THURSDAY, 19th. In the P.M. had fresh Gales at South-South-West and Cloudy Squally weather, with a large Southerly Sea; at 6 took in the Topsails, and at 1 A.M. brought too and Sounded, but had no ground with 130 fathoms of line. At 5, set the Topsails close reef’d, and 6, saw land* extending from North-East to West, distance 5 or 6 Leagues, having 80 fathoms, fine sandy bottom. We continued standing to the Westward with the Wind at South-South-West until 8, at which time we got Topgallant Yards a Cross, made all sail, and bore away along shore North-East for the Eastermost land we had in sight, being at this time in the latitude of 37 degrees 58 minutes South, and Longitude of 210 degrees 39 minutes West. The Southermost point of land we had in sight, which bore from us West 1/4 South, I judged to lay in the latitude of 38 degrees 0 minutes South and in the Longitude of 211 degrees 7 minutes West from the Meridian of Greenwich. I have named it Point Hicks, because Lieutenant Hicks was the first who discover’d this Land. To the Southward of this point we could see no land, and yet it was clear in that Quarter, and by our Longitude compared with that of Tasman’s, the body of Van Diemen’s land ought to have bore due South from us, and from the soon falling of the Sea after the wind abated I had reason to think it did; but as we did not see it, and finding the Coast to trend North-East and South-West, or rather more to the Westward, makes me Doubtfull whether they are one land or no.* However, every one who compares this Journal with that of Tasman’s will be as good a judge as I am; but it is necessary to observe that I do not take the Situation of Vandiemen’s from the Printed Charts, but from the extract of Tasman’s Journal, published by Dirk Rembrantse. At Noon we were in the latitude of 37 degrees 50 minutes and Longitude of 210 degrees 29 minutes West. The extreams of the Land extending from North-West to East-North-East, a remarkable point, bore North 20 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues. This point rises to a round hillock very much like the Ramhead going into Plymouth sound, on which account I called it by the same name; latitude 37 degrees 39 minutes, Longitude 210 degrees 22 minutes West. The Variation by an Azimuth taken this morning was 8 degrees 7 minutes East. What we have as yet seen of this land appears rather low, and not very hilly, the face of the Country green and Woody, but the Sea shore is all a white Sand.
(* The south-east coast of Australia. See chart.)
(* Had not the gale on the day before forced Cook to run to the northward, he would have made the north end of the Furneaux Group, and probably have discovered Bass Strait, which would have cleared up the doubt, which he evidently felt, as to whether Tasmania was an island or not. The fact was not positively known until Dr. Bass sailed through the Strait in a whale-boat in 1797. Point Hicks was merely a rise in the coast-line, where it dipped below the horizon to the westward, and the name of Point Hicks Hill is now borne by an elevation that seems to agree with the position.)
Friday, 20th. In the P.M. and most part of the night had a fresh Gale Westerly, with Squalls, attended with Showers of rain. In the A.M. had the Wind at South-West, with Severe weather. At 1 p.m. saw 3 Water Spouts at once; 2 were between us and the Shore, and one at some distance upon our Larboard Quarter. At 6, shortned sail, and brought too for the Night, having 56 fathoms fine sandy bottom. The Northermost land in sight bore North by East 1/2 East, and a small Island* lying close to a point on the Main bore West, distant 2 Leagues. This point I have named Cape Howe†; it may be known by the Trending of the Coast, which is North on the one Side and South-West on the other. latitude 37 degrees 28 minutes South; Longitude 210 degrees 3 minutes West. It may likewise be known by some round hills upon the main just within it. Having brought too with her head off Shore, we at 10 wore, and lay her head in until 4 a.m., at which time we made sail along shore to the Northward. At 6, the Northermost land in sight bore North, being at this time about 4 Leagues from the Land. At Noon we were in the latitude of 36 degrees 51 minutes South and Longitude of 209 degrees 53 minutes West, and 3 Leagues from the land. Course sail’d along shore since Yesterday at Noon was first North 52 degrees East, 30 miles, then North by East and North by West, 41 Miles. The weather being clear gave us an opportunity to View the Country, which had a very agreeable and promising aspect, diversified with hills, ridges, plains, and Valleys, with some few small lawns; but for the most part the whole was covered with wood, the hills and ridges rise with a gentle slope; they are not high, neither are there many of them.
(* Gabo Island.)
(† Cape Howe, called after Admiral Earl Howe, is the south-east point of Australia. The position is almost exact.)
Saturday, 21st. Winds Southerly, a Gentle breeze, and Clear weather, with which we coasted along shore to the Northward. In the P.M. we saw the smoke of fire in several places; a Certain sign that the Country is inhabited. At 6, being about 2 or 3 Leagues from the land, we shortned Sail, and Sounded and found 44 fathoms, a sandy bottom. Stood on under an easey sail until 12 o’Clock, at which time we brought too until 4 A.M., when we made sail, having then 90 fathoms, 5 Leagues from the land. At 6, we were abreast of a pretty high Mountain laying near the Shore, which, on account of its figure, I named Mount Dromedary (Latitude 36 degrees 18 minutes South, Longitude 209 degrees 55 minutes West). The shore under the foot of the Mountain forms a point, which I have named Cape Dromedary, over which is a peaked hillock. At this time found the Variation to be 10 degrees 42 minutes East. Between 10 and 11 o’Clock Mr. Green and I took several Observations of the Sun and Moon, the mean result of which gave 209 degrees 17 minutes West Longitude from the Meridian of Greenwich. By observation made yesterday we were in the Longitude 210 degrees 9 minutes. West 20 minutes gives 209 degrees 49 minutes the Longitude of the Ship to-day at noon per yesterday’s observation, the Mean of which and to-day’s give 209 degrees 33 minutes West, by which I fix the Longitude of this Coast. Our latitude at Noon was 35 degrees 49 minutes South; Cape Dromedary bore South 30 degrees West, distant 12 Leagues. An Open Bay* wherein lay 3 or 4 Small Islands, bore North-West by West, distant 5 or 6 Leagues. This Bay seem’d to be but very little Shelter’d from the Sea Winds, and yet it is the only likely Anchoring place I have yet seen upon the Coast.
(* Bateman Bay.)
Sunday, 22nd. In the P.M. had a Gentle breeze at South by West with which we steer’d along shore North by East and North-North-East at the distance of about 3 Leagues. Saw the smoke of fire in several places near the Sea beach. At 5, we were abreast of a point of land which, on account of its perpendicular Clifts, I call’d Point Upright; latitude 35 degrees 35 minutes South; it bore from us due West, distant 2 Leagues, and in this Situation had 31 fathoms, Sandy bottom. At 6, falling little wind, we hauld off East-North-East; at this time the Northermost land in sight bore North by East 1/2 East, and at midnight, being in 70 fathoms, we brought too until 4 A.M., at which time we made sail in for the land, and at daylight found ourselves nearly in the same Place we were at 5 o’Clock in the evening, by which it was apparent that we had been drove about 3 Leagues to the Southward by a Tide or Current in the night. After this we steer’d along shore North-North-East, having a Gentle breeze at South-West, and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach. They appeared to be of a very dark or black Colour; but whether this was the real Colour of their skins or the Cloathes they might have on I know not. At Noon we were by Observation in the Latitude of 35 degrees 27 minutes and Longitude 209 degrees 23 minutes; Cape Dromedary bore South 28 degrees West, distance 15 Leagues. A remarkable peak’d hill laying inland, the Top of which looked like a Pigeon house, and occasioned my giving it that name, bore North 32 degrees 33 minutes West, and a small low Island, laying close under the Shore, bore North-West, distance 2 or 3 Leagues; Variation of the Compass 9 degrees 50 minutes East. When we first discover’d this Island in the morning I was in hopes, from its appearance, that we should have found Shelter for the Ship behind it; but when we came to approach it near I did not think that there was even security for a Boat to land. But this, I believe, I should have attempted had not the wind come on Shore, after which I did not think it safe to send a Boat from the Ship, as we had a large hollow Sea from the South-East rowling in upon the land, which beat every where very high upon the Shore; and this we have had ever since we came upon the Coast. The land near the Sea coast still continues of a moderate height, forming alternately rocky points and Sandy beaches; but inland, between Mount Dromedary and the Pigeon house, are several pretty high Mountains, 2 only of which we saw but what were covered with Trees, and these lay inland behind the Pigeon House, and are remarkably flat a Top, with Steep rocky clifts all round them. As far as we could see the Trees in this Country hath all the appearance of being stout and lofty. For these 2 days past the observed latitude hath been 12 or 14 Miles to the Southward of the Ship’s account given by the Log, which can be owing to nothing but a Current set to the Southward.
Monday, 23rd. In the P.M. had a Gentle breeze at East, which in the night veer’d to North-East and North. At 1/2 past 4 P.M., being about 5 Miles from the Land, we Tack’d and stood off South-East and East until 4 A.M., at which time we Tack’d and stood in, being then about 9 or 10 Leagues from the land. At 8, it fell little wind, and soon after Calm. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 35 degrees 38 minutes and about 6 Leagues from the land, Mount Dromedary bearing South 37 degrees West, distant 17 Leagues, and the Pidgeon house North 40 degrees West; in this situation had 74 fathoms.
Tuesday, 24th. In the P.M. had Variable light Airs and Calms until 6 o’Clock, at which time a breeze sprung up at North by West; at this time we had 70 fathoms Water, being about 4 or 5 Leagues from the land, the Pidgeon house bearing North 40 degrees West, Mount Dromedary South 30 degrees West, and the Northermost land in sight North 19 degrees East. Stood to the North-East until Noon, having a Gentle breeze at North-West, at which time we Tack’d and stood to the Westward, being then, by observation, in the latitude of 35 degrees 10 minutes South and Longitude 208 degrees 51 minutes West. A point of land which I named Cape St. George, we having discovered it on that Saint’s day, bore West, distant 19 Miles, and the Pidgeon house South 7 degrees West, the latitude and Longitude of which I found to be 35 degrees 19 minutes South and 209 degrees 42 minutes West. In the morning we found the Variation to be, by the Amplitude, 7 degrees 50 minutes East, by several Azimuths 7 degrees 54 minutes East.
Wednesday, 25th. In the P.M. had a fresh breeze at North-West until 3 o’Clock, at which time it came to West, and we Tack’d and stood to the Northward. At 5 o’Clock, being about 5 or 6 Leagues from the land, the Pidgeon house bearing West-South-West, distant 9 Leagues, sounded and had 86 fathoms. At 8, being very squally, with lightning, we close reef’d the Topsails and brought too, being then in 120 fathoms. At 3 A.M. made sail again to the Northward, having the advantage of a fresh Gale at South-West. At Noon we were about 3 or 4 Leagues from the land and in the latitude of 34 degrees 22 minutes and Longitude 208 degrees 36 minutes West. Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday noon is North by East 49 Miles. In the Course of this day’s run we saw the Smoke of fire in several places near the Sea beach. About 2 Leagues to the Northward of Cape St. George the Shore seems to form a bay,* which appear’d to be shelter’d from the North-East winds; but as we had the wind it was not in my power to look into it, and the appearance was not favourable enough to induce me to loose time in beating up to it. The North point of this bay, on account of its Figure, I nam’d Long Nose. latitude 45 degrees 4 minutes South, 8 Leagues to the Northward of this, is a point which I call’d Red Point; some part of the Land about it appeared of that Colour (Latitude 34 degrees 29 minutes South, Longitude 208 degrees 49 minutes West). A little way inland to the North-West of this point is a round hill, the top of which look’d like the Crown of a Hatt.
(* Jervis Bay, a very fine port, but little use has been made of it up to the present time.)
Thursday, 26th. Clear, serene weather. In the P.M. had a light breeze at North-North-West until 5, at which time it fell Calm, we being then about 3 or 4 Leagues from the land and in 48 fathoms. Variation by Azimuth 8 degrees 48 minutes East, the extreams of the land from North-East by North to South-West by South. Saw several smokes along shore before dark, and 2 or 3 times a fire. In the Night we lay becalm’d, driving in before the Sea, until one o’Clock A.M., at which time we got a breeze from the land, with which we steer’d North-East, being then in 38 fathoms water. At Noon it fell little Wind, and veer’d to North-East by North, we being then in the latitude of 34 degrees 10 minutes and Longitude 208 degrees 27 minutes West, and about 5 Leagues from the land, which extended from South 37 degrees West to North 1/2 East. In this latitude are some White Clifts, which rise perpendicular from the Sea to a moderate height.
Friday, 27th. Var’ble light Airs between the North-East and North-West, clear pleasant weather. In the P.M. stood off Shore until 2, then Tackt and Stood in till 6, at which time we tack’d and stood off, being then in 54 fathoms and about 4 or 5 miles from the land, the Extreams of which bore from South, 28 degrees West to North 25 degrees 30 minutes East. At 12 we tack’d and stood in until 4 A.M., then made a Trip off until day light, after which we stood in for the land; in all this time we lost ground, owing a good deal to the Variableness of the winds, for at Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 34 degrees 21 minutes South, Red Point bearing South 27 degrees West, distant 3 Leagues. In this Situation we were about 4 or 5 Miles from the land, which extended from South 19 degrees 30 minutes West to North 29 degrees East.
Saturday, 28th. In the P.M. hoisted out the Pinnace and Yawl in order to attempt a landing, but the Pinnace took in the Water so fast that she was obliged to be hoisted in again to stop her leakes. 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 not above 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 Surf 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 Zeland. In the wood were several Trees of the Palm kind, and no under wood; and this was all we were able to observe from the boat, after which we return’d to the Ship about 5 in the evening.* At this time it fell Calm, and we were not above a Mile and a half from the Shore, in 11 fathoms, and within some breakers that lay to the Southward of us; but luckily a light breeze came off from the Land, which carried us out of danger, and with which we stood to the Northward. At daylight in the morning we discover’d a Bay,† which appeared to be tollerably well shelter’d from all winds, into which I resolved to go with the Ship, and with this View sent the Master in the Pinnace to sound the Entrance, while we keept turning up with the Ship, having the wind right out. At noon the Entrance bore North-North-West, distance 1 Mile.
(* The place where Cook attempted to land is near Bulli, a place where there is now considerable export of coal. A large coal port, Wollongong, lies a little to the southward.)
(† Botany Bay.)
Sunday, 29th. In the P.M. wind Southerly and Clear weather, with which we stood into the bay and Anchored under the South shore about 2 miles within the Entrance in 5 fathoms, the South point bearing South-East and the North point East. Saw, as we came in, on both points of the bay, several of the Natives and a few hutts; Men, Women, and Children on the South Shore abreast of the Ship, to which place I went in the Boats in hopes of speaking with them, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia. As we approached the Shore they all made off, except 2 Men, who seem’d resolved to oppose our landing. As soon as I saw this I order’d the boats to lay upon their Oars, in order to speak to them; but this was to little purpose, for neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said. We then threw them some nails, beads, etc., a shore, which they took up, and seem’d not ill pleased with, in so much that I thought that they beckon’d to us to come ashore; but in this we were mistaken, for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us, upon which I fir’d a musquet between the 2, which had no other Effect than to make them retire back, where bundles of their darts lay, and one of them took up a stone and threw at us, which caused my firing a Second Musquet, load with small Shott; and altho’ some of the shott struck the man, yet it had no other effect than making him lay hold on a Target. Immediately after this we landed, which we had no sooner done than they throw’d 2 darts at us; this obliged me to fire a third shott, soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one; but Mr. Banks being of Opinion that the darts were poisoned, made me cautious how I advanced into the Woods. We found here a few small hutts made of the Bark of Trees, in one of which were 4 or 5 Small Children, with whom we left some strings of beads, etc. A quantity of Darts lay about the Hutts; these we took away with us. 3 Canoes lay upon the beach, the worst I think I ever saw; they were about 12 or 14 feet long, made of one piece of the Bark of a Tree, drawn or tied up at each end, and the middle keept open by means of pieces of Stick by way of Thwarts. After searching for fresh water without success, except a little in a Small hole dug in the Sand, we embarqued, and went over to the North point of the bay, where in coming in we saw several people; but when we landed now there were nobody to be seen. We found here some fresh Water, which came trinkling down and stood in pools among the rocks; but as this was troublesome to come at I sent a party of men ashore in the morning to the place where we first landed to dig holes in the sand, by which means and a Small stream they found fresh Water sufficient to Water the Ship. The String of Beads, etc., we had left with the Children last night were found laying in the Hutts this morning; probably the Natives were afraid to take them away. After breakfast we sent some Empty Casks a shore and a party of Men to cut wood, and I went myself in the Pinnace to sound and explore the Bay, in the doing of which I saw some of the Natives; but they all fled at my Approach. I landed in 2 places, one of which the people had but just left, as there were small fires and fresh Muscles broiling upon them; here likewise lay Vast heaps of the largest Oyster Shells I ever saw.
Monday, 30th. As Soon as the Wooders and Waterers were come on board to Dinner 10 or 12 of the Natives came to the watering place, and took away their Canoes that lay there, but did not offer to touch any one of our Casks that had been left ashore; and in the afternoon 16 or 18 of them came boldly up to within 100 yards of our people at the watering place, and there made a stand. Mr. Hicks, who was the Officer ashore, did all in his power to intice them to him by offering them presents; but it was to no purpose, all they seem’d to want was for us to be gone. After staying a Short time they went away. They were all Arm’d with Darts and wooden Swords; the darts have each 4 prongs, and pointed with fish bones. Those we have seen seem to be intended more for striking fish than offensive Weapons; neither are they poisoned, as we at first thought. After I had return’d from sounding the Bay I went over to a Cove on the North side of the Bay, where, in 3 or 4 Hauls with the Sean, we caught about 300 pounds weight of Fish, which I caused to be equally divided among the Ship’s Company. In the A.M. I went in the Pinnace to sound and explore the North side of the bay, where I neither met with inhabitants or anything remarkable. Mr. Green took the Sun’s Meridian Altitude a little within the South Entrance of the Bay, which gave the latitude 34 degrees 0 minutes South.
Tuesday, May 1st. Gentle breezes, Northerly. In the P.M. 10 of the Natives again visited the Watering place. I, being on board at this time, went immediately ashore, but before I got there they were going away. I follow’d them alone and unarm’d some distance along shore, but they would not stop until they got farther off than I choose to trust myself. These were armed in the same manner as those that came Yesterday. In the evening I sent some hands to haul the Saine, but they caught but a very few fish. A little after sunrise I found the Variation to be 11 degrees 3 minutes East. Last night Forby Sutherland, Seaman, departed this Life, and in the A.M. his body Was buried ashore at the watering place, which occasioned my calling the south point of this bay after his name. This morning a party of us went ashore to some Hutts, not far from the Watering place, where some of the Natives are daily seen; here we left several articles, such as Cloth, Looking Glasses, Coombs, Beads, Nails, etc.; after this we made an Excursion into the Country, which we found diversified with Woods, Lawns, and Marshes. The woods are free from underwood of every kind, and the trees are at such a distance from one another that the whole Country, or at least great part of it, might be Cultivated without being obliged to cut down a single tree. We found the Soil every where, except in the Marshes, to be a light white sand, and produceth a quantity of good Grass, which grows in little Tufts about as big as one can hold in one’s hand, and pretty close to one another; in this manner the Surface of the Ground is Coated. In the woods between the Trees Dr. Solander had a bare sight of a Small Animal something like a Rabbit, and we found the Dung of an Animal* which must feed upon Grass, and which, we judge, could not be less than a Deer; we also saw the Track of a Dog, or some such like Animal. We met with some Hutts and places where the Natives had been, and at our first setting out one of them was seen; the others, I suppose, had fled upon our Approach. I saw some Trees that had been cut down by the Natives with some sort of a Blunt instrument, and several Trees that were barqued, the bark of which had been cut by the same instrument; in many of the Trees, especially the Palms, were cut steps of about 3 or 4 feet asunder for the conveniency of Climbing them. We found 2 Sorts of Gum, one sort of which is like Gum Dragon, and is the same, I suppose, Tasman took for Gum lac; it is extracted from the largest tree in the Woods.
(* This was the kangaroo.)
Wednesday, 2nd. Between 3 and 4 in the P.M. we return’d out of the Country, and after Dinner went ashore to the watering place, where we had not been long before 17 or 18 of the Natives appeared in sight. In the morning I had sent Mr. Gore, with a boat, up to the head of the Bay to drudge for Oysters; in his return to the Ship he and another person came by land, and met with these people, who followed him at the Distance of 10 or 20 Yards. Whenever Mr. Gore made a stand and faced them they stood also, and notwithstanding they were all Arm’d, they never offer’d to Attack him; but after he had parted from them, and they were met by Dr. Monkhouse and one or 2 more, who, upon making a Sham retreat, they throw’d 3 darts after them, after which they began to retire. Dr. Solander, I, and Tupia made all the haste we could after them, but could not, either by words or Actions, prevail upon them to come near us, Mr. Gore saw some up the Bay, who by signs invited him ashore, which he prudently declined. In the A.M. had the wind in the South-East with rain, which prevented me from making an Excursion up the head of the bay as I intended.
Thursday, 3rd. Winds at South-East, a Gentle breeze and fair weather. In the P.M. I made a little excursion along the Sea Coast to the Southward, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. At our first entering the woods we saw 3 of the Natives, who made off as soon as they saw us; more of them were seen by others of our people, who likewise made off as soon as they found they were discover’d. In the A.M. I went in the Pinnace to the head of the bay, accompanied by Drs. Solander and Monkhouse, in order to Examine the Country, and to try to form some Connections with the Natives. In our way thither we met with 10 or 12 of them fishing, each in a Small Canoe, who retir’d into Shoald water upon our approach. Others again we saw at the first place we landed at, who took to their Canoes, and fled before we came near them; after this we took Water, and went almost to the head of the inlet, were we landed and Travel’d some distance in land. We found the face of the Country much the same as I have before described, but the land much richer for instead of sand I found in many places a deep black soil, which we thought was Capable of producing any kind of grain. At present it produceth, besides Timber, as fine Meadow as ever was seen; however, we found it not all like this, some few places were very rocky, but this, I believe, to be uncommon. The stone is sandy, and very proper for building, etc. After we had sufficiently examin’d this part we return’d to the Boat, and seeing some Smoke and Canoes at another part we went thither, in hopes of meeting with the people, but they made off as we approached. There were 6 Canoes and 6 small fires near the Shore, and Muscles roasting upon them, and a few Oysters laying near; from this we conjectured that there had been just 6 people, who had been out each in his Canoe picking up the Shell fish, and come a Shore to eat them, where each had made his fire to dress them by. We tasted of their Cheer, and left them in return Strings of beads, etc. The day being now far spent, we set out on our return to the Ship.
Friday, 4th. Winds northerly, serene weather. Upon my return to the Ship in the evening I found that none of the Natives had Appear’d near the Watering place, but about 20 of them had been fishing in their Canoes at no great distance from us. In the A.M., as the Wind would not permit us to sail, I sent out some parties into the Country to try to form some Connections with the Natives. One of the Midshipmen met with a very old man and Woman and 2 Small Children; they were Close to the Water side, where several more were in their Canoes gathering of Shell fish, and he, being alone, was afraid to make any stay with the 2 old People least he should be discovr’d by those in the Canoes. He gave them a bird he had Shott, which they would not Touch; neither did they speak one word, but seem’d to be much frightned. They were quite Naked; even the Woman had nothing to cover her nudities. Dr. Monkhouse and another Man being in the Woods, not far from the watering place, discover’d 6 more of the Natives, who at first seem’d to wait his coming; but as he was going up to them he had a dart thrown at him out of a Tree, which narrowly escaped him. As soon as the fellow had thrown the dart he descended the Tree and made off, and with him all the rest, and these were all that were met with in the Course of this day.
Saturday, 5th. In the P.M. I went with a party of Men over to the North Shore, and while some hands were hauling the Sean, a party of us made an Excursion of 3 or 4 Miles into the Country, or rather along the Sea Coast. We met with nothing remarkable; great part of the Country for some distance inland from the Sea Coast is mostly a barren heath, diversified with Marshes and Morasses. Upon our return to the Boat we found they had caught a great number of small fish, which the sailors call leather Jackets on account of their having a very thick skin; they are known in the West Indies. I had sent the Yawl in the morning to fish for Sting rays, who returned in the Evening with upwards of four hundred weight; one single one weigh’d 240 pounds Exclusive of the entrails. In the A.M., as the wind Continued Northerly, I sent the Yawl again a fishing, and I went with a party of Men into the Country, but met with nothing extraordinary.
Sunday, 6th. In the evening the Yawl return’d from fishing, having Caught 2 Sting rays weighing near 600 pounds. The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the Name of Botany Bay.*
(* The Bay was at first called Stingray Bay. The plan of it at the Admiralty is called by this name, and none of the logs know Botany Bay. It seems probable that Cook finally settled on the name after the ship left, and when Banks had had time to examine his collections. A monument was erected in 1870 near the spot, on the southern side, where Cook first landed. Botany Bay was intended to be the site where the first settlement of convicts should be made, but on the arrival of Captain Phillip, on January 18th, 1788, he found it so unsuited for the number of his colony that he started in a boat to examine Broken Bay. On his way he went into Port Jackson, and immediately decided on settling there. On the 25th and 26th the ships went round, and Sydney was founded.)
It is situated in the latitude of 34 degrees 0 minutes South, Longitude 208 degrees 37 minutes West. It is capacious, safe, and Commodious; it may be known by the land on the Sea Coast, which is of a pretty even and moderate height, Rather higher than it is inland, with steep rocky Clifts next the Sea, and looks like a long Island lying close under the Shore. The Entrance of the Bay lies about the Middle of this land. In coming from the Southward it is discover’d before you are abreast of it, which you cannot do in coming from the Northward; the entrance is little more than a Quarter of a Mile broad, and lies in West-North-West. To sail into it keep the South shore on board until within a small bare Island, which lies close under the North Shore. Being within that Island the deepest of Water is on that side, 7, 6 and 5 fathoms a good way up; there is Shoald Water a good way off from the South Shore — from the inner South Point quite to the head of the harbour; but over towards the North and North-West Shore is a Channell of 12 or 14 feet at low Water, 3 or 4 Leagues up, to a place where there is 3 or 4 fathoms; but there I found very little fresh Water. We Anchor’d near the South Shore about a Mile within the Entrance for the Conveniency of Sailing with a Southerly wind and the getting of Fresh Water; but I afterwards found a very fine stream of fresh Water on the North shore in the first sandy Cove within the Island, before which the Ship might lay almost land locked, and wood for fuel may be got everywhere. Although wood is here in great plenty, yet there is very little Variety; the bigest trees are as large or larger than our Oaks in England, and grows a good deal like them, and Yields a reddish Gum; the wood itself is heavy, hard, and black like Lignum Vitae. Another sort that grows tall and Strait something like Pines — the wood of this is hard and Ponderous, and something of the Nature of America live Oak. These 2 are all the Timber trees I met with; there are a few sorts of Shrubs and several Palm Trees and Mangroves about the Head of the Harbour. The Country is woody, low, and flat as far in as we could see, and I believe that the Soil is in general sandy. In the Wood are a variety of very beautiful birds, such as Cocatoos, Lorryquets, Parrots, etc., and crows Exactly like those we have in England. Water fowl is no less plenty about the head of the Harbour, where there is large flats of sand and Mud, on which they seek their food; the most of these were unknown to us, one sort especially, which was black and white, and as large as a Goose, but most like a Pelican.* On the sand and Mud banks are Oysters, Muscles, Cockles, etc., which I believe are the Chief support of the inhabitants, who go into Shoald Water with their little Canoes and peck them out of the sand and Mud with their hands, and sometimes roast and Eat them in the Canoe, having often a fire for that purpose, as I suppose, for I know no other it can be for. The Natives do not appear to be numerous, neither do they seem to live in large bodies, but dispers’d in small parties along by the Water side. Those I saw were about as tall as Europeans, of a very dark brown Colour, but not black, nor had they woolly, frizled hair, but black and lank like ours. No sort of Cloathing or Ornaments were ever seen by any of us upon any one of them, or in or about any of their Hutts; from which I conclude that they never wear any. Some that we saw had their faces and bodies painted with a sort of White Paint or Pigment. Altho’ I have said that shell fish is their Chief support, yet they catch other sorts of fish, some of which we found roasting on the fire the first time we landed; some of these they strike with Gigs,† and others they catch with hook and line; we have seen them strike fish with gigs, and hooks and lines are found in their Hutts. Sting rays, I believe, they do not eat, because I never saw the least remains of one near any of their Hutts or fire places. However, we could know but very little of their Customs, as we never were able to form any Connections with them; they had not so much as touch’d the things we had left in their Hutts on purpose for them to take away. During our stay in this Harbour I caused the English Colours to be display’d ashore every day, and an inscription to be cut out upon one of the Trees near the Watering place, setting forth the Ship’s Name, Date, etc. [Off Port Jackson, New South Wales.]Having seen everything this place afforded, we, at daylight in the morning, weigh’d with a light breeze at North-West, and put to Sea, and the wind soon after coming to the Southward we steer’d along shore North-North-East, and at Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 33 degrees 50 minutes South, about 2 or 3 Miles from the Land, and abreast of a Bay, wherein there appear’d to be safe Anchorage, which I called Port Jackson.** It lies 3 leagues to the Northward of Botany Bay. I had almost forgot to mention that it is high water in this Bay at the full and change of the Moon about 8 o’Clock, and rises and falls upon a Perpendicular about 4 or 5 feet.
