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7 August, 1770

 

On 7 August, 1770, James Cook wrote “in the Morning the Gale increaseing she [Endeavour] drove again. This made us let go the Small Bower anchor and to bear away a whole cable on it and two on the other, and even after this she still kept driving slowly untill we had got down Topgallant Mast, struck Yards and Topmasts close down and made all Snug... Strong gales at SSE [continued] so much that I dirst not get up yards and Topmasts”.

 

Joseph Banks wrote “During last night the gale had freshned much and in the morn we found that we had Drove above a League. Fortunately no shoal had in that distance taken us up but one was in sight astern and the ship drove fast towards it, on this another anchor was let go and much cable verd out but even this would not stop her. Our prospect was now more melancholy than ever: the shoal was plainly to be seen and the ship still driving gently down towards it, a sea running at the same time which would make it impossible ever to get off if we should be unfortunate enough to get on. Yards and Topmasts were therefore got down and every thing done which could be thought of to make the ship snug, without any effect: she still drove and the shoal we dreaded came nearer and nearer to us. The sheet anchor our last resource was now thought of and prepard, but fortunately for us before we were drove to the making use of that expedient the ship stoppd and held fast, to our great joy. During the time of its blowing yesterday and today we became certain that between us and the open sea was a ledge of rocks or reef just the same as we had seen at the Islands, no very agreable discovery, for should that at any time join in with the main land we must wait for another season when different winds from the present ones prevaild; in which case we must infallibly be short of provisions or, if the turtle should fail us, Salt provisions without bread was all we had to trust to”.

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