Source Documents
james cook : the endeavour, 1770 

 James Cook : Voyage of HM Bark Endeavour, 1770.

Extracts from
James Cook's Journal of Remarkable Occurrences aboard His Majesty's Bark Endeavour, 1768-1771.

Daily entries and Descriptions.
The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks, 1768-1771
Daily entries and Descriptions
Sydney Parkinson's Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, The Endeavour, London, 1773.
Daily entries and Descriptions
John Hawkesworth's
Account of the the Southern Hemisphere, London, 1773

NLA: South Seas Voyaging Accounts

Additional accounts from

Parkin, Ray:
H. M. Bark Endeavour: Her Place in Australian History
Miegunyah Press, first edition 1997 (two volumes), second edition 2003 (one volume)
Cook's and Banks' Journals are largely or often in note form, with variations in spelling and punctuation, and, in the case of Cook, many corrections.
These have been (mostly) standardised in this transcription.

Note that Cook's
Journal is in standard Navy time, the day calculated from noon to noon, and those of Banks and Parkinson, in civil time, are 12 hours behind.

Saturday, 28 April 1770


[Off Wollongong]
In the PM hoisted out the Pinnace and yawl in order to attempt a landing but the Pinnace took in the water so fast that she was obliged to be hoisted in again to stop her leaks.
At this time we saw several people a shore four of whome where carrying a small boat or Canoe which we imagined they were going to but into the water in order to come off to us but in this we were mistaken.   
Being now not above two miles from the shore Mr Banks, Dr Solander, Tupia, and myself put off in the yawl and pulled in for the land to a place where we saw four or five of the natives who took to the woods as we approachd the shore which disapointed us in our expectation we had of getting a near view of them if not to speak to them but our disappointment was heightened when we found that we no where could effect a landing by reason of the great surf which beat every where upon the shore.
Wwe saw hauled up upon the beach 3 or 4 small Canoes which to us appeared not much unlike the small ones of New Zeland, in the woods were several trees of the Palm kind and no under wood and this was all we were able to observe of the country from the boat after which we returnd to the Ship about 5 in the evening.
  At day light in the morning we discover'd a Bay which appeard to be tollerably well shelterd from all winds into which I resolved to go with the Ship and with this view sent the Master in the Pinnace to sound the entrance while we kept turning up with the Ship having the wind right out.

At Noon the entrance bore NNW distance 1 Mile —


The land this morn appeared cliffy and barren without wood.
An opening appearing like a harbour was seen and we stood directly in for it.
A small smoke arising from a very barren place directed our glasses that way and we soon saw about 10 people, who on our approach left the fire and retired to a little eminence where they could conveniently see the ship; soon after this two canoes carrying 2 men each landed on the beach under them, the men hauled up their boats and went to their fellows upon the hill.
Our boat which had been sent ahead to sound now approached the place and they all retied higher up on the hill; we saw however that at the beach or landing place one man at least was hid among some rocks who never that we could see left that place.
Our boat proceeded along shore and the Indians followed her at a distance.
When she came back the officer who was in her told me that in a cove a little within the harbour they came down to the beach and invited our people to land by many signs and words which he did not at all understand; all however were armed with long pikes and a wooden weapon made something like a short scymetar.
By noon we were within the mouth of the inlet which appeared to be very good.
Under the South head of it were four small canoes; in each of these was one man who held in his hand a long pole with which he struck fish, venturing with his little embarkation almost into the surf.
These people seemed to be totally engaged in what they were about: the ship passed within a quarter of a mile of them and yet they scarce lifted their eyes from their employment; I was almost inclined to think that attentive to their business and deafned by the noise of the surf they neither saw nor heard her go past them.
At 1.00 we came to an anchor abreast of a small village consisting of about 6 or 8 houses.
Soon after this an old woman followed by three children came out of the wood; she carried several pieces of stick etc. the children also had their little burthens; when she came to the houses 3 more younger children came out of one of them to meet her.
She often looked at the ship but expressed neither surprise nor concern.
Soon after this she lighted a fire and the four canoes came in from fishing; the people landed, hauled up their boats and began to dress their dinner to all appearance totally unmoved at us, though we were within a little more than a mile of them.
Of all these people we had seen so distinctly through our glasses we had not been able to observe the least signs of clothing: myself to the best of my judgement plainly discerned that the woman did not copy our mother Eve even in the fig leaf.


