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26 May, 1770

 

On 26 May, 1770, James Cook wrote “At 6 in the AM we weigh'd with the wind at South a gentle breeze and stood away to the NW... [In the PM] we fell into 3 fathom water upon which I anchor'd and sent away the Master with two boats to sound the Channell which lay to leeward of us between the Northermost Island and the Mainland which appeard to me to be pretty broad but I susspected that it was shoald and so it was found for the Master reported to me the upon his return that he found in many places only 2½ fathoms and where we lay at Anchor we had only 16 feet which was not 2 feet more then the Ship draw'd.”

 

Joseph Banks wrote “Standing into a channel with land on both sides of us and water very shoal, many rocky Islets, the main land very rocky and barren; at 1 the Water became so shallow that we came to an anchor. While the ships boats were employd in sounding round about her myself in my small boat went a shooting and killd several bobies and a kind of white bird calld by the seamen Egg bird [Crested Tern]... Before I went out we tried in the cabbin to fish with hook and line but the water was too shoal (3 fhm) for any fish. This want was however in some degree [supplied] by Crabs of which vast numbers were on the ground who readily took our baits, and sometimes held them so fast with their claws that they sufferd themselves to be hawld into the ship”.

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