13 February 1769
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13 February 1769

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Joseph Banks



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13 February 1769

Week Days Month Days Winds Courses Distce Sail'd in Miles Latd in Longd in Greenwich Bearings at Noon
Monday 13 West Norly No 75° W 35 49°.. 32' 90° 37'  

The first part of these 24 hours Moderate breezes and clowdy    the remainder fresh gales and clowdy, PM saw a great many Albetrosses and other Birds about the Ship, some were all white and about the Size of Teal — Took several observations of the Sun and Moon, the result of which gave 90°..13' West Longitude from Greenwich-  the Variation of the Compass by the Mean of several Azth 17° East — The Longitude by account is less then that by Obsern 37' which is about 20 Miles in these high Latitudes, and nearly equall to the Error of the Logg Line before mentioned: this near agreement of the two Longitudes proves to a demonstration that we have had no Western current sence we left the Land —

From the foregoing observations it will appear that we are now advanced about 12° to the westward of the Strait of Magellan and 31/2° to the northward of it,, having been 33 days in doubbling Cape Horn or the land of Terra del Fuego, and arriving into the degree of Latitude and Longitude we are now in and without ever being brought once under our close reefe'd Topsails since we left Strait La Maire a circumstance that perhaps never happen'd before to any Ship in those seas so much dreaded for hard gales of wind insomuch that the doubling of Cape Horn is thought by some to be a mighty thing and others to this Day prefer the Straits of Magellan.   as I have never been in those Straits, can only form my judgement on a carefull comparrison of the different Ships Journals that have pass'd them and those that have sail'd round Cape Horn particularly the Dolphins two Last Voyages and this of ours being made at the same Season of the Year when one may reasonably expect the Same winds to prevail. The Dolphin in her last Voyage was 3 Months in geting through the Straits not reckoning the time she lay in Port Famine, and I am firmly peraswaided from the winds we have had, that had we came'd by that passage we should not have been in these Seas; besides the fatiguing of our people the Damage we must have done to our Anchors Cables Sails and Rigging none of which have suffered in our passage round Cape Horn —

From what I have said it will appear that I am no advocate for the Straits of Magellan, but it may be expected that I should say some thing of Strait le Maire through which we pass'd - and this is the more incumbant on me as it was by choise and contrary to the advice of ^ given by Mr Walter the ingenious Author of Lord Ansons Voyage who adveiseth all Ships not to go through this Strait but to go to the Eastward of Staten land, and likewise to stand to the Southward as far as 61° or 62° South before any endeavour is made to get to the westward; with respect to the passing of Strait Le Maire or going round Staten land, I look upon of little consequence and either one or the other to be pursue'd according to circumstances: for if you happen to fall in with the land to the westward of the Strait and the winds favourable for going through it certainly must be a peice of folly to loose time in going round Staten land for by paying a little attention to the directions I have already given no ill concequences can attend; but, on the contrary if you should fall in with the land to the eastward of the Strait or the wind should prove boisterous, or unfavourable, in any of these cases the going to the Eastward of Staten land is the most adviseable--   And next, as to runing into the Latitude of 61° or 62° South before any endeavour is made to get to the westward, is what I think no man will ever do that can avoide it, for it cannot be suppose'd that any one will Stear South mearly to get into a high Latitude when at the same time he can Steer west, for it is not Southing but Westing thats wanting, but this way you cannot steer because the winds blow almost constantly from that quarter, so that you have no other choise but to stand to the Southward, close upon a wind, and by keeping upon that Tack you not only make southing but westing also and sometimes not a little when the wind Varies to the northward of west, and the farther you advance to the Southrd the better chance you have of having the winds from that quarter or Easterly and likewise with ^ of meeting with finer weather.   both of which we ourselves experence'd. Prudence will direct every man when in those high Latitudes to make sure of Sufficient westing ^ to double all the lands before he thinks of Standing to the Northward. When the winds was westerly the mountains on Terra Del Fuego were generally cover'd with dense clowds, formed as one may reasonably suppose by watery exhalations and by vapours brought thither by the westerly winds: for from that quarter came frequent showers of Rain, Hail and Snow, and after we had left the land and was were standing to the Southward with the winds westerly dark dense clouds were continuely forming in the horizon and rose to about 45° where they began to disspate, these were generally attended with showers of rain or hail and Sqls of Wind; but as we advanced to the southward these clowds became less dence, and in ye Latd of 60°..10', where we got the winds Easterly ^ the weathr was more serene and milder, again as we advanced to the northward we had a constant clowded sky & dark gloomy weather, ye whole time exceedg cold -

Concepts in South Seas Companion: compass variation
Cultural Artefacts in South Seas Companion: log (nautical)
Natural Phenomena in South Seas Companion: snowy sheathbill

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