Tuesday, 1st. Gentle breezes, Northerly. In the P.M. 10 of the Natives again visited the Watering place. I, being on board at this time, went immediately ashore, but before I got there they were going away. I follow’d them alone and unarm’d some distance along shore, but they would not stop until they got farther off than I choose to trust myself. These were armed in the same manner as those that came Yesterday. In the evening I sent some hands to haul the Saine, but they caught but a very few fish. A little after sunrise I found the Variation to be 11 degrees 3 minutes East. Last night Forby Sutherland, Seaman, departed this Life, and in the A.M. his body Was buried ashore at the watering place, which occasioned my calling the south point of this bay after his name. This morning a party of us went ashore to some Hutts, not far from the Watering place, where some of the Natives are daily seen; here we left several articles, such as Cloth, Looking Glasses, Coombs, Beads, Nails, etc.; after this we made an Excursion into the Country, which we found diversified with Woods, Lawns, and Marshes. The woods are free from underwood of every kind, and the trees are at such a distance from one another that the whole Country, or at least great part of it, might be Cultivated without being obliged to cut down a single tree. We found the Soil every where, except in the Marshes, to be a light white sand, and produceth a quantity of good Grass, which grows in little Tufts about as big as one can hold in one’s hand, and pretty close to one another; in this manner the Surface of the Ground is Coated. In the woods between the Trees Dr. Solander had a bare sight of a Small Animal something like a Rabbit, and we found the Dung of an Animal which must feed upon Grass, and which, we judge, could not be less than a Deer; we also saw the Track of a Dog, or some such like Animal. We met with some Hutts and places where the Natives had been, and at our first setting out one of them was seen; the others, I suppose, had fled upon our Approach. I saw some Trees that had been cut down by the Natives with some sort of a Blunt instrument, and several Trees that were barqued, the bark of which had been cut by the same instrument; in many of the Trees, especially the Palms, were cut steps of about 3 or 4 feet asunder for the conveniency of Climbing them. We found 2 Sorts of Gum, one sort of which is like Gum Dragon, and is the same, I suppose, Tasman took for Gum lac; it is extracted from the largest tree in the Woods.
May 1, 2013
Tuesday, 1st May, 1770