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20 May, 1770

 

On 20 May, 1770, James Cook wrote “we continued untill we had plainly discoverd breakers a long way upon our lee bow which seemd to stretch quite home to the land, we than edge'd away... [a] point of land... bore S¾W distant 20 Miles, this point I have named Sandy Cape [on Fraser Island] on accou[n]t of two very large white patches of Sand upon it, it is of a height sufficient to be seen 12 Leagues in clear weather... we kept along the East side of the shoal untill 2 oClock when judging that there was water for us over I sent a boat a head to sound... This Shoal I call'd Break Sea Spit, because now we had smooth water whereas upon the whole Coast to the Southrd of it we had allways a high sea or swell from ye SE”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “At day break the land in sight terminated in a sandy cape behind which a deep bay ran in [Hervey Bay], across which we could not see; our usual good fortune now again assisted us, for we discoverd breakers which we had certainly ran upon had the ship in the night saild 2 or 3 leagues farther than she did. This shoal extended a long way out from the land for we ran along it till 2 O’Clock and then passed over the tail of it in seven fathom water; the Sea was so clear that we could distinctly see the bottom and indeed when it was 12 and 14 fathom deep the colour of the sand might be seen from the mast head at a large distance. While we were upon the shoal innumerable large fish, Sharks, Dolphins &c. and one large Turtle were seen; A grampus of the middle size Leapd with his whole body out of water several times making a Splash and foam in the sea as if a mountain had fallen into it. At sun set a few Bobies flew past towards the NW”.

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