Captain Cook’s Journal

Chapter 9

From Torres Strait to Batavia.

[August 1770.]

FRIDAY, 24th. In the P.M. had light Airs from the South-South-West, with which, after leaving Booby Island, as before mentioned, we steer’d West-North-West until 5 o’clock, when it fell Calm, and the Tide of Ebb which sets to the North-East soon after making, we Anchor’d in 8 fathoms soft sandy bottom, Booby Island bearing South 50 degrees East, distant 5 miles; Prince of Wales Isles extending from North-East by North to South 55 degrees East. There appear’d to be an open clear passage between these Islands extending from North 64 degrees East to East by North. At 1/2 past 5 in the morning in purchasing* the Anchor, the Cable parted about 8 or 10 fathoms from the Anchor; I immediately order’d another Anchor to be let go, which brought the ship up before she had drove a cable’s length from the Buoy; after this we carried out a Kedge, and warped the ship nearer to it, and then endeavour’d to sweep the Anchor with a Hawser, but miss’d it, and broke away the Buoy rope.* We made several Attempts afterwards, but did not succeed. While the Boats were thus employed we hove up the Kedge Anchor, it being of no more use. At Noon latitude observed 10 degrees 30 minutes South. Winds at North-East, a fresh breeze; the Flood Tide here comes from the same Quarter.

(* Weighing the anchor.)

(* The kedge is a small anchor. Sweeping is dragging the middle of a rope, or hawser, held at the two ends from two boats some distance apart, along the bottom, with the object of catching the fluke of the anchor as it lies on the bottom, and so recovering it. It is a long and wearisome operation if the bottom is uneven. Cook, however, having already lost one of his large anchors, could not afford to leave this without an effort.)

Saturday, 25th. Winds at North-East and East-North-East, a gentle breeze. Being resolv’d not to leave the Anchor behind while there remain’d the least probability of getting of it, after dinner I sent the Boats again to sweep for it first with a small line, which succeeded, and now we know’d where it lay we found it no very hard matter to sweep it with a Hawser. This done, we hove the Ship up to it by the same Hawser, but just as it was almost up and down the Hawser slip’d, and left us all to do over again. By this time it was dark, and obliged us to leave off until daylight in the morning, when we sweep’d it again, and hove it up to the bows, and by 8 o’Clock weigh’d the other anchor, got under sail, and stood away North-West, having a fresh breeze at East-North-East. At Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 10 degrees 18 minutes South, Longitude 219 degrees 39 minutes West, having no land in sight, but about 2 miles to the Southward of us lay a Shoal,* on which the Sea broke, and I believe a part of it dry. At low Water it extended North-West and South-East, and might be about 4 or 5 Leagues in Circuit; depth of Water at this time and since we weigh’d 9 fathoms.

(* Cook Reef.)

Sunday, 26th. Fresh breezes at East in standing to the North-West. We began to Shoalden our water from 9 to 7 fathoms, and at 1/2 past one, having run 11 Miles since Noon, the boat which was a head made the signal for Shoal Water, immediately upon which we let go an Anchor, and brought the Ship up with the sails standing as the boats was but a little way ahead, having but just relieved the Crew, and at same time we saw from the Ship Shoal Water* in a manner all round us, and both wind and Tide setting upon it. We lay in 6 fathoms with the Ship, but upon sounding about her found hardly 2 fathoms, a very rocky bottom, not much above 1/2 a cable’s length from us from the east round by the North and West as far as South-West, so that there was no way to get clear but the way we came. This was one of the many Fortunate Escapes we have had from Shipwreck, for it was near high water, and there run a short cockling sea that would soon have bulged the Ship had she struck. These Shoals that lay a fathom or 2 under Water are the most dangerous of any, for they do not shew themselves until you are close upon them, and then the water upon them looks brown like the reflection of dark clouds. Between 3 and 4 the Ebb began to make, when I sent the Master to sound to the Southward and South Westward, and in the meantime, as the Ship tended,* hove up the Anchor, and with a little Sail stood to the Southward and afterwards edged away to the Westward, and got once more out of danger, where at sun set we Anchor’d in 10 fathoms Sandy bottom. Having a fresh of wind at East-South-East, at 6 o’clock in the morning we weighed and stood West, with a fresh of wind at East, having first sent a boat ahead to sound. I did intend to have steer’d North-West until we had made the Coast of New Guinea, designing if Possible to touch upon that Coast, but the meeting with these Shoals last night made me Alter the Course to West, in hopes of meeting with fewer dangers and deeper Water; and this we found, for by Noon we had deepned our water gradually to 17 fathoms, and this time we were by observation in the Latitude of 10 degrees 10 minutes South, Longitude 220 degrees 12 minutes West. Course and distance sail’d since yesterday at noon North 76 degrees West, 11 Leagues, no land in sight.

(* Cook Shoal.)

(* Swung to the tide.)

[Off South Coast of New Guinea.]

Monday, 27th. Fresh breezes between the East by North and East-South-East, with which we steer’d West until sun set; depth of Water from 27 to 23 fathoms. We now Reef’d the Topsails, shortened Sail, and hoisted in the pinnace and Long boat up alongside, and afterwards kept upon a Wind all night under our Topsails, 4 hours on one Tack and four hours on the other; depth of Water 25 fathoms, very even soundings. At daylight made all the Sail we could, and steer’d West-North-West until 8 o’clock, then North-West; at Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 9 degrees 56 minutes South, Longitude 221 degrees 00 minutes West; Variation 2 degrees 30 minutes East. Course and distance sail’d since yesterday at Noon North 73 degrees 33 minutes West, 49 miles.

Tuesday, 28th. Fresh breezes at East and East by South and fair weather. Continued a North-West Course until sun set, at which time we shortned sail, and haul’d close upon a Wind to the Northward; depth of Water 21 fathoms. At 8 Tack’d and stood to the Southward until 12, then stood to the Northward under little Sail until daylight, sounding from 25 to 17 fathoms; Shoalding as we stood to the Northward. At this time we made sail and steer’d North in order to make the land of New Guinea; from the time of our making sail until noon the depth of Water gradually decreased from 17 to 12 fathoms, a stony and shelly bottom. We were now by Observation in the latitude of 8 degrees 52 minutes South, which is in the same Parrallel as the Southern parts of New Guinea as it is laid down in the Charts; but there are only 2 points so far to the South, and I reckon we are a degree to the Westward of both, and for that reason do not see the Land which trends more to the Northward. Our Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday is North-North-West, 69 Miles; Longitude in 221 degrees 27 minutes West. The Sea in many places is here cover’d with a kind of a brown scum, such as Sailors generally call spawn; upon our first seeing it it alarm’d us, thinking we were among Shoals, but we found the same depth of Water were it was as in other places; neither Mr. Banks nor Dr. Solander could tell what it was, altho’ they had of it to Examine.

Wednesday, 29th. Continued standing to the Northward, with a fresh gale at East by South and South-East until 6 o’clock, having very irregular and uncertain soundings from 24 to 7 fathoms. At 4 we made the Land from the Mast head, bearing North-West by North, and which appear’d to be very low. At 6 it extended from West-North-West to North-North-East, distant 4 or 5 Leagues. At this time hauld close upon a wind to the Eastward until 7 o’clock, then Tack’d and stood to the Southward until 12, at which time we wore and stood to the Northward until 4, then lay her Head off until daylight, when we again saw the Land, and stood North-North-West directly for it, having a fresh gale at East by South. Our Soundings in the night were from 17 to 5 fathoms, very irregular, without any sort of Rule with respect to our distance from the Land. At 1/2 past 6 a small low island, laying about a League from the Main, bore North by West, distant 5 miles; this island lays in the latitude of 8 degrees 13 minutes South, Longitude 221 degrees 25 minutes West. I find it laid down in the Charts by the Name of St. Bartholomew or Whermoysen. We now steer’d North-West by West, West-North-West, West by North, West by South, and South-West by West, as we found the land to lay, having a Boat ahead of the Ship sounding; depth of water from 5 to 9 fathoms. When in 7, 8 or 9 fathoms we could but just see the Land from the Deck; but I did not think we were at above 4 Leagues off, because the land is exceeding low and level, and appeared to be well cover’d with wood; one sort appeared to us to be Cocoa Nutt Trees. By the Smookes we saw in different parts as we run along shore we were assured that the Country is inhabited. At Noon we were about 3 Leagues from the land, the Westermost part of which that we could see bore South 79 degrees West; our latitude by Observation was 8 degrees 19 minutes South, Longitude 221 degrees 44 minutes West. The Island, St. Bartholomew, bore North 74 degrees East, distant 20.*

(* The ship was now off the south coast of New Guinea, and near what is known as Princess Marianne Strait, which separates Frederick Henry Island from the main island. All this coast is very shallow, but very imperfectly charted to the present day.)

Thursday, 30th. Fresh breezes at South-East, East-South-East, and East by South. After steering South-West by West, 6 miles, we discover’d on our Starboard bow and ahead a Strong appearance of Shoal Water, and by this time we had Shoald our water from 10 to 5 fathoms; upon which I made the Pinnace Signal to Edge down to it, but she not going far enough, we sent the Yawl to sound in it, and at the same time hauld off close upon a Wind, with the Ship until 4, at which time we had run 6 Miles, but did not depen our water anything. We then Edged away South-West, 4 Miles more, but finding still Shoal Water we brought too, and call’d the Boats on board by Signal, hoisted them in, and then hauld off close upon a wind, being at this time about 3 or 4 Miles from the Land. The Yawl found only 3 fathoms water in the place where I sent her to sound, which place I weather’d about 1/2 a mile. Between 1 and 2 we passed a Bay or Inlet, before which lies a small Island that seems to Shelter it from the Southerly winds; but I very much doubt their being Water behind it for Shipping. I could not attempt it because the South-East Trade wind blows right in, and we have not as yet had any land breezes. We stretched off to Sea until 12 o’Clock, at which time we were 10 and 11 Leagues from the Land, and had depen’d our Water to 29 fathoms; we now tack’d and stood in until 4 o’Clock, when, being in 6 1/2 fathoms, we tack’d and lay her head off until day light, at which time we saw the land bearing North-West by West, distant about 4 Leagues. We now made sail and steer’d West-South-West, and then West by South, but coming into 54 fathoms we hauld off South-West until we depen’d our Water to 8 fathoms; we then keept away West by South and West, having 9 fathoms and the Land just in sight from the Deck, which we judged not above 3 or 4 Leagues off, as it is everywhere exceeding low. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 8 degrees 38 minutes South, Longitude 222 degrees 34 minutes West. St. Bartholomew Isle bore North 69 degrees East, distant 74 Miles.

[Off Cape Walsche, New Guinea.]

Friday, 31st. Between 12 and 1 in the P.M. Steer’d North-North-West, in which time we Shoalded our Water from 8 to 5 1/2, which I thought was little enough, and therefore keept away again West, and soon depen’d it to 7 fathoms, which depth we keept until 6, having the land just in sight from the Deck. At this time the Western Extream bore North, distant about 4 Leagues, and Seem’d to end in a point and turn away to the Northward; we took it to be Point St. Augustine or Walsche Caep, latitude 8 degrees 24 minutes South, Longitude 222 degrees 55 minutes West.* We now shortned sail and hauld off South-South-West and South by West, having the wind at South-East and South-East by East, a Gentle breeze; we stood off 16 Miles, having from 7 to 27 fathoms, deepning gradually as we run off. At midnight we Tacked and stood in until daylight, at which time we could see no land, and yet we had only 5 1/2 fathoms. We now Steer’d North-West, having the same deepth of Water until near 9 o’Clock, when we began to Depen our Water to 6 1/2 and 7 fathoms. By this I thought that we were far Enough to the Westward of the Cape, and might haul to the Northward with Safety, which we now did, having the Wind at North-East by East, a light breeze. By Noon we had increased our Water to 9 fathoms, and were by Observation in the latitude of 8 degrees 10 minutes South, which was 10 Miles to the Northward of that given by the Log; by which I conjectur’d that we had meet with a strong Current setting round the Cape, not only to the Northward, but to the Westward also, otherwise we ought to have seen the Land, which we did not.

