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October - December 1770

 

Civil Time, Ship’s Time and the Date Line

 

When Joseph Banks recorded events in his journal, he used civil time, meaning that each day begins at midnight.  So 10 am comes before 2 pm on the same day.  However, in the eighteenth century, naval officers used nautical or ship’s time rather than civil time.  Ship’s time means that each day begins at noon.  So 2 pm comes before 10 am.  Hence, Captain Cook’s journal entries begin with the events of the afternoon, followed by midnight, followed by those of the morning, and end with noon.

 

As Endeavour was sailing westwards across the Pacific, she crossed 180° longitude on 7 October, 1769.  The journal writers should have adjusted their dates for the lost day.  However, they did not do so until they reached Batavia, and were told that what they thought was 10 July, 1770, was really 11 July.  The International Date Line was not established until 1854. 

 

In this article I shall use civil time as recorded by Joseph Banks, unless I slip up.

 

Rounding Java, and on to Batavia

 

On 1 October, 1770, Endeavour entered Sunda Strait, which lies between the islands of Sumatra and Java.  At 6 o’clock, Captain Cook saw “Java head or the west end of Java... and at 10 oClock Saw the Island of Cracatoa bearing NE, this is a remarkable high Peaked Island”.  Krakatoa was the volcanic island that exploded violently on 26 August, 1883.

 

The following morning he “sent a boat ashore to try to get some fruits for Tupia who is very ill, and likewise to get some grass &ca for the Buffaloes” purchased at Savu two weeks earlier.  A Dutch Ship was seen at anchor.  Cook “sent Mr Hicks to inquire after news”.  Lieutenant Zachary Hickes returned with “the Agreeable News of His Majestys Sloop the Swallow [Captain Philip Carteret] being at Batavia about two years ago”.  According to Joseph Banks, Hicks was also told “the goverment in England were in the utmost disorder... that the Americans had refus’d to pay taxes of any kind in consequence of which was a large force being sent there both of sea and land forces”.  In addition, “In relation to our present circumstances they told us that our passage to Batavia was likely to be very tedious, as we should have a strong current constantly against us and at this time of the year Calms and light breezes were the only weather we had to expect”.

 

The next day a Dutch ship came alongside Endeavour, “to take an account of the Ship”, wrote, Cook, and “to sell us Refreshments, for in the boat were Turtle, Fowls, Birds &ca”.  The Dutch officer was told only that they came from Europe.

 

During the week that followed Cook frequently had to let go the anchor to prevent Endeavour drifting backwards with the current, when there was little or no wind.

 

On 5 October, another Dutch officer boarded with “a printed paper in English Containing 9 Articles or Questons”, of which Cook answered only the “first and fourth”, namely “To What Nation the Ship belongs and its Name” and “Where unto design’d to go”.  Cook noted “I am well inform’d that it is but of very late Years that the Dutch have taken upon them to examine all ships that pass these Streights”.

 

As they sailed north along the west coast of Java, and then west towards Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia), they passed several islands, including one called “Wapping Island” (now Pulau Tidung), and a group called “Thousand Islands”, or Milles Isles, though there are only about 300 of them. 

 

On 8 October, Banks and Daniel Solander “went ashore on a small Islet belonging to the Milles Isles...  The whole was not above 500 yards long and 100 broad yet on it was a house and a small plantation, in which however at this time was no plant from whence any profit could be derivd except Ricnus palma Christi, of which the Castor oil is made in the West Indies...  We found very few species of plants but shot a Bat whose wings measurd 3 feet when strechd out... and 4 plovers exactly like our English golden plover... with these and the few plants we returnd”.

 

Arrival at Batavia

 

On 9 October, Cook “Anchor’d in Batavia Road where we found the Harcourt Indiaman from England, 2 English Country Ships, 13 Sail of Large Dutch Ships and a number of Small Vesels”.  According to Banks, “A boat came immediately on board us from a ship which had a broad Pendant flying, the officer on board her enquird who we were &c and immediately returnd.  Both himself and his people were almost as Spectres, no good omen of the healthyness of the countrey we were arrived at; our people however who truly might be calld rosy and plump, for we had not a sick man among us”. 

 

Cook “sent Lieutt Hicks a Shore to acquaint the Governor of our Arrival and to make an Excuse for not Saluting, as we could only do it with three Guns I thought it was better let a lone for it was thought the swivles could not be heard”.  Swivel guns are mounted on pivots, usually on a ship’s rail.  

