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Endeavour journal, 23 September 1769 (Series 03.394)

Notes: Page header reads: 'in search of the Southern Continent'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 23 September 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 23. Moderate today. Several birds are about the ship cheifly Pintados and Albatrosses; in the evening another flock of Black shearwaters passd the ship and soon after two whales were seen.

Dr Solander has been unwell for some days so today I opend Dr Hulme's Essence of Lemon Juice, Mr Monkhouse having prescribd it for him, which provd perfectly good, little if at all inferior in taste to fresh lemon juice. We also today made a pye of the North American apples which Dr Fothergill gave me, which provd very good, if not quite equal to the apple pyes which our freinds in England are now eating, good enough to please us who have been so long deprivd of the fruits of our native Countrey. In the main however we are very well off for refreshments and provisions of most species: our ships beef and Pork are excellent as are the peas; the flour and oatmeal which have at some times faild us are at present and have in general been very good. Our water is as sweet and has rather more spirit than it had when drank out of the river at Otahite. Our bread indeed is but indifferent, occasiond by the quantity of Vermin that are in it, I have often seen hundreds nay thousands shaken out of a single bisket. We in the Cabbin have however an easy remedy for this by baking it in an oven, not too hot, which makes them all walk off, but this cannot be allowd to the private people who must find the taste of these animals very disagreable, as they every one taste as strong as mustard or rather spirits of hartshorn. They are of 5 kinds, 3 Tenebrios, 1 Ptinus and the Phalangium cancroides; this last is however scarce in the common bread but was vastly plentyfull in white Deal bisket as long as we had any left.

Wheat was allowd to the ships company which has been boild for their breakfasts 2 or 3 times a week in the same manner as firmity is made; this has I beleive been a very usefull refreshment to them as well as an agreable food, which myself and most of the officers in the ship have constantly breakfasted upon in the cold weather; the grain was originaly of a good quality and has kept without the least damage. This however cannot be said of the Malt of which we have plainly had two kinds, one very good but that has been some time ago us'd; that that is at present in use is good for nothing at all, it has been originaly of a bad light grain and so little care has been taken in the making of it that the tails are left in with innumerable other kinds of Dirt; add to all this that it has been damp'd on board the ship so that with all the care that can be usd it will scarce give a tincture to water. Portable Soup is very good, it has now and then requird an airing which has hinderd it from moulding. Sour Crout is as good as ever and I have not the least doubt of its remaining so.

So much for the Ships Company. We ourselves are hardly as well of as them; our live stock consists of 17 Sheep, 4 or 5 fowls, as many S. Sea hogs, 4 or 5 Muscovy ducks, an English boar and sow with a litter of piggs; in the use of these we are rather sparing as the time of our Getting a supply is rather precarious. Salt Stock we have nothing worth mentioning except a kind of Salt Beef which was put up by one Mellish a butcher at New Crane Stairs, which is by much the best salt meat I have ever tasted, and Our Salted Cabbage, see p.210 which is now as good as it was then.

Our Malt liquors have answerd extreemly well: we have now both small beer and Porter upon tap as good as I ever drank them, especialy the latter which was bought of Sam. & Jno. Curtiss at Wapping New Stairs. The Small beer had some art usd to make it keep, it was bought of Bruff & Taylor in Hog Lane near St Giles's. Our wine I cannot say much for tho I beleive it to be good in its nature, we have not a glass fine these many months I beleive cheifly owing to the Carelessness or ignorance of the Steward.