(* Most probably the Black and White or Semipalmated Goose, now exterminated in these parts.)
(† A fishing implement like a trident.)
(** Cook having completed his water at Botany Bay, and having many hundreds of miles of coast before him, did not examine Port Jackson, the magnificent harbour in which Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, now lies. His chart gives the shape of what he could see very accurately, but the main arm of the harbour is hidden from the sea. He named the bay after Mr. (afterwards Sir George) Jackson, one of the Secretaries of the Admiralty. This fact is recorded on a tablet in the Bishop Stortford Church to the memory of Sir George Duckett, which name Sir George had assumed in later years. This interesting evidence was brought to light by Sir Alfred Stephen, Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, and puts an end to the legend which was long current, that Port Jackson was named after a sailor who first saw it. There was, moreover, no person of the name of Jackson on board.)
Monday, 7th. Little wind, Southerly, and Serene pleasant Weather. In the P.M. found the Variation by several Azimuths to be 8 degrees East; at sunset the Northermost land in sight bore North 26 degrees East; and some broken land that appear’d to form a bay bore North 40 degrees West, distant 4 Leagues. This Bay I named Broken bay,* Latitude 33 degrees 36 minutes South. We steer’d along shore North-North-East all night at the distance of about 3 Leagues from the land, having from 32 to 36 fathoms, hard sandy bottom. A little after sun rise I took several Azimuths with 4 Needles belonging to the Azimuth Compass, the mean result of which gave the Variation of 7 degrees 56 minutes East. At Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 33 degrees 22 minutes South, and about 3 Leagues from the land, the Northermost part of which in sight bore North 19 degrees East. Some pretty high land which projected out in 3 bluff Points, and occasioned my calling it Cape 3 Points (Latitude 33 degrees 33 minutes South), bore South-West, distant 5 Leagues; Longitude made from Botany Bay 0 degrees 19 minutes East.
(* The Hawkesbury River, the largest on the east coast of Australia, runs into Broken Bay.)
Tuesday, 8th. Variable Light Airs and Clear weather. In the P.M. saw some smooks upon the Shore, and in the Evening found the Variation to be 8 degrees 25 minutes East; at this time we were about 2 or 3 Miles from the land, and had 28 fathoms Water. Our situation at Noon was nearly the same as Yesterday, having advanced not one Step to the Northward.
Wednesday, 9th. Winds northerly; most part a fresh breeze, with which we stood off Shore until 12 at Night. At the distance of 5 Leagues from the land had 70 fathoms, at the distance of 6 Leagues 80 fathoms, which is the Extent of the Soundings, for at the Distance of 10 Leagues off we had no ground with 150 fathoms. Stood in Shore until 8 o’Clock A.M., and hardly fetched Cape Three Points; having a little wind at North-West by North, we tack’d, and stood off until Noon, at which Time we Tack’d with the wind at North-North-East, being then in the latitude of 33 degrees 37 minutes South, Cape Three Points bearing North West by West, distance 4 Leagues.
Thursday, 10th. In the P.M., had the wind at North-East by North, with which we stood in Shore until near 4 o’Clock, when we Tack’d in 23 fathoms Water, being about a Mile from the land, and as much to the Southward of Cape 3 Points. In the night the wind veer’d to North-West and West, and in the morning to South-West. Having the advantage of a light Moon, we made the best of our way along shore to the Northward. At Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 32 degrees 53 minutes South, and Longitude 208 degrees 0 minutes West, and about 2 Leagues from the land, which extended from North 41 degrees East to South 41 degrees West. A small round rock or Island,* laying close under the land, bore South 82 degrees West, distance 3 or 4 Leagues. At sunrise in the Morning found the Variation to be 8 degrees East. In the latitude of 33 degrees 2 minutes South, a little way inland, is a remarkable hill, that is shaped like the Crown of a Hatt, which we past about 9 o’Clock in the forenoon.
(* Nobby Head, at the entrance of Newcastle Harbour, formed by the Hunter River. Newcastle is the great coal port of New South Wales. It has a population of 20,000, and exports 1,500,000 tons of coal in the year.)
Friday, 11th. Winds Southerly in the day, and in the night Westerly; a Gentle breeze and Clear weather. At 4 P.M. past, at the distance of one Mile, a low rocky point which I named Point Stephens (Latitude 32 degrees 45 minutes); on the North side of this point is an inlet which I called Port Stephens* (Latitude 32 degrees 40 minutes; Longitude 207 degrees 51 minutes), that appear’d to me from the Masthead to be shelter’d from all Winds. At the Entrance lay 3 Small Islands, 2 of which are of a Tolerable height, and on the Main, near the shore, are some high round hills that make at a distance like Islands. In passing this bay at the distance of 2 or 3 miles from the Shore our soundings were from 33 to 27 fathoms; from which I conjectured that there must be a sufficient depth of Water for Shipping in the bay. We saw several smokes a little way in the Country upon the flat land; by this I did suppose that there were Lagoons which afforded subsistance for the Natives, such as shell-fish, etc., for we as yet know nothing else they have to live upon. At 1/2 past 5, the Northermost land in sight bore North 36 degrees East, and Point Stephens South-West, distant 4 Leagues, at which time we took in our Steerings,† and run under an Easey sail all night until 4 A.M., when we made all sail; our soundings in the night were from 48 to 62 fathoms, at the distance of between 3 and 4 Leagues from the land. At 8 we were abreast of a high point of Land, which made in 2 Hillocks; this point I called Cape Hawke** (Latitude 32 degrees 14 minutes South, Longitude 207 degrees 30 minutes West). It bore from us at this time West distant 8 Miles, and the same time the Northermost land in sight bore North 6 degrees East, and appear’d high and like an Island. At Noon this land bore North 8 degrees East, the Northermost land in sight North 13 degrees East, and Cape Hawke South 37 degrees West. latitude in per Observation 32 degrees 2 minutes South, which was 12 Miles to the Southward of that given by the Log, which I do suppose to be owing to a Current setting that way. Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday at Noon was first North-East by East, 27 Miles, then North 10 degrees East, 37 Miles; Longitude in 207 degrees 20 minutes West; Variation per morning Amplitude and Azimuth 9 degrees 10 minutes East.
(* Called after Mr. Stephens, one of the Secretaries to the Admiralty. It is a large and fine harbour.)
(† Studding sails.)
(** After Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty.)
Saturday, 12th. Winds Southerly, a Gentle breeze in the P.M. As we run along Shore we saw several smokes a little way in land from the Sea, and one upon the Top of a hill, which was the first we have seen upon elevated ground since we have been upon the Coast. At sunset we were in 23 fathoms, and about a League and a half from the land, the Northermost part of which we had in sight bore North 13 degrees East; and 3 remarkable large high hills lying Contigious to each other, and not far from the shore, bore North-North-West. As these Hills bore some resemblance to each other we called them the 3 Brothers. We steer’d North-East by North all Night, having from 27 to 67 fathoms, from 2 to 5 and 6 Leagues from the Land, and at day light we steer’d North for the Northermost land we had in sight. At noon we were 4 Leagues from the Land, and by observation in the latitude of 31 degrees 18 minutes South, which was 15 miles to the Southward of that given by the Log. Our Course and distance made good since Yesterday noon was North 24 degrees East, 48 miles. Longitude 206 degrees 58 minutes West; several smokes seen a little way in land.
Sunday, 13th. In the P.M. stood in shore with the Wind at North-East until 6, at which time we Tack’d, being about 3 or 4 miles from the land, and in 24 fathoms. Stood off shore with a fresh breeze at North and North-North-West until midnight, then Tack’d, being in 118 fathoms and 8 Leagues from the Land. At 3 a.m. the wind veer’d to the Westward, and we Tack’d and stood to the Northward. At noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 30 degrees 43 minutes South, and Longitude 206 degrees 45 minutes West, and about 3 or 4 Leagues from the Land, the Northermost part of which bore from us North 13 degrees West; and a point or head land, on which were fires that Caused a great Quantity of smoke, which occasioned my giving it the name of Smokey Cape, bore South-West, distant 4 Leagues; it is moderately high land. Over the pitch of the point is a round hillock; within it 2 others, much higher and larger, and within them very low land (Latitude 30 degrees 51 minutes, Longitude 206 degrees 5 minutes West). Besides the smoke seen upon this Cape we saw more in several places along the Coast. The observed latitude was only 5 Miles to the Southward of the Log.
Monday, 14th. At the P.M. it fell Calm, and continued so about an hour, when a breeze sprung up at North-East, with which we stood in shore until 6 o’Clock, when, being in 30 fathoms and 3 or 4 Miles from the land, we Tack’d, having the wind at North-North-West. At this time Smoky Cape bore South 3/4 degrees West, distant about 5 Leagues, and the Northermost land in sight North 1/4 degrees East. At 8 we made a Trip in shore for an hour; after this the wind came off Shore, with which we stood along shore to the Northward, having from 30 to 21 fathoms, at the distance of 4 or 5 Miles from the Land. At 5 A.M. the Wind veer’d to North, and blow’d a fresh breeze, attended with Squalls and dark cloudy weather. At 8 it began to Thunder and Rain, which lasted about an Hour, and then fell Calm, which gave us an opportunity to sound, and found 86 fathoms, being about 4 or 5 Leagues from the Land; after this we got the wind Southerly, a fresh breeze and fair weather, and we Steer’d North by West for the Northermost land we had in sight. At noon we were about 4 Leagues from the land, and by observation in the latitude of 30 degrees 22 minutes South, which was 9 Miles to the Southward of that given by the Log. Longitude in 206 degrees 39 minutes West, and Course and distance made good since Yesterday Noon North 16 degrees East, 22 miles; some Tolerable high land near the Shore bore West. As I have not mentioned the Aspect of the Country since we left Botany Bay, I shall now describe it as it hath at different times appear’d to us. As we have advanced to the Northward the land hath increased in height, in so much that in this latitude it may be called a hilly Country; but between this and Botany Bay it is diversified with an agreeable variety of Hills, Ridges, and Valleys, and large plains all Cloathed with wood, which to all appearance is the same as I have before mentioned, as we could discover no Visible alteration in the Soil. Near the shore the land is in general low and Sandy, except the points which are rocky, and over many of them are pretty high hills, which at first rising out of the Water appear like a Island.
Tuesday, 15th. Fresh Gales at South-West, West-South-West, and South-South-West. In the P.M. had some heavy Squalls, attended with rain and hail, which obliged us to close reef our Topsails. Between 2 and 4 we had some small rocky Islands* between us and the land; the Southermost lies in the latitude of 30 degrees 10 minutes, the Northermost in 29 degrees 58 minutes, and about 2 Leagues or more from the land; we sounded, and had 33 fathoms about 12 Miles without this last island. At 8 we brought too until 10, at which time we made sail under our Topsails. Having the Advantage of the Moon we steer’d along shore North and North by East, keeping at the distance of about 3 Leagues from the land having from 30 to 25 fathoms. As soon as it was daylight we made all the sail we could, having the Advantage of a fresh Gale and fair weather.† At 9, being about a League from the Land, we saw upon it people and Smoke in Several places. At noon we were by observation in the latitude of 28 degrees 39 minutes South, and Longitude 206 degrees 27 minutes West; Course and distance saild since Yesterday at Noon North 6 degrees 45 minutes East, 104 Miles. A Tolerable high point of land bore North-West by West, distant 3 Miles; this point I named Cape Byron** (Latitude 28 degrees 37 minutes 30 seconds South, Longitude 206 degrees 30 minutes West). It may be known by a remarkable sharp peaked Mountain lying in land North-West by West from it. From this point the land Trends North 13 degrees West. Inland it is pretty high and hilly, but near the Shore it is low; to the Southward of the Point the land is low, and Tolerable level.
(* The Solitary Islands.)
(† During the night the entrance of the Clarence River, now the outlet for the produce of a large and rich agricultural district, was passed, and in the morning that of the Richmond River, which serves a similar purpose.)
(** Captain John Byron was one of Cook’s predecessors in exploration in the Pacific, having sailed round the World in H.M.S. Dolphin, in company with the Tamar, in 1764 to 1766.)
Wednesday, 16th. Winds Southerly, a fresh Gale, with which we steer’d North along shore until sunset, at which time we discover’d breakers ahead, and on our Larboard bow, being at this time in 20 fathoms, and about 5 miles from the land. Haul’d off East until 8, at which time we had run 8 Miles, and had increased our Depth of Water to 44 fathoms. We then brought too with her head to the Eastward, and lay on this Tack until 10 o’Clock, when, having increased our Soundings to 78 fathoms, we wore and lay with her head in shore until 5 o’Clock a.m., when we made Sail. At daylight we were surprized by finding ourselves farther to the Southward than we were in the evening, and yet it had blown strong all night Southerly. We now saw the breakers again within us, which we passed at the distance of about 1 League; they lay in the latitude of 28 degrees 8 minutes South, and stretch off East 2 Leagues from a point under which is a small Island; their situation may always be found by the peaked mountain before mentioned, which bears South-West by West from them, and on their account I have named it Mount Warning. It lies 7 or 8 Leagues in land in the latitude of 28 degrees 22 minutes South. The land is high and hilly about it, but it is Conspicuous enough to be distinguished from everything else. The point off which these shoals lay I have named Point Danger;* to the Northward of it the land, which is low, Trends North-West by North; but we soon found that it did not keep that direction long before it turn’d again to the Northward. At Noon we were about 2 Leagues from the land, and by observation in the latitude of 27 degrees 46 minutes, which was 17 Miles to the Southward of the Log; Longitude 206 degrees 26 minutes West. Mount Warning bore South 20 degrees West, distant 14 Leagues; the Northermost land in sight bore North. Our Course and distance made good since yesterday North 1 degree 45 minutes West, 53 miles.
(* Point Danger is the boundary point on the coast between New South Wales and Queensland.)
Thursday, 17th. Winds Southerly, mostly a fresh breeze, with which in the P.M. we steer’d along shore North 3/4 East, at the distance of about 2 Leagues off. Between 4 and 5 we discover’d breakers on our Larboard bow; our Depth of Water at this time was 37 fathoms. At sunset the Northermost land in sight bore North by West, the breakers North-West by West, distant 4 Miles, and the Northermost land set at Noon, which form’d a Point, I named Point Lookout, bore West, distant 5 or 6 Miles (Latitude 27 degrees 6 minutes).* On the North side of this point the shore forms a wide open bay, which I have named Morton’s Bay,† in the Bottom of which the land is so low that I could but just see it from the Topmast head. The breakers I have just mentioned lies about 3 or 4 Miles from Point Lookout; at this time we had a great Sea from the Southward, which broke prodigious high upon them. Stood on North-North-East until 8, when, being past the breakers, and having Deepned our water to 52 fathoms, we brought too until 12 o’Clock, then made sail to the North-North-East. At 4 A.M. we sounded, and had 135 fathoms. At daylight I found that we had in the night got much farther to the Northward and from the Shore than I expected from the Course we steer’d, for we were at least 6 or 7 Leagues off, and therefore hauled in North-West by West, having the Advantage of a Fresh Gale at South-South-West. The Northermost land seen last night bore from us at this time South-South-West, distant 6 Leagues. This land I named Cape Morton, it being the North point of the Bay of the same Name (Latitude 26 degrees 56 minutes South, Longitude 206 degrees 28 minutes). From Cape Morton the Land Trends away West, further than we could see, for there is a small space where we could see no land; some on board where of opinion that there is a River there because the Sea looked paler than usual. Upon sounding we found 34 fathoms fine white sandy bottom, which alone is Sufficient change, the apparent Colour of Sea Water, without the Assistance of Rivers. The land need only to be low here, as it is in a Thousand other places upon the Coast, to have made it impossible for us to have seen it at the distance we were off. Be this as it may, it was a point that could not be clear’d up as we had the wind; but should any one be desirous of doing it that may come after me, this place may always be found by 3 Hills which lay to the Northward of it in the latitude of 26 degrees 53 minutes South. These hills lay but a little way inland, and not far from Each other; they are very remarkable on account of their Singular form of Elivation, which very much resembles Glass Houses,‡ which occasioned my giving them that Name. The Northermost of the 3 is the highest and largest. There are likewise several other peaked hills inland to the Northward of these, but they are not near so remarkable. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 26 degrees 28 minutes South, which was 10 Miles to the Northward of the Log; a Circumstance that hath not hapned since we have been upon the Coast before. Our Course and distance run since Yesterday noon was North by West 80 Miles, which brought us into the Longitude of 206 degrees 46 minutes. At this time we were about 2 or 3 Leagues from the land, and in 24 fathoms Water; a low bluff point, which was the Southern point of an open Sandy bay,** bore North 52 degrees West, distant 3 Leagues, and the Northermost point of land in sight bore North 1/4 East. Several Smokes seen to-day, and some pretty far inland.
(* There is some mistake in this latitude. It should be 27 degrees 26 minutes.)
(† James, Earl of Morton, was President of the Royal Society in 1764, and one of the Commissioners of Longitude.)
(‡ The Glass houses form a well-known sea mark on entering Moreton Bay, as the name is now written. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, stands on the river of the same name, which falls into Moreton Bay.)
(** Laguna Bay. The point is called Low Bluff.)
Friday, 18th. In steering along shore at the distance of 2 Leagues off our Soundings was from 24 to 32 fathoms Sandy bottom. At 6 P.M. the North point set at Noon bore North 1/4 West; distant 4 Leagues; at 10 it bore North-West by West 1/2 West, and as we had seen no land to the Northward of it we brought too, not knowing which way to steer, having at this time but little wind, and continued so for the most part of the night. At 2 P.M. we made sail with the wind at South-West, and at daylight saw the land extending as far as North 3/4 East. The point set last night bore South-West by West, distant 3 or 4 Leagues; I have named it Double Island Point, on account of its figure (Latitude 25 degrees 58 minutes South, Longitude 206 degrees 48 minutes West). The land within this point is of a moderate and pretty equal height, but the point itself is of such an unequal Height that it looks like 2 Small Islands laying under the land; it likewise may be known by the white Clifts on the North side of it. Here the land trends to the North-West, and forms a large open bay,* in the bottom of which the land appear’d to be very low, in so much that we could but just see it from the Deck. In crossing the mouth of this bay our Depth of Water was from 30 to 32 fathoms, a white sandy bottom. At Noon we were about 3 Leagues from the Land, and in the latitude of 25 degrees 34 minutes South, Longitude 206 degrees 45 minutes West; Double Island Point bore South 3/4 West, and the Northermost land in sight North 3/4 East. The land hereabouts, which is of a moderate height, appears more barren than any we have yet seen on this Coast, and the Soil more sandy, there being several large places where nothing else is to be seen; in other places the woods look to be low and Shrubby, nor did we see many signs of inhabitants.
(* Wide Bay.)
Saturday, 19th. In the P.M. had Variable light Airs, and Calms; in the night had a light breeze from the land, which in the A.M. veer’d to South-West and South-South-West. In the evening found the Variation to be 8 degrees 36 minutes East, and in the Morning 8 degrees 20 minutes; as we had but little wind we keept to the Northward all night, having from 23 to 27 fathoms fine sandy bottom, at the Distance of 2 or 3 Leagues from the Land. At Noon we were about 4 Miles from it, and by observation in the latitude of 25 degrees 4 minutes, and in this situation had but 13 fathoms; the Northermost land in Sight bore North 21 degrees West, distant 8 Miles; our Course and distance saild since yesterday at Noon was North 13 degrees 15 minutes East, 31 Miles.
Sunday, 20th. Winds Southerly, Gentle breezes. At 10 p.m. we passed, at the distance of 4 Miles, having 17 fathoms, a black bluff head or point of land, on which a number of the Natives were Assembled, which occasioned my naming it Indian Head; latitude 25 degrees 0 minutes North by West, 4 Miles from this head, is another much like it. From this last the land Trends a little more to the Westward, and is low and Sandy next the Sea, for what may be behind it I know not; if land, it must be all low, for we could see no part of it from the Mast head. We saw people in other places besides the one I have mentioned; some Smokes in the day and fires in the Night. Having but little wind all Night, we keept on to the Northward, having from 17 to 34 fathoms, from 4 Miles to 4 Leagues from the Land, the Northermost part of which bore from us at daylight West-South-West, and seem’d to End in a point, from which we discover’d a Reef stretching out to the Northward as far as we could see, being, at this time, in 18 fathoms; for we had, before it was light, hauld our Wind to the Westward, and this course we continued until we had plainly discover’d breakers a long way upon our Lee Bow, which seem’d to Stretch quite home to the land. We then Edged away North-West and North-North-West, along the East side of the Shoal, from 2 to 1 Miles off, having regular, even Soundings, from 13 to 7 fathoms; fine sandy bottom. At Noon we were, by Observation, in the latitude of 24 degrees 26 minutes South, which was 13 Miles to the Northward of that given by the Log. The extream point of the Shoal we judged to bear about North-West of us; and the point of land above-mentioned bore South 3/4 West, distant 20 Miles. This point I have named Sandy Cape,* on account of 2 very large white Patches of Sand upon it. It is of a height Sufficient to be seen 12 Leagues in Clear weather (Latitude 24 degrees 46 minutes, Longitude 206 degrees 51 minutes West); from it the Land trends away West-South-West and South-West as far as we could see.
(* Sandy Cape is the northern point of Great Sandy Island. A long narrow channel separates the latter from the mainland, and opens at its northern end into Harvey Bay, a great sheet of water 40 miles across. This channel is now much used by the coasting trade, as it avoids the long detour round Breaksea Spit, a most dangerous shoal.)
Monday, 21st. In the P.M. we keept along the East side of the Shoal until 2, when, judging there was water for us over, I sent a Boat a Head to sound, and upon her making the Signal for more than 5 fathoms we hauld our wind and stood over the Tail of it in 6 fathoms. At this time we were in the latitude of 24 degrees 22 minutes South, and Sandy Cape bore South 1/2 East, distant 8 Leagues; but the Direction of the Shoal is nearest North-North-West and South-South-East. At this time we had 6 fathoms; the boat which was not above 1/4 of a mile to the Southward of us had little more than 5 fathoms. From 6 fathoms we had the next Cast, 13, and then 20 immediately, as fast as the Man could heave the Lead; from this I did suppose that the West side of the Shoal is pretty steep too, whereas on the other side we had gradual Soundings from 13 to 7 fathoms. This Shoal I called Break Sea Spit, because now we had smooth water, whereas upon the whole Coast to the Southward of it we had always a high Sea or swell from the South-East. At 6, the Land of Sandy Cape extending from South 17 degrees East to South 27 degrees East, distance 8 Leagues; Depth of Water, 23 fathoms, which depth we keept all Night, as we stood to the Westward with light Airs from the Southward; but between 12 and 4 A.M. we had it Calm, after which a Gentle breeze sprung up at South, with which we still keept on upon a Wind to the Westward. At 7 we Saw from the Masthead the Land of Sandy Cape bearing South-East 1/2 East, distance 12 or 13 Leagues. At 9, we discover’d from the Mast head land to the Westward, and soon after saw smooke upon it. Our depth of Water was now decreased to 17 fathoms, and by Noon to 13, at which time we were by observation in the latitude of 24 degrees 28 minutes South, and about 7 Leagues from the Land, which extended from South by West to West-North-West. Longitude made from Sandy Cape 0 degrees 45 minutes West.
For these few days past we have seen at times a sort of Sea fowl we have no where seen before that I remember; they are of the sort called Boobies. Before this day we seldom saw more than 2 or 3 at a time, and only when we were near the land. Last night a small flock of these birds passed the Ship and went away to the North-West, and this morning from 1/2 an hour before sun rise to half an hour after, flights of them were continually coming from the North-North-West, and flying to the South-South-East, and not one was seen to fly in any other direction. From this we did suppose that there was a Lagoon, River, or Inlet of Shallow Water to the Southward of us, where these birds resorted to in the day to feed, and that not very far to the Northward lay some Island, where they retir’d too in the night.
Tuesday, 22nd. In the P.M. had a Gentle breeze at South-East, with which we stood in for the land South-West until 4, when, being in the latitude of 24 degrees 36 minutes South, and about 2 Leagues from land, in 9 fathoms, we bore away along shore North-West by West; at the same time we could see the land extending to the South-South-East about 8 Leagues. Near the Sea the land is very low, but inland are some moderately high hills, and the whole appeared to be thickly Cloathed with wood. In running along shore we shoalded our Water from 9 to 7 fathoms, and at one time had but 6 fathoms, which determined me to Anchor for the Night, and accordingly at 8 o’Clock we came too in 8 fathoms, fine gravelly bottom, about 5 miles from the land. This evening we saw a Water Snake, and 2 or 3 evenings ago one lay under the Ship’s Stern some time; this was about 1 1/2 Yards in length, and was the first we had seen. At 6 A.M. weighed with a Gentle breeze Southerly, and Steer’d North-West 1/4 West, edging in for the land until we got Within 2 Miles of it, having from 7 to 11 fathoms; we then steer’d North-North-West as the land laid. At Noon we were by Observation in the Latitude of 24 degrees 19 minutes South; Longitude made from Sandy Cape 1 degree 14 minutes West.
Wednesday, 23rd. Continued our Course alongshore at the distance of about 2 Miles off, having from 12 to 9, 8 and 7 fathoms, until 5 o’Clock, at which time we were abreast of the South point of a Large open Bay,* wherein I intended to Anchor. Accordingly we hauld in Close upon a Wind, and sent a boat ahead to sound; after making some Trips we Anchored at 8 o’Clock in 5 fathoms, a Sandy bottom. The South point of the bay bore East 3/4 South, distant 2 Miles; the North point North-West 1/4 North, about 2 Miles from the shore, in the bottom of the bay. Last night, some time in the Middle watch, a very extraordinary affair hapned to Mr. Orton, my Clerk. He having been drinking in the evening, some Malicious person or persons in the Ship took Advantage of his being Drunk, and cut off all the Cloaths from off his back; not being satisfied with this, they some time after went into his Cabin and cut off a part of both his Ears as he lay a Sleep in his Bed. The person whom he suspected to have done this was Mr. Magra, one of the Midshipmen; but this did not appear to me. Upon enquiry, however, as I had been told that Magra had once or twice before this in their drunken Frolicks cut off his cloaths, and had been heard to say (as I was told) that if it was not for the Law he would Murder him, these things consider’d, induced me to think that Magra was not Altogether innocent. I therefore for the present dismiss’d him the Quarter deck, and Suspended him from doing any duty in the Ship, he being one of those Gentlemen frequently found on board King’s Ships that can very well be spared; besides, it was necessary in me to show my immediate resentment against the person on whom the suspicion fell, least they should not have stop’d here. With respect to Mr. Orton, he is a man not without faults; yet from all the inquiry I could make, it evidently appear’d to me that so far from deserving such Treatment, he had not designed injuring any person in the Ship; so that I do — and shall always — look upon him as an injured man. Some reasons, however, might be given why this misfortune came upon him, in which he himself was in some measure to blame; but as this is only conjecture, and would tend to fix it upon some people in the Ship, whom I would fain believe would hardly be guilty of such an Action, I shall say nothing about it, unless I shall hereafter discover the Offenders, which I shall take every method in my power to do, for I look upon such proceedings as highly dangerous in such Voyages as this, and the greatest insult that could be offer’d to my Authority in this Ship, as I have always been ready to hear and redress every complaint that have been made against any Person in the Ship.†
(* Bustard Bay.)
