The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks/August 1768

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1768 August 25. Departed Plymouth

After having waited in this place ten days, the ship, and everything belonging to me, being all that time in perfect readyness to sail at a moments warning, we at last got a fair wind, and this day at 3 O'Clock in the even weigd anchor, and set sail, all in excellent health and spirits perfectly prepard (in Mind at least) to undergo with Chearfullness any fatigues or dangers that may occur in our intended Voyage.

1768 August 26.

Wind still fair, but very light breezes; saw this Even a shoal of those fish which are particularly calld Porpoises by the seamen, probably the Delphinus Phocaena of Linnaeus, as their noses are very blunt.

1768 August 27.

Wind fair and a fine Breeze; found the ship to be but a heavy sailer, indeed we could not Expect her to be any other from her built, so are obligd to set down with this Inconvenience, as a nescessary consequence of her form; which is much more calculated for stowage, than for sailing.

1768 August 28.

Little wind today; in some sea water, which was taken on board to season a cask, observed a very minute sea Insect, which Dr Solander describd by the name of Podura marina. In the Evening very calm; with the small casting net took several specimens of Medusa Pelagica, whose different motions in swimming amus'd us very much: among the appendages to this animal we found also a new species of oniscus. We took also another animal, quite different from any we had Ever seen; it was of an angular figure, about 3 inches long and one thick, with a hollow passing quite through it. On one end was a Brown spot, which might be the stomach of the animal.

Four of these, the whole number that we took, adherd together when taken by their sides; so that at first we imagind them to be one animal, but upon being put into a glass of water they very soon separated and swam briskly about the water.

1768 August 29.

Wind foul: Morning employd in finishing the Drawings of the animals taken yesterday till the ship got so much motion that Mr Parkinson could not set to his Pencil; in the Evening wind still Fresher so much as to make the night very uncomfortable.

1768 August 30.

Wind still Foul, ship in violent motion, but towards Evening much more quiet: Now for the first time my Sea sickness left me, and I was sufficiently well to write.

1768 August 31.

Wind Freshend again this morn; observ'd about the Ship several of the Birds calld by the seamen Mother Careys chickens, Procellaria Pelagica Linn. which were thought by them to be a sure presage of a storm, as indeed it provd, for before night it blew so hard as to bring us under our Courses, and make me very sea sick again.