The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume One]
1. This Morn our boat returning from shore brought us the very disagreable news that Mr Forster, who I before mentiond, was taken into custody chargd with having smuggled things ashore from our ship: this charge tho totaly without foundation was lookd upon as a sufficient reason for his being put into prison, but we beleive the real cause to be his having shewn some countenance to his Countrey men, as we heard at the same time that five or six Englishmen residing in the town and a poor Portugese who used to assist our people in buying things were all put into prison also without any reason being given.1
3. 4.} We remaind without any Sea breeze.
5. This Morn early a dead calm, we attemptd to tow down with our boats and came near abreast of Sta Cruz their cheif Forti fication, when to our great surprize the Fort fird two shot at us one of which went just over our Mast: we immediately brought to and sent ashore to enquire the reason, were told that no order had come down to allow us to pass without which no ship was ever sufferd to go below that fort. We were now obligd to send to town to know the reason of such extraordinary behavior, the Answer came back about 11 that it was a mistake, for the Brigadier had forgot to send the letter which had been wrote some days: it was however sent by the boat and we had leave to proceed. We now began to weigh our anchor which had been droppd in foul ground when we were fird at, but it was hung so fast in a rock that it could not be got out while the Land breeze blew, which today continued almost till four in the Even; as soon as the Sea breeze came we filld our sails and carrying the ship over the anchor tripd it but were obligd to sail back almost as far as we had towd the ship in the Morn.
This day and yesterday the air was crowded in an uncommon manner with Butterflies cheifly of one sort, of which we took as many as we pleasd on board the ship, their quantity was so large that at some times I may say many thousands were in view at once in almost any direction you could look, the greatest part of them much above our mast heads.
6. No land breeze today so we are confind in our disagreable situation without a possibility of moving: many curses were this day expended on his excellence.
1 These letters included a very full and indignant report by Cook to the Admiralty on his controversy with the Viceroy, and a letter from Banks to the President of the Royal Society.—See II pp. 313 ff- below. Cook also left a packet of his correspondence with the Viceroy with that official for forwarding to Lisbon, and thence to London.
Now we are got fairly to Sea and have intirely got rid of these troublesome people I cannot help spending some time in describing thern tho I was not myself once in their town, yet my intelligence coming from Dr Solander who was, and our Surgeon Mr Monkhouse a very sensible man who was ashore every day to buy our provisions, I think cannot err much from truth.
The town of Rio de Janiero the capital of the Portugese dominions in America situate on the banks of the River of that name, both are call'd I apprehend from the Roman saint Januarius accord[in]g to the Spanish and Portugese custom of naming their discoveries from the Saint on whose feast they are made.5
1 ’… sent a Boat to one of the Islands laying before the Bay to cut Brooms a thing we were not permitted to do while we lay in the Harbour’.—Cook I, p. 29.
2 Bomarea edulis Herb., but the Banks and Solander specimen is immature and identification uncertain. All the Brazilian specimens collected have tickets with two slits for supping over the stem; those from Madeira lack this feature.
3 Probably Hippeastrum reginae Herb.—Amaryllis reginae of the Banks-Solander MS. Catalogue, p. 12—but the pertinent coll. has not been located. According to Spix and Martius, Banks on this occasion secured one very lovely prize, the irid Neomarica northiana, referred to by them under a different name: ‘it was upon an island … which lies before the mouth of the bay, and is called Ilha raza, that Sir Joseph Banks, when he touched at Rio de Janeiro in the company of Captain Cook, discovered the beautiful Moraea northiana, which has since then become the ornament of European gardens’. Travels in Brazil, in the years 1817–1820 (London 1824); I, p. 226. If this is so, it is curious that Banks does not mention collecting the very distinctive plant; nor can any name used by him for it be perceived in the Catalogue. We may note another very beautiful plant that he did collect, Bougainvillea spectabilis, Willd.—the Calyxis ternaria Mscr. of the Pocket Book, p. 21.
5 Banks's apprehension was wrong. Rio de Janeiro is not situated on a river but on a bay, the discovery of which is generally attributed by Portuguese historians to Andrè Gonçalves, on 1 January 1502. Gonçalves however thought he had found the mouth of a great river—hence its name, the River of January.