Upon examining the lances we had taken from them we found that the very most of them had been used in striking fish, at least we concluded so from sea weed which was found stuck in among the four prongs. - Having taken the resolution before mentioned we returned to the ship in order to get rid of our load of lances, and having done that went to that place at the mouth of the harbour where we had seen the people in the morn; here however we found nobody.
At night many moving lights were seen in different parts of the bay such as we had been used to see at the Islands; from hence we supposed that the people here strike fish in the same manner.

On the 27th, in the morning, the wind being against us, we stood off and on shore.
At noon, being about one mile from land, some of our men were sent on shore in a boat, which soon returned, not being able to land for the surf, which which ran very high all along the coast.
They espied three men, sitting on the beach, who were naked, and of a very dark colour; but, on the boat’s approaching nearer toward them, they fled into the woods.
Our people also discovered several canoes drawn upon the beach, and a kind of house or wig-warn adjacent.
We also, from the ship, saw five men walking, two of whom carried a canoe on their shoulders.
The country looked very pleasant and fertile; and the trees, quite free from underwood, appeared like plantations in a gentleman’s park.

[28 April 1770]
Their canoes were made of one piece of bark, gathered at the two ends, and extended in the middle by two sticks.
Their paddles were very small, two of which they used at one time; and we found a large lump of yellow gum in their gigs which seemed to be for striking fish.

Some of their weapons had a kind of chisel fixed at their ends, but of what substance they were formed we could not learn.

Sunday, 29 April 1770

Botany Bay


We found here a few Small huts made of the bark of trees in one of which were four or five small children with whom we left some strings of beads and a quantity of darts lay about the huts, these we took away with us.
Three Canoes lay upon the beach the worst I think I ever saw, they were about 10 12 or 14 feet long made of one peice of the bark of a tree drawn or tied up at each end and the middle kept open by means of peices of sticks by way of thwarts.


After breakfast we sent some empty casks a shore and a party of men to cut wood and I went my self in the Pinnace to sound and explore the Bay - in the doing of which I saw several of the natives but they all fled at my approach.
I landed in two places one of which the people had but just left as there were small fires and fresh muscles broiling upon them - here likewise lay vast heaps of the largest oyster shells I ever saw.

The fires (fishing fires as we supposed) were seen during the greatest part of the night.
In the morn we went ashore at the houses, but found not the least good effect from our present yesterday: No signs of people were to be seen; in the house in which the children were yesterday was left every individual thing which we had thrown to them; Dr Solander and myself went a little way into the woods and found many plants, but saw nothing like people.
At noon all hands came on board to dinner.
The Indians, about 12 in number, as soon as they saw our boat put off Came down to the houses.
Close by these was our watering place at which stood our cask: they looked at them but did not touch them, their business was merely to take away two of four boats which they had left at the houses; this they did, and hauled the other two above high water mark, and then went away as they came.

Monday, 30 April 1770

Monday, 30th As soon as the wooders and waterers were come on board to dinner 10 or 12 of the natives came to the watering place and took away their canoes that lay there but did not offer to touch any one of our Casks that had been left ashore.
And in the afternoon 16 or 18 of them came boldly up to within 100 yards of our people at the watering place and there made a stand - Mr Hicks who was the officer ashore did all in his power to entice them to him by offering them presents etc. but it was to no purpose, all they seemed to want was for us to be gone - after staying a short time they went away.  
They were all armed with darts and wooden swords, the darts have each four prongs and pointed with fish bones and those we have seen seem to be intend more for strikeing fish than offensive weapons neither are they poisoned as we at first thought.

Tuesday, 1 May 1770

I saw some trees that had been cut down by the natives with some sort of a blunt instrument and several trees that were barked the bark of which had been cut by the same Instrument, in many of the trees, especially the palms, were cut steps about 3 or 4 feet asunder for the conveniency of climbing them

Thursday, 3 May 1770

Connections with the natives: in our way thither we met with 10 or 12 of them fishing each in a small canoe who retired in to shoal water upon our approach, others again we saw at the first place we landed at who took to their canoes and fled before we came near them:

After we had sufficiently examined this part we returned to the boat and seeing some smoke and canoes at a nothern part we went there in hopes of meeting with the people, but they made off as we approached.
There were six canoes and six small fires near the shore and muscles roasting upon them and a few oysters laying near, from this we conjectured that there had been just six people who had been out each in his canoe picking up muscles & oysters and the shell fish and come a shore to eat them where each had made his fire to dress them by.
We tasted of their cheer and left them in return strings of beads etc.near to this place.
At the foot of a tree was a small well or spring of [check MS] water

During the time this was doing [drying specimens in the sun] 11 Canoes, in each of which was one Indian, came towards us.
We soon saw that the people in them were employed in striking fish; they came within about a mile of us intent on their own employments and not at all regarding us.
Opposite the place where they were several of our people were shooting; one Indian may be prompted by curiosity landed, hauled up his canoe and went towards them; he stayed about a quarter of an hour and then launched his boat and went off, probably that time had been spent in watching behind trees to see what our people did.

The Captain and Dr Solander employed the day in going in the pinnace into various parts of the harbour.
They saw fires at several places and people who all ran away at their approach with the greatest precipitation, leaving behind the shell fish which they were cooking; of this our gentlemen took the advantage, eating what they found and leaving beads ribbons etc. in return.

Friday, 4 May 1770

Winds Northerly, serene weather.
Upon my return to the Ship in the evening I found that none of the natives had appeared near the watering place but about 20 canoes of them had been fishing in their canoes at no great distance from us.
In the AM as the wind would not permit us to sail I sent out some parties into the country to try to form some connections with the natives.
One of the Midshipmen met with a very old man and woman and two small Children-  they were close to the water side where several more were in their canoes gathering shell fish.

He (a very old man) stayed however with them but a very short time, for seeing many canoes fishing at a small distance he feared that the people in them might observe him and come ashore to the assistance of the old people, who in all probability belonged to them.
17 Canoes came fishing near our people in the same manner as yesterday only stayed rather longer, emboldened a little I suppose by having yesterday met with no kind of molestation.
While we were employed in this walk the people hauled the seine [net] upon a sandy beach and caught great plenty of small fish. On our return to the ship we found also that our 2nd lieutenant who had gone out striking had met with great success: he had observed that the large sting rays of which there are abundance in the bay followed the flowing tide into very shallow water; he therefore took the opportunity of flood and struck several in not more than 2 or 3 feet water; one that was larger than the rest weighed when his guts were taken out 239 pounds.

Saturday, 5 May 1770


In the PM I went with a party of men over to the North shore and, while some hands were hauling the seine, a party of us made an excursion of 3 or 4 miles into the country or rather along the sea coast.
We met with nothing remarkable.  
A great part of the country for some distance in land from the sea coast is mostly a barren heath diversified with marshes and morasses.
Upon our return to the Boat we found they had caught a great number of small fish which the sailors call Leather Jackets on account of their having a very thick skin,  they are known in the West Indies.
I had sent the yawl in the morning to fish for sting rays who returned in the evening with upwards of 4 hundred weight - one single one weighed 240 Ib exclusive of the entrails.

The 2nd Lieutenant went out striking and took several large Stingrays the biggest of which weighed without his guts 336 pounds.

This was all we saw of them except when they were fishing off their in their canoes, which are very small and made of bark; they carry one man who paddles with two small pieces of wood; they use them in striking fish on ye flats.

Remarks on Sting Ray Bay, New Holland.
 During our stay here we saw parties of Indians- but could not come near enough to make any kind of- with them but they always made signals for us to be gone.
They go quite naked not having the least thing to cover their nakedness.
They are very black and live entirely on fish.
Their canoes are only bark of a tree stopt at each end and so light that one man may carry them.
We saw no kind of boat although the Captain went some distance into the country.

Sunday, 6 May 1770

On the sand and mud banks are oysters, muscles, cockles etc. which I believe are the chief support of the inhabitants who go into shoal water with their little canoes and pick them out of the sand and mud with their hands and sometimes roast and eat them in the Canoe, having often a fire for that purpose as I suppose for I know no other it can be for.

Although I have said that shell fish is their chief support yet they catch other sorts of fish, some of which we found roasting on the fire the first time we landed, some of these they strike with gigs and others they catch with hook and line.
We have seen them strike fish with gigs & hooks and lines were found in their huts.
Sting rays I believe they do not eat because I never saw the least remains of one near any of their huts or fire places, neither were any of their darts or offensive weapons armed with the stings of sting rays, the use I think they would applyed them to did they make use of the fish.

We dined to day upon the sting-ray and his tripe: the fish itself was not quite so good as a skate nor was it much inferior, the tripe every body thought excellent.
We had with it a dish of the leaves of tetragonia cornuta boiled, which eat as well as spinach or very near it.

At Endeavour River [Queensland]

Tuesday, 10 July 1770


In the am, 4 of the natives came down to the sandy spit on the north side of the harbour having along with them a small wooden Canoe with outriggers in which they seemed to be employed in striking fish &ca.
Some were for going over in a boat to them but this I would not suffer but let them alone without seeming to take any notice of them, at length two came in the Canoe so near the Ship as to take some things we throwed them, after this they went away and brought over the other two and came again along side nearer than they had done before and took such trifles as we gave them.

: Four Indians appeared on the opposite shore; they had with them a canoe made of wood with an outrigger in which two of them embarked and came towards the ship but stopped at a distance of a long Musquest shot, talking much and very loud to us. We hollowed to them and waving made them all the signs we could to come nearer; by degrees they ventured almost insensibly nearer and nearer untill they were, quite alongside, often holding their lances as if to shew us that if we used them ill they had weapons and would return our attack.
Cloth, Nails, Paper &c &c. was given to them all which they took and put into the canoe without shewing the least signs of satisfaction: at last a small fish was by accident thrown to them on which they expressed the greatest joy imaginable, and instantly putting off
from the ship made signs that they should bring over their comrades, which they very soon did and all four landed near us, each carrying in his hand 2 Lances and his stick to throw them with.
Tupia went towards them; they stood all in a row in the attitude of throwing their lances; he made them signs that they should lay them down and come forward without them; this they immediately did and sat down with him on the ground.
We then came up to them and made them presents of Beads, Cloth &c. which they took and soon became very easy, only jealous if any one attempted to go between them and their arms.
At dinner time we made signs to them to come with us and eat but they refused; we left them and they going into their canoe paddled back to where they came from.

Wednesday, 11 July 1770

In the morning four of the natives made us another short visit, 3 of them had been with us the preceeding day and the other was a stranger.
One of these men had a hole through the Bridge [septum?] of his nose in which he stuck a piece of bone as thick as my finger, seeing this we examined all their noses and found that they all had holes for the same purpose, they had likewise holes in their ears but no ornaments hanging to them, they had bracelets upon their arms made of hair and like hoops of small cord they sometimes must wear a kind of fillet about their heads for one of them had applied some part of an old shirt I had given them to this use.

Indians came over again today, 2 that were with us yesterday and two new ones who our old acquaintance introduced to us by their names, one of which was Yaparico.
Tho we did not yesterday observe it they all had the Septum or inner part of the nose bored through with a very large hole, in which one of them had stuck the bone of a bird as thick as a mans finger and 5 or 6 inches long, an orna­ment no doubt tho to us it appeared rather an uncouth one.
They brought with them a fish which they gave to us in return I suppose for the fish we had given them yesterday.
Their stay was but short for some of our gentlemen being rather too curious in examining their canoe they went directly to it and pushing it off went away without saying a word.

Thursday, 12 July 1770

About this time 5 of the natives came over [in a canoe] and stayed with us all the forenoon, there were 7 in the whole 5 men a woman and a boy, these two last stayed on the point of sand on the other side of the River about 200 yards from us, we could very clearly see with our glasses that the woman was as naked as ever she was born, even those parts which I allways before now thought nature would have taught a woman to conceal were uncovered.


Indians came again today and ventured down to Tupias tent, where they were so well pleased with their reception that three staid while the fourth went with the Canoe to fetch two new ones; they introduced their strangers (which they always made a point of doing) by name and had some fish given them.
They received it with indifference, signed to our people to cook it for them, which was done, and they ate part and gave the rest to my Bitch.
They stayed most part of the morning but never ventured above 20 yards from their canoe.
Their canoe was not above 10 feet long and very narrow built with an outrigger fitted much like those at the Islands only far inferior; they in shallow waters set her on with poles, in deep paddled her with paddles about 4 feet long; she just carried 4 people so that the 6 who visited us today were obliged to make 2 embarkations.
Their lances were much like those we had seen at Botany Bay, only they were all of them single pointed with the stings of sting-rays and bearded [barbed] with two or three beards of the same, which made them indeed a terrible weapon; the board or stick with which they flung them was also made in a neater manner.
After having staid with us the greater part of the morn­ing they went away as they came.

Saturday, 4 August 1770
[Departure from Endeavour River]

[Description of the place]

They had lances and levers, very neatly made of reddish wood; and had two pieces of bone, joined together with pitch, that stood out at the end of them.
To polish their lances they made use of the ficus ridola, which served the purpose of a rasp.
Their canoes were made out of the trunks of trees; had an outrigger; and eight outriggers on which they laid their lances.
Their paddles were long in the blade.
To throw the water out of their canoes, they used a large shell called the Persian-crown.

They seem to live mostly on shell-fish, the remains of which we frequently saw about their fires, which they procure by twirling a piece of wood in a hole, made in another piece, till it is lit up into a flame.

Sunday 12 August 1770

[Lizard Island]


The inhabitants of the Main visit this Island at some seasons of the year for we saw the ruins of several of their hurts and heaps of shells &ca.

Distant as this isle was from the main, the Indians had been here in their poor embarkations, sure sign that some part of the year must have very settled fine weather; we saw 7 or 8 frames of their huts and vast piles of shells the fish of which had I suppose been their food.

Monday 13 August 1770

[Eagle Island?]

At 2 oClock in the pm we left Lizard Island in order to return to the Ship and in our way landed upon a low sandy isle mentioned in coming out.
We found on this island a great number of birds the most of them sea fowl, except Eagles, we like wise saw some turtle shells but caught none for the reasons before assigned.
We found that some of the Natives resort to this island as we saw several turtle shells piled one upon another.
After leaving Eagle Island we stood sw directly for ...

After we got on board the Master informed me that he had been down to the islands I had directed him to go which ...
He found upon the islands piles of turtle shells and some fins that were so fresh that both he and the boats crew eat of them, this shewed me that the Natives must have been there lately.


The Indians have been here likewise and lived upon turtle, as we could plainly see by the heaps of Callipashes [carapace] which were piled up in several parts of the island.
Our Master who had been sent to leeward to examine that Passage went ashore upon a low island where he slept.
Here he saw vast plenty of turtle shells, and so great plenty had the Indians had when there that they had hung up the finns with the meat left on them in the trees, where the sun had dried them so well that our seamen eat them heartily.

Tuesday 14 August 1770


I forgot to mention in its proper place that not only on these islands but in several places on the sea beach in and about Endeavour River we found bamboos, Cocoa-nutts, the seeds of plants, and pummick [pumice] stones which were not the produce of this country from all the discoveries we have been able to make in it.
It is reasonable to suppose that they are the produce of some country lying to the eastward and brought here by the easterly trade winds.

Monday 20 August 1770
[Boydong Island]

Upon this island  which is only a small spot of sand with some trees upon it, we saw a good many hurts or habitations of the natives which we sup­posed comes over from the main to these islands (from which they are distant about 5 leagues) to catch turtle at the time these animals come ashore to lay their eggs.


At noon we passed along a large shoal on which the boats which were ahead saw many turtle but it blew too fresh to catch them. We are now tolerably near the main, which appeared low and barren and often interspersed with large patches of very white sand spoke of before.
On a small island which we passed very near to were 5 natives, two of whom carried their lances in their hands; they came down upon a point and looked at the ship for a little while and then retired.

Wednesday 22 August 1770
[Endeavour Strait]

Before and after we anchored we saw a number of people on this island armed in the same manner as all the others we have seen, except one man who had a bow and a bundle of arrows, the first we have seen upon this coast.
 From the appearance of these people we expected that they would have opposed our landing but as we approached the shore they all made off and left us in peaceable posession of as much of the island as served our purpose.

Cook's Description of New Holland

Page 86

They have wooden fish gigs with 2, 3 or 4 prongs each very ingeniously made with which they strike fish; we have also seen them strike both fish and birds with their darts. With these they likewise kill other Animals; they have also wooden Harpoons for striking Turtle, but of these I

Page 87

I believe they get but few, except at the Season they come a shore to lay.
In short these people live wholey by fishing and hunting, but mostly by the former, for we never saw one inch of cultivated land in the whole country, they know however the use of taara and sometimes eat them.
We do not know that they eat anything raw but roast or broil all they eat on slow small fires.

Their Canoes are as mean as can be conceived, especially to the southward where all we saw were made of one piece of the bark of trees about 12 or 14 feet long, drawn or tied together at one end as I have before made mention, these canoes will not carry

Page 88

above 2 people, in general there is never more than one in them, but bad as they are they do very well for the purpose they apply them to, better then if they were larger, for as they draw but little water they go in them upon the Mud banks and pick up shell fish etc. without going out of the canoe.
The few canoes we saw to the northward were made of a log of wood hollowed out, about 14 feet long and very narrow with out-riggers, these will carry 4 people.
During our whole stay in Endeavour River we saw but one Canoe and had great reason to think that the few people that resided about this place had no more; this one served them to cross the River and to go a fishing in etc.
They attend the shoals and flats one where or another every day at low-water to gather shell fish or what ever they can find to eat, and have each a little bag to put what they get in: this bag is made of net work.
They have not the least knowledge of iron or any other metal that we know of, their working tools must but be made of stone, bone and shells, those made of the former are very bad if I may judge from one of their adzes I have seen-

Bad and mean as their Canoes are they at certain

Page 89

seasons of the year visit so far as we know go in them to the most distant islands which lay upon the coast, for we never landed upon one but what we saw signs of people having been there before.
We were suprised to find houses etc. upon Lizard Island which lies 5 Leagues from the nearest part of the Main, a distance we before thought that they could not have gone in their Canoes.

