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24 February, 1770

 

On 24 February, 1770, James Cook wrote “At 8 AM saw the land extending as far as SWBS which we steer'd directly for and at Noon we were in the Latitude of 45° 22' S the land in sight extending from SW½S to NNW, makeing high and hilly... In the PM steerd SWBS and SW edging in for the land having the advantage of a fresh gale at north which I was over desirious of makeing the most of and by that means carried away the Main Top gt mast and Fore topmast studding sail boom, but these were soon replaced by others. Altho we kept at no great distance from the shore yet the weather was so hazey that we could see nothing destinct upon the land only that there were a ridge of pretty high hills lying parallel with and but a little way from the sea-coast which lies SBW and NBE and seem'd to end in a high bluff point to the Southward which we run the length of by 8 oClock, when being dark and not knowing which way the Land trended we brought too for the night”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “Fresh breeze of wind and fair so we went along shore briskly but kept so far off from it that no observations could be made: we can only say that we did not see any fires, other signs of people we could not have seen by reason of our distance had they been ever so numerous or conspicuous. In the evening the land ahead inclind a good deal to the West. We were now on board of two parties, one who wishd that the land in sight might, the other that it might not be a continent: myself have always been most firm for the former, tho sorry I am to say that in the ship my party is so small that I firmly beleive that there are no more heartily of it than myself and one poor midshipman, the rest begin to sigh for roast beef”.

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