An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn from the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, and from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq. [Vol. II]
The Range from Botany Bay to Trinity Bay; with a farther Account of the Country, its Inhabitants and Productions.
At day-break, on Sunday the 6th of May 1770, we set sail from Botany Bay, with a light breeze at N. W. which soon after coming to the southward, we steered along the shore N. N. E. and at noon our latitude, by observation, was 33° 50′ S. At this time we were between two and three miles distant from the land, and a-breast of a bay, or harbour, in which there appeared to be good anchorage, and which I called Port Jackson. This harbour lies three leagues to the northward of Botany Bay: the variation, by several azimuths, appeared to be 8° E. At sun-set the northernmost land in sight bore N. 26 E. and some broken land, that seemed to form a bay, bore N. 40 W. distant four leagues. This bay, which lies in latitude 33° 42′, I called page 301 Broken Bay. We steered along the shore N. N. E. all night, at the distance of about three leagues from the land, having from thirty-two to thirty-six fathoms water, with a hard sandy bottom.
Soon after sun-rise on the 7th, I took several azimuths, with four needles belonging to the azimuth compass, the mean result of which gave the variation 7° 56′ E. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 33° 22′ S. We were about three leagues from the shore; the northernmost land in sight bore N. 19 E. and some lands which projected in three bluff points, and which, for that reason, I called Cape Three Points, bore S. W. distant five leagues. Our longitude from Botany Bay was 19′ E. In the afternoon, we saw smoke in several places upon the shore, and in the evening, found the variation to be 8° 25′ E. At this time we were between two and three miles from the shore, in twenty-eight fathoms; and at noon the next day, we had not advanced one step to the northward. We stood off shore, with the wind northerly, till twelve at night, and at the distance of about five leagues, had seventy fathoms; at the distance of six leagues we had eighty fathoms, which is the extent of the soundings; for at the distance of ten leagues, we had no ground with 150 fathoms.
The wind continuing northerly, till the morning of the 10th, we continued to stand in and off the shore, with very little change of situation in other respects; but a gale then springing up at S. W. we made the best of our way along the shore to the northward. At sun-rise, our latitude was 33° 2′ S. and the variation 8° E. At nine in the forenoon, we passed a remarkable hill, which stood a little way inland, and somewhat resembled the crown of a hat: and at noon, our latitude, by observation, was 32° 53′ S. and our longitude 208° W. We were about two leagues distant from the land, which extended from N. 41 E. to S. 41 W. and a small round rock, or island, which lay close under the land, bore S. 82° W. distant between three and four leagues. At four in the afternoon, we passed, at the distance of about a mile, a low rocky point, which I called Point Stephens, on the north side of which is an inlet, which I called Port Stephens: this inlet appeared to page 302 me, from the mast head, to be sheltered from all winds. It lies in latitude 33° 40′, longitude 207° 51′, and at the entrance are three small islands, two of which are high; and on the main near the shore are some high round hills, which at a distance appear like islands. In passing this bay, at the distance of two or three miles from the shore, our soundings were from thirty-three to twenty-seven fathoms, from which I conjectured that there must be a sufficient depth of water within it. At a little distance within land we saw smoke in several places; and at half an hour past five, the northernmost land in sight bore N. 36 E. and Point Stephens S. W. distant four leagues. Our soundings in the night, were from forty-eight to sixty-two fathoms, at the distance of between three and four leagues from the shore, which made in two hillocks. This Point I called Cape Hawke: it lies in the latitude of 32° 14′ S. longitude 207° 30′ W. and at four o'clock in the morning bore W. distant about eight miles; at the same time the northernmost land in sight bore N. 6 E. and appeared like an island. At noon, this land bore N. 8 E. the northernmost land in sight N. 13 E. and Cape Hawke S. 37 W. Our latitude, by observation, was 32° 2′ S. which was twelve miles to the southward of that given by the log; so that probably we had a current setting that way: by the morning amplitude and azimuth the variation was 9° 10′ E. During our run along the shore, in the afternoon, we saw fires in several places, at a little distance from the beach, and one upon the top of a hill, which was the first we had seen upon elevated ground since our arrival upon the coast. At sun-set, we had twenty-three fathoms, at the distance of a league and an half from the shore: the northernmost land then bore N. 13 E. and three hills, remarkably large and high, lying contiguous to each other, and not far from the beach, N. N. W. As these hills bore some resemblance to each other, we called them the Three Brothers. They lie in latitude 31° 40′, and may be seen fourteen or sixteen leagues. We steered N. E. by N. all night, having from twenty-seven to sixty-seven fathoms, at the distance of between two and six leagues from the shore.page 303
At day-break we steered north, for the northernmost land in sight At noon, we were four leagues from the shore, and, by observation, in latitude 31° 18′ S. which was fifteen miles to the southward of that given by the log; our longitude 206° 58′ W. In the afternoon we stood in for the land, where we saw smoke in several places, till six in the evening, when, being within three or four miles of it, and in twenty-four fathoms of water, we stood off with a fresh breeze at N. and N. N. W. till midnight, when we had 118 fathoms, at the distance of eight leagues from the land, and then tacked. At three in the morning the wind veered to the westward, when we tacked and stood to the northward. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 30° 43′ S. and our longitude 206° 45′ W. At this time we were between three and four leagues from the shore, the northernmost part of which bore from us N. 13 W. and a point, or head land, on which we saw fires that produced a great quantity of smoke, bore W. distant four leagues. To this point I gave the name of Smokey Cape: it is of a considerable height, and over the pitch of the point is a round hillock; within it are two others, much higher and larger, and within them the land is very low. Our latitude was 30° 31′ S. longitude 206° 54′ W. this day the observed latitude was only five miles south of the log. We saw smoke in several parts along the coast, besides that seen upon Smokey Cape.
In the afternoon, the wind being at N. E. we stood off and on, and at three or four miles distance from the shore had thirty fathoms water: the wind afterwards coming cross off land, we stood to the northward, having from thirty to twenty-one fathoms, at the distance of four or five miles from the shore.
At five in the morning the wind veered to the north, and blew fresh, attended with squalls: at eight it began to thunder and rain, and in about an hour it fell calm, which gave us an opportunity to sound, and we had eighty-six fathoms at between four and five leagues from the shore: soon after this we had a gale from the southward, with which we steered N. by W. for the northern-most land in sight. At noon, we were about four leagues from the shore, and by observation in latitude page 304 30° 22′ which was nine miles to the southward of our reckoning, longitude 206° 39′ W. Some lands near the shore, of a considerable height, bore W.
