains that are of height Sufficient to be seen at the distance of 20 Lg's, between the foot of the ridges & the Sea is a border of low Land surrounding the whole Island except in a few Places were the ridge rises directly from the Sea, this low land is of Various Breadths but no where exceeds a Mile & a half the Soil is rich & fertile being for the most part well stock'd with fruit Trees & small Plantations & well water'd by a number of small Rivulets of Excellent Water which come from the adjacent hills. It is upon this low Land that the greatest part of the inhabitants, live, not in Towns or Vilages, but dispersed every where round the whole Island, the Tops of most of the ridges & mountains are Barren & as it were burnt up with the Sun yet many parts of some of them are not without their Produce & many of the Valleys are fertile & inhabited.
OF THEIR PRODUCE
The Produce of this Island is Bread Fruit, Cocoa Nuts, Bannanoes, Plantains a fruit like an Apple, sweet Potatoes. Yams, a fruit known by the name of Eag [Mellon?] & reck'ned most delicious Sugar Cane which the inhabitants eat raw, a root of the Salep kind called by the inhabitants Pea, the root also of a Plant Called [Etheo?] & a fruit in a Pod like a Kidney bean which when roasted eats like a Chesnut & is called Ahee the fruit of a Tree which they call Wharro something like a Pine Apple the fruit of a Tree called by them [Mazo?], the roots of a Fern & the roots of a Plant called Hive, all these Articles the Earth almost Spontainously Produces so at least they are raised with very little Labour in the Article of food these People may almost be said to be [.....] from the Curse of our Fore fathers scarcely could be said that they Earn their bread with the sweat of their brow, benevolent nature hath not only Supply'd them with necessarys but with abundance Superfluities the Sea Coast supplies them with vast Variety of most Excellent fish, but those they get not without some Trouble & Perseverance fish seem to be one of their greatest Luxuries & they Eat it either raw or Dressed & seem to relish it one way as well as the other not only fish but almost every thing that comes out of the Sea is Eat & Esteem'd by these People. Shell Fish Lobsters, Crabs even