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19 February 1770
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19 February 1770

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
19 February 1770

19. Last night about one the officer of the watch came down to the captn with the disagreable news of land right ahead and very near, which the wind which blew strong blew directly upon; we were soon however set at ease by the Captn comeing down and telling us that it was only a white cloud. In the morn it blew hard and before noon (to our great surprize) land was indeed in sight very high and far off. Many conjectures were made whether or not it was part of the land we had left but that can only be determind by future observations. We had most of us put great confidence in the intelligence we had got of the Indians in the last anchoring place, notwithstanding Tupia had even then warnd us much not to depend upon the people who he said he was sure were liars. We had been told however at different times by the inhabitants of both the towns that the streights realy joind the two seas and that the land to the Southward might be saild round in three or four days: the first we had found to be true and from thence there appeard the highest probability that the other was so likewise, nor could we devise any reason the Indians could have in wishing to deceive us, especialy as we had ask'd the question of two different societies who we had reason to think had not had any intercourse in the intermediate time, which had made us rather stretch the bounds of probability in allowing the practicability of a canoe sailing round the first part of the land we had seen in the time given. There was however between the farthest part of both the lands a space which we had not seen of more than 20 leagues in lengh: supposing that to be a streight the Indians certainly could not see over it, and the countrey they inhabited being very thinly peopled they might at this time be ignorant that there was land beyond it. This much for conjectures, but be it remembred that they are merely such and upon a subject that future observations will most probably clear up.

Tho we saw the land by noon and at that time we had a fresh breeze of Wind, yet it dropping nearly calm soon after we were at night very distant from it. We had however soundings a great way off and the land appeard very high, so that we once more cherishd strong hopes that we had at last compleated our wishes and that this was absolutely a part of the Southern continent; especialy as we had seen a hint thrown out in some books that the Duch, not contented with Tasmans discoveries, had afterwards sent other ships who took the land upon the same lat. as he made it in and followd it to the Southward as high as Lat 64°S.


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© Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal page (vol.2) 147, 2004
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