As we advanced to the northward, from Botany Bay, the land gradually increased in height, so that in this latitude it may be called a hilly country. Between this latitude and the Bay, it exhibits a pleasing variety of ridges, hills, vallies, and plains, all clothed with wood, of the same appearance with that which has been particularly described: the land near the shore is in general low and sandy, except the points, which are rocky, and over many of them are high hills, which, at their first rising out of the water, have the appearance of islands. In the afternoon we had some small rocky islands between us and the land, the southernmost of which lies in latitude 30° 10′, and the northernmost 29° 58′, and somewhat more than two leagues from the land: about two miles without the northernmost island we had thirty-three fathoms water. Having the advantage of a moon, we steered along the shore all night, in the direction of N. and N. by E. keeping at the distance of about three leagues from the land, and having from twenty to twenty-five fathoms water. As soon as it was light, having a fresh gale, we made all the sail we could, and at nine o'clock in the morning, being about a league from the shore, we discovered smoke in many places, and having recourse to our glasses, we saw about twenty of the natives, who had each a large bundle upon his back, which we conjectured to be palm leaves for covering their houses: we continued to observe them above an hour, during which they walked upon the beach, and up a path that led over a hill of a gentle ascent, behind which we lost sight of them: not one of them was observed to stop and look towards us, but they trudged along, to all appearance, without the least emotion either of curiosity or surprize; though it is impossible they should not have seen the ship by a casual glance as they walked along the shore, and though she must, with respect to every other object they had yet seen, have been little less stupendous and unaccountable than a floating mountain with all its woods would have been to us. page 305 At noon our latitude, by observation, was 28° 39′ S. and longitude 206° 27′ W. A high point of land, which I named Cape Byron, bore N. W. by W. at the distance of three miles. It lies in latitude 28° 37′ 30″S. longitude 206° 30′ W. and may be known by a remarkable sharp peaked mountain, which lies inland, and bears from it N. W. by W. From this point, the land trends N. 13 W. inland it is high and hilly, but low near the shore; to the southward of the point it is also low and level. We continued to steer along the shore with a fresh gale, till sun-set, when we suddenly discovered breakers a-head, directly in the ship's course, and also on our larboard bow. At this time we were about five miles from the land, and had twenty fathoms water: we hauled up east till eight, when we had run eight miles, and increased our depth of water to forty-four fathoms: we then brought to, with the ship's head to the eastward, and lay upon this tack till ten, when having increased our sounding to seventy-eight fathoms, we wore, and lay with the ship's head to the land till five in the morning, when we made sail, and at daylight were greatly surprized to find ourselves farther to the southward, than we had been the evening before, though the wind had been southerly, and blown fresh all night: we now saw the breakers again within us, and passed them at the distance of one league. They lie in latitude 28° 8′ S. stretching off east two leagues from a point of land, under which is a small island. Their situation may always be known by the peaked mountain which has been just mentioned, and which bears from them S. W. by W, for this reason I have named it Mount Warning. It lies seven or eight leagues inland, in latitude 28° 22′ S. The land about it is high and hilly, but it is of itself sufficiently conspi-cucus to be at once distinguished from every other object. The point off which these shoals lie, I have named Point Danger. To the northward of this point the land is low, and trends N. W. by N. but it soons turns again more to the northward.
At noon we were about two leagues from the land, and by observation, in latitude 27° 46′ S. which was seventeen miles to the southward of the log; our longitude page 306 was 206° 26′ W. Mouht Warning bore S. 26 W. distant fourteen leagues, and the northethmost S 23 in fight bore N. We pursued our course along the shore, at the distance of about two leagues, in the diregion of N. E. til between four and five in the afternoon, when we discovered breakers on our larboard bow. Our depth of water was thirty-seven fathoms, and at sun-set the northernmost land bore N. by W. the breakers N. W. by W. distant four miles, and the northernmost land set at noon, which formed a point, and to which I gave the name of Point Look-Out, W. distant four miles, in the latitude of 27° 6′. On the north side of this Point the shore forms a wide open bay, which I called More-Ton's Bay, in the bottom of which the land is so low that I could but just see it from the top-mast head. The breakers lie between three and four miles from Point Look-out; and at this time we had a great sea from the southward, which broke upon them very high. We flood on N. N. E. till eight o'clock, when having passed the breakers, and deepened our water to fifty-two fathoms, We brought to till midnight when we made sail again to the N. N. E. At four in the morning we had 135 fathoms, and when the day broke, I perceived that during the night I had got much farther northward, and from the shore, than I expected from the course we steered, for we were distant at least seven leagues; I therefore hauled in N. W by W. with a fresh gale at S. S W. The land that was farthest to the north the night before, now bore S. S. W. distant about six leagues, and I gave it the name of Cape Moreton, it being the north point of Moreton's Bay: its latitude is 26° 56′ and its longitude is 206° 28′. From Cape Moreton the land trends away west, farther than can be seen, for there is a small space, where at this time no land is visible, and some on board having also observed that the sea looked paler than usual, were of opinion that the bottom of Moreton's Bay opened into a river: we had here thirty-four fathoms water, and a fine sandy bottom: this alone would have produced the change that had been observed in the colour of the water; and it was by no means necessary to suppose a river to account for the land at the bottom of the Bay not being visible; for supposing the land page 307 there to be as low as we knew it to be in a hundred other parts of the coast, it would have been impossible to see it from the station of the ship; however, if any future navigator should be disposed to determine the question whether there is or is not a river in this place, which the wind would not permit us to do, the situation may always be found by three hills which lie to the northward of it, in the latitude of 26° 53′. These hills lie but a little inland, and not far from each other; they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glass-house, and for which reason I called them the Glass Houses: the northernmost of the three is the highest and largest: there are also several other peaked hills inland to the northward of these, but they are not nearly so remarkable. At noon our latitude was, by observation, 26° 28′ S. which was ten miles to the northward of the log, a circumstance which had never before happened upon this coast; our longitude was 206° 46′. At this time we were between two and three leagues from the land, and had twenty-four fathoms water. A low bluff point, which was the south head of a sandy bay, bore N. 62 W. distant three leagues, and the northernmost point of land in fight bore N. ¼ E. This day we saw smoke in several places, and some at a considerable distance inland.
In steering along the shore at the distance of two leagues, our foundings were from twenty-four to thirty-two fathoms, with a sandy bottom. At six in the evening, the northernmost point of land bore N. ¼ W. distant four leagues; at ten it bore N. W. by W. ½ W. and as we had seen no land to the northward of it, we brought to, not well knowing which way to steer.
At two in the morning, however, we made sail with the wind at S. W. and at day-light we saw the land extending as far as N. ¾ E. the point we had set the night before S. W. by W. distant between three and four leagues. It lies in latitude 25° 58′. longitude 206° 48′ W. the land within it is of a moderate and equal height, but the point itself is so unequal, that it looks like two small islands lying under the land, for which reason I gave it the name of Double Island Point; it may also be known by the white cliffs on the north side of it. Here the land trends to the N. W. and page 308 forms a large open bay, the bottom of which is so low a flat, that from the deck it could scarcely be seen. In crossing this bay, our depth of water was from thirty to twenty-two fathoms, with a white sandy bottom. At noon we were about three leagues from the shore, in latitude 25° 34′ S. longitude 206° 45′ W. Double Island Point bore S. ¾ W. and the northernmost land in sight N. ¾ E. This part of the coast, which is of a moderate height, is more barren than any we had seen, and the soil more sandy. With our glasses we could discover that the sands, which lay in great patches of many acres, were moveable, and that some of them had not been long in the place they possessed; for we saw, in several parts, trees half buried, the tops of which were still green; and in others, the naked trunks of such as the sand had surrounded long enough to destroy. In other places the woods appeared to be low and shrubby, and we saw no signs of inhabitants. Two water snakes swam by the ship; they were beautifully spotted, and in every respect like land snakes, except that their tails were broad and flat, probably to serve them instead of fins in swimming. In the morning of this day the variation was 8° 20′ E. and in the evening 8° 36′. During the night we continued our course to the northward, with a light breeze from the land, being distant from it between two and three leagues, and having from twentythree to twenty-seven fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom.