(* This position is correct. Mr. Green had been assiduously observing lunars, and it appears strange that the error of the position of the north point of Australia was not discovered; but doubtless the discrepancy was put down to current.)

[September 1770.]

Saturday, 1st September. In the P.M. and most part of the night had a fresh breeze from the South-East with which we keept standing in for the land North-East and East-North-East, close upon a wind, until half past 6, when we Anchor’d in 4 1/2 fathoms, soft muddy bottom, as we have every were found upon the Coast. About an hour before we Anchor’d we saw the land from the Mast head extending from the East by North to South-South-East, all very low; at the time we Anchor’d we found a small drean* of a Tide setting away to the North-West, which continued until 2 in the morning, when the Water had fell 9 feet or better. This Tide of Ebb was then succeeded by the Flood, which came from the South-West; yet we did not find the Water to rise much upon a perpendicular, or else the greatest fall of the Tide had not been well attended to in the night, for at 6, when we got under sail, we had no more than 3 fathoms under the ship, and yet we could not see the land from the Deck. After getting under sail we stood to the Northward with a light breeze at East, and deepned our Water by noon to 10 fathoms, having the Land just in sight from the Mast head to the South-East. At this time we were in the latitude of 7 degrees 39 minutes South, Longitude 222 degrees 42 minutes West; Port St. Augustine bore South 10 degrees West, distant 15 Leagues.

(* Drain.)

Sunday, 2nd. In the P.M. had Calm until 2, when a light breeze sprung up at North by East, and we stood in for the Land East by North until 5, at which time we got the wind from the South-West, a light breeze, with which we steer’d North-East, edging in for the land, having it in sight from the Deck, and which I judged to be about 3 or 4 Leagues off, being very low land. Found the Variation to be 2 degrees 34 minutes East, and a little before 8 o’Clock, having but little wind, we Anchor’d in 7 fathoms, soft Muddy bottom. In the Afternoon and evening we saw several Sea Snakes, some of which the people in the Boat alongside took up by hand. At daylight in the Morning we got under sail, and stood away to the North-North-East, having a fresh gale at East, which by noon brought us into the latitude of 7 degrees 14 minutes South, Longitude 222 degrees 30 minutes West; Depth of Water 13 fathoms. Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday Noon is North 24 degrees East, 27 Miles, having at this time no land in sight, for the Land, according to the Charts, trends more Easterly than the Wind would permit us to sail.

Monday, 3rd. Steer’d North by East, with a fresh breeze at East by North until 7 in the Evening, when the wind came to South-East by South, with which we keept standing to the Eastward close upon a wind all Night, having from 17 to 10 fathoms pretty even Soundings. At daylight we saw the land extending from North by East to South-East, distant about 4 Leagues. We still keept standing in for it, having the advantage of a fresh gale at East-South-East and East by South, until near 9, when, being about 3 or 4 Miles off, and in 3 fathoms, we brought too and I went ashore in the pinnace, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, having a mind to land once in this Country before we quit it Altogether, which I now am determin’d to do without delay; for I found that it is only spending time to little purpose, and carrying us far out of our way, staying upon this Coast, which is so shallow that we can hardly keep within sight of land.

[Land in New Guinea.]

At the time we put off from the Ship we saw not the least sign of inhabitants; but we had no sooner landed than we saw the print of Men’s feet fresh upon the sand, and a little way farther we found a small Shed or Hutt, about which lay green shells of Cocoa Nutts. By this we were well assured that the inhabitants were not far off; nay, we thought we heard their Voices in the woods, which were so close and thick that we did not think it safe to venture in, for fear of an Ambuscade, as we had only a Boat’s crew with us, a part of which were left to look after the boat, which lay about a 1/4 of a Mile from the Shore. We therefore took a walk upon the Sea beach, but had not gone above 200 Yards before we were attack’d by 3 or 4 Men, who came out of the woods a little before us, but upon our firing upon them they retir’d. Finding that we could not search the Country with any degree of Safety, we return’d to the boat, and was followed by 60, or, as some thought, about 100, of the Natives, who had advanced in small parties out of the woods; but they suffer’d us to go to our boats without giving us any trouble. We had now time to view them attentively; we thought them to be about the size and Colour of the New Hollanders, with short, Cropt Hair, and quite naked like them. I thought these of a lighter Colour; but that may be owing to a whitish Pigment with which we thought their bodies were painted, because some appeared darker than others.

Their Arms were ordinary darts of about 4 feet long, made of a kind of reed, and pointed at one end with hard wood; but what appear’d more extraordinary to us was something they had which caused a flash of fire or Smoak, very much like the going off of a pistol or small Gun, but without any report. The deception was so great that the people in the Ship actually thought that they had fire Arms; indeed, they seem’d to use these things in imitation of such, for the moment the first man we saw made his appearance he fir’d off one of these things, and while we lay looking at them in the boat 4 or 5 would let them off all at once, which had all the appearance in the world of Volleys of Small Arms; but I am confident that nothing came from them but smook, but by what means this was done, or what purpose it answer’d, we were not able to Guess. I thought the Combustable matter was contain’d in a reed or piece of small Bamboo, which they gave a Swing round in the hand and caused it to go off.*

(* The natives carry hollow canes with burning tinder for making fires.)

This place lies in the latitude of 6 degrees 15 minutes South, about 65 Leagues to the North-East of Point St. Augustine, or Walsche Caep, and is near to what is called in the Charts by the long name of Cape de la Colta de St. Bonaventura.* The land is very low, like every other part of the Coast we have seen here; it is thick and Luxuriously cloathed with woods and Verdure, all of which appear Green and flourishing. Here were Cocoa nutt Trees, Bread Fruit Trees, and Plantain Trees, but we saw no fruit but on the former, and these were small and Green; the other Trees, Shrubs, Plants, etc., were likewise such as is common in the South Sea Islands and in New Holland.

(* Cook’s landing place in New Guinea, on the western side of this great island, was on a part of the coast scarcely known to this day. It is in the part of the island claimed by the Dutch. Cook’s insatiable desire to explore is well shown in this digression from his course to Batavia.)

Upon my return to the Ship we hoisted in the boat and made sail to the Westward, with a design to leave the Coast altogether. This, however, was contrary to the inclination and opinion of some of the Officers, who would have had me send a Party of Men ashore to cut down the Cocoa Nutt Trees for the sake of the Nutts; a thing that I think no man living could have justified, for as the Natives had attacked us for meer landing without taking away one thing, certainly they would have made a Vigerous effort to have defended their property; in which case many of them must have been kill’d, and perhaps some of our own people too, and all this for 2 or 300 Green Cocoa Nutts, which, when we had got them, would have done us little service; besides nothing but the utmost necessity would have obliged me to have taken this method to come at refreshments.

It’s true I might have gone farther along the Coast to the Northward and Westward until we had found a place where the Ship could lay so near the Shore as to cover the people with her Guns when landed; but it is very probable that before we had found such a place we should have been carried so far to the West as to have been obliged to have gone to Batavia by the way of the Moluccas, and on the North side of Java, where we were all utter Strangers. This I did not think was so safe a Passage as to go to the South of Java and thro’ the Straits of Sunda, the way I propose to myself to go. Besides, as the Ship is leakey, we are not yet sure wether or no we shall not be obliged to heave her down at Batavia; in this case it becomes the more necessary that we should make the best of our way to that place, especially as no new discovery can be Expected to be made in these Seas, which the Dutch have, I believe, long ago narrowly examin’d, as appears from 3 Maps bound up with the French History of Voyages to the Terra Australis, published in 1756,* which Maps, I do suppose, by some means have been got from the Dutch, as we found the Names of many of the places are in that Language.

(* De Brye’s Voyages.)

It should likewise seem from the same Maps that the Spaniards and Dutch have at one time or another circumnavigated the whole of the Island of New Guinea, as the most of the Names are in these 2 Languages; and such part of the Coast as we were upon I found the Chart tolerable good, which obliges me to give some Credit to all the rest, notwithstanding we neither know by whom or when they were taken, and I always understood, before I had a sight of these Maps, that it was unknown whether or no New Holland and New Guinea was not one continued land, and so it is said in the very History of Voyages these Maps are bound up in. However, we have now put this wholy out of dispute; but, as I believe, it was known before, tho’ not publicly, I claim no other Merit than the Clearing up of a doubtful point. Another doubtfull point I should have liked to have clear’d up, altho’ it is of very little, if of any Consequence, which is, whether the Natives of New Holland and those of New Guinea are, or were, Original, one People, which one might well suppose, as these 2 Countrys lay so near to each other, and the intermediate space fill’d up with Islands. On the other hand, if these 2 people have or ever had any friendly communication with Each other it seems strange, as I have before observed, that they should not have transplanted from New Guinea over to New Holland Cocoa Nutts, Bread fruit, Plantains, etc., etc., all very useful Articles for the support of Man, that We never saw grow in the latter, and which we have now seen in the former. La Maire hath given us a Vocabulary of Words spoken by the People of New Britain (which before Dampier’s time was taken to be a part of New Guinea), by which it appears that the people of New Britain speak a very different Language from those of New Holland. Now should it be found that the Natives of New Britain and those of New Guinea have had One Origin, and speak the same Language, it will follow, of Course, that the New Hollanders are a different People from both.*

(* In the north of Australia the natives are distinctly allied to the Papuans, but on the east of the continent they are of a type of their own, and speak many different languages.)

[Off South-west Coast of New Guinea.]

Tuesday, 4th. Stood to the Westward all this day, having at first a moderate breeze Southerly, which afterwards freshned and Veered to South-East and East-South-East. We keept on sounding all the time, having from 14 to 30 fathoms not regular, but sometimes more and sometimes less. At noon we were in 14 fathoms; by observation in the latitude of 6 degrees 44 minutes South, Longitude 223 degrees 51 minutes West. Course and distance sail’d since Yesteday Noon South 76 minutes West, 120 Miles.

Wednesday, 5th. Winds at East by South and South-East by East, a fresh gale and Clear weather, with which were run 118 Miles upon a South 69 degrees 15 minutes West Course, which at Noon brought us into the latitude of 7 degrees 25 minutes South, Longitude 225 degrees 41 minutes West; depth of Water 28 fathoms, having been in soundings the whole of this day’s run, generally between 10 and 20 fathoms. At half an hour past one in the Morning we past by a small low Island, which bore from us at that time North-North-West, distant 3 or 4 Miles; depth of Water 14 fathoms, and at daylight we discover’d another low Island extending from North-North-West and North-North-East, distant 2 or 3 Leagues. I believe I should have landed upon this Island to have known its produce, as it did not appear to be very small, had not the wind blown too fresh for such an undertaking, and at the time we passed the Island we had only 10 fathoms Water, a rocky bottom; I was therefore afraid of running down to leeward for fear of meeting with Shoal Water and foul ground. These Islands have no place on the Charts, unless they are the Arrow Isles, which, if they are, they are laid down much too far from New Guinea. I found the South part of these to lay in the latitude 7 degrees 6 minutes South, Longitude 225 degrees 0 minutes West.*

(* These were probably Karang and Ennu Islands, two outliers of the Arru Islands.)

Thursday, 6th. A steady fresh gale at East by South and clear weather, with which we steer’d West-South-West. At 7 in the Evening we took in the small Sails, reefd the Topsails, and sounded, having 50 fathoms; we still keept West-South-West all night, going at the rate of 4 1/2 Miles an hour. At 10 had 42 fathoms; at 11, 37; and at 12 o’Clock 45; 1 o’Clock 49; and at 3, 120; after which we could get no ground. In the evening we caught 2 Boobies, which settled upon the rigging, and these were the first of the kind we have caught in this manner the voyage, altho’ I have heard of them being caught this way in great numbers. At daylight, in the Morning, we made all the sail we could, and at 10 o’Clock saw land extending from North-North-West to West by North, distant 5 or 6 League. At Noon it bore from North to West about the same distance; our latitude by observation was 8 degrees 15 minutes South, Longitude 227 degrees 47 minutes West. This land is of an even and moderate height, and by our run from New Guinea ought to be a part of the Arrow Isles;* but it lays a degree farther to the South than any of these Islands are laid down in the Charts. We sounded, but had no ground, with 50 fathoms of Line.

