Explore entries from James Cook's Endeavour journal for April 1770, from the ship's first sighting of the Australian continent at Point Hicks to Botany Bay.
Monday, 30th As soon as the wooders and wateres were come on board to dinner 10 or 12 of the natives came to the watering place and took away their canoes that lay there but did not offer to touch any one of our Casks that had been left ashore and in the after noon 16 or 18 of them came boldly up to within 100 yards of our people at the watering place and there made a stand — Mr Hicks who was the officer ashore did all in his power to entice them to him by offering them presents &Ca but it was to no purpose all they seem'd to want was for us to be gone —
after staying a short time they went away they were all arm'd with darts and wooden swords, the darts have each four prongs and pointed with fish bones
and those we have seen seem to be intend more for strikeing fish than offensive weapons neither are they poisoned as we at first thought —
After I had returnd from sounding the bay I went over to a Cove on the
south north side of the bay where in 3 or 4 hauls with the Saine we caught about 300 pounds weight of fish which I caused to be equally divided among the Ships Company —
In the AM I went in the Pinnace to sound and explore the North side of the bay where I neither met with inhabitants or any thing remarkable — Mr Green took the Suns Meridion Altitude a little with the south entrence of the bay which gave the Latitude 34°..0' So
Sunday 29th In the PM winds southerly and clear weather with which we stood into the bay and Anchor'd under the South shore about 2 Mile within the entrence in 6 fathoms water, the south point bearing SE and the north point East, Saw as we came in on both points of the bay Several of the natives and a few hutts, Men women and children on the south shore abreast of the Ship to which place I went in the boats in hopes of speaking with them accompaned by Mr Banks Dr Solander and Tupia — as we approached the shore they all made off except two Men who seem'd resolved to oppose our landing — as soon as I saw this I orderd the boats to lay upon their oars in order to speake to them but this was to little purpose for neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said.
we then threw them some nails beeds &Ca a shore which they took up and seem'd not ill pleased
with in so much that I thout that they beckon'd to us to come a shore but in this we were mistaken for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us upon which I fired a musket between the two which had no other effect than to make them retire back where bundles of thier darts lay and one of them took up a stone and threw at us which caused my fireing a second Musquet load with small shott and altho' some of the shott struck the man yet it had no other effect than to make him lay hold of a Shield or target to defend himself
emmediatly after this we landed which we had no sooner done than they throw'd two darts at us this obliged me to fire a third shott soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one, but Mr Banks being of opinion that the darts were poisoned made me cautious how I advanced into the woods — We found here a few Small hutts made of the bark of trees in one of which were four or five small children with whome we left some strings of beeds &Ca a quantity of darts lay about the hutts these we took away with us —
three Canoes lay upon the bea[c]h the worst I think I ever saw they were about
10 12 or 14 feet long made of one peice of the bark of a tree drawn or tied up at each end and the middle kept open by means of peices of sticks by way of Thwarts —
After searching for fresh water without success except a little in a small hole dug in the sand, we embarqued and went over to the north point of the bay were in coming in we saw several people but when we landed now there were no body to be seen — we found here some fresh water which came trinkling down and stood in pools among the rocks: but as this was troblesome to come at I sent a party of men a shore in the morning to the place where we first landed to dig holes in the sand by which means and a small stream they found fresh water sufficient to water the ship — the strings of beeds &Ca we had left with the children last night were found laying in the hut this morning probably the natives were afraid to take them away — after breakfast we sent some empty casks a shore and a party of men to cut wood and I went my self in the Pinnace to sound and explore the Bay — in the doing of which I saw severl of the natives but they all fled at my approach — I landed in two places one of which the people had but just left as there were small fires and fresh muscles broiling upon them — here likewise lay vast heaps of the largest oyster shells I ever saw.
I likewise saw of the oysters themselves as I rowed over ths shoals but being highwater I could not get any having nothing we me to take them up —
Saturday 28th In the PM hoisted out the Pinnace and yawl in order to attempt a landing but the Pinnace took in the water so fast that she was obliged to be hoisted in again to stop her leakes — At this time we saw several people a shore four of whome where carrying a small boat or Canoe which we imagined they were going to but into the water in order to come off to us but in this we were mistaken
Being now not above two Miles from the Shore Mr Banks Dr Solander Tupia and myself put off in the yawl and pull'd in for the land to a place where we saw four or five of the natives who took to the woods as we approachd the Shore which disapointed us in
our the expectation we had of getting a near view of them if not to speak to them but our disapointment was heighten'd when we found that we no where could effect a landing by reason of the great surff which beat every where upon the shore —
we saw hauld up upon the beach 3 or 4 small Canoes which to us appear'd not much unlike the small ones of New Zeland, in the woods were several trees of the Palm kind and no under wood and this was all we were able to observe
of the country from the boat after which we returnd to the Ship about 5 in the evening.
at this time it fell calm and we were not above a mile and a half from shore in a 11 fathom water and within some breakers that lay to the southward of us but luckily a light breeze came off from the land which carried us out of danger and with which we stood to the northward
At day light in the morning we discover'd a Bay which appeard to be tollerably well shelterd from all winds into which I resoloved to go with the Ship and with this view sent the Master in the Pinnace to sound the entrance while we kept turning up with the Ship haveing the wind right out At Noon the entran[c]e bore NNW distance 1 Mile —
Friday 27th Variable light airs between the NE and NW clear pleasent weather. In the PM stood off shore untill 2 oClock than tack'd and stood in untill 6 at which time we tack'd and stood off being then in 54 fathoms water and about 4 or 5 Miles from the land the extremes of which bore from So 28° West to N. 25°.30' East.