At noon on the 19th, we were about four miles from the land, with only thirteen fathoms. Our latitude was 25° 4′, and the northernmost land in sight bore N. 21 W. distant eight miles. At one o'clock, being still four miles distant from the shore, but having seventeen fathoms water, we passed a black. bluff head, or point of land, upon which a great number of the natives were assembled, and which therefore I called Indian Head: it lies in latitude 25° 3′. About four miles N. by W. of this Head, is another very like it, from whence the land trends away somewhat more to the westward: next to the sea it is low and sandy, and behind it nothing was to be seen, even from the masthead. page 309 Near Indian Head we saw more of the natives, and upon the neighbouring shore fires by night, and smoke by day. We kept to the northward all night, at the distance of from four miles to four leagues from the shore, and with a depth of water from seventeen to thirty-four fathoms. At day-break, the northernmost land bore from us W. S. W. and seemed to end in a point, from which we discovered a reef running out to the northward, as far as we could see. We had hauled our wind to the westward before it was light, and continued the course till we saw the breakers upon our lee bow. We now edged away N. W. and N. N. W. along the east side of the shoal, from two to one mile dinant, having regular foundings from thirteen to seven fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 20° 26′, which was thirteen miles to the northward of the log. We judged the extreme point of the shoal to bear from us about N. W. and the point from which it seemed to run out bore S. ¾ W. distant twenty miles. This point I named Sandy Cape, from two very large patches of white sand which lay upon it. It is sufficiently high to be seen at the distance of twelve leagues, in clear weather, and lies in latitude 24° 45′, longitude 206° 51′; the land trends from it S. W. as far as can be seen. We kept along the east side of the shoal till two in the afternoon, when, judging that there was a sufficient depth of water upon it to allow passage for the ship, I sent the boat a-head to found, and upon her making the signal for more than five fathoms, we hauled our wind, and stood over the tail of it, in six fathoms. At this time we were in latitude 24° 22′, and Sandy Cove bore S. ½ E. distant eight leagues; but the direction of the shoal is nearest N. N. W. and S. S. E. It is remarkable, that when on board the ship we had six fathoms, the boat, which was scarcely a quarter of a mile to the southward, had little more than five, and that immediately after six fathoms we had thirteen, and then twenty, as fast as the man could cast the lead; from these circumstances, I conjectured that the west side of the shoal was steep. This shoal I called the Break Sea Spit, because we had now smooth water, and to the southward of it we had always a high sea from the page 310 S. E. At six in the evening the land of Sandy Cape extended from S. 17 E. to S. 27 E. at the distance of eight leagues; our depth of water was twenty-three fathoms; with the same soundings we stood to the westward all night. At seven in the morning we saw, from the marthead, the land of Sandy Cape bearing S. E. ½ E. distant about thirteen leagues. At nine we discovered land to the westward, and soon after saw smoke in several places. Our depth of water was now decreased to seventeen fathoms, and by noon we had no more than thirteen, though we were seven leagues from the land, which extended from S. by W. to W. N. W. Our latitude at this time was 24° 28′ S. For a few days past we had seen several of the sea birds called boobies, not having met with any of them before. Last night a small flock of them parssed the ship, and went away to the N. W. and in the morning, from about half an hour before sunrise, to half an hour after, flights of them were continually coming from the N. N. W. and flying to the S. S. E. nor was one of them seen to fly in any other direction; we therefore conjectured that there was a lagoon, river, or inlet of shallow water, in the bottom of the deep bay, to the southward of us. whither these birds resorted to feed in the day; and that, not far to the northward, there were some islands to which they repaired in the night. To this bay I gave the name of Hervey's bay, in honour of Captain Hervey. In the afternoon we stood in for the land, steering S. W. with a gentle breeze at S. E. till four o'clock, when, being in latitude 24° 36′, about two leagues from the shore, and having nine fathoms water, we bore away along the coast N. W. by W. and at the same time could see land extending to the S. S. E. about eight leagues. Near the sea, the land is very low, but within there are some lofty hills, all thickly cloathed with wood. While we were running along the shore, we shallowed our water from nine to seven fathoms, and at one time we had but six, which determined us to anchor for the night.
At six in the morning we weighed, with a gentle breeze from the southward, and steered N. W. ¼ W. edging in for the land till we got within two miles of page 311 it, with water from seven to eleven fathoms. We then steered N. N. W. as the land lay, and at noon our latitude was 24° 19′. We continued in the same course. at the same distance, with from twelve fathoms to seven, till five in the evening, when we were a-breast of the south point of a large open bay, in which I intended to anchor. During this course we discovered, with our glasses, that the land was covered with palm-nut-trees, which we had not seen from the time of our leaving the islands within theiropic. We also saw two men walking along the shore, who did not condescend to take the least notice of us. In the evening, having hauled close upon a wind, and made two or three trips, we anchored about eight o'clock in five fathoms, with a fine sandy bottom. The south point of the bay bore E. ¾ S. distant two miles, the north point N. W. ¼ N. and about the same distance from the smore.
