21st August 1770
Winds at EBS and ESE a fresh breeze. By one oClock we had run nearly the length of the southermost of the two Islands before mentioned and finding that we could not well go to windward of them without carrying us too far from the Main land we bore up and run to Leeward of them where we found a fair open passage this done we steer'd NBW in a Parallel direction with the Main land leaving a small Island between us and it and some low sandy Isles and shoals without us all of which we lost sight of by 4 oClock, neither did we see any more before the sun went down at which time the farthest part of the Main in sight bore NNW^1/2W soon after this we Anchord in 13 fathom soft ground about 5 Leagues from the land where we lay untill day light when we got again under sail, having first sent the Yawl ahead to sound, we steerd NNW by Compass from the northermost land in sight Variation 3°..6' East: Seeing no danger in our way we took the Yawl in tow and made all the Sail we could untill 8 oClock at which time we discoverd Shoals ahead and on our Larboard bow and saw that the Land northermost land which we had taken to be a part of the Main was an Island or Islands between which and the Main their appeared to be a good passage thro' which we might pass by runing to Leeward of the Shoals on our Larboard bow which was now pretty near us. whereupon we wore and brought too and sent away the Pinnace and yawl to direct us clear of the shoals and then stood after them. after having got round the SE point of the Shoal we steerd NW along the SW or inside of it keeping a good look out at the Mast head having another shoal on our Larboard side, but we found a good channell of a Mile broad between them wherein were from 10 to 14 fathoms water At 11 oClock being nearly the Length of the Islands above mentioned and designing to pass between them and the Main, the Yawl being thrown a Stern by falling in upon a ^part of the shoal she could not get over we brought the Ship too and sent away the Long-boat / which we had a stern and rigg'd / to keep in shore upon our larboard bow and the Pinnace on the Starboard for all tho there appear'd ^to be nothing in the Passage yet I thought it necessary to take this method be cause we had a strong flood which carried us an end very fast, and it did not want much of high-water As soon as the boats were ahead we stood after them and got through by noon at which time we were by observation in the Latitude of 10°..36'..30" St the nearest part of the Main, and which we soon after found to be the Northermost bore due west ^a little 2° southerly distand 3 or 4 Miles, the Islands which form'd the Passage before mentioned extending from North to N. 75° East distant 2 or 3 Miles - At the same time we saw Islands at a good distance off extending from NBW to WNW and behind them another chain of high land which we like wise Judge'd to be Islands, the Main land we thought extended as far as N 71° west but this we found to be Islands. The point of the Main which forms one side of the M Passage before mentioned and which we found is the Northern Promontary of this ^Country I have named York Cape in honour of His late Royal Highness the Duke of York. It lies in the Longitude of 218°..24' Wt the North point in ye Latde of 10°.37' S. & the Et point in 10°..41' S. The land over and to the ^Southward of this last point is rather low and very flat ^as far in land as the eye could rach and looks barren to the southward of the Cape the Shore forms a large open Bay ^which I called New Castle Bay wherein are some small low Islands and shoals and all the land about it is very low flat and sandy. The Land ^of the northern ^part of the Cape the land is rather more hilly and the shore forms some small Bays wherein there appear'd to be good anchorage, and the Vallies appear'd to be tolerably well Clo^athed with wood; close to the ^East point of the Cape are Three small Islands and a small ledge of rocks spiting off from one of them ^there is also an Island lay close to the north Pt the other Islands before spoke off ^forming the passage lay about 4 Miles without these, only Tow of them are of any extent, the Southermost is the largist and much higher than any part of the Main land, on the NW side of this Island seem'd to be good anchorage and Vallies that to all appearence would afford both wood and fresh water These Isles are known in the Chart by the name of York Isles — to the Southward and SE of them and even to the Eastward and northward are several low Islands Rocks and shoals - our depth of water in sailing between them and the Main was 12 . 13 & 14 fathoms —
Joseph Banks Journal
Running along shore with charming moderate weather, as indeed we have had ever since our second entering the reef. We observd both last night and this morn that the main lookd very narrow, so we began to look out for the Passage we expected to find between new Holland and New Guinea. At noon one was seen very narrow but appearing to widen: we resolv'd to try it so stood in. In passing through, for it was not more than a mile in lengh before it widned very much, we saw 10 Indians standing on a hill; 9 were armed with lances as we had been usd to see them, the tenth had a bow and arrows; 2 had also large ornaments of mother of Pearl shell hung round their necks. After the ship had passd by 3 followd her, one of whoom was the bow man. We soon came abreast, from whence we concluded we might have a much better view than from our mast head, so the anchor was dropd and we prepard ourselves to go ashore to examine whether the place we stood into was a bay or a passage; for as we saild right before the trade wind we might find dificulty in getting out should it prove to be the former. The 3 Indians plac'd themselves upon the beach opposite to us as if resolvd either to oppose or assist our landing; when however we came about Musquet shot from them they all walkd leisurely away. The hill we were upon was by much the most barren we had been upon; it however gave us the satisfaction of seeing a streight, at least as far as we could see, without any obstruction. In the Even a strong tide made us almost certain.
Sydney Parkinson Journal
We kept along shore till the 21st, and, at noon, in latitude 10° 36’, we came to a great number of islands near the main land, which tended away to the S. W. We stood through between two of these islands, to the west, and found a very strong tide, which carried us along briskly, and gave us hopes that this was a passage between New Holland and New Guinea. At length we came to, and the pinnace was sent on shore to a spot where we saw some of the natives stand gazing at us, but when the boat’s company landed, they immediately fled. fled. The captain, and some others, went up to the top of a hill, and, seeing a clear passage, they hoisted a jack, and fired a volley, which was answered by the marines below, and the marines by three vollies from the ship, and three cheers from the main shrouds. The natives were armed with lances, and one of them had a bow in his hand. In other respects they were much like the people we saw last, being quite naked, and of a dark colour. This land was more rocky, and less sandy than we had lately seen, but still very barren; though the flats, indeed, were covered with many verdant trees. We also discovered very high land at a great distance to the N. E. which we took for the land of New Guinea.
Posted by Arborfield at 18:18