29th to 31 May 1771

[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
29th. Fresh Gales and Hazey. Wind Ditto; course North 31 1/2 degrees West; distance 128 miles; latitude 15 degrees 19 minutes North, longitude 33 degrees 2 minutes West.

 30th. Ditto Gales and Cloudy. Fix'd a new maintopmast Backstay, the old one having broke several times. Wind Ditto; course North 31 degrees 15 minutes West; distance 124 miles; latitude 17 degrees 5 minutes North, longitude 34 degrees 9 minutes West.

31st. Strong Gales and Cloudy in the Evening. Got down Top Gallant Yards, and in the Morning found the Variation 5 degrees 9 minutes West. Wind North-East and North-East by East; course North 39 1/2 degrees West; distance 136 miles; latitude 18 degrees 50 minutes North, longitude 35 degrees 40 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

29th.  Fresh trade which quickly releivd every body from the depression of spirits etc. which is the constant companions of the Damp Calms we have now passd through.

30th.  Trade very fresh indeed with a heavy sea, so that the Ship pitchd and tumbled very disagreably to us whoom a continuance of fine weather has made almost unfit for a Gale.

27th and 28th May 1771

[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
27th. A Steady, fresh Trade and Cloudy weather. This day I gave Mr. Charles Clerk an order to act as Lieutenant in the room of Mr. Hicks, deceased, he being a Young Man extremely well qualified for that Station. Wind North-East; course North 39 degrees West; distance 103 miles; latitude 12 degrees 7 minutes North, longitude 30 degrees 40 minutes West.

28th. A steady Trade and fair weather. Wind North Easterly; course North 40 degrees West; distance 108 miles; latitude 13 degrees 30 minutes North, longitude 31 degrees 51 minutes West.

23rd to 26th May 1771

[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
23rd. Little wind from the Eastward, with frequent showers of Rain, and hazey weather. The Fleet astern of us all this day. At Noon we Shortned Sail for them to come up, the headmost being about 2 Leagues off. Wind East to North-East; course North 25 degrees West; distance 56 miles; latitude 7 degrees 49 minutes North, longitude 26 degrees 2 minutes West.

24th. First part Moderate breezes, and hazey, with rain; the latter, fresh breezes and fair. At 3 p.m., finding the Fleet to come fast up with us, we made all the Sail we could. Soon after it became hazy, and we lost sight of them until near 6, when it clear'd up a little, and we saw 3 Sail abreast of us, bearing East about 2 or 3 Miles' Distance; by this we saw that they not only kept a better wind, but out sail'd us upon a wind. It became again hazey, and we lost Sight of them, and notwithstanding we keept close upon a wind all night, with as much Sail out as we could bear, there was not one Sail in sight in the Morning. Wind North-East and North-North-East; course North 54 degrees West; distance 92 miles; latitude 8 degrees 42 minutes North, 27 degrees 18 minutes West.

25th. Moderate Trade Wind and Cloudy weather. Wind North-North-East; course North 50 degrees 15 minutes West; distance 92 miles; latitude 9 degrees 41 minutes North, longitude 28 degrees 30 minutes West.

26th. A Steady Trade and Cloudy Weather. About 1 o'Clock P.M. departed this Life Lieutenant Hicks, and in the Evening his body was committed to the Sea with the usual ceremonys. He died of a Consumption which he was not free from when we sail'd from England, so that it may be truly said that he hath been dying ever since, tho' he held out tolerable well until we got to Batavia. Wind North-East by North; course North 46 degrees West; distance 92 miles; latitude 20 degrees 47 minutes North, longitude 29 degrees 35 minutes West.

21st and 22nd May 1771

[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
21st. Little wind, with some heavy showers of rain. At 2 p.m. had some Observations of the Sun and Moon, which gave the Longitude 24 degrees 50 minutes West, 2 degrees 28 minutes West of Account. In the morning it was Calm, and the Ships, being near one another, several of them had their Boats out to tow. We Observed the Portland to carry out a long Warp. I, being desirous to see the Machine they made use of, we hoisted out a Boat, and Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself went on board her, where we was show'd it. It was made of Canvas, in every respect like an Umbrello; its Circumference, if extended to a Circle, was 24 feet, tho' this was a Small one of the Sort; yet Captain Elliot told me that it would hold as much as 150 Men could haul. I was so well satisfied of the Utility of this Machine that I would not have delayed a moment in having one Made had not our Forge been render'd Useless by the loss of some of its parts. Winds Variable; course North 31 degrees West; distance 35 miles; latitude 6 degrees 8 minutes North, longitude 25 degrees 8 minutes West.