(* This was the southern part of the Tenimber Islands.)

[Remarks on Charts.]

Friday, 7th. As I was not able to satisfy myself from any Chart what land it was we saw to Leeward of us, and fearing it might trend away more Southerly, and the weather being hazey so that we could not see far, we steer’d South-West, which Course by 4 o’Clock run us out of sight of the land; by this I was assured that no part of it lay to the Southward of 8 degrees 15 minutes South. We continued standing to the South-West all night under an Easey sail, having the advantage of a fresh gale at South-East by East and East-South-East, and clear moon light; we sounded every hour, but had no bottom with 100 and 120 fathoms of line. At daylight in the Morning we steer’d West-South-West, and afterwards West by South, which by Noon brought us into the latitude of 9 degrees 30 minutes South, and Longitude 229 degrees 34 minutes West, and by our run from New Guinea ought to be in sight of Wessels Isle, which, according to the Chart is laid down about 20 or 25 Leagues from the coast of New Holland; but we saw nothing, by which I conclude that it is wrong laid down; and this is not to be wonder’d at when we consider that not only these Islands, but the lands which bound this Sea have been discover’d and explored by different people and at different times, and compiled and put together by others, perhaps some Ages after the first discoveries were made. Navigation formerly wanted many of these helps towards keeping an Accurate Journal which the present Age is possessed of; it is not they that are wholy to blame for the faultiness of the Charts, but the Compilers and Publishers, who publish to the world the rude Sketches of the Navigator as Accurate surveys, without telling what authority they have for so doing; for were they to do this we should then be as good or better judge than they, and know where to depend upon the Charts, and where not. Neither can I clear Seamen of this fault; among the few I have known who are Capable of drawing a Chart or Sketch of a Sea Coast I have generally, nay, almost always, observed them run into this error. I have known them lay down the line of a Coast they have never seen, and put down Soundings where they never have sounded; and, after all, are so fond of their performances as to pass the whole off as Sterling under the Title of a Survey Plan, etc. These things must in time be attended with bad Consequences, and cannot fail of bringing the whole of their works in disrepute.* If he is so modest as to say, Such and such parts, or the whole of his plan is defective, the Publishers or Vendures will have it left out, because they say it hurts the sale of the work; so that between the one and the other we can hardly tell when we are possessed of a good Sea Chart until we ourselves have proved it.

(* Cook had good reason for writing thus, and being himself scrupulously honest and careful, he felt this scamped work to be a disgrace to seamen.)

Saturday, 8th. Winds Easterly, with a high Sea from the same Quarter. Our Course and distance sail’d this 24 Hours is South 86 degrees 30 minutes West, 102 Miles; latitude in 9 degrees 36 minutes South, Longitude 231 degrees 17 minutes West.

Sunday, 9th. Light Airs and Clear weather the most part of this 24 Hours. In the evening found the Variation by several Azimuths to be 0 degrees 12 minutes West, and by the Amplitude 0 degrees 5 minutes West. At Noon we were by observation in the latitude of 9 degrees 46 minutes South, Longitude 232 degrees 7 minutes West. Course and distance sail’d since yesterday at Noon South 78 degrees 45 minutes West, 52 Miles. For these 2 days past we have steer’d due West, and yet we have by observation made 16 Miles Southing — 6 Miles Yesterday and 10 to-day; from which it should seem that there is a Current setting to the Southward and Westward withall, as I should suppose.

Monday, 10th. Light Airs Easterly, except in the morning, when we had it at North; at sunset found the Variation to be 0 degrees 2 minutes West, at the same time saw, or thought we saw, very high land bearing North-West, and in the Morning saw the same appearances of land in the same Quarter, which left us no room to doubt but what it was land, and must be either the Island of Timor land or Timor, but which of the 2 I cannot as yet determine.* At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 10 degrees 1 minute South, which was 15 Miles to the Southward of that given by the Log. Longitude in per Observation 233 degrees 27 minutes West.

(* This was Timor. What Cook calls Timor land is probably Timor Laut, another name for the principal island of the Tenimber Group.)

Tuesday, 11th. Variable light Airs and Clear weather. Steer’d North-West, in order to discover the Land plainer until 4 in the morning, at which time the wind came to North-West and West, with which we stood to the Southward until 9 o’Clock, when we Tack’d and stood North-West, having the wind at West-South-West. At sun rise in the morning we could see the land extend from West-North-West to North-East; at noon we could see it extend to the Westward as far as West by South 1/2 South, but no farther to the Eastward than North by East. We were now well assured that this was part of the Island of Timor, in consequence of which the last Island we saw must have been Timor land, the South part of which lies in the latitude of 8 degrees 15 minutes South, Longitude 228 degrees 10 minutes, whereas in the Charts the South Point is laid down in latitude 9 degrees 30 minutes. It is possible that the Land we saw might be some other Island; but then I cannot see how we could have miss’d seeing Timor land, soposing it to be right laid down in latitude, as we were never to the Southward of 9 degrees 30 minutes; for my design was to have made that Island, and to have landed upon it to have seen what it produced, as it is (according to the Charts) a large Island, and not settled by the Dutch that I ever heard off. We were now in the latitude of 9 degrees 37 minutes, Longitude 233 degrees 54 minutes West by observation of the Sun and Moon, and Yesterday we were by Observation in 233 degrees 27 minutes West. The difference is 27 minutes, which is exactly the same as what the Log gave; this, however, is a degree of accuracy in observation that is seldom to be expected.

[Off South Coast of Timor.]

Wednesday, 12th. Winds between the South and West, a light breeze and Clear weather in the P.M.; stood in shore until 8 o’Clock, then Tack’d and stood off, being about 6 Leagues from the Land, which at dark extend from South-West 1/2 West to North-East; at this time we sounded and had no ground with 140 fathoms of line, being not above 4 Leagues from the Land. At 12 o’Clock we Tack’d and stood in, having but little wind, and continued so until noon, at which time we were by Observation in latitude 9 degrees 36 minutes South; the Log this 24 Hours gave 18 Miles Westing, but it did not appear by the land that we had made so much. We saw several Smoaks upon the Land by day, and fires in the Night.

Thursday, 13th. Stood in shore, with a light breeze at South by West until 1/2 past 5 o’Clock in the P.M., when, being a Mile and a 1/2 from the Shore, and in 16 fathoms, we tack’d and stood off. At this time the Extreams of the Land extended from North-East by East to West by South 1/2 South; this last was a low point, distant from us about 3 Leagues. We were right before a small Creek or Inlet into the low land, which lies in the latitude of 9 degrees 34 minutes South. Probably it might be the same as Dampier went into in his Boat, for it did not seem to have depth of Water sufficient for anything else. In standing in shore we sounded several times, but found no soundings until we got within 2 1/2 Miles of the Shore, where we had 25 fathoms, soft bottom. We stood off Shore until 12 o’Clock, with the wind at South, then Tack’d and stood to the Westward 2 Hours, when the wind veer’d to the South-West and West-South-West, and then we stood to the Southward. In the Morning found the Variation to be 1 degree 10 minutes West by the Amplitude, and by the Azimuth 1 degree 27 minutes West; at Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 9 degrees 45 minutes South, Longitude 234 degrees 12 minutes West, and about 6 or 7 Leagues from the land, which extended from North 31 degrees East to West-South-West 1/2 West. Winds at South-South-West, a Gentle breeze.

Friday, 14th. Light Land and Sea breezes; the former we had from West by North, and only a few hours in the morning, the latter we had from the South-South-West and South. With these winds we advanced but slowly to the Westward. At Noon we were about 6 or 7 Leagues from the Land, which extended from North by East to South 78 degrees West; our latitude by Observation was 9 degrees 54 minutes South. Course and Distance sail’d since Yesterday noon South 68 degrees West, 24 Miles. We saw several Smoakes ashore in the P.M., and fires in the night, both upon the Low land and up in the Mountains.

Saturday, 15th. In the P.M. had the Sea breezes at South-South-West and South, with which we stood to the Westward until 8 o’Clock, when being about 3 Leagues from the Land, and having very little wind, we tack’d and lay her Head off Shore. At 11 o’Clock we got the Land wind at North by West, with which we steer’d South-West by West along shore, keeping about 4 or 5 Miles from the Land on which in the morning we saw several Houses, Plantations, etc. At 9 o’Clock we got the wind at North-East by East, a light breeze; at Noon we were about 2 Leagues from the Land, which extended as far to the Southward as South-West by West; our latitude by observation was 10 degrees 1 minute South. Course and Distance sail’d since Yesterday at Noon South 78 degrees 45 minutes West, 36 Miles.

Sunday, 16th. Light breezes from the North-East by East, with clear weather, except in the morning, when we had it cloudy, with a few small Showers of Rain. Steer’d along shore South-West and South-West by West until 6 o’Clock in the morning, when we steer’d West-South-West, and at 9, West, at which time we saw the Island Rotte right ahead. At Noon we were in the latitude of 10 degrees 39 minutes, Longitude 235 degrees 57 minutes; the South end of Timor bore North-North-West, distant 5 or 6 Leagues; the Island of Rotte extending from South 75 degrees West to North 67 degrees West, and the Island of Anaboa as Dampier calls it, or Seman* as it is called in the Charts, which lies of the South end of Timor, bore North-West. Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday noon South 55 degrees 15 minutes West, 67 Miles. Dampier, who has given us a large and, so far as I know, an Accurate discription of the Island of Timor, says that it is 70 Leagues long and 16 Broad, and that it lies North-East and South-West. I found the East side to lie nearest North-East by East and South-West by West, and the South end to lie in the latitude 10 degrees 23 minutes South, Longitude 236 degrees 5 minutes West from Greenwich. We run about 45 Leagues along the East side, which I observed to be free from Danger, and, excepting near the South end, the Land which bounds the Sea is low for 2, 3, or 4 Miles inland, and seem’d in many places to be intersected with Salt Creeks. Behind the low land are Mountains, which rise one above another to a considerable height. We continually saw upon it smoakes by day and fires by night, and in many places houses and plantations. I was strongly importuned by some of my Officers to go to the Dutch settlement at Concordia, on this Island, for refreshments; but this I refused to comply with, knowing that the Dutch look upon all Europeans with a Jealous Eye that come among these Islands, and our necessities were not so great as to oblige me to put into a place where I might expect to be but indifferently treated.

(* Semao. This island lies off the Dutch settlement of Koepang or Concordia in Timor; but Cook was right in supposing he would have received but a cold reception there. The Dutch discouraged any visits at their outlying settlements. Rotte is a large island lying off the south-west end of Timor.)

[Anchor at Savu.]

