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Endeavour journal, 30 May 1770 (Series 03.644)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Thirsty sound'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 30 May 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 30. Went again ashore in the same place as yesterday. In attempting to penetrate farther into the countrey it was necessary to pass a swamp coverd with mangrove trees; this we attempted chearfully tho the mud under them was midleg deep, yet before we had got half way over we heartily [repented of] our undertaking: so entangled were the archd branches of those trees that we were continualy stooping and often slipping off from their slimey roots on which we steppd; we resolvd however not to retreat and in about an hour accomplishd our walk of about ¼ of a mile. Beyond this we found a place where had been 4 small fires; near them were fish bones, shells &c . that had there been roasted, and grass layd together upon which 4 or 5 people had slept as I guessd about a fortnight before. Several of our people were ashore on liberty, one of these saw a small pool of standing water which he judgd to contain about a ton. Our second lieutenant saw also a little laying in the bottom of a gully near which were the tracks of a large animal of the Deer or Guanicoe kind; he who has been in Port Desire on the Coast of South America seemd to incline to think them like the latter. Some Bustards were also seen but none of them shot; Great Plenty however of the Beautifull Loriquets seen in the last but one anchoring place were seen and killd. The 2nd Lieutenant and one more man who were in very different places Declard that they heard the voices of Indians near them, but neither saw the People. The countrey in general appeard barren and very sandy; most of the trees were gum trees but they seemd not inclind to Yeild their gum, I saw only one tree which did. It was most destitute of fresh water, probably that was the reason why so few inhabitants were seen: it seemd to be subject to a severe rainy season, so at least we judgd by the deep gullys which we saw had been plainly washd down from hills of a small hight.

Whether the sea was more fruitfull than the land We had not an opportunity to try. It did not seem to promise much as we with our hooks and lines could catch nothing, nor were there any quantity of Oysters upon the shore. The tide rose very much, how high was not measurd, but I think I may venture to guess not less at spring tides than 18 or twenty feet, perhaps much more.

The Captn and Dr Solander went today to examine the bottom of the inlet which appeard to go very far inland; they found it to increase in its width the farther they went into it, and concluded from that and some other circumstances that it was a channel which went through to the sea again. They saw two men who followd the boat along shore a good way but the tide running briskly in their favour they did not chuse to stop for them; at a distance from them far up the inlet they saw a large smoak. At night they returnd and having found neither fresh water nor any other refreshment it was resolvd to leave this place tomorrow morn.