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5 July, 1770

 

On 5 July, 1770, James Cook wrote “At low water in the PM had hardly 4 feet water under the ship yet could not repair the sheathing that was beat off the place being all under water. One of the Carpenters crew, a Man I could trust, went down and examined it and found three streaks of the sheathing gone about 7 or 8 feet long and the Main plank a little rub'd, this accou[n]t agrees with the report of the Master and others that were under her bottom before. The Carpenter [John Satterley] who I look upon to be well skilld in his profission and a good judge of these matters was of opinion that this was of little concequence, and as I found that it would be difficult if not impractical for us to get under her bottom to repair it, I resolved to spend no more time about it. Accordingly at High-water hove her off and Moor'd her along side the beach where the stores &ca lay”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “Went to the other side of the harbour and walkd along a sandy beach open to the trade wind. Here I found innumerable fruits, many of Plants I had not seen in this countrey; among them were some Cocoa nuts that had been open’d (as Tupia told us) by a kind of Crab, calld by the Dutch Beurs Krabbe (Cancer Latro) that feeds upon them. All these fruits were incrusted with sea productions and many of them Coverd with Barnacles, a sure sign that they have come far by sea, and as the trade wind blows almost right on shore they must have come from some other countrey - probably that discoverd by Quiros and calld Terra del Esprito Santo as the Latitudes according to his own account agree pretty well. Tupia who parted from us and walkd away a shooting, on his return told us that he had seen 2 people who were digging in the ground for some kind of roots; on seeing him they ran away with great precipitation”.

The Coconut-opening Crab, Birgus latro.

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