Monday, 17th. Winds Easterly, with which we steer’d West-North-West until 2 o’Clock, when being pretty near the North end of Rotte, we hauled up North-North-West, in order to go between it and Anaboa. After steering 3 Leagues upon this Course we edged away North-West by West, and by 6 we were clear of all the Islands; at this time the South part of Anaboa, which lies in the latitude of 10 degrees 15 minutes South, bore North-East, distant 4 Leagues, and the Island of Rotte extending as far to the Southward as South 36 degrees West. The North End of this Island and the South end of Timor lies North 1/2 East and 1/2 West, distant about 3 or 4 Leagues from each other. At the West end of the Passage between Rotte and Anaboa are two Small Islands; the one lays near the Rotte shore and the other off the South-West point of Anaboa; there is a good Channel between the 2 of 5 or 6 Miles broad, which we came thro’. Being now clear of the Islands we steer’d a West course all night until 6 a.m., when we unexpectedly saw an Island* bearing West-South-West, for by most of the Maps we had on board we were to the Southward of all the Islands that lay between Timor and Java; at least there were none laid down so near Timor in this latitude by almost one half, which made me at first think it a new discovery; but in this I was mistaken. We now steer’d directly for it, and by 10 o’Clock were close in with the North side, where we saw Houses, Cocoa Nutt Trees, and a Flock of Cattle grazing; these were Temptations hardly to be withstood by people in our situation, especially such as were but in a very indifferent State of Health, and I may say mind too, for in some this last was worse than the other, since I refused to touch at the Island of Timor, whereupon I thought I could not do less than to try to procure some refreshments here, as there appeared to be plenty.* With this View we hoisted out the Pinnace, in which I sent Lieutenant Gore in shore to see if there were any Convenient place to land, sending some trifles along with him to give to the Natives in case he saw any. Mr. Gore landed in a small sandy cove near to some Houses, and was met on the beach by 8 or 10 of the people, who from both their behaviour and what they had about them shew’d that they had Commerce with Europeans; upon Mr. Gore’s returning with this report, and likewise that there was No Anchorage for the Ship, I sent him away with both money and goods to try to purchase some refreshments, while we keept standing on and off with the Ship. At Noon we were about a Mile from the Shore of the Island, which extends from South-East to West-North-West, latitude 10 degrees 27 minutes, Longitude 237 degrees 31 minutes West.

(* Savu. An island about twenty miles in length. It is but little visited or known by others than the Dutch to this day.)

(* Cook’s utter indifference as to what he eat or drank made him regard privations in the matter of food with an equanimity which was not shared by the rest of his companions.)

Tuesday, 18th. As soon as Mr. Gore landed he was meet on the beach by several people, both Horse and Foot, who gave him to understand that there was a Bay to Leeward where we could Anchor, and likewise get refreshments. Upon Mr. Gore’s return with this intelligence we bore away for the Bay, in which we Anchor’d at 7 o’Clock in 38 fathoms Water, Clean sandy bottom. About a Mile from Shore the North point of the Bay bore North 30 degrees East, 2 1/2 Miles, and the South point or West end of the Island bore South 63 degrees West. Two hours before we Anchor’d we saw Dutch Colours hoisted in a Village which stands about a Mile inland, and at day light in the Morning the same Colours were hoisted on the beach abreast of the Ship. By this I was no longer in doubt but what here was a Dutch settlement, and accordingly sent Lieutenant Gore on shore to wait upon the Governor, or chief person residing here, to acquaint him with the reasons that induced us to touch at this Island. Upon Mr. Gore’s landing we could perceive that he was received by a Guard of the Natives, and not Dutch Troops, and Conducted up to the Village where the Colours were hoisted last night. Some time after this I received a message from him, acquainting me that he was there with the king of the Island, who had told him that he could not supply him with anything without leave from the Dutch Governor, who resided at another part of the Island, but that he had sent to acquaint him of our Arrival and request.

[At Anchor. Savu.]

Wednesday, 19th. At 2 P.M. the Dutch Governor, and king of this part of the Island, with his attendance, came on board with Mr. Gore (he having left 2 Gentlemen ashore as Hostages). We entertained them at Dinner in the best Manner we could, gave them plenty of good Liquor, made them some considerable presents, and at their going away Saluted them with 9 Guns. In return for these favours they made many fair Promises that we should be immediately supplied with everything we wanted at the same price the Dutch East India Company had it; and that in the morning Buffaloes, Hogs, Sheep, etc., should be down on the beach for us to look at, and agree upon a price. I was not at all at a loss for Interpreters, for both Dr. Solander and Mr. Sporing understood Dutch enough to keep up a Conversation with the Dutchman, and several of the Natives could speak Portuguese, which language 2 or 3 of my people understood. In the morning I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and several of the Officers and Gentlemen, to return the King’s Visit; but my Chief Business was to see how well they would perform their Promises in regard to the things I wanted. We had not been long ashore before we found that they had promised more than they ever intended to perform; for, instead of finding Buffaloes upon the beach, we did not so much as see one, or the least preparations making for bringing any down, either by the Dutch Factor or the King. The former pretended he had been very ill all night, and told us that he had had a letter from the Governor of Concordia in Timor, acquainting him that a ship (meaning us) had lately passed that Island, and that if she should touch at this, and be in want of anything, he was to supply her; but he was not to suffer her to make any stay, nor to distribute, or leave behind her to be distributed, any valuable presents to the inferior Natives. This we looked upon to be Afection that hardly answer’d any purpose, unless it was leting us see how the Dutch had insinuated themselves into favour with these people, which never could be his intention. However, both he and the King still promised we should have what we wanted, but pretended the Buffaloes were far in the Country, and could not be brought down before night. With these excuses we were obliged to be satisfied. The King gave us a dinner of boil’d Pork and Rice, served up in Baskets after their manner, and Palm wine to drink; with this, and some of our own Liquor, we fair’d Tolerable well. After we had dined our Servants were called in to pertake of what remain’d, which was more than they could Eat.

Thursday, 20th. We stay’d at the King’s Pallace all the Afternoon, and at last were obliged to return on board without doing anything farther than a promise of having some Buffaloes in the morning; which we had now no great reason to rely on. In the morning I went on shore again, and was showed one small Buffaloe, which they asked 5 Guineas for. I offer’d 3, which the man told me he would gladly take, and sent a Message to the king to let him know what I had offer’d. The Messenger soon return’d, and let me know that I could not have it under 5 Guineas; and this I refused to give, knowing it was not worth one fifth part of the money. But this, my refusal, had like to have overset all we had before done, for soon after about 100 Men, some Arm’d with Musquets, others with Lances, came down to the Landing Place. Besides the officer that commanded this party, there came along with them a Man who spoke Portuguese, and I believe was born of Portuguese Parents. This man is here (as we afterwards Understood) as an Assistant to the Dutch Factor. He deliver’d to me the King’s order, or rather those of the Dutch Factor, the purport of which was that we were to stay no longer than this day, pretending that the people would not trade with us because we wanted their provisions for nothing, etc.; whereas the Natives shew’d the greatest inclination imaginable to supply us with whatever they had, and were far more desirous of goods than money, and were, before this man came, selling us Fowls and Syrup as fast as they could bring these things down. From this and other Circumstances we were well Assured that this was all the Dutchman’s doing, in order to extort from us a sum of Money to put into his own pocket. There hapned to be an old Raja at this time upon the beach, whose Interest I had secured in the Morning by presenting him with a Spy-glass; this man I now took by the hand, and presented him with an old broad sword. This effectually secured him in our Interest, for the Moment he got it he began to flourish it over the old Portuguese, and made him and the Officer commanded the party to sit down at his back side. Immediately after this trade was restored again for Fowls, etc., with more Spirit than ever; but before I could begin a Trade for Buffaloes, which was what we most wanted, I was obliged to give 10 Guineas for 2, one of which weigh’d only 160 pounds. After this I bought 7 more at a more reasonable price, one of which we lost after he was paid for. I might now have purchased as many as I pleased, for they now drove them down to the Water side by Herds; but having got as many as I well know’d what to do with, and likewise a number of Fowls, and a large quantity of Syrup, I resolved to make no longer stay.

Friday, 21st. We got under sail, and stood away to the Westward along the North side of the Island, and another smaller Island, which lies farther to the Westward, which last bore from us at Noon South-South-East, distant 2 Leagues.

[Description of Savu.]

Before we proceed any further it will be proper in this place to say something of the Island we have been last at, which is called by the Natives Savu. The Middle of it lies in about the latitude of 10 degrees 35 minutes South, Longitude 237 degrees 30 minutes West. It may be about 8 Leagues in length from East to West, but of what breadth I know not, because I only saw the North side. There are, as I am told, 3 Bays where Ships can Anchor; the best is on the South-West side of the South-East point; the one we lay in, called Seba, lies on the North-West side of the Island. This bay is very well sheltered from the South-East Trade wind, but lays wholy open to the North-West. The Land of this Island which bounds the Sea is, in general, low, but in the Middle of the Island are Hills of a moderate height, and the whole is agreeably diversified with woods and Lawns, which afford a most pleasing prospect from the Sea. We were told that the Island is but indifferently water’d in the dry Season, especially towards the latter end of it, at which time there is no running Stream upon the whole Island, only small Springs, which are all at a distance from the Sea side. The dry seasons commences in March or April, and ends in November; the remaining 3 or 4 Months they have Westerly winds with rain, and this the time their Crops of Rice, Calivances, and Indian Corn are brought forth, which are Articles that this Island produceth.

They also breed a great Number of Cattle, viz., Buffaloes, Horses, Hogs, Sheep, and Goats. Many of the former are sent to Concordia, where they are kill’d and salted, in order to be sent to the more Northern Islands, which are under the Dominion of the Dutch. Sheep and Goats’ flesh is dried upon this Island, packed up in Bales, and sent to Concordia for the same purpose. The Dutch resident, from whom we had this information, told us that the Dutch at Concordia had lately behaved so ill to the Natives of Timor that they were obliged to have recourse to this Island and others Adjacent for provisions for their own subsistance, and likewise Troops (Natives of this Island) to assist the Dutch against those of Timor. Besides the above productions, here are an Emmence Number of Palm Trees, from which is extracted the Palm Wine, as it is called, a very sweet, agreeable, cooling Liquor. What they do not immediately use they boil down and make Syrup or Sugar of, which they keep in Earthen Jarrs. Here are likewise Cocoa Nutts, Tamerind Trees, Limes etc., but in no great plenty; Indico, Cotton, and Cinnamon, sufficient to serve the Natives; these last Articles, we were told, the Dutch discourage the growth of.

The Island is divided into 5 Kingdoms, which have lived in Peace and Amity with each other for these hundred Years. At present the whole Island is partly under the direction of the Dutch East India Company, who have a Resident or Factor who constantly lives here, without whose leave the Natives are not to supply any other Nation with anything whatever; but the whole produce of the Island, besides what serves themselves, is in a manner the property of the Company. The Company by way of a Tribute oblige them to raise and pay Annually a certain quantity of Rice, Indian Corn, and Callivances, for which the Company makes Each of the Kings a yearly present of a Cask of Arrack, and some other Trifles; the live stock, Sheep and Goats’ flesh, etc., they pay for in goods. The small Islands which lie about a League to the Westward of this pays Annually a Certain quantity of Arica Nutts, which is almost the only produce of that Island.

The Island of Rotte is upon the same footing as this of Savu; both these Islands, and the 3 Solors, belong to the Government of Concordia. From what we could learn of the Island of Timor, it seems to be much upon the same footing as it was in Dampier’s time, which is that the Dutch possess little more of that Island than what lies under the Command of the Fort Concordia; the rest is in possession either of the Native Indians or the Portuguese. We were likewise told that the Island of Ende belongs to the Portuguese; that the principal settlement is at Larentucha, where there is a Fort and a good Harbour. We were told that the Concordia, on the Island Timor, is a free Port for Ships of any nation to touch at, where they would not only be supplied with refreshments, but Naval Stores also. Trading ships might probably meet with a good reception, but Kings’ ships, I am perswaided, would be looked upon as Spys. For my own part was I only in want of refreshments, and obliged to touch at any of these Islands, I should prefer going to a Portuguese settlement before any of the Dutch, and when I was solicited by the Officers to call at Timor, I proposed going to one of the Portuguese settlements; but this Mr. Hicks made some Objections to, which was sufficient for me to lay it aside, as I had not the least inclination to touch any where till we arriv’d at Batavia, for my falling in with Savu was more chance and not design.

But to return to this Island, the Natives of which are of a Dark brown Colour, with long lank Hair; their Cloathing is a peice of Calicoe or other Cotton Cloath wrapped about their Middle; the better sort have another peice, which they wear over their Shoulders, and the most of them wear Turbands or Handkercheifs tyed round their Heads. They Eat of all the Tame Animals they have got, viz., Hogs, Horses, Buffaloes, Cocks and Hens, Dogs, Catts, Sheep and Goats, and are esteem’d much in the same order, as I have mentioned; that is, their Hog flesh, which is certainly as good as any in the world, they prefer before anything else; next to Hogs, Horses, and so on. Fish is not esteem’d by them, and is only eat by the common or poor people, who are allowed little else of meat kind.