22nd. Variable, unsettled weather, with rain. About 9 o'clock in the A.M. the Portland shorten'd Sail for the Sternmost Ships to come up. As we imagin'd, this gave us an Opportunity to get a Head of the Fleet, after which we made such sail as was necessary to keep in Company. Wind Variable; course North-North-West 3/4 West; distance 58 miles; latitude 6 degrees 58 minutes North, longitude 25 degrees 38 minutes West.

19th and 20th May 1771

[With India Fleet, Homeward Bound]
19th. Cloudy, unsettled weather, with some rain. In the A.M. found the Variation by the Amplitude and Azimuth 7 degrees 40 minutes West. Hoisted a Boat out, and sent on board the Houghton for the Surgeon, Mr. Carret, in order to look at Mr. Hicks, who is so far gone in a Consumption that his Life is dispair'd of. Observation at Noon 16 Miles to the Northward of the Log. Wind South-East to South by East; course North 20 degrees West; distance 98 miles; latitude 4 degrees 32 minutes North, longitude 21 degrees 58 minutes West.

20th. Dark, cloudy, unsettled weather, with rain. At Noon the Observ'd Latitude was 27 Miles to the Northward of the Log. Sailing in Company with the Fleet. Wind Variable between the South and East; course North 19 degrees West; distance 70 miles; latitude 5 degrees 38 minutes North, longitude 22 degrees 21 minutes West.

16th to 18th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
16th. Light breezes and fair weather. Variation 9 degrees 30 minutes West. Wind South-East by South; course North 31 degrees West; distance 71 miles; latitude 0 degrees 47 minutes North, longitude 20 degrees 20 minutes West.

17th. Ditto Weather. Sailing in Company with the Fleet. Wind Ditto; course North 31 degrees West; distance 61 miles; latitude 1 degree 39 minutes North, longitude 20 degrees 50 minutes West.

18th. First part ditto weather; remainder Squally, with Thunder and Rain. The observ'd Latitude is 14 Miles to the Northward of the Log. Sailing in Company with the Fleet. Wind South-South-East to East; course North 20 degrees West; distance 86 miles; latitude 3 degrees 0 minutes North, longitude 21 degrees 22 minutes West.

15th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
Little wind and hot, Sultry weather. In the P.M. observed, meerly for the sake of Observing, an Eclipse of the Sun. In the A.M. brought another Foretopsail to the Yard, the old one being quite wore out. Wind East-South-East; course North 32 1/2 degrees West; distance 85 miles; latitude 0 degrees 14 minutes South, longitude 19 degrees 43 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

Our trade begins now to slacken very much. A man of war bird was seen.

14th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
Monday, 14th. Ditto Weather. Wind South-East by South; course North 32 1/2 degrees West; distance 109 miles; latitude 1 degree 26 minutes South, longitude 18 degrees 57 minutes West.

13th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
Sunday, 13th. Gentle breezes and Clear Weather; hott and Sultry. Sailing in Company with the fleet. Variation 10 degrees West. Wind South-East by South; course North 32 1/2 degrees West; distance 119 miles; latitude 2 degrees 58 minutes South, longitude 17 degrees 58 minutes West.

12th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
Saturday, 12th. First and Middle parts a Steady breeze, and fair the Latter; light Squalls, with rain. Wind South-East by South to South-East by East; course North 31 degrees 15 minutes West; distance 123 miles; latitude 4 degrees 38 minutes South, longitude 16 degrees 54 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

Rainy misty weather, the air very damp and unwholesome, the breeze however continues.

11th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
Friday, 11th. A steady Trade wind and pleasant Weather. At 1/2 past 6 p.m. the Island of Ascention bore South-East 3/4 East, distant 11 or 12 Leagues. Sailing in Company with the Fleet. Wind Ditto; course North 42 degrees West, distance 117 miles; latitude 6 degrees 24 minutes South, longitude 15 degrees 51 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

Pleasant weather. Saw Holothuria Physalis which our seamen call Portugese man of war for the first time since we left these seas in going out.

9th and 10th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
9th. Ditto Weather. In the Evening found the Variation to be 11 degrees 42 minutes West. Wind South-East by South; course North-West; distance 118 miles; latitude 9 degrees 16 minutes, longitude 13 degrees 17 minutes West.

10th. At 6 in the A.M. saw the Island of Ascention bearing North-North-West, distant 7 Leagues. Made the Signal to speak with the Portland, and soon after Captain Elliott himself came on board, to whom I deliver'd a Letter for the Admiralty, and a Box containing the Ship's Common Log Books, and some of the Officers' Journals, etc. I did this because it seem'd probable that the Portland would get home before us, as we sail much heavier than any of the Fleet.* (* The Portland and the India fleet got home three days before the Endeavour.)

