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Endeavour journal, 12 August 1770 (Series 03.718)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Lizzard Island'; 'Eagle Island'; 'Sail out of the Reef'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 12 August 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 12. Great Part of yesterday and all this morn till the boat returnd I employd in searching the Island. On it I found some few plants which I had not before seen; the Island itself was small and Barren; on it was however one small tract of woodland which abounded very much with large Lizzards some of which I took. 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 setled 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. All the houses were built upon the tops of Eminences exposd intirely to the SE, contrary to those of the main which are commonly placd under the shelter of some bushes or hill side to break off the wind. The officer who went in the Boat returnd with an account that the sea broke vastly high upon the reef and the swell was so great in the opening that he could not go into it to sound. This was sufficient to assure us of a safe passage out, so we got into the boat to return to the ship in high spirits, thinking our danger now at an end as we had a passage open for us to the main Sea. In our return we went ashore upon a low Island where we shot many birds; on it was an Eagles nest the young ones of which we killd, and another built on the ground by I know not what bird, of a most enormous magnitude - it was in circumference 26 feet and in hight 2 feet 8 built of sticks; the only Bird I have seen in this countrey capable of building such a nest seems to be the Pelecan. The Indians have been here likewise and livd upon turtle, as we could plainly see by the heaps of Callipashes which were pild up in several parts of the Island. Our Master who had been sent to leward 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 trees, where the sun had dryd them so well that our seamen eat them heartily. He saw also two spots clear of grass which had lately been dug up; they were about 7 feet long and shaped like a grave, for which indeed he took them.