The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks/September 1770
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- 1770 September 1.
Distant as the land was a very Fragrant smell came of from it realy in the morn with the little breeze which blew right off shore, it resembled much the smell of gum Benjamin; as the sun gatherd power it dyed away and was no longer smelt. All the latter part of the day we had calms or light winds all round the compass, the weather at the same time being most intolerably hot.
- 1770 September 2.
Fresh breeze again at E. In the morn the sweet smell of yesterday was observd tho in a much smaller degree. In the even it was almost calm and again intensely hot.
- 1770 September 3.
After having saild all night along shore with a brisk breeze we found ourselves in the morn not far from it: It appeard as it had done whenever we had seen it before, uncommonly flat and low, not having so much as a slope in any part, the whole one grove of trees very thick and pleasant to all appearance. This was the sixth day we had now coasted along still upon the same bank of mud, which by its shoalness prevented our approaches near enough to make going ashore convenient. This delay and the loss of so many days fair wind when we well knew the SE Monsoon was nearly at an end was irksome to us all: it was therefore resolvd to run the ship in as near the shore as possible and then send off the pinnace, which might go ashore while the ship ply'd off and on and learn whether the produce of the countrey or the usage she might meet with from the inhabitants would be such as might induce us to search farther. We accordingly stood right in shore and at ½ past 8 had less than 3 fathm water 5 or 6 miles from the shore. The Captn Dr Solander and myself with the Boats crew and my servants, consisting in all of 12 men well armd, went in her and rowd directly towards the shore but could not get nearer than about 200 yards on account of the shallowness of the water; we quickly however got out of the boat and waded ashore leaving two in her to take care of her. We had no sooner landed than we saw the prints of naked feet upon the mud below High watermark, which convincd us that the Indians were not far off tho we had seen yet no signs of any. The nature of the countrey made it necessary for us to be very much upon our guard: the close thick wood came down to within less than 100 yards of the water, and therefore so near might the Indians come without our seeing them, and should they by numbers overpower us a retreat to the boat was impossible as she was so far from the shore. We proceeded therefore with much caution, looking carefully about us, myself and the Dr looking for plants at the edge of the wood and the rest walking along the Beach. In about 200 yards from our landing we came to a grove of Cocoa nut trees of a very small growth but well hung with fruit standing upon the banks of a small brook of brackish water. Near them was a small shed hardly half coverd with cocoa nut leaves, in and about which were infinite Cocoa nut shells, some quite fresh. We stayd under these trees some time admiring and wishing for the fruit, but as none of us could climb it was impossible to get even one so we even left them and proceeded in search of any thing else which might occur. We soon found Plantains and a single Bread fruit tree but neither of these had any fruit on them, so we proceeded and had got about a quarter of a mile from the boat when on a sudden 3 Indians rushd out of the woods with a hideous shout, about 100 yards beyond us and running towards us. The formost threw something out of his hand which flew on one side of him and burnd exactly like gunpowder, the other two immediately threw two darts at us on which we fird. The most of our guns were loaded with small shot which at the distance they were from us I suppose they hardly felt, for they movd not at all but immediately threw a third dart on which we loaded and fird again. Our Balls I suppose this time fell near them but none of them were materialy hurt as they ran away with great alacrity. From this specimen of the people we immediately concluded that nothing was to be got here but by force, which would of course be attended with destruction of many of these poor people, whose territories we had certainly no right to invade either as discoverers or people in real want of provisions; we therefore resolvd to go into our boat and leave intirely this coast to some aftercomer who might have either more time or better opportunities to gain the freindship of its inhabitants. Before we had got abreast of her however we saw the two people in her make signals to us that more Indians were coming along shore, and before we had got into the water we saw them come round a point about 500 yards from us. They had met probably the three who first attackd us for on seeing us they halted and seemd to wait till the main body should come up, nor did they come nearer us all the while we waded to her; they continued however with their fire to defy us and shouted very loud. When we were embarked and afloat we rowd towards them and fird some musquets over their heads into the trees, on which they walkd gradualy off continuing to throw abundance of their fires (whatever they migh[t] be designed for). We guessd their numbers to be about 100.