 

The following day was, wrote Cook, “Wednesday 10th. according to our reckoning, but by the Peop[l]e here Thursday 11th”.

 

John Satterley, the carpenter, wrote a report about Endeavour’s leak which meant “she makes from twelve to six Inches pr Hour”.  Cook “consulted with the Carpenter and all the other officers concerning the Leake, and they were all unanimously of opinion that it was not safe to proceed to Europe without first seeing her bottom.  Accordingly I resolved to apply for Leave to heave her down at this place, and as I understood that this was to be done in writeing I drew up a Request and in the Morning had it translated into dutch in order to be laid before the Governor”.

 

Petrus Albertus van der Parra (1714-1775) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, based in Batavia, from 1761 to 1775.  He was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 

 

On 12 October, Cook “went a shore to the Councel Chamber and laid my Request before the Governor and Councel, who gave me for answer that I should have every thing I wanted”.  Two days later Cook “went a shore and waited upon the Shabander, who has the derection of the Town, port &ca to get an order to the Superintendant at Unrust to Receive us at that Island, but this I was told would not be ready before Tuesday next”.  The Shabander transacted business between foreigners and the council.  Onrust Island (Pulau Kapal) was where the Dutch repaired all of their ships.  Sydney Parkinson described it as an island “about seven miles from Batavia; where there is proper tackle to heave them down, and a bass, or overseer, to manage all matters. The whole island is one dock-yard, inhabited entirely by carpenters, and others, who belong to the ships that are there”.  Near it lay another island “called the Kuypers, or Coopers [now Cipir], which is full of warehouses, where ships deposit their goods while they are heaving-down”.

 

Cook did not have enough money to pay for the necessary repairs, so he applied to borrow some, and “drew up a request which I laid before the Governor and Counc[e]l this Morning (16th) in concequence of which the Shapbander had orders to supply me with what mony I wanted out of the Companys Treasure”.  Two days later, he was able to take “up our Anchor and Run down to Onrust.  At 9 Anchord in 8 fathom off Coopers Island which lies close to Onrust, there are Warfes at both of these Islands and ships land there stores some times on the one and some-times on the other, but it is only at Onrust where the proper conveniences are for heaving down”, i.e. turn the ship onto her side to give access to her bottom. 

 

It was not until 20 October, that “orders came down to the officers of the Yard to comply with every thing I wanted, but we could not yet get to a warfe to land our stores, they being all taken up by shipping”.  But it was another two days before Endeavour was “hauld along side one of the Warfes, in order to take out our stores &ca, after which the Ship is to be deliverd into the Charge of the proper officers at Onrust, who will (as I am inform’d) heave her down and repair her with their own people only, while ours must stand and look on”. 

 

Emptying Endeavour took over ten days.  Cook frequently wrote in his journal “Employ’d geting out Store[s], Ballast &ca” or “Employ’d clear[ing] the Ship”.  Finally, on 1 November, he was able to write “Got every thing out of the Ship and all Clear for going along side the Carreening Warfe”. 

 

Reporting Home

 

Cook had a duty to inform the Admiralty of the progress of his voyage.  The last time he had done so was when Endeavour was at Rio de Janeiro, December 1768.  Soon after his arrival at Batavia, he “had just time to write two or three lines to Mr Stephens Secretary of the Admiralty to acquaint him of our Arrival” before a ship left for Holland. 

 

A week later, on 23 October, Cook “went up to Town in order to put on board the first Dutch Ship that Sails a Packet for the Admiralty containing a Copy of my Journal, a Chart of the South Sea, a nother of New Zeland and one of the East Coast of New Holland”.  They were taken aboard Kronen­burg, part of the Dutch East India Company (VOC or Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie).  She had sailed from Texel, Holland, on 29 December, 1769, arriving at Batavia on 16 July, 1770.  Her captain was Fredrik Kelger.  After leaving Batavia, she arrived at Texel on 25 May, 1771.  She called at the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope during both voyages.  She had sailed this route many times.

 

The journal that Cook was sent was not his original, but a copy produced by his clerk, Richard Orton.  It is now held in the Mitchell Library, part of the State Library of New South Wales. 

 

Sydney Parkinson, the artist, also wrote home.  On 16 October, he wrote to his cousin Mrs Jane Gomel­don (1720-1779) saying, “I am so hurried and flutter­ed about here; but, when I considered what a pleas­ure it would give thee to hear of our safe arrival here, I though it would be unjust to withhold it...  We had many hair-breadth escapes...  I have spared no pains, during the voyage, to pick up every thing that is curious for thee; and I flatter myself that I shall make a considerable addition to thy museum.  In most things we have been very successful, and have made great discoveries”.

