The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks/February 1771

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1771 February 1.

Fine brisk trade kept up our spirits and helpd to raise me fast. Two of the people died today Nevertheless.

1771 February 2.

Breeze continued today: the Surgeon began to think that the rapid progress of the disease was checkd by it but declard at the same time that several people were still without hopes of recovery.

1771 February 3.

Some of the people who were the least affected began now to shew signs of amendment but two of the bad ones died notwithstanding.

1771 February 4.

Weather fine: as no one had been taken ill since we got the trade wind we were now well convin[c]d of its salutary effects.

1771 February 5.

Weather as usual but tho' it prevented it could not cure intirely our disease, one more dying of it today.

1771 February 7.

Our people who were not very bad before the 1st of this month were now almost universaly recoverd, but there were still several in the ship who at that time were very bad; these remaind unalterably the same neither becoming better nor worse. Through the whole course of this distemper Medicine has been of little use, the Sick generaly proceeding gradualy to their end without a favourable symptom, till the change of weather stopd in a manner instantaneously the Malignant quality of the disease.

1771 February 8.

A large Dutch ship in sight but she soon outsaild us as her fellows had done before her.

1771 February 11.

One more of the people died.

1771 February 12.

Another died.

1771 February 14.

A third died today; neither of these people had grown either better or worse for many days.

1771 February 18.

An uncommonly large Number of Tropick birds were about the ship this day.

1771 February 20.

Lost another man.

1771 February 24.

An Albatross seen, the first sign we have had of approaching the South again which we have for some days done pretty fast.

1771 February 26.

Lost 3 more people today, and got the Wind at NE for the first time it has varied from the true trade.

1771 February 27.

At 4 this morn we were taken aback by a strong breeze of wind at SW, not without some danger as our people yet only recovering from their late Illnesses had scarce strengh to get the ship before the wind. All morn it blew fresh from the same point but at night veerd round to South. Many Albatrosses and sheerwaters were about the ship all day.

1771 February 28.

Wind still at south, blew fresh but weather dry and clear; in the Even came to SE. Several fish were about the ship.