After we had lookd at them and their behaviour as long as we chose we returnd to the ship, where our freinds had sufferd much anziety for our sakes imagining that the fires thrown by the Indians were real musquets, so much did they resemble the fire and smoak made by the firing of one. The place where we landed we judgd to be near Cabo de la Colta de Santa Bonaventura, as it is calld in the French charts, about 9 or 10 lgs to the Southward of Keer Weer. We were not ashore upon the whole more than two hours so can not be expected to have made many observations. The Soil had all the appearance of the highest fertil[it]y but was coverd with a prodigious quantity of trees which seemd to thrive luxuriantly. Notwithstanding this the cocoa nut trees bore very small Fruit and the Plantains did not seem very thriving; the only breadfruit tree that we saw however was very large and healthy. There was very little variety of plants: we saw only 23 species every one of which was known to us, except perhaps the 1st and 2nd may prove upon comparison to be different from any of the many Species of Cyperus we have still undetermind from New Holland. Had we had axes to cut down the trees or could we have venturd into the woods we should doubtless have found more, but we had only an opportunity of examining the beach and edge of the wood. I am of opinion however that the countrey does not abound in variety of species, as I have been in no one before where I could not on a good soil have gatherd more by far with the same time and opportunity. Here follows the list:
Eugenia Butonica Mscr.
Commerlina communis Linn.
Vitex trifolia Linn.
Convolvulus Brasiliensis Linn.
Hibiscus tiliaceus Linn.
Solanum nigrum Linn.
Glycine speciosa Mscr.
Morinda citrifolia Linn.
Dolichos giganteus Mscr.
Chaitea Tacca Mscr.
Abrus precatorius Linn.
Lobelia Plumierii Linn.
Hedysarum umbellatum Linn.
Arum macroizum Linn.
Sitodium altile Mscr.
Coix Lacryma Jobi Linn.
Casuarina equisetifolia Mscr.
Guilandina Bonduccela Linn.
Musa Paradisaica Linn.
Cocos nucifera Linn.
The people as well as we could judge were nearly of the same colour as the New Hollanders, some thought rather lighter, they were certainly stark naked. Their arms that they made use of against us were very light ill made darts of Bamboo cane pinted with hard wood in which were many barbs; they may be shot them with bows but I am of opinion that they threw them with a stick something in the manner of the New Hollanders; they came beyond us about 60 yards, but not in a point blanc direction. Besides these many among them, may be a fifth part of the whole, had in their hands a short peice of stick may be hollow cane, which they swung sideways from them and immediately fire flew from it perfectly resembling the flash and smoak of a musquet and of no longer duration; for what purpose this was done is far above my guessing. They had with them several dogs who ran after them in the same manner as ours do in Europe.
The house or shed that we saw was very mean and poor. It consisted of 4 stakes drove into the ground, 2 being longer than the other two: over these were layd cocoa nut leaves loose and not half enough to cover it. By the cutting of these stakes as well as of the arrows or darts which they threw at us we concluded that they had no Iron among them.
As soon as ever the boat was hoisted in we made sail and steerd away from this land to the No small satisfaction of I beleive thre[e] fourths of our company the sick became well and the melancholy lookd gay. The greatest part of them were now pretty far gone with the longing for home which the Physicians have gone so far as to esteem a disease under the name of Nostalgia; indeed I can find hardly any body in the ship clear of its effects but the Captn Dr Solander and myself, indeed we three have pretty constant employment for our minds which I beleive to be the best if not the only remedy for it.
- 1770 September 4.
Brisk trade and fine weather. The alterd Countenances of our common people were still more perceivable than they were yesterday. Two thirds allowance had I beleive made the cheif difference with them, for our provisions were now so much wasted by keeping that that allowance was little more than was necessary to keep life and soul together.
- 1770 September 5.
