13th November 1768

Rio de Janeiro
First and Latter parts a Genteel Sea breeze and Clear weather, the Middle Calm. P.M. standing along Shore for Rio De Janeiro observed that the land on the Sea Coast is high and Mountainous, and the shore forms some small Bays or Coves wherein are Sandy Beaches. At 8 Shortned Sail; the Sugar Loaf Hill at the West Entrance to Rio De Janeiro West-North-West, distant 4 or 5 leagues, at the same time was abreast of 2 Small rocky Islands, that lie about 4 Miles from the Shore. At 9 a.m. Sprung up a light breeze at South-East, at which time we made Sail for the Harbour, and sent the Pinnace with a Lieutenant before us up to the city of Rio De Janeiro, to acquaint the Vice Roy with the reason that induced us to put in here, which was to procure Water and other refreshments, and to desire the Assistance of a Pilot to bring us into proper Anchoring ground; at Noon Standing in for the Harbour.

Joseph Banks Journal
This Morn the Harbour of Rio Janeiro was right ahead about 2 leagues off but it being quite Calm we made our aproaches very slowly. The sea was inconceveably full of small vermes which we took without the least dificulty; they were almost all new except Beroe labiata, Medusa radiata, fimbriata and Chrystallina, Dagysa . Soon after that a fishing boat Came a board and sold us three Scombers which proved to be new and were calld Salmoneus; his baites were Clupea Chinensis of which we also procurd specimens.

As soon as we came well into the River the Captn sent Mr Hicks his first Leutenant with a midshipman to get a pilot and stood up the river expecting him down very soon. He did not nor did the boat till we were on the point of dropping an anchor just under the town; the boat then came without either of our officers, in exchange for whom came a Subaltern Portugese who seemd to have no kind of Business with us; the Cockswain brought word from the Leutenant that he was detaind on shore till the Captain should go off. Soon after we came to an anchor a ten Oard boat came alongside the ship with 12 or 14 soldiers in it who rowed round us without taking any notice of us or saying a word; a quarter of an hour after came a boat in which was a Disembargador and a Colonel of a Portugese rejument who askd us many questions which at first seemd to discourage our stay, as telling us that the Governor would furnish us with any quantity of water in two days. In the conclusion however he was immensely civil telling us that the Governor would give us every assistance in his power; that the Leutenant had not been confind but on account of the Practica had not been allowd to go on shore, he should now however be sent on board immediately; that the Captain was welcome to go on shore now but he wishd the rest of the crew might remain on board till the Paper they drew up had been delivered.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Sailed into the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, which lies in latitude 22° 56' south, and longitude 42° 45' west; but before we arrived in the harbour, the captain had sent Mr. Hicks, the first lieutenant, and the chief mate, in the pinnace, to the viceroy, to obtain a pilot; however, as the wind was fair, the captain ventured to continue sailing on, and was assisted by signals from the forts.

The viceroy detained the lieutenant and the mate, and sent back the pinnace with three of his own officers in it (of which one was a colonel) but no pilot. The colonel told us, that our officers would only be detained till the ship should be examined, according to custom: we therefore stood forward into the harbour, and anchored near the north end of Ilhos dos Scobros, or Snakes Island; but the colonel would not permit any of us to go ashore.

Our lieutenant had been instructed to evade answering any questions the Portugueze might ask him respecting our destination; or at least to answer them with reserve: the captain thought such questions would be impertinent, as our vessel was a ship of war; and the lieutenant observed these directions.

The viceroy held a council, the result of which was, to prohibit any person coming on shore from our ship; but they condescended to order all necessary supplies to be sent to us. We were displeased on receiving this intelligence, as we had expected to have met with agreeable entertainment on shore. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander appeared much chagrined at their disappointment: but, notwithstanding all the viceroy's precautions, we determined to gratify our curiosity, in some measure, and having obtained a sufficient knowledge of the river and harbour, by the surveys that we had made of the country, we frequently, unknown to the centinel, stole out of the cabin window at midnight, letting ourselves down into a boat by a rope; and, driving away with the tide till we were out of hearing, we then rowed to some unfrequented part of the shore, where we landed, and made, excursions up into the country, though not so far as we could have wished to have done.

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