17th May 1770

[Off Moreton Bay, Queensland]
Winds Southerly, mostly a fresh breeze, with which in the P.M. we steer'd along shore North 3/4 East, at the distance of about 2 Leagues off. Between 4 and 5 we discover'd breakers on our Larboard bow; our Depth of Water at this time was 37 fathoms. At sunset the Northermost land in sight bore North by West, the breakers North-West by West, distant 4 Miles, and the Northermost land set at Noon, which form'd a Point, I named Point Lookout, bore West, distant 5 or 6 Miles (Latitude 27 degrees 6 minutes).* (* There is some mistake in this latitude. It should be 27 degrees 26 minutes.) On the North side of this point the shore forms a wide open bay, which I have named Morton's Bay,* (* James, Earl of Morton, was President of the Royal Society in 1764, and one of the Commissioners of Longitude.) in the Bottom of which the land is so low that I could but just see it from the Topmast head. The breakers I have just mentioned lies about 3 or 4 Miles from Point Lookout; at this time we had a great Sea from the Southward, which broke prodigious high upon them.

Stood on North-North-East until 8, when, being past the breakers, and having Deepned our water to 52 fathoms, we brought too until 12 o'Clock, then made sail to the North-North-East. At 4 A.M. we sounded, and had 135 fathoms. At daylight I found that we had in the night got much farther to the Northward and from the Shore than I expected from the Course we steer'd, for we were at least 6 or 7 Leagues off, and therefore hauled in North-West by West, having the Advantage of a Fresh Gale at South-South-West. The Northermost land seen last night bore from us at this time South-South-West, distant 6 Leagues. This land I named Cape Morton, it being the North point of the Bay of the same Name (Latitude 26 degrees 56 minutes South, Longitude 206 degrees 28 minutes). From Cape Morton the Land Trends away West, further than we could see, for there is a small space where we could see no land; some on board where of opinion that there is a River there because the Sea looked paler than usual. Upon sounding we found 34 fathoms fine white sandy bottom, which alone is Sufficient change, the apparent Colour of Sea Water, without the Assistance of Rivers. The land need only to be low here, as it is in a Thousand other places upon the Coast, to have made it impossible for us to have seen it at the distance we were off. Be this as it may, it was a point that could not be clear'd up as we had the wind; but should any one be desirous of doing it that may come after me, this place may always be found by 3 Hills which lay to the Northward of it in the Latitude of 26 degrees 53 minutes South. These hills lay but a little way inland, and not far from Each other; they are very remarkable on account of their Singular form of Elivation, which very much resembles Glass Houses,* (* The Glass houses form a well-known sea mark on entering Moreton Bay, as the name is now written. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, stands on the river of the same name, which falls into Moreton Bay.) which occasioned my giving them that Name. The Northermost of the 3 is the highest and largest. There are likewise several other peaked hills inland to the Northward of these, but they are not near so remarkable.

At Noon we were by Observation in the Latitude of 26 degrees 28 minutes South, which was 10 Miles to the Northward of the Log; a Circumstance that hath not hapned since we have been upon the Coast before. Our Course and distance run since Yesterday noon was North by West 80 Miles, which brought us into the Longitude of 206 degrees 46 minutes. At this time we were about 2 or 3 Leagues from the land, and in 24 fathoms Water; a low bluff point, which was the Southern point of an open Sandy bay,* (* Laguna Bay. The point is called Low Bluff.) bore North 52 degrees West, distant 3 Leagues, and the Northermost point of land in sight bore North 1/4 East. Several Smokes seen to-day, and some pretty far inland.

Joseph Banks Journal
Continued to blow tho not so fresh as yesterday. Land trended much to the westward; about 10 we were abreast of a large bay the bottom of which was out of sight. The sea in this place suddenly changd from its usual transparency to a dirty clay colour, appearing much as if chargd with freshes, from whence I was led to conclude that the bottom of the bay might open into a large river. About it were many smoaks especialy on the Northern side near some remarkable conical hills. At sun set the land made in one bank over which nothing could be seen; it was very sandy and carried with it no signs of fertility.

No comments:

Post a Comment