Page 90

I shall add a short Vocabulary of a few words in the New-Holland Language which we learnt when in Endeavour River —
Page 91

A Canoe - Maragan

Banks: Some account of that part of New Holland now called New South Wales

Page 276

The sea however made some amends for the bareness of the land.
Fish, though not so plentifull as they generaly are in higher latitudes, were far from scarce;

Page 277

where we had an opportunity of haling the seine we generally caught from 50 to 200 lb of fish in a tide.
There sorts were various, none I think but mullets known in Europe; in general however they were sufficiently palatable and some very delicate food; the sting rays indeed which were caught on the Southern part of the coast were very coarse, but there little else was caught so we were obliged to comfort ourselves with the comforts of plenty and enjoy more pleasure in satiety than in eating.
To the Northward again when we came to be entangled within the great Reef (within which we sailed to our knowledge 0? leages and we knew not how many more, perplexed every moment with shoals) was a plenty of turtle hardly to be credited, every shoal swarmed with them.
The weather indeed was generaly so boisterous that our boats could not row after them so fast as they could swim, so that we got but few, but they were excellent and so large that a single turtle always served the ship.
Had we been there either at the time of laying or the more

Page 278

moderate season we doubtless might have taken any quantity.
Besides this all the shoals that were dry at half ebb afforded plenty of fish that were left dry in small hollows of the rocks, and a profusion of large shell fish (Chama Gigas) such as Dampier describes Vol III, p. 191.
The large ones of this kind had 10 or 15 lb of meat in them; it was indeed rather strong but I believe a very wholesome food and well relished by the people in general.
On different parts of the coast were also found oysters which were said to be very well tasted; the shells also of well sized lobsters and crabs were seen but these it was never our fortune to catch.

Page 287

For food they seem to depend very much though not entirely upon the sea.
Fish of all kinds, turtle and even crabs they strike with their lances very dextrously.
These are generally bearded with broad beards and their points smeared over with a kind of hard resin which makes them peirce a hard body far easier than they would do without it.
In the sourthern parts these fish spears had 4 prongs and besides the resin were pointed with the sharp bone of a fish; to the Northward again their spears had only one point; yet both I believe struck fish with equal dexterity.
For the Northern ones I can witness who several times saw them through a glass throw their spear from 10 to 20 yards and generaly succeed; to the Southward again the plenty of

Page 288

fish bones we saw near their fires proved them to be no indifferent artists.
For striking of turtle they use a peg of wood well bearded and about a foot long: this fastens into a socket of a staff of light wood as thick as a man's wrist and 8 or 9 feet long, besides which they are tied together by a loose line of 3 or 4 fathoms in length.
The use of this must undoubtedly be that when the turtle is struck the staff flies off from the peg and serves for a float to show them where the turtle is, as well as assists to tire him till they can with their canoes overtake and haul him in.
That they throw this dart with great force we had occasion to observe while we lay in Endeavours river, where a turtle which we killed had one of them entirely buried in its body just across its breast; it seemed to have entered at the soft place where the fore fins work but not the least outward mark of the wound remained.

Besides these things we saw near their fire places plentiful remains of lobsters, shell fish of all kinds, and to the Southward the skins of those sea animals which from their

Page 289

property of spouting out water when touched are commonly called sea squirts.
These last, howsoever disgustful they may seem to an European palate, we found to contain under a coat as tough as leather a substance like the guts of a shell fish, in taste though not equal to an oyster yet by no means to be despised by a man who is hungry.

Page 296

Tools among them we saw almost none, indeed having no arts which require any it is not to be expected that they should have many.

Page 297

A stone made sharp at the edge and a wooden mallet were the only ones we saw that had been formed by art; the use of these we supposed to be in making the notches in the bark of high trees by which they climb them for purposes unknown to us, and for cutting and perhaps driving wedges to take of the bark which they must have in large pieces for making canoes, shields and water buckets and also for covering their houses.
Besides these they use shells and corals to scrape the points of their darts, and polish them with the leaves of a kind of wild fig tree (Ficus Radulo) which bites upon wood almost as keenly as our European shave grass used by the joiners.
Their fish hooks are made of shell very neatly and some exceedingly small; their lines are also well twisted and they have them from the size of a half inch rope to almost the fineness of a hair made of some vegetable.
Of netting they seem to be quite ignorant but make their bags, the only thing of the kind we saw among them, by laying the threads loop within loop something in the way of knitting only very coarse and open,

Page 298

in the very same manner as I have seen ladies make purses in England.

