The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks/December 1770

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1770 December 1.

About this time Dr Solander had a return of his fever which increasd gradualy for 4 or 5 days, when he became once more in imminent danger.

1770 December 7.

We receivd the agreable news of the ships arrival in the road, having compleated all her rigging etc. etc. and having now nothing to take in but provisions and a little water. The people on board however were extremely sickly and several had dyed, a circumstance necessarily productive of delays; indeed had the ships company been strong and healthy we should have been before now at Sea.

Dr Solander had chang'd much for the better within these two last days, so that our fears of losing him were intirely dissipated, for which much praise is due to his ingenious Physician Dr Jaggi who at this Juncture especialy was indefatigable.

1770 December 14.

Arrivd the Earl of Elgin Indiaman Captn Cooke, having lost her passage to China, and being in want of anchors, cables and other stores. Dr Solander continued to mend tho slowly.

1770 December 16.

Arrivd the Phoenix Captn Black, a private trader from India. Our departure being now very soon to take place, I thought it would be very convenient to cure the ague which had now been my constant companion for many weeks; accordingly I took decoction of bark plentifully, and in three or 4 days missd it. I then went to town, settled all my affairs and remaind impatient to have the day fix'd.

1770 December 24.

The 25th Xmas day by our account being fixd for sailing, we this morn hird a large countrey Praw, which came up to the door and took in Dr Solander, now tolerably recoverd, and carried him on board the ship where in the evening we all joind him. See Account of Batavia, below

1770 December 25.

There was not I beleive a man in the ship but gave his utmost aid to getting up the Anchor, so compleatly tird was every one of the unwholesome air of this place. We had buried here 8 people, in general however the Crew was in rather better health than they had been a fortnight before.

While we were at work a man was missd who it was supposd did not intend to stay ashore, so a boat was sent after him, which before its return delayd us so long that we lost intirely the sea breeze, and were obligd to come too again a few cables lenghs only from where we lay before.

1770 December 26.

Weighd and having very faint land breeze got no farther than to the Island of Edam.

1770 December 27.

Sea breeze was faint again today so that we got but little on our way.

1770 December 28.

We had a good sea breeze which carried us to Maneaters Island where we anchord for the night.

1770 December 29.

We were again fortunate and at night anchord under Pulo Babi.

1770 December 30.

This day in Entering the Narrows we found some dificulty, and at night came to an anchor under some small Islands on the Coast of Sumatra almost abreast of Thwart the Way, from whence we saw a large Dutch Ship at an anchor under North Island, a small Island likewise on the Sumatra Coast to the N of us.

Sumatra in this place was very woody and seemd but thinly inhabited; there were however some cleard spots and a few fires seen.

1770 December 31.

Workd all day against the wind hoping to see some boat come off to us which might sell us fruits or greens, but none came.