 

He also wrote that day to fellow Quaker Dr John Fothergill (1712-1780) saying, “I hope it will suffise to inform you that we have done great things this Voyage, having been very successful in discoveries of Land, in Astronomy & natural History having got an amazing number of new subjects in that way”. 

 

It is unclear whether Joseph Banks or Daniel Solander wrote home during the stay at Batavia.

 

Life in the Town

 

Upon arrival at Batavia, Banks decided to leave Endeavour, and live in the town.  He “went to the house of Mr Leigth, the only English man of any Credit Resident in Batavia”, who advised there were “two alternatives, either to go to the Hotel, a kind of Inn kept by order of goverment where it seems all Merchant strangers are obligd to reside... we however having come in a Kings Ship were free from that Obligation and might live where ever we pleas’d... we concluded that the Hotel would be the best for us, certainly the least troublesome and may be not vastly the most expensive”.  To begin with the food provided was terrible.  However, “we found that it was the constant custom of the house to supply strangers at their first arrival with every article as bad as possible, which if they through good nature or indolence put up with it was so much the better for the house; if not it was easy to amend their treatment by degrees till they were satisfied”.  Banks did, indeed, make “frequent remonstrances”, and the food improved.

 

However, after a few days, Banks “hird a small house next door to the hotel...  I also hird 2 Carriages which are a kind of open Chaises made to hold two people and drove by a man setting on a Coachbox... now being fairly settled we sent for Tupia ashore to us who had till now remaind on board on account of his Illness which was of the Bilious kind, and for which he had all along refusd to take any medecines”.  

 

It is probable that Tupaia’s servant Taiata went with him.

 

Banks continued, “On his arrival his spirits which had long been very low were instantly raisd by the sights which he saw, and his boy Tayeto who had always been perfectly well was allmost ready to run mad.  Houses, Carriages, streets, in short every thing were to him sights which he had often heard describd but never well understood, so he lookd upon them all with more than wonder... he danc’d about the streets examining every thing to the best of his abilities.  One of Tupia’s first observations was the various dresses which he saw worn by different people; on his being told that in this place every different nation wore their own countrey dress.  He desird to have his, on which South Sea cloth was sent for on board and he cloathd himself according to his taste.  We were now able to get food for him similar to that of his own countrey and he grew visibly better every day, so that I doubted not in the least of his perfect recovery as our stay at this place was not likely to be very short”.

 

News of the French Pacific Expedition

 

It was during their stay at Batavia that they heard about the voyage around the world of Louis de Bougainville in in Boudeuse and Étoile.  One day, as Banks was “walking the streets with Tupia a man totaly unknown to me ran out of his house and eagerly acosting me askd if the Indian whoom he saw with me had not been at Batavia before.  On my declaring that he had not and asking the reason of so odd a question he told me that a year and a half before Mr De Bougainville had been at Batavia with two French ships, and that with him was an Indian so like this that he had imagind it to be the identical same person had not I informd him to the contrary.  On this I enquir’d and found that Mr De Bougain­ville who was sent out by the French to the Malouine or Fauklands Islands...  Had gone from thence to the River Plate... and afterwards came here Across the South seas in which passage he discoverd divers lands unknown before and from one of them brought the Indian in question.  This at once cleard up the account given us by the Indians of Otahite of the two ships which had been there ten Months before us”.  Bougainville had been at Tahiti in April 1768, and taken to France an islander called Ahutoru.  They had called briefly at Batavia in October 1768.  Cook and Banks were at Tahiti from April to July, 1769.

 

Ill Health Sets In

 

On 15 October, Cook had written, “I had forgot to mention that upon our arrival here I had not one man upon the Sick list, Lieutt Hicks Mr Green and Tupia were the only People that had any complaints Occasion’d by a long continuence at sea”.  Although they were ill, Cook had decided they were not bad enough to put them on the official list of sick people. 

 

On shore, Tupaia “grew worse and worse every day.  Then Tayeto his boy was attackd by a cold and i[n]flammation on his lungs”, wrote Banks.  “Then my Servants Peter [Briscoe] and James [Roberts] and myself had Intermitting fevers and Dr Solander a constant nervous one; in short every one on shore and Many on board were ill, cheifly of intermittents, Occasiond no doubt by the lowness of the countrey and the numberless dirty Canals which intersect the town in all directions”. 

