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Endeavour journal, 27 August 1770 (Series 03.734)

Notes: Page header reads: 'to New Guinea'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 27 August 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
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Transcript: 27. Lay too all last night. In the morn fresh trade and fine clear weather made us hope that our dificulties were drawing to a period: it was now resolvd to hawl up to the Northward in order to make the coast of New Guinea in order to assure ourselves that we had realy got clear of the South Sea which was accordingly done. At dinner time we were alarmd afresh by the usual report of a shoal just ahead: it provd however to be no more than a bank or regular layer of a Brownish colour extending itself upon the sea, which indeed had very much the appearance of a shoal while at a distance. It was formd by innumerable small atoms each scarce ½ a line in lengh yet when lookd at in a microscope consisting of 30 or 40 tubes, each hollow and divided throughout the whole lengh into many cells by small partitions like the tubes of Confervas; to which of the three kingdoms of Nature they belong I am totaly Ignorant, I only guess that they are of a vegetable nature because on burning them I could perceive no animal smell. We have before this during this voyage seen them several times on the coast of Brazil and that of New Holland but never that I recollect at any considerable distance from the Land. In the Evening a small bird of the Noddy (sterna) kind hoverd much about the ship and at night settled on the rigging where he was taken, and provd exactly the same bird as Dampier has describd and given a rude figure of under the Name of a Noddy From New Holland; See his voyages Vol 111, p. 98, tab. of Birds fig. 5.