11th April 1769
Arrive at Tahiti
First part, little wind and cloudy; the remainder, little wind and very Variable; unsettled weather, with some rain. P.M. took several Observations of the sun and moon, which gave the Longitude of the ship to be 148 degrees 18 minutes West, and differs but little from that given by the Log. At 6 a.m. saw King George's Island* (* So named by Captain Wallis. The native name was ascertained by Cook, who spelt it Otaheite. Now known as Tahiti. It is the chief island of the Society Group, and was annexed by the French in 1844.) Extending from West by South 1/2 South to West by North 1/2 North. It appeared very high and Mountainous. Wind variable; course North 66 degrees West; distance 54 miles; latitude 17 degrees 38 minutes South, longitude 148 degrees 39 minutes West; Osnaburg Island East 1/2 South, 13 leagues.
Joseph Banks Journal
Up at 5 this morn to examine the shark who proves to be A blew Shark Squalus glaucus, while we were doing it 3 more came under the Stern of which we soon caught 2 which were common grey Sharks Squalus Carcharias, on one of whom were some sucking fish Echinus remora. The seamen tell us that the blew shark is worst of all sharks to eat, indeed his smell is abominably strong so as we had two of the better sort he was hove overboard.
Little wind and variable with Squalls from all points of the Compass bringing heavy rain. Georges Island in sight appearing very high in the same direction as the land was seen last night, so I found the fault was in our eyes yesterday tho the non-seers were much more numerous in the ship than the seers.
Today and yesterday many birds were about the ship among which a bird which I took to be the common tropick bird Phaeton aethereus was one, he was about the size of our tropick bird but differd from him in having black barrs upon his back and the long feathers in his tail white, so much I say but the weather was so uncertain that I could not go out to shoot one.
Calm this even, at sunset Georges Land appeard plain tho we had not neard it much: since the clouds went from the tops of the hills it appeard less high than it did tho it certainly is very high. As I am now on the brink of going ashore after a long passage thank God in as good health as man can be I shall fill a little paper in describing the means which I have taken to prevent the scurvy in particular. The ship was supplyd by the Admiralty with Sower crout which I eat of constantly till our salted Cabbage was opend which I preferd as a pleasant substitute. Wort was servd out almost constantly, of this I drank from a pint or more every evening but all this did not so intirely check the distemper as to prevent my feeling some small effects of it. About a fortnight ago my gums swelld and some small pimples rose in the inside of my mouth which threatned to become ulcers, I then flew to the lemon Juice which had been put up for me according to Dr Hulmes method describd in his book and in his letter which is inserted here: every kind of liquor which I usd was made sour with the Lemon juice No 3 so that I took near 6 ounces a day of it. The effect of this was surprizing, in less than a week my gums became as firm as ever and at this time I am troubled with nothing but a few pimples on my face which have not deterrd me from leaving off the juice intirely.
Posted by Arborfield at 07:39