It is supplyd with water by an aqueduct which brings it from the neighbouring hills upon two stories of arches, said in some places to be very high; the water that this brings is conveyd into a fountain in the great square immediately opposite the Governors palace, which2 is guarded by a sentry who has sufficient work to keep regularity and order among so many as are always in waiting at this place; there is also water laid into some other part of the town but how it is brought there I could not hear, only that it was better than the fountain which is exceedingly indifferent, so much so as not to be likd by us tho we had been two months at sea in which time our water was almost continualy bad.3
The Churches here are very fine dressd out with more ornaments even than those in Europe, and all parts of their religion is carried on with more shew; their processions in particular are very extrordinary, every day one or other of the parishes go in solemn order with all the insignia of their church, altar, host &c through their parish, begging for what they can get and praying in all form at every Corner of a street.
1 Cook: ‘This City and adjacent parts about the Bay are said to contain one hundred thousand Souls, but not much above a twentieth part are Whites the rest are blacks many of whom are free and seem to live in tolerable circumstances’.—I, p. 33.
2 i.e. the fountain, not the palace.
3 This is a revealing comment; for it summarizes one of the great problems of nautical administration at the time, and explains Cook's determination to lose no opportunity of supplying his ships with fresh water. If Cook could not keep water sweet, who could ? There was no solution to the problem till the discovery in the nineteenth century that wooden casks were unsuitable containers, and the substitution of metal.
Besides this traveling1 religion a man who walks the streets has opportunity enough to shew his attachment to any saint in the Calendar, for every corner and almost every house has before it a little cupboard in which some Saint or other keeps his Residence, and least he should not see his votaries in the night he is furnishd with a small lamp which hangs before his little glass window: to these it is very customary to pray and sing hymns with all the vociferation imaginable, as may be imagind when I say that I and every one Else in the Ship heard it very distinctly every night tho we lay at least half a mile from the town.
The Goverment of this place Seems to me to be much more despotick even than that of Portugal tho many precautions have been taken to render it otherwise. The Cheif Magistrates are the Viceroy, the Governour of the town and a Council whose number I could not Learn, but only that the Viceroy had in this the casting vote: without the consent of this Council nothing material should be done, yet every day shews that the Viceroy and Governour at least if not all the rest do the most unjust things without consulting any one. Puting a man into prison without giving him a hearing and keeping him there till he is glad at any rate to get out without asking why he was put in, or at best sending him to Lisbon to be tried there without letting his family here know where he is gone to, is very common. This we experien[c]d while here, for every one who had interpreted for our people, and some who had only assisted in buying provisions for them, were put into Jail merely I suppose to shew us their power. I should however except from this one John Burrish an officer in their customs, a man who has been here 13 years and is so compleatly become a Portugese that he is known by no other name than Don John: he was of service to our people, tho what he did was so clogd with a suspicious fear of offending the Portugese as renderd it disgustfull. It is nescessary that any one who should Come here should know his Character, which is mercenary tho contented with a little as the present given to him demonstrated, which consisted of 1 dozn of beer 10 galls of Brandy 10 peices of ships beef and as many of Pork: this was what he himself askd for, and sent on board the Cagg for the spirit and with this he was more than satisfied.2
1 traveling substituted for the more accurate walking, no doubt because of the phrase who walks immediately after.
2 Burrish does not come into either Cook's Journal or his account of the Rio de Janeiro affair written to the Admiralty, but in his draft of that account, now in the Mitchell Library, is a passage omitted from his final version: [referring to his memorial to the Viceroy of 17 November] ‘a Copy of which to gether with the answer I the next day receved I have here inclosed, with his Excellencys answer came on board Mr Burrish an English Gentlemen who resides here, to translate it, this gentlemen offer'd to accommodate me with directions for sailing in to the southern parts on this coast and in some measure advised me to gon [sic] on shore and by force oppose a Soldier being put into my Boat, this advice of his surprised me as he had upon all occation before been very shy of giving his advice, but when he did it, it was to bear patiently any restrictions they laid upon me’. Burrish's signature to a receipt for an account paid by Cook, transmitted to the Victualling Board, 30 November, appears on the documents now in the Public Library. Auckland. No douot as an agent the man was in a difficult position—particularly if, as Banks says, he was a customs officer.
They have a very extrordinary method of keeping people from traveling — to hinder them I suppose from going into any districk where gold or diamonds may be found, as there are more of such than they can possibly guard, which is this: there are certain bounds beyond which no man must go, these vary every month at the discretion of the Vic[e]roy, sometimes they are a few sometimes many Leagues Round the City: Every man must in consequence of this come to town to know where the Bounds are, for if he is taken by the guards who constantly patrole on their edges he is infallibly put in prison, even if he is within them, unless he can tell where they are.
