30 December 1768
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30 December 1768

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James Cook



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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
30 December 1768

30. This morn fine weather, water whiter than ever almost of a clay colour; sounded 47 fathom. Plenty of insects passd by this morn, many especialy of the carabi, alive, some grylli and one Phalaena. I stayd in the main chaians from 8 till 12 dipping for them with the hoave and took vast numbers. In the evening Many Phalenae and two papilios came flying about the ship, of the first took about 20 but the last would not come near enough to be taken and at last flew away; they appeard Large. We have also both yesterday and today taken several Ichneumons flying about the rigging. All the seamen say that we cannot be less than 20 leagues from the land, but I doubt Grylli especialy coming so far alive as they must float all the way upon the water. They ground their opinion cheifly on the sounding[s] which have been all along sand of different colours, which had we been nearer the land would have been intermixd with shells; their experience on this coast must however be but slight.

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 _ 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. I saw however a whale coverd with barnacles as the seamen told me, he appeard of a reddish colour except his tail which was black like those to the Northward.

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© Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal pages (vol.1) 137 - (vol.1) 139, 2004
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