Captains Portlock and Dixon
June 9th the Nootka left her former anchorage, where she had been frozen in, and came close to the King George, when the crew of the latter were partly employed in rendering her assistance. Two days after wards the long-boat returned from Cook's River with a very good cargo, and was again sent off with orders to return by the 20th of July. On the 19th the Nootka sailed. Next day the surgeon took the invalids on shore for an excursion, who, by the use of spruce-beer, which they now brewed in abundance, were rapidly recovering. In the evening observed two Indian boats and several canoes, in which were about twenty-five natives, who came alongside next morning. Their chief, named Taatucktelling flake, was paralytic on one side, had a long beard, and seemed about sixty years of age; his country was called Cheeneecock, situated towards the south-west part of the Sound. July 11th hauled the seine frequently, when not less than two thousand salmon were caught at each haul; and so great were their numbers, that ships prepared for the purpose might have obtained any quantity they wished. The long-boat returned on the 21st, though without so much success as formerly. On the 26th sailed from this place. The natives in general are short in stature, with flat faces and noses, ill-formed legs, but good teeth and eyes they wear their hair, which is black and straight, very long, but cut it short on the death of a relation, this seeming their only method of mourning. They are attentive to their women, but jealous of them. Their thieving habits seem fixed, the most dexterous being most in esteem, and receiving the greatest applause for the exertion of his talents; he is also distinguished by a fantastical dress, which, while it excites the notice of the spectators, gives the owner additional opportunities of exerting his fingers at them expense.
By the 3d of August had made little progress, from the shifting of the wind. On the 8th, two large boats visited them, with twenty-five men women, and children on, board, who, very different from their other visitors, seemed very honest, and who were invited to dinner in the cabin, when they relished the English cookery so well, that the dishes were quickly obliged to be replenished. These departed in the evening well pleased with their entertainment, promising to return with the means of trading with their new friends.
On the 11th a new tribe visited them from the eastward, with about the same number of persons as the last; four days after the long-boat returned, having had pretty good success, notwithstanding some acts of hostility which they had been compelled to retaliate upon the Indians. Another party, from the north-west, were extremely addicted to thieving, nothing could escape them; and, when detected, were very impudent, and often threatened those they robbed. The men were of the size of Europeans, of a fierce and savage aspect, using daggers and long spears, easily provoked and ready to indulge their anger.
August 22d weighed and made sail from this coast, having done as much as it seemed likely they could do in the way of trade. September 28th made Owhyhee, the principal of the Sandwich group, when several canoes came off, with whom a brisk trade for hogs and other refreshments was carried on. At Attoui they found the Nootka and Queen Charlotte had been there and left letters for the King George. After procuring what necessaries they wanted, Captain Portlock directed his course for China with his cargo of furs; on the 4th November saw Saypan and Tinian, two of the Ladrone Islands; and on the 21st anchored in Macao Roads, where Captain Dixon was found, whose transactions shall now be noticed.
After separating, the Queen Charlotte coasted it for some time, till, seeing an appearance of an inlet, a boat was despatched which found an excellent harbor, where she soon after anchored. Several canoes came off, from whom some skins were procured, but by no means so many as they had at first reason to expect. The number of inhabitants was about seventy; the harbor, which is good, was named Port Mulgrave, and is situated in 59 degrees 32 minutes north latitude; 140 degrees west longitude. The language of these people is quite different from that of Prince William's Sound, or Cook's River, being extremely uncouth and difficult to pronounce. The mode in which they dispose of their dead is remarkable; the head is separated from the body, and both are wrapped in furs, the former being put into a box, the latter into an oblong chest, which are afterwards preserved and disposed of in a fanciful way.