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23 August 1770
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23 August 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
Joseph Banks
Parkinson
Hawkesworth


1770

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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
23 August 1770

Thursday 23d In the PM had little wind and variable with which and the Tide of Flood we Kept advancing to the WNW ^depth of Water 8, 7, 6 and 5 fathom At half an hour past one oClock the Pinnace which was ahead made the Signal for shoal water upon which we Tack'd and sent away the Yawl to sound also and then Tack'd again and stood after them with the Ship: Two hours after this they both at once made the Signal for having shoal water and it being now near High water I was afraid to stand on for fear of runing a ground at that time of the Tide - and therefore came to an Anchor in 1/4 less 7 fathom sandy ground. Wallice's Islands set at Noon bore SBW1/2W distant 5 or 6 Miles the Islands to the northward extending from St 73° East to N. 10° Et and a small Island just in sight bearing NW1/2W; here we found the flood Tide set to the westward and Ebb the Contrary   After we had come to anchor I sent away the Master with the Long boat to sound who upon his return in the evening reported that there was a bank stretching north and south upon which were 3 fathom water and behond it 7 fathom. We had it calm all night and untill 9 oClock in the Morning at which time we weigh'd with a light breeze at SSE and steer'd NWBW for the small Island above Mentioned having first sent the Boats ahead to sound; depth of water 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 fm when upon the Bank, it being now the last quarter Ebb, at this time the Most northermost Island we had in sight bore N 9° East, the SW point of the largest Island on the NW side of the passage , which point I nam'd Cape Cornwell bore East distant ——— two 3 Leagues and Wallace's — Isles bore So 3° East distant 3 Leagues; this bank at least so much as we sounded extends nearly North and South how far I cannot say, its breadth however is not more than a quarter or at most half a mile; being over the bank we deepen'd our water to a 1/4 less 7 fathom which depth we carried all the way to the small Island a head which we reached by Noon, at which time it bore South distant near half a Mile, depth of water 5 fathom, the most Northermost land we had in sight / being part of the same chain of Islands we have had to the northward of us sence we enterd the passage / bore N 71° East - Latd by in by observation 10°..33' St Longitude 219°..22' Wt In this situation we had no part of the Main Land in sight. Being now near the Island and having but little wind Mr Banks and I landed upon it and found it to be mostly a barren Rock frequented by birds such as Boobies a few of which we Shott and occasioned my giving it the Name of Booby Island. I made but avery short stay at this Island before I returnd to the Ship. in the mean time the wind had got to the SW and altho it blowed but very faint yet it was accompaned with a swell from the same quarter this together with other concuring circumstances left me no room to doubt but we were got to the NW of Car Westward of Carpentaria or the Northern extremety of New-Holland and had now an open Sea to the westward, which gave me no small satisfaction not o^nly because the danger and fatigues of the Voyage was drawing near to and end, but by being able to prove that New-Holland and New-Guinea are 2 Seperate Lands or Islands, which to untill this day hath been a doubtful point with Geographers — The N.E. entrance of this Passage or Strait lies in the Latitude of 10°..27' So and in the Longitude of 218°..36 — West from the Meridian of Greenwich. It is form'd by the Main of New-Holland, or the Northern extremety of New-Holland on the SE and by a Congeries of Islands to the NW ^which I Named Prince of Wales's Islands which last It is very Probable ^that these Islands extend quite to New-Guinea they are of Various extend both for height and circuit and ma^ny of them seem'd to be indifferently ^well cloathed with wood ^&Ca and from the smooks we saw upon some ^if not all of them must be inhabited. It is ^also very probable that among these Islands are as good if not better passages than the one we have come thro', altho one need hardly wish for a better was the Access to it from the Eastward less dangerous, but this difficulty will remain untill some better way is found out than the one we came, which no doubt by may be done was it ever to become an object to be look'd for; the Northern extent of the Main or outer Reef which limets or bounds the Shoals to the Eastward seems to be the only thing wanting to clear up this point, and this was a thing I had neither time nor inclination to go about having been already sufficiently harrass'd with dangers without going to look for more —

This passage, which I have named Endeavours Straights after the name of the Ship. It — is in length NE and SW 7 l0 Leagues and about 45 leagues broad, except at the NE and ^entrance where it is only 2 Miles broad by reason of several small Islands which lay there, one of which call'd Posession Island which is of a moderate height and circuit ^this we left between us and the Main, passing between it and two small round Islands which lay NW 2 Miles from it, there are also two small low Islands ^call'd Wallice's Isles - laying in the Middle of the S.W. entrance which we left to the Southward, the depth of water we found in the Straight was from 4 to 9 fathom every where good anchorage; only about 2 Leagues to the northward of the I ^Wallice's Islands above mentioned is a Bank whereon is not more than three fathom at low-water, but probably there might be found more was it sought for — I have not been particular in discribing this Strait no more than I have been in pointing out the respective situations of the Islands Shoals &Ca ^on the eastern coast of New Wales — of New Holland, for these I refer to the Chart, where they are delineated with all the Accuracy that circumstances would admit of; with respect to the Shoals that lay upon this Coast I must observe for the benifit of those who may come after me, that I do not beleive the one half of them are laid down in my chart, for it would be obsurd to suppose that we could see or find all all the above one half them all, and the same thing may in some measure be said of the Islands especially about ^between the Latitude of 20° & 22° - where we saw Islands out at Sea as far as we could distinguish any thing. However take the Chart in general and I beleive it will be found to contain as few errors as most Sea Charts which have not undergone a thorough correction, the Latitude and Longitude of all or most of the principal head lands. Bays &Ca may be relied on, for we seldom faild of geting an Observation every day to correct our Latitude by and the observation for fixing ^Settleing the Longitude were no less numberous and made as often as the Sun and Moon came in play, so that it was impossible for any material error to creep into our reckoning in the intermidiate times. In justice to Mr Green I must say that he was Indefatigable in making and calculating these observations which otherwise must have taken up a great deal of my time, which I could not at all times very well spare. Not only this, but by his Instructions several of the Petty officers can make and Calculate these observations almost as well as himself: it is only by such means that this method of finding the Longitude at Sea can be put into universal practice, a method that we have generally found may be depended upon to ^within half a degree; ^which is a degree of accuracy more than Sufficient for all Nautical purposes. Would Sea officers once apply themselves to the makeing and calculating these observations they would not find them so very difficult as they at first imagine, especially with the help ^assistance of the Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris ^by the help of which the calculations for finding the Longde takes up but little more time than that of an Azimuth for find the Varin of the compass but unless this Ephemeris is publishd for some time to come more than either one or two Years it can never be of general use in long Voyages, and in short Voyages its not so much wanting; without it the Calculations are laborious and discouraging to beginers and such as are not well Vers'd in these kind of calculations —

[At this point in the manuscript, Cook commences his general description of New South Wales]


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