During last night a low Island was seen and in the morn another, of a flat appearance but tolerably high. We supposd that these might be the Arow Isles as the latitude agreed very well, but if they were these Isles must be far nearer the Coast of New Guinea than any of our draughts place them. Many very large Blubbers (medusas) were seen, also Egg Birds, Bonitos and one Turtle. In the Eve we deepned our water to 50 fathm and saw then some small Mother Careys chickens (Proc. Fregata) about us which we always have lookd upon as a mark of being at a good distance from the Land. We saw also a man of war Bird, many Nectris's and Gannets; towards night a Booby (Pel ) settled on our rigging and was caught, the first we have met with in the voyage.
- 1770 September 6.
Pleasant trade: our water deepned to 180 fathm. A tropick bird and 2 black and white Gannets seen about the ship. At Noon a large high Island was in sight, possibly Timor Land, tho if so the charts have laid it down much too far to the Southward. The supposition of its being so made us think of Timor, which had been visited by our countrey man Dampier; this thought made home recur to my mind stronger than it had done throughout the whole voyage: the distance I now conceivd to be nothing very great.
- 1770 September 7.
Trade as brisk and pleasant as ever. Infinite flying fish about the ship, some nectris's and Man of War Birds, many Gannets also seen; at Night 2 Bobies were caught.
- 1770 September 8.
Much less wind today; many Gannets and Bobies were seen. At Night 2 of the latter were taken.
- 1770 September 9.
Light breezes and almost calm. Myself in my small boat a shooting killd 3 dozn. of Bobies and gannets; the last provd to be the Pelicanus Piscator of Linnaeus. At night a strong appearance of very high Land was observd to the Westward which causd many different opinions; the Seamen however in general insisted on its being clouds, an opinion which its unusual hight above the horizon considerd with respect to the faintness with which it appeard seemd much to favour.
- 1770 September 10.
Quite calm. The appearance of Land to the West was again seen and most of the seamen by it Convincd that it realy was such; some however still held to their former opinion. Many Dolphins were about the ship and one shark was caught at Sunset. The Land appeard again in exactly the same place which at last convinc'd our most sturdy unbeleivers.
- 1770 September 11.
By day Break in the morn another shark was caught: the two together weighing 126 lb were servd to the ships company and every man in her, I may venture to affirm, from the Captn to the Swabber dind heartily upon it. Many smoaks ashore.
- 1770 September 12.
As soon as the light was pretty clear the Land again appeard 5 or 6 Lgs off; by 7 the Wind came to west so we stood in for it. It was very high rising in gradual slopes from the hills which were in great measure coverd with thick woods; among them however we could distinguish bare spots of a large extent which at least look'd as if cleard by art; many fires were also seen on all parts of the hills, some very high up. At night fall we were within 1 and ½ miles of the Beach just abreast of a little inlet. The countrey seemd to answer very well the description which Dampier has given of Timor, the land close to the beach being coverd with high spiring trees which he likens to Pines (Casuarina) behind which was great appearance of Salt water creeks and many mangroves; in Parts however were many Cocoa nut trees close down to the Beach. The flat land seemd to reach in some places 2 or 3 miles before the rise of the first hill. We saw no appearance of Plantations or houses near the sea but the land looked most fertile, and from the many fires we had seen in different parts we could not help having a good opinion of its population.
- 1770 September 13.
With the wind as foul as ever we continued to ply along shore, not gaining much and being too far off to see any thing but large fires of which were several ashore. Our Croakers began now to talk of the westerly monsoon, and say that they had sometime thought that the unusual Briskness of the Trade wind for some days before we fell in with this Island was a sure prognostick of it.
- 1770 September 14.
Our Westerly wind still continued and we plyd with our usual success. Infinite albecores and bonetos were about the ship attended (as they always are when near land) by some species of Sterna; these were Dampiers New Holland Noddies which flew in large flocks hovering over the shoals of fish. Many Man of War birds also attended and Entertaind us by very frequently stooping at albecores so large that 20 times their strengh could not have lifted them, had they been dextrous enough to seize them which they never once effected.
- 1770 September 15.