 

Cook did not comment on the sick until 26 Octo­ber, when he wrote, “set up the Ships Tents for the reseption of the Ships Company, several of them begin to be taken ill owing as I suppose to the extre­em hot weather”.  They were on Coopers Island.  Both William Brougham Munkhouse, the surgeon, and William Perry, the surgeon’s mate, became ill. 

Those on shore “now began sensibly to feel the ill Effects of the unwholesome climate we were in”, wrote Banks.  “Our appetites and spirits were gone but none were yet realy sick except poor Tupia and Tayeto, both of which grew worse and worse daily so that I began once more to despair of poor Tupias life.  At last he desird to be removd to the ship where he said he should breathe a freeer air clear of the numerous houses which he beleivd to be the cause of his disease by stopping the free draught”.

 

On 28 October, Banks went with Tupaia “to Kuyper [Coopers Island] and on his liking the shore had a tent pitch’d for him in a place he chose where both sea breeze and land breeze blew right over him, a situation in which he expressd great satisfaction.  The Seamen now fell sick fast so that the tents ashore were always full of sick”.

 

Two days later, Banks “left Tupia well satisfied in Mind but not at all better in body and returnd to town where I was immediately seizd with a tertian, the fits of which were so violent as to deprive me intirely of my senses and leave me so weak as scarcely to be able to crawl down stairs”.

 

On 1 November, he wrote, “My servants Peter and James were as bad as Myself, and Dr Solander now felt the first attacks of his fever but never having been in his life time once ill resisted it in a manner resolvd not to apply to a physician.  But worst of all was Mr Monkhouse the ships surgeon; he was now confind to his bed by a violent fever which grew worse and worse notwithstanding all the Efforts of the Physician”.

 

Four days later, “Poor Mr Monkhouse became worse and worse without the intervention of one favourable symptom so that we now had little hopes of his life... In the afternoon of this day poor Mr Monkhouse departed the first sacrafice to the climate and the next day was buried”.  Cook’s journal entry was “In the PM we had the Missfortune to loose Mr Monkhouse the Surgeon who died at Batavia of a Fever after a Short illness of which desease and others, several of our people are daly taken ill which will make his loss be the more severly felt.  He was succeeded by Mr Perry his mate who is equally well if not better skilld in his profession”.

 

According to Perry, there were a few days between the death of the surgeon, who “died in the city”, and the promotion of Perry on Coopers Island.  However, Cook “said some handsome things, the more flat­tering from him who was endued by Nature very sparingly with courteous and complimentary man­ners”.  Nicholas Young became Surgeon’s servant. 

 

Repairing the Ship

 

Despite Cook having cleared Endeavour at Coopers Island by 1 November, it was another four days before he could write in his journal “Trans­ported the Ship over to Onrust along side one of the Carreening warf’s”.  The next day “the Officers of the yard took the Ship in hand and sent on board a number of Carpenters, Caulkers, Riggers Slaves &ca to make ready to heave down”.

 

On 8 November, “Hove the Larboard [port] Side of the Ship Keel out and found her bottom to be in a far worse condition than we expected, the False Keel was gone to within 20 feet of the stern post, the Main Keel wounded in ma[n]y places very considerably, a great quantity of Sheathing [off], several planks much damaged especially under the Main channell near the Keel, where two planks and a half near 6 feet in length were within ⅛ of a Inch of being cut through, and here the worms had made their way quite into the Timbers, so that it was a Matter of Sur­prise to every one who saw her bottom how we had kept her above water; and yet in this condition we had saild some hundreds of Leagues in as dangerous a Navigation as is in any part of the world, happy in being ignorant of the continual danger we were in”.

 

Over the next few days the port side continued to be repaired.  On 13 November, “they hove the starbd [starboard] side keel out which we found very little damage’d and was therefore soon done with”.  Indeed, the next day Cook wrote “Employ’d clearing the Ship of the Carreening geer her bottom being now now throughaly repaird and very much to my satisfaction.  In justice to the Officers and workmen of this Yard I must say that I do not believe that there is a Marine Yard in the world where Work is done with more alertness than here or where there are better conveniences for heaving Ships down both in point of safety and dispatch”.

 

Cook compared the method used to heave En­deavour from side to side to careen her, with that employed at England.  Here they heave down by two Masts which is not now practised by the English but I hold it to be much safer and more expaditious than by heaving down by one mast; a man must not only be strongly bigoted to his own customs but in some measure divested of reason that will not allow this after seeing with how much ease and safety the Dutch at Onrust heave down their largest Ships”.

