5th June 1770

[In Whitsunday Passage, Queensland]
Winds between the South and East, a Gentle breeze, and Serene weather. At 6 a.m. we were abreast of the Western point of Land above mentioned, distant from it 3 Miles, which I have named Cape Upstart, because being surrounded with low land it starts or rises up singley at the first making of it (Latitude 19 degrees 39 minutes South, Longitude 212 degrees 32 minutes West); it lies West-North-West 14 Leagues from Cape Gloucester, and is of a height sufficient to be seen 12 Leagues; but it is not so much of a Promontory as it appears to be, because on each side of it near the Sea is very low land, which is not to be seen unless you are pretty well in with the Shore. Inland are some Tolerable high hills or mountains, which, like the Cape, affords but a very barren prospect. Having past this Cape, we continued standing to the West-North-West as the land lay, under an easey Sail, having from 16 to 10 fathoms, until 2 o'Clock a.m., when we fell into 7 fathoms, upon which we hauled our wind to the Northward, judging ourselves to be very near the land; as so we found, for at daylight we were little more than 2 Leagues off. What deceived us was the Lowness of the land, which is but very little higher than the Surface of the Sea, but in the Country were some hills. At noon we were in 15 fathoms Water, and about 4 Leagues from the land. Our Latitude by Observation was 19 degrees 12 minutes South; Cape Upstart bore 38 degrees 30 minutes East, distant 12 Leagues. Course and distance sail'd since Yesterday noon North 48 degrees 45 minutes, 53 Miles. At and before Noon some very large smokes were Seen rise up out of the low land. At sun rise I found the Variation to be 5 degrees 35 minutes Easterly; at sun set last night the same Needle gave near 9 degrees. This being Close under Cape Upstart, I judged that it was owing to Iron ore or other Magnetical Matter Lodged in the Earth.

Joseph Banks Journal
Land near the sea very low and flat behind which the hills rose: in the countrey very little appearance of fertility however either on one or the other: at noon one large fire was seen. Several Cuttle bones and 2 Sea Snakes swam past the ship. In the Even the Thermometer was at 74 and the air felt to us hotter than we have felt it on the coast before. Many Clouds of a thin scum lay floating upon the water the same as we have before seen off Rio de Janiero; some few flying fish also.

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