(† This history of Mr. Orton’s misadventure is omitted from the Admiralty copy. It is an illustration of the times to note that the fact of Orton having got drunk does not seem to call for the Captain’s severe censure. In these days, though the practical joker receives punishment, the drunkard would certainly come in for a large share also.)
In the A.M. I went ashore with a party of men in order to Examine the Country, accompanied by Mr. Banks and the other Gentlemen; we landed a little within the South point of the Bay, where there is a Channel leading into a large Lagoon. The first thing that I did was to sound and examine the Channell, in which I found 3 fathoms, until I got about a Mile up it, where I met with a Shoal, whereon was little more than one fathom; being over this I had 3 fathoms again. The Entrance into this Channell lies close to the South point of this Bay, being form’d on the East by the Shore, and on the West by a large Spit of sand; it is about a 1/4 of a Mile broad, and lies in South by West; here is room for a few Ships to lay very secure, and a small Stream of Fresh Water. After this I made a little excursion into the Woods while some hands made 3 or 4 hauls with the Sean, but caught not above a dozen very small fish. By this time the flood was made, and I imbarqued in the Boats in order to row up the Lagoon; but in this I was hindred by meeting everywhere with Shoal Water. As yet we had seen no people, but saw a great deal of Smook up and on the West side of the Lagoon, which was all too far off for us to go by land, excepting one; this we went to and found 10 Small fires in a very small Compass, and some Cockle Shells laying by them, but the people were gone. On the windward or South side of one of the fires was stuck up a little Bark about a foot and a half high, and some few pieces lay about in other places; these we concluded were all the covering they had in the Night, and many of them, I firmly believe, have not this, but, naked as they are, sleep in the open air. Tupia, who was with us, observed that they were Taata Eno’s; that is, bad or poor people. The Country is visibly worse than at the last place we were at; the soil is dry and Sandy, and the woods are free from underwoods of every kind; here are of the same sort of Trees as we found in Bottany Harbour, with a few other sorts. One sort, which is by far the most Numerous sort of any in the Woods, grow Something like birch; the Bark at first sight looks like birch bark, but upon examination I found it to be very different, and so I believe is the wood; but this I could not examine, as having no axe or anything with me to cut down a Tree. About the Skirts of the Lagoon grows the true Mangrove, such as are found in the West Indies, and which we have not seen during the Voyage before; here is likewise a sort of a palm Tree, which grows on low, barren, sandy places in the South Sea Islands. All, or most of the same sort, of Land and Water fowl as we saw at Botany Harbour we saw here; besides these we saw some Bustards, such as we have in England, one of which we kill’d that weighed 17 1/2 pounds, which occasioned my giving this place the Name of Bustard Bay (Latitude 24 degrees 4 minutes, Longitude 208 degrees 22 minutes West); we likewise saw some black and white Ducks. Here are plenty of small Oysters sticking to the Rocks, Stones, and Mangrove Trees, and some few other shell fish, such as large Muscles, Pearl Oysters, Cockels, etc. I measured the perpendicular height of the last Tide, and found it to be 8 foot above low water mark, and from the time of low water to-day I found that it must be high Water at the full and Change of the Moon at 8 o’Clock.
Thursday, 24th. In the P.M. I was employ’d ashore in the Transactions before related; at 4 a.m. we weighed with a Gentle breeze at South, and made sail out of the Bay. In standing out our soundings were from 5 to 15 fathoms; when in this last Depth we were abreast of the North Point, and being daylight we discover’d breakers stretching out from it about North-North-East, 2 or 3 miles; at the Outermost point of them is a Rock just above Water. In passing these rocks at the distance of 1/2 a mile we had from 15 to 20 fathoms; being past them, we hauld along shore West-North-West for the farthest land we had in sight. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 23 degrees 52 minutes South; the North part of Bustard Bay bore South 62 degrees East, distance 10 miles, and the Northermost land in sight North 60 degrees West. Longitude in 208 degrees 37 minutes West, distance from the nearest shore 6 Miles; in this situation had 14 fathoms water.
Friday, 25th. In the P.M. had it calm until 5, when a light breeze sprung up at South-East, and we steer’d North-West as the land lay until 10, then brought too, having had all along 14 and 15 fathoms. At 5 A.M. we made sail; at daylight the Northermost point of the Main bore North 70 degrees West, and soon after we saw more land making like Islands, bearing North-West by North; at 9 we were abreast of the point, distant from it 1 mile; Depth of Water 14 fathoms. I found this point to lay directly under the Tropic of Capricorn, and for that reason call it by that Name. Longitude 209 degrees 0 minutes West. It is of a Moderate height, and looks white and barren, and may be known by some Islands which lie to the North-West of it, and some small Rocks one League South-East from it; on the West side of the Cape there appeared to be a Lagoon. On the 2 Spits which form the Entrance were a great Number of Pelicans; at least, so I call them. The most northermost land we could see bore from Cape Capricorn North 24 degrees West, and appeared to be an Island;* but the Main land Trended West by North 1/2 North, which Course we steer’d, having from 15 to 16 fathoms and from 6 to 9, a hard sandy bottom. At Noon our latitude by Observation was 23 degrees 24 minutes South; Cape Capricorn bore South 60 degrees East, distance 2 Leagues; a small Island North by East 2 Miles. In this Situation had 9 fathoms at the distance of 4 Miles from the Main land, which is here low and Sandy next the Sea, except the points which are moderately high and rocky; in land the Country is hilly, and affords but a very indifferent prospect.†
(* Hummocky Island.)
(† Between Bustard Bay and Cape Capricorn is Port Curtis, in which stands the small town of Gladstone. Cape Capricorn is the eastern point of Curtis Island, and to the northward is Keppel Bay, into which falls the Fitzroy River. Up the latter, 35 miles from the sea, is Rockhampton, the second largest town of Queensland. All this coast is encumbered with shoals, outside of which Cook had so far prudently kept. To seaward begins the long chain of islands and reefs known as the Great Australian Barrier, which stretches up to Torres Straits. Cook was unaware of their existence, as they were out of sight, but he became painfully acquainted with them later, where the reefs approach the land, and make navigation along the coast anxious work; but he here began to get into difficulties with the shoals which stretch off the coast itself.)
Saturday, 26th. In the P.M. light breezes at East-South-East, with which we stood to the North-West until 4 o’Clock, when it fell calm, and soon after we Anchored in 12 fathoms. Cape Capricorn bearing South 54 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues, having the Main land and Islands in a manner all around us. In the night we found the tide to rise and fall near 7 feet, and the flood to set to the Westward and Ebb to the Eastward; which is quite the reverse to what we found it when at Anchor to the Eastward of Bustard Bay. At 6 a.m. we weigh’d with the Wind at South, a Gentle breeze, and stood away to the North-West, between the Outermost range of Islands* and the Main land, leaving several small Islands between us and the Latter, which we passed Close by. Our soundings was a little irregular, from 12 to 4 fathoms, which caused me to send a Boat ahead to sound. At noon we were about 3 Miles from the Main, about the same distance from the Islands without us; our latitude by Observation was 23 degrees 7 minutes South, and Longitude made from Cape Capricorn 18 Miles West. The Main land in this latitude is tolerable high and Mountainious; and the Islands which lay off it are the most of them pretty high and of a Small Circuit, and have more the appearance of barrenness than fertility. We saw smookes a good way in land, which makes me think there must be a River, Lagoon, or Inlet, into the Country, and we passed 2 places that had the Appearance of such this morning; but our Depth of Water at that Time was too little to haul in for them, where I might expect to meet with less.
(* The Keppel Islands.)
Sunday, 27th. We had not stood on to the Northward quite an hour before we fell into 3 fathoms, upon which I anchor’d, and Sent away the Master with 2 Boats to sound the Channell, which lay to Leeward of us between the Northermost Island and the Main Land, which appear’d to me to be pretty broad; but I suspected that it was Shoal, and so it was found, for the Master reported to me upon his return that he found in many places only 2 1/2 fathoms, and where we lay at Anchor we had only 16 feet, which was not 2 feet more than the Ship drew.* In the Evening the wind veer’d to East-North-East, which gave us an opportunity to stretch 3 or 4 miles back the way we Came before the Wind Shifted to South, and obliged us again to Anchor in 6 fathoms. At 5 o’Clock in the A.M. I sent away the Master with 2 Boats to search for a Passage out between the Islands, while the Ship got under sail. As soon as it was light the Signal was made by the boats of their having found a Passage, upon which we hoisted in the Boats, and made sail to the Northward as the land lay; soundings from 9 to 15 fathoms, having still Some small Islands without us.† At noon we were about 2 Leagues from the Main Land, and by observation in the latitude of 22 degrees 53 minutes South, Longitude made from Cape Capricorn 0 degrees 20 minutes West. At this time the Northermost point of Land we had in sight bore North-North-West, distance 10 Miles; this point I named Cape Manyfold, from the Number of high Hills over it; latitude 22 degrees 43 minutes South; it lies North 20 degrees West, distant 17 Leagues from Cape Capricorn. Between them the shore forms a large Bay, which I call’d Keppel Bay, and the Islands which lay in and Off it are known by the same name; in this Bay is good Anchorage, where there is a sufficient depth of Water; what refreshment it may afford for Shipping I know not.** We caught no fish here, notwithstanding we were at Anchor; it can hardly be doubted but what it afforded fresh Water in several places, as both Mainland and Islands are inhabited. We saw smokes by day and fires in the night upon the Main, and people upon one of the Islands.
(* This was between Great Keppel Island and the Main. There is a mass of shoals here.)
(† The ship passed out between Great Keppel Island and North Keppel Island.)
(** As before mentioned, the Fitzroy River falls into Keppel Bay, and forms a good harbour, though much encumbered with sand banks.)
Monday, 28th. Winds at South-South-East, a fresh breeze. At 3 o’Clock in the P.M. we passed Cape Manifold, from which the Land Trends North-North-West. The land of this Cape is tolerable high, and riseth in hills directly from the Sea; it may be known by 3 Islands laying off it, one near the Shore, and the other 2 Eight Miles out at Sea; the one of these is low and flat, and the other high and round.* At 6 o’Clock we shortned sail and brought too; the Northermost part of the Main we had in sight bore North-West, and some Islands lying off it bore North 31 degrees West; our soundings since Noon were from 20 to 25 fathoms, and in the Night 30 and 34 fathoms. At day light we made Sail, Cape Manifold bearing South by East, distance 8 Leagues, and the Islands set last night in the same directions, distance from us 4 Miles. The farthest point of the Main bore North 67 degrees West, distant 22 Miles; but we could see several Islands to the Northward of this direction.† At 9 o’Clock we were abreast of the above point, which I named Cape Townshend‡ (Latitude 22 degrees 13 minutes, Longitude 209 degrees 48 minutes West); the land of this Cape is of a moderate and pretty even height, and is more barren than woody. Several Islands lay to the Northward of it, 4 or 5 Leagues out at Sea. 3 or 4 Leagues to the South-East the Shore forms a bay,** in the bottom of which there appeared to be an inlet or Harbour to the Westward of the Coast, and Trends South-West 1/2 South; and these form a very large Bay, which turns away to the Eastward, and probably communicates with the Inlet above mentioned, and by that Means makes the land of the Cape an Island. As soon as we got round the Cape we hauld our wind to the Westward in order to get within the Islands which lay scatter’d up and down in this bay in great number, and extend out to Sea as far as we could see from the Masthead; how much farther will hardly be in my power to determine; they are as Various in their height and Circuit as they are numerous.†† We had not stood long upon a Wind before we meet with Shoal Water, and was obliged to Tack about to avoid it; after which I sent a boat ahead, and we bore away West by North, leaving many small Islands, Rocks, and Shoals between us and the Main, and a number of Large Islands without us; soundings from 14 to 17 fathoms, Sandy Bottom. A little before noon the boat made the Signal for meeting with Shoal Water, upon which we hauld close upon a Wind to the Eastward, but suddenly fell into 3 1/4 fathoms water, upon which we immediately let go an Anchor, and brought the Ship up with all sails standing, and had then 4 fathoms Coarse sandy bottom. We found here a strong Tide setting to the North-West by West 1/2 West, at the rate of between 2 and 3 Miles an Hour, which was what Carried us so quickly upon the Shoal. Our latitude by Observation was 22 degrees 8 minutes South; Cape Townshend bore East 16 degrees South, distant 13 Miles, and the Westermost part of the Main Land in sight West 3/4 North, having a number of Islands in sight all round us.‡‡
(* Peak and Flat Islands.)
(† The easternmost of the Northumberland Islands.)
(‡ Charles Townshend was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1767.)
(** Shoalwater Bay, a large inlet.)
(†† The Northumberland islands, a very extensive group.)
(‡‡ The ship was on the Donovan Shoal in Broad Sound Channel.)
Tuesday, 29th. Fresh gales between the South-South-East and East-South-East, Hazey weather, with some showers of rain. In the P.M., having sounded about the Ship, and found that their was Sufficient Water for her over the Shoal, we at 3 o’clock weigh’d and made Sail, and stood to the Westward as the Land lay, having first sent a boat ahead to sound. At 6 we Anchor’d in 10 fathoms, Sandy bottom, about 2 Miles from the Main Land, the Westermost part of which bore West-North-West, having still a Number of Islands in sight a long way without us. At 5 a.m. I sent away the Master with 2 Boats to sound the Entrance of an inlet, which bore from us West, distance about 1 League, into which I intended to go with the Ship to wait a few days, until the Moon increased, and in the meantime to examine the Country. By such time as we had got the Ship under Sail the Boats made the Signal for Anchorage, upon which we stood in with the Ship, and Anchor’d in 5 fathoms, about a League within the Entrance of the inlet, which we judged to be a River running a Good way inland, as I observed the Tides to flow and Ebb something considerable.* I had some thoughts of laying the Ship a Shore to Clean her bottom. With this view both the Master and I went to look for a Convenient place for that purpose, and at the same time to look for fresh Water, not one drop of which we could find, but met with several places where a Ship might be laid ashore with safety.
(* It is in reality a narrow channel which runs into Broad Sound.)
Wednesday, 30th. In the P.M. I went again in search of Fresh Water, but had no better success than before; wherefore I gave over all thoughts of laying the Ship a Shore, being resolved to spend as little time as possible in a place that was likely to afford us no sort of refreshment. But as I had observed from the Hills the inlet to run a good way in, I thought this a good time to penetrate into the Country to see a little of the inland parts. Accordingly I prepared for making that Excursion in the morning, but the first thing I did was to get upon a pretty high Hill, which is at the North-West entrance of the inlet, before Sunrise, in order to take a view of the Sea Coast and Islands, etc., that lay off it, and to take their bearings, having the Azimuth Compass with me for that purpose, the Needle of which differ’d from its True position something very considerable, even above 30 degrees, in some places more, and in other less, for I try’d it in several places. I found it differ in itself above 2 points in the space of about 14 feet. The loose stones which lay upon the Ground had no effect upon the Needle; I therefore concluded that it must be owing to Iron Ore upon the Hill, visible signs of which appeared not only here, but in several other places. As soon as I had done here I proceeded up the inlet. I set out with the first of the flood, and long before high water got about 8 Leagues up it; its breadth thus far was from 2 to 4 or 5 Miles upon a South-West by South direction; but here it spread every way, and formed a Large lake, which communicated with the Sea to the North-West. I not only saw the Sea in this direction, but found the tide of flood coming strong in from the North-West. I likewise observ’d an Arm of this Lake extending to the Eastward, and it is not at all improbable but what it Communicates with the Sea in the bottom of the bay, which lies to the Westward of Cape Townshend.* On the South side of the Lake is a ridge of pretty high hills, which I was desirous of going upon; but as the day was far spent and high water, I was afraid of being bewilder’d among the Shoals in the night, which promised to be none of the best, being already rainy, dirty weather, and therefore I made the best of my way to the Ship. In this little Excursion I saw only 2 people, and those at a distance, and are all that we have seen in this place, but we have met with several fire places, and seen smokes at a distance. This inlet, which I have named Thirsty Sound, by reason we could find no fresh Water, lies in the latitude of 22 degrees 05 minutes South, and Longitude 210 degrees 24 West; it may be known by a Group of small Islands Laying under the shore from 2 to 5 Leagues North-West from it.† There is likewise another Group of Islands laying right before it between 3 and 4 Leagues out at Sea.** Over each of the Points that form the Entrance is a pretty high, round Hill; that on the North-West is a Peninsula, surrounded by the Sea at high water; the distance from the one to the other is about 2 Miles bold to both Shores. Here is good Anchoring in 7, 6, 5, and 4 fathoms water, and very Convenient places for laying a Ship ashore, where at Spring Tides the tides doth not rise less than 16 or 18 feet, and flows at full and Change of the Moon about 11 o’Clock. We met with no fresh water, or any other kind of refreshments whatever; we saw 2 Turtle, but caught none, nor no sort of Fish or wild fowl, except a few small land birds. Here are the same sort of Water Fowl as we saw in Botany Bay, and like them, so shy that it is hardly possible to get within shott of them. No signs of Fertility is to be seen upon the Land; the Soil of the up lands is mostly a hard, redish Clay, and produceth several sorts of Trees, such as we have seen before, and some others, and clear of all underwoods. All the low lands are mostly overrun with Mangroves, and at Spring tides overflow’d by the Sea; and I believe in the rainy Seasons here are large land floods, as we saw in many places Gullies, which seem’d to have been made by torrents of Water coming from the Adjacent hills, besides other Visible signs of the Water having been a Considerable height above the Common Spring Tides. Dr. Solander and I was upon a rising Ground up the inlet, which we thought had at one time or another been overflow’d by the Sea, and if so great part of the Country must at that time been laid under Water. Up in the lakes, or lagoons, I suppose, are shell fish, on which the few Natives subsist. We found Oysters sticking to most of the Rocks upon the Shore, which were so small, as not to be worth the picking off.***
(* This is exactly what it does.)
(† Barren Islands.)
(** Duke Islands.)
(*** Cook was very unfortunate in his landing here. The channel is at the end of a long headland between two bays, Shoalwater Bay and Broad Sound, and was a very unlikely place either to find water or get any true idea of the country.)
Thursday, 31st. Winds Southerly and South-East; Dark, Hazey weather, with rain. In the P.M., finding no one inducement to stay longer in this place, we at 6 a.m. Weighed and put to Sea, and stood to the North-West, having the Advantage of a fresh breeze at South-South-East. We keept without the Group of Islands which lay in Shore, and to the North-West of Thirsty Sound, as there appear’d to be no safe passage between them and the Main; at the same time we had a number of Islands without us extending out to Sea as far as we could see; as we run in this direction our depth of Water was 10, 8 and 9 fathoms.* At Noon the North-West point of Thirsty Sound, which I have named Pier head, bore South 36 degrees East, distant 5 Leagues; the East point of the other inlet, which Communicates with the former, as I have before mentioned, bore South by West, distance 2 1/2 Leagues, the Group of Islands above mentioned laying between us and the point. The farthest part of the Main in sight, on the other side of the inlet, bore North-West; our latitude by Observation was 21 degrees 53 minutes South.
(* The ship passed between the Duke Islands and the maze of reefs and islands lying North-West of Thirsty Sound.)
Friday, June 1st. At 1/2 an hour After Noon, upon the Boat we had ahead sounding making the Signal for Shoal Water, we hauld our wind to the North-East, having at that time 7 fathoms; the Next cast 5, and then 3, upon which we let go an Anchor, and brought the Ship up. The North-West point of Thirsty Sound, or Pier Head, bore South-East, distance 6 Leagues, being Midway between the Islands which lies off the East point of the Western inlet and 3 Small Islands directly without them,* it being now the first of the flood which we found to set North-West by West 1/2 West. After having sounded about the Shoal, on which we found not quite 3 fathoms, but without it deep water, we got under Sail, and hauld round the 3 Islands just mentioned, and came to an Anchor under the Lee of them in 15 fathoms, having at this time dark, hazey, rainy weather, which continued until 7 o’Clock a.m., at which time we got again under sail, and stood to the North-West with a fresh breeze at South-South-East and fair weather, having the Main land in Sight and a Number of Islands all round us, some of which lay out at Sea as far as we could See. The Western Inlet before mentioned, known in the Chart by the Name of Broad Sound, we had now all open. It is at least 9 or 10 Leagues wide at the Entrance, with several Islands laying in and before, and I believe Shoals also, for we had very irregular Soundings, from 10 to 5 and 4 fathoms. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 21 degrees 29 minutes South, and Longitude made from Cape Townshend 59 degrees West. A point of Land, which forms the North-West Entrance into Broad Sound, bore from us at this Time West, distance 3 Leagues; this Cape I have named Cape Palmerston† (Latitude 21 degrees 27 minutes South, Longitude 210 degrees 57 minutes West). Between this Cape and Cape Townshend lies the Bay of Inlets, so named from the Number of Inlets, Creeks, etc., in it.*
(* The shoal is now known as Lake Shoal. The three Islands are the Bedwell Islands.)
(† Henry Viscount Palmerston was a Lord of the Admiralty, 1766 to 1778.)
(* The name Bay of Inlets has disappeared from the charts. Cook applied it to the whole mass of bays in this locality, covering over 60 miles. A look at a modern chart causes amazement that Cook managed to keep his ship off the ground, as the whole sea in his track is strewed with dangers.)
Saturday, 2nd. Winds at South-South-East and South-East, a gentle breeze, with which we stood to the North-West and North-West by North, as the land lay, under an easey Sail. Having a boat ahead, found our Soundings at first were very irregular, from 9 to 4 fathoms; but afterwards regular, from 9 to 11 fathoms. At 8, being about 2 Leagues from the Main Land, we Anchor’d in 11 fathoms, Sandy bottom. Soon after this we found a Slow Motion of a Tide seting to the Eastward, and rode so until 6, at which time the tide had risen 11 feet; we now got under Sail, and Stood away North-North-West as the land lay. From the Observations made on the tide last Night it is plain that the flood comes from the North-West; whereas Yesterday and for Several days before we found it to come from the South-East. This is neither the first nor second time that we have observed the same thing, and in my Opinion easy accounted for; but this I shall do in another place. At sun rise we found the Variation to be 6 degrees 45 minutes East. In steering along shore between the Island and the Main, at the Distance of 2 Leagues from the Latter, and 3 or 4 from the former, our soundings were Regular, from 12 to 9 fathoms; but about 11 o’Clock we were again embarrassed with Shoal Water,* but got clear without letting go an Anchor; we had at one time not quite 3 fathoms. At Noon we were about 2 Leagues from the Main land, and about 4 from the Islands without us; our latitude by Observation was 20 degrees 56 minutes South, Longitude made from Cape Palmerston 16 degrees West; a pretty high Promontory, which I named Cape Hillsborough,† bore West 1/2 North, distant 7 Miles. The Main Land is here pretty much diversified with Mountains, Hills, plains, and Vallies, and seem’d to be tollerably Cloathed with Wood and Verdure. These Islands, which lay Parrallel with the Coast, and from 5 to 8 or 9 Leagues off, are of Various Extent, both for height and Circuit; hardly any Exceeds 5 Leagues in Circuit, and many again are very small.** Besides the Chain of Islands, which lay at a distance from the Coast, there are other Small Ones laying under the Land. Some few smokes were seen on the Main land.
(* Blackwood Shoals.)
(† Earl of Hillsborough was the First Secretary of State for the Colonies, and President of the Board of Trade when the Endeavour sailed.)
(** The Cumberland Islands. They stretch along the coast for 60 miles.)
Sunday, 3rd. Winds between the South by East and South-East. A Gentle breeze and Clear weather. In the P.M. we steer’d along shore North-West 1/2 West, at the distance of 2 Leagues from the Main, having 9 and 10 fathoms regular soundings. At sun set the furthest point of the Main Land that we could distinguish as such bore North 48 degrees West; to the Northward of this lay some high land, which I took to be an Island, the North West point of which bore North 41 degrees West; but as I was not sure that there was a passage this way, we at 8 came to an Anchor in 10 fathoms, muddy bottom. 2 hours after this we had a tide setting to the Northward, and at 2 o’clock it had fallen 9 Feet since the time we Anchored. After this the Tide began to rise, and the flood came from the Northward, which was from the Islands out at Sea, and plainly indicated that there was no passage to the North-West; but as this did not appear at day light when we got under Sail, and stood away to the North-West until 8, at this time we discover’d low land, quite a Cross what we took for an Opening between the Main and the Islands, which proved to be a Bay about 5 or 6 Leagues deep. Upon this we hauld our wind to the Eastward round the Northermost point of the Bay, which bore from us at this time North-East by North, distance 4 Leagues. From this point we found the Main land trend away North by West 1/2 West, and a Strait or Passage between it and a Large Island* or Islands laying in a Parrallel direction with the Coast; this passage we Stood into, having the Tide of Ebb in our favour. At Noon we were just within the Entrance, and by observation in the latitude of 20 degrees 26 minutes South; Cape Hillsborough bore South by East, distant 10 Leagues, and the North point of the Bay before mentioned bore South 19 degrees West, distance 4 Miles. This point I have named Cape Conway† (Latitude 20 degrees 30 minutes, Longitude 211 degrees 28 minutes), and the bay, Repulse Bay, which is formed by these 2 Capes. The greatest and least depth of Water we found in it was 13 and 8 fathoms; every where safe Anchoring, and I believe, was it properly examined, there would be found some good Harbour in it, especIally on the North Side within Cape Conway, for just within the Cape lay 2 or 3 Small Islands, which alone would shelter that side of the Bay from the South-East and Southerly winds, which seem to be the prevailing or Trade Winds. Among the many islands that lay upon this Coast there is one more Remarkable than the rest,** being of a Small circuit, very high and peaked, and lies East by South, 10 Miles from Cape Conway at the South end of the Passage above mention’d.
(* Whitsunday Island.)
(† General H.S. Conway was Secretary of State 1765 to 1768.)
(** Probably Blacksmith Island.)
Monday, 4th. Winds at South-South-East and South-East, a Gentle breeze and Clear weather. In the P.M. Steerd thro’ the passage* which we found from 3 to 6 or 7 Miles broad, and 8 or 9 Leagues in length, North by West 1/2 West and South by East 1/2 East. It is form’d by the Main on the West, and by Islands on the East, one of which is at least 5 Leagues in length. Our Depth of Water in running thro’ was between 25 and 20 fathoms; everywhere good Anchorage; indeed the whole passage is one Continued safe Harbour, besides a Number of small Bays and Coves on each side, where ships might lay as it where in a Bason; at least so it appear’d to me, for I did not wait to Examine it, as having been in Port so lately, and being unwilling to loose the benefit of a light Moon. The land, both on the Main and Islands, especially on the former, is Tolerably high, and distinguished by Hills and Vallies, which are diversified with Woods and Lawns that looked green and pleasant. On a Sandy beach upon one of the Islands we saw 2 people and a Canoe, with an outrigger, which appeared to be both Larger and differently built to any we have seen upon the Coast. At 6 we were nearly the length of the North end of the Passage; the North Westermost point of the Main in sight bore North 54 degrees West, and the North end of the Island North-North-East, having an open Sea between these 2 points. [This passage I have named Whitsundays Passage, as it was discover’d on the day the Church commemorates that Festival, and the Isles which form it Cumberland Isles, in honour of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland.*] We keept under an Easey Sail and the Lead going all Night, having 21, 22, and 23 fathoms, at the distance of 3 Leagues from the land. At daylight A.M. we were abreast of the point above mentioned, which is a lofty promontory; that I named Cape Gloucester* (Latitude 19 degrees 57 minutes South, Longitude 211 degrees 54 minutes West). It may be known by an Island which lies out at Sea North by West 1/2 West, 5 or 6 Leagues from it; this I called Holbourn Isle.* There are also Islands laying under the Land between it and Whitsundays Passage. On the West side of the Cape the Land Trends away South-West and South-South-West, and forms a deep bay. The Sand in the bottom of this bay I could but just see from the Masthead; it is very low, and is a Continuation of the same low land as is at the bottom of Repulse Bay. Without Waiting to look into this bay, which I called Edgcumbe Bay,* we continued our Course to the Westward for the Westermost land we had in sight which bore from us West by North 1/2 North, and appeared very high. At Noon we were about 3 Leagues from the Land, and by observation in the latitude of 19 degrees 47 minutes South, Cape Gloucester bearing South 63 degrees East, distant 7 1/2 Leagues.
