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Endeavour journal, 28 October 1769 (Series 03.429)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Tolaga Bay'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 28 October 1769
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 28. This morn we went ashore in an Island on the left hand as you come into the bay calld by the natives Tubolai. Here we saw the largest canoe we had met with: her lengh was 68½ feet, her breadth 5, hight 3:6: she was built with a sharp bottom made in 3 peices of trunks of trees hollowd, the middlemost of which was much longer than either of the other two; Her gunnel planks were in one peice 62 ft 2 in lengh carvd prettily enough in bass releif, the head was also richly carvd in their fashion. We saw also a house larger than any we had seen tho not more than 30 feet long, it seemd as if it had never been finishd being full of chipps. The woodwork of it was squard so even and smooth that we could not doubt of their having among them very sharp tools; all the side posts were carvd in a masterly stile of their whimsical taste which seems confind to the making of spirals and distorted human faces. All these had clearly been removd from some other place so probably such work bears a value among them.

While Mr Sporing was drawing on the Island he saw a most strange bird fly over his head; he describd it about as large as a kite and brown like one, his tail however was of so enormous a [length] that he at first took it for a flock of small birds flying after him. He who is a grave thinking man and is not at all given to telling wonderfull stories says he judg'd it to be at least [ ] yards in lengh.