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On this day ...
4 - 14 August 1770

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James Cook
Joseph Banks



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Some of our people, in a pinnace, went in search of a passage to go out of the bay, and landed on a coral reef, where they met with a great number of shells; and, among the rest, the spondylus, and a large fort of trochus, or top-shell, with which they loaded the boat.

On the 4th of August, in the morning, we weighed anchor, left the harbour, and steered N. E. till we were near the Turtle Reefs; there we anchored again, and sent the boats on shore, which returned with a turtle, a large skate, and a great number of clams, a sort of cockle, some of them very large.

On the 5th, it blew so hard that we could not weigh anchor till afternoon, and then we stood to the N. E. but, meeting with several shoals, we were obliged to cast anchor again, as the wind blew fresh, and were detained till the 10th. On the morning of which we weighed anchor again, but the wind blowing hard from the S. S. E. we drove, and were obliged at length to let go two anchors, and rode by the first with near two hundred fathoms of cable.

We had chiefly strong gales of wind after the suns approach toward us from the tropic of Capricorn; and, on account of the many shoals hereabout, we did not go directly out to sea, but kept near the shore, and passed by some low islands well covered with trees.

We also saw three high islands, and sailed betwixt them and the main: the latter appeared very low, barren, and sandy.

Toward evening we were on a sudden alarmed by the appearance of land all round us: the weather being hazy, and the wind blowing fresh, we hauled in our wind, and came to under a bluff point of the main.

On the 13th, in the morning, we weighed anchor, and stood to the eastward, close to one of the high islands which we had passed before, and so on through a break of the reef, which was about half a mile wide. This reef, which the captain discovered from the top of the last-mentioned island, ran farther than the eye could reach, on the outermost side of all the rest, like a wall, and the sea broke very high upon it: We found no sounding in the passage, latitude 14° 38, and we stood to the N. E. in order to get out to sea, intending to keep to the north-ward on the morrow.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 154 - 155, 2004
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