(* Whitsunday Passage. The aspect of the shores is very pleasing.)
(* Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, was a younger brother of George III.)
(* William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, a younger brother of George III.)
(* Admiral Francis Holbourne commanded the fleet in North America in which Cook served in 1757.)
(* In Port Denison, on the western side of Edgcumbe Bay, is the rising town of Bowen, the port of an agricultural district. There is good coal in the vicinity. Captain G. Edgcumbe commanded the Lancaster in the fleet in North America in 1758 in which Cook served. Afterwards Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.)
Tuesday, 5th. Winds between the South and East, a Gentle breeze, and Serene weather. At 6 a.m. we were abreast of the Western point of Land above mentioned, distant from it 3 Miles, which I have named Cape Upstart, because being surrounded with low land it starts or rises up singley at the first making of it (Latitude 19 degrees 39 minutes South, Longitude 212 degrees 32 minutes West); it lies West-North-West 14 Leagues from Cape Gloucester, and is of a height sufficient to be seen 12 Leagues; but it is not so much of a Promontory as it appears to be, because on each side of it near the Sea is very low land, which is not to be seen unless you are pretty well in with the Shore. Inland are some Tolerable high hills or mountains, which, like the Cape, affords but a very barren prospect. Having past this Cape, we continued standing to the West-North-West as the land lay, under an easey Sail, having from 16 to 10 fathoms, until 2 o’Clock a.m., when we fell into 7 fathoms, upon which we hauled our wind to the Northward, judging ourselves to be very near the land; as so we found, for at daylight we were little more than 2 Leagues off. What deceived us was the Lowness of the land, which is but very little higher than the Surface of the Sea, but in the Country were some hills. At noon we were in 15 fathoms Water, and about 4 Leagues from the land. Our latitude by Observation was 19 degrees 12 minutes South; Cape Upstart bore 38 degrees 30 minutes East, distant 12 Leagues. Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday noon North 48 degrees 45 minutes, 53 Miles. At and before Noon some very large smokes were Seen rise up out of the low land. At sun rise I found the Variation to be 5 degrees 35 minutes Easterly; at sun set last night the same Needle gave near 9 degrees. This being Close under Cape Upstart, I judged that it was owing to Iron ore or other Magnetical Matter Lodged in the Earth.
Wednesday, 6th. Light Airs at East-South-East, with which we Steer’d West-North-West as the Land now lay; Depth of Water 12 and 14 fathoms. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 19 degrees 1 minute South, Longitude made from Cape Gloucester 1 degree 30 minutes West; Course and distance saild since Yesterday noon West-North-West, 28 Miles. In this situation we had the Mouth of a Bay all open extending from South 1/2 East to South-West 1/2 South, distance 2 Leagues. This bay, which I named Cleveland Bay,* appeared to be about 5 or 6 Miles in Extent every way. The East point I named Cape Cleveland, and the West, Magnetical Head or Island, as it had much the appearance of an Island; and the Compass did not traverse well when near it. They are both Tolerable high, and so is the Main Land within them, and the whole appeared to have the most rugged, rocky, and barren Surface of any we have yet seen. However, it is not without inhabitants, as we saw smoke in several places in the bottom of the bay. The Northermost land we had in sight at this time bore North-West; this we took to be an Island or Islands, for we could not trace the Main land farther than West by North.
(* In Cleveland Bay is Townsville, the largest town in Northern Queensland. Population 12,000.)
Thursday, 7th. Light Airs between the South and East, with which we steer’d West-North-West, keeping the Main land on board, the outermost part of which at sun set bore from us West by North; but without this lay high land, which we took to be Islands. At daylight A.M. we were the Length of the Eastern part of this Land, which we found to Consist of a Group of Islands* laying about 5 Leagues from the Main. We being at this time between the 2, we continued advancing Slowly to the North-West until noon, at which time we were by observation in the latitude of 18 degrees 49 minutes, and about 5 Leagues from the Main land, the North-West part of which bore from us North by West 1/2 West, the Island extending from North to East; distance of the nearest 2 Miles. Cape Cleveland bore South 50 degrees East, distant 18 Leagues. Our Soundings in the Course of this day’s Sail were from 14 to 11 fathoms.
(* Palm Islands.)
Friday, 8th. Winds at South-South-East and South; first part light Airs, the remainder a Gentle breeze. In the P.M. we saw several large smokes upon the Main, some people, Canoes, and, as we thought, Cocoa Nut Trees upon one of the Islands; and, as a few of these Nutts would have been very acceptable to us at this Time, I sent Lieutenant Hicks ashore, with whom went Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, to see what was to be got. In the Meantime we keept Standing in for the Island with the Ship. At 7 they returned on board, having met with Nothing worth Observing. The Trees we saw were a small kind of Cabbage Palms. They heard some of the Natives as they were putting off from the Shore, but saw none. After the Boat was hoisted in we stood away North by West for the Northermost land we had in sight, which we were abreast of at 3 o’Clock in the Morning, having passed all the Islands 3 or 4 hours before. This point I have named Point Hillock,* on account of its Figure. The Land of this point is Tolerable high, and may be known by a round Hillock or rock that appears to be detached from the point, but I believe it joins to it. Between this Cape and Cape Cleveland the shore forms a Large bay, which I named Hallifax bay;* before it lay the Groups of Islands before mentioned, and some others nearer the Shore. These Islands shelter the Bay in a manner from all Winds, in which is good Anchorage. The land near the Shore in the bottom of the bay is very low and Woody; but a little way back in the Country is a continued ridge of high land, which appear’d to be barren and rocky. Having passed Point Hillock, we continued standing to the North-North-West as the land Trended, having the Advantage of a light Moon. At 6 a.m. we were abreast of a point of Land which lies North by West 1/2 West, 11 Miles from Point Hillick; the Land between them is very high, and of a craggy, barren surface. This point I named Cape Sandwich;* it may not only be known by the high, craggy land over it, but by a small Island which lies East one Mile from it, and some others about 2 Leagues to the Northward of it. From Cape Sandwich the Land trends West, and afterwards North, and forms a fine, Large Bay, which I called Rockingham Bay;* it is well Shelter’d, and affords good Anchorage; at least, so it appear’d to me, for having met with so little encouragement by going ashore that I would not wait to land or examine it farther, but continued to range along Shore to the Northward for a parcel of Small Islands* laying off the Northern point of the Bay, and, finding a Channel of a Mile broad between the 3 Outermost and those nearer the Shore, we pushed thro’. While we did this we saw on one of the nearest Islands a Number of the Natives collected together, who seem’d to look very attentively upon the Ship; they were quite naked, and of a very Dark Colour, with short hair. At noon we were by observation in the latitude of 17 degrees 59 minutes, and abreast of the North point of Rockingham Bay, which bore from us West 2 Miles. This boundry of the Bay is form’d by a Tolerable high Island, known in the Chart by the Name of Dunk Isle; it lays so near the Shore as not to be distinguished from it unless you are well in with the Land. At this time we were in the Longitude of 213 degrees 57 minutes. Cape Sandwich bore South by East 1/2 East, distant 19 Miles, and the northermost land in sight North 1/2 West. Our depth of Water in the Course of this day’s Sail was not more than 16, nor less than 7, fathoms.*
(* Point Hillock is the east point of Hinchinbrook Island, which is separated from the main by a narrow and tortuous channel.)
(* The Earl of Halifax was Secretary of State 1763 to 1765.)
(* Earl of Sandwich was First Lord of the Admiralty 1763.)
(* The Marquis of Rockingham was Prime Minister 1765 to 1766.)
(* The Family Islands.)
(* About here the Great Barrier Reefs begin to close in on the land. Cook kept so close to the latter that he was unconscious as yet of their existence; but he was soon to find them.)
Saturday, 9th. Winds between the South and South-East, a Gentle breeze, and Clear weather, with which we steer’d North by West as the land lay, the northern extream of which at sunset bore North 25 degrees West. We keept on our Course under an Easey sail all night, having from 12 to 16 fathoms, at the distance of about 3 or 4 Leagues from the Land. At 6 a.m. we were abreast of Some small Islands, which we called Frankland Isles, that lay about 2 Leagues from the Mainland, the Northern Point of which in sight bore North by West 1/2 West; but this we afterwards found to be an Island,* tolerable high, and about 4 Miles in Circuit. It lies about 2 Miles from the Point on the Main between which we went with the ship, and were in the Middle of the Channell at Noon, and by observation in the latitude of 16 degrees 55 minutes, where we had 20 fathoms of water. The point of land we were now abreast of I called Cape Grafton* (Latitude 16 degrees 55 minutes South, Longitude 214 degrees 11 minutes West); it is Tolerable high, and so is the whole Coast for 20 Leagues to the southward, and hath a very rocky surface, which is thinly cover’d with wood. In the night we saw several fires along shore, and a little before noon some people.
(* Fitzroy Island.)
(* The Duke of Grafton was Prime Minister when Cook sailed.)
Sunday, 10th. After hauling round Cape Grafton we found the land trend away North-West by West; 3 Miles to the Westward of the Cape is a Bay, wherein we Anchor’d, about 2 Miles from the Shore, in 4 fathoms, owsey bottom. The East point of the Bay bore South 74 degrees East, the West point South 83 degrees West, and a Low green woody Island laying in the Offing bore North 35 degrees East. The Island lies North by East 1/2 East, distance 3 or 4 Leagues from Cape Grafton, and is known in the Chart by the Name of Green Island. As soon as the Ship was brought to an Anchor I went ashore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander; the first thing I did was to look for fresh Water, and with that View rowed out towards the Cape, because in the bottom of the bay was low Mangrove land, and little probability of meeting with any there. But the way I went I found 2 Small streams, which were difficult to get at on account of the Surf and rocks upon the Shore. As we came round the Cape we saw, in a sandy Cove, a small stream of Water run over the beach; but here I did not go in the boat because I found that it would not be Easey to land. We hardly advanced anything into the Country, it being here hilly, which were steep and rocky, and we had not time to Visit the Low lands, and therefore met with nothing remarkable. My intention was to have stay’d here at least one day, to have looked into the Country had we met with fresh water convenient, or any other Refreshment; but as we did not, I thought it would be only spending of time, and loosing as much of a light Moon to little purpose, and therefore at 12 o’Clock at night we weighed and stood away to the North-West, having at this time but little wind, attended with Showers of rain.* At 4 the breeze freshned at South by East, with fair weather; we continued steering North-North-West 1/2 West as the Land lay, having 10, 12, and 14 fathoms, at a distance of 3 Leagues from the Land. At 11 we hauld off North, in order to get without a Small Low Island* which lay about 2 Leagues from the Main; it being about high Water, about the time we passed it, great part of it lay under water. About 3 Leagues to the North Westward of this Island, close under the Main land, is another Island,* Tolerable high, which bore from us at Noon North 55 degrees West, distant 7 or 8 Miles; we being at this time in the latitude of 16 degrees 20 minutes South, Cape Grafton bore South 29 degrees East, distant 40 Miles, and the Northermost point of Land in Sight North 20 degrees West, and in this Situation had 15 fathoms Water. The Shore between Cape Grafton and the above Northern point forms a large but not very deep Bay, which I named Trinity Bay, after the day on which it was discover’d; the North point Cape Tribulation, because here began all our Troubles. latitude 16 degrees 6 minutes South, Longitude 214 degrees 39 minutes West.
(* In the next bay west of where Cook anchored is Cairns, a small but rising town in the centre of a sugar-growing district.)
(* Low Isles. There is now a lighthouse on them.)
(* Snapper Island.)
Monday, 11th. Wind at East-South-East, with which we steer’d along shore North by West at the distance of 3 or 4 Leagues off, having from 14 to 10 and 12 fathoms water. Saw 2 Small Islands in the Offing, which lay in the latitude of 16 degrees 0 minutes South, and about 6 or 7 Leagues from the Main. At 6 the Northermost land in sight bore North by West 1/2 West, and 2 low, woody Islands,* which some took to be rocks above Water, bore North 1/2 West. At this time we shortened Sail, and hauld off shore East-North-East and North-East by East, close upon a Wind. My intention was to stretch off all Night as well to avoid the danger we saw ahead as to see if any Islands lay in the Offing, especially as we now begun to draw near the latitude of those discover’d by Quiros, which some Geographers, for what reason I know not, have thought proper to Tack to this land. Having the advantage of a fine breeze of wind, and a clear Moon light Night in standing off from 6 until near 9 o Clock, we deepned our Water from 14 to 21 fathoms, when all at once we fell into 12, 10 and 8 fathoms. At this time I had everybody at their Stations to put about and come to an Anchor; but in this I was not so fortunate, for meeting again with Deep Water, I thought there could be no danger in standing on.* Before 10 o’Clock we had 20 and 21 fathoms, and Continued in that depth until a few minutes before 11, when we had 17, and before the Man at the Lead could heave another cast, the Ship Struck and stuck fast. Immediately upon this we took in all our Sails, hoisted out the Boats and Sounded round the Ship, and found that we had got upon the South-East Edge of a reef of Coral Rocks, having in some places round the Ship 3 and 4 fathoms Water, and in other places not quite as many feet, and about a Ship’s length from us on the starboard side (the Ship laying with her Head to the North-East) were 8, 10, and 12 fathoms. As soon as the Long boat was out we struck Yards and Topmast, and carried out the Stream Anchor on our Starboard bow, got the Coasting Anchor and Cable into the Boat, and were going to carry it out in the same way; but upon my sounding the 2nd time round the Ship I found the most water a Stern, and therefore had this Anchor carried out upon the Starboard Quarter, and hove upon it a very great Strain; which was to no purpose, the Ship being quite fast, upon which we went to work to lighten her as fast as possible, which seem’d to be the only means we had left to get her off. As we went ashore about the Top of High Water we not only started water, but threw overboard our Guns, Iron and Stone Ballast, Casks, Hoop Staves, Oil Jarrs, decay’d Stores, etc.; many of these last Articles lay in the way at coming at Heavier. All this time the Ship made little or no Water. At 11 a.m., being high Water as we thought, we try’d to heave her off without Success, she not being afloat by a foot or more, notwithstanding by this time we had thrown overboard 40 or 50 Tuns weight. As this was not found sufficient we continued to Lighten her by every method we could think off; as the Tide fell the ship began to make Water as much as two pumps could free: at Noon she lay with 3 or 4 Streakes heel to Starboard; latitude observed 15 degrees 45 minutes South.
(* Hope Islands.)
(* The ship passed just northward of Pickersgill Reef.)
Tuesday, 12th. Fortunately we had little wind, fine weather, and a smooth Sea, all this 24 Hours, which in the P.M. gave us an Opportunity to carry out the 2 Bower Anchors, one on the Starboard Quarter, and the other right a Stern, got Blocks and Tackles upon the Cables, brought the falls in abaft and hove taught. By this time it was 5 o’Clock p.m.; the tide we observed now begun to rise, and the leak increased upon us, which obliged us to set the 3rd Pump to work, as we should have done the 4th also, but could not make it work. At 9 the Ship righted, and the Leak gain’d upon the Pumps considerably. This was an alarming and, I may say, terrible circumstance, and threatened immediate destruction to us. However, I resolv’d to risque all, and heave her off in case it was practical, and accordingly turn’d as many hands to the Capstan and Windlass as could be spared from the Pumps; and about 20 Minutes past 10 o’Clock the Ship floated, and we hove her into Deep Water, having at this time 3 feet 9 Inches Water in the hold. This done I sent the Long boat to take up the Stream Anchor, got the Anchor, but lost the Cable among the Rocks; after this turn’d all hands to the Pumps, the Leak increasing upon us.
A mistake soon after hapned, which for the first time caused fear to approach upon every man in the Ship. The man that attended the well took the Depth of water above the Ceiling; he, being relieved by another who did not know in what manner the former had sounded, took the Depth of water from the outside plank, the difference being 16 or 18 inches, and made it appear that the leak had gained this upon the pumps in a short time. This mistake was no sooner cleared up than it acted upon every man like a Charm; they redoubled their vigour, insomuch that before 8 o’clock in the morning they gained considerably upon the leak.* We now hove up the Best Bower, but found it impossible to save the small Bower, so cut it away at a whole Cable; got up the Fore topmast and Foreyard, warped the Ship to the South-East, and at 11 got under sail, and stood in for the land, with a light breeze at East-South-East. Some hands employ’d sewing Oakham, Wool, etc., into a Lower Steering sail to fother the Ship; others employ’d at the Pumps, which still gain’d upon the Leak.
(* The circumstance related in this paragraph is from the Admiralty copy.)
Wednesday, 13th. In the P.M. had light Airs at East-South-East, with which we keept edging in for the Land. Got up the Maintopmast and Mainyard, and having got the Sail ready for fothering of the Ship, we put it over under the Starboard Fore Chains, where we suspected the Ship had suffer’d most, and soon after the Leak decreased, so as to be keept clear with one Pump with ease; this fortunate circumstance gave new life to every one on board.
It is much easier to conceive than to discribe the satisfaction felt by everybody on this occasion. But a few minutes before our utmost Wishes were to get hold of some place upon the Main, or an island, to run the Ship ashore, where out of her Materials we might build a Vessel to carry us to the East Indies; no sooner were we made sencible that the outward application to the Ship’s bottom had taken effect, than the field of every Man’s hopes inlarged, so that we thought of nothing but ranging along Shore in search of a Harbour, when we could repair the Damages we had sustained.*
(* The foregoing paragraph is from the Admiralty copy. The situation was indeed sufficiently awkward. When it is considered that the coast was wholly unknown, the natives decidedly hostile, the land unproductive of any means of subsistence, and the distance to the nearest Dutch settlements, even if a passage should be found south of New Guinea, 1500 miles, there was ample cause for apprehension if they could not save the ship. Knowing what we now know, that all off this coast is a continuous line of reefs and shoals, Cook’s action in standing off might seem rash. But he knew nothing of this. There was a moon; he reduced sail to double reefed topsails with a light wind, as the log tells us, and with the cumbrous hempen cables of the day, and the imperfect means of heaving up the anchor, he was desirous of saving his men unnecessary labour. Cook was puzzled that the next tide did not, after lightening the ship, take him off; but it is now known that on this coast it is only every alternate tide that rises to a full height, and as he got ashore nearly at the top of the higher of the two waters he had to wait twenty-four hours until he got a similar rise. Lucky was it for them that the wind was light. Usually at this season the trade wind is strong, and raises a considerable sea, even inside the Barrier. Hawkesworth or Banks makes the proposition to fother the ship emanate from Mr. Monkhouse; but it is scarcely to be supposed that such a perfect seaman as Cook was not familiar with this operation, and he merely says that as Mr. Monkhouse had seen it done, he confided to him the superintendence of it, as of course the Captain had at such a time many other things to do than stand over the men preparing the sail. In 1886 the people of Cooktown were anxious to recover the brass guns of the Endeavour which were thrown overboard, in order to place them as a memento in their town; but they could not be found, which is not altogether surprising.)
In justice to the Ship’s Company, I must say that no men ever behaved better than they have done on this occasion; animated by the behaviour of every Gentleman on board, every man seem’d to have a just sence of the Danger we were in, and exerted himself to the very utmost. The Ledge of Rocks, or Shoal, we have been upon, lies in the latitude of 15 degrees 45 minutes, and about 6 or 7 Leagues from the Main land; but this is not the only Shoal that lay upon this part of the Coast, especially to the Northward, and one which we saw to the Southward, the tail of which we passed over when we had the uneven Soundings 2 hours before we Struck. A part of this Shoal is always above Water, and looks to be white Sand; part of the one we were upon was dry at low Water, and in that place consists of Sand and stones, but every where else Coral Rocks. At 6 we Anchored in 17 fathoms, about 5 or 6 Leagues from the land, and one from the Shoal. At this time the Ship made about 15 Inches Water per hour. At 6 a.m. weigh’d and stood to the North-West, edging in for the land, having a Gentle breeze at South-South-East. At 9 we past close without 2 small low Islands, laying in the Latitude of 15 degrees 41 minutes, and about 4 Leagues from the Main; I have named them Hope Islands, because we were always in hopes of being able to reach these Islands. At Noon we were about 3 Leagues from the Land, and in the Latitude of 15 degrees 37 minutes South; the Northermost part of the Main in sight bore North 30 degrees West, and the above Islands extending from South 30 degrees East to South 40 degrees East. In this situation had 12 fathoms water and several sandbanks without us. The Leak now decreaseth, but for fear it should break out again we got the Sail ready fill’d for fothering; the manner this is done is thus: We Mix Oacham and Wool together (but Oacham alone would do), and chop it up Small, and then stick it loosely by handfulls all over the Sail, and throw over it Sheep dung or other filth. Horse Dung for this purpose is the best. The Sail thus prepared is hauld under the Ship’s bottom by ropes, and if the place of the Leak is uncertain, it must be hauld from one part of her bottom to another until one finds the place where it takes effect. While the Sail is under the Ship the Oacham, etc., is washed off, and part of it carried along with the water into the Leak, and in part stops up the hole. Mr. Monkhouse, one of my Midshipmen, was once in a Merchant Ship which Sprung a Leak, and made 48 Inches Water per hour; but by this means was brought home from Virginia to London with only her proper crew; to him I gave the direction of this, who executed it very much to my satisfaction.
Thursday, 14th. P.M., had a Gentle breeze at South-East by East. Sent the Master, with 2 Boats as well, to sound ahead of the Ship, as to look out for a Harbour where we could repair our defects, and put the Ship on a proper Trim, both of which she now very much wanted. At 3 saw an Opening that had the appearance of a Harbour; stood off and on while the Boats were examining it, who found that there was not a sufficient depth of Water for the Ship. By this time it was almost sun set, and seeing many shoals about us we Anchored in 4 fathoms about 2 miles from the Shore, the Main land extending from North 1/2 East to South by East 1/2 East. At 8 o’clock the Pinnace, in which was one of the Mates, return’d on board, and reported that they had found a good Harbour* about 2 Leagues to leeward. In consequence of this information we, at 6 a.m., weigh’d and run down to it, first sending 2 Boats ahead to lay upon the Shoals that lay in our way; and notwithstanding this precaution, we were once in 3 fathoms with the Ship. Having pass’d these Shoals, the Boats were sent to lay in the Channell leading into the Harbour. By this time it begun to blow in so much that the Ship would not work, having missed stays Twice; and being entangled among Shoals, I was afraid of being drove to Leeward before the Boats could place themselves, and therefore Anchoredd in 4 fathoms about a Mile from the Shore, and then made the Signal for the Boats to come on board, after which I went myself and Buoy’d the Channell, which I found very narrow, and the Harbour much smaller than I had been told, but very convenient for our Purpose. At Noon latitude observed 15 degrees 26 minutes South. [Note. This day I restor’d Mr. Magra to his Duty, as I did not find him guilty of the crimes laid to his charge.]
(* Cook Harbour, Endeavour River.)
Friday, 15th. A fresh Gale at South-East and Cloudy weather, attended with Showers of Rain. In the Night, as it blow’d too fresh to break the Ship loose to run into the Harbour, we got down the Topgallant yards, unbent the Mainsail, and some of the Small sails; got down the Foretopgallant mast, and the Jibb Boom and Spritsailyard in, intending to lighten the Ship Forward as much as possible, in order to lay her ashore to come at the Leak.
Saturday, 16th. Strong Gales at South-East, and Cloudy, hazey weather, with Showers of Rain. At 6 o’Clock in the A.M. it moderated a little, and we hove short, intending to get under sail, but was obliged to desist, and veer away again; some people were seen ashore to-day.
Sunday, 17th. Most part strong Gales at South-East, with some heavy showers of rain in the P.M. At 6 a.m., being pretty moderate, we weigh’d and run into the Harbour, in doing of which we run the Ship ashore Twice. The first time she went off without much Trouble, but the Second time she Stuck fast; but this was of no consequence any farther than giving us a little trouble, and was no more than what I expected as we had the wind. While the Ship lay fast we got down the Foreyard, Foretopmast, booms, etc., overboard, and made a raft of them alongside.
Monday, 18th. Fresh Gales and Cloudy, with Showers of Rain. At 1 p.m. the Ship floated, and we warped her into the Harbour, and moor’d her alongside of a Steep Beach on the South side; got the Anchors, Cables, and all the Hawsers ashore. In the A.M. made a Stage from the Ship to the Shore, Erected 2 Tents, one for the Sick, and the other for the Stores and Provisions; Landed all the empty Casks and part of the Provisions, and sent a boat to haul the Sean, which return’d without Success.
Tuesday, 19th. Fresh Gales at South-East and Cloudy weather, with frequent showers of Rain. P.M., landed all the Provisions and Part of the Stores; got the Sick ashore, which amounted, at this time, to 8 or 9, afflicted with different disorders, but none very dangerously ill. This afternoon I went upon one of the highest Hills over the Harbour, from which I had a perfect View of the inlet or River, and adjacent country, which afforded but a very indifferent prospect. The Low lands near the River is all over run with Mangroves, among which the salt water flows every tide, and the high land appear’d to be barren and Stoney. A.M., got the 4 remaining Guns out of the hold, and mounted them on the Quarter Deck; got a spare Anchor and Stock ashore, and the remaining part of the Stores and ballast that were in the Hold; set up the Forge, and set the Armourer and his Mate to work to make Nails, etc., to repair the Ship.
Wednesday, 20th. Winds at South-East, a fresh breeze, Fore and Middle parts rainy, the Latter fair. This day got out all the Officers’ stores and the ground Tier of Water, having now nothing in the Fore and Main Hold But the Coals and a little Stone ballast.
Thursday, 21st. P.M., landed the Powder, got out the stone ballast, wood, etc., which brought the Ship’s Draught of water to 8 feet 10 inches Forward, and 13 feet abaft. This I thought, by trimming the Coals aft, would be sufficient, as I find the Tides will rise and fall upon a Perpendicular 8 feet at Spring tides; but after the Coals was trimm’d away from over the Leak we Could hear the Water come Gushing in a little abaft the Foremast about 3 feet from her Keel. This determin’d me to clear the hold intirely; accordingly very early in the Morning we went to work to get out the Coals, which was Employment for all hands.
Friday, 22nd. Winds at South-East, fair weather. At 4 p.m., having got out most of the Coals, cast loose the Ship’s moorings, and warped her a little higher up the Harbour to a place I had pitched upon to lay her ashore to stop the Leak; draught of water Forward 7 feet 9 inches and abaft 13 feet 6 inches. At 8, being high water, hauld her bow close ashore, but Keept her stern afloat, because I was afraid of Neaping her,* and yet it was necessary to lay the whole of her as near the ground as possible.* At 2 a.m. the Tide left her, which gave us an Opportunity to Examine the Leak, which we found to be at her Floor Heads, a little before the Starboard Fore Chains; here the Rocks had made their way thro’ 4 planks, quite to, and even into the Timbers, and wounded 3 more. The manner these planks were damaged — or cut out, as I may say — is hardly credible; scarce a Splinter was to be seen, but the whole was cut away as if it had been done by the Hands of Man with a blunt-edge Tool. Fortunately for us the Timbers in this place were very close; other wise it would have been impossible to have saved the Ship, and even as it was it appeared very extraordinary that she made no more water than what she did. A large peice of Coral rock was sticking in one Hole, and several peices of the Fothering, small stones, etc., had made its way in, and lodged between the Timbers, which had stopped the Water from forcing its way in in great Quantities. Part of the Sheathing was gone from under the Larboard bow, part of the False Kiel was gone, and the remainder in such a Shatter’d Condition that we should be much better off if it was gone also; her Forefoot and some part of her Main Kiel was also damaged, but not Materially. What damage she may have received abaft we could not see, but believe not much, as the Ship makes but little water, while the Tide Keeps below the Leak forward. At 9 the Carpenters went to work upon the Ship, while the Armourers were buisy making Bolts, Nails, etc.
