22nd and 23rd April 1771

[Cape of Good Hope to England]
22nd. A Fresh Trade, and Pleasant weather. Exercised the People at Small Arms. Observations for Longitude with the Sun and Moon agree with the Log. Wind South-East; course North 50 degrees West; distance 118 miles; latitude 27 degrees 27 minutes South, longitude 349 degrees 24 minutes West.

23rd. Gentle breezes, and Clear weather. Found the Variation in the Evening, by the Amplitude, to be 17 degrees 40 minutes West, and by Azimuth in the Morning 18 degrees 37 minutes. Employ'd repairing Boats and Sails. Exercis'd Great Guns and Small Arms. Wind South-East by South to West-South-West; course North 46 degrees West; distance 98 miles; latitude 26 degrees 19 minutes South, longitude 350 degrees 42 minutes West.

20th and 21st April 1771

[Cape of Good Hope to England]
20th. Gentle breezes and Clear weather. Wind Westerly; latitude 29 degrees 40 minutes South, longitude 346 degrees 10 minutes West.

21st. A moderate trade wind and Pleasant weather. Wind Southerly; course North 54 degrees West; distance 100 miles; latitude 28 degrees 43 minutes South, longitude 347 degrees 42 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal
20th.  Wind and weather continuing just as yeste[r]day.

21st.   Got the Wind again astern with pleasant weather which already alterd much for the warmer.

19th April 2014

[Cape of Good Hope to England]
Little wind and Sometimes calm. Swell from the Southward.  Wind South-East to North-West; course North 50 degrees West; distance 16  miles; latitude 31 degrees 14 minutes South, longitude 345 degrees 33 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal
Got the Wind at NW right in our teeth, not strong however.

18th April 1771

[Cape of Good Hope to England]
Gentle breezes and clear weather. Swell as before. Wind Ditto; course North-West; distance 85 miles; latitude 31 degrees 14 minutes South, longitude 345 degrees 19 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal
Moderate weather but a great rolling sea from the Southward.

17th April 1771

[Cape of Good Hope to England]
Fresh breezes and fair weather, with a swell from the South-West. Wind Southerly; course North 50 degrees West; distance 118 miles; latitude 32 degrees 14 minutes South, longitude 344 degrees 8 minutes West.

Joseph Banks Journal
Many Birds such as Albatrosses and some shearwaters were about the ship, also many peices of Trumpet weed ( ) floating by.

16th April 1771


[Cape of Good Hope to England]

At 2 o'clock in the P.M. saw a large Ship behind the Island, under French Colours, standing into Table Bay; at 3 weigh'd with a Light breeze at South-East, and put to Sea; at 4 departed this Life Mr. Robert Molineux Master, a young man of good parts, but had unfortunately given himself up to Extravagancy and intemperance, which brought on disorders that put a Period to his Life. At 6 we had the Table Mountain and the Penguin Island in one bearing South-South-East, distant from the latter about 4 or 5 Leagues; had it calm most part of the night. In the morning a light breeze sprung up Southerly, with which we steer'd North-West; at noon we were by Observation in Latitude 33 degrees 30 minutes South. The Table Mountain bore South 54 degrees East, distant 14 Leagues. N.B. The Table Mountain lies directly over the Cape Town, from which last I take my departure; it lies in the Latitude of 33 degrees 56 minutes South, and Longitude 341 degrees 37 minutes West from Greenwich.

15th April 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
None of the Ships in the Offing are yet arrived. Desirous as we must be of hearing news from England, I detemmin'd not to wait the arrival of these Ships, but took the advantage of a breeze of wind from the West-South-West; weigh'd and stood out of the Bay, saluted with 13 Guns, which Complement was return'd both by the Castle and Dutch Commodore. The Europa Saluted us as we passed her, which we return'd. This Ship was to have sail'd with or before us, but not liking the opportunity she lay fast. At 5 in the Evening anchor'd under Penguin or Robin Island in 10 fathoms water, the Island extending from West-North-West to South-South-West, distant 1 1/2 or 2 miles.

