26th May 1770

[Off Cape Capricorn, Queensland]
In the P.M. light breezes at East-South-East, with which we stood to the North-West until 4 o'Clock, when it fell calm, and soon after we Anchored in 12 fathoms. Cape Capricorn bearing South 54 degrees East, distant 4 Leagues, having the Main land and Islands in a manner all around us. In the night we found the tide to rise and fall near 7 feet, and the flood to set to the Westward and Ebb to the Eastward; which is quite the reverse to what we found it when at Anchor to the Eastward of Bustard Bay. At 6 a.m. we weigh'd with the Wind at South, a Gentle breeze, and stood away to the North-West, between the Outermost range of Islands* (* The Keppel Islands - above.) and the Main land, leaving several small Islands between us and the Latter, which we passed Close by. Our soundings was a little irregular, from 12 to 4 fathoms, which caused me to send a Boat ahead to sound. At noon we were about 3 Miles from the Main, about the same distance from the Islands without us; our Latitude by Observation was 23 degrees 7 minutes South, and Longitude made from Cape Capricorn 18 Miles West. The Main land in this Latitude is tolerable high and Mountainious; and the Islands which lay off it are the most of them pretty high and of a Small Circuit, and have more the appearance of barrenness than fertility. We saw smookes a good way in land, which makes me think there must be a River, Lagoon, or Inlet, into the Country, and we passed 2 places that had the Appearance of such this morning; but our Depth of Water at that Time was too little to haul in for them, where I might expect to meet with less.

Joseph Banks Journal
Standing into a channel with land on both sides of us and water very shoal, many rocky Islets, the main land very rocky and barren; at 1 the Water became so shallow that we came to an anchor. While the ships boats were employd in sounding round about her myself in my small boat went a shooting and killd several bobies and a kind of white bird calld by the seamen Egg bird, Sterna....... Before I went out we tried in the cabbin to fish with hook and line but the water was too shoal (3 fhm) for any fish. This want was however in some degree [supplied] by Crabs of which vast numbers were on the ground who readily took our baits, and sometimes held them so fast with their claws that they sufferd themselves to be hawld into the ship. They were of 2 sorts, Cancer pelagicus Linn. and another much like the former but not so beautifull. The first was ornamented with the finest ultramarine blew conceivable with which all his claws and every Joint was deeply tingd; the under part of him was a lovely white, shining as if glazd and perfectly resembling the white of old China; the other had a little of the ultramarine on his Joints and toes and on his back 3 very remarkable brown spots. 2 fires were seen upon an Island, and those who went to sound in the boats saw people upon an Island also who calld to them and seemd very desirous that they should land.--In examining a fig which we had found at our last going ashore we found in the fruit of it a Cynips, very like if not exactly the same species with the Cynips sycomori Linn. describd by Haselquist in his Iter Palestinum; a strong proof of the fact that figgs must be impregnated by means of insects, tho indeed that fact wanted not any additional proofs.

Sydney Parkinson's Journal
On the 26th, we got in among a parcel of islands, to get clear of which we proposed going by a passage to the north-west, which was next to the main; but, finding our water shoal very much, we sent some men in a boat a-head of us, to found, and came into three and two and a half fathom water. They returned with an account that there was hardly water enough; so we tacked about and stood out. The next morning, we had a fine breeze, and went through a passage to the north-east, between two islands: in this found, the tide fell thirteen feet. Our people, who went off in the boat, saw many of the natives upon one of the islands, and they hallooed to them: they were of the same sort as those we had seen before. On the land round about, we saw both high and low ridges, with some peaks: part of it was well covered; though there appeared some large patches of white sand. Latitude 22° 52’.

No comments:

Post a Comment