(* I.e., Having her so far on shore that they could not heave her off at Neap tide.)
(* The town of Cooktown now stands where the Endeavour was beached, and the (as near as can be judged) exact spot is marked by a monument.)
Saturday, 23rd. Winds South Easterly, a fresh Gale and fair weather. Carpenters employed Shifting the Damaged planks as long as the tide would permit them to work. At low water P.M. we examined the Ship’s bottom under the Starboard side, she being dry as far aft as the After-part of the Fore Chains; we could not find that she had received any other damage on this side but what has been mentioned. In the morning I sent 3 Men into the Country to shoot Pidgeons, as some of these birds had been seen flying about; in the evening they return’d with about 1/2 a Dozen. One of the Men saw an Animal something less than a greyhound; it was of a Mouse Colour, very slender made, and swift of Foot.* A.M., I sent a Boat to haul the Sean, who return’d at noon, having made 3 Hauls and caught only 3 fish; and yet we see them in plenty Jumping about the harbour, but can find no method of catching them.
Sunday, 24th. Winds and weather as Yesterday. P.M., the Carpenters finished the Starboard side, and at 9 heeld the Ship the other way, and hauld her off about 2 feet for fear of Neaping. In the A.M. they went to work repairing the Sheathing under the Larboard bow, where we found 2 planks cut about half thro’. Early in the morning I sent a party of Men into the Country under the direction of Lieutenant Gore to seek for refreshments; they return’d about noon with a few Palm Cabbages and a Bunch or 2 of wild Plantains; these last were much Smaller than any I had ever seen, and the Pulp full of small Stones; otherwise they were well tasted. I saw myself this morning, a little way from the Ship, one of the Animals before spoke off; it was of a light mouse Colour and the full size of a Grey Hound, and shaped in every respect like one, with a long tail, which it carried like a Grey hound; in short, I should have taken it for a wild dog but for its walking or running, in which it jump’d like a Hare or Deer. Another of them was seen to-day by some of our people, who saw the first; they described them as having very small Legs, and the print of the Feet like that of a Goat; but this I could not see myself because the ground the one I saw was upon was too hard, and the length of the Grass hindered my seeing its legs.*
(* These kangaroos were the first seen by Europeans. The name was obtained from the natives by Mr. Banks.)
Monday, 25th. At low water in the P.M. While the Carpenters were buisey in repairing the Sheathing and plank under the Larboard bow I got people to go under the Ship’s bottom, to examine all her Larboard side, she only being dry Forward, but abaft were 9 feet water. They found part of the Sheathing off abreast of the Mainmast about her floor heads, and a part of one plank a little damaged. There were 3 people who went down, who all agreed in the same Story; the Master was one, who was positive that she had received no Material Damage besides the loss of the Sheathing. This alone will be sufficient to let the worm into her bottom, which may prove of bad consequence. However, we must run all risque, for I know of no method to remedy this but by heaving her down, which would be a work of Emence Labour and time, if not impractical in our present situation.
The Carpenters continued hard at work under her bottom until put off by the Tide in the evening, and the morning Tide did not Ebb out far enough to permit them to work upon her, for here we have only one Tolerable low and high tide in 24 Hours. A.M., a party of Men were employ’d ashore filling water, while others were employ’d overhauling the rigging.
Tuesday, 26th. Fair weather, a South-East wind, and a fresh Gale; at low Water P.M. the Carpenters finished under the Larboard bow and every other place the tide would permit them to come at. Lashed some Casks under the Ship’s bows in order to help to float her, and at high water in the Night attempted to heave her off, but could not, she not being afloat partly owing to some of the Casks not holding that were Lashed under her. A.M., employed getting more Casks ready for the same purpose; but I am much afraid that we shall not be able to float her now the Tides are Taking off.
Wednesday, 27th. A fresh breeze of Wind at South-East and Cloudy weather. P.M., lashed 38 empty Butts under the Ship’s Bottom in order to float her off, which proved ineffectual, and therefore gave over all hopes of getting her off until the Next spring tides. At daylight we got a Considerable weight of sundry Articles from Aft forward to ease the Ship; the Armourer at work at the Forge repairing Iron work, etc., Carpenters caulking and Stocking one of the Spare Anchors, Seamen employ’d filling of Water and overhauling the rigging, and I went in the pinnace up the Harbour, and made several hauls with the Sean, but caught only between 20 and 30 pound of fish, which were given to the sick and such as were weak and Ailing.
Thursday, 28th. Fresh breezes and Cloudy. All hands employ’d as Yesterday.
Friday, 29th. Wind and weather as Yesterday, and the employment of the People the same, Lieutenant Gore having been 4 or 5 miles in the Country, where he met with nothing remarkable. He saw the footsteps of Men, and likewise those of 3 or 4 sorts of wild beasts, but saw neither Man nor beast. Some others of our people who were out Yesterday on the North side of the River met with a place where the Natives have just been, as their fires was then burning; but they saw nobody, nor have we seen one since we have been in port. In these excursions we found some Wild Yamms or Cocos growing in the Swampy grounds, and this Afternoon I sent a Party of Men to gather some. The Tops we found made good greens, and eat exceedingly well when Boil’d, but the roots were so bad that few besides myself could eat them. This night Mr. Green and I observ’d an Emersion of Jupiter’s first Satellite, which hapned at 2 hours 58 minutes 53 seconds in the A.M.; the same Emersion hapnd at Greenwich, according to Calculation, on the 30th at 5 hours 17 minutes 43 seconds A.M. The differance is 14 hours 18 minutes 50 seconds, equal to 214 degrees 42 minutes 30 seconds of Longitude,* which this place is West of Greenwich, and its latitude 15 degrees 26 minutes South. A.M., I sent some hands in a Boat up the River to haul the Sean, while the rest were employ’d about the rigging and sundry other Dutys.
(* This was an excellent observation. The true longitude is 214 degrees 45 minutes.)
Saturday, 30th. Moderate breezes at South-East, and clear serene weather. P.M., the Boat returned from hauling the Sean, having caught as much fish as came to a pound and a half a Man. A.M., I sent her again to haul the Sean, and some hands to gather greens, while others were employ’d about the rigging, etc., etc. I likewise sent some of the Young Gentlemen to take a plan of the Harbour, and went myself upon the hill, which is near the South point to take a view of the Sea.* At this time it was low water, and I saw what gave me no small uneasiness, which were a Number of Sand Banks and Shoals laying all along the Coast; the innermost lay about 3 or 4 Miles from the Shore, and the outermost extended off to Sea as far as I could see without my glass, some just appeared above water.* The only hopes I have of getting clear of them is to the Northward, where there seems to be a Passage, for as the wind blows constantly from the South-East we shall find it difficult, if not impractical, to return to the Southward.
(* Grassy Hill.)
(* These were the innermost reefs of the Great Barrier. There is a tolerably clear passage about 8 miles wide between them and the shore, though this has some small shoals in it.)
Sunday, 1st July. Gentle breezes at South-East, and Cloudy weather, with some Gentle Showers in the morning. P.M., the People return’d from hauling the Sean, having caught as much fish as came to 2 1/2 pound per Man, no one on board having more than another. The few Greens we got I caused to be boil’d among the pease, and makes a very good Mess, which, together with the fish, is a great refreshment to the people. A.M., a party of Men, one from each Mess, went again a fishing, and all the rest I gave leave to go into the Country, knowing that there was no danger from the Natives. To-day at Noon the Thermometer in the Shade rose to 87 degrees, which is 2 or 3 Degrees higher than it hath been on any day before in this place.
Monday, 2nd. Ditto weather. P.M., the fishing-party caught as much fish as came to 2 pounds a Man. Those that were in the Country met with nothing New. Early in the A.M. I sent the Master in the pinnace out of the Harbour, to sound about the Shoals in the Offing and to look for a Channel to the Northward. At this time we had a breeze of wind from the land, which continued till about 9. What makes me mention this is, that it is the first Land breeze we have had since we have been in this River. At low water lashed empty Casks under the Ship’s bows, being in some hopes of floating her the next high Water, and sent some hands a fishing, while others were employ’d in refitting the Ship.
Tuesday, 3rd. Winds at South-East, Fore and Middle part gentle breeze, the remainder a fresh gale. In the evening the fishing Party return’d, having got as much fish as came to 2 pounds a Man. At high water we attempted to heave the Ship off, but did not succeed. At Noon the Master return’d, and reported he had found a passage out to Sea between the Shoals, which passage lies out East-North-East or East by North from the River mouth. He found these Shoals to Consist of Coral Rocks; he landed upon one, which drys at low Water, where he found very large cockles* and a Variety of other Shell fish, a quantity of which he brought away with him. He told me that he was 5 Leagues out at Sea, having at that distance 21 fathoms water, and judg’d himself to be without all the Shoals, which I very much doubted.* After this he came in Shore, and Stood to the Northward, where he met with a Number of Shoals laying a little distance from the Shore. About 9 in the evening he landed in a Bay about 3 Leagues to the Northward of this Place, where he disturbed some of the Natives, whom he supposed to be at supper; they all fled upon his approach, and Left him some fresh Sea Eggs, and a fire ready lighted behind them; but there was neither House nor Hut near. Although these Shoals lay within sight of the Coast, and abound very much with Shell fish and other small fish, which are to be caught at Low water in holes in the Rocks, yet the Natives never visit them, for if they did we must have seen of these Large shells on shore about their fire places. The reason I do suppose is, that they have no Boats that they dare Venture so far out at Sea in.*
(* Cook was right. The shoals extend for four leagues farther.)
(* Nevertheless the natives do get out to the islands which lie farther from the shore than these reefs, as Cook himself afterwards found.)
Wednesday, 4th. Strong gales at South-East and fair weather. P.M., the fishing party return’d with the usual success; at High water hove the ship Afloat. A.M., employ’d trimming her upon an even Kiel, intending to lay her ashore once more, to come at her bottom under the Larboard Main Chains.
Thursday, 5th. Strong breezes at South-East and fair weather. P.M. Warped the Ship over, and at high Water laid her ashore on the Sandbank on the South side of the River, for I was afraid to lay her broad side to the Shore where she lay before, because the ground lies upon too great a decent, and she hath already received some Damage by laying there these last Niep Tides, at least she still makes water.
Friday, 6th. Ditto weather. At low water in the P.M. had hardly 4 feet water under the Ship; yet could not repair the Sheathing that was beat off, the place being all under water. One of the Carpenter’s crew, a Man I could trust, went down and Examin’d it, and found 3 Streakes of the Sheathing gone about 7 or 8 feet long, and the Main Plank a little rubbed; this account agrees with the report of the Master and others that were under her bottom before. The Carpenter, who I look upon to be well skill’d in his profession, and a good judge in these matters, was of Opinion that this was of little consequence; and as I found that it would be difficult, if not impractical, for us to get under her bottom to repair it, I resolved to spend no more time about it. Accordingly at high water hove her off, and moor’d her alongside the beach, where the Stores, etc., lay, and in the A.M. got everything in readiness for taking them on board, and at the same time got on board 8 Tuns of Water, and stow’d in the ground Tier in the after Hold. In the Morning Mr. Banks and Lieutenant Gore with 3 Men went in a small Boat up the Harbour, with a View to stay 2 or 3 days to try to Kill some of the Animals we have seen about this place.
Saturday, 7th. Fresh breezes at South-East and fair weather. Employ’d getting on board Coals, Ballast, etc., and caulking the Ship; a work that could not be done while she lay aground. The Armourer and his Mate are Still employ’d at the Forge making and repairing sundry Articles in the Iron way.
Sunday, 8th. Gentle breeze and South-East, and clear weather. Early I sent the Master in a Boat out to Sea to sound again about the Shoals, because the account he had given of the Channell before mentioned was to me by no means Satisfactory; likewise sent some hands to haul the Sean, who caught near 80 pounds of fish; the rest of the people I gave leave to go into the Country.
Monday, 9th. In the Day Ditto Winds, but in the night Calm. P.M., Mr. Gore and Mr. Banks return’d, having met with nothing remarkable; they were about 3 or 4 Leagues up in the Country without finding hardly any Variation either in the Soil or Produce. In the Evening the Master return’d, having been several Leagues out at Sea, and at that Distance off saw Shoals without him, and was of opinion there was no getting out to Sea that way. In his return he touched upon one of the Shoals, the same as he was upon the first time he was out; he here saw a great number of Turtle, 3 of which he Caught weighing 791 pounds. This occasion’d my sending him out again this morning provided with proper gear for Striking them, he having before nothing but a Boat Hook. Carpenters, Smiths, and Coopers at their respective Employments, and the Seamen employed getting on board stones, ballast, etc. This day all hands feasted upon Turtle for the First time.*
(* As they had had nothing fresh but a little fish for four months, and scarcely any meat since they left the Society Islands, eleven months before, we can imagine that this was a feast.)
Tuesday, 10th. Winds and weather as yesterday. Employ’d hoisting on board and stowing away the ground Tier of Water. P.M., saw 7 or 8 of the Natives on the South side of the River, and 2 of them came down upon the Sandy point opposite the Ship; but as soon as I put off in a Boat in order to speak with them they run away as fast as they could. At 11 Mr. Banks, who had gone out to Sea with Mr. Molineux, the Master, return’d in his own Small Boat, and gave but a Very bad account of our Turtlecatchers. At the time he left them, which was about 6 o’Clock, they had not got one, nor were they likely to get any; and yet the Master was so obstinate that he would not return,* which obliged me to send Mr. Gore out in the Yawl this morning to order the Boat and People in, in Case they could not be employ’d there to some Advantage. In the A.M. 4 of the Natives came down to the Sandy point on the North side of the Harbour, having along with them a small wooden Canoe with Outriggers, in which they seem’d to be employed striking fish, etc. Some were for going over in a Boat to them; but this I would not suffer, but let them alone without seeming to take any Notice of them. At length 2 of them came in the Canoe so near the Ship as to take some things we throw’d them. After this they went away, and brought over the other 2, and came again alongside, nearer than they had done before, and took such Trifles as we gave them; after this they landed close to the Ship, and all 4 went ashore, carrying their Arms with them. But Tupia soon prevailed upon them to lay down their Arms, and come and set down by him, after which most of us went to them, made them again some presents, and stay’d by them until dinner time, when we made them understand that we were going to eat, and asked them by signals to go with us; but this they declined, and as soon as we left them they went away in their Canoe. One of these Men was something above the Middle Age, the other 3 were young; none of them were above 5 1/2 feet high, and all their Limbs proportionately small. They were wholy naked, their Skins the Colour of Wood soot, and this seem’d to be their Natural Colour. Their Hair was black, lank, and cropt short, and neither wooly nor Frizled; nor did they want any of their Fore Teeth, as Dampier has mentioned those did he saw on the Western side of this Country. Some part of their Bodys had been painted with red, and one of them had his upper lip and breast painted with Streakes of white, which he called Carbanda. Their features were far from being disagreeable; their Voices were soft and Tunable, and they could easily repeat any word after us, but neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said.
(* This seems rather hard upon the Master.)
Wednesday, 11th. Gentle land and Sea breezes. Employed Airing the Bread, stowing away water, Stores, etc. In the night the Master and Mr. Gore returned with the Long Boat, and brought with them one Turtle and a few Shell fish; the Yawl Mr. Gore left upon the Shoal with 6 Men to endeavour to strike more Turtle. In the morning 4 of the Natives made us another Short Visit; 3 of them had been with us the preceeding day, the other was a stranger. One of these men had a hole through the Bridge* of his nose, in which he stuck a peice of Bone as thick as my finger. Seeing this we examin’d all their Noses, and found that they had all holes for the same purpose; they had likewise holes in their Ears, but no Ornaments hanging to them; they had bracelets on their Arms made of hair, and like Hoops of small Cord. They sometimes may wear a kind of fillet about their Heads, for one of them had applied some part of an old shirt which I had given them to this use.
(* The cartilage of the nostril.)
Thursday, 12th. Winds and weather as Yesterday, and the Employment of the People the same. At 2 A.M. the Yawl came on board, and brought 3 Turtle and a large Skeat, and as there was a probability of succeeding in this kind of fishery, I sent her out again after breakfast. About this time 5 of the Natives came over and stay’d with us all the Forenoon. There were 7 in all — 5 Men, 1 Woman, and a Boy; these 2 last stay’d on the point of Land on the other side of the River about 200 Yards from us. We could very clearly see with our Glasses that the Woman was as naked as ever she was born; even those parts which I always before now thought Nature would have taught a woman to Conceal were uncovered.
Friday, 13th. Gentle breezes from the South-East in day, and Calm or light Airs from the Land in the Night. Employ’d taking on board water, Stores, etc. At Noon the Yawl return’d with one Turtle and a large Sting ray.
Saturday, 14th. Gentle breezes at South-East and Hazey weather. In the P.M. compleated our water; got on board all the Bread, and part of our Stores; in the evening sent the Turtlers out again. A.M., employ’d getting on board stone ballast and Airing the spare Sails. Mr. Gore, being in the Country, shott one of the Animals before spoke of; it was a small one of the sort, weighing only 28 pound clear of the entrails; its body was ——* long; the head, neck, and Shoulders very Small in proportion to the other parts. It was hair lipt, and the Head and Ears were most like a Hare’s of any Animal I know; the Tail was nearly as long as the body, thick next the Rump, and Tapering towards the End; the fore Legs were 8 Inches long, and the Hind 22. Its progression is by Hopping or Jumping 7 or 8 feet at each hop upon its hind Legs only, for in this it makes no use of the Fore, which seem to be only design’d for Scratching in the ground, etc. The Skin is cover’d with a Short, hairy furr of a dark Mouse or Grey Colour. It bears no sort of resemblance to any European animal I ever saw; it is said to bear much resemblance to the Jerboa, excepting in size, the Jerboa being no larger than a common rat.
(* Blank in manuscript.)
Sunday, 15th. Gentle breezes at South-East and East. P.M., got on board the Spare Sails and sundry other Articles. In the A.M., as the people did not work upon the Ship, one of the Petty Officers was desirous of going out to Catch Turtles. I let him have the Pinnace for that purpose, and sent the Long boat to haul the Sean, who caught about 60 fish.
Monday, 16th. Fore and Latter parts gentle breezes at East-North-East; in the night had light Airs and Calm. In the evening the Yawl came in with 4 Turtle and a Large Sting ray, and soon after went out again; but the Pinnace did not return as I expected. A.M., employ’d getting on board Cables; at the same time I went upon one of the high hills on the North side of the River, from which I had an extensive view of the inland Country, which consisted of hills, Valleys, and Large plains, agreeably diversified with Woods and Lawns.
Tuesday, 17th. Wind at South-East, a fresh breeze; people employed as yesterday setting up the rigging. In the evening the Pinnace returned with 3 Turtles, 2 of which the Yawl caught and sent in. At 7 hours 41 minutes 17 seconds p.m. observ’d the first Satellite of Jupiter to Emerge, and the same Emersion hapned at Greenwich at 10 hours 00 minutes 52 seconds in the a.m.; the difference is 14 hours 19 minutes 35 seconds equal to 214 degrees 53 minutes 45 seconds of Longitude. The observation made on the 29th of last Month gave 214 degrees 42 minutes 30 seconds; the mean is 214 degrees 48 minutes 7 1/2 seconds, which this place is West of Greenwich.*
(* As before mentioned, the true longitude is 214 degrees 45 minutes.)
Wednesday, 18th. Wind at East-South-East, a Gentle breeze. P.M., I sent the Master and one of the Mates in the Pinnace to the Northward to look for a Channell that way clear of the Shoal. Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself took a turn into the woods on the other side of the water, where we met with 5 of the Natives; and although we had not seen any of them before, they came to us without showing any signs of fear. 2 of these wore Necklaces made of Shells, which they seem’d to Value, as they would not part with them. In the evening the Yawl came in with 3 Turtle, and early in the A.M. she went out again. About 8 we were Visited by several of the Natives, who now became more familiar than ever. Soon after this Mr. Banks and I went over to the South* side of the River, and Travel’d 6 or 8 miles along shore to the Northward, where we ascended a high hill, from whence I had an extensive view of the Sea Coast; it afforded us a melancholy prospect of the difficulties we are to encounter, for in whatever direction we looked it was cover’d with Shoals as far as the Eye could see; after this we return’d to the Ship without meeting with anything remarkable, and found several of the Natives on board. At this time we had 12 tortoise or Turtle upon our Decks, which they took more Notice of than anything Else in the Ship, as I was told by the officers, for their Curiosity was Satisfied before I got on board, and they went away soon after.
(* This should be North.)
Thursday, 19th. Gentle breezes and fair weather. Employ’d getting everything in readyness for Sea. A.M., we were Visited by 10 or 11 of the Natives; the most of them came from the other side of the Harbour, where we saw 6 or 7 more, the most of them Women, and, like the men, quite naked. Those that came on board were very desirous of having some of our Turtles, and took the liberty to haul 2 of them to the Gangway to put over the side; being disappointed in this, they grew a little Troublesome, and were for throwing every thing overboard they could lay their hands upon. As we had no Victuals dress’d at this time, I offer’d them some bread to Eat, which they rejected with Scorn, as I believe they would have done anything else excepting Turtle;* soon after this they all went ashore, Mr. Banks, myself, and 5 or 6 of our people being their at same time. Immediately upon their Landing one of tbem took a Handful of dry grass and lighted it at a fire we had ashore, and before we well know’d what he was going about he made a larger Circuit round about us, and set fire to the grass in his way, and in an instant the whole place was in flames. Luckily at this time we had hardly anything ashore, besides the Forge and a Sow with a litter of young Pigs, one of which was scorched to Death in the fire. As soon as they had done this they all went to a place where some of our people were washing, and where all our nets and a good deal of linnen were laid out to dry; here with the greatest obstinacy they again set fire to the grass, which I and some others who were present could not prevent, until I was obliged to fire a Musquet load with small Shott at one of the Ring leaders, which sent them off. As we were apprised of this last Attempt of theirs we got the fire out before it got head, but the first spread like wild fire in the Woods and grass. Notwithstanding my firing, in which one must have been a little hurt, because we saw a few drops of blood on some of the linnen he had gone over, they did not go far from us; for we soon after heard their Voices in the woods, upon which Mr. Banks and I and 3 or 4 more went to look for them, and very soon met them coming toward us. As they had each 4 or 5 Darts, and not knowing their intention, we seized upon 6 or 7 of the first darts we met with. This alarm’d them so much that they all made off, and we follow’d them for near 1/2 a Mile, and then set down and called to them, and they stop’d also; after some little unintelligible conversation had passed they laid down their darts, and came to us in a very friendly manner. We now return’d the Darts we had taken from them, which reconcil’d everything. There were 4 Strangers among them that we had not seen before, and these were interduced to us by name by the others; the Man which we supposed to have been Struck with small Shott was gone off, but he could not be much hurt as he was at a great distance when I fir’d. They all came along with us abreast of the Ship, where they stay’d a short time, and then went away, and soon after set the woods on fire about a Mile and a half or two Miles from us.
(* No doubt, in the native view, the turtle belonged to them, and they considered the strangers had annexed their property.)
Friday, 20th. Fresh breezes at South-East and Cloudy weather. P.M., got everything on board the Ship, new berth’d her, and let her swing with the tide. In the night the Master return’d with the pinnace, and reported that there was no safe Passage for the Ship to the Northward at low water. A.M., I went and Sounded and buoy’d the Bar, being now ready to put to sea the first opportunity.
Saturday, 21st. Strong breezes at South-East and Cloudy weather. P.M., sent a Boat to haul the Sean, which return’d with as much fish as came to 1 3/4 pounds per Man; the Yawl return’d with only one Turtle, which was caught in the Net, for it blew too hard for the Boat to strike any. In the morning I sent her out again, but she was obliged to return, not being able to get to Windward. The Carpenters employ’d in repairing the Boats and overhauling the Pumps, and as the Wind would not permit us to sail, I sent the Boatswain with some hands ashore to make rope, and a petty Officer with 2 Men to gather Greens for the Ship’s Company.
Sunday, 22nd. Fresh breezes at South-East and East-South-East. Employ’d as Yesterday. A.M., the weather would not permit us to Sail; sent the Turtlers out again. In opening of one to-day we found sticking thro’ both Shoulder bones a wood Harpoon, or Turtle Peg, 15 Inches long, bearded at the end, such as we have seen among the Natives; this proves to a Demonstration that they strike Turtle, I suppose at the Time they come ashore to lay their Eggs, for they certainly have no boat fit to do this at Sea, or that will carry a Turtle, and this Harpoon must have been a good while in, as the wound was quite heal’d up.
Monday, 23rd. Fresh breezes in the South-East quarter, which so long as it continues will confine us in Port. Yesterday, A.M., I sent some people in the Country to gather greens, one of which stragled from the rest, and met with 4 of the Natives by a fire, on which they were broiling a Fowl, and the hind leg of one of the Animals before spoke of. He had the presence of mind not to run from them (being unarm’d), least they should pursue him, but went and set down by them; and after he had set a little while, and they had felt his hands and other parts of his body, they suffer’d him to go away without offering the least insult, and perceiving that he did not go right for the Ship they directed him which way to go.
Tuesday, 24th. Winds and weather continues. The Seamen employ’d making ropes, Caulking the Ship, Fishing, etc.
Wednesday, 25th. Fresh gales at South-East and fair weather. In the evening the Yawl came in, having not been able to Strike one Turtle on account of the blowing weather, nor can we catch much fish with the Sean in the Harbour.
Thursday, 26th. Winds and weather as Yesterday. Such people as can be spared from the necessary Dutys of the Ship are employ’d fishing and gathering greens and other refreshments.
Friday, 27th. Very fresh Gales at South-East by South and fair weather. A.M., caught as much fish as served 3/4 pounds a man, and Mr. Gore shott one of the Animals before spoke of, which weighed 80 pounds and 54 pounds, exclusive of the entrails, Skin, and head; this was as large as the most we have seen.
Saturday, 28th. Winds and weather as above, without the least Variation the whole of the 24 hours. The Carpenters finish’d caulking the Ship.
Sunday, 29th. Winds at South-East, a fresh breeze until 5 a.m., at which time it fell calm, and soon after had a light breeze from the land. Upon this I sent a Boat to see what water was upon the bar (it being 2 hours Ebb), and hove up the Anchor in order to put to Sea; but upon the return of the Boat came too again, as there were only 13 feet water on the Bar, which was 6 Inches less water than what the Ship Draw’d. After this I sent the Yawl to look for Turtle, as those we had got before were nearly all expended. About 8 the Sea breeze set in again, which put an end to our Sailing this day; after which I sent the Pinnace to haul the Sean; she return’d with only 20 pounds of Fish.
Monday, 30th. Winds at South-East, a fresh Gale and fair weather in the P.M., the remainder Hazey, with rain, but the winds, tho more moderate, keept in the South-East quarter.
Tuesday, 31st. Fresh Gales at South-East, and hazey with rain all P.M. and most part of the Night. At 2 a.m. I had thoughts of trying to Warp the Ship out of the Harbour, but upon my going first out in a Boat I found it blow too fresh for such an Attempt.
Wednesday, 1st August. Strong Gales from the South-East, with Squalls attended with Rain. P.M., the Yawl came in with 2 Rays, which together weighed 265 pounds; it blow’d too hard all the time they were out for striking Turtle. Carpenters employ’d overhauling the Pumps, all of which we find in a state of decay; and this the Carpenter says is owing to the Sap having been left in, which in time has decay’d the sound wood. One of them is quite useless, and was so rotten when hoisted up as to drop to peices. However, I cannot complain of a Leaky Ship, for the most water She makes is not quite an Inch an Hour.
