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18 January, 1770

 

On 18 January, 1770, James Cook wrote “in the morning the Coopers went about triming [the casks] and the Carpenters went to work to black the bends, Caulk the sides and to repair other defects in the Ship, while the Seamen were employ'd in the hold, cutting Wood &ca &ca. I made a little excursion in the Pinnace in order to take a View of the Bay, accompanied by Mr Banks and Dr Solander, We met with nothing remarkable and as we were on the west side of the Bay where the land is so closely cover'd with Wood that we could not penetrate into the Country”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “After breakfast we went in the pinnace to explore some parts of the bay which we had not seen, as it was immensely large or rather consisted of numberless small Harbours, coves &c; we found the countrey on our side of the Bay very well wooded every where but on the opposite side very bare. In turning a point today we saw a man in a small canoe fishing who to our surprize shewd not the least fear of us. We went to him and quite alongside his Canoe, he all the while following his occupation. On our desiring him he took up his netts and shewd us his machine, which was a circular net about 7 or 8 feet in diameter extended by 2 hoops; the top of this was open and to the bottom was tied sea Ears [shell-fish] &c. as bait; this he let down upon the ground and when he thought that fish enough were asembled over it he lifted it up by very gentle and even motion, so that the fish were hardly sensible of being lifted till they were almost out of the water. By this simple method he had caught abundance of fish and I beleive it is the general way of Fishing all over this coast, as many such netts have been seen at almost every place we have been in. In this bay indeed fish were so plenty that it is hardly possible not to catch abundance whatever way is made use of.

In the course of this days excursion we shot many shaggs from their nests in the trees and on the rocks. These birds we roast or stew and think not bad provisions, so between shaggs and fish this is the place of the greatest plenty of any we have seen”.

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