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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
15 - 16 August 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks



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On the 15th, about noon, we saw land again in latitude 13° S. also a continuation of the reef which ran along-side of it. In the evening, standing right in for land, we were alarmed by suddenly discovering that reef extended to leeward of us, upon which we hauled in our wind, and crouded all the sail we could, that we might be able to weather the farthest point of it. The wind was easterly this day, more moderate, and the swell of the sea less.

On the 16th, at the dawn of day, we had a reef under our lee, at about a mile distance, which alarmed us much. When it was quite light, we saw breakers all round us excepting to windward, where we came in. The wind sail-ing us about midnight, we tacked about, being afraid to stand any farther; and the winds still sailing was the cause that we drove on the reef, which we now neared apace. In this dilemma, we first hoisted out our small boats (the long boat being stowed, and the pinnace repairing) to tow her off, and got a pair of sweeps rigged out of the gun-room ports, to turn her head about. A slight puff of wind gave us some hopes of effecting it; but that sailing, we approached so near the breakers, that there was but one heave of the swell between them and the ship. However, with our pulling, the alteration of the tide, and another slight puff of wind, we cleared her a little more from the reef, and stood to where we saw a break in the reef to leeward, there we hoped, at least, to find ground to anchor upon; but, when we got to the entrance of it, we were driven off by a ripple of the tide that set out with great force; which, however, proved very providential, as we afterward found there were rocks in the passage, and that it was not a proper break. We then stood to windward, intending either to get out as we came in, or a little farther down to leeward, where the reef seemed detached; but, perceiving, soon after, the tops of some rocks in the passage, we declined attempting it. The wind again dying away, we were at a lots what to do for the best; but, at last, determined on sending some of our people in the boat to examine into the appearance of another break still farther to leeward; and, a light breeze springing up from the east, we resolved to push in there, though the passage was but narrow, which we happily accomplished, being assisted by the tide; and we anchored between the reef and the shore, in fifteen fathoms water; though, at the very edge of these reefs, we had no sounding at one hundred and fifty-five fathoms. At our first entrance into this place we had very unequal soundings; sometimes finding no bottom; and one fathom farther finding it with twenty fathoms of line. This, we apprehended, was occasioned by the coral rocks which rise up almost perpendicular. Latitude 12° 36.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 155 - 156, 2004
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