31st August 1770

[Off Cape Walsche, New Guinea]
Between 12 and 1 in the P.M. Steer'd North-North-West, in which time we Shoalded our Water from 8 to 5 1/2, which I thought was little enough, and therefore keept away again West, and soon depen'd it to 7 fathoms, which depth we keept until 6, having the land just in sight from the Deck. At this time the Western Extream bore North, distant about 4 Leagues, and Seem'd to end in a point and turn away to the Northward; we took it to be Point St. Augustine or Walsche Caep, Latitude 8 degrees 24 minutes South, Longitude 222 degrees 55 minutes West.* (* This position is correct. Mr. Green had been assiduously observing lunars, and it appears strange that the error of the position of the north point of Australia was not discovered; but doubtless the discrepancy was put down to current.)

We now shortned sail and hauld off South-South-West and South by West, having the wind at South-East and South-East by East, a Gentle breeze; we stood off 16 Miles, having from 7 to 27 fathoms, deepning gradually as we run off. At midnight we Tacked and stood in until daylight, at which time we could see no land, and yet we had only 5 1/2 fathoms. We now Steer'd North-West, having the same deepth of Water until near 9 o'Clock, when we began to Depen our Water to 6 1/2 and 7 fathoms. By this I thought that we were far Enough to the Westward of the Cape, and might haul to the Northward with Safety, which we now did, having the Wind at North-East by East, a light breeze. By Noon we had increased our Water to 9 fathoms, and were by Observation in the Latitude of 8 degrees 10 minutes South, which was 10 Miles to the Northward of that given by the Log; by which I conjectur'd that we had meet with a strong Current setting round the Cape, not only to the Northward, but to the Westward also, otherwise we ought to have seen the Land, which we did not.

Joseph Banks Journal
5½ fathm and the Land not seen even from the mast head: the regularity of the bank which was soft mud made us very little regard the shoalness of the water which was still as muddy as the Thames at Gravesend. At night we anchord in 4½ fathm the Land being then but just seen from the deck.

Sydney Parkinson Journal
On the 31st, in the night, a current carried us away so far to westward, that it was evening, the next day, before we made land again. We were now pretty certain that we had got round Cape Valsch by the smoothness of the water, and thought the sand-bank would have broken off here, but it rather increased, for we had only four fathoms water, and, at the same time, could not see the land.

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