Thursday, 2nd. Winds and weather as yesterday, or rather more Stormy; we have now no Success in the Sein fishing, hardly getting above 20 or 30 pounds a day.
Friday, 3rd. Strong breezes, and hazey until 6 a.m., when it moderated, and we unmoor’d, hove up the Anchor, and began to Warp out; but the Ship tailing upon the Sand on the North side of the River, the Tide of Ebb making out, and a fresh breeze setting in, we were obliged to desist and moor the Ship again just within the Barr.
Saturday, 4th. In the P.M., having pretty moderate weather, I order’d the Coasting Anchor and Cable to be laid without the barr, to be ready to warp out by, that we might not loose the least opportunity that might Offer; for laying in Port spends time to no purpose, consumes our Provisions, of which we are very Short in many Articles, and we have yet a long Passage to make to the East Indies through an unknown and perhaps dangerous Sea; these Circumstances consider’d, make me very Anxious of getting to Sea. The wind continued moderate all night, and at 5 a.m. it fell calm; this gave us an opportunity to warp out. About 7 we got under sail, having a light Air from the Land, which soon died away, and was Succeeded by the Sea breezes from South-East by South, with which we stood off to Sea East by North, having the Pinnace ahead sounding. The Yawl I sent to the Turtle bank to take up the Net that was left there; but as the wind freshen’d we got out before her, and a little After Noon Anchor’d in 15 fathoms water, Sandy bottom, for I did not think it safe to run in among the Shoals until I had well view’d them at low Water from the Mast head, that I might be better Able to Judge which way to Steer; for as yet I had not resolved whether I should beat back to the Southward round all the Shoals, or seek a Passage to the Eastward or Northward, all of which appeared to be equally difficult and dangerous. When at Anchor the Harbour sail’d from bore South 70 degrees West, distant 4 or 5 Leagues; the Northermost point of the Main land we have in sight, which I named Cape Bedford* (Latitude 15 degrees 17 minutes South, Longitude 214 degrees 45 minutes West), bore North 20 degrees West, distant 3 1/2 Leagues; but we could see land to the North-East of this Cape, which made like 2 high Islands;* the Turtle banks bore East, distant one Mile. latitude by Observation 15 degrees 23 minutes South; our depth of Water, in standing off from the land, was from 3 1/2 to 15 fathoms.
(* Probably after John, 4th Duke, who had been First Lord of the Admiralty, 1744 to 1747.)
(* Direction Islands.)
I shall now give a Short description of the Harbour, or River, we have been in, which I named after the Ship, Endeavour River. It is only a small Barr Harbour or Creek, which runs winding 3 or 4 Leagues in land, at the Head of which is a small fresh Water Brook, as I was told, for I was not so high myself; but there is not water for Shipping above a Mile within the barr, and this is on the North side, where the bank is so steep for nearly a quarter of a Mile that ships may lay afloat at low water so near the Shore as to reach it with a stage, and is extreamly Convenient for heaving a Ship down. And this is all the River hath to recommend it, especially for large Shipping, for there is no more than 9 or 10 feet Water upon the Bar at low water, and 17 or 18 feet at high, the Tides rises and falling about 9 feet at spring Tide, and is high on the days of the New and full Moon, between 9 and 10 o’Clock. Besides, this part of the Coast is barrocaded with Shoals, as to make this Harbour more difficult of access; the safest way I know of to come at it is from the South, Keeping the Main land close on board all the way. Its situation may always be found by the Latitude, which hath been before mentioned. Over the South point is some high Land, but the North point is formed by a low sandy beach, which extends about 3 Miles to the Northward, then the land is again high.
The refreshments we got here were Chiefly Turtle, but as we had to go 5 Leagues out to Sea for them, and had much blowing weather, we were not over Stocked with this Article; however, what with these and the fish we caught with the Sean we had not much reason to Complain, considering the Country we were in. Whatever refreshment we got that would bear a Division I caused to be equally divided among the whole Company, generally by weight; the meanest person in the Ship had an equal share with myself or any one on board, and this method every commander of a Ship on such a Voyage as this ought ever to Observe. We found in several places on the Sandy beaches and Sand Hills near the Sea, Purslain and beans, which grows on a Creeping kind of a Vine. The first we found very good when boiled, and the latter not to be dispised, and were at first very serviceable to the Sick; but the best greens we found here was the Tarra, or Coco Tops, called in the West Indies Indian Kale,* which grows in most Boggy Places; these eat as well as, or better, than Spinnage. The roots, for want of being Transplanted and properly Cultivated, were not good, yet we could have dispensed with them could we have got them in any Tolerable plenty; but having a good way to go for them, it took up too much time and too many hands to gather both root and branch. The few Cabage Palms we found here were in General small, and yielded so little Cabage that they were not worth the Looking after, and this was the Case with most of the fruit, etc., we found in the woods.
(* Colocasia Macrorhiza.)
Besides the Animals which I have before mentioned, called by the Natives Kangooroo, or Kanguru, here are Wolves,* Possums, an Animal like a ratt, and snakes, both of the Venemous and other sorts. Tame Animals here are none except Dogs, and of these we never saw but one, who frequently came about our Tents to pick up bones, etc. The Kanguru are in the greatest number, for we seldom went into the Country without seeing some. The land Fowls we met here, which far from being numerous, were Crows, Kites, Hawkes, Cockadores* of 2 Sorts, the one white, and the other brown, very beautiful Loryquets of 2 or 3 Sorts, Pidgeons, Doves, and a few other sorts of small Birds. The Sea or Water fowl are Herns, Whisling Ducks, which perch and, I believe, roost on Trees; Curlews, etc., and not many of these neither. Some of our Gentlemen who were in the Country heard and saw Wild Geese in the Night.
(* Probably Dingos.)
The Country, as far as I could see, is diversified with Hills and plains, and these with woods and Lawns; the Soil of the Hills is hard, dry, and very Stoney; yet it produceth a thin Coarse grass, and some wood. The Soil of the Plains and Valleys are sandy, and in some places Clay, and in many Parts very Rocky and Stoney, as well as the Hills, but in general the Land is pretty well Cloathed with long grass, wood, Shrubs, etc. The whole Country abounds with an immense number of Ant Hills, some of which are 6 or 8 feet high, and more than twice that in Circuit. Here are but few sorts of Trees besides the Gum tree, which is the most numerous, and is the same that we found on the Southern Part of the Coast, only here they do not grow near so large. On each side of the River, all the way up it, are Mangroves, which Extend in some places a Mile from its banks; the Country in general is not badly water’d, there being several fine Rivulets at no very great distance from one another, but none near to the place where we lay; at least not in the Dry season, which is at this time. However we were very well supply’d with water by springs which were not far off.*
(* Cooktown, which now stands on the Endeavour River, is a thriving place, and the northernmost town on this coast. It has some 2000 inhabitants, and is the port for a gold mining district. A deeper channel has now been dredged over the bar that gave Cook so much trouble, but it is not a harbour that will admit large vessels.)
Sunday, 5th. In the P.M. had a Gentle breeze at South-East and Clear weather. As I did not intend to weigh until the morning I sent all the Boats to the Reef to get what Turtle and Shell fish they could. At low water from the Mast head I took a view of the Shoals, and could see several laying a long way without this one, a part of several of them appearing above water; but as it appear’d pretty clear of Shoals to the North-East of the Turtle Reef, I came to a Resolution to stretch out that way close upon a wind, because if we found no Passage we could always return back the way we went. In the Evening the Boats return’d with one Turtle, a sting ray, and as many large Clams as came to 1 1/2 pounds a Man; in each of these Clams were about 20 pounds of Meat; added to this we Caught in the night several Sharks. Early in the morning I sent the Pinnace and Yawl again to the Reef, as I did not intend to weigh until half Ebb, at which time the Shoals began to appear. Before 8 it came on to blow, and I made the Signal for the Boats to come on Board, which they did, and brought with them one Turtle. We afterwards began to heave, but the wind Freshening obliged us to bear away* again and lay fast.
(* To veer cable, i.e., pay out more cable, in order to hold the ship with the freshening wind.)
Monday, 6th. Winds at South-East. At 2 o’Clock p.m. it fell pretty Moderate, and we got under sail, and stood out upon a wind North-East by East, leaving the Turtle Reef to windward, having the Pinnace ahead sounding. We had not stood out long before we discovered shoals ahead and on both bows. At half past 4 o’Clock, having run off 8 Miles, the Pinnace made the Signal for Shoal water in a place where we little Expected it; upon this we Tack’d and Stood on and off while the Pinnace stretched farther to the Eastward, but as night was approaching I thought it safest to Anchor, which we accordingly did in 20 fathoms water, a Muddy bottom. Endeavour River bore South 52 degrees West; Cape Bedford West by North 1/2 North, distant 5 Leagues; the Northermost land in sight, which made like an Island, North; and a Shoal, a small, sandy part of which appear’d above water, North-East, distance 2 or 3 Miles. In standing off from this Turtle Reef to this place our soundings were from 14 to 20 fathoms, but where the Pinnace was, about a Mile farther to the East-North-East, were no more than 4 or 5 feet of water, rocky ground; and yet this did not appear to us in the Ship. In the morning we had a strong Gale from the South-East, that, instead of weighing as we intended, we were obliged to bear away more Cable, and to Strike Top Gallant yards.
Tuesday, 7th. Strong Gales at South-East, South-East by South, and South-South-East, with cloudy weather at Low water in the P.M. I and several of the Officers kept a look out at the Mast head to see for a Passage between the Shoals; but we could see nothing but breakers all the way from the South round by the East as far as North-West, extending out to Sea as far as we could see. It did not appear to be one continued Shoal, but several laying detached from each other. On the Eastermost that we could see the Sea broke very high, which made one judge it to be the outermost; for on many of those within the Sea did not break high at all, and from about 1/2 flood to 1/2 Ebb they are not to be seen, which makes the Sailing among them more dangerous, and requires great care and Circumspection, for, like all other Shoals, or Reefs of Coral Rocks, they are quite steep too. Altho’ the most of these Shoals consist of Coral Rocks, yet a part of some of them is sand. The Turtle Reef and some others have a small Patch of Sand generally at the North end, that is only cover’d at high water. These generally discover themselves before we come near them. Altho’ I speak of this as the Turtle Reef, yet it is not to be doubted but what there are Turtle upon the most of them as well as this one. After having well viewed our situation from the Mast Head, I saw that we were surrounded on every side with Dangers, in so much that I was quite at a loss which way to steer when the weather will permit us to get under sail, for to beat back to the South-East the way we came, as the Master would have had me done, would be an endless peice of work, as the winds blow constantly from that Quarter, and very Strong, without hardly any intermission;* on the other hand, if we do not find a passage to the Northward we shall have to come back at last. At 11 the Ship drove, and obliged us to bear away to a Cable and one third, which brought us up again; but in the morning the Gale increasing, she drove again. This made us let go the Small Bower Anchor, and bear away a whole Cable on it and 2 on the other; and even after this she still kept driving slowly, until we had got down Top gallant Masts, struck Yards and Top masts close down, and made all snug; then she rid fast, Cape Bedford bearing West-South-West, distant 3 1/2 Leagues. In this situation we had Shoals to the Eastward of us extending from the South-East by South to the North-North-West, distant from the nearest part of them about 2 Miles.
(* The south-east trade wind blows home on this coast very strong from about June to October. Though the Barrier Reef prevents any great sea from getting up, the continuance of this wind is a great nuisance for a sailing ship from many points of view though from others it is an advantage.)
Wednesday, 8th. Strong gales at South-South-East all this day, in so much that I durst not get up Yards and Topmasts.
Thursday, 9th. In the P.M., the weather being something moderate, we got up the Top masts, but keept the Lower yards down. At 6 in the morning we began to heave in the Cable, thinking to get under sail; but it blow’d so fresh, together with a head sea, that we could hardly heave the ship a head, and at last was obliged to desist.
Friday, 10th. Fresh Gales at South-South-East and South-East by South. P.M., the wind fell so that we got up the small Bower Anchor, and hove into a whole Cable on the Best Bower. At 3 in the morning we got up the Lower Yards, and at 7 weighed and stood in for the Land (intending to seek for a passage along Shore to the northward), having a Boat ahead sounding; depth of water as we run in from 19 to 12 fathoms. After standing in an hour we edged away for 3 Small Islands* that lay North-North-East 1/2 East, 3 Leagues from Cape Bedford. To these Islands the Master had been in the Pinnace when the Ship was in Port. At 9 we were abreast of them, and between them and the Main, having another low Island between us and the latter, which lies West-North-West, 4 Miles from the 3 Islands. In this Channell had 14 fathoms water; the Northermost point of the Main we had in sight bore from us North-North-West 1/2 West, distant 2 Leagues. 4 or 5 Leagues to the North-East of this head land appeared 3 high Islands,* with some smaller ones near them, and the Shoals and Reefs without, as we could see, extending to the Northward as far as these Islands. We directed our Course between them and the above headland, leaving a small Island* to the Eastward of us, which lies North by East, 4 Miles from the 3 Islands, having all the while a boat ahead sounding. At Noon we were got between the head Land and the 3 high Islands, distant from the former 2, and from the latter 4 Leagues; our latitude by observation was 14 degrees 51 minutes South. We now judged ourselves to be clear of all Danger, having, as we thought, a Clear, open Sea before us; but this we soon found otherwise, and occasioned my calling the Headland above mentioned Cape Flattery (Latitude 14 degrees 55 minutes South, Longitude 214 degrees 43 minutes West). It is a high Promontory, making in 2 Hills next the sea, and a third behind them, with low sandy land on each side; but it is better known by the 3 high Islands out at Sea, the Northermost of which is the Largest, and lies from the Cape North-North-East, distant 5 Leagues. From this Cape the Main land trends away North-West and North-West by West.
(* Now called the Three Isles.)
(* The Direction Islands.)
(* The Two Isles. Cook had now got among the numerous islands and reefs which lie round Cape Flattery. There are good channels between them, but they are very confusing to a stranger. Cook’s anxiety in his situation can well be imagined, especially with his recent disaster in his mind.)
Saturday, 11th. Fresh breezes at South-South-East and South-East by South, with which we steer’d along shore North-West by West until one o’Clock, when the Petty Officer at the Masthead called out that he saw land ahead, extending quite round to the Islands without, and a large reef between us and them; upon this I went to the Masthead myself. The reef I saw very plain, which was now so far to windward that we could not weather it, but what he took for Main land ahead were only small Islands, for such they appeared to me; but, before I had well got from Mast head the Master and some others went up, who all asserted that it was a Continuation of the Main land, and, to make it still more alarming, they said they saw breakers in a Manner all round us. We immediately hauld upon a wind in for the Land, and made the Signal for the Boat, which was ahead sounding, to come on board; but as she was well to leeward, we were obliged to edge away to take her up, and soon after came to an Anchor under a point of the Main in 1/4 less 5* fathoms, about a Mile from the Shore, Cape Flattery bearing South-East, distant 3 1/2 Leagues. After this I landed, and went upon the point, which is pretty high, from which I had a View of the Sea Coast, which trended away North-West by West, 8 or 10 Leagues, which was as far as I could see, the weather not being very clear. I likewise saw 9 or 10 Small, Low Islands and some Shoals laying off the Coast, and some large Shoals between the Main and the 3 high Islands, without which, I was now well assured, were Islands, and not a part of the Mainland as some had taken them to be. Excepting Cape Flattery and the point I am now upon, which I have named point Lookout, the Main land next the sea to the Northward of Cape Bedford is low, and Chequer’d with white sand and green Bushes, etc., for 10 or 12 Miles inland, beyond which is high land. To the northward of Point Lookout the shore appear’d to be shoal and flat some distance off, which was no good sign of meeting with a Channell in with the land, as we have hitherto done. We saw the footsteps of people upon the sand, and smoke and fire up in the Country, and in the evening return’d on board, where I came to a resolution to visit one of the high Islands in the Offing in my Boat, as they lay at least 5 Leagues out at Sea, and seem’d to be of such a height that from the Top of one of them I hoped to see and find a Passage out to sea clear of the Shoals. Accordingly in the Morning I set out in the Pinnace for the Northermost and largest of the 3, accompanied by Mr. Banks. At the same time I sent the Master in the Yawl to Leeward, to sound between the Low Islands and the Main. In my way to the Island I passed over a large reef of Coral Rocks and sand, which lies about 2 Leagues from the Island; I left another to leeward, which lays about 3 Miles from the Island. [On Lizard Island, Queensland.] On the North part of this is a low, sandy Isle, with Trees upon it; on the reef we pass’d over in the Boat we saw several Turtle, and Chased one or Two, but caught none, it blowing too hard, and I had no time to spare, being otherways employ’d. I did not reach the Island until half an hour after one o’Clock in the P.M. on
(* The nautical manner of expressing four and three-quarters.)
Sunday, 12th, when I immediately went upon the highest hill on the Island,* where, to my Mortification, I discover’d a Reef of Rocks laying about 2 or 3 Leagues without the Island, extending in a line North-West and South-East, farther than I could see, on which the sea broke very high.* This, however, gave one great hopes that they were the outermost shoals, as I did not doubt but what I should be able to get without them, for there appeared to be several breaks or Partitions in the Reef, and Deep Water between it and the Islands. I stay’d upon the Hill until near sun set, but the weather continued so Hazey all the time that I could not see above 4 or 5 Leagues round me, so that I came down much disappointed in the prospect I expected to have had, but being in hopes the morning might prove Clearer, and give me a better View of the Shoals. With this view I stay’d all night upon the Island, and at 3 in the Morning sent the Pinnace, with one of the Mates I had with me, to sound between the Island and the Reefs, and to Examine one of the breaks or Channels; and in the mean time I went again upon the Hill, where I arrived by Sun Rise, but found it much Hazier than in the Evening. About Noon the pinnace return’d, having been out as far as the Reef, and found from 15 to 28 fathoms water. It blow’d so hard that they durst not venture into one of the Channels, which, the Mate said, seem’d to him to be very narrow; but this did not discourage me, for I thought from the place he was at he must have seen it at disadvantage. Before I quit this Island I shall describe it. It lies, as I have before observed, about 5 Leagues from the Main; it is about 8 Miles in Circuit, and of a height sufficient to be seen 10 or 12 Leagues; it is mostly high land, very rocky and barren, except on the North-West side, where there are some sandy bays and low land, which last is covered with thin, long grass, Trees, etc., the same as upon the Main. Here is also fresh Water in 2 places; the one is a running stream, the water a little brackish where I tasted it, which was close to the sea; the other is a standing pool, close behind the sandy beach, of good, sweet water, as I daresay the other is a little way from the Sea beach. The only land Animals we saw here were Lizards, and these seem’d to be pretty Plenty, which occasioned my naming the Island Lizard Island. The inhabitants of the Main visit this Island at some Seasons of the Year, for we saw the Ruins of Several of their Hutts and heaps of Shells, etc. South-East, 4 or 5 Miles from this Island, lay the other 2 high Islands, which are very small compared to this; and near them lay 3 others, yet smaller and lower Islands, and several Shoals or reefs, especially to the South-East. There is, however, a clear passage from Cape Flattery to those Islands, and even quite out to the outer Reefs, leaving the above Islands to the South-East and Lizard Island to the North-West.
(* Lizard Island.)
(* This was the outer edge of the Barrier Reefs.)
Monday, 13th. At 2 P.M. I left Lizard Island in order to return to the Ship, and in my way landed upon the low sandy Isle mentioned in coming out. We found on this Island* a pretty number of Birds, the most of them sea Fowl, except Eagles; 2 of the Latter we shott and some of the others; we likewise saw some Turtles, but got none, for the reasons before mentioned. After leaving Eagle Isle I stood South-West direct for the Ship, sounding all the way, and had not less than 8 fathoms, nor more than 14. I had the same depth of Water between Lizard and Eagle Isle. After I got on board the Master inform’d me he had been down to the Islands I had directed him to go too, which he judged to lay about 3 Leagues from the Main, and had sounded the Channel between the 2, found 7 fathoms; this was near the Islands, for in with the Main he had only 9 feet 3 Miles off, but without the Islands he found 10, 12, and 14 fathoms. He found upon the islands piles of turtle shells, and some finns that were so fresh that both he and the boats’ crew eat of them. This showed that the natives must have been there lately. After well considering both what I had seen myself and the report of the Master’s, I found by experience that by keeping in with the Mainland we should be in continued danger, besides the risk we should run in being lock’d in with Shoals and reefs by not finding a passage out to Leeward. In case we persever’d in keeping the Shore on board an accident of this kind, or any other that might happen to the ship, would infallibly loose our passage to the East India’s this Season,* and might prove the ruin of both ourselves and the Voyage, as we have now little more than 3 Months’ Provisions on board, and that at short allowance. Wherefore, after consulting with the Officers, I resolved to weigh in the morning, and Endeavour to quit the Coast altogether until such time as I found I could approach it with less danger. With this View we got under sail at daylight in the morning, and stood out North-East for the North-West end of Lizard Island, having Eagle Island to windward of us, having the pinnace ahead sounding; and here we found a good Channell, wherein we had from 9 to 14 fathoms. At Noon the North end of Lizard Island bore East-South-East, distant one Mile; latitude observed 14 degrees 38 minutes South; depth of water 14 fathoms. We now took the pinnace in tow, knowing that there were no dangers until we got out to the Reefs.*
(* Eagle Island.)
(* In November the wind changes to the North-West, which would have been a foul wind to Batavia.)
(* From the 13th to the 19th the language used in Mr. Corner’s copy of the Journal is quite different from that of the Admiralty and the Queen’s, though the occurrences are the same. From internal evidences, it appears that Mr. Corner’s copy was at this period the first written up, and that Cook amended the phrases in the other fair copies.)
Tuesday, 14th. Winds at South-East, a steady gale. By 2 P.M. we got out to the outermost reefs, and just fetched to Windward of one of the openings I had discover’d from the Island; we tacked and Made a short trip to the South-West, while the Master went in the pinnace to examine the Channel, who soon made the signal for the Ship to follow, which we accordingly did, and in a short time got safe out. This Channel* lies North-East 1/2 North, 3 Leagues from Lizard Island; it is about one-third of a Mile broad, and 25 or 30 fathoms deep or more. The moment we were without the breakers we had no ground with 100 fathoms of Line, and found a large Sea rowling in from the South-East. By this I was well assured we were got with out all the Shoals, which gave us no small joy, after having been intangled among Islands and Shoals, more or less, ever since the 26th of May, in which time we have sail’d above 360 Leagues by the Lead without ever having a Leadsman out of the Chains, when the ship was under sail; a Circumstance that perhaps never hapned to any ship before, and yet it was here absolutely necessary. I should have been very happy to have had it in my power to have keept in with the land, in order to have explor’d the Coast to the Northern extremity of the Country, which I think we were not far off, for I firmly believe this land doth not join to New Guinea. But this I hope soon either to prove or disprove, and the reasons I have before assign’d will, I presume, be thought sufficient for my leaving the Coast at this time; not but what I intend to get in with it again as soon as I can do it with safety. The passage or channel we now came out by, which I have named, ——* lies in the latitude of 14 degrees 32 minutes South; it may always be found and known by the 3 high Islands within it, which I have called the Islands of Direction, because by their means a safe passage may be found even by strangers in within the Main reef, and quite into the Main. Lizard Island, which is the Northermost and Largest of the 3, Affords snug Anchorage under the North-West side of it, fresh water and wood for fuel; and the low Islands and Reefs which lay between it and the Main, abound with Turtle and other fish, which may be caught at all Seasons of the Year (except in such blowing weather as we have lately had). All these things considered there is, perhaps, not a better place on the whole Coast for a Ship to refresh at than this Island. I had forgot to mention in its proper place, that not only on this Island, but on Eagle Island, and on several places of the Sea beach in and about Endeavour River, we found Bamboos, Cocoa Nutts, the seeds of some few other plants, and Pummice-stones, which were not the produce of the Country. From what we have seen of it, it is reasonable to suppose that they are the produce of some lands or Islands laying in the Neighbourhood, most likely to the Eastward, and are brought hither by the Easterly trade winds. The Islands discover’d by Quiros lies in this parrallel, but how far to the Eastward it’s hard to say; for altho’ we found in most Charts his discoveries placed as far to the West as this country yet from the account of his Voyage, compared with what we ourselves have seen, we are Morally certain that he never was upon any part of this Coast.* As soon as we had got without the Reefs we Shortened sail, and hoisted in the pinnace and Long boat, which last we had hung alongside, and then stretched off East-North-East, close upon a wind, as I did not care to stand to the Northward until we had a whole day before us, for which reason we keept making short boards all night. The large hollow sea we have now got into acquaints us with a Circumstance we did not before know, which is that the Ship hath received more Damage than we were aware of, or could perceive when in smooth Water; for now she makes as much water as one pump will free, kept constantly at work. However this was looked upon as trifling to the Danger we had lately made an Escape from. At day light in the morning Lizard Island bore South by West, distant 10 Leagues. We now made all the sail we could, and stood away North-North-West 1/2 West, but at 9 we steer’d North-West 1/2 North, having the advantage of a Fresh Gale at South-East; at Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 13 degrees 46 minutes South, the Lizard Island bore South 15 degrees East, distant 58 Miles, but we had no land in sight.
(* Now known as Cook’s Passage.)
(* Blank in MS.)
(* The Island of Espiritu Santo, in the New Hebrides, which Quiros discovered, lies 1200 miles to the eastward, and New Caledonia, from which these objects might equally have come, is 1000 miles in the same direction.)
Wednesday, 15th. Fresh Trade at South-East and Clear weather. At 6 in the evening shortned sail and brought too, with her head to the North-East. By this time we had run near 12 Leagues upon a North-West 1/2 North Course since Noon. At 4 a.m. wore and lay her head to the South-West, and at 6 made all Sail, and steer’d West, in order to make the land, being fearful of over shooting the passage, supposing there to be one, between this land and New Guinea. By noon we had run 10 Leagues upon this Course, but saw no land. Our latitude by observation was 13 degrees 2 minutes South, Longitude 216 degrees 00 minutes West, which was 1 degree 23 minutes to the West of Lizard Island.
