burts : waikiki, 1840
On the tenth of November, before the sun had fairly driven the idlers from the coverts of the frigate, we had made the land, and the ship was beautifully coming to the outside of the coral reef, which bound the segment of water called Honolulu harbour.
where the village stood, an alluvial plain stretched
eastward, along the reefs, about five miles, to the
far-jutting volcanic peak of Diamondpoint.
It was bounded closely in the rear, by bold volcanic bluffs or ridges — including Punch Bowl surmounted with guns — and lashed in front, by the rolling, roaring, tumbling surf, that scarcely admitted a vessel's passage to the little inlocked bay.
The village, extending about a mile in length, and half a mile deep, appeared in general like a field of hay-stacks under a grove of cocoa palms excepting the little cluster near the kind's fort where the foreigners had placed a seamen's chapel, with a steeple, and a few whitewashed stores ...
... and houses.
The fort in front, was the most conspicuous object, and appeared by the reports from its saluting guns, to be about three miles from the outer reef, where we were.
Between us and the fort lay twenty or thirty vessels, which were mostly American whalers, and a pretty barque mounting fourteen guns, which belonged to the king.
The John Adams came to anchor near us, before noon of the very day that we anchored; and the next morning she was towed beautifully through the narrow channel between the breakers, by twenty or thirty native canoes; while we in the bigger ship, were obliged to rest content with our distant berth.
came out to us in swarms — some in rags, some in bags, and
some in no dress at all — paddling swiftly their light
canoes, which were constructed with outriggers like those of
the Singalese and Malays.
We were not a little surprised to see no women in the boats that came, nor any swimming about the ship as in former days; but, many of the blooming miads of the island were seen in Nature's unconstrained beauty, afar out among the breakers, joyously sporting upon their surf boards.
Around the world: a narrative of a voyage in the East India Squadron under Commodore George C. Read
Charles S. Francis, 252 Broadway, New York.
Joseph H. Francis, 128 Washington, Street Boston, 1840