10th August 1770

[Off Cape Flattery, Queensland]
Fresh Gales at South-South-East and South-East by South. P.M., the wind fell so that we got up the small Bower Anchor, and hove into a whole Cable on the Best Bower. At 3 in the morning we got up the Lower Yards, and at 7 weighed and stood in for the Land (intending to seek for a passage along Shore to the northward), having a Boat ahead sounding; depth of water as we run in from 19 to 12 fathoms. After standing in an hour we edged away for 3 Small Islands* (* Now called the Three Isles.) that lay North-North-East 1/2 East, 3 Leagues from Cape Bedford. To these Islands the Master had been in the Pinnace when the Ship was in Port. At 9 we were abreast of them, and between them and the Main, having another low Island between us and the latter, which lies West-North-West, 4 Miles from the 3 Islands. In this Channell had 14 fathoms water; the Northermost point of the Main we had in sight bore from us North-North-West 1/2 West, distant 2 Leagues. 4 or 5 Leagues to the North-East of this head land appeared 3 high Islands,* (* The Direction Islands.) with some smaller ones near them, and the Shoals and Reefs without, as we could see, extending to the Northward as far as these Islands. We directed our Course between them and the above headland, leaving a small Island* (* The Two Isles. Cook had now got among the numerous islands and reefs which lie round Cape Flattery. There are good channels between them, but they are very confusing to a stranger. Cook's anxiety in his situation can well be imagined, especially with his recent disaster in his mind.) to the Eastward of us, which lies North by East, 4 Miles from the 3 Islands, having all the while a boat ahead sounding. At Noon we were got between the head Land and the 3 high Islands, distant from the former 2, and from the latter 4 Leagues; our Latitude by observation was 14 degrees 51 minutes South. We now judged ourselves to be clear of all Danger, having, as we thought, a Clear, open Sea before us; but this we soon found otherwise, and occasioned my calling the Headland above mentioned Cape Flattery (Latitude 14 degrees 55 minutes South, Longitude 214 degrees 43 minutes West). It is a high Promontory, making in 2 Hills next the sea, and a third behind them, with low sandy land on each side; but it is better known by the 3 high Islands out at Sea, the Northermost of which is the Largest, and lies from the Cape North-North-East, distant 5 Leagues. From this Cape the Main land trends away North-West and North-West by West.

Joseph Banks Journal
Fine weather so the anchor was got up and we saild down to leward, convincd that we could not get out the way we had tried before and hoping there might be a passage that way: in these hopes we were much encouraged by the sight of some high Islands where we hopd the shoals would end. By 12 we were among these and fancied that the grand or outer reef ended on one of them so were all in high spirits, but about dinner time the people at the mast head saw as they thought Land all round us, on which we immediatedly came to an anchor resolvd to go ashore and from the hills examine whether it was so or not.

The point we went upon was sandy and very Barren so it affforded very few plants or any thing else worth our observation. The Sand itself indeed with which the whole countrey in a manner was coverd was infinitely fine and white, but till a glass house was built here that would turn to no account. We had the satisfaction however to see that what was taken for land round us provd only a number of Islands: to one very high one about 5 leagues from the Land the Captain resolvd to go in the Boat tomorrow in order to see whether the grand reef had realy left us or not.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
We weighed anchor, but the wind blowing hard from the S. S. E. we drove, and were obliged at length to let go two anchors, and rode by the first with near two hundred fathoms of cable. We had chiefly strong gales of wind after the sun’s approach toward us from the tropic of Capricorn; and, on account of the many shoals hereabout, we did not go directly out to sea, but kept near the shore, and passed by some low islands well covered with trees.

We also saw three high islands, and sailed betwixt them and the main: the latter appeared very low, barren, and sandy. Toward evening we were on a sudden alarmed by the appearance of land all round us: the weather being hazy, and the wind blowing fresh, we hauled in our wind, and came to under a bluff point of the main.

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