Wind came fair today and left our melancholy ones to search for some new occasion of sorrow. There was much less of it than we could have wishd and yet enough to alter the appearance of the countrey very sensibly. The Island was now Hilly tho not near so high as it had been; the Hills in general came quite down to the sea and where they did not, instead of flats and mangrovy land, were immense groves of Cocoa nut trees; about a mile up from the Beach began the plantations and houses almost innumerable standing under the shade of large groves of Palms appearing like Fan Palm (Borassus); the Plantations which were in general enclosd with some kind of Fence reach'd almost to the tops of the Hills, but near the Beach were no certain marks of habitations seen. But what surpr[i]zd us most was that notwithstanding all these indisputable marks of Populous countrey we saw neither people nor any kind of cattle stirring all the day, tho our glasses were almost continualy employ'd.
- 1770 September 16.
Trade rather fresher than yesterday. Soon after breakfast the small Island of Rotte was in sight and soon after the opening appeard plain which at last convincd our old unbeleivers that the Island we has so [long?] been off was realy Timor. Soon after dinner we passd the Streights. The Island of Rotte was not mountanous or high like Timor but consisted of Hills and vales: on the East End of it some of our people saw Houses but I did not: the North side had frequent sandy beaches near which grew some few of the Fan Palm, but the greatest part was coverd with a kind of brushy trees which had few or no leaves upon them. The opening between Timor and the Island calld by Dampeir Anabao we plainly saw which appeard narrow. Anabao itself lookd much like Timor, only was rather less high: we saw on it no signs of cultivation, but as it was misty and we were well on the other side of the streights, which we judgd to be 5 Lgs over, we saw it but very indifferently. Off the Western end of it was a small low sandy Island coverd with trees; before night however we had left all behind us.
About 10 O'Clock a Phaenomenon appeard in the heavens in many things resembling the Aurora Borealis but differing materialy in others: it consisted of a dull reddish light reaching in hight about 20 degrees above the Horizon: its extent was very different at different times but never less than 8 or 10 points of the compass. Through and out of this passd rays of a brighter colourd light tending directly upwards; these appeard and vanishd nearly in the same time as those of the Aurora Borealis, but were entirely without that trembling or vibratory motion observd in that Phaenomenon. The body of it bore from the ship SSE: it lasted as bright as ever till near 12 when I went down to sleep but how much longer I cannot tell.
- 1770 September 17.
In the morn an Island in sight very imperfectly if at all laid down in the Charts. By 10 we were very near the East end of it; it was not high, but composd of gently sloping hills and vales almost intirely cleard and coverd with innumerable Palm trees; near the Beach were many Houses, but no people were seen stirring. Soon after we passd the NE point, and saw on the beach a large flock of sheep, but still no people: the North side of the Isle appeard scarce at all cultivated, but like that of Rotte coverd with thick brush wood almost or quite destitute of Leaves: among these as we pass'd along we saw numerous flocks of sheep, but no houses or plantations. At last however one was discoverd in a grove of Cocoa nut trees, and it was resolvd to send a boat in order to attempt a commerce with people who seemd so well able to supply our many Necessities. The ship ply'd off and on and a Lieutenant went: before he returnd we saw on the Hills 2 men on horseback, who seemd to ride as for their amusement, looking often at the ship--a circumstance which made us at once conclude that their were Europeans among the Islanders by whoom we should be receivd at least more politely than we were us'd to be by uncivilizd Indians.
After a very short stay he returnd bringing word that he had seen Indians in all respects as colour, dress etc. much resembling the Malays; that they very civily invited him ashore and conversd with him by signs but neither party could understand the other; they were totaly unarmd except the knives which they wore in their girdles and had with them a Jackass, a sure sign that Europeans had been among them.
In Plying off and on we had had no ground tho very near a Coral shoal which ran off from the Island, so had no hopes of anchorage here; it was therefore resolvd that we should go to the lee side of the Isle in hopes there to find a Bank; in the mean time however the boat with some truck should go ashore at the Cocoa nut grove in hopes to purchase some trifling refreshments for the sick in case we should be disapointed. It accordingly put off and Dr Solander went in it; before it reachd the shore we saw two new Horsemen, one of whoom had on a compleat European dress, Blue Coat, white waiscoat and lac'd hat: these as the Boat lay ashore seemd to take little notice of her but only Saunterd about looking much at the ship. Many more horse-men however and still more footmen gatherd round our people who were ashore, and we had the satisfaction of seeing several cocoa nuts brought into the boat, a sure sign that peace and plenty reignd ashore.
