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On this day ...
11 June - 3 July 1770

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James Cook
Joseph Banks

New Holland


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New Holland (continued)

In the midst of these gloomy prospects and alarming apprehensions, we found means to stop the leak, by a method suggested to us by an officer, who had, in a former voyage, made use of it with success: we sewed a great quantity of hair and oakum to a large piece of canvas, which we let down by two ropes, one on each side of the bow of the ship: in making way, she sucked this under, close to her bottom; and, when it reached the leak, it was forced in by the intruding water, and obstructed its passage so much, that we kept it under with a single pump. Providentially, too, at this instant, a breeze sprang up, and we steered towards the land, the boats going before, in quest of a harbour, which they also happily found, at about two or three leagues distance. On the 14th of June, we dropped anchor in the mouth of it; but the entrance into it was so narrow, that we were obliged to place buoys all the way, to steer by. While we lay on the rock, it was calm; and, from the time we left it, till this day, it blew gently; but now it began to blow hard, which prevented us from getting into the bay till the 18th; when we reached the desired haven, though not without some danger, the ship having several times touched the ground.

When we threw the guns overboard, we fixed buoys to them, intending, if we escaped, to have heaved them up again, but, on attempting it, we found it was impracticable.

Soon after we arrived in the bay, we laid the ship on a steep bank, on the side of a river; set up tents on shore, unloaded her, carried all the cargo and provisions into them, and there lodged and accommodated our sick.

On the 22d, we examined the ships bottom, and found a large hole; through the planks into the hold, which had a piece of coral-rock, half a yard square, sticking in it: the fame rock, therefore, that endangered us, yielded us the principal means of our redemption; for, had not this fragment intruded into the leak, in all probability the ship would have sunk.

We lost no time, but immediately set about repairing the ships bottom, and in a few days made it found again. In the mean time, the boats were sent out, in search search of another passage, which they found, and returned to the ship on the 3d of July.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 143 - 144, 2004
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