The inhabitants here are very numerous, they consist of Portugese, negroes, and Indians aborigines of the countrey. The township of Rio, whose extent I could not learn but was only told that it was but a small part of the Capitanea or province, is said to contain 37,000 whites and about 17 negroes to each white, which makes their numbers 629,000 and the number of inhabitants in all 666,000. As for the Indians they do not live in this neighbourhood tho many of them are always here doing the Kings work, which they are obligd to do by turns. for small pay for which purpose they come from their habitations at a distance. I saw many of them as the guard boat was constantly rowd by them, they are of a light copper colour with long lank black hair; as to their policy or manner of living when at home I could not learn any thing about it.
The military here consist of 12 regiments of Regulars, 6 Portugese and 6 Creolians and as many of Provincial militia who may be assembled upon occasion. To the regulars the inhabitants shew great deference, for as Mr Forster an English Gentleman in their service told me, if any of the people were not to pull off their hatts when they meet an officer he would immediately knock them down, which custom renders the people remarkably Civil to strangers who have at all a gentlemanlike appearance. All the officers of these regiments are expected three times a day to attend at the page 199 Sala or Viceroys levee, where they formaly ask for commands, where their constant answer is there is nothing new: this policy is Intended as I have been told to prevent them, from going into the countrey which it most effectualy does.
This town as well as all others in South America belonging either to Spanyards or Portugese has long been infamous for the un-chastity of its women; the people who we talkd with here confirmd the accounts declaring, especialy Mr Forster, that he did not beleive there was one modest woman in the township, which I must own appeard to me a most wonderfull assertion but I must take it for granted as I had not even the least opportunity to go among them. Dr Solander who was ashore declares however that as soon as it was night the windows were every one furnishd with one or more women, who as he walkd along with two more gentlemen gave nosegays to which ever of them each preferrd, which Complement the gentlemen returnd in kind, notwithstanding which each of them threw away whole hatfulls of flowers in their walk tho it was not a long one.
Assassinations are I fancy more frequent here than in Lisbon as the churches still take upon them to give protection to criminals: one accident of the kind happned in the sight of S. Evans our Cockswain, a man who I can depend upon, who told me he saw two people talking together to all appearance in a freindly manner, when one on a sudden drew a knife and stabbd the other twice and ran away pursued by some negroes who saw the fact likewise, but what the farther Event of this was I could not learn.
1 Cook: ‘Fresh Beef (tho bad) is to be had in plenty, at about 2¼d a pound and Jerke'd [dried] Beef about the same price’.—Cook I, p. 33.
2 Banks seems to write ‘manikot’ rather than ‘manihot’, perhaps with ‘manioc’, the alternative name for cassava, in his mind. See p. 183, n. 1 above.
The Countrey produces many more articles but as I did not see them or hear them mentiond I shall not set them down, tho doubtless it is capable of bringing1 any thing that our West India Islands do, notwithstanding this they have neither Coffee or chocolate but import both from Lisbon.
1 Apparently in the obsolete sense of ‘bringing forth’.
2 The Mamey, or Mammee Apple, Mammea americana L., has a large fruit with a yellow pulp of taste generally esteemed pleasant; but for Banks's opinion see p. 201 below.
3 Anacardium occidentale L.; acajou generally corrupted in English to ‘cashew’. The ‘apple’ is a fleshy pear-shaped receptacle—not the fruit—which bears the nut on its end. As will be seen, Banks ate the wrong thing, and formed an unfavourable opinion.
4 Jambosa, Eugenia jambos L. The early spread of Eugenias is indicated by Philip Miller's account (Gard, Diet. ed. 8, 1768), where there is mention of Dr Heberden's sending him plants of E. malaccensis received from Brazil.
5 Jaboticaba, Myrciaria caudiflora, which Banks probably saw detached, otherwise he would surely have remarked on the cauliflorous habit.
6 He seems here to be referring to the fruit of the pandanus.
7 ‘Palm berries’: the allusion is doubtless to soft-fruited palms such as genus Butia.
1 Cashew nuts contain a poisonous juice in the shell which is driven off by roasting. The kernel contains an irritant oil painful to the lips and tongue when eaten raw.
