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31 December, 1770

 

On 31 December, 1770, James Cook wrote “At 5 AM wieghd with the wind at WBS which afterwards proved Var[ia]ble. At Noon Bantam point SW½W distant 3 Leagues... In the PM stood over for the Sumatra shore having the wind at SSW a fresh breeze and the current in our favour; but this last shifted and set to the Eastward in the evening, and obliged us to Anchor in 30 fathom under the Islands which lay off Verckens point, which point constitutes the narrowest part of the Streights of Sunday [Sunda Strait]”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “This day in Entering the Narrows we found some dificulty, and at night came to an anchor under some small Islands on the Coast of Sumatra almost abreast of Thwart the Way [Sangiang], from whence we saw a large Dutch Ship at an anchor under North Island, a small Island likewise on the Sumatra Coast to the N of us.

Sumatra in this place was very woody and seemd but thinly inhabited; there were however some cleard spots and a few fires seen”.

 

Sunda Strait lies between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.

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