27th April 1770

[Off Jervis Bay, New South Wales]
Var'ble light Airs between the North-East and North-West, clear pleasant weather. In the P.M. stood off Shore until 2, then Tackt and Stood in till 6, at which time we tack'd and stood off, being then in 54 fathoms and about 4 or 5 miles from the land, the Extreams of which bore from South, 28 degrees West to North 25 degrees 30 minutes East. At 12 we tack'd and stood in until 4 A.M., then made a Trip off until day light, after which we stood in for the land; in all this time we lost ground, owing a good deal to the Variableness of the winds, for at Noon we were by Observation in the Latitude of 34 degrees 21 minutes South, Red Point bearing South 27 degrees West, distant 3 Leagues. In this Situation we were about 4 or 5 Miles from the land, which extended from South 19 degrees 30 minutes West to North 29 degrees East.

Joseph Banks Journal
The Countrey today again made in slopes to the sea coverd with wood of a tolerable growth tho not so large as some we have seen. At noon we were very near it; one fire only was in sight. Some bodies of 3 feet long and half as broad floated very boyant past the ship; they were supposd to be cuttle bones which indeed they a good deal resembled but for their enormous size. After dinner the Captn proposd to hoist out boats and attempt to land, which gave me no small satisfaction; it was done accordingly but the Pinnace on being lowerd down into the water was found so leaky that it was impracticable to attempt it. Four men were at this time observd walking briskly along the shore, two of which carried on their shoulders a small canoe; they did not however attempt to put her in the water so we soon lost all hopes of their intending to come off to us, a thought with which we once had flatterd ourselves.

To see something of them however we resolvd and the Yawl, a boat just capable of carrying the Captn, Dr Solander, myself and 4 rowers was accordingly prepard. They sat on the rocks expecting us but when we came within about a quarter of a mile they ran away hastily into the countrey; they appeard to us as well as we could judge at that distance exceedingly black. Near the place were four small canoes which they left behind. The surf was too great to permit us with a single boat and that so small to attempt to land, so we were obligd to content ourselves with gazing from the boat at the productions of nature which we so much wishd to enjoy a nearer acquaintance with. The trees were not very large and stood seperate from each other without the least underwood; among them we could discern many cabbage trees but nothing else which we could call by any name. In the course of the night many fires were seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment