Saturday, 11th August, 1770

Saturday, 11th. Fresh breezes at South-South-East and South-East by South, with which we steer’d along shore North-West by West until one o’Clock, when the Petty Officer at the Masthead called out that he saw land ahead, extending quite round to the Islands without, and a large reef between us and them; upon this I went to the Masthead myself. The reef I saw very plain, which was now so far to windward that we could not weather it, but what he took for Main land ahead were only small Islands, for such they appeared to me; but, before I had well got from Mast head the Master and some others went up, who all asserted that it was a Continuation of the Main land, and, to make it still more alarming, they said they saw breakers in a Manner all round us. We immediately hauld upon a wind in for the Land, and made the Signal for the Boat, which was ahead sounding, to come on board; but as she was well to leeward, we were obliged to edge away to take her up, and soon after came to an Anchor under a point of the Main in 1/4 less 5 fathoms, about a Mile from the Shore, Cape Flattery bearing South-East, distant 3 1/2 Leagues. After this I landed, and went upon the point, which is pretty high, from which I had a View of the Sea Coast, which trended away North-West by West, 8 or 10 Leagues, which was as far as I could see, the weather not being very clear. I likewise saw 9 or 10 Small, Low Islands and some Shoals laying off the Coast, and some large Shoals between the Main and the 3 high Islands, without which, I was now well assured, were Islands, and not a part of the Mainland as some had taken them to be. Excepting Cape Flattery and the point I am now upon, which I have named point Lookout, the Main land next the sea to the Northward of Cape Bedford is low, and Chequer’d with white sand and green Bushes, etc., for 10 or 12 Miles inland, beyond which is high land. To the northward of Point Lookout the shore appear’d to be shoal and flat some distance off, which was no good sign of meeting with a Channell in with the land, as we have hitherto done. We saw the footsteps of people upon the sand, and smoke and fire up in the Country, and in the evening return’d on board, where I came to a resolution to visit one of the high Islands in the Offing in my Boat, as they lay at least 5 Leagues out at Sea, and seem’d to be of such a height that from the Top of one of them I hoped to see and find a Passage out to sea clear of the Shoals. Accordingly in the Morning I set out in the Pinnace for the Northermost and largest of the 3, accompanied by Mr. Banks. At the same time I sent the Master in the Yawl to Leeward, to sound between the Low Islands and the Main. In my way to the Island I passed over a large reef of Coral Rocks and sand, which lies about 2 Leagues from the Island; I left another to leeward, which lays about 3 Miles from the Island. [On Lizard Island, Queensland.] On the North part of this is a low, sandy Isle, with Trees upon it; on the reef we pass’d over in the Boat we saw several Turtle, and Chased one or Two, but caught none, it blowing too hard, and I had no time to spare, being otherways employ’d. I did not reach the Island until half an hour after one o’Clock in the P.M. on the 12th…

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