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 318
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New Wales or En Coast of New Holland
New Holland & New Guinea are 2 separate lands or islands which until this day hath been a doubtful point with Geographers, the NE entrance of this passage or strait lies on the Lat.de of 10:27 So. & in Longitude of 218°:36' W. from the Meridian of Greenwich It is formed by the Main on the northern extremity of New Holland on the SE & by a Congeries of Islands to the NW which I named Prince of Wales's Islands, It is very probable that these Islands extend quite to New Guinea as they are of various extent both for height & circuit & many of them seem'd to be indifferently well clad with wood & from the smokes we saw some, if not all of them must be inhabited. It is also very probable that among these islands are a good if not better passages than the one we have come thro'. Altho one need hard wish for a better was the reefs to it from the Eastward less dangerous, but the difficulty will remain until some better way is found out than the one we came, which no doubt may be done was it ever to become an object to be looked for, the northern extent of the main or outer reef which limit or bounds the shoals to the Eastward seems to be the only thing wanting to clear up this point & this was a thing I had neither time nor inclination to go about, having been already sufficiently harrass'd with dangers without going to look for more.
This passage which I have named Endeavour Straits after the name of the Ship, it is in length NE & SW 10 Leag.s & about 5 Leag.s broad except at the NE entrance where it is only 2 miles broad by reason of several small islands which lay there one of which called Possession Island is of mod.te height & circuit, this we left between us & the main passing between 2 small round Islands which lay NW 2 miles from it, there are also 2 small low islands called Wallice's Isles laying in the middle of the SW entrance which we left to the southward. the depth of water we found in the straits was from 4 to 9 fa.om every were good anchorage only about 2 leagues to the Northward of Wallice's Islands is a bank whereon is not more than 3 fa.om at low water but
[margin] more shoals than are laid down in the chart[/margin]
probable there might be found more was it sought for. I have not been particular in describing this strait nor more than I have been in pointing our the respective situations of the island shoals etc on the Coast of New Wales for these I refer to the chart, where they are delineated with all the accuracy that circumstance would admit of ; with respect to the shoals that lay upon this coast I must observe for the benefit of those who may come after one that I do not belive the one 1/2 of them are laid down in any chart, for it would be absurd to suppose that we could see or find them all, & the same thing may in some measure be