Thursday, 16th. Moderate breezes at East-South-East and fair weather. A little after Noon saw the Land from the Mast head bearing West-South-West, making high; at 2 saw more land to the North-West of the former, making in hills like Islands; but we took it to be a Continuation of the Main land. An hour after this we saw a reef, between us and the land, extending away to the Southward, and, as we thought, terminated here to the Northward abreast of us; but this was only on op’ning, for soon after we saw it extend away to the Northward as far as we could distinguish anything. Upon this we hauld close upon a Wind, which was now at East-South-East, with all the sail we could set. We had hardly trimm’d our sails before the wind came to East by North, which made our weathering the Reef very doubtful, the Northern point of which in sight at sun set still bore from us North by West, distant about 2 Leagues. However, this being the best Tack to Clear it, we keept standing to the Northward, keeping a good look out until 12 at night, when, fearing to run too far upon one Course, we tack’d and stood to the southward, having run 6 Leagues North or North by East since sun set; we had not stood above 2 Miles to the South-South-East before it fell quite Calm. We both sounded now and several times before, but had not bottom with 140 fathoms of line.* A little after 4 o’clock the roaring of the surf was plainly heard, and at daybreak the Vast foaming breakers were too plainly to be seen not a mile from us, towards which we found the ship was carried by the Waves surprisingly fast. We had at this time not an air of Wind, and the depth of water was unfathomable, so that there was not a possibility of anchoring. In this distressed Situation we had nothing but Providence and the small Assistance the Boats could give us to trust to; the Pinnace was under repair, and could not immediately be hoisted out. The Yawl was put in the Water, and the Longboat hoisted out, and both sent ahead to tow, which, together with the help of our sweeps abaft, got the Ship’s head round to the Northward, which seemed to be the best way to keep her off the Reef, or at least to delay time. Before this was effected it was 6 o’clock, and we were not above 80 or 100 yards from the breakers. The same sea that washed the side of the ship rose in a breaker prodidgiously high the very next time it did rise, so that between us and destruction was only a dismal Valley, the breadth of one wave, and even now no ground could be felt with 120 fathom. The Pinnace was by this time patched up, and hoisted out and sent ahead to Tow. Still we had hardly any hopes of saving the ship, and full as little our lives, as we were full 10 Leagues from the nearest Land, and the boats not sufficient to carry the whole of us; yet in this Truly Terrible Situation not one man ceased to do his utmost, and that with as much Calmness as if no danger had been near. All the dangers we had escaped were little in comparison of being thrown upon this reef, where the Ship must be dashed to pieces in a Moment. A reef such as one speaks of here is Scarcely known in Europe. It is a Wall of Coral Rock rising almost perpendicular out of the unfathomable Ocean, always overflown at high Water generally 7 or 8 feet, and dry in places at Low Water. The Large Waves of the Vast Ocean meeting with so sudden a resistance makes a most Terrible Surf, breaking Mountains high, especially as in our case, when the General Trade Wind blows directly upon it. At this Critical juncture, when all our endeavours seemed too little, a Small Air of Wind sprung up, but so small that at any other Time in a Calm we should not have observed it. With this, and the Assistance of our Boats, we could observe the Ship to move off from the Reef in a slanting direction; but in less than 10 Minutes we had as flat a Calm as ever, when our fears were again renewed, for as yet we were not above 200 Yards from the Breakers. Soon after our friendly Breeze visited us again, and lasted about as long as before. A Small Opening was now Seen in the Reef about a 1/4 of a Mile from us, which I sent one of the Mates to Examine. Its breadth was not more than the Length of the Ship, but within was Smooth Water. Into this place it was resolved to Push her if Possible, having no other Probable Views to save her, for we were still in the very Jaws of distruction, and it was a doubt wether or no we could reach this Opening. However, we soon got off it, when to our Surprise we found the Tide of Ebb gushing out like a Mill Stream, so that it was impossible to get in. We however took all the Advantage Possible of it, and it Carried us out about a 1/4 of a Mile from the breakers; but it was too Narrow for us to keep in long. However, what with the help of this Ebb, and our Boats, we by Noon had got an Offing of 1 1/2 or 2 Miles, yet we could hardly flatter ourselves with hopes of getting Clear, even if a breeze should Spring up, as we were by this time embay’d by the Reef, and the Ship, in Spite of our Endeavours, driving before the Sea into the bight. The Ebb had been in our favour, and we had reason to Suppose the flood which was now made would be against us. The only hopes we had was another Opening we saw about a Mile to the Westward of us, which I sent Lieutenant Hicks in the Small Boat to Examine. latitude observed 12 degrees 37 minutes South, the Main Land in Sight distant about 10 Leagues.
(* The description which follows, of the situation of the ship, and the occurrences until she was safely anchored inside the Barrier Reef, is from the Admiralty copy, as it is much fuller than that in Mr. Corner’s.)
Friday, 17th. While Mr. Hicks was Examining the opening we struggled hard with the flood, sometime gaining a little and at other times loosing. At 2 o’Clock Mr. Hicks returned with a favourable Account of the Opening. It was immediately resolved to Try to secure the Ship in it. Narrow and dangerous as it was, it seemed to be the only means we had of saving her, as well as ourselves. A light breeze soon after sprung up at East-North-East, with which, the help of our Boats, and a Flood Tide, we soon entered the Opening, and was hurried thro’ in a short time by a Rappid Tide like a Mill race, which kept us from driving against either side, though the Channel was not more than a 1/4 of a Mile broad, having 2 Boats ahead of us sounding.* Our deepth of water was from 30 to 7 fathoms; very irregular soundings and foul ground until we had got quite within the Reef, where we Anchor’d in 19 fathoms, a Coral and Shelly bottom. The Channel we came in by, which I have named Providential Channell, bore East-North-East, distant 10 or 12 Miles, being about 8 or 9 Leagues from the Main land, which extended from North 66 degrees West to South-West by South.
(* This picture of the narrow escape from total shipwreck is very graphic. Many a ship has been lost under similar circumstances, without any idea of anchoring, which would often save a vessel, as it is not often that a reef is so absolutely steep; but that Cook had this possibility in his mind is clear. As a proof of the calmness which prevailed on board, it may be mentioned that when in the height of the danger, Mr. Green, Mr. Clerke, and Mr. Forwood the gunner, were engaged in taking a Lunar, to obtain the longitude. The note in Mr. Green’s log is: “These observations were very good, the limbs of sun and moon very distinct, and a good horizon. We were about 100 yards from the reef, where we expected the ship to strike every minute, it being calm, no soundings, and the swell heaving us right on.”)
It is but a few days ago that I rejoiced at having got without the Reef; but that joy was nothing when Compared to what I now felt at being safe at an Anchor within it. Such are the Visissitudes attending this kind of Service, and must always attend an unknown Navigation where one steers wholy in the dark without any manner of Guide whatever. Was it not from the pleasure which Naturly results to a man from his being the first discoverer, even was it nothing more than Land or Shoals, this kind of Service would be insupportable, especially in far distant parts like this, Short of Provisions and almost every other necessary. People will hardly admit of an excuse for a Man leaving a Coast unexplored he has once discovered. If dangers are his excuse, he is then charged with Timerousness and want of Perseverance, and at once pronounced to be the most unfit man in the world to be employ’d as a discoverer; if, on the other hand, he boldly encounters all the dangers and Obstacles he meets with, and is unfortunate enough not to succeed, he is then Charged with Temerity, and, perhaps, want of Conduct. The former of these Aspersions, I am confident, can never be laid to my Charge, and if I am fortunate to Surmount all the Dangers we meet with, the latter will never be brought in Question; altho’ I must own that I have engaged more among the Islands and Shoals upon this Coast than perhaps in prudence I ought to have done with a single Ship* and every other thing considered. But if I had not I should not have been able to give any better account of the one half of it than if I had never seen it; at best, I should not have been able to say wether it was Mainland or Islands; and as to its produce, that we should have been totally ignorant of as being inseparable with the other; and in this case it would have been far more satisfaction to me never to have discover’d it. But it is time I should have done with this Subject, which at best is but disagreeable, and which I was lead into on reflecting on our late Dangers.
(* Cook was so impressed with the danger of one ship alone being engaged in these explorations, that in his subsequent voyages he asked for, and obtained, two vessels.)
In the P.M., as the wind would not permit us to sail out by the same Channel as we came in, neither did I care to move until the pinnace was in better repair, I sent the Master with all the other Boats to the Reef to get such refreshments as he could find, and in the meantime the Carpenters were repairing the pinnace. Variations by the Amplitude and Azimuth in the morning 4 degrees 9 minutes Easterly; at noon latitude observed 12 degrees 38 minutes South, Longitude in 216 degrees 45 minutes West. It being now about low water, I and some other of the officers went to the Masthead to see what we could discover. Great part of the reef without us was dry, and we could see an Opening in it about two Leagues farther to the South-East than the one we came in by; we likewise saw 2 large spots of sand to the Southward within the Reef, but could see nothing to the Northward between it and the Main. On the Mainland within us was a pretty high promontary, which I called Cape Weymouth (Latitude 12 degrees 42 minutes South, Longitude 217 degrees 15 minutes); and on the North-West side of this Cape is a Bay, which I called Weymouth Bay.*
(* Viscount Weymouth was one of the Secretaries of State when the Endeavour sailed.)
Saturday, 18th. Gentle breezes at East and East-South-East. At 4 P.M. the Boats return’d from the Reef with about 240 pounds of Shell-fish, being the Meat of large Cockles, exclusive of the Shells. Some of these Cockles are as large as 2 Men can move, and contain about 20 pounds of Meat, very good. At 6 in the morning we got under sail, and stood away to the North-West, as we could not expect a wind to get out to Sea by the same Channel as we came in without waiting perhaps a long time for it, nor was it advisable at this time to go without the Shoals, least we should by them be carried so far off the Coast as not to be able to determine wether or no New Guinea joins to or makes a part of this land. This doubtful point I had from my first coming upon the Coast, determined, if Possible, to clear up; I now came to a fix’d resolution to keep the Main land on board, let the Consequence be what it will, and in this all the Officers concur’d. In standing to the North-West we met with very irregular soundings, from 10 to 27 fathoms, varying 5 or 6 fathoms almost every Cast of the Lead. However, we keept on having a Boat ahead sounding. A little before noon we passed a low, small, sandy Isle, which we left on our Starboard side at the distance of 2 Miles. At the same time we saw others, being part of large Shoals above water, away to the North-East and between us and the Main land. At Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 12 degrees 28 minutes South, and 4 or 5 Leagues from the Main, which extended from South by West to North 71 degrees West, and some Small Islands extending from North 40 degrees West to North 54 degrees West, the Main or outer Reef seen from the Masthead away to the North-East.
Sunday, 19th. Gentle breezes at South-East by East and Clear wether. At 2 P.M., as we were steering North-West by North, saw a large shoal right ahead, extending 3 or 4 points on each bow, upon which we hauld up North-North-East and North-East by North, in order to get round to North Point of it, which we reached by 4 o’clock, and then Edged away to the westward, and run between the North end of this Shoal and another, which lays 2 miles to the Northward of it, having a Boat all the time ahead sounding. Our depth of Water was very irregular, from 22 to 8 fathoms. At 1/2 past 6 we Anchor’d in 13 fathoms; the Northermost of the Small Islands mentioned at Noon bore West 1/2 South, distant 3 Miles. These Islands, which are known in the Chart by the name of Forbes’s Isles,* lay about 5 Leagues from the Main, which here forms a moderate high point, which we called Bolt head, from which the Land trends more westerly, and is all low, sandy Land, but to the Southward it is high and hilly, even near the Sea. At 6 A.M. we got under sail, and directed our Course for an Island which lay but a little way from the Main, and bore from us at this time North 40 degrees West, distant 5 Leagues; but we were soon interrupted in our Course by meeting with Shoals, but by the help of 2 Boats ahead and a good lookout at the Mast head we got at last into a fair Channel, which lead us down to the Island, having a very large Shoal on our Starboard side and several smaller ones betwixt us and the Main land. In this Channel we had from 20 to 30 fathoms. Between 11 and 12 o’Clock we hauld round the North-East side of the Island, leaving it between us and the Main from which it is distant 7 or 8 Miles. This Island is about a League in Circuit and of a moderate height, and is inhabited; to the North-West of it are several small, low Islands and Keys, which lay not far from the Main, and to the Northward and Eastward lay several other Islands and Shoals, so that we were now incompassed on every side by one or the other, but so much does a great danger Swallow up lesser ones, that these once so much dreaded spots were now looked at with less concern. The Boats being out of their Stations, we brought too to wait for them. At Noon our latitude by observation was 12 degrees 0 minutes South, Longitude in 217 degrees 25 minutes West; depth of Water 14 fathoms; Course and distance sail’d, reduced to a strait line, since yesterday Noon is North 29 degrees West, 32 Miles. The Main land within the above Islands forms a point, which I call Cape Grenville* (Latitude 11 degrees 58 minutes, Longitude 217 degrees 38 minutes); between this Cape and the Bolt head is a Bay, which I Named Temple Bay.* East 1/2 North, 9 Leagues from Cape Grenville, lay some tolerable high Islands, which I called Sir Charles Hardy’s Isles;* those which lay off the Cape I named Cockburn Isles.*
(* Admiral John Forbes was a Commissioner of Longitude in 1768, and had been a Lord of the Admiralty from 1756 to 1763.)
(* George Grenville was First Lord of the Admiralty for a few months in 1763, and afterwards Prime Minister for two years.)
(* Richard Earl Temple, brother of George Grenville, was First Lord of the Admiralty in 1756.)
(* Admiral Sir C. Hardy was second in command in Hawke’s great action in Quiberon Bay, 1759.)
(* Admiral George Cockburn was a Commissioner of Longitude and Comptroller of the Navy when Cook left England. Off Cape Grenville the Endeavour again got into what is now the recognised channel along the land inside the reefs.)
Monday, 20th. Fresh breezes at East-South-East. About one P.M. the pinnace having got ahead, and the Yawl we took in Tow, we fill’d and Steer’d North by West, for some small Islands we had in that direction. After approaching them a little nearer we found them join’d or connected together by a large Reef; upon this we Edged away North-West, and left them on our Starboard hand, steering between them and the Island laying off the Main, having a fair and Clear Passage; Depth of Water from 15 to 23 fathoms. At 4 we discover’d some low Islands and Rocks bearing West-North-West, which we stood directly for. At half Past 6 we Anchor’d on the North-East side of the Northermost, in 16 fathoms, distant from the Island one Mile. This Isle lay North-West 4 Leagues from Cape Grenville. On the Isles we saw a good many Birds, which occasioned my calling them Bird Isles. Before and at Sunset we could see the Main land, which appear’d all very low and sandy, Extends as far to the Northward as North-West by North, and some Shoals, Keys, and low sandy Isles away to the North-East of us. At 6 A.M. we got again under sail, with a fresh breeze at East, and stood away North-North-West for some low Islands* we saw in that direction; but we had not stood long upon this Course before we were obliged to haul close upon a wind in Order to weather a Shoal which we discover’d on our Larboard bow, having at the same time others to the Eastward of us. By such time as we had weathered the Shoal to Leeward we had brought the Islands well upon our Leebow; but seeing some Shoals spit off from them, and some rocks on our Starboard bow, which we did not discover until we were very near them, made me afraid to go to windward of the Islands; wherefore we brought too, and made the signal for the pinnace, which was a head, to come on board, which done, I sent her to Leeward of the Islands, with Orders to keep along the Edge off the Shoal, which spitted off from the South side of the Southermost Island. The Yawl I sent to run over the Shoals to look for Turtle, and appointed them a Signal to make in case they saw many; if not, she was to meet us on the other side of the Island. As soon as the pinnace had got a proper distance from us we wore, and stood After her, and run to Leeward of the Islands, where we took the Yawl in Tow, she having seen only one small Turtle, and therefore made no Stay upon the Shoal. Upon this Island, which is only a Small Spott of Land, with some Trees upon it, we saw many Hutts and habitations of the Natives, which we supposed come over from the Main to these Islands (from which they are distant about 5 Leagues) to Catch Turtle at the time these Animals come ashore to lay their Eggs. Having got the Yawl in Tow, we stood away after the pinnace North-North-East and North by East to 2 other low Islands, having 2 Shoals, which we could see without and one between us and the Main. At Noon we were about 4 Leagues from the Main land, which we could see Extending to the Northward as far as North-West by North, all low, flat, and Sandy. Our latitude by observation was 11 degrees 23 minutes South, Longitude in 217 degrees 46 minutes West, and Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday at Noon North 22 degrees West, 40 Miles; soundings from 14 to 23 fathoms. But these are best seen upon the Chart, as likewise the Islands, Shoals, etc., which are too Numerous to be Mentioned singly.*
(* Boydong Keys.)
(* It is very difficult to follow Cook’s track after entering Providential Channel to this place. The shoals and islands were so confusing that their positions are very vaguely laid down on Cook’s chart. It is easy to imagine how slow was his progress and tortuous his course, with a boat ahead all the time constantly signalling shallow water. Nothing is more trying to officers and men.)
Tuesday, 21st. Winds at East by South and East-South-East, fresh breeze. By one o’Clock we had run nearly the length of the Southermost of the 2 Islands before mentioned, and finding that we could not well go to windward of them without carrying us too far from the Main land, we bore up, and run to Leeward, where we found a fair open passage. This done, we steer’d North by West, in a parrallel direction with the Main land, leaving a small Island between us and it, and some low sandy Isles and Shoals without us, all of which we lost sight of by 4 o’Clock; neither did we see any more before the sun went down, at which time the farthest part of the Main in sight bore North-North-West 1/2 West. Soon after this we Anchor’d in 13 fathoms, soft Ground, about five Leagues from the Land, where we lay until day light, when we got again under sail, having first sent the Yawl ahead to sound. We steer’d North-North-West by Compass from the Northermost land in sight; Variation 3 degrees 6 minutes East. Seeing no danger in our way we took the Yawl in Tow, and made all the Sail we could until 8 o’Clock, at which time we discover’d Shoals ahead and on our Larboard bow, and saw that the Northermost land, which we had taken to be a part of the Main, was an Island, or Islands,* between which and the Main their appeared to be a good Passage thro’ which we might pass by running to Leeward of the Shoals on our Larboard bow, which was now pretty near us. Whereupon we wore and brought too, and sent away the Pinnace and Yawl to direct us clear of the Shoals, and then stood after them. Having got round the South-East point of the Shoal we steer’d North-West along the South-West, or inside of it, keeping a good lookout at the Masthead, having another Shoal on our Larboard side; but we found a good Channel of a Mile broad between them, wherein were from 10 to 14 fathoms. At 11 o’Clock, being nearly the length of the Islands above mentioned, and designing to pass between them and the Main, the Yawl, being thrown a stern by falling in upon a part of the Shoal, She could not get over. We brought the Ship too, and Sent away the Long boat (which we had a stern, and rigg’d) to keep in Shore upon our Larboard bow, and the Pinnace on our Starboard; for altho’ there appear’d nothing in the Passage, yet I thought it necessary to take this method, because we had a strong flood, which carried us on end very fast, and it did not want much of high water. As soon as the Boats were ahead we stood after them, and got through by noon, at which time we were by observation in the latitude of 10 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds South. The nearest part of the Main, and which we soon after found to be the Northermost,* bore West southerly, distant 3 or 4 Miles; the Islands which form’d the passage before mentioned extending from North to North 75 degrees East, distant 2 or 3 Miles. At the same time we saw Islands at a good distance off extending from North by West to West-North-West, and behind them another chain of high land, which we likewise judged to be Islands.* The Main land we thought extended as far as North 71 degrees West; but this we found to be Islands. The point of the Main, which forms one side of the Passage before mentioned, and which is the Northern Promontory of this Country, I have named York Cape, in honour of his late Royal Highness, the Duke of York.* It lies in the Longitude of 218 degrees 24 minutes West, the North point in the latitude of 10 degrees 37 minutes South, and the East point in 10 degrees 41 minutes. The land over and to the Southward of this last point is rather low and very flatt as far inland as the Eye could reach, and looks barren. To the Southward of the Cape the Shore forms a large open bay, which I called Newcastle bay, wherein are some small, low Islands and shoals, and the land all about it is very low, flatt, and sandy. The land on the Northern part of the Cape is rather more hilly, and the shore forms some small bays, wherein there appear’d to be good Anchorage, and the Vallies appear’d to be tolerably well Cloathed with wood. Close to the East point of the Cape are 3 small Islands, and a small Ledge of rocks spitting off from one of them. There is also an Island laying close to the North Point. The other Islands before spoke of lay about 4 Miles without these; only two of them are of any extent. The Southermost is the largest, and much higher than any part of the Main land. On the North-West side of this Island seem’d to be good Anchorage, and Vallies that to all appearance would afford both wood and fresh Water. These Isles are known in the Chart by the name of York Isles.* To the Southward and South-East of them, and even to the Eastward and Northward, are several low Islands, rocks, and Shoals. Our depth of Water in sailing between them and the Main was 12, 13, and 14 fathoms.*
(* Now called Mount Adolphus Islands.)
(* Cape York, the northernmost point of Australia.)
(* The islands around Thursday Island.)
(* Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, was a brother of George III.)
(* Now called Mount Adolphus Islands.)
(* In this channel is the dangerous rock on which the steamship Quetta was wrecked, with such terrible loss of life, in 1890. By the Endeavour’s track she must have passed very near it.)
Wednesday, 22nd. Gentle breezes at East by South and clear weather. We had not steer’d above 3 or 4 Miles along shore to the westward before we discover’d the land ahead to be Islands detached by several Channels from the main land; upon this we brought too to Wait for the Yawl, and called the other Boats on board, and after giving them proper instructions, sent them away again to lead us thro’ the Channell next the Main, and as soon as the Yawl was on board made sail after them with the Ship. Soon after we discover’d rocks and Shoals in this Channell, upon which I made the Signal for the boats to lead thro’ the next Channel to the Northward* laying between the Islands, which they accordingly did, we following with the Ship, and had not less than 5 fathoms; and this in the narrowest part of the Channel, which was about a Mile and a 1/2 broad from Island to Island. At 4 o’Clock we Anchor’d about a Mile and a 1/2 or 2 Miles within the Entrance in 6 1/2 fathoms, clear ground, distance from the Islands on each side of us one Mile, the Main land extending away to the South-West; the farthest point of which we could see bore from us South 48 degrees West, and the Southermost point of the Islands, on the North-West side of the Passage, bore South 76 degrees West. Between these 2 points we could see no land, so that we were in great hopes that we had at last found out a Passage into the Indian seas; but in order to be better informed I landed with a party of men, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, upon the Islands which lies at the South-East point of the Passage. Before and after we Anchor’d we saw a Number of People upon this Island, Arm’d in the same manner as all the others we have seen, Except one man, who had a bow and a bundle of Arrows, the first we have seen upon this Coast. From the appearance of the people we expected they would have opposed our landing; but as we approached the shore they all made off, and left us in peaceable possession of as much of the Island as served our purpose. After landing I went upon the highest hill, which, however, was of no great height, yet no less than twice or thrice the height of the Ship’s Mastheads; but I could see from it no land between South-West and West-South-West, so that I did not doubt but there was a passage. I could see plainly that the lands laying to the North-West of this passage were compos’d of a number of Islands of Various extent, both for height and Circuit, ranged one behind another as far to the Northward and Westward as I could see, which could not be less than 12 or 14 Leagues.
(* This led to Endeavour Strait, but the recognised track is the channel farther north.)
Having satisfied myself of the great Probability of a passage, thro’ which I intend going with the Ship, and therefore may land no more upon this Eastern coast of New Holland, and on the Western side I can make no new discovery, the honour of which belongs to the Dutch Navigators, but the Eastern Coast from the latitude of 38 degrees South down to this place, I am confident, was never seen or Visited by any European before us; and notwithstanding I had in the Name of his Majesty taken possession of several places upon this Coast, I now once More hoisted English Colours, and in the Name of His Majesty King George the Third took possession of the whole Eastern coast from the above latitude down to this place by the Name of New Wales,* together with all the Bays, Harbours, Rivers, and Islands, situated upon the said Coast; after which we fired 3 Volleys of small Arms, which were answer’d by the like number from the Ship.
(* The Admiralty copy, as well as that belonging to Her Majesty, calls it New South Wales. The island where the ceremony was performed was named on Cook’s chart Possession Island, and is still so called.)
This done, we set out for the Ship, but were some time in getting on board on account of a very Rapid Ebb Tide, which set North-East out of the Passage. Ever since we came in amongst the Shoals this last time we have found a Moderate Tide; the flood setting to the North-West and Ebb to the South-East; at this place is high water at full and change of the moon, about 1 or 2 o’Clock, and riseth and falleth upon a perpendicular about 10 or 12 feet. We saw upon all the Adjacent Lands and Islands a great number of smokes — a certain sign that they are inhabited — and we have daily seen smokes on every part of the Coast we have lately been upon. Between 7 and 8 o’Clock a.m. we saw several naked people, all or most of them Women, down upon the beach picking up Shells, etc.; they had not a single rag of any kind of Cloathing upon them, and both these and those we saw yesterday were in every respect the same sort of People we have seen everywhere upon the Coast. 2 or 3 of the Men we saw Yesterday had on pretty large breast plates, which we supposed were made of pearl Oyster Shells; this was a thing, as well as the Bow and Arrows, we had not seen before. At low water, which hapned about 10 o’Clock, we got under sail, and stood to the South-West, with a light breeze at East, which afterwards veer’d to North by East, having the Pinnace ahead; depth of Water from 6 to 10 fathoms, except in one place, were we passed over a Bank of 5 fathoms. At Noon Possession Island, at the South-East entrance of the Passage, bore North 53 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues; the Western extream of the Main land in sight South 43 degrees West, distant 4 or 5 Leagues, being all exceeding low. The South-West point of the largest Island* on the North-West side of the passage bore North 71 degrees West, distant 8 Miles; this point I named Cape Cornwall (Latitude 10 degrees 43 minutes South, Longitude 218 degrees 59 minutes West),* and some low Islands lying about the Middle of the Passage, which I called Wallace’s Isles, bore West by South 1/2 South, distance about 2 Leagues. Our latitude by Observation was 10 degrees 46 minutes South.
(* Prince of Wales Island.)
(* This longitude is 70 minutes too far west, and one of the worst given in the Journal. There were no observations, and the dead reckoning among the shoals was difficult to keep.)
Thursday, 23rd. In the P.M. had little wind and Variable, with which and the Tide of Flood we keept advancing to the West-North-West; depth of Water 8, 7, and 5 fathoms. At 1/2 past 1 the pinnace, which was ahead, made the Signal for Shoal Water, upon which we Tackt and sent away the Yawl to sound also, and then Tack’d again, and stood after them with the Ship; 2 hours after this they both at once made the Signal for having Shoal water. I was afraid to stand on for fear of running aground at that time of the Tide, and therefore came to an Anchor in 1/4 less 7 fathoms, sandy ground. Wallice’s Islands bore South by West 1/2 West, distant 5 or 6 Miles, the Islands to the Northward extending from North 73 degrees East to North 10 degrees East, and a small island* just in sight bearing North-West 1/2 West. Here we found the flood Tide set to the Westward and Ebb to the Contrary. After we had come to Anchor I sent away the Master with the Long boat to sound, who, upon his return in the evening, reported that there was a bank stretching North and South, upon which were 3 fathoms Water, and behind it 7 fathoms. We had it Calm all Night and until 9 in the morning, at which time we weigh’d, with a light breeze at South-South-East, and steer’d North-West by West for the Small Island above mentioned, having first sent the Boats ahead to sound; depth of Water 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 fathoms when upon the Bank,* it being now the last Quarter Ebb. At this time the most Northermost Islands we had in sight bore North 9 degrees East; the South-West point of the largest Islands on the North-West side of the Passage, which I named Cape Cornwall, bore East; distant 3 Leagues. This bank, at least so much as we sounded, extends nearly North and South, how far I cannot say; its breadth, however, is not more than 1/4 or at most 1/2 a Mile. Being over the Bank, we deepned our water to a 1/4 less 7 fathoms, which depth we carried all the way to the small Island ahead, which we reached by Noon, at which time it bore South, distant near 1/2 a Mile; depth of Water 5 fathoms. The most northermost land we had in sight (being part of the same Chain of Islands we have had to the Northward of us since we entered the Passage) bore North 71 degrees East; latitude in, by Observation, 10 degrees 33 minutes South, Longitude 219 degrees 22 minutes West. In this situation we had no part of the Main land in sight. Being now near the island, and having but little wind, Mr. Banks and I landed upon it, and found it to be mostly a barren rock frequented by Birds, such as Boobies, a few of which we shott, and occasioned my giving it the name of Booby Island.* I made but very short stay at this Island before I return’d to the Ship; in the meantime the wind had got to the South-West, and although it blow’d but very faint, yet it was accompanied with a Swell from the same quarter. This, together with other concuring Circumstances, left me no room to doubt but we had got to the Westward of Carpentaria, or the Northern extremity of New Holland, and had now an open Sea to the Westward; which gave me no small satisfaction, not only because the danger and fatigues of the Voyage was drawing near to an end, but by being able to prove that New Holland and New Guinea are 2 separate Lands or Islands, which until this day hath been a doubtful point with Geographers.*
(* Booby Island.)
(* The Endeavour Strait is now little used, on account of this great bank, which nearly bars its western part. There is, however, deeper water than Cook found, a few miles to the southward; but it is just the difficulty of finding this narrow pass, so far from land, and the fact that there is a deep though narrow channel north of Prince of Wales Island, that has caused it to be abandoned. The passage of Torres Strait is, however, still an anxious bit of navigation.)
(* Booby Island is now the great landmark for ships making Torres Strait from the westward. There is a light upon it.)