 

The following day, Endeavour was moved “from Onrust to Coopers Island.  Cook “sent one of the decay’d Pumps up to Batavia to have a New one made”.  The next few weeks were spent “Rigging the Ship, geting on board Stores and water... repairing and bending the sails”. 

 

Ill Health Continues

 

Cook’s rarely mentioned the sick in his journal, but Banks did. 

 

On 6 November, Daniel Solander attended the surgeon’s funeral.  Banks “should certainly have done the same had I not been confind to my bed by my fever.  Our case now became melancholy, neither of my Servants were able to help me no more than I was them, and the Malay Slaves who alone we depended upon, naturaly the worst attendants in nature, were render’d less carefull by our incapacity of scolding them on account of our ignorance of the language.  When we became so sick that we could not help ourselves, they would get out of Call, so we were oblig’d to lie still till able to get up and go in search of them”. 

 

Four days later, “Dr Solander and myself still grew worse and worse, and the Physician who attended us declard that the countrey air was necessary for our recovery, so we began to look out for a countrey house, tho with a heavy heart as we knew that we must there commit ourselves intirely to the care of the Malays, whose behavior to sick people we had all the reason in the world to find fault with.  For this reason we resolvd to buy each of us a Malay Woman to Nurse us, hoping that the tenderness of the sex would prevail even here, which indeed we found it to do for they turnd out by no means bad nurses”.

 

Solander became so ill that a few days later, Banks thought there were “little or no hopes of even the possibility of his living till Morning.  Weak as I was I sat by him till morn, when he chang’d very visibly for the better; I then slept a little and waking found him still better than I had any reason to hope”.

 

The country house was “about 2 miles out of town... on the banks of a briskly running river and well open to the sea breeze... in a countrey perfectly resembling the low part of my native Lincolnshire”.  They moved there on 13 November, and “receivd from the ship Mr Sporing our writer, a Seaman, and the Captains own servant who he had sent on hearing of our melancholy situation; so that we were now sufficiently well attended”.  Herman Diedrich Spöring was the Swedish assistant naturalist.  John Charlton had been Cook’s servant in Grenville, but had not become his servant in Endeavour until May 1770, when he succeeded William Howson, who became a seaman on the death of Forby Sutherland.  Howson had also sailed a seaman in Grenville.

 

Two days later, “Dr Solander grew better tho by very slow degrees; myself soon had a return of my ague which now became quotidian, the Captain also was taken ill on board and of course we sent his servant to him, soon after which both Mr Sporing and our seaman were seizd with intermittents, so that we were again reduc’d to the melancholy necessity of depending intirely upon the Malaya for nursing us, all of whoom were often sick together.”

 

Regrettably, no one recorded the name of the sailor. 

 

Banks did not write in his journal every day, possibly because he was so ill.  Some of his dated entries were probably written much later on, as the events occurred a few days, or weeks, apart.

 

Captain Cook meets Captain Cooke

 

On 7 December, Cook wrote, “having got all the Sick on board and every other thing from the Island, we hauld off from the Warfe, with a design to run up to Batavia Road but the wind proving scant obliged us to lay at Anchor”.  The next day, “Fresh breezes” meant Endeavour could sail “to Batavia Road where we Anchor’d... sent on board the New Pump with some other stores”.  For the next week, “The People Employ’d scraping the paint Work” and then “Empd takeing on board Provisions and Water”.

 

On 14 December, “Anchor’d here the Earl of Elgin Capt Cook an English East India Company ship from Madrass [now Chennai, India], bound to China, but having lost her passage [to China] put in here to wait for the next season”.  She had sailed from Plymouth on 21 February.  1770.  Her captain was Thomas Cooke.

 

Four days later, “Anchor’d here the Phoenix Captn Black, an English Country Ship from Bencoolen”, Sumatra.

 

Death, Desertion, Recruitment and Drunkenness

 

Taiata died on 17 December.  Banks wrote, “we receivd the disagreable news of the death of Tayeto, and that his death had so much affected Tupia that there was little hopes of his surviving him many days”.  Tupaia died three days later.  John Reynolds, servant to Charles Green, died on 18 December.  On 24 December, seamen Timothy Rearden and John Woodworth died. 

 

On 25 December, Banks wrote, “While we were at work a man was missd who it was supposd did not intend to stay ashore, so a boat was sent after him”.  It was Patrick Saunders.  Parkinson explained why.  “One of our midshipmen ran away from us here, and it was suspected that he was the person who cut off Orton’s ears”.  Richard Orton was Captain Cook’s clerk.  His ears were cut on 22 May, 1770.  A search was made for Saunders, but failed to find him.  