Early the next morning I went a-shore, with a party of men, in order to examine the country, accompanied by Mr. Banks. Dr. Solander, the other gentlemen, and Tupia: the wind blew fresh, and we found it so cold, that, being some distance from the shore, we took, our clokes, as a necessary equipment for the voyage. We landed a little within the south point of the bay, where we found a channel leading into a large lagoon: this chaannel I proceeded to examine, and found three fathoms water till I got about a mile up it, where I met with a shoal, upon which there was little more than one fathom, but having passed over it, I had three fathoms again. The entrance of this channel lies close to the south point of the bay, being formed by the more on the east, and on the west by a large spit of sand; it is about a quarter of a mile broad, and ties in S. by W. In this place there is room for a few ships to lie in great security, and a small stream of fresh water: I would have rowed into the lagoon, but was prevented by shallows. We found several bogs, and swamps of salt water, upon which, and by the sides of the lagoon, grows the true mangrove, such as is found in the West Indies, and the first of the kind that we had met with. In the branches of these mangroves there were many nests of a remarkable kind of ant, that was as green as page 312 grass: when the branches were disturbed they came out in great numbers, and punished the offender by much sharper bite than ever we had felt from the same kind of animal before. Upon these mangroves also we saw small green caterpillars in great numbers; their bodies were thick fet with hairs, and they were ranged upon the leaves, side by side, like a file of soldiers, to the number of twenty or thirty together: when we touched them, we found that the hair on their bodies had the quality of a nettle, and gave us a much more acute though less durable pain. The country here is manifestly worse than about Botany Bay; the soil is dry and sandy, but the sides of the hills are covered with trees, which grow separately, without underwood. We found here the tree that yields a gum like the sanguis draconis; but it is somewhat different from the trees of the same kind which we had seen before, for the leaves are longer, and hang down like those of the weeping willow. We found also much less gum upon them, which is contrary to the established opinion, that the hotter the climate, the more gums exude. Upon a plant also, which yielded a yellow gum, there was less than upon the same kind of plant in Botany Bay. Among the shoals and sind-banks we saw many large birds, some in particular of the same kind that we had seen in Botany Bay, much bigger than swans, which we judged to be pelicans; but they were so shy that we could not get within gunshot of them. Upon the shore we saw a species of the bustard, one of which we shot, it was as large as a turkey, and weighed seventeen pounds and an half. We all agreed that this was the best bird we had eaten since we left England, and in honour of it we called this inlet Bustard Bay. It lies in latitude 24° 4′, longitude 208° 18′. The sea seemed to abound with fish; but, unhappily, we tore our seine all to pieces at the first haul. Upon the mud-banks, under the mangroves, we found innumerable oysters of various kinds; among others the hammer oyster, and a large proportion of small pearl oysters; if in deeper water there is equal plenty of such oysters at their full growth, a pearl fishery might certainly be established here to very great advantage.page 313
The people who were left on board the ship said, that while we were in the woods about twenty of the natives came down to the beach, a-breast of her, and having looked at her some time, went away; but we that were a-shore, though we saw smoke in many places, saw no people: the smoke was at places too distant for us to get to them by land, except one, to which we repaired: we found ten small fires burning within a few paces of each other; but the people were gone: we saw near them several vessels of bark, which we supposed to have contained water, and some shells and fish-bones, the remains of a recent meal. We saw also, lying upon the ground, several pieces of soft bark, about the length and breadth of a man, which we imagined might be their beds; and, on the windward side of the fires, a small shade about a foot and a half high, of the same substance. The whole was in a thicket of close trees, which afforded good shelter from the wind. The place seemed to be much trodden, and as we saw no house, nor any remains of a house, we were inclined to believe that as these people had no cloaths, they had no dwelling; but spent their nights, among the other commoners of Nature, in the open air: and Tupia himself, with an air of superiority and compassion, shook his head, and said that they were Taata Enos, ‘poor wretches.’ I measured the perpendicular height of the last tide, and found it to be eight feet above low-water mark, and from the time of low-water this day, I found that it must be highwater at the full and change of the moon at eight o'clock.
At four o'clock in the morning we weighed, and with a gentle breeze at south made sail out of the bay. In standing out our soundings were from five to fifteen fathoms; and at day-light, when we were in the greatest depth, and a-breast of the north head of the bay, we discovered breakers stretching out from it N. N. E. between two and three miles, with a rock at the outermost point of them, just above water. While we were passing these rocks, at the distance of about half a mile, we had from fisteen to twenty fathoms, and as soon as we had passed them, we hauled along shore W. N. W. for the farthest land we had in sight. At noon page 314 our latitude by observation was 23° 52′ S. the north part of Bustard Bay bore S. 62 E. distant ten miles; and the northermost land in sight N. 60 W. the longitude was 208° 37′, and our distance from the shore six miles, with fourteen fathoms water.
Till five in the afternoon it was calm, but afterwards we steered before the wind N. W. as the land lay till ten at night, and then brought to, having had all along fourteen and fifteen fathoms. At five in the morning we made sail; and at day-light the northernmost point of the main bore N. 70 W. Soon after we saw more land, making like islands, and bearing N. W. by N. At nine, we were a-breast of the point, at the distance of one mile, with fourteen fathoms water. This point I found to lie directly under the tropic of Capricora; and for that reason I called it Cape Capricorn: its longitude is 208° 58′ W. it is of a considerable height, looks white and barren, and may be known by some islands which lie to the N. W. of it, and same small rocks at the distance of about a league S. E. On the west side of the Cape there appeared to be a lagoon, and on the two spits which formed the entrance we saw an incredible number of the large birds that resemble a pelican. The northernmost land now in sight bore from Cape Capricorn N. 24 W. and appeared to be an island; but the main land trended W. by N. [gap — reason: unclear] N. which course we steered, having from fifteen to six fathoms, and from six to nine, with a hard sandy bottom. At noon, our latitude by observation was 23° 24′ S. Cape Capricorn bore S. 60 E. distant two leagues; and a small island N. by E. two miles: in this situation we had nine fathoms, being about four miles from the main, which, next the sea, is low and sandy, except the points which are high and rocky. The country inland is hilly, but by no means of a pleasing aspect. We continued to stand to the N. W. till four o'clock in the afternoon, when it fell calm; and we soon after anchored in twelve fathoms, having the main land and islands in a manner all round us, and Cape Capricorn bearing S. 54 E. distant four leagues. In the night we found the rise and fall near seven feet; and the flood to set to the westward, and the obb to the eastward, which page 315 is just contrary to what we found when we were at anchor to the eastward of Bustard Bay.
At six in the morning we weighed, with a gentle breeze at south, and stood away to the N. W. between the outmost range of islands and the main, leaving several small islands between the main and the ship, which we passed at a very little distance: our soundings being irregular, from twelve to four fathoms, I sent a boat a-head to found. At noon we were about three miles from the main, and about the same distance from the islands without as: our latitude by observation was 23° 7′ S. the main land here is high and mountainous; the islands which lie off it are also most of them high, and of a small circuit, having an appearance rather of barrenness than fertility. At this time we saw smoke in many places at a considerable distance inland, and therefore conjectured that there might be a lagoon, river, or inlet running up the country, the rather, as we had passed two places which had the appearance of being such; but our depth of water was too little to encourage me to venture where I should probably have less. We had not stood to the northward above an hour, before we suddenly fell into three fathoms; upon which I anchored, and sent away the Master to sound the channel which lay to the leeward of us, between the northermost island and the main: it appeared to be pretty broad, but I suspected that it was shallow, and so indeed it was found; for the Master reported at his return that in many places he had only two fathoms and an half, and where we lay at anchor we had only sixteen feet, which was not two feet more than the ship drew. While the Master was sounding the channel, Mr. Banks tried to fish from the cabin windows with hook and line: the water was too shallow for fish; but the ground was almost covered with crabs, which readily took the bait, and sometimes held it so fast in their claws, that they did not quit their hold till they were considerably above water. These crabs were of two forts, and both of them such as we had not seen before: one of them was adorned with the fined blue that can be imagined, in every respect equal to the ultramarine, with which all his claws, and every joint was deeply tinged; the under part of him was white, page 316 and so exquisitely polished, that in colour and brightness it exactly resembled the white of old china: the other was also marked with ultramarine upon his joints, and his toes, but somewhat more sparingly; and his back was marked with three brown spots which has a singular appearance. The people who had been out with the boat to sound, reported, that upon an island where we had observed two fires, they had seen several of the inhabitants, who called to them, and seemed very desirous they should land. In the evening the wind veered to E. N. E. which gave us the opportunity to stretch three or four miles back the way we came; after which, the wind shifted to the south, and obliged us again to anchor in six fathoms.
