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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
22 February - 8 April 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Terra del Fuego



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Terra del Fuego (continued)

Continuing our course N. westerly, between the Dolphin’s first and second track, on the 4th of April, about three o’clock in the afternoon we discovered land; and after two hours sailing we approached near to it. It is a flat island, ex-tending a great length from E. to W. describing the form of a crescent; and has a sand-bank joined to it, on which the surf ran very high. In the middle of the island, there is a large salt lagoon, or lake; and at the east end of it are many palm trees. We saw clouds of smoke ascend from different parts, pro-ceeding, as we apprehended, from sires kindled by the natives, and designed as signals to us. Night came on before we could discover the west end of the island; and not knowing but there might be more islands, we lay-to all night, and the next morning we saw another in latitude 18° 23’, which, on account of a great salt lagoon in the middle of it, we called Lagoon-Isle: Before noon we made another low island, which we called Thumb-cap Island. It stretched a long way, and is made up of several parcels of land joined together by reefs; it has also a lagoon inclosed with a reef, upon which we discovered many canoes; some having ten people in them, and others a lesser number. As we sailed along, the natives followed us, some on the reef, others in canoes, and seemed desirous to have an intercourse with us; but though we beckoned to them, they would not come off. They appeared to be very stout men; their complexion almost black, with short hair, and quite naked, having long lances, or poles, in their hands. Some of them waded up to the neck in water to look at us, but they did not discover any hostile intentions. Their canoes had out-riggers, with mat-sails: and when we put away from the land one of them followed us.

Upon these islands we saw a variety of verdant trees, amongst which were some palms; and upon the coast, rocks of coral appeared above water. We discovered some of their huts, and several sires burning around them. The land formed a large semicircular bay, and the reef before it the same figure; and the water was as smooth as a mill-pond, and abounded with flying-fish; but, to our surprise we could not reach the bottom of it with 130 fathom of line, at one mile distance from the shore.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, page 12, 2004
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