29th October 1769
P.M. Gentle breezes with Thunder and Lightning up the Country; in the night had light Airs off the land and very foggy; in the forenoon had a gentle breeze at North-North-East and Clear weather. At 4 a.m. unmoor'd, and at 6 weigh'd and put to Sea. At Noon the bay sail'd from bore North 63 degrees West, distant 4 Leagues. This bay is called by the Natives Tolaga; it is moderately large, and hath in it from 13 to 8 and 7 fathoms, clean sandy bottom and good Anchorage, and is shelterd from all winds except those that blow from the North-East Quarter. It lies in the Latitude of 38 degrees 22 minutes South, and 4 1/2 Leagues to the Northward of Gable end Foreland. Off the South point lies a small but high Island, so near to the Main as not to be distinguished from it. Close to the North end of this Island, at the Entrance into the Bay, are 2 high Rocks; one is high and round like a Corn Stack, but the other is long with holes thro' it like the Arches of a Bridge. Within these rocks is the Cove, where we cut wood and fill'd our Water. Off the North point of the Bay is a pretty high rocky Island, and about a Mile without it are some rocks and breakers. The variation of the Compass is here 14 degrees 31 minutes East, and the Tide flows at full and change of the Moon about 6 o'Clock, and rises and falls upon a Perpendicular 5 or 6 feet, but wether the flood comes from the Southward or Northward I have not been able to determine.
During our stay in this bay we had every day more or less Traffick with the Natives, they bringing us fish, and now and then a few sweet Potatoes and several trifles which we deemd Curiosities; for these we gave them Cloth, Beads, Nails, etc. The Cloth we got at King George's Island and Ulietea, they valued more than anything we could give them, and as every one in the Ship were provided with some of this sort of Cloth, I suffer'd every body to purchase what ever they pleased without limitation; for by this means I knew that the Natives would not only sell but get a good Price for every thing they brought. This I thought would induce them to bring to Market whatever the Country afforded, and I have great reason to think that they did, yet it amounted to no more than what is above mentioned. We saw no 4 footed Animals, either Tame or Wild, or signs of any, except Dogs and Rats, and these were very Scarce, especially the latter. The flesh of the former they eat, and ornament their clothing with their skins as we do ours with furs, etc. While we lay here I went upon some of the Hills in order to View the Country, but when I came there I could see but very little of it, the sight being interrupted by still higher hills. The Tops and ridges of the Hills are for the most part barren, at least little grows on them but fern; but the Valleys and sides of many of the Hills were luxuriously clothed with woods and Verdure and little Plantations of the Natives lying dispers'd up and down the Country. We found in the Woods, Trees of above 20 different sorts; Specimens of each I took on board, as all of them were unknown to any of us. The Tree which we cut for firing was something like Maple and yeilded a whitish Gum. There was another sort of a deep Yellow which we imagin'd might prove useful in dying. We likewise found one Cabage Tree which we cut down for the sake of the cabage. The Country abounds with a great Number of Plants, and the woods with as great a variety of beautiful birds, many of them unknown to us. The soil of both the hills and Valleys is light and sandy, and very proper for producing all kinds of Roots, but we saw only sweet potatoes and Yams among them; these they plant in little round hills, and have plantations of them containing several Acres neatly laid out and keept in good order, and many of them are fenced in with low paling which can only serve for Ornament.
Joseph Banks Journal
Our water having been compleat the day before yesterday and nothing done yesterday but getting on board a small quantity of wood and a large supply of excellent Celary, with which this countrey abounds, we this morn saild tho the wind was foul. We turnd to windward all day and at night according to custom found ourselves to leward of the place we had left in the morning.
Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
From the view which we had of the coast, and the observations made, we might judge that the country is well situated, naturally fertile, and capable of great improvement by cultivation, especially as the climate is distinguishably mild and favorable. We had clear and fair weather all the time we were upon the coast, excepting one day, and, though the weather was hot, yet it seemed, by what we observed, that a sea breeze constantly set in about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, which moderated it.
Posted by Arborfield at 08:29