They have a Custom among them, that whenever a king dies all the Cattle, etc., that are upon his Estate are kill’d, with which the Successor makes a feast, to which is invited all the principal people of the Island, who stay until all is consumed; after this they every one, according to his Abilities, make the young King a present, by which means he gets a fresh stock, which he is obliged to Husband for some time. The other principal men make also feasts, which are as extraordinary as these, for they seldom end so long as the giver has got anything left alive upon his Estate. They are said to be a people of good Morals, Virtuous and Chaste, each man having only one wife, which he keeps for life; Fornication and Adultry is hardly known among them. When a great Man marrys he makes presents to all his Wife’s relations of European and other Foreign commodities to the value of 100 Rix Dollars. This Custom the Dutch East India Company find it to their Interest to incourage. They speak a Language peculiar to themselves, into which the Dutch have caus’d the new Testament to be Translated, and have introduced it, with the use of letters and writing, among them. By this means several hundred of them have been converted to Christianity; the rest are some heathens, and others of no religion at all, and yet they all stick up to the strict rules of Morality. They all, both Men and Women, Young and Old, Chew of the Beetle Leaf, Areca Nutts, and a sort of white lime, which I believe is made from Coral stone; this has such an effect upon the Teeth that very few, even of the Young people, have hardly any left in their Heads, and those they have are as black as Ink. Their houses are built on posts about 4 feet from the Ground; we asked the reason why they built them so, and was told that it was only Custom; they are, however, certainly the Cooler for it. They are thatched with Palm Leaves, and the Floors and sides are boarded.

The man who resides upon this Island in behalf of the Dutch East India Company is a German by birth. His name is Johan Christopher Lange. It is hard to say upon what footing he is here. He is so far a Governor that the Natives dare do nothing without his consent, and yet he can transact no sort of business with Foreigners either in his own or that of the Company’s name; nor can it be a place of either Honour or Profit. He is the only white man upon the Island, and has resided there ever since it has been under the direction of the Dutch, which is about 10 Years. He is allowed 50 Slaves (Natives of the Island) to attend upon him. These belong to, and are Maintained by, the Company. He goes the Circuit of the Island once in 2 Months; but on what account he did not tell us. When he makes these rounds he carries with him a certain quantity of Spirit to treat the great men with, which, he says, he is obliged to look well after, otherwise they would steal it and get drunk; and yet, at another time, he told us that he never knew a theft committed in the Island; but some of the Natives themselves contradicted him in this by stealing from us an Axe. However, from their behaviour to us in general I am of opinion that they are but seldom guilty of these Crimes. This going round the Island once in Two Months is most likely to see that the Natives make the necessary preparations for fulfilling their engagements with the Dutch, and to see that the Large Boats or small Vessels are taken proper care of, which the Dutch keep in all the Bays of this Island in order to collect and carry the grain, etc., to the Ship which comes Annually here. They are likewise employed in carrying cattle, grain, etc., to Timor; and, when not wanted, they are hauled aShore into Houses or Sheds built on purpose. As I have mentioned Slaves, it is necessary to observe that all the great men have Slaves which are the Natives of the Island. They can dispose of them one to another, but cannot sell them to go out of the Island. The price of a Slave is a good, large, fatt Hogg, Horse, etc. I have before mentioned that many of the people can speak Portuguese, but hardly any one Dutch. From this it is probable that this Island was formerly under the Jurisdiction of the Portuguese, tho’ the Dutch Government never own’d as much, but said that the Dutch had Traded here these hundred years past.*

(* This account of the economy of Savu is a good example of Cook’s powers of observation. He was only four days at the island, and yet gives us a good idea of the place and its inhabitants.)

[Sail from Savu.]

Saturday, 22nd. Winds at South-South-East, South-East, and East; a gentle breeze, which we steer’d West-South-West by Compass. At 4 o’Clock we discover’d a small low Island* bearing South-South-West, distant 3 Leagues. The Island hath no place in any of our Charts: latitude 10 degrees 47 minutes South, Longitude 238 degrees 28 minutes West. At Noon we were in the latitude of 11 degrees 9 minutes South, Longitude 239 degrees 26 minutes West. Course and distance sail’d since yesterday noon, South 63 West, 67 miles.

(* Dama Island.)

Sunday, 23rd. Winds Easterly; a moderate breeze, which by noon brought us into the latitude of 11 degrees 10 minutes South, Longitude 240 degrees 48 minutes West. Course and distance saild since yesterday at noon is West, 8 miles.

Monday, 24th. Winds at East and South-East; a moderate breeze, and fine, pleasant weather. In the evening found the Variation to be 2 degrees 44 minutes West. At noon our latitude was 11 degrees 8 minutes South, Longitude 242 degrees 13 minutes West. Since we have been clear of the Islands we have had constantly a swell from the Southward which I do not suppose is owing to the winds blowing anywhere from thence, but to the Sea, being so determined by the portion of the Coast of New Holland.

Tuesday, 25th. Moderate breezes at South-East, and clear, pleasant weather. At Noon our latitude was 11 degrees 13 minutes South, and Longitude 244 degrees 41” West.

Wednesday, 26th. Winds and weather as yesterday. At Noon latitude in 11 degrees 10 minutes, Longitude 245 degrees 41” West.

Thursday 27th. Winds at South-South-East; a fresh breeze. In the evening found the variation to be 3 degrees 10 minutes West. At noon we were in the Longitude of 247 degrees 42 minutes West, and latitude 10 degrees 47 minutes, which is 25 Miles to the Northward of the Log, which I know not how to account for.

Friday 28th. Winds at South-South-East and South-East; a fresh breeze and Cloudy, with some Showers of rain. At Noon Latitude observed 10 degrees 51 minutes South, which is agreeable to the Logg, Longitude in 250 degrees 9 minutes, West.

Saturday, 29th. Moderate breeze at South-East and clear pleasant weather, Steer’d North-West all this day, in order to make the land of Java. At Noon we were by Observation in the latitude of 9 degrees 31 minutes South and Longitude 251 degrees 40 minutes West.

Sunday, 30th. Fresh gales and fair weather. In the A.M. I took into my possession the Officers’, Petty Officers’ and Seamen’s Log Books and Journals, at least all that I could find, and enjoin’d every one not to divulge where they had been.* At noon our Course and distance sail’d since Yesterday at noon, is North 20 degrees West, 126 Miles, which brought us into the latitude of 7 degrees 34 minutes South and Longitude 252 degrees 23 minutes West.

(* These logs are now in the Public Record Office. Mr. Green’s log ends on the 2nd October. Not being an officer, Cook doubtless overlooked it at first. This log should by rights have been returned to Mr. Green, but as he died shortly after leaving Batavia, it has found its way, with the others, to the Record Office.)

[October 1770. Enter Sunda Strait. ]

Monday, 1st October. First and latter parts fresh breezes at South-East and fair weather; the Middle squally with Lightning and rain. At 7 p.m., being then in the latitude of Java head, and not seeing any land, assured us that we had got too far to the Westward; upon which we hauld up East-North-East, having before Steerd North by East. At 12 o’Clock saw the Land bearing East, Tack’d, and stood to the South-West until 4, then stood again to the Eastward, having very unsettled squally weather which split the Main Topsail very much, and obliged us to bend the other; many of our Sails are now so bad that they will hardly stand the least puff of Wind. At 6 o’Clock Java head, on the West end of Java, bore South-East by East, distant 5 Leagues; soon after this saw Princes Island, bearing East 1/2 South. At 10 o’Clock saw the Island of Cracatoa* bearing North-East, distant 7 Leagues; Princes Island extending from South 53 degrees East to South by West, distant 3 Leagues. Course and distance saild since Yesterday at Noon is North 24 degrees 30 minutes East, 70 Miles. latitude in per Observation, 6 degrees 29 minutes South, Longitude 251 degrees 54 minutes; but either our Longitude must be erroneous or the Straits of Sunda must be faltily laid down in all Books and Charts; but this no doubt we shall have an opportunity to settle.*

(* The great eruption, and consequent destruction of the larger part of this island in 1883, will be remembered. It lies in the centre of Sunda Strait.)

(* Cook’s longitude was in error nearly three degrees. No lunars had been taken since they left Savu, and there is a current running westward. It is a good example of the error of dead reckoning, even with the most careful of navigators.)

Tuesday, 2nd. In the P.M., had the wind at South-South-East, South-East by South and South-South-East, with which we stood to the Eastward close upon a wind. At 6 o’Clock the Hill on Princes Island bore South-West by South, and Cracatoa Island, North 10 Miles; in this situation had 58 fathoms, standing still to the Eastward. At 8 o’Clock had 52 fathoms, muddy bottom, at 10 23 fathoms. By 4 in the morning we fetched close in with the Java shore in 15 fathoms, then steer’d along shore. At 5 it fell Calm, which continued with some Variable light Airs until noon, at which time Anger Point bore North-East, distant 1 League, and Thwart-the-way Island North. In the morning I sent a Boat ashore to try to get some fruits for Tupia, who is very ill, and, likewise, to get some grass, etc., for the Buffaloes we have still left. The Boats return’d with only 4 Cocoa Nutts, a small bunch of Plantains, which they purchased of the Natives for a Shilling, and a few Shrubs for the Cattle.

Wednesday, 3rd. Soon after 12 o’Clock it fell quite Calm, which obliged us to Anchor in 18 fathoms, Muddy bottom, about 2 Miles from shore, where we found a strong Current setting to the South-West. Not long before we Anchor’d we saw a Dutch Ship laying off Anger Point, on board which I sent Mr. Hicks to enquire after News.* Upon his return he inform’d me that there were 2 Dutch Ships from Batavia, one bound for Ceylon, and the other to the Coast of Mallabar, besides a small Fly-boat or Packet, which is stationed here to carry all Packets, Letters, etc., from all Dutch Ships to Batavia; but it seems more Probable that she is stationed here to examine all Ships that pass and repass these Straits. We now first heard the agreeable news of His Majesty’s Sloop The Swallow being at Batavia about 2 Years ago.* At 7 o’Clock a breeze sprung up at South-South-West, with which we weighed and stood to the North-East between Thwart-the-way Island and the Cap:* soundings from 18 to 26 fathoms. We had but little Wind all night, and having a Strong Current against us, we got no further by 8 o’Clock in the morning than under Bantam Point. At this time the wind came to North-East, and obliged us to Anchor in 22 fathoms about 2 Miles from the Shore. The above point bore North-East by East, distant 1 League. Here we found a strong Current setting to the North-West. In the morning we saw the Dutch packet standing after us, but after the wind Shifted to the North-East she bore away. One of the Dutch Captains told Mr. Hicks yesterday that the Current sets constantly to the South-Westward, and that it would continue to set so for a Month or Six Weeks longer.

(* It will be recollected that the Endeavour was now two years and two months from England, without the slightest chance of any news from home. We can imagine the anxiety and excitement on board on thus approaching civilisation, though they had no prospect of personal letters. With the frequent communication of modern times, we can scarcely realise such circumstances, and should certainly consider them as an exceeding hardship.)

(* The Swallow, Captain Cartaret, had sailed with the Dolphin in 1766, but separated from her on emerging from the Strait of Magellan. The Dolphin had reached England some months before Cook sailed, but nothing had been heard of the Swallow, and fears were entertained of her loss.)

(* Thwart-the-Way is an island that lies right across the fairway of Sunda Strait. The Cap is another smaller island that lies North-East of it.)

[In Sunda Strait.]