2 Bactris minor is of difficult identity. Perhaps Banks refers to Jacquin's B. minor. Gaertner based his name on a Banks collection but not of Banks's own gathering; it was evidently of Jamaican origin. Index Kewensis identifies this as Acrocomia lasiospatha?; Dahlgren (1936), as A. aculeata.
Tho this Countrey should produce many and very valuable druggs we could not find any in the apothecarys shops but Pareira Brava and Balsam Copivi,2 of both which we bought at excessive cheap prices and had very good of the sort. I fancy the drug trade is cheifly carried on to the northward as is that of the Dying woods, at least we could hear nothing of them here.
For manufactures I know of none carried on here except that of Cotton hammocks, which are usd for people to be carried about in as we do Sedan chairs, these are made cheifly by the Indians. But the cheif riches of the countrey comes from the mines, which are situated far up in the countrey, indeed no one could tell me how far, for even the situation of them is as carefully as possible conceald and Troops are continualy employd in guarding the Roads that lead to them, so that it is next to impossible for any man to get a sight of them except those who are employd there; at least no man would attempt it from mere curiosity for every body who is found on the road without being able to give a good account of himself is hangd immediately.
From these mines a great quantity of gold certainly comes but it is purchasd at a vast expence of lives; 40,000 negroes are annualy imported on the Kings accompt for this purpose, and notwithstanding that the year before last they dyed so fast that 20,000 more were obligd to be draughted from the town of Rio.
1 Fleshy fruit of the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica, a cultigen of ancient and uncertain derivation. Though the genus is most probably of American origin, Theophrastus asserted that it grew about Opuntium, hence the generic name. Cf. Philip Miller (Gard. Dict. ed. 8, 1768) for early notes.
2 Pareira brava in Linnaeus's time referred to Cissampelos pareira, ‘Velvet-leaf’; but the name was later given to the related plants, Chondrodendron tomentosum R. and P. or C. ovatum—the former Peruvian, the latter Brazilian. The root was much esteemed for urinary complaints, and seems to have been an important export from Brazil in the late eighteenth century and through most of the nineteenth. ‘Balsam Copivi’ is a seldom used name for the drug extracted from the widely known Copaiba or Copaiva, Copaifera lansdorfii Desv. (properly langsdorfii)—‘Copaiva Balsam’. Burton has an interesting note on the tree, to which he refers as a ‘leguminous celebrity’, and calls Pau de Oleo, ‘Oil-wood’: he describes the Indian mode of gathering the oil and its uses.—Explorations of the Highlands of the Brazil (London 1869), II, p. 84.
Diamonds Topazes of several different qualities and amethysts are the stones that are cheifly found. Of the first I did not see any but was told that the viceroy had by him large quantities and would sell them on the King of Portugals account, but in that case they would not be at all cheaper than those in Europe. Topazes and amethysts I bought a few of for specimens; the former were divided into three sorts of very different value, Calld here pinga dogua Qualidade premeiro and segondo, and chrystallos ormerilles; they were sold large and small good and bad together by octavos or the eighth part of an ounce, the first sort 4sh:9d; 2[nd sort] 4:0; 3 [rd sort]. Amethysts. But it was smugling in the highest degree to have any thing to do with them formerly there were Jewelers here who wo[r]kd stones, but about 14 months ago orders came from the Court of Portugal that no more stones should be wrought here except on his account; the Jewellers were immediately orderd to bring all their tools to the Viceroy which they were obligd to do, and from that time to this have not been sufferd to do any thing for their support. Here are however a number of slaves who work stones for the King of Portugal.
The Coin current here is either that of Portugal especialy 36 shill peices, or Coin made here which is much debasd, especialy the silver which are calld petacks, of which there are two sorts one of less value than the other, easily distinguishable by the number of rees markd on the outside, but they are little used; they also have Copper coin like that in Portugal, 5 and 10 rey peices, two of the latter are worth 3 halfpence, 40 petacks are worth 36 shillings.
