2nd January 1770

[Off North End of New Zealand]
Fresh breezes at South-South-West and West accompanied with a rowling Sea from the South-West. At 5 p.m. the wind Veering to the Westward we Tack'd and Stood to the Southward. At this time the North Cape bore East 3/4 North and was just open of a point that lies 3 Leagues West by South from it, being now well assured that it is the Northermost Extremity of this Country and is the East point of a Peninsula which Stretches out North-West and North-West by North 17 or 18 Leagues, and as I have before observed is for the most part low and narrow except its Extremity where the land is Tollerable high and Extends 4 or 5 Leagues every way. Cape Maria Van Diemen is the West point of the Peninsula and lies in the Latitude of 34 degrees 30 minutes South; Longitude 187 degrees 18 minutes West from Greenwich.*

(* This is extraordinarily accurate, seeing that the ship was never close to the Cape, and the observations were all taken in bad weather. The latitude is exact, and the longitude is only three miles in error. The persistence with which Cook clung to this point until he could resume his exploration and examination of the coast is very characteristic of the man. He would not willingly miss a mile of it, nor did he.)

From this Cape the Land Trends away South-East by South and South-East to and beyond Mount Camel, and is everywhere a barren shore affording no better prospect than what ariseth from white sand Banks. At 1/2 past 7 p.m. the Island of the 3 Kings bore North-West by North and Cape Maria Van Diemen North-East by East, distant 4 Leagues. At 5 a.m. Cape Maria Van Diemen bore North-North-East 1/2 East and Mount Camel East. At Noon was in the Latitude of 35 degrees 17 minutes and Cape Maria Van Diemen by judgment bore North distant 16 Leagues; having no land in sight, not daring to go near it as the wind blow'd fresh right on shore and a high rowling Sea from the Same Quarter, and knowing that there was no Harbour that we could put into in case we were Caught upon a lee shore.

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