Page 299

They get fire very expeditiously with two pieces of stick very readily and nimbly: the one must be round and 8 or nine inches long and both it and the other should be dry and soft; the round one they sharpen a little at one end and pressing it upon the other turn it round with the palms of their hands just as Europeans do a chocolate mill, often shifting their hands up and running them down quick to make the pressure as hard as possible; in this manner they will get fire in less than 2 minutes and when once posessed of the smallest spark increase [it] in a manner truly wonderful.

Page 303

Defensive weapons we saw only in Sting-Rays bay and there only a single instance - a man who attempted to oppose our landing came down to the beach with a shield of an oblong shape about 3 feet long and 1˝ broad made of the bark of a tree; this he left behind when he ran away and we found upon taking it up that it plainly had been pierced through with a single pointed lance near the centre.
That such shields were frequently used in that neighbourhood we had however sufficient proof, often seeing upon trees the places from whence they had been cut and sometimes the shields themselves cut out but not yet taken off from the tree; the edges of the bark only being a little raised with wedges; which shows that these people certainly know how much thicker and stronger bark becomes by being suffered to remain upon the tree some time after it is cut round.

Page 304

Their Canoes were the only things in which we saw a manifest difference between the Southern and Northern people.
Those in the Southward were little better contrived or executed than their Houses: a piece of bark tied together in pleats at the ends and kept extended

Page 305

in the middle by small bows of wood was the whole embarkation, which carried one or two, nay we once saw three people, who moved it along in shallow water by setting with long poles; and in deeper by paddling with paddles about 18 inches long, one of which they held in each hand.
In the middle of these Canoes was generally a small fire upon a heap of sea weed, for what purpose intended we did not learn except perhaps to give the fisherman an opportunity of Eating fish in perfection by broiling it the moment it is taken.

To the Northward again their canoes tho exceeding bad were far superior to these.
They were small but regularly hollowrd out of the trunk of a tree and fitted with an outrigger to prevent them from over setting; in these they had paddles large enough to require both hands to work them.
Of this sort we saw only and had an opportunity of examining only one of them which might be about 10 or 11 feet long but was immensely narrow; the sides of the tree were left in their natural state untouched by tools but at each [end]

Page 306

they had cut off from the under part and left part of the upper side overhanging; the inside also was not ill hollowed and the sides tolerably thin.
What burden it was capable of carrying we had many times an opportunity to see: 3 people or at most 4 were as many as dare venture in it and if any more wanted to come over the river, which in that place was about a half a mile broad, one of these would carry back the canoe and fetch them.

This was the only piece of workmanship which I saw among the New Hollanders that seemed to require tools.
How they had hollowed her out or cut the ends I cannot guess but upon the whole the work was not ill done; Indian patience might do a great deal with shells etc. without the use of stone axes, which if they had had they would probably have used to form her outside as well as inside.
That such a canoe takes them up much time and trouble in the making may be concluded from our seeing so few, and still more from the moral certainty which we have that the

Page 307

tribe which visited [us] and consisted to our knowledge of 21 people and may be of several more had only one such belonging to them.
How tedious must it be for these people to be ferried over a river a mile or two wide by threes and fours at a time: how well therefore worth the pains for them to stock themselves better with boats if they could do it!

I am inclined to believe that besides these canoes the Northern People know and make use of the bark one of the South, and that from having seen one of the small paddles left by them upon a small Island where they had been fishing for turtle; it lay upon a heap of turtle shells and bones, trophies of the good living they had had when there, and with it lay a broken staff of a turtle peg and a rotten line, tools which had been worn out I suppose in the service of catching them.
We had great reason to believe that at some season of the year the weather is much more moderate than we found it, otherwise the Indians never could have ventured in any canoes that we saw half so far

Page 308

from the mainland as islands were on which we saw evident marks of their having been, such as decayed houses, fires, the before mentioned Turtle bones etc.
May be at this more moderate time they may make and use such canoes, and when the blustering season comes on may convert the bark of which they were made to the purposes of covering houses, making water buckets etc., etc. well knowing that when the next season returns they will not want a supply of bark to rebuild their vessels.

Page 310

Maragan -
a Canoe
- to Paddle

Sidney Parkinson: Australian Aborigines' canoes,
Botany Bay,1770 [detail].
- The Trustees of the British Museum, photograph by Michael Holford.