In the Morning saw a Ship standing into Table Bay, under English Colours, which we took to be an Indiaman; at Noon Latitude observed 33 degrees 49 minutes South; Cape Town South 20 degrees East, distant 7 miles. As we could not Sail in the Morning for want of wind, I sent a Boat to the Island for a few Trifling Articles we had forgot to take in at the Cape, but the people on shore would not permit her to land, so that she return'd as she went, and I gave myself no further Trouble at it. Mr. Banks, who was in the Boat, was of opinion that it was owing to a mistake made respecting the rank of the Officer commanding the Boat; be this as it may, it seems probable that the Dutch do not admit of Strangers landing upon this Island least they should carry off some of those people which, for certain crimes, they Banish here for Life, as we were told was done by a Danish Ship a few years ago. But they might have a better reason for refusing our Boat to land, for it is not improbable but what there might be some English Seamen upon this Island whom they had sent from the Cape while we lay there, well knowing that if they came in my way I should take them on board; and this, I am told, is frequently done when any of His Majesty's Ships are in the Bay, for it is well known that the Dutch East India Ships are mostly mann'd by Foreigners.

13th and 14th April 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
13th. Fresh breezes at South-West, and Cloudy, hazey weather, in the night Anchor'd here a Dutch Ship from Holland; she sail'd about 3 months ago in company with 2 more. The news brought by this Ship is that a War is dayley expected between England and Spain; Signals out for 4 or 5 Sail more being in the Offing, one of which is said to be a ship from England; took leave of the Gouvernour, intending to Sail to-morrow.

14th. Wind Westerly, gentle breezes. In the P.M. got all the Sick on board, many of whom are yet in a very bad state of health; 3 died here, but this loss was made up by the opportunity we had of compleating our full complement. In the morning unmoor'd and got ready for Sailing.

8th and 9th April 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
8th. Gentle Breezes from the Westward. In the Night Anchor'd here the Europa, an English East Indiaman from Bengal, and in the Morning she saluted us with 11 Guns, which Complement we return'd.

9th. Little wind at South-West, with Foggy, hazey weather.  Employ'd making ready for Sea.

5th to 7th April 1771


[At Anchor, Table Bay]
5th. Var'ble light winds. Sail'd for Holland 3 Dutch Ships. Employ'd as above, and getting on board Provisions, etc.

6th. Gentle breezes, with some rain in the Night.

7th. Gentle breezes, and fine, pleasant weather; a Signal for some Ships being in the offing.


Joseph Banks Journal


7th. The Europa Indiaman Captn Pelley came into the Bay. Of the four French vessels which we found in this Harbour 3 are now saild and the fourth is ready for sea. Of them two were 64 Gun ships, the other a large Snow and the fourth which still remains a frigate. All these Came from the Isle de France for Provision, of which they carry away from hence a prodigious quantity and consequently must have many mouths to feed upon that Island, from whence it is probable they Meditate some stroke at our East Indian Settlements in the beginning of a future war; which however our India people are not at all alarmd at, trusting intirely to the vast standing armies which they constantly keep up, the support of which in the Bengall alone Costs 840000 eight hundred and forty thousand pounds a Year!
Mr De Bougainville pleasd with the Bea[u]ty of the Ladies of Otahite gave that Island the Name of Cypre. In his return home he touchd at Isle de France where the Person who went out with him in the character of Natural Historian was left and still remains. Otorroo the Indian whoom he brought from thence was known on board his ship by the name of Tootavee, a plain corruption of Bougainville, with whoom it may be suppos'd he meant to change names according to his Custom. This man is now at L'Isle de France, from whence a large ship is very soon to Sail and carry him back to his own countrey where she is to make a settlement, in doing which she must Necessarily follow the Tract of Abel Jansen Tasman and consequently if she does not discover Cooks Streights, which in all probability she will do, must make several discoveries on the Coast of New Zealand. Thus much the French who were here made no secret of. How necessary then will it be for us to publish an account of our voyage as soon as possible after our arrival if we mean that our own countrey shall have the Honour of our Discoveries! Should the French have publishd an account of Mr De Bougainvilles voyage before that of the second Dolphin how infallibly will they claim the Discovery of Cypre or Otahite as their own, and treat the Dolphins having seen it as a fiction, which we were enabled to set forth with some shew of truth as the Endeavour realy did See it, a twelvemonth however after Mr De Bougainville; which if England chuses to exert her Prior Claim to it, as she may hereafter do, if the French settle it may be productive of very disagreable consequences. See Account of Cape of Good Hope below.

1st to 4th April 1771

[At Anchor. Table Bay]
1st. In the P.M. I observed a dark, dence haze like a Fog bank in the South-East Horizon, and which clouds began to gather over the Table Mountain; certain signs of an approaching gale from the same Quarter, which about 4 o'clock began to blow with great voialance, and continued more or less so the Remainder of these 24 Hours, the Table Mountain cap'd with White Clouds all the time. The weather dry and clear.

