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1 October, 1769

 

On 1 October, 1769, James Cook wrote “At 8 AM soundd but had no ground with a 120 fathom of line. saw an emence number of Birds the most of them were Doves, saw likewise a Seal a Sleep upon the water which we at first took for a crooked Billet, these creatures, as they lay upon the water hold their Fins up in a very odd manner and very different to any I have seen before; we generally reckon that seals never go out of soundings or far from land, but the few we have seen in this sea is certainly an excepton to that rule, however one would think that we were not far from some land from the peices of Rock weed we see daily floating upon the water. To day we took up a small peice of stick but to all appearences it had been a long time at sea. Little wind. At 3 PM houisted out a Boat to try the current but found none, saw several Grampusses”.

Joseph Banks wrote “Very little wind and yet vast quantities of small birds are about the ship which has been to us a very uncommon sight in such fine weather; a Seal seen from the ship. Several peices of sea weed are taken and among them a peice of wood quite overgrown with sertularias; it must have been a long time at Sea yet more hopes are drawn from this than the sea weed, as we now have in our possession a part of the produce of our Land of Promise. Among the weed are many sea insects which are put into spirits weed wood and all, so we shall at least have this to shew. Several whales have been seen today”.

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