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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
2 - 5 September 1768

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks
Parkinson


Plymouth to Madeira


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Plymouth to Madeira (continued)

On Friday the 2d of September we saw land, between Cape Finister and Cape Ortegal, on the coast of Gallicia, in Spain; and on the 5th, by an observation of the sun and moon, we found the latitude of Cape Finister to be 42° 53’ North, and its longitude 8° 46’ West, our first meridian being always supposed to pass through Greenwich; variation of the needle 21° 4’ West.

During this course, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander had an opportunity of observing many marine animals, of which no naturalist has hitherto taken notice; particularly, a new species of the Oniscus, which was found adhering to the Medusa Pelagica; and an animal of an angular figure, about three inches long and one thick, with a hollow passing quite through it, and a brown spot on one end, which they conjectured might be its stomach; four of these adhered together by their sides when they were taken, so that at first they were thought to be one animal, but upon being put into a glass of water they soon separated, and swam about very briskly. These animals are of a new genus, to which Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander gave the name of Dagysa, from the likeness of one species of them to a gem: several specimens of them were taken adhering together sometimes to the length of a yard or more, and shining in the water with very beautiful colours. Another animal of a new genus they also discovered, which shone in the water with colours still more beautiful and vivid, and which indeed exceeded in variety and brightness any thing that we had ever seen: the colouring and splendour of these animals were equal to those of an Opal, and from their resemblance to that gem, the genus was called Carcinium Opalinum. One of them lived several hours in a glass of salt water, swimming about with great agility, and at every motion displaying a change of colours almost infinitely various. We caught also among the rigging of the ship, when we were at the distance of about ten leagues from Cape Finister, several birds which have not been described by Linnæus; they were supposed to have come from Spain, and our gentlemen called the species Motacilla velificans, as they said none but sailors would venture themselves on board a ship that was going round the world: one of them was so exhausted that it died in Mr. Banks’s hand, almost as soon as it was brought to him.


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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 2 - 3, 2004
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