2nd. First part fresh Gales at South-East, the remainder little wind and calms. In the P.M. sail'd for England the Duke of Gloucester Indiaman, who Saluted us at his departure. In the A.M. anchored here 2 Dutch Ships from Batavia, and a third at Anchor under Penguin Island in distress. Put on shore some Sick People.

3rd. Fine, pleasant weather. Some people on shore on Liberty to refresh; the rest Employ'd repairing Sails and overhauling the Rigging.

4th. Ditto Weather. Employ'd Painting the Ship and paying her sides.

Joseph Banks Journal
3rd. French Vessels
Theodosio seaman died very suddenly; he had enjoyd an uninterrupted state of Good health during all our times of sickness.

30th and 31st March 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
30th. In the P.M. anchor'd here the Duke of Gloucester, English East India Ship from China. In the Evening a prodigious hard gale of wind came on at South-East, which continued till about 3 o'clock in the Morning. During the Gales the Table Mountains and Adjacent Hills were cap'd with Extraordinary while Clouds; the remainder of the Day light Airs and pleasant weather.

31st. Clear pleasant weather all this day. In the Morning we got on board a whole Ox, which we cut up and salted. I had eat ashore some of as good and Fat Beef as ever I eat in my life, and was told that I might have as good to salt; but in this I was very much disappointed. The one I got was thin and Lean, yet well taisted; it weighed 408 pounds.

Joseph Banks Journal
30th. Dr Solander after having been confind to his Bed or chamber ever since the 17 of this month with an irregularly intermitting fever and violent pains in his bowels, which alarmd me very much at several different times, this day came down stairs for the first time, very much emaciated by his tedious Illness.

27th and 29th March 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay.]
27th. Winds variable and clear. Pleasant weather. Sailed for Holland 4 Sail Dutch Ships.

28th, 29th. Ditto weather. Employ'd fixing new Topmast and Backstays, repairing Sails, etc.

23rd to 25th March 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
On the 23rd compleated our water, after which I gave as many of the People leave to go on shore to refresh themselves as could be spared at one time.

21st and 22nd March 1771

[At Anchor. Table Bay]
21st. Fine Pleasant Weather. Employ'd getting on board water, overhauling the rigging, and repairing Sails. Sail'd for Batavia a Dutch Ship.

22nd. Mostly Fine pleasant weather.

[Remarks on Dysentery]
Few remarks have hapned since we left Java Head that can be of much use to the Navigator, or any other Person, into whose hand this Journal may fall; such, however, as have occur'd I shall now insert. After our leaving Java head we were 11 days before we got the General South-East Trade wind, in which time we did not advance above 5 degrees to the South and 3 degrees to the West, having all the time Variable light Airs of Wind, interrupted by frequent Calms, the weather all the time hot and sultry, and the Air unwholesome, occasioned most probably by the Vast Vapours brought into these Latitudes by the Easterly Trade wind and Westerly Monsoons, both of which blow at this time of the Year in this Sea. The Easterly winds prevail as far as 12 or 10 degrees South, and the Westerly winds as far as 6 or 8 degrees; between them the winds are Variable, and I believe always more or less unwholesome, but to us it was remarkable from the Fatal Consequences that attended it, for whatever might be the cause of First bringing on the Flux among our people, this unwholesome Air had a Great share in it, and increased it to that degree that a Man was no sooner taken with it than he look'd upon himself as Dead. Such was the Despondency that reigned among the Sick at this time, nor could it be by any Means prevented, when every Man saw that Medicine, however skillfully Administered, had not the least effect. I shall mention what Effect only the immaginary approach of this disorder had upon one man. He had long tended upon the Sick, and injoyed a tolerable good State of Health; one morning, coming upon Deck, he found himself a little griped, and immediately began to stamp with his feet, and exclaim, "I have got the Gripes, I have got the Gripes; I shall die, I shall die!" In this manner he continued until he threw himself into a fit, and was carried off the Deck, in a manner, Dead; however he soon recover'd, and did very well.