The harbour of Rio de Janeiro is certainly a very good one: the Entrance is not wide but the Sea breeze which blows every morning makes it easy for any ship to go in before the wind, and when you get abreast the town it increases in breadth prodigiously so that almost any number of ships might lay in 5 or 6 fathom water oozey bottom. It is defended by many works, especialy the entrance where it is narrow, there is their strongest fortification calld Sta Cruz and another opposite it; there is also a platform mounting about 22 gunns without that just under the Sugar Loaf on the sea side, but that seems intirely calculated to hinder the Landing of an Enemy in a sandy bay from whence there is a passage to the back part of the town, which is intirely void of Defence except that the whole town is open to the Gunns of the Citadel St Sebastian as I said before. Between Sta Cruz and the town are page 204 several small batteries of 5 to 10 gunns and one pretty large one calld Berga Leon. Immediately before the town is Ilhoa dos Cobras, an Island fortified all round, which seems incapable of doing much mischeif from its immense size, at least it would take more men to defend it even tolerably in case of an attack than could Possibly be spard from a town totaly without Lines or any defence round itself. As for Sta Cruz, their cheif fortification on which they most rely seems very incaple of making any great resistance if smartly attackd by shipping: it is a stone fort which mounts many gunns indeed, but they lie tier above tier and are consequently very open to the atack of a ship which may come within 2 cable lengh's or less of them. Besides they have no supply of water there but what they have from a cistern in which they catch rain, or in times of Drouth are supplyd from the adjacent countrey; this they have been obligd to build above ground Least the water should taint by the heat of the climate, which a free access of air prevents; a shot consequently which fortunately should break that cistern would reduce the defenders to the utmost nescessity.
I was told by a person who certainly knew and I beleive meant to inform me right, that a little to the southward just without the South head of the harbour was a bay in which boats might land with all facility without an obstruction, as there is no kind of work there, and from this bay it is not above three hours march to the town, which you aproach on the Back part where it is as defenceless as the Landing place; but this seems incredible yet I am inclind to beleive it of these people whose cheif policy consists in hindering people from looking about them as much as possible. It may therefore be as my informer said that the existence of such a bay is but lately found out, indeed was it not for that policy I could beleive any thing of their stupidity and ignorance, when the Governor of the town Brigadier General Don Pedro de Mendoza y Furtado ask'd the Captain of our ship whether the transit of Venus which we were going to observe was not the passing of the North star to the South pole, which he said he always understood it to be.1
1 Banks has the name of the governor wrong: it should be (in full) Antonio Carlos Vicente Xavier Furtado de Castro do Rio e Mendonça; in 1767 he was appointed a colonel of the Regiment of Elvas stationed at Rio de Janeiro. The peculiar idea of the Transit of Venus also appears to be wrongly fathered on him. Cook attributes this to the Viceroy in his conversation of 14 November, and Cook is much more likely to be right than Banks: ‘he could form no other idea of that Phenomenon (after I had explained it to him) than the North Star passing thro the South Pole (these were his own words)’. Cook does not seem to have had any contact with the governor. But Banks in his letter to Lord Morton, 1 December 1768, also attributes the remark to the Viceroy (see II, p. 315 below).
The river and indeed the whole coast abounds with greater variety of Fish than I have ever seen;1 seldom a day passd in which we had not one or more new species brought to us, indeed the bay is the most convenient place for fishing I have ever seen for it abounds with Islands between which there is shallow water and proper beaches for drawing the Seine. The sea also without the bay is full of Dolphins and large mackrell of several sorts who very readily bite at hooks which the inhabitants tow after their boats for that purpose, in short the Countrey is Capable with a very little industry of producing infinite plenty both of nesscessaries and luxuries: was it in the hands of Englishmen we should soon see its consequence, as things are tolerably plentifull even under the direction of the Portugese, who I take to be without exception the laziest as well as the most ignorant race in the whole world.
The Climate here is I fancy very good, the Countrey certainly is very wholesome, during our whole stay the Thermometer was never above 83. We had however a good deal of Rain and once it blew very hard. I am rather inclind to think that this countrey has rather more rain than those in the same northern Latitude are observd to have, not only from what happend during our short stay but from Marcgrave who gives us metereological observations on this Climate for 3 years: you may observe that it raind here in those years almost every other Day throughout the year, but more especialy in May and June in which months it raind along without Ceasing.
8. This morn at day break a dolphin was taken and soon after a shark appeard who took the bait very readily, and during the time that we were playing him under the cabbin window it cast something out of his mouth that either was or appeard very like its stomack, this it threw out and drew in again many times. I have often heard from seamen that they can do it but never before saw anything like it before.2 (this circumstance which by mistake is attributed to this shark belongs to one taken the IIth).