 

On 24 December, a “small dispute” occurred between Cook “and some of the Dutch Naval Officers about a seaman that had run from one of the Dutch Ships in the Road and enter’d on board mine.  This man the General demanded as a subject of Holland and I promised to deliver him up provide[d] he was not an English Subject, and sent the neces­sary orders on board for that purpose.  In the Morn­ing the Commodores Captain came and told me that he had been on board my Ship for the Man but that the officer had refused to give him up alidging that he was an Englishman... [he demanded] the man of me as a Deanish [Danish] Subject, he standing upon their Ships Books as born at Elsinore”.  Cook “sent orders on board to deliver the Man to him in case he was found to be a Foreigner...  Soon after this I received a letter from Mr Hicks which I carried to the Shabandar to acqua[i]nt him that after my having such unanswerable proofs of the Man be[ing] an English subject as was mentioned in that letter it was impossible for me to deliver him up”.  According to Banks, this seaman was “an Irishman”.  He was John Marra, from Cork, Ireland, but had enlisted as Jan Mara when he joined the ship Schoonzigt at Rotter­dam, Holland, as a seaman on 10 April, 1770, and sailed to Batavia.

 

Endeavour muster books records several men recruited at Batavia as supernumeries.  On 16 Octo­ber: Thomas Goldsmith, James Joyce, John Lorrain and Richard Thomas.  On 17 October: John Baptista, Alexander Lindsay and John Marra.  On 18 October: John Brewer and Peter Morgan.  On 19 December: William Burn, James Campbell, Peter Nichols, Charles Praval, John Smith and Samuel Smith.  Later in the voyage they all become seamen in the muster. 

 

On 6 November, another servant to Joseph Banks was added to the muster.  He appears under the single name Alexander.

 

On 26 December, Cook wrote, “The Number [of] sick on board at this time amounts to 40 or upwards and the rest of the Ships company are in a Weakly condition, having been ev[er]y one sick except the Sail maker an old Man about 70 or 80 Years of age, and what was still more extraordinary in this man his being generally more or less drunk every day”.  He was John Ravenhill.  Cook noted, “We came in here with as healthy a ships company as need [go] to Sea and after a stay of not quite 3 Months lift it in the condition of an Hospital Ship besides the loss of 7 Men and yet all the Dutch Captains I had an opper­tunity to convers with said that we had been very lucky and wondered that we had not lost half our people in that time”. 

 

Departure from Batavia

 

On 24 December, Cook decided he had “compleatly refited the Ship & taken in a sufficient quantity of Wood Provisions of all kinds”.  According to Banks, “The 25th Xmas day by our account being fixd for sailing, we this morn hird a large countrey Praw, which came up to the door and took in Dr Solander, now tolerably recoverd, and carried him on board the ship”.  The next day, wrote Cook, “In the PM My self Mr Banks and all the Gentlemen came on board”.

 

Endeavour sailed the next day, “at 6 in the AM... with a light breeze at SW”.  Banks was one of many to be glad to leave.  “There was not I beleive a man in the ship but gave his utmost aid to getting up the Anchor, so compleatly tird was every one of the unwholesome air of this place”.  As Endeavour passed the East India Company ship Earl of Elgin, she “saluted with three Cheers and 13 Guns and soon after the Garrison with 14 both of which we returnd”, wrote Cook.  Unfortunately, “soon after this the Sea breeze set in at NBW which obliged us to anchor just without the Ships in the Road”.

 

The next day, “At 6 AM weighd and stood out to Sea...  At 6 in the evening Anchor’d” near the island of Edam, now called Pulau Damar Besar.  Cook headed for Sunda Strait, between the islands of Sumatra and Java.  Endeavour passed several islands they had seen during their earlier passage in October.  By 31 December, Cook was “under the Islands which lay off Verckens point, which point consti­tutes the narrowest part of the Streights of Sunday”.  According to Banks “Sumatra in this place was very woody and seemd but thinly inhabited; there were however some cleard spots and a few fires seen”.

 

During their stay at Batavia, the naturalists gathered 151 plant specimens.  Solander distin­guished 15 new genera.  Parkinson drew many of them.  Banks later had 43 paintings made from these sketches.  Thirty were selected to form the final section of Banks’s Florilegium.

 

Parkinson also sketched some of the local boats, the proas with their rectangular sails.

 

Ian Boreham


Originally published in Cook's Log, page 47, volume 43, number 4 (2020).

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