We had no sooner got into the South-East Trade wind than we felt its happy Effect, tho' we lost several men after, but they were such as were brought so low and weak that there were hardly a possibility of there recovery; and yet some of them linger'd out in a State of Suspencemonth after, who, in all Probability, would not have lived 24 Hours before this Change hapned. Those that were not so far gone remained in the same state for some time, and at last began to recover; some few, however, were seized with the disorder after we got into the Trade wind, but they had it but slightly, and soon got over it. It is worth remarking, that of all those who had it in its last stage only one man lived, who is now in a fair way of recovering; and I think Mr. Banks was the only one that was cured at the first Attack'd that had it to a great degree, or indeed at all, before we got into the South-East Trade, for it was before that time that his Cure was happily effected.

It is to be wished, for the good of all Seamen, and mankind in general, that some preventative was found out against this disease, and put in practice in Climates where it is common, for it is impossible to Victual and water a Ship in those Climates but what some one article or another, according to different Peoples opinions, must have been the means of bringing on the Flux. We were inclinable to lay it to the water we took in at Princes Island, and the Turtle we got their, on which we lived several days; but there seems to be no reason for this when we consider that all the Ships from Batavia this Year suffer'd by the same disorder as much as we have done, and many of them arrived at this place in a far worse State; and yet not one of the Ships took any water in at Princes Island. The same may be said of the Harcourt Indiaman, Captain Paul, who sail'd from Batavia soon after our arrival, directly for the Coast of Sumatra; we afterwards heard that she, in a very short time, lost by Sickness above 20 men; indeed, this seem to have been a year of General Sickness over most parts of India, the Ships from Bengal and Madrass bring Melancholly Accounts of the Havock made there by the united force of Sickness and famine.

Some few days after we left Java we saw, for 3 or 4 evenings succeeding one another, boobies fly about the ship. Now, as these birds are known to roost every night on land they seem'd to indicate that some Island  as in our neighbourhood; probably it might be the Island Selam, which Islandfind differently laid down in different Charts, both in Name and Situation.

After the Boobies above mentioned left us we saw no more birds till we got nearly abreast of Madagascar, where, in the Latitude of 27 3/4 degrees, we saw an Albatross. After that time we saw more of these birds every day, and in greater numbers, together with several other sorts; one sort about as big as a Duck, of a very Dark brown Colour, with a yellowish bill. The number of these birds increased upon us as we approached the Shore. As soon as we got into Soundings we saw Gannets, which we continued to see as long as we were on the Bank, which stretches off Laguillas 40 Leagues, and Extends along shore to the Eastward from Cape False, according to some charts, 160 Leagues; the Extent of this Bank is not well known, however, it is useful in directing Shipping when to haul in to make the land.

19th and 20th March 1771

[At Anchor. Table Bay]
19th. Variable Gentle breezes. All this day employ'd repairing Sails, Rigging, Watering, etc.

20th. In the P.M. Sail'd the Houghton Indiaman, who saluted us with 11 Guns, which Complement we returned; this Ship, during her stay in India, lost by sickness between 30 and 40 men, and had at this time a good many down with the Scurvey. Other Ships suffer'd in the same proportion. Thus we find that Ships which have been little more than 12 months from England have suffer'd as much or more by Sickness than we have done, who have been out near 3 Times as long. Yet their sufferings will hardly, if att all, be mentioned or known in England; when, on the other hand, those of the Endeavour, because the Voyage is uncommon, will very probable be mentioned in every News Paper, and, what is not unlikely, with many Additional hardships we never Experienced; for such are the disposition of men in general in these Voyages that they are seldom content with the Hardships and Dangers which will naturally occur, but they must add others which hardly ever had existence but in their imaginations by magnifying the most Trifling accidents and circumstances to the greatest Hardships and unsurmountable dangers without the imediate interposition of Providence, as if the whole merit of the Voyage consisted in the Dangers and Hardships they underwent, or that real ones did not hapen often enough to give the mind sufficient anxiety. Thus Posterity are taught to look upon these Voyages as hazardous to the highest degree.

17th and 18th March 1771

[At Anchor. Table Bay]
17th. In the A.M. sail'd for England the Admiral Pocock, Captain Riddle, by whom I sent Letters to the Admiralty and Royal Society. About noon came on a hard, dry Gale from the South-East.

18th. In the P.M. anchored in the offing an English Ship, which proved to be the Houghton  from Bengal. In the A.M. it fell moderate, and we began to water the Ship.

