14th January 1769

Tierra del Fuego
In Strait of Le Maire

First part Strong Gales, and very heavy squalls with Hail and Rain; remainder more moderate but unsettled, sometimes a fresh breeze and Squally, and sometimes little wind. Kept plying in the Straits until 1/2 past 4 p.m., at which time the Tide had made strong against us, and the wind not abating, bore away, intending to have hauled under Cape St. Diego, but was prevented by the force of the Tide, which carried us past that Cape with surprising rapidity, at the same time caused a very great sea. Cape St. Diego bore at this time South by East about 4 Leagues Distant.

At 1/2 past 7 Tackt and Stood to the South-East, Cape St. Diego bearing South by East, distance 5 Leagues. At 1 a.m., Squally, wore Ship, Staten Land extending from North to East. At 4, Moderate Weather, loosed a Reef out of each Topsail, the Cape of Good Success West by South, and Cape St. Diego North-North-West, being now in the Strait, but the Tide turning against us soon carried us out. The Violence of the Tide of Ebb rose such a Sea off Cape St. Diego, that it looked as if it was breaking Violently on the ledge of Rocks, and would be taken for such by any who know'd not the true cause. When the Ship was in this Torrent she frequently Pitched her Bowsprit in the Water. By Noon we got under the Land between Cape St. Diego and Cape St. Vincent, where I thought to have Anchored, but found the Bottom every where hard and Rocky; the Depth of Water from 30 to 12 fathoms. Sent the Master to Examine a small Cove which appeared to our View a little to the Eastward of Cape St. Vincent. Wind South-South-West and South-West by South.

Joseph Banks Journal
... we found ourselves the third time drove out, wind SSW, Short sea and ship pitching most violently. The Captn stood into a bay just without Cape St Vincent and while the ship plyd off and on Dr Solander and myself went ashore in the boat and found many plants, about 100, tho we were not ashore above 4 hours; of these I may say every one was new and intirely different from what either of us had before seen. The countrey about this bay was in general flat, here is however good wood and water and vast plenty of fowl and in the cod of the bay a flat coverd with grass where much hay might be made. The bay itself is bad affording but little shelter for shipping and in many Parts of it the bottom rocky and foul. This however may be always known in these Countreys by the beds of Fucus Giganteus which constantly grow upon the rock and are not seen on sand or owse; they are of an immence lengh, we sounded upon them and had 14 fathom water; as they seem to make a very acute angle with the bottom in their situation on the water it is difficult to guess how long they may be, but probably they are not less than one half longer than the depth of the water, which gives their lengh to be 126 feet, a wonderfull lengh for a stalk not thicker than a mans thumb.

Among other things the bay affords there is plenty of winters bark, easy to be known by its broad leaf like a laurel of a light green colour and blueish underneath, the bark is easily stripd off with a bone or stick as ours are barkd in England; its virtues are so well known that I shall say little except that it may be us'd as a spice even in culinary matters and is found to be very wholesome. Here is also plenty of wild celery apium antescorbuticum, scurvy grass cardamine antescorbutica, both which are as pleasant to the taste as any herbs of the kind found in Europe and I beleive possess as much virtue in curing the scurvy.

The trees here are cheifly of one sort, a Kind of Birch Betula antarctica with very small leaves, it is a light white wood and cleaves very straight; sometimes the trees are 2 or 3 feet in diameter and run 30 or 40 feet in the bole; possibly they might in cases of nescessity supply topmasts. Here are also great plenty of cranberries both white and red, Arbutus rigida. Inhabitants I saw none but found their hutts in two places, once in a thick wood and again close by the beach; they are most unartificaly made, Conical but open on one side where was marks of fire so that probably the fire servd them instead of a door.

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