At 12 oClock we tackd and stood in untill 4 AM than made a trip off untill day light after which we stood in for the land, in all this time we lost ground owing a good deal to the Variableness of the winds for at Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 34°..21', Red Point bearing So 27 Wt distant 3 Leagues. in this situation we were about 4 or 5 Miles from the land which extended from So 19°..30' West to North 29° East —
Thursday 26th Clear Serene weather. In the PM had a light breeze at NNW untill 5 oClock at which time it fell calm we being then about 3 or 4 Leags from the land and in 48 fathom water. Variation pr Azimuth 8..48 East the extremes of the land from NEBN to SWBS
Saw several smooks along shore before dark and two or 3 times afire in the night. we lay becalm'd driving in before the Sea untill 1 oClock AM at which time we got a breeze from the land with which we steer'd NE being then in 38 fathom water —
At Noon it fell little wind and Veerd to NEBN, we being than in the Latitude of 34°..10' and Longitude 208°.27' Wt and about 5 Leags from the land which extended from S-37° Wt to N ½ E. In this Latitude are some white clifts which rise perpendicularly from the sea to a moderate height
Tuesday 24th In the PM had variable Light airs and calms untill 6 oClock at which time a breeze sprung up at NBW. at this time we had 70 fathom water being about 4 or 5 Leagues from the land the Pigeon house bearing N. 40° West.
and Mount Dromedary So 30° West and the northermost land in sight No 19° East — Stood to the NE untill noon haveing a gentle breeze at NW. at which time we tack'd and stood to the westward being than by obsern in the Latde of 35° 10' So and Longde 208° 51′ [48 in pencil] Wt A point of land which I named Cape St George we having discover'd it on that Saints day, bore West distant 19 Miles and the Pigeon house So 75° West, the Latitude and Longitude of which I found to be 35°..19' S and 209° 42' West. In the morning we found the Variation to be by the Ampde 7°..50 East by several Azimuths 7°..54' East
Monday 23rd In the PM had a gentle breeze at
North East East which in the night Veer'd to NE and North — At ½ past past 4 PM being [a]bout 5 Miles from the land we tack'd and stood off SE and East untill 4 AM at which time we tackd and stood in, being than about 9 or 10 Leagues from the land — At 8 oClock it fell little wind and soon after Calm — At Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 35°..38' and about Six Leagues from the land —Mount Dromedary bearing So 37° West distt 17 Leagues and the Pidgeon house N 40° west in this situation had 74 fathom water
Sunday 22d In the PM had a gentle breeze at SBW with which we steerd along shore NBE and NNE at the distance of about 3 Leagues; saw the smook of fire in several places near the Sea beach. At 5 oClock we were abreast of a Point of land which on account of its perpendicular clifts I call'd Point Upright / Latde 35°..35' / it bore from us due west distant 2 Leagues and in this situation had 31 fm water a Sandy bottom —
At 6 oClock falling little wind we hauld off ENE at this time the Northernmost land in sight bore NNE ½ E — At midnight being in 70 fathom water we brougt too untill 4 AM at which time we made sail in for the land and at day light found our selves nearly in the same place we
we was were at 5 oClock in the evening by which it was apparent that we had been drove between about 3 Leagues to the Southward by a Tide or Current in the night, after this we steerd along shore NNE having a gentle breeze at SW.
and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the C[l]othes they might have on I know not — At Noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 35°..27' and Longde 209°..23'. Cape Dromedary bore So 28° West distt 19 Leags a remarkable peaked hill laying inland the top of which look'd like a Pigeon house and occasioned my giving it that name, bore N 32°..30' Wt and a small low Island laying close under the shore bore NW distt 2 or 3 Leagues, Variation of the Compass 9°..50' Et
When we first discover'd this Island in the morning I was in hopes from its appearence that we should have found shelter for the Ship behind it but when we came to approach it near I did not think that there was even security for a boat to land, but this I believe I should have attempted had not the wind come on shore after which I did not think it safe to send a boat from the ship as we had a large hollow sea from ye SE rowling in
from the SE upon the land which beat every were very high upon the Shore and this we have had ever sence we came upon the Coast.
