At day-break Lieutenant
Ratmanoff went with Dr. Langsdorffin the direction of Tamary-Aniwa, to
examine the east side of the bay, but particularly that part into which
we had seen the Japanese vessel sail, and in the afternoon we ourselves
went on shore to pay a visit to the factory.
Owing to the heavy surf, it was impossible to land in our boats; we were therefore obliged to suffer ourselves to be conveyed on shore, through the surf, two at a time in a small skiff, which an Aino very good humouredly offered for that purpose, and not without danger of getting wet.
of Aniwa bay is nearly north and south: Lachsforellen bay, therefore, which
is at the further extremity of that of Aniwa, is entirely exposed to the
south, which are here said to be the prevailing winds, and consequently
the road is by no means safe.
The great surf is moreover an obstacle to landing; but when the tides are rising I fancy it is not attended with any danger, as the Japanese flat boats passed at all times through it.
I therefore took a boat with me besides my barge, of which all the men as well as the officers were armed, the former with a brace of pistols and a sabre, and six of them with fire-arms.
The Englishman and Frenchman conducted us as interpreters.
A vast concourse of people of both sexes were collected on the beach where we were to land, which, owing to the heavy surf, was not effected without difficulty.
Although neither the king nor any of his relations were among these people, they conducted themselves with great decency and respect.
After I had examined the water and found it good, we directed our course towards a house not far from the beach, where the king was waiting to receive us.
At noon we again
arrived on board, and I immediately sent off the long boat with empty water-casks,
which returned in about three hours.
The natives lent every possible assistance to our people; they filled the casks, and swam with them back through the surf; nor would it, without their help, have been possible for us to have procured more than one boat load of water in a day; and even then not without great exertions on the part of our men, and the risk of endangering their health.
With the assistance of the natives we could with great facility send off the boat three times in the day, while our people had only to attend to and watch them, and during eight days, they only succeeded in getting one iron hoop from a cask, and this convenient mode of obtaining water cost us each time no more than a dozen pieces of broken iron hoop, about five inches long.
Wood and water are the only two articles they may depend upon procuring in sufficient quantity, and without the assistance of the natives, who swim with the water casks through the heavy surf, with a facility that surprises an European, while he is quite unable to imitate it, even this task would be very arduous, and might also prove dangerous; for upon any sudden disagreement the water party would be instantly cut off; and such a disagreement may easily happen, any slight misunderstanding giving rise to it, as we ourselves experienced.
Voyage round the world, in the years 1803, 1804, 1805, & 1806: by order of ...
Translated by Richard Belgrave H