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On this day ...
4 July - 3 August 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

New Holland


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New Holland (continued)

On the 4th of July, the ship was carried to the other side of the river, and examined thoroughly; but, being found in good condition, she was soon placed in her former station; where she was loaded, and properly fitted to proceed on the voyage.

During the time we staid here, we picked up a great many natural curiosities from the reef we struck upon, consisting of a variety of curious shells, most of which were entirely new to Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. We met also with many new species of fish. Madrepores and other curious corals; sea-weed and other beautiful marine productions.

On shore we were not less successful. Of vegetables, we found Glycine rosea, which yields a sort of bean purslain, that eats very well, boiled; Cicas circinalis, the kernels of which, roasted, tasted like parched pease; but it made some of our people sick, who ate of it: of this fruit, they make a kind of sago in the East-Indies: we cut down many of them for the cabbage, which is very good food. We found also a black purple fruit, with a kernel in it which had a flat sweet taste; two sorts of fruit like pears, having stony sides, somewhat like the Guava, and of a very indifferent taste; a small-leaved plant, that smelt like lemon and orange peel, and made an agreeable substitute for tea; the E peea, Taro, E ow-haee, and E peepee, of Otaheite: also wild Plantain, like the Meyia of Otaheite, which is very full of seed, and has hardly any pulp; a sort of fig-tree, that bears fruit on the main stem, which tastes very insipid; the Etee and Eroa, of which the natives of Otaheite make the bed lines; many gum-trees, and a great number of other plants, among which was a beautiful Nymphea, with blue and white petala.

Of birds, we found grey pigeons, with red beaks and reddish brown crests, which ate very well; two sorts of small doves; two sorts of beautiful perroquets; a very uncommon hawk, pied black and white; several other sorts of hawks; large black cocatoes, with scarlet and orange-coloured feathers on their tails, and some white spots between the beak and the ear, as well as one on each wing; wing; the goat-sucker, or churn-owl; merops, or bee-eaters; large bats; a small bird, with wattles of a deep orange red; a bird like a Tetrao, having wattles of a fine ultramarine colour, and whose beak and legs were black; an owl, having the iris of its eyes gold colour, the pupil of them dark blue; a large black and white gull, with a bright yellow beak, on the gibbous part of which was a spot of scarlet; the corners of its mouth, and irides of the eyes, were of a bright scarlet colour; the legs and feet a greenish yellow: a black-bird, of the oyster-cracker genus, with a bright red beak, except toward the point, where it was yellow; the iris of its eyes scarlet; the irides of them bright orange; the feet and legs of a pale-red colour: a large olive-coloured bird of the loxia genus, having the iris of its eyes of a gall-stone colour, and the pupils of them black: a black and white shag, the iris of whose eyes was of a fine dark-green colour, the pupils black; the skin which surrounded the eyes was of a verditer-green colour; the beak a pale grey; on each side of which was a bare yellow spot; the feet were black: a large pigeon, the iris of the eyes of which was of a blood colour, the pupils of them black; their irides of a carmine colour; its legs and feet pale red. The two last were taken in a bay called Tasmano Bay. The black and white hawk before-mentioned, had the iris of its eyes very broad, of a rich scarlet colour, inclining to orange; the beak was black, the cera dirty grey yellow; the feet were of a gold or deep buff colour, like kings-yellow. Besides these, we saw many other curious birds.

Of quadrupeds, there are goats, wolves, a small red animal about the size of a squirrel; a spotted one of the viverra kind, and an animal of a kind nearly approaching the mus genus, about the size of a grey-hound, that had a head like a fawns; lips and ears, which it throws back, like a hares; on the upper jaw six large teeth; on the under one two only; with a short and small neck, near to which are the fore-feet, which have five toes each, and five hooked claws; the hinder legs are long, especially from the last joint, which, from the callosity below it, seems as if it lies flat on the ground when the animal descends any declivity; and each foot had four long toes, two of them behind, placed a great way back, the inner one of which has two claws; the two other toes were in the middle, and resembled a hoof, but one of them was much larger than the other. The tail, which is carried like a grey-hounds, was almost as long as the body, and tapered gradually to the end. The chief bulk of this animal is behind; the belly being largest, and the back rising toward the posteriors. The whole body is covered with short ash-coloured hair; and the flesh of it tasted like a hares, but has a more agreeable flavour.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 144 - 146, 2004
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