After a stay of about an hour and a half the boat made a signal of having had intelligence of a harbour to Leeward and we in consequence bore away for it. The boat following soon came on board and told us that the people had behavd in an uncommaly civil manner; that they had seen some of their principal people who were dressd in fine linnen and had chains of gold round their necks; that they had not been able to trade, the owner of the Cocoa nut trees not being there, but had got about 2 dozn of Cocoa nuts given as a present by these principal people, who accepted of Linnen in return and made them plainly understand by drawing a map upon the sand that on the Lee side of the Island was a bay in which we might anchor near a town and buy Sheep, hogs, fruits, fowls etc.; they talked much of the Portugese and of Larntuca on the Island of Ende, from which circumstance it was probable that the Portugese were somewhere on the Island tho none of the natives could speak more than a word or two of the Language, and the more so as one of the Indians in speaking of the Town made a sign of something we should see there which would shew us that we were right, by crossing his fingers, which a Portugese who was in the boat immediately interpreted into a cross, a supposition that appeard very probable; that just before they put off the man in a European dress Came towards them, but the officer in the boat not having his commission about him thoug[h]t proper to put off immediately without staying to speak to him or know what countrey man he was.
We saild along shore and after having passd a point of Land found a bay shelterd from the trade wind in which we soon discoverd a large Indian town or village, on which we stood in hoisting a Jack on the foretopmast head. Soon after to our no small surprize Duch Colours were hoisted in the town and 3 guns fird. We however proceeded and just at dark got soundings and anchord about 1½ miles from the shore.
- 1770 September 18.
In the morn the Boat with the 2nd Lieutenant went ashore and was receivd by a guard of 20 or 30 Indians armd with musquets, who conducted him to the town about a mile in the countrey, marching without any order or regularity and carrying away with them Duch Colours which had been hoisted upon the beach opposite to where the ship lay. Here he was introduc'd to the Radja or Indian King who he told by a Portugese interpreter that we were an English man of war who had been long at sea and had many sick on board, for whoom we wanted to purchase such refreshments as the Island afforded. He answerd that he was willing to supply us with every thing we should want, but being in alliance with the Duch East Indian Company he was not allowd to trade with any other people without their consent, which however he would immediately apply for to a Duchman belonging to that Company who was the only white man residing upon the Island. A letter was accordingly dispatchd immediately and after some hours waiting answerd by the man in Person, who assurd him with many Civilities that we were at liberty to buy of the natives whatever we pleasd. He express'd a desire of coming on board, as well as the King and several of his attendants, provided however that some of our people might stay on shore, on which two were left and about 2 they arrivd. Our dinners were ready and they readily agreed to dine with us. At setting down however the King excusd himself, saying that he did not imagine that we who were white men would suffer him who was black to set down in our company. A complement however removd his scruples and he and his prime minister sat down and eat sparingly. During all dinner time we receivd many professions of freindship from both the King and the European who was a native of Saxony by name Johan Christopr Lange. Mutton was our fare: the King expressd a desire of having an English sheep; we had one left which was presented to him. An English dog was then askd for and my greyhound presented to him. Mynheer Lange then hinted that a spying glass would be acceptable and was immediately presented with one. We were told that the Island abounded in Buffaloes, sheep, hogs, and fowls, all which should the next day be drove down to the Beach and we might buy any quantity of them. This agreable intelligence put us all into high spirits and the liquor went about full as much as either Mynheer Lange or the Indians could bear, who however expressed a desire of going away before they were quite drunk. They were receivd upon deck as they had been when they came on board, by the marines under arms: the King expresssd a desire of Seeing them excersise, which accordingly they did and fird 3 rounds, much to his majesties satisfaction, who expressd great surprize particularly at their so speedily cocking their guns, which he expressd by striking a stick upon the side of the ship saying that all the locks made but one click. Dr Solander and myself went ashore in the Boat with them; as soon as we put off they saluted the ship with three chears which the ship answerd with five guns.
