24th March 1769
Cape Horn to Tahiti
[Passing Low Archipelago.]
Fresh Gales and Cloudy, with some rain in the forepart of this day. All the forepart of these 24 hours the Sea was smooth, but at 12 at night it was more so, and about 3 in the Morning one of the people saw, or thought he saw, a Log of Wood pass the Ship. This made us think that we were near some land,* (* The Endeavour was now passing to the northward of the easternmost islands of the Paumotu or Low Archipelago, though out of sight of them.) but at daylight we saw not the least appearance of any, and I did not think myself at liberty to spend time in searching for what I was not sure to find, although I thought myself not far from those Islands discovered by Quiros in 1606; and very probably we were not, from the birds, etc., we have seen for these 2 or 3 days past. Wind West-North-West to North-West; course North-East by North 1/4 East; distance 99 miles; latitude 22 degrees 23 minutes South, longitude 129 degrees 2 minutes West.
Joseph Banks Journal
Blew fresh still, wind as foul as ever. The officer of the watch reported that in the middle watch the water from being roughish became on a sudden as smooth as a mill pond, so that the ship from going only 4 knotts at once increasd to six, tho there was little or no more wind than before this, and a log of wood which was seen to pass by the ship by several people made them believe that there was land to windward.
At 8 when I came on deck the signs were all gone, I saw however two birds which seemed to be of the sterna? kind both very small, one quite white and another quite black who from their appearance probably could not venture far from Land.
Today by our reckoning we crossed the tropick.
Posted by Arborfield at 12:14