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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
7 - 30 December 1768

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks
Hawkesworth


From England


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From England (continued)

On the 7th of December, 1768, our necessary provisions, and other supplies, having been taken on board, we left the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, coasting along the Brazils, and met with nothing worthy of note till the 22d of the same month, except, that in coming out of the harbour, Mr. Flowers, an experienced seaman, fell from the main shrouds into the sea, and was drowned before we could reach him.

On the 22d, we saw a great many birds of the procellaria genus, in latitude 39° 37’ S and longitude 49° 16’ W. and we also met with shoals of porpoises of a very singular species.

On the 23d of December, we observed an eclipse of the moon; and about seven in the morning a bright cloud in the west, from which a stream of fire proceeded: it bore away to the westward, and about two minutes after we heard two loud explosions like that of a cannon; and then the cloud soon disappeared.

On the 24th, we caught a logger-head tortoise, which weighed one hundred and fifty pounds; and shot several birds, one of which was an albatros, that measured, from the tip of one wing to the other, nine feet one inch; and from the beak to the tail two feet one inch and a half. Some time after, we met with some birds of the same kind that measured fourteen feet from the tips of the wings.

The thermometer, in the middle of the day, was from 66 to 69; and in the evening 62, when the air was not so dry.

On the 29th, we saw several parcels of rock weed; and, from this time to the 30th, the weather was very unsettled; the wind sometimes blowing very hard, at others only a moderate gale; and then quite calm.

For several evenings, swarms of butterflies, moths, and other insects, flew about the rigging, which we apprehended had been blown to us from the shore. Thousands of them settled upon the vessel, Mr. Banks ordered the men to gather them up; and, after selecting such as he thought proper, the rest were thrown overboard; and he gave the men some bottles of rum for their trouble.



People in South Seas Companion: Flower, Peter

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 5 - 6, 2004
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