At Noon the Island of Ascention bore East by South, distant 4 or 5 Leagues. By our Observations it lies in the Latitude of 7 degrees 54 minutes South, and Longitude of 14 degrees 18 minutes West. A North-West by North course by Compass, or North-West a little Westerly by the Globe from St. Helena, will bring you directly to this Island. Wind Ditto; course North-West; distance 120 miles; latitude 7 degrees 51 minutes South, longitude 14 degrees 32 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

10th. This day we saw the Island of Ascencion which is tolerably high Land; Our Captn however did not chuse to anchor unwilling to give the fleet so much start of him. Those who have been ashore upon this Island say that it is little more than a heap of Cinders, the remains of a Volcano which burnt even since the discovery of the Indies. Osbeck who was ashore upon it found only 5 species of plants but I am much inclind to beleive that there are others which escapd his notice, as he certainly was not on the side of the Island where the French land, in which place I have been informd is a pretty wide plain coverd with herbage among which grows Cactus Opuntia, a plant not seen by that gentleman.

8th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
A Steady breeze and Pleasant Weather. All the Fleet in Company. Wind South-East; course North 46 degrees 45 minutes West; distance 126 miles; latitude 10 degrees 39 minutes South, longitude 11 degrees 42 minutes West.

6th and 7th May 1771

[St. Helena to England]
6th. Moderate breezes and Cloudy weather. Sailing in Company with the Fleet. Wind East-South-East; course North 47 1/2 degrees West; distance 122 miles; latitude 13 degrees 42 minutes South, longitude 8 degrees 27 minutes West.

7th. Ditto Weather. In the A.M. found the Variation to be 12 degrees 5 minutes West. Exercised the people at Great Guns and Small Arms. Wind South-East; course North 46 degrees West; distance 137 miles; latitude 12 degrees 5 minutes South, longitude 10 degrees 9 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal

6th.  Pleasant breeze but our ship very far astern; she certainly sails worse than any one of the fleet yet as she keeps up with [them] at least in sight hope they will not get home much before us.

7th.  Still kept company and today were abreast of the headmost ship. Many flying fish were seen and some few Birds.

5th May 1771

 [Leaving St. Helena]
Gentle breezes and Clear weather. At 1 P.M. weigh'd, and stood out of the Road in company with the Portland and 12 Sail of Indiamen. At 6 o'clock James Fort, St. Helena, bore East 1/2 South, distant 3 Leagues. In the A.M. found the Variation to be 13 degrees 10 minutes West. Wind East by South; course North 50 degrees 30 minutes West; distance 71 miles; latitude 15 degrees 5 minutes South, longitude 6 degrees 46 minutes West.

2nd to 4th May 1771

[At St. Helena]
2nd. Clear, Pleasant weather. In the P.M. moor'd with the Kedge
 nchor, and in the A.M. received some few Officers' stores from the Portland. Wind Ditto. At noon at Anchor in St. Helena Road.

3rd. Clear, Pleasant weather. Employ'd repairing Sails, overhauling the Rigging, etc. Wind South-East. At noon at Anchor in St. Helena Road.

4th. Little wind and pleasant weather. At 6 A.M. the Portland made the Signal to unmoor, and at Noon to Weigh, at which time the Ships began to get under Sail. Wind Ditto. At noon at Anchor in St. Helena Road.

Joseph Banks Journal

May 2.
As the fleet was to sail immediately and our ship to accompany it, it became necessary to make as much of a short time as possible, so this whole day was employd in riding about the Island, in the course of which we made very nearly the Compleat Circuit of it visiting all the most remarkable places that we had been told of.
May 3.
Spent this day in Botanizing on the Ridge where the Cabbage trees grow, visiting Cuckolds point and Dianas peak, the Highest land in the Island as settled by the Observations of Mr Maskelyne, who was sent out to this Island by the Royal Society for the Purpose of Observing the transit of Venus in the Year [1761]. See Account of St Helena below
May 4. Depart St Helens for England
Saild after dinner in company with 12 Indiamen and his Majesties ship Portland, resolvd to steer homewards with all expedition in Order (if possible) to bring home the first news of our voyage, as we found that many Particulars of it has transpird and particularly that a copy of the Latitudes and Longitudes of most or all the principal places we had been at had been taken by the Captns Clerk from the Captns own Journals and Given or Sold to one of the India Captns. War we had no longer the least suspicion of: the India men being orderd to sail immediately without waiting for the few who were not yet arrivd was a sufficient proof that our freinds at home were not at all apprehensive of it.