At five in the morning I sent away the Master to searcch for a passage between the islands, while we got the ship under sail; and as soon as it was light we followed the boat, which made a signal that a passage had been found. As soon as we got again into the deep water, we made sail to the northward, as the land lay, with soundings from nine fathoms to fifteen, and [unclear: found] small islands still without us. At noon we were about two leagues distant from the main; and by observation in latitude 22° 53′S. The northernmost point of land in sight now bore N. N. W. distant ten miles. To this point I gave the name of Cape Manifold, from the number of high hills which appeared over it: [unclear: it] lies in latitude 22° 43′ S. and distant about seventeen leagues from Cape Capricorn, in the direction of N 26 W. Between these Capes the shore forms a large bay, which I called Keppel Bay; and I also distinguished the islands by the name of Keppel's Islands In this bay there is good anchorage; but what refreshments it may afford, I know not: we caught no fish though we were at anchor; but probably there is fresh water in several places, as both the islands and the main are inhabited. We saw smoke and fires upon the main; and upon the islands we saw people. At three in the afternoon we passed Cape Manifold, from which the land trends N. N. W. The land of the Cape is high, rising in hills directly from the sea; and may be known by the three islands which lie off it, one [unclear: of] them near the shore, and the other two eight miles [unclear: out] page 317 at sea. One of these islands is low and flat, and the other high and round. At six o'clock in the evening we brought to, when the northernmost part of the main in sight bore N. W. and some islands which lie off it N 31 W. Our sounding after twelve o'clock were from twenty to twenty-five fathoms, and in the night from thirty to thirty-four.
At day-break we made sail, Cape Manifold bearing S. by E. distant eight leagues, and the islands which I had set the night before were distant four miles in the same direction. The farthest visible point of the main bore N. 67 W. at the distance of twenty-two miles; but we could see several islands to the northward of this direction. At nine o'clock in the afternoon we were a-breast of the point which I called Cape Townshend. It lies in latitude 22° 15′; longitude 209° 43′: the land is high and level, and rather naked than woody. Several islands lie to the northward of it, at the distance of four or five miles out at sea; three or four leagues to the S. E. the shore forms a bay, in the bottom of which there appeared to be an inlet or harbour. To the westward of the Cape the land trends S. W. ¼ S. and there forms a very large bay, which turns to the eastward, and probably communicates with the inlet, and makes the land of the Cape an island. As soon as we got round this Cape, we hauled our wind to the westward, in order to get within the islands, which lie scattered in the bay in great numbers, and extend out to sea as far as the eye could reach even from the mast-head: these islands vary both in height and circuit from each other; so that, although they are very numerous, no two of them are alike. We had not stood long upon a wind before we came into shoal water, and were obliged to tack at once to avoid it. Having sent a boat a-head, I bore away W. by N. many island rocks, and shoals, lying between us and the main, and many of a larger extent without us: our soundings till near noon were from fourteen to seventeen fathoms, when the boat made the signal for meeting with shoal water: upon this we hauled close upon a wind to the eastward, but suddenly fell into three fathoms and a quarter; we immediately dropped an anchor, which brought the ship page 318 up with all her sails standing. When the ship was brought up we had four fathoms, with a coarse sandy bottom, and found a strong tide setting to the N. W. by W. ¼ W. at the rate of near three miles an hour, by which we were so suddenly carried upon the shoal Our latitude by observation was 22° 8′ S. Cape Townshend bore E. 16 S. distant thirteen miles; and the westernmost part of the main in sight W. ¼ N. At this time a great number of islands lay all round us.
In the afternoon, having sounded round the ship, and found that there was water sufficient to carry her over the shoal, we weighed, and about three o'clock made sail and stood to the westward, as the land lay, having sent a boat a-head to sound. At six in the evening we anchored in ten fathoms, with a sandy bottom, about two miles distance from the main; the westernmost part of which bore W. N. W. and a great number of islands, lying a long way without us, were still in sight.
At five o'clock the next morning I sent away the Master with two boats to sound the entrance of an inlet which bore from us west, at about the distance of a league, into which I intended to go with the ship, that I might wait a few days till the moon should increase, and in the mean time examine the country. As soon as the ship could be got under sail, the boats made the signal for anchorage; upon which we stood in, and anchored in five fathoms water, about a league within the entrance of the inlet; which, as I observed a tide to flow and ebb considerably, I judged to be a river that ran up the country to a considerable distance. In this place I had thoughts of laying the ship a-shore, and cleaning her bottom; I therefore landed with the Master in search of a convenient place for that purpose, and was accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. We found walking here exceedingly troublesome, for the ground was covered with a kind of grass, the seeds of which were very sharp and bearded backwards; so that whenever they stuck into our clothes, which indeed was at every step, they worked forwards by means of the beard, till they got at the flesh; and at the same time we were surrounded by a cloud of musquitos, which incessantly tormented us with their stings.page 319
We soon met with several places where the ship might conveniently be laid a-shore; but to our great disappointment, we could find no fresh water. We proceeded, however, up the country, where we found gum trees, like those that we had seen before, and observed, that here also the gum was in very small quantities. Upon the branches of these trees, and some others, we found ants nests made of clay, as big as a bushel, something like those described in Sir Hans Sloan's Natural History of Jamaica, vol. ii. p. 221. tab. 258, but not so smooth: the ants which inhabited these nests were small, and their bodies white; but upon another species of the tree we found a small black ant, which perforated all the twigs, and having worked out the pith, occupied the pipe which had contained it; yet the parts in which these insects had thus formed a lodgment, and in which they swarmed in amazing numbers, bore leaves and flowers, and appeared to be in as flourishing a state as those that were sound. We sound also an incredible nuber of butterslies, so that for the space of three or four actes the air was so crouded with them, that millions were to be seen in every direction, at the same time that every branch and twig was covered with others that were not upon the wing. We found here also a small fish of a singular kind; it was about the size of a minnow, and had two very strong breast-sins: we found it in places that were quite dry, where we supposed it might have been left by the tide; but it did not seem to have become languid by the want of water, for upon our approach it leaped away, by the help of the breast-fins, as nimbly as a frog: neither indeed did it seem to prefer water to land; for when we found it in the water, it frequenly leaped out, and pursued its way upon dry ground. We also observed, that when it was in places where small stones were standing above the surface of the water, at a little distance from each other, it chose rather to leap from stone to stone, than to pass through the water; and we saw several of them pass entirely over puddles in this manner, till they came to dry ground, and then leap away.
In the afternoon we renewed our search after fresh water, but without success, and therefore I determined page 320 to make my stay here but short; however, having observed from an eminence, that the inlet penetrated a considerable way into the country, I determined to trace it in the morning.