Thursday, 4th. In the P.M. had the wind at North-East by North, which obliged us to lay fast. About 6 o’Clock in the evening one of the Country Boats came alongside in which was the Commander of the Packet before mentioned; he seem’d to have 2 Motives for coming, one to take an account of the Ship, and the other to sell us refreshments, for in the Boat were Turtle, Fowls, Birds, etc., all of which they held at a pretty high Price, and had brought to a bad market, as our Savu stock was not all expended. I gave a Spanish Dollar for a small Turtle which weighed only 36 pounds. With respect to the Ship, he wanted to know her name, the Captain’s, the place we came last from and were bound, as I would not see him myself. I order’d that no account should be given him from whence we came; but Mr. Hicks, who wrote the Ship’s name down in his book, put down from Europe. Seeing this he expressed some surprise, and said that we might write down what we pleased, for it was of no other use than for the information of such of our Country men as might pass these Streights. At 7 o’Clock a light breeze sprung up at South-South-East, with which we got under sail. At 1 A.M. Anchor’d again, having not wind to stem the Current which we found to run 3 Knotts; at 2 o’Clock we weighed again, but, finding that we lost ground, we were obliged to Anchor in 18 fathoms, the Island Pulo Morack, which lies close under the Shore 3 Miles to the Westward of Bantam Point: bore South-East by South, distance 1 1/2 miles. latitude observed, 5 degrees 55 minutes South.

Friday, 5th. At 5 in the P.M. we weighed with a light breeze at South-West by South, which continued not long before it fell Calm, and obliged us to Anchor again. At 1 o’Clock we weigh’d with the Land wind at South-South-East, which died away in the Morning, and the Current running strong against us we Anchor’d in 17 fathoms. A little before this, a Proe came alongside, wherein was a Dutch Officer who came upon the same business as the other. He sent me down a printed paper in English containing 9 Articles or Questions, of which this is a Copy.

“The Commanders and Officers of the Ships where this Paper may be presented, will be pleased to answer on the following Questions: viz., 1. “To what Nation the Ship belongs, and its Name. 2. “If it comes from Europe or any other place. 3. “From what place it lastly departed from. 4. “Where unto design’d to go. 5. “What, and how many, ships of the Dutch Company by departure from the last shore there lay’d, and their names. 6. “If one or more of these ships in Company with this is departed for this or any other place. 7. “If during the Voyage any particularity is hapned or seen. 8. “If not any ships in Sea, or the Streights of Sunda have seen or Hail’d in, and which. 9. “If any other News worth Attention at the place from whence the Ship lastly departed or during the vogage is hapned.

“Batavia in the Castle, the By Order of the Governor General and the Counselors of India.


The first and fourth of these Questions I only answer’d, which when the Officer saw, he made use of the very same words the other had done before, viz.: that we might write what we pleased, for it was of no consequence, etc., and yet he immediately said that he must send that very paper away to Batavia by water, and that it would be there by to-morrow noon, which shows that the Governor and Counselors of India look upon such papers to be of some consequence. Be this as it may, my reason for taking notice of it in this Journal, is because I am well inform’d that it is but of very late years that the Dutch have taken upon them to examine all Ships that pass these Streights. At 10 o’Clock we weigh’d with a light breeze at South-West, but did little more than stem the Current. At Noon, Bantam Point* and Pula Baba, in one bearing East by North, distant from the Point 1 1/2 Mile. latitude observed, 5 degrees 53 minutes South.

(* Bantam Point, now called St. Nicholas Point, is the north-west point of Java, and forms the north-eastern extreme of Sunda Strait.)

Saturday, 6th. At 2 o’Clock P.M., finding we could not stem the Current, we anchor’d, with the Kedge Anchor, under Bantam Point, where we lay until 9, at which time Current made Slowly to the Eastward, and at the same time a light breeze springing up, we weigh’d and stood to the East until 10 o’Clock in the A.M., when the Current oblig’d us again to Anchor in 22 fathoms, Pula Baba bearing East by South 1/2 South, distant 3 or 4 Miles. Our sounding from Bantam Point to this place was from 36 to 22 fathoms.

Sunday 7th. Light Air from the Southward with frequent Calms. At 6 o’Clock P.M., weighed with a light breeze at South-South-West, which was not sufficient to stem the current, and was therefore obliged to come too again, in 15 fathoms. At 10 o’Clock weighed again and stood to the Eastward with the Wind at South-South-East. At 11 A.M., Anchor’d in 21 fathoms, the West end of Wapping Island bore South, distant 3 Miles, and the Thousand Islands North by East 1/2 East, distant 3 or 4 Miles. Found the Current still set to the Westward.

Monday, 8th. Had it Calm until 4 in the P.M., when we got the Sea breeze at North-East very faint, with which we weighed and stood to the Eastward, past Wapping Island, and the first Island to the Eastward of it. Falling little wind we were carried by the Current between this last Island and the 2nd Island, to the Eastward of Wapping Island, where we were obliged to Anchor in 30 fathoms, being very near a ledge of Rocks which spitted out from one of the Islands. At 1/2 past 2 o’Clock in the A.M., weighed with the land wind at South and stood out clear of the shoal, where we were again obliged to come to an Anchor, having Variable light winds attended with Thunder and rain. At 5 o’Clock the weather being fair, and a light breeze at South, we weighed, but making little or no way against the Current, we soon came too again, in 28 fathoms, near a small Island not laid down in the Charts; Pulo Pare* bore East-North-East, distant 6 or 7 Miles. While we lay here a Proe came alongside, where in were 2 Malays, who sold us 3 Turtles, weighing 147 pounds, for a Spanish Dollar. Some on board thought them dear, but I thought they were cheap, founding my Judgment on the price the two Dutchmen that were on board before set upon those they had, one of which we paid a Dollar for, that weighed only 36 pounds.

(* Wapping Island is now known as Hoorn, and Pulo Pare as Agenietan Islands. They lie, among many others, to the north-west of Batavia Roads.)

Tuesday, 9th. A little past Noon weigh’d with a light breeze at North-East, and stood to the Eastward until 5 o’Clock, when, not being able to weather Pulo Pare, we Anchor’d in 30 fathoms, the said Island extending from South-East to South-South-West, distant 1 Mile. At 10 got the land wind at South, with which we weighed and stood to the East-South-East all night; depth of water, from 30 to 22 fathoms, and from 22 to 16 fathoms. When we Anchor’d at 10 o’Clock in the A.M. to wait for the Sea breeze, the Island of Edam bore South-West by West, distant 6 or 7 Miles. At Noon we weighed and stood in for Batavia Road, having the advantage of the Sea breeze at North-North-East.

[Arrival at Batavia.]

Wednesday, 10th, according to our reckoning, but by the people here Thursday, 11th. At 4 o’Clock in the P.M. Anchor’d in Batavia road, where we found the Harcourt Indiaman from England, 2 English Country Ships,* 13 Sail of large Dutch Ships, and a number of small Vessels. As soon as we Anchor’d* I sent Lieutenant Hicks a shore to acquaint the Governor of our Arrival, and to make an excuse for not Saluting; as we could only do it with 3 Guns I thought it was better let alone.

(* A country ship is a vessel under the English flag, but belonging to a port in English possessions abroad.)

(* The Endeavour took nine days, and had to anchor fifteen times, in getting from Java Head, at the entrance of Sunda Strait, to Batavia, a distance of 120 miles.)

[At Batavia.]

The Carpenter now deliver’d me in the defects of the ship, of which the following is a copy:—

“The Defects of His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour, Lieutenant James Cook, Commander.

“The Ship very leaky (as she makes from 12 to 6 Inches water per hour), occasioned by her Main Kiel being wounded in many places and the Scarfe of her Stem being very open. The false Kiel gone beyond the Midships (from Forward and perhaps further), as I had no opportunity of seeing for the water when hauld ashore for repair. Wounded on her Starboard side under the Main Chains, where I immagine is the greatest leakes (but could not come at it for the water). One pump on the Starboard side useless, the others decayed within 1 1/2 Inch of the bore, otherwise Masts, Yards, Boats, and Hull in pretty good condition.

“Dated in Batavia Road,

“this 10th of October, 1770.


Previous to the above, I had consulted with the Carpenter and all the other Officers concerning the Leake, and they were all unanimously of Opinion that it was not safe to proceed to Europe without first seeing her bottom; accordingly I resolved to apply for leave to heave her down at this place, and, as I understood that this was to be done in writing, I drew up the following request to be presented to the Governor, etc., etc.:—

“Lieutenant James Cook, commander of His Brittannick Majesty’s Bark Endeavour, Requests of the Right Hon’ble Petrus Albertus Van der Parra, Governor-General, etc., etc., etc., the Indulgence of the following Articles, viz.:

“Firstly, That he may be allow’d a proper and convenient place to heave down and repair His Brittannick Majesty’s Ship under his command.

“Secondly, That he may have leave to purchase such few Trifling Naval stores as he may be in want of.

“Thirdly, That he may be permitted daily to purchase such provisions as he may want; also such an Additional quantity as may enable him to proceed on his passage home to England.

“Dated on board His Brittannick Majesty’s Bark Endeavour, in Batavia Road, the 11th October, 1770.


In the morning I went on shore myself and had the foregoing request Translated into Dutch by a Scotch Gentleman, a Merchant here.

Friday, 12th. At 5 o’clock P.M. I was introduced to the Governor-General, who received me very politely and told me that I should have every thing I wanted, and that in the Morning my request should be laid before the Council where I was desir’d to attend.

About 9 o’clock in the Evening we had much rain, with some very heavy Claps of Thunder, one of which carried away a Dutch Indiaman’s Main Mast by the Deck, and split it, the Maintopmast and Topgallantmast all to shivers. She had had an Iron Spindle at the Maintopgallant Mast head which had first attracted the Lightning. The ship lay about 2 Cable lengths from us, and we were struck with the Thunder at the same time, and in all probability we should have shared the same fate as the Dutchman, had it not been for the Electrical Chain which we had but just before got up; this carried the Lightning or Electrical matter over the side clear of the Ship. The Shock was so great as to shake the whole ship very sencibly. This instance alone is sufficient to recommend these Chains to all Ships whatever, and that of the Dutchman ought to Caution people from having Iron Spindles at their Mast heads.*

(* No instance is known of ships fitted with properly constructed lightning conductors having received any damage.)

[At Batavia.]

In the morning I went on shore to the Council Chamber and laid my request before the Governour and Council, who gave me for answer that I should have every thing I wanted.

Saturday, 13th. Received on board a Cask of Arrack and some Greens for the Ship’s Company.

Sunday, 14th. Early this morning a ship sail’d from hence for Holland by which I had just time to write 2 or 3 lines to Mr. Stephens, Secretary of the Admiralty, to acquaint him of our Arrival, after which I went on shore and waited upon the Shabander, who has the direction of the Town, Port, etc., to get an order to the Superintendent at Onrust to receive us at that Island, but this, I was told, would not be ready before Tuesday next. Received from the Shore Fresh Beef and Greens for the Ship’s Company.

Monday, 15th. Fresh Sea and land breezes and fair weather. I had forgot to mention, that upon our arrival here I had not one man upon the Sick List; Lieut. Hicks, Mr. Green, and Tupia were the only people that had any complaints occasioned by a long continuance at Sea.*

(* This was an achievement indeed, and Cook records it in this simple observation. Of the many ships which had arrived at Batavia after voyages across the Pacific, none but had come to an anchor with crews decimated and enfeebled through scurvy. Hawksworth mentions, probably on the authority of Banks, that when passing Torres Straits there were several incipient cases of this disease in the Endeavour. The fresh provisions obtained at Savu probably dissipated these symptoms, if they were symptoms; but Mr. Perry, the surgeon, in his report, given in the Introduction, distinctly states that there were no cases after leaving Tahiti.)

Tuesday, 16th. Finding, by a strict inquiry, that there were no private person or persons in the place that could at this time advance me a sufficient sum of money to defray the charge I might be at in repairing and refitting the Ship — at least, if there were any, they would be afraid to do it without leave from the Governor — wherefore I had nothing left but to apply to the Governor himself, and accordingly drew up the following request, which I laid before the Governor and Council this morning, in consequence of which the Shebander had orders to supply me with what money I wanted out of the Company’s Treasure:—

“Lieutenant James Cook, Commander of His Brittannick Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour, begs leave to represent to His Excellency the Right Honourable Petrus Albertus Van der Parra, Governor-General, etc., etc., That he will be in want of a Sum or Sums of Money in order to defray the Charge he will be at in repairing and refiting His Brittannick Majesty’s Ship at this place; which sum or sums of money he is directed by his Instructions, and empower’d by his commission, to give Bills of Exchange on the respective Offices which Superintend His Brittannick Majesty’s Navy.

