Friday, 9th. P.M. Winds at North, a Gentle breeze and Clear weather. Stood to the Westward until sunset, at which time the Extreams of the land bore from North by East to West, distant about 7 or 8 Leagues; Depth of Water 55 fathoms; Variation by the Amplitude 16 degrees 29 minutes East. The wind now veer’d to the Westward, and as the weather was fine and Moonlight we kept standing close upon a Wind to the South-West all night. At 4 a.m. Sounded, and had 60 fathoms; at daylight we discover’d under our lee bow Ledges of Rocks, on which the Sea broke very high, extending from South by West to West by South, and not above 3/4 of a Mile from us; yet upon sounding we had 45 fathoms, a Rocky bottom. The wind being at North-West we could not weather the Ledge, and as I did not care to run to leeward, we tackt and made a Trip to the Eastward; but the wind soon after coming to the North enabled us to go clear of all. Our soundings in passing within the Ledge was from 35 to 47 fathoms, a rocky bottom. This Ledge lies South-East, 6 Leagues from the Southermost part of the Land, and South-East by South from some remarkable hills which stand near the Shore. These rocks are not the only dangers that lay here, for about 3 Leagues to the Northward of them is another Ledge of Rocks, laying full 3 Leagues from the land, whereon the Sea broke very high. As we passed these rocks in the night at no great distance, and discover’d the others close under our Lee at daylight, it is apparent that we had a very fortunate Escape. I have named them the Traps, because they lay as such to catch unweary Strangers. At Noon our Latitude per observation was 47 degrees 26 minutes South; Longitude made from Cape Saunders 3 degrees 4 minutes West, the land in sight–which has very much the appearance of an Island–extending North-East by North to North-West by West, distant from the Shore about 4 or 5 Leagues; the Eastermost ledge of rocks bore South-South-East, distant 1 1/2 Leagues; and Northermost North-East 1/2 East, 3 Leagues. This land is of a moderate height, and has a very barren Aspect; not a Tree to be seen upon it, only a few Small Shrubs. There were several white patches, on which the sun’s rays reflected very strongly, which I take to be a kind of Marble such as we have seen in many places of this Country, particularly to the Northward.
March 9, 2013
Friday, 9th March, 1770