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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
5 - 7 December 1768

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Madeira to Rio de Janeiro


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Madeira to Rio de Janeiro (continued)

On Monday the 5th, it being a dead calm, we weighed anchor and towed down the bay; but, to our great astonishment, when we got abreast of Santa Cruz, the principal fortification, two shot were fired at us. We immediately cast anchor, and sent to the fort to enquire the reason of what had happened: our people brought us word, That the Commandant had received no order from the Viceroy to let us pass; and that, without such an order, no vessel was ever suffered to go below the fort. It was now, therefore, become necessary that we should send to the Viceroy, to enquire why the necessary order had not been given, as he had notice of our departure, and had thought fit to write me a polite letter, wishing me a good voyage. Our messenger soon returned with an account, that the order had been written some days, but by an unaccountable negligence not sent.

We did not get under sail till the 7th; and, when we had passed the fort, the pilot desired to be discharged. As soon as he was dismissed, we were left by our guard-boat, which had hovered about us from the first hour of our being in this place to the last: and Mr. Banks, having been prevented from going ashore at Rio de Janeiro, availed himself of her departure to examine the neighbouring islands, where, particularly on one in the mouth of the harbour called Raza, he gathered many species of plants, and caught a variety of insects.

It is remarkable, that, during the last three or four days of our staying in this harbour, the air was loaded with butterflies: they were chiefly of one sort, but in such numbers that thousands were in view in every direction, and the, greatest part of them above our mast-head.

We lay here from the 14th of November to the 7th of December, something more than three weeks, during which time Mr. Monkhouse, our Surgeon, was on shore every day to buy our provisions; Dr. Solander was on shore once; I was several times on shore myself, and Mr. Banks also found means to get into the country, notwithstanding the watch that was set over us. I shall, therefore, with the intelligence obtained from these Gentlemen, and my own observations, give some account of the town, and the country adjacent.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 26 - 27, 2004
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