1 There are twenty-two paintings and drawings of Brazilian fishes in the Parkinson collection; a list of these will be published in the fourth volume of the edition of Cook's voyages now in preparation by the Hakluyt Society.
10. Today also we see large quantities of the same small particles.
11. This morn took a shark who cast up his stomack when hookd or at least appears so to do, it proves to be a female and on being opend 6 young ones were taken out of her, five of which were alive and swam briskly in a tub of water, the 6th was dead and seemd to have been so for some time.
12. Wind fair today, no events.
13. Fair wind today likewise, at night a squall with thunder and lightning which made us hoist the Lightning chain.
14. Wind Foul, blew fresh all day, in the evening saw a sail standing to the northward.
15. Less wind but a great swell.
16. Wind fair.
17. Wind foul, blew rather fresh, so the ship heeld much which made our affairs go on rather uncomfortably.
18. Calm at night, wind to the northward; we began to feel ourselves rather cool tho the thermometer was at 76 and shut two of the Cabbin windows, all which have been open ever since we left Madeira.
19. Charming fair wind and fine weather; the people were employd in preparing a new suit of sails for the bad weather we are to expect. Therm 70.
20. Fair wind today and rather warmer than it has been. During the course of last night we had a very heavy squall which tho it did not last above 10 minutes yet in that time blew as hard as it has done since we have been on board the ship.
21. Foul wind and little of it.
1 The MS reads infine, in which it is followed by P and S, but the emendation seems necessary.
2 These were Globicepala edwardii (Smith), the Southern Pilot Whale.
23. This morn calm again: went out shooting, killd another new procellaria, æquorea,3 and many of the sorts we had seen yesterday; caught Holothuria angustata,4 a species of floating helix much smaller than those under the line,5 Phyllodoce velella very small, sometimes not so large as a silver penny ye. I beleive the common species;6 in the evening went out again, killd an albatross Diomedéa exulans, who measurd 9 ft I inch between the tipps of his wings,7 and struck one turtle testudo caretta.8
24. Fair wind and steady tho but little of it.
25. Christmas day; all good Christians that is to say all hands get abominably drunk so that at night there was scarce a sober man in the ship, wind thank god very moderate or the lord knows what would have become of us.9
1 Procellaria gigantea, now the Giant Petrel, Macronectes giganteus (Gm.). Parkinson I, pls. 17, 18; Solander, pp. 73, 75. Procellaria sandaliata: currently Pterodroma incerta (Schlegel), Schlegel's Petrel. Parkinson I, pI. 20, Solander, p. 89.
2 The White-bellied Storm Petrel, Fregetta grallaria (Vieill.). Parkinson I, pl. 14. Only the first part of Solander's note (p. 51) on P. fregata applies to F. grallaria; the rest concerns Fregetta tropica (Gould), the Black-bellied Storm Petrel.
3 The White-faced Storm Petrel, Pelagodroma marina (Lath.). Latham actually described the species from Parkinson's drawing, I, pl. 13, which is therefore the type (General Synopsis of Birds 1785, p. 410, Index Ornithologicus 1790, p. 826). See also Solander, p. 57. Wilson's Petrel was also taken on this day.
4 The Portuguese Man-of-war. Cf. 7 October 1768. This particular specimen was the subject of several pencil studies by Parkinson, and one painting, III, pls. 39, 40.
5 This helix is unidentifiable.
6 Velella velella. See 7 October above.
7 The Wandering Albatross. Parkinson's dated painting (I, pl, 25) shows that this bird was apparently in second-year plumage; this is confirmed by Solander's account, p. 3. (Cf. Fleming's fig. 2, D, C, Emu, 49, 1950, p. 174).
8 There is a description by Solander, p. 127, and dated drawings by Parkinson, I, pls. 41–3, of this loggerhead. These suggest that it was probably not Caretta caretta (Linn.) but more probably Lepidochelys kempi (Garman). The figures show four infra-marginal plates, a number which is normal in Lepidochelys but unusual in the other loggerhead genus Caretta; the description of the colour, ‘Testa nigrofusca, absque ullis maculis…’ is also more compatible with the former, which is dark grey to olive green, whereas Caretta is reddish brown.
9 Cook puts it more mildly: ‘Yesterday being Christmas day the People, [i.e. the crew] were none of the Soberest’. Cook I, p. 37.
