Captain James Cook, Endeavour journal, 1770
“Saturday, 28th April: In the P.M. hoisted out the Pinnace and Yawl in order to attempt a landing [off Woonona], but the Pinnace took in the Water so fast that she was obliged to be hoisted in again to stop her leaks. At this time we saw several people a shore, 4 of whom where carrying a small Boat or Canoe, which we imagin’d they were going to put in to the Water in order to Come off to us; but in this we were mistaken. Being now about 2 Miles from the Shore Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Tupia, and myself put off in the Yawl, and pull’d in for the land to a place where we saw 4 or 5 of the Natives, who took to the Woods as we approached the Shore; which disappointed us in the expectation we had of getting a near View of them, if not to speak to them. But our disappointment was heightened when we found that we no where could effect a landing by reason of the great Surff which beat everywhere upon the shore. We saw haul’d up upon the beach 3 or 4 small Canoes, which to us appeared not much unlike the Small ones of New Zealand.”
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This engraving by R. B. Godfrey from a drawing by Sydney Parkinson, the artist on James Cook’s first voyage to New Zealand, depicts Maori in an intricately carved war canoe. Although Cook recognised that Maori had a highly developed warrior tradition, he was impressed by their skills in agriculture, fishing and carving. He also found them generally hospitable to newcomers.