30th December 1768
Rio de Janeiro to Tierra del Fuego
Little wind, and sometimes Calm; the first part Clear weather, remainder Foggy and Hazey. Soundings from 44 to 49 fathoms; Grey sandy Bottom. Caught both this Morning and last Night a great Number of insects. Some were upon the Wing, but the greater part were upon the water, and many of these alive and of such sort as cannot fly far; and yet at this Time we could not be less than 30 Leagues from Land. Wind variable; course South 30 degrees West; distance 54 miles; latitude 42 degrees 32 minutes South, longitude 60 degrees 15 minutes West.
Joseph Banks Journal
This morn fine weather, water whiter than ever almost of a clay colour; sounded 47 fathom. Plenty of insects passd by this morn, many especialy of the carabi, alive, some grylli and one Phalaena. I stayd in the main chaians from 8 till 12 dipping for them with the hoave and took vast numbers. In the evening Many Phalenae and two papilios came flying about the ship, of the first took about 20 but the last would not come near enough to be taken and at last flew away; they appeard Large. We have also both yesterday and today taken several Ichneumons flying about the rigging. All the seamen say that we cannot be less than 20 leagues from the land, but I doubt Grylli especialy coming so far alive as they must float all the way upon the water. They ground their opinion cheifly on the sounding [s] which have been all along sand of different colours, which had we been nearer the land would have been intermixd with shells; their experience on this coast must however be but slight.
This whole day the evening especialy has been a series of calms and squalls, towards night a thunderstorm in which the lightning was remarkably bright, and rangd in long streaks sometimes horizontal and sometimes perpendicular, the thunder was not loud but continued an immence while with a noise in some claps so like the flapping of sails that had I not been upon dcek I should not have beleivd it to be thunder. Just before the storm we had an appearance of land to the westward which all who had not been in these latitudes before imagind to be real; it made like a long extent of lowish land and two Islands to the Northward of it, the South end was buried in the clouds; this lasted about ½ an hour and then rose gradualy up and disapeard.
Lat. 42:31. A sea lion was enterd in the log book of today as being seen but I did not see him. I saw however a whale coverd with barnacles as the seamen told me, he appeard of a reddish colour except his tail which was black like those to the Northward.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Weather was very unsettled; the wind sometimes blowing very hard; at others only a moderate gale; and then quite calm.
For several evenings, swarms of butterflies, moths, and other insects, flew about the rigging, which we apprehended had been blown to us from the shore. Thousands of them settled upon the vessel; Mr. Banks ordered the men to gather them up; and, after selecting such as he thought proper, the rest were thrown overboard; and he gave the men some bottles of rum for their trouble.
Posted by Arborfield at 09:07