(* Luis Vaez de Torres, commanding a Spanish ship in company with Quiros in 1605, separated from his companion in the New Hebrides. He afterwards passed through the Strait separating New Guinea from Australia, which now bears his name. This fact, however, was little known, as the Spaniards suppressed all account of the voyage; and though it leaked out later, the report was so vague that it was very much doubted whether he had really passed this way. On most charts and maps of the period, New Guinea was shown joined to Australia, and to Cook the establishment of the Strait may fairly be given. Only the year before Bougainville, the French navigator, who preceded Cook across the Pacific, and who was steering across the Coral Sea on a course which would have led him to Lizard Island, abandoned his search in that direction, after falling in with two reefs to the eastward of the Barrier, because he feared falling amongst other shoals, and had no faith whatever in the reports of the existence of Torres Strait. Had he persevered, he would have snatched from Cook the honour of the complete exploration of Eastern Australia, and of the verification of the passage between it and New Guinea. Bougainville paid dearly for his caution, as he found that retracing his steps against the trade wind, in order to pass eastward and northward of New Guinea, occupied such a weary time, that he and his people were nearly starved before they reached a place of refreshment.)
The North-East entrance of this passage or Strait lies in the latitude of 10 degrees 27 minutes South, and in the Longitude of 218 degrees 36 minutes West from the Meridian of Greenwich.* It is form’d by the Main, or the northern extremity of New Holland, on the South-East, and by a Congeries of Islands to North-West, which I named Prince of Wales’s Islands. It is very Probable that the Islands extend quite to New Guinea;* they are of Various Extent both for height and Circuit, and many of them seem’d to be indifferently well Cloath’d with wood, etc., and, from the smokes we saw, some, if not all of them, must be inhabited. It is also very probable that among these Islands are as good, if not better, passages than the one we have come thro’, altho’ one need hardly wish for a better, was the access to it from the Eastward less dangerous; but this difficulty will remain until some better way is found out than the one we came, which no doubt may be done was it ever to become an object to be looked for.* The northern Extent of the Main or outer reef, which limit or bounds the Shoals to the Eastward, seems to be the only thing wanting to Clear up this point; and this was a thing I had neither time nor inclination to go about, having been already sufficiently harrass’d with dangers without going to look for more.*
(* As before mentioned, this longitude is over a degree in error. The sun was not available for lunars until the 24th August, and the first was observed on the 25th, when the ship was at Booby Island; but the result is not recorded in Mr. Green’s log. Mr. Green was at this time ill. The latitude is a clerical error for 10.37, which Cook’s chart shows, and is nearly correct.)
(* This conjecture was very near the truth. The whole of Torres Strait is obstructed by either islands or reefs that leave very little passage.)
(* It is the western and not the eastern approach of Endeavour Strait that forms the difficulty, now the locality has been charted, for vessels of deeper draught than the Endeavour; though for small craft, as Cook says, you can hardly wish for a better.)
(* The east coast of Australia, which Cook had now followed from end to end, is 2000 miles in extent. He took four months over it, much less time than he had given to New Zealand; but this is easily accounted for. His people were getting worn out, and he was haunted by fears of not getting off the coast before the North-West monsoon set in, which would have been a foul wind for him in getting from Torres Straits to Batavia, and his provisions were running short. Besides this, there was the grave doubt whether Australia and New Guinea were really separated. If this turned out to be false, there was a long round to make, back to the eastern extremity of the latter, and the voyage to Batavia would have been infinitely extended. Considering these circumstances, Cook’s exploration of the coast was wonderful, and the charts attached to this book attest the skill and unwearied pains taken in mapping it from such a cursory glance. He only stopped at four places: Botany Bay, Bustard Bay, Thirsty Sound, and the Endeavour River; and from the neighbourhood of these, with the view obtained as he coasted along, he had to form his opinion of the country — an opinion, as we shall see, singularly correct.)
This passage, which I have named Endeavour Straits, after the Name of the Ship, is in length North-East and South-West 10 Leagues, and about 5 leagues broad, except at the North-East entrance, where it is only 2 Miles broad by reason of several small Islands which lay there, one of which, called Possession Island, is of a Moderate height and Circuit; this we left between us and the Main, passing between it and 2 Small round Islands, which lay North-West 2 Miles from it. There are also 2 Small low Islands, called Wallice’s Isles,* laying in the Middle of the South-West entrance, which we left to the southward; the depth of Water we found in the Straits was from 4 to 9 fathoms. Every where good Anchorage, only about 2 Leagues to the Northward of Wallice’s Islands is a Bank, whereon is not more than 3 fathoms at low Water, but probable there might be found more was it sought for. I have not been particular in describing this Strait, no more than I have been in pointing out the respective Situations of the Islands, Shoals, etc., on the Coast of New Wales; for these I refer to the Chart, where they are deliniated with all the accuracy that Circumstances would admit of.
(* These are probably called after Captain Wallis, who made a voyage across the Pacific in the Dolphin in 1767, and discovered Tahiti.)
With respect to the Shoals that lay upon this Coast I must observe, for the benefit of those who may come after me, that I do not believe the one 1/2 of them are laid down in my Chart; for it would be Absurd to suppose that we Could see or find them all. And the same thing may in some Measure be said of the Islands, especially between the latitude of 20 and 22 degrees, where we saw Islands out at Sea as far as we could distinguish any thing. However, take the Chart in general, and I believe it will be found to contain as few Errors as most Sea Charts which have not undergone a thorough correction.* The latitude and Longitude of all, or most of, the principal head lands, Bays, etc., may be relied on, for we seldom fail’d of getting an Observation every day to correct our latitude by, and the Observation for settling the Longitude were no less Numerous, and made as often as the Sun and Moon came in play; so that it was impossible for any Material error to creep into our reckoning in the intermediate times. In justice to Mr. Green,* I must say that he was indefatigable in making and calculating these observations, which otherwise must have taken up a great deal of my time, which I could not at all times very well spare; not only this, but by his instructions several of the petty Officers can make and calculate these observations almost as well as himself. It is only by such Means that this method of finding the Longitude at Sea can be put into universal practice; a Method that we have generally found may be depended upon within 1/2 a degree, which is a degree of Accuracy more than sufficient for all Nautical purposes. Would Sea Officers once apply themselves to the making and calculating these Observations they would not find them so very difficult as they at first imagine, especially with the Assistance of the Nautical Almanack and Astronomical Ephemeris, by the help of which the Calculation for finding the Longitude takes up but little more time than that of an Azimuth for finding the Variation of the Compass; but unless this Ephemeris is Published for some time to come, more than either one or 2 Years, it can never be of general use in long Voyages, and in short Voyages it’s not so much wanted.* Without it the Calculations are Laborious and discouraging to beginners, and such as are not well vers’d in these kind of Calculations.
(* Cook’s pride in his chart is well justified, as its general accuracy is marvellous, when one considers that he simply sailed along the coast. The great feature of this shore, however — the Barrier Reef — only appears on it at its northern end, where its approach to the land caused Cook to make such unpleasant acquaintance with it. See charts.)
(* From this phrase, and from various remarks in Mr. Green’s own log, it would appear that Mr. Green was not very easy to get on with; but there is no doubt of his unwearied zeal in astronomical observations.)
(* The “Nautical Almanac” was first published for 1767. That for 1770 was not published until 1769; but it seems probable that Cook either had proof sheets, or the manuscript calculations.)
(* Called in Admiralty and the Queen’s Copy New South Wales. It would appear that for this part of the voyage Mr. Corner’s copy was the first written, and that Cook’s first idea was to christen the country New Wales.)
In the Course of this Journal I have at different times made mention of the Appearance or Aspect of the face of the Country, the Nature of the Soil, its produce, etc. By the first it will appear that to the Southward of 33 or 34 degrees the land in general is low and level, with very few Hills or Mountains; further to the Northward it may in some places be called a Hilly, but hardly anywhere can be called a Mountainous, Country, for the Hills and Mountains put together take up but a small part of the Surface in Comparison to what the Planes and Valleys do which intersect or divide these Hills and Mountains. It is indifferently well water’d, even in the dry Seasons, with small brooks and Springs, but no great Rivers, unless it be in the Wet Season, when the low lands and Vallies near the Sea, I do suppose, are mostly laid under Water. The Small Brooks may then become large Rivers; but this can only happen with the Tropick. It was only in Thirsty Sound that we could find no fresh Water, and that no doubt was owing to the Country being there very much intersected with Salt Creeks and Mangrove land.
The low land by the Sea, and even as far in land as we were, is for the most part friable, loose, sandy Soil yet indifferently fertile, and Cloathed with woods, long grass, shrubs, plants, etc. The Mountains or Hills are checquer’d with woods and Lawns; some of the Hills are wholy cover’d with Flourishing Trees; others but thinly, and the few that are upon them are small, and the spot of Lawns or Savannahs are rocky and barren, especially to the Northward, where the Country did not afford or produce near the Vegetation that it does to the Southward, nor were the Trees in the Woods half so tall and stout. The Woods do not produce any great variety of Trees; there are only 2 or 3 sorts that can be called Timber. The largest is the gum Tree, which grows all over the country; the wood of this Tree is too hard and ponderous for most common uses. The Tree which resembles our Pines I saw nowhere in perfection but in Botany Bay; this wood, as I have before observed, is something of the same Nature as American Live Oak; in short, most of the large Trees in this Country are of a hard and ponderous nature, and could not be applied to many purposes. Here are several sorts of the Palm kind, Mangrove, and several other sorts of small Trees and Shrubs quite unknown to me, besides a very great number of Plants hitherto unknown; but these things are wholy out of my way to describe, nor will this be of any loss, since not only plants, but every thing that can be of use to the Learned World will be very accurately described by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. The Land naturally produces hardly anything fit for Man to eat, and the Natives know nothing of Cultivation. There are, indeed, growing wild in the wood a few sorts of Fruit (the most of them unknown to us), which when ripe do not eat amiss, one sort especially, which we called Apples, being about the size of a Crab Apple it is black and pulpey when ripe, and tastes like a Damson; it hath a large hard stone or Kernel, and grows on Trees or Shrubs.*
(* The Black Apple, or Sapota Australis.)
In the Northern parts of the Country, as about Endeavour River, and probably in many other places, the Boggy or watery Lands produce Taara or Cocos,* which, when properly cultivated, are very good roots, without which they are hardly eatable; the Tops, however, make very good greens.
(* A species of Taro, Colocasia macrorhiza.)
Land Animals are scarce, so far as we know confin’d to a very few species; all that we saw I have before mentioned. The sort which is in the greatest Plenty is the Kangooroo or Kanguru, so called by the Natives; we saw a good many of them about Endeavour River, but kill’d only 3, which we found very good Eating. Here are likewise Lizards, Snakes, Scorpions, Centapees, etc., but not in any plenty. Tame Animals they have none but Dogs, and of these we saw but one, and therefore must be very scarce, probably they eat them faster than they breed them; we should not have seen this one had he not made us frequent Visits while we lay in Endeavour River.
The land Fowls are Bustards, Eagles, Hawks, Crows, such as we have in England, Cockatoes of 2 sorts, White and Brown, very beautiful Birds of the Parrot kind, such as Lorryquets, etc., Pidgeons, Doves, Quails, and several sorts of smaller birds. The Sea and Water Fowls are Herons, Boobies, Noddies, Guls, Curlews, Ducks, Pelicans, etc., and when Mr. Banks and Mr. Gore where in the Country, at the head of Endeavour River, they saw and heard in the Night great numbers of Geese. The Sea is indifferently well stocked with fish of Various sorts, such as Sharks, Dog-fish, Rockfish, Mullets, Breams, Cavallies, Mack’rel, old wives, Leather Jackets, Five Fingers,* Sting rays, Whip rays, etc., all excellent in their kind. The Shell fish are Oysters of 3 or 4 sorts, viz., Rock Oysters and Mangrove Oysters, which are small, Pearl Oysters and Mud Oysters; these last are the best and Largest I ever saw. Cockles and Clams of several sorts, many of those that are found upon the Reefs are of a prodigious size, Craw fish, Crabs, Muscles, and a variety of other sorts. Here are also upon the Shoals and Reefs great Numbers of the finest Green Turtle in the world, and in the River and Salt Creeks are some Aligators.
(* Old wives are Enoploxus Armatus; Leather jackets, Monacanthus; Five fingers, Chilodactylus.)
The Natives of this Country are of a middle Stature, streight Bodied and Slender limb’d; their Skins the Colour of Wood soot, their Hair mostly black, some Lank and others curled; they all wear it Cropt Short; their Beards, which are generally black, they likewise crop short, or Singe off. There features are far from being disagreeable, and their Voices are soft and Tunable. They go quite Naked, both Men and Women, without any manner of Cloathing whatever; even the Women do not so much as cover their privities, altho’ None of us was ever very near any of their Women, one Gentleman excepted, yet we are all of us as well satisfied of this as if we had lived among them. Notwithstanding we had several interviews with the Men while we lay in Endeavour River, yet, wether through Jealousy or disregard, they never brought any of their women along with them to the Ship, but always left them on the Opposite side of the River, where we had frequent Opportunities viewing them thro’ our Glasses. They wear as Ornaments, Necklaces made of Shells, Bracelets, or Hoops, about their Arms, made mostly of Hair Twisted and made like a Cord Hoop; these they wear tight about the upper parts of their Arms, and some have Girdles made in the same manner. The Men wear a bone, about 3 or 4 Inches long and a finger’s thick, run thro’ the Bridge* of their Nose; they likewise have holes in their Ears for Ear Rings, but we never saw them wear any; neither are all the other Ornaments wore in Common, for we have seen as many without as with them. Some of these we saw on Possession Island wore breast plates, which we supposed were made of Mother of Pearl Shells. Many of them paint their Bodies and faces with a Sort of White paste or Pigment; this they apply different ways, each according to his fancy.
(* The cartilage of the nostril. Banks mentions that the bluejackets called this queer ornament the “spritsail yard.”)
Their offensive weapons are Darts; some are only pointed at one end, others are barb’d, some with wood, others with Stings of rays, and some with Sharks’ Teeth, etc.; these last are stuck fast on with Gum. They throw the Darts with only one hand, in the doing of which they make use of a piece of wood about 3 feet long, made thin like the blade of a Cutlass, with a little hook at one End to take hold of the End of the dart, and at the other end is fix’d a thin piece of bone about 3 or 4 Inches long; the use of this is, I believe, to keep the dart steady, and to make it quit the hand in a proper direction. By the helps of these throwing sticks, as we call them, they will hit a mark at the Distance of 40 or 50 yards, with almost, if not as much, Certainty as we can do with a Musquet, and much more so than with a ball.* These throwing sticks we at first took for wooden swords, and perhaps on some occasions they may use them as such; that is, when all their darts are expended. Be this as it may, they never Travel without both them and their Darts, not for fear of Enemies, but for killing of Game, etc., as I shall show hereafter. There defensive weapons are Targets, made of wood; but these we never saw used but once in Botany Bay.
(* The invention of these throwing sticks, and of the Boomerang, is sufficient to prove the intelligence of the Australian aborigines.)
I do not look upon them to be a warlike people; on the contrary, I think them a Timerous and inoffensive race, no ways inclined to Cruelty, as appear’d from their behaviour to one of our people in Endeavour River, which I have before mentioned, neither are they very numerous. They live in small parties along by the Sea Coast, the banks of Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, etc. They seem to have no fixed habitation, but move about from place to place like wild beasts in search of Food, and, I believe, depend wholy upon the Success of the present day for their Subsistance. They have wooden fish Gigs, with 2, 3, or 4 prongs, each very ingeniously made, with which they strike fish. We have also seen them strike both fish and birds with their Darts. With these they likewise kill other Animals; they have also wooden Harpoons for striking Turtle, but of these I believe they get but few, except at the seasons they come ashore to lay. In short, these people live wholy by fishing and hunting, but mostly by the former, for we never saw one Inch of Cultivated land in the whole Country. They know, however, the use of Taara, and sometimes eat them; we do not know that they Eat anything raw, but roast or broil all they eat on slow small fires. Their Houses are mean, small Hovels, not much bigger than an Oven, made of Peices of Sticks, Bark, Grass, etc., and even these are seldom used but in the Wet seasons, for in the daytimes we know they as often sleep in the Open Air as anywhere else. We have seen many of their Sleeping places, where there has been only some branches or peices of Bark, grass, etc., about a foot high on the Windward side.
Their Canoes are as mean as can be conceived, especially to the Southward, where all we saw were made of one peice of the Bark of Trees about 12 or 14 feet long, drawn or Tied together at one end. As I have before made mention, these Canoes will not Carry above 2 people, in general there is never more than one in them; but, bad as they are, they do very well for the purpose they apply them to, better than if they were larger, for as they draw but little water they go in them upon the Mud banks, and pick up Shell fish, etc., without going out of the Canoe. The few Canoes we saw to the Northward were made out of a Log of wood hollow’d out, about 14 feet long and very narrow, with outriggers; these will carry 4 people. During our whole stay in Endeavour River we saw but one Canoe, and had great reason to think that the few people that resided about that place had no more; this one served them to cross the River and to go a Fishing in, etc. They attend the Shoals, and flatts, one where or another, every day at low water to gather Shell fish, or whatever they can find to eat, and have each a little bag to put what they get in; this bag is made of net work. They have not the least knowledge of Iron or any other Metal that we know of; their working Tools must be made of Stone, bone, and Shells; those made of the former are very bad, if I may judge from one of their Adzes I have seen.
Bad and mean as their Canoes are, they at Certain seasons of the Year (so far as we know) go in them to the most distant Islands which lay upon the Coast, for we never landed upon one but what we saw signs of People having been there before. We were surprized to find Houses, etc., upon Lizard Island, which lies 5 Leagues from the nearest part of the Main; a distance we before thought they could not have gone in their Canoes.
The Coast of this Country, at least so much of it as lays to the Northward of 25 degrees of latitude, abounds with a great Number of fine bays and Harbours, which are Shelter’d from all winds; but the Country itself, so far as we know, doth not produce any one thing that can become an Article in Trade to invite Europeans to fix a settlement upon it. However, this Eastern side is not that barren and miserable country that Dampier and others have described the Western side to be. We are to consider that we see this country in the pure state of nature; the Industry of Man has had nothing to do with any part of it, and yet we find all such things as nature hath bestow’d upon it in a flourishing state. In this Extensive Country it can never be doubted but what most sorts of Grain, Fruit, roots, etc., of every kind would flourish here were they once brought hither, planted and Cultivated by the hands of Industry; and here are Provender for more Cattle, at all seasons of the Year, than ever can be brought into the Country.* When one considers the Proximity of this Country with New Guinea, New Britain, and several other Islands which produce Cocoa Nutts and many other fruits proper for the support of man, it seems strange that they should not long ago be Transplanted here; by its not being done it should seem that the Natives of this Country have no commerce with their Neighbours, the New Guineans.* It is very probable that they are a different people, and speak a different Language. For the advantage of such as want to Clear up this point I shall add a small Vocabulary of a few Words in the New Holland Language which we learnt when in Endeavour River.*
(* It says a good deal for Cook’s penetration that he wrote like this, for the coast of Australia is not promising, especially in the dry season; and coming as he did from the more apparently fertile countries of Tahiti and New Zealand, Australia must have appeared but a barren land.)
(* The climate is too dry for the cocoanut palm.)
(* The languages of the different tribes differ very much. This results from the continual state of war in which they live, as they have no communication the one with the other.)
|The Hair of the head||Morye or More.|
|The Lips||Yembe or Jembi.|
|The Teeth||Mulere or Moile.|
|The Naval||Toolpoor or Julpur.|
|The Penis||Keveil or Kerrial.|
|The Scrotum||Coonal or Kunnol.|
|The Arms||Aw or Awl.|
|The Fore, Middle and Ring fingers||Egalbaiga.|
|Little Finger||Nakil or Eboonakil.|
|The Nails||Kolke or Kulke.|
|Sand||Joo’wal, Yowall, or Joralba.|
|A Rope or Line||Goorgo or Gurka.|
|Fire||Maianang or Meanang.|
|The Sun||Galan or Gallan.|
|The Sky||Kere or Kearre.|
|A Man||Bamma or Ba ma.|
|A Dog||Cotta or Kota.|
|A Lorryquet||Perpere or Pier-pier.|
|Male Turtle||Poonja or Poinja.|
|A great Cockle||Moenjo or Moingo.|
|Cocos Yams||Maracotu (?).|
From what I have said of the Natives of New Holland they may appear to some to be the most wretched People upon Earth; but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans, being wholy unacquainted not only with the Superfluous, but with the necessary Conveniences so much sought after in Europe; they are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in a Tranquility which is not disturbed by the Inequality of Condition. The earth and Sea of their own accord furnishes them with all things necessary for Life. They covet not Magnificient Houses, Household-stuff, etc.; they live in a Warm and fine Climate, and enjoy every wholesome Air, so that they have very little need of Cloathing; and this they seem to be fully sencible of, for many to whom we gave Cloth, etc., left it carelessly upon the Sea beach and in the Woods, as a thing they had no manner of use for; in short, they seem’d to set no Value upon anything we gave them, nor would they ever part with anything of their own for any one Article we could offer them. This, in my opinion, Argues that they think themselves provided with all the necessarys of Life, and that they have no Superfluities.*
(* The native Australians may be happy in their condition, but they are without doubt among the lowest of mankind. Confirmed cannibals, they lose no opportunity of gratifying their love of human flesh. Mothers will kill and eat their own children, and the women again are often mercilessly illtreated by their lords and masters. There are no chiefs, and the land is divided into sections, occupied by families, who consider everything in their district as their own. Internecine war exists between the different tribes, which are very small. Their treachery, which is unsurpassed, is simply an outcome of their savage ideas, and in their eyes is a form of independence which resents any intrusion on THEIR land, THEIR wild animals, and THEIR rights generally. In their untutored state they therefore consider that any method of getting rid of the invader is proper. Both sexes, as Cook observed, are absolutely nude, and lead a wandering life, with no fixed abode, subsisting on roots, fruits, and such living things as they can catch. Nevertheless, although treated by the coarser order of colonists as wild beasts to be extirpated, those who have studied them have formed favourable opinions of their intelligence. The more savage side of their disposition being, however, so very apparent, it is not astonishing that, brought into contact with white settlers, who equally consider that they have a right to settle, the aborigines are rapidly disappearing.)
I shall conclude the account of this Country with a few observations on the Currents and Tides upon the Coast, because I have mentioned in the Course of this Journal that the latter hath sometimes set one way and sometimes another, which I shall Endeavour to account for in the best manner I can. From the latitude of 32 degrees, or above downwards to Sandy Cape in the latitude of 24 degrees 46 minutes, we constantly found a Current setting to the Southward at the rate of 10 or 15 Miles per Day, more or less, according to the distance we were from the land, for it runs stronger in shore than in the Offing. All this time I had not been able to satisfy myself whether the flood-tide came from the Southward, Eastward, or Northward, but judged it to come from the South-East; but the first time we anchor’d upon the coast, which was in the latitude of 24 degrees 30 minutes, and about 10 Leagues to the South-East of Bustard Bay, we found there the flood to come from the North-West. On the Contrary, 30 Leagues further to the North-West, on the South side of Keppel Bay, we found the Flood to come from the East, and at the Northern part of the said Bay we found it come from the Northward, but with a much Slower Motion than the Easterly Tide. Again, on the East side of the Bay of Inlets we found the flood to set strong to the Westward as far as the Op’ning of Broad sound, but on the North side of that sound the flood come with a Slow motion from the North-West; and when at Anchor before Repulse bay we found the flood to come from the northward. We need only admit the flood tide to come from the East or South-East, and then all these seeming Contradictions will be found to be conformable to reason and experience. It is well known that where there are deep Inlets, large Creeks, etc., into low lands, that it is not occasioned by fresh water Rivers; there is a very great indraught of the Flood Tide, the direction of which will be determin’d according to the possition or direction of the Coast which forms the Entrance into such Inlets; and this direction the Tide must follow, let it be ever so contrary to their general Course out at Sea, and where the Tides are weak, as they are in general upon this Coast, a large Inlet will, if I may so call it, attract the Flood tide for many Leagues. Any one need only cast an Eye over the Chart to be made sencible of what I have advanced. To the Northward of Whitsundays Passage there are few or no large Inlets, and consequently the Flood sets to the Northward or North-West, according to the direction of the Coast, and Ebb the Contrary; but this is to be understood at a little distance from land, or where there is no Creeks or Inlets, for where such are, be they ever so small, they draw the flood from the Southward, Eastward, and Northward, and, as I found by experience, while we lay in Endeavour River.* Another thing I have observed upon the Tides which ought to be remarked, which is that there is only one high Tide in 24 Hours, and that is the night Tide. On the Spring Tides the difference between the perpendicular rise of the night and day Tides is not less than 3 feet, which is a great deal where the Tides are so inconsiderable, as they are here.* This inequality of the Tide I did not observe till we run ashore; perhaps it is much more so to the Northward than to the Southward. After we had got within the Reefs the second time we found the Tides more considerable than at any time before, except in the Bay of Inlets. It may be owing to the water being confin’d in Channels between the Shoals, but the flood always set to the North-West to the extremity of New Wales, from thence West and South-West into the India Seas.
(* Cook’s reasoning on the course of the flood stream is quite sound.)
(* This difference in the heights of consecutive tides is termed the diurnal inequality. It results from the tide wave being made up of a large number of undulations, some caused by the moon, some by the sun; some occurring twice a day, others only once. It occurs in all parts of the world, but is inconspicuous on the coasts of Europe. In Australia it is very marked, and occasions the night tides to be the highest at one time of the year, when the Endeavour was on the coast, and the day tides at the other. There are places on the east coast of Australia where the range of the tide is very great, but Cook did not anchor at any of them.)
PREVIOUS to Cook’s visit no European, so far as is known, had ever sighted the East Coast of Australia, or, as it was then called, New Holland. The Dutch had examined and mapped the shores from the Gulf of Carpentaria on the north round by the west to Van Dieman’s Land or Tasmania, but had not decided whether the latter was a part of the mainland or no. Dampier, in 1699, had the intention of passing south to explore the unknown eastern shore, but never carried it out, confining his attention to the northern part of the west coast, with which, and with good reason, he was not favourably impressed.
On all maps of the time, the east coast, from Tasmania to the north, was shown as a dotted and more or less straight line, Tasmania being joined at the south, and generally New Guinea at the north.
There is indeed one manuscript known as the Dauphin’s Map, a copy of which is in the British Museum, of the date of about 1540, which shows a certain amount of the north-east coast, and has been thought by some to prove that some one had visited it. But an inspection of it shows that it is far more probably a case of imaginative coast drawing, such as occurs in other places in the same map, and in many others of the same and later dates, and there is certainly no record of any voyage to this coast.
After Cook’s exploration it remained unvisited until 1788, when, owing mainly to Banks’ influence, Botany Bay was pitched upon as a convict settlement, and a squadron, consisting of H.M.S. Sirius, the Supply brig, 3 storeships, and 6 transports, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, R.N., which had sailed from England on May 13th, 1787, arrived in that bay on January 18th, 1788, but immediately moved into Port Jackson, where the settlement of Sydney was formed.
The early history of the Colony was one of struggle and starvation, and it was many years before any prosperity was attained. In 1839 the deportation of convicts ceased, but it was not until 1851, when gold was found, that free settlers in any large number came to the Colony.
Queensland, formerly the northern part of New South Wales, was formed a separate Colony in 1859.
A white population of about 1,500,000 now inhabits the eastern part of Australia, first explored by Cook, and their numbers are rapidly increasing.
Although the products of the Colonies are mainly agricultural and mineral, a very large proportion of this population are in the large towns.
Sydney contains 230,000, Newcastle 20,000, Brisbane 55,000, Rockhampton 13,000.
Wool, one of the staple products, is obtained from some 80,000,000 sheep, which, as Cook foresaw, have thriven well; and with 8,000,000 head of cattle supply another export in the shape of frozen meat. Coal and other minerals employ a large number of people, and the total value of exports amounts to about 24,000,000 pounds.
The uninhabited shores and untracked seas of Cook’s time, only 120 years ago, are thus now teeming with life and trade; and it is no wonder that the name of the great explorer is more venerated, and the memory of his deeds is more fresh, in the Colonies than in the Mother country that sent him forth to find new fields for British enterprise.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:49