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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
11 - 18 November 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Coastal views


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Coastal views (continued)

While we lay in this bay the natives brought us a great number of cray-fish, of an enormous size, which were very good. These were caught by women, who dived for them in the surf amongst the rocks. A long-boat full of rock oysters, too, were brought on board of us at one time, which were good food, and tasted deliciously. A little way up the river there were banks entirely composed of them. We also got abundance of parsley for the ships use; and, at the place where we watered, we found a great quantity of fern, the root of which partakes much of a farinaceous quality: the natives dry it upon the fire, then beat it upon a stone, and eat it instead of bread.

On the 16th, in the morning, the weather being very fair, we weighed anchor, and stood out to sea, but, having a strong breeze from the west, which was against us all this day and the next, being the l7th, we did nothing but beat to windward. The country in view appeared rather barren, and had but few signs of inhabitants. We saw several islands, which we named Mercury islands.

On the 18th, in the morning, we passed between the main and an island which appeared to be very fertile, and as large as Yoolee-Etea. Two canoes came to us from the main, having carved heads, like those we had seen in the bay of Opoorangee: one of them was longer than the other, and had sixty of the natives in her: they gazed at us awhile, and then gave us several heivos; but the breeze freshening, they were obliged to drop astern, and we soon left them. The coast hereabout is full of islands: the name of the largest is Waootaia; and one of the small ones is called Matoo Taboo. After we had passed this island, (the passage between which and the main we named Port Charles,) it seemed as if we were in a large bay, the land surrounding us on every side, excepting a-head, where we could discover none: we bent our course that way, and got, at length, inclosed between two shores, which seemed to form a kind of strait. Night coming on, we anchored here, not daring to venture farther, as we knew not whether we were in a strait or a bay. The land on both sides of us appeared very broken, and had a high and bold shore, tolerably well cloathed with verdure; but it appeared to be thinly inhabited; nor did we see any signs of cultivation. There are many small islands along the shore, among which are some good harbours.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 105 - 106, 2004
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