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9 June, 1770


On 9 June, 1770, James Cook wrote “At 6 oClock in the AM we were abreast of some small Islands which we called Frankland Isles that lay about 2 Leagues from the main land... [we] were in the Middle of the Channel at Noon... The point of land we were now abreast off I call'd Cape Grafton... Three Miles to the Westward of the Cape is a Bay [Mission Bay]  wherein we anchord about 2 Miles from the shore in 4 fathom water... a low green woody Island laying in the offing... and is known in the Chart by the name of Green Island. [Near modern day Cairns] As soon as the Ship was brought to an Anchor I went ashore accompaned by Mr Banks and Dr Solander, the first thing I did was to look for fresh water... I found two small streames which were difficult to get at on account of the surff and and rocks upon the shore. As we came round the Cape we saw in a Sandy Cove a small stream of water run over the beach, but here I did not go in the boat because I found that it would not be easy to land. We hardly advance[d] any thing into the Country, it being here hilly which were steep and rocky and we had not time to viset the low lands and therefore met with nothing remarkable. My intention was to have stay'd here at least one day to have looked into the Country had we met with fresh water convenient or any other refreshment, but as we did not I thought it would be only spending time and looseing so much of a light moon to little purpose, and therefore at 12 oClock at night we weigh'd and stood away to the NW”.

Sir Thomas Franklin was a rear-admiral.

August Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Grafton.


Joseph Banks wrote “Countrey much the same as it was, hills near the sea high, lookd at a distance not unlike Mores or heaths in England but when you came nearer them were coverd with small trees; some few flatts and valleys lookd tolerably fertile. At noon a fire and some people were seen. After dinner came to an Anchor and went ashore, but saw no people. The countrey was hilly and very stony affording nothing but fresh water, at least that we found, except a few Plants that we had not before met with. At night our people caught a few small fish with their hooks and lines”.

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