April 9th. Wind south-east, and. fine. After break fast, about fifty of the islanders went round to the west side of the island in their three whale boats, and some in canoes, to bring in a store of cocoa-nuts. I joined them, and a very pleasant day I spent. I was much disappointed at not finding any new specimens of shells, as it was by far the warmest side of the island. Cocoa-nut trees on the west side of the island are very abundant, and appear to do much better there, on account of the warmth. In cultivating this tree, nuts which are perfectly dry and ripe are chosen, and put into a piece of ground by themselves. As soon as they begin to shoot, they are taken up and planted where they are intended to remain. This plan is adopted in consequence of many of the nuts failing to germinate; they generally take eight years before they bear; a good tree in full bearing will produce from 100 to 300 nuts annually. In the course of conversation with some of the girls, whilst feasting upon cocoa-nuts, I spoke to them about their beauty; when one of them observed she did not think I was an Englishman. I asked with some curiosity what could have led her to such a conclusion, and was informed by the fair damsel in question, that I flattered too much to be British born. I was not a little surprised at the answer I received.
April 10th. Strong south-east wind, and. fine. At daylight a vessel was observed, which created a great commotion on the island, more especially among the women, who thought there was some chance of their losing their singing-master (Carleton); many of them were in tears, and many more in very low spirits.
At 10 A.M. I went over to the south side of the island with Mr. Nobbs, who took a spy-glass with him; but it was some time before we could make her out, as she was about ten miles to the southward of the island. After remaining about an hour we returned. At 1 P.M. she came in sight of the settlement. I took another look at her through the glass, and found her to be an American whale ship, but no chance of her being near enough to board until the morrow. When the islanders heard me say she was a whale ship, and not an English merchant-man, as many of us thought, from her coming from the southward, the delight that appeared in the whole of their countenances was most gratifying to us. In fact, they had begun to look upon us, not as strangers who had been left upon the island, but as of themselves.