Table of Contents
On this day ...
18 - 25 August 1770
Endeavour Voyage Maps
We were obliged to keep a constant look-out while we passed between the reef and the land, as it was full of shoals, reefs, sandy keys, and small islands; and had we not come in again, we should not have found a passage.
On the 23d, we had light breezes from the N. and S.W. with some calms, and were certain of being in a strait, which seemed to be not very remote from the river Van Speult in Carpentaria; the land to the north being made up of a cluster of islands. We found shallow water all through this strait, which we named Endeavour Straits; and went over a bar that had only three fathoms and a half water. About noon, we saw a small island covered with birds-dung of a white colour, and some of our people went off in a boat, and shot a score of birds called Boobies.
On the 24th, in the morning, the cable broke in weighing up the anchor, which obliged us to drop another, and detained us all day sweeping for it with much trouble; but, the next morning, we got it up, and soon after were under way, and stood on to the N. W. with a fine breeze from the east. About two o’clock, in the afternoon, we were much alarmed by finding ourselves amongst a parcel of small shoals. These shoals were discovered by the water’s appearing a little brownish. They consisted of rocks upon which there were only two and three fathoms water; and, though there was a pretty large swell, they did not break. There was one not half a cable’s length from the ship. We had not more than from six to eleven fathoms water in this sea when we were out of sight of land. After examining around for the safest way to get clear of these shoals, we weighed anchor and stood out, first southerly, and then to the west, till we deepened our water to eleven fathoms; and then supposed that we passed near some part of that great shoal, stretching round part of the island of Hogeland, on the north of Carpentaria.
© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 157 - 158, 2004
Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
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