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Endeavour journal, 16 September 1770 (Series 03.754)

Notes: Page header reads: 'off Timor'; 'Savu'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 16 September 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 16. Trade rather fresher than yesterday. Soon after breakfast the small Island of Rotte was in sight and soon after the opening appeard plain which at last convincd our old unbeleivers that the Island we has so [long?] been off was realy Timor. Soon after dinner we passd the Streights. The Island of Rotte was not mountanous or high like Timor but consisted of Hills and vales: on the East End of it some of our people saw Houses but I did not: the North side had frequent sandy beaches near which grew some few of the Fan Palm, but the greatest part was coverd with a kind of brushy trees which had few or no leaves upon them. The opening between Timor and the Island calld by Dampeir Anabao we plainly saw which appeard narrow. Anabao itself lookd much like Timor, only was rather less high: we saw on it no signs of cultivation, but as it was misty and we were well on the other side of the streights, which we judgd to be 5 Lgs over, we saw it but very indifferently. Off the Western end of it was a small low sandy Island coverd with trees; before night however we had left all behind us.

About 10 O'Clock a Phaenomenon appeard in the heavens in many things resembling the Aurora Borealis but differing materialy in others: it consisted of a dull reddish light reaching in hight about 20 degrees above the Horizon: its extent was very different at different times but never less than 8 or 10 points of the compass. Through and out of this passd rays of a brighter colourd light tending directly upwards; these appeard and vanishd nearly in the same time as those of the Aurora Borealis, but were entirely without that trembling or vibratory motion observd in that Phaenomenon. The body of it bore from the ship SSE: it lasted as bright as ever till near 12 when I went down to sleep but how much longer I cannot tell.