“The said Lieutenant James Cook Requests of His Excellency, That he will be pleased to order him to be supply’d with such sum or sums of money, either out of the Company’s Treasure, or permit such private persons to do it as may be willing to advance money for Bills of Exchange on the Honourable and Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Brittannick Majesty’s Navy, the Commissioners for Victualling His Majesty’s Navy, and the Commissioners for taking care of the Sick and Hurt.

“Dated on board His Brittannick Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour, in Batavia Road, the 16th of October, 1770.


Wednesday, 17th. In the P.M. I waited upon the Superintendent of Onrust, with an order from the Shebander, to receive us at that Island, but this order, the Superintendent told me, was not sufficient to impower him to give me the conveniences and assistance I wanted, and when I came to call upon the Shebander, I found this mistake was owing to the word “heave down” being wrong translated; this Circumstance, trifling as it is, will cause a delay of some days, as it cannot be set to rights until next Council day, which is not till Friday.

Thursday, 18th. In the P.M. received on board 2 live Oxen, 150 Gallons of Arrack, 3 Barrels of Tar, and one of Pitch; at daylight in the A.M. took up our Anchor and run down to Onrust.

At 9 Anchor’d in 7 fathoms off Coopers Island, which lies close to Onrust. There are wharfs at both of these Islands, and ships land there stores, sometimes on the one and sometimes on the other, but it is only at Onrust where the proper conveniences are for heaving down. Soon after we Anchor’d I went on shore to the Officer of the Yard, to see if they could not allow us some place to land our stores, but this could not be granted without orders.

Friday, 19th. In the P.M. I sent a Petty Officer to Mr. Hicks, who Lodges ashore at Batavia for the recovery of his health, with orders to desire him to wait upon the Shebander, in order to get the necessary orders respecting us dispatched to this place as soon as possible.

Saturday, 20th. Employ’d unrigging the ship, etc.

Sunday, 21st. In the P.M. orders came down to the Officers of the yard to comply with everything I wanted, but we could not yet get a Wharfe to land our Stores, they being all taken up by shipping.

Monday, 22nd. In the A.M. two ships went from the Wharfes at Coopers Island, when we prepared to go along side one of them.

Tuesday, 23rd. In the P.M. hauled along side one of the Wharfes, in order to take out our stores, etc., after which the Ship is to be deliver’d into the Charge of the proper Officers at Onrust, who will (as I am inform’d) heave her down, and repair her, with their own people, while ours must stand and look on, who, if we were permitted, could do every thing wanting to the Ship ourselves.*

(* Here Mr. Corner’s copy of the Journal ends abruptly. The record for the next day explains the reason, and there is no doubt that this was the copy of the Journal sent home. The Queen’s copy ends on 10th October. The remainder of the Journal is taken from the Admiralty copy.)

[Reports Sent Home from Batavia.]

Wednesday, 24th. Employ’d clearing the Ship, having a Store House to put our Stores, etc., in. In the P.M. I went up to Town in order to put on board the first Dutch Ship that Sails, a pacquet for the Admiralty containing a Copy of my Journal, a Chart of the South Sea, another of New Zeeland, and one of the East Coast of New Holland. In the morning the General, accompanied by the Water Fiscall, some of the Council, and the Commodore, each in their respective Boats, went out into the Road on board the oldest Captain, in order to appoint him Commodore of the Fleet, ready to Sail for Holland. The Ships was drawn up in 2 Lines, between which the General past to the new Commodore’s Ship, which lay the farthest out. Each ship as he passed and repassed gave him 3 Cheers, and as soon as he was on board, and the Dutch Flag Hoisted at the Main Topmast Head, the other Commodore Saluted him with 21 Guns, and immediately after Struck his Broad Pendant, which was again hoisted as soon as the General left the other Ship; he was then Saluted with 17 Guns by the new made Commodore, who now hoisted a Common Pendant. This Ceremony of appointing a Commodore over the Grand Fleet, as they call it, we were told is Yearly perform’d. I went out in my Boat on purpose to see it, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, because we were told it was one of the Grandest sights Batavia afforded; that may be too, and yet it did not recompense us for our trouble. I thought that the whole was but ill conducted, and the Fleet appear’d to be very badly mann’d. This fleet consists of 10 or 12 stout Ships; not only these, but all or most of their other Ships are pierced for 50 Guns, but have only their upper Tier mounted, and these are more by half than they have men to fight.

Thursday, 25th. In the evening I sent the Admiralty Packet on board the Kronenburg, Captain Fredrick Kelger, Commodore, who, together with another Ship, sails immediately for the Cape, where she waits for the remainder of the Fleet.*

(* The following letter to the Secretary of the Admiralty (now in Public Record Office) was also dispatched:—

“To Philip Stephens, Esq.


“Please to acquaint my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that I left Rio de Janeiro the 8th of December, 1768, and on the 16th of January following arrived in Success Bay in Straits La Maire, where we recruited our Wood and Water; on the 21st of the same month we quitted Straits La Maire, and arrived at George’s Island on the 13th of April. In our Passage to this Island I made a far more Westerly Track than any Ship had ever done before; yet it was attended with no discovery until we arrived within the Tropick, where we discovered several Islands. We met with as Friendly a reception by the Natives of George’s Island as I could wish, and I took care to secure ourselves in such a manner as to put it out of the power of the whole Island to drive us off. Some days preceeding the 3rd of June I sent Lieutenant Hicks to the Eastern part of this Island, and Lieutenant Gore to York Island, with others of the Officers (Mr. Green having furnished them with Instruments), to observe the Transit of Venus, that we may have the better Chance of succeeding should the day prove unfavourable; but in this We were so fortunate that the observations were everywhere attended with every favourable Circumstance. It was the 13th of July before I was ready to quitt this Island, after which I spent near a month in exploring some other Islands which lay to the Westward, before we steer’d to the Southward. On the 14th of August we discovered a small Island laying in the latitude of 22 degrees 27 minutes South, Longitude 150 degrees 47 minutes West. After quitting this Island I steered to the South, inclining a little to the East, until we arrived in the latitude 40 degrees 12 minutes South, without seeing the least signs of Land. After this I steer’d to the Westward, between the latitude of 30 and 40 degrees until the 6th of October, on which day we discovered the East Coast of New Zeland, which I found to consist of 2 large Islands, extending from 34 to 48 degrees of South latitude, both of which I circumnavigated. On the 1st of April, 1770, I quitted New Zeland, and steer’d to the Westward, until I fell in with the East Coast of New Holland, in the latitude of 30 degrees South. I coasted the shore of this Country to the North, putting in at such places as I saw Convenient, until we arrived in the latitude of 15 degrees 45 minutes South, where, on the night of the 10th of June, we struck upon a Reef of Rocks, were we lay 23 Hours, and received some very considerable damage. This proved a fatal stroke to the remainder of the Voyage, as we were obliged to take shelter in the first Port we met with, were we were detain’d repairing the damage we had sustain’d until the 4th of August, and after all put to Sea with a leaky Ship, and afterwards coasted the Shore to the Northward through the most dangerous Navigation that perhaps ever ship was in, until the 22nd of same month, when, being in the latitude of 10 degrees 30 minutes South, we found a Passage into the Indian Sea between the Northern extremity of New Holland and New Guinea. After getting through the Passage I stood for the Coast of New Guinea, which we made on the 29th; but as we found it absolutely necessary to heave the Ship down to Stop her leaks before we proceeded home, I made no stay here, but quitted this Coast on the 30th of September, and made the best of my way to Batavia, where we Arrived on the 10th instant, and soon after obtained leave of the Governor and Council to be hove down at Onrust, where we have but just got alongside of the Wharf in order to take out our Stores, etc.

“I send herewith a copy of my Journal, containing the Proceedings of the whole Voyage, together with such Charts as I have had time to Copy, which I judge will be sufficient for the present to illustrate said Journal. In this Journal I have with undisguised truth and without gloss inserted the whole Transactions of the Voyage, and made such remarks and have given such discriptions of things as I thought was necessary in the best manner I was Capable off. Altho’ the discoverys made in this Voyage are not great, yet I flatter myself they are such as may Merit the Attention of their Lordships; and altho’ I have failed in discovering the so much talked of Southern Continent (which perhaps do not exist), and which I myself had much at heart, yet I am confident that no part of the Failure of such discovery can be laid to my charge. Had we been so fortunate not to have run a shore much more would have been done in the latter part of the Voyage than what was; but as it is, I presume this Voyage will be found as compleat as any before made to the South Seas on the same account. The plans I have drawn of the places I have been at were made with all the Care and accuracy that time and Circumstances would admit of. Thus far I am certain that the latitude and Longitude of few parts of the World are better settled than these. In this I was very much assisted by Mr. Green, who let slip no one opportunity for making of Observations for settling the Longitude during the whole Course of the Voyage; and the many Valuable discoveries made by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander in Natural History, and other things useful to the learned world, cannot fail of contributing very much to the Success of the Voyage. In justice to the Officers and the whole Crew, I must say they have gone through the fatigues and dangers of the whole Voyage with that cheerfulness and Allertness that will always do Honour to British Seamen, and I have the satisfaction to say that I have not lost one Man by sickness during the whole Voyage. I hope that the repairs wanting to the Ship will not be so great as to detain us any length of time. You may be assured that I shall make no unnecessary delay either here or at any other place, but shall make the best of my way home. I have the Honour to be with the greatest respect,


“Your most Obedient Humble Servant,

“(Signed) JAMES COOK.

“Endeavour Bark, at Onrust, near Batavia, the 23rd of October, 1770.”

“Although the discoveries made in this voyage are not great.” In these modest words does Cook describe his work. I read them to mean that with his love of accuracy he did not wish to claim his explorations of New Zealand and the East Coast of Australia as discoveries, as it was already known that lands existed there; but seeing how little was known, and how completely he did his work, there are but few men who would have refrained from classing them, as indeed he truly might have, as discoveries.)

Friday, 26th. Set up the Ship’s Tent for the reception of the Ship’s Company, several of them begin to be taken ill, owing, as I suppose, to the extream hot weather.

[Heaving down at Batavia.]

Saturday, 27th. Employed getting out Stores, Ballast, etc.

Sunday, 28th. Employ’d as above.

Monday, 29th, Tuesday, 30th, Wednesday, 31st. Employ’d clearing the Ship.

[November 1770.]

Thursday, November 1st. Got every thing out of the Ship, and all clear for going alongside of the Carreening, but about Noon I received a message from the Officer at Onrust acquainting me that they could not receive us there until they had first despatched the Ships bound to Europe, which were down here taking in pepper.

Friday, 2nd, Saturday, 3rd, Sunday, 4th. Employ’d overhauling the rigging, and making rope, making and repairing Sails.

Monday, 5th. Clear, hot sultry weather. In the A.M. transported the ship over to Onrust, alongside one of the Carreening Wharfs.

Tuesday, 6th. In the A.M. the officers of the Yard took the Ship in hand, and sent on board a number of Carpenters, Caulkers, Riggers, Slaves, etc., to make ready to heave down.

Wednesday, 7th. Employ’d getting ready to heave down in the P.M. We had the misfortune to loose Mr. Monkhouse, the Surgeon, who died at Batavia of a Fever after a short illness, of which disease and others several of our people are daily taken ill, which will make his loss be the more severely felt; he was succeeded by Mr. Perry, his mate, who is equally as well skilled in his profession.

Thursday, 8th. In the night had much Thunder, Lightning, and Rain; during the day fair weather, which gave us time to get everything in readiness for heaving down.

