7th October 1768
Cape de Verde Islands to Brazil
Variable light Airs and Calm all these 24 Hours. At Noon found the Current to set South-East 1/4 South one Mile per hour, and yet by Observation at Noon I find the Ship 12 Miles to the Northward of Account, a Circumstance that hath not happened for many days, and which I believe to be owing to the heavy Squalls we had Yesterday from the South-East, which obliged us to put frequently before the Wind. Wind Southerly, calm, Northerly; course South 5 degrees West; distance 10 miles; latitude 9 degrees 42 minutes North, longitude 22 degrees 19 minutes West; at noon, Bonavista, South-East point, North 4 degrees East, 127 leagues.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn calm; went out in the boat and took what is calld by the Seamen a Portugese man of war, Holothuria Physalis Linn; also Medusa velella L. onidium spinosum Mss, Diodon Erinaceus Mss, dagysa vitrea Mss, Helix Janthina Linn,--violacea Mss and procellaria Oceanica Mss. The Holothuria proved to be one of the most bea[u]tifull sights I had ever seen, it consisted of a small bladder in shape much like the air bladder of fishes, from the bottom of which descended a number of strings of bright blue and red, some three or four feet in length which if touchd stung the person who touchd them in the same manner as nettles, only much stronger: on the top of this Bladder was a membrane which he turnd either one way or the other as the wind blew to receive it, this was veind with pink in an uncommonly beautifull manner, in short the whole together was one of the most beautifull sights I have seen among the mollusca, tho many of them are beautifull.
The floating shells H. Janthina and violacea from their particularity deserve also to be mentiond, they are found floating on the top of the water by means of a small cluster of Bubbles filld with air, which are composd of a tenacious slimey substance, not easily parting with its contents; these keep him suspended on the surface of the water and serve as a hiding for his Eggs, and it is probable that he never goes down to the bottom, or willingly comes near any shore, as his shell is of so brittle a construction that few fresh water snails are so thin.
Every shell contains within it about a teaspoonfull of Liquid, which it easily discharges on being touched, this is of a most beautifull red purple colour and easily dies linnen clothes; it may be well worth inquiry whether or not this is the purpura of the ancients as the shell is certainly found in the Mediterranean. We have not yet taken a sufficient quantity of the shells to try the experiment, probably we shall do soon.
Procellaria oceanica differs very little from P. pelagica Linn, but from his place of abode so far south and some small difference in plumage it is more than likely that he is different in species.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Nothing material occurred from the 29th September to the 7th of October; then we had variable winds, with some showers of rain; and the dampness of the air greatly affected all our iron utensils. We caught two sea swallows, and several curious marine animals, of the molusca tribe, such as sea-worms, star-fish, and sea urchins.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:03