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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
17 - 22 August 1770

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks



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On the 17th, in the morning, we sent some men in the boat to the reef for turtles and clams, but they returned without any of the former, and with but few clams, though they were of a large size.

The reefs were covered with a numberless variety of beautiful corallines of all colours and figures, having here and there interstices of very white sand. These made a pleasing appearance under water, which was smooth on the inside of the reef, while it broke all along the outside, and may be aptly compared to a grove of shrubs growing under water. Numbers of beautiful coloured fishes make their residence amongst these rocks, and may be caught by hand on the high part of the reef at low water. There are also crabs, molusca of various sorts, and a great variety of curious shell-fish, which adhere to the old dead coral that forms the reef.

On the 18th, we weighed anchor, and stood along shore on the inside of the reef, thinking that would be the safest and best way of finding the passage between New-Guinea and this land: we met with a great many islands, shoals, and reefs, and came to at night. We kept along shore till the 21st, and, at noon, in latitude 10° 36, we came to a great number of islands near the main land, which tended away to the S. W. We stood through between two of these islands, to the west, and found a very strong tide, which carried us along briskly, and gave us hopes that this was a passage between New Holland and New Guinea. At length we came to, and the pinnace was sent on shore to a spot where we saw some of the natives stand gazing at us, but when the boats company landed, they immediately fled. fled. The captain, and some others, went up to the top of a hill, and, seeing a clear passage, they hoisted a jack, and fired a volley, which was answered by the marines below, and the marines by three vollies from the ship, and three cheers from the main shrouds. The natives were armed with lances, and one of them had a bow in his hand. In other respects they were much like the people we saw last, being quite naked, and of a dark colour. This land was more rocky, and less sandy than we had lately seen, but still very barren; though the flats, indeed, were covered with many verdant trees. We also discovered very high land at a great distance to the N. E. which we took for the land of New Guinea.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 156 - 157, 2004
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