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1 July, 1770


On 1 July, 1770, James Cook wrote “In the AM a party of men (one from each mess) went again afishing and all the rest I gave leave to go into the Country knowing that there was no danger from the natives. To day at noon the Thermometer in the shade ris [rose] to 87º which is two or three degrees higher then it has been on any day before... In the PM the fishing party caught as much fish as came to 2 pound a man, those that were in the Country met with nothing new”.


Joseph Banks wrote “Being Sunday all hands were ashore on liberty, many animals were seen by them. The Indians had a fire about a league off up the river. O[u]r second Lieutenant found the husk of a Cocoa nut full of Barnacles cast up on the Beach; probably it had come from some Island to windward, From Terra del Espirito Santo possibly as we are now in its latitude. The ship was now finishd and tomorrow being the highest spring tide it was intended to haul her off, so we began to think how we should get out of this place, where so lately to get only in was our utmost ambition. We had observ’d in coming in innumerable shoals and sands all round us so we went upon a high hill to see what passage to the sea might be open. When we came there the Prospect was indeed melancholy: the sea every where full of innumerable shoals, some above and some under water, and no prospect of any streight passage out. To return as we came was impossible, the trade wind blew directly in our teeth; most dangerous then our navigation must be among unknown dangers. How soon might we again be reducd to the misfortune we had so lately escapd! Escapd indeed we had not till we were again in an open sea”.

Espirito Santo is one of the islands of Vanuatu, named by Pedro Fernandez De Quiros in 1606.

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