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7 September 1770
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7 September 1770

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Joseph Banks
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in Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine
7 September 1770

Friday 7th As I was not able to satisfy myself from any Chart what land it was we saw to Leeward of us and fearing that it might trend away more Southerly and the weather being hazey so that we could not see far, we steerd SW which Course by 4 oClock run us out of sight of the land    by this I was assured that no part of it lay to the Southward of 8°..15' So. We continued standing to the SW all night under an easy sail having the Advantage of a fresh gale at SEBE and ESE and clear Moon light,    we sounded every hour but had no bottom with 100 and 120 fathoms of line. At Day light in the Morning we steerd WSW and after wards WBS, which by Noon brought us into the Latitude of 9°..30' St and Longde 229°..34' West and by our Run from New-Holland Guinea ought to have been within sight of Wessels Isle which according to the Charts is laid down about 20 or 25 Leagues from the Coast of New-Holland — but we saw nothing by which I conclude that it is wrong laid down and this is not to be wonderd at when we consider that not only these Islands but the lands which bounds this sea have been discover'd and explor'd by different people and at different times and compiled and put together by others, perhaps some ages after the first discoveries were made. Navigators formerly wanted many of the helps to wards keeping an accurate Journal which the present Age is possess'd of, it is not they that are wholy to blame for the faultiness of the Charts, but the Compilers and Publishers, who publish to the world the rude sketches of the Navigator as accurate surveys without telling what authority they have for so doing, for were they to do this we should be than ^be as good ^or better judges than they and know where to depend upon the Charts and where not. Neither can I clear Seamen of this fault among the few I have known who are Capable of drawing a Chart ^or of sketch of a Sea Coast     I have generally, nay almost always observed them run into this error,  I have known them lay down the line of a Coast they never have seen and put down soundings where they never have sounded and after all ^are so fond of their performences as to pass'd the whole off as sterling under the Title of a Survey Plan &Ca These things must in time be attended with bad concequences and can not fail of bringing the whole of their works into disrepute; If he is so modest as to say such and such parts ^or the whole of his Plan is difective, the publishers or venders will have it left out because they say it hurts the sale of the work so that between the one and the other we can hardly tell when we are posessed of a good Sea Chart untill we our selves have proved it —


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© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 310, 2004
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