James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770 - Page 77
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Remarkable Occurrences & I[Incidents] on the South Sea's-
cannot think so great an Error can have been committed in the Ships run in so short a time as these Observations seem to point out & therefore I shall abide by the Longitude given by the Log. unless from subsequent Observations this error should be found to be just-
A steady fresh Trade & fine wea.er. Variation PSeveral Azmth. 2º.32' East-
A fresh Trade wind & fine pleasant wea.er at Noon saw a Large Flock of Birds they had brown backs & white Bellies. they fly & make a noise like Stearings & are shaped like them only something larger. saw likewise some black Shearwaters & Man of War Birds-
First & Latter parts a steady fresh Breeze & cloudy the Middle sometimes squally with rain t other times little wind.
PM saw 2 Birds like Albetrosses. they were all while except the Tip of their wings & Tails-
A Steady fresh Trade & clean wea.er at ½ Past 10
AM saw land bearing Sº. dist.ce 3 or 4 Lg's hauld up for it & soon found it to be an Island of about 2 Leag.s in Circuit & of an Oval form with a Lagoon in the Middle for which I named it Lagoon Island. the Border of land Circumscribing this Lagoon is in many places very low & narrow Particularly on the Sº. side where it is mostly a Beach or Reef of rocks, it is the same on the Nt side in 3 places, & these disjoins the firm land & makes it appear like so many Islands, covered with wood, on the Wt. and of the Island is a large Tree xxxwhichxxx looks - that looks like a large Tower, & about the Middle of the Island are two Cocoa Nutt Trees that appears above all the other wood which as we approached the Island -left side note - Lagoon Island- end left side note looked very much like a Flag, We approached the Nº. side of this Island within a Mile & found no Bottom with 130 fathom of line, norxxx did there appear to be any Anchorage about it. we saw several of the Inhabitants, the most of them Men & these Marched along the shore a breast of the Ship with long Clubs in their hands as tho' they meant to oppose our landing. they were all naked except their Privy parts & were of a Dark Copper Colour with long black Hair but upon our leaving the Island some of them were seen to put on a Covering & one or two we saw in the Skirts of the Wood was Cloathed in White there we supposed to be Women- This Island lies in the Latitude of 18º.47' & Long.de 139º.28' West from the Meridian of Greenwich Variation 2º. 54' East-
A fresh steady gale & fine wea.er. at 1 PM made Sail to the Westw.d & at ½ Part 3 saw land to the NWt which we got up with at Sun sett & proved to be a low woody Island of a Circular form & not much cover a Mile in Compass this Island I called thesun Cap it lies in the Latitude of 18.35 Sº.& in the Long.de of 139.48Wt. from Greenwich & N.º 62º.Wt. 7 Lg's from Lagoon Island we saw no Inhabitants nor the appearance of any & yet we were within half a Mile of the Shore, I observed by the Shore that it was near Low Water, & at Lagoon Island,I observed that it was either high Water or else there was no Ebing & flowing of the Sea from these Circumstances I infer that a SSE or South Moon makes high Water, here we caught a King Fish being the first fish we have got in these Seas.
A Fresh Trade & fine Pleasant wea.er. at 3
PM Saw land to the Westwd. which proved to be an Island of about 12 or 15 Leagues in Compass. is very low & entirely drown'd in the Middle