We landed and walkd up to the town which consisted of a good many houses, some tolerably large, each being a roof of thach covering a boarded floor supported by Pillars 3 or 4 feet from the ground. Before we had been long there it began to grow dark and we returnd on board, having only just tasted their Palm wine which had a very sweet taste and suited all our palates very well, giving us at the same time hopes that it might be servicable to our sick, as being the fresh and unfermented juice of the tree it promisd ante-scorbutick virtues.
- 1770 September 19. Savu reached
In the morn we went ashore and proceeded immediately to the house of assembly, a large house which we had yesterday mistaken for the Kings Palace. This as well as 2 or 3 more in the Town or Negree as the Indians call it have been built by the Duch East Indian Company; they are distinguishd from the rest by 2 peices of wood, one at each end of the ridge of the house, resembling cows horns--undoubtedly the thing designd by the Indian who on the 17th made a sign of the mark by which we were to know the town by crossing his fingers, which our Catholick Portugese interpreted into a cross, from whence cheifly we were assur'd that the settlement was originaly Portugese. In this house of Assembly we met My [n]heer Lange and the Radja A Madocho Lomi Djara attended by many of the Principal people: we told them that we had in the boat an assortment of what few goods we had to truck with and desird leave to bring them ashore which was immediately granted and orders given accordingly. We then attempted to settle the Price of Buffaloes, sheep, hogs, etc. which were to be payd in money, but here Mynheer Lange left us and told us that we must settle that with the natives who would bring down large quantities to the Beach. By this time the morning was pretty far advanc'd and we, resolving not to go on board and eat salt meat when such a profusion of fresh was continualy talkd of, petitiond his majesty that we might have liberty to purchase a small Hog, some rice etc. and employ his subjects to cook them for our dinner. He answerd that if we could eat victuals dressed by his subjects, which he could hardly suppose, he would do himself the honour of entertaining us; we expressd our gratitude and sent immediately on board for liquors. About 5 O'Clock dinner was ready, consisting of 36 dishes or rather baskets containing alternately Rice and Boild Pork, and 3 earthen ware bowls of Soup or rather the Broth in which the Pork had been boild; these were rangd on the floor and matts laid round them for us to set upon. We were now conducted by turns to a hole in the floor near which stood a man with a basket of water in his hand; here we wash'd our hands and then rang'd ourselves in order round the victuals waiting for the King to set down. We were told however that the custom of the countrey was that the entertainer never sets down to meat with his guests, however if we suspected the victuals to be poisoned he would willingly do it; we suspected nothing and therefore desire'd that all things might go as usual; all then sitting down we eat with good appetites, the Prime Minister and My[n]heer Lange partaking with us. Our wine passd briskly about, the Radja alone refusing to drink with us saying that it was wrong for the master of the feast to be in liquor. The pork was excellent, the Rice as good, the broth not bad, the spoons only which were made of leaves were so small that few of us had patience to eat it: every one however made a hearty dinner and as soon as we had done removd, as the custom it seems was to let the Servants and seamen take our Places. These could not dispach all, but when the women came to take away they forcd them to take away with them all the Pork that was left.
Before dinner Mynheer Lange had mentiond to us a letter which he had in the morn receivd from the Governor of Timor: the particulars of it were now discussd. It acquainted him that a ship had been seen off that Island and had Steerd from thence towards that which we were now upon: in case such ship was to touch there in any distress she was to be supplied with what she wanted but was not to be allowd to make any stay more than was necessary, and was particularly requird not to make any large presents to the inferior People, or to leave any with the Principal ones to be distributed among them after he was gone. This we were told did not at all extend to the Beads or small peices of cloth which we gave the Natives in return for their small civilities, as bringing us palm wine etc. Some of our Gentlemen were of opinion that the whole of this Letter was an imposition but whether it was or not I shall not take upon myself to determine.
