Friday, 13th October, 1769

Friday, 13th. At 1 p.m. we discover’d land behind or to the Westward of Portland, extending to the Southward as far as we could see. In hauling round the South end of Portland we fell into Shoal Water and broken ground, which we, however, soon got clear of. At this time 4 Canoes came off to us full of People, and keept for sometime under our stern threatning of us all the while. As I did not know but what I might be obliged to send our Boats ahead to sound, I thought these Gentry would be as well out of the way. I order’d a Musquet shott to be fir’d close to one of them, but this they took no notice of. A 4 Pounder was then fir’d a little wide of them; at this they began to shake their Spears and Paddles at us, but notwithstanding this they thought fit to retire. Having got round Portland, we hauled in for the Land North-West, having a Gentle breeze at North-East, which died away at 5 o’Clock and obliged us to Anchor in 21 fathoms, a fine sandy bottom: the South Point of Portland bore South-East 1/2 South distant about 2 Leagues, and a low Point on the Main bore North 1/2 East. In this last direction there runs in a deep bay behind the Land on which is Table Cape, which makes this Land a Peninsula, joined to the Main by a low, narrow neck of land; the Cape is the North Point of the Peninsula, and Portland the South. While we lay at Anchor 2 Boats came off to us, and so near as to take up some things we throw’d them out of the Ship, but would not come alongside. At 5 a.m. a breeze springing northerly we weigh’d and steer’d in for the Land. The shore here forms a very large Bay, of which Portland is the North-East Point, and the Bay above mentioned is an Arm of it. I would gladly have examin’d this Arm, because there appear’d to be safe Anchorage in it, but as I was not certain of this, and the wind being right an End, I did not care to spend time in Turning up to it. At Noon Portland bore South 50 degrees East, and the Southermost land in sight bore South-South-West, distant 10 or 12 Leagues, being about 3 miles from the Shore, and in this situation had 12 fathoms water–24 fathoms have been the most Water we have had since we have been within Portland, every where clear ground. The land near the Shore is of a moderate height, with white Cliffs and Sandy beaches. Inland are several Pretty high Mountains, and the whole face of the Country appears with a very hilly surface, and for the most part Covered with wood, and hath all the appearances of a very pleasant and fertile Country.


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