25th February 1770

[Off Otago, Middle Island, New Zealand]
In the P.M. Steer'd South-West by South and South-West, edging in for the land, having the Advantage of a fresh Gale at North, which I was over desirous of making the most of, and by that means carried away the Maintop Gallant Mast and Foretopmast Steering Sail Boom; but these were soon replaced by others. Altho' we keept at no great Distance from the Shore, yet the weather was so Hazey that we could see nothing distinct upon the land, only that there were a ridge of Pretty high Hills lying Parrallel with, and but a little way from, the Sea Coast, which lies South by West and North by East, and seem'd to End in a high Bluff point to the Southward, which we run the length of by 8 o'Clock, when, being dark, and not knowing which way the Land Trended, we brought too for the night, having run 15 Leagues upon a South-West 1/2 West Course since Noon. The point bore at this time West, distant about 5 Miles, depth of Water 37 fathoms, the bottom small pebble stones.

At 4 A.M. we made Sail, but by this time the Northerly wind was gone, and was succeeded by one from the Southward, which proved very Var'ble and unsteady. At day light the point above mention'd bore North, distant 3 Leagues, and we found that the land trended away from it South-West by West, as far as we could see. This point of land I have Named Cape Saunders, in Honour of Sir Charles* (* Admiral Sir Charles Saunders was First Lord of the Admiralty in 1766. He commanded the fleet at the capture of Quebec in 1759, in which Cook served.) (Latitude 45 degrees 55 minutes South; Longitude 189 degrees 4 minutes West). It requires no discription to know it by, the Latitude and the Angle made here by the Coast will be found quite sufficient; however, there is a remarkable saddle hill laying near the Shore, 3 or 4 Leagues South-West of the Cape. From 1 to 4 Leagues North of the Cape the Shore seem'd to form 2 or 3 Bays, wherein there appear'd to be Anchorage and Shelter from South-West, Westerly, and North-West winds.* (* One of these is Otago Harbour, where lies Dunedin, perhaps the most important commercial city in New Zealand.) I had some thoughts of bearing up for one of these places in the morning when the Wind came to South-West, but the fear of loosing time and the desire I had of pushing to the Southward, in order to see as much of the Coast as possible, or, if this land should prove to be an Island, to get round it, prevented me. Being not far from the Shore all this morning, we had an Opportunity of Viewing the Land pretty distinctly; it is of a Moderate height, full of Hills, which appear'd green and Woody, but we saw not the least signs of inhabitants. At Noon Cape Saunders bore North 30 degrees West, distant 4 Leagues. Latitude per Log, for we had no Observation, 46 degrees 0 minutes South.

Joseph Banks Journal
Wind whiffling all round the compass, at night settled at SW and blew hard.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
Variable winds and calms till the afternoon; and then we had the wind from the S. W. which was directly against us: it blow very violently, and we were obliged to go under fore and main sails; and tore our fore-sail in pieces. The land thereabout was pretty high, indifferently well covered with trees, but had no signs of inhabitants.

No comments:

Post a Comment