28th May 1770

[Off Cape Townshend, Queensland]
Winds at South-South-East, a fresh breeze. At 3 o'Clock in the P.M. we passed Cape Manifold, from which the Land Trends North-North-West. The land of this Cape is tolerable high, and riseth in hills directly from the Sea; it may be known by 3 Islands laying off it, one near the Shore, and the other 2 Eight Miles out at Sea; the one of these is low and flat, and the other high and round.* (* Peak and Flat Islands.) At 6 o'Clock we shortned sail and brought too; the Northermost part of the Main we had in sight bore North-West, and some Islands lying off it bore North 31 degrees West; our soundings since Noon were from 20 to 25 fathoms, and in the Night 30 and 34 fathoms.

At day light we made Sail, Cape Manifold bearing South by East, distance 8 Leagues, and the Islands set last night in the same directions, distance from us 4 Miles. The farthest point of the Main bore North 67 degrees West, distant 22 Miles; but we could see several Islands to the Northward of this direction.* (* The easternmost of the Northumberland Islands.) At 9 o'Clock we were abreast of the above point, which I named Cape Townshend* (* Charles Townshend was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1767.) (Latitude 22 degrees 13 minutes, Longitude 209 degrees 48 minutes West); the land of this Cape is of a moderate and pretty even height, and is more barren than woody. Several Islands lay to the Northward of it, 4 or 5 Leagues out at Sea. 3 or 4 Leagues to the South-East the Shore forms a bay,* (* Shoalwater Bay, a large inlet.) in the bottom of which there appeared to be an inlet or Harbour to the Westward of the Coast, and Trends South-West 1/2 South; and these form a very large Bay, which turns away to the Eastward, and probably communicates with the Inlet above mentioned, and by that Means makes the land of the Cape an Island. As soon as we got round the Cape we hauld our wind to the Westward in order to get within the Islands which lay scatter'd up and down in this bay in great number, and extend out to Sea as far as we could see from the Masthead; how much farther will hardly be in my power to determine; they are as Various in their height and Circuit as they are numerous.* (* The Northumberland islands, a very extensive group.)

We had not stood long upon a Wind before we meet with Shoal Water, and was obliged to Tack about to avoid it; after which I sent a boat ahead, and we bore away West by North, leaving many small Islands, Rocks, and Shoals between us and the Main, and a number of Large Islands without us; soundings from 14 to 17 fathoms, Sandy Bottom. A little before noon the boat made the Signal for meeting with Shoal Water, upon which we hauld close upon a Wind to the Eastward, but suddenly fell into 3 1/4 fathoms water, upon which we immediately let go an Anchor, and brought the Ship up with all sails standing, and had then 4 fathoms Coarse sandy bottom. We found here a strong Tide setting to the North-West by West 1/2 West, at the rate of between 2 and 3 Miles an Hour, which was what Carried us so quickly upon the Shoal. Our Latitude by Observation was 22 degrees 8 minutes South; Cape Townshend bore East 16 degrees South, distant 13 Miles, and the Westermost part of the Main Land in sight West 3/4 North, having a number of Islands in sight all round us.* (* The ship was on the Donovan Shoal in Broad Sound Channel.)

Joseph Banks Journal
This morn at day break the water appeard much discolourd as if we had Passd by some place where a river ran into the sea; the land itself was high and abounded with hills. Soon after we came round a point into a bay in which were a multitude of Islands. We stood into the middle of them, a boat was sent a head to sound and made a signal for a shoal, on which the ship came too but before the anchor went she had less than 3 fathm water; the boats now sounded all round her and found that she was upon the shoalest part, on which the anchor was got up and we stood on. Weather was hazey; at night anchord.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
On the 28th, resolving to keep the main close aboard, which continued tending away to the west, we got into another cluster of islands; where we were much alarmed, having but three fathoms water, on a sudden, in a ripling tide: we put about, and hoisted out the boats, to seek for deeper water; after which, as it was very gloomy and blew fresh, we kept an easy sail to the west, sounding all the way; and, at night, came to the entrance of a bay. This cluster of islands is very much variegated; some of them are high, others low; some exceedingly broken and mere barren rocks, others well cloathed. Part of the main land is very high, and has extensive flats, covered with trees. Latitude 22° 8’.

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