The land near the Sea coast still continues of a moderate hieght forming alternatly rocky points and Sandy beaches, but inland between Mount Dromedary and the Pigeon house are several pretty high Mountains two only of which we saw but what were coverd with trees and these lay inland behind
near to the Pigeon house and are remarkably flat atop with steep rocky clifts all round them as far as we could see — the trees in this Country hath all the appearence of being stout and lofty — For these two days past the observe'd Latitude hath been 12 or 14 Miles to the Southward of the Ships account given by the Log which can be owing to nothing but a Curre[n]t set to the Southward —
Saturday 21st Winds Southerly a gentle breeze and clear weather with which we coasted along shore to the northward. In the PM we saw the smook of fire in several places a certain sign that the Country is inhabited — At 6 oClock being about 2 or 3 Leagues from the land we shortned sail and sounded and found 44 fathom water a sandy bottom; stood on under an easy sail untill 12 oClock at which time we brought too untill 4 AM when we made sail again having than 90 fathom water 5 Leagues from the land At 6 oClock we were a breast of a pretty high mountain laying near the shore which on account of its figure I named Mount Dromedary Latde 36°..18' So Longde 209°..55' Wt / The shore under the foot of this Mountain forms a point which I have named Cape Dromedary over which is a peaked hillick
At this time found the Variation to be 10°..42' Et Between 10 and 11 oClock Mr Green and I took several observations of the Sun and Moon the mean result of which gave 209°..17' West Longitude from the Meridion of Greenwich. By observations made yesterday we were in the Longitude 210°..9'–20' gives 209°..49' the Longitude of the Ship to day at noon per yesterdays observations, the mean of which and to days gives 209°..33' Wt by which I fix the Longitude of this Coast — our Latitude at Noon was 35°..49' So Cape Dromedary bore So 30° Wt distt 12 Leagues — an open Bay wherein lay three or 4 small Islands bore NWBW distant
4 5 or 6 Leagues this Bay seem'd to be but very little shelterd from the sea winds and yet it is the only likely anchoring place I have yet seen upon the Coast
Friday 20th In the PM and most part of the night had a fresh gale westerly with squals attended with showers of rain In the AM had the wind at SW with serene weather. At 1 PM saw three water spouts at once, two were between us and the shore and one at some distance upon our Larboard quarter — At 6 oClock shortned sail and brought too for the night having 56 fathom a fine sandy bottom, the Northermost land in sight bore NBE ½ E and a small Island Iying close to a point on the Main bore west distant 2 Leagues — this point I have named Cape Howe, it may be known by the Trending of the Coast which is north on the one side and SW on the other / Latitude 37°..28' So Longde 210°..3' West / it may likewise be known by some round hills upon the Main just within it.
Having brought too with her head off shore we at 10 oClock wore and lay her head in untill 4 AM at which time we made sail along Shore to the Northward — At 6 oClock the northermost land in sight bore North being at this time about 4 Leagues from the land. At Noon we were in the Latitude of 36°..51' So and Longitude of 209°.. 53' West and 3 Leagues from ye land Courses saild along shore sence yesterday at noon was first N° 52° East 30 Miles than NBE and NBW 41 Miles
The weather being clear gave us an oppertunity to View the Country which had a very agreeable and promising Aspect the land is of moderate height diversified with hills, ridges, planes and Vallies with some few small lawns, but for the most part the whole was cover'd with wood, the hills and ridges rise with a gentle slope, they are not high neither are there many off them —
Thursday 19th In the PM had fresh gales at SSW and Clowdy Squaly weather with a large Southerly Sea — At 6 took in the Topsails and at 1 AM brought too and sounded but had no ground with 130 fathoms of line — At 5 Set the Topsails Close reef'd and 6 saw land extending from NE to West at the distance of 5 or 6 Leagues having 80 fathom water a fine sandy bottom
We continued Standing to the westward with the wind at SSW untill 8 oClock at which time we got topgt yards aCross made all sail, and bore away along shore NE for the Eastermost land we had in sight, being at this time in the Latitude of 37°..58' S° and Longd of 210°..39' West.
the Southermost Point of land we had in sight which bore from us W ¼ S I judged to lay in the Latitude of 38°..0' S and in the Longitude of 211°..07' Wt from the Meridion of Greenwich. I have named it Point Hicks, because Leuitt Hicks was the first who discover'd this land —
To the Southward of this point we could see no land and yet it was very clear in that quarter and by our Longitude compared with that of Tasmans the body of Vandiemens land ought to
lay have been due south from us and from the soon falling of the Sea after the wind abated I had reason to think it did. but as we did not see it and finding this coast to trend NE and SW or rather more to the westward makes me doubtfull whether they are land or no: however every one who compares this Journal with that of Tasman will be as good a judge I am but it is necessary to observe that I do not take the situation of Vandiemens from the printed charts but from the extract of Tasman's Journal published by Dirk Rembrantse —
At Noon we were in the Latd of 37° 50' and Longd of 210..29 Wt the extremes of the land extending from NW to ENE are mark