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Endeavour journal, 24 November 1770 (Series 03.792)

Notes: Page header reads: 'Batavia'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 24 November 1770
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 24. We had for some nights now had the wind on the western board, generaly attended with some rain, thunder and lightning; this night blew strong at SW and raind &c . harder than ever I saw it before for 3 or 4 hours; Our house raind in in every part, and through the lower part of it ran a stream almost capable of turning a mill. In the morn I went to Batavia, where the quantities of Bedding that I every where saw hung up to dry made a very uncommon sight; for every house that I was acquainted with, and I was told almost every house in the town and neighbourhood, sufferd more or less. This was certainly the shifting of the Monsoon, for the winds which had before been con[s]tantly to the Eastward Remaind ever after on the western bord; the people here however told us that it did not commonly shift so suddenly, and were loth to beleive that the westerly winds were realy set in for several days after.

Dr Solander was recovered enough to be able to walk about the house but gatherd strengh very slowly. Myself was given to understand that curing my ague was of very little consequence while the cause remaind in the badness of the air; the Physician however bled me and gave me frequent gentle purges, which he told me would make the attacks less violent, as was realy the case; they came generaly about the hour of 2 or 3 in the afternoon, a time when every body in these climates is asleep, and by 4 or 5 I generaly had recoverd to get up and walk in the garden &c .

The rainy season was now set in and we had generaly some rain in the night; the days were more or less cloudy and sometimes wet; this however was not always the case, for after this time we had once a whole week of dry clear weather. The Frogs in the diches, whose voices were ten times louder than those of European ones, made a noise on those nights when rain was to be expected almost intolerable; and the Mosquitos, or Gnats, who had been sufficiently troublesome even in the dry time, now breeding in every splash of water became innumerable, especialy in the Moonlight nights; their stings however tho painfull and troublesome enough at the time never continued to itch above half an hour, so that no man in the day time was troubled with the bites of the night before. Indeed I never met with any whose bites caus'd swellings that remaind 24 hours, except the Midges or Gnats of Lincolnshire (which are identicaly the same insect as is calld Mosquito in most parts of the world) and the sand flies of North America.