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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
19 - 21 May 1770

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James Cook
Joseph Banks
Parkinson


Range from Botany Bay to Trinity Bay


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Range from Botany Bay to Trinity Bay (continued)

At noon on the 19th, we were about four miles from the land, with only thirteen fathom. Our latitude was 25° 4’ and the northermost land in sight bore N. 21 W. distant eight miles. At one o’clock, being still four miles distant from the shore, but having seventeen fathom water, we passed a black bluff head, or point of land, upon which a great number of the natives were assembled, and which therefore I called INDIAN HEAD: it lies in latitude 25° 3’. About four miles N. by W. of this Head, is another very like it, from whence the land trends away somewhat more to the westward: next to the sea it is low and sandy, and behind it nothing was to be seen, even from the mast-head. Near Indian Head we saw more of the natives, and upon the neighbouring shore fires by night, and smoke by day. We kept to the northward all night, at the distance of from four miles to four leagues from the shore, and with a depth of water from seventeen to thirty-four fathom. At day-break, the northermost land bore from us W.S.W. and seemed to end in a point, from which we discovered a reef running out to the northward as far as we could see. We had hauled our wind to the westward before it was light, and continued the course till we saw the breakers upon our lee bow. We now edged away N.W. and N.N.W. along the east side of the shoal, from two to one mile distant, having regular soundings from thirteen to seven fathom, with a fine sandy bottom. At noon, our latitude, by observation, was 20° 26’, which was thirteen miles to the northward of the log: we judged the extream point of the shoal to bear from us about N.W. and the point from which it seemed to run out, bore S. ¾ W. distant twenty miles. This point I named SANDY CAPE, from two very large patches of white sand which lay upon it. It is sufficiently high to be seen at the distance of twelve leagues, in clear weather, and lies in latitude 24° 45’, longitude 206° 51’: the land trends from it S.W. as far as can be seen. We kept along the east side of the shoal till two in the afternoon, when, judging that there was a sufficient depth of water upon it to allow passage for the ship, I sent the boat a-head to sound, and upon her making the signal for more than five fathom, we hauled our wind, and stood over the tail of it in six fathom. At this time we were in latitude 24° 22’, and Sandy Cape bore S. ½ E. distant eight leagues; but the direction of the shoal is nearest N.N.W. and S.S.E. It is remarkable that when on board the ship we had six fathom, the boat, which was scarcely a quarter of a mile to the southward, had little more than five, and that immediately after six fathom we had thirteen, and then twenty, as fast as the man could cast the lead: from these circumstances, I conjectured that the west side of the shoal was steep. This shoal I called the BREAK SEA SPIT, because we had now smooth water, and to the southward of it we had always a high sea from the S.E. At six in the evening, the land of Sandy Cape extended from S. 17 E. to S. 27 E. at the distance of eight leagues; our depth of water was twenty-three fathom: with the same soundings we stood to the westward all night. At seven in the morning, we saw, from the mast-head, the land of Sandy Cape bearing S.E. ½ E. distant about thirteen leagues: at nine, we discovered land to the westward, and soon after saw smoke in several places. Our depth of water was now decreased to seventeen fathom, and by noon we had no more than thirteen, though we were seven leagues from the land, which extended from S. by W. to W.N.W. Our latitude at this time was 24° 28’ S. For a few days past we had seen several of the sea birds called boobies, not having met with any of them before; last night a small flock of them passed the ship, and went away to the N.W. and in the morning, from about half an hour before sun-rise, to half an hour after, flights of them were continually coming from the N.N.W. and flying to the S.S.E. nor was one of them seen to fly in any other direction; we therefore conjectured that there was a lagoon, river, or inlet of shallow water, in the bottom of the deep bay, to the southward of us, whither these birds resorted to feed in the day, and that not far to the northward there were some islands to which they repaired in the night. To this bay I gave the name of HERVEY’S BAY, in honour of Captain Hervey. In the afternoon, we stood in for the land, steering S.W. with a gentle breeze at S.E. till four o’clock, when, being in latitude 24° 36’ about two leagues from the shore, and having nine fathom water, we bore away along the coast N.W. by W. and at the same time could see land extending to the S.S.E. about eight leagues. Near the sea the land is very low, but within there are some lofty hills, all thickly clothed with wood. While we were running along the shore, we shallowed our water from nine to seven fathom, and at one time we had but six, which determined us to anchor for the night.


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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 516 - 519, 2004
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