At sun-rise I went a-shore, and climbing a considerable hill, I took a view of the coast, and the islands that lie off it, with their bearings, having an azimuth compass with me for that purpose; but I observed, that the needle differed very considerably in its position, even to thirty degrees, in some places more, in others less; and once I found it differ from itself no less than two points in the distance of fourteen feet. I took up some of the loose stones that lay upon the ground, and applied them to the needle, but they produced no effect; and I therefore concluded that there was iron ore in the hills, of which I had remarked other indications both here and in the neighbouring parts. After I had made my observations upon the hill, I proceeded with Dr. Solander up the inlet; I set out with the first of the flood, and long before high water I had advanced above eight leagues. Its breadth thus far was from two to five miles, upon a S. W. by S. direction; but here it opened every way, and formed a large lake, which to the N. W. communicated with the sea; and I not only saw the sea in this direction, but found the tide of flood coming strongly in from that point; I also observed an arm of this lake extending to the eastward, and it is not improbable that it may communicate with the sea in the bottom of the bay, which lies to the westward of Cape Townshend. On the south side of the lake is a ridge of high hills, which I was very desirous to climb; but it being high-water, and the day far spent, I was afraid of being bewildered among the shoals in the night, especially as the weather was dark and rainy, and therefore I made the best of my way to the ship. In this excursion I saw only two people, and they were at a distance; they followed the boat along the shore a good way, but the tide running strongly in my favour, I could not prudently wait for them: I saw, however, several fires in one direction, and smoke in another, but they also were at a distance. While I was tracing the inlet with Dr. Solander, Mr. Banks was endeavouring to penetrate page 321 into the country, where several of the people, who had leave to go a-shore, were also rambling about. Mr. Banks and his party found their course obstructed by a swamp covered with mangroves, which, however, they resolved to pass; the mud was almost knee deep, yet they resolutely went on; but before they got half way, they repented of their undertaking. The botom was covered with branches of trees interwoven with each other; sometimes they kept their footing upon them, sometimes their feet slipped through, and sometimes they were so entangled among them, that they were forced to free themselves by groping in the mud and slime with their hands. In about an hour, however, they crossed it, and judged it might he about a quarter of a mile over. After a short walk, they came up to a place where there had been four small fires, and near them some shells and bones of fish that had been roasted; they found also heaps of grass laid together, where four or five people appeared to have slept. The Second Lieutenant, Mr. Gore, who was at another place, saw a little water lying in the bottom of a gully, and near it the track of a large animal: some busstards were also seen, but none of them shot, nor any other bird except a few of the beautiful loriquets, which we had seen in Botany Bay. Mr. Gore, and one of the Midshipmen, who were in different places, said, that they had heard the voices of Indians near them, but had seen none. The country in general appeared sandy and barren, and being destitute of fresh water, it connot be supposed to have any settled inhabitants. The deep gullies, which were worn by torrehts from the hills, prove, that at certain seasons the rains here are very copious and heavy.
The inlet in which the ship lay I called Thirsty Sound, becaase it afforded us fresh water. It lies in latitude 22° 10′ S. and longitude 210° 18′ W. and may be known by a group of small islands lying under the shore, from two to five leagues distant, in the direction of N. W. and by another group of islands that lie right before it, between three and four leagues out at sea. Over each of the points that form the entrance is a high round hill, which on the N. W. is a peninsula, that at high-water is surrounded by the sea; they page 322 are bold to both the shores, and the distance between them is about two miles. In this inlet is good anchorage in seven, six, five, and four fathoms, and places very convenient for laying a ship down, where, at spring-tides, the water does not rise less than sixteen or eighteen feet. The tide flows at the full and change of the moon about eleven o'clock. I have already observed; that here is no fresh water, nor could we procure refreshment of any other kind. We saw two turtles, but we were not able to take either of them; neither did we catch either fish or wild fowl, except a few small land birds; we saw indeed the same forts of waterfowl as in Botany Bay, but they were so shy that we could not get a shot at them.
As I had not therefore a single inducement to stay longer in this place, I weighed anchor at six o'clock in the morning of Thursday the 31st of May, and put to sea. We stood to the N. W. with a fresh breeze at S. S. E. and kept without the group of islands that lie in shore, and to the N. W. of Thirsty Sound, as there appeared to be no safe passage between them and the main: at the same time we had a number of islands without us, extending as far as we could see. During our run in this direction, our depth of Water was ten, eight, and nine fathoms. At noon the west point of Thirsty Sound, which I have called PIER. HEAD, bore S. 36 E. distant five leagues; the east point of the other inlet, which communicates with the Sound, bore S. by W. distant two leagues; the group of islands just mentioned lay between us and the point, and the farthest part of the main in sight, on the other side of the inlet, bore N. W. Our latitude, by observation, was 21° 53′. At half an hour after twelve the boat, which was sounding a-head, made the signal for shoal water, and we immediately hauled our wind to the N. E. At this time we had seven fathoms, at the next cast five, and at the next three, upon which we instantly dropped an anchor that brought the ship up. Pier Head, the north-west point of Thirsty Sound, bore S. E. distant six leagues, being half way between the islands which lie off the east point of the western inlet, and three small islands which lie directly without them. It was now the first of the flood, which we found to set page 323 N. W. by W. ½ W. and having sounded about the shoal, upon which we had three fathoms, and found, deep water all round it, we got under sail, and having hauled round the three islands that have been just mentioned, came to anchor under the lee of them, in fifteen fathoms water; and the weather being dark, hazy, and rainy, we remained there till seven o'clock in the morning. At this time we got again under sail, and stood to the N. W. with a fresh breeze at S. S. E. having the main land in sight, and a number of islands all round us, some of which lay out at sea as far as the eye could reach. The western inlet, which in the chart is distinguished by the name of Broad Sound, we had now all open; at the entrance it is at least nine or ten leagues wide; in it, and before it, lie several islands, and probably shoals also, for our soundings were very irregular, varying suddenly from ten to four fathoms. At noon our latitude, by observation, was 21° 29′ S. a point of land which forms the north-west entrance into Broad Sound, and which I have named Cape Palmerston, lying in latitude 21° 30′, longitude 210° 54′ W. bore W. by N. distant three leagues. Our latitude was 21° 27′, our longitude 210° 57′. Between this Cape and Cape Townshend lies the bay which I have called the Bay of Inlets. We continued to stand to the N. W. and N. W. by N. as the land lay, under an easy sail, having a boat a-head to sound. At first the foundings were very irregular, from nine to four fathoms, but afterwards they were regular from nine to eleven. At eight in the evening, being about two leagues from the main land, we anchored in eleven fathoms, with a sandy bottom, and soon after we found the tide setting, with a slow motion, to the westward. At one o'clock it was slack, or law water; and at half an