Monday, 13th August, 1770

Monday, 13th. At 2 P.M. I left Lizard Island in order to return to the Ship, and in my way landed upon the low sandy Isle mentioned in coming out. We found on this Island a pretty number of Birds, the most of them sea Fowl, except Eagles; 2 of the Latter we shott and some of the others; we likewise saw some Turtles, but got none, for the reasons before mentioned. After leaving Eagle Isle I stood South-West direct for the Ship, sounding all the way, and had not less than 8 fathoms, nor more than 14. I had the same depth of Water between Lizard and Eagle Isle. After I got on board the Master inform’d me he had been down to the Islands I had directed him to go too, which he judged to lay about 3 Leagues from the Main, and had sounded the Channel between the 2, found 7 fathoms; this was near the Islands, for in with the Main he had only 9 feet 3 Miles off, but without the Islands he found 10, 12, and 14 fathoms. He found upon the islands piles of turtle shells, and some finns that were so fresh that both he and the boats’ crew eat of them. This showed that the natives must have been there lately. After well considering both what I had seen myself and the report of the Master’s, I found by experience that by keeping in with the Mainland we should be in continued danger, besides the risk we should run in being lock’d in with Shoals and reefs by not finding a passage out to Leeward. In case we persever’d in keeping the Shore on board an accident of this kind, or any other that might happen to the ship, would infallibly loose our passage to the East India’s this Season, and might prove the ruin of both ourselves and the Voyage, as we have now little more than 3 Months’ Provisions on board, and that at short allowance. Wherefore, after consulting with the Officers, I resolved to weigh in the morning, and Endeavour to quit the Coast altogether until such time as I found I could approach it with less danger. With this View we got under sail at daylight in the morning, and stood out North-East for the North-West end of Lizard Island, having Eagle Island to windward of us, having the pinnace ahead sounding; and here we found a good Channell, wherein we had from 9 to 14 fathoms. At Noon the North end of Lizard Island bore East-South-East, distant one Mile; Latitude observed 14 degrees 38 minutes South; depth of water 14 fathoms. We now took the pinnace in tow, knowing that there were no dangers until we got out to the Reefs.

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