15th and 16th March 1771

[At Anchor, Table Bay]
15th. Strong Gales at South-East all the Afternoon and most part of the Night, though in the Evening it fell a little moderate, which gave the Indiaman's Boat an opportunity to come on board us, with a Complement of a Basket of Fruit, etc,; she was the Admiral Pocock, Captain Riddell, homeward bound from Bombay. In the morning we got under sail, and stood into the Road, having variable light airs mostly from the Sea. A Dutch boat from the Shore came on board, in which were the Master Attendant and some other Gentlemen; the former directed us to a proper birth, where about 10 o'clock we anchored in 7 fathoms water, a Ouzey bottom; the Lyon Tail, or West point of the Bay, bore West-North-West, and the Castle South-West, distance 1 1/2 miles. I now sent a Petty Officer on shore to know if they would return our Salute, but before he return'd we Saluted, which was immediately return'd with the same number of Guns; after this I waited myself upon the Governour, who was pleased to tell me that I should have everything I wanted that the place afforded. My first care was to provide a proper place ashore for the reception of the Sick, for which purpose I order'd the Surgeon to look out for a House where they could be lodged and dieted. This he soon found, and agreed with the people of the house for 2 shillings a day per man; which I found was the customary Price and method of proceeding. I afterwards gave the Surgeon an order to superintend the whole.

16th. Variable light Airs all this day. Moor'd the Ship and Struck Yards and Topmast, and in the morning got all the Sick (28) ashore to Quarters provided for them, and got off fresh meat and Greens for the People on board.

Joseph Banks Journal
16th. Captn Riddle Saild this day for England.  Dr Solander who had been on board the Indiaman last night was this Morn taken violently ill with a fever and pain in his Bowels. A Countrey Physician was immediately sent for, who declard on hearing his Case that it was the common consequence of Batavia fevers, that the Dr would be much worse and would for some time suffer very much by his Bowel complaint, but upon the whole he declard that there was no danger. I could not however help being a good deal alarmd in my own opinion.

13th and 14th March 1771

[Table Bay]
13th. In the P.M., having the wind at South, we steer'd along shore West by South 1/2 South until 3 o'clock, when, finding this course carried us off from the land, we steer'd West by North; at 6 o'clock Cape Laguillas, or the high land over it, bore East by North 12 Leagues distance, and the westermost land in sight North-West 1/2 West. We continued a West by North course, with the wind at South-East until day light in the Morning, when we haul'd in North-West and North-West by North; at 8 the Cape of Good Hope North-West by North, and at 10 we were abreast of it, and distance off about 1 League or little more. We passed close without a rock, on which the Sea broke very high; it lies about a League right out to Sea from the Cape. After passing the Cape we kept along shore at the distance of about 1 League off, having a fresh Gale at South-East; at noon the Cape bore South-East, distance 4 Leagues. Latitude observed 34 degrees 15 minutes South, Longitude in, by our reckoning, corrected by the last observation, 341 degrees 7 minutes West, or 18 degrees 53 minutes East from Greenwich, by which the Cape lies in 34 degrees 25 minutes South Latitude, and 19 degrees 1 minute East Longitude from Greenwich, which nearly agrees with the observations made at the Cape Town by Messrs. Mason and Dixon in 1761; a proof that our observations have been well made, and that as such they may always be depended upon to a surprizing degree of accuracey. If we had had no such guide we should have found an error of 10 degrees 13 minutes of Longitude, or perhaps more to the East, such an effect the current must have had upon the ship.

14th. Winds at South-East, a fresh Gale, but as we approached the Lyons Tail or West point, Table Bay, we had flurries of wind from all Points of the Compass; this was occasioned by the high land, for clear of it the wind was still at South-East, and bbow'd so strong out of the Bay that we could not work the Ship in; we were therefore obliged to Anchor a good way without all the Ships at Anchor in the Road, in the whole 16 Sail, viz., 8 Dutch, 3 Danes, 4 French, a Frigate, and 3 Store Ships, and one English East Indiamen, who saluted us with 11 Guns; we returned 9. The Gale continued, which obliged us to lay fast all the morning.

Joseph Banks Journal
13th. Wind so fresh at SE that we could not attempt to go ashore; no boat indeed in the whole Harbour attempted to Stir--the Dutch Commodore Hauld down his broad Pennant a signal for all Boats belonging to him to keep on board. Jno Thomas died.

14th. Table Bay In the Morn moderate so that the Ship was got under way and steerd into the Harbour to her proper birth. A Dutch boat came on board to enquire from whence we came, and brought with her a Surgeon who examind our Sick and then gave leave for them and us to come ashore, which we accordingly did at Dinner time.