15th May 1770

[The Solitary Islands, New South Wales]
Fresh Gales at South-West, West-South-West, and South-South-West. In the P.M. had some heavy Squalls, attended with rain and hail, which obliged us to close reef our Topsails. Between 2 and 4 we had some small rocky Islands* (* The Solitary Islands.) between us and the land; the Southermost lies in the Latitude of 30 degrees 10 minutes, the Northermost in 29 degrees 58 minutes, and about 2 Leagues or more from the land; we sounded, and had 33 fathoms about 12 Miles without this last island. At 8 we brought too until 10, at which time we made sail under our Topsails. Having the Advantage of the Moon we steer'd along shore North and North by East, keeping at the distance of about 3 Leagues from the land having from 30 to 25 fathoms. As soon as it was daylight we made all the sail we could, having the Advantage of a fresh Gale and fair weather.* (* During the night the entrance of the Clarence River, now the outlet for the produce of a large and rich agricultural district, was passed, and in the morning that of the Richmond River, which serves a similar purpose.) At 9, being about a League from the Land, we saw upon it people and Smoke in Several places. At noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 28 degrees 39 minutes South, and Longitude 206 degrees 27 minutes West; Course and distance saild since Yesterday at Noon North 6 degrees 45 minutes East, 104 Miles. A Tolerable high point of land bore North-West by West, distant 3 Miles; this point I named Cape Byron* (* Captain John Byron was one of Cook's predecessors in exploration in the Pacific, having sailed round the World in H.M.S. Dolphin, in company with the Tamar, in 1764 to 1766.) (Latitude 28 degrees 37 minutes 30 seconds South, Longitude 206 degrees 30 minutes West). It may be known by a remarkable sharp peaked Mountain lying in land North-West by West from it. From this point the land Trends North 13 degrees West. Inland it is pretty high and hilly, but near the Shore it is low; to the Southward of the Point the land is low, and Tolerable level.

Joseph Banks Journal
Wind continued fair, a brisk breeze. The land in the Morning was high but before noon it became lower and was in general well wooded. Some people were seen, about 20, each of which carried upon his back a large bundle of something which we conjecturd to be palm leaves for covering their houses; we observd them with glasses for near an hour during which time they walkd upon the beach and then up a path over a gently sloping hill, behind which we lost sight of them. Not one was once observd to stop and look towards the ship; they pursued their way in all appearance intirely unmovd by the neighbourhood of so remarkable an object as a ship must necessarily be to people who have never seen one. The Thermometer was at 60 which rather pinchd us. In the evening two small turtle were seen. At sun set a remarkable peakd hill was in sight 5 or 6 Leagues of in the countrey, which about it was well wooded and lookd beautifull as well as fertile. We were fortunate enough just at this time to descry breakers ahead laying in the very direction in which the ship saild; on this we went upon a wind and after making a sufficient offing brought too, but it blowing rather fresh and a great sea running made the night rather uncomfortable.

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