Monday, 21st May, 1770

Monday, 21st. In the P.M. we keept along the East side of the Shoal until 2, when, judging there was water for us over, I sent a Boat a Head to sound, and upon her making the Signal for more than 5 fathoms we hauld our wind and stood over the Tail of it in 6 fathoms. At this time we were in the Latitude of 24 degrees 22 minutes South, and Sandy Cape bore South 1/2 East, distant 8 Leagues; but the Direction of the Shoal is nearest North-North-West and South-South-East. At this time we had 6 fathoms; the boat which was not above 1/4 of a mile to the Southward of us had little more than 5 fathoms. From 6 fathoms we had the next Cast, 13, and then 20 immediately, as fast as the Man could heave the Lead; from this I did suppose that the West side of the Shoal is pretty steep too, whereas on the other side we had gradual Soundings from 13 to 7 fathoms. This Shoal I called Break Sea Spit, because now we had smooth water, whereas upon the whole Coast to the Southward of it we had always a high Sea or swell from the South-East. At 6, the Land of Sandy Cape extending from South 17 degrees East to South 27 degrees East, distance 8 Leagues; Depth of Water, 23 fathoms, which depth we keept all Night, as we stood to the Westward with light Airs from the Southward; but between 12 and 4 A.M. we had it Calm, after which a Gentle breeze sprung up at South, with which we still keept on upon a Wind to the Westward. At 7 we Saw from the Masthead the Land of Sandy Cape bearing South-East 1/2 East, distance 12 or 13 Leagues. At 9, we discover’d from the Mast head land to the Westward, and soon after saw smooke upon it. Our depth of Water was now decreased to 17 fathoms, and by Noon to 13, at which time we were by observation in the Latitude of 24 degrees 28 minutes South, and about 7 Leagues from the Land, which extended from South by West to West-North-West. Longitude made from Sandy Cape 0 degrees 45 minutes West. For these few days past we have seen at times a sort of Sea fowl we have no where seen before that I remember; they are of the sort called Boobies. Before this day we seldom saw more than 2 or 3 at a time, and only when we were near the land. Last night a small flock of these birds passed the Ship and went away to the North-West, and this morning from 1/2 an hour before sun rise to half an hour after, flights of them were continually coming from the North-North-West, and flying to the South-South-East, and not one was seen to fly in any other direction. From this we did suppose that there was a Lagoon, River, or Inlet of Shallow Water to the Southward of us, where these birds resorted to in the day to feed, and that not very far to the Northward lay some Island, where they retir’d too in the night.


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