- Rienits: Voyages of Captain Cook (2004) page 49.

Page 181
[Botany Bay]

This bay is in latitude 34° 6’, and makes a good harbour, being only two or three points open to the eastward; but the water is in general shallow; and it has several arms extending from it, which are also shallow.
On these shallows we found a great number of rays, some shell-fish, and a few sharks.
The rays are of an enormous size: one of them which we caught weighed two hundred and thirty-nine pounds, and another three hundred and twenty-six.
They tasted very much like the European rays, and the viscera had an agreeable flavour, not unlike stewed turtle.
These rays, and shell-fish, are the natives chief food.

Page 189
[Endeavour River]

There were many alligators on the coast, some of them very large, and we frequently saw them swimming round the ship.

We found also several sorts of snakes, ants, and a small culex, or fly, which is not bigger than a grain of sand; the bite or sting of which was venomous, and caused protuberances on the skin, which itched violently.

Of fish, we found many different sorts, and a variety of beautiful shell-fish; among them three sorts of oysters; some were found in lagoons; some adhering to the mangrove; and others along the shore: large cavalhe, or scomber; large mullets, some flat-fish, a great number of small scombri; and skate or ray-fish; one of which, that we caught, was curiously marked on the back with polygons finely coloured, and another of an orbicular figure, with a blue grey-coloured back, and white belly, which tasted like veal; some other parts like beef; and the entrails as agreeable as turtle.
We caught also turtles of a bright green colour, some of which weighed near four hundred pounds †.

Page 190

They had lances and levers, very neatly made of a reddish wood; and had two pieces of bone, joined together with pitch, that stood out at the end of them.
To polish their lances they made use of the ficus riduola, which served the purpose of a rasp.
Their canoes were made out of the trunks of trees; had an out-rigger; and eight outriggers on which they laid their lances.
Their paddles were long in the blade.
To throw the water out of their canoes, they used a large shell called the Persian-crown.

Page 492

We continued to stand into the bay, and early in the afternoon anchored under the south shore, about two miles within the entrance, in six fathom water, the south point bearing S.E. and the north point East.
As we came in we saw, on both points of the bay, a few huts, and several of the natives, men, women, and children.
Under the south head we saw four small canoes, with each one man on board, who were very busily employed in striking fish with a long pike or spear: they ventured almost into the surf, and were so intent upon what they were doing, that although the ship passed within a quarter of a mile of them, they scarcely turned their eyes towards her; possibly being deafened by the surf, and their attention wholly fixed upon their business or sport, they neither saw nor heard her go past them.

James Cook's Journal of Remarkable Occurrences aboard His Majesty's Bark Endeavour, 1768-1771.
Daily entries and Descriptions.
The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks, 1768-1771
Daily entries and Descriptions
Sydney Parkinson's Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in His Majesty's Ship, The Endeavour, London, 1773.

NLA: South Seas Voyaging Accounts

Parkin, Ray:
H. M. Bark Endeavour: Her Place in Australian History
Miegunyah Press, second edition 2003.

The Endeavour guns and ballast.
Great Barrier Reef
10th June 1770
... scarce were we warm in our beds when we were calld up with the alarming news of the ship being fast ashore upon a rock, which she in a few moments convincd us of by beating very violently against the rocks.

Orders were now given for lightning the ship which was began by starting our water and pumping it up; the ballast was then got up and thrown over board, as well as 6 of our guns (all that we had upon deck).
All this time the Seamen workd with surprizing chearfullness and alacrity; no grumbling or growling was to be heard throughout the ship, no not even an oath (tho the ship in general was as well furnishd with them as most in his majesties service).

11th June, 1770.
On the 11th, early in the morning, we lightened the ship, by throwing over-board our ballast, firewood, some of our stores, our water-casks, all our water, and six of our great guns; and set the pumps at work, at which every man on board assisted, the Captain, Mr. Banks, and all the officers, not excepted; relieving one another every quarter of an hour.

The jettisoned guns and ballast were salvaged by a research team from the American Academy of Natural Sciences in 1969.
anchor, lost on the reef during the grounding, was raised in December 1971.

A restored cannon and iron ballast salvaged from HMB Endeavour.
Australian National Maritime Museum
Darling Harbour, Sydney.

- Callegari, Dennis: Cook's Cannon and Anchor-
The Recovery and Conservation of Relics from HMB Endeavour.

Kangaroo Press, N.S.W., 1994.

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Geoff Cater (2014) : James Cook : HM Bark Endeavour, 1770.