27. Blows strong this evning, at night came to under a balancd mizzen2 till day light when it grows more moderate. The water has been discoulerd all day 50 fathom. All this day I have smelt a singular smell from windward tho the people in the ship did not take notice of it, it was like rotten seaweed and at some times very strong.
During the whole of this gale we had many procellarias about the ship, at some times immense numbers, who seemd perfectly unconcernd at the badness of the weather or the hight of the sea but continued often flapping near the surface of the water as if fishing.
28. Less wind, the sea soon falls; the water both yesterday and today has been a good deal discolourd. Sound and find 48 fathom.
29. Fair wind, water very white, sounded 46 fathom, about 4 in the Even 44. We observd now some feathers and peices of reed to float by the hip which made us get up the hoave net to see what they were; soon after some drowned Carabi3 and Phalænæ4 came past which we took and employd the hoave till dark night taking many specimens. Lat. 41:48. This morn a large sphinx came off probably from the land and was taken.
1 Either the Cape Hen, Procellaria aequinoctialis, or the Sooty Shearwater, Puffinus griseus (Gm.). The former species constantly follows ships in the southern hemisphere, but Sooty Shearwaters are indifferent to them. The Cape Hen is particularly abundant in the vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope—hence its popular name.
2 A balanced mixen was a mixen sail reduced to as small an area as possible by a reefband that crossed it diagonally, so that the ship was put under the minimum sail to hold her steady when brought to. But Banks may have been too technical: Cook merely says ‘At 8 pm it blew a Storm of wind with rain which brought us under our Main sail with her head to the westward’.—Cook I, p. 37.
3 Carabus, a genus of beetles.
4 Phalaena: a name used by Linnaeus to include many different kinds of moths.
5 Linnaeus used Gryllus for a variety of orthopterous insects.
6 Linnaeus placed all the butterflies known to him in the genus Papilio.
This whole day the evening especialy has been a series of calms and squalls, towards night a thunderstorm in which the lightning was remarkably bright, and rangd in long streaks sometimes horizontal and sometimes perpendicular, the thunder was not loud but continued an immence while with a noise in some claps so like the flapping of sails that had I not been upon dcek I should not have beleivd it to be thunder. Just before the storm we had an appearance of land to the westward which all who had not been in these latitudes before imagind to be real; it made like a long extent of lowish land and two Islands to the Northward of it, the South end was buried in the clouds; this lasted about £½ an hour and then rose gradualy up and disapeard.
Lat. 42:31. A sea lion was enterd in the log book of today as being seen but I did not see him.3 I saw however a whale coverd with barnacles as the seamen told me, he appeard of a reddish colour4 except his tail which was black like those to the Northward.
1 These ichneumons do not appear to have been sketched by Parkinson, nor does there appear to be any specific reference to them in Morley's paper on the Banksian Ichneumonidae (The Entomologist, 42, 1909, pp. 131–7).—‘For several evenings, swarms of butterflies, moths, and other insects, flew about the rigging, which we apprehended had been blown to us from the shore. Thousands of them settled upon the vessel; Mr. Banks ordered the men to gather them up; and, after selecting such as he thought proper, the rest were thrown overboard; and he gave the men some bottles of rum for their trouble.’—Parkinson, Journal, p. 6.
2 Cook: ‘yet at this time we could not be less than 30 Leagues from land’.—p. 38. His position for November 30 puts him roughly 150 miles east of the Valdés Peninsula, the nearest land
3 Probably the Southern Sea Lion, Otaria byronia (Blainville).
4 The whale is unidentifiable: its red colour would be caused not by barnacles but by lice, Cyamidae.
I lament much not having tasted the water at the time which never occurrd to me, but probably the difference of saltness would have been hardly perceptible to the taste and my Hydrostatick balance being broke I had no other method of trying it.
1 The bay seems to be the ‘Baye Sinfondo’ of the French charts, on the South Atlantic coast of America, c. 42° S. The name baia sin fondo was given to the Gulf of San Mathias either by Magellan or Loaysa, but whether because it could not be sounded or because its limits could not be seen we do not know. Dalrymple, both on his ‘Chart of the South Pacifick Ocean’ (1767) and his ‘Chart of the Ocean between S. America and Africa’ (1769) simply continued the bay through America as a strait emerging on the Pacific ocean opposite Chiloe island. I know of no printed reference by him apart from this.
2 A spider; no painting or description of it is known.