In the Evening we had intelligence from our trading place that No Buffelloes or hogs had been brought down, a few sheep only, which were taken away before our people who had sent for money could procure it; some few fouls however were bought and a large quantity of a kind of Syrup made from the Juice of the palm tree, which tho infinitely superior to melasses or treacle sold at a very small price. We complaind to Mynheer Lange. He said that as we had not ourselves been down upon the Beach the Natives were afraid to take money of any one else least it should be false. On this the Captn went immediately down but could see no cattle. While he was gone Mr Lange complaind that our people had yet offerd no gold for any thing; this he said the Islanders were displeasd at who had expected to have gold for their stock.
- 1770 September 20.
- 1770 September 21.
Notwithstanding our Freind Mr Lange invited us very kindly last night to come ashore again in the morn and we saw divers Jarrs of Syrup and sheep etc. waiting for us upon the Beach, a sure sign that the Radjas prohibition was not intended to prejudice trade in the least, We who had now got plenty of all the refreshments which the Isle afforded thought it most prudent to weigh and sail directly for Batavia; all our fears of Westerly winds being dissipated By Mr Lange's assuring us that the Easterly Monsoon would prevail for two Months longer. Accordingly we did so and soon passd by the small Island laying to the W about a leag[u]e from Savoo--its name has been unluckily forgot, Pulo Samiri, or some thing like it may be. In the Evening a small Island was in sight to the Southward; trade rather slack. One of the Buffaloes who was killd weig'd only 166 lb, which was a great draw back on our expectations, who thought that even that tho much the least of our stock would not weigh less than 300 lb.
- 1770 September 22.
Still but little wind. Many very large Albecores were leaping about the ship at night; some bobies but none were fools enough to settle on the Rigging.
- 1770 September 23.
Weather, Bobies and Albecores much as Yesterday. These light winds which would have been almost intolerable to empty stomachs sat pretty easily on our full ones.
- 1770 September 24.
Breeze freshning by very gradual degrees together with a long swell heaving in from the Southward, sure sign that there was now no more land to interrupt us in that direction, was an agreable subject of conversation. Infinite flying fish and bobies; some Gannets seen.
- 1770 September 25.
Trade, fish, Gannets, bobies and Conversation much as yesterday.
- 1770 September 26.
Trade rather slacker than it had been. Eat today a buttock of Buffaloe which had been 3 days in salt: it eat so well and had so thouroughly taken salt that it was resolvd to Salt meat for the ships company when our biggest Buffaloes who would weigh above 300 lb were killd.
- 1770 September 27.
Trade fresher and more to the S. Men of War birds, Gannets and Black Shearwaters in abundance.
- 1770 September 28.
Squally in the night with rain and fine fresh trade shov'd us on Merrily. Our beef experiment was this day tried and succeeded but scurvily. The meat which had been killd on the 26th was not salted till Cold: it hardly stunk: the outside which had been in absolute contact with the salt was quite good but under that which formd a crust of various thickness the meat was in a wonderfull manner corrupted; it lookd well but every fibre was destroyd and disolv'd so that the whole was a paste of the consistence of soft putty yet this hard[l]y stunk. Some Gannets and Man of War birds were about the Ship.
- 1770 September 29.
Fresh trade. More Gannets and Man of War birds than usual were seen, and one tropick bird which seemd to be of a brownish or buff colour but stayd a very short time about the ship.
- 1770 September 30.
Two more Buff colourd Tropick birds were about the ship in the morn in company with a white one which was one third at least larger than they were; From thence I am inclind to think that they may be the Paille-en-cul fauve of Brisson, Vol. VI, p. 489 and realy a distinct species. Besides these many Birds were about the ship, Man of War, Bobies, Gannets etc., who all flew nearer the ship and shewd less fear of her than usual; in the Eve many very small whiteish birds were seen which flew in flocks. We had all this day stood in directly for the Land, yet night came and tho many had seen Capes and Headlands in the air yet no real land was seen which made us rather uneasy, as we had great reason to suppose that we had overshot the Mouth of the Streights, no very agreable Idea. We had made 15' 30" of Longitude from the South end of Timor and thought our selves quite safe as La Neptune Oriental makes the difference to be 18' 40", yet when we recollected that our Countrey man Dampier makes only 14' we had reason to be uneasy; so at sun set we clap'd close upon a wind in order to make the best of our bargain howsoever it might turn out.