Friday, 9th. In the P.M. hove the Larboard side of the Ship, Kiel out, and found her bottom to be in a far worse condition than we expected; the false kiel was gone to within 20 feet of the Stern post, the main Kiel wounded in many places very considerably, a great quantity of Sheathing off, and several planks much damaged, especially under the Main Channell near the Kiel, where 2 planks and a 1/2, near 6 feet in length, were within 1/8th of an inch of being cutt through; and here the worms had made their way quite into the timbers, so that it was a matter of surprise to every one who saw her bottom how we had kept her above water, and yet in this condition we had sailed some hundreds of Leagues, in as dangerous a Navigation as in any part of the World, happy in being ignorant of the continual danger we were in. In the evening righted the Ship, having only time to patch up some of the worst places to prevent the water getting in in large quantitys for the present. In the morning hove her down again, and most of the Carpenters and Caulkers in the Yard (which are not a few) were set to work upon her Bottom, and at the same time a number of Slaves were employ’d bailing the water out of the Hold. Our people, altho’ they attend, were seldom called upon; indeed, by this time we were so weakned by sickness that we could not muster above 20 Men and Officers that were able to do duty, so little should we have been able to have hove her down and repair’d her ourselves, as I at one time thought us capable of.

Saturday, 10th. In the P.M. we were obliged to righten the ship before night, by reason of her making water in her upper works faster than we could free; it made it necessary to have her weather works inside and out caulked, which before was thought unnecessary.

Sunday, 11th. In the A.M., having caulked her upper works, hove out the Larboard side again, which a number of Workmen were employ’d repairing.

Monday, 12th. In the P.M. finished the Larboard side, and in the A.M. began to get ready to heave out the other.

Tuesday, 13th. This day they hove the Starboard side Kiel out, which we found very little damaged, and was therefore soon done with.

Wednesday, 14th. Employ’d clearing the Ship of the Carreening gear, her bottom being now thoroughly repair’d, and very much to my satisfaction. In justice to the Officers and Workmen of this Yard, I must say that I do not believe that there is a Marine Yard in the World where work is done with more alertness than here, or where there are better conveniences for heaving Ships down both in point of safety and despatch. Here they heave down by 2 masts, which is not now Practised by the English; but I hold it to be much safer and more expeditious than by heaving down by one mast; a man must not only be strongly bigotted to his own customs, but in some measure divested of reason, that will not allow this, after seeing with how much ease and safety the Dutch at Onrust heave down their largest ships.

Thursday, 15th. In the A.M. transported the Ship from Onrust to Cooper’s Island, and moored her alongside the Wharf.

Friday, 16th. Employ’d taking in Coals and Ballast; sent one of the decay’d Pumps up to Batavia to have a new one made by it.

Saturday, 17th, Sunday, 18th, Monday, 19th, Tuesday, 20th, Wednesday, 21st, Thursday, 22nd, Friday, 23rd, Saturday, 24th, Sunday, 25th. Employ’d rigging the Ship, getting on board Stores and Water, which last we have sent from Batavia at the rate of Six shillings and 8 pence a Leager, or 150 Gallons. We are now become so sickly that we seldom can muster above 12 or 14 hands to do duty.

Monday, 26th. In the night had much rain, after which the Westerly Monsoons set in, which blow here generally in the night from the South-West or from the land, in the day from the North-West or North.

Tuesday, 27th to Friday, December 7th. Employ’d getting on board Stores, Provisions, Water, rigging the Ship, repairing and bending the Sails. On the last of these days, having got all the Sick on board, and every other thing from the Island, we hauled off from the Wharfe with a design to run up to Batavia road, but the Wind proving scant obliged us to lay at anchor.

[At Batavia.]

Saturday, 8th. Fresh breezes Westerly, and fair weather. At 10 A.M. weigh’d and run up to Batavia road, where we anchor’d in 4 1/2 fathoms water.

Sunday, 9th. First and latter parts ditto weather, middle squally with rain. In the P.M. sent on shore a Boat load of empty casks, and at the same time went myself in order to forward the things we wanted, and in the evening sent on board the new Pump, with some other stores that were immediately wanting.

Monday, 10th. For the most part Squally, with rain; the people employ’d scraping the paint work.

Tuesday, 11th, Wednesday, 12th, Thursday, 13th, Friday, 14th. For the most part of these days fair weather. Employ’d taking on board Provisions and Water; this last is put on board at 5 shillings a Leager or 150 Gallons.

Saturday, 15th. In the P.M. anchor’d here the Earl of Elgin, Captain Cooke, an English East India Company Ship from Madras, bound to China, but having lost her passage, put in here to wait for the next Season.

Sunday, 16th, Monday, 17th. Employ’d taking on board Provisions; Scraping and Painting the Ship.

Tuesday, 18th. Gentle breezes and fair weather. Anchored here the Phoenix, Captain Black, an English Country Ship from Bencoolen.

Wednesday, 19th, Thursday, 20th, Friday, 21st, Saturday, 22nd, Sunday, 23rd, Monday, 24th. Fresh breezes, and for the most part fair weather. Completed taking on board Provisions, Water, etc., and getting the Ship ready for sea.

Tuesday, 25th. Having now compleatly refitted the ship, and taken in a sufficient quantity of Provisions of all kinds, I this afternoon took leave of the General, and such others of the principal Gentlemen as I had any connection with, all of whom upon every occasion gave me all the assistance I required. A small dispute, however, now hapned between me and some of the Dutch Naval Officers about a Seaman that had run from one of the Dutch Ships in the Road, and enter’d on board mine; this man the General demanded as a Subject of Holland, and I promised to deliver him up provided he was not an English Subject, and sent the necessary orders on board for that purpose. In the morning the Commodore’s Captain came and told me that he had been on board my ship for the man, but that the Officer had refused to give him up, alledging that he was an Englishman, and that he, the Captain, was just then come from the General to demand the man of me as a Deanish Subject, he standing upon their Ship’s books as born at Elsinore. I told him that I believed there must be some mistake in the General’s message, for I apprehended he would not demand a Deanish Seaman from me who had committed no other crime than preferring the English Service before that of the Dutch; but to convince him how unwilling I was to disoblige any one concerned, I had sent orders on board to deliver the man to him in case he was found to be a Foreigner; but as that was not done I suspected that the man was a Subject of England, and if I found him to be such I was resolved to keep him. Soon after this I received a letter from Mr. Hicks, which I carried to the Shabander, and desired that it might be shewn to the General, and at the same time to acquaint him that, after my having such unanswerable proof of the man’s being an English Subject, as was mentioned in that letter, it was impossible for me to deliver him up. After this I heard no more about it.

Wednesday, 26th. In the P.M. myself, Mr. Banks, and all the Gentlemen came on board, and at 6 a.m. weigh’d and came to sail with a light breeze at South-West. The Elgin Indiaman saluted us with 3 cheers and 13 Guns, and soon after the Garrison with 14, both of which we return’d. Soon after this the Sea breeze set in at North by West, which obliged us to Anchor just without the Ships in the Road. The number of Sick on board at this time amounts to 40 or upwards, and the rest of the Ship’s Company are in a weakly condition, having been every one sick except the Sailmaker, an old Man about 70 or 80 years of age; and what is still more extraordinary in this man is his being generally more or less drunk every day. But notwithstanding this general sickness, we lost but 7 men in the whole: the Surgeon, 3 Seamen, Mr. Green’s Servant, and Tupia and his Servant, both of which fell a sacrifice to this unwholesome climate before they had reached the object of their wishes. Tupia’s death, indeed, cannot be said to be owing wholy to the unwholesome air of Batavia; the long want of a Vegetable Diet, which he had all his life before been used to, had brought upon him all the Disorders attending a Sea life. He was a shrewd, sensible, ingenious man, but proud and obstinate, which often made his situation on board both disagreeable to himself and those about him, and tended much to promote the diseases which put a Period to his Life.*

(* It is rather curious that Cook does not here record his sense of the value of Tupia’s services as interpreter, which he has before alluded to in the Journal. There is no doubt that his presence on board when the ship was in New Zealand was the greatest advantage, affording a means of communication with the natives, which prevented the usual gross misunderstandings which arise as to the object of the visit of an exploring ship. Without him, even with Cook’s humane intention and good management, friendly relations would have been much more difficult to establish.)

[Description of Batavia.]

Batavia is a place that hath been so often visited by Europeans, and so many accounts of it extant, that any discription I could give would seem unnecessary; besides, I have neither abilities nor materials sufficient for such an undertaking, for whoever gives a faithful account of this place must in many things contradict all the Authors I have had an opportunity to consult; but this task I shall leave to some abler hand, and only take notice of such things that seem to me necessary for Seamen to know.

The City of Batavia is situated on a low flatt near the Sea, in the Bottom of a large Bay of the same name, which lies on the North side of Java, about 8 Leagues from the Straits of Sunda; it lies in 6 degrees 10 minutes South Latitude, and 106 degrees 50 minutes East Longitude from the Meridian of Greenwich, settled by Astronomical Observations made on the spot by the Reverend Mr. Mohr, who has built a very ellegant Observatory, which is as well furnished with Instruments as most in Europe. Most of the Streets in the City have canals of water running through them, which unite into one Stream about 1/2 a mile before they discharge themselves into the Sea; this is about 100 feet broad, and is built far enough out into the Sea to have at its entrance a sufficient depth of Water to admit Small Craft, Luggage boats, etc. The communication between the Sea and the City is by this Canal alone, and this only in the day; for it is shut up every night by a Boom, through which no Boats can pass from about 6 o’clock in the evening to between 5 and 6 the next morning. Here stands the Custom house, where all goods, either imported or exported, pay the Customary Dutys; at least, an Account is here taken of them, and nothing can pass without a Permit, wether it pays duty or no. All kinds of refreshments, Naval Stores, and Sea Provisions are to be had here; but there are few Articles but what bear a very high Price, especially if you take them of the Company, which you are obliged to do if you want any Quantity; that is, of such Articles as they monoplie to themselves, which are all manner of Naval Stores and Salted Provisions.

The Road of Batavia, or place where Shipping Anchor, lies right before the City, and is so large as to contain any number of Shipping. You anchor with the Dome of the Great Church, bearing about South in 7, 6, or 5 fathoms water, about 1 1/2 or 2 miles from the Shore; and nearer you cannot come with Large Ships, by reason of a Mud bank which lines all the Shore of the Bay. The ground that you Anchor in is of such a nature that the Anchors buries themselves so deep that it is with difficulty they are got out; for this reason Ships always lays at Single Anchor, being in no manner of danger of fouling them. You lay apparently open to the winds from the North-West to the East-North-East; but the Sea that is caused by these winds is a good deal broke before it reaches the Road by the small Islands and Shoals without. These Shoals have all of them either Buoys or Beacons upon them; but if these Guides should be moved, there is a very good Chart of this Bay and the Coast of Java as far as the Straits of Sunda, bound up in the English East India Pilot, sold by Mount & Page. In this Chart everything seems to be very accurately delineated.

Fresh water and wood for fuel must be purchased here. The water is put on board the Ship in the Road at a Spanish Dollar, or 5 shillings a Leager, containing 150 Gallons; but if sent to Onrust, which is one League from the Road, it cost a Duccatoon, or 6 shillings 8 pence. The supplying shipping with water, especially Foreigners, is a perquisite of the Commodore, who is always an Officer in the State’s Service, but acts here under the Company. He takes care to tell you that the Water is very good, and will keep sweet at Sea; whereas everybody else tells you that it is not so.

Be this as it will, Batavia is certainly a place that Europeans need not covet to go to; but if necessity obliges them, they will do well to make their stay as short as possible, otherwise they will soon feel the effects of the unwholesome air of Batavia, which, I firmly believe, is the Death of more Europeans than any other place upon the Globe of the same extent. Such, at least, is my opinion of it, which is founded on facts. We came in here with as healthy a Ship’s Company as need go to Sea, and after a stay of not quite 3 months left it in the condition of an Hospital Ship, besides the loss of 7 men; and yet all the Dutch Captains I had an opportunity to converse with said that we had been very lucky, and wondered that we had not lost half our people in that time.*

(* Batavia bears an evil reputation for health to this day; but it must be remembered that the Endeavour lay there during the rainy or most unhealthy season.)

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52