17th November 1769

[Off Cape Colville, North Island, New Zealand]
The fore and Middle parts had fresh Gales between the South-West and West by South, and Squally. Kept plying to windward in order to get under the land. At 6 A.M. fetched close under the lee of the Northernmost Island in sight, then Tackd and Stood to the Southward until 11, when we tack'd and Stood to the Northward. At this time the North head of Mercury Bay, or Point Mercury, bore South-East by East, distant 3 Leagues, being at this time between 2 and 3 Leagues from the Main land, and abreast of a place where there appear'd to be a Harbour;* (* Probably Waikawau Bay) but the heavy squalls which we had from the Land would not permit us to take a nearer View of it, but soon brought us under our Close reeft Topsails. At Noon Point Mercury bore South-East, distant 4 Leagues, and the weathermost point of the Main land in sight bore North 60 degrees West, distant 5 Leagues. Over the North-West side of Mercury Bay is a pretty high round hill, rising sloping from the Shore of the Bay. This hill is very conspicuous from where we now are.

Joseph Banks Journal
Foul wind and blowing fresh, so that we did not come near enough to the land to make many observations.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
... and the next, being the 17th, we did nothing but beat to windward. The country in view appeared rather barren, and had but few signs of inhabitants. We saw several islands, which we named Mercury islands.

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