hour after two the ship trended to the eastward, and rode so till six in the morning, when the tide had risen eleven feet. We now got under sail, and stood away, in the direction of the coast, N. N. W. From what we had observed of the tide during the night, it is plain that the flood came from the N. W. whereas the preceding day, and several days before, it came from the S. E. nor was this the first or even second time that we remarked the same thing. At sun-rise this morning we found the variation to be 6° 45′ E. and in steering along the page 324 shore, between the island and the main, at the distance of about two leagues from the main, and three or four from the island, our soundings were regular from twelve to nine fathoms; but about eleven o'clock in the forenoon we were again embarrassed with shoal water, haveing at one time not more than three fathoms; yet we got clear, without casting anchor. At noon we were about two leagues from the main, and four from the islands without us. Our latitude, by obsservation, was 20° 56′, and a high promontory, which I named CAPE; HILLSBOROUGH, bore W. ½ N. distant seven miles. The land here is diversified by mountains, hills, plains, and vallies, and seems to be well clothed with herbage and wood. The islands which lie parallel to the coast, and from five to eight or nine miles distant, are of various height and extent, scarcely any of them are more than five leagues in circumference, and many are not four miles: besides this chain of islands, which lies at a distance from the coast, there are others much less, which lie under the land, from which we saw smoke rising in different places. We continued to steer along the shore at the distance of about two leagues, with regular soundings from nine to ten fathoms. At sun-set the farthest part of the main bore N. 48 W. and to the northward of this lay some high land, which I took to be an island, and of which the north-west point bore 41 W. but not being sure of a passage, I came to an anchor about eight o'clock in the evening, in ten fathoms water, with a muddy bottom. About ten we had a tide setting to the northward, and at two it had fallen nine feet; after this it began to rise, and the flood came from the northward, in the direction of the islands which lay out to sea; a plain indication that there was no passage to the N. W. This, however, had not appeared at day-break, when we got under sail and stood to the N. W. At eight o'clock in the morning we discovered low land, quite across what we took for an opening, which proved to be a bay, about five or six leagues deep; upon this we hauled our wind to the eastward round the north point of the bay, which at this time bore from us N. E. by N. distant four leagues: from this point we sound the land trend away N. by W. ½ W. and a streight or passage page 325 between it and a large island, or islands, lying parallel to it. Having the tide of ebb in our favour, we stood for this passage, and at noon were just within the entrance; our latitude, by observation, was 20° 26′ S. Cape Hillsborough bore S. by E. distant ten leagues; and the north point of the bay S. 19 W. distant four miles. This point, which I named Cape Conway, lies in latitude 26° 36′ S. longitude 211° 28′ W. and the bay, which lies between this Cape and Cape Hillsborough, I called Repulse: Bay. The greatest depth of water which we found in it was thirteen fathoms, and the least eight. In all parts there was safe anchorage, and I believe that, upon proper examination, some good harbours would be found in it, especially at the north side within Cape Conway; for just within that Cape there lie two or three small islands, which alone would shelter that side of the bay from the southerly and south-easterly winds, that seem to prevail here as a trade. Among the many islands that lie upon this coast, there is one more remarkable than the rest; it is of a small circuit, very high and peaked, and lies E. by S, ten miles from Cape Conway, at the south end of the passage. In the afternoon we steered through this passage, which we found to be from three to seven miles broad, and eight or nine leagues in length, N. by W. ½ W. S. by E. ½ E. It is formed by the main on the west, and by the islands on the east, one of which is at least five leagues in length; our depth of water, in running through, was from twenty to five-and-twenty fathoms, with good anchorage every where; and the whole passage may be considered as one safe harbour, exclusive of the small bays and coves which abound on each side, where ships might lie as in a bason. The land both upon the main and the islands is high, and diversified by hill and valley, wood and lawn, with a green and pleasant appearance. On one of the islands we discovered, with our glasses, two men and a woman, and a canoe with an outrigger, which appeared to be larger, and of a construction very different from those of bark tied together at the ends, which we had seen upon other parts of the coast; we hoped therefore that the people here had made some farther advances beyond mere animal life, than those that we had seen page 326 before. At six o'clock in the evening we were nearly the length of the north end of the passage; the north-westermost point of the main in sight bore N. 45 W. and the north end of the island N. N. E. with an open sea between the two points. As this passage was discovered on Whitsunday, I called it Whitsunday's Passage, and I called the islands that form it Cumberland Islands, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke. We kept under an easy sail, with the lead going all night, being at the distance of about three leagues from the shore, and having from twenty-one to twenty-three fathoms water. At day-break we were a-breast of the point which had been the farthest in sight to the north-west the evening before, which I named Cape Gloucester. It is a lofty promontory, in latitude 19° 59′ S. longitude 211° 49′ W. and may be known by an island which lies out at sea N. by W. ½ W. at the distance of five or six leagues from it, and which I called Holbrone Isle; there are also islands lying under the land, between Holborne Isle and Whitsunday's Passage. On the west side of Cape Gloucester the land trends away S. W. and S. S. W. and forms a deep bay, the bottom of which I could but just see from the mast head; it is very low, and a continuation of the low land which we had seen at the bottom of Repulse Bay. This bay I called Edgcumbe Bay, but without staying to look into it, we continued our course to the westward, for the farthest land we could see in that direction, which bore W. by N. ½ N. and appeared very high. At noon we were about three leagues from the shore, by observation, in latitude 19° 47′ S. and Cape Gloucester bore S. 63 E. distant seven leagues and an half. At six in the evening we were a-breast of the westernmost point just mentioned, at about three miles distance; and because it rises abruptly from the low lands which surround it, I called it Cape Upstart. It lies in latitude 19° 39′ S. longitude 212° 32′ W. fourteen leagues W. N. W. from Cape Gloucester, and is of a height sufficient to be seen at the distance of twelve leagues: inland there are some high hills or mountains, which, like the cape, afford but a barren prospect. Having passed this cape, we continued standing to the W. N. W. page 327 as the land lay, under an easy sail, having from sixteen to ten fathoms, till two o'clock in the morning, when we fell into seven fathoms, upon which we hauled our wind to the northward, judging ourselves to be very near land. At day-break we found our conjecture to be true, being within little more than two leagues of it. In this part of the coast the land, being very low, is nearer than it appears to be, though it is diversified with here and there a hill. At noon we were about four leagues from the land in fifteen fathoms water, and our latitude, by observation, was 19° 12′ S. Cape Upstart bearing S. 32° 30′ E. distant twelve leagues. About this time some very large columns of smoke were seen rising from the low lands. At sun-set, the preceding night, when we were close under Cape Upstart, the variation was nearly 9° E. and at sun-rise this day it was no more than 5° 35′; I judged therefore that it had been influenced by iron ore, or other magnetical matter, contained under the surface of the earth.
