7 August 1770
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7 August 1770

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Joseph Banks



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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
7 August 1770

Tuesday 7th Strong gales at SE, SEBS & SSE with clowdy weather, At Low-water in the PM I and several of the officers kept a look out at the Mast head to see for a passage between the Shoals but we could see nothing but breakers all the way from the South round by the East as far as NW, extending out to sea as far as we could see, it did not appear to be one one continued shoal but several laying detach'd from each other, on the Eastermost that we could see the Sea broke very high which made me judge it to be the outermost, for on many of those within, the sea did not break high attall, and from about half flood to half Ebb they are not to be seen which makes the Sailing among them the more dangerous ^and requires great care & circumspection for like all other shoals or reefs of Coral Rocks they are quite steep too; altho the most of these shoals consist of Coral Rocks yet a part of some of them is sand, the Turtle Reef and some others have a small patch of sand generaly at the north end that is only cover'd at High-water,  these generaly discover themselves before we come near them ^Altho I speak of this as the Turtle Reef yet. It is not to be doubted but what there are Turtle upon the most of these reefs them as well as this one we fished upon. After having well View'd our situation from the mast head and I saw that we were surrounded on every side with dangers ^Shoals and no such thing as a passage to Sea but through the winding channels between them dangerous to the highest degree in so much that I was ———— quite at a loss which way to steer when the weather will ^would permit us to get under sail, for to beat back to the SE the way we came ^as the Master would have had me done would be an endless peice of work now on the other hand if we do not find a passge to the northward we shall have to come back at least as the winds blow now constantly strong from that quarter without hardly any intermission - ^on the other hand if we do not find a passage to the northd we shall have to come at last —

At 11 oClock the Ship drove and obliged us to bear away to a Cable and one third which brought us up again, but in the Morning the Gale increaseing she drove again this made us let go the Small Bower anchor and to bear away a whole cable on it and two on the other and even after this she still kept driving slowly untill we had got down Topgallant Mast, struck Yards and Topmasts close down and made all Snug than she rid fast C. Bedford — bearing WSW — distant 31/2 Leagues in this situation we had shoals to the eastward of us extending from the SE^BS to the NNW distant from the nearest part of them about two miles

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© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 273, 2004
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