We continued to steer W. N. W. as the land lay, with twelve or fourteen fathoms water, till noon on the 6th, when our latitude, by observation, was 19° 1′ S. and we had the mouth of a bay all open, extending from S. ½ W. to S. W. ½ S. distant two leagues. This bay, which I named Cleveland Bay, appeared to be about five or six miles in extent every way; the east point I named Cape Cleveland, and the west, which had the appearance of an island, Magnetical Isle, as we perceived that the compass did not traverse well when we were near it; they are both high, and so is the main land within them, the whole forming a surface the most rugged, rocky, and barren of any we had seen upon the coast; it was not, however, without inhabitants, for we saw smoke in several parts of the bottom of the bay. The northernmost land that was in sight at this time bore N. W. and it had the appearance of an island, for we could not trace the main land farther than W. by N. We steered W. N. W. keeping the main land on board, the outermost part or which, at sun-set, bore W. by N. but without it lay high land, which we judged not to be part of it. page 328 At day-break we were a-breast of the eastern part of this land, which we found to be a group of islands, lying about five leagues from the main. At this time, being between the two shores, we advanced slowly to the N. W. till noon, when our latitude, by observation, was 18° 49′ S. and our distance from the main about five leagues: the north-west part of it bore from us N. by W. ½ W. the islands extending from N. to E. and the nearest being distant about two miles: Cape Cleveland bore S. 50 E. distant eighteen leagues. Our soundings, in the course that we had sailed between this time and the preceding noon, were from fourteen to eleven fathoms.
In the afternoon we saw several large columns of smoke upon the main; we saw also some people and eanoes; and upon one of the islands what had the appearance of cocoa-nut-trees. As a few of these nuts would now have been very acceptable, I sent Lieutenant Hicks a-shore, and with him went Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, to see what refreshment could be procured, while I kept standing in for the island with the ship. About seven o'clock in the evening they returned, with an account that what we had taken for cocoa-nut-trees were a small kind of cabbage-palm, and that, except about fourteen or fifteen plants, they had met with nothing worth bringing away. While they were ashore they saw none of the people; but just as they had put off one of them came very near the beach, and shouted with a loud voice: it was so dark that they could not see him, however they turned towards the shore, but when he heard the boat putting back he ran away, or hid himself, for they could not get a glimpse of him, and though they shouted he made no reply. After the return of the boats, we stood away N. by W. for the northernmost land in sight, of which we were a-breast at three o'clock in the morning, having passed all the islands three or four hours before. This land, on account of its figure, I named Point Hillock: it is of a considerable height, and may be known by a round hillock, or rock, which joins to the point, but appears to be detached from it. Between this cape and Magnetical Isle, the shore forms a large bay, page 329 which I called Halifax Bay: before it lay the group of islands which has been just mentioned, and some others, at a less distance from the shore. By these islands the Bay is sheltered from all winds, and it affords good anchorage. The land near the beach in the bottom of the Bay, is low and woody, but farther back it is one continued ridge of high land, which appeared to be barren and rocky. Having passed Point Hillock, we continued standing to the N. N. W. as the land trended, having the advantage of a light moon. At six, we were a-breast of a point of land which lies N. by W. ½ W. distant eleven miles from Point Hillock, which I named Cape Sandwich. Between these two points the land is very high, and the surface is craggy and barren. Cape Sandwich may be known not only by the high craggy land over it, but by a small island which lies east of it, at the distance of a mile, and some others that lie about two leagues to the northward. From Cape Sandwich the land trends W. and afterwards N. forming a fine large bay, which I called Rockingham Bay, where there appears to be good shelter, and good anchorage, but I did not stay to examine it: I kept the ranging along the shore to the northward, for a cluster of small islands, which lie off the northern point of the Bay. Between the three outermost of these islands, and those near the shore, I found a channel of about a mile broad, through which I passed, and upon one of the nearest islands we saw with our glasses about thirty of the natives, men, women, and children, all standing together, and looking with great attention at the ship, the first instance of curiosity that we had seen among them: they were all stark naked, with short hair, and of the same complexion with those that we had seen before. At noon, our latitude, by observation, was 17° 59′, and we were a-breast of the north point of Rockingham Bay, which bore from us W. at the distance of about two miles. This boundary of the Bay is formed by an island of considerable height, which in the chart is distinguished by the name of Dunk Isle, and which lies so near the shore as not to be easily distinguished from it. Our longitude was 213° 57′ W. Cape Sandwich bore S. by E. ½ E. distant nineteen miles, and the northermost land in sight page 330 N. ½ W. our depth of water for the last ten hours had not been more than sixteen, nor less than seven fathoms. At sun-set the northern extremity of the land bore N 25 W. and we kept our course N. by W. along the coast, at the distance of between three and four leagues, with an easy sail all night, having from twelve to fifteen fathoms water.
At six o'clock in the morning we were a-breast of some small islands, which we called Frankland's Isles, and which lie about two leagues distant from the main land. The most distant point in sight to the northward bore N. by W. ½ W. and we thought it was part of the main, but afterwards found it to be an island of considerable height, and about four miles in circuit. Between this island and a point on the main, from which it is distant about two miles, I passed with the ship. At noon, we were in the middle of the channel, and by observation in the latitude of 16° 57′ S. with twenty fathoms water. The point on the main, of which we were now a-breast, I called Cape Graftion: its latitude is 16° 57′ S. and longitude 214° 6′ W. and the land here, as well as the whole coast, for about twenty leagues to the southward, is high, has a rocky surface, and is thinly covered with wood: during the night we had seen several fires, and about noon some people. Having hauled round Cape Grafton, we found the land trend away N. W. by W. and three miles to the westward of the Cape we found a bay, in which we anchored about two miles from the shore, in four fathoms water with an oozy bottom. The east point of the bay bore S. 74 E. the west point S. 83 W. and a low, green, woody island, which lies in the offing, N. 35 E. This island, which lies N. by E. ½ E. distant three or four leagues from Cape Grafton, is called in the chart Green Island.
As soon as the ship was brought to an anchor, I went ashore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. As my principal view was to procure some fresh water, and as the bottom of the bay was low land covered with mangroves, where it was not probable fresh water was to be found, I went out towards the Cape, and found two small streams, which however were rendered very difficult of access by the surf and rocks page 331 upon the shore: I saw also, as I came round the Cape, a small stream of water run over the beach, in a sandy cove, but I did not go in with the boat, because I saw that it would not be easy to land. When we got a-shore, we found the country every where rising into steep rocky hills, and as no fresh water could conveniently be procured, I was unwilling to lose time by going in search of lower land elsewhere: we therefore made the best of our way back to the ship, and about midnight we weighed and stood to the N. W. having but little wind, with some showers of rain. At four in the morning, the breeze freshened at S. by E. and the weather became fair: we continued steering N. N. W. ½ W. as the land lay, at about three leagues distant, with ten, twelve, and fourteen fathoms water. At ten we hauled off north, in order to get without a small low island, which lay at about two leagues distance from the main, and great part of which at this time, it being high water, was overflowed: about three leagues to the north-west of this island, close under the main land, is another island, the land of which rises to a greater height, and which at noon bore from us N. 55 W. distant seven or eight miles. At this time our latitude was 16° 20′ S. Cape Grafton bore S. 29 E. distant forty miles, and the northernmost point of land in sight N. 20 W. our depth of water was fifteen fathoms. Between this point and Cape Grafton the shore forms a